Charlotte, NC – 7.9.2011
Commentary is provided by Dave Prazak and Kevin Kelly.
Andy Ridge vs. Mike Bennett
Before the match, Bennett vows to end his losing streak tonight. Ridge immediately rolls him up for two a count. He sends Bennett to the corner with a pair of armdrags and a dropkick. Bennett evades a kick and boots Ridge to the mat. Ridge responds with a chest kick for two. Bennett rolls to the floor and Ridge follows out. Bennett ducks a flying attack and drops Ridge back first on the ring apron. Bennett delivers a trifecta of punches to Ridge’s face. Bennett hits a backbreaker in the ropes for two. Ridge responds with strikes in the corner. Bennett nails a corner clothesline. Ridge blocks a hip toss and backslides Bennett for two. A running knee strike takes Bennett down and fires Ridge up. He superkicks Bennett for two. Bennett accidentally crotches himself in the corner. Ridge kicks him in the back and nails a running boot. Ridge slingshot stunners Bennett for two. Bennett catches Ridge with a spinebuster for two. Ridge blocks a piledriver with a jackknife pin for two. Bennett ducks a spinning kick. He drops Ridge with a piledriver for the pin at 5:21. Ridge has a lot of potential, but he’s never going to go anywhere if they keep him in opening match purgatory with opponents the fans hate. **
Kenny King vs. Mark Briscoe
For this match. Jay Briscoe and Rhett Titus are handcuffed to the ring posts. King lays in some right hands before hitting a spinwheel kick. He suplexes Mark and delivers some more punches. Mark rakes King’s eyes to stop King’s stomping in the corner. King throws Mark into the corner and chops him. Jay grabs Mark’s legs so King can’t suplex him. Mark drops King stomach first on the top rope. He falls to the floor where Jay can kick him behind the referee’s back. Jay clotheslines and chops King with Mark’s aid. In the ring, Mark blasts King with a corner clothesline and brings him out with a bulldog for two. Titus grabs Mark’s foot from the floor. This allows King to send Mark to the floor with a tornado kick. King slams Mark’s head into the barricades. Titus gets in a few kicks before King slams Mark on the floor. Mark whips King into a superkick from Jay to shift the momentum again. In the ring Mark hits a shotgun dropkick for two. He pitches King back to the floor where Jay once again beats King. Mark comes to the floor as well. King whips him to Titus who backdrops him. King hits shotgun knees in the corner. He drops Mark neck first across the top rope and connects with a springboard clothesline for two. King cartwheel kicks Mark and drops him with a spinebuster for two. King misses a springboard senton. Mark hits a running knee strike and places King up top. He brings king down with an Iconoclasm for two. Mark calls for the cut-throat driver. King blocks that and a superkick. He drops Mark with the Coronation 8:36. This was a fun match with two guys who don’t get a lot of singles matches these days in ROH. The stipulation was utilized very well, as it wouldn’t have made sense for Titus and Jay to behave when their opponents were nearby. We’ll see how the stip carries over into the next match. **3/4
Rhett Titus vs. Jay Briscoe
For this match, Mark Briscoe and Kenny King are handcuffed to the ring posts. Titus and Jay slug it out right away. Titus lands a Thesz Press and continues to throw punches. A beautiful dropkick gets Titus a two count. Titus clotheslines Jay to the floor. Jay throws Titus head first into the barricades. Titus lawn darts Jay into Mark, then throws him into a big boot from King. Titus hits a sole butt and a pair of kicks to Jay’s head for two. Jay boots Titus and mows him down with a clothesline. Jay throws Titus to the floor. Mark slams Titus face first into the ring frame until Jay comes out and throws him into the barricades. Back in the ring, Jay stops Titus’ comeback with a reverse STO into the middle turnbuckle. Titus fires up from Jay’s flurry of punches. He hits a backspring elbow from the second rope. Titus delivers the Thrust Buster. Jay throws Titus to the apron. Titus kicks Jay in the side of the head. He ties Jay up in the ropes and basement dropkicks him to the floor. Titus follows with a tope con hilo. Titus misses a frog splash. Jay goes under the ring and grabs a pair of bolt cutters. Jay punches referee Paul Turner who tries to stop him. Jay cuts Mark free and enters the ring. The Briscoes beat down Titus as King tries desperately to free himself with some object. The urgency grows greater when Jay takes off his belt and whips Titus with it. Jay drops him with the Jay Driller. Referee Todd Sinclair calls for the bell at 10:02. I actually think this was a great backdrop in the bigger picture of both these teams’ feud. Having the Briscoes beat the snot out of Titus gave ANX the fire they needed to become just as violent as The Briscoes, and will truly have a better chance when the teams face off in the future. **1/2
The Briscoes prevent Todd Sinclair from cutting King free. They continue to beat on Titus until Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin run out to make the save. Finally freed, King checks on his partner.
The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly
Edwards and Cole reach a stalemate after a fun opening exchange. O’Reilly and Richards do the same but have a very different and more strike heavy encounter. O’Reilly goes toe-to-toe with Richards when exchanging kicks to the chest. O’Reilly manages to knock Richards off his feet and tags in Cole. A series of tandem kicks gets Cole a two count. A pair of back elbows gets O’Reilly two. He goes for a triangle choke, but Richards rolls into a jackknife pin for two. O’Reilly and Richards trade strikes in the corner, O’Reilly kicks him in the side of the head for two. Richards crotches O’Reilly on the top rope. Edwards kicks him into a tree of woe, and The Wolves deliver stereo dropkicks to O’Reilly’s face. The Wolves isolate O’Reilly and methodically wear him down. O’Reilly blocks a kick from Richards, just in time to sneak in an enzuigiri. He throws Richards’ leg to Edwards, allowing him to dragonscrew leg whip both Wolves simultaneously. He tags in Cole who missile dropkicks Richards to the floor. He knocks down Edwards with a dropkick. Cole blocks a suplex with an enzuigiri and sunset flips Edwards for two. Cole hits a second rope leg lariat for two. Both men trade forearm strikes and chops. Cole drops Edwards neck first across his knee for two. Edwards drops Cole with the backpack chin breaker for two. The Wolves accidentally kick each other trying to go for Cole. O’Reilly blind tags in and drops Edwards with a tornado DDT. Cole and O’Reilly hit a crossbody/suplex combo for two. Edwards fights Cole on the second rope. Cole evades a double stomp, but Edwards rolls him into the Achilles Lock. O’Reilly puts Richards in a Guillotine choke at the same time. Richards counters into the ankle lock, leaving O’Reilly and Cole trapped in submissions. A series of moves knocks everyone down. O’Reilly and Richards go back to trading kicks and strikes. A rolling lariat from Richards gets him a two count. He immediately turns into the ankle lock. Edwards stops Cole from breaking, until Cole DDT’s him on the ring apron. O’Reilly turns the hold into a sharpshooter. Richards small packages him for two. Cole enzuigiri’s Richards from the floor, and O’Reilly gives him two butterfly suplexes. O’Reilly DDT’s Richards into a German suplex from Cole. They deliver stereo kicks but Edwards breaks the pin attempt. Cole misses a pescado. Edwards dragonscrews O’Reilly in the ropes. Edwards double stomps O’Reilly in the ropes for two. Edwards lariats O’Reilly for two. O’Reilly counters a powerbomb by putting Edwards in a Guillotine choke. Edwards pops O’Reilly off. Richards suplexes O’Reilly and Cole breaks Edwards’ pin. The Wolves deliver a powerbomb/back cracker combo on O’Reilly for two. Edwards turns O’Reilly into the Achilles Lock. Cole hits an enzuigiri from the apron to break the hold. Cole then dives onto Richards. O’Reilly small packages Edwards for two. Edwards reapplies the Achilles Lock. He stomps on O’Reilly’s head. O’Reilly passes out at 21:23 giving The Wolves the win. Without a doubt, this was O’Reilly and Cole’s breakout ROH performance. The action was non-stop, the crowd made noise from bell-to-bell, it got more exciting as the match progressed, and they told a flippin’ story! Greatness all around. ****
The real story to the match was that although referee Todd Sinclair called for the match to be over, no bell was sounded. Because of this, Edwards kept on the submission and kept kicking O’Reilly in the head as he was trying to get the win. Edwards finally let go but damage was done. This pissed off Richards, because as he said prior to the match, O’Reilly is his student, roommate and training partner. While Cole checks to make sure his partner is okay, Richards gives Edwards a verbal berating. I love this because both guys have valid arguments and it teases the dissension amongst the Wolves very well. How this story will progress intrigues me. Richards and Cole help O’Reilly to the back while Edwards looks verbally pissed at the mistake he made.
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. Michael Elgin & Chase Owens
Chase is a Tennessee native who is getting a chance with the House of Truth tonight. He had a great showing in CHIKARA so I am happy to see him get a chance here as well. Alexander and Coleman have matching gear, which makes me love them (it’s the little things folks). Elgin nails Coleman with a forearm. Coleman blocks the Oklahoma Stampede. He nails a roundhouse kick, but Elgin mows him down with a shoulder block. Owens gets taken down with some armdrags. Coleman hits a dropkick and tags in Alexander. He hits a slingshot senton for two. Alexander flips over Owens and connects with a dropkick for two. Alexander drop toe holds Owens into a legdrop from Coleman for two. Elgin tags back in. He misses a splash in the corner and gets kicked by Alexander. Elgin shoves Coleman into the corner, crotching Alexander on the top rope. He stacks them up and powerslams C&C simultaneously for two. Owens and Elgin team up on Coleman until Elgin misses a tumbleweed senton. Coleman backdrops Owens and tags in Alexander. Alexander comes in with a springboard forearm. He DDT’s Owens for two. They hit a tandem gourd buster and Elgin breaks the count. Elgin prevents Alexander from landing a DDT. Coleman and Alexander hit some kicks. C&C hit Owens with Shooty McGee and Elgin breaks the pin. Coleman sends Elgin to the floor with a knee strike. Alexander tope con hilo’s onto him. Owens goes up tope, but Coleman catches him with a leap of faith. Alexander follows up with a frog splash for the pin at 9:14. I love Alexander and Coleman as a team and am happy knowing they will be a more permanent fixture in ROH. Elgin and Owens also got their moments to shine, so I’d say this was a victory all around. **3/4
As he has with others in the past, Martini gives Owens a thumbs down as assign that he did not make the cut into the HoT. Elgin drops him with a buckle bomb and spinning powerbomb for good measure.
Colt Cabana vs. Chris Hero
A bit of chain wrestling leads to a stalemate. Hero delivers some chops and strikes, but Cabana ducks an elbow. He plays with Hero until clapping his ears with his arms. Cabana uses his cunning to outsmart Hero. Frustrated, Hero rolls to the floor. Shane Hagadorn grabs Cabana’s leg, allowing Hero to deliver a sliding boot through the ropes. Hero takes control back in the ring. Cabana looks for a gut buster on the top rope, but Hero boots him to the floor instead. Hero lays him out with a rolling elbow in the aisleway, hoping for a count out victory. Cabana makes his way back in the ring, but Hero nails him with a sliding kick right away for two. Cabana blocks a rolling elbow with a backslide for two. Cabana catches Hero with a mule kick as Hero comes off the second rope. Cabana comes off the top rope with a tomahawk chop, then hits Hero with overhand chops and the Flip, Flop and Fly. Cabana gets two with a quebrada. Hero blasts Cabana with a running elbow strike. A little back and forth sees Cabana put Hero in the Billy Goat’s Curse. Hero escapes and elbows Cabana in the neck for two. Hero drops Cabana with the Cravate-O-Clasm for two. Hero rocks Cabana with multiple boots and an elbow. Cabana comes back with a flying hip attack for two. Cabana accidentally elbows the referee. Hagadorn tries to interject but Cabana elbows him off the apron. Hero blocks the Flying Asshole with the Cyclone Kick for the pin at 15:56. That was a great ending to a very good match. I’ve seen Hero and Cabana have matches with each other in the past couple years that just were nothing special in the slightest. This was significantly better than every single one of those matches. ***
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. The Bravado Bros. (Lance & Harlem Bravado)
Harlem can’t manage to do damage to Benjamin. He boots Harlem to the corner and Lance tags in. Benjamin outwrestles Lance and tags in Haas. Benjamin drops him with a spinebuster and Haas drops a knee for two. Haas lands a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Lance shoves Haas to the Bravado corner. The Bravado’s work over Haas in their corner until Haas catches Lance with a Tenchi Crash. Benjamin tags in and takes down both Bravado’s. Benjamin drops him with a neckbreaker. Haas dispose of Harlem with an atomic drop/superkick combo. They deliver the Broken Arrow to Lance for the pin at 6:21. I don’t know what the point of this was. The WGTT were already tag team champions and didn’t need this win. The Bravado’s on the other hand did, and it stinks to see that they can only be competitive with Cole and O’Reilly. *1/2
The Briscoes come out and brawl with the WGTT. They put Haas through a table, causing Kenny King to come out to chase The Briscoes off.
Steel Cage Match
El Generico vs. Roderick Strong
Generico attacks Strong as he makes his entrance. He whips Strong into the barricades multiple times. Generico blocks being whipped by hopping off the barricade with a double sledge. Truth Martini grabs Generico’s leg as he tries to enter the ring. Strong swings the cage door into Generico’s face. Strong drops Generico on the barricade and smacks him with the Book of Truth. Strong maintains control inside the confines of the cage. Generico throws Strong into the cage multiple times to shift the momentum. Generico delivers a tornado DDT and yakuza kicks Strong into the cage wall. The Blue Thunder Powerbomb gets him two. He tries a Michinoku Driver but ends up getting the same result. Strong rolls Generico into a superkick for two. Strong hits a knee strike and an enzuigiri for two. Generico recovers and suplexes Strong into the corner. He blasts Strong with a yakuza kick. Strong suplexes Generico into the cage to block a brainbuster. He nails the Sick Kick for two. Once they’re both back to their feet, Strong gets in a flurry of offense. Generico goes for a brainbuster but eats another jumping knee. Generico however yakuza kicks Strong and hits the brainbuster successfully for two. Strong crotches Generico as he goes to the top rope. Strong hits yet another Sick Kick for two. He hits the Death by Roderick and the Tiger Driver and once again gets two. Strong brings Generico up top for a super Death by Roderick. Generico fights free and pushes Strong to the mat. Generico checks the stability of the cage before he hops onto it. Truth Martini climbs up, so Generico grabs onto him. Strong pulls Generico down. Generico backs Strong into the cage and yakuza kicks Martini through the cage. He sends Strong into the cage and hits a yakuza kick. He drops Strong with the top rope brainbuster for the pin at 17:55. Generico is so awesome when it comes to conveying emotion and storytelling. He finally got Strong alone where Martini couldn’t do anything and picked up the win. The cage was used sparingly, but it felt like a big deal when it did come into play. This was a really great way to end the feud and this show. ***3/4