Friday, 18 March 2011 16:13
I arrived just as a dark match was finishing up, and the only competitor I noticed was Andy "Right Leg" Ridge, so apologies for not including those results as part of this report.
"The Prodigy" Mike Bennett and "Brutal" Bob Evans came out unannounced at the start of the show to hype up Bennett's TV Title match with Christopher Daniels, as well as get his persona across with the audience. Bennett, being a local NE guy, heeled on the city, though he did have some fans in attendance. Steve Corino came out and got in Bennett's face for being the brash, overconfident newcomer, while Bennett responded that Corino was just a washed up old man teaming with Grizzly Redwood. Corino, now on his "path of redemption" warned Bennett not to continue his ways, because if he does, he might wind up having to deal with Corino down the line.
Mark Briscoe beat Kyle O'Reilly. Very good opening match, and O'Reilly continues to impress. Lots of near falls and the crowd was into the match, which ended with Mark hit a flying elbowdrop for the pin.
All Night Express beat Corino and Redwood. ANX played heels, while Corino did a few comedy spots (refusing to go to the top rope, getting a "one more time" chant after nailing a dropkick and then failing at the second attempt). Face miscommunication saw Corino nail Redwood with a clothesline by accident, leaving him prone for the ANX to finish him off with a backbreaker/kneedrop combo.
Prince Nana and The Embassy are out to introduce Tomasso Ciampa (another NE indy guy breaking into ROH). Ciampa and Adam Cole had a decent match, the highlight of which being Embassy valet Mia Yim nailing Adam Cole with a superkick on the floor. Cole hit a nice wheelbarrow suplex into a lungblower, but was soon felled by CIampa's powerbomb into a lungblower finisher.
Chris Hero (w/ Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn) beat TJ Perkins. Build slowly and a lot of people didn't seem to react or know TJ, but they got into the match as it went on. Del Rey seems to be more "dolled up" these days, as it looks like her hair was different and her makeup was done. Some great exchanges, including Hero nailing some hard elbows and TJ nailing kicks, before he was felled by yet another elbow in the end. The crowd gave Perkins a standing ovation after the match.
The Bravado Brothers came out unannounced and cut a quick promo before taking on Matt Taven (another NE guy) and another guy. I never heard his name announced, and only knew Taven from Northeast Wrestling (and the fact that "Taven" was on his tights). Basically a backdrop for the Bravados to showcase themselves and go over.
Eddie Edwards beat Michael Elgin. This was my first time seeing Elgin live, and he certainly impressed. Great match, with hometown boy Edwards getting the win. At one point Truth Martini interfered and Edwards put both Elgin and Martini in the Achilles Lock simultaneously. Edwards also took an Oklahoma Stampede on the floor after being caught on a moonsault attempt. Elgin has a great look and certainly held up his end of the match. I'm not sold on Martini, as to me he comes off as a wannabe Don Callis, right down to having the same look. Edwards got a huge ovation both before and after the match.
Christopher Daniels beat Mike Bennett to retain the ROH TV Title. The crowd was vocally pro-Daniels, save for three hecklers who were firmly behind Bennett. Most of the crowd reactions consisted of Daniels chants (to overpower the three hecklers, who Daniels acknowledged at several points) and "you can't wrestle" chants towards Bennett. Bennett, to me, seems bland in ROH. He's not terrible, but he also doesn't stand out for the gimmick they're running with him. It's like Ted DiBiase Jr. minus the famous family name. Daniels got the win with the BME after Corino ran out to prevent Bennett from using the TV Title as a weapon. Post-match Corino handed a wary Daniels back the TV Title. Daniels then celebrated by going around ringside slapping hands, and making sure to dish some verbal payback out to the three clowns who were riding him during the match.
Davey Richards defeated Claudio Castagnoli in the match of the night. Great match, with the only "blown spot" being one that may have been planned, where Davey went for a superplex but both men spilled to the floor instead. Davey must have nailed him with a hundred kicks during the course of this match. Finish came when Richards came off with a double stomp, then ran up to the opposite corner and hit an SSP. Both Edwards and Richards made belt motions as if they're going after Roderick Strong's ROH World Title, so it seems hints may have been dropped that the American Wolves are going to have to face each other sooner or later if one wants a title shot.
Speaking of Roderick, he won the "Defy or Deny" elimination match over Jay Briscoe, Homicide, and El Generico. The first part of this match was worked like a Parejas Incredibles match, with Strong telling current rival Homicide they should work together, forcing former rivals Briscoe and Generico to pair up. At one point Strong mimicked Homicde's rolling suplexes (the tribute to Eddie Guerrero) and Homicide made like he was going to stomp him down, but held back. A few minutes later, Homicde had enough and unloaded on Strong, and that's when all hell started breaking loose! Homicide nailed a dive that send him into the first row, while Generico nailed a flip dive on the other side of the ring. Homicide went out first after a Jay Driller, and Briscoe followed him back to the locker room a few minutes later courtesy of Strong. Crowd got hot for Generico vs. Strong, hoping to see the beloved masked man take the win, but Michael Elgin ran in and powerbombed Generico, enabling Roderick to hit a kick to the face and pick up the win. So now all three men cannot get title shots for as long as Roderick is the champion. Finish felt to me like a TV finish rather than the way you'd end a standard show, but the fans got their happy ending when Edwards, Richards, and Daniels made the save for Generico after Strong and Elgin continued to beat on him. I had figured Generico would win and get the title shot, but I guess there are other plans in store.
Overall, a great time tonight, and a solid show. Only the Bravado Brothers match seemed like a waste, but they're working at getting the new talent over so I can't fault them for that. Michael Elgin certainly impressed, while Mike Bennett needs a bit more work if he's who they're looking to build the future around. They announced a return to Plymouth on September 16th.