Ring of Honor: The Kings of Wrestling – Kings Reign Supreme

Disc One

The DVD starts with “Final Battle 2009.” The Briscoes are in the ring celebrating after defeating The American Wolves to become the ROH World Tag Team Champions for the sixth time. Claudio Castagnoli comes out from the entrance ramp. He gets on the apron and points to the belt in Jay’s hand. From the crowd, Chris Hero jumps in and jumps Jay from behind. Together, he and Claudio drop Mark with the KRS-ONE. Just like that, the Kings of Wrestling are back together in ROH. The Kings hold up the Briscoes tag titles as the Briscoes lay at their feet.

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) (Champions) vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli)

“The Big Bang” – Charlotte, NC – 4.3.2010

Shane Hagadorn is in the Kings’ corner. Hero and Mark look for control. Hero lands an elbow to the side of Mark’s head before tagging in Claudio. Mark takes him to his corner. Jay looks to help him out with a double shoulder tackle but Claudio bails to the floor. Hero comes in and takes a double flapjack. Claudio brings Hero to the floor to stop the Briscoes from a double biel out of the corner. In the ring though, they successfully pull off that double biel on Claudio and give Hero double shoulder tackles. Jay snapmares Hero into a running boot for two. The Briscoes take turns wearing Hero down. When Claudio tags in, he gets caught by the Briscoes right away. Hero boots Jay when he has Claudio rolled up. He knocks Mark off the apron so that he and Claudio can go to work on Jay. Jay escapes by throwing Claudio into the second turnbuckle with a Complete Shot. Mark uses some redneck Kung-Fu and kicks to take out both Hero and Claudio. Jay tope con hilo’s onto Hero. Mark gets two with a flying crossbody on Claudio. Mark tries for a dive, but Claudio catches him. Hero from the floor jumps up onto the apron and nails him with an elbow strike. Now it’s Mark’s turn to be isolated by the Kings. When Hero runs at him for an elbow in the corner, Mark blocks it with his own elbow. He drops down the top rope to send a charging Claudio out. He kicks Hero in the head. When he goes for the tag though, Claudio pulls Jay off the apron. Hero and Claudio go back to work. Mark finally tags out when he manages to roll over Hero in the corner. Jay knocks him down with a couple of clotheslines. He gets two with a dropkick. He gets two again with a Blockbuster. A plethora of boots from the Kings take both Briscoes down. Jay fights out of the Ricola Bomb but does suffer the Swiss Death. He manages to kick out. Jay takes Claudio down with a spinebuster and tags in Mark. He flies in with a single leg dropkick. He gets two with a Northern Lights suplex. Claudio dives off the second rope with a European uppercut. Hero tags Mark with a couple rolling elbows for two. Mark comes back with an Iconoclasm. Hero gives him a Liger Bomb for two. The Kings set up for the King’s Swing. Jay sends Hero to the floor and dropkicks Claudio to stop them. The Briscoes give Hero a Demolition Decapitation and the Redneck Boogie. Claudio makes the save. He spins Mark in the U.F.O. for two. The Kings successfully pull of the King’s Swing. Hero gives him a rolling elbow, yet Mark somehow kicks out. Mark and Claudio spill to the floor. Claudio gut wrench suplexes Jay off the top rope. Mark gives Hero a springboard Ace Crusher. Jay gets two with a Death Valley Driver on Claudio. He superkicks Hero to the floor. The Briscoes try the Doomsday Device, but Claudio catches Mark with a powerslam as he comes off Jay’s shoulders. The Kings give Mark the KRS-ONE for two. Hero accidentally elbows Claudio. Jay gives Claudio the Jay Driller. Hero breaks the pin. He distracts the referee so Hagadorn can crotch Mark on the top rope. Jay brings in Hagadorn. While Paul Turner is trying to stop Jay, Hero puts on his loaded golden elbow pad. He nails Jay with a rolling elbow and places Claudio on top of him. That gets Claudio the pin and the Kings the tag titles at 30:18. This was a strong way to kick off the Kings’ second title reign. While it may have had one too many heat segments, the crowd kept with them the whole time and the win came off like a big deal. You know two teams were good when they can effectively use every second of a 30 minute match. ****

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) (Champions) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin)

“Supercard of Honor V” – New York, NY – 5.8.2010

Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey are in the Kings corner. Claudio places Sabin on the top turnbuckle in a show of disrespect. Sabin throws a dropkick, but Claudio throws one right back at him. Sabin catches him with a satellite headscissors. Shelley and Hero tag in. They look for control on the mat. Shelley takes Hero over with some armdrags. Claudio tags in. He knocks Sabin down and puts Shelley in a side headlock. Claudio goes to the floor to avoid a superkick, but gets kicked in the chest by Sabin. Shelley locks Hero’s foot and Sabin bulldogs him. Shelley holds Hero in a bridging facelock for a Sabin’s dropkick. They wishbone Claudio’s legs before giving him stereo chest kicks. The Guns choke Claudio in their corner. Shelley’s chop doesn’t do much, so he pokes Claudio in the eyes. Claudio picks Sabin’s leg after Sabin comes in with a slingshot senton. Hero boots Sabin and elbows Shelley off the apron. Sabin blind tags in when Hero goes for an O’Conner Roll. He sends Hero to the floor and Sabin suicide dives after him. Shelley gets two with a dingle leg springboard dropkick. A barrage of boots knocks Shelley down and Sabin off the apron. The Kings decide to isolate Shelley in their corner. He almost escapes after an enzuigiri and mule kick to Claudio but Hero trips Sabin to prevent the tag. Claudio gets two with a running European uppercut. Shelley counters Hero’s rolling elbow. He DDT’s Claudio on the ring apron and slingshots back in for a DDT on Hero. Sabin finally tags in. He comes off the second rope with a huracanrana to Hero, then springboard crossbody’s to the floor onto Claudio. A springboard tornado DDT on hero gets him a two count. Shelley crossbody’s onto Hero. He springboard crrosbody’s Claudio on the floor. The Guns give Hero the Skull and Bones. Claudio breaks the pin. He goes for the Ricola Bomb on Shelley. Sabin enzuigiri’s Claudio to stop it. Hero nails Sabin with a rolling elbow. Shelley drives him into the corner with a Complete Shot. Claudio clotheslines Shelley. He gives Sabin the Swiss Death for two. The U.F.O. has the same result with Shelley breaking the cover. Hero throws him into the barricades. Hero elbows Sabin into the King’s Swing. Sabin manages to kick out just in time. Shelley misses a double stomp and eats a rolling elbow for two. Another elbow doesn’t get the job done. Sabin assists Shelley with a Shiranui onto Claudio. They give Hero the ASCS Rush for two. They set Hero up for Made in Detroit. Claudio boots Shelley off the top as Sara gets on the apron. Hagadorn hands Hero his loaded elbow pad. The Briscoes run out to attack Hero to stop him from using the pad. Referee Paul Turner calls for the bell at 22:06 giving a DQ win to the Guns. That was white hot action for the majority of the bout. This match had two things working against it: no one really believed the Guns were walking away with the belts and the finish was majorly deflating. To both teams credit, those two things couldn’t keep this from being a terrific match. ****

The Briscoes attack and keep Sara isolated long enough to give her the Jay Driller. This was an obvious attempt to get the crowd who was angry at the finish back on their side, but they held their grudge.

At “ROH on HDNet Episode 61”, Chris Hero spots The Briscoes father, Mike “Papa” Briscoe in the crowd. He calls Mike crazy if he thinks his kids will defeat the Kings at “Death Before Dishonor VIII” in Toronto. He tells Mike that he made the mistake of not using condoms twice. Mike jumps the rail and smacks the shit out Hero. Seriously, you can tell Hero was rocked for a second there. Hero comes back with an elbow strike. The Briscoes chase the Kings to the back then check on their father. They’re so pissed that they swear up a storm. So many bleeps.

ROH World Tag Team Championship – No Disqualification
The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) (Champions) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)

“Death Before Dishonor VIII” – Toronto, ONT – 6.19.2010

The Kings’ are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise is told that the Briscoes have not arrived in time for this match. The Kings talk some smack on the microphone until The Briscoes hop in from the crowd and jump the Kings from behind! The Kings retreat to the floor only for Jay to dive after them. They whip Claudio into the ring post. As Claudio recovers, The Briscoes take turns beating on Hero. Hagadorn baits the Briscoes to the floor. Still they are able to keep control, throwing Claudio into the barricades and giving him a double flapjack back in the ring. Jay boots him in the corner. Hero pulls Mark out and throws him into the crowd. The Kings wear down the now bloodied Mark. Mark manages to send Hero into Claudio’s oncoming Swiss Chin Music. He crossbody’s onto both Kings and tags in Jay. He dropkicks Hero and gives Claudio a Death Valley Driver. He drives Hero’s head into the turnbuckle repeatedly until he is busted open. Hagadorn throws a chair at Jay’s head from the floor. While Claudio keeps on Mark in the ring, Hero wraps a rope around Jay’s throat which ties him to the ring post. Hero comes back in to elbow Mark in the back of his head for two. The Kings also get two with a Doomsday Uppercut. Claudio throws Paul Turner to the floor out of frustration. Both of them kick Mark in the head. Turner cuts Jay loose from the ring post. Hero gives Mark a rolling elbow for two. Hero puts him in the Stretch Plum. Jay sprays both Kings with a fire extinguisher. He drives Claudio to the corner with a Complete Shot. A table is set up in the corner. Both Kings are whipped onto it. Hero takes the Redneck Boogie. They double shoulder tackle Claudio through the table! It’s only good for a two count. Hagadorn stops the Briscoes from hitting a Doomsday Device. Naturally, he takes the Doomsday Device instead. Mark dives onto Claudio. Hero nails Jay with his loaded elbow pad. Jay kicks out of the pin! Hero takes Mark to the floor. Jay almost has a three on Claudio when he rolls him up out of the U.F.O. Claudio uppercuts Jay and with Hero delivers the King’s Swing with the loaded elbow pad on Hero’s foot. That gets the Kings the pin at 18:16. This had a legitimate feeling of hatred, blood, clever spots, and once again showed that the Kings had to resort to the loaded pad to put the Briscoes away. This was a perfect way to follow up their Big Bang match while also keeping things fresh. ****

The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) & Amazing Kong vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) & Sara Del Rey
“Hate: Chapter II” – Collinsville, IL – 7.23.2010

Shane Hagadorn accompanies The Kings and Sara to the ring. The Kings and Sara have trouble deciding who will start the match with Kong. Claudio finally steps up to the plate. He kicks Kong in the stomach and tags in Sara. Sara lays in kicks in the corner. Kong fires back with chops. Kong knocks Sara down with a body block and tags in Jay. The Kings retreat to the floor, so the Briscoes and Kong attack them and Sara. Back in the ring, The Briscoes and Kong hit triple shoulder tackles to the Kings. Jay hits a legdrop on Claudio. Claudio backs Mark into his corner and tags in Hero. Mark fights Hero back to his corner. The Briscoes and Kong make some frequent tags and take turns wearing down Hero. Hero kicks Mark, Claudio hits him with the Swiss Chin Music, and Sara kicks him to bring things back in the Kings and Sara’s favor. They isolate Mark in their corner, making frequent tags and at times taking him to the floor. Mark finally escapes the Kings’ assault, dropkicking Hero into Claudio. Jay tags in and takes down Hero and Claudio. Jay hits a dropkick on Hero then sends him to the floor with a clothesline. Jay clothesline Claudio, then STO’s Sara face first into Claudio’s nuts. Jay gives Claudio a Death Valley Driver for two. Claudio gives Jay a springboard European uppercut and tags in Hero. Hero hits an elbow to Jay’s neck and Sara hits a rolling front kick for two. Claudio gives Jay a Giant Swing and Hero dropkicks Jay in the head. Sara pins him for two. Kong tags in. Sara tries to tag out but her partners are busy on the floor. Kong hits a splash for two. Kong hits the Implant Buster and the Kings break the pin. Kong fires up and hits both Kings. She knocks them both with double shoulder blocks. Sara rolls up Kong for two. Sara tries a German suplex on Kong. Hero blind tags in and nails Kong with a boot. He calls for the Death blow, and Kong backslides him for two. Jay comes in and hits Hero with a boot. Claudio hits a running clothesline and Mark flies in with a crossbody. Sara hits a boot and Kong hits a crossbody. Hero nails Kong with an elbow for two. Kong hits Hero with a rolling elbow and a backfist. The Briscoes hit the Redneck Boogie. Kong delivers a splash from the second rope but Claudio and Sara break the pin. The Briscoes take Claudio and Sara to the floor and Hero follows. Kong dives off the apron onto the Kings and Sara. In the ring, Hero nails Jay with an elbow. The Kings hit a Doomsday Device variation. Mark blocks the KRS-ONE, and Jay rolls up Hero for the pin at 23:22. This was a great main event to top off a solid show. The fans were way into Kong and everything she did and it’s nice to see an inter-gender match where the genders mix it up more often. This is a nice off-shoot of the Briscoes/KoW feud and a good way to put some intrigue back into it. Jay pinning Hero was a good finish and adds credence to a future tag team title rematch. ***1/2

The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)
“Salvation” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 7.24.2010

Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn accompany the Kings of Wrestling. Claudio backs Matt to the corner and tags in Hero. Matt and Hero fight for the advantage on the mat. Matt takes Hero to his corner and tags in Nick. Hero elbows Nick in the face and tags in Claudio. Claudio hits an elbow and takes Nick over in a headlock. Nick escapes and hits an armdrag. Hero and Claudio give Nick the boots in their corner. Hero elbows Nick. Nick gets his knees up to avoid a senton. Matt hits a shoulder block, then pops up Nick into a dropkick on Hero. Nick and Matt hit a double dropkick for two. Hero bites Nick’s hand and throws him into Claudio’s boot. Nick fights free and tags in Matt. Matt and Nick team up against Claudio. While Claudio fights back at first, they hit a neckbreaker/senton to combo to soften him up successfully. Matt hits a monkey flip and a backflip headscissors. Claudio blind tags Hero, and Hero gives Matt a release suplex onto Claudio’s knees. Hero dropkicks Nick off the apron as the Kings go to work on Matt Jackson. Matt finally escapes their grasp with a victory roll. Nick tags in and sends Hero to the floor. Nick backflips off the apron onto Hero. Nick then flies onto Claudio with a hurricanrana. Nick hits a wheelbarrow stunner for two. Nick tries a sunset flip, but Claudio deadlifts Nick into an overhead slam. Hero hits a leaping forearm when he tags in. Hero hits a modified Air Raid Crash for two. Nick turns a running Liger Bomb into a huracanrana. Matt tags in but eats a boot from Hero. Matt hits one of his own. Matt hits an Asai DDT. Claudio deadlifts Matt out of the pin, but Nick hits Claudio with a superkick. Matt sends Claudio to the floor with a wheelbarrow facebuster, and Nick dives on him with a tope con hilo. Hero cracks Matt with a rolling elbow for two. Claudio gives him an uppercut for two. Claudio Giant swings Matt around, and Hero dropkicks him. Nick takes Claudio over in a dragonrana for two. Claudio hits a European uppercut before giving Nick the U.F.O. for two. Matt saves Nick from the KRS-ONE. A flurry of superkicks and elbows ensues, leading to Hero pinning Nick for two. Nick hits Hero with a 450 as Matt holds him on the second rope for two. Hero gets his knees up to stop More Bang For Your Buck. Claudio catches Matt and hits him with a pop-up European uppercut. The Kings hit the KRS-ONE for the pin at 18:44. Both teams brought their A game and delivered a great match in which the crowd was very receptive. The fluidity from move to move was quite impressive and the ending sequence was fun to watch. Just another case where two great teams put on a quality match. ***3/4

ROH World Tag Team Championship; Ultimate Endurance Rules
The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) (Champions) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) vs. The Dark City Fight Club (Kory Chavis & Jon Davis)

“Tag Wars 2010” – Charlotte, NC – 8.28.2010

Fall One: Four Corner Tag Rules (ability to tag anyone, not just your own partner)

Davis overpowers and out-wrestles King in the early going. King hits a chinbreaker and tags in Titus. Chavis tags in and helps Davis to maul Titus. The Dark City Fight Club take turns pounding on Titus. King gets fed up and attacks Davis from behind. Davis tags in Chavis. King rakes his eyes and tags in Hero. Hero gets in a flurry of offense and tags in Claudio. Claudio hits a big uppercut in the corner for two. Chavis knocks him down with a clothesline and brings in Davis. Claudio knees and uppercuts Davis and tags in Hero. Davis and Hero go back and forth, but Davis catches him with a backdrop and a clothesline. Chavis helps Davis to take down Hero, but they fail to score a pin. Hero rakes Chavis’ eyes. Chavis tags in Jay who comes in with a fast flurry of offense to Hero. Jay knocks Claudio off the apron while giving Hero the boots in his corner. Mark tags in and gets his shots in as well. Hero tags in Jay, meaning both Briscoes are in the ring with each other. The official says that the Briscoes must make physical contact before tagging out. They lock-up, do a criss-cross, and tag in both Hero and Claudio to pay them back. The Kings try to tag out the other teams, but they all hop off the apron to prevent that from happening. Claudio tags out to Chavis, but then quickly gets double teamed by Claudio and Hero. The Kings continue to beat down Chavis, and then Claudio tags out to King. King and Titus take over the Kings’ position and team up on Chavis. Chavis is able to duck a kick from King and give him a Rydeen bomb. Davis gets tagged in and drops Titus with a spinebuster. King flies in and Davis gives him a big slam. Titus and King try a double clothesline, but Davis attacks them both. Chavis gets summoned in and holds onto Titus. Davis pounces Titus out of Chavis’ grasp. King give Davis an enzugiri and Titus dropkicks him. The All Night Express hit a blockbuster/backcracker combo to eliminate the Dark City Fight Club at 18:28.

Fall Two: Texas Tornado Rules (every participant is allowed in the ring at the same time)

With that, every wrestler enters the ring and a brawl ensues. Jay sends the Kings to the floor and dives on them both with a tope con hilo. Mark battles the All Night Express back in the ring and does a great job of keeping them at bay. Jay has been busted open on the floor by the Kings. King hits shotgun knees into Titus’ knees. Titus hits a sit-out facebuster for two. King and Titus continue to keep on top of Mark, while the Kings take a breather and Jay lie in a pool of blood. Mark catches King with an Iconoclasm. The Kings come in and pound Mark on the mat. Claudio and Hero drop Mark in a delayed vertical suplex while King and Titus kick Jay while he’s down (literally!) Hero hits a rolling elbow while Claudio hits a European uppercut, but Mark somehow kicks out. Claudio Giant Swings Mark into a dropkick from Hero and Mark again kicks out at two. King and Titus come in and attempt a double roll-up on the Kings. The Kings and the Express slug it out. The Express try double sunset flips, then eat stereo clotheslines. The Briscoes hop back into the fight. They backdrop Claudio and hit a double shoulder tackle to Hero. They double hip toss Claudio out, then do the same to King. King lands on his feet but then eats stereo superkicks. Titus falls victim to the Redneck Boogie. Hero puts on his loaded elbow pad. The Briscoes hit Titus with the Doomsday Device to eliminate the All Night Express at 28:06.

Fall Three: Scramble Rules (No tags needed)

Hero blasts Jay with the Loaded Elbow pad to score the pin and to retain the tag titles at 28:19.

So I really liked the story in this match, but the finish was pretty cheap considering how long it went. I understand that the Kings are heels and this sort of behavior is what they should be doing, but Tag Wars 2010 was a fairly lackluster show (main event aside) and a match like this should have had a fulfilling finish. Before the finish, the story was excellent, as the Kings were biding their time while the other teams wore each other out and eliminated each other. The Briscoes being beaten down and bloodied forever also made the finish believable at the very least. ROH says the fans voted for the stipulations of the falls in this match, but I can’t believe they would pick such LAME stipulations for each fall. It smells like it was rigged. I mean, honestly, why wouldn’t the fans choose a street fight, a Ladder War, or something else over what was essentially three slight variations of a regular tag team match? I can’t help but think that the stipulations were tampered with, but I have no proof of that. A good match overall, but the opening sequence lasted way too long and the ending was a very unfulfilling way to end the tournament. I think they should have cut this from the set and instead started it off the with the awesome eight man tag from “SoCal Showdown.” ***1/4

Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli)
”Glory By Honor IX” – New York, NY – 9.11.2010

Shane Hagadorn is in Hero and Claudio’s corner. The two teams get in a shoving match instead of shaking hands. Benjamin and Claudio start off. Benjamin slaps Claudio after neither of man wins a lock-up. Benjamin snaps off a suplex. Hero tags in. He and Benjamin trade control on the mat. Benjamin shoves Hero to his corner and tags in Haas. Haas and Hero trade chops. Claudio tags in and rolls up Haas for two. Claudio gets to the ropes just as Haas begins to school him on the mat. They slap each other in the face, raising the tension. Haas uses some armdrags and a fireman’s carry to keep Claudio grounded. Benjamin tags in and uses the ropes to escape Claudio’s wrist lock. Benjamin lands on his feet out of a monkey flip, then gives Claudio his own monkey flip. Hero tags in. He and Claudio use some clever positioning to kick Haas off the apron and Benjamin. Haas and Benjamin set up Hero for the Broken Arrow, but the Kings bail to the floor just in time. Claudio exchanges uppercuts with Haas. Claudio whips Haas forcefully into the corner for two. The Kings isolate and wear down Haas in their corner. Haas is able to fight out of Claudio’s ankle lock and tags in Benjamin. Benjamin charges at the Kings, so Hero wisely drops down the top rope so Benjamin will spill to the floor. Hero shoves Benjamin back first into the guardrail. Claudio keeps control of Benjamin, with some of his moves targeting Benjamin’s damaged back. Hero also gets his share of licks in. Benjamin gets in a strike exchange with Hero. The Kings try for a double suplex. Benjamin turns it into a double neckbreaker and kicks Claudio to his corner. Haas tags in and cleans house on his opponents. He overhead suplexes Claudio for two. He struggles but successfully gives Claudio two German suplexes. Haas see-saw’s Claudio onto Benjamin’s shoulders for a Samoan Drop. Hero breaks the pin and pitches Haas to the floor. Claudio pops Benjamin up into a rolling elbow from Hero. Claudio only gets a two count. Hero elbows Benjamin in the back of the head out of Claudio’s vertical positioning for two. Benjamin spin kicks Hero and tags in Haas. They finally land the Broken Arrow on Hero for two. Haas has to fight off Claudio who runs in. Hero nails a rolling elbow. The Kings try for a Doomsday Device on Haas. Benjamin however leaps up top and superplexes Claudio back to the canvas. Haas puts Claudio in the Haas of Pain. Hagadorn distracts the referee so he can hit Haas with his loaded elbow pad. He puts Claudio on top of Haas. The referee turns around and counts Haas down for the pin at 20:41. It’s pretty standard knowledge that a lot of ROH fans have become disenchanted with Haas and Benjamin nowadays, but man were they going nuts for them in this debut match. Honestly, I thought the Kings looked better than they did. That’s not to say Haas and Benjamin looked bad; they also worked hard and served as perfect foils. This was a great way for them to debut, not-so-great finish withstanding. ***3/4

Disc Two

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) (Champions) vs. Christopher Daniels & Davey Richards

“Allied Forces” – Dayton, OH – 10.15.2010

Shane Hagadorn accompanies the Kings to the ring. The Kings have been Champions since 4.3.2010 and this is their sixth defense. Daniels and Hero look to gain the early advantage. Hero shoulder blocks Daniels to the mat. Daniels leapfrogs into a hip toss. Daniels hits a shoulder block of his own. Daniels avoids three leapfrog’s from Hero, which frustrates him. Daniels hits a few hip tosses, and Hero rolls to the floor. Claudio comes in and gets a hip toss as well. Hero and Claudio strategize with Hagadorn on the floor. Richards and Claudio come in as the legal men. Richards takes Claudio down with a tilt-a-whirl into an armbar. Claudio powers up Richards into a suplex. Hero tags in and basement dropkicks Richards in the head. Richards and Hero trade strikes and kicks. Richards hits the ropes and knocks Hero down with a spinwheel kick for two. Daniels tags in and throws Hero head first into two corners. Daniels hits a leg lariat for two. Daniels and Richards hit a tandem suplex for two. Daniels and Richards function really well as a unit, hit a surprising amount of crisp tandem offense. Hero catches Richards with a snap powerslam for two. This one move allows Hero to switch the momentum, as the Kings of Wrestling attack Richards and trap him in their corner. Richards evades an attack from Claudio and kicks Hero in the chest on the floor from the apron. Claudio brings Richards in from the apron in a vertical suplex position. Richards escapes his clutches and hits a dropkick. Daniels finally tags in and hits both Kings with forearms. He knocks down Hero with a clothesline. He uses Claudio to walk the top rope and take Hero down with a hurricanrana. Daniels locks on a Koji Clutch. Daniels leapfrogs Claudio into Hero’s arms. Claudio hits a springboard uppercut variant of the Hart Attack with Hero for two. Daniels blocks an elbow with a shotei. Claudio hits Daniels with an uppercut, and Hero follows up with a rolling elbow for two. Daniels blocks a rolling neckbreaker. Richards kicks Hero in the side of the head while Daniels drops Claudio with an STO. Richards tags in and drops both Kings with a top rope dropkick. Richards hits Claudio with a baseball slide. Hero comes to the floor, and Richards flies out onto both of them with a suicide somersault senton. In the ring, Richards knocks Claudio down for two. Richards avoids a clotheslines and rolls Claudio into an ankle lock. Claudio sends Richards to the floor. Claudio nails Richards with a pop-up European uppercut for two. Richards turns the Ricola Bomb into the Yoshi Tonic for two. Claudio accidentally knocks Hero off the apron with the Swiss Chin Music. Richards prawn holds Claudio for two. Richards springboards onto Claudio’s shoulders. Claudio drops Richards with the U.F.O. for two. Daniels and Richards hit the Alarm Clock. They follow up with a superkick/German suplex combo for two. Hero blasts Daniels with a big boot. Richards drops Hero with a Saito suplex. Richards hits a big lariat on Richards. Daniels drops Claudio with a Code Breaker, leaving all four men lying on the mat. Hero cracks Daniels with an elbow. Hero drops him with a Running Liger Bomb for two. Richards kicks Claudio into a uranage from Daniels. Richards hits a diving headbutt, but then gets nailed by a rolling elbow from Hero. Hero hits Daniels with one for a two count. Daniels blocks the Death Blow and hits the Angel’s Wings. Claudio breaks the pin. Richards rolls Claudio into the ankle lock again. Daniels looks for the BME, but Claudio kicks Richards into Daniels. They get into a small tiff, allowing Hero to send Richards to the floor with an elbow to the neck. The Kings drop Daniels with the KRS-ONE for the pin at 25:45. This was a fantastic tag team title match that had action from start to finish. The Kings of course are a well-oiled unit, but Daniels and Richards meshed extremely well. Of course this was all to build to Richards and Daniels singles match the following night, but they put on a fantastic tag team match in the mean team. While the finish was a foregone conclusion, at times you felt Daniels and Richards could pull off. An excellent match to cap off a sleeper show. ****

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) (Champions) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)

“ROH on HDNet Episode 79” – Philadelphia, PA – 10.25.2010 (Air Date)

Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn are ringside. Mark slaps Hero in the face. Claudio jumps in to deliver his own slap. Mark spinwheel kicks him before tagging in Jay. Jay sends him out with a back elbow. Hero distracts Jay from the apron so Claudio can get in a few shots. Mark boots Hero from the apron. The Briscoes give Claudio the Demolition Decapitation for two. They send him to the floor with double shoulder tackles. He and Hero regroup. Claudio stomps Mark when he re-enters the ring. Mark hits a flying knee strike and gets two with a suplex. The Briscoes double biel him out of the corner. Jay boots him in the face and dives onto him out on the floor. Mark elbows Hero to the floor and also dives onto him. The Briscoes beat them down around ringside. Back in the ring however, Claudio nails Jay with a springboard European uppercut. Jay blocks Hero’s oncoming elbow and sends him into the corner with a Complete Shot. Mark crossbody’s Hero for two. Hero counters his exploder suplex with one of his own. Sara slaps Mark from the floor, causing her to be ejected from ringside. The distraction though is good enough for the Kings to take control. They’re able to keep him isolated for a long time by getting in some shots on the floor. Mark has the opportunity to escape when Hero accidentally strikes Claudio with a rolling elbow. He rolls under the Kings and tags in Jay. He comes in with a crossbody. He clotheslines Hero to the floor. Claudio takes the Jay Driller but Hero makes the save just in time. Mark sends Hero back out with some Redneck Kung-Fu. Hero crotches Mark on the top rope to stop the Doomsday Device. Hero distracts Paul Turner so that Hagadorn can knee Jay in the crotch. Claudio rolls him up for the pin at 17:35. This lacked all the heart and drama their previous encounters had. There was some solid action, but nobody believed a title change could occur and the finish sucked. Disappointing is the word that comes to mind. **3/4

Mike “Papa” Briscoe runs in to attack Hagadorn. The Kings save him and head to the entrance. Mike gets on the microphone and calls Hagadorn a Peckerhead. This would lead to a six man tag at Final Battle.

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) (Champions) vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)

“Tag Title Classic II” – Plymouth, MA – 12.17.2010

Both Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn accompany The Kings. Claudio and Richards vie for the advantage. Claudio backs Richards to the corner and tags in Hero. After reaching a stalemate with Hero, Richards tags in Edwards. Claudio tags in and takes him down with a shoulder block. Edwards hits him with a hip toss and dropkick. Claudio regroups on the floor. Claudio comes back in and lights up Edwards with uppercuts. Edwards comes back with some chops and Claudio again regroups on the floor. Richards looks anxious to fight. He tags in and hits a double back elbow with Edwards for one. Richards delivers a running kick to the chest and Hero breaks the count. Edwards misses a chop allowing Claudio to throw him face first into a boot from Hero. Richards becomes antsy as he watched Edwards be beaten down by the Kings across the ring. Edwards escapes their beating by taking Hero down with a huracanrana, superkicking Claudio, and giving Hero an enzuigiri. Richards tags in and hits Hero and Claudio with kicks. Richards escapes a German suplex. He hits a running forearm and knee strike to Claudio. Richards follows with a top rope dropkick for two. Edwards nails a flying knee strike to Cladio. Hero dropkicks Edwards to the floor. Richards headbutts Hero away as he waits on the top rope. Claudio catches him as he comes off the top rope and Big Swings him into a dropkick from Hero for two. Hero brings Richards to the floor and kicks his head into the guardrail. Hero pis him for two. Edwards chops Hero in the back to break a half crab. Claudio and Hero now isolate Richards from his partner. Richards leg becomes the Kings’ target. Richards ducks an elbow allowing Edwards to kick Hero from the apron. Edwards tags in. He kicks Claudio from the apron on the floor. He comes into the ring with a crossbody to Hero for two. Edwards comes off the second rope with a Codebreaker for two. He transitions into a half crab. Claudio breaks the hold. Edwards sends The Kings to the apron. The Wolves knock them down with stereo kicks and follow up with suicide dives. Richards kicks Claudio in the face on the apron. Edwards double stomps Claudio on the apron. Hero boots Richards and Richards responds with a sole butt. Edwards double stomps Hero in the back. The Wolves nail tandem kicks to the head and Claudio breaks the count. Claudio hits Edwards with Swiss Chin Music for two. Claudio and Edwards exchange boots. Claudio hits a pop-up European uppercut and Richards breaks the count. Richards lights up Claudio in the corner with kicks. Claudio knocks him and Edwards down with clotheslines. Edwards hits an avalanche huracanrana on Claudio. Richards springboards into Claudio’s U.F.O. Richards sunset flips to avoid a Ricola Bomb for two. Richards rolls Claudio into an ankle lock. Hero breaks it. Claudio stops Richards on the top rope and brings him down with a superplex. Hero hits a top rope moonsault and Edwards breaks the pin. Hero superkicks Richards for two. Hero hits a rolling elbow and a cradle suplex and again only gets two. Richards and Hero exchange strikes. Hero hits a boot. Richards hits a rolling clothesline for two. Edwards delivers a tiger suplex to Hero. Hero lands a big boot. Richards sends Hero to the floor, but then gets cut off by a boot from Claudio. Edwards clotheslines Claudio to the floor. Edwards hits Hero with two superkicks and lands a suplex for two. The Wolves hit a double team alarm clock on Hero. They follow up with the superkick/German suplex combo and Claudio breaks the count. Edwards and Richards hit a lungblower/powerbomb on Hero for two. Hero blocks a 2k1 Bomb and hits a rolling yakuza kick for two. Hero then hits the Death Blow for two. Edwards tries a few roll-ups and only gets two. Hero tags him with a three rolling elbows. That gets Hero the pin at 36:15. This was a very good tag team match. At the same time, there was absolutely no reason this match had to go as long as it did. The length made for lots of superfluous action and way too many nearfalls. After awhile, I completely lost any sense of drama this match had. That being said, the fans loved it, and it’s quite possible most of you will enjoy this more than I did. I just think if you cut the time in half you could have had a more concise, enjoyable match. While this was an enjoyable match overall it is far from a classic. ***1/2

The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) & Shane Hagadorn vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) & Mike “Papa” Briscoe
“Final Battle 2010” – New York, NY – 12.18.2010

Sara Del Rey is in the Kings and Hagadorn’s corner. Hero and Jay each get in a few chops. Jay huracanrana’s and leg lariats him for two. Mike gets in an overhand chop. Jay and Mark get in double shoulder tackles for two. Hagadorn accidentally overhand chops Hero. Mark knocks down Hero with a running knee strike. Claudio tags in. He accidentally hits his own teammates and gets double bieled out of the corner. The Kings double hip toss Jay into a tandem slam. Hagadorn arrogantly tags in to throw some strikes at Jay. They have little effect. Jay boots him down and tags in Mike. Mike puts the boots to him. Hagadorn tags in Claudio promptly. Mike headscissors him! Sara pulls Mike out of the ring to break the pin. Mike kisses her, which terrifies the Kings and Hagadorn. This also causes Sara to be ejected from ringside. The Kings and Hagadorn attack the Briscoes in their corner. They bring Mark to their side of the ring. He’s able to escape their grasp when he ducks Hero’s boot and tags in Jay. He dropkicks Claudio and gives Hero a Complete Shot to the corner. He then boots Hero for two. Hero stops his Death Valley Driver Attempt and hits the Cyclone Kick. Claudio pops him up for Swiss Death. When Jay kicks out, Claudio goes for the Ricola Bomb. Jay counters with the Death Valley Driver. Mark comes in with the Froggy Bow. Claudio kicks out. They knock each other down with simultaneous clotheslines. Mike and Hagadorn tag in. Hero holds Mike’s arms. Jay comes in and boots Hagadorn. The Briscoes take Hero and Claudio down. Hagadorn kicks Jay in the groin. Mike tackles Hagadorn and lays in some punches. Hagadorn slips out of the ring. Jay and Mark dive onto the Kings. Hagadorn grabs Mike’s foot to stop him from attempting a dive. Hero tags Mike with a rolling elbow back in the ring. The Kings set him up for the KRS-ONE. Jay spears Hero to stop them. Mike gives Claudio a stunner! Jay and Mike give Hagadorn the Doomsday Device for the pin at 15:49. This was a whole lot of fun given that one of the competitors was in their first match ever. It had a very different vibe to the other Kings/Briscoes matches but still was competitive. The fans loved everything Papa Briscoe did and it was feel good moment to see him get the win. ***1/4

ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) (Champions) vs. The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus)

“9th Anniversary Show” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 2.26.2011

Titus and Hero start off. Titus gets one with a flying knee strike. Claudio slaps King in the corner. King gives him a pair of armdrags and an atomic drop. Titus comes in with a slingshot shoulder block for one. He throws some chops. Hero tags in. He falls victim to a leg drop/splash combo. Claudio blind tags in. He misses a boot and ends up being taken down with some ANX tandem offense. King snaps Hero’s throat on the top rope. Titus gives him the Thrust Buster. King hip tosses him onto Claudio and Hero on the floor. Claudio gives Titus Swiss Death on the ring apron to turn things around. The Kings wear Titus down until Titus is able to drop Claudio face first onto the top turnbuckle. King tags in and sends Claudio to the floor with shotgun knees. He spinwheel kicks Hero. King blocks the Cyclone Kick and gets two with a leg-capture suplex. Hero headbutts him in the stomach and successfully nails the Cyclone Kick. Claudio drills him with a running knee strike for two. Claudio brings King up top for a chokeslam. King slides out and gives him an enzuigiri. Titus jumps up and brings Claudio down with a Super Sex Factor. Claudio kicks out at two. King then gets two with a Royal Flush. He hits a shooting star press but Hero jumps in at the last second to save the match. All four men get knocked down. King manages to intercept Hero’s golden elbow pad. Claudio helps him retrieve it. While Hagadorn has Todd Sinclair distracted, Hero nails King with the pad and Claudio pins him at 15:56. This was the opportunity for the All Night Express to step up to the next level. While they were able to produce a good match it didn’t reach the level of being a great match. It just felt like it was missing something. It doesn’t help that by this point the loaded elbow pad finish had been overdone. A good match, but not the star making performance King and Titus needed. ***

At “Honor Takes Center Stage Chapter 1”, the Kings but their tag titles on the line against Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. Benjamin managed to neutralize Hero’s loaded elbow pad, allowing Haas to make Claudio submit to the Haas of Pain. WGTT became the new tag champions and the Kings fell only two days short of holding the belts for a whole year. Although we only see clips of the end of the match here, the match is shown in full on the WGTT comp.

The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly
“Honor Takes Center Stage Chapter 2” – Atlanta, GA – 4.2.2011

The Kings jump Cole and O’Reilly right before the bell. Claudio stomps Cole silly and knocks him down with a back elbow. Cole slides out of a military press. He forearms Claudio from the apron and comes off the top with a bulldog. O’Reilly tags in. He fires up from Claudio’s offense and gets two with a Backslide. The Kings double hip toss O’Reilly into a tandem slam. He gets isolated by the Kings until he rolls under a double clothesline attempt. Cole uses Hero to give Claudio a headscissors. He gets his knees up to block Hero’s senton. Cole comes off the second rope with a leg lariat. He enzuigiri’s both Kings, sending Claudio to the floor. Cole follows him out with a slingshot headscissors. O’Reilly comes off the apron with a dropkick to Claudio into the barricades. Cole crossbody’s onto Hero for two. Hero escapes O’Reilly and Cole’s onslaught and tags them both with elbows. O’Reilly kicks Hero as he tornado DDT’s Claudio into a butterfly lock. Hero’s kicks to O’Reilly don’t get him to release. Cole sends Hero to the floor and suicide dives after him. Claudio pops up O’Reilly into Swiss Death. A combination Cyclone Kick/Swiss Chin Music put O’Reilly down at 9:18. This was a great way to open the show, as it not only showed how far the Kings fell in one night after losing the titles, but it let them get out their aggression in a match that got the crowd going and raised Cole and O’Reilly’s stock. It was everything an opening bout should be. ***

The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli)
“Revolution USA” – Dearborn, MI – 5.6.2011

The Kings come out with Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. The Kings attack the Wolves before the bell. Claudio throws Richards into the guardrails. Hero nails Edwards with two rolling elbows for two. The Kings then give him the King’s Swing. Richards breaks the pin and kicks Claudio to the floor. Richards dives onto him after ducking a clothesline from Hero. Richards dives onto Caludio in the crowd. Edwards delivers a superkick and Hero responds with a suplex. Hero delivers a Liger Bomb for two. Richards kicks Hero from the apron. Claudio wheelbarrows Richards head first into the barricade. With Richards incapaciated, the Kings spend their time wearing down Edwards. Edwards takes both Kings down and finds the time to tag in Richards. He delivers kicks to both Hero and Claudio. Richards sends both of them to the floor and kicks Hero from the apron. He then gives Claudio a DDT on the floor. In the ring Richards hits a missile dropkick for two. As Richards goes up top, Shane Hagadorn distracts the referee and Sara grabs his leg. Claudio grabs Richards for a UFO, but Richards quickly rolls Claudio into an ankle lock. Claudio rolls Richards into an elbow from hero. Claudio then gives him the UFO for two. Hero elbows Richards out of a Bear Hug from Claudio. Hero stretches out Richards’ arm while cranking on his neck. Richards escapes. He gives Hero a Northern Lights suplex whilst trapping Claudio, pinning both of them for two. Claudio tries to force his larger frame onto Richards’ for a pin. Richards pops up and gives him an enzuigiri and a suplex. Hero and Edwards trade big boots. Edwards superkicks Hero as Hero tries to skin the cat. Edwards sends Claudio out with him and Asai moonsaults onto both Kings. Edwards lights up Hero with chops in the corner. A fisherman’s buster gets him two. Edwards come off the middle rope with a Code Breaker. He hits a tiger suplex for two. Edwards goes for a backpack stunner. Hero escapes and seatbelt pins Edwards for two. The Wolves give Hero a superkick/German suplex combo for two. Hero elbows Richards and nails Edwards with the Death Blow. Hero nails Edwards with the Cyclone Kick for two. Hero hits a second Death Blow for two. Edwards gets Hero in the Achilles Lock. Claudio DDT’s Edwards to free Hero. Hero and Claudio both get suplexed, then hit the Wolves with stereo boots. The Wolves fire up and hit double suplexes again. The Kings get battered in the corners. Edwards puts Hero in an Achilles Lock while Richards puts Claudio in a cross armbreaker. Claudio escapes so Richards gives him a DDT on the floor. As Edwards goes up top, Hero nails him with a yakuza kick. Richards runs up and German suplexes Hero off the top. Edwards double stomps him and Richards delivers one as well. Edwards turns Hero back into the Achilles Lock. Edwards keeps the hold on, absorbing a series of kicks from Claudio. Richards fights Claudio off, but accidentally knees Edwards in the face and breaks Edwards’ hold. Hero hits the Death Blow and gets the pin at 23:22. This did a great job setting up two future matches; Hero’s title shot against Edwards tomorrow night and Edwards and Richards’ inevitable singles match down the line. There was the usual annoying no selling near the finish, but the crowd ate it up so there’s only so much complaining I can do. I loved the opening with Kings trying to get the win with big moves and cheap attacks. Both teams delivered the goods, providing an entertaining match that was much better than their first encounter. I assume shaving 12 minutes off was a major help. ****

ROH World Tag Team Championship
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin (Champions) vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli)

“ROH on SBG Episode 1” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 8.13.2011

Haas takes control of Claudio on the mat. He takes Claudio over with some armdrags. Benjamin blind tags in and levels Claudio with a springboard clothesline. Claudio brings him to the corner so Hero can tag in. Benjamin cradles him for two. Hero retreats to the corner after taking a punch. Hero ducks Benjamin’s kick. Claudio knees him from the apron so that Hero can nail a Cyclone Kick. Benjamin gets trapped in the Kings’ corner but he manages to escape by dropping them both with a neckbreaker to escape a tandem suplex. Haas takes both Kings on by himself. He headscissors Claudio and Gemran suplexes Hero. He gets two with a T-Bone suplex on Claudio. Haas comes off the second rope with a huracanrana for another two count. Claudio slams Haas on his stomach and knocks Benjamin to the floor. Hero levels Haas with the KTFO for two. He hits a rolling elbow before tagging Claudio back in. The Kings’ Swing would get them the win if Benjamin wasn’t able to interrupt the count. They set up Haas for the KRS-ONE. Benjamin spears Claudio to stop them. Haas rolls up Hero for two. Benjamin superkicks Hero. He and Haas give Claudio the Broken Arrow. Hero takes the Hart Attack for the pin at 14:28. This wasn’t quite on the level of their previous encounters, but it was a solid tag team showcase and a nice final bout for the Kings as a unit (and Claudio period) in ROH. Haas and Benjamin sure were a lot more over back then. ***1/4

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