ROH: Only The Strong Survive

Charlotte, NC – 1.15.2011

Championship Rundown
ROH World Champion: Roderick Strong
ROH Television Champion: Christopher Daniels
ROH World Tag Team Champions: The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli)

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Dave Prazak.

Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly vs. The Bravado Brothers (Lance & Harlem Bravado)

O’Reilly and Harlem trade forearms right away. Cole blind tags in as O’Reilly boots Lance off the apron and throws Harlem out with him. Cole suicide dives onto the Bravados and O’Reilly hits a diving dropkick from the apron onto Lance. In the ring, O’Reilly and Cole hit a suplex/crossbody combo for two. O’Reilly atomic drops Harlem and Cole dropkicks him for two. O’Reilly hip tosses him into a cross armbreaker, but Harlem gets the ropes to break. Cole hits a leg lariat for two. Cole gets caught off guard by Lance, allowing Harlem to nail him with the lariat. The tide turns as the Bravado’s isolate Cole in their corner. Cole escapes by throwing Harlem into his corner. O’Reilly boots Lance off the apron. O’Reilly hits a flurry of kicks and knee strikes. O’Reilly hits two butterfly suplexes and butterfly DDT for two. Cole superkicks Harlem off of O’Reilly’s shoulders. O’Reilly hits a rolling lariat for two. The Bravados shoot O’Reilly into the corner. Lance gives O’Reilly and enzuigiri from the apron. Harlem drops him with the Chaos Theory and Cole breaks the pin. Cole forearms Harlem repeatedly and enzugiri’s Lance off the apron. Cole crashes on the floor in a pescado attempt. Harlem rolls up O’Reilly and holds the tights for the pin at 8:11. This was hot action from bell to bell. Cole and O’Reilly are incredible, and I can not wait for them to step up in the tag scene and face the Briscoes and Kings of Wrestling. The Bravados certainly have grown during their time in ROH and have a lot of potential. Finish aside, this was great stuff. **3/4

Rhett Titus vs. Caprice Coleman

Titus controls Coleman on the mat. Coleman takes control on their feet with a dropkick. Coleman sends Titus to the floor. Titus trips Coleman of the apron, face-first onto the ring apron. Coleman does a 619 through the ring post. In the ring, Coleman his a springboard dropkick for two. Coleman hops off the second rope and is hit with a dropkick from Titus. Titus stretches Coleman back and neck out on his knees. Coleman flips into a Dragon Sleeper position. He flips back and hits a reverse X-Factor for two. Titus drops him with a neckbreaker and goes up top. Titus comes off the top with a double knee strike for two. Coleman hits a spinwheel kick to Titus’ neck. Coleman ducks a clothesline and punches Titus down. Coleman drops him with a leaping legdrop for two. Coleman hits a springboard crossbody for two. Titus knees Coleman in the stomach. Coleman pushes him to the corner and hits three Northern Lights suplexes for two. Coleman takes Titus off the top rope with a jump-up huracanrana for two. Titus trips Coleman off the second turnbuckle. He hits a knee-assisted neckbreaker for the pin at 9:09. For a guy who’s inactive from professional wrestling, Coleman is in astounding shape and hasn’t lost a step. He showed a lot in this match and I hope he becomes a regular on these Mid-Atlantic shows. A solid match overall. **1/2

Colt Cabana vs. Grizzly Redwood

Legit dueling chants start this match – good for Grizzly! Cabana generously allows Redwood to take the first move. He puts on a wristlock, and Cabana twists him around and throws him down. Cabana does the same with a hammerlock. Redwood hits each side of the ring as Cabana chases him. Redwood puts out his fist. Cabana hits it, and Redwood hits Cabana in the head. It has no effect and Cabana slaps him a few times. Redwood evades a few attacks and slaps Cabana. Cabana chases Redwood. Cabana avoids the log roll causing Redwood to accidentally trip Todd Sinclair. Cabana throws Redwood down and chops him. Cabana beats on Redwood, all with a smile on his face. Redwood chops down his legs and hits an enzugiri. Cabana responds with a hard back elbow. Redwood huracanrana’s Cabana face-first into the second turnbuckle. Redwood hits a tornado DDT for two. He follows up with a bulldog for two. Redwood flies into Cabana’s arms from the top. Cabana powerbombs Redwood and puts him in the Billy Goat’s Cure for the submission at 7:19. This would fit in perfectly with a company like CHIKARA; lots of humor with a mix of solid wrestling. I had fun watching this, but for the life of me I can’t begin to fathom a rating. Sometimes that’s not the point; this was all about having fun and it accomplished just that. N/R

Mike Bennett vs. Cedric Alexander

Bennett shoves Alexander at the start. He hits Alexander with shotgun knees and a few right hands. Bennett aggressively throws Alexander to the corner twice. Alexander ducks a clothesline and takes Bennett down with a headscissors. Bennett bails to the floor after a dropkick. Alexander dives out with a tope con hilo. In the ring, Alexander hits a flying knee strike for two. Bennett drops Alexander with a hard spinebuster. Bennett crotches Alexander in the corner. He brings him down with a backbreaker for two. Alexander hits Bennett with a tornado enzuigiri. He delivers a few punches in the corner. Bennett hits a buckle bomb. Bennett side steps a shoulder tackle and applies an armbar. Alexander taps out at 4:20. Competent stuff from both guys, but it seemed like a string of moves more than a story being told. Again, Bennett is totally fine but is not at all cracked up to be what ROH wants us to believe he is. *1/2

ROH Television Championship
Christopher Daniels (Champion) vs. Claudio Castagnoli

I can’t help but think back to “The 100th Show” when Daniels shook Claudio’s hand. Bennett takes a seat ringside to watch this bout. Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn accompany Claudio. Claudio uses his power advantage to mock Daniels. He gets a little angry when Daniels mocks him back and gives Daniels the Snake Eyes. Claudio boots Daniels down in a test of strength. Daniels drives Claudio’s arm into his knees. Daniels targets his attack onto Claudio’s arm. Claudio regains control by choking Daniels on the ropes. Daniels leg locks Claudio’s head onto the top rope twice. Daniels takes Claudio out to the floor with a huracanrana. Daniels goes for a second one on the floor, but Claudio catches Daniels and swings him into the barricades. Claudio lays in some strikes back in the ring. Claudio powerslams Daniels for two. Daniels cradles Claudio to avoid a second slam for two. Claudio boots Daniels in the face. Claudio pops Daniels up, and Daniels counters mid-air into a DDT. Daniels connects with an enzuigiri and an STO for two. Daniels clutches Claudio’s wrists and stomps down on his chest for two. Claudio counters a sunset flip by deadlifting Daniels into an overhead throw. Claudio hits an uppercut and a running knee strike for two. Daniels blocks the U.F.O. with a victory roll for two. Claudio counters and successfully nails the U.F.O. for two. Claudio uppercuts Daniels. Claudio flies off the second rope and Daniels catches him in the Koji Clutch. He taps out as Shane Hagadorn distracts the referee. Hagadorn gets knocked off the apron. Claudio hits a pop-up European uppercut for two. Mike Bennett hits the apron to distract the referee. Bennett passes the TV belt to Claudio. Claudio tosses it back. Daniels blocks the Ricola Bomb and hits a uranage. Daniels slips on the Best Moonsault Ever, colliding with Claudio but clipping his knee as well. Claudio gets two with the Swiss Chin Music. Daniels hits the Angel’s Wings for two. Daniels follows up with the Best Moonsault Ever for the pin at 21:10. Really strong back and forth action throughout. The story of Daniels’ experience overcoming Claudio’s power was well told and captivating. When interference doesn’t detract from the overall match, you know you’re on the right track. ***1/2

Steve Corino vs. Andy Ridge

Corino cuts a similar promo that he did on the Richmond show last night, blaming Steen no longer being in ROH on himself. Corino has turned a new leaf and is now hoping to help the younger competitors in Ring of Honor. With that, he wants to team with Andry Ridge tonight as opposed to wrestling him. He thinks their opponents, Mike Posey and Corey Hollis, have a poor attitude while Ridge shows a lot of potential. Ridge agrees to be Corino’s partner, and we have ourselves a tag match.

Steve Corino & Andy Ridge vs. Mike Posey & Corey Hollis

Corino and Ridge take the early lead over “Alabama Attitude”. Corino is visibly cautius tot make any wrong or illegal manuevers. Posey bring Corino to the floor. Corino reverses a whip into the barricade. Hollis sends Corino back out and Posey throws Corino into the barricade. Hollis and Posey beatdown Corino in their corner. Corino drops them simultaneously with a reverse STO and DDT, giving him the opening to tag in Ridge. Ridge hits them with a variety of kicks. Ridge lights up Hollis with kicks to the back. He follows in with a running boot for two. Corino tags in. Posey tags him with a boot and Hollis drops him with a neckbreaker for two. Corino hits a lariat and the Eternal Dream. Ridge tags in and hits Hollis with a superkick for the pin at 6:05. This was fine for what it was, as Ridge continues to impress in small doses. I like this new direction for Corino and I look forward to the payoff. *

Davey Richards vs. Chris Hero

Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey accompany Hero to the ring. Hero and Richards go back and forth on the mat, reaching a stalemate. Hero sends Richards to the floor with a shoulder block. Richards comes back in with a spinwheel kick. Richards lights him up with a few kicks. Sara grabs Richards’ leg. Richards pulls her up to the apron. Hero knocks Richards from behind. Richards rolls through a big boot and dropkicks Hero down. Richards sends Hero to the floor and delivers a running kick from the apron. On the floor, Hagadorn distracts Richards, allowing Hero to boot him from behind. Hero hits a boot in the ring for two. Hero twists into a senton for two. Hero blocks a kick and cracks Richards with a big boot for two. Hero boots Richards from the apron. Hero puts his weight on Richards to try a pin, but Richards bridges up. Hero applies pressure with his forearms to either side of Richards’ head. After Richards seems a little loopy, he tries another pin but only gets one. Hero gives Richards a few chops. Richards gets in a few slaps and an enzuigiri. Hero suplexes Richards out to the floor. Richards avoids a dive and dives out onto Hero through the ropes. Hero lights up Richards with chops back in the ring. Richards hits a back handspring kick for two. Richards hits a tornado divorce court and then applies a Fujiwara armbar. Hero rolls through. Richards uses a headscissors to bring Hero back into the Fujiwara armbar. Hero puts his foot on the ropes to break. Hero hits an elbow strike for two. Hero hits a moonsault press for two. He applies the Stretch Plum. Richards escapes and Hero hits him with a rolling elbow. Richards evades a moonsault. Hero catches him with a slam. Richards suplexes Hero off the middle rope. Richards hits a belly-to-back suplex for two. Richards kicks Hero in the head for two. Hero kicks Richards in the back of the head and cracks him with a rolling elbow for two. Richards counters the Death Blow with a Falcon Arrow into an armbar. Richards furiously nails Hero with kicks in the corner. Hero hits two rolling elbows as Richards remains standing. Richards drops him with a rolling clothesline for two. Hero hits a big boot for two. He follows up with a piledriver for two. Richards backslides Hero for two. Referee Todd Sinclair catches Hero trying to use his loaded elbow pad. Richards missile dropkicks Hero’s arm. He follows up with a shooting star press for two. Richards transitions into the Kimura Lock. Hero rolls free and Richards puts on a leg-capture armbar and Hero taps out at 29:01. This was fantastic stuff, with Richards consistently going for Hero’s arm to weaken his elbow strikes and to make his submissions more effective. This was long for my liking, but I can’t deny that they held everyone in attendance’s attention. You may like this even more than I did. This is worth checking out. ****

Homicide vs. El Generico vs. Kenny King vs. Mark Briscoe

Mark and King vie for the advantage. Mark uses some “redneck kung-fu” to take control. Homicide and Generico both get tagged in. Not surprisingly, we get armdrags from both guys. Generico sends Homicide to the floor with a toreador. Homicide flips off Generico and shakes the barricades loose in anger. King and Mark become the legal men. They both lay in a barrage of strikes to one another. Mark hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Generico tags in. King brings him to Homicide’s corner so he can tag in. Homicide pitches Generico to the floor and follows out with a tope con hilo through the middle rope. In the ring they trade overhand chops. King cheap shots Generico from the apron. Homicide ties up Generico on the mat. All three men take a turn beating on Generico. Generico is able to dump Mark in the corner with an exploder suplex. King tags in and is quickly diposed. Generico gives Homicide a Michinoku Driver and a yakuza kick. He dives onto King with a tope con hilo. Mark gives Homicide a buckle bomb and a fisherman’s buster for two. King hits Homicide with a Blockbuster and Mark breaks the pin. A sequence of strikes leads to all four combatants down on the mat. Homicide face-washes Mark and Generico. King counters the Cop Killa with a handstand enzuigiri and a tornado kick. Generico drops King with a half-nelson suplex and Mark flies in with a frogsplash elbow. King german suplexes Homicide. Generico yakuza kicks Mark and drops King with a brainbuster for the pin at 14:44. This was a nice showcase for all competitors involved. Generico has now moved on from his feud with Steen and you can see that it helped him move up the ranks in ROH altogether. Just a fun, energetic match. ***

Homicide gives Generico a Cop Killa after the match and signifies that he wants a shot at the ROH Championship.

ROH World Championship
Roderick Strong (Champion) vs. Jay Briscoe

Strong and Jay trade holds on the mat, coming to a stand-off. Jay takes Strong down with a headscissors and leg lariat for two. Jay knocks Strong down with a back elbow for two. Strong and Jay trade forearms as the fans cheer on. Jay wins the exchange and snapmares Strong into a running boot. Strong crucifix pins him for two. Strong regroups on the floor. Jay follows out and eats a sole butt. Strong throws Jay head first multiple times into the barricade. Jay is busted open as Strong chops him. In the ring, Strong vigorously punches Jay’s open wound. Strong takes pleasure in his chest and hands being covered in Jay’s blood. Strong hits a piledriver for two. Both men trade punches. Strong puts on a Guillotine choke. Jay escapes, so Strong kicks him in the head for two. Jay fires up as Strong punches his wound some more. Jay drops Strong with a Death Valley Driver. Strong hits a boot in the corner. Jay STO’s him into the second turnbuckle and big boots him for two. Jay hits a Falcon Arrow for two. Jay tries a sunset flip for two. Strong hits a knee lift and a forearm strike. Strong hits an enzuigiri and a gut buster for two. Strong applies the LaBell Lock. Strong boots Jay and hits a Tiger Driver for two. He transitions into a Boston Crab. Jay grabs the ropes to escape. Strong tries to give Jay a Tiger Driver from the apron and through a table. Jay blocks and gives Strong the Jay Driller through the table. Jay goes in for a count-out victory. He then realizes that a count-out won’t win him the title, so he brings Strong back in and pins him for two. Strong and Jay exchange chops. Jay hits a superkick and a clothesline for two. Jay victory rolls Strong for two. He hits a Jay Driller and Strong grabs the bottom rope to break the count. Jay brings Strong to the top rope, looking for an avalanche Jay Driller. Strong escapes and hits a backbreaker for two. He hits a second and the Sick Kick for two. Jay rolls up Strong for two. Strong suplexes Jay into a back breaker and hits the Tiger Driver for the pin at 25:00. It’s amazing how blood adds a whole new dimension to a match. The drama gets kicked up a notch and the nearfalls become much more exciting. This was like every Strong vs Jay Briscoe match from 2009, but things like the blood and table spot added just a little extra to make it stand out amongst the rest. ****

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