Richmond, VA – 7.8.2011
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly & Dave Prazak.
Jim Cornette comes out to open the show. He mentions that Chris Hero will not be here for his match tonight due to weather and travel issues. Jim Cornette brings out the new ROH champion, Davey Richards, for an interview. Cornette asks for Richards’ thoughts on his match at “Best In The World” since he took on his partner and “brother” Eddie Edwards. Richards puts over the fans and Edwards, citing Edwards as the reason he decided to stick with professional wrestling. Richards says the fans want to see The American Wolves and asks for Edwards to come out. Instead, Roderick Strong and Truth Martini make their way out to the ring. Richards sarcastically thanks Strong. Richards says he knows Strong missed the show because he was in Japan but will put the belt on the line against Richards anytime. Strong mocks Richards for crying at the end of his match with Richards. Michael Elgin runs out to back Strong, so Eddie Edwards runs out to get Richards’ back. Martini backs his men off and holds off their fight for the main event tonight. The Wolves throw some insults at the House and then claim that “the hunt is on”.
One cool thing is that now ROH is making note of the theme music during the entrances, putting the name of the song and band, as well as where online you can find the song. I think that’s awesome.
Contenders Tag Team Lottery Tournament Semi-Final Match
Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
O’Reilly and Alexander exchange wristlocks. O’Reilly takes Alexander down by his leg. Alexander grabs the ropes to break an STF attempt. O’Reilly hip tosses Alexander into a cross armbreaker. Alexander quickly turns it into a pin for two. O’Reilly takes a couple armdrags and blocks the third. Reaching a stalemate, both men tag out. Cole and Coleman trade hammerlocks. Coleman applies a chinlock after Cole tries to escape a wristlock. They trade armdrags before Coleman reapplies the chinlock. Cole tags in O’Reilly. O’Reilly and Cole deliver a flapjack/bulldog combo for two. They deliver a succession of kicks for two. O’Reilly kicks Coleman in the corner. Coleman stops O’Reilly’s butterfly suplexes by shoving him in the corner. Alexander enzuigiri’s him in the corner. Coleman hits a trifecta of suplexes for two. Coleman and Alexander take turns wearing down O’Reilly in their corner. O’Reilly comes back by dropkicking Coleman’s leg out. Both men tag out. Cole takes out Alexander with a dropkick and enzuigiri. Cole hits a second rope leg lariat for two. O’Reilly kicks Alexander from the apron and hits a swinging DDT. Cole and O’Reilly deliver a crossbody/vertical suplex combo for two. Alexander tags in Coleman. Alexander brings O’Reilly to the floor while Coleman backdrops Cole out. Coleman hits a 619 via the ring post on Cole. Alexander hits O’Reilly with a tope con hilo. In the ring, Coleman catches O’Reilly with a Leap of Faith. Alexander follows with a frog splash. Coleman pins O’Reilly for two. They drop O’Reilly with a crazy twisting German suplex and Cole breaks the pin. O’Reilly and Cole deliver stereo baseball slides to Alexander in a tree of woe. They crack Coleman with stereo enzuigiri’s. Cole superkicks Alexander into a lariat from O’Reilly for the pin at 11:59. C&C are a great tandem. They’ll really begin to gel with time, but I really liked their German suplex move even if it wasn’t executed perfectly. Of course, Cole and O’Reilly deliver the goods as per usual. **3/4
Contenders Tag Team Lottery Tournament Semi-Final Match
The Briscoe Bros. (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. The Bravado Bros. (Lance & Harlem Bravado)
Jay tells the Bravado’s not to take it personally, but they will whip their asses. With that, The Briscoes jump the Bravado’s. Mark beats on Lance on the floor while Jay takes care of Harlem in the ring. Jay slams Harlem and hits a legdrop for two. Harlem comes back with chops. Jay distracts the referee so that Mark can swing Harlem head first into the barricades. The Briscoes continue to beat the crap out of Harlem near their corner. Harlem manages to kick Mark so that he can deliver a shiranui to Jay. Lance tags in. He takes down Mark with a belly-to-belly suplex. Lance blocks the Jay Driller and delivers a running knee strike. Mark drops Lance with a rolling Death Valley Driver. They hit the Redneck Boogie but Harlem breaks the pin. The Briscoes hit Lance with the Doomsday Device. They get cocky and pull Lance up at the count of two. Mark beats up Lance in the corner. Jay brings in a steel chair. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin run in. Benjamin superkicks the chair into Jay’s face. As the WGTT bail, Lance covers Jay. He gets the pin at 6:23. I understand wanting to continue the Briscoes and WGTT feud, but this finish did nothing but make the Bravado’s look like they had no chance without outside help. When they’re finalists in your mini-tag team tournament, I would like to try to believe they have a chance to actually win. Harumph. **
Kenny King vs. Mike Bennett
Bennett breaks a lock-up cleanly in the corner. King grabs a front facelock. Bennett puts his foot on the ropes to break. King drop toe holds Bennett into a side headlock. Bennett escapes and delivers a Japanese armdrag. King drops Bennett and hits a standing moonsault. He applies a modified chinlock. Bennett avoids a slam and spinwheel kick, dropping King with a spinebuster. Bennett suplexes King. Bennett punches King from the floor. King blocks a corner attack with a sunset flip for two. Bennett clobbers King with a clothesline for two. King ducks a second clothesline and hits two of his own. He knocks Bennett down with a spinwheel kick. King blocks a kick with a cartwheel enzuigiri. A second enzuigiri gets him a two count. King snaps Bennett’s neck on the top rope. Bennett dropkicks King as King goes for a springboard maneuver. Bennett catches King with a backbreaker on the ring apron and a diving clothesline off the apron. Bennett pins King with his feet on the ropes, but referee Todd Sinclair catches him. King delivers a leg-cradle suplex for two. Bennett blocks the Coronation. He rolls up King and grabs his tights for the pin at 9:15. That is until Rhett Titus comes out and informs the referee of Bennett’s nefarious tactics. With the crowd’s confirmation, Sinclair reverses the call and awards the match to King. Bennett actually had his best DVD outing here. He and King actually put together a solid encounter and didn’t make Bennett seem like such an annoying clown. Most of their exchange was pretty empty and the crowd met the match with empathy for the majority of it. **1/2
Bennett angrily attacks Titus after the match. Jim Cornette comes out and says that since Bennett wants another fight, he should replace Chris Hero and face Rhett Titus later tonight. Bennett refuses. Cornette says if Bennett turns down the match, he will be suspended. Angry, Bennett ends up accepting. Titus is pleased with this call.
ROH Tag Team Championship
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. El Generico & Colt Cabana
The Briscoes try to attack Haas and Benjamin before the bell, but students and officials stop them before they make contact. Haas takes control of Generico on the mat. Benjamin tags in and hits a suplex for two. Benjamin whips him to the corner for two. Generico delivers a pair of armdrags and a toreador. Cabana tags in. He puts some amateur head gear and mounts. Benjamin stomps on Cabana and knocks him down with a clothesline. Haas spears Cabana in the corner. A butterfly suplex gets him two. Cabana snapmares Haas for two. Generico comes in and takes down Haas for two. Cabana and Generico make a few frequent tags. Haas manages to bring Generico to his corner. Haas and Benjamin focus their attack on Generico’s neck and back. Generico manages to slide out of a suplex and tag in Cabana. Cabana delivers a flurry of haymakers to Haas and Benjamin. He gives Benjamin a bionic elbow. Benjamin O’Conner rolls Haas for two. He sends Benjamin to the floor by throwing him into the ring post. Generico grazes Benjamin with a tope con hilo. Cabana hits Haas with a flying hip attack for two. Cabana boots Haas. He sunset flips him for two. Cabana hits Haas with the Flying Asshole. Benjamin blind tags in. He drops Cabana with a spinebuster and Haas splashes him. Cabana misses a quebrada. The WGTT set Cabana up for the Broken Arrow. Generico comes in with a crossbody to cut Benjamin off. Cabana sends Haas to the floor. Generico yakuza kicks Benjamin in the corner. He walks the ropes into a tornado DDT for two. Haas catches Generico on the top rope. Generico fights him off, but Benjamin kicks him to the floor. Haas and Benjamin give Cabana the Broken Arrow. Benjamin drops him with the Pay Dirt for the pin at 14:55. I hate to say it, because I like all four guys in here, but this flat out didn’t work. There was a lot of hesitancy, the teams didn’t connect and no one at all bought Generico and Cabana as viable contenders. Some stretches were pretty solid, but overall this was a weak title defense. You expect a lot more from these guys. **3/4
Contenders Tag Team Lottery Tournament Finals
Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly vs. The Bravado Bros. (Lance & Harlem Bravado)
The Bravado’s attack Cole and O’Reilly as they come down the aisle. The Bravado’s boot them down in opposite corner, only for the tide to be turned on them. O’Reilly and Cole drop Harlem with a tandem flapjack and stereo dropkicks. Harlem saves Lance from a double kick to the head, as he suffered a concussion from that move back at “Supercard of Honor VI”. Cole suicide dives onto the Bravado’s and whips Harlem into the barricade. O’Reilly blasts him with a dropkick from the apron. Harlem shoves Cole off the top rope and into the ring. Lance stomps on him right away. The Bravados gang up on Cole in their corner. Cole eats a superkick from Lance after trying a sunset flip. Cole does finally manage to fight free and tags in O’Reilly. O’Reilly boots Harlem to the floor. He lays in a flurry of strikes to Harlem, ending with a leg sweep. O’Reilly catches Lance with a chest kick when Lance comes back in. He comes off the top with a dropkick to both Bravado’s and pins Harlem for two. O’Reilly gives him two butterfly suplexes. He then pushes Harlem into a German suplex from Cole for two. Harlem connects with an elbow to Cole and crossbody’s onto him on the floor. Lance belly-to-belly suplexes O’Reilly, and Lance hits a frog splash onto him for two. Harlem kicks O’Reilly into the Chaos Theory from Lance for two. Cole tags in. O’Reilly sunset bombs Lance to prevent him from superplexing Cole. Cole hits Lance with a crossbody for two. O’Reilly drops Harlem with a tornado DDT. Cole superkicks him into a brainbuster from O’Reilly. O’Reilly locks on a guillotine choke. Harlem taps out at 9:04. The action from these two teams I thought was just as good as most of their other outings. The Bravado’s are beginning to come into their own, but I am very pleased to see O’Reilly and Cole pick up the win here. For this win, they get $5,000 and a shot at the ROH Tag Team Championship. ***
Rhett Titus vs. Mike Bennett
Just what this show needs, a second Mike Bennett match. Titus runs to the ring and attacks Bennett. Titus connects with a knee strike for two. Titus dropkicks Bennett from the ropes to the floor then dives out with a tope con hilo. Titus threatens a DDT on the concrete, but Bennett counters and drops Titus face first on the ring frame. Bennett nails Titus in the side of the head right a haymaker. In the ring, Bennett delivers a spinebuster for two. Titus rolls up Bennett and grabs his tights for two. Bennett hot shots Titus on the top rope and slams him for two. Bennett looks for a superplex, but Titus drops him face first on the top rope instead. Titus knees Bennett in the face and drops him with the Thrust Buster. He delivers a dropkick for two. A series of kicks also gets him two. Bennett pulls a chain out of his tights behind the referee’s back. Kenny King runs out to disarm him before he can use it. Titus drops Bennett with the Retribution for the pin at 10:42. This just dragged on and on with no real excitement or interest to be seen. I’m glad Titus got to be a bit more aggressive, but having Bennett be his opponent (in his second match of the night) was a poor idea. **
O’Reilly and Cole are backstage. They’re thrilled that they finally were able to prove their worth and earn a tag title shot.
The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. The House of Truth (Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin)
Elgins power allows him to easily take Edwards to the corner. Both men exchange forearm shots. Although Edwards wins that exchange, Elgi takes him down with a running shoulder block. Richards and Strong tag in. A little mat exchange ends in a stalemate. Strong breaks a lock-up and tags in Elgin. Elgin sends him to the corner with a forearm. Richards’ shoulder blocks have no effect on Elgin. He does finally knock him and Strong to the floor with dropkicks. Elgin catches Richards’ leg and trips him hard on the ring frame. Strong chops Richards around ringside while also laying in some chops. Strong and Elgin cut the ring in half for a bit. Richards escapes Strong’s grasp and tags in Edwards. He and Strong trade chops. Strong pounds Edwards down in the House of Truth corner. Elgin and Strong continue their assault. Edwards fights back with chops to Elgin. The Wolves light up Elgin with kicks and strikes before knocking him down with stereo back elbows. Elgin absorbs Richards’ kicks and powerslams him. Truth Martini and Strong attack Richards on the floor while Elgin distracts the referee. Richards comes back from Elgin’s attack with a second rope spinwheel kick. Edwards tags in. He and Elgin trade boots. Elgin slams Edwards into the corner. Edwards fights out of a powerbomb attempt. Elgin blocks a Codebreaker. Edwards delivers a superkick and a suplex for one. Edwards hits a quebrada for two. Strong catches Edwards with an enzuigiri from the apron. The House beat down Edwards while Richards looks on from the apron. Edwards superkicks Elgin twice and suplexes Strong into a facebuster. Richards tags in and connects with a top rope dropkick on both Elgin and Strong. Elgin lights up Richards with a forearms. Richards responds with the Damage Reflex for two. Richards lays in a flurry of forearms on the ropes. Richards suplexes Elgin and Strong breaks the pin. Richards rolls Elgin up and suplexes Strong at the same time, pinning both members of the House of Truth for two. Richards puts Elgin in an ankle lock.He breaks and hits a Boss Man Slam. Strong nails Richards with two forearms and a slap. Richards and Strong trade strikes mid-ring. Strong rolls Richards into a superkick for two. Strong hits a uranage backbreaker and an Angle slam for two. Strong knocks Edwards off the apron. Strong gives Richards a gut buster. Elgin lariats him. Strong covers, but Edwards breaks the pin just in time. Richards fights off the HoT to allow him to tag in Edwards. Edwards trades the advantage with Strong. He kicks Elgin off the apron and delivers a flying Codebreaker to Strong for two. Edwards suicide dives onto Elgin to avoid a clothesline from Strong. Edwards blocks a back breaker. He drops Strong with the backpack stunner for two. The Wolves hit the Alarm Clock and a superkick/German suplex combo. Elgin breaks the pin. The Wolves trade rapid fire strikes with the House of Truth. They end up knocking each other down with a series of moves. Elgin slams Richards’ back in the corners. He hits a pump-handle suplex for two. Elgin blasts Richards with a knee strike and powerbombs him. Edwards superkicks Elgin to break his pin. Edwards pitches Strong to the floor and blasts Elgin with chops and strikes. Elgin drops the Wolves with a Samoan Drop/Fallaway Slam combo. He pins Richards for two. Richards transitions in an ankle lock. Strong tries to break the hold, but Edwards puts him in an Achilles Lock. Truth Martini jumps in and grabs their hands so that they won’t tap out. The Wolves rid of him with tandem kicks. Both Wolves double stomp Elgin for two. Richards nails Elgin in the head with an enzugiri for two. He then hits a running variation for the pin at 31:28. If you had trimmed this down by 10 minutes, you could have made this match more compact and gotten rid of some of the lulls this match faced. That being said, this was a great main event. The show definitely needed it. This was a star making performance for Elgin, who looked like a complete bad ass hanging in there with Richards and Edwards. All four men really busted their asses and made this crowd come alive. The story may have been disjointed, but then again they followed the typical tag story of isolating the opponent and wearing them down and that works for me. ***3/4
Edwards holds Richards’ ROH title belt while Richards talks about being a fighting champion and raising the stock of the title. Edwards can’t help but to continue looking at the belt. I thought that was a tremendous touch, if it does end up being a subtle way to build up a rematch between these two.
Overall: Even with a very good main event, I suggest you skip this show. The undercard had nothing worth going out of your way to see and at times will even bore you. I understand there’s only so much you can do to remedy one of your performers missing a show, but was Mike Bennett wrestling twice really the best call? You’ve seen pretty much everyone on this show do a heck of a lot better, and there’s no stand out storyline moments to make this worthy of a watch.