Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 3.31.2012
ROH World Champion: Davey Richards
ROH Television Champion: Jay Lethal
ROH World Tag Team Champions: The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.
As Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are kicking off the show, Jimmy Jacobs comes out to the ring in an odd looking outfit. Jacobs compares the feeling he had before he spiked Kevin Steen at Final Battle 2011 was that of an orgasm of a man who had been celibate for a year. He says that night, The Zombie Princess rose from the dead. Out comes El Generico with referee Todd Sinclair. Generico’s mad because Jacobs spiked him in the face and hit him with a chair last night, causing Generico to lose to Kevin Steen in a Last Man Standing match. Generico throws a flurry of punches. Jacobs bails to the floor by Generico comes after him with a tope con hilo. It’s announced that Generico has asked for a match with Jacobs and will get it right now.
El Generico vs. Jimmy Jacobs
Generico hits a leg lariat. He gets two with a standing moonsault. Generico walks the ropes for a DDT but Jacobs ends up crotching him on the top rope instead. Jacobs comes off the apron with an elbow drop. Generico throws some punches back in the ring. Jacobs rakes his eyes and throws some punches of his own. Generico evades a corner splash and comes in with a crossbody for two. Generico pulls him into a Blue Thunder Bomb for two again. Jacobs gets his boots up in the corner. He gets two with a suplex. Jacobs hits a spring-back Ace Crusher, scoring another two count. Generico exploder suplexes Jacobs into the corner. Jacobs puts on the End Time to block a yakuza kick. Generico gets the ropes to break it. Jacobs pull out a spike. He misses Generico and stabs the top turnbuckle. Generico half-nelson suplexes him for two. Generico goes for the spike. Jacobs gets hold of it first. Jacobs rolls him up for the pin at 8:20. What a flat finish that was. This was okay, but way too short to be anything truly meaningful. **1/4
Cedric Alexander vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Ciampa of course has The Embassy in his corner. Ernesto Osiris does NOT have the TV Title with him (not now anyways). Ciampa jumps Alexander on the ring apron. Ciampa shoves him into the barricade. He grabs a chair but doesn’t end up using it. He does boot Alexander in the face as he is sitting on the chair however. Alexander catches Ciampa with some strikes a she comes in the through the ropes. He drops him with a rope-assisted Complete Shot. Ciampa ducks a kick. Alexander gives him a full nelson facebuster for two. Ciampa roll to the floor after eating a dropkick. Alexander goes after him and gets thrown into the barricades. Alexander ends up suplexing Ciampa into the barricades! This only gets him a two count. Ciampa throws Alexander onto the bottom turnbuckle from the ring apron. Ciampa exposes his knee to deliver two running knee strikes to Alexander’s head. That’s enough to get him the pin at 5:25. Just like the last match this was too short to be anything of note. **
Caprice Coleman tries to fight Prince Nana after the match. Ciampa cuts him off and gives him Project Ciampa. Okay then.
Ring of Honor vs. CHIKARA
TJ Perkins vs. Fire Ant
Both men are tentative to start. They trip each other for a quick one count. Fire Ant takes Perkins over with a headlock. A Lucha exchange ends in a stand-off. Perkins escapes a courting hold and applies a hammerlock on the apron. Fire Ant pops up and armdrags Perkins across the ring. Perkins elbows Fire Ant. Fire Ant armdrags Perkins across the ring in response. Perkins puts him in a tree of woe. Fire Ant baits him into the Stop, Drop and Roll. Fire Ant sunset flips Perkins for two, then dropkicks him to the floor. Fire Ant goes for a dive. Perkins comes back in to catch him with a tilt-a-whirl slam. Perkins suplexes Fire Ant for two. Fire Ant fireman carry’s his way out of a Gory Gallows. A quick senton gets Fire Ant a two count. Perkins sends Fire Ant to the floor. Fire Ant antzuigiri’s Perkins off the apron and suicide dives after him. Fire Ant then flies out with a tope con hilo. Fire Ant goes for a crossbody but Perkins dropkicks him on the way down. Perkins delivers a neckbreaker and running knees to the chest. Fire Ant blocks a powerbomb with a stunner. He hits the Yahtzee Kick and a tilt-a-whirl DDT for two. Fire Ant antzuigiri’s Perkins on the top rope. He looks for a super Beach Break, but Perkins powerbombs him out of the corner instead. The Detonation kick gets Perkins two. Perkins then hits a 450 splash for the pin at 8:20. You really could not have given Fire Ant a better opponent off the ROH roster. He and Perkins blended really well and aside from a moment of apprehension here or there had a really fun match. **3/4
We get a clip from ROH TV where O’Reilly challenges Cole for a match on this night. Cole is tired of O’Reilly’s attitude and whining. He grants O’Reilly the match, which is up next.
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
There’s some editing at the beginning of the match, probably to cut out the portion where they stopped the match to deal with PPV feed issues. I’m starting the timer at their first lock-up shown. O’Reilly clenches on a headscissors. Cole escapes and grabs a side headlock. Cole holds onto O’Reilly’s arm after delivering an armdrag. Cole puts on his own headscissors. O’Reilly switches out and puts on a bow and arrow. Cole flips out of it and goes back to the arm. Cole hits an enzuigiri and a running knee strike for two. Cole blocks a clothesline. O’Reilly blocks a superkick and hits a rolling clothesline for two. Cole throws a flurry of punches to take O’Reilly down in the corner. O’Reilly forearms Cole in the opposite corner. He lands a boot. Cole blocks a butterfly suplex with a brainbuster onto his knee and gets two. Cole and O’Reilly throw forearms while grabbing each others’ hair. Cole superkicks O’Reilly in the face and the back of his head for two. O’Reilly rolls through a crossbody and holds Cole’s tights for the pin at 7:29 (shown). I get that the ending was supposed to advance O’Reilly’s heel persona, but it was so dissatisfying given that it was the first singles match these two have had since splitting up. They have done better in both DGUSA and CHIKARA. **1/2
Dual Duel Match #2 – Street Fight
The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson)
Titus and King enter through the crowd with a shopping cart, street signs and some other plunder. Stereo street sign smashes from Titus and King on the Bucks kick things off. King throws Matt into the barricades. King and Titus kick a trashcan into Nick’s head and clothesline him to the floor. They cover Matt with the can and smash brooms against it. Titus throws Nick into a ring post while King whips Matt back into the barricades. Nick does a moonsault off the stage onto the ANX. Nick comes off the barricades with a springboard X-Factor to Titus. Nick double stomps King as he dangles from the barricade. I’ve typed barricade a lot in this match. Nick comes off the apron with a swanton onto Titus who is on a trashcan. Matt places King in the shopping cart. He pushes him into a superkick from Nick. The Bucks are too busy showboating in the ring when Titus comes in with a chair. He weakly smacks their legs out. Titus ducks a chair shot and clotheslines it into Matt’s face. King goes for shotgun knees. Nick moves and he wipes out a security guard. Matt DDT’s Titus on the ring apron. King dives onto Nick from inside the ring. Titus drops Matt throat first onto the barricades. ANX give Matt the One Night Stand through the table. Nick pulls Titus out on the table. Matt puts his arm on King and gets the pin at 11:12. That finish really pissed me off. Matt gets put through a table by the ANX’s finisher, then just plops his arm on King to get the pin? Give me a break. The rest of the match was good by and large but that finish really turned me off. **3/4
Mike Bennett comes out for the first ever live Prodigy PSA. Maria verbally backhands the fans who chant random CM Punk crap towards her. Bennett says he’s going to be serious for a minute, mocking Lance Storm whom he defeated last night. He calls out Lance Storm, who is not here and says Storm is home nursing the injuries he inflicted on him. Bennett says rather than wrestle tonight, he and Maria are going to celebrate that they are better than the best. Then they make out for a very, very long time. The best possible response comes from the fans who chant YES repeatedly.
ROH Tag Team Championship
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin
Haas hits the floor before any contact is made. He comes in and takes Mark to the mat. Mark catches him with a boot. Haas once again bails. Jay attacks him while Mark goes after Benjamin. The Briscoes take control thanks to a fans metal sign. They double shoulder tackle Haas back in the ring. Benjamin pulls Haas out of the corner so he can kick Jay’s leg out. Haas and Benjamin wear down Jay in their corner, specifically targeting the same leg Benjamin kicked out. Jay rolls under a clothesline so he can finally tag in Mark. He uses redneck kung-fu to fight off both Haas and Benjamin himself. He gets two on Benjamin with an Iconoclasm. Haas brings Mark to the ring apron. Benjamin forcefully whips Mark arm first into the top turnbuckle hook. Of course, this allows Haas and Benjamin to now wear him down. Mark turns around a superplex by Benjamin, landing on top of him. Jay is all healed up and throws punches at Haas. He boots Benjamin off the apron and superkicks Haas. He pescado’s out onto Benjamin. Jay lands a high crossbody on Haas for two. A Falcon Arrow gets two as well. Benjamin superkicks Jay. Haas rolls him up for two. Haas and Jay take turns booting and flipping off one another. They end up knocking each other down. Both teams recover and trade punches. Haas German suplexes Jay. Benjamin gives Mark a DDT on the ring apron. Haas gives Jay the Angle Slam. He puts on the Haas of Pain. Jay manages to grab the bottom rope. They set up for the Broken Arrow. Mark cuts off Benjamin with a dropkick. Jay rolls Haas into a cradle for the pin at 16:15. This was a good grudge match, but I don’t think anyone was really dying to see it. The crowd came and went with their enthusiasm. Maybe this could have been a bit shorter but otherwise it was perfectly fine, albeit nothing you haven’t seen before. ***
Haas and Benjamin attack and rid of Mark. They then take Jay and ram his crotch into the ring post three times. They hold the tag belts high, signaling that they will be taking them back in the future.
Eddie Edwards vs. Kevin Steen
A forearm exchange leads to shoulder block attempts from both participants. Edwards delivers a boot. Steen trips him and hits a flipping legdrop to the back of his neck. Steen rakes his face after Edwards chops him. Steen chokes him on the middle rope. Edwards kicks him away and comes off the second rope with a Code Breaker for two. He transitions into a crossface. Steen gets his foot on the ropes. Steen delivers a dangling DDT and a cannonball senton. He chops Edwards outside of the ring. He whips Edwards into the edge of the stage. Edwards blocks a powerbomb with a huracanrana. Sadly, he runs at Steen and gets caught with a powerbomb onto the ring frame anyways. They fight on the stage. Steen bites Edwards’ face and sets him on a chair. Steen lands a cannonball senton, knocking Edwards out of the chair. Edwards kicks Steen when he tries to drag him off of the stage. Edwards knocks Steen to the floor and jumps off the apron with a double stomp! In the ring he gives Steen the Chin Checker for two. Edwards lights him up with chops against the ropes. Steen powerbombs him for two, then goes for a sharpshooter. Edwards trips Steen and puts on the Achilles Lock. Steen cradles Edwards for the pin at 10:40. Okay, the amount of roll-ups/cradles in this show is obnoxious. The match was really fun and flew by. It’s interesting to see the fans who are both into Steen and Edwards react to everything in a positive way. The stage spots added a lot and helped differentiate the bout from all the other singles matches. ***
Jay Lethal and Roderick Strong come out for their scheduled match together. Truth Martini is in Strong’s corner.Tommaso Ciampa comes out with the Television title. He says he will give Lethal the belt back if he makes his match with Strong a title match. If Lethal wins, after the match, Ciampa will hand Lethal the belt, shake his hand, and say he’s the better man. Lethal agrees to that challenge just to see Ciampa actually uphold his word. If he doesn’t, he will beat the heck out of Ciampa. He wants Ciampa to refer to him as the new Dominant Male as well.
ROH Television Championship
Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong
We are informed that this counts as the TV title match Strong earned at “Glory By Honor X.” Neither man takes control on the mat or in a hammerlock exchange. Lethal puts Strong in a parachute hold and rolls him up for one. A suplex and slingshot senton earn Lethal a two count. Lethal wins a chop battle. Strong kicks Lethal’s left thigh which has some tape on it. Lethal gives him a stalling suplex for two. He dropkicks Strong off the ring apron and to the floor. Lethal suicide dives after him. Ciampa and Truth Martini distract Strong. Strong snaps Lethal’s neck across the top rope and drops him back first on the ring frame. Strong gives him a backbreaker for two. Strong and Lethal trade chops again. Lethal gets fired up only for Strong to nail an enzuigiri. Lethal hip tosses him. He goes for a dropkick but Strong catches his leg and puts on the Strong Hold. Lethal crawls to the ropes to break the hold. Strong gets two with a delayed vertical suplex. Lethal strings the hip toss and dropkick together successfully. Lethal delivers two more dropkicks and a spinwheel kick. Strong misses his own dropkick. Lethal connects with a back handspring elbow for two. Strong small packages him for two. A knee strike and the Death by Roderick warrant the same result. Lethal huracanrana’s Strong to block the Tiger Driver. His superkick gets a two count. Lethal uses the Lethal Combination to take Strong down again. A top rope elbow doesn’t get the job done. Strong dropkicks Lethal to block the Lethal Injection. Ciampa throws Lethal into the ring post while Strong is distracting the referee. Ciampa then shoves Lethal back in the ring. Strong suplexes Lethal into a backbreaker for the pin and the title at 13:19. I would have much rather had Ciampa win the belt, just because I feel it would have done so much more for him than give it to a guy who’s already been king of the mountain. Nevertheless, the finish was a good way to continue Lethal and Ciampa’s issue without the title being in play. Aside from that, this was middle of the road stuff from both guys. **3/4
ROH World Championship
Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin
Truth Martini is back out in Elgin’s corner. Richards wastes no time going after Elgin. He takes him off his feet with a dropkick. He kick Elgin off the ring apron and suicide dives after him. Richards kicks him against the barricades. Richards goes up top. Elgin turns things around by clotheslining him back into the ring for two. Elgin drops him with a delayed vertical suplex, also for two. Elgin legdrops him on the ring frame. Richards headbutts Elgin in the corner. Elgin breaks a waistlock and knees Richards in the mid-section. Richards goes for the Damage Reflex but Elgin catches him with a sitout torture rack backbreaker instead. Richards hooks the ropes to block a Saito suplex. Richards gives him a chinbreaker. Elgin responds with a bridging Northern Lights Suplex. He digs his knee into Richards’ back while stretching his arms out. Richards makes it to his feet to relieve the pressure. He slips out of Elgin’s suplex attempt. Richards hits a gamengiri from the apron. He comes in with a top rope dropkick for two. Elgin elbows his way out of a suplex. We get our forearm exchange of the bout. Richards wins it and delivers an exploder suplex. Elgin kicks out. Richards delivers a corner knee strike. Richards manages to give him a superplex. Elgin fires up! He shrugs off Richards’ boots and strikes. He hits a jumping enzuigiri. Richards kicks him in the head and German suplexes him. Elgin fires up but Richards lariats him right down for two. He applies the ankle lock. Elgin gets the ropes and rolls to the floor very quickly. Elgin blocks Richards’ boot from the apron. He gives Richards a fisherman’s suplex on the floor. Elgin then powerbombs him into the barricades! Richards somehow kicks out at two. Elgin hits a corkscrew senton but only gets two with that as well. Elgin brings Richards to the top rope. Richards puts on a kimura to block him from doing anything. He unloads elbows on Elgin’s head and goes for a Sunset Bomb. Elgin fights that off. Richards crotches Elgin on the top rope. It takes some fighting, but Richards manages to deliver a German superplex for two. He immediately puts on the ankle lock again. Elgin again gets the ropes. Elgin absorbs Richards’ chest kicks. Richards throws Kawada kicks at Elgin’s head. Elgin throws some knees. Richards goes back to the chest kicks. Elgin gives him the Chaos Theory for two. A low superkick and a suplex into a Side Effect get two. Elgin puts on the Crossface. Richards crawls to get his foot on the bottom rope. Elgin tries to drag Richards to the top rope. Richards catches him with a dragonscrew leg whip in the ropes. He double stomps Elgin on the ring frame! Back in the ring Richards delivers another double stomp. Elgin kicks out. Richards hits a rolling clothesline. A pump-handle suplex gets two. Elgin ducks a kick and elbows Richards’ neck. He drops Richards with an inverted brainbuster for two. Elgin powerbombs Richards into the corner. He clotheslines Richards in the face. Richards blocks the spinning powerbomb and reapplies the ankle lock. Elgin turns it into the LaBell Lock. Richards turns that into a pin for two. Richards runs at Elgin and eats a knee strike. Elgin hits the spinning powerbomb. Richards kicks out! Elgin puts on a crossface. Richards escapes and puts on the ankle lock again. Richards pulls him into the middle of the ring so he can’t grab the ropes. Elgin rolls out of it. With his leg being two weak to walk, Richards gives him a running knee to the face. Elgin gets to his knees before a one count. Two hard kicks to the head only get Richards a two count! One more roundhouse kick gets Richards the pin at 27:43. That was an absolute war and just the main event to kick this fairly ho hum show into overdrive. For maybe the first time in his reign, Richards almost looked like the underdog with just how overpowering Elgin was. Survival of the Fittest was the start of Elgin breaking out, and this solidified him as a main eventer. Easily the best match of Richards’ title reign so far, Elgin’s best match in ROH and a ROH classic (even if I did not think it was perfect like a lot of other people). ****1/2
Davey Richards gives the usual speech putting over ROH and whatnot. He also puts over Elgin which is absolutely well deserved. He says Elgin will be a future champion for certain. He gives Elgin a piece of advice: fight for the people, not for Truth Martini. Interesting last words from the champion.