Ring of Honor: Rising Above 2012

Dayton, OH – 4.29.2012

Championship Rundown
ROH World Champion: Davey Richards
ROH Television Champion: Roderick Strong
ROH World Tag Team Champions: The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino.

The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) vs. Chris Silvio & Mohammad Ali Vaez

Silvio is a Billy Graham rip off and Vaez is a Muhammad Hassan rip off. Silvio gives King a dropkick. King delivers one right back. He trips Silvio into a side headlock. King snaps off a few armdrags. Silvio tags in Vaez. King hip tosses and armdrags him. Titus boots him in the stomach. ANX hit a springboard legdrop/splash combo for two. King drop toe holds Vaez into a dropkick from Titus. Vaez knees Titus in the stomach. Silvio lays in a few punches. Titus backdrops him for two. Vaez misses an apron kick. He hits it the second time, but Titus punches him and gives Silvio an Atomic drop. Vaez trips Titus to the floor and whips him into the barricade. Silvio beat down Titus for a few minutes. Titus then whips Vaez into the barricades and gives Silvio a slingshot shoulder tackle. King spinwheel kicks Silvio and Vaez breaks the pin. King overhead suplexes him. He gives Silvio a spinebuster for two. Vaez holds King’s leg as he goes up top. Silvio superplexes King and Titus makes the save. King saves Titus for a tandem suplex and Cactus clotheslines Vaez out. Titus strings a boot and clothesline together on Silvio. ANX polish him off with the One Night Stand for the pin at 9:53. I don’t mind ANX getting a squash match at all if it leads to them being champions. The guys they faced weren’t too bad and really didn’t do much with their gimmicks to make things annoying or corny. **

Titus says that he and King have evolved from party boys to ass kickers. King says they beat Haas and Benjamin way back in December in a Proving Ground match for a title shot. King doesn’t like that they haven’t had a shot yet and feels the Briscoes are ducking them. King says he wants that title shot so he can show the Briscoes what they’re really all about.

Backstage, Veda Scott asks Truth Matrini about what Sampson Walker can expect to see from his man, Michael Elgin, tonight. Martini says Walker is kidding himself if he thinks he is in the same realm as Elgin. Elgin won’t let Walker walk all over him just to prove himself. 2012 is his year and no one can stop him. He will prove to Walker that he is truly is Unbreakable. Separately, Walker says Elgin and Truth don’t know what they have coming to them.

Michael Elgin vs. Sampson Walker

The opening lock-up sees no winner. Their shoulder blocks seem to be worthless too. Elgin drills Walker with an elbow and then gets powerslammed. Walker gives him a Samoan Drop. Walker grabs Martinit when Martini grabs his foot. Walker throws him into the ring post. Elgin German suplexes him head first into the top turnbuckle. Walker kicks out at one. Elgin boots Walker to the floor. Elgin whips him into the barricades. Walker does the same. Back in the ring, Elgin goes for a crossface on Walker’s taped up shoulder. Walker scurries to the ropes right away. Elgin legdrops him on the ring apron for two. Walker backdrops his way out of Elgin’s powerbomb attempt. Walker superkicks him in the back of the head. Walker rams his buttocks into Elgin’s neck. Both guys become dazed from a forearm battle. Walker superkicks Elgin and gets two with a Death Valley Driver. Elgin bicycle kicks Walker. A Saito suplex gets a two count. Elgin impressively deadlifts Walker into a German suplex, again for a two count. Elgin backfists Walker so he can hit a Buckle Bomb. Walker comes out of the corner with a clothesline before collapsing. Elgin ducks a superkick. He puts Walker in the crossface for the submission victory at 9:34. I’m all for Elgin defeating a bigger guy to look better. The thing here is that Walker also got in a ton of offense and arguably looked better than Elgin did. What are the chances ROH gives Walker a serious run and makes him a roster member? It doesn’t seem likely, but if he does, he needs to wear something that doesn’t look like a giant onesie on him. **1/2

BJ Whitmer vs. Kevin Steen

Jimmy Jacobs is in Steen’s corner. He distracts Whitmer so Steen can attack him from behind. Steen throws him to the floor Whitmer ends up whipping Steen into the barricades. Whitmer brings it back in the ring, but it isn’t long before they end on the floor. Steen gets thrown to the barricades again. That sequence happens again. Whitmer gets two back in the ring. That previous sequence occurs another time. Jacobs distracts Whitmer. Steen brings him back in the ring with a dangling DDT. Steen drops an elbow for two. Steen rakes his eyes. Whitmer kicks his leg out. Steen throws Whitmer to the floor and distracts the referee so Jacobs can get in a few shots. When Whitmer is thrown back in the ring, Steen lands a senton. Steen rakes Whitmer’s eyes to stop his barrage of chops. Whitmer catches Steen with a suplex. Whitmer throws some forearms. Steen bites his hand to block an Irish whip. Whitmer boots him to the floor and suicide dives onto both him and Jacobs. Whitmer enzuigiri’s Steen into a suplex. He Northern Lights suplexes Steen for two. Steen pops him up for a powerbomb. He goes for the sharpshooter. Whitmer fights out. Steen superkicks him and goes up top. Whitmer gets his knees up to block a swanton. He lariats Steen, but Steen kicks out. Jacobs gets on the apron. Whitmer blocks the spike. Steen kicks Whitmer in the groin behind the referee’s back. The F-Cinq gets Steen the win at 9:36. Not a bad follow up to the crazy No DQ tag match from last night. The beginning got a little repetitive but picked up shortly after. Why on Earth is Whitmer not back on the ROH roster yet? **3/4

El Generico vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Generico cleanly breaks a lock-up in the corner. O’Reilly backs Generico to the ropes. Generico ducks a head kick. O’Reilly suplexes Generico into a wristlock. O’Reilly powers Generico to the corner in a double wristlock. They monkey flip each other while holding onto each others’ hands. Generico fights off an O’Conner Roll. He hops over O’Reilly and hits a leg lariat. Generico delivers ten punches in the corner. O’Reilly knee strikes Generico in the chin and kicks him in the chest. O’Reilly follows up a backbreaker with elbows and knees to Generico’s back. O’Reilly gets two with a back elbow. O’Reilly lays in some shots before sweeping out Generico’s leg. O’Reilly dropkicks Generico in the back after tying his arms up in the ropes. O’Reilly knee strikes him in the stomach. O’Reilly and Generico trade elbows. Generico rolls him up for two. O’Reilly misses a punt. Generico clotheslines him twice. Generico baits O’Reilly to the floor and tope con hilo’s after him. Back in the ring Generico gets two with a flying crossbody. Generico also gets two with the Blue Thunder Bomb. O’Reilly butterfly suplexes him twice before dropping him with a DDT. O’Reilly puts on a cross armbreaker. Generico locks his hands to relieve the pressure. Generico gives him a chinbreaker to fully escape. O’Reilly blocks the yakuza kick and turns Generico into a lariat. O’Reilly elbows Generico in the corner. O’Reilly smartly ducks Generico’s oncoming yakuza kick. Generico rolls to the floor for some air, but O’Reilly follows with a dropkick off the apron. Even with that, Generico is able to catch O’Reilly as he goes up top. O’Reilly shoves him off, but gets suplexed into the corner. Generico nails the yakuza kick this time. Just as Generico is going for the top rope brainbuster, Jimmy Jacobs runs out to crotch Generico on the middle rope. Generico leaves the ring to fight with Jacobs. Steen attacks Generico to. O’Reilly knees Steen off the apron. The match is then ruled a No Contest at 14:45. That was a really disappointing ending considering this match was going along really well up until that point. A win over Generico would have been just what O’Reilly needed to reach that next level. Hopefully we get a rematch down the line. ***1/4

Steen hits O’Reilly’s leg with a chair and puts him in an ankle lock (with his mouth piece on no doubt). Davey Richards runs out to save his pupil. He puts Steen in the ankle lock. Jacobs clips Richards in the leg with a steel chair to break the hold. Steen then gives Richards the F-Cinq onto the chair. BJ Whitmer and the All Night Express run out, giving Steen and Jacobs their cue to bail.

Veda Scott is with Mike Mondo. She reminds Mondo that tonight is a rubber match stemming from the ROH TV show. Mondo says Perkins will find out the hard way that it’s gut check time.

TJ Perkins vs. Mike Mondo

Mondo forcefully throws Perkins to the corner. He stomps Perkins down and throws some forearms. Perkins slides under Mondo and hits a dropkick. Perkins comes off the second rope with a crossbody. He armdrags Mondo twice and bars the arm. Mondo escapes. Perkins headscissors Mondo from a headstand position. Mondo ends up dropping Perkins arm across the rope. He checks Perkins off the apron and to the floor. He then throws Perkins’ arm into the ring post. Perkins kicks Mondo back out to the floor. Mondo catches Perkins in the ring apron and stomps on his hand. Mondo arm whips Perkins to the corner. Mondo twists up his wrists. Of course, he also does more damage to the arm. Perkins crucifixes him for a two count. Mondo clotheslines him right back down. Perkins huracanrana’s Mondo to the floor, following with a suicide dive. Perkins dropkicks Mondo as Mondo lay on the second rope. Perkins springboard dropkicks him in the shoulder for two. Mondo divorce courts Perkins’ arm. Perkins kicks Mondo away. Mondo fights off the Detonation Kick. Perkins escapes a butterfly lock and gives Mondo a neckbreaker. Perkins gets the pin with a 450 splash at 8:06. I am totally shocked by how much I enjoyed this. Mondo has this new found intensity and really knows how to work over a body part. Of course, Perkins flying around also added a fun element to the match. I have not seen either of their TV matches but if they’re as fun as this was, I may consider it. **3/4

Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini) and Jay Lethal come out for their match. Strong points out that today is Lethal’s birthday. He says it’s unfortunate that Lethal has to spend it in Ohio. Strong sings happy birthday to him. When Strong pokes Lethal in the chest at the end of the song, Lethal throws a punch and the match gets underway.

Two out of Three Falls
Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong

Lethal stomps Strong down in the corner. Martini however distracts Lethal long enough for Strong to roll-up and pin Lethal while hooking his tights, earning the first fall at 0:23. Strong is so proud of himself. Strong stalls for a bit on the floor. He drags Lethal out, but Lethal takes control right away with a barrage of right hands. Lethal whips Strong across the ring. He comes off the top with a double axe handle for two. Lethal slaps on a figure four leg lock. Strong grabs the bottom rope to break it. Lethal’s rolling clothesline also does not get the pin. Strong blocks Lethal hopping out of the corner and crotches him on the top rope. He slingshots Lethal’s throat into the bottom rope. Strong rams his back into the ring post. Lethal fires back with chops. Strong kicks his leg. He delivers a shinbreaker. Strong puts on a modified figure four. Lethal gets the ropes. Lethal gives him a Manhattan Drop. Strong knees him in the gut. Lethal blocks a backbreaker with a crucifix pin at 10:48. Strong rolling elbows Lethal right after that. After Lethal fights out of his chinlock, he dropkicks Lethal for two. Lethal unloads with punches and chops. Strong knees him in the gut and stomps him down in response. Martini chokes Lethal behind the referee’s back. Strong whips Lethal to the corner. Lethal comes off the second rope with a leg lariat. Lethal back handsprings into an elbow, then gets two with a neckbreaker. Strong elbows Lethal in the corner. He goes for Death by Roderick. Lethal escapes. Strong blasts him with a leaping knee strike. Lethal huracanrana’s Strong to escape another Death by Roderick. The Lethal Combination and a tope rope elbow get a two count. Strong Sick Kicks Lethal as he goes for the Lethal Injection. Lethal kicks out! Martini gets on the ring apron. Lethal kicks him off when going for the Lethal Injection a second time. He hits it and gets the final fall and the victory at 19:33. That didn’t feel like it went twenty minutes at all. Kudos to these guys telling a good story for the duration of the match and for making the last few moments the most exciting. ***1/2

ROH Tag Team Championship
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin

An all out brawl breaks out before proper ring announcements can be made. The Briscoes hold control on the floor. In the ring they give Benjamin tandem football tackles. Benjamin side steps a corner splash from Jay so he can escape The Briscoes’ onslaught. Haas throws a few headbutts before choking Jay with his boot. Jay dropkicks him and tags in Mark. Mark bulldogs him for two. Jay boots Benjamin to the floor. He splashes Haas and snapmares him into a rear chinlock. Haas German suplexes Jay. Benjamin tags in and takes Jay to the floor. He suplexes Jay on the entrance stage. The All Night Express comes out as Haas and Benjamin are wearing Jay down. Jay big boots Haas so he can tag Mark in. Mark uses Redneck Kung Fu on Benjamin. He gets two with an Iconoclasm. Haas runs in and gets tossed out by Jay. The Briscoes deliver a double sit-out uranage to Benjamin. Mark goes up top but gets shoved to the apron by Haas. Benjamin German suplexes Jay. He and Haas set up for the Broken Arrow. Jay fights Haas off. Haas gets in a fight with ANX on the floor. With Haas tied up, Jay gives Benjamin a Death Valley Driver. Mark hits the Froggy Bow for the pin at 12:15. This felt like it didn’t have much going on. I guess that’s what happen when two times face each other countless times and there welcome by the fans has been worn out. This was painfully average, and I stick the blame on Haas and Benjamin. It’s abundantly clear from the fans apathy that they’re not digging the cut of their jib either. There was some good work in here, but this was pretty pointless. **1/2

Kenny King congratulates The Briscoes on their win. As both teams square off, King reiterates that he and Titus are #1 Contenders. He will accept a fight from them any time, ay place. Jay suggests doing the fight right now. Although both teams are game for that, ROH officials won’t let it go down.

Adam Cole is backstage. He says ROH is considered the best company in the world because the wrestlers are willing to work hard to be the best. Cole says tonight is his opportunity for all his hard work to pay off. He plans to show that his previous victory over Davey Richards was not a mere fluke.

ROH World Championship
Davey Richards vs. Adam Cole

Cole earned this shot when he pinned Davey Richards in the tag team main event of “Young Wolves Rising.” Cole surprisingly wins a wristlock exchange. Richards actually heads to the floor because bridging back hurt his ribs. Richards kicks Cole in the chest when he comes back in the ring. Cole blocks a second kick and gives Richards a dragonscrew leg whip. Richards sends him out with a dropkick. Richards kicks Cole from the ring apron. Cole enzuigiri’s Richards from the floor. Cole suicide dives after Richards bails to the floor. Cole goes after Richards on the other side of the ring. Richards gives him a Saito suplex onto the stage. He enters the ring to take a breather in the corner. Cole makes it back into the ring before the twenty count. Richards sole butts Cole to stop his comeback. Richards cloverleafs the legs while locking his own leg around Cole’s arm. Cole grabs the bottom rope to escape. Richards kicks Cole in the chest. Richards applies a headscissors. Cole rolls to the ropes. Richards has a grim look on his face when he throws more chest kicks. Cole catches one of them and begins to exchange forearms with Richards. Cole enzuigiri’s and knee strikes him for two. Cole superkicks Richards to block the Damage Reflex. Cole gets two with a neckbreaker across his knee. Cole goes for a crossbody. Richards dropkicks him on his way down. Cole bicycle kicks Richards after he recovers in the corner. Richards German suplexes him for two. Richards throws Kawada kicks. Cole throws slaps. Richards delivers the Alarm Clock. They kick each other in the head. Richards blocks the jumping enzuigiri and puts on an ankle lock. Cole rolls through to send Richards out. Cole DDT’s Richards on the ring apron and gets a two count. The wheelbarrow back cracker has the same result. Richards fights Cole on the second ropes in the corner. Richards headbutts Cole to the timekeeper’s table. Richards double stomps Cole through it. Quickly Richards throws him back in the ring. Another double stomp only gets a two count. Richards swiftly kicks him in the head for another two count. Back to the ankle lock he goes. Cole gets the ropes. Richards clobbers Cole with clotheslines to the side of the head on the second rope. Cole fights back with elbows. Richards blocks a Sunset Bomb. Cole punches Richards in his injured ribs. Cole superplexes Richards and follows with the Florida Key (an arm-capture German Suplex) for two. Cole uses a high crossbody, the same move he pinned Richards with at “Young Wolves Rising.” This time though it’s only good enough for a two count. Richards spits at Cole after Cole throws a superkick. Two more superkicks take Richards down. He gives Richards a brainbuster across his knee for two. Cole gets two with a Superfly Splash as well. He puts on a Cloverleaf. Richards turns that into an ankle lock. Cole rolls that into a prawn hold for two. Two German suplexes and a clothesline aren’t enough to keep Cole down. A swift kick to the side of the head doesn’t do it either. Richards reapplies the ankle lock. He then turns it into a reverse figure four. Cole taps out at 20:42. When Richards solid his ribs a minute into the match, I was expecting that to be a pivotal point of the match. It really resulted in nothing, and instead the match led to the usual annoying overkill of moves and kick outs. I am such a huge fan of Cole that I was hoping he and Richards would be able to do something really unique and not the usual screaming, superkicking nonsense I am so burnt out on. Not only that, but it’s on a show I can’t imagine a ton of fans are overly interested in. Your mileage may vary if you like this kind of wrestling, but personally I got tired of it well before the finish. ***1/4

The typical Davey Richards promo ends the show. To his credit, he says some pretty great things about Adam Cole.

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