Ring of Honor: All Star Extravaganza V

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Toronto, ONT – 8.3.2013

Championship Rundown
ROH World Champion: Vacant
ROH Television Champion: Matt Taven
ROH World Tag Team Champions: Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov)

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.

Adam Page vs. KUSHIDA

Despite what the announcer’s say, this is NOT KUSHIDA’s first time in North America. KUSHIDA and Page go back and forth until KUSHIDA delivers a dropkick. He rakes Page’s face with his boots, then cartwheels into a basement dropkick. Page rolls to the floor. KUSHIDA misses a pescado. Page drapes him on the apron and stretches out his back in the ropes. He catches KUSHIDA with a powerslam for two. Page also gets two with a belly-to-back suplex. KUSHIDA rolls to the apron. He catches Page with a kick and comes back in with a springboard Baba chop. He hip tosses Page as Page comes off the ropes. He hits a back handspring elbow and a standing moonsault for two. He heads up top for another moonsault. Page gets his knees up to counter it. He tries a suplex. KUSHIDA turns it into a cradle. He huracanrana’s Page. Page rolls through. He sweeps out KUSHIDA’s legs and hits a shooting star press for two. He does the deal with a Falcon Arrow. KUSHIDA gets Page off the from the top rope. He kicks him in the face doing a springboard. The Buzzsaw Kick only gets him two. The Midnight Express follows to get him the win at 8:25. That was a fun opening match and had a lot of energy. Page’s stock rose virtually by being in the ring with someone of KUSHIDA’s caliber and showed he had the ability to hang with him. Certainly this is just the beginning of Page’s ROH journey, and I’d love to see KUSHIDA back, perhaps with Alex Shelley if at all possible. **¾

ROH World Championship Tournament – Opening Round
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Silas Young

After some trash talking we get an aggressive lock-up that spills out to the floor. They break up against the guardrails. Back in the ring Young mounts Ciampa and throws some punches. Ciampa traps Young’s arms and throws his own punches. He holds onto a side headlock for a bit. When Young drops down, Ciampa lands a falling senton onto his back. Ciampa keeps going for the side headlock until Young suplexes him. Ciampa gets his boot up to block a charge. He hits another running boot for two. After ripping at Young’s mustache, Ciampa delivers a running neckbreaker. He rips at the mustache again. He teases the running knee strike. Young forearms him and kicks his head from the apron. They fight over a suplex which brings both men to the apron. Young ends up suplexing Ciampa onto the floor! Both men crawl back into the ring. They throw headbutts on their knees. They become more fired up as they get to their feet. Ciampa ducks a clothesline. He catches Young with a Dragon suplex for two. Young dropkicks Ciampa’s injured knee and rolls him up for two. The Killer Combo has the same result. He sets up for the Pee Gee Waja Plunge. Ciampa knees him in the face during the Arabian Press portion. He brings Young to the top rope. Young shoves Ciampa off. He tries following but Ciampa catches him mid-air with a spinebuster. Young drops Ciampa neck first on the top rope. He throws a rolling clothesline. Ciampa becomes even more fired up. He pops Young up into Project Ciampa for the pin at 10:55. That finish was great, and the action that preceded it was really good too. Even though Ciampa was the clear favorite, Young held his own and may have outshone Ciampa in certain respects. Really good stuff from two great wrestlers. ***

ROH World Championship Tournament – Opening Round
BJ Whitmer vs. Michael Bennett

This is the rubber match, with the other two matches taking place at “Best in the World 2013” and “Reclamation Night 1.” Maria Kanellis is in Bennett’s corner. Bennett tries a sneak attack. Whitmer instead gives him an enzuigiri and an exploder suplex. Bennett rolls to the floor and Whitmer follows with a suicide dive. Whitmer throws some chops back in the ring. Bennett drop toe holds him into the second rope. From the floor he nails a dropkick. Out on the floor he boots Whitmer’s head into the barricades. He kisses Maria before bringing Whitmer back into the ring for a two count. Bennett accidentally crotches himself in the corner. Whitmer gives him a belly-to-back suplex. Bennett stops his momentum with a spinebuster. He drops some knees onto his upper back. He does some more damage to that area. He talks some trash, leading to both guys throwing punches. They knock each other down with simultaneous clotheslines. Maria throws one of her spiked shoes in the ring. Nigel McGuinness brings this to referee Todd Sinclair’s attention, so Sinclair bans her from ringside. Nigel carries her to the back himself. As Bennett follows, Whitmer catches him with a crossbody off the top rope! In the ring he powerslams Bennett for two. He also gets two with a Northern Lights suplex. Bennett gives him a chinbreaker and the Final Cut. Whitmer kicks out. He responds with swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker and a fisherman’s suplex. Bennett kicks out and rolls to the apron. Whitmer follows. He looks for an exploder suplex. Bennett counter and piledrives Whitmer onto the ring apron! Whitmer is unable to continue, so Todd Sinclair calls for the bell at 10:07. As we know now, Whitmer suffered a very serious neck injury because of this, which leaves me just a bit uncomfortable to give this a rating. However, I thought this was far and away the best of the three matches they had. The story was on point and was leading to somewhere really cool until the abrupt ending. I’d say it was just as good as the opener and close to reaching the Young/Ciampa bout’s level of quality, but there’s no way of knowing for sure. All I will say is I enjoyed this until the accident. N/R

ROH World Championship Tournament – Opening Round
Roderick Strong vs. Matt Taven

Truth Martini, Scarlett Bordeaux, and Seleziya Sparx are in Taven’s corner. Nigel makes Scarlett sit next to him since she has no license to be ringside. Strong and Taven exchange wristlocks. Strong drop toe holds into a chinlock. Taven grabs the ropes to break a front chancery. When Taven backs into the ropes to avoid contact, Strong spits on him. Sparx wipes it off of him. They hop over each other until Strong delivers a dropkick. He gets two with a backbreaker. Truth grabs Strong’s foot. Taven tries a sneak attack. Strong stops him by O’Connor rolling him into a leg lariat. He sends Taven into the top rope. Truth grabs Strong’s leg, allowing Taven to enzuigiri him to the floor. He chokes Strong on the middle rope. Taven hits a corkscrew quebrada for two. Strong tries fighting back but eats a dropkick from Taven instead. Taven also avoids a corner attack and delivers a springboard enzuigiri for two. Strong gets his knees up to block a top rope moonsault. Strong throws some chops and takes him down with a clothesline. He busts out the Black Tornado Slam for two. After a backdrop he clothesliens Taven to the floor. Srong follows through with a dropkick through the ropes. Sparx distracts the referee so Truth can hit him with the Book of Truth. Nigel comes to diffuse the situation. Taven accidentally boots Truth in the face! Strong gives Taven a backbreaker onto the ring apron and gets a two count. Taven blasts him with a spin kick after avoiding the Orange Crush Backbreaker. Taven hits a Cyclone Kick and the Angel’s Wings for two. Taven goes up Strong. Strong gives him a step-up enzuigiri and brings Taven down with a superplex. When he doesn’t get the pin, he puts on the Stronghold. Taven gets the ropes. Taven sends Strong throat first to the second rope with his tights, allowing Taven to use the ropes for a neckbreaker. However, his frog splash only gets him two. He sets up for the Climax. Strong counters with a backbreaker. Taven tries another Cyclone Kick. Strong gives him another Backbreaker. The Sick Kick and the Orange Crush backrbeaker get him the win at 13:09. Strong is absolutely awesome and had the crowd rocking by the end. Taven deserves a lot of credit too. Even with the HOT circus ringside they kept this match really competitive and the nonsense to a minimum. Taven’s had some really strong performances lately and this is just another example. ***¼

ROH World Championship Tournament – Opening Round
Michael Elgin vs. Paul London

Elgin shows his power by bringing London to opposite corners. Elgin wants a test of strength. London instead takes him down with a headscissors which does not make Elgin happy. Elgin elbows London in the face. London avoids a powerbomb and sends Elgin to the floor. Elgin comes back in. He absorbs London’s dropkick and gives him a clothesline. London kicks him in the head and face. He comes off the second rope with a knee strike to the back of the head. He kicks out Elgin’s lead and dropkicks him in the side of the head for two. Elgin places London on the ring apron. London tries coming back in with a crossbody. Elgin catches him. London goes back to the apron. He tries a crossbody again but gets powerslammed this time around for two. Elgin delays a vertical suplex for over half a minute. He misses a tumbleweed senton. Elgin drops him with a uranage out of the corner. They fight onto the apron. London uses the second turnbuckle to give Elgin a Frankensteiner to the floor! He brings Elgin back in the ring for a springboard dropkick. He gives him a spinwheel kick in the corner. He wants a sunset flip. Elgin blocks but misses a posterior splash. London’s standing shooting star press is only good for two. London misses a double stomp. Elgin kicks him in the head. He blocks a superkick and delivers a Boss Man Slam. London kicks out. Elgin’s German suplex isn’t enough either. London trips Elgin to block the Buckle Bomb and double stomps his chest. They trade forearms. London enzuigiri’s Elgin. Elgin comes back with the Death Blow. London dropsaults him to the floor. London tope con hilo’s after him. He double stomps Elgin and brings him back into the ring. Elgin kicks out! London heads to the top rope. Since Elgin goes after him, London attempts a Sunset Bomb. When that fails he looks for a springboard maneuver. Elgin dropkicks him to the floor. He brings London in with a second rope superplex. London kicks out. Elgin powerbombs him into the corner. He goes for the Revolution Bomb but London counters with a spike reverse Frankensteiner! He follows up with a shooting star press. Elgin kicks out! London wants a Frankensteiner. Elgin brings him off the second rope with a powerbomb. The Backfist, turnbuckle powerbomb, and the Revolution Bomb get him the win at 20:00. If anyone out there is doubting whether or not London belongs in an ROH ring these days, this match is all the proof you need. He wrestled a very smart match against Elgin and both guys kept the momentum going on the upward until the end. The crowd bought every nearfall in the ending stretch even though Elgin winning was a foregone conclusion. London is a very welcome addition to any show and Elgin continues to have one of, if not the best match on every card he is apart of. ***¾

Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. Adrenaline Rush (ACH & Tadarius Thomas) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson)

‘Barrister’ RD Evans is on commentary for this bout. Alexander and Thomas reach a stalemate in the opening exchange. The Bucks attack them both. They throw some kicks at Coleman. They string a gut buster and neckbreaker together. Alexander and Thomas dropkick the Bucks to the floor. Alexander dropkicks Thomas. Alexander then tope con hilo’s after the Bucks. As Alexander comes back in, Thomas catches him with some kicks. He enzuigiri’s Alexander into ACH’s Complete Shot. He drops a knee for two. Coleman gives ACH a leg lariat Hart Attack variation with help from Alexander. Matt blind tags in. ACH backdrops Coleman as Matt comes in. ACH snaps off a Frankensteiner. Matt fights off both Thomas and ACH. ACH flips to the floor where Nick superkicks him. Matt traps Thomas so Nick can give him a superkick. The Bucks send C&C to the floor and isolate Thomas. The Bucks almost have it with a turnbuckle powerbomb/enzuigiri combo but the other three men break the count. Thomas finds the energy to fight them off. Coleman sends Nick to the floor. Coleman spinwheel kicks Matt, falling into a splash onto Nick on the floor. Coleman Waffle Faces Matt so Coleman can hit a top rope legdrop. Matt kicks out. ACH bicycle kicks Coleman into Thomas’ half-nelson suplex. ACH falcon kicks Alexander before coming in with a slingshot Ace Crusher. Nick breaks the cover. Nick sends Thomas tot he corner. Thomas moonsaults onto Matt, Thomas, Coleman, and Alexander. ACH trips Nick to prevent him from diving, then dives out himself. Alexander blocks his slingshot Ace Crusher and hits a tornado kick. Nick superkicks Alexander. Matt superkicks Thomas. They both superkick ACH. Coleman ducks both superkicks and takes them both over at the same time with a Frankensteiner. Alexander dropkicks ACH in the corner. Coleman and Alexander try overtime on Nick. Nick gets his knees up. While Alexander is writing in pain, ACH 450 splashes onto him for the pin at 10:58. That provided exactly as advertised; hot, high-flying action. The ending was really cool and they made sure everybody got time to shine. The Bucks need to be on every show. ***

ROH World Championship Tournament – Opening Round
Kevin Steen vs. Brian Kendrick

Kendrick kicks at Steen’s leg while putting on a wristlock. Steen brings him down in a hammerlock causing Kendrick to put his foot on the ropes. He also gets the ropes when Steen goes after his foot. Kendrick gets in some forarms. Steen shoulder blocks him down. He delivers a dropkick causing Kendrick to retreat to the floor. Kendrick stalls for a while which angers the crowd. Pissed off, Steen decides to chase him back in. He trips Kendrick off the apron. Kendrick blocks a powerbomb onto the ring apron. He then gives Steen the Sliced Bread No. 2 onto the ring frame. Steen makes it back in the ring right before the twenty count. Kendrick dropkicks him instantly. He puts on a sleeper. Steen stands up and backs Kendrick into the corner three times. He then falls back with all of his body weight to escape the hold. Steen throws some forearms and a clothesline. A pump-handle neckbreaker across his knee earns a two count. Kendrick avoids a corner attack. He leg lariats Steen. When he can’t pick up Steen he gives him a chinbreaker. Kendrick lifts him off the second rope for a Death Valley Driver. Steen kicks out. After fighting for position Steen goes for the sharpshooter. When that fails he tries catapulting Kendrick to the corner. Kendrick lands on the second rope and tornado DDT’s Steen for two. Kendrick tries Sliced Bread No. 2 again. Steen counters with the F-Cinq. He goes for the Package Piledriver. Kendrick slides under his legs and superkicks him. Steen blocks another Sliced Bread No. 2 with a sleeper suplex. Kendrick grabs the referee to block a cannonball senton. Kendrick kicks him in the balls. Steen responds with a chokeslam. He pulls off the cannonball senton with success. He rolls Kendrick into the Sharpshooter. Kendrick taps out at 12:48. This was solid but may have fallen short to some people’s expectations. I really like Kendrick’s heel persona but it doesn’t always tend to lead to the most exciting matches. The crowd of course loved the sharpshooter finish and having Steen win was the right call, so I’d say this was a success overall. ***

ROH World Championship Tournament – Quarter-Final Round
Jay Lethal vs. Adam Cole

Lethal beat Sonjay Dutt in the opening round, while Cole defeated Mark Briscoe. Cole takes Lethal to the mat in a side headlock. Lethal tries one of his own, leading to a pinfall exchange. Cole goes back to the side headlock. Cole avoids Lethal’s cartwheel dropkick but gets kicked in the side of the head. Lethal goes for a superkick. Cole catches it and drops him with a neckbreaker. He applies a chinlock. Lethal rolls through a waistlock. He blocks Cole’s superkick and snapmares him into an inverted DDT. Lethal looks for a parachute stretch. Cole instead goes for the figure four. Lethal makes it to the ropes. Cole goes to the floor. He enzuigiri’s Lethal. He gets to the apron. Lethal dropkicks him back to the floor and lands a suicide dive. When they get back in the ring they trade forearms. It ends with Cole giving Lethal a neckbreaker across his knee. He then gives Lethal a Sunset Bomb and a running knee strike for two. Cole attempts the brainbuster onto his knee. Lethal catches him with the Lethal Combination for two. He heads up top. Cole follows. Lethal headbutts him to the mat. Lethal comes off the top. Cole catches him mid-air and tries a figure four. Lethal turns it into a small package. He goes for the Lethal Injection. Cole superkicks him in the back of the head mid-move, then gives him a brainbuster across his knee for two. As Cole picks Lethal up, Lethal gives him a jawbreaker. Cole stops a Lethal Injection with an O’Connor Roll. He delivers an enzuigiri only to eat a superkick. Lethal avoids the figure four and nails a superkick. He heads back up top. Hail to the King only gets a two count. Cole wants the Florida Key. Lethal rolls through and back handsprings into the Lethal Injection. Cole kicks out. Lethal puts him on the top rope. Cole slides out and superkicks Lethal’s leg out. He gives Lethal a German superplex. One superkick and the Florida Key later, Cole gets the pin at 16:44. Jay Lethal continues to have great matches without much credit. The crowd seemed to be a little quiet, perhaps by burn out, but that didn’t stop Cole and Lethal putting their best foot forward and having a great, competitive match. ***¼

With that, Adam Cole is in the Semi-Finals. The other Quarter-Final Round matches will take place at “Manhattan Mayhem V” on August 17th: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Michael Bennett, Kevin Steen vs. Roderick Strong, and Michael Elgin vs. Karl Anderson.

ROH Tag Team Championship
Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov) vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)

Forever Hooligans won the titles from reDRagon in Rhode Island last weekend. Romero kicks Richards to the ropes. They block each others offense until reaching a stalemate. Romero begs not to be kicked in the chest. Richards tries a backdrop but gets dropkicked in the side of the head. Richards begs Romero off, even kissing his boot. Romero stomps on Richards’ hand. Koslov and Richards take turns punching Richards. Romero slingshots Koslov into a splash on Richards for two. Edwards helps out Richards with some headbutts when he tags in. Koslov tries some backslides, the same move used to win the titles, but Edwards kicks out both times. He dropkicks Edwards to the floor. Richards boots Koslov to stop his dive. Koslov ducks Richards’ clotheslines and ends up diving onto Edwards anyways. Romero baits Richards into falling out to the floor. Romero comes off the apron with a knee strike to the face. The Hooligans bully Edwards in their half of the ring while Richards recovers and looks on. When Richards tries coming in Romero puts him in an Octopus Stretch to make him think twice. They get a little overzealous, allowing Edwards to send Koslov to the floor with a Frankensteiner and Romero a running kick to the chest. Richards suplexes Romero for a one count. This begins the Wolves beat down of Richards’ former partner. Romero manages to send Richards to the floor. This turned out to be an error, as he was able to pull Koslov off the apron just before Romero made a tag. Romero gets lucky when Richards accidentally enzuigiri’s Edwards. It allows for Romero to deliver his own kick to Richards and finally tag Koslov in. He springboard crossbody’s onto Edwards and sends him to the corner with a headscissors. He springboard dropkicks Richards and enzuigiri’s Edwards. He delivers a few kicks while dancing. He gets two with a fisherman’s buster. Edwards enzugiri’s Koslov and gives him the Chin Checker for two. Richards kicks Koslov to the mat and delivers a sliding clothesline. Romero grabs Richards’ leg so Koslov can dropkick him in the crown of his head. They set up for the Contract Killer. Richards rolls Koslov into an ankle lock. Edwards rolls Romero into the Achilles Lock at the same time. Both Hooligans roll up the Wolves to escape. Romero blocks the Alarm Clock. Koslov tilt-a-whirl DDT’s Edwards. Richards spinwheel kicks Romero out of Koslov’s arms. Koslov German suplexes Richards but Richards hops up into a double stomp right after before catching his breath. Edwards and Romero exchange strikes. Romero drops Edwards on the top rope and double stomps his back. Koslov drives Romero’s knees into Richards and Edwards in opposing corners. They hit Edwards with a Doomsday knee strike for two. Edwards catches Romero with a dragonscrew leg whip in the ropes. Richards tags in. He heads up top, presumably for a double stomp on the apron which damn near killed Paul London last time. Koslov stops him and sends Edwards to the floor. Romero gives Richards a skyscraper Frankensteiner. Koslov capitalizes with the Russian Star Press. Edwards breaks the pin. The Hooligans set up for the Contract Killer. Edwards boots Romero. He then kicks Koslov into Richards’ tombstone piledriver. Romero eats a yakuza kick/enzuigiri combo. Both Wolves come off the top with double stomps. Richards and Edwards accidentally kick each other shins’. Romero fights back against them both. He takes the Alarm Clock. Richards dives onto Koslov. Edwards powerbombs Romero into Richards’ back cracker for the win and the titles at 26:38. This was about on par with their “11th Anniversary” encounter. The match was almost identical, including the finish. It had the drama of the titles on the line and more time for everybody to show a little bit of character but that’s about the only difference. It was a good high profile bout to end the show but nothing amazing. Such is the story of the Hooligans in ROH. ***½

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