Thanks to Michael Ornelas for this report:
The show has begun, so welcome everyone to the Best in the World LIVE COVERAGE! I am pumped for this show, so not much of an intro here. Let's get to it!
We start the show with Kevin Kelly, Jim Cornette, and Dave Prazak in the ring. General intro and Cornette announced that this is the BIGGEST CROWD in Ring of Honor history. I don't doubt it. This show is a draw. Combined with the crowd and the iPPV buys, this is the most watched Ring of Honor show ever. Tonight we enter a new era in Ring of Honor history. Hype the upcoming TV show. Cornette basically tells haters to eat a dick (I'm paraphrasing). "ROH" says New York City and me in the comfort of my desk chair at home. Are we ready to watch the Ring of Honor wrestlers set this ring on fire today? Let's get this party started.
First out is....BOOM BOOM! COLT CABANA! I like it. Ciampa is out with Nana & Osiris.
Match #1: Colt Cabana vs. Tommaso Ciampa
The code of honor is not followed, so Cabana shakes the hand of Todd Sinclair. We open with a lock up and a clan break. Ciampa starts the match trying to learn how to adapt to Cabana but doesn't know what to make of him. Ciampa catches Cabana's leg off a kick and tosses it to Sinclair, but Cabana blocks the clothesline and gets a shot on the only undefeated roster member in Ring of Honor. Cabana gets a boot up VERY slowly in the corner and Ciampa catches it, but Cabana then elevates himself up and slams the leg down taking Ciampa down as well. That was pretty funny. Cabana stomps the hands of Nana at ringside, but Ciampa is able to nail him and get the first pinfall attempt of the match. Ciampa in charge now. Running knee to the side of Cabana's head in the corner gets another 2. We're about 4 minutes in right now I think. I forgot to start the stopwatch here, but I'm all set up moving forward. Snapmare and a chinlock from Ciampa, but the audience claps Colt to his feet. He's punching Ciampa and trying to mount a comeback. He goes for his middle rope moonsault to the standing Ciampa, but Ciampa drops down and Cabana eats knees! Ciampa in minor control but Cabana gets snake eyes! Jab jab jab jab jab jab rolllllll ELBOW!! Butt bump in the middle of the ring on Ciampa!! 2 count. Cabana gets another boot up in the corner but Ciampa ties him up in between the ropes. German suplex on Colt gets 2! He goes for another suplex...Cabana's out and BILLY GOAT'S CURSE! Ciampa gets to the ropes. Cabana charges with a Flying Asshole in the corner and Ciampa moves. Cabana's up top and Ciampa has him up for a powerbomb. He powerbombs Colt ONTO his knees for three, but that looked...really sloppy. Bummer. That hurts the rating.
Result: Tommaso Ciampa via pinfall @ about 7:38.
My thoughts: Lots of fun comedy here from Colt, but it felt kind of slow and the finisher didn't look too good. Fun bout for sure, but if you missed it, I wouldn't sweat it too much.
Match #2: Mike Bennett vs. Jay Lethal
Big pop AND a "Welcome back!" chant from New York City for Jay Lethal. Then we get a "f--k TNA" chant. The code of honor is not followed. Jay is having some fun and we get a "Randy Savage" chant. That's nice. Finally we lock up after almost a minute and Bennett pushes Lethal into the corner and we get a clean break. Bennett dances around. He's so cocky. I hope he gets his. Another tie up and Bennett gets a hammerlock and again drives Lethal into the corner and breaks cleanly. Side headlock from Bennett, and a shoulder block. Jay is back up, avoids a leapfrog. CHOP! Shoulder block of Lethal's own and another leapfrog evasion plus combo. Armdrag, cartwheel, and a kick to a seated Bennett from Jay. "Lethal" chant. Chop to Bennett in the corner. Whips across the ring and Jay is elevated over to the apron. Shoulder to the midsection, and a hurricanrana over the top! He sends Bennett to the outside. SUICIDE DIVE! "You still got it" from New York. Lol, he's what, 26? Jay gets some shots before Bennett tries to get in and kicks Jay off into the guardrail. The ref reprimands Mike while Brutal Bob SIDEWALK SLAMS LETHAL ONTO THE APRON! Wow, that's the most I've ever seen a manager do. Bennett runs across the apron and gets a jumping clothesline. He rolls Lethal back in and cover him for 2. Rights to Lethal. Jay fights back with some shots the midsection but Bennett cuts him off with a boot to the gut. Vertical suplex gets two for Bennett. Bennett has Jay's arms wrenched back and puts his knee in the back (this is bugging me...someone PLEASE tell me what that move is called. It's so common...). Lethal gets up, tries to roll through but Bennett keeps the hold. Lethal eventually gets out and dodges a corner clothesline from Bennett, hanging him up. Clothesline from Lethal. Handspring back elbow!! Jay's on the middle rope and gets a single leg kick to Bennett for two. Jay is going up top!! Brutal Bob is up, but Lethal knocks him down! Bennett gets a right to Lethal though. He's got him up for a top-rope superplex and NAILS it! 1...2...no! Crowd is pretty quiet for anything Bennett does, but this is actually a pretty good match. Bennett goes up top! Bob is telling him no. Elbow drop gets nothing but canvas. Superkick from Jay!! Lethal is on the top rope...SAVAGE ELBOW!! I think he calls it the Lethal Injection? 1....2....3!!
Result: Jay Lethal via pinfall @ 9:44.
My thoughts: This was a really fun bout, and I welcome Lethal in Ring of Honor with open arms. Bennett has grown leaps and bounds and I enjoyed this one. Lethal didn't CARRY the match either, which surprised me (in a good way). Good match up.
After the match we get Jay inducing a pretty great "ROH" chant whenever he hits the respective letter on the canvas.
Next up is the BARRIO STREET FIGHT. Homicide is out first and he's got a mic. He calls Rhino "Nana's b---h boy from Detroit". He says we're in the greatest city in the world and the lights dim for the Man Beast. Rhino is met with a great ovation. This should be good.
Match #3: Homicide vs. Rhino
Rhino slides in and they start brawling immediately. Rhino is in early control, but Homicide turns that around with a headscissor takedown that sends Rhino to the floor. Tope con hilo from Homicide!!! Cide throw Rhino back into the ring and covers for nothing. Rhino gets a flapjack on Homicide and punts his gut. Vaulting body press to the outside from Rhino misses!! Homicide puts Rhino on the timekeepers table and looks for a piledriver from the apron. Rhino backdrops Homicide off the apron though and Cide goes through the table! Rhino pulls a ladder out from under the ring and throws it inside! He goes for Homicide but he's fighting back. Mounted punches in the corner of the outside and Homicide bites Rhino. Homicide is chasing Nana but Rhino stops him. Throws 187 into the barricade and gets a running kick! Back in the ring, Rhino has the ladder and jabs it into the midsection of Homicide. Rhino wants a suplex onto the ladder, but Cide reverses position and hits a suplex of his own! Homicide perches the ladder against the bottom rope. Rhino tosses Cide into the ladder! Ouch! Military press to Homicide and a drop into the ladder and Rhino taunts the crowd! 1....2...no! Nana is complaining on the apron. Shots from Rhino but Cide reverses it. Rhino puts Cide up for a DVD but 187 slides off and drops Rhino into the middle turnbuckle. Diving shoulder tackle off the top from Homicide gets 2. He goes for a lariat but Rhino blocks it. PILEDRIVER from Rhino. He stalls for a second, hooks the leg, and pins Cide...1....2...no!!! "f--k you Rhino" chants and Rhino loves it. Rhino sets Homicide up top. He wants a superplex but Homicide is fighting back, pushing Rhino to the floor. Body splash eats knees. Rhino is looking for the Gore!! Cide kicks Rhino though and nails an Ace Crusher! 1...2....nope!! Homicide rolls to the floor and he's looking for a weapon. A table is his choice. Wise decision! He puts it in the ring and goes to set it up. Rhino clubs the back of Homicide before it's up and sets it up in the corner now. I feel like I've seen how this ends before...Anyways, back up, belly to belly suplex from Rhino and Homicide is down in front of the corner with the table. GORE ATTEMPT!! NO! Homicide jumps over him and gets a BEAUTIFUL sunset flip! 1....2....3!!! Homicide wins!
After the match, Nana is in the ring and Homicide is trying to mess him up...but no! Rhino hits the GORE THROUGH THE TABLE! It's being sold like death as there are already many in the ring crew checking on Homicide as The Embassy retreat to the back.
Result: Homicide via pinfall @ about 10:20.
My thoughts: I know that a motivated Rhino can be a good thing, but damn, this was much better than even my high hopes for the match. Everything was well-executed and if Homicide is really departing from the company for now, this gets the Gore over in a HUGE way. I approve.
Next up is Steve Corino vs. Michael Elgin. Corino is out first and he's with Jimmy Jacobs. I'm really loving this angle and will have a massive fangasm if we see Steen's face tonight. No homo of course. LOTS of streamers for Corino. Steve Corino has a mic and he's met with "We Want Steen" chants. Meee tooo New York...me too. "New York City and everyone watching around the world. My name is Steve Corino and I'm an evil person. But everyday, me and Jimmy Jacobs are trying to get a little bit better." He talks about Jimmy Jacobs telling him that he needed to make a change and they've done it. But there's someone else that wants to make a change. "Mr. Wrestling" chants. "Jim Cornette, ROH officials, and the new owners...I'm sorry. I'm sorry for what I had to do, but everyone deserves a second chance. Ladies and gentlemen: Mr. Wrestling, Kevin Steen! Steen is up in the balcony! He was disgused as a fan as he pulled off something that was covering him. He goes to jump the guardrail but officials, Cornette, refs, and the ring crew won't let him take a step further. Streamers are being thrown at the guy and he's turned away. People boo and then fire up a "Mr. Wrestling" chant and it is very loud. Steen offers his hand to Jim Cornette and he shakes it. But then Kevin Steen turns around and leaves peacefully. "Bulls--t" Michael Elgin jumps into the ring and the match is on!
Match #4: Steve Corino vs. Michael Elgin
Shots to Corino and a chop before Corino starts to get pumped up and fights back. A couple slams to Elgin and Corino is in control. Irish whip to the corner and a running chop! Another chop and Elgin piefaces Corino. They go face to face before Elgin gives Corino a boot to the gut. Shoulder tackles in the corner. Whips Corino across the ring, and Steve avoids Elgin. Back suplex! Clothesline to Elgin doesn't take him down. Another one and Elgin rebounds with a clothesline of his own, but Steve gets the abdominal stretch! He struggles to avoid the thumb in the butt, but delivers it to a pretty good ovation. Elgin rolls to the floor. Suicide dive CAUGHT BY ELGIN and he has him on his shoulder and gets an Oklahoma slam using the barricade! Martini taunts the crowd as Jacobs rallies Corino to his feet. Back into the ring and Corino hits Elgin in the face but gets powered into the corner. Elgin eats two boots before Corino goes for a downward spiral, but Elgin fights him off. Northern lights suplex from Elgin! 1..2...kickout from Corino. Elgin seems to be setting up for a packaged piledriver! Corino backdrops him out. Corino charges Elgin in the corner but eats post. Elgin gets up top and gets a Boston Crab in the turnbuckle!! He releases before 5. Series of clotheslines to Steve and he goes for a third not in the corner, but Corino turns it into a discus clothesline! Corino sets up for the sliding lariat but Truth trips him up! Jimmy Jacobs has Martini by the hair but Elgin grabs him. Schoolboy from Corino! He's out at two but Corino keeps it going and gets a running knee to the head. Up at 2! Elgin manages to hit a very impressive combo on Steve including a superkick and a suplex but he refuses to pin him! He then gets a sitout powerbomb! 1...2...NO! A spinning powerbomb follows that and gets the 3 for Elgin.
After the match, Elgin and Truth beatdown Corino. Jacobs gets in there and starts to unload on Elgin before getting hit by the Book of Truth. Elgin has Jacobs in position for a powerbomb and nails it. KEVIN STEEN IS HERE! HE JUMPS THE RAILS AND GETS A TOSS-UP POWERBOMB ON ELGIN! Truth nails Steen with the Book of Truth but it doesn't faze him! SUPERKICK to Martini! Cornette is trying to get Steen to leave but Corino tells NYC to chant "Let him talk". Steen has the mic and says all he wants is to make things right. He wants the chance to apologize. He wants to tell Steve, Jim, ROH, the fans, and the new owners..."My name is Kevin Steen....and f--k RING OF HONOR!!" Packaged piledriver to Corino and the ringside area swarms on Steen. "Ole" chants as Kevin Steen is escorted out of the building. Jim Cornette swears on his mother's grave that this is the last that anyone here will see of Steen in Ring of Honor. NYC chants "We Want Steen".
Result: Michael Elgin via pinfall @ about 8:26.
My thoughts: Wow....that was an unbelievable segment. The pre-match promo, match, and post-match segment get ***** from me, but my rating is just for the match. Elgin is quite capable and I'm really appreciating his growth. At first I had no interest in the new talents in Ring of Honor, but I'm quickly becoming fans of Elgin, Bennett, and Ciampa. Great stuff.
Back from intermission and Kevin Kelly tells us that Corino is being treated medically in back. The TV title match is up next. Generico is out first and he's showered with the largest streamer treatment of the night so far. Daniels is out next and gets a couple streamers as well. He's also very...gyrate-y, and he's rubbing the belt suggestively. Hopefully he's not taking on a more sexual gimmick. I have no desire to see that...
Match #5 for the Ring of Honor Television Championship: Christopher Daniels (c) vs. El Generico
The match starts abruptly when Daniels jumps Generico and takes charge for the first minute. Generico finally gets some momentum behind him and backflips off the top rope over Daniels, landing on his feet, and gets a couple armdrags sending Daniels to the floor. Baseball slide through the ropes and Generico is pursuing Daniels on the floor. Whip into the barricade! Daniels flips off Generico and EG gets a big chop to the chest. The ref's count is at 17. Daniels breaks the count. Daniels whips Generico into the barricade, but he jumps up and moonsaults off it! Ole....ole ole ole... ole.....ole!! Indeed New York. Daniels throws Daniels back into the ring and the Fallen Angel is begging for mercy. He offers his hand but Generico is hesitant. He gives in as Daniels makes his way to his feet. b---h slap for a b---h on Daniels! Generico gets mounted punches in the corner, but Daniels pushes him off and they're both down after a clothesline from Daniels. Daniels is up first and punches the supine luchador repeatedly. Choke with a boot. Choke across the second rope. Daniels runs across the ring and hits Generico with his thigh. JARRETT STRUT! "f--k TNA" as Daniels smiles. Drop toe hold from the champ sends Generico into the middle rope. Knee to the masked man. Guillotine on the apron. Daniels is on the apron and teases a 450 but instead just chokes Generico with his shin. Crowd boos and Daniels starts his own "I still got it" chant that the crowd soon turns into "Austin Aries" for some reason. Sweet. Sunset flip by Generico! 1...2...no! Daniels takes back the advantage and gets some headscissor chokes in the ropes on El Generico, breaking before 5 each time. Daniels taunts and then pins for 2. Chinlock from Daniels. Generico works his way up to his feet but Daniels knocks him back down. Cobra clutch from Daniels and Generico is out. He runs into a powerslam into a body slam. Arabian press from gets 2. Hard chops by Daniels in the corner. Generico starts to fight back, but is thwarted for his efforts. Whip to Generico into the corner and he EXPLODES out with some clotheslines! Generico ducks Daniels and he's sent over the top to the floor. Flipping senton over the top rop to the floor!! OLE! Back in the ring. HUGE top rope cross body from EG!! 1....2...no! Crowd is applauding Generico on! He goes for a back suplex and Daniels fights out. Generico pulls him BACK in and gets the Blue Thunder Powerbomb!! 1...2...no! Generico wants the half Nelson suplex but Daniels gets a downward spiral and the KOJI CLUTCH is locked in! Crowd cheering EG on...and he gets his foot on the rope! Daniels is forced to break. Chinbreaker from Daniels and he wants Angels Wings...and Generico backdrops him over! Daniels is able to hit Last Rites though! 1....2...Generico gets the shoulder up!! Generico uses Daniels tights to pull himself up and take a forearm to the face. Another one. He blocks the third and connects with a right! They trade shots! Boo! Yay! Boo! Yay! Yay! Yay! Boo! Boo! Boo! Series of counter and Generico eats a palm strike. Daniels eats a big boot! Generico wants a Brainbuster but Daniels powers into the corner!! YAKUZA KICK FROM EG!! BRAINBUSTER! 1...2....THR-NO!! Ole chants!! Generico puts Daniels in the Tree of Woe and heads to the adjacent corner! FLIPPING COAST TO COAST! 1....2....3!!! Daniels had his arms on the rope! Great camera work to hide it from us!! They're on the apron now and Generico wants a BBuster! Daniels rakes the eyes though and tosses Generico into a ring crew guy AND the barricade! Daniels gets a vertical suplex on the floor! Daniels tells the ref to start the count and the Fallen Angel is already strapping his championship belt back on inside the ring. Very nice heel tactic there. Generico is back in! Daniels yells at him that he should have stayed on the floor. BIG overhand chop from EG. Release uranage from Daniels and he signals for the BME. He goes for it and Generico gets the boot up!! YAKUZA KICK! He sets him up top...BRAINBUSTAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! 1....2....3!! New champion!!!
Result: El Generico via pinfall @ about 19:26 to become the NEW Ring of Honor Television Champion
My thoughts: Man, now I really want Revolution: Canada to come out on DVD so I can see their non-title bout there! Generico was showered with streamers post-match and that's how I felt about the encounter. Great stuff here and they have excellent chemistry with one another. And FINALLY El Generico wins some singles gold in Ring of Honor.
The Kings of Wrestling are out first for their match and the guy who does their entrance them is rapping it live. That was pretty cool. Next out are King and Titus. The Briscoes follow with a new look. Jay's got a skull mask for the lower half of his face (a bandana) and Mark has a USA themed one. They're in pants. I like it. Here come the champions, Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team.
Match #6 for the Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship: Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (c) vs. The Kings of Wrestling vs. The All Night Express vs. The Briscoes
Forgive me a head of time because I'm pretty bad at getting all the action during multi-man matches. We start with Haas and Titus. Haas rolls out of the ring and gives his shirt to a young fan and hold him up to a nice pop. They tie up and Haas gets a take down and rides Titus, grabbing a front chancery, and holding it during a roll. Titus is up and tries to send Haas into the corner, but Charlie kicks the leg of Titus and is now working it after a sweep and a leg lock. Rhett finds a unique way out and ends up with an abdominal stretch. Hip toss by Haas and he sends Titus to the apron. He runs into a shoulder Rhett goes for a slingshot but Charlie repositions and turns it into a backbreaker! Very nice! 1....2...kickout. We now get a tag to Kenny King. Charlie tags Shelton. This should be fun. "This is wrestling" chant. Lock up from the two and it's at a stalemate so they break it up. Another lock up and Shelton gets a side headlock. King launches Shelton into the ropes but gets a shoulder block. King gets up, leapfrogs Shelton, and gets a nice dropkick! The two lock up again and another side headlock from Benjamin. King is muscling out but then elbows Shelton in the gut and gets a headlock of his own. Shelton lifts him over but King rolls through and has the headlock on the ground now. Back to their feet and Shelton tosses Kenny off. Kenny ducks the dragon whip! Shelton ducks the cartwheel kick from King, catches him on his shoulder and Kenny escapes. Middle rope crossbody from Benjamin! Nice exchange there. Tag to Haas. Something's hit and he gets a two count. King knocks Mark Briscoe to the ground and Claudio tags Haas on the back. Claudio teases the big swing on King but instead drops an elbow. He teases an uppercut but gets a side headlock takeover. Kenny is on his feet and tries to push Claudio off him, but Claudz holds onto the headlock. King tries to muscle out and Claudio pushes him into his corner. Tag to Hero. Double big boot and a KoW taunt. 1 count for Hero when he chooses to finally pin King. Chop knocks King down and Hero stomps him. King gets a flurry of shots and runs the ropes. Mark Briscoe gets the knee up at the ropes and King knocks both Briscoes off the apron. King tags Titus and gets a monkey flip on Hero, then Rhett gets a big dropkick. I feel like that was supposed to be one double team move, not two singles moves, but whatever. Tag to King. Manhattan drop and a diving move from King gets 2. Another tag to Titus. Running boot to the arm of Hero. Short arm clothesline. Two count. Rhett wrenches the arm and shoulder blocks the shoulder of Hero several times. Side headlock on Hero and we get a tag to Claudio. Rhett runs into an uppercut. Claudio poses, and gives a leg drop to Titus. He's twisting the head of Titus as he fights back up. Snapmare from Claudio and Claudio wrenches the neck some more. Rhett gets up and Claudio pushes him into the Briscoes corner. They EXPLODE on Rhett. They then cheap shot the WGTT so Haas is in! Valuting body press to Jay on the floor. Mark sends Titus over the top onto his brother and WGTT. The Kings and Mark in the ring and Mark elevates Claudio to the floor. He moonsaults off the top rope onto the heap of bodies. King and Hero in the ring. Big boot from Chris Hero and Hero gets a moonsault OVER the top rope onto the pile of bodies!! Kenny King is the last one in the ring. He climbs up top but Claudio stops him. Claudio is on the apron, and climbs to the second rope! He is setting something up...but SHELTON JUMPS UP AND SUPLEXES THEM BOTH INTO THE RING!! The Briscoes attack Benjamin and get double team shoulder blocks. Haas is knocked off the apron and it seems like Jay and Shelton are active right now. Tag to Mark. Middle rope fist drop on Shelton gets two. Mark and Shelton go at it until Mark drops down and Shelton runs into a leg lariat from Jay. I may have mixed up the Briscoes there, but I don't know. Anyways, Jay has a reverse chinlock on Shelton right now. Shelton makes his way to his feet but Jay gets him back down. Hero catches Jay by surprise with a tag and he's the legal man now. He grabs Shelton by the leg, drags him across the ring and tags Claudio for a double team leg split. Frequent tags between the Kings and they've done this three times now. Claudio's the legal man and he's got the arm of Benjamin locked up. Shelton gets to his feet and lays on Claudio with some rights. Mark Briscoe gets the blind tag on Hero and he suplexes Shelton. 1...2...kickout. We're 20 minutes in with no elimination yet. Shots to the upper back of Benjamin. Shelton avoids Jay and tags Charlie Haas! He's taking it to the Briscoes! Suplex to Jay! Suplex to Mark! Haas is on fire but Rhett steals his thunder with a blind tag. Jump-over fameasser from Rhett on Mark. He catches a slingshot shoulder block from Jay and makes it a Northern Lights suplex! Mark gets a huge avalanche on Rhett though and the momentum is now with the Briscoes. Double team moves get the Briscoes 2 on Titus. King and Jay in the ring now. Big boot from Jay. Mark pulls King up for Jay to NAIL him with a neckbreaker! We see the Doomsday Device rolled through and pins are traded, but unsuccessful! Michinoku Driver from Jay on Rhett. 1....2...NO!! Jay wants the Jay Drillah, but King breaks it up. King gets a jumping spinkick on Mark and gets shotgun knees on Jay. Royal Flush from King and Rhett drops the knee across the face!! 1....2...3! The Briscoes are gone at 24:14. The Briscoes make their way to the back in a surprisingly peaceful manner.
Claudio is in with Rhett now. He gets sent to the floor after a tag from Shelton and the All Night Express start working over Benjamin. Rhett and Benjamin trade rights in the middle of the ring. Kick to the midsection from Benjamin and he goes for a dropkick but Rhett held on to the top rope...but he was also blindly tagged by Hero and Shelton gets hit with a running senton! Hero charges Benjamin into the boot of Claudio and tags him in. Camel clutch from Castagnoli. Shelton powers up after about a minute and gets an Electric Chair Drop on Claudio. Hero manages a tag and he big boots Haas off the apron before taking it to Shelton. Stomps on the co-champion. Sliding boot to the side of the head of Benjamin is good for 2. Tag to Claudio. They double whip Benjamin sternum-first into the corner. Claudio gets an uppercut before tagging Hero. Hero whips Claudio into the elbow of Shelton and Benjamin sends Hero over the top! He wants a tag but Claudio grabs the leg...DRAGON WHIP to Claudio! Shelton goes for the tag but Haas isn't there! Hero pulled him to the floor. Boot from Claudio and he gets a series of strikes before tagging Hero back in. Benjamin catches a double boot, rolls under and tags Kenny King! King is totally taking it to Hero. He flips off a back toss attempt from Hero and lands on his feet! Urinage, elbow, standing moonsault! King fights off Claudio and gets a spinebuster on Hero! Leg cradle suplex! 1...2...no! Series of kicks from the ANX and Tituts is the legal man now. Hero gets a rolling elbow! 1...2...NO!! Tag to Claudio and we get the Kings get their cradle double powerbomb on Titus for 2. Ricola bomb is what Claudio wants but he doesn't get it. BIG boot from Rhett! Powerbomb/springboard neckbreaker combo from the ANX but Del Rey distracts the ref!! GOLDEN ELBOW FROM HERO! Titus is out and 3 seconds later, the ANX is eliminated around 34:30.
Haas grabs the loaded elbow pad off of Hero's arm and THROWS IT INTO THE CROWD! The Kings make Haas pay and they beat on him for the next minute, making some frequent tags. Hero is back in and they tried the release suplex/Death Blow/European uppercut combo but Haas ducks and sends Hero into Claudio. German suplex on Hero broken up at 2. Tag to Shelton and he's taking it to both men! Double DDT to the Kings!! Shelton goes for the pin on Hero and gets a very close two count. Tag to Haas. WGTT goes for and HITS the Broken Arrow. Angle slam from Haas! 1...2...Claudio breaks it up! Shelton sends Claudio to the outside. Haas runs into a knee from Hero and CYCLONE KILL CONNECTS!!! Man I love that move (it's the rolling big boot). Tag to Claudio who jumps on the pin. 1....2....no! UFO FROM CLAUDZ!!! Holy crap! He held that with no hands for at least 6 or 7 seconds it felt like! 1...2....Shelton breaks it up!! King Swing!!! Hero has Shelton trapped! 1....2....NO!!!! Haas kicked out! Haas fights out of the KRS ONE and sends Hero into Claudio over the top! HUGE double team spinebuster from WGTT!! 1....2...3!
After the match, Jay & Mark Briscoe return to the ring with steel chairs and nail the champs in the head! The Kings of Wrestling beg for reason, so The Briscoes keep pounding on the champs while Hero and Claudio direct them. The All Night Express are here with a kendo stick and a metal pole as they fend off the heels. Haas is doing a great sell job of the attack. The ANX have the belts in their hands and were going to give them back to the champs presumably, but they were carried out under the ropes, leaving Titus and King in the ring with the belts alone. Then we cut to a recap of the Davey/Eddie build-up. Interesting cut as that felt incomplete, but I liked it.
Result: Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team via pinfall @ 40:08.
My thoughts: The last 25 minutes of this match were great, but I thought it started a little slow. I understand the feeling out process, and it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the match too much...but it could have been ****1/2 with just a little bit of a faster pace to start. This was a great, great match and I wouldn't be surprised if I like it more on second viewing.
Now we get ready for da bizniss...and I am pumped.
Davey has some new entrance gear and Eddie out's next. Davey and Eddie both get HUGE streamer treatment and the crowd seems about 60/40 in favor of Richards here.
Davey howls after the ring bell is rung. Davey's in trunks, not tights here. They tie-up to start and very aggressively struggle for an advantage. Davey gets Eddie in the ropes and gives the clean break. Another lock up and now Eddie gets Richards against the ropes and teases the clean break. He goes for a chop! Davey ducks it. Crowd is now 70/30 for Davey in their dueling chants. Davey clutches the wrist and Eddie rolls through, then vice verse. Eddie almost gets the Achilles Lock, but then Davey almost gets an ankle lock, and they break. Test of strength here and Eddie is powering Davey over. Davey bridges up and powers Eddie over and there's an escape. Danielson-style maneuvering while holding onto the arm and a snapmare from Davey leads to a big kick to the back of Eddie. They go at it and Davey hits that combo again and then gets another running kick to the CHEST of Eddie! Very nice. Davey hits a snap suplex on Eddie and covers for 1. He locks the arm over and gets a Texas Cloverleaf!! Love that hold so much. Eddie's reaching for the ropes and he gets them. Davey breaks at 2. Knee to the gut of Eddie. Again. Boot the midsection in the corner and a whip across the ring. Eddie goes over Davey and rolls him up for two. Fireman carry facebuster gets 1 for Eddie. HUGE chop to the chest of Richards knocks him down. Gutwrench suplex and a pin attempt from Eddie. Abdominal stretch from the champ and Edwards digs his elbow into the ribcage of the challenger. Davey gets the ropes with his foot and Eddie breaks at 4. Hard chop from Eddie and forearms from Davey before a big boot from the champ for a 1 count. Eddie's doing a good job of showing signs of a subtle heel. Strikes to Davey. Big chop the chest of Davey and his chest is already red. Headbutt from Edwards. He goes for a running something but is elevated over the top to the floor. Davey on the apron goes for a running chest kick but Eddie ducks. Davey catches him with it after turning around though. Davey gets in the ring and hits a Suicide Dive!! "This is wrestling" chant. Davey rolls Eddie back in and goes up top. Wolf howl. Missile dropkick to the back of Eddie! He goes for a running something but eats boot. He pulls Eddie off the top by his foot though and into a stiff kick to the chest. He charges Eddie in the corner but he moves. Davey goes up top but eats an enziguiri. Backpack chinbreaker seemingly hit by Eddie but Richards falls out of it into a cross armbreaker!!! Eddie's keeping the elbow bend and fights to his feet. Northern Lights Suplex from the champion....but Eddie grabs a Kimura!! Back to their feet and the champ is backed into the corner and eats some boots to the chest. Yum. Edwards perches up top and a kick to the face. Davey looks for a superplex and they're battling with headbutts up top!!! Enziguiri by Davey! Another headbutt to the jaw of the champ! Top rope superplex!! He rolls through and hits a Danielson special! He's got the champ in a cross armbreaker!! Eddie gets out and locks in the Achilles lock!! Davey is up and gets another cross armbreaker! Eddie rolls through but Davey holds on and has him trapped! 1....2.....no!! That was close! Kicks to the chest of the champ and an Irish whip is handsprung by Davey...Eddie catches Davey in midair and gets sitout suplex slam! They trade control and Davey goes for an Alarm Clock...but Eddie transitions it into a Fisherman buster!! 1...2....no! Chops from the champ as we get dueling chants for the two. Chop from Eddie and he goes to the second rope for a diving double knee facebreaker! Davey dodges a clothesline and gets a cross armbreaker!! Eddie gets up and starts stomping Davey's face!! Davey locks the arm back into position, and Eddie finally gets back up and stomps his way out. Davey rolls to the apron, seated, and Eddie gets a running kick to the back! Eddie gets an Asai moonsault and catches Davey but ends up across the barricade! "ROH" chants as both men are down.
Back in the ring, Eddie goes up top and gets a missile dropkick on Davey. Eddie is grabbing his knee. Tiger suplex gets two!! Both men back up and they trade forearms. Davey ends up with the control and gets a flurry of forearms against the ropes and takes off running. Eddie catches him with a leg lariat! Both men are on the apron and Eddie looks to be going for a suplex. SUPERKICK from Eddie! 2K1 BOMB ON THE APRON!!!!! The 20 count gets to 14 before Eddie gets into the ring and 17 before Davey TRIES to get into the ring, but Eddie superkicks him in the face!! Davey falls onto the announce table...DOUBLE STOMP OFF THE TOP ROPE THROUGH THE TABLE!! "You just killed him" chants. I really like the ROH fans chants...Davey back in the ring and starts getting to his feet, but Eddie double stomps him again off the ropes!! 1...2....no!!! Davey is still alive! He gets a kick to the chest of Eddie as he approaches. He has Eddie's leg over the middle rope (Davey's on the apron). Dragon screw!! Eddie is hung up. Davey goes up top. DOUBLE STOMP!!! Davey has a second wind, and he locks in the ankle lock!! Eddie gets close to the ropes and Davey pulls him back!! Eddie finally makes the ropes and kicks Davey in the head with his other leg. "This is awesome". Davey kicks Eddie in the back of the knee. He places Eddie up top for a back superplex, but Eddie elbows him off. Davey gets a forearm to the back and climbs up again. Pushed off again. Series of headbutts to the back of the champ's head!! Davey steps up to the top...RELEASE GERMAN SUPERPLEX!! Flying forearm!! Running spinning heel kick throws Eddie into the corner. German suplex!! 1....2...no!! Davey gets the ankle lock on Eddie!! The champ reverses it and gets one of his own! It's grapevined!! Davey spins it through again but has the legs in an Indian Deathlock as well!!! Eddie makes the ropes and we're 27:30 in.
They've both rolled to the apron and Richards wants a powerbomb through another table at ringside! Eddie gets out and Davey kicks Eddie in the chest! Again! Aga---Eddie ducks and Davey kicks the turnbuckle post instead and falls onto the actual announcer's table!! Both men back up on different sides of the apron and they climb the same turnbuckle. Eddie dragon screws the injured leg of Richards, as Richards is perched up top. Davey forearms the leg of Eddie and goes for a TOP ROPE GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB!! EDDIE REVERSES IT IN MIDAIR FOR A HURRICANRANA! Clothesline from Eddie and a sitout powerbomb!! 1....2...no!! Another lariat and a 2K1 bomb from the champ!! 1....2....no!! It's converted into the Achilled lock on the injured leg of Davey in the middle of the ring!! Davey spins through but Eddie kicks the back of his head! They trade kicks and Eddie locks in a Cloverleaf! Davey tried to get out but Eddie turns it into a pin! 1...2...no!! Both men are down. Saito suplex from Richards!! Saito suplex from Edwards!! Both men almost get counted down for the 10 count but they're on their knees. They are face to face and trade rights. Big chop from the champ is responded to with a big kick. Another chop, another kick. Third exchange, fourth, fifth, sixth and Davey gets a spinning heel kick. Lariat from Davey! 1...2...no!! "Davey" chants. They make their way up and ANOTHER LARIAT! Eddie's up at 1!!! Series of kicks ending with a kick to the head of the champ gets 2!!! Two superkicks and another roundhouse to the head from Davey!! 1....2....nooooo!! Spinning heel kick knocks Eddie down. Running kick to the face!! 1......2.....3!!!!
The crowd is dead as Davey's music plays for a few minutes...then when the music stops they give huge applause, "That was awesome" and "Match of the year" chants. That was weird. Both men sell the match for a few minutes and they make their way to their feet. They hug in the middle of the ring as the crowd chants "ROH" and then "Best in the World". Davey is in tears as Eddie raises his hand before leaving the ring.
Result: Davey Richards via pinfall @ 36:00
My thoughts: Wow. This was easily my favorite of the three Davey championship matches. The immediate post-match vibe was weird, but that doesn't detract that this was a superb encounter. There were definitely some down periods of selling, but always in the right places. There weren't any unbelievable kick-outs and this is my Match of the Year right now.
Davey has a microphone and he motions Eddie back in the ring. While we get "Davey Richards" chants. Then "Eddie Edwards" chants. Davey talks about how he has no family and all you guys (he's in the ring with Eddie, Kyle O'Reilly, Tony Kozina, and one more face I don't know) are his family. Very heart-felt and he thanks everyone in the crowd. This truly feels like a great moment in his life and it's a great moment in Ring of Honor history. With what we glad, I'm really glad we didn't get the expected heel turn. Davey is talking about how Eddie is a great person and Eddie steals the mic and tells Davey to enjoy HIS moment. He asks for people to pardon him for doing this, but he looks up and says "Hey grandma, hey grandpa...I DID IT!" We close the show and this was probably the best Ring of Honor moment I've witnessed in the two years I've been following Indy wrestling.
Overall show thoughts: Order this show. Period. A very steady build in quality, two changes to very deserving challengers and Ring of Honor's championship scene looks almost identical to how I would want it. The Kevin Steen stuff before the intermission was the secondary reason I ordered this show, and the main event delivered exactly what I wanted it to. What a match. The only thing that really didn't do it for me was the opener, but that was only like 10 minutes of a nearly 4 hour show.
Show rating: ****3/4
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