Ring of Honor All Star Extravaganza
Toronto, Ontario at Mattamy Athletic Centre
Report by Dot Net reader Mike Beauvais
It was a nice turnout tonight at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, but what ROH didn't really advertise is that the Mattamy Athletic Centre is owned by Ryerson University. Below the arena is a giant grocery store and probably the largest in downtown Toronto. Not a big deal, except the building, as a whole, is Maple Leaf Gardens.
Maple Leaf Gardens was the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs and a legendary arena for pro wrestling in the northeast. Lou Thesz and Harley Race won NWA titles here. The last show at Maple Leaf Gardens was in September 1995 and the main event saw WWF Champion Diesel defeat Waylon Mercy. Forgive my nostalgizing, but it's a big deal to have wrestling back at Maple Leaf Gardens.
1. Yujiro Kushida defeated Adam Page. A fun match that saw both guys work hard to get the crowd involved. There were some stiff spots, but the finish saw the NJPW star hit the Midnight Express (a corkscrew moonsault) for the win. The crowd liked it.
2. "The Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa defeated Silas Young in an ROH Title Tournament opening round match. Big pop for Ciampa. The crowd was all over Young for the mustache with a variety of chants involving both Thomas Magnum and Ned Flanders (there were some clever chants) and Ciampa played into them, including trying to rip off Young's mustache on a couple of occasions. Ciampa hit Project Ciampa for the win, but Young was great here, heeling it up like crazy.
3. Michael Bennett (w/Maria Kanellis) vs. "Buzzsaw" BJ Whitmer went to a no-contest due to Whitmer suffering a neck injury. As you've probably heard by now, Whitmer was hurt in this match, potentially seriously. The spot in question happened when Bennett hit BJ with a piledriver on the apron. Obviously, that's a dangerous spot to begin with, so it took a couple of minutes to register with the fans that this wasn't a work. Eventually, wrestlers, including Davey Richards and Jay Lethal, came out to check on BJ and he eventually was stretchered out.
Mike Bennett looked extremely uncomfortable and on the verge of tears, if he weren't actually crying. All told, it was probably 20 minutes before the stretcher left and there was a palpable sense of concern across the arena throughout. There was a huge "BJ" chant as he left. It was genuinely scary to watch.
4. Roderick Strong defeated ROH TV Champion Matt Taven (w/Truth Martini, Scarlett Bordeaux, Sylezia Sparks) in an ROH Title Tournament opening round match. A huge reaction for Roddy. This was a very good match that saw Nigel McGuinness (working commentary for TV tapings) threaten to send Scarlett to the back, unless she sat next to him at commentary. The Hoopla Hottie complied, but it didn't stop Truth from interfering on the outside in a sequence that saw Nigel get involved and Taven accidentally superkicking Martini. The finish happened with Strong hitting the Sick Kick followed by a giant backbreaker for the pin.
5. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin over "The Intrepid Traveler" Paul London in an ROH Title Tournament opening round match. A nice pop for London, but the place went nuts for Toronto's Elgin. A very fun match that looked stiff in parts saw Elgin pick up the win with a huge flurry of offense that began with two Buckle Bombs, a backfist and, finally, the Elgin Bomb for the win. Another fine match.
Bobby Cruise announced the intermission and promised an update on BJ Whitmer, but just afterwards, Jimmy Jacobs hopped into the ring and expressed dismay that he wasn't in the title tournament. He said that he had pictures and t-shirts to sell and he'd be doing so during the break. Jacobs did end up selling shirts and posing for pictures and, by the looks of it, was having a great time. He wasn't far from where I was sitting and he was super personable and taking time to talk to everybody.
6. Adrenaline Rush (Tadarius Thomas & ACH) defeated C+C Wrestle Factory (Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander) and the Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) in a three-way dance. A great match that the audience loved. The crowd was into all three teams. The Jacksons were absolutely hilarious with their 3MB-esque mannerisms that had the crowd laughing hard. The finish saw ACH hit a 450 on Alexander for the pin. Everybody worked hard and the crowd was certainly appreciative. One of the matches of the night.
7. "Mr. Wrestling" Kevin Steen defeated Brian "Spanky" Kendrick by submission with the Sharpshooter in an ROH Title Tournament opening round match. The crowd was respectful for Kendrick, but Steen got a superstar reaction and probably the biggest pop of the night. It seemed that Spanky wanted to work heel as the match got underway, but he backed away from that quickly when the crowd didn't want that and didn't go back. A fun match that saw Kendrick hit Sliced Bread #2 on the apron (a manageable spot, for sure, but one that I wonder could have been passed over considering the Whitmer situation,) but eventually succumb to an F-Cinq and the Sharpshooter. Steen was ridiculously over.
8. "The Panama City Playboy" Adam Cole defeated Jay Lethal in an ROH Title Tournament quarterfinal match. Big pop for Lethal. Efficient, if unspectacular, match that saw Cole get the win with the Florida Key. Cole didn't heel it up at all and didn't even hint at a turn here. Nice work from both guys, but it never went into the next gear.
9. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards) defeated Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov & Rocky Romero) to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship. A fantastic match that saw both teams working stiff. Richards is horribly underrated in his ability to work a crowd. The crowd was pro-Wolves until Richards decided to work heel for no good reason. Eddie played it off like he didn't know what Davey was doing, but this turned the crowd onto the Hooligans and the crowd got behind them. Koslov's Russian dancing/knee-drop spot got a great reaction and the crowd was popping for near falls.
The finish saw the Wolves hit a super powerbomb/Lungblower combo on Romero for the win. As the new champs celebrated, the Hooligans got a massive "Please come back" chant from the crowd. After the match, Davey put over the crowd (apologizing for heeling up) and the Hooligans and led everybody in an "ROH" chant.
Another great show in ROH in Toronto, but one marred by the injury to BJ Whitmer.
8/3 ROH All Star Extravaganza results: B.J. Whitmer injury, ROH Tag Title change, first-round ROH Title tournament matches, The Young Bucks vs. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander vs. Adrenaline Rush
Aug 4, 2013 - 02:09 AM
Aug 4, 2013 - 02:09 AM
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