2/25 ROH in Dayton, Oh.: Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas, and Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong and The Kings of Wrestling, Homicide vs. El Generico, Christopher Daniels vs. Michael Elgin
ROH Live Event
Report by Dot Net reader D.J. Peckens
This was my first Ring of Honor show in over two years, so I was definitely excited for this particular event, especially since this was a stacked card and it gave me the opportunity to check out some of the newer members of the roster.
In attendance in the crowd at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds were "Sexy" Sean Casey (a Brian Pillman trainee who was under a WWE Developmental deal at one point), one of the Crist Brothers (a.k.a. the "Irish Airborne") and the two WWE Superfans who usually wear the neon pink and green windbreakers and sit in the front row of many WWE events, such as WrestleMania 23. They were more "incognito" tonight, having left their neon windbreakers at home.
Jim Cornette and his wife Stacey (a.k.a. "Synn," who managed Batista while he was Leviathan in OVW) had a table set up where Cornette was signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. On my autographed picture, he added the inscription "Screw TNA!" much to my amusement. I was also able to get a picture with both James E. and Stacey.
Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas were supposed to sign autographs at a meet-and-greet prior to the show from 7-8 PM, but travel issues prevented Haas from getting to the building until almost bell time, so the autograph session was moved to intermission.
We were informed by the ring announcer before the pre-show match that, despite the all the snow and inclement weather in the Midwest, everyone advertised on the card made it to the show.
Mike Sydal defeated "Hot Commodity" Matt Mason in a pre-show match. Nice to finally get a chance to see the brother of Evan Bourne wrestle in person. Mason was billed from Columbus, Ohio and cut a pre-match promo running down the city of Dayton.
1. Jay Briscoe defeated Kyle O’Reilly. Hot opener to get the crowd into the action early on in the show. Likely the best pre-intermission match. I was really impressed by Kyle O’Reilly, who put on a good performance. Briscoe acknowledged O’Reilly after the match concluded, shaking hands with him and urging the fans to give him a round of applause.
Todd Sinclair came out to ref his first match of the night. 99% of the crowd s*** all over him except for the four guys in the front row wearing "Todd Sinclair Fan Club" shirts. God help them.
2. The Bravado Brothers (Lance and Harlem) defeated Steve Corino and Grizzly Redwood. Corino cut a decent promo prior to the match, talking about how Dayton was one of the cities he actually liked since one of his first pay-per-views was here in the city. ECW Heatwave ’99, I’m guessing. He then went on to apologize for being the reason that Kevin Steen was no longer in ROH and put over Grizzly, saying that he would not suffer the same fate. Corino also advised The Bravado Brothers not to act like "jackasses" anymore or they would end up like him.
"I’m 38. I’m fat, disgusting, scarred, single," Corino said. The "single" part actually drew some cat-calls from the women in the Dayton crowd. Funny. Corino then said asked one of the Bravados what their grandmother would think of them, and then the Bravados jumped Corino and Grizzly to start the match. Some fans started a "F--- your grandma!" chant that Corino obviously wanted no part of. Corino’s still a good worker for being 38 years old. One of the Bravados rolled up Corino for the win. One fan yelled out to him, "You should have picked Jack Victory as your partner!" to a lot of laughter.
3. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett (w/"Brutal" Bob Evans) defeated Mark Briscoe. Slow match that never really picked up save for a few Briscoe high-spots in the middle of the match. Of the two Briscoe matches on the card, the opener was much better than this one. "Brutal" Bob got a lot of "Popeye" chants from the crowd. Bennett won after a low blow while the official was distracted by Bob on the ring apron.
4. Colt "Boom Boom" Cabana defeated "Addicted to Love" Rhett Titus, Mike Mondo, and "Right Leg" Andy Ridge in a four corner survival match. All four guys worked really hard in this match. First and foremost, let me say that I will hate WWE forever for "future endeavoring" Colt Cabana. The man is an entertaining wrestler, plain and simple. He was teasing Ridge throughout the match and started off by asking, "Andy Ridge, you still work for this company?" Funny spot before the match…a fan threw streamers into the ring and it caught Cabana right square in the face. Naturally, he acted like it knocks him out until Sinclair gives him mouth-to-mouth to "resuscitate" him. Hilarious.
Cabana whipped his jacket at the announcer sitting ringside, who promptly fell off his chair to the mat. Cabana left the ring and helped him up to rousing applause. Mondo got a lot of "Mikey!" and "Spirit Squad" chants, but those died down once he responded with, "Oh…that’s real creative, you remember something from four years ago!" Cabana submitted Ridge to the Billy Goat’s Curse.
5. ROH Television Champion "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels defeated Michael Elgin (w/Truth Martini). Big pop for Daniels. Disappointed that we didn’t get to see the "Angel’s Wings" or the "Best Moonsault Ever," but it’s still great to see Daniels work in the "Fallen Angel" gimmick after seeing him at TNA shows the last few years as Curry Man and Suicide.
The finish came out of nowhere and the rest of the crowd seemed to think so, too. Elgin is massive in person, so much so that I think he would make Tank Toland blush. Truth Martini has an intriguing gimmick, but his look is comical. He looks like someone shrunk Bret Hart in the dryer. Following the match, Elgin and Martini got the upper-hand on Daniels, with Elgin holding the "Fallen Angel" while Martini read "The Book of Truth" to him. El Generico made the save, and Daniels left with the TV Title and Martini’s "Book of Truth" in hand.
Intermission: Benjamin and Haas signed autographs for $10 each and there was a line from wall-to-wall for the World’s Greatest Tag Team. In a funny moment, Cornette’s table was set up next to Haas and Benjamin’s, and he comically yelled out, "There’s no wait over here! No line whatsoever!" I was able to get both Benjamin and Haas.
Benjamin signed a picture I had taken with him prior to a Smackdown house show back in 2008, while Haas signed a promo pic. I had printed out some 8x10s of pictures I had taken while sitting in the front row at a Smackdown taping from May 2009, and since Benjamin and Haas were only signing one item per person, I gave them those photos to keep and they seemed very appreciative of the gesture.
6. Trik Davis and Shane Hollister ("A Call to Arms") defeated Marker Dillinger and Pelle Primeau. This was an unadvertised bonus match. Chris Hero, Shane Hagadorn, Christopher Daniels and Mike Mondo were hanging out in the corner of the building watching this match. Mondo and Daniels would be out periodically the rest of the night to watch the remaining matches. Kyle O’Reilly came out to watch the main event.
7. "The Notorious 187" Homicide defeated El Generico. The crowd was behind both men early in the match, but it appeared to me that the support swung in favor of Generico throughout the course of the match – particularly when Homicide began biting Generico and jamming his fingers up into Generico’s mask. The two began to brawl outside the ring, and then Homicide went crazy piling a table and a bunch of chairs up on the floor, but his makeshift setup never came into play during the match. Homicide won with an RKO. Sorry, that’s what it is to me. Not an Ace Crusher or a Diamond Cutter.
8. Eddie Edwards defeated Kenny King. Both of these guys can really go, but – then again – you already knew that (/Del Rio’d). It was the best match since the opener for my money. You might even be able to convince me that this was "Match of the Night." This was my first chance to get a look at both of these guys, and they didn’t disappoint, definitely living up to the hype. I would endorse Edwards and King as future World Champions one day. That’s how much I enjoyed this match.
King caught some flack from a fan who made a "Tough Enough" remark, to which he responded, "Man, that was ten years ago. Come up with some new material, you asshole!" Even funnier, Edwards went to the corner nearest the fan and said, "Don’t worry…everything’s going to be okay" as if to console the fan. Funny. They brawled out into the crowd for a while, before getting the action back into the ring, where Edwards submitted King with a single leg Boston Crab if I remember correctly.
9. Davey Richards and Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas defeated ROH World Champion Roderick Strong and ROH World Tag Team Champions Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli (The Kings of Wrestling) (w/Truth Martini, Shane Hagadorn and "The Queen of Wrestling" Sara Del Ray). Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas are still the World’s Greatest Tag Team. If you didn’t vote for Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli for 2010 Tag Team of the Year, you are a fool. I’m so glad Davey Richards decided not to quit wrestling and continue as a member of the ROH roster. And Roderick Strong is certainly very deserving of his current World Title run in Ring of Honor. There, now that I got all the praise out of the way.
Excellent match, but in a different way than Edwards/King. Roddy was the last of the six to involve himself in the match. In the run-up to the finish, Benjamin and Haas chased the Kings, Hagadorn and Del Ray to the back, essentially leaving Richards and Strong alone for a one-on-one match for the final 5-10 minutes. Richards won the match after submitting Strong to the cross arm breaker in a great back-and-forth contest.
Benjamin and Haas returned following the bell, and Richards cut a post-match promo thanking the World’s Greatest Tag Team as well as the fans. He said we were "Ring of Honor" and that not only were we fans, but we were "his friends and his family." Does that mean I will be invited to the Richards Family Reunion? Cary Silkin watched the main event from ringside.
Saturday’s "9th Anniversary" iPPV will be 1,000 times better than this show, and that’s saying something since this was a very compelling show. This was, by far, the best wrestling show I’ve been to this year – and it’s not even close. Of course, every ROH show I’ve ever attended doubles as the best wrestling show I’ve seen all year, so that shouldn’t come as a surprise. For those who were at the show in Dayton, there’s no excuse not to order the GoFightLive PPV, unless your computer is completely fried. Even then, you should probably pay someone who does have a working computer to watch it at their place.
A return date of Friday, May 20 was announced.
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