2/18 ROH debut in Cincinnati: A full report on ROH's first live event in Cinicnnati featuring Roderick Strong v.s Eddie Edwrads, and The Briscoes vs. Davey Richards and Kyle O'Reilly
Dot Net member Justin Madden attended ROH's first ever show in Cincinnati and sent along the following report.
I’ve only been a serious Ring of Honor fan for about a year, but in that year I’ve been to several shows. I was a the first TV tapings in Chicago, the 2nd and 3rd TV tapings in Louisville, Survival of the Fittest in Dayton Ohio, and Glory by Honor X in Chicago. The turnout for this show was better from any of the previous shows I’ve seen with the exception of the first set of TV tapings. The venue holds around 1,200 people and was 70-80% full (800-900 people). It was a good turnout for the first ROH show ever in Cincinnati.
Before the show began you could meet the Briscoes and Eddie Edwards. Unlike the last ROH show in the area, Survival of the Fittest, they charged to meet the wrestlers, despite the localized promos insinuating that the signings were free. Not a big deal, but it should be noted that several people I was around were turned off by this. The crowd was red hot all night, and ironically enough there was not a single “This is awesome!” , chant all night long, although we did get a few “This is adequate” chants going.
1. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin defeated Adam Cole. A great way to start the show. Elgin is a believable heel, and Truth Martini compliments him quite well. Although I’m not the biggest Truth Martini fan, having a manager speak for him makes Elgin all that more believable .Elgin wins after a spinning sit out powerbomb.
The next two matches were part of the “Rise and Prove” tournament. Ohio Valley Wrestling sent 4 teams to this show to compete in a one night tournament, with the winners receiving a title shot at one of the two shows in Florida at the end of March.
2. Shiloh Jonze and Rudy Switchblade defeated Sean Casey and Chris Silvio. Nothing spectacular, but I should be noted that Chris Silvio looks like a cross between Jesse the Body Ventura and Superstar Billy Graham.
3. Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls defeated Alabama Attitude (Mike Posey and Corey Hollis). A great match with lots of good tag team action. Nicholls and Haste are two good sized wrestlers that work quite well together. Their finisher is a Death Valley Drive/ Ace Crusher Combo that looks brutal. Crowd was very into them and they cut a good promo dissing Cincinnati before the match.
4. Roderick Strong defeated Eddie Edwards in a no holds barred match. This was far and away the match of the night, and possibly the best ROH match I’ve seen live. The match began with Cornette coming to the ring and handcuffing Martini to the ring post. The match itself was filled with several high spots, chair shots (none to the head), and excellent in ring chain wrestling.
The action spilled to the outside a few time and was highlighted with Edwards putting Strong through a table outside the ring with a top rope double foot stomp. The finish came 20 minutes into the match after the referee Todd Sinclair was knocked out near Martini, he grabbed the key from Sinclair unlocked himself and DRILLED Edwards in the head with his book. Strong covered for the win. The crowd was rabid for this match, and you could definitely tell the wrestlers were feeding off the crowd’s energy.
5. OVW wrestler Samson Walker defeated Mike Mondo. Unfortunately for Walker he was greeted with several D-Lo Brown chants. Although he does show some resemblance to the current TNA agent, Walker appears to be a better worker than I ever remember Brown being. Initially Mondo picked up the pin with his foot on the ropes, but another ref came out and ordered the match to continue and Walker pick up the win after hitting of all moves, the D Lo Brown Powerbomb.
6. Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls defeated Shiloh Jonze and Rudy Switchblade. This was the tournament finals and featured yet another great match that lasted about 10 minutes. A great back and forth match that ended with Haste and Nicholls again hitting their awesome finisher. The crowd was REALLY into Nicholls and Haste despite them playing the heels. I look forward to seeing their match with the Briscoes next month.
7. ROH Television Champion Jay Lethal defeated BJ Whitmer in a Proving Ground match. BJ Whitmer is a local wrestling legend in the Cincinnati Area. He has wrestled all over the tri state, and had previously worked for ROH. He got the biggest pop of the night coming to the ring in a number 97 Brian Pillman Cincinnati Bengals jersey. This led to a HUGE Brian Pillman chant.
The match almost went 15 minutes, and I feared we were going to see yet another time limit draw, only to have Cornette come out of the back and give them 5 more minutes. Luckily we were spared that and Lethal wins in 14 minutes with the Lethal Injection. An excellent back and forth match that the crowd was very into. Whitmer was the fan favorite because of the local connection. After the match Lethal and Whitmer shook and and hugged, and the fans in attendance gave both men a standing ovation.
8. ROH Tag Team Champions The Briscoes defeated World Heavyweight Champion Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly. This was the second best match of the night. There was lots of great technical wrestling in this math. Several great submission attempts and reversals, as well as some great old school tag team wrestling. I love seeing a team “cut the ring in half” and just beat someone down.
The Briscoes did this well with O’Reilly taking the brunt of the punishment. Richards hit an out of the world suicide dive that knocked the ROH signs off the barricade, and knocked the barricade back a good five feet. The finish came when the Briscoes hit O’Reilly with the Doomsday Device. A predictable finish, but a good one none the less.
After the show I purchased tickets the the ROH show in Dayton Ohio on April 28th, the same night as WWE Extreme Rules. Thankfully the show starts at 5. The people working the table where I bought my tickets said ROH was quite happy with the turnout and would probably be doing there TV tapings here in the near future. A very good show indeed!
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