5/18 ROH in Richmond, Va. report: Fans throw rainbow colored streamers during Jay Briscoe's entrance, The American Wolves vs. Rhett Titus and Cliff Compton, Roderick Strong vs. Mark Briscoe, Kevin Steen vs. Jimmy Jacobs
Ring of Honor live event
Report by Dot Net reader Andrew Blum
1. Michael Elgin defeated Kyle Matthews. The crowd popped big for Elgin. Matthews got a decent amount of offense during the match, but Elgin's strength and brute force allowed him to dominate the majority of the contest. Good spot where Matthews reversed a buckle bomb, but ultimately ended up eating one followed by an Elgin Bomb for the loss.
2. Adam Cole beat Adam Page. Another big pop for Adam Cole. No one seemed to care about Page at the beginning, but he more than proved himself throughout the course of their bout. Very athletic back and forth match that saw Adam Cole scoring the pinfall after hitting Page with the Florida Key.
3. Mark Briscoe defeated Roderick Strong. The Briscoes are way over here in Virginia. However, there were lots of Strong supporters in the crowd that kept the energy high throughout the match with "Roddy!" chants to combat the "Man up!" chants that Mark Briscoe was receiving. Very entertaining match. I think Roderick Strong has some of the hardest chops in wrestling today. Briscoe won after a series of four or five pin reversals.
4. Tommaso Ciampa beat Chris LaRusso. A squash match. In fact, I got up to go to the bathroom at the end of the Briscoe vs. Strong match and by the time I got back to my seat, Ciampa had already squashed LaRusso.
5. The American Wolves defeated Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton. To be honest, its a good thing Titus wrestled a great deal of the match for his team because Compton looked awful. The match was essentially what you'd expect from the Wolves, with them hitting signature spots like the double stomp off the top rope. The referee wasn't very strict on which men could enter the ring towards the end of the match, which allowed S.C.U.M. to get some cheap offense in. Ultimately, Edwards applied the single-leg crab to Titus while Richards had Compton in a grapevined ankle lock. Not sure who the legal man was, but both members of S.C.U.M. tapped simultaneously.
6. A-1 defeated Aden Chambers and Brandon Day. Surprisingly enough, A-1 may have been the most over wrestlers there. They got more streamers than any other wrestler during ring intros. Lots of Zak to the Future shirts in the crowd, too. The match was probably the weakest of the night, but much of the audience still had a blast watching A-1 wrestle.
Steve Corino came out and cut a promo basically saying that Matt Hardy will have a shot at the ROH World Title on June 23rd in Baltimore at the ROH TV tapings.
7. Jay Lethal, Caprice Coleman, and Cedric Alexander defeated Red Dragon and Matt Taven. Exciting tag team bout with lots of hard hits and high-flying moves. Matt Taven did a great job playing the cocky heel to get good heat from the crowd. The crowd popped big when Lethal was finally tagged in. I don't remember who took the pin, but Lethal scored the fall for his team.
8. Kevin Steen defeated Jimmy Jacobs by DQ. Jacobs was introduced first. Steen ran out and started attacking Jacobs without getting an intro. They brawled at ringside for a couple of minutes before Jacobs rolled Steen into the ring and started choking him out with his chain necklace. Steen then grabbed a mic and said he wanted to fight with no disqualifications or count-outs.
9. Kevin Steen over Jimmy Jacobs in a no-disqualification match. The crowd popped huge at the restart. Chairs were used, and I believe a table was too (hard to see the far side of the ringside area from my seat). At one point Jacobs grabbed one of the barricades from ringside and tossed it into the ring. Steen ultimately hit the package piledriver on the barricade to pick up the pinfall victory.
10. ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe retained against BJ Whitmer. Some smarks in the front row threw rainbow colored streamers at Briscoe during ring introductions to get a big laugh from the crowd. The match itself started slow, garnered some undeserved "boring" chants, but evolved into a hard hitting bout with lots of big moves and near falls. The roof of the Convention Center almost blew off when Jay hit Whitmer with the Jay Drilla. Whitmer kicked out for a great near fall, but was choked by a triangle a couple minutes later.
Notes: Prior to the show, Roderick Strong, Jay Lethal, and Veda Scott were signing 8x10's for $10. I also spotted Michael Elgin and Mark Briscoe walking around talking to fans briefly. At intermission, Kevin Steen did a signing. It was $10 for an 8x10, but since I bought a Steen shirt before the show, he signed my ticket stub and let me snap a picture with him for free. Such a nice guy who definitely loves his fans.
This was my first Ring of Honor show after having been a fan of the promotion for so many years. It was an incredible night. The wrestling was absolutely phenomenal and the crowd's energy kept the show fun throughout every match. I can't wait to see ROH come back to Richmond.
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