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RADICAN'S "BEST IN THE WORLD" INTERNET PPV REPORT 6/26: Ongoing "real-time" coverage of live PPV from New York City

Jun 26, 2011 - 7:00:40 PM
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ROH "Best in the World" Internet PPV results
June 26, 2011
New York City
Report by Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist
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I’m watching the show live via my ROKU. We’re already live with Bobby Cruise, but he thinks I’ve got two minutes until I can hear him. What a sucker. Wow! That was a quick minute. Now he says one minute.

Kevin Kelly, Jim Cornette, and Dave Prazak kick things off. Cornette says this is the biggest crowd in ROH history. I find that hard to believe, but I’ll see what I can do to confirm it. Cornette says it’s the biggest live crowd and combined with the PPV audience, it’s the most watched live event around the world in ROH history. Wow, the place is packed.

Cornette goes on a rant about wrestling that ends with “kiss my big fat white butt” and the crowd goes nuts. Cornette says it’s time to get this party started.

Graphics, ring, and setup are the same as usual. The locker room must be pumped right now this is an incredible atmosphere. The quality of the stream is about the best I’ve seen from ROH so far. Everything looks good and only Dave Prazak sounds like he’s on a cell phone.

(1) Colt Cabana vs. Tomasso Ciampa (w/ The Embassy). Big time chants for Cabana during the early stages of the match. Cabana does some comedy involving the ref and rolls about Ciampa for a 2 count. Nana tried to interfere, so Cabana stepped on his hand. Ciampa draped Cabana over the ropes before nailing him with a dropkick. Ciampa continued the assault and nailed him with a running knee in the corner. Cabana tried to fire back with a springboard moonsault, but Ciampa got his knees up.

Cabana fired back with a series of punches and sent Ciampa to the mat with his signature elbow shot. Ciampa fired back and nailed Cabana with a German, but he kicked out. Cabana fired back and locked in the billy goat’s curse, but Ciampa got the ropes. Ciampa then hit the double knees to the back for the pin. (**)

Match thoughts: This was a fine opener and Cabana was entertaining, but the crowd doesn’t seem into Ciampa’s act.

Kevin Kelly previewed the Bennett-Lethal match and a graphic with both men appeared on the screen.

Nice ovation for Lethal coming out for his match against Bennett. Lethal got a big “welcome back” chant once he got into the ring. The crowd then started a “f--- TNA” chant. Bennett refused to shake hands before the bell.

(2) Mike Bennett (w/Brutal Bob) vs. Jay Lethal. The bell rang and the crowd chanted “Randy Savage,” so Lethal did some Savage mannerisms. Lethal got the better of Bennett early before nailing him with a dropkick for a 2 count. Lethal followed up with a springboard hurricanrana. He sent Bennett to the outside and nailed him with a dive through the ropes and the crowd went nuts. Bennett distracted the ref, which allowed Bob to drop Lethal back-first onto the apron. Bennett then turned Lethal inside out with a leaping clothesline off the apron. Bennett then posed the crowd, which booed him roundly.

Bennett took over with an uninteresting submission. The announcers addressed Bennett’s unlikable in-ring style. Now only if we can get management on board! Lethal fired back and ran wild on Bennett. The crowd chanted for Lethal to do Savage’s top rope elbow drop, but Bennett held the ref and Bob nailed him from the outside. Bennett followed up with a superplex on Lethal for a nearfall. A real NYC Hammerstein crowd would be all over Bennett. Bennett went up top and took about a million years, but ended up missing a top rope elbow. Lethal wiped out Bennett with a superkick and nailed him with the elbow drop for the pin. (**3/4)

Match thoughts: Really good stuff from Lethal. I wish he had gotten someone better to work with, but this was a fine showing. I’d love to see him back in ROH.

Lethal then lead the crowd in an “ROH” chant after the match.

Homicide got on the mic before his match with Rhino. He told Rhino to get down to the ring.

(3) Rhino (w/The Embassy) vs. Homicide in a Street Fight. They went at it right away. Homicide sent Rhino to the outside and nailed him with a flip dive through the ropes. Rhino fired back and nailed Homicide with a huge kick to the gut. Rhino went for a springboard to the outside, but Homicide got out of the way. Homicide went for a piledriver, but Rhino sent him through a table conveniently set up at ringside. Rhino took out a ladder from under the ring and put it inside the ring. Homicide fired back on Rhino on the outside and bit away at his ear. Homicide then went after Nana, but Rhino cut him off and launched him into the guardrail. Rhino then nailed him with a running knee and the crowd reacted in shock.

Rhino drove the ladder into Homicide’s shoulder in the corner. Homicide countered a suplex and nailed Rhino with a suplex of his own onto the ladder and the crowd gasped again. Rhino fired back and tossed Homicide into the ladder, which was bridged against the turnbuckles. Rhino then picked up Homicide and dropped him down across the ladder and the crowd gasped again. Rhino went for a cover, but Homicide kicked out at 2.

Homicide ducked a charge from Rhino, who crashed into the turnbuckles. He then nailed Rhino with a shoulder tackle off the second rope for a 2 count. Rhino blocked a lariat from Homicide and nailed him with a piledriver, but Homicide kicked out at the last second. The crowd chanted “F--- you Rhino” as he taunted the crowd. Homicide fired back and came off the top, but Rhino got his knees up. Rhino set up for the gore, but Homicide nailed him with a kick and an ace crusher. Rhino kicked out at the last second as the crowd counted along with the ref.

Homicide went under the ring and dragged out a table. Homicide tried to set up the table, but Rhino attacked him. Rhino set up the table in the corner and Prazak said the plan was to gore Homicide through the table. Really, Dave? Rhino nailed Homicide with a belly-to-belly suplex near the table. Rhino went for the gore, but Homicide turned it into a sunset flip for the pin. (***1/4)

After the match, Nana jumped Homicide. Homicide took out Nana, but Rhino ended up nailing him with a huge gore through the table. Several attendants came out to check on Homicide. They helped Homicide to the back.

Match thoughts: I was surprised that Homicide won given his contract with UWF. This was one heck of a match at times, although some of the spots seemed contrived. Everything both men did seemed so impactful and the crowd heat took what could have been an ordinary brawl to another level.

Kevin Kelly previewed the Corino-Elgin match. He said Kevin Steen would not be allowed into the building.

Steve Corino came down with Jimmy Jacobs and got on the mic. The crowd chanted “we want Steen.” Corino said he’s been trying to do the right thing for six months. Corino thanked the fans for supporting him. He said Jacobs had come to him six months ago and told him he needed to change. Corino said there’s someone else that needs redemption. Corino apologized to the ROH owners and said people deserve a second chance. Corino then introduced Kevin Steen. The crowd went ballistic as Steen was shown in the balcony.

Steen came down to ringside and several officials tried to block his path. The crowd chanted for Steen to be let into the ring. Jim Cornette came down and told Steen to leave and the crowd voiced their displeasure. The crowd started a “Mr. Wrestling” chant that was deafening. Steen offered Cornette a handshake. Cornette shook his hand and Steen agreed to leave.

(4) Steve Corino (w/Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Mike Elgin (w/Truth Martini). Corino ducked a charge from behind from Elgin. Corino set up for a dive through the ropes, but Elgin caught him with a shoulder tackle. Corino fired back and hit a big chop in the corner. Elgin pie-faced Corino. Corino fired back with a slap and Elgin drove him into the corner. Corino tried to take Elgin down with a shoulder tackle, but he wouldn’t go down. Corino locked in an abdominal stretch and then nailed Elgin with the thumb to the bum.

Corino sent Elgin to the outside and went for a dive, but Elgin caught him and slammed him into the guardrail before nailing him with the Michigan stampeded. I wonder if Elgin and Rhino were separated at birth. Corino tried to fire back, but ate a bridging northern lights suplex. Elgin set up for the package piledriver, but Corino fought it off. Corino went for a charge in the corner, but ate the ringpost. Elgin then locked him in a Boston crab in the ropes, but he had to let it go due to the ref’s count.

Corino ducked a clothesline and nailed Elgin with a lariat. The crowd chanted for Corino as he set up for a sliding lariat, but Martini tripped him. Jacobs chased Truth around ringside and got his hands on him, but Elgin interfered. Corino rolled up Elgin from behind for a two count and then nailed him with a knee strike that left both men down on the mat. Elgin caught Corino with a T.K.O. and a superkick. He then nailed Corino with a big superplex, but he didn’t cover him. Martini told him to set up the powerbomb and Elgin delivered, but Corino kicked out.

The crowd clapped for Corino as he tried to get to his feet. Elgin set up Corino and powerbombed him into the turnbuckles. He then hit his twisting powerbomb for the win. (**1/2)

After the match, The House of Truth put the boots to Corino. Jacobs ran into the ring to help Corino, but Martini nailed him with the Book of Truth. Suddenly Steen ran down to the ring after Elgin powerbombed Jacobs. Steen and Elgin went at it. Steen nailed Elgin with a powerbomb and the crowd went nuts. Martini nailed Steen with the book, but he no-sold it. Martini then turned around into a superkick that sent Martino through the ropes to the floor.

Corino got on the mic. Cornette and Silkin came down to ringside. Corino said Steen deserves to talk. Cornette shook his hands and the fans chanted to let Steen talk. Corino lead the crowd in a “let Kevin talk” chant. Cornette gave in and said Steen could cut a promo.

Steen got on the mic and said he wants to make things right. Steen said he was thankful to stand in the ring today. Steen said his name is Kevin Steen and F--- ROH. Steen took out Jacobs and nailed Corino with the package piledriver. Several officials came to the ring and tried to drag Steen out of the ring. Steen smiled as they tried to drag him away. The crowd chanted “ole” as he was dragged to the back. Steen flipped off everyone as he was carried away by officials. Cornette swore after the match this was the last we’d ever see of him in ROH. He said he didn’t care if the fans were mad.

Corino laid motionless inside the ring as several officials tended to him.

Match thoughts: Another solid, but unspectacular match. The crowd was into the in-ring action at times, but a lot of the match dragged. The post-match angle was awesome.

[Intermission]

We’re back after a nice long look at ROH’s twitter handle and hash tag for this event.

(5) ROH TV Champion Christopher Daniel vs. El Generico. Daniels jumped Generico and put the boots to him. The announcers really put over the importance of having a title once ROH debuts on Sinclair. Generico fired back and went into a fast-paced exchange with Daniels before sending him to the outside with an arm drag. The announcers said Homicide refused medical attention and the belief is that he’s got fractured or bruised ribs. Generico and Daniels went at it on the outside. Generico nailed him with a big chop. Daniels fired back and drove him into the ring barrier. Generico fired back with a springboard moonsault off the barricade on the outside moments later and the crowd went nuts.

Daniels begged off from his knees back inside the ring and offered a handshake, but Generico ended up slapping him across the face. Daniels ended up raking his eyes before taking him down with a big clothesline. Daniels did the Jarrett strut, which resulted in a “F--- TNA” chant. Generico began to fire back, but Daniels drove him throat-first into the second rope. Daniels teased a springboard, but simply leapt into the ring and put his knee over Generico’s throat. An “Austin Aries” chant began for some reason.

Generico fired back with a sunset flip for a 2 count. Daniels fired right back and locked him in a submission using the ropes for leverage. He let go when the ref was about to get to five, but continued to apply the submission several times and Generico eventually fell to the mat. The crowd tried to rally Generico while Daniels applied a chinlock. Generico finally fired back and ducked a charge from Daniels, who spilled to the floor. Generico then nailed Daniels with a huge flip dive and the crowd woke up. Generico hit a big splash off the top for a 2 count. Daniels fired back and applied the Koji clutch. Generico struggled, but finally got the ropes. Generico countered angel’s wings into a backdrop. Daniels quickly caught him with the last rights moments later as Generico came off the ropes for a 2 count.

After an exchange of strikes, Generico went for the brainbuster, but Daniels drove him into the corner. Generico fired right back with the Yokuza kick and a brainbuster, but Daniels kicked out! Generico followed up with a cost-to-coast flip dive onto Daniels, who was hung upside down. Daniels ended up getting his foot on the ropes to break up the pin and the crowd gasped. Generico and Daniels went at it on the apron. Daniels ended up shoving Generico into the barricade. They managed to take out a photographer in the process. Daniels got the TV title and began to celebrate after slamming Generico on the outside. He said he wanted the count out win. Generico made it in before 10. I don’t even know if ROH has a 10 or 20 count now. Daniels yelled at Generico and asked him if he wanted to die in the ring.

The fans began to rally behind Generico, who fired back with a huge chop. Daniels slammed Generico to the mat. The announcers said Daniels should be DQ’d if he hits the B.M.E. with the belt. Generico got his feet up and nailed Daniels with a big running kick in the corner. He then nailed Daniels with the top rope brainbuster for the win. (***3/4)

Match thoughts: This was just a really good match. They told a good story and let the match build and build until an excellent finish. The crowd heat for Generico during the match was really good.

The KOW came out first with a Cody B. Ware doing their entrance live with them as they made their entrance.

Bobby Cruise did the ring entrances. The Briscoes drew a lot of boos. Haas & Benjamin got a mild pop. All of the teams seemed to have new music. The Briscoes are wearing new gear that makes them look more like heels.

(6) ROH World Tag Team Champions Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Claudio Castagno & Chris Hero (w/ Shane Hagadorn & Sara Del Rey) vs. Rhett Titus & Kenny King vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe in a Four-way Elimination match. Haas went down to a child at ringside and gave him something and raised him above his head and the crowd applauded. I’m not sure what he gave the fan. Haas took down Titus and grabbed a front headlock. Haas superkicked the back of Titus’s knee and began working over his leg on the mat. Titus fired back and went for a springboard, but ended up landing on Haas’s knee. Titus rolled to his corner and tagged in King. Haas then tagged in Benjamin and the crowd chanted “this is wrestling.” The pace picked up and King nailed Benjamin with a dropkick.

Benjamin and King exchanged counters. Benjamin finally nailed King with a springboard splash that looked to have gone wrong. Haas tagged in and continued to work over King. Castagnoli blind-tagged himself into the match and went to work on King. He teased the big swing, but dropped an elbow instead once the crowd applauded. King knocked Jay and Mark Briscoe off the apron. He then fired back on Hero, who had tagged into the match. Titus tagged into the match and continued the work on Hero. The announcers remarked that the Briscoes hadn’t been in the ring yet. Castagnoli made a blind-tag and took out Titus with a European uppercut. Kevin Kelly read a tweet from someone watching the show that was drinking beer.

The Briscoes tagged in at the same time and went to work on Titus. The action broke down with Haas hitting a springboard to the outside onto Jay. Titus ducked a clothesline from Jay and wiped out a pile of people with a dive. Mark fought off the KOW and nailed everyone except for Hero and King. Hero and King ended up alone in the ring, but Hero hit a moonsault over the top to take out everyone on the outside and the crowd went nuts. King then went up top, but Castagnoli cut him off. Castagnoli and King battled up top and Shelton came out of nowhere. He jumped up to the top rope and suplexed both men down to the mat.

The Briscoes ran into the ring and took out Benjamin right away. The crowd chanted for the Briscoes as they pounded away on Benjamin. With ordered restored, the Briscoes continued to work over Benjamin. No eliminations so far with the match around the 20 minute mark. Hero blind-tagged himself into the match and continued to work over Benjamin. He tagged in Castagnoli and they made a wish with Benjamin’s legs. Mark tagged himself in and nailed Shelton with a suplex for a 2 count. Shelton finally tagged out to Haas, who ran wild on the Briscoes and the KOW. Haas nailed both Briscoes with big suplexes, but Titus blind-tagged himself into the match. Titus took down Mark with a rocker dropper. Titus then went at it with both Briscoes. Mark nailed him with a suplex, but he no-sold it. Jay then stalked him from behind and nailed him with a huge clothesline. The KOW were shown resting on the outside.

King ran into the ring and began brawling with the Briscoes. Jay nailed him with a big boot after Mark grabbed his boot from the outside. The Briscoes then hit a neckbreaker/powerbomb combo on King. They set up Titus for the doomsday device, but he countered it into a rollup. Mark turned it over and Jay got a nearfall. Jay then hit a blue thunder bomb on Titus for a nearfall. King fired back and they nailed Jay with the backbreaker/kneedrop off the top combination to eliminate the Briscoes. Hagadorn said he was speechless that the Briscoes were eliminated as he stopped by the commentary booth.

The crowd chanted the “goodbye” song to the Briscoes. I’m surprised they were eliminated first. The action broke down with ANX and KOW in the ring. Hero ended up nailing Benjamin with a punch in the corner. ANX went to work on Shelton as the pace picked up. Hero tagged himself into the match and nailed Benjamin with a senton. He then began working over Shelton with Claudio. Benjamin fought out of a camel clutch and dropped Castagnoli down to the mat. Benjamin struggled to tag out, but Castagnoli held him and managed to tag in Hero. Benjamin fired back on Castagnoli and went to tag out, but Hero dragged Haas off the apron.

Benjamin finally tagged in King, who ran wild on Hero. King hit a standing moonsault on Hero, but only got a 2 count. Castagnoli ran into the ring, but ate a spinebuster. King caught a kick and nailed Hero with a leg cradle suplex for a good nearfall on Hero. ANX then nailed Hero with a combination of kicks, but Hero kicked out again. Hero fired back with a rolling to the back of Titus’s head, but he kicked out at the last second. Hero and Castagnoli hit a tandem slam on Titus, but he kicked out. Castagnoli then set up Titus for the Ricola bomb, but he slipped away. Del Rey distracted the ref and ANX hit a powerbomb/blockbuster combination on Castagnoli. Hero then nailed Titus with the load elbow pad to eliminate the ANX. Haas took Hero’s elbow pad and tossed it into the crowd. Hagadorn distracted Haas and Hero nailed him without the loaded elbow pad, but Haas kicked out.

Haas countered Hero and shoved him into Castagnoli. He then nailed Hero with a suplex and Haas made the tag to Benjamin, who fired away on Hero. Benjamin countered a double team attempt from KOW into a double DDT. He then covered Hero for a nearfall. Hero nailed Haas with a rolling boot to the head, but slowly crawled to his corner and tagged in Claudio. Claudio covered Haas, but only got a 2 count. Castagnoli then hit an incredible UFO on Haas, but Shelton made the save at the last second! That was nuts.

Claudio tossed Benjamin to the outside. He spun Haas around and Hero got the timing down and nailed him with a dropkick. Haas managed to kick out on his own, as Benjamin wasn’t there to make the save. Haas fought out of the KRS-1 and sent Hero into Castagnoli. Castagnoli went to the floor. WGTT then hit a double team spinebuster on Hero for the win. (***3/4)

After the match, the Briscoes ran down to the ring and laid out Haas and Benjamin with chairshots to the back. Castagnoli and Hero begged off and watched while the Briscoes nailed Haas and Benjamin with chairshots. Several officials tried to run into the ring, but the Briscoes held them off. The ANX finally ran down with large metal rods to make the save.

Match thoughts: This was a long match and it dragged in spots. The energy went down when the Briscoes were eliminated. The finish came out of nowhere in some ways, as it seemed they hadn’t built up to the finish yet. The post-match was a good way to firmly establish the Briscoes as heels, although some fans will always chant for them.

A video package for Richards vs. Edwards aired.

Davey Richards came out for the main event wearing a new ring robe. Eddie Edwards came out with new entrance music. He didn’t get much of an ovation coming out. Bobby Cruise did the formal ring entrances. Richards got tons of streamers when introduced by Cruise. Edwards also got a ton of streamers and a nice pop. Both men shook hands and hugged prior to the match.

(7) ROH World Hvt. Champion Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards – Richards doesn’t get another ROH World title shot if he loses. The bell rang and the crowd took turns chanting for each man back and forth. Great atmosphere for the main event. They started slow, but began exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring. Richards ended up obliterating Edwards with a running kick to the chest. The ref checked on Edwards in the corner. Richards went right to work on Edwards’s legs with a nasty variation of the cloverleaf. Edwards escaped and sold his leg. Edwards managed to fire back and went to work on Richards. Edwards locked Richards in a nasty looking variation of the abdominal stretch on the mat. The announcers brought up Strong’s name as a possible future contender. They said right now he’s wrestling in Japan.

Edwards continued to methodically work over Richards, as he put the boots to him in the corner. The announcers talked about Cary Silkin sitting at ringside. Yes, this is the main event folks. Edwards charged Richards, but got backdropped to the outside. Richards caught Edwards with a running kick from the apron and Edwards was down on the outside. Richards then nailed Edwards with a dive through the ropes and the crowd erupted. The crowd chanted “this is wrestling.” Richards howled on the top rope before nailing Edwards with a missile dropkick to the back. Edwards tried to fire back, but Richards dragged him right into a kick off the turnbuckle for a 2 count. Edwards ducked a charge. Richards went up top, but Edwards caught him with a kick. Edwards went for a backpack chinbreaker, but Richards turned it into a cross-arm breaker. Edwards eventually escaped, but Richards nailed him with a suplex and then applied a kimura. Edwards escaped, but Richards continued the attack. Both men traded headbutts on the top rope and the crowd went nuts. Richards nailed Edwards with a big kick to the head. He then followed up with a superplex. Richards held on and lifted up Edwards before driving him down right into a cross-arm breaker.

Edwards countered the hold into an Achilles lock as the crowd applauded. Richards countered the hold right back into the cross-arm breaker. Edwards tried to escape, but Richards sat down on him for a nearfall and the crowd erupted. Richards went for a handspring, but Edwards countered it into a falcon arrow and both men were down. Both men got up, but Edwards managed to hit a fisherman’s buster for a nearfall as the crowd broke into an “ROH, ROH” chant.

The crowd continued to chant for both men as they were split in their support. Edwards charged at Richards, but he flipped over him and caught him in another cross-arm breaker. Edwards freed himself and stomped on Davey’s head. Richards countered and locked in the arm-bar again. Edwards escaped and resumed stomping on Davey’s face, but he managed to kick Edwards off. The crowd clapped as Richards went to the apron, but Edwards nailed him with a kick. Edwards then nailed him with a moonsault, but overshot him a little and that must have not felt good for Edwards.

Edwards hit a missile dropkick once they got back into the ring, but he appeared to hurt his knee in the process. Both men exchanged strikes in the middle of the ring. Edwards staggered, but continued to fire back at Richards. Richards lit up Edwards with strikes, but Edwards fired right back with a flying knee strike. Richards set up Edwards on the apron. Edwards nailed Richards with a superkick. He then nailed Richards with the 2k1 bomb on the ring apron and the crowd went nuts. Edwards got back into the ring before the 20 count. Richards tried to get back in, but Edwards nailed him with a superkick. He then put Richards through a table at ringside with a doublestomp and the crowd erupted as both men were down on the outside.

Edwards got back inside the ring first, which broke the count. Richards crawled around at ringside. Edwards went up top and nailed him with a doublestomp across the back, but Davey kicked out at the last second. Edwards looked frustrated as the crowd tried to rally behind Richards. Richards caught Edwards’s leg and dragon screwed it on the middle rope. Edwards then went up top and nailed Edwards, who was tied up in the ropes, with a doublestomp. Richards locked in the ankle lock on Edwards. He dragged Eddie back to the middle of the ring, but Eddie eventually got the ropes.

The crowd chanted “this is awesome” as both men were down on the mat. Richards got up and nailed Edwards’s leg with a kick to the leg. Richards placed Edwards over the top rope. Edwards fired back, but Richards cut him off again. Richards nailed Eddie with a series of headbutts on the top rope. Richards took a moment to recover before nailing Richards with a German superplex. Richards knocked Edwards into the turnbuckle with a big kick and then hit a German for a nearfall. Richards applied the ankle lock again, but Eddie countered it into an ankle lock of his own. Edwards then grapevine Davey’s leg, but Davey countered it into an ankle lock of his own. Edwards struggled, but got the ropes.

They went back to the apron near the announce table. Richards nailed Eddie with several kicks, but ended up missing a kick and nailing the ringpost. Both wrestlers struggled to get back into the ring. They went up the turnbuckles and traded headbutts. Edwards snapped Richards’s leg against the turnbuckle. Both men battled up top and Edwards countered a powerbomb into a hurricanrana off the top. Edwards followed up with a powerbomb, but Richards kicked out at the last second. Eddie went for the 2k1 bomb and nailed Richards, but he kicked out at the very last second. Edwards then applied the Achilles lock in the middle of the ring. Edwards began kicking Richards in the head. Edwards then changed to a cloverleaf after Richards tried to fire back. He then sat on top of Richards for a nearfall and both men were down.

Richards caught Edwards with a Saito suplex, but was slow to follow up. Edwards fired back with a Saito suplex of his own and both men were down as the crowd clapped. Both men went head-to-head and began exchanging strikes. The crowd gasped with each blow. The pace picked up and Richards hit a big lariat for a nearfall. Richards nailed Edwards with a series of kicks, but he kicked out at the last second. Richards hit two superkicks and a roundhouse to the side of the head, but Edwards kicked out again and the crowd applauded. Richards set up Edwards and nailed him with a big running kick to the head for the win. (****3/4)

Richards went over to Edwards after the match and exchanged some words with him. Both men were down on the mat as the crowd got to their feet and clapped. Richards simply couldn’t get to his feet and the ref called for some help. Kozina and O’Reilly came down to the ring to check on Richards. Jim Cornette and Cary Silkin also came down to the ring. Several people also attended to Edwards as well. The crowd chanted “thank you both.” Richards asked Cornette to bring him a mic. The crowd howled for Richards. Richards then got up and hugged Edwards as the crowd applauded. The crowd chanted as both men continued to hug. Edwards went and got the ROH World title. The crowd chanted “best in the world.” Edwards then brought Davey to his feet and put the title around his waist. Richards began crying as Edwards raised his hand.

Richards got the mic. The crowd chanted “Davey Richards.” Richards asked Edwards to get back into the ring. The crowd then chanted for Edwards. Richards brought O’Reilly, Kozina, and Edwards into the ring. He told them they’re his family. Richards alluded to his divorce and said he had lost everything. He said he didn’t have anything but ROH and the fans. O’Reilly, Kozina, and Edwards then shared a hug. Richards thanked the fans for giving him a reason to believe when everything was lost. Richards continued to speak from the heart with tears in his eyes. He grabbed Edwards hand and thanked him for giving him strength. Edwards grabbed the mic and told him he wouldn’t be where he was today if it wasn’t for him. He told Richards to take his moment and stand up in front of the people. Edwards told Richards to raise his hand like the champion he is.

Edwards said he’s always dreamed of saying something. He said, “hey grandma, hey grandpa, I did it!” Wow, what an emotional post-match scene.

Match thoughts: The only thing I can take away from the match is that they shouldn’t have done all of those headbutt spots. This was an incredible match with a lot of great submissions and counters. They also did a fantastic job building up to the finish.

Overall thoughts: (8.0) A lot of the undercard dragged. There wasn’t a bad match on the card. There was a lot of value in some of the angles on the show, especially Steen making his return.

You’ll get the most value for your dollar out of the main event, although I think the crowd would have been even hotter if they hadn’t been exhausted by the length of the show. Nearly four hours is way too long. Richards is a good choice to bring the ROH product onto Sinclair television. His post-match promo was amongst the best I’ve seen in ROH history. It was raw, emotional, and perfect for the moment. The downside is that we never got to see Edwards grow into his role as Champion.

I’d recommend a replay at GoFightLive.tv if you didn’t catch the show.


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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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