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RADICAN'S ROH "Showdown in the Sun: Night 1" iPPV report 3/30 - Richards vs. Edwards vs. Strong, Generico-Steen Last Man Standing

Apr 2, 2012 - 4:05:59 PM

By Sean Radican, Torch columnist

MARCH 30, 2011

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness introduced the show from mid-ring. McGuinness said it made him emotional to hear people excited about professional wrestling during a weekend set aside for sports entertainment. Kelly plugged the return of Lance Storm, which drew some applause. Kelly then turned his attention to Steen-Generico in a Last Man Standing match. Finally, Kelly previewed Davey Richards defending the ROH Title against Roderick Strong and Eddie Edwards. He then pitched to Haste & Nichols winning the “Rise & Prove” tournament to get a Proving Ground match against the Briscoes.

Briscoes came out to a huge pop from the crowd. Kelly ran down the Tale of the Tape prior to the opening bell. No handshake prior to the match.

1 - - ROH World Tag Team Champions THE BRISCOES vs. SHANE HASTE & MIKEY NICHOLS – Proving Ground match

Haste and Mark started in the ring. McGuinness and Kelly ran down the background of Haste & Nichols on commentary. The action spilled outside the ring with the Briscoe putting a beating on Haste & Nichols. Mark hit a big suplex on Haste inside the ring for a 2 count. The Briscoes continued to dominate the action and Jay nailed Nichols on the apron with a running boot that sent him flying into the guardrails. Haste ended up tripping Mark from the outside and Haste nailed him with a slingshot doublestomp on the apron. Nichols tagged in and hit a combination moonsault/fist drop on Mark. The picture dropped for 15 seconds before coming back with Nichols hitting Mark with a hurricanrana that took him off the top turnbuckle back to the mat.

Mark fired back and tagged in Jay, who ran wild. The action broke down with all four men in the ring. Haste hit a big running knee on the corner. Nichols hit a slam on Jay and Haste got a running start and hit a running senton off Nichol’s back onto Mark in the corner. Haste & Nichols then hit a combination DDT on Jay for a good nearfall. Mark made a blind tag on Jay and took out Nichols. He followed up with the froggy bow for a nearfall. Nichols told the Briscoes to bring, which proved to be a mistake. The Briscoes eventually hit the doomsday device for the pin on Nichols.

Winners: The Briscoes

Star rating: (**1/2) – A fine opening match with some fun exchanges. Haste & Nichols looked good here, despite taking the loss.

Kelly talked about the NWA Ring Warriors card the previous night. He mentioned NWA Champion Adam Pearce had faced a mystery ROH wrestler that turned out to be Adam Cole. Kelly said Cole had come close to beating Pearce, but ended up losing the match.

They went to Cornette in the ring, who brought out NWA Champion Adam Pearce. Cornette said Pearce had won with questionable low and a piledriver, which Cornette noted is banned in ROH. Pearce asked Cornette if he was ribbing him. Pearce said it felt great to be home in ROH. Pearce said last night the marquee read NWA. Cornette pointed out that Cole had given him everything he could handle. Pearce called Adam Cole a star and said he’s damn good, but not great. Adam Cole came down to the ring to very little reaction. Cole said Pearce made a lot of great points. Cole said Cornette wanted to put him to the test with a veteran of the sport and Pearce is that mad. Cole said Cornette wanted him to learn something to facing Pearce. Cole said he learned if he got one more shot against Pearce, he knew he could beat him. Pearce asked Cole if he was joking and said he would verbally dissect Cole. Pearce challenged Cole to a match. Cornette said Pearce wasn’t even dressed to wrestle. Pearce responded by saying he could beat Cole in two minutes. Cornette said he doesn’t have the authority to put the NWA Title on the line, but he can make a match.

2 - - NWA Champion ADAM PEARCE vs. ADAM COLE – Non Title match

Pearce jumped Cole when he turned around and went to work on him. Cole ducked a clothesline and sent Pearce outside with a dropkick. Cole followed up with a big dive through the ropes and the crowd cheered. Cole sent Pearce into the guardrail before sending him back into the ring. Pearce tried to beg off. The crowd chanted “Yes, yes, yes” when Cole looked out to the crowd. Cole charged at Pearce moments later, but ended up taking a chokeslam. Pearce raked away at Cole’s face before the ref forced him to break it. Pearce got a nearfall with a modified Michinoku driver. Cole ended up on the outside and Pearce tried to drag him back into the ring, but Cole nailed him with a leaping kick. Cole tried to follow up with a big splash, but ended up missing. Kelly pointed out Cole had beaten Davey Richards with that very move.

Cole ducked a charge in the corner and hit a superkick. He followed up with a shining wizard for a nearfall. McGuinness said if Cole can beat Pearce, he should be in line for a title shot. Pearce fired back and set up for a piledriver, but the ref stopped him. Cole backdropped Pearce and sat down on him for the win.

Winner: Adam Cole – This was a short, but solid encounter. It seemed mostly designed to set up a future match with Pearce putting up his title against Cole again under the NWA banner.

After the match, Pearce went face-to-face with Cole. He then offered Cole a handshake. They shook hands and Pearce raised Cole’s hand before exiting the ring. A replay aired of the finish that actually worked while the announcers commentated on what had happened. Kelly then previewed the next contest between All Night Express and the Young Bucks. Kelly mentioned that the Young Bucks won a coin flip to get the match they wanted first, so the match on the next show will be a Street Fight. Kelly plugged the next show starting in the afternoon.

The Young Bucks came out to some boos as they strutted down to the ring. Bobby Cruise did the ring introductions and explained the rules for the match. ANX came out next to a good pop from the crowd. Both men new match gear with hoodies and matching white tights. Kelly mentioned there were some issues with the feed and he was sure it was being worked on backstage.

3 - - Dual Duel pt. 1: ALL NIGHT EXPRESS (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (MATT & NICK JACKSON) – Tornado Tag match

All four men exchanged blows to start the match. King backdropped Nick to the outside. Titus hit a neckbreaker on Matt a short time later for a two count. King put the boots to Nick on the outside while Titus went to work on Matt in the corner. Matt bailed to the outside after tagging a leg lariat from King. The Young Bucks tried to regroup together on the outside, but ANX wiped them out with stereo dives. The Young Bucks fired back once they got back inside the ring as Kelly mentioned that Titus had just returned to in-ring action after suffering a knee injury at the hands of the Young Bucks. King got tossed outside and the Young Bucks went to work on King. Nick ended up hitting a dive through the ropes to take out King. Matt smiled as the crowd booed and went to work on Titus’s knee. King ran back to the apron and tossed Nick off the top turnbuckle. He snuck up behind Matt and nailed him with a spinebuster.

The pace picked up with Nick catching King with a slingshot x-factor for a 2 count. Titus got sent to the outside and the Young Bucks went to work on King. The Young Bucks hit a combinations backbreaker/neckbreaker on King and posed for the fans. Titus crawled to his knees, but Matt took him out with a springboard splash to the outside. The crowd tried to rally behind King, who tried to fight back, despite the odds not being in his favor. King wiped out Matt with a cartwheel kick, but Nick took him out from behind. Titus popped back into the ring and took out the Young Bucks with a double clothesline. Titus hit a nice discus lariat on Matt and the crowd applauded. Nick tried to go after Titus’s knee, but he cut him off and hit a dropkick. Matt broke up the pin and tried to go after Titus’s knee, but King ran in and caught him with a leg capture suplex. King then tossed Nick to Titus for a Samoan drop, but Matt broke up the pin.

ANX ended up alone in the ring Nick as the crowd chanted for ANX. Matt recovered and took out Titus with a super kick. The Young Bucks then wiped out King with a double superkick. Matt and Nick went up top and hit stereo 450’s for a double nearfall. McGuinness put over the importance for winning on a stage like this. King broke up more bang for your buck attempt on Titus. Matt hit a superkick on King as he went for a cartwheel kick, but Titus rolled him up from behind for the win.

Winners: Rhett Titus & Kenny King

Star rating: (**3/4) – This match had some solid action, but didn’t deliver anything particularly memorable or exciting like I was expecting from these teams. The match dragged in spots, but overall it was solid.

After the match, Nick nailed Titus’s knee with a chairshot. The crowd booed, but King grabbed the chair and the Young Bucks bailed to the outside. Kelly wondered if ANX would have the advantage going into tomorrow given the post-match attack on Titus. Several officials came out and tried to help Titus, but he shoved them away. Titus appeared to be hurt, but was able to walk out on his own. McGuinness talked about how all three members of the main event would have a hard time recovering and then defending the ROH World Title the next night.

Prince Nana, R.D. Evans, and Tomasso Ciampa came out to the ring. Kelly was pissed they didn’t have the ROH TV Title that was stolen from Lethal at the last iPPV. The crowd booed as Nana got on the mic. The crowd chanted “shut the f---“ up. Nana said he had been telling everyone’s mother the same thing last night. Nana said he had been getting calls from the office in Baltimore in regards to Ciampa. Nana told Ciampa he’s a star. Nana said he was going to let Evans explain things. Evans got on the mic and said he got a call from his secretary informing him that she had received an injunction from ROH attorneys saying if they didn’t return the TV title to ROH in the next 24 hours that Embassy Limited would face suspension and individual fines. Evans said he could fight the injunction in court and win, but he said Embassy Limited were sportsmen and wouldn’t do that. Evans said Ciampa was more than happy to return the title, but Ciampa hadn’t brought the title to Florida. Evans said Nana’s personal errand boy Ernie Osiris was en route to get the title from Ciampa’s trophy case. Evans said Ciampa would present the title to Lethal tomorrow. Nana sang “We’re in the money” while Evans danced beside him. Ciampa and the rest of Embassy Limited then exited.

Radican’s thoughts: Hilarious segment with some good mic work from Nana and Evans.

McGuinness and Kelly previewed Lethal defending the ROH TV Title against Kyle O’Reilly, which was coming up next as a graphic for the match was displayed on screen. Kelly said this was O’Reilly’s first show at a singles title in ROH.

O’Reilly sneered as he came down to the ring and McGuinness asked if he was confident or cocky. O’Reilly drew some boos as he came down to the ring. Kelly said he lost a little respect for O’Reilly for not shaking Cole’s hand at the conclusion of the last iPPV. Lethal came out to a nice ovation from the crowd. Lethal was wearing some nice near purple gear with silver and white mixed into the pattern. Bobby Cruise did the formal ring introductions prior to the match. O’Reilly was booed when he was introduced. Lethal got a nice ovation from the crowd when Cruise introduced him. Before Lethal and Cole could shake hands, Ciampa came down to ringside with a steel chair in his hands. Ciampa ended up setting up the chair to watch the match from ringside. Kelly and McGuinness ran down the tale of the tape and said O’Reilly and Lethal are evenly matched. The viewers at home missed O’Reilly and Lethal following the Code of Honor.

4 - - ROH TV Champion JAY LETHAL vs. KYLE O’REILLY – ROH TV Title match

Kelly mentioned there were still technical issues with the audio sync on the broadcast and that it was being worked on. They did some chain wrestling and O’Reilly ended the exchange with a slap to Lethal’s face. The pace picked up with Lethal hitting two arm drags. O’Reilly countered a third and went for a cradle, but Lethal countered it into a rollup of his own for a nearfall. Lethal caught O’Reilly with a backbreaker and a white Russian leg sweep. Lethal then locked up O’Reilly in a nasty submission on the mat, but he got the ropes. After a back and forth exchange, O’Reilly caught Lethal with a running knee to the gut, but only got a 1 one count. O’Reilly dropped Lethal stomach-first over his knee several times before covering him for a 2 count before continuing to target Lethal’s mid-section.

Lethal ducked a clothesline from the apron and took out O’Reilly with a dropkick that sent him to the outside. They ended up brawling up to the stage where O’Reilly nailed Lethal with a series of strikes before sweeping out his legs and Lethal crashed to the wooden floor. O’Reilly hit another knee to Lethal’s mid-section and applied a modified abdominal stretch. O’Reilly applied a front face lock moments later as the crowd tried to rally behind Lethal. Lethal got caught in a guillotine choke a short time later. He tried to drive O’Reilly into the corner several times, but O’Reilly wouldn’t let go. Lethal finally broke the hold with the Lethal combination and both men were down as the crowd applauded.

Both men exchanged blows in the middle of the ring. Lethal hit a back handspring elbow for a 2 count. O’Reilly blocked a suplex attempt with a knee strike and hit a big running kick in the corner. O’Reilly went up top with Lethal and hit a belly to back suplex. He crawled over to Lethal and covered him, but Lethal kicked out at the last second. O’Reilly kicked away at Lethal’s head lightly. The crowd began a duel chant for Lethal and O’Reilly. O’Reilly continued to taunt Lethal, who fired back with a big overhand chop. McGuinness said he used to do the same thing to get his opponent to make a mistake. Lethal and O’Reilly had a nice exchange of moves that saw Lethal nail O’Reilly with a superkick. He then hit the lethal injection for the win.

Winner: Jay Lethal to retain the ROH TV title.

Star rating: (**3/4) – There was some solid action in this match as well as a nice sequence with Lethal breaking out of a submission with the Lethal combination out of nowhere, but the crowd heat wasn’t great and the match dragged a bit at times. The announcers did a nice job of taking the viewer inside the ring and detailing what the mindset of each man might be, which is a big plus, but the action didn’t fully compliment the package.

Ciampa and Lethal had a stare down after the match. Ciampa and Lethal jawed back and forth. Ciampa told Lethal to hit him, but Lethal wouldn’t do it. Lethal ended up calling Ciampa into the ring, but he tossed down his chair and went to the back.

Kelly previewed the main event again and mentioned whoever was the champion would have to turn around and defend the title again. Kelly said Bennett-Storm, Generico-Steen, and Richards defending the ROH World Title against Edwards and Strong in an elimination match was still to come. They went to intermission at this point.

They came back from intermission with Kelly and McGuinness running down the rest of the card at ringside. McGuinness talked about the Lance Storm-Mike Bennett match. Kelly said that Haas & Benjamin would be facing Coleman & Alexander next. They went to a video package hyping the match between WGTT and Coleman & Alexander that recently aired on TV. Coleman & Alexander got the win after Jay Briscoe came down to the ring and nailed Haas with a chairshot that the ref didn’t see.

5 - - WFTT (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) vs. CAPRICE COLEMAN & CEDRICK ALEXANDER

McGuinness said Coleman & Alexander had to think about surviving tonight as they made their entrance. Benjamin & Haas came out next to boos from the crowd. Benjamin was about to offer to follow the Code of Honor, but Haas stopped him and flipped off Coleman and Alexander. Haas & Benjamin went after Coleman & Alexander with punches, but they fired right back and took out both of their opponents with a flurry of offense. Alexander missed a dive to the outside on Benjamin. He then caught Coleman with a superkick on the other side of the ring. Shelton began working over Coleman as Kelly talked about WGTT facing the Briscoes on the next iPPV. Coleman ended up on the outside and Haas followed him and dropped him back-first over the guardrail. The crowd booed as WGTT continued to work over Coleman. Coleman tried to fire back with a springboard, but Haas caught him and slammed him to the mat. Haas & Benjamin argued with the ref, which nearly allowed Coleman to tag out, but they cut him off.

Coleman connected with a dropkick on both members of WGTT before leaping over Haas to make the hot tag to Alexander. Alexander ran wild on Haas and Benjamin. Coleman ran in and went at it with Haas connecting with a springboard cross-body on Benjamin. Coleman then nailed Haas in the corner and transitioned right off of Haas into a dive onto Benjamin on the outside. Alexander was about to go up top, but Benjamin pushed Coleman into the ropes, which crotched Alexander. Haas hit an Olympic slam on Coleman before Benjamin finished Alexander with a belly-to-belly suplex.

Winners: Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin

Star rating: (***) – This was a well-worked match with WGTT dominating the action and taking shortcuts to set up Coleman’s hot tag to Alexander. The finish was well done and Coleman & Alexander not only looked good themselves, but also made Haas & Benjamin look good heading into their title shot against the Briscoes on the next iPPV.

McGuinness and Kelly previewed the issue between Bennett and Storm. A graphic appeared on the screen for the match. Mike Bennett and Maria came out, but the sound was cut. The sound came back quickly. Maria looked smoking hot wearing a pink outfit. Bennett and Maria made out for a long time once they got inside the ring. Bennett was wearing matching pink tights. The crowd chanted C.M. Punk at Bennett. Lance Storm was out next to a big pop from the crowd. Lance Storm looks to be in fantastic shape. The fans chanted welcome back at Storm. Bobby Cruise did the formal ring introductions. Bennett and Maria drew a lot of boos. Storm then got a huge pop from the crowd. Bennett and Storm followed the Code of Honor and jawed before Storm pushed him away.

6 - - MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria) vs. LANCE STORM

Storm hit an arm drag early that sent Bennett to the outside and the crowd let Storm know that he still has it. Storm continued to outwrestle Bennett. He targeted Bennett’s arm and worked it over. Bennett countered and grabbed a hammerlock, but Storm slipped out right away and applied a hammerlock of his own. Bennett grabbed an arm bar and taunted Storm, but Storm immediately flipped out of it and applied another hammerlock on the mat. Bennett tried to fire back, but Storm caught him with a gorgeous dropkick coming off the ropes and went right back to work on Bennett’s arm. Bennett dragged Storm outside and they went at it. Bennett caught Storm with a kick as he came back into the ring through the ropes and followed up with a nice neckbreaker off the ropes.

McGuinness put over what a smart woman Maria is as Bennett drove Storm into the apron on the outside. They went back and forth before the action ended up back in the ring. The crowd roared as Storm went for the half crab, but Bennett pushed him off. Bennett shoved Storm hard into the turnbuckles as McGuinness and Kelly speculated that Storm’s age might be a factor in this match. Storm caught Bennett with a chinbreaker and they exchanged blows in the middle of the ring. Storm finally got the better of the exchange and the pace picked up with Storm hitting a nice leg lariat on Bennett as he came off the ropes for a 2 count. Storm went to the apron and hit a springboard clothesline for a nearfall on Bennett. Storm set up for a superkick, but Bennett caught it and eventually hit a spinebuster for a 2 count.

Bennett and Storm went at it again and Bennett caught Storm with the box office smash out of nowhere for a nearfall. Bennett went for a half crab and the crowd booed, but Storm fought Bennett off and hit a superkick for a nearfall. Storm tried to roll through and grab a single leg, but Bennett shrugged him off and hit a spear off the ropes. Kelly told McGuinness to quit looking at Maria. Storm told Bennett to bring it as he landed some punches. Storm ducked a punch and grabbed a single leg before slamming Bennett’s leg to the mat. Storm continued to soften up Bennett’s leg as the crowd cheered. Bennett managed to catch Storm with a kick to the face. He went for a TKO, but Storm slipped out and applied the half crab. The crowd cheered as Storm sat back on the hold. Bennett struggled for the ropes, but Storm dragged him back to the center of the ring. The crowd chanted for Bennett to tap, but he crawled back to the ropes to break the hold. Bennett went to the apron and began exchanging blows with Storm. Bennett slammed Storm’s head on the top turnbuckle and went up. Storm cut Bennett off and both men jockeyed for position. Maria held Bennett’s leg to block a superplex attempt and the ref didn’t see it. Bennett then hit the box office smash off the top, but Storm kicked out and the fans applauded. Bennett yelled at Storm and punched him several times. Storm fired back, but Bennett caught him with a TKO for the win.

Winner: Mike Bennett

Star rating: (***3/4) – Bennett came across like a star here going hold for hold with Lance Storm in the ring. This was a heck of a wrestling match that built well down the stretch, although they went a little overboard with the nearfalls down the stretch. This was a blast to watch with the crowd firmly behind Storm the entire way and cheering all of his signature spots.

The crowd booed as Bennett and Maria celebrated inside the ring. Maria and Bennett left the ring. Storm recovered and the crowd gave him an ovation. Bennett got back into the ring and offered Storm a handshake. Bennett sold respect, but ended up hitting the box office smash. The crowd booed as Maria smiled from the outside. Kelly went ballistic running down Bennett on commentary and jawed at him as he made his way to the back. The crowd applauded as the ref helped him to the back.

Kelly and McGuinness reset things from ringside and previewed the Steen-Generico La Revancha – Last Man Standing match. Kelly said he hoped this was the final chapter between these two. McGuinness talked about their history together.

Bobby Cruise ran down the rules for the Generico-Steen match and the crowd applauded. El Generico came out to a big pop. Steen came out next wearing a t-shirt with Generico’s severed head propped up on a chair. Steen grabbed a sign with Cornette’s face on it and tore it to shreds. Kelly said there was no need for a Tale of the Tape here.

7 - - EL GENERICO vs. KEVIN STEEN – La Revancha: Last Man Standing match

Cruise tried to do the formal introductions, but Generico nailed Steen with a running Yokuza kick and a brainbuster. He then wiped out Steen with a flip dive over the top and the crowd went nuts chanting for Generico. They brawled around ringside and Steen choked Generico with the Canadian flag. Generico fired back and took out Steen. He grabbed several chairs and tossed them into the ring. Generico then grabbed an extra set of ropes from under the ring and slammed a turnbuckle over Steen’s head. Steen ducked a turnbuckle toss from Generico and tossed him into the guardrail. The crowd continued to stand and cheer the chaotic action on the outside of the ring. Both men got back into the ring and Generico grabbed a chair, but Steen kicked him in the gut and he dropped the chair. Generico mounted Steen in the corner and nailed with a series of punches, but he didn’t stop at ten and the crowd exploded as Steen collapsed to the mat in the corner. The ref began his count, but Steen got to his feet. Steen avoided a Yokuza kick and went for a suplex, but Generico blocked it. Generico went for a springboard, but Steen countered it into an ace crusher.

Steen went after Generico and nailed him with a chairshot across the back before licking the chair. The crowd chanted you sick f--- at Steen. The ref began the count on Generico, but he got back up. Generico blocked a chairshot and went for one of his own, but Steen turned it into a code breaker. Steen then hit a flipping legdrop on the chair and the crowd erupted as the ref began counting for Generico. Generico made it to his feet at 8. Generico went for a tornado DDT a short time later, but Steen countered into a backbreaker. Steen set up a chair on Generico in the corner and hit a cannonball and the crowd exploded. The crowd went crazy as the ref counted for Generico, who got up at 8. The crowd tried to rally behind Generico as he tried to drag himself to his feet using Steen’s shirt. Both men began exchanging punches. Generico held down the top rope and Steen spilled to the floor. Steen tripped Generico going for a dive and nailed him with a powerbomb on the apron and the crowd exploded. Generico made it to his feet at 7 on the outside. Generico dragged himself to his feet, but Steen shoved him into the corner. Steen went for a superkick, but Steen nailed the ringside attendance with it. Generico then hit a pair of running Yokuza kicks on the outside and the fans exploded. Steen ended up on the stage amongst the fans. Steen drove his thumb into Generico’s eyes and went for the F5, but Generico countered. Both men struggled for position and Generico eventually hit a Michinoku driver on the stage. The ref counted for Steen as the crowd chanted for Generico. The ref’s count reached 9 and Steen rolled off the stage and landed on his feet. Generico then got a running start and hit a senton off the stage to the floor that connected.

The crowd exploded again as the ref began counting for Steen. An “ROH, ROH” chant broke out. Generico scaled the guardrail once Steen got up and hit a tornado DDT. The crowd exploded again after the incredible maneuver connected. The ref’s count reached 7, but Steen got up at 9. Generico hit a Yokuza kick off the apron and the crowd began pounding the guardrails. Generico sold frustration as he was unable to put Steen away. Generico got a table out from under the ring. Generico set up the table on the outside and put Steen on it. Steen slipped off the table and drove Generico into the ringpost. Steen set Generico up on the table and hit a senton over the top through the table and the crowd exploded again. Good grief! Steen got to his feet first as the ref continued to count. Generico beat the count at 9 and struggled to get back into the ring.

Steen set up two chairs, but Generico countered him and hit a half and half suplex on Steen, who landed on the chairs and spilled to the mat. The crowd sang the ole song as the ref counted. Steen managed to beat the count right before 10. Generico nailed Steen with a chairshot to the back and went for a brainbuster on the chair, but Steen countered and suplexed Generico neck-first onto the chair and the crowd exploded again. Generico managed to beat the ref’s count, but ended up collapsing back to the mat. Steen set up a chair over Generico and went up top, but Generico fired up and nailed Steen with a running Yokuza kick that sent Steen flying off the top through the timekeepers table at ringside. The ref began counting again, but Steen barely beat the count and the crowd applauded. Both men began exchanging blows. Steen flipped off Generico and spit in his face. Generico returned the favor and flipped the double bird, but Steen bit his fingers. They went back and forth. Generico slipped out of the F5 and hit a brainbuster and the crowd applauded as both men were down while the ref counted.

Both men grabbed chairs as they beat the 10 count. They had a chair battle in the center of the ring. Steen nailed Generico with a low blow. Steen was about to obliterate Generico with a chairshot, but Jimmy Jacobs ran down to the ring. Generico caught Steen from behind with a suplex. He handed Generico a chair, but ended up nailing Generico with a spike to very little reaction. Generico held his head and rolled around on the mat. Steen teased hitting Generico with the chair, but he gave the chair to Jacobs, who nailed him with a chairshot. Steen mockingly fell down alongside Generico. The ref then counted to 10 with Generico out on the mat.

Winner: Kevin Steen

Star rating: (***3/4) – The match was really good with both men engaging in an all-out war. The stipulations got in the way a little bit, as there was a lack of suspense when the ref was counting and inevitably Generico or Steen would get up. They did some really creative crowd brawling as well, but the finish didn’t make much sense, as Jacobs interfered and allowed Generico to gain the upper hand only to turn on Generico moments later. The crowd didn’t react much to the finish except for some scattered boos.

Steen and Jacobs celebrated after the match. Several refs came out to help Generico get to his feet. A fan taunted Steen on the stage and Steen teased swinging at him before planting a big kiss on his lips. Generico eventually regrouped and the fans chanted for him.

Kelly wondered what it would mean for the future of ROH with Jacobs and Steen now aligned. Kelly and McGuinness then previewed the main event as a graphic was displayed on the screen. McGuinness gave his prediction and talked about what was on the line for all three men.

Roderick Strong was out first for the main event with Truth Martin and was booed. Eddie Edwards was out next to a good ovation from the crowd. Richards was out next and he got a good ovation as well. Bobby Cruise did the formal ring introductions. Strong was greeted with boos when he was introduced. Edwards got a nice ovation from the crowd when Cruise announced him. Richards was introduced last and he got a mixed reaction from the crowd. All three men followed the Code of Honor.

8 - - ROH World Champion DAVEY RICHARDS vs. EDDIE EDWARDS vs. RODERICK STRONG (w/Truth Martini) – Triple Threat Elimination ROH World Title match

Strong went after Richards and Edwards right after the bell rang. He set them up in opposite corners and went back and forth peppering them with strikes. Strong tried to get a quick rollup on Edwards, but Richards nailed Strong with a kick and he went to the outside. Richards and Edwards squared off and traded strikes in the middle of the ring. Edwards finally won the exchange with a running kick. Strong tried to run back into the ring, but Edwards sent him packing right away. Edwards worked over Richards, but Richards fired back and caught him with a dropkick. Richards pointed at Strong as he tied up Edwards a leg/arm submission. Strong eventually ran in and broke up the hold. McGuinness said that wasn’t a smart move by Strong and suggested he should have sat on the outside and let Richards and Edwards go at it. Strong went back and forth between Richards and Edwards again trying to keep them both grounded. The fans taunted Strong with a slow “Roderick” chant. Strong and Edwards began exchanging chops. Richards tried to get involved, so Edwards and Strong chopped him. Richards caught Edwards in a leg submission. Edwards charged at him, but Richards suplexed him while holding Edwards in the submission. After a big exchange, all three men were down on the mat.

Richards and Edwards were up first and began exchanging blows. Richards grabbed Edwards and nailed him with several kicks to the head. Edwards nailed him with a headbutt, but Richards went right back to kicking Edwards over and over. Strong ran in and began exchanging chops with Richards. All three men then began exchanging kicks and strikes in the middle of the ring. Richards and Edwards eventually isolated Strong and took him down. They went for a tandem kick on Strong, but he ducked and they ended up kicking each other. Richards charged at Strong, but he tripped him into a dropkick on Edwards in the corner. Strong then followed up with a slam that sent Richards down on his back for a 2 count. Richards blocked a Gibson driver, but Edwards caught him from behind with a double underhook suplex. Edwards then hit a backpack chinbreaker out of the corner on Strong for a nearfall. Strong sent Edwards outside, but Richards ran in and eventually caught him in a leg submission. Edwards got back into the ring and broke up the submission. Richards refused to let go, so Edwards nailed him with another kick. Richards still wouldn’t let go, so Edwards went for another kick, but Richards caught him and applied an ankle lock. Strong and Edwards eventually both reached the ropes to break it. That was a cool spot.

All three men ended up brawling near the apron. Strong blocked a 2k1 bomb attempt and lifted up Edwards and slammed him back-first on the apron. Richards then caught Strong with a dive through the ropes and the crowd went nuts and chanted “ROH, ROH.” The crowd chanted for Richards, but Edwards cut him off going up top and Richards spilled to the floor. A short time later, Edwards caught Strong and Richards with a moonsault off the ropes and the crowd went nuts again. Edwards caught Strong with a 2k1 bomb back inside the ring, but only got a 2 count. Edwards went up top, but Richards ran into the ring and nailed him with a superplex. Richards rolled through and lifted Edwards before slamming him and applying an arm bar. Strong ran in and applied the strong hold on Richards. Edwards broke up the submission and went at it with Strong in the middle of the ring. Edwards eventually tossed Strong into an alarm clock from Richards. He then superkicked Richards, but Strong caught him with a running kick for a nearfall.

Strong hit a suplex on Richards. Edwards was still out on the opposite top turnbuckle. Strong set up Richards up top. He then went over to Edwards and went for a suplex, but Edwards countered. Strong ended up on the mat where Richards caught him with a double stomp and a suplex with a bridge. Edwards broke up the pin and went after Strong, but he couldn’t put him away. Edwards and Richards hit a powerbomb/lung blower combination on Strong. Martini got on the top rope, but Edwards sent him flying into Elgin on the outside. Strong then rolled up Edwards from behind to eliminate him.

With Edwards eliminated, it was down to Richards and Strong. Richards hit a German with a bridge on Strong for a nearfall. Richards followed up with a roundhouse kick to the head, but Strong kicked out. Richards grabbed an ankle lock, but Strong pushed him off. Strong ducked a clothesline and caught Richards with a flying kick for a nearfall. Strong went after Richards again and hit the Gibson driver, but Richards kicked out at the last second. Richards and Strong battled up top a short time later. Richards pushed Strong to the mat and nailed Martini with a running kick off the apron. Richards nailed Strong with a pair of double stomps off the top, but Strong kicked out. Richards hit a Gibson driver on Strong, but he kicked out. Richards nailed Strong with a superkick and a roundhouse kick for the win.

Winner: Davey Richards to retain the ROH World Title.

Star rating: (***3/4) – This was another very good match with some very good three-way exchanges. I didn’t think these three could do anything more given all their history together in the ring with multiple previous matches under their belts, albeit never a triple threat on iPPV. I just couldn’t get over how Richards, Strong, and Edwards continued to break up pins and submissions during the match. It didn’t make sense to me. Other than that nagging issue, this was a very good match.

After the match, Elgin attacked Richards from behind. Elgin then hit a spinning powerbomb on Richards. Martini got on the mic and taunted Richards. Martini said Elgin stands for everything that is professional wrestling. Martini promised we would have a new ROH World Champion after tomorrow night. Martini said he would have a new ROH World Champion. Martini said God created all men equal. Elgin finished by saying they were wrong. Strong looked on from the corner and sold a little bit of anger as Martini and Elgin stood tall in the ring.

Overall thoughts: (7.0) – The first hour of the show was fairly pedestrian prior intermission with none of the matches doing much to excite the crowd. It was an odd choice to have Adam Pearce back in the fold seemingly setting up a future NWA Title match against Cole. Perhaps they’ll strike an agreement to have Cole face Pearce for the NWA title in ROH, but it all came off as a bit of an unexpected relationship between NWA and ROH.

I was expecting more out of the ANX-Young Bucks match, but it just never reached a level of excitement in the ring that would take it to three stars, although it was quite good at times. O’Reilly-Lethal was good in spots as well, but Lethal is fairly inconsistent in the ring and seems to usually only have quality matches when matched up with the top guys in ROH. O’Reilly is climbing the card, but on this night, he didn’t have the best chemistry with Lethal in the ring.

The show picked up quite a bit after intermission. Coleman & Alexander did a good job of playing the underdog role against WGTT prior to their title shot against the Briscoes the next night. They made some solid comebacks before falling in the end. Bennett-Storm was quite good and the quality of the show picked up significantly from this point forward with Bennett now having a signature match under his belt against Lance Storm.

Generico-Steen was fantastic at times, but the Last Man Standing stipulation hurt the match, as the crowd never really added to the drama and bought into either man staying down after being hit with a big move. The Jacobs heel turn made very little sense to me and ended the match on a flat note.

The main event surprised me and came off quite well, as it wasn’t the exchange of kicks and strikes I was expecting and told a good story most of the way through. One thing that bothered me throughout the match was how all three men continued to break up pins and submissions in an elimination match. It just didn’t make sense to me and took away from my enjoyment of the match at times. That being said, they pulled off some really good exchanges in front of an appreciative crowd. I still think Richards needs to develop a finish other than multiple kicks to the head. It’s gotten to be old after being a novel approach when he started doing it last year.

There was a lot to like on this show and the VOD stream worked fine aside from the picture dropping for a few second here and there. It was fun to see ROH on iPPV in a different atmosphere and they did a good job of using replays, which hasn’t always been the case in the past. The director didn’t miss as nearly as many shots as they did on the “10th Ann. Show” earlier in the month, although there’s still plenty of room for improvement in that regard. Overall this show is worth checking out if you’ve been following the product on television and want to see the company in a new atmosphere outside of television and NYC iPPV tapings. Solid recommendation.

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