Monday, July 4, 2011

6/26/11 Best in the World 2011

Colt Cabana vs. Tommaso Ciampa: I don't believe I've seen this Ciampa guy perform in ROH. Cabana with the humor and theatrics early to frustrate Ciampa. Ciampa comes back with some good basic offense. Nice exposed knee from Ciampa to Cabana. Rest hold from Ciampa, Cabana gets the crowd into it. Whoa, springboard moonsault from Cabana but Ciampa caught him with the dropkick. Cabana with trademark offense (buck butt, Dusty Rhodes-like elbows, chops, etc.). Billy Goat's Curse but Ciampa gets to the ropes. Ciampa catches Cabana in the corner...some sort of powerbomb-into-backbreaker move gets three. *3/4

Jay Lethal vs. Mike Bennett: Prazak mentions ROH will be undergoing some changes in the coming months (probably included in that is the new TV deal they got). Lethal gets a warm welcome. Lethal showing off the offense early, although looked like his missed that dropkick while Bennett was seated. Lethal picks up the offtense, dropkicks and a suicide dive. A bit of action on the outside now. Bob Evans gets involved, side slamming Lethal on the ring apron. Crowd wants Lethal to get back in it. Bennett goes to work now. Lethal back on offense after a time. He goes for the top-rope elbow but Evans gets involved again. Top-rope superplex from Bennett gets two. Bennett tries the top-rope elbow and misses. Superkick from Lethal, top-rope elbow gets three. **

Homicide vs. Rhino (Street Fight): As a note, Rhino was introduced as Prince Nana's bodyguard a while back. Fast start! Tope con hilo from Homicide through the ropes! Action on the outside. Homocide goes for a move on the apron but Rhino backdrops Homicide on the table. Ladder from Rhino! Honocide bites the ear! Prince Nana gets involved to help Rhino get back on the offensive. Rhino using the ladder on Homicide. Homicide tries comes back, but Rhino again with the ladder. Homicide is gorilla pressed onto the ladder..ladder breaks! Rhino charges the corner but Homicide dodges. Two-count for Homicide. Homicide's lariat blocked...Rhino gets a piledriver for two. Crowd really against Rhino...four-letter word there that starts with "F." Again, Homicide tries a top-rope move but Rhino got the knees up. Gore attempt blocked....Ace crusher from Homicide gets two. Homicide looking for a weapon underneath the ring. It's another table! ROH fans want fire. Rhino gets shots in. Table set up in the corner. Belly-to-belly from Rhino. Gore through the table? Nope! Homicide into a sunset flip for three. What the...? That's it? Post-match, Nana attacks Homicide. Homicide punches Nana, Rhino gores Homicide through the table. **3/4

Steve Corino with a promo. Kevin Steen makes an appearance in the rafters! Crowd loves it. Steen wants to get in the ring, but officials stop him. Crowd wants Steen in the ring but now even Cornette is out to prevent that. Crowd chants "bulls**t."

Steve Corino vs. Michael Elgin: Elgin charges but Corino gets out of the way. Flatliner from Corino. Dropkick and chops from Corino. I must add, Truth Martini looks like a girl when viewed from the back. Nice belly-to-back suplex from Corino. Abdominal stretch from Corino now. And well...a cavity search from Corino as well. Corino nearly got caught in the ropes doing the suicide dive, Elgin catches Corino. Elgin rams Corino into the barricade and then a running powerslam. Corino with a couple shots but Elgin with more power offense. Northern lights for two. Elgin goes for package piledriver but Corino counters. Elgin now with a Boston Crab to Corino in the ropes! Corino with a left-handed lariat. Truth Martini gets involved again. Jimmy Jacobs attacks Martini. Roll-up from Corino gets two. Corino hits a running knee. TKO from Elgin, then a superkick and an impressive suplex when Corino was on his knees. No cover from Elgin? Powerbomb from Elgin now...only two! Crowd really behind Corino. Buckle Bomb, spinning powerbomb from Elgin. Three count. ***

Jacobs attacks Elgin after the match, but Martini attacks Jacobs with that Book of Truth. Elgin nukes Jacobs. Kevin Steen in the ring! Skyhigh powerbomb from Steen! Superkick to Martini! Officials come out. Cornette is livid. Corino sticks up for Steen and pleads for Kevin to get to speak. Steen gets the mic. he watns to make  things right. "FUCK RING OF HONOR!" says Steen! He attacks Jacobs! Package piledriver on Corino! Officials all over Steen now. That was awesome. Does he go to WWE or TNA now? Steen is carried out. Cornette says it's the last time Steen will be in ROH, swearing it on his mother's grave. Some members in the crowd want Steen.

We go to intermission.

El Generico vs. Christopher Daniels (TV Title): Daniels now in the House of Truth, as a note. Generico earned the title shot by winning matches and becoming the #1 contender. Daniels goes right after Generico at the start. Good pace to the match here. Generico going a bit lucha libre on the ropes. Nice theatrical moves from Generico. To the outside they go! Ref gets to 15 or 16 (they have 20 count in ROH), but Daniels breaks the count. Generico hits a moonsault off the barricade to Daniels! Daniels begs to Generico. Handshake...then Genrico slaps Daniels. Daniels hotshots Generico and takes control again. Daniels plays some heelish mind games with the crowd as well. Generico gets a sunset flip for two. Chokehold from Daniels using his legs and the ropes. Generico fights back. Somersault dive onto Daniels on the outside! Crossbody from Generico for two. Spinning powerbomb again for two. Daniels comes back! Flatliner into a Koji Clutch! Angel's Wings countered into a backdrop from Generico. Last Rites from Daniels! Two count! Generico with punches, Daniels with headbutts. Brainbuster countered, flatliner countered, brainbuster countered again! Akuza Kick! Brainbuster! Only two?! Damn. Tree of Woe. Generico coast-to-coast! Somersault legdrop onto Daniels! Two count as Daniels gets the hands on the rope! Daniels blocks the brainbuster on the apron and shoves Generico onto a ring attendant and barricade! Suplex on the floor! Daniels grabs the belt and looks for the countout win. Daniels putting the belt on himself. Generico gets back in the ring. Uranagi from Daniels. Wait! Generico gets the knees up! Akuza kick again! Top-rope brainbuster! New champion! ***3/4

Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe vs. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Rhett Titus & Kenny King vs. Claudio Castagnoli & Chris Hero (Elimination; Tag Team Titles): Four great teams...this will be awesome. Tag titles were vacated a while back, as a note. Haas and Titus start with basic stuff. Now it's King and Benjamin. Nice agility shown from King. Great counters and agility shown from these two. Wow. Basically counter after counter before Shelton hit a top-rope crossbody. Haas now takes over on King. Castagnoli gets in the match, making a blind tag on Haas. Claudio now slows things down. Good teamwork from Rhett and Kenny as they isolate Hero. Briscoes still haven't been legally in the match yet. Claudio works on Titus. And now the Briscoes come in! And all hell breaks loose. Haas flies to the outside. Titus with a move to the outside! Kings of Wrestling on the Briscoes now. Mark Briscoe with a moonsault onto the guys on the outside! Hero wipes out Kenny in the ring. WTF, HERO WITH A RUNNING MOONSAULT TO THE OUTSIDE! Kenny, go for it! Top rope! Claudio cuts him off. Both on the top now. OH CRAP, Shelton jumps to the top and suplexes both of them off! Briscoes beat down Shelton in the ring. Good double-team moves get two-counts. Kings of Wrestling blind tag in. Shelton getting beaten down now. Kings with double-team moves of their own. Briscoes are in, as well as All-Night Express. Double team powerbomb-neckbreaker on Kenny. Doomsday Device attempt, no! Titus victory roll for two! Briscoes reverse and grab Rhett's tights but only get two. Suplex...front brainbuster for two! Jay Driller blocked. King with an enzuguiri and shotgun knees! Kenny with a backbreaker...knee off the top from Titus! Three count and the Briscoes are gone! Wow. Shelton and Titus square off. Hero now in and nails Shelton. Claudio with a camel clutch. Kings of Wrestling work on Shelton again. Hero flies to the outside, Shelton tries for the tag but can't get it...Claduio cuts him off. Wheel kick from Shelton! Hero pulls Haas off the apron so no tag! Shelton manages to tag Kenny in! Kenny is a house of fire. Standing moonsault for two. Spinebuster! Knee from Hero, but a cradle suplex from Kenny for two! Nice double-team moves from All-Night Express for two. Rolling elbow from Hero gets two! Ricola Bomb attempt countered, boot from Titus! King off the top with a neckbreaker! Rolling elbow from Hero with the lucky/loaded elbow pad! All-Night Express gone. Haas in the ring now. Rolling elbow on Haas...two-count! Release German suplex from Haas! Tag to Shelton! Samoan drop, Stinger splash, bulldog for two! Double DDT on Kings of Wrestling...two-count on Hero! Angle Slam from Haas gets two! Rolling BOOT from Hero! Claudio gets the two-count. UFO from Claudio! Count broken up by Shelton! Shelton knocked to the outside! Big Swing from Claudio! Hero kicks Haas in the face! Two-count! KRS-1 countered! Claudio speared by Hero inadvertently! Double spinebuster gets three! Haas and Benjamin win! ****

Briscoes come back in and lay out Haas/Benjamin with chairs! Hero and Claudio watch. Titus and Kenny back in!

Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards (World Title): Davey Richards with the regular tights instead of the long tights...not sure how long he's been sporting that. Tons of streamers for Eddie. Code of Honor followed. This will be an epic war because they know each other so well. Crowd is split and pretty loud.

Feel-out process early. Chain wrestling now. Eddie goes for Achilles Lock, Davey tries for ankle lock. Again a stalemate. Basically no-selling punches and kicks right now. Davey kicks Eddie HARD in the chest. Davey with a version of the cloverleaf on Eddie, but Eddie makes it to the ropes. Eddie comes back and hits an F5-like move for one. Eddie gutwrench suplex for barely a two-count. Armbar now on Davey. Eddie works on Davey in the corner but Eddie launched to the outside. Davey missed one punt but he got the next kick coming back. That had to hurt. Davey hops back into the ring. Suicide dive to Eddie on the outside!

Eddie fights back. Kick to the side of the head to Davey. Stunner attempt by Eddie, but Davey counters into a cross-armbreaker! Countered out by Eddie, but into a Kimura by Davey! Headbutt exchanges on the top! Davey kicks Eddie hard again. Headbutt to Eddie's mouth! Top-rope superplex! Holds on! Cross-armbreaker! That was amazing. Wait! Achilles Lock by Eddie, WTF?! Slaps! Back to Davey cross-armbreaker! Davey gets a near-fall! Handspring elbow...caught by Eddie into a back suplex! Alarm Clock blocked! Fisherman buster by Eddie for two! Both guys are winded.Codebreaker-like move from Eddie, but Davey again with the cross-armbreaker! Eddie gets out! Stomps on Davey's face! Back to cross-armbreaker by Davey! Back to Eddie stomps! They are no-selling everything. It's really more of a MMA fight with theatrics. Moonsault by Eddie from the apron to Davey on the outside! Crowd is really into it. Both guys back in the ring. Eddie to the top...dropkick hits! Both guys down for a little bit.

Tiger suplex from Eddie gets two! Suplex blocked, both exchange right and left hands. Davey with a ton of rights and lefts. Eddie comes with a flying knee! Both on the apron. Superkick by Eddie. Suplex on the apron and that had to hurt both guys a lot. 20-count in ROH. Both guys are crawling around. Ref gets to 14 and Eddie is in. Davey on the apron at 16. Eddie superkick. OH GOD! Warrior's Way-like double stomp onto Davey and the table is busted! Eddie back in at 8. Davey is still alive and I dunno how.

Davey is in the ring. Eddie from the top...double stomp on the injured back for two! Crowd again is split. Davey fights back again with a kick. Dragon screw by Davey! Eddie's foot caught! Davey with a double stomp from the top now! Ankle lock from Davey and he pulls Eddie to the center! Eddie fights and gets to the ropes, then kicks Davey in the head. No wasted motion or time from these guys.

Davey places Eddie on the top. Eddie fighting it off, Davey fights back. Headbutts from Davey now...about 20 or 30 of them! Top-rope German superplex! Flying forearm in the corner! Big superkick! German into a bridge for two! Powerbomb by Davey for another two! Ankle lock! Countered! Eddie counters into his own ankle lock! Leg grapevine! Davey reverses! Eddie fights to the ropes! This is outstanding.

More fighting on the apron. Eddie moves and Davey kicks the ringpost! Both now have bad wheels. Another headbutt! Davey on the top but Eddie attacks the injured leg. Both on the top. Davey fighting back. Super powerbomb...NO it's a hurricanrana by Eddie. DAMN. Lariat from Eddie! Powerbomb! Only two! Another lariat for two! 2K1 Bomb from Eddie...two again! Achilles Lock again, center of the ring! Davey struggling! Kicks by Eddie! Cloverleaf by Eddie, but not cinched in all the way. Pinning predicament! Eddie gets two.

Davey with a Saito suplex out of nowhere! Eddie responds with one of his own! Both to their knees, face to face! More back-and-forth shots. Kicks from Davey, chops from Eddie. Both are just spent. Lariat from Davey for two. Another lariat but just ONE. Davey with a kick to the head for two! Two superkicks! Tajiri-like KO kick for two again! Another spin back kick. OW. Big punt kick to the face! DOUBLE OW. Three count and a new champion! Great moment at the end with the two still buddies after that epic war. ****3/4

Final Thoughts:
Hammerstein Ballroom is the place for wrestling PPVs. They are amazingly passionate and loud. According to Cornette, this PPV was the most watched live event in ROH history. And what a way to celebrate. Loved Cornette's indirect WWE reference.

A very solid PPV here. Basically, the last three matches were awesome. The main event was incredible, filled with so much back story, so much emotion, and really had the feel of a huge heavyweight fight. Davey says ROH and the fans are the only family he has left. Nothing but raw emotion here.

Well done Davey, you deserve that championship. ****

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