Tuesday, April 3, 2012

ROH Showdown in the Sun Night One iPPV 3/30/12

ROH Showdown in the Sun Night One iPPV
March 30th, 2012
War Memorial Auditorium, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Attendance: Unknown at this time

Well with these two Florida iPPVs being plagued by a sea of technical difficulties this past Wrestlemania weekend I figured I'd wait until they re-aired them in better quality, so here we are on the Monday after for a pair of shows that while not exactly epic looking on paper does promise to give us some solid action.

Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness

We open with Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness in the ring to welcome us to this professional wrestling show, a moniker they sport proudly. They talk up some of the matches later tonight and then show us some footage from ROH TV a few weeks back when Mikey Nichols and Shane Haste won a match and earned their spot on tonight's card.

Proving Ground Match
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs. Shane Haste/Mikey Nichols
Haste and Nichols are from Australia and have been getting booked in Japan for NOAH for awhile now, but they've yet to really show any more promise than your average young indy kids, so the Proving Ground stipulation works here and if they win they earn a title shot at dem boys down the line. Mark and Haste start us off but the action quickly spills to the floor with all four men as Nichols gets suplexed on the floor by Jay. Back inside Mark hits a suplex on Haste for a two count. Jay tags in and takes Haste inside-out with a lariat before knocking Nichols off the apron. Jay gets tripped on his way outside the ring and then eats a double-stomp from Nichols as the younger men get the advantage for the first time with a nifty double moonsault move. Nichols tries head-butting Mark but like the Samoans that has no effect on him apparently. Haste tags in and takes Mark off the top with a leaping hurricanrana before tagging Nichols back in. Finally Mark gets the hot tag to Jay and he's a house of redneck fire, handing out forearms and a Falcon Arrow to Nichols for a two count. All four men are in the ring now as Nichols gives Jay a Bulldog-like powerslam and then lets Haste use his back as a launching pad for a flying leg lariat on Mark in the corner ala the Hardy Boyz in a cool spot Nigel dubs the "Kangaroo Express". A double-team DDT on Jay nearly wins it for them but he manages to kick out. Mark gets a blind tag and sets Nichols up for the froggy elbow from Jay. Finally the Briscoes finish Nichols off with the Doomsday Device at 8:18. Nice little tag match here, Nichols and Haste looked pretty solid and this was just harmless and up-tempo enough to work as a decent opener. **1/2

Jim Cornette is out next to introduce the current NWA World champion, "Scrap Iron" Adam Pearce, making his ROH return after a hiatus of a few years. Apparently he defeated Adam Cole the night before at an NWA event in an NWA title match after using a low-blow and a piledriver, which is an illegal move in ROH remember. Pearce says he's glad to be home when Adam Cole comes out to interrupt. Cole guarantees he can beat Pearce if given another shot and Pearce agrees to the challenge, so we've got ourselves an impromptu match.

Adam Pearce vs. Adam Cole
No NWA title on the line here though. Good to see Pearce back in ROH, I've always appreciated his old school outlook on the business. Cole quickly takes Pearce out to the floor and wipes him out with a tope and we're off. Cole tosses Pearce into the barricade and they fight back into the ring, where Pearce is able to fire off a choke-slam. Pearce drops Cole right on his head with a variation on the muscle buster, but Cole manages to kick out. Cole misses a cross-body off the top rope but manages to connect with a superkick and a Shining Wizard for a two count. Pearce looks to set up for the piledriver but the referee tells him again that it's illegal, and this distracts Pearce long enough for Cole to roll him up for the flukish win at 4:31. After the match Pearce surprisingly shakes Cole's hand and raises his arm as the victor. Crowd was pretty dead for this but it served as a good enough re-introduction to Adam Pearce if they're planning on bringing him back into the company again and it sets up a program with Cole once he's finished with the O'Reilly feud. *1/2

Tornado Tag Team Match
All Night Express (Kenny King/Rhett Titus) vs. The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson/Matt Jackson)
No real story behind this match, just two hot young teams squaring off for our amusement, I can dig it. Tornado rules works too because you know tag rules are going to go out the window within five minutes with these four guys. All four men start out brawling at the bell and King takes out Matt with a big spinkick, sending both Bucks reeling to the floor so the All Night Express can take them out with stereo dives moments later on the floor. Back inside the Bucks start firing off the double team moves already on Titus with a double-stomp followed by a tope onto King from Nick. King fires off a big spinebuster on Matt for a two count but turns around is met with a facebuster into the mat from Nick Jackson. Matt wipes out Rhett on the floor again and the Bucks focus their energy on working over King. Rhett comes back in and takes out both Bucks with a double clothesline, and by god I think I even hear a "Rhett" chant for what might be the very first time. King gives Matt a T-Bone suplex then feeds Nick to Rhett for a Samoan drop and a two count. The Bucks hit a pair of stereo superkicks on both King and Titus and then deliver a pair of stereo 450 splashes, but the Express both kick out of their respective pin attempts. The Bucks take too long setting up the More Bang For Your Buck though and Titus rolls up Matt to pick up the win at 8:37. This one never really got out of first gear unfortunately and thus it was more just a basic little teaser to set us up for the street fight tomorrow night. Solid but very routine and by-the-numbers. **1/4

Prince Nana alongside RD Evans (Archibald Peck for you CHIKARArmy members) and Tommaso Ciampa make their way out to the ring next for a promo. Evans informs us that ROH filed a legal injunction to have the Embassy return the ROH TV title belt they stole from Jay Lethal within 24 hours or face suspension, They claim they were already en route to Miami when they were informed of this, but they've dispatched Osiris to go fetch the title for them and they promise to have it tomorrow afternoon for ROH officials. Nana sings "We're in the money!' and does a nifty little dance to wrap this segment up. Oh Nana, I never tire of your antics.

ROH TV Title Match
Jay Lethal
© vs. Kyle O'Reilly
This was one I was looking forward to with O'Reilly's new heel turn. Tommaso Ciampa makes a big deal out of coming out to watch the match in person. Nice lock-up to start as they trade tight wristlocks with some fancy footwork. They trade arm drags and Lethal hits a cartwheel dropkick for a two count. Lethal delivers a beautiful tilt-a-whirl backbreaker/Russian leg sweep combo and then transitions into an octopus hold of sorts. O'Reilly fires back with a running knee and then hits a backbreaker of his own before putting Lethal into a tight abdominal stretch with his leg grapevined. Lethal escapes that and delivers a big missile dropkick to O'Reilly, which sends him to the floor. Both guys fight out to the upper stage area (very reminiscent of old school ECW shows in that regard), where O'Reilly sweeps Lethal's legs from out under hip, cracking his head and neck against the hardwood floor. Back inside the ring O'Reilly tries for the Octopus hold again and manages to roll Lethal up in a cradle for a two count. O'Reilly sinks Lethal into the guillotine choke, but Lethal counters into the Lethal Combination. Both men trade chops and kicks before Lethal hits a back handspring elbow for a two count. O'Reilly delivers a very impressive back superplex off the top rope, but Lethal kicks out of that pin attempt as well. O'Reilly fires off a few kicks but then Lethal nails him with a superkick before finishing him off with the Lethal Injection at 11:31. This was a great little match with some awesome matwork and some nasty bumps on the hardwood floor and with the superplex. Great for the time it got and it almost reminded me of an old ECW house show match from an era past.. ***1/4

Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin/Charlie Haas) vs. Cedric Alexander/Caprice ColemanColeman and Alexander impressed me with a barn-burner against Davey and O'Reilly on one of the TV tapings leading up to this show, so let's see if they can impress again. Alexander and Coleman both take out Charlie Haas with big moves first, then send Shelton to the floor after him, but Coleman ends up eating a superkick from Shelton, followed by a big back suplex. Charlie tags in and goes to work on Coleman in the corner, working over Caprice's arm. Shelton tags back in for a spinebuster and then distracts the ref while Charlie gives Coleman a back suplex onto the barricade outside the ring. Back in the ring Coleman keeps trying to get the upper hand on Charlie, but the veteran has him beat at every corner and catches him in mid-air off a springboard attempt only to drive him straight down to the mat with a voracious slam. Shelton tags back in and gives Coleman an overhead belly-to-belly suplex, but that doesn't put him away so Charlie roughs him up behind the ref's back and claims he made a tag, but the ref actually makes them switch out for a moment as Haas tags back in and wraps his legs around Coleman to go along with a headlock. Coleman is able to eventually free himself and get the hot tag to Alexander, who springboards in with forearms and kicks flying everywhere. Coleman wipes out Haas with a springboard cross body and then flies out onto Shelton as Haas gets back=dropped by Alexander. Haas gets set up in the corner for Coleman to take him off with a hurricanrana, but Charlie is able to fire right back with an Olympic Slam just as Shelton leaps to the top rope to take Cedric Alexander off with a t-bone superplex off the top rope, and that's enough for Shelton to get the pin at 10:08. Pretty good little match here that was definitely different from their first encounter and helps to further cement Alexander and Coleman as a team to watch in the future. Solid but unspectacular. **1/2

Lance Storm vs. Mike Bennett

Bennett and Maria get a ton of heat from this crowd, who love to keep reminding her of her brief relationship with CM Punk by chanting his name. Storm is perfect here as the pissed off old veteran who's here to put the flashy young kid in his place and teach him what real wrasslin's all aboot.. This is billed as Storm's first official match in three years, and damnit if the guy isn't still as athletic and in shape as he was 20 years ago. You technical Stampede fans will love this one, as they start off with some swank tight wristlock counter sequences that sends Bennett out of the ring and starts up a "You've still got it!" chant for Lance. Back inside Lance works the wrist over some more before Bennett manages to catch him in a brief wristlock that Storm just immediately reverses anyways. Storm escapes another wristlock attempt in Johnny Saint like fashion and then nails him with a dropkick in the face. The action spills out to the floor for a moment but Storm brings it back to the ring just in time to eat a swinging neckbreaker from Bennett on the apron. Bennett drives Storm's back into the ring apron and tries for the post, but Storm counters with a shot into the apron instead. Back in the ring Bennett hits a flashy dropkick for a two count. He tries a chinlock but Storm fights it off. Storm teases going for the half-crab but Bennett strikes him down. Both men start brawling back on their feet and Storm hits a big leg lariat for a two count. Storm hits a top rope lariat for another close near fall. Storm looks for the superkick but Bennett counters into a big spinebuster. Bennett gives him the Box Office Smash (which is basically a Rock Bottom) but Storm kicks out. Bennett tries for the half crab, but Storm counters into a stiff superkick. Bennett spears Storm for another near fall. Storm gives him the drop toe hold and then tweaks the knee on the hold before going for the dragon-screw legwhip. Bennett tries for the TKO and Storm counters right into the half crab finally and the crowd comes alive as Bennett is only just barely able to get the rope break. Storm catches Bennett on his way back into the ring for a superplex, but Maria holds onto Bennett's behind the ref's back to prevent the move from happening. This gives Bennett enough time to deliver another Box Office Smash uranage, this time off the top rope, but still Lance won't quit. Finally Bennett gives Storm a big TKO and that's enough to put the Canadian away at 16:21. After the match Bennett looks like he's about to shake Storm's hand and make nice, but he gives him another uranage instead in true heel fashion. Hell of a return for Storm here as he played his role and character perfectly here and looked as sharp as ever in the ring, this seemed like the kind of match tailor made to play to Bennett's stregths, and it worked as this is probably his best singles match to date in the company. All sorts of great matwork and technical stuff for us geeks too. ***1/2

Last Man Standing Match
Kevin Steen vs. El Generico

This is only the third LMS match in ROH history believe it or not, and Generico's return to the company after about a six month absence. Steen punches out a sign with the infamous "Cornette face" plastered on it on his way to the ring but Generico isn't feeling as festive and meets Steen with a quick Yakuza kick and exploder suplex into the corner before the bell even rings. Steen bails to the floor and Generico wipes him out with a huge tope and we're off with a bang. Generico grabs a chair from under the ring and slams it into Steen's chest, but the big man just grabs a Canadian flag from ringside and chokes him with it. Generico grabs some spare ring ropes and turnbuckle equipment from underneath the ring and blasts Steen with it, hitting him with literally whatever he can get his hands on. Finally they return to the ring and Generico unloads on Steen in the corner with lefts and rights. Steen bites a chunk out of Generico's shoulder and then catches him with an Ace Crusher in mid-air when he tries to slingshot back in. Steen waffles him with a chair and Generico tries to wrestle it away from him, but Steen gives him a Codebreaker with the chair instead! He follows up with a somersault leg drop with the chair draped over Generico's face. Generico tries for his lucha tornado DDT, but Steen counters into a sick backbreaker and then hits a pair of somersault cannonball splashes onto him in the corner with the chair! Generico takes too long setting up for a tope and Steen just yanks him out of the ring and then powerbombs him back first onto the side of the ring apron. Good God this is an insane pace these guys are going at and we're only ten minutes in. Steen misses a superkick on Generico and winds up nailing a ringside attendant by accident as Generico feeds him a pair of stiff Yakuza kiks. Steen tries to escape to the upper stage level now but Generico catches him with a Michinoku Driver on the hardwood floor! Steen is only able to break the ten count this time by sliding off the stage, but no worries because here comes Generico with a huge somersault plancha off the stage! Crazy amount of hangtime for Generico there and I'm seriously out of breath just calling this match so far. No time to rest either as Generico follows up with a tornado DDT off the stage to the floor. Generico hits a Yakuza kick from off the ring apron and then decides to set up a table at ringside. He takes too long setting it up though and Steen sets him up on it instead and then flies out of the ring with a somersault senton onto Generico through the table on the floor! Insane. Back inside the ring Steen decides to set up a pair of chairs but this only gives Generico long enough to catch his breath and then give him a half-nelson suplex onto the chairs! The chairs don't buckle an inch though I'm running out of hyperbolic praise to hand out here, this is just madness. Back on their feet both men lock up again and now Steen manages to give Generico a brainbuster onto one of the remaining chairs! Steen is exhausted though and bails out of the ring for a bit. When he returns Generico is able to recover long enough to fire off another boot to his skull, which sends Steen flying off the top rope and through the timekeeper's table at ringside! Steen and Generico get back to their feet just in time for a fucking manly face-off with each guy jawing to the other, giving one another the middle finger, and then respectively spitting in each other's faces. Steen, being a criminally insane person, takes a bite out of Generico's middle finger and blocks a brainbuster attempt. He tries for a death valley driver, but Generico counters into the brainbuster anyways. Each man grabs a chair when they eventually recover and they start trading dueling chair shots, but Steen gets the dirty advantage by kicking Generico low. He almost looks sorry for his actions for a brief moment when Jimmy Jacobs runs into the ring out of nowhere and protects Generico long enough for him to deliver another half nelson suplex to Steen on a chair. Jacobs grabs another chair and hands it to Generico, but then pulls his favorite old heel weapon, the metal spike, out of his pocket and jabs Generico in the head with it! He blasts Generico with a chair shot and the evil Jimmy Jacobs has returned as he and Steen embrace briefly while Generico is out for the ten count, giving Steen the win at 23:37. This was an absolute war between two long time rivals and stands up there with some of the absolute craziest spotfests I've ever seen in my life. All of the spots flowed perfectly though and nothing looked contrived as these two just freaking killed each other for twenty plus minutes at an insane pace, leaving me breathless more than once due to the action. The only thing keeping this from five stars is a bit of an anti-climactic ending (a spike taking him out for ten after all of the crazy shit we just saw seemed a bit tame), but the Jacobs turn makes sense and gives Generico a valid excuse for a rematch down the line if and when Steen wins the world title. Even better than their Final Battle 2010 match somehow. ****3/4

ROH World Title Three-Way Elimination Match
Davey Richards
© vs. Roderick Strong vs. Eddie Edwards
Three of the more "love 'em or hate 'em" members of the current roster here, but this should be solid. Roddy and Davey each look for a German on one another before Davey breaks up a roll-up attempt on Edwards by Strong. Strong bails and the two former American Wolves square off with forearms. Flying knee from Edwards takes out Davey and Edwards takes out Strong as he attempts to return to the ring. Davey locks in a modified Texas Clover Leaf on Eddie but Strong finally returns to the ring and breaks it up. Roddy fires off a back suplex for a two count on Davey and then starts trading chops with Eddie. Davey does a neat double pin while having Eddie rolled up and giving Roddy a bridging Northern Lights suplex. Eddie and Davey trade shots and Davey lays in some Kawada kicks before firing off some bigger kicks to Roddy's chest. Roddy and Eddie start throwing chops too and we've got ourselves a three way strike-fest. Davey and Eddie try to do an old double team move from their tag days with a tandem head-kick but Roddy moves and they wind up kicking each other instead. Roddy sets Eddie up in the tree of woe in the corner and then tosses Richards into him before giving Dave a pair of back-breakers for a near fall as Kevin Kelly finally tells us this is elimination rules. Eddie hits a backpack chinbreaker on Roddy for his own two count. Roddy tries for a lungblower but Davey counters into the ankle lock before transitioning into a modified figure four in a sweet display of mat work. Eddie tries to break it up with a kick, but Davey just grabs Eddie's ankle and applies the ankle lock onto him in a nifty double submission. Both men get the rope break though. Roddy and Eddie fight to the apron where Roddy gives him a big back suplex onto the ring apron, but before he can even catch his breath Davey flies out of the ring with a tope to wipe him out! Edwards recovers just in time to take out both of his opponents with an Asai moonsault moments later. Eddie rolls through into a fisherman's buster on Roddy back inside the ring. He goes to the top rope but Davey leaps up to meet him there and superplex him off and then roll through on THAT into another suplex before transitioning into an armbar. Before we can even appreciate that swank sequence though Roddy breaks it up and locks Davey into the Strong Hold! Eddie breaks it up and all three men try to trade superkicks with Davey eating one before Roddy hits the Sick Kick on Edwards for a near fall everyone buys into. Back suplex from Roddy dumps Davey on his head as he sets up both of the Wolves on the top rope for superplexes. Eddie blocks it though and Davey hits a double stomp from the top on Strong and then tries for a pin with a bridging German suplex, but Eddie breaks it up with a double stomp off the top of his own onto Davey! Davey eats a pair of knees from Roddy as Truth Martini tries to get involved just as Michael Elgin makes his way out to ringside. Edwards kicks Martini off the top and he wipes out Elgin on the floor, but this only serves to distract him long enough for Strong to roll him up for the three count to eliminate Edwards at 17:53. Beautiful bridging German suplex from Davey nearly eliminates Roddy moments later, but it won't do the trick so he tries for the ankle lock. Roddy hits a gutbuster and then a Gibson Driver, but Davey kicks out. Davey kicks Truth Martini in the chest on the apron when he's finally recovered and then gives Strong a pair of big double stomps from the top. He hits a Gibson Driver of his own for two then nails a pair of big spin kicks straight to Strong's temple to eliminate him and retain his title at 21:02 total. The crowd seemed a bit drained for this one after sitting through the epic Steen/Generico match, but these three guys still worked really hard to get this match over and managed to fit in some good three-way spots alongside some great work from Davey on the mat. Finish was a bit lackluster and there was a slightly contrived spot or two, but overall very good work from everyone involved. ***3/4

After the match Michael Elgin attacks Davey Richards with a sit-out powerbomb to add some heat to their title match scheduled for the next night. Truth Martini gets on the mic and promises that there will be a new Ring of Honor World champion tomorrow night.

Bottom Line: Well I always seem to come into these shows expecting something solid but unspectacular, but everyone in the company worked hard and busted their ass on this night to give the fans a great event and show from start to finish, Steen/Generico is an early match of the year candidate and we haven't even gotten to the heralded Richards/Elgin match tomorrow night yet. Loads of solid action all over this card and well worth your money, technical issues aside, an easy Thumbs Up.

Score: 8.5/10

No comments: