Other PPVs CALDWELL'S RING OF HONOR PPV REPORT 2/26: Complete "virtual time" coverage of "9th Anniversary Show" - Strong vs. Homicide ROH Title match, Briscoes vs. Haas & Benjamin main event
Feb 26, 2011 - 10:50:15 PM
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ROH 9TH ANNIVERSARY SHOW PPV REPORT
February 26, 2011
Live from Chicago, Ill.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
The Internet PPV started with a video package recapping the build-up to the top matches. In the ring, Bobby Cruise introduced the show. Colt Cabana's music hit to bring out Cabana for the opening match. He's facing Davey Richards, who goes from main-eventing Final Battle to opening 9th Anniversary.
1 -- COLT CABANA vs. DAVEY RICHARDS
The crowd was split in support of the hometown Cabana and crowd favorite Richards. No announcers to start the PPV. What a breath of fresh...wait, there's Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak's audio level up calling the show. The hard camera was far away, capturing more of the crowd on the hard-camera side than the in-ring action. As a result, they mainly used up-close camera shots from directly outside the ring. Cabana scored two very close nearfalls just before 10:00 that popped the crowd. This led to a great exchange of nearfalls and submission attempts culminating with Richards locking in the cross arm-breaker to force a tap out by Cabana.
WINNER: Richards via submission at 12:13. Excellent opener that started strong and finished strong. Richards is back in the hunt and Cabana looked good in defeat. (***)
Announcers: Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak were shown on-camera. Kelly fed to a video package on C.M. Punk's Farewell as a Top 5 Greatest Moment in ROH history. Oh, how different Young Punk looks compared to WWE 2011.
2 -- STEVE CORINO vs. GRIZZLY REDWOOD vs. KYLE O'REILLY vs. "THE PRODIGY" MIKE BENNET (w/Brutal Bob) -- Four Corner Survival match
The match was built around Corino and Bennett, leading to a center-ring confrontation. The action then broke down, leading to overly-choreographed four-way action that the crowd sat on their hands for. Corino was then tormented on whether to use his illegal thumb, giving Bennett an opening to drop Corino with uranage for the win.
WINNER: Bennett at 10:47. Okay match with too many moving parts. ROH effectively focused on Corino's story trying to recover from his "heelish ways," which was a positive from the match. (*1/4)
Announcers: Kelly and Prazak introduced another Top 5 Moment from the first ROH show in February 2002 with a main event of Low Ki vs. Bryan Danielson vs. Christopher Daniels.
3 -- MICHAEL ELGIN (w/Truth Martini) vs. EL GENERICO
Elgin is a squatty powerhouse of a man who seems to have more bark than bite. It's Saturday night, so I'm flashing back to High Voltage on WCW Saturday Night. Early on, Elgin nearly scored a count-out victory after running Generico all the way across the floor into a ringside barricade with a powerslam. In the ring, Elgin showed off his power offense arsenal, looking like Erick Stevens when he first came to ROH, and Generico continued to be resilient escaping pin attempts. Ref Turner was then popped in the eye and Elgin had a pin following assistance by Martini, but the ref was MIA. Turner then turned around to count a three for Generico, who quickly scored with a roll-up for the win.
WINNER: Generico at 10:30. Fine match getting over Elgin's power offense and Generico being an underdog babyface. (*1/2)
Post-match: Elgin attacked Generico, then ROH World champion Roderick Strong hit the ring to attack Generico. Elgin hit a powerbomb on Generico to have the House of Truth standing tall. "5b04" then flashed on the screen. Strong took the mic and congratulated Elgin on his work. He then cut a prom on #1 contender Homicide before Homicide stormed the ring to chase off Strong. Homicide said he doesn't want to wait for tonight (he meant later tonight)...they should do it right now. Strong bailed from the ring, but Homicide nailed him with a suicide dive. ROH then officially began the title match.
4 -- ROH World champion RODERICK STRONG (w/Truth Martini) vs. HOMICIDE -- ROH World Title match -- No Holds Barred match
The action went all over the ringside area and into the stands where Homicide gained the advantage. Homicide continued to brutalize Strong in the ring before Strong, still wearing a t-shirt, gained control on the floor. Strong continued to control the action in the ring, even executing the Three Amigos suplexes to draw boos. Homicide came back by ramming Strong head-first into multiple chairs wedged in the turnbuckles. It added up to a chair shot to the head. Martini tried to get involved when Strong was in trouble, but Elgin ran interference. Martini ran interference again when Homicide had the match won. Homicide eventually gave Martini an Ace Crusher, but the timing was off and the crowd didn't pop. Moments later, Strong hit Homicide with his backbreaker finisher for the win.
WINNER: Strong at 14:52 to retain the ROH World Title. Not a memorable match for the ROH World Title and not close to recent ROH Title matches on Internet PPV. They obviously moved the title match to the pre-intermission slot to avoid giving the fans a downer ending to the show - if it were the main event - with the heel going over via nefarious means and the match being over-booked. (*3/4)
Post-match: Kelly said that was supposed to be their main event, so now they will have Haas & Benjamin vs. the Briscoes in the main event. Homicide then started taking off his clothes in frustration before smashing weapons and tables. Homicide shook his head and walked off. Kelly fed to intermission.
In-ring: Back from break, Jim Cornette walked to the ring with Kevin Kelly. They waited for Cornette to get a reaction, then a live mic. Kelly said he has some important information to pass along to the audience. Cornette announced the next Internet PPVs for ROH will be April 1 and 2 in Atlanta. "Ring of Honor Takes Center Stage" is the title, incorporating the venue in Atlanta. Cornette said on Friday, April 1, the winner of tonight's Tag Title match will face the winner of tonight's Briscoes-Haas & Benjamin match. Also on April 1, the ROH champion at that time will face Christopher Daniels.
5 -- SARA DEL REY (w/Shane Hagadorn) vs. MsCHIF
Early in the match, Prazak noted new women's competition will be coming to ROH in anticipation of the WrestleMania weekend shows in Atlanta. They went back and forth for a bit before Del Rey scored with a wrist clutch slam for the win in less than four minutes. Post-match: Del Rey talked trash at Del Rey, asking where the competition is. MsChif then spewed green mist in Del Rey's eyes and Del Rey sold like Morrison taking the spraycan from C.M. Punk on Raw three weeks ago.
WINNER: Del Rey at 3:55. Basic post-intermission match getting the audience back into the flow of the show. Not enough time for a showcase of the Women of Honor. (*)
Next up Is the ROH Tag Title match with a 45-minute time limit. Mixed reaction for the challengers, All Night Express. Mainly boos for the tag champions, Kings of Wrestling. Kelly called it New Blood vs. Royal Blood. Before the bell sounded, there was a brief "Kings of Wrestling" chant from a portion of the audience.
6 -- ROH tag champions KINGS OF WRESTLING (CHRIS HERO & CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI w/Shane Hagadorn) vs. ALL NIGHT EXPRESS (RHETT TITUS & KENNY KING) -- ROH Tag Title match
The challengers dominated the first five minutes, exceeding Hero's pre-match promo claim that ANX wouldn't be able to hang with the champs past five minutes. The crowd had some fun with Claudio, doing his "hey!" catchphrase every time Claudio landed a slap, tagged in Hero, tried a pin, or did anything that made noise. Claudio threw a fit, telling the audience to stop chanting "hey!" The champs dominated the second five-minute segment of the match. The challengers dominated the next segment, culminating with King coming off the top with an impressive Shooting Star Press for a close pin attempt that Hero broke up. All four men were then knocked down in the ring, drawing applause from the crowd.
For the finish, Hero's elbow pad came into play when King tried to steal it, but Hero stole it back and popped King in the face. Claudio fell on top of King to score the win. After the match, the crowd gave the challengers their props for the strong performance.
WINNERS: Hero & Claudio at 15:58. Good tag match. King and Titus looked strong in defeat, having the majority of offense in the match. The audience wasn't really behind the challengers until the ending, though, so the fans entertained themselves with the "hey!" chant for everything Claudio did. That was pretty entertaining, and Claudio tried to do his best with it to get heel heat on the champs. (***)
7 -- ROH TV champion CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. EDDIE EDWARDS -- 2/3 Falls match -- 30-minute time limit
The audio was out at the start of the match, which started with a nose-to-nose and feeling-out process. Back on the air, Kelly said he believes the Daniels of "2010" is better than the Daniels of 2002 in some respects. Edwards made the biggest impact in the early portion of the match with hard strikes and slaps and kicks. Very physical start. It was clear they would be using all of the allotted time with no close nearfalls in the first 15 minutes of the match. At 15:40, both men found themselves on the floor and the video feed froze. They were back live at 16:10 with both men still on the floor.
At 20:00, still no fall as Edwards scored with a backpack chinbreaker for a close nearfall. The two men then traded knife-edge chops before Edwards applied an Achilles lock. Daniels countered with the Koji Clutch, though. Edwards apparently escaped, as there were some video feed issues again. When the action resumed, Edwards was on the floor selling as the referee was making a 20-count. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise announced five minutes remaining as Edwards slipped back into the ring at 19. Edwards absorbed Daniels's attack, then went for a submission with an Achilles Lock at 26:50. Daniels tapped, giving Edwards the fall. The announcers said it was the second fall, so apparently Daniels scored the first fall during the technical issues.
With under three minutes remaining, Edwards frantically tried to score a fall to capture the TV Title, including a top-rope huracanrana resulting in a nearfall. Daniels came up bleeding from the top of his head following the huracanrana. With one minute remaining, both men went flying to the outside. The crowd became antsy as Edwards rolled back into the ring. Turner reached an eight count on Daniels, then the bell sounded for the end of the 30-minute time limit. It's officially a draw. The crowd groaned, then briefly chanted, "Five more minutes."
Post-match: Daniels slowly re-entered the ring, selling the effects of the earlier head blow. Edwards leaned over and checked on Daniels, who continued to sell a head injury. Cornette came out to check on Daniels, who was slowly helped out of the ring. Cornette then took the mic and said they would like to give this match another five minutes, but Daniels cannot continue. The crowd politely applauded as Daniels was dragged down the entrance ramp to the back. Edwards, frustrated, re-entered the ring to receive applause from the fans.
WINNER: Draw at 30:00. There wasn't a sense of urgency early in the match, sending a message to the audience the falls weren't coming until the end, hurting the audience's emotional investment in the match. Other than, a strong match. Edwards is a future top star for ROH and he continues to prove himself in big match opportunities. Daniels was solid guiding the match as a veteran leader any roster can use. (***1/4)
8 -- BRISCOES (JAY & MARK BRISCOE) vs. CHARLIE HAAS & SHELTON BENJAMIN -- #1 contender match
Very physical start to the match with the two teams trading stiff blows, followed by rapid-fire mat-based exchanges and nearfalls, leading to a stand-off. The Briscoes isolated Haas, leading to Benjamin taking a hot tag and cleaning house on the Briscoes. The action broke down and all four men found themselves on the mat selling the effects of the match. The action between Haas and Jay eventually spilled to the outside, then into the front row of the stands. Shelton joined them, then "crazy" Mark nailed a flip-dive onto everyone on the other side of the guardrail.
Back inside the ring, all four men resumed the match with multiple-man spots. There was no attempt to restore standard tag rules, as the ref allowed it to be Texas Tornado style. Haas and Benjamin then executed a combination top-rope neckbreaker on Jay for the pin and the win. So, it's Haas & Benjamin vs. the Kings of Wrestling for the Tag Titles on WrestleMania weekend. Post-match, Mark slammed his fist on the mat, selling frustration with the loss. The two teams then showed each other respect as the fans chanted, "Briscoe, Briscoe." The winners wanted a handshake and the Briscoes obliged, leading to a curtain call to conclude the PPV.
WINNERS: Haas & Benjamin at 22:25. Definitely ROH PPV main event-worthy. Strong tag team action throughout. The physical, aggressive start set a good tone for the match to stand out. It looks like ROH will be marketing their WrestleMania weekend shows around another tag team showcase match between the Kings of Wrestling and Haas & Benjamin for the tag titles, which is a good option to have. (***1/2)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Decent PPV, overall. There were some strong matches, but the PPV didn't have that "sense of urgency" like Final Battle in December or an epic match like Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards from mid-2010. If you're considering an on-demand replay of this event, it's probably worth saving your money for one of ROH's WrestleMania weekend shows in five weeks rather than ordering the replay.
We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for an "ROH PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.
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