RADICAN'S TAKE RADICAN'S ROH DVD SERIES: "Homecoming 2012" 1/20 - Hallowicked & Jigsaw vs. Briscoes, Richards vs. Lethal
Apr 10, 2012 - 12:59:18 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
RADICAN’S ROH DVD REVIEW SERIES
JANUARY 20, 2012
BY SEAN RADICAN, TORCH COLUMNIST
Bobby Cruise announced that Eddie Edwards wouldn’t be able to wrestle because of a staph infection. The crowd wasn’t happy about this. Eddie Edwards came out with his left arm wrapped up. The fans were happy to see him. Edwards said it sucked he couldn’t wrestle because of a staph infection. Edwards called the doctor in the back a pussy for not letting him wrestle. The crowd chanted “F—k the doctor.” How nice. Edwards said he was sorry, but fans were about to see the greatest wrestling on the planet. The fans were happy again.
WGTT came out and Haas got on the mic. He told the fans he doesn’t like them. The ring mic was hard to hear. Benjamin got on the mic and said only a room full of idiots would boo the greatest tag team in wrestling. Benjamin said there would be a match and when they’re done, they can’t wait to get out of Philadelphia. Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly came out next to a big pop.
A graphic was shown previewing the upcoming match. Kevin Kelly introduced the show with Bill Burger. WGTT refused to follow the Code of Honor.
(1) WGTT (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) vs. Future Shock (Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly). The announcers talked about Haas & Benjamin’s new attitude. Cole took down Haas with a shoulder tackle. Haas got up and knocked O’Reilly off the apron. Benjamin then ran in with the ref attending to O’Reilly and knocked Cole down from behind. Cole fired back and sent Benjamin to the outside with a dropkick a short time later before tagging in O’Reilly. The pace picked up and O’Reilly hit several kicks and knees on Benjamin before taking him down with a leg sweep. Benjamin fired back and went for a suplex, but O’Reilly slipped down and grabbed a guillotine. Haas ran in and kicked O’Reilly in the head to break the hold with the ref trying to keep Cole out of the ring.
Haas & Benjamin went to work on O’Reilly. O’Reilly went for a cross-arm breaker. Haas powerbombed himself out of the hold and both men were down. Haas managed to tag in Benjamin, who continued to work over O’Reilly. O’Reilly caught Benjamin out of nowhere with a tornado DDT. Cole and Haas tagged into the match. Cole greeted Haas with a missile dropkick and nailed him with a flurry of offense. Cole went for a cross body, but Haas caught him. Cole managed to shift his weight and hit a DDT and the fans chanted for Cole. Benjamin ran in and went for a powerbomb, but Cole slipped out and hit a neck breaker. Cole and O’Reilly nailed Haas and Benjamin with superkicks. They then hit tandem kicks in the corner on Haas and followed up with a double team suplex, but Benjamin made the save. The action broke down with all four men going at it. O’Reilly went after Haas and Benjamin with kicks. O’Reilly charged Benjamin in the corner, but he got out of the way and O’Reilly ended up hitting Cole. Haas and Benjamin tossed O’Reilly out of the ring and hit a double powerbomb on Cole for the win.
Winners: Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin.
Star rating: (**1/2) – The match was slow in spots, but finished strong. They didn’t really build to anything with WGTT dominating most of the action until it broke down leading into the finish.
After the match, the fans chanted for Future Shock.
Grizzly Redwood cut a promo and said he was ready for his Four Corner Survival match. He said he would chop his opponents down.
Bennett and Ciampa refused to follow the Code of Honor.
(2) Tomasso Ciampa (w/Embassy Limited) vs. Mike Bennett vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Andy Ridge. Bennett and Ciampa cleared the ring and went face-to-face, but Bennett backed off. Ciampa went to work on Ridge and nailed him with a big back breaker. Bennett and Ciampa then made a wish with Ridge’s legs. Bennett went to work on Ridge and the crowd chanted “where’s Maria?” Ridge fired back on Ciampa with a kick to the head and tagged in Redwood, who nailed him with a cannonball in the corner. Ciampa countered a bulldog from Redwood and tossed him to Bennett, who nailed Redwood with a neck breaker. Redwood finally fired back on Ciampa and Bennett and tagged in Ridge, who ran wild.
Ridge hit several kicks on Ciampa and rolled him up, but only got a two count. Ciampa kicked out and sent Redwood right into a forearm from Bennett. Ciampa then took out Redwood with a clothesline and covered him, but Bennett broke up the pin. Bennett and Ciampa argued and came to blows. Ciampa took out Bennett’s legs with a dropkick from his back. He set up Bennett for project Ciampa, but Bennett drove him into the corner. Bennett missed a charge in the corner on Ciampa moments later. Ciampa took down his knee pad and nailed Bennett with a running knee in the corner. Ciampa hit another running knee and went for a third, but Ridge caught him by surprise with a slingshot ace crusher for a nearfall that popped the crowd. Redwood blind-tagged himself into the match and went at it with Ridge. Bennett dragged Ridge to the outside moments later and dragged him to the outside, but Ciampa took them both out with a double clothesline. Redwood went for a dive through the ropes, but Ciampa caught him and dropped him down on the apron with an air raid crash. Ciampa then tossed Redwood into the ring and hit project Ciampa on Redwood for the win.
Winner: Tomasso Ciampa
Star rating: (**3/4) – This was a fun match with the heels working together before inevitably getting into an argument over who would win. The spot with Ridge catching Ciampa with a slingshot ace crusher was well-timed and popped the crowd. This was a fun match overall.
O’Reilly and Cole were arguing backstage. O’Reilly told Cole he was sorry for hitting him by accident. Cole said they came so close to moving up the ladder, but something always stops them from reaching their goal. O’Reilly said they had been through a lot, but they have climbed the ladder together. O’Reilly apologized again. Cole said he was frustrated and said he wants Future Shock to work. Cole told O’Reilly he needs to get refocused. O’Reilly said he is focused and walked away.
Embassy Limited was shown backstage celebrating. Prince Nana told Ciampa because he was so great they were going to celebrate tonight. R.D. Evans reminded Nana it’s important that their investors enjoy themselves. Ciampa said in less than three hours Lethal would face Richards for the ROH World Title. Ciampa said if Lethal wins tonight, his Proving Ground match would be for the World Hvt. Title. Evans said that would make the investors happy. Nana said they were still going to party tonight. Ciampa walked away. Evans said he would go check on Ciampa.
Steve Corino made his way down to ringside. Corino got on the mic and said 2011 was a year of transition for him. He said at “Final Battle 2011,” he wrestled his a—off and lost. Corino said he was injured from Steen’s package piledriver. Corino said he had lost the match, but won the battle of respect. Corino said the fans and the office respected him now. He said most importantly, his peers respected him. Corino said he’s not done by a long shot. Kevin Steen came out to remix of his theme with Richards’s wolf howling at the beginning.
Steen came out and the fans chanted for him. Steen got on the mic and said Corino was an evil man. Steen said what happened to Corino at “Final Battle” was painful because Corino was his idol. Steen said Philadelphia was where the King of Old School moniker was born. Steen said he was going to bring Corino back to reality. Steen said Corino didn’t need to earn anyone’s respect in the locker room. He said they should have respected him from the start. Steen said the office was now one fat miserable man named Jim Cornette. Steen said Corino spent a year with him loathing Jim Cornette in 2010 and now he wanted to earn his respect. Steen questioned why Corino would want Cornette to respect him. He said Corino only needs to respect himself. Steen said people would respect Corino more for stabbing someone with a fork than kissing Cornette’s a--. Steen asked Corino where Jacobs was and mocked a fan in the crowd. Steen said Jacobs was home because he can’t face anybody. Steen told Corino he is there for him. Steen asked Corino to help him burn ROH to the ground. Steen told Corino to do something and begged Corino to punch him. Corino stared at Corino before walking to the back.
Kenny King’s music played and he came out with Rhett Titus, who was on crutches. Steen refused to follow the Code of Honor prior to the opening bell.
(3) Kevin Steen vs. Kenny King (w/Rhett Titus). Steen went after Titus, but King cut him off. They brawled at ringside and King tossed Steen into the barricade and nailed him with a running kick. Steen got the upper hand and taunted Titus. Steen whipped King towards the apron, but he ended up jumping on the apron and hit a springboard senton. King continued to control the action once they got back into the ring and he chocked Steen with his boot in the corner. Burger mocked Steen for not wearing proper wrestling attire. Steen fired back and went for a cannonball in the corner, but King got out of the way. The action spilled outside again. Steen ducked a punch and drove King crotch-first into the ringpost and the crowd applauded. Steen grabbed a fan and kissed him before nailing King with a cannonball against the barricade.
Steen continued to work over King inside the ring. He then tossed King outside and raked his face while jawing with the fans at ringside. Steen told two fans he’d rip their hearts out and eat them. King caught Steen with a pinning combination out of the corner, but Steen got right up and drove his knees into King’s chest. The fans began to rally behind King as Steen laughed at them. Steen stood on King’s chest and used the ropes for leverage. He continued to jaw with the fans at ringside before going back after King. Steen eventually for a springboard moonsault off the second rope, but King got out of the way. The crowd fired up and King nailed Steen with a pair of clotheslines. King took Steen down again and hit a standing moonsault, but only got a 2 count. King went for a dive, but Steen got out of the way. Steen then powerbombed King on the apron. He tossed King back into the ring, but only got a 2 count.
Steen went up top again. He jawed with the fans and went for a senton, but King got his knees up. King went for a springboard, but Steen caught him. King slipped away from Steen and drove him neck-first over the top rope. King then hit a springboard blockbuster for a 2 count. King put Steen on the top turnbuckle. Both men traded blows up top0. Steen shoved King to the mat. King charged at Steen, but he caught him with a pop-up powerbomb. Steen went for the package piledriver, but the ref stopped him. King caught Steen with a pair off kicks and went for the shotgun knees in the corner, but Steen caught him and hit the F5 for the win.
Winner: Kevin Steen
Star rating: (**3/4) – There was a lot of down time here with Steen jawing with the fans. Steen dominated a lot of the action before putting King away in the end.
Steen went for the package piledriver on King after the match. Titus tried to make the save, but Steen took him down and went after his leg. Steen then flipped Titus off before applying the sharpshooter. King recovered and made the save. Steen bailed to the outside and smiled. Kelly and Burger said Steen was trying to destroy ROH, but they are stuck with him. The fans chanted “thank you Kevin” after the match. Steen pointed at Titus and mocked him by limping around. King and several officials helped Titus to the back after the match.
Michael Elgin came out with Truth Martini to very little reaction. Chris Hero’s music played and the fans chanted to his music. The fans chanted for Hero once his music started. Shane Hagadorn came down to ringside and said he’s here for Hero. Hero got on the mic and said he appreciates everything Hagadorn has done for him, but it’s important to him to wrestle on his own tonight. Hagadorn ended up going to the back. Hero offered a handshake, but Elgin blew him off.
(4) Michael Elgin (w/Truth Martini) vs. Chris Hero. They did some chain wrestling to begin the match. Hero went for a shoulder tackle, but Elgin just glared at him. Elgin tried a shoulder tackle on Hero, but he wouldn’t go down. Elgin tried to dive in front of Hero as he came off the ropes, but Hero flipped over him. Hero then flipped around the ring and did all sorts of wacky stuff. Elgin went for a clothesline, but Hero ducked it and went on the attack. Elgin whipped Hero into the corner, but he started leaping back and forth over the turnbuckles. Elgin got mad, but he ducked an attack and sent Elgin to the outside. Hero set up for a dive, but Elgin got out of the way, so Hero simply vaulted over the ropes. Hero ducked back inside the ring moments later and caught Elgin with a kick through the ropes. Both men traded blows on the outside. Hero hit a kick and tossed Elgin back into the ring. Hero hit a standing senton, but only got a 1 count.
Both men exchanged blows in the middle of the ring, but Elgin caught him with a spinning side slam for a 2 count. The crowd chanted for Hero as Elgin went on the attack. Elgin lifted Hero for a delayed vertical suplex. Elgin took a long time before dropping Hero down to the mat. Elgin continued to work over Hero, as he drove him into the corner. Elgin dragged Hero to the apron and nailed him with a series of clubbing blows to the chest. Elgin then hit a big leg drop on the apron. He covered Hero back inside the ring, but only got a 2 count. Elgin grabbed a headlock as the crowd tried to rally behind Hero. Hero made his way to his feet and tried to break free. Elgin nailed Hero with a big kick, but Hero caught him with a boot from the apron. Hero went for a springboard, but Elgin caught him and hit a Samoan drop for a 2 count.
Elgin grabbed a modified abdominal stretch on the mat. Hero eventually got to his feet. Elgin went for a suplex, but Hero blocked it. Elgin hit several knees to the gut. Elgin bounced off the ropes, but Hero surprised him with a running kick and both men were down. The crowd chanted for Hero, as he struggled to get to his feet. Elgin nailed Hero with a chop, but Hero fired back. Hero took Elgin down with a forearm. The pace picked up and Hero nailed Elgin with a rolling forearm for a 2 count. Hero placed Elgin on the top turnbuckle and nailed him with a big kick. Hero then took Elgin down to the mat with a cravat buster for a 2 count. The crowd applauded as Hero set up for a running elbow in the corner, but Elgin caught him and nailed him with a suplex. Hero blocked a lariat, but Elgin took him down with a modified leg trap powerbomb for a 2 count.
Elgin went for a piledriver, but Hero slipped out and hit a Saito suplex. Both men were slow to get up as the crowd applauded. Hero hit a series of running forearms in the corner, but Elgin fired right back with a clothesline in the corner. Elgin then caught Hero with another big clothesline as he staggered out of the corner for a nearfall. Elgin looked shocked after Hero kicked out. Elgin dead-lifted Hero into the suplex position before dropping him back down with a slam for another 2 count. Cruise announced there were three minutes remaining in the time limit.
Hero fired back on Elgin and nailed him with a cravat suplex. Elgin hit a Saito suplex, but Hero fired right back up before fading. Elgin went for another suplex, but Hero got slipped out. Both men began exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring with the crowd cheering every Hero strike. Hero finally ended a big exchange with a rolling Elbow, but Elgin kicked out and the crowd applauded. The fans chanted for Hero as he went up top. He missed a moonsault, but landed on his feet. Hero hit a rolling kick and covered Elgin with under a minute remaining, but Elgin kicked out and the crowd cheered. Martini got on the apron, but Hero fought him off. Hero went for another rolling kick, but Elgin caught it and hit a buckle bomb. Elgin followed up with the spinning powerbomb for the win.
Winner: Michael Elgin
Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a nice farewell match for Hero in ROH. He did a lot of his old school flips and rolls around the ring. The crowd was totally into Hero, but Elgin also looked really good here and hit some really impressive power moves. I don’t like name talent losing all of their matches on the way out, but at least Hero made Elgin look good here.
Elgin and Martini left Hero alone in the ring. The fans chanted “thank you Hero.” Hagadorn came in the ring and mocked Hero for losing by himself. He also referenced Hero losing to Strong at “Final Battle.” Hagadorn said maybe it was he and Claudio who were awesome. Hagadorn asked if he would have been one of the longest reigning ROH Tag Team Champions without him. Hagadorn told Hero he needs him more than he needs Hero. Hagadorn told Hero that he’s a bum that nobody wants. Hero teased leaving the ring, but ended up decking Hagadorn with a big forearm as the fans cheered. Hero then went to the back.
Kevin Steen cut a promo backstage. Steen said what matters is 2012. He said he’s the talk of the town now. Steen wondered how he would end 2012. Steen said if you listen to some of the crazy folks out there, 2012 might be the end for everyone. Steen said he would finish this year and maybe end the world as ROH World Champion. Steen said Kenny King will be the man in ROH one day, but until he cuts his dead weight, it’s not going to happen. Steen said “Final Battle 2009” would be a great DVD for King to study referencing his turn on Generico. Steen pledged to beat Adam Cole on the next show. Steen said what he wants more than anything in 2012 is a wolf. Steen said until Cornette gives him what he wants, the whole place is going down.
Truth Martini and Michael Elgin were shown backstage. Martini said Strong had wiped the mat with Hero. Martini said Elgin had done the same thing. Martini bragged about being a managerial sensation. Elgin said there’s no doubt Hero is one of the best at what he does. Elgin said tonight when Hero hit him with forearms and boots, it didn’t work. Elgin said he stayed on his feet or kicked out every time. Elgin said the Young KO Kid couldn’t KO Michael Elgin. Elgin said 2012 was the start of his path to the ROH World title. Martini said that people say God created all men equal and Elgin finished it off saying they were wrong.
Radican note: Elgin can certainly cut a promo. I don’t know why he hasn’t been allowed to show this on television. It wasn’t a great promo, but I got the idea that given more opportunities to talk, Elgin has potential to be good on the mic.
Roderick Strong came out with Truth Martini and got on the mic. He said he wanted to wish Lethal and Richards good luck tonight. He said he was coming for the ROH and TV title. Strong said Edwards was afraid of him and now he has nobody to wrestle tonight. He told Cruise to ring the bell and declare him the winner. Adam Cole’s music played and he came down to ringside. Cole got on the mic and some fans chanted his name. Cole said he overheard Strong trying to get out of a match tonight. Cole said he respects and looks up to Edwards, so he would be willing to face Strong in a No Holds Barred match. Martini got on the mic and told Cole it was silly for him to challenge Strong to a match. Martini explained the ramifications of a No Holds Barred match and said if Elgin wanted to interfere, he could. Martini told Cole he would interfere in the match and hit him with rights, lefts, and uppercuts. Martini told Cole the match would be one on two. Martini told Cole if he doesn’t like what he’s saying all he has to do is shut him. Cole then nailed Martini with a superkick and he went flying out of the ring.
(5) Roderick Strong (w/Truth Martini) vs. Adam Cole in a No Holds Barred match. Strong immediately jumped Cole, but he fired back with a dropkick. Both men exchanged blows in the middle of the ring. Cole eventually kicked Strong off the apron and nailed him with a dive through the ropes and the fans popped. Strong tried to hit Cole with the Book of Truth, but Cole nailed him with a punch. Strong ran away from Cole and rolled out the other side of the ring. Strong eventually caught Cole with a kick to the head on the apron and Cole spilled to the floor. Strong nailed Cole with several chops before tossing him back-first into the ringpost. The fans taunted Strong and chanted his name slowly. Strong tossed some chairs into the ring before lifting Cole and slamming him back-first on the apron. The fans chanted for Cole as Strong put the boots to him. Cole fired back and traded forearms with Strong. He caught Strong in the corner moments later and dropped him neck-first over his knee for a 2 count.
Strong kicked Cole’s leg moments later and Cole went down. Strong got one of the chairs and went after Cole’s knee with it. He then tied up Cole’s leg around the bottom rope and then nailed it with a big kick. Strong slammed Cole back-first across a chair. He then grabbed a camel clutch using the chair for leverage. That looked nasty. Strong ended up letting go of the hold and he nailed Cole with a kick to his head, which was resting against the chair. Strong taunted Cole, who tried to fire back with some strikes. Strong eventually nailed Cole with a kick to the head out of the corner for a nearfall. Strong went back after Cole’s knee with the chair. Strong went outside and grabbed a couple more chairs from the fans and tossed them inside the ring. Strong assaulted Cole with the Book of Truth. Strong set up chairs between the turnbuckles in every corner. He tried to toss Cole into the chair in the corner, but Cole countered and tossed him head-first into all the chairs that were set up in the corner. Cole hit a German suplex and a flying knee, but only got a 2 count.
The fans chanted “ROH, ROH” as Cole continued the assault. He drove a chair into Strong’s leg. He then put Strong on the chair and went up top, but Strong got up and nailed him with a kick. Strong tried to suplex Cole out of the corner, but Cole countered and suplexed Strong into the chair for a nearfall. The fans chanted “that was awesome.” Strong caught Cole with a kick on the apron. He then dropped Cole back-first onto the apron and the crowd gasped. Strong is selling his leg better than Cole at this point and he’s taken way less damage. Strong set up another chair before wrapping both of Cole’s legs around the second turnbuckle. Strong then nailed Cole with a series of running forearms and a gut buster for a nearfall. The fans clapped as Strong limped around before going back after Cole. Strong went for a backbreaker on a chair, but Cole drove Strong into the corner. Strong caught Cole with a kick out of the corner and then slammed him back-first over a chair for a nearfall. Strong then applied the strong hold, but Cole managed to get the ropes.
Strong set up a couple of chairs in the ring as Cole sold being near-death on the apron. Strong kicked Cole to the floor and grabbed another chair from a young fan. Strong set the chair up over Cole head and nailed him with a kick. Cole fired up and dragged Strong to the outside. He then hit a wheelbarrow German suplex into the ring apron and the crowd went nuts. Cole dragged Strong to the apron and tossed him into the ring, but could only get a nearfall. Elgin ran in and put the boots to Cole. The crowd booed as Elgin continued to assault Cole. Edwards ran down and made the save. Edwards ended up booting Elgin to the floor and they brawled to the back. Strong and Cole recovered and began exchanging blows. Strong hit a series of chops, but Cole fired up and nailed him with several forearms. Strong hit a knee to the head and went for a chair, but Cole nailed him with a superkick and hit falcon arrow through the chairs. The ref went to count, but Martini dragged him to the outside. Cole went after Martini, but Strong nailed him with a kick from behind. Strong followed up with a big back breaker for the win.
Winner: Roderick Strong
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a really good back and forth match. Cole didn’t sell his leg very well after Strong assaulted it for a long period of time, but he showed great fire against the heels. Edwards making the save when Elgin entered the ring was a nice touch. Martini’s interference leading to the finish in two straight matches is a bit much, but overall I really enjoyed this match.
Strong and Marini left Cole alone in the ring after the match. It sounded like the fans were chanting for the Briscoes, but they eventually gave Cole a nice ovation as he kneeled in the ring. Many fans stood and began chanting Cole’s name as the camera panned out. Cole waved to the crowd and they applauded. Burger said, “Finally Adam Cole has become a star here in Philadelphia.”
The Briscoes were backstage with Veda Scott. They Briscoes didn’t know who she was. They kept asking her what her name was. Scott said the Briscoes were here for a Proving Ground match against Jigsaw & Hallowicked. Mark got upset with something Scott said. Jay said they had started in Philadelphia. Jay said this was there house and Jigsaw & Hallowicked had a lot to prove. Mark danced next to Scott and Jay said she’s a keeper.
Truth Martini said when Cole accepted the No Holds Barred match, he had accepted his demise. Strong said he’s been doing this for a long time. Strong said Cole had shown heart, but he didn’t have enough tonight. Strong said in the end, only the strong survive.
Jigsaw & Hallowicked were out first for their Proving Ground match against the Briscoes. They got a nice pop from the crowd. The fans then chanted “Man up” and began cheering as the Briscoes made their entrance. The fans continued to chant for the Briscoes before the opening bell. Neither team followed the Code of Honor prior to the opening bell.
(6) ROH World Tag Team Champions Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Jigsaw & Hallowicked - Non-title Proving Ground match. Hallowicked and Jigsaw tagged in and out to work over Mark’s arm for several minutes during the early stages of the match. Jay made a blind tag and took out Hallowicked with a clothesline before booting Jigsaw off the apron. The Briscoes tagged in and out to work over Hallowicked for several minutes. Hallowicked fired back and eventually backdropped Jay to the outside. Hallowicked went for a dive, but Jay greeted him with a forearm. Jay then held Hallowicked and Mark nailed whim with a dropkick though the ropes. Jigsaw sent Mark flying off the apron with a kick, but Jay ran into the ring and blocked a dive with a spinebuster. The Briscoes went to work on Jigsaw. At one point Mark hitting a running dropkick that sent Jigsaw flying into the corner. Burger talked about how everything about CHIKARA was the complete opposite of the Briscoes way of life.
The crowd chanted for the Briscoes as they continued to get the heat on Jigsaw. Jigsaw fired back and took Jay and Mark down with dropkicks. He went for the tag, but Jay dragged Hallowicked off the apron before he could make the tag. Jigsaw set up for a dive off the top, but Jay shoved him onto a table. Jay then landed a doublestomp that sent Jigsaw though the table and the crowd popped. The announcer asked why Jay had to do that. Why the heck wouldn’t he? Jigsaw beat the 20 count and ended up alone in the ring with the Briscoes. Several CHIKARA wrestlers began coming down to ringside as the Briscoes beat on Jigsaw. Mike Quackenbush, Frightmare, Dasher Hatfield, Fire Ant, and Saturyne all came down to ringside separately. Green Ant then came down to ringside to cheer on Jigsaw. Soldier Ant and UltraMantis Black then came down to ringside. The crowd got to their feet as the CHIKARA wrestlers pounced on the apron.
Jigsaw finally mounted a comeback and made the hot tag to Hallowicked, who ran wild. The announcers said the CHIKARA wrestlers were only at ringside for support. Jigsaw tagged in and nailed Jay with a missile dropkick. He then hit a series of kicks on Mark. Jay ended up on the outside. Mark fought back against Jigsaw and Hallowicked. The crowd chanted “man up.” Mark went after Hallowicked’s mask. He spent too much time going after Hallowicked, which allowed Jigsaw to nail him with a big German suplex. Jay went to the outside and nailed Hatfield with a punch. Jay then went after Saturyne. The ref was distracted as Jay set her up for a piledriver. Fire Ant ran in and distracted Jay. Jigsaw then nailed him with a superkick for the pin.
Jay got on the mic after and said this was bulls—t. He said they didn’t sign up to face bitches, bums and Looney Tunes. Jay said they would put the belts on the line on April 28 in Chicago. He said Jigsaw and Hallowicked were going to die. The CHIKARA wrestlers stood tall in the ring. UltraMantis Black got on the mic and the crowd popped. He said he was here tonight with all of his comrades because CHIKARA is a family that supports each other. Mark tossed a chair at him, but missed. He said they had come to take on the very best of the world in ROH. Black said the Briscoes didn’t respect the masks, which are sacred to their culture. Black said after getting a look at the Briscoes, it would be best that they embrace the masks themselves. Black said Hallowicked & Jigsaw would take something sacred from them. He said CHIKARA was going to bring the tag titles to their promotions. The fans chanted for CHIKARA.
Winners: Jigsaw & Hallowicked to earn a future ROH World Tag Team title shot
Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a very good match that got exciting towards the end when several members of the CHIKARA roster came down to ringside to cheer on Hallowicked & Jigsaw. They had some nice exchanges leading to the finish, which saw the CHIKARA wrestlers get involved once Jay went after Saturyne and Dasher Hatfield on the outside for no reason. I found it odd that the Briscoes were positioned as heels here, but it will be interesting to see how this inter-promotional rivalry develops. Once again, the announcers were hard to hear at times during the match.
Davey Richards cut a promo backstage. Richards said his actions speak much louder than his words. He told Lethal to be ready. Richards concluded that he had one piece of advice for Lethal and that would be for him to duck.
Lethal was out first to a good reaction from the crowd. Richards came out next to a bigger pop. Bobby Cruise did the formal ring introductions. Lethal got a nice pop when he was introduced. Richards got a mixed reaction at first and then the vocal fans chanted his name. The crowd then chanted for both men. Good atmosphere before both men locked up. Richards and Lethal followed the Code of Honor.
(7) ROH World Hvt. Champion Davey Richards vs. ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal – ROH World title match. They went back and forth on the mat during the early going with neither man able to gain the upper hand. Lethal hit his signature cartwheel into a dropkick and covered Richards for a one count. The crowd chanted for both men as Lethal went on the attack hitting a running leg drop. Lethal backed Richards into the corner, but didn’t offer a clean break as he nailed Richards with a big chop. Richards fired back, but Lethal took him down with a big chop. The pace picked up and Richards eventually caught Lethal with a dropkick as he came off the ropes and the fans howled in unison. Richards tied up Lethal’s arm in his leg and rolled through into a leg submission combination. Lethal quickly countered it into a rollup for a 2 count, but Richards nailed him with a big kick to the head after kicking out.
Lethal caught Richards with a back breaker coming off the ropes moments later and turned it into a kneeling stretch. Lethal then released the hold and hit a belly to back suplex, but he only got a 2 count. The fans started the dueling chants again with Lethal still in control of the action. Richards ducked a charge in the corner, but Lethal ended up slamming his head into the turnbuckle. Lethal charged at Richards on the apron, but Richards pulled the ropes down and he fell to the outside. Both men went back and forth on the apron, but Richards ended up driving Lethal arm-first down onto the apron. Richards went to work on Lethal’s arm once he returned to the ring. Lethal ended up tying up both of Lethal’s arm and applied a nasty double arm submission before stomping down on one of Lethal’s arms. Richards began targeting Lethal’s arm with kicks. Lethal tried to fire back, but Richards nailed him with a big kick to the head and he collapsed to the mat. Richards slammed Lethal to the mat and went up top. He paused to howl for the crowd before connecting with a diving headbutt. Richards applied a kimura on Lethal moments later, but he got to the ropes with his feet.
Lethal screamed as Richards grabbed another arm submission. The crowd began to rally behind Lethal. Lethal eventually drove Richards into the corner. Richards went for a German, but Lethal blocked it. They began exchanging strikes in the corner. Richards connected with several kicks to the chest as the crowd exploded. Richards continued to connect with a kick after kick in the corner and Lethal collapsed to the mat. Richards played to the crowd and went for another kick, but Lethal slapped him in the face. The pace picked up and Lethal caught Richards with a leg lariat off the second rope and both men were down. The crowd exploded and chanted for both men as they got to their feet. Lethal and Richards began exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. Lethal blocked a punch and fired up on Richards taking him down with a series of kicks and strikes. Lethal hit a handspring elbow, but only got a 2 count. The crowd chanted for both men as Lethal stood over Richards. Lethal went for a suplex, but Richards slipped out. Lethal quickly countered and tossed Davey up in the air and brought him down with a neckbreaker for a 2 count.
Richards blocked a Lethal combination attempt and went for a handspring, but Lethal cut him off with a dropkick. Richards ended up on the apron. Lethal went for a springboard, but Richards cut him off. Richards then went up top and connected with a big missile dropkick. Richards charged Lethal in the corner, but ended up eating a superkick. Richards didn’t go down and fired back on Lethal with a kick. He followed up with a German with a bridge, but Lethal kicked out and the crowd exploded. Richards connected with a running forearm in the corner. He went for another charge, but Lethal hit the Lethal combination for a nearfall as Burger telegraphed the kick out by saying the match was over. The crowd chanted for both men as Richards went up top. Strong ran down to ringside and went after Lethal. Lethal managed to kick him off the apron, but Richards ran over and hit a superplex. He then transitioned right into a falcon arrow cross-arm breaker. Lethal struggled and managed to roll over. They exchanged pinning combinations for nearfalls. The crowd applauded as both men began exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring. Richards finally took Lethal down with a big clothesline and both men were down as the crowd exploded.
Both men got up and began exchanging strikes. Lethal ducked a clothesline and wiped out Strong on the outside with a tope through the ropes. The crowd cheered the spot. Richards went for a running kick off the apron to the floor, but Lethal tripped him face-first into the apron. Lethal hit the top rope elbow as the crowd exploded, but Richards kicked out at the last second. The crowd chanted “bulls—t” after Richards kicked out. Lethal hit a dragon suplex, but Richards kicked out again. Lethal went for the handspring ace crusher, but Richards slipped out of the way and grabbed an ankle lock. Lethal rolled through and applied a leg submission of his own and pushed up Richard’s arms with his legs. Richards slipped out and grabbed the ankle lock again. The crowd chanted for Lethal not to tap and he managed to push Richards into the corner with his legs. Lethal ducked a kick and hit the Lethal injection, but Richards kicked out at the last second. Burger said he had never seen anyone kick out of that move. Lethal sold frustration and the crowd chanted “this is awesome.” Lethal dragged Richards to the corner and nailed him with a big chop. Lethal set up Richards on the top turnbuckle and went for a top rope ace crusher, but Richards fired back with headbutts. Richards connected with a sunset bomb. He then nailed Lethal with a running kick. Richards went up top and hit a doublestomp, but Lethal kicked out. Richards lit up Lethal with a series of strikes and kicks. Lethal went to his knees and Richards measured him and hit a big kick. Lethal told him to bring it, so Richards nailed him with several more kicks for the pin.
Winner: Davey Richards to retain the ROH World Title.
Star rating: (****) – This was a heck of a match. They paced it really well bringing the crowd up and down with several big exchanges and then rest spots with both men down. The action escalated with Strong coming down to ringside, but Lethal refusing to stay down. The only downside is Richards needs to develop a new finish. The kicks to the head are overdone and don’t build always build a lot of drama leading to the finish. You could tell because the crowd heat went down as Richards began his final sequence of kicks. Other than that small detraction, Lethal was awesome here and Richards should be commended as a lot of wrestlers have their best performances in the ring while facing him.
Richards got on the mic and thanked the fans. He then thanked Lethal and the crowd applauded. Richards said if it wasn’t for Lethal, this company wouldn’t be around. He talked about Lethal paying his dues in ROH. The crowd chanted “thank you, Jay.” Richards began to talk and the chant got louder, so he stopped and let the fans chant. Richards said he’d love to face Lethal one more time and the fans applauded. Richards handed Lethal his TV title. Lethal got on the mic and the crowd chanted “f--- TNA.” The fans then started an “ROH, ROH” chant. Lethal said he’s proud to say he works for ROH. He then shook Richards’s hand before leaving. Richards then got on the mic and thanked the fans for supporting the company. Richards promised the fans he and the wrestlers would give the fans their hearts every single night. Richards said because of the fans, he is a man of honor. The show then concluded.
Overall thoughts: (7.0) – First off, ROH needs to do a better job of quality control. I could barely hear Kevin Kelly during most of the matches. His new partner, Bill Burger, could be heard just fine for most of the show, but there’s no way I shouldn’t be able to hear both announcers while watching a show. This show would rate higher than it did if I could have heard Kelly clearly on commentary.
That being said, ROH did put more effort into this than some of their other DVD releases last year. There were backstage segments and new graphics shown before each match. This made for a pleasurable viewing experience because the segments made what was happening during the show seem to matter. The post-match interviews that occurred after some of the matches were also a nice touch as well. They went a long way into making the events in taking place during the show seem important.
The show didn’t have a bad match, although the first few matches weren’t anything memorable. Kevin Steen and Steve Corino did have a good back and forth segment on the mic before Steen faced Kenny King.
The second half of the show was very strong and the match quality picked up appreciably. Hero-Elgin was a nice throwback to Hero’s old in-ring antics. Elgin looked really good going against Hero and got the chance to cut a solid backstage promo to drive the point home that his win over Hero was a big stepping stone. For those that don’t think Elgin can talk, check out this release.
Truth Martini was overexposed here, as his interference led to the finish in back-to-back matches. There’s no need to have him out there for two straight matches where his presence causes a distraction. Cole-Strong was a very good substitute for the advertised Strong-Edwards match that couldn’t take place due to Edwards’s staph infection. Cole looked really good going at it with an ROH veteran and trying to overcome the odds as the underdog with the added distraction of Elgin and Martini interfering in the match.
The Briscoes-Hallowicked & Jigsaw segment was well-done. I really liked how the CHIKARA wrestlers came down to ringside to support Jigsaw when he was going at it alone against the Briscoes. This was a nice first step in what has the potential to be a fun inter-promotional feud. I’m certainly all in favor of both promotions working together, as it gives independent wrestling fans a nice set of fresh matches to look forward to in 2012.
The main event was excellent. Lethal did a good job of making the crowd believe he had a chance to win. They did some really nice work building up the match with submission work. Then Lethal began making comebacks and the pace really picked up down the stretch with Lethal hitting all of his signature offense and even his finish, but he couldn’t put Richards away. I’m not a fan of Richards winning the majority of his matches with a series of kicks to the head of a downed opponent. It takes away the drama of the match and you can see the crowd heat die down when he goes into his finishing kick sequence. Everything leading up to the finish was awesome and Lethal did a heck of a job selling Richards’s kicks and telling him to bring on more of them before taking the pin. Overall this gets a solid recommendation, but I’m hoping someone in ROH takes a careful look at the final edit of a DVD before it goes into production going forward.
You can purchase “Homecoming 2012” at ROHWrestling.com
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