Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ring of Honor iPPV

Ring of Honor iPPV
Saturday, February 26th, 2011.
Frontier Fieldhouse, Chicago Ridge.

Saturday was the ROH iPPV. This marked my 6th year as a Ring of Honor fan, and ROH’s 9th year in operation. If you haven’t seen it, please check the replay: http://www.gofightlive.tv/Events/Fight/Wrestling/ROH__The_9th_Anniversary_Show/920 for just $14.95 you can see one hell of a show!

We saw a fun show in front of a borderline sell out crowd. Before the first match, we ran out of seating! Some things were certainly done differently. There was no pre-show, and the silver bleachers had been set up. Before the show, there was a meet and greet with Haas, Benjamin and Mr. and Mrs. Cornette. (The Mrs. had on a GORGEOUS cheetah print coat BTW.)

1. Davey Richards vs. Colt Cabana ~ Davey storms in, clearly not in ANY kind of mood. Crowd was mostly behind Colt Cabana, though Davey got a few cheers himself, when he locked on his first of many submission holds. Davey targeted Colt’s shoulder during the onslaught. Colt was able to twist one of Davey’s moves into the Billy Goat’s curse, but Davey twisted out of it, and moved Colt into another submission. Colt got out of it, and later used the turnbuckles in a move against him, but the finish saw Davey suplex Colt into a pin for the win.

2. Mike Bennet vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Steve Corino vs. Kyle O’Rielly ~ The crowd was LOUD for Corino. The first two things he did elicited a chant of “UNCLE STEVE UNCLE STEVE!!” Corino seems generally shocked that the Chicago crowd loves him. Grizzly gave it his all in this fight, delivering hard chops to Bennet. Grizzly has a broad move set, ranging from Lucha Libre to Brawler to Mat Technician, he’s always a joy to watch. Kyle got a good reaction as well. Bennet dominated much of this match, much to the chagrin of the crowd. He’s still very rough around the edges, so nobody was quite sure how to accept him. At one point in the match, all four men were on their knees in a circle, punching the man on his left. The spin the bottle punching was fun to watch. ^_^ The whole match long, “Uncle Steve” was teasing the thumb, but each time it looked as though a wrestler’s behind would be subjugated to it, another wrestler would come up and nail Steve in the back. Corino almost scored a pinfall, but was surprised by Bennet, who himself scored a 3-count over Uncle Steve.

3. El Genericho vs. Mike Elgin with Truth Martini ~ Truth came out in a very classy, brown fur trimmed coat. Elgin is a very strong brawler with an old school physique. El Genericho was back in his usual, colorful outfit, a breath of fresh air considering that the current HDNet cards still have him with the dower, black mask. This match started off even, but soon Elgin tipped the odds into his favor by nailing Genericho with a lariat, sending the Generic Luchador spinning 180o in the air. To prove how tough Elgin is, he even used Truth Martini’s body as a weapon against Genericho! But the Generic Luchador is a feisty one, and he soon scored an upset victory.

After the match however, Roderick Strong came tearing down the ramp, and beat the hell out of El Genericho, smacking him in the back of the head with the title. After a lengthy beat down, Roderick attempted to cut a promo about how he would go on to beat Homicide.

Homicide wasted ZERO time in hunting Roderick down. He then proposed that they have the title match right away. Roderick couldn’t have a greed more, and then bell rang.

4. Roderick Strong with Truth Martini vs. Homicide ~ Heavyweight Title No Holds Barred Barrio Street Fight ~ An odd placement for a title match, but neither Homicide nor Roderick seemed bugged by it. Right away, the fight went to the crowd (I hope my pictures come out ok) and the two snatched up chairs where they could. The battled back to the ring rather quickly though, where Roderick then started taking chairs, and pushing them between the turnbuckles. He had planned to send Homicide into each of them, but Homicide got his second wind. Roderick shocked Homicide with the 3 Amigos! 2-count. Homicide bounced back and clocked Roderick. He then sent Roderick into each of the chairs, sending the crowd into a cheering fit. Homicide brings up a table, and stations it in the corner. Truth tries to attack Homicide, to with the Notorious 187 kicks Truth in the nuts. Roderick and Homicide go through the table, breaking it at the bottom, but due to more interference from Truth, Roderick scores a surprise 3-count.

After the match, Truth walks Roderick up the ramp. Homicide lays waste to the table and debris in the ring. Intermission starts.

During intermission, Kevin Kelly and Jim Cornette make their way to the ring. Cornette announces that Ring of Honor is doing TWO back to back iPPV’s on April 1st and April 2nd in Atlanta, while they are set to return to Chicago Ridge on May 21st.

5. Sara Del Ray with Shane Hagadorn vs. MsChif ~ Unusually SHORT match, only lasted 3-4 minutes. Sara came out in a black trench coat. MsChif was gorgeous as usual. Sara hoisted MsChif onto her back, turned around slowly, smiled and waived at the crowd, then dropped MsChif for a 3 count.

Sara then tried to start shit with MsChif. MsChif misted her!! Shane Hagadorn carted Sara up the ramp.

6. Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli with Shane Hagadorn vs. Rhett Titus and Kenny King ~ Tag Team titles on the line ~ The fight opens up with an eerie “CLAAAAADIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO” from the crowd, as he opens up against Kenny King. These two teams solidify why the tag team division is so important to preserve. Claudio played to the crowd with a cartoonish appeal, as every one of his moves elicited a “HEEEEEEY” from the audience. Kenny and Rhett were evenly matched against Claudio and Hero. Both teams couldn’t keep the action to the ring only, as they frequented outside by the barricade. Rhett has come a long way these last few months, and he took every ounce of his training to Hero, who was more than ready to keep up with Rhett’s strength. Back and forth the two went, and it certainly looked as though Kenny and Rhett would walk out with the tag belts, but Hero’s loaded elbow pad awaited the two, and KOW would score another victory.

7. Eddie Edwards vs. Christopher Daniels ~ 2 out of 3 falls match ~

The best laid schemes of bookers and writers go often askew, and leave wrestler’s heads nothing but grief and pain, for promised title defense. Still you are blest, compared with me! The present only touches you. But oh! I backward cast my eye, On contracts TNA! And forward, though I cannot see, I guess and fear!

If Robert Burns had written his poem in 1785 about wrestling in 2011 instead of his original topic, I could guess that more than a stanza would be written like this. And certainly I was thinking of this writing when I saw the finish of this match.

Eddie Edwards began by unleashing Bob Holly-esque chops to Christopher Daniels, and attacked with great fury. Both men would wrestle as though the first fall was the only fall that counted, and they wasted no time in trying to top the other’s submission attempts. Christopher attacked Eddie with much passion, and the two trades chops and blows. There was only a 30 minute time limit, and they made each minute count. Christopher scored a pin-fall in the first 20, but then Eddie’s second wind hit and he shocked Christopher with a 3 count himself. By now, we were heading into the last several minutes, and both men stepped it up. The fight continued in and out of the ring, but that’s where things got dicey. Eddie flung Christopher into the turnbuckles, then himself took a SICK landing onto the Fallen Angel… who slumped over.

The bell rang. The 30 minute time limit had expired, and neither man had scored a 3rd victory. Eddie realized that his opponent had not gotten back up, and he crawled over with referee Paul Turner to check on Christopher. Christopher tried to get up on his own, but could not. He was in and out on consciousness.

Cornette ran down with wrestlers from Pro Wrestling Respect. The wrestlers, ref and Cornette agreed that the match had to stop. So Cornette made the announcement that the final decision of both ref and time keeper would stand. This match ended at an even draw. Christopher was rushed to the back.

8. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin vs. Jay and Mark Briscoe ~ Though it’s highly unusual that a non-title match would close out the iPPV, nobody was complaining. Shelton wrestles like he’s always been in ROH, though he still has fewer than 10 ROH shows under his belt at this point. Haas was able to adapt to The Briscoes’ stiff style. The two teams brawled, and the WGTT seemed shocked at the resilience and sharp blows that Jay and Mark have been known to deliver. The two teams kept most of the action in the ring, save but for a short segment on the outside, where Haas’s endurance was tested as Mark Briscoe front flip splashed onto the WGTT and inadvertently, Jay. The crowd was HOT for the fight, and I ended up missing some spots, due to fans leaping to their feet in front of me. The Briscoes by this point had Haas and Benjamin under control, as they were setting Haas up for The Doomsday Device, when from out of nowhere, Haas reverses the move! Jay attempted a Jay Driller, but Haas reversed that too! Benjamin leaps in and helps Haas deliver their own Doomsday Device, which lead to a stunning 3 count for Haas and Benjamin.
Before leaving the Frontier Fieldhouse, I had the rare chance to say hi to Angel Armani, who was there visiting friends. Angel used to do shows for ROH in 2008, and is a PHENOMINAL legend in Milwaukee. And an absolute joy to talk to as well. ^_^ I had last seen him at PWKrush back in November.

The after party was a more quiet affair, as only a few people showed up. Still, I got a thrill when I presented Eddie Edwards with a cartoon I had made him:
© Koriander Ake
Eddie seemed very happy to see it. :D He shared the cartoon around with everyone. This is the kind of reaction that makes me want to draw more.

Christopher Daniels made an appearance, though he asked everyone to lower their voices because of his head. He was already sporting stitches, and had to be very careful, though I’m happy to say that he was cleared by his doctor. Not even a concussion! Christopher, Kenny King and Rhett Titus sat at my table and had pizza with Mama, Orion and I. ^_^

Dave Prazak snapped a pic of me with MsChif. I thanked her profusely for defeating Screech at AAW two weeks prior. She has such a sweet smile!

Haas and Benjamin also attended, though they both were somewhat shy. They both had to be reminded that it’s OK to speak with Homicide and Christopher Daniels. Poor guys.

This was a fun experience, and I recommend that you purchase the event either by http://www.gofightlive.tv/ or by DVD when it comes to http://www.rohwrestling.com/ .

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