El Generico vs. Michael Elgin- G: 3 A: 4
G: Elgin looks like the type of creature that rests under a bridge and tests you before you can pass said bridge. He's also quite stale in the ring. Generico tried valiantly in the match and pulled out some of his choice offense, including his between-the-ropes DDT on the outside. Elgin just couldn't keep up with the match -- could've sworn I heard "boring" chants, too. It was pretty bad, and that's saying something when you're in there with one of the top guys in the business. Take this old Canadian horse out to pasture, boys.
A: Have to agree with you about Elgin’s looks, reminds me of the bridgekeeper in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. I’ve seen Elgin before in IWA-MS and wasn’t impressed by him. I have to say, that this was probably the best Elgin match although, much of it can be accredited to Generico, who was just a bump machine for Elgin’s basic big-man offense. Generico hit some really nice big spots including a through the ropes DDT which was just phenomenal.
Homicide vs. Tommaso Ciampa w/ The Embassy vs. Colt Cabana vs. Caleb Konley w/ Truth Martini - A: 4 G: 4
A: I feel I should note that R.D. Evans, one of many hanger-ons who accompanied Ciampa to the ring, has an alternate ego as Archibald Peck in Chikara. I was impressed with exactly one thing that Ciampa did, and that was rather nasty looking backcracker style move, rest of the match he looked like a generic dude with a Jonny Gomes haircut (Reds fans will get that reference). Konley was impressive at the beginning and showed some spark but felt like he got lost in the shuffle late in the bout. Cabana’s contributions were a lot fun as he brought some leavity and humor to the proceedings. Homicide’s triple dives to the outisde were nice as was the Cop Killa that, for lack of a better term, killed Konley.
G: It's nice to finally see Homicide back to his old self, busting his ass in the ring and not phoning it in like we've seen since his departure from TNA. Konley actually quite impressed me as it seems that he is a determined kid who really wants to make a name for himself not just with the company, but in the business as a a whole. His dedication in his bumping is great. Ciampa honestly strikes me as one of those guys who will be around for a bit but will never get anywhere (a la Mike Bennett). His offense is decent and he hit a nice looking gut-buster, but he's the definition of emotionless. Cabana brought the comedy relief as always, but also took his share of bumps. Homicide hit three of those sweet topes, so consequently each time Colt took a bump into the guardrail which really raised my stock in him. 'Cide hit Konley with a particularly gnarly Cop Killa for the win.
Sara Del Rey & Serena Deeb vs. Hiroyo Matsumoto & Ayumi Kurihara- G: 6 A: 6
G: SWEET JAYZUS! This was awesome. It's blinding obvious that Matsumoto needs more seasoning in the ring, but she held her own against Deeb and Del Rey (who are a great team, by the way). Let's fucking thrown down and talk about Kurihara this chick is tits, man. She is the epitome of Joshi wrestling and brings it every time she gets in the ring. Her transitions in submission offense are so fucking smooth, as are her amazing power moves like the head drops suffered by Del Rey and Deeb. I think Deeb is starting to get back into the groove of things after being a useless valet in WWE for so long, as she's getting back to basics and handling herself well in the ring. Del Rey is the fucking queen and you know it. She makes me proud to say I'm a fan of American Women's wrestling because she is so dedicated and brings so much to the table. What a match. A message to ROH: You want to keep your company thriving? Book the hell out of joshi wrestlers. Kurihari, please?
A: This was probably only about 8-10 minutes but damn, this was fun! I agree with Geo, Kurihara was just fucking awesome! Everything she did such as the dive to the floor, the armbar on the ropes, and the back drop driver near the end was just amazing. Matsumoto’s work was pretty good as well but nowhere near the level of Kurihara’s. Del Ray dropped a kick to the back of Kurihara’s head that just rocked her world. Deeb on offense looked like she was still in WWE-mode a bit, as evidence by her jabs that looked more like she was doing boxing on Wii Sports than competing in an actual match.
Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Adam Cole & Kyle O'Reilly - A: 7 G: 6
A: Briscoes for a while have been my favorite ROH tag team but after seeing this, I think that Cole and O’Reilly may be my new favorite team. This was non-stop action from bell to bell and every minute was just fantastic! Briscoes got in their usual offense, like the springboard doomsday device, the double throw from the corner, and them just chopping the shit out of the youngsters in the corner. Announcers kept mentioning that O’Reilly was trained by Davey Richards and you could tell. His strikes and kicks were very similar if not the same as Davey’s but his selling is much better. Cole and O’Reilly just took all of it and kept coming. Their double team moves were outstanding. The one combo I really liked from them was the rolling butterflies from O’Reilly into a DDT from Cole capped off by a suplex from O’Reilly. Even though they didn’t get the win, I think this definitely helped solidify Cole and O’Reilly as a top team in ROH.
G: So the team of O'Reilly and Cole are really coming into their own. With the passion and drive that it takes to get ahead in this company, this young team was going balls-to-the-wall, busting out all kinds of great offense in super slick fashion. Cole was most impressive in this match. His selling of the Briscoe's offense was delightful as all get out, and the crowd was behind him and O'Reilly 100%. Giving 100% is how you make your mark in this company -- I feel the fans are starting to realize just how much these two kids give when they go out there. I honestly feel like they're a younger version of the Briscoes. Think back to 2002-2004 when the Briscoe's were young kids bumping around and eating offense. Now think of the Briscoes today. I honestly feel like this is what we're going to see out of the team of Cole and O'Reilly as time progresses. A really good match that went a decent amount of time. Definitely check it out.
Roderick Strong w/ Truth Martini vs. Davey Richards - G: 8 A: 7
G:Ok, boys, you finally nailed it in my book. This was easily MOTY thus far in ROH. Here's what separated this match from all the other Davey/Strong matches in the year prior: it built, and they took their time. First, let me discuss my gripe with the match: I wish the leg work by Davey would've continued througout. Davey was killing Roddy by working over his legs throughout the beginning portion of the match, but it seemed to stop about halfway through when the sprint came about. I was looking at this with forgiving eyes because the sprint was done just so damn well. Now let's talk about the build. The build in this match worked to a T. The two would start a sprint, but would pull it back as if to tease the fans a la 90's All Japan style. The strike exchanges were everything you'd expect from these two, and the hate really seeped from their pores -- highlights including Davey called Roddy a "motherfucker" and Roddy telling Sinclair to "get the fuck out of my way." I LOVE IT~! To reiterate, MOTYC here for sure if not MOTY for the company thus far. Great, great stuff.
A: I enjoy watching Richards work but my main problem is that he sells stuff like the T-1000 from Terminator 2. Everything Roddy does is pretty much shrugged off unless it’s right after the move itself. On the opposite side, Roddy was just great in this. His facials, especially when he was in the ankle lock at the end were great. There were three big moves in the match I really enjoyed aside from the mat work. First was Davey’s insane suicide dive to the outside where he almost broke his neck colliding with guardrail. The other two were when Davey got dropped hard on the ring frame and my favorite move of the match, Roddy just unceremoniously dropping Davey back first across the turnbuckle arm. A good match yes, but I have to say I enjoyed the tag match before it just a bit better
Kings of Wrestling (Champions) w/ Shane Hagadorn vs. Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team - A: 5 G: 5
A: Shelton was really focusing more on calming down his arsenal of big jumps and dives, only breaking them out when they are really necessary. The early leg work on Claudio was a nice foreshadowing of what was to come in the finish. The pace here wasn’t breakneck like you would expect. It was slowed down considerably with everything having a purpose and not doing big moves for the sake of doing big moves. Geo, you’re right. Haas and Benjamin haven’t missed a beat. They may be just as good, if not better than when they were in WWE. Liked the Haas of Pain submission at the end on Claudio and the big top rope jump from Shelton tossing Hero halfway across the ring.
G: Haas and Benjamin really haven't missed a beat since their departures from WWE, but I do noticed Shelton being a bit more conservative in the ring and not hitting too many high spots. This gets no complaint from me. Why run when you're not being chased? Shelton is focused on his in-ring technical aspect instead of risking his life with dives and such. He still hits that top rope jump which looks divine. The match was taken rather slow by both teams, which built and built to a well-worked climax. KoW took their time decimating WGTT, which added a really great "mainstream-turned-indy-guys who show they can fucking work" story to the match. I honestly think that the future holds better matches for both teams when they face off again, but what we got was indeed good.
Eddie Edwards (Champion) vs. Christopher Daniels (World Television Champion)- G: 6 A: 6
G: Damn this had great pacing. Both guys tore the fucking mat down going hold for counter-hold early on. Edwards had his time in control, as did Daniels, and they both played so damn well off of each other which added a great flow to the match. Time was really the essential key in this match in that it was controlled so well by both men, leading to that great built up atmosphere that made the finish mean that much more. I think this match does the old Harley Race saying of "slowing the fuck down" justice in that it really showed how much two guys can do when they take their time. Watch this shit.
A: Some really good stuff here as, much like the previous bout, everything had a purpose and every move built to the next. Geo, I must once again agree, this was paced perfectly. A little faster or a little slower, this wouldn’t have been as good. Eddie had some good looking stuff here including the running dropkick from the floor through the ropes, similar to Generico’s DDT earlier on. The climax was good as well, especially when Edwards had the achilles lock applied and Daniels kept reversing it. The final move of the match should have been the driver off the top rope as I didn’t think it was necessary for a second immediately after. Everything else here was top notch.
G: What a tremendous show~! Can't wait to see what night two has in store!
A: This was a fairly brisk watch and the three hours blew by. I really enjoyed this and hopefully Night 2 will be just as good.