Pre-Show: Ernie Osiris (w/Prince Nana) vs. Grizzley Redwood.
For the longest time, I thought these two were the same guy. Despite the goofy gimmicks, this isn't a bad little match. I'm not sure why I'm surprised. These two always gave good effort when they were just students. Osiris pounds Redwood down, but the Grizz chops his legs out from under him. Osiris hits a sitout gourdbuster, but Redwood counters the cover to a small package for the win at 3:20. Brisk and energetic. *1/2
After the match, Jimmy Rave attacks Redwood only to have The Necro Butcher make the save.
The American Wolves have words for their respective opponents tonight.
Opening Match: Delirious vs. Ricky Reyes.
Wrong Pitbull to bring back. I wish they'd bring the Havana Pitbulls back for a series with the American Wolves. Reyes has his workboots on tonight. Prazak even mentions the match these two had in 2006 where Delirious avoided getting fired by defeating Reyes. Reyes nearly gets the pin off a powerbomb, but Delirious kicks out and hits a headscissors. PANIC ATTACK! SHADOWS OVER HELL! That's the end at 10:11. Reyes looked good as a wrestler but doesn't really have the personality to be interesting. That's what he worked so well in the Pitbulls tag team where he could work while Rocky Romero provided the charisma. **1/2
Rhett Titus & Kenny King vs. The Super Smash Bros.
The Smash Bros. are a fun, poor man's version of Kevin Steen & El Generico. In fact, I believe Player Dos was the sub for El Generico a few weeks earlier when Generico got hurt. The Smash Bros. dominate with double-teams early, but Titus suckers Dos into charging right into a knee from King. Titus and King show they're no slouches at the double-teams either. The Smash Bros. come back with the flippity double-teams, but King hits the Shotgun Knees on Dos. That sets up the Springboard Doomsday Blockbuster at 8:42. The Smash Bros. are fun, but this is a pretty crowded field. I wouldn't mind seeing them brought in from time to time. **3/4
Chris Hero says he got this opportunity tonight thanks to Swine Flu. He promises Jerry Lynn
Jay Briscoe vs. The Necro Butcher.
Jay shows some respect for Butcher, which is very forgiving considering their history. It starts as a boxing match, triggering a bizarre stream-of-consciousness exchange between Prazak and Leonard regarding Pat Benetar, Inoki vs. Ali, and whether or not people in West Virginia wear boots. They actually start wrestling and Necro gets two off La Majestral (?!). Jay blocks a horrible Necrocanrana and drops him with the Sicilian Slice. Jimmy Rave, Ernie Osiris and Claudio Castagnoli do the run-in thing to get revenge for Necro making the save earlier. That's a DQ at 9:15. Necro makes his own save… against three guys. KICK WHAM STUNNER TO ERNIE! I was starting to enjoy the strike battle between these two. **1/2
"Poor Ernie Osiris!"
"He *is* poor."
"… unfortunate Ernie Osiris!"
Anything Goes: Davey Richards (w/Shane Hagadorn) vs. Kevin Steen.
Steen attacks in the aisle and puts him through a table. That leads to a marriage proposal before it's retracted. Richards backdrops Steen into the audience, triggering a brawl up and down the arena. They toss chairs into the ring, but it's Steen who winds up getting superplexed on them. Cloverleaf, but Steen powers out. Hagadorn sets up tables on the outside. Steen reverses, though, and is about to powerbomb Richards through the tables. Richards slips out, and they battle up a ladder. Now, Richards tosses Steen through the tables. To the inside, ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Davey can't believe it. He takes Steen to the apron for a DR Driver through a table, but Steen blocks. PACKAGED PILEDRIVER THROUGH THE TABLE! Davey's head bounced off the floor too. That. Looked. Bad. In a good way. Davey is out of it, so Steen tosses him back in and gets the academic pin at 18:26. Just the right amount of hatred and violence, considering what went down between these two teams. The finisher was just silly on Davey's part, but it looked cool and got the job done. Another good match for this feud. ****
After the match, Eddie Edwards hops in and puts the boots to Steen.
Three-Way: Bryan Danielson vs. Sonjay Dutt vs. Eddie Edwards.
Edwards refuses to shake Dutt's hand and gets tossed, so he just takes a breather. That leaves Danielson and Dutt to have a good, old-fashioned wrestling match. Dutt works in the Fargo Strut. Edwards comes in with the Codebreaker on Sonjay to take over. That leads to Danielson and Dutt teaming up against Edwards. Dutt goes for the pin, though, breaking up the alliance. Edwards yanks Danielson's leg between the ropes and grabs a chair, but Kevin Steen comes down to take it away from him before any nefariousity can occur. Sonjay dives out on both guys to a big pop. Back in, Sonjay hits standing Sliced Bread #2 for two. He goes up, but Edwards shoves him off and hits the chinbreaker on Danielson for two. Edwards adds his own elbows, but Danielson rides him down into the triangle for the fast submission at 10:57. Edwards gets no respect, considering he's a tag champion. I understand that Davey is the star of the team, but that doesn't mean Edwards needs to be treated like "the Janetty." Dutt looked good, not going in for anything overly goofy but still making with the mockery. ***
Six-Man Tag: The Embassy (w/Prince Nana) vs. Erick Stevens, Brent Albright & Colt Cabana.
This is Joey Ryan's debut with the Embassy, and he gets welcomed with a three-on-one drubbing. It eventually settles down into a normal tag match with Stevens playing face-in-peril. Cabana's "Choo! Choo!" rallying cry just doesn't catch on. Stevens manages to get the hot tag despite the fans' apathy. CUE THE SIGNATURE MOVES! We get one of those "hit a move, then turn around unsuspectingly into someone else's move" sequences. The ref tries to get Joey Ryan out of the ring, so Claudio uses the distraction to kick Stevens in the junk and gets the pin at 14:53. This was fun, but I don't care about any of the babyfaces at this point. Hopefully, they find something for Ryan to do because the sleazy Ben Stiller act is gold. **1/2
ROH World Title: Jerry Lynn vs. Chris Hero (w/Shane Hagadorn).
Hero has quite the height advantage, as we see during the pre-match handshake. Hero also seems to have a focus advantage too because he dominates the first ten minutes on the mat, in the up-tempo game, and through brawling. He even has time to stop and tell Lynn that he's got 60 minutes to beat on him. That's just cruel. Lynn is finally able to summon the power of the Geritol and fire off a few shoulderblocks and inverted DDT. Hero catches Lynn on the outside and RAMS him into the barricade. Sick spot there. Back in, Hero continues to hit move after move, but Lynn keeps kicking out. ROLLING ELBOW! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Lynn hits a TKO for two, but Hero catches him with another elbow and the Lygerbomb! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Hero readies for another elbow, but Lynn collapses. Lynn catches him going up and hits a HURACANRANA FROM THE TOP ROPE TO THE FLOOR! Hero is dead weight, so Lynn drags him in and hits the piledriver. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Hero sets up for a powerbomb, but Lynn rolls through for two. Hagadorn was about to soil himself on that one. The fans are getting behind Hero at this point. Lynn goes after Hagadorn, so Hero clocks him from behind. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Hero puts on the loaded Misawa elbowpad. LYNN DUCKS! Small package! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Lynn steals the elbowpad, but Hero clocks him with the naked forearm. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Frustrated, Hero hauls him up and goes for another. Lynn ducks and counters to the Cradle Piledriver! ONE, TWO, THREE! Lynn retains at 24:28. Like Roderick Strong, Hero always brings a good performance for his title challenges before slinking back to the midcard. Unlike the Cabana match, where Lynn ridiculously kicked out of finishers, the psychology surrounding the roaring elbow – it only works with the loaded pad (!) – made complete sense for a series of nearfalls. Good match that kind of came out of nowhere really. ***3/4
Jerry Lynn says he doesn't care if he gets booed because he's going to go out and give 110-percent. Or something.
The 411: Another good B-show from ROH. The usual suspects – Richards, Danielson, Steen – delivered, but the main event delivered a much better match than I thought it would too.