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 411mania » Wrestling » Video Reviews

From The Shelf- Ring of Honor Race to the Top Tournament Night One
Posted by Dylan Diot on 06.03.2014

ROH Race to the Top Tournament Night One
Deer Park, NY

Your hosts are Dave Prazak and Lenny Leonard.

Kevin Steen and El Generico say it is only a matter of time until they become tag team champions. Steen says there is no doubt about the success they will have in this tournament. He says if you are a betting make, you bet on Kevin Steen.

Race to the Top Tournament Round One- Pelle Primeau vs. BJ Whitmer
Whitmer charges but Primeau low bridges him, sending Whitmer crashing to the floor. Whitmer argues with Rhett Titus on the floor, allowing Primeau to catch Whitmer with a dropkick off the apron. Back in, Primeau hits a springboard hurricanrana for 2. Whitmer presses Primeau to the mat and he gordbusters Primeau into the ropes. Knee strike by Whitmer and he snap mares Primeau for 2. Backbreaker by Whitmer and he hits a fall-a-way slam for 2. Whitmer chops away in the corner and he hits a suplex for 2. Slam by Whitmer and he goes up. Primeau crotches him to bring him down and Primeau gets a small package for 3!!!
Winner- Pelle Primeau ** ( Pretty much a prolonged squash for Whitmer. Itís hard to be invested in Primeau as a wrestler because his offense looks incredibly phony when there is such a size difference between him and Whitmer. Whitmer tossing him around though made for a good time. )

After the match, Primeau crowd surfs for a little bit but Whitmer pulls him into the ring and powerbombs Pelle into the corner. Lariat by Whitmer and he finishes his assault with a Brainbuster.

Claudio Castagnoli discusses how people said he had the skills to be at the top and Claudio says heíll prove it this weekend.

Race to the Top Tournament Round One- Jigsaw vs. Davey Richards
Test of strength to start and they begin to battle on the mat for control. Davey peppers Jigsaw on the mat and Jigsaw comes back with chops. Hurricanrana by Jigsaw and he hits a backdrop. Dropkick by Jigsaw and Davey bails. Jigsaw misses a slingshot pescado to the floor and Davey throws some head butts. Back in, Davey goes for the DR Driver but Jigsaw blocks. Chops by Davey and he throws some kicks for 2. Chops by Jigsaw and Davey comes back with a pump handle shoulder breaker for 2. Clothesline by Davey gets 2. Davey rams Jigsaw sternum first in the corner and hits a dropkick to the back in the corner for 2. Arm bar by Davey and he goes for a Brainbuster but Jigsaw blocks. Enzuigiri by Jigsaw and both men are down. Back elbow by Jigsaw and he hits a leg lariat for 2. Davey charges in the corner but eats elbow and Jigsaw hits a second rope double stomp to the back. Swinging DDT by Jigsaw gets 2. Davey blocks the Jig-A-Tonic and Jigsaw rolls him up for 2. Jawbreaker by Davey and he goes for the DR Driver but Jigsaw blocks. Davey blocks a Victory roll attempt for 2 and he hits an enzuigiri. German suplex by Davey gets 2 and he grabs the Kimura. Jigsaw gives.
Winner- Davey Richards *** ( I was surprised by how well these two clicked. Jigsaw actually matched up well to Daveyís offense and the results was a nice mix of lucha style and hard striking. )

Austin Aries tells the Resilience one thing they never questioned is his balls and he tells them no one can question theirs. He tells Stevens and Cross to race to the top and Aries tells Roderick Strong he is going to take his FIP Championship.

Race to the Top Tournament Round One- Hallowicked vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Claudio controls Hallowicked on the mat to start and Hallowicked comes back with an arm drag. Roll-up by Hallowicked gets 1 and Claudio comes back with an arm drag of his own. Second rope uppercut by Claudio gets 2. Slam by Claudio gets 2 and he grabs a rear abdominal stretch. Roll-up by Hallowicked gets 2 and Claudio gets the GIANT SWING~!!!!! Claudio covers for 2 and he hits a gutwrench suplex for 2. Claudio goes up but Hallowicked takes him down with a super snap mare off the top. Hurricanrana by Hallowicked and he hits a big boot for 2. Swinging faceplant by Claudio gets 2. Waterslide by Claudio gets 2. Spinning gutbuster by Claudio and he goes for the Bicycle Kick but misses. Rydeen Bomb by Hallowicked gets 2. Abdominal stretch by Hallowicked and he converts it into a roll-up for 2. Sunset flip by Hallowicked gets 1 and Claudio powers into the Ricola Bomb for 3.
Winner- Claudio Castagnoli **1/2 ( They basically worked a mellow, CHIKARA style match with lucha related wrestling and not much in the way of substance or story. These two have had better matches in other promotions. )

Race to the Top Tournament Round One- Mike Quackenbush vs. Matt Sydal w/Sweet Ní Sour Inc.
Before the match, Larry Sweeney says Matt Sydal is the hottest commodity in wrestling, as he is entertaining offers from different organizations. Sweeney says he has to get on the phone and take care of business, so he leaves Sydal alone for the contest. Both men battle for control to start and Quack grabs a rear surfboard. Sydal reverses into a surfboard of his own and he grabs a chinlock on Quack. Quack escapes and they reach a standstill. Crucifix by Quack gets 2 and we reach another standstill. Headscissors by Sydal and he hits a sidewalk slam. Elbow drop by Sydal gets 2. Sydal stomps away and Quack comes back with a springboard arm drag. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Quack and he backdrops Sydal to the floor. Summersault plancha to the floor by Quack and back in, he grabs a hanging CHIKARA Special. Quack releases after some time and Sydal charges in the corner but eats elbow. Sydal comes back with the leg lariat for 2. Bow and Arrow by Sydal and he releases after some time. Sydal stomps away and he slams Quack. Cannonball leg drop by Sydal gets 2. Sydal knocks Quack down with a chop and he stomps away in the corner. Corner back elbow followed by a double knee strike by Sydal. Slingshot basement dropkick by Sydal gets 2. Rear abdominal stretch by Sydal and he quickly releases. Quack catches Sydal with a firemanís carry roll-up for 2. Crucifix by Quack gets 2 and Sydal catches him in the Crossface. Quack gets his foot on the ropes to break and they trade chops. Sydal sweeps the leg and goes for the standing moonsault but eats boot. Quack blocks a suplex attempt and reverses into his own. Corner clothesline into a bulldog by Quack and he hits a springboard double knee driver. Quack face plants Sydal and gets an inside cradle for 2. Quack goes up but Sydal stops him and brings him down with a leaping Frankensteiner for 2. Backpack Jawbreaker by Quack gets 2. Hurtís Donut by Quack and he gets a crucifix for 2. Palm strike by Quack but Sydal comes back with an enzuigiri. DDT by Sydal and he hits the standing moonsault for 2. Pumphandle Driver by Sydal gets 2. Sydal goes up for the SSP but Quack moves. BTS by Quack and he converts into a crucifix for 3!!!
Winner- Mike Quackenbush ***1/2 ( Really good stuff between these two. Sydal had an awesome mix of cocky heel tactics with his high flying style and it worked really well with Quack who performs well with different styles of wrestling. They produced a good, competitive match and was the match of the tournament up to this point. )

Race to the Top Tournament Round One- Erick Stevens vs. Chris Hero w/Sweet Ní Sour Inc.
Hero shows some of his athleticism to start so Stevens mocks him in return. Stevens overpowers Hero to start and he goes to the chinlock. Hero escapes and continues to showcase his athleticism. Stevens has had enough and he train wrecks Hero with a shoulder tackle. Powerslam by Stevens and they trade chops in the corner. Stevens charges in the corner but Hero trips him up and hits a slingshot stomp. Boot to the head by Hero and he chokes Stevens with his boot. Hero chokes Stevens in the ropes and Sweeney gets a cheap shot in from the floor. Del Ray also gets a shot in and Hero hits a basement boot to the head. Indian Deathlock by Hero and he converts it into a roll-up for 2. Hero throws some boots in the corner and he charges but eats elbow. Roaring elbow by Hero gets 2. Hero throws more boots and he fires away with forearms. Stevens returns the favor and Hero breaks that up with a knee to the midsection. TKO by Stevens and both men are down. Stevens cleans house and hits the Choo-Choo in the corner. Stevens goes for a suplex but Hero blocks. Backdrop by Stevens and he hits the Jackhammer for 2. Sit-out Pump Handle Slam by Stevens gets 2. Stevens works Hero over on the apron and Hero comes back with the hanging Cravat neckbreaker for 2. Hero goes up but Stevens follows and they slug it out on top. Hero knocks Stevens off and hits the double stomp off the top for 2. Stevens blocks the Heroís Welcome and hits the release German suplex. Sarasota Screw Driver by Stevens gets 2 and Sweeney breaks up the count!!! Stevens chases Sweet Ní Sour on the floor and back in, Hero catches him with the Heroís Welcome for 3!!!
Winner- Chris Hero *** ( I was entertained by Heroís antics during the match but if he toned them down just a bit this could have been really good, as it picked up steam in the final stretch. )

Delirious cuts his crazy promo on El Generico.

Four Way Fray Match for FIP World Heavyweight Championship- Roderick Strong © vs. Gran Akuma vs. Jimmy Rave vs. Austin Aries
This is Ariesí first match back after being released from TNA. Aries goes after Strong to start but Strong quickly bails. Strong pulls him to the floor and they brawl while Akuma and Rave battle in the ring. Akuma throws some kicks at Rave but Strong attacks him. Akuma fights back with kicks to the chest in the corner but Rave catches him with a Spear. Samoan Drop by Strong to Rave. Missile Dropkick by Aries to Strong. Corner Dropkick by Aries and he goes for the Brainbuster but Rave saves. Aries throws some elbows in the corner and he misses a corner dropkick. Shoulders to the gut in the corner by Rave and he hits a running knee strike. Aries blocks a Pedigree attempt and he backdrops Rave to the floor. Slingshot spinning pescado by Aries to Strong on the floor and Akuma hits a slingshot summersault plancha to the floor. Back in, Akuma hits the release German suplex on Aries. Yoshi Tonic by Akuma gets 2. Akuma throws some kicks to the chest and Aries comes back with the knee breaker into the back suplex. Corner dropkick by Aries and he hits the Brainbuster. Aries goes up and Rave stops him. He follows up but Aries bites his head to block. Akuma goes up and Aries fights him off. Strong shoves Aries off the top and everyone covers Aries for 3!!! Austin Aries is eliminated.

Akuma throws kicks at Rave and Strong and Rave catches him in the Heel Hook. Akuma taps. Gran Akuma is eliminated.

Strong and Rave trade chops and Strong hits a dropkick. Strong goes for a back suplex on the apron but Rave blocks and hits the STO on the apron. Back in, Rave hits the springboard Tornado DDT for 2 as Strong grabs the ropes to break. Strong backdrops out of a Pedigree attempt and he hits the Sick Kick. Gutbuster by Strong and he hits a half nelson backbreaker for 2. Rave counters a Urinage backbreaker into a small package for 2. Urinage backbreakers by Strong and he hits the exploder backbreaker. Rave catches Strong with a sunset flip for 2 and Strong grabs the Strong Hold. Rave taps.
Winner and Still FIP World Heavyweight Champion- Roderick Strong *** ( Weird booking as this was Ariesí first match back and he is quickly eliminated, so the crowd wasnít happy. The match was sloppy during the four way person but it eventually got crisp and the Strong/Rave final segment was quite good. )

Jack Evans discusses the timeline of events of Generation Next and said most of his success happened in Japan. He came back to get some recognition and that will happen when he wins the tournament.

Race to the Top Tournament Round One- El Generico vs. Delirious
Both men look for control early and Delirious gets a crucifix for 2. Generico comes back with arm drags and hits an elbow drop to the back for 2. Slam by Generico gets 1. Backbreaker by Generico gets 1. Backbreaker again by Generico and he hits the split legged moonsault for 2. Generico goes up for a crossbody but Delirious catches him with a head butt to the midsection on the way down. Firemanís Carry drop by Delirious and he gets a cocky cover for 2. Back suplex by Delirious gets 2. STF by Delirious and he releases to throw elbows at the neck of Generico. Hand assisted Tornado DDT by Generico and Delirious bails. Arabian Press by Generico to the floor and back in, Generico goes up. Flying splash off the top by Generico gets 2. Forearms by Generico and he hits the Protobomb for 2. Delirious cleans house and hits the leaping lariat. Bizarro Driver by Delirious gets 2. Generico blocks the Cobra Stretch and he gets a backslide for 1. Roll-up by Generico gets 2 and Delirious hits a dropkick to the back of Generico. Panic Attack by Delirious and he goes up. Shadows Over Hell by Delirious gets 2. They trade forearms and Generico hits a big boot. Yakuza Kick by Generico and he hits the Brainbuster for 3.
Winner- El Generico *** ( Pretty much a match consisting of move after move with no real psychology or story but it was fun overall. You would think with more time and a bigger stage these two would have had something great together. )

Race to the Top Tournament Round One- Matt Cross vs. Brent Albright
Both men battle for control and Albright overpowers Cross. Drop toe hold by Cross and he gets an inside cradle for 2. Sunset flip by Cross gets 2. Enzuigiri by Cross and Albright bails. Slingshot baseball slide by Cross and he hits a handspring corkscrew plancha to the floor!!! Back in, Cross covers for 2 and he grabs the cross arm breaker. Albright rolls out and he hammers the back of Cross. Divorce Court by Albright and he stomps on the bad shoulder of Cross. Hammerlock back suplex by Albright gets 2. He charges in the corner but misses and Cross goes up. Missile dropkick misses and Albright grabs the Crowbar. Cross gets his foot on the ropes to break. German suplex by Albright and he hits the Exploder suplex. Half Nelson suplex by Albright and he pulls Cross off the mat on the 2 count. Albright presses Cross into the Crowbar and Cross taps.
Winner- Brent Albright ** ( Short and sweet match with Cross using speed and athleticism to try to take out Albright early but Albright was too powerful for him. Simple storytelling and I enjoyed it for the five minutes it lasted. )

Race to the Top Tournament Round One- Kevin Steen vs. Jack Evans
Steen mocks Evans break dancing prior to the start of the match. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver but Evans escapes and hits a spinning front kick. Punches in the corner by Evans and he hits a hurricanrana. Handspring back elbow by Evans knocks Steen to the floor. Evans follows out with a dropkick plancha to the floor!!! Steen pulls Evans off the apron and he sends Evans into the barricade. Cannonball into the barricade by Steen and he sends Evans into the barricade again. Evans escapes a powerbomb attempt and he botches a springboard corkscrew hurricanrana off the barricade. Back in, Evans hits a slingshot twisting press for 2. Backdrop by Steen and he slams Evans. Forearms by Evans and Steen comes back with a back elbow for 2. He works over Evans for a bit and Steen hits a double stomp to Evans. Springboard moonsault back elbow by Evans and he hits a slingshot double stomp to the back of the head. Springboard spinning front kick by Evans gets 2. Evans goes up for a crossbody off the top but Steen catches him and hits an inverse sidewalk slam for 2. Steen goes up but Evans stops him and follows up. Steen blocks the superplex attempt and he hits a Swanton Bomb to the back for 2!!! Steen goes up but Evans crotches him and follows up. Low Jack by Evans gets 2. Evans goes up but Steen stops him and follows up. Evans hits a reverse hurricanrana off the top and Evans goes up. 630 Splash by Evans gets 3!!!
Winner- Jack Evans ***1/4 ( Damn good story of Steen overpowering and pretty much toying with the smaller Evans like he tends to do but Evans with more experience and a history of wrestling larger men was able to take and defeat Steen in a straight up match. )

ROH Tag Team Championships- The Briscoes (Jay and Mark Briscoe) © vs. Bryan Danielson and Nigel McGuinness
In a nice touch, Danielson and McGuinness come out together instead of having separate entrances. Nigel and Mark start. Mark works over the arm to start and Jay blind tags in. Big boot by Jay and he hits some forearms. Dropkick by Jay gets 2. Tag to Mark and they hit a double shoulder block. Tag to Danielson and he grabs a half crab. Mark grabs the ropes to break and Jay tags in. Dropkick by Danielson and he catches Jay in the cross arm breaker. Mark saves and the Briscoes hit a double Urinage to Danielson. Leg drop/springboard corkscrew senton combo by the Briscoes. Nigel comes in and all four men brawl. Mark hits a crossbody off the top onto Nigel on the floor!!! Sit-out Gordbuster by Jay to Danielson as Mark goes KARATE MARK to Nigel on the floor~!!! Rebound lariat by Nigel and back in, Danielson hits a Saito suplex to Jay. Tag to Nigel and he hits some uppercuts. Tag to Danielson and he jumps onto the leg of Jay. Mexican Surfboard by Danielson and Nigel dropkicks Jay while he was in the hold. Jackknife roll-up by Danielson gets 2. Double underhook suplex by Danielson gets 2. Uppercut by Danielson and Nigel tags in. Single arm suplex by Nigel and he works over the arm of Jay. Short arm lariat by Nigel and he puts Jay on top. Tower of London by Nigel gets 2 as Mark saves. Tag to Danielson and he puts Jay on top. He follows up and hits a back superplex for 2. Crossface Chickenwing by Danielson but Mark breaks it up with a springboard forearm. Tag to Mark and he misses a springboard crossbody. Superkicks by Mark and he hits the springboard splash for 2. Springboard moonsault press by Mark gets 2. The Briscoes go for the Springboard Doomsday Device but Nigel breaks it up and Danielson grabs the Cattle Mutilation!!! Rapid Elbows by Danielson and he goes back to Cattle Mutilation. Jay breaks with a splash off the top. Tag to Jay and Nigel. Thrusts in the corner by Nigel and Mark hits a springboard superkick. KARATE MARK~!!!!! Nigel comes back with a running uppercut and he hits the kick to the back/chop to the chest combo to Mark. Lariat to Jay by Nigel and he crotches Jay. Second rope lariat by Nigel gets 2 as Mark saves!!! Danielson dumps him to the floor and he misses a slingshot pescado to the floor. Nigel puts Jay on top and goes for the Tower of London but Mark breaks with superkick. Sidewalk slam/top rope leg drop combo by the Briscoes gets 2. Tag to Mark and he blocks the Jawbreaker Lariat with an exploder suplex for 2. Springboard knee drop/DVD combo by the Briscoes. Springboard twisting splash by Mark gets 2. Suplex by Mark and he goes up. Jay goes up but Danielson follows and hits a superplex. Mark goes for the Shooting Star Press but eats knees!!! All four men slug it out and Danielson accidently nails Nigel, allowing Mark to roll him up for 3!!!
Winners and Still ROH Tag Team Champions- The Briscoes ***1/2 ( About as good as you would expect a match featuring these four to be. Iím happy that Danielson and Nigel never showed distrust as a team and are so prideful that they worked together to try to win the tag titles. Very good wrestling with everyone getting their stuff in but they didnít take things up that extra notch that would have put this in classic territory. )

The 411: This was a solid show to kick off the Race to the Top Tournament. No blowaway matches during the tournament but everyone involved got a chance to showcase themselves and a majority of the matches had clean, decisive winners. Nothing that is must see but it might be worth a quick glance as a standalone show if your not interested in seeing the entire tournament.
Final Score:  6.5   [ Average ]  legend


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