Homecoming II, The

Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago Ridge, Illinois – Saturday, April 25, 2009

MATCH #1: Egotistico Fantastico vs. Rasche Brown

These two both lost in their main show debuts last night, so either way one of these guys is going home with their first ROH victory tonight. The crowd is heavily in support of Fantastico. Brown shows off some impressive agility and power in the opening minute, landing a couple of leapfrogs, a big shoulderblock, and then a big clothesline to take Fantastico down. He takes his smaller opponent into the corner and chokes him, and then gloats to the crowd. Fantastico tries to make a comeback but Brown hits an eye gouge, and abuses him in the corner some more. Brown takes some time to jaw with the crowd, and is still able to thwart Fantastico’s comeback attempts. He hits a powerslam and hesitates before making the cover, and thus only gets two. He wears Fantastico down with a chinlock, and then drops him with a military press. Fantastico finally comes back with a series of kicks and dropkicks but can’t take the big man down. He hits a springboard lariat to take Brown down for a two-count. Brown comes back and slams Fantastico down, and puts on the Human Torture Rack. He drops Fantastico down on the top rope and gets a cover for two. Brown tries a powerbomb but Fantastico sort of gets a sunset flip for the surprise pin at 6:35. I know I’m no trained wrestler but that seemed like a pretty easy spot to blow. I’m surprised either guy got invited back.
Rating: *

MATCH #2: Austin Aries & Rhett Titus vs. Silas Young & Alex Payne

I feel kind of embarrassed for Alex Payne. He starts the match with Austin Aries, who is responsible for training young Sugarfoot something like four years ago. What does that say about Aries as a trainer? Aries dominates, so Payne tags Young into the match. Young has much better luck, getting a quick O’Connor roll for two, a backslide for two, and a schoolboy rollup for two. Aries is frustrated and demands Payne get back in the ring. Young refuses, so Aries tags Titus. The crowd gets on Titus’s case right away. Titus goes after Young’s arm, and they trade some holds back and forth. The match breaks down to a brawl that spills to the floor. Payne teases a dive off the top rope but Aries pulls him down and goes to work on Payne’s Sugar Foot. Aries and Titus make quick tags and work Payne over. After a few minutes Payne makes the hot tag to Young, who knocks Aries down to the floor and hits a bulldog on Titus. Young hits a powerslam for two. Payne gets tagged back in and hits a flipping stunner out of the corner for two. They put Titus on the top turnbuckle, but Aries comes back in and thwarts whatever they were planning. Titus misses a frog splash, and Young hits a uranage backbreaker on Aries, and one for Titus too. A clothesline gets a two-count, and Payne makes a blind tag. Aries and Titus get knocked to the floor and Payne fulfills the promise of his earlier dive attempt. Young does a headstand in the corner and Aries dropkicks him to the floor. Aries tries the dropkick on Payne, but Payne moves out of the way and traps Titus in a couple of pinning combinations for two-counts. Payne doesn’t see Aries come in and hit him with a kick to the head and a brainbuster. Aries puts Titus on top of Payne for the win at 14:26. I can’t believe this match got that much time. It was okay in spots, but pretty messy most of the time. Payne is so not a threat to anyone. Young raises Payne’s hand out of respect, and then clotheslines him.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Three Way Match – Claudio Castagnoli vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Roderick Strong

Strong’s head is still bandaged from the horrific cut he got during last night’s title match with Jerry Lynn, and Jacobs is still sporting the eye patch. Castagnoli and Strong start the match while Jacobs lays back. Jacobs interjects himself when Strong is vulnerable, and he goes to work on Strong’s injured head. Strong is able to back drop Castagnoli to the floor and Jacobs swoops in to attack but gets hit with a dropkick and rolls to the floor. Everyone’s on the floor now, and Strong whips Jacobs into the barricade. Castagnoli nails Strong with a bicycle kick from the blind side. They get back in the ring, and Jacobs literally seems to not care about the match he’s in. Castagnoli and Jacobs are both working on Strong, before turning their attention to each other. In an awesome spot, Strong throws Jacobs in the air for a gutbuster, but Claudio swoops in with a European Uppercut. Castagnoli puts Strong in a Boston Crab, and Jacobs jumps on Castagnoli with the End Time, which Strong breaks up with a big boot. Strong and Castagnoli battle it out until Jacobs dumps Castagnoli to the floor. Jacobs immediately locks Strong in the End Time, and Strong taps out at 8:01. That was too short but they packed a lot in to a short amount of time.
Rating: **¾

Jacobs gets on the mic, but before he can really say anything, Tyler Black comes out to interrupt him. He verbally berates Jacobs, mentioning how Alex Shelley used to push him around, and the time that Lacey made him cry. Jacobs pulls out his spike, and Tyler dares him to do it. He tries, but Tyler easily blocks it and calls Jacobs pathetic and a disappointment. That’s the best promo I’ve seen Tyler Black cut.

MATCH #4: Dark City Fight Club vs. The Phoenix Twins

Dark City Fight Club attacks the Phoenix Twins right away. Jon Davis’s wrist is heavily taped up due to an injury. Tweek and Dash use their agility to fluster Chavis in the early going, and Chavis uses his power to throw both of them around. Davis gets tagged in, and I’m not sure which Phoenix he is beating on. Whichever one it is, they isolate him in their corner. Before too long he makes the tag to his brother, who knocks Davis from the apron to the floor and sends Chavis out as well. One of them calls the other by name, so I know it’s Dash that hits a somersault dive to the floor on Chavis, and Tweek gets a cover for two. Dash gets tagged in and they use some double-team moves to subdue Chavis. Meanwhile, Davis grabs Tweek off the ring apron and throws him into the barricade. Back in the ring DCFC hit Total Elimination on Dash for the pin at 5:28. I really don’t see much in the Phoenix Twins. They’re no better than Irish Airborne.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #5: Bryan Danielson vs. Jimmy Rave

Danielson takes it to the mat right away and almost gets the elbow strikes very early, but Rave avoids them and rolls to the floor to regroup. Rave gets back in the ring and locks on a side headlock. Danielson gets up and Rave knocks him down with a shoulderblock and then makes the mistake of gloating and gets kicked in the leg. They’re back to square one, and Danielson starts going after the wrist. Rave makes it to the corner to break the hold, and once again takes Danielson down with a shoulderblock, gloats, and gets kicked in the leg. Danielson once again goes after the arm. He locks Rave in the surfboard and rolls it into some elbows to the face, and Rave once again bails. Back in the ring Rave puts on a cross armbreaker, which Danielson reverses to a totally unique submission hold and Rave gets the ropes. They meet back in the center of the ring and Rave hits a swinging neckbreaker and goes to work. Danielson fights back with a dropkick and a running forearm in the corner. He hits the running knee to the chest for two, and then locks on the Cattle Mutilation. Rave gets to the ropes and rolls to the floor, and Danielson follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Rave gets the heel hook on, but Danielson reverses it to one of his own. Rave re-reverses it to his heel hook, and throws in some kicks for good measure. Danielson reaches the ropes. Back on their feet Rave hits From Dusk Till Dawn and then gets a cradle for two, which Danielson rolls into the triangle choke, accentuated with elbows to the head and referee Todd Sinclair stops the match at 16:09. That was the usual good match from Danielson.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #6: Chris Hero vs. Tyler Black

This should be an interesting clash of styles. Hero is accompanied to the ring by Shane Hagadorn. Not surprisingly Hero takes it to the mat right away, and Black responds in kind. When the pace quickens Black gains the control, while Hero Black takes control with a variety of offense, and gets a couple of near falls. He hits a high knee drop, and continues wearing Hero down. He drops his head and Hero makes him pay for it, hitting an elbow and then slamming his head into the mat for two. Hero continues targeting the head, no doubt in hopes of knocking Black out at some point. Black tries to come back but misses a standing shooting star press, and Hero hits a senton for two. They get to their feet and start trading forearms, which Black wins, and then he hits a leg lariat. Black hits a back body drop and an enziguiri in the corner, followed by the springboard lariat for two. He tries a Buckle Bomb but Hero slips out and hits a Liger Bomb for two. They take it to the floor and Hero tries the Senton but Black avoids it and hits a somersault dive over the ropes to wipe Hero out. Back in the ring Black hits a charging forearm and Hero fires right back with a kick to the face for two. Hero hits a charging elbow, but Black fires back with a leaping enziguiri and that face-first slam he does. A superkick by Black gets two; Hero got his foot on the bottom rope. Black goes up top but Hero knocks him down and hits an amazing super bomb for a close near-fall. Hero grabs the green elbow pad and tries to knock Black out, but Black blocks it and hits God’s Last Gift to pick up the victory at 13:46. They worked well together, had some great spots, and I would definitely like to see them wrestle again. Before Black can make his way behind the curtain, Jimmy Jacobs comes out and attacks him with the spike and bloodies his head.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Title 2/3 Falls Match – The American Wolves vs. Kevin Steen & Jay Briscoe

The Wolves have been champions since 4.10.09, and this is their second defense. Briscoe has five ROH Tag Team Title reigns to his credit, and Steen has one of his own. The champions attack the challengers from behind and they all take it to the floor right away. Briscoe pairs off with Edwards while Steen battles Richards. Back in the ring the challengers maintain control, working Edwards over. Edwards drives Briscoe back into the corner and tags Richards. Briscoe hits a dropkick and tags Steen. The challengers work Richards over now, and the champions appear to be in trouble. Edwards gets tagged in and the Wolf abuse continues. After several minutes Edwards makes a blind tag to Richards, who kicks Steen in the chest, and now the champions go to work on Steen. Hagadorn even gets his shots in at ringside. The Wolves double-team Steen for a while, and Briscoe gets fed up and enters the ring illegally to clothesline Edwards to the floor. Steen locks Richards in the Sharpshooter, and when Edwards tries to break it up Steen puts him in the hold instead! Edwards taps the first fall away at 10:54.

The Wolves start heading for the back, but the challengers are all “nu-uh” and they bring them back to the ring. Back in the ring Richards starts working on Steen’s injured knee, and the Wolves smell blood now. After several minutes Steen makes the hot tag to Briscoe. He hits Richards with a spinebuster for two, but can’t hit the Jay Driller. Richards hits a kick to the back and tags Edwards, who hits a leaping knee strike to the face for two. Edwards hits an enziguiri and the backpack chinbreaker for two. He hits a release German Suplex, and Briscoe All Japan sells it and hits a boot to the face. Both men make tags and Steen hits Richards with a DDT and goes for the Package Piledriver. Richards blocks it and hits a dragon screw. The Wolves hit a sequence of maneuvers on Steen ending with Richards locking Steen in the Texas Cloverleaf, and Steen taps to even things up at one fall apiece at 19:10.

Steen gets up and tries the Package Piledrive but once again Richards blocks it and puts Steen back in the Cloverleaf. Briscoe breaks it up and pulls Steen over to the corner to make the tag. Richards and Briscoe trade shots, and Briscoe wins the battle with a clothesline for two. The Wolves get knocked to the floor and Steen wipes them out with a somersault dive. Back in the ring Steen goes up top for a Swanton and Briscoe follows him with a splash for two. Steen tries to get Edwards in the sharpshooter, meanwhile Richards puts Briscoe in the Cloverleaf, but Edwards and Briscoe aren’t legal so these submissions won’t count. Just to be jerks Steen and Richards spit on each other, and Steen breaks his hold first. Steen hits a Package Piledriver on Richards and Edwards just barely breaks it up! The referee has his back turned and Edwards nails Steen with a low blow. Tags are made, and Edwards and Briscoe start throwing bombs. Steen accidentally hits Jay with a low blow, and the Wolves hit the Superkick / German Suplex / Jackknife Pin combo, but Briscoe kicks out! I bought that as a finish. The Wolves knock Steen to the floor and hit Briscoe with the Doomsday Ace Crusher to capture the final fall and retain the tag titles at 24:34. I feel like the American Wolves are almost an automatic four stars at this point. After the match Briscoe rightly has a beef with Steen, and they get into a shoving match.
Rating: ****

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Jerry Lynn vs. Colt Cabana

Lynn has been the champion since 4.3.09, and this is already his fourth defense. These are two of my least favorite wrestlers in ROH, so I’m hoping for a miracle here to finish the show off strong. Chicago of course loves Cabana, but they show some love for Lynn too. They start off with some cautious back and forth chain wrestling. They wrestle to a standoff and the crow claps while they slap hands. Is it 2002 again? They take it to the mat and trade some more holds. Cabana sends Lynn crashing to the floor, and the champion regroups. He then holds the ropes open for the champion to re-enter the ring. Lynn returns the favor by sending Cabana to the floor, and then holding the ropes open for him. I’m starting a boring chant. Back in the ring they do more back and forth stuff. Cabana hits the Flying Asshole and a clothesline for two. He stays in control and targets the champion’s neck. Lynn counters something to an inverted DDT for two. The man really just hasn’t mastered the art of selling has he? He locks on a headscissors and hits the Skullf***er. A legdrop off the second rope gets two for the champion, and he puts on a chinlock. Cabana gets up and they trade forearms, which Lynn wins. Lynn tries a charge and Cabana moves out of the way and unloads some offense, including an Asai moonsault for two. Cabana tries the Colt 45 but Lynn avoids it and tries an Air Raid Crash, but Cabana avoids that and hits an Air Raid Crash onto his knee for two. Lynn gets shoved to the floor and Cabana tries a slingshot dive and misses. They get on the apron and Cabana helpfully sticks his head out for Lynn to legdrop it. Lynn then hits a DDT on the apron for a two-count. He hits a standard piledrive for two. He tries another piledriver but Cabana counters to the Billy Goat’s Curse and Lynn reaches the ropes. Cabana hits a clothesline and the Colt 45 but Lynn kicks out at two! He goes to the second rope and Lynn follows him up there. Cabana hits a modified Pepsi Plunge but Lynn kicks out at two! Not selling the move at all, Lynn pops up and hits a reverse rana and the Cradle Piledriver to get the pin at 17:21. They took forever to get going, and then seemingly arbitrarily started hitting finishers. Lynn’s lack of selling was particularly noticeable here. That was pretty weak for a main event. Cabana cuts a promo after the match to verbally fellate the champion. Man, they just won’t stop desperately trying to get him over as much as they want him to be.
Rating: **¼

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