Inman Sports Club – Edison, New Jersey – Saturday, May 9, 2009

MATCH #1: Eddie Kingston vs. Ricky Reyes

This is Kingston’s first DVD match since that abomination with Jigsaw at Respect is Earned II. Reyes attacks Kingston before the bell and kicks away at him in the corner. Kingston comes back with a couple of suplexes for a near-fall. He hits a couple of strikes and goes for a bodyslam, but Reyes lands on his feet and hits a leg lariat. Reyes hits a running forearm in the corner, and moments later puts on a modified chinlock. Kingston fights back and gets an O’Connor Roll for a quick two, but Reyes pops back up with a clothesline for two. Reyes goes back to work with various kicks and stomps. A double underhook suplex gets a two-count for the Havana Pitbull. Reyes hits a snap suplex and goes up to the second rope but Kingston counters his attack and hits a chinbreaker. They get back to their feet and trade blows, but it’s Kingston taking the advantage with a uranage suplex for two. Kingston drops the straps and goes for the Back Drop Driver but Reyes blocks it. Reyes misses an enziguiri and this time Kingston hits the Back Drop Driver. Kingston tries the Spinning Back Fist but Reyes avoids it and hits a DDT for two. Reyes hits an enziguiri and a neckbreaker for two. They get up and once again trade strikes. Reyes hits yet another enziguiri, but when he picks Kingston up for something else, Kingston hits the Spinning Back Fist to get the pin at 7:13. After the match Kingston yells Chris Hero’s name, so Hero comes out to taunt him. I have no clue why these guys are even mad at each other, because I don’t feel it should be necessary to follow several companies in order to follow one. The match was nothing special.
Rating: **

MATCH #2: Brent Albright & Erick Stevens vs. The Super Smash Brothers

Stevens and Player Dos start the match, and Stevens uses his power for an early advantage. The Smash Brothers come back with some high flying and cute double-team moves to take a short advantage on their much larger opponent. Stevens comes right back with his power and makes the tag to Albright. Just like before, the Smash Brothers use some double-team moves highlighting their agility to take a quick advantage. Albright comes back with a suplex on Dos and makes the tag to Stevens. Dos is able to make the tag to Uno, and Stevens chops him down. The match continues on like this, with the Smash Brothers doing their thing, and Albright & Stevens doing their thing. After a few minutes it breaks down to a brawl, and referee Paul Turner has trouble restoring order. Dos tries a dive over the ropes on Stevens, but Stevens catches him and tosses him onto the ring apron, and Albright hits a Half Nelson Suplex back into the ring to score the pin at 8:51. That was pretty dull but the finish was cool.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #3: Sonjay Dutt vs. Chris Hero

Hero is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. They start if off with some nice back and forth mat wrestling, and the crowd appreciates the efforts of both men. Dutt then stops the match in its tracks to do the Jeff Jarrett strut, which is supremely irritating. They go back to the back and forth stuff, but both men up their efforts a bit. Dutt picks up the pace and knocks Hero to the floor, and then follows him out with a somersault dive that landed pretty awkwardly. Hagadorn grabs Dutt’s foot as he was trying to get back in the ring, which allows Hero to slide through the ropes with a big kick to the face. Hero hits the mat-assisted senton on the floor, and then tosses Dutt back in the ring for a two-count. It’s all Hero now, as he works on wearing Dutt down. Dutt comes back with an inside cradle for two, but Hero gets back up and hits a big elbow to the face for two. Hero is working over the midsection area, and talks some trash while doing it. He gets distracted jawing with the crowd, and Dutt gets a quick schoolboy for two. Dutt then gets a comeback and connects with a series of high flying offensive maneuvers but he can’t put Hero away. Hero comes back and hits a Liger Bomb for two. He goes for the rolling elbow but Dutt avoids it and hits a backslide for two. Next time Hero hits the rolling elbow but Dutt is able to kick out. I don’t think I like that. Hero hits a series of strikes, which Dutt no-sells, hitting a superkick and a standing Sliced Bread for a two-count. Dutt goes up top but decides to jump onto Hagadorn instead of Hero. That distraction gives Hero the opportunity to put the loaded elbow pad on his boot, and he (allegedly) kicks Dutt in the face with it to get the win at 12:42. That was fine and all, but Dutt seriously needs to drop the Jarrett bit, and his selling was all over the place.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: Jimmy Rave & Claudio Castagnoli vs. Necro Butcher & Delirious

The Embassy duo is accompanied by Prince Nana and “Dirty” Ernie Osiris. Delirious and Rave start the match. Before they can make contact, Rave spits on Necro on the apron, drawing him into the ring so Rave bails. Back in the ring Delirious tags Necro, so Rave runs away and tags Castagnoli. They stall some more, and even involve referee Paul Turner in their stalling. Finally Necro and Castagnoli tie up, and Necro lands an armdrag. Castagnoli comes out with a kick to the gut, and Necro responds with a monkey flip out of the corner and another armdrag. Necro takes control of the arm and makes the tag to Delirious. Castagnoli and Delirious do very little, and Delirious tags Necro back in. Necro grabs Castagnoli’s arm and forces him to tag Rave in. Rave bails to the floor, and when he gets back in the ring he tags Castagnoli right back in. A frustrated Necro tags Delirious back in. Rave hits a clothesline on Delirious from the apron, and then finally tags into the match for real. He goes to work on Delirious, hitting a stomp to the face for a two-count and then tagging Castagnoli back in. The Embassy works Delirious over for a bit until he can make the tag to Necro, who comes in and hits the Necrocanrana on Castagnoli for two. Rave distracts Necro, drawing him to the floor. Necro grabs a chair and chases Rave all over the arena. Back in the ring Castagnoli levels Necro with a clothesline. Now it’s Necro’s turn to be abused by the Embassy in their half of the ring. After a few minutes Necro makes the hot tag to Delirious, and he’s all over both opponents. He hits a dual Panic Attack, tosses Castagnoli to the floor, and then hits Rave with a neckbreaker over his knee for two. Castagnoli trips Delirious from the floor, and Rave hits a running STO for two. Delirious comes back with Chemical Imbalance II and Castagnoli breaks up the pin. Castagnoli then nails Necro with a bicycle kick to the face, but unfortunately catches a headscissors from Delirious that sends him to the floor. Delirious follows Castagnoli out with a somersault off the top rope to the floor. The referee is distracted, allowing Rave to waffle Necro in the head with a steel chair. Necro no sells it and punches the chair from Rave’s hand. Meanwhile Delirious sneaks back in the ring and schoolboys Rave to get the victory for his team at 14:27. Kudos for remembering the legal man rule, but other than that I’m not a big fan of the finish. The match was okay but nothing amazing and it felt like they’re trying to force the feud between Necro and Rave.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #5: Rhett Titus & Kenny King vs. Alex Payne & Grizzly Redwood

This is pretty much a ROH Training Academy Showcase match, as three of the four participants are students from said school. See if you can guess which one isn’t. King and Payne start the match, and Payne gets some of his weak offense in, so King runs over and tags Titus. Payne continues the assault, and then tags in the barefooted Redwood. They double-team Addicted to Love and work him over in their half of the ring. Payne goes to the top rope and Titus distracts the referee, allowing King to knock Payne down. Titus takes Payne down with a super snap mare and tags King back in. Payne is the recipient of a beat down now, getting worked over in the wrong half of the ring. He comes back with a gourdbuster on Titus, who makes the tag to King, and then Payne makes the tag to the Littlest Lumberjack. Redwood is some kind of on fire, until Titus illegally cuts him off and tags himself in. The match breaks down, and Payne hits an illegal flipping stunner on Titus, but Redwood can’t get quite get the three-count. King comes back in the ring and hits Payne with the Coronation, which the commentators don’t call. Has anyone else noticed that Prazak and Leonard call way fewer move names these days? King and Payne get knocked to the floor, but King recovers and gets back on the apron to hit the Powerbomb / Blockbuster combination to get the win at 7:36. As a post-intermission match it was fine, but Payne and Redwood are seriously deadweight.
Rating: *½

MATCH #6: Colt Cabana vs. Joey Ryan

The early parts of the match focus on Ryan’s hand, which he rubbed his junk with before the attempted handshake. They do some stuff on the mat and also some stalling. Cabana goes to work on the arm, and Nana grabs Ryan’s hand to try and get him to the ropes, so Sinclair physically inserts himself by kicking Nana and Ryan’s hands apart. That’s one case where I don’t mind that spot, since Ryan wasn’t on the ropes. Next time Nana grabs Cabana’s hand, and when Sinclair goes to kick them apart, Cabana releases and Sinclair falls right on his ass. Ryan goes to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring Cabana takes control with his usual comedy stuff. They even do a sequence centered on Ryan’s bare backside. Ryan bails to the floor and Cabana tries a dive but misses. Back in the ring Ryan takes control, working over the back and abdomen. This goes on for some time before Cabana escapes and starts to flip, flop, and fly. Cabana hits the Asai Moonsault for two, much to the chagrin of Nana. He follows with the Flying Asshole, but Ryan charges out of the corner with a spear for two. Ryan hits what Leonard calls a “pump handle slam” and it gets two. He sets Cabana up on the top rope, but Cabana grabs his chest hair, knocks him down, and hits the tornado suplex for two. Ryan gets the rollup in the corner and both Nana and Osiris try to hold his legs for leverage but the referee breaks it up. Cabana recovers and hits a powerbomb and then locks on the Billy Goat’s Curse for the submission victory at 14:15. They sure took their sweet time getting going, and once they did it was nothing special. Cabana just does nothing for me anymore, and Ryan hasn’t impressed me thus far.
Rating: **

MATCH #7: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The American Wolves vs. Kevin Steen & Bryan Danielson

The Wolves have been the champions since 4.10.09, and this is their third defense. The match is announced as having a 45-minute time limit, even though in the Video Wire Danielson made note of the fact that it would be a 60-minute time limit this time. I guess since Steen is replacing Tyler Black, they went back to 45? Steen and Danielson jump the champions on the floor, as former ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness joins the commentary team. The challengers absolutely dominate the champions outside the ring, and Steen goes for a Package Piledriver on Richards through a table but can’t connect. Steen then tries to hit one on Edwards in the ring, but Edwards backdrops him through the table. Danielson and Edwards start the proper in the ring, with Danielson gaining the first advantage. He goes for the surfboard but Richards breaks it up with a high-angle belly-to-back suplex. Richards gets tagged in officially and unleashes kicks on Danielson’s chest. Edwards also gets his chance to wear down Danielson, whose chest is already bleeding. On the floor Steen is starting to show signs of life. Edwards taunts Danielson and get slapped in the face and then otherwise abused. Even so Edwards is able to back Danielson into his corner and tag Richards. The assault on Danielson continues until he’s able to hit a simultaneous dropkick, and Steen has made it back to the apron. Unfortunately for Danielson, Edwards drags Steen off the apron, further injuring his Steen’s knee and also preventing the tag. Back in the ring Richards decides to start going after the leg, and locks Danielson in the Figure-Four Leglock. Edwards jumps off the top rope with a knee to Danielson, and then he kicks Steen back down to the floor. The champions use quick tags to continue working Danielson’s leg, and trying to keep Steen off the apron. They go for the superkick / German suplex combo but Danielson avoids it and is finally able to make the tag to Steen. The Wolves both get thrown around, as Steen hits Richards with a powerbomb and goes for the Sharpshooter. Edwards breaks it up, but Steen catches him and hits a backpack senton on Richards. Funny, when he does that with Generico it doesn’t hurt him. The champions soon recover and double-team Steen, but they’re not able to hit a double suplex. Edwards tries a quebrada but Steen gets the knees up and Danielson illegally rejoins the ring with a missile dropkick, and then gets the legal tag to get back into the match. The referee has lost control of this one. Steen comes in illegally and hits the pump handle neckbreaker, and then Danielson locks Richards in the Triangle Choke. Meanwhile Steen locks Edwards in the Sharpshooter. Richards counters with a jackknife pin for two. He takes Danielson down and tags Edwards, who promptly kicks Steen down to the floor. The Wolves double-team Danielson, hitting stereo kicks, and then a super Doomsday Bulldog for two when Steen makes the save. Edwards goes for a leg submission on Danielson, who reverses it to a nasty looking arm submission, and Steen comes in with a Swanton bomb, breaking up the submission for some reason. The match has once again broken down, with all four men in the ring. Steen and Richards take their fight to the floor. In the ring Edwards tries the Chin checker on Danielson, but it gets reversed to the elbow strikes, which don’t score the knockout and only get a two-count. Danielson then locks on the Cattle Mutilation, and then rolls it into a Tiger Suplex for two. He takes Edwards up top for the belly-to-back superplex, but Richards breaks that up with a super German suplex. Richards then hits a nasty suicide dive onto Steen. Edwards hits the Chin checker but it only gets two! He wastes some time, and Danielson locks on the triangle choke and hits some elbows. Edwards escapes that and hits a dragon screw and then locks on the Achilles Tendon Lock, and Danielson taps out at 17:32! They had a solid story going there with Danielson’s leg, and I like Edwards getting the clean submission. The referee losing control in every tag match is getting a little old, but it’s hard to criticize the work of the four guys.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Jerry Lynn vs. Jay Briscoe

Lynn has been the champion since 4.3.09, and this is his sixth defense. The challenger is accompanied by his brother, Mark Briscoe. Neither the champion nor the challenger gets a totally positive reaction from the crowd. Jay’s got his work cut out for him if he wants to convince people he has a chance of winning this match. This is his sixth shot at the title (one against Xavier, two against Samoa Joe, one against Takeshi Morishima, one against Nigel McGuinness, and now this one). They take it to the mat and trade holds and the usual stuff for a Lynn match. Jay goes to work on the arm, and Lynn responds in kind. The challenger control most of the early action, going at a fast pace to try and wear down the aged champion. Lynn comes back out of nowhere with a Super Bulldog for two. They take the battle to the floor, where Jay hits a huge kick to the face to send Lynn in to the crowd. Back at ringside Jay sets up a chair but Lynn is the one who uses it, hitting a big DDT. Somehow Jay basically recovers first and successfully executes a superplex. They get back to their feet and trade forearms. Lynn avoids a Death Valley Driver and hits the inverted DDT for two. Moments later he hits another DDT for a two-count. He sets up for the Cradle Piledriver but Jay avoids it and nails a superkick for two. Jay appears to be going for a tornado DDT, which Lynn blocks and turns into a super rana. Lynn follows up with a forearm and once again tries the Cradle Piledriver, and Jay avoids it. Jay hits a running clothesline, and Lynn has to grab the bottom rope to break up the pin. He goes for the Jay Driller, which Lynn reverses to the TKO for a two-count. Jay comes back and hits a spinebuster for two. He goes up top for the guillotine legdrop and he nails it, but Lynn kicks out at two! A Death Valley Driver by Jay gets another two-count. Jay tries the Jay Driller once again but Lynn back body drops his way free. Lynn hits a running clothesline and the Cradle Piledriver, but Jay kicks out at two. Jay gets up and hits a superkick right in the face. Moments later he’s able to hit the Jay Driller but Lynn kicks out at two. I don’t think that move should ever be kicked out of. Jay goes for another Jay Driller, and Lynn avoids it and hits a Cradle Tombstone Piledriver to get the pin and retain the title at 16:02. This was exceptionally weak for a main event. The match was all counters and no-selling, with very little heat ever getting built up to any kind of dramatic climax. The competitors both did fine work, and it wasn’t boring, but for a main event to not have any drama just doesn’t work for me – I mean, who thought Jay Briscoe really had a shot of walking out champion?
Rating: **¾