Clash of the Contenders

One Gateway Center – Collinsville, IL – Friday, October 9, 2009

PRESHOW MATCH: Grizzly Redwood vs. Tony Kozina

Redwood scores with the first takedown. They trade arm holds and Kozina gets a takedown of his own. Kozina tries to use his power to his advantage, but Redwood counters with a log roll that sends him o the floor. Back in the ring Redwood gets a couple of near-falls before Kozina takes over once again. Kozina tries a suplex but a series of reversals leads to Kozina hitting a big clothesline. He tries a back suplex but Redwood recovers and hits a dropkick to the knee. Redwood hits the mounted punches in the corner, but Kozina blocks a charge and hits a springboard bulldog. Kozina gets up on the turnbuckles to gloat instead of going for a cover, and he slips, hitting his chest on the top buckle. That allows Redwood to roll him up for the win at 4:07. That was perfectly harmless.
Rating: *

Jim Cornette Address

Dave Prazak welcomes the Executive Producer of ROH on HDNet, Jim Cornette, to Collinsville. Cornette thanks the fans for coming, puts over ROH, takes a shot at Vince Russo – you know, the usual stuff.

MATCH #1: Kevin Steen vs. Roderick Strong

Eric Santamaria and Lawrence something-or-other (sorry I couldn’t understand the last name) are commentating for this one, since Chris Hero is running late and Prazak is pulling double-duty as the ring announcer too. They take it to the mat and trade holds. Both men target their opponents’ arm early on. Strong hits a leg lariat that sends Steen rolling to the floor. Not to be denied, Strong hits a running forearm off the apron to level Steen. He picks Steen up and rams him into the barricade and hits his first chop. Back in the ring Strong gets a one-count and now zeroes in on Steen’s back. Steen fights back with a missile dropkick and then the cannonball in the corner. He maintains control and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Strong fights back with a springboard cross body block, but Steen counters with a neckbreaker for two. The fans seem to be more supportive of Strong than Steen. In the meantime Strong has reversed the momentum and hits a falcon arrow and both men are down. They get back to their feet and Strong tries a few clotheslines that don’t knock Steen down, but a big dropkick does the trick. Steen backdrops Strong to the apron, and then hits a Randy Orton DDT back into the ring for a two-count. He goes up top and Strong follows him up there with a kick to the head. Strong goes up for a superplex but Steen knocks him down and tries the Swanton, but Strong gets his knees up! Both men get to their feet and Strong lands a kick to the head. Steen counters with a powerbomb, which he rolls into a Sharpshooter and Strong reaches the ropes. He tries the Package Piledriver but can’t lift Strong up. He misses a charge and gets kicked in the face. Strong hits the gutbuster and then locks on the Stronghold. Steen breaks the hold but then gets kicked in the face for a two-count. Strong tries the Gibson Driver but Steen reverses it to the Package Piledriver! Steen takes a moment to go for the cover, and that gives Strong all the time he needs to recover from a devastating finisher, and he gets Steen in a crucifix for the flash pin at 10:23. That was an entertaining opener and I understand where they’re going with Steen, but it did seem like Strong recovered way too quickly from the Package Piledriver.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: MsChif vs. Nicole Matthews

Matthews is one-half of the SHIMMER Tag Team Champions, and MsChif is the SHIMMER Champion, but her title is not on the line. Hero and Prazak are back on commentary. They chain wrestle to start and quickly take it to the mat. MsChif uses screaming, as well as a short-arm clothesline to take the advantage. Matthews comes back with a big clothesline for one. She hits a backbreaker and holds MsChif there, stretching the back. She whips MsChif into the ropes and MsChif holds on, but then just stands there and lets Matthews dropkick her. MsChif fights back with forearms but Matthews cuts her off with a neckbreaker. Back on their feet MsChif hits a Northern Lights suplex for two. MsChif hits a gutbuster and a standing moonsault for two. A pinning combination with a bridge gets another two-count. Matthews comes back with a Perfect-Plex for two. MsChif comes back by throwing Matthews into the turnbuckle and goes for the double stomps, but Matthews counters with a German Suplex for two. Matthews gets an inside cradle for two. She goes for the Roll of the Dice but MsChif counters with the Desecrator to get the pin at 6:43. Not bad, but nothing I feel compelled to see more of.
Rating: *½

Austin Aries’ Lucky Lottery

Aries rips on the crowd for a bit, and then draws a name from his lucky hat. He says his opponent is a bit of a hometown hero, and one who has never received an ROH World Title shot – Daizee Haze! Delirious and Daizee make their way to the ring to protest, saying that Delirious is the one who should be getting the title shot. Aries refuses to grant Delirious a shot, but Jim Cornette comes out and forces Aries to defend the title against Delirious in tonight’s main event!

MATCH #3: Four Corner Survival – Claudio Castagnoli vs. Colt Cabana vs. Petey Williams vs. Ace Steel

Castagnoli is accompanied by Osiris. He glove slaps all three men at once, so they start the match by pouncing on him. Castagnoli is quickly chased to the floor, and Williams goes out to the floor to throw him back in. Cabana and Steel use their comedic styling to take the advantage. Williams tries to get in on the action but gets double-teamed as well. Meanwhile Castagnoli has recovered, but once again soon falls victim to double, even triple-teaming, so he rolls to the floor. The three remaining combatants engage in their own version of the Fish out Of Water. Castagnoli pulls Cabana to the floor, and then breaks up a Canadian Destroyer attempt with a bicycle kick. He’s fairly dominant over both Steel and Williams, but Cabana gets back in the ring and hits a Flying Apple and a clothesline, but Steel breaks up the cover. Cabana clotheslines Castagnoli over the ropes to the floor, and then hits his remaining two opponents with a quebrada. Castagnoli gets back in the ring and nails Cabana with the UFO for a two-count. He tries the Ricola Bomb on Williams, but it gets countered to a DDT. Now Steel and Williams work together on Castagnoli, but that doesn’t last too long. Steel hits an Implant DDT for two. All four men brawl, and Williams is able to hit Cabana with the Canadian Destroyer. Castagnoli expertly stops the referee’s hand from counting a three. He traps Steel into hitting Williams with a missile dropkick, and then hits Steel with the Ricola Bomb to get the win at 7:44. That match didn’t overstay its welcome, and Castagnoli looked good and got the win, so it’s good with me.
Rating: **½

MATCH #4: Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The House of Truth

Josh Raymond and Christin Able are the House of Truth, and of course they are accompanied by Truth Martini. They have been very impressive in their ROH outings thus far. Raymond and Jay start the match. House of Truth immediately gets cocky, and then Raymond and Jay take it to the mat. Raymond has a background in amateur wrestling, so he’s very comfortable on the mat. Jay brings the match back to their feet, and gets a thumb to the eye for his trouble. That just makes Jay mad, and he goes to work on Raymond, hitting a kick to the face for two and then tagging his brother Mark. Raymond responds by going to the corner to tag Able. Hero does an awful imitation of the Briscoes talking about Able’s fishnets. In the meantime the Briscoes are dominating. Able avoids an attack and makes the tag to Raymond. A vertical suplex gets two for Raymond, and then he locks on a headlock. The Briscoes quickly reclaim the advantage. Mark goes for a springboard but Martini grabs his leg and Raymond kicks Mark off the apron. Martini gets a few shots in on the floor and then throws Mark back in the ring. The House of Truth isolates Mark in their half of the ring now. After a few minutes of taking a beating, Mark recovers long enough to make the hot tag to Jay. House of Truth weathers the storm and goes to work on Jay. Able hits Jay with a huge Alabama Slam. Meanwhile Raymond knocks Mark to the floor and hits an Asai Moonsault. Back in the ring Able hits Jay with a belly-to-back capture suplex for a close near-fall. Jay comes back with a release German Suplex and makes the tag to Mark. The youngest Briscoe hits a super Ace Crusher on Able, but can’t get the pin when Martini puts Able’s foot on the ropes. Able makes the tag to Raymond, who lands a shooting star body press for two. Mark fights back and dumps Able to the floor. He then tags Jay and goes for the Cutthroat Driver, but Martini breaks it up. Able comes in for a partner-assisted Asai DDT, which gets two. The match breaks down to a brawl, and Martini tries to interfere and gets dumped to the floor. Moments later the Briscoes hit Raymond with the Spiked Jay Driller to get the win at 14:41. The crowd got super into it, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see the House of Truth come back, and I’m all for that. This was a good showing for them, and the usual goodness from the Briscoe Brothers.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #5: Davey Richards vs. Kenny Omega

Richards is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions, and is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. They start off hot, throwing kicks and forearms. I have a feeling this is going to be a very offensive-minded matchup. Omega goes to the headlock but it doesn’t last long before they’re trading holds and pinning combinations. Back on their feet they exchange strikes, and Richards wins the battle with kicks. Naturally Omega recovers almost instantly and kicks Richards to the floor. Omega follows him out with a moonsault to the floor. Back in the ring Omega tries a leaping something or other off the top rope, and Richards swats him out of the air with a dropkick. Omega rolls to the floor and Richards follows him out to continue the assault. Richards kicks Omega over the barricade and into the crowd. Back in the ring Richards continues beating Omega down. Eventually Omega uses some flippy stuff and that idiotic stop sign enziguiri, and then, a punch. Omega hits a moonsault off the second rope for two. He tries a Dragon Suplex but Richards blocks it. Then he goes up for something off the top rope, but Richards cuts him off with a modified Alarm Clock. That was cool. Richards follows up with a diving headbutt for two. Hero keeps threatening to bail on commentary to get ready for his match, and I just wish he would already. Omega tries to fight back but Richards subdues him with kicks. He tries that stupid stop sign again, and Richards kicks him in the gut. Finally Omega gets the comeback with a dropkick to the knee and a modified bulldog for two. He hits a couple of kicks and then a 2K1 Bomb for a two count. Hero finally bails, leaving Prazak on his own. They trade reversals and momentum until Richards suplexes Omega from the ring to the floor, and both men appear to be hurting. Back in the ring Richards hits the handspring enziguiri for a two-count. Richards tries a superplex but Omega blocks it and goes for a Super Croyt’s Wrath but can’t hit it. The sequence ends with Richards hitting a release German Superplex, and then a big boot and a German Suplex with a bridge for a close, close near-fall. Richards locks on the Texas Cloverleaf and Omega reaches the bottom rope. He unleashes Kawada kicks, and then a bodyslam. He heads up top for the Shooting Star Press but Omega gets his knees up. Omega hits a reverses hurricanrana and a Dragon Suplex for two. He tries some strikes but Richards once again avoids Croyt’s Wrath and locks on the Cloverleaf. Omega rolls it into a small package for two. Richards hits the Alarm Clock and a big lariat. He goes for the DR Driver but Omega counters with another small package to get the pin at 20:31. The crowd was into that pretty much the whole way. Richards bitches to Cary Silkin at ringside for some reason, and then goes outside to cut a promo. The match was pretty exciting in a purely visceral sort of way, but there was really no story and no real selling to speak of.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #6: Kenny King & Rhett Titus vs. The Young Bucks

Eric Santamaria joins Dave Prazak for commentary. Titus and Matt start the match for their teams. They trade maneuvers but Matt is mostly in control, using his superior speed and agility. Matt makes the tag to Nick, and they make some fast tags in and out, working on Titus’s arm. King tries to interfere on behalf of his partner but he has no luck either. Both King and Titus get knocked to the floor, and that’s where they take advantage. Back in the ring Titus gets a two-count on Matt. Moments later King is tagged into the match for the first time. King and Titus keep Matt isolated in their half of the ring and works him over. A little heel miscommunication leads to Matt making the hot tag to Nick. Of course Matt immediately recovers to hit some flash double team moves on King. The match breaks down to a brawl and King hits Nick with the Royal Flush for two. Titus dropkicks Matt to the floor. Nick tries to fight off both men, but he takes a kick to the head and the Super Sex Factor. Matt is back in the ring and he hits King with a superkick, and all four men are down. They make perfunctory tags but it’s still a melee. The Bucks hit King with More Bang for Your Buck, but he’s not legal, so Titus sneaks up behind Matt and schoolboys him for the pin at 10:08. That was a solid tag team formula match.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #7: Tyler Black vs. Chris Hero

Hero is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Black is making his return after being out for the September shows. Hero is coming off two big victories, over Bryan Danielson and Eddie Kingston, respectively. They cautiously feel each other out to start, and Hero lands a big elbow, and then voraciously attacks Black’s injured neck. Black fires back with a series of kicks and strikes, and Hero tries to beg off in the ropes. They get back to their feet and Black dumps Hero over the top rope to the floor. Black tries a moonsault off the apron but Hero avoids it and hits a solid elbow to the face. Hero then dropkicks Black into the barricade, and then tosses him into the front row. All of these moves have an impact on the neck. Hagadorn gets his shots in outside the ring too. Back in the ring Hero is firmly in control, hitting a bodyslam and a senton for two. He continues to work over the neck, using various strikes and submission holds. Black comes back by ramming Hero into the turnbuckle and then kicking him in the face. He puts Hero on the top rope, but Hero goes to the eyes and hits a flying elbow off the second rope for two. Black fights back with a series of kicks, and even dropkicks Hagadorn! Hero fights back with a big boot, and Black responds with a flying forearm and the missed quebrada into a standing shooting star press for two. He goes for the Buckle Bomb but Hero avoids it and turns it into a big elbow strike for two. Hero continues to unleash with elbow strikes and gets another two-count. Black comes back with a backslide for two, and Hero responds with another elbow. Channeling Randy Savage, Black clotheslines Hero’s neck off the top rope, and then hits an elbow drop off the top roper for two. Black goes for the Superkick but Hero ducks and is then able to land the Rip Cord Elbow for two. That sends Black to the apron, and he’s able to come back with a kick and the springboard clothesline. Black goes for the Buckle Bomb, which Hero counters and goes for the Liger Bomb, but black counters that with a schoolboy rollup for two, and then this time hits the Buckle Bomb for another two-count. Back to their feet they exchange elbows and chops. Hero hits a rolling elbow and goes for the Death Blow, but Black counters and hits God’s Last Gift for the victory at 16:46. That was a good return for Black, and smartly worked match from both men.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Delirious

Aries has been the champion since 6.13.09, and this is his eighth defense. Delirious foolishly turns his back on the champion, and Aries quickly takes advantage, dumping the challenger to the floor and following him out. Aries gets back in the ring and mocks Delirious, allowing the masked man to take control. Delirious hits a couple of clotheslines, including one that sends Aries to the floor. He goes for a dive, but Aries pulls Haze in front of him for protection. Delirious doesn’t take too kindly to that, so he throws Aries into the barricades. Back in the ring Delirious hits a clothesline off the top rope for a two-count. Aries tries rolling to the apron but Delirious runs him into the turnbuckle twice, and Aries falls to the floor. Delirious follows him out and clotheslines him into the crowd. Back at ringside Delirious hits a suplex, and then back in the ring Delirious picks Aries up in a fireman’s carry but Aries gets out of it and hits a neckbreaker off the middle rope for two. Aries hits a Curt Hennig neck snap for two. The ROH World Champion is firmly in control as Chris Hero rejoins the commentary team. Aries goes for a move off the top rope and Delirious headbutts him in the midsection and takes control. Delirious goes for the Cobra Suplex but Aries backs Delirious into the corner and hits a couple of elbows. Unfortunately for Aries, Delirious reverses that to the Roots Clotheslines. Aries responds by backdropping Delirious to the floor. He goes for the Heat Seeking Missile but Delirious cuts him off with an elbow. Delirious goes up for Shadows over Hell and Aries pushes him all the way down to the floor and then follows him out with a double axe handle. Back in the ring Aries gets a two-count. Delirious fights back with biting and then a series of clotheslines. Aries cuts him off with an STO. He wastes too much time going for the Pendulum Elbow, so Delirious counters with a Cobra Stretch to no pop whatsoever. Delirious hits a modified Panic Attack that sends Aries to the floor, and he follows him out with a high cross body. Back in the ring Delirious gets a two-count. Delirious keeps going for the Cobra Suplex but Aries fights out and hits a rolling elbow and a big lariat for two. Aries then hits knees to the head and locks on the Last Chancery, also to very little pop if any. He brings him up for the Brainbuster, but Delirious counters with Chemical Imbalance II for a two-count. Delirious tries another Panic Attack but gets caught in the shinbreaker/back suplex combination, and then Aries hits the IED for two. Aries tries another Brainbuster but Delirious reverses it to a swinging suplex for two. Both men get back to their feet and exchange strikes, when they run off the ropes Aries decides to deliver the Heat Seeking Missile to Daizee Haze! I’ll never forget the first time Aries did that to her in Dayton in October 2004. Delirious goes out to check on Haze, and Aries catches him with a Brainbuster on the floor. My DVD messes up and starts skipping around a lot, but I am able to see Delirious locking on the Cobra Stretch and Aries breaking out of it. The DVD seems repaired as Delirious is up top trying Shadows over Hell. Aries kicks him in the head on the way down, and finally lands the Brainbuster to retain the title at 21:05. This is a little hard to rate since my DVD messed up several times during the match, but the crowd was not that into it – even the hometown fans knew that Delirious didn’t have a shot at walking out with the belt. It was certainly a solid and well worked match though.
Rating: ***

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