SoCal Showdown

Hilton Los Angeles Airport – Los Angeles, CA – Friday, January 29, 2010

Joe Dombrowski and Dave Prazak are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Tag Team Match – Colt Cabana & El Generico vs. Scott Lost & Scorpio Sky

It’s probably a good choice to open the show with the PWG guys. Generico is gun shy, since last time we saw him he was getting kicked in the nuts and blasted with a chair by his now former tag team partner Kevin Steen. Cabana encourages Generico to start the match with Sky. Either that or Cabana is a coward. Sky gets right in Generico’s face, and the masked man willingly goes to the apron, effectively forcing Cabana into the match. They trade pie faces and slaps to the face, with Cabana coming out on top. Lost gets the tag and Cabana bodyslams him and puts on an armbar. Cabana tags Generico back in and he pretty much immediately gets taken over by Lost. Moments later Generico seems to snap out of it and takes Lost down before making the tag to Cabana. Sky distracts Generico from the apron and Lost blasts him with an elbow. Lost makes the tag to Sky and they work Generico over in their half of the ring. After a short beating Generico makes the tag to Cabana and he’s a house afire. Cabana hits the double quebrada. Generico comes in and takes Lost to the floor and follows him out with a dive. Back in the ring Cabana hits the Reverse Flying Ass for a two-count. Cabana follows up with the Flying Apple, but Lost comes back with a spinning kick. Both men make tags and Generico kills Sky with the Michinoku Driver for a two-count. Generico goes for the running Yakuza but Sky knees him in the face and gets a two-count. Lost and Sky hit a tandem Flatliner / Ace Crusher combo, which is really cool, but Cabana breaks up the cover. Lost and Cabana take it to the floor while Sky goes up top and misses a Frog Splash. This time Generico lands the running Yakuza. Cabana makes a blind tag and finishes Sky with the Colt 45 at 9:29. I haven’t seen much Scott Lost or Scorpio Sky but I was definitely impressed with them here.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Anything Goes Match – Erick Stevens vs. Necro Butcher

Stevens attacks right as Butcher enters the ring and goes to work. Butcher quickly fights back and takes the fight into the crowd. They battle all over, even by the merchandise table. Butcher finds a plastic bag and briefly puts it over Stevens’ head. They make their way back to ringside and Stevens rams Butcher’s back into the ring post and then the steel barricade. Back in the ring Stevens goes to work on the back. Stevens picks up a road sign (Butcher brought it out with him, it didn’t just appear) and hits Butcher with it. He continues working on the back, locking on a Bear Hug. Butcher escapes but Stevens cuts him off with a knee lift. Stevens looks to powerbomb Butcher to the floor, but Butcher blocks it. Butcher tries a bulldog but Stevens pushes him off and hits a big clothesline. Fellow Embassy mate Joey Ryan comes out with a Stop Sign (a real one, not the stupid Kenny Omega one) and accidentally hits Stevens with it. Butcher wraps Stevens up with an O’Connor Roll for the pin at 9:42. That was the usual Necro Butcher brawl, but they kept it short and Stevens looked good. Stevens sand Ryan beat Butcher down after the match and Stevens hits a Doctor Bomb. I wonder why Prince Nana didn’t make it to this show.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Pick 6 Series – Delirious vs. (6) Roderick Strong

This is a rematch from Boiling Point, which I haven’t seen yet. Both men are pretty aggressive early on, as Strong wastes no time hitting a hard chop and Delirious takes a powder. Back in the ring they lock up and take it to the mat. Strong locks on an armbar and Delirious reverses to a headlock. They wrestle to a stalemate. Strong hits a snap suplex for a quick two-count and then they’re back to square one. Delirious hits a shoulderblock, and Strong comes back with a flapjack and a dropkick for two. Back on their feet they trade strikes and Strong wins that battle. Delirious fights back with a slam and a series of senton splashes to the back for a two-count. He works Strong over for a bit, and then the match spills to the floor. Strong picks Delirious up in a torture rack and drops Delirious’ back right across the edge of the apron. That gets a two-count. Now Strong is in control, and he unloads with chops and the like. Delirious ducks a clothesline and hits one of his own. He avoids an Irish whip and hits Strong with a clothesline, this one from the top rope. He hits a German Suplex with a bridge for two. He goes up for Shadows over Hell but Strong moves and hits a dropkick for two. Strong hits a backbreaker for another two-count. He goes for the gutbuster but Delirious counters with a crucifix for two. Delirious hits a spinning neckbreaker for a two-count. They get up and exchange forearms. They have some kind of collision (they messed something up) and Delirious covers for a two-count. The battle spills to the ring apron and Strong hits an enziguiri and hits a nasty suplex on the edge of the ring. Strong rolls Delirious back in for a cover, and Delirious apparently doesn’t kick out but it’s somehow only a two-count. Delirious tries an inside cradle but only gets two. Strong is right back with a big running boot and the Gibson Driver to get the pin at 13:14. That was going really well until those two gaffes right on top of each other near the end. Still it was fun to watch.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: Pick 6 Series – (5) Tyler Black vs. Joey Ryan

Ryan is pretty over in front of his hometown fans. Black goes after the arm and Ryan seeks comfort in the ropes. He knocks Ryan to the floor and goes for a dive, but Ryan cuts him off with a forearm to the face. Ryan whips Black into the barricade. He tries another whip but Black stops his momentum and pushes Ryan into it instead. Back in the ring Black hits a slingshot heel kick for two. Black misses the face stomp and Ryan goes after the knee. That doesn’t last long before Black takes Ryan down and this time hits the face stomp for two. Black goes for the F-5 but Ryan slips out of the way and goes after Black’s arm. He viciously attacks the arm for several minutes. Black fights back with a series of clotheslines. He tries the Buckle Bomb but Ryan shrugs him off and attacks the arm again. Ryan puts on an armbar, and Black winds up for a punch, and when Ryan covers up Black hits him with a DDT. Black hits an enziguiri and the springboard lariat for two. He hits the quebrada for another two-count. He dumps Ryan to the floor and follows him out with a Hilo. Back in the ring Black hits the F-5 for two. Ryan fights back with a superkick for a two-count. Ryan locks on a key lock with a body scissors and Black reaches the ropes. The commentators keep saying that if Black loses he is out of the Pick 6, but I thought since he was number five that if he lost he just went down a spot and the number six person would be out? Literally as I type that they correct themselves. Guys, the commentators need to understand and be able to explain what’s going on in the promotion. Black gets a schoolboy rollup for two, and then a kick to the head and a running knee. He goes up top and Ryan joins him for a super armdrag and then locks on another arm submission. Black powers out and hits the Buckle Bomb, even with his bad arm. He misses the Superkick and goes for a swinging DDT. Ryan reverses and sets up for the Mustache Ride, but Black reverses that and hits God’s Last Gift for the win at 14:05. That was pretty solid and made sure Black kept the momentum going into his World Title match in two weeks. Ryan isn’t a favorite of mine but he brought out some cool stuff working over the arm and it made for a solid story.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #5: Grudge Match – Jerry Lynn vs. Kenny King

King cuts a promo to turn the LA fans even more against him. He reminds everyone of how he injured Lynn on TV five months ago, hence the reason for this Grudge Match. Lynn charges out of the locker room, and the fight is on. It immediately spills to the floor as Lynn is a house afire. Lynn is all over King, stomping away at him. They go back to the floor and King fires back with punches. King kicks Lynn in the head and throws him back in the ring. The commentators talk about the 8th Anniversary Show main event as Lynn takes control of the match. King avoids a charge in the corner and tosses Lynn back to the floor. Lynn comes back and sends King into the crowd, and then flies over the barricade to wipe him out. King fights back and hits a suplex on the floor, and then a slingshot legdrop over the barricade. Back in the ring King hits another legdrop but only gets two. King subdues a surging Lynn by poking him in the eyes. Lynn comes back with a flying clothesline and a Thesz Press. King rolls to the floor and Lynn follows him out. Lynn throws King into the barricade twice. Back in the ring King kicks he middle rope into Lynn’s crotch. King hits the Cradle Piledriver but Lynn gets his foot on the bottom rope. He tries to pick Lynn up but he’s dead weight, so King foolishly gloats. That gives Lynn time to recover and he surprises King with an inside cradle for the pin at 9:53. The finish was a cliché of a cliché, but the match was good and really fit into the context of the feud. An upset King goes outside and grabs a steel chair, but Lynn avoids it and gets a hold of the chair himself. Lynn shoves referee Todd Sinclair out of the way, and drops King with a Cradle Piledriver right onto the chair. Due to the extra-curricular piledriver, the referee has reversed his decision and awarded the match to King via disqualification. ROH World Champion Austin Aries comes out to check on his protégé.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #6: Pick 6 Series – Human Tornado vs. (2) Kevin Steen

This is Tornado’s first match in ROH since the Sixth Anniversary Show almost two years ago. Tornado starts the match before the bell with a somersault dive to the floor. I didn’t hear an opening bell. They fight around ringside and Steen takes the advantage. Tornado fights back and it’s a back and forth brawl on the floor. Back in the ring Tornado uses his educated feet to take Steen down in the corner hits the dancing kicks with the splits. Tornado goes for a face wash but Steen moves out of the way and hits a cannonball. Steen is firmly in control now, hitting a short-arm lariat. He hits a nasty backbreaker for a two-count. They take it back to the floor and Steen whips Tornado into the barricade. The referee is counting them out and when he gets to 19 they don’t get back in the ring, so he simply stops counting. Weak. Tornado reverses a whip and sends Steen into the ring post. He tries a leap off the apron but Steen catches him and launches him into the barricade. Back in the ring Steen gets a cover for two. Somehow the bottom rope gets broken. Steen pays no mind and hits a vertical suplex for a two-count. He tries another one but Tornado counters with the End Time, and then hits a neckbreaker. Tornado hits a flying uppercut and a back elbow in the corner. He hits a knee to the back and then a knee drop for a two-count. Steen comes back with the pumphandle neckbreaker and goes for a cover but Tornado gets his foot on the bottom rope. He goes up for the Swanton but Tornado gets his knees up. Tornado hits a crazy DDT for a two-count. He goes up top and Steen meets him up there. He knocks Steen back and goes for a dropkick but it misses. Steen hits a powerbomb and then the Package Piledriver for the pin at around 12:48. That was a pretty good match with Steen already quite comfortable in his heel character. Steen locks Tornado in the Crossface after the bell and Colt Cabana comes out to confront him. I like where this was going but it would have been even better if they had established a prior friendship between Steen, Generico, and Cabana before this all happened.
Rating: ***

MATCH #7: Non-Title Match – ROH World Champion Austin Aries vs. Jushin Thunder Liger

This is Liger’s first appearance since the Weekend of Thunder shows over five years ago. The champ cuts a promo mocking both the fans and Liger. Aries gets all racist on him, so Liger grabs the mic and calls him an asshole. He punches Liger before the bell and takes control of the legend. He takes off his furry pink ring jacket and chokes Liger with it. Liger comes back with a quick palm strike, which sends Aries to the floor. He hits a baseball slide and then throws Aries into the barricade. Then Liger hits a nasty looking brainbuster on the floor. Aries is busted open, but still manages to climb back in the ring before the 20-count. Liger is in control now, and he locks on a surfboard. He continues to abuse the champion, who has a very important title defense against Tyler Black coming up in two weeks. Liger takes Aries up to the top rope, but Aries fights back and pitches Liger to the floor. Aries flies out with a double sledge off the top rope. He whips Liger into the barricade and follows him in with a spear. Back in the ring Aries hits a missile dropkick. Aries tries the IED but Liger kicks him out of the air. Liger hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He goes up top for a splash but Aries gets the knees up. Aries sends Liger to the floor and toes for the Heat Seeking Missile but Liger moves and Aries takes a nasty bump into the barricade. Back in the ring Liger hits the top-rope splash this time and gets a two-count. Liger goes for a Liger Bomb but Aries reverses to a hurricanrana. Aries backdrops Liger to the floor and this time hits the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Aries gets a two-count and then locks on the Last Chancery. Aries changes it up and hits knee strikes, and then goes for the brainbuster. Liger reverses it and hits a brainbuster of his own for a two-count. He tries another Liger Bomb but Aries avoids it. Seconds later Liger finally connects with the Liger Bomb for a near-fall. Liger takes Aries to the top rope and Aries sort of reverses it to a sunset bomb for two. Aries hits more knee strikes and once again locks on the Last Chancery. He breaks the hold himself and hits the shinbreaker / belly-to-back suplex combo. Aries hits the IED and the brainbuster. Liger kicks out at two! Aries goes up top for the 450 but Liger moves out of the way! Liger goes for a palm strike but Aries pulls referee Paul Turner in the way to avoid the blow. Aries hits a blatant low blow and nails another brainbuster to score the pin at (20:09). That was a really good back and forth match and I love the finish.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #8: Eight Man Tag Team Main Event – Jay & Mark Briscoe and The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) and American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)

I’m guessing this match will have tons of offense and many sequences I won’t be able to type fast enough. Castagnoli is wearing short tights now just like Hero. Mark and Richards start the match, but Mark tags Matt in before any contact is made. Richards finds himself getting ping-ponged in the babyface corner, so he takes a quick breather before tagging Castagnoli. Mark suplexes Castagnoli, so he takes a quick breather as well, and then tags Edwards and Mark tags Jay. Edwards slaps Jay across the face and pays for it. The Briscoes and the Bucks work together to wear Edwards down. Edwards fights back on Nick and then tags Hero into the match. Hero drives Nick into his own corner, allowing Nick to tag Mark in. Mark tags Jay and Jay tags Nick. Hero takes the advantage on Nick and makes the tag to Richards. Edwards is quickly tagged in, and the Bucks are able to take control of him. The Bucks try that flipping double dropkick but the Kings of Wrestling cut them off with boots to the face. Richards hits Nick with a Northern Lights suplex for two. He locks on an elevated Texas Cloverleaf and Matt has to get to the ropes. Matt is getting dominated by all four opponents here. The Kings and Wolves are clinging to the advantage by any means necessary. After several minutes of abuse Nick makes the tag to Matt, and the match completely breaks down. Matt hits Richards with a superkick and Diamond Dust for a two-count. He goes for an Asai DDT but Richards avoids it. Matt is able to hit a superkick and that allows him to land the Asai DDT for two. The Kings distract Matt from the apron, allowing Richards to hit a modified Alarm Clock before making the tag to Hero. It’s an elbow strike jamboree for Hero, hitting Matt with several variations. Nick tries to come in and help his brother so Castagnoli comes in to help Hero and the Kings maintain control. Finally Mark Briscoe gets the tag and he’s all over Hero. Mark hits an Iconoclasm for two. Some clever double-team work by the Kings leads to Castagnoli getting the tag and taking Mark out with a bicycle kick. Castagnoli hits the Giant Swing with a boot to the head from Hero, and the Bucks and Jay come in to break up the pin and we’ve got a pier-six brawl again. Richards hits a springboard moonsault to the floor on Matt. We end up with Castagnoli and Mark in the ring. Castagnoli executes the UFO but Mark is able to get his shoulder up. Mark avoids a Ricola Bomb and makes the tag to his brother. Jay is all over Castagnoli, hitting him with a Death Valley Driver for two. The champs double-team Castagnoli, hitting a modified Sidewinder (elbow instead of legdrop) for two. Edwards gets tagged in and he goes to work on Jay, showing his trademark lack of emotion. He and Jay trade kicks to the face, and Jay ends the exchange with a huge clothesline. Nick Jackson gets the tag from Jay and he’s flying all over the place. The Bucks try More Bang for Your Buck and everyone jumps in the ring. The Briscoes and the Bucks all hit dives over the ropes to the floor. The Bucks bring Edwards in the ring and try More Bang for Your Buck but Edwards avoids it. Richards hits Nick with the Alarm Clock, and the Wolves get the Superkick-German Suplex-Jackknife Pin combination for two! The Briscoes and the Kings are brawling on the floor while the Wolves kick Nick’s head off. Edwards hits a 2K1 Bomb but Mark breaks up the cover. They send Mark back to the floor and hit a powerbomb/lungblower combination, but Nick kicks out again! Edwards locks on the Half Crab and wrenches it back and Nick taps out at 27:32. That was phenomenal action from all eight guys and a great showcase of ROH’s tag team division. This was the Bucks’ last ROH match before heading to TNA so the finish was right. I think Hero and Castagnoli are just in a different league than their counterparts right now. They’re so good. Dombrowski says you have to give “all of the credit in the world” to the Bucks, but then I wouldn’t be able to give any credit to anybody else who deserves some too.
Rating: ****

BONUS MATCH: Larry Zbyszko vs. Scott Taylor, Special Referee: Jonny Fairplay

Fairplay comes out first at cuts a quick promo about David Arquette being the only real World Champion, and introduces his female companion, Alexis Arquette. Taylor gets a decidedly mixed reaction, but cuts a babyface promo anyway. He then makes gay jokes a Fairplay’s expense. This match is brought to you by the Wrestle Reunion IV promoters, Prazak makes sure to point out. They want us to know who to blame. Zbyszko of course stalls right off the bat. After what seems like forever the match actually starts and the crowd pretty much turns on it. Taylor hits some mounted punches and then the bulldog. Taylor goes for the Worm but Fairplay stops him. He yells at Fairplay, giving Zbyszko long enough to recover and roll Taylor up with a schoolboy for the fast count and victory at approximately 2:28. After the match Taylor tries to give Fairplay the Worm but Colt Cabana runs out and gives Taylor his own version of the Worm instead. Cabana then gives Fairplay the Stink Face. Yep, that all happened. That was actually in the middle of the show but I’m glad they included the match as a bonus feature instead.
Rating: DUD