From the Ashes

Phoenix College – Phoenix, AZ – Friday, March 26, 2010

Dave Prazak and Joe Dombrowski are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Six Man Mayhem – Colt Cabana vs. Johnny Goodtime vs. Rasche Brown vs. Joey Ryan vs. Human Tornado vs. Shawn Daivari

Ryan and Daivari come out first, accompanied by Prince Nana. This is my first time seeing Johnny Goodtime. He comes out with some kind of mask and a Nintendo Power Pad. So basically he’s stealing my buddy Gameboy’s gimmick. I thought Tornado retired?

Everyone is reluctant to start the match with Brown, so we go with Tornado and Goodtime instead. They blow a spot right off the bat and Goodtime recovers with a hurricanrana. Tornado comes back with a few armdrags and then hits the dancing kicks. Goodtime pops out of the corner with a dropkick and Brown tags himself in. Ryan and Daivari try to double-team Brown, but Cabana makes the wise choice and sides with the Skullcrusher. Cabana and Brown clear the ring and then decide to go at it. Brown throws Cabana down a couple of times to frustrate the ROH veteran. Cabana tries to make nice, but Brown will have none of it. The Embassy pulls Brown to the floor and throws him into the barricade. Cabana and Tornado are going at it in the ring now. Tornado knocks Cabana to the floor and then bodies start flying all over the place. Ryan wipes Brown out with a dive to the floor, as Dombrowski notes that Daivari doesn’t want to be a Sheik or a terrorist anymore and no wrestling promoter is going to tell him what to do. I absolutely hate angles like that. Cabana hits an Asai Moonsault to wipe out Brown, Ryan, and Daivari. Back in the ring Goodtime and Tornado hit simultaneous dives to wipe everybody out again, this time including Cabana. Back in the ring Brown levels Ryan with a spear. Cabana breaks up the pin and hits the Flying Apple. He lands a lariat but then gets hit with a Goodtime missile dropkick. Daivari hits Goodtime with a Death Valley Driver. Tornado hits Daivari with a backbreaker. Ryan hits Tornado with a superkick. Brown comes back and takes out Ryan and Daivari with simultaneous clotheslines. Everyone’s on the floor except Brown, so he takes them all out with a suicide dive. Cabana and Goodtime are the first back in the ring. Goodtime puts the Miss in Missile Dropkick and Cabana quickly locks on the Billy Goat’s Curse to get the win at 8:59. That was the right match to open up with, and I think it did its job nicely.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: The Kings of Wrestling vs. Scott Lost & Scorpio Sky

The Kings kick their opponents in the gut during the handshakes and take control. They pick on Lost first, working him over in their half of the ring. Lost and Sky take advantage of the Kings’ cockiness and are able to take advantage of Castagnoli. The West Coast duo uses their unique offense to wear Castagnoli down, much to Hero’s chagrin. Castagnoli uses his power to come back, scooping Sky out of the air on an Irish whip attempt. Hero gets tagged in and Castagnoli swings Sky around in the Giant Swing and Hero hits the dropkick (looks like he missed). Sky is in trouble now as the number one contenders to the tag team titles are humming. After several minutes Sky hits a headscissors out of nowhere and makes the tag. Lost hits Castagnoli with a spin kick to the back of the head for two. He dumps both Kings to the floor. Sky wipes Castagnoli out with a dive. Back in the ring Sky tries a cross body block off the top rope but gets caught. He’s able to counter that and hit a swinging DDT for two. Castagnoli fights back on the weakened Sky and hits a pop-up European Uppercut. Hero tags in and misses an elbow strike, so Sky wisely makes the tag. Lost hits Hero with a Superkick and the Picture Perfect Elbow, giving me Michael Shane flashbacks. For some reason Hero kicks out of that at one. Sky and Lost hit a double-team neckbreaker for two. The match breaks down to a brawl. Castagnoli loads both Sky and Lost on his shoulders and lets Hero kick them both in the head before swinging them around and dropping them to the canvas. The Kings follow up with the KRS-One on Lost and Hero gets the pin at 12:45. If that was a little more competitive it could have gotten really good, but as it is it was a good warm up match for the Kings as the head into Charlotte to challenge the Briscoes for the belts.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #3: Alex Koslov vs. Rocky Romero

This is a rematch from Final Battle 2009. Romero won that match under controversial circumstances. Koslov attacks right away and here we go. Romero comes back with a hurricanrana off the second rope and a series of strikes. He scores another takedown and Koslov powders. You know, I’m not sure who the babyface is and who the heel is. Back in the ring Koslov does the stupid stop sign thing and Romero actually stops so they’re both heels in my book. Romero quickly sends Koslov back to the floor and follows him out with a tope. He tries some kicks but Koslov catches one and dumps him into the crowd. Koslov goes up top and flies out into the crowd to wipe Romero out. Back in the ring Koslov gets the hat and does the little dancing kicks. Romero catches one and puts on an Ankle Lock. Koslov escapes but Romero grabs him in a Cross Armbreaker and Koslov powers out with a buckle bomb. Romero recovers and hits the leaping DDT off the second rope for two. He tries a springboard something but Koslov swats him away with a superkick for a two-count. Romero comes back with a mule kick. He goes for the Diablo Armbar but Koslov rolls through and cradles Romero for the pin at 6:55. That was quite short and they never really established any kind of rhythm.
Rating: **

MATCH #4: Necro Butcher vs. Bison Smith

They meet in the aisle and start slugging away at each other. Smith knocks Butcher into the crowd but doesn’t follow up and Butcher comes back to knock Smith into the crowd on the other side. They fight through the crowd, where chairs and trash cans are apparently fair game. Butcher is already busted open. Nana has no problem getting physically involved as they battle by the merchandise table. They finally make their way to ringside and Butcher throws Smith’s head into the ring post. Butcher throws Smith into the barricade and then brings the ring bell inside the ring. Joey Ryan and Shawn Daivari come out to stop Smith from entering the ring and they all walk to the back. Necro Butcher is declared the winner at around 5:37. That was all just rather silly. The misuse of Bison Smith really irritates me.
Rating: ¼*

MATCH #5: Kenny Omega vs. Kevin Steen

The crowd chants “Ole” so Steen threatens to leave. Of course that doesn’t happen no matter how much they chant Ole. Seriously, how many guys in ROH are going to rub their cocks before the handshake? They trade arm holds and Omega takes it to the mat so Steen takes a powder. Back in the ring Steen goes to work on the arm. Steen switches it up and uses a headlock. He knocks Omega down and hits him with a snot rocket. Omega comes back with a dropkick. Steen takes another powder and Omega baseball slide dropkicks him into the barricade. Omega goes for the springboard moonsault but Steen grabs him by the leg and then whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring Omega continually fights back as Steen tries to work him over. Omega goes up top again and Steen pulls his arm down on the top rope. Steen hits a Stun Gun and then throws Omega shoulder-first into the ring post. They go to the floor and Steen continues to press the advantage. Steen maintains the advantage back in the ring and licks his bicep. Omega comes back and tries the Stop Sign and Steen bites his hand, so Omega comes back by biting his nose. Steen counters a dragon suplex with a backbreaker for a near fall. Like many in ROH, Omega continually fights back and doesn’t allow the heel to just beat him down for any real length of time. Omega hits his signature flurry of offense, including the bulldog for a two-count. He follows up with a uranage slam for two. Steen comes back with a powerbomb for a near-fall. He positions Omega for the Orton DDT, which gets another two-count. He tries the Cannonball but Omega moves out of the way. Omega hits a missile dropkick and goes for Croyt’s Wrath but Steen reverses to a Package Piledriver attempt and Omega counters that with an Air Raid Crash for two. Once again Omega goes for Croyt’s Wrath but Steen slips out (I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt) and hits a superkick. Steen hits the pumphandle neckbreaker for two. He goes for the Swanton but Omega gets his knees up. Omega hits a reverse rana and two dragon suplexes and Steen is able to kick out at two. He tries Croyt’s Wrath again but Steen once again slips out and pushes Omega into the referee. Steen then kicks Omega low and hits the Package Piledriver but Omega kicks out. Sigh. Steen then locks on the Crippler Crossface and Omega taps out at 17:58. While I’m not a fan of kicking out of the Package Piledriver, the Crossface is a good finisher for the match due to all the arm work done on Omega. They took a while to get going but the crowd got with them down the final stretch.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: Steve Corino vs. El Generico

Corino throws his ring jacket in Generico’s face before the bell to take an early advantage. Generico fires back with a flurry of clotheslines, chops, and punches. He sends Corino to the floor and hits him with an Arabian Press. Back in the ring Generico hits a cross body off the top rope for two. Corino takes a powder and Generico follows him out, whipping him into the barricades. Back in the ring Corino counters a whip with an STO. Corino whips Generico to the floor and now whips him into the barricades. Back in the ring Corino methodically goes to work. Generico finds the right balance in selling and fighting back. Corino locks on the abdominal stretch and sticks his thumb in Generico’s ass. I see no reason anyone should ever do that in a wrestling match. Generico fights back and makes Corino put his own thumb in his mouth. He hits a couple of clotheslines, a dropkick, and the swinging DDT for two. He follows up with the Michinoku Driver for another two-count. Corino avoids the running Yakuza and hits a Flatliner for two. He hits a big lariat and then the sliding lariat for two. Generico avoids another lariat and hits the half nelson suplex, a running Yakuza kick, and another half nelson suplex for two. He goes up top but Corino knocks him down. Corino goes for a superplex but Generico blocks it and hits Corino with the Cost to Coast dropkick. Steen comes out to pull the referee out of the ring. Generico gets distracted by Steen and Corino rolls him up for the pin at 13:01. Corino doesn’t really interest me much, but this was a useful piece in the Kevin Steen versus El Generico feud.
Rating: **

Generico attacks Corino after the bell and shoves referee Todd Sinclair down. Colt Cabana comes out to back up his friend. He challenges Steen and Corino to fight them in a tag team match at The Big Bang on April 3 in Charlotte.

MATCH #7: Personal Challenge Gauntlet – Tyler Black vs. Austin Aries and Roderick Strong

Aries is up first and he’s accompanied by Tammy Sytch for some reason. I don’t remember hearing she was going to be or was at these shows. Aries cuts his customary pre-match promo. He makes fun of the fans and says Sytch is with him because she realized he’s the only man who could satisfy her. Then he says he’s going to take it easy on Black so that he’ll have something left to fight Roderick Strong with. Dombrowski says that the winner of this match will go on to face Roderick Strong, and tomorrow they will do it again in a “different sequential order.” First, they announced ahead of time that on this show Black would face both Aries and Strong, and on the next show Strong would face Aries and Black. And number two, he obviously doesn’t know what sequential means.

Aries attacks right away and takes the early advantage. Black comes back by sending Aries to the apron and hitting a Pele kick. He follows Aries to the floor with a somersault dive, and then clotheslines him into the crowd. He suplexes him back to ringside, and then gets back in the ring with a slingshot spin kick for two. Black hits a boot to the gut for a two-count. The champ is looking dominant in the early going. He goes for a springboard something, but Aries pushes him off the top rope and into the guardrail. Aries follows him out with the Heat Seeking Missile. Back in the ring Aries takes control now and slows things down to his pace. He knocks Black to the floor and follows him out with a double axe handle. He then whips Black into the guardrail. Back in the ring Aries continues working the ROH World Champion over. He goes up top and Black joins him. Black hits a superplex and rolls over into an F-5. Both men are down. They get back to their feet and Black maintains control with a variety of offense. Aries comes back with a neckbreaker on the second rope. He goes up top and hits a missile dropkick. He tries an IED and Black kicks him in the face. Dombrowski calls it as “IED connects, but I don’t think he got all of it.” Prazak then says that Black “trying to move out of the way” and Dombrowski calls it a “glancing blow” that “hurt Austin more than it hurt Tyler.” YOU ARE BOTH WRONG! Black hits a rana and a superkick two. He goes up top and Sytch gets on the apron to peddle her wares. Black calls her a bitch and piefaces her, then misses a Phoenix Splash. Aries takes control and this time hits the IED for two. He throws Black’s shoulder into the ring post, Black comes back with a Pele, and Aries comes back with a kick to the head. Aries goes for the brainbuster but Black slips out and gets a schoolboy rollup for the win at 11:26. Obviously that was a bit truncated due to the gauntlet, but they packed a lot into those 11 minutes.

Ever the sore loser, Aries attacks Black’s arm and shoulder after the bell. Strong comes out for his match and doesn’t take too kindly to Aries’ actions. He sends Aries to the floor and then tells Sinclair to ring the bell.

Strong wisely goes after Black’s injured arm. He misses a dropkick and Black hits a kick to the face. Black hits another kick from the apron, and then hits the springboard lariat. He hits Paroxysm for another two-count. Strong comes back with the half nelson backbreaker for two. He hits a snap powerslam for another near-fall. They take it to the apron and Strong drops Black across the edge of it with a back suplex. Strong locks on the Stronghold but Black turns it into a rollup for two. Back on their feet Strong goes for the Gibson Driver but Black counters with a sunset driver for two. Black hits a running forearm but Strong counts with a gutbuster. Strong tries another Gibson Driver but Black counters it with a Buckle Bomb. Black follows up with a superkick for two. He argues with the referee and Strong blasts him with a Sick Kick and hits the Gibson Driver to get the pin at 7:54. These two have great chemistry and this was quite good for a sub-eight minute match.
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: No Disqualification Match – Jerry Lynn vs. Kenny King

Lynn charges the ring and pulls King to the floor. He throws him into the barricade. He tries another whip but King reverses it. Moments later Lynn reverses a whip himself and throws King into the barricade again. Lynn gets back in the ring first and wedges a chair in between the top and middle turnbuckle. King gets back in the ring and Lynn sends him right back to the floor and follows him out with a dive. Lynn gets back in the ring and King grabs a ladder, only to have Lynn kick it right back into his face. He hits King with the legdrop, and then hip tosses King on top of the ladder. He goes for a legdrop but King moves and Lynn hits nothing but ladder. King grabs a chair and is able to kick it into Lynn’s face. He gets a sunset flip but Lynn holds on to the chair and cracks King in the brain with it. Lynn gets an O’Connor Roll for two and King kicks him right into the chair. Dombrowski thinks that King set that chair there before the match. This guy is killing me. King pulls out a table and Lynn is busted open. Back in the ring King throws Lynn into the ladder for a two-count. The ladder gets knocked down and Lynn bulldogs King right on top of it for two. Lynn goes for a tornado DDT but King counters with a northern lights suplex right on the ladder for two. King traps Lynn’s head between the rungs of the ladder and runs him into the turnbuckle. He goes outside and grabs another table. First he nails Lynn in the head with a chair. They go to the apron and Lynn pushes King into the barricade. Back in the ring Lynn sets up a table and hits a hurricanrana followed by a TKO. King comes back with a DDT on the open chair. He hits the double knees through the table but Lynn kicks out at two! King goes for a superplex through the table but Lynn counters with a Sunset Bomb but the table doesn’t break. Lynn finishes King off with a Cradle Piledriver through said table at 13:00. That was decent but it was mostly just a collection of spots with little rhyme or reason.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #9: ROH World Tag Team Title Match – The Briscoe Brothers vs. The American Wolves

The Briscoes have been the champion since 12.19.09 (when they beat the Wolves) and this is their third defense. This is the Wolves’ return match, and they are accompanied by Shane Hagadorn. Edwards is the current ROH TV Champion.

Richards and Mark start the match and take it right down to the mat. They wrestle to a standoff and make tags. Jay takes advantage and tags his brother back in. Mark hits a spinning heel kick for a count of one. The Briscoes work Edwards over as the referee tries to maintain control. Edwards catches Mark with a headbutt and makes the tag. Richards knocks both Briscoes down. AMERICAN WOLVES! He hits the handspring spin kick on Mark, and Jay comes back with a spinebuster on behalf of his brother. The Briscoes knock Richards down with a double shoulder tackle. The Wolves come back with some double teaming and attack Jay’s knee. After a few minutes Jay avoids a double team and hits Edwards with a jawbreaker. Mark gets tagged in and he goes to work, manipulating Richards into hitting Edwards with an enziguiri. He hits Richards with a fisherman buster for two. Richards fights back with a headbutt and tags Edwards. The battle spills to the floor and the Wolves send Jay into the crowd before being wiped out by Mark with a dive. Back in the ring Mark hits Edwards with a missile dropkick for two. The Wolves recover and hit a double-team Alarm Clock for a two-count. Mark fights back with a snap suplex on Richards but Jay hasn’t made it back to the apron yet so he has no one to tag. The Wolves continue working Mark over as Jay slowly makes his way back to his corner. Richards hits Mark with a powerbomb and locks on the Texas Cloverleaf. Jay gets in the ring and tries to break up the hold. Edwards gets in the ring as well and Jay takes care of both Wolves. Finally Mark makes the tag and Jay resumes what he was doing before. Jay hits Richards with a stunner and a boot to the face for two. He goes for the Jay Driller but settles for a Death Valley Driver for two. The Wolves come back with some more double-teaming. Edwards hits an F-5 and a running knee strike for two. He hits a jumping Codebreaker for a two-count. Jay slips out of a back suplex attempt and makes the tag. Mark hits a cross body block for two. Mark hits the Iconoclasm for two. Edwards fights out of the Cutthroat Driver and hits an enziguiri. Richards tags in and hits a couple of strikes and a German suplex with a bridge for two. He takes Mark up top and delivers a series of forearms and then a superplex. Mark no-sells it and they trade forearms. Richards hits the Alarm Clock and Mark shrugs it off and hits an exploder suplex and Richards no-sells that but runs into a superkick and a t-bone suplex for two. All four men are in the ring and Mark and Richards get taken out first, and then Edwards and Jay knock each other out. All four men are down. The Briscoes take the advantage but can’t put Richards away. They hit the Decapitation Elbow but Edwards breaks up the pin. Mark tosses Edwards back to the floor and the champs go for the Doomsday Device. Edwards breaks that up too. The Wolves hit the double team Alarm Clock and the Superkick/German Suplex/Jackknife Pin combination for two. Jay comes back and tries the Jay Driller but Richards breaks it up with a missile dropkick and then hits his super unsafe dive at Mark on the floor. Back in the ring Edwards hits Jay with a hurricanrana off the top rope. The Wolves hit the Powerbomb/Lungblower combo for two, and then Edwards locks Jay in the Achilles Lock. Jay makes it to the ropes. The Wolves try the Doomsday Device but Mark pulls Richards off the top rope with an Ace Crusher. Jay nails Edwards with a reverse rana and then hits the Jay Driller but Edwards kicks out at two. I hate how no finishers are sacred anymore. The Briscoes hit Edwards with the Doomsday Device to get the pin and retain their titles at 26:56. A few minor annoyances aside, this was a terrific tag team match and I always appreciate when ROH does a tag team title match in the main event.
Rating: ****