Bluegrass Brawl

Davis Arena – Louisville, KY – Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jim Cornette comes out to chants of “welcome home.” He reminisces about the history of Louisville wrestling and OVW. He thanks everyone for coming, puts over the locker room, etc.

Joe Dombrowski and Dave Prazak are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Beef Wellington vs. Paredyse

I’m familiar with the name Beef Wellington but I know nothing about Paredyse; he seems to be doing an Adrian Street type gimmick. They lock up and Paredyse gets a headlock and the first knockdown with a shoulder tackle. Paredyse gloats too much and Wellington takes him down. Wellington hits a dropkick to send Paredyse to the floor, and then he follows him out. Paredyse slams Wellington’s head into the mat and then tries a baseball slide but Wellington avoids it and clotheslines him. Back in the ring Wellington hits an atomic drop and a Stinger Elbow. Wellington tries another Stinger Elbow but Paredyse moves and he sails over the ropes to the floor. This time Paredyse hits the baseball slide. Back in the ring Paredyse stays in control, hitting a clothesline for a two-count. Paredyse hits a forearm off the second turnbuckle for two. He continues focusing on the neck area. Wellington fights out of a reverse chinlock to hit an inverted atomic drop and a dropkick for two. He tries a Codebreaker but can’t hit it, instead turning it into a sunset flip for two. Paredyse comes back with a neckbreaker for two. Wellington sells it like death but reveals that he was playing possum and gets a quick rollup for the pin at 7:40. That was passable but did nothing to make me want to see either guy again.
Rating: *¼

MATCH #2: OVW Southern Tag Team Title Match – The Elite vs. Sucio & Fang

The Elite are Ted McNailer and Adam Revolver, and they have been the champions since 3.24.10. All four men are making their ROH debuts of course. McNailer and Sucio start the match with some aggressive chain wrestling. Sucio takes the first control so Revolver tags in. It doesn’t go any better for Revolver, as Sucio stays in control and tags Fang. Sucio tosses Fang onto Revolver with a senton for a two-count. Revolver slams Fang down and tags McNailer, but the smallest man in the match (Fang) remains in control. Fang sends both Elite to the floor and Sucio joins him for a stereo baseball slide. Then he backdrops Sucio into a rana on Revolver. Back in the ring McNailer is able to snap Fang’s neck off the top rope to take control. Now the champs work Fang over in their half of the ring. After several minutes Fang is able to knock Revolver off the top rope and hit a cross body block. Fang makes the tag to Sucio and he is a house afire. The Elite cut him off and dump Fang to the floor. Sucio and Fang immediately come back and hit Revolver with the assisted super rana (like Edge and Rey used to do). They try the same thing on McNailer but he spears Fang out of the air! Revolver then grabs Sucio in a rollup and puts his feet on the ropes to get the pin and retain the titles at 9:08. To put things in perspective, these tag titles have been held by Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Shelton Benjamin, MNM, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, and several others that would go on to the WWE.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Women of Honor – Sara Del Rey vs. Daizee Haze

This is literally the Women of Honor because they’re the only two women on the roster. In what comes as a huge shock to me, Del Rey tries to use her power while Haze counters with her speed and agility. Del Rey misses a kick in the corner and Haze dumps her to the floor. Haze goes up top and jumps right into the waiting arms of the Kings of Wrestling, who gently set her back in the ring. Del Rey capitalizes and lands a solid kick and a vertical suplex for two. She continues to work Haze over with kicks and submission holds, including a modified Cloverleaf. Haze comes back with a modified Octopus Hold but Del Rey powers out of it. Del Rey hits an Iconoclasm but I think Haze was supposed to land on her feet so she just acts like she did. Haze hits a facebuster and then a series of takedowns. She hits the Heart Punch and a Yakuza Kick, but can’t connect on a German Suplex. Haze climbs up top and Claudio grabs her leg while Hero distracts the referee, but the ref wises up and sends the Kings to the back. Moments later Del Rey lands a kick to the midsection and goes for a powerbomb but Haze rolls through with a sunset flip for the pin at 8:15. These two have wrestled about 3,241 times in Ring of Honor so it was solid but so far I could have lived without the first three matches on this show.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #4: Delirious vs. Mike Mondo

People are saying that Mondo looks so different from his WWE days, but he still looks like Mikey to me. Speaking of the Spirit Squad, was Evan Bourne just a few years too late or what? Delirious freaks out at the bell and Mondo bails. Back in the ring Mondo backs Delirious into the corner and slaps him in the chest. Delirious responds with a shove and Mondo sells it like a gunshot. They come back to center ring and trade armbars, and then they take it to the mat. Delirious escapes a headscissors and they’re at a stalemate. The masked man uses a schoolyard tactic to trip Mondo twice. Delirious hits a drop toehold and then locks on the camel clutch face wash; it’s a gross move. He hits an armdrag and a dropkick that sends Mondo to the floor, and he joins him. Delirious hits a chop but then gets distracted by someone in the crowd. Mondo slams Delirious into the ring post and then hits a somersault off the apron. Back in the ring Mondo starts wearing Delirious down. After a few minutes Delirious reverses a vertical suplex attempt into one of his own. Back on their feet Mondo quickly grabs Delirious with a swinging neckbreaker for a two-count. Mondo hits a bodyslam and takes forever going to the top rope and misses a diving headbutt. Delirious is a house afire, preventing Mondo from retreating to the floor and hitting a back body drop. He hits an inverted atomic drop, headbutt to the gut, and a swinging neckbreaker for two. He goes up top and Mondo knocks him down. Mondo goes up top and hits a series of headbutts and then a very impressive super headscissors. This time Mondo hits the diving headbutt but Delirious kicks out at two. Delirious comes back with a crucifix for two and then a dropkick to the back. That puts Mondo in perfect position for the Panic Attack. Delirious follows up with the Shadows Over Hell to get the pin at 12:23. It took a few minutes to get going but from the point of Mondo getting control on the floor it got pretty decent.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #5: Pick 6 Challenge Series – (4) Chris Hero vs. Colt Cabana

Cabana is in full goofy mood tonight, and he takes the first advantage on the mat. They engage in some more mat wrestling, with Cabana again using his comedic styling to stymie Hero and send him to the floor. Back in the ring Cabana tries more antics so Hero punches him directly in the mouth. Hero then tries to beat Cabana at his own game but no luck there. Cabana tries to involve the referee and pays for it when Hero once again cracks him in the mouth. That sends Cabana to the floor, and then Hero hits a baseball slide to the delight of the crowd. Back in the ring Hero goes to work on the neck with elbows and kicks. After a few minutes Cabana comes back with a backslide for two and then a hard clothesline. Cabana attacks with a series of jabs and elbows. They crisscross the ropes and Hero hits a Flash Kick for two. Hero hits a solid elbow strike but only gets two. He goes for the cravat-o-clasm but Cabana shoves him off and hits a super Flying Apple for two. Cabana tries a regular Flying Apple but Hero catches him with an elbow to the back of the head for two. Hero goes for the Death Blow but Cabana reverses it to a cradle to get the pin at 12:56. Cabana’s antics just don’t do it for me and I don’t buy him as a serious threat to the title so it’s hard to really care about his matches.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #6: Six Man Tag Team Match – Austin Aries, Kenny King & Rhett Titus vs. Roderick Strong & The House of Truth

Aries gets on the mic to insult Truth Martini, Roderick Strong, Christin Able, and Josh Raymond, so they attack and the match is on. Strong and Aries battle, while Titus takes on Able and King pairs off with Raymond. Aries and the All Night Express send the House of Truth to the floor and stand tall. Martini gathers the troops and they regroup. Back in the ring it’s a six man brawl all over again, and this time the HOT throw their opponents to the floor and stand tall. Strong goes out and retrieves Titus from the floor and the HOT go to work on him in their half of the ring. The Book of Truth sounds a lot like Shannon Moore’ Book of Dilligaf. After a few minutes Titus makes a blind tag to King, who levels Able with a clothesline. Now Aries and the ANX are in control. They work Able over for several minutes until Able slams King with a hard Michigan Slam. Aries and Strong tag in and the former Tag Team Champions tear into each other. Strong hits an enziguiri and a gutbuster for a two-count. He tries the Half Nelson Backbreaker but Aries reverses it to the Last Chancery, which Strong reverses to an inside cradle for two. Strong tries the Gibson Driver but Aries reverses with a rana and then hits the IED for two. Aries tags Titus, who hits the Fame-Ass-Er for two. The match once again breaks down to a total brawl, with Raymond hitting an impressive twisting plancha to the floor. The referee is distracted and Martini tries to hit Titus with the Book of Truth but misses and falls to the floor. Meanwhile Strong blasts Titus with the Sick Kick to get the win at 12:33. That was by the book formula stuff but done pretty well and it finished strong (NPI).
Rating: **¾

MATCH #7: Non-Title Match – Tyler Black vs. Claudio Castagnoli

I wonder why they didn’t just go ahead and make this a title match. These two have had good matches in the past and I hope this is no different. The Very European Castagnoli takes Black down to the canvas and gloats, and the champion doesn’t appreciate that so Castagnoli takes a powder. Back in the ring Castagnoli continues to stick and move, which might seem strange since he’s the larger man, but with a hotheaded champion it is great strategy. I love Castagnoli like you wouldn’t believe. Black is fighting hard but Castagnoli is fully in control of the pace of the match. The battle spills to the floor and Black remains the aggressor, avoiding a suplex and throwing Castagnoli into the stairs. Castagnoli comes back and hurls Black into the guardrail. He goes for a baseball slide but misses and Black spins him around for a kneelift and then a boot to the head. Black comes back in the ring with a slingshot spin kick and then stomps the face. He goes up for mounted punches and then delivers a snap mare and a kick to the back. The champ then utilizes an Indian Death Lock. You don’t see that every day. Castagnoli cleverly uses the referee as a diversion and pokes Black in the eyes, and then delivers a dropkick. Now Castagnoli is firmly in control, using his amazing strength to work on Black’s back, or just to see if Brad Garoon reads my reviews I’ll say the back of Black since I know he hates that. A gutwrench suplex gets two. Moments later Black comes back with a dropkick to send Castagnoli to the floor, and then follows him out with a flip dive over the ropes. Back in the ring Black hits the springboard lariat, and follows up with the standing shooting star press for two. Black sets up for the F5 but Castagnoli escapes and hits a forearm to the back and then levels Black with a lariat for two. Castagnoli then locks in a straightjacket stranglehold and uses Black’s escape attempt as a way to German Suplex him for a two-count. This dude is unreal. Black gets a rollup out of nowhere for two, and then drills Castagnoli with a kick to the head. He looks to run but Castagnoli yanks him down by the hair. Castagnoli then executes the UFO and gets another near fall. He misses a bicycle kick and Black hits an enziguiri and then lands the F5. Black is slow to cover though and only gets two. They get back to their feet and trade right hands. Castagnoli gets the better of it and hits a pop-up European Uppercut for two, and then hits a hard Ricola Bomb but Black kicks out again! The crowd bought that one. Castagnoli argues with the referee and tries to use his tag team title belt, giving Black the chance to grab an inside cradle for two. Black goes up top and Castagnoli blasts him with a boot to the face. Castagnoli looks to be going for a super gutwrench suplex but Black slips out and hits the Buckle Bomb! Black goes for a superkick but Castagnoli avoids it and goes for a springboard European Uppercut but Black slices him out of the air with a superkick! One more superkick later and Black is the winner at 20:33. The only thing that match was missing was being for the title, because it brought the awesome in every way possible. Castagnoli is on another planet, and Black was right there with him the whole way. I don’t think Black got enough credit for being as good as he is because of the way he ended up getting booked.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #8: Tag Team Main Event – The American Wolves vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe

Edwards is the current ROH TV Champion. These two teams have fought a bunch of times in ROH, but it’s usually pretty good. Edwards and Mark start it off, but Richards demands to be tagged in and Edwards obliges. They take it down to the mat and Mark focuses on the arm. Richards escapes with his usual and tags are made. Jay and Edwards wrestle on the mat as well. Edwards lets Jay push him into the Wolf corner and tags Richards. Jay and Richards trade shoulderblocks and Mark makes a blind tag. The Briscoes take control with some successful double team moves. They work on Richards for as long as he’s willing to sell their offense, and then Richards low-bridges Jay while Edwards kicks him in the face. They send Jay to the floor and Edwards bodyslams him. Back in the ring Richards gets a two-count and then tags Edwards. Jay avoids a charge in the corner and hits the corner STO and then tags Mark, who hits a neckbreaker for two. The Wolves use some clever double teaming to take advantage of Jay’s previously injured knee. They work him over for several minutes before Jay is able to hit a spinebuster, but Edwards illegally enters the ring to knock Mark off the apron and prevent the tag. Mark gets tired of the abuse and makes his way into the ring. He throws Richards to the floor and then gets spit on by Edwards. Richards grabs Mark and drags him to the floor, and I think puts on the Ankle Lock but the camera is focused on Edwards holding Jay in the half crab. Jay reaches the ropes and tries to fight off both Wolves but he’s on one leg. Referee Todd Sinclair does a great job of keeping track of the legal man, which I appreciate. Richards drills Jay with a Saito Suplex for two. The Wolves have been pretty dominant here. Finally Mark intervenes with a cross body block and Jay hits a rana. Jay then drills Edwards with an enziguiri and makes the tag! Mark is a house afire, unleashing his redneck kung fu. He hits the Iconoclasm for two, and then a Million Dollar Fist Drop. He goes to the top rope and Richards grabs his foot, allowing Edwards to jump up for a superplex. The Wolves are right back in control. Richards hits the stupid handspring enziguiri for two. Mark responds with a hard knee to the face and then makes the tag. Jay hits Richards with the Death Valley Driver for two. Mark and Edwards get involved and the referee has lost control. With all four men down Sinclair starts the count. Jay and Edwards get up and trade forearms. Edwards throws him into the Alarm Clock by Richards, and then the Wolves hit the Wolf Pack Combo for two. Richards takes out Mark with a baseball slide. It doesn’t do too much damage though, as Mark comes back with a Super Ace Crusher. Jay traps Edwards in a Victory Roll for two. Edwards hits Jay with a superkick, which gets no sold and Jay hits a clothesline for two. The Briscoes finish Edwards with the Spiked Jay Driller at 25:13. That was pretty good but way too long. I would have preferred this match switched places with the semi-main, but I do appreciate that ROH runs tag matches in the main event slot.
Rating: ***¼

BONUS MATCH #1: ROH Pure Title Match – Samoa Joe vs. James Gibson, New Frontiers, 6.4.05

Joe has been the champion since 5.7.05 and this is his first defense. I haven’t watched this match since I first reviewed it over five years ago, so let’s dig in. Not that I mind, but I’m surprised they didn’t re-record the commentary and left Jimmy Bauer on. Joe starts it off with a Greco Roman Knuckle Lock and takes Gibson down. Gibson slips out and grabs a single leg takedown that barely gets a one count. They take it back down to the mat and Joe uses his size advantage to take control. Gibson stays on pace with him as they trade holds back and forth. Joe focuses on the neck while Gibson focuses on the knee. Just as I say that Gibson changes it up and goes to the arm. Joe muscles Gibson up and sets him on the top turnbuckle. Referee Todd Sinclair charges him a rope break for it! That seems dubious to me. Joe argues with the referee and Gibson uses this to his advantage to go back to work on the knee. Gibson charges in for a corner dropkick to the knee but Joe catches him in the STJoe. Joe hits the Big Joe Combo as the dueling chants begin. He whips Gibson into the buckles and hits a big knee to the jaw. Gibson rolls to the floor dazed while Joe takes the time to recover. Bauer notes that the top turnbuckle pad has fallen off, we’ll see if that comes into play. Back in the ring Joe delivers a solid headbutt and then unleashes some kicks to the chest. He continues using a variety of submission holds and strikes to wear the challenger down. Gibson pops out of the corner with a swinging neckbreaker and both men are down. He tries to build momentum but Joe cuts his legs out from under him and hits a senton to the back. Joe then locks on the Samoan Crab and Gibson uses his first rope break. The champ sets Gibson on the top rope but Gibson slips out and is able to hit a belly to back superplex! The crowd was distracted with something else, idiots. Anyway, Gibson gets a two-count. Gibson then locks on the front guillotine choke and then turns it into a rollup for two. He unleashes a series of knee strikes to the head but then runs right into a snap powerslam for a two-count! Joe then goes for the Cross Armbreaker and Gibson uses his second rope break. He goes for the face wash but Gibson grabs his leg and hits a dragon screw leg whip and then a dropkick to the knee! Gibson then busts out the Trailer Hitch (for the first time in ROH Bauer says) and Joe uses his second rope break. Back on their feet Joe tries a series of strikes but Gibson absorbs it and dropkicks Joe to the floor. Gibson tries a plancha but Joe catches him and hurls him into the guardrail. Back in the ring Joe hits the powerbomb for two and then turns it into the STF. Gibson uses his third rope break. Joe tries the Muscle Buster but Gibson slips into the front guillotine choke! Gibson tries an O’Connor Roll but Joe grabs him in the Choke and Gibson is out at 23:56. These are two pros that had great strategy and lots of cool reversals for each other’s moves. The rope breaks were used effectively and the crowd (other than one distraction) stayed with them. This is definitely one of the better Pure Title matches.
Rating: ****

BONUS MATCH #2: ROH World Title Match – Austin Aries vs. Spanky, New Frontiers, 6.4.05

Aries has been the champion since 12.26.04 and this is his seventeenth defense. They start off with an intense lockup and Spanky pushes Aries into the corner. Now Aries backs Spanky into the corner and hits a short elbow to the face rather than a clean break. They take it down to the mat as Bauer notes that Aries is coming into this match with an injured neck, which of course bodes well for Spanky’s Sliced Bread #2 finishing move. The pace starts to pick up so Spanky rolls to the floor to break the momentum. Back in the ring Aries takes Spanky down with a headlock. Spanky counters with a headscissors but you know how that turns out. He tries an early Sliced Bread #2 and can’t connect, but he is able to hit a belly to back suplex, which is also impact on the neck. Spanky wisely focuses on the neck, trying to wear the champion down. Aries rolls to the floor and then pulls Spanky out with him. That proves to be a mistake though, as Spanky reverses a whip and sends Aries into the guardrail. Spanky dumps Aries into the crowd and tries to snap mare him back over, but Aries blocks it and snaps Spanky’s neck off the guardrail. Aries then grabs Spanky and hits a piledriver right on a wooden chair! Ever the comedian, Aries makes sure to say “I’ve got a splinter in my ass” right in front of the camera. Back in the ring Aries tries a senton but Spanky avoids it. Aries reverses a whip and sets Spanky on the top rope for an elevated spinning neckbreaker. He sends Spanky into the corner backwards and hits the IED, damaging the neck even further. Aries hits a knee drop but then takes too much time to follow up and misses a second one. Artie Inmyearpiece tells Bauer that next week in New York Samoa Joe will defend the Pure Title against Nigel McGuinness, while Homicide will battle James Gibson. Meanwhile Spanky is on offense and he locks Aries in a half crab, then turns it into a modified STF. Aries breaks the hold by raking the eyes. He hits a Cobra Clutch Backbreaker and then the Power Drive Elbow for two. Spanky comes back with a DDT and a Northern Lariat. He hits a back heel kick for two. Aries comes back with a Finlay Roll and goes up top. Spanky joins him up there and hits a super rana. He follows up with an STO and then goes up top himself, hitting a solid elbow to the back of the neck. When he covers Aries rolls him over for a quick two-count. Spanky goes for a superkick but Aries catches him with the shinbreaker/belly to back suplex combo. Aries picks him up and Spanky grabs him for a Sliced Bread #2 but Aries reverses it to a Tombstone Piledriver! That would have been an awesome finish. Aries bodyslams Spanky and goes for the 450 but misses it. Spanky lands the superkick, and then hits a kick to the back and a bridging German Suplex for two. They exchange forearms, and then Spanky lands a knee to the face. Spanky again goes for Sliced Bread #2 but Aries blocks it, only to get hit with a Super Sliced Bread #2! Aries tries to roll out of the ring but Spanky pulls him back, just not far enough from the bottom rope so he only gets two. Spanky then goes for a necktie submission but Aries (with a bloody chin now) slips out of it. Aries comes back with several kicks to the head and the brainbuster. He then goes up and hits the 450 Splash to get the win at 18:35. Both men worked the same body part which was interesting, and they had some great reversals and counters and believable false finishes.
Rating: ***¾