Tag Wars 2010

Metrolina Tradeshow Expo – Charlotte, North Carolina – Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak are on commentary.

MATCH #1: El Generico vs. Erick Stevens with Prince Nana

Stevens attacks before the bell and here we go. He chokes Generico with his own cape and then throws him to the floor for some more abuse. Stevens throws Generico in the ring and then gloats, giving Generico the chance to wipe him out with a dive. Back in the ring Generico continues to press the advantage. Generico tries the Yakuza Kick but Stevens catches him in a leg cradle suplex. Stevens is back in control now and Nana takes cheap shots whenever he can. Generico gets a burst of adrenaline and fights back, including a cross body block from the top rope for two. A Michinoku Driver gets another two-count but Stevens isn’t out of it yet. Generico tries a swinging DDT but Stevens catches him in a swinging slam for a near-fall. Stevens hits a release German Suplex and sets up for the Runaway Train. Generico explodes out of the corner with a Yakuza Kick and follows with the Brainbuster to get the pin at 8:23. That was a solid speed versus power opening match up, and a good win for Generico.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #2: Steve Corino vs. Bobby Dempsey

I’m not sure which deity I pissed off to deserve this. Dempsey actually gets quite a bit of offense in during the opening minutes, but it’s mostly a lot of stalling and jaw jacking. They try a test of strength and Corino puts Dempsey down to his knees, but Dempsey strikes back with a hard right hand. Corino takes a quick powder. Back in the ring Corino puts on the abdominal stretch and jams his thumb into Dempsey’s butt. I hate that move. Dempsey escapes with a hiptoss and then jams Corino’s own thumb in his mouth. He follows with a Boss Man Slam and then puts on the Anaconda Vise but Corino reaches the ropes. Corino fights back with Colby Shock for a two-count. Dempsey catches a cross body attempt and hits a fallaway slam with a bridge for two. He tries the Death Valley Driver but Corino slips out and pushes Dempsey into the referee. Corino tries to use a chain, but settles for kicking Dempsey right in the balls instead. One Eternal Dream later and Corino has the win at 9:35. That’s not a typo, this match did go longer than El Generico versus Erick Stevens. It’s amazing Dempsey hung around as long as he did for having as little ability as he did. This was just not good.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #3: Grudge Match – Grizzly Redwood vs. The Necro Butcher with Prince Nana

Butcher shakes Redwood’s hand but makes him pay for it with a vicious headbutt. They take it to the floor and Butcher throws the Littlest Lumberjack around ringside. Butcher hits the Chair Slam and continues to abuse him. Back in the ring Redwood mounts a comeback as Prazak points out that this is a rare match between two bare-footed wrestlers. Butcher makes a quick comeback and hits a Chokeslam, and he picks Redwood up to knock him down with a clothesline. That gets a two-count. Redwood fights back and hits a mini bulldog for two. He then runs straight into a right hand. Butcher tries to suplex Redwood to the floor but can’t do it. Redwood counters into a sunset bomb down to the floor! One of the fans hands Redwood a plastic garbage can, which he hurls right at Butcher’s head. Back to the ring Redwood tries a cross body block from the top rope but Butcher catches him in mid-air with a hard right hand. Butcher hits the Tiger Driver to get the pin at 7:26. That was about as good as it could be given the participants. Necro Butcher was stale as the hardcore guy, but joining the Embassy wasn’t really what he needed either.
Rating: **

MATCH #4: Non-Title Match – World TV Champion Eddie Edwards vs. Colt Cabana

They start with some respectful chain and mat wrestling, as there really is no issue between these two that I’m aware of, although Cabana could put himself in line for a TV Title shot if he were to get the win. Cabana uses his unique British-style offense, but Edwards is happy to trade holds with him. Both men graduate to some heavier attacks and strikes, and things stay pretty even between them. Edwards uses a rana to send Cabana to the floor, and then follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Edwards hits a missile dropkick and a running knee strike for two. Cabana fights back with a capture Northern Lariat for a near-fall. He tries the Colt .45 but Edwards slips out. Edwards lands an enziguiri from the apron and then goes up top. He leaps right into a pair of boots and stumbles back into the corner. Cabana charges in but Edwards avoids him and scores with an O’Connor Roll to get the pin at 11:46. That was just a pleasant little wrestling match between two skilled grapplers and nothing more – not that there’s anything wrong with that. This was a nice step up from the rest of the card so far.
Rating: ***

MATCH #5: The Bravado Brothers & Cedric Alexander vs. Marker Dillinger, Caleb Konley & Jake Manning

No intros for this one. Harlem Bravado and Manning start it off. Things break down rather quickly but Harlem is able to handle things easily and make the tag to his older brother Lance. Manning is in trouble here. Lance tags Alexander, who immediately misses a cross body block. That gives the opposing team control, and Manning makes the tag to Konley. Alexander strikes back with a dropkick, and Dillinger tags in. Things don’t go much better for him, as Alexander is flying all over the place. Alexander tries a split-legged moonsault, but Manning pulls Dillinger out of harm’s way. Konley throws Alexander shoulder-first into the ring post. Alexander gets worked over for several minutes before he’s able to make a tag to Lance. Both Bravados take the opportunity to reclaim control of the match. Lance hits Konley with a belly-to-belly suplex and Harlem follows with a Frog Splash. Manning breaks up the cover. The referee has no control here and bodies are flying all over the place. Harlem and Lance take Manning out with a double-team neckbreaker, and Alexander dispatches of Manning with a flying knee. Harlem drills Konley with an enziguiri and Lance hits a German Suplex to get the pin at 8:08. That was a fun little sprint of a match, though I’m not sure what Dillinger was doing there.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #6: Special Challenge Match – Kevin Steen vs. Roderick Strong

Steen has Steve Corino in his corner. Strong has a shot at ROH World Champion Tyler Black coming up, while Steen is embroiled in his feud with El Generico, so these two are coming in with very different motivations. They start slowly, trying to psyche each other out. Strong lands a leg lariat that sends Steen to the floor. Back in the ring Steen tries a handshake but Strong won’t take it, so things get heated. Steen bails to the floor again and Strong follows him out to continue the brawl. Strong takes control so Corino interferes to give Steen the advantage. Steen attacks Strong’s knee and viciously goes to work on it, which is a good strategy against a guy with a move called the Sick Kick. This goes on for several minutes, as Steen antagonizes the crowd while beating on Strong’s leg. Steen tries a suplex but Strong counters to a front suplex, further injuring himself. Strong gets a second wind and decides to take Corino out with a baseball slide. He lands more kicks and runs around, and then remembers that his leg is hurt. Steen dumps Strong to the apron and brings him back in with a DDT for a near-fall. He goes for the Swanton Bomb but Strong gets his knees up. That just hurts Strong more, and when he goes for the gutbuster Steen catches the legs and puts on the Sharpshooter. Strong reaches the ropes. Steen tries to use Corino’s steel chain, but Colt Cabana runs out to stop him from doing so. Corino objects and gets into a brawl with Cabana at ringside. El Generico makes his way out and runs through the ring to take Corino out with a dive. Strong kicks Steen in the head and hits the gutbuster. He follows up with a low superkick (a la Tyler Black) to get the pin at 15:05. That worked well enough to put Strong over going into his title match and to incorporate the Steen/Generico feud without being too contrived. Personally I would have just put Strong over clean, but I’ve never booked for Ring of Honor so that’s not really up to me.
Rating: ***

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Title Ultimate Endurance Match / Tag Wars 2010 Finals – The Kings of Wrestling vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Dark City Fight Club vs. The All Night Express

Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli have been the Champions since 4.3.10, and this is their fifth defense. Jay and Mark Briscoe beat the House of Truth and Necro Butcher & Prince Nana to get here; Kenny King and Rhett Titus beat Jerry Lynn & Delirious and El Generico & Colt Cabana; and Jon Davis and Kory Chavis beat Shawn Daivari & Ernesto Osiris and the Bravado Brothers. The first fall is a four corner match where you can tag anyone. Wow, what incendiary stipulations!

King and Davis start the match. Davis and his partner Kory Chavis dominate King and Rhett Titus. I admit it’s weird to see Davis in an ROH ring since I so strongly associate him with DGUSA and EVOLVE now. After some meaningless back and forth, Hero tags in and goes to work on Chavis. Momentum shifts over to the DCFC as everyone is trying to set the tone early on. The Briscoes get the crowd fired up when they tag into the match. They wind up both getting tagged in at the same time and by the rules of the match they do have to fight each other. Jay and Mark fight each other briefly and sportsmanlike before tagging in both Kings! Hero and Castagnoli try to do the same thing the Briscoes did but they can’t pull it off. Finally Castagnoli is able to tag Chavis. The ANX get their chance too. This match is pretty boring. Chavis catches King in a Sky-Hi Powerbomb and both men are down. They tag their respective partners and Davis is a house afire. Davis catches Titus with a spinebuster and then catches King with a powerslam. He covers Titus for two. Titus sort of recovers but Davis cuts him off with the Pounce. Davis goes for 3 Seconds Around the World but King stops him. King hits a Blockbuster right onto Titus’ knees and that’s enough to eliminate Davis at 18:30.

The second fall is under tornado rules so everyone is allowed in the ring at the same time. Hero and Castagnoli get knocked to the floor and Jay wipes them out with a dive. The ANX battles Mark in the ring while the Kings take it to Jay on the floor. Jay is busted open. Mark comes back with an Iconoclasm on King but can’t follow up before the Kings hammer away on him. The ANX take the opportunity to beat on a bloody Jay out on the floor. Hero and Castagnoli double-team Mark in the ring and double-cover him several times but they can’t put him away. King and Titus take an opportunity to surprise the Champions with a double schoolboy rollup for two-counts. That doesn’t go over well with the Kings, and now they battle while the Briscoes get a chance to recover. Jay and Mark take it to everyone. Hagadorn gives Hero the loaded elbow pad while the Briscoes signal for the Doomsday Device on Titus and they hit it to eliminate the All Night Express at 28:09. The last fall is under scramble rules, which is pretty much the same thing as tornado rules. Hero cracks Jay with the loaded elbow pad to get the win at 28:26. That match was a chore, but three stipulations that weren’t really exciting and two that meant pretty much the same thing; not that it mattered given the length of the third fall. Usually the Kings and Briscoes are a guarantee but this whole thing fell flat.
Rating: **

MATCH #8: Non-Title “Rematch of the Year” – ROH World Champion Tyler Black vs. Davey Richards

Richards has Eddie Edwards in his corner. Everyone knows that Black is WWE-bound, so before the match can begin, Jim Cornette strolls his way out and tries to goad Black into making this a title contest. Black considers it, and makes it sound like he’s going to do it, then balks at the last minute. I love it. Black also makes the point that Edwards has no reason to be out there, so Cornette and Edwards head to the back so this match can get started.

They start off a bit slowly, with Black taking an early powder to try and offset Richards’ intensity. Back in the ring they take it down to the mat. Richards sends Black to the floor and delivers the running kick to the chest from the apron. He continues to abuse Black with kicks and then brings him back to the ring for more punishment. Richards focuses on the legs, using various submission holds to wear the Champion down. Black tries to fight back but Richards catches him and slingshots him to the floor. Richards goes for the dive but Black avoids it and drills Richards with a dropkick. They go back to the floor and trade shots, and Black rams Richards’ midsection into the apron. Back in the ring it’s Black’s turn to keep Richards grounded. Richards fires back with a series of kicks in the corner, which referee Todd Sinclair breaks up for some reason. Black avoids a diving headbutt and hits an F-5 for a near-fall. They go back to the floor to chop each other. Black rakes the eyes and then brings Richards back to the ring but they don’t stay there very long. Richards dumps Black to the apron and kicks him to the floor. He follows him out with a suicide dive. Richards goes back to the ring with a missile dropkick and then lands a handspring spin kick for two. A series of reversals ends with Richards putting on a Texas Cloverleaf and Black struggles to reach the ropes. They trade some kicks and Black clotheslines Richards to the floor. Black follows with a somersault plancha, showing no signs of the injured leg that Richards has been working on all match. He goes back to the ring with the springboard lariat for a near-fall. They trade some cradles for two-counts, and then Black hits Paroxysm for two. Another slugfest breaks out and Black wins that battle with a Pele. Black hits a reverse rana and goes for God’s Last Gift but Richards counters into his own God’s Last Gift. Both men are down. They rise and slug away at each other again. Richards wins the battle and hits a Back Drop Driver. Black responds with a release German Suplex and then hits the Rubik’s Cube for a near-fall. He goes up top and Richards joins him. Black is able to get Richards in position for the Warrior’s Way, and he follows up with a coast to coast dropkick for another two-count. The Champion is definitely frustrated now. Black goes back up top but Richards kicks him in the leg. Richards tries to set up a super DR Driver but Black counters it into a superplex. Black holds on and tries the F-5 again but Richards counters that to the Ankle Lock. The Champ kicks his way out of that, but Richards drills him with the Alarm Clock. Black tries an enziguiri but Richards catches the leg and puts on the Ankle Lock again. The resilient Champion rolls through to send Richards to the floor. Richards quickly gets back in the ring and Black hits him with the Buckle Bomb, but Richards pops right out of the corner with a clothesline. The American Wolf hits the DR Driver for two. Richards hits a Buckle Bomb so Black spits on him, and Richards responds with Kawada Kicks. He delivers a knockout kick and then hits Black with God’s Last Gift for two. Richards puts on the Texas Cloverleaf and Black finally taps out at 26:36. That was action packed and just flew by. These two have obvious chemistry and match up with each other very well. Everything in this match clicked, but the only downside was how much Black was diving and spring-boarding around with his supposedly injured leg. I like that Richards went over with a leg submission, but the whole deal would have been more effective had it been more consistently sold. Still, good stuff here.
Rating: ***¾

BONUS MATCH #1: Delirious vs. Sonjay Dutt, ROH on HDNet Episode #23, 8.31.09

Delirious has Daizee Haze in his corner. This is Dutt’s debut on HDNet. They start with some fast-paced back and forth, showing how evenly matched they are in the early going. Dutt hits a headscissors that sends Delirious to the floor. He does the Jarrett strut to no pop whatsoever. Meanwhile, Delirious crawled under the ring and comes out the other side. Dutt is ready for him though and sends Delirious to the floor on the other side and continues to control the match. Back in the ring Dutt goes for a cross body block but Delirious catches him in mid-air with a headbutt to the chest. Dutt quickly regains control and keeps Delirious off his feet. Delirious fights back and hits the Here It Is Driver for two. He hits a German Suplex for another two-count, and when he tries another one Dutt flips out of it. Dutt flies around the ring with some innovative offense and caps it off with a springboard splash for two. Delirious drops Dutt on his chest and then locks on the Cobra Stretch to no pop at all. Dutt escapes and moments later hits a Muscle Buster for a near-fall. He locks on the Camel Clutch and Delirious powers out of it. Delirious trips Dutt up and puts on the Cobra Stretch again. Dutt reaches the ropes. Delirious lands the Panic Attack and goes up for Shadows over Hell but there’s no water in the pool. Dutt charges in and Delirious catches him in a backslide for two. They trade pinning combinations for a series of near-fall and Delirious is able to hold Dutt down to get the pin at 11:43. That was perfectly well wrestled, but the crowd was near comatose for the duration. Not that I blame them with Dutt in there.
Rating: **¼

BONUS MATCH #2: Nigel McGuinness vs. Aaron Scott, ROH on HDNet Episode #24, 9.7.09

McGuinness goes after the arms right away, showing why he’s one of the longest reigning ROH World Champions to date. He keeps Scott grounded, destroying the arm. Scott fires back with some chops and a dropkick. McGuinness comes back with a headbutt to the midsection. They trade some pinning combos but neither man can get the win. McGuinness tries the Jawbreaker Lariat but can’t hit it, so instead he hits a DDT to get the pin at 4:01. That was a fine squash, as Scott got some jobber offense in but McGuinness was ready for him and just simply out of Scott’s league.
Rating: *¼

BONUS MATCH #3: The American Wolves vs. Up In Smoke, ROH on HDNet Episode #23, 8.31.09

The Wolves are the Tag Team Champions but this is a non-title match. Richards and Edwards take it to Cheech and Cloudy but the former Special K members hit simultaneous headscissors and dropkicks to send the champs to the floor. Cheech and Cloudy go for dives but the Wolves avoid them. Back in the ring Edwards goes to work on Cheech. Richards tags in and Cheech is able to make a tag himself. Cloudy hits Edwards with a missile dropkick and hits Richards with an enziguiri. He charges in and the Wolves catch him with the double-team Alarm Clock and the double-team lungblower. Edwards then locks on the Achilles Lock for the tap-out win at 2:01. That was a perfectly entertaining squash.
Rating: *