world's greatest

Montgomery County Fairgrounds – Dayton, OH – Friday, February 25, 2011

MATCH #1: Jay Briscoe vs. Kyle O’Reilly

O’Reilly immediately takes Jay down in an armbar and Jay grabs the ropes. They keep it on the mat and Jay takes the advantage. Jay hits a leg lariat for a two-count. He charges into the corner but O’Reilly catches him with a boot and then the rolling butterfly suplex/DDT combo for two. O’Reilly locks on an abdominal stretch and turns it into a cradle for two. Jay pops up and kicks O’Reilly right in the face. O’Reilly rises and they trade forearms, but Jay wins that battle. Jay hits a big bodyslam and a legdrop for two. He hits a couple of chops, and when O’Reilly tries to fight back Jay hits him even harder. The Briscoes are fun when they’re mean. O’Reilly fights back with a series of strikes and a running forearm in the corner. He kicks Jay off the apron and into the barricade. O’Reilly then follows up with the missile dropkick off the apron as the crowd chants “ROH.” Back in the ring O’Reilly hits a missile dropkick and another running forearm. Jay comes right out of the corner with a big boot and then hits a Michinoku Driver for two. He follows up with the Death Valley Driver but O’Reilly kicks out again. O’Reilly is able to fight back and hits a bridging Dragon Suplex for two. He goes up top again and Jay dropkicks him down. Jay hits a superplex but O’Reilly traps him in a cradle for a near-fall. I’ve never cared for that spot. Both men get up and they trade strikes once again. They each hit a superkick but Jay hits a second one and a big lariat but it only gets two! Jay hits the Jay Driller and finally O’Reilly is down at 7:46. More please.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Steve Corino & Grizzly Redwood vs. the Bravado Brothers

Corino cuts a promo about how he is evil and how he blames himself for Kevin Steen not being around anymore. He puts Redwood over big, saying he inspires him. When Corino turns his attention to the Bravados and makes a disparaging comment about their grandmother, Harlem and Lance attack and away we go.

The fight immediately spills to the floor, where Corino pairs off with Lance and Redwood battles Harlem. Corino and Redwood throw their opponents into respective barricades, and then Corino throws Lance into the ring and goes to work on him. The Bravados make the comeback but Corino avoids a charge in the corner and makes the tag. Redwood hits Lance with a headscissors, a low dropkick, and a little bulldog for two. He locks on an abdominal stretch but the Bravados use some illegal tactics to escape the hold and regain control. The Bravados isolate Redwood in their half of the ring and wear him down. After a few minutes the littlest lumberjack hits a rana but Lance knocks Corino off the apron so a tag can’t be made. Corino gets back on the apron and is able to tag in this time. He unloads on both Bravados, showing some fire. Then he locks on the abdominal stretch and teases the thumb in the butt, but he doesn’t do it so the Bravados reclaim control. Redwood gets tossed to the floor and the Bravados double-team Corino but can’t put him away. Redwood makes his way back in the ring with a missile dropkick on both brothers. He hits Lance with a seated senton off the second rope, and Corino follows up with the Eternal Dream. The referee tries to get Redwood out of the ring since he’s not legal, and in the confusion the Bravados switch places and the fresh one grabs Corino in a quick rollup to get the win at 9:03. That was adequate tag team action, and I continue to be impressed with the Bravado Brothers. Corino and Redwood don’t really interest me though.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #3: Mark Briscoe vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett

They take it down to the mat and exchange holds. Bennett backs off and collects himself. Then they go right back into the chain wrestling and Mark continues to hold the advantage. Mark hits a running spin kick but misses a charge in the corner. Bennett runs into a boot and Mark lands a neckbreaker for two. Mark follows up with a vertical suplex for another two-count. A flying knee sends Bennett to the floor and Mark follows him out with a Tope con Hilo, much to the crowd’s delight. Back in the ring Brutal Bob Evans distracts Mark long enough for Bennett to recover and catch the youngest Briscoe coming off the top rope with a dropkick. Bennett takes over with his usual brand of offense now. He works Mark over for a few minutes until Mark flips out of a back body drop and delivers a superkick. Mark unleashes the Redneck Kung Fu and a bridging Northern Lights Suplex for two. He hits a Finlay Roll and a turnout somersault senton off the top rope for two. An exploder suplex gets another near-fall. Mark tries the Iconoclasm but Bennett blocks it and hits a big spinebuster for two. Brutal Bob gets up on the apron but quickly gets knocked down in the O’Connor Roll spot. Mark hits an enziguiri and goes up top, but Brutal Bob gets on the apron again. With the referee distracted, Bennett hits a blatant low blow and then finishes Mark off with the side slam at 9:24. That was just as dull as every other Bennett match.
Rating: **

MATCH #4: Four Corner Survival Match – Colt Cabana vs. Rhett Titus vs. Andy Ridge vs. Mike Mondo

Titus and Mondo attack Cabana and Ridge, respectively, but that ends badly for them when they both get clotheslined to the floor. Ridge and Cabana tease dives, and then Cabana tosses Ridge into Titus and Mondo. They catch him, so Cabana follows up with a house show dive to wipe them all out. Back in the ring Cabana locks Ridge in a headlock but it doesn’t last long as Mondo blind tags himself in. Mondo gets clotheslined so he tags Titus, who takes a hiptoss. Cabana is dominating everyone here and you can hear a pin drop. The match turns into a bit of a mess as Titus and Mondo work together to take control. The crowd is not interested and neither am I. They finally perk up a bit when Cabana does his shenanigans and then gets the lukewarm tag. Cabana easily handles both Titus and Mondo, and gets a two-count on Mondo with the quebrada. Finally tempers flare between Mondo and Titus and the referee loses control. Ridge catches Mondo with an impressive series of kicks, but rather than follow up he turns his attention to Titus. Cabana grabs Ridge with a very unsafe looking electric chair drop. Titus catches Cabana with a dropkick and then lawn darts Ridge into the corner. He goes for the Super Sex Factor but Cabana reverses it to a gutbuster across the top rope. That’s creative. Mondo tries to surprise Cabana with an O’Connor Roll but Cabana counters it into the Billy Goat’s Curse to get the win at 8:36. The crowd perked up a bit by the end but was silent for a lot of the match and I don’t blame them.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #5: Non-Title Challenge Match – Christopher Daniels vs. Michael Elgin

Elgin is accompanied by Truth Martini. He overpowers the TV champion right away, ramming him into the corner and driving his shoulder into the midsection. Daniels survives the initial onslaught and sends Elgin to the floor. The champ hits a baseball slide dropkick and the Arabian Press, much to the crowd’s delight. Daniels throws Elgin into the ring post. Back in the ring Daniels hits a missile dropkick and a running forearm in the corner. Now Daniels is in complete control, unloading with jabs and a Northern Lariat for a one-count. Martini interferes, allowing Elgin to catch Daniels in a Samoan Drop for two. Elgin wears Daniels out now with strikes and slams, focusing on the back. He tosses Daniels to the floor and rams him into the barricade, and then locks on the Boston Crab. Back in the ring, Elgin continues to dominate. After many minutes of abuse Daniels comes back and tries a tornado DDT but Elgin blocks it and tries to lawn dart Daniels into the buckles. Daniels perseveres though and counters the counter, hitting the Stroke right into the turnbuckles. Now Daniels is on fire, unleashing flying forearms and a series of headbutts. He hits a low dropkick and curb stomps him into the canvas. Daniels hits the Arabian Press and gets two. He goes up top and hits a cross body block but only gets two. Elgin comes back with some forearms and a leg cradle Falcon Arrow for a near-fall. He follows up with a big lariat but once again it only gets two. Daniels comes back and calls for the Angel’s Wings but Martini gets up on the apron to distract him. Elgin hits his own version of the Oklahoma Stampede but then pauses to get advice from the Book of Truth. He goes for a powerbomb but Daniels counters with a cradle to get the win at 14:54. That was pretty solid but they could have tightened it up a little bit and probably would have gotten a better crowd reaction. I think Elgin is a good addition to the roster.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #6: Top Contenders Match – Homicide vs. El Generico

They trade holds a bit in the early going, both men trying to establish dominance. Homicide goes after the arm with an armbar, and also bites the fingers. They try to chain wrestle a bit more but they blow it and just look awkward rolling around on the mat. Homicide hits an inverted atomic drop. Generico responds with a leg lariat. He hits mounted punches in the corner so Homicide bites his leg and throws him to the floor. Homicide whips Generico into the barricade and picks up a chair but the referee stops him. That gives Generico the chance to recover and throw Homicide into the barricade. They continue brawling around on the floor and Generico goes for a suplex, but Homicide blocks it and hits a neckbreaker. Back in the ring Homicide hits Two Amigos. Homicide goes for the Face Wash but Generico cuts him off and hits a big swinging DDT for two. Generico follows up with the Michinoku Driver for another two-count. He goes for the running Yakuza kick but Homicide moves out of the way. Homicide then hits a sloppy top rope rana for two. He goes for Da Cop Killa but Generico avoids it. After a series of reversals Homicide hits the big lariat but Generico kicks out at two! Homicide wastes time so Generico hits an exploder suplex into the turnbuckles but it only gets two. Generico hits the running Yakuza this time and goes for the Super Brainbuster but Homicide fights him off and hits an Ace Crusher to get the pin at 12:33 and the crowd boos. I was never a big fan of Homicide but he’s really getting hard to watch at this point. These two styles did not mesh well at all.
Rating: *½

MATCH #7: Survival of the Fittest 2010 Finals Rematch – Kenny King vs. Eddie Edwards

I actually have not gotten around to watching Survival of the Fittest 2010 yet. Edwards backs King into the corner and issues a clean break. He goes after the arm and King can’t find an answer for him in the opening minutes. They both try kicks and miss and then try a dropkick at the same time and it’s an INDY RESPECT STANDOFF! Those always make me nostalgic for 2002. Edwards goes right back to the arm and takes King down to the mat. King uses his athleticism to escape a hold but Edwards blasts him with a running knee to the chest. Edwards continues on offense, keeping King down on the mat. He picks King up and hits a nasty chop and then delivers a series of kicks. King comes back by catching a charging Edwards and crotching him on the top rope and then knocking him to the floor. He joins Edwards on the floor and hits the springboard legdrop off the barricade. Back in the ring he gets a two-count. King continues on offense, hitting a clothesline for two. Edwards fights back with a flying knee strike and both men are down. Back on their feet King tries the Royal Flush but Edwards blocks, so King suplexes him back into the turnbuckles. Edwards fights back and suplexes King to the apron, and then hits a kick to the chest and a springboard double stomp as they tumble to the floor. They take it over the barricade and into the crowd, with Edwards firmly in control. Edwards gets up on the barricade and wipes King out with a cross body block. AMERICAN WOLVES! Back in the ring Edwards hits a missile dropkick and a superkick. Edwards washes King’s face. He follows up with a leaping Codebreaker and a Tiger Suplex for a near-fall. Edwards charges but King cuts him off with a nice leg lariat for two. King hits an awkward looking slam for another two-count. Both men rise to their feet and trade forearms. Edwards hits a superkick but King brushes it off and hits a cartwheel kick of his own, and Edwards shrugs that off and hits a clothesline. Now both men are down. Edwards goes up top but King avoids him and hits the shotgun knees for two. King puts Edwards on the top rope for a superplex but Edwards blocks it and drops King down on the mat chest-first. Edwards comes off with a double stomp to the back. He then locks on the Achilles Lock and King taps out at 18:43. Did Edwards particularly focus on the leg or the back at all? I like King but I’m not sold on Edwards, and I hate submission finishes when there was no work done on the body part affected by the move, unless it’s over like Benoit with the Crossface or something like that. The match was fine other than that.
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: Six Man Main Event “World’s Greatest Collide” – Shelton Benjamin, Charlie Haas & Davey Richards vs. The Kings of Wrestling & Roderick Strong

Strong is the ROH World Champion, and the Kings are the ROH World Tag Team Champions. The Kings are accompanied by Sara Del Rey and Shane Hagadorn, and Strong is accompanied by Truth Martini, so there’s quite a cadre of managers out on the floor.

Richards and Castagnoli start for their respective teams. They chain wrestle and trade holds back and forth. Castagnoli strikes first with a hard clothesline for two. Richards comes back with a quick victory roll for two and then uses Torbellino right into a Fujiwara Armbar. Hero breaks that up. Castagnoli backs Richards into the corner and tags the ROH World Champion. Richards grabs Strong in a Texas Cloverleaf and Hero once again breaks it up. Benjamin tags in and drops the champ with a right hand. He throws more punches and then tags Haas. Benjamin slams Strong onto Haas’ knee for a two-count. Now Haas goes to work on Strong’s left arm. Strong tries to come back but Haas avoids the dropkick, only to get hit by a leg lariat. Hero tags in and now the Kings go to work on Haas. Of course that doesn’t last long before Haas makes the comeback and tags Benjamin back in. Castagnoli quickly backs Benjamin into the corner and the champions triple-team him. They are able to keep Benjamin isolated in their half of the ring. After quite a while, Benjamin is able to make the tag to Richards, who lights Castagnoli up with kicks to the chest. Richards gets a cross body block off the top rope but the referee was out of position so he only counts one. The Kings double-team Richards and he’s able to thwart them momentarily before getting kicked off the apron and to the floor. Now the title-holding trio keeps Richards in their half of the ring and works him over. Castagnoli shows impressive power, military pressing Richards. The beating continues on and Castagnoli executes the UFO for a two-count. Moments later Richards makes the comeback and lands a missile dropkick on Castagnoli. Tags are made and Benjamin is all over both Kings. Benjamin throws out a Stinger Splash and a spin kick to take the Kings out. Strong comes in and gets double-teamed by the WGTT. Benjamin hits Hero with a bridging German Suplex for two. The Kings come back and hit Benjamin with the Giant Swing/Dropkick combo for two. The pace has really picked up and the crowd is into it. Castagnoli chokeslams Benjamin for two. He tries a delayed vertical suplex but Benjamin lands on his feet and hits a neckbreaker. Haas receives the hot tag and starts throwing everybody around. He locks Castagnoli in the Haas of Pain and Hero has to break it up. The match breaks down and Benjamin hits Hero with Paydirt. Strong and Richards get tagged in and tear into each other. Richards drills Strong with a kick to the head and a bridging German Suplex for two. He hits an enziguiri and a clothesline for two. The Kings and the WGTT battle on the floor and to the back while Richards and Strong battle in the ring. Strong blasts Richards with three forearm shots and a Protoplex for two. He hits a gutbuster and a superkick but again only gets two. The champ sets up for a super Gibson Driver but Richards knocks him down to the mat. Richards tries a missile dropkick but Strong catches him and locks on the Stronghold, which Richards counters to a victory roll for two. Richards is able to catch Strong in a Cross Armbreaker and the referee completely ignores that Strong was pretty much in the ropes at the start of the hold. Strong escapes but gets hit with the Alarm Clock, a running forearm and a running knee strike. Richards goes to the second rope and hits a DDT, and then hits a Falcon Arrow into the Cross Armbreaker and Strong taps immediately at 32:14. That was unnecessarily long but the action was good, especially the end between Richards and Strong.
Rating: ***½

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