defy or deny

Plymouth Memorial Hall – Plymouth, MA – Friday, March 18, 2011

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

They take it down to the mat and wrestle to a standoff. The competitors look evenly matched early on as they trade holds and both go for a dropkick at the same time. Mark strikes first with a leg lariat for two. He stays on offense, hitting a vertical suplex for two. O’Reilly tries to fight back but Mark catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Mark then throws O’Reilly to the floor and follows him out to continue the abuse. Back in the ring O’Reilly reverses a whip and turns it into the rolling Butterfly Suplexes. Mark blocks the third one and turns it into rolling Northern Lights Suplexes. O’Reilly blocks the third one and hits a Butterfly Suplex into a Cross Armbreaker. Mark turns it into a pinning combination for two and then hits a big clothesline for another two-count. O’Reilly tries to fight back but Mark hits a Finlay Roll. Mark goes up top and misses a senton. Now O’Reilly is able to take advantage and he targets the arm. The fight spills to the floor and O’Reilly hits the missile dropkick off the apron and both men are down. Back in the ring O’Reilly hits another missile dropkick for a two-count. Now they exchange strikes and Mark wins that battle. Mark hits an exploder suplex for two. He lands an enziguiri and goes for the Cutthroat Driver but O’Reilly avoids it and hits a kick to the chest for two. O’Reilly then locks on a Crossface and Mark reaches the ropes. They get to their feet and exchange simultaneous clotheslines. Mark blasts O’Reilly with a superkick and then hits a hard powerbomb. He goes up top and hits the Frog Elbow for the win at 11:11. I’m really coming around to Kyle O’Reilly; he’s been really impressive on the last several DVDs.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Steve Corino & Grizzly Redwood vs. the All Night Express

Corino and Rhett Titus start it off. They trade holds a bit and Corino’s reluctance to use a closed fist is notable. Even so Corino gets an armdrag and an armbar, and then makes the tag. Redwood and Titus know each other very well going all the way back to their days at the Academy. Corino tags back in and hits a dropkick. He tries another one but Titus avoids it. Titus misses an elbow drop and Corino goes back to work on the arm. Redwood tags back in and hits a rana, but then runs right into a hard clothesline. Kenny King tags in for the first time but he gets double-teamed. Corino and Redwood show surprising cohesion for a new team. King comes back and drills Corino with a boot to the face and the double knees. Now the ANX isolate Corino and work him over in their half of the ring. King hits Corino with a superkick for two. After several minutes of abuse Corino is able to come back and make the tag to the Littlest Lumberjack. Redwood stymies both members of the ANX, hitting a little bulldog on King for two. He follows up with a big tornado DDT but it only gets two. The referee loses control and Corino and Redwood trap the ANX in simultaneous abdominal stretches. Titus and King both escape and take control on Redwood but can’t put him away. Corino tries to help his partner but accidentally hits him with the Sliding Lariat. Titus takes Corino out, and then the ANX hit Redwood with the ANX Decapitation Knee Drop to get the win at 13:41. That was better than I was expecting, as I wasn’t really into Corino and Redwood before this match, but they work well together as a team and the crowd is into the Steve Corino rehabilitation storyline, which always helps.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #3: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Cole

Nana cuts a promo before the match and still draws tremendous heat. I love Nana. Barrister R.D. Evans gets a couple of words in as well. Ciampa backs Cole into the corner to start and then goes to work on the arm. Cole fights back and they lock up intensely and push each other to the floor. Back in the ring they continue locking up with fervor. Ciampa hits a dropkick and whips Cole hard into the buckles. Cole comes back and goes after the arm. He hits an inverted atomic drop and a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Cole follows up with a dropkick and Ciampa takes a powder. Unfortunately for Ciampa, Cole follows him out and whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring Ciampa drills Cole with a clothesline, knocking him off the apron. Nana takes some cheap shots out on the floor while Ciampa distracts the referee. Back in the ring Ciampa continues abusing Cole, wisely keeping him on the mat. Cole tries a cross body block but Ciampa avoids it and Cole crashes to the floor. Princess Mia BLASTS him with a superkick. That was pretty impressive. Ciampa goes to the floor and rams Cole’s back into the ring post. Back in the ring Ciampa continues attacking the back but can’t put Cole away. Finally Cole gets a burst of energy and hits a series of clotheslines. Cole hits a leg lariat off the second rope for a two-count. He lands an enziguiri and Ciampa rolls to the floor. Cole goes for a dive and the Embassy sacrifices Osiris to it. Ciampa tries a baseball slide but Cole catches him and hits a wheelbarrow suplex into the apron! Back in the ring that somehow only gets two. That could be a finish. He tries another wheelbarrow but Ciampa reverses it to a sit-out Burning Hammer for two. Ciampa goes for a powerbomb but Cole reverses to a rana with a cradle for two, Ciampa rolls into a sunset flip for two, and then Ciampa locks on a submission hold but pins himself so he has to let it go. Whew. Cole grabs a quick backslide for two and a small package for two. Ciampa rolls into his own small package for two. Cole snags a victory roll for a near-fall. They start exchanging forearms and Ciampa wins the battle and hits a release German Suplex. Cole no-sells it and hits two superkicks and a bridging German Suplex for two. Ciampa tries to Shine Cole’s Wizard but Cole avoids it and hits a Wheelbarrow Backstabber but Nana distracts the referee so no count is made. Ciampa takes advantage with a low blow and then a Powerbomb Backstabber to get the pin at 14:05. That was a pleasant surprise out of nowhere. Ciampa is good and is a perfect centerpiece for the new Embassy. Adam Cole is already good and is going to get so much better.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #4: Chris Hero vs. TJ Perkins

Hero is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. They take it right down to the mat and match holds. Hero asserts his power and Perkins regroups. Perkins comes back with a headscissors to ground his larger opponent. They continue going back and forth and no one has a clear advantage. The pace quickens and that gives Perkins the advantage. Perkins goes for a Cross Armbreaker and Hero quickly gets to the ropes. Hero fights back with a knee lift and a huge boot to the face. Perkins comes back with a submission hold in the ropes but of course he has to break it. Hero strikes right back with an elbow for two. He hits a vertical suplex for two. Perkins gets a rollup out of nowhere for two, and then Hero kicks him off the apron to the floor. Hagadorn takes some cheap shots, naturally. Back in the ring Hero hits a boot to the head for a two-count. Hero adds trash talk to his offensive assault, and that fires Perkins up. It doesn’t fire him up enough though, as Hero flattens him with a hard elbow strike. Perkins comes back with a rana and dumps Hero tot eh floor. He follows him out with a dive to wipe him out. Back in the ring Perkins hits a solid kick to the head and locks on an arm submission and Hero grabs the ropes again. Perkins lands a series of kicks tot eh chest and a running knee to the face. Hero catches a kick and hits a rolling elbow for two. He hits more elbows but Perkins catches one and locks on the Pseudo Sharpshooter and Hero gets to the ropes. Hero fights back with mores strikes and a huge elbow but Perkins kicks out again. He follows up with a Liger Bomb but once again it only gets two. Perkins gets a small package for two and then hits a hard kick to the head. He unleashes a flurry of offense but runs into another rolling elbow. Hero follows up with a rolling boot to the face for the win at 15:28. I love how Perkins brings a different style to ROH, and I love that Hero is so good now that he can have good matches in just about any style with anyone.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #5: The Bravado Brothers vs. Matt Taven & Guy Alexander

Harlem cuts a promo before the match, saying that even though they weren’t booked to be on this show, they are going to have a match. The sound is really poor. Alexander and Taven hit the ring and attack, sending the Bravados to the floor. Taven wipes out both brothers with a dive and then the match officially starts when they get back in the ring. Alexander and Taven focus on Harlem in the early going, tagging in and out and using double-team maneuvers. Taven lands a solid kick to the chest for two. He lets Harlem too close to his corner and Lance tags in. Lance hits a dropkick for two. Taven comes back with his own dropkick to the back, and then one to the face. Alexander tags in and the Bravados are able to take control of him, hitting a double-team neckbreaker for two. Harlem accidentally kicks Lance off the apron and Alexander follows up with a vertical suplex and a tag. Taven hits a running forearm and a boot to the face. He goes up top for a cross body block but Harlem rolls through and grabs the tights to get the pin at 3:57. They all showed a lot of energy in the short time they had.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #6: Special Challenge Match – Eddie Edwards vs. Michael Elgin

They lock up intensely to start and Edwards backs Elgin into a corner and gives him a clean break. It doesn’t take long for the two tough guys to start slugging at each other. Elgin wins that battle by running through two straight chops and knocking Edwards down with a shoulderblock. He follows up with a delayed vertical suplex for two. Edwards fights back and locks Elgin in an STF. Elgin makes it to the ropes and rolls to the apron, so Edwards kicks him hard across the back and then drills him with a baseball slide. Edwards follows Elgin to the floor and whips him into the barricade. Back in the ring Edwards hits a hard knee strike to the chest for two. Elgin fights back with an elevated Samoan Drop and gets a two-count. He stomps away and hits an elbow drop for another two. Elgin is firmly in control now. Edwards strikes back with a flying knee and both men are down. The Wolf unloads with chops but Elgin fires back with the Roots Clotheslines. Edwards comes back with more chops, and then Elgin rams him back into the turnbuckle. Elgin is in control again, hitting a senton for two. Edwards fights back with a solid kick to the head and then goes up top. He lands the missile dropkick and then traps Elgin on the top turnbuckle and ties him into the Tree of Woe for a dropkick to the face. Edwards hits more strikes and an inside out suplex for two. He goes up to the second rope for a Codebreaker but Elgin catches him and powerbombs Edwards to the floor and the both tumble down. Elgin hits an Oklahoma Stampede on the floor! That was awesome. Edwards barely makes it back into the ring before the count of 20. Elgin blasts him with a lariat but again it only gets two. He goes for a powerbomb but Edwards turns it into the Achilles Lock. Truth Martini interferes and Edwards locks both Elgin and Martini in simultaneous Achilles Locks! Elgin reaches the ropes. Edwards hits a superkick but Elgin comes right back with a powerslam into a uranage for two. Elgin goes for a top rope powerbomb but Edwards knocks him down and hits a double stomp, a running knee strike, and the 2K1 Bomb to get the pin at 18:04. They could have trimmed a few minutes but Elgin looked really good and it’s nice to see new guys getting the chance to shine and delivering.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #7: ROH World TV Title Match – Christopher Daniels vs. Mike Bennett

Daniels has been the champion since 12.10.10, and this is his sixth defense. Bennett is accompanied by his trainer Bob Evans. He stalls to start and the crowd is pretty hot to see this actually. After about a minute, contact is made and Bennett gets the better of an exchange and gloats about it. They stall some more and Bennett hits a hip toss to chants of “You Can’t Wrestle!” Bennett goes to the headlock and then hits a couple of shoulderblocks. Daniels comes back with a couple of hiptosses and clotheslines Bennett to the floor. Back in the ring Bennett takes control, abusing Daniels in the corner. Daniels comes back and grounds Bennett with a headlock. Some in the crowd are chanting “Daniels Sucks” and others are countering with “No He Doesn’t!” This has been a weird match. Daniels is back on offense but Bennett quickly cuts him off and dumps him to the floor. Bennett goes out to join him but Daniels makes him pay for it with a back body drop. Back in the ring Bennett distracts the referee and Brutal Bob pushes Daniels off the top rope. Bennett gets a two-count from that and goes to work. He hits that backbreaker in the corner that’s kind of cool and gets a near-fall. They trade sleepers and Bennett laughs last when he hits a chinbreaker and a powerslam. Bennett keeps Daniels on the mat and wears him down. Daniels fights back and hits a leg lariat and a stomp off the second rope for two. He tries a uranage but Bennett counters in and hits a lariat for two. Bennett hits the Last Rites for another two-count. Daniels comes back with an STO for two. He goes for Angel’s Wings but Bennett backdrops his way out of it. Bennett hits a spinebuster but Daniels kicks out. Evans gets on the apron with the title belt and does nothing. Daniels hits a Flatliner and this time Evans grabs his feet and Daniels gives chase. Nothing comes of that either and both men cross body block each other and they’re both down. Evans distracts the referee again and Bennett tries to use the belt but Steve Corino runs out and stops him. Daniels follows up with the Best Moonsault Ever to get the pin at 16:45. That was dull and disjointed. For as much as they hype Bennett up, the guy does nothing for me. If you can’t pull three stars with Daniels, what’s your problem?
Rating: **

MATCH #8: Kings Vs. Wolves – Claudio Castagnoli vs. Davey Richards

Castagnoli is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. He uses his power to take the first advantage with a knuckle lock. Richards fights out with a rana and an armdrag. He then takes a powder to avoid Castagnoli’s attack, and then baits the larger man into chasing him. Richards catches Castagnoli with a dropkick to send him to the floor and then follows him out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Richards targets the arm, locking on a Fujiwara Armbar. Castagnoli reaches the ropes. Hagadorn interferes from the floor, allowing Castagnoli to take control. Richards gets whipped into the barricade twice, and then Castagnoli gloats about it back in the ring. Hagadorn and Del Rey take shots behind the referee’s back every chance they get. Castagnoli spends an inordinate amount of time on the top rope as Richards tries to fight him off, but it doesn’t work and Castagnoli lands a flying European Uppercut for two. Now Castagnoli applies a Sleeper and Richards is fading. Richards fights up out of it but Del Rey grabs his foot to distract him. He turns around but can still hear Castagnoli charging, so he moves, Del Rey gets knocked to the floor, and Richards gets a quick rollup for two. Now Richards backdrops Castagnoli to the floor and goes for the running kick on the apron, but Castagnoli ducks and Hagadorn gets hit with it instead. Richards then hits Castagnoli with a tornado DDT on the floor! Back in the ring Richards hits the missile dropkick for two. Richards hits a running forearm and a running knee strike, but when they go up for a superplex both men tumble down to the floor hard. They get back in the ring entirely too quickly and Richards hits a cross body block off the top rope for two. Richards unleashes a flurry of kicks but then runs right into a big boot to the face. Castagnoli gets a two-count. Castagnoli hits an overhead German Suplex and a huge Chokeslam but it only gets two! He goes for the Riccola Bomb but Richards counters and they trade forearms. Richards wins that battle and hits a Saito Suplex, but Castagnoli no-sells it and hits the UFO for two! Back on their feet Richards goes right for a Cross Armbreaker but Castagnoli positions him on his shoulders and goes to the second rope for a fallaway slam! Richards kicks out at two! Castagnoli once again goes for the Riccola Bomb but Richards counters with a sunset flip for two! Richards hits more kicks and gets a backslide for two. He goes back to kicks, including a knockout kick to the head but it only gets two. Richards goes back up top and hits a double stomp, and then lands the Shooting Star Press to get the pin at 19:27. That was as good and fun as you would expect from these two, but I feel like every Richards match is kind of the same.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #9: Defy or Deny Elimination Match – Roderick Strong vs. El Generico vs. Homicide vs. Jay Briscoe

If Strong wins, the other three opponents cannot challenge for the ROH World Championship as long as he is the champion. If Jay, Generico, or Homicide wins, they get a ROH World Championship match at Honor Takes Center Stage: Chapter 2.” Truth Martini cuts a promo before the match, putting over Strong as the best because he has the title. Strong also gets a few words in, noting that he has already defeated all three of his opponents tonight.

Generico and Jay start the match with some mat wrestling. Not much happens so Generico tags Homicide in. Jay and Homicide wrestle on the mat a bit and then Homicide tags the champion. Strong backs Jay into the corner and delivers a chop, so Jay responds in kind and they slug away at each other. Jay wins that battle but runs right into a low dropkick. Homicide tags back in to work on Jay. He goes for the Three Amigos but Generico breaks it up before he can hit the third one. Strong is back in now and Jay is able to back him into a corner and tag Generico. The masked luchador takes control until Strong backs him into the corner and tags Homicide. It’s just been a lot of back and forth so far without a lot of rhyme or reason. I’m actually so bored I’m seeing if I can remember all the dates of ROH Title changes in my head. I won that game. Homicide and Strong work together for a bit before Homicide turns on the champ. That gives Jay and Generico the chance to recover and they send Strong to the floor and then Generico wipes him out with a dive. Homicide throws Jay to the floor and hits him with the Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring Homicide can’t quite put Jay away. Jay comes back with a spinebuster for a two-count. Generico and Strong get back involved and there’s offense happening in every corner of the ring. Jay goes for the Jay Driller on Homicide but it gets reverses to Da Cop Killa, but Jay avoids that so Homicide flattens him with an Ace Crusher. Homicide goes up top but Strong pulls him down, leaving him in perfect position to get blasted with a Generico Yakuza kick. Strong pulls Generico to the floor, and Jay hits Homicide with the Jay Driller to eliminate him at 18:27.

Strong immediately tears into Jay, unloading with chops in the corner. Generico pulls Strong to the floor and whips him into the barricade, and then follows him in with a running Yakuza kick! Jay dives over the ropes to wipe out both Generico and Strong. He pitches Strong back into the ring and hits a Blockbuster for two. Jay follows up with a Falcon Arrow for two. Generico rejoins the fray and things are moving pretty fast now. He hits Strong with a tornado DDT and before he can even get up Jay hits him with a splash off the top rope for two! Jay goes for an Exploder but Strong grabs him and suplexes both men! Back on their feet Jay hits Generico with a superkick and a running clothesline in the corner, but Generico brushes it off and hits a running Yakuza kick. Strong dumps Generico to the floor and hits Jay with a brainbuster to eliminate him at 24:02.

Generico is trying to climb back in the ring but Strong kicks him right back to the floor. Strong follows him out and bodyslams him. Back in the ring Strong covers for two. The champ is fully in control and looks confident about it. From out of nowhere Generico grabs Strong and hits a Blue Thunder Driver for two. Back on their feet Strong charges right into a Michinoku Driver for another two-count. Strong comes back with a gutbuster and a superkick for two. He locks on the Stronghold but Generico turns it into a cradle for two. Strong hits a knee strike and the Sick Kick but it only gets two! He once again locks on the Stronghold but Generico flops over to the ropes. Strong tries to put him away but Generico hits a half nelson suplex and the Yakuza kick. Generico goes for the Top Rope Brainbuster so Truth gets up on the apron to distract the referee. Michael Elgin runs out and powerbombs Generico off the top rope behind the referee’s back. Strong blasts Generico with the Sick Kick to get the win at 31:54. Oh my, that match was unnecessarily long and so dull for about the first two-thirds of it. The House of Truth attacks after the match but the American Wolves and Christopher Daniels make the save.
Rating: **½