rev canada

Ted Reeve Arena – Toronto, ON – Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kevin Kelly and Eric Santamaria are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kyle O’Reilly

Castagnoli is accompanied by Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey. O’Reilly is a Vancouver native so the crowd is even more into him than a normal ROH crowd already is. Castagnoli works the crowd a lot in the early going, which is wise for an opener. He dominates most of the opening minutes save for a couple of O’Reilly kicks. Del Rey gets cheap shots in from the floor. When O’Reilly makes his comeback he uses the Sharpshooter, which gets a big pop. Castagnoli is able to withstand O’Reilly’s impressive offense long enough to hit the Ricola Bomb for the win at 11:53. The crowd gives O’Reilly the big ovation after the match, which was a really good choice for an opener and both guys looked good.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #2: Grudge Match – Steve Corino vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett

Corino cuts a promo before the match, once again talking about how Christopher Daniels sold out. He mentions that he has a sponsor, someone very familiar to ROH audiences, and everyone assumes that it’s “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen but he won’t reveal the name yet. This is a rematch from Manhattan Mayhem IV, which Bennett won. Bennett also won a four corner survival match over Corino, Grizzly Redwood and Kyle O’Reilly when he pinned Corino back at the 9th Anniversary Show. Corino dominates the early going, wrestling like a non-evil person, except when he hits the ring bell against Bennett’s nuts. They fight out on the floor and Bennett takes the advantage there. Brutal Bob Evans interferes both in and outside of the ring to help Bennett keep the advantage. Corino keeps teasing the Thumb in the Bum and eventually delivers it to Evans. That gives Bennett the chance for the sitout uranage but it only gets two! Bennett hits the sitout uranage again and then delivers a piledriver and that’s enough to keep Corino down at 16:02. I like this feud and the story of this match, but they could have done it in a little less time, this felt quite long.
Rating: **½

After the bell Bennett delivers another piledriver and Corino is knocked out. I like how the commentators put over that Bennett would attack Corino because he knows no one will come out to save him.

MATCH #3: Double Danger Scramble Match – Rhett Titus vs. Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Grizzly Redwood vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge

Basically this is a scramble but you have to get two victories to be the winner. Lucha rules apply. Naturally the offense comes fast and furious in the early going, with everyone trying to establish their dominance. Ciampa is the first one to score a win with a schoolboy rollup on Cole. The powerhouses Ciampa and Elgin get a lot of the offense in but the other four also get chances to shine. Titus scores a pinfall with the Zack Attack on Ridge. Cole actually hits a Super Canadian Destroyer on Elgin, which gets a huge pop but the pin is broken up by Titus and Ciampa. The crowd chants “this is awesome.” Elgin actually picks up both Cole and Redwood for a simultaneous Alabama Slam and pins both of them in succession to win the match at 14:39. When I first heard this match announced I thought it seemed needlessly complicated, but rules aside this was a super fun match and one of the best Six Man Mayhem-type matches I’ve seen in years.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #4: “The Big Bang!” Rematch – Davey Richards vs. Kenny King

They go back and forth in the early going, with King eager to prove he’s on Richards’s level. Richards mostly controls the action but King keeps pace with him and gets to show off some impressive offense both in and out of the ring. The crowd is pretty much with them the whole way as both guys strike and suplex the hell out of each other. Towards the end Richards goes for the pop-up German Superplex and slips, but he was still able to knock King backwards off the top rope. Yes it was a botch but it’s the kind of botch that’s believable under the circumstances and I can see how King would still have fallen so it works for me. Richards hits a German Suplex with a bridge and then locks on the Ankle Lock and King taps out at 21:18. They could have cut a couple minutes out of that but that was the usual solid Richards match and King comes out of it looking good.
Rating: ***¼

The Bravados Speak

Harlem and Lancelot come out in cheesy suits and introduce themselves. They call themselves the best team in wrestling history and such. After some more spouting off, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly come out to confront them. Of course it turns into a brawl with Cole and O’Reilly dominating.

MATCH #5: In Memory of “Sweet & Sour” Larry Sweeney – Delirious vs. Colt Cabana

I ran into Larry Sweeney a couple of times over the years, and even spent a weekend traveling with him, Jimmy Jacobs, and Silas Young in March 2009 for the Stylin’ & Profilin’ and Insanity Unleashed events. He was a tremendously funny and genuinely nice guy; he really went out of his way to help me win the favor of a girl I was into at the time. Besides that he was a great talker and a gifted performer, and it was a sad day when we lost him. Delirious looks legitimately broken up before the match begins. Kelly and Santamaria decide to not say much and let Cabana and Delirious tell the story. They wrestle a really fun and lighthearted match filled with dancing and strutting and other general awesomeness. Cabana hits the 12 Large Elbow to get the pin at 8:03. I’ll throw a star rating on this out of my obsessive need to rate everything, but this is like the Bret versus Benoit match (although quite different), where the star rating isn’t really all that important.
Rating: ***

MATCH #6: Non-Title Match – World TV Champion Christopher Daniels vs. El Generico

Truth Martini cuts a promo about Steve Corino, and as soon as he turns his attention go Generico, the Generic Luchador comes running out and takes it right to Daniels. The match follows the Daniels and Generico formula, with Generico delivering high-flying and fast-paced offense, and Daniels countering with heel tactics and Truth Martini interference. They are both able to use some of their signature moves, and Daniels looks particularly surprised when Generico kicks out of the Angel’s Wings. Truth actually gets in the ring to interfere and pays dearly for it, as Generico hits him with the running Yakuza Kick. Generico goes for the Brainbuster but Daniels rescues him. Michael Elgin tries to interfere but Steve Corino comes to the rescue! Generico blasts Daniels with the running Yakuza Kick and then the Brainbuster to get the pin at 15:06. This was a really solid match between two of ROH’s most reliable.
Rating: ***¼

After the match Corino tries to make amends with Generico, who wisely refuses after everything Corino did to him in 2010. That leaves Corino prone to an attack from Daniels, Elgin, and Truth.

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Title Match – World Tag Team Champions Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe

Benjamin and Haas have been the champions since 4.1.11 and this is their first defense. I haven’t seen their match from the Ninth Anniversary Show so this is my first shot at seeing these teams fight. It’s definitely for the best that the Briscoes are heels now, it had been a while. Both teams spend some time feeling each other out with and hitting some big moves early on before it settles into the tag team formula. The Briscoes take heat on Haas for a while before he’s able to come back with an Angle Slam and make the hot tag. The match breaks down to a brawl and the Briscoes try to use one of the tag team title belts, but the All Night Express come out and thwart the attempt, leading to Benjamin nailing Mark with the Paydirt to get the pin at 16:33. This was good stuff but never seemed to kick into another gear and was more a backdrop to the Briscoes versus All Night Express feud.
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – ROH World Champion Eddie Edwards vs. Chris Hero

Edwards has been the champion since 3.19.11, and this is his second defense. Hero is wearing pink gear in tribute to Larry Sweeney. These two have a connection from Sweet N’ Sour Inc., as both were members in 2008-2009. They start off slowly, feeling each other out early on. Edwards goes for an early Achilles Lock but Hero has it scouted. Shane Hagadorn and Sara Del Rey get caught interfering and Todd Sinclair sends them to the back. Hero recovers from that setback and targets the champion’s arm. That’s a good strategy because you figure Edwards would be expecting knockout and Hero goes more for a submission. Edwards stays in it and fights back with chops and strikes whenever he can. At one point Edwards looks to be going to the top rope but Hero knocks him down and the champion crashes through the timekeeper’s table! After more back and forth big maneuvers, Hagadorn and Del Rey come out to distract the referee and Claudio Castagnoli sneaks in the ring to deliver the Ricola Bomb but Edwards is still able to kick out at two! Edwards comes back with the Achilles Lock and Castagnoli jumps up on the apron until Davey Richards comes out to awkwardly fight him off. Both men continue throwing bombs at each other but can’t put the other away. Finally Edwards locks on the Achilles Lock (after multiple uses) and stomps on Hero’s head to knock him out and retain the title at 37:18. That actually didn’t feel as long as it was, and outside of the Castagnoli and Richards shenanigans was a tremendous match.
Rating: ****