tag team turmoil

Richmond Raceway Complex – Richmond, Virginia – Friday, July 8, 2011

Jim Cornette puts over tonight’s card and announces that due to travel problems, Chris Hero is not in attendance tonight.

Interview with New ROH World Champion Davey Richards

As is the tradition in ROH, after a World Title change the new champion opens the show with a promo. Richards comes out and he and Cornette start circle-jerking about the match at Best in the World 2011. Richards calls Edwards out for some more circle-jerking, but Roderick Strong and Truth Martini come out instead. Strong says that Richards should “count his lucky stars” that he wasn’t in the match in New York. He mocks Richards crying at the end of the match, which makes him a huge babyface in my eyes. Cornette gets all uppity about it. Richards fires back at Strong, and then Michael Elgin comes out to give the House of Truth an advantage, but Edwards comes out to even the odds. Tonight’s main event stands face-to-face with each other, but Martini calls off the dogs and they head to the back.

Dave Prazak and Kevin Kelly are on commentary.

MATCH #1: ROH Contenders Tag Team Lottery Tournament Match – Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

It’s the C&C Wrestling Factory against Future Shock. O’Reilly and Alexander start the match with some chain wrestling. They wrestle to a standoff like it’s 2003 again. Tags are made and Cole and Coleman pick up where their partners left off. Cole and O’Reilly take the first advantage, working Coleman over in their half of the ring. O’Reilly hits Coleman with the rolling Butterfly Suplexes, but the third one gets blocked and Alexander kicks O’Reilly in the head from the apron, allowing Coleman to hit three rolling Northern Lights Suplexes. That was neat. Now C&C take over on O’Reilly. After a few minutes O’Reilly makes the hot tag and Cole is on fire. Referee Todd Sinclair loses control and bodies are flying all over the place. C&C show off their high-flying skills and the crowd is appreciative. Back in the ring C&C have O’Reilly in trouble. Cole comes to his partner’s aid and they take Coleman out with stereo kicks to the head and hit Alexander with the Future Shock to get the win at 11:56. Good choice for an opener and a good showing for both teams.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: ROH Contenders Tag Team Lottery Tournament Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. The Bravado Brothers

Jay cuts a brief promo before the Briscoes attack the unsuspecting Bravados. Mark fights with Lance on the floor while Jay fights Harlem in the ring. The Briscoes are just brutal here, dismantling their hapless opponents. It’s coming off a bit awkward because both teams are heels and the Bravados are wrestling as babyfaces despite the fact that the crowd enjoys watching the Briscoes beat them up. Harlem makes a hot tag to Lance and he shows some good fire. Mark cuts Lance off with an awesome Death Valley Driver. The Briscoes hit Lance with the Doomsday Device but Jay pulls him up at the count of two! That usually backfires. Jay tries to use a chair, but Haas and Benjamin run out and kick the chair back into his face and put Lance on top to get the pin at 6:23. That gives us Cole and O’Reilly versus the Bravados in the finals, and that should be really fun. This was fun in a different kind of way.
Rating: **

MATCH #3: Special Challenge Match – Kenny King vs. Mike Bennett

Bennett is sans his trainer Brutal Bob tonight. They take it down to the mat, which you would think would be Bennett’s advantage, but King takes the early control. Bennett’s cockiness works against him as King works the arm. King goes for the spinebuster but Bennett counters it and hits one of his own to take advantage. King fights back with clotheslines and a leg lariat. Bennett uses the referee as a human shield and is able to dropkick King to the floor. He hits a backbreaker to the apron, and then a clothesline off the apron. Back in the ring Bennett puts his feet on the ropes and gets a two-count. King fights back with an awkward bridging leg cradle suplex for two. He goes for the Coronation but Bennett counters and gets a rollup with a handful of tights for the pin at 9:08. That was the usual Bennett match.
Rating: **¼

Rhett Titus comes out and tells referee Todd Sinclair what happened, so Sinclair reverses his decision and declares King the winner. That is so stupid. Bennett rightfully beats Titus up for sticking his nose in his business, so Jim Cornette comes out and declares that Bennett and Titus will wrestle each other later on. Cornette even threatens an indefinite suspension if Bennett doesn’t wrestle the match. Well that is just profoundly unfair.

MATCH #4: World Tag Team Title Match – Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. El Generico & Colt Cabana

Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team has been the champions since 4.1.11, and this is their third defense. Generico and Cabana did, as far as I know, nothing, to earn this title shot. They haven’t even teamed together since November, and they lost that match and their shot at the Kings of Wrestling before that. In case you were wondering. Before the match can start, Jay and Mark Briscoe come running out, wanting a piece of the champions for costing them their match earlier tonight. Cornette bans the Briscoes from the building for the rest of the night, while Charlie Haas just swears a lot. That’s kind of his thing from what I can gather.

Anyway, we finally start the match with Haas and Generico, the new ROH TV Champion, exchanging holds on the mat. They go back and forth a bit and then tags are made. Richmond loves Colt Cabana, that’s for sure. Benjamin doesn’t love Cabana’s shenanigans though, and he goes right to work on him. Cabana is able to come back on Haas and show his grappling skills. The champions isolate on Generico and try to keep him grounded. Finally Generico makes the hot tag and Cabana Flips, Flops, and Flies on the champions. Generico goes for a dive but appears to miss Benjamin completely, despite Kevin Kelly’s claims to the contrary. Cabana hits Haas with the Butt-Butt but it only gets two. The match gets kind of ugly as the referee loses control. WGTT just looks awkward tonight. Generico nails Benjamin with the running Yakuza Kick and a tornado DDT but it only gets two for Cabana. The champs come back and knock Generico off the top rope, and then Benjamin hits Cabana with Paydirt to get the win at 14:55. That was okay in spots, but Cabana and Generico were such random as challengers, and the champs looked a step off, so this could have been a lot better.
Rating: **½

MATCH #5: ROH Contenders Tag Team Lottery Tournament Finals – Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly vs. The Bravado Brothers

A check for $5,000 and a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Titles is on the line. The Bravados jump Cole and O’Reilly during their entrance to take advantage right away. Cole and O’Reilly fight back as all four men fight in the ring. The Bravados seek comfort on the floor but Cole dispels that notion by wiping them both out with a dive. O’Reilly follows with a missile dropkick off the apron to a seated Lance. Back in the ring more cheap shots give the Bravados the advantage again. Harlem shows off a nice superkick for a two-count. After several minutes Cole makes the hot tag and O’Reilly unloads with a series of strikes, much to the crowd’s delight. The Bravados come back with some a flurry of offense, with Lance hitting O’Reilly with a nice belly-to-belly suplex, and Harlem following with a Frog Splash for two. Lance hits a Chaos Theory and Harlem covers but it only gets two. Cole tags back in and hits Harlem with a cross body block off the top rope for two. They hit a nice combination of moves ending in O’Reilly locking on a Guillotine Choke and Harlem taps out at 8:50. That was pretty much non-stop action and another great showing for both teams. I was hard on the Bravado Brothers during their preshow days, but now they’re one of my favorite things in ROH.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #6: Rhett Titus vs. Mike Bennett

Titus doesn’t’ waste any time getting started, charging the ring with a Thesz Press and unloading on his obnoxious opponent. He sends Bennett to the floor and follows with a tope con hilo, which is a pretty rare move for him. Titus repeatedly throws Bennett into the barricades, and pulls up the ringside mat. He goes for a suplex but Bennett counters and drops Titus face-first on the ring apron. That gives Bennett control, and he goes to work with his usual, boring offense. Bennett tries another rollup with a handful of tights but the referee catches him this time. However, the referee does not catch Titus doing the same thing, but it still only gets a two-count. They fight up on the top rope and Titus drops Bennett face-first on the top turnbuckle. Titus hits a flurry of offense, including the dropkick for two. He goes up for a Frog Splash but misses. Bennett unties his boot while referee Paul Turner spends an unnatural amount of time checking on Titus. Eventually Bennett gets his boot off and pulls out a steel chain. Before he can use it, Kenny King comes down and stops him, which allows Titus to debut his new finisher, the Rhettribution (kind of like an Impaler DDT), to get the pin at 11:40. That started off all well and good but Bennett just dragged it down and the last minute or so was supremely awkward.
Rating: *¾

MATCH #7: Tag Team Main Event – The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin

The House of Truth is accompanied by Truth Martini, of course. Elgin and Edwards start the match. They try to out-power each for a bit and appear evenly matched, so they make tags. Richards and Strong are quite familiar with each other, and have fought numerous times over the years. Even so, both teams are cautious in the early going, especially in regards to Elgin, who has only faced Edwards once and Richards never. The House of Truth takes advantage of Richards on the floor, and then continues the abuse in the ring. The back and forth continues, as both Wolves challenge Elgin but he continues to fight back and keep pace with them. House of Truth is able to isolate on Edwards for quite a while and wear him down with hard strikes, submission holds, and suplexes. Finally Richards gets the hot tag and the World Champion is on fire. Neither Strong nor Elgin can stop Richards at this point, as he just destroys both guys with kicks. Finally Strong fights back and starts hitting backbreakers. The House of Truth hits a sweet gutbuster/lariat combination on Richards and Edwards has to break up the pin. Edwards gets the tag back in and he trades vicious chops with Strong in the corner. Ouch. Edwards wipes Elgin out with a dive to the floor, and then hits Strong with the Die Hard for two. The action is getting ridiculously fast at this point. All four men are in the ring, and Elgin pairs off with Richards while Strong and Edwards do battle. The crowd is juicing on it. Everyone knocks someone out and all four men are down. Elgin and Richards are the first two men up to battle and Elgin uses his power to dominate. Referee Todd Sinclair has lost all control of this one. Elgin hits the Wolves with a simultaneous Samoan Drop/Fallaway Slam, which can be described in words as I just did, despite Kevin Kelly’s claims. Richards comes right back and locks Elgin in the Ankle Lock and Edwards locks Strong in the Achilles Lock. Martini gets in the ring to physically stop his men from tapping out and he gets blasted with simultaneous kicks to the head. The Wolves throw Strong to the floor and then hit successive double stomps to Elgin’s back off the top rope but the Unbreakable one kicks out! Richards then hits a knockout kick and Elgin kicks out again! One more kick finally puts Elgin down at 31:27. They certainly went out of their way to make Elgin look good and there’s nothing wrong with that. The match was a little bit long but they wanted a big epic tag team match to main event “Tag Team Turmoil 2011” so it makes sense. It was pretty hot most of the way through, especially the second half. I enjoyed that more than I thought I would.
Rating: ****