richards

DVD Release Date: Tuesday, September 11, 2012

~Disc 1~

MATCH #1: Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong, ROH on HDNet Episode 70, 8.16.10

They start slowly since they know each other so well from their years both teaming up and facing off with each other. Strong has a title shot coming up on iPPV, so he has momentum to lose here. Richards slaps Strong hard across the face and Strong takes a powder. Back in the ring they take it down to the mat and exchange holds. Richards kicks Strong in the arm and Strong takes another powder to regroup. Back in the ring Richards hits a spinning heel kick and Strong bails again. This time Richards goes to the apron and kicks Strong hard in the chest. Richards continues with kicks and throws Strong back in the ring. He starts working the arm now, using a variety of strikes and holds. Strong fights back with an elbow to the face and Richards bails. Out on the floor Strong throws some chops and Richards tries to get away from him. Back in the ring Strong continues to hammer away. Richards fights back with a series of kicks in the corner and a running forearm. He hits a vertical suplex and a diving headbutt off the top rope for two. Richards locks on a Cross Armbreaker but Strong counters to a cradle for a two-count. Strong throws Richards to the apron and slugs him down. He kicks Richards in the face to knock him down. Strong hits a backbreaker on the barricade. Back in the ring Strong stays on offense. They start trading chops and Richards hits the handspring enziguiri for a two-count. Richards kicks Strong down and goes up top for a missile dropkick. That gets two. Strong fights back with an enziguiri and a half-nelson slam for a near-fall. He hits a gutbuster for another two-count. They take it to the apron and trade kicks. Richards slams Strong arm and shoulder first onto the ring apron. Back in the ring Richards continues to work the arm, locking on a Fujiwara Armbar. Richards turns it into a cover for two. He bodyslams Strong and goes up top. Strong kicks him down and hits a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle for a two-count. He follows up with the Widow’s Peak for another near-fall. Strong slingshots Richards into the turnbuckles and puts him up top. Richards fights back and hits a sunset bomb. He follows with a running kick to the chest and a beautiful bridging German Suplex for two. Richards holds on and hits a release German Suplex and a knockout kick to the head for a near-fall. He goes for another Cross Armbreaker but Strong counters it to the Stronghold. Richards counters that with a victory roll for two. Strong pulls referee Todd Sinclair in the way and Richards levels him with a clothesline! Shane Hagadorn sneaks out and tries to interfere, which Richards does not appreciate. The distraction allows Strong to hit the Sick Kick to get the win at 19:02. No way should Sinclair have recovered to make that count so quickly, but the rest of the match was the usual solid stuff between these two.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #2: Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen, Champions’ Challenge, 8.27.10

Steen tells Richards that his favorite moment in his entire career was breaking Eddie Edwards’s arm in 2009 just before Ladder War II. Richards attacks right away and away we go. They go to the floor and Richards hits the running kick to the chest from the apron. Richards is abusing Steen all around ringside. Back in the ring Richards keeps up the assault, keeping Steen on the mat. Steen goes back to the floor and is able to catch Richards with a powerbomb on the edge of the ring frame. Now Steen is in control, battering Richards with strikes. Back in the ring Steen goes to work. Steen focuses on the arm and shoulder, working on it both in and out of the ring. Richards fights back and kicks Steen off the apron and into the barricade. He follows with a sick suicide dive that wipes out Steen and lands himself in the crowd. Back in the ring Richards hits a missile dropkick. They trade strikes and Richards hits the handspring enziguiri for two. Richards puts on the Ankle Lock. Steen kicks Richards through the ropes to the floor. He drops Richards in the corner and delivers the Cannonball for a two-count. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver but Richards avoids it and hits a Saito Suplex. Richards tries to capitalize but Steen catches him in a release German Suplex and then locks on the Crippler Crossface, which Richards counters to the Ankle Lock. Whew. Steen kicks his way out of that but then gets kicked across the chest. Richards goes up top but misses the diving headbutt. Steen puts the Crossface on again and Richards reaches the ropes. Richards knocks Steen down from the top rope and they take turns spitting on each other. Steen headbutts Richards down and misses a moonsault. Richards unleashes a flurry of strikes and hits a bridging German Suplex for two. Steen spits on Richards again and surprises him with the Package Piledriver! Richards kicks out, which I hate. That move should be unbeatable. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver again but Richards avoids it and hits a knockout kick. Richards unleashes Kawada Kicks and lands a knockout kick to the head to get the pin at 18:08. These two have good chemistry together but with nothing specifically on the line it didn’t quite live up to their later matches.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #3: Davey Richards vs. El Generico, ROH on HDNet Episode 76, 10.4.10

They take it down to the mat to start. These two have been in some violent matches together, but this one will likely be a more sporting contest. They go back and forth in the opening minutes, neither man gaining a sustained advantage. Richards takes first control and goes to work on Generico’s knee. That’s nice synergy, since the American Wolves originally injured that body part. Generico fights back and stops Richards’s handspring enziguiri attempt with a dropkick to the back. Richards rolls to the floor and Generico wipes him out with a somersault plancha. Back in the ring Generico hits a high cross body block off the top rope for two. Generico hits the Blue Thunder Driver for another two-count. Richards fights back and hits an enziguiri and a bridging German Suplex for two. He puts Generic up top and they slug it out. Richards hits a superplex but Generico gets fired up by it! They trade more strikes and Richards hits the Alarm Clock. Richards hits a running forearm in the corner but Generico comes right back with a running Yakuza Kick! Generico hits a half-nelson suplex and the Brainbuster but it only gets two! They fight back to the top rope and Generico crotches Richards. Generico hits a half-nelson superplex and Richards amazingly kicks out at two. Now Generico goes for the super Brainbuster but Richards blocks it and delivers a dragon screw leg whip around the middle rope. Richards goes up top but Generico blocks it. That doesn’t get him anywhere though as Richards goes back to the leg and is able to cinch in the Ankle Lock. Generico kicks Richards off to the floor. Richards gets back in the ring and charges right into the ring post. No matter, he goes right back to the Ankle Lock. Richards turns that into the Cloverleaf and Generico has to tap out at 17:05. Good TV match there, but I’ve yet to see these two pull out a classic together in ROH for whatever reason.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #4: Davey Richards vs. Tyler Black, ROH on HDNet Episode 78, 10.18.10

This is Black’s last match in ROH. They start off hot, taking it to each other with strikes. Black dropkicks Richards to the floor and baseball slides him into the barricade. He follows with a flip dive over the top rope to wipe Richards out. They battle around ringside a bit and then go back in the ring with Black in control. Richards comes back and low bridges the top rope to send Black crashing to the floor. He then hits the running kick to the chest. Richards continues with kicks, wearing Black out on the floor. Back in the ring Richards keeps Black on the mat, which is good strategy. Black fights back with Paroxysm from out of nowhere. Richards takes a powder. Black follows him out and continues the beating while talking trash. Back in the ring Black stays on offense. Richards slugs back but Black silences him with a superkick for two. They exchange blows again and Richards sends Black to the apron. Richards kicks Black off the apron and then wipes him out with a sick suicide dive. Back in the ring Richards hits the missile dropkick. They slug it out again and Richards hits the springboard enziguiri for two. Richards goes for the DR Driver but Black blocks it. Instead Richards hits a powerbomb and then locks on a Cloverleaf! Black reaches the ropes. They counter each other a couple of times and Black simply pitches Richards over the top rope to the floor. Black follows him out and hits a moonsault off the barricade. Back in the ring Black hits the springboard flying clothesline that CM Punk stole from him. Black follows with an F-5 for two. He goes up top but Richards knocks him down and tries a German Superplex. Black amazingly lands on his feet. Richards hits the Alarm Clock and Black counters with an enziguiri. Black hits a reverse rana and Richards clotheslines him before selling the move. Both men are down. They take the fight to the apron and Richards unloads with kicks. Richards then hits a DDT right on the edge of the ring frame. Back in the ring Richards hits a Saito Suplex for two. Richards hits a knockout kick and a bridging German Suplex for another two-count. He goes up top but misses the Shooting Star Press. Black hits the Buckle Bomb and a superkick for two. He locks on a Cloverleaf and Richards counters with an inside cradle for two. Black hits another superkick and then God’s Last Gift but Richards kicks out! They fight up on the ropes and Black knocks Richards into position for the Warrior’s Way. Black follows with a coast-to-coast springboard missile dropkick but it only gets two! He goes for the Phoenix Splash but Richards gets his knees up! Richards hits a clothesline and the DR Driver but Black kicks out! An angry Richards hits the Buckle Bomb, a knockout kick, and God’s Last Gift but again he only gets two! Richards locks on the Cloverleaf and Black taps out at 27:13. This was a fitting way for Black to exit Ring of Honor, against one of his best opponents. This didn’t quite live up to their Toronto match but that would be a lot to ask.
Rating: ****

MATCH #5: Davey Richards vs. Christopher Daniels, Richards vs. Daniels, 10.16.10

They start cautiously with some back and forth, just feeling each other out. I think they’re going to be here for a while. Richards goes after the arm and Daniels snap mares his way out of it so Richards takes a powder. Back in the ring Daniels goes after the arm now. Richards comes back and lands a hard leg lariat to the face and then also goes after the arm. Daniels comes back with a headlock. Neither man can gain a clear advantage early on. Daniels hits his own leg lariat for a one-count. Richards backdrops Daniels to the floor and hits a running kick from the apron. He goes up top but doesn’t perform a dive, instead whipping Daniels into the barricade and then kicking his head off. Back in the ring Richards goes to work on the leg. Richards even uses a Texas Cloverleaf / Tequila Sunrise combination and Daniels has to reach the ropes. Daniels comes back and backdrops Richards to the floor. He goes for a dropkick but Richards avoids it and Daniels lands with a splat. Richards tries a dive but Daniels catches him with a palm strike and both men are down. Daniels recovers first and hits the Arabian Press. He throws Richards back in the ring and hits a high cross body off the top rope for two. Daniels continues to maintain control, working on the back. Richards catches a charging Daniels with a solid kick to the head. He takes control now, hitting a running forearm strike in the corner and a snap suplex. He goes up top and hits a diving headbutt from a long ways away for a two-count. He sets Daniels on the top rope and after a bit of a struggle hits a superplex for two. Richards transitions that right into an Ankle Lock. Daniels has to reach the ropes. They rise to their feet and trade a series of vicious strikes. Richards hits the Alarm Clock and Daniels comes right back with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Daniels hits the STO and locks on the Koji Clutch. Richards counters that to an Ankle Lock, and Daniels counters with one of his own, so Richards rolls through to send Daniels to the floor. This time Richards hits the insane dive to the floor and both men are down. Back in the ring they trade shots again and Richards hits the stupid handspring enziguiri for two. Richards sets Daniels up for a super belly-to-back suplex, but winds up hitting a running German Suplex instead. He goes up top for the Shooting Star Press but Daniels moves and slips onto the Koji Clutch! Richards reaches the ropes. They take the fight to the apron and Daniels hits a Death Valley Driver! Both men are down on the floor now. Richards barely makes it back in the ring before the count of 20. Daniels unloads with a series of strikes that sends Richards to the floor, but of course Richards is a manly man so he shrugs it off and gets back in the ring. Richards hits a series of his own strikes, but Daniels cuts him off and hits the Angel’s Wings for two. Daniels hits the uranage slam and goes for the BME but Richards stands up and catches him in the Ankle Lock, which Daniels counters to a victory roll for two. Richards hits a boot to the gut and a big lariat for two. He hits a series of kicks for another two-count. He hits the DR Driver but Daniels kicks out again! Richards locks on the Ankle Lock again and this time Daniels cannot escape or reach the ropes and he taps out at 28:39. I’m generally more into big time matches that are part of a feud rather than just “I’m Better!” “No I’m Better!” but this was a really good main event that really didn’t feel as long as it was.
Rating: ****

MATCH #6: ROH World Title Match – Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards, Final Battle 2010, 12.18.10

Strong has been the Champion since 9.11.10, and this is his second defense. Richards offers a pre-match handshake but Strong declines. They take it down to the mat, where I expect a lot of the early portions of this match to take place. Richards controls first, going after the arm. They take it to the floor and Richards kicks Strong’s head off. Not literally of course. The crowd is hard for Richards to win the title here. Richards delivers another running kick to the head. Strong gets back in the ring but rolls right back out and is able to connect with a kick to Richards’s face. Now the champion is in control. Back in the ring Strong delivers some elbow strikes a la Bryan Danielson. Strong keeps Richards on the mat and wears him down with various submission holds. Richards tries to fire up and hit the handspring enziguiri but Strong dropkicks him in the gut. They take it to the apron and Richards dropkicks Strong back to the floor. Strong tries to get back in the ring but Richards kicks him back out and hits the dangerous suicide dive, landing several rows deep in the crowd. Back in the ring Richards hits the missile dropkick. They slug it out and Richards wins the battle. Richards hits a Saito Suplex for two. He puts on a Kimura Lock. Strong powers his way out and they trade strikes. Richards hits the Alarm Clock and more strikes. He goes up top and hits the diving headbutt for a two-count. Richards puts on the Cross Armbreaker and Strong wisely reaches the ropes. Strong hits an enziguiri and the Falcon Arrow for two. The champ keeps up the intensity and locks on the Stronghold. Richards reaches the ropes. They trade shots again and the crowd is fully in support of Richards, which is a nice change of pace from the dueling chants that often accompany ROH main events. Richards hits a hard kick to the chest and a bridging German Suplex for a near-fall. They fight up on the top rope and Richards a belly-to-back superplex! Richards hits a big lariat for two. He follows with a knockout kick for another two-count. Richards puts on the Ankle Lock and Martini distracts the referee while Strong taps out! An infuriated Richards kicks Martini out of the way and lands a beautiful Shooting Star Press for a close near-fall. That would have been a hot finish. They go back around the top rope and this time Strong uses it to his advantage, hitting a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle for two. Out on the apron Strong hits an enziguiri and then drops Richards through the announcer’s table! Strong then hits a Gibson Driver on the floor! He throws Richards into the crowd, hoping for a countout win. That’s super dickish and I love it. Richards barely makes it back in the ring at the count of 19. Strong immediately hits a gutbuster and the Gibson Driver but Richards kicks out! The champ then locks on the Stronghold. Richards counters that to the Ankle Lock, which Strong counters to his own Ankle Lock, and then Richards counters to the Cloverleaf! Whew. They’re not done countering though, as Strong turns that into the LeBell Lock. Richards turns that into a cradle for two. Back on their feet Richards hits a huge lariat for two. Richards follows with a Gibson Driver for another near-fall. He locks on the Ankle Lock but is too exhausted to keep it on. Strong drills Richards with a knee strike, an enziguiri, and a torture rack backbreaker. He hits the Sick Kick for two! Strong hits the vertical suplex into a backbreaker, a superkick, and another Sick Kick and Richards kicks out again! Now Strong locks in the Stronghold and Richards passes out at 30:28. These two are natural opponents and though this match was 30 minutes it didn’t really feel that long. The crowd was in the right state of mind for this one, cheering Richards like crazy and booing Strong with equal fervor. This may be my favorite match between the two of them.
Rating: ****¼

MATCH #7: Davey Richards vs. Chris Hero, Only the Strong Survive, 1.15.11

Hero is also accompanied by Sara Del Rey. They stall a bit to start. That quickly changes to some chain wrestling. Hero takes Richards down to the mat and attacks the arm. Richards responds in kind. They continue trading holds back and forth, neither man gaining a sustained advantage. Hero hits a hard shoulderblock and Richards takes a powder. Back in the ring they continue trying to one-up each other. Richards lands a leg lariat and Hero takes a powder this time. Back in the ring Richards unloads with kicks. Del Rey interferes from the floor, distracting Richards long enough for Hero to take him down. Richards fights back with a dropkick. He locks on a modified Tequila Sunrise and Hero escapes. Hero reverses a whip and sends Richards into the corner. He charges and gets backdropped to the floor. Richards goes to the apron and hits a hard running kick to the chest. He tries to whip Hero into the barricade but Hero jumps over it into the crowd. Hagadorn distracts Richards, allowing Hero to kick him in the back of the head. Back in the ring Hero hits another kick to the head for two. Hero hits a solid knee strike and a senton for another near-fall. Richards tries fighting back with kicks but Hero cuts him off with a big boot to the face for two. They battle spills to the floor and Hero lands another shot to the head. Back in the ring Hero hits a belly-to-back suplex. Hero continues to unleash strikes and Richards tries to fight back with his own but h e doesn’t have as much power as Hero at this point. The match turns into a chop battle and Hero wins. Richards comes back with an enziguiri but then Hero backdrops him to the floor. Hero goes for a dive and misses, but Richards doesn’t miss his! Back in the ring they trade boots to the face and forearms. Richards hits the handspring kick for two. He goes back to the arm, hitting a Tornado Divorce Court and then locking in a Fujiwara Armbar. Hero escapes and they trade holds, but Richards ends up right back in the Fujiwara Armbar and this time Hero reaches the ropes. Richards tries a German Suplex but Hero blocks it and hits an elbow strike for two. They get up and trade kicks and Hero surprises probably everyone by landing a nice Asai Moonsault for two. Hero locks on the Stretch Plum and Richards reaches the ropes. They trade strikes again and Hero wins that battle with a boot to the head for two. Hero hits another Rolling Elbow and goes up top. Richards knocks him down and hits a super release German Suplex. He hits a running elbow, a flying knee strike, and then a Saito Suplex for two. More strikes and kicks get Richards another two-count. Hero comes back with another Rolling Elbow for two. Referee Todd Sinclair tries to check on Richards’s status but Hero won’t let him. Hero tries the Death Blow but Richards counters it to a Falcon Arrow into a Cross Armbreaker. Richards then unleashes kicks in the corner. Hero counters with chops. He hits two more Rolling Elbows but Richards stays on his feet. Richards delivers a hard clothesline for two. Hero comes back with a rolling boot to the face for two. He then nails Richards with a huge piledriver for another near-fall. Del Rey gives Hero the golden elbow pad. Richards gets a backslide for two. Hero hits a knee to the head and then Sinclair spots the elbow pad and gets rid of it. Richards hits Hero with a missile dropkick. He goes to the apron and nails Hagadorn with a running kick. Then he goes up top and hits a Shooting Star Press. Richards rolls that right into the Kimura Lock, and then turns that into a Cross Armbreaker. Hero taps out at 29:03. That was way too long and it felt like going 30 minutes just for the sake of it. However there was some great action mixed in with the usual no-selling Richards strike-fests, and the crowd being hot all the way through certainly helped. Richards has good chemistry with both Kings of Wrestling, and if this match was closer to 20 minutes I think it would have been pretty great.
Rating: ***½

~Disc 2~

MATCH #8: Davey Richards vs. TJ Perkins, SoCal Showdown II, 1.28.11

This one will probably be more of an Evolve style match. Say what you will about Evolve, but it’s already an adjective in Indy Wrestling vernacular. That proves to be true as they take it right down to the mat. Richards goes after the leg and Perkins reaches the ropes. Perkins comes back with a dropkick. Then both guys go for a kick and they both catch the leg. That leaves them in a stalemate and the crowd cheers. Perkins goes after the arm but Richards escapes and gets a cradle for two. They continue going back and forth with neither man gaining a sustained advantage. Perkins drops both knees on Richards, who rolls to the floor. Back in the ring Perkins attacks. Perkins uses a headlock and otherwise keeps Richards on the mat. He starts going after the leg and works over it viciously. Richards comes back with a cross armbreaker and Perkins reaches the ropes. He continues working Perkins’ arm. He hits a diving headbutt for two and then goes right back to the arm. Richards hits the Alarm Clock and Perkins responds by executing a suplex that sends both men crashing to the floor. Back in the ring they exchange forearms. Perkins does that stupid thing where he holds himself in the ropes and waits for Richards to dropkick him to the floor. Richards goes for the dive but Perkins gets back in the ring and cuts him off with a Frankensteiner for two. The crowd gets behind Richards so he makes the comeback with a series of kicks. Perkins shrugs them off and hits his own series of kicks to a chorus of boos. Richards goes for another Alarm Clock but Perkins counters with a sitout powerbomb for two. They trade more strikes. Perkins goes up top but Richards catches him in a Fujiwara Armbar. Richards hits an enziguiri, a running forearm, and a running knee strike. He puts Perkins up top and hits a nasty looking superplex for two. Richards rolls the cover right into a Cross Armbreaker. Perkins counters into his version of the Sharpshooter and the crowd boos, so Richards counters with an inside cradle for a two-count. They get up and trade kicks. Perkins wins that battle and gets a very close near-fall. He goes up top for a 450 Splash but Richards avoids it. Richards hits a running knee to the chest and a bridging German Suplex for two. He goes for a brainbuster but Perkins counters with a knee strike and an inside cradle for two. Richards delivers a hard lariat and a series of strikes. He hits a Falcon Arrow into the Cross Armbreaker to get the tap-out win at 18:55. Those two have good chemistry, and they worked toward a finish that made sense. Plus a Falcon Arrow into a Cross Armbreaker is just cool. The crowd was super into it too, which always helps.
Rating: ****

MATCH #9: Davey Richards vs. Colt Cabana, 9th Anniversary Show, 2.26.11

Richards is wearing sparkly tights tonight, which is very manly. They take it right to the mat and counter each other frequently. Apparently Richards just earned his Blue Belt in jujitsu. Richards baits Cabana into going to the floor and hits him with a dropkick through the ropes and then follows him out with a dive. Back in the ring Richards keeps Cabana on the mat, focusing on the arm. Richards goes up top and jumps right into double boots. Cabana unleashes some offense now, and he’s keeping the comedy stuff to a minimum. He goes up top and Richards joins him but he pays for it, as Cabana drops him right across the ropes for a two-count. Cabana goes back up top and hits a moonsault for two. He goes for the Colt .45 but Richards escapes and throws Cabana shoulder first into the ring post. Richards goes up top and hits a missile dropkick to the back of the head. He follows up with the diving headbutt for a two-count, and then locks on a Cross Armbreaker. Cabana reverses that to the Billy Goat’s Curse, which Richards reverses to a cradle for two. They slug it out and Richards wins with a kick to the head. Richards hits a bridging German Suplex for another two-count. He follows with a swinging DDT and then hits a Falcon Arrow right into the Cross Armbreaker and Cabana finally taps out at 12:11. That was a rock solid opener and it was nice to see all the arm work pay off and lead to the finish.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #10: Davey Richards vs. Claudio Castagnoli, Defy or Deny, 3.18.11

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 #11: Davey Richards vs. Roderick Strong, Honor Take Center Stage – Chapter 1, 4.1.11

I think this is the four hundredth time these two have wrestled each other in ROH, give or take. They start with some chain wrestling and Strong takes an early powder. Back in the ring they get aggressive with each other and Richards wins that battle. Richards locks on an early Cloverleaf and turns it into a cradle for two. Strong looks sluggish as Richards continues to control the pace of the match. Truth Martini interferes to give Strong his first advantage. Strong goes to work now and Richards is already bleeding from the mouth. He works Richards over both in and out of the ring. After several minutes Richards kicks Strong to the floor and lands the running kick to the chest from the apron. Richards then hits the dangerous suicide dive. Back in the ring Richards hits the missile dropkick. Richards hits the handspring enziguiri for two. A crucifix gets another two-count. They trade some kicks and Richards hits a bridging German Suplex for a near-fall. Richards puts on the Ankle Lock, which Strong counters to a LeBell Lock, which Richards counters to a cradle for two. Strong drops Richards with a release gourdbuster and a move Prazak calls “Plants Him.” He takes Richards up top and delivers a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle. Strong rolls Richards back in the ring for a cover and gets two. He locks on the Stronghold and Richards gets the ropes. They trade a series of strikes now and Richards hits the Alarm Clock. Strong responds with a hard knee strike and both men are down. They fight back to the apron and exchange strikes again. Strong hits a suplex on the edge of the ring frame. Richards barely makes it back in the ring but gets leveled with the Sick Kick for a near-fall. Strong hits a half-nelson backbreaker and the gutbuster for two. Richards fights back with a Saito Suplex and a big lariat for two. He unloads some kicks and Strong spits on him so Richards kicks him harder. That only gets a two-count. Richards puts on the Ankle Lock and Martini distracts him so he lets it go. Strong hits the vertical suplex into a backbreaker for a two-count. He follows with a superkick and the Gibson Driver for two, and then turns that into the Stronghold. Richards counters to the Ankle Lock and Martini gets in the ring to break it up and gets dispatched in short order. Strong tries a Sick Kick but Richards catches it and locks on the Ankle Lock! That would have been a hot finish, but Strong reaches the ropes. Richards hits a superplex and then a Falcon Arrow before reapplying the Ankle Lock to finally get the win at 26:57. These two could have a good match anytime, anywhere. It just always seems like they hate each other.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #12: Davey Richards vs. Charlie Haas, Supercard of Honor VI, 5.21.11

I don’t understand Haas’ skullcap. Nevertheless, Haas is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions, and Richards is a former two-time Tag Team Champion himself. This is Haas’ first singles match in ROH, but he has been in the ring with Richards before, on the same team back at World’s Greatest and against each other (with Shelton Benjamin and Eddie Edwards, respectively) at Honor Takes Center Stage – Chapter 2. They wrestle on the mat to start and show each other what they got. Kevin Kelly makes some weird comparison of Eddie Edwards to Shawn Michaels. Keep dreamin’ dude. Meanwhile Haas and Richards are going back and forth with strikes and suplexes on each other. They get all intense and no-selly and curse at each other. Both guys use submission moves, Richards the Ankle Lock and Haas the Haas of Pain. It doesn’t come down to a submission though, as Richards lands a series of kicks to the head to knock Haas out for the pin at 18:49. I’ve said this about Richards before, but I feel like I’ve seen it all. Haas does nothing for me. Both guys are good at their style, but neither is someone I dig on is all.
Rating: ***

MATCH #13: ROH World Title Match – Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards, Best in the World 2011, 6.26.11

Edwards has been the champion since 3.19.11 and this is his fourth defense. They waste no time taking it to each other with hard strikes and submissions. Richards focuses his attack on the arm, and Edwards naturally looks for the Achilles Lock. They fight in and out of the ring, delivering big moves and stiffing the hell out of each other along the way. Edwards puts Richards through a ringside table but the challenger will not stay down. They wrestle exactly the kind of match the audience is expecting them to, and I have to give them credit for going all out with it. Richards continues using kicks, even on the apron, but Edwards ducks one and Richards kicks the ring post. It’s quickly forgotten though and Richards is throwing kicks again like nothing happened. In fact, Richards unleashes a series of kicks to the head but Edwards perseveres. Finally Richards DRILLS Edwards in the head with a running kick to keep him down for the count and become the ROH World Champion at 35:59. I’ve seen this match gets tons of praise, while my friend Kevin Ford found it vastly overrated. I actually land somewhere in the middle, where I thought it was really good and certainly delivered the kind of action they had promised in the buildup. There was a ton of “movez” and “no-selling,” and that’s what keeps it from being an elite match, but it was still a lot of fun to watch and the crowd was eating it up like crazy.
Rating: ****

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