dragon's reign

Rostraver Ice Gardens – Belle Vernon, PA – Saturday, May 11, 2013

Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are on commentary.

MATCH #1: The American Wolves vs. R.D. Evans & Q.T. Marshall

Marshall gets on the microphone to tell everyone the proper pronunciation of his name. Evans follows and says he has a lot to say. He wants the crowd’s support as they face a much more established team tonight. Evans says they are hungry like the wolf, and the Wolves’ music cuts them off. Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards are not in the mood to waste time apparently.

Marshall and Richards start the match. They go back and forth a bit and Richards strikes first with a dropkick. Richards keeps Marshall grounded and goes to work on the arm. Edwards gets the tag and the Wolves are rolling here. Evans takes a cheap shot on Edwards and then runs around the ring celebrating. Richards takes Marshall out with the running kick as Edwards wipes Evans out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Richards hits Marshall with a missile dropkick. The Wolves double-team Marshall, as Edwards plants him with a powerslam and Richards follows with the diving headbutt off the top rope. That gets a two-count. Richards goes for the Golden Globes but Evans comes in the ring illegally to stop him. That gives Marshall the chance to hit a back suplex. Marshall dropkicks Edwards off the apron and finally tags Evans into the match. Evans and Marshall focus on Richards now, keeping him away from Edwards. After a few minutes Richards fights back and makes the hot tag. Edwards unloads with chops and hits Marshall with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. He slams Evans on his chest and drills Marshall with a superkick for two. The referee loses control and all four men are in the ring. The Wolves hit Evans with one of their signature combos but Marshall breaks up the pin. All four men continue to ignore the five second rule, and surprisingly Marshall and Evans are keeping up with the Wolves. Richards and Edwards set Evans and Marshall up in opposing corners and deliver stereo low blows. No disqualification there? The Wolves go up top and Edwards hits a double stomp to Marshall’s back and Richards follows with a double stomp to the chest. Marshall actually kicks out. Richards puts on the Ankle Lock and Edwards puts Evans in the Achilles Lock. Both Marshall and Evans tap out at 12:51. That was shockingly fun, as Marshall and Evans make an entertaining team, and the Wolves were not so serious for a change. I really enjoyed this.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Vinny Marseglia

Marseglia is all tatted up and looks pretty gross. This is Ciampa’s first match since Boiling Point 2012 in August. Kelly explains that these two know each other very well. Ciampa is so fired up to be back that he immediately starts chain wrestling. Okay then. He targets the arm, and Marseglia wisely goes after the knee. Ciampa fights back and clotheslines Marseglia to the floor. He slams Marseglia into the guardrail, hard. Ciampa then drops him across the guardrail and hits him with a running knee strike. He suplexes Marseglia on the floor and throws him back in the ring for a two-count. Ciampa continues the abuse and the crowd is hard for him. They go back to the floor and Marseglia is able to kick Ciampa back into the guardrail. Up on the apron Ciampa drills Marseglia with a knee to the face. Back in the ring Marseglia hits an enziguiri. Marseglia unleashes a flurry of offense, including a tornado DDT and a side Russian Legsweep for a two-count. He knocks Ciampa to the floor and follows him out with a dive. Back in the ring Marseglia hits a missile dropkick for two. Both men get to their knees and trade strikes as they get back to their feet. Ciampa gets Marseglia down in the corner and hits repeated knee strikes to the head. He follows up with a super Air Raid Crash to get the pin at 11:57. What the hell was that? This was Ciampa’s comeback match, and against an unknown in ROH it should have gone no more than five minutes and he should have dominated. I have no idea what the thought process was here. If you want to make Vinny Marseglia into a player (which, judging by the fact that he hasn’t been used in the three months since this show happened they don’t), pick another guy to do it against at another time. This was just mind boggling.
Rating: *

MATCH #3: Proving Ground Match – Matt Taven vs. TaDarius Thomas

Martini cuts a brief promo before the match, wondering what Taven has to do to earn respect around here. They start with some back and forth chain wrestling, taking it to the mat. Thomas strikes first with a hard kick to the back. He starts working the arm and continues to pepper in some kicks throughout his attack. Taven tries an early Headlock Driver but Thomas cartwheels out of it and hits a T-bone suplex for two. Martini interferes and eventually Taven is able to hit a Jericho dropkick to knock Thomas off the apron and to the floor. Taven is in control now, working Thomas over in and out of the ring. He misses a springboard twisting senton but Bordeaux distracts Thomas to prevent him from following up. Referee Brian Gorie certainly has his hands full here. Taven hits a kick to the face for a two-count. He hits the springboard twisting senton this time but only gets two. Thomas hits a weak kick to the back of the head, but misses his next one and Taven hits an enziguiri for a two-count. Taven keeps the referee distracted while Martini interferes. Sparx then trips Thomas right in front of referee Brian Gorie, so Gorie sends Martini, Bordeaux, and Sparx to the back! Thomas grabs a quick rollup for two. He has a look of confidence now. Thomas unleashes the fury with kicks and some kind of weird neckbreaker for a two-count. He hits a bridging half nelson suplex for two. They fight up on the ropes and Taven is able to hit an elevated neckbreaker for a near-fall. Taven goes up top for a Frog Splash but Thomas gets his knees up. Thomas looks to be going for a dragon suplex but Taven blocks it and counters to the Headlock Driver to get the pin at 13:07. That was a good showing for Thomas and Taven looked solid; it helped to have him go over strong after Truth and the Hotties were ejected. There may just be salvaging his TV Title reign yet.
Rating: ***

MATCH #4: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. ACH

They start off a little slowly, with Elgin asserting his obvious power advantage. ACH counters with his amazing agility, and we have quite the battle going on already in the early going. They take it to the floor and ACH lands a nice headscissors. ACH tries a dive but Elgin catches him and hits a belly-to-belly suplex! Elgin whips ACH into the barricade, hard. He kicks ACH into the crowd. Back in the ring Elgin continues beating ACH down. Elgin goes for the delayed vertical suplex but ACH reverses it to a suplex with no delay. The pace these two have been cutting is quite impressive. They go back to the floor and ACH hits a wicked dive to wipe Elgin out. Back in the ring ACH tries a cross body off the top rope and Elgin catches him but ACH counters to Roll the Dice for a two-count. A series of reversals ends with Elgin hitting the Black Hole Slam for two. ACH counters a German Suplex in a victory roll for a two-count. Elgin hits a Death Valley Driver into the turnbuckles for two. ACH comes back and goes up top but Elgin knocks him down. Elgin backdrops ACH to the apron, and then dropkicks him down when he tries a springboard maneuver. He then hits the superduperplex but it only gets two. Elgin goes for a powerbomb but ACH sweeps the legs into a jackknife cradle for two. ACH charges into the corner and Elgin catches him and slams him down. Elgin goes up top and misses the somersault senton. ACH hits a couple of kicks and then Ghanarrhea for two. He goes up top and misses a 450 Splash. Elgin connects on the back fist and the Buckle Bomb. He tries the Spiral Bomb but ACH counters to a reverse rana! ACH then goes up and hits the 450 but Elgin kicks out! Elgin comes back with a forearm to the back of the head and a dead lift German Suplex. He hits the back fist and the Buckle Bomb. Elgin then finishes ACH off with the Spiral Bomb at 20:02. That was tremendous stuff from both guys, a perfect clash of styles between a power guy and a high flying guy. ACH hung with Elgin without it feeling forced, but in the end the Number One Contender was able to put him away with his finish. That’s just classic stuff.
Rating: ****

MATCH #5: Dalton Castle vs. Jimmy Nutts

I don’t know anything about either of these guys. Castle is apparently called “The Party Peacock.” Nutts is wearing nerd glasses. They start with some back and forth stuff, and Nutts takes the advantage when Castle gets too cocky. Castle comes back with a unique suplex for two. Nutts tries a leap off the second rope but Castle catches him and delivers another suplex. The back and forth continues and then for some reason Rhett Titus runs out and attacks both men for the no-contest at 2:28. I’m not sure why they felt the need for two unknowns to go out there for two and a half minutes just so Titus could make a pointless run-in just to lead into an already scheduled match. Whatever.
Rating: DUD

MATCH #6: Grudge Match – Kevin Steen vs. Rhett Titus

Steen charges the ring and the brawl is on. He throws Titus to the floor and continues the abuse. The crowd is collectively hard for Kevin Steen tonight. Steen throws Titus into the barricade and follows it up with a cannonball. Corino distracts Steen long enough for Titus to get a few shots in. That doesn’t last long before Steen ducks an awkward looking punch and slams Titus nuts-first into the ring post. Steen goes to another ring post and does it again. He goes for the powerbomb on the apron but Titus blocks it and shoves Steen into the barricade. Titus slams Steen’s head into the barricade repeatedly. Back in the ring Titus covers and barely even gets one. Titus does some stuff and then Steen comes back. Steen misses the cannonball and Titus delivers a running kick to Steen’s head right against the ring post. Titus wears Steen down now with his boring offense. They spill back to the floor and Steen whips Titus into the barricade and then hits the F-Cinq onto the edge of the ring frame. Back in the ring Steen hits a Swanton Bomb for a two-count. Back in the ring Titus fights back and hits the Thrust Buster. They fight on the top rope and Titus knocks Steen down and then hits a Frog Splash to the back for a two-count. Steen comes back with the pop-up powerbomb for two. A series of reversals ends with Titus hitting a blatant low blow behind the referee’s back. Titus rolls Steen up for two. He misses a charge in the corner and then Steen is able to hit a low blow of his own behind the ref’s back. Steen hits the Package Piledriver for the pin at 13:47. Titus is not so very good, but this match served a good purpose with Steen wanting to run through all the members of S.C.U.M., so at least there’s that. The finish was clever too. Titus makes it back to his feet and Steen returns to kick him in the dick again and then deliver two more Package Piledrivers just for fun.
Rating: **½

MATCH #7: Triple Threat Match – Roderick Strong vs. Adam Cole vs. BJ Whitmer

There is no real reason for this match other than these three guys had nothing else to do. They start with a triple test of strength and the look on Strong’s face is hilarious. Referee Todd Sinclair breaks it up when Strong gets trapped in the corner. All three men trade some pinning combinations now but no one can hold anyone down yet. Whitmer gets knocked to the floor to leave Cole and Strong battling in the ring. Not much happens and then Whitmer comes back in and immediately takes charge. Cole gets dumped to the floor so Strong and Whitmer fight it out. Strong gets sent out and Whitmer follows him to the floor with a dive. Whitmer throws Strong back in and Cole surprises him with a dive of his own. Back in the ring Cole goes for a cross body block but Strong cuts him out of the air with a dropkick. Strong unleashes a flurry of offense on Cole, including an Olympic Slam for two. Whitmer comes back in and hits Strong with a suplex combination for two. Cole hits Whitmer with an enziguiri and the Shining Wizard for two. Strong grabs Cole and hits Death By Roderick for two. Whitmer hits Strong with an exploder for a two-count. The action is coming rapidly now and it’s tough to keep up with. Strong hits Whitmer with a superplex and Cole tries to steal the pin but only gets two. A flurry of offense ends with Whitmer hitting Cole with the wrist-clutch exploder to score the pin at 9:47. That was short but action packed and subtly leads to the Cole versus Strong feud. Plus it was good for Whitmer to get a win and some momentum going into his title shot next week in Richmond.
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: No DQ Match – Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs

During Jacobs’ introduction, Kevin Steen interrupts with a promo from backstage, saying that this is just the beginning of his war with S.C.U.M. Alright then. They talk some trash to start and then take it to the floor to start the brawl. Lethal reverses a whip and sends Jacobs into the barricade repeatedly. He unloads with some punches while standing on a chair that Jacobs is sitting on, but Jacobs is able to drop Lethal’s face on said chair. Now Jacobs tries punches the same way but Lethal counters and catapults Jacobs directly into the ring post. Lethal suplexes Jacobs and then catches him jumping off the apron with a superkick. They fight up the aisle and Jacobs retreats backstage. Lethal and the camera man follow as the brawl continues. They make it back to the ring and Lethal has a chair. Lethal slams the chair into Jacobs’ midsection and then delivers the drop toehold right onto the chair a la Raven. That gets a two-count. Lethal hits a running clothesline in the corner and then bulldogs Jacobs’ face onto the chair for another near-fall. He goes for the Lethal Injection but Jacobs cracks the chair across his back! That’s a cool spot. Jacobs hits Lethal with the chair again and covers for two. He continues to abuse Lethal with the chair and they head back to the floor. Jacobs hits a Cactus Elbow and then throws Lethal back in the ring. He sets up a chair in between the top and middle turnbuckles. Lethal strikes with some chops but Jacobs cuts him off with a low dropkick. Jacobs hits a neckbreaker and then reaches into his boot to pull out the infamous spike. He misses a charge in the corner and stabs the turnbuckle pad. The spike ominously sticks out. Jacobs tries a charge into another corner but Lethal moves and Jacobs hits the chair! Both men rise and they trade punches. Lethal hits the handspring elbow for two. He goes outside the ring and finds a trash can. Jacobs gets a hold of it but Lethal superkicks him before he can use it, and then Lethal slams the can off Jacobs’ head for a two-count. Lethal puts Jacobs in the Tree of Woe and accentuates it by sticking Jacobs in the trash can. That’s cool. Lethal hits a running dropkick but again only gets two. He hits a Jericho dropkick that sends Jacobs to the floor and he follows him out with a suicide dive. Lethal tries to whip Jacobs into the barricade but Jacobs blocks it and jumps off with an Ace Crusher! Very cool spot. Back in the ring Jacobs covers for two. Jacobs sets Lethal face-first on the trash can and goes for the senton but Lethal moves out of the way! Another cool spot. Lethal covers for two. Both men struggle to their feet, Lethal with a chair and Jacobs with the spike! They both miss a shot at each other and then Lethal is able to grab the Lethal Combination right onto the chair but it only gets two! Lethal goes back outside the ring and pulls out a table. He sets it up in the corner and superkicks Jacobs up against it. Lethal looks to capitalize but Steve Corino sneaks in the ring and cuts him off with a clothesline. Kevin Steen comes out and goes for a Package Piledriver but Jacobs rescues Corino. Jacobs and Steen slug it out now and Lethal accidentally hits Steen with a superkick! Jacobs then drills Lethal with a Spear through the table to get the pin at 21:48. They did a lot of really cool spots in that match, and the finish was a little crazy but it all made sense and furthered the angle nicely. Jacobs has had a killer year in 2013, and Lethal has been doing great work himself. I’d like to see them go again.
Rating: ****

MATCH #9: World Tag Team Title Match – reDRagon vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe

Jay is the current ROH World Champion. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly have been the Champions since 3.2.13, and this is their fourth defense. The fans throw rainbow streamers in Jay’s direction, which is awesome. BJ Whitmer joins Kelly on commentary since Steve Corino has apparently left the building. Mark and O’Reilly start the match. They start with some chain wrestling and then make tags. Jay and Fish go back and forth and Jay gets the better of it. The Briscoes isolate Fish and work him over. The Champs use some nefarious tactics to take over on Mark. That doesn’t last too long before Jay gets a hot tag. The World Champ is a house afire and Mark joins in fir some double-team work. Once again reDRagon uses questionable tactics to gain an advantage. The Champs isolate Jay and go to work on his previously injured shoulder. Fish and O’Reilly keep Jay from making the tag while viciously assaulting the World Champion. Fish knocks Mark off the apron to prevent a tag but trash talks for too long and turns around right into a spinebuster. Mark gets the hot tag and it’s Redneck Kung Fu time. He hits Fish with the rolling Death Valley Driver and goes up for the Froggy ‘Bow but O’Reilly cuts him off. Jay comes in to help his brother and Fish puts him in a Cross Armbreaker. Mark breaks that up with the Froggy ‘Bow. All four men are in the ring now as the referee has no control. O’Reilly knocks Jay to the floor and hits the missile dropkick off the apron. Fish and Mark slug it out in the ring now. O’Reilly distracts the referee by throwing one of the tag title belts in the ring, and then hits Mark with the other one while the ref is getting rid of the first one. Fish scores the pin at 18:53. The match was going along fine, solid formula stuff and all that, but the finish was exceptionally weak and uninspired.
Rating: ***¼