The Briscoe Brothers are backstage to start the show, and they want KENTA, Naomichi Marufuji, Samoa Joe, and Homicide (their opponents this weekend) to MAN UP.
I believe this is the second ever ROH show to take place under a tent. Dave Prazak and Jared David are on commentary here.
MATCH #1: Dunn & Marcos vs. Rhett Titus & Pelle Primeau
Marcos and Primeau, the smaller man from each team, start the match. Primeau scores with a headscissors and tags Titus. Marcos slips out of a double suplex attempt and makes the tag. Dunn is all over both Primeau and Titus. Primeau stops the momentum with a headscissors on Dunn and Titus follows with a dropkick for a one-count. Titus hits Dunn with a big clothesline for two. The students try to double-team Dunn but Marcos makes a blind tag and the RCE drops Titus and Primeau. Dunn and Marcos hit Titus with an assisted senton to get the win at 2:03. Why not keep that as a preshow match?
Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli, the Kings of Wrestling and the CZW Tag Team Champions, come out from the crowd. Hero challenges Dunn and Marcos to a match while Castagnoli stands there all weird with long hair. The RCE accepts they challenge.
MATCH #2: Dunn & Marcos vs. Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli
They hit the unprepared Kings with simultaneous dropkicks off the second rope. The Kings roll to the floor and the RCE wipe them out with dives. Back in the ring Dunn goes to work on Castagnoli. Hero makes a blind tag and hits a nasty back suplex. Hero knocks Marcos to the floor. Her hits Dunn with a chop and then tags Castagnoli for a double big boot to the face. The Kings are fully in control as Jimmy Bower joins the commentary team and talks trash about Hero. Meanwhile the Kings are dismantling Dunn. Finally Marcos makes a hot tag. Marcos hits Hero with a DDT and then hits Castagnoli with an inverted DDT. The referee loses control and the Kings hit Marcos with the KRS-One to get the victory at 5:20. The Kings get solid momentum going in to their big title match tomorrow.
Christopher Daniels cuts a promo backstage about how Nigel McGuinness is stealing his spotlight and he doesn’t like it.
McGuinness gets a retort, promising that he will get the job done and win tonight. He also does that weird thing where he sniffs really loudly at the end of the promo. Why do so many wrestlers do that as a promo technique? It’s so weird.
MATCH #3: Four Corner Survival – Colt Cabana vs. Jack Evans vs. Jimmy Jacobs vs. Ricky Reyes
Jacobs is accompanied by Lacey. Why is Reyes shaking hands and high fiving fans on the way to the ring? That’s not heel behavior. This was during the time that Jacobs was in love with Lacey but Cabana was fooling around with her. Since it’s wrestling, Cabana was the babyface in the deal.
Evans and Reyes start the match, and the first move is to put Cabana over by leading the crowd in a “Colt’s a Pimp” chant. Poor Jacobs is depressed in the corner. Reyes and Evans go back and forth for a bit and then make tags. Cabana, being the nice guy that he is, mocks Jacobs before he gets in the ring. He tries to get Jacobs to shake his hand and he continues to mock him. An angry Jacobs spits on Cabana, and then gets trapped in a headlock. Cabana lands a series of hiptosses, and continues to interact with Lacey. Jacobs is so angry that he basically trips over himself trying to get at Cabana. Reyes tags back into the match and he goes to work on Jacobs, hitting a dropkick. Finally Jacobs fires up with a flurry of offense and then goes to work on the arm. Lacey gets up on the apron and tries to convince Jacobs and Cabana to work together. Jacobs agrees because he loves Lacey, Cabana agrees so that he can continue to humiliate poor Jacobs. After a few minutes of (sort of) double-teaming, Reyes makes the tag to Evans. The high flyer is doing what he does best. The match breaks down and the referee loses control. Jacobs and Cabana try to work together, but Cabana “accidentally” clotheslines Jacobs. Reyes sends Cabana to the floor and hits Jacobs with a German Suplex with a bridge. Cabana pulls Reyes to the floor, and then Evans hits Jacobs with a sick 450 legdrop off the top rope to get the pin at 13:06. That picked up in the last couple minutes, but was storyline heavy through most of the match. Not that I’m complaining about that, because the Jacobs / Cabana feud was one of the most relatable and engaging feuds ROH ever ran.
MATCH #4: Nigel McGuinness vs. Christopher Daniels
They take it down to the mat and exchange arm holds. Of course they wrestle to standoff after some pinning combinations and the crowd voices support for both men. Nigel goes back to the arm and but Daniels quickly comes back with a hiptoss and an armdrag. Unfazed, Nigel takes Daniels right back down to the mat and targets the arm. Daniels just can’t get anything going here. Finally Nigel tries the stupid headstand and sits there waiting for Daniels to slap him in the face. Now Daniels goes to work on the neck. After a few minutes of that, Nigel catches Daniels with the Divorce Court and they’re both down. Back on their feet Nigel whips Daniels into the corner for a running European Uppercut. Nigel follows up with the Jawbreaker Lariat but Daniels kicks out at two! He follows up with the headstand in the corner and this time he’s able to hit a mule kick for two. He goes for the Tower of London but Daniels escapes and puts Nigel up top for an Iconoclasm, but Nigel kicks out at two. Daniels goes for the Angel’s Wings but Nigel avoids it and tries another Jawbreaker, which Daniels avoids and hits the STO into the Koji Clutch. Nigel rolls Daniels’s shoulders down for a two-count to break the hold. Daniels goes for the Best Moonsault Ever but can’t because of the tent and Nigel scores a couple of rollups for two. Nigel then lands another lariat but Daniels kicks out again. He sets Daniels up for the top-rope lariat but Daniels avoids it and hits a back elbow. Daniels tries the Arabian Press but Nigel gets the knees up and then suplexes him gut-first on the top rope. Nigel then hits the Tower of London for the win at 16:44. Daniels is usually pretty reliable for a good match and Nigel was really coming into his own at this point. They worked well together.
Samoa Joe is backstage to talk about his history at the Glory By Honor event. He faces Roderick Strong tonight, since Strong pinned him in St. Paul at Epic Encounter II. Then they do the stupid thing where they “cut” the promo but the camera keeps rolling. Takeshi Morishima is at the show as a guest, and he introduces himself to Joe through an interpreter. There is already tension between them, which would set up their match in New York during the Fifth Year Festival in February 2007.
MATCH #5: Austin Aries vs. Davey Richards
Aries is one half of the ROH Tag Team Champions along with Roderick Strong. He was originally scheduled to face Bryan Danielson for the ROH World Title, but with Danielson’s injury they wanted to rest him for the match with KENTA tomorrow night, so Davey Richards got subbed in. Aries has a giant bulls-eye on his ribs, which are heavily taped.
They take it right down to the mat for some aggressive mat work. Jimmy Bower comes into the booth to apologize to everyone for the show being in a tent and it’s starting to rain. Meanwhile Aries and Richards decide to play “lets kick each other really hard and not sell it for fun” game. Richards begs for it, and Aries wisely wins the battle with a headlock. Aries controls the match and goes for the slingshot senton but Richards moves and hits a back elbow. Now Richards wisely goes to work on the injured ribs. He tries the stupid handspring spin kick but Aries dropkicks him out of the air. Aries is in control now and he keeps Richards off guard with a variety of strikes and submission moves. Richards fights back and they trade forearms. After a few forearms they clothesline each other and both men are down. They get back up and trade forearms and kicks again. Aries levels Richards with a forearm as David and Prazak mention that two guys beating each other up in a tent is representative of the history of the business. Richards kicks out at two. Aries picks Richards up and dropkicks him in the knee for some reason, and then Richards hits the springboard spin kick. Richards suplexes Aries onto the top rope, and then dropkicks him to the floor. He follows Aries out with a suicide dive. Back in the ring Richards unleashes hard kicks to the chest. Aries catches a kick and hits the shinbreaker/back suplex combo. He follows up with the IED for a two-count. He tries the Crucifix Bomb but Richards counters to a gutbuster. Richards hits a sit-out powerbomb (it’s only a Liger Bomb if you run, Prazak) for a two-count. He goes to work on the leg now and locks on the Horse Collar. Aries reaches the ropes. Why wouldn’t Richards work on the ribs? Anyway Richards hits more kicks and tries a German Suplex. Aries lands on his feet and kicks Richards in the head. He hits a gourdbuster and then another kick to the head. He then hits the brainbuster and it looks like a three-count (you know, because Richards never got his shoulder up) but I guess it was only two. Richards gets a small package and a backslide for two-counts. Aries comes out of the backslide with another kick to the head and another brainbuster to get the pin at 17:15. The psychology was all over the place and the selling was non-existent.
It’s intermission time as Gary Michael Cappetta is with Lacey, Jimmy Jacobs, and Colt Cabana. Lacey says it’s all about getting wins for Lacey’s Angels. Cabana seems to be on board only to get some from Lacey. Poor Jacobs is just getting dumped on left and right.
MATCH #6: Delirious vs. Shane Hagadorn
Hagadorn is the holder of the Top of the Class Trophy, having defeated Derrick Dempsey at Destiny on June 3 in this very city. Delirious loses his mind at the opening bell, as per usual. Hagadorn avoids Delirious at first, and then backs him into the corner. They engage in a test of strength, and of course Delirious wins that battle. Delirious takes Hagadorn down to the canvas and they get tangled up in the tassels and the hold is broken. The masked man regains control rather easily and embarrasses Hagadorn with a couple of trips. He hits a headbutt to the midsection and a leaping clothesline. He throws Hagadorn into the buckle but runs into a boot, and then receives another kick to the face. Hagadorn goes to the bottom rope to deliver a Bret Hart elbow for a one-count. Delirious comes back with a drop toehold into the turnbuckle and then the Panic Attack. He goes for the Cobra Suplex but Hagadorn backs him into the corner and elbows him. Hagadorn hits a running knee and a side Russian Legsweep for two. He then locks on a Crossface but Delirious reaches the ropes. Hagadorn hits a headbutt to the midsection and then mocks him. Delirious doesn’t take too kindly to that, and comes back with a Cobra Clutch Backbreaker and then the Cobra Stretch for the win at 6:22. That was fine for a post-intermission match.
MATCH #7: Samoa Joe vs. Roderick Strong
Strong is one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions with Austin Aries. They start off cautiously and Strong takes Joe down to the mat with a hammerlock. Joe rolls out of it and both men get back to their feet. They lock up and Strong backs Joe into the corner. Strong tries a chop but Joe blocks it and trips Strong (almost the STJoe) as a bit of a warning. Joe takes Strong down with a single leg and lands a couple of elbows to the head before Strong gets to the ropes. Back up Strong once again backs Joe into the corner and this time connects with a couple of stinging chops. Strong hits a side suplex and a double underhook suplex for a one-count. He tries a dropkick but Joe avoids it and hits a modified flapjack. Joe unloads with a series of kicks to the chest and then the Big Joe Combo for a two-count. He keeps Strong on the canvas and wears him down. Strong escapes a modified Dragon Sleeper with a Back Drop Driver, and then he is able to hit a cross body block off the second rope. He follows with a clothesline, an enziguiri and a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. He charges at Joe in the corner and this time suffers the full effects of the STJoe. Now Joe is in control, taking Strong down in the corner and hitting the Face Wash. Joe works on the head and neck area, which is smart given Joe’s finishing moves. Strong powers up and engages Joe in a forearm battle and it’s going poorly for him until he introduces chops. He then catches Joe in a backbreaker and gets a two-count. He unleashes a flurry of offense on Joe, ending with a leg lariat but once again only gets two. Joe escapes the Stronghold attempt but Strong dropkicks him to the floor and follows him out with a twisting plancha.
Strong throws Joe back in the ring for a two-count. Joe comes back with the powerbomb for two and then turns it over into the STF. Strong reaches the ropes. Joe comes right back with a snap powerslam for another near-fall. Strong comes right back with a Half Nelson Backbreaker but Joe kicks out at two. He sets Joe up on the top rope and hits a massive superplex but once again it only gets two. Joe comes back and tries a big running boot but Strong avoids it and locks on the Stronghold, sort of. Strong hits a gutbuster but when he tries to follow up Joe sweeps his legs out from under him. Joe goes for the Muscle Buster but Strong avoids it and hits a big boot off the ropes. Strong tries the Gibson Driver and is able to hit a modified version but Joe kicks out. He sets Joe up on the top rope and goes for another superplex but Joe reverses it and hits a Super Death Valley Driver for the pin at 19:14. What an awesome power match and a great showing from Strong. They both just tried to outhit each other and Joe was able to connect with the bigger hit. Strong looked on Joe’s level throughout the match.
MATCH #8: KENTA & Naomichi Marufuji vs. The Briscoe Brothers
This match came about after the Briscoes and KENTA got into skirmishes at both Throwdown and Chi Town Struggle in Detroit and Chicago, respectively, in June. The Briscoes then defeated KENTA & Davey Richards at Time to Man Up in Long Island on August 4.
Marufuji starts the match with Mark. They start with some mat wrestling and wrestle to a standoff. Mark targets the leg and Marufuji counters by going after the arm. Jay and KENTA tag in and KENTA hits a back elbow for a two-count. He starts in with the kicks and then locks on a front facelock. Jay forces KENTA back to the Briscoe corner and makes a tag. KENTA fights back and makes a tag of his own. No team has gained a sustained advantage in the early going. Both teams just take turns beating each other up for a while. The Briscoes take control of Marufuji about 10 minutes in. After a few minutes Marufuji comes back with a drop toehold and makes the tag. KENTA hits a hard kick to the back for a two-count. Now the NOAH team works Jay over for a bit. Jay fires back and trades strikes with Marufuji and then they clothesline each other. Tags are made and Mark hits KENTA with a Northern Lights Suplex for two. The referee has completely lost control of this match. Bodies are flying all over the place and the offense is coming fast and furious. The referee gains a control and tags are being made, but the pace has hardly slowed down. Marufuji blasts Mark with a clothesline and then makes the tag. KENTA and Mark battle in the ring while Jay and Marufuji fight on the floor. Jay comes back in and hits KENTA with a pop-up Death Valley Driver, and then Marufuji comes in for a superkick on Jay. Marufuji then hits the Shiranui but Mark hits him with a springboard missile dropkick, and KENTA follows with the Busaiku Knee Kick and all four men are down. Back on their feet KENTA hits Mark with a big running boot in the corner and then goes up top with him. Jay breaks it up and puts KENTA on his shoulders, but KENTA slips out and hits Jay with a Tiger Suplex. Mark still tries the springboard move but KENTA kicks him out of the air. KENTA and Marufuji hit Poetry in Motion and then kick his head off but Jay breaks up the cover. Moments later KENTA hits Mark with the Go 2 Sleep for the pin at 20:25.
They didn’t quite establish a rhythm in the early parts of the match – it was all just moves, moves, and moves. But when they got to the home stretch they rocked it, and KENTA getting a good clean pin was necessary since he challenges for the title tomorrow night. The other NOAH guests come out to celebrate with their countrymen.
BONUS MATCH #1: Sara Del Rey vs. Rain, SHIMMER Volume 4, 2.12.06
Dave Prazak and Allison Danger are on commentary. Del Rey takes Rain down right away with a headlock. She also works on the arm, keeping Rain down on the mat. Rain reaches the ropes to break a hold and she tries to shake some life back into the limb. She tries working on Del Rey’s arm but that goes nowhere and Del Rey is right back in control, so Rain goes to the ropes again. Del Rey is absolutely dominant here. She goes up to the second rope and Rain sweeps the legs, causing De Rey to crash down on the canvas. Rain goes to work on the back now. After several minutes Del Rey fires back and they clothesline each other. Both women are down. They get to their knees and trade slaps to the face. Del Rey wins that battle and then hits a kick to the face and a gut wrench suplex for two. Rain comes back and hits a lungblower for a two-count. Del Rey comes back with a German Suplex with a bridge for a two-count. She then hits the Butterfly Lock into a powerslam to get the pin at 14:06. That was a rock solid match that would have been even better with just a minute or two shaved off.
BONUS MATCH #2: Anything Goes FIP Tag Team Championship Match – Black Market vs. The Heartbreak Express, FIP Heatstroke ’06 Night 1, 7.7.06
Dave Prazak and Jared David are on commentary. Black Market has been the champions since 5.27.06, and this is their second defense. The Heartbreak Express is accompanied by SoCal Val. The champs charge into the ring and the fight is on. Black Market is totally in control as the battle spills to the floor. Weapons get involved as they battle throughout the arena. There’s so much action the director decides to show a little picture-in-picture. The match finally makes it back to the ring and the brothers Davis finally get some offense in. Eventually after a bunch of brawling, Sean Davis goes up to the second rope and the champs slam him down to the mat to get the pin at 11:10. That was about as interesting as it sounds. Apparently Florida fans love the Black Market.