ROH Showdown In The Sun Day One (30/3/12) By Adam Timmins

Posted: September 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

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The Briscoe Brothers vs. Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls – Nicholls and Haste won a mini-tournament at Rise & Prove to get this match with the Briscoes. For the opening few minutes it looked like the former were going to get utterly squashed; but then they were allowed to get a decent amount of offense in. They look a bit like jobbers when Mark kicks out of their Beach Break DDT finisher; but then Nicholls gets to kick out of the frog-elbow, so it evened itself out. Doomsday Device on Nicholls sees the Briscoes get the win at roughly eight minutes (the bell never rang). Haste and Nicholls once again impressed, and hopefully will get further outings.

Adam Cole vs. Adam Pearce – it’s the Bookerman! One suspects he must be at least slightly smirking at the current plight of ROH, presumably overlooking his own not exactly Watt-esque tenure. (Well, Watts in 93 maybe) This match stems from a match they had the night before for the NWA title. After the obligatory verbal exchange, we have an impromptu match here, with Pearce wrestling in his jeans. A fairly pointless four minute effort, but at least Cole didn’t end up doing the job. Pearce goes for a piledriver, and the referee stops him: as this move is banned in Smokey Mountain of Honor. Cole takes advantage and pins him at 4.30.

The Young Bucks vs. Kenny King & Rhett Titus – no tags are necessary in this one. Titus still has a huge gut, although to be fair it doesn’t trouble the Steenometer. A fairly inconsequential bout to set up tomorrow night’s Street Fight. Titus pins Matt at 8.30 with the Gedo Clutch. After the match Nick attacks Titus’ knee with a chair.

Jay Lethal vs. Kyle O’Reilly – a surprisingly enjoyable encounter. O’Reilly’s heel turn is just the thing he needs to establish himself as more than Davey’s bag carrier, and he looked fairly competitive here. He also seems to have adopted a few of American Dragon’s trademarks – the wristlock escape, the belly-to-back superplex from the top rope. Lethal looked ok, and gets the victory with the Lethal Bizzle at 11.31. After the match he has a stare-down with Tomasso Ciampa, who watched the match from ringside. Either put the TV belt on Ciampa or end that feud already.

Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team – fairly blah Haas and Benjamin match – took a long time beating down Coleman and then didn’t make the babyfaces look particularly great in the finishing stretch. Benjamin gives Alexander a belly-to-belly suplex from the top at 10.08 for the win. Ho hum.

Mike Bennett vs. Lance Storm – does anyone else see shades of Marc Mero and Sable with Bennett and Maria? She’s amazing to look at, but she’s not particularly getting Bennett over I would have thought. He’d be better off with a legit manager as opposed to comedy Bob. I assume there’s been some sort of angle on ROH TV to set this match up: presumably they didn’t simply say “well Storm is good at carrying stiffs”….Probably the best singles bout of Bennett’s ROH run; certainly his best since his match with Generico. But the problem is he’s not going to be wrestling Lance Storm every week. The match itself was good though, with a couple of convincing false finishes. Storm kicked out of a somewhat contrived second rope Side Effect for a near fall: but falls to the TKO at 16.18. It’s slightly puzzling that they’ve spent a year building up the Side Effect as Bennett’s finisher, only for him to now start using the TKO, but there you go.

El Generico vs. Kevin Steen – Last Man Standing – this is Generico’s first outing in ROH in 2012, which is a worrying sign; and indeed, he’s only bought back here to lie down for Kevvy boy. Naturally though, they have the match of the night. As they’ve wrestled each other so often, this was pretty much a greatest hits match, but that’s fine with me. Some amazing spots as you’d expect, with Steen taking a tremendous amount of punishment: eating a Michinoku Driver on the stage, and taking a half and half suplex onto a chair. In between that, Generico walks the barricades before giving Steen the tornado DDT on the floor! Steen gives Generico a cradle breaker onto two chairs, and then goes up top: but Generico pops up and gives Steen a yakuza kick, which sends him crashing through a table on the outside. Insane. The finish sees Jimmy Jacobs run in to stop Steen smashing Generico in the head with a chair. Generico gives Steen the half and half, and Jacobs hands him a chair…only to pull the spike out and stabs Generico in the head. Jacobs then smacks Generico in the head with a chair, and he fails to beat the ten count at 23.24. Easily the best ROH match of 2012 thus far.

Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards – Elimination Match–  surely this would have been better as the main event for the 10th anniversary show – playing off the triple-threat match from The Era of Honor Begins – or is it time to let that one go? As with the previous bout, with the amount of times these three have tangled they ought to be able to put a decent match on in their sleep. And happily, they proceed to have a thrilling triple threat match. A couple of irritancies, mainly the fact that they kept breaking up pins/ submissions during the three-way bout even though it was an elimination bout. But let’s be charitable and say they wanted the prestige of scoring both pinfalls. I’d say this was in the same bracket as the Aries/Strong/Tyler triple-threat bout from the Big Bang, although maybe that one told slightly more of a story than this one. Still, if you want twenty-odd minutes of wincing-inducing physical action, then this is for you. That said, I don’t want to see any combination of these three now for at least 18 months. Edwards is the first to go at 17.53 when Strong rolls him up in a small package, and a few minutes later Strong eats a roundhouse kick to the head from Richards at 21.02 to see the champion retain. After the match Elgin gives Richards Spin City, as their match tomorrow night will now be for the ROH title.

Overall – although this is ROH’s best card of 2012 thus far, it’s never quite as simple as that these days. In many ways this card reminded me of BITW 2011 – hopeless undercard, but the last three matches delivered. It wasn’t exactly a great card for the future of the company – Elgin and Ciampa didn’t wrestle, C&C got squashed and Cole had a meaningless four minute match. But the LMS and the triple-threat bout are two of the best matches I’ve seen in ROH this year. Swings and roundabouts.

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