RING OF HONOR HOMECOMING IN PHILADELPHIA, PA LIVE REPORT: LETHAL VS. RICHARDS, CHIKARA INVADES AND MUCH MORE
By Zach Levine on 2012-01-21 00:58:21
Hey everyone. Just got back from the ROH Homecoming show in Philly.
Real great show all around, place was about 90-95% filled I would say.
The Briscoes and Chris Hero did a pre-show autograph signing for everyone in attendance. Quick change was announced first by Bobby Cruise as Eddie Edwards had a staph infection and was unable to compete, so he was the first out to the ring to apologize to the crowd. This led to a strong Philadelphian "F The Doctor" chant, but for the crowd that booed Santa Claus, I would expect nothing less
Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin defeated Adam Cole and Kyle O'Reilly
This was a decent hard hitting match. It began with mic work from WGTT who really are pushing their heel personas. Charlie seems to have come into his own as a strong heel, though Shelton is still a bit uncomfortable as a heel it seems. The crowd really hated Charlie and semi-cheered Shelton. Match was pretty quick and ended with a FutureShock miscue in the corner with O'Reilly kicking Cole, leading to a WGTT win. Future Shock teased dissension at the end but left together as a unit.
Tomassio Ciampa defeated Mike Bennett, Andy Ridge and Grizzly Redwood
This was a pretty good match as well between the members of the ROH midcard. Sadly no Maria in attendance though. It was a tag match for most of the time with Ciampa and Bennett versus Ridge and Redwood but in the end Ciampa destroyed Redwood with his powerbomb/backstabber finisher for the win.
Steve Corino then came out to thank the crowd for 2011. He teased retirement before saying he would come back strong in 2012 and continue to earn the respect of everyone in the back, including Jim Cornette. Wrestling's Worst Nightmare Kevin Steen quickly came out to a huge ovation from the hardcore fans, and Steen told Corino he was still evil and should embrace being a villain. He wanted to know why Corino wanted respect from the guy who got fired for "slapping Santino", and he let Corino take a shot at him, but Corino left the ring without taking a punch at Steen.
Kevin Steen defeated Kenny King
Solid match between the two. This was the first actual match I've seen of Kevin Steen that wasn't a hardcore match and he was still pretty impressive. His interplay with the crowd was awesome. He kissed a male fan on the mouth who was yelling at him all night, then he yelled at a couple of 8 year olds in the crowd who yelled right back. Steen teased the package piledriver but the ref blocked it, and he ended up hitting King with the F5 and winning the match. Post match he locked Rhett Titus in the sharpshooter before the refs pulled him back.
Michael Elgin defeated Chris Hero
Before the match, Shane Hagadorn returned and told Hero he wanted to manage him to block the interference of Truth Martini. Hero made him go to the back, and then Elgin and Hero had one of the best matches of the night. Toward the end, the announcer kept ticking off the minutes, making everyone think it would end in a 15 minute draw. However, Elgin nailed Hero with the spinning sitdown powerbomb in 14:43 to win the match. Post match, Hagadorn returned and said "Chris isn't Awesome. Claudio was Awesome! I'm Awesome!" He then called Hero a loser and said nobody wanted him, to which Hero replied with a roaring uppercut to Hagadorn knocking him out.
Roderick Strong defeated Adam Cole (No Holds Barred)
As mentioned earlier, Eddie Edwards was pulled from the match due to a staph infection. Roddy came out and demanded to be named winner by forfeit. So for the second ROH show in a row, he had a mystery opponent, this time in the form of Cole. Cole said he looked up to Edwards and would be honored to take his place, so Cole ends up pulling a Ziggler and wrestling two matches in the show. Hell of a match, I would say it was the match of the night. Due to the no holds barred rules, there were a few run ins, with Elgin coming in to take down Cole, Martini pulling the ref out of the ring, and Edwards coming out to fight off Elgin. In one humorous spot, Strong wedged a chair between all four turnbuckle posts, only for Cole to run him into three of the four. The fourth fell out, so when Cole ran Strong into it, Strong stopped short, put the chair back in, and Cole ran him right into it. Strong picked up the win after a massive backbreaker, but Cole received a standing ovation for the match. Yes, a standing ovation. Starmaking night for Cole in my opinion.
Jigsaw and Hallowicked defeated The Briscoe Brothers (Proving Ground Match)
So this may have been one of the most bizarre matches of the night, but a real good one at that. Jigsaw and Hallowicked held their own against the boys from Delaware. So towards the end, Mark Briscoe started messing with Hallowicked's mask, turning it sideways so he couldn't see. This led to Mike Quakenbush and about 8 Chikara stars rushing out to support Jigsaw and Hallowicked, ending with Ultra Mantis Black marching out with a skull on a stick. After a distraction, Jigsaw pinned Jay Briscoe, leading to Jigsaw and Hallowicked getting an upcoming title match in Chicago. Ultra Mantis Black then took the mic and said the Briscoes tried taking their mask, and now Chikara is going to take the ROH tag titles. I'm not sure if this signaled a heel turn for the Briscoes, as they were getting booed at the end, but maybe that was just because of the pro-Chikara Philly crowd.
Davey Richards defeated Jay Lethal
Excellent 25 min match between these two individuals. Real strong and well fought. I was glad to see someone fresh in the title picture and Lethal did not disappoint. Strong came out towards the end to shove Lethal off the top rope when he was going for the Savage elbow, but he was promptly knocked off the ring by Richards, and then fell victim to a dive to the outside by Lethal. Match ended with a series of kicks to the head by Richards and he picked up the pinfall. he then took the mic, put over Lethal and the crowd, and told Lethal he wants to do it again when they hold their next set of tapings in Baltimore. Thought Steen may come out to interrupt again, but he didn't do so.
So again, great show, and my first in a Philly arena which I really enjoyed. Great work by all, and even with the absence of guys like Generico and Young Bucks, still a solid effort by all.