Thanks to Luke Stadel for sending in the following:
Just wanted to pass along the results of the ROH card from Chicago Ridge tonight. I sat second row on the ‘hard-camera’ side. Outside of those sporting ROH gear, lots of CM Punk shirts in the crowd, and, of course, a confused looking 8-year old in full John Cena regalia toting a plastic WWE belt. I can only imagine the psychological scars he must have incurred.
Show started with Cornette announcing the sale of the company to Simpson Broadcasting and the attendant TV deal. The crowd was excited to hear that the first TV taping will happen in Chicago at the return show in August. At intermission, several people were already buying tickets for that show.
Homicide d. Michael Elgin (w/Truth Martini). Elgin has a decent look, but he’s extremely limited in the ring.
Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly d. The Bravado Brothers. Bravados got shit from the crowd for their pink argyle gear.
Mike Bennett d. Steve Corino. Before the match, Corino did his “rehab” promo, and he finally revealed his sponsor, Jimmy Jacobs, who came in to a nice pop, before being escorted out by security. Bennett held his own on the stick, too bad he can’t do anything in the ring but stock power moves. Seriously, the guy is like Mason Ryan, minus about 50 pounds of beef. Corino did his best to make the match interesting. To his credit, Bennett sold Corino’s thumb-up-the-ass spot pretty well, as he did the proctologist office shuffle out of the ring and up the ramp.
El Generico d. Chris Hero. Hero got a three-count by putting his feet on the ropes, but Todd Sinclair (who was, as usual shit on unmercifully by the crowd) got wise to the move and restarted the match, with Generico winning about 30 seconds later. Fun spot prematch with Generico bringing out a foam hammer from under the ring and mocking Chris Hero’s Thor-style beard.
Davey Richards d. Charlie Haas. Really good, long match, that featured a great sequence of dueling German suplexes in the middle. Davey is incredibly intense, and both guys just beat the shit out of each other.
At intermission, they did a ten-bell salute to Larry Sweeney and the Macho Man. Corino’s “Thumb in the Bum” shirts were a hot item at the merchandise stand.
Shelton Benjamin d. Claudio Castagnoli. Claudio may have been the most over person on the card. The crowd kept giving him the “Hey!” treatment as he futilely chided them to shut up. Shelton won with a quick jump to the top rope followed by an overhead throw, a la Kurt Angle. Hero and Haas came out mid-match to cheer on their respective partners, and the teams had a showdown afterwards, with security separating them eventually.
Colt Cabana d. Christopher Daniels (w/ Truth Martini). Daniels came out in long pants, and with some weird choker collar thing that connected to his arms. I guess Truth has been giving him fashion tips. The moron next to me remarked that all the “puppets” booing Daniels would be cheering him on TV next Thursday. Apparently the idea that wrestlers play characters was not clear to him. The Jesus fish tattoo on his forearm only compounded the irony. Post-match, Elgin ran in to attack Colt, and Corino came out to make the save. Colt turns to see Corino, and thinks Corino was out there to attack him. Cabana exits looking disgusted, and House of Truth beats down Corino, who can’t win for losing in his question to become a nice person.
Briscoe Brothers d. All Night Express in a street fight. Hands-down match of the night, with both Briscoes and Rhett Titus sporting crimson masks by the end. The crowd was on their feet for the duration of this one. Both Titus and Jay went through tables, with Titus getting launched off the top turnbuckle to one suspended between the ring and the guardrail. Brutal. Other good spots included a pair of chains used as a noose on Kenny King (the racial coding was not lost on the audience), King going nuts with a fire extinguisher, and Mark hitting a Macho-Man elbow drop from the top of a ladder. Briscoes are doing a great job of putting over ANX in this feud.
Eddie Edwards d. Roderick Strong (w/ Truth Martini). Incredibly high workrate from both men, with a lot of great back-and-forth action. Crowd was really on Truth’s ass during this one. Strong really needs someone like Truth, because unless he’s wrestling, he’s about an interesting as watching paint dry. After the match, Elgin does another run-in, only to be fended off by Davey Richards. Edwards grabs a mic and says he’s tired of being in Davey’s shadow, and unless Davey faces him for the strap, he’s going to quit. Davey agrees, but warms Edwards that getting what he wished for might not be a good thing.
Overall, a really good show, much better than the February iPPV card. The vibe was weird, with the big-name faces (e.g. Claudio and Daniels) unable to draw any heat, and two of the matches being showdowns between major faces, but the solid booking helped craft a nice narrative to keep the show, which ran over four hours (seriously, four hours), flowing nicely. I’ll be looking forward to ROH getting back on TV again, which should only enhance the storytelling of their house shows.