Ring of Honor live event (Norfolk, Va. at Norfolk Scope Exhibition Center)
Report By Matt and Belinda Elliot and ProWrestling.net
The Norfolk Scope Exhibition Center is a small building in the Scope complex. About 350 fans showed up. There was a meet and greet with World Champion Davey Richards and TV Champion Jay Lethal. You could get a signed 8X10 for ten dollars each.
Jim Cornette came to the ring and welcomed the crowd. He reminisced about coming to the Norfolk Scope for the first time 26 years ago when the Rock n Roll Express faced the Midnight Express. He called out Eddie Edwards, who advised us that he had a staph infection and was not cleared to wrestle. Eddie was scheduled to wrestle Mike Bennett.
1. Kenny King pinned Andy “Right Leg” Ridge.
2. Mike Bennett pinned Grizzly Redwood.
3. Kevin Steen pinned Adam Cole.
4. The Briscoes successfully defended the ROH World Tag Team Championships against Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander. This was originally advertised on TV as Briscoes vs. All Night Express but was changed due to Rhett Titus’s injury.
5. Team A1 defeated World’s Greatest Tag Team by disqualification. Team A1 were Zach and Jeff – I don’t know… some local indy guys. A lot of fans seemed to know who they were as the only people who had a large amount of streamers thrown at them were this team. The ring announcer was not ROH’s regular ring announcer. Rather, it was a local indy heel manager named Neal Sharkey. I go to local indy shows sometimes and had seen these guys before but they never really left much of an impression.
Before the match, Haas and Benjamin did a promo saying they had wrestled all over the world and they shouldn’t have to wrestle in the Norfolk Scope’s garage. Great line. The building did kind of look like a garage. The match was basically a squash. Haas and Benjamin kept going for pins but then lifting their opponents’ shoulders before the ref could count to three. The ref eventually complained about this to Haas so Haas punched the referee causing the DQ.
WGTT were heels all the way here, attacking everyone post match. I got the idea they were faces on ROH TV but perhaps things have changed. The Briscoes came to the rescue of the local boys and the referee.
6. Tomasso Ciampa (w/Prince Nana and his full entourage) defeated ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal in a Proving Ground match. Ciampa won with only a few seconds left before the time limit expired so Ciampa will get a title shot at some point.
7. Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly defeated Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin (w/Truth Martini). Great match!
Notes: We bought our tickets before even one match was announced so we could be in attendance at ROH’s Norfolk debut. We regretted it as soon as they announced the matches. It just seemed that it was ROH’s tippy top guys against a collection of scrubs and projects - potential top guys who are getting a push but aren’t really perceived as top guys yet. This was especially reinforced once All Night Express pulled out of the match with the Briscoes, and Coleman and Alexander were announced as their replacements. Had we waited until the matches were announced, we probably would not have purchased tickets.
Having said that though, had we not gone, we would have missed a very good card filled with an entire roster who worked hard and with matches that all ranged from acceptable to awesome (main event). I'm not sure the crowd was big enough to bring ROH back regularly, but the show was very enjoyable.