Ring of Honor returned to Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, Georgia. The wrestling was excellent up and down the card. The speed and precision of execution was mind blowing.
Attendance was down some – around 750 as opposed to 1000 in January – and crowd reaction, while strong, were not at as loud or sustained. The lineup for this show didn’t have the level of starpower of past Atlanta events and zero female presence.
Corky Franks announced the next Atlanta show would be January 14 at Centerstage.
Pre-show: The Gladiator (Slim J) & Joe Black defeated Matt Sells & Preston Quinn when Gladiator pinned the always awesome Sells with a jumping neckbreaker. Triston Michaels was the referee.
(1)War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) defeated Kenny King & Rhett Titus (with Caprice Coleman) in 7 minutes. King and Titus took a knee which did not sit well with War Machine. Rowe pinned King after a twisting springboard clothesline by Hanson. Good match with each of the four getting multiple moments in the sun. Merica Strong, Kiera Hogan, Ashton Starr and CB Suave were part of the Cabinet’s entourage.
(2) Silas Young defeated Stevie Richards in 8:30. Young taunted Richards about not being a real man. Richards is in amazing condition for 44 years old and can definitely still go. Richards got in referee Mike Posey’s face about perceived injustice and Young capitalized by hitting Misery.
Afterward, Richards said maybe it was time for the real Stevie Richards to come back.
(3) Caprice Coleman (with King & Titus) defeated Delirious via submission in 8 minutes. Coleman also took a knee. This was the most entertaining comedy match I’ve seen in a long, long time and a real treat for me to see the NWA Wildside alumnus go at it umpteen years later.
(4) The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Kazarian) & Kamaitachi defeated Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) & Jay White in 17:25. Balls-to-the wall action with a sprinkling of comedy from Addiction. Tons of killer combo moves. Daniels’ signature split-legged moonsault to the outside got a standing O. Kamaitachi runs the ropes at light speed. Addiction hit a combo gutbuster on Shelley and he was pinned by Daniels. Best match of the night for unadulterated action.
(5) Damien Martinez (with BJ Whitmer) beat Will Ferrara in 2:30 with a sitout chokeslam.
Cheeseburger hit the ring. Whitmer put the boots to Cheeseburger with Ferrara trying to shield him from more abuse. That brought Steve Corino out. Whitmer laid the spike at Corino’s feet and departed. For a hot moment, it looked like Corino might turn against Ferrara and Cheeseburger. Not tonight.
(6) Lio Rush defeated Jonathan Gresham in 12:30. The perfect size match up. The crowd loved this match showing equal love for both men. Loads of flying and solid psychology as well with Gresham working Rush’s injured arm. Rush won it with Rush Hour.
(7) Dalton Castle (with The Boys) defeated Jushin Liger in 10:30. Castle was ridiculously over. Dueling chants early. Castle took offense to his Boys wanting in with Liger but it eventually happened and their 5 second pose got a huge pop. Liger did a Frankensteiner and a senton off the apron. Castle hit Bang-a-Rang to score the pinfall.
Postmatch – major respect for Liger from Castle and a tremendous show of appreciation for Liger from the crowd.
(8) Jay Lethal defeated Colt Cabana in a Ringmaster Challenge that went 45 minutes. Lethal won the first (pinfalls only) fall with a roll up using tights in 9 minutes and laid Cabana out with the Lethal Injection for good measure. Lethal opened the second (submissions only) fall with a three consecutive topes. Cabana submitted Lethal with Billy Goat’s Curse around the 15 minute mark. Third fall was a 30 minute Iron Man. Cabana put Lethal through the timekeeper’s table and both were counted out by Todd Sinclair making it one fall apiece. Lethal quickly went up 2-1 with a roll up and made it 3-1 with the Lethal Injection. Cabana made Lethal tap to Billy Goat’s Curse again with 2:30 remaining in the match. In the waning seconds, Cabana hit three straight moonsaults before covering but Lethal kicked out. A top notch main event showcasing their skill and endurance. I loved that they were able to work a relatively conservative style by ROH standards (table spot excepted) and had the crowd all the way.
NOTES: Michaels Stevens was the timekeeper…Drew Adler was the on deck guy…Chris Crunkk, Zac Edwards, Charles Zanders, Johnny Danger, Devlin Valek and Nathaniel Spivey worked as security…Rick Michaels ran the meet and greet …Bill Behrens, Bill the Butcher, Dave Wills, Scott Hensley, Danny Danger, Mike Prime, Chase Brown, Jason Boyd, Nigel Sherrod and Neal Pruitt were among the notable in the house…Josh Wheeler was passing out fliers for the October 23 AWE event after the show.