Ring of Honor breaks into a new market as they present their first show from Louisville, Kentucky. The card is an interesting one with several local OVW talents featuring on the show. ROH World Champion Tyler Black takes on Claudio Castagnoli in non title action and The American Wolves face off against The Briscoes in the main event. This should be an interesting show so here we go, ROH World reviews ‘ROH Bluegrass Brawl’:
Jim Cornette came out to begin the show in his own backyard. He says how he has tried to bring the best wrestling to Louisville over the years and thanks the fans for coming. He says that they’ve tried to come to Louisville for a while and puts over ROH and OVW.
Beef Wellington vs. Paredyse
An OVW showcase match to start the show. Paredyse is a very interesting character, very colorful too. Despite his wacky attire, he dominates the first half of the match without doing too much damage to his opponent. Wellington then starts to make a comeback but the action never really gets going. Paredyse fights back but botches a neckbreaker for two, Wellington plays possum and rolls Paredyse up to get the win. Very basic opening match, nothing to write home about.
OVW Southern Tag Team Championship Match – The Elite © vs. Sucio & Fang
Another OVW match to warm the crowd up. They actually seemed quite interested in this one, Sucio & Fang reminded me a lot of Up In Smoke which isn’t a bad thing. This was your typical high flyers v strength tag team match and it worked out well. The Elite dominated most of the match and they really built up the hot tag. Sucio & Fang delivered a couple of nice hurricanrana moves but The Elite got the win in the end with a rope assisted rollup on Fang. Not a bad match at all.
Sara Del Rey vs. Daizee Haze
Del Rey comes out to Daniel Bryan’s WWE theme, interesting! She is accompanied by The Kings of Wrestling and dominates most of the early goings. Typical Del Rey match, she used her strength advantage to keep Daizee down on the mat for most of the match. The Kings were ejected when Claudio grabbed Daizee’s leg when she went to the top rope, Del Rey then went for a powerbomb but Daizee reversed it into a sunset flip for the surprise win. This wasn’t anything special, I feel like Del Rey’s matches are always the same and because of how much she dominated, the quick pin didn’t do much for Daizee either.
Mike Mondo vs. Delirious
We’re reminded Mondo used to be in the Spirit Squad and chants of that start to break out. Mondo was in OVW at this point and got some more ROH bookings in the future. I was pleasantly surprised with him, he’s quite muscly for a smaller guy but is still quite athletic. Think of him as a more talented Mike Bennett. He gets a lot of heat from the crowd who love Delirious. Mondo uses his power advantage to keep him grounded for long periods of the match but Delirious comes back with a dropkick to the back followed by the Panic Attack. This allows him to hit the Shadows over Hell for the victory. Not a bad match at all, a few nice comedy moments from Delirious and a good performance from Mondo.
Chris Hero vs. Colt Cabana
This is a Pick 6 Challenge match. Usual goofy stuff from Cabana starts the match and they deliver some nice comedy mat wrestling (is that even possible?!). Hero starts to get annoyed and leaves the ring. After coming back Hero dominates the next five or so minutes and then it starts to get a bit more even. Lots of vicious elbows and kicks from Hero but Cabana still fights back. Hero tries to put Cabana away with the Death Blow but gets rolled up and Cabana picks up the win. Even he looks surprised! Cabana takes the #4 spot in the Pick 6 as Hero drops to #5. This match worked well, Hero was frustrated with Cabana’s comedy stuff but it still showed Cabana to be a worthwhile contender as he beat a hard-hitting Hero. Getting better.
Roderick Strong & The House of Truth (Josh Raymond & Christin Able) vs. Austin Aries & The All Night Express (Rhett Titus & Kenny King)
Aries cuts a promo before the match and says how much he hates Kentucky (cheap heat!) and second rate rip-offs like The House of Truth. They start to brawl as the match starts. Each team had their periods of dominance. The House of Truth went to work on Rhett Titus and when he finally got the tag, ANX and Aries picked apart Christin Able. Some really nice double team moves by Titus & King and eventually Aries and Strong started to slug it out. After a couple of minutes of great action between Strong and Aries, all hell broke loose and Raymond hit a corkscrew dive onto King and Aries on the outside. Titus took out Truth Martini who tried to interfere but then walked into a vicious Sick Kick from Strong as he picked up the victory. Some nice spots in this match but would have liked more Strong and Aries stuff. Gave Strong a win going towards his title match with Tyler Black and ANX looked great as usual.
Tyler Black vs. Claudio Castagnoli
Tyler was ROH World Champion at this point and Claudio was one half of the ROH World Tag Team Champions. Claudio dictated the pace of the match early on and this put him on top but Black fought back and took the match to the outside. Claudio takes control of the match by using the referee as a shield and really dishes out some punishment. Tyler tries to mount some offense again but Claudio hits a massive pop-up European followed by the Ricola Bomb but Black kicks out. Claudio goes for a springboard move but receives a nasty superkick and then Black hits another superkick to get the win. This was a non-title match so it falls down a bit in that respect but it was still a very, very good match. Claudio was great as usual and Black helped make this match great. 20 minutes of very good wrestling here.
The American Wolves vs. The Briscoes
The Briscoes take charge of the match to begin with and perform some of their patented double team moves but the Wolves fight back soon enough. Edwards and Richards go to work on Jay Briscoe’s left leg and he’s clearly in a lot of pain. The Briscoes work up the hot tag and finally get back on top but then both teams start to battle it out with the Wolves hitting some vicious kicks. The Wolves tried to finish it by going for the springboard Doomsday Device but it was blocked by The Briscoes who then sent Richards out of the ring and hit Edwards with the spike Jay Driller for the victory. These teams put on one hell of a match and this show really needed it. They have great chemistry in the ring and there were some innovative spots and it had the right mix of storytelling and action. They didn’t go overboard with the false finishes either so thumbs up for that. An excellent tag team main event.
Considering this was a new market for ROH, it was a pretty weak show by their very high standards. The undercard was very average and I wonder why they didn’t make Black vs. Claudio a title match? There were plenty of near falls so it seemed a bit strange. The only thing that saves this show is the brilliant main event. If you’re a big Wolves/Briscoes fan then you’ll need this DVD, otherwise I’d wait for a sale. It’s easy to get through at just over 2 hours but I wouldn’t put it at the top of any wish list.
Overall Score: 6/10