ROH Showdown in the Sun poster
Wow. Wow, wow, wow.
I might have very well just witnessed the Match of the Year.
The main event of the second night of Ring of Honor's (ROH) two day Showdown in the Sun event was one of the greatest wrestling matches I've ever had the pleasure of seeing live. An ROH World Championship battle between Davey Richards and challenger Michael Elgin had every single person in the venue on their feet cheering their throat hoarse.
Seeing an ROH show live, it's easy to get annoyed by the self-indulgent chanting, most of which isn't nearly warranted by the proceedings. When the "this awesome" chant busted out during the headliner, it felt real, it felt organic. Move after move culminating into near fall after near fall, Richards ended up retaining his title but believe me, this was a star-making match for the young Elgin. Weeks and months from now, people will be asking each other if they've seen Richards/Elgin.
It was simply that damn good.
There were, apparently, a huge amount of problems with the GFL internet pay-per-view (iPPV) stream which lead to an extended Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis promo -- complete with a minute-long makeout session between the two -- and a throwaway promo from Truth Martini.
The Briscoes, Mark and Jay, defended their ROH World Tag Team Championship belts against Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. The two teams reignited their feud but it was the titleholders who came up victorious. It didn't stop the former champs from attacking the brothers after the belt, however, in true rulebreaker fashion.
Much more after the jump.
The show actually started off with an El Generico and Jimmy Jacobs match which Jacobs won. This unadvertised -- and extremely too short -- match could have boosted sales of the iPPV if ROH had made it public but it opened Night Two of Showdown in the Sun as a surprise due to Jacobs' involvement in the prior evening's match-up between Generico and Kevin Steen.
C&C Wrestle Factory member Cedric Alexander lost in singles competition to The Embassy Ltd. member Tomasso Ciampa. After the match, Alexander's tag team partner, Caprice Coleman went after Prince Nana but ate a Project Ciampa for his trouble.
In an ROH vs. CHIKARA match-up, T.J. Perkins bested Fire Ant in an impressive bout. If you happen to catch the replay of the show, you'll probably hear me cheering my lungs out for The Colony member. What can I say? I love me some CHIKARA.
Former tag team partners Kyle O'Reilly and Adam Cole met inside the ring with the rulebreaker leaning O'Reilly coming up victorious thanks to a handful of tights. O'Reilly seems to be really relishing his new role as an antagonist. It was during this match the iPPV stream issues seemed to have started as the action was abruptly halted and then both men were forced to kill time by cutting promos on each other.
In the second night of the Dual Duel, The Young Bucks defeated The All Night Express in a Street Fight after an incredible top turnbuckle powerbomb/suplex double team move. The Bucks are absolutely insane when it comes to double team maneuvers and are equally incredible rulebreakers with their arrogant attitudes.
"Wrestling's Worst Nightmare" Kevin Steen won the first of three Blind Destiny matches when he defeated Eddie Edwards. This was a fun and intriguing match-up as both wrestlers have their distinctive fanbases. While most of an ROH crowd will cheer Steen over Davey Richards, Edwards doesn't hold the same "MMA wannabe" stigma the champion does. It will only be a matter of time before Steen and Richards meet.
In the second, and most surprising Blind Destiny bout, Roderick Strong ripped the World TV Championship away from Jay Lethal after a little bit of help from Ciampa who was sitting ringside. Ciampa promised to not only return the titleholder his belt if he won but also agreed to address Lethal as the "New Dominant Male." The Embassy Ltd. member made sure he wouldn't have to by slamming Lethal face first into the ring post. When Strong won the match, Ciampa had no problem handing the belt over to him as his beef didn't center around any title but rather his hatred for Lethal.
Thanks to the stalling due to the stream issues, the show began to lag in the middle but the Blind Destiny matches more than made up for it especially the main event.
Once you're able to, watch Richards vs. Elgin. It really is that good.
Ring of Honor has done it again.