A lot of history here between Davey Richards and Rocky Romero, who were ROH World Tag Team Champions when both were members of the No Remorse Corps. For those who have never seen Romero wrestle, he's probably one of the three most talented people to ever work for ROH and not win the ROH World Title. He brings a terrific blend of MMA, submissions, and lucha libre, and is one of the smoothest wrestlers I've ever seen, and makes it looks like everything he does requires no effort whatsoever. I've never been quite as high on Koslov, he's okay but I always thought he relied more on the Soviet gimmick than his in-ring skills. He sings the Soviet national anthem, reminiscent of Nikolai Volkoff, though I'll give him enough credit to say he's a better wrestler and in much better shape than Nikolai ever was.
We don't waste any time getting down to business, starting off with Davey and Romero. Romero ducks a tie up and punches Davey in the ribs on his way through, then does the azucar dance to get in his head. They do another feeling out sequence and Romero dropkicks Richards and dances again. Richards bridges out of an armbar and kicks Romero in the shoulder and azucar dances back at Romero, who were also former IWGP Tag Team Champions according to the announce team. Back and forth sequence ends with Richards dropkicking Romero, and Romero gets on his knees to beg for mercy. Richards gets an incredulous look on his face as Romero gets to his feet and asks for a handshake, then hugs toe referee to show his sincerity. He of course was just setting Davey up for a kick, but Davey caught his foot and beat the crap out of him, then Eddie comes into the ring and the two of them absolutely beat the crap out of Romero, then give Koslov the same treatment. They dump the Hooligans out to the apron, connect with stereo kicks and then stereo dives. The crowd is going nuts for the Wolves as Davey gets a 2 count on Romero, then Edwards comes in and unloads with chops on Romero. Romero goes to the eyes and tags Koslov in, but Koslov immediately winds up on the receiving end of an onslaught from Edwards, who kicks Koslov's legs out from under him before connecting with a running kneestrike for 2. Koslov finall manages a cheapshot and turns the advantage around on Edwards as Romero attacks Davey and lays him out at ringside. Now Edwards in in the wrong part of town, and he tries firing back on Romero with chops, but Romero dropkicks his knees out and then tags in Koslov, who tries to put Edwards in the deep freeze with a chinlock. Koslov with a Russian legsweep (or a legsweep, in his case), then Romero nails a series of frenzied clotheslines in the corner until Edwards lays him out with a single clothesline of his own. Koslov cuts off the hot tag, but Edwards lays him out, powerbombs Romero onto Koslov's prone form, and tags in Davey. Davey with a missile dropkick and a boot to the face of Koslov, then they trade forearms in the middle of the ring. Davey hits a handspring enziguiri for 2, suplexes Romero and tosses him to the floor, then kicks Koslov in the face and German suplexes him for 2. Koslov dodges a top rope double stomp and hits an enziguiri, then does the Russian dance thing where he kicks Davey in the head and covers for 2. Romero zips into the ring and dropkicks Eddie off the apron, then Koslov picks Romero up and rams his knees into Davey's chest. Koslov picks Davey up so Romero can come off the top rope with a kneedrop, and that gets 2. Edwards comes into the ring and nails Romero with an enziguiri, then superkicks Koslov's teeth down his throat. Davey ducks a roaring clothesline from Koslov, Edwards comes off the second rope with a chin checker to Koslov, Davey picks Koslov up for a Tombstone, Eddie kicks Koslov in the face, and Davey hits the Tombstone for 2. The Wolves head up to the top rope, Edwards hits a double stomps, Davey howls and hits the top rope double stomp, but Romero finally gets back in and breaks the fall at 2. Eddie dumps Romero back out to the floor and picks Koslove up for the powerbomb/lungblower combo, but Romero neutralizes Davey and Koslov spins out and into a tornado DDT on Edwards. Romero and Koslov go to the top rope with Davey and hit a mega Diablo armbar and Koslov immediately follows with a frogsplash, and Davey kicks out at 2.999999999999. Eddie hits an enziguiri to Romero as Davey gets an O'Connor roll for a very close 2, then Eddie pops Koslov up into the Alarm Clock. Davey charges across the apron and kicks Romero in the chest, then the Wolves hit the powerbomb/lungblower combo for the win.
Winners: American Wolves
I hate to sound like a broken record, but this was an awesome, awesome match. Back and forth, didn't know who was going to win until the final three count, and could have gone either way. These guys all worked their asses off, and this was trademark ROH tag team wrestling at its best. Romero and Koslov are clearly disappointed, but follow the Code of Honor and Romero and Richards share a hug, then all four men raise their arms to the crowd together. This is the kind of match you show to people so they can see what ROH is all about.
Quick note before we come back with the second half: the quality of the iPPV stream tonight has been FLAWLESS. The video is higher quality than anything they've ever produced before, there have been no hiccups or lockups, and it's come across like I've been watching TV on my computer, which is exactly what it should be.
2 Out Of 3 Falls: Michael Elgin vs Roderick Strong
Feeling out process to start, Strong takes Elgin down with a wristlock, but Elgin CARTWHEELS out of the hold and backs Strong to the ropes to force a break. Shoving match ensues, Strong hits a leaping knee to Elgin's chin and fires forearms at Elgin, Elgin drills Strong with a spinning backfist, powerbombs Strong into the corner, and hits the sitout powerbomb to dust Strong for the first fall.
Elgin 1, Strong 0
Strong rolls out to the floor to create some distance before the second fall starts, but Elgin goes right after him and they brawl on the floor. Elgin no-sells Strong's chops and rams him into the barricade. Elgin rolls Strong into the ring and gets on the apron, Strong tries to sunset flip him to the floor, Elgin tries to drop down with a vertical splash, Strong moves out of the way and back suplexes Elgin to the floor. They head back inside and Strong covers for 2, Elgin tries to shrug off Strong's chops, but he's tired now and Strong drills him with a dropkick for 2. Strong with a leg lariat that knocks Elgin backward into the corner, but Strong charges in and takes what was once known around here as the STJoe. Elgin goes up for a moonsault, Strong cuts him off and tries a back suplex, Elgin fights him off and hits a Patriot missile. Strong with a series of elbowstrikes, but Elgin hits a Black Hole Slam for 2 and then transitions right into the Crippler Crossface. Strong rolls Elgin to his back for 2, then hits a boot to the face and a leaping enziguiri, boot to the face from Elgin, and Elgin hits Shock Treatment. Hey, maybe Joseph Park should be looking for his brother in ROH? Nah. Elgin goes for the powerbomb again, Strong escapes and hits a leaping enziguiri to the face, a leaping kneestrike, and a charging forearm. Strong hits a pump handle suplex for 2, Elgin blocks a fireman's carry attempt with elbows, but Strong hits another knee, he tries a powerbomb, Elgin backdrops Strong, Strong superkicks Elgin in the face and gets 2. Strong charges into Elgin's boot in the corner, Elgin goes to the second rope and tries to pick Strong up for a powerbomb, but Strong fights his way out, side suplexes Elgin onto the top rope, and hits the vertical suplex into a backbreaker to win the second fall.
Elgin 1, Strong 1
Strong jumps Elgin during the 20 second break and repeatedly rams kneelifts to Elgin's face and hits a gutbuster, Elgin is out at 2. Strong with a crucifix but Elgin rolls through and hits a running DVD in the corner. Strong tries to back suplex Elgin off the top rope again, but Elgin fights him off and this time he hits the twisting senton for 2. Elgin with a deadlift German suplex for 2, another for 2, Strong rolls out to the apron but Elgin goes to the corner and suplexes Strong all the way up, Strong slips out the back and powerbombs Elgin off the top rope for 2. Elgin reverses a sunset flip and hits the sitout powerbomb, but Strong is out at 2 so Elgin goes back to the Crippler Crossface and Strong taps out.
Winner: Michael Elgin
Very hard fought win for Elgin and both guys came out looking like a million bucks. I'm not a fan of people winning the first fall in under a minute because it's been done to death and doesn't mean anything anymore, but otherwise the match was great.
We're down to the three title matches, and the TV Title is on the line first on Page 3!
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