Barnesville, PA – 4.23.2006

Commentary is provided by UltraMantis Black, Larry Sweeney, Chris Hero, and Eddie Kingston. The latter three all bust out Iron Sheik impressions during the show.

Matt Turner {ROH} vs. Larry Sweeney

Larry Sweeney insults the fans and Matt Turner as only he can before the bell. Some fans give him grief for not having his Tex-Arkana title anymore. Sweeney hip tosses Turner out of a lock-up. He does a Manhattan Drop out of another one. Sweeney slams Turner and is awfully proud of himself. Turner gives Sweeney the same three moves that he took previously. Sweeney rolls to the floor to take a time out. He shoulder blocks Turner thrice when he comes back in the ring. Turner trips Sweeney into a front facelock. He goes for a Fujiwara armbar after a suplex. Sweeney quickly gets the ropes and rolls back out. Turner chops Sweeney in the corner. Sweeney avoids a corner spear, sending Turner to the floor. Sweeney gets in some boots and throws Turner shoulder first into the ring post. He gets a two count back in the ring. Sweeney twists Turner’s arm in the ropes. He butterfly suplexes Turner for two. Sweeney begs Turner off when he starts to comeback. He goes to Turner’s eyes so he can hit a gutwrench suplex for two. Sweeney hits a second rope elbow drop for two. Turner catches Sweeney with an Ace Crusher. Turner back elbows Sweeney and then delivers a clothesline. He backdrops Sweeney who goes to the corner. Turner gives his arm double knees. Sweeney rolls out of the Fujiwara armbar. He rakes Turner’s eyes before hitting a piledriver for the pin at 7:48. This was all Sweeney here. The fans were vocal and focused because of Sweeney’s antics. Turner was fine but didn’t carry his weight in terms of captivating the audience. Solid work otherwise. *½

Larry Sweeney walks over to a stage in the corner where there is a mircrophone. He calls that area “The Winner’s Circle” where he plans to talk to winners of matches all night long. With that, he takes a seat at the commentary booth shaped like a table.

Retail Dragon vs. Rorschach

Dragon headbutts Rorschach’s hand while holding onto a wristlock. He drags Rorschach into a Skayde schoolboy for two. Dragon comes off Rorschach’s shoulders with a neck drag. Dragon armdrags Rorschach to the corner from the same position. Rorschach catches him with a leg lariat for two. Rorschach stomps on Dragon’s knee and applies a chinlock. Rorschach hip tosses Dragon out of the corner. Dragon hits a dropsault to send Rorschach to the floor. Dragon follows out with a springboard tornado DDT. Dragon brings Rorschach back in the ring. Rorschach kicks Dragon as he tries a springboard maneuver. Rorschach puts him a King Crab rocking chair. He sits down with it into a Camel Clutch. That he turns into a Gedo Clutch for two. Rorschach gets two with a clothesline. Rorschach slams him for another two count. Dragon cascades up Rorschach into a neckbreaker across his knee. Rorschach delivers a modified Slingblade for two. Dragon counters the pump-handle Death Valley Driver. Dragon gives him a standing Shiranui into a back cracker. Rorschach grabs the ropes to stop the pin. Dragon attempts a springboard huracanrana. Rorschach powers up Dragon. Dragon snaps off the huracanrana anyways for the pin at 6:57. There were some cool moves and scary moments, but other than those moments this was average. **

Larry Sweeney brings Retail Dragon to the Winner’s Circle. He asks Dragon how his knees feel. Dragon says they’re okay, and also that he is happy to stand with the best looking man in Barnesville (Sweeney). He adds that he worked an overnight shift in Wal-Mart but came to Barnesville because he’s looking to earn a spot in the Young Lions Cup tournament. Sweeney cuts him off to put himself over and then sends Dragon on his way.

Alere Little Feather vs. Daizee Haze

Lots of talking and circling before these two lock-up. Haze goes for a cheap punch in the corner. Feather ducks and schoolgirls Haze for two. She armdrags Haze and holds on. Haze turns a waistlock into a loud slap to the face. She mocks Feather’s Indian heritage whilst throwing some chops in the corner. Feather throws some of her own. Haze trips Feather into an elbow drop to the back. She puts Feather in a Camel Clutch. Haze gets a two count after releasing it. She whips Feather to the corner and delivers a clothesline. Haze chokes her on the middle rope. Feather kicks Haze. She gets two with a flipping neckbreaker. Haze puts Feather in a sleeper hold. Feather gets her arm up the third time it is dropped. She elbows her way free and back suplexes Haze for two. Haze forearms Feather in the face. She puts on another sleeper hold that causes Feather to pass out at 5:17. That’s two shows in a row where Haze has been aggressive and picked up the win. I approve of this decision. She and Feather had a good back-and-forth contest that further established Haze’s Rudo ways. **

Haze walks on over to the Winner’s Circle. Sweeney asks Haze where she got her training. She says she’s trained everywhere. An interesting answer to a very simple question. Sweeney asks Haze what her sleeper is called and how it varies from a regular sleeper. The fans applaud Little Feather who is getting up in the ring. Sweeney demands their attention be focused on the Winner’s Circle. She says it’s called a Tight Roller. Sweeney raises her arm in victory to send her off.

Crossbones was supposed to be Kingston’s opponent, but he got hurt in his match with Shane Storm a couple nights ago. He comes to the ring with Dr. Cheung who is apparently the one who diagnosed him. Kingston comes to the ring per Crossbones’ request. Kingston says he finds it funny that the doctor said that Crossbones couldn’t wrestle, when the doctor himself can. Kingston forearms Dr. Cheung and we have a match.

Eddie Kingston vs. Dr. Cheung

Kingston nails Cheung with the chain necklace he has around his neck. He back elbows Cheung and snapmares him into three Dragon kicks. Crossbones trips Kingston as he hits the ropes. Cheung throws some forearms across Kingston’s back. Cheung delivers the FU. Kingston kicks out before even a count of one is made. Crossbones chokes Kingston in the corner behind referee Bryce Remsburg’s back. Kingston however belly-to-belly suplexes Cheung once he is back up. Kingston lands a lariat. He yakuza kicks Cheung in the corner. Crossbones gets on the apron and holds Kingston. Kingston moves so that Cheung knocks him off the apron. Kingston hits the Royal Flush for the pin at 3:26. That was all for Kingston to look like a tough guy and it worked. *

Chris Hero leaves the commentary booth before Kingston gets out of the ring. Sweeney invites Kingston over to the Winner’s Circle. Sweeney hands Kingston the microphone and he does a Johnny Cash impression. Sweeney says Kingston only won the match because he hit Cheung with his jewelry and because Crossbones and Cheung couldn’t cooperate as a unit. Kingston denies using the chain. Sweeney brings up Chris Hero’s name, and Kingston immediately ends the Winner’s Circle segment. He heads backstage which does not sit well with Sweeney.

Fire Ant {C} & Soldier Ant {C} vs. Lance Steel & Lance Steel

Soldier Ant and Steel trade headlocks on the mat. Steel sole butts Soldier Ant. He snapmares him but Soldier Ant sweeps his legs. Steel does the same bringing him and Soldier Ant to a stalemate. Steel and Fire Ant engage in a Lucha sequence. Fire Ant headscissors Steel to the floor. He does the same to the other Steel. The Steel’s each hold a member of the Colony. They each want their partner to chop the other. They both go to do so and end up chopping each other’s chest armor. The Colony dropkick them together and then to the floor. Fire Ant top con hilo’s onto one while Soldier Ant suicide dives onto the other. Steel sends Fire Ant to the floor. The Steel’s hit a modified Hart Attack on Soldier Ant. Soldier Ant crawls to the rope to break a Boston Crab. Lancelot keep on Soldier Ant until one Steel has Soldier Ant in an airplane spin. That Steel accidentally knocks down the other Steel with Soldier Ant’s legs. Soldier Ant turns the spin into a DDT. He tags in Fire Ant who takes both Steel’s down. He even gives them stereo Blockbuster’s. Fire Ant airplane spins Steel into a slam off his shoulders. Soldier Ant comes off the top with a saluting headbutt for two. The Colony carry Steel around the ring. Soldier Ant helps Fire Ant powerbomb him. The other Steel breaks the pin. Steel trips the Colony and puts him in double single-leg crabs. The Colony roll Steel into a double Crab. Steel dropkicks him free. Steel Finlay rolls Soldier Ant. The other Steel puts on a Boston Crab. Soldier Ant taps out at 8:31. I’m puzzled by this as they clearly have been having issues and are likely on the outs as a duo. Regardless, they and the Colony had a good showing and a fun match. **3/4

Sweeney is not happy that Lancelot used a bionic elbow off the second rope. The Steel’s blame each other for using it. Sweeney then points out that Lancelot have won three matches in a row and asks if they’re going to challenge for the tag titles. One Steel says even though he and the other Steel have not been getting along that winning the titles is their plan. He puts Hero and Claudio on notice.

Delirious vs. Chris Hero {KOW}

Delirious’ hand is taped up, as he severely hurt it the night before at ROH’s “100th Show” in a match against Bryan Danielson. When I say taped up, I mean his fist is a giant ball of tape; almost the size of a boxing glove. Hero gives Delirious the option of forfeiting since there’s no way he will defeat Hero with one hand. Delirious says nothing when Bryce puts a microphone to his mouth. Hero says he’s going to make Delirious wish he gave up.

Delirious freaks out at the bell which sends Hero running. Hero cautiously re-enters the ring to a very game Delirious. Delirious goes through Hero’s legs to break a wristlock. Delirious brings Hero to the corner in a lock-up. Hero applies pressure to Delirious’ good arm. Delirious reverses control and brings Hero to the mat. Delirious switches to a hammerlock. Delirious rubs his bandaged hand into Hero’s face to break his wristlock. Hero seems disgusted by it. Hero stands still when Delirious tries a shoulder block. He does it a second and third time too. Delirious punches Hero with his taped up hand which hurts Delirious too. He dropkicks Hero in the small of his back. Delirious snapmares Hero into a Dragon kick for two. Delirious chops and headbutts Hero in the corner. Hero boots Delirious’ injured hand in the corner. Delirious keeps trying to fight up but Hero keeps doing damage to his lower back. Hero ties up Delirious’ injured hand in between his legs and pulls. Hero side steps Delirious’ attempt to headbutt him in the mid-section. Hero boots Delirious while he’s in a tree of woe. Hero continues to target Delirious’ hurt hand and arm, even trying at one time to take off some of the tape. Delirious is able to get Hero to the corner. He goes for the Panic Attack but gets met with Hero’s boot. Delirious kicks out at two. Hero places his knee on top of Delirious’ good arm. Delirious kicks Hero in the back of his head. Hero puts on a seated facelock. Delirious bites Hero’s hand to free himself. Her responds by stomping on Delirious’ injured hand. Hero boots and forearms Delirious in the corner. Hero does some showing off before getting a two count. Delirious dropkicks Hero’s leg out. He hits an enzuigiri. Delirious foolishly throws some clotheslines with his bad arm. This fires Hero up. Delirious boots Hero and then hits a jumping clothesline to finally take him down. Delirious dropkicks Hero to the corner. He connects with the Panic Attack. He comes off the top with a huracanrana for two. Hero punches Delirious in the stomach a couple of times. Delirious back elbows and dropkicks Hero for two. Delirious backslides Hero for two. Hero hits a Cravate Buster for two. Delirious wails on Hero with his cast in the corner. Hero throws him down by his mask. Hero unbandages Delirious’ hand significantly. Delirious fires up with punches. Hero picks up Delirious and delivers the Hero’s Welcome: Championship Edition. He locks Delirious in a body submission where he is pulling at Delirious’ hurt hand. Delirious submits at 20:46. That probably went a little too long, but for me this was the moment where Delirious went from “goofy guest star” to “sympathetic Tecnico”. All the work Hero did to Delirious’ arm made him seem cheap and Delirious like a tough guy for fighting through the pain. Once Hero exposed the hand, it was all over. They could have got to that a bit more quickly but aside from that I have no complaints. ***

Sweeney tells Hero that any good wrestler notices a weakness and targets it. The fans boo Hero as he tries to talk. He says he tries to be a good person and let Delirious forfeit when he saw the injury. The fans get on Hero’s case again. He says nobody is going to take the titles off of the Kings of Wrestling.

Mike Quackenbush, Jigsaw & Shane Storm vs. Claudio Castagnoli {KOW}, Icarus {F} & Gran Akuma {F}

Akuma puts a courting hold on Jigsaw. Jigsaw flips out using the ropes. He and Akuma trade pin attempts to no avail. Both guys tag out, bringing in Claudio and Storm. Storm holds onto a headlock. Claudio is very proud of himself each time he escapes, but keeps getting put back into it. Storm takes him over using the ropes, sending Claudio to the floor. Icarus and Quack tag in. Quack locks Icarus’ legs and digs his fist into Icarus’ knees. Icarus rolls it into a cradle for two then begs off to the corner. Quack armdrags Icarus into a crucifix pin for two. He applies a headscissors that captures Icarus’ arms. He gets the ropes to break. Quack key locks his legs and stretches out the arms. A few clever holds causes Icarus to retreat to his corner. Claudio tags i. Quack hops over Claudio. He rolls back to this corner where Jigsaw crossbody’s in. Quack helps Jigsaw send Claudio out with a headscissors. Quack dropkicks F.I.S.T. to the floor. The Tecnico team triple tope’s onto the Rudos. Icarus and Jigsaw make it back in the ring first. Jigsaw uses some armdrag variants to take control. Akuma and Storm then tag in. Storm uses the ropes for an armdrag. He headscissors Akuma to the floor. Quack comes in with Claudio once again. Quack cascades up Claudio’s shoulders. He turns a wheelbarrow into an armdrag. He cartwheels off the ropes into another armdrag. Quack rolls up to headscissors Claudio to the floor. Quack tope con hilo’s out onto him. Akuma catches Jigsaw in the ring. Icarus and Akuma give him an X-Factor/body crash combo. The Kings of Wrestling take turns wearing down Jigsaw in their corner. Jigsaw rolls to the floor after Icarus gives him a Diamond Dust. This brings in Storm who also gets trapped in the Rudos corner. Claudio and Akuma drop Icarus in a senton onto Storm. Storm rolls out to the floor afterwards which brings in Quack. Claudio tackles Quack and chokes him right as he gets in the ring. Quack powers out of Akuma’s abdominal stretch. Claudio snaps his neck on the middle rope right away. Quack knees Icarus in the head to escape a Dragon Sleeper. Claudio knocks Jigsaw and Storm off the apron and drops Quack stomach first on the top rope. He kicks Quack in the head for two. Quack escapes the Kings’ grasp by thwarting a corner attack and giving Akuma a clothesline. He tags in Storm. Storm forearms everyone. He German suplexes Icarus and Claudio breaks the pin. Quack headscissors Claudio into a crucifix pin for two. Claudio rolls into a back elbow on Quack. Jigsaw flies in and Claudio catches him. Icarus and Claudio give Jigsaw a powerbomb/back cracker combo. A string of submissions forms with all six men. Once the line breaks Icarus hits Storm with the Wings of Icarus. Quack Black Torando Slams him before a pin can be made. Claudio gives Quack the Match Killer. Jigsaw superkicks Claudio. Akuma gives Jigsaw an arm capture Lightning Spiral. Quack kicks Akuma to break the pin. Akuma sets up Jigsaw for a Doomsday Device. He rolls up Akuma for two. Storm gets two on Icarus with the Air Raid Crash. Quack dragonrana’s Claudio for two. Quack and Storm put Akuma and Claudio in submissions. This gives Jigsaw the opening to give Icarus the Jig N’ Tonic for the pin at 22:30. This was your typical trios match that ended a lot of the shows in 2005. Consistent action, great team moves, and the one match that really got the crowd going. I use typical as a compliment, by the way, as this was very good stuff. ***3/4


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