November 19th, 2011 in Chicago Ridge, Illinois
Opening Match: Mike Bennett vs. Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin vs. Grizzly Redwood
Cole snaps off a few armdrags on Bennett. It doesn’t take long for the crowd to get on Bennett’s case. Cole blocks a charge from Elgin and takes him down with a hurricanrana. Grizzly leaps off the top rope and hurricanranas Bennett. He follows with a corner cannonball. Bennett plants Grizzly with a TKO, who responds with a bulldog. Cole misses a flying crossbody. Grizzly lands a dive to the floor onto Elgin. In the ring, Grizzly applies a sleeper hold on Bennett but he’s able to break free. Cole hits a wheelbarrow german suplex on Grizzly. Elgin elevates Grizzly into the air and he DDTs Bennett. Elgin powerslams Grizzly onto Bennett and bucklebombs him into Cole. Bennett hits a spinebuster on Elgin but gets caught by another DDT. Elgin blocks a cannonball from Grizzly and powerbombs him to the floor onto Bennett. Cole superkicks Elgin and connects with an enzuigiri. He adds another superkick but runs into a lariat. Elgin hits a sit-out powerbomb on Cole for the win at 9:24. This was a fun four corner survival in that a lot of unique exchanges came out of nowhere and popped the crowd. I was surprised at the amount of offense that Grizzly received and was even more surprised that he wasn’t the one that was pinned. It’s great to see how far Elgin and Cole (and maybe even Bennett) have come this year. **¾
Match #2: Jimmy Jacobs vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Steve Corino accompanies Jacobs to the ring and gets into an altercation with Kevin Steen, who has bought a front row ticket for tonight’s show. Jacobs snaps off a satellite headscissors and taunts Steen at ringside. RD Evans interferes, allowing Ciampa to hit a neckbreaker. He connects with a lariat and takes control. I hate to say this, but Steen yelling witty comments at everyone is almost overshadowing the match. Jacobs avoids a facewash knee strike and hits a corner cannonball. He takes out Ciampa with a dive to the floor. Steen throws water at Jacobs and Corino starts brawling with him. Multiple officials come out to separate them to no avail. Steen and Corino brawl into the crowd as staff members escort Steen from the building. The referee rules the match a no contest at 6:14. It was clear from the opening bell that this match was primarily about the issue between Steen and Corino. The camera panned to Steen too often for that not to be the case. As a result, Jacobs and Ciampa didn’t receive much of a chance to showcase anything and the non-finish didn’t help matters. However, the Steen/Corino interaction was done well. *½
Prince Nana grabs the microphone and demands that Ciampa competes in another match. RD Evans suggests that a young gun should come out and accept the challenge. Harlem Bravado answers the call, leading to…
Match #3: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Harlem Bravado
Ciampa hits Project Ciampa for the victory at 0:17. My frustration with the booking of the Bravados continues.
Match #4: Eddie Edwards vs. Kyle O’Reilly
They give each other clean breaks against the ropes. They trade control and wrestle to a stalemate. Edwards escapes an early cross armbreaker attempt and we’re at another standoff. They exchange elbow strikes and headbutts. O’Reilly tries for an armbar but finds himself in an STF. He’s able to reach the bottom rope. Edwards gives up on the clean breaks and connects with a chop. They trade stiff kicks and stare each other down. O’Reilly lays in a knee strike followed by kicks to the chest. He hits rolling butterfly suplexes. Edwards innovatively reverses one into a spike tombstone. O’Reilly rolls to the floor where he gets sent into the barricade. In the ring, Edwards takes control until O’Reilly catches him with a tornado DDT. O’Reilly applies a cross armbreaker but Edwards reverses into an achilles lock. O’Reilly counters into a crossface but Edwards is able to get his foot across the bottom rope. Edwards connects with a gamengiri. O’Reilly dodges a flying double stomp and responds with a knockout kick. Edwards wins an intense strike exchange after a chop to the face. He connects with a flying double stomp. O’Reilly counters a powerbomb into a guillotine choke. Edwards turns the hold into a 2k1 bomb and hits a second one. Edwards yells “Davey” and locks in a dragon sleeper for the victory at 15:21. Edwards came into this match looking to prove a point to Davey Richards by running through his protégé and the commitment to that story made the action extremely engaging. I liked that there weren’t a lot of nearfalls down the stretch as both men were trying to find an opening to decisively end the match. Edwards’ counters of the rolling butterfly suplexes and the guillotine choke were awesome and gave the impression that Edwards is retooling his game for Final Battle. This match was effective from both a storyline and in-ring perspective and both men came out of it for the better. ***½
Match #5: Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Matt and Nick Jackson
The Briscoes attack before the opening bell after the Young Bucks do their handshake shtick. Mark swings Matt into the barricade while Jay and Nick brawl around ringside. The Young Bucks take some time to regroup until Mark lands a dive to the floor. In the ring, the Briscoes take down Nick with stereo shoulder tackles. The Young Bucks respond with a neckbreaker-backbreaker combination on Mark. Matt catches Jay with a dropkick through the ropes. The Young Bucks isolate Mark until he connects with an enzuigiri on Matt and makes the tag. Jay hits a spinebuster on Nick and yakuza kicks Matt off the apron. He flatlines Matt into Nick’s crotch and follows with a falcon arrow on Nick. Matt catches both Briscoes with a superkick. Nick lands a 450 splash onto Jay. Mark clotheslines Matt on the floor and hits an exploder on Nick. He connects with a shotgun dropkick on Nick and hits an iconoclasm. Matt pushes Mark off the top rope and into a superkick from Nick. Mark avoids a More Bang for Your Buck attempt and connects with his frog splash elbow drop on Matt for a nearfall. The Young Bucks connect with stereo superkicks but get taken down by clotheslines. Jay superkicks Nick to the floor and the Briscoes hit the doomsday device on Matt for the win at 12:17. I’ve yet to see an amazing match between these two teams and this one just managed to be solid for the time given. The Briscoes dominated for the first five minutes and it’s always fun to watch the Young Bucks get beat up. The action down the stretch never reached a higher gear but these two teams don’t necessarily need to throw bombs at each other to receive a reaction from the crowd. I’d anticipate a rematch somewhere down the line, most likely for the ROH World Tag Team Titles. ***
Match #6: Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong
If Strong can defeat Lethal or last the time limit, he will receive a shot at the World Television Title. They begin with some chain wrestling and find themselves at a stalemate. Lethal connects with a basement dropkick. He attempts a springboard maneuver but Strong catches him with a dropkick of his own. Strong hits a backbreaker and takes over. Lethal comes back with a slingshot senton and throws Strong into the barricade. Back in, Truth Martini provides a distraction, allowing Strong to connect with a dropkick through the ropes. He drops Lethal back-first across the apron and regains control. Lethal fights back by winning a chop exchange. He connects with a leg lariat and trades punches with Strong. Lethal finds success with a handspring back elbow but almost gets caught by a quick pin attempt. Three minutes remain in the time limit. Strong hits a uranagi along with a gutbuster as two minutes remain. He applies the Stronghold but Lethal is able to reach the bottom rope. Lethal attempts a small package out of nowhere to no avail. Strong hits another gutbuster for a nearfall. They both try quick pin attempts as Strong tries to run away to last the time limit. Lethal locks in a figure four as thirty seconds remain. The time limit eventually expires and Strong has earned a shot at the World Television Title. Jim Cornette grabs a microphone and persuades Strong to use his title shot right now! They trade punches and Strong connects with a gamengiri. He follows with the Sick Kick for a nearfall. Lethal hits the Lethal Combination for a two count. Strong synchs in the Stronghold but Lethal powers out of the hold. Strong hits a gutbuster but walks into a superkick. Lethal hits a handspring ace crusher to retain his title at 17:03. The first fifteen minutes were actually a bit underwhelming, as both men looked off their game and appeared to be going through the motions. While the action picked up during the final two minutes, you have to wrap your mind around the stupidity of Strong immediately cashing in his title opportunity. Honestly, I think these two could have improved upon this match if given the opportunity but unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be happening. **¾
Match #7: ROH World Tag Team Titles: Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin © vs. Kenny King and Rhett Titus
The All Night Express earned this title shot by defeating the Briscoes in a Ladder War at Death Before Dishonor IX. Haas goes after Titus’ leg but Titus is able to fight him off. Titus shoves Haas, who responds with a slap across the face. Titus snaps off a few armdrags and returns the favor with a slap of his own. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team take down Titus with stereo shoulder tackles. Perhaps they’re sending a message to the Briscoes. ANX are able to gain the advantage after one shot to Shelton’s injured ribs. King and Shelton have a cautious exchange that just plods along. King snaps his left arm across the top rope and lands a flying crossbody. Shelton falls to the canvas clutching his ribs. King doesn’t let the referee check on him. ANX isolate Shelton, targeting his ribs. He’s able to catch King with a backbreaker and make the tag. Haas spears Titus in the corner and hits rolling german suplexes. He follows with an olympic slam and applies the Haas of Pain. King manages to break up the hold. Shelton hits a suplex on Titus and connects with a running knee strike. WGTT continue to work over Titus until he knees Shelton in the ribs and tags out. King lands a standing moonsault onto Shelton and hits a spinebuster. Shelton answers with a modified air raid crash. WGTT take out King with an atomic drop-superkick combination. Titus attempts a slingshot maneuver but falls victim to a backbreaker from Haas. ANX hit their blockbuster-powerbomb combination on Shelton for a nearfall. King lands a dive to the floor onto Haas. Titus finds knees on a frog splash and Shelton plants him with Pay Dirt for a two count. King and Haas trade punches and kicks and yell obscenities at each other. WGTT hit the Leap of Faith on King and follow with a double team powerbomb to retain their titles at 22:03. This match featured a lot of peaks and valleys. I fully understand why Shelton’s ribs are targeted during his matches, but most of the time it limits Shelton to the point where the action becomes dull. Additionally, the double team powerbomb finish came off awkwardly and looked out of place. With that said, I was very happy with how the match progressed down the stretch as both teams were displaying great chemistry together and they were getting the crowd invested in the contest. ANX definitely do not lack enthusiasm and I think it just makes sense for them to win the belts at some point in 2012. While this match ended up being enjoyable, I was hoping for something more considering what ANX went through to earn this title shot. ***
Match #8: ROH World Title: Davey Richards © vs. El Generico
Richards maintains control of a wristlock until Generico snaps off an armdrag. Generico escapes an early ankle lock attempt and Richards helps him to his feet. Richards refuses a handshake after Generico armdrags him again. Richards connects with a dropkick and teases a dive. Generico fires back with more armdrags and teases a dive of his own. They trade japanese strangleholds and Richards lays in a stiff kick in the corner. Generico lands a flying crossbody but gets caught by more strikes. Richards lands a dive to the floor and takes control back in the ring with various submissions. Generico low bridges him to the floor and follows out with a dive. In the ring, Generico hits a blue thunder bomb. Richards flips out of a half nelson suplex but runs into a michinoku driver. He recovers with an Alarm Clock and lays in more kicks in the corner. Richards hits a superplex. They trade strikes and have a nice exchange with some unique reversals. Generico connects with a corner yakuza kick but falls victim to a brainbuster from Richards. Both men are down. Richards counters a tornado DDT into an ankle lock. Generico is able to reach the bottom rope. Richards connects with a series of kicks. Generico blocks a handspring enzuigiri and hits a half nelson suplex. Richards tries to boot Generico off the apron but he won’t budge. Generico elevates Richards from inside of the ring and hits a brainbuster on the apron! After some time, that only gets a two count. Richards hits a dragon screw leg whip in the ropes. They battle on the top rope and Richards hits a dragon suplex. He kicks Generico into the turnbuckles and hits a german suplex. Richards connects with a knockout kick for a nearfall and transitions into an ankle lock. Generico escapes the hold and hits an exploder into the turnbuckles. He connects with another corner yakuza kick, hits a half nelson suplex, and applies a sleeper hold. Richards turns the hold into a bridging pin attempt for a two count. Generico goes back to the sleeper hold and transitions into an ankle lock. Richards powers out and connects with a discus lariat. He hits a brainbuster for a nearfall. Richards connects with two knockout kicks followed by a basement enzuigiri to retain his title at 30:01. This was pretty much the typical thirty-minute Davey Richards main event match with Generico doing some things to make the action significantly more tolerable. The story here should have been simple: Richards uses his submission game to neutralize Generico’s energetic offense with Generico making sporadic comebacks. Instead, they went for a more back and forth match that was entertaining in parts but probably didn’t need thirty minutes to play out. With the way Generico has been booked recently, it was nice to see him in the main event of one of the biggest shows of the year. However, I would have to think that this main event delivered under expectations for most people. ***¼
Kevin Steen runs through the crowd and starts brawling with Richards after the match. Staff members storm the ring to separate them. Steve Corino runs down to ringside and attacks Steen, repeatedly throwing him into the barricade. Steen is eventually carried out of the building. Richards shows both Generico and Corino respect to end the show.
Overall: While Glory By Honor X doesn’t feature any phenomenal matches that add to the event’s legacy, the show was pretty consistent in match quality. I would say that the last five matches are all worth watching, with the encounter between Eddie Edwards and Kyle O’Reilly standing out. The show also features a lot of fun antics from Kevin Steen. I think it’s easy to admit that contests like Lethal/Strong, Briscoes/Bucks, and even Richards/Generico could have been a lot better. However, the show as a whole manages to come through and it earns a recommendation, despite not being able to compare to some of the past Glory By Honor cards.