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
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.
Ryan Rozanskii has been a professional wrestling fan since he was six years old. His first memory of it comes from witnessing Scott Hall win a sixty-man battle royal at WCW World War 3. Of course, that was before alcohol became a problem for Scott. Speaking of alcohol, Ryan is a youngster…not even old enough to consume alcoholic beverages. However, Ryan has used swear words to describe how much he loves Pro Wrestling Ponderings. That is something he’ll never try again, due to the risk of possibly being grounded by his parents. Some people compare Ryan to Butters from South Park. Currently, that comparison has yet to have any legitimacy.
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