By Ryan Clark on January 22, 2012
Credit: Matt & Belinda Elliott & PW Torch
ROH held a house show in the Norfolk Scope Exhibition Center (a small building in the Scope complex). About 350 fans showed up. There was a meet and greet with ROH World champion Davey Richards and TV champion Jay Lethal. A signed 8×10 was sold for ten dollars each.
Jim Cornette came to the ring and welcomed the crowd. He reminisced about coming to the Norfolk Scope for the first time 26 years ago when the Rock ‘n Roll Express faced the Midnight Express. He called out Eddie Edwards, who said he has a staph infection and is not cleared to wrestle. Eddie was scheduled to wrestle Mike Bennett.
(1) Kenny King pinned Andy “Right Leg” Ridge.
(2) “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett pinned Grizzly Redwood.
(3) Kevin Steen pinned Adam Cole.
(4) ROH tag champions The Briscoes beat Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander to retain the ROH Tag Titles. The match was originally advertised on TV as Briscoes vs. All Night Express, but was changed due to Rhett Titus’s injury.
(5) Team A1 (Zach & Jeff) beat World’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) via DQ. A1 are some local independent guys. A lot of fans seemed to know who they were, as the only people who had a large amount of streamers thrown at them were this team and the ring announcer, who was not ROH’s regular ring announcer but a local independent heel manager named Neal Sharkey. I’ve seen them at local independent shows before, but they never really left much of an impression. Before the match, Haas & Benjamin cut a promo saying they had wrestled all over the world and they shouldn’t have to wrestle in the Norfolk Scope’s garage. Great line. The building did kind of look like a garage. The match was basically a squash. Haas & Benjamin kept going for pins, but then lifted their opponents’s shoulders before the ref could count to three. The ref eventually complained about this to Haas, so Haas punched the referee, causing the DQ. WGTT were heels all the way here, attacking everyone post-match. I got the idea they were faces on ROH TV, but perhaps things have changed. The Briscoes came to the rescue of the local boys and the referee.
(6) Tomasso Ciampa (w/Prince Nana and The Embassy) defeated ROH TV champion Jay Lethal in a non-title Proving Ground match. There were only a few seconds remaining before the time limit expired when Ciampa scored the fall, so Ciampa will get a title shot at some point.
(7) ROH World champion Davey Richards & Kyle O’reilly defeated Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin (w/Truth Martini). Great match!
We bought our tickets before even one match was announced so we could be in attendance at ROH’s Norfolk debut. We regretted it as soon as they announced the matches, though. It just seemed that it was ROH’s tippy-top guys against a collection of scrubs and projects – potential top guys who are getting a push but aren’t really perceived as top guys yet. This was especially reinforced once All Night Express pulled out of the Tag Title match with the Briscoes, and Coleman & Alexander were announced as their replacements. Had we waited until the matches were announced, we probably would not have purchased tickets.
Having said that, though, if we did not go, we would have missed a very good card filled with an entire roster of wrestlers who worked hard and put on matches that ranged from acceptable to awesome (main event). I’m not sure the crowd was big enough to bring ROH back regularly, though. But, the show was very enjoyable.
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