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COMMENT





ROH: Black taps to end ROH career
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling


All Ring of Honor has publicized about tonight’s show is that it will have Tyler Black’s farewell match against Davey Richards. Heck, that’s all I need to know to tune in!

The show starts with your typical package about Black leaving for the WWE and losing the ROH World title to Roderick Strong. We go to the ring and Jim Cornette has the mic. Before the show started, we learn there was a brew-ha backstage between Black and Richards.

Black and Richards meet in the ring and after insulting one another, Black accepts Richards’ challenge. The crowd starts the “You sold out!” chant directed at Black and, well, yes he did. Cornette says they have the whole hour to wrestle. Nothing else is on the card? Niiiice!

Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak are ringside from The Arena in South Philadelphia.

After commercials and ROH promos for future shows, including the mention that next week will be the Briscoes against the Kings of Wrestling in the Briscoes’ last shot at the ROH World tag belts, we’re down to about 35 minutes left in the hour. Let’s get to the match, shall we?

Match #1 – Davey Richards vs. Tyler Black

I’m seriously psyched for this match. We can only hope it’s better or as good as the match these guys had at “Death Before Dishonor VIII.”

The two exchange punches to start and wind up on the floor. Black hits a baseball slide and a flip over the top onto Davey and we’re barely a minute into the match. Hogewood tells us that if this match ends before the hour, there are standby matches at the ready. I don’t want standby matches – I want a 30-minute bout between these guys, Hog!

Back inside, both men exchange their flurry of kicks. Advantage: Davey. We then get a series of mat holds from each wrestler as it’s Davey with a chinlock/crossface maneuver and then Black flips into a choke with his knees in Richards’ back.

The match goes back to the floor and Black suplexes Davey and the match seems to be slowing a bit. Don’t tell me Black is already buying into the WWE style of slo-mo wrestling??? Come on, Tyler. This is ROH! Get to work!

Davey hits his handspring enzugiri off an Irish whip for a two-count and the Philly crowd serenades this match with a “This is awesome” chant. I could not agree more. Davey signals for the DR Driver, but Tyler backs him into the corner and drills Richards with elbows. Davey counters another Irish whip into the corner and hits a lifting power bomb into a Texas Cloverleaf. Black doesn’t tap and gets to the bottom rope, forcing Davey to break the hold.

After briefly brawling outside in front of the paying customers, Davey crawls to his feet in the corner and Tyler goes for his running kick. Prazak asks if this is “vintage Tyler Black” in an obvious knock on Michael Cole over on the other show. Davey blocks the kick, but takes an F-5 for another near-fall. Black goes up for the Phoenix Splash, but Richards gets up and tries for a back suplex off the top. Black knocks him down with elbows, but Davey gets up again for another suplex attempt. Black again knocks him down and after Davey hits a running clothesline, both men are down.

In another comical bit, Prazak and Hogewood discuss what Black’s new name might be. Prazak suggests “Blackie McTylerson.” Epic.

After Davey misses a shooting star press, Black nails the buckle bomb and superkick and locks on a Texas Cloverleaf of his own. Davey counters into a small package for another two.

It’s now my turn – “This is awesome!”

Black wants the Phoenix Splash again, but Davey again counters. The two trade punches on the top turnbuckle until Davey falls into the tree of woe. Black chops Davey in the midsection, hits a double stomp into the Van Terminator and gets a two-count.

The crowd is chanting Davey’s name and I sense the end of the match is coming.

Tyler goes up yet again for the Phoenix Splash, but Richards gets his knees up. Davey charges into a big boot and a superkick, but rebounds with a discus lariat and the DR Driver for what looked like a sure three. Richards with a buckle bomb of his own and then his buzzsaw kick, but God’s Last Gift (a fisherman's suplex into a small package) only gets him yet another near-fall. Davey cinches in the Texas Cloverleaf and Black taps.

Winner via submission: Davey Richards

That’s how Black goes out? Wow. Prazak and Hog praise Black, while the crowd is on its feet for both guys. Heck, so am I!

Richards will have none of the butt-kissing and takes the mic to tell Black to get Vince to go sign his paychecks and that if any of his boys want real wrestling, then they should come down to Philly to Ring of Honor. Richards walks to the back.

This match rivaled their bout at “Death Before Dishonor VIII,” but I fear that match was the better one. But not by much.

While Black may be gone and, for the record, he’s now Seth Rollins, his quick heel turn at the end of his ROH stint didn’t make much sense, but we’ll see what WWE does with him and what obnoxious gimmick he gets.

I say this each week and I’ll say it again now. ROH was an excellent show this week, with just the one match notwithstanding, and continues to show why it is not just another wrestling show on Monday night, but the only wrestling show on Monday night.

'Til next week, folks.


Matt Mackinder was barely awake tonight, but hopes his report came off as fairly accurate and entertaining. Email Matt at mackindermedia@yahoo.com.