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Gimmick matches highlight ROH Death Before Dishonor IX
By DARREN WOOD - SLAM! Wrestling


The All Night Express, Rhett Titus and Kenny King, at the end of their ladder match. Photo by George Tahinos.


With Ring of Honor World Champion Davey Richards over in Japan, Death Before Dishonor IX, was the perfect opportunity for other members of the ROH roster to showcase their talents and bask in the spotlight.

Boasting an interesting line-up, DBD IX was a real mixed bag of a show, primarily saved by the two very strong gimmick match offerings which headlined.

The "Ringmaster Challenge" saw Eddie Edwards against Roderick Strong in a 2 out of 3 Falls Match and the main event was Ladder War III which featured Jay and Mark Briscoe against The All Night Express with the winner receiving a Tag Team Title shot at Glory By Honor.

Lots of history between these two teams and the announcers were quick to put over that this is the only match that can settle their feud. Real intense crowd for this battle, and the action was just as intense from the beginning of the contest as within the first three minutes Kenny King got backdropped through a table on the outside.

Lots of chair shots early on and plenty of use of the crowd barricades. Rhett Titus was a bloody mess after just five minutes due to repeated chair shots to the head; Jay tried to suplex Titus from inside the ring to the outside where a ladder was positioned between the ring apron and barricade, Titus instead suplexed Jay onto the ladder which buckled upon impact.

Bodyslam from king on Mark onto a ladder in the middle of the ring as ANX took control. ANX then put a ladder around Jay’s neck and launched him into the top rope.

No team attempted to try and climb the ladder for a long time, as Jay got busted open hard via a chair shot. King hit a moonsault from the barrier onto Mark on the outside. Big suplex on the rampway from Jay on Titus to a sickening thud. Jay then proceeded to prop up a ladder between two chairs on the outside, Jay then propped Titus on a ladder and went on the apron hitting a senton onto Titus.

HUGE double hip toss from the Briscoes on King saw him launched onto a ladder which is propped in the corner of the ring. Big dropkick from Mark sees a chair smash into King’s head which drew a sickening thud. Jay on the top rope, but Titus pushed him off to the outside which saw Mark fall through a table from the top.

Powerbomb blockbuster combination move saw Jay driven through a table in the middle of the ring. Incredible contest. Jay then retrieved a huge ladder from under the ring as Mark sets up a table in the arena entranceway. Jay climbed the ladder and in an amazing visual he was almost eye level with the balcony seats in the Manhattan Centre. He hit a huge splash from the top drilling Titus through the table below.

The massive ladder then got set up in the middle of the ring, King climbed and was met by Jay on the other side, ben men had a slugfest at the top until King eventually hit a big right hand and knocked Jay down allowing King to grab the contract for the win.

ROH Death Before Dishonor IX FULL RESULTS

Match 1: Jay Lethal & Homicide vs. Tommaso Ciampa & Rhino (w/The Embassy)

In what has to be seen as a glaring error by ROH, Lethal came out with the ROH TV Championship, which he hasn’t officially won yet, well not until September 24th when the company’s new TV show airs on SBG. Lethal and Homicide gained the early advantage clearing house as the match starts. Nice early exchanges by Lethal and Ciampa, who then tags in Rhino which receives a good reaction from the NYC crowd. Ciampa came back in as he and Rhino took over dominance, Ciampa from a seated position dropkicked Lethal in his leg, very unique.

Lethal then proceeded to get beat down but eventually hit a Superkick and a tag to Homicide. Homicide attempted the Three Amigos to a nice chant for Eddie Guerrero, but its blocked. Homicide then tries for a Grino killer but another counter by Ciampa into his finisher, Project Ciampa and that’s enough to earn the victory for The Embassy.

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa & Rhino
Match rating: 6/10

Match 2: Shelton Benjamin vs. Mike Bennett w/Brutal Bob Evans

Not a great match, this one; crowd was relatively dead throughout apart from some nice explicit chants from the anti-Mike Bennett, New York crowd. Kelly actually responded to the fans “You can’t wrestle” chants which were directed at Bennett, responding with “He wouldn’t be in Ring of Honor, if he couldn’t wrestle”, nice comeback. Long parts of the match were dominated by Bennett with his slow methodical offense.

Eventually Benjamin gained the upper hand and the current co-holder of the ROH Tag Team Championships hit the jumping flatliner for the win.

Winner: Shelton Benjamin
Match rating: 2/10

Match 3: Three Way Elimination Match The Young Bucks vs. Future Shock vs. The Bravados

One person from each team can be in the ring and people can only tag their partners. Bravados start taking control in the early going and then we get Future Shock and Bucks teaming up to send Lance and Harlem outside. Series of beautiful dives by both teams to the outside and unlike our previous contest, the crowd is deeply into this one. Lots of really nice double team moves by both teams, real innovative stuff including a double team ace crusher.

Fast paced action, which eventually saw the Bravados eliminated when Cole and O’Reilly hit a double superkick into Total Elimination for the pin. This leaves Future Shock and the Young Bucks. All four men brawl and in a real innovative spot O’Reilly locked up a triangle choke while Cole locked up a Gullotine choke on both respected members of the Young Bucks. These moves are broken up when Matt Jackson managed to drag Cole into O’Reilly who had the other Buck, this saw all four men end up in a pile on the canvas.

Future Shock gained control again and O’ Reilly hit the ropes looking for another high impact offensive maneuver but Nick Jackson pulled the top rope down, and O’Reilly ends up on the floor, The Bucks hit their finisher, more bang for your buck for the win.

Winners: The Young Bucks
Match rating: 7/10

Post-match, Future Shock looked to shake hands with The Young Bucks but they refused to uphold the honor, leaving the ring.

Kelly and his broadcast partner Prazak announce that Jimmy Jacobs will step in for his friend Steve Corino in the next contest.

Match 4: El Generico vs. Jimmy Jacobs

These two men have a great history with each other. Generico dominated the early going with a nice Tilt a whirl backbreaker and then some forearms and a chop. Followed by a bodyslam and a high elevation standing moonsault.

Blue thunder bomb by Generico got two then a Michinoku driver for another count of two. While the in ring action was good, the crowd seemed to go quiet again. Jacobs then blocked a top rope brainbuster attempt knocking Generico to the apron, Jacobs then hit a big spear onto the frame of the ring for a 2 count. Jacobs hit a springboard DDT off the top rope.

But before a cover can be made, you guessed it (the fans in attendance surely did as they were quiet throughout, they must have realized this would happen again) Kevin Steen came through the crowd to the ringside area.

Steen started running his mouth but his microphone got cut off, security eventually (after what seems like an eternity) run out, but Steen is attacked by Jacobs and a massive brawl erupts, which eventually saw Steen powerbomb Jacobs on the apron, which looked nasty. Generico dives to the outside onto everyone except Steen, who escaped rolling into the ring. Cary Silkin got into the ring and he wanted a handshake, Steen accepts but then tries a package piledriver which gets a huge reaction from the crowd. Jim Cornette, gets is in the ring and starts flying fists at Steen, as security and referee’s try and hold Cornette back.

Huge chant of “Let them fight” erupts throughout the Manhattan Center, as Steen is dragged away. Another great angle but the live crowd seemed to be expecting it and so therefore weren’t as vocal as they perhaps should have been for the in ring action, which hurt the match.

Winner: No Contest
Match rating: 5/10

Match 5: Charlie Haas vs. Michael Elgin with Truth Martini

Good physical contest, with both men showing some great high impact maneuvers, Some nice chain wrestling to start this contest, until Elgin slowed things down to the methodical pace that he likes to exert. Back elbow and a running body block by Haas followed by a big boot and then four huge German suplexes. Elgin regained control and sent Haas into the barricade, such a shame that the crowd again is not into this match, unfortunately its not for the first time this has been noted tonight.

Haas hit a great back suplex onto the top of the guard rail. Hass won the hard fought contest when he hit a big boot to Elgin’s face and then smacked his opponent with a huge lariat which turned Elgin inside out and upside down allowing Haas to gain the three count.

Winner: Charlie Haas
Match rating: 6/10

Match 6: The Ringmaster Challenge – Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong 1st fall decided by pinfall, 2nd fall decided by submission and the 3rd fall if necessary to be decided in a 15 minute iron man match.

Back and forth action which started off slowly at first, we lose the audio of the announcers for most of the first fall, that’s live PPV for you folks! Strong gets Edwards up in a suplex position and then turns that into a double knee backbreaker for the pin and the first fall.

Second fall starts with Strong on the attack, working the lower back. Again very evenly matched contest, the second fall is eventually won by Edwards as he rolls through a charge attempt by Strong, locking on the Achilles lock, Strong struggles to get to the rope and is so close until Edwards pulls him back to the centre of the ring, leaving Strong no choice but to tap evening up the score and taking this contest to the deciding fall which will be decided within the rules of a 15 minute iron man match.

Sensational dive to the outside on Strong by Edwards starts this fall off to a frantic pace; Strong regains control after some quick Edwards offense hitting a backbreaker onto the turnbuckles to a nice reaction from the crowd. Double knee backbreaker by Strong as he continues to work on Edwards back. “This is awesome” chant from the crowd, much better reactions from them now.

Action continuously going back and forth, great showcase from both men, Strong looks to go up top but Edwards out of nowhere connects with a running dropkick, he then sets up for a superplex and hits it for a close two count. Series of near falls by both men until Strong gets a backslide on Edwards which sees Truth Martini hold Edwards legs for a three count with a minute to go. Edwards then quickly manages to tie up the score by hitting a 2k1 bomb leaving just thirty seconds remaining and the period ends in a 1-1 tie.

With both men gaining a fall each the match is announced as a draw until Jim Cornette comes out and announces the match is too good to end in a draw and that there will be a sudden death period.

Slugfest starts the sudden death period, Edwards gets a tiger suplex for a close two count. Strong goes up top but Edwards kicks him off, he lands on the apron, Edwards hits double stomps on Strong from the top rope onto the ring apron. Edwards rolls him back in, then hits a big lariat and the Die hard for the eventual 2 falls to 1 win. Superb physical contest

Winner: Eddie Edwards
Match rating: 8/10

Match 7: Ladder War III: Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. The All Night Express winner to receive ROH World Tag Team Championship match at Glory by Honor X
Winners: The All Night Express
Match rating: 8/10

Post-match, referee Paul Turner lifts the arms of King and Titus, as they celebrate their win. The announcers put over ANX showcasing their toughness as Kelly and Prazak closed out the show.

Event Rating: 6/10

RELATED LINKS

  • Death Before Dishonor IX Photo Gallery

    Darren Wood is a freelance journalist in the United Kingdom, working for various publications including SLAM! Wrestling and The Wrestling Press.