Ring of Honor is on the agenda once more as we go back to Richmond, Virginia this past July for Tag Team Turmoil 2011.
After an in-ring segment involving the American Wolves and the House of Truth it was on to the opening encounter, a first round match in the Contenders Tag Team Lottery as Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander faced Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly.
This was a great way to start the show. This was the best performance I’ve seen from Cole and O’Reilly. Their tag team work was top notch, and it’s this chemistry that could make them future champions.
But what really surprised me here was the chemistry displayed by Coleman and Alexander, especially as they had never teamed together before. It was almost as good as their opponents, and their double team moves were quite inventive.
It was not enough to see them through though, with Alexander taken down by O’Reilly and Cole with a leg sweep/clothesline combination for the pin, and dare I say it, but that looked a hell of a lot better than a certain total elimination move from a few years back.
The Contenders Tag Team Lottery continued with the Bravado Brothers, Lancelot and Harlem, taking on Jay and Mark Briscoe.
This was basically the Briscoes taking the Bravados to the woodshed, taking them apart at ringside and inside the ring as they made a statement of intent.
The Bravados had a few fleeting moments of offence, mainly after Harlem had tagged Lancelot in, but when the Briscoes looked like they were going to get the win after they took Lancelot down with the doomsday device they pulled his shoulders off the mat.
Their plan soon became obvious when Mark distracted the referee and Jay went outside to grab a steel chair. But just as they were about to use this particular weapon Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin came down to the ring, with Haas distracting Jay and Benjamin kicking the chair into his face.
When the referee returned his attention to the match the first thing he saw was Lancelot covering Jay, and a three count later the Bravados had the upset win, with a little help from Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team.
It was on to singles action next as Mike Bennett taking on Kenny King.
Having mainly seen King in tag team matches in recent times you tend to forget that he’s quite an accomplished singles competitor.
This was a very enjoyable encounter between two of ROH’s young lions, an exciting back and forth encounter in which both men gave their all, and Bennett looked like a veteran way beyond his years.
The end came when Bennett scored with a roll-up and a handful of tights. It was then that King’s partner Rhett Titus came down to the ring to tell the referee what had happened, and after taking the advice of the fans the official reversed the decision and awarded the match to King.
Needless to say that Bennett wasn’t too impressed with the decision, taking out his frustrations on Titus. Executive Producer Jim Cornette then made his way to the ring and informed Bennett that since Titus’ original opponent Chris Hero couldn’t be there because of travel issues (send your complaints to Continental Airlines folks) that he would be facing Titus later tonight.
Bennett refused, but when Cornette threatened to suspend him indefinitely the Prodigy reluctantly agreed.
The only title match of the show saw Colt Cabana and World TV Champion El Generico challenging Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, for the World Tag Team titles.
Before the match began the Briscoes, still irate at what Haas and Benjamin had done to them before, came down to the ring, but before they could start anything they were ushered away by security, lead by the aforementioned Mr. Cornette, who promptly banned them from the building for the rest of the show.
So with that out of the way we were treated to a highly entertaining encounter. There was a few moments of hilarity early on from Cabana but after that it was all business.
The champions did a good job of isolating Generico for the majority of the match, once again putting on a good display of double team action before the masked man got the hot tag to Cabana, which heralded the four way brawl.
Even though they came close on several occasions Cabana and Generico fell short in the end as Benjamin took Cabana down with a face plant for the three count and pin. Nice work all round.
Then it was on to the final of the Contenders Tag Team Lottery, with Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly facing the Bravado Brothers, with the winner getting a shot at the Tag Team titles as well as $5,000.
Despite having taken a beating at the hands of the Briscoes the Bravados started this one early, attacking Cole and O’Reilly as they made their entrance.
From there we saw a great fast paced back and forth encounter. Both teams put in some excellent work with two many good moves to mention as well as a ton of false finishes.
But in the end there could be only one winner, and as Cole and O’Reilly worked they way back O’Reilly locked in a guillotine choke on Harlem for the submission victory, winning the big £5,000 cheque and earning a shot at the champions in the process.
Mike Bennett then made his second appearance of the evening, taking on Rhett Titus.
Like the Bravados before him Titus rushed the ring and attacked Bennett before he was introduced, going on to dominate the Prodigy for the first few moments.
But after he stopped a suplex on the floor Bennett got his fourth wind of the evening as both men went all out to get the win.
Titus looked like he was about to seal the deal when he went to the top rope, but he crashed and burned when Bennett rolled out of the way.
Bennett proceeded to take one of his boots off so he could get a chain, but just as he was about to use it Kenny King returned to the ring and took the chain from him. Titus then ended the match by taking Bennett out with his jumping DDT variation for the winning pin.
The main event saw The House of Truth, Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong, accompanied by Truth Martini, taking on the American Wolves, World Champion Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards.
I think the best way to describe this match would be awesome.
For nearly 30 minutes these four men put on a match so good you just couldn’t take your eyes off it. Richards and Edwards picked up where they’d left off before their war over the World title, showing that they’re still one of the best teams in the world at the moment.
As for the opposition, Strong put in his usual excellent performance. But the guy that impressed me the most was the Unbreakable one, Michael Elgin.
The powerhouse showed that he belonged in the upper echelons of the company. He more than held his own against Richards and Edwards, and put on a tremendous display in doing so, his best moment being when he took the Wolves out with a Samoan drop and a fall away slam at the same time.
It took a hell of a lot to stop Elgin at the end, and countless kicks to the head from Richards finally put him away, earning the win for the American Wolves.
Just one extra on this DVD, an edition of the Video Wire.
In conclusion - what can I say about a Ring of Honor DVD that I haven’t said before?
Tag Team Turmoil 2011 is another great release. From top to bottom it’s packed with great matches, topped off nicely by the war between the American Wolves and the House of Truth.
In fact the only downside to this one was the cancelled match between Rhett Titus and Chris Hero, but Mike Bennett was a more than adequate replacement in his double duty outing.
So in all Tag Team Turmoil gets the big thumbs up as another example of why Ring of Honor are so damn good at the moment.
With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. ROH Tag Team Turmoil 2011 is available to buy online at www.rohwrestling.com.