Background: Two episodes prior, KENTA teamed with Bryan Danielson and Roderick Strong to defeat the team of Chris Hero and The American Wolves of Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards. With the loss came a need for Hero to prove himself against the Pro Wrestling NOAH star.
ROH on HDNet
August 15, 2009
Chris Hero vs. KENTA
The hot crowd was split down the middle in support of both men. Pretty much a stalemate in the opening minutes of this highly anticipated contest. Hero refused to break clean when they tumbled into the ropes, leading to a chop/forearm exchange, followed by the KENTA kicks that weakened Hero’s knees. Hero fired back, only to get kneed in the abdomen. Before Hero could get up, KENTA nearly kicked Hero’s spine through his chest. Hero made it to the ropes to stop the body scissors. KENTA went for a shoulder ram in the corner, but ran into a boot to the face instead.
“That Young Knockout Kid” connected with one of those elbows. The following flash kick let out a sickening smack similar to his elbow. A chop from Hero sent KENTA to the floor. Hero missed the baseball slide, allowing KENTA to forearm Hero in position for some more of those sternum-cracking kicks. Showing amazing balance, Chris Hero used an Irish whip toward the barricades to unleash a springboard elbow on the rebound. And the move only got Hero a near fall. Hero stood tall after clawing KENTA’s face while hooking KENTA’s arms.
When KENTA couldn’t get up off his own power, Hero elbowed KENTA’s jaw before using a senton splash. Another elbow to KENTA’s chest dropped the NOAH star. This left KENTA in position for a stretch plum. KENTA scooted to the ropes in time to save himself. KENTA got up throwing stiff forearms. Running big boot from KENTA has turned the tides in KENTA’s favor. Diving clothesline from KENTA got him a near fall. KENTA caught the incoming boot, locking Hero on the STF. Hero’s second Sara Del Rey gave a little assist to Hero by pushing the bottom rope toward his crawling body. Hero rushed the running KENTA, elbowing him in the mouth before suplexing KENTA on the back of his head. And somehow KENTA kicked out before the three count.
Once again, Hero locked KENTA in a stretch plum. “That Young Knockout Kid” tried to turn it into a pinning predicament, but ended up allowing KENTA to escape via the ropes. Series of elbows from Chris got the fans riled up. Running flying forearm from Hero gave him some momentum for a leaping attack. KENTA caught Hero on his shoulders. Hero stopped Go 2 Sleep, going elbow for elbow with KENTA until both men threw clotheslines that leveled the other. KENTA got up, dropkicking Hero in position for that yakuza kick in the corner. Hero took it, following the running KENTA across the ring before unleashing a yakuza kick of his own. KENTA pulled a Hero, three times!
Fisherman buster on Hero left Chris on the canvas for KENTA’s super double stomp. Hero showed his fighting spirit by kicking out before the three count. Rapid-fire strikes from KENTA led to the busaiku knee, and another near fall.
Chris Hero’s manager Shane Hagadorn jumped on the apron as Del Rey grabbed KENTA’s boots. KENTA kicked her away, and knocked Hero backwards, but Hero recovered fast enough to catch KENTA when he turned around with another elbow to the jaw. Hero executed another Rolling Elbow to the back of KENTA’s head. The fans went wild when KENTA kicked out of Hero’s follow up pin. “This is awesome!” chanted the fans as KENTA blocked Hero’s attempt at Go 2 Sleep. KENTA couldn’t fight back enough, getting Rolling Elbowed in the neck again. And KENTA kicked out again. Del Rey threw in the emerald elbow pad of Misawa-ness. Before “That Young Knockout Kid” could use it, Eddie Kingston ran out, yanking it off of Hero’s arm. Chris Hero turned from Kingston, getting knocked out by Go 2 Sleep for the three count.
Winner: KENTA (16:29)
Is It A Classic: I think everyone knew that this one would be a highlight when it was announced. I’m not going to lie that when the match was announced, I was excited, but thought this might not live up to the hype. I don’t know why, I just didn’t know if it would. Well, thankfully I was wrong. The fans were buzzing before the first bell sounded, and it helped one of the hardest hitting matches this side of the Pacific hotter than magma before it was over. Seriously, I don’t think in the history of ROH on HDNet has the crowd been hotter during a match. And it was a good reason for it. My mouth dropped open several times throughout the course of KENTA kicking Hero’s chest in, Hero almost dislocating KENTA’s jaw with Rolling Elbows, and the emergence of fighting spirit. The finale was somewhat hampered by Eddie Kingston’s interference (who was feuding with Hero at the time), but it didn’t take away from an incredible contest.