Background: This was a match six months in the making. At ROH’s The Big Bang iPPV, Daniels made his ROH return during Richards’ post-match victory promo. Due to prearranged matches and scheduling conflicts, the first ROH meeting between these two didn’t happen until ROH returned to Chicago six months after Daniels and Richards came face to face.
Richards vs. Daniels
October 16, 2010
Christopher Daniels vs. Davey Richards
The fans were split down the middle when the opening bell rung. Neither man could gain an advantage off the stern collar & elbow tie up, nor during a shoulder block exchange off their attempted side headlocks. The action moved to the mat, with both trying to outmaneuver the other, only to get caught in something that put their backs to the mat. Davey let out a howl after dropkicking his way from Daniels grip. Daniels tried to pick up the pace, but ended up running into a spinning heel kick. Like Daniels, Davey tried to keep that quickening pace, but also ran into something – a hip toss – that stopped his gaining momentum. Daniels whipped Davey into the ropes, catching him with a leg lariat. Daniels took a shoulder ram when they tumbled into the ropes, chopping Davey in response before whipping him across the ring. Richards back dropped the incoming Daniels, causing “The Fallen Angel” to hit the ring’s hard edge face first. When Daniels made it to his feet, Davey met him with a kick to Daniels’ chest from the apron.
Davey followed up by kicking Daniels in the face when Christopher Daniels used the barricades to help himself up. Keeping the pressure up was Davey as he twisted, kicked and stomped Daniels’ legs in hopes of submitting Daniels and/or preventing the Best Moonsault Ever. When Daniels avoided some of the attacks aimed at his legs, Richards just started cranking on anything he could get his hands and legs on. Richards made the mistake of pulling Daniels off the mat for a whip into the ropes. Daniels stopped the rebound by hooking the ropes; causing Richards to rush him. Daniels ducked whatever Davey had in mind, belly to back suplexing him over the top, to the floor. Davey luckily landed on his hands and knees, quickly gathering himself to follow Daniels coming through the ropes. Richards slid in as Daniels flew out. Daniels landed on his feet, turning around to find Davey looking to fly as well. When Davey’s head poked through the ropes for a tope, Richards’ face met a sick palm strike. Daniels followed up with an Arabian press to a huge ovation.
Daniels rolled Davey inside, gaining a near fall. Keeping that smart strategy, Daniels went for a pin after every attack. After several failed pin attempts, frustration started to set in for the ROH original. Daniels hit a clothesline in the corner after an Irish whip. After the first time worked so well, Daniels went for another clothesline on Davey stuck against the turnbuckles. This time, Daniels ran into a big boot. Davey shook the mental cobwebs away to snap suplex Daniels in position for the flying head-butt that saw Davey sail from the top rope, connecting with the attack some ¾ the way across the ring. Davey placed Daniels on the top rope for something, but Daniels was fighting him the whole time until Richards yanked him off the top with the superplex.
Davey quickly latched on the ankle lock off a failed pin attempt, but Daniels was close enough to the ropes to save himself. Extremely hard kick connected with Daniels’ chest on two occasions before Daniels started fighting back with forearms. Palm strikes, Kawada kicks, dey’s a clubberin’ ageen, Tony!
Daniels won the standoff, only to run into the Alarm Clock. Daniels didn’t fall, catching Davey running with the blue thunder bomb, but no cover. Both men stumbled to the feet, with Daniels slamming Richards to the mat with the STO before converting into Daniels’ Koji Clutch. In an amazing show of fortitude, Davey freed himself, putting Christopher Daniels in the ankle lock again. Daniels rolled through the submission, giving Richards a little taste of his own medicine by hooking Richards in the ankle lock. Similar to Daniels, Davey rolled through the submission, sending Daniels to the outside. Daniels rose to his feet, only to find Richards sailing through the air. Davey downed Daniels with the tope while landing back first across the barricades!
Richards shoved Daniels inside after taking almost the entire twenty count to recover, looking for the knockout blow. Davey thought that blow came with the handspring enzuguri, but Daniels stopped the referee’s count by kicking out. Kicking the back of Daniels’ head, Richards was able to put “The Fallen Angel” on the top rope. Daniels fought Davey off, knocking him to the canvas. Before Daniels could gain his balance on the top rope, Richards came running across the ring, leaping to the top rope prior to German superplexing Daniels … for a near fall!
Rather than be discouraged, Davey scaled the ropes after signaling for the shooting star press. Daniels stopped Davey’s ascent, but met some head-butts for his trouble. Daniels was in prime position for the shooting star press. In an amazing sight, Daniels slightly scooted to his left, catching Davey’s descending body in his left arm, putting Richards in the Koji clutch!
The fans didn’t want Davey to tap, and thankfully he followed their order by hooking the bottom rope with his foot. Richards smartly scooted onto the apron, but Daniels came right after him. Davey stopped Daniels rushing attack, scaling the ropes for a super tornado DDT to the floor. Daniels prevented the move, but couldn’t hit iconoclasm as he had hoped. Instead of letting Davey turn the tables, Daniels transitioned Davey from one hold into another by putting Richards across his shoulders for a Death Valley Driver that saw Davey’s neck and back bend across the ring’s edge.
Daniels crawled into the ring as the referee counted Richards down. A near delirious Richards somehow made his way into the ring right before the twenty count. Daniels started throwing palm strikes, but Richards refused to say die. Throwing strikes right back, Davey accidentally swung himself into Daniels’ grip and the Angel’s Wings. Daniels jumped on top of Richards, only for Davey to kick out right before the three count to a thunderous roar.
The uranage by Daniels put him Davey in position for the Best Moonsault Ever … or so he thought. When Daniels fell out of sky, Davey leapt to his feet, catching Daniels in the ankle lock. Daniels rolled through the hold again, almost pinning Davey. Richards kicked out, clotheslining Daniels for another near fall. A quick series of strikes aimed at Daniels ribs ended with Richards almost kicking Daniels head off. Somehow, Daniels kicked out right before the three count following the kick and the DR Driver.
When Daniels found himself in the ankle lock again, Daniels tried to counter with a roll through. Richards finally learned from his past mistakes, rolling with Daniels while keeping a grip of Daniels’ ankle. Using Daniels’ attempt at spinning through the submission, Richards put Daniels in an Indian deathlock ankle lock (redundant, I know). Daniels struggled, clawed, and scrapped toward the ropes, but the pain was too much, forcing Daniels to tap out.
Following a kneeling, honorable handshake, Daniels grabbed the microphone to congratulate Richards for giving him the chance to prove he is capable of hanging with the best wrestler in the world. Daniels handed the mic to Richards, who put over Daniels for making ROH what it is, and pushing Richards like no one before. Richards thanked the fans for supporting ROH after teasing a rematch.
Winner: Davey Richards (29:31)
Is It A Classic: Richards and Daniels delivered a classic. For a first time encounter, they went above and beyond the call of duty knowing that a rematch would happen down the line. I can’t say much more than you must see this match.