Background: Looking to showcase their talents in the area that made them must-see stars on the independent wrestling scene, former ROH World Tag Team champion Davey Richards clashed with California’s own TJ Perkins.
Socal Showdown II
Los Angeles, CA
January 28, 2011
Davey Richards vs. TJ Perkins
The feeling out process between these two hybrid wrestlers saw many kicks being thrown, but few connecting due to both men’s excellent timing. When the action moved to the mat, Davey quickly went after a heel hook after freeing himself from being mounted. Perkins worked his way off the mat via the ropes, leading to another stalemate due to neither landing a kick. Perkins’ believed leverage advantage turned against him when Richards plowed through the former Puma with a shoulder block. Davey bounced off the ropes to follow up, only to get downed and double knee stomped. Nice suplex by Perkins set up the side headlock. When Davey freed himself, Perkins grabbed Davey’s arms, bicycle kicking Davey’s chest while on his back as if he was Liu Kang from Mortal Kombat. Before Richards could comprehend what happened, Perkins knee DDT’ed him.
Perkins wanted to disable Richards’ kicks, but Davey tricked Perkins by throwing a kick Richards used only to set up the flying arm bar. Perkins was close enough to the ropes to save himself. Finding Perkins clutching his arm allowed Davey to focus on that left appendage by kicking and suplexing Perkins so all of TJ’s weight landed on his arm. Scaling the ropes, Richards came off with a flying head-butt that almost gained him the three count. Rather than jumping to his feet, Davey grabbed Perkins’ left arm to crank on it some more. The fans were completely behind Richards as he tried to submit Perkins in another arm bar variation.
Holding on, Perkins found himself off the mat, hitting the ropes after kneeing Richards’ face. Instead of hitting an attack, Perkins ran into the Alarm Clock. Richards took too much time playing to the fans before approaching Perkins. TJ grabbed the incoming Richards, suplexing Davey and himself over the top rope, to the floor! Both men crawled back in, going strike for strike. Davey stopped Perkins’ counter against his clothesline by dropkicking TJ through the ropes. Once again, Davey played to the crowd too long, giving Perkins enough time to recover. Davey bounced off the ropes, looking for that suicide dive, only for Perkins to slide into the ring. In a flash moment, Perkins drilled Davey with a frankensteiner … for a near fall!
Finding Davey in the corner, Perkins came after him, throwing knees. Davey avoided one of those strikes, kicking the life out of Perkins in the corner with Kobashi-like fury. For a third time, Richards turned his back to Perkins while motioning to the crowd. When Richards turned around, Perkins caught him with a pair of knees to the chest to set up his own version of the Kobashi-fire kicks. The fans weren’t too pleased with Perkins on the offensive, but exploded in joy when Davey kicked out of Perkins’ pinning sit-out power bomb. Richards actually used Perkins pulling him off the mat to his advantage by spinning out of Perkins’ clutch, kicking him through the ropes. Perkins landed on the apron, shoulder ramming the charging Richards prior to scaling the ropes. Diving off, Perkins fell into the fujiwara arm bar. Perkins rolled out of the submission, only to get caught with an enzuguri topped off by a running series of strikes. Placing Perkins on the top rope, Davey executed a huge superplex … that only gained him a two count!
Quickly, Davey converted his failed lateral press into a cross arm bar. Perkins somehow held on long enough to loosen Davey’s grip and hook Davey in the sharpshooter. Refusing to give up, Davey got his arms from underneath himself, using a small package to counter the submission. When Perkins kicked out, they got up throwing kicks. Perkins won the kick battle, but couldn’t win the war off a TKO. Perkins scaled the ropes once again, missing the 450 splash. Finding Perkins on his knees, Davey exploded off the ropes, almost kicking TJ’s chest in. Instead of going for the pin, Davey hoisted Perkins off the mat, German suplexing Perkins … for another close count!
Perkins countered another suplex attempt with a small package of his own, but ended up meeting Davey’s series of kicks when Richards stopped the three count. Davey picked the stunned Perkins off the mat after unleashing a stiff kick to the back of his head before using a falcon arrow to lock in another cross arm bar. This time, the weakened Perkins had no choice but to submit.
Winner: Davey Richards (18:56)
Is It A Classic: While a lot of people praised the match after the event occurred, is has slowly been forgotten. Don’t sleep on this match! It was a perfect blend of pro wrestling and MMA that not only showcased why Davey Richards was the poster boy of ROH at the time, but also displayed why TJ Perkins was/is one of wrestling’s most unheralded talents.