Jerry Lynn vs. Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black

Background: Austin Aries, after having a full character transformation six months prior, had the opportunity to become the first two-time ROH World champion by challenging for the gold currently held by Jerry Lynn. Before the main event, Tyler Black – who had the equivalent of a Money in the Bank briefcase – decided he wanted to cash in and be added to the match.


Manhattan Mayhem III

New York, NY

June 13, 2009


Jerry Lynn vs. Austin Aries vs. Tyler Black



Austin Aries came out in his pink fur jacket to Ric Flair’s entrance music. Why? Because Flair – who was working alongside ROH during the event – left and wouldn’t be able to fulfill his duties as special guest ring enforcer. But there was someone to pick up the slack. And that man was Nigel McGuinness. A mixture of trash and streamers greeted Black. Black and Lynn immediately went after Aries. Black chased Aries to the floor, luring him into Lynn’s somersault off the apron. In the ring, the champ and Black took turns punching Aries. Double back body drop sent Aries to the floor, leaving Black and Lynn in the ring again. Both men got a near fall off the other. Head scissors by Lynn. The titleholder tried to follow up with the snap mare by Black flipped out of it. When Lynn tried to kip out of Black’s head scissors, Aries slid in, stomach raking Lynn. Aries head scissored Black, only for his fellow challenger to use Aries’ kip-dropkick counter against him. Aries felt the back rake from Lynn before getting dropkicked to the floor. Aries tripped Lynn, pulling him to the floor after Lynn hit the ropes. Black dove over the top rope, somersaulting on top of champion and challenger. Aries got whipped into the barricades. Stopping Black’s springboard clothesline, “A-Double” dragged Black to the floor.

Aries whipped Black’s left leg into the steel ring post and the guardrails. Figure four around the ring post by Aries on Black. Aries did the Flair turnbuckle bump, topped off by taking a slam off the top rope. Aries recovered, belly to back suplexing Lynn before going for the Last Chancery. When that didn’t work, Aries turned it into the Brain Buster. Lynn blocked that, too. Black tried to stop the power drive elbow, but ended up on the floor again. Aries took too much time posing, allowing Lynn to avoid the elbow. Aries was able to recover first, but was also the first man downed by Black’s springboard clothesline. Lynn got back dropped to the floor by Black before Tyler went for that running forearm-big boot combo. Black’s fellow challenger stopped the final part of the combo, leg whipping Black. Roll up by Aries. Black kicked out of the pinning predicament, only to send Aries flying through the ropes, downing Lynn with the heat-seeking tope. Aries ran to the top rope for something, but Black stopped that with a dropkick. Aries fought Black long enough for Lynn to meet them on the top rope. Super double bulldog by the champion gets Lynn a pair of two counts. Black flipped out Lynn’s attack when he stumbled to his feet, Pele kicking Lynn. This didn’t stop the champion, who grabbed Black, using that air raid crash. Black got a shoulder up right before the three count. All three men struggled to their feet.

Aries was the first to get up, putting Black in the Last Chancery. Black made it to the ropes to avoid submitting. Lynn tossed Aries to the floor before hitting the Cradle Piledriver on Black. Black was too close to the ropes for the champ to pin him. Aries ran to the top, but Jerry stopped him on the top turnbuckle. Lynn couldn’t get the three count off the TKO on Aries, causing the titleholder to attempt another Cradle Piledriver. Aries rolled out of it, using the IED dropkick. Aries was furious when he didn’t get the pin off that dropkick. Aries had Lynn hooked for the Brain Buster. Before “A-Double” could hoist up the champ, Black super kicked him. This caused the falling Austin to DDT Lynn. God’s Last Gift on the champ gave Black the three count and the first elimination.

The fans were going wild as McGuinness stood in shock that the man who defeated him for the gold is gone for the match. “Tyler Black!” chants rang out as Black and Aries traded punches in the center of the ring. Black won the fistfight, hitting the ropes. Aries dropkicked Black’s legs from underneath him before going for the Brain Buster. Black stopped it, hitting Paroxysm … for a near fall!

Austin Aries rolled through a sunset flip, dropkicking Black into the corner behind them. Black stopped the IED, catching Aries. F5 from Black, but Aries wouldn’t stay down. Aries rolled out of the way of the Phoenix Splash. Black had to take some time to recover before going for the turnbuckle bomb. This allowed Aries to counter the spine-jarring move, using a hurricarana to send Black’s face into the turnbuckles. Black bounced backwards into the shin breaker-belly to back suplex combination. IED from Aries into the Brain Buster-450 Splash combo … gave him a near fall thanks to the ropes!

A crazed Aries stomped on Black’s legs to soften them up for the figure four leg lock. Nigel noticed that Aries was using the ropes for leverage out of the view of the real referee. McGuinness stopped Aries’ cheating ways, causing Austin to argue with Nigel. This left Aries open for a cradle. When Aries kicked out, Black kicked him on the top of his head. Black’s leg gave out on him before he could follow up with the turnbuckle bomb. Austin Aries took advantage of it, Brain Busting his sole opposition to pin Tyler Black to become the new ROH World champion.


Winner: Austin Aries (20:01)


Is It A Classic: This is probably one of the most memorable bouts in ROH history due to the result. Thankfully, the action itself played perfectly into a historic moment as all three men had the fans on the edges of their seats. Though people were disappointed by Black coming up short yet again for the World title, looking at from a perspective removed from the immediate feeling that shook a lot of ROH fans at the time, this is a fantastic match and a fitting way to start a new era in ROH.


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