Tyler Black vs. Kevin Steen

Background: During 2010 ROH World champion Tyler Black and Kevin Steen were on parallel journeys until the company arrived in Chicago for a match where Steen would get a shot at the gold.



Chicago Ridge, IL

July 24, 2010


Tyler Black vs. Kevin Steen



The challenger slapped Black following the honorable handshake, causing the fight to spill outside. Black whipped Steen into the barricades so hard it separated the guardrails. Black using the springboard clothesline when the action returned inside put Steen in position for that leaping stomp to the challenger’s face. Steen recovered, and almost hit the Package Piledriver, but Black back dropped his way out of the move. Steen landed on his feet on the floor; using superior predicament to yank the champ outside and power bomb him across the hard wood and steel that makes up the ring’s edge. Steen just wanted to hurt Black –swinging a broken barricade cover against Black’s abdomen. In the ring, Steen choked Black while proclaiming himself the “anti-Christ of ROH.” Steen stopped Black’s back flip dropkick, and avoided a follow up springboard attack by ace crushing the champion. The challenger wanted to use the Swanton, but met knees to his back instead.

Steen stumbled to his feet before feeling the charging forearm the champion. The ROH World champion called for the Phoenix Splash. Before Black could gain his balance, Steen shoved Black from behind; sending Tyler face first against the steel barricades. When Steen picked Black off the floor, Tyler was bleeding a gusher. Steen showcased his handy work to various fans at ringside. Steen delighted in bathing in Black’s blood. Steen somewhat humored Black’s fighting comeback until he knocked the champ on his butt. Black showed his enormous (not enlarged) heart by hanging on while locked in the Crossface long enough to get his foot on the bottom rope.

Steen seemed hypnotized by Black’s blood covering his hand after the failed submission. Black crawling onto the apron led to a fistfight until Steen got a running start for something. Black got his boot up before slamming Steen across the apron with Paroxysm! The World champion wanted to fly, but Steen caught Black with a power bomb into the sharpshooter. Showing the perseverance that made him a champion, Black scrambled to the ropes instead of submitting. Black blocked the pump handle neck breaker with the Pele kick and a F5. Steen avoided the caperana, but not the standing shooting star press. Steen found himself stumbling after another enzuguri, but caught Black with the pump handle neck breaker when Black came flying off the top rope. Somehow, the champion kicked out before the three count. Black stopped Steen’s moonsault by impressively turnbuckle bombing Steen. The champion followed the bomb up with a super kick, but couldn’t get the pin.

Black hoisted his challenger off the mat for a superplex. As usual, Tyler rolled through the normally pausing maneuver. To everyone’s shock, when Black rolled through, Steen hoisted him off the mat before executing a gut-buster. Steen quickly scaled the ropes, hitting the moonsault … for a near fall! Steen begged for Black to get up. When Black gained a vertical base, he and his opponent started throwing super kicks like crazy. The super kick exchange ended when Black connected with three kicks in a row. With a quick rake of Tyler’s face, “Mr. Wrestling” headed high. Black stopped Steen’s ascent up the ropes with an enzuguri. Steen found himself hanging from the bottom rope by his leg – right above the timekeeper’s table. Black dove off the top; double stomping Steen through the table!

Black rolled a now bleeding Steen back in after several moments. Steen sat on his knees as Black prepared to finish him off. In an act of utter disrespect, the challenger spit his bloody saliva in Tyler’s face. Black paid him for that disgusting acting with a kneeling super kick-God’s Last Gift combo. Black was actually happy Steen kicked out of his follow up pin attempt. Black scaled the ropes for another Phoenix Splash. Steen moved in time to avoid the flying champion, but Black was ready and rolled through his failed maneuver. Black rushed Steen, only to be turnbuckle bombed and super kicked. Somehow, Steen quickly recovered and hit the Package Piledriver … to gain a near fall!

Black’s cut had closed while Steen’s face continued to pour the crimson. Steen dragged Black to the corner for something big. Black stopped Steen’s verbal barrage with a slap to his bloody face. Steen fought back in hopes of super Package Piledriving the champ. Black flipped into the attack with a hurricarana. Steen found himself locked in the sharpshooter. Black wrenched back on the submission; forcing Steen to tap out.


Winner: Tyler Black (23:03)


Is It A Classic: I heard great things about the encounter and Black vs. Steen lived up to every bit of hype that was given from everyone who’s seen it. The epic display of emotion between both men, and the slow, but dramatic change in Black’s demeanor as the match went on gave us a great glimpse of what was to come with Black before he left for WWE. Steen played his part as the perfect antagonist and cipher for Tyler’s transformation – just like his stuff with El Generico of the same year. The only problem I have with this match is the run through of finishers that didn’t lead to the match’s end. While executed to perfection, I’m just not a fan of guys using finishers as a set up for a series of near falls. But that didn’t take away too much from the war these two men had.

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