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January 8, 2011 / TJ Hawke

Daniel Bryan vs. Tommaso Ciampa from MWF 2011

Recap from TJ Hawke:

I’m assuming Bryan was booked by MWF in between his WWE stints in 2010. He probably had to miss a date for them after he got re-signed. This match happened either shortly before or shortly after Ciampa’s ROH debut as a member of their roster.

Bryan went for an early cross armbreaker attempt, but Ciampa avoided it. Bryan got the surfboard. Ciampa cut him off by Irish Whipping him hard into a turnbuckle. Ciampa then worked Bryan over and specifically targeted his back and midsection. Bryan tried to come back with a corner dropkick, but he crashed and burned. Ciampa then went after Bryan’s left leg. Bryan eventually hit a running lariat and then made a big comeback. He hit a buzzsaw, but Ciampa avoided a diving headbutt. Bryan re-injured his left leg on that. Ciampa then applied what the commentators called Project Ciampa. It was a Texas Cloverleaf for those who do not know. Bryan managed to get to the ropes though. Bryan dragged himself to the floor, but Ciampa then sent him into a guardrail. Ciampa set up for a superplex, but Bryan knocked him down and hit a missile dropkick. Airplane Spin! Ciampa got very disoriented and small packaged the referee. Bryan counted the pin, and Ciampa thought he won. Bryan got the LeBell Lock, and Ciampa tapped out!

I enjoyed this a lot. Ciampa looked really strong here, and Bryan gave him a lot of offense. It was to the point where I irrationally thought Ciampa had a shot at winning the match (a sign that they did their job well). I thought the comedy after the airplane spin felt a little out of place after the very serious fifteen minutes that proceeded but that is a nitpick.

Match Rating: ***1/4

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