Inside Pulse 12

A2Z Analysiz: ROH Best in the World 2014 (Michael Elgin, Adam Cole)

4PAN1TDVDSLM

For an easy to navigate archive of all my Ring of Honor DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews!

Tennessee State Fairgrounds – Nashville, TN – Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness, and Steve Corino are on commentary.

In the opening contest, ACH defeats BJ Whitmer, Caprice Coleman, TaDarius Thomas, Watanabe, and Tommaso Ciampa in a Six Man Mayhem Match to earn a shot at the ROH World Television Title at 12:05. Decade members Whitmer and Thomas have Adam Page in their corner. All six men get a chance to get in the ring in the early going and try to set the tone. The action comes fast and furious from all competitors, and it’s hard to keep up with it all. It’s every man for himself, and Whitmer proves it by even attacking his Decade partner Thomas at one point. After a great deal of action, ACH is able to isolate Thomas in the ring and he hits a 450 Splash to get the pin. That was a great way to start the show, with tons of action from various characters and styles. It also helps to have something on the line, giving the match purpose. Good stuff here.
Rating: ***

ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini & Seleziya Sparx) defeats Matt Taven at 10:13 to retain the title. Lethal has been the Champion since 4.4.14, and this is his sixth defense. Truth will be handcuffed at ringside for the duration of this match. These two have had quite the feud going, but it hasn’t managed to make Taven the slightest bit interesting or entertaining. They have a nice little back and forth match, with both men focusing on strikes to really put over how much they dislike each other. Lethal is able to use some of his big moves like the Lethal Combination and Hail to the King but that’s not enough to put Taven away. When he tries a suicide dive, Taven catches him with a superkick and then hits his own dive, and then two more, the last of which also takes Sparx down. Taven tries to go after Truth, but Truth pays off head of security J. Diesel to come to his rescue, and Diesel succeeds in keeping Taven away. Sparx grabs the handcuff key and unlocks Truth, and they both scurry to the back. Taven goes up top for the Frog Splash but Lethal gets his knees up. Lethal then hits the Lethal Injection to get the pin. This is such a dead-end feud, and I’m beyond sick of anything involving Truth Martini. The overbooking here just shows how much help this feud needed to engage the audience.
Rating: **

Cedric Alexander defeats Roderick Strong at 16:16 in a Submission Match. Strong has fellow Decade members Page and Thomas in his corner. He also has an established submission move, the Stronghold in his arsenal, while Alexander has no such thing. Both men are eager to fight each other, and they trade momentum back and forth in the early going. Strong takes the first big advantage out on the floor, where he’s able to back body drop Alexander onto the edge of the ring frame! That was sick. Strong spends some time working on the back, but Alexander shows he has plenty of fight in him by making a fiery comeback complete with some high flying moves. Alexander busts out the End Time and Dragon Sleeper, so it shows he’s been working on his submission skills. They continue to battle back and forth with ferocity, and they find themselves on the top rope. Alexander is able to drop Strong back-first across the top turnbuckle, and then he delivers the Lumbar Check! He locks on the Stronghold and Strong taps out! What a fantastic culmination of this feud, with the babyface going over clean with an awesome finish after a tremendous match. Strong really is “Mr. ROH” and he’s done more than his share to help make Cedric Alexander a top guy.
Rating: ****

The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) defeat Matt Hardy & Michael Bennett (w/ Maria Kanellis) at 16:30 (total match time) in a No Disqualification Match. The Kingdom has Peabody award winning actor Nick Searcy in their corner for some reason. Jay (and by extension, Mark) is upset with the Kingdom for stealing Jay’s fake World Title belt and re-naming it “The Iconic Title.” Them’s fightin’ words in Sandy Fork I guess. They have a pretty standard tag match until Bennett decides to bash Jay with the Iconic Title belt to draw the DQ at 5:54. Jay doesn’t like that so he calls on ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness to re-start this match as a No-DQ Match, which he does, so the fight is back on. (15:24)Things immediately get crazy, with numerous chairs getting tossed into the ring, and ladders and tables get involved as well. Astute viewers will recognize Hardy’s relationship to these items. Mark puts Bennett through a table with a Froggy ‘Bow on the floor, leaving Jay and Matt alone in the ring. Hardy lays Jay across a table and climbs a very tall ladder, but Mark comes in and sprays a fire extinguisher in his eyes. Jay goes up and brings Matt down with a superplex through the table! He follows with the Jay Driller to get the pin at 10:36. That was the usual Briscoes garbage brawl, and could Jay have at least sold delivering the superplex through a table for a second or two?
Rating: **½

Kevin Steen defeats Silas Young at 13:03. This is part of Steen’s farewell tour. Both men are ready for a fight from the get-go and they spend some time outside the ring. This is a really good heavyweight fight, with both men trading control back and forth, using their big moves and keeping up a brisk pace. In the end, for some reason, Steen is able to hit the Package Piledriver to get the pin. I liked this match a lot, but with Steen on his way out the door I don’t understand why he’d go over rather than lose to a guy that could REALLY use a big win. Still, this was an enjoyable brawl and it felt like a personal issue, so that works for me.
Rating: ***½

ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) defeat Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian at 16:59 to retain the titles. reDRagon have been the Champions since 5.17.14, and this is their second defense. Both teams cut a pretty good pace in the early going, but the Addiction has the upper hand until Fish uses a chair on Kazarian’s arm behind the referee’s back. That gives the Champions an area to focus on. Fish and O’Reilly work on Kazarian for several minutes, but they can’t put him away and Kazarian is able to make the hot tag. The referee forgets about the tag rules and the match turns chaotic. Though Kazarian fights valiantly, his arm sustained a lot of damage and he’s certainly not fighting at 100%. Even so, Kazarian is able to kick out of Chasing the Dragon, but then falls victim to O’Reilly’s Cross Armbreaker, giving the win to the Champions. This was a lot of fun and they really did a good job of making the arm work mean something at the finish. Great tag team action here.
Rating: ****

Michael Elgin defeated ROH World Champion Adam Cole at 22:20 to become the twentieth Champion. Cole has been the Champion since 9.20.13, and this is his fourteenth defense. Elgin has a lot to fight for here, as he’s not only going for the title, but retribution for Cole attacking his wife and cutting off his mullet. That gives the challenger sufficient motivation to control the bulk of the early goings. Elgin counters pretty much everything Cole tries, but the Champion is persistent and he connects on a reverse rana and the Florida Key but Elgin kicks out. Cole accidentally hits referee Todd Sinclair with a vicious superkick, so there is no one to count the fall when Elgin hits the Buckle Bomb and the Elgin Bomb. Matt Hardy, Michael Bennett, and Maria Kanellis come out to attack Elgin but he dispatches of both of them with relative ease. The match completely breaks down and they fight to the floor. Interference from the Kingdom continues, so War Machine runs out to even the odds. Sinclair has somehow recovered from the superkick (hate that, just use another referee, Sinclair should be out) and the match resumes in the ring. Maria continues to interfere, so MsChif (Elgin’s wife) runs out and sprays mist in her eyes. Elgin hits Cole with a back fist, Buckle Bomb, and the Elgin Bomb but it only gets two! Fans bought that so hard that they threw streamers into the ring. Cole comes back and targets Elgin’s leg and even hits the Panama Destroyer but Elgin kicks out! He tries it again but Elgin rolls through and hits a triple powerbomb to finally win the title! Obviously they wanted to make this epic, but all the interference and the ref bump dragged the whole thing down. Cole and Elgin are both great so it was still a good match and I love the finish. I just wish they would have let the two wrestlers do their thing and leave the interference out of it.
Rating: ***

Tags: , , , ,