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Rahway, New Jersey – October 6, 2012
Kevin Kelly is on commentary.
MATCH #1: First Time Ever Match – “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett with Maria Kanellis vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin
Elgin is accompanied by Truth Martini. Right away Elgin shows his power advantage and then lands a right hand to send Bennett cowering to the floor. A kiss from Maria is enough incentive for Bennett to get back in the ring. Bennett tries to knock Elgin down with shoulder tackles but has no luck. Elgin catches Bennett in a powerslam for a near-fall. He follows with a delayed vertical suplex for another two-count. Bennett tosses Elgin to the floor but then misses a house show dive. Elgin runs at Bennett but gets caught in a spinebuster right on the edge of the ring frame. Bennett throws Elgin back in the ring and gets a one-count. He tries to keep up the pressure but misses a charge in the corner and Elgin is right back on offense, stomping a mudhole but neglecting to walk it dry. Elgin tries a powerslam but Bennett slips out and hits a neckbreaker for two. Momentum continues to shift back and forth. Elgin hits a Boss Man Slam for two. He goes for a powerbomb but Bennett backs him into the corner. Bennett misses a charge and Elgin unleashes the Roots Clotheslines. Elgin hits the Curtain Call for another two-count. Maria gets up on the apron to distract Elgin, but when Bennett charges Elgin drops the top rope and Bennett crashes to the floor. Elgin appears to be going for a dive but since the referee’s back is turned, Martini takes a couple of cheap shots, much to Elgin’s dismay. Bennett tries to hide behind Maria and it works, allowing him to hit the Box Office Smash on the arena floor! Elgin barely makes it back in the ring before the count of 20. Bennett covers but only gets two. He goes for another Box Office Smash but Elgin fights it off and hits an enziguiri. Elgin goes for the windup clothesline but Bennett avoids it and hits a spinebuster for two. Bennett goes for the TKO but Elgin avoids it and hits the back fist. Elgin hits the Buckle Bomb and the Spiral Bomb to get the pin at 11:58. That was a rock solid opener and a good victory for Elgin leading into his title match against Kevin Steen next week at Glory By Honor XI: The Unbreakable Hope.
At this point Kevin Kelly is joined by his first guest commentator of the evening, Roderick Strong. Kelly asks Strong is Elgin can win the World Title, but Strong says only he can do it.
MATCH #2: Tag Team Challenge Match – The Bravado Brothers vs. 3.0
“Big Magic” Shane Matthews and Scott “Jagged” Parker comprise 3.0, and they are making their ROH debuts. Lance and Parker start the match and things are immediately heated. Parker and Matthews take the early advantage with some well-oiled machine-like teamwork. Harlem takes a cheap shot from the ring apron and Lance hits a gutbuster on Parker. The Bravados are in control now. They keep Parker isolated and wear him down in their half of the ring. Parker gets a sunset flip for at quick two-count on Harlem but can’t make a tag. Harlem continues the abuse and makes quick tags with his brother to ensure the freshest man is in the ring. After several minutes Parker is finally able to make the tag and Matthews is a house afire. Referee Paul Turner loses track of who the legal man is as there are bodies flying all over the place. The action spills to the floor and Harlem takes out both members of 3.0 with a moonsault off the second turnbuckle! Back in the ring Lance takes it to Matthews and clobbers him with a lariat for two. The Bravados show off some excellent teamwork and almost put Matthews away but Parker breaks up the cover. Parker and Matthews fight back and dump Lance to the floor to focus on Harlem. Turner is allowing a lot of leeway in terms of the tag rules tonight. Lance pulls Parker to the floor and Harlem hits Matthews with a big boot. The Bravados then hit Matthews with the Au Revoir to get the victory at 10:06. Harlem and Lance continue to improve and impress, and 3.0 certainly looked good in their debut as well. Matthews and Parker offer handshakes but get kicked in the gut instead. I love the Bravado Brothers.
MATCH #3: Special Attraction – Bobby Fish vs. Q.T. Marshall
Marshall is also known as “God’s Gift.” Before the match can begin, Marshall cuts a promo about how awesome he is and how much of a jabroni Fish is. Marshall insults the crowd and says after the show he’s going to go to New York City and have sex with somebody’s wife, because he can. Alright then.
They start with some chain wrestling and Fish has the advantage there. Marshall distracts himself and Fish levels him with a hard kick. Fish hits a dropkick and continues the assault, sending Marshall reeling to the floor. He follows Marshall out with a house show dive to wipe him out. Back in the ring Fish goes up top and hits a diving headbutt for two. Fish tries a springboard moonsault but misses and lands on his feet. He charges in and gets hit with a tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Marshall is in control now, hitting a neckbreaker for another two-count. He lands a solid dropkick for another near-fall. Marshall keeps Fish on the mat and then hits a powerslam for two. Fish fights back with strikes and kicks, including a hard shot to the face for a two-count. Marshall fights back with a clothesline in the corner and a high overhead belly-to-belly suplex for two. Fish hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and this time hits the springboard moonsault off the top rope for two. Marshall gets a quick schoolboy rollup for two and then levels Fish with a clothesline. He goes for a powerbomb but Fish slips out and hits a forearm. Fish hits an exploder suplex and then ends Marshall’s night with a spin kick at 8:06. That was a decent back and forth exhibition, but the finish didn’t look particularly devastating.
MATCH #4: World Tag Team Title 3 Way Elimination Match – S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer
Jacobs and Corino have been the Champions since 9.15.12, and this is their second defense. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin are former two-time Champions, Titus was a Champion with Kenny King, and Whitmer was a two-time Champion with both Dan Maff and Jacobs. This is Corino’s first time with the belts and Jacobs’ fifth, after the aforementioned two times with Whitmer and twice with Tyler Black. That makes a total of 15 tag team championship reigns between these six men.
The match starts as a big brawl, with Jacobs and Corino isolating Whitmer on the floor while Benjamin and Haas double-team Titus in the ring. Corino attacks Benjamin from behind and takes his place in the ring on Titus. Whitmer also rejoins the ring and along with Titus they clear Corino out. Jacobs pulls Whitmer to the floor and goes into the ring to face off with Titus. That doesn’t go well, as Titus catches Jacobs with Snake Eyes. Titus goes off the ropes and Haas pulls them down, sending Titus crashing to the floor. There are two referees out there and they can’t restore order. Haas drops Titus spine-first on the barricade. Corino whips Whitmer into the barricade. Back in the ring Haas is taking it to Titus as order has been brought to the match finally. Jay Lethal’s family is in attendance and they are none too happy with the presence of S.C.U.M. Haas gets backed into the corner and Jacobs tags himself in. Now the champions go to work on Titus. Benjamin tags in and Titus is in major trouble. Titus is able to fight off a Benjamin superplex attempt and hit a high cross body block for a near-fall. Haas tags in and prevents Titus from tagging Whitmer. Titus ducks a clothesline and hits Haas with a neckbreaker and finally makes the lukewarm tag. Whitmer is a house afire but Haas cuts him off with a knee to the face. Jacobs tags himself in and hits the tornado vertical suplex that he stole from Colt Cabana for a two-count. He hits the headscissors but then runs right into an exploder. Benjamin tags himself in and hits Jacobs with a Blinger Splash and then another one. He follows with a t-bone suplex for two. Jacobs pops up and hits Benjamin with an Ace Crusher. Corino tags in and hits an STO and a big clothesline for two. Benjamin comes back with a side Russian Legsweep. Titus tags himself in and hits the Fame-Ass-Er for a near-fall. Corino comes back with Colby Shock and Haas tags himself in. Haas unloads with right hands and an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. He hits the Olympic Slam and Whitmer breaks up the cover. Whitmer throws Benjamin to the floor and squares off with Haas. Corino grabs one of the tag title belts and tries to hit someone with it but misses everyone. Haas and Whitmer now play tug-of-war over the dropped belt and Jacobs goes to the top rope to splash the belt, causing Haas and Whitmer to bonk heads. Titus then rolls up Haas for the elimination at 14:29.
Before leaving the ring Benjamin hits Whitmer with Paydirt. He accidentally nails Jacobs with a superkick but the referee can’t count because he’s trying to get Benjamin out of the ring. Titus runs off the ropes and Haas cracks him with a chair. Corino grabs Haas in a belly-to-back suplex with a bridge to get the win at 15:09. The action rarely stopped in this one and they did some creative spots. Although the match was mostly used to set up a future WGTT versus Titus and Whitmer match, both teams had reason to get a title shot in the first place so it works for me.
MATCH #5: Special Challenge Match – Roderick Strong vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Strong is accompanied by Truth Martini, of course. Q.T. Marshall joins Kelly on commentary, complaining about his loss earlier. Meanwhile, Strong and O’Reilly chain wrestle and take it to the mat right away. Strong strikes first with a leg lariat and hits an early backbreaker for two. He keeps O’Reilly grounded and tries to wear him down. Strong uses chops to further his cause. O’Reilly fights back with a series of kicks and strikes. A legsweep gets two. O’Reilly traps Strong in a body scissors and targets the back. Strong grabs O’Reilly out of the corner with a half-nelson backbreaker to reclaim control. He unleashes a flurry of chops and hits a slingshot Falcon Arrow for two. O’Reilly backdrops Strong to the apron and kicks him to the floor. He follows with the missile dropkick off the apron. Back in the ring O’Reilly covers for two. O’Reilly hits a tornado DDT and floats over for two. He tires to lock on a guillotine choke, which Strong covers to the Stronghold, which O’Reilly counters with a cradle for a two-count. O’Reilly kicks Strong square in the face. Strong comes back with an enziguiri and the gutbuster for two. He goes for the Gibson Driver but O’Reilly counters with a rana. O’Reilly lands a few strikes and a Regalplex for two. He locks on a Cross Armbreaker and Strong rolls it over into a cover for a near-fall. Strong comes back with the Orange Crush Backbreaker to get the pin at 10:17. That was a lot of fun, but I think Roderick Strong is secure enough in his spot that he should put over guys like O’Reilly once in a while.
MATCH #6: “The Nightmare Begins” Rematch – Davey Richards vs. Mike Mondo
Jim Cornette joins Kelly on commentary for this one. Mondo charges right at the bell and Richards hits the Alarm Clock! Richards clotheslines Mondo to the floor and takes his head off with the knockout kick on the apron. He whips Mondo into the barricade and hits a running boot to the face. Richards hits another running boot and Mondo falls into the crowd. Back in the ring Mondo hits a kneelift before Richards can get back in, and then hits a neckbreaker on the second rope. Mondo drops a knee for a one-count. He keeps up the pressure on Richards’ neck, which is good strategy. Mondo hits a bulldog and a dropkick to send Richards to the floor. He follows with a corkscrew plancha to wipe Richards out on the floor. Mondo tries a charge but Richards gets a boot up. Richards whips Mondo into the barricade and then pulls him down arm-first on the ring apron. Back in the ring Richards focuses on Mondo’s wrist. Richards goes for the Cross Armbreaker and Mondo reaches the ropes. He hits a vertical suplex and then goes up top for a diving headbutt right to the arm for a two-count. Richards once again goes for the Cross Armbreaker but Mondo powers his way out of it. Mondo has a cut on the inside of his left arm. Richards keeps up the pressure as Kelly tries to make the case that Mondo “main evented” in “the land of giants.” I’m not calling him a liar, but I don’t know how to finish that sentence. Mondo catches Richards with a spinebuster. They trade some strikes and reversals and Mondo ends up hitting a Snap Mare Driver for two. Mondo goes up top and Richards joins him. They trade some shots and Mondo knocks Richards back with a headbutt. Mondo misses a stomp but connects with a big shoulder tackle. He goes back up top and this time hits the stomp tot he back of the head for a two-count. Once again they trade strikes and Richards unleashes some Kawada Kicks. Mondo counters with knee strikes. He tries a sunset flip but Richards counters with a double stomp for two. Richards hits a series of kicks to wear Mondo out. He goes up and hits a superplex and holds on to hit a regular suplex for a near-fall. Richards hits a knockout kick but Mondo kicks out! He goes back to the Cross Armbreaker but Mondo reverses to the Ankle Lock! Richards counters to his own Ankle Lock. Mondo rolls out of it. Richards tries the Alarm Clock again but Mondo catches it and locks on the Ankle Lock again. This time Richards counters with the Texas Cloverleaf. Mondo tries to escape but Richards unleashes some kicks to the face. Richards locks on a Tequila Cloverleaf to get the submission win at 14:49. That played off their first match very well, and both guys showed solid psychology and got the crowd into it.
Richards gets on the mic (of course) and rambles about getting in trouble with Sinclair and refers to them as “big Baltimore money.” He namedrops Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, and Austin Aries, and I’m not sure what his point is yet. Richards gets to his point, saying that people have been negative about Mondo but that Mondo damn sure earned his respect tonight. He offers Mondo a handshake and welcomes him to Ring of Honor.
MATCH #7: First Time Ever Dream Tag Team Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Eddie Edwards & World TV Champion Adam Cole
Mike Bennett joins Kelly on commentary for this match. Edwards and Mark start the match. They take it right down to the mat and exchange holds. Mark works a headlock but Edwards is able to force him back to his corner and make the tag. Jay also tags in so both fresh guys are in. The TV Champion takes the advantage and Jay backs off. After regrouping Jay takes Cole over to the Briscoe corner and makes the tag. Momentum continues to shift and several tags are made on either side. The Briscoes focus on Cole and isolate him in their half of the ring. Eventually Cole makes the comeback and tags Edwards for the requisite house afire. Edwards nails Mark with a missile dropkick and a face plant. He hits a Shining Wizard for two. Jay comes in the ring illegally and Edwards handles both Briscoes and sends Jay back to the floor. Cole tries to help Edwards but Mark dumps him out. Edwards hits Mark with the Chin Checker and Cole follows with a Superfly Splash but it only gets two. Mark comes back with a rolling Death Valley Driver on Edwards and both men are down. Tags are made and Jay takes control. Jay hits a hard neckbreaker for two and then a Falcon Arrow for another two-count. The Briscoes double-team Cole and keep Edwards at bay. Jay hits a Death Valley Driver and Mark connects on the Froggy ‘Bow but this time Edwards is able to break it up. Pandemonium ensues and Cole locks Jay in the Figure-Four Leglock and Edwards puts Mark in the Achilles Lock. Mark uses Redneck Kung Fu to break Cole’s hold on Jay. That’s neat. The referee has no control of the match-up here. Mark hits Cole with the Iconoclasm and Jay covers for two. The Briscoes hit Cole with the Doomsday Device and that’s all at 16:39. That was fun and all but it never really felt like anything was at stake and there was no internal story going on, just moves.
MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Kevin Steen vs. Jay Lethal
Jim Cornette is back on commentary. Steen has been the Champion since 5.12.12, and this is his tenth defense. Lethal hits an immediate superkick that knocks Steen to the apron. He dropkicks him to the floor and then hits four consecutive suicide doves! The crowd is going nuts. Lethal continues the assault, throwing Steen all over ringside. Back in the ring Lethal is all over the champ. Lethal hits the hiptoss-cartwheel-dropkick combo for two. He goes for the Lethal Injection but Steen blocks it with a low dropkick. Out on the floor Steen hits a powerbomb onto the ring apron. Steen is fully in control, throwing Lethal around ringside with reckless abandon. Back in the ring Steen continues to abuse the challenger. Lethal makes the comeback with a leg lariat off the second rope and both men are down. They get up and trade right hands. Lethal takes control with a flurry of offense, including a handspring back elbow. He signals for the Dragon Suplex but settles for the Lethal Combination for a near-fall. Lethal goes up top and puts the miss in missile dropkick. He recovers quickly though and hits a lungblower for two. Lethal comes off the ropes and Steen throws him into a powerbomb for a two-count. Steen hits the pumphandle neckbreaker for another near-fall. He misses the cannonball in the corner. Lethal goes for the Lethal Injection but Steen catches him in a vicious sleeper suplex for two. Steen tries the F-Cinq but Lethal slips out and hits a superkick. Lethal hits the Lethal Combination and locks on the Koji Clutch, which brings out Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs to cheer Steen on. Steen reaches the ropes to break the hold. Lethal goes up top but misses. He connects with an enziguiri and a Death Valley Driver. Lethal goes back up top now and this time connects with Hail to the King! He goes up again and hits another one. Lethal goes up for a third time but this time instead dives onto Corino and Jacobs! Back in the ring Lethal hits the Dragon Suplex for a very close near-fall! Lethal puts Steen up top but it’s Steen who’s able to hit a Fisherman Buster off the ropes for a two-count. Steen goes up and attempts the Swanton but Lethal gets his knees up. Lethal drills Steen with a superkick and then hits the Lethal Injection! Steen wisely rolls to the floor to avoid being pined. Lethal goes out after the Champ and tries to herd him back into the ring. Steen bites Lethal’s face, and Lethal’s parents throw a drink at Steen! Eject them! Steen spits on them in response! Lethal goes crazy, pushing everyone out of the way to continue hammering away on Steen. He even attacks referees who are in his way. The crowd chants “let them fight” as Lethal continues losing his mind. I guess it’s a no-contest around 20:00 in but there was no official bell.
Steen, Corino, and Jacobs head to the back and the crowd is just annoyed now, chanting “bullshit.” Lethal checks on his parents as the crowd switches to chanting his name. Now the crowd chants “Cornette sucks” as Cornette and Cary Silkin talk to each other. Lethal gets back in the ring and threatens Cornette, chasing him to the back. Bobby Cruise officially announces the no-contest and the crowd is pissed. I know I’m in the minority here but I think that match was awesome. It started off hot, they built with some great near falls, and the finish was different than most ROH matches so it definitely stands out.
“The Prodigy” Mike Bennett
The Bravado Brothers
“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin
Lethal Snaps Backstage
– Lethal snaps in Rahway, Cornette injured
I like the main event more than most probably did, but if you’re a fan of Jay Lethal it’s required viewing. The undercard is remarkably solid, as only one match fails to reach the three-star mark. For a two and a half hour show to be that solid up and down this earns an easy recommendation from me. You can pick it up at the ROH Store.
Tags: Adam Cole, Eddie Edwards, Jay Lethal, Kevin Steen, Ring of Honor, ROH, The Briscoes