Reaction of Honor 02.16.13 (Lethal v Jacobs, Top Prospects)

The Glimpse:

Jay Lethal takes on SCUM’s Jimmy Jacobs as a bit of a warmup, looking toward his Ring of Honor Championship match with Kevin Steen.

The Top Prospects Tournament continues into the semi-finals as TD takes on QT Marshall!

The Action:

Match 1:  Tadarius Thomas vs QT Marshall, Top Prospect Semi-Final

Winner:  Tadarius Thomas via pinfall

Pre-match promo from both men in the back.  Splendidly generic as Veda Scott offers zero input.  She was actually quite good on commentary last week during the Women of Honor match.  Instead of her just being the pretty face in the back, she should be encouraged to speak up.  Truth Martini is on commentary, as he has been throughout the tournament.  He has meditation balls in hand and makes a “you can touch my balls” joke.  Really adding to the broadcast.

A trip and an arm drag from TD to showcase speed in the opening, then right into the Capoeira strikes.  QT stops him on the run with a kick to the gut but gets back dropped all the way to the floor.  TD flips to the apron, then cartwheels over QT to the floor.  TD ends up getting a spinebuster into the ring post and tossed back into the ring.  Martini makes a “circle jerk” joke, now as Marshall toys with his opponent.  Trio of kicks gets TD back into the match, but he eats a mule kick.  Now Thomas blocks a punch with a headbutt.  More dodging and impactless kicks, then a hangman’s clothesline.  Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker followed by a powerslam shifts the momentum once again back to Marshall.  Marshall wants an Alabama Slam but Thomas escapes and hits a Tiger Suplex for the win.

Fight at a Signing

BJ Whitmer goes to a car dealership for a signing that was originally for Charlie Haas.  Charlie jabs Whitmer and they fight outside.  Damaging cars isn’t going to do much for a company that isn’t exactly loaded with extra cash.  Whitmer gets put through a window and a car door slammed on his head.  Haas finishes with an Olympic Slam onto a windshield leaving Whitmer in a heap.

Match 2:  Nick Westgate and Brian Fury vs Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander

Winners:  Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander via DQ

Quick start from Alexander with a dropkick and a tag.  Hart Attack style leg lariat, followed by a low dropkick/leg drop combination.  Coleman dives on the opponents outside and Rhino sneaks in to Gore Alexander.  Corino KO’s Coleman and grabs a mic.

Corino reminds us that the mission of SCUM is still to bring evil to ROH and kill it from within.  Rhino makes mean faces and punches his open hand.

Match 3:  Silas Young vs Matt Taven, Top Prospect Semi-Final

Winner:  Matt Taven via pinfall

Once again, a quick promo from each man in the back.  Young says he’s the last “real man” in pro wrestling (I assume because he has a mustache) and Taven says that Young is in his way.  Taven, again, has been the jobber of the week in ROH for months.  Martini confirms my theory about the mustache.

Takedowns back and forth at the open until Young rolls Taven over into a half crab.  Taven rolls through and tries a leap frog off the ropes, but Young catches him in a fireman’s carry, which Taven rolls out of into a two count.  More quick back and forth action with some arm drags until Taven hits a hurricanrana and another pin attempt out of the corner.  Young kicks out and clotheslines Taven in the corner.  A slap fires Taven up but he gets overzealous and ends up getting popped by the veteran Young.  Taven tries a discus boot and somehow only gets as high as the gut of Silas Young, who takes a tumble out to the floor.  Taven out to the apron for a dive, but Young catches him for a powerslam outside.  Young tosses him into the ring and tries a pin, but Taven kicks out twice, which earns him a stomp right in the chest.  Young wants a full nelson but Taven runs him into the turnbuckle and starts to fight back.  Silas Young flips himself to the apron after Taven gets a knee in the head, but Taven hits a springboard enzuigiri followed by a moonsault to the outside.

Taven heads to the top rope with Young back inside but comes up empty on a splash.  Young with right hands and an attempt at a backbreaker/lariat combination – Taven ducks the lariat and rolls him up with a schoolboy to gain entry to the finals of the Top Prospect Tournament.

Inside Ring of Honor

Recap of Hardy/Cole and Hardy’s attempt for the ROH TV Title.  If he’s such a self-professed icon, why is he interested in a title that isn’t at the top of the card?  Hardy has consistently cheap shotted Cole and other opponents and went as far as to steal the TV Title.  Cole, in a very serious promo, vows to rip Matt Hardy apart when they meet again.

Charlie Haas says he will bet “Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team” on a title shot at the Briscoes.  If they don’t capture the Tag Titles in their next attempt, Haas and Benjamin can never tag in Ring of Honor again.  The Briscoes respond and offer Haas a job on their chicken farm after they break up WGTT.

Match 4:  Jay Lethal vs Jimmy Jacobs

Winner:  Jay Lethal via pinfall

Jacobs says he’s still not sure why Steen has given Lethal a title shot, but he plans to win tonight either way.

Lethal aggressively chases Steen’s stable mate who does his best to run away.  The men strike back and forth on the floor and Jacobs ends up chopping the ring post when Lethal dodges.  Back in the ring, Lethal lands a tilt a whirl backbreaker and a dropkick to the face of Jacobs.  Jacobs answers with a baseball slide headscissors to the floor and sits Lethal in a chair.  Jacobs tries a dive and ends up putting himself into the chair.  An awkward cut to a commercial and back to action has Jacobs in control with a neckbreaker.  Lethal hits a forearm, a leg lariat and a reverse DDT, taking back control of the match as Steve Corino continues to cut mom jokes on commentary.  Jacobs rolls Lethal up to stop the Lethal Injection and walks into a Lethal Combination instead.  Jacobs kicks out at two and Lethal calls for Hail to the King.  Jacobs gets to his feet which leads to Lethal jumping over him and hitting a superkick.  Another attempt at the Lethal Injection, but Jacobs hits a lungblower on the rebound to counter, then the Contra Code for a two of his own.  Jacobs with a series of elbows in the corner, then puts Lethal on the top rope, wanting a frankensteiner.  Lethal hangs onto the top, sending Jacobs crashing down.  Jacobs quickly mounts for another attempt, but Lethal slips down and grabs him, delivering a death valley driver.  Lethal heads right back to the top rope and delivers Hail to the King for the win.

SCUM storms the ring and Caprice Coleman comes down for a bit of revenge for his tag partner earlier in the night, but ultimately takes a Gore of his own.  Steen hits the ring and waves off Jacobs who was holding Lethal in place for a Gore.  The ROH Champion keeps SCUM back and offers a hand to Lethal, who bails from the ring, entirely baffled by the goings on.

The Reaction:

In the tale of the tape, we see that TD is 5 years older than Marshall, but Kevin Kelly tells us the experience edge goes to QT.  Either there’s a “years wrestling” stat that’s missing or KK is just making it up as he goes.  These little things irk me, I know not everyone cares about that level of detail, but it just points to guys speaking words to fill air, rather than considering what they’re saying.  The capoeira stuff really is not doing it for me with TD.  Some of the kicks make a great impact but some of them are such light little taps that it seems like a total waste.  Full throttle action throughout the match; it’s jarring to not see any rest holds or anything of the sort.  Marshall, now out of the Top Prospects Tournament, has no steam whatsoever.  There’s no apparent direction for him, whereas TD has been on a win streak and seems to be getting the backing of the ROH crowds.  God’s Gift to pro wrestling isn’t really living up to his self-given moniker.

Whitmer/Haas is already a blood feud.  There’s really no need to have an awkward car lot brawl to “further” it.  Wasted segment.  Whitmer got jabbed, then fought Haas all the way outside, only to completely get his ass beat.  Nobody looks good.

To the tale of the tape, once again Kevin Kelly tells us that the experience edge goes to Young.  Both men are 26 years old.  A quick check online shows that Young is actually 32.  Kudos Kevin Kelly – You were right and some goof in the back was wrong.  I hope it wasn’t Cheeseburger.  Little bit of sloppiness and the idea of an 11 year “vet” being a top prospect is still a bit off and speaks to a sparse roster.  Overall, a good match and enough back and forth that you could have thought either man would take it.  I would have assumed Young, personally, considering the loss streak Taven has racked up on ROH TV.  The finals between Taven and TD should be extremely fast paced and my guess is TD takes it.

I’m not digging the way Hardy is set up here.  The deluded self-professed icon bit just isn’t catching fire with a guy that’s barely been around in any fashion with impact.

As expected, the match was a means to an ends, with an attempted SCUM beat down of the challenger.  Steen stopping SCUM will play into some kind of mindgames as they head into the iPPV.  This is one of those matches where guys kicking out of finishers served no purpose.  Did Jacobs really have to show a “fire” by kicking out of the Lethal Combination and countering Lethal’s multiple attempts to hit his signature moves?  Finishers are cheapened enough with the style that ROH typically employs – This definitely did not help the situation.  Jacobs was made to look like a bumbler early in the match, chopping a ring post and diving himself onto an empty chair, so I haven’t the foggiest idea what exactly they tried to do with him here, aside from feed him to the number one contender to the ROH title, which could admittedly have been done much better.  Thumbs in the middle on this main event.

The Preview:

The conclusion of the Top Prospects Tournament will pit Matt Taven against Tadarius Thomas.

The Shill:

As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom.  I sincerely would like to hear what people think and strike up some conversation!

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