Reaction of Honor 03.16.2013 (Wolves, Whitmer, Lethal vs Strong)

The Glimpse:

No, I’m not going to do a 3:16 joke in this article!  Recap of the expansion of SCUM at the conclusion of 11th Anniversary Show.  The Wolves are in action, as is ACH and BJ Whitmer.

The Action:

The show opens with Nigel McGuinness and the ROH roster at the ring.  The future of ROH has been threatened and SCUM has started a war.  Nigel says ROH is ready and willing to fight.  Nigel quotes Corino’s point that there are no credible contenders remaining for Steen’s ROH World Title.  Nigel points out Adam Cole’s TV title reign and says he will get a World Title shot.  BJ Whitmer is next to be highlighted by the ROH Matchmaker and will receive a title shot down the line as well.  Elgin and Lethal will face off at Supercard of Honor, the winner receiving a title shot.  Next are the Briscoes – Jay has a separated shoulder and says he’ll fight with one arm if it means saving Ring of Honor.  SCUM are banned from the building tonight, but McGuinness says he will fight the office to let SCUM in so that the wrestlers of Ring of Honor can stand and fight.

Match 1: ACH and Tadarius Thomas vs The American Wolves

Winners:  The American Wolves via pinfall

The Wolves get a title shot at Supercard of Honor VII, so they’re in team action tonight; the usual ROH pattern and not a bad one.  Curious that they use the music of the newer roster member, ACH.  Arguably, ACH is far more popular so I don’t really question it.  Matching the 11th Anniversary Show, we now get pro debuts instead age in the Tale of the Tape, which is a far more important piece of information as we put our disbelief aside and watch the competition.

Richards and ACH start out and Richards’ breadth allows him to knock down down ACH early, but he answers with a headscissors to even things up to a stalemate.  Edwards tags in and allows a clean break, which brings TD in.  He flips around a little bit before locking up and a quick exchange of holds which TD quickly wins.  Edwards rolls out to a headlock and backs TD into the corner, laying in a heavy chop.  TD tries a sunset flip out of the corner which Edwards rolls out of, only to take an uppercut kick from TD.  Edwards answers with another chop and heads to the Wolves’ corner.  Richards hits a headbutt from the apron and tags in to delivers kicks to Thomas.  ACH tries a blind tag but doesn’t get it and Thomas rolls the Wolves to the outside.  He cartwheels to dodge a strike and ends up taking a superkick on the apron and a Richards chest kick from the apron.  Thrown back in, Thomas kicks out at two.  Edwards tags back in and hits a snap suplex for another two.  Richards tags back in and TD hits a capoeria dodge and a kick to Edwards, then a hangman’s clothesline to Richards.  ACH gets the hot tag and hits a clothesline, back elbow and dropkick to the Wolves, then a flip off of Edwards in the corner and another dropkick, then a jumping hurricanrana to Richards.  ACH hits a running low lariat (“Ready or not here I come”) to Edwards in the corner and a flying cross body to Richards for a very near fall.  ACH gets tossed to the apron and hits a headbutt to Edwards’ midsection.  ACH and TD hit tandem strikes on Richards and ACH rolls over the top rope with a Stunner to Richards for another near fall, who then rolls to the floor.  TD wants a handspring dive but gets a kick from Richards.  ACH disposes of him and hits another hurricanrana, this time to Edwards sending him to the floor.  TD tries the handspring dive again to Edwards and barely makes it, then ACH hits Air Jordan to Richards on the opposite side.

Richards is thrown back in and gets a back elbow and a boot from TD and ACH respectively, then a reverse rana from ACH.  ACH follows with a pumphandle suplex with a bridge, broken up by Edwards from the top rope.  Edwards and TD exchange strikes, but TD ends up suffering the Alarm Clock.  ACH hits an enzuigiri to Edwards and tries a moonsault reverse DDT on Richards, who catches him and takes him up for the Tombstone.  Edwards delivers a kick to the upside down ACH first then Richards hits the piledriver, only for Thomas to break it up.  The Wolves hit the Powerbomb/Lungblower after Thomas gets tossed aside for the win.

Match 2: BJ Whitmer vs QT Marshall (with RD Evans)

Winner:  BJ Whitmer via referee stoppage

Right off the first whip, RD Evans grabs at Whitmer’s feet and Marshall gets an early clothesline.  Marshall stomps on Whitmer in the corner then hits a vertical suplex.  Marshall drops forearms, but Whitmer fights up, only to take a knee to the gut, dropping him to a kneeling position.  QT hits a crummy version of Miz’s DDT for two.  Tomasso Ciampa is mentioned on commentary, as his return will definitely concern Marshall and Evans.  Whitmer starts striking his way back into the match and lands a huge boot to the face of “God’s Gift”.  Whitmer warms up for a boot in the corner but catches one himself.  Marshall rushes but  walks into a Flatliner – Whitmer follows with knees to the back of the skull and Sinclair calls for the bell.

Inside Ring of Honor

Recapping the 11th Anniversary Show.

Matt Taven wins the ROH TV Title, shocking everyone and costing Matt Hardy a title shot.  ReDDragon defeats the Briscoes to become the Tag Team Champions.  SCUM strengthens in numbers and destroys Jay Lethal.

Lethal says he never backed down from Steen and will get another title show if he can beat Elgin at Supercard of Honor VII.

O’Reilly and Fish gloat about their title victory.  Fish awkwardly describes their finishing combination move and says the Wolves won’t beat them.  The Wolves respond and say they are tag team wrestling.  Couple more plays on the concept of “prey”, etc etc.

Hoopla Uncut

Apparently Truth Martini gets his own graphic content message as he comes down with “Hoopla Hotties” and Matt Taven.  This is a grown man wearing a pearl necklace…there’s dirty jokes and there’s subtlety.  None of this is in the remit of Martini.  We’re now watching “Hoopla Uncut”.  Martini makes a balls joke and introduces Matt Taven as the newest member of the House of Truth…he’s the ONLY member at this point.  Martini says that since they are a national TV show, the TV Champion is more important than Kevin Steen.  Taven pulls the TV title out of his pants and hangs it down as the Hoopla Hotties kneel in front of him.  The hotties will remove their pants and apparently you can watch the rest on ROH’s website.  If you’re over the age of 15, you shouldn’t care.  Caleb Seltzer goes crazy for this action like Attitude-Era Lawler.  Congrats, now you’re just a goof.

Match 3: Roderick Strong vs Jay Lethal

Winner:  Jay Lethal via pinfall

Kevin Kelly apologizes to sponsors for the previous segment…an obvious indication that they shouldn’t have bothered and it should have been a website exclusive.

Tentative start and a quick exchange back to neutral territory.  Headlock from Strong and Lethal stares a hole in him after the break.  Lock up to another Strong headlock, then an even exchange off a shoulder block.  Lethal hits the hiptoss and dropkick combination for an early two.  Now a headscissors from Lethal, but Strong gets the ropes.  Lethal low bridges Strong to the apron and misses a corner dropkick, which lets Strong hits a slingshot Oklahoma roll for two.  Now a pendulum backbreaker for two.  Strong with a chop in the corner, drops Lethal to his knees for a rear chin lock.  The crowd rallies behind Lethal who gets into the ropes to break.  Strong takes Lethal headfirst into a turnbuckle and hits another loud chop.  Lethal is shrugging the chops off and lays into Strong with strikes of his own.  Roddy gets a boot up in the corner and tries a discus elbow, only to take the Lethal Combination, rolling to the floor.  Lethal hits a suicide dive and rolls him back in but only gets a two.  Lethal heads to the top rope but Strong cuts him off.  Strong with the run up knee and forearm in the corner but Lethal flips out of a belly to back, then hits a pair of superkicks and wants Lethal Injection but gets caught for a belly to back backbreaker for two.  Strong quickly transitions into the Stronghold which Lethal tries to roll out of, but Strong crosses Lethal’s legs and sits down for an interesting pin combination.  Roddy hits the discus elbow now and a jumping elbow.  Strong tries a Gibson Driver but Lethal counters with a hurricanrana and Lethal Injection for the win.

The Reaction:

This was the kind of rally point that I’ve been asking for for weeks now.  Nigel has the members of the ROH roster stand together to defend their home, their base.  Good use of TV time.

Great action, but I still can’t help but feel a showcase of the Wolves and ACH shows that Thomas really is a one trick pony with his capoeira shtick.  The strikes look like love taps, even by WWE standards, let alone contrasted to ACH hitting a full sprint low lariat to the outside, Edwards hitting the hardest chops in ROH and Richards kicking people’s chests out their backs.  Coupled with him barely getting over the top for his handspring dive (which he typically hits quite well) while ACH goes flying over the top, it takes a bit of the shine off TD.  Good match over all, but I feel TD breaking up the pin off the Tombstone/Kick combination was an oops, as it was at a one count and pretty awkward – Might have been a combo of him charging hard and Edwards not being able to grab him quick enough.  If it was, good audible by everyone to hit the Powerbomb/Lungblower combo for a quick pin.  I’ve always appreciated that ahead of a title match, the Wolves don’t come in and have a two minute squash – That type of match doesn’t help anyone that isn’t supposed to be a monster like an Elgin, Henry or Ryback.  The back and forth shows that their opponents are not worthless pushovers and that the Wolves are a strong team that knows one another quite well.  Big thumbs up.  Also, this was probably the best instance of the Powerbomb/Lungblower – There’s usually awkwardness with the landing, but this one was spot on.

Quick one to show Whitmer’s resilience and skill.  QT Marshall continues to not impress very much – Mike Bennett went through this phase but eventually came into his own.  He may not have that “ROH style” but he’s the type that you can’t help but imagine in WWE within a couple of years.  Marshall on the other hand has a silly gimmick of being “God’s Gift” to pro wrestling and losing more than he wins.  Also, if you’re going to steal a guy’s variation of a move, you should at least do it at as well as he does.  Marshall’s Miz DDT looked horrendous.

Garbage TV segment.  I actually enjoyed Martini as the obnoxious, somewhat subtle pervert manager.  The subtlety and the star power are entirely gone.  This is reminiscent of Bischoff and the HLA segments.  If they want to market this show and get it beyond the Sinclair broadcasting that they currently have (IE, even hot beds for wrestling like New York City can’t see the damn show), they need to cut this trash and just have a good wrestling product.  Absolute thumbs down.

Good 10 minute TV match between Lethal and Strong.  Lethal continues to win (Except against Steen) and Roddy continues to lose.  Roddy has been out of the title picture for a while now, and it’s kind of hard to tell what direction, if any, there is for him.  He wrestles elsewhere, but in Ring of Honor he really seems to have been cast aside.  At the open of the show, he jawed at McGuinness about not being highlighted as a credible contender, then loses clean to someone that Steen already beat.  So much for thinking you’re credible.

The Preview:

As per Nigel McGuinness, Adam Cole will fight Matt Hardy, even though the TV Title is no longer on either man.

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!

Come on over to The Geek Asylum – we’re currently on hiatus, but we’ll soon be back for extended Raw and Smackdown reactions.

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