Reaction of Honor 4.20.2013 (Strong v Bennett, ACH vs Taven)

The Glimpse:

Kevin Steen emerges, without the Ring of Honor World Championship.  Tonight, the TV Title is on the line as Matt Taven faces the high energy ACH.

The Action:

Steen enters the ring alone and before he can get a word out, Steve Corino interrupts.  He understands what happened at Supercard of Honor VII and SCUM’s mission is still intact.  Steen points out that every time he tries to speak, Corino stops him.  With Cornette gone, Steen is happy with the way ROH is and doesn’t think it needs to be killed.  Steen says his only mission is to get back to the ROH World Title.  Kevin Kelly’ tune has changed and says it’s well deserved.  SCUM surrounds the ring as Corino tells Steen that the World Title is necessary for the mission.  The focus may need to change to someone else, however.  Steen says he gets the plan, but he doesn’t understand why Matt Hardy is involved.  Corino goes into a tirade about disrespecting Matt Hardy and says maybe it’s time SCUM and Steen split.  Steen suggests an amicable split, else they can start a war they don’t want to fight.  Corino won’t let Steen through the curtain and he decides to pounce on Hardy.  SCUM quickly removes him and beats him down.  None of the roster makes a save, but referees and security try to intervene to no avail.  Corino opens up the pack and tells “wrestling Jesus” to do his work – Hardy hits the Twist of Fate after setting it up with a wildly awkward punch, instead of a gut kick.

Match 1: Roderick Strong vs Mike Bennett

Winner:  Roderick Strong via pinfall

Mike Mondo is on commentary because Strong was rude to him last week.  Strong uses agility and takes control with an arm wrench.  Bennett puts Strong in the corner to break it up and whips him away.  Strong gets a boot up and hits a second rope dropkick for one.  Out to the floor, Strong chops away at Bennett.  Bennett counters a whip and puts Strong into the barricade, then tears up the floor mats.  Mondo gets uppity and Bennett hugs a fan that has his t-shirt on.  Thanks to the distraction, Strong is able to chop back at Bennett, who ends up throwing Strong into the ring.  Off the ropes, Strong runs into a spinebuster and Bennett lands right fists.  Bennett chokes Strong in the corner then sends him into the ropes again and hits a back elbow for two.  Half nelson on the mat which Strong fights up and out of.  Roll up on Bennett and a series of chops followed by a dropkick.  Bennett is tossed to the apron and Roddy hits a diving kick.  Strong drives Bennett into the barricades, then Bennett tosses Strong into Mondo.  Bennett wants a spear and ends up hitting Mondo instead.  Roddy takes Bennett up into a Rack and drops him back first across the apron, then rolled in for a near fall.  Strong hits a corner jumping knee and an elbow, then a belly to back backbreaker for two.  Bennett kicks out of the Stronghold and now a strike exchange.  Bennett shimmies out of Death by Roderick and spears Strong off the ropes for two.  Bennett wants the TKO and Strong escapes.  Strikes back and forth again – Bennett avoids the vertical suplex backbreaker and lands his TKO as Mondo punches out Brutal Bob.  Mondo drapes Bennett across the top rope and he walks into the suplex backbreaker (Apparently now called End of Heartache) for the win.  Mondo pounces on both men after the bell and it gets broken up.

Match 2:  Jorge Santi vs Tadarius Thomas

Winner:  No contest

Rear waistlock from TD and Santi spins out.  TD gets a front headlock and Santi with a rope break.  Santi hits a hurricanrana and TD answers with a monkey flip.  Santi lands on his feet and off the ropes, hits a double stomp to the back of a bent over TD followed by a discus punch.  Santi wants a discus lariat now but TD capoeira’s his way out of the way.  The exchange ends with both men booting one another in the chest.  SCUM hits the ring and breaks it up, beating both young men down.

SCUM parts and lets Rhino ready to hit The Gore on Santi.  Corino wants to make it clear that SCUM’s focus carries on – Suffering, Chaos, Ugliness and Mayhem to destroy ROH.  Nigel McGuinness emerges to refute Corino’s points.  Honor has been restored.  Corino says he created and destroyed Kevin Steen.  Nigel brings out Lethal and Elgin and offers one chance for SCUM to leave.  Corino says he is a god and that you don’t tell god what to do.  Corino is spreading his words of wisdom and his “spiritual son” will be the next and last ROH Champion.  Nigel says nobody in SCUM deserves a shot.  Corino says that he’ll leave ROH but only if Nigel gives a title shot to SCUM.  Corino runs down Nigel’s title reign and his documentary and McGuinness says that Elgin and Lethal will take on any two SCUM members.  If SCUM wins, they get an ROH Title Shot.  If ROH wins, Corino is gone.  “No deal” is how Corino answers.  Corino says that he’ll agree with an added stipulation – If SCUM wins, Corino gets to run commentary weekly.  Corino says he knows Nigel won’t agree because he’s a coward.  Nigel, Elgin and Lethal get in the ring – Nigel says he’ll see Corino at Border Wars.  The deal is on.

Inside Ring of Honor

Jay Briscoe has won the ROH World Title, but Adam Cole has not let Briscoe rest.  Briscoe cuts down the rookie and says he’ll teach him a lesson in Toronto.

Matt Taven is being targeted closely.  ACH defeated Taven in a Proving Grounds match to earn a title shot.  He’s motivated.  Mark Briscoe has a TV Title shot as well and knows he’ll face either Taven or ACH, both “young whippersnappers”.  Briscoe would rather ACH, since he figures Taven has a disease from hanging around Truth Martini.  Fair assessment.

Match 3:  ACH vs Matt Taven (c), ROH TV Championship

Winner:  Matt Taven via pinfall

The fact that they don’t even show the entrance bit with Scarlet crawling around and Taven swinging the belt like a phallus and instead show a “H.O.T. is too hot for TV” place card shows how stupid this gimmick is.  You’re trying to make your TV show more marketable and film stuff you can’t show.  Blatantly stupid.  Mark Briscoe is on commentary, as he is the next in line for a TV Title shot.

Headlocks and roll ups early on.  Lots of speed from both men and ACH hits a hurricanrana, a kick in the ropes and a dropkick while Taven is tied up in them.  Taven avoids a suplex and hits a spinning kick for a near fall.  Right hands to the head of ACH, who answers with a clothesline to the apron.  Both men are out there now and ACH flips back into the ring and knocks Taven off, then hits a baseball slide.  Next is Air Jordan to the floor, taking out Taven.  Time for a commercial.

Back to action, Taven misses a springboard senton and runs into a pair of clotheslines.  ACH with an elbow out of the corner and a stomp on Taven’s next attempt.  Taven rolls to the floor and ACH hits a low suicide dive.  Taven is rolled back in and ACH heads to the top rope for a cross body and a two count.  ACH hits the ropes and Truth low bridges him.  ACH lands on his feet and grabs Martini, only to get kicked by Taven.  Taven drapes ACH on the apron and hits a rolling neckbreaker onto the floor.  Taven rolls back in and is happy to wait for a countout.  This is one of those times that the 20 count of ROH is a bit much.  ACH gets to his feet with the help of a fan and rolls in at the last moment.  Taven is right back on the offensive but ACH rolls him up for two, then another nearfall off a backslide.  ACH hits a kick and wants his Cradle DDT but Taven escapes and sends him headfirst into the turnbuckle.  Taven to the middle rope and ACH hits a run up kick to stop him in his tracks, then a frankensteiner.  ACH runs to the next corner and hits a splash for two.  Briscoe cheers him on from the commentary booth.  Scarlet runs distraction which allows Martini to trip up ACH who stumbles into Taven’s headlock DDT for the dirty, dirty win.

The Reaction:

They are going full force with this “Icon” persona, and Steve Corino is absolutely the best man to sell it.  He’s insanely into the bit, calling Hardy his best friend on Twitter (much to the chagrin of @RobDimension).  This was coming for months and they did the right thing by waiting to pull the trigger.

For his inability to cut a decent promo, Strong is fun as hell in the ring.  I still say Bennett is a WWE guy waiting to happen.  Mondo has never done it for me – He always comes off as a guy playing a tough guy; not an actual tough guy.  Good match, but a shame that Roddy wins off a cheat, considering he’s been more on the babyface side of the fence recently.  No idea where the name End of Heartache comes from, but I absolutely love that backbreaker.  Odd that Bennett flipped up the mats and by the time they got back to them, they were placed back down.  Usually that has a pay off, if not at least a backfire.  This seems to be a feud brewing with Mondo, but no title is involved at the moment.

Well…match wise there’s not much to say.  Promo was extremely long winded, but made its point ultimately – Lethan and Elgin will take on two members for SCUM with quite a bit hanging in the air.

They had me thinking ACH might actually take this.  I can’t believe that they’re really sticking with Taven and Martini for too long and ACH comes with his own following and fanship.  I do hope to see him nab some gold this year.  He’s more interesting than the perv wrestler of the month in Taven.  ACH has such varied and unique offense it’s hard to write along as it’s viewed; this is not at all a bad thing!  Looks like Mark will have to face Taven for the TV title.  ACH impresses as always and Taven continues to win with the help of Truth Martini and Scarlet.  Crisp action out of both men – People tend to be critical of the Ring of Honor product (and there are absolutely fair reasons to do so) but you can’t argue that the action itself isn’t some of the best out there.  ACH is a great example of that and I hope to see a lot more out of him in the next few months.  He and Mark Briscoe would be an incredibly entertaining match.

The Preview:

Michael Elgin takes on “Machinegun” Karl Anderson.  Having been there live, let me just say – You damn well better watch next week!

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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