ROH Reaction of Honor 07.20.2013 (Briscoe v Hardy)

The Glimpse:

A hurting Jay Briscoe defends his Ring of Honor World Championship against SCUM’s Matt Hardy.

The Action:

The show opens with a silly video of SCUM riding in a limo that Hardy has paid for.  They gush over him being the savior of wrestling and Rhino acts poorly.  Now realistically, why in the hell would ROH broadcast this for SCUM ahead of their TV show when they’re working so hard to eradicate them in the first place?

Match 1: Will Ferrera Roderick Strong vs Adam Cole

Winner:  Roderick Strong via disqualification

Corino continues to have his man crush on Cole, which is usually good for a laugh.  To that point, Cole leaves Corino hanging for a high five.  Roderick Strong, who Cole cast onto the floor to get a countout victory recently comes out to remind Cole about the event.  Roddy says he’s disappointed in Cole’s recent attitude.  Cole says the chance to beat somebody of Roderick’s caliber was worth it, regardless of the way he won.  He apologizes, saying he’s obsessed with wins and losses lately.  Cole dismisses Ferrera to the locker room and suggests a rematch with Roddy.  Cole offers the handshake ahead of the match and Roddy accepts.

Roddy with a quick headlock takeover and Cole escapes.  More quick grappling results in an early stalemate.  Roddy pressures Cole to the corner and gives a clean break.  Cole now pressures Roddy to a corner and breaks clean as well.  Roddy hits a knee to the midsection and puts Cole in the corner for a chop.  Roddy with a hard forearm and a snapmare for a one count.  Cole escapes a scoop slam and hits a belly to back suplex for one.  Cole forearms Roddy to the corner and hits a snapmare of his own and a kneedrop for two.  Roddy blocks a vertical suplex and counters into a gordbuster.  Roddy hits chops in the corner and a running knee, but Cole reverses the bulldog, only to take a mule kick to the gut.  Cole reverses into the DVD onto his own knee for a nearfall.  Cole picks Roddy up to deliver a neckbreaker and gets another two count.  Before Roddy can get up, Cole slaps on a chinlock, heading into a commercial.

Back in, Cole hits a snap suplex and floats over for another near fall.  Cole scoop slams Roddy and tries another cover, but settles for a headscissors.  Roddy bridges and puts Cole’s shoulders on the mat, forcing a break.  Roddy strikes as he gets to his feet and flips out of a belly to back suplex attempt, then hits a dropkick off the ropes leaving both men down.  Cole runs into a knee then takes a clothesline before Roddy hits a standing bow and arrow into a slam and a chop to a kneeling Cole.  Roddy hits a knee into the corner and a bulldog for two.  Roddy hangs Cole in the Tree of Woe and hits a running knee and a backbreaker for yet another nearfall.  Cole tries a boot, but Roddy hits another backbreaker and an Olympic Slam for more nearfall action.  Roddy tries a fireman’s carry, but Cole slips out to the apron, then bounces Roddy off the ropes.  Cole is on the floor now and wheelbarrows Roddy, suplexing him onto the ring apron.  Cole rolls him in for a two count, then applies the Figure Four.  Roddy gets to the ropes, forcing a break and heads to the apron.  Cole tries to suplex him in, but Roddy ends up seating him on the top rope and hits a kick to the head.  Roddy goes to meet him on the top floor and elbows the bejeezus out of him.  Roddy hits a top rope superplex for a very near fall, leaving both men in a bit of pain.  Roddy wants another suplex, but Cole knees out, only to walk into a rolling elbow and Death by Roderick.  Cole wants the Figure Four again, but Roddy cradles him for two.  Roddy tries the Stronghold, but he gets kicked into the ref.  Both men throw forearms, but Roddy hits a jumping knee and forearms, followed by back elbows.  Cole hits a superkick and both men hit the mat.  Corino tries to rally Cole, then passes him a chain.  Roddy ends up with it, but Cole kicks him in the leg and decks him with the chain instead.  The ref sees this and DQ’s Cole.

SCUM video part two with the entire crowd waiting outside the venue booing Hardy.  Hardy offers a fan $20 to tear up a “Fatt Hardy” sign and he refuses.  Hardy tells the fan, who is an ROH fan and refused to take money to disgrace it, that he doesn’t believe in ROH.  What?  The offer gets over $100 and then Rhett Titus tears the sign up anyway.  This apparently inflates the ego of Hardy (don’t make a Fatt joke, don’t make a Fatt joke).

Match 2: Matt Hardy vs Jay Briscoe (c), Ring of Honor World Championship

Winner:  Jay Briscoe via pinfall

Nice touch…Jay is wearing a Mark shirt.  Brotherly love.  Corino takes the mic to do his customary introduction for his spiritual son.  Corino is incapable of doing this without a dozen voice cracks which is usually funny, but has kind of gotten to the grating point.

Ok…I need to throw this in here because it’s between the intros and the match.  ROH has a thing going where texting “ROH” to “TODAY” gets you pictures or some kind of bullcrap.  They have some of the personalities explain this.  When they get to Truth Martini, he explains it’s so simple “even a hoopla hottie” can do it and Salizia goes ahead and does it.  Even in a commercial this group pisses me off.

Jay’s left arm is all taped up, so that will likely be a big focus of the match.  Long tie up to start and an exchange of arm wrenches, with Hardy going right after the bad left shoulder.  Jay makes some space, but Hardy goes right back to the arm.  Briscoe with a forearm and a headbutt, then stomps in the corner before standing on the throat of Hardy.  Jay with a European uppercut and a back elbow for two.  Hardy leans in the corner and Jay goes after his midsection, but gets put into the ring post twice, left arm first.  Hardy makes it three and Corino trash talks the ROH Champion.  Hardy with a single arm DDT and a grounded hammerlock.  Jay fights up to his feet and elbows out, then throws rights into the head of Hardy.  Hardy turns it around into the Side Effect for two.  Jay with headbutts and wanting a DVD, but Hardy drops down right into a Twist of Fate for two.  Hardy drills his elbow into the bad shoulder then hammerlocks Jay’s arm around the top rope.  Hardy with right hands in the corner, then a very audible “Shoulder!” call as he wrenches the arm (oh, Maffew…) and indeed shoulder blocks the Champ twice.  Hardy goes back to the hammerlock as ROH goes to commercial.

Jay is throwing jabs as we come back and follows with forearms and a headbutt.  Jay hits a dropkick as Hardy comes off the ropes, but runs into the challenger’s boot in the corner.  Hardy with his middle rope elbow to the back of the head, which Jay answers with a superkick for two.    Jay follows with a hangman’s neckbreaker and another two count.  Jay flips off Corino and wants the Jay Driller, but Hardy tries to fight out, getting grounded by Jay.  Corino sweeps his leg as he hits the ropes, allowing Hardy to hit a second Twist of Fate, again for two.  Matt dumps Jay to the floor and whips him into the barricade.  Hardy rolls Jay in and gets a two count.  Hardy tells Corino he’s going to choke out the champ and wants his old Icepick, but Jay scoops him away and hits the Jay Driller, but Hardy kicks out.  Corino literally hits his knees and begins to pray.  Hardy pulls himself to a corner while Briscoe gathers himself mid-ring.  Jay stomps away at the knee of Hardy, and he pulls his boot off to inspect the damage.  As Corino draws the ref away, Hardy hits a shot with the boot to the head of Jay, but he kicks out.  Hardy hits Twist of Fate number three of the match, then picks up Jay for another.  Briscoe kicks out yet again, which has blown far past the line of ludicrousness.  Hardy lifts the champ and locks in the Icepick for a few seconds, then releases him onto the mat.  Hardy rains right hands onto the head of Briscoe, who appears to be out cold, and instead of pinning him (like he’s tried a dozen times this match) he slowly climbs to the top rope on a bad leg for a moonsault.  Briscoe leaps to his feet like Cena and intercepts Hardy for a belly to back superplex.  Hardy ends up landing on Jay for a two count.  The customary ROH right hand exchange begins, then Jay throws jabs and absolutely lays into Hardy.  Jay wants a Jay Driller, but Hardy resists and wants another Twist of Fate – Jay hooks a small package and wins it.

Rhino immediately hits the ring and Gores Jay, so Mark Briscoe hits the ring and takes Rhino out.  Corino tags Mark in the back of the head with a roll of quarters and lays him out.  Team ROH hits ringside, but SCUM begins to ziptie them to the ringposts.  SCUM pulls chairs into the ring and Rhino hits a One Man Con-Chair-To (called by name by Kevin Kelly, surprisingly enough) on Mark Briscoe.  Hardy demands they cripple Mark and Rhino delivers two more Con-Chair-Tos.  Security heads to ringside, but Corino calls for SCUM to end Jay Briscoe once and for all.  They put his arm in a chair and Hardy hits a double stomp flush onto it.

The Reaction:

Well that was a good match until the dumbass ending.  Corino continues to try to turn Cole heel, and while he’s kind of floating that way, he has NO interest in working with Corino.  Good action back and forth and that wheelbarrow suplex into the apron looked like it hurt like hell.  Odd that the freshly made face Strong grabbed the chain and wrapped his hand with it.  These super slow builds to turns can sometimes work against ROH when they only have an hour of TV a week.

I love ROH.  It was the first thing that made me want to cover professional wrestling.  When I wrote for covering WWE, I made a gambit for ROH coverage and just didn’t have the time to do it myself.  I attend it whenever I can.  Hell, I’ll be live tweeting Manhattan Mayhem next month (shameless pandering – follow me!) and bugging Sean Radican to talk to me about it, which he’ll do.  But this match contained so many things that I dislike in wrestling and garner the anti-ROH sentiment that so many fans carry.  Hardy hits his finisher with no impact early in the match and Briscoe shrugs it off like it’s nothing.  Hardy hits TWO MORE of them in succession and Briscoe kicks out.  Hardy straps on wrestling’s worst submission hold and puts Jay Briscoe out.  Then instead of pinning the unconscious man, tries a moonsault on a bad leg – Stupid choices for the sake of convenience and plot.  Briscoe adds to the garbage pile by Cena-ing up to his feet and hitting a top rope suplex, which backfires as his opponent lands on him.  They do the same right hand exchange that EVERY back and forth ROH match contains at this point.  I don’t mind the inside cradle finish, because I’m an advocate of “not every match needs to end in a straight forward finisher-pin combination”.  If there’s a saving grace here, it was Corino’s presence at ring side.  When he hit his knees to pray, I had a hearty guffaw.  The aftermath of the match was about as brutal as it gets – That was basically an execution.  Mark Briscoe had his head compacted by Rhino and Jay had an already injured arm destroyed.  If we see the Briscoes before the end of 2013, then it was all a waste.

The Preview:

Steel Cage Warfare between ROH and SCUM.  Elgin, Lethal, Whitmer and Steen will defend Ring of Honor against four members of SCUM.

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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