After Steel Cage Warfare, ROH has rid itself of SCUM. Now what remains is to determine a new Ring of Honor World Champion – Nigel McGuinness has set up a 16-man tournament to do so. As a bonus, 3.0 makes their ROH debut.
Match 1: 3.0 vs Adrenaline Rush
Winner: Adrenaline Rush via pinfall
ROH recognizes that they lack a World Champion at the moment and vow to therefore focus on their tag division for the time being.
Scott Parker starts off with ACH and eats a dropkick. ACH fights out of a corner and gets draped over the ropes by Shane Matthews from the apron. I guess 3.0 will be playing the heels for us here in ROH. Not a bad choice, since all of SCUM is defunct. Matthews tags in and ACH fights both of them off. Parker gets a tag first, but ACH gives him a back body drop and tags Thomas. TD fights 3.0 off and Parker ends up hitting Matthews by mistake, leading to a series of strikes and a bridging half nelson suplex from TD on Parker. Matthews makes the save and TD delivers knees and a kick to him. ACH gets the tag and flies over Matthews, into a Parker elbow. 3.0 hit their launching spear combination, but ACH is out at two. Another combination in the corner after ACH tries to fight out, then ACH gets a Samoan Drop, a powerbomb and the Boston Crab from Matthews. TD low bridges Parker to the floor and hits a moonsault on him to follow as ACH prepares for the Cradle DDT and the win. The Cradle DDT is apparently called the Big Bang Attack now.
Nigel explains that because of Jay Briscoe’s injuries and the attack from SCUM, he’s been stripped of the Ring of Honor World Championship. The tournament to determine the new ROH Champion will commence in three weeks and end at Death Before Dishonor. Nigel repeats that a renewed focus on the Tag Team division will be apparent. He begins to mention the competition he’ll be bringing in, which draws the ROH Tag Champions reDRagon out. Fish says with the tag titles around reDRagon’s waists that TV ratings are up, live attendance is up and that they want to do ROH a favor – They want to make the Proving Grounds match against Forever Hooligans a title defense. Nigel is happy to oblige and apparently the American Wolves have something to say about it. Richards says not to underestimate the Hooligans and admits that whoever holds the Tag Titles is the best tag team in the world. He continues that, although he and Edwards are both former ROH World Champions, they’re not in the World Title tournament because they have a renewed focus to become the Tag Team Champions.
Match 2: Adam Page vs Silas Young, Winner is entrant 16 in the ROH Title Tournament
Winner: Silas Young via pinfall
QT Marshall is at ringside, pitching a fit at McGuinness that he isn’t even in this match to get a chance at the Title Tournament. Marshall grabs a mic to now complain to the fans and Page quickly snags it from him. Page says just make it a triple threat to shut up the “doofus”. McGuinness says “sure”.
Page and Young go for each other and when Marshall tries to intervene, he gets pounded into the corner. Page hits an inverted atomic drop on Young and dropkicks him to the floor. When Page tries to dive to the floor, Marshall catches him and powerslams him for two. Marshall and Young go back and forth, ending with a Fameasser from Marshall for two. Page chops Marshall into the ropes, but he fights back with an elbow which Page answers with a spinning heel kick. Young pulls Page off at two and eats an enzuigiri. Marshall elevates Page to the apron and runs into a lariat from Young, who chases Page to the top rope for a superplex. Marshall positions himself for a Tower of Doom, but Young beats him away. Page counters the superplex into a top rope gourdbuster, then hits a cross body on Marshall and a forearm on Young. Page hits the standing shooting star after kicking off Marshall’s chest, but it’s broken up. Page fights Marshall from the apron and back drops him to the floor. Page runs into the backbreaker/short lariat combo from Young, but kicks out at two. Young hits the best rolling fireman’s carry slam I’ve ever seen, but whiffs on his slingshot moonsault as Page escapes out to the apron. Marshall shoves Page off the top and walks into a small package from Young and that’ll do it.
Match 3: Forever Hooligans vs reDRagon (c), ROH Tag Team Championship
Winners: Forever Hooligans, new Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions
The IWGP Junior Tag Champs take on the ROH Tag Team Champs. A Hooligans win could bring the ROH Tag Titles all over the world. Surprisingly, Code of Honor followed by everyone.
Romero starts off with Fish and a clean break off the ropes. Another tie up and Fish fights out of an arm wrench with a headlock. More back and forth grappling and Fish can’t escape the rear waistlock of Romero. Fish gets in the ropes and now it’s time for strikes back and forth. Fish ends up taking a dropkick to the head and Koslov tags in for a springboard splash and a two count. Fish hits a kneelift and tags in O’Reilly who runs into an arm drag. Koslov with a chop into the ropes and he hits a dropkick after some back and forth. O’Reilly is knocked to the floor and Koslov wants a dive, but Fish cuts him off. Koslov ducks a Fish clothesline and hits his dive anyway, taking out O’Reilly. Romero tricks Fish to the floor and hits a suicide dive on the Tag Champs to a huge ovation.
Back from a commercial, the Hooligans are still in control and Romero tags in for some clothesline shenanigans in the corner. Inverted Atomic Drop to O’Reilly, but Romero hits a clothesline out of the corner, then takes one from Fish. O’Reilly tosses Koslov to the floor and Fish drives him into a corner of the barrier for O’Reilly to hit his apron dropkick. Fish is pounding Romero in the middle of the ring as O’Reilly reenters and stomps away. Fish tags in and puts a knee to the gut of Rocky Romero. Snap suplex from Fish for two. O’Reilly tags back in and whips Fish into Romero, following up with a knee, then a tilt a whirl backbreaker from Fish and a Sidewinder-style knee strike from O’Reilly for two. Seated abdominal stretch from O’Reilly, rolled over into a pin, good for two. Fish tags in and hits a slingshot senton for two. Romero walks into a dropkick from Fish and kicks out at two. Romero and Fish exchange mid ring and both end up on the mat. O’Reilly runs in without a tag but gets kicked away, allowing Koslov to tag in and hits a springboard cross body on Fish, then a headscissors. reDRagon run into right hands and Koslov escapes in the corner for a springboard dropkick on O’Reilly and an enzuigiri on Fish. Koslov gets the hat and seats Fish mid ring to hit the Kossack Kicks, but O’Reilly breaks up the pinfall. Romero is in and uppercuts O’Reilly, who ends up on Koslov’s shoulders for a knee strike Doomsday Device. Kneeling piledriver from Romero and a Shooting Star from Koslov, but Romero doesn’t stop O’Reilly from breaking it up. Romero goes right to work on O’Reilly who counters and strikes the bejeezus out of him. Koslov answers with a standing enzuigiri and walks into a backdrop driver from Fish. O’Reilly and Romero get tags and exchange forearms, but Romero jumps over a sweep with a knee. O’Reilly hits a running knee of his own and after Romero escapes Fish, he takes an axe kick, a kick to the gut and a Regalplex, but Koslov breaks it up. Fish and O’Reilly forearm Koslov to the floor and double team Romero in the corner with a single leg dropkick. Fish with a release German suplex and then Total Elimination, but Romero kicks out. They want Chasing the Dragon, but Koslov sweeps Fish and holds him from the floor and Romero backslides O’Reilly for a three count.
First and foremost, I’m glad to see 3.0 in ROH. I’m a fan of the team. They had a strong debut and were competitive with an established team. ROH says they will be bringing them back a bit more often, so here’s hoping they’ll be at Manhattan Mayhem when I’m there live. 3.0 got in a good amount of their signature offense and weren’t made to change their shtick at all, which is a good sign for them returning. Short but solid match with everyone being on the ball and not doing “too much”.
That’s gotta be my favorite match that’s ever involved QT Marshall. The Fameasser was the most athletic thing I’ve seen him do and it was picture perfect. Maybe he isn’t a lost cause. Silas Young being “The Last Real Man” in wrestling doing flipamagoo kind of moves is a bit odd, considering his Hansen lineage and propensity for Lariats, but I guess it kind of comes with the territory nowadays. Babyface Page got screwed on this one, as he was on his way to victory, but got shoved away by the last minute addition to the match. Young will be a fine addition to the bracket, but he’s nowhere near a favorite to win this thing. As an aside, McGuinness really shouldn’t be kowtowing to people so easily, especially someone at the bottom of the roster.
And there you go – Forever Hooligans are the IWGP Junior and Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions. That was a stellar TV main event and could just as well have been a PPV match. The Hooligans are worth having in any wrestling company, as they can provide both the hard hitting action expected on the indies and the entertainment wanted elsewhere. Great ending sequence that backfires on the overly cocky Champions. One has to assume that this is a way to get the Tag Titles back to the Wolves without them just coming out and beating reDRagon for them, to allow a new program. Wolves vs Hooligans for the Tag Titles will absolutely be worth seeing, so keep it tuned in to ROH and Pulse Wrestling for the results as that happens.
A celebration of Honor with a six man tag match – Whitmer and American Wolves take on Ciampa, Steen and Elgin. Plus, Mike Bennett takes on his former trainer “Brutal” Bob Evans.
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Tags: ach, adam page, Alex Koslov, forever hooligans, redragon, Ring of Honor, Rocky Romero, ROH, ROH TV, silas young, Tadarius Thomas