The last ROH TV before Manhattan Mayhem is filmed this Saturday. Now due to TV taping schedules and the fact that ROH iPPV is no more, I have no idea what “point” is considered up to date before the show at Hammerstein Ballroom, but tonight we get a 6 man tag team match with the all stars of Ring of Honor, plus MsChif in action after Michael Bennett faces his now former trainer “Brutal” Bob Evans.
Match 1: Michael Bennett vs “Brutal” Bob Evans
Winner: Michael Bennett via pinfall
You see, he’s Michael now because he shed his trainer and is a big boy now. Or something. Same tights, but he comes in wearing Corey Graves’ denim vest. That doesn’t indicate a shift, Mikey.
Bennett hits a super kick as Brutal Bob looks at Maria in the ring, then clotheslines him as he dives off the apron. Evans is thrown to the barricade, then takes a boot in the mouth. Bennett sends Bob into the other barricade and hits another boot. Bennett rips the mats up to expose the plush carpet of the floor and teases a piledriver, but Bob backdrops him to escape. Bob’s turn to sent Bennett into the barricades. You wouldn’t really know it because the camera is on Maria at the commentary table more than on the action. Bob hits a back breaker and then repeated clotheslines on the apron before chasing Bennett back in. Bob hits a back elbow in the corner, then drapes Bennett on the top rope to beat on him. Bennett reverses a whip then gets elevated to the apron and delivers a knee lift. Bennett hits a dropkick on Bob as he’s draped on the middle rope, dropping himself on the floor in the process. Smooth. Bennett chases in with stomps then sends Bob to the ropes for a back elbow. Evans runs into another super kick, but pops up and grabs the leg on the third one. Bob traps the leg and lifts Michael up for a big powerbomb to make some space. Bob with a shoulder tackle and a two count on Bennett. Evans heads for the top rope but whiffs a leg drop, then Bennett lands the Box Office Smash and follows with the Photo Finish for the decisive win.
Bennett stands over Evans and signs his “long term” ROH contract, so I guess he’s not heading to WWE any time soon. Why try that while you’re young and your body isn’t destroyed anyway, right? Cheeseburger flies in with a missile dropkick completely out of nowhere, but gets swatted away like a bug. Bennett spikes him with a piledriver.
Match 2: Bonesaw Brook vs MsChif
Winner: MsChif via pinfall
Maria stays on commentary for the Women of Honor.
Brook runs gut first into a right hand, then something happens but I can’t say what because the camera is back on Maria. Chif throws Brook to the ringpost shoulder first, then puts her in kind of a Boston Crab while she’s hung in the ropes. Chif follows with forearms to the face then a running knee. Brook kicks out at two, but Chif locks in her version of a Muta Lock. Brook gets the ropes and starts to fight back, hitting a northern lights suplex for two, then ducking a clothesline and hitting a freaking gorgeous bridging German suplex. Chif is out at two and Brook sends her to the corner and chases with a clothesline. Chif dodges the second one and rolls her up, only to get run back into the corner. Brook with forearms to the chest, but MsChif counters a yakuza kick and hangs her in the corner. Chif with a headbutt and the Obliteration piledriver for the win.
Match 3: American Wolves & BJ Whitmer vs Tommaso Ciampa, Michael Elgin & Kevin Steen – Honor Personified
Winners: Ciampa, Elgin & Steen via pinfall
Ok…this one is a 25 minute Ring of Honor 6 man tag match. The action is going to be a bit truncated here because I don’t feel like getting carpal tunnel. Multiple times Steen talks right into the camera and they can’t finagle the audio to pick up a single word of it. Come on, guys. Richards sneaks a hug on Steen during the Code of Honor…I swear, he could turn the people that hate him around if he’d show a personality like that more often.
Whitmer and Ciampa to start with a usual back and forth, then tags to Edwards and Steen. Tie ups and clean breaks. One chop and Steen says he’s had enough, tagging in Elgin and passing out on the floor. Edwards chops Elgin, who ends up running right through him, leading to a tag to Richards and an early commercial break.
Elgin has Richards up in the delayed vertical suplex for at least a minute before finally dropping him. Whitmer awkwardly breaks up a pin that hadn’t happened yet and Ciampa meets him mid ring for a delayed vertical of his own. Ciampa doesn’t hold quite as long as Elgin, but after he drops him Steen wants one of his own on Edwards, but ends up taking a snap suplex then bailing to the floor. The Wolves work over Elgin with Edwards hitting a running forearm followed by a suplex for a two. Elgin hits a Rollins-style round kick on Edwards to take control back, then calls for the deadlift superplex in a neutral corner. Richards runs interference and kicks Edwards free, then hits a sunset flip powerbomb and kicks Ciampa off the apron. Edwards gets a two count, then both Wolves get caught by Elgin for the Samoan drop/fall away slam combo. Whitmer and Steen in with Steen hitting the pop up powerbomb and wanting a Sharpshooter, but Richards interferes, only to run into a chestblower, which Steen delivers by senton-ing Whitmer. Steen heads to the top for the Swanton but gets knees in the back. Richards gets a tag and the Wolves hit kicks in the corner, followed by the belly to back face buster from Edwards and a missile dropkick from Richards. Time for another commercial.
Ciampa is pummeling Richards in the corner, but the American Wolf answers with a flurry of kicks. Ciampa misses a forearm in the corner and eats a running kick as a counter. Edwards tags in for chop time. Rapid kicks in the corner is fine…the rapid chops is an awful spot. Ciampa is whipped to the corner and boots Edwards, who hits a top rope enziguiri and wants the Chinchecker. Ciampa counters but Edwards hits a Lance Storm-style rolling half crab. Elgin wants to break it up and Edwards just eats multiple boots to the face from the strongest man in ROH. Richards catches him on the next attempt with a victory roll to an ankle lock. Whitmer catches Steen in a flatliner transitioned to some kind of funky lock, but I can’t really see. All three men counter into a Sharpshooter, a Crossface and Ciampa with what looks like a cobra clutch from a Crossface position. Roll overs into pins and everyone breaks it up. Elgin and Whitmer trade lariats, then tumble over the top rope together. Steen and Richards’ turn to do the same. Edwards and Ciampa, the legal men are face to face in the ring and exchange slaps and boots. Superkick to Ciampa and an inside out lariat from Ciampa. Whitmer pounces on Ciampa and they chop back and forth. Whitmer snaps off a powerslam, then a swinging cradle to fisherman’s suplex combination. Jawbreaker from Ciampa, but he runs into the Alarm Clock and eats a superkick/Saito suplex combination. Ciampa is out at two, just in time for a top rope Richards double stomp. Elgin breaks it up and gets tossed to the floor. Richards tags in and lays in kicks to a grounded Ciampa. Ciampa gets to his feet and absorbs the kicks, finally delivering a knee and elbows. Ciampa counters another Alarm Clock and hits another knee, then the Kryptonite Krunch for two. Elgin wants a buckle bomb and gets it on Richards, followed by a Ciampa knee and a Steen cannonball. Edwards’ turn to break up a pin and exchange with Steen who hits a belly to back slam and gets kicked away by Whitmer. Ciampa and Whitmer want suplexes, which ends in what’s usually a Wolves spot with both going over the top end over end. Elgin tags in while they fly over and its he and Richards. Elgin gets double teamed by the Wolves then dead lift powerbombs Edwards onto everyone else on the floor.
Richards and Elgin one on one finally and its a forearm exchange. Richards hits a wild kick to the head and a release German suplex , then ducks a clothesline to transition into a Cross Armbreaker, but Elgin grips it and deadlifts Richards up into an Oklahoma Stampede, but Richards flips up and through for the kick/Tombstone combination with Edwards. Elgin kicks out at two and Richards transitions to an Ankle Lock mid ring. Elgin gets the ropes and hits en enzuigiri, then the spinning backfist. Richards takes a buckle bomb and answers with a kick of his own. Buckle bomb is countered this time into a pinning combination, but Elgin hits a ripcord lariat and the Elgin Bomb for the clean win over Richards.
Sigh…the super kick used to be something to care about. This dude opens a match with it. I know it’s the gimmick of The Young Bucks to joke about how they throw a million super kicks, but this is just something that bugs the bejeezus out of me. Hell, just today one of the Bucks tweeted, asking Shawn Michaels how he used to beat people with “just one” super kick. You wonder why BJ Whitmer had to get his neck broken on a stupid piledriver spot during what was, in all honesty, a nothing match? Because moves don’t mean shit anymore. Bob gets a bit of offense, but Bennett ultimately dominates his former trainer and leaves him laying in an extremely decisive fashion. Did this move Bennett forward as a star at all? Nope. Did it introduce his “new” (same old) attitude and cute little denim vest? Yep. Congrats, Michael.
MsChif beat a random girl. Seen it before, we’ll see it again. Highlight of this one was that high angle bridging German suplex. I mean this is picture perfect, like the animation you’d see in a Fire Pro game.
Alrighty, that six man is really one of those “Why you love/hate ROH” matches. Guys hitting huge moves, guys no selling, guys kicking out of stuff nobody should very well physically survive. It gets the ROH fans blood pumping but it makes your average WWE-fan go “that’s a bit much, don’t you think?” And they’re entitled to that opinion – Stuff like Edwards shrugging off stiff boots in the mouth while he holds a half crab is a bit silly, especially given the size and power of Elgin. Every time they put Elgin and Richards in the ring together, you get awesome action. Whether that action is your flavor or not is another case altogether. I’m still hedging all bets on Elgin winning the ROH Title Tournament. The whole storyline was he was the number one contender and didn’t want to be “given” the belt; he’d rather fight for it. If I have to wager a guess looking at the Bracket, Elgin will beat Anderson this Saturday, then Steen in the semis and go to the finals against Adam Cole, likely fully backed by Corino (if he’s still allowed and around) by that point. Ciampa should get as far as the semis as well.
Lethal and Strong host the 100th episode of ROH TV, reviewing some of the top matches that have taken place on TV. This one is interesting for me – I actually discovered ROH randomly because of the TV show being available to me (at least before Sinclair took over). And don’t forget – Live tweets of Manhattan Mayhem this Saturday night, long before it presses onto a DVD for your purchasing pleasure.
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!
Tags: American Wolves, brutal bob evans, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Kevin Steen, Manhattan Mayhem, maria kanellis, michael bennett, Michael Elgin, Mike Bennett, MsChif, Ring of Honor, ROH, Tommaso Ciampa