The Ring of Honor World Championship tournament continues – Despite the point the television is at, we now know the Final Four! The discussion will absolutely reflect the remaining contenders, so if you’ve managed to go completely spoiler free thus far (thought I don’t know why you would), I’ll be shattering that moving forward.
Match 1: Brian Fury vs Matt Taven (c), ROH TV Championship
Winner: Matt Taven via pinfall
Taven uses the ropes to hide after some slaps to back of Fury’s head and the Hotties make sure Taven is ready. Fury hits a Michinoku driver and cradles for two then a back elbow off the ropes and a one count. Taven reverses a suplex, but Fury lands an Alabama Slam, then bridges over for two. Taven holds the ropes and gets a boot up, followed by a huge clothesline as Martini takes his first victory lap. Fury reverses a whip and they exchange kicks, but Taven gets the best of it for a two. Taven mounts and rains fists down before the ref breaks. Fury reverses a whip and hits a neckbreaker off of Taven doing a handspring. Nigel pulls Truth down face first on the apron as he interferes, then Kasey Ray hits a second rope hurricanrana on Fury (see the Manhattan Mayhem Reaction of Honor for the same spot) and Taven hits a huge frog splash, but only gets two. Nigel calls for help as Fury sets Taven up for a bow and arrow facebuster, but he only gets two. Taven crawls to the corner and hits a rolling boot , then the Climax to win it.
Elgin addresses the crowd and says nothing means more to him or the wrestling world than the ROH World Title. He said he’d rather earn the title than just accept the belt as the number one contender, hence the current tournament. Kevin Steen comes out and says that were Elgin wearing pants, they would surely be on fire. He continues that Elgin has to be worried about him in this tournament. Steen reminds Elgin that despite it taking a second rope Package Piledriver, he’s beat him before. Elgin promises it will not happen again. Bennett and his awful vest are next to say he sees the past of ROH, while he’s the future. Bennett points out that he’s now “Michael” before Ciampa enters the fray. Ciampa gets in everyone’s face, declares himself the next ROH Champ and leaves.
Match 2: ACH vs “Machinegun” Karl Anderson, ROH World Championship 1st Round
Winner: Karl Anderson via pinfall
Tie up with Anderson overpowering ACH. Clean break out and another tie up with ACH grabbing a headlock. Somehow ACH shoulders Anderson down and flips around a bit, then hits a hurricanrana and feints a dive to the outside as Anderson creates space…and ACH mimes firing a bazooka at him. Another tie up and Anderson gets a headlock and a takeover, but ACH puts him in the ropes. Anderson answers with a boot to the gut and a stomp. Anderson picks ACH up for a European uppercut and another boot. ACH low bridges him then tries a springboard moonsault to the floor, landing on his feet but eating a Sick Kick from Anderson. Anderson kicked ACH right into a commercial break, apparently.
Back to action, Anderson has ACH up in a suplex and drops him, but ACH kicks out repeatedly. ACH tries to fight up from the mat to no avail, getting booted back down by the larger Anderson. ACH tries a sunset flip but Anderson kicks out and mounts ACH to drive in some right fists. Now a chinlock from Anderson and a forearm to the back. Sccop slam, but ACH dodges the senton follow up. Both are up to their feet and ACH lays in with kicks and chops, then mounts in the corner for the ole 10 punch. Anderson counters as ACH tries a slingshot facebuster from the apron, but ACH flips him to the floor and hits Air Jordan. ACH heads to the top rope and lands a cross body for two. ACH follows with forearms and dodges an Ace Crusher attempt, followed by a reverse STO and another two count. ACH heads back to the top, but Anderson rolls to his feet and hits another running boot to the head and meets ACH on the top rope. ACH shoves Anderson off of the superplex attempt, but eats a bicycle kick and a running sitout powerbomb, kicking out at two. ACH wriggles out of an attempt at the Bernard Driver and hits a rolling cutter of his own, but Anderson is out at two yet again. Back to the top for ACH and he lands the 450, but Anderson kicks out again. Anderson tries another Ace Crusher but ACH avoids again and hits a kick to the head off a school boy attempt. ACH is on top again, but whiffs the 450 and eats the Gun Ston for a three count.
Match 3: Mark Briscoe vs Adam Cole, ROH World Championship 1st Round
Winner: Adam Cole via pinfall
Tie up and a back and forth, with Briscoe dodging a super kick. Cole grabs a headlock and gets sent to the ropes, which Mark follows with a drop toe hold and a waist lock. Back to the headlock and off the ropes again, then neither man goes down off a shoulder block. Cole with an arm drag and a dropkick on the chin. Mark is up and over out of the corner and bridges a northern lights suplex for two, then measures Cole for a boot to the head. Briscoe follows up with headbutts and Redneck KungFu, but Cole is out at two. Cole blocks a suplex and dodges some more KungFu, but Mark hits a back elbow off the ropes. Mark hits his suplex this time and Cole is out at two again. Mark rains chops down on the floored Cole, then takes him head first into the turnbuckle. Mark with a chop to the throat, then elevates Cole to the top rope. Cole counters the iconoclasm and wants a DVD, but Mark elbows out and boots Cole to the floor. Mark hits a big dropkick to Cole’s face from the ring and gives chase, but walks right into a super kick. With Briscoe on the floor, ROH goes to commercial.
Back in, Cole has Mark in a chinlock. Mark elbows out but runs into the DVD on the knee from Cole for a two count. Cole blocks an enziguiri and hits one of his own then forearms Briscoe in the corner. Briscoe stops himself off a whip to the corner and the men clonk heads, leveling the playing field. Briscoe gets a jawbreaker and a clothesline in the corner and hits an elevated dropkick, followed by the Uncle Mule kick and a two count. Exchange of counters mid ring ends in Briscoe hitting an enziguiri and a urinagi suplex, but Cole is out at two. Mark grabs a full nelson and Cole counters to try the Florida Key, but Briscoe slips to the apron and heads to the top rope, diving into a super kick. Cole follows up with the brainbuster onto his knee for a very near two count. Cole hits a running boot and Mark stands up through it absorbing forearms. Mark answers back with Redneck KungFu, but he whiffs on an enziguiri allowing Cole to hit him with a shining wizard for another close call. Cole wants the Florida Key, but Briscoe backs him into the corner to escape. Briscoe runs into a boot, then another but hits a DVD which allows him to try to head to the top for Froggy Bow. Cole boots him in the head and readies for a superplex, but Mark headbutts out and lands Froggy Bow. Briscoe can’t follow up and the ref checks on him. Cole readies to pounce and Sinclair backs him up to give Briscoe some space, but Cole hits a vicious super kick and the Jay Driller to put Mark out.
I’m pretty much done with Taven’s gimmick and run. Multiple interferences every defense just isn’t doing it for me anymore. It seems like if Nigel is making it a point to get involved, this now has a limited time line on it. There’s a few people that could potentially take the TV title, but they need to be sure it’s not a former World Champ. The TV title should be a “maker” title, so it’s not going to do someone like Lethal any good either. I would recommend ACH, but he’s solidly a tag guy for ROH at the moment. Would like to hear what you folks have to suggest.
This is pretty standard for a wrestling tournament type of promo. Interesting to see that three of the final four were here, plus Bennett. Curious if that means a change was made, if Cole wasn’t around or if they just wanted Bennett to tell everyone he’s using his full name because now he has his big boy pants on. Good to see Steen/Elgin set the stage – Reference the first match, point out it took something “extra” to put away Elgin and have Elgin promise it doesn’t happen again. My call from the start has been Cole (with Corino in his corner) vs Elgin in the finals, and that plays right into it.
That was far more competitive than I would have expected for Anderson/ACH. I figured Anderson would end up in a bit of a steam roll before he hit up with Elgin again, but it makes sense for ROH to “protect” their contracted guy. ACH can absolutely hold his own as a singles wrestler, so whether he ends up being the guy to go after the TV title and remain in Adrenaline Rush or not, I think he’s good to go. It will also server to be a good test of his ability to promo, which we next-to-never see from him.
Good ROH-style match, but this is one of those showcases of ass-backwards officials in pro wrestling. If a guy takes a piledriver, he doesn’t magically get a breather period to see if he’s able to continue to kick out right? So why can the ref give Mark a breather period after hitting a move from the top rope and hold his opponent at bay? It’s old school, and it’s a spot that we see often enough…it’s just a big of a logic gap. Cole shows more and more signs of that full heel turn with a brutal super kick and putting Mark away with his brother’s finisher. That’s an extra insult, considering Jay is the one they stripped of the title to necessitate the tournament in the first place. I’d really like to see Cole with Corino as a mouth piece, and considering Corino showed up at Manhattan Mayhem, it’s likely to come to fruition. It’s odd to talk about these 1st round matches considering they’re three tiers back in the standings, but that’s how ROH rolls at the moment.
None properly given, but the ROH Title Tournament will carry on.
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: ach, Adam Cole, Mark Briscoe, matt taven, Michael Elgin, Ring of Honor, ROH, Truth Martini