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Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago Ridge, Illinois – September 15, 2012
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.
MATCH #1: ROH World Tag Team Tournament Semi Finals Number One – Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs)
Coleman and Alexander beat the Young Bucks in the first round, while Corino and Jacobs got by the Bravado Brothers. Corino and Jacobs added the stipulation that if they don’t win the tournament they will leave Ring of Honor, effectively giving away the end result in the process.
Jacobs and Alexander start the match and both men go for quick pinning combinations to try and steal an early pinfall. Tags are made. Corino and Coleman also try some pins right off the bat. Everything looks pretty choreographed in the early going. The battle spills to the floor and Alexander wipes out both Corino and Jacobs with a dive. Back in the ring Coleman hits Corino with a high cross body off the top rope for two. That seems to indicate they are the legal men. C&C hit Jacobs with their unique version of the Hart Attack. While the referee shoos Alexander out of the ring, Jacobs low bridges Coleman, causing him to tumble to the floor. Jacobs follows him down with a Cactus Jack Elbow. Now Jacobs and Corino are in complete control. After a few minutes Coleman is able to hit Corino with a swinging DDT and make the tag. Alexander is a house afire. He hits Trouble in Paradise for a two-count. Corino cuts Alexander off with a leg lariat. Jacobs tags in and goes to work on Alexander. Coleman is able to tag in and hit Jacobs with a dropkick. Neither team can maintain momentum for very long. Coleman hits three rolling Northern Lights suplexes for a near-fall. He follows with a spinebuster and then locks on a Stump Puller. Corino breaks that up. He tags in and hits Colby Shock for a two-count. A lariat gets another near-fall. Coleman hits an almost Sling Blade for two. Alexander comes in and knocks Jacobs off the apron. C&C hit Total Elimination for a two-count. Alexander hits a full-nelson face slam and Coleman follows with a guillotine legdrop to the back of the head. Jacobs breaks up that cover. The referee has lost control as all four men are in the ring. Corino pitches Alexander to the floor. Jacobs hits Coleman with the leaping Ace Crusher off the second rope and Corino follows with the Eternal Dream for two. Alexander comes back in to break up the Contra Code. He then takes it to Corino but runs into a Spear form Jacobs on the apron. Meanwhile Coleman hits Corino with a Clawhold STO. Coleman tries an O’Connor Roll but Corino kicks off. Jacobs throws a chair right into Coleman’s face. Corino then hits a Back Drop Driver with a cradle to get the pin and advance to the finals at 12:16. The opening section of the match looked very choreographed and they just never established any kind of internal story to the match. I expected more from these four.
MATCH #2: Survival of the Fittest Qualifier – Silas Young vs. TaDarius Thomas
I really like Young and Thomas impressed me at Brew City Beatdown (as did Young). They go back and forth a bit in the early going and try to impress the crowd. Thomas kicks Young in the head, sending him to the floor. He joins Young on the floor (very creatively), but ends up getting shoved into a photographer. Young throws Thomas back in the ring for a two-count. He tries to capitalize but Thomas catches him in a sleeper on the apron. Thomas breaks the hold and hits a springboard cross body block but Young rolls through and hits a vicious backbreaker for a two-count. Young tries punches but apparently Thomas’ head is too hard. Thomas takes Young down with a leg sweep and then hits Sling Blade for two. He uses a lot of cartwheels in his offense. Young comes back and hits the backbreaker/clothesline combo for two. Thomas hits a swinging Fisherman Buster for a two-count. Young catches a jawbreaker and goes for the Finlay Roll but Thomas slips out. On the second attempt Young hits the Finlay Roll and goes for the Pee Gee Waja Plunge but misses. Thomas lands a knockout kick to get the win at 6:27. I thought that would go longer and Young would win. Shows what I know. Match was decent for the time it got.
MATCH #3: Kyle O’Reilly vs. ACH
They take it down to the mat and trade holds. I wonder how many times in my ROH reviewing career I have typed that sentence to start a match review. They wrestle to a standoff, and I again wonder how many times I’ve typed that sentence in an ROH review. O’Reilly catches ACH in a back drop driver. ACH responds with an Axe Kick and the battle spills to the floor, where ACH hits a moonsault off the middle rope. He even lands on his feet. O’Reilly reverses a whip and sends ACH into the barricade. He then hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Back in the ring O’Reilly gets two. O’Reilly does his best to keep ACH on the ground, which is smart with someone that agile. Every time ACH tries to mount a comeback O’Reilly cuts him off with a hard strike of some sort. Finally ACH is able to put together some offense, including a rana off the second rope. He hits a kick to the face and a springboard Ace Crusher for a two-count. O’Reilly fights back and they exchange strikes and blocks. ACH hits a big tornado DDT for a near-fall. He follows with a DDT into the turnbuckles (awesome). ACH tries a second rope 450 but O’Reilly gets his knees up. O’Reilly then locks in a triangle choke to get the tap out at 9:54. ACH made a tremendous showing and I hope he comes back. O’Reilly has been on a nice role lately and I’m enjoying his ascension up the card. They should do a rematch down the line with these two.
MATCH #4: ROH World Tag Team Tournament Semi Finals Number Two – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Rhett Titus & Charlie Haas w/ Shelton Benjamin
The Briscoes beat BLKOUT (Ruckus & Sabian) in the first round, while the makeshift team of Titus and Haas defeated the Guardians of Truth (the Headbangers). Titus and Jay start the match. Jay gets the first advantage and works Titus over. Mark tags in and does the same. Titus comes back with a nice dropkick. Haas tags himself in and gets a little bit of offense in but then gloats about it and pays for it. The fight spills to the floor and while Titus and Benjamin argue, Haas drops Jay back-first on the barricade. Back in the ring Haas goes to work and I’m bored. Jay comes back with the Flatliner into the buckles and makes the tag. Mark is on fire with his Redneck Kung Fu. He hits the Iconoclasm and goes up top to hit the Froggy ‘Bow for a near-fall when Benjamin puts Haas’ leg on the bottom rope. Titus tags himself back in and levels Mark with a huge clothesline for two. Mark comes back with a rolling Death Valley Driver. The Briscoes follow with a double-team neckbreaker for a near-fall. They set up for the Doomsday Device but Haas makes it back in to break that up. Titus then traps Jay in a cradle for the upset pin at 10:47. That was a standard Briscoes match but it was sort of interesting to see the Haas and Titus dynamic.
Davey Richards Returns
Kevin Kelly gets in the ring to interview the American Wolf. Richards almost starts crying before he even says anything. Wuss. Richards says he has no home and his family is dead, but it’s okay because the ROH ring is his home and the fans are his family. Barf. Richards says that outside the ring he’s been a real jerk the last year. He says that starting tonight the Wolf is back. Didn’t he cut this same promo last week in Charlotte? Richards says he is entering Survival of the Fittest to face Mike Bennett.
MATCH #5: Jay Lethal vs. “Notorious 187″ Homicide
They show a recap of Jay Lethal’s new attitude in his quest to take the ROH World Title from Kevin Steen. Lethal and Homicide try to out-muscle each other in the early going. Homicide sends Lethal to the floor and teases the Tope Con Hilo but decides against it. He goes outside anyway but Lethal grabs him and rams him back-first into the ring post. Lethal then wipes Homicide out with a suicide dive. He whips Homicide into the barricades repeatedly. Back in the ring Lethal keeps up the pressure. Homicide avoids a charge in the corner and dumps Lethal back to the floor. The Notorious 187 starts collecting weapons and throwing them into the ring. Homicide tries to suplex Lethal over the ropes and through a table, and then switches it up to try a piledriver but Lethal blocks it. Back to the ring both men go for a cross body and they collide in mid-air. Back on their feet Homicide hits a sloppy tornado DDT for two. They trade reversals and Lethal hits the Dragon Suplex for a two-count. That used to be the Lethal Injection I think. Homicide comes back with a knee to the back of the head off the second rope for a two-count. Lethal hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and goes up top but Homicide knocks him down. Homicide tries a super Ace Crusher but Lethal slips out and hits a Death Valley Driver for two. Lethal comes off the ropes and Homicide grabs him in a belly-to-belly suplex. Homicide hits a Lariat for two. He follows with the Ace Crusher. Lethal responds with a superkick and a running vertical suplex. He goes up top and hits Hail to the King. Lethal doesn’t cover, instead hitting the Lethal Combination first. He covers but only gets two. Lethal hits it again but still can only get a two-count. He hits a superkick and a Fisherman Buster for two! Homicide gets right up in Lethal’s face and gets dropped right on his head with a capture DDT and Lethal finally gets the pin at 14:33. I appreciate the story in this match and how they built toward Lethal’s upcoming title shot. Used sparingly, Homicide can still be effective, which proves me wrong.
MATCH #6: Tag Team Challenge – House of Truth (Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin) w/ Truth Martini vs. Irish Airborne (Jake & Dave Crist)
Truth Martini’s hair is truly ridiculous here. He cuts a promo about how everything is cool in the House of Truth, and there is no dissension between Strong and Elgin. Jake and Dave Crist are making their first appearance in ROH since 2009, I believe. Strong and Jake start the match. They go back and forth a bit in the early going, with Strong using his strength and Jake using his speed. Dave comes in and does the same. Irish Airborne are looking good in the early going here. Elgin tags in and immediately starts displaying his freakish strength. The Crist brothers have to team up to take Elgin down. Elgin fights back with his power. He goes to make a tag but Strong hops down off the apron to avoid getting tagged in. That’s just rude. Irish Airborne double-team Elgin so he tries to make another tag but again Strong isn’t there for him. This time Elgin calls Strong on it and they argue on the floor. Jake tries a dive but Elgin catches him. Dave follows with a dive to take Elgin out. Back in the ring Jake covers for two. Elgin is able to pick up both Crist brothers for a simultaneous Samoan Drop and fallaway slam. That gets a two-count. Strong begs for the tag now but Elgin won’t give it to him! Elgin hits Dave with a huge Buckle Bomb and then the Spiral Bomb. He hits one on Jake as well, just as Strong blind tags himself in. Dave is still legal so Strong covers him and steals the pin at 8:46! I love that finish. Kevin Ford tells me that Irish Airborne have gotten really good since we last saw them in ROH, but this match did nothing to prove that. Instead, this match was all about the tension between Strong and Elgin and it did a good job of that, but they could have been facing any team out there.
Before the next match, Nigel McGuinness gets in the ring and brings out Matt Hardy. McGuinness asks Hardy what his plans are. Hardy says it’s an honor to be here and he’s having fun. He says he is specifically here to see the Television Title match. Hardy will join Kelly and McGuinness on commentary.
MATCH #7: ROH World TV Championship – Adam Cole vs. “No Fear” Mike Mondo
Cole has been the Champion since 6.29.12, and this is his second defense. Mondo challenges Cole to make this a no-countout, no time limit match. Cole readily accepts. They lock up intensely to start, even rolling out of the ring but staying locked in. Back in the ring they chain wrestle. Cole knocks Mondo to the floor with a shoulderblock. He goes for a dive but Mondo gets right back in the ring and gets in Cole’s face. They take it down to the mat again. Mondo dumps Cole to the floor and tries to follow him out but Cole kicks him in the leg. That was neat. Back in the ring Cole goes to work on the injured limb. Mondo fights back and goes after the arm. Cole recovers and forces Mondo to the floor, and then wipes him out with a dive. He hurls Mondo into the barricade a couple of times. Mondo reverses a whip and sends Cole into the barricade. He goes for a double-arm DDT but Cole fights out and hits a reverse German Suplex! Cole tries another whip into the barricade but Mondo reverses it. Way to sell that German Suplex on the floor Mike. Douchebag. Mondo crawls under the ring and comes out the other side to take Cole out with a running shoulder tackle. Back in the ring they trade punches and try to go for the epic feel. Cole lands a solid right hand for a two-count. He goes for the Figure-Four Leglock but Mondo kicks him of. Cole instead hits a superkick and a German Suplex into the buckles for a two-count. Mondo comes back with a DDT for two. He sets up to stomp Cole’s head in but hesitates. Mondo goes up top and misses a knee. Cole tries a superkick and Mondo ducks, but that allows Cole to lock on the Figure-Four Leglock. Mondo reverses the hold but Cole reverses it back for the win at 19:29. They were trying to make this a big epic match but it just felt forced. Also, Mondo sucks and his character is undefined; is he a heel or a face? If you’re not going to sell a release German Suplex on the floor, why do it?
Matt Hardy gets in the ring and shakes both men’s hand. He says that Cole gets compared to him a lot, but that he was better than Cole at his age, and is much better than him now. Hardy then walks off.
MATCH #8: ROH World Tag Team Tournament Finals – S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Rhett Titus & Charlie Haas w/ Shelton Benjamin
The titles have been vacant since 7.10.12, when Kenny King split for TNA. Haas and Corino start the match. They stall a bit in the early going, because they’re veterans and they know how to work. Jacobs even falls asleep so Haas tags out. Corino goes to work on Titus’ arm, and Titus responds in kind. Jacobs tags in and Titus takes control of him too. I don’t understand why Jacobs wears that dress when he wrestles now, it seems very restrictive. Even so, he and Corino are able to cut Titus off and isolate him in their half of the ring. Haas takes a cheap shot on Jacobs and then tags himself in, much to Titus’ chagrin. He throws Jacobs around a bit but then Corino goes tit for tat with a cheap shot and Jacobs lands an Ace Crusher. Corino tags in and takes it to Haas. Jacobs and Corino try to double-team but Haas escapes and Titus tags in. Corino grabs Titus with the Colby Shock to cut him off. Jacobs crushes Titus with a senton bomb and Haas breaks up the cover. Titus fights back and decides not to tag Haas, which may come back to bite him. He hits Jacobs with the Muff Driver for two. Haas comes in and dumps Corino the floor and hits Jacobs with the Angle Slam. Corino breaks that up. The referee has lost control with all four men in the ring. Referee Paul Turner tries to get Haas and Corino out of the ring so Jacobs tries to use the spike. Titus blocks it and the spike goes flying. Titus and Jacobs collide and both men are down. Benjamin sneaks in the ring and drills Jacobs with a superkick. He tells Titus to cover but Titus doesn’t want Benjamin telling him what to do. Benjamin then decides to hit Titus with Paydirt and Jacobs has no problem making the cover and scoring the pin at 12:25. I’m not against the idea of that finish, but Turner took forever in the corner with Corino and Haas and it just seemed too put on. The dynamic of the match was a little strange too, with three heels and the crowd was kind of dead because of it.
Titus gets into an argument with both Haas and Benjamin after the match, and he receives a two-on-one beatdown for it.
MATCH #9: ROH World Championship – Kevin Steen vs. “Man Beast” RHINO w/ Truth Martini
Steen has been the Champion since 5.12.12, and this is his eighth defense. Of course, before the match can start, Jim Cornette has to come down and cut a promo. He takes forever to make this match an Anything Goes match. Neither Steen nor RHINO has a problem with this development and they take it to each other. The fight spills to the floor almost immediately and the momentum shifts back and forth. They battle around ringside, and RHINO hits a hard vertical suplex. RHINO tries a whip into the barricade but Steen reverses it. Steen whips RHINO into the barricade again and then they go back into the ring. RHINO hits a spinebuster for two. He keeps up the pressure and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for another two-count. Steen comes back by kicking the middle rope into RHINO’s groin and hitting the Orton DDT. He follows up with the Cannonball for a two-count. They go back to the floor and Steen throws RHINO around. Steen throws a table in the ring as Martini tries to distract him but it doesn’t work. Martini tries to hit him with The Book of Truth but Steen catches him. Steen goes for a superkick but Martini pulls Veda Scott in the way! Martini then connects with the Book and puts Steen on the table between the ring and the barricade. RHINO hits a house show dive to break the table, and back in the ring covers for a two-count. He cracks Steen with a chair and gets two again. Steen comes back and throws RHINO into a chair wedged between the buckles and rolls him up for two. He goes up top and hits a Swanton Bomb for a near-fall. Steen hits RHINO with a chair again and goes up top. RHINO stops him and hits a superplex onto the chair. That only gets two. Martini gives RHINO another table and RHINO sets it up in the corner. Steve Corino comes into the ring to try and reason with his former ECW protege. RHINO doesn’t want to hear it, and hits Corino, an interfering Jimmy Jacobs, and referee Todd Sinclair with Gores! Steen hits RHINO with a Gore of his own and gets a near-fall from new referee Paul Turner. The champ hits RHINO with the F-Cinq but can’t but the challenger away. Martini gets in the ring to interfere and takes a Package Piledriver for his troubles. Roderick Strong tries to interfere but gets dumped to the floor. RHINO hits another spinebuster. He tries a Gore but Steen kicks him in the face. RHINO tries once again but misses and hits nothing but table. Steen hits the F-Cinq once more to finally get the pin at 15:00. That was tremendous fun and a great way to cap off the show. Making it an Anything Goes match was definitely the right call.
Michael Elgin comes down to point at the belt. He has a shot coming up at Glory By Honor XI in his home country of Canada. Elgin goes for the powerbomb but Corino breaks it up by using Strong as a battering ram. The idiot announcers can’t figure out how it happened but it was plain as day. Elgin is mad at Strong and delivers the Spiral Bomb for fun.
Tags: Death Before Dishonor, Kevin Steen, Rhino, Ring of Honor, ROH