Welcome to ongoing live coverage and results of Death Before Dishonor XI. If you’d like to tune in, head over to www.gfl.tv and check the free stream, going live at 8PM EST. This is Go Fight Live’s attempt to show ROH that iPPV might work if they leave the tech stuff in their hands. Let’s see how this plays out.
Now, I will track some of the action, but not every match will be the step by step break down I typically do.
Jay Briscoe makes his way to the ring with the ROH World Title in hand. He is expected to hand the belt over to the winner of the tournament tonight. We are 6 minutes in and Jay has already dropped an S-bomb. Jay talks about working hard and that a company is only as good as the people working for it. Jay continues and recounts that he stepped up to the plate and took the title off of SCUM’s Kevin Steen. Now on to Jay being stripped of the ROH World Title due to his shoulder injury. Jay wants to know why Nigel could defend when he was injured but Jay gets stripped. Jay tells Nigel that, from the bottom of his heart, this situation is “bulls-it”. The crowd agrees and chants. Jay says he’s going to look to the future and move ahead. He says if the tournament winner wins it without taking shortcuts, he will have to hand over the belt. Curious to see what kind of shenanigans that’s a precursor to.
Match 1: Silas Young vs Jay Lethal
Winner: Jay Lethal via pinfall
Young begs off in the corner and the crowd shows their Lethal favoritism. Lethal takes the early advantage with a dropkick from the floor, the Young bails out for a breather. Silas outwits Lethal when he wants a suicide dive and punches him in the ropes. Lethal hits the hip toss and low dropkick and hits multiple suicide dives, then a triangle dropkick and a third suicide dive. We’re 16 minutes into this show. How have we not learned from this, ROH? Lethal wants a sunset flip, but Young stomps his way out. Young keeps the pressure on and chops Lethal, then sends him to the opposite corner hard. Young keeps the control for a while until an inverted atomic drop and forearms. Lethal hits the Combination but Young grabs the ropes. Lethal heads up top but Young cuts him off and wants a superplex – Lethal headbutts him away and takes way too long to try Hail to the King. Young catches him with a jackknife pin for two, then the backbreaker/lariat combo for another two. Lethal whiffs a superkick and Young takes him up in a fireman’s carry. Lethal escapes and kicks, then gets caught off an Injection attempt into a bridging German suplex for two. Funky landing on that one. Back to the fireman’s carry and Lethal grabs the ropes to escape. A kick to the face and a third fireman’s carry for the roll over slam, but Young misses on the headstand moonsault. Lethal hits the Injection for the win.
Young refuses the Code of Honor and they make a really big deal of it. I guess it’s something to play off of him being “the last real man”.
Match 2: Adam Cole vs Tommaso Ciampa, ROH World Title Semi-Final
Winner: Adam Cole via pinfall
Cole offers the handshake, so the build to him and shenanigans might be a bit quick tonight. Ciampa immediately blasts Cole and wants an exposed knee, but Cole hits a bicycle kick. Cole wants the Florida Key and Ciampa elbows out, but Cole knocks him to the floor and hits a suicide dive. Again. Wildly early in a match. Ciampa picks up Cole and spinebusters him into the barricade, then sits him in a chair. Ciampa makes space and hits the exposed knee. Over to the other corner on the floor and he hits it again. Ciampa now power bombs Cole into the chair and hits another knee. Ciampa wants a suplex on the now-exposed concrete and Cole fights out of it, but Ciampa over powers him and hits it.
Ciampa rolls Cole in and gets a two count. Cole explodes with a low dropkick and a shining wizard for a two of his own. Ciampa fights back with a high knee from the apron and teases suplexing Cole to the floor, but Cole counters and hits the diving apron DDT. Nigel is audibly upset about spots like this and I think that speaks volumes. Cole’s turn to roll Ciampa in and get a two count. Ciampa hits a burning hammer after an exchange for two. Ciampa hits a second rope Kryptonite Krunch and still only gets two. Back up to the top and Cole wants a sunset flip powerbomb – Ciampa resists and Cole superkicks his leg out from under him. Cole wraps the already-bad knee around the ring post (I’ll still never understand why this isn’t a DQ in general) then locks in the figure four around it. Cole breaks before the five count and attacks the knee in the middle of the ring. Ciampa tries a small package but only gets two, then Cole transitions to the figure four. Ciampa makes his way out and the match continues. Back up to their feet and it’s the customary forearm exchange. Cole kicks the leg out and hits an exposed knee shining wizard but only gets two. Cole hits a stiff boot to the chest of Ciampa but he won’t go down. Cole tries again and runs into a powerbomb. He wriggles out and hits bicycle kicks, but Ciampa flips him with a lariat, then hits Project Ciampa but Cole is out at two. As they get up, Ciampa’s knee buckles and Cole hits the brainbuster on his own knee and goes right back to the figure four. Ciampa screams in Cole’s face and they have an exchange of slaps on the mat. Cole with repeated boots to the face while he has the figure four cinched in. Ciampa drops and the ref counts three while he’s still in the hold.
Match 3: Michael Elgin vs Kevin Steen, ROH World Title Semi-Final
Winner: Michael Elgin via submission
Long feeling out process with Steen hitting a leg pick and a front facelock, but Elgin is up to his feet immediately with an arm wrench. Steen teases rolling out and just grabs the ropes instead. Steen tries a shoulder block and bounces off the solid Elgin. Another try, another bounce. Steen tries a different plan this time and both men try for their finishers until Steen bails to the floor to make space. Steen is back in and Elgin wants a test of strength. Steen, normally the smarter wrestler, actually locks hands and then monkey flips Elgin and stomps him. Steen pressures Elgin into the corner and wails on him. Elgin demands Steen hit him harder, than lands forearms of his own. Elgin wants the delayed vertical suplex and Steen fights him off, but Elgin drops him with a forearm and hits a second rope moonsault for two. Another strike exchange until Elgin grinds Steen down with forearms. Steen pops up to his feet and plugs Elgin in the eye, then chops him. Elgin hits another forearm and Steen is rocked by it. Steen kicks Elgin when he ducks too soon but runs into a Black Hole Slam and bails to the floor. Elgin gives chase and falls for the middle rope DDT for two.
Steen heads to the top rope but Elgin cuts him off. Elgin wants a superplex but Steen resists and bites his face. Elgin goes to the mat and Steen hits a cross body for two. Off the ropes, they collide shoulder first and Elgin spirals in the air but both men are down. Clotheslines back and forth, then an enziguiri from Elgin and a huge lariat. Elgin is slow to cover and only gets two. Elgin wants a deadlift German suplex, but Steen isn’t having it. Elgin ties him up in the ropes and hits repeated clotheslines. Steen escapes a fireman’s carry and tries a Sharpshooter, but Elgin pushes him off. Steen gets thrown to the ring post shoulder first and Elgin wants a Crossface, but Steen goes right to the ropes. Elgin sets up for the deadlift superplex, but Steen trips him and heads up top again for the Swanton and a two count. Back and forth until Steen jumps into a uranage out of the corner and Elgin tries the corkscrew senton but he takes knees from Steen. Steen follows with F-Cinq and a nearfall. Steen tries the Cannonball but Elgin escapes and now wants the deadlift German suplex. He hits it and transitions to a Crossface. Steen gets into the ropes again and tries to fight off, so it’s a forearm exchange. Elgin with a bicycle kick and the backfist, but Steen answers with a pop up powerbomb and a Package Piledriver attempt. Elgin manages to take him down and hit a deadlift powerbomb. Buckle Bomb from Elgin and Steen trips him into a Sharpshooter. Elgin won’t tap and Steen rolls to the mat and into another Crossface. Clean break and Steen is first to his feet. Steen looks for a sleeper suplex but Elgin spins out and back to the Crossface. Steen rolls him over and Elgin answers with a crucifix for two each. Elgin gets turned inside out by a lariat and Steen follows with the sleeper suplex for two. Steen is thinking Package Piledriver, but the Crossface has done too much to his arm for it. Steen settles for another sleeper suplex, then a third. Elgin wallops him with a lariat and both men are down again. Steen wants the Package again, but Elgin flips out and into the Crossface, managing to make Steen tap out and advance.
Steen helps Elgin to his feet and shakes his hand. Glad to see them hammering home that Steen has turned over the new leaf and wants to see the best man win this tournament.
So we’re at the Cole/Elgin final we all assumed was coming down the pipes. Does the man who prompted this tournament by not accepting a free title run win it and make good on his promise and dream? Or does the smaller, craftier man pull out a win, possibly via nefarious actions?
Match 4: American Wolves vs Forever Hooligans (c), IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship
Winners: Forever Hooligans via pinfall
Koslov preps to sing the Russian anthem for the easiest heat in all of professional wrestling. Richards dances behind them but they don’t notice.
Romero and Edwards to start it off. It’s the usual feeling out process then Richards and Koslov both tag in. Koslov tries to start a “Russia” chant, but no dice. Instead, they chant “Rocky IV” – Gotta love a witty crowd. Koslov gets knocked to the floor and Davey teases a dive, but Koslov moves and Davey flips backwards. Edwards and Romero tag back in and after a couple chops, Romero runs into a fireman’s carry facebuster and a shining wizard for two. Romero grabs the ropes and tricks both Wolves to the floor, then the Hooligans miss stereo planchas, take stereo boots and stereo suicide dives from the Wolves. The Wolves take one from the Hooligans’ play book and run Romero’s knees into Koslov, then slam him for a two. Richards tags in and Romero takes a pair of headbutts. Richards with a snap suplex and a quick tag to Edwards who delivers an echoing chop. Koslov kicks Edwards from the apron, then he takes a knee from Romero. Romero drops Richards off the apron and now the ref is distracted. Boots from both Hooligans on Edwards in the corner, but the ref stops Richards from interfering.
Snapmare from Koslov and a chinlock. He drags Edwards to the Hooligan corner and tags in Romero for a knee drop. Edwards tries to fight out of the enemy corner, but gets tripped as he heads to the ropes and Koslov puts him in a surfboard in the ropes while Romero locks Richards in an Octopus. Koslov tags back in and the Hooligans run their corner clothesline bit and the in-fighting bit. They hug it out and knock Richards to the floor again. Romero tags back in and puts Edwards in a neutral corner. Edwards reverses a whip but runs into knees. Edwards manages an enziguiri and the Chinchecker then tags in Richards who boots Koslov to the floor and heads up top. Richards hits a missile dropkick and shin kicks to the corner. Richards hits a running forearm and then a running kick to the seated Romero for two. Edwards gets knocked back to the floor and the Hooligans send Richards into the corner for the high knees spot, but Richards slips away and Romero ends up in the Tree of Woe for stereo dropkicks. Richards hits a bridging German for two. Romero counters the Alarm Clock and Richards ends up kicking Edwards to the floor. Huge series of moves ends in a reverse suplex and a running knee from the Hooligans for two on Richards. Koslov tags in and readies his hat for the Cossack Kicks. Richards kicks out of the crescendo double stomp at two and heads to a corner. Romero and Koslov hit the double team knees this time then want the Contract Killer, but Edwards pulls Romero down. Koslov tries a roll up and pulls the tights, so the ref calls him on it. Richards rolls into a Trailer Hitch and when Romero tries to kick him out, Davey catches him in an ankle lock. Koslov gets the ropes and Davey releases both holds.
Richards still has nobody to tag with Edwards on the floor, so he puts Koslov on the top and follows him then gets knocked to the mat. Edwards’ turn to try a superplex, but Romero pulls him down. Richards lands a huge kick and a brainbuster on Romero and Koslov drops a frog splash for two. Koslov pulls Richards up and lifts him for the rack, wanting the Contract Killer. Romero is nowhere to be seen and The Wolves take over. Richards sells a hernia or a pulled ab, but they manage double double stomps to get a two count. Eddie takes Koslov up for a powerbomb and he tries to fight out but gets into it with Davey. Edwards ends up on the floor and Romero snaps off a frankensteiner from out of nowhere. Koslov hits a Shooting Star and Edwards breaks it up then gets tossed to the floor. Contract Killer connects this time and the Hooligans retain.
As this match ends, the stream has suddenly started freezing a bit every 10 seconds. Stands to be seen whether this is me or the stream…
Rebooted the computer and now it seems stable again. At least it was into intermission as it happened.
Back from intermission, RD Evans comes out with Veda Scott on his arm and his fingers still taped thanks to Outlaw Inc. See Veda’s blog on ROH’s website for why they’re affiliated now. Veda says she has bad news: QT Marshall (The resident show up, get booked and lose goof) is not here tonight. Veda says that ROH and Nigel are to blame for Evans’ finger issues. Evans says he’s here to address injustice. He continues that he should leave this “rotten company” and go be treated correctly elsewhere. Evans vows to remain in the ring until he gets justice. Cue up Adam Page’s music. Page says nobody cares and that if Evans has some steam to blow off, they should do this right now.
Match 5: RD Evans vs Adam Page
Winner: Adam Page via pinfall
Evans tries a cheap shot, but Page blocks it and tosses Evans about, plus some atomic drops for good measure. Evans puts on Page’s hat and mocks him after a cheat knee shot. Page takes exception and hits a powerslam, then Kazarian’s Fade to Black to win it.
Match 6: Ricky Marvin vs Roderick Strong
Winner: Roderick Strong via pinfall
Marvin comes out with two title belts, but nobody makes mention of what titles they are or what companies they belong to. That’s dumb.
Very lucha opening. Marvin doesn’t really look the part of your typical luchador, but he seems really quick on his feet. Opening exchange ends up with Roddy on the floor and Marvin hitting a headstand headscissors on the apron. Marvin hits a snapmare then a chinlock. Despite my inability to see it, Roddy hits a Sick Kick and a Gibson Driver to win it (thanks @PrinceLino).
Stream has gone to hell again, so it’s time for some troubleshooting. After doing a bit of searching around, seems I’m not the only one having this issue. Go Fight Live is chasing down complaints on Twitter, which is commendable, but it doesn’t seem to be a method that’s going to actually get people to be able to watch the show.
BJ Whitmer retired during the issues. That’s something I really wish I could have commented on. Perhaps later
Match 7: Matt Taven (ROH TV Champion), Michael Bennett & reDRagon (ROH Tag Champions) vs C&C Wrestle Factory & Adrenaline Rush
Winners: C&C & Adrenaline Rush via pinfall
Good, I’m back just in time for a random 8 man mess and more buffering issues. This is the point in the night where I very heavily consider taking off my headphones and going to bed. Had I paid for this, I’d be livid. And I’d be more justified for a refund than the nimrods who bugged cable companies over the finish to WWE’s show.
Oh hey it’s back again. And it’s not freezing. Overtime from C&C and they’ve pinned Kyle O’Reilly. Guess that’ll be a tag title match. Fish beats both men up and Outlaw Inc’s alarm blares.
Kingston calls the ROH Tag Champs “The Red Dragons” and says that Outlaw Inc wants the tag titles. For some reason. No idea why. Still don’t even really know why they’re back. Kingston sounds like a complete nimrod not getting the champions’ name right. The “spooky” music and clown masks are a stupid gimmick and don’t add anything. Having seen the start of this at Manhattan Mayhem, I’m not behind this at all.
Match 8: Adam Cole vs Michael Elgin, ROH World Title Finals
Winner: Adam Cole via pinfall and new Ring of Honor World Champion
So apparently there’s three “judges” for this match just in case there’s not a clear winner. I wonder if shenanigans will ensue?!! The judges are Cary Silkin, Joe Koff and Prince Nana. Having “signed” Outlaw Inc, I can only imagine Nana will cause some kind of ruckus.
Interesting that Elgin changed for the main event. He comes out holding his neck to sell his earlier war with Kevin Steen. Elgin chucks Cole across the ring out of a tie up. He challenges Cole to shoulder block him, then levels him. Cole bails to the floor to regroup. Elgin puts a stop to Cole’s speed with a powerslam and wants a Buckle Bomb, but Cole backdrops him and tries a Florida Key. Elgin rolls Cole to the floor and it’s another stalemate. Elgin with a drop toe hold and a front facelock, which Cole quickly counters. Cole rolls out of an arm wrench, then Elgin does the same and lands a dropkick. Elgin puts Cole into the corners then gorilla presses him for two. Elgin goes to the stalling vertical, but Cole lands on his feet as Elgin sells his neck. Cole follows with a swinging neck breaker then snapmares him over. Cole hits a low dropkick for one. Cole goes to the cravat and Elgin counters with a belly to back. Elgin ducks too soon for a back body drop and Cole spikes him with a DDT to continues focusing on the neck, which seems like it will be the story of this match. Cole goes to a chinlock and when Elgin fights up, tries a mounted sleeper hold. Elgin drops to a knee then slams Cole into the corner. Cole answers with a bicycle kick and they exchange, with Elgin landing a discus elbow and a uranage.
Elgin with multiple clotheslines and I’ve once again got buffering issues. This is like the Jay Briscoe title win all over again. Knew it was happening and just couldn’t see it.
I see a broken table and Elgin holding his neck – Nigel is teasing Cole winning by countout to capture the title. Something happened with a ref bump that benefited Cole as far as I can tell. The crowd is all over Todd Sinclair for it. Cole rolls to the floor, immobile and Elgin struggles to give chase. Buffering. Damn it.
Cole is rolled back into the ring and then boots Elgin in the leg, wrapping it in the ropes. Cole wants a Figure Four and locks it in mid-ring. Elgin manages a rope break. Now Cole is hitting Germans and hits a Florida Key to win it.
Jay Briscoe comes down the ramp to hand the title over to Adam Cole. Briscoe is tentative, as expected. He presents the belt to Cole with his head down. Jay offers and accepts a handshake and then Cole executes him with a super kick to the back of the neck. Elgin gets to his feet and gets leveled with the title belt. The stream dies again. Kids, I’m tapping out.
I hate to use this to explain an ROH match, but that was extremely by the books. Lethal has done the “take too long” tease for Hail to the King in a lot of recent matches, as well as “counter -> standing Lethal Injection” to win. The Lethal Combination has been reduced to a mid match move, but that’s his call. Just need to remain consistent. Young is great in the ring but has a pretty basic gimmick. One thing that I’m not happy about is three suicide dives in a row in the opener of a pay per view/important show. This is a continuing problem for ROH and it really causes the crowd to get burned out past a certain point.
Focusing on a hurt limb aside, Cole won that relatively cleanly. Not at all what I was expecting. Now, that was over the top in ROH fashion. I mean, we got a sit out burning hammer, a top rope kryptonite krunch, and those flurries in the beginning of the match were ludicrous. But it’s the norm for ROH, and that’s the scale to judge this against. Aside from the nonsense, this was a very well executed and entertaining wrestling match. Still holds for my prediction of Cole vs Elgin with Cole winning only via shenanigans or Steve Corino showing up. Ciampa needs to take a hard look at his offense, because some of these mid-match moves need to be toned down or dropped from the repertoire. Now I will say I quite liked that ending. It was different and it showed Cole would fight to the bitter end to win it.
As an interesting contrast, Steen and Elgin having the exchanges they had is a bit more believable, if only because of how big the men are. They beat the hell out of each other but you can at least believe they stay on their feet. Steen not being able to land the Package Piledriver and transitioning to something else was a good call and the flip out of the Piledriver to the Crossface was an awesome exchange. This match is definitely a must see. Odd as it may sound, typically the less I have to say in this section about a match, the better – There’s only so many ways for me to heap praise and not sound like a glad-hander, and it’s much easier to pick out things to criticize and build on them.
Damn that was a fun tag match. Curious if Richards’ selling was just selling or if he was actually hurt, since that was completely out of nowhere. Will need to keep an eye on live accounts and social media for that one. The suddenness of it was very not-wrestling and that that may not bode well for him. Always a good, logical build to try the finisher and have it countered over and over, only to hit it and actually win with it. It’s so basic, but ROH manages to screw it up all the time. That is not the case here. Just as with the Steen/Elgin match I would highly recommend you try and catch this one however you can.
So RD Evans is mad because he got jumped and attacked by a couple renegades and nobody did anything about it. Then Adam Page comes out and kicks his ass. Who’s the heel here? There’s nothing worse than when the jerk heel has an irrefutable point. Kelly and McGuinness make some “tramp” jokes at Veda’s expense for pretty much no reason. Crummy way to come back to the show.
Two matches I couldn’t see. Thanks, Go Fight Live.
Make that three. And astoundingly it managed to come back in semi-functional fashion for the climax of the main event and Adam Cole becoming the ROH World Champion. Now due to the crowd’s reaction, it would appear my long-standing expectation of a heel turn or some Corino stuff was wrong. Perhaps the heel turn was his ace in the hole, just in case he felt he couldn’t win. I don’t quite understand winning clean and then turning heel as an angle.
Go Fight Live and Ring of Honor owe me a refund of four hours of my time. And a $20. Because why not. SO frustrating. iPPV is not a useful technology in its current state and it’s not fair to the fans to “try” on such an important show.
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!