ROH Reaction of Honor – Final Battle 2013 (Cole, Elgin, Briscoe)

The Glimpse:

ROH’s biggest show of the year.  All three titles are on the line, as well as careers and finishers.  Maybe someone interesting will show up too…

Dark Match:  Brutal Brugers vs Two guys from Retro Fitness

Winners:  Brutal Burgers via pinfall 

The Action:   The usual Brutal Burgers shtick and they win with the double team Stunner.  Got the crowd a bit fired up, at least.  Retro Fitness guys were in good shape, looked fine in the ring.

The Reaction:  Same old same old.  I guess Kongo is off the dark matches so that he can prep to be in the 2014 Top Prospect tournament.

Match 1:  Adam Page vs Matt Hardy 

Winner:  Matt Hardy via pinfall

The Action:  I admittedly didn’t get to see a whole lot of this one, thanks to Security and Crew at Hammerstein Ballroom.  There was a huge screw up concerning “reserved” seating in the front two rows that were unmarked.  Checked with Security (5 of them) and was told it was Gen Admin, so we took the seats.  Slowly but surely people around us started getting moved.  Luckily, the people in “our” seats never showed so we didn’t have to move, but I got into a bit of a fight with half a dozen security and crew over the course of the night, including the Supervisor, who had no answers or a make-good prepared.  Thumbs down to them.

Hardy hits the Twist of Fate to win it.

The Reaction:  Again, can’t say much.  Hardy had “offered” to team with Edwards tonight, so I guess he thought he should be on the show anyway.

Match 2:  Silas Young vs Mark Briscoe, Strap Match

Winner:  Silas Young

The Action:  Pretty tame strap match, especially in an ROH ring.  It’s entirely possible I missed a couple big spots thanks to Security, though.  They went for the old “heel ties up face, face hits every turnbuckle too” but at the end Briscoe escapes and Young pulls himself in on Todd Sinclair’s shirt to hit the fourth turnbuckle and win.

The Reaction:  It was a strap match.  Nothing really stand-out about it.  I’m going to guess this is the last we see of Young and Mark.

Match 3:  Adrenaline Rush vs Young Bucks

Winners:  Young Bucks via pinfall

 

The Action:  I’m pretty sure the Bucks executed ACH in this match.  They double super kicked him out of the air mid suicide dive on the floor.  That’s definitely a spot I’ve never seen.  Crowd was very pro-Bucks, as usual, but ACH got a lot of love.  Really sucks to be Tadarius Thomas.  I’ve used this line before, but this match was excellent if you love ROH and a clustermess if you don’t like that style.  They went balls to the wall the entire match until the Bucks sealed the deal with More Bang for your Buck.

The Reaction:  That’s ROH in a nutshell-shaped tag match right there.  If you can watch this match and not get excited and out of your seat, ROH just isn’t for you.  Excellent performance from all four men and a definite match of the night contender.  It was indeed a #superkickparty.  Would like to see ROH vs IWGP tag champs in their current configuration.

Match 4:  Michael Bennett vs Kevin Steen, Stretcher Match (loser cannot use Piledriver in ROH)

Winner:  Kevin Steen via ref stoppage

The Action:  Steen exploded right from the start and ended up repeating the nuts to 4 posts spot from TV a month or two ago, but not before Bennett managed to cut the back of his head, likely on a barricade.  It added to the match and the crowd loved it, Maria was distraught.  Bennett would get his revenge later in the match with a one man Con-Chair-To to Steen’s crotch.  After the first attempt to stretcher someone out, Steen would dispose of it to the back.  The ref sold not knowing what to do really well, but obviously someone could have just gone and gotten it again.  Bennett would hit a pair of piledrivers on Steen after a load of big spots, including the Box Office Smash from the apron to the floor through a pair of tables.  Steen would ultimately win it after a Steenbreaker on a chair and the Package Piledriver through three chairs.  The ref stopped it, which is a fine finish given the nature of the match.  Bennett gets carried to the back and Maria confronts Steen and slaps him.  As one would expect, Steen celebrated by Package Piledrivering her in the middle of the ring to a huge ovation.

The Reaction:  Great stretcher match.  Enough brutality, but not enough to get silly.  You could feel the hate in the rivalry and the end was logical – Nobody expected to have Steen get his piledriver banned again.

Match 5:  reDRagon (c) vs Outlaw Inc, ROH Tag Team Championship

Winners:  reDRagon via pinfall

The Action:  Oh, this match.  If ever there was a match that completely lost a crowd, this is it.  On paper, these four guys in a ring should be exciting.  But Outlaw Inc’s stupid entrance leaves people looking all over and I could swear Homicide was high.  The whole first third or so of the match, he was on three different corners for tags and just looked like he had no clue what was going on.  This one got “Boring” chants, “TNA” chants.  I mean it doesn’t really get much worse than that.  Both teams cheated because they’re all a-hole heels, but reDRagon would ultimately win it with a chair-shot Chasing the Dragon.  Which makes no sense, because Bobby Fish whacked his partner in the arm with the chair.  Would have been a way cleaner spot to do the brainbuster ONTO the chair and have Fish still deliver his kick.  The visual was good, but the logic kills it.  Kingston grabs the mic after the match and says now they’re going to do it “their way”.  Homicide teases snapping a crew guy’s finger then lets him go…only to hit him with a Cop Killa instead.  Kingston and Homicide then threw a tantrum and started getting in people’s faces, throwing trash cans and guardrails and such. Couple people damn near got hit.

The Reaction:  Lowpoint of the night.  I’m a huge reDRagon fan and I rather enjoy Homicide, but this was a huge mess.  The after-tantrum did the job of getting the crowd to turn on Outlaw Inc, but people were also laughing at them and telling them to clean up the trash they threw.  I guess Outlaw Inc will be meaner now or something.  Again, Nana takes no proper credit for bringing them in, so the storyline just floats out in the ether, going nowhere.

Match 6:  Tommaso Ciampa vs Matt Taven (c), ROH Television Championship

Winner:  Tommaso Ciampa via submission, new ROH TV Champion

The Action:  Time wise, this was a glorified squash match.  Match wise, it was freakin awesome.  The entire HOT (Tonight consisting of Martini, Scarlett and Kasey Rae) tried to interfere and got demolished in the process.  Truth (this was two nights ago, not positive on this spot) took a knee to the floor.  Scarlett tried to block a corner knee strike with her body, so she took the knee to the skull.  Kasey tried her flying rana but got caught and took Project Ciampa.  Taven would hit a diving splash with the distraction but ended up in Ciampa’s version of the Rings of Saturn/Batista Bite and tapped.

The Reaction:  Now this one got the crowd back into the show.  Everyone wanted to see Ciampa win this (he’s been cruising to a title run since his return) and squashing the entire HOT in the process was a huge bonus.  The HOT shtick is definitely a bit old, so curious to see if we see a break from Truth for Taven or if they carry on for a while.  Great short match.

Match 7:  Roderick Strong & Jay Lethal vs Eddie Edwards & BJ Whitmer

Winners:  Edwards & Whitmer via pinfall 

The Action:  Whitmer asked to be Edwards’ partner for a proper final match.  He looked like he was in great shape and was healthy, and will be sticking around for a while.  The match was fine, but nothing to write home about.  More important is what happened after Roddy got rolled up.  Edwards gives his “I’m going to NXT” speech and hands the mic over to Whitmer, who proceeds to deliver an Exploder to him.  Roddy joins in and Jimmy Jacobs comes to the ring.  Apparently they feel their presence isn’t appreciated and will stand together.  Edwards takes the spike from Jacobs who digs it into this head to give him a goodbye from ROH.  Perhaps a new iteration of Age of the Fall or something new? 

The Reaction:  That was unexpected, I’ll be honest.  Roddy falls between face and heel so often it’s hard to tell where he lies half the time anyway.  It was an interesting twist and explains why Whitmer was so eager to help Jacobs get his job back on TV.  Where they go from here?  We’ll find out.

Match 8:  Jay Briscoe vs Michael Elgin vs Adam Cole (c), ROH World Championship

Winner:  Adam Cole via pinfall

The Action:  This one was a great match for an ROH fan.  Pretty even throughout with Cole playing the cowardly, dastardly heel and keeping distance.  Later in the match, Hardy would show up to start helping Cole.  He hits Jay with a Twist of Fate but gets tossed by Elgin.  Mark Briscoe would show up to counter balance the Hardy presence and back up Jay.  Elgin would power bomb Cole over the top onto everyone else on the floor then deliver a flip dive and land on his feet.  Elgin is huge, he doesn’t even make sense sometimes, in the best possible way.  Back in the ring, Elgin would take a pair of Jay Drillers and slowly rise up, looking intense.  At the finale, Elgin gets sandwiched between strikes from Jay and a superkick to the back of his head from Cole, who rolls Elgin up for the win.  Hardy is staunchly with Cole, raising his hand.  In the surprise twist of the night, Chris Hero shows up and disposes of Cole and Hardy with the lucky elbow pad.  The crowd lost their minds for Hero, considering he was at CZW a state over earlier in the night.  I had gotten reports that he opened the show and made right for his car, so there were murmurs he would be Edwards’ partner but this was even better.

The Reaction:  This one is worth a watch just to see the run ins, how they were handled, Elgin being awesome and Hero making his return.  Hero makes it sound like he’s going to be around for a while, so I’m willing to bet we see him chase for the ROH Title pretty soon.  Excellent main event and it made up for the crummy Tag Title match that flattened the crowd.  Everyone went home happy.

On the whole, I would say this PPV is worth ordering, if only for the Bucks/Adrenaline Rush match and the TV/World Title matches.  Storyline wise, it’s good to see the genesis of Whitmer/Jacobs/Roddy if you keep up with that as well.

The Shill:

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!

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