A2Z Analysiz: ROH 11th Anniversary (Kevin Steen, Jay Lethal)


For an easy to navigate archive of all my Ring of Honor DVD reviews, please visit RetROH Reviews.

Frontier Fieldhouse – Chicago Ridge, Illinois – Saturday, March 2, 2013

The DVD opens with a very well-done hype video for tonight’s main event of Kevin Steen versus Jay Lethal for the ROH World Championship. Lethal has gotten SO MUCH better at cutting promos than he used to be.

Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Six Man Mayhem – Silas Young vs. ACH vs. Q.T. Marshall vs. Mike Sydal vs. Adam Page vs. TaDarius Thomas

Marshall is accompanied by R.D. Evans. He apparently broke Page’s hand in a parking lot attack after Page broke his nose during a match. This is the kind of thing they should have footage of, but I do appreciate the effort of creating a storyline. Page and ACH start the match. They go back and forth at a rapid pace and show off their athleticism. Thomas tags himself in and he works with ACH to double-team Page to the floor. Now Thomas and ACH look to go at each other, but Young breaks it up and throws ACH to the floor. Young quickly sends Thomas to the floor and Sydal takes his place. Sydal kicks Young to the floor, bringing Marshall in for the first time. Now everyone has been in the ring but no one has showed any kind of advantage or dominance. Everyone goes after Marshall because he’s the biggest jerk. It’s hard to follow all the action with so much going on. Page hits Marshall with a Shooting Star Press off the apron! That’s still cool. ACH goes for the first dive but Evans trips him up. Instead Thomas gets the first dive, wiping out Page, Marshall, and Young. Sydal follows with a moonsault to take out those four. ACH recovers and makes good on the dive from earlier, first dropkicking Evans to make sure he doesn’t trip him. For some reason Evans recovers and goes to the second rope, so Young superplexes him down onto a pile of bodies. ACH and Marshall are first to get back in the ring. Others are quick to join and it’s once again hard to keep up. Marshall hits Page with a hard Alabama Slam. Thomas hits Marshall with Sling Blade. Sydal takes it to Thomas but can’t put him away. He switches his focus to Young, but that goes badly for him when Young hits the Finlay Roll. Young tries the Pee Jee Waja Plunge but misses when Sydal rolls to the floor. ACH hits Young with a kick to the face and a capture DDT to get the pin at 7:01. That was the perfect way to kick off the show, with hot action and the right man going over. Thomas and ACH hug after the match.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Tag Team Grudge Match – Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs)

Coleman and Alexander charge the ring and away we go. Corino and Alexander brawl on the floor while Jacobs and Coleman fight in the ring. It doesn’t take long for C&C to start flying around, wiping out their opponents with dives. Back in the ring C&C stays in control until S.C.U.M. uses their trademark dirty tactics to take over on Coleman. Corino and Jacobs keep Coleman isolated in their half of the ring. That doesn’t last too long and not much of note happens before Alexander gets the hot tag. Alexander is a house afire, dominating Jacobs. The referee loses control and the legal man rule flies by the wayside. Coleman hits two rolling Northern Lights suplexes on Corino, and then when Jacobs tries to break it up Alexander joins in and C&C hit a tandem Northern Lights. Jacobs and Coleman end up on the apron and Jacobs takes him down with a Spear. Corino drills Alexander with a clothesline and then Jacobs hits him with a Contra Code. He then hits the Eternal Dream but it only gets two. Jacobs goes to the second rope but jumps right into a full nelson face slam. Coleman comes back in with a guillotine legdrop for two. He pitches Corino to the floor. C&C go for Overtime on Jacobs but Corino breaks it up with the help of a steel chain. S.C.U.M. then hits Alexander with a spiked piledriver to get the pin at 8:33. That was energetic but didn’t have a lot of flow. Corino and Jacobs going over was the right call in this case.
Rating: **½

MATCH #3: No Holds Barred – Charlie Haas vs. BJ Whitmer

Haas attacks Whitmer up by the entrance and the fight is on. They battle around ringside and Whitmer is totally in control. Whitmer gets the weapons out and starts abusing Haas with them, particularly a trash can. He also uses a chair and a ladder to abuse Haas’ balls. They go back to the floor and Whitmer sets up a table between the apron and the guardrail. Haas recovers and pulls Whitmer into the barricade. He grabs a chair and uses that to bash in Whitmer’s skull. Haas drops Whitmer spine-first across the barricade. Back in the ring Haas grabs the ladder and uses it as a weapon. Haas looks to use a cookie sheet but Cheeseburger comes out and stops him to gain a measure of revenge. It doesn’t really help though, as Haas is soon back in control and he suplexes Whitmer through the table between the apron and the barricade. Back inside once again Haas goes for several covers but Whitmer continually kicks out. Haas sets the ladder on Whitmer and then unloads on it with a steel chair. Once again the cover only gets two. Haas sets up a chair in the turnbuckles and hurls Whitmer’s face into it. He goes out and grabs another table. Haas sets the table up in the ring and goes for the super belly-to-belly suplex from Final Battle 2012: Doomsday. He hits it but Whitmer doesn’t almost die this time, and thus he is able to kick out at two. Haas is livid, and goes to the floor for another chair. He sets the ladder in between two chairs. Haas goes for the Olympic Slam but Whitmer avoids it and hits an Exploder for two! Whitmer then assaults Haas with knee strikes to the head, and referee Brian Gorie calls for the bell at 12:03. That was better than I thought it would be, which admittedly isn’t saying much. Whitmer going over strongly was the right call, so at least there’s that. It was an otherwise pretty standard hardcore brawl with a couple of nice spots.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #4: Dream Tag Team Match – The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. The Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov)

Koslov gets on the microphone and wants everyone to stand up for the Russian national anthem. He doesn’t get many takers, proving this is a xenophobic crowd. Former Tag Team Championship partners Richards and Romero start the match. Romero strikes first with a dropkick. AZUCAR~! Richards fights back with a kick to the arm and he does the AZUCAR~! dance as well. They continue to go back and forth, showing off how well they still know each other from their time in the No Remorse Corps. Romero begs off and asks for a handshake. That of course doesn’t go well, and the Wolves take it to Romero with double-teams lasting a lot longer than five seconds. Koslov tries to help out but he gets the same treatment. The Wolves knock the Hooligans to the floor and wipe them out with stereo dives. Back in the ring the Wolves continue to dominate. The Hooligans have to do some old-fashioned cheating to take control. Edwards fights back with a clothesline but gets cut off before he can make the tag. Moments later he finally is able to kick Koslov down, and then he powerbombs Romero on top of his own partner! Now the tag is made and Richards comes in guns blazing. Koslov is up to the challenge and he’s able to cut Richards off. The pace quickens and the referee is allowing a lot of latitude here. All four men are in the trying to take someone out. The Wolves isolate Koslov and hit a superkick / Tombstone Piledriver combo but Koslov kicks out. They continue to double-team and when Romero comes in to break it up he gets pitched right back to the floor. Romero gets up and knocks Richards from the top rope while Koslov counters Edwards with a tornado DDT. The Hooligans hit a super hurricanrana and Koslov follows with a Frog Splash for a two-count. Richards and Koslov wind up in the ring while Edwards and Romero try to recoup on the floor. Edwards makes it back in and the Wolves hit the double-team Alarm Clock. The Wolves then hit a super powerbomb / lungblower combination to get the pin at 15:41. I’d say that’s a finisher, yeah. This was solid stuff but they seemed to tease a lot of Richards/Romero tension that never really went anywhere, and it was mostly just an exhibition of moves. A fine one at that, but still just that and not more.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #5: Two out of Three Falls Grudge Match – Roderick Strong vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin

They start with some mat and chain wrestling, and go hold-for-hold in the early going. Elgin shows off his power advantage but Strong isn’t intimidated. A series of reversals ends with Elgin hitting the spinning back fist. Elgin then hits the Buckle Bomb and the Elgin Bomb to win the first fall at 2:01. After a brief 20-second rest period, Elgin goes after Strong on the floor. When Elgin gets up to the apron Strong is able to finally take control, avoiding a butt splash and then hitting a back suplex on the floor. Strong goes to work now, as he’s wrestling from behind. After a few minutes Elgin fights back with the Black Hole Slam. Elgin then locks on the Crossface and Strong counters it to a rollup for two. Strong hits a knee lift but gets picked right up into the Shock Treatment for two. A series of reversals ends with Strong in control but he can’t put Elgin away. They fight up on the ropes and Strong is able to hit a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle. Strong then hits the End of Heartache to even the match at one fall apiece at 11:26. Before the 20 seconds are up Strong attacks Elgin and hits the gutbuster for two. Strong tries a crucifix but Elgin rolls through and hits a Death Valley Driver. Elgin goes up top and hits the corkscrew senton for two. He hits the dead lift German Suplex for two, and then holds on to hit another one. Strong kicks out again, but that would have been a great finish. Elgin tries the dead lift superplex but Strong slips out and hits a Liger Bomb for two. Strong tries to follow up with a sunset flip but Elgin rolls through and hits the Elgin Bomb for a two-count. Elgin locks on the Crossface and Strong taps out at 15:33. The feud between these two SEEMED heated, but their matches were never quite able to capture it. Still, these guys could have a good match in their sleep, I was just hoping for a great one.
Rating: ***

Matt Hardy Speaks

Hardy starts cutting his usual heel promo and the crowd jumps all over him right away. He calls the upcoming match an afterthought and says he will get the next TV Title shot and he will be the Champion then. Hardy then joins the commentary team.

MATCH #6: World TV Title Match – Adam Cole vs. Matt Taven with Truth Martini

Cole has been the Champion since 6.29.12, and this is his sixth defense. The champ takes an early advantage so Taven bails to regroup. Back in the ring Cole continues to dominate, hitting a nice neckbreaker. Cole gets distracted by Truth and Taven dropkicks him to the floor. Taven tries a drive but Cole drills him with an enziguiri. Cole tries a springboard but Truth pulls his leg. That gives Taven the chance to clothesline Cole to the floor. Cole reverses a whip and sends Taven into the barricade. Truth distracts Cole again, and Taven catches Hardy with a spin kick. Back in the ring Taven is in control, wearing Cole down. After a few minutes Cole is able to catch Taven with a Death Valley Neckbreaker for two. Taven rolls to the apron and snaps Cole’s neck off the top rope. He goes for a high cross body block off the top rope but Cole cuts him out of the air with a dropkick. Cole goes for a suplex but Taven reverses to a Moonlight Drive for a near-fall. Taven puts Cole on the top rope but Cole counters with a brutal Sunset Bomb. Cole follows with a release German Suplex and a Shining Wizard but somehow that only gets two. I would have bought that as a finish. Cole goes for another Shining Wizard but Taven avoids it and gets a rollup for two. Taven hits an enziguiri for a two-count. Cole hits a slingshot DDT on the ring frame, which is always a cool spot. Back in the ring Cole goes for a high cross body but Taven avoids it. Taven tries a suplex but Cole counters to a neckbreaker for two. Cole locks on the Figure-Four Leglock and Taven gets to the ropes. The tenacious champion goes for the Figure-Four again but Taven fights his way out of it. A series of reversals ends with Cole hitting an enziguiri. Cole bounces off the ropes and Truth cracks the Book of Truth right off his spine. Taven then hits an arm-trap headlock driver to get the shocking pin at 13:34. That was certainly a huge upset and a big surprise. No one saw that coming. The match was pretty solid, and it’s interesting to put the secondary title on someone so unproven in ROH. Hopefully he can rise to the challenge.
Rating: ***

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Title Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)

The Briscoes have been the Champions since 12.16.12, and this is their fifth defense. Mark and O’Reilly start the match. They wrestle on the mat and trade maneuvers back and forth. Mark strikes first with a spin kick. Fish and Jay tag in as Nigel McGuinness joins the commentary team. Nigel announces that the winner of tomorrow’s Cole/Hardy match at the TV tapings will get a shot at the TV Title at Supercard of Honor VII. Meanwhile, the Tag Team Champions are dominating reDRagon. Fish is able to strike back on Mark, and is able to make the tag. The Briscoes fight back and Jay makes a tag, but before he can get in the ring Fish cleverly kicks his leg out of his leg. Now reDRagon smells blood and they viciously attack Jay’s leg. After several minutes Jay is able to make the hot tag and Mark unleashes his Redneck Kung Fu. The referee loses control and the legal man rule means nothing anymore. The challengers isolate Jay in the ring and unleash double-teams on him. They hit Total Elimination for a two-count. The Briscoes fight back and hit O’Reilly with a Doomsday Device off the apron! Back in the ring Jay hits Fish with the Falcon Arrow and Mark follows with the Froggy ‘Bow. Amazingly Fish kicks out at two. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device proper but O’Reilly breaks it up. Mark and O’Reilly fight on the apron and O’Reilly pushes him into a Fish belly-to-belly suplex to the floor! That was neat. Jay and O’Reilly battle on the top rope but Fish breaks that up and reDRagon hit their own Doomsday Device! It only gets two. The challengers then hit Chasing the Dragon to score the upset win at 15:13. This was non-stop tag team action from four of the best in ROH. For a new team reDRagon already jells really well, and getting the belts off the Briscoes and onto a new team will be good for creating fresh matches in the tag division. This was a lot of fun.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Kevin Steen vs. Jay Lethal

Steen has been the Champion since 5.12.12, and this is his sixteenth defense. They start throwing punches right away and here we go. The fight quickly spills to the floor and Lethal whips Steen into the barricade. Momentum changes several times s both men are trying to set the pace. Back in the ring they continue slugging away at each other. Lethal takes control and sends Steen back to the floor. He hits two consecutive dives, but before he can hit the third one Steen grabs him and hits the powerbomb on the ring frame. Back in the ring Steen goes to work, wearing Lethal down. Steen goes for the Swanton but Lethal gets his knees up. Lethal is able to hit a lungblower. Steen hits the pumphandle neckbreaker for two. He goes for the Cannonball but Lethal moves out of the way and hits a neckbreaker for a near-fall. Lethal signals for the Lethal Injection but Steen grabs him up on his shoulders, accidentally swinging Lethal’s legs into referee Todd Sinclair. With no referee, Lethal hits the Lethal Injection but there’s no one to count. Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino run out and hit Lethal with a Spiked Piledriver. They wake the referee up to make the count but Lethal kicks out! Jacobs drops the weakest elbow ever on Sinclair to keep him down. ROH match maker Nigel McGuinness comes out and takes a chair away from Corino and runs him off. Jacobs gets back in the ring and Lethal hits him with an enziguiri. Steen rises to his feet and and they slug it out just like the beginning of the match. Lethal hits two dragon suplexes but still can’t put Steen away. Back on their feet Lethal hits Trouble in Paradise, but Steen comes right back with a pop-up powerbomb for two. Lethal comes back with a series of superkicks and the Lethal Combination. He goes up top and hits Hail to the King. Once again Steen kicks out! Lethal locks on the Koji Clutch and Steen reaches the ropes. They fight to the apron and Steen hits the F-Cinq through the timekeeper’s table! Lethal barely makes it back to the ring and walks right into the Package Piledriver! Amazingly Lethal kicks out! Jacobs tries to interfere and Steen tells him to get lost. Lethal rolls Steen up for two and then hits a superkick. Steen levels Lethal with a clothesline and both men are down. Back on their feet Steen charges into a boot. They fight up on the top rope and Steen hits the top-rope brainbuster to finally score the pin at 20:46. That wasn’t quite as intense as Killer Instinct match but it did have a memorable story with S.C.U.M. continually trying to help Steen but the Champion not accepting their help. Lethal looked great in defeat and has been a far more valuable addition to the roster than I would have imagined he would be when he came back in 2011. This was a fitting main event to celebrate 11 years strong.
Rating: ****

S.C.U.M. Attacks

RHINO charges into the ring and takes Lethal out with a Gore. The Briscoes come to the rescue but RHINO takes Jay out with a Gore, and Jacobs hits an Ace Crusher on Mark. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander come out, but S.C.U.M. adds a member when Jimmy Rave comes out! BJ Whitmer and Rhett Titus run out, but Titus turns his back on Whitmer and joins S.C.U.M.! Michael Elgin rushes out but gets overwhelmed by the numbers. Cliff Compton is the next man out on behalf of S.C.U.M. Steen isn’t participating in this brawl at all, just watching on. The American Wolves rush out, as well as Adam Cole, which brings out Matt Hardy to hit a Twist of Fate. Steve Corino comes back out and cuts a promo saying that Evil is here, and that the destruction of Ring of Honor is nigh. He introduces everyone and says the goal is to kill Ring of Honor. Rave and Compton hold up a ROH baner and Jacobs stabs it with the spike. Corino says that tonight Honor has died.

Tags: , , , ,

Join our newsletter

never miss the latest news, reviews, live event coverage, audio podcasts, exclusive interviews and commentary for Movies, TV, Music, Sports, Comics, Video Games!