A2Z Analysiz – ROH Glory By Honor XI: The Unbreakable Hope (Kevin Steen, Michael Elgin)


International Centre – Mississauga, ON – Saturday, October 13, 2012

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.

MATCH #1: “Caged Hostility” Rematch – The Bravado Brothers vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander

I really enjoyed their first match together (which Coleman and Alexander won) so I look forward to this. It seems like a good choice for an opener. Harlem and Alexander start the match. Lance attacks Alexander from behind and Harlem knocks Coleman off the apron, just to be jerks. That’s a good way to make sure the fans understand the dynamics of the match. Alexander quickly fights back and I expect a lot of momentum changes in this match. That prediction holds true early on as both teams try to establish the pace. The Bravados are able to focus on Alexander and isolate him from his more experienced partner. After several minutes Alexander uses his speed to take both brothers out and make the tag. Coleman comes in a house afire. He this Harlem with rolling Northern Lights Suplexes and even adds one for Lance on the third! That was awesome. The Bravados seek sanctuary on the floor but Alexander wipes Lance out with a dive. Harlem follows with a moonsault off the second rope to wipe Alexander out. Coleman then follows with a dive to wipe out everyone. Back in the ring Coleman covers Harlem for two. Coleman misses a charge in the corner and Harlem hits an Unprettier for two. Lance hits a huge lariat for another two-count. Coleman comes back with a springboard cross body block and makes the tag. Alexander hits a spin kick off the ropes for two. Coleman and Alexander show some impressive double-teaming but can’t put Lance away. The Bravados make the comeback and the match breaks down. Lance got his mouth busted open somewhere along the way. He gets thrown to the floor and C&C hit Harlem with Total Elimination to send him to the floor. Lance is back in and Coleman hits him with the pop-up rana and Alexander follows with the Frog Splash to get the pin at 12:17. That was a hot opener and just as good as their first match. I just wish they’d give these teams an actual issue to feud over.
Rating: ***¾

MATCH #2: Grudge Match – Mike Mondo vs. Mike Bennett

This feud has been built around the fact that Mondo forced himself on Bennett’s girlfriend several times, and basically threatened to rape her. Somehow he’s the babyface in this scenario. Said girlfriend Maria Kanellis is in Bennett’s corner tonight. Mondo is the kind of guy who says “Boom.” He’s such a tool. Mondo starts off hot, throwing hands and making eyes at Maria. He goes outside and hides under the ring, and then surprises Bennett with a shoulder tackle into the barricade. Mondo tries leaping off the apron but Bennett catches him in a powerslam. Bennett throws Mondo into the barricade and Mondo lands badly on his leg. I think that’s where he got injured. Bennett follows up with a spear. Back in the ring Bennett continues the assault. They battle on the top rope and Mondo shoves Bennett down. Before Mondo can follow up Bennett charges in and knocks him back to the floor. Bennett rams Mondo into the barricade, and then Mondo rams Bennett into the same barricade. Mondo then throws Bennett into a barricade, but a different one. He charges and Bennett catches him in a spinebuster on the ring apron. Back in the ring both men cross body each other at the same time, rendering the spinebuster on the apron moot. Why even do it then? They go back to the floor and slug it out up in the aisle. Bennett goes for a piledriver but Mondo backdrops him. Mondo throws Bennett around a bit and prevents referee Gino Colucci from counting Bennett out. He goes back out to the aisle but is limping pretty severely. Mondo climbs up on the scaffolding and jumps off it to wipe Bennett out, likely further legitimately injuring himself. What a stupid spot to do in the second match on the card. They get back to the ring and Maria jumps up on the apron. Mondo avoids a charging Bennett and gets an O’Connor roll for two. Bennett kicks Mondo off and Maria catches him with a slap to the face. That debilitates Mondo long enough for Bennett to hit the TKO and get the pin at 10:51. Very little of what these guys did in the match made sense for the feud they have. Spots like the spinebuster on the apron and Mondo jumping off the scaffolding had little impact in the match and they would have been better off just keeping it an intense brawl. This just failed on every level except for Maria being a really hot distraction.
Rating: *½

MATCH #3: Grudge Tag Team Match – Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas vs. Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer

At least this match concentrates three of my least favorite people in ROH into one match. Haas and Benjamin attack before Titus and Whitmer can even make their entrance. They take Titus out and bring Whitmer into the ring. Titus comes to the rescue and I don’t think the bell has even rung yet. He sends Haas to the floor and Whitmer wipes him out with a dive. That leaves Titus and Benjamin in the ring and finally the bell does ring. Titus has control and this a bulldog for two. Meanwhile Haas drops Whitmer back-first onto the ringside barricade. Haas then brings Titus to the apron and eventually the WGTT are able to dump Titus to the floor. Back in the ring Haas and Benjamin go to work. Benjamin tries the super belly-to-belly throw but Titus shoves him down and hits a high cross body block. Both men are down. They get to their knees and slug it out and do the same on their feet. The crowd is actually supporting WGTT here for some reason. Benjamin and Titus clothesline each other and both men are down again. Tags are made and Whitmer is a house afire all over Haas. Whitmer tosses Benjamin to the floor. He and Haas then trade boots to the face and curse at each other. They trade German Suplexes and Haas wins that battle. Haas hits an Olympic Slam for two when Titus breaks up the pin. The referee has completely lost control. Somewhere in all the brawling, Haas and Benjamin hit Whitmer with the double powerbomb for the pin at 10:12. That was a decent tag team brawl, especially given how little I care about anything Titus or the WGTT do.
Rating: **¼

Kelly and McGuinness recap the events of last week’s Killer Instinct main event, which saw Jay Lethal go crazy on Kevin Steen after Steen spit on his mother. Backstage, Lethal threw Jim Cornette over a table, “injuring” Cornette and removing him from ROH.

MATCH #4: “Survival of the Fittest 2012” Finals Rematch – Jay Lethal vs. Davey Richards

Lethal gets on the mic before the match, and he’s still mad at Kevin Steen for spitting on his parents in Rahway, and tells Steen he can kiss his ass. He says he put Jim Cornette in the hospital and the crowd cheers. Good for them. Lethal blames ROH for him developing a Killer Instinct, and says that ROH can also kiss his ass. He does have respect for Davey Richards though, but he has a lot of anger in him so tonight Richards is just the wrong person at the wrong time.

These two have had good matches in the past, so with Lethal’s new attitude this could be pretty good. They feel each other out in the early going, as neither guy seems to be in a hurry. Down on the mat Richards takes the early advantage with a couple of submission holds, trying to wear Lethal down. Lethal responds with a slap to the face, angering the American Wolf. Things escalate now and Lethal hits the hiptoss/dropkick combination for a one-count. Richards comes back and goes to work on the arm. Momentum continues to shift back and forth as these two appear very evenly matched. Lethal has sure come a long way. Richards hits a dropkick that sends Lethal to the floor, and he follows with the running kick to the chest on the apron. He continues using kicks, even hitting his version of the Ole Kick to take Lethal’s head off. Back in the ring Richards hits a missile dropkick for two. Richards continues to control the action, keeping Lethal on the mat. Lethal fights back and hits the Jericho dropkick to send Richards to the floor. He follows with a suicide dive to wipe Richards out. They fight on the apron and Richards kicks Lethal in the head. Richards tries the running kick again but Lethal ducks it and hits an Ace Crusher on the apron! That was neat. Back in the ring they slug it out and Richards hits the Alarm Clock. Lethal strikes back with a superkick and hits the Lethal Combination and then locks on the Koji Clutch. Richards reaches the ropes. He lands a knockout kick and a bridging German Suplex for a two-count. Lethal comes back with an inverted suplex into a face slam for two. They fight up on the ropes and Richards connects with a superplex. Richards tries to hang on and deliver another move but Lethal grabs an inside cradle for two. They trade reversals and Richards hits an Ace Crusher. Richards follows with an Ace Crusher and a brainbuster for two. He goes up top and hits a huge double stomp but again only gets a two-count. Richards tries the Ankle Lock and Lethal escapes that, only to get drilled with a kick to the chest. Lethal kicks out at one! They trade strikes again and Lethal hits two superkicks for a near-fall. Back up on the top rope they slug it out some more and Lethal goes for a Sunset Bomb through a table but Richards blocks it. Lethal is tenacious though and kicks Richards in the head to send him through the table at ringside. Richards barely makes it back in the ring before the count of 20, and Lethal drills him with Hail to the King for a two-count. Lethal follows with a dragon suplex for another close near-fall. He goes for the Lethal Injection but Richards avoids it and puts on the Ankle Lock! Lethal rolls through and puts on the Parachute Hold. Richards rolls through that into an inverted cloverleaf. Lethal breaks free and hits a superkick to the back of the head. He then hits the Lethal Injection but it only gets two! Lethal locks on the Koji Clutch and Richards passes out at 23:31. That was an awesome contest that perfectly displayed both men’s present characters. It was also a key win for Lethal on his way up the card. Good for Richards for making Lethal look as good as he did. Richards even raises Lethal’s hand after the match in a show of respect.
Rating: ****

MATCH #5: Special Challenge Match – Roderick Strong vs. TaDarius Thomas

Roderick Strong comes out in street clothes with Truth Martini chasing after him looking distressed. Strong refers to being in the first match after intermission and wrestling “this guy” is bullshit. He says tonight he officially quits the House of Truth. Strong is going to grab a seat in the front row and watch Michael Elgin fail in his attempt to win the ROH World Title later on. Referee Brian Gorie decides to count Strong out of the ring, but Martini brings RHINO out as a replacement opponent for Thomas. RHINO does not look happy to be there.

They start off slowly since neither guy was prepared to face the other. In fact RHINO only has one knee pad on. That’s just crazy. Martini runs to the back for some reason as Thomas shows off his unique style of offense. RHINO comes back with a hard TKO for a two-count. Martini had retrieved RHINO’s bag of stuff so RHINO starts taping his wrists in between pounding on Thomas. RHINO throws Thomas to the floor and Martini takes some cheap shots right in front of the referee. Even RHINO tells Martini to back off. Back in the ring RHINO continues the abuse. Thomas fights back with some unorthodox punches and kicks. Martini gets on the apron and Thomas knocks him down. RHINO hits a belly-to-belly suplex and sets up for the GORE. Martini trips Thomas instead, and RHINO is none too pleased about it. RHINO sets up for the GORE again but Thomas avoids it and kicks RHINO in the face. Thomas then scores a La Magistral cradle to get the pin at 5:56. That was fine for storyline purposes and it’s nice to see Thomas get a win but it wasn’t really much of a match. An angry RHINO grabs Martini and heaves him into the guardrail, slicing both Martini’s pants and leg open. That’s just mean.
Rating: *½

MATCH #6: World TV Title Match – Adam Cole vs. Eddie Edwards

Cole has been the Champion since 6.29.12, and this is his third defense. This match has been granted a 30-minute time limit. These two teamed up on the last show, so this should be a friendly yet competitive match. They wrestle on the mat to start and come to standoff. It goes back and forth several times with both guys scoring multiple pinning combinations for two-counts and trying their submission maneuvers on each other to no avail. Edwards throws Cole to the floor and goes for a suicide dive but Cole cuts him off with an enziguiri. Cole gets up on the apron and Edwards kicks him down and this time hits the suicide dive. Back in the ring Edwards goes to work. Cole hits a basement dropkick. Edwards responds by also going after the knee. They get up to trade forearms and chops. The fight spills to the apron and Cole hits another enziguiri. Cole then hits a nasty looking slingshot DDT and both men are down on the floor. Back in the ring Cole hits a Superfly Splash for a two-count. Cole hits a Death Valley Neckbreaker for another near-fall. Edwards sells for about a second before coming back with the Chin Checker for two. The challenger goes back to the leg and then hits a double stomp off the top rope to the back. Edwards puts on the Achilles Lock and adds some kicks to the back of the head. Cole kicks his way out of it and then locks on the Figure-Four Leglock from a very unique position. Edwards reaches the ropes. Cole goes for a superplex but Edwards counters with a Death Valley Driver (sort of) to the floor! I don’t think that’s what they were going for but that’s what it looked like. Back in the ring they trade kicks to the face. Cole hits a suplex into a neckbreaker and then kicks Edwards in the back of the head for two. He follows up with the Florida Key to get the pin at 19:10. Both guys seemed to be going all-out to have a great match and I appreciate that. However they just kind of went from one sequence to another without anything tying it together. The action was fun and it didn’t feel as long as it was, it just never reached levels of greatness.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #7: World Tag Team Title Match – S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Jay & Mark Briscoe

Corino and Jacobs have been the Champions since 9.15.12, and this is their third defense. These two teams met back at Boiling Point and the Briscoes earned a victory that night. The Briscoes attack before the bell and away we go. It doesn’t take long for the fight to spill out to the floor. Mark and Jacobs battle on one side of the ring while Corino and Jay fight on the other side. They make it to the ring and the Briscoes are firmly in control. The challengers wear Corino out for several minutes until Corino is able to hit Mark with the Colby Shock. Jacobs tags in and Mark quickly tags Jay and the Briscoes are right back in control. Corino uses a roll of coins to deck Mark and knock him off the apron. S.C.U.M. takes control now with essentially a two-on-one advantage. Jacobs and Corino isolate Jay and wear him down. Jay grabs Corino and hits a Flatliner into the middle turnbuckle. Moments later Mark is back on the apron and Jay makes the tag! Mark unleashes the Redneck Kung Fu and is generally a house afire. He hits Jacobs with the Iconoclasm for two. The Briscoes hit the Sidewinder but it again only gets a two-count. The match breaks down and offense is coming from all over the place. All four men are down. They rise and start trading punches. Jacobs sends Jay to the floor and then hits Mark with the Contra Code. Corino hits the Eternal Dream and Jacobs covers for two. Jacobs goes up for the senton as Jay hits Corino with a Death Valley Driver on the barricade! Mark gets his knees up! Jay gets the tag and hits a Death Valley Driver on Jacobs. Mark follows with the Froggy ‘Bow but somehow Jacobs kicks out. The Briscoes go for the Doomsday Device but Corino pushes Mark off the top rope and kicks Jay square in the nuts. Jacobs gets a victory roll for the cheap pin at 13:59. That was the usual good but not great match between these guys. Is it possible the Briscoes have done all they can do as a team?
Rating: ***

MATCH #8: ROH World Title Match – Kevin Steen vs. Unbreakable Michael Elgin

Steen has been the Champion since 5.12.12, and this is his eleventh defense. Elgin earned this title shot almost a year ago by winning Survival of the Fittest 2011. This is the first time two Canadians have been fighting for the ROH World Title, and they’re in Canada no less. Steen cuts a promo before the match, talking about his confrontation with Jay Lethal and his family last week in Rahway at Killer Instinct. He also runs down his list of demands for agreeing to this match – he will never fight Jay Lethal again, he will get a new ROH Championship belt, and the Package Piledriver is legal again. Elgin then comes out, sans Truth Martini.

They start slugging right away. Elgin scores the first big blow with a Boss Man Slam. Steen tries to powder and Elgin follows him out to continue the abuse. They trade whips into the barricades, and then Steen chokes Elgin with the Canadian flag. Elgin reverses another whip into the barricade and then he returns the flag favor. Back in the ring Elgin covers for two. Elgin hits a delayed vertical suplex for another two-count as the crowd starts to really get behind him. He continues working on Steen and tries going to the top rope but Steen pulls him down and hits the Orton DDT. They go to the floor and Steen hits the powerbomb on the edge of the ring frame. Steen hits a Frog Splash off the apron. Back in the ring Steen covers for two. Steen keeps up the pressure and keeps Elgin off his feet. Elgin fights back with an enziguiri and both men are down. Back on their feet the pace continues to be quick given the size of both men. Elgin hits Diamond Dust for a near-fall. Steen tries the Package Piledriver but Elgin reverses and hits White Noise for two. Elgin tries a powerslam but Steen slips out and pulls the back of Elgin’s head onto his knee. Steen then hits the Cannonball in the corner for two. Elgin tries a corkscrew senton off the top rope but Steen gets his knees up. Steen charges but Elgin pulls down the top rope and Steen crashes to the floor. Elgin follows with a somersault dive to wipe him out. Strong distracts Elgin from his ringside seat and Elgin pulls him out and hurls him repeatedly into the barricades and then throws him back behind the curtain! Take that Roderick! Elgin then powerbombs Steen into the ring post! Back in the ring Elgin goes up top again and this time hits the corkscrew senton but it only gets two! Steen comes back and locks on the Sharpshooter. Elgin reverses to the Crossface and Steen reaches the ropes. They go to the apron and slug it out. Steen puts on a Sleeper so Elgin runs and jumps off the apron right onto a table! That was awesome. Both men barely make it back in before 20. They clothesline each other but no one goes down. Elgin runs off the ropes and Steen throws him into the air for a sit-out powerbomb! Somehow Elgin kicks out! Steen goes for the F-Cinq but Elgin counters to the Crossface, and Steen counters that with a cradle for two! Elgin gets an O’Connor Roll for a very close near-fall. He follows with an impressive dead lift German Suplex for two. That’s ridiculous. Elgin hits knees to the face. Steen hits a Codebreaker but Elgin drops him with a lariat for two. Elgin hits a Buckle Bomb but Steen pops out of the corner with a big clothesline and both men are down. Back on their feet Steen hits the F-Cinq but it only gets two! Elgin puts on the Crossface again and Steen reaches the ropes. Steen hits a Sleeper Suplex and the Package Piledriver but Elgin kicks out! While Steen argues with the referee Elgin rolls him up for two! Steen tries the Cannonball but Elgin catches him and hits a powerbomb! That’s awesome. Elgin hits the Buckle Bomb and the Spiral Bomb but somehow Steen gets his shoulder up! They fight on the top rope and Steen is able to put Elgin in position to hit a Super Package Piledriver! Finally that’s enough for the win at 31:31. That is the best match of Elgin’s career and a close call for Steen, and the ROH Match of the Year, hands down. In over half an hour I don’t think there was one rest hold; the pace these two cut was insane for guys who are regarded as “power” wrestlers. They both pulled off some amazing moves, particularly Elgin in showing off his impressive strength. The near-falls were believable and the crowd was with them the whole way, totally buying that Elgin was taking the title. The finish was built up to and didn’t have to be hit multiple times to win, it just took a Super version of Steen’s finisher to do the trick. I love all of it.
Rating: ****¾

After the match Roderick Strong comes out and delivers a Sick Kick to Elgin! That’s just rude. Then a mysterious package arrives for Steen, and Nigel McGuinness delivers it to him. The crowd knows what’s in the box. Steen pulls out El Generico’s mask! I think the main event for Final Battle 2012 is set.

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