A2Z Analysiz: ROH Death Before Dishonor XI (Adam Cole, Michael Elgin)

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Pennsylvania National Guard Armory – Philadelphia, PA – Friday, September 20, 2013

Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness, and Maria Kanellis are on commentary.

MATCH #1: Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young

They go back and forth with some aggressive chain wrestling in the early going. Lethal hits a leg lariat and a dropkick for a two-count. Young takes a powder and Lethal tries to dive out on him but Young avoids it and unloads with some strikes. Lethal comes back with the hiptoss/dropkick combo and that sends Young to the floor again. This time Lethal is able to hit the suicide dive, and he follows with another one, a springboard dropkick to knock Young off the apron, and then another suicide dive. Back in the ring Lethal tries a sunset flip but Young uses the referee for leverage to block it. Young takes control now and begins the beat down. It doesn’t last long and Lethal is right back on offense, hitting the Lethal Combination for two. Lethal goes up top and Young joins him, only to get knocked back to the mat. Young rolls out of the way so Lethal can’t hit Hail to the King. Lethal comes down and Young catches a quick rollup for two. Young hits the backbreaker/clothesline combo for a near-fall. He goes for the Finlay Roll but Lethal counters it and tries the Lethal Injection but Young catches him in a German Suplex for a two-count. Young hits the Finlay Roll this time but misses the Pee Gee Waja Plunge. Lethal then hits the Lethal Injection to get the pin at 9:31. That was a rock solid opener and a good showcase for two men at very different levels in Ring of Honor. Young looked good in the loss but Lethal needed the win there.
Rating: ***

MATCH #2: ROH World Championship Tournament Semi-Finals Match #1 – Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Cole

Ciampa beat Silas Young and Michael Bennett to get here, while Cole got by Mark Briscoe and Jay Lethal. As soon as the bell rings Ciampa goes crazy, tearing into Cole and stomping him down in the corner. Cole fights back and kicks Ciampa to the floor. He connects on a suicide dive. Ciampa picks Cole up and rams him into the barricade. He hits a couple of running knees, then powerbombs Cole into the barricade, and then hits one more running knee. Ciampa pulls up the ringside mat and hits a suplex. Back in the ring Ciampa covers for two. Cole fights back with a low dropkick and a shining wizard for a two-count. Ciampa tries to fire back but Cole catches him with a slingshot DDT right on the ring apron. Ouch. Back in the ring Cole covers for a two-count. Cole goes for the Florida Key again but Ciampa blocks it and hits a Burning Hammer for a near-fall. Ciampa hits a series of running knees in the corner and hits a Kryptonite Krunch for two. They go back up the ropes and this time Cole is able to slip out and superkick Ciampa right in the knee. Cole is like a shark smelling blood, and he quickly locks on the ring post Figure-Four Leglock. Back in the ring Cole puts on the traditional Figure-Four Leglock and Ciampa is struggling. Ciampa turns it over and Cole reaches the ropes to break the hold. Both men rise and trade strikes. Cole goes low again and hits a running knee to the face for a near-fall. Ciampa tries to power up and finally levels Cole with a lariat. He hits Project Ciampa but that further injures his weakened knee, and it probably didn’t have full effectiveness because Cole kicks out at two. Cole hits the vertical suplex into a neckbreaker and then reapplies the Figure-Four Leglock. He adds kicks to the face and Ciampa is out for the pin at 13:50. That was a hell of a match, with both men throwing everything they had at one another, and Cole just kicking Ciampa so hard in the face he knocked him out. That’s a good, unique finish and makes Cole look super strong heading into the finals against the winner of the next match. Cole viciously attacked the knee, which both works to help his finisher and hurt Ciampa’s, so it was just great strategy and good stuff all around.
Rating: ***½

MATCH #3: ROH World Championship Tournament Semi-Finals Match #2 – “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen

Elgin defeated Paul London and Karl Anderson to advance, and Steen beat Brian Kendrick and Roderick Strong. These two had an incredible match back at Glory By Honor XI: The Unbreakable Hope. They are aggressive but cautious with each other in the early going, and both try a quick finisher but neither can hit it. The back and forth continues, and Elgin hits a springboard moonsault from the second rope of all things for a two-count. Steen tries to fight back but Elgin catches him in a Boss Man Slam, sending Steen to the floor for a breather. Elgin will give him no such thing, chasing Steen back to the ring. They fight on the apron and Steen hits a Rope-hung DDT for two. Steen goes up top and hits a nice cross body block for two. Elgin fights back and they run into each other, both going down. Back on their feet Elgin catches Steen with a lariat but can’t make the cover right away so Steen kicks out. Elgin delivers more clotheslines. A series of reversals ends with Elgin throwing Steen shoulder-first into the ring post. Elgin goes for the Crossface (smart) but Steen quickly gets to the ropes (also smart). Steen goes to the apron and Elgin goes for the dead lift German Suplex. Elgin gets knocked back and Steen hits the Swanton for a two-count. More reversals ends with Elgin hitting an STJoe. Elgin goes up top for the corkscrew senton but Steen gets his knees up. Steen hits the F-Cinq but Elgin kicks out! Steen goes for the Cannonball but Elgin moves out of the way. Elgin hits the dead lift German Suplex for two, and then immediately puts on the Crossface! Once again Steen is able to make the ropes. They trade strikes and Steen lands the pop-up powerbomb. More reversals ends with Elgin hitting a powerbomb. Elgin hits the Buckle Bomb and goes for the Elgin Bomb but Steen sweeps the legs and puts on the Sharpshooter! Steen can’t keep the hold on, but both men are hurtin’ for certain. Elgin puts on the Crossface again but Steen escapes out. Steen flattens Elgin with a lariat and then lands the Sleeper Suplex for a near-fall. He goes for the Package Piledriver but his injured arm prevents him from completing it. Steen instead goes back to the Sleeper Suplex, hitting two more. Elgin pops up and hits a lariat and both men are down. Steen tries the Package Piledriver one more time but Elgin awesomely counters into the Crossface and Steen taps out at 19:23! What a battle between two agile heavyweights. Of course this wasn’t the classic their previous match was, but these two did a great job with counters and reversals, and the psychology of Elgin targeting the arm and continuing to use the Crossface to get the tap out win was sound. Awesome stuff here, as these two are just well matched opponents with great chemistry.
Rating: ****

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

The Hooligans have been the champions since 5.3.13, and this is their third defense. Edwards and Romero start the match. These teams know each other well from their recent battles, as well as the fact that Richards and Romero are former ROH World Tag Team Champions when they were members of the No Remorse Corps. Richards and Koslov tag in for some more back and forth. More tags are made and momentum shifts back and forth between the two teams as they try to set the pace and establish dominance. The Wolves are able to send the Hooligans to the floor and take them out with stereo dives. That gives the Wolves an advantage and they isolate Romero in their half of the ring. It doesn’t take long for the Hooligans to fight back and go to work on Edwards. When Richards tries to make the save the Hooligans lock on simultaneous submission holds. Romero and Koslov are working like a well-oiled machine here. Edwards is able to catch Romero with an enziguiri and the Chin Checker to gain a reprieve. Richards gets the tag and he’s a house afire, drilling Romero with a missile dropkick. More kicks are unleashed and Romero is worn out. Koslov comes in to the rescue and the referee loses all control of the match. Some miscommunication between the Wolves allows the Hooligans to isolate and double-team Richards. The chaos continues and the tag rules have gone out the window. The Wolves hit back-to-back double stoms on Koslov but it’s not enough to put him away. They try the super double lungblower but Koslov avoids it. Romero takes Richards off the top rope with a rana and Koslov follows with a shooting star press! Edwards has to break up the pin. Romero sends Edwards back to the floor. Koslov picks Richards up in a torture rack and Romero flies off the top rope with a knee strike to the head and the Hooligans retain at 19:43. That was exactly the type of non-stop action you’d expect from these teams, and they went all out as usual. There wasn’t a lot of rhyme or reason to what they did, but they sure did a lot of stuff and it was never boring.
Rating: ***¼

MATCH #5: Adam Page vs. R.D. Evans

Evans has Veda Scott in his corner. He was not scheduled for a match, but he has made his way out right after intermission so let’s see what happens here. They complain about the way Evans has been treated, and say they’re going to stage a sit-in. Adam Page makes his way out and issues a challenge that Evans accepts. Evans tries to attack before the bell but Page is ready for him. Page throws Evans around until Evans delivers a knee to the gut. Veda gives Evans Page’s hat, and hilarity ensues. Page takes offense and hits a powerslam and the Fade to Black to get the pin at 1:51. That was a match that happened.
Rating: ½*

MATCH #6: Special Attraction – Roderick Strong vs. Ricky Marvin

This should be a spiffy little match. They go back and forth at a fast pace and Marvin sends Strong to the floor with a headscissors. Marvin follows him out and hits another headscissors just for fun. Back in the ring they start to trade chops and Strong wins that battle. Strong hits his first backbreaker for a two-count. Marvin fights back with a flurry of offense and quickens the pace. He sends Strong to the floor and wipes him out with a cross body block from the top rope. Back in the ring Marvin runs along the top rope and takes Strong out with a dropkick. That gets a two-count. Strong comes back with an Olympic Slam for two. Strong keeps up the pressure and goes for multiple pin covers but Marvin keeps kicking out. They trade some strikes and knock each other down. Back on their feet they trade more strikes and Marvin hits a Roll of the Dice for a near-fall. Marvin goes up top and Strong joins him, bringing Marvin down with a superplex for two. Marvin comes back with a reverse rana and a clothesline for a two-count. He follows with the Snow Plow for another near-fall. Marvin goes up top for a double stomp but he misses. Strong hits a knee strike, gutbuster, and the Sick Kick for a near-fall. He follows with the Gibson Driver to get the pin at 12:02. Marvin definitely didn’t kick out after the Sick Kick, so I’m not sure why Strong picked him up for the last move. That was a nice taste of something different to see Ricky Marvin in ROH, but the match wasn’t particularly memorable. It was a solid exhibition and a good win for Strong though, and I do like my ROH cards with variety so it’s still a plus.
Rating: ***

In Ring Interview w/ “Buzzsaw” BJ Whitmer

At All-Star Extravaganza V in Toronto, BJ Whitmer received a piledriver on the ring apron from Michael Bennett and suffered a severe injury. He’s here tonight to provide an update on his condition. Whitmer thanks his trainer Les Thatcher, Gabe Sapolsky, Cary Silkin, and all the boys in the back. He also thanks the fans for their support. Whitmer says his in-ring career is over and the crowd chants “Thank You BJ!” He has one last matter of business though, and he calls out Jimmy Jacobs. Whitmer puts over his history with Jacobs and calls him a great friend. He wants Nigel McGuinness to give Jacobs a chance to earn his job back. Nigel is surprised but agrees to give Jacobs an opportunity. Whitmer and Jacobs hug and then Jacobs leaves Whitmer alone in the ring to soak in the adulation from the crowd. Very classy segment.

MATCH #7: 8 Man Tag Team Match – ROH World Tag Team Champions reDRagon, ROH World TV Champion Matt Taven & Michael Bennett w/ Truth Martini, Maria Kanellis & The Hoopla Hotties vs. C&C Wrestle Factory and Adrenaline RUSH

reDRagon is Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly, C&C Wrestle Factory is Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman, and Adrenaline RUSH is ACH and TaDarius Thomas. Maria replaces Nigel McGuinness on commentary for this match. I expect this one is going to get crazy. Fish and Alexander start the match, but Fish tags Taven before any contact is made. For some reason Fish wants to get on commentary. The pace gets fast right away and the C&C RUSH team takes the first advantage. Things get way out of hand and it’s really hard to keep up with al the offense and all the tags going on. The team of Champions + Bennett take over with some dirty tactics and they focus on ACH. Fish keeps avoiding in-ring action to go on commentary, and Maria yells at him. Maria is pretty annoying on commentary, and Fish continuing to go out there is just distracting. Things break down and get crazy and when team C&C RUSH send their opponents to the floor and go for dives, Maria and the Hotties grab their legs. That allows reDRagon, Bennett, and Taven to roll up all four men at the same time but no pins are recorded. Offense is coming from every angle and it’s very hard to keep up with. Alexander and Coleman are able to trap O’Reilly in the ring and hit Overtime to get the pin at 12:25. That was absolute madness and very hard to keep up with. There were 14 people involved in that match if you count the referee, which is a lot. But they made the most of having that many people out there and obviously kept the crowd into it with non-stop action.
Rating: ***

After the match, Outlaw Inc. (Homicide and Eddie Kingston) come out and run everybody off. Kingston cuts a promo making it known that they are coming after reDRagon and the ROH Tag Team Titles.

MATCH #8: Main Event – ROH World Championship Tournament Finals – Adam Cole vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin

The title has been vacant since 7.3.13, and this match will rectify that. To recap, Cole beat Mark Briscoe, Jay Lethal, and Tommaso Ciampa to get here, while Elgin beat Paul London, Karl Anderson, and Kevin Steen. Former ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness gets in the ring to announce that there will be three judges in the event that this match goes to a draw. The judges are ROH Ambassador Cary Silkin, ROH CEO Joe Koff, and Prince Nana. McGuinness then rejoins Kelly on commentary.

Elgin overpowers Cole in the early going and Cole takes a powder. Back in the ring Elgin hits a nice powerslam for two. Cole gets sent back to the floor as Elgin is going to want to end this one early if he can due to the beating he took during the semifinals. Elgin fights hard, but Cole keeps him grounded and focuses on the neck just like Steen did. Cole keeps the pressure on but Elgin is able to catch him in an STJoe, which gives him a chance for a breather. A Boss Man Slam gets two for Elgin, and he tries to follow with the Dead Lift German Suplex. Cole blocks it and hits an enziguiri and a Shining Wizard for a two-count. He tries the Figure-Four Leglock but Elgin kicks him to the floor. Elgin pulls Cole back into the ring via a German Suplex for two. He hangs on and hits another one for a near-fall. Elgin delivers a German Suplex into the buckles, but Cole responds with a Death Valley Neckbreaker for a two-count. Momentum continues to shift as both men are looking quite worn down. Elgin gets a burst of energy and beheads Cole with a series of lariats but can’t put him away. They fight up on the top rope and Cole hits a Sunset Bomb and another Shining Wizard for two. Cole picks Elgin up but it’s Elgin who’s able to pick Cole up in a suplex that he turns into a sidewalk slam for a near-fall. Elgin is able to dropkick Cole on the apron, and this time he’s able to execute the deadlift, but he makes it even cooler by doing a Falcon Arrow for a two-count. He hits a Buckle Bomb, Cole responds with a Mafia Kick, and Elgin back fists him to the floor. Elgin goes to the floor and sets up a table, and he tires to powerbomb Cole from the apron through the table. He goes for a back suplex instead and Cole changes the momentum to send Elgin crashing through the table first. Cole gets back in the ring and hopes for a countout but Elgin just makes it back in. The fired up Cole hits a superkick and the Florida Key but Elgin kicks out! Cole goes for a superplex but Elgin brings him down with a super powerbomb! Elgin hits a Buckle Bomb but Cole jackknife cradles him for two. A series of reversals ends with Elgin landing several hard strikes and another Buckle Bomb. He goes for the Elgin Bomb and Cole’s feet knock referee Todd Sinclair out of position so he can’t count the pinfall. Cole wisely rolls to the floor Getting back to the ring Cole catches Elgin with a dropkick to the knee that ties Elgin’s limb up in the ropes. Cole puts on the Figure-Four Leglock and Elgin is able to make the ropes. Elgin rolls to the apron and Cole springboards over and slams his face on the apron. Cole hits a Brainbusters on the floor and rolls Elgin back in the ring for two. He hits the Panama Destroyer and Elgin kicks out! Cole is furious and almost gets himself disqualified. He tries another Panama Destroyer but Elgin counters and puts on the Crossface! Cole escapes and lands a succession of kicks. He hits two release German Suplexes and then the Florida Key to get the pin at 26:30! Adam Cole is the nineteenth ROH World Champion! That felt a little bit long and seemed to take a while to get going, but the last half or so was great stuff and Cole looks great in going over clean like that. Cole continuously attacked the neck and won with a move that targets the neck, simple but good. Elgin looks good in losing here after the beating he took from Steen, and two top guys forever now exist after this match.
Rating: ***¾

Former ROH World Champion Jay Briscoe makes his way down with the ROH World Title belt, and hands the belt over to Cole and shakes his hand. As soon as Jay turns around, Cole blasts him with a superkick to the back fo the head! Cole then hits Elgin with the title belt and stands tall.

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