Ring of Honor - March 10, 2012
-Video recap of the screwy finish from last week’s Strong/Edwards main event. I guess the finish must have bugged me more than I thought, because it took me about 3 weeks to get back on track with my reviewing. The idea of another round of Richards/Edwards/Strong sounds more exhausting than exciting at this point.
-From Baltimore, MD. Nigel McGuinness and Kevin Kelly are in the ring to warm up the crowd.
-Video interview with Jim Cornette. He talks about the “Blind Destiny” challenge at Showdown in the Sun. Part 1 will feature Richards vs. Strong vs. Edwards for the title. Part 2 will have those three men in singles matches, one of which will be a title match depending on the outcome from Part 1. I feel like this is more confusing than it needs to be. Anyhow, Cornette reveals there will be qualifying matches to determine who will face these top guys on Part 2.
-Back and forth video promos from Kenny King and TV Champion Jay Lethal. King says he’s been selected to be a part of the Blind Destiny series. All he has to do is beat Jay Lethal and he‘ll advance to face Roderick Strong at Showdown in the Sun. Lethal feels that his Television title entitles him to be first in line for the ROH title. The best case scenario would see Lethal defeating Strong for the ROH title the night after winning it.
“Blind Destiny” qualifying match:
The winner will face Roderick Strong in a potential ROH title match. It seems pretty obvious that Lethal is going over since King is already booked to face The Young Bucks on both Showdown in the Sun events. Lethal wrestles like he has something to prove, having come up short against Davey Richards in a recent title match. It doesn’t take long for Truth Martini and Roderick Strong to show up in the aisle, scouting the competition. King is competitive and the match has a steady back and forth pace. Lethal slows things down with a head scissors. King leaps up and kicks Lethal off the top rope. A slugfest breaks out. King counters the Lethal Injection. A spinebuster only gets 2 for King. Lethal drop-kicks King to the floor (after completely no-selling a neck snap on the ropes). The Lethal Combination only gets 2. They counter pinning predicaments, but Lethal manages to score the pinfall at 7:00. Standard and spotty match here.
Kenny King (with Rhett Titus) vs. ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal
Winner: Jay Lethal
-Adam Cole gushes about how far he’s come in the last few months. For some reason, he isn’t bragging about pinning Davey Richards at the 10th Anniversary Show.
-Kevin Steen almost feels bad for what he’s going to do to Adam Cole, because he’s all that’s standing in his way of a potential ROH title match.
“Blind Destiny” qualifying match:
The winner of this match will face Eddie Edwards at Showdown in the Sun. Steen licks his hand before offering a handshake. They start by brawling. Steen gets the upper hand, so Cole changes gear with a drop-kick. Cole delivers a nice suicide dive. Steen tosses Cole in the ring post, but unfortunately the camera crew misses it. Steen nails a second rope moonsault for 2. Cole fights back with a DDT. Steen blocks a springboard move and DDT’s Cole off the ropes. Running cannonball by Steen gets 2. Cole delivers a Lung Blower for 2. Steen absorbs some super kicks and nails a hard power bomb. The F-5 finishes it at 5:07. Way to follow up on Cole pinning Richards at the last iPPV, eh? The match itself was fine, but this booking is irritable.
Adam Cole vs. Kevin Steen
Winner: Kevin Steen
-Eddie Edwards runs out to prevent Steen from dishing out a Package Piledriver. I suppose ROH has given up any effort to convince us that we’re dealing with a “dark” version of Edwards.
-Kevin Kelly hosts Inside Ring of Honor. Roderick Strong thinks the triple threat match at Showdown in the Sun sucks. Eddie Edwards surprisingly agrees, he thinks his match with Strong should have just been restarted so they could have had one winner. Strong is whining while Edwards seems to have his emotions in check.
-Lance Storm is coming out of retirement to face Mike Bennett. Storm feels that someone needs to teach Bennett some respect and feels he’s the man to do it. Bennett says he knew he was a star but didn’t realize he was so big that he could lure a legend out of the old folks home. He and Maria are wearing matching green outfits, which is awesomely annoying.
-Video highlights of the Briscoes/WGTT feud since Final Battle 2011. The Briscoes have the belts, but WGTT have elevated their aggressiveness. The Briscoes promise to beat WGTT so badly that they’ll need to be carried out of the building.
-ROH World Champion Davey Richards joins the commentary booth for the main event. Richards wants to test himself against the best.
-Kyle O’Reilly says that anytime the World title is on the line, friendships suffer. O’Reilly says that unlike Eddie Edwards, he will wrestle with honor.
-The House of Truth are interviewed. Martini says there’s no way that Kyle O’Reilly will get past Michael Elgin. Strong really wants Elgin to get the shot, claiming that he has a “back-up plan” if things don’t go his way in the triple threat match.
“Blind Destiny” qualifying match:
The winner of this match will face Davey Richards at Showdown in the Sun in a potential title match. O’Reilly wants to have a technical wrestling match, but Elgin is just looking to fight. If it’s a fight Elgin wants, it’s a fight he gets, as O’Reilly lights him up with hard kicks. Elgin is harder hitter but O’Reilly applies a cross arm breaker. Roderick Strong runs in to provide a distraction, allowing Elgin to nail a suplex. Richards tweaks out on commentary. Cue the commercial! After the break, Elgin is in firm control. O’Reilly is crafty and counters with a back superplex! O’Reilly attempts a sunset flip power bomb off the apron, but has to settle with a back suplex into the barricade! Nasty spot, man. Running missile drop-kick off the apron by O’Reilly! Elgin absorbs another one in the ring and kicks out. Elgin dead-lifts but O’Reilly counters with a tirt-a-whirl DDT. Guillotine choke by O’Reilly but Elgin counters with a big side slam. Regal-plex by O’Reilly gets 2, so he applies a crossface. Strong distracts the referee while O’Reilly seemingly wins with a guillotine choke. Richards attacks Strong. Sadly, Elgin scores the pinfall with a sit-out power bomb at 10:28 (shown). Good main event here. Elgin continues to impress, ***.
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini)
Winner: Michael Elgin
Final Thoughts: I’m willing to bet that this episode was taped before the 10th Anniversary Show, but I’m baffled why they couldn’t react to that event in video packages or interviews in post-production. Adam Cole pinning ROH World Champion Davey Richards should have been a big deal. Following it up with a short loss to Kevin Steen is bad booking. I understand that the 10th Anniversary Show was a B-show and all, but if they’re going to spend several weeks of TV building it up, they absolutely needed to address it here. You could have still had the 3 matches that we got. Since I was preoccupied with continuity issues, it did take away from my enjoyment of this episode. I’m worried that I’m going to look back at this stretch of time and remember that this was when the ROH TV booking lost it’s way.
Thumbs in the middle, leaning down.
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