Ring of Honor - March 31, 2012
-Video recap of last weekís Adam Cole/Michael Elgin main event. Just to recap, Roderick Strong inadvertently cost Elgin the match and Eddie Edwards had to save Cole from a beat down. Meanwhile, Kyle OíReilly refused to help out his former tag partner.
-From Baltimore, MD. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. Tonight, we will see a double main event, as the last two qualifying matches for March Mayhem will take place. Tommaso Ciampa faces Kyle OíReilly and Eddie Edwards takes on Mike Bennett.
-Veda Scott interviews The Embassy Ltd. backstage. R.D. Evans says that Tommaso Ciampa will not answer any questions regarding the stolen TV title. Ciampa cuts him off, telling Scott that he doesnít answer to anyone. Ciampa feels that he stripped Jay Lethal of his manhood by taking away his title. The gold is sitting on his trophy case at home. All Lethal has to do to regain the title is to grow a set and take it back.
March Mayhem qualifying match:
This is kind of a heel vs. heel contest, as OíReilly now has a chip on his shoulder. They exchange some holds. Ciampa nails some hard kicks to the ribs, but OíReilly counters with a Northern Lights suplex. OíReilly unleashes his patented hard kicks. OíReilly charges into an overhead belly to belly suplex. Ciampa hops over a leg sweep and drives his knee into the back of OíReilly! Ciampa snap mares OíReilly into place for some clubbing blows to the chest. Ciampa sets up a tree of woe for more easy attacks. OíReilly flips out of a stretch and plants Ciampa on the mat. Back superplex by OíReilly! Ciampa absorbs the big bump, which seems to spook OíReilly. Ciampa takes a combination of strikes but answers with one devastating clothesline. OíReilly counters Project Ciampa with a guillotine choke. Ciampaís vertical suplex is also countered! Ciampa drives a knee to OíReillyís head, earning Ciampa a K-O victory at 7:49! That was a rather interesting finish. Good match, these guys have a nice chemistry together, **ĺ.
Kyle OíReilly vs. Tommaso Ciampa (with The Embassy Ltd.)
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
-Pretaped interview with ROH World Champion Davey Richards! Davey is asked about the recent actions of Kyle OíReilly. Davey says Kyle is a grown man and can do what he wants. Davey has been challenged by Ryan McBride, a local indie guy in the Maryland area. Davey has heard good things about McBride, but warns him that when he looks at him, he might see Eddie Edwards in his place, and heís not sure what heís going to do to him. On a side note, I still donít see any real reason for Richards to flat out be mad at Edwards. He canít possibly still be upset over Edwards training with Dan Severn, can he?
Proving Ground match:
Richards is relentless in the early going, driving his knee repeatedly into the newcomer. Richards goes right for the ankle lock and McBride taps out at 0:26. I guess itís about time that Davey got a decisive victory, but I was actually interested to see what McBride could do.
ROH World Champion Davey Richards vs. Ryan McBride
Winner: Davey Richards
-Kevin Kelly interviews Kevin Steen in the ring. Steen asks Kelly why Ring of Honor is doing everything they can to keep him from wrestling on TV. Kelly speculates that itís because Steen is reckless and dangerous. Steen scoffs at this, because isnít being dangerous what this is all about? Does he need to shake hands with everyone like what Davey Richards does? Steen wonders why Richards hasnít accepted his challenge, perhaps itís because his head is shoved too far up Jim Cornetteís ass. This lures out Davey Richards, who is looking for a fight. Jim Cornette and a group of referees try to prevent a brawl. Richards calls Steen a novelty act and a fat-ass. Cornette pleads with Richards not to give in to Steen, because itís all just part of a plan to hold ROH hostage. Davey vows to break Steenís ankle and manages to connect with a slap to the face. Steen seems pleased with himself and takes off. Fantastic segment here, the inevitable Richards/Steen match should be something to see.
-Kevin Kelly hosts Inside Ring of Honor. Weíre treated to footage of the Briscoes costing WGTT a match against Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman. The attention shifts to the ongoing Jay Lethal/Tommaso Ciampa feud over the TV title. Lethal is proud of himself for being the first man that Ciampa couldnít beat in ROH. Yeah, losing possession of the TV title hurt, but not as much as itíll hurt when Lethal ends Ciampaís undefeated streak.
March Mayhem qualifying match:
They lock up and surprisingly itís Bennett who scores a hold first. Itís quickly reversed. The pace quickens and they leap frog over one another until Edwards scores an armlock. Eddie sets up a tree of woe for a running drop-kick! Eddie goes for the follow up drop-kick, but Maria shields Bennett. The distraction allows Brutal Bob to sneak attack and drop Edwards into the guard rail. Bennett is in the driverís seat as we head to commercial. After the break, Eddie is mounting a comeback with some chops, but Bennett plants him to retain control. Eddie powers into a suplex reversal. They trade shots. Eddie nails a standing head scissors takedown! Snap suplex by Eddie and a flying missile drop-kick! Bennett chases Eddie around the ring until getting set up for a Yakuza kick off the apron! Suicide dive by Edwards and then a second one for Brutal Bob! Bennett struggles to the top rope but gets tossed off. Bennett blocks the backpack chin breaker but eats an enziguri. Eddie improvises and tries again on the apron but Bennett surprises with a spear! They jockey for position on the ropes and Eddie nails a big time Falcon Arrow! Bennett escapes a single leg crab. Maria hops up on the apron and gets knocked off her feet. Maria fakes an injury to distract the referee, giving Bennett an opening to sneak a roll-up for the win at 12:07 (shown). ďIíve seen better acting on RedtubeĒ says Nigel. This was a great showing for Bennett and Edwards has quietly become one of the best workers in the country, ***Ĺ.
Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis and Brutal Bob) vs. Eddie Edwards
Winner: Mike Bennett
Final Thoughts: The Steen/Richards confrontation really made this episode, but the wrestling wasnít too shabby either. I still donít like the March Mayhem concept, but itís produced some great television matches, which was the point all along. They still need to straighten things out with their TV continuity in regards to the live iPPVs and Iíll harp onto it until itís fixed. Still, this was a thumbís up episode.
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