ROH 11th Anniversary Show - Mar 2, 2013
-From Chicago Ridge, IL. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer.
It’s worth noting that Page has a cast due to a broken finger, courtesy of Marshall. Page starts against ACH and they exchange holds. They quicken the pace to showcase their athleticism. Thomas makes a blind tag and ACH drops Page onto his knees. Young storms the ring and prevents ACH and Thomas from squaring off. Sydal tries to surprise Young with an O’Connor roll but ends up getting ambushed by Marshall. QT takes a flurry of offense from the good guys. Page delivers a Shooting Star Press off the apron! ACH signals a dive but gets tripped by Evans. Back handspring dive to the floor by Thomas! Sydal delivers a top rope moonsault onto the others. ACH dispatches Evans and delivers a beautiful dive. Page catches Evans and superplexes him onto the rest. The participants take turns hitting finishers in the ring, and pretty much everyone looks good here. ACH nails Young with a cradle DDT for the win at 7:00. This was a great spotfest that put everyone over. For the first time in a long time, the future looks bright for ROH, talent-wise, **½.
QT Marshall (with RD Evans) vs. Adam Page vs. Silas Young vs. Mike Sydal vs. ACH vs. Tadarius Thomas
S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman
Not sure why, but the picture quality gets awfully fuzzy as the bell rings. Coleman delivers a dive during a ringside brawl. Coleman pulls the ropes to allow a dive from Alexander. Jacobs gets double teamed in the ring as the action settles in the ring. The picture is crystal clear again, hope that doesn’t happen again. Jacobs takes some punishment but manages a tag to Corino to turn the momentum. Coleman gets isolated for a bit. Coleman hits a neck breaker on Corino and Alexander tags in with a springboard clothesline. Alexander plows through Jacobs. The match breaks down with all four in the ring. Jacobs hit’s a double axe handle but seemed to hurt his groin in the process. Coleman and Alexander deliver stereo Northern Lights suplexes! Spear by Jacobs and clothesline by Corino, but they can’t put Coleman away. Jacobs suffers a flying leg drop but Corino breaks the cover. Corino uses a foreign object and a spike piledriver finishes Alexander at 8:30. This was fine for what it was, **¼.
Winners: Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs
-Corino says “they’re coming” on his way out. Sounds like we have a mystery stable angle to look forward to.
No Holds Barred:
Haas waits for Whitmer at the curtain and they immediately start brawling. Whitmer takes control by driving Haas into the barricades with a t-shirt. Whitmer sets a table up at ringside and brings a bunch of weapons into the ring. Haas takes repeated trash can shots. Whitmer brings in a ladder and continues to dish out punishment. Whitmer bridges the table on the apron and barricade, but Haas rebounds with a back suplex onto the guard rail. It’s Charlie’s turn in the driver’s seat as he abuses Whitmer in the ring. The ladder keeps slipping on the turnbuckles so Haas flips the ladder off (hilarious). Haas is tripped by a young man I don’t recognize who suffers an injury from Haas. Whitmer and Haas trade baking sheet shots and Whitmer gets suplexed over the ropes through the table! Haas follows up with a barrage of chair shots to the ladder placed on Whitmer. Haas sets another table in the ring and puts Whitmer through it with a belly to belly superplex! Haas sets the ladder up on two standing ladders. Whitmer counters with an exploder suplex through the ladder! Whitmer loses control with a series of knee strikes to the head and the referee stops the match at 11:57! Top notch brawl here, the sick bumps were effective in putting over the hatred, ***½.
Charlie Haas vs. BJ Whitmer
Winner: BJ Whitmer
-Kevin Kelly explains that Davey Richards and Rocky Romero were tag team champions in Japan until Richards was in a car accident and was forced to choose ROH over Japan. Romero replaced Richards with Alex Koslov as his partner and now they’re going to fight!
The Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov) vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards)
Alex Koslov (badly) sings the Russian national anthem before the match. Richards kicks things off against Romero. Davey gains the advantage and Romero begs for mercy in pathetic fashion. Romero raises Richards’ hand but his sneak attack is blocked. The Wolves double team Romero and fend off Koslov. The Wolves deliver stereo suicide dives! Edwards outmaneuvers Koslov, delivering a series of hard strikes. A cheap shot from Romero allows Koslov to set Edwards up for a flying double knees. The Hooligans isolate Edwards with quick tags. Romero goes crazy but Eddie explodes with a clothesline. Edwards fights off a double team by power bombing Romero onto Koslov! Hot tag to Richards, who nails a missile drop-kick on Koslov. German suplex to Koslov by Richards, while locking the legs of Romero. Another German suplex by Richards gets 2. Davey’s double stomp misses and he eats a Koslov enziguri. Dancing Russian kicks by Koslov and a curb stomp. Koslov drives Romero knee-first into Richards and sets him up for a flying knee to the head. Edwards breaks it up and puts the Hooligans down with kicks. The flying Code Breaker by Eddie and a super kick/tombstone piledriver combo! The Wolves both hit flying double stomps! Koslov counters with a tornado DDT on Edwards. The Hooligans deliver a super hurricanrana/frog splash combo off the top! The Wolves rebound with the Alarm Clock on Koslov. The double knee power bomb from the Wolves finishes Koslov at 15:37! Spectacular spot-fest here, lots of double team surprises and great counters, ****.
Winners: The American Wolves
-The Hooligans reluctantly shake hands with the Wolves. Richards and Romero embrace and all four men raise their arms.
2/3 Falls match:
They begin by exchanging wristlocks. They block power moves and Elgin explodes with a Buckle Bomb. The sit-out power bomb gets the first fall for Elgin at 1:58. The match resumes with a ringside brawl. Elgin blocks a power bomb off the apron but suffers a belly to back suplex instead! Strong takes control targeting the back. Back to the ring, cue the chinlock by Roderick! Elgin counters and mounts a comeback. Flying shoulder tackle by Elgin and a black hole slam. Strong counters the crossface and nails a pair of enziguris. Shock Treatment by Elgin gets a 2 count. Strong delivers repeated attacks to the head but can’t gain a pinfall. Strong nails a backbreaker on the turnbuckles. Double knee back breaker gains a pinfall for Strong at 11:25. Roderick attacks before the 20 second rest period is over and nails a gut-buster. Elgin rolls throug ha crucifix and nails a Death Valley Driver into the corner. Corkscrew senton by Elgin only gets 2! Two dead lift German suplexes by Elgin! Strong blocks a superplex and nails a running power bomb! Elgin Bomb only gets 2! Strong taps to a crossface at 15:30. This was a very physical match and gave Elgin the big win he needed, ***¾.
Roderick Strong vs. Michael Elgin
Winner: Michael Elgin
-Truth Martini is playing with some steel balls backstage. He says it’s very “arousing” when things fall into place. Martini feels that his pairing with Matt Taven is a match made in heaven, or perhaps hell. He tells the home audience to take their pants off because it’s time to “get off.” Gross.
-Matt Hardy comes to the ring to talk. He says he’s once again overcome the odds by overcoming Nigel McGuinness to gain a shot at the Television Championship. Adam Cole will defend against Hardy after “this afterthought of a match.” That’s a unproductive thing to say, Matt. He joins the commentary table to watch the afterthought.
ROH Television Championship:
Cole outmaneuvers Taven in the early going, prompting Taven to retreat for some advice from Martini. The match restarts with a fast paced exchange, resulting in Cole nailing a neck breaker. Martini provides a distraction and Taven drop-kicks Cole off the apron. Cole counters a suicide dive but Truth blocks his springboard attempt, allowing Taven an opening. Cole counters a whip into the barricade but chases Martini into a trap. Taven finally takes control of the match and wears Cole down. This gives Taven a chance to showcase the newfound “hoopla” that Truth Martini has given him. Cole mounts a comeback with a flurry of offense. Taven flies into a drop-kick for a 2 count. Taven delivers a spinning neck breaker for a near fall. Cole nails a nasty looking power bomb out of the corner. The shining wizard only gets 2 for Cole. Taven blocks another shining wizard and nails a springboard enziguri. DDT onto the apron by Cole! Cole’s flying cross body misses but he rebounds with a neck breaker. Taven gets the ropes to escape a figure four. Truth trips Cole and gets his fingers stomped on. Cole nails an enziguri but gets hit with the Book of Truth. A modified DDT by Taven gets the pinfall at 13:31! Taven wins the belt to the shock of everyone in the building! This one started out heatless but kept getting better and better as it went along, ***.
Adam Cole © vs. Matt Taven (with Truth Martini)
Winner and new ROH Television Champion: Matt Taven
-Matt Hardy looks stunned. In retrospect, Hardy calling this match an “afterthought” was brilliant. Taven winning the TV title is such an unlikely happening I kept expecting Nigel McGuinness to show up and overturn the decision.
ROH Tag Team Championship:
O’Reilly squares off with Jay in the early going. O’Reilly gets overwhelmed and tags in Fish. Nigel McGuinness joins commentary at this point. Jay and Fish are pacing themselves but Jay turns it up with a big boot. The Briscoes make some quick tags to punish Fish. Bobby counters Redneck Kung Fu to tag in O’Reilly. Red Dragon overwhelm Mark with a series of quick offense. Jay tags but gets kicked off the apron by Fish from ringside. Fish smells blood and goes after the freshly injured knee to isolate Jay. O’Reilly goes for a drop-kick on the floor but is countered by Jay. Mark gets a hot tag and plows through Fish. Mark puts his Redneck Kung Fu on display and lands a Mule Kick on O’Reilly. Mark nails Fish with a Fisherman suplex (har har). Dragon Suplex by Mark gets 2 on Fish. Mark sets Fish up for a Jay frog splash. Jay finds himself alone with Red Dragon and takes some rapid fire punishment. Total Elimination by Red Dragon only gets 2! Jay shoves Fish off the top ropes and delivers a Doomsday Device to O’Reilly on the floor! Jay’s Falcon Arrow sets up Mark’s elbow drop, but Fish kicks out! Red Dragon prevents a second Doomsday. Fish nails Mark with a belly to belly suplex off the ring frame! Red Dragon hit a Doomsday Device of their own but Jay kicks out!! Head kick/suplex combo by Red Dragon finishes it at 15:10! Another upset! HELL of an encounter here, this one built and built to a crescendo and had a shocking finish, ****¼.
Jay and Mark Briscoe © vs. Red Dragon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly)
Winners and new ROH Tag Team Champions: Red Dragon
ROH World Championship:
Lethal rejects a handshake and a brawl immediately breaks out. They head to the floor and Lethal drives Steen into the guard rail. Lethal is in charge as they return to the ring. A missile drop-kick sends Steen to the floor for a suicide dive! Lethal nails a second dive but Steen rebounds with a power bomb onto the ring frame. Steen directs traffic back to the ring. Lethal bites and a slug-fest erupts. Steen cuts Lethal down with a DDT to regain control. Steen’s senton bomb is countered! Back-cracker by Lethal gets a 2 count. Pump handle suplex into a neck breaker by Steen. Running cannonball by Steen misses and Lethal nails a neck breaker for another near fall. Steen lifts Lethal and swings him into the referee. The Lethal Injection connects but there’s no ref. Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino storm the ring and put a hurting on Lethal. They nail a spike piledriver and Steen gets a painfully close near fall out of it. S.C.U.M. resume their attack and Nigel McGuinness runs in for the save. Jacobs sneaks in for an enziguri on Lethal. The match restarts with a slugfest. Steen absorbs a Dragon Suplex and runs into a second one. Steen rebounds with a sit-out power bomb. Steen absorbs repeated super-kicks and the Lethal Combination. Flying elbow drop by Lethal but Steen kicks out! Steen escapes the Koji Clutch with a rope break. Steen puts Lethal through the announce table with an F-5! Lethal barely avoids a count-out, despite Jacobs grabbing his legs. Steen nails the package piledriver for only 2! Steen orders Jacobs to leave and Lethal almost steals it with a roll-up. Steen nails a top rope Brainbuster onto the turnbuckles and pins Lethal at 20:41. This was a wild rollercoaster of a main event. The false finishers they used were very convincing and they had the crowd in the palms of their hands until the very end, ****¼.
Kevin Steen © vs. Jay Lethal
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen
-Lethal is struggling to his feet when Rhino runs in and nails the GORE. The Briscoes run in to save Lethal from a S.C.U.M. beat down, but they get put down with another gore and a Jacobs ace crusher. Coleman and Alexander make a save but are attacked by the returning Jimmy Rave! Rave is wearing a S.C.U.M. shirt! BJ Whitmer and Rhett Titus make an apparent save, but Titus turns on BJ, revealing a S.C.U.M. shirt as well! Michael Elgin runs in but gets attacked by the debuting Cliff Compton! Cliff throws powder in Elgin’s eyes! Half the roster is brawling in the ring as Kevin Steen surveys the madness. Elgin gets handcuffed to the ropes as The American Wolves join the fight. Mark Briscoe gets strapped to the ropes too. Adam Cole tries to make a save but gets jumped by Matt Hardy, who also reveals himself to be a member of S.C.U.M. With all the good guys down, Steve Corino takes the microphone. He warned everyone that evil was coming and now evil is here. Corino says that Lethal was the last great challenger for Steen, who is now the undisputed greatest ROH champion in company history. Corino vows to murder ROH and Jacobs stabs a Ring of Honor flag with his spike. Corino declares honor is be dead and the group poses over the fallen Jay Lethal.
Final Thoughts: ROH has started 2013 with a bang and delivered a truly must-see show. If you haven’t watched ROH in a long while, I highly recommend you check this one out. All of the matches either met or surpassed my expectations, we got some big upset title changes, and the S.C.U.M. angle went into overdrive at the end. ROH has an opportunity to generate some buzz with this storyline, I just hope they can avoid having this turn into another disappointment like The Age of the Fall was. Big thumbs up for a great show that has possibly set the table for a big year.
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