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Ring of Honor - April 28, 2012
-Video recap of the Briscoes vs. WGTT from Showdown in the Sun. The Briscoes retained the gold, but Haas and Benjamin got the final word in a post-match assault.
-From Baltimore, MD. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. After two weeks of “Road Rage” episodes, they’re finally back with a fresh episode.
Proving Ground match:
Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman vs. ROH Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe
The baby face Briscoes refuse a handshake with baby face challengers. Mark squares off against Alexander, who’s wrestling like he has something to prove. Mark stops Cedric’s sprint with a big boot, allowing a tag to Jay. The Briscoes try isolating Alexander, who somersaults into a tag to Coleman. Jay delivers a choke slam to Coleman. The Briscoes show off with some quick tags and cocky moves. Coleman almost gets the Briscoes to hit each other but makes a semi-hot tag. Alexander cleans house and delivers a face buster for a near fall. Meanwhile, Coleman wipes out Jay at ringside. Unfortunately, Jay wheelbarrows Coleman into the barricade. The Razor’s Edge/Neck breaker combo isn’t enough to put Cedric away. Alexander blocks a superplex when WGTT make their inevitable run-in. They deliver a low blow on Jay and sneak out. Mark suffers a no-hand hurricanrana and a frog splash from Coleman and Alexander to suffer a pinfall at 5:42. This was the usual good work from these guys. Would it kill them to give Coleman and Alexander a non-tainted big win at some point?
Winners: Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman
-Veda Scott is surrounded by members of The Embassy Ltd. and the House of Truth. R.D. Evans announces a talent transfer between the two stables. Truth Martini says he’s purchased the mercenary of Rhino from The Embassy! Rhino strolls in and says he doesn’t care who his opponent is tonight. He’s going to kill Eddie Edwards at Border Wars, but not before he begs for mercy. I’m so happy about this.
-Truth Martini and Rhino come out for the next match. Rhino gets a nice pop from the live crowd. Martini takes the microphone and talks about his current success. Martini says the “Manbeast Movement” begins tonight.
Vinny Marseglia vs. Rhino (with Truth Martini)
Rhino plows through Marseglia with a clothesline! Belly to belly suplex! The gore finishes it at 0:22! That’s my favorite kind of squash match.
-Kevin Kelly and Jim Cornette interview “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare” Kevin Steen in the ring. Steen is now accompanied by “Zombie Princess” Jimmy Jacobs. Steen poses with the Canadian flag while Cornette asks if he’s done pandering to the fans. Steen says he’s carrying the flag so Cornette can feel like it’s 1997 again. Steen is still sore about having previously been kicked out of ROH and questions the manhood of Davey Richards. Typically, this draws Richards, wrapped in the American flag, to the ring. Richards has strong words and throws in some over-the-top patriotic crowd pandering (which doesn’t work). Steen says he and Richards used to be close. Steen had confided in him that ROH was his life and Richards promised to work it out with Cornette. However, Richards didn’t do sh(bleep)t, which is because he knows that Steen always steals the show. Richards says Steen should look at his own fat ass in the mirror and see what’s really holding him back. Steen says that Richards is always threatening to quit the company if he doesn’t get his way. Davey says he’s going to end Steen and wants to fight now. The ring fills with security to keep them from fighting, as Cornette claims he’s actually been protecting Steen from Richards this entire time. Cornette says the Piledriver is legal in their match at Border Wars, but he’s going to force them to sign a contract first. They eagerly sign the paper. If either of them get hurt, they can’t sue Jim. It turns out he also just tricked Steen into signing that this will be his only ROH title opportunity. Steen says it’s okay, he only needs one shot. Davey has the final word, telling “Fat-Ass” that he has no shot. This was a great set-up segment. They seem to be very gradually reversing the face/heel dynamic of this feud too, which they might as well seeing as Steen has been cheered throughout the entire story.
-Kevin Kelly hosts “Inside Ring of Honor” which is focusing on Border Wars hype.
- We’re treated to a more professional than usual video package hyping Lance Storm vs. Mike Bennett at Border Wars. Storm is going to make Bennett answer for his disrespect.
- Jay Lethal is excited to be facing Tommaso Ciampa at Border Wars. Ciampa cost him the Television championship, so it’s only fair that he costs Ciampa his undefeated streak.
- -Tommaso Ciampa questions Lethal’s intelligence. Ciampa does everything he says he’s going to. At Border Wars, he’s going to punish him.
- Eddie Edwards says Rhino can’t intimidate him. Rhino has never faced “Die Hard.” Rhino better hope that his gore kills him, because otherwise he’s going to get up and show him what Die Hard is all about.
- Video recap of Roderick Strong winning the TV title from Jay Lethal at Showdown in the Sun.
ROH Television Championship:
Roderick Strong © (with Truth Martini) vs. Adam Cole
Dastardly heel Strong accepts a handshake. Hm. Anyways, the match unsurprisingly starts off with a fast-paced back and forth sprint. Strong swats Cole off in mid-air and gains control. Cue the chinlock! Strong walks all over Cole’s chest and delivers a back suplex. Strong applies another chinlock as we head to commercial. After the break, Strong nails a hard backbreaker. Strong throws some chops, but I sense a Cole comeback. Cole throws a flurry of punches and quickens the pace with clotheslines and drop-kicks. Michael Elgin, Cole’s opponent at Border Wars, shows up at ringside. Cole gets a near fall after a flying knee strike. Strong slingshots into a roll-up but Cole fights back. Enziguri and gut buster by Strong gets 2. Cole blocks the Gibson Driver and drops Strong head-first onto his knee. Cole attempts a DDT over the ropes but Strong sends him crashing into Elgin at ringside. Strong kicks Cole off and he goes flying onto Elgin with a dive. Flying cross body by Cole only gets 2. Now, Elgin wants to enter the ring, which allows Martini the opportunity to hit Cole with the Book of Truth. Strong gains the tainted pinfall at 9:00 (shown). Decent work from the participants, but this was all about building tension between Strong and Elgin.
Winner and still Television Champion: Roderick Strong
Final Thoughts: The wrestling was nothing to write home about this week, but it nicely reintroduced Rhino, who adds a much-needed boost of star power to the program. The highlight was the Steen/Richards encounter, which was truly interesting and made me eager to see Border Wars. If it makes me want to pay money to see something, it was a successful show episode, thumbs up.
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