Charleston, WV – 6.15.2012
ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen
ROH Television Champion: Roderick Strong
ROH World Tag Team Champions: Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Jim Cornette.
The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
Titus and Coleman go to each others’ arms. They each deliver an armdrag. Coleman leapfrogs over Titus before hitting a dropkick for a near fall. Alexander tags in to help suplex and double kick Titus. Titus knees Alexander in the stomach and tags in King. ANX hit a Manhattan Drop/clothesline combo for two. Alexander headscissors King to the corner. He kicks out and his knee and hits an enzuigiri for two. Alexander and Coleman double hip toss King into a standing moonsault/legdrop combo. King kicks out, but Coleman and Alexander continue to wear him down in their corner. King shoves Alexander to the ANX corner, allowing Titus to give Alexander a running knee strike to the stomach. Alexander gives him an enzuigiri as well. Titus catches Alexander off guard with the Thrust Buster for two. He throws Alexander into King’s boot and tags him in. Much like Alexander and Coleman did to Titus, ANX isolate Alexander to inflict maximum damage. Even when King turns Alexander inside out with a spinwheel kick he manages to kick out. Alexander fights his way free and tags in Coleman. He comes in with a high crossbody onto King. He throws some punches and clotheslines at Titus. A springboard back kick takes Titus off his feet. A reverse X-Factor to King gets Coleman a two count. Coleman see saws King into a gamengiri from Alexander. Alexander slingshots in with an elbow drop for two. King snaps Alexander’s neck across the top rope. He eats a few kicks from ANX. Coleman saves him from being pinned. He dropkicks ANX simultaneously. Coleman spin kicks Titus in the corner and falls out onto King. Alexander gives Titus a full nelson facebuster. Coleman flies in with a legdrop for two. Titus fights off Coleman’s huracanrana. King shotgun knees him to the corner. King enzuigiri’s Alexander on the top rope. Titus brings him down with a super Sex Factor. ANX hit a springboard Doomsday Device for the pin at 11:55. This was a really fun opening match. There were a couple minor moments of sloppiness, but they can be forgiven. ANX have a big win before their title shot against Haas and Benjamin at Best in the World. **3/4
Veda Scott is backstage with Mike Mondo who faces Davey Richards next. Mondo doesn’t like Richards, but he does respect him. He takes offense to Davey calling himself the Best in the World. Mondo says he can’t claim that because they have never had a match. Mondo tells Richards that tonight, he is the one who is being hunted.
Davey Richards vs. Mike Mondo
Richards bridges back and kicks Mondo’s shoulder to break a wristlock. Mondo forearms Richards in the back of his neck. Richards kicks him down. Richards holds steadfast at Mondo’s shoulder block attempts. They put each other in a body stretch and get two with a Gedo Clutch. Multiple evasions lead to a stalemate. We got a lengthy segment of each guy going for multiple types of cradles and pinning combinations. They each go for an armdrag, bringing us to another stalemate. Richards avoids Mondo’s charge in the corner. He drops the top rope down to send Mondo out. He kicks Mondo in the face from the apron. Richards kicks him against the barricades. In the ring, Richards misses a double stomp. Mondo sends him to the apron and shoulder tackles him from the apron into the barricades. He shoves Richards ribs first into them as well. Mondo works over his ribs back in the ring. Richards comes back with some kicks. Mondo blocks a dropkick, causing Richards to land on his back and ribs. Back to work Mondo goes. Three minutes left in the fifteen minute time limit is called as Mondo has on a modified Indian Death Lock whilst digging his fists into Richards’ mid-section. Richards blocks a sunset flip with a double stomp. They trade forearms. Richards sends Mondo out and suicide dives after him. Richards gets two with a German suplex. He puts on the ankle lock. He grapevines the leg for extra damage. Mondo resists tapping out and the bell rings at 14:50, stating that the 15 minute time limit has expired. Eh, close enough. I actually appreciate the work Mondo has done since coming back to ROH. Whether the diehard fans are willing to give him a fair shake is a whole different story. He did a lot of good work when working over Richards’ ribs, but Richards ignoring that damage near the end of the match was annoying. Mondo refuses to go 5 more minutes even though that is what the fans want. ***
Proving Ground Match
Roderick Strong vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
If either Whitmer, Cole, or O’Reilly get the victory, they will earn a shot at the Television Title. Truth Martini is in Strong’s corner. O’Reilly and Cole fight right to the floor, leaving Strong and Whitmer to fight in the ring. Whitmer back elbows Strong while O’Reilly kicks Cole in the chest. Strong whips Whitmer to the ropes, who decides instead to suicide dive on O’Reilly and Cole. Strong slides through the ropes to kick Whitmer into the barricades. O’Reilly blind tags in when Whitmer is positioning Strong for a suplex. O’Reilly drops a knee on Whitmer for two. Whitmer strings together some suplexes. Strong interrupts his pin attempt. Cole blind tags Whitmer and tackles O’Reilly. He throws a flurry of punches on the mat and stomps him in the corner. O’Reilly comes back with some knee strikes. O’Reilly gets in Strong’s face. Strong chops O’Reilly, effectively tagging himself in. He chops up Cole in the corner. Cole forearms out, but Strong drop toe holds in and strikes Cole in the back of the head multiple times. O’Reilly blind tags back in. He and Cole crossbody each other simultaneously. Whitmer and Strong both tag in. Whitmer gets two with a huracanrana. He gives Strong a fisherman’s suplex. Cole breaks the pin. O’Reilly and Whitmer go kick for chop. O’Reilly gives him a Regalplex for two. Whitmer gives him a chinbreaker. Cole tags in and crossbody’s O’Reilly for two. He gets two with a running knee strike as well. They kick each other in the face. Strong gives Cole a backbreaker for two. A gamengiri and the Death By Roderick would have got him a pin if Whitmer wasn’t there to break the cover. He suplexes Strong. Cole superkicks Whitmer. O’Reilly gives Cole a rolling clothesline. Strong knee strikes O’Reilly rendering all four men down on the mat. Whitmer suplexes O’Reilly and himself over the top rope to the floor. Strong rolls up Cole for two. Strong superkicks him for another two count. Cole catches Strong with a crucifix pin at 9:58 to earn a future Television Title shot. That was a really exciting, frenetic four way. All four guys got to look awesome while also building Cole and O’Reilly’s upcoming singles match and Cole’s title match with Strong. Whitmer needs to be an ROH regular now. ***1/4
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Totally Awesome (Paredyse & Chris Silvio)
“The Planet’s” Reevis is in Totally Awesome’s corner and “K-Rock’s” BT is in the Briscoes corner. Who are those guys? Radio DJs. Whatever. Paredyse makes Liberace look like Jason Statham. Mark punches and headbutts Paredyse silly in the corner. Paredyse spanks Mark after leapfrogging over him. Mark boots him down. Jay tags in and also gives Paredyse a pounding. Paredyse spreads his legs in the corner to throw Jay off. No joking. Jay makes the best of the situation and kicks him in the dick. Reevis grabs Jay’s foot from the floor, allowing Paredyse to forearm Jay from behind. Silvio tags in to get in his own shots on Jay. Jay gives him a big boot. BT trips Silvio. Reevis distracts the referee while BT gets in the ring. Silvio and Paredyse attack the Briscoes from behind. It backfires. Mark takes Silvio to the floor while Jay works over Paredyse in the ring. Gay humor with the Not So Awesome tag team. I sure hope this is over soon. Low blow from Paredyse to Mark lets him and Silvio take control. Mark gets it back when Silvio misses a top rope legdrop. Jay tags in and takes care of both opponents. Silvio breaks up Jay’s pin on Paredyse after he delivers a Falcon Arrow. Mark beats down Silvio. Paredyse DDT’s Jay. BT stops Reevis from hitting Jay Briscoe. Jay low blows Paredyse. He chokeslams Paredyse to mercifully end the match at 8:23. I appreciate the Briscoes beating the crap out of two jagaloons, but this amateur hour shindy nonsense has no business being in a company the level of Ring of Honor. I hope they learned a lesson and never do crap like this again. This was embarrassing. What did the Briscoes do to deserve this? DUD
Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin
Truth Martini is in Elgin’s corner. Elgin shakes Lethal’s hand, which does not please Martini. Lethal can’t seem to budge Elgin. Elgin gets angry when Lethal punches him in the face. He shoulder blocks Lethal down. Lethal ends up hip tossing him into a dropkick. Elgin slides to the floor to create some distance. Truth Martini gets on the apron. Referee Paul Turner get in his face, so Martini challenges Turner to a fight. Turner seems game and Martini changes his tune. He bails before any blows can be thrown. Elgin comes back in and gets caught with a boot to the gut. Martini grabs Lethal’s leg. Lethal goes for a back handspring elbow but gets met with a clothesline to the back of the head instead. Elgin puts on an arm hold after whipping Lethal to the corner. Lethal fights out but gets sent to the floor. Martini gets in a few cheap shots. Lethal whips Elgin into the barricades when he comes outside. In the ring however Elgin gives him a neckbreaker. He puts on a rear chinlock. Lethal escapes via chinbreaker. Lethal goes for a springboard move. Martini grabs his ankle. Lethal still manages a sunset flip for a two count. He signals for the Lethal Injection. Elgin thwarts him but eats a superkick. Elgin elbows out of the Lethal Combination. Lethal ducks a backfist. Elgin deadlifts him up for a German suplex. Lethal kicks out. Lethal blocks Elgin’s knee strike. He gives him an enzuigiri and the Lethal Combination. Roderick Strong grabs Lethal’s leg while Martini distracts Turner. Lethal dropkicks Strong off the apron. Elgin backfists Lethal and goes for a powerbomb. Strong runs in. Lethal dropkicks Elgin into him. Lethal gives Elgin the Lethal Injection for the pin at 12:15. I don’t know why the heck Strong ran in at the end. It made no sense whatsoever unless Strong was purposefully screwing his partner. These two actually only had a decent match until that point, maybe because they knew a cheap finish was coming. It was still good, but not the best match they could have had together. **3/4
Martini wants Strong and Elgin to shake hands and make-up afterwards. Elgin seems poised to leave but ends up coming back in the ring and asking for the microphone. Elgin says that tonight was the last mistake he will make, implying he won’t be so nice if Strong interferes in his business again. Martini reassures the crowd that the House of Truth is just fine.
Kevin Steen and Jim Cornette exchange some words before the next match. Cornette is pissed because Steen cost ROH a big money sponsor. If there’s one thing wrestling fans care about, it’s sponsorships companies do or don’t get. Cornette says he doesn’t want Steen to be champion because he will do more harm than good to the company. He lays it down to Steen that if Edwards can’t get the job done tonight or if Davey can’t get the job done at “Best in the World”, every singles match Steen has in ROH will be a title match. Steen doesn’t seem bothered by this. Jimmy Jacobs is in Steen’s corner and Steve Corino joins Cornette and Kelly on commentary.
ROH World Championship
Kevin Steen vs. Eddie Edwards
This is a rematch from “Showdown in the Sun – Day Two.” A forearm exchange starts off the match. Jacobs grabs Edwards foot, so Edwards pescado’s out onto him. Steen boots Edwards as he comes back in the ring. Edwards rolls Steen up for the Achilles Lock. Steen kicks him away but gets sent to the floor. Steen trips Edwards off the ring apron so that he lands face first. Edwards whips Steen into the barricades. Jacobs distracts Edwards. Steen goes for an apron powerbomb. Edwards huracanrana’s his way free. Steen instead gives him a fallaway slam into the barricades. Steen blows a kiss to some Hooters girls in the front row as he keeps control by the entrance ramp. Steen fish hooks Edwards and bites his face right in front of Cornette. Steen gives him a jab back in the ring. Steen chokes Edwards on the ropes in front of the commentary table. Steen mocks Cornette’s 80’s mentality with a headlock. Steen rakes Edwards’ face. Edwards overhead suplexes him into the corner. Edwards comes off the top rope with a dropkick for two. Steen ducks a boot and gives him a pump-handle brainbuster across his knee for two. Edwards baits Steen to the floor. He suicide dives onto him, and then Jacobs. Edwards goes for a third dive, but Steen recovers in time to clothesline Edwards. Edwards gives him a Code Breaker and a Falcon Arrow for two. Steen pops him up for a powerbomb. He gets a two count, then puts Edwards in the Sharpshooter. Edwards makes it to the ropes. Steen gives him a dangling DDT. Steen misses a cannonball senton. Edwards comes off the top rope with a double stomp to Steen’s shoulder for two. Edwards misses a stomp on the apron. Steen pops up Edwards and drops him through the timekeeper’s table. Steen scurries him back into the ring for a two count. They each throw superkicks. Edwards gets in a German suplex. He goes for the Chin Checker but Steen slips out. He suplexes Edwards onto his head and hits the F-Cinq for the pin at 15:16. This was about on par with the Showdown in the Sun encounter. There was some cool stuff, and I enjoyed Steen teasing Cornette, but for whatever reason this never truly kicked into the next gear and a lot of bigger moves fell flat. ***
Texas Death Match – The Final Encounter
Jay Briscoe vs. Charlie Haas
These are original Texas Deathmatch rules, meaning not only do you have to pin your opponent, but they can’t get up for ten seconds after the fall. Haas jumps Briscoe before the bell. Briscoe sunset flips him for the first fall at 0:12. There’s supposed to be a thirty second rest period, but they still fight and Briscoe dropkicks Haas to the floor and chokes him with his shirt. He throws Haas into the barricades. He hammers the ring bell into Haas’ skull. Haas backdrops Briscoe on the edge of the barricades. That gets Haas a pin at 2:13. Haas stomps Briscoe during the rest period. Haas rakes the eyes. He gets another pin with a belly-to-belly suplex at 3:29. I guess the quick pins make sense, because why kick out if the falls don’t matter? Haas whips Briscoe to the corner. Haas hip tosses him out of the corner for two. Briscoe gets sent to the floor. Haas throws him face first into a chair. He whips Briscoe to the barricades. Haas brings a chair into the ring and gets it booted into his face. They trade punches. Haas gives Briscoe an Olympic Slam, and somehow referee Paul Turner gets knocked down in the process. Haas gets a visual pin and realizes what happened. Haas picks up the timekeeper’s table. Briscoe dropkicks it into his face. He gives Haas a chair shot to his back. Briscoe heads to the back and re-emerges with a cooler full of garbage and a piece of guardrail. He smacks a shaken up can of beer into Haas’ skull. He throws another beer at him back in the ring. He delivers a superkick and sets up the table. Haas smacks Briscoe with a traffic cone. That does nothing. Briscoe clotheslines him. He places Haas on the table and goes up top. Jay double stomps him through the table. Turner is still out. Briscoe places the piece of guardrail he brought out onto two chairs. He gives Haas the Death Valley Driver onto it. Briscoe pulls out a kendo stick as Haas kicks Turner back down. Haas low blows Briscoe and smacks him with the kendo stick. In a throwback to “Border Wars”, Haas sprays a rag with ether. Jay ducks it and hits Haas with the kendo stick. Briscoe tosses the towel and hits Haas with the can of ether. Briscoe gets the pin at 19:24. Haas doesn’t recover in ten seconds after the thirty count, so that makes Jay the winner. This went on for way too long. The early pins were mostly unbelievable. There was a lot of down time, and even though there were some cool hardcore spots, they weren’t enough to fill up the majority of the time or make it all that worthwhile. I hope this truly is the end of the Briscoes/WGTT feud because I am sick of watching them face one another. **1/2