Chicago Ridge, IL – 9.15.2012
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.
ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen
ROH Television Champion: Adam Cole
ROH World Tag Team Champions: Vacant
ROH World Tag Team Championship Tournament Semi-Final Round
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs)
Coleman and Alexander defeated The Young Bucks in the first round, while S.C.U.M. defeated The Bravado Bros. Corino and Jacobs also made the ultimatum that if they lost any match in this tournament, they would leave ROH. Jacobs goes for some quick pins on Alexander. Alexander does the same. They both tag out after a stand-off. Coleman mocks Corino for being old. Isn’t he kind of old too? Both of them go for their own pins. Jacobs sneaks in for a cheap shot on Coleman. Alexander evens things up by attacking Corino. Jacobs and Coleman go t the floor. Alexander dropkicks Corino out with him. Coleman uses the ring post for a 619. Alexander dives onto both Jacobs and Corino. Coleman crossbody’s Corino back in the ring. He and Alexander use a leg lariat/spinebuster combo on Jacobs. Jacobs drops the top rope to send Coleman out, then follows him with an elbow drop off the apron. S.C.UM. isolate Coleman in their corner until He ducks a double clothesline and dropkicks Jacobs while giving Corino a DDT. Alexander springboards in and hits Corino with a tornado kick. Corino comes back with a leg lariat. Alexander boots Jacobs, but Jacobs fires back with a pair of clotheslines. Jacobs stomps on him a few times before getting two with a senton. He swings out of the corner with a suplex. Alexander kicks his leg out and tags in Coleman who dropkicks Jacobs. Coleman strings together three consecutive Northern Lights suplexes for two. He almost has Jacobs in a Stump Puller when Corino boots him in the head. Corino tags in and gets two with the Colby Shock. Coleman gets two with a reverse X-Factor. Alexander knocks Jacobs off the apron before helping Coleman take down Corino with a Total Elimination variant. Alexander plants him face first. Coleman comes off the top with a legdrop to the back of his head. Jacobs breaks the pin and sends Alexander to the floor. He and Corino hit a neckbreaker/clothesline combo. Alexander breaks the pin and gets thrown back to the floor. He also kicks out of a springback Ace Crusher and a basement clothesline. Alexander comes in a house of fire but ends up being speared off the apron by Jacobs. Behind the referee’s back, Jacobs throws a chair at Coleman’s head. Corino pins Coleman with a Saito suplex at 12:15. C&C have had some great outings lately but in this match they came off looking much weaker than they should have. Sure, S.C.U.M. has a pretty significant experience advantage but I think C&C have the right tools to be the next champs. The cheap finish was also an unwelcome addition to what ended up being an average encounter. **1/2
Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match
Tadarius Thomas vs. Silas Young
The winner of this match gains entry into the Survival of the Fittest tournament next weekend in Baltimore. Young wins a wristlock exchange. Thomas sends him to the ropes with a headscissors from the mat. He counters Young’s roll-up with a triangle armbar. Young escapes but gets kicked to the floor. Thomas cartwheels off the apron but gets shoved into the ringside photographer who collides with the barricades. Young brings Thomas in the ring for a two count. Thomas chokes him in the ropes then springboards in with a crossbody. Young rolls through and delivers a gut buster for two. Thomas fires up from his punches. He chops up Young’s arms and back before sweeping out his legs. Thomas gets two with a modified Sling Blade. Thomas headstands so he can throw some kicks at Young’s upper back. Young swings him into a backbreaker, then clotheslines him for two. He boots Thomas in the corner. He misses the Pee Gee Waja Plunge. Thomas nails him with a spin kick for the pin at 6:28. Neither guy looked bad, but neither of them put forth the effort they did in their matches at “Brew City Beatdown.” I really wanted this to be THE match where both guys impressed and ended up on the roster. Sadly it was not that at all. **1/4
ACH vs. Kyle O’Reilly
After feeling each other out, ACH snaps off a couple armdrags. He goes for a quesadora and gets caught in O’Reilly’s cross armbreaker. ACH turns it into a pin to escape. O’Reilly tries to sweep his legs but ACH does a backflip to counter. ACH shoulder blocks him to the mat. O’Reilly gets up quickly and hits a Saito suplex. ACH takes a breather on the floor. O’Reilly goes to the apron. ACH catches him with an axe kick and the Bermuda Triangle. ACH blocks being whipped into the barricades, but O’Reilly manages to overhead suplex him onto the floor. In the ring he knee strikes ACH in the stomach and kicks him in the neck for a two count. A slap battle breaks out. O’Reilly kicks ACH in the chest and sweeps out his leg. He puts on an abdominal stretch, using the ropes when the referee isn’t paying attention. He eventually kicks O’Reilly’s arm away, allowing ACH to hip toss his way free. O’Reilly cuts him off with a knee strike and chest kick. ACH ducks a clothesline. He gets in a flurry of offense, most notably a huracanrana. He gamengiri’s O’Reilly from the floor. He slingshots in with an Ace Crusher for two. ACH clotheslines O’Reilly in the corner with the momentum sending him to the floor. O’Reilly ducks his springboard attack and knocks him down with a forearm. ACH knocks him down with the Hadouken. He springboards off the second rope for a tornado DDT. He goes for his second rope 450 splash, but O’Reilly gets his knees up. O’Reilly puts ACH in a triangle and elbows him in the head until he taps out at 9:54. ACH has to be one of the most charismatic guys to come through an ROH ring in awhile. He had the crowd captivated and kept things exciting. O’Reilly was a great opponent for him to debut against. I approve of O’Reilly climbing the ladder, and he could be positioned as a top heel (behind S.C.U.M and WGTT) very soon. I would like to see ACH get a contract anywhere. ***
ROH World Tag Team Championship Tournament Semi-Final Round
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Rhett Titus & Charlie Haas
The Briscoes defeated the BLK Out (Ruckus & Sabian) in the first round, while Haas & Titus defeated the Guardians of Truth. Shelton Benjamin is in Haas and Titus’ corner. Titus puts Jay in a wristlock while Haas trash talks the fans. Jay gets in a series of punches. Mark drops an elbow and suplexes Titus for one. He throws punches at Titus’ mid-section. Titus dropkicks him for two. Haas blind tags in. He stomps Mark down in the corner. He spears him and connects with a knee lift. Mark hits the Busaiku Knee. He and Jay double shoulder tackle Haas. Haas drops down the top rope to send Jay out. Benjamin starts to go towards Jay and Titus stops him. While they’re arguing, Haas backdrops Jay onto the barricades. He continues to beat on Jay back in the ring while mocking Mark in the process. Jay catches him with a Complete Shot into the second turnbuckle. Mark tags in. Haas would rather keep fighting than tag in Titus. Haas is the recipient of some Redneck Kung Fu and the Jon Woo. Mark brings him off the top rope with an Iconoclasm. The Froggy Bow only gets him a two count thanks to Benjamin placing Haas’ foot on the bottom rope. Mark enzuigiri’s Haas to the ropes which allows Titus to tag himself in. He goes for the Thrust Buster. Mark evades it and throws some punches. Titus knocks him down with a short-arm lariat. The Briscoes come back with the Redneck Boogie for two. Mark dropkicks Haas to the barricades. He comes back in time to stop The Briscoes from hitting the Doomsday Device. Titus catches Jay in a roll up for the pin at 10:46. I appreciate Titus getting the win since out of everyone in the match he needs it the most. He also added a nice dynamic to the contest, both having problems with Haas and being the middle of the Briscoes/WGTT’s seemingly neverending rivalry. It was a solid, formulaic tag match but nothing you haven’t seen from these guys before. **3/4
Davey Richards makes his way to the ring. Kevin Kelly asks Davey what the future holds for him in ROH. He says he may not have a real family or home, but he considers the audience and the ring his family and home. He tells us that he came to Ring of Honor because he loved the action he saw from the company. He admits that he’s ashamed of the person he’s been outside of the ring for awhile, but proclaims that starting tonight the wolf is back. What he was chasing all along was the ability to claim the title of being the best wrestler in the world. That being said, he announces that he will be in the Survival of the Fittest tournament. He says hunting season opens when he faces Mike Bennett next weekend.
Jay Lethal vs. Homicide
They shove each other after breaking a lock-up in the corner. That turns into them going punch for chop. Homicide headscissors Lethal to the floor. He comes off the apron for a double axe handle. Lethal catches Homicide and slams his back into the ring post. Lethal dropkicks Homicide off the apron and suicide dives onto him. He whips Homicide into the barricades. Lethal gets two with a legdrop back in the ring. He spears Homicide in the corner. He misses a second attack, allowing Homicide to send him to the floor. He fills the ring with weapons and props up a table against the ring. The ring is cleared by the time he comes back in and knees Lethal in the stomach. The table is now placed on the floor. Homicide tries to suplex Lethal from the ring to the table on the floor. Lethal blocks so he attempts a piledriver. Lethal fights that off too. Once again he spears Homicide in the corner. They collide mid-ring due to them both going for crossbody’s. Homicide goes for the Cop Killer. Lethal blocks it with a roll-up. Homicide kicks out and nails a tornado DDT. Lethal tries for a Lethal Combination. When Homicide blocks it, Lethal throws him with a Dragon suplex instead. Homicide comes off the second rope with a knee to Lethal’s head. Lethal catches Homicide with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. He climbs to the top rope and gets caught. Homicide tries to bring down with a Hamachan Cutter. Lethal slips through his legs and hits a running Death Valley Driver for two. Lethal hits the ropes. Homicide belly-to-belly suplexes him and delivers a lariat. He’s arrogant in his approach to pinning Lethal which allows Lethal to kick out. Homicide drops him with the Ace Crusher. When he hits the ropes, Lethal superkicks and suplexes him. He connects with the top rope elbow. The Lethal Combination gets him two. Another Lethal Combination gets him another two count. He only gets two with a brainbuster as well. Homicide spits in Lethal’s face. Lethal drops him with a cradle DDT to finally get the pin at 13:34. Homicide was a good “tough guy” for Lethal to beat to show that he had the killer instinct Jim Cornette says he lacked. It was a solid match and some nice momentum for Lethal heading into his title match with Steen in a couple of weeks. The finish could have been a bit more intense, but it got over what seems to be a new finish from Lethal. ***
The House of Truth (Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin) vs. Irish Airborne (Jake & Dave Crist)
Truth Martini is in the House of Truth’s corner. Strong controls Jake in a headlock. He knocks Jake down with a leg lariat. Strong knees Jake in the stomach. Jake trips him, snaps his chest on the middle rope and strikes him in the face with a knee. Dave hops in with a quebrada. The Airborne throw some kicks Strong’s way, ending with Dave getting two via quebrada press. Strong kicks out Jake’s ankle and tags in Elgin. Jake slides out of Elgin’s slam and rolls him up for two. Elgin knocks him down with a spinning clothesline to the back of the head. A 30 second delayed vertical suplex earns him a two count. Jake kicks Elgin as he flips to the top rope. Elgin catches his crossbody, but Dave missile dropkicks Elgin to assist his brother. Elgin takes stereo kicks and knees to his head. Elgin turns Dave’s DDT attempt into a backbreaker. Strong jumps off the apron when Elgin approaches for a tag! Jake goes for a pescado. Elgin catches him, so Dave follows with a Fosbury Flop. Elgin manages to kick out back in the ring. Elgin drops them in a Samoan Drop/fallaway slam combo. Strong is now willing to take a tag but Elgin won’t give it to him. He powerbombs Dave in the corner and in the ring. As he picks up Jake for a powerbomb, Strong blind tags in. As Elgin powerbombs Jake in the corner, Strong covers Dave for the pin at 8:44. I firmly believe the Airborne have improved tremendously since their first ROH run after what I’ve seen in AIW, AAW and CZW. You would never know from watching this match though that they have made such imprrovements. This served as a borderline squash for the HoT, which is fine considering they’re the home team and had an angle to advance, but I just wish the Airborne got a little more time to shine. That being said, I thought Strong stealing the win from Elgin worked really well and was effective in furthering their inevitable split. **3/4
ROH Television Championship
Adam Cole vs. Mike Mondo
Mondo earned this shot by winning a Six Man Mayhem match on ROH TV, pinning Mike Bennett in a match that also included Jay Lethal, Tommaso Ciampa, TJ Perkins and Roderick Strong. Matt Hardy is out to do guest commentary on this match. He challenges Cole to fight under “No Fear Ring of Mondo” rules which apparently just means there are no count outs and no time limit. Usually TV title matches have a 15 minute time limit. Cole accepts.
Mondo breaks an intense lock up in the corner. A second intense lock-up spills to the floor. When they get back in the ring, Mondo quickly escapes Cole’s figure four attempt. Mondo gets sent to the floor but comes back in before Cole can dive after him. Mondo brings Cole to the mat and controls his arms. Cole breaks a double knuckle lock but gets thrown to the floor. Mondo attempts a dive but is caught by Cole’s enzuigiri to his quad. Cole kicks out Mondo’s leg a few times back in the ring. He continues to target the leg as the match wears on. Mondo is able to sneak in a butterfly DDT for a two count. He starts attacking Cole’s left arm, which he had targeted in the early going. Cole gets lucky when Mondo misses a cannonball senton. It takes Cole a few attempts, but he finally gets Mondo to the floor. He sends Mondo into the barricades with a suicide dive. Cole throws him into the barricades twice for good measure. Mondo is able to send Cole into the barricades himself. He goes for the butterfly DDT on the floor. Cole counters with a German suplex! Cole picks him up. Desperately, Mondo throws Cole into the barricades, then shoulder blocks him into the barricades too. Back in the ring they exchange forearms. Mondo goes for a punch. Cole ducks and punches Mondo himself. He goes for the figure four. Mondo kicks him to the corner. Cole superkicks Mondo and German suplexes him into the corner for a two count. Cole looks for the Florida Keys. Mondo counters with a DDT for two. Mondo looks to stomp Cole’s head into the mat but changes his mind. He goes up top for a stomp but misses. Cole goes for a superkick. Mondo drops down to escape, which gives Cole room to lock on the figure four. Mondo initially fights it off but Cole inevitably locks it on. Mondon turns it over. Cole turns it back over and Mondo taps out at 19:28. This had a good story but it seems like they stretched this out by a few minutes just for the sake of it. Even if people aren’t wild about Mondo in ROH, he put in a good effort and made Cole look like a strong champion. ***1/4
Matt Hardy shakes both guys’ hands. He tells Cole that a lot of people have told him that Cole reminds them of Matt Hardy. Matt says he was much better than Cole at his age and is much better than him now. That’s certainly a change from the tune he was singing on commentary.
ROH World Tag Team Championship Tournament Final Round
Rhett Titus & Charlie Haas vs. S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs)
Shelton Benjamin is once again in Haas and Titus’ corner. Haas is set to start off with Corino, but he gets such a negative reaction from the fans that he tags in Titus. His shoulder block attempts fail. Corino armdrags Titus and holds onto his arm. Jacobs tags in and is taken down with an armdrag right away. Titus monkey flips him out of the corner. Jacobs gets backdropped after missing a spear. Corino comes in without a tag and throws punches with Jacobs. Haas knees Jacobs from the apron to stop his and Corino’s double team work. Titus does not seem pleased with this for some reason. Haas tags himself in and belly-to-belly suplexes Jacobs. Corino kicks Haas from the apron. The distraction lets Jacobs sneak in an Ace Crusher. Haas casually tags out when S.C.U.M. whip him to the ropes. Corino knees Titus in the stomach and drops him with the Colby Shock. Titus drops Jacobs with a Snake Eyes in the corner. Instead of going for a tag, he dropkicks Jacobs in the corner and gets two with a tilt-a-whirl slam. He also gets two with a Razor’s Edge thanks to Corino breaking the count. Haas boots Corino to the floor. He Angle Slams Jacobs. Titus covers him but Corino again makes the save. As Haas and Corino are fighting in the corner and referee Paul Turner is distracted, Jacobs pulls a spike out of his boot. Titus fights him off and the spike falls. Benjamin superkicks Jacobs. He instructs Titus to cover him but Titus is not happy with Benjamin’s interjection. Because of that, Benjamin drops him with Pay Dirt! Jacobs then covers Titus for the pin and the titles at 12:25. With the career stipulation and Titus and Haas not getting along, there was absolutely no doubt who was winning. The Chicago crowd was so pro S.C.U.M. that they made a bit of noise in spite of this. The wrestling itself was average and a finish like that in a title decision match is very dissatisfying, even if it did advance a storyline. **1/2
Titus gets in a fight with Haas and Benjamin after the match and gets walloped. It was two on one, after all.
ROH World Championship
Kevin Steen vs. Rhino
Rhino earned this shot by defeating Eddie Edwards via referee stoppage on ROH TV. Truth Martini is in his corner. Jim Cornette comes out right after the bell and makes this a No Disqualification match. After a flurry of punches, Steen sends Rhino out with a spinwheel kick. Rhino throws him into the barricades. Steen does the same to Rhino. Steen points out some terrific signs ringside and mocks the commentators. Have I mentioned that I love Kevin Steen? Rhino suplexes him onto the floor. Steen throws Rhino into the barricades a couple of times before bringing him back into the ring. Rhino catches him with a spinebuster for two. He digs his knee into Steen’s back and applies a chinlock. He throws some forearms at his back and kicks him in the side of the head. Steen kicks the middle rope into Rhino’s groin and drops him with a dangling DDT. Steen gets two with the cannonball senton. Rhino ascends to the second rope. Steen shoves him off, causing Rhino to crash into the ring frame. Again Steen sends him into the barricades. Steen catches martini trying to clock him with the Book of Truth. He tries to superkick him, but Martini pulls timekeeper Veda Scott in the way. Martini clocks Steen with the book and places him on a table set up between the barricades and the ring apron. Rhino splashes onto Steen and brings him back in for a two count. He also gets two with a chair shot to the back. He places the chair in the corner. Steen ends up sending Rhino head first into it. He lands a Swanton Bomb for two. Rhino recovers and superplexes Steen onto a chair. He sets up a table in the corner. Steve Corino comes face to face with Rhino. If you recall, Corino was Rhino’s mentor in ECW. Rhino ends up throwing punches to him in the corner. Jacobs comes in. He, Corino, and referee Todd Sinclair all get Gored! Steen Gores Rhino! Referee Paul Turner comes in so Steen can get a two count. Steen then hits the F-Cinq for two. Martini jump son Steen’s back. Steen gives him the Package Piledriver Roderick Strong runs in but gets sent to the floor right away. Rhino gives Steen a spinebuster. He goes for the spear. Steen blocks it. Rhino misses a second Gore, sending himself through the table. Steen hits another F-Cinq for the pin at 17:45. That was a really fun hardcore match with a hot crowd from start to finish. The Gore sequence had them going nuts. The interference here worked extremely well and came at the right time in the match. Like the tag match, the winner was a foregone conclusion, and yet the fans went crazy for some of Rhino’s nearfalls. That goes to show you just how well these two worked together. This was a great way to cap off the show and a much needed boost of energy. ***3/4
Michael Elgin comes out and stares off with Steen. Steen spits in his face. Elgin boots Steen and sets him up for the spinning powerbomb. Corino stops Elgin for the move by shoving Strong into him. Elgin thinks Strong attacked him unprovoked. Strong sets him straight and offers a handshake. Elgin instead gives Strong the spinning powerbomb! He walks to the back while everyone else is left laying. GIVE ELGIN THE BELT PLEASE.