Ring of Honor: Border Wars 2013


Toronto, ONT, Canada – 5.4.2013

Championship Rundown
ROH World Champion: Jay Briscoe
ROH Television Champion: Matt Taven
ROH World Tag Team Champions: reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)

Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.

Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. ACH & Tadarius Thomas

Thomas and Coleman trade some quick pinfall attempts. Alexander and ACH tag in and pick up the pace. They take each other down with armdrags. ACH slams Alexander into an elbow drop from Thomas. Thomas gets two with a suplex. Thomas holds him for a springboard bulldog from ACH. Alexander dropkicks Thomas to the floor and tags in Coleman. ACH cuts off Coleman’s dive with a forearm strike. ACH flips off the apron to avoid an attack from Alexander, but Alexander just simply dives out onto him. Thomas goes for a Capoeira kick. Coleman grabs him and Alexander gives him a basement dropkick. C&C work over Thomas as ACH recovers. Thomas escapes by blocking a double Irish whip with a backflip kick, then giving both members of C&C enzuigiri’s. ACH lights up Coleman with chops before delivering a dropkick. ACH blocks Alexander’s headscissors, popping him up in the corner and dropkicking him to the floor. Thomas flies out onto Coleman with the Sasuke Special. ACH then comes out with Michael Jordan to Alexander. Thomas kicks Alexander back in the ring. ACH gives him a pump-handle suplex for two. Thomas throws kicks to Coleman’s upper back and neck. ACH goes for a slingshot Ace Crusher. Coleman counters with the Trinity (three Northern Lights suplexes) for two. Thomas recovers and kicks him in the chest. Alexander ducks Thomas’ kick and nails his own enzuigiri. ACH uses the ropes to slingshot Alexander into an Ace Crusher for two. Alexander shoves ACH to the rope to crotch Thomas. Alexander dropkicks ACH in the corner. C&C then take him down with Overtime for the win at 10:56. That was the hot, energetic opening match I expected and wanted. They didn’t overdo it in the beginning and built to a really fun ending sequence. I’m a huge fan of both teams but definitely think C&C winning was the right choice. ***

Roderick Strong vs. Mike Bennett

Maria Kanellis is in Bennett’s corner. Bennett backs Strong to the corner and shoves him. Strong shoves Bennett to the corner and chops him. He takes Bennett down with a leg lariat and stomps him down in the corner. He gets two with a backbreaker. He chokes Bennett with his boot. Maria distracts Strong allowing Bennett to get in a boot and a couple of punches. He chokes Strong with his boot. Strong blocks a backdrop with a backslide. He goes for the Strong Hold but Bennett gets the ropes right away. On the floor Strong serves up more chops. Bennett gives him a spinebuster onto the ring frame. He sends Strong back first and head first into the barricades. In the ring Bennett legdrops Strong for two. He also gets two with a clothesline. Strong fires up and nails a dropkick. He superplexes Bennett which hurts his own back. Bennett kicks out. He catches Strong with a spinebuster for another two count. Strong leapfrogs over an attack. He attacks Bennett in the corner before bringing him out with a backbreaker. Bennett blocks Death by Roderick with a jackknife pin. When Strong kicks out, Bennett delivers a spear. Strong trips him into the Strong Hold. Maria gets on the apron to distract the referee. Bennett’s tapping but the referee doesn’t see it. Strong releases to diffuse the situation. Bennett superkicks Strong and hits the Box Office Smash. Strong kicks out. Cheeseburger comes out and plants a kiss on Maria! Bennett notices and gives chase. He’s baited into Strong’s Sick Kick, giving Strong the win at 12:43. The match was technically sound but not much more than that. The Cheeseburger involvement was completely unnecessary and cheapened an otherwise good wrestling bout. I don’t mind him being involved but it felt like an unnecessary foot note. **½

“I Quit” Match
BJ Whitmer vs. Rhett Titus

The only way to win is for one man to get the other to say “I Quit.” Steve Corino comes out with Titus through the crowd. Whitmer charges the ring. He gets the better of a chop exchange. Corino grabs Whitmer’s leg but it leaves him undeterred. Whitmer throws some punches before tossing Titus out. He follows with a suicide dive. Nigel McGuinness and some referees send Corino away. After getting the better of him ringside, Whitmer claws at Titus’ face back in the ring. Titus drops him face first onto the top turnbuckle. Titus stomps on him and chokes him with his boot. Titus kicks his head into the side of the ring post. Back in the ring he drives his knees into Whitmer’s head before applying a bridging front chancery. Titus throws some punches which only makes Whitmer angry. He ends up giving Titus an exploder suplex. Titus begs off but ends up luring Whitmer into having his face thrown into the second turnbuckle. Titus brings in some zip ties to tie Whitmer to the ropes. Whitmer is too full of energy and boots Titus in the face. He then zip ties Titus to the ropes. Whitmer pummels the helpless Titus. Titus refuses to say he quits and spits in Whitmer’s face. Whitmer then retrieves a steel chair and brings it into the ring. Steve Corino has made his way out. He turns his back and drops to his knees, giving Whitmer free shot. Before he can hit Corino, Titus saves him by proclaiming that he quits at 11:32. That finish was absolutely terrible and really cheap. You’re telling me Titus is so far gone in being brainwashed that he will quit to save Steve Corino? There’s been no reflection prior to this match that Titus was that much of a devotee to him. Not to mention that Cliff Compton and Jimmy Jacobs attack Whitmer immediately after the bell is rung. Where the hell were they this whole time? Why didn’t they come out to beat the hell out of Whitmer, or at the very least free Titus from the ropes? Why bother sending Corino to the back if he could just mosey on out whenever he felt like it? None of this adds up and was unbelievably frustrating to watch unfold. *

Jimmy Jacobs and Cliff Compton stomp on Whitmer. Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal run out to even the odds and leads up into our next match.

Michael Elgin & Jay Lethal vs. S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs & Cliff Compton)

Titus is still tied to the ropes. Lethal superkicks him after giving Jacobs a Manhattan drop. Elgin sends Compton into the barricades. Titus is freed by the officials. Jacobs throws punches at Elgin as Lethal throws them at Compton. Elgin throws Jacobs into the barricades. He boots Compton into the crowd. Jacobs and Lethal exchange chops back in the ring. Jacobs is thrown into Elgin’s boot. Elgin holds up Jacobs for nearly sixty seconds in a delayed vertical suplex. Lethal hip tosses him into a cartwheel dropkick. Elgin lands a senton for two. Jacobs rakes Lethal’s eyes. Lethal gives Compton a kick to the stomach and a back handspring elbow. Elgin lifts Compton up in a delayed vertical suplex. Lethal lifts up Jacobs in one as well and S.C.U.M. is dropped in unison. Lethal sends Compton into a slingshot elbow from Elgin. Lethal dropkicks Jacobs to the floor. He superkicks Compton up into a torture rack neckbreaker from Elgin. Lethal suicide dives onto Jacobs. Lethal’s landing caused him to hurt his knee. Elgin, Nigel and many officials check on him. Elgin decides to fight S.C.U.M. on his own while Lethal gets medical attention. He impressively catches Jacobs’s spear attempt and Buckle Bombs him into Compton. He drops them both in a Samoan Drop/fallaway slam combo. Compton sends Elgin shoulder first into the ring post when he tries to powerbomb Jacobs. Elgin succumbs to the numbers game. He gets worn down by Jacobs and Compton with no partner to turn to. He manages to deadlift Compton into a German suplex while Jacobs is on his back. Kevin Steen makes his way to the ring to take Lethal’s spot! Nigel declares him the official new partner and Elgin tags in him. He throws forearms and elbows at Compton and Jacobs. He sets them up in opposite corners and hits them both with cannonball sentons. He sends both of them into the barricades. He powerbombs Jacobs onto the ring apron. Elgin sends him to the corner with a Buckle Bomb. When he goes for the Revolution Bomb, Compton chop blocks his leg out. Steen pops him up into a powerbomb. He calls for the Package Piledriver on Compton. Jacobs, the legal man, comes in and rolls Steen up for the pin at 20:08. I was all ready for Lethal to return and for them to rehash the story from “Honor vs. Evil”, but then Steen came through the crowd and kicked the excitement in the match up to a whole new level. Jacobs and Elgin are two of the hardest working wrestlers today and this match was no different. Elgin looked like the savior of ROH multiple times. He’s got to be the next World champion. ***¼

Back from intermission, QT Marshall and ‘Barrister’ RD Evans come to the ring in their wrestling gear even though they have no match scheduled for the show. The fans entertain themselves by “Fandangoing” while Evans tries to speak. Evans is appalled that reDRagon are not on the show and feels like they should be stripped of the tag team titles. Suddenly the lights flicker and a noise keeps repeating. We get some cryptic images until it finally reads “Sicilian Psychopath” and Tomasso Ciampa’s face appears a few times. The lights then go totally out. Ciampa’s theme music begins to play and out he comes from the entrance way! Evans shoves Marshall into his way and bails. Ciampa knees him into the corner. He goes for his signature running knee strike but Evans drags Marshall out of the ring. Evans and Marshall run for the hills. Ciampa receives a nice reaction as he heads to the back.

Eddie Edwards vs. Taiji Ishimori

Ishimori sends Edwards to the floor with a headsicssors. He fakes him out on a dive. Edwards comes back in but gets sent out via headscissors once again. Ishimori moonsaults after him. He goes for a slingshot maneuver but Edwards gamengiri’s him to the floor. Edwards suicide dives after him. Back in the ring he nails a running chest kick for two. They trade chops. Edwards gamengiri’s Ishimori on the ropes and brings him down with the Chin Checker. Edwards then turns him into the Achilles Lock. Ishimori grabs the ropes to escape. Forearms are exchanged. Ishimori hits a back handspring gamengiri. He headstands into a double stomp for two. He also gets two with double knees off the top rope. Ishimori goes for another back handspring maneuver, but is caught with a suplex into a facebuster instead. Edwards lights him up with chops in the corner. He then gives him a fisherman’s buster for two. He goes for Die Hard. Ishimori slips out. Edwards goes for a tombstone. Ishimori turns it into the Tenchi Crash. He nails a running knee strike for two. Ishimori tries a Frankensteiner. Edwards evades it and comes off the second rope with a Code Breaker. They trade nearfalls. Ishimori kicks Edwards in the side of the head. Both guys superkick one another. Ishimori spikes Edwards with a reverse huracanrana. Edwards nails a lariat leaving both guys lying. Ishimori lays Edwards out with two spin kicks to the head but Edwards still manages to kick out. Ishimori calls for a 450 splash. Edwards gets his knees up to block it. Edwards again gamengiri’s Ishimori twice as he’s in the corner. Edwards brings him down with a Frankensteiner. Ishimori rolls through a powerbomb. Edwards superkicks him, powerbombs him, then gives him a Liger bomb for two. Edwards finally puts Ishimori down with the Die Hard at 15:40. This was a good showcase of moves, but that’s all it was: moves. There was very little story and nothing stringing one move to the next. What they did was flashy and at times impressive but nothing special. ***

ROH Television Championship
Matt Taven vs. Mark Briscoe

Mark earned this title shot in a five person #1 Contenders match on ROH TV. Truth Martini, Scarlett Bordeaux, and Seleziya Sparx are in Taven’s corner. Mark brings him down in multiple side headlocks. Taven tries a comeback but is taken down with a rolling Death Valley Driver. He retreats to the floor. He backs Mark to the corner and slaps him across the face. Mark responds with some overhand chops. Mark ducks an enzugiri and clobbers Taven in the face with forearms. Taven makes his way to the ropes. Mark gives him a Jon Woo dropkick and brings him out with a belly-to-belly suplex. Taven goes out to avoid the Crippler Crossface. Mark dropkicks him through the ropes and throws him into the barricades. Mark back suplexes him onto the ring apron. He sets up for the Froggy Bow on the floor. Sparx gets in the way. Truth shoves Mark back into the ring while Scarlett distracts referee Paul Turner. Taven jams Mark’s shoulder across the top rope. He gives Mark a divorce court for one. Taven catches him with a cyclone kick for two. Mark forearms him against the ropes. Truth swings the Book of Truth but Mark stops in his tracks to prevent being hit by it. Taven nails him with a spin kick. He hits a tumbleweed springboard senton for two. Mark makes a comeback with some Redneck Kung-Fu. He sends Taven face first into the corner with an exploder suplex. He heads up top for the Froggy Bow. Taven gets his knees up to block it. He hits a rolling neckbreaker for two. Mark tries for a modified Iconoclasm. Taven blocks but gets powerbombed anyhow. Mark sets up for the Cut-Throat Driver. Taven slips out. Mark blocks his kick with a spinebuster. He hits another rolling Death Valley Driver. Truth comes in and totally misses with the Book of Truth. The Hoopla Hotties distract the referee and Mark by kissing each other on the ring apron. Mark scares them away. Taven O’Conner rolls him and grabs the tights for the pin at 13:43. Taven’s been champion for two months and has yet to impress. It’s about time to think about a new TV Champion. The HOT is a fun and entertaining act outside of the ring but are more often a hinderance when it comes to Taven’s matches. Mark worked really hard but that got lost in Taven’s sloppy offense, Mark looking so stupid in being distracted so easily, and the gaga of Taven’s entourage. *½

Davey Richards vs. Paul London

We start off with some counter wrestling. London is able to escape whatever Richards pulls out and even pats him on the head like a child when he pops out of a headscissors. Richards dropkicks London and pats him on the head a few times. London tries a dropkick. Richards blocks but London rolls him up for two. They armdrag one another and each gets a headscissors on to counter, bringing us to a stalemate. When Richards won’t shake his hand, London sends him out with a dropsault. London slingshots in from the apron with a headscissors. He goes for another and Richards throws him out to the floor. Richards kicks him in the chest from the apron. He throws some more chest kicks. London trips Richards as he runs the ropes. He Frankensteiner’s Richards to the apron. Richards greets London with a gamengiri as he goes for a springboard maneuver. He teases the Trailer Hitch but instead falls back while London’s legs are locked. London avoids a backdrop. He spinwheel kicks Richards to the floor and dives after him with a tope con hilo. He gets two with an Oklahoma Roll, then again with a standing shooting star press. He slingshots in with a double stomp to Richards’ back. Richards kicks London in the side of the head and gives him a German suplex for two. They exchange forearms and kicks to the stomach. Richards delivers the Alarm Clock. London superkicks him twice. He Dragon suplexes Richards for two. They fight for a tombstone on the floor. Richards is the one who pulls it off. London crawls inside the ring at the count of 19. Richards gives him a basement dropkick. As London recovers on the apron, Richards gives him a double stomp to the face! It was clearly an error as both Richards and referee Paul Turner make sure he’s OK. Richards then goes back to being a jerk, paint brushing the back of London’s head. Somehow London is able to counter Richards’ superplex into a sunset bomb. He goes for the shooting star press. Richards gets his knees up. He rolls London into a jackknife pin for the win at 17:57. That double stomp may have done London some good in gaining him kudos from the crowd even if it was terrifying when it happened. He seemed very motivated in this match. His attitude along with Richards’ heeling it up was really enjoyable. They had great chemistry and told a good story. I hope to see London return now and again. ***¼

ROH World Championship
Jay Briscoe vs. Adam Cole

After some chain wrestling, Jay shoulder blocks Cole to the floor. They trade front facelocks. Cole goes for a cheap shot when he backs Jay to the ropes, which angers the World champion. He stomps down Cole in the corner and delivers a pair of headbutts. He knocks him down with a back elbow. Cole enzuigiri’s Jay to the floor and suicide dives onto him. Cole drives his knee into Jay’s back before giving him a low dropkick. Jay kicks out before a one count. Cole snapmares him into a chinlock. Jay gives Cole a full nelson slam. He stomps on Cole and suplexes him for a two count. More punches and headbutts lead to another back elbow. Cole gets his feet up to stop Jay’s attack in the corner. Cole comes off the second rope with a dropkick to Jay’s left knee. Cole puts a figure four on around the ring post. Jay throws some jabs back in the ring. Cole kicks his knee to stop him. Jay sends him into the second turnbuckle with a Complete Shot. Jay’s knee is too weak to get Cole up for a Death Valley Driver. He does however nail a rolling elbow for two. Cole gives him a Death Valley Driver across his knee for two. Jay knocks him down with a few strikes. He does the deal with a Falcon Arrow for two. Jay’s knee gives way when he tries the Jay Driller. Cole gives him a brainbuster onto his knee for two. On the ring apron, Jay is able to use Cole’s momentum to give him a Death Valley Driver! A boot to the face and a neckbreaker are only good for two. Cole stops a Jay Driller with a figure four leg lock. Jay escapes. Cole superplexes him off the top rope. He superkicks Jay in the face and back of the head. He hits the Florida Key for two. Cole applies another figure four. Jay makes it to the ropes. When Cole goes for it again, Jay kicks him into referee Todd Sinclair. Steve Corino runs out with a S.C.U.M t-shirt and throws it to Cole. Nigel McGuinness crotches Corino on the top rope. He then gives Corino the Tower of London! While this is happening, Sinclair has recovered as has Jay. Jay gives Cole the Jay Driller for the pin at 19:58. As Jay is celebrating, Cole looks poised to superkick him. When Jay turns around he snaps out of it and heads backstage. This match did a good job telling a story and making the most out of a title match that didn’t have much of a background to it. It also did a very good job subtly building to Cole’s inevitable heel turn which I could not possibly be more excited for. That’s maybe why I didn’t think the Corino/McGuinness bit took too much away from this bout. In fact, I think they had an opportunity to really get the crowd rocking right after that but I can understand why they ended it right afterwards as well but I think it may have been a missed opportunity. Regardless, this was a nice follow up to Jay’s title win last month and made me excited for Cole’s future. ***½

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