Charlotte, NC – 9.8.2012
ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen
ROH Television Champion: Adam Cole
ROH World Tag Team Champions: Vacant
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino.
Jay Lethal vs. Adam Page
Before the match, Lethal tells Page that he will destroy him so he can prove to Jim Cornette that he deserves an ROH World title match against Steen is his hometown of Rahway, NJ. Page tells Lethal he has something to prove as well: that he belongs in ROH. They trade punches and chops. Lethal misses an apron dropkick. Lethal uses a back handspring to send Page off the apron and to the floor. Page goes to the throw him into the barricades, but Lethal elbows him in the face. In the ring Page hits a spinwheel kick for one. Page goes for a quebrada press, but Lethal catches him coming down. Page rolls to the floor and Lethal suicide dives after him. In the ring he puts Page in a parachute hold. He dropkicks Page in a tree of woe. Page recovers and heads up top. Lethal ducks his attack and drops him into the second turnbuckle with a Complete Shot. Lethal superkicks him on the ring apron. Page elbows him to the floor and does a standing shooting star press off the apron! Back in the ring Page gets two with a powerslam. A tornado DDT has the same result. Page goes for a crossbody. Lethal catches him with a superkick and a fisherman’s buster for two. Page kicks out of the Lethal Combination as well. After multiple backbreakers, Lethal puts Page away with the Lethal Injection at 11:11. That was an awesome action packed opener. Both guys looked like a million bucks and Page looked competent against a guy going after the world title. It would be foolish not to sign Page as a full-timer. ***1/4
QT Marshall is backstage with Veda Scott. He makes it clear he wants gold. He plans to stop the roll Mike Mondo is on.
Mike Mondo vs. QT Marshall
Marshall bails to the floor before he and Mondo can lock up. When they do lock-up, Mondo brings him to the mat and controls his arm. Marshall knees him in the stomach. Mondo hip tosses him and then brings him over in a fireman’s carry for two. Marshall sweeps Mondo’s legs as he goes up top. He kicks Mondo in the stomach and clotheslines him to the floor. Marshall drops some elbows back in the ring and arrogantly steps on Mondo’s back. Mondo fires back with multiple punches. He blocks a clothesline and twists up his left arm some more. He gets two with a divorce court DDT. Marshall escapes an arm hold and sends Mondo to the apron. Mondo however snaps his arm across the top rope. He misses a stomp off the top rope. However, he gives Marshall a snapmare driver and a butterfly DDT for the pin at 11:12. Even though that went almost exactly as long as the opener but this dragged a lot more. The wrestling was technically fine but very uninteresting. Mondo works hard but the fans just don’t seem to be into him. Marshall just isn’t grabbing the people and seems content just going through the motions. **
The Bravados say that their Bandwagon will prevail tonight. HOP ON!
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. The Bravado Bros. (Harlem & Lancelot Bravado)
Alexander and Harlem start off. Alexander takes him over with a headscissors. Harlem grabs the ropes to block a dropkick, but eats one right after. He kicks Alexander in the stomach and tags in Lancelot. He and Lancelot give him double back elbows and double elbow drops. They also knock Coleman off the apron a few times so that it’s easier to keep Alexander isolated. That turns out to backfire, as their arrogant celebration allows Coleman to come in with a crossbody to them both. He and Alexander hit a standing moonsault/legdrop combo. Harlem drops Coleman’s arm down on the rope and Lancelot drives the same arm into the mat. The Bravados take turn working over his arm in their corner. Coleman eventually catches Lancelot with a springboard clothesline and tags in Alexander. He takes out both Bravados by himself. He gives Harlem a tilt-a-whirl slam and a springboard twisting senton for two. Alexander stomps Harlem off of Coleman’s shoulders. Coleman gives him a Death Valley Driver on Alexander’s knees for two. Harlem hot shots him on the top rope. Lancelot comes in with a slingshot DDT. The Bravados nail the Gentleman’s Agreement on Alexander for two. Alexander gives Lancelot an enzuigiri and tags in Coleman. He gets two with a Rough Ryder on Harlem. Coleman Northern Lights suplexes him three times. Lancelot still manages to kick out. Coleman spinwheel kicks him in the corner, falling onto Harlem on the floor in the process. Back in the ring he gets two on Lancelot with a spinebuster. Coleman puts on a Stump Puller until Harlem makes the save. He nails Coleman with a bicycle kick. His follow up Blockbuster only gets a two count. He puts Coleman in the London Dungeon. Coleman makes it to the ropes. Alexander flies in with a clothesline. All four men end up on the mat. Alexander ends up giving Lancelot a Michinoku Driver. Harlem bicycle kicks Alexander. Coleman small packages him for two. Coleman uses a STO Claw on Harlem. He gives Harlem the Leap of Faith. Alexander follows with a frog splash for the pin at 19:55. This is a match I was expecting to be good, but these four guys busted their humps for their hometown crowd and put on what ended up being incredible bout. Both teams had one of their most impressive matches ever in ROH and the crowd was rocking the whole time. This could become a fun feud for both teams to help them grow. If nothing else, a rematch should definitely happen. ***3/4
Davey Richards comes out to address the crowd. He’s been gone since “Best in the World – Hostage Crisis.” He admits he’s been ashamed of the person he has been outside of the ring, but also tells us that the Wolf is back in ROH. He plans to be at “Death Before Dishonor X” as well.
Mike Posey vs. Jeff Lewis Neal
Posey gets on a cravate. Neal gets to the ropes to escape. Neal misses a couple strikes allowing Posey to try a few pin attempts. Posey nails a dropkick, but Neal slams him face first to the mat. Neal drops a knee across the chest for two. He puts on a side headlock after a dropkick. Posey uses a chinbreaker to escape. He uses a modified Thesz Press to take Neal down. With some help from the ropes, Posey hits a butterfly bomb for two. Neal then butterfly suplexes Posey into the corner for two. He pushes Neal off the ropes and hits a top rope legdrop for the pin at 6:03. This was like the Marshall/Mondo match: technically fine but nothing exciting. *
S.C.U.M. (Kevin Steen, Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino) attack both men after the match. Steen sits in the middle of the ring. Since Jim Cornette is not their tonight and he has a title match against Rhino last night, he cancels the scheduled main event Steel Cage match. Steen says they will use Posey to show the crowd a sample of what was to come tonight. Rhett Titus runs out to save him and ends up being attacked himself. The Briscoes run out and S.C.U.M. run for the hills. It is announced Steen will be fined $5,000 is he does not compete in the cage match tonight. Jay Briscoe talks some trash to Steen but it’s tough to hear exactly what he says. Point is, the Steel Cage match will happen.
The House of Truth is backstage. Strong tells Truth Martini that he’s decided to stay with him for now, but if he sees one more thing he doesn’t like, he’s out of there. Martini is displeased.
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. The House of Truth (Roderick Strong vs. Michael Elgin)
Truth Martini is in the House of Truth’s corner. Strong pisses off Haas by ripping his shirt Hogan style. Strong controls Benjamin by his arm. When Benjamin turns a wristlock around, he cartwheels out and dropkicks him to the corner. They chop each other in the corner. Benjamin gives him a clothesline and tags in Haas. Haas stomps a mudhole in him. Elgin slingshots in to knock down both Haas and Benjamin. Strong isn’t happy that Elgin saved him. While they’re bickering, Haas and Benjamin attack. Even so, the House is able to send Haas and Benjamin to the floor so they can go back to arguing. Strong even grabs a microphone to tell Elgin he doesn’t need him. Benjamin blind sides Strong with a superkick. He would have had the pin but Martini put his foot on the ropes. Elgin tags in and ends up being trapped in Haas and Benjamin’s corner. When they go for a double back drop, Elgin kicks Benjamin and powerslams Haas. Strong jumps off the apron when Elgin goes for a tag! Elgin carries on, getting two on Haas with a shoulder tackle from the top rope. He sets up for his spinning powerbomb when Strong blind tags himself in. Elgin and Strong argue again. Benjamin knees Elgin to the floor. Haas and Benjamin set up Strong from the Broken Arrow. Elgin clotheslines Benjamin but gets kicked to the floor by Haas. Strong gives Haas the Death by Roderick. He goes for the Sick Kick, but Benjamin catches him with the Pay Dirt. Haas then puts him in the Haas of Pain. Elgin has the chance to break the hold but instead walks away. Strong taps out at 14:54. The focus of the match being on Strong and Elgin’s dissension took away from the body of the match as a whole. It was fine, and Elgin got some chances to look strong by taking on both Benjamin and Haas by himself, but it seemed like another chapter in the House of Truth’s inevitable break-up where no real progress was made. **3/4
Adam Cole tells Veda Scott that he will never forget June 24th where even after his mouth was busted open, he defeated Kyle O’Reilly and then went on to the win the Television title a few days later. Cole plans to give O’Reilly his receipt tonight.
Proving Ground Match
Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
If O’Reilly wins the match or is able to last the time limit with Cole, he will earn a shot at the Television Championship. Davey Richards sits ringside for this match. They charge at one another right away. Cole sends O’Reilly out with a dropkick. O’Reilly forearms Cole to stop his suicide dive. Cole enzuigiri’s O’Reilly to stop his suicide dive. Cole finally successfully delivers a suicide dive. He whips O’Reilly into the barricades twice. O’Reilly reverses a third attempt and talks some trash to Davey. Cole ends up sending O’Reilly face first into the ring post. He puts O’Reilly in a ring post assisted sharpshooter. When he goes for a crossbody, O’Reilly meets him with a dropkick and gets a two count. A slap exchange ends with him sweeping out Cole’s legs. O’Reilly does some damage to Cole’s lower back. He grabs the ropes when putting on an abdominal stretch. Cole hip tosses his way out. They each throw kicks at one another’s head to knock each other down. Cole gets two with a German suplex and a running knee strike. O’Reilly yakuza kicks him in the side of the head. He gives Cole a tornado DDT. Cole counters with a brainbuster onto his knee for two. O’Reilly gets two with a small package. Cole blocks his kick with a dragonscrew leg whip. Even still O’Reilly puts on a Guillotine. O’Reilly sucks a superkick and gives Cole a reverse huracanrana. He gets two with a Regalplex. He puts on a triangle choke which Cole turns into a pin attempt. They trade strikes on the apron until Cole gives O’Reilly a Michinoku Driver onto it. It’s only good enough for a two count. O’Reilly sets up Cole in the corner on the floor. O’Reilly comes off the apron and gets met with a superkick. Cole crossbody’s him back in the ring and puts on a figure four leg lock. O’Reilly gets the ropes. Cole dropkicks O’Reilly into Richards. Richards distracts Cole inadvertently and O’Reilly rolls him up for the pin at 15:48. This definitely did not reach the level of the Best in the World encounter, but was better than their Showdown in the Sun match. The Davey stuff at the end felt extremely forced. The action was great and both guys worked their asses off but it lacked focus. ***
Steel Cage Match
S.C.U.M. (Kevin Steen, Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) & Rhett Titus
As you would expect, the match starts outside the cage with everybody brawling. Steen is bleeding already. Corino digs a broken bottle into Mark Briscoe’s head. Mark throws a chair at his head. Jacobs throws one at Jay. Titus and the Briscoes have the advantage when Titus stomps away at Steen inside of the ring. Steen kicks the middle rope into Mark’s groin and shoves him to the floor. He locks the cage door, leaving the three S.C.U.M. members with Jay and Titus. Steen keeps guard to make sure Mark can’t climb up the cage. He even manages to knock him through the timekeeper’s table. Jay and Titus are able to fight off Corino and Jacobs. Steen however sends both of them into the cage once Mark is a non-factor. Steen rubs some of Jay’s blood onto Corino’s stomach. Jay avoids a cannonball senton. He takes down Corino and sends Jacobs into the middle turnbuckle with a Complete Shot. Mark drinks a beer to gain some energy while Jay and Titus start throwing Jacobs and Corino into the cage repeatedly. Titus and Jay give Corino the Sidewinder for two. Corino gets two with the Colby Shock on Jay. Steen gives Jay the F-Cinq and also gets two. Titus and Steen set up their opponents for double Doomsday Devices. They slip off their shoulders, crotch Jacobs on the top turnbuckle and kick Corino and Steen in their groins. Finally Mark enters the match by moonsaulting off the top of the cage onto all of S.C.U.M. Jacobs goes for the Contra Code on Jacobs. Instead, Titus places him on Jay’s shoulders and he takes a Doomsday Device from The Briscoes for the pin at (roughly) 11:05 (not counting the five or so minutes outside the ring). I liked the numbers game story they told. It didn’t seem like it took much time for the Briscoes and Titus to gain much control in the end which was kind of odd. It was a fun watch, but if you’re expecting an ultraviolent bloody affair you might be disappointed. ***1/2
S.C.U.M. beat down the Briscoes and Titus after the match. Jay Lethal attacks when they try to head backstage. He does a remarkable job fighting all three off when you consider Jay and Titus couldn’t do the same with two of them. They eventually end up backstage and the Brsicoes and Titus are able to celebrate their win.