New York, NY – 4.5.2013
ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen
ROH Television Champion: Matt Taven
ROH World Tag Team Champions: reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer.
QT Marshall makes his way to the ring with ‘Barrister’ RD Evans. Marshall is scheduled for a tag team match in the opener. Evans has a partner for him, and rumors have been running rampant for whom it could be, including names like Alex Shelley and top talent from Pro Wrestling NOAH. After Evans teases a few names (Hiroshi Tanahashi, Lacey Von Erich, Mike Quackenbush) he enthusiastically reveals that he himself is Marshall’s partner. Marshall seems displeased with this choice.
ACH & Tadarius Thomas vs. QT Marshall & ‘Barrister’ RD Evans
Evans pulls Thomas into a side headlock. He blocks Thomas’ kicks and feigns a hurt leg so he can tag out. Thomas twists up Marshall’s arm so ACH can come in with a double axe handle. ACH sends him to the corner with a Frankensteiner. Thomas throws a kick. Evans blind tags in. Thomas uses Evan’s foot to kick Marshall. He backdrops Marshall and kicks Evans in the chest from the apron. Marshall pulls ACH off the apron. Evans pokes Thomas in the eyes and Marshall nails him with a lariat. Marshall and Evans work over Thomas as ACH recovers. Thomas knees Marshall to escape a suplex. He enzuigiri’s Evans and tags in ACH. He Tiger walks up Marshall and sends Evans into him. ACH sets them up in the corner and delivers a running clothesline. He comes back in with a crossbody to Evans. He swings him around in a Cloverleaf. Marshall breaks it. Marshall is clotheslined to the floor. ACH follows him with the Air Jordan. Evans goes for a pescado onto him but lands on Marshall instead. Thomas then flies out with the Sasuke Special. Back in the ring Evans drops ACH with the Wonder-Fall. Marshall sets him up for God’s Gift while Evans goes to the top. Thomas kicks Evans to the floor. ACH and Thomas kick Marshall until ACH hits the Big Bang Attack for the pin at 9:52. Thomas and ACH are a really exciting team and certainly have the opportunity to add some fresh match ups to the tag division. Evans and Marshall were their anti-thesis and it made for a really good styles clash. A fun way to kick off the show. **¾
Shelton Benjamin comes out. He was scheduled to face Charlie Haas but he is not here tonight. This leaves him without an opponent. ROH student Cheeseburger, who was attacked by Haas a time or two before, is asked to come into the ring. He obliges. Before Benjamin can get to a point with what he wants to tell the young man, Mike Bennett makes his way out with Maria Kanellis and “Brutal” Bob Evans. Bennett calls himself the hottest free agent in all of pro wrestling and entertainment. That’s why it’s so upsetting that he has to sit in the back while Benjamin and Cheeseburger chat in the ring. Bennett’s about to announce where his loyalties lie when Cheeseburger snatches the microphone out of his hands. He tells all three of them to get back to Boston, saying some very profane things in doing so. Bennett lays him out with a haymaker. Benjamin punches Bennett saying he has found his opponent. He lays out Evans with a Samoan Drop and sends Maria packing as the bell sounds.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Mike Bennett
Benjamin sends Bennett into the barricades a few times. In the ring he gives Bennett a back body drop. Bennett crotches himself in the corner. Benjamin stomps him into the canvas for two. After trading some punches, Bennett drops Benjamin with a spine buster. He goes for the Photo Finish but Benjamin counters with a backbreaker. They trade punches until Benjamin takes Bennett down with a flying forearm and a corner splash. He gets two with an exploder suplex. Bennett also gets two with a Box Office Smash. Bennett does a CM Punk corner knee strike to mock the ROH fans. He calls for the GTS. Benjamin counters with a leg whip into a half crab. Maria gets on the apron to distract the referee. Evans comes in and shoulder blocks Benjamin. Bennett comes off the top with a legdrop. He and Maria make out as Benjamin recovers. She turns around so Bennett can feel her up. Benjamin knocks him down with a spin kick. He backs into Maria who thinks he is Bennett. She notices his hands are not Bennett’s and freaks out. Bennett goes for a superkick and nails Maria! Benjamin hits his own superkick and German suplexes Bennett for two. Bennett sits down on Benjamin’s sunset flip attempt. Evans grabs Bennett’s arms to give him extra leverage, allowing him to steal the pin at 8:58. Not much to see here, though the finish was super hot after the Maria superkick. Bennett did a good job of filling Haas’ shoes. **½
#1 Contender for the ROH World Championship
Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin
They start off slowly. As the pace picks up they trade nearfalls until reaching a stalemate. Lethal avoids an O’Conner Roll and comes off the second rope with a leg lariat. Lethal tries a huracanrana. Elgin catches his legs and looks for a Boston Crab. Lethal rolls out and hits another leg lariat. He hip tosses Elgin into a cartwheel dropkick for two. Lethal goes for a slingshot maneuver but gets caught with a powerslam. Elgin gives him a delayed vertical suplex for two. Lethal slides out of a Buckle Bomb. Elgin brings him down for a crossface. The a-hole fans chant Chris Benoit as Lethal gets his feet to the ropes. Lethal enzuigiri’s Elgin to the floor. He follows with two suicide dives. He dropkicks Elgin off the apron and suicide dives onto him for a third time. He comes back in with a springboard dropkick. He drops Elgin with a Death Valley Driver and heads up top. Lethal heads up top for Hail to the King. Elgin cuts him off, kicking him to the apron. He then pulls Lethal up from the apron for a superplex! Lethal is able to kick out. Elgin wins a strike exchange. He clotheslines Lethal in opposite corners and drops him with a Boss Man Slam for two. He forearms Lethal in the back before German suplexing him into the corner. Lethal gets his knees up to block the Tumbleweed Senton. He pops up Elgin into a neckbreaker for two. He drops Elgin with the Complete Shot and applies the Koji Clutch. Elgin escapes. Lethal calls for the Lethal Injection. Elgin catches him and tries an O’Conner Roll. Lethal rolls forward for a two count. Elgin blocks another Lethal Injection with a Backfist. He Buckle Bombs Lethal. Lethal responds with two superkicks. Elgin delivers one of his own, a pump kick, and a short arm lariat. Elgin Buckle Bombs Lethal. Lethal counters the Revolution Bomb with a reverse Frankensteiner. He hits the Lethal Injection. Elgin fires up but then takes the Lethal Combination. Hail to the King connects but Elgin is able to get his shoulder up. Lethal sets him up on the top rope. Elgin brings him down with a super Powerbomb! A backfist, Buckle Bomb, and Revolution Bomb gives Elgin the win at 19:05. ROH is totally foolish if Elgin isn’t their World Champion by the end of 2013. He’s one of the best guys on the roster and gets the job done every time out. He and Lethal has a fantastic back and forth match in which both performers looked strong. Most importantly, it showed just how badly each guy wanted the World title which makes the belt look good as well. This was just a big win all around. ***¾
S.C.U.M. of Rhino, Jimmy Jacobs, Jimmy Rave, Rhett Titus, and Cliff Compton (flanked by Steve Corino) come out to attack both Lethal and Elgin. Corino puts them down and tells ROH to send out five of their best to get killed. Their scheduled opponents hit the ring and we have ourselves a match.
Mark Briscoe, BJ Whitmer, Mike Mondo, Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs, Rhino, Jimmy Rave, Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton)
Everyone brawls with everyone around ringside. Rave and Mondo chop each other back in the ring. Jacobs holds onto Mondo’s leg so Rave can bite his face. Mondo finds himself isolated in the S.C.U.M. corner as his partners gain their bearings. Rave misses a corner strike and a clothesline. Mondo rolls under him and tags in Whitmer. Whitmer sends Compton and Titus to the floor. Alexander and Coleman dive out onto them. Whitmer powerslams Rave. Jacobs breaks the cover. Mark Briscoe comes off the top rope dropkicking Rhino and Jacobs to the floor. He dives onto them, Titus, and Compton. Whitmer hits Rave with an exploder suplex. Titus breaks the cover. He drops Whitmer with the Thrust Buster. Coleman drops him with a Rough Ryder. Compton sneaks in with a Michinoku Driver. Alexander enzuigiri’s Compton and gives him a backbreaker. Jacobs rakes his eyes and drops him with a Pedigree. Mondo gives Jacobs a backbreaker and a snapmare driver. Rhino clotheslines Mondo. Briscoe Jon Woo dropkicks him to the corner. Rave drops him with the Lightning Spiral. Whitmer sends Rave to the corner. Rave slides out so Whitmer dives after him. Steve Corino, who has been sitting at commentary, attacks Caleb Seltzer and sends him into the guardrails! Whitmer brings Corino into the ring. Jacobs and Rhino attack Whitmer and hold onto him. Titus delivers a dropkick and handcuffs Whitmer to the ropes. Mondo fights off both Rhino and Jacobs. Compton throws powder into his eyes. Alexander throws Compton to the floor. Jacobs takes him down with a railroad spike. Coleman kicks him in the back of the head. Rhino blind tags in as Coleman gives Rave an Omega Driver. Rhino belly-to-belly suplexes Coleman and Gores him for the pin at 11:15. After S.C.U.M. looked weak at “WAR” I was happy to see them look dominant here. If I’m supposed to take them as a serious threat, they need to act like one. Here they were able to look a united force and take out people from all different levels of the roster. This was a nice blend of wild brawling and competitive wrestling that I expected and wanted. ***
Nigel McGuinness replaces Caleb Seltzer on commentary.
Roderick Strong vs. Karl Anderson
Anderson knocks Strong down with a back elbow and takes him over in a side headlock. Even though a leapfrog goes awry, Storng is able to connect with a leg lariat afterwards. Anderson gets his boot up to block a corner attack. He kicks out Strong’s knee. Anderson does more damage to the knee in the corner. Out on the floor, Strong drops Anderson stomach first onto the barricades. Back in the ring he knee strikes Anderson in the corner. Anderson misses a yakuza kick and gets dropped with an Angle Slam for two. Strong of course wins a chop exchange. He lands an enzuigiri. He’s caught with a traditional Anderson spinebuster for two. Strong goes for the Strong Hold. Anderson gets the ropes. They fight to the apron where Anderson nails a bicycle kick. He comes off the top rope, catching Strong with a neckbreaker back in the ring for two. He also gets two with a Liger bomb. Strong hits the Sick Kick for two. A gutbuster and another Sick Kick have the same effect. They trade kicks. Anderson drops him with the Bernard Driver for two. He goes for the Gun Stun. Strong fights it off. Anderson catches him with it on his second attempt for the pin at 12:33. Nothing terribly special here, which is a shame considering how excited people were for Anderson coming in. That’s not to say he did a bad job, but like the Forever Hooligans, this didn’t reach the high water mark I think most were hoping for. I think with more time they would have got there. ***
ROH Television Championship – Elimination Match
Matt Taven vs. Adam Cole vs. Matt Hardy
Truth Martini and Scarlett Bordeaux are in Taven’s corner while Steve Corino is in Hardy’s corner. Cole attacks Hardy. As they trade punches on the mat Taven stays to the side. Cole dropkicks Hardy to the floor and Taven attacks. Cole ducks under a clothesline and dives onto Hardy. Taven goes for a dive and is caught with an enzuigiri. Cole sends Hardy into the barricades twice. Taven enzuigiri’s Cole from the apron and dives onto both him and Hardy. Scarlett starts giving Nigel a lap dance. Hardy pulls Taven to the floor and Hot Shots Cole on the top rope. He snaps Cole’s neck on the middle rope. He gets two with a legdrop off the middle rope. Cole gives him an enzuigiri and boots Taven back the floor. He hits the Shining Wizard on Hardy for two. He puts Hardy in a figure four. Taven Superfly Splashes onto Cole to break the submission. Hardy sets up Taven for the Twist of Fate. Cole gives Hardy a neckbreaker, which subsequently DDT’s Taven as well. Taven sets up Cole for the Headlock Driver. Hardy suplexes them both. Hardy goes for a bulldog on Taven. Cole superkicks Hardy to stop him. He gives Taven a brainbuster on top of his knee for two. Hardy hands Cole in a tree of woe from the top rope. Taven goes to superplex Hardy. Cole German suplexes Taven from the tree of woe, superplexing Hardy in the process. Cole goes to figure four Taven. Taven kicks him away into Hardy’s Side Effect. Cole kicks out and gets sent shoulder first into the ring post. Hardy ducks Taven’s kick and hits him with the Twist of Fate. Truth Martini distracts the referee. Cole kicks Hardy in the groin! Cole small packages Hardy to eliminate him at 10:04. Corino gets in the ring to offer Cole a handshake. Cole winds up for a punch and referee Todd Sinclair separates them. Taven pushes Cole into Corino, sending Corino out. Taven hooks Cole’s leg and nails the Headlock Driver for the pin at 11:26. This is not the type of match to make Taven stand out as champion. He felt like a total after thought to Cole and Hardy’s issue. I actually thought the wrestling was going along fine, but this made Taven look like a total goof and both pinfalls were pretty weak. Very disappointing. **½
ROH World Tag Team Championship
reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish) vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)
O’Reilly and Richards start out. When they reach a stalemate Edwards and Fish come in. Edwards catches him with a chop and throws him into a headbutt from Richards. Richards kicks O’Reilly to the floor and drops a knee on Fish for two. O’Reilly throws some kicks at Edwards. Richards puts him in a Cloverleaf and gets some added leverage from Edwards. O’Reilly escapes and sweeps out Richards’ legs. Fish and O’Reilly make frequent tags to keep Richards in their corner and to stay fresh. Richards escapes by hitting Fish with the Damage Reflex. Edwards boots O’Reilly off the apron and throws chops at Fish. Edwards enzuigiri’s O’Reilly on the apron and sling shots in with a Code Breaker onto Fish. A fisherman’s buster only gets Edwards two. O’Reilly knees Edwards from the apron. The Wolves kick reDRagon off the apron. reDRagon comes back in, only to be sent back out with stereo Frankensteiner’s. The Wolves then suicide dive at the same time. The Wolves attack Fish while O’Reilly is dormant. O’Reilly boots Edwards to the floor. Richards also gets sent out. Fish follows with a somersault senton onto Richards and O’Reilly dropkicks Edwards into the barricades. reDRagon bring Edwards back in and wear him down. Edwards suplexes O’Reilly onto Fish so he can tag in Richards. He missile dropkicks both of reDRagon and repeatedly kicks them in the corner. He German suplexes O’Reilly for two. Edwards gives him a Code Breaker and Richards pins him for two again. O’Reilly blocks the Alarm Clock and dragonscrew leg whips both Wolves simultaneously. Richards puts O’Reilly in an ankle lock and turns it into a Trailer Hitch. Fish tries to save his partner but ends up getting put in an ankle lock at the same time. Both O’Reilly and Fish get the ropes. O’Reilly eats the Alarm Clock. Edwards accidentally superkicks Richards! He superkicks Fish as well. O’Reilly rolls him into a chest kick. Richards and O’Reilly knock each other down with various head kicks. Richards fights off both Fish and O’Reilly with chops. They give Richards his own Alarm Clock. O’Reilly Regalplexes him for two. Richards crotches O’Reilly on the top rope. Fish comes up to help O’Reilly fight Richards off. Edwards Frankensteiners Fish off the top rope and Richards suplerplexes O’Reilly. The Wolves hit Chasing the Dragon. O’Reilly kicks out! Two double stomps aren’t enough to get the job done. The Wolves go for a powerbomb/back cracker combo. Fish grabs Richards’ leg. O’Reilly spikes Edwards with a reverse Frankensteiner. Fish kicks Richards from the floor. O’Reilly rolls him up and holds the tights for the pin at 21:06. This could have stood to lose a few minutes, but they never lost the crowd and reDRagon got a chance to showcase their characters and beat another top tier team. It got exciting down the final stretch and quite a few times the crowd bought the Wolves as new champions. Great stuff. ***¾
ROH World Championship
Kevin Steen vs. Jay Briscoe
Steen and Jay are cautious to approach each other. When Jay blocks Steen’s shoulder block, it hurts his own shoulder that popped out a month ago and that is still injured. Steen twists up his arm. Jay boots him in the face but gets sent to the floor. Steen tries an apron powerbomb but gets back dropped. Jay back elbows him in the ring for two. Jay throws some forearms. Steen drops him with a DDT for two. Jay boots him from the corner and nails a rolling forearm. A slam and a legdrop earn a two count. Steen goes for the F-Cinq. Jay fights off his shoulders. Steen sends his injured shoulder into the ring post. Steen does more damage to his shoulder, ripping off the protective bandage that was on it in the process. He gets two with a side Russian leg sweep. Same goes for a pump-handle neckbreaker across his knee. Jay gets sent to the corner. He gets his boot up and delivers a modified blockbuster. Jimmy Jacobs runs out, but Mark Briscoe stops him from interfering immediately. Jay gives Steen a Death Valley Driver for two. Steen snaps Jay’s arm across the top rope. The cannonball senton gets a two count. He drags Jay out to successfully hit the apron powerbomb. Back in the ring he goes for a Swanton Bomb. Jay gets his knees up to block. He gives him a neckbreaker for two. Rhett Titus comes in to distract the referee. Cliff Compton has powder in his hands but Veda Scott grabs his leg! Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman come out to take them away. They trade strikes until they both clothesline one another at the same time. Jay’s family and the ROH roster fill up around ringside to root him on. Steen hits the F-Cinq. Jay kicks out. He sets up for a Package Piledriver and gets backdropped. He gives Jay a sleeper suplex and then hits the Package Piledriver. Jay kicks out! All of S.C.U.M. emerges and the ROH locker room fights them off. Matt Hardy sneaks in from the crowd. He has Jay set up for a Twist of Fate. Steen boots him and sends him to the floor! He turns around and gets met with the Jay Driller. Steen kicks out! He goes for another Jay Driller but his arm is weak. Steen puts him in the Crossface. Jay rolls him into a pin. He German suplexes Steen and delivers a lariat. He follows up with another Jay Driller for the pin and the title at 18:19! Jay Briscoe is the NEW ROH World Champion! The fans are in complete disbelief. This was a rare, genuine surprise title change and the crowd went bonkers for it. All the odds were against Jay but he was able to pull it off in spite of the obstacles. It went to show just how unified the ROH locker room was against S.C.U.M. and completed Steen’s character change. While the match was second nature to the finish, the story was excellent and the emotion was off the charts. ***½
Jay’s family fills the ring to congratulate him. Steen shakes his hand and let’s Jay bask in his moment. Jay said he promised that S.C.U.M. would die tonight and fulfilled that promise. He asks for his old theme music, “Gimme Back My Bullets” by Lynyrd Skynyrd be played just for tonight. The Briscoes celebrate to that song as we go off the air.