Ring of Honor: ROH on SBG – The Best of Episodes 1-100

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Disc 1

ROH World Tag Team Championship
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin (Champions) vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli)

“ROH on SBG Episode 1” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 8.13.2011

Haas takes control of Claudio on the mat. He takes Claudio over with some armdrags. Benjamin blind tags in and levels Claudio with a springboard clothesline. Claudio brings him to the corner so Hero can tag in. Benjamin cradles him for two. Hero retreats to the corner after taking a punch. Hero ducks Benjamin’s kick. Claudio knees him from the apron so that Hero can nail a Cyclone Kick. Benjamin gets trapped in the Kings’ corner but he manages to escape by dropping them both with a neckbreaker to escape a tandem suplex. Haas takes both Kings on by himself. He headscissors Claudio and Gemran suplexes Hero. He gets two with a T-Bone suplex on Claudio. Haas comes off the second rope with a huracanrana for another two count. Claudio slams Haas on his stomach and knocks Benjamin to the floor. Hero levels Haas with the KTFO for two. He hits a rolling elbow before tagging Claudio back in. The Kings’ Swing would get them the win if Benjamin wasn’t able to interrupt the count. They set up Haas for the KRS-ONE. Benjamin spears Claudio to stop them. Haas rolls up Hero for two. Benjamin superkicks Hero. He and Haas give Claudio the Broken Arrow. Hero takes the Hart Attack for the pin at 14:28. This wasn’t quite on the level of their previous encounters, but it was a solid tag team showcase and a nice final bout for the Kings as a unit (and Claudio period) in ROH. Haas and Benjamin sure were a lot more over back then. ***¼

ROH Television Championship
El Generico vs. Jay Lethal

“ROH on SBG Episode 2” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 8.13.2011

Generico ends a wristlock exchange with an armdrag. He huracanrana’s Lethal to the corner. Lethal backflips out of a wristlock and armdrags Generico to the corner. He takes Generico down with a headscissors. Lethal snapmares him into a dropkick to the back of the head. He then hip tosses Generico into a dropkick for two. Lethal puts him in a modified parachute stretch. Lethal dropkicks Generico to end a strike battle. Generico springboards over Lethal. He gives him two armdrags and a toreador to the floor. He tope con hilo’s after him. After the commercial, Lethal hits a dropkick back in the ring. Generico hits one of his own for two. Lethal slingshots in from the apron for a sunset flip. Generico kicks out and drives his elbow into Lethal’s neck. Lethal comes back with a back handspring elbow. Lethal hits a missile dropkick for two. He pops Generico up for a neckbreaker. Generico fights out of a powerbomb attempt. He runs the ropes for a tornado DDT and gets a two count. With one minute left, Generico hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for two again. Generico goes for the yakuza kick. Lethal blocks it and rolls up Generico for two. They block each others’ moves just as the time limit expires at 15:00 (12:53 shown). Generico and Lethal are both not happy with the decision. The fans ask for 5 more minutes. Jim Cornette says they have about three minutes left, so they will let Generico and Lethal go until the end of the show. We start the new match with both men throwing furious fists. Lethal forearms him to the corner. Generico yakuza kicks him across the ring and gives him a half-nelson suplex for two. Generico wants the super brainbuster. Lethal turns it into a suplex before they can get on the ropes. Lethal goes for a top rope elbow. Generico evades it and sets up Lethal on the top rope. Lethal shoves him off. He connects with a top rope elbow for two. Generico suplexes him into the corner. Lethal superkicks him and hits the Lethal Combination. That gets him the victory and the title at 2:51. At the time I was really upset (and still am in some ways) that Generico lost the TV title in his first defense. However, seeing that this was a good match with a hot ending makes me feel better about it. They went through the motions in the first fifteen minutes, but the last three minutes made up for so much of what was lacking in the earlier portion. Fun match all around. ***¼

Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson)
“ROH on SBG Episode 23” – Baltimore, MD – 2.4.2012

Matt’s forearms to Alexander’s back don’t do much. Alexander takes him down with a headscissors. After a sole butt he tags in Coleman. They give Matt a legdrop Hart Attack for two. Alexander slingshots in with an elbow to Matt across Coleman’s knees. Nick flies in but eats a kick from Alexander. Matt clotheslines Coleman. The Bucks give Alexander an enzuigiri/clothesline combo. Nick double stomps Alexander and dives onto Coleman out on the floor. The Bucks take control of Alexander while Coleman recovers. Alexander avoids some double back elbows and rolls forward to tag in Coleman. Coleman springboard dropkicks both Bucks, sending Matt to the floor. After a BlesSTO to Nick, he spinwheel kicks Nick in the corner and falls onto Matt. Alexander dives onto Nick. Coleman high crossbody’s Matt for two. Alexander superkicks Matt into a snapmare driver from Coleman. Nick breaks the cover. Coleman misses a corner attack. Nick knees him in the back of the head. Coleman stops More Bang For Your Buck and sends Matt to the floor. C&C go for Overtime on Nick. Matt gets his knees up and superkicks Coleman. More Bang For Your Buck on Coleman get the Bucks the win at 5:28. This was a perfect TV match. They packed in a lot of exciting, fun action while giving Bucks momentum towards their tag title shot against The Briscoes. **¾

March Mayhem Finals – Elimination Match
Jay Lethal vs. Adam Cole vs. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Mike Bennett

“ROH on SBG Episode 29” – Baltimore, MD – 3.3.2013

The Embassy Ltd. (Prince Nana, ‘Barrister’ RD Evans, Princess Mia Yim, & Ernesto Osiris) is in Ciampa’s corner while ‘Brutal’ Bob Evans and Maria Kanellis are in Bennett’s corner. Lethal jumps Ciampa and pounds him down in the corner. Back on their feet Lethal dropkicks Ciamps to the floor. Bennett and Lethal trade holds. Lethal blocks a hip toss, then hip tosses Bennett into a cartwheel dropkick. Lethal tags in Cole when RD Evans convinces Ciampa not to tag in with him. Cole puts Bennett in a headlock. Bennett suplexes out of it. Cole catches him with a Manhattan Drop and a dropkick. He does some damage to Bennett’s back before dropkicking him again. Lethal double axe handles Bennett while Cole has him in a headlock. Bennett and Lethal trade punches on the floor. Ciampa attacks Lethal from behind. Cole comes off the top with a dive onto all three opponents. We come back from commercial with Lethal and Ciampa in the ring. Ciampa catches Lethal with a clothesline for two. A replay shows that Bennett gave Cole a spinebuster on the ring apron during the commercial break. Lethal lights up Ciampa with chops. Ciampa drops him with a side Russian leg sweep. Lethal goes for the Lethal Injection. Ciampa dropkicks him mid move. Bennett blind tags in which makes Ciampa upset. Lethal however is able to hit Bennett with the Lethal Injection to eliminate him at 7:57. Seconds later, Ciampa blasts Lethal in the face with a knee strike to eliminate him at 8:04. Cole slowly crawls back into the ring, just now recovering from the apron spinebuster. Ciampa gives Cole a running knee to the face in the corner twice. When he goes for it a third time, Cole finds the energy to superkick him. Cole suicide dives after Ciampa. Ciampa catches him and hits the Air Raid Crash on the floor! Cole kicks out back in the ring which Ciampa cannot believe. He calls for Project Ciampa. Cole fights out and puts on a sleeper. When Ciampa fights out, Cole superkicks him in the back of the head and re-applies the sleeper with a bodyscissors. Ciampa’s arm drops twice. He finds the strength to stand up and drive Cole into the corner. They elbow each other in the face. Cole is on top when Lethal comes back out hoping to fight Ciampa some more. Ciampa backs into the ropes to crotch Cole. He hits Project Ciampa on Cole for the win at 12:42. This did a great job of bringing a lot of great action while furthering the story of Lethal/ Ciampa and continuing Cole’s slow progression to the top of the roster. The only complaint from me is that the ending could have been stronger. ***

Veda Scott comes in to present Ciampa with a check for $24,000. Prince Nana snatches the large check from her hands and sings “We’re in the money.”

Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards
“ROH on SBG Episode 38 – Baltimore, MD – 5.18.2012

Richards powers Edwards to the corner in a lock-up. They reach a stalemate after they go for stereo kicks and either guy catches the other’s leg. As the pace picks up, Richards catches Edwards mid-air with a spinwheel kick. Edwards boots him off the ring apron and into the barricades. He chops Richards around ringside. In the ring he gets two with a running kick to the chest. He goes for the Chin Checker. Richards alters it mid-air so when they come to the mat he has Edwards in an armbar. Edwards gets the ropes. They fight on the apron where Richards drives Edwards shoulder first into the mat. Richards throws some kicks, especially to the arm, before heading back inside. Edwards makes his way back in where Richards continues to focus his attack on that arm. Edwards tries a suplex. Richards escapes and goes for the Damage Reflex. Edwards catches him and turns him inside out in a back suplex. Edwards pitches Richards out and follows with a suicide dive. Back in the ring a top rope dropkick gets him a two count. He begins to throw chops. Richards throws some kicks in response. Edwards give him a Dragon suplex for two. Richards and Edwards fight on the ropes. Richards ends up bringing Edwards down in a superplex. He holds on and suplexes Edwards into an armbar. Edwards reverses into the Achilles Lock. Edwards’ arm is too hurt to keep it on, allowing Richards to roll into the ankle lock. Edwards kicks him away. They boot each other simultaneously. Richards gets the armbar back on. Edwards rolls through leading to a pin exchange. They kick and hit each other until they both fall. Once again they fight on the ropes. Edwards brings Richards down with a facebuster. The CYF gets him two. Richards gets on the ankle lock again. When Edwards escapes he delivers a running kick to the chest. Jimmy Jacobs makes his way out. He gets kicked twice by Richards. He goes for a top rope dropkick. Edwards catches it and jackknife pins Richards for the win at 16:39. This had a lot of benefits their other matches had: more truncated so they had less time to “kill”, and, a story! Of course this ended up being a conduit for Richards’ title match against Kevin Steen at “Best in the World” but as a one-shot encounter on TV this was fun. ***

ROH World Championship
Kevin Steen (Champion) vs. Mike Mondo

“ ROH on SBG Episode 44” – Baltimore, MD – 6.29.2012

Jimmy Jacobs is in Steen’s corner while Steve Corino is on commentary. Steen has some words for Mondo before the match, leading to Mondo throwing a flurry of fists Steen’s way. He knees Steen to the floor and baseball dropkicks him into the barricades. Steen rakes his eyes. He tries whipping Mondo into the barricades but Mondo reverses. He slams Steen’s head into them over and over again. Mondo gets a running start before shoulder blocking Steen into the barricades. Steen rakes Mondo’s eyes again. He tries a suplex on the entrance ramp. Mondo evades it. Steen tears off a piece of the barricade. Mondo avoids being crushed under it. Steen however powerbombs him onto it! Mondo makes it back in the ring right before the 20 count. Steen bites Mondo’s ear while choking him on the second rope. After choking Mondo with his boot, Steen sentons onto him for a two count. Steen throws more insults on the microphone. Mondo fires up and throws a barrage of punches. Mondo then dives onto Steen and Jacobs. Back in the ring Mondo comes off the top rope with a knee to Steen’s neck for two. Steen is able to catch him with a rope-assisted DDT. He hits a cannonball senton for two. Steen goes for the F-Cinq. Mondo counters with a small package for two. He sets up for the No Fear DDT. Steen blocks it with a Hot Shot. Steen hits the F-Cinq for the pin at 10:06. I don’t know if the fans believed Mondo had a chance to win, but he sure got their attention by taking an ass kicking and continuing on. I was never the biggest fan of Mondo’s but he and Steen had a very good title match. ***½

Jimmy Jacobs and Steen are about to continue beating on Mondo when Eddie Kingston runs out. He trades blows with Steen until Jacobs gets involved.

ROH Television Championship
Roderick Strong (Champion) vs. Adam Cole

“ROH on SBG Episode 45” – Baltimore, MD – 6.29.2012

Truth Martini is in Strong’s corner. Strong gets in a cheap dropkick that sends Cole to the floor. He throws Cole shoulder first into the barricades and gives him a backbreaker on the ring apron. Strong focuses his attack on Cole’s mid-section back in the ring as well as throwing some chops. Cole responds with some forearms and a bicycle kick. Strong hot shots him on the top rope and gets two with a backbreaker. Strong brings Cole back to the floor but ends up being sent into the barricades. However, he throws Cole ribs first into the ring post. We come back from commercial with both guys throwing strikes. Strong kicks out Cole’s leg. Cole gets a succession of two counts in various pinning methods. Strong puts him in the Stronghold. Cole makes it to the ropes. He nails an enzuigiri to block a backbreaker. Cole clotheslines Strong to the floor and follows with a suicide dive. In the ring he gets two with a high crossbody. He also gets two with a Shining Wizard. He goes for the Florida Key but Strong trips him. Strong gives him a backbreaker across the top turnbuckle! Strong hits Death by Roderick for two. He tries for the Tiger Driver. Cole Frankensteiners out of it. He DDT’s Strong on the ring apron for two. Martini tries to interfere with the Book of Truth. Cole catches him and tosses him out to the floor. Strong attacks him from behind. Cole blocks the Orange Crush backbreaker. When a small package fails, he superkicks Strong and gives him a brainbuster across his knee for another two count. He applies a figure four leg lock. Michael Elgin comes out but does not help Strong, his stable mate. Strong gets the ropes. Cole gets two with another small package. Two superkicks and a Florida Key give Cole the win and the title at 12:10 (shown). Cole has definitely worked hard to get to this point. While he didn’t necessarily need the title, it was a nice way to get him into higher profile bouts. Strong worked his butt of to make Cole look tough and even the House of Truth chicanery couldn’t put a damper on a really fun bout. ***½

Lance Storm vs. Mike Bennett
“ ROH on SBG Episode 46” – Baltimore, MD – 6.29.2012

This is the rubber match with the two competitors splitting the wins between the “Showdown in the Sun Day One” and “Border Wars 2012” events. ‘Brutal’ Bob Evans and Maria Kanellis are in Bennett’s corner. Storm out wrestles Bennett to start. Bennett back elbows him as he comes off the ropes. Storm rolls through a Sunset Flip and goes for the Canadian Maple Leaf. Bennett quickly scurries to the floor. Storm brings him back in. Bennett begs off but gets kicked in the stomach anyways. Storm suplexes him for two. He gives Bennett a chin breaker and a dropkick. Bennett accidentally crotches himself in the corner. Storm stomps him in the mid-section. He drops a couple of elbows for two. Bennett drives Storm back first into the corner. He misses a dropkick and Storm gets two with a jackknife pin. Bennett tosses Storm to the apron. Storm brings him out as well. They trade blows until Bennett rakes his eyes. He pitches Storm into the barricades and comes off the apron with a clothesline. In the ring he gets two with a dropkick. Same goes for a belly-to-back suplex. Bennett sends Storm shoulder first into the ring post. Storm tries fighting back but gets dropped in a divorce court. After exchanging punches, Storm cradles Bennett. Bennett kicks out and delivers a clothesline. Storm comes back with an enzuigiri. Bennett sends Storm into two ring posts while on the apron. Storm clotheslines Bennett back into the ring. He misses a slingshot elbow. Storm however gets the better of a punch exchange. He leg lariats Bennett for two. He nails a springboard clothesline for two. Bennett sits down on Storm’s Canadian Maple Leaf attempt. When Storm kicks, he tries an enzuigiri. Bennett ducks and puts on a half crab. Storm escapes. He gives Bennett the Box Office Smash for two. Each guy goes for the Final Cut. Storm blocks Bennett’s attempt and puts on the Canadian Maple Leaf. Bennett crawls to the ropes within seconds. Storm goes for a superplex. Evans grabs Storm’s leg. Bennett brings him down with a neckbreaker. Storm kicks out. Maria distracts the referee so Bennett can deliver the Final Cut onto the chair for the win at 15:21. The match was fine but had a flat finish. It would have been nice to see Bennett get a decisive win over Storm. I mean seriously, why the need to protect him? **¾

2012 Survival of the Fittest Elimination Match
Adam Cole vs. Davey Richards vs. Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong vs. Mike Mondo vs. Michael Elgin

“ROH on SBG Episode 58” – Baltimore, MD – 9.22.2012

The winner of this match gets an ROH World Title match on demand. This year’s Survival of the Fittest has: 2 former ROH World Champions (Strong, Richards), the current Television champion (Cole), 2 former Television champions (Strong, Lethal), 1 former Pure champion (Lethal), 2 former ROH Tag Team champions (Strong, Richards), and 2 previous Survival of the Fittest winners (Strong, Elgin).

Richards and Strong start off. Lethal avoids being put into submission. Elgin blind tags in and Strong hits the floor right away. Mondo tags in. He’s not scared of Elgin, but still gets caught with a powerslam. Mondo headbutts him in the stomach until they make it to the corner. Richards dropkicks both Mondo and Elgin to the floor. He kicks Elgin from the apron. Strong however gives Richards a back breaker on the apron. Cole pescado’s onto Strong and Lethal suicide dives onto Cole. Mondo moonsaults onto everyone. He brings Richards back into the ring for a two count. Cole tags in and throws some punches at Mondo. Mondo looks for his butterfly suplex. Strong blind tags in and Sick Kicks Mondo for the first elimination at 4:49. Strong and Cole exchange strikes. Strong enzuigiri’s him for a two count. He arrogantly knocks Richards off the apron. Cole takes Death by Roderick but kicks out. Elgin backfists Strong into a superkick from Cole, eliminating Strong at 6:41. Richards puts Cole in an ankle lock right away. Cole kicks him away and gives Richards a neckbreaker across his knee. Elgin looks for the Chaos Theory. Cole blocks with a cradle, then hits an enzuigiri. Elgin blocks his running knee and powerbombs him into the corner. He pins Cole with the Spinning Powerbomb at 7:43. Lethal dropkicks Elgin. Elgin puts Lethal on his shoulders. Richards comes in. Elgin Samoan Drops Lethal while simultaneously throwing Richards in a fallaway slam. Elgin goes to the top rope. Strong shoves Elgin back into the ring! Richards suplexes Elgin onto the ringside table which dents inward! Richard and Lethal come to blows while Elgin recovers. They stop when they notice Elgin crawling back into the ring. He blocks the oncoming kicks. Richards enzuigiri’s Elgin into Lethal’s DDT. Richards double stomps onto Elgin, followed by Lethal hitting Hail to the King. Elgin kicks out even though both guys pin him simultaneously! He blasts Richards with a back elbow. Richards and Lethal throw kicks at his head, ending with double superkicks to take him out at 13:08. The locker room surrounds the ring as we are now down to Richards and Lethal. Richards asks for a handshake. Lethal pulls him into an Ace Crusher! He hits the Hail to the King for two. Richards slips off Lethal’s shoulders and gives him the Alarm Clock. Lethal comes back with two Lethal Combinations. Richards kicks out, so Lethal puts him in a Koji Clutch. Richards turns that into an ankle lock. Lethal reverses it while also putting Richards in a parachute stretch. Richards grabs the ropes to escape. Richards suplexes Lethal on the apron. In the ring he hits a double stomp. Lethal kicks out at one! Richards throws some kicks at his head and only gets a two count. Lethal throws a couple superkicks to block Richards’s running enzuigiri. He goes for the Lethal Injection. Richards blocks. He goes for the ankle lock but gets kicked away. Richards superplexes Lethal, then follows through with a brainbuster. Lethal kicks out again. Richards’ Sliding Enzuigiri has the same result. Back to the ankle lock he goes. Lethal rolls out. He sends Richards to the corner with a German suplex. He gets two with a Dragon suplex. Lethal puts Richards down with the Lethal Injection, winning the 2012 Survival of the Fittest tournament at 20:51. I thought the order of eliminations was perfect, Strong attacking Elgin ended up making him look stronger, and Richards and Lethal carried things in an exciting final stretch. It seems like they burnt out the crowd just a little bit by the end, but overall this was a worthy inclusion in the Survival of the Fittest lineage. ***¾

ROH Television Championship
Adam Cole (Champion) vs. Kyle O’Reilly

“ROH on SBG Episode 61” – Belle Vernon, PA – 11.3.2012

O’Reilly earned this shot from a Proving Ground match at “Caged Hostility.” An aggressive lock-up sees both men in the corner. They avoid one another’s punches. Cole catches O’Reilly with a Manhattan drop and a clothesline. He enzuigiri’s O’Reilly to the floor. He goes for a suicide dive but gets caught with a forearm strike. O’Reilly’s suicide dive attempt is caught with an enzuigiri. Cole then successfully pulls off a suicide dive. He throws O’Reilly into the barricades a few times before taking him back into the ring. Cole tries a high crossbody but O’Reilly catches him mid-air with a dropkick. We return from commercial with O’Reilly tripping Cole off of the second rope for two. O’Reilly puts Cole in an abdominal stretch. Cole escapes with a pin attempt leading to a strike exchange. O’Reilly sweeps out Cole’s legs for two. Cole catches O’Reilly on the apron with a slingshot DDT. He gets two with a Superfly splash. O’Reilly delivers an axe kick. Cole rolls through a Saito suplex but gets cradled for two. O’Reilly gets two with a Regalplex as well. He rolls Cole into a triangle. Cole turns it into a jackknife pin for two. Forearms and punches are thrown. O’Reilly gives Cole a tornado DDT and a brainbuster. Cole kicks out so O’Reilly puts on a Guillotine. Cole picks him up and gives him a brainbuster across his knee. Cole hits the Florida Key for the pin at 8:57 (shown). They were able to pack a lot of action into a short amount of time and keep focus (unlike the Proving Ground match). I think my favorite thing to watch these guys do is counter each others’ offense. I guess that’s what happens when you wrestle a former tag partner. ***

Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin
“ROH on SBG Episode 63” – Belle Vernon, PA – 11.3.2012

Elgin avoids Richards’s initial offense. Richards shoulder blocks barely faze Elgin. He dropkicks Elgin to the floor and kicks him in the chest from the apron. Richards boots him into the barricades. Elgin returns the favor. In the ring Richards puts on an ankle lock. Elgin rolls forward which sends Richards to the floor. Richards fights from the apron. Elgin suplexes him back into the ring. After some shots are thrown Richards attempts the Damage Reflex. Elgin catches him. Richards crucifixes him for a two count. Elgin drives Richards into the corner with a Death Valley Driver. We come back from commercial with Richards dropkicking Elgin to the floor. He follows up with a tope suicida. Back in the ring Richards missile dropkicks Elgin to the corner. He kicks Elgin in the face and gives him a release half-nelson suplex. Elgin gets right back up but Richards takes him down in a cross armbreaker. Elgin powerbombs him to the corner. Elgin goes for an enzuigiri. Richards catches the leg and puts on an ankle lock. Elgin escapes. He O’Conner rolls Richards into a German suplex for two. Elgin brings Richards to the top rope. Richards headbutts him back to the mat. He misses a double stomp. However, he shifts Elgin’s body weight when being picked up and drops him with a tombstone piledriver. Elgin kicks out. They fight on the apron, capturing each other between turnbuckles and throwing knees (Elgin) and Kawada kicks (Richards). Elgin wins the exchange and heads up top. Richards enzuigiri’s Elgin to stop him. Richards headbutts him repeatedly. He brings down Elgin with a superplex. He goes for another suplex but Elgin turns it into a Side Effect in mid-air. Elgin misses a tumbleweed senton. Richards knee strikes Elgin in the corner. He brings Elgin to the top rope. Elgin brings Richards to the mat in an Air Raid Crash. When Richards kicks out, Elgin hits the tumbleweed senton. Richards kicks out of that too, so Elgin puts on a crossface. Richards rolls him up for two. Elgin nails him with a knee strike. A backfist, powerbomb into the corner, and the Revolution Bomb get Elgin the pin at 13:58. They tried very hard to sell this as being just as good as their Showdown in the Sun encounter, but really it was just a very good TV main event. Not much in the way of a story but a solid victory for Elgin nonetheless. ***¼

Disc 2

Top Prospect Tournament Finals
Tadarius Thomas vs. Matt Taven

“ROH on SBG Episode 75” – Baltimore, MD – 2.2.2013

The winner of this match gets a shot at the Television Championship at the 11th Anniversary Show. Although Thomas blocks an O’Connor Roll, he eats a dropkick. He uses some Capoeira kicks on Taven for a two count. Taven comes off the top with a crossbody press for two. He gets two with a spinwheel kick as well. As Taven is throwing punches, Truth Martini makes his way ringside. Thomas snaps off some armdrags and kicks Taven to the corner. Taven gives Thomas some shots to his ribs which QT Marshall wore down on last weeks episode. He strings a backbreaker and gut buster together for two. After a stalling suplex Taven nails a second rope somersault senton. Thomas kicks out and goes for some quick pin attempts. Taven rolls out of the corner and hits a step-up enzuigiri. Martini grabs Taven’s foot as he hits the ropes. Thomas uses the opportunity to sweep Taven’s legs and drop a fist onto his face. A swift kick to the head gets two. Punches are thrown. Thomas takes Taven down with the Slingblade for two. Referee Todd Sinclair gets knocked down. Martini tosses Thomas his boot to use. Thomas refuses. Taven however goes to hit him with the boot. He misses. Thomas grabs a waistlock. Taven moves him forward so Truth can crack him in the head with the Book of Truth. This gets Taven the win at 8:30. This was a little disappointing given it was the finals of the tournament and had a screwy finish. I get the idea that it was to set up a partnership between him and Truth, but you could have built the relationship AFTER Taven won cleanly. The action was fine but nothing remarkable leaving me underwhelmed all in all. **

The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) & Michael Elgin vs. reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) & Roderick Strong
“ROH on SBG Episode 75” – Baltimore, MD – 2.2.2013

The Rudos trios attacks before the bell. The fight spills to the floor. O’Reilly is disposed of. The Wolves bring Fish back into the ring as Strong and Elgin continue to fight. Back from commercial and Elgin splashes every one of his opponents in the corner. He powerslams Fish and Richards covers him for two. The Wolves knock O’Reilly and Strong off the apron so Elgin’s delayed vertical suplex on Fish goes uninterupted. O’Reilly kicks Richards from the apron. O’Reilly catches his leg and Fish kicks out the other leg. Strong and reDRagon wear down Richards in their corner, with his back and leg being the main focus of their offense. The beat down goes through a commercial break. Shortly after that however, Richards throws O’Reilly into Fish’s arms and dropkicks Fish so that he DDT’s him on the way down. Edwards tags in and missile dropkicks both O’Reilly and Fish. He lights up Fish with chops. He kicks O’Reilly off the apron and nails Fish with a running chest kick. Fish does the deal with a Falcon Arrow. Strong tags in. Edwards tries the Code Breaker but gets caught. Strong and Edwards exchange chops. Richards comes in and Strong takes the Alarm Clock. reDRagon jump in to attack the Wolves. The Wolves bait them to the apron and kick them to the floor. The Wolves follow with stereo suicide dives. Elgin aggressively pounds Strong down in the corner. Repeated clotheslines follow. Elgin drives his shoulders into the corner and drops him with an STO. He gets two with the Boss Man Slam. Elgin sets up for the turnbuckle powerbomb. O’Reilly hops on his back with a sleeper to stop him. With O’Reilly on his back, Elgin lifts Fish up into a German suplex! Edwards double stomps Strong’s back and Richards double stomps his chest. Elgin lifts Strong up into a Side Effect. reDRagon break the cover. With the Wolves pitched to the floor Elgin is left to fight all three men by himself. He does well until Strong gives him Death by Roderick. reDRagon hit him with a Total Elimination variation for two. The Wolves fight off reDRagon. Richards puts Fish in an ankle lock. Strong gives him a backbreaker. After some strikes Strong nails the Sick Kick on Elgin for two. He scores with the Orange Crush Backbreaker for the pin at 14:50. WWE at times will main event their shows with a trios match featuring many top stars. This match was just like that with everybody looking great, the action never stopping, and the crowd in a tizzy. Super fun contest and a good way to keep all the intertwined feuds going. ***½

ROH World Tag Team Championship vs. ROH Careers
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) (Champions) vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin

“ROH on SBG Episode 76” – Baltimore, MD – 2.2.2013

If Haas and Benjamin win they win the tag titles. If the Briscoes win, Haas and Benjamin can no longer tag in ROH. Haas gets the early lead on Jay. Jay ducks a clothesline after blind tagging out. Mark comes in with a springboard dropkick. He chokes Haas with a t-shirt. When Benjamin helps Haas out to the floor, Mark dives onto both of them. The Briscoes take control of Haas and Benjamin ringside. Back in the ring however, Haas German suplexes Mark. Back from commercial, Mark is still fighting off Haas and Benjamin. Haas assaults Cheeseburger on the floor after dropping Mark back first onto the barricades. Mark is able to avoid a tackle and tag in Jay. Jay throws a flurry of jabs and a dropkick to Haas. He gets two with a big boot. Benjamin breaks Jay’s pin from a Death Valley Driver. Haas accidentally knocks Benjamin off the apron. Jay knocks Haas down with a rolling forearm. Haas takes the Doomsday Device. Benjamin pulls referee Todd Sinclair out of the ring before the three count can be made. Mark suicide dives onto Benjamin. Haas drops Jay with a spinebuster. Both guys tag out. Benjamin and Mark exchange punches. Mark takes Benjamin down with a Busaiku knee. He goes up for the Froggy Bow. Benjamin leaps to the rop and brings him down with a superplex for two. When they recover, Mark takes Benjamin down with a rolling Death Valley Driver. Haas pushes him off of the top rope. Jay misses a pescado onto Haas. Mark springboards in and is caught with a superkick from Benjamin. Mark kicks out. Haas and Benjamin double powerbomb him. Jay pulls Sinclair out of the ring, just like Benjamin did earlier. Haas comes out but Jay whips him into the barricades. Jay superkicks Benjamin. The Briscoes set up for the Doomsday Device. Benjamin fights out and drops Jay with Pay Dirt. Haas comes in and gives Benjamin the Olympic Slam! Mark gives Benjamin the Froggy Bow for the pin at 11:19. Like Taven/Thomas, this match would have been better served with the angle after the bell. The Briscoes defeating Benjamin without Haas’ aid would have made them look stronger and given Haas a stronger reason to ditch his partner. The match was probably one of the better matches between the two teams and could have been even greater with a strong finish. **¾

Adam Cole vs. Matt Hardy
“ROH on SBG Episode 79” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 3.3.2013

Steve Corino is in Hardy’s corner. Cole wins the opening exchange with a flurry of forearms. He crossbody’s Hardy and throws some punches. Hardy chop blocks his leg out. Cole superkicks him to the floor and suicide dives after him. He then sends Hardy into the barricades and slams him on the floor. Cole comes off the apron with a Thesz Press and throws more punches. He puts on a figure four in the ring post. When he releases, Hardy sends Cole skull first into the barricades. Cole makes it back in the ring right before the twenty count. Hardy attacks, punching Cole’s head repeatedly. Cole comes back with a dropkick. He places Hardy on the top rope. Hardy ends up taking Cole off the second rope with a Side Effect for two. Back from commercial Hardy suplexes Cole for two. He gives Cole a sit out Razor’s Edge for two. Another Side Effect also results in a two count. Cole fires up from Hardy’s punches and throws some forearms back. He knocks Hardy down with a pump kick and an enzuigiri. The Shining Wizard gets a two count. Cole comes off the second rope with a dropkick. Hardy kicks out. Cole stomps him down in the corner. Cole gives him a Death Valley neckbreaker across his knee for two. He misses a high crossbody. Hardy puts on a figure four. Cole reverses it. Hardy gets the ropes and slides to the apron. Hardy evades a slingshot DDT. He exposes a part of the floor hoping for the Twist of Fate. Cole counters by backdropping Hardy onto the padded floor. Rhino comes in from the crowd and spears Cole. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander run out to help Cole and the match ends in a No Contest at 13:16. Other members of S.C.U.M. and ROH come out and a big brawl ensues. Well that rematch was just about as good as their Final Battle 2012 contest until it ended with nonsense. **½

ROH World Tag Team Championship
reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) (Champions) vs. Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov)

“ROH on SBG Episode 81” – Chicago Ridge, IL – 3.3.2013

O’Reilly and Koslov go back and forth off the ropes. Koslov stops O’Reilly and tries getting a Russia chant going. O’Reilly responds with a kick to the chest. Koslov kicks his legs out and dropkicks him in the side of the head. Romero tags in. He clotheslines O’Reilly out of Koslov’s Manhattan drop. O’Reilly gives Romero a chinbreaker and tags in Fish. Punches are traded until Romero pokes Fish in the eyes. Romero headscissors him to the ropes. Fish throws some kicks. Romero drops him out of a leapfrog. Romero clotheslines Fish multiple times in the corner. Koslov gets fed up that Romero won’t let him go. They look like they’re going to fight until they hug it out. O’Reilly jumps in but takes a double hip toss. The Hooligans double elbow Fish. Fish is sent to the floor. O’Reilly boots Koslov off the apron. He dragonscrew leg whips Romero in the ropes. Fish sends Koslov into the barricades where O’Reilly comes off the apron with a dropkick. Koslov becomes reDRagon’s target while Romero recovers. Koslov catches O’Reilly with a DDT. Romero tags in and takes Fish and O’Reilly down with repeated clotheslines. O’Reilly gets sent to the floor. Romero baits Fish out to the floor with him. Romero then suicide dives onto both of them. He brings Fish back into the ring. Koslov hops off Romero’s back for a splash. He gives Fish a side Russian leg sweep. The hat signifies the Cossack Kick dance and a double stomp to the shoulders. Koslov rams Romero’s knee into Fish’s face. The Hooligans go for the Contract Killer. O’Reilly takes out Romero. Koslov hits him with an enzuigiri. He puts Fish on his shoulders and Romero hits a Doomsday Knee. O’Reilly breaks the cover. A series of moves leaves all four men laying. Romero and O’Reilly trade forearms. Romero avoids having his leg swept out. O’Reilly though catches him with a Regalplex. Koslov makes the save. Fish and O’Reilly light him up with kicks. A modified Total Elimination gets a two count. Chasing the Dragon puts Romero away at 12:43. This actually may have been better than their rematch a few months later. At this time however, reDRagon’s personality’s weren’t completely fleshed out, so we got a more straightforward wrestling match with no chicanery. This was a fine first defense for reDRagon and a nice way to give them some credibility heading into their iPPV match with the American Wolves. ***¼

Michael Elgin vs. Karl Anderson
“ROH on SBG Episode 85” – New York, NY – 4.6.2013

After some lock-ups each guy goes for shoulder blocks. Neither man budges. Elgin ducks a bicycle kick and belly-to-back suplexes Anderson for two. He holds up Anderson for a significant period in a delayed vertical suplex. He tries the Oklahoma Stampede. Anderson slips off his shoulders and dropkicks Elgin’s leg out. He does some more damage to Elgin’s leg on the ring apron. Elgin kicks Anderson into the barricades to stop the attack. Back in the ring however Anderson goes back to work. When Elgin escapes a side headlock, Anderson gives him a leg lariat for two. Anderson pesters Elgin to get to his feet. Elgin throws some forearms so Anderson rocks him with uppercuts to send him back down. Elgin crotches Anderson into the corner. He suplexes Anderson head first into the top turnbuckle. Elgin suplexes him overhead. After clothesline in opposite corners, Elgin gets two with the Boss Man Slam. Elgin tries suplexing Anderson in from the ring apron. Anderson boots him in the side of the head. He leaps off the top and brings Elgin down in a neckbreaker for two. Elgin comes back with an Air Raid Crash. His tumbleweed senton comes down on Anderson’s leg. Elgin gives him a Buckle Bomb. Anderson responds with a bicycle kick. He gives Elgin the Bernard Driver for two. He sets up for the Gun Stun. Elgin rocks him with knee lifts. He small packages Anderson for two. Anderson drops Elgin with an Ace Crusher for the pin at 15:03. They would go on to have a more intense match a few months later, but for the first go around this was good TV match and another solid win for Anderson. ***

Davey Richards vs. Kyle O’Reilly
“ROH on SBG Episode 85” – New York, NY – 4.6.2013

Richards kicks O’Reilly from the apron before the bell. He boots him into the barricades and lands another chest kick from the apron. He does some wristlock work back in the ring. O’Reilly pulls Richards into a knee strike. O’Reilly scores with a Saito suplex but Richards is too close to the ropes for a pin. O’Reilly throws more kicks before sweeping Richards’ feet out. Richards maneuvers O’Reilly into the tombstone piledriver. He goes for a diving headbutt. O’Reilly catches him in a triangle choke on his way down. After trading kicks, Richards baits O’Reilly to the floor. He then suicide dives after him. Back in the ring Richards connects with a top rope dropkick. He throws multiple kicks to O’Reilly’s chest in the corner. He German suplexes him for a two count. He goes for the Alarm Clock. O’Reilly catches the leg and Regalplexes Richards for two. Back from commercial O’Reilly is kicking the back of Richards’ leg. O’Reilly puts on an ankle lock. Richards breaks out if it with a small package. They each throw kicks until O’Reilly gives Richards a tornado DDT. Richards does the deal with a Falcon Arrow into a cross armbreaker. O’Reilly escapes. Richards sunset flips him off the top rope. He then comes off the top with a double stomp. O’Reilly grabs Richards’ bad leg and puts on an ankle lock. Richards tries kicking him away, so O’Reilly turns it into a sharpshooter. Richards gets the ropes. They fight it out on the apron where Richards drives O’Reilly’s shoulder into the ring frame. Richards leg gives way when he looks for a suicide dive. O’Reilly gives Richards a brainbuster from the apron and onto the floor! Somehow Richards kicks out. O’Reilly puts Richards on the top rope. Richards is able to put a cross armbreaker in the buckles. Richards let’s go before the five count. O’Reilly lays on the table ringside in pain. Richards goes up top and double stomps him through it. O’Reilly makes it back into the ring before the twenty count. Richards throws some kicks to the head. When O’Reilly kicks out he puts on the cross armbreaker. O’Reilly submits at 15:19. Your typical O’Reilly/Richards affair with some contrived looking stuff. I mean seriously, O’Reilly just lays on the table when his arm hurts, completely capable of moving, and yet can’t see Richards is about to stomp him through the table as he’s looking up at him and decides to stay put? Ridiculous. That took me out of the match but the rest was alright. ***

Roderick Strong vs. Taiji Ishimori
“ROH on SBG Episode 88” – Toronto, ONT – 5.5.2013

Ishimori takes the opening exchange by dropkicking Strong to the floor. He dropkicks him a second time when Strong hops up to the apron. Strong avoids a baseball slide. He and Ishimori exchange chops. They trade strikes once again on the apron. Strong drops Ishimori back first onto the ring frame. In the ring Strong gets two with a backbreaker. He wears down Ishimori, specifically his back. Strong picks him up and Ishimori counters his move with a DDT. He hits a back handspring kick which sends Strong to the floor. Ishimori follows with a tope con hilo. IN the ring he uses the ropes for a double stomp. Strong tries fighting back, but is caught with double knees from the top rope. Strong is able to kick out. He tries the Revolución. Strong fights out and flips Ishimori into a backbreaker. Strong gives him an Angle slam for two. Ishimori blocks a half-nelson backbreaker with a crucifix pin. He goes for another back handspring kick. Strong catches him mid-air with a backbreaker. He then puts on the Strong Hold. Ishimori escapes. He gets two with a Death Valley Driver. After some positioning, Ishimori gives Strong the Tenchi Crash to the head. A running knee strike follows up but Strong manages to kick out. Ishimori goes up top. When he says Strong moves out of his way, he lands on his knee. Strong gives him Death by Roderick for two. He tries the Gibson Driver but Ishimori counters with a huracanrana for two. He throws a kick to the head for another two count. After knocking Strong off the top, he connects with the 450 splash for the pin in 14:51. This was a very strong outing by Ishimori after what I thought was a disappointing match with Edwards. They rocked it from the opening bell and had a great story with Strong working over his back. ***½

The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)
“ROH on SBG Episode 90” – Toronto, ONT – 5.5.2013

Edwards and Mark start off, positioning for control on the mat. Edwards snaps off an armdrag. Mark throws some strikes. They each stand off when going for a chop. Richards and Jay tag in. Richards sends Jay to the floor with a dropkick. Jay forearms Richards to stop his suicide dive attempt. Mark tags in and assists Jay in a tandem shoulder tackle. Richards enzugiri’s Mark upon recovery. Edwards slams Mark on the floor and kicks him square in the back. In the ring Mark slips out of a suplex and tags in Jay. Jay throws some punches and a headbutt. He drops Edwards with a neckbreaker for two. The Briscoes whip Edwards to the ropes. Edwards holds on and sends them to the floor. Richards kicks Jay from the apron and Edwards suicide dives onto Mark. The Wolves decide to wear down Jay back in the ring. Jay manages to catch Edwards with a spinebuster. Mark tags in and gets Richards with a bit of Redneck Kung Fu. Richards thinks he has him stopped with chest kicks in the corner, but Mark fires back with more chops when he’s through. A Saito suplex gets him two. He gives Edwards a rolling Death Valley Driver and slingshots Richards into a superkick from Jay. Redneck Boogie on Richards is only good for two thanks to Edwards jumping in. Richards and Mark fight n the top rope. The Briscoes look for the Doomsday Device. Edwards makes the save. Richards rolls Jay into a cross armbreaker. Mark uses the Froggy Bow to break it up. He trades chops with Edwards. Edwards pops him up intot he Alarm Clock. Edwards superkicks Jay to the floor. He double stomps Mark’s back and Richards double stomps his chest. Mark manages to kick out. Jay grabs Richards leg to stop a Wolves double team on Mark. Mark disposes of Edwards. He Dragon suplexes Richards. He sets Richards up for a Cut-Throat Driver. Jay goes up top and Edwards cuts him off. Mark accidentally strikes Jay! Edwards kicks Mark into Richards’ tombstone piledriver for the win at 11:45. Most of this was just to build tension between the Briscoes going into their title match. It was a fun tag bout, and the fact that it was truncated I think benefitted the bout. Everyone got to showcase their key offense without any lulls in the action. Very fun match. ***

ROH World Tag Team Championship
reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) (Champions) vs. Forever Hooligans (Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov)

“ROH on SBG Episode 98” – Providence, RI – 7.27.2013

Romero and Fish feel each other out. Romero holds onto a waistlock until Fish gets to the ropes and elbows him in the face. Romero gets him with a kick. He dropkicks Fish in the side of the head. Koslov comes in with a slingshot splash for two. He lights up O’Reilly with chops and dropkicks him to the apron. He forearms both reDRagon members off the apron. Fish jumps back in to cut off his dive. Koslov however does tope con hilo onto O’Reilly after ducking Fish’s clothesline. Romero baits Fish to the floor and suicide dives onto him and O’Reilly. Back in the ring Romero gets selfish with the corner splashes. Of course he and Koslov end up hugging it out. Romero gives O’Reilly a Manhattan Drop and clothesline. Fish jumps in to clothesline Romero. Romero rolls to the floor and O’Reilly throws Koslov out too. Fish tackles Koslov back first into the ring apron. O’Reilly then comes off the apron with a dropkick. reDRagon beat down Romero while Koslov recovers outside the ring. Romero ends up kicking Fish in the side of the face. Koslov, now on the apron, comes in with a crossbody. He headscissors Fish to the corner. O’Reilly misses a corner attack and takes a springboard dropkick. He enzuigiri’s Fish in the back of the head. The hat signifies the Cossack Kick dance and a double stomp to the shoulders. Koslov rams Romero’s knee into Fish’s face. O’Reilly breaks the pin. The Hooligans give him the Doomsday Knee. Koslov drives Romero’s knee into Fish’s face. Romero drops Fish with a modified tombstone. Koslov hits the Russian Star Press. O’Reilly jumps in just in time to break the count. He sweeps out Romero’s legs and Saito suplexes Koslov. Romero and O’Reilly end up trading forearms. Romero ducks a leg sweep and knees O’Reilly in the face. O’Reilly responds in kind. Fish kicks Romero into O’Reilly’s Regalplex. Koslov makes the save. He throws punches at both members of reDRagon before being taken out by O’Reilly’s rolling forearm. O’Reilly then kicks Romero in the corner. Fish German suplexes him. Their modified Total Elimination is only good for a two count. They go to Chase the Dragon. Koslov grabs Fish’s leg and pulls him down. Romero then backslides O’Reilly for the pin and the titles at 13:08! That win was certainly a shock and somewhat of an upset. Again, the Hooligans matches are all pretty similar, so it’s hard to really enjoy them once you’ve seen what they can do enough times. ***¼

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