Oh what’s that, Matt Waters got really behind on his ROH reviews? Well surprise, surprise, huh? What an unprofessional moron! I hate his face and his stupid British accent. I hope he gets thrown off this website. Anyway, here are five reviews in one, taking us from just before Boiling Point right up to the penultimate episode before Death Before Dishonor. Enjoy or whatever.
8/11/12 – The Express’ Last Stop
1) Kyle O’Reilly def. Matt Taven (Fujiwara Armbar) Taven may or may not be a prospect, but he was given too much offence. This was intended to be Kyle’s coming-out party after splitting from Davey, and while he did win, it should have been more one-sided. O’Reilly also claimed he didn’t tap out at Best in the World, but was slapping feeling back into his leg.
2) Rhino def. Todd Sople (Gore) Guess how this match went.
3) The Bravado Brothers def. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin (Reverse Rolling Cradle) Roddy and Elgin were trolling each other all match, and it led to Harlem rolling Roddy up. Bravados looked much better, but they’re not being featured
4) Inside ROH: A recap of the Briscoes/Guardians of Truth feud with Dem Boys threatening to knock the House of Truth down, and a piece on Maria and Del Rey’s “rivalry.”
5) Jay Lethal & the All-Night Express def. S.CU.M. (Lethal Injection) A fitting swansong for the ANX, who looked very fluid, and S.C.U.M. came together pretty well as well, looking a force to be reckoned with despite losing. King and Titus removed Steen and Corino, and Lethal was able to overcome Jacobs. After the match Corino gave King a brainbuster through a chair, so if they wanted they could have claimed that put him out of ROH for good. Smart to ignore that though.
Episode Review: Kind of a middling ep, maintaining the status quo where it came to the House of Truth’s friction and Steen and co.’s reign of evil. Rhino continued to be built up as a threat, and O’Reilly began his new solo career, but the former was another squash and the latter wasn’t done all that effectively, so nothing to go out of your way for this week.
8/18/12 – Gore… Gore… Oh God, is Eddie okay?
1) Jim Cornette opens the show explaining King’s decision to go wrestle elsewhere, and thus begins a tournament to crown new champions, and he wishes everyone involved luck. Not a bad way to handle the issue at all to be honest. No throwing King under the bus or catty comments behind his back.
2) Sara Del Rey def. Mia Yim (Death Blow (Axe Kick)) Better than every Divas match of 2012 combined. Wait, that’s too low of a bar. Better than every Knockouts match of this year. Hmm, they haven’t had a notable year either have they? Look, it was good, okay? Don’t worry though, Mia’s off to Japan, and Del Rey’s headed to the WWE. Maria knocked Sara out with her boot after the match.
3) Truth Martini and Rhino called out Jim Cornette and offered to deal with Kevin Steen. Eddie Edwards interrupted and wanted a chance instead as he’d beaten Rhino before, leading to…
4) Anything Goes World Title Contender Match
Rhino def. Eddie Edwards (Gore (through a table)) About as wild as a TV match gets and a boat load of fun. People complained when they heard an Anything Goes ended via referee stoppage, but if you actually see the spot, it’s disgustingly brutal. “You killed Eddie!” chant after. Awesome.
5) Inside ROH: Kevin Kelly explains the tag tournament and we hear from Rhett Titus and Charlie Haas regarding Kenny King’s abrupt departure. Plus an announcement of a six-man-mayhem to determine the number one contender to the TV Title next week. Mike Bennett vows to win.
6) Kevin Steen def. Homicide (F-5) This was really great also. Homicide’s been on fantastic form in his most recent ROH appearances and I’ve found myself wanting to see more of him. Steen used some new/rarely used moves, they both took chances and the crowd were feeling it.
Episode Review: In contrast to the previous edition, this was an absolute blast with two television matches of PPV quality. You should watch this episode. Tell them I sent ya.
8/25/12 – Ring of Mondo?!
1) Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander def. the Young Bucks (Overtime) Apparently the Bucks were on a “Summer-long international tour.” Kay. Cedric is getting rather good. Fun and fast-paced. C&C move on to the next round of the tournament at the Bucks’ expense. Fair enough.
2)Charlie Haas confronted Jim Cornette about the tag tournament, claiming he and Shelton are getting screwed. Rhett Titus butted in after his name was mentioned several times and the two exchanged unpleasantries. They demanded to fight each other for the vacant belts and decided the only way to accomplish that was to win the tournament together. Not great mic work from either man.
3) QT Marshall def. Tadarius Thomas (Alabama Slam) These two tagged against C&C in an internet-exclusive match a few weeks ago and Marshall attacked Thomas after the loss and later won an ROH contract at Boiling Point. Marshall is solid, Thomas’ capoeira style is very exciting, you’re seeing the future here folks.
4) Inside ROH: Promos from SCUM insulting Rhino, Truth Martini claiming the Guardians will beat Haas & Titus next week, and the Briscoes vowing to win the tournament. Plus a general run-down of the tag tournament, with a slot left open by Haas & Titus uniting.
5) Six-Man Mayhem TV Title Contender Match
Mike Mondo def. Mike Bennett, TJ Perkins, Tommaso Ciampa, Roderick Strong & Jay Lethal (Double Arm DDT) Mondo was awful here, stealing moves, stepping on gimmicks and botching spots. The match moved so damn quickly there was no time for it to get bad until the finish which was incredibly anticlimactic, with Mondo just hitting his finisher on Bennett. No big reversal or sneak attack or capitalising on a distraction. Mondo just beat Bennett while the other four were on the outside. Perkins looked slick as ever, Roddy and Lethal brought the pain in places but kept kinda quiet, and Ciampa was awesome. Mondo gets a title match on iPPV. What is life?
Episode Review: Lots of young talent was exhibited on this episode, so if you’re after some fresh faces then you should enjoy most of it, and while the ending of the main event sucked, the match flew by at breakneck speed so you should get something out it. The Haas/Titus thing isn’t awesome booking, and they delivered their promos badly, but it’s better than them both getting mystery partners and it opened the door for a new team to enter the fray.
9/1/12 – Killer Instinct
1) S.C.U.M. def. the Bravado Brothers (Bridging Backdrop Driver) If Corino and Jacobs fail to win the tournament they leave ROH. The crowd didn’t really care for this despite Harlem’s best efforts, and it did go a little too long, though the closing stretch was neat. It seemed like the original ending was botched as they cut to a crowd shot and then returned to Corino getting the pin with something that’s definitely not his finisher.
2) The Guardians of Truth attacked S.C.U.M. after the match, but Steen made the save. Rhino slid in and Gore’d Steen absolutely silly, posed and left. Awesome moment.
3) Inside ROH: Adam Cole cut a promo on facing Michael Elgin next week and Mike Mondo on iPPV (if he retains the belt.) Rhino vows to win the title at DBDHX. Dem Boys said they’d beat BLKOUT. Mark Briscoe was funny. Things. Stuff.
4) Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven (No Contest) Lethal said he asked for a world title shot but Cornette told him he needed more killer instinct, so responded by giving Taven a low blow, and the referee a Lethal Combination! The crowd loved it. Interesting turn of events for Lethal.
5) Charlie Haas & Rhett Titus def. Guardians of Truth (Jackknife Pin) Just not all that interesting. Haas made Rhett do almost all the work, which made the Guardians look completely inept. This kind of match is fine earlier in the show, but the main event? Yawn. Titus and Haas advance. Corino and Jacobs brawled with the Guardians after the match.
Episode Review: The two actual matches that took place weren’t all that great and the ending to the first was botched. Rhino hitting the Gore on Steen was awesome, and the Lethal angle was sort of intriguing, but neither part was enough to save the episode. Watch the middle portion, ignore the rest.
9/8/12 – Strength in Numbers
1) The Briscoes def. BLKOUT (Frog Elbow) The BLKOUT used some wild offence and it made this match less than pretty, but it was still fun to watch. The Briscoes prevailed as usual, giving them the last spot in the next round of the tournament at DBDH.
2) Mike Sydal def. Mike Bennett (Count-Out) Mondo came out to hit on Maria, and Bennett chased him all around the ring in stupid fashion, causing the count-out. They smartly had Brutal Bob on commentary so he couldn’t intervene in the shenanigans. Nice touch.
3) Tommaso Ciampa def. Mike Posey (Project Ciampa) Ciampa being insane and messing jobbers up is never not funny to me. He just hits so hard and is so unorthodox. R.D. Evans’ commentary was fun too. Prince Nana attacked Evans after the match and the entire commentary station fell apart.
4) Inside ROH: Charlie Haas announced Shelton Benjamin will be in he and Titus’ corner at Death Before Dishonor. Titus cut an awful promo reacting to this news. Plus a recap of Lethal’s odd behaviour and a run-down of the iPPV card.
5) ROH TV Title Match
Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin (No Contest) This was a short match that ended in chaos as Elgin hit a buckle bomb on Cole… only Todd Sinclair was standing in the way and got wiped out. The Guardians then saw fit to attack Cole, which angered Elgin. S.C.U.M. then attacked, with Steen and Elgin getting into it before Rhino went after the champ. Roddy and Elgin shoved each other for good measure. The actual match was decent, but too short to be noteworthy.
Episode Review: An up and down episode with plenty of good and plenty of mediocre. Ciampa was great, and the S.C.U.M./House of Truth feud continues to interest me, with Steen being consistently beaten back by Rhino, who he doesn’t enjoy a physical advantage over, unlike previous opponents like Davey, Eddie and Roddy. The main event was too short and the Bennett/Mondo angle was nonsense. The Briscos/BLKOUT bout summed the entire episode up really. Up and down.
- Despite the somewhat up and down nature of most of these episodes, there’s a lot of good stuff to be found in every one of them. The Steen/Rhino feud has been handled extremely well, with Rhino plowing through people for weeks on TV, getting over as heck with the crowd, winning the right to face Steen in an awesome match against Eddie Edwards, and then getting the better of Steen at every exchange. Steen usually enjoys a size/power advantage as the typical ROH wrestler is a Jr. Heavyweight, but Rhino can and has dominated him. Should be a fun match.
- While the tournament hasn’t produced stellar matches, and the outcome is somewhat obvious given Corino and Jacobs putting their careers on the line, I do think it was a good way to handle the Kenny King situation and they’re getting 3 matches for the price of 1 on iPPV.
- Mike Mondo showed a bit of improvement a couple of months ago, and was actually good for a short stretch of time, but I’m back on the hate train where he’s concerned. He was just bad in all of his appearances in these episodes, and yet he’s getting rewarded with a TV Title shot on iPPV, and getting to kiss Maria, which let’s face it, is worth more than any silly fake championship.
- Elgin and Strong STILL haven’t come to blows, but I figure that’ll happen at DBDH to set up a match at Final Battle.
- Lots of bright young talents now, with Marshall, Thomas, and marked improvements in the Bravados and C&C.
Matt Waters became a wrestling fan through the 1990s WWF video games. He didn't know who on earth Austin was, but he knew playing as him was a very good thing. He got on board with the televised iteration of the pseudo-sport at age 10, watching WCW and later WWF. Becoming bored with the product around 2005, he turned to Ring of Honor and indie wrestling and... well... here we are. Occasionally he writes, mostly he hosts the Podcast of Honor.
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