Killer Instinct on October 6th, 2012
Opening Match: Mike Bennett vs. Michael Elgin
Bennett tries a cheap shot to no avail and gets rocked with a forearm. He takes some time to regroup. Elgin hits a powerslam after a shoulder block battle. Elgin follows with a delayed vertical suplex. Bennett attempts a plancha but Elgin merely walks away. Bennett hits a spinebuster into the apron and takes control. Elgin fights back with a military press and a spinning side slam. He adds an inverted DDT. Maria jumps onto the apron to provide a distraction. Bennett charges but gets low-bridged to the floor. Elgin thinks about a dive but can’t because Truth Martini is in the way. Bennett hits the Box Office Smash onto the floor. In the ring, Elgin connects with an enzuigiri but runs into a spinebuster. Elgin fires back with a backfist, hits a bucklebomb, and finishes with his spinning powerbomb for the win at 11:57. Despite some semblances of a story with Bennett working over Elgin’s back, most of this match consisted of them just throwing moves at each other. Still, this was a fine showcase for Elgin heading into his ROH World Title match at Glory By Honor. **½
Match #2: Lance and Harlem Bravado vs. Shane Matthews and Scott Parker
3.0 are making their debut in Ring of Honor. These two teams feuded in CHIKARA earlier this year. 3.0 impress the crowd with some double team offense to start. Harlem interjects himself from the apron, allowing Lance to hit a gutbuster on Parker. The Bravados isolate Parker until he connects with a leg lariat on Harlem and makes the tag. Matthews snaps off a headscissors on both Bravados and hits a spinebuster on Harlem. Parker lands a plancha to the floor onto Lance. Harlem catches 3.0 with a moonsault to the outside. Back in, Lance connects with a lariat on Matthews for a nearfall. The Bravados follow with the Gentlemen’s Approach but Parker breaks up the pin attempt. Parker connects with a double missile dropkick. He elevates Harlem into a spear from Matthews. Harlem tries a rollup while holding the tights for a two count. He connects with a bicycle kick on Matthews. The Bravados hit an inverted DDT on Matthews for the victory at 10:05. They might have lost the crowd a bit down the stretch, but 3.0 brought great energy to this match and made a decent first impression. Kevin Kelly tried arguing multiple times on commentary that 3.0 are used to “looser” rules in CHIKARA, which became tiring after awhile. 3.0 haven’t been back since this match, but I remain hopeful. **¾
Match #3: Bobby Fish vs. QT Marshall
Fish takes Marshall down to the mat and kicks him in the chest. Fish connects with a series of kicks, causing Marshall to retreat to the floor. Fish follows out with a plancha. Back in, he connects with a diving headbutt. Marshall avoids a moonsault and hits a powerslam. He takes over until Fish fires back with more kicks. Marshall charges but gets caught by a knockout kick. He recovers with an overhead suplex. Fish hits a backbreaker and lands a moonsault. He adds an exploder and connects with a high spin kick for the win at 8:07. Marshall rarely gives me a reason to get excited during his matches. For whatever reason, I just could not get into this contest. With that said, I hope Fish is given another chance to impress. **
Match #5: Roderick Strong vs. Kyle O’Reilly
They wrestle to a stalemate and shove each other. There’s a funny moment where O’Reilly gets into a karate stance and Kevin Kelly randomly knows the name for it. Strong connects with a leg lariat and hits a backbreaker. He lays in a chop in the corner. O’Reilly responds with a series of kicks and takes control. Strong finds life with a backbreaker and hits a slingshot falcon arrow. O’Reilly boots him off the apron and connects with his missile dropkick from the apron. In the ring, O’Reilly hits a tornado DDT and transitions into a guillotine choke. He reverses the Stronghold into a rollup for a nearfall. Strong connects with an enzuigiri and hits a gutbuster. The referee screws up and counts three. The crowd has turned on this match. O’Reilly hurricanranas out of the Gibson Driver and hits a shoulder-capture suplex for a nearfall. Strong shrugs off a knockout kick and hits the orange crush backbreaker for the victory at 10:17. Aside from the referee blunder, this was an excellent exhibition at ten minutes. I’d like to see O’Reilly pick up a few wins, as I feel like he’s in limbo right now. The crowd didn’t know who to cheer, but they did a good job of keeping the crowd invested despite the awkward face/heel dynamic. ***
Match #6: Davey Richards vs. Mike Mondo
This is a rematch from The Nightmare Begins. Mondo charges but gets caught by the Alarm Clock. Richards clotheslines him to the floor and punts him from the apron. Richards connects with a yakuza kick, sending Mondo into the front row. Mondo hits a neckbreaker in the ropes as they reenter the ring. He drives Richards into the middle turnbuckle and takes over. Mondo lands a corkscrew plancha to the floor at one point. They battle on the apron, where Richards divorce courts Mondo’s shoulder. Richards goes to work on the left shoulder. Mondo creates some space with a spinebuster and both men are down. They exchange strikes and Richards connects with a knockout kick. They battle over a german suplex and Mondo hits a sick snapmare driver. He takes Richards down with a big shoulder tackle and follows with a flying stomp. They trade forearms and kicks. Richards connects with a double stomp and kicks away at the left shoulder. Mondo slaps him across the face but that doesn’t do him any good. Richards hits a superplex and transitions into a brainbuster for a nearfall. He follows with a knockout kick but Mondo won’t stay down. Mondo reverses a cross armbreaker into an ankle lock. Richards counters into an ankle lock of his own but Mondo powers out. Mondo blocks an Alarm Clock and reapplies the ankle lock. Richards counters into a texas cloverleaf while trapping the shoulder for the win at 14:48. I’ve been so thoroughly impressed with Mondo as of late and this was another phenomenal match from him. They never forgot about the work done to Mondo’s shoulder and the tremendous counter-wrestling battle down the stretch put an exclamation mark on what was already a worthwhile contest. This pretty convincingly topped their previous match in June. ***½
Match #7: Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole
Edwards tries to back suplex out of a side headlock but Mark hangs on. Cole connects with a basement dropkick on Jay and follows with a running knee strike. Edwards enzuigiris Mark but runs into a boot. Cole and Edwards catch Jay with stereo dropkicks in the corner and they isolate him. Mark blind tags into the match with a springboard dropkick on Cole. The Briscoes work him over until he connects with an enzuigiri on Jay and makes the tag. Edwards missile dropkicks Mark and hits a sit-out gourdbuster. He catches Jay with a spin kick and hits a backpack chinbreaker on Mark. Cole follows with a frog splash on Mark for a nearfall. Mark hits an insane flipping death valley driver on Edwards and tags out. Jay connects with a discus elbow on Cole and hits a neckbreaker. He adds a falcon arrow. Mark lands a split-legged moonsault on Cole for a two count. Mark connects with his frog splash flying elbow drop but Edwards breaks up the pin attempt. Cole DDTs Mark on the apron and connects with a gamengiri on Jay. Edwards adds a flying double stomp. Cole hits a brainbuster over his knee on Jay for a nearfall. The Briscoes find themselves in stereo submissions but are able to escape. Mark hits an exploder on Edwards and an iconoclasm on Cole. The Briscoes hit the doomsday device on Cole for the victory at 16:39. As with most Briscoes’ matches, I appreciated how they deviated from the usual formula and kept the action interesting. This match would have benefited greatly from a hotter crowd, as the fans never really came alive. Even Cole’s sick apron DDT on Mark received little reaction. They had all of the parts in place for an excellent match but needed a few intangibles to work out better for them. Still, this is an outing worth watching. ***¼
As bonus material, footage is shown of Lethal angrily walking around backstage. He throws Jim Cornette over a table, which caused Cornette to take an extended leave of absence from Ring of Honor.
Overall: Killer Instinct started off a bit slow but found its groove in the second half of the show with a series of worthwhile matches. This show really needed a stellar main event to put it over the top as a recommendation. While Steen and Lethal were on their way to a standout match, the finish just completely killed any momentum they had. This show will likely be remembered for Cornette’s unofficial exit from the company, but I cannot give it a recommendation due to match quality alone.
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Ryan Rozanskii has been a professional wrestling fan since he was six years old. His first memory of it comes from witnessing Scott Hall win a sixty-man battle royal at WCW World War 3. Of course, that was before alcohol became a problem for Scott. Speaking of alcohol, Ryan is a youngster…not even old enough to consume alcoholic beverages. However, Ryan has used swear words to describe how much he loves Pro Wrestling Ponderings. That is something he’ll never try again, due to the risk of possibly being grounded by his parents. Some people compare Ryan to Butters from South Park. Currently, that comparison has yet to have any legitimacy.
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