Since I’m reviewing half of these matches for my ROH television recaps on PWUpdate, I figured I should just review the whole show for PWP. So here’s the SCOH VIII review.
–Taped from New Orleans, LA
-Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and Nigel McGuinness
-Opening video package takes us all the way back to last April when Jay Briscoe won the world title from Kevin Steen. Briscoe goes through a series of title defenses before being injured by Matt Hardy. Nigel McGuinness strips Briscoe of the championship and announces a tournament which Adam Cole eventually wins. Cole superkicks Briscoe in the back of the head at Death Before Dishonor. Briscoe then attacks Cole with his own championship belt. McGuinness makes Ladder War V official for this very event. Some back and forth. Why the hell didnâ€™t this video package air on television?
PBP: Feeling out process. Shoulder block and a boot. Both men leap frog. Dropkick by Alexander. Chop in the corner. Forearm. Whip across. Charge misses and Alexander rams his head into the middle turnbuckle. Chops from Strong. Boot sends Alexander down. Alexander with a back elbow. Strong sends the back of Strongâ€™s head against the turnbuckle. Dropkick to the back. Alexander comes back with forearms. Knew. Tilt a whirl backbreaker. BJ Whitmer tapes Strongâ€™s bloody thumb. Back and forth with forearms. Strong drop toe hold and forearms to the back. Grapevines the leg. Running boot. Waistlock. Back elbows by Alexander. Knee to the midsection. Alexander fires back with a forearm. Dropkick misses. Charge misses. Alexander back elbow. Strong sent to the outside. Dive but Strong heads back in the ring. Into the ring with a DDT. Alexander with a face plant for two. Knee to the midsection and then the Drunk Slam for two. Running knee. Running forearm. Crucifix to counter the backbreaker. Strong powers Alexander up for a follow-up backbreaker. Alexander back kick. Back and forth with chops. Strong jumping knee. Gutbuster. 1-2-NO! Suplex blocked. Alexander with a springboard kick. Running dropkick to the corner. Adam Page knocked off the apron. Kick to Kill. Jacobs kicked off the apron. Dive on Whitmer and Page. Springboard but Strong catches him. Orange Crush Backbreaker gets Strong the victory.
Analysis: Alexander basically lost this match because heâ€™s an idiot and went after the other members of the Decade instead of focusing on his opponent in the ring. This was a good opener featuring some excellent back and forth. I knew this was going to be a very good match (and it was), but Alexander has been booked so poorly that itâ€™s going to be tough for the crowd to get behind given he never wins and the Decade seems to get half of the crowd behind them anyway. Strong, Whitmer, and Jacobs just arenâ€™t acting enough like heels for this angle to mean anything, for example not bullying Adam Page enough. The announcers are doing the leg work as far as making them seem like jerks, but Iâ€™ve always been a believer in â€œShow, donâ€™t tell.â€
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Roderick Strong/10:28/***1/4
The Decade (BJ Whitmer, Jimmy Jacobs, and Adam Page) vs. Andrew Everett and(ACH and Tedarius Thomas)
PBP: Apparently, the scramble match was made popular by Ring of Honor back in 2002. Thatâ€™s an interesting assertion. This is essentially under Lucha rules where tags are not necessary. ACH shakes everyoneâ€™s hand since the Decade wonâ€™t reciprocate. Jacobs pulls out the spike. Thomas comes between them. ACH tags Thomas before physical contact is made. ACH puts his hand out to be shook again and mocks Jacobs. Page gets tagged in by Jacobs. Shoulder tackle on Page. Leapfrog. Hip toss by Page. ACH kicks him away. Page responds. Exchange of armdrags. Stalemate. Jacobs and Whitmer yell at Page. Whitmer tags him in. Knee and clubbering blow. Series of chops take ACH into the corner. ACH leaps over and dropkicks Whitmer. No sell. A second one no sold. Clothesline misses. Dropkick to the left knee followed by one to the head. Jacobs attacks ACH from behind since there are no tags needed. Shoulder tackle by Thomas as ACH exits the ring. Quick nearfall. Kicks. Hangmenâ€™s clothesline on Jacobs. Thomas dumped to the outside. Everett takes over. Headscissors and dropkick on Jacobs. Everett with flips. Spike rana. Whitmer grabs Everettâ€™s leg. Thomas with forearms on Jacobs. Thomas with a dive to the outside. ACH sent to the apron by Jacobs. Whitmer strikes him in the back. Jacobs with a diving spear, and everyone is down. ACH sent head first into the top turnbuckle and chopped. Heat segment on ACH. Whitmer clotheslined over the top. ACH with Air Jordan on Whitmer. Thomas is legal. Chop and kick. Sick kick. 1-2-NO! Chinbreaker by Jacobs. Kick and half nelson suplex. Jacobs exits. Page hits a backbreaker. Everett misses something coming back in the ring. Everett messes up in the corner. Elbows on Page. Moonsault press. Whitmer waistlock. Back elbows. Springboard kick. Shooting star press to the outside. Springboard shooting star press on Whitmer gets two. Whitmer tosses Everett out of the ring. Lariat on Thomas. All Seeing Eye. Whitmer covers and gets three.
Analysis: A spectacular six man tag featuring the best high flyers in the sport showcasing themselves. Everett and ACH absolutely stood out here. The scramble rules certainly helped keep the action flowing. This probably would have been an even better way to open the show but this was a great second match. Really enjoyed the match despite again being disappointed that guys like ACH, Thomas, and Everett are on job duty.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: The Decade/10:14/***1/2
-Jacobs has the spike out and tells the music man to cut it out. He calls out ACH and tosses a full bottle of water on him because ACH â€œdisrespectedâ€ Jacobs at the beginning of the match.. Jacobs passes on spiking Thomas as the Decade leaves the ring. The idea is that Jacobs could have spiked Thomas but didnâ€™t.
-Short video package highlights Matt Taven and Truth Martiniâ€™s feud. Martini promises to unveil the newest member of the House of Truth.
-Matt Taven comes to the ring. Truth Martini announces heâ€™s not here to hurt but to help. Martini says Taven firing him was a mistake. Kevin Kelly is brought into the ring. Martini attempts to read from the Book of Truth. Taven takes the book from him, and the book starts on fire. Martini kicks Taven in the balls. That was an interesting angle in theory but also a total bait and switch.
PBP: The streak is at 82-0 now in what might be Ring of Honorâ€™s best angle. The promotion has pretty much tripped into something great. Immediate firemenâ€™s carry. Boot by Evans. Young rams Evans into the corner. Chop. Whip across. Evans Flair flips. Shoulder tackle. Vertical suplex. Scott pulls Youngâ€™s leg and Evans gets two. Chase around the ring. Ramon attacks Young for whatever reason. Evans with a flying forearm. Evans climbs to the top rope. Young clubbering blow and then a press slam. Stomp to the chest. Choking on the middle rope. Snapmare and back kick. Bodyscissors. Evans elbows out of a chinlock. Young dropkicks in response. Evans tossed into the corner head first. Back elbow by Evans. Boot out of the corner. Evans sent to the apron. Young guillotined back first across the top rope. Flying shoulder tackle. Lariat ducked. Punch. One footed dropkick. Evans with a diving elbow to the corner. Boot by Young. Evans with a powerslam and two. Big splash misses. Killer combo. 1-2-NO! Battle on the apron. Evans holds onto the top rope for dear life. Elbow and right hand. Young shoves Evans into the turnbuckle. Electric chair slam onto the apron. You would think ROH of all companies would restrict these silly apron spots. Paul Turner begins his count. Young crawls in at 15. Evans just makes it in at 19. Small package gets two. Young with a punt. Scott goes to the apron. Ramon takes his belt off. Young boots him. Evans fakes a belt shot to the back. Young has the belt in his hand. Roll-up gets two. Belt shot from Young to Paul Turnerâ€¦right in the head. Hangmenâ€™s clothesline but no Turner. Young hits a Nagasaki roll. Pee Gee Waja Plunge. A second referee comes in and counts three. Paul Turner wakes up and raises Evansâ€™s hand. Because Young hit Turner with the belt, Evans gets a disqualification victory.
Analysis: If youâ€™re going to do all these goofy finishes, particularly one as goofy a Dusty finish, then Iâ€™m fine with them being in the undercard. Both wrestlers basically wrestled as heels, but the crowd is so into Evans, you canâ€™t help but smile. A very good wrestling match as Evans as the ability to be one of the best all around performers in professional wrestling. Legit, I think heâ€™s one of the top ten wrestlers in North America today. I am dead serious. Now if we can just move Young into bigger and better thingsâ€¦
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: R.D. Evans/10:58/***
-Michael Bennett promo. He gives Mark Briscoe props for not feeling pain. He plans on using any weapon that isnâ€™t nailed down. The cuts on this promo were really strange. Mark Briscoe responds. You guys remember the movie Tropic Thunder? Thereâ€™s a salient quote about what Mark Briscoeâ€™s character is now and what Ben Stillerâ€™s character in that film was criticized for doing. Iâ€™ll let you all think about that one. I have no idea what Briscoe is saying.
PBP: Briscoe dives on Bennett before the bell rings. Chair assault. Back in the ring with double chops. Bennett sent head first into the top turnbuckle. Chops. Whip to the corner and then a clothesline. Choking with a t-shirt. Right hand. Whip across. Bennett back drops Briscoe all the way over down to the floor. Clothesline off the apron to the floor. Briscoe whipped into the steel barricade. Briscoe and Bennett takeÂ a tour of the building. Briscoe with a huge dive onto Bennett. Bennett sends a chair right into Briscoeâ€™s head. Cause thatâ€™s what we need. Bennett tosses the chair at Briscoeâ€™s head. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Boot to Briscoe. Again into the barricade. Back in the ring. Bodyslam. Chair placed on Briscoeâ€™s groin area. Chair shot. Spinebuster on Briscoe. Set-up for the spear. Briscoe sends Bennett into a prone chair. Cactus elbow. Back in the ring for a two count. Now Bennett gets a chair tossed at his head. Bennett tossed out of the ring over the top rope. Bennett sent into the barricade up and down the entranceway. Table set up just to the right of the stage. Chops to the side of the face. Bennett with a right hand. Big spear and they both go through the table on the ground. Would be nice if any of the live crowd could have seen it. Also, I could barely see anything because of ROHâ€™s terrible lighting. Headbutts. Back toward the ring. Bennett sent back in the ring. Out comes the singamore cane. Maria comes in the ring and shields Bennett. Cane shot right to the head. You know, cane shots arenâ€™t exactly safe either. Maria takes the stick away. Superkick by Bennett. Cane shot by Maria. Side Effect. Chair set up in the ring. Maria tosses a second chair in the ring. Series of chair shots to the back. Bennett places a chair across Briscoeâ€™s neck. One man conchairto. Anaconda Vice. Briscoe is completely out. Referee calls for the bell.
Analysis: Can’t say I’m a big fan of the head shots with the chairs or the singapore canes. Pretty pointless brawl. At least the ight person won, and Bennett came away looking like a fairly dominant heel. More ranting on pointless violence later.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Michael Bennett/9:58/**1/2
-Matt Taven is in the back looking for Truth Martini. Martini lights his face on fire again in the bathroom.
-Cheeseburger comes out to give the crowd free t-shirts. Matt Hardy comes out to interrupt and asks Cheeseburger to leave. Cheeseburger actually leaves. Can I just say, Matt Hardy looks absolutely awful. Records broken. Great television ratings. Fans boo Hardy because they donâ€™t get that by giving him heat, theyâ€™re in fact feeding the beast. Hardy compares Adam Cole to Jesus and the trinity. WUT? This promo is a giant waste of time. He invites Cheeseburger back in the ring and hits him with a Twist of Fate.
PBP: Oâ€™Reilly and Rowe start. Rowe wins a shoving match, but Oâ€™Reilly complains about a hair pull. Fish leaves the apron and eggs his partner on. Hanson knocked off the apron. Side headlock. Oâ€™Reilly puts the brakes on and heads outside. Hanson bodyslams Oâ€™Reilly. Rowe slams Fish back in the ring. Belly-to-belly suplex by Rowe. Chinbreaker by Oâ€™Reilly. Fish tagged in. Belly-to-belly suplex on him as well. Knee by Hanson. Knee by Rowe. Shot to the back of the neck. Clothesline by Hanson on Fish. Fish leave the ring and has Hanson chase him. Tag to Romero. Hanson misses a clothesline but recovers with a right hand. Romero pokes him in the eye. Running rana and series of leg kicks. Enziguri. Koslov and Romero double team Hanson. Hanson with knees to the midsection. Now Oâ€™Reilly tags in willingly. Hanson brings him in the hard way. Fish tossed outside. Romero with a flying knee. Enziguri by Koslov back in the ring. On goes the hat and so start the kicks. Running kick. Oâ€™Reilly sent head first into the turnbuckle. Romero and Koslov do their dumb schtick they do in every single bleeping match where they tease dissension and then hug. I understand wrestlers and tag teams have signature spots, but doing this crap in every match is really annoying. Oâ€™Reilly catches himself and tags Rowe. Romero with shots. Fish knees him in the back. Romero takes out Oâ€™Reilly. Rowe tosses him down hard. Fish tags him from behind. Double teaming from reDRagon. Heat segment on Romero. Oâ€™Reilly even breaks out a hammerlock backbreaker. Fish attacks Rowe. Koslov cross body. No tag was made. Headscissors. Koslov is apparently legal. Enziguri on Rowe. Hanson low bridged out of the ring. Big springboard dive to the outside. Oâ€™Reilly tossed back in the ring. Missile dropkick. 1-2-NO! Koslov tossed back in the ring. Fish teases a dive. Rowe catches him in a blue thunder bomb. Axe and smash by Oâ€™Reilly. Hanson in. Series of strikes and kicks. Cartwheel and lariat. Flying knee by Romero. Double team knees by the Hooligans. Fish prevents his partner from meeting the same fate. Koslov and Oâ€™Reilly left in the ring alone. Back and forth with forearms. Rowe pulls Oâ€™Reilly out of the ring. Running spinebuster. Fish with dropkicks. Oâ€™Reilly to the top rope. Spinning slam by Hanson. Charge misses and he lands shoulder first into the post. Koslov with a shooting star press. Fish breaks the count. Fish kicks Romero. Oâ€™Reilly rolls Koslov up, holds onto the tights, and gets a roll-up victory for the win and number one contendership.
Analysis: Pretty good match mostly because reDRagon are the king of being great heels. Some great character work from them as they cowered throughout the match and took advantage when they needed to. Also, Iâ€™m less bothered by the roll-up finish here given the tactics used throughout the match itself. Itâ€™s worth pointing out Rowe and Hanson were not getting any sort of reaction and were easily the least popular team. There were a couple shine spots for them , but itâ€™s going to take a ton of work for ROH to get these guys over. Rowe in particular shows so little in the way of intensity and fire that I question his value as a regular roster member. Guys like ACH and Andrew Everett get job duty while Hanson and Rowe, whoâ€™ve shown far less in the ring and personality wise, get protected in this match.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: reDRagon/13:48/***1/4
-Jay Lethal talks about where the story began, all the way back to Boiling Point 2012 when Ciampa broke his leg. Lethal wants the championship and mentions having Ciampa beaten twice. Good to see Lethal show some fire for once. Very solid video package showing Lethalâ€™s anger and putting the emphasis on what heâ€™s gone through in recent months. Also one of the strongest promos Iâ€™ve ever seen from him.
PBP: After a rivalry thatâ€™s gone for just about two years, it comes down to this. Ciampa hands his knee brace to Lethal instead of following the code of honor. Thatâ€™s a pretty nice callback right there.
Fall #1: Lock-up goes to the corner and they break clean. Lethal breaks less clean but steps away. Off the ropes and a shoulder tackle by Ciampa. Quick two count. Lethal grabs the side headlock. Shoulder tackle by Lethal. La maestral cradle. Hip toss countered. Lethal gets one of his own. Ciampa out of the way of the dropkick. Lethal is the man who ended Ciampaâ€™s streak. Nice point by the announcers on that one. To the corner. Lethal chop. Ciampa with one of his own. Lethal with short right hands. Holds onto the ropes. Ciampa sent to the apron. Springboard dropkick misses. Ciampa sent to the barricade. Lethal with a trio of tope suicidas. On the third one, Ciampa goes over into the front row. Series of punches by Lethal. Ciampa shoves him into the post and then the steel barricade. Running knee and Ciampa again ends up in the front row. Back in the ring. Lethal raked across the knee. Chop in the corner. Lethal sent hard head first into the turnbuckle. Open hand chop. Hip toss and dropkick. Lethal with a chop. Off the ropes with a dropkick. Blow to the back. Ciampa sent into the turnbuckle. Dropkick by Lethal. Snapmare and elbow drop. Ciampa bites down on Lethalâ€™s finger. Boot and chop by Lethal. Back and forth with chops. Enziguri by Lethal. Awkward looking backcracker. Ciampa holds onto his previously injured knee. Back and forth as they go for suplexes. Suplex eventually takes both men over down to the floor. Forearm exchange on the outside. Series of strikes as Sinclair gets deep into the count. Both men head into the ring just before the bell rang. Lethal Injection caught into an Oâ€™Connor roll. Lethal gets a roll-up for three and the first fall at 10:20.
Fall #2: Ciampa kicks Lethal right in the face. Project Ciampa countered into a reverse prawn hold for two. Hard knee strike from Ciampa gets a long two count. Superkick blocked. Lethal Combination into the Koji Clutch. Counter into the Sicilian Stretch. Lethal gets to the ropes. Forearms back and forth. Chop by Lethal. Forearm. Lethal runs after and gets an elbow. Another chop. Leaping cutter by Ciampa on Lethal gets two. Ciampa climbs up to the top rope with Lethal on his back. Project Ciampa by Lethal gets two. Up to the top rope. Ciampa gets up. Lariat misses. Lethal hits a Lethal Injection on Sinclair. UGGHHHHHHH! Ciampa with a trio of German suplexes as the ROH crowd chants Chris Benoitâ€™s name. Jesus Christ guys. Discus lariat by Ciampa. Both men are down. Truth Martini walks to the ring and tosses Ciampaâ€™s knee brace to Lethal. Knee brace shot to the head. Cover for two. Hail to the King. 1-NO! Ciampa is hulking up. Superkicks go nowhere. Kick to the knee. Lethal Injection. 1-2-3! Lethal wins the title at 6:51.
Analysis: There was no point to the stipulation as it is, but having Ciampa lose clean in two straight falls makes him look so horrible. Ciampaâ€™s television title reign was botched from the very beginning. Having him be visually pinned twice made him look like a weak babyface champion anyway. Him being away from the country for a month in Europe would have been fine, but now 1/5 of his title reign was spent not in ROH. The match and storytelling were very strong as these two guys have great chemistry, but Ciampa is a guy who needed to be protected and set up to be one of ROHâ€™s next stars. Instead, his title reign did little for his character and heâ€™s basically exactly where he started when he won back at Final Battle. This was ROH in a nutshell. Some very good wrestling compounded by booking that doesnâ€™t make anyone look good. The better move to me would have been Lethal losing the match and THEN turning heel after the match to show his frustration. Then Ciampa defends the title for a few months while Lethal positions himself for another match down the road. Then Lethal can win and be the type of upper card heel ROH is in desperate need of right now. This made minimal sense with the way ROH has constructed the storyline.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: NEW World Television Champion-Jay Lethal/17:31/***1/4
PBP: Steen with an immediate boot. Elgin with foreams. Elgin whipped to the corner. Clothesline. Cannonball. Cover for two. I see weâ€™re not wasting any time. To the outside. Back and forth with chops. Elgin sent into the barricade so hard, it breaks through. Steen celebrates with the crowd momentarily. Steen sent into the barricade himself. Clotheslines. Elgin tossed next. Back and forth into the barricades. Poor Paul Turner tries getting them back into the ring. Elgin sent in one more time. Elgin back drops out of a powerbomb attempt. Elgin with a stalling vertical suplex on the outside of the ring. He only holds him for about 10 seconds before dropping Steen down. Steen tossed back inside. Elgin covers for two. Elgin with forearms. Dropkick. Boot to the chest of Steen. Steen holds onto the top rope. Boot by Steen. Running knee to the side of the head. DDT. Bodyslam and running senton. Shoulder blocks in the corner. Elgin whipped to the other side. Enziguri by Elgin. Deadlift German suplex. Elgin with a crossface attempt. Steen counters but Elgin kicks out of the sharpshooter. Side slam by Elgin. To the top rope. Twisting senton misses. F-Cinq counters. Back elbows by Steen. Boot to the midsection. Pumphandle neckbreaker. Cannonball but Elgin catches him! Powerbomb! F-Cinq! 1-2-NO! Back and forth with forearms. Both men say bring it. Elgin comes out on top of the exchange. Boot to the head. Rolling forearm. Steen kicks out just in time. Over the Top suplex but Steen with headbutts. Enziguri by Elgin. Steen pulls him out by the foot. Powerbomb into the ring frame. Steen misses a dive to the floor and further injures his back. Powerbomb into the post. Tombstone piledriver. Steen kicks out. Steen wiggles out of a powerbomb. Sleeper suplex countered. Forearm to the back by Elgin. Pop-up powerbomb by Steen. Package piledriver. 1-2-NO! Steen climbs to the top rope. Swanton met with knees. Elgin catches Steen in an STO. Backfist. Bucklebomb. Spinning powerbomb. 1-2-NO! Crowd seems to favor Steen by a wide margin. Steen placed on the top rope. Twisting suplex off the top rope. 1-2-NO! Package piledriver countered. Nearfall. Elgin with a short powerbomb. Second powerbomb. Third powerbomb. Steen dead weights Elgin. Bucklebomb. Steen comes back with a sleeper suplex. Lariat from Elgin. Bucklebomb. Elgin hits a package piledriver. Thatâ€™s enough for Elgin to get the victory.
Analysis: For almost 20 minutes, these two kept up an incredible pace and essentially did the same thing as Elgin did with Lethal at last yearâ€™s Supercard of Honor. This was a show stealing performance from both men. Loved Elgin stealing Steenâ€™s finisher to finally put the big man away. Steen is having a career renaissance thanks to some weight loss and crucial new motivation in trying to get to the next level. Elgin is clearly one of the best in the world at this point too. Two guys just went out and had a great match. Not much else to say.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: Michael Elgin/19:13/****
PBP: Back and forth with forearms. Back drop by Jay. Clothesline sends Cole to the outside. Cole goes under the ring for a chair. Chair shot right to the head of Jay. Cole tosses the chair right at Jayâ€™s head. Forearm and a series of stomps in the corner. Choking in the corner. Bodyslam. Cole sends Jay across the chair back first. Cole grabs the ladder but has it dropkicked against his body. Cole sent into the barricade. Headbutt on Cole. Clubbering blow across the back. Chair tossed at Coleâ€™s head. Cole sent across. Briscoe rakes Coleâ€™s eyes. Briscoe tosses a chair in the ring. Chair tossed at Coleâ€™s head. This is absolutely ridiculous. Chair placed between the top and middle rope. Cole sends Jay into the chair head first. This is unbelievably irresponsible. Suplex into the ladder. Ladder sent against Jayâ€™s head twice. Briscoe is bleeding. I canâ€™t believe this match is happening with Nigel McGuinness sitting at the commentary position. Â This is borderline insulting. Boots from Jay to Cole. Headbutt. Chair tosses against Coleâ€™s head. To the entranceway. Briscoe suplex Cole. Ladder number two sent in the ring. Chair tossed to Coleâ€™s head AGAIN!Â Briscoe sets Cole up on a ladder and splashes him. Ladder set upâ€¦no. Jay brings a table out from ringside. Right hands send Cole onto the table. Cole gets up and delivers a low blow. Jay sent into the barricade. Cole clotheslines Jay back in the ring. Cole misses a chair strike. Punches from Jay. Powerbomb into the ladder. Battle on the top rope. Jay crashes through a ladder. Nigel McGuinness looks uncomfortable at commentary. Jay is bleeding from the back. Electric chair. Cole tossed onto one of the ladders in the corner back first. Neckbreaker. More punches. Running stomp as Jay sets up a ladder between two chairs. DVD through a chair. Briscoe misses a splash and instead lands on the bare ladder. Cole and Briscoe have a chair duel. Cole tosses the chair right in Jayâ€™s head. Jay tosses one right back. Both men climb the ladder. Jay with headbutts. Cole takes a back bump. Cole flips Jay off. Jay of course like an idiot, climbs down to beat him up some more. Jaydriller. Just as Briscoe is about to conchairto Cole, Matt Hardy hits a twist of fate on Jay. He then helps Cole up the ladder. Mark Briscoe comes out next. Double powerbomb. The run-in count is up to two. Hardy is put on table. Mark climbs up a ladder on the outside. Michael Bennett pushes the ladder, and Mark crashes through a table. Run-in count up to three. Jay sends Bennett into the steel barricade. Staredown back in the ring. Back and forth with forearms. Jaydriller hit a second time. Bennett interferes. Jaydriller. Hardy comes in. Jaydriller for him. Cole grabs both belts.
Analysis: I seriously doubt there will be ten matches I hate more than this. The fact that Nigel McGuinness, who lost his career to bleeding too much in the ring and also had to deal with a series of concussions, was at ringside made this one of the most uncomfortable appearances Iâ€™ve witnessed as a professional wrestling fan. I have heard a rumor that Sinclair Broadcasting declared to violent to broadcast on their channels. As critical as I have been of them and their running of Ring of Honor, I canâ€™t say I blame them at all. Not only should this match not air, but it never should have happened. Whoever allowed this to happen, with the chair shots and the bleeding, is borderline irresponsible with everything we know about concussions and bleeding. I do not care what the blood tests administered by the state of Louisiana say. If blood is banned within Ring of Honor matches, then keep it banned. Period. Arenâ€™t chair shots to the head also banned? Whoâ€™s in charge of this company and allowed this to happen?
It gets worse. The overbooking of the match further insulted the proceedings. This was supposed to be a feud ender, and we get three different people running in. This match had no story or purpose to it. The fact that the crowd was completely silent for most of the match speaks volumes. Immediately after the finish, people just walked out. No booing. No cheering. They just exited. I hated this match. Hated the chairshots. Hated the blood. Hated the overbooking. Adam Cole versus Jay Briscoe was as pointless an ROH main event as Iâ€™ve ever seen.This match made me significantly less interested in ROH as a company and soured me on the show.
Winner (s)/Time/Rating: STILL ROH World Champion-Adam Cole/28:49/*
Overall Thoughts: I honestly donâ€™t know how to feel the show because of the main event. I really liked what Steen and Elgin brought to the table in their match because of the pacing and their ability to keep the crowd engaged. There was a lot of good action throughout the show. However, the booking decisions and the finishes continue to be ROHâ€™s waterloo. As much as people have given a pass to Delirious in the past,Â I donâ€™t see how the last year has improved bookingwise except the wrestlers seeming to care more and delivering more in the ring. The main event was a travesty plain and simple.