We begin the show with a recap of the events of last week, at Final Battle, including the epic conclusion of the World Heavyweight Title match. Matt Hardy came to the rescue of Adam Cole, who retained. But Chris Hero made his triumphant return after the match, making his presence known with a pair of KO Elbows to Hardy and Cole.
Let’s kick off the show, shall we?
We are in the Nashville Fairgrounds, in Nashville TN. Kevin Kelly, Steve Carino, and Prince Nana are on commentary tonight. They announce the return of AJ Styles in three weeks. Very excited to see that.
Fist, the Top Prospect Tournament for 2014...
Raymond Rowe vs. Kongo in a Top Prospect Tournament Match
Kongo looks ridiculous. Rowe has some experience - over 10 years. I’ve never seen either man before.
Kongo is very much your stereotypical big man that may or may not be able to speak English. He’s a savage, I guess. Paint on the face, etc.
Action spills out of the ring pretty early on. Back in the ring, Kongo hits a nice fireman carry-like back body drop. Rowe hits a German Suplex for a 1-count.
Kongo misses a splash off the top rope. Rowe locks in a full nelson into a slam, catching the knee on the way down. It’s all she wrote.
Winner: Raymond Rowe
Michael Elgin walks down to the ring. Kongo is already on his feet. Way to no-sell a finish. Elgin and Kongo go nose-to-nose. Elgin backfists him in the head and then hits him with a powerbomb.
Kongo does not look like the type of wrestler that belongs in Ring of Honor. ROH Wrestlers have a look - Kongo doesn’t fit it. That being said what he did was fine, and I understand people like that style of wrestling, but for my tastes, I don’t care for it much. As far as Rowe goes, he does fit the mold, and he was just fine.
After the break, Elgin is in the ring. He says when you stand in this ring, you stand in his ring. He says Final Battle was supposed to be the night he became the Ring of Honor World Champion. He calls Adam Cole out. He hears Cole talk, but he reminds Cole that he had the best win/loss record in 2013. Elgin says Cole better grow eyes in the back of his head. What Michael Elgin wants, he takes. He tells Cole not to worry about Briscoe, Hero, and AJ Styles.
Chris Hero cuts him off and walks out to the ring. The fans go crazy for him. He says it’s been a long time since he’s been in Ring of Honor, and Elgin has become the man. He says in Pittsburgh they can’t get in each other’s way, but after that it’s on.
Kevin Steen decides to join in on the fun and walks out to the ring. He apologizes for interrupting. He reminds them he has yet to have a rematch for the title he lost back in April. He puts over Elgin, but says Elgin isn’t qualified til Steen gets his shot. He welcomes Chris Hero back, but says after tonight the only thing he’ll be able to say is “Kevin Steen just kicked my ass.”
Back in the ring, another Top Prospect Match!
Bill Baly w/ Will Ferrara vs. Cory Hollis
I don’t know who is who, but a guy in a suit says he’s hurt and can’t compete in the tournament, but then he demands a TV Title Shot. Hollis is in the ring and wins, but the other guy (Michael Posey?) goads Hollis into competing anyhow.
Corey Hollis vs. Mike Posey
More new talent here, but this is an exciting start. I guess they’re a tag team together.
There’s some good action here. Posey misses a Bronco Buster in the corner though, and Hollis takes advantage. Posey hits a nice double-underhook twist off the top rope.
Posey heads up to the top rope for a leg drop. Two count. Out of nowhere, Hollis hits a spinning elbow on Posey, and it ends it.
Winner: Corey Hollis
Nice high-flying action here.
Recap of Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman after their loss to reDRagon a few weeks back. They parted ways after that loss, amicably. This leads us into our next match.
Caprice Coleman vs. Jay Lethal
This is a match I’m looking forward to seeing. We get the handshake and we’re on. Early shoving match. Reversal after reversal. Lethal gets the advantage and hits a dive outside onto Coleman early on.
Doesn’t take long for Lethal to be the one that’s outside the ring. He yanks Coleman outside the ring with him. Coleman tricks Lethal and gets the advantage, then hits a springboard moonsault to the outside. Very impressive.
Lethal hits a backflip into a hurricarana. Coleman nails Lethal in the jaw with a boot to the face. Top rope legdrop.
Lethal goes for a springboard elbow. Coleman counters and hits a trio of Northern Lights Suplexes. Two count. Lethal hits his Lethal Combination, then heads up top. Out of nowhere Cole hits a hurricarana, taking Lethal down. He goes for a pin, near fall.
They trade punches back and forth. Lethal hits a superkick, then his springboard cutter for the win.
Winner: Jay Lethal
After the match, Lethal takes the mic and tells Coleman he underestimated him. He says Caprice took him to his limit. He says he’s got a bright future. They shake hands. Lethal then addresses Tomasso Ciampa. Lethal accepts his challenge. He says next week he’s going to be out for commentary as Ciampa wrestles Silas Young.
Good match, very entertaining. Worth seeing.
Backstage promo from Jay Briscoe calling out Adam Cole.
Time for our main event!
Chris Hero vs. Kevin Steen
This should be a hard-hitting match. Lock up, and Hero goes for a headlock, but Steen gets the ropes for the break. Hero locks in another hold, once more for the ropes. Steen calls the ropes “his best friend.” Funny.
Some nice mat work, once again broken on the ropes. Hero goes for a side headlock takeover, but Steen blocks him. Hero hits a couple of shoulderblocks, can’t take Steen down. Steen hits a dropkick. Hero hits a series of moves as we cut to break.
We come back, and Hero spills to the outside. Steen follows him out. Back in the ring, the audience is split. Hero hits a knee to the face. They trade elbows and chops. Hero flips over the top rope to the apron, then hits a boot to the face. He hits a running elbow and another kick to the face.
Steen goes for a Package Piledriver, but can’t cinch it. He goes up top and hits a Senton bomb, but only gets two. They trade punches. Hero goes for a cover and gets two.
The fans are really getting amped up for this now. Steen runs at Hero in the corner. Hero hits a spinning elbow, and a spinning front kick to the face. Two count. Out of nowhere, Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer, and Roderick Strong come out to distract Hero. Apparently they have a problem with those that leave the company, then come back. It’s enough to give Steen the chance to get the victory.
Winner: Kevin Steen
Very good match. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Hero in a Ring of Honor ring, and it’s nice to see he came back with some new tools under his belt. His time in NXT has definitely made him a crisper wrestler, and I feel like he had better pacing since he was last there.
Steen heads to the back, but Cliff Compton attacks him from the audience and chokes him out with a rope. Steen is left gagging as staff pull Compton off of him as we end the show.
Good show. I didn’t care much for the opening match, but that’s not a knock on the wrestlers, just the characters and match itself. Definitely worth watching for Coleman vs. Lethal, as well as the return of Chris Hero.
ROH definitely feels like it’s setting up several feuds heading into the new year, with Hero dealing with “The Decade” (Jacobs, Whitmer, and Strong), Steen apparently feuding with Cliff Compton, Jay Lethal and Tommasso Ciampa, plus Jay Briscoe seemingly still feuding with Adam Cole. Lots going on, lots in place, and it’s looking to be exciting.
I’ll be back again next week with your Ring of Honor coverage, right here at Ring-Rap.com! Thanks for reading!