Hey everyone! We’re back with a new episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling. This week, we have a TV Title match! Jay Lethal will challenge Tommaso Ciampa for the Ring of Honor Television Title!
We are in Philadelphia, PA. In two weeks, Michael Elgin will face off against AJ Styles, but right now, we have tag team action! Let’s get started, shall we?
Team Benchmark vs. Hanson & Raymond Rowe
Before the Bell: I missed the actual men behind Team Benchmark, but Hanson and Rowe were part of the Top Prospects tournament, and were two of the standouts, in my opinion. These guys could make a good team. Benchmark has a ton of sponsors. Well then.
The Match: Hanson and Will Ferrara (?) start off. Ferrara is getting dominated. Tag to Rowe. Stiff chop to the chest. Nice belly to belly. Rowe and Hanson tag frequently. Tag to the other dude, but it doesn’t matter, and he tags out quickly. Action picks up and it’s back and forth. All hell breaks loose, but Rowe hits his finisher, Death Rowe, for the win.
Winner: Hanson & Rowe
After the Bell: Hanson & Rowe celebrate in the ring. Michael Elgin’s music interrupts the celebration, and he comes out to the ring. He takes the mic as Hanson and Rowe look on. Elgin talks about respect. He says in Ring of Honor, there’s only one way to get respect - by earning it. He puts over Rowe and Hanson’s match against each other in Pittsburg. He says they put it all on the line in the name of the greatest wrestling in the world. He puts over Rowe facing Elgin, and how he earned his respect. He puts over Hanson defeating Rowe, earning Elgin’s respect. He tells them that he’s got their back, and that he sees Tag Team Gold in their future. He says there’s a ton of times he’s been out there against Adam Cole and Cole had people watching his back. He’s asking Hanson and Rowe to watch his back. They agree. They shake hands in the ring.
What Worked: This came off as a way to introduce Hanson and Rowe as a team, rather than individuals. The announcers gave background during the match. Not really a squash, because it was somewhat lengthy. Let’s call it an “enhancement match.”
What Didn’t: Team Benchmark didn’t get much offense in, for what it was worth.
The Summary: An enhancement match from beginning to end, until the closing angle, which if you think about it, puts the team over pretty huge.
Back from break, Kevin Steen is in the ring, and he’s got something to say to Cliff Compton. Before he even speaks, Outlaw Inc. come out to the ring. Eddie Kingston is wearing Cliff Compton’s hat. Kingston heels it up. He says they took care of Compton for him. They offer a proposition. They want him to become an Outlaw and join them. Steen declines. The last time he joined up with anyone, it didn’t work out to well. Steen declines, and starts to walk away. Outlaw Inc. attacks, but the referees run down to stop it quick. Nigel McGuinness runs out. He makes a match on the spot, which plays out far more logically than WWE matches usually do.
Kevin Steen vs. Homicide
Before the Bell: See Above.
The Match: Homicide doesn’t even bother taking off his jacket. It’s a brawl pretty much right away. Action spills outside. Homicide plants Steen with a tornado DDT. Steen hits a senton from the top rope for a near fall. Kingston is on commentary, but he gets involved in the match and yanks Homicide out of the corner. Steen hits a cannonball off the apron taking them both out. Back in the ring, Steen goes for the Package Piledriver, but Kingston interferes, causing the DQ.
Winner: Kevin Steen via Disqualification
After the Bell: The beatdown continues. Kingston takes the bell and gives it to Homicide, who proceeds to hit and choke Steen out. Out of nowhere, Cliff Compton runs into the ring with a chair and clears the ring. Steen gets to his feet quick. Compton points at Steen but doesn’t attack.
What Worked: A sloppy match to start, but it picked up a bit. All angle here.
What Didn’t: Well, most of the match, frankly. I didn’t care much for this at all.
The Summary: A good way of setting up a new angle and dynamic for the Steen/Compton feud. Not sure where they’re going with Outlaw Inc., here.
Nigel McGuinness talks about Supercard of Honor. He says the World Championship will be defended, but before he can finish, Jay Briscoe walks out with his variation of the ROH Title. McGuinness puts Briscoe over as a credible contender. Briscoe reminds him he beat Cole a few weeks ago - “Adam Cole got beat by the man who never got beat for the ROH World Championship.” He truly believes that he is the ROH World Champion since he never got beat. He says his belt has the true lineage. Two guys walk around claiming to be the champion. There can only be one. Nigel agrees, and he wants it to be completely clear who is the champ. The only way to do this is to take both belts and hang them above the ring. In New Orleans, LA, both titles will be challenged in “Ladder War.”
Adam Cole comes out to the ring, and he’s not pleased. He talks about all the bad spots he’s been put in by Nigel, and all the times he’s defeated opponents. He says Briscoe got a tainted victory. There’s no dispute - just one champ: Adam Cole. He says if he has to face Briscoe to prove it, he will. meanwhile, Michael Bennett sneaks into the ring and low-blows Jay Briscoe. Both Cole and Bennett attack. Mark Briscoe runs out for the save with a chair, and both Bennett and Cole retreat. Maria stands on the ramp and places her hands on both shoulders, then raises their hands up high.
Next week, Adrenaline Rush & Andrew Everett will face The Decade. The Decade cut a promo on them.
Quick video package about Matt Taven and Truth Martini, leading into Jay Lethal nearly defeating Tommaso Ciampa for the TV Title. That match is next!
Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa (c) for the Ring of Honor Television Championship
Before the Bell: Lethal comes out first, the champ second. The fight breaks out as streamers fly.
The Match: Matt Taven on commentary, here. It’s a brawl, and Ciampa stomps the hell out of Lethal. Lethal ducks out of the ring and Ciampa pursues. Back in the ring, they trade punches. Both men dodge each other’s offense. Ciampa yanks Lethal off the apron, swinging him head-first into the barricade. He sets Lethal up for the running knee and hits it. He sets Lethal up for a second one, but Lethal comes to and hits an arm drag leading into a dropkick.
Back in the ring, Lethal hits a few chops to the chest. Running leg drop. Ciamps gets the offense, and tears off his elbow pads to cause more damage. He steps up to the top and goes for a superplex. Lethal is unable to counter. We go to break after the near fall.
After the break, Lethal goes for Lethal Injection, but Ciampa catches him and hits a back cracker for a near fall. Lethal hits a nice springboard dropkick. Lethal hits the Ring of Honor spot three times, sending Ciampa into the front row after the third one. Lethal heads up and hits the elbow drop for the near fall. Both men are on the apron, and Lethal starts to set up for something, but Ciampa sets him up and drops him on the apron for a nasty looking spot.
Both men are laid out, and Truth Martini heads out to the ring. He eyes up Matt Taven as the referee counts to 19 before both men roll into the ring. They stagger to their feet. Lethal hits a boot to the face, then a chop in the corner. Ciampa sets Lethal up and plants him face first for a near fall. Lethal Combination rolls into a submission in the middle of the ring. Ciampa rolls through and locks in the Scicilian Stretch, but Lethal gets the ropes. Martini preaches to Taven outside the ring and they start fighting. The ref is distracted, and Lethal gets a visual 3-count, but Ciampa rolls out and hits his finisher in time for Todd Sinclair to turn around. Ciampa gets the win.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
After the Bell: Taven says Ciampa is just holding the belt as Ciampa recovers from the hard-fought match. Ciampa hands Lethal his leg brace, Lethal pushes it aside. They have words and it looks pretty heated. Lethal starts to walk away, but extends his hand anyhow. Ciampa takes it.
What Worked: A great match from bell to bell.
What Didn’t: The closing angle with Taven and Martini was unnecessary.
The Summary: A solid match for Ring of Honor’s second most important belt, but the goofball stuff at the end ruined it.
A solid episode with some unnecessary filler, but overall a good episode of Ring of Honor. I’ll be back next week with more coverage. In the meantime, be sure to follow us on Twitter @RingRap, and you can follow me @PsionStorm. Thanks for reading!