Hey everyone! Drew Koscelek here for another week of Ring of Honor action. Our main event tonight is the second matchup between AJ Styles and Michael Elgin. I missed the first one, so I’m very excited to check this out. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
We start out with highlights of their last meeting, which ended in a time limit draw. Elgin challenges him to finish it up - Styles accepts, but Adam Cole lays both of them out with a title shot to the head. Tonight, we get that rematch.
We are in Baltimore, MD this week. The crowd is hyped up. We are starting out with some tag action!
Cedric Alexander & Andrew Everett vs. reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly)
Before the Bell: After intros, we get the handshake.
The Match: Fish and Alexander start it out. Alexander gets the best of an early exchange. Tag to O’Reilly. They lock up, and Alexander takes Fish out. He takes out O’Reilly again, ducks out of the ring, and finishes Fish, then heads back in. Nice Neck drag into a dropkick, and a tag to Everett. Tag to Fish.
Everett hits some really nice high flying moves. Nice dropkick. Very fluid. Tag back in to Alexander. Nice tandem moves on O’Reilly. Legal men are O’Reilly and Everett. Everett gets kicked in the face and tossed into the ring post. Fish uses the opportunity to drive Everett’s shoulder into the apron.
O’Reilly starts working the shoulder, tag to Fish. Fish focuses his offense on Everett’s shoulder. Tag to O’Reilly, to uses a sunset flip attempt to lock in his finisher, Armageddon. Everett’s makes it to the ropes. He fights his way out of the corner. He’s fighting between Fish and O’Reilly, and Alexander tries to even the odds. The ref stops him, and Fish comes in without a tag as we go to break.
We’re back, and O’Reilly is working over Everett’s arm in the middle of the ring. Tag to Fish, he cuts Everett off with a knee to the gut. Tag to O’Reilly, who cranks the arm, but Everett fights out. He gets whipped to the corner, and uses the opportunity to hit some high flying moves. Tag to Alexander, who is on fire. He hits a kick to the face of Fish. O’Reilly attacks, but eats a dropkick in the corner. Kind of an awkward move to Fish, two-count. reDRagon get the advantage and hit some tandem moves. Legal tag to O’Reilly, Alexander sends Fish out of the ring, then goes airborne, leaping out of the ring. Everett helps even things up and attacks O’Reilly. Bodies are flying everywhere, as Everett moonsaults out to Fish. Alexander hits a frogsplash for a near fall on O’Reilly. Tag to Everett, who goes up top, and misses a Shooting star press. Fish takes Alexander into the barricade, and O’Reilly launches off the apron into him. He slides back into the ring, and Everett goes up top, but Fish meets him. He goes up top and hits a super falcon arrow for a very near fall. They hit Chasing the Dragon and get the pin for the win.
After the Bell: Cedric checks in on Everett. reDRagon celebrate.
What Worked: Great logic focusing on the arm, something we don’t see too much any more. Everett did a great job selling it and it was believable.
What Didn’t: Not much, really. I really enjoyed this match from top to bottom.
The Summary: Very good tag match from beginning to end. I’m pretty sure that reDRagon is the best tag team in the world right now. They’ve got all the tricks, and they just work.
Well, it looks like we’ve got a two-match show this week. I’m perfectly ok with that.
Michael Elgin vs. AJ Styles
Before the Bell: Michael Elgin comes out to the ring first. AJ Styles next. The crowd is hyped. Streamers everywhere. This match determines the number one contender for the ROH World Championship. Both men shake hands. It’s on.
The Match: Early on, both men try to jockey for an advantage. AJ kicks Elgin in the leg. He does it again. Looks like AJ has a plan to take out the trunks. Styles misses the third one, and Elgin tosses him into the corner. AJ reverses and hits a series of shoulder blocks in the corner. Elgin nails him with an elbow to the face. AJ ducks out to recover. As Elgin starts to come in, AJ sweeps out his legs, and he lands on the apron. Back in the ring, AJ goes on the offense. He hits a back breaker across the leg. Steve Corino says the action will speak for itself here. Elgin catches AJ into a powerslam, then drops a series of elbows. Elgin launches Styles into the corner, chest first. He hits a back breaker of his own. We go to break.
When we come back, AJ misses Elgin in the corner. Elgin goes on the offense and goes for a suplex, but AJ flips out. Elgin runs the ropes and eats a dropkick to the jaw. He ducks out of the ring. Styles goes outside but gets caught in the ropes. Elgin tosses Styles into the barricade, then flips him up to the apron. AJ uses the ropes to springboard into a head scissors. Nice spot. He hits Elgin with a flying fist in the corner, then tosses Elgin into the ring.
Elgin fights up and whips AJ, and AJ rolls through into the calf-killer. Kind of awkward. Elgin grabs the ropes. Styles attacks the legs. He locks in a bridge and stretches the leg and the neck at the same time. Nice move. Elgin gets the ropes again. AJ breaks. He continues attacking Elgin’s legs. AJ locks in a Figure Four Leglock. Elgin yells at him to break his leg. He rolls through to reverse the hold. AJ lets go and immediately attacks the leg again. Elgin tries to go for a suplex, but can’t get AJ up. AJ drops him again and goes for the legs once more. Elgin hits him with clubbing blows to the back. They trade elbows. Elgin goes for a buckle bomb, but AJ tosses him onto the apron. Elgin flips back in (impressive!) and hits a series of clotheslines to the front and back. He charges AJ in the corner. AJ misses and enzuigiri, and Elgin hits a deadlift German Suplex for a two-count. We go to break.
When we return, Styles is in the corner, and hits a springboard moonsault, but Elgin catches him and tries to lock in a crossface. AJ gets to the ropes and rolls to the apron. AJ hangs Elgin on the ropes, then hits a springboard into the ring, into a reverse DDT. Nice spot. Two-count. Styles tries to suplex Elgin, but can’t get it done. They trade weight, and Styles manages to suplex him into the turnbuckle. Nice. Two-count for the trouble. AJ goes up top for a tornado DDT, but Elgin holds on and catches him with a fist to the face. AJ is rocked. Elgin climbs up and they trade blows. Styles hits some headbutts and tries for the DDT again, and this time Elgin catches him and reverses it into a suplex of sorts. Two-count. His strength is really impressive.
Elgin goes into the corner as AJ gets to his feet on the apron. Deadlift superplex attempt, but AJ hits some knees to the head. Elgin goes down. AJ leaps off the top and rolls through. Elgin catches him with a boot, then a jawbreaker off the top rope. AJ nails a reverse hurricarana. Nice move. AJ misses a springboard 450. Both men struggle to their feet. They trade shots to the head. The fans are really into it. Elgin nails Styles with a spinning elbow, and AJ gets fired up, hitting his own. Elgin cuts him off and nails a Buckle Bomb. He goes for another one, but AJ flips out and goes for the Styles Clash. Pele Kick to the head. Elgin is down. AJ may have hurt his leg. AJ runs into the corner, gets slammed. Another Buckle Bomb, and AJ spins through with a sick clothesline. Both men are down.
Styles goes for a Styles Clash, but Elgin counts with his third Buckle Bomb, then a sitout powerbomb. It’s over folks. Michael Elgin gets the hard-fought pin.
Winner: Michael Elgin
After the Bell: AJ needs help going to the back. Michael Elgin takes the mic. He says he asked Nigel McGuinness to face AJ Styles, because he felt he couldn’t be ROH champ unless he could be AJ. He says he’s the number one contender to the ROH World Championship. He says 2014 has a lot going on. Sunday June 27th, Ring of Honor returns to pay-per-view. Michael Elgin challenges for the title at Best in the World!
What Worked: I sound like a gushing fanboy, and maybe I am, but from start to finish, this match clicked. AJ had a strategy that made sense, and was working. Elgin, despite the odds, despite the hurt leg, rose above to defeat one of the best wrestlers in the business. His win meant something. These are the things that we do not see enough of in wrestling. These are the things that make title matches matter.
What Didn’t: I have zero complaints.
The Summary: If you want to see wrestling, this is wrestling. Watch it. No excuses.
I’m fired up to record some audio later on today, so keep an eye out for that. Thanks again for reading along with me today folks. Follow me on Twitter @PsionStorm, and follow the site @RingRap, and our podcasts @RingRapAudio! See you next week!