Good morning everyone! Drew Koscelek here, ready for another week of Ring of Honor action! I haven’t had any coffee yet, but we’re getting started anyhow!
We are in Baltimore, MD today. Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly are at the desk. Later tonight - Kevin Steen & Cliff Compton square off against Outlaw Inc. First, we start out with some singles action!
Ethan Page vs. Silas Young
Before the Bell: Ethan Page is a newcomer. Silas Young talks trash with the fans. The fans toss streamers at him. He throws them back. Funny. Code of Honor is obliged.
The Match: Page gyrates to the claps of the fans. This is a mistake. Silas locks him in with a headlock leading to a takedown. Page and Silas collide with a shoulder block. Silas chews him out. Page runs the ropes, Young hits a dropkick. Sharp looking clothesline to Page. Silas goes for his finisher, but Page counters and gets a near fall. Page unloads in the corner, whips Silas into the corner, but he reverses it and hangs him on the ropes. Springboard clothesline. A series of elbows and SIlas gets two. Page hits a sunset flip and a jump kick. Near fall after a finishing-like maneuver from Page. Silas picks Page up on his shoulder, and hits the first part of his finishing move, but Page moves from the springboard moonsault. Young lands on his feet, Page gets the advantage and takes him out for another near fall. Page sets Young up. Young hits a dropkick/lariat for a 3-count out of nowhere.
Winner: Silas Young
After the Bell: Young’s hand is raised. He talks more trash. He takes the mic and says “Never again will I be disrespected the way I was tonight with this opponent.” He says he’s the last real man in professional wrestling, and he’s spent too long being overlooked. He says since Ring of Honor won’t give him the opportunities he deserves, he’ll make his own and take it, whether we like it or not.
What Worked: Ethan Page showed a ton of promise. Silas Young did his usual fantastic stuff.
What Didn’t: I felt that Ethan Page got in way too much offense. This probably should’ve been a squash match and it wasn’t.
The Summary: A decent opening match that highlighted the wrong guy.
We get a video recap showing Cliff Compton coming to the aid of Kevin Steen, fending off Outlaw Inc.
Taddarius Thomas vs. Caprice Coleman
Before the Bell: The Decade hit the ring - Adam Page, Jimmy Jacobs, and Taddarius Thomas, who is wrestling tonight. Coleman comes out second. Coleman takes the mic and addresses TD and Page. He tells both men they are making poor choices. He questions their company in The Decade. Coleman gives TD a pep talk. He makes a veiled reference to Jesus Christ not changing, being killed, but coming back three days later. Coleman takes shots at Whitmer, Strong and Jacobs. TD takes a shot and the match is on.
The Match: Thomas immediately goes on the offense with some kicks. Coleman gets a rollup for a near fall. Nice dropkick from Coleman. We take a break. When we come back, Coleman has the advantage. He hits kicks and elbows. Coleman sets TD up, hits a series of German Suplexes, flipping through during each one. Impressive. TD elbows out of a move and hits a reverse exploder suplex, only worth two. Coleman hits a top rope hurricarana. TD misses a capoeria kick, Coleman goes up top, hits a top rope leg drop for the win.
Winner: Caprice Coleman
After the Bell: Coleman celebrates, then tries to give Thomas a pep talk. The Decade come in the ring and try to shoo Coleman away. Coleman finally leaves. Jimmy Jacobs steps on Thomas’s face while talking some sense into him. Page watches. Jacobs orders Adam Page to the ground, who obliges, and gets kicked in the gut for his service.
What Worked: Coleman looked great out there.
What Didn’t: I expected more offense from Thomas, but I think that was the story.
The Summary: An unexpected highlight reel for Caprice Coleman.
We get a highlight for Best in the World during the commercial. June 22nd, 2014. Pay-per-view. Should be a great event!
After break, Truth Martini and Jay Lethal come to the ring. Lethal takes off the TV Title and holds it high, Truth by his side. Martini says he has a story to tell us. His job as a “life intervention expert” was to get wrestlers to open their eyes, so he could lead them to greatness and championships. He says he’s done that. But then, someone opened up his eyes for the first time. He saw a man with a championship without a title, greatness without being called great. He says he and Jay Lethal are one in the same. He presents Jay Lethal to the audience.
Lethal takes the mic, tells everyone to stop clapping. He calls the fans fake sheep. He says there’s been one question: Why? He says it’s the right question, but we’re asking the wrong person. He wants to know why the fans turned their backs on him? Everything he’s done goes out the window because he’s aligned himself with Truth Martini? He puts over his victories over Kurt Angle and Ric Flair, his TV title, and being the Survival of the Fittest win in 2012. He issues an open challenge - the first man to enter the ring gets a television title shot. Out of nowhere, Cheeseburger hits the ring! Lethal had his back turned.
Martini sees this, and says he admires this “in a small way.” He says today is not Cheeseburger’s day. He makes the match official, and there’s a ref ready to go. It’s on!
Jay Lethal (c) vs. Cheeseburger for the ROH TV Title
Before the Bell: See above. Code of Honor observed.
The Match: Lethal kicks Cheeseburger right in the face, taking him out early. He lands a punch to the face. They sit on the apron together for a picture, which Martini takes, then Lethal attacks. All about embarrassment here. Cover for two. Cheeseburger gets a few hits in, but Lethal cuts him off. Two-count for Lethal, who is all smiles. Brutal Bob comes running out to the ring to cheer Cheeseburger on. Lethal goes up top and hits the top rope elbow, but Cheeseburger kicks out. Lethal looks confused. Cheeseburger gets in a few punches and the fans are loving it. Cheeseburger looks like he’s fighting for his life here. He hits a cross-body on Lethal out of nowhere, but Lethal kicks him in the gut. He goes for the Lethal Injection, but Cheeseburger rolls him up out of nowhere. Near fall. Lethal hits it this time around. He covers Cheeseburger, and it’s over.
Winner: Jay Lethal
After the Bell: Lethal is all smiles. Brutal Bob comes into the ring to ensure the odds are even. They leave the ring, and Matt Taven comes running out, sending Lethal and Martini packing. As they head backstage, backs turned to the ramp, Tommaso Ciampa sneaks behind them and immediately attacks Lethal. Ciampa and Lethal in the ring. Taven joins in. Security separates the three. Lethal is pissed, challenges both of them to a triple threat match, next week! Looks like we have our next main event!
What Worked: Lots of hope for Cheeseburger. Fun match. Cheeseburger looked like he was fighting for his life, which seems like a little detail, but it’s a very important one. I enjoyed the post-match angle as well.
What Didn’t: No major complaints.
The Summary: A strong way to put Lethal over as a heel.
Outlaw Inc. (Eddie Kingston & Homicide) vs. Cliff Compton & Kevin Steen
Before the Bell: Outlaw Inc comes out first to their siren entrance. Kevin Steen second. He grabs a chair as he walks to the ring. This is a street fight, by the way. No evidence of Compton, until he sneaks in with a chair of his own and nails Kingston.
The Match: The bell rings. Naturally, no Code of Honor here. It’s a street fight, after all! The action is outside the ring right away. Chairs swinging everywhere. Kingston sends Compton into the barricade. Steen takes a bag from a fan and uses it as a weapon (with permission). Steen and Compton are in control. Chair shot to the back of Homicide. Homicide and Compton make it in the ring. Homicide crotches him with a chair. Whip to the corner, into a chair. Ouch! Homicide hits a running dive out of the ring onto Steen. Kingston and Compton going at it now. Compton takes a chair and hits Kingston in the gut. Homicide and Steen in the ring. Nice swinging slam to Homicide. We go to break.
When we return, Kevin Steen finds himself a ladder under the ring. The fans are pleased to see it. He sets it up, but Homicide fights out. Tornado DDT to Steen, two-count. Steen hits a suplex on Homicide, sending him into the ladder. It bends in terrible fashion. DDT to Kingston, goes up top, Kingston meets him. Compton comes in and they double-team Kingston. Chair in the ring, he hits a leg sweep sending Kingston into the hair. Homicide is in the ring, but Compton whips Homicide into the ladder for a second time. Michinoku Driver to Homicide. Compton heads to the back for some reason. Homicide rolls around in the ring. Compton comes back with another ladder. Low blow to Homicide, then a DDT. Compton starts setting up ladders, rolls Homicide onto the first one, then sandwiches sets up the second one. He goes up top, but Kingston sends him over the top off the ladder. Outlaw Inc in charge here. They attack Steen with ladders. Homicide still selling a low blow. Kevin Kelly notes that Kingston may have a dislocated shoulder. Steen hits an F5 on Kingston and gets the cover for the win.
Winner: Kevin Steen & Cliff Compton
After the Bell: Steen and Compton celebrate ringside. Compton enters the ring. Homicide still at ringside. Steen extends a hand to Compton, but Compton heels it up and walks away, through the crowd. Steen is in the ring by himself. Outlaw Inc scopes out the situation. They leave the same way Compton did. Steen stands alone.
What Worked: Typical garbage match. Good brawl, which is surprisingly rare in Ring of Honor, making this seem a bit more special.
What Didn’t: Chaos all around, which is natural with this sort of thing. Entertaining, but extremely difficult to cover.
The Summary: A good hardcore match, minus the blood. These four worked well together. Enjoyable.