Hey guys! Drew here, a few days late thanks to the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the states. Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!
Last week, we saw an incredible 8-man tag match, featuring the ROH Champions vs the ROH All Stars. Michael Elgin got the pin on Adam Cole earning himself a shot at the title. But Jay Briscoe had something to say, and he held up a custom camo belt, claiming he is the real World Champ.
Let’s see how this all gets settled, shall we?
We are in Dearborn, MI tonight. Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly welcome us to the show. We’ve got Jay Lethal vs. “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards later on, but first Zach Gowen vs. Matt Taven for the TV Title.
If the name Zach Gowen sounds familiar, it should - Gowen spent some time in WWE, and yes, this is the same Gowen that wrestles with only one leg. Pretty incredible and inspiring, right?
Taven comes out with the House of Truth flanking him.
Zach Gowen vs. Matt Taven (c) for the Ring of Honor TV Championship
Before the match begins, Truth Martini cuts a promo on Gowen.
Here we go!
Taven and Gowen shake clean to start it off. Taven gets the better of two lockups. The fans are behind Gowen. Gowen takes an innovative approach and uses rolls and his hands to chase after Taven, who ducks out of the ring early on for a quick break.
We’re back, and Gowen hits a pair of dropkicks. Impressive. Taven gets the advantage, starts working over Gowen’s leg, while mocking him for not having a second one. Typical heel stuff. Gowen gets some offense going on the apron, but Taven cuts him off with an enzuigiri. Gowen outside.
The fans banter with Truth, and a Pauly Shore chant starts up for Taven. Funny stuff. ROH fans can be quick. Taven hits a nasty clothesline, but Gowen asks for more, and when Taven obliges, Gowen hits a sweet roll-up for a near fall.
Gowen sends Taven tumbling outside the ring, then dives out himself. Gowen goes up to the top rope, but gets cut off. He fends Taven off, and goes up for a moonsault, but the H.O.T. interferes and takes him down. Taven goes for a couple of suplexes, but Gowen reverses each. Gowen locks in a triangle choke-like submission move. Taven is able to get out of it. Gowen hits his impressive moonsault, but Truth Martini distracts the ref. Gowen kicks Truth off the apron, and Scarlett distracts on the other side. It’s enough for Taven to hit his finisher for the win.
Winner: Matt Taven to retain the ROH TV Title
After the match, Taven grabs Gowen’s crutch and readies to hit him with it. Tommaso Ciampa runs in and makes the save, sending the House of Truth packing.
Good match. I haven’t seen Gowen since his WWE days, and he’s improved significantly. Obvious handicap aside, the kid works hard and works well. Taven played a great heel.
Quick promo from Veda Scott, but she’s interrupted by Outlaw, Inc. Eddie Kingston is demanding a tag title match.
Another promo video, talking about Adam Cole defending his ROH World Championship against both Michael Elgin AND Jay Briscoe at Final Battle 2013. Also, Kevin Steen vs. Michael Bennett in a Stretcher Match. Bennett and Maria cut a promo for that match.
After all these pre-tapes, Jay Briscoe walks to the ring, camo belt in hand. He takes the mic and addresses the crowd. He says it’s an honor and privilege to stand before us as the reigning and defending champion. He talks about his match at Final Battle, but there’s no World Title match for Dearborn, MI. He calls Adam Cole a fake (in less PG-terms). He issues an open challenge.
Silas Young comes out and answers the challenge. Jay puts the belt on the line.
Jay Briscoe (c) vs. Silas Young for the Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Championship
Bobby Cruise announces that Briscoe “claims to be the real World Champion.” So… yeah. Not sure this is actually official, but we’ll put it on paper for now.
Briscoe unloads on Young pretty early on. Needless to say, this continues pretty much through the entire match. Young grabs a chair and tosses it in the ring, but it’s a mask for Young grabbing a hammer. Mark Briscoe comes down to stop him. Jay catches Young, and hits the Jay Driller to wrap this match up.
Winner: Jay Briscoe
Slightly more than a squash, but not much. Good reinforcement of Jay and his offense.
Another video recap, this one of BJ Whitmer talking to Nigel McGuinness. He asks Nigel to give Jimmy Jacobs a chance to earn a contract back in Ring of Honor. McGuinness gave Jacobs a chance - win three of five matches, and he’s signed. Plus, he gets a World Title match. Well, he won his matches, so next week, he’s got a shot at Adam Cole. BJ Whitmer will be in his corner!
Time for our main event for the evening!
“Die Hard” Eddie Edwards (w/ Davey Richards) vs. Jay Lethal
Handshake and we’re good to go. I’m expecting a good match here. Nice sequence of head scissors into kip-ups. The crowd is torn and chanting for both men. Test of strength here, into a bridge, with Lethal on top. Edwards flips Lethal over, and Lethal gets his own spring dropkick for a two-count.
Very much a back and forth match. Edwards sets up Lethal in a tree of woe and hits a running dropkick. A second dropkick to the face from outside. We go to break.
We’re back, and Edwards hits a pair of chops in the corner.
Edwards heads out of the ring, and Lethal hits two dives outside. He goes for a third, but Edwards cuts him off, and sends him outside for a pair of his own. Lethal slides in before the third one, and nails a superkick. Lethal with another dive outside the ring. Things are crazy now. Davey Richards runs over to Edwards’ side. Both men are out, and we’re going for a 20-count here. The ref makes it to 19 and both men roll into the ring.
They stare each other down and start slugging each other, elbows to the faces. Edwards nails chop after chop. Lethal with a back kick. He hits the Lethal Combination. Lethal with a tuck elbow drop from the top rope. Two count.
The fans start chanting “This is Awesome” and they’re pretty much right. Lethal goes for a flip springboard elbow off the ropes. Edwards catches him and slams him. Edwards goes up top, Lethal cuts him off. The fans are split, again. Superplex from the top, denied by Edwards. Edwards goes for a double stomp, misses. Hits a chin-checker instead. then rolls it into a half-crab. Lethal tries for an inside cradle. Two-count. Nice sequence back and forth with some near falls.
Lethal does a backflip and out of nowhere hits his finisher for the win.
Winner: Jay Lethal
Once again ROH delivers us a great main event. Lethal and Edwards worked extremely well together and it was exciting from beginning to end. I know WWE is looking at Edwards (and Richards) but I hope they’re looking at Jay Lethal as well. He has been a great talent for years and his time in TNA shouldn’t tarnish their impression of him.
Overall a pretty good episode of Ring of Honor. Gowen vs. Taven is worth seeing, but the real shining star was this main event. Don’t miss it.
See you next week, folks!