After attending last month's Richmond TV taping, I ended up making the decision to attend tonight's Baltimore TV taping which was hyped all night as "the most important TV taping in ROH history".
Good show that was capped by an excellent main-event to conclude the next set of TV shows. The seats around ringside were filled mostly while the slanted bleachers beside the entrances were completely filled. There were two rows behind me that were removed once the show started as they were empty. Eventually people came in for those seats (last minute ticket buys I assume) so those seats were returned as the show went on.
Before the show went live, Bobby Cruise was inside the ring forced to wait about 15 minutes for some unknown hold-up. I assume they had to wait for production to be ready, but both Cruise and Kevin Kelly (who Cruise kept checking in with) looked very annoyed. The silence while waiting was admittedly humorous with there even being an "Awkward Silence" chant at one point.
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander def. Alex Reynolds & John Silver with the Leap of Faith/Splash tag finisher. Hardly any heat early until it was left with a couple of minutes. From there the fans got into it, but it was too little too late. Okay match.
Nigel McGuinness was out with a solemn look on his face to announce that Mark Briscoe suffered a concussion from the iPPV yesterday after the Jay Driller through the tables. As a result, he's been removed from the Steel Cage Warfare Match later in the night. He also mentioned that Jay reinjured his shoulder. Once it became apparent that Nigel was teasing a replacement, a "We Want Steen" and other Steen chants picked up. Kevin Steen then came out to a good reaction. He pleaded his case with Nigel mentioning that Steen essentially started SCUM. SCUM then came out for a brawl which later saw Team ROH members come out for the save. No decision was made, but you could tell that Steen would be the replacement.
MsChif def. Veda Scott with the Obliteration (second turnbuckle Piledriver) finisher in 5:07. Not very good. Crowd had a hard time getting into it as they chanted for Veda, but no one bought her as the eventual winner. It was very sloppy too. The finish (seeing as how it was a cool move) was well-received which led to Veda getting an ovation as she walked away from the ring afterwards.
Silas Young came out with Adam Page for the next match. Young then took the mic and cut a misogynistic promo noting that the women wrestlers in the previous match didn't belong in a "man's business" and basically played up that men are greater. Cheap heat.
Adam Page def. Silas Young in 4:43 with the Victory Roll pin. Good match for the time allowed. One spot saw Page do a suplex off the crowd barricade onto the ringside mats. That got a "This is Awesome" chant.
Matt Taven def. Eddie Edwards in 11:22 to retain the ROH World Television Title. Solid, fun match. Edwards got a tremendous reaction with the crowd. One moment saw Edwards do a somesault dive over the ropes onto Taven on the outside. Finish saw Edwards get whipped into the ropes only to find one of the Hoopla Hotties on the apron. Edwards then stopped in his tracks but that allowed Taven to follow up with the headlock DDT.
Tommaso Ciampa def. QT Marshall in 12:49 in a surprisingly long match for those involved, but it ended up being one of the better matches of the night. Good performance especially by Ciampa following his iPPV match with Elgin. There was a funny spot where Ciampa took off the mats from ringside and did a suplex on the exposed part of the floor. The fans then started a "One More Time" chant and you could just see Marshall mouth something and look very upset while Ciampa laughed and smiled. He then did another suplex onto the floor. Ciampa ended up selling his knee during the bout. Fans were very behind Ciampa which was different than how he was recieved in his quick squash back in Richmond last month. Closing moments saw RD Evans try to interfere but Ciampa caught him, RD then escaped and tried to run up the ramp but Prince Nana was in his way. For some reason, Evans had the bright idea of running back into the ring back to Ciampa and was given a double knee back breaker (like the gutbuster) for his troubles. Ciampa then hit two consecutive running knees to Marshall which was good for the win.
Mike Bennett was out and beat the local guy in 12.5 seconds. He jumped his opponent before the bell rang, asked for it to ring and then hit his swinging neckbreaker finisher.
Bennett grabbed a mic and cut a promo teasing leaving Ring of Honor. He noted that the fans need Bennett, but he doesn't need the ROH fans. He added, "Maybe I should go to Conneticut and collect a paycheck." That got a lot of oh's and ah's. He asked Brutal Bob for his ROH extension contract and did a bit on that. He pointed out how the fans chant "Yes!" and cheer for someone like Cheeseburger who was at ringside with Cruise and the timekeeper. He offered Cheese his contract but right before he could sign it, Bennett hit the Superkick. Bennett tried a beatdown, but Brutal Bob pulled him off which got a "Brutal Bob" chant going. Bennett then took him down too. The segment ended with Bennett saying that he's no longer Bob's prodigy and that "The Prodigy is dead" before leaving with Maria.
Jay Briscoe was out for a very quick segment where he acknowledged his shoulder injury, but said he's still going to fight Matt Hardy. "That's all I got to say, see you next week, bitch." Wish he went on longer.
reDRagon def. C&C to retain the ROH World Tag Titles in 12:05. The match was fine and everyone worked hard, but during the bout The American Wolves came out and stood by the curtains. Eventually the Wolves got into an altercation with Steve Corino which brought out a couple of members of SCUM. ACH and Thomas came out as the cavalry and there was a brawl at ringside (one of the many in the night) while the tag title match was still ongoing. As a result of the chaos, nothing was given a proper reaction with everyone looking really confused on what to focus on. The closing moments saw Alexander do a dive to the ringside area crashing into the other two teams which got a good reaction. Fish and O'Reilly then did the Chasing the Dragon tag finisher (kick to the head into the brainbuster) on Coleman for the win.
Adam Cole was out to wrestle a guy named Vince Farrera (Ferrera?), but that didn't happen as Roderick Strong came out before the introductions. Strong brought up Cole's heel-ish way to get a finish last night and questioned how honorable he was. Cole defended himself and said whatever happened was a mistake and he apologized if it came across badly. He said that Vince deserves this match but to prove he's honorable, he challenged Strong to a rematch which got a great reaction from the crowd.
Strong def. Cole in 12:09 via DQ. The finish saw Cole and Strong down on the ground following a ref bump that happened after Strong used his legs to push away Cole from a Figure Four attempt and Cole collided into the ref. Corino then quickly fed Cole a steel chain to use, but Strong got to it first. He then teased using it before admitting that it was probably not the right thing to do (that's how it came across), but Cole saw him with the chain and thought he was up to no good. Cole then took away the chain and used it himself which the ref saw upon reviving and called for the bell. Flat reaction to the finish. It was a good match overall though. Loud chants for Cole (a lot of female supporters), but there were vocal Strong fans as well.
Jay Briscoe def. Matt Hardy in 13:57 to retain the ROH World Title with a Small Package. Good heat throughout. Corino when doing the ring introduction for Hardy brought up that the moment Hardy wins the title will be on the same level as the JFK assassination and 9/11. Fans around me were upset about that last one. Corino then tried to do this multiple time intro for Hardy (like Mr. Anderson/Kennedy), but by the time he got the name out, his voice gave out. Still, he did a great job at ringside. Good near-falls towards the end as both men kicked out of each other's finishers. Hardy must have hit like five Twist of Fates. Should be noted that seeing Hardy's physique in person was quite the attention-getter. He gets a lot of flack for it, but he moved really sluggishly in this one and was out of breath by the end. After the match, Rhino came out and Gored Briscoe. SCUM soon filled the ring. Jay Lethal, Mark Briscoe and Michael Elgin tried a save but to no avail. Lethal and Elgin were tied up at the corner posts with zipties. Rhino then gave Mark a conchairto three times. Hardy followed with a stomp off the second turnbuckle onto Jay's shoulder which was wrapped through a chair. Lot of heat towards SCUM.
American Wolves def. Mike Sydal and a partner who I didn't get the name of in 5:37. Nice, quick match. Opponents had a lot of offense which was surprising. They looked good, too. Wolves won with the double foot stomp. Great reaction for the Wolves.
After a half hour, the cage was set up. Once it was completed, the fans cheered for the workers who put it together. One of them came around ringside and told us that should the cage fall over, we should duck down as the barricade should "hopefully" stop the fall. Thankfully that didn't happen.
Cruise ran down the rules and noted that SCUM won the coin flip to get the early advantage.
The order of entrances were: Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer, Rhett Titus, Michael Elgin, Cliff Compton, Jay Lethal, Rhino and Kevin Steen.
The order of eliminations were: Whitmer by Titus after a double team Spike Piledriver. Rhino by Lethal after a Lethal Injection. Titus by Lethal. Lethal by Compton after Jacobs speared Lethal into a table set up in the corner. Compton by Elgin after a sit down Powerbomb from the top turnbuckle. We all felt that one. Elgin by Jacobs after Corino ran in and did a fireball in his face. Finally, Jacobs by Steen.
The match was incredible live and well put together. Probably better than anything on last night's iPPV although that's just my opinion. Constant action. Once Steen was out, the wrestling spilled to the ringside area. Matt Hardy eventually came out even though he wasn't officially listed for the match. The finish saw Corino, after doing the fireball to Elgin, then try to set Steen on fire. He doused Steen in lighter fluid and pulled out a box of matches, but Nigel McGuinness ran out to a pop. Nigel then pulled Corino around and hit a clothesline which got the fans fired up. Huge reaction for that. Steen then hit the Package Piledriver on Hardy and gave another to Jacobs and makes the final elimination for the victory. The three count seriously blew the roof off the place. Insane reaction to the finish.
After the match, the fans littered the ring with streamers. Fans chanted "That Was Awesome", "ROH" and did the "Hey Hey Goodbye" song to SCUM. Nigel grabbed a mic and said he was waiting for this moment for a long time and had ROH officials escort Hardy and Nigel out of the building. A couple of "Thank You Steen" and "Thank You Nigel" chants were heard. No one was sitting for the post-match. Steen shook the hand of a fallen Jacobs before leaving the ring for a laugh. It's worth noting the symbolism behind Steen getting the final elimination to end SCUM as it was pointed out by Nigel earlier in the night that Steen created SCUM.
Fans after the show were talking about the main-event and generally felt that the show was very good.