Saturday, 31 May 2014 08:01
From the Meyers Pavilion in Baltimore, MD, with hosts Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly.
Three big matches tonight:
Roderick Strong (w/Tadarius Thomas and Adam Page) def. ACH
Kevin Kelly plugs the PPV during ACH’s ring entrance, while ACH gets the streamer treatment. Crowd is chanting for ACH during and after the Decade’s entrance. ACH offers his hand to adhere to the code of honor but is refused so he shakes everyone’s hands in the front row instead. Kelly and Corino during the beginning of the match explain how Strong may have gotten tips on how to beat ACH from his former partner Tadarius Thomas.
First few minutes are back and forth while Kelly and Corino do a good job of letting viewers know the history of Strong and the former partnership of ACH and Thomas. Crowd is solidly behind ACH. ACH hits a sweet dropkick to gain control but then Strong throws ACH ribs first into the ring post outside the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial and Strong is jawing with and nearly headbutts a child in the front row while Corino says that Strong is not above slapping a young kid. Strong is still in control stomping a mudhole into ACH. ACH has a brief comeback but Strong nails one of his signature backbreakers to regain control. Flair chops (WOOOOOOOO!!!) in the corner and then Roddy tries a splash into the corner which misses. ACH tries to regain control but Strong hits a perfect dropkick for a near 2. ACH back in control with 5 consecutive clotheslines into Strong, who’s stuck in the corner.
Another ACH ACH ACH chant as ACH throws Strong outside and whips him into the barricade. He then nails him with a Quebrada and the crowd is going crazy. ACH tosses Strong back into the ring and nails him with an elbow from the top rope for a 2 count. ACH misses a flying knee on Strong and hits the turnbuckle and Roddy is back in control. He hits an Olympic Slam (called as such by Kevin Kelly) on ACH for a two. Roddy tries a superplex but is punched off the top by ACH. ACH with a double foot stomp to the back and a kick to the face for a 2 ¾ count.
Corino says that ACH is his 3rd favorite Hardy brother, almost #2. ACH takes out all 3 members of the Decade with a dive to the outside. ACH misses a 450 splash and then Strong hits him with a sick kick to the face and then follows up with a backbreaker to take the win. This was a really good match. ***1/2
Back from commercial and we get a replay of Jay Lethal’s awesome promo from last week. Kurt Angle gets his second mention on ROH TV this week. Hmmm…. They then show highlights of the fun Lethal/Cheeseburger TV title match and the 3 way brawl with Lethal, Taven and Ciampa setting up tonight’s TV title match.
Matt Taven def. TV Champion Jay Lethal and Tommaso Ciampa by DQ
Taven is playing to the crowd during his entrance but they’re not nearly as into him as they were into ACH earlier. Corino puts over Lethal for defending his TV title two weeks in a row while Kelly reminds us that Truth Martini wasn’t happy about it. Crowd super into Ciampa during his entrance but it’s interrupted as Lethal attacks him from behind and a 3 way brawl erupts outside the ring. ROH officials rush out to break it up as we go to commercial while Kevin Kelly asks what we’re going to do about the TV title match.
Back from commercial and Taven is in the ring but Lethal takes out Ciampa outside the ring with a chair to the knee. Taven calls out Lethal and threatens to cut Martini’s head off. Lethal in the ring and they’re brawling with no adherence to the code of honor as the bell sounds. Martini nails Taven with the Book of Truth 10 seconds in for the DQ. Another 3 way brawl erupts after the bell before Lethal and Martini escape with Lethal’s belt. DUD, but this was more about the angle, which was strong.
A really cool promo with Samoa Joe, Nigel McGuiness, Tyler Black, CM Punk, Brian Danielson, Jay Briscoe, AJ Styles, Kevin Steen, Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal aired, Creating Excellence, and it ends putting over Adam Cole as the next person in that lineage. This morphs into Matt Hardy getting his ICON title.
Jay Briscoe def. Michael Bennett
Bennett gets the streamers during his entrance. Crowd going nuts for Briscoe just for his music and explodes when he comes out. Corino insults the crowd saying “Briscoe nation is uglier than ever” while they erupt with MAN UP chants. Kelly tells us that this will not be about hammerlocks and headlocks, it will be a fight. No adherence to the code of honor as the bell rings and they FIGHT. Briscoe is distracted early by Maria and Bennett gains control. Briscoe gets back control with an elbow and stomps in the corner. Bennett turns it around with a dropkick and stomps in the corner from him. Corino puts over Adam Cole’s tournament win last year while Briscoe regains control.
Bennett superkicks Briscoe outside the ring and follows him out and whips him into the barricade while Maria joins the commentators. Maria puts over her holy Trinity of Bennett, Cole and Hardy and claims she doesn’t know which Briscoe this is but Bennett will have no problem with him. Corino claims Briscoe only has a 3rd grade education, which might be true, while Maria likens herself to St. Mary. MAN UP chants as Bennett and Briscoe start brawling into the crowd. Maria leaves to get a better view of Briscoe and Bennett fighting on the stage while Briscoe nails Bennett with a suplex onto the stage and then hits him with a bottle he got from a fan. Briscoe in total control and choking out Bennett with a confederate flag as we go to commercial.
Bennett regains control with a spinebuster in the ring as we come back. Maria mocking the crowd, screaming MAN DOWN, which is awesome. Bennett nails Briscoe with a legdrop from the top while Corino says that Matt Hardy gets $15,000 per appearance in ROH. Crowd willing on Briscoe as Bennett and Briscoe are trading punches as crowd does the BOO YAY treatement. Both men down after flying into each other at center ring. Back up and trading bunches again while Corino tells us he worships at the church of Hardy. Briscoe whips Bennett into the bottom turnbuckle and opens up a cut.
Briscoe nailing him with punches to the face to open up the cut, just under his eye. Bennett regains control with a superplex, followed by a sideslam for a 2. Corino tells us he never would’ve kicked out of that, which is a nice touch. Crowd going nuts with the MAN UP chants again. Jay counters a twist of Fate with a sleeper. Bennett reaches the ropes to break it up. Maria cheering on Bennett as the camera watches from behind. Very nice. Bennett trying for the Annaconda Vice but Briscoe fights out. Briscoe with a DDT and the Jay driller for the win while Maria pouts. ***3/4 Briscoe calls out Matt Hardy after the match, while Maria consols Bennett.
Final thoughts: Two excellent matches that would not be out of place on any PPV and a solid angle in the middle of them. Great show.