By Paul Fontaine, WrestlingObserver.com
Tonight is the Supercard of Honor Showcase featuring matches from Mania weekend in NoCal. Adam Cole joins Kevin Kelly for commentary for this show.
ROH TV TITLE CHAMPIONSHIP – CHAMPION JAY LETHAL VS JUSHIN “THUNDER” LIGER
Jay Lethal does a backstage taped interview prior to his intro. Liger is a stepping stone for Lethal. Lethal is going to end his career. It’s personal because Liger stands in his way of holding the record for holding the championship for the longest time. It’s the greatest title in professional wrestling because he holds it. Huge LIGER chants during the intros. No members of the HOT out with Lethal for this one. They do adhere to the Code of Honor.
Match starts slow, with mat wrestling. LET’S GO LIGER/LET’S GO LETHAL chants. Liger gets the upside down surfboard but Lethal makes it to the ropes for a break. Lethal beats Liger down with stomps and poses over him. “I’m the greatest champion in the world!”. Lethal takes a power outside the ring after a hard palm strike from Liger. Cole adds an interesting perspective, having been in the ring with both guys. Liger again with the upside down surfboard in the centre of the ring and transitions to a neck crank but Lethal pulls the hair to break the hold. Liger does a whacky submission hold the announcers or I can’t even give a name to while Cole talks about being folded up like a pretzel when he wrestled Liger. Lethal again works to the ropes to get out of it. Lethal takes another powder and this draws the ire of the fans and Liger dives out after him right before a break.
After the break, Lethal in control and drops a series of running elbows on Liger for a two. “Which Kingdom member officiated Maria and Michael Bennett’s wedding ceremony” is this week’s ROH codeline question. These things have to go. More duelling chants as Liger has a headlock in the centre of the ring. He lets it go, signals for the Randy Saveage Elbow but drops a snot rocket on Liiger before going to the turnbuckle. Lethal doesn’t connect as Liger gets his feet up. Both guys trading punches and slaps in the centre of the ring to the YAY/BOO treatment. Lethal ends all that and goes for the Lethal Injection but gets hit with a palm strike to stop him. Liger with a top rope Rana for two right before another break.
Back from break and Liger’s diving from the top rope but Lethal gets his knees up. Lethal Combination gets a two. Lethal moving very slowly and heads to the top for Hail to the King but Liger rolls out of the ring. Lethal with a running dive but Liger steps out of the way and Liger hits a brainbuster on the floor and both guys are down. Both guys struggling to answer the 20 count. They both get in at 19. Lethal grabs his belt. Lethal stops a rollup by grabbing the ropes but the ref breaks it up. Lethal swings the belt at Liger to try and get DQ’d but Liger ducks. Liger grabs the belt and is about to use it but the ref takes it out. Distraction allows Lethal to hit a superkick and follows up with the Lethal Injection for the pin. Very good match.
WINNER: JAY LETHAL by pinfall
Cole claims that he had a much easier time putting Liger away than Jay Lethal did. Lethal tells the camera that he’s the greatest champion that this company has ever seen. The same Jay Briscoe from last week aired where he talks about seeing Samoa Joe for the first time over 10 years. He got his ass kicked then but he isn’t same skinny assed white boy wearing the red and black singlet. Indeed. He’ll have to kill him to take the belt.
After a break, clips of Joe’s promo at the last PPV air, along with clips of the 4 way World title match. Back in the ring we’ve got Jay Briscoe cutting a promo. This is actually from ROH TV a month ago, which was the challenge from Joe that led to the main event tonight. He called himself the Baddest man in pro wrestling, which of course brought out Joe. Challenge was made, accepted and we’ve got our main event tonight.
ROH WORLD TITLE: JAY BRISCOE VS SAMOA JOE
Joe gets a superstar reaction of course and so many streamers you can barely see the ring by the time it’s done. Briscoe with a mixed reaction but a lot of boos for this one. There is a fairly audible MAN UP chant. Kelly calls it the most dominant World Champion today against the most dominant champion in company history who put the ROH World title on the map.
As the match is starting, Kelly gets in another goofy plug for the ROH codeline. Cole says that if Joe beats Briscoe it will be redemption for him (Cole), since he wasn’t at his best when he lost the title. Match starts out much like the last one, with mat work and duelling chants. Quickly breaks down into clobbering with both guys taking turns punching the crap out of each other in the corner. Briscoe nails a running dropkick and then Joe follows with an Enziguri. Another punching exchange in the centre follow and then both guys are down after another Briscoe dropkick. Brisoce works hard to finally get a suplex on Joe. More dueling chants.
Briscoe with a headlock takeover and then a minute long headlock. Joe powers his way out of it and then goes for a running clothesline and Jay ducks. Joe hits the rope and selling a knee injury. He takes a powder from the ring and Briscoe dives onto him but Joe hits him with the injured knee. Back in the ring and Joe levels Briscoe with a leg lariat in the corner. Joe hits a knee strike and starts selling it again. He then drops another knee while Cole says he’s mixing it up due to the knee injury. Another punch/slap exchange in the centre. Joe gets the better of it. Light JOE IS GONNA KILL YOU chant and Briscoe rolls out of the ring. Joe with a running dive and connects as we go to commercial.
Back from break and Joe sets Briscoe on the turnbuckle and sets up for a musclebuster but Briscoe reverses and drops Joe with a neckbreaker. To their feet and Briscoe peppering him with jabs and goes for a fireman’s carry but Joe blocks it and nails a series of elbows. Briscoe with a side suplex for 2. Briscoe cut over the nose, probably from the elbows. Briscoe gets the fireman’s carry and hits a Death Valley Driver for 2. LETS GO JOE chants from the crowd. Briscoe sets up for a Jay Driller but gets backbody-dropped. Joe takes over. Helluva kick and then a Senton splash gets a 2. Cole has some insight but is pretty dry on commentary, just noticing that. Joe with a tilt-a-whirl slam for a 2.
Joe with a powerbomb for 2 and then transitions into a Boston Crab and then an STF. Switches that to a Crossface in the centre of the ring. He won’t be able to use that in WWE. Briscoe gets to the ropes for a break but heavily selling his shoulder. Crowd explodes with JOE chants. Joe still selling the knee. Briscoe fires away with punches. Joe responds with slaps and elbows and then takes him down with an Enziguri. That gets the first THIS IS AWESOME chant of the night. They trade punches in the centre and Joe takes him down with a lariat. Joe with a side slam and puts Briscoe on the turnbuckles, signalling for the musclebuster. Briscoe reverses and snaps Joe’s neck into the ropes. He follows up with a Jay Driller for the clean win.
WINNER: JAY BRISCOE by pinfall
Kelly says that this cements Briscoe as the greatest ROH World champion of all time. They shake hands and embrace as we go to credit.