ROH Report for Jan. 27 - Adam Cole Defends TV Title
Brian Campbell / January 29, 2013 - 2:17am
The show opens with Nigel McGuinness in the ring surrounded by security. He introduces Jay Lethal and Ring of Honor Champion Kevin Steen (flanked by S.C.U.M. – Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs) to the ring. Kevin Kelly tells us that both men will have the opportunity to address each other, with Lethal having a chance to publically convince Steen to get one more World Title shot.
Lethal tells Steen he’s surprised he had the balls to come down to the ring, even though he was followed by his ‘scumbags,’ and says he wants Steen to accept his challenge for a title shot. Steve Corino grabs the mic and runs downs Lethal’s parents in an attempt to provoke a physical altercation, but Steen cuts him off and allows Lethal to continue. Lethal says Steen isn’t a real ROH champion, he’s a ‘vile, disgusting human being,’ and that he is too scared to face him. Steen goes to respond but is cut off by Lethal, who says that the two of them need each other because Steen needs to beat him because he’s ‘the most honorable man in Ring of Honor,’ and he needs to beat Steen to become ROH World Champ and fulfill his destiny. Lethal continues to say that he deserves to be ROH Champ and that Steen doesn’t mean shit unless he can beat him. Steen walks out of the ring and says he accepts, and the crowd erupts.
Veda Scott talks about ROH’s next iPPV, their 11th Anniversary show in Chicago Ridge, coming up in March. She then welcomes in Michael Elgin, who cuts a promo on Roderick Strong for their 2-out-of-3 falls match at the event.
Back inside the DuBurns Arena, and Kelly and fellow commentator Caleb Seltzer reflect on the Lethal-Steen segment and are joined by Truth Martini, who refers to himself as the ‘poonani predator.’
[Match #1]: Top Prospect Tournament Round 1: Silas Young vs. Adam Page
Kelly says Page, who comes to the ring wearing a trucker cap, ‘has all the scouts drooling’ before the match. Both adhere to the Code of Honor. Collar and elbow lockup as Young backs Page into the corner and follows up with a knee and a chop. After reversing a side-headlock, Page gets sent into the ropes and takes Young down with a pair of shoulder blocks and a hip toss. He delivers a couple of knife edge chops before Young regains the advantage. Young is quickly thwarted and catches a gut punch and a kneelift before he retreats to the ring apron. Young plays possum and drapes Page’s neck across the top rope then sends him to the far corner before charging in and eating a boot and a clothesline from the top for a 2 count. Young regains the advantage after hitting a Randy Orton-style DDT off the ropes, but only gets a 2. Young applies a rear-chinlock and sends Page into the ropes, drops down to avoid a clothesline attempt, but kips back up immediately and grabs Page for a backbreaker, which was a high spot. Page comes right back with a stiff slap to Young’s face and after a number of punches and chops, and sends him off the ropes, which is reversed, but Page hits a powerslam for 2. Page is sent over the top but hangs on, and, in a VERY stiff spot, Young takes the Scott Hall backdrop over the top rope, but goes straight to the floor flat on his back without getting the chance to brace himself. Page then hits a running Shooting Star Press off the apron to the floor. Back in the ring, Page heads to the top and delivers a beautiful crossbody, which gets a 2 count, but afterwards is caught with a sit-out Bubba Bomb by Young, who then transitions into his submission finisher, the Stock Lock, a sitting full nelson stretch.
Winner [via submission]: Silas Young (5:53)
Promos for Ring of Honor wrestling and ROHWrestling.com, featuring Eddie Edwards, air.
Charlie Haas hits the ring drinking a beer and apparently is called ‘the Outlaw’ now. He cuts a promo running down the crowd and the Baltimore Ravens and says that he is pissed because ROH wants to censor him and that BJ Whitmer is getting a TV title shot and then turns his attention to McGuinness. The best part of this segment was the crowd pelting Haas with streamers, which he clearly was not happy with. He pulls one of the ring crew (who apparently is a student wrestler as well), who he refers to a ‘Cheeseburger,’ into the ring and challenges him to a fight, to which the crowd chants ‘Cheeseburger.’ Yes, you can’t make this stuff up. They shake hands and Haas double crosses him (obviously, he’s a heel) and tosses him out of the building via an overhead belly-to-belly. Haas then slaps on his submission finisher, the Haas of Pain. He flips off the crowd some more before leaving.
Another ROHWrestling.com promo airs, followed by a ROH Live On Tour spot.
[Match 2]: Rhett Titus vs. Matt Hardy
Surprisingly both men agree to the Code of Honor. Titus’ ribs are taped up still from Final Battle last month for some reason. Titus gets things underway by working on the arm of Hardy before flooring him with a few punches. Hardy is sent off the ropes and catches a leaping back elbow and a crossbody for 2 with Titus selling his ribs the entire time. Hardy bails to the floor and evades a slingshot plancha from Titus, who literally bounces off the floor. Again, like Young the match before, this spot was VERY stiff looking as he did not get his hands down and took the full bump to the floor. Hardy tosses him back in the ring and goes to work on the ribs with punches and shoulder blocks in the corner. He hits a sidewalk slam for 2 and puts the boots to Titus’ ribs. Titus fights back feebly, but fails and ends up eating a bulldog for 2. Hardy goes to the middle rope and jumps off but gets hit with a great looking dropkick, which allows Titus to get back on the offensive. Hardy retreats to the corner, but Titus charges in with a running enzuigiri and hits a BK Bomb (or Clash of the Titus, Sky High, Lo Down etc, etc) for a close 2. The two botch the next couples of moves with a reversal and a couple of missed kicks, which leads to Hardy eventually hitting the Side Effect for 2. A Twist of Fate attempt is reversed into a backslide, before the 2 men head to the floor where Titus is rammed into the ring post and powerslammed. Hardy then sends Titus back in and hits the TOF for the win.
Winner [via pinfall]: Matt Hardy (6:31)
[Main Event]: TV Title Match: Adam Cole (C) vs. BJ Whitmer
The Code of Honor starts things off, as Whitmer gains the advantage by working over the arm. Cole regains the advantage with a deep arm drag and a dropkick for 2 as Hardy makes his way to the announce booth. Cole then goes to work on Whitmer’s left arm with an armbar and hits a neckbreaker before charging at Whitmer and misses, launching himself over the top rope to the floor. Whitmer goes for a suicide dive, but gets met by a jumping enzuigiri from Cole, which elicits a loud pop from the crowd. Cole heads to the top and misses a splash as they head to commercial. Back from the break and Whitmer sends Cole to the ropes and hits a big boot as both men then trade blows with either man no selling, but Cole comes out on top thanks to another jumping enzuigiri followed by a Shining Wizard for a near fall. Whitmer is back up and hits a knee in the corner followed by a number of suplexes and a pair of near falls. Cole works his way to the top and nails a crossbody for 2, and hits the ropes but gets caught with an exploder suplex by Whitmer for 2. Whitmer puts Cole on the top and connects on a top rope superplex (or megaplex as I always refer to it as), but lands awkwardly on his neck. I wasn’t sure if he was attempting to roll through this or if it was meant to look like this in an effort to play off the grotesque bump that almost killed him at Final Battle. Whitmer slaps Cole for attempting to take pity on him, and Cole replies with a superkick, German suplex and his version of a brainbuster (which he drops you down on his knee) for 2, even though the bell rings at this point. Cole picks him up and hits the Florida Key cradle suplex for the win.
Winner [via pinfall]: Adam Cole (8:16)
After the match, the 2 shake hands and exchange some brief words before Hardy and Cole engage in a stare down.
This was a great episode because it felt like a real wrestling show and this was one of the best ROH episodes in a long while. Hopefully they can keep up this quality of show moving forward. I loved the dynamic of Steen not saying anything except ‘I accept’ to Lethal’s challenge – I feel it definitely added something to that segment. Good for ROH to continue this angle because outside of Lethal, there’s no one left for Steen to feud with. I could easily see Lethal taking the title here in an attempt to apply a fresh coat of paint to the title picture. The announcers did a good job making the Top Prospect tourney seem like a big deal, and if Young-Page as an opening round match is any indication, it could be very good. Both men looked great – Young could end up as a quality heel and Page is cut from the Adam Cole mold, though he seems more a poor man’s Cole than anything else. He is exciting offensively if nothing else. It seems with Shelton Benjamin onto bigger and better things, ROH has no idea what to do with Charlie Haas, so apparently he’s now a cheap knockoff of the heel Stone Cold Steve Austin. Hardy is a good get for ROH, depending on how long they have him, though he looked slow in-ring tonight. I like the idea of turning Titus heel and teaming him with Haas for a surprising tag team, but that will probably never happen. Cole continues to impress in the ring and hopefully he continues to get this push this year.
Announced for next week – Tag team gauntlet with S.C.U.M., the American Wolves, the Bravados and Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly to determine the #1 contenders to the Briscoe Brothers titles and the continuation of the Top Prospect tourney.