ROH comes to us this week from the bluegrass state of Kentucky and we open the show with a video recap of last week’s main event for the ROH TV title as “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett challenged recently crowned Jay Lethal. As you know this match ended in a time limit draw with Lethal begging for another 5 minutes and Bennett walking away with manager Bob Evans in tow.
We have a video packaging preparing us for the first match of the night between Roderick Strong and Kyle O’Reilly. ROH does a great job of allowing the two wrestlers to cut promos in an effective way that doesn’t seem hokey or have distractions by unnecessary talent that are just looking for a way to get on camera. The foundation has been laid for this match and we clearly know where the two stand so let’s get to the action.
Roderick Strong VS Kyle O’Reilly
[adinserter block=”2″]Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness were joined on commentary by Strong’s manager Truth Martini and we learn about Strong’s plans for Final Battle as he will be holding the Roderick Strong Invitational Challenge to any pro wrestler to meet him in the ring. I have been very much looking forward to seeing how well Team Richards training member and (one half of my new favorite tag team Future Shock) O’Reilly will fare against ROH veteran and former heavyweight champ Strong. Strong thought that this would be a short squash and not so much.
O’Reilly clearly held his own and showed his MMA influence by peppering Strong with knees and kicks and appeared to be the better striker. Each time O’Reilly would get momentum going Strong would stifle that with one of his signature back breakers. One highlight was O’Reilly’s signature butter-fly suplex combo followed by Strong’s variation of the Boston crab that he calls the “Strong hold”. O’Reilly countered another back-breaker by hitting a tornado DDT/guillotine choke that had Strong on the verge on tapping but he broke the hold and hit his “Sick Kick” finisher to win the match.
Your Winner Roderick Strong
O’Reilly found himself on the end of post match beat down as Strong was joined by fellow House of Truth member “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin and they put the boots to O’Reilly and eventually Eddie Edwards attempted to make the save and after a few minutes Davey Richards hit the ring to even the score and clear the ring.
Back from commercial and Jim Cornette is on the mic to declare that fines will be handed out to the members of the House of Truth and the crowd began chanting for Cornette to bring back Kevin Steen but Cornette says it isn’t worth the headache and Steen won’t be returning.
This week’s inside ROH focuses on who’ll challenge ROH world champion Davey Richards at Final Battle. We hear comments from the two potential challengers in Eddie Edwards and Jay Lethal. Each man pleads their case and next week we’ll find out who’ll face Richards.
We also learn that the tag champions WGTT Haas & Benjamin will face Cedric Coleman and Cedric Alexander in a proving ground match. This is an interesting concept that ROH has introduced to the wrestling world and the rules in the proving ground match are as follows:
A credible challenger can challenge any champion, the title is not on the line however, a victory or draw results in the challenger being rewarded a title shot in the future. This is a cool way to introduce new talent to ROH and make the matches actually mean something. Yet another fresh concept that ROH brings that you won’t find from the other “Big 2” wrestling companies.
Alex Silva VS. “Dominant Male” Tomasso Ciampa
Newcomer Alex Silva faces off against the “Dominant Male” Tomasso Ciampa and Ciampa has been on a tear recently and it continues this week as he dominates Silva sealing the deal with his devastating power-bomb to double knees finisher “Project Ciampa”. Definitely one of the most creative and coolest finishers you’ll see anywhere.
Your Winner “Dominant Male” Tomasso Ciampa
The action in the ring was a little overshadowed by Steve Corino joining in on commentary and continuing to plead his case for forgiveness from the ROH fans for all of the wrongs that he has done.
All Night Express VS. The Briscoes
[adinserter block=”1″]This week’s main event did more than live up to the hype!!!! This wasn’t a ladder war type match but definitely showed that the ANE is up to the task of being in a main event and challenging the Briscoes for the #1 contendership. So many highlights in this match. Great brawling mixed with classic tag wrestling with the Briscoes doing an excellent job of cutting off the ring and they hit a sweet double team move that was a combination razor’s edge and hangmen’s neck breaker. Jay Briscoe then set Titus on the top rope and hit a springboard cutter from the apron in to the ring!!!! Followed immediately by Kenny King hitting a springboard blockbuster on Mark Briscoe!!!! The end would come with Titus having one Briscoe on his shoulders and the other holding King from leaving the top and Briscoe actually hitting his own brother with a clothesline which triggered a huracanrana off Titus’ shoulders for the victory.
Your Winners and #1 contenders for the tag titles The Briscoes.
WHAT A MAIN EVENT!!!!! This was hands down the best match that I’ve seen on TV this year. Definitely the best match thus far in the short-lived history of ROH television. The action can best be summed by one line that Kevin Kelly dropped and I’m paraphrasing…”Extra athletic men doing extra ordinary things in the ring.”
I loved this episode from start to finish and can’t wait for next week. It’s action like this that I was anticipating when I heard that ROH was coming to network television and I hope that they can keep it up.