8/11 Gutteridge's ROH TV Review: Michael Elgin defends his ROH title against Kyle O'Reilly, Adam Cole faces Rocky Romero in his first singles match since losing the ROH Title, and Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Page
By Darren Gutteridge
Ring of Honor TV
Taped July 19, 2014 in Dearborn, Michigan
Aired August 11, 2014 on the ROH website
After titles, Kevin Kelly introduced himself and Nigel McGuinness on commentary, before telling us we will see the former and current ROH Champion in action tonight. Former champion Adam Cole will be facing Rocky Romero, and new Champion Michael Elgin will be defending his ROH Title against Kyle O'Reilly.
Rocky Romero was out first, and Kelly pointed out that he is representing New Japan Pro Wrestling. Cole followed, and kinda went through the motions of his entrance while looking visibly irritated. . .
1. Adam Cole vs. Rocky Romero. Kelly seemed to make out that there would be no interference from the The Kingdom (Mike Bennett, Maria Kanellis and Matt Hardy), implying Cole will be fighting alone. The code of honor was honored, with Cole actually initialising it. Romero took out Cole in the early going with a crazy suicide dive, where he was basically vertical when he hit Cole. Before the first "commercial", Cole, despite bleeding from the mouth, had taken control, first by throwing Romero shoulder first into the ringpost, and then by throwing him into the barricade. . .
An advert for tonight's sponsor, Super Beta Prostate, was preceded once again by the Briscoes. I don't know which is funnier - Mark trying to be all serious when introducing an advert for a vehicle recall last week, or Mark acting SUPER excited for a prostate advert this week. . .
Romero was once again in control, following a flying knee to Cole on the outside. He got a two count after a springboard dropkick to a rope hung Cole, and another after dodging a Shining Wizard and rolling Cole up. Cole soon hit the Shining Wizard for a two count of his own. Just before the 7 minute mark, Cole went to the top rope, only for Romero to cut him off and bring him down with a springboard hurricanrana, before nailing him with Sliced Bread #2. Cole kicked out of the subsequent pin, but found all of his follow-up offence blocked by Romero.
Romero went for his rope hanging trick as he did earlier in the match, but Cole was wise to it, hitting him with a superkick before dropping him with a suplex transitioned into a knee assisted neckbreaker. Rocky kicked out of the pin, but Cole immediatly slapped on the Figure Four Leg Lock. Romero faught for a while before he eventually taped. . .
Adam Cole defeated Rocky Romero in 8:26.
After the match, Cole got in the camera and told Michael Elgin that he would get his title back soon. He claimed Elgin knew in his heart of hearts that there was no way he could beat him twice. . .
Gutt Reaction: I can't quite put my finger on what is "off" in my mind about Romero. The same goes for his tag partner Alex Koslov - they are both fine wrestlers, but something about them turns me off to their offence. I think both could be a little more impactful (Romero hit some clotheslines in this that wouldn't hurt a newly born deer). Cole on the other hand I am sold on hook line and sinker. I have absolute 0 doubt that he won't end up in WWE within the next 3 years.
The Decade's music was playing when we returned from a Field of Honour commercial, and Roderick Strong, in his civilian clothes, was accompanying Adam Page to the ring. Though not acknowledged on this show. it was announced on the ROH website that the Decade will soon be recruiting former ROH star "Scrap Iron" Adam Pierce, who will re-debut at Death Before Dishonour on August 23rd. Tommaso Ciampa came out to a nice pop. . .
2. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Page. Strong instructed Page not to shake Ciampa's hand. The action got off to a hot start when within the first minute, while Ciampa had gone outside to chase Strong, Page hit him with a shooting star headbutt from the apron. Page took it to Ciampa aggressively in the ring, but got side stepped after coming off the top rope for a crossbody attempt. Ciampa went for Project Ciampa, but Cole reversed into a pin. They traded pin counters until Ciampa managed to lock in the Sicilian Stretch. Page held on long enough to get a foot on the ropes.
They traded blows while Page was on the apron, but when Ciampa set off running, Page flipped over the ropes and cut him off with a clothesline. He followed up with a backbreaker for a two. Strong got angry, shouting at Page for using a Strong-esque backbreaker. The distraction lead to Ciampa landing a vicious knee strike. He then put Page away with Project Ciampa. . .
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Adam Page in 3:42.
After the match, Ciampa grabbed a mic. He said people call him crazy, but he just thought everyone else doesn't have the balls to say what they really think. He stared down the camera and told Elgin that he had a bullseye on his chest, because he has challenged anybody to step up and challenge for the belt. He claimed that when Elgin said that, he had overlooked Ciampa, just like everybody else has.
Ciampa was interrupted by Silas Young, who told him to stop complaining. He claimed that come August 22nd, he would walk in No. 1 contender, and would walk out ROH Champion. He said there would then be no open challenge, as everyone would have to earn their shot at him. As he got in the ring, he told Ciampa he doesn't think he has what it takes to earn a shot.
Ciampa simply said "Wrong" before headbutting Young. They started to brawl but Young rolled to the outside quickly and retreated up the ramp . . .
Gutt Reaction: The match was an enjoyably quick paced and frenetic bout. The promo afterwards was even better though. I don't think I've ever seen an extended Ciampa promo, but while it wasn't particularly smooth or polished, he did a great job on selling you on his "Sicilian Psychopath" character, and he put Elgin over strongly in the process. I just really dislike the "Project Ciampa" name for his finish. . . but not as much as I dislike Silas Young. By far and away my least favourite ROH act.
A commercial played footage from a house show where Matt Hardy challenged for the ROH Title. Prior to the match, he relinquished his ICONIC title to Maria. . .
Kyle O'Reilly was accompanied to the ring by Bobby Fish. Elgin received an OK pop for his entrance. Prior to the match starting, Elgin grabbed the mic. As Bobby started shouting at him, Elgin told him that when the mic is in his hand, it means shut up. You could just make out Fish saying "I didn't get that email". Elgin said he was used to the numbers game, so he had put a phone call into his mentor, Tyson Dux, who would help keep Fish at bay. Dux made his entrance as Fish shouted "I didn't get THIS email either!" at McGuinness. . .
3. Michael Elgin vs. Kyle O'Reilly for the ROH World Title. They shook hands. Lots of neat chain wrestling went down in the opening minutes. The first real break came just before commercials, when a distracted ref allowed Fish to grab hold of Elgin as he was on the top rope. Dux shoved Fish off, but the sneak attack allowed O'Reilly to run in and slam Elgin down shoulder first to the mat. . .
O'Reilly was going to work on the left arm when we returned, but Elgin caught a break off of a spinning side slam. Fish again tried to get involved, but this time Elgin hit him with a baseball slide. Elgin took control, but would favour his shoulder after most moves. He powered out of a guillotine choke at one point, but O'Reilly was quick to follow up with a tilt-a-whirl DDT, after which he applied ARMageddon. Elgin was able to keep his arm rigid enough to block O'Reilly synching it in properly though.
Elgin countered with a powerbomb, but O'Reilly managed to counter back into ARMageddon. Elgin escaped, and the two traded blows. Elgin countered another guillotine choke with a spinebuster before the final commercial break . . .
When we returned, Elgin stunted O'Reilly on the top rope with a dropkick. He climbed up there after him, but O'Reilly cut him off and applied ARMageddon. The ref started to count for him to break the hold as Elgin screamed, but Elgin focussed long enough to pull O'Reilly up and drop him with a powerbomb. One Elgin Bomb later and it was all over. . .
Michael Elgin defeated Kyle O'Reilly in 14:04 to retain the ROH Title.
After the match, Silas Young ran down and attacked Elgin. Ciampa wasn't far behind however, and brawled with Young. The locker room seemingly emptied in the next 30 seconds, as Cole, Cedric Alexander, The Briscoes, Hanson and Rowe ran out and started attacking each other. It all ended up on the outside, where Mark Briscoe hit a moonsault on to everyone, before Alexander piled on with a dive over the top rope.
Back in the ring, Cole sat with the ROH Title, and then motioned for Elgin to get up. He charged with the title, but Elgin ducked him and backhanded him. He put him in position for the Elgin Bomb, and then pointed to the outside. He hoisted Cole up, and then dumped him over the top on to everyone else. Kevin Kelly managed to sneak in a quick plug for Kevin Steen's last match next week, against Steve Corino, before the show ended. . .
Gutt Reaction: That ending was crazy almost to a fault. It certainly kicked the energy up for the last few minutes, but had it stopped when Alexander ran out, and you had 4 legit challengers to the ROH TItle stood in the ring with Elgin, it would have packed a neater punch. I'm also wary of the short-sightedness of the "Open Challenge" angle, as it will burn through a lot of opponents quickly. If they have long term plans for Elgin as champ, they may want to end it soon.
Now for positives. First and foremost, that match was excellent. I doubt you'll see anything better on TV this week. I may not be quite as high on O'Reilly as everyone else on this site is (by the smallest of small margins though, I assure you), but he was fantastic here. And for all my problems with the angle, showing Elgin to be a fighting champion is likely to stave off ROH fans from turning on him, as they have historically done with babyface champions. Overall, this was a great, great, great show that you should certainly check out.
Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts or opinions on this article, add me on Twitter - @DazatheG . You can also check out my website Thegutteridgelog.co.uk.
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