3/2 Shore's ROH 11th Anniversary iPPV review and results: The Briscoes vs. Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly for the Tag Team Championships, American Wolves vs. Forever Hooligans, Jay Lethal vs. Kevin Steen for the ROH Championship
By Chris Shore
ROH 11th Anniversary Show
Aired live on iPPV from Frontier Fieldhouse, Chicago Ridge, Illinois.
A video recapped how Jay Lethal got his title shot. A much improved title sequence played, followed by a graphic for the 11th Anniversary, and Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer opened the show from ringside. Wow. That was very well done. They hyped Matt Hardy being there for later and a great card…
1. QT Marshall (w/RD Evans) vs. Adam Page vs. Silas Young vs. Mike Sydal vs. ACH vs. Tadarius Thomas in a six man mayhem match. One fall to the finish, lucha rules. Evans joined commentary for just a moment. Page and ACH started. A rapid fire start had guys coming in left and right because of the lucha rules. Marshall was the guy who took the first powder. Page dove on him by hitting a shooting star from the apron to the floor.
ACH went for a dive, but Evans swept his leg. Thomas dove on the crowd, then Sydal hit a moonsault from the top. ACH hit a springboard front flip dive on the crowd, and then Young superplexed Evans onto the crowd for the first "Holy shit" and "This is awesome" chants of the night.
Back in the ring, Marshall hit an Alabama Slam on Page. Thomas hit a hanging neckbreaker on Marshall. Sydal hit a moonsault on Thomas, and Young caught Sydal on a splash for a front slam. ACH grabbed Thomas and lifted him for a package DDT type move for the win…
ACH won a six man mayhem match at 7:01.
Shore's Slant: Great opener. Production values are very high and they took advantage of that quality with a wild spot filled match. It wasn't too much to burn the crowd out, though it sets a high bar. Definition of a great opener. I'm very impressed out of the gates with this broadcast.
A video recapped the S.C.U.M. vs. C&C feud…
2. S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino) vs. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman. Coleman and Alexander attacked before Bobby Cruise could finish ring introductions. Coleman dumped both men and Alexander hit a front flip dive on both. C&C settled in on top and hit several double team moves on both Corino and Jacobs. Corino hit a dirty clothesline from the apron to shift control to the heels.
SCUM hit the sick and twisted combo neckbreaker for two. Cedric kept running in and distracting the ref. Corino hit a Saito suplex and jawed with a fan, but Coleman hit a cutter and got the hot tag to Cedric. He hit his corner dropkick and backbreaker across the knees on Jacobs. Corino broke the pin up and drove Cedric into the post.
Coleman took on both men and hit two Northern Lights suplexes on Corino, and then a third on Corno while Cedric hit one on Jacobs for a double near fall. Coleman got knocked to the floor and Cedric took standing sliced bread and Corino's diving lariat for a nearfall. Coleman tried a comeback, but Corino took a chain out and hit Coleman. He and Jacobs hit a spike piledriver on Cedric for the win…
S.C.U.M. defeated Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman at 8:32.
Shore's Slant: Very good match but I hated the finish. Corino pulled the chain out for no reason. There was little drama as to a finish at that point, it's like he just got tired or something. Usually heels pull objects out as a last resort. Not here. I was hoping C&C would get the win here. They deserve it, and I'm sure SCUM would agree, but they are telling a story with SCUM right now so it makes sense.
Post-match, Corino told the camera, "I told you they were coming." He and Jacobs acted crazy as always…A video recapped the Whitmer vs. Haas feud…
3. Charlie Haas vs. BJ Whitmer in a no holds barred match. Whitmer hit Haas with a can of beer as Whitmer stepped through the curtain to start the match. Whitmer slammed Haas all over the ringside are and started pulling weapons out. He put Haas in the ring and drove a short ladder into Haas's nuts. Whitmer set a table from the apron to the barricade, but Haas fought back and escaped Whitmer to take control.
Haas put the ladder on the turnbuckle and whipped Whitmer into it. He grabbed a cookie sheet, but Cheeseburger grabbed his leg to stop him. Cheeseburger flipped off Haas and that allowed Whitmer to hit Haas with a cookie sheet in the head. They traded unprotected cookie sheet shots to the head until Haas hit a big boot.
Haas hit a belly to belly suplex onto the table Whitmer setup for the second "Holy shit" moment. Haas hit him with several chair shots across the ladder for nearfalls. Haas set another table up in the ring and put Whitmer on the top rope and hit the belly to belly superplex onto the table. Whitmer kicked out, but the live crowd didn't pop for it like I thought they would have.
Haas set the ladder between two chairs. He slapped Whitmer and Whitmer woke up. They clumsily went through the finish and Whitmer hit an exploder suplex through the ladder on Haas. Haas kicked out at two and Whitmer jumped on him with knees to the head. The ref called very quickly for a stoppage…
BJ Whitmer defeated Charlie Haas at 12:00.
Shore's Slant: Really goo match, but once again I hated the finish. They are trying to do too much here with their finishes. The sudden stoppage right after the near fall had an odd feel about it and the fans in the building seemed surprised the match was over. I don't know who is coming up with these finishes, but the last two matches have been very poor.
Kevin Kelly ran through some of the history between Davey Richards and Rocky Romero, and then the American Wolves promo aired. Alex Koslov took a microphone and said he just wanted to say hello to Chi-town, and asked that they all stand with respect as he sang the Russian national anthem. He sang the whole thing, I presume, and then thanked the crowd. What a terrible idea…
4. The Forever Hooligans vs. The American Wolves. They teased Richards and Romero shaking hands but then cut away to do the meaningless tale of the tape graphic. Damn. And the production had been so good. Can't win them all I guess. Romero and Richards started. Richards started to get going and Romero begged off and offered to shake Richards's hand. This would have been more effective had we known he didn't shake it to start the match. Richards did, but then Romero tried to kick him.
The match broke down and the Wolves chopped and kicked both opponents to the floor and then hit combo dives. Back in the ring, Edwards hit a shining wizard for two on Koslov. Romero hit a dirty punch and that allowed Koslov to take control. Romero attacked Davey on the floor while Koslov worked over Edwards in the ring.
Koslov hit a side Russian leg sweep and Kelly said, "It's just a leg sweep to him." Boo! Romero tagged in and hit raging corner splashes in a row and Edwards hit a clothesline to stop him. Koslov tagged in and Edwards powerbombed Romero on Koslov before tagging Davey. Davey hit his Northern Lights/O'Conner roll combo pin for a near fall, followed by the German with a bridge for a nearfall.
Koslov hit a jumping enziguri and his Cossack kicks for two. Romero dumped Edwards and then he and Koslov hit a combo backbreaker on Richards. Edwards broke the pin and the match broke down. Davey held Koslov in a tombstone lift for Edwards to kick in the face before hit the piledriver for two. What? Come on. The Hooligans came back and took a week to setup a super-ranna/frogsplash combo that Richards kicked out of. The Wolves finally hit a double team backstabber thing for the win…
The American Wolves defeated the Forever Hooligans at 15:43.
Shore's Slant: What the hell is going on here tonight? Third match in a row that entertained up until the end. The match ran out of gas as the moves got too big to believe guys could kick out of. A superkick/tombstone combo? That's not enough? Really? That's the flaw with this style of wrestling. When not even the big moves mean anything, then nothing means anything. Again, I liked the match, but the ending hurt it.
A video recapped the feud between Strong and Elgin…
5. Roderick Strong vs. Michael Elgin in a two-out-of-three falls match Truth Martini is banned from ringside. They started with some good arm worker, but Elgin suddenly exploded with the buckle bomb and Elgin bomb to win the first fall.
Michael Elgin won the first fall at 1:58. Elgin leads 1-0.
There was a 20 second rest period between falls. Strong went to the floor, but Elgin followed at the bell and chopped Strong around. Strong hit a sneaky kick climbing back in the ring and then hit a belly to back suplex on the floor. Strong worked Elgin with chops and whips into the barricades on the floor.
Back in the ring, Strong hit a number of strikes on Elgin, but couldn't quite put him down. They battled on the top rope and Elgin hit a shoulder tackle from the top. He hit a black hole slam for two and grabbed the crossface on the kick-out. Elgin hit his torture rack backbreaker for two. Elgin went for the buckle bomb again, but Roddy slipped out and hit a Rock Bottom type move for two.
Strong hit a superkick after a kick out in a cool spot. Elgin tried for a top rope powerbomb, but Strong pushed away and hit a backbreaker across the top rope and then the Strong Bow backbreaker for a pinfall.
Roderick Strong won fall two at 11:25 (cumulative). The match is tied 1-1.
Strong attacked just before the bell to start the third match. Elgin fought back and half hit a cork screw senton. The match is losing gas. Elgin hit back to back dead lift German suplexes into bridges for near falls. Elgin went for a dead lift superplex, but Strong escaped and hit a powerbomb for two. Elgin hit another Elgin bomb, but Roddy kicked out. Elgin grabbed the crossface and Strong tapped out…
Michael Elgin won the third fall and match at 15:34.
Shore's Slant: Another good match with a weak ending. This one wasn't bad so much as a poor build for it. The match ran out of gas and ended as opposed to building to a big finish. Part of it is that ROH has done a poor job building these feuds so the endings don't matter near as much as they should. That handicaps the guys in the ring in trying to tell make the fans care about the finish.
A video showed how Matt Taven won the Top Prospects tournament and aligned himself with Truth Martini. Hardy cut a promo and said he overcame the odds again and got the match Nigel McGuiness tried to prevent. He said after Cole finishes with this afterthought of a match, he would face Hardy and Hardy would win the TV Championship. Hardy joined commentary as ring introductions occurred…
6. Matt Taven (w/Truth Martini) vs. Adam Cole for the ROH Television Championship. Hardy and Kelly talked about Hardy's match with Cole tomorrow at the TV tapings. The Caleb guy had to remind them that Taven could actually win. Fail. Cole tried for a springboard move and Martini grabbed his leg to allow Taven to hit a clothesline and take control.
Taven slammed Cole around the ringside area and hit a spinning heel kick. Martini interfered by choking Strong on the ropes. Taven went for a top rope cross body, but Cole dropkicked him out of the air for two. Cole hit a backwards ranna for two in a scary looking spot. He hit a shining wizard for a near fall and went for another, but Taven hit an enziguri for two.
Taven whipped Cole into the corner and ran in. Cole tossed Taven to the apron and jumped over the top rope for a DDT on the apron in a cool ass spot. Back in the ring, Cole went for the Florida Key and Taven pushed him away. Truth hit Cole with the Book of Truth and Matt Taven followed with a moonlight drive type move to win the title…
Matt Taven won the ROH Television Championship by pinfall at 13:34.
Post-match, Matt Hardy sold being confused and upset. Taven and Truth laughed at Hardy and went to the back. Hardy continued to stare at Kelly and Cole before finally walking away…
Shore's Slant: Holy crap. I've complained about endings all night and now we get one I had zero idea would happen. What matters here is the follow up. If they have a plan for this move then this could be a good thing. If they changed the title because "they'll never see it coming, brother" then this is beyond stupid. I tend to think the former is the case because Hardy was saying by the end of the match that Taven couldn't beat Cole, not just forgetting about him. Not the best match on the card, but a solid performance and a surprising win.
7. Red Dragon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly) vs. The Briscoes for the ROH Tag Team Championships. Nigel McGuiness joined the commentary team late and announced that the winner of the Hardy vs. Cole match tomorrow would get a title shot at Super Card of Honor. Why is this happening during a match? Back in the ring, Bobby Fish swept Jay Briscoe's leg on a tag and he and O'Reilly worked the leg.
O'Reilly and Fish worked heel moves, making Mark distract the ref and causing Jay to get beat up. O'Reilly put Jay in the chair on the floor and went for the dropkick, but Jay moved. The cameraman missed Mark taking out Fish. Mark got the tag and started his redneck kung-fu shtick. Briscoe put on a clinich of throws and suplexes for a near fall. Jay hit a frog splash for two on Fish.
The match broke down with guys everywhere and the Briscoes hit the Doomsday device on O'Reilly on the floor from the apron. The Briscoes hit a Falcon Arrow and Froggy Bow on Fish for two. They went for the Doomsday Device again, but O'Reilly broke it up. He and Mark traded head-butts on the apron and Mark got busted open. Fish ran over and hit a belly to back suplex from the apron to the floor on Mark.
Jay and O'Reilly fought on the top. Fish attacked him from behind and he and O'Reilly hit the Doomsday Device on Jay for two. They followed with Chasing the Dragon to win the titles…
Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly won the ROH Tag Team Championships by pinfall at 15:11.
Post-match, O'Reilly and Fish asked for Cary Silkin and the ref to put the titles on them. It drew good heat from the crowd…
Shore's Slant: Another good match with yet another surprise finish. They should have won with the Doomsday Device, but I'm picking nits. This was only a surprise for me until the American Wolves match. The announce team went out of their way to talk about how the Wolves got the winner of this match and they couldn't wait to get their hands on Red Dragon. Foreshadowing fail. I like the switch here because the Briscoes weren't compelling as champions, and Red Dragon and the American Wolves should be a good feud.
A video recapped the Steen vs. Lethal feud…
8. Jay Lethal vs. Kevin Steen for the ROH World Championship. Steen attacked before the bell and they brawled to the floor. They traded spots on the floor and Steen helped Lethal back in the ring. Lethal attacked and hit a drop kick through the ropes. He dumped Steen over the top rope again and hit a springboard dropkick from there. Steen slammed Lethal against the barricade and took control.
A fan said something to Steen and Steen made joke after joke about either the man's mother or girlfriend in-between slamming Lethal. Steen went for a senton, but Lethal got the knees up. He hit a backcracker for two and the crowd was so quiet you could hear individual fans screaming things. Steen hit a back suplex and got a better reaction from the crowd. Maybe it's just Lethal. Lethal hit a driver and got a good pop from the crowd. I don't know what the hell is going on in Chicago.
Lethal signaled for the Lethal Injection. Steen picked him up and bumped the ref by accident. Lethal hit Lethal Injection but the ref couldn't count. SCUM ran out and hit the spike piledriver on Lethal and pulled Steen on top. Lethal kicked out at two. SCUM attacked the ref and Nigel McGuiness ran out and chased Corino to the back. Lethal knocked Jacobs out and he and Steen traded blows.
Lethal got the better and hit a full nelson suplex. Steen no sold it and popped up, but Lethal hit another for a near fall. Steen reversed a whip and popped Lethal up for a powerbomb for a great near fall. Lethal came right back with a superkick in the corner. He hit about five more, the Lethal Combination, and the top rope elbow. Of course Steen kicked out. Lethal hooked the Koji clutch, but Steen made the ropes for a break.
Steen rolled to the apron and stood near the timekeeper's table. The men there left and Lethal tried for a full nelson suplex, but Steen reversed into the F-cinq through the table. Steen rolled back in the ring and Jacobs grabbed Lethal's leg to keep him from making it. Lethal just did, but Steen hit a package piledriver and Lethal kicked out for a great near fall.
Jacobs got Steen's attention and tried to take the spike out of his booth. Steen told him to get the f out and Lethal drove Steen into Jacobs. He rolled Steen for a near fall that I thought would be it. They battled their way to the top rope. Jay knocked Steen down and stood for the elbow. Steen recovered, swept the legs, and hit a top rope brainbuster for the win…
Kevin Steen retained the ROH Championship by pinfall at 20:47.
Post-match, Rhino ran out and gored Lethal. Steen shoved Rhino, but Rhino and Jacobs attacked Lethal. The Briscoes ran out and attacked all three men. Jimmy Rave came through the crowd wearing a SCUM shirt and jumped in the ring. Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer ran out and Titus hit a dropkick on Whitmer before revealing his SCUM shirt. Babyfaces kept running out from the back. Cliff Compton was the next out through the crowd for SCUM. Adam Cole was the final babyface and Matt Hardy ran out and attacked him before showing he was also part of SCUM.
SCUM started zip tying people to the ropes and Nigel McGuiness ran out and ushered the announce team away. Steve Corino came from the back and cut a lengthy promo about how he told everyone evil was coming and their ranks would swell. He said their mission was the same it had always been, to inject evil into the company. Jacobs took the spike and stabbed through a ROH banner a couple of the guys were holding. It didn't rip so they had to play tug of war with it. Corino closed by saying war had been declared, but it would be short lived because honor died tonight…
Shore's Slant: Wow, crazy ass finish. Let's start with the match. It was good, but they had a part that dragged in the middle. Chicago was a weird crowd a tonight. Usually you can count on those fans to be red hot, but they never really got going. Of course they also got some strange finishes early so that didn't help. Steen and Lethal was better than I thought it would be, but ultimately the results are swept under the tug because of what happened to close the show.
Considering the luck wrestling has had with major factions like these (post-NWO of course) is that they aren't very good. I liked how the group was introduced, but you can already see the problems that need to be addressed quickly. For example, this is an awful random group of guys. Matt Hardy makes the mix especially odd. Not to mention their motivation is a little over the top. "We just like watching shit burn" works better in more theatrical settings, not a reality based drama like wrestling.
Still, that doesn't mean this new act is going to suck. ROH is taping TV tomorrow, and that turnaround ability is a good thing for them to keep this story hot and start clearing up these problems. I'm not saying there isn't a reason this particular group of guys would come together to watch shit burn. I am saying it isn't immediately obvious what that reason is. But I will give them this: I can't wait to see TV next weekend. I'll have more tomorrow in the Hitlist. I am going to give an honest effort at doing a Member's Exclusive audio review, but tomorrow is a busy day for me so the odds are against it. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.
Questions? Comments? Anyone, anyone? Let me hear from you. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @TheShoreSlant with whatever is on your mind.
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