The Ring of Honor Weekly Recap and Review
Welcome to the debut of my newest recap/review column. This was a special request from Frank, one of our regular readers. He sent me an e-mail and mentioned that he didn’t have Ring of Honor in his area and would really like to read about what was happening in the fastest-rising company on the planet. Happy to oblige, my friend. So, let’s get right to it…
This week, ROH began it’s annual Top Prospect Tournament. 8 rising stars all going for a future title shot.
The show opened with a look back at Final Battle 2013. Adam Cole vs Michael Elgin vs Jay Briscoe was absolutely insane. Matt Hardy came out to aid Adam Cole. Cole now uses the Twist of Fate. Cole used a School Boy with a handful of tights to defeat “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin. As Hardy and Cole attacked Elgin and Briscoe, Chris Hero made his dramatic return to Ring of Honor.
Roll the opening montage!
Tonight’s show was taped in Nashville, TN. Steve Corino, Prince Nana and Kevin Kelly were your announce team, this week. They explained that A.J. Styles was returning shortly.
They showed the eight men involved in the tournament:
2. Raymond Rowe
3. Bill Daly
4. Cory Hollis
5. Andrew Everett
6. Somantic Touch
8. Cheeseburger (yes, that’s his name)
Raymond Rowe vs Konga
Top Prospect 2014 Tournament Match.
Konga, who I believe used to work for NWA Hollywood, is listed as being from South America. He’s like 350 pounds. Kongo with a shove. Rowe with one of his own. Kongo and Rowe traded hard shots, with Rowe getting the best of it. Rowe came off the ropes but couldn’t move Kongo, a single step. Kongo told Rowe to go to the ropes and the big man ran over Rowe. Kongo missed a Corner Splash. Rowe came back with wild shots that sent Kongo to the floor. The two fought on the floor and the fans loved it. Rowe sent Kongo into the ring post. Rowe then pitched Kongo back into the ring. Kongo with a wild variation of the Samoan Drop, doing it sideways. Rowe threw hard Forearms that rocked the big man. Holy Crap! German Suplex on Kongo!
Knee Strikes and a Big Boot by Rowe. Kongo reversed a Whip and hit a Shotgun Knees Strike on Kongo. 2 count. Rowe with punches and kicks. Pounce by Kongo. Kongo nearly knocked the tattoos off Rowe, and there are a lot of them. Rikishi Run by Kongo. The winner of this tournament will eventually face the TV Champ. Kongo missed the Swagger Bomb. Roe with a Full Nelson Uranage into a Knee Strike to the back of the head.
Your Winner: Raymond Rowe
Honor Roll Rating: 3.0 out of a possible 5
“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin walked from the back. Kongo was still in the ring. Elgin didn’t look too happy. Kongo got up in Elgin’s face and felt the Spinning Backfist and then the Elgin Bomb! Time for a break.
Elgin told the crowd that his display was just a beginning. Elgin said the ring was now his ring. Elgin felt he should have become World Champion on December 14th. Elgin said the war with Adam Cole was not over. Elgin reminded everyone that he had the best win/loss record in 2013. Elgin said he was coming for the title. He wasn’t worried about Jay Briscoe, Chris Hero or A.J. Styles. Elgin said those three were just standing in his way…
Speaking of Chris Hero, the resident superhero strolled from the back. Hero admitted he was happy to see the ROH fans. Hero acknowledge that Elgin has become the “man” in recent months. He reminded Elgin that they would be tagging up against Matt Hardy and Adam Cole and The Briscoes.
“Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen decided to join the conversation. Steen said he had to come out and remind everyone that he still had a rematch coming for the World Title. Steen showed respect to Elgin for how well he has done in the past year. Steen also showed respect to Hero but explained that Chris has been gone for two years. Steen said he planned to kick Hero’s *ss in tonight’s main event.
Highlights from Final Battle aired. The full show is available at ROHWrestling.com.
A promo for the return of A.J. Styles aired. He’s coming home, in 3 weeks.
“Benchmark” Bill Daly vs Corey Hollis
Daly was introduced. Daly, dressed in a suit, refused to compete, due to a “high ankle sprain”. He didn’t want to risk his “sponsorships”, so he resigned. He felt he was already the Top Prospect and didn’t need a tourney to prove it. “Believe the Hype” is his catchphrase.
Corey’s tag team partner, Mike Posey, suggested that Corey should face him and earn his way to the next round, if he could survive facing him. Steve Corino screamed that Corey was making a huge mistake.
Corey Hollis vs Mike Posey
Substitute Top Prospect 2014 Tournament Match
Posey with a Drop Toe Hold and Ride. Go Behind by Corey into his own Ride and Paintbrushing. A Dropkick sent Posey to the floor. Crossbody over the top rope to drop his tag team partner. Posey ran Corey into the barrier and ring post. These two work together as “Alabama Attitude” (Love the name). Posey, in fact, has a Double A stitched onto his tights. Springboard Legdrop by Posey. 2 count.
Posey ran Corey’s shoulder into two corners and hit a Flying Armbreaker. Another 2 count. Scoop Slam by Posey into Muta Slider Legdrops. He did it 5 times, yelling each letter of his name as he dropped. Shinu Numaki by Posey but Corey rolled through to send Posey flying. Posey missed a Corner attack. Inverted Atomic Drop and a Leg Lariat by Corey. Corey with a Low Thrust Kick and Powerspin Neckbreaker to get a two. Corey with an Airplane Spin but Posey came back to do a CrossRhodes-like maneuver off the ropes. Posey Paintbrushed Corey. Corey started to “Hulk Up”. Corey took an Enziguri but returned with a Discus Clothesline to the back of Posey’s head. Falling Neckbreaker by Posey. Guillotine Leg Drop, by Posey. 2 count, again. Posey screamed at Hollis. Roaring Back Elbow by Corey Hollis.
Your Winner: Corey Hollis
Honor Roll Ranking: 3.5
A video aired about the dissolution of the team of C & C Wrestle Factory. This happened at Pursuit Night 2. Caprice Coleman showed massive respect to his partner, Cedric Alexander. That was an incredible show of respect.
Caprice Coleman vs Jay Lethal
The fans showed their love to both competitors. The streamers flew into the ring. That is a staple in Ring of Honor that pays respect to the great men and women who compete in Japan. I was watching my 2 DVD set of All Japan Women’s Wrestling and those streamers flew like mad. (Thanks again, Lee).
Collar and Elbow to the corner. They didn’t want to break. Shoving match led to Caprice and Jay working each other’s arms. Sanding Switches like crazy into a Lethal Back Elbow. Lethal sent Caprice to the floor and hit the Suicide Dive to drop Caprice. Wow. Lethal came and got Caprice. 2 count. Caprice began to fight back. Hip Toss/Dropkick Combo by Lethal. 2 count. Lethal with stomps to the back. Knife Edge Chops by Lethal. Whip but Caprice with a boot and Low Bridge. Lethal tripped Caprice and pulled him to the floor. Caprice swung around the post and blocked a Superkick. He sent Lethal’s leg into the ring post. Spinning Springboard Crossbody, to the floor, by Caprice. Dang. Caprice sent Lethal back in and got a two count.
Lethal blocked a Whip but Caprice would not be denied. Float Over into a Hurancanrana. Lethal ran into a Big Knee by Coleman. Guillotine Leg Drop by Coleman. 1—2—no. Scoop Slam by Caprice. Senton into a Moonsault. The second part failed when Lethal got his knees up. The two men traded fists and kicks. Backspring Elbow blocked into a series of Rolling Northern Lights Suplexes, known as The Trinity. Caprice missed a Corner Dropkick. Lethal Combination. Lethal pointed to the heavens and went up top. Hurancanrana into the West-T-O. 2 count. Cravat by Coleman but Lethal fought free. Coleman boxed but got Superkicked into the Lethal Injection (Backspring into a Diamond Cutter).
Your Winner: Jay Lethal
Honor Roll Ranking: 4.25
Lethal apologized for underestimating Caprice Coleman. Lethal felt that Caprice has a bright future ahead of him. Lethal then said he wanted to accept the challenge of the new TV Champion, Tommaso Ciampa. Lethal said he would be at ringside, next week, to watch the TV champ compete.
Jay Briscoe cut a scathing promo on Adam Cole. Briscoe wanted to make Cole an offer of a lifetime, next week. Jay asked Adam to leave the World title belt at home. Briscoe showed off his “Real” World Title belt. He reminded Cole that Adam had never beaten Jay Briscoe.
“Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen vs Chris Hero
I was at my local casino, the other night, and they had Ring of Honor playing on the bar televisions. A couple of my buddies called over to me and said “Hey, Jay, who the Hell are these guys?” I smiled and told Mike and Andy “The Best…just keep watching”. Saw them at the store on Sunday and they said “Dude, you were so right about those Ring of Honor guys”. This match was just another example of why RoH is so darn good.
Again, the streamers flew all around. The ring crew and refs did their best to clear the paper out of the ring. More flew when Steen made his entrance. I love it. I had to explain the streamers to my wife and she thought it was so cool. The tale of the tape showed.
The two men did the Code of Honor Handshake. “This is Awesome” Rang out before the first hold was made. Collar and Elbow into a Steen Go Behind Standing Switch into a Cravat by Hero. Clean break as Steen rubbed his neck. Knuckle Lock and hero got the advantage. Rope break. Steve Corino complained about Chris Hero’s Golden Elbow Pad. The two men went to the canvas and tried for Headlocks. Neither could cinch the move in. Collar and Elbow into a hero Side Headlock. Steen blocked the Side Headlock Takeover, twice. Steen sent Hero to the ropes nad Stone Walled him, a couple times. Steen with a Standing Dropkick. Awesome for such a big guy. Universal into a Hero Dropkick and Backsplash Senton. 2 count as RoH went to break.
Steen Clotheslined Hero, on the apron. Steen then sent Hero flying off the apron, into the ring barricade. The fans slapped the barricades to show their approval. Steen went out to get Hero. Elbow Smash form the master of the Package Piledriver. The announcers talked about how Steen destroyed Michael Bennett and Maria Kanellis at Final Battle.
Slingshot Senton by Steen. 2 count. The fans were seriously split in their loyalties. Knee Strike by Hero. The two went back and forth with shots. Hero exploded with Knife Edge Cops. Steen with an Elbow Strike. Steen flipped Hero over the ropes but he landed on the apron. Running Dropkick by Hero. Flying Corner Forearm by Hero, followed by a Huge Boot. 2 count, again. Funk Neckbreaker blocked by Steen. Hero blocked the Package Piledriver but fell to the F-Cinq (F5). When he didn’t get the pin, Steen went to the top and hit a Swanton. 2 count. Wow! Hero psyched himself up and screamed at Steen. Hero with a shot to the face of Steen. He almost got the 3. “This is Awesome!” exploded from the crowd. Corino talked about the USWA. Pop-Up Powerbomb by Steen. Roaring Elbow by Hero. Discus Bicycle Kick by Hero. Could be…Might be…NO! The Decade (B.J. Whitmer, Jimmy Jacobs and Roderick Strong) came out to distract Hero. Whitmer could taken out. Sleeper Suplex by Steen to get the 3 count.
Your Winner: Kevin Steen
Honor Roll Ranking: 4.5
Steve Corino went off on The Decade for getting involved. Out in the crowd, Steen was attacked by Cliff Compton (the former Domino of the WWE).