Posted January 12th, 2015 by jshannon

Ring of Honor rang in the New Year with some awesome action. The Top Prospect Tournament kicked off and the Number One Contender to the World Title was set to be determined.

Roll the opening montage.

Welcome to Nashville, TN. Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly were our announcers.

Mark Briscoe vs Roderick Strong

The Streamers flew in a rain of rainbow colors. Code of Honor Handshake. Mark rolled around and the two went into the Collar and Elbow. Strong took over on the arm but Mark with a Back Body Drop. The announcers mentioned Alberto El Patron (fka Alberto Del Rio) will debut, next week. Roddy and Mark countered and re-countered each other. Strong with a Whip but Mark Floated Over. Dragon Screw Leg Whip by Mark but Roddy turned it back with a Crucifix Backslide. Mark with a Standard Backslide. Roddy missed the Jumping Knee Strike. The fans were so appreciating this one. Side Headlock Takeover by Mark. Head Scissors by Mark but Strong got free. Universal into a Back Body Drop by Roddy. Mark landed on his feet and went for a little Redneck Kung Fu. He ended up hitting a Belly to Belly Suplex and Basement Dropkick, through the ropes. RoH took a quick break.

Both men were down as the show returned. Mark with repeated Palm Strikes. Whip by Roddy but Mark with a Top Rope Chop and Corner Splash. Mark followed up with a Running Clothesline for a two. Mark stomped Strong and headed up top. Roddy nailed the Jumping Enziguri. Superplex! Mark escaped a Fireman’s Carry. Roddy blocked the Uranage. Exploder Suplex by Mark. Mark flew off the apron with a modified Buffbuster. Mark brought Roddy back in the ring and almost pinned him. Jumping Enziguri by Strong. Strong flipped Mark into the ring and caught Mark on the Basement Dropkick and flipped up Mark, who landed on his back, hard. That ring apron is rock hard. The two threw punches back and forth. Mark brought out the Redneck Kung Fu but Roddy hit another Jumping Enziguri and the Flying Lung Blower. The two still shook hands and hugged.

Your Winner: Roderick Strong
Honor Roll Ranking: 3.5 out of a possible 5

Strong asked Briscoe to stand by and listen as he mentioned that 2015 would be his year and he was ready to climb to the top of the mountain.

World Champ, Jay Briscoe, talked about having to face a mysterious member of The Kingdom. Jay didn’t know if it would be Michael Bennett or Matt Taven. Jay wanted it to be a unification title match.

Nigel McGuinness said the winner between Michael Elgin and “Warbeard” Hanson would determine the number one contender. Nigel ordered Tommaso Ciampa to come to the ring. Ciampa recently struck, by accident, an official. He was warned that any infraction of the No Contact order would result in banishment. Nigel said it would be unfair to dismiss him for an accidental strike. Nigel reminded Ciampa that he Zero Tolerance is still in effect and Nigel now feels that Ciampa “Owes him one”. Ciampa was willing to accept that. Ciampa let Nigel know that Ciampa has pinned Jay Briscoe but it was totally ignored by RoH. Ciampa wasn’t impressed with either Hanson or Elgin. Ciampa said Elgin didn’t beat him, he beat himself.

Ciampa was cut off by the arrival of Elgin. He made it clear that he defeated Ciampa. Ciampa taunted Elgin for losing the World Title in less than 7 months. Ciampa said “no one” wanted him there. Elgin reminded Ciampa that Ciampa has never held the top strap. Elgin was cool with the idea of putting Ciampa in the number one contender match so he could shut Ciampa up. Nigel okayed it.

Maria cut a promo, clutching the Title of Love. She would not allow Jay to get possession of her pink fuzzy belt.

Kevin and Steve showed where Tommaso Ciampa pinned Jay Briscoe. The ref was knocked out and didn’t make the pin.

Caprice Coleman joined the announce team for the Top Prospect Tournament Match.

J. Diesel (w/Truth Martini) vs Will Ferrara
Top Prospect Tournament, Round One Match

Will was partially trained by the legendary, Taz. Diesel would not accept the C ode of Honor Handshake. Diesel took Will to the corner and punched away. Will spun out of the corner and rocked Diesel with a European Uppercut. Low Bridge sent Diesel to the outside. Suicide Dive by Will. The eventual winner of this tourney will get a TV Title Shot in March. Diesel with a Fallaway Slam to send Will into the barricade. Diesel planted Will with a Backbreaker on the apron.

Diesel tossed Will into the corner and Boxed the ribs. Whip to the corner, followed by a Side Backbreaker. Diesel stomped away and then put Will into an unusual submission leglock. Will kicked free and punched away. Will lifted Diesel but couldn’t hit Wasteland. He came back and hit that move, as well as a variation of the Code Breaker. Diesel with a Running Kick and Warrior’s Way to drive Will into the canvas. Diesel planted Will but couldn’t hold him down. Scopp into a World’s Strongest Slam. That seemed to fire up Will. Will slapped the absolute taste out of his mouth. Will with his Sonic Boom (Canadian Destroyer). 2 count Will climbed the ropes but got caught. European Uppercut by Diesel. Victory Roll by Will Ferrara!

Your Winner: Will Ferrara
Honor Roll Ranking: 3.0

After the match, Diesel connected with a wicked Clothesline.

Michael Elgin vs Tommaso Ciampa vs “War Beard” Hanson
Triple Threat Match to determine the Number One Contender to the RoH World Title

Rodd Sinclair was the ref for this one. Code of Honor between Hanson and Ciampa. Both men jumped Elgin and beat him out of the ring. Collar and Elbow and Ciampa avoided eh Spin Kick of Doom. Back Drop Suplex by Ciampa but Tommaso didn’t let go. Elgin pulled Ciampa out and punched away. Double Team on Elgin. Elgin spat on Hanson and got thrown out of the ring. Ciampa with a La Bandera to Hanson, who landed on his feet. Ciampa Hip Tossed Hanson into the barricade. Ciampa got caught by Elgin. Elgin threw Ciampa into a charging Hanson. Elgin tried to pin the stunned Hanson but failed. Elgin missed a Running Boot. Elgin ran Hanson into the corner and hit a Code Breaker off the ropes. Double Trip by Hanson into a Back Body Drop and Spinning Side Slam.

Hanson worked over Elgin’s ribs and then put Michael on the top rope. Hanson clubbed the ribs. Ciampa went for a School Boy but Hanson put Ciampa on top of Elgin and kept clubbing away. Back Elbow by Ciampa. Elgin hit a Death Valley Driver to send Ciampa into Hanson. Wow!. Huge Splash by Elgin but Hanson broke up the pin. Time for another set of commercials.

Hanson Cartwheeled past Elgin and blocked a Ciampa Code Breaker. Spin Slam by Hanson to Ciampa. Elgin and Hanson punched away. Elgin cracked Hanson in the neck. Elgin picked up CIampa and Hanson Back Suplexed them both! Butterfly Bomb by Hanson to Elgin. 1-2-not yet. Big Boot by Ciampa. White Noise by the Sicilian Psychopath but it only brought him a two. Ciampa dropped the kneepad and went for the Running Knee Strike. Elgin intercepted him and sent Ciampa to the apron. Flipping Leg Drop by Elgin to Ciampa. Incredible. Elgin charged both Ciampa nad Hanson. He kept going back and forth hitting Corner Clotheslines. Uranage by Elgin to Ciampa. Elgin the put Hanson up top and hit a Hurancanrana that saw Elgin landing on Ciampa. Dang! Elgin couldn’t get 3 even though he tried to pin both men. Elgin with one ofhte most impressive Powerbombs to Hanson and then a Buckle Bomb to Ciampa. Ciampa came right out of the corner with a Discus Clothesline. 2 count. I agree with the crowd’s chant of “This is Awesome!”.

Ciampa took the fight to Hanson. Cartwheel Clothesline by Hanson. 1-2-no. Hanson started up the ropes but Elgin caught him. Hanson punched away and Ciiampa nailed Project Ciampa. Elgin pulled the ref out of the ring before the 3 count. Ciampa came out to try and figure out what was going on. Hanson flew out of the ring and everyone was laid out, including Todd Sinclair (the ref).

Hanson and Elgin fought on the floor. Ciampa got in the middle of things. Paul Turner came out and threw out the match.

Your Winner: Match Thrown Out
Honor Roll Ranking: 3.5

No one knew who was he number one contender would be for Las Vegas. I say, to heck with it, throw all 4 men in the ring and let them go.


–Jay Shannon

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