Friday, March 29, 2013

ROH Liv3 Strong Review

Roderick Strong does battle with Kevin Steen in ROH's return to the Pittsburgh Area!!

ROH Liv3 Strong
Belle Vernon, PA 6/30/12


1.) Winner Gets a World Title Shot – Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal vs Adam Cole vs. Mike Bennett (Taped in Baltimore, MD on 5/18/12): **1/2

This was a bonus match recorded at the May 8th TV Tapings, where the winner got the World Title Shot on this show. I gotta say for a Five Minute Match, this was pretty good...but it was only 5 minutes. Entertaining is a good word to use.

Main Show

1.) Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jay Lethal: ***

This was a pretty good match. Both guys wrestled smartly. Definitely a step up from their match a few months earlier in Florida.

Ring of Honor CEO Joe Koff comes out with the rest of the ROH Roster (save S.C.U.M.) to present a lifetime achievement award to Bruno Sammartino. He talks for a bit and thanks the ROH fans.

2.) Adam Cole vs. Pepper Parks: **3/4

Pepper Parks is a local talent. Sucks this wasn't made a Proving Ground Match now that Adam Cole was the new ROH World TV Champion. I think it could have added something. Regardless, the match itself was fine.

3.) Four Corner Survival – “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett vs. Mike Mondo vs. Kenny King vs. Mike Sydal: ***1/4

We have an interesting array of opponents here. A solid Four-Corner Survival Match, though the finish came out of nowhere.

4.) First Time in ROH – Eddie Edwards vs. Tommaso Ciampa: ***1/2

The Embassy comes out with Ciampa, but Ciampa attacks Prince Nana, and has to be taken to the back. I don't think people were expecting much from this, but it turned out to be great. Ciampa especially looked very good. He's definitely moving up in the world.

5.) The War Continues – BJ Whitmer vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***1/4

After many years, this famous ROH rivalry has been rekindled. Even though Kevin Steen caused BJ to be counted out, it didn't really hurt the match much as Whitmer & Jacobs have great chemistry in the ring.

6.) Grudge Match – Rhett Titus vs. Charlie Haas: **1/4

This is an extension of the WGTT/ANX rivalry. Haas nearly causes a riot amongst the fans. A relatively boring match, to be honest. Moving on...

7.) Tag Team Grudge Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Michael Elgin & Rhino: ***1/2

This is the first time Rhino & Elgin have teamed up. A very solid tag team match. Nice power spots with Elgin & Rhino and The Briscoes are as good as always.

8.) ROH World Title – Kevin Steen vs. Roderick Strong: ***3/4

As mentioned above, Strong won this shot at the May 8th TV Tapings in a Bonus Four-Way. This was actually a pretty good match. They told a pretty good story, and I think this was the best match these two have had in Ring of Honor.

Overall: 7.5/10

This was a pretty solid house show. When you return to an area after a number of years, you don't have to necessarily have a blow away show, but one that's pretty solid. The Haas/Titus Match is skippable, but everything else is relatively solid.

ROH Best in the World: Hostage Crisis Review

Kevin Steen & Davey Richards do battle once again...but this time....Anything Goes!

ROH Best in the World: Hostage Crisis
New York, NY 6/24/12

1.) The Briscoes vs. The Guardians of Truth: *1/2

Truth Martini introduces his "guardians" before the match. Essentially it's The Headbangers in matching hoods & attire. They have the same loose ropes problem they have in the opening match at the previous NYC show. It was really noticeable. The match itself sucked. Whose idea was it to bring in The Headbangers?? Briscoes win with a roll-up. On the bright side, the Briscoes are over as hell!

2.) Eddie Edwards vs. Homicide: ***1/4

I have to give Homicide a lot of credit here. People have been giving him slack since his ROH return in late 2010 for seemingly not trying hard enough. He was definitely motivated in this one. Solid contest. Homicide gets a (somewhat) surprising win & essentially earns himself a future World Title Shot.

3.) Hybrid Fighting Rules – Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole: ****

A lot of people had mixed feelings about this going in because of the strange rules. It was going fine. Then they simultaneously kicked each other. Adam Cole starts bleeding heavily from the mouth and the place goes nuts!! They said he got teeth knocked out but I'm not sure if that was just gum or not (his teeth actually were NOT knocked out, but he received a huge facial gash in the mouth/lip area). Once Cole got busted open this match REALLY picked up into overdrive. Needs to be seen. Huge props to both guys.

Afterwords, Cole wants to shake O'Reilly's hand, but Kyle slaps him instead.

4.) Fit Finlay vs. Michael Elgin: ***1/4

This was much like the match Finlay had with Roderick Strong at Border Wars in that I think it fell below expectations. Again, it's weird, because Finlay had a great match with another big man, Jon Davis, at Evolve 12 a month or so earlier, and Elgin is a much better wrestler than Jon Davis (not taking anything away from him, obviously). It was good, but nothing great.

Mike Bennett and Maria come out to for a live Prodigy Service Announcement. They run down NYC until Mike Mondo of all people comes out. He then cuts that famous "After I fight you, I'm gonna F**K YOU!!" promo and we have a match....I guess.

5.) Mike Bennett vs. Mike Mondo: DUD

Not really gonna rate this since they wrestled for 3 minutes in Street Clothes. Even months after this, I still think Mondo's a better heel than face.

6.) ROH World TV Title – 3 Way Elimination Match – Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa: ***1/2

This was actually a pretty good match, but the HOT/Embassy "collusion" at the ends up giving us a screwing finish. Other than that, I enjoyed this one.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The All Night Express: **3/4

I actually think their opening match from the 10th Anniversary Show was much better than this one. It went way too long and tended to drag. What's with Jim Cornette's obsession with roll-ups that end matches like this out of nowhere? ANX the belts, but get (half-ass) attacked during their celebration by WGTT. What was the point of that?

8.) ROH World Title – Anything Goes – Kevin Steen vs. Davey Richards: ****1/2

Kyle O'Reilly comes out before the match, saying he's nobody's lackey, and essentially says he & Davey are done and that he's on his own in this one.

For those of you who are new to ROH, these two had a kick-ass Anything Goes Match at Never Say Die in 2009 as apart of the American Wolves/Steenerico rivalry. I'd say this one tops it. They managed to top their Border Wars match as well. Even though there was a lot of interference by Corino & Jacobs, it didn't hurt the match. Jim Cornette even got involved but gets taken out by Corino. Awesome match. The crowd liked it too.

Steen cuts a promo afterwords, putting over Davey Richards, and then going after the fans in a sad attempt to turn heel, but they just cheer him even louder. I hate when they try to force things on us like this. Didn't work here.

Overall: 7.5/10

This was a solid show, but not a spectacular one. Cole/O'Reilly stole the show, and Richards/Steen had the match of the night, and I think their best singles match to date. Other than that, the rest of the card was average to decently good. The World Tag Team Title Match could have been better, and the weird finishes & booking were really evident.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

ROH The Nightmare Begins Review

Charlie Haas & Jay Briscoe go to war in a Texas Death Match!!

ROH The Nightmare Begins
Charleston, West Virginia 6/15/12

1.) Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. The All Night Express: ***

A fun opening match. Pretty much what you would expect from these two teams.

2.) Davey Richards vs. Mike Mondo: ***1/4

This was surprisingly good. I think this was the point where people started to realize Mondo isn't that bad of a wrestler. When he's in there with the right people, he can have good matches. Though at the time, I think people were surprised that he went to a time-limit draw. Richards wants five more minutes, but Mondo refuses.

3.) Four Corner Survival World TV Title Proving Ground Match – Roderick Strong vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole: ***1/4

A pretty energetic Four-Way, for the time it was given. All four guys looked pretty solid, and the Cole/O'Reilly feud was able to continue in this one. Cole pins Strong to earn a future World TV Title Shot.

4.) “Radio Wars” – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Totally Awesome: *3/4

So....essentially these two local Radio DJ's are paired off against each other, with one of them in The Briscoe's corner and the other guy in the corner of Chris Silvio & Paredyse. Weird stuff. Once again, this reeks of Jim Cornette's questionable booking during this time. The match wasn't that good of a match...

5.) Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin: ***

These two had a pretty decent match, until Roderick Strong came out, and a weird finish ensues that I guess was supposed to build up the Elgin/Strong tension, but it honestly didn't come off that well. Another example of Jim Cornette's strange booking. But still, the match was as I said...decent.

Truth Martini tries to patch things up after the match. Elgin looks like he's going to walk out on them, but comes back and tells Strong that what happened tonight would be the last mistake he would make. 

Before the World Title Match, Kevin Steen has some words with Jim Cornette in the ring. Cornette essentially says Steen is bad for the company. He says if Edwards or Richards don't defeat Steen, then every singles match Steen has afterwords will be for the World Title.

6.) ROH World Title – Kevin Steen vs. Eddie Edwards: ***3/4

Jimmy Jacobs is in Steen's corner and Steve Corino is on commentary. I actually thought this was a better match than the one they had in Florida. For the time it was given, I found it to be pretty entertaining. 

7.) Texas Death Match – The Final Encounter – Charlie Haas vs. Jay Briscoe: ***1/2

Anything goes. You win once you pin your opponent and they subsequently stay down for a 10-Count. Since the amount of pin-falls didn't matter, we saw a lot of falls early, which I found to be pretty annoying. Other than that, I thought it was a fun brawl and an enjoyable hardcore match. I think I enjoyed this more that others, but maybe thats just me. Jay finally gets revenge on Charlie Haas. 

Overall: 7.25/10

This is a show that you're either going to like or not like. They showed a number of these matches on TV, but for me, I still found it mildly enjoyable. Other than the stupid Radio Wars Match, their's nothing really bad on here. But at the same time, there's nothing that you have to go out of your way to see.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

ROH The Battle of Richmond Review

Haasamania is Runnin' Wild!!!

*This show is available On-Demand for Ringside Members at*

ROH The Battle of Richmond
Richmond, Virginia 5/19/12

The shows kicks off with ROH World Champion Kevin Steen and Jimmy Jacobs. Steen explains that he got a concussion during a match he & Jacobs had against Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly at the previous night's TV Tapings in Baltimore, and is not cleared to compete. The brings out Team Ambition, and Davey challenges Jimmy Jacobs to a match instead, which he agrees.

1.) Jay Lethal vs. Mike Mondo: ***

This wasn't anything overly good, but for what it was, it proved to be a fine opener.

The Bravados are out next. They talk about their time spent in Pro Wrestling NOAH and how they want to become the World Tag Team Champions. This brings out Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team, who offer The Bravados a title match right now!

2.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The Bravados: **1/4

This was.....just ok. Haas & Benjamin dominated most of it but The Bravados got some offense which made the match seem not as bad. It was short too. Haas shoves referee Paul Turner, causing a DQ.

Suddenly The All Night Express runs down and we have our second title match in a row!

3.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The All Night Express: **1/2

This match was marginally better than the one before it. An ok affair, but Haas hits Titus with one of the World Tag Team Title belts, causing another DQ Finish.

4.) Tommaso Ciampa vs. Adam Cole: ***1/2

These two had a match at Defy or Deny that surprised a lot of people by how good it was. They seemed to top that performance with this match here. Oddly enough, I think Ciampa & Cole mesh pretty well together. 

Prince Nana tells Ciampa to beat down Cole after the match, but Ciampa refuses & leaves. Nana then shoves poor Ernie Osiris into the line of fire, as he gets taken out by Cole.

5.) The House of Truth vs. The Briscoes: ***

The HOT & The Briscoes have been having a bit of a rivalry going since the new year began. An enjoyable match, but a surprisingly short one. The highlight was Jay pulling down Martini's pants to reveal that he was wearing Roderick Strong's trunks.

6.) Team A-1 vs. Totally Awesome: ***

This was one of the weird elements of this show. Here we had a match with OVW and local guys that should have made for nice filler. Instead, it went about 16 or 17 minutes, the longest match on the card. Didn't need to go that long at all. Why a match with filler guys got the most time I have no idea. To these guys credit. They were pretty over with the crowd and the match itself wasn't that bad.

7.) Mike Bennett vs. Eddie Edwards: ***1/2

Here we have another rivalry that's been simmering on ROH TV. A pretty good match here. Maria gets accidentally taken out by her boyfriend, leading to an Eddie Edwards.

8.) Davey Richards (with Kyle O’Reilly) vs. Jimmy Jacobs (with Kevin Steen): **1/2

You know, given the ability of these two, I was expecting a much better match than we ended up getting. If anything, I would have switched the short amount of time this match got (7 minutes or so) with the tag match from earlier. Would have made much more sense. The match itself was just ok.

9.) Lights Out Match – Jay Briscoe vs. Charlie Haas: ***1/4

This came about after the controversial (and stupid) ending to the Fight Without Honor at Border Wars.  I'm a sucker for Hardcore Brawls and I actually enjoyed this (maybe a little more than others might have). They actually took down the top rope, as clearly shown by the cover. Both Mark Briscoe & Shelton Benjamin interfere, and Haas eventually gets the win.

Jay Briscoe gets on the mic and challenges Charlie Haas to a Texas Death Match on the next show in West Virginia!

Overall: 6.0/10

This is a card that will live forever in ROH lore, but unfortunately for the wrong reasons. Three Charlie Haas matches are more than enough for me. The DQ endings to both of the WGTT matches were just dumb, and the other tag match had no reason to go as long as it did. Richards/Jacobs under-delivered, and while the rest of the card featured matches in the *** to ***1/2 star range, those aren't matches you need to go out of your way to see. I feel like this show and Death Before Dishonor X were the epitome of all the issues with Jim Cornette's booking of ROH in 2012.

Friday, March 22, 2013

ROH Border Wars Review

Davey Richards & Kevin Steen finally clash for the ROH World Title!

*Like the Showdown in the Sun Events, I will be reviewing the DVD version, so sans the technical glitches during iPPV*

ROH Border Wars
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 5/12/12

1.) Eddie Edwards vs. Rhino: ***1/4

Rhino's services were recently sold by Prince Nana & The Embassy to Truth Martini & The House of Truth. This was a solid opener. Good for the time it was given. Edwards wins via roll up.

After the match, Rhino looks to possibly go after Martini due to the loss, but Truth gives him cash to settle his temper.

2.) The Young Bucks & Mike Mondo vs. The All Night Express & TJ Perkins: ***1/2

This was a very fin six-man tag. The usual multi-man tag team spot-fest that one sees from ROH. Very solid action.

3.) Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal: ***1/2

Because he didn't win the World TV Title from Lethal back at the 10th Anniversary Show (the match ended in a draw), Ciampa has gone a little crazy, growing a white beard in the process. This was a very good match. Definitely a step up from their previous match. I like how Lethal had to do a ton of stuff to finally put Ciampa away and end his streak. The last 3 minutes or so are very good.

Afterwords, Ciampa goes crazy and beats up Lethal for a bit before leaving.

4.) Lance Strom vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett: ***1/2

This is a rematch from Day 1 of Showdown in the Sun. This time it's only Brutal Bob at Bennett's side. This was another pretty good match. I'd still say that their first match was better, but this one's pretty close. An attempted use of a chair backfires on Bennett and Storm picks up the win in his home country!

Storm cuts a promo afterwords, putting over ROH and the fans, thanking them.

5.) Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin: ***1/2

Here we have a rematch from Rise & Prove. Another very solid match. Cole & Elgin show why they are the rising stars of the company in 2012.

Truth Martini goes to cut a promo but Cole superkicks him. Elgin carries an unconscious Martini to the back.

6.) ROH World TV Title – Roderick Strong vs. Fit Finlay: ***

This is the Belfast Bruiser's ROH debut. It was a decently good outing, but I expected a little more from this. With the great encounters Finlay had with Sami Callihan, you'd think he have an equally good match with Roderick Strong. It was good, but not as good as you would think.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Fight Without Honor – The Briscoes vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team: **3/4

So they essentially did the same thing they did two years ago at Death Before Dishonor VIII except it's just Mark Briscoe who couldn't cross the border. Of course, Mark comes through the crowd in hockey gear and attacks WGTT from behind. This match would have been a fine Fight Without Honor, not a great one, but decent enough.....had it not been for that ether rag ending. Stupid. That's all I gotta say. I blame Jim Cornette.

8.) ROH World Title – Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen: ****1/4

This is Steen's one and only shot at the title. The Package Piledriver is also legal for this match. Kyle O'Reilly was going to be in Davey's corner, but had a family emergency & couldn't make it. This was a fantastic match. A lot of exciting moments. The Canadian Crowd was hot for this one, as they cheered Steen and at times heavily booed Richards. Richards would let the crowd get to him, and it would lead to him losing the match and the title.

Cary Silkin refuses to present Steen with the title like he usually does with World Title changes. Steve Corino was out on commentary and it looks like he's going to fight Steen & Jimmy Jacobs (who was also at ringside) but embraces them, and S.C.U.M. is born! Steen declares that he doesn't need to give a speech....because he's Kevin Steen.

Overall: 8.75/10

Aside from the technical issues the iPPV suffered, when you look back at it, this was the second best show of 2012. A lot of it had to do with the consistency, as not a single match (save for the Briscoes/WGTT debacle) goes under ***1/4. Save for that one match, I can say with confidence that while there is no blow away matches on here, their is something for everyone.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

ROH Rising Above 2012 Review

Adam Cole gets a huge World Title opportunity!!

ROH Rising Above 2012

Dayton, Ohio 4/29/12

1.) The All Night Express vs. Chris Silvio & Mohammad Ali Vaez: **1/4

Silvio & Ali Vaez are OVW guys. I wouldn't be against seeing Silvio on a semi-regular basis. A decent opener, but essentially a squash for ANX.

After the match, they cut a promo on Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team and The Briscoes, and say they want their World Tag Team Title Shot.

2.) Michael Elgin vs. Samson Walker: **3/4

Samson Walker has made a few ROH appearances. This was a good idea in theory, Elgin beating a bigger guy to make him look good. The problem was Walker got WAY too much offense in on Elgin. I thought, regardless, that it was still a decent match.

3.) Kevin Steen vs. BJ Whitmer: ***

This match is a follow-up from the No DQ Match the night before. A solid contest. Not overly good, but nonetheless decent.

4.) El Generico vs. Kyle O’Reilly: ***1/2

Interesting that this match hasn't happened before in ROH. Despite the fact that the match ended in a No Contest after Kevin Steen and Jimmy Jacobs interfered, it was still fairly good, though the finish did hurt it.

Steen & Jacobs go after O'Reilly as well, encouraging Davey Richards to come out, but he gets laid out by Steen & Jacobs. Eventually BJ Whitmer & ANX come out to chase them off.

5.) Mike Mondo vs. TJ Perkins: **3/4

This would be the beginning of Mike Mondo's stint as a regular in ROH. This was a solid contest. I'd say on par with their match on TV from a few months prior. Nothing overly good, but decent.

6.) Two Out of Three Falls – Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal: ***1/2

Before the match starts, Strong mentions that it's Lethal's birthday. He mockingly sings Happy Birthday to him before Lethal had heard enough. The match was pretty good, though I'm sure why this wasn't Jay Lethal's singles rematch for the TV Title. They did a good job making the time fly by though. The match didn't seem as long as it was.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team: **1/2

Essentially a step down from their match in Florida, which saw ANX costing WGTT the match. I think I mentioned this in a previous review, but why did these two have a regular tag match, for the titles, when they had a Fight Without Honor in two weeks? Doesn't make sense.

8.) ROH World Title – Davey Richards vs. Adam Cole: ***3/4

Cole pinned Richards in the Tag Team Main Event of the 10th Anniversary Show in New York City, essentially earning himself a title shot. This was a very good match, though I'm disappointed that they essentially treated this as an afterthought with the Richards vs. Steen match already set for Toronto in two weeks (and heavily promoted by the way). Still, a fine defense from Richards and a good showing from Cole. The infamous Davey Richards no selling was a detriment, as he only sold the injury from the earlier attack from Kevin Steen for about a minute before doing his usual shtik.

Overall: 7.25/10

The World Title Match was the only thing that really stood out on this show. Although there was some good stuff on here, there was an equal amount of stuff that was hindered by the booking. Also, the decision to move the Hara Arena was a BAD MOVE!!! ROH looked sooooo small in this venue (which has hosted WCW, ECW, I believe TNA and maybe WWE) and just came off as a real minor league event. The Montgomery County Fairgrounds are much better suited for ROH. Overall, the show was good, not great.

ROH Unity Review

It's Ring of Honor vs. CHIKARA in Chicago!!

ROH Unity
Chicago Ridge, Illinois 4/28/12

1.) The All Night Express vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin: ***1/4

The show starts off with a first time ever match-up. It was a pretty solid opener. Nice tag team match.

Afterwords, Strong & Elgin had some words, but Truth Martini calmed things down.

2.) Mike Bennett vs. Mike Sydal: *3/4

This is the only non-tag team match on the card....and it's essentially a squash match. He has a make out session with Maria before Mike Sydal comes out with a referee and cuts a promo, leading to a match. It was just kind of there, and was really a waste of time. Maria cuts a little promo afterwords.

3.) The Young Bucks vs. The Bravado Brothers: ***3/4

The Bravados spend the first part of 2012 in Pro-Wrestling NOAH honing their skills in the ring and in their dojo. I gotta say, The Bravados definitely showed off their skills here. They had a great showing here against The Young Bucks. The crowd was really behind them.

Veda Scott was in the ring for an interview with Ring of Honor CEO Joe Koff. He announces that Chicago would host Death Before Dishonor X on iPPV on September 15th, and that all championships would be on the line no matter who held the titles. This brought out Kevin Steen & Jimmy Jacobs. Steen says he will be ROH World Champion and calls out El Generico & BJ Whitmer for their match. They come out and a big brawl ensues. Todd Sinclair tells them to knock it off since it wasn't a No DQ Match. Steen calls for it but Sinclair can't do it unless told to from management. Paul Turner hands Sinclair a cell phone, with Jim Cornette on the line, and apparently he made it a No DQ match.

4.) No DQ Match – Kevin Steen & Jimmy Jacobs vs. El Generico & BJ Whitmer: ****

This was a very fun No DQ Match. Essentially what you would expect from a group of men that hated each other. Although the whole shtik at the beginning was completely unnecessary. It should have been a No DQ Match from the beginning.

5.) ROH vs. Chikara – Jay Lethal, Adam Cole, & TJ Perkins vs. The Colony (Green Ant, Soldier Ant, & Fire Ant): ***1/2

This match is held under Lucha Rules, meaning that tags are not necessary. There is a coin toss to determine which company's referee would do the job for this match, which CHIKARA won. This was a pretty solid tag team match. The Colony looked great and the ROH Team meshed together pretty well.

6.) Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Team Ambition: ***1/4

While this was a relatively solid match, there was nothing really outstanding about it either. While Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team worked better as heels, this match showed off that they were starting to get average and bland. This trend would carry on throughout 2012.

7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Jigsaw & Hallowicked: ***3/4

Jigsaw & Hallowicked won a Proving Ground Match against The Briscoes at Homecoming 2012 in Philadelphia. This was a very good tag team match. While the ending took the wind out of it a little bit (Mark Briscoe's Froggy Bow), the match was still good. CHIKARA and Ring of Honor guys made their way to ringside during the match to cheer on their respective sides. 

After the match, Jay Briscoe cuts a promo, putting over CHIKARA and thanking the fans for coming out.

Overall: 8.25/10

This was a very good show. Aside from the Mike Bennett match, which was the only blemish on this card, not a single match went under ***1/4 which is pretty impressive. While there was a lot of good and very good, nothing on here was truly great. But that shouldn't discourage you from buying this. It's a great show and if you're a fan of tag team wrestling, definitely pick this up.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

ROH Epic Encounter III Review

Davey Richards & Kenny Omega put on a classic in Canada!

*This show is available On-Demand for Ringside Members at*

ROH Epic Encounter III
Mississauga, Ontario 3/20/10

Bobby Cruise announces that Roderick Strong & Mark Briscoe were unable to make it to the venue due to issues crossing the border into Canada.

This brings out ROH World Champion Tyler Black, who says he's relieved that he wouldn't have to team with Strong against Austin Aries & Kenny King, given that Strong was a Top Title Contender. This brings out Austin Aries. He cuts a promo and fakes out a fight with Black, but it's a set-up as Kenny King attacks Black from behind. This brought out Jay Briscoe, Rhett Titus, Tyson Dux & Rasche Brown, and a brawl ensues. Aries & his boys are sent packing and says if they want to fight, he, King & Titus will find a partner for later.

1.) The House of Truth vs. The Flatliners: **1/2

The Flatliners are local talent who have appeared on a few of ROH's previous Canada shows. An average tag team match, nothing special.

2.) Kevin Steen vs. Player Dos (with Player Uno): ***3/4

Steen is wearing a "Cabanaramma" headband. An injured Player Uno is at ringside with his partner. This was surprisingly very awesome. Matches like this make me wonder why ROH didn't pick up The Super Smash Brothers as regulars. It's unfortunate, because they're good. We saw some awesome moves, and it took two Package Piledrivers to put away Dos.

After the match, Kevin Steen came back out and gave Dos a third Package Piledriver.

Eddie Edwards comes out and gets some cheap heat by he's an American Wolf. This brings out Petey Williams and we have an unexpected World TV Title Match!

3.) ROH World TV Title - Eddie Edwards vs. Petey Williams: ***

This ended up being a pretty solid match. They seem to work well together. Petey gets distracted by Shane Hagadorn, and this ends up costing him the match.

4.) Austin Aries, Kenny King, Rhett Titus & Adam Pearce vs. Tyler Black, Jay Briscoe, Tyson Dux & Rasche Brown: ***1/2

Aries introduces (then) NWA World Champion Adam Peace (and then ROH Booker). This turned out to be a pretty good match. It kind of felt like a Multi-Man Tag that one would see in WWE, and that's actually a good thing. It made for a much more interesting contest. Plus ROH doesn't do eight-man tags often.

5.) Steve Corino vs. Colt Cabana: **1/4

Eh...this match was ok, but mostly not very interesting. It only really served as angle advancement, as Kevin Steen interfered for the DQ. El Generico comes out with a chair to chase them off.

6.) Pick 6 Series - El Generico vs. (3) Chris Hero: ***3/4

This was a VERY good match. Hero & Generico put on a great showing that was one of the best ROH matches of 2010. 

After the match, Kevin Steen comes back out, and finally explains why he turned on El Generico. He says that he hated Generico originally, but accepted him as a brother after years of wrestling together. It took several things to change his tone, including losing the World Tag Team Titles in Ladder War II and being on the following ROH show without El Generico (and realized he missed them). But the final straw was at Final Battle 2009, when Generico hugged him before he was about to announce his retirement, leading to what ended up happening. He calls Generico a parasite and tells him to strike him with a chair. Cabana wants him to strike Steen, but Generico struggles with the until Steve Corino comes out to spoil the moment.

7.) Davey Richards vs. Kenny Omega: ****1/2

These two had their first match back at Clash of the Contenders which was won by Omega. This match  was just plain awesome. Richards didn't wait for the bell to start, and the match was balls to the walls pretty much the entire time.

Richards gives Omega credit, and says he's coming for Tyler Black & his ROH World Title.

Overall: 8.5/10

Despite the issues with Roderick Strong & Mark Briscoe not being there, this turned out to be a pretty solid show. Richards/Omega and Hero/Generico were great, the Eight Man Tag was pretty good, and Steen/Dos was surprisingly great as well.

ROH Showdown in the Sun - Day 2 Review

Michael Elgin & Davey Richards put on a World Title Classic for the ages!!

*Like I said in regards to Day 1, I'll be reviewing the DVD version, so sans the stream issues both nights suffered.

ROH Showdown In The Sun – Day 2

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 3/31/12

Jimmy Jacobs comes out to cut a promo about his actions the night before, but El Generico quickly comes out and we have a match!

1.) Jimmy Jacobs vs. El Generico: **3/4

I would actually say that the match these two had at Death Before Dishonor IX. The main reason for that is that this match had the same issue that a few of the undercard matches on Day One...the match ended abruptly when it was starting to get good. Sad that ROH didn't use El Generico in 2012. Interestingly enough, El Generico showed up at Dragon Gate USA's Mercury Rising 2012 iPPV later in the day...

2.) Tommaso Ciampa (with The Embassy Ltd.) vs. Cedric Alexander (with Caprice Coleman): **1/4

So this is the 2nd unscheduled match to take place. While this was essentially a squash, it was still a pretty good match. Cedric got some offense in and did look good in the loss.

3.) ROH vs. CHIKARA – TJ Perkins vs. Fire Ant: ***1/4

This is a preview of the Synergy weekend in April. A fairly solid match. Nothing overly good but entertaining nonetheless.

4.) Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole: **3/4

A quick note about this match. From what I've heard, there was some stalling and part of the match was edited due to the "Brown-Out" suffered by Go Fight Live and their stream (both sides ended up blaming each other I think). It was ok for what it was, given the circumstances. Definitely not their best though.

5.) Dual Duel Match #2 – Street Fight – The All Night Express vs. The Young Bucks: ***1/4

ANX got the win in the Tornado Tag Match on Day 1. This was a fun hardcore brawl, with lots of good spots, but again, this match really didn't get the time it should have, especially for a Street Fight. The Young Bucks take the win.

Mike Bennett comes out with Maria for a live Prodigy Service Announcement. I expected something to happen (like someone coming down) but nothing did, other than the make-out session, which everyone expected. Lame.

6.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team: ***1/2

This one was a pretty good match. While it's not their best match, it was definitely a step-up from their match at Final Battle 2011. The Briscoes are back to being faces, as they should be. I believe WGTT did a post match attack on The Briscoes as well.

7.) Eddie Edwards vs. Kevin Steen: ***1/4

Another solid contest, but once again, and abrupt finish (on a weak roll-up by Steen) takes the wind out of the match. Don't know what the deal was, but they were definitely over doing it.

Before the next match, Tommaso Ciampa comes out with the belt. He says he'll give the belt back to Lethal, and tells Lethal to make his match with Strong for the World TV Title (an opportunity which Strong earned at Glory By Honor X) and if he did, he'd shake Lethal's hand if he won and say he's the better man. Lethal agrees but says if Ciampa doesn't follow through, he'll come after him.

8.) ROH World TV Title – Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong: ***1/2

Thought it was a little odd that Ciampa told Lethal to put the belt on the line and make it a title match because this should have been for the title all along since Strong already earned a World TV Title Shot. Anyway, the match itself was pretty good. They put on an entertaining contest. Ciampa interferes and costs Lethal the match and the World TV Title, as Roderick Strong wins the belt. 

9.) ROH World Title – Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin: *****

In short, this is one of the greatest matches in ROH history. Words don't do this justice. You need to see it to believe it. 5 Stars. Go see it NOW!!

Richards cuts a promo after the match, by the way. He puts over Elgin and says he doesn't need Truth Martini.

Overall: 8.5/10

While I think the first half of the show wasn't that good, the second half was very good. The Main Event essentially makes this a MUST BUY.

ROH Showdown in the Sun - Day 1 Review

A Three-Way World Title Match and a Last Man Standing Match highlight ROH's return to the Sunshine State!

ROH Showdown In The Sun – Day 1

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 3/30/12

*Just a quick note, I'll be reviewing the DVD version, so sans the stream issues both nights suffered.

1.) Proving Ground Match – The Briscoes vs. TMDK: ***

The Mighty Don't Kneel won this opportunity by coming out on top of the tag team tournament at Rise & Prove. This was a pretty solid opener. Got the crowd fired up for the rest of the show. I hope ROH brings in TMDK for shows in the future.

Out next, in a surprise appearance is (then) NWA World Champion Adam Pearce. They talk about Pearce's title defense against Adam Cole on the NWA show the night before, and Adam Cole decides to come out, and we have an impromptu match!

2.) Adam Cole vs. Adam Pearce: **1/2

Pearce is wrestling in his jeans. The NWA World Title is obviously not on the line here. For only being a 5-Minute filler match, this was pretty good. Cole & Pearce put on a fun showing.

3.) Dual Duel Match #1 – Tornado Tag – The Young Bucks vs. The All Night Express: ***1/4

These teams will be facing each other on both nights, with one stipulation picked by ANX and one picked by The Young Bucks. This was fine for what it was, but it ended rather abruptly with a Rhett Titus roll-up. The ending really hurt the match in my view. I believe The Bucks attacked ANX post match, but I can't remember.

The Embassy comes out and after some banter from Prince Nana, RD Evans explains that an injunction has been filed against them after they stole the World TV Title at the 10th Anniversary Show. He says they don't have the belt at the moment but will return in to Lethal.

4.) ROH World TV Title – Jay Lethal vs. Kyle O’Reilly: **3/4

A decent showing, but I think this was a fair deal below what these two are capable of. We saw another rather quick finish which hurt the match a bit.

Another note, Jay Lethal finisher, The Lethal Injection, really annoys me. The whole springboard off the ropes thing is completely unnecessary. Your opponent is just standing there and can easily dodge/get out of the way while Lethal is doing all these theatrics. I had the same issue with Nigel's rebound lariat finisher. Stupid.

5.) Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander: ***1/4

Haas & Benjamin's heel run is now in full swing. This was another solid match. Very similar to the match they had with ANX at the 10th Anniversary Show. Very simple and logical tag team booking that proves successful. Coleman & Alexander look pretty solid.

6.) Lance Storm vs. Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis): ***1/2

So basically Lance Storm is coming back to ROH to teach Mike Bennett some respect. I've heard a lot of people praise this match and I will have to agree. Definitely Bennett's best ROH outing to date. Storm worked a pretty good match with him and Bennett definitely looked good coming out of it.

7.) La Revancha – Last Man Standing – Kevin Steen vs. El Generico: ****1/4

This is El Generico's first ROH appearance since Steen took him out at Final Battle 2011. The La Revancha tagline was a little match, but as for the match, all I have to say is WOW. These two prove once again that they can create magical moments and great matches anywhere they go, for any promotion. Lots of entertaining stuff. Of course you had the end where Jacobs turned heel and helped Kevin Steen win the match.

8.) ROH World Title – Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong: ****

So this is the culmination of the series of matches these guys have had (Strong/Richards, Strong/Edwards, Richards/Edwards) over the past year and a half. It's also a three-way dance, so two of the three guys have to be eliminated for the match to end. While it was an entertaining contest, and a very good match, the problem is that we've seen this combination so many times that it's gotten stale and at some times boring, hence the reason why Davey was getting more & more jeers in the closing months of his reign. Strong eliminates Edwards first then Davey eliminates Strong about two minutes later. 

After the match, Michael Elgin attacks Davey Richards, setting up their title match on the next show.

Overall: 8.25/10

This was a pretty good iPPV, but their were a few things that prevented it from being great. The abrupt endings of several of the undercard matches and the lack of fresh material in the main event were a big part of this. Storm/Bennett and the Last Man Standing Matches definitely make this show worth checking out though.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

ROH Injustice Review

Two Titles Matches highlight Ring of Honor's annual return to Edison!

*This show is available On-Demand for Ringside Members at*

ROH Injustice
Edison, New Jersey 4/12/08

1.) El Generico vs. Jack Evans: ***

Jack Evans is making his return after suffering an injury in Japan. They do a little dance off to start. El Generico wins this solid opener after hitting Evans with the Top Rope Brainbustaaaa!!!!

After the match, ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness comes and wants to send a message to Kevin Steen, by attacking El Generico. Steen comes out to make the save, and says he's leaving Edison as the World Champion.

2.) Mitch Franklin vs. Jigsaw: **

Jigsaw recently took off his mask on a Video Wire of all places. Blah. I guess as far as this match goes, you can call it a "spirited squash" as Jigsaw picks up the win.

3.) Sweet 'n' Sour Inc. (Chris Hero & Eddie Edwards with Larry Sweeney, Shane Hagadorn) vs. Erick Stevens & Pelle Primeau: **3/4

Bobby Dempsey comes out originally with Sweet 'n' Sour Inc. Hero cuts a promo talking about how he's getting more serious from here on out. He berates Bobby Dempsey for even being associated with him. They let Bobby stay in the group after they humiliate him, and Sweeney sends him to the back.

As for the match itself, it was pretty good. Both teams looked solid. Even Primeau had his moments.

4.) Brent Albright vs. Delirious: ***1/4

Larry Sweeney originally comes out with Albright but Brent sends him to the back. This was a pretty good back & forth contest. They exchange their submissions several times before Albright finally gets Delirious to tap.

After the match, Sweeney comes back out & tells Albright to finish the job. Daizee Haze comes out to protect Delirious and Sweeney tells Albright to go after Haze! Albright decides not to and walks off.

5.) Non-Title - No DQ - The Necro Butcher vs. Roderick Strong: ***1/2

Strong's FIP World Heavyweight Title is not on the line. I actually enjoyed this one a good deal. A nice hardcore brawl between two guys who don't face each other that often. Strong sets up a table but Erick Stevens comes out and put him through it with a Doctor Bomb, allowing Necro to pick up a big non-title win.

6.) Claudio Castagnoli vs. Kota Ibushi: ***3/4

This is Kota's debut weekend in ROH. It is noted that he was supposed to face Austin Aries, but he's been "missing-in-action" with Lacey. The match itself was actually very good. Kota definitely showed that he has ability, and Claudio looked good as usual.

Tammy "Sunny" Sytch comes out to cut a promo, but Larry Sweeney & Sara Del Rey interrupt her. Sweeney wants to open a Diva training school with Sytch and wants Del Rey to participate. Del Rey says she's a wrestler, not a diva, and walks off. Sytch says she thinks she can handle Sweeney, and says she'll think about it.

7.) ROH World Title - Nigel McGuinness vs. Kevin Steen: ***3/4

Kevin Steen won this title opportunity by winning the one-night tournament at Eye of the Storm. This was a very good World Title Match. The match itself was great and the ending, which saw Nigel using the ropes for leverage, serves the duty of setting up another Steen/McGuinness match and playing more into Nigel's heel run.

After the match, El Generico comes out and tells Steen what happened, causing Steen to lose it! While Nigel is still in the ring, Claudio Castagnoli comes out and says he wants a title shot, but Nigel says Claudio hasn't proved that he deserves a title shot...yet.

8.) ROH World Tag Team Titles - The No Remorse Corps. (Davey Richards & Rocky Romero) vs. The Briscoes: ***1/2

While this wasn't a blow away title match, it was still a pretty solid contest. The Briscoes score the fall and become World Tag Team Champions once again!

Overall: 7.75/10

This show didn't have a lot of blow away matches, and although it did lack Bryan Danielson & Austin Aries, it still turned out to be a fairly solid show. Ibushi/Claudio & The World Title Match were great, and their were several other matches that were pretty good.

ROH 10th Anniversary Show: Young Wolves Rising Live/DVD Review

The American Wolves are split and the next generation of ROH stars collide!

This is going to be a slightly different review. I actually attended this show live so I'll be giving both my live thoughts and the DVD presentation.

First thing I will say is that the line to get in the Hammerstein for this show was LONG. It went all the way down the block and wrapped around the parked cars on that side of the street! I didn't get to do the autograph signing (with I believe was The Briscoes & Maria...maybe someone else) but I did pick up a Kevin Steen T-Shirt and the Final Battle 2011 DVD. I was seating in the lower balcony. If you're watching the DVD (which views the ring from above the entrance isle), I would be in the upper left corner of the lower balcony, though you wouldn't be able to see me on the DVD though.

The crowd was pretty hot and looked excited for this show. There were a lot of hilarious chants during this show. There was a younger kid across from me (more towards the middle) who was making some funny wrestling-related remarks (I think they were WWE/ROH related but I can't remember). Of course the most prevalent were the YES! Chants which had really just gotten started a month or two prior.

ROH 10th Anniversary Show: Young Wolves Rising
New York, New York 3/4/12

1.) The All Night Express vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team: ***1/4

This match, of course, featured the in-ring return of Rhett Titus, who was coming off an injury. This was a very good choice for the opener. Watching it live, I was a little nervous because the ropes seemed a bit loose (but I think they tightened them after this match). I thought it came off pretty good both live & on DVD. One of the reasons why it worked so well was because it was booked simply yet effectively. It had good back & forth action, the heel team dominated for a bit but eventually the faces got a hot tag and went on to win. This is honestly one of the better matches these two teams have had.

2.) Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis & Brutal Bob) vs. Homicide: **3/4

People were chanting CM Punk at Maria (given she had previously dated him). Bennett cuts a heelish promo in response before Homicide comes out. I think he didn't get as big of a reaction because of the music he came out to (which I have never heard him use before). A solid match. Homicide was in (I believe) the same attire he wore in the Cage of Death at Death Before Dishonor IV. He was also paying tribute to former ROH stars Samoa Joe & CM Punk by using some of their trademark moves. Bennett gets a sneaky win. The trio escapes and Homicide cuts a promo before leaving.

Next, CHIKARA's Grand Champion Eddie Kingston comes out. It seems like he got a better reaction live then on the DVD. Kevin Kelly comes in to talk to Kingston about the Synergy Show in April, but Kevin Steen comes out. He asks about what Kingston has become and brings up his past ROH tenure. Kingston doesn't want to destroy ROH, but then Steen mouths off about CHIKARA. This pisses Kingston off, and they come to blows! Security as well as Jigsaw and the Colony are out to break it up. They end up in the isle and Fire Ant hits a dive on everybody! This segment came off well live, and I marked out when the CHIKARA guys came out. I'm not sure if Kelly or Nigel mentioned their names on the DVD but if they didn't, they should have.

3.) The House of Truth vs. TJ Perkins & Amazing Red: ***1/2

Amazing Red hasn't been seen in ROH since his tag team with AJ Styles in the promotion's early years.  This was a very good tag team match. I enjoyed this one both live & on DVD.

4.) ROH World TV Title – Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa (with The Embassy Ltd.): **1/2

The match before intermission. I don't know....this came off ok live and on the DVD, but it had a lot of issues. The main thing was that it was slow and never really got going. The finish, a time limit draw, came off as flat and people were upset about it, as they booed the ending. Ciampa attacks Lethal after the match, and the Embassy makes off with the World TV Title Belt. 

They played some classic ROH entrance music (such as CM Punk & Bryan Danielson's themes) during intermission and we got some more YES! Chants.

5.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks: ***1/4

Watching this live, the first thing I thought afterwords was "did I just see a squash match?". That's what it felt like when I saw it live & on DVD. It was good match (would have been fine for TV) but the Briscoes seemingly dominated the whole match. Disappointed that the Bucks didn't get as much offense in.

6.) No DQ – Kevin Steen vs. Jimmy Jacobs: ***3/4

Jacobs & Corino come out in street clothes, and Corino says Jacobs isn't going to wrestle tonight. Jacobs then attacks Steen from behind and takes off his clothes to reveal that he's wearing his Age of the Fall Attire and his Bloodstained Jacket!!! That got a huge reaction. This match was great live. Jacobs and Steen put on a great hardcore brawl that had everyone in the Hammerstein invested. It looked good on the DVD as well. Steen picks up the win in this war of a match.

7.) Team Ambition (Davey Richards & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. Eddie Edwards & Adam Cole: ****1/2

One thing that was very noticeable live was the crowds growing hatred towards Davey Richards. He was getting some boos, even some BORING chants. They seemed to come more alive when Cole and/or O'Reilly were in the ring. The match itself though was great. Pretty much what you've come to expect from Richards & Edwards, but with Cole & O'Reilly thrown in. We get some "This is Awesome" and "ROH" chants. The match definitely got better down the stretch. O'Reilly & Edwards take a nasty spill through a table on the floor from the top rope. Match ends when Cole pins Davey after a high cross-body. I gotta say the finish came off flat live, as it's hard to believe a match these days can end via a High Cross-Body. Glad he switched up his finishers since then. Richards looks shocked but congratulates Cole. O'Reilly goes into dick mode, saying he won't shake the hands of Cole or Edwards, but they're interrupted by KEVIN STEEN!!! He cuts his infamous Jiu-Jitsu-Jackoff promo and says he's coming for Richards & the ROH World Title. The promo came off great live (Steen still had blood on him) but was for some reason cut from the DVD.

Overall: 8.5/10 (DVD)
Live Experience: Great!

The show was pretty great on DVD, but seeing it live was just awesome!! Every match from top to bottom was good to great, making for a really enjoyable show. I'm glad to say this was the first ever ROH show I saw live! NYC is a great place to see ROH!

ROH Underground/Rise & Prove Review

Ring of Honor debuts in both Norfolk & Cincinnati!

ROH Underground
Norfolk, Virginia 1/21/12

I'm not entirely sure why this show was included in with Rise & Prove. It should have been included with Homecoming 2012, since they were on the same weekend, but whatever.

Eddie Edwards comes out to start the show and explains that, like the night before in Philly, he won't be able to compete due to a staph infection. Edwards was originally scheduled to face Mike Bennett. He thanks the crowd for coming out. 

1.) Kenny King vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge: **1/2

A pretty decent opening match. I think they kind of wasted King here a little bit while he was waiting for Rhett Titus to return from injury.

2.) Mike Bennett vs. Grizzly Redwood: **

As mentioned above, Bennett was scheduled to face Eddie Edwards, but that changed due to the Staph Infection that Edwards suffered. Before hand, Bennett says the real reason Edwards isn't facing him is because that he's afraid of him. Another decent match. Not as good as the opener, but still passable.

3.) Special Challenge Match – Kevin Steen vs. Adam Cole: ***1/4

While this one seemed to be a bit one-sided toward Kevin Steen, it was still pretty good for what it was.

After the match, Steen attacks Cole and goes for the (banned) Package Piledriver, but Eddie Edwards makes the save. On his way out, Steen passes Maffew of Botchamania Fame, who was in attendance for this show, and (forcibly) makes him flip off Jim Cornette.

4.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander: ***1/4

These two had a pretty good match back at Southern Defiance, but this time their are belts on the line. Another pretty solid match. The Briscoes cut a promo afterwords.

Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin come out and cut a generic heel promo and call out anyone who wants to face them. Team A1 comes out any we have a match.

5.) Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Team A1: *

ugh.....this was bad. If they were looking to do a squash match, that's fine....but this got 10 minutes. 10 minutes of WGTT just beating up A1, who barely got in any offense. Plus, the match ended in a DQ. Dreadful booking.

The Briscoes come out to make the save, and the two teams exchange some words.

6.) Proving Ground Match – ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa (with The Embassy Ltd.): ***

If Ciampa wins or goes to a draw with Lethal, he gets a future TV Title Shot. This was a decently good match. The crowd helped out a good deal. Ciampa wins (in 15 minutes & 20 seconds, which is interesting considering TV Title Proving Ground matches are usually 15 minutes) and earns a TV Title shot.

7.) Grudge Match – Davey Richards & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini): ***3/4

The winners of this match with face The Briscoes for the World Tag Team Titles in Cincinnati. A pretty good tag team match. It went a little long, and I think O'Reilly got beat up too much, but the hot crowd kept me invested and the match actually turned out to be fairly solid. The finish was a little odd though. Davey Richards cuts another one of his generic promos to end the show.

Overall: 6.75/10

This is one of the first throw away shows ROH has had in awhile. Not saying there wasn't any good stuff on here, because their was a fair amount of good stuff, but it never reached a truly great level. Coupled with the fact that there were some average and less then stellar matches on here, and you have the making of a generally uneventful show.

ROH Rise & Prove
Cincinnati, Ohio 2/17/12

1.) Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini): ***

This was a pretty solid contest. A good way to open the show. You can tell that these two are future stars.

2.) Rise & Prove Tag Team Tournament Match #1 – Shiloh Jonez & Rudy Switchblade vs. Sean Casey & Chris Silvio: **

So ROH is having a Tag Team Tournament featuring local talent (mostly from OVW. Thanks, Jim Cornette....) and the winning team gets, not a title match, but a Proving Ground Match against the World Tag Team Champions in Florida. Not sure why winning a one night tournament wouldn't just qualify you for a regular title match, but whatever. So....going into this I had no idea who any of these guys were. They put on a decent match. By the way, did I forget to mention the yellow ring ropes? Really makes this more like an OVW show and much more minor league.

3.) Rise & Prove Tag Team Tournament Match #2 – TMDK (Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls) vs. Alabama Attitude (Mike Posey & Corey Hollis): ***

The Mighty Don't Kneel are a tag team from Australia who regularly competes for NWA I believe. This was a pretty solid match. Honestly, this match should have been the finals, since these were the two teams that were the most established out of the four teams in the tournament.

4.) No Holds Barred – Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini): ***3/4

This was the match that was originally supposed to go down in Philly the month before but the staph infection Eddie Edwards suffered changed those plans. A very good match. The No Holds Barred stipulation added a fresh twist given these guys have faced off numerous times in the past year. I remember that there was some silliness involved Truth Martini being handcuffed to the turnbuckle (or was the the ropes or the ring post? I don't remember...), but the match was good regardless.

5.) Mike Mondo vs. Samson Walker: *3/4

This goes for a little bit until Monda wins with his foot on the ropes. Todd Sinclair comes out and informs the other referee of the tomfoolery and the match is restarted. Sampson Walker wins in a few seconds. Very strange booking....begs the question: What was the point?

6.) Rise & Prove Tag Team Tournament Finals – Shiloh Jonez & Rudy Switchblade vs. TMDK (Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls): **3/4

A decent match. Not the best match of the tourney but not the worst. The right team (TMDK) won, and they'll go to Florida for a Proving Ground Match with the World Tag Team Champions.

7.) Proving Ground Match – ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal vs. BJ Whitmer: ***1/2

This is BJ Whitmer's first ROH appearance since 2008. I think he actually retired from pro-wrestling for a little bit before coming back the year prior. He had several matches in Dragon Gate USA prior to his ROH return. A pretty solid match. BJ Whitmer shows that he still has the in-ring ability he had in year's past. He may even be better. Lethal wins in an entertaining contest.

8.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Davey Richards & Kyle O’Reilly: ****

Team Ambition, as they are being called, won this opportunity at Underground in Norfolk. A very good match. Exactly what you would expect from a Main Event World Tag Team Title Match. Lots of action, and it didn't go overly long as Davey Richards' matches tend to do. 

Richards cuts another after match promo. I believe he put over the Briscoes.

Overall: 7.5/10

While there was a lot of good on this show that is worth checking out, the tag team tournament and the other OVW Match really brought this show down to a more average level.

Overall: 7.5/10

While this wasn't as good as the Battle in the Carolinas two-disk set of shows, this is still a good pick up. While the shows themselves are on the average to fairly solid level, there is enough good matches on these two that make it worth the purchase. Plus you're getting two shows for the price of one, and regardless of their quality, it's still a good deal.