Sunday, June 23, 2013

ROH Border Wars 2013 Review

Some fresh faces in the main event and some special guest talents highlight Ring of Honor's return to the Great White North!

ROH Border Wars 2013
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 5/4/13

1.) ACH & Tadarius Thomas vs. C & C Wrestle Factory: ***1/2

Very fun opening match. This was exactly what you would expect from these two teams. Lots of great action in this one, but it would be C & C who would pick up the win.

2.) "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis) vs. Roderick Strong: ***1/4

This was originally scheduled to be a Triple Threat Match also involving Mike Mondo, but he suffered some type of "training injury" and had to pull out. This was actually a solid match. Probably one of Bennett's best matches in a while. Just shows that Strong can bring out the best in anyone.

3.) I Quit Match - Rhett Titus vs. BJ Whitmer: *3/4

This....was not fun. It was the exact opposite of what one has come to expect out of these I Quit Matches. They really did nothing to event warrant someone to say those two words. No Hardcore Stuff, no brutal spots, nothing of the sort. Plus Todd Sinclair kept putting the mic in the guys faces asking them if they want to quit after every other move, which is the exact opposite way these matches go. At some point BJ ties Rhett in the ropes with zip-ties. He punches Titus in the face repeatedly but Titus says "Hell Naw Daaawwwg!!!" BJ then gets a chair but Steve Corino comes out. He then turns his back to Whitmer and gets on his knees leaving himself open for a potential chair shot. BJ stands their like an idiot for what seems like forever and looks like he's going to finally hit Corino but Titus frantically says I Quit, thus sacrificing the match for his leader. I'm sorry but what the hell was this? I liked the idea of the finish but they did it really poorly and the rest of the match was just awful. F**k this match!!

Jimmy Jacobs & Cliff Compton immediately attacked Whitmer after the match for his stupidity. Lethal & Elgin come out and here we go for our next match!

4.) S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs & Cliff Compton with Steve Corino) vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin & Jay Lethal/Kevin Steen: ***1/4

If S.C.U.M. wins, Steve Corino becomes the new color commentator and a S.C.U.M. Member gets a World Title Match, but if ROH wins, then Corino is gone. This was a fine match. They went for a little bit before Lethal "injured" his knee on a dive and had to be taken out of the match. Then it was 2-on-1 for a bit which saw Elgin dominate the S.C.U.M. guys and look really good, but Jacobs & Compton got the upper hand. Kevin Steen then shows up, gets on the apron, and begs Nigel McGuinness to put him in as Lethal's replacement. Nigel agrees, Steen gets the tag and goes to town on S.C.U.M., but Jacobs would get Steen in a roll up and pin him for the win, which is a huge one for S.C.U.M.! Not a lot of must see action, but from a storytelling perspective, this was fantastic.

During intermission, they show highlights from past matches involving Ishimori & London.

5.) "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards vs. Taiji Ishimori: ****1/2

This is my first time seeing Taiji Ishimori. I loved this match. Coming into this, I had no idea what to expect and these two guys just blew me away. Fantastic Match...definitely my MOTN.

6.) ROH World TV Title - Matt Taven (with Truth Martini) vs. Mark Briscoe: **3/4

"Chicken" won a Five Way Match on ROH TV to earn this title shot. This was an ok match, but nothing really special. Their were some sloppy moments and botched spots, particularly from Taven. The Hoopla Hotties had a Hot Lesbian Style Make-Out on the Apron, which distracted Briscoe long enough for Taven to pick up the win.

7.) "American Wolf" Davey Richards vs. "Intrepid Traveler" Paul London: ***3/4

Naomichi Marufuji was supposed to be making his ROH return here, but got injured during a match in NOAH a few weeks prior & couldn't make it, so ROH brought in Paul London, who had been away from ROH for nearly 10 Years, as his replacement. This was another match that was pretty solid. London looked good and Richards was playing the dickish heel that he always seems to play when he's in Canada. The big moment came when London was on the apron and Richards double stomped him in the face!!! London, we later learned, got a concussion from this, but kept going for the last minute or so of the match, where he actually attempted the Shooting Star Press, but Richards got the knees up when London landed, and rolled him up for the pin. Despite the finish being a bit improvised from London's injury, this was still very good. A great return to ROH for London. 

Afterwords, they cuts promos putting each other over, and London thanks the fans.

8.) ROH World Title - Jay Briscoe vs. Adam Cole: ***1/2

This is Jay's first defense of his newly won ROH World Title. This was a very solid match, but I expected it to be better than it ended up being. They were just missing something that kept it from being great. Towards the end, Steve Corino comes out with a S.C.U.M. shirt in an attempt to recruit Adam Cole, but Nigel McGuinness gets involved and hits the Tower of London on Corino! This distraction allows Briscoe to hit the Jay Driller to retain.

After the match, Cole teases superkicking Jay, but exits the ring when Jay turns around.

Overall: 8.25/10

While this was the worst iPPV of the year for ROH in terms of match quality, this still had a lot of good stuff on it. The Ishimori/London Matches were both very good to fantastic, and their was a fair amount of noteworthy stuff on here. Other than the I Quit Match that was complete garbage, this was a pretty good show.

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