Friday, June 20, 2014

ROH Supercard of Honor VIII: Collector's Edition Review

Adam Cole & Jay Briscoe nearly kill each other to become the Undisputed ROH World Champion!

ROH Supercard of Honor VIII
Westwego, Louisiana 4/4/14

Pre-Show (included on the Bonus Disk)

1.) Six Man Tag - Cheeseburger, Moose & The Dark Mon vs. Will Ferrera, Aaron Solo & Bu Ku Dao: **

I've never seen The Dark Mon or Bu Ku Dao before, but I have heard of Aaron Solo. This was a fine pre-show match. Cheeseburger & Moose got their stuff in while Ferrera, Solo & Bu Ku Dao looked good in their role as heels. The Dark Mon also at one point hit a devastating chokeslam/backbreaker that just looked nasty. The babyface team of Cheeseburger, Moose & The Dark Mon get the win.

2.) Four Corner Survival - Mike Posey vs. Corey Hollis vs. The Romantic Touch vs. Luke Hawx: **1/2

A pretty interesting match here, as you have former Alabama Attitude partners Posey & Hollis in here. The match itself was, again, fine for a Pre-Show Match, but it actually picked up a good deal towards the end. Luke Hawx gets the win.

Main Show

1.) Cedric Alexander vs. Roderick Strong (with The Decade): ***1/2

This match has been building for several months, as The Decade continually bullied Cedric Alexander, particularly by Roderick Strong over Cedric usage of a backbreaker variation. It was a very enjoyable opener. Strong & Alexander are both great wrestlers, so it's no surprise that they were able to put on a good wrestling match. Alexander looked like he was going to win, but distractions from the rest of The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer & Adam Page) cost him the match, and Roderick Strong got the win.

After the match, Jimmy Jacobs gets the mic and puts over Roderick Strong as the rest of The Decade berates Cedric Alexander as he heads to the back. Jacobs says that the rest of the young wrestlers should learn from Adam Page, and not from Cedric Alexander, before calling out Adrenaline RUSH & Andrew Everett for their match.

2.) Six Man Tag Team Scramble Match - The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs & BJ Whitmer) & Adam Page vs. Adrenaline RUSH & Andrew Everett: ***1/2

I gotta say that it's great seeing Andrew Everett in ROH. This match was a lot of fun. As expected, you got lots of high flying action from ACH, TaDarius Thomas & Andrew Everett. Whitmer & Jacobs also worked well as a team while Page played the young boy role pretty well. Andrew Everett proved that ROH should sign him as soon as humanly possible. 
Again, a pretty entertaining Six-Man Tag. 

Following the match, Whitmer argues with Corino (which he does on almost every show). Jimmy Jacobs threatens to stab TaDarius Thomas with a spike, saying where was ACH to protect him (ACH was laid out on the outside). He ends up not using the spike, but his efforts did drive a metaphorical spike between ACH & Thomas (leading to Thomas joining The Decade at the TV Tapings).

Up next, we were supposed to get a match with Matt Taven vs. A Mystery Opponent selected by Truth Martini. This ended up turning into a segment. Martini doesn't bring out an opponent, but calls Kevin Kelly into the ring so he can read the final chapter of The Book of Truth. Taven takes the book, and when he opens it, there is a ball of fire for some reason, which just ended up being a distraction for Truth Martini to kick Taven in the balls. This was a very strange segment.

3.) Silas Young vs. "Barrister" RD Evans (with Veda Scott & Ramon): **3/4

It's always going to be entertaining when RD Evans is involved. He comes into the match 82-0. Silas Young is in a foul mood as always. A pretty solid match. One particular highlight was Silas delivering an electric chair to Evans on the ring apron!! That was scary. Towards the end of the match, Silas takes out Referee Paul Turner with a leather belt, after his original target RD Evans got out of the way. Another ROH Referee, Gino Colucci, comes out to cover for Turner, and after Silas hits his finisher on RD, he counts the pin and RD Evan's Streak appears to be over!! However, Paul Turner, the original referee, get up and reverses the decision, giving RD Evans a DQ victory due to Silas hitting Turner with the leather belt. 
The finish was a unique way to keep #THENEWSTREAK going.

4.) No DQ Match - Mark Briscoe vs. Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis): ***1/2

This is sort of an offshoot of the Adam Cole/Jay Briscoe feud, as Bennett & Maria have now align themselves with Adam Cole. Actually really enjoyed this. There were some crazy spots in this, including Bennett spearing Mark Briscoe off the entrance stage and through a table and Mark Briscoe diving off the stands onto Bennett. In the end, Bennett is able to pick up the win after a series of kendo stick and chair shots. Very good match. Bennett looked really good and Mark Briscoe especially took a good deal of punishment.

On the DVD, we get a backstage segment involving Truth Martini & Matt Taven. Essentially, it's heavily implied that Truth Martini went into the locker room and through a fireball in Matt Taven's face. This was WAY more effective than their in-ring segment.

As we come back from intermission, we get Cheeseburger in the ring giving out T-Shirts to the fans. Matt Hardy comes out and interrupts him. Hardy basically says that all of the recent success ROH has had can be credited not only to himself, but to the man he mentored, Adam Cole. He basically builds up Adam Cole for the Main Event. He then gives Cheeseburger the Twist of Fate.

5.) ROH World Tag Team Title #1 Contender's Triple Threat Match - The Forever Hooligans vs. Hanson & Rowe vs. reDRagon: ***1/4

The winners of this match will get a ROH World Tag Team Title Shot at The Young Bucks at War Of The Worlds. This match wasn't anything blow away, but it was pretty solid for what it was. We've seem reDRagon/Forever Hooligans a few times before, but throwing in the powerhouse team of Hanson & Rowe mixed things up a bit. Fish & O'Reilly get the win and will get a chance to regain the ROH World Tag Team Titles.

6.) ROH World TV Title - 2/3 Falls - "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal: ***1/2

These two have a lot of history, as it was in a 2/3 Falls Match at Boiling Point 2012 against Lethal where Ciampa suffered his injury. This was a pretty good match here. These two have had good matches before and this was no different. Lethal one the first fall, but the big story was towards the end of the match. Truth Martini came out and tossed Ciampa's Knee Brace (which he had taken off) to Lethal. Surprisingly, he uses it on Ciampa, but only get a two count!! Lethal then hits the Hail To The King, followed by a few superkicks, but Ciampa refuses to stay down, and flips off Lethal!! He is finally is able to hit the Lethal Injection and scores the fall, going 2-0 in the match and capturing the World TV Title!! Personally, I liked the finish with Lethal's heel turn. The crowd was also really into Ciampa's fighting spirit towards the end.

After the match, Lethal celebrates with Truth Martini as the newest member of The House of Truth. I'm all for this. Turning heel and joining The House of Truth freshens up Lethal a great deal and adds another heel to the roster.

7.) IWGP Heavyweight Title #1 Contender's Match - "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs. Kevin Steen: ****1/2

The winner of this match gets an IWGP Heavyweight Title Shot at War Of The Worlds. These two have split their previous encounters, as Steen defeated Elgin for the ROH World Title at Glory By Honor XI in 2012, while Elgin defeated Steen in the semi-finals of the ROH World Title Tournament at Death Before Dishonor XI last year. This was a fantastic match, which is exactly what you would expect from these two guys. This didn't quite reach the level of their Glory By Honor XI Match, but this was definitely as close as they're probably going to get to matching it. Elgin wins after hitting Steen with his own finishing move, The Package Piledriver. Elgin moves on to NYC to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Title.

8.) Undisputed ROH World Title - Ladder War V - Adam Cole vs. Jay Briscoe: ****1/4

Obviously this match had a lot of build going into it, as Jay Briscoe & Adam Cole have been feuding for almost a year. This was a very brutal match. When talking about the violence, I would compare the story being told in here to the HBK/Jericho Ladder Match from No Mercy 2008 and Briscoes/ANX in Ladder War III from Death Before Dishonor IX, in the sense that it wasn't really about having a high flying crazy Ladder Match, but it was about pure hatred between both guys and destroying one another. You really got the sense in here that at certain points, the World Title didn't matter to Jay Briscoe, and that he just wanted to destroy Adam Cole. I know a lot of people had issues with this match, mainly Jay Briscoe bleeding, and their being several chair shots to the head delivered to both Briscoe & Cole. Personally, I don't mind blood in wrestling, as long as it saved for rare occasions and specific instances only when the feud (like this one) requires it. Same can go for the chair shots to the head, though I will agree that there were too many of them. Maybe one or two, built up as big spots, would have worked, but they did go a tad overboard with it. With the interference of Matt Hardy, Michael Bennett, Maria Kanellis & Mark Briscoe, I think it was bound to happen, but the way they did it, I think worked. It added to the drama match in my opinion. The finish was a little flat (and Cole later acknowledged in a podcast interview with the Wrestling Observer that Matt Hardy moved a ladder and screwed up the original planned finish), but that and the excessive chair shots to the head were my only real complaints. It definitely lived up to the hype of being a Ladder War. It was definitely brutal & violent. Adam Cole wins the match, and becomes the Undisputed ROH World Champion. He celebrates with Hardy, Bennett & Maria Kanellis to close the show.

Overall: 8.5/10

Bonus Disk

First up, we have some of Tommaso Ciampa's World TV Title Defenses he made while touring in Europe during the month of March.

1.) wXw (Germany) - ROH World TV Title - "Sicilian Psychopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Freddy Stahl: ***3/4

I've never seen Freddy Stahl before, though I have heard of them. This was a very good match. Lots of back & forth action in this one. Ciampa was his usual self, but Stahl was impressive. Ciampa gets the win and retains his title. After the match, Ciampa shows a sign of respect towards Stahl for his performance. 

2.) PCW (England) - ROH World TV Title - "Sicilian Pyschopath" Tommaso Ciampa vs. Martin Kirby: ***3/4

Pretty much the same story as the previous match. I've never seen Kirby, but I have heard of him. A pretty great match, where Ciampa got his stuff in and Kirby impressed me a good deal. Ciampa retains, and shows respect to Kirby after the match.

ROH on SBG TV Tapings
Westwego, Louisiana 4/5/14


1.) Luke Hawx vs. Adam Page (with Jimmy Jacobs & TaDarius Thomas): **1/4

This was a pre-show match before the TV Tapings. Thomas had just recently joined The Decade and split from his Adrenaline RUSH partner ACH. A fine pre-show match. Both guys looked good, and put on a solid performance. Hawx gets the win.

After the match, Jimmy Jacobs abuses Adam Page following his loss, while Thomas looks on.

TV Tapings

I should note that the segment from ROH TV where Adam Cole presents Jay Briscoe's World Title to Matt Hardy, who renames it the ICONIC Title, is included on the Bonus Disk as well.

1.) Six Man Tag - ROH World Champion Adam Cole, Matt Hardy & Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis) vs. Kevin Steen & The Briscoes: ***

All six guys in this match have some kind of history with each other, so it's no surprise that it broke down into a brawl really quickly. We got some wrestling for a bit, but then it broke down again into a brawl. Eventually, Matt Hardy & Jay Briscoe brawled to the back, and shortly thereafter, Cole is able to pin Mark Briscoe for the win.

After the match, there is more brawling. Eventually, Kevin Steen gets his hands on Adam Cole, and powerbombs him twice onto the timekeeper's table (which doesn't break). He then celebrates with the ROH World Title, which builds towards his match with Adam Cole at Global Wars.

Future Of Honor I 
Newville, PA 4/18/14

1.) Six Man Tag - Vinny Marseglia, Jimmy Nutts & Nick Blackwell vs. Sam Shields, Tim Donst & Ken Phoenix: ***1/2

This match is from the Future of Honor I Show that took place a few weeks after Supercard of Honor VIII. I believe the show will get its own DVD release, but for now, we have a match from that show as bonus content. Tim Donst getting a shot here in ROH makes me happy, because he completely deserves a shot. Vinny Marseglia has made several appearances in ROH previously, but I haven't heard much about the other four guys. In my opinion, this stole the show. A pretty good six man tag. Lots of great back & forth action. The babyface team led by Marseglia gets the win (I'll go into more detail on this match and others from this show in my Future of Honor I Review).

The Bonus Disk also includes Episode 2 of The Fish Tank, a recap of the main show, and promos from both Adam Cole & Jay Briscoe.

Overall: 9.0/10

First, I'll talk about the Supercard of Honor VIII event itself. It was a pretty great show. The undercard was very good, Elgin/Steen was Match Of The Night for sure, and Ladder War V lived up to the hype in terms of violence and brutality. Plus it was really good see that ROH had a massive crowd for this show, as the venue looked PACKED on all sides. So on the whole, the event itself was really good. Then comes the content of the bonus disk. The pre-show matches were fine but nothing much else. The Six-Man Tag from ROH TV was good, and the Six-Man Tag from the Future Of Honor I Show was really good. The real appeal to me, in terms of the Bonus Disk are the Tommaso Ciampa World TV Title defenses in Europe. Both matches were very good, and Freddy Stahl & Martin Kirby were very impressive. To sum everything up, I think the Collector's Edition of Supercard of Honor VIII is an awesome set. The actual show was great, and the Bonus Disk does have a decent amount of content that is worth seeing.

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