Other PPVs CALDWELL'S ROH "BEST IN THE WORLD" PPV RESULTS 6/22: Ongoing "virtual-time" coverage of live cable PPV debut
Jun 22, 2014 - 9:55:35 PM
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Ring of Honor PPV Results
"Best in the World 2014"
June 22, 2014
Live Cable PPV #1
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
Ring of Honor's live cable PPV debut opened with a video package with memorable clips and stars from ROH's history, including C.M. Punk, Samoa Joe, Austin Aries, Christopher Daniels, and Jerry Lynn. The video flash-forwarded to the present, where Adam Cole is the ROH World champion. Nice intro video.
Arena: Inside the building, Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino spoke on-camera as the crowd chanted "ROH" and "Best in the World" in the background. They opened with a discussion of Cole vs. Michael Elgin for the ROH World Title. Kelly then announced a six-man match opening the PPV.
1 - TOMMASO CIAMPA vs. A.C.H. vs. WATANABE vs. CAPRICE COLEMAN vs. B.J. WHITMER vs. TADARIUS THOMAS -- six-way match for future ROH TV Title shot
Feeling out the production values early on - the building looks well-lit, but smallish by 2014 PPV standards, the main hard camera is very tight, a second hard camera off-center looks good, and the ringside handheld cameras look good from an underneath position. That main hard camera is really tight, though, and they're depending heavily on the motion camera. There are some issues with one of the ringside cameras when it shoots right into the ringside lighting rig, causing background glare.
Early on, the action was a bit more organized than the six-way X Division match that opened last Sunday's TNA PPV. It broke down into mayhem, as described by Corino, then a bunch of high-flying over the top rope with big splashes. A.C.H. eventually hit a big flip dive onto a pile of bodies on the outside. A.C.H. took advantage of his work by dragging Thomas back into the ring, hitting a top-rope 450 splash, and scoring the win.
WINNER: A.C.H. at 12:07 to earn a future TV Title shot. Ciampa and A.C.H. stood out, but for newer ROH viewers, individual personalities did stand out in the chaos of the match. Too much happening while viewers tried to process the production values of a non-WWE or TNA show. (**1/2)
Post-match: B.J. Whitmer picked a fight with Steve Corino on the way out.
2 -- ROH TV champion JAY LETHAL (w/Truth Martini) vs. MATT TAVEN -- ROH TV Title match -- Martini handcuffed at ringside
Lethal has developed a nice heel persona with the slow, confident walk to the ring and deliberate, cocky mannerisms. Meanwhile, Taven has not developed a strong personality to stand out as a national TV singles babyface who draws in the audience. He was solid as a heel under Martini, but he hasn't developed "it" as a stand-alone babyface at this level. As a result, the crowd got behind Lethal late in the match, especially when Lethal hit a top-rope elbow drop for a nearfall. Taven got the crowd back with moves - a leaping enziguiri off the ropes for a two count, one big splash on the outside, two suicide dives, and a follow-up big splash to finish the sequence.
Taven took his eye of the ball looking to strike Truth Martini on the outside, but a man identified as Head of Security took cash from Martini and stood in front of Taven, who kind of tried to wave him off. Taven then tried a chair shot to the the head of the security person, but he was much stronger and blocked the chair. In the background, Martini was able to escape the handcuffs. Taven then superkicked the security guard, returned to the ring, lost control, and took Lethal Injection for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Lethal at 10:13 to retain the TV Title. They went a long way to reinforce the point of Martini escaping Taven at every turn. But, Taven is just not a strong enough face for the crowd to invest in his chase to get Martini (or the TV Title). Overall, over-booked involving the security guard. (*1/2)
3 -- RODERICK STRONG (w/The Decade) vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER -- Submission match
Strong targeted Cedric's lower back in the early going, looking to set up for a submission. Strong followed with a big move on the outside that whipped Cedric back-first across the ring ropes. The crowd cheered for the move, despite it favoring the heel. Back in the ring, Strong continued to work on Cedric's lower back. Strong taunted Cedric, so Cedric spit back at him. Strong stomped and kicked at Alexander in response, but Alexander shook him off and kicked Strong down to the floor. Alexander followed with a big flip dive on the outside.
Back in the ring, Alexander and Strong traded kicks to the face. Strong then built momentum with repeated corner attacks before spitting in Cedric's face again. But, Alexander responded with a front-clutch submission that put Strong face-down on the mat. Strong managed to escape, though. He took Ced to the top, but Cedric dropped him back-first on the top turnbuckle. Fallaway backbreaker led to Cedric putting Strong in the Stronghold, forcing Strong to tap to his own hold.
Post-match: Cedric wanted Strong to adhere to the Code of Honor and shake his hand. Strong slowly walked toward Alexander, but Strong backed away and bailed from the ring.
WINNER: Alexander via submission at 16:16. Slow start with the crowd more invested in moves than the wrestlers, but a good finish and good story told of Alexander earning respect, no matter whether the heel, Strong, gave it to him. (**1/2)
Up Next: The Briscoes vs. Matt Hardy & Mike Bennett.
4 -- THE BRISCOES (JAY & MARK BRISCOE) vs. MATT HARDY (w/Nick Searcy) & MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria Kannelis)
Bennett got his team DQ'ed with a belt shot after some brief back-and-forth action. The crowd chanted "b.s.," then Jay Briscoe took the mic and called this "bulls---." He called out ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness to make this right, so Nigel came out and re-started the match as a No DQ/Anything Goes match.
WINNERS: Briscoes via DQ at 5:56.
4b -- THE BRISCOES (JAY & MARK BRISCOE) vs. MATT HARDY (w/Nick Searcy) & MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria Kannelis) -- No DQ/Anything Goes match
The Briscoes quickly took care of the lax rules to introduce weapons used to bash around Bennett and Hardy as Nigel joined commentary. Maria got involved yanking a chair away from Mark Briscoe, but the Briscoes introduced ladders. Hardy took a Home Depot suplex off a yellow ladder, then Mark went Cactus Jack with a running elbow drop on Hardy on the floor.
Searcy then got in the ring, where he found himself double-teamed by the Briscoes. Mark then came off the top with an elbow drop to Searcy's chest, rocking the actor. Briscoes wanted a Doomsday Device, but Maria shoved Mark off the top turnbuckle and Hardy saved Searcy by hitting Jay with Twist of Fate, but Jay kicked out of a pin.
Reset, then Mark knocked out Bennett and put him on a table on the outside. Mark followed with a big elbow drop sending Bennett through the table. Back in the ring, the Briscoes sprayed Hardy with a fire extinguisher. Jay then suplexed Hardy off the top of a ladder through a table down below. Hardy sold being KO'ed, but Jay took it a step further with the Jay Driller for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Briscoes at 16:31. The heels got their comeuppance in a big way in this match. Matt took a lot of big bumps in this match, including the top-of-the-ladder suplex spot. Overall, strong ending to the first half of the show based on the energy in the building, not necessarily the match layout, which was a recurring theme of the first-half of the show. (**3/4)
Ringside: ROH introduced their newest signing, former NFL star Moose. Moose said he was just here to enjoy the show, but Veda Scott interrupted and teased R.D. Evans (and his "streak") coming after Moose.
Video Package: Kevin Steen vs. Silas Young. Young was introduced first, then Steen was out second to a big reaction. Kelly noted they don't know what the future holds for Steen, who was showered by streamers once he entered the ring.
5 -- KEVIN STEEN vs. SILAS YOUNG
Steen quickly took control of the match and rocked Silas around the ring and to the outside. But, Silas ran Steen hard into the guardrail, rocking the back of Steen's head. Silas took advantage by working on Steen back in the ring. Steen fought back and landed a trademark cannonball splash in the corner. Steen followed with a top-rope Swanton Bomb of sorts for a two count. Steen continued to sell the head/neck pain, though, giving Silas an opening to rock him with a clothesline for a two count.
The match continued with Steen answering Silas with a hard knockdown, dizzying Silas, before hitting him with a Package Piledriver. It was good for the pin and the win. Afterward, Steen continued to sell the pain before standing tall for an appreciative crowd.
WINNER: Steen at 13:03. Solid singles match centered on Steen's final set of matches in ROH. (**1/2)
After the match ended, Steen took the mic and addressed Silas. He said Silas said a lot of things about him, including a coward and quitter, but one thing he cannot say is that he did not beat him. Steen said he's said a lot of things about Silas, including a bitter jerk. But, after tonight, one thing he cannot say is that he is not an exceptional pro wrestler. Steen said he has a lot of respect for him trying to make a name for himself by going after the top guy. "And, don't get it wrong, I am the top guy," he said.
Steen went back to New York City, noting his announcement was that his contract is up soon. He said he has just a few more matches left over the next month-and-a-half, and he is glad to have wrestled Silas in one of those remaining matches. Steen said he hopes Silas respects him after their match, and he better shake his hand. Steen extended, then Silas shook. Silas left the ring, leaving Steen alone in the ring.
"Please Don't Go" chants from Steen, who joked that Silas has to go because he's not done yet. Steen pointed out "Thank You" signs from the crowd, then Silas suddenly returned to the ring and attacked Steen's knee from behind. Refs spilled out to pull Silas off Steen, who sold a knee injury as Silas sneered.
In-ring: Christopher Daniels made his ROH return along with Frankie Kazarian doing their TNA routine of the goggles and walk/strut. ROH tag champs Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly were out next to defend the ROH Tag Titles.
6 -- ROH tag champions ReDRagon (BOBBY FISH & KYLE O'REILLY) vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & KAZARIAN -- ROH Tag Title match
The former Bad Influence wrestled as the default babyface team against the heel champs since they were coming in as the returning stars. Kaz was isolated early on, prompting Daniels to beg for a tag to get the fresh man in the match. Daniels eventually tagged in, then the action broke down with all four men in the ring. Daniels nailed Angel's Wings on Fish, but O'Reilly broke up the pin.
Later, Kazarian had a pin on O'Reilly, but Fish pulled the ref out of the ring. After a reset, ReDragon took out Daniels, then nailed their double-team "Chasing the Dragon" finisher on Kaz, but Kaz kicked out just in time. O'Reilly followed right up with an armbar submission on Kaz, whose elbow was injured earlier in the match. Fish held off Daniels, then Kaz tapped out for the ending. Daniels sold concern for Kaz after the match while the tag champs celebrated their latest title defense.
WINNERS: ReDragon via submission at 17:01 to retain the ROH Tag Titles. Fine semi-main event, but really jarring seeing Bad Influence wrestle as a babyface team after playing heels for so long in TNA. (**1/2)
Video Package: A review of how many times Michael Elgin has come just short of winning the ROH World Title.
7 -- ROH World champion ADAM COLE vs. MICHAEL ELGIN -- ROH World Title match
Elgin, now sporting a buzzcut after getting his hair cut off in the PPV build-up, looked a lot like Charlie Haas in the blue singlet. Elgin sold intensity at the start, then drove Cole out of the ring to bash him around the ringside area. Back in the ring, Cole yanked Elgin off the second rope and drove him across his knee. Cole maintained control following the big impact move.
Elgin fought back, then referee Todd Sinclair took a bump, Elgin scored yet another visual fall, ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness sold frustration with the situation, and Matt Hardy and Mike Bennett hit the ring to attack Elgin. Hardy, who went through a table off a ladder earlier in the show, beat down Elgin until Elgin suplexed both Hardy and Bennett out of the ring.
Reset with Cole trying to attack Elgin, who forearmed Cole in the back of the head. Elgin followed with a powerbomb over the top rope onto Bennett and Hardy while Maria Kanellis watched with horror. Elgin made big eyes, then Maria hopped on the ring apron to slow down Elgin. Elgin teased striking Maria, but he couldn't do it. So, she slapped him and hopped off the ring apron. Elgin gave chase, luring him in for Bennett to strike Elgin. Hardy then popped Elgin with the title belt and Cole smashed Elgin on the floor. Suddenly, pre-show wrestlers Hanson and Rowe popped out to drive Elgin and Hardy away from the ringside area.
Back to the ring, where Cole woke up Sinclair to start counting out Elgin. The announcer sold dejection that Elgin would not be able to make it back in the ring, but Elgin jumped back into the ring at a 19-count. The match continued with a stunned Cole receiving the title belt from Maria. Elgin's wife, MsChif, then showed up and green-misted Maria in the face. Back in the ring, Elgin slapped Cole around to give him a Bucklebomb into an Elginbomb. Cole kicked out before three, sending streamers flying into the ring when the fans thought the match was over. A humorous "We f'ed up" chant came up from the crowd.
Reset with Elgin taking Cole to the top turnbuckle, but Cole threw him off. Cole took out Elgin's knee, then wrapped Elgin's left knee around the ringpost. Back in the ring, Cole tried a figure-four, but Elgin rolled him up for a two count. Elgin flowed into a cross-face submission, but Cole punched his way out of the hold. Elgin tried to follow up, but he sold his leg giving out. Cole nailed a superkick, then climbed to the second rope for a modified Canadian Destroyer. The announcers sold this being over, but Elgin kicked out.
Cole tried to follow by vowing to break "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin, but Elgin countered into a big powerbomb, then a second, then a third. Elgin maintained the grip on the powerbomb and pinned Cole for a one, two, and three to win the ROH World Title. The fans celebrated seeing a title change as the ring filled up with streamers for the second time. Elgin celebrated after receiving the title belt, then Kevin Kelly signed off at 10:55 p.m. EST.
WINNER: Elgin at 22:20 to retain the ROH World Title. ROH needed something big on their first live PPV, but it didn't seem like the right time for Cole to drop the title, as he was growing into his shoes as top heel champion. They had to, though, if Elgin was the challenger in this match after not winning title match after title match after title match. ROH over-booked the match, but it fit Elgin's journey of having ref bumps, outside interference, and close calls prevent him from winning the title for months. They also saved all of the false finishes and big nearfalls for the main event, which helped, but I'm concerned about Elgin's title run going forward, as this crowd seemed more into the prospect of a title change and a new champion, not necessarily the man who is the new champion. (***1/2)
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