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RADICAN'S ROH DVD REVIEW SERIES: "The Hunt For Gold" 1/18 - Briscoes-Wolves rivalry renewed, Cole-Jacobs showstealing Proving Ground match

Feb 26, 2013 - 2:27:14 PM


JAN. 18, 2013

The show kicked off with the standard ROH TV video opening. The lighting for the show is really dark in the entrance and not great from the floor from certain angles as well. The show is shot in widescreen and also features the new graphics for entrances that are used on TV. Kevin Kelly and ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness are in on commentary.

1 - - Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Rhett Titus & B.J. Whitmer

Whitmer and O’Reilly had a rapid exchange and came to a stalemate during the early stages of the match. Titus cleared the ring so O’Reilly and Fish could position themselves for a flip dive from Titus, who nearly killed himself landing on his head, but O’Reilly and Fish softened the blow. McGuinness and Kelly previewed the rest of the card. O’Reilly distracted Titus moments later from the outside and Fish took him down from behind. Fish and O’Reilly worked over Titus for a long time. The crowd cheered the flashy moves, so Fish flipped them off. Kelly excused some swearing inside the ring by saying people of all ages will hear it all at an ROH show. Titus finally cut off Fish and tossed him into the top turnbuckle.

Whitmer got the hot tag and ran wild on Fish and O’Reilly. Whitmer hit a nice combination of suplexes on O’Reilly, but he kicked out at the last second. Fish ran into the ring and Whitmer nailed him with an exploder, O’Reilly then rolled up Whitmer from behind for a nearfall. The pace picked and Fish made a blind tag into the match. Fish took out Whitmer and Titus. O’Reilly hit a running knee off the apron into the shadows on the outside. Presumably he hit Whitmer. Whitmer and O’Reilly finally finished off Titus with a kick/brainbuster combination.

Winners: Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly

Star rating: (*3/4) – There were some good spots, but it was hard to see some of them because of the lighting on the outside. The crowd really didn’t get into the match until the end.

O’Reilly didn’t follow the code of honor after the match.

Steve Corino got on the mic before facing Jay Lethal and told him he didn’t come to the ring to insult him or fight him. He said he wanted to talk some sense into him. He said Lethal had been doing all he could to get a shot at the ROH World Championship. He said Lethal had used his family as a pawn to get a shot at the title like he was someone from Dearborn. Corino told Lethal he would give him a chance to say he’s sorry to S.C.U.M. Lethal told Corino to go to hell. Corino told Lethal that unlike the turd from Notre Dame that made up a girlfriend, he dated Lethal’s mother and went all the way.

2 - - Steve Corino vs. Jay Lethal

Lethal nailed Corino with a punch and sent him to the outside. Lethal hit a dive into the shadows and presumably connected with Corino. Lethal tossed Corino into the ring, but Corino caught him with a low blow that the ref didn’t see. Corino fired back and hit the Colby shock on Lethal. A small group of fans started a chant for Corino. Corino grabbed a sleeper on Lethal a short time later. Lethal escaped and mounted a fiery comeback on Corino capped by a handspring elbow for a 2 count. Lethal went for the Lethal injection, but Corino countered it into a backdrop driver for a 2 count.

Corino got a clothesline blocked, but turned around and hit a discus clothesline on Lethal. He then hit a basement lariat on Lethal for a 2 count. Lethal cut off Corino and hit the Lethal combination for a nearfall. Lethal went up top, but Corino cut him off. Corino went for a top rope backdrop driver in the shadows, but lethal blocked it. Lethal went for a sunset bomb, but Corino escaped only to eat a superkick. Lethal then hit the Lethal injection and hail to the king from the shadows for the win.

Winner: Jay Lethal

Star rating: (*3/4) – Once again the lighting made it hard to see certain parts of the match. The action was good, but the lighting was a big detraction for some of the spots once again.

Corino jawed with Nigel after the match. He told McGuinness his DVD sucks and got in McGuinness’s face calling him a British prick. McGuinness said he was going backstage to put his foot down.

3 - - Roderick Strong vs. Silas Young

Truth Martini joined Kelly on commentary. He said he was looking to the future now and had forgotten about the past. Young fought off an arm submission with a headscissors from his back. He asked Strong how his face was feeling after he broke free hold. Strong ended up nailing Young with a big slap in the face. They went to a big chop exchange that Strong won. Strong eventually took Young down with a leg lariat. The crowd up as Strong hit some huge chops on Young before covering him for a 2 count. After an exchange of counters, Young hit a big knee to Strong’s face. Strong rolled to the outside and the ref administered his count. Young followed him to the floor and tossed him back into the ring.

Young took control and began working over Strong inside the ring. He choked Strong in the corner several times before breaking due to the ref’s count. Young hit a fisherman buster, but only got a 2 count. Strong fired back with some chops, but Young drove him into the corner. Strong eventually ducked a charge into the corner and hit a big running forearm. Strong hit a big backbreaker moments later, but only got a 2 count. They went to a big exchange of chops and strikes. Strong sent Young to the outside with a knee against the ropes and followed up with a springboard splash. The crowd fired up as Strong whipped Young into the shadows and presumably hit some chops. Young grabbed the tights on a rollup attempt a short time later for a nearfall. Strong caught Young with a jumping knee when they got back up for a nearfall.

They battled up top a short time later. Young blocked a superplex and both men fell to the mat. Strong went for the stronghold, but Young fought him off. Strong hit an enzuguri out of the corner, but Young nailed him with a backbreaker/clothesline combination for a nearfall. Young went for the fujiwara plunge, but Strong got out of the way and hit a gutbuster. Strong followed up and hit the sick kick for the win.

Winner: Roderick Strong

Star rating: (***) – This was a very good 12 minute plus match that saw both men deliver some hard-hitting action. The crowd was really into the match and Young had a good showing here. They kept most of the action in the ring, so it was easy to watch.

4 - - ROH World Champion Kevin Steen vs. Tadarius Thomas

The sound mix was off. Steen’s entrance music couldn’t be heard and Kevin Kelly was hard to hear doing the ring announcing. Steen offered a handshake before the bell, but then he clotheslined Thomas and went to town on him with chops in the corner. ROH fixed the lighting issue with more lights on the ringside area. Thomas fired back on the outside, but Steen got the upper hand and launched him crotch-first into the ringpost. Steen mocked Thomas and reached to the fans for help once they got back in the ring. Steen mocked Thomas’s rolls and kicks and then nailed Thomas with a kick and the crowd popped. Thomas fired back with a unique kick of his own, but Steen caught him with a DDT coming through the ropes.

Steen complained to the ref about Thomas kicking him in the ear before going back on the attack. Steen got a chinlock and the crowd chanted chinlock. Thomas fired back and hit another kick. Steen caught him with a kick out of the corner and went up top. Thomas cut him off and went for a superplex, but Steen blocked it. Steen bit Thomas in the eye and pushed him off. Steen went for a swanton, but Thomas got his knees up. Steen knocked the mic out of Kelly’s hand while he recovered. Thomas hit another unique kick and tried to hit a big move on Steen, but Steen blocked it. Thomas caught Steen with a kick as he charged him and hit a big high cross body off the top, but Steen kicked out.

Thomas went for a double underhook suplex from behind Steen, but Steen blocked it and went for the F cinq. Thomas escaped and bounced off the ropes right into a powerbomb from Steen for a 2 count. Steen jawed at the ref and Thomas nailed him with two rolling kicks and a double underhook suplex for a nearfall and the crowd popped. Thomas went for a DDT, but Steen dumped him crotch first over the top rope. Steen then hit the F cinq, but Thomas kicked out. Steen followed up with the package piledriver for the win.

The crowd popped big for Steen’s win.

Winner: Kevin Steen to retain the ROH World Title

Star rating: (***) – This was a fun match with good crowd involvement. Thomas did a heck of a job playing the underdog role and got a big reaction for finally hitting the double underhook suplex on Steen for a near fall after Steen had blocked several times.

5 - - Troy Miguel vs. Trent Daniels

Charlie Haas came out shortly after the match started. He got on the mic and said the wrestlers in the ring looked like a bunch of loads that should have been swallowed. Haas got in the ring and threw a drink in the ref’s face. Haas said Osama Bin Laden himself given the crowd his beer and called the crowd a bunch of stinky Muslim bastards. It was hard to hear what Haas said on the mic, but it seemed he was upset that ROH had scratched him from the card.

5a - - Charlie Haas vs. Troy Miguel vs. Trent Daniels

Miguel and Daniels tried to take Haas down with dropkicks, but he took them out with a double suplex. Haas destroyed both men and got a double Haas of pain for the win.

Winner: Charlie Haas – This was an effective squash, but Haas’s comments when he came to ringside were offensive, especially with children in the audience.

Corino came out with Jimmy Jacobs and joined the commentary booth having apparently made nice with McGuinness. Jacobs followed the code of honor before the bell rang. Corino said this was Jacobs’s first singles match in almost a year.

6 - - ROH TV Champion Adam Cole vs. Jimmy Jacobs – Proving Ground match

Jacobs got a nice pinning combination during the early stages of the match for a nearfall. McGuinness told a story about wrestling Jacobs in IWA-MS. I love Nigel on commentary. Jacobs and Cole went back and forth at a rapid pace and Cole caught Jacobs with a neck breaker. They battled near the apron and Cole tried to skin the cat, but Jacobs drop kicked him to the floor. They got back in the ring and exchanged nearfalls with pinning combinations before Jacobs hit a neck breaker for a 2 count. Jacobs grounded Cole and grabbed a stretch on the mat. He then turned it into a pinning combination for a nearfall before grabbing the hold again.

Kelly mentioned theminute time limit as Jacobs hit a suplex out of the corner for a 2 count. Jacobs taunted Cole and planted a kiss on him. He then slapped Cole, who fired up and nailed Jacobs with a bicycle kick. Cole then hit a slingshot splash to the outside and the crowd fired up. Cole caught Jacobs with a boot in the corner and he hit a huge missile dropkick on Jacobs for a 2 count. Corino said he wanted to do commentary on ROH TV and made fun of Caleb Seltzer. Jacobs ducked Cole and hit a springboard ace crusher for a nearfall.

Cole blocked a hurricanrana off the top at the 11 minute mark. Jacobs went for another springboard, but Cole countered it into a backbreaker. He followed up with a neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall and the fans fired up. Cole fought off the end time and hit kick. Cole went for a suplex, but Jacobs countered it into the end time. The fans fired up as Cole tried to fight his way free. Jacobs transitioned to a front face lock and hit a series of knee strikes before applying the end time again. Cole rolled over into a pinning combination, but Jacobs transitioned and got the end time again. Cole finally got to his feet and drove Jacobs into the corner. Jacobs charged at Cole and applied the end, but Cole turned it into another neckbreaker over his knees for a nearfall. Jacobs kicked out and the crowd went nuts.

McGuinness said this is ROH as it’s supposed to be. He got that right. They battled near the ropes and Jacobs hit the contra code off the ringpost and both men spilled to the floor as the fans went nuts. Jacobs got back in the ring first. Cole barely beat the ref’s count and Jacobs covered him right away for a nearfall. Jacobs went up top and hit a senton off the top for a nearfall. Corino yelled at the ref on commentary. The crowd fired up and chanted this is awesome. Corino said they’re chanting Jimmy’s awesome. Jacobs went for another contra code, but Cole blocked it. Jacobs hit some knee strikes and a series of headbutts. Cole countered the contra code and dropped Jacobs over the top turnbuckle. Cole went for the Florida Keys suplex, but Jacobs rolled him up for a nearfall. They got up and Cole hit a superkick, but Jacobs no-sold it and hit a spear. The crowd went ballistic with both men down on the mat.

They battled from their knees and eventually got up exchanging punches. Jacobs nailed Cole with a series of forearms. Cole hit an enzuguri and Jacobs bounced off the ropes. Cole hit a superkick and Jacobs didn’t go down. Jacobs went for a spear, but Cole nailed him with another superkick. Cole then hit the Florida Keys to win the match.

Winner: Adam Cole

Star rating: (****) - This was an awesome match. Jacobs showed why he deserves to be spotlighted more on television. These two had an all-out war with several great exchanges. The last few minutes were about as good as it gets in ROH.

Rhino got a big pop coming out in his hometown. He got on the mic before facing Michael Elgin. He corrected the announcer and said he weighed 275 pounds. Rhino talked about living nearby the venue and said his kid took swimming lessons nearby as well. The crowd went nuts for Rhino’s announcements. He said he had come home to kick some a--. Rhino then said he lost his virginity nearby as well and the crowd went nuts again.

7 - - Rhino vs. Michael Elgin

Both men went for a shoulder tackle early, but neither would go down. They then both went for a suplex. Rhino connected and went for the gore, but Elgin got out of the way. The pace picked up and Elgin sent Rhino to the outside and nailed him with a dropkick through the ropes. They battled through flashing lights in the entrance area before brawling into the shadows in the crowd. They continued to brawl through the crowd and the announcers couldn’t see them. They battled back to ringside under the flashing lights above. This is hard to watch with the lighting. The lights at ringside are now pulsating in different colors. Elgin dominated the action once they got back inside the ring and whipped Rhino hard into the turnbuckles before covering him for a 2 count.

Elgin went for his corkscrew dive off the top, but Rhino got out of the way. Rhino fired up and nailed Elgin with a series of blows before hitting a belly to belly suplex for a 2 count. Kelly compared this to Steve Williams facing Stan Hansen in Japan. Elgin fired back and grabbed a crossface, but Rhino got the ropes. They battled up top and Rhino hit a superplex that left both men down. Both men got up and went for simultaneous clotheslines. They began exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. Elgin finally hit an enzuguri that sent Rhino down to his knees. Elgin went for a dead-lift German and connected for a nearfall.

Rhino blocked a charge in the corner with an elbow and hit a clothesline. The crowd fired up and Rhino connected with the gore, but Elgin kicked out and the crowd gasped and chanted for Elgin. Rhino set up for another gore, but Elgin kicked him right in the face. Elgin ducked a clothesline and took Rhino down with the crossface and Rhino quickly tapped out.

Winner: Michael Elgin

Star rating: (**3/4) – The action was slow at the start and the lighting made it really difficult to watch this match at times. The action itself got really good towards the end, but overall it was really hard to watch because of the production.

Both men hugged after the match and the fans applauded.

The American Wolves got a big pop coming out for the main event. The Briscoes got a monster pop from the crowd.

8 - - ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe) vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)

The lighting is better for the main event. They turned off the pulsating multi-colored lights. Richards had a fast-paced exchange with Mark that ended in a stalemate. The crowd applauded and both men tagged out. Jay and Edwards then had a nice exchange that ended in a stalemate and the crowd fired up. The Wolves got the upper hand and began working over Jay. Richards got Jay in a hammerlock/cloverleaf combination. The ref was distracted and Eddie helped Richards get some leverage on the hold. Jay fired back and Mark got the blind tag. He hit a springboard missile dropkick on Eddie for a 2 count. The Briscoes began tagging into and out to work over Edwards. Jay knocked Richards off the apron with an elbow as they continued to put a beating on Edwards.

The crowd tried to rally behind Edwards as Mark stretched him on the mat. Edwards countered a double team and suplexed Jay onto Mark. Richards got the hot tag and ran wild. He ended up stacking up both Briscoes in the corner. Richards nailed Jay with a series of kicks while he was stacked up on Mark in the corner. Jay nailed Richards with a kick, but he fired right back with a handspring enzuguri for a 2 count. Richards applied the clover hitch on Jay. Mark tried to kick him off, but Richards caught his leg and applied an ankle lock while still holding the submission on Jay.

Edwards and Jay went at it on the outside. Edwards nailed Jay with a running kick against the guardrail before tossing him back into the ring. Jay continued to take a sustained beating, but the crowd was flat. Jay finally fought out of the corner and tagged in Mark, who ran wild on the Wolves with karate chops as the crowd applauded. Mark continued to run wild as the fans fired up. Richards countered Mark and backdropped him right into a superkick from Edwards. For some reason, Jay stood at ringside near the announcers while his brother took a beating from the Wolves.

The Wolves isolated Mark and began working him over once the action settled down. Richards tied up Mark’s legs and nicely transitioned it into the Indian death lock, but Jay broke up the submission. Edwards then applied the Indian death lock without making a legal tag while the ref was distracted. Edwards bridged up on the hold, but ended up letting it go to tag in Richards. Richards went up top for a diving headbutt, but Mark got his boots up. Davey recovered and knocked Jay off the apron before Mark could tag out. Mark fired up and began exchanging blows with Richards. Richards hit a German suplex, but Mark got right up and hit a backdrop driver that left both men down. The crowd fired up with both men down on the mat. Both men tagged out and Jay and Edwards went at it. Jay fired up on Edwards with a series of short right hands. Jay ended up hitting a falcon arrow, but only got a 2 count.

The crowd fired up as Jay and Edwards went back and forth. The action broke down and Mark sent Richards to the apron with a kick from the top. Mark hit a springboard splash, but Edwards kicked out. The Briscoes set up for the doomsday device, but Edwards nailed Jay with several elbows and Richards ran in and suplexed Mark off the top. Edwards and Jay went at it. They hit simultaneous running kicks to the head 4 times, but neither man would go down. Jay finally wiped out Eddie with a huge clothesline. Richards countered the Jay-driller into the double stomp only for Mark to hit a shotgun dropkick into the corner that left everyone down. The crowd fired up a little with all four men down. O’Reilly and Fish came out to watch the action. All four men began exchanging blows inside the ring. Richards and Edwards sent the Briscoes to the apron and nailed them with stereo kicks. They then hit a pair of simultaneous dives through the ropes on the Briscoes. The crowd fired up and Edwards and Richards hit a pair of double stomps off the top on Jay.

Eddie got the Achilles lock on Jay. Richards intercepted Mark running into the ring and applied the ankle lock. The Briscoes managed to get to the ropes to break the hold. The Wolves set up Jay for the doomsday device, but Mark ran in from out of nowhere and shoved Richards off the top through a table at ringside. The Briscoes hit the doomsday device on Edwards, but he kicked out at the last second and the crowd fired up. The bell rang, but the ref signaled it was only a two count. Jay ended up picking up Edwards and hitting the Jay-driller for the win.

Winners: The Briscoes to retain the ROH World Tag Team titles

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was a very good match, but the crowd was flat. The lighting was improved for the main event and that helped improve my enjoyment of the match greatly compared to some of the other matches on the card. The crowd was flat for a good deal of the match, but when the pace picked up at the end, the match got really good.

Overall thoughts: (6.0) – This was a very good show from a wrestling standpoint, but several of the matches suffered due to terrible lighting conditions to the point they were hard to watch. The Elgin-Rhino match featured the worst lighting of the entire show.

The show featured a number of good matches including Strong-Young in a hard-hitting affair and newcomer Thomas facing Steen for the ROH World Title in a match that the crowd got hot for due to his comeback against Steen and some nice nearfalls.

Jacobs and Cole stole the show with an amazing Proving Ground match for the ROH TV title. Jacobs and Cole put their working boots on and delivered a tremendous back and forth encounter. This was easily Jacobs’s best showing in an ROH ring in a long time and the crowd was red hot for the match. This is the kind of match that makes the TV Title seem important. Cole has all the tools to be a huge star in ROH in 2013.

The main event was good and the lighting didn’t get in the way. The crowd seemed flat for most of the match as both the Briscoes and the Wolves got extended heat segments. The pace really picked up towards the end and delivered a red hot finish.

This show would have received a big rating bump if the production had been better. The lighting was poor for several of the matches and although it improved at certain points, it got worse towards the end of the show. The good news is the best matches on the show didn’t suffer from the lighting issues that most of the other matches had.

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