Ring of Honor METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 4/26: Lethal defends ROH TV Title, Cole-Steen title feud, more from WM Weekend
Apr 27, 2014 - 5:43:28 PM
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ROH TV Report
April 26, 2014
Taped in New Orleans, La.
Report by Mike Metzger, PWTorch VIP Member
The ROH “Creating Excellence” signature aired.
Highlights of the Adam Cole-Jay Briscoe ROH World Title unification match from Supercard of Honor VIII were shown. For those who missed it, Cole barely eked out a victory thanks to help from Michael Bennett and Matt Hardy.
The ROH TV opening aired.
Tonight: Action from ROH’s TV taping during WrestleMania weekend in New Orleans, Louisiana!
Adam Cole walked to ring, flanked by Matt Hardy. Cole, with both title belts over his shoulder, proclaimed that there was now no disputing that he was ROH World Champion. He talked about going to hell and back in order to retain his title at Supercard of Honor. He went on to say that Jay Briscoe had to go back to his family and say, “I could not beat Adam Cole.” The champion then shifted his attention to Michael Bennett. He said that Bennett beat Mark Briscoe like he’s never been beaten before, and proclaimed that the Briscoes were gone from ROH for good!
Cole continued talking himself up. Then Cole, being the gracious champion that he is, offered Jay Briscoe’s “real” ROH title to Matt Hardy. Hardy accepted the title and mockingly celebrated. He rechristened the belt the “Iconic Title.” Hardy thanked Adam Cole, and the two heels embraced.
The love-fest was broken up by Kevin Steen. Steen walked to the ring and told Cole that he had no idea what hell was because Steen is the devil, himself. Steen then announced that Cole would be defending the title against him in Toronto on May 10. He reminded everyone that when he lost the title last year, he never received a re-match. Steen also beat Cole a few weeks before Cole won the title last year, but never received a shot. Steen even won a number one contender match in San Antonio earlier this year, but Cole pulled out due to injury. “Pulling out only works for so long,” according to Steen.
Steen called Cole “just another obstacle.” Cole was upset and countered by saying that Steen would fall just like everyone else. Steen started to say something, but then dropped the mic and attacked Cole and Hardy mid-sentence. Michael Bennett ran out, and the three men outnumbered Steen. Cole nailed Steen with the title belt. The heels stood over Steen. Kevin Kelly said that “The Empire” continued to grow stronger and stronger, but wondered who would be able to stop them.
[ MM ANALYSIS: Rare in-ring promo for ROH, but this set up a lot of developments. I am looking forward to Briscoe-Hardy for the “Iconic Title.” Again, I have to wonder why ROH waited so long to air these tapings. I’m sure you were able to look it up online, but this is potentially the first time a casual viewer is hearing of a Cole-Steen match for the ROH World Title, less than two weeks away from the live iPPV. ]
1 - CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. B.J. WHITMER (w/Roderick Strong, Jimmy Jacobs, and Adam Page)
Kevin Kelly said this was a chance for Cedric to finally earn the respect of The Decade. Both men locked up to start. You would think Cedric would be a little more aggressive after his recent history with The Decade. At 1:00, Whitmer hit Cedric with a shoulder tackle. Whitmer threw him to the ropes, but Cedric reversed with a dropkick!
Alexander was in control briefly, until both men exchanged chops. Whitmer took control by nailing Cedric with a knee to the midsection. Whitmer followed up with some strikes to Cedric in the corner. Alexander tried to battle out of the corner, but was again grounded by Whitmer. B.J. applied a rest hold. Cedric was eventually able to fight out of it. B.J. charged at Alexander in the corner, but Cedric got his boot up. He was able to sustain his momentum by nailing Whitmer with a spinkick, but could only get a nearfall.
Cedric went up top for a kick, but slipped off of the ropes. He still hit the kick, but it was an obvious botch. Alexander went to follow up, but Whitmer reversed it into a snap slam. Whitmer held onto Cedric for a series of suplexes, as the show went to commercial at 5:15 of the match.
(During the commercial, Truth Martini proclaimed himself the greatest manager in the history of ROH. He hyped his new client, Jay Lethal, and promised that if the ROH thought it was a party before, they hadn’t seen anything yet.)
The show returned at 7:45. Cedric hit his Lumbar Check finisher, but Jacobs got up on the apron. He was nailed by Cedric for his troubles. Cedric went for a spinkick off the top rope again, but missed. B.J. turned Cedric inside out with a stiff lariat and scored the pin.
WINNER: B.J. Whitmer via pinfall at 8:45. (*)
[ MM ANALYSIS: This match was a bit off from the start. Cedric should have shown more aggression in the opening moments. He seemed a little out of it, especially when he slipped off the ropes. Then there was that oddly-timed commercial break, where the match resumed just in time for the finish to take place. It almost seemed like it was a live show and they were up against a hard break, but we know that this wasn’t the case. It makes me wonder if they had to cut that part out of the match for a reason. ]
After the match, Jacobs took the microphone and said that kids like Cedric will never get it. He ran down several “flavors of the month” who have come and gone over the years. Adam Page restrained Cedric on the mat, while Jacobs went on to insult his wife and daughter. Jacobs continued the humiliation by rubbing his boot in Cedric’s face, demanding that he lick the dirt off of it. Cedric responded by spitting in the face of Jacobs. Roderick Strong ran out of the corner and attacked Alexander. He hit the End of Heartache on Cedric, as Page wiped the spit off the face of Jacobs. Maybe Cedric will be a little more aggressive in his next match against a Decade member.
Adam Cole hyped his match against Kevin Steen at Global Wars on May 10. He said that lions do not concern themselves with the opinions of sheep. Obviously Cole is the lion in that scenario, while Steen is a “fat boy.” Cole declared that it won’t be “Kill Steen Kill” at Global Wars, it will be “Run Steen Run.”
2 - ANDREW EVERETT vs. A.C.H.
The Code of Honor was adhered to. They chain wrestled for a bit, allowing A.C.H. to do some flips on the mat. Everett slowed A.C.H. down, though, and chopped him. A.C.H. fought back by dropping to the mat and then kicking Everett in the head. A.C.H. applied a Texas Cloverleaf for a few moments, but let it go. A.C.H. charged at Everett, but Andrew got the elbow up. Everett followed up by coming off the top rope and nailing A.C.H.!
Everett did some flips now, culminating with a standing huracanrana on A.C.H., but he could only get a two count. Everett suplexed A.C.H. Everett went for a springboard 450 splash, but A.C.H. moved out of the way. A.C.H. hit a double foot stomp on Everett. Everett countered by throwing A.C.H. to the ropes. Everett charged at A.C.H., but A.C.H. avoided him by doing a moonsault from the ring apron to the floor! He wasn’t safe for long, however, as Everett immediately followed up with a corkscrew moonsault over the top rope and onto A.C.H. on the floor.
Everett rolled his opponent back into the ring, as the fans chanted “this is awesome.” Everett went up top for a double moonsault (yes, he hit two consecutive moonsaults in mid-air before hitting the mat), but A.C.H. got out of the way! A.C.H. kicked Everett right in the face and followed up with a 450 splash to score the victory.
WINNER: A.C.H. via pinfall in 5:15 (**1/4)
[ MM ANALYSIS: Good match for what it was. I’m still waiting for ROH to give some of these newer acts some character development, though. ]
After the match, Tadarius Thomas came out to congratulate his partner on his victory. A.C.H. gave him the cold shoulder and checked on Everett, instead. A.C.H. helped Everett to his feet and shook his hand, as Jimmy Jacobs teased dissension between team Adrenaline Rush on commentary.
A video package aired, chronicling the Truth Martini storyline over the past few months. In a nutshell, Matt Taven fired Truth Martini as his manager. In response, Martini threw a fireball in Taven’s face and, like a petulant child, declared that he “fired” Taven. Martini went on to help Jay Lethal win the ROH TV title for the second time, and gained a new client in the process.
A smug Jay Lethal walked to the ring with Truth Martini by his side. Lethal came out to his usual theme music, but it was now joined by chants of “you sold out” toward Lethal.
3 - ROH TV champion JAY LETHAL vs. ALEX KOSLOV - ROH TV Title match
Surprisingly enough, the Code of Honor was adhered to before the match. Lethal appeared a bit more methodical than usual, even pausing at one point to get some advice from Truth Martini. Lethal went for another handshake, but Koslov, perhaps wisely, refused. They ran the ropes, culminating in a cute spot where both men were about to collide, but this time Koslov extended his hand to Lethal.
Lethal shook hands with Koslov, and went for a cheap shot. Koslov saw it coming, however, and armdragged Lethal to the mat. Koslov dropkicked Lethal to the outside and then followed up with a big flip dive onto Lethal! The show went to commercial at 2:00 of the match.
Back at 4:00, Lethal was pummeling Koslov on the outside. Lethal threw Koslov back into ring and covered him, but could only get a two count. Lethal went for his low dropkick to Koslov on the mat, but Koslov ducked and rolled Lethal up for a two count. Lethal came off the top rope, but was dropkicked by Koslov. Both men were down. They got up and exchanged blows. The crowd was firmly against Lethal. Lethal eventually won the battle. He charged at Koslov in the corner, but missed. Koslov followed up with a cross body and then an enziguri!
Koslov grabbed his fur hat and did his spot where we dances while stomping his opponent. He finished up with a foot stomp, but could only get a nearfall. Lethal fought back and dropkicked Koslov to the outside. Lethal was going for a dive, but Koslov intercepted him with a kick that sent Lethal to the outside. Koslov went up top for a dive, but Martini shook the ropes. Koslov amazingly maintained his balance and dove onto Lethal!
Lethal hit the Lethal Combination and immediately applied the Koji Clutch. Koslov tried to roll out of it, but Lethal was able to hold on. Koslov was able to reverse into a submission hold of his own, but Lethal grabbed the ropes. Koslov placed Lethal on the top turnbuckle. Lethal blocked a superplex attempt and then headbutted Koslov to the mat. Lethal was in perfect position for his Hail to the King elbow smash. Koslov tried to get his boot up but Lethal saw it coming. Lethal then went for the Lethal Injection, but Koslov reversed it into a Tortute Rack! Koslov followed up with an inverted death valley driver, but could only get a two count.
All of a sudden, Matt Taven ran out of the crowd and chased after Martini on the outside. Taven followed Martini into the ring and got his hands on him briefly, but Lethal broke it up. Both men started brawling, as the bell rang. Security ran to the ring to break it up, as the fans chanted “let them fight.”
WINNER: No announced winner at 10:50. (**2/3)
[ MM ANALYSIS: This was on its way to three-star territory until the abrupt finish. I am liking what I see from Lethal as a heel so far. ]
FINAL REAX: This was a newsworthy edition of the show, but there really isn’t anything worth going out of your way to see if you missed it. Again, I just don’t understand why they waited this long to start hyping matches for Global Wars. We are less than two weeks away, yet only two matches have been formally announced on TV. Did I mention that there is another live iPPV the week after Global Wars? I sincerely hope that the upcoming changes to ROH’s PPV structure will be changes for the better.
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