Credit: Michael Specian & PWInsider
The following are spoilers from the Ring of Honor TV tapings in Baltimore this evening. I don’t know the names of everyone’s finishing maneuver, and I’m too lazy to check the spelling of names, so please translate if you know what I’m describing.
Ring of Honor taped four episodes of television in Baltimore Saturday evening. The episodes will air through February 11 on Sinclair broadcast stations. A standing room only crowd of about 500 filled Baltimore’s Du Burns arena.
If you don’t want to read the entire report, here are the highlights:
Thomasa Chiampa remains undefeated
Jay Lethal retains his TV Title after Maria intervenes in the match
Coleman and Alexander have a breakout performance
Kyle O’Reilly has two excellent matches
Dissension builds between the American Wolves as Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly form a tag team called “Team Ambition”, and Eddie Edwards responds by forming a new tag team with Adam Cole
The World’s Greatest Tag Team continue a heel turn by hitting Mark Briscoe in the head with a chair
Kevin Steen is back as “professional wrestling’s worse nightmare.” He promises to take Davey Richards’s title and hold ROH hostage.
The pile driver is banned in ROH
Before getting into the spoilers, I have to mention that ROH did everything in their power to be good to the Baltimore crowd. They often referred to Baltimore as a new home for ROH (huge applause for that and “Welcome Home” chants), and offered everyone in attendance coupons for $10 off the next show, which will be on Saturday, February 4. By time I went to get those coupons, they were all gone.
After the show, Nigel McGuiness hung around to talk to some fans at ringside and Mark Briscoe, Davey Richards, and Kyle O’Reilly chatted with fans and stuck around for pictures in the main lobby. The interaction at the end was actually really nice and sent us all home happy.
Devon Storm def. a guy whose name I didn’t catch. He’s white, under six feet tall with corn rows. Devon score the pin in about 6 minutes with a camel clutch dragon sleeper variation.
There were usually about two minute intermissions between segments. These were ocassionally punctuated by chants like “Awkward silence!”
Eddie Edwards def. Mike Mondo in 10 minutes. Eddie, who got a strong reaction coming out, finished Mondo off with a cradle brain buster. Mondo, a former member of WWE’s Spirit Squad, received numerous chants of “He’s got spirit!”
Jim Cornette invited out the new Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions, The Briscoe Brothers, who received a huge reaction. Jay Briscoe asked Jim Cornette if it was true that the World’s Greatest Tag Team, Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, were fined $5000 for the chair shots to the head they delivered at Final Battle. After Cornette confirmed this fact, Jay asked, “Who gets that money? Do you get that money?” Jim replied that he doesn’t personally. Jay suggesting not only that the Briscoes should get the money, but that everyone in the locker room should come out to the ring to hit them with chairs. They claimed they didn’t care because they weren’t “cosmetically pleasing” anyway, a reference the Briscoes first made during a video leading up to Final Battle where they recounted that a promising tryout with WWE ultimately led nowhere because John Lauranitus did not appreciate their look.
Jim informed the Briscoes that Haas and Benjamin blame them for the hostile reaction they received in New York City at Final Battle. Mark replied that they just keep it real. They said that the Young Bucks, who earned the #1 contender’s shots for the Tag Team Championships at Final Battle, were sitting ducks and that the Briscoes are going to knock them down. The segment concluded with the crowd chanting “Man up!”
Roderick Strong with Michael Elgin and Truth Martini def. Ricky Reyes (4 minutes) with by reversing Reyes’s backroll with one of his own.
Matt Jackson with Nick Jackson def. Kenny King with Rhett Titus in the TV Main Event (10 minutes). Rhett Titus, who is recovering from surgery was at ringside on crutches. This match was a ton of fun. The Young Bucks played the role of utterly obnoxious heels, ridiculing Rhett Titus’s injury by limping around the ring and mock-crying. After an athletic contest, Nick Jackson stole one of Rhett’s crutches and hit Kenny King as he was attempting a springboard. Matt covered him behind the referee’s back and scored the pinfall. After the match there was a melee where both teams needed to be pulled apart.
January 28 Taping
Thomaso Chiampa (with Prince Nana and that dude in the green jacket) def. TJ Perkins (6 minutes) with his signature powerbomb over his knees move.
Michael Elgin def. Grizzly Redwood (5 minutes). This match was supposed to feature Grizzly Redwood against Devon Storm, but before the match commenced, the House of Truth interrupted. Truth Martini, dressed in a long purple waistcoat brushed aside “Willy Wonka” chants to make Devon Storm an offer. He could either A) take $500 and let Michael Elgin take his place or B) piss Michael Elgin off. Storm took the money. Truth then turned to Grizzly and alerted him that Elgin was going to hurt him so badly he was going to wish he had “died as a child.” The match was slightly more than a squash with Grizzly getting in some good, if at times sloppy, offense. Elgin looked the part of a monster. Fun little match.
Davey Richards & Kyle O’Reilly def. Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman in the TV Main Event (12 minutes). This match was AWESOME. I feel Alexander and Coleman really turned a corner here. There were fans in attendance who had never seen any of the four wrestlers before and they walked away thinking C&A were the stars. After a lot of great back and forth and near falls, Kyle O’Reilly finally managed to secure a submission with the guillotine choke.
After the match, both teams received a big ovation and Davey took the microphone. He pointed out that at commentary Nigel McGuinness sat as a former ROH Champion, in the ring he stood as the current ROH Champion, and Kyle O’Reilly is the future ROH Champion. Davey said that the American Wolves was the past, but now he and O’Reilly will compete together as Team Ambition. As the newly minted Team Ambition celebrated, Eddie Edwards approached the ring and sarcastically applauded both wrestlers as the show went off the air.
February 4 Taping
Jay Lethal def. Mike Bennett (with Brutal Bob and Maria) in a no time limit match to retain the ROH Television Championship (11 minutes). At the end of the match, Jay clunked the front of his head against the back of Bennett’s as they were both running towards the ropes. Lethal fell to the mat while Bennett, dazed, clung to the top rope. Sensing an opportunity, Maria ran to Bennett and pushed him over so that he fell onto Lethal. The referee went to count Lethal’s shoulders down, but Jay rolled Bennett through to secure a quick pin.
Kevin Kelly entered the ring and invited “professional wrestling’s worse nightmare, Kevin Steen” to the ring. Steen was greeted with the usual avalanche of “Kill Steen Kill” chants. Kelly told Steen that he has earned the right to return to ROH, but he wondered at what cost.
Steen grabbed the microphone and told Kelly that he had waited an entire year to speak his mind. He directed Kelly to get out of the ring and to take his gum with him. Steen asked the crowd what type of promotion sends their top guy home for one year, especially when performers in other wrestling companies get away with far worse. Steen argued that he was kept away not because he was out of control, but because he refused to suck up to Cornette’s “golden boy”, Davey Richards. This led to dueling “Kevin Steen”, “Davey Richards” chants. Steen said that if 2012 was indeed the last year of civilization, then he would face the end of the world as ROH Champion, rip Davey Richards apart and “hold the company hostage.”
Jim Cornette then came to the ring with an entourage of security and Carey Silken and the two laid into each other. Cornette told Steen he had wrestling’s biggest mouth, spent his time exercising his supper muscles and was nothing more than a mixture between a jackass and Fear Factor. He suggested that Steen should leave and go eat his boogers or whatever it is he does. Steen said that Jim should send “friends” to the back (referencing security), but then again, Jim doesn’t have any friends because he’s an “asshole.”
Jim Cornette reminded Steen that he laid out Steve Corino, Jimmy Jacobs, and El Generico at Final Battle with pile drivers. He told the story of Owen Hart’s pile driver on Steve Austin that left him paralyzed for 30 seconds and greatly shortened his career. He was a friend and a manager to Owen Hart and he knew how sorry he was. Steen, on the other hand, has shown absolutely no remorse. Therefore, from here on out, there will be no more performers put on IR because the pile driver is banned.
Steen retorted that his move is being banned not for wrestlers’ safety but for Davey Richards’s safety. You might be able to ban my finisher, he argued, but you can’t ban me. He promised that he will take Davey’s title and become the nightmare from which Cornette would never awake.
Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin come to the ring to a mostly negative reaction. Haas says they will not be wrestling the Bravados tonight because their time had been cut short because Steen went on for too long. Instead, he claimed that WGTT got to make the rules.
Shelton Benjamin told the Baltimore crowd that he wanted to like them, but with such a negative reaction, it obvious that they had turned on him. As far as he was concerned, they were holding the show hostage until the Briscoes gave them their rematch. This started a “rematch” chant. This drew out Cornette, security, and eventually the Briscoes, who were all too eager to throw down.
The Briscoes def. Haas and Benjamin by DQ after Shelton hits Mark in the head with a chair (4 minutes). Cornette asked WGTT, “What happened to you guys,” and they yelled back “They started it.” Cornette then fined them $5000.
February 11 Taping
Eddie Edwards def. Kyle O’Reilly (12 minutes). This was another really good match, perhaps better than Davey vs. O’Reilly from several weeks ago. The match started one-on-one, but soon Davey came out with a towel to lend support. After both competitors spilled to the floor, Eddie missed a kick, driving his ankle into the ring post. Davey immediately alerted Kyle who started working over the ankle. Adam Cole then came to the ring to encourage Eddie Edwards. After a ton of great, stiff, back and forth action Eddie pinned Kyle after a reversal of a couple small packages.
After the match Eddie grabbed the mic and told Davey, “I guess you don’t need me anymore.” Davey could be heard saying, “It’s not like that.” Eddie turned to Adam Cole and asked him if he had a tag team partner. Adam Cole looked at Kyle for a long time and then shook his head no. Eddie then asked Cole if he would like to be tag team partners with him and Cole agreed.
Mike Mondo vs. Matt Tavey fought to a no contest (3 minutes) with Steve Corino at commentary. Three minutes into the match, Kevin Steen walked out and said, “You two have a match right now, but I have to wait until next week.” He told both wrestlers it wasn’t their fault. Mike Mondo, he says, has been all over the world. He continued, “Tavey, I don’t know you, but you’re a cutie pie. Jim must love all of your handshake shit.” He then proceeded to lay both of them out. Corino stands for a confrontation but security pulls them apart. Steen announces that once again Cornette has denied the fans what they want to see.
The House of Truth, Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini) def. The Briscoe Brothers by DQ (12 minutes). The stipulation for this match was that both teams had put up a side bet of $5000 of their own money. Near the end of the match, Truth threw powder in Jay’s eyes. Jay washed them out with water, went into the back, and came out with a baseball bat. He hit Roderick with it, leading to the DQ. Afterwards, the Briscoes celebrated as if they’d won the match, and the money, by leading the crowd with chants of “five thousand dollars.”