Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Ring of Honor on Sinclair recap. If you all are ready, then let’s get on with the show!
We see a video highlighting last week’s main event between Adam Cole & Michael Elgin before the usual intro.
Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness welcome us to the show from the Du Burns Arena in Baltimore, MD. Kelly & McGuinness hype up tonight’s final 2 “March Mayhem” qualifying matches before our opening match.
Veda Scott interviews the Embassy Limited before the 1st qualifying match tonight between Tommaso Ciampa & Kyle O’Reilly. Ciampa talks about stealing the TV Title from Jay Lethal at the 10th Anniversary iPPV and says if Lethal wants it back, he has to take it from him.
“March Mayhem” Qualifier: “The Dominant Male” Tommaso Ciampa w/The Embassy Limited vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Lock-up and Ciampa with a hammerlock. Both men then exchange reversals of each other’s hammerlocks before O’Reilly nails Ciampa with a dropkick. However, Ciampa comes back and knocks O’Reilly down with a shoulder tackle. Both men go for a knucklelock and then go to a test of strength with the knucklelock applied. O’Reilly with a kick, but Ciampa with a knee to the ribs. They go back and forth with exchanging kicks and knees before O’Reilly hits a series of kicks to Ciampa’s leg. O’Reilly then with a Northern Lights Suplex for a 1 count. O’Reilly with a kick to Ciampa’s chest while he was on his knees, but it seemed to have little to no effect on him. O’Reilly with another kick as Ciampa stands up, still showing no effect to any of O’Reilly’s kicks. O’Reilly with a series of kicks now and he is starting to get frustrated because they are still having no effect on Ciampa. Ciampa ducks O’Reilly’s roundhouse kick and from his knees, nails O’Reilly with a front dropkick to the ribs, knocking him down. Ciampa goes for a knee to the head, but O’Reilly ducks and tries for a roll-up, but Ciampa rolls through it. However, O’Reilly nails Ciampa with another kick to the chest to finally knock him down for a 1 count. O’Reilly with an uppercut, followed by an Irish whip. However, Ciampa reverses it and whips O’Reilly off the ropes. O’Reilly comes in and sidesteps Ciampa’s back body drop attempt with a kick to the face and then goes off the ropes, but Ciampa catches him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for a nearfall.
Ciampa with a stomp, followed by a snapmare takeover and finally a hard kick between O’Reilly’s shoulder blades. O’Reilly then comes back with a kick, a couple of open hand palm strikes and a knee to the head. O’Reilly with another kick to the chest, but as he goes for the leg sweep, Ciampa leaps and connects with a knee across the back of O’Reilly’s head. Ciampa then with a nonchalant cover for a nearfall. Ciampa scores with a snap suplex, followed by a series of clubs to the chest of O’Reilly for another nearfall. Ciampa with a shoulder to the ribs of O’Reilly, followed by an Irish whip that sends O’Reilly sternum first into the turnbuckles. Then from a deadlift position, Ciampa lifts up O’Reilly and places him on the top turnbuckles facing the crowd, followed by placing him into the Tree of Woe. Ciampa rains in right hands to O’Reilly and then drops down the kneepad. Ciampa hits the running knee as the referee then removes O’Reilly from the Tree of Woe. Ciampa gains another nearfall and then locks in a seated surfboard. O’Reilly gets to his feet and tries to counter, but Ciampa brings him right back down. O’Reilly gets to his feet again and this time counters Ciampa’s hold into a back suplex.
O’Reilly charges at Ciampa in the corner and connects with a running forearm, followed by going off the ropes and hitting a knee lariat. O’Reilly then places Ciampa on the top turnbuckles facing the crowd and heads up top with him. O’Reilly hits a back superplex with both men on the top rope, but as he gets up, Ciampa hulks up and gets a 2nd wind behind him. Ciampa charges, but O’Reilly gets his boot up. O’Reilly goes off the ropes, ducks under Ciampa’s clothesline attempt and hits a tilt-a-whirl DDT for a nearfall. O’Reilly hits a series of kicks and open hand palm strikes, but Ciampa comes right back with a big lariat for a nearfall. Ciampa lifts O’Reilly up for Project Ciampa, but O’Reilly counters into the front guillotine choke. Ciampa then counters by lifting O’Reilly up for a suplex, but O’Reilly counters with knees to the head.
Ciampa throws him off and then O’Reilly charges, but he runs right into a hard knee to the head by Ciampa. The referee checks O’Reilly, who is knocked out, and calls for the bell to stop the match.
Winner: “The Dominant Male” Tommaso Ciampa via referee stoppage (Knee to the Head)
Referees come out to check on O’Reilly as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, Kelly & McGuinness take us to comments from the World Champion, Davey Richards before our next match, which will be a Proving Ground match.
Richards talks about the fact that while Kyle O’Reilly is his own man, he had a problem with O’Reilly not adhering to the Code of Honor at 10th Anniversary. He then talks about his Proving Ground match with Ryan McBride and that while he respects McBride, he is gonna leave with his head.
Proving Ground Match: Ring of Honor World Champion “American Wolf” Davey Richards vs. Ryan McBride
Both men adhere to the Code of Honor before the bell sounds. Bell sounds and Richards charges at McBride, hitting a running forearm in the corner, followed by a running knee in the corner. Richards then goes off the ropes and hits a running soccer kick to the head of McBride as he was in a seated position for a nearfall.
Richards then goes right into the Anklelock and McBride has no choice but to tapout.
Winner: “American Wolf” Davey Richards by submission
After the match, both men adhere once more to the Code of Honor as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial. Kevin Steen comes to the ring for an interview with Kevin Kelly. Steen wondered why Ring of Honor is constantly scheduling him for interviews, but keeping him out of matches. Kelly responded that it is because Steen is causing injuries and refusing to stop his attacks after the bell. Steen sees a certain twisted integrity in this, arguing that Davey Richards is hypocritical when he shakes opponents’ hands after the match. He, on the other hand, beats them up and doesn’t want to shake hands. Steen said that Davey doesn’t want to come out and face him because he is being held back by Jim Cornette. Steen says that Davey’s cauliflower ears are shoved up Jim Cornette’s ass.
Richards storms out to the ring, but is stopped from entering by Jim Cornette. Richards screams to Steen that he will break his ankle. Richards wants a match with Steen, but Cornette will not allow it. Steen joked, “Nice balls, Davey. Were they in Cornette’s pocket?” Richards then slaps Steen, who just laughs and has a smile on his face as he walks away, while Richards and Cornette argue in the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, we go to this week’s “Inside Ring of Honor”, with comments from Jay Lethal about Tommaso Ciampa stealing his TV Title belt. Lethal says that while it hurt to see Ciampa steal his belt, it will hurt Ciampa even more when Lethal takes back his title, ends Ciampa’s undefeated streak and becomes Ring of Honor’s new Dominant Male.
Main Event in the final “March Mayhem” qualifier: “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett w/”Brutal” Bob Evans & “The 1st Lady of Ring of Honor” Maria Kanellis
Before the match starts, Bennett acts like he is going to adhere to the Code of Honor, but instead doesn’t and kisses Maria. Lock-up and Bennett with an arm wrench into a wristlock. Edwards then spins out and counters into a wristlock of his own. Bennett then is able to counter back into his own wristlock. Bennett goes for a snapmare, but Edwards counters and goes right back into a wristlock. Bennett then breaks the hold and goes into a side headlock. Irish whip by Edwards, but Bennett with a shoulder tackle. Bennett goes off the ropes, but Edwards with a leapfrog and then he slides under Bennett’s legs. Bennett goes back off the ropes, Edwards with another leapfrog and then catches Bennett coming in with an armdrag. Edwards follows with another armdrag into an armbar. Edwards with an arm wrench, but Bennett comes back with a right hand. Edwards then ducks under a right hand from Bennett and nails him with a chop. Edwards goes back to the wristlock, but Bennett breaks it. Edwards ducks under another right hand from Bennett and hits him with another chop. Edwards again goes back to the wristlock and takes Bennett down. Bennett gets Edwards to the ropes and then nails him with a gut shot. Bennett with an elbow to the side of Edwards’s head, but Edwards comes back with a chop. Bennett then comes back with a kick to the ribs, followed by an Irish whip. Bennett charges, but Edwards gets his boot up. Bennett charges again, but Edwards catches him and places Bennett in the Tree of Woe, but not before hitting Bennett with a kick to the back. Edwards fires up and connects with a hesitation dropkick, followed by going to the outside. Edwards gets set on the far side of the ring with Bennett still in the Tree of Woe and sets to charge, but Maria gets in the way to prevent Edwards from hitting Bennett. That distraction with the referee talking to Maria allows Evans to come in and nail Edwards with a back suplex across the barricade.
Bennett then rolls Edwards back into the ring and gains a nearfall. Bennett then starts to unload with right hands to Edwards, followed by a stomp. Bennett taunts the crowd as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial as Edwards nails Bennett with a series of chops. Edwards goes off the ropes, but Bennett catches him coming in with a back elbow. We see that during the commercial break, Bennett nailed Edwards in the corner with a running clothesline, followed by a neckbreaker for a nearfall. Back to live action as Bennett chokes Edwards in the ropes and then distracts the referee as Evans nails Edwards with a right hand. We also see some lacerations on the back of Edwards due to the back suplex earlier by Evans on the barricade. Bennett then gets a head of steam and nails Edwards with a crossbody across his back while Edwards is in the ropes for another nearfall. Bennett goes for a suplex, but Edwards blocks it. Both men then struggle to get the other one over for a suplex until Edwards finally gets Bennett over and hits the suplex.
Both men are down as the referee begins his 10 count. They get back to their feet and begin to exchange forearms and right hands. Edwards then gains the advantage with a series of chops, but Bennett comes back with a kick to the ribs. Irish whip by Bennett, reversed by Edwards, but Bennett sidesteps Edwards’s back body drop attempt with a kick to the face, but Edwards quickly hooks him and connects with a rana. Edwards charges, but as Bennett tries to get his boot up, Edwards catches it. Edwards with a chop, followed by an Irish whip. Edwards then charges and hits a running chop in the corner. Edwards hits a snap suplex and then heads up top. Edwards leaps off the top and connects with a missile dropkick for a nearfall. Edwards goes for a suplex, but Bennett counters and hooks him into a waistlock. Edwards counters that with back elbows and then goes off the ropes, but Bennett catches him with a big right hand. Bennett goes off the ropes, but Edwards goes in with him and slides out to the outside. Bennett goes after him, but Edwards slides back in. Edwards goes off the ropes and nails Bennett with a running boot, knocking him off the apron. Edwards goes off the ropes, looking for a dive, but Evans grabs onto his foot to stop him. Edwards stomps Evans’s hand and then charges, hitting Bennett with a tope dive that sends Bennett into the barricade. Edwards then slides back in and charges at the other side of the ring, nailing Evans with a tope dive that sends Evans also into the barricade.
Back in the ring, Bennett nails Edwards with a kick and gets back in the ring. Bennett heads up top, but Edwards runs up the ropes and hits Bennett with a belly-to-belly superplex for a close nearfall. Edwards lifts Bennett to his feet, but Bennett breaks free and tries for the Box Office Smash, however Edwards counters that with an armdrag. Edwards goes after Bennett, but Bennett catches him with a knee to the face. Bennett goes up to the middle ropes, but Edwards catches him with an uppercut. Edwards tries for the Chin Checker, but Bennett fights out of it with gut shots. Edwards then comes back with an enziguri style kick to Bennett and then goes out onto the apron. Edwards with a chop to Bennett and then tries for the Chin Checker off the apron, but Bennett rolls off his back and shoves him away. Bennett then charges at Edwards and nails him with a spear that sends Edwards crashing hard onto the apron and Bennett goes down on the outside. Bennett rolls Edwards back in the ring and goes for a cover, but Edwards barely kicks out. Bennett places Edwards on the top turnbuckle and nails him with a right hand. Bennett goes up with him and tries for a superplex, but Edwards blocks it with gut shots. Edwards knocks Bennett off the ropes, but Bennett comes back with a forearm. Bennett heads back up top and tries again for a superplex, but Edwards counters again and this time lifts up Bennett on his shoulders and connects with a fallaway facebuster off the ropes for a nearfall. Edwards then off the nearfall goes right into hooking Bennett with the Achilles’ Lock. Bennett then kicks him off to break the hold as Maria gets on the apron. Edwards ducks under Bennett’s clothesline and goes off the ropes, but runs into Maria as he does so. Edwards goes over Bennett on a counter and hooks him in an O’Connor Roll, but the referee is with Maria, who seemed to be hurt from that collision.
While the referee is with Maria, Bennett hooks Edwards’ tights and reverses the O’Connor Roll into a roll-up for the victory.
Winner and the final man to qualify for next week’s “March Mayhem” finals: “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett by pinfall (Roll-Up)
After the match, we see that nothing was ever wrong with Maria as she feigned being hurt to allow Bennett to get the win. Team Prodigy celebrate while Edwards is in complete shock as to what just happened as we go to credits.
Solid show this week, but I felt this was not needed because of the mere fact that were iPPVs this weekend and they put on 2 matches that had absolutely nothing to do with the iPPVs this weekend.
The back and forth with Richards, Steen & Cornette was very well done as we finally got some interaction with Richards & Steen on TV instead of it always being Steen & Cornette. Adding Richards to the mix to start the build for the eventual match he and Steen will have down the line is a good way to freshen up things.
The 2 qualifying matches on TV this week were both very good. I would say the main event was the better match of the two as Bennett & Edwards had a very good back and forth match, but the opener I thought was also good in the sense that they are starting to have Ciampa win more matches via ref stoppage and I like that because it can add a new sense of unpredictability and danger to him where you don’t know if he can beat you with Project Ciampa, or if he will just straight knock you out with his knee strikes. O’Reilly sold the finish very well and made you think he was really knocked out, which got over that whole KO power from Ciampa in a good fashion.
The one other thing I should say about this week is the finish to the main event, where Maria really came into her own as a heel with feigning that she was hurt from the collision with Edwards to lead to Bennett getting the win and then just laughing about it and being so condescending towards Edwards with “Oh, I’m sorry” bit. Maria’s heel work as the manager to Mike Bennett has been one of the most surprising things I have seen so far this year because it seems so natural to her, but yet still so surprising in the sense that before this, she has NEVER been a heel. So, to see her be so natural with the mannerisms and whatnot with being a heel, makes you really wonder why in the world did the WWE let go. Just baffling to me.
Overall, solid show, but the grade will not be as high just because of the sheer fact that they did a show with new matches on a weekend where they had an iPPV. Not a good decision whatsoever to do that.
My Grade: C