Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s ROH on Sinclair recap. If you all are ready, then let’s get on with the show!
We see what happened last week when the main event for “Best in the World: Hostage Crisis” was announced as new ROH World Champion Kevin Steen will defend against former champion Davey Richards 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 main event before we go to the opening match.
“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin w/Truth Martini vs. Matt Taven
Before the bell sounds, Taven wants to adhere to the Code of Honor and Elgin surprisingly obliges him, although with a weird smile on his face. Truth Martini joins Kelly & McGuinness at the commentary table as the bell sounds. Lock-up and Elgin backs Taven into the corner. Elgin goes for a chop, but Taven ducks and hits a chop of his own. However, it has no effect on Elgin, who shoves Taven down. Elgin charges, but misses a clothesline and Taven nails him with a pair of forearms. Taven goes for an Irish whip, but Elgin uses his power to block it. Elgin with an Irish whip, but Taven goes up & over him and follows up by locking in a side headlock. Irish whip by Elgin, but when Taven tries to hit Elgin with a shoulder tackle, Elgin does not budge. Elgin then misses a pair of right & left hands and then Taven rocks him with a dropkick. However, Elgin comes right back and knocks Taven down with a shoulder tackle. Elgin goes off the ropes, Taven leapfrogs him and then catches Elgin with a boot as Elgin was charging in. Elgin with another charge, but Taven catches him with a drop toe hold that sends Elgin into the middle rope. Taven then connects with a slingshot dropkick while Elgin was propped up in the ropes. Taven plays to the crowd, but as he begins to head up top, Elgin drills him with an enziguri. Then in an incredible feat of raw power, Elgin goes up to the middle turnbuckle and while Taven is on the apron, Elgin deadlifts him from the apron into a superplex from the middle turnbuckle for a nearfall.
Elgin with a club to the back, followed by a boot to the head and a stomp. Elgin with a running boot for another nearfall. Elgin with a chop in the corner as Martini mentions on commentary that he is challenging the Briscoes to a match at Best in the World with 2 new members of his House of Truth because Martini now wants the Tag Team Titles in his House of Truth. Elgin with a club to the chest, followed by a hard Irish whip that sends Taven bouncing off the corner and crashing down to the mat. Taven tries to fight back, but Elgin with a knee to the gut, followed by another club to the back. Irish whip by Elgin, but Taven sidesteps his back body drop attempt with a kick to the chest. Taven goes off the ropes, but Elgin catches him with a back elbow. Elgin goes off the ropes, but when Taven tries for a rana, Elgin blocks it, but Taven breaks free. Taven then misses a roundhouse kick and Elgin scores with a back suplex for another nearfall. Elgin applies a chinlock while talking trash to Taven. Elgin then with a crossface shot before re-applying the chinlock. The crowd tries to will on Taven as he proceeds to counter out with a jawbreaker. Elgin charges, but Taven moves out of the way and then rolls up Elgin for a nearfall.
Taven connects with a pair of running boots to the head, but Elgin does not go down. Taven goes for a 3rd boot, but Elgin catches his foot and then drills him with a roaring elbow. Elgin fires up, then goes off the ropes, but Taven goes in with him and then springs off the middle rope, hitting Elgin with an enziguri to the back of Elgin’s head. Taven then with a spinning boot to the head for a nearfall. Taven goes for something by locking in a front chancery, but Elgin drives him into the corner to break free. Elgin charges, but he runs into a boot from Taven. Taven goes up to the middle rope and tries for a Sunset flip, but Elgin rolls through it and then deadlifts up Taven into a powerbomb position.
Elgin drills Taven with the Buckle Bomb, followed by the 360* Powerbomb for the victory.
Winner: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin by pinfall (360* Powerbomb)
We go backstage where Veda Scott interviews “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards about his main event match tonight against Davey Richards. Edwards says “The first time we faced, I beat Davey for the TV Title”. “The last 2 times we faced, he beat me, he won the World Title and then he kept that title”. “This time, its not about championships”. “This time, if I beat Davey Richards and he goes onto New York City and loses, he’s done and I get my shot”. “But, if I beat Davey Richards tonight and he goes onto New York City and wins, I still get my shot”. “So bottom line is, I need to beat Davey Richards tonight”.
Before we come back from commercial, we see a hype promo for the Best in the World Internet PPV on June 24th in New York City at the Hammerstein Ballroom as Kevin Kelly interviews ROH World Champion Kevin Steen. Steen says to Kelly, “You like saying Ring of Honor World Champion Kevin Steen, cuz I’ll tell ya, it sounds awesome when you say it”. “What’s great about it is you are gonna keep saying it after Best in the World because Davey Richards couldn’t beat me in a straight up wrestling match in Toronto and he’s damn sure not gonna beat me when its Anything Goes in New York City”. Steen then mocks Kelly’s usual outro of the hype promos to close things out.
Back from commercial, we see video of what happened at Border Wars when Charlie Haas used an ether-soaked towel to cause Mark Briscoe to pass out and allow Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team to win the Tag Team Titles.
Then we go to the ring where Kevin Kelly introduces the new ROH Tag Team Champions, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team.
Kelly asks WGTT if they are proud of what they did at Border Wars.
Charlie Haas says “You know, I’m not gonna stand out here and say “I told you so”, and I’m sure as hell not gonna stand out here and toot our own horns, but “Toot Toot Toot Toot Toot Toot”. “Let’s talk about what happened in Toronto, Fight without Honor”. “Well Mark Briscoe, you were covered with so much chicken grease, I had to take a towel, spray disinfectant on it, wipe you dry in order to put that sleeper on you”. “And you know about the rest, when he passed out and I pinned him, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team put greatness into tag team wrestling by becoming once again your new ROH World Tag Team Champions”.
Kelly brings up WGTT’s next challengers whom they will be facing at Best in the World for the Tag Team Titles, the All Night Express.
Shelton Benjamin says “You talk about gunning for us, ever since we got here, people have been gunning for us and we’ve been laying guys out left and right, and you know what happens, we get fined, $5,000 here, $5,000 there, a suspension here, well we’re sick of it”. “So from now on, this is to any team in Ring of Honor, if you step in the ring with Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, you have this thing called a Code of Honor where you shake hands, well that’s an official waiver, that means when you step in the ring, you understand that you are putting yourselves in serious bodily harm and Ring of Honor can’t fine us, suspend us and your ass is grass”. “With that being said, you want to bring up the All Night Express”. Haas keeps asking “Who?” as Benjamin repeats himself each time. “These are the guys who everybody says should be champions”. “According to who?” “What have they done?” “Who have they beaten?” “You know, they’ve been riding this whole Rhett Titus knee is limp thing for too long, quite frankly, they’ve always been a lame team”. “They’ve always wanted to be what Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team is”. “And now they want a Tag Team Title match, well I’ll tell ya what, you boys can p**s in one hand, take a crap in the other, and see which one fills up first”.
We then hear the familiar music of the All Night Express play as they make their way down to the ring. Both teams talk trash to another before Kenny King says “We’ve been sitting back there, listening to a bunch of garbage and we had to come out here and put a stop to it”. “Charlie & Shelton, you come out here with your old ass jokes”. “You come out here with your old ass skin and them old ass moves that you have using for 10 years now”. “At Best in the World, when you step into the ring with the All Night Express, we’re gonna turn your old ass into old news”.
Rhett Titus says “We, the All Night Express, earned our title shot at the Proving Ground over 6 months ago and we never got it”. “And now, we’re back and better than ever”. “And whether you wanna face it or not, you two are looking at the next Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions”.
Shelton Benjamin says “No, we’re just looking at another tag team who wants to be Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team”.
WGTT turn their backs on ANX until ANX turn them around and begin brawling with WGTT. Double Irish whip by ANX and they hit stereo clotheslines on WGTT. Haas rolls out to the outside as ANX now have Benjamin to themselves. ANX with a double kick to the gut, followed by a Titus boot, a cartwheel kick from King and finally a Titus dropkick. Titus covers Benjamin and King makes the visual 3 count. Benjamin & Haas retreat while ANX stand tall in the ring as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, its time for this week’s “Inside Ring of Honor”.
The 1st topic is the fact that Jay Briscoe has demanded revenge on Charlie Haas for what Haas did to Jay’s brother Mark at Border Wars. So on June 15th in Charleston, WV, Jay will get that chance at revenge when he faces Charlie Haas in a Texas Death Match. We go to comments from Jay.
Jay says “Charlie Haas, this has done gone on for too long”. “This feud has gone too far, Charlie Haas”. “You done tried to take my manhood, done took our belts, damn near killed my brother”. “Charlie Haas, this Friday Night in West Virginia, this feud comes to an end”. “Texas Death Match, it ain’t gonna matter”. “Pinfalls, submissions, they ain’t gonna matter”. “Somebody gonna get knocked the hell out and it ain’t gonna be me, Charlie”. “Friday Night, Charleston, West Virginia, I’m gonna walk the dog on your ass, boy”.
The next topic is the new match announced for “Best in the World: Hostage Crisis” as Television Champion Roderick Strong will defend his title against both Jay Lethal & Tommaso Ciampa in a Triple Threat Match. We hear comments from the participants.
Roderick Strong complains to Truth Martini about the Triple Threat Match at Best in the World, as well as the fact that he has to defend the TV Title next week on ROH TV against Tommaso Ciampa. Martini tries to calm him down as we go to Barrister R.D. Evans & Prince Nana of the Embassy Limited, who says that Nana tried to persuade Tommaso Ciampa to not pursue the TV Title, but Ciampa thought otherwise.
We finally go to Lethal, who says “I proved to the world that I could beat Tommaso Ciampa, done”. “And now, rightfully so, I should be in contention for my Ring of Honor Television Championship that Roderick Strong holds, but Tommaso couldn’t stop crying and whining, so Ring of Honor appeased him and now they have made this match at Best in the World a Triple Threat Match”. “Well thanks Tommaso, thanks for making it harder for all of us”. “And now I hear Roderick Strong’s even crying now, about what, I have no idea, you’re the champion”. “Be a man, I guess I’m the only man around here, I’m the only one not crying”. “And I’ll tell ya what, there’s gonna be a helluva lot more crying, especially from you Roderick, because at Best in the World, I’m gonna be the last man standing”. “Shine it up, cuz its mine”.
The final topic is that also at Best in the World, there will be a Hybrid Fighting Rules match between Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly. We go to comments from both men.
Kyle O’Reilly says “Best in the World, New York City, Adam Cole versus Kyle O’Reilly, Hybrid Fighting Rules”. “Now Adam, you’re a great pro wrestler, but I am a hybrid fighter”. “Adam, this match isn’t about proving who the better man is, I’ve already done that”. “This match, its about hurting you, its about embarrassing you”. “So when sitting at home in bed, unable to move, all you can do is think and then realize, I was right all along”.
Adam Cole says “Now Kyle, don’t get me wrong, I respect your credentials, but this is a professional wrestling match inside a professional wrestling ring”. “Whether you add a funny stipulation to it or not, the result will be no different”. “So Kyle, I can promise you this, come June 24th in New York City, Adam Cole is gonna show you how good of a professional wrestler he is”.
Back from commercial, Kevin Kelly goes over the Richards-Edwards saga where Richards is up 2 wins to 1. Kelly & McGuinness are joined by Steve Corino at the commentary table, who says he is there representing Kevin Steen and is there to scout Steen’s potential opponents.
“Die Hard” Challenge, Richards-Edwards IV
“American Wolf” Davey Richards vs. “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards
We get the pre-match ring intros for both participants before a quick commercial break. During the commercial break, we get another hype promo for Best in the World as Kevin Kelly interviews “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett & “The 1st Lady of ROH” Maria Kannelis as Bennett states that at Best in the World, there will be the 1st ever live Prodigy Service Announcement and Bennett & Maria say that since its iPPV, they can say & do whatever they want.
Back from commercial as the match is about to get underway. Both men adhere to the Code of Honor as the bell sounds to kick off Richards-Edwards IV. Lock-up and both men each jockey for position in the lock-up before Richards backs Edwards in the corner and breaks clean. Another lock-up and Richards with a wristlock. Edwards spins out, kips up and reverses into his own wristlock. Richards spins out, does a cartwheel and then takes Edwards down with an overhead wristlock takedown. Edwards with a headscissors to counter, but Richards kicks out of that. Edwards with an armdrag, but Richards then with one of his own. Edwards misses a chop, Richards then gets a kick blocked by Edwards, then both men go for kicks and catch each other’s foot and we are at a stalemate as they release each other’s foot and back away.
Crowd chants for Edwards as they lock-up again. Richards with a hammerlock, then switches to a snapmare takeover, but Edwards slips out and gets Richards in his own hammerlock. Richards backs Edwards into the corner and Edwards is forced to break the hold. Edwards breaks, but then Richards with an Irish whip. Edwards then goes up & over, followed by a front kip-up. Richards charges, but Edwards takes him down. Edwards goes off the ropes, Richards leapfrogs, but then when Richards goes off the ropes and Edwards tries his own leapfrog, Richards catches him in mid-air with a spinning heel kick. Richards then starts playing to the crowd, especially the fans who were chanting for Edwards beforehand. Edwards goes out to the outside as Richards begins to get a head of steam. Richards charges, but Edwards slides back in the ring. Edwards goes off the ropes, but Richards comes back in the ring and nails Edwards with a boot to the head. Richards goes off the ropes, but Edwards slides back out to the outside. Richards goes out after him, but again Edwards slides back into the ring. Edwards then goes off the ropes and as Richards gets onto the apron, Edwards nails him with a running Yakuza Kick, sending Richards off the apron and crashing hard into the barricade. The crowd continues to chant for Edwards as he goes to the outside. Edwards with a series of chops to Richards around ringside, then sends him back into the ring. Edwards then hits a running kick, almost a version of a Shining Wizard, for a close nearfall. Irish whip by Edwards, but he runs into a boot by Richards. Richards goes up to the middle rope, but Edwards nails him with an enziguri. Edwards goes for the Chin Checker, but on the way down, Richards grabs a hold of Edwards’ arm and turns it into a cross armbreaker. However, Edwards is able to get his feet onto the ropes to force Richards to break the hold.
Edwards rolls out to the apron as Richards goes out after him. Both men exchange kicks & chops, until Richards gains the advantage with his kicks. Richards goes for another kick, but Edwards catches his leg and nails him with a pair of chops. Edwards goes for another chop, but this time its Richards who catches Edwards’ hand, then grabs a hold of his other arm and proceeds to do an arm whip, sending Edwards’ shoulder that was in the cross armbreaker previously, to land square on the apron. Richards walks around the ring as the crowd boos him and points at Corino on commentary, almost sending a message to Kevin Steen. Edwards is writhing in pain on the outside as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial as Richards props up Edwards on a chair at ringside and begins to unload with a series of kicks to Edwards’ injured arm & shoulder. Richards with another kick to the shoulder, then goes back in the ring as this is a completely different Davey Richards than what we are used to seeing. Richards continues to mock the crowd who is cheering for Edwards as Edwards is still down in pain on the outside. Edwards tries to get back in the ring as the fans, through digitized blurring, are showing Richards what they think of him. Edwards rolls back in the ring, but Richards goes right back on the attack, with an elbow to the injured arm, followed by a hammerlock and finally a back suplex while Edwards’ arm was still in a hammerlock position. Richards gains a nearfall, then hooks both of Edwards’ arms in a unique manner and then proceeds to bridge backward, putting all of Richards’ body weight onto the arms of Edwards. Richards breaks, then stomps the arm before hooking in the Thames Barrier (reverse Short Arm Scissors). The crowd wills on Edwards as he is able to get Richards’ shoulders on the mat, while still in the hold, for a nearfall. Richards then hammerlocks Edwards and sends him shoulder first into the top turnbuckle. Richards continues to have words with the crowd and even a dirty look for the referee before Edwards begins to fight back with a pair of chops. However, Richards comes back with an arm wrench, followed by a pair of elbows to the shoulder of Edwards. Richards with another elbow to the shoulder, then goes for a suplex, but Edwards drops down to a knee to block it. Both men jockey for position to get the other over for a suplex until Richards tries to take Edwards down, but Edwards rolls through it. However, Richards comes right back with a kick to the gut, followed by an Irish whip. However, Edwards reverses it and then when Richards tries to do a handspring move, Edwards catches him and hits a reverse Falcon Arrow and now both men are down.
Both men get back to their feet as Edwards charges, but runs into a boot by Richards. Richards charges, but Edwards nails him with a chop. Edwards goes off the ropes, but Richards catches him with a kick to the chest. Richards charges, but Edwards sidesteps him and sends Richards through the ropes and to the outside. Edwards then gets a head of steam and nails Richards with a tope dive that sends both men crashing into the barricade. The crowd is fired up as both men are down on the outside, with Edwards clutching onto his injured shoulder. Edwards is able to get to his feet first and sends Richards back into the ring. Edwards heads up top and then connects with a front missile dropkick on Richards for a close nearfall. The crowd continues to chant for Edwards as he nails Richards with another chop. Edwards with a pair of chops, but Richards fights back with a series of kicks to the injured arm of Edwards. Richards with a spinning back kick to the gut, but then misses a spinning roundhouse as Edwards then hooks both of Richards’ arms and hits a Tiger Suplex for another close nearfall.
Edwards can’t believe it, but then goes to head back up top. Richards is able to get back up and stop Edwards on the ropes with a left-handed gut shot. Richards then goes up with Edwards and hooks him in a Kimura. Edwards fights out with gut shots, followed by knocking Richards off the ropes with a series of headbutts. Richards then comes back with a kick to the head and then goes back up with Edwards. Richards unloads with a flurry of headbutts to the back of Edwards’ head while doing damage to himself in the process. Both men are now on the top rope as Richards hits a superplex, followed by holding on to the front facelock and finally hitting a Falcon Arrow back into the cross armbreaker on the injured arm of Edwards. Somehow, Edwards is able to escape the hold by getting to his feet and then locking Richards in the Achilles’ Lock. However, due to the damage done to Edwards’ arm, he doesn’t have the hold completely cinched in and that allows Richards to reverse out into the Ankle Lock. Edwards is able to kick off Richards to break the hold, but then both men nail each other with running boots to the head. Both men nail each other a 2nd time, then Richards comes back by hooking Edwards with a flying armbar right in the center of the ring. Edwards gets to his feet and tries to hook Richards in a Jackknife Pin, but Richards rolls through and then hooks both of Edwards’ legs for a nearfall. Edwards then reverses into a pin attempt for his own nearfall. Richards then with a Jackknife pin for a nearfall. Then, Edwards counters into another pin attempt for another nearfall. Edwards now with his own Jackknife Pin for a nearfall, but then Richards bridges out and turns it into a backslide for a close nearfall.
Edwards with a chop, then goes off the ropes, but Richards throws him up and nails him with the Alarm Clock kick on the way down. Edwards then comes back with a superkick, followed by Richards nailing him with a spinning roundhouse kick, followed by Edwards drilling Richards with a chop to the face, followed by Richards turning Edwards inside out with a discus clothesline and both men are down. The referee begins his 20 count as the crowd is fired up, enjoying what they are seeing. The crowd wills on Edwards as he begins to get back to his feet. Both men get back to their feet as Richards then charges, but he runs into a boot by Edwards. Edwards heads back up top, but Richards again stops him with a left-handed gut shot. Richards with a chop, then goes back up with Edwards. Richards setups for a super rana, but Edwards lifts him on his shoulders and hits a super fallaway facebuster. Edwards then hits the C.Y.F.(Chop Your Face), but Richards just barely kicks out. Edwards goes back up top once more and this time leaps off, going for a double stomp, but Richards moves out of the way as Edwards lands on his feet, clutching his leg. Richards with a wheelbarrow roll through back into the Ankle Lock in the center of the ring. Richards is yelling at Edwards to tap as the crowd wills on Edwards, who is trying to crawl to the ropes. Edwards kicks Richards off again, but the momentum sends Richards off the ropes, where he proceeds to drill Edwards with the running kick to the head. All of a sudden, Richards goes out to the apron and goes for the running kick on someone, who turns out to be Jimmy Jacobs, but Jacobs is able to duck. Richards heads up top, but Jacobs hops up the apron and Richards kicks him off.
Richards leaps, going for a front missile dropkick, but Edwards catches Richards’ feet and then hooks him in another Jackknife Pin for the victory.
Winner: “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards by pinfall (Jackknife Pin)
Jacobs does the “Shhh” signal with a sick smile on his face as Edwards does not know what happened. Richards & Edwards adhere to the Code of Honor after the match and Richards raises Edwards’ hand as we go to credits.
I thought this was a solid episode of ROH this week, not as good as last week, but the main event made up for it.
Opener with Elgin & Taven was solid, although there was some clunky spots with Taven at different points, but it didn’t hinder the match to me overall. Elgin got to show off his raw power with that deadlift superplex, which was unbelievable and Taven showed a lot of fire on his comebacks. Solid opener with a very good effort by both.
The ANX-WGTT segment was done well to get over the title match at Best in the World. Thought all 4 guys were good in their mic work, especially WGTT, who have really come a long way in terms of improving in their promos since they were turned heel. Have been really enjoying their stuff and I think this match with ANX will be definitely beneficial for both teams going forward.
Inside ROH was not as strong as it has been in recent months, but it did allow more storyline development to come across in terms of the problems within the House of Truth & The Embassy Limited, so that to me was successful in getting across that to the viewers.
The main event, and I know I will get some negative feedback on this, was the best one-on-one singles match I have seen Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards have with one another. They told a story, Edwards was great at selling the arm & Richards was fantastic in playing the aggressive babyface that is letting the fans get to him to the point where he comes off as a heel. As I have said, Davey Richards is a million times better worker as a heel rather than as a babyface. His pacing is so much better, everything makes sense and has logic behind it & he shows a helluva lot more charisma at getting people to boo him rather than cheer him. This was lightyears better than both the Final Battle & Best in the World matches from last year and its even better than their 1st match in 2010 on HDNet. Kudos to both Richards & Edwards for putting on a damn good main event that I consider a MOTY Nominee.
My Grade: B
Line-up for “Best in the World 2012: Hostage Crisis” on 6/24:
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.