ROH on Sinclair – Episode 048 – 18th August 2012
Death Before Dishonor 10 is now less than a month away – meaning it’s time for the ROH ppv machine to kick into gear and start putting a card together for that big event in Chicago. At the moment nothing is signed, the Tag Titles are vacant and Jim Cornette is teasing everyone on the roster with a potential World Title shot – without actually confirming everyone for the next ppv. Time to turn that into some matches and storylines which will draw some buys. We’re at the Du Burns Arena in Baltimore, MD as usual. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness to call the action.
The show opens with Jim Cornette formally announcing that Kenny King has left ROH to wrestle elsewhere after a ‘contractual dispute’ – and that the Tag Titles are now vacant. An 8-team tournament is set up to crown new champions, with Rhett Titus allowed to choose anyone from the roster to tag with him in an effort to get his belt back.
Mia Yim vs Sara Del Rey
Good to know ROH didn’t pay to bring Sara to TV without booking her to wrestle at least one match at the tapings. Mia is basically the only female worker left on the roster (unless you count Maria as a wrestler – which I don’t). She’s been used almost entirely as a valet by ROH, but her in-ring work around the indies and even in Japan has decent reviews. Will the Queen Of Wrestling reign supreme or will Mia take the win for the current Women Of Honor?
Del Rey makes an early statement as she easily tosses Mia to the canvas. Yim, to her credit, fights her way back to her feet to boot Sara right across the face. Running knee strike landed for 2, before she simply mounts Sara for a volley of unprotected forearms. They run through a surprisingly fierce kick duel…and both women knock each other to the ground simultaneously. Del Rey is up first, flattening Mia with a Roaring Elbow for 2. Capo Kick missed though – with Yim sneaking to the top rope to MISS a Spiral Tap! Del Rey boots her in the head to win at 04:35
Rating – ** – This was probably better than I was expecting. I’ve heard some bad reviews, and I’m sure this isn’t a patch on what they could have produced in the various US Joshi promotions – but for ROH TV this wasn’t bad. Certainly it was a marked improvement on the last time I can recall Princess Mia working an ROH match (at Gateway To Honor).
Maria Kanellis runs in with Mike Bennett, laying Sara out with her boot then dropping her with a bulldog. Effectively she pisses all over the ring to mark her territory as the First Lady Of ROH…
Rhino is scheduled to wrestle next, but Truth Martini interrupts the entrance to call out Jim Cornette. He tells the Executive Producer that the solution to the Kevin Steen problem is the Man Beast. Eddie Edwards interrupts to make his case to get the shot – especially considering it’s he is tied 1-1 on matches with Rhino. Cornette books Edwards vs Rhino for the Death Before Dishonor title shot to start immediately – with Anything Goes rules to boot
Rhino vs Eddie Edwards – Anything Goes Match
Both competitors just ran through their history with each other in 2012. Edwards defeated Rhino on ppv at Border Wars, before the Man Beast got a win back last month in Milwaukee at Brew City Beatdown. Now, tied at 1-1, they have a rubber match with the added incentive of a World Title Match in Chicago Ridge for the winner.
Rhino gets the jump on Edwards…only to be thrown out of the ring for the ELBOW SUICIDA! As if that wasn’t enough, he puts the boots to Rhino against the guardrail then cracks a beer over his hard skull! Double stomp misses, but the sliding enziguri doesn’t and Rhino is put down for the first nearfall of the contest. The Man Beast retaliates with a PRESS SLAM into the turnbuckles! Martini throws a chair into the ring…and Rhino sensibly belts Eddie in the ribs in preparation for the Gore. Kevin Kelly points out that working over the ribs is how Rhino beat Eddie in Milwaukee. Belly to belly nailed – only for Edwards to dodge the Gore and fling Rhino into the chair! NECK DROP GERMAN SUPLEX SCORES! Rhino looks totally out of it, and collapses out of the ring after Edwards kicks him in the face. Eddie drags the timekeeping table into the ring…but turns his back on Rhino and gets SPEARED INTO THE GUARDRAIL! SUNSET FLIP BOMB INTO STEEL CHAIRS BY EDDIE! Rhino is bleeding, but somehow he avoids defeat on that then gets up to floor Die Hard with a spinebuster. Gore blocked again…Truth Martini distracts Eddie…GOOOOOOORE THROUGH THE TABLE! Edwards sells that like total death, and Paul Turner stops the match – awarding it to Rhino at 09:28 (shown)
Rating – *** – That was certainly an unexpected SBG midcard treat. All three Edwards/Rhino matches have been entertaining to watch. I’m still not sure I’m 100% on board with Rhino in ROH, as he can’t be cheap and there must be better workers out there for that money…but he has undeniably come in with his working boots on. This one was hard-hitting from bell to bell, with an explosive finish which makes Rhino look like a million bucks whilst also protecting Eddie’s credibility. No f*cking way that ROH should be putting Rhino in their ppv main events – but at least he’s working hard…unlike WGTT.
INSIDE ROH – Kevin Kelly confirms Steen/Rhino for the World Title at Death Before Dishonor then announces the brackets for the Tag Title tournament – which also culminates on ppv:
Young Bucks vs Coleman/Alexander
Guardians Of Truth vs Titus/???
Bravado Brothers vs Haas/??? (Shelton Benjamin is suspended remember)
Briscoes vs BLK OUT (represented by Ruckus and Sabian/BLK Jeez)
NEXT WEEK – Six Man Mayhem to determine the #1 Contender for the TV Title on ppv.
Kevin Steen vs Homicide – ROH World Title Match
Not that ROH promoted it, but the main event this week is a World Title Match. Kevin Steen is in singles action, which of course means the belt is on the line. Homicide was supposed to challenge him at the cancelled Carolinas weekend at the end of July – and such was Jim Cornette’s desire to put the Notorious 187 in the ring with Steen that he booked him for the TV tapings just to have this match. Homicide is a former World Champion, has saved ROH from crisis situations before (the CZW war) and is in good form having recently beaten Eddie Edwards on his return to ROH ppv.
Steve Corino joins commentary, which is particularly unique given that Steen’s opponent tonight is Corino’s fiercest ROH rival. Steen calls Homicide a b*tch for standing up for Jim Cornette – who was Cide’s arch enemy on his road to the World Championship. Homicide says he wants the belt back for himself, and gets the fight underway. He tries a monkey flip and gets FLIPPED into a head drop suplex to the buckles! Jimmy Jacobs swoops to deliver a sneaky kick to Homicide’s ear – and Steen sets to work on that body part as some kind of sick vengeance for the injury Cide inflicted on Corino years ago. That goes on through the commercial break, until Homicide looks to mount a comeback – scoring a 2-count with a big neckbreaker. F-5 blocked…but so is the Ace Crusher – allowing Steen to powerbomb Cide into the mat. Swinging DDT gets the challenger another nearfall! He dives at the champion again, but this time is caught into an Air Raid Crash for 2. ACE CRUSHER NAILED! FOR 2! Homicide chases Steen up the turnbuckles only to see the Ace Crusher COUNTERED TO AN AVALANCHE FISHERMAN BUSTER! Steen-ton Bomb misses…and here comes Jimmy Jacobs to save Steen from the Cop Killa. Steen low blows Homicide into the F-5. It’s over at 08:19 (shown)
Rating – ** – I might catch some flack for this, but I thought that was really average. It got hot in the last couple of minutes, but before that it was a huge pile of meh. Both guys were going through the motions, knowing they’d been given nowhere near enough time for a decent World Title Match. I actually have this down as one of the worst ROH World Title Matches ever – although I know it’s popular to bash the Homicide/Strong feud in early 2011. Sorry guys! Such a shame after Homicide’s dynamic comeback with Eddie at Best In The World.
Rhino stands on the ramp to interrupt Steen’s celebrations, and they stare-down to end the night
Tape Rating – *** – This was a decent episode. I know it seems odd that I’m praising the episode as a whole after I just bashed the main event – but looking at the bigger picture this was entertaining throughout. Mia/Sara was a competent women’s match to start the show, we got a LOT of Death Before Dishonor groundwork done (as well as an on-air acknowledgement of Kenny King’s departure), a World Title Match (which many may have enjoyed more than me), and a hell of a fight in the undercard between Edwards and Rhino which stole the show. It’s nothing worth going out of your way to seek out, but if you do find yourself with an hour to kill this is actually a solid hour of television.