ROH on Sinclair – Episode 049 – 25th August 2012
ROH’s summer schedule is starting to hot up. They have two big live events and the ‘Fan Appreciation Night’ TV tapings to come in September – and tonight we sign August off with a double header of matches which promise much. The tournament to crown new Tag Champions begins as the Young Bucks return from their hiatus to face Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander, and the TV Title challenger for Death Before Dishonor is determined as six top contenders clash in a Six Man Mayhem. Nigel McGuinness and Kevin Kelly welcome us to Baltimore, MD.
Caprice Coleman/Cedric Alexander vs Young Bucks
This is the first round of the tournament to crown new Tag Champions. The semi-finals and final will be held at Death Before Dishonor so a win here not only advances you in the tournament, but it also guarantees you an additional booking and ppv payday. And in the case of the Young Bucks, that’s a real blessing. Despite being signed to ROH contracts, they’ve been put onto hiatus all summer with ROH looking to save money and avoid flying them in from California. They return looking to claim the gold and make it impossible for ROH to drop them again. For C&C this tournament is a real opportunity to progress their careers. They have spent most of 2012 producing decent matches, but never really producing that breakout match – and not really doing enough to justify a push.
Caprice has added some black sex criminal gloves to his ring attire since we last saw him. Matt slaps Cedric in the face to get us started and it’s those two that start the match at high speed. Coleman slingshots into Matt’s knees but has better luck with Nick – dropping him with a hard dropkick for 2. Rolling northern lights combo keeps Nick on the back foot as C&C continue their impressive start to the contest. It takes an illegal strike from Matt as Caprice lines up a quebrada to finally turn the match in the Jacksons’ favour. The Bucks isolate Coleman – featuring an awesome BACK FLIP back rake from Matt. It stretches on for several minutes and through a commercial break without a glimpse of a tag to Alexander. Even when Caprice makes it to his corner Nick Jackson is on hand to drag Cedric off the apron and prevent the tag. Coleman has had enough – and steps off Matt into a swinging DDT on Nick then at last gets that hot tag. SOMERSAULT PLANCHA BY CEDRIC! And he’s instantly back in the ring hitting a springboard lariat on Nick. OVERTIME…GETS 2! Nick saves his brother from Caprice’s standing rana…and Matt dives to hit the corkscrew cutter for 2. More Bang For Your Buck blocked…with the STANDING SUPER RANA! FROG SPLASH! C&C advance in 09:08 (shown)
Rating – ** – The match itself wasn’t bad, but I’m knocking a star off for being slightly boring before the commercials and for the shambolic treatment of the Young Bucks. In an interview with ROHWorld.com the Jacksons actually said they thought they’d been brought back to ROH at these tapings to win the belts. With Kenny King gone, Shelton Benjamin in Japan and the Briscoes already 7-time champions, it would have made sense giving the Bucks a chance to shine with the belts. Instead ROH stopped booking them for the summer, costing them money and paydays they were promised, then brought them back to be job fodder. Matt and Nick genuinely could have been huge stars in the Sinclair branded ROH. Instead ROH have let financials and airfares cloud their vision, and ultimately their 2011-2012 run was a massive let down. If you’re looking for positives from this – Cedric Alexander looked superb. Really crisp, on point and far more confident than the guy who has been bouncing around the ROH scene for the last year.
Veda Scott heads into the ring to get the thoughts of the winners. Caprice says they’ll be Tag Champions by the time ROH returns to Baltimore
During the commercials Charlie Haas has invaded the ring demanding some promo time. He’s annoyed that the WGTT/ANX rematch has been scrapped, and there’s now a tournament to crown new champions which he and Shelton can’t compete in. Rhett Titus arrives…and Haas wants Rhett to pick him as his partner. If Haas and Titus win the tournaments they can then fight each other in a winner takes all singles match. Well this just got overly complicated…
Tadarius Thomas vs QT Marshall
It’s not QT’s Sinclair debut, but it is the first time we’ve seen him since he won an ROH contract – by defeating Anthonio Thomas, Vinny Marseglia and Matt Taven at Boiling Point. He’ll be looking to make an immediate impact, but tonight he faces another impressive newcomer. Tadarius had a hell of a fight with Kyle O’Reilly at Brew City Beatdown and is also set for more bookings off the back of that. We have two newcomers to the roster – and you imagine the winner here gets the springboard up the card whilst the other has to stay at the bottom and fight to retain his spot.
Marshall has no answer to the athletic and bewildering capoeira style kicks from Thomas in the early going. The referee has to intervene to stop Tadarius working QT over in the ropes…and God’s Gift instantly strikes back with a big boot to the mouth. A big lariat finds the mark next as Marshall’s power starts to outmatch the martial arts skills of Thomas. Just as I say that Tadarius once again unloads on QT with a flurry of kicks and punches from all angles. Slingblade gets 2! He then BACK FLIPS out of a choke slam into a dragon suplex attempt. Marshall is too big though, and scoops Tadarius up for an Alabamaslam. That’s apparently his finish – and he takes the victory at 05:06
Rating – * – It was a great way to debut Tadarius on television, but I don’t think that was the point of this. There’s nothing wrong with QT per se – but he’s just not necessary on a roster which already contains Mike Bennett and Mike Mondo. He’s clearly been brought in to be given the sort of push Bennett got in 2009/10 on HDNet. And here’s my issue – Bennett is still here? He wrestles like Bennett, he’s acting like Bennett two years ago. What has The Prodigy done wrong? Is he working without a contract or something? Bennett has had a breakout year in 2012, he’s the man that got Maria Kanellis into ROH…and now they’ve brought QT Marshall in to all but work his gimmick? What the hell? He’s perfectly solid, and nowhere near as bad as some of the internet fan element make out, but he’s just so surplus to requirements already – and he’s been here two shows.
INSIDE ROH – Eddie Edwards is missing a few shows with Japanese bookings, so has been written out with an ‘injury’ sustained in the Anything Goes Match with Rhino last week. Speaking of Rhino, Kevin Steen threatens to murder the Man Beast in Chicago.
Jay Lethal vs Mike Bennett vs Tommaso Ciampa vs TJ Perkins vs Roderick Strong vs Mike Mondo
This is Six Man Mayhem – with the winner advancing to Death Before Dishonor to challenge Adam Cole for the ROH TV Title. Lethal and Strong are former champions, both looking to win that belt back. Ciampa has had issues with both of them in his pursuit of the TV Title, and of course Mike Bennett had a hard-fought series of matches with Lethal in late-2011 over the championship too. Mondo is having a breakout few months, including a bruising ppv opener with Roderick Strong at Boiling Point which I called the best match of his ROH career. He’ll be looking to cement that improvement with some gold around his waist. Meanwhile TJP, brought back from hiatus like the Young Bucks for these tapings, will simply want to win to ensure more bookings.
All six guys pile into the ring to get us underway, although brawls quickly break out all over ringside leaving Perkins and Strong as the legal starters. TJP’s speed is too much for Roddy, much to his annoyance as he delivers a sickening chop once TJ had turned his attention to The Prodigy instead. Lethal goes for the Lethal Injection early…but has to settle for a dropkick which knocks Bennett to the floor. Ciampa, of course, makes a beeline for Lethal…and BLOCKS the hiptoss dropkick only for Jay to evade the pop-up dropkick right back. Lethal Injection countered with a double boot to the face, bringing in Mondo for the first time. No Fear ties the Sicilian Psychopath in knots with a mass of roll-up attempts before dropping him on the apron with a swinging neckbreaker through the ropes. Roderick wants a piece of Mondo but has his face stomped into the canvas after getting distracted by Lethal. Bennett doesn’t like Mondo after he interrupted the Live PSA in New York so happily scoops him up for a spinebuster which gets 2. Lethal Combination on Roddy, only for Tommaso to shove him TO THE FLOOR as he lines up the Macho Elbow. DETONATION KICK from Perkins to Ciampa! ORANGE CRUSH BACKBREAKER ON TJP! Bennett has to save the match as Strong looked set to win! He nearly wins it for himself with a spear before Mondo returns to pummel him and make obscene gestures in Maria’s direction. DOUBLE ARM DDT! Mondo wins at 08:16
Rating – *** – It’s Six Man Mayhem, and it was always going to be fun watching six men of this calibre throw spots around for ten minutes. I have to be honest and say that, of all the wrestlers in this Mondo was the guy I wanted to win the least – but he’s the one Cornette likes the most right now and he gets the chance to continue his decent 2012 with a TV Title shot on ppv. Ciampa, Strong and Lethal were the stand-out workers in this for me though.
Tape Rating – * – Personally I thought this was an absolutely lousy episode. The main event was only ok, and everything else was just dire. Bringing the Young Bucks back to job them out in the first round of the Tag Title tournament is a massive fail. The overly complicated stipulations behind the Haas/Titus team – again a massive fail. And why QT Marshall is getting brought in with a push when there are more talented wrestlers ALREADY ON THE ROSTER who don’t get enough exposure is anyone’s guess. Even the main event was tainted by bad booking as Cornette’s mission to force Mondo down ROH fans throats continues. Skip right past this one folks…it left a bad taste in my mouth.