ROH on Sinclair – Episode 051 – 8th September 2012
Tonight is the final countdown to Death Before Dishonor 10 which is live on ippv next weekend. Rhino laid down his mark as Steen’s challenger in Chicago by Goring the World Champion last week. Will there be any retaliation from SCUM this week? The scheduled headline bout will see Adam Cole defend the TV Title against Michael Elgin – and those two have already shared some decent matches against each other in 2012. There’s also the final semi-finalist in the Tag Title tournament to confirm, with the Briscoes taking on BLK OUT in the last qualifier. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are in the Du Burns Arena, Baltimore, MD.
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs BLK OUT
This is to determine who advances to join Coleman & Alexander, Titus & Haas and SCUM in the semi-finals of the Tag Title tournament on pay-per-view next weekend. As 7-time former champions the Briscoes are hot favourites, but they have a tough challenge ahead of them tonight. BLK OUT are represented by BLK Jeez (Sabian) and the returning Ruckus. They are dangerous wildcards and will be looking to earn full-time jobs by causing an upset on this episode.
Ruckus looks to have regained some weight since he was last in ROH. It doesn’t stop him back flipping into a hurricanrana on Mark though. Some early Redneck Kung Fu puts the Briscoes in charge though. Nigel interestingly reveals on commentary that Ruckus injured his back early in their match when he defended the World Title against him – which would explain why that one was such a disappointment. Jeez dives over the top with somersault plancha…SSP OFF THE APRON BY RUCKUS! That’s an explosive way to head into a commercial break! Impressive as that dive sequence was, when we come back from commercials the 7-time former champions are back on top with Jay flattening Sabian with a big boot. Mark misses a second rope senton though, handing the initiative back to the BLK OUT. Hart Attack nailed, into a flurry of stretch/strike combos for 2. It’s not enough to keep Mark down though, as he picks Ruckus up for an exploder suplex into the turnbuckles! Jay wears Jeez out with right hands and gets 2 with a falcon arrow. BLK Jeez fires back with Shotgun Knees…before Ruckus powerbombs his own partner into a senton bomb on Jay for 2. T-Gimmick blocked…and Mark saves Jay with a mule kick. Froggy Bow on Ruckus for the win at 07:39 (shown)
Rating – ** – The live crowd were really into this which is a good sign. I don’t think Ruckus showed us anything new, but this was definitely the pick of the tournament first round matches. You could tell these guys have wrestled before and, for a throwaway TV match, it really was quite entertaining. I wouldn’t object to BLK OUT coming back as a team, but I think Sabian has some interest from TNA so will probably pursue that – and I really don’t see what Ruckus could contribute as a singles wrestler.
Veda Scott asks Truth Martini about the Death Before Dishonor 10 main event. Truth wants to talk about Rhino being the next champion…and definitely doesn’t want to talk about the dissension between Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin.
Mike Bennett vs Mike Sydal
Why does Bennett keep getting stuck with this guy? To be fair to Sydal, he is improving. He’s just unlucky to be nowhere near as good as his brother. He can’t be expensive to book so I can see why ROH are persevering with him. I just wish he’d try to work out his own identity in the ring instead of having a stupid gimmick and sloppily copying Evan Bourne’s spots.
Sydal even botches taking his entrance gear off. Bob Evans is on commentary calling Nigel McGuinness a Canadian and laughing as Bennett dropkicks Sydal to the floor. Spinebuster gets 2 as the one-sided beatdown continues. He’s so confident he pretends to go for a piledriver…and is punished as Sydal hits a neckbreaker. Standing moonsault gets a nearfall…so Bennett gets up and punts little Bourne in the mouth. TKO scores…only for Bennett to pull his shoulders up. Cobra Clutch applied instead – demanding the referee to stop the match (which is significant because it’s Todd Sinclair, who didn’t stop the match when Bennett believed he had Lethal beaten for the TV Title last year). Mike Mondo runs up the aisle and sexually assaults Maria (really)…so The Prodigy chases him up the aisle to the back. Sydal wins by count-out at 05:27
Rating – DUD – Boring, one-sided beatdown that went on for too long…and with an absolutely lousy finish. I understand ROH need to give Bennett something to do, but I really don’t think putting him with Mondo is the answer. And I definitely don’t think ‘Sex Pest Mondo’ is the way to get Mondo over either. I also really strongly disagree with Sydal going over in any form since I don’t think he’s good enough, but there you go. I do appreciate the attempt by ROH creative to give two workers floating around in the midcard something to do…but this doesn’t work for me.
Tommaso Ciampa vs Mike Posey
On the same night as this aired, Posey (who is one half of the Alabama Attitude team), was also getting a chance to prove himself by working a singles match at the Caged Hostility live event. There he beat Jeff Neal, but on this episode of ROH on SBG he faces the much sterner prospect of Tommaso Ciampa. The Sicilian Psychopath has been totally unstable having left The Embassy, and frequently losing matches hasn’t done anything to help his mental well-being.
Barrister RD Evans becomes the second guest commentator in as many matches, proudly proclaiming himself the sole representative/manager of Ciampa now. Tommaso wastes no time in booting the taste out of Posey’s mouth then THROWING HIM FROM THE RING INTO THE GUARDRAILS! Somehow Posey doesn’t die from that and dives back into the ring with a top rope leg lariat. Bare Knee Strikes rattle Mike’s jaw, seemingly knocking him out. Project Ciampa wins it at 02:03
Rating – N/A – A convincing and enjoyable squash win, that would have represented a good way to start rebuilding Ciampa before his knee injury at Boiling Point prematurely ended his in-ring 2012. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see where they were going with the oddball Ciampa/Evans relationship either because that could have made for good television.
As Ciampa celebrates in the ring Prince Nana invades the commentary booth to start choking RD Evans. Apparently the Barrister used a legal loophole to steal Nana’s fortune. He destroys the entire announce set, then runs off before Tommaso can make the save.
INSIDE ROH – Kevin Kelly runs down the Death Before Dishonor card, including the announcement that Shelton Benjamin will be in Chicago, in Charlie Haas’ corner.
Adam Cole vs Michael Elgin – ROH TV Title Match
It’s not long since Cole won the belt from Roderick Strong, so it’s to his credit that he’s already agreeing to defend against opponents of this calibre. Elgin will be looking to bring the TV Title back to the House Of Truth, and in doing so make a point of beating Cole for the belt where Roderick couldn’t. This shot could also be an attempt by Martini to take Elgin out of the World Title picture so he can’t cash in his Survival Of The Fittest title shot at Glory By Honor like he plans to.
Elgin is accompanied by Martini and the Guardians Of Truth, but openly defies Truth by willingly following the Code Of Honor before the bell. Cole tries to use his speed with an armdrag…only for Elgin to MUSCLE him up into a powerslam attempt. Adam escapes, ducks the Back Fist and we have a stare down! Cole counters the Spiral Bomb into a roll-up…and together they trade nearfalls on the canvas. Changing tactic, Cole hits a missile dropkick to the leg, dropping Elgin to his knees into the path of a Shining Wizard for 2. He tries to follow up that attack on the leg…but Unbreakable swats him away and delivers a brutal German suplex. Elgin takes it into the corner…only for Cole’s speed of thought to help out again as he hangs the challenger in the ropes to deliver a lungblower. The two men trade forearms…until Cole nails Elgin with a jumping enzi. Flying Crossbody…IS CAUGHT! But again Cole escapes the clutches of his powerhouse opponent and hits a cradlebreaker for 2! Figure 4 blocked…BUCKLE BOMB INTO TODD SINCLAIR! The Guardians Of Truth take the opportunity to sneak in and put the boots to Cole, much to the annoyance of Elgin. SCUM run in to continue their fight with the Guardians…and Steen gets into a fight with Elgin! Rhino and Roderick Strong come in to fight Steen. But Strong and Elgin end up shoving each other! Episode ends with no winner at 07:57
Rating – *** – It was a fun match (personally I enjoyed it a lot more than their Border Wars encounter), but spoilt by the lack of a finish. The purist in me wants to really slate the non-finish, but to defend Jim Cornette, whilst it was annoying, it was actually a lot of fun watching Truth Martini totally lose control as SCUM attacked his Guardians, Rhino and Steen brawled and Strong and Elgin still couldn’t get on the same page. This was also important as it set the scene for Steen/Elgin after Death Before Dishonor. As a TV Title Match this was a bit of a letdown, but as a way to set the scene for the next ppv and beyond it was at kind of a guilty pleasure.
Tape Rating – ** – Better than last week that’s for sure. Briscoes/BLK OUT was a good way to start, and the main event was decent even without a finish. The middle of the show bored me, particularly the Bennett/Sydal match which was far too long. But after the atrocity that was Episode 50 this was a return to form and an adequate way to promote next weekend’s internet ppv event.