Tonight is Death Before Dishonor X. Say whatever you want about ROH, but it's quite a milestone to make it to ten years of your biggest show. The lineup is intriguing as Rhino will challenge Kevin Steen for the ROH World Championship. As with Eddie Kingston's challenge at Boiling Point, there's no way that Rhino will emerge from Chicago as champion, but I really think that the match will be a great brawl. As always, I'm going to give my thoughts on each match and my predictions.
Survival of the Fittest Qualifying Match: Tadarius Thomas vs. Silas Young
This is actually a qualifier to go to another qualifier on ROH TV next week. Longtime ROH fans will remember Silas Young from the midwest shows in 2008. He's alright, but I think Tadarius Thomas impressed ROH officials so much in his match with QT Marshall on TV (so much so that I think it made QT look bad) that Thomas will get the opportunity to go back to TV to compete.
Predicted Winner: Silas Young
Kyle O'Reilly vs. ACH
Admittedly I know nothing about ACH, therefore I can't really say anything about this match. I think O'Reilly will get the victory unless ROH is still pissed off about the shenanigans he pulled and will give ACH the upset victory. I expect Davey Richards to get involved, as it looks like they're going for a Richards/O'Reilly program, but I think O'Reilly will pull out the victory.
Predicted Winner: Kyle O'Reilly
Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin vs. Irish Airborne
It's another blast from ROH's past as Jake and Dave Crist make their return to face the uneasy alliance of Strong and Elgin. Frankly I think this is the show where they have to pull the trigger on the breakup. Elgin's going against the ROH World Champion (most likely Steen) at Glory By Honor next month. I think to be the most effective, he has to be a babyface for this match. So I'm actually going with the upset and giving the duke to Irish Airborne.
Predicted Winners: Irish Airborne
Jay Lethal vs. Homicide
The story behind this match is that Lethal's showing a mean streak to allow Jim Cornette to give him a world title shot against Kevin Steen in Rahway, NJ on October 6. Homicide has actually gotten some victories since returning to ROH (most notably against Eddie Edwards at Best in the World), but I think Lethal's getting the big push for the title, so he'll get the win here.
Predicted Winner: Jay Lethal
ROH World Tag Team Title Tournament
Semi-Final: The Briscoes vs. Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus
Semi-Final: Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander vs. Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino
There are two storylines going on here...the uneasy partnership between Haas and Titus (and now the added element of Haas's normal partner, Shelton Benjamin, being in the corner of this makeshift team) and their desire to win the tournament and then fight each other winner take all, and the fact that if Jacobs and Corino lose ANY match in this tournament, they'll leave Ring of Honor. So I think the easiest pick is to have Haas and Titus and SCUM move onto the next round.
Predicted Winners: Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus, and SCUM
ROH World Tag Team Titles: Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus vs. Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino
I don't expect Jacobs and Corino to be leaving ROH anytime soon (especially with a depleted roster...they need everybody they can get). So I say that Jacobs and Corino win the tag team titles, and Jim Cornette's nightmare gets even worse. It'll probably be Shelton Benjamin who beats up on Titus giving SCUM the win, and Haas will reveal later that he would never win the tag titles with anybody other than Shelton.
Predicted Winners: Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino
ROH World Television Title: Adam Cole (c) vs. Mike Mondo
Mondo has been on quite the roll lately, but I think that Cole's title reign still has some legs under it, especially considering he's got an eventual TV title defense against former partner Kyle O'Reilly coming up. I think this match will steal the show, because I've been really impressed with Mondo's work lately (especially against Roderick Strong at Boiling Point in the opener), but I think Cole will pull it out.
Predicted Winner: Adam Cole
ROH World Championship: Kevin Steen (c) vs. Rhino
I mentioned before that there's no way Steen drops the belt here, but I think it'll be a great brawl. Rhino is one of the more underrated talents out there (both in the ring and on the mic), and these two big bulls are going to go at each other in a match that would make John Laurinaitis cream in his jeans. But the champion will prevail, and the show will end with all three members of SCUM with gold.
Predicted Winner: Kevin Steen
ROH has always proven that its iPPVs are worth the price. I definitely think you'll get more wrestling bang for your buck than Night of Champions, even if the latter show might have more storylines going for it.
Now it's time to quickly review last week's TV show, which didn't do that great of a job building toward the PPV, unfortunately.
Match 1: The Briscoes vs. BLK-OUT
This match was so disjointed that even Kevin Kelly mentioned it on commentary. Maybe Ruckus and Jeez were nervous being on TV, maybe the two teams didn't click like they were supposed to. Whatever it was, it just made for a subpar outing, and I know the Briscoes are capable of better. *1/2
Winners: The Briscoes
Match 2: Mike Bennett vs. Mike Sydal
Brutal Bob was on commentary for this match, and he was talking ragtime to Nigel and Kevin Kelly, and Kevin even called him out on it. This was supposed to be a squash for Bennett, but Mike Mondo came to ringside and planted a big kiss on Maria, leaving Bennett to chase Mondo around the ring and to the back, and Sydal actually won by count out! It was fun watching Brutal Bob go nuts on commentary after Bennett's loss. *
Winner: Mike Sydal
Match 3: Tomasso Ciampa vs. Mike Posey
Like the last match, the manager (in this case RD Evans...no relation to Brutal Bob) was on commentary, but unlike the last match, this was a typical squash and Ciampa went over. *
Winner: Tomasso Ciampa
Kevin Kelly went over the tag title tournament, and announced that Shelton Benjamin will be in Haas and Titus's corner at DBDX. Both Titus and Haas give their thoughts on this situation. Titus isn't happy, and Haas really couldn't care less.
They then discuss Jay Lethal's mean streak last week, and Lethal cuts a promo saying he'll defeat Homicide at DBDX and get his ROH World Title shot.
Main Event: ROH Television Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs. Michael Elgin
I was severely disappointed with this match, as it only lasted a few minutes before it went into an overbooked finish. Essentially after Michael Elgin powerbombed Cole into the corner, sandwiching the referee between Cole and the turnbuckle. Then the Guardians of Truth started attacking Cole, and Elgin was pissed off. Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino come out attack the Guardians, and Kevin Steen came out and had a staredown with Michael Elgin. Rhino then came down and brawled with Steen, and Roderick Strong came down and had a standoff with Elgin for no real reason. And then the show just ended with no winner. **
I think this was the worst episode of ROH TV since the show's inception on the Sinclair networks. That's such a shame. Four short, uneventful matches. Usually you'll always have one good match on these shows. It looked like ROH was trying to further some storylines, but they don't really have the talent that can further storylines other than in the ring. They have wrestlers...this is supposed to be a wrestling show...the wrestling alternative. Cole and Elgin should have gone out there for 15 minutes and tore the house down. Instead it got pushed to the side for the sake of trying to cram three different storylines into the same match. Not a good way to go into the PPV.
If you're watching Death Before Dishonor tonight, enjoy the show! I'll be back next week with my thoughts on the show.