Tomorrow’s show in Philly was rounded out by adding Kevin Steen vs. Cliff Compton in an unsanctioned Street Fight, which will take place after the “official” show ends. So…it’s the main event then. Also added was a six man tag with Mark Briscoe, Adam Page and Cedric Alexander facing all three members of The Decade. If you recall, The Decade tried to recruit Mark Briscoe a couple weeks back, only for him to rebuff their offer. Finally, Silas Young faces Matt Taven. Young attacked Taven before Silas’s match with Tomasso Ciampa, when Taven tried to get Ciampa to shake his hand. The addition of these three matches nicely rounds out a very solid card that I plan on catching on VOD.
As for this week’s TV show, there are only two matches.
Match 1 - Michael Bennett vs. The Romantic Touch
Veda Scott is at ringside doing commentary, as they’re doing a storyline where Romantic Touch (or RT, as he’d like to be called) is romantically pursuing Veda Scott, but she wants none of it, and is telling the world that Romantic Touch is Rhett Titus under a mask, while Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are aghast at the accusation. The timing of this match was important because it was Valentine’s Day Weekend.
Before the match, Maria Kanellis cuts another very good promo about being a strong woman in a man’s world. It’s great to see her get mic time, but there’s a fundamental flaw that it’s getting over Maria, and not Mike Bennett, who quite frankly needs the push more. Maria’s job should be to get him over, not herself. Bennett got a little bit of mic time, and pointed to a CM Punk shirt in the crowd, but Maria really dwarfed him.
The match itself wasn’t anything spectacular. Rhett seems to embrace this new character, which is a bit more mature than his previous “Addicted to Love” character from 2008/9, and the mannerisms in the ring reflect that. RT actually got the upper hand, but was too busy trying to woo Veda Scott with chocolates, which she knocked back in his face. Bennett won with his new submission move, the Anaconda Vice. *
Winner: Mike Bennett
After the match, RT, distraught, started eating some of the chocolates which fell in the ring. He then confronted Veda Scott at the announce table and carried her to the back, with her kicking and screaming.
Main Event - The Briscoes vs. Adam Cole and Matt Hardy vs. Michael Elgin and Chris Hero
Before the match, Bobby Cruise makes an announcement that came down from ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness that if anybody pins Adam Cole or makes him submit, they are automatically awarded a World Title match at the 12th Anniversary Show. This brought an interesting new wrinkle to this match.
The beginning of the match played into the new stipulation perfectly, as Cole and Hardy would jump off the apron anytime one of their opponents tried to tag them in. Eventually, Cole made his way into the match, and I was pretty surprised that the opposing teams did not play into the new stipulation by breaking up their own pinfalls if Cole was getting pinned. Jay Briscoe hit a big move on Cole that allowed Mark to get the pinfall attempt, and Jay didn’t even bother to break it up. I know the Briscoes are brothers, but Jay is obsessed with defeating Cole for the ROH World Championship. He’s doing videos where he’s targeting Adam Cole specifically. It isn’t like Jay just wants the belt back…he wants to beat COLE for the belt. To me, that would mean breaking a pinfall even if his brother was making it. It would make for an interesting wrinkle in the match. Didn’t happen. The Briscoes were eliminated when Adam Cole pinned Mark.
Ok, for the Briscoes not to tease dissension is one thing, but obviously the makeshift team of Chris Hero and Michael Elgin would have problems coexisting right? Nope. They did perfectly fine, and Hero picked up the pinfall on Cole after the Death Blow elbow. Hardy and Cole attacked Hero, but Elgin made the save and Hero hit Cole with the loaded elbow pad. Elgin was upset but reluctantly shook Hero’s hand after the match.
The new stipulation could have added some fun turmoil to the match but surprisingly neither the Briscoes nor Hero/Elgin (Helgin???) seemed to mind their partner trying to get the pin on Adam Cole. That one little wrinkle took away my enjoyment of watching the match in context. ***
Winners: Chris Hero and Michael Elgin (Chris Hero gets a World Title shot at the 12th Anniversary Show)
The show was wrestling-heavy, and even though there were only two matches, the main event took up the bulk of the show. It was a good match, but my problems with the partners getting along too well when a world title match was at stake was too big of an oversight to overlook.