By Matt Seagull
This review will be abbreviated this week. Lots going on, up to and including me digging myself out of a foot and a half of snow.
ROH has its 12th Anniversary Show next Friday in Philadelphia, and the card, while solid on paper, hasn’t been built to because it’s not an iPPV anymore. The main event was booked based off the finish of the main event of Pittsburgh, which will air this weekend. So there’s only a week worth of build for a major show. Here’s the card.
1. Adam Cole © vs. Chris Hero for the ROH World Championship
2. Tomasso Ciampa © vs. Hanson for the ROH World Television Championship
3. reDRagon © vs. Adrenaline Rush for the ROH World Tag Team Championship
4. Jay Lethal vs. AJ Styles
5. Michael Elgin vs. Matt Hardy
6. Jay Briscoe © vs. Michael Bennett for the “Real” World Championship
Cole/Hero, reDRagon/Adrenaline Rush and Lethal/Styles are worth the price of admission, but I doubt anything major will happen from a storyline standpoint. Granted, I thought the same thing about the 11th Anniversary Show last year, and we had surprise TV and Tag title changes.
There’s also a TV taping the next day in Philly with an “HonorCon” convention where you can meet and greet the wrestlers beforehand.
On to this week’s show!
Match 1 - Adrenaline Rush vs. The Decade (Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer)
Jacobs and Whitmer are wearing matching hot pink tights. Oooookay…
This one was your standard tag team fare. Jacobs and Whitmer haven’t missed a beat as a team and had some cool double team moves, like Whitmer whipping Jacobs into a spear. ACH and Tadarius Thomas haven’t gotten the double teams down yet, and basically do all of their moves individually. Whitmer and Jacobs got the win with their powerslam/cutter combo finishing move. **
Winners: The Decade
Before the next match, they run down the Top Prospect tournament so far, as the finals are next!
Match 2 - Top Prospect Tournament Finals: Hanson vs. Raymond Rowe
These two guys are bruisers, so the match was power vs. power. There were some pretty great sequences that got the crowd on its feet, such as a string of backdrop drivers with the opponent getting right back up, Fighting Spirit style. Purists will hate that, but it was good to get the crowd going. Hanson won the tournament with a spin kick. **1/4
Main Event: ROH World TV Title - Tomasso Ciampa © vs. Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven
Before the match, Matt Taven comes out with the Hoopla Hotties, but Truth Martini comes out and kicks the hotties out, saying Hoopla is dead. Taven then grabs the mic and says that he thanks Truth for everything he’s done for him, but Taven has outgrown him, and he fires Truth.
During the match, Lethal hits multiple dives to the outside on both Ciampa and Taven, who are on opposite sides of the ring. There were a number of false finishes, including a phantom three count Lethal got on Ciampa with a small package that they can play up. The referee wasn’t in position, and they didn’t count the pin. Truth Martini got on the apron, but was accidentally knocked off by Taven. Truth then grabbed Taven’s foot on purpose, tripping him up so Tomasso could hit Project Ciampa and retain the title. **3/4
Winner, and STILL ROH World TV Champion, Tomasso Ciampa!
After the match, Jay Lethal motions that he was that close to beating Ciampa, setting up a one-on-one match between the two of them down the road.
Because this was taped at a live event and not a strict TV taping, the matches were longer than usual. All three matches were solid. I was impressed by Hanson winning the Top Prospect tournament, and with Truth kicked to the curb by Taven, it would make sense for him to partner with the Top Prospect winner for the second year in a row and have Hanson target Taven. I liked the main event a lot, as the triple threat format meant there were no breaks in the action.
Next week, it’s the Briscoes teaming up for the first time in a year to face Adam Cole and Matt Hardy, and Michael Elgin and Chris Hero.