Attention Ring of Honor fans in Charlotte! This Saturday night, ROH is coming back for “Caged Hostility” at the Metrolina Trade Expo. For a house show, this looks like a pretty solid lineup, headlined by a Six Man Steel Cage Match, with ROH World Champion Kevin Steen teaming with Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs against The Briscoes and Rhett Titus. Here you have five of the most dangerous men in ROH, plus Titus, who has shown he can get hardcore in his feud with the Briscoes as part of ANX last year (which makes the teaming more interesting). The main event promises to be an absolute bloodbath. If you’re more into the wrestling side of things, Adam Cole faces Kyle O’Reilly in a Proving Ground match. For anybody who saw their match at Best in the World, which is a sleeper MOTYC, you’ll know that these two can produce great matches when they’re in the ring with each other. Also, Shelton Benjamin returns as Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team faces Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin. Frankly, those three matches alone should be worth the price of admission. Go to ROHWrestling.com for ticket info and venue directions.
Now, let’s get into this week’s TV show.
Match 1: The Bravado Brothers vs. ????
The Bravados were supposed to face Charlie Haas and a mystery partner but last week on TV Haas convinced Rhett Titus to pick him as his partner so they could win the belts together and fight each other, winner take all. So this has left the Bravados without opponents in the tournament. So who did Jim Cornette get to take the final spot?
Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino.
Corino got on the mic to explain why Cornette would pick them of all teams. Corino says they came up with a deal that Cornette couldn’t pass up. If Jacobs and Corino lose any match in the tournament, they’ll leave Ring of Honor (which would all but lock them to win the tournament, don’t you think?).
Anyway, The Bravados got to show off a bit of what they learned in Japan, and while the improvement wasn’t tremendous, it was certainly noticeable, and their time oversees wasn’t wasted. They used a bit more strong-style strikes. The match got good toward the end with a lot of near-falls, but after some strange editing (they showed the crowd for a good three seconds), suddenly Corino hit one of the Bravados with a Backdrop Driver and got the victory, and both Jacobs and Corino looked visibly pissed after the match was over, so I’ll assume there was a botch that got edited out. *3/4
Winners: Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino
After the match, the Guardians of Truth came to the ring to attack Jacobs and Corino (because Truth Martini was pushing a feud between SCUM and the House of Truth since Steen will face Rhino at DBDX). Steen came down to attack the Guardians, which signaled Rhino to come down and hit a tremendous GORE on the champion! Steen, to his credit, sold the move perfectly and it really looked like a collision of two bohemoths. It’s too bad the camera didn’t get the most optimal shot of the move, because had it done so, that would be on every single video package leading up to the Pay Per View.
Inside Ring of Honor
Usually they do Inside Ring of Honor later in the program, but they made it earlier. Kevin Kelly starts pimping Death Before Dishonor X. First, he pimps the TV title match, showing footage of Mike Mondo getting the victory in the Six Man Mayhem last week to earn a shot at the belt at the PPV. But it’s no guarantee who he’ll face, as Adam Cole will defend the TV title next week on television against Michael Elgin. Adam Cole cuts a terrific promo on Mondo, as well as Elgin. The guy is legit.
Next, the World Title match is shown, and Rhino cuts a promo, re-using the line that he’ll leave Steen in a pile of his own piss, blood, and shit, and that he’ll be the new ROH World Champion. Intense promo from an underrated veteran.
Finally, the tag title tournament is addressed, with a semifinal matchup already determined: Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander vs. Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino. Coleman and Alexander cut a promo, with Coleman signing some gospel at the end. He’s a great promo. Another first round match happens later in the show, with Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus facing the Guardians of Truth, and the Briscoes facing BLK-OUT next week. The Briscoes cut a hilarious promo.
Match 2: Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven
When Lethal comes out, the announcers talk about how he’s been in a bad mood lately. Before the match, Lethal grabs the mic and explains why. He apparently bumped into Jim Cornette backstage and asked why he wasn’t being considered for a title shot against Kevin Steen. Lethal said Cornette told him he was a better athlete and wrestler than Kevin Steen, but Cornette doesn’t think Lethal can beat Steen because he doesn’t have a “killer instinct.” Immediately after shaking Taven’s hand, he kicks Matt right in the balls, and then hits the Lethal Combination on the referee to a huge reaction from the Baltimore crowd! Lethal gets back on the mic, looks into the camera and says, “How’s THAT for a killer instinct?” I don’t know if this is a heel turn or just a new character development for the babyface Lethal, but he’s already booked to face Homicide one-on-one at Death Before Dishonor X, and is pretty much a shoo-in to get the World Title shot (most likely against Steen) at the Rahway, NJ house show on October 6, one town away from where he grew up in Elizabeth, NJ.
Main Event: Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus vs. The Guardians of Truth
The story, of course, is how Haas and Titus will get along in this match since they hate each other. They had your typical arguments and hard tags throughout the match, which was mostly by the numbers. But like all successful reluctant teams, they managed to put their problems aside and come together at the end to get the victory, with Haas pushing one of the Guardians off the top rope, and Titus rolling up the other. **
Winners: Charlie Haas and Rhett Titus
After the match, Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs come out to attack the GoT in retaliation for their attack earlier in the show, and they continue to brawl as the bell rings wildly and the show comes to a close.
This show was pretty light on the great wrestling, as for the past few weeks, there have been at least one decent match. For storyline purposes though, this show continued to build to DBDX, and the highlight was obviously the gore on Steen from Rhino. Hopefully, ROH can bounce back next week with what looks like a great show, headlined by Adam Cole defending the ROH TV Title against Michael Elgin.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @PocketSeagull, and anybody going to the Charlotte show on Saturday, have fun!