Honor Roll - February 11, 2012By Matt Seagull
Ring of Honor is celebrating its 10-year anniversary on February 23, and on that day, I'll write an ROH retrospective from my own eyes, a die-hard fan since 2004. A couple weeks later is the Tenth Anniversary Show, and the main event has been announced. It's ROH World Champion Davey Richards teaming with Kyle O'Reilly to face Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole. Color me...underwhelmed.It's not that it won't be a great match, and it's certainly well-built, especially with the events that transpired on this week's episode on the TV show. But I don't know...ten years is supposed to be a tremendous milestone, and there should be a World Title match worthy of the honor of main eventing that milestone show. Still, I can understand why ROH went this route.<!--more-->March is a busy month for ROH, as they also have a double iPPV on Wrestlemania weekend with the Showdown in the Sun shows on March 30 and 31. The television tapings have already taken place that will build to this iPPV, so it wouldn't make sense to have a title match where the outcome wouldn't be in doubt considering an entire month of shows following the Tenth Anniversary Show have already been taped. But again, it just doesn't feel like it should be the main event for the TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF ROH! Plus, I don't think a match like this will be able to fill the Hammerstein Ballroom. We could be looking at a lot of empty seats. But it's still a great deal for $10 on iPPV (considering you'll get three hours of quality wrestling), and the Tag Titles and Television Title will be on the line, so I'm still going to recommend the show to my loyal readers.This week, we have no recaps, as we get right into the action with a grudge match of Kyle O'Reilly vs. Eddie Edwards. Both gentlemen talk trash towards the other in pre-recorded comments. Eddie says that Kyle is stirring things up, and the only thing that he can do is knock some sense into Kyle in the ring.Match 1: Eddie Edwards vs. Kyle O'ReillyFor an opening contest, this could easily main event a television show, and the quality of the match is extremely high for its placement. Interesting story that got told when Eddie accidentally kicked the ringpost, and Kyle targeted the leg with strikes and submission holds, including Davey Richards's own ankle lock. Davey came out during the match and seemed to show support for both men, but O'Reilly's Future Shock tag team partner Adam Cole came out and was openly rooting for Eddie, NOT Kyle! Interesting developments there.Memorable Moment 1: O'Reilly runs off the ropes, but Eddie follows close behind and slides out of the ring, O'Reilly follows, but Eddie slides back in and O'Reilly goes to the apron, then Eddie runs off and Yakuza kicks Kyle in the face, sending him back into the barricade.Memorable Moment 2: O'Reilly hits three rolling butterfly suplexes on Eddie, transitioning right into the cross armbreaker.Memorable Moment 3: Eddie Edwards tries to suplex O'Reilly, and both men tumble over the top rope to the outside.
Some interesting holds and counterholds during the sprint to the finish. Eddie rolled up Kyle, but then Kyle reversed the rollup into the ankle lock. After Cole cheered for Eddie, Kyle got confused, and Eddie hit a flying tope to O'Reilly on the outside. Eddie then chopped O'Reilly in the neck three times for a two count. Eddie hit a lariat, but O'Reilly reversed a powerbomb into a guillotine choke. Edwards then rolled through for a quick two count. Kyle rolled up Eddie, but then Eddie reversed the direction and got O'Reilly's shoulders to the mat for three! What an amazing opening match! ***1/2Winner: Eddie Edwards
After the match, Eddie grabs the mic and says that Davey doesn't need him anymore, so now Eddie doesn't have a tag team partner. He asks Cole to be his tag team partner, and Cole accepts! Eddie says that they'll face off anytime, anywhere. The Baltimore crowd chants "Right now!" but Cornette makes the announcement later in the night that they'll fight at the Tenth Anniversary Show. So now the main event for Tenth Anniversary Show is on!Kevin Steen UpdateThey show clips of Steen's in-ring interview last week, where Jim Cornette ended up banning the Package Piledriver.Mike Mondo vs. Matt TavenThe match doesn't get going that long, as Steen comes out and states that Mondo and Taven get a match, but Steen doesn't even get a match. He then attacks both men, and hits them both with his new finishing move...the F-5! Gotta say, it looks devastating coming from Steen! Great choice for a new finisher!No Contest
Inside ROH With......Wrestling Greatest Tag Team. Clips from last week were shown when Shelton Benjamin hit Mark Briscoe in the head with a steel chair. WGTT is backstage bragging about the attack. Benjamin says there's no way he's paying the $5,000 fine for hitting Cornette. Cut to Cornette who says that until Benjamin pays the fine, he's suspended from active competition. The Briscoes say that they're not finished with WGTT, but now they're focusing on the Young Bucks. Jay says he doesn't know whether to whoop their ass or buy them flowers...so he's gonna whoop their ass, forget the flowers.Kevin Kelly announces that the TV Title will be defended at the Tenth Anniversary Show, as Jay Lethal will defend against the undefeated Tomasso Ciampa. We may have a new TV Champion in New York!Main Event: $10,000 On The Line: The Briscoes vs. Roderick Strong and Michael ElginBoth teams have put up $5,000 as a side bet stemming off the 8-Man Elimination Match a couple months ago in Greensboro. For some reason, Mark Briscoe doesn't show any ill effects from the chair shot to the head he suffered last week (really, earlier in the night of the TV taping) from Shelton Benjamin. They actually make mention of Mark not showing any effects on commentary. I'd actually they rather work Mark's head into the match a little more (they did toward the end, but it was too little, too late). As it was, this was a by-the-numbers tag team match.Memorable Moment 1: Mark hits the Iconoclasm on Elgin off the top rope, then Jay immediately hit a big splash for a two count.Memorable Moment 2: Elgin tries a backdrop on Mark, but Mark lands on his feet. He runs into Elgin, who plants him with a side slam.Memorable Moment 3: Jay Briscoe's hot tag, as he rocked Elgin with a superkick, Strong with a lariat, and Elgin once more with a Death Valley Driver.
The end of the match comes suddenly, as Truth Martini throws powder in Jay's eyes. He douses water on himself to regain his vision, then goes backstage, grabs a baseball bat, and hits Strong and Elgin for the DQ. Oh...kay? The match looked like the first 13 minutes of a really awesome tag team match, but ended too abruptly for the match to be anything special. ***Winners by Disqualification: The House of Truth
Rather than be upset about the fact that he cost his team $5,000 of their own money, Jay and Mark grab the checks anyway as the crowd chants along with them, "Five...Thousand...Dollars!" So maybe it worked out after all?Final Thoughts
This is the first time in the history of this new TV show that I can recall the opening match being better than the main event (unless the main event WAS the opening match). Edwards vs. O'Reilly was very good, and a nice taste of what's to come in that main event tag team match at Tenth Anniversary. As bummed as I am that there's no World Title match, I think the four of those guys are going to tear the house down. Plus, any and all Kevin Steen on my TV is a good thing (and he'll have his first official match on ROH TV next week!), and the main event, while abruptly ended, was still decent enough. Another great show. ROH is on fire!Score: 8.5