The ROHbot Report: "Unity" Result, ROH iPPV Goes In-House, The All Night Express Go All Twisted Sister, And More
By James Bullock May 5, 2012 - 8:16 AM
Welcome one and all to another edition of The ROHbot Report. One week ago, Ring of Honor collaborated with CHIKARA Pro Wrestling to present “Synergy”. Over the course of the afternoon and evening, the fans in attendance were treated to two unique events that included interpromtional matches. For ROH, no match was bigger than their show’s main event when The Briscoes defended the ROH World Tag Team title and the honor of the company they’ve helped build against CHIKARA’s homegrown stars Hallowicked and Jigsaw. Lets find out if The Briscoes did ROH proud, or is CHIKARA the new face of honor.
“Unity” - Chicago Ridge, IL - April 28, 2012
1. The All Night Express (Rhett Titus & Kenny King) beat The House of Truth (Roderick Strong & Truth Martini)
2. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett w/ Maria beat Mike Sydal
3. Lancelot & Harlem Bravado beat The Young Bucks
4. No DQ Match: El Generico & BJ Whitmer defeated Jimmy Jacobs & Kevin Steen
5. ROH vs. CHIKARA: The Colony (Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, & Green Ant) defeated TJ Perkins, Adam Cole & Jay Lethal
6. Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team defeated Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly after Shelton pinned Kyle
7. ROH World Tag Title Match: Jay & Mark Briscoe defeated Jigsaw & Hallowicked to retain
It was also announced during the event, that when Ring of Honor returns to Chicago Ridge on Saturday, September 15 it will be to present “Death Before Dishonor X” live on iPPV!
From the live reports, “Unity”, and the entire “Synergy” event for that matter, was a large success thanks to, not only its action, but also its somewhat unpredictable nature. Coming into the main event, the obvious belief that Tag title wouldn’t change hands wasn’t as obvious as one would think. While The Briscoes-Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team VI for the ROH World Tag Team title (their seventh encounter overall) for “Boarder Wars”, the fact is that the upcoming iPPV match is a Fight Without Honor, and doesn’t necessarily need the title to conclude this feud (if it does end in Toronto). During the “Unity” main event, history almost repeated itself as the CHIKARA roster joined their representatives by coming and standing around ringside. But unlike “The Homecoming 2012” (http://www.worldwrestlinginsanity.com/am2/publish/ringofhonorlive/Worth_Your_Money_ROH_The_Homecoming_2012.shtml), Ring of Honor’s wrestlers made their presence known by entering the fray to support the ROH World Tag Team champions. One must assume that The Briscoes’ inquiry for the ROH roster via video made them think twice about their priorities.
This moment of unity fired up the champs and allowed The Briscoes to redeem themselves and ROH.
Though CHIKARA was on the losing end in the main event, it wasn’t a completely bad night for lucha style company when ROH’s show began. Following the main event, the crowd requested that ROH and CHIKARA work together again thanks to a reportedly thrilling CHIKARA show, a great ROH event, and some wonderful interpromotional matches. One example of the interpromotional action was The Colony taking on a band of merry men in former TV champion Jay Lethal, Adam Cole, and TJ Perkins. The action was fast and furious thanks to it being under lucha rules (meaning that once someone hit the floor, another man could enter from that team to continue the action without tagging in). The rules created a confusing atmosphere for the CHIKARA official (who ousted ROH senior ref Todd Sinclair thanks to a winning coin flip), and he missed a sure pin by Perkins. Eventually, The Colony of Ants turned everything around and sent out what would be the first shot of evening in this war of respect between two of the top companies to originate out of Philadelphia in the past decade.
Someone who tried to take CHIKARA down a notch before ROH’s show began and CHIKARA’s “Hot Off the Griddle” ended was Kevin Steen. Steen pulled double duty Saturday (something not foreign to Steen or anyone who has followed my recent Pro Wrestling Guerilla reviews). After losing his chance to wrest the CHIKARA Grand Championship from Eddie Kingston by resorting to a low blow when he saw he was losing, Kevin Steen entered the arena again alongside Jimmy Jacobs to take on their respective biggest rivals in ROH history in El Generico and BJ Whitmer. In what was reported as nothing short of a war, BJ Whitmer somewhat avenged his greatest ROH loss when he superplexed Jacobs through a table and won the match for his team.
While it sucks Jimmy Jacobs has already lost a match so shortly after his successful turn following “Showdown in the Sun: Day One”, ROH really had no choice if they wanted to give the fans a definitive conclusion to the match. ROH can’t have Kevin Steen losing with “Border Wars” only a few weeks away. El Generico lost at both Wrestlemania weekend events in his return to ROH. And it seems ROH is interested in bringing Whitmer back for some bigger matches, so they couldn’t hamper his marketability by losing here.
But “Unity” wasn’t just about the problems, or lack thereof, between ROH and CHIKARA. There were also some problems between the ROH wrestlers. Dissension is running amongst the ranks of teams featuring former and current ROH World champions. First there was The House of Truth. Since the “10th Anniversary Show” Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin haven’t seen eye to eye. Following the historic iPPV and subsequent TV shows Roderick Strong has seemingly done everything in his power to sabotage Elgin’s push toward the main event while keeping himself in the title picture. In Chicago, Roderick went down with an “injury”, leaving Elgin alone to take on the cohesive force that is Kenny King and Rhett Titus - thus leading to another loss for The HOT. Following the match, Truth Martini had to calm the situation brewing between his top wrestlers.
The great story about Strong and Elgin’s potential blow up is the fact it’s all due to Martini’s manipulation of Strong while building up Roderick’s self-confidence. During 2009 and into 2010, Martini made it clear to everyone, especially Roderick, that Elgin was nothing more than The HOT’s enforcer, and someone who would never challenge Strong for the top spot in The House’s wrestler hierarchy. Once Elgin started pushing beyond Strong’s instituted beliefs, Roderick has subconsciously flipped the script, sacrificing wins to keep Elgin down. It’ll be interesting to see if ROH goes the Triple H-Batista Wrestlemania 21 route, or have Martini turn on Roderick because he sees more profitability in Elgin with the probability of him winning the ROH World title or defeating Roderick for the TV gold.
The other tandem having problems in Chicago was none other than Team Ambition. Going north of thirty minutes, WGTT were able to outlast the onslaught of Davey Richards and take advantage of O’Reilly’s willingness to be just like Davey and steal the show with his display with Shelton luring Kyle into Paydirt. After the action, Davey Richards reportedly tried to help O’Reilly up, only for Kyle to pull away from his mentor. While one could say it was just O’Reilly being upset over the loss, look no further than “Survival of the Fittest 2011” to see what Kyle O’Reilly is all about.
There, O’Reilly expressed his anticipation of facing his teacher for the ROH World title when O’Reilly believed he’d win the tournament and gain a future ROH World title shot. Fast forward to the “10th Anniversary Show” and you find a self-absorbed individual who is more concerned about proving he’s better than those he doesn’t like (Adam Cole and Eddie Edwards there) than representing the good sportsmanship mantra Team Richards has. It would be great to see Davey and Kyle in an extended program following “Border Wars” if Davey loses the ROH World title. It could be thing that truly turns O’Reilly from a would-be main eventer to a legitimate top star in the company.
Another team that added to the unpredictability to “Unity” was the returning Bravados from their recent tour/training in Japan for the NOAH promotion. Every person who has talked about “Unity” reflected on the mark improvement seen in Harlem and Lancelot since their last ROH appearance. In all honesty, being in NOAH, you have no choice but to get better. The Bravado Bandwagon is alive and well, and it’s not too late to jump on.
From the looks and sounds of it, ROH’s return to Chicago in conjunction with CHIKARA was the unmitigated success both companies believed it would be. As the fans in Chicago said, please do this again ROH and CHIKARA. Here’s hoping they have something even bigger planned for the faithful fans of Chicago for the tenth annual “Death Before Dishonor”.
But Ring of Honor wasn’t done. Less than a day later, Ring of Honor stopped in Dayton where Adam Cole hoped to prove his victory over Davey Richards a month earlier on iPPV wasn’t a fluke while attaining World champion status. Lets see if lightning struck twice.
Dayton, OH - April 29, 2012
1. The All-Night Express beat Mohammed Ali Vaez & Chris Silvio
2. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin defeated Samson Walker
3. “Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare” Kevin Steen pinned BJ Whitmer
4. Kyle O'Reilly vs. El Generico ended in a No Contest after Jimmy Jacobs and Kevin Steen interfered by attacking Generico. O'Reilly joined the fight but was beat down O'Reilly until Davey Richards came down to assist, only for Steen to put him in the ankle lock. BJ and others came down to run them off
5. TJ Perkins pinned Mike Mondo
6. 2/3 Falls Match: Jay Lethal defeated Roderick Strong 2-1
7. ROH World Tag Title Match: Jay & Mark Briscoe beat Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin to retain; ANX came out to watch the match but ended up getting involved by beating down Charlie on the floor as Mark Briscoe pinned Shelton
8. ROH World Title Match: Davey Richards submitted Adam Cole
And the answer to the question of “Can Adam Cole beat Davey Richards for the ROH World title in Dayton” is, “No, no Adam Cole couldn’t make it a win in Dayton.” According to those in attendance, Adam Cole put up another valiant effort against a top player in Ring of Honor, but succumbed to the incredible jujitsu of Richards when Davey countered Cole’s pinning combinations with the Ankle Lock. Davey continued the trend of post-match promos where he put over his opponent, the company, and the fans that came to witness some of the greatest wrestling in the world. And while it was nice that Richards gave his kudos to Cole, stating that he had arrived through his performances in 2012, a Davey Richards’ endorsement isn’t going to be enough to get the fans behind Cole like they want. Ring of Honor must stay consistent with their booking of Cole if they want longtime and new fans alike to attach themselves to his journey. Great matches can only keep the fans’ attention for so long if the booking isn’t up to part for that person (look at Tyler Black’s quest for the ROH World title). Not to mention a lot of fans are getting sick of Davey’s post-match promos, and don’t pay much attention to them.
But Davey Richards wasn’t only seen during the main event. Halfway through the show, Richards’ services were called upon when Kevin Steen and Jimmy Jacobs interfered in Generico-O’Reilly before the time limit could expire, causing a no contest. As Generico tried to fight on the two on one onslaught, O’Reilly watched on before deciding to get in on the action alongside the man he wanted to kick his head off in Kevin Steen. This brought out the ROH World champion. Thanks to a chair attack, Davey Richards was prone to Kevin Steen’s version of the Ankle Lock until BJ Whitmer made the save - seemingly trying to avenge his loss to Kevin Steen thanks to the interference from Jimmy Jacobs. While adding some simple heat to the “Border Wars” main event, we got a little more of Kyle O’Reilly true form as he’d side with an enemy to get in a cheapshot rather than do the honorable thing of helping that outnumbered individual like Richards would.
In a “Border Wars” preview, The Briscoes and WGTT clashed in a match that reiterated The All Night Express’ early declaration. At the top of the show, following their win over Ali Vaez & Silvio, King and Titus expressed their displeasure of being overlooked; especially since they have a Proving Ground win over WGTT from back in December, yet haven’t gained a title match. Being the last team to truly defeat The Briscoes before their seventh ROH World Tag Team title victory, it’s painfully obvious The ANX want The Briscoes to stay the champions so they can defeat them for the gold (maybe at “Best in the World 2012”).
Other than Jay Lethal getting his win back against Roderick Strong in a Two Out of Three Falls match, there’s not much else to talk about outside of the attendance. Following two great turnouts for the Dayton shows, this past Sunday’s show witnessed less than or equal to (depending who you talk to) 200 people. According to some reports, general admission ticket buyers were given a choice of very good seating thanks to the lack of people. Literally people were paying GA prices for front row tickets at the show. The question of “What happened?” has to pop up for ROH officials. Was is it the day? Was it the early start time? Was it the fact fans were traveling to Chicago for WWE’s “Extreme Rules” or opting to stay at home and watch the first clash between Brock Lesnar and John Cena in nine years? Whatever the case may be, here’s hoping ROH considers the attendance for this event an isolated incident and doesn’t give up on the Dayton market because they’ve always been one of the best crowds ROH has had.
Ring of Honor Wrestling returns to Toronto on May 12th at The Ted Reeve Arena for “Border Wars”! Announced over the weekend on “Ring of Honor Wrestling” TV, it will be the battle of the fastest rising stars in Ring of Honor as Adam Cole faces “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal will face the unbeaten “Dominant Male” Tommaso Ciampa in a Grudge Match!
This should be an incredible match no matter how much time they get. Adam Cole plays David to Elgin’s Goliath so well. The greatest question of who will win definitely is there as both men are in favor with the company for big pushes, but someone has to lose. In all honesty, it’s hard to even determine who has the best chance. But if you had to go with someone in a fight, use the Kevin Nash philosophy: A good big man can beat a great little man every time - and Elgin is an excellent big man wrestler. Though we can’t forget Roderick’s involvement in any of Elgin’s matches recently has caused failure for “Unbreakable”.
The same can be said about Tomasso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal. Lethal is coming off a huge loss at the last iPPV and needs a win to stay in title contention. But this has become more than just a war over the TV title. During his time in ROH, Ciampa has been nothing short of a beast by beating everyone in his path; thus dubbing himself “The Dominate Male”. After Ciampa cost Lethal the TV title, Jay has made it a point to take something from Ciampa. Now Jay has another chance to beat the most dominate wrestler in ROH right now, ending Ciampa’s streak and taking away the thing that make him who he is in the process. Sadly for Jay, things look a lot brighter for Ciampa in Toronto than the former ROH TV champion as ROH readies The Embassy’s main man for the big time.
Davey Richards was in a car accident today on Tuesday.
And in an example of life imitating art, ROH pushed a story that Richards was banged up after Kevin Steen’s attack in Dayton, and only a couple of days later, Richards was rear ended and forced to miss his Japan commitments alongside former ROH competitor and fellow No Remorse Corps alumni Rocky Romero. Davey Richards tweeted that he’s okay, and it won’t cause him to miss “Border Wars” - which is good news.
ROH has announced that the videos on ROHWrestling.com are now available to be viewed on iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod). The videos were previously unable to be watched as they were flash and iOS devices will not view Flash due to security concerns.
Look at you, ROH, getting all hip and relating to the young people. Now lets go to the discoteca. And speaking of tech and ROH…
Since our “Showdown in the Sun” events, Ring of Honor has been diligently working on a new means to provide “Border Wars”, as well as all our upcoming iPPV broadcasts, uninterrupted and in the absolute best quality to ensure that our fans are getting the iPPV experience that they deserve. With that, we are pleased to announce that “Border Wars”, and all our future iPPV events, will be seen right here at ROHWrestling.com!
This is pretty much ROH’s only option. As noted in the last Report (http://www.worldwrestlinginsanity.com/am2/publish/ringofhonorlive/The_ROHbot_Report_41412.shtml), the other ways would’ve meant ROH and Sinclair Broadcasting Group piggybacking off of other established wrestling iPPV providers. But the good news doesn’t end there for the consumers. Not only will you have the convenience of going to ROH’s website, and ROH’s website only to order and watch your iPPV, but after you order the event, you can watch it for a whole year. Don’t feel like or can’t buy the DVD when it comes out two months after the event, but wants to relive that incredible match and/or moment, you can without any hassle. And for you Ringside Members, just like anything you purchase from ROH, you get 15% off the cover price.
But for everything good that goes with this announcement, one must note this is ROH’s first foray into live iPPV alone. While they’re promising a great, easy experience without feed breaks/flaws and production issues, you can’t believe for a minute that it’ll turn out as well as ROH hopes since they couldn’t get GoFightLive to fix their problems alongside ROH after two plus years together. Everyone must remember that no matter how much planning, practice, or even visual learning through experience can prepare you for the bumps of live production.
Thankfully, ROH is working with a media company, and should have a better grasp of what not to do when that camera comes on. If “Border Wars” is anything close to last year’s Wrestlemania weekend events, “Best in the World 2011”, or the “10th Anniversary Show” (four of the best looking, error-free iPPVs ROH has ever done), then “Border Wars” can be considered nothing short of a success. Even if it has the slight production flaws of “Final Battle 2011” it wouldn’t be half bad (a few wrong name graphics and some awkward camera angles). The fact is we must take into account that while first impressions are always important, it’s how ROH follows up if the show doesn’t go off without a hitch. And if it does, ROH made the right decision by cutting out the middleman. We’ll find out on the 12th.
Where’s Our Shot?
Kenny King and Rhett Titus aren’t the only ones frustrated with the way things have turned out for the once molten All Night Express. This time last year, everyone was declaring that The ANX would be ROH World Tag Team champion before the year’s end. By October, it was painfully clear that ROH’s focus was on The Briscoes and WGTT rather than the team that went from guys with potential to legit main event players in a matter of months.
As noted during the Dayton recap, Titus and King are determined to put themselves in the forefront of everyone’s mind like they did in 2011 by firing the first shot at the two teams who have hogged the ROH Tag Team title since August. While it didn’t work out last year, here’s to 2012 being the year ANX become certified gold.