ROH Showdown In The Sun Day Two (31/3/12) By Adam Timmins

Posted: September 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

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It should be noted that the iPPV showing of this show was a disaster. The feed cut off during Ciampa vs. Alexander and didn’t come back until Mike Bennett’s in-ring promo.

James Jacobs comes out to cut a promo to kick things off, and immediately fluffs it by stating it felt amazing when he stabbed Steen in the head at Final Battle, when it was actually the 10th anniversary. Enraged by this lack of professionalism, El Generico runs out with a referee, and we have an impromptu match.

El Generico vs. Jimmy Jacobs – an ok opener; but the fact that Generico loses clean to Jacobs in under ten minutes tells you all you need to know about his future in the company. Jacobs tries to spike Generico, but leaves it embedded in the top turnbuckle. Generico gets distracted, and Jacobs rolls him up at 8.20.

Tomasso Ciampa vs. Cedric Alexander – so much for Ciampa’s push – didn’t wrestle last night, and now he’s wrestling Cedric Alexander: with all due respect to the latter. Ciampa hits a couple of knee strikes on the outside to get the win at 5.25. Too short to be meaningful – and it made a nasty looking spot where Alexander gave Ciampa an exploder on the floor look even more incongruous. Unsurprisingly, Caprice Coleman gets Project Ciampa from Tomasso after the match.

TJ Perkins vs. Fire Ant – now this is more like it. A super-fun little eight minute match, which stood out all the more as you rarely see Lucha in ROH. (Apparently Gabe had a thing against it, and I assume Cornette does) The only slight irritation was the commentary team didn’t have a breeze about any of Fire Ant’s signature moves, but there you go. Perkins hits the 450 splash for the victory at 8.20. If ROH had any sense they’d use Chikara talent more often – but then, it’s not ROH anymore, it’s Smokey Mountain of Honor.

Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly – I know I use the words “it says a lot about ROH these days that” a lot, but they need to be dusted off here again. These two had a cracking 15 minute match at Chikara YLC in 2010. Do they get the chance to replicate it here? Of course not! The match is edited, as they had to stop it at one point apparently to try and fix the iPPV feed. They start out with some nice mat-work, but then out of nowhere go to the finish – it’s as if they had a longer match planned and someone said “Quick, go home!” Bullshit finish too – Cole goes for his top rope splash, and O’Reilly rolls through and pulls the trunks at 7.29 ish. So their first match after their tag team break-out lasted less than eight minutes? Great. Do try and check out their Chikara match if you can, it really was miles better than this.

Kenny King & Rhett Titus vs. The Young Bucks – Street Fight – another of those phrases we use way too much when watching ROH these days: “this was pretty good…until the finish.” Anyone who’s seen the Bucks work in PWG knows they’re capable of having a hell of a brawl, and Titus and King cut their hardcore teeth in their program with the Briscoes last year. Some cracking spots, including Nick giving Rhett the X-Factor over the guardrail and onto the floor. The spot where they put King in the shopping cart and wheeled him into the superkick cracked me up too. King and Titus give Matt their finisher, the Doomsday Blockbuster through the table; Nick pulls Rhett out of the ring, and Matt lays a hand on top of King for the win at 11.12. Awful, just awful. I’m guessing the explanatory logic is something “well, it prolongs the feud because the heels won, but it was a fluke, so you get another match…” Any angle where your babyface team end up looking like retards is counterproductive, no matter how you try and slice it.

Mike Bennett comes out to cut an in-ring promo with Maria, who looks stunningly hot. But again, how does this get Bennett over exactly? Bennett and Maria make out in the ring for a while. Can you imagine what Cornette would have said if Russo had booked this? Exactly.

The Briscoe Brothers vs. World’s Greatest Tag Team – this was quite a pleasant surprise, although maybe on the basis I wasn’t expecting a great deal from it. Still, the 15 minutes or so this match lasted went reasonably quickly. Intended or not, they kind of addressed the fact that WGTT’s offense bores the arse off everyone by giving the Briscoes a false hot tag in the middle to break things up a bit. They still get quite a few chants of “same old shot”, but you can’t please everyone. WGTT go for the Broken Arrow, but the Briscoes break it up and Jay rolls up Haas at 16.15. Unfortunatly WGTT attack the Briscoes after the match, suggesting this interminable feud will continue.

Kevin Steen vs. Eddie Edwards – a enjoyable little match, although Steen continues to wrestle like a babyface even though he’s supposed to be a heel; but then that’s hardly a new development. A decent outing thought, with Steen pinning Edwards via inside cradle at 10.40. Incidentally that’s the fourth match tonight with a cradle/roll-up for the finish.

Jay Lethal vs. Roderick Strong – before the bout Ciampa turns up with the TV belt (which the Embassy nicked at the 10th AS) and says if Lethal makes this a title match and wins, he’ll hand him the belt and shake his hand. Thing is, didn’t Strong win a TV Title shot at GBH10?  Anyone, the match is for the belt. Again, not a bad effort bad considering. One of the main problems with Lethal is his vanilla offense, but Strong was able to get in a couple of nifty counters to keep things entertaining. Strong kicks out of the BM Funkster, and with the referee distracted Ciampa interferes, leading Roderick to hit All The Landslides Birds Have Seen at 13.19 to become the 5th ROH TV champion. Now, don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t be happier to see the belt off Lethal (unless of course, they’re going to commit the commercial and aesthetic suicide of giving him a top-line push), but what was the entire point of having a four month long program with Ciampa if you’re not going to put the belt on the latter. Instead, it goes to Strong, who doesn’t really need it and has done little of interest since losing the World belt last year. You couldn’t make it up. The Briscoes/WGTT and Lethal/Ciampa feuds really needed to be wrapped up over this weekend: and they’re both going to stretch into the foreseeable future….

Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin – it’s been a while since an ROH match made ripples; but the WON giving this one five stars raised a few eyebrows. I can tell you it was a classic; easily the best ROH match in yonks. A 28 minute war, a super-stiff battle that you’re not going to find in many other places. Richards worked his backside off, Elgin absorbed a mountain of punishment and kept coming back…no point trying to describe it, see it in some form or another, it really is must-see stuff. Kudos must also go to Nigel McGuinness, who was superb on commentary, a really good example of a commentator getting a match over. Richards kicks out of Spin City; but has to kick Elgin in the head a couple of times before finally getting the three at 27.43. I read someone somewhere say that this was the best match in ROH since Richards vs. Black at Death Before Dishonor 8, and it’s hard to disagree.

Overall – well, the main event really kicked this one up a notch or two. Some decent stuff on the undercard, as well as some of the usual rubbish. But probably the best ROH card in 2012 thus far.

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