While Ring of Honor is an American Company, one of their larger shows of the year seems to happen in Toronto. I’ve been to the last two ROH events in Toronto but this year due to my nephew’s first birthday (happy birthday Chase) my brother and I weren’t able to attend. I would have to watch the show from my own home. This PPV is the first to be broadcasted on their website. ROH has been known to have a number of issues during there iPPVs, and this one is no different. This time the issue wasn’t’ a brown out but a problem with logging on to the website to watch the show.
It took me 18 minutes to get the show on my computer, that was enough to miss the first match between Rhino and Eddie Edwards. From what I’ve heard on Twitter the match was good, the only thing I say was a reply of the finish (Edwards rolled Rhino up for the win) and Martini bribing Rhino so he wouldn’t kill him.
ROH need to work on this crap. This wasn’t the only technical issue on this show, but it was the biggest.
All Night Express and TJ Perkins vs. Young Bucks and Mike Mondo
The second match on the card but the first that I saw for the 6-man war between ANX/TJ Perkins vs. Young Bucks/Mike Mondo. While I’m not a big fan of this feud between the Bucks and the All Nights, this match was pretty good.
There were a number of good spots. Mondo showed off his agility as he did a moonsault off of the apron. Another on that stood out was crazy super kick spot were the Bucks kicked the hell out of the All Nights and Perkins.
The finish came when the All Nights hit a neck breaker power bomb, then Perkins put a period of the finish with a 450 splash.
Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa
One of the feuds that’s been going for a while now in ROH is between Ciampa and Lethal. Both are great wrestlers and really help each other in a match. This time is no different.
As an aside to the match the Embassy looks al little different as Nana cut his hair and Ciampa has a bleached beard. It looks a bit weird.
The match doesn’t really start for a while as they fight outside of the ring for a good five minutes. Lethal even launched Ciampa in a section C sign (section C chants ensue).
It doesn’t take long for the Embassy to get involved in the match as Evans distracts Lethal and lets Ciampa get the advantage in the match.
Ciampa tries to get into the mind of Lethal by using the Lethal Combination but Lethal kicks out.
Lethal hits the Lethal Injection and is almost going to win the match but Evans pulls the ref out of the ring. Ciampa tries to get back into the make but the finish comes when Lethal hits the first part of the Lethal Combination 10 times and then finishes the move to break Ciampa’s winning streak.
After the match, Ciampa goes crazy, say that this wasn’t the way it was suppose to happen and runs out of the arena.
Mike Bennett vs. Lance Storm
This one is very special to Canadian Fans. If you’re not from Canada then you might understand the popularity of Storm but he is up there with the Harts when it comes to our love.
This match is a rematch from their Wrestlemania Weekend event in late March. Instead of Maria accompanying Bennett we get Brutal Boy. While Boy doesn’t have as nice of an ass of Maria it’s still cool to see him back.
This match is very different from the first as we see a much more angry Storm in this one. Storm also looks like he’s in even better shape for this one as well.
Much like the previous match Storm shins during the match as he does a number of impressive moves, namely a springboard moonsault off of the top rope onto Bennett.
The finish came when Bob distracts the ref and Bennett grabs a chair. Storm counters him and hits him in the back, and then finishes him with a super kick.
After the match the crowd gave Storm a standing ovation. Storm got on the mic and thanked the fans and the company for their support over the years. It wasn’t a retirement speech, but it’s clear that Storm won’t be going on tour anytime soon.
As a cool aside to this match the referee for the match was long time WWE ref and Toronto native Jimmy Korderas. It was cool to see him in the zebra stripes again.
Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin
After an intermission we get the match, which was entitled, the battle of the break out stars. I’ve never seen the appeal of Cole, he’s over cause he pinned Davey Richards…so what, he hasn’t done anything else in the company. The real star is Elgin, and I’d say that even if he wasn’t Canadian.
The match was ok, as Cole tried to get over during the match with his fast pace moves, but the fans were strongly behind the local native Elgin.
Elgin shined more in this one as he caught Cole as he was trying to do a suicide dive; Elgin slammed him into the entrance ramp. Elgin also did a falcon arrow to Cole off of the top rope, but he pulled him up off of the apron.
The finish came when Elgin hit a buckle bomb and then a spinning power bomb to win the match.
After the match, Elgin’s manager Truth Martini, got on the mic and told Elgin to go in the back cause the Roderick Strong match was next. Truth continued to talk about how awesome Strong is as Elgin just stares at him from half way down the ramp. Cole eventually kicks him out of the ring and Elgin carries his Life Intervention Expert away.
T.V. Title: Roderick Strong vs. Fit Finlay
Despite the opinions of some of the fans in the Ted Reeve arena, this was a classic old school wrestling match. Both of these guys wrestle a similar style; the main difference is that Strong is faster than the 52-year-old Finlay ever was.
There was a lot of submissions and hold used in this match. Finlay’s back got cut open when he was driving into the guardrail outside the ring. Strong worked on it from there.
The finish comes when Strong hits a Sick Kick, after about every other one of Strong’s finishers, to get the three count. Finlay gets a standing ovation as he leaves the ring, Finlay unlike Storm will be going of a tour very soon.
It’s hard to give this one justice in such a short period of time. It was a good match. A lot slower than the average ROH match, but good nonetheless.
Tag Titles: The Briscoes vs. Wrestling Greatest Tag Team in a match without Honor
So let me start this one off by saying that this feud has run its course and should just go away. That being said this feud WILL continue.
The match is a cluster f*ck right from the get go as Jay Briscoes distracts WGTT as Mark come out of the crowd and attacks them with a hockey stick. During the first minute of this match the knock out the monitor that the commentators Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness use to call the match, so even they lose track during this one.
This match was ok, as Shelton shows off his talents with a nice belly to belly off the top rope. Haas gigs within about five minutes into the match and is useless till the end (just like every other match).
The finish comes when…I sh*t you not, Haas sprays something (either or clorophorm) onto a rag and use it to knock Mark out to get the win. This finish is stupid, and seems like something Jim Cornette (the head booker) say back in the territory days of wrestling and thought would be cool to bring back…it wasn’t.
So I guess the feud continues, as Cornette will have to make a rematch for the belts at the next PPV.
ROH Title: Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen with the piledriver allowed
During the event there were a number of technical issues (and water remains wet) one of which was audio issues during taped promos and videos. I haven’t mentioned it till this moment cause this instance was mind bobbling.
So Kelly, still without a monitor, tries to talk over a video of a house show were Steen beats up O’Reily and Richards. However, not only did they play the video with sound, but it was so loud that it blocked everything else out. This is a big f*ck up. Say what you want about the WWE, they don’t f*ck up on their technical stuff (just their booking).
Despite that, this match was very good. Steen is the fan favourite and plays off the crowd quite well. Richards while he’s normally the main face of the company does a very good job of acting as the heel in this match. He plays to the Toronto crowd extremely well.
Before the introductions Steve Carino comes out to the commentary table. He tries to speak however his mic isn’t on. But we do hear that he’s there to watch over the match and make sure everything happens smoothly cause Cornette still can’t get over the Canadian Boarder. For the rest of the match, he doesn’t say anything.
This match while, not as good as the Richards/Elgin main event a month ago is very good.
One of the spots that stood out to me was when Steen powerbombed Richards onto the apron twice. Steen later knocks Richards mouth guard out and puts it in his mouth.
Richards gets his normal spots in as he delivers some good kicks to Steen’s face, but Steen just seems to Hulk his way through the pain. Richards also uses one of his old finishers, the DR Drive, but Steen kicks out.
The finish comes when Steen tries to get out of the ankle lock and rips the turnbuckle padding off and rams Richards into it. Steen hits a Sleeper-suplex and then the Package Piledriver to become the new ROH Champion.
After the match Carino comes into the ring. He and Mr. Wrestling stare each other down until the hug in the middle of the ring.
The PPV ends with Steen shouting, “I don’t need a speech, I’m Kevin f*cking Steen!”
In the end…
Despite the issues with the website, and the issues with taped promos, the card and the hot crowd made the event feel huge.
There wasn’t a seat in the house as there were a large number of people standing in the arena hoping to watch Steen become the new Champion.
Another plus for the PPV was the improved camera production (i.e. camera crane). It made the product look a lot of professional. Now if only they could get their website to work properly.
I highly recommend this one for ROH and wrestling fans alike. While I can’t really talk about the opener match, there wasn’t a bad match all night.