This week’s ROH TV features S.C.U.M. defending the tag titles against BJ Whitmer and Rhett Titus.
First off, an apology to anyone that was offended by my rather classless comments about the women in last week’s match. I’m here to talk about the matches, not whether or not I think the girls in them are hot. That being said, I still maintain that the match stunk and was a waste of time, and the totally dead crowd seemed to agree with me.
We open with Nigel McGuiness bringing out Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. Pretty funny bit to start it off, as Benjamin congratulates McGuiness on being named the new matchmaker and shakes his hand, but Haas blows it off so McGuiness responds with the universal jerking-off hand gesture (Wanker!), which is blurred by the camera. WGTT wants to know why Titus & Whitmer are getting the tag title shot tonight when WGTT beat them at the PPV last month. McGuiness tells them that it’s because Whitmer & Titus beat them on TV a few weeks ago. Haas: “That doesn’t count!” I have to agree, a more recent win on a PPV should carry more weight than a win in an impromptu TV match. McGuiness says that if WGTT wants a title shot they have to beat Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander RIGHT NOW!
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander: Haas throws the (again blurred) double-bird during the Code of Honor. Kevin Kelly is left to do commentary by himself for the evening, and is clearly not used to flying solo. It comes off pretty poorly, as he’s kind of talking to someone that isn’t there. Benjamin starts off with Alexander and they lock up and fight over a headlock and a wristlock. Shelton gets the better of that and dumps Alexander and Haas pounds him on floor for a bit before sending him back in. Benjamin dumps him again, Hass sends him back in and Benjamin gets a scoop slam for 2. Alexander gets dumped AGAIN, but this time he nails Hass and scores with a missile dropkick on Benjamin to make the tag. Drop-toehold/legdrop combo gets 2 for the faces, and a top rope clothesline gets another 2 count for Coleman. Benjamin tags in Hass and Coleman gets beat on in the heel corner, but comes back with a standing leg lariat for 2. We play “face tries to come in and distracts the ref while his partner gets beat on by the heels behind the ref’s back” for a bit, and Haas hits an exploder suplex for 2. Rhett Titus (looking like a smaller Kevin Nash while in street clothes) and BJ Whitmer join us for commentary as we go to commercial.
Back from break as Benjamin hits a Bossman slam on Coleman and grabs a headlock. Coleman gets free and hits a crossbody for 2, but Benjamin takes over again with a knee and tags in Haas. Double-team backbreaker for 2, and once again Alexander is stopped by the ref from getting in while Hass chokes Coleman behind his back. Hass beats on Coleman for a while, but Coleman reverses a scoop slam into an armdrag and both guys tag out. Alexander throws forearms on Benjamin and hits an ugly enziguri, then hits a much better one off the second rope for 2. He knocks Haas of the apron and the faces hit the obligatory fucked up Total Elimination for 2. You’d think they’d be getting better at it, but I swear it looks worse every time they do it. Christ, find a new move! Hass makes the save and both he and Alexander go over the top, right in front of the commentators. Coleman tries the triple Northern Lights, but Benjamin gets a HUGE powerbomb and both guys are down. Outside, Hass bitch-slaps Whitmer and a big brawl breaks out (with Kelly screaming MY GOD! WHAT THE HELL! like he’s taking a rough shit or something), as back in the ring Benjamin gets a superplex on Coleman, but as soon as he hits the mat he’s nailed with an Alexander frog splash to finish it at 10:50. Pretty cool ending right there. ***, wee bit sloppy from the face side but still a really fun match, can’t go wrong with these guys. Give them a decent amount of time and they could hit ****+ easily.
Ryan McBride vs. Bobby Fish: Fish is an indy journeyman; having done time in ROH, Evolve, IWA-MS, NOAH in Japan, and various Northeast promotions, including my hometown promotion, Empire State Wrestling. McBride is a former Shane Shamrock Memorial Cup winner in MCW (Maryland Championship Wrestling, one of the better double-A level indies out there), which speaks well of him, and a CZW vet, which doesn’t. Not that it matters, as he is absolutely squashed here. Fish tosses him out, hits a dive to the floor, and back in the child-killer flying headbutt gets 2. McBride reverses an Irish whip and gets a couple shots in the corner and hits a vertical suplex for 2. That’s the extent of his offense, as he spends too much time going up top and misses a frog plash, and Fish ends it with a crescent kick at 2:19. This only served to let fans know who Fish is when he appears in the next segment, so I won’t bother to rate it.
Davey Richards/Kyle O’Reilly segment: O’Reilly is sick of playing second banana to Richards, Richards feels that O’Reilly is a little bitch and doesn’t appreciate what he’s done for him, including introducing him to his wife. O’Reilly asks for forgiveness, Richards accepts and they hug it out. Of course, O’Reilly turns on him and hits some horrible looking punches, but Richards quickly gets the anklelock. The stooges and Bobby Fish come out to break it up, but Fish blasts Richards with a kick to the face and locks in the Crippler crossface while O’Reilly gets in Richards’ face and talks shit. Given the lack of mic skills from the people involved you’d think this whole thing would suck, but it actually came off really well outside of the bad punching.
Inside ROH: More PPV hype. As expected, Michael Elgin vs. Roderick Strong is announced for Final Battle, Truth Martini tells us in an atrocious promo that he won’t let it happen. The Briscoes, Adam Cole, and Jay Lethal get airtime as well. Speaking of Cole, it’s announced that the Cole/Matt Hardy match is non-title. That's assuming Hardy makes it to the PPV, as he was injured with what was reported to be a pretty severe concussion at the Extreme Rising iPPV last weekend.
ROH Tag Team Title: Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer vs. Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs: Titus and Whitmer jump S.C.U.M. from behind and everyone brawls for a while. That all gets sorted out and Corino gets a Russian legsweep on Titus and tags in Jacobs, S.C.U.M. takes over with quick tags and lots of the usual heelish tactics. Jacobs misses and blind charge and Titus gets the tag, spinebuster from Whitmer gets 2. Double Northern lights gets 2, but a Rock Bottom attempt is reversed into a roll-up. Spear from Jacobs gets 2, Titus kind of rolls out of a reverse rana and hits clothesline with the 360 sell by Jacobs. Both guys tag out, a forearm battle between Corino and Whitmer ends with a Whitmer clothesline for 2. Tilt-a-whirl on Corino, Jacobs makes the save, the faces try the “whip the opponents into each other” spot but Corino reverses his end and Jacobs hits another spear on Titus. Whitmer tries to suplex Jacobs to the floor, but the momentum takes both guys out and here’s WGTT to spike Whitmer on the barricade. Titus is left on his own, and the champs retain on a suplex by Corino at 8:00. I think we could all see that interference coming after what happened in the opener. **, I have nothing further to add on this one. Benjamin and Hass beat Titus down to end the show.
Much better show than last week, with every segment building up some sort of angle, and no terrible in-ring work. Next week: The Briscoes vs. The Headbangers and a rematch of the Michael Elgin/Davey Richards match from WrestleMania weekend.