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ROH TV: August 31st--September 1st Edition

Tonight, the world title tournament continues with fan favorite ACH taking on NJPW's Karl Anderson, as well as Adam Cole facing Mark Briscoe in the main event.  The TV title will also be defended.

Show opens with a recap of Jay Lethal vs Sonjay Dutt from last week.

TV Title: Matt Taven (c) vs Brian Fury
Code of Honor is adhered to, with some shenanigans from Taven of course.  They lock up, with neither gaining an obvious advantage.  When they break Taven makes for the corner and takes a break so Kasey Rae (Hoopla Hottie number 1) and Silesia (Hoopla Hottie 2) can oil him up.  Fury finds Taven's act much less amusing then I and interrupts the oiling with a body slam.  Fury presses the advantage and whips Taven into the corner.  Taven pops up to go over Fury in the corner, but he's caught and made to take a nasty spinebuster that gets the challenger a 2 count.  Taven is whipped at the ropes, but he holds on to stop his momentum.  Big boot and a clothesline get 2 for Taven.  Fury hits an enzugiri--but Taven stays on his feet and retaliates with a superkick that drops Fury.  Ground and pound from Taven draws the ire of the referee. Fury is up and he reverses an Irish whip into the corner.  Taven stops from slamming into the buckle with his foot and rolls back into the centre of the ring.  Running neck breaker catches Taven by surprise, but before he can make the cover Martini gets on the apron to distract the Ref.  Kasey Rae then hits a DIVING HURICANRANA(!!!) into a frog splash from Taven.  Nigel pulls Truth of the apron and calls for security to keep him out of the match.  Sinclair turns around and Taven gets 2.   That would have been a really hot finish.  Taven wastes time arguing his case for it being a three count before scraping Fury up off the mat.  Fury counters into the face buster that won him the match last week, here it only gets 2.  Fury whips Taven into the corner--Taven lands a jumping wheel kick however and then gives Fury a Furious Climax for the victory. ** I wasn't sold on the gimmick when it debuted, but Matt Taven has really grown into his role. Truth as part of the ensemble is also much more palatable.  I see no reason why he shouldn't keep the TV title for the foreseeable future.

Elgin is out to cut a promo and I die a little inside dreading it.  Elgin says nothing means more to him, or the world of wrestling, then the ROH World Championship.  He says that when Jay Briscoe went down he was approached about being handed the title due to his status as #1 contender--and he told Nigel he wouldn't accept it.  He doesn't want to be the only man to have the title handed to him, he's gonna win it like a MAN!  He looks into the camera and tells the 15 other guys (14 Michael, Dutt is already gone) to look into his eyes.  He spouts some cliches about how he can't lose and the crowd starts that awful fucking WHAT? chant. Steen's voice booms over the speakers. (The pop he gets when he walks through the curtain is by far the loudest of anyone in the company.  Steen is still the man in the eyes of the fans--and he'll still be the most over guy regardless of who wins the title at Death Before Dishonor XI.)  Steen informs us that Elgin is a liar!  He is afraid, he's afraid of the one guy he can't beat.  Steen says that when he was champ all he heard about was how Michael Elgin would be the one to dethrone him, but when they faced each other at Glory By Honor it was Steen who came out on top.  Now everyone says Elgin will win the Belt at DBD XI.  "I'm here to tell you and your mullet that it's not true!"  Great promo work from Steen has brought the crowd back around.  Elgin was treading water but could have started sinking fast if Steen hadn't come out to rescue him.  Bennett's music hits and Steen has a quip lined up.  "Oh Look, it's Maria and...some guy."  I love shoot comments that aren't meant to know what scratch that, knowing Steen it WAS meant as a shoot comment.  Bennett cuts a promo about Mike Bennett leaving ROH and MICHEAL Bennett winning the ROH title (I'm not sure being so pussy-whipped he changed his name is going to help Bennett get over).  The lights Flicker and now Ciampa has something to say.  He goes nose to nose with all three men in the ring before yelling "AND NEW ROH WORLD CHAMPION: THE SICILIAN PSYCHOPATH...TOMASSO CIAMPA" at the camera and storming off backstage.  Simple and effective, I love it.  we fade to commercial with security coming out to separate the guys in the ring.

This was...Good?!  No one is going to compare anything here to Punk and Rock trading verbal blows but the segment did exactly what it was meant to do.  Gravity was added to the tournament, things get a little personal between the Canadians, and no one embarrassed themselves. Good job to all (especially Steen for rescuing Elgin before things had a chance to turn really ugly)

ROH Title Tournament First Round: ACH vs "Machine Gun" Karl Anderson
Anderson's entrance is awesome.  Tale of the tape shows that Anderson has a 50-pound weight advantage against ACH.  Code of Honor is adhered to and we're on our way.  Collar and elbow tie-up to start.  Nigel puts over the title match Anderson recently had against Tanahashi.  While an impressive name drop I'm not sure it sells me on Anderson as an elite worker, I'm pretty sure I could have a **** match with Tanahashi.  The crowd is clearly into ACH in this one and Anderson clues in and plays the bully in this match.  ACH uses his speed to keep the advantage, and dumps Anderson to the floor.  ACH misses a split-legged moonsault to the outside.  Fortunately for him he landed on his feet.  Unfortunately for him the vicious running boot Anderson gives him makes him wish he hadn't.  ACH is thrown in the ring and we cut to commercial.

Back with Anderson hitting a vertical suplex that gets 2; he makes two more covers that each get 2.  ACH attempt at fighting back is laughed off as Anderson slaps him around.  He takes his time stomping ACH down and it's time for some old school choking.  ACH rolls to the apron and tries to speed things back up with a shoulder tackle through the ropes and sunset flip that gets 2.  Anderson hits a running back elbow then applies the deadly Randy Orton (chin) lock.  ACH wrestles to his feet just to be slammed back down.  Anderson misses a running senton to give ACH an opening.  Urged on by the crowd ACH unleashes a myriad of chops and kicks that push Anderson into the corner.  10-punches are counted by the crowd then Anderson is sent to the floor.  A Baseball slide knocks him into the barricade, and then ACH dives over the top in spectacular fashion to knock him into the floor.  "Machine Gun" is thrown back in and a diving cross body gets 2.  ACH avoids Anderson's Ace Crusher attempt, (He IS borrowing from Orton) slaps him in his  Gaijin face and hits Paydirt!  Man, he just totally sealed his WWE development deal, somewhere a talent scout is exclaiming "YES, an athletic black guy who uses Paydirt--we've never seen THAT before!  ACH calls for the 450 and heads upstairs.  Anderson cuts him of with a running boot.  Superplex attempt is foiled and ACH leaps over Anderson's head.  The youngster's corner charge hits nothing but buckle, which is the least of his problems when Anderson RIPS HIS FACE OFF with a bicycle kick--Jesus Christ that looked vicious! Running powerbomb only gets 2 for Anderson and he's pissed now.  ACH escapes a powerslam clutch and hits the Roll of the Dice/Cross Rhodes.  Fuck yeah!  ACH is pulling out ALL the shitty WWE finishes tonight!  450 splash connects but Anderson kicks out at 2.  Both guys are injured and struggle up.   a series of reversals follows, Anderson can't keep up with ACH's speed and a kick to a kneeling Anderson dims his lights.  One more 450 looks to end things but Anderson moves out of the way.  Ace Crusher connects for the 3 count and Anderson is moving on to the Quarterfinals to face the winner of London vs Elgin. *** I thought they were going to go with the standard big man vs little man match to put over ACH's heart, what we got instead was much more interesting.  It was experience vs speed the whole way through--anytime the pace picked up ACH was dominant, Anderson had to ride it out and wait for him to make a mistake to get any real offense in.  Once Anderson was in control ACH was helpless against his methodical assault.  The heel winning after the high-flyer takes one chance to many is hardly revolutionary, but it's as used as it is because it's always an effective finish.

Recap video of S.C.U.M. giving Mark Briscoe a Kayfabe-cussion. several weeks ago

 ROH Title Tournament First Round: Adam Cole vs Mark Briscoe
Collar and elbow tie-up following the Code of Honor.  Cole ducks a chop and Briscoe ducks a superkick as it looks like they're starting with the "evenly matched" trope.  As if on cue the chain wrestling sequence starts with no one getting the upper hand.  They both separate to attempt shoulder tackles--but neither man goes down from the impact.  They're both running around failing to make any real progress until Cole catches Briscoe with an arm drag and dropkicks his chin.  Briscoe is whipped corner to corner, he pops up over Cole and gets a norther lights suplex(!?) for 2!  The Redneck Kung-Fu is unleashed on Cole who is chopped down for 2.  Vertical suplex gets another 2 count for Mark.  The younger Briscoe throws chops at a prone Cole's throat in an uncharacteristically nasty spot. Cole is perched up top, but Briscoe's super straight jacket attempt is blocked. Cole tries to take a powder, Briscoe has other plans however, dropkicking him through the ropes.  Mark is leveled when he goes after Cole outside and gets superkicked for his effort.  Cole is throwing Briscoe into the ring to make a cover when it fades to the final commercial break.

Back with Briscoe in a chin lock.  The commentators talk about second impact syndrome and the dangers of coming back from a concussion.  Cole hits his patented "standing fireman's carry into a neck breaker" (That move really needs a gimmicked name) for 2.  Briscoe whiffs on an enzugiri and Cole gives him one of his own.  Kevin Kelly muses on how Jay Lethal didn't go after Dutt's injured arm while Cole seems intent on kicking Briscoe in the head repeatedly.  I love the "There's nothing wrong with his strategy per say" attitude the commentators have where they don't want to fault Cole for using the same moves he always do but feel really uncomfortable about the abuse to Briscoe's skull.  Adam charges and accidentally knocks heads with Mark.  Briscoe hits a Jawbreaker, but it appears to hurt him as much as it does Cole.  Mule kick keeps Briscoe on top regardless.  Enzugiri and an Uranagi suplex get 2 for Briscoe.  The crowd shows the effects of Cole's slow burn heel turn with a "Cole sucks" chant.  They trade suplex attempts until Cole is taken to the mat with a headbutt that Briscoe immediately seems to regret throwing.  Mark goes up and calls for a diving chop.  He leaps right into a superkick!  Cole follows up with a Brain buster ONTO HIS KNEE!  It still only gets 2, but it was VERY close.  Cole delivers a running boot to the face but Briscoe is rednecking up!  Briscoe wins a battle of strikes with his Kung-Fu but misses another enzugiri attempt that sets up a Shining Wizard from Cole.  It's good for as close a near fall you're ever gonna see.  Signal for the Florida Key, but Briscoe fights free by ramming Cole into the corner.  Death Valley Driver gives Briscoe the space he needs to stumble up to the top rope.  Cole is up to block Briscoe, but he manages to knock him back to the ground with a series of ill-advised headbutts.  Froggy Bow connects and Cole looks like he is done, but Briscoe doesn't move to take advantage.  The ref is checking on Mark and seems very concerned for his health.  Mark says he can continue--but he can't seem to make it to his feet.  Cole is up and goes after Briscoe, but Sinclair pushes him away so he can finish making his examination of the situation.  The indignant look on Cole's face here is fucking awesome; you know as soon as you see it what is coming next.  Briscoe is talking to Sinclair when Cole blindsides him with a superkick.  Then, for good measure, Cole hits a Jay Driller for the 3 count! ***1/4  The match as a whole was really good, but the finish was tremendous.  One look told you everything you had to know about Cole's mindset, and if it was any indication--full blown heel Cole is going to be a lot of fun.  On Briscoe's end, it's well known that both he and his brother have more balls then brains, it's fitting that his refusal to change up his game plan and continue using his head as a weapon would be his undoing.

Great show this week, Taven's act is amusing, and both Tournament matches delivered some fine wrestling.  Next week features the first tournament matches from All-Star Extravaganza V in Toronto, including what may have been the last match of BJ Whitmer's career.  See you all next week. 


  1. A note on why the first half of the ACH-Anderson match is so sparsely detailed.

    I published the post and Blogger ELIMINATED A PARAGRAPH. I don't know what I did wrong but I did it, I summarized what was lost and otherwise re-published it as it was.
    It's frustrating and I promise to work so that this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

  2. I met Matt Taven a few years back at a family gathering (turns out we're distant cousins). Great guy, a total Bret mark, too. Anyway, I'm just sharing this useless fact because I'm glad to see him doing well. That, and my inner 10 year old was pumped to be related to a pro wrestler.

  3. you don't type stuff out in word first? might make your life a whole lot simpler.

  4. I did that for the first reveiw, Blogger fucks up formating when you copy/paste

  5. ahhhhh. if you paste it into notepad, then paste it into blogger, does that work?

    honestly, I've had more experience with wordpress

  6. I don't know--maybe I'll try that.
    I love the blog, but Blogger can be really finicky from behind the scenes

  7. Based on how close he is with Kasey Rae...yeah he's doin' well for himself

  8. If you go from Notepad to Blogger, just put a at the end of each paragraph and you're usually good to go on format.

  9. What's their reasoning behind not getting behind ACH more I wonder?

  10. 2 fold I suspect
    1. He is new. Elgin was jobbed out extensivly his first year. The company seems to like slow accension up the card to give it gravity.

    2. Odds he has a development deal in the next 24 months? Astronomically high.

  11. Really? I never had a problem with it.

  12. Good episode this week. I was expecting ACH to get squashed here, but he came out of the match looking like a star. And heel Cole is going to be awesome.

  13. Anderson had a pretty good match with Rainmaker as well, but your point stands. A blind guy with no hands could manage a 4* match with either guy.

  14. Taven/Fury felt a little busy. Skank 1 and Skank 2 sticking their noses in against some guy no one really knows doesn't make Matt look very good. If he needs help against someone that doesn't really matter.....

    I really hope someone at NOAH is pissed at Machine Gun and decides to cut him loose. I don't want him going back to Japan after he loses to Elgin.

    Cole/Briscoe.....I guess it had to happen, but I'm still not sold on Cole. But that's me.

  15. Anderson/ACH was a pretty cool match, lots of reversals I hadn't seen before and both looked real good.


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