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ROH TV episode 105

I was all set to make a whole bunch of cheap jokes at ROH's expense for their broadcasting disaster last Friday night, but they mucked that up.  This week's show was the best top-to-bottom episode of TV all year.  When it was over I just didn't feel like hatin' no more.  Tommaso Ciampa wrestles Michael Bennett in the former Prodigy's first match since crippling BJ Whitmer, Kevin Steen and Roderick Strong meet in a battle of former world champions, and NJPW's Karl Anderson wrestles a return match against Michael Elgin in the main event.

Live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, New York.  This is ROH

Kevin Kelly is joined by ROH's new talent scout, which i assume means watching awful DVD's of shitty indy companies (New Jersey Pro, Great Canadian Wrestling, IWA, etc.) looking for anything resembling talent.  For every ACH there are 1000 guys like Necro Butcher, "Even Colder" Mike Austin, and I shit you not this is a wrestler's actual ring name, xOMGx. So good luck with that Nana!

Quarterfinal Match: Michael Bennett vs"Sicilian Psychopath"Tommaso Ciampa
Maria is banned from ringside for getting too involved in Toronto.  Likely the actual reason is tied to Maria publicly freaking out on the fan who groped her the last time ROH visited this building.  Right of the bell ring the fans take it to Bennett; "You killed BJ clap* clap* clap clap clap*.  Bennett further endears himself to the fans by stalling.  Ciampa chases Bennett to the floor, so The artist formerly known as "prodigy" gets cheeky and jumps back in.  Mikey repeats this until Ciampa finally catches him going in with a giant swing HEAD FIRST into the barricade!  Jesus we're one offensive move deep and shit just got crazy.  Ciampa throws the Corpse formerly known as "Mike Bennett" in the ring and beats him up and down the ring.  Some asshole fans flip the bird and half the screen gets blurred out.  Is that really necessary, are wrestling fans really the type to get Stone Cold pissed about people flipping the bird.  Bennett tries to dragon screw Ciampa's bad knee--but he's having none of it just beats him up some more.  Ciampa runs the ropes so Bennett goes prone to dodge.  Ciampa leaps over him as per standard wrestling procedure, but when he lands he STOPS RUNNING and drops an elbow for 2!  Ladies and gentleman, an innovator lives among us!  Ciampa is whipped into the corner but he goes over Bennett's head to escape danger.  He lands fine but obviously fakes an injury to the bad knee.  Mikey then starts gloating about what a bad ass he is and walks straight into a small package that gets a very near fall.  The Knee is driven into Bennett's skull and Ciampa pulls down the pad.  Bare knee is blocked with a drop toe hold that hangs Ciampa on the second rope; this in turn sets up THE WORLD'S SHITTIEST DROPKICK from the floor.  Regular readers are familiar with my pleading with Bennett to stop using that damn kick, so I won't harp on it farther here.  Bennett pulls him out and hits a Yakuza kick up against the barricade.  Bennett tries for another one and crotches himself on the barricade.  Ciampa hits the charging knee against the barricade.  Then he does it again.  Bennett dodges the third one, so he just German suplexes him into the barricade.  ANOTHER bare knee connects and Bennett is fucking out for the ensuing commercial break.

Back with Tommaso signaling for Project Ciampa.  Bennett pushes him into the corner--and Ciampa kicks him away like the shit he is!  The newly wed Sicilian goes up, only to be brought down by a jumping enzugiri.  Ciampa falls backwards and is hanging from the top rope by his knee.  Bennett pounces and works over the knee.  Bennett tries a...Bronco Buster!?  Tommaso moved so it's impossible to know what he was thinking but what other move involves jumping crotch first at your opponent's face.  Both guys are up at the same time for the boo/yay spot.  Ciampa predictably wins the exchange then locks in a hammerlock crossface.  Mikey makes the ropes, but is to beaten to get up.  Ciampa looks to finish with his good knee, but his BAD knee gives out on him.  Bennett capitalizes and hits a spear for 2.  Bennett then does what every great heel would do and tries to hit a piledriver; crowd responded with gasps of relief when Ciampa countered.  All it takes to get a finisher over is to break a man's neck i guess, just ask Misawa about the saito suplex!  Reversals are traded and Ciampa ends up in a cloverleaf.  Nana, who has sucked all night, drops the WORST commentary here with Kelly

Nana: "Oh but look it's not all the way locked in"
Kelly "No but that's exactly how Bennett wants it--to increase pressure in the knee"
Nana: "Oh yeah, umm. yeah, it is.  more painful then the ORIGINAL sharpshooter now."

Ciampa reverses it into a small package for 2.  Bennett hits Punk's running knee/bulldog combo in the corner.  The whole fucking audience is blurred from people displaying their displeasure--Bennett has to run with the CM Punk thing, the fans brought it up to spite him because of Maria--now he uses it and the fans get pissed it was turned back on them.  Bennett says it's time to Go 2 Sleep, but Ciampa catches the knee and hits a GTS of his own!  Bennett barely kicks out at 2 and rolls to the apron.  They trade blows on the apron till Bennett lifts him for a piledriver!  Ciampa wiggles free and hits Bennett in the jaw with one last knee strike.  Kriptonite Krunch on the floor finishes Mikey for good.  Tommaso tosses him in the ring and covers for 3. ***3/4 GREAT opener.  Bennett looked like a loser who only had any offense because of Ciampa's injury--but who cares, he sucks anyway.  Ciampa was a world beater, no screwing around, all bad-ass!  Only minor complaint is that I'd have switched the placement of the GTS spot and the apron battle.  Both were great, especially the allusions to BJ, but the GTS spot was a cooler finish.

Quarterfinal Match: Roderick Strong vs "Mr. Wrestling" Kevin Steen
Insert standard comment about the crowdgasm for Steen.*

Code of honor is adhered to and then Strong lands a brutal jumping knee 3 seconds in.  Double knee gut buster gets 2 and Steen is sent to the floor.  Steen then catches a baseball slide to powerbomb Strong on the apron!  Strong is thrown in and the swanton bomb gets 2.  Crowd is electric already--Steen wants the F-Cinq to end things early, but Roddy escapes to the apron.  Shoulder tackle is caught and Steen spikes him with a hangman's DDT for 2.  Standing senton from Steen.  "Mr. Wrestling" uses the ropes for leverage and stands on Strong's chest.  He breaks the hold at four, and Kevin kindly reminds the referee that he has until five!  Easiest way to get a cheap pop in ROH, reference Bryan Danielson.  Steen rapes Strong's chest with chops to quell Roddy's attempts at fighting back.  Kevin starts a "Slam Steen Slam" chant himself and tries to bodyslam Roddy.  Strong escapes, and hits a high knee, an enzugiri, and an Angle slam!  Both guys down and everyone takes a breather from the nonstop start.  LOUD "Fight Steen Fight" chant.  Gibson driver attempt fails and they are trading big time shots in the centre of the ring.  A Roddy enzugiri appears to set up his rolling elbow--but he runs right into a lariat from Steen!  New York comes unglued!  Punphandle neck breaker gets 2 for Steen.  Strong fights back and perches Steen on the top rope.  Sky-high superplex gets Roddy 2, but when Steen kicks out he rolls it straight into the Stronghold!  Steen gets the rope break.


Back with Steen biting his way out of a half Nelson suplex and landing the pop-up powerbomb for 2.  Sharpshooter is blocked initially, but a second double knee gut buster is reversed into the sharpshooter!  Strong makes the ropes and Steen is exhausted.  Strong's better cardio pays off and he hits the double knee gut buster into a Sick Kick for 2.  Crowd thinks this is awesome, and they are very much correct.  Strong thinks another superplex is in order, but Steen counters into a super pumphandle slam.  Both guys are out.  Steen tries the Package Piledriver, but Strong elbows out; his momentum is cut off with a sleeper suplex however.  The Package Piledriver is enough to end a wild ride. **** Look, this match won't be for everyone.  I frequently argue that the stereotypical ROH match is overplayed by people who have never seen a considerable amount of the product--but no, this is the MOVESZ match that is more about spots then psychology.  That said, sometimes that is OK, as long as it's done well.  Just like there are good and bad "big dumb action movies" (Die Hard vs The Expendables) .  This is a blast to watch and the crowd is super hot the whole way through.  Steen just about hit the ceiling for a Roderick Strong match, (who almost never has a big match below ***, but also rarely if ever breaks ****) and proved very much that his fat, broken down body has more then garbage brawls left in it.

Quarterfinal Match: "Machine Gun" Karl Anderson vs "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin
Anderson is representing "Bullet Club", the stable lead by IWGP Jr. Heavyweight champion Prince Devitt.  The big men start trading hay makers after the bell.  A series of reversals results in a 2 count for Elgin.  Elgin lifts Anderson for the eternal vertical and that's where we stay for the next minute.  Elgin drops him just in time for a commercial.

Back with Elgin clotheslining Anderson repeatedly and hitting a powerslam for 2.  Machine Gun fights off the dead lift German, but runs into the Boss Man slam for 2.  Anderson blocks a running lariat and runs the ropes--Elgin follows and gives him NINE clotheslines against the ropes!  Elgin runs the ropes for the tenth, but Anderson reverses it into a spinebuster to end the brutal assault he was enduring.  it gets 2.  Anderson charges at Elgin in the corner and is drilled with an uranagi for his trouble.  Elgin misses a diving corkscrew Senton (does he EVER hit that move?)  Elgin gets the better of the following exchange and forces Anderson to his knees with an elbow to the back of the neck.  Dead lift German gets 2.  Elgin goes up top again, only to be cut off by Anderson, who hits a super TKO for 2.  Well that's one way to come back in a match you were thoroughly losing!  An Ace crusher is reversed into a backslide for 2, then Elgin locks in the crossface.

Really smooth censorship by ROH here--a segment of the crowd was very loudly chanting CHRIS BENOIT--CHRIS BENOIT--CHRIS BENOIT--CHRIS BENOIT!  ROH covered it with canned NOISE.  Cheers and boos sound really fake and forced, but a mix of just noise made it appear like the crowd was just in a state of panic/joy over the potential tap out.  Anderson makes the ropes and rolls to the apron.  Elgin follows but he's still wobbly from the TKO.  Anderson takes the fight back inside with a bicycle kick on the apron.  Anderson goes upstairs but is brought down the hard way by Elgin.  An impressive dead lift superplex gets 2 for Elgin.  The Canadian wants to end it; he hits the buckle bomb, but Anderson bounces out of the corner swinging.  Elgin gets the better of that exchange and earns another 2 count with a Samoan driver.  A desperate Anderson escapes another buckle bomb and tries for his running kick one too many times and crotches himself!  Elgin destroyes him with two of his awesome spinning backfists, and the Elgin bomb ends it! ***1/2.  A great match, and a good showcase for Elgin's abilities.  The fact that this was the weakest match this week speaks to it's collective awesomeness.

There may have been better individual matches on TV this year, but no TV card comes close to matching the non stop quality here (Steel Cage Warefare had that awful opener).  Don't take my word for it?  Then I'll echo the words of Ryan Murphy, my longed departed predecessor, and tell you to check it out for yourself at      





  1. Erik Watts is not giving up his WORLDZ SHITTIEST DROPKICK!~ title so easily.

  2. Man, I'm way behind on ROH, I haven't watched the episode from last week yet. Damn you, GTAV!

    Another stellar review as usual though, Kyle. Again. I'm happy to see my replacement doesn't suck.

  3. Man I'm tired of the RoH style. They're killing wrestling.

    And deadlift suplexes are dumb spots.

  4. Eh, I just can't get into ROH anymore even with heel Adam Cole as their champ. I already have that in PWG so why bother? Plus I'm starting to check out some EVOLVE stuff and I like it for the most part. So far I have shows 7, 13, 14, and 19 but for whatever reason both DGUSA and EVOLVE are over a year behind on DVD releases. I understand if Gabe thinks VOD and iPPV are more viable revenue sources but I don't get internet shows anymore and I rarely rewatch my VOD purchases so it's back to home video for me.

  5. Are you going to review DBD? Cause I would really love to hear what everybody thinks about the terrible crowd. When ROH is in Philly and can't get a hot crowd, it has to be a bad sign right?

  6. I agree that PWG shows are the best thing going today, but I find myself wishing they had more 'angles' rather than just kind of rotating matches through the roster. Granted, ROH hasn't had a decent feud since Steen/Davey (they tried with the SCUM angle, but I never really dug it) but at least they try.

  7. I WOULD say yes--but the NYC, Toronto, and fucking PROVIDENCE crowds were all red hot! It would apear that Philly just sucks

  8. PWG's schedule is really weird right now. They aren't even running a show a month

  9. deadlift suplexes are awesome, and if you can't see that, you are a philistine!

  10. All suplexes are deadlifts in Kayfabe. It violates the suspension of disbelief to have this suplex be "4 REEL GUYZ".

    And quit stealing my vocabulary, you squamous cad.

  11. Deadlift might be a stupid name then--but it still looks much more impresive even within Kayfab when Elgin does it.

  12. Are you speaking of the deadlift German or the deadlift superplex?

    The superplex when they're standing on the apron and not in the corner is...bearable, if only because the position of it is not like any other suplex so it makes sense that it'd go a little slower than if they did it the "right" way.

    It's also makes the guy doing it look like a clown because why the fuck doesn't he just do it the normal way?

    The deadlift German is plain stupid. There's no excuse for it at all. It fucks over the other wrestlers and the rest of the match. Sure it's physically impressive, but that's not what wrestling is about.

  13. The Ghost of Faffner HallSeptember 27, 2013 at 10:36 PM

    Man, Nana was the WORST. I'd have preferred Truth Martini over him on color any day.

  14. YOU SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH. Nana was horrid, I won't argue that, but I'd rather have Mark Madden doing color than Willie Wanker.


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