Ring of Honor was live at the William J. Myers Pavilion in South Baltimore on Saturday night, March 7, 2015. The building was jam-packed, drawing a standing-room only crowd of nearly 1000. People were lined up down the street just to get in to see ROH film four episodes of TV. The production team set up the big video screen above the entranceway, which looked outstanding. The crowd was jacked and their enthusiasm did not flag throughout the night. I’m sure these episodes will come off great on TV. I have been to most of the ROH shows in Baltimore, and this likely stands as their biggest crowd yet.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Samoa Joe is back in a big way. He defeats Kyle O’Reilly and announces that he wants a shot at the ROH World Championship against Jay Briscoe at Supercard of Honor. Jay Briscoe retains his title against a challenge from Jimmy Jacobs. The IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles looked incredible in his victory over Mark Briscoe. BJ Whitmer is an awful human being as he makes Steve Corino’s son Colby into the Decade’s new young boy. In lieu of getting a Television Title match against Jay Lethal, Top Prospect winner Donovan Dijak opts to join the House of Truth. Dalton Castle looks impressive as an impromptu replacement, but Lethal remains champion. The Kingdom beat the Young Bucks. The Addiction beat ACH & Sydal. The Knights of the Rising Dawn begin interfering in matches. Elgin, Moose and War Machine (with the returning Raymond Rowe) pick up squash wins. Elgin is becoming even more of an ass. Roderick Strong beats Bobby Fish in a very enjoyable contest. Brutal Bob turns on Cheeseburger.
Match 1: The Addiction vs. Matt Sydal & ACH – Sydal makes a hot tag in the middle of the match and goes to town on the Addiction, earning a “this is awesome” chant. ACH gets a “holy shit” chant for his Fosbury Flop. Sydal is pulled to the outside by one of the Knights of the Rising Dawn. Kazarian puts Sydal in the torture rack, and then flips him over onto Daniels’s knees for the pinfall. This was a really fun opening match.
Jay Briscoe comes to the ring.
Baltimore, Maryland, you know, first thing’s first. I got to send out a big thank you to ODB for bringing this baby (Briscoe’s personal world championship belt) right here home. Thank you ODB, it’s greatly appreciated.
Now coming out the 13th Anniversary in Las Vegas, Nevada, a lot of people say I escaped by the skin of my teeth. People saying I got lucky. A lot of people saying I look vulnerable. You can call me lucky; you can call me vulnerable, but don’t forget to call me the champ.
And how the hell is anybody going to call me lucky? I mean seriously, it’s been over 2 years since I’ve been pinned in this ring. I have one of the biggest streaks of all time going right now, man. I’m trying to stay humble, I really try to stay humble man, but this roll that I’m on right now; I can’t help but feel I’m the baddest man in pro wrestling.
Samoa Joe comes out to a massive pop.
Welcome back! Welcome back!
Baddest man in pro wrestling…you know what? I’ll give you that. You are on a streak. And whoever says this man got lucky – you are out of your mind. I was the man a long time ago. But in my absense, two men manned up and showed the Ring of Honor fans what we’re all about. That was the Briscoes and namely, you. You went to Vegas against impossible odds with 4 guys in the ring at once and you came out victorious. You manned up and handled business.
And I’d be remiss to say when I look at you I see a little bit of myself, what it means to be a true champion. But if you’re going to call yourself the baddest man in pro wrestling, last time I checked you ain’t whipped my ass.
So I’ll tell you what. Supercard of Honor, let’s see if that claim is true. You versus me for the ROH World Championship.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Joe’s gonna kill you! Joe’s gonna kill you!
Samoa Joe and Jay Briscoe leave the ring. Jimmy Jacobs comes to the ring.
Jimmy Jacobs! Jimmy Jacobs!
Last I heard, you guys were chanting, “Joe’s gonna kill you, Joe’s gonna kill you” in anticipation for some match that two wrestlers just decided was gonna happen. Samoa Joe – a guy who was great, I mean, really great. He hasn’t been in this company for so long that the last guy he beat was Tyler Black. That’s how long it’s been. But he just asked Jay Briscoe for a Ring of Honor World Title shot and Jay’s like, “yes.” As if your mere presence grants you a World Title shot just blows my mind! Samoa Joe, you walked out of this company and that worked out so well for you.
I mean that. That’s real. And I mean this: while you walked out on this company, I was here in good times and bad, holding the fort down making sure there was a spot for you to come back to. Yes! Damn right! So before, Jay Briscoe, you just give away a title shot, I’m taking a title shot because I’ve earned a title shot. Nigel McGuiness, before you give away a title shot at Supercard of Honor to Samoa Joe, I’m taking a Ring of Honor World Title shot. Jay Briscoe, Nigel McGuiness, I know you’re both men. I know you’re men, so you’ll accept this. There’s something changing in the air, right now. There’s a feeling in the air that’s changing for Jimmy Jacobs and something’s got to give. Something’s gotta give and that’s the Ring of Honor World Championship.
Match 2 (TV Episode #1 Main Event): The Kingdom (Michael Bennett & Matt Taven) with Maria vs. the Young Bucks – The Bucks are super over. Maria grabs Matt Jackson’s leg from the outside leading to a beatdown. Finally Nick gets the hot tag and moonsaults to the outside. Taven dives over the top rope. As Young Bucks doubling-teaming begins, the crowd chants, “This is awesome.”
Another distraction from Maria allows Taven to hit a top rope swanton for a two count. Bucks come back with stereo superkicks, bucklebomb kick, swanton while opponent’s legs are hung over top rope. Crowd chants for the Young Bucks. Young Bucks hit the Meltzer Driver, but one of the Knights of the Rising Dawn pulls out referee Todd Sinclair. Bennett superkicks Matt Jackson in the back of the head and low blows Nick. Taven goes to the top rope and the Kingdom hits a Metlzer Driver of their own for the pin in 12 minutes. Entertaining match!
reDRagon emerge at the top of the entrance ramp to survey the ring.
Match 3: Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Fish – They trade stretches and strikes, then fight to the floor. Bobby Fish dominates Roderick for most of the match, though. Fish’s top rope moonsault earns a “this is wrestling” chant. The tide turns in Roderick’s favor following a superplex and double knee gutbuster. They trade strong-style elbows. Roderick flies off the ropes and connects with the Sick Kick followed by Death by Roderick. Crowd chants, “That was awesome.”
Top Prospect Tournament winner Donovan Dijak is in the ring. Truth Martini, J. Diesel and Jay Lethal come to the ring. Lethal is scheduled to defend his Television Championship against Dijak.
Donovan Dijak…today is the most important day of your entire life. There were eight men in the Top Prospect Tournament and you came out victorious. That says something about you. You are a star on the rise. But today you are across the ring from your Ring of Honor champion, Jay Lethal. Now in case you didn’t know, Ring of Honor is the greatest company in the entire world.
ROH! ROH! ROH!
Jay Lethal is the greatest wrestler in Ring of Honor. Do the math, Dijak, because that means that Jay Lethal is the greatest wrestler in the entire world. I’m going to tell you straight up. If you wrestle Jay Lethal right now, you’re going to lose. Repeat: if you wrestle this man right now, you’re going to lose. This man has victories over Ric Flair, Kurt Angle, Sting and Alberto el Patrón.
Now me on the other hand, Dijak, numbers don’t lie. I am officially the greatest manager in Ring of Honor today. Everybody who stands by my side shoots straight to the top. There are three types of wrestlers in this world – good wrestlers, great wrestlers and special wrestlers. This is the most important day of your life. This is what I’m offering you.
Truth Martini extends his hand.
Shake my hand and join the House of Truth.
The majority of the crowd wants him to do it. Dijak considers for a long while, and then shakes Truth’s hand.
You chose wisely.
Dalton Castle’s music hits. He comes to the ring doing his super awesome entrance with his two “boys.”
Salutations! I’m Dalton Castle. I’ve come to wrestle and these are my boys. I was stretching out my hammies to release my tension. You won the Top Prospect Tournament Champion and you’re gonna give that up? You know I was in that particular tournament for one particular reason – I want what you got (references the Television Championship).
One of Dalton’s boys gets on his hand and knees. Dalton sits on him and leans on the second boy as they combine to form a makeshift human chase lounge. The crowd is really into Dalton Castle.
So what do you say? Why don’t you be a man like me and put it on the line. Defend that title against me right now.
Yes! Yes! Yes!
The House of Truth goes to leave the ring.
Come on! Walk away! I’ll just have to go challenge Jay Briscoe. He’s a real champion…
Match 4: Jay Lethal defends the Ring of Honor Television Championship against Dalton Castle – Lethal is so angry that he pummels Dalton at the start. However, Dalton recovers and wrestles a really competitive match in which he got in his fair share of offense. He hits Fair Winds and a deadlift German suplex. With the referee distracted, Dijak pulls Castle out of the ring and connects with Feast Your Eyes. Castle stumbles into a Lethal Injection and is pinned in 6 minutes.
This segment was very effective. Dijak got over by being a monster and aligning himself with the HOT. Truth got over by making it happen. Lethal got over by winning. Dalton Castle got over just by being Dalton Castle. After the match, Castle got a standing ovation with streamers. The crowd chanted, “Please come back.”
Match 5 (TV Episode #2 Main Event): Jay Briscoe defends his Ring of Honor World Championship against Jimmy Jacobs – The story here is that Jimmy Jacobs hit Jay Briscoe with pretty much everything he had, but it just wasn’t enough. Jacobs hit a stunner off the corner of the barricade, sliced bread, spear and a top rope sliced bread, but still couldn’t put Briscoe away. Jimmy doesn’t know what to do, sulks around ringside and stares into the ROH title belt. Jimmy hits a running cutter off the rope, another sliced bread and locks in a guillotine. Briscoe powers up, but Jimmy rolls him up for a near fall. He gets a backslide for another near fall. Then Jay just grabs him and crushes him with a Jay Driller to get the pin in 12 minutes. As they shake hands, the crowd rises for a standing ovation chanting, “that was awesome.”
Match 6: Moose (with Veda Scott and Stokely Hathaway) vs. Caprice Coleman – Moose dominates until Caprice hits the heart punch. As Moose weakens, Caprice gets in some offense. Moose recovers enough to hit the standing top rope dropkick and spear for the win in 6 minutes.
Match 7: The Decade (BJ Whitmer & Adam Page) vs. Leon St. Giovanni & Shaheem Ali – This was a one minute squash. Whitmer held Leon face-up on his shoulder while Page ran towards him to deliver a cutter while Whitmer flipped him over.
Adam, we’ve been scouting the entire wrestling world looking for our next young boy, looking for your replacement. Do you think we’re going to find him amongst derelicts like these two? I gotta surprise for you. I have found our next young boy. I have found the perfect fit for the Decade, someone that’s more than capable, a second-generation kid. With our guidance he just might become a star here in Ring of Honor. Adam, he needs a big brother like you and he needs a father figure like me. Corino, I’m giving you the chance and the opportunity to be our next young boy!
Steve Corino stands up from the commentary position and glares at Whitmer.
No no, not you Steve, your son Colby Corino!
Colby Corino comes to the ring as his father looks on in disbelief.
Now I’m going to ask you – are you up for the challenge of being our next young boy?
Colby Corino hugs BJ Whitmer!
This has gone too far.
You haven’t seen anything yet, Steve.
Colby holds ropes for Whitmer and Page as they leave the ring. Jimmy Jacobs comes to the ring and tries to play peacemaker. He accompanies Steve Corino backstage.
Match 8: The House of Truth (J. Diesel & Donovan Dijak) vs. Brutal Burgers – The crowd is super into Cheeseburger. Cheeseburger wants Dijak and even gets a big DDT hope spot on him. Ultimately, Dijak kills him with a knee, throws him across the ring and finishes him off with Feast Your Eyes. Dijak scores the pin in 5 minutes.
After the match, Brutal Bob Evans embraces Cheeseburger, poses on the ropes, turns around and nails Cheeseburger with a huge shoulderblock.
Match 9: Michael Elgin vs. Will Ferrara – Elgin uses his power and submission holds to stay in control pretty much the entire match. Elgin teases powerbombing Ferrara from the apron through a table to the outside, but returns him to the ring. He hits the bucklebomb, spinning powerbomb combo for the pin in 6 minutes.
Caprice Coleman checks on Ferrara. Elgin gives him a spinning powerbomb. He grabs Ferrara and powerbombs him again. Elgin gets some really good heel heat out of this.
Match 10: War Machine vs. Anthony Greene & Cam Zagami – This was Raymond Rowe’s first match back with War Machine since returning from injury. He gets a “welcome back” chant. War Machine wins easily in 3 minutes with a top rope leg drop from Hanson.
War Machine! War Machine!
(returning to the ring)
I’m not done yet! At the 13th Anniversary, Nigel McGuiness said he was going to “punish me.” Well, the only thing I see fit to do is return the favor and punish Ring of Honor. Hanson, Rowe, you know, as a young kid my mom used to say something to me. It used to go, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” And you two are standing there as a team because of me. So how about you two fellas against me and I get the job done right now?
Match 11: Michael Elgin vs. War Machine – War Machine, being a good team, has the advantage for the majority of this short match, as they should. Elgin gets himself disqualified after hitting Rowe in the back with a chair. Hanson and Rowe are restrained by referees and officials as Elgin walks to the back holding the chair over his head. The crowd chants for War Machine.
Match 12: QT Marshall vs. ACH – QT looks good early, executing impressive power moves on the smaller ACH. In the end, though, this was just a nondescript enhancement match to put over ACH. He wins with the 450 splash in 5 minutes after Marshall misses one of his own.
BJ Whitmer returns to ringside with Adam Page and Colby Corino to address ACH.
You think you’re hot stuff don’t you? You think because you come out here with acrobatics and do a couple of flips and these people pop for you, that makes you the man? Let me smarten you up to something. I’m going to shoot straight with you, Albert. Nobody in the back likes you. Nobody respects you. But you are getting opportunities and chances that you don’t deserve. You’re getting opportunities that belong to a guy like Adam Page. You are having matches with AJ Styles and Alberto el Patrón and you failed, Albert. Yet each and every failure you come out with this false sense of bravado, this false confidence. But you know, deep down that every time your mother looks you in the eyes she sees nothing but a failure.
Colby attacks ACH from behind allowing BJ to take over. Page hits the vertebreaker. Steve Corino is very upset. Colby opens a bottle of water and hands it to Adam Page. The crowd boos them.
Match 13: (TV episode #3 main event) AJ Styles vs. Mark Briscoe – This match had a lot of fast, well-executed chain wrestling complemented with stiff strikes. They started off with periodic flurries of offense followed by working submissions. They fight on the floor and back into the ring. AJ outwrestles Briscoe and maneuvers him into the calf killer. Mark gains the advantage with redneck kung fu and a brainbuster. AJ responds with the Stylin’ DDT, but simultaneous clotheslines put both men down.
AJ hits the Pelé Kick on the apron, but Mark responds with the Cactus Jack elbow to the floor. He tries for the Froggy Bow but AJ gets his knees up. Like a flash of lightning, AJ is up with a brainbuster followed by the Styles Clash. He gets the pin in 16 minutes. For many in attendance, this was the best match on the show. Great stuff here. AJ Styles is mega-over.
Match 14: (TV episode #4 main event) Kyle O’Reilly (with Bobby Fish) vs. Samoa Joe – The crowd chants, “welcome back.” The first thing I noticed is that Joe appears to be in better shape than we last saw him in in TNA. They shake hands and we’re off. The match starts with back-and-forth wrestling. The men exchange go-behinds, wristlocks, arm bars, kicks, ducks, rolls-up and more.
This is wrestling!
Kyle jabs and Joe just slaps him right in the face. He sits Kyle in the corner and gives him two sets of Facewashes. Kyle wrenches Joe’s arm, so Joe clotheslines him to the floor. They exchange blows and take turns setting each other up for the running big boot near the guardrail.
Olé, Olé, Olé!!!
The men fight on the floor, but I can’t see how from my vantage point. Kyle torques Joe’s arm around the bottom rope. As Joe favors the arm, Kyle kicks him in the chest, returns to a wristlock and goes for a suplex, but Joe stops him. Kyle tries again, Joe stops him again. Joe jabs, slaps and elbows, but Kyle recovers with a knee to the chest that gets a one count.
Joe is facedown on the mat and Kyle controls him with a hammerlock. He supplements the hold with strikes and knees. Kyle’s back roundhouse kick gets a one count and he returns to a keylock. Joe surges back. His front roundhouse kick forces Kyle forehead-first into the mat. Joe follows with a clothesline, reverse atomic drop, big kick off the rope and his signature senton. Two count. Joe’s snap suplex compels Fish into the ring, but Kyle kicks out. Joe has his eye on Fish now.
Kyle tries for the Thesz press, but Joe turns it into a powerbomb. When Kyle kicks out, Joe rolls it into an STF. Kyle gets to the ropes, so Joe sets him up for the muscle buster. Kyle counters into a guillotine choke. Fish yells at the referee to ring the bell. Joe powers out so Kyle viscously elbows him in the face and transitions into an armbar from the same position. Again Fish tells the referee to ring the bell. Joe gets to the ropes and rolls to the outside.
From the apron, Kyle does his diving dropkick to the floor, shooting Joe into the barricade. Back in the ring, Kyle gets a two count with a suplex and transitions into an armbar. Joe gets a rope break so Kyle kicks him instead. Joe gets a second wind. He hits Kyle with a slap, slap, slap, but Kyle ducks the backslap. Kyle hit a kick, chop, knee, kick. Joe jumps the back roundhouse kick, but Kyle knees Joe in the face. Kyle tries the Dean Ambrose clothesline after bouncing off the middle rope, but Joe doesn’t go down. He tries again but Joe kicks him in the shoulder. Both men are down.
This is awesome! This is awesome!
Kyle and Joe charge and evade each other. Kyle runs at Joe in the corner, but Joe catches him with the STJoe. Joe is feeling it now. He destroys Kyle with knee strike after knee strike. He throws him into the corner and sets him up for the muscle buster. He connects and gets the pin in 17 minutes.
That was awesome! That was awesome!
It looks like Samoa Joe lives! This was a great match and ranks close to Styles/Briscoe as the best thing on the show, in my opinion. The men shake hands as the crowd chants for Joe.
It feels good to be back here at home. At the Anniversary Show I told you people that we started a movement. It’s a revolution. Tonight is an example of the new style of wrestling. (yelling) Tonight is an example and notice to the world that we are changing the game because we are Ring of Honor and goddammit we’re the best that there is!
Bobby Cruise announced that Ring of Honor returns to Baltimore on Saturday, July 25.