Here are live spoilers and impressions from the first Ring of Honor TV taping from the Du Burns Arena in Baltimore on June 23.
WHAT TO WATCH: The ROH Television Title match between Matt Taven and Eddie Edwards is a fun, solid Eddie Edwards match. You probably won’t regret checking it out. Silas Young and Adam Page was short and intense enough to warrant a look as well.
Dark Match: Wildman Kona? and Preach (he had Preach written on his tights) def. a young tag team (one guy had a GS with a star on his tights) I’ve never seen before in 4:30. This was your standard back and forth match until the Wildman came in. Wildman looks like Brodus Clay with half of his face covered in black and white war paint. He got the pin after a running splash in the corner followed by a big splash off the ropes.
Match 1: C&C Wrestle Factory def. John Silver & Alex Reynolds in 5:30 – C&C demonstrated their experience and superiority early on by hitting whatever they wanted. Silver & Reynolds earned a small advantage over Coleman for about 90 seconds, but Cedric made the hot tag and cleaned house.
Seemingly out of nowhere Silver & Reynolds started chaining maneuvers – kicks into suplexes and the like and got the crowd behind them. But when Coleman threw Reynolds to the floor, this allowed him to hit the jumping hurricanrana followed by Cedric’s top rope splash on Silver for the pin. After the match, Adrenaline Rush stood on ramp applauding C&C, intimating that they were ready to challenge them when the time is right.
Nigel McGuinness came to the ring.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Kevin Steen wants to replace the injured Mark Briscoe in a Steel Cage Warfare match against S.C.U.M. Nigel McGuinness is unsure weather ROH can trust him.
(crowd chants “die S.C.U.M. die”.)
NIGEL: At Best in the World I was reminded why I love this company.
(crowd chants “Best in the World.”)
NIGEL: Every one of the wrestlers came out here and gave their all to make sure Ring of Honor is synonymous with the name of the PPV, Best in the World. And to me, nothing epitomizes that more than the two guys that came out here, that have built this company from the ground up. They overlooked family ties and took no shortcuts to decide on that night who was the best man. They did me proud. They did this company proud. They did their family proud. And most of all, they did themselves proud.
(crowd chants “Man up.”)
NIGEL: As I know only too well, the question isn’t how much you are willing to give. It’s how much you have left. Because after the show, in the back, Jay Briscoe reinjured his shoulder and messed up his back during the Froggy-bow through the table. Mark Briscoe took three Jay Drillers and suffered a very serious concussion. I just talked with the doctor and Mark Briscoe will not be cleared to represent ROH in Steel Cage Warfare.
(At the commentary position, Steve Corino is ecstatic.)
NIGEL: Which leaves the question, who do I put in that spot?
(crowd chants “Mr. Wrestling.” Kevin Steen’s music hits.)
STEEN: I’m not here to complain about Best in the World. I’m here because I need you, and they need you, to put me in Steel Cage Warfare. Just do it.
(crowd chants “Yes!”)
NIGEL: I hear what you’re saying and I hear what these people are saying, but you started S.C.U.M. You were the face of S.C.U.M. from day 1. (crowd: “People make mistakes.”) Now you want to come back and restore honor to this company? Why should I believe you?
STEEN: You’re looking for honor!? I’m looking for payback and to kick their asses! I started it, you’re right! And I’m going to finish it. I need to do this and you know you need me in there, so grow a pair and put me in the goddam match!
S.C.U.M. members Cliff Compton, Jimmy Jacobs, Rhino and Rhett Titus hit the ring. Nigel frantically summoned BJ Whitmer, Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal from the back. They brawled briefly before ROH officials broke it up. As the crowd chanted, “Let Steen fight,” Nigel asked his men whether they could trust Steen. All three were noncommittal.
STEEN: Whatever. (he leaves)
Match 2: MsChif def. Veda Scott in a Woman of Honor Grudge Match in 5 minutes – Veda Scott, who the crowd was firmly behind, fought her heart out but was simply outmatched. MsChif threw Veda into the barricade numerous times, hit her with a German suplex on the floor, an inverted Bubba Bomb and finally a dangerous DDT when Veda was crotched over the middle ropes. Veda was pinned thereafter.
Match 3: Adam Page def. Silas Young – A ringside fan held a sign noting the physical similarities between Silas Young and former coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bill Cowher. The (presumably) Raven’s fan’s sign read, “From the NFL to ROH – Either way, Cowher still sucks.”
SILAS: Embarrassed. I’m embarrassed that I have to come out here after some woman’s match. Women don’t belong in the ring. They belong at home, cooking and cleaning. This is a man’s business. I look around this locker room and I don’t see any real man.
SILAS: I’m Silas Young. I’m the last real man in professional wrestling. And I intend on proving that to everyone, starting with you Adam Page. Look at you. You have that nice pretty curly hair. You look like you take longer to get ready in the morning than my wife does. You’re gonna find out what it’s like to be in the ring with a real man.
This match had a fast, hard-hitting tempo. The men threw each other into the barricade and ring post on the floor. When Silas mounted the corner of the barricade, Page met him and delivered a sick superplex onto the floor.
(crowd chants, “This is awesome.”)
Page followed with a top rope crossbody block, then Silas hit a backbreaker into a wicked kneeling lariat. After two reversals of go-behinds, Silas lifted Page off the ground by his shoulders. Before he could execute a faceplant, Page rolled through his legs and stole a pin. After the match, Silas shook Page’s hand but then kicked him in the gut and beat on his skull for a while. He was being a very bad man.
Match 4: Matt Taven (with the HOT) retained the ROH Television Championship against Eddie Edwards in 11:20 – This was hot, back-and-forth action the whole way through. No feeling out process in this one.
After dropkicking Taven while he was hung over the top rope, Eddie decided to let some ringside fans hold Taven’s hands behind the barricade while he chopped him. In a less legally ambiguous move, he caught Taven in a bow and arrow, but Truth grabbed his foot for just a moment and Taven recovered.
Over the next several minutes no man could get a sustained advantage. Taven tried aerial and impact moves, while Eddie just chopped the hell out of him and clotheslined him to the floor. While the HOTties implored Taven to get up, Eddie ran corner to corner, somersaulted over the ring post and landed right on top of him.
Then Eddie took over. He hit a backpack chinbreaker, two enzuigiris, a faceplant, a top rope double-knee facebreaker and a double stomp onto Taven’s back. (crowd chanted “This is wrestling.”) Truth Martini flipped out and distracted the referee while the redheaded HOTtie slid the title belt to Taven. Eddie ducked Taven’s attempted cheap shot and countered into a single leg crab. Taven kicked him off towards the ropes, but Eddie had to stop short to avoid hitting the dark-haired HOTtie on the apron. Taven quickly acted on the distraction and hit the underhook DDT for a 3 count. Afterwards, Eddie Edwards got a standing ovation.
BOBBY CRUISE: We have a tradition of throwing streamers at the beginning of matches. But we ask that you please refrain from throwing things at any other times because it looks awful on TV.