411's ROH TV Report (1.11.14)
Posted by Bob Colling on 01.21.2014
Chris Hero makes his in-ring return against Kevin Steen as ROH kicks off 2014.
Hello everyone! I'm just going to take a moment to introduce myself as the new ROH TV recapper for 411Mania! I've been doing recaps of old shows for 411Mania with "Colling It In The Ring" since April of last year and have my own blog, WRESTLING RECAPS devoted to wrestling reviews and columns since June 2010. I figured to jump at the chance to review some current wrestling with the one hour programming that ROH provides on a weekly basis.
Honestly, I had been out of the loop with ROH for a little while. But, I checked out Final Battle and while I wasn't a huge fan of the show, there was enough there get me motivated about the company in 2014. The star power appears to be coming back to the company and hopefully the company can find young talent to get in the mix throughout the year.
Alright, enough of the little introduction. How does ROH start off 2014?
Ring of Honor TV
Date: 1/11/2014 From: Nashville, TN
The show starts off with a video highlighting what happened at Final Battle 2013. Matt Hardy helped Adam Cole retain the ROH World Championship over Jay Briscoe and Michael Elgin in the main event at the event. Their celebration was cut short when CHRIS HERO made his return to the company and knocked both Hardy and Cole out.
Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are your hosts for the program. Prince Nana joins them on commentary for the opening bout. They chat about AJ Styles returning to ROH in three weeks.
Opening Contest: Ray Rowe vs. Kongo – First Round Match of the 2014 Top Prospect Tournament
Kongo refuses the code of honor. Kongo nails Rowe with a clothesline as Ray came off the ropes early on. Kongo missed a splash in the corner and Rowe worked over Kongo with strikes. Kongo is knocked to the floor where Rowe continues his strike oriented offense. Kongo is sent into the post after trying to slam Rowe on the floor. Back in the ring, Kongo hit a modified Angle Slam. Rowe hits an impressive German suplex for a one count. Rowe with a double knee strike in the corner for a near fall. Kongo cuts Rowe off with a Pounce (running shoulder block, Monty Brown would be proud). Rowe avoids a splash off the middle rope and Rowe delivers a kick to the back of Kongo's head after a full nelson lift. Winner: Ray Rowe @ 4:15
Not a good match to start the show, really. Kongo doesn't exactly fit the image of what ROH has been. He is 353 pounds and not all that impressive in the ring. Thankfully it was short. *
Michael Elgin makes his way down to the ring and confronts Kongo. Elgin hits Kongo with a back fist and proceeds to power bomb Kongo! Elgin tells us that what we just saw was just a sign of what is to come. Elgin recalls what happened at Final Battle and how he was supposed to be champion. Elgin warns Adam Cole that their issues are far from being over! Elgin thinks Cole has forgotten what he did in 2013. Elgin puts himself over for having the best win/loss record in ROH. Elgin suggests Cole grow eyes in the back of his head because he wants the gold. What he wants, he takes. Elgin doesn't want Cole to worry about Jay Briscoe, Chris Hero or AJ Styles. Elgin sees three men standing in his way.
Chris Hero comes out to cut Elgin off. Hero is happy to see the fans and notes that Elgin has become the man since he left ROH. Hero tells Elgin they have to get along for Pittsburgh but after that it's everyone for themselves.
Kevin Steen decides to join the fun. Steen apologizes for cutting into the promo. Steen reminds them that he has not gotten a rematch for the ROH World Championship, which he lost back in April. Steen is stumbling over his words in this promo. Steen tells Hero that the only thing Hero will be able to say after tonight is "Kevin Steen just kicked my ass… oh no!"
A video promoting the return of AJ Styles to ROH in three weeks is shown. The footage is of AJ during his original run with the company.
Bill Daly reveals that he will not be competing in the tournament tonight. He suffered a high ankle sprain and thus will be withdrawing from the tournament. Daly demands a ROH TV Championship match because he is a top prospect anyway. Believe the hype.
Mike Posey gets on the microphone and says that Corey Hollis doesn't want to win this way. Posey challenges Hollis to a match right now in a tournament match.
Second Contest: Mike Posey vs. Corey Hollis – First Round Match of the 2014 Top Prospect Tournament
Posey is a former referee for TNA. They shake hands to show respect. Posey with a takedown and taunts Hollis, who takes Posey down and delivers a dropkick. Hollis takes Posey out with a slingshot cross body on the floor. Posey sends Hollis into the ring post shoulder first and hits a slingshot leg drop back into the ring. Posey is focusing his attack on Corey's left shoulder. Posey nearly wins after five leg drops. Hollis fights back with one arm by delivering kicks and a swinging neck breaker for a two count. Posey hits an elevated twisting slam for a near fall.
Hollis absorbs a kick to get a near fall on Posey after a discus clothesline. Posey goes up top after a neck breaker to nearly win after a leg drop. Hollis nails Posey with a spinning back elbow as Posey came off the ropes to win the match. Winner: Corey Hollis @4:50
Another quick match that featured some competitive action. Personally, I'm glad to see Hollis in ROH. I've watched some of his stuff in PWX. Hollis should get a spot in ROH at some point if not due to this tournament. *1/2
A video highlighting the breakup of Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander. They didn't win the tag titles at a recent event and they broke up on good terms.
Third Contest: Jay Lethal vs. Caprice Coleman
They shake hands to follow the code of honor. Early on they counter each other on every move until Coleman is shoved to the floor and Lethal hits a suicide dive! Lethal gets a near fall after a dropkick to a seated Coleman. Coleman dumps Lethal to the floor but is pulled to the floor. Coleman spins around the post and kicks Lethal! Coleman takes Lethal out with an impressive springboard moonsault to the floor from the ring! Lethal fights back in the ring with a standing hurricanrana but runs into a big boot and Coleman nearly wins after a top rope leg drop to a standing Lethal!
Lethal blocks a springboard moonsault by getting his knees up. Coleman with a series of northern lights suplexs but Lethal kicks out at two. Coleman misses a splash in the corner and Lethal hits the Lethal Combination! Coleman stops Lethal on the top with a hurricanrana and nearly wins with a STO! Lethal hits a superkick and hits the Lethal Injection for the win! Winner: Jay Lethal @6:08
A really good match between these two. Coleman was impressive with performance here and even though he lost, he should provide a spark and freshness to the midcard ranks. ***
After the match, Jay Lethal apologizes to Coleman for underestimating him. Lethal thinks Coleman has a bright future. Lethal notes that Tommaso Ciampa has issued a challenge to him. Lethal accepts the challenge for anytime, anywhere! By the way, Ciampa on the ROH TV Championship at Final Battle. Next week, Ciampa will wrestle Silas Young and Lethal will be at ringside!
Jay Briscoe lets us know that Adam Cole still hasn't beaten him. He wants Adam Cole next week for Jay's belt. "You ain't got nothing to lose."
Main Event: Kevin Steen vs. Chris Hero
"This is awesome" before anything even starts. They shake hands to adhere to the code of honor. Each man goes to the ropes early on to break a hold. Hero tries to knock Steen off his feet with shoulder blocks, but no success. Steen drops Hero with a standing dropkick. Hero comes back with a dropkick and a running senton for a two count as we go to a commercial.
Steen knocks Hero off the apron and Hero lands gut first on the guard railing. Steen hits a slingshot senton from the apron back into the ring for a near fall. Hero big boots Steen from the apron and follows up with a second kick to a kneeling Steen. Hero clothesline Steen in the corner and nearly wins after a kick to the head. Steen goes for the Package Piledriver but Hero gets out of it. Steen avoids an elbow to hit the F5! Steen hits a top rope swanton bomb but Hero kicks out at two!
Hero knocks Steen silly with a right hand for a near fall. Steen power bombs Hero and the fans voice their pleasure. Hero with the roaring elbow and a leaping spin kick for a near fall! The Decade come out to distract Hero, who takes BJ Whitmer out on the floor. Steen hits the sleeper suplex and wins the match. Winner: Kevin Steen @8:41 (shown)
I'd imagine the commercial break cut some time out of the match. Regardless, the final few minutes of the match were well done and entertaining. Hero losing makes sense especially with the Decade getting involved. Their whole issue is with returning wrestlers to ROH. We will see how that turns out. Anyway, a fine main event, nothing overly special about it, though. **1/2.
After the match, the Decade is rather happy with the outcome. Jacobs stares at Hero for a moment. Steen goes to walk backstage, but a fan starts to choke Steen out with a rope of some kind! Who was it?!
The first half of the show wasn't exactly interesting due to the prospect tournament. It's usually difficult to get invested into guys you'll likely see once. Corey Hollis should hopefully have a good showing in the tournament. Coleman/Lethal was the match of the night in my eyes, a well done six minute match and they both got their share of offense in. The main event gives the Decade some momentum and Steen gets a new feud with the "fan" who attacked him. I'd give the show a slight thumbs up. 2013 saw the return of Hero, 2014 is the return of AJ Styles, ROH has my attention.
Next week on ROH:
The 2014 Prospect Tournament continues
ROH Television Champion Tommaso Ciampa defends against Silas Young