100 Percent Fordified: Ring of Honor Defy or Deny 2
Posted by Kevin Ford on 03.11.2013
An interesting concept is dusted off and given a second try to far superior results.
Milwaukee, WI – 1.19.2013
Championship Rundown ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen ROH Television Champion: Adam Cole ROH World Tag Team Champions: The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe)
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.
Proving Ground Match
Adam Cole vs. Silas Young
If Young is able to defeat Cole or last the time limit, he will earn a future Television title shot. He’s able to whip Cole across the ring. Cole catches Young’s leapfrog attempt with an atomic drop. He hits a dropkick for two. Young sends Cole to the apron and sole butt kicks him to the floor. He whips Cole into the barricades. Back in the ring Young whips him to the corners a few time to further damage his back. Cole drops him with a neckbreaker. Young blocks the Florida Key but eats an enzuigiri and a Shining Wizard for two. Cole gets two again with a neckbreaker across his knee. Young boots him in the corner. He suplexes Cole into a facebuster across his knee for two. Young goes for a suplex. Cole blocks it with a knee-assisted brainbuster. Young grabs the ropes to stop the pin. Young gives him a backbreaker/lariat combo for two. He sets up for the Pee Gee Waja Plunge. Cole superkicks him and hits the Florida Key for the pin at 8:39. That was an incredibly hot opener. The fans were really into both guys, got louder for every pinfall which says a lot about the work both guys put in. I’m happy that Young seems closer to a full time roster member now than he was last year. ***
Tadarius Thomas vs. Bobby Fish
Kyle O’Reilly is in Fish’s corner. Fish gives him a condescending/racist handshake. He slaps the back of Thomas’ head upon bringing him to the mat. He shoulder blocks him multiple times in the corner. He snapmares Thomas and hits a slingshot senton for two. Fish puts on a bodyscissors. Thomas escapes and throws a punch in the corner. Fish evades a charge and throws some kicks. When Thomas charges back, Fish kicks him in the head for a two count. He gets two again with a Samoan Drop. Thomas blocks an Irish whip. He throws some kicks as he moves around the mat. Truth Martini makes his way out. Thomas hits the Sling Blade for two. He Tiger suplexes Fish but he’s too close to the ropes to go for a pin. Thomas misses a corner kick and hurts his knee on the ring post. Fish jams that leg on the ring frame. Thomas blocks a Judo throw by rolling through into a clutch. Fish ends a waistlock exchange by rolling Thomas into the Fish Hook. Thomas taps out at 9:51. There was something here that just didn’t click. This never really got into the final act; they went straight from the opening exchange and some leg work from Fish into the finish. Kind of a weird match, but a good effort from both guys. **¼
Rhett Titus vs. Charlie Haas
Titus slaps Haas after he insults Milwaukee’s Best. Haas is right, it is terrible. Titus sends him into the barricades. Back in the ring he chokes Haas with his shirt. He rubs the shirt on his balls and shoves it in his face. He suplexes him for two. Back on the floor Haas sends Titus face first into the ring post. He slams one of the metal barricade sheets onto Titus. He throws him into the barricades before wearing him down back in the ring. Haas pre-occupies himself with some vocal members of the crowd during this period. Titus slaps Haas and throws a flurry of punches. He leapfrogs over Haas’ spear attempt. He dropkicks him to the corner and gets two with a Rydeen Bomb. Titus knees him in the stomach. Haas goes for a German suplex. Titus escapes and hits the Thrust Buster for two. Haas comes back with an Olympic Slam. Titus kicks out. Titus kicks out of the Uncle Slam as well. Haas pitches him to the floor. He drops Titus back first onto the barricades. Haas grabs the case of Milwaukee’s Best he brought with him. Referee Brian Gory takes it away. Titus slams a beer into the back of his head behind Gorie’s back. He goes for a frog splash. Haas gets his knees up and cradles Titus for the win at 12:03. That did nobody any good. Titus looks like a goof who can’t win even when he cheats. Worse yet, Haas was way more pre-occupied with bad mouthing the fans, so it should have been much easier for Titus to get the win. I personally don't get Haas' current character and fail to see what he adds to the shows over than being a name non-ROH fans might know. This was just bad for everyone involved. *½
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) & Jay Lethal vs. S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs, Steve Corino & Rhino)
The Briscoes and Lethal jump S.C.U.M. who came out first. The fight spills to the floor and multiple officials come out. Lethal suicide dives onto Corino. As the Briscoes fight with Rhino and Jacobs outside the ring, Lethal leg lariats Corino in the ring. The Briscoes come back in and help Lethal beat down Corino. Jay gets kicked by Jacobs from the apron. Rhino punches him into Corino’s Colby Shock which gets him two. S.C.U.M. keeps him isolated in their corner until Jay sends Corino into the middle turnbuckle with a Complete Shot. Lethal tags in. He knocks Rhino off the apron before throwing strikes Jacobs’ way. He drops him with the Lethal Combination for two. He calls for the Lethal Injection. Jacobs blocks it. Corino clotheslines Lethal from the apron. He now gets beaten down in the S.C.U.M. corner. Lethal manages to escape some of Rhino’s offense and hit him with a back handspring elbow. Mark tags in and dropkicks Rhino and Jacobs to opposite corners. He throws Redneck Kung-Fu at Corino. He ends up booting him in the face. The Briscoes and Lethal punch all of their opponents simultaneously in different corners. Rhino eats kicks from everyone. Lethal hits him with Hail to the King. Mark’s Froggy Bow gets two thanks to Corino and Jacobs breaking the count. Lethal sends Corino into the barricades. Jacobs escapes the Doomsday Device. Rhino Gores Mark for the pin at 12:09. This was a good way to show how good of muscle Rhino can be for S.C.U.M. while also strengthening them as a unit. The Briscoes and Lethal were a good contingent for them to go up against and establish some dominance. Fun times all around. ***
BJ Whitmer vs. Matt Hardy
Adam Cole joins commentary for this bout. Hardy says he should be TV Champ due to defeating Cole at “Final Battle 2012.” Hardy says he’s going to put Whitmer through the mat with a Side Effect. Whitmer says Hardy is standing across from one of the toughest SOB’s in ROH. Whitmer takes Hardy to the corner in a lock-up. Hardy gets in a cheap shot after referee Paul Sinclair stops Whitmer from giving one. Whitmer elbows Hardy to the floor. Hardy comes back in and gets sent back out with a leg lariat. Whitmer suicide dives after him. He goes for a superplex. Hardy shoves him down causing him to land on his neck. Remember, Whitmer took a nasty spill onto his head at Final Battle. Knowing this, Hardy focuses his attack on that part of Whitmer’s body. He scores various two counts but can’t keep BJ down. Whitmer and Hardy knock each other down with stereo clothelines. Whitmer delivers a spinebuster for two. He also gets two with a series of suplexes. Hardy hits the Side Effect. Whitmer avoids an elbow. More suplexes get another two count. Hardy sneaks in a Saito suplex. Whitmer kicks out of the Twist of Fate at one! He rolls up Hardy to block it a second time. Whitmer goes for an Irish Whip. Hardy blocks it and hits the Twist of Fate and this time gets a two count. He puts Whitmer in the White Light Experience. Whitmer’s partner Rhett Titus runs out and throws in the towel for him at 12:19. Knowing what we know now, the finish made sense and in a super subtle way teased Hardy and Titus’ affiliation. Whitmer looked tough taking all of Hardy’s very focused offense. I’m hoping he can be a break out performer in the ROH/S.C.U.M. feud. **3/4
Nigel McGuinness and some officials come out to make sure Whitmer is OK. Hardy tells Nigel that he wants a TV title shot against Cole. He says he will do whatever it takes to get a shot at “that Matt Hardy wannabe.” Cole makes his way out He tells Hardy to shut his mouth. Hardy tries to get in a kick, but Cole blocks it and stomps him down in the corner. Officials rush in and hold him back. He escapes their grasp and gets nailed in the head with his title by Hardy.
Davey Richards vs. Kyle O’Reilly
As Richards is making his entrance, O’Reilly comes off the apron and dropkicks him into the barricades. He mockingly puts on Richards’ vest before whipping him to the barricades. Richards sends O’Reilly into them as well. He punts O’Reilly from the apron. Richards suplexes him for two. He puts on a modified cloverleaf. O’Reilly escapes. Richards pulls him off the second rope and into a chest kick. O’Reilly gives him a brainbuster on the ring apron! He takes control back in the ring. He wins a forearm and boot exchange. O’Reilly puts on a body scissors which Richards turns into a seated parachute stretch. O’Reilly reverses it, then fish hooks Richards’ mouth while digging his knees into his arm. Richards double stomps him. He sends O’Reilly to the floor and follows with a suicide dive. Back in the ring they slap each other silly. Richards hits the Damage Reflex for two. He kicks O’Reilly in the side of the head and German suplexes him for two. O’Reilly knees Richards against the ropes and rolls him into a chest kick. He goes for a Regalplex. Richards rolls him into an ankle lock as a counter. O’Reilly kicks him away. He blocks the Alarm Clock and pulls off the Regalplex for two. Richards fires back with kicks in the corner. O’Reilly responds in kind. Richards boots him down again. O’Reilly Regalplexes him. Richards Saito suplexes him. They knock each other down with stereo head kicks. They trade headbutts as they ascend the ropes. O’Reilly ends up getting two a superplex. He puts on a Guillotine. Richards turns it into a pin attempt to escape. O’Reilly strings a tornado DDT and brainbuster together before going back to the Guillotine. Richard grabs his ankle while still in the hold. O’Reilly ends up releasing and rolling him up for two. The Alarm Clock, a lariat and a tombstone put O’Reilly down, but not out. A top rope double stomp is equally unsuccessful. A swift kick to the head almost gets him three, but O’Reilly literally stops Turner from making the three count. Another swift kick gets Richards the pin at 18:56. This match started out well enough: two former partners turned enemies start hot and heavy looking to prove is better than the other. Like other matches with these two, by the end the near falls had gone past the point of making each other look tough and become unbelievable. You should hear the difference in the crowd from the first pinfall to the end. They stopped counting along and getting excited for submissions as the match drew on. If they had ended it three or four minutes earlier it would have been for the best, but they just had to go on longer for whatever reason. The work put in was good but ended up being all for naught. ***
ROH World Championship – “Defy or Deny” Elimination Match
Kevin Steen vs. Michael Elgin vs. Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong Whomever Kevin Steen defeats cannot challenge for the ROH World Championship as long as Steen is the champion. If Elgin, Edwards, or Strong win, they get a future ROH World Championship Match
Strong talks trash until Elgin knocks him down. Edwards sends everybody to the floor. He suicide dives onto each of them one at a time. Steen powerbombs Edwards onto the apron. Strong kicks Steen into the barricades. Elgin hits Strong with a slingshot elbow. He holds him up for a minute before dropping him in a vertical suplex. After he throws Strong out, Steen comes in to wear Elgin down. Strong pulls Steen out, sends him into the barricades, then wears Elgin down himself. Steen and Strong end up working together. Edwards almost comes back in but Strong sends him into a ring post. Elgin German suplexes Steen for two. He sends Steen to the apron. Edwards slams Steen onto the entrance ramp! Elgin tries to waterwheel slam Strong and Edwards simultaneously. They slide off his shoulders and destroy him with kicks and strikes in the corner. Strong gives Edwards a backbreaker for two. Elgin Boss Man Slams Strong for two. Edwards missile dropkicks Elgin. After trading strikes, they attack each other in opposite corners. Edwards goes for the Code Breaker. Elgin counters into the Air Raid Crush for two. Elgin backfists Strong and follows up with a Buckle Bomb. Steen comes in. Elgin fallaway slams Strong while simultaneously giving Steen a Samoan Drop. Edwards immediately double stomps Elgin afterwards for two. Elgin goes for the Chaos Theory. Edwards escapes but takes a lariat. Steen pops him into a powerbomb. He also hits the F-Cinq. Elgin kicks out. He lifts Steen into a powerbomb. Edwards superkicks Elgin. Strong blasts him with a knee strike. The Orange Crush backbreaker eliminates Elgin at 15:52. Edwards gives Strong the Chin Checker. When Strong kicks out, Steen gives Edwards a Swanton Bomb for two. Strong kicks out Steen’s knee. He superkicks him and enzuigiri’s Edwards on the top rope. Strong blocks the F-Cinq with Death by Roderick. Edwards stomps Steen’s back and Strong pins him for two. Edwards escapes Strong’s half-nelson backbreaker. After a few failed pin attempts he puts on the Achilles Lock while kicking Strong in the head. Steen adds a flipping legdrop for the sake of it. Todd Sinclair declares Strong knocked out and eliminated at 19:38. Steen kicks Edwards low and gives him the Package Piledriver. Edwards kicks out. He misses a double stomp on the apron. Steen gives him a Package Piledriver onto the edge of the ring! He quickly rolls him back in for the pin at 21:19. Steen remains the title and Edwards can longer challenge for the title as long as he is champion. This was a massive step up from the first Defy or Deny match. There was a purpose to everything they did, people were smart in their approach and it felt like everybody was desperate for a title shot (or in Steen’s case, a retention.) There’s no doubt that these four guys or on top of the company and after this showing it’s no mystery as to why. ***3/4
The 411: Not exactly the homerun I thought "The Hunt for Gold" was. Granted, the opening, main event, and trios match was tremendous but there was so much oddness in the undercard. It seems like in some of the undercard matches that ROH would take one step forward with certain guys and one giant step back with others. Some parts of the card left me scratching my head and rolling my eyes, but the wrestling for the most part is quality stuff. Heck, Davey vs. O'Reilly probably could sell certain people on the show alone. The hot crowd made this an easy watch too. I give it a thumbs in the middle, mostly thanks to the aforementioned matches in the beginning, but if you're picking one or the other for ROH's opening 2013 weekend, go with "The Hunt for Gold." You can pick up this DVD from Ring of Honor's store. You can check out all of my ROH, DGUSA, and other reviews over at the 100% Fordified blog. Be sure to follow me on Twitter as well!