“Bring yo ass.”
Those are the last words spoken in the intro package hyping what appears to be tonight’s main event between two ugly-ass, badass tag teams, The Briscoes and War Machine. Jay Briscoe dropped that line, but look at Rowe and Hanson. They’re more than ready to oblige.
Did I say main event? Make that a semi-main … because the world title is on the line?!
OK, I’m in.
Hold up … the tag match is first?! Like right now … ?
Good lord. My kind of show!
WAR MACHINE (Rowe & Hanson) vs. THE BRISCOES (Jay & Mark)
I love the streamers, but how odd are they preceding this match?
Rowe with the power/real wrestling game to start, and when Jay blocks a shot from Rowe, both men tag. Random fun fact: Jay hasn’t been pinned in 2 years … ? Didn’t Roddy Piper have a crazy streak like that before WrestleMania 8? Anyway, way off topic here. Rowe’s beating the hell out of Mark in the corner; to be fair, any face rearrangements would be an improvement. Mark might be the ugliest man in wrestling.
Jay? A little bit better.
OK, Mark and Rowe are trading blows, but it’s time to plug for knee braces. I love the Internet.
Back to action, we’ll call it 4 minutes, 20 seconds in. Rowe with almost a running cannonball into a standing Mark, and Hanson hits what I’ll call a Clydesdale Buster. Far too big to be a Bronco. Mark gets into chops and punches to break free, and Jay tags in and puts in some work. Hanson cartwheels away, so Jay hits Rowe instead. Rowe hits a German suplex that would make Brock Lesnar jealous, then Mark clotheslines himself and Rowe out of the ring. With three men on the floor, Hanson hits a 275-pound suicide dive, but Mark knocks him onto the announce table a few seconds later. Jay, seeing an opportunity, stomps on Hanson and breaks the table. With Rowe fending for himself, the Briscoes take control, and Mark hits a huge lariat, but Rowe responds with a saito suplex that forces Mark to the floor. Jay leads with the left, then the headbutt, but Rowe lands some forearms and haymakers with the right until Hanson hiptosses him onto the floor. Mark hits a mule kick on Rowe, but then Hanson with his best Clothesline From Hell impression. Jay decides, “Let’s add some chairs!” But Hanson comes outside and introduces Jay to barricades on two sides. Then they decide mats are for pussies and pull them up. Unfortunately, a few more punches are about as far as they get before the ref calls the whole thing off.
Rowe provides the highlight a minute after a bell, tackling Mark from the apron onto a table as Jay can only look on.
Internet Time: 9:12
Technical Merit: Plenty of impact and brutality, and it was all well applied. If you’re gonna have a brawl, these four are the men to call. Plus, War Machine are agile. I like bigger guys who can move, and Rowe and Hanson certainly can.
Artistic Impression: Artistic seems an odd word here, but there was an art to what these guys were doing. Two teams of asskickers came to kick ass, and wanted to kick ass so badly that the ref threw their asses out. I WANT A REMATCH!
TOTAL SCORE: ***
More knee brace promo time, only this time it’s also World Television Champion promo time. That means it’s the weekly Jay Lethal Markout Moment.
After that, another type of promo, this one from Caprice Coleman, a very stylish individual.
He implores his partner, Watanabe, to follow his lead, not that of The Decade. Seems like sound advice, right?
Wait, we get a Silas Young promo, too? YES!
“You know, I’m getting real sick of seeing these anti-bullying campaigns. If it wasn’t for bullying kids out of their lunch money on the schoolyard, I wouldn’t have been able to put myself through college.”
Are you gonna mess with The Last Real Man? Neither would I.
OK, back to wrestling, and back to The Decade. God, I hate Whitmer’s smug face. What a freaking tool. I’m glad this pic is blurry; it looks worse as it gets sharper.
Steve Corino sums it up best: “Whitmer’s been a real butthole lately.” But at least this match means Veda Scott’s on my screen. Hello, Red.
THE DECADE (Adam Page & Tadarius Thomas, w/BJ Whitmer) vs. R.D. EVANS & MOOSE (w/Veda Scott & Ramon)
Moose… Moose… Moose… Moose…
Now that that’s out of the way, Moose hits a dropkick on TD about 45 seconds in, then tags in to Evans, who is 139-0 how? Page puts an end to this mockery with a lariat. Like seriously … I think I could whip R.D.’s ass. Tag back to TD, who stomps Evans’ face a bit and tags out. Page slips into a semi-pumphandle variation and takes Evans down. Suplex attempt countered into a backslide attempt countered, then escaped into stereo tags. Moose with some corner charges and a headbutt, and a flapjack to Thomas … then Evans blind tags in. Moose hits the spear, and Evans covers! Awesome.
You know what that means …
Ramon seriously brought 139-0 AND 140-0 signs to the ring. Well done!
The result, though, also means Whitmer slaps around the losers, who finally seem to grow a collective set, if only for a moment before cowering through the ropes. Whitmer REALLY sucks.
Coming up on iPPV “next week” at All-Star Extravaganza VI … some matches I can get behind! It may or may not be set up on another tab to go after this.
Last time I checked in on ROH, Cedric Alexander won the Golden Gauntlet for a title shot.
Tonight, he gets his reward. The champ is here, people.
“Unbreakable” MICHAEL ELGIN (c) vs. CEDRIC ALEXANDER, ROH World Championship
Cedric starts with a running dropkick and a cover! Elgin tries for a crossface, but Alexander rolls into a cover. Then a monkey flip into a cover. Hey, gotta pin to win, right? Cedric is the aggressor, though Elgin starts driving the knee into the abdomen near the 1:30 mark. Then a reverse Tree of Woe sets up a running pair of knees into the back.
Random fun fact: Bryan Danielson apparently has the most ROH Title defenses with 38. Not sure whether that’s one reign, which they made it sound, or overall.
Not-so-random fact: Cedric tries to dive in from the apron, and Elgin’s fist causes a crash landing.
Alexander recovers to dropkick Elgin to the floor, but Elgin blocks a dive by pulling Alexander’s legs, picking him up and throwing him into the barricade. Then whipping him into another one. And throwing him back into it. And getting a middle finger from an enthusiastic detractor on the other side.
Back in the ring, cover for 2. Cedric slaps the taste out of Elgin’s mouth, which responds with a spit in Cedric’s direction. That will motivate a man. A short dropkick to the head, however, will kill that momentum. Deep breath and a suplex attempt with a creative block — knees to the shoulder while up top. STO attempt turns into an armdrag, and a Samoan Drop turns into a gutwrench into a piledriver attempt, but Cedric blocks. Elgin tosses Alexander off, and Alexander returns with a Codebreaker. That, my friends, is counter wrestling.
Both men trade forearms, but Cedric absolutely no-sells Elgin’s. He pulls the rope to dump Elgin outside, and after some deliberation, he goes for the dive? Nope. He dupes Elgin, goes to the apron and hits the springboard lariat. Now the elbow pad is off, and the elbow is in Elgin’s face. Elgin follows Cedric off the ropes, but Alexander cuts him off and hits the Michinoku driver for 2. The frustration is starting to set in.
Back from commercial at about 9:00, and Elgin is in rest hold mode. Alexander hits an enziguiri upon release, then hits a big boot on Elgin as he charges into the corner. Elgin turns him around and hits him in the back of the head, then sets up like a Razor’s Edge but throws him over, instead of straight out, for a cover. Elgin has an enziguiri for Cedric, then Cedric has a springboard kick in response. Ced’s thinking top rope, but isn’t quick enough to execute, and it could be superplex time. Nope, it’s push off and leap over time, and for Elgin it’s “catch the left leg and work the knee” time. A few strikes, then he slaps on an over-the-shoulder single crab while calling some spots. That looks like it’ll stretch a man.
Ced breaks the hold, and a few seconds later hits a jumping roundhouse to knock Elgin outside. THEN he hits the dive outside and a frog splash to the back on the inside, then one to the front … but Elgin kicks out at about 13:15.
Breather/reset time while Alexander sells the knee. Elgin goes for what looks like a discus clothesline, but Ced blocks with a strike to the head. Elgin elbow in the corner, but Alexander kicks Elgin while the latter is on his way up the buckles. Alexander goes for a move out of the fireman’s carry twice, but Elgin ducks and locks in that over-the-shoudler crab once more. Ced breaks, but gets a boot to the dome and a bucklebomb for his efforts. Cedric into a jackknife cover, then a Liontamer variation (the Stronghold), but the knee doesn’t hold up. It was enough, however, to injure Elgin’s back.
Alexander attacks in the corner, but Elgin ducks, catches him and goes back into the horse collar … this time with some stomps to the head. That’s just VICIOUS. Cedric’s out, and Elgin escapes.
Technical Merit: I like having to look up moves, because it further educates me as a fan. (In this case, the over-the-shoulder single crab.) If you’re doing that, you’re putting on a technically sound display. Both men brought a full arsenal to the dance, and it made for a great balance of submission holds, high-impact maneuvers, some aerial stuff and some straight-up beatdowns. Elgin has more mat skills, obviously, but I was more impressed with the challenger. Alexander is a star, and he’s believable doing anything in the ring. A great skill set and very fun to watch. This is twice in a row he’s impressed me.
Artistic Impression: I liked how Cedric kept getting frustrated, like he knew his chances were slipping away. I also liked how Elgin won the match, but he was far from standing tall at the end. You got the feeling these wrestlers pulled out all the stops to try to win a world championship.
TOTAL SCORE: ****
Check back later this week for more reviews, including (hopefully) All-Star Extravaganza VI and (definitely) NXT Takeover II. Wanna talk wrestling? Comment below or follow me on Twitter @jpetrie18.