ROH "Border Wars" results and review: Lance Storm, Rhino, and Fit Finlay make appearances, The Briscoes vs. WGTT in a Fight Without Honor for the ROH Tag Titles, and Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen for the ROH World Championship
By Chris Shore
ROH "Border Wars"
Aired Live on Internet pay-per-view
Toronto, Ontario, Canada at Ted Reeve Arena
Please note this is my first live coverage since surgery. Sitting up is still a bit of a challenge and the pain meds are flowing free. If the coverage is not up to standard, I hope you understand.
When the timer reached zero, the page kicked me out and the entire site went down. According to Twitter, I was not the only one. At seven minutes after start, I was finally able to get the home page up for a moment, but logging in proved impossible.
UPDATE (6:46): Still unable to login. Site seems to be very unstable. A handful of people are able to get in, but the vast majority (or at least the majority on Twitter) are not.
UPDATE (6:52): Was finally able to log in. Clickd on PPV link and was booted. Now unable to log in again.
1. Eddie Edwards vs. Rhino.
Eddie Edwards defeated Rhino. Result garnered from Twitter.
My feed suddenly started at the beginning of the second match. It seems from Twitter that many are still unable to get in. Still no comment from ROH...
2. The All Night Express and TJ Perkins vs. The Young Bucks and Mike Mondo.Rhett Titus was the babyface in trouble. Kenny King tagged in and showed off. Perkins got the blind tagged and the match descended into the classic ROH no sell superkick series. Mondo hit a reverse ranna off the top and one of the Jacksons followed with a top rope splash. King made the save. After a wild dive series, ANX hit a Doomsday Device type move, and Perkins followed with a 450 splash on Nick Jackson (I think) for the win...
The All Night Express and TJ Perkins defeated The Young Bucks and Mike Mondo at 12:57.
Shore's Slant: Good ROH tag match that had all six guys flying all over the place. I spent most of it watching the news on Twitter. I think most people, but not everyone, are in and watching now.
3. Jay Lethal vs. Tomasso Ciampa (w/The Embassy Ltd). Ciampa is now sporting a short, Santa Claus looking beard. Lethal attacked during intros. The fight spilled to the floor with no official start. Ciampa tried for the running knee against the signs, but Lethal moved. Ciampa setup a seating sign, but Lethal hit a singshot move onto it instead. Lethal crawled in the ring for a dive. RD Evans stopped him. Lethal kicked Evans and tried again, but Ciampa hit a knee. They rolled in the ring and rung the bell four minutes and 20 seconds after they started brawling. Ciampa covered for two.
Ciampa hit the Lethal Combination on Lethal. He hit his exposed knees in the corner and Lethal no sold them to hit an Alabama Slam into the buckle. Lethal tried for the Lethal Injection, but Ciampa moved and hit a clothesline. The Embassy ran in several times and got knocked out. Lethal finally hit the Lethal Injection and covered. RD Evans dragged Todd Sinclair from the ring to stop the count. Lethal kind of hit a drop kick through the ropes and Evans oversold it to hit the rails. Lethal hit the top rope elbow for two. Ciampa flipped Lethal off and Lethal hit the first half of the Lethal Combination 10 times before hitting the second half for the win.
Post-match, the Embassy argued. Ciampa acted very crazy and got in Lethal's face. He never hit him, but he acted like he was having a psychotic break before storming to the back...
Jay Lethal defeated Tomasso Ciampa at 10:45.
Shore's Slant: Well the booking is almost as bad as the stream access. Why have a guy like Ciampa end his winning streak for nothing? Lethal didn't need the win. Are they changing Ciampa's character? Why? This one is working well. The ring psychology was just as bizarre. The match was OK, but a lot of spots made no sense, not to mention the finish. Also, it would appear I was wrong. Seems A LOT of people still cannot log in.
4. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett (w/Brutal Bob) vs. Lance Storm. Toronto native, and former WWE referee, Jimmy Korderas officiated the match. Bennett wore some red and white striped tights. Storm started out in control and showed his technical skills. Bennett went to the floor and Storm followed. Bennett ran him into the barricade to take control. Bennett worked Storm on the floor and rolled him back in the ring. Bennett hit a dragon screw leg whip and hooked in the single leg crab.
Storm reversed it and the place went nuts. Bob helped Bennett make the rope. Korderas argued with him, allowing Bennett to get a chair. Storm kicked him and took the chair. He hit Bennett across the back and followed with a superkick for the win. Post-match, Storm cut a promo and put over Canada and thanked the fans...
Lance Storm vs. Mike Bennett at 12:32.
Shore's Slant: Another good match from Storm and Bennett. This wasn't the classic they had in Florida, but still good. I don't know if Evans's screw ups here will lead to him finally getting cut from the Bennett act. Good finish to the first half.
5. Adam Cole vs. "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin (w/Truth Martini). Elgin tried power early, but Cole's speed caused Elgin to roll to the floor. Cole went for a dive, but Elgin caught him and hit a power slam onto the ramp. He rolled Cole in the ring for two. Cole sliped out of a lift and tried a German suplex. Elgin powered out and hit an Alabama Slam for two.
Cole reversed a lift into a swinging DDT to take control. Cole hit a superkick tot he back of the head. He tried for a jumping kick, but Elgin ducked and killed Cole with a clothesline. Cole rolled tot he floor. Elgin tried to get him through the rope, but Cole hit an enziguri kick. Cole went to the top, but Elgin knocked him down to the apron and climbed to the second rope. Elgin dead lifted Cole from the apron and twisted into a falcon arrow for two. Elgin hit a buckle bomb, and then my feed skipped for the finish, but Elgin won.
Post-match, Truth got in the ring and put over Elgin and his win and then told him to head to the back and take a shower. He said Elgin's night was done, but he was staying out because Roderick Strong was next. Elgin looked upset that Truth was bashing Cole. Truth turned around and Cole superkicked Truth to the floor. Elgin picked Truth up, shrugged his shoulders at Cole, and walked out...
Michael Elgin defeated Adam Cole at 13:55.
Shore's Slant: Good match from these two. I thought going in Strong would be the guy turning babyface, but this crowd was super hot for Elgin. Yes, he's from Toronto, but it seemed more than that. Still, Elgin is a stud no matter if they keep him heel or turn him baby.
6. Fit Finlay vs. Roderick Strong for the ROH Television Championship. It was announced that there was no time limit because Roddy demanded it. Why? Isn't he the heel? The first three minutes was a lot of squaring off and rope breaks. Finlay grabbed a leg lock and worked it old school style for another three minutes. They rolled to the floor and traded chops and strikes. Finlay hit a thumb to the eyes, but Strong whipped Finaly to the rail and Finaly had a nasty bruise/abrasion on his back.
Later in the match, Strong hooked on the Strong Hold for just a second, but Finlay flipped out and punched Strong in the face. Finaly hit the Finlay roll, a spear in the corner, and a Samoan drop for two. Strong fought back and hit a double knee gut buster for two. He followed with the sick kick for the win. Post-match, Finaly played to the crowd as they cheered...
Roderick Strong retained the TV Title at 17:17.
Shore's Slant: An OK match. It wasn't quite what I thought it would be, but no complaints either. There was a lot of the old school work rate from Finlay. Strong is a tough guy and bumped around well. I am surprised we didn't see any advancement in the House of Truth storyline here. This seemed the perfect place to do it with an opponent that probably won't be returning.
7. Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team vs. The Briscoes in a fight without honor for the ROH Tag Team Championships. Jay came out alone and said Mark was stopped at the border. WGTT watched Jay on the floor and Mark ran in wearing a Briscoes hokey jersey and carrying a hockey stick. The place went nuts and filled the ring with streamers as a brawl broke out.
Jay started pulling weapons from the crowd. First was a small white board. Then a chair. Then a wheel with a tire on it.
Dusty Rhodes: He got a bicycle!
Mark hit a slingshot on Haas on the post. Haas was bleeding from his head after that. It was from the top of the head as opposed to the forehead so it may have been hardway. Later, Mark went to the top rope, but Benjamin stopped him and dropped him through a table on the ground. Benjamin hit a super spine buster on Jay for two. He and Haas tried to do the nut shot on the post again with Jay. Mark grabbed Jay's hands and dragged WGTT into the post instead.
Jay set up a table and laid Benjamin on it. Mark crazy walked down the rope, but Haas caught him and hit an Olympic slam. Benajmin and Jay fought by the table and Benjamin ended up hitting an electric chair on the table with Jay as Jay punched him in the face with a chain. Haas grabbed a rag and a can of something. He sprayed the rag with a can and put the rag over Mark's face. Mark passed out and Haas covered for the win. Post-match, Kevin Kelly oversold the stink of the spray...
WGTT wins the ROH Tag Team Championships at 14:36.
Shore's Slant: What? Why would you move the titles here? This is terrible. WGTT has no heat except for go away heat and they put the title back on them? Those of you who have not been able to see this have missed a handful of good matches and a number of strange booking decisions. This concerns me for the main event.
8. Kevin Steen (w/Jimmy Jacobs) vs. Davey Richards for the ROH World Heavyweight Championship. Steve Corino joined the commentary team, but his headset wasn't working so we have no idea what he is saying. The two men stood face to face and jawed. The fans chanted "Next World Champ," and Davey yelled back. Steen hit a gut kick and went for the package piledriver immediately. Davey escaped and the fight went to the floor quick.
Steen hit two reverse atomic drops on Davey into the posts. Davey came right back with a suplex on the apron as they started to climb in the ring. Davey worked some of his submission moves and held till four as the fans chanted "Same old shit." He whipped Steen into the corner and charged. Steen got the feet up and climbed up, but Davey kicked him to the floor. Davey went to the apron and tried his kick, but Steen ducked and Davey kicked Jacobs. Davey tried again, but Steen grabbed the foot and dragged him down. Steen hit back to back powerbombs on the apron and rolled Davey back in the ring.
Davey came right back and hit several kicks for two. The crowd chanted "You can't beat him." Davey played into it and charged at Steen. Steen picked him up and hit a slam. They traded blows in the middle of the ring, and Steen knocked Davey's mouthpiece out. The crowd did the yes/no chant on the exchange, with the yes for Steen and the no for Davey. Steen picked up the mouthpiece and put it in his own mouth and hooked a sharpshooter, but Davey made the rope.
Davey hit a dragon screw leg whip through the ropes and then hooked the leg in the ropes. He hit a top rope double stomp. Steen slipped his foot out and Davey hit another. He covered for two and grabbed the the ankle lock out of the kick. Steen made the rope after selling the hold for some time. Davey hit a double underhook driver that looked scary due to Steen's size for two.
Davey did his rapid kicks to the head and the crowd booed. Steen shoved Davey away and spit on him. Davey did it again and Steen shoved away and slapped the hell out of Davey. They traded blows again Steen tried for the piledriver again. Davey flipped out and hooked the ankle lock. They traded reversals on the ankle lock until Davey had it locked in tight. Steen crawled tot he corner and made the ropes. Davey pulled him out and Steen climbed over again. Davey pulled him out again, and this time the second turnbuckle pad came off. Steen flipped Davey into the buckle and followed with the package piledriver for the win.
Post-match, Cary Silkin climbed in the ring with the belt as is tradition. He refused to give the belt to Steen and had the ref do it. Steen took the belt and celebrated with Jacobs, Corino climbed in the ring and he and Steen faced off for a moment before hugging in the ring. Nigel asked if this had been a setup all along, and Kevin Kelly closed the PPV...
Kevin Steen defeated Davey Richards to win the ROH World Heavyweight Championship at 24:25.
Shore's Slant: What a strange moment. The match was very, very good. I'd go so far right now to give it match of the night. And the right guy won. Even though I had made a case for him not winning until next month, this was still the right call ultimately. And yet, it seemed...small, somehow. I'm not sure why, exactly. Maybe it was the deus ex machina in the turnbuckle pad thing. Maybe it was the lack of Jim Cornette who, according to Kevin Kelly, couldn't get across the border. Maybe it was the weak announcing of Mr. Kelly in failing to get the moment over.
Whatever it was, it just didn't have that big moment feel to it. And with their weird TV schedule, they won't have the chance to make it feel special for several weeks. Overall this was a mediocre iPPV that had crazy problems again The make right policy has been announced. If you paid for this show, you may either get a refund, or have access to the replay and get next month's Border Wars free as well. A nice make right deal, but taking 55 minutes to even address the issue is a big failure for ROH again. I will have more tomorrow on the hitlist and a member's only audio review of the show. It was good to be back in the saddle again. Thanks for watching along with me tonight.
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