Powell's 5/20 ROH Wrestling TV review: Kevin Steen vs. Adam Cole, Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs, Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander vs. Rhett Titus and Cliff Compton
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG television affiliates
Taped in Toronto, Ontario at Ted Reeve Arena
[Q1] The show opened with a recap video of SCUM defeated Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal when Kevin Steen was pinned after entering as a replacement for Lethal... The opening video aired...
Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs walked to the ring and Corino cut a promo on the way. Corino said he would be the new color commentator "until this pitiful show gets canceled." He added that a member of SCUM will get an ROH Title shot. He said that man will become the ROH Champion and will be the last ROH Champion.
Corino joined Kevin Kelly on commentary, and Jacobs stood nearby. Kelly said he and Corino have no issues. Corino agreed and said he's always liked him...
Jay Lethal headed to the ring for a promo. Corino acted surprised and questioned why he wasn't included in the production meeting. He limped to sell the knee injury he suffered at Border Wars. He said his injury was unfortunate, but so was the decision to let Kevin Steen replace him when they don't know where his loyalties lie. As Lethal spoke, Jimmy Jacobs approached the ring and tripped him. They fought and a referee called for the bell for some reason...
Powell's POV: The thing I don't understand about SCUM's hatred of ROH is what happens if they get their way and the promotion folds. Do they just happily return to the indy scene and/or get day jobs?
1. Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs. They wrestlers quickly fought their way back inside the ring. Corino said despite Lethal's promo skills, he is actually African American. Wow. He also claimed to have dated Lethal's mother. Lethal continued to sell his knee throughout the match and was tied up in the ropes at one point with Jacobs taking repeated shots at the knee heading into the break. [C]
Powell's POV: For those who didn't get the humor, Corino was taking a shot at Lethal's promo ability by saying that it was worse than the average African American wrestler's mic work. It was a comical line, but I'd probably avoid going there simply because someone out there may not understand what he was going for and find it insulting.
Kevin Steen hosted a hype video for an ROH event in San Antonio, Texas on June 1... A local spot hyped the ROH event on September 28 at the Hopkins Eisenhower Community Center... Michael Elgin hyped that fans could text to get a picture of him...
Back to the match, Jacobs had Lethal locked in the figure four.
[Q2] Lethal came back with the Lethal Combination and then went for the Lethal Injection, but his knee gave out. Jacobs flubbed the first attempt at Sliced Bread, but he went back to the move and connected the second time for the win... [C]
Jimmy Jacobs defeated Jay Lethal.
Powell's POV: I would have assumed the botched attempt by Lethal was an intentional move because it looked like a backwards version of the RKO off the ropes, but one of the announcers pointed out that he was going for the move again. A solid match otherwise with Lethal selling the knee consistently. Had he not gone right into a match with a SCUM wrestler, I would be wondering whether he faked the knee injury at Border Wars because he's secretly working with them.
ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness stood in the ring and said Jay Briscoe proved he's not a paper champion, and Adam Cole proved he is championship material. Nigel said Cole will get a rematch, but there are a few people ahead of him on the list. Nigel said the first person he thinks of is Michael Elgin. Kelly said he's No. 1 contender, but Corino disagreed and said his man is No. 1 contender.
Nigel said Elgin assured him that he's ready at any time, but the first thing he wants to do is redeem his loss to Karl Anderson, and the second thing he wants to do is rid ROH of the SCUM faction forever. Nigel said that opens up spots for Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards. Nigel said that leads him to the Best in the World iPPV. On commentary, Corino questioned when his man gets his shot, and Kelly questioned who Corino's man is.
Jay Briscoe's music played and the ROH Champion headed to the ring. Jay said it looks like Nigel has a lot of tough opponents lined up for him. "And that's a good thing because I like whooping people's asses," Briscoe said. Jay said he whooped Cole's ass at the pay-per-view, then he said there's no one in the company who could beat him.
Mark Briscoe walked to the ring and said he heard enough. Mark said that ever since Jay won the belt, all he's talked about is how he could whoop everybody's ass. He said they scoop up dog crap and Jay talks about it, and when they have beers together Jay talks about it. "I've heard enough," Mark said. "Good lord."
Mark recalled whopping Jay's ass on his first night in the company. Jay got fired up and said they could bring the whole family to the Du Burns Arena in Baltimore for the Best in the World iPPV. Jay called for a match against his brother Mark for the ROH Title. The fans cheered and some chanted "do it now."
Nigel said nobody fights like family. "You've given me something to think about," Nigel said. Nigel motioned for the brothers to keep their distance from one another in the ring and then the Briscoes music played to close the segment... [C]
Powell's POV: I hope the Nigel announcement is really good, because the anticlimactic moment where he said they gave him something to think about was weak. The match really came out of nowhere and it feels like this is happening way too early in Jay's run. A slow build would have been ideal with Mark slowly showing some signs of frustration with his brother's ego or some jealousy.
[Q3] 2. Rhett Titus and Cliff Compton vs. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman. The teams brawled to start the match. Coleman had his shoulder taped. Just as Kelly said Caprice was basically fighting with one arm, Caprice used that arm to swing around the ring post. Oops. Alexander followed up with a big leap over the top rope onto both opponents at ringside.
Back inside the ring, the heels took control of the match and rammed Coleman through the ropes and into the post on his bad shoulder. He rolled to ringside and continued to sell the injury until two referees helped him to the back, leaving Alexander to face both SCUM members.
The SCUM members got the better of Alexander, who worked in some hope spots. Eventually, Coleman walked back to the ring while holding his bad shoulder. The fans cheered. Once he tagged back into the match, he seemed to forget about selling the arm and performed his usual offense instead.
Out of nowhere, Coleman yelled, "Don't you die on me" to his shoulder and sold it momentarily. Later, Alexander and Compton fought to ringside. Compton snapped Coleman's bad arm over the top rope, then Titus hit a brainbuster on Coleman and pinned him... [C]
Rhett Titus and Cliff Compton defeated Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander.
Powell's POV: I like the setup for Coleman walking back to ringside, but this should have saved that for a time when the team was actually going to win. The crowd rallied behind them and then they ended up losing to their bland opponents. I can't even criticize Titus and Compton for being bland since it's not like they are getting any mic time to establish their personas. They're just two guys who happen to be with SCUM. Sadly, there are too many SCUM members who fit that same description.
Kevin Kelly hyped the Best in the World iPPV event and the next day's television taping for Baltimore... Another local spot aired for the ROH in Hopkins, Minnesota show... Ring introductions took place for the main event. Steen received a good pop and he shot a look at Corino before climbing inside the ring...
[Q4] 3. Kevin Steen vs. Adam Cole. A fan held up a Steen related sign that was written in French. "Look at this guy spelling everything wrong," Corino said. Funny. Corino claimed Cole was at his wedding. He said he has a life outside wrestling and doesn't hate everyone who works for ROH. He played up the idea of Cole joining SCUM.
Cole attempted to dive over the top onto Steen, who just stepped aside, causing Cole to crash and burn. Steen ran Cole into the barricade and then powerbombed him onto the ring apron. Corino said he wouldn't have a problem with Steen if he would just apologize to him and accept Matt Hardy as the chosen man in SCUM. Steen picked up Cole and powerbombed him on another side of the ring on the apron and then did it a third time.
Steen rolled Cole back inside the ring and then looked to Corino and pointed at Cole. Corino stood up and started taking credit for something when Cole took advantage of the situation by dropkicking Steen's knee. Cole targeted the same knee and applied a hold heading into the break. [C]
Steen and Cole traded shots in the ring and Steen got the better of it and performed a big powerbomb on Cole. However, Steen sold it as if his knee buckled when he performed the move. Steen got to his feet first and clotheslined Cole and covered him for a two count.
Later, Cole applied the Sharpshooter. Corino stood up and told the referee to call for the bell. "You'll go down in history!" Corino said. The referee blew him off. Cliff Compton ran out and Steen knocked him off the apron and then applied the Sharpshooter. Jimmy Jacobs entered the ring and struck Steen with a chain while the referee was distracted by Compton.
Cole superkicked Steen and followed up with the Florida Key for the win. Corino said Cole has it in him. Kelly questioned what he meant by that. The Steen-loving crowd booed Cole and the finish of the match. Kelly hyped next week's main event of Roderick Strong vs. Taiji Ishimori to close the show...
Powell's POV: A well worked main event that suffered from neither man getting promo time. Steen is a good talker, and they could have done something with Cole to establish his persona and the "is he or isn't he" element with him and SCUM. The ROH TV main event should be made to feel important. They should build to it consistently throughout each television show and treat it like a bigger deal than they did here.
Speaking of which, I hated the way Kelly threw out next week's main event as if every viewer knows who Ishimori is. Why wasn't there a video package promoting his appearance? Fans who know him would enjoy the video package and fans who don't know him would understand that it's a big deal that he's appearing. I realize they've shown his face on recent television shows while promoting Border Wars, but that's just not enough.
The addition of Corino to commentary is a huge plus. I don't find myself unintentionally zoning him out like I do with WWE and TNA broadcast teams. He spent a lot of time talking about himself and Steen, which is logical considering the current storyline, though I hope he finds the right mix of comedy, SCUM talk, and match calling going forward. By the way, is Kevin Kelly the only person in the world who doesn't think Matt Hardy will be the SCUM member Corino chooses for the ROH Title shot?
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