Powell's 6/10 ROH Wrestling TV review: The Briscoes vs. The American Wolves, Tommaso Ciampa returns to the ring, ROH TV Champion Matt Taven's open challenge for a Proving Ground match
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG television affiliates
Taped in Toronto, Ontario at Ted Reeve Arena
[Q1] The opening video kicked off the show... Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary. Kelly said they haven't heard from color commentator and SCUM leader Steve Corino since he walked off last week. Kelly plugged the in-ring return of Tommaso Ciampa and the main event...
Truth Martini and two Hoopla Hotties entered and were followed by ROH TV Champion Matt Taven. Once in the ring, Martini spoke about Jay Lethal earning an ROH TV Title shot at Best in the World. Martini said Taven is a fighting champion. Truth issued an open challenge Proving Ground match.
Pepper Parks came out to take him up on the challenge. Truth asked Parks what makes him think he's in the same league as Taven. He said Taven is his father's pride and joy, whereas Parks is his father's disappointment. Parks took the mic and said he's been around a long time. He said he was going to take Truth's silly Willy Wonka hat and compared Taven to Pauley Shore before punching him to start the match...
Powell's POV: I'm not sure if it's intentional in that it's leading somewhere, but I didn't care for the way the spotlight is on Martini more than Taven during their entrance. Shouldn't the women be hanging all over the wrestler rather than the manager? Martini comes out in his crazy outfit and has women hanging all over him, then Taven walks out behind them all and barely gets noticed.
1. ROH TV Champion Matt Taven (w/Truth Martini, two Hoopla Hotties) vs. Pepper Parks in a Proving Ground match. Nigel noted Pepper's background in the Heartland Wrestling Association. Kelly made a big fuss over the tag main event taking place on broadcast television. Nice touch.
Taven missed a top rope splash when Parks moved out of the way. Parks went to the ropes, but Taven recovered and caught him with a kick. They fought for position on the ropes and Parks got the better of it with a sunset flip/powerbomb off the top. He tried to follow that up with another top rope move, but Taven moved. Taven performed his finisher and won the match...
Matt Taven beat Pepper Parks in a Proving Ground match.
Powell's POV: A solid opener. The crowd was pretty quiet for the match. The fans haven't taken to Taven as the TV Champion yet, and they didn't have any reason to get behind Parks since he's not a regular.
Kelly hyped the tag main event heading into the break... [C] Jay Briscoe was featured in a spot for the iPPV and television taping in Baltimore... Truth Martini and one of his Hotties were featured in the text message spot...
[Q2] 2. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Rip Impact. They shook hands before the match, but Impact cheap shotted Ciampa. Tommaso didn't sell for more than a few seconds and went on the offensive. The announcers noted that it was Rip's debut match. Ciampa got a two count, then held Impact up in the suplex position.
Michael Elgin ran out as the announcers noted that Ciampa was stealing a page out of his playbook with the suplex. Elgin stood and watched as the match continued. Impact had a brief run of offense that included a kick and a neckbreaker. Impact played to the crowd by slamming the mat and got a good response. Ciampa went to the ropes, but Ciampa caught him and then drove his knee into him. Ciampa performed a Samoan Drop from the second rope for the win...
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Rip Imapct.
After the match, Elgin entered the ring with a mic. He said that if Ciampa wants to put him on a hit list, he is the wrong person to pick a fight with. He said he would make sure that Ciampa doesn't return. He concluded by saying he would see Ciampa at Best in the World. Ciampa smiled the entire time, then celebrated his win after Elgin left the ring...
Powell's POV: It was a strange match if you think about it. Impact was heelish in taking the cheap shot during the handshake, but then he came back and pumped up the crowd later on. I was surprised to see Ciampa selling as much as he did in his return match. I didn't think he should have been getting two counts let alone being on the wrong end of them in his first match against a guy who seemed to be positioned as an enhancement wrestler. There was nothing memorable about Elgin's mic work afterward, but the fans do seem to be looking forward to the battle of the powerhouse wrestlers at the iPPV.
Kevin Kelly hosted the Inside Ring of Honor segment and said Elgin vs. Ciampa is official for the Best in the World iPPV. Elgin was featured in a backstage promo. He said he's not angry with Ciampa because he knows what he's doing by returning and immediately picking a fight with the biggest dog in the yard. Elgin concluded by saying that when God created all men equal, they were wrong.
Kelly shifted the focus to Adam Cole, who delivered a backstage promo about his "apparent attitude change." He said he was on his way to being the best when he lost the ROH TV Title. He said that changed something inside of him. He put over ROH and said it made him realize that the only thing that matters is wins and losses. He said he will walk away the winner of his match with Roderick Strong at the iPPV.
Kelly set up a Kevin Steen promo regarding his match against Matt Hardy. Steen said that if someone told him years ago that he would be facing Matt Hardy in an iPPV he would have thought they were crazy. He said he watched Hardy make a name for himself with tables, ladders, and chairs, but that was nothing compared to what he's going to put him through. Steen said there's a lot of people trying to cure cancer, but he's going to be the first one to do it when he takes out Hardy.
Kelly also hyped Matt Hardy vs. B.J. Whitmer for the ROH TV Title for next week's television show, then hyped the iPPV and TV taping in Baltimore to end the segment... [C]
Powell's POV: A good, fast-paced edition of Inside ROH with several guys getting a chance to cut brief and effective promos to set up their Best in the World matches. Steen stood out as the best of the bunch, though I am really looking forward to hearing Cole's promos once he gets going as a heel. Elgin was much better here than he was during the in-ring promo.
[Q3] The Martini and Hottie text spot aired again...
Kelly and Nigel spoke at ringside as the crowd was fired up about something. The announcers noticed Steve Corino coming to the ring with Jimmy Jacobs, Rhett Titus, and Cliff Compton for a promo. Corino vented about Matt Hardy not getting the ROH Title shot and said that he will become the champion.
Corino complained that the trio with him were left out of the No. 1 contenders matches. Corino looked down at Nigel and accused him of rigging it so his guys would be in the title matches. The crowd got fired up and Corino questioned whether they wanted to see Nigel rough him up. Corino said Nigel is lucky he didn't file a lawsuit after Border Wars.
Corino said Nigel is a worthless coward who knows the company is going down and he should go down with it as the captain. Nigel stood up and went to the entrance area. Jay Lethal, Caprice Coleman, and Cedric Alexander walked out and joined him. Corino said Coleman and Alexander lost to Compton and Titus, just as Lethal lost to Jacobs.
Nigel and the trio entered the ring. "Hey, Ring of Homies, relax," Corino said. Kelly immediately apologized for the comment. The fans chanted, "That was racist." Corino said he could snap his fingers and the babyface trio wouldn't make it to Best in the World. Corino snapped his fingers and his wrestlers began brawling with Nigel's trio while Nigel and Corino glared at one another. Security ran out to break up the brawl. Corino left the ring and watched on from the floor... [C]
Powell's POV: A good segment with a logical setup for the addition of the SCUM wrestlers to the title matches. I like the way Corino was able to point out that his men beat the No. 1 contenders and therefore should have been in the No. 1 contenders mix for the ROH TV and ROH Tag Titles.
Mark Briscoe was featured in a brief spot plugging the Baltimore shows... Ring introductions for the main event took place...
3. Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards). Mark and Edwards started the match for their teams and had a good back and forth exchange that concluded with the two of them stopping short of performing simultaneous chops. Jay and Davey tagged into the match.
[Q4] The Wolves had the first run of prolonged offense as they performed double team moves on Jay. Davey caught Jay with a missile dropkick and Edwards got a two count. They worked over Jay in their corner heading into the break. [C]
Jay continued to do the selling for his team and was locked in an armbar, but Mark checked in with a frogsplash from the top rope. The crowd chanted "This is Awesome." Mark and Edwards exchanged chops. Mark got the better of the exchange with "Redneck Kung Fu" but the Wolves quickly regained control. Edwards performed a double stomp off the top rope. Richards went to the top rope and howled before coming off with his own double stomp.
Later, Mark swung at Richards, who ducked, causing Mark's punch to hit Jay. Richards had Mark up for a tombstone. Edwards kicked Mark in the face, then Richards performed the Tombstone and pinned him. Kelly noted that it was the first time the Wolves beat The Briscoes.
The American Wolves defeated The Briscoes.
Kelly hyped the Road Rage edition of ROH from Richmond next week to close the show...
Powell's POV: I was hoping for something in the post match with Jay and Mark more than the punch did, but they focussed on the Wolves getting the win to close out the show. I assume the punch will be an issue next week, and ROH viewers were treated to a strong television main event with ROH star power. Overall, this was a good edition of ROH television with quality iPPV hype. Bonus points to Kevin Kelly for consistently pushing the main event of this television show as being something special.
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