For an easy to navigate archive of my ROH reviews, just visit RetROH Reviews!
Charleston Civic Center – Charleston, West Virginia – June 15, 2012
Kevin Kelly and Jim Cornette are on commentary for ROH’s Charleston debut.
MATCH #1: Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. The All Night Express
Rhett Titus and Coleman start the match. Kevin Kelly mentions DVD Rollout Tuesday, also known as The Bane of My Existence. Titus and Coleman chain wrestle back and forth in the early going. Coleman hits a dropkick and makes the tag. C&C hit a double-team suplex and stereo kicks to the chest. Alexander covers for two. Titus fights back and tags King, who follows a Titus inverted atomic drop with a clothesline for two. Alexander responds with a headscissors, a low dropkick, and a low enziguiri for a two-count. C&C isolate King in their half of the ring and work him over with swift double-teams and high-flying maneuvers. King forces Alexander back into his corner and makes the tag. Titus delivers a running kick to the midsection and how the ANX is in control. Titus hits the Fame-Ass-Er for two. He continues the abuse on Alexander but can’t quite put him away. King hits a huge leg lariat for a two-count. Moments later Alexander mounts a comeback and fires away at both opponents. Coleman gets the hot tag and he’s a house afire. The referee seems to have lost control of the match, and even Kelly and Cornette aren’t sure who’s legal for the ANX. Coleman catapults King into a kick from Alexander, and then holds him over his knees for Alexander to hit a springboard elbow drop for a two-count. King fights up and makes the tag. The ANX double-teams Alexander and Coleman has to break up a cover. All four men are in the ring. Coleman and King get dumped to the floor while Alexander and Titus battle in the ring. Alexander slams Titus down face-first and Coleman flies in with a Carolina Jam for a two-count. Coleman goes for the super rana but Titus slips out. King hits Coleman with the shotgun knees and Titus hits Alexander with the Super Sex Factor. The ANX then hit Alexander with the One Night Stand and that’s enough to get the pin at 11:56. That was a good choice for an opener and a few awkward spots aside both teams were on point. With ANX slated for a title shot it was right to have them go over but C&C certainly looked good losing here.
Veda Scott is backstage with Mike Mondo, who cuts his customarily terrible promo. Mondo challenges Richards’s claims of being the best in the world, contingent on the result of their match tonight.
MATCH #2: Davey Richards vs. Mike Mondo
They start with some chain wrestling and feel each other out, which makes sense since this is a first-time ever match. Richards is of course cocky but Mondo surprises him by matching him move for move in the early going. They go outside the ring and Richards hits (but not really) the running kick on the apron and Mondo sells it like he’s Dolph Ziggler or something. Richards kicks Mondo around ringside some more before throwing him back in the ring. He goes for a double stomp off the top rope but misses. Mondo dumps Richards to the apron and then shoulder tackles him into the barricade. That did some serious damage. Back in the ring Mondo goes to work on the perhaps injured ribs now. Richards fights back but misses a dropkick and lands hard. Mondo jackknife cradles him for a two-count. Mondo continues working the ribs. Bobby Cruise announces three minutes are left. Richards blocks a sunset flip with a hard double stomp. They slug it out with two minutes remaining. Richards lands the dropkick this time, sending Mondo to the floor. He hits a suicide dive, knocking Mondo back into the barricade. One minute remains as Richards hits a missile dropkick back in the ring. Richards kicks Mondo in the head and hits a bridging German Suplex for two. He cinches on the Ankle Lock but Mondo will not give up and the time limit officially expires at 14:50. ROH needs to fire their timekeeper. That was better than I expected and went by very quickly. Richards underestimated Mondo and Mondo made him pay for it. This is easily Mondo’s best ROH match to date.
The crowd wants five more minutes. So does Richards. Mondo refuses though, which is probably wise judging by his pronounced limp on his way to the back.
MATCH #3: Four Corner Survival Proving Ground Match – World TV Champion Roderick Strong vs. BJ Whitmer vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole
Strong and Whitmer fight in the ring while Cole and O’Reilly battle on the floor. Whitmer flies out with a dive to wipe out O’Reilly and Cole, and then Strong kicks Whitmer in the face. Back in the ring Strong covers Whitmer for two. Order is restored and O’Reilly tags himself in. O’Reilly goes to work on Whitmer. After taking some kicks Whitmer fights back with a vertical suplex and a Northern Lights Suplex. Strong breaks up the pin. Cole tags himself in and goes after O’Reilly with fervor. O’Reilly weathers the onslaught and takes Cole down. Strong tags himself in and continues the work on Cole. O’Reilly comes back in and covers Cole for a two-count. Cole and O’Reilly cross body block each other at the same time and both are down. Strong and Whitmer tag in and Whitmer is a house afire. Whitmer hits a hurricanrana off all things for a two-count. He hits a suplex combination ending in a Perfect-Plex for two. O’Reilly tags back in and trades chops with Whitmer. He hits a nice Regalplex and Strong breaks up the cover. Whitmer hits a chinbreaker but stumbles back in the corner. Cole tags in and hits a high cross body block off the top rope for two. He hits a Shining Wizard but Strong once again breaks up the pin. Strong tags in and dumps O’Reilly to the floor. He then hits Cole with a hard backbreaker for two. Strong follows with an enziguiri and the gutbuster but Whitmer breaks up the cover. Whitmer and Strong slug it out now and Whitmer hits an exploder. Referee Paul Turner has lost control. Everyone knocks someone out and all four men are down. Back on their feet Strong pairs off with Cole while O’Reilly and Whitmer fight each other. Whitmer suplexes O’Reilly over the ropes and both men tumble to the floor. Strong rolls Cole up for a two-count. He hits a superkick for two. Cole catches Strong in a crucifix pin to get the upset win at 9:58. Now Cole has a shot at the ROH TV Title. That was a fun sprint of a four-way with a result that leads to a match I want to see.
MATCH #4: “Radio Wars” Tag Team Match – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Totally Awesome
Totally Awesome is made up of Chris Silvio and Paredyse. They are accompanied by a local radio DJ named The Planet’s Reevis. The Briscoes are accompanied by another DJ named KRock’s BT. I assume those in attendance know who these guys are. Mark and Paredyse start the match. Just guess how that goes. Jay tags in and continues the abuse. Paredyse’s primary offense is doing gay stuff. Reevis pulls Jay’s leg from the floor, allowing Silvio to tag in. BT responds by doing the same to Silvio. I must say that BT is one of the trashiest looking people I’ve ever seen at an ROH show, and that covers a lot of ground. The DJs get in the ring and that leads to nothing. Paredyse and Silvio go on offense for a little bit until Silvio misses the Alabama Jam. Jay gets the hot tag and the referee loses control. Once again the DJs get involved and it’s just embarrassing for everyone. Jay hits Paredyse with a Chokeslam of all things to mercifully end this cruel game at 8:22. Let us never speak of that again.
MATCH #5: Jay Lethal vs. Michael Elgin with Truth Martini
They start slowly and Elgin shows his power advantage right away. Lethal tries using a headlock but that gets him nowhere. He starts using his quickness instead to frustrate Elgin. Lethal hits the hiptoss/dropkick combination and tries to cover but Elgin rolls to the floor. Martini tries arguing with referee Paul Turner, and even gets in the ring and challenges him to fight. Turner seems game so Martini bails. Elgin gets back in the ring and Martini grabs Lethal’s leg from the floor to distract him. Lethal tries the Lethal Injection but Elgin blasts him with a Northern Lariat instead for a two-count. Elgin is in control now and he tries to keep Lethal on the mat. He tosses Lethal to the floor and Martini takes cheap shots. Elgin goes out and throws Lethal into the barricade. He tries again but Lethal reverses it. Back in the ring Elgin hits a neckbreaker for a two-count. Elgin uses a chinlock and Lethal breaks it with a chinbreaker. Lethal tries a springboard move but Martini blocks it. He settles for a sunset flip for a two-count. Lethal gets a La Magistral cradle for two and then lands a huge superkick for another near-fall. He misses an enziguiri and Elgin hits a dead lift German Suplex with a bridge for two. Elgin is looking dominant here but Lethal fights back and hits the Lethal Combination. Lethal goes up top for Hail to the King but Roderick Strong runs out to block it while Martini distracts the referee. Elgin hits a spinning back fist and goes for the Spiral Bomb. Strong comes in the ring again, which is horrible timing and it backfires. Lethal hits the Lethal Injection to get the win at 12:16. These are two future ROH main eventers and I dig both of them. Something seemed a bit off in this match though, and the finish was designed to put heat on the H.O.T. feud rather than anything involving Lethal. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I just think Lethal and Elgin could have a better match without shenanigans.
Elgin is furious with Strong, and rightfully so. Strong looks ready to fight him. Elgin threatens to kill Strong if he makes one more mistake. Martini tries to downplay the whole thing.
Jim Cornette Confronts Kevin Steen, Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino
The unholy trio makes their way to the ring as Cornette is already irritated with them. Steen says that he is indeed Mr. Wrestling, despite Cornette’s edict that he be referred to as Wrestling’s Worst Nightmare. Apparently, last week Steen was to meet with a potential sponsor but he blew it and cost the company a bunch of money. Cornette says that he wants someone, anyone to beat Steen for the Championship. Steen says that Cornette won’t live long enough to see Steen lose the belt.
MATCH #6: ROH World Title Match – Kevin Steen vs. Eddie Edwards
Steen has been the Champion since 5.12.12, and this is his first defense. Corino joins the commentary team, which comes as a surprise to Cornette. Good thing he had a spare headset for Corino to use. Steen and Edwards start out slugging and Jacobs interferes in about 20 seconds. Edwards wipes Jacobs out with a house show dive. Back in the ring Edwards low bridges the top rope to send Steen to the floor. Edwards goes to the apron and Steen sweeps his legs out from under him. Steen goes for a whip into the barricade but Edwards reverses. Edwards kicks Steen square in the face. Steen tries the powerbomb on the apron but Edwards counters with a rana. Edwards runs at Steen but gets caught in a fallaway slam right into the barricade. They fight up the aisle, and I recall that there’s supposed to be a 20 count on the floor in ROH. The match continues on the floor, with Steen breaking all kinds of rules. Back in the ring Steen is firmly in control. Edwards keeps moving forward and fires back with punches. Steen cuts him off but then runs right into a belly-to-belly throw into the buckles. Edwards hits a running forearm and a vertical suplex. He goes up top and hits a missile dropkick for two. Steen comes back with the pumphandle neckbreaker for a two-count. Edwards knocks Steen to the floor and wipes him out with a suicide dive. Jacobs tries to check on Steen but Edwards wipes him out with a dive too! Back in the ring Steen is able to cut Edwards off with a big clothesline for two. Edwards hits the Boston Knee Party and a flapjack back suplex for two. He goes up top but misses the double stomp. Steen grabs him in a powerbomb for two and then locks on the Sharpshooter. Edwards reaches the ropes. Steen hits an Orton DDT. He tries the Cannonball but Edwards avoids it. Edwards goes up and hits the Double Stomp but Steen kicks out! Steen goes to the apron and Edwards tries the double stomp there but can’t hit it. Edwards runs at Steen but gets caught and slammed through the timekeeper’s table! Back in the ring Steen covers for two. Steen goes for the Swanton but Edwards gets his knees up. They get up and trade superkicks. Edwards hits a release German Suplex. He goes for the Chin Checker but Steen counters to a sleeper suplex. Steen then hits the F-Cinq to get the pin at 15:16. There was no chance Edwards would win the belt here but they made a go of it anyway. The final stretch was good fun.
MATCH #7: Texas Death Match, The Final Encounter – Charlie Haas vs. Jay Briscoe
This is the kind of Death Match where you have to pin your opponent first and then they have to be down for a count of ten. (51:09)Haas attacks Jay during the introductions and away we go. Jay gets a quick sunset flip for a pin at and there’s a 30 second rest period. The wrestlers don’t adhere to it. I don’t understand the rules. Why the hell is there a 30 second rest period? They take the fight to the floor, where Jay uses the ring bell to ring Haas’ bell. Haas drops Jay back-first across the barricade and rolls him into the ring for another pin. So is the 30 second rest period part of the 10 seconds they have to get up? Or does the 10 seconds start after the 30? Haas grabs Jay in a belly-to-belly suplex and scores another pin. Of course Jay gets up. Haas remains in control, working Jay over. They take it back to the floor and Haas throws Jay around. Jay must be worn out from the grueling tag match earlier in the evening. Haas produces a steel chair and Jay kicks it back into his face. Both men get back to their feet and start trading blows. Jay reels off a series of punches but Haas catches him in an Angle Slam. Unfortunately, Jay’s legs nailed referee Paul Turner in the head on the way down, and Turner cracked the back of his head on a steel chair, so there is no one to count the pin. Haas goes to the floor and starts rearranging the furniture. He tries to bring a table into the ring but Jay kicks it back in his face. Jay goes backstage and brings out a cooler filled with weapons. Of course there are also a couple of beers in the cooler, and one gets sprayed in Haas’ face. Back in the ring Jay hits a superkick. Jay sets up the table. Meanwhile Haas picks up a traffic cone and hits Jay with it to no effect. Jay hits a clothesline and sets Haas on the table. He hits a double stomp off the top rope to break the table, and he lands on Turner again. Jay sets up two chairs and a piece of fence in between them. He hits a Death Valley Driver. Jay goes outside to grab a kendo stick while Haas kicks Turner in the head to keep him down. Haas gets a hold of the stick and cracks Jay across the head with it. There is still no referee. Haas goes outside and grabs that same stuff he used at Border Wars but this time Jay avoids it. Jay cracks the stick across Haas’ head and then grabs the can and hits Haas in the head with it and gets a pin. Haas fails to answer the 10 (or 40) count so Jay gets the win at 19:23. There’s a reason no one does original Texas Death Match rules anymore – they’re stupid. I’ve long stopped caring about the Briscoes versus WGTT so this match did nothing for me.
The Pulse: This is one of those shows that I’m surprised wasn’t combined with another show in a two-pack, or just shown on TV. The main event was not so interesting, and the Radio Wars match was brutal. The rest of the show was pretty solid actually, but nothing all that memorable or worth going out of your way to see. If you’re a completist like me, you can purchase this show at the ROH Shop.