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Ring of Honor - Feb 23, 2013

by SamoaRowe

-From Baltimore, MD. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer.

-ROH World Champion Kevin Steen comes to the ring. Steen says that ROH has gone through quite a bit of change over the past few years. When he won the title last year, he wasn’t proud to be champion and wanted to kill ROH (due to Jim Cornette’s leadership). Now that Cornette is gone, Steen feels the company is exactly what it should be: pro wrestling. Steen finds himself caring about ROH again and is proud to be champion. Jay Lethal got rid of Cornette, so that’s why he’s getting a title shot. Steen proclaims that Lethal simply cannot beat him.

-We hear from Matt Taven and Tadarius Thomas, who will be facing one another in the finals of the Top Prospect tournament. Both men are in similar positions and it looks as though they’re attempting to make their names against each other.

Top Prospect Finals:
Matt Taven vs. Tadarius Thomas

The winner gets a shot at Adam Cole’s TV title at the 11th Anniversary I-PPV. Taven scores first with a drop-kick. Thomas connects with his patented kicks. Thomas rolls through a springboard cross body. Spin wheel kick by Taven gets a 2 count. Truth Martini shows up at ringside, apparently scouting the talent. Taven delivers a backbreaker, gut buster combo. Suplex by Taven and a springboard somersault senton gets 2. Thomas builds some steam but Taven rolls into an enziguri. Truth trips Taven, allowing Thomas to nail a clothesline. Hangmen clothesline by Thomas. Taven kicks out of the Dragon Suplex. Taven accidentally knocks the ref out with a high kick. Martini tosses a boot to Thomas, who doesn’t seem interested in using it. Taven decides to use the boot but misses a swing. Martini clocks Thomas with the Book of Truth and Taven gains the pinfall at 8:30. That was a nice swerve. The match was lacking heat, but the finish gives some much-needed direction to both participants, **½.
Winner: Matt Taven

-Taven doesn’t seem to want anything to do with Martini, but Truth whispers something in his ear. Taven has a change of heart and shakes hands with Martini. This pairing has a lot of potential. If they were going to align either Taven or Thomas with Truth, I’m glad they went with Taven, as Thomas is just such a natural baby face.

-No Inside Ring of Honor this week, just a bunch of hard-sell promos!

-Charlie Haas doesn’t think BJ Whitmer is going to make it to the 11th Anniversary Show after what he did to him in the parking lot. -Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander are ready for SCUM. Coleman is an awesome talker, he’ll make a great manager someday.

-The American Wolves proclaim to be the best tag team in America. They have the team of Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov at the I-PPV and will show no remorse.

-Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish aren’t impressed that the Briscoes are the most decorated team in ROH history. 2013 will be their year and plan on making the Briscoes’ 8th reign disappointingly short. Fish warns Mark not to bring any Redneck Kung Fu crap to Chicago.

-Michael Elgin says Roderick Strong has picked a fight he cannot win.

-Jay Lethal says he has Kevin Steen’s number. The 11th Anniversary Show will be their defining moment. These rapid fire promos have really elevated my interest in the I-PPV.

-Jay Lethal comes to the ring for a promo. Lethal thinks it’s great that Steen has had an apparent change of heart, but he’s not buying it. Jay knows that Steen is a master of mind games and vows to not suffer the same fate that Davey Richards did. Whatever happens at the I-PPV, one of them will be added to the list of great ROH champions. Lethal knows he can win because Steen is convinced he can’t. Good promo here.

-Veda Scott interviews Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish. Strong plans on exposing Michael Elgin as breakable. O’Reilly and Fish are tired of the American Wolves running their mouths.

-The Briscoes join commentary for the main event. Mark Briscoes has the world’s greatest beard.

Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish vs. Michael Elgin, Davey Richards, and Eddie Edwards

The good guys clear the ring as the bell rings and brawl breaks out on the floor. The referee tries to restore order as we head to commercial. After the break, Bobby Fish is getting triple teamed in the ring. Elgin delivers a delayed vertical suplex and the Wolves prevent a save. O’Reilly kicks Richards from the apron, allowing Fish to land some offense. Davey finds himself isolated as the bad guys make quick tags. Davey is in big trouble as they take a second commercial break. After the break, Davey fights off a double team to make the hot tag to Edwards. Rapid fire chops to the chest of Bobby Fish. Eddie knocks O’Reilly off the apron and lands a running kick on Fish. Strong plants Eddie with a Falcon Arrow. Strong and Edwards trade counters and throw some chops. The Wolves dump O’Reilly and Fish and deliver stereo suicide dives! Elgin made a blind tag and unloads on Strong. Spinning sidewalk slam by Elgin gets a 2 count. O’Reilly goes for a sleeper, but Elgin delivers a suplex on Strong anyway! Double stomp by Edwards and Elgin’s power slam would have finished Strong but he’s saved. Elgin finds himself alone and suffers Total Elimination from O’Reilly and Fish. The Wolves make the save. Strong nails a double knee backbreaker on Richards. Roderick delivers a flurry of offense, including the Sick Kick, but cannot put Elgin away. Another double knee backbreaker finishes Elgin at 14:53 (shown). This showcased some great athletic work and creativity, and managed to add fuel to the Strong/Elgin rivalry, ***¾.
Winners: Roderick Strong, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish

Final Thoughts: Fantastic show this week. There was no filler, a lot of very well delivered mic work, and some great in-ring action. Big thumbs up.

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