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Ring of Honor - March 3, 2012
-From Baltimore, MD. Our hosts are Nigel McGuinness and Kevin Kelly, who are buzzing about tonight’s main event of Roderick Strong vs. Eddie Edwards for a ROH title shot at Showdown in the Sun.
-Backstage interview with Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis. Bennett claims that Lance Storm has no respect for ROH wrestlers. He looks forward to putting down a legend and then hitting the town with his girl.
-TJ Perkins feels insulted that when Bennett was asked for comments about his match, all he talked about was Lance Storm. Perkins promises to make Bennett look so bad that he gets the “you can’t wrestle” chants. Nobody knows when they’re about to be struck by lightning until it’s too late.
TJ Perkins vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis and Brutal Bob)
I love the heel heat Bennett earns just by making out with his girlfriend. Bennett and Perkins lock up with Bennett scoring a pair of takedowns. Perkins quickens the pace, scoring with a sunset flip. Perkins does a hand stand in the corner to lure Bennett into a takedown. Perkins hangs in the ropes to trick Bennett into tumbling to ringside. Maria distracts on the apron, allowing Brutal Bob to trip Perkins. The Prodigy takes control, slowing things to wear down his opponent. Perkins rebounds with a somersault leg drop to the apron. Perkins dives onto both Bennett and Brutal Bob! Sit-out power bomb by Perkins only gets 2! They trade pinning predicaments. Perkins locks on his modified STF. Maria pulls Bennett into the ropes but accidentally gets pulled into the ring. The distraction allows Bennett to nail a TKO for the win at 6:23. They’ve done a nice job building up Bennett as an upper midcard threat, but at some point they need to start building Perkins too. Solid effort here.
Winner: Mike Bennett
-Veda Scott interviews Tommaso Ciampa and The Embassy Ltd. Ciampa says nothing is on the line for him at the 10th Anniversary Show. He says that Jay Lethal has everything to lose, because his health, career, and title will be in Ciampa’s hands. He will be the only undefeated champion in ROH history.
Guy Alexander vs. Tommaso Ciampa (with The Embassy Ltd.)
The visual of Ciampa posing in the ring while R.D. Evans applauds frenetically and Prince Nana and Princess Mia make out is great heat-seeking material. The match starts with Ciampa rejecting a handshake and delivering a hard suplex. Ciampa goes right to work on the recently surgically repaired back of Alexander. Ciampa violently thrashes Alexander around the ringside area, bouncing off the ring frame and guard rail. Repeated running knee strikes by Ciampa. Alexander is out cold and the match is called off at 2:33. Yet another good squash match for Ciampa, he looked like a true threat heading into his TV title match against Jay Lethal.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
-Kevin Kelly hosts Inside Ring of Honor! This is the hard sell for the 10th Anniversary Show iPPV. ROH Tag Team Champions Jay and Mark Briscoe talk some trash about the Young Bucks. The last thing they are going to do is lose their titles in NYC.
-Kevin Steen is wearing a party hat to celebrate the 10th anniversary of ROH. He can’t think of a better person to celebrate with than Jimmy Jacobs. They’re going to celebrate like no other, letting the blood flow.
-Kelly turns attention to Showdown with the Sun weekend. He says that Lance Storm called ROH officials and requested a match with Mike Bennett, feeling that someone must teach him respect.
-Also on tap for the weekend, The Young Bucks will face The All Night Express in a “Dual Duel” meaning they will wrestle at both shows. Kenny King and Rhett Titus are looking for revenge after what the Bucks did to Titus at Final Battle. The ANX want a street fight and the Bucks want a tornado tag, so both teams will be getting their wish.
-Kelly says that both the 10th Anniversary Show and Showdown in the Sun will feature wrestlers from the “underground” promotion of CHIKARA. Cool!
Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini) vs. “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards
The winner of this match will face ROH World Champion Davey Richards at Showdown in the Sun. They start things slowly, with a couple of clean breaks. Eddie outmaneuvers Strong and lands an arm drag into an armlock. Strong pulls the hair and gets a forced break. Leg lariat by Strong, who takes control. Eddie puts Strong in the tree of woe for his signature running drop-kicks! Roderick rebounds, going to work on Edwards’ ankle. Eddie responds with a back suplex. Eddie is in the driver’s seat heading into a commercial. During the break, Roderick managed to retake control when Truth Martini pulled the ropes to make Eddie fall to the floor. Strong has a field day dismantling Edwards in semi-legal fashion. Edwards nails a desperate overhead suplex. Fisherman Buster by Eddie gets 2. Codebreaker by Eddie gains another near fall. Strong counters a Backpack chin breaker and flings Edwards onto the ropes! Hard backbreaker and gut buster by Strong isn’t enough. Edwards counters with a hurricanrana off the ropes. Backpack chin breaker connects! Roderick breaks the Boston crab but can’t follow up. Martini prevents Edwards’ double stomp, prompting Adam Cole to run out and drop Martini with a super kick. Michael Elgin runs out to attack Cole, so Edwards wipes him out with a suicide dive. Roderick wraps something around his boot and delivers the Sick Kick for the win at 15:50 (shown). Referee Paul Turner runs out and argues with referee Todd Sinclair over the outcome. Edwards is back up and nails Die Hard on Strong, wiping out Sinclair in the process. Turner counts to three and calls for the bell in Edwards’ favor. Jim Cornette comes to the ring and basically calls the match a draw, saying Davey Richards will have to defend the title against both men. The match itself was the typical “American hard style” main event that ROH puts on these days, minus the clean finish you’d get from an iPPV or big DVD taping, ***½.
Final Thoughts: The finish to the main event was something straight out of TNA and ROH needs to avoid going to that well. If they wanted both Edwards and Strong to challenge for the title, there were other ways to get to that result without resorting to arguing referees. I’m also starting to get a little worn out of Bennett and Ciampa just winning squashes or short matches week in and week out. I feel like both of them have gone as far as they can with that formula and desperately need to take another step and get a real feud they can sink their teeth into. Otherwise, this show was enjoyable enough, it was just stuck in a hard position of trying to “go home” for the 10th Anniversary Show while also keeping the ball rolling for the Showdown in the Sun weekend that’s less than a month away. Thumbs in the middle.
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