Ring of Honor Report for 6/22

 
Ring of Honor is building to a major iPPV weekend in Baltimore this coming Saturday. The results of “Best in the World” and the following night’s TV tapings will have long-lasting results for the future of the company, as the battle between ROH and S.C.U.M. finally comes to ahead. The best way to keep everyone up-to-date on ROH is to go through the “Best in the World” lineup match by match.
Briscoe Brothers

ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

Mark Briscoe vs. Jay Briscoe (c)

The 8-TIME ROH Tag Team Champions will battle, just miles from their Sandy Hook, WV hometown with the World Championship on the line, and the entire Briscoe clan will be there. When Jay won the title, restoring Honor to ROH by defeating Kevin Steen a couple months ago, a line of competition came up right behind him. At the last iPPV Jay defeated Adam Cole and battled both members of The American Wolves. After putting back the challenges of both Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, Both of whom are former World Champs themselves, Jay had a particularly vicious title match on RoH Road Rage against veteran “The Buzzsaw” B.J. Whitmer. The televised match featured Whitmer taking another bad bump, going neck-first through a table. He took, a similarly bad bump several months back, and his neck needs surgery.After this sibling rivalry match is done, if won’t get any easier for the winner. All signs are pointing to Matt Hardy getting the title shot that was given to a S.C.U.M. member of Steve Corino’s choice, this following Jimmy Jacobs and Cliff Compton defeating Kevin Steen and Michael Elgin at Final Battle last month. (Kevin Steen became a replacement after Lethal’s knee injury).

ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

S.C.U.M. (Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton) vs.
C&C WRESTLING FACTORY vs. reDRagon

C&C Wrestling Factory is the team of Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander, a very talented, high-flying team that’s a mix of youth and experience. They earned a Tag Team Title match against the champs, the great heel team of Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish who call themselves “reDRagon” by winning a triple-threat match on TV a few weeks back. Last week, S.C.U.M. mastermind Steve Corino called out Matchmaker Nigel McGuiness, and among his many complaints was that  S.C.U.M. wasn’t represented in the #1 Contender Matches on the aforementioned show (which also featured a TV Title #1 contender match), and he insisted that Titus and Compton deserved a tag title shot, as they defeated C&C weeks earlier. Well, Corino got what he wanted, and now it’s a Triple Threat Match, for the Titles.

ROH WORLD TV CHAMPIONSHIP

“THE ZOMBIE PRINCESS” JIMMY JACOBS vs. JAY LETHAL
vs. MATT TAVEN w/Truth Martini

taven_imagesOne of Corino’s other complaints was Jimmy Jacobs not being involved in the #1 Contender’s match for the World TV Championship. The belt is currently held by Matt Taven, the very young newcomer who won it shortly after winning the Top Prospect Tournament. Following the victory, Taven attained the services of Truth Martini, who’s in the process of rebuilding and re-branding his House of Truth. Taven has been showing up to the ring with the TV title in his wrestling tights, pulling it out as phallic-like as possible (Hopefully he’s stopped that), and Martini has been coming to the ring in a half-open robe Hugh Hefner-style, bringing what he calls his Hoopla Hotties with him to the ring. Martini seems to have replaced the Truth with something he calls Hoopla, and a suave party-er shtick. Jimmy Jacobs, the 5-Time ROH Tag Team Champ and one of S.C.U.M.’s original members, defeated Jay Lethal, also on TV, before Lethal won his #1 Contender, triple-threat match, and after Corino’s complaining, he also, is now in the match.

GRUDGE MATCH

“MR. WRESTLING” KEVIN STEEN vs. MATT HARDY

Yes, before Matt Hardy gets his Title Shot, the new golden child of Steve Corino, takes on the old one.

The origin of S.C.U.M. begins with Kevin Steen, who came back to ROH after a year absent after being kicked out of the company, he began dominating the competition and pissing off then-matchmaker Jim Cornette. After winning the ROH Title from Davey Richards, Steen, along with Jacobs and Corino, went on a 10-Month reign of terror on ROH, determined to put the company out of business. However, shortly after Stein’s brutal title match with his old friend El Generico, Cornette left the company. At that point, the powers-that-be put Nigel McGuiness in charge, and it’s at this time that Steen began having a change-of-heart about S.C.U.M. The group grew, adding RHINO, who some may remember Corino brought into wrestling back in ECW. Then at the 11th Anniversary iPPV, after Steen defeated Jay Lethal, more members of S.C.U.M. emerged, as an N.W.O.-like swerve was revealed. Cliff Compton and Jimmy Rave made surprise ROH returns as members of S.C.U.M., Rhett Titus, turned on his tag team partner B.J. Whitmer, to join S.C.U.M., and the final member reveal was Matt Hardy. Since then, it’s been Hardy who Corino has been deeming everything from the chosen one to his spiritual son. (Corino, playing up his “God Complex” angle too)
Steen, after losing the World Title to Jay Briscoe, was done as a member of S.C.U.M. In particular, he had a problem with Matt Hardy not only joining the group, but being the focus of Corino’s attention (and affections). Depending on who you ask, Steen either left or was kicked out of S.C.U.M. Not trusted by ROH, Steen is determined to prove his loyalty by defeating all the members of S.C.U.M. one-by-one. They just aired a particularly violent No DQ match he won against Jimmy Jacobs, which included among other things, a pinfall victory via Steen’s packaged piledriver finisher onto a section of the guardrail that was thrown into the ring. Steen has also been defeating others on the road, but now, he’s finally getting Matt Hardy in what’s been deemed a Grudge Match.
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Matt Hardy recorded a funny anti-bullying piece/parody recently, playing up this S.C.U.M. angle, that’s worth looking for on youtube, so check that out.

RODERICK STRONG vs. ADAM COLE

Cole’s first match with the ROH Triple Crown winner, resulted in Cole winning the World TV Title, his first title ever, in what was the last time a title changed hands on regular ROH TV, over a year ago. Strong has been, more erratic with his wins and losses since leaving the House of Truth back in December, but Cole’s behavior has been really erratic. Many fear/wonder if he’s considering joining S.C.U.M. (He remains good friends with Steve Corino, outside the ring) and there’s been some mixed signals in his behavior, including accidentally forgetting to shake hands with Strong, after a match in Texas earlier this month. The match is very intriguing as both a rivalry, as we still worry on where Adam Cole’s mindset currently is.

SPECIAL CHALLENGE MATCH

“UNBREAKABLE” MICHAEL ELGIN vs. “SICILIAN PSYCHOPATH” TOMMASO CIAMPA

Tommaso Ciampa’s surprise return from a devastating knee injury caught everyone off guard recently, particularly his former manager, the Barrister, RD Evans, who dumped him after the injury for “God’s Gift” QT Marshall (Pronounced Mar-Sh-Al, long A, as in “I shall…”). Ciampa’s return was big, not only in his recovery, but also in production. The “Sicilian Psychopath” was given the best theme music, and the best ring entrance of all the roster on his return, and he got his revenge on Marshall and Evans (Although they’ve signed to meet at the TV taping, the day after Best in the World) However, he set his sights big, by going after the official #1 Contender for the ROH World Title, Michael Elgin. The two men, are big and powerful, and surprisingly mobile. Ciampa’s back, and wants a shot at the best. Elgin, has been putting off his #1 Contender Match, to take care of, not only all-comers, but also to rid ROH of S.C.U.M. He’s had a few high-profile losses coming into this match, but even a good performance from Ciampa, puts him in the thick of the World Title picture. It’s their first meeting, there’s respect between them, but everyone’s expecting a great match out of this.

THE AMERICAN WOLVES vs. Adrenalin RUSH

The Wolves, Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, take on the hot, young tag team of Capoeira expert Tadarius Thomas, and the high-flyer from Dallas, Texas known as ACH, now officially called Adrenaline RUSH, and there’s no tougher challenge, for them to prove themselves, than the American Wolves, to see just how good they are or can be.BJ WHITMER vs. “THE PRODIGY” MIKE BENNETT w/Maria Kanellis
Those are the matches, signed so far, for the ippv, but there’s one more match signed, for the TV Tapings, and it’s a major one. The last request/demand by Steve Corino, a one-match, winner-take-all battle, S.C.U.M. vs. ROH, 4-on-4 in STEEL CAGE WARFARE. There’s only been three other STEEL CAGE WARFARE matches, previously, and this one, will be on regular TV, for the first time. Remember this is the same day Matt Hardy gets his World Title Shot, which is important enough, but the stipulations for Steel Cage Warfare, are huge. If Team ROH wins, Corino and S.C.U.M, are gone, Corino must apologize for his actions, and his future in ROH, is at the whim of Nigel McGuiness. However, if S.C.U.M. wins, Corino gets McGuiness’s job as ROH matchmaker, and McGuiness would be out of ROH. Major implication, across the board, and just announced, the lineup for each team.

STEEL CAGE WARFARE (TV TAPING)

TEAM ROH       vs.             S.C.U.M.
Michael Elgin   vs             Jimmy Jacobs
Jay Lethal          vs            Rhett Titus
BJ Whitmer       vs            Cliff Compton
RHINO                 vs           Winner of Briscoe vs. Briscoe at B.I.T.W.
So this Cage match, and the Matt Hardy Title Match, on TV, basically determine the future of ROH. At least, storyline-wise. I’m really not sure what’s going to happen. On the one hand, I’m a little tired of the S.C.U.M. gimmick personally, and Corino, while great on the mike, can still be somewhat frustrating to have to sit through when in character, but on the other hand, if they’re gonna go with it, they might as well go all in, at this point. Both scenarios seem to make sense to me. This could be the conclusion of the storyline started during Jim Cornette’s run, and have it continued, or it could be, new booker, Hunter Johnson (aka Delirious), finally pushing this storyline, to its appropriate end, so he can lead the rest of the year, beginning whatever storylines he wants to push.
Either way, a very intriguing weekend for ROH, so ippv, “Best in the World” again, is on Saturday night, the 22nd, and the TV tapings, the next day, they’ll be airing on Sinclair stations next month, check your local listings if they’re in your area. This week’s TV airing, is a tribute to the Briscoes by the way, that should be good to. Basically, you turn on ROH, nine times out of ten, you get the best pro wrestling on TV, and the tenth time, is that rare fluke where, one of the other organizations, accidentally had some good matches. That what you get normally, now you’re getting it, with the major climax story-wise, occurring this upcoming weekend.
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