–We’re back into new matches this time around, although at this point this particular taping is getting close to a month old. Tonight we have some fallout from Best in the World: Hostage Crisis, and “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett pairs up with his trainer, Brutal Bob Evans, to take on “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole. Plus, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team is in action, and Jim Cornette chooses a challenger for Kevin Steen’s ROH Championship.
–The tag match kicks us off, as Bennett and Evans make their way to the ring, and Bennett and Maria do the uncomfortably long make out session. This taping must have signaled the upgrade in camera quality because the show looks significantly better. I’d still love it if their camera people learned not to point the lens directly at the spotlights, but that’s been going on for a long time in ROH. Close ups on the crowd show a few “Don’t Touch Maria” signs (including one from Jushin Liger Guy, in a new Liger outfit! The other one must have stank to high hell). While I agree with the sentiment, if you make that a part of her heel gimmick it’s just going to have the opposite effect and people might try to grab her ass even more. ROH Security needs to step their game up. It should go without saying that you’re not at a fucking tittie bar, just because there’s a hot woman in front of you doesn’t give you the right to grope her you sweaty little virgins. That goes double for all the plankton that harassed the poor woman on Twitter about it. Anyway, pardon my rant. Good to see them propping up the loose teaming of Edwards and Cole still. They work well together, and they can serve in each others feuds. Anyhoo, there wasn’t much to this match but it flowed nicely. They still insist on trying to make Brutal Bob look like a real wrestler, and I guess it make sense, since he’s bigger than a lot of the wrestlers they have. Cole looked great, Eddie chopped hard, the other two just kept up. The ending saw Cole hit his flying crossbody for the surprise win. Afterward he was jumped by the heels, and took Maria’s high heeled boot to the face. Surprisingly, it was broken up by none other than Sara Del Ray, who tore into Maria and latched on an ankle lock. They must have caught her right before she signed her developmental deal. I dunno if they managed to actually film a blowoff to that or not, otherwise it was just a random thing that happened. Nothing you can’t miss here, but it blew through 12 minutes pretty easily.
–I’m gonna mention Inside ROH, because it started with a Viewer Discretion warning (which always makes me think of George Carlin: “If viewers had any fuckin’ discretion, half this shit wouldn’t be on TV”). They proceeded to show clips of the vicious Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly match from BitW, which resulted in Cole’s front teeth being knocked loose and causing him to gush blood all over the place. For some reason, after all that falderall about Viewer Discretion, they not only cut to black & white, but they blurred his mouth out for any face-forward shots. I still fail to understand the logic behind showing someone the violence that would cause someone to bleed, but being all squeamish about the actual plasma itself. Who is that protecting? Kids? What kid hasn’t seen blood by the time they’re above kindergarten age? And how many kids are watching friggin ROH? I don’t understand the anti-blood bias.
–Next we get an extended clip from BitW showing the conclusion of the All Night Express vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team match. We then launch into a WGTT vs. Fusion DS match, Fusion DS being some nobodies named Damien Dragon and Pat Saigon. No mention is made of the Kenny King situation. This was just a quick squash match, where Charlie did the lion’s share of the work, and ended with an Olympic Slam on Saigon. Dragon looked like he was making a run-in for the finish, and the ref actually stopped before the final count but then called for the bell anyway. Someone fucked up the timing there. Regardless, nothing worth seeking out. Afterward, Haas (why? Why fucking Haas and not Benjamin? Whoever thinks Charlie Haas is better on the mic in that team has a real funny idea of what “charisma” is. Or is just racist.) calls out ANX for next week. Uhhh…. I haven’t read the spoilers so I don’t know how that situation resolves, but I’m wondering where they’re going with it. Because otherwise they just spent a lot of time hyping someone who is not going to be there, and they had ample time to edit that out.
–Finally, Jim Cornette is in the locker room with the lovely Veda Scott, as he is yet to pick who he’d like Steen to face. Mike Mondo enters the locker room and makes a passionate plea to Cornette to be the guy, and Cornette seems impressed with his moxie and grants him the match. Oh fuck.
–But first! A Mike Mondo vignette! Oh. Fuck.
–And then! A cut to the crowd doing dueling “Let’s Go Mondo” “Mondo Sucks!” chants. Jesus shit, there were enough people to actually chant for Mike Mondo? Fuck you, Baltimore. Steen enters with Jacobs in tow and Corino on commentary, and brings up Mondo’s non-win against Davey Richards, and declares that they aren’t going to call Mondo “No Fear” after tonight, they’re gonna call him “No Pulse”. Then the match starts…..and Steen fucking sells for Mike Mondo! OH FUCK! Those are not happy Oh Fucks! I know, Mondo was Cornette’s lil’ buddy in OVW, and he’s got good abs and he’s tried all so hard to be such a great wrestler. The fact of the matter is, he’s one dimensional, and I’m ASTOUNDED that Kevin FUCKING Steen, who doesn’t sell for or give offense to ANYBODY, is that invested in letting Mike Mondo get over. So Mondo has Steen against the guard rail and proceeds to continually run and hit him with shoulder blocks, showing how many different tricks he has in his bag. Steen turns it around with a powerbomb onto a piece of guardrail, and when the action spills back into the ring, he grabs a mic and repeats the “No Pulse” line. Mondo makes the babyface comeback, with Steen selling every hit on the mic, and actually gets “Let’s Go Mondo” chants with no dueling answer. So apparently he’s a babyface now? Why? What does anyone see in this guy? He’s small, he wrestles like Drew McIntyre, he rips off Crash Holly’s gimmick except he’s even worse on the mic and yells all his promos, and he has a stupid haircut. He’s really going to be a main eventer in ROH? The guy is such damaged goods that he’s wrestled in main event level WWE matches against Shawn Michaels and HHH and yet no one even knows who he is if he isn’t wearing a cheerleader outfit. Dolph Ziggler he’s not. Anyway, he makes a number of brief comebacks, all of which Steen cuts off, but in general Steen is putting Mondo over huge. Considering how little he gave to way more deserving guys like Jay Lethal and Adam Cole, I’m a little offended here. Finally, the F-Cinq ends it (and Mondo does the one thing worth mentioning and sells it by folding backward) and Steen celebrates by letting Jimmy Jacobs get his licks in, until CHIKARA Grand Champion Eddie Kingston makes the run in and ends the show in a pull-apart with Steen, to further their lightly ongoing feud.
–Fucking Mike Mondo. Are you kidding me? Even if you weren’t, Mike Bennett and Brutal Bob, plus Charlie Haas with a microphone in his hand (although Charlie in the ring is A-Ok with me) while Shelton does not have one? Hard to recommend, although I will say despite the fact that I had major issues with who was getting the pushes on this one, the pacing was great and everything flowed along really well. So I’d recommend checking it out, even though the guys getting the rub are not the future of ROH. But don’t take my increasingly bitter word for it, go to ROHwrestling.com and check it out for yourself.