Ring of Honor Review: Steen Beats Kingston to End Disappointing Boiling Point
“Although the Boiling Point card seems far from their best of the year, I doubt it would be a disappointing show.”
These famous words were my own, written a few days before Boiling Point in review of the go-home show of Ring of Honor Wrestling.
My feelings on Boiling Point can be summarized by my working title: "Yeah, So That Happened."
I try very hard to stay positive and enjoy whatever ROH or WWE gives me, but between the lukewarm build and the lukewarm wrestling, Boiling Point is the first Ring of Honor pay-per-view I cannot recommend.
This one’s going to get negative, so I apologize in advance. If it gets to be too much, think of a box of kittens before clicking “Next.”
Thumbs Up: Roderick Strong vs. Mike Mondo
This was a big match for Mike Mondo. ROH brass seems to be high on “No Fear,” but Mondo did not impress at Best in the World.
Things started off poorly when miscommunication on a headbutt led to a bloody nose for Roderick Strong. The match got stiff in a hurry after that.
We were treated to some great back and forth action until a flurry of reverses and near falls ended with a Sick Kick and a victory for Roderick Strong.
This was a great, high-energy opener and Roderick Strong continues to look good headed into his inevitable feud with Michael Elgin.
Thumbs Down: Matt Taven vs. QT Marshall vs. Antonio Thomas vs. Vinny Marseglia
Before the match began, it was announced that the winner would receive a Ring of Honor contract, leading me to believe that Matt Taven was finally getting the call-up after several impressive ROH matches.
All four adhered to the Code of Honor, but heels Marshall and Thomas threw in some attitude. This is why the Code of Honor is the best convention in all of wrestling. There is no better way to get an immediate feel for the personality and persona of a competitor.
However, the match was more than a little sloppy and managed to lose most of the crowd by the end.
QT Marshall won the ROH contract by pinning Taven with a Burning Hammer variant.
I’d look for Marshall to get into the mix fairly quickly, especially with what seems like a depleted roster. I still think Taven is the better wrestler and would be a better fit, but I’m happy to see how Marshall does before passing judgment.
Thumbs Down: Adam Cole vs. Bob Evans in a Proving Ground Match
I’ll be blunt: This was a wasted match. Bob Evans should not be wrestling in a Ring of Honor pay-per-view under any circumstances.
Davey Richards is out for revenge. Rhino wants to make a name for himself. Matt Taven answers an open challenge to prove himself to ROH officials. Coleman or Alexander or Perkins participate in a throwaway title match.
All of these were better options than making me pay money to see Brutal Bob wrestle.
Surprisingly, the crowd was solidly behind Brutal Bob and his assortment of body slams; at least until it became obvious that he wasn’t very good. Then the crowd fell silent.
Adam Cole is best when wrestling from behind, but Brutal Bob is not convincing enough to dominate Cole. Nevertheless, Cole came back, winning with a figure-four leg-lock.
This match was awkward and uncomfortable. It should not have been a match at all.
If it accomplished anything in setting up a Cole/Bennett feud, that could have been done when I wasn’t paying to see it.
To top it off, Mike Bennett and Maria attacked Cole for several seconds until Eddie Edwards and Sara Del Rey chased them off in the most useless post-match shenanigans of all time.
Thumbs Up: Michael Elgin vs. Charlie Haas
Roderick Strong barged in front of Michael Elgin as the House of Truth came down the ramp and all I could think was “Awwww, business is about to pick up.”
Before the match, Truth Martini announced that Rhino will face the ROH Champion at Death Before Dishonor and Elgin will get an ROH Championship match at Glory by Honor.
All of this led to Roderick Strong going on strike from the House of Truth to protest Truth’s failed promise of a title shot of his own.
Elgin dominated Charlie Haas until Strong came back out with a case of beer, distracting Elgin. Haas targeted Elgin’s leg, reducing him to “face in peril” until Elgin made his comeback.
I am having a hard time buying every heel suddenly manhandling Elgin. I would like to see him retain some of his dominance throughout his face run.
Thankfully, Haas is enough of a technician that it worked anyways.
Stone Cold Steve Austin would have been jealous of the finish. Haas and Strong shared a beer before Elgin speared Haas, pinning Strong against the guardrail.
Elgin and Haas grappled until Strong came back, spraying beer in Elgin’s face. Haas rolled up Elgin, stealing the win.
It looks like we will see a House of Truth feud while Rhino challenges Kevin Steen. Hopefully, the drama in the House of Truth doesn’t overshadow Elgin’s well-deserved title shot.
Thumbs Up: Roderick Strong V2
Roderick Strong as a cocky heel never took hold for me.
Strong never seems at ease in front of a camera, and being at ease at all times seems like a prerequisite for cockiness.
I am all for his new, bratty persona. Strong is acting like a spoiled, petulant child, throwing fits and seeking attention after his parents bring his new sibling home from the hospital.
I have been nothing but apathetic towards Strong, but I am starting to hate his character and I love it.
Thumbs Up: RIP Kenny King
Truth Martini mentioned that a tag team tournament will be held with the new champions being crowned at Death Before Dishonor.
Shortly after winning the ROH Tag Team Championship at Best in the World, Kenny King showed up on TNA Impact. Ring of Honor vacated the tag team titles and a previously taped angle with Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team was dropped.
Even though I am saddened that the All Night Express has ended, I am thrilled for Kenny King. He is a phenomenal talent who is going to be X Division champion in the near future and a main event talent not long after.
I have heard great things about TNA recently. Who knows? Maybe this will be enough to get me to finally start watching.
In any case, I wish him all the best.
Thumbs Down: The Briscoes vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Steve Corino (Team SCUM)
Before the match, we were shown a house show in Milwaukee, WI, where one of the Briscoes jumped off of the balcony to put Kevin Steen through a table, defeating Team SCUM.
In what could have been a preview of the tag team tournament finals, the Briscoes and SCUM put on a fun, fast-paced match. Both teams took turns controlling the action and executing some near falls before the Briscoes won with a Doomsday Device.
The match was good, but there was no reason to care. In fact, Kevin Kelly kept talking about a six-man cage match at a house show somewhere.
I’m pretty sure your house shows are supposed to promote your pay-per-views, not the other way around.
Thumbs Up: Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match
I love 2-out-of-3 Falls matches. They are usually close, hard fought contests that involve an intriguing in-ring story.
Will the hero or villain pick up the first fall? Will the heel bash their face with a chair to sacrifice a fall, but gain an advantage? There’s so many different stories that can be told with this format.
In fact, the Daniel Bryan/Sheamus match from Extreme Rules is probably my favorite WWE match from 2012.
Jay Lethal and Tommaso Ciampa stole the show on night one of Showdown in the Sun, but there was absolutely no build for this match. It seemed like they threw this together while the Embassy’s collusion angle plays out.
Unfortunately, Ciampa tweaked his knee in the opening minutes of the match. Lethal immediately hit a Lethal Injection and Lethal Combination for the first fall.
Somewhere, Ryback got jealous.
Ciampa battled through the injury, with Lethal firmly in control of the entirety of the match. However, Ciampa surprised Lethal with a jumping knee and a one-kneed Project Ciampa to tie the series.
It looked like Ciampa was going to steal the match after a low blow. However, Prince Nana attacked R.D. Evans, allowing Lethal to return the favor to a distracted Ciampa. A Lethal Injection later, Jay Lethal won the deciding fall.
I get the feeling Ciampa’s knee changed the story of the match. I can only speculate on what the theme would have been, although I doubt the face would have been in control for the whole thing.
The match was slower and shorter than it would have been without Ciampa’s injury, but it was still engrossing. Signature moves, nineteen counts, finishers, and near falls: This was the match of night by a long shot.
Thumbs Down: RIP Tomasso Ciampa’s Knee
Tommaso Ciampa is a beast.
He was in obvious pain throughout the match, favoring his left leg heavily. And it wasn’t in the CM Punk “my side hurts until I hit this elbow drop” sort of way.
Despite what turned out to be a slight ACL tear, Ciampa still finished the match. Hopefully, his knee isn’t too badly injured and we can see the resolution of this collusion storyline.
Thumbs Down: Eddie Edwards and Sara Del Rey vs. Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis
Although I was excited to see Sara Del Rey, I wasn’t given a reason to care. Edwards and Del Rey clearing the ring of Bennett and his gang a few times wasn’t enough for me to invest in this match.
I was about to complement Ring of Honor for using the mixed tag rules to further develop Bennett as a bad guy and Edwards as a man of honor. Then, Edwards unceremoniously shoved Maria to the ground after catching a kick.
The match took a turn for the worse when Maria tried to escape under the ring. Sara pursued, coming back out with a facsimile of Maria’s top. A distracted Bennett was defeated soon after.
The finish was too campy for my tastes and Maria’s involvement detracted from what could have been a solid wrestling match.
That this match received second billing should tell you a lot about the depth of this card.
Thumbs Down: Forgone Conclusions
All night, everyone assumed Kevin Steen would retain his ROH Championship. Truth Martini kept talking about Rhino and Michael Elgin facing Steen at upcoming shows.
Don’t talk about what will happen for the rest of the year. We’re not adolescents shouting “Let’s go, Cena!” or laughing at whatever drivel comes out of The Rock these days.
We can put two and two together and they add up to a main event devoid of suspense.
Thumbs Down: Kevin Steen vs. Eddie Kingston for the ROH Championship
Before the match began, Jim Cornette added an Anything Goes stipulation. Eddie Kingston seemed overjoyed and promptly disposed of Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs.
Even with the removal of Steen’s lackeys, it was difficult to shake the feeling of another overbooked finish.
It seemed as though a Steen power-bomb through the underside of a table had legitimately injured Kingston. However, he re-entered the match when Steen invoked the memory of deceased Chikara wrestler Larry Sweeney.
Kingston survived interference from Corino and Jacobs, a low-blow, and an F-Cinq before Steen put him away with another F-Cinq onto two chairs.
I don’t know if I am the only one, but I am getting tired of every Kevin Steen match being no disqualification.
In Steen’s matches with El Generico, Corino, and Jacobs, it served the story. However, Cornette would have to be stupid to remove the rules, allowing Jacobs and Corino to legally interfere in Steen’s matches.
The match was entertaining enough, but between the obviousness of the winner and its spotfest nature, there wasn’t much to take away from it.
Three months from now, I won’t remember this match at all.
Kevin Steen is a great wrestler. Let him wrestle. He doesn’t need chairs and tables to have a good match.
A Peace Offering
With a weak card and a weak build, it wasn't very surprising that Boiling Point was a weak show.
I was left with an overwhelming feeling of being underwhelmed.
Boiling Point certainly had its moments, but storyline confusion and a lack of focus resulted in a disappointing, disjointed effort.
Hope springs eternal, which means I am confident ROH will pick things up for Death Before Dishonor in September.
Here’s that box of kittens I was telling you about. Please cheerfully go about the rest of your day.
Box of kittens courtesy of modernstills.com
Photos courtesy of rohwrestling.com