Saturday night is Ring of Honor’s time to present their weekly one-hour show, ROH Wrestling. Unfortunately, only certain markets get the program. Seeing as it doesn’t air in my home state of Connecticut, I have to rely on the Internet to watch ROH.
It usually doesn’t appear online until a few days after its initial airing, but this week, the June 8 episode appeared online early! With Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness on commentary, they welcomed fans to the show and ran down the events of the past few weeks.
Hyping the main event and the Best in the World event in two weeks, this episode kicked off with a singles match!
Matt Taven w/ Truth Martini and Hoopla Hotties vs. Pepper Parks
Before the match, though, Truth Martini grabbed a microphone. He talked about his client, ROH Television champion Matt Taven, and his Best in the World opponent Jay Lethal. He declared that Taven was a fighting champion and challenged anyone in the back to a Proving Ground match.
In ROH, a Proving Ground match gives any wrestler the opportunity to wrestle one of the company’s champions. If they win, they will receive a future shot at the champion they defeated.
The challenge was answered by Pepper Parks, and after Martini ran him down, Parks punched Taven to get the match going.
Truth Martini is weird on the mic. His voice sounds terrible, but it fits his character as a sleazy manager. I don’t like hearing his voice; though at the same time he’s good at what he does. He knows how to cut a promo very well.
What Taven lacks in mic skills, Martini is really picking up the slack. He does Taven’s talking for him, and then the champion gets the job done in the ring. He really is a great manager. He also brings the Hoopla Hotties with him, which is always fun!
I love the concept of the Proving Ground match. It gives anybody the opportunity to fight a champion and get into the title hunt if they win. As for the match, Taven defeated Parks with his cool-looking finisher. I don’t know what it’s called, but Wikipedia calls it an Arm Trap Headlock Driver.
The match itself was a solid one. It featured good back-and-forth action throughout, as both wrestlers delivered in the opening contest. Taven is quite the talented wrestler. At over 6'0'' tall, he flies around the ring like it’s nothing. He’s very impressive.
I’ve seen Parks a few times in ROH, and after this match, I want to see more of him. He, too, was impressive in this match. He deserves major props for going toe-to-toe with a ROH champion.
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Rip Impact
Tommaso Ciampa defeated Rip Impact after hitting a White Noise off the middle rope. With this match being Ciampa’s first since his injury, and it also being Impact’s ROH debut, I fully expected to see the “Sicilian Psychopath” just destroy his opponent. Thankfully that wasn’t the case, though.
The two wrestlers had a pretty solid, back-and-forth match that was highlighted by the skill of Impact and the intensity of Ciampa.
Ciampa looked great in his return match. He hasn’t lost a step in the ring and reminded ROH fans why he’s known as the “Sicilian Psychopath.” Some of the moves he pulls off look brutal and he’s also just pure intensity inside the ring.
Impact held his own in the match against Ciampa, so he deserves some praise for that. He probably won’t be back on television for a while, but when he does get to wrestle again, I’ll be glad to see him.
During the match, Michael Elgin came out to ringside. He caused a bit of a distraction for Ciampa, but in the end it didn’t matter. Post-match, Elgin grabbed a mic told Ciampa that he was the wrong guy to mess with, and as a result, his return would be short-lived. Elgin’s promo was short and sweet, but very good.
At Best in the World, Ciampa and Elgin will be going one-on-one. That is a match to look forward to. Both guys are great in the ring, and given their respective hard-hitting styles, the match will definitely be a must-see.
S.C.U.M. Demand Title Opportunities
Before the main event could get started, the leader of S.C.U.M., Steve Corino, made his way out with members Jimmy Jacobs, Cliff Compton and Rhett Titus. He was ranting to ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness about his men not being included in last week’s No. 1 contender’s matches.
He praised Matt Hardy, who is set to get a ROH World Championship match at some point, and called McGuinness a coward for not giving S.C.U.M. what they wanted. That brought out No. 1 contenders Jay Lethal and the team of Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman. The six men brawled while Corino and McGuinness stared each other down.
ROH delivered with this segment. S.C.U.M. had lost some steam after Kevin Steen was kicked out, but thanks to Steve Corino, the faction picked things right back up. Corino was also the voice of the stable then, but he has really stepped up his game since the loss of Steen and the ROH World Championship.
There are times when he overacts, but overall he’s very entertaining on the mic. He gets the job done for the group. Corino plays the part of the manager/leader very well. It seems like he has hung up his wrestling boots to just be a mouthpiece and I think that’s great. He’s not in the best of shape, so it’s best to leave the wrestling to the other members.
The war between ROH and S.C.U.M. is getting very interesting. Corino keeps egging McGuinness to fight him. Could the retired ROH matchmaker get into the ring one final time? Time will tell, but for now it looks like they’ll just go with another ROH vs. S.C.U.M. multi-man match. That’s fine with me, as previous matches, while chaotic, have been quite good.
American Wolves vs. Briscoe Brothers
After some miscommunication with the Briscoe Brothers and a Tombstone Piledriver from Davey Richards to Mark Briscoe, the American Wolves defeated the brothers for the first time ever.
These two teams have had a long rivalry, so seeing Richards and Eddie Edwards finally pick up a victory is great. The match itself was awesome. In fact, “awesome” doesn’t really do it justice. I’m not really sure there are any words that can properly describe this match.
The American Wolves and the Briscoe Brothers had one of the best tag team matches I have seen in recent memory. Jam-packed full of action and great tag team wrestling, both teams gave ROH fans a show here.
With this victory, Richards and Edwards most likely moved up the ladder toward a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Championship. They’ll obviously have to wait until after Best in the World when champions reDRagon defend against Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman, but they are definitely on their way back into the title scene.
The miscommunication between the brothers provided some tension, which is good. Jay will be defending his ROH World Heavyweight Championship against Mark at Best in the World, so ROH is adding some potential bad blood to the mix. I can’t wait for their match at the event!
Overall, I thought this episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling was very good. The first two matches of the night were solid, while the main event was just plain awesome. ROH has some of the absolute best talent in the wrestling business working for them. As a result, the matches on their shows always deliver.
When it comes to wrestling, Ring of Honor has both WWE and TNA Wrestling beat. WWE and TNA do have a number of great matches every week, but ROH delivers with every match. It’s rare that a match falls flat at a Ring of Honor event.
Their next big show, Best in the World, is getting some great hype. The company really knows how to put together a pay-per-view, or in their case, an Internet PPV.
It’s a shame that they only have one hour of television every week, though; they have the talent to pull off great two-hour shows. Maybe two hours of television once a week is in their future, but for now, I’m just enjoying the ride one hour gives.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed a look at Ring of Honor. If ROH Wrestling keeps appearing online in time every week, I will continue to bring Ring of Honor to Bleacher Report!