This is the final episode of ROH TV before Final Battle and we kick it off with our opening animation before heading inside the Ohio Center in Columbus where Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino welcome us to the action. We waste no time heading right to the ring for our opener.
Silas Young vs. TaDarius Thomas
I did not even recognize TD here as he has shaved his head. KK explains that TD felt like he needed a change to mix things up. This is Young’s final match before his big strap war with Mark Briscoe at Final Battle. Silas smack talks TD as he plants him on the ground. This guy is great and one of my favorites anywhere. Screw Duck Dynasty, we need The Silas Society. TD finally stands up for himself and cracks Silas with a kick to the head to limit the shit talking. TD starts to use his speed advantage to swing the momentum…but that ends quickly when Silas just kicks him in the side of the head. Silas even busts out some breakdancing as Corino tells us that Silas beat up some of the Milwaukee Brewers to prepare for FB13. I like TD but some of his offense seems so contrived it looks like he is a stunt coordinator. There is no real fluidity to it. Hopefully he figures out a way to make it flow because he has a good look and some charisma. Silas lands some back elbows to free himself from a German, but TD pulls him back in and snaps it off for a near fall. TD tries for a springboard, but Silas plants him with a clothesline before he can spring off the ropes. Corino expresses disbelief at some of TD’s bizarre machinations and I am right there with you, bud. Silas bails to the floor to regroup, but TD meets him out and chucks him back into the ring. TD tries for a backslide but Silas flips out of it and kicks him square in the head. Silas slams down with his…I don’t know what the hell to call it. Basically it is a Vader Bomb into a springboard moonsault. The man. Silas Young.
ACH vs. Adam Cole – Proving Ground Match
Oh God this theme music. Somewhere in Wisconsin, Steve Wille dances like nobody is watching. The title is not on the line here, but if ACH can pull the upset or go to a draw, he will earn a shot. They continue with Cole’s superstar style entrance, which is a good thing. Also, having Corino push him hard on commentary helps too, especially from a heel POV. ACH’s leg is taped up and he is battling an injury, which swings things even more in Cole’s favor. Cole grounds ACH and I would like to see the champ mainly dominate this one to keep his momentum strong. Things are pretty slow in the early going with some feeling out, which is smart because Cole has nothing to gain by rushing here. The champ is focused on the leg here, grinding ACH down and taking his time as KK and Corino debate the validity of Cole’s wins throughout 2013.
After a break, Corino makes a cool point about how Cole should be using this match to assess a potential future challenger down the road. ACH’s leg is wrecked and he keeps collapsing whenever he is up on his feet. He is able to ram Cole into the turnbuckle out of desperation but can’t fully capitalize. ACH cracks Cole with a huge slap to which Corino says “you can’t slap a man like that, this ain’t France!” Cole ends up on the floor and ACH wills himself into a slingshot plancha. He is hobbling around but is able to toss the champ inside as the fans rally behind him. He catches Cole with a slingshot cutter for two but again is slow to get up. That may have been ACH’s best shot as Cole shakes that flurry off and is right back on the offensive. Cole spits on ACH but that backfires as ACH bounds up and hits a powerbomb for a near fall. ACH hobbles to the top but it is taking a lot of time for him to do so. Regardless, he still hits a big splash but Cole stays alive. Cole dodges another assault, hits a knee to the head and then hooks in the figure four which leads to a quick tap from ACH. It was fitting that he won that way because as the match was going on, I thought this felt like a poor man’s Ric Flair NWA TV match at points throughout. I really enjoyed this one quite a bit as ACH was great with the selling and Cole really is carrying himself like a top star and ring general.
Next week’s episode is an hour-long feature on Adam Cole. Boom.
C&C Wrestle Factory vs. reDRagon (c) – ROH Tag Team Titles
Will this finally be the night? C&C have spent most of 2013 receiving and blowing title shots, but usually because of some sort of outside factor. Now, they really have no excuse as they get the champs straight up here. Caprice Coleman is battling a swollen eye thanks to a shot from Kyle O’Reilly in Michigan. C&C are fired up as they jump the champs before the bell and get the crowd fired up heading into break.
When we return, C&C is double teaming Fish, who hasn’t even gotten his track jacket off yet. Fish is cut on the bridge of his nose as he can’t get any sort of daylight with the C&C press fully on here. KO can barely even get himself together in the corner after that opening attack. Fish finally gets a chance to make the tag but even then they can’t fully take over the match. C&C are on fire here and it is a nice payoff to the year-long struggle, showing they are really prepared. CC hits a double Northern Lights suplex on both champs which was pretty cool. The worm finally turns and the champs work CC over slowly, trying to regain their breath and composure. Corino takes some shots at BJ Whitmer and then brags about sending Ryne Sandberg Christmas cards for the last 29 years. KK and Corino discuss all the support they get on twitter regarding their commentary but no mention of their biggest supporter by name. I will remember that, Hermie. C&C make their comeback thanks to some high-flying from Cedric. He gets a near fall with an inverted powerbomb but couldn’t hold KO down for three. C&C have really dominated this one from bell to bell outside of just a couple of minutes. The challengers follow with a Hart Attack but Fish kicks out. We get a trade-off of near falls and last second saves and I will give props to the Ohio fans, who have been fired up throughout this whole taping. C&C come firing back and hit their finisher on Fish but KO makes the last second save. That was close. Fish recovers and after some brawling hits a super falcon arrow on CC, but only gets a close near fall. CC’s eye is pretty much swollen shut at this point but he has enough energy to roll out of the way from two Fish top rope elbow attempts. CA makes it back and then heads up top but eats KO’s knees on the Overtime attempt. The champs Chase the Dragon and pick up the hard fought win. That will do it for C&C and the champs now move on to Outlaw, Inc at Final Battle. Another very good match on the night.
This was a really good episode with two very good matches and was much better than some of the “in the bag night of PPV” outings earlier in the year that often felt a bit mailed in. The build to Final Battle is complete and it looks like we will be seeing canned specials until 2014, so until then, take care and respect the code!
Final Battle 2013 is in the books. Check out Kevin Kelly chatting about the show and future of ROH with Scott & Justin on the Place to Be Podcast!