We fire up this week’s show with our opening animation and then head inside the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory one more time, where Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino welcome us in for another big week of ROH TV. We waste no time in heading right to the ring for our opener.
Brutal Burgers vs. reDRagon
Brutal Bob and Cheeseburger make their way out first and we get a look back at HonorCon when Bobby Fish defeated Cheeseburger in an arm wrestling match after Kyle O’Reilly spit water in the youngster’s face. Evans has now taken him under his wing to train him and work as this new team. The tag team champions hit the ring for this non title affair. Corino puts over the New Japan talent heading into ROH and notes that new tag teams will be in here gunning for the gold in addition to the current ones already floating around. KO and Burger kick things off as Corino gushes some more over the NJPW deal. KO outworks Burger a bit, cranking him with an uppercut as well. KO buries a knee and mocks Burger a bit until Burger dodges a dropkick and smacks KO in the face before tagging in Bob. Fish checks in as well as we reset. Corino talks about how Bob has finally gotten a chance and has found his niche in ROH and has earned a lot of respect of the locker room. After some back and forth, Evans runs Fish into the corner and tags Burger back in. The announcers talk about Bob’s path and how he has changed his ways and now looking to help wrestlers grow the proper way in the business. We get some double teams that knock KO to the floor and leave Burger to work over Fish until Bobby snaps Burger hard to the mat with a rough arm yank. Burger battles back and fights off a double team to make another tag. Bob lays in some hammer blows to the chest of both champs. We pan to the aisle to see Hanson and Rowe watching the bout. KO kicks his way back into the match, wearing down Bob and booting Burger to the floor. Evans quickly turns things around on Fish, drilling him with a clothesline and tagging Burger back. The little guy fights off both champs until they crunch him with kicks to the chest. Burger tries a cross body but the champs catch him. Bob comes in and shoves them all down to the mat. Burger eschews a tag and is able to continue to outrun the champs until he drops KO with a Stunner for a near fall. Brutal Burgers is getting way more shine than I expected in this one. Bob comes in and they drop KO with a double chokeslam that gets a near fall before Fish busts it up. Evans gets dumped to the floor and that is bad news, as the champs wreck Burger for a bit, including a decapitation device. Evans gets dumped again courtesy Ax & Smash and then finish Burger with the Chasing the Dragon for the win. That was a fun match with lots of hope spots for Brutal Burgers, way more than I expected as I figured this would be a squash. Cheeseburger has improved a bit and worked well in there with the champs. My favorite trait of reDRagon is their quick strike offense that can come out of nowhere and wreck a dude. They just pounce when they get an opening.
After a break, we relive the ongoing developments in the Kevin Steen/Cliff Compton feud and newfound respect between the two thanks to an assault from Outlaw, Inc. That is followed by a very good video package putting over the incoming NJPW talent, highlighting who they are and showing some fast paced in-ring clips as well. Of course, the two promotions will clash over a one week period with Global Wars in Toronto on 5/10 and War of the Worlds in NYC on 5/17.
AJ Styles vs. Michael Elgin
We are back from commercial and it is main event time. Adam Cole has joined KK and Corino in the booth as “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin marches to the ring first. This should be a very interesting showdown. AJ Styles heads out next as the crowd is already loudly chanting his name. Corino is very excited to be talking to Cole, but Cole dips a bit and says he changed his phone number and may not have gotten Corino’s recent texts. KK also asks Cole about those never-ending rumors that Cole and Ronda Rousey are romantically linked. To hear more about that, check out The Kevin Kelly Show! Cole talks about how smitten Rousey is with him, and really, who could blame her? We get a long hand shake and stare-down before things finally get under way. AJ and Elgin trade some basic holds and counters as Cole talks about a few different issues, including NJPW and his legacy. Elgin gets the first noted advantage as AJ slams off him with a shoulderblock, bounces off and stumbles to the floor. Once Styles gets back in the ring we go right back to the mat, with AJ grabbing control with a hammerlock. AJ lands a salvo by taking Elgin over with a snap mare and then kicking him in his taped up shoulder. Elgin pops up and smacks AJ, but AJ shakes it off and bring Elgin down with an armdrag. As AJ cranks on that, we take a break.
When we return, Elgin is working free of the hold but gets tossed to the floor and cracked with a baseball slide dropkick from AJ. AJ runs Elgin into the barricade, leading to Elgin clutching his banged up shoulder. AJ pitches him back inside and goes right to work, dropping the big man with a backbreaker. AJ lays in some kicks as we get more talk about Cole’s strong year to this point, including his new DVD set that is about to be released. AJ gets a near fall with a drop down dropkick and then hooks in a chinlock. Corino runs an errand to go get Cole a cup of coffee. What a great dude. He quickly returns with a cup of java for the champ as AJ still works the hold. Elgin wriggles free and grabs a waistlock before burying a knee to the gut and hoisting AJ up for a delayed suplex, hitting thirty seconds before crashing to the mat. Elgin shoots AJ hard into the corner a pair of times for a near fall. Elgin contemplates his options as we hit another break.
After that commercial, AJ is firing back at Elgin but Michael ducks a charge and sends AJ crashing to the floor with a back body drop (Call J.J. Wentworth NOW!). Elgin heads outside and chops away at AJ, followed by a running big boot to the grill. Elgin dumps AJ back in and goes up top. He flies off with a shoulderblock for a two count. Elgin hooks in a rear chinlock as KK talks about next week’s action from Chicago. AJ fights to his feet and punches his way out of the hold but Elgin cracks him in the back of the head with a forearm. AJ stays on his feet and lands a Pele Kick to buy some time. AJ charges, but gets caught in the corner and spiked to the mat by the powerhouse Elgin. AJ tries for a springboard, but Elgin dropkicks him in the back to block it. AJ crumples to the edge of the apron but fights Elgin off and pulls the ropes down to duck a charge and send Elgin to the floor AJ leaps backwards with a moonsault into a slop drop that leaves both men down and out. AJ scampers back in as Elgin is very slow to get up, but he eventually gets back in at the 17 count. Elgin blocks some strikes but eats a roundhouse kick. AJ ends up on the ring apron, but springboards in with a big flying forearm. He hoists Elgin up on his shoulders and hits a DVD neckbreaker for the win. Corino starts flipping out because Cole uses a similar move. AJ charges but Elgin spikes him with a big spinning sidewalk slam for a close near fall. Both men are slow to get up and we check out our final commercial break.
When we return, Elgin puts AJ up on the top buckle and follows him up. AJ fights him off and sunset flips over him. He pops back up and tries for a back suplex, but instead he pulls Elgin onto his shoulders into a torture rack before powerbombing him down for a near fall. That was pretty impressive strength from AJ. He takes Elgin over with a suplex for a two count. Elgin blocks the Styles Clash with a back drop and then deadlifts AJ into a suplex, but AJ slips free. Elgin charges and eats a back elbow but catches a moonsaulting AJ and plants him with a tombstone for another close near fall. Elgin dinged up his knee on the move and is hobbled a bit as he gets to his feet. He slowly picks AJ up but he is too spent to get AJ up for the bucklebomb. AJ pops up and smacks Elgin and then goes right to that knee, dropping Elgin with a shinbreaker. Cole notes that he has picked up some weaknesses in Elgin as the match has gone on. AJ hooks a leg submission that Elgin breaks by slamming AJ’s head into the mat over and over. Well then. Both men get back up and AJ puts Elgin up top as KK tells us we only have :45 left in the time limit. AJ takes Elgin down with a Frankensteiner and then rolls to the apron. He flies in with an awesome springboard 360 legdrop but Elgin survives. The time is ticking away, which excites Cole and the bell rings as our thirty minute time limit finally expires. Cole is pumped as neither man will earn a World Title match after a draw. Elgin grabs a mic and asks for the match to continue, which the fans agree with. Cole wants the match done but AJ looks to be game for more action as well. Before the referee could restart the match, Cole yanked the bell away from the timekeeper and then slid into the ring to pelt both men with his title. Jay Briscoe comes out and runs off Cole. Before Cole can escape, Kevin Steen meets him in the aisle and chases him into the crowd. KK is all over Cole for being a coward. Looks like we have a whole lot of top contenders in the mix here going forward.
Well, can’t complain about an hour like that with a solid tag team match and a very good, hard-hitting main event. Simple, but effective this week. Until Chicago, take care and respect the code.