We hit our opening animation and then head directly inside the National Guard Armory in Philadelphia and waste no time hitting the ring for our opening contest as this week continues our look at the 12th Anniversary Show.
Silas Young vs. Matt Taven
Oh Silas, how I have missed you! As the true Best in the World hits the ring, Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino welcome us to the show as Corino shows off his Phillies tie and gives a shout out to his buddy Ryne Sandberg. The new era of Taven is officially under way now as he has finalized his face turn and has shed the Hoopla for good. KK recounts the breakup of the House of Truth as the match gets under way. We are also reminded that Taven is the longest TV Title holder in company history. The crowd chants for Silas to shave his mustache. I say they should shut up. Silas grinds Taven down early, but Taven comes back and tosses Silas out to the floor to slow him up. As Silas flies back in the ring and hammers Taven from behind, Truth Martini makes his way out to the announce table. He is decked out in all red, looking like Satan himself. Corino wants to know if Taven and Truth are broken up and Truth does indeed confirm that he was fired. Taven ends up on the apron and comes back up, over and in with a sunset flip, but Silas, being as awesome as he is, grabs the referee, stays on his feet and then stomps on Taven’s chest to break the hold. As Silas keeps the pressure on, we take a break.
When we return, Silas is cranking a rear chinlock and Corino is still trying to figure out why Truth is out here. He still doesn’t give much of an answer but does compliment how impressive Silas has been. Silas crotches Taven on the top rope and then hits him with a springboard clothesline that knocks him hard to the floor. As Silas drags Taven back inside, Truth takes full credit for all the success Taven had over the past year. KK disagrees. Taven comes back with an enziguri but can’t recover quickly enough to cover. Both men make their way up, but Taven catches him with a dropkick, followed by a superkick and springboard moonsault for a near fall. Truth finally cracks and goes on about how upset he is that he was stabbed in the back. After a series of reversals, Silas blocks Angel’s Wings and crushes Taven with a clothesline for a two count. Truth says he is in a dark place and his whole style of life was wrecked by Taven’s actions. Silas goes for his finisher, but Taven avoids it and kicks Silas in the head to knock him down. Taven then heads up top, flies off with a frog splash and picks up the win. Boo. Bah. I mean, yeah Taven needed it, but whatever. Silas ONLY. Good match and I continue to believe Taven has been much better without the Truth gimmicks than he was during his title reign. He is also a much better face. Taven offers his hand, Silas accepts it and then clotheslines Taven down. YES! As Silas stomps away, Truth hops in the ring and issues commands and I don’t like where this is headed. Silas and Truth stare each other down but Silas ignores his handshake offer and walks off on his own. Good. It should stay that way. Time for a break.
When we return, we revisit the Top Prospect Tournament finals in Pittsburgh, where Hanson defeated Ray Rowe to earn a TV title shot. And that match happens right now…
Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Hanson – ROH TV Title
Friend of PTBN Hanson is out first, slowly stalking his way to the ring and hoping to follow in the footsteps of Matt Taven, who rode the tournament wave of success to the TV title a year ago. Taven had defeated Adam Cole but Hanson has to find away to knock off Mr. Intensity himself, the wild eyed, manic Tommaso Ciampa. This should be a great hoss slugfest. I have been waiting weeks to see this one, was teased last week but am ready to go now! They slam into each other off the bell, with Hanson shoving Ciampa into the corner and hammering away. He backs off and charges in but eats a stiff strike to the face leading to Ciampa battering him down into the opposite corner. Ciampa ducks the Spinkick of Doom and then heaves Hanson up and over the top rope with a back suplex. Corino asks if that is a DQ as always, but no, the match continues. Ciampa revs up and tries for a dive over the top rope, but his kneepad gets hooked on the top rope and he almost crashes and burns instead. That could have been bad. Ciampa gets right back to the attack, running Hanson into the barricade and then careening into him with a pair of running knees. When they make it back inside, Hanson is able to take over control and begins slugging away at the champ with huge forearm hammers. Ciampa is able to leapfrog on a charge, whiff on a clothesline but catch Hanson with a Celtic Cross for a near fall. Both men make it back up and start trading bombs as KK puts over Hanson’s training regime that has gotten him into the great shape we see today. They are just tossing haymakers at each other with neither man gaining an advantage. In what may be my favorite spot of all time, Hanson shakes off a boot to the face, does a cartwheel and then decapitates Ciampa with a lariat for a close near fall. After a reversal, Ciampa drills Hanson with a knee to the face but Hanson kicks out and stays alive. Hanson avoids Project Ciampa and unloads a barrage of back elbows followed by a bronco buster (without the thrusting, natch). Corino references being censored and avoids saying “dusting” this time around. Hanson heads up top and crashes off with a moonsault (!) but Ciampa kicks out and rolls right into the Sicilian Stretch. Hanson rolls through it and deadlifts Ciampa up onto his shoulders. He dumps him to the mat and cracks him with the Spin Kick of Doom, but Ciampa rolls out to the edge of the ring apron where the ropes save him. Hanson drops more forearms to the chest, but Ciampa knees him in the face and heads up top. Hanson meets him there but Ciampa floats over and down and drops Hanson to the mat with Project Ciampa for the win. That was a fucking finish! What a great big man slugfest. Right up ol’ JR’s alley, baby. Ciampa has completely won me over since the end of the year and I never get enough Hanson. mmmBop indeed, my friend. I need a drink.
After commercial, we go back to Pittsburgh yet again, where Chris Hero pinned Adam Cole to earn the world title match we are about to check out, right about…now.
Chris Hero vs. Adam Cole (c) – ROH World Title
Chris Hero is out first and gets the streamer treatment as he is set for his first ROH World Title shot since his return. The Champion, Adam Cole, is out next, strutting to the ring, title strapped around his waist as it should be. Nigel McGuinness is back out on commentary as well. Stop robbing me of my Corino Time! We are set up with the ring introductions, but before the bell, we take a break.
When we return, we reset, get the tale of the tape and finally get things under way. Hero grabs a headlock but Cole gets to the ropes to break that. Hero works the mat a bit until Cole is able to slip free and bail to the floor to regroup. Back in the ring, Cole gets a brief spurt of offense but Hero takes right back over, slamming him down and splashing him with a pair of sentons for a near fall. Completely frustrated, Cole again bails to the floor to bust up Hero’s momentum, completely trying to stall as much as possible. As Cole makes his way around the ring, Hero slips to the floor and crushes the champion with a boot to the face. He lands a second and shoots Cole into the ring. That is short lived as Hero catches him with a third one to knock Cole back outside. Cole yanks Hero out onto the edge of the apron and clocks him with him a big kick to the face, finally able to build some momentum. Cole lands a few more kicks and then teases a running kick but stops short and grabs a rear chinlock instead. This guy. This is my kind of guy. Nigel is a great analyst and I respect him greatly, but the commentary is just better with Corino out there. He just adds more for an entertainment perspective and also makes the booth louder, in a good way. Cole gets a near fall but as Hero kicks out the crowd really starts to buzz and jeer him, to the point that he seems entranced by it and the camera man pans the fans as they let loose. Cole flips them off and we head to break. That was a really cool moment, very random.
After commercial, Hero is mounting a comeback, laying into Cole with a series of chops but he is stopped short when Cole kicks Hero in the knee. Hero pops up and drops Cole with a release suplex that sent Cole spinning to the mat. He follows that up with a spinning neckbreaker and a flying forearm in the corner. Cole blocks a strike but Hero boots him to the floor and then cracks him with a baseball slide dropkick. He tosses Cole back inside and then wrecks him with a roaring elbow for a close near fall. Hero comes up from behind and scoops Cole into an electric chair, but Cole slips free. Hero blocks an O’Connor roll, drills Cole with a kick and then suplexes him for another two count. Hero puts Cole up on the top rope and follows him up but Cole knocks him out to the ring apron. Cole pulls Hero’s head through the middle rope and drives him into the ground with the Canadian Destroyer for a near fall in a pretty nasty spot. The crowd continues to ride Cole hard, adding to quite the atmosphere here for this one. Cole just starts berating Hero instead of attacking him, which Nigel doesn’t understand. Hero pops up and just crushes Cole with a right hand, almost winning the title off of it. Hero hits the roaring elbow to the back of the head, knocking Cole to the floor. He follows him out but Cole is pretty much dead weight at this point. He scoops Cole up and slips him under the bottom rope, but Cole just rolls back outside in a smart move. Hero charges and kicks him in the face, but in a desperate burst, Cole takes Hero over with a German supelx on the floor. Back inside, Cole drops Hero with the suplex neckbreaker for two. Cole pulls Hero up and goes for the Florida Key, but the move gets blocked and the referee gets wiped out in the process As Nigel goes to check on him, Hero hits a neckbreaker and then locks in a pretty gnarly looking headlock armbar submission. Cole taps, but there is no referee to make the call. Both men climb back up and trade kicks to the head until Cole hits the Florida Key for a near fall. He follows with a second and a third Key to finally finish Hero off. Man, I am exhausted from that one. Love seeing Cole win straight up, clean as a whistle with no shenanigans. Hero gave him a heck of a match, but Cole proves once again he is the man. KK shows Nigel the footage of Cole tapping out, but Nigel doesn’t have much to say on it. Cole celebrates and we are out.
Another week stacked with very good in ring action across the spectrum, delivering a fast paced sprint, a hoss slugfest and a main event bomb tosser. Cole lives to see another challenger and Hero now moves to the back of the line. Until next week, take care and always respect the code!