We open with a trip back to Death Before Dishonor to recap BJ Whitmer’s retirement and request for the reinstatement of Jimmy Jacobs. That is followed with Jacobs’ trek since, winning the gauntlet and earning an ROH World Title match against Adam Cole in his hometown, a bout that we will see tonight. After our opening animation, we head inside the Ford Community Center in Dearborn, MI where Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino welcome us to a loaded episode of ROH TV. And with that, we head right to the ring for our opener.
Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards
My man Roddy is out first this week and he will look to stay hot as he has been delivering some killer matches as of late. Richards has Eddie Edwards with him and we should enjoy this one because it look like it will be Davey’s final ROH TV match for a while. Roddy shakes hands with both Wolves but Corino isn’t buying it because he knows these guys despise each other. And we get our first KK toupee joke of the hour. Roddy works the arm off the bell, leading to some back and forth mat work. And just as I was pondering what Davey did to his hair, Corino makes fun of his new highlights. Davey forces Roddy to the corner, where he sits and regroups, taking us to break.
When we return, Davey is in control, but that is short-lived as Roddy catches him with a backbreaker. Roddy is too banged up to take advantage, but recovers in time to crack Davey with a superkick as he charges in. Corino puts over Roddy’s ability to get faster as the match goes on. He gets a slingshot falcon arrow for a near-fall and it is clear that the commentary is all-in on Roddy and barely putting over Davey at all to this point. Davey gets a crucifix for two but Roddy catches him on another charge and dumps him with a back suplex for a near fall. Roddy is able to duck an enziguri, but Davey connects with a spin kick, followed by a double stomp for a near fall. “He once killed Paul London with that move!” KK is beyond incredulous at that one. Davey tries to rally the crowd as he heads to the top, but Roddy avoids the stomp. Davey quickly regains control and works over the leg, but he gets caught up top, where Roddy follows him up and snaps him over with a big top rope superplex for a close near fall. Both are slow to get up, natch, but when they do meet they trade chops and blows to the face, capped by a Roddy sick kick. Davey absorbs a series of chops and then catches Roddy with a knee to the gut after tossing him high into the air. Davey goes up and finally hits the double stomp, but Roddy stays alive. Davey grabs the ankelock, but Roddy rolls through and gets the flash win! Yeah Roddy! That was a really fun sprint and a good finish with the right guy going over. Roddy stays hot!
Mark Briscoe vs. Michael Elgin
The action won’t slow up at all here as we follow a hot opener with what should be a good brawl. Both guys have big matches coming up at Final Battle, as Elgin battles Adam Cole and Jay Briscoe for the ROH World Title and Mark draws Silas Young in a strap match. KK wonders if Elgin goes for the win or tries to send a message to Jay Briscoe. Corino talks about how Elgin always seems to come up just a little short in big matches and wonders how it affects his mindset. Elgin uses his power early, planting Briscoe with a shoulderblock. KK and Corino put over Elgin’s performance in the huge eight-man a few weeks ago. Elgin plants Briscoe with a uranage for a near fall. He follows that up with a delayed suplex as Corino talks about how Elgin continues to be screwed and toyed with by ROH. Elgin eats a back elbow on a charge as KK and Corino debate whether Jay belongs in the Final Battle match. I agree with Corino, sorry Hermie. Elgin gets dumped to the floor and is met by a baseball slide dropkick. He avoids a dive off the top rope and catches Briscoe with a sidewalk slam to the floor as we hit a break.
After the commercial, we are back in the ring where Briscoe reverses a bucklebomb attempt into a jackknife pin attempt for two. Briscoe strikes with the redneck kung fu but Elgin stays on his feet despite upwards of ten attacks. The crowd has died off here after being steady throughout the opener. Briscoe goes up and hits a chop off the top to finally knock Elgin to the mat. He follows that up with a urinage but only gets two. Elgin breaks up a Froggie Bow attempt but Briscoe floats out of a deadlift superplex to regain control. Briscoe heads up top, but Silas Young comes out to trip him up. Jay is right behind Silas and yanks him back to the mat. Elgin immediately hits the floor and attacks Jay. As those three fight outside, Mark heads up top and crashes into them all with a moonsault. The referee calls for the bell and tosses this match out as the brawl erupts on the floor until security breaks it up. The match was kind of bland and the fans seemed to feel the same way. I liked the finish to set up Final Battle, though.
Jimmy Jacobs vs. Adam Cole (c) – ROH World Title
And with that, it is officially main event time. Jacobs is out first to a warm welcome from his hometown fans. Whitmer has his back and Nigel has joined the booth. Cole’s entrance is easily the best in ROH. The fans have a “Jimmy Jacobs” chant rocking and this definitely has a big match feel thanks to the location. Corino is standing and applauding his buddy. The two shake hands and feel each other out before finally locking up to a stalemate. After some back and forth, Cole’s inner heel shines through as he puts his feet on the ropes during a pin attempt. KK tells us that this is the first time Jimmy Jacobs has battled for the World Title since he faced Corino in Tokyo in 2006. Jacobs plants Cole with a curb stomp and then dumps the champ to a floor where he connects with a baseball slide. Cole catches him on another attempt and slings him spine-first across the ring apron to take us to break.
When we return, they are back in the ring where Cole cracks Jacobs with a shining wizard for two. Corino gets a nice shot in on our buddy Xavier when talking about the 19 ROH World Champions. Poor Xavier. He is a great doorman at Rick’s, though. Cole locks in a figure four, but Jacobs gets the ropes and then yanks Cole to the floor. He tries for a tope, but Cole dodges him, sending Jacobs crashing face-first to the floor, where BJ checks on him. Cole chucks BJ away and drags Jacobs up and tosses him back inside, where he drills him with a superkick. The fans start to rally Jacobs, but Cole takes him over with a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for a near fall. Cole looks frustrated but certainly seems cool and in control. Jacobs shakes off a blow to the head and nails a spear but is too wiped out to cover. The battle spills out to the floor where Jacobs stuns Cole for a moment before picking up speed and spearing Cole off the apron and into the barricade. He chucks the champ back inside and hits a moonsault for two, followed by a guillotine choke. Cole powers out but when he lifts Jacobs, the challenger’s feet take out the referee. Cole grabs his belt and is ready to use it, but BJ rips it away and tosses it to Jimmy. Jimmy doesn’t use it but instead hits Sliced Bread for a near fall. Nice twist there as I thought for sure BJ was turning. Nigel applauds Jacobs for proving his honor has been restored after not cheating. Jimmy tries a springboard back elbow, but Cole superkicks him in the back of the head and takes him over with the Florida Key…but Jacobs kicks out! That was a great near fall. Cole puts Jacobs on the top rope but Jimmy elbows his way free for a moment before Cole dumps I’m down. Jacobs bends over, allowing Cole to come off the top and hit the Canadian Destroyer for the win. Bah, I HATE that telegraphed finished. Jacobs bending over just made it really obvious and made no sense. Regardless, this was good stuff, especially the final five minutes with the pathos play and Florida Key near-fall. Jacobs proved himself and Cole moves to New York City to defend his World Title at Final Battle.
This was a very solid hour with tons of wrestling blended with Final Battle build. The opener was match of the night and the last two checked in below what I was hoping for, but I hold these dudes to pretty high standards. KK & Corino were great as always too. One more week to go before Final Battle, so until then, take care and respect the code!