We kick off this week’s show with our opening animation and then head inside the Frontier Fieldhouse in Chicago Ridge, IL where Place to Be Nation’s very own Steve Wille was in the house! Kevin Kelly welcomes us and he is joined by…Steve Corino! Yes! Due to his litigation, the job is his once again. Awesome. KK makes it clear that the past is the past and that he and Corino will be professional going forward. Corino says he considers KK to be his pal, which just makes Kevin laugh incredulously.
Jesse Sorensen vs. Tommaso Ciampa
Sorensen is making his ROH debut here, having recovered from the broken neck he suffered in TNA in early 2012. Corino says he has “BJ Whitmer Disease” but that he has more heart than Whitmer. Oh, how I have missed you Steve. This is a ballsy first match back for a dude coming off neck surgery considering Ciampa’s style and attitude in the ring. Things are even to start as Sorensen is impressing KK and Corino by going right at Ciampa. He also looks to be in great ring shape, quick and on point. This could really end being a great signing for ROH after he was tossed aside by the Dixie Carter Experience. Corino gets some good digs in on Texas and then brags about flying first class as part of his settlement. The match has continued to be even until Ciampa is able to dump Sorensen out to the floor to finally slow him up. Ciampa follows him out and slugs away before removing the floor mat and attempting a suplex, but Sorensen blocks it and hits a cross body off the apron to take us to break. When we return, Ciampa is clubbing on Sorensen back in the ring. That doesn’t last long as Jesse comes back with a series of neckbreakers for a near fall. Ciampa doesn’t fully connect on a TKO facebuster but follows with a big running knee to Sorensen, who was seated in the corner. Ciampa followed with a second one as Corino ponders if anyone has ever broken their neck twice in one career. Ciampa puts Sorensen on the top rope but Jesse takes him down with a sloppy sunset flip powerbomb. These two started well but have been a bit out of synch since. Sorensen slips free from Project Ciampa, but Tommaso breaks him down and locks in the Sicilian Stretch for the win. Good win for Ciampa, but the match was definitely a bit sloppy throughout. Still, big props to Sorensen for battling all the way back and ROH would be smart to keep him around.
KK takes us to a video package recapping all of the recent terror rained down by Outlaw, Inc and then we get some promos hyping the big eight man war that is coming to TV next week.
C&C Wrestle Factory vs. Outlaw, Inc.
Things you can’t unsee: Steve Wille dancing like an idiot to the worst theme song in pro wrestling as C&C make their way out.
At least Andy is acting normal and going in for the high-five unlike Wille, who looks like he is auditioning for the Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems video. Corino calls them the “Alphabet Express” which is awesome. Outlaw, Inc is awesome. Corino calls Kingston a stand up guy right as he emerges from the curtain with his clown mask on. Fantastic. OI hug and then steal the referee’s wallet during the prematch check up. This is OI’s first real challenge since arriving in ROH. Corino says he was the Van Wilder of West Texas State. ACH is all over Kingston early on, cracking him with a kick to the head and following with a back elbow off the top rope. Kingston bails to the floor as ACH flips around inside the ring. After a break, Homicide is all over ACH’s knee as OI has taken over control. Kingston tags in and wrenches in a pretty gnarly looking leg submission as KK reminds us that he is a former Chikara Grand Champion. Homicide comes back in and slaps ACH in the hamstring which just looks like it fucking hurts. No other way around it. He follows with an STF and then bites his ear as well. Corino name drops Masa Chono and brags about his Japanese friends and 79 (!) tours. ACH finally fights free and makes the tag to TD who comes flying in and gets a roll up for a near fall. TD knocks Kingston off the apron and flies into him with a tope. He quickly hops back into the ring, but Kingston slows him down. They end up on the top rope, where TD hits a superplex for two. KK promises to not get any blood on Corino’s suit as he protects him from the action. Homicide snaps TD down with a neckbreaker (“The Sorensen Special!”) and Kingston clubs him from behind with a charging knee but only gets a near fall when ACH flies in from off-screen with a splash. That looked fantastic. TD is back up and rams Homicide into the corner to block the Gringo Killer. TD puts Homicide up top and follows but Kingston slugs him in the back of the knee and props him up on his shoulders. Homicide leaps off and takes him to the mat with a bulldog for the win. This was really good and OI needs to get the Jesus Push stat. They have IT for sure. Nice showing for ACH & TD too.
Kingston grabs the mic and wants to know why reDRagon keeps ducking them. He calls them, and KK, “snowflakes” and pussies. I am on board with this feud. Drag it out to Pittsburgh please!
After a break we take a special look at Jay Briscoe’s tumultuous last few months.
Paul London vs. Roderick Strong
It is main event time as Paul London glad-hands his way down to the ring, decked out in what looks to be a space suit. And his opponent is my boy, Roddy Strong. Roddy is rocking a World Series of Poker t-shirt, which Corino plugs. And so does KK, so it looks like we have a new sponsor in place. Nice work. These guys are about as evenly matches as they come. Corino wants to know why Strong is “Mr. ROH” when he is a 29-year-old frat boy that doesn’t take anything seriously. He also chops too hard apparently. Corino puts over London’s 2002 ROH t-shirt, which he claims to have ordered off AOL once. Why the hell has Corino been off TV as long as he has? He needs to be on every inch of ROH TV forever. London and Strong trade-off some mat wrestling, going to a stalemate each time, as KK & Corino talk about Adam Cole. London dropkicks Strong to the floor and comes out with a springboard cross body attempt but Roddy just punches him on the way down. He celebrates as we take a break to hear from the Bottaro Law Firm, and others. When we return, they are back trading blows in the ring, but Roddy turns things around with a backbreaker. London chops his way back into things but eats a back elbow before getting slung into the ringpost ribs first. Ouch. Roddy takes advantage and begins to target the ribs exclusively. After a criss-cross the two men collide with cross body attempts, wiping both out for a few seconds. Corino keeps talking nostalgia and how big London was in 2002. So subtle and so great. Mr. 2002 himself comes back with a series of clotheslines and a leg lariat for two. KK says this is just the third time London has appeared in ROH in ten years and that he has looked better each time. London tries to springboard in from the apron but Roddy catches him with a dropkick.
They fight on the apron until London slips back into the ring and sending Roddy to the floor with a dropsault. London gets a head of steam and careens into Roddy with a somersault senton. He tosses Roddy back into the ring and follows with a missile dropkick for two. I will agree with KK, this has been London’s best showing since his comeback. It is definitely much better than his match with Michael Elgin. Roddy yanks London off the middle rope, catches him and snaps him with a nasty backbreaker for two. That was fantastic. Roddy puts London on the top rope and just cracks him with a kick to the face. He takes him off with a top rope superplex but London kicks out. Roddy turns London into the Stronghold but as he tries to cinch it tighter, London turns it into a roll up for two. London blocks another backbreaker but eats a back elbow. Roddy tries to toss London in the air for his drop down backbreaker, but London turns in midair and double stomps Roddy instead. Hache mache, what a battle. London’s leg is bleeding as the two start tossing bombs in the middle of the ring. London ends that with a superkick turned into an inverted powerbomb, but Roddy kicks out yet again. London heads to the top rope, but Roddy rolls to the ring apron. KK immediately calls back to the last time London was involved in this position in a match as Paul comes flying off with a double stomp. Luckily, Roddy slides away and avoids it and then catches London in a half nelson. He spins around, hoists London up and slams him into the ring apron back first. Holy shit that looks rough. Back inside, Roddy hits the double knee gutbuster and sick kick but London kicks out! What the what! Corino is marking out like crazy as is the Chicago crowd. This is pretty damn awesome. London flips out of a backbreaker and rolls up Roddy for two. Roddy hits a jumping knee strike and powerbomb, but London kicks out again. Roddy turns him into the Stronghold but London reaches the ropes. This shit is crazy. Both men tumble to the floor, but London catches Roddy and drops him on the floor with a Tombstone. Roddy slinks back into the ring as London comes off the top with a double stomp to the back. London then goes to the top and hits a picture perfect Shooting Star Press for the win. OK, I am giving a standing ovation at home for that one. Wow, what a match! Great, great stuff out of these two.
This was a hella great episode that was chock full of wrestling and capped off with one of the best matches I have seen since I started these reviews. I need to go make a stiff drink to calm down from that one. Take care everyone, and until next time, always respect the code.