What do you do when you have six men in two teams that hate each other? You put them in a cage and let them have at it! And that’s what this event is all about. In Ring of Honor’s return to Charlotte, S.C.U.M. (ROH World champion Kevin Steen, Jimmy Jacobs, and Steve Corino) have the chance to push back the representatives of honor in Rhett Titus and The Briscoes in a Steel Cage match.
On the other end of the spectrum stand two men who were once partners, but now rivals. ROH TV champion Adam Cole and his former tag team partner Kyle O’Reilly have become acquainted with each other in the ring as opponents in wars over pride. Now, Kyle O’Reilly is fighting his former teammate for a chance to prove his worthy of the TV title.
Can S.C.U.M. run through the unit of honor that is Titus and The Briscoes, or will the Steel Cage main event be another example of good prevailing over evil? In the proving ground, will Kyle O’Reilly have the skill to earn a TV title shot, or does Adam Cole still have his old partner’s number? Most importantly, is ROH “Caged Hostility” Worth Your Money?
Jay Lethal vs. Adam Page
Before the match, Jay Lethal grabbed the microphone to recap how Jim Cornette told Jay Lethal he needs some killer instinct if he hopes to beat Kevin Steen. Lethal promised to make a cause to become the #1 Contender to the ROH World title in Rahway, NJ. After Jay told Page that he’d destroy Adam, Page took the microphone to tell Jay that he had just as much to prove tonight.
After a hesitant handshake from both parties, Page and Lethal were in the middle of a fistfight until Lethal knocked Page onto the apron for that springboard dropkick. For the first time in a long time in a ROH ring, someone ducked the dropkick. Jay recovered quickly, using a pair of boots off a handstand to knock Page to the floor so he could wear him out. When the action returned inside, Page picked up the pace, executing a spinning heel kick to gain a two count. The fans were digging the hard-hitting back and forth that suddenly ended when Jay turned Page’s caperana into a face buster. Jay knocked Page to the floor for a tope that brought the crowd to their feet.
Lethal had Page grounded for several minutes after high impact suplexes and the Lethal deathlock. Putting Page in the tree of woe allowed Lethal to use a shoulder ram on the prone Page. Rallying to his feet, page started firing back with knife edge chops before punching Lethal square on the jaw. Sadly for Page, he ran face first into the middle turnbuckle thanks to a downward spiral. Stopping a fisherman suplex on the apron didn’t turn out well for Page originally, but a back elbow knocked Jay to the floor for a shooting star press off the apron!
Both men reentered the ring as the fans chanted, “This is awesome!” Power slam by Page almost got him the pin. Jay blocked the tornado DDT on the first try, but not the second. Page scaled the ropes, getting super kicked out of the midair during a cross body block attempt. The kick-fisherman buster combination didn’t put Page away, as did the Lethal Combination. Announcer Steve Corino was thoroughly impressed. Using six backbreakers, Jay left Adam Page dazed for the back handspring Lethal Injection. Jay hastily made the cover, pinning Adam Pager in a hot opener.
Lethal grabbed the microphone, telling Adam he’d never kick a man like Adam Page in the groin. The two shook hands prior to the fans giving Page a standing ovation.
Veda Scott was in the back with QT Marshall. Marshall said his mind is on ROH gold. Marshall promised to put a halt to Mike Mondo’s momentum tonight.
Mike Mondo vs. QT Marshall
The fans were behind Mikey as the bell sounded and Marshall bailed to the floor. Mondo easily slipped around and under “God’s Gift”, hammerlocking and arm barring QT. The pace eventually hastened as things got sloppy. QT blocked the double arm DDT, getting dumped onto the apron, Marshall followed up with a clothesline that put Mondo down at ringside. Using two elbow drops when the action reentered the ring, Marshall walked over Mondo’s face.
Marshall insultingly slapped Mondo’s head, only to get caught in some submission hold that didn’t turn out right. Arm breaker by Mondo only paused Marshall’s assault. The crowd was starting to turn on this one as both men went for submissions that failed. Mondo gave up looking for submissions, using the Mind Trip to execute his Double Arm DDT for the victory.
Veda Scott was the meat in a Bravado Brothers’ sandwich backstage. Scott seemed perturbed with Lancelot touching her as Harlem told everyone watching that the Bravado Bandwagon will prevail.
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. The Bravados
Code of Honor followed by everyone including the referee as the fans went wild for their hometown teams. Harlem Bravado and Cedric Alexander kicked this one off as the crowd had dueling chants going. Alexander grounded Harlem until he head scissored him. Harlem stopped an Irish whip-dropkick combo, doing a Nature Boy strut before running face first into Alexander’s second dropkick attempt. Lancelot tagged in as Harlem kicked Coleman to the floor so Lancelot could back body drop Alexander.
The crowd wanted Coleman to get on the apron. The Bravados spent too much time celebrating their dropkick combination, giving Coleman the chance to dive with a cross body before becoming the legal man. C & C were using senton splash after senton splash on Lancelot. Sadly for C & C, the ref not realizing who was the legal man hindered their double teaming. What also hindered Coleman was Harlem catching a running Caprice with a rope-assisted arm breaker.
The fans rallied behind Coleman, but the impressive strength of Harlem stopped his progression to Alexander by using a delayed vertical suplex. Lancelot entered, trying to suplex Coleman. When that didn’t work out, Lancelot simply used an arm wrench into the arm breaker. The Bravados had Coleman isolated so well. Even when Coleman seemed to be about to turn this thing around, Lancelot caught him with a shoulder breaker. Laying Coleman on the middle rope, Lancelot kicked the turnbuckle into Coleman’s face. Dead-lift German suplex by Lancelot!
Somehow, Caprice recovered during an Irish whip, using a springboard clothesline to finally tag out. Alexander was a house of fire, elbowing the now legal Harlem with a pair of kicks that set up the split-legged moonsault for a two count. Ice Breaker combination by C & C didn’t put an end to Harlem’s night. Lancelot tagged in, hitting a slingshot DDT to set up the belly-to-belly suplex on Coleman. Gentlemen’s Agreement somehow didn’t put Alexander away. Using an Irish whip against him, Alexander caught Lancelot with an enzuguri before tagging out.
Coleman ran in, kicking the life out of Lancelot prior to executing a trifecta of northern lights suplexes for another to count. Coleman waited for Lancelot to get up before using a spinning heel kick that rocked Lancelot and sent Coleman over the top rope where he took out Harlem. Reentering the ring, Caprice Coleman locked Lancelot in the stump puller. Before Lancelot could submit, Harlem kicked Coleman in the face. Bicycle kick from Harlem surprised Coleman and the fans. Rather than go for the pin, Harlem scaled the ropes to execute a blockbuster for another two count.
The fans were getting fired up before Harlem hooked Coleman in key lock. Somehow, Coleman made it to the ropes. Alexander sent Lancelot into the barricades prior to climbing the ropes for a cross body block. Bodies were flying everywhere until Harlem did the Flair bump after taking an enzuguri. The fans were chanting in favor of both teams. Alexander demanded Lancelot to throw hands with him. Lancelot actually won the battle, but lost the war by taking a cradle Michinoku driver. Harlem and Caprice were seemingly the legal men as Harlem ran into the claw STO. Coleman called for the end, and the three count came with Overtime as Coleman used a frankensteiner on Harlem to send him into Alexander’s frog splash. What a match!
To the surprise of everyone, Davey Richards made his unscheduled ROH return. In his street gear, Davey entered the ring to tell everyone that he should’ve done this promo earlier so he didn’t have to follow the great match. Richards reminded everyone that his only goal is to be the best wrestler in the world. Richards admitted that he hasn’t lived up to the person he hopes to be outside of the ring. Richards said he’d be back as the real American Wolf before stating he’d be at ringside for Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly later tonight.
Mike Posey vs. Jeff Lewis Neal
Neal easily grounded Posey in the early going, but it was Posey’s flexibility that helped him almost pin Neal on several attempts. Posey bounced off the ropes, only to feel a flapjack. Big knee drop from Neal stunned Posey, as did the dropkick moments later. Using a split, Posey executed a jawbreaker to free himself from the rear chin lock. Sadly, Posey’s momentum was halted by a suplex against the turnbuckles. Neal placed Posey on the top rope for a superplex. Posey fought through the attack, hitting the Alabama Jam guillotine leg drop to pick up the three count.
Before either man could get out of the ring, S.C.U.M. attacked to a thunderous ovation. Setting up a chair in the ring’s middle, Kevin Steen took the opportunity to speak. Kevin Steen announced on behalf of his crew and how S.C.U.M. would not participate in tonight’s main event Steel Cage match. But to leave a mark, Jacobs and Corino hoped to spike piledriver Posey on a chair. Rhett Titus ran out to make the save, but got clobbered by Steen and the microphone. Thankfully for Titus, The Briscoes hit the ring to chase their opponents away. It was announced that S.C.U.M. was fined $5000 for their actions here.
In the back with Veda Scott was The House of Truth. Roderick had on a pair of crazy, almost Truth Martini-like glasses. According to Martini, Strong’s strike against the HOT was over. Strong informed Martini if something happened that he didn’t like, he’d be gone just … like … that.
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The House of Truth w/Truth Martini
A nice pro-Elgin chant rang out before Charlie Haas exited the ring to confront some fans and attack ringside crew. Shelton Benjamin and Roderick Strong were the first men in, only for Strong to focus more on stealing Haas’ t-shirt after Charlie tore up Roderick’s shirt. Like Hulk Hogan, Strong put Haas’ shirt on before tearing it down the middle. Elgin was a little angry over Strong acting a fool, forcing him to finally wrestle with Shelton Benjamin. Elgin saved Strong from taking the Stinger splash, but Roderick didn’t seem happy about it. When Benjamin and Strong locked up, the second Grand Slam winner in ROH history was barring the arm of Benjamin until Shelton slammed him toward Haas.
Strong was looking for help from Elgin, but WGTT had him isolated. It wasn’t until an errant Irish whip by WGTT did Elgin get involved by taking both men down with a flying shoulder block. Both WGTT were knocked to the floor so Strong could grab the microphone to tell the big man to suck his testicles. As Strong talked, Benjamin slipped in to super kick him into near unconsciousness. Though he insulted Elgin, Strong appreciated the helping hand after the kick by tagging out. Delayed suplex by Elgin on Benjamin was ended by Haas’ well-timed kick.
Beautiful dropkick by Haas saw him spit at Martini. The thick salvia hit the middle rope instead of Martini. Approaching the rope, Haas caught his phlegm spit in his mouth and cheek to a huge ovation of disgust. Elgin took a Samoan drop from Benjamin when the focus shifted from Haas’ spit to the action. Elgin saved himself from a double team by kicking and slamming his way to Roderick. Strong jumped off of the apron at the last second.
Elgin realized he had to fight on his own, taking down both WGTT members. Spinning back first from Elgin to Benjamin didn’t drop Shelton, but left Elgin open for Haas’ German suplex. Enzuguri by Elgin dropped Haas before Shelton’s knee did the same to Elgin. Elgin saved Strong from taking the Leap of Faith. After hitting the double knee gut-buster on Haas, Strong ran into Paydirt from Shelton. Haas recovered, locking Strong in the Haas of Pain. Instead of saving Roderick, Elgin opted to walk away. Strong had no choice but to tap out.
Veda Scott stood with the ROH TV champion Adam Cole to talk about his match with Kyle O’Reilly. Cole still remembers what happened at “Best in the World 2012” where O’Reilly split Cole’s face. Tonight, according to the champ, O’Reilly’s receipt is coming.
Proving Ground: ROH TV champion Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Before the match, Davey Richards made his way to the ring. Lou Thesz press by Cole started this one in high gear. Kicking O’Reilly to the floor before using an enzuguri on the attempting-to-fly O’Reilly to set up Cole’s own tope. Steve Corino questioned if there’s ever been a sexier champion in ROH history. Right in front of Richards, O’Reilly reversed an Irish whip into the steel guardrail. Cole turned the tides quickly by using a slingshot into the steel ring post. Cole honed in on the left leg of O’Reilly by putting him in the figure four leg lock around the steel ring post.
Kyle O’Reilly rolled into the ring, dropkicking Cole out of midair. O’Reilly tried to get some feeling back into this leg while tying up the champ. O’Reilly took too much time focusing on the crowd, leading to a strike exchange that O’Reilly eventually won. The challenger started focusing on the back and abdomen of Cole. Getting some help from the referee by stopping the illegal action of grabbing the rope during an abdominal strength, the champ was able to hip toss O’Reilly before kicking him down.
Both men got up, leading to another kick exchange. German suplex into the shining wizard by Cole almost got him the three count. Stopping the Florida Key, Kyle forearmed and kicked the champion into a tornado DDT. Cole shook off the impact of the maneuver, executing that over the knee brain buster. O’Reilly kicked and swept his way out of the figure four leg lock. Adam Cole pushed his way out of the guillotine choke, but not the reverse hurricarana into the Regal-plex. Unlike MMA, the counter to Kyle O’Reilly’s triangle choke was a flipping over Kyle that saw O’Reilly relinquish the hold to prevent being pinned. Both men ended fighting on the apron. Davey Richards couldn’t believe his eyes when the champion dropped O’Reilly on his head with a northern lights bomb on the apron.
O’Reilly somehow kicked out of Cole’s follow up pin. Knocking the champ off the apron, O’Reilly was looking for that dropkick off of the apron. Instead, O’Reilly flew into a super kick that Cole used to set up the cross body off the top when he rolled O’Reilly back in. Kyle O’Reilly kicked out, but was open for the figure four leg lock. Being so close to the ropes cost Cole and allowed the challenger to save himself. Cole accidentally dropkicked O’Reilly off the apron, into Richards. Cole was distracted by Davey arguing with the referee, allowing O’Reilly to sweep him into a pinning predicament that gave O’Reilly a future ROH TV title shot.
Steel Cage Match: S.C.U.M. vs. The Briscoes & Rhett Titus
During his entrance, Kevin Steen cut his finger on some guy’s dry marker board when trying to break it. Dey’s a clubberin’ in Charlotte, Tony! Everyone was fighting on the floor, including The Briscoes and Corino with security. Breaking a beer bottle, Corino cut the forehead of Mark Briscoe. Titus took a flying chair to the face as Jay Briscoe helped his brother whip Jacobs into the barricades after being bloodied as well. Steen and Titus were the first to enter the cage after Jay took a beer from a fan to refuel. Locking Mark on the outside after getting Jay and his partners in, Steen did whatever it took to keep this thing three on two by clawing, punching, and biting at Mark Briscoe as he tried to enter.
Getting some food from a fan, Mark manned up by scaling the cage and knocking down Corino. Steen met Mark atop the cage, punching him from the cage’s top, through a table on the floor!
As Corino and Jacobs beat up a crimson colored Jay Briscoe, Steen did snow angels in the streamers thrown before the match. S.C.U.M were enjoying the misery of beating Jay and a now bleeding Titus. Using a beer, the referees attending Mark almost revived the former seven-time ROH World Tag Team champion. In the ring, Steen wrote “DIE” on Corino’s stomach with Jay’s blood. Steen missed the cannonball on Jay, leading to a comeback by Jay and Titus.
Kicking, punching, and slamming their opponents into the cage, Titus and Jay rallied Mark Briscoe to his feet. Mark Briscoe started walking around ringside as Jay hit the falcon arrow on Jacobs. Colby Shot on Jay and a backdrop driver to Titus from Corino put Rhett in position for Steen’s cannonball and the senton splash from Jimmy. Somehow, Titus kicked out of Jimmy’s follow up pin before Jay did the same following an F-Cinq!
Almost touching the ceiling, Mark leapt off the cage’s top with a moonsault. “Crazy” Mark Briscoe took down S.C.U.M. before a series of big moves broke loose. Stopping the Contra Code on Titus, Jay was able to put Jacobs on his shoulders. Mark dove off the top rope, hitting a prone Jacobs with the Doomsday Device. Mark immediately went for the pin on Jacobs, gaining the victory for his team in this bloody battle.
But S.C.U.M. wasn’t happy, using the ROH World title belt to lay out their victorious opponents. Before Steen, Corino, and Jacobs could leave, Jay Lethal exploded from the back to beat up Steen. Lethal was showing some killer instinct by taking the fight to all three members of S.C.U.M. Mounting Steen on the ramp, Lethal wore out Steen with right hands until a referee pushed Lethal away and Steen could scamper away.
Is It Worth Your Money: This is definitely an interesting event as it includes some quality action mixed in with some even more mundane wrestling. The positives include one of, if not the best non-title tag team match in ROH this year with C & C vs. The Bravados. They had the chance to steal the show and did just that. While it’s not a “five star classic”, it is tag team wrestling at its finest.
The opener was exhilarating to say the least. Adam Page made a serious case for himself attaining a ROH contract, and it’s hard to believe ROH hasn’t signed him following such an impressive performance against a determined Lethal. Cole vs. O’Reilly was, as predicted, not as good as their “Best in the World” encounter, but another fine outing to set up an even bigger match down the line. While bloody and violent, the main event felt like it could’ve used a few more minutes. A few extra minutes would’ve given it a chance to outdo anything on the card - a good main event nonetheless.
Now the okay to bad - WGTT vs. The HOT was what it was. The match was more about the storyline and frustration between Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong than delivering a great contest. Mike Posey vs. Jeff Neal was just there to put over S.C.U.M. following a competent, yet forgettable match. And then there was Mike Mondo vs. QT Marshall. The fans were bored out of their minds watching Mondo and Marshall attempt to find some chemistry; just a bad showing by two men who are seemingly in the good graces of ROH management.
So you have a somewhat inconsistent show that has peaks and valleys. Thankfully, the valleys don’t last long, and the peaks feature near-iPPV quality action and a possible breakout tag match featuring two teams that will hopefully get more shine in ROH as ROH enters 2013. With the holiday season here, this is the perfect time to pick up this event.
ROH “Caged Hostility” Is Worth Your Money.