Thanks to the CageSiders who read and/or commented on the initial "Adhering to the Code" post from a few weeks back. As I said then, I'm going to try to roll out one or two of these bad boys a month. Your support and feedback is the motivation needed to hit that target.
A couple of things mentioned in the comments:
Talk about the Women of Honor
I'd love to! And as soon as they show up on the TV show, I will. For now, though, in the four episodes I've seen of the show, a couple of ladies have appeared in crowd scenes and Veda Scott has played interviewer and hostage (more on that in a second).
I'm a big fan of and advocate for women's pro wrestling. I used to buy the Shimmer DVDs as soon as they were released, back when I had more free cash. I will be a happy camper when/if Ring of Honor (ROH), or TNA, or anybody with a decent shot at mainstream recognition gives females a chance to tell pro wrestling stories.
But I haven't seen it from ROH yet. I hear they're going to try, and I'm excited for it.
Stay Spoiler Free
As we discussed last time, the television show is taped in advance in chunks that end up being made into multiple episodes. So spoilers are out there. But I won't talk about them here. One of my other regular assignments is filmed the same way, and I avoid pre-broadcast results because I enjoy the show more that way. And I'll be treating this one like that one.
Now, it's difficult to figure out what constitutes a spoiler for a DVD release or iPPV that fans watch on their own schedule. I myself am not promising to buy every show ROH produces. So we'll talk about the results of their events as they pertain to the TV show.
But we're not here to ruin anything for anybody, any more than we're promising to provide in-depth coverage of all the ins and outs of Ring of Honor. "Adhering to the Code" is my way of keeping up with the promotion and providing CageSiders with some thoughts on how I think they're doing.
Now, on with the shows...
- Michael Elgin works a fairly lengthy match with zero drama concerning its outcome against Silas Young to start the March 23rd show. Jay Lethal is on commentary as a way of building to their #1 contenders match at Supercard of Honor VII.
- I get a kick out of Unbreakable. His receding hairline/mullet combo is going to keep him out of WWE as much as his diminutive stature will, and he tows the Davey Richards no selling/false finish line, but it makes sense for him. His nickname is "Unbreakable" for crying out loud! He moves really well for someone who is built like a fire hydrant, too. He nails Young with a Chaos Theory (one of my favorite moves ever - I miss you, Douglas Williams!).
- Charlie Haas gets a bunch of time on the microphone to build up the Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team split and put himself over. He gets to squash Grizzly Redwood, and Mike Mondo makes a save when he goes mega-heel and won't remove the Haas of Pain post-match. Makes me wonder what the hell is going on with Charlie. I was just dogging his solo dreams, but I hope the reports of his behavior surrounding that tweet are a work. Or that he's at least okay.
- While Veda Scott is interviewing Mondo (who used to pal around with Dolph Ziggler when they were both cheerleaders, if you know what I mean) about his return to ROH, Steve Corino and company hit the ring to set-up next week's show and further the whole SCUM vs ROH angle.
- The group threatens to harm the "hostages", especially Veda, as their response to Nigel McGuinness rallying his troops on the previous episode. If the matchmaker wants Scott released unharmed, Corino wants next week's show to be all SCUM vs ROH matches. Nigel agrees.
- Kevin Kelly is up-in-arms about how that dastardly Corino put his hands on a woman. Steve-o is still in the ring, and it's to give a long flowery intro to "The Icon" Matt Hardy. They seem to be all in on v1. And that feels pretty TNA of them to me, but we'll see. If Kevin Steen does break off from the group and Hardy is their main eventer...yeesh.
- If you can get past thinking snarky comments about "Fatt" Hardy, he still tells a good story in the ring. His number one contenders match for the Television title with Adam Cole here is solid; it's a long, back and forth affair that sees both men hit their big spots. When it looks like the younger man might come out on top after he answers a Twist of Fate with his Florida Key finisher, Rhino gores him to cause the DQ and clear the back for a good old all out brawl.
- A man that has been conspicuously absent from the show since 11th Anniversary opens the show with his World Championship belt draped over his shoulder. Kevin Steen is just about to give us his thoughts about SCUM's recent actions when he's confronted by his opponent at Supercard, and ROH original, Jay Briscoe. Damnit, Jay, we wanted to hear what the champ had to say!
- Briscoe is still in a sling, selling the shoulder that Rhino legit separated for him. His good but predictable speech is interrupted by Corino, who questions how he, a perennial runner-up, could dare to question the champ. Kevin cuts him off, saying he is proud to be ROH champ, and he'll be even prouder to defeat legends like the Briscoes (he faced Mark at War in North Carolina last weekend) to keep his strap. Then he throws in a "bitch" at the end to respond in kind to the redneck (and to mask his face turn).
- The suit-and-tie-wearing SCUM mouthpiece resumes berating Jay, who pulls what looks like a shiv out of his sling. Corino's faction storm the ring, prompting C & C (Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander) to run in, while the injured #1 contender slides out, and we've got the first of our SCUM vs ROH matches underway.
- And it's a chaotic mess, like all three of the matches on this episode. That's not a bad thing, either, as it gets across the point they need to make about the numbers game working in favor of the villainous group. Just don't come into this one expecting technical mat classics. The official competitors from SCUM, Cliff Compton and Rhett Titus, win after Jimmy Rave and Jimmy Jacobs both interfere.
- Jacobs beat Mike Mondo in the second match with a rope-assisted roll-up. This was a fun match with the best spots of the show. I don't get the company's fascination with Mondo. It's not that he's bad (he's got some good offense that, in this match, the zombie princess sells like a champ), but I don't think he has "it".
- The best part of the episode sees The King of Old School take over the "Inside ROH" segment, re-christening it "Inside SCUM". He clearly breaks down why each member of the team feels they were wronged by the company. And they don't take nine months to do it - take that TNA! There's a clip with Steen saying he doesn't care what SCUM's plans are, but Corino yanks that and yells at the production guy who played it (after he told him to play it, of course).
- I like the angle, but SCUM is still a horrible name. And I'm already tired of typing it.
- The main event makes the opener look positively serene. The champ was supposed to wrestle in this one, but Corino "gave him the night off" and the former ECW champion takes his place, even though he stays in his suit. Jay Lethal, Michael Elgin and BJ Whitmer lead the charge for ROH and had things in hand early, but the bad guys were represented by more than just the legal contingent of Steve, Rhino and Matt Hardy. Lethal and Unbreakable ended up cuffed to the ropes outside while BJ ate a gore. The ass-kissing of Hardy continued as Corino cleared the ring to let him hit a twist of fate and pin Whitmer for what Kevin Kelly called a "hat trick of pure evil".
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Kevin Steen defends against Jay Briscoe
ROH World Tag Team Championship
reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly) vs the American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards)
3 Way ROH World TV Championship
Matt Taven w/ Truth Martini vs Adam Cole vs "Self Proclaimed Icon" Matt Hardy
#1 Contenders Match
Jay Lethal vs "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin
Special Challenge Match
"Machine Gun" Karl Anderson vs Roderick Strong
HONOR vs SCUM - 10 MAN WAR!
TEAM ROH (BJ Whitmer, Mark Briscoe, Mike Mondo, Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander) vs TEAM S.C.U.M. (Jimmy Jacobs, Cliff Compton, Rhett Titus, Jimmy Rave & Rhino)
Tag Team Challenge Match
ACH & Tadarius Thomas vs "God's Gift" Qt Marshall & A Mystery Partner
- I don't think there's a chance in hell that Jay wins the belt, but that's exactly the kind of matches that should be going on in the title scene right now: tweener Steen against the company standard bearers. These guys have great history and this should be a brutal ball of fun.
- I really like Bobby Fish - he's kind of rocking the same worldly hipster character that Kassius Ohno is doing in NXT - and he compliments O'Reilly's stiff-looking style quite well. Kyle has come a long way as a heel, too.
- It'll be interesting to see what they do with the TV title. It's too early to tell on Taven, but his gimmick with the now sleazy Truth Martini doesn't do much for me. Does SCUM start collecting belts? What are they going to do with the non-SCUM rudos, like Taven, or Roddy Strong, or reDRagon?
- I expect Lethal - Elgin to steal the show, but I'm a Black Machismo mark. Still, Elgin had one of the most talked about matches at last year's 'Mania weekend show, so he's got the track record to do it. I have to think both of these guys get another shot at Steen before too long, though.
- New Japan fans will be happy to hear that Machine Gun is also working the TV taping that ROH is running on Saturday, this time against Unbreakable, which just might be insane.
- ACH looked great the first time we saw him on ROH TV, and he'll also be getting a TV title shot over the weekend. I really hope that Qt Marshall's "Mystery Partner" is one of his lawyer's alter-egos. Maybe even a Mysterious and Handsome Stranger...