Last night in New Orleans, Sinclair Broadcasting's Ring of Honor (ROH) promotion held one of its two shows in New Orleans for pro wrestling's biggest weekend. Saturday night will see a television taping for their weekly syndicated show (that can also be viewed for free online each week), but last night, Friday, April 4, 2014, was their eighth annual Supercard of Honor show.
It was a stacked show with two title matches and a bevy of set-up for their two big internet pay-per-view (iPPV) shows coming up featuring visiting New Japan Pro-Wresting stars.
Luke Hawx vs. Mike Posey vs. Corey Hollis vs. The Romantic Touch
Described as a solid opener that saw local boy Haux win with a pin on Posey.
Cedric Alexander vs. Roderick Strong (with The Decade)
The first of back-to-back matches featuring some of ROH's more dynamic young guns against The Decade, a heel stable of veterans who have been with the company for since it's beginnings ten or so years back (thus the name). Alexander fought valiantly and took out an interferring Jimmy Jacobs, but was then caught by The Messiah of the Backbreaker with a suplex/backbreaker hybrid and a win for Roddy.
The Decade vs. Andrew Everett & Caprice Coleman & ACH
The heels were represented by Jacobs, BJ Whitmer and their mentee Adam Page. This was described as a match of the night contender (the trios revolution continues!) with lots of good work, especially from Page and Everett. The Decade hit their finisher to pin Everett.
After this, it's worth noting that Matt Taven called out his former manager Truth Martini for a confrontation that ended with Martini laying the former Television champion out with the Book of Truth. It helps set-up something important that happens later...
RD Evans vs. Silas Young
Evans (also known as Chikara's Archibald Peck) has been working a "Streak" gimmick since his return to ROH. Given the spot on the calendar, it's important to mention that this is a parody of Goldberg's WCW streak, not the famous WWE Streak that will be extended on Sunday. He and manager Veda Scott have been hyping his not having been beaten even when he doesn't wrestle, and padding the total after every win. If you've ever seen and liked any of RD/Archie's other work, you'll like this.
Apparently (and unsurprisingly) this was an okay match that the crowd loved. Evans was named the winner despite being pinned, because Young bumped the original referee and the pin was counted by a replacement. When the first ref came to, he declared that "The Streak" rolls on with his disqualification of Silas.
Mark Briscoe vs. Michael Bennett (with Maria Kanellis) : No DQ
This is a spin-off from tonight's main event, as Bennett has allied himself with ROH World champ Adam Cole and Briscoe is the brother of the man who claims he is still ROH World champ, Jay Briscoe. Bennett wins a brawl.
Matt Hardy came out to put over the company, Cole (who he is also aligned with) and attack ROH Dojo graduate and promotion whipping boy Cheeseburger.
RedDragon vs. Forever Hooliganz vs. Raymond Rowe & Hanson
Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly won to become the #1 contenders to The Young Bucks ROH tag titles at War of the Worlds. Another hot match that reportedly was a good showcase for all three teams, including the Top Prospect tournament finalists and Michael Elgin protegees Rowe & Hanson with a lot of big power moves.
ROH TV champion Tomasso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal
This was a best two-out-of-three falls match designed to blow off a feud that goes back to 2012, with a gap for the knee injury with which The Sicilian Psychopath left their last two-out-of-three falls match for the TV title.
Lethal won with an assist from Truth Martini, declaring after the match that "there is a house in New Orleans, and it is the House of Truth", turning heel and re-starting that stable.
Kevin Steen vs. Michael Elgin
Two fan favorites dueling for the right to face IWGP champ Kazuchi Okada at War of the Worlds in New York and on iPPV. Another match of the night contender for a brutal, back and forth that ended when Elgin hit Steen with his own package piledriver finisher to earn the pin.
Then, it was time for the main event...
Ladder War V: ROH champion Adam Cole vs. Jay Briscoe
Ladder War is a well protected match concept for the company, and all of the past occurrences have been brutal affairs. This one wasn't different (Mike Johnson called it a "super psycho"). After the expected insane spots, Briscoe fought off both of Cole's compatriots, removing Hardy and Bennett from the picture with Jay Drillers. But it was enough of a distracton to allow Cole to beat him up the ladder to pull down the belts and remain ROH World champ.
Does that sound as good to you as it does to me? Were any of you Cagesiders at the show and care to chime in with a report?