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ROH: The debut of ... Eugene?
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on Ring Of Honor on HDNet, we get the debut of “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett (I hope it lives up to the hype), a sweet tag team match with four up-and-comers, and ROH World champ Roderick Strong in a non-title match with Colt Cabana in the main event.

Sounds like a great Monday evening with my feet up (and a baby and her spit-up on my shoulder) to me, eh?

Mike Hogewood and Dave Prazak are ringside from Louisville and we get right to the action after opening the show with a major pimp job on Bennett.

Match #1 – “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett w/ Brutal Bob vs. Nick Dinsmore

Yes, folks, that would be Eugene. THE Eugene. Only a little more doughy. Looks like he’s a jobber now. I guess it’s better than being a mentally-challenged cousin of Eric Bischoff or Paul Heyman or whatever the wacked-out storyline was in WWE back in the day.

A Fisherman suplex by Dinsmore gets a near-fall and as a follow-up, Dinsmore hits the ropes, but Bennett ducks and Dinsmore trips on the bottom rope. Bennett with a spine buster and that’s all she wrote.

Winner via pinfall: Mike Bennett

A so-so debut for Bennett. I hate to say this, but I expected more from someone who will probably be in the man event scene by year’s end, but I’ve been wrong before.

A recap of the street fight from Final Battle between El Generico and Kevin Steen airs. This looked like a solid bout and from the looks of the ROH website, Steen really is gone from the company.

Jim Cornette has the ROH World tag team champions, the Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli) in the ring for a special interview. Cornette tells the Kings’ manager, Shane Hagadorn, that the champs have been ducking challengers and brings out the No. 1 contenders – the All Night Express (Rhett Titus and Kenny King). A good faceoff ensues with King telling Hero that the belts will soon belong to the Express. This should be a fresh, exciting feud.

A video montage for Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly is up next and is an excellent segue into our second match of the night.

Match #2 – Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Mike Posey & Corey Hollis

Actually a pretty quick match that sees Cole hit Hollis with a wheelbarrow back breaker for the win. That said, some very good action here, folks.

By the way - Mike Posey. The former WWE and TNA ref? Methinks it is.

Winners via pinfall: Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly

After revisiting last week’s main event match of Homicide against Claudio, we learn that next week’s main event will be (TV champion?) Christopher Daniels vs. Hero.

Backstage, Kyle Durden is with Daniels, who says excitement is in the air with a new year upon us. He also says the winner of next week’s match gets a World TV title match against Eddie Edwards, a wrestler Daniels is good, but not as good as him. So maybe in two weeks we’ll see the title change?

Match #3 – ROH World Champion Roderick Strong w/ Truth Martini vs. Colt Cabana – Non-Title Match

Good to see “Boom Boom” back in action. Always been a big fan of Colt.

Strong hits a forearm shot and a leaping kick to Cabana’s head for a near fall. Strong then goes to work with a series of elbows and a back suplex for another two-count. Roddy then locks in a Boston crab, but Cabana gets to the the bottom rope.

Cabana fights back with some right hands, but is kicked by Strong as he sits on the top rope. Strong attempts a superplex, but in a great spot, Cabana counters with a turnbuckle gut buster. Wow! Cabana only gets two. Strong gets up and scores with a superkick for a near fall and then the running yakuza kick for the clean win.

Winner via pinfall: Roderick Strong

Roddy and Martini celebrate as this week’s show comes to a close.

WEEKLY DISCLAIMER: I say this each week and I’ll say it yet again tonight. ROH was an excellent show this week and continues to show why it is not just another wrestling show on Monday night, but the only wrestling show on Monday night.

’Til next week, chaps.


Matt Mackinder made dinner Monday night. His wife and kids were thrilled. Email Matt your favorite recipes at mackindermedia@yahoo.com.