February 14, 2011
ROH: Top Prospect Tournament begins
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling
Tonight on Ring Of Honor on HDNet, we get the start of the ROH Top Prospect Tournament. I’m a big fan of tournaments, so let’s avoid reading the spoilers, shall we?
Last week’s eight-man tag main event between the Briscoes and Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin against the Kings of Wrestling and the All Night Express is recapped and let’s just say it turned into the teams turning on one another.
Dave Prazak and Mike Hogewood call the action from South Philadelphia and we get right to the ring.
Jim Cornette is in the ring flanked by all the wrestlers who will be in the Top Prospect Tournament – Kyle O’Reilly, Adam Cole, Andy “Right Leg” Ridge, Grizzly Redwood, Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini), Jon Gresham and Bobby Dempsey. The eighth man is “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett and he comes out with Brutal Bob Evans. Hmmm, I wonder who ROH is pushing here? Surely it can’t be Dempsey, can it?
Bennett gets some mic time with Cornette and essentially hypes himself as the winner of the tournament.
Match #1 – Mark Briscoe vs. Homicide
This could be a main event, but we open with two ROH originals this week. No complaints from me.
Homicide still looks a tad rusty, but Homicide at 90 percent is better than anything on the USA channel at 100 percent. Mark goes to the top and the two battle with Mark knocking Homicide down. Homicide jumps up and hammers Briscoe with an Ace Crusher from the top rope and that’s it.
Winner via pinfall: Homicide
Christopher Daniels’ World TV title win two weeks ago over Eddie Edwards is shown and yes, this match was a classic.
Match #2 – ROH Top Prospect Tournament – Kyle O’Reilly vs. Jon Gresham
Gresham is making his ROH debut and is maybe all of 5-foot-7. Height notwithstanding, Gresham meshes well with the Vancouver native. O’Reilly gets the submission with the triangle choke.
Winner via submission: Kyle O’Reilly
Kyle Durden is ringside with Steve Corino and he gives O’Reilly advice. It appears Corino is going babyface.
The Kings and All Night Express chat about their ROH World tag title match at the ROH ninth anniversary show later this month in Chicago.
The main event (Kenny King vs. Chris Hero) should be up next, but Homicide’s music comes on and he comes to the ring. He brings Durden into the ring, grabs the mic and then tells Durden to exit. Homicide puts himself over as an ROH forefather and says he never got his World title rematch after “some fat slob from Japan” took his belt. Takeshi Morishima for those keeping score at home. He then tells Roderick Strong he’s taking the belt in Chicago.
Roddy and Truth Martini run down and come face-to-face. The two come to blows and then the refs intervene, but to no avail. The brawl continues until Homicide de-pantses the champ, who escapes up the aisle with Truth.
Homicide parades around the ring with Roddy’s pants and belt to end the show.
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, people, when King faces Hero and Rhett Titus battles Claudio Castagnoli.
Matt Mackinder is still saddened with the news that April will spell the end of ROH on HDNet. Any other good wrestling on TV he should know about? Email Matt at email@example.com.