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ROH: Who gets the World tag title shot at Final Battle?
By MATT MACKINDER - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on Ring Of Honor, we have two stellar matches, with one determining the top contenders to the ROH World tag team titles.

I apologize for last week, as the DVR recorded at the right time, but only taped half of the show. No matter. The opening video package shows that TV champion Jay Lethal and Mike Bennett went to a draw and Bennett refused to go five more minutes.

This week's show is from Davis Arena in Louisville, Ky. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness do the hype job and we go to a preview of the first match between Roderick Strong and Kyle O'Reilly. Each wrestler chastises the other, with Roddy calling O'Reilly one of Davey Richards' "boy cheerleaders." Not sure I'm a fan of Strong's promos. Dude sounds like he's reading cue cards.

Match #1 – Kyle O'Reilly vs. Roderick Strong w/ Truth Martini

Great bout here. The crowd even thinks so, as evidenced by the "This is awesome!" chant.

Strong locks in the Stronghold, but O'Reilly makes it to the bottom rope. O’Reilly hits a running tilt-a-whirl DDT and then turns it into a guillotine choke on the mat.

Strong hits a high knee to O’Reilly’s grill and then takes control with elbow smash after elbow smash. With O'Reilly dazed, a Sick Kick does the trick for the 1-2-3.

Winner via pinfall: Roderick Strong

After the match, Michael Elgin attacks O'Reilly and it's a 2-on-1 until Tony Kozina runs in, only to get beat down himself. Eventually, Richards hits the ring with Eddie Edwards. Security whisks away Elgin and Strong and the American Wolves hit a double-team Alarm Clock on Martini, who oversells.

After a commercial, Jim Cornette is ringside and fines Strong, Elgin and Martini $2,500 each for their actions, which including an attack on security. Fans then start a Kevin Steen chant and Cornette calls him a liability and he won't do business with him. In other words, expect Steen back in ROH sooner than later.

In an "Inside ROH" segment, Lethal and Edwards give their take on why each should challenge Richards at Final Battle next month. Hmmm. Edwards and Davey can throw down, but would Lethal be a better, fresh choice? Not sure ROH can go wrong here.

A new tag team, Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman, challenge World tag champs Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin to a "proving ground" match, which I think is essentially a non-title match. The champs accept, but say that because the new guys are unknown, it may be dangerous, but they plan on winning anyway.

Match #2 – Alex Silva vs. “The Dominant Male” Tommaso Ciampa w/ Prince Nana and Mr. Ernesto Osiris

Squash. Ciampa wins in about three minutes with Project Ciampa.

Winner via pinfall: Tomasso Ciampa

After a short break, it's main event time.

Match #3 - No. 1 Contenders Match - The All Night Express (Kenny King and Rhett Titus) vs. The Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark)

These guys never disappoint. This match was nearly pay-per-view quality.

King heads to the top, but is dumped to the floor by Jay. The Briscoes set Titus up for the Doomsday Device, but Mark instead hits a hurracanrana for the win. Nice tweak.

Winners via pinfall: The Briscoe Brothers

"Dem Boys" celebrate to end the show and will apparently face Haas and Benjamin in seven weeks.

WEEKLY DISCLAIMER: Great show again tonight! ROH is wrestling. I mean, WRESTLING. They don't need the word "entertainment" in the name of the company to let you know what it's supposed to do for you. It just happens naturally. And yes, I say this every week.

'Til next week, folks.


Matt Mackinder is a born-again wrestling fan and has ROH to thank. Email Matt at mackindermedia@yahoo.com.