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   April 23, 2014



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ROH: World title tournament rolls on
By MATT MACKINDER- SLAM! Wrestling


This week on Ring Of Honor TV, the World championship tournament continues and this week, we get a major Canadian feel with the show coming from Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre and Kevin Steen on the card.

The show opens with an update on B.J. Whitmer, who absorbed a piledriver on the ring apron last week from Michael Bennett during the opening round of the tournament. Hard to say if Kevin Kelly was genuine or playing to the storyline as he talked up how wrestling is the ROH wrestler’s livelihood and accidents do happen.

Kelly and Nigel McGuiness are ringside and we get right to the ring for another opening round bout to crown a new World champion.

Match #1 - Roderick Strong vs. ROH World TV champion Matt Taven w/ Truth Martini and the Hoopla Hotties (Celezia and Scarlett)

Before the match starts, Nigel tells Scarlett that she doesn’t have a manager’s license, so she must sit ringside with him. Celezia has a bodyguard’s license, so she can stay. That’s what Kevin Kelly said, people. He then mentions that back in the day, Jim Cornette’s bodyguard was Big Bubba Rogers. Who remembers him and who he would later become?

On the floor, Martini hits Strong with the Book of Truth, so Nigel confronts him. Taven goes to kick Nigel from behind, but misses and drills his manager. Roddy hits a powerbomb on the apron, rolls Taven in the ring, but only gets two.

Strong locks Taven in the Stronghold (Boston crab with a knee in the back), but Taven gets to the ropes. Taven rebounds with a frog splash for another near-fall. What a match!

Strong rallies and nails the Sick Kick and ends it with the flipping suplex onto his knees and the TV champ is eliminated.

Winner via pinfall: Roderick Strong

Strong will face the winner of the next match between Steen and an ROH original, Brian Kendrick.

Match #2 – “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen vs. Brian Kendrick

Steen comes out to a huge ovation. Kendrick is rocking a goatee these days. Kelly goes all nostalgic again when he mentions that Kendrick used to be known as “Spanky.” Google it, people.

Kendrick has an early advantage and even lands Sliced Bread #2 on the ring apron. Looked pretty painful, to be honest with you.

Another great ROH match ends when Steen hits the Cannonball on Kendrick in the corner and slaps on the Sharpshooters, where Kendrick taps almost immediately.

Winner via submission: Kevin Steen

So it’ll be Steen and Strong locking up in the quarterfinals. That’ll be a doozy.

Next up is the first quarterfinal matchup with the winner going to Philadelphia next week for the semifinals.

Match #3 – Adam Cole vs. Jay Lethal

Like the late Gorilla Monsoon used to say, this is a main event anywhere in the country.

Cole defeated Mark Briscoe in the opening round, while Lethal ousted Sonjay Dutt.

Cole’s teased heel turn continues here, but that doesn’t take away from what an awesome match this is between two of the most underrated wrestlers in the country.

Lethal hits the Lethal Combination for a near-fall and later, goes for the Lethal Injection (flip off the ropes into an Ace Crusher), but Cole side-steps it and hits a superkick. The two then trade what seems like an endless barrage of superkicks and a series of near-falls.

Lethal lands the elbow off the top for another two-count and hits the Lethal Injection, but Cole is up at two.

Cole traps Lethal on the top rope and hits a monstrous back suplex that sees Lethal flip and land face-first. On his knees, Lethal eats a superkick from Cole, who then gets the duke with the Florida Key back suplex-bridge combo.

Winner via pinfall: Adam Cole

The two shake hands afterward, with Cole taunting Lethal by saying, “I’m No. 1.” Cole will meet the winner of the Bennett-Tomasso Ciampa match in Philly.

That’s all she wrote this week, folks. See you in 168 hours.

Matt Mackinder has been with SLAM! Wrestling since 2006. What were YOU doing in 2006? Contact Matt at mackindermedia@yahoo.com