2/1 Ring of Honor TV Review: AJ Styles Returns, Top Prospects Semi-Finals; Michael Bennett’s New Finisher Looks Familiar…

Mike Killam

Ring of HonorRing of Honor TV
Feb. 1, 2014

This is the final episode from the January Nashville, TN taping and Kevin Kelly kicks the show off from commentary, joined by Steve Corino and Prince Nana. The final semi-final round in the Top Prospects tournament will get things started tonight. 

Hanson vs. Andrew Everett

Hanson was the monster that destroyed Cheesebuger a few weeks ago; Andrew's got a few pound on him, but not by a whole lot. As if on queue, the big man catches Everett off a corkscrew dive to the outside, and darts him face first into a ring post. Lots of cruiserweight stuff that plays up the David vs. Goliath feel. In a spot the fans loved, Hanson came up empty on a massive suicide dive, ala Samoa Joe. Everett with a Shooting Star Press to the outside, but Hanson catches him with a spinning wheel kick off the springboard for the win.

One of the best matches in the tournament, for my money. Both guys used their size as an advantage, and I think the right man won. There's a lot of guys that look like Andrew Everett on the indie scene; very few look like Hanson. Joe and Steen were/are really the last big man to thrive on the indies, and I think it's interesting that the two biggest "WWE ready" looking guys will be competing in the finals. 

Michael Bennett and Maria Kanellis come out, pissed off after the lost to Adam Cole at Final Battle. Maria says she's not afraid of any man, but Steen is everything wrong with wrestling. She teases a new finisher, since Mike can't use the Piledriver per stipulation of his match with Steen. 

Michael Bennett vs. Cedric Alexander

Cedric takes control of the match early and tries to go outside, but Maria gets in the way. He shrugs it off, jumps clear over her, and crashes both him and Mike into the barricade. After a brief commercial break, Bennett is in total control and Maria is calling him "sexy" on commentary. Bennett smartly tries to keep the action outside of the ring, where he benefits for sure, but Alexander isn't having any of that. A few springboard throws and a kick to the side of the head pick up a close two-count, and the fans are on their feet. Bennett catches him with a spear out of the air, and hits the Box Office Smash for two. Maria causes another distraction, and Mike uses the Anaconda Vice for the submission win. 

Heh. You know, Punk was still with the WWE when this taping was filmed, but that it came out this week makes for some hilarious timing. 

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