The following report is from Dave Musgrave and F4WOnline.com …
The show opens with footage of the 5/12/2012 Border Wars match between Kevin Steen and Davey Richards in which Steen won the ROH title.
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness introduce this week’s show from the Du Burns Arena in Baltimore, Maryland. They review Steen’s win for the title and announce that we will hear from Steen tonight and that Jim Cornette will announce who will face Steen at Best In The World in New York City.
An interview is shown with Adam Cole regarding his match tonight with Mike Mondo. Cole says that Mondo has proven himself a worthy competitor and a tough guy. Cole notes that Mondo says he has no fear and while Cole respects him he does not fear him. Cole says that he has been on the run of his career with momentum on his back and is not going to let Mondo stop that. Mondo is interviewed and says that there are three things you get when you wrestle him: no rest, no mercy and no fear. Mondo says he has wrestled pretty boys like Cole and will do both of them a favour, he will smash Cole’s face in like a jigsaw puzzle and then give Cole the pleasure of putting it back together. Mondo says it’s gut check time.
Mondo and Cole both come to the ring and they shake hands to start. They tie up and Mondo takes a side headlock as Kyle O’Reilly joins commentary. Mondo shoulder-blocks Cole and then does push-ups. Cole takes a hammerlock and Mondo reversed into a wristlock. Cole rolls him up and punches him when they get to their feet. Cole hits a dropkick and Mondo rolls out of the ring. Cole goes for a pescado but lands on the apron and gets pulled off by Mondo. They fight and Mondo rolls him back in. Cole dropkicks Mondo off the apron and then hits a tope suicida. Cole rolls Mondo back but Mondo hits a rolling neckbreaker as Cole comes back in. On commentary O’Reilly says that Cole is a good wrestler but is not a great wrestler like guys like Billy Robinson, Karl Gotch and Lou Thesz who are legitimate grapplers. Kelly announces that Cole has accepted O’Reilly’s challenge for a Hybrid Fighting match at Best In The World in which the match can only end in knock-out or submission. Mondo pounds on Cole in the corner and then snapmares him and kicks him in the head. Mondo throws Cole into the corner and then wedges Cole’s hand through the turnbuckle and stomps on him. Mondo also wraps up Cole’s foot in the ring apron and continues to stomp on him. Cole get up and they trade forearms. Mondo comes out on top and hits a neckbreaker. He goes for a pin attempt and then leg-scissors Cole’s head and rams his head into the mat. Mondo puts on a crevate and Cole tries to fight out. Mondo then puts on a sleeper-hold but Cole fights out and kicks him in the head. Cole fights back with several punches and beats down Mondo in the corner. Mondo gets to his feet but misses a clothesline allowing Cole to hit a dropkick followed by a running knee. Cole goes for another pescado but Mondo gets out of the way. Mondo charges Cole on the floor but Cole leaps over him and Mondo hits the guardrail. Back in the ring Cole hits a cross-body for a two-count. On their feet Cole misses and enzuiguri and Mondo leaps up and stomps on Cole’s head. Mondo goes for a double-arm DDT but Cole counters it and hits a backslide for the pinfall and the win. Cole offers a handshake after the match but Mondo blows his nose onto Cole’s hand.
Kelly previews Best In The World and announces that The All-Night Express of Rhett Titus and Kenny King will face ROH Tag Team Champions Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin for the titles and also previews Cole vs O’Reilly and Fit Finlay vs Michael Elgin.
After a commercial break Nick Westgate is announced in the ring followed by his opponent Tomasso Ciampa with RD Evans, Prince Nana and Princess Mia. Ciampa clotheslines Westgate to start and then lays in with punches on Westgate who is tied up in the ropes. Ciampa kicks Westgate in the ropes and then hits a running kick followed by a dropkick. Ciampa fish-hooks Westgate and throws him to the mat. Ciampa rolls down his kneepad and goes for a knee-strike but Westgate gets out of the way. Westgate hits a dropkick and then runs the ropes. Ciampa catches him and throws him in the air bringing him down into a knee-strike. Ciampa then lays in repeated elbow strikes for the referee stoppage. Ciampa continues with elbows after the match as well.
After another commercial break Kelly presents “Inside Ring Of Honor” and footage is shown of Haas and Benjamin winning the tag titles from the Briscoes in Toronto after Haas used an ether-soaked rag to knock out Mark Briscoe. Haas and Benjamin are interviewed and Haas says Mark was covered in chicken grease which is why it took him so long to put on a sleeper. Haas says he grabbed the towel and disinfectant to wipe him clean and then he choked him out. Kelly notes that Mark and Jay Briscoe will not get another shot at Haas and Benjamin with the belts on the line but that Rhett Titus and Kenny King will get a title shot in New York City. Haas and Benjamin are interviewed and Shelton says that the All-Night Express were supposed to be champions already and asked if this was according to their four or five Twitter followers. Shelton says that Titus and King have always been a lame team and only one team that can be called best in the world at Best In The World and it won’t take them all night to prove it.
Footage is shown of Jay Lethal beating Tomasso Ciampa at Border Wars and Kelly notes that Lethal wants to regain the title at ROH TV Champion Roderick Strong at Best In The World. Lethal is interviewed and says it took two people, Strong and Ciampa, to cost him the title. Lethal says it is one down and one to go as he cost Ciampa this undefeated streak in Toronto and now there is one left. Lethal says he is coming for what is rightfully his and is taking it. Kelly announces that Ciampa is not taking the loss well at all and is demanding another match with Lethal who is demanding a title match. Kelly says that they hope to have more information next week.
Footage is shown of Fit Finlay losing to Strong at Border Wars and it is said that Finlay has gotten right back in the game by signing to face Michael Elgin at Best In The World on June 24. Kelly also says that Eddie Edwards is continuing his quest to stay in the title picture with the Die Hard Challenge Series in which he has challenged a number of former World Champions with the first being Former ECW Champion Rhino in Toronto. Kelly announces that Edwards is now scheduled to face form ROH World Champion Homicide on June 24. Kelly says that the biggest in the series takes place next week when Eddie faces former ROH Champion Davey Richards. Eddie is interviewed and says that if he can beat Richards and Homicide he deserves a title shot and that next week he is going to show the wolf how to hunt.
After the commercials Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander come to the ring followed by opponents Rhett Titus and Kenny King. Kelly announces that new ROH champion Kevin Steen was scheduled to speak at this time with Cornette announcing his opponent but there has been a delay with an impromptu conversation so the main event will now occur. The two teams shake hands and Alexander starts the match with King. They tie up and trade wristlocks. King hits Alexander with armdrags and then puts on an armbar before throwing him into the ropes. King takes Alexander up for a tilt-a-whirl but Cedric counters with a flying headscissors followed by an armdrag. They both go for spinning kicks and miss and then hit simultaneous dropkicks. King headlocks Cedric and tags in Titus who kicks Alexander in the ribs. Coleman tags in and he and Titus criss-cross with Coleman hitting a dropkick. Titus rolls out and King comes in and misses a clothesline. Coleman hits punches and then jumps on the second rope on the inside of the ring and moonsaults out of the ring onto Titus. King chases Coleman on the outside and Coleman hits a 619-like swinging dropkick around the ringpost and through the ropes. Alexander then hits a tope con giro on both King and Titus. Titus rolls back in and Coleman hits a cross-body for a near-fall. Coleman and Titus trade punches and Titus gets dumped out of the ring. Coleman charges for a dive and takes a knee to the head from King. Titus vaults himself into the ring for a shoulder tackle and pin attempt. Titus tags in King while bodyslamming Coleman. King vaults in with a legdrop followed by Titus with a splash. King works over Coleman as the show goes to commercials. We return to King hitting a clothesline on Coleman and then tagging in Titus and they both chop Coleman and then hit stereo kicks on him. Rhett goes for a pin and then hits a neckbreaker for another pin attempt. King tags in and lays in with kicks before quickly tagging in Titus who throws Coleman into the ropes but Coleman punches Titus and then hits a swinging DDT on King and dropkicks Titus in the process. Alexander gets the hot tag and comes in with a clothesline off the top rope on Titus followed by a dropkick on King. Cedric hits a big enzuiguri on Titus. King charges Alexander and Coleman who hit a double dropkick. Alexander hits a dropkick on Titus followed by a botched move from Coleman. King breaks up a pin attempt. Alexander hits a crossbody of the ropes that King turns into a spinebuster. Titus clotheslines Coleman and then attempts a neckbreaker on Alexander but is stopped. Alexander and Coleman attempt a double suplex on Titus but King assists and hit duelling kicks and attempt pins. Titus takes up Coleman in a powerbomb position with King ready to come off the top but Alexander stops King and Coleman gets out and throws Titus in the corner before hitting a running knee. Titus is placed on the top rope and Coleman hits a hurracanrana from the mat without getting all of it. Alexander misses a splash and King hits shotgun knees on Coleman. King and Titus then hit their One Night Stand with Titus taking up Alexander in a powerbomb position with King hitting a blockbuster from the top rope.
After a commercial break Kelly announces new ROH Champion Kevin Steen who comes to the ring with Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino. Corino gets on the mic and runs down Kelly, asking him to step aside as he announces Steen as the new champion. Corino asks Steen how it feels knowing that eighteen months ago there was a man who tried to starve him out and now has to call Steen for bookings and to call Steen the ROH Champion. Steen says it feels pretty good and that for six months he has been saying he would win the ROH title and now gets to tell the fans he is a man of his word. The fans start chanting “Kill Steen Kill”. Corino says that just weeks ago he wondered why the fans would chant “Kill Steen Kill” but that it was Steen who convinced him that evil was the only way. Steen shows a tattoo on his forearm that says “EVIL”. Corino says that he and the whole world want to know what will make Steen different from every world champion in the past. Steen says he will represent the company as world champion the way it should be. He won’t waste his time training in jiu jitsu. Steen says he will go to the events he feels the company should be represented at such as the health and fitness expo and says that if anyone should represent the company there it should be him. Steen says he will represent the company with the sponsors who invest money and he will takes photos and kiss their children if he needs to. Steen says that in September there is an affiliates dinner where all the tv station executives who carry ROH programming get together and discuss programming and the ROH Champion needs to be there. Steen says he will be there dressed to the nines in his tuxedo t-shirt and he will make sure that all those people will hear exactly what they have to know about Ring Of Honor and especially Jim Cornette. Cornette then comes to the ring and says he can promise Steen won’t be champion in September. Cornette says that he couldn’t go to Toronto and asked Corino to make sure “this big fat bastard” do anything Cornette wouldn’t like and he ended up hugging Steen. Cornette says that Corino’s services on DVD commentary are no longer required. Corino says that his contract didn’t say Cornette could choose his friends so Cornette should get his lawyers and shut up until then. Cornette says they will discuss Corino’s job assignments later. Cornette says that Steen is a cancer and a sickness and is doing nothing for their public relations. Cornette says he has been talking to Eddie Edwards, Jay Lethal and the House Of Truth and every single person in the locker room wants a piece of Steen at Best In The World. Cornette announces that at Best In The World Steen will be facing none other than…and then Davey Richards’ music comes on and Richards comes to the ring with Kyle O’Reilly and says that he is tired of being lumped into Camp Cornette and for Cornette to kiss his ass. Richards says that he is not Cornette’s associate, that he fights for himself and that the old Davey is back and he knows that Cornette would love for him to give an out for Toronto saying that the fans got in his head, that the second turnbuckle was exposed allowing Steen to hit the package piledriver but on that night the only thing that happened was that Steen was the better man. Cornette says that seems to be the problem. Richards says that the reason he wants the title match at Best In The World is because the ROH title is supposed to be about the two best wrestlers in the world going at it and as different as they are he and Steen are the two best in the world right now. Richards says he wants the match because if he can’t kick Steen’s ass he is going to kick Cornette’s. Steen says that as interesting as it would be to see Richards kick Cornette’s ass he and his friend are going to leave. Steen says it shows gratitude and that Cornette is the only tennis player he knows who doesn’t have any balls. Cornette says that he will give Richards one more chance in New York City and if he can’t get it done he will find somebody who can. Richards says he is going to do it for himself and then tells Steen that his worst nightmare will be at Best In The World.
This was a really solid show this week with good booking going into the next ippv. Mondo and Cole had a good opener and the tag match was quite good. Although Richards’ promo work seemed a little forced, Steen felt like a big deal in the ending segment and the rivalry seems strong going into the rematch.