We open the show with a recap of the triple threat elimination match for the ROH World TV Title from “Best in the World 2012.”
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness welcome us to the show, and hype the main event which sees ROH World TV Champion defending the belt against Adam Cole.
Rhino w/ Truth Martini vs Rocco Abruzzi
Kelly says Abruzzi is a legitimate street fighter who has impressed ROH officials with Tank Abbot-like toughness. Rhino immediately takes control of the match. He hits a belly-to-belly suplex and follows it up with a Gore to put Abruzzi away in about a minute.
After the match, Tommaso Ciampa makes his way to the ring and throws both Prince Nana and RD Evans into the ring alongside Rhino and Martini. Ciampa says he wants to have some answers after what’s happened in Toronto and New York City. Martini tells Nana to tell Nana about their deal. Evans says in the interest of full disclosure between the attorney and the client, it’s time for Ciampa to know the truth: It was all Nana. Nana goes after Evans, but Ciampa says something in Italian and attacks Nana.
Winner by Pinfall: Rhino
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: This obviously was more of an angle than a match, so it must be viewed that way. It’s always fun to see Rhino destroy some poor soul, but the best part of this whole thing was finally getting some kind of progression of the House of Truth and Embassy storyline. After months of just speculation, it was confirmed there was some kind of collusion between the two factions, although we don’t know specifics. At least it’s something.
Tommaso Ciampa vs Mike Sydal
Sydal catches Ciampa off guard with a roll up attempt, but gets almost decapitated with a lariat moments later. Ciampa catches Sydal in the ropes and curb stomps Sydal to the mat. Sydal fights back and sends to Ciampa to the floor. He goes up top and hits a moonsault to the floor onto Ciampa. He rolls Ciampa back into the ring and goes up top again. Ciampa catches him, but Sydal turns it into another roll up attempt. Ciampa pulls Sydal’s legs apart to make him split and then connects with a running knee. He follows it up with the Project Ciampa to pick up the victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Tommaso Ciampa
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: This was a good win for Ciampa. Sydal posed a small challenge, but Ciampa easily disposed of him. It was somewhat of a squash, but it was an effective one. That running knee strike when Sydal was split in the middle of the ring was a very cool spot.
The All Night Express is introduced as the NEW ROH World Tag Team Champions when Kevin Kelly introduces them for an in-ring interview. Well this is awkward. Kenny King says Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin are a couple of cowards. Rhett Titus says the All Night Express is bringing the party to Baltimore all night long. This brings out Haas and Benjamin. The fans give Benjamin the “What?” treatment. He asks King and Titus how they can call themselves champions. He says the All Night Express can either name a time or place for a rematch, or they can just hand the titles back over. King says how about right here, right now, but Haas and Benjamin say it isn’t sanctioned so they decline. Haas jumps Titus, but King makes the save. Benjamin wallops King over the head with a chair, and then attacks Titus with a chair. Benjamin tries to keep hitting Titus with the chair, but Haas stops him.
It’s now time for Inside ROH. Since Eddie Kingston is getting a shot at the ROH World Title at “Boiling Point,” they do a profile on Kingston’s Ring of Honor history and his ongoing feud with Kevin Steen. Eddie Edwards says he can’t lay a hand on Maria, but he found someone who can in Sara Del Rey. Del Rey says a real woman would break Maria in half, and Del Rey will be that woman. Maria freaks out about having to wrestle Del Rey. Mike Bennett says he’ll have no problem hitting Del Rey is she puts her hands on Maria.
We now get to see how Adam Cole received his ROH TV Title shot in a Proving Ground match that also involved Kyle O’Reilly and BJ Whitmer.
ROH World TV Title
ROH World TV Champion Roderick Strong w/ Truth Martini defends vs Adam Cole
Strong and Martini follow the Code of Honor, but it was only a ploy to give Strong an opportunity to hit Cole with a dropkick and take immediate control of the match. They fight around the outside, and Strong drops Cole spine-first onto the ring frame. Cole tries to fight back, but Strong responds with a back breaker for a two count. Cole reverses an Irish whip that sends Strong into the barricade, but a big boot from the champion puts Cole down. Strong launches Cole ribs-first into the steel ring post. That was insane! Strong suplexes Cole on the outside, and gets a two count back in the ring as the show goes to commercial.
Back from the break, and Strong takes Cole out with a basement dropkick. Cole gets a series of near falls with different rollups, but Strong answers with a Strong Hold in the middle of the ring. Cole finally reaches the ropes, but Strong has continued his punishment on Cole’s back. Cole hits an enziguri and both men are down. Cole hits a series of forearm smashes and appears to be rallying back. He sends Strong to the outside and connects with a suicide dive. He goes up top and hits a crossbody, but it only gets a two count. Cole connects with a Shining Wizard for another close two count. Strong fights out of a Florida Key attempt, and sits Cole on the top rope. Strong drops Cole into a top rope backbreaker, but it only gets a two count. Strong hits the gutbuster, and once again Cole finds a way to kick out. Cole hurricaranas out of a Gibson Driver attempt, and follows it up with a springboard DDT onto the ring apron. He goes for the pin, and gets a long two count. Martini misses when trying to Cole with the Book of Truth. Strong tries to go for his finishing back breaker, but Cole counters out of it. After a flurry of moves Cole locks in the Figure Four. Michael Elgin makes his way to ringside and looks conflicted as Strong reaches the ropes. Cole connects with a superkick. He follows it up with the Florida Key, and picks up the pinfall to become the NEW ROH World TV Champion!
Winner and NEW ROH World TV Champion: Adam Cole
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: This was an awesome match that told an incredible story. Cole played a great young, plucky babyface who wouldn’t stay down, and Strong played his role perfectly as the veteran who was doing everything he could to put the challenger away. Elgin’s involvement – or should I say lack of involvement – played in perfectly with the building dissension among the House of Truth. It all came together to produce a one of the best matches I can remember seeing on an episode of Ring of Honor television. It was a smart choice to put the belt on Cole as it capitalized on the momentum he has following his match at “Best in the World.” If booked properly, he could have a great reign. I highly recommend checking this match out.