The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up Week #9 – TNA & ROH

The Bound For Glory series has started. Who’s starting off strong? Ring of Honor had a Road Rage episode on Sinclair. Of course, that was a preface to their Best in the World iPPV. Did Ring of Honor’s internet Pay-Per-View live up to the name? Read on and find out!

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The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up is not the typical wrestling news column. It is a combination of a recap of the stories that wrestling companies present during their broadcast, as well as analysis of those stories. Although match results will be mentioned, only aspects of said matches that pertain to the overall story that the company presents are included. Now that you know the format, let’s get to talking about TNA and ROH!

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Bound for Glory series: This tournament was the main focus of the night. Come to that, this will be the main focus practically every Impact until Bound for Glory actually happens. The show had a film that featured clips featuring every entrant. They then went to the arena, where all the entrants except for Jeff Hardy and Bobby Roode were present. Hulk Hogan then introduced the two previous BFG series winners as entrants eleven and twelve. He then announced that the first man to challenge somebody in Open Fight Night was Jeff Hardy. Austin Aries and Christopher Daniels talked themselves up, saying he shouldn’t challenge them, but Hardy just challenged Bobby Roode, making the fan vote pointless. The ring broke in to mayhem, resulting in a commercial break.

After the break, Mister Anderson came out and challenged Joseph Park. What resulted was a combo comedy match and extended squash, with D.O.C. assisting Anderson in a victory, although Park did almost get a submission victory with the Boston Crab. Jay Bradley called out Austin Aries. Aries was clearly an overmatch for Bradley, but the size advantage allowed Jay to look competitive, right up until Aries used his speed to make a comeback and land the brain buster for the win. Chavo Guerrero Jr. psyched up Hernandez, who challenged Christopher Daniels. The match was highly physical, with SuperMex actually doing a suicide dive in to the ring off the ramp at one point. Daniels won with an unseen low blow that prefaced a BME for the cradle pin. Frankie Kazarian insulted Magnus a bit while he challenged him. Kazarian used some underhanded tactics and clearly was trying for the submission. However, Magnus kept countering Kazarian’s high-flying assaults, eventually catching a missile drop kick for a Cloverleaf submission win.

Samoa Joe took on AJ Styles by default, because the other BFG Series entrants had already competed. AJ got a microphone and said that his entrance in the tournament was about him becoming the next World Heavyweight Champion, not for the fame or the glory, but for the money. He wasn’t going to be a hero, because TNA is no place for a hero, because he is tired of doing the right thing. Joe and Styles had a match harkening back to the X-Division at its best, with Joe and AJ both trying to get a submission, but continually reversing each other. The two went for the full fifteen minutes, ending in a draw, but Joe and AJ kept going at it. Bobby Roode faced Jeff Hardy in the main event, and the match quickly devolved in to a brawl. However, it did go back to wrestling, but Roode and Hardy both were looking for the pin instead of the submission. The match itself was very catch-as-catch-can in style, which allowed Jeff to pull the Twist of Fate out of nowhere for the win.

QUICK SCORING BREAKDOWN FOR THE BFG SERIES
Submission – 10 Points
Pinfall – 7 Points
Count Out – 5 points
Disqualification Win – 2 Points
Draw (Time Limit or otherwise) – 2 Points
Disqualification Loss – 10 Points
(All matches have a 15-minute time limit)

BFG Series Point Standings after Week 1
1. Magnus – 10
5. (TIE) Jeff Hardy – 7
5. (TIE) Christopher Daniels – 7
5. (TIE) Mr. Anderson – 7
5. (TIE) Austin Aries – 7
7. (TIE) AJ Styles – 2
7. (TIE) Samoa Joe – 2
12. (TIE) Bobby Roode – 0
12. (TIE) Joseph Park – 0
12. (TIE) Jay Bradley – 0
12. (TIE) Hernandez – 0
12. (TIE) Frankie Kazarian – 0

My Thoughts: This is definitely an interesting way to kick off the tournament, especially some of what they have going. Jay Bradley as the arrogant upstart was one of the stranger bits, especially since he immediately targeted the Greatest Man That Ever Lived. The rest of the line-up was fairly easy to anticipate as far as who would face whom, save for the Magnus/Kazarian match that seemed out of nowhere, especially the ending that gave Magnus an early lead. The bottom of the field is quite varied, albeit somewhat predictable. Mister Anderson will probably continually cheat his way to victories one way or another, so part of me expects him to blow his chances when the officials finally cotton on to his antics. Daniels, Hardy, and Aries rounding out the top of the field works well enough. The best surprise was that both AJ and Samoa Joe are on the board, but only because neither man could get the victory over the other in the fifteen minute time limit imposed for the tournament. The biggest disappointment was that, regardless of fan voting, we got Bobby Roode versus Jeff Hardy. I would have found it far more interesting for Jeff to do something like challenge Mister Anderson to both deny Roode what he wanted, and to stick it to Aces and Eights. This made the fan voting seem totally irrelevant. Still, with a start like this, I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the tournament.

Aces and Eights: Mister Anderson and D.O.C. argued backstage about who should be the new Vice President of Aces and Eights. Bully interrupted them and chastised both men for their infighting. He then said that Aces and Eights’ business for the evening had to do with Brooke Hogan. Bully Ray walked behind Hulk Hogan holding a hammer, but Hogan slammed Bully against the wall. Bully just wanted to talk to Brooke, but Hogan tried telling Bully that his relationship with Brooke was over. Bully asked that if that was true, why did Brooke save Bully from a literal hammer blow from Hulk? He said he’d see his “Dad” later. Bully Ray was on the phone with Brooke, and told her to come back to the arena. Later, Bully Ray came out to address Brooke Hogan. The rest resulted in a confrontation with Sting.
My Thoughts: Dead Man’s Hand, thy new name is the Drama Club! Honestly, save for Anderson getting a little help in his first BFG Series match from D.O.C., the rest of what happened with the group was personal issues that barely had anything to do with the belt until Sting came out at the end of the show. I found myself caring more about how Brooke Hogan was running the Knockouts Division than the status of her marriage with Bully Ray. If I weren’t reporting on this, I would have skipped it.

Sting and the Main Event Mafia: Sting arrived at the arena, wearing his sunglasses and a suit instead of his typical t-shirt, tights, and face paint. There was a video about the Main Event Mafia, and Sting gave a quick backstage comment that the Mafia will rise, and it would grow. Sting asked somebody in the shadows whether he wanted to be part of the Mafia or not, because there was nothing bigger than family, and Sting apparently made a hand shake agreement. Hulk then told Brooke to leave the arena, and sent her to the hotel once Brooke had handled her business. Sting said he had business to address, because the night was still young. Sting interrupted Bully Ray’s appeal for Brooke to come to the ring. Sting said there were no lone wolves that could pierce the corporate seal of Aces and Eights, so he went back to his family. Ray was quite indignant, and reminded Sting that he couldn’t get any more title shots. Sting said that he could still get retribution. Bully began to threaten Sting, but Sting simply began to take off his tie, then his jacket, then his shirt. Ray called out the Aces and Eights, who didn’t come to the arena. Sting threw his shirt in to Ray’s face before pointing to the screen and showing that the entire gang was laid out. Sting attacked Ray, who bailed. Kurt Angle then ambushed Ray from behind and put him in the Ankle Lock, making Bully Ray tap for mercy. The show ended with Angle and Sting standing over the World Heavyweight Champion.
My Thoughts: This might be me, but the two members of the Main Event Mafia that hated each other the most when the faction was last active joining forces makes sense only because they both hate the Aces and Eights more. I do appreciate that the writers decided to have Sting recruit a true former member of the MEM to start, instead of getting somebody totally new. One bit of logic that I do have to question is how Kurt Angle managed to take out Aces and Eights even though their numbers have clearly been something that Angle has not been able to conquer? There clearly are more members in the MEM right now than Angle. The real question, therefore, is – who are they?

The Knockouts: Brooke Hogan came out to make a major announcement regarding the division. She said that she was proud of the Knockouts division, and asked the fans to show respect. She said that the Knockouts are kicking “you-know-what” and taking names. However, she had to address a few issues, so she wanted to make a declaration of the state of the division. She brought out the knockouts, which included Knockouts Tag Team champions ODB and Eric Young, Taryn Terrell, Velvet Sky, and Gail Kim. Mickie James, the Knockouts champion gets her special introduction. Mickie thanked Brooke for allowing her to speak about the state of the division. Mickie is gloating about all of her personal success. She made a jab at Velvet’s knee, but Brooke told her that it was about the collective division. She addressed Eric Young, and Eric admitted that he’s not a woman because technically he was never a champion, but it is national kissing day, so he made out with ODB. Brooke then told Velvet she was proud of her, and gave Velvet her rematch, even though Mickie tried to talk her way out of it. Gail Kim said she wanted her rematch – against Taryn Terrell – now, but Brooke said it would be a Ladder match in Las Vegas. Brooke said that business was handled.
My Thoughts: Booking two big matches, with one of them being yet another hardcore-style match, gets me thinking that they really need to re-expand the Knockouts roster. We need some ladies that are just straight-up jobbers. With Eric Young and ODB being declared as never officially holding the Knockouts Tag Team titles because Eric has the wrong kind of equipment in his pants, it seems that they may just be doing away with the belts, barring a huge influx of new female talent.

Other Stuff: Hulk Hogan talked to Suicide, Kenny King, and X-Division champion Chris Sabin. He was talking about the fact that, following the X-Division title match on the next Impact, the champion could choose whether to trade in the title for a World Heavyweight Championship match at the special Destination X edition of Impact Wrestling. Kenny King was psyched, Suicide was, well, Suicide, and Sabin walked off without really saying much.

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ROAD RAGE: This episode was basically just a build-up for Best in the World, with some matches that were not necessarily taped at the same night. Because of the nature of the show, Steve Corino hosted the show. He basically used it to talk about how SCUM was going to burn Ring of Honor to the ground, just as soon as the titles were all theirs. Also, for whatever reason, Joe Dumbrowski (spelling, anybody?) was filling in for Kevin Kelly. The in-character explanation was that Steve Corino “unintentionally” gave Kevin Kelly bad directions.
My Thoughts: Post-production shows are always a little different in style, as far as ROH goes. Few of the promos happen in the ring, so you get a lot of “backstage” statements. Consider Corino’s speeches, which were all pretty much in front of the Ring of Honor back drop. It isn’t always going to be the best of choices as a presentation, but as a lead-in to a pretty big Pay-Per-View event, it allows the company to really promote the show.

World Heavyweight Championship: BJ Whitmer was scheduled to take on Jay Briscoe for the championship, just a week before Best in the World. He talked about how Briscoe shouldn’t underestimate him, because while Best in the World was being promoted as a family affair, Whitmer was not a man to be overlooked. He was planning on taking the title belt, because he was a man that neither Briscoe was ready to handle. The two wrestled a match that was fairly power-oriented. Mark Briscoe was on commentary for the match, offering opinions on potential outcomes. Out of nowhere, Jay Briscoe gave BJ a back drop out of the ring, which planted Whitmer through a ring side table. Jay wanted to continue the match, and BJ managed to kick out from the pin. Jay kept throwing everything at Whitmer, specifically targeting BJ’s neck, but BJ kept coming back. Eventually, Jay won the match with a body scissors dragon sleeper that caused the official to declare a technical submission victory when it became clear that BJ Whitmer was no longer capable of continuing.
My Thoughts: Mark Briscoe at ring side to replace Steve Corino on commentary was logical, but it didn’t really feel like it was the best choice possible. Mark was decent, but there were a few spots of dead air at points in the match which actually could have used some additional commentary. As for the match itself, it started out being highly competitive, and there were a few times where Whitmer looked like he was going to take the win. True, there was never a chance that Ring of Honor was actually going to give the man the title, with how they promoted Best in the World, but he was able to look competitive. Come to that, the table spot at first looked like an accident, where Jay sent Whitmer out of the ring on the wrong side, but as the match progressed, it was clear that that was actually so that they could protect BJ’s image. As he was in the opening match at the Pay-Per-View, good call on the part of ROH.

SCUM: At the start of the show, Steve Corino noted that, for whatever reason, at Best in the World, members of SCUM would be challenging for the Tag Team and TV championships. Specifically, Jimmy Jacobs would join Lethal and Taven for the TV title match, while Rhett Titus and Cliff Compton were challenging reDDragon in a triple threat including C&C Wrestle Factory. The six men that were going to take on the SCUM wrestlers were booked in a champion versus challenger six-man tag team match, which saw Kyle O’Reilly getting pinned. As a preface to Kevin Steen’s match with Matt Hardy at Best in the World, Jimmy Jacobs was booked to take on Kevin Steen. The two had a fairly physical match, but the moment it actually got in to the ring, Jacobs pulled out a chain and choked Steen until he was disqualified, and held on the choke until security and the referees cleared him out. Steen wasn’t done fighting, attacked Jimmy again, and pulled out a chair. He looked ready to attack Jacobs with it right up until Compton and Jacobs saved him. Steen challenged Jacobs to a no DQ match, and Nigel McGuinness made the match official. It resulted in a heavily physical match that was brutal throughout, with Jacobs going so far as to pull a guard rail in to the ring. That eventually backfired, as Steen managed to hit the package piledriver on to the barrier for the win.
My Thoughts: The six-man tag match was almost an afterthought, as it was joined in progress and was barely there, considering the overall gist of the show. The fact that Steve Corino got repeated chances at mic time really emphasized just how much ROH is throwing in to continuing this SCUM story. With Jim Cornette gone, much of the logic for the group’s existence seems to no longer exist, so Kevin Steen’s contentions do seem totally logical. Corino’s insistence that ROH still needs to go down gets more and more asinine each week because of that.

Best in the World Speeches: There was a quick run-through of promos, starting with the TV title match. Then we got Roderick Strong and Adam Cole. The American Wolves cut a promo on Adrenaline RUSH. Michael Elgin talked about his match with Tommaso Ciampa. C&C Wrestle Factory talked about their triple threat match, saying they would “wipe off the SCUM and slay the reDDragon”. Kevin Steen talked about his match with Matt Hardy. Steve Corino spoke about his men’s title victories, and Matt Hardy’s match against Kevin Steen. Mark Briscoe spoke about his match with Jay Briscoe.
My Thoughts: A good way to quickly promote the Pay-Per-View event. It had an old-school ECW feel to it, but in a good way.

ROH Best in the World 2013, the Best in the World 2013 logo, and the ROH logo © 2013 Ring of Honor Wrestling Entertainment, LLC. Used under fair use rules

ROH Best in the World 2013, the Best in the World 2013 logo, and the ROH logo © 2013 Ring of Honor Wrestling Entertainment, LLC. Used under fair use rules

ROH World Championship: Jay Briscoe {C} def Mark Briscoe following a third Jay Driller to remain the champion
No Disqualifications: Matt Hardy def. Kevin Steen following a Twist of Fate through two chairs. A SCUM beat-down on Steen followed
ROH World Tag Team Championship: reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) {C} def. C&C Wrestle Factory (Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander) and S.C.U.M (Rhett Titus & Cliff Compton) after a head kick from Bobby Fish allowed Kyle O’Reilly to pin Cedric Alexander
ROH World TV Championship: Matt Taven (w/ Truth Martini) {C} def Jimmy Jacobs and Jay Lethal after Jacobs delivered a cutter to Lethal, Taven made the pin, and Martini prevented Jacobs from stopping the three-count
Michael Elgin def. Tommaso Ciampa via pin fall following a series of striking attacks
Adam Cole def. Roderick Strong via count-out following a super kick that sent Strong through a ring side table
American Wolves (Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards) def. Adrenaline RUSH (A.C.H. and Tadarius Thomas) following a missed 450 Splash from ACH that allowed Richards to get the roll-up victory
BJ Whitmer def. Mike Bennett via pin fall after an Exploder Suplex

World Heavyweight Championship: The table set up coming in to the match early was a great allusion back to Jay’s match against BJ Whitmer. Having Mark take Jay’s main finisher multiple times before finally going down is the best way to go about this. Jay manages to retain the title, Mark looks like he can hang as a singles wrestler, and the fans still get the man that took the belt from SCUM (well, at the time) as their champion. Just watch, the next airing will have Jay and Mark be totally cool with one another, but with Mark a little wiser for the wear. However, with that handled, Nigel McGuinness can’t really sidestep the gigantic list of contenders for the belt anymore. Michael Elgin and Matt Hardy are at the top of that list, so one really wonders who’s going to get their chance.

SCUM’s Matches: Let me start off by saying that the way that the champions retained their belts was the right way to go about things. You let a big name (for ROH) go after a title and have him lose so that a SCUM member still has a legitimate claim to a title shot. Then you have the tag team champions gain a victory over the non-SCUM team in a single-fall tag match. It allows SCUM to remain contenders for the belts, while making sure that the titles don’t change hands too often. Honestly, it wasn’t likely that any title would change hands here. That’s mostly because given that titles declare that the champion is the best in his particular division, if a title changed at Best in the World, then the former champions weren’t in fact the best in the world. As for the Matt Hardy match against Kevin Steen, turning the SCUM target from the champion to one of their former members is a genius move, at least in character. Steen gets to prove whether or not he’s truly with SCUM, or just covering, and in the meantime, Steen is getting a trial by fire, being forced to defeat every member of the faction one-by-one before getting his rematch. I definitely like Hardy better here than I have since his run in WWE’s Cruiserweight division. He is a far more interesting antagonist this time around.

Showcase Matches: Opening with a match between an up-and-comer and a man that just challenged for the World Championship is definitely the right call here to open the show. Whitmer winning was also the right call, given that they do have a past rivalry. Putting the American Wolves on the card so that they can show off definitely makes them a possible road block for SCUM’s Tag Team title hopes, and I definitely like the fact that they finally gave Double T and A.C.H. finally have a tag team name. Cole continuing to be a man willing to take the win however he could was interesting. Having Strong not come back from the same sort of thing that BJ Whitmer suffered on TV was a little off, but not totally wrong, given that Cole did just have a shot at the top belt. As for Elgin versus Ciampa, why in the world did they bring back Ciampa, if they were just going to job him cleanly on his first pay-per-view match? Giving Tommaso the win would have at least made Matt Hardy a far clearer challenger for the World Heavyweight championship. Now the waters are muddied, and it’s kind of annoying.

Buffering Issues: One would think that at some point, Ring of Honor would have addressed this completely. However, for some reason, in spite of having a media conglomerate as the owning company, they seem to keep having these issues with their iPPV broadcasts. At some point, they really need to just do a regular broadcast on regular Pay-Per-View providers along with their internet broadcasts.

Well, that’s it for the TNA and ROH section of the Wrap-Up. Have anything with which you disagree? Think my format could do with a change? Do you have any other comments? Post them below! Also, feel free to check out the WWE half of this week’s report HERE →.
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Nicholas Villarreal

Game Review/News Editor at iGame Responsibly
Nicholas Villarreal is a seasoned writer on the staff of iGame Responsibly, covering breaking news, as well as game reviews.

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