- WrestlingINC.com reader Brandon Lewis spoke with several ROH talent following last Saturday's ROH "Manhattan Mayhem V" event. In the video above, Matt Striker tries to impress ROH Vice President of Talent Relations Prince Nana. You can also check out more interviews with Homicide, Kevin Steen, Michael Elgin and Adam Cole at this link.
- WrestlingINC.com reader Jason Sender sent the following report for last Saturday's ROH "Manhattan Mayhem V" event:
I was at the Ring of Honor Manhattan Mayhem V show on Saturday. It was CRAZY and produced some of the best wrestling matches I've seen in awhile. The crowd was extremely hot and the performers all worked with that.
On commentary, Prince Nana, who was also announced as the new talent scout for ROH, joined Kevin Kelly. Interesting note: When I wrote a recap for Smackdown in Long Island for this website, I took the train back to Manhattan with Prince Nana. He's a cool guy and I'm happy for him.
Silas Young def. Adam Page
This was a fun opening match that got the already-hot crowd riled up and ready to go. Young played the part of the heel really well by shot-blocking as many streamers as he could back into the crowd. The rookie, Page, had the crowd solidly behind him which is impressive given the smarkiness of NYC fans. Both men exchanged numerous chops throughout the match. Ending came when Young did a springboard moonsault off the top turnbuckle to the rope and then down onto Page. The move looked nasty in person.
In between matches, Steve Corino came out to try and join Kelly and Nana on commentary. Security made him leave despite the rather loud "Let him stay!" chants from the audience.
C+C Wrestle Factory (Caprice Coleman + Cedric Alexander) def. Adrenaline Rush (ACH + TaDarius Thomas)
This was a very exciting match that got great reactions form the crowd. Tag team turmoil rules were in effect which meant that the guys could tag in their partners just by exiting the ring. ACH was the HUGE fan favorite and caused the first "Holy s--t" stand-up-and-clap moment when he delivered a ridiculous running vault over the ropes to the C+C on the outside. C+C got the win when Coleman landed a nasty-looking springboard huricanrana on TD followed by a frogsplash from Alexander. With WWE looking for some new African American babyfaces, I can't help but wonder why guys like ACH haven't been signed yet? This match was awesome.
Matt Taven (w/ House of Truth) def. Mike Mondo
This was an ok match in which Truth Martini and Scarlett Bourdeaux were probably more over than the guys in the ring. Mondo is looking decent coming off his injury, however, he kept getting wedgies which reminded me of how PG the WWE has became as of late. Taven is a good in-ring worker but doesn't bring the charisma that a lot of the other guys on the roster bring. Spot of the match goes to one of the Hoopla Hotties in nailed a textbook huricanrana to Mondo while the ref was distracted. There were numerous false finishes and Truth kept getting involved. He's such a good manager and could work in WWE if they knew how to use him. Taven got the win with a frog splash.
Forever Hooligans (Alex Koslov + Rocky Romero) def. The Young Bucks (Nick Jackson + Matt Jackson)
This was cruiserweight tag team action at its best. The Young Bucks were massively over with the crowd, however, Koslov was the real workhorse he delivered numerous awesome spots and also sold like a champ. Highlight moment came when Romero kept getting in Koslov's way causing them to almost fight but ultimately, hug it out. Koslov's Russian dance kicks to the face of one of the Bucks were hilarious and are pretty nasty in person. One of the Bucks even tried doing the same to Koslov. Bucks delivered a vicious springboard piledriver to Koslov at one point. It made me cringe.The match ended when Koslov carried a Buck on his shoulder, tosses him in the air, and caught him back in a torture rack. Romero then landed a springboard knee off the top rope for the win. Forever Hooligans should be in WWE.
R.D. Evans and Q.T. Marshall came down to the ring to protest not being included on the card. The crowd gave them major heat. Prince Nana then grabbed the mic, called them "cum-guzzlers" and announced that he had just signed a new tag team that would fight them right then and there. Creepy music plays and two clowns came down to the ring. Evans and Marshall refuse to shake their hands. The clowns remove their masks to reveal their identities: Eddie Kingston and Homicide.
Outlaws, Inc. (Eddie Kingston + Homicide) def. Marshall Law (Q.T. Marshall + R.D. Evans)
This was a terrible match. Kingston and Homicide looked lost and seemed really out of place on a card packed with some of the top indy guys in the business. At one point, Homicide clearly botched a running knee to the face. Evans was very awkward and ran the ropes without any coordination. This was the only match that was truly bad from beginning to end.
The next three matches were taped for the Ring of Honor Championship Tournament.
Ring of Honor features a lot of quick guys that put on major spot fests. Ciampa and Bennett, however, delivered a very WWE-like match where took they took their time, worked the crowd and focused more on storytelling. The crowd was fervently behind Ciampaas the crowd screamed "You killed BJ" and "Where's Maria?" at Bennett at various parts of the match. Notable moments included Bennett's attempt to deliver a GTS to Ciampa, only to have Ciampa reverse and deliver the GTS to Bennett. Bennett also delivered a few piledriver teases, only to receive insta-hate from the crowd. At one point, Bennett went for a piledriver on the apron ring (similarly to how he gave BJ Whitmer a career-killing one recently), however, Ciampa revered out of it, slammed him into the ring and got the win. Ciampa is built like a WWE guy and looks huge, despite being only 5"11.
Kevin Steen def. Roderick Strong
Steen was massively over with the crowd and kept playing up to them in funny ways. I felt bad for Roddy as despite being a solid babyface and worker, there was very little he could do to get love from the crowd. However, he actually achieved that by picking the massive Steen up over his head on multiple occasions. Both guys looked great throughout the match. Roddy was fast, tactical and showed why he's one of the top indy technicians. Steen was entertaining, surprisingly agile and brutal. Steens wins with a piledriver. After the match, Steen found a El Generico mask-donned man and let the crowd in an "Ole!" sing-along. Roddy could be a WWE guy if he had more charisma and Steen is likely destined to be one of the indy kinds for years to come.
Michael Elgin def. "Machine Gun" Karl Anderson
There were points when the crowd was into this match, but I was bored by it. They just didn't have great chemistry in the ring together. Also of note, Michael Elgin might be the ugliest man in professional wrestling. It's not every day you see a balding guy with a mullet and a pair of trunks pulled up over his belly button. It was so ridiculous, that people kept making jokes about it and I had a hard time taking him seriously. I bought my Kevin Steen and reDRagon t-shirts during this match. That said, Elgin did deliver some nice slams throughout the match. One notable moment came when Elgin lifted Anderson in the air for a suplex and held him for 55 seconds (a fast count by the crowd). Elgin was likely going for the full 60, but his legs began quivering so he cut it short. Elgin won with a sit down powerbomb. Meh.
Main Event: reDRagon (Bobby Fish + Kyle O'Reilly) def. The American Wolves (Davey Richards + Eddie Edwards) to win the ROH tag team titles.
Man, the ROH tag team division has been HOT lately as the titles have swapped between both teams and Forever Hooligans multiple times in the last couple of weeks. The crowd was massively over for the Wolves, particularly Davey. This match was easily the best of the night and easily one of the tag team matches I've seen in years. There were so many false finishes, that I could barely sit still. Numerous "ROH" chants broke out throughout the match as both teams REALLY delivered. Finish came when Eddie was knocked off the top turnbuckle and into of the announcer's tables below. After battling both members of reDRagon for a few minutes, Davey was inevitably taken down. O'Reilly hit a crazy-looking flying armbar to Davey who tapped out. All four guys looked awesome in the match and I would be surprised if the Wolves did not get signed at their WWE tryout later this month. Also, Kyle O'Reilly is legit and reminds me of a younger Daniel Bryan and CM Punk with how he works in MMA with pro-wrestling. Of everyone at the event, he looked like the one most likely to win a WWE contract at some point in the near future.
After the match, Outlaws Inc. came down and attacked reDRagon and received a lukewarm mixed reaction from the crowd. Kingston cut a promo about how they were going to take down the corporation that ROH has become.
All in all, the night was purely awesome. The tag teams stole the show and left me shaking my head at the shallowness of the WWE tag team division. The American Wolves, reDRagon, C+C Wrestle Factory, Adrenaline Rush, Forever Hooligans and the Young Bucks are some of the best tag teams in the world and could create an awesome tag team division for WWE if the McMahons ever learned to start showing some love to the indy cruiserweights of the world.