Back in April, Michael Elgin said that he wanted to show the fans that he was one of the elite. Well last night, in the main event of Ring of Honor’s first live PPV, he did just that. After a hard battle with his arch-nemesis Adam Cole, after overcoming interference from Michael Bennett and Matt Hardy, Elgin became, to the delight of everyone in attendance, the 20th champion in company’s history.
For a long time now, Oshawa’s Michael Elgin had his mind set on the ROH World title. He wasn’t able to win it against Davey Richards or Kevin Steen when they were champions. After Jay Briscoe vacated the title, he made it to the tournament final at Death Before Dishonor XI against Cole, but came short. This time, Elgin wasn’t going to let his chance slip away one more time.
In recent weeks, he suffered hell from Cole and his friends, Bennett, Maria Kanellis and Hardy. He got his hair cut by the foursome and witnessed, helpless, his wife and fellow wrestler MsChif getting a beat up by the same individuals. For Elgin, it was now payback time.
Four referees were in the ring before the match to make sure everything would be all right. Elgin started as the aggressor in the match. Cole countered by sending Elgin to the outside. He tried a tope, but Elgin simply walked away from it. They battled outside. Cole went for a chair shot, but Elgin blocked it and came back with a right hand right on the nose. He then hit a powerslam on Cole on the steel ramp. Back in the ring, Cole took the advantage back. Elgin tried to come back in the match with a suplex, but Cole countered it. Cole took too much time before his next move and Elgin tried a crossface submission, but Cole transformed it into a pin. Elgin lifted Cole from the apron into a powerbomb from the top rope and got a near fall. Back on the top rope, Cole hit a hurricanrana, followed by a reverse hurricanrana and a Florida Key, the same move he had won the title last September, but Elgin kicked at two. The fans chanted “This is Awesome” but they have been chanting this in about every match.
Cole mistakenly superkicked Todd Sinclair. Elgin hit a turnbuckle bomb and his Revolution Elgin Bomb, but obviously the referee was down. ROH’s matchmaker Nigel McGuinness came to check Sinclair. Hardy and Bennett ran in, but Elgin countered them with an over-the-head suplex, both at the same time. Elgin then put Cole in a powerbomb position and threw him to the outside on Bennett and Hardy. Maria tried to stop Elgin by jumping on the apron. He took her by the hair, but decided against hitting her, so she slapped him in the face. Back outside, Bennett ambushed Elgin, Hardy hit him with the belt and Cole did a back suplex. Hanson and Raymond Rowe ran in too and chased Bennett and Hardy to the back. Sinclair woke up and started counting Elgin, but the latter came back in the ring before the end of the 20-count. Maria jumped back on the apron, but this time MsChif came in and blew green mist in Maria’s face. Elgin hit Cole with the belt and then hit another turnbuckle bomb, followed by a Revolution Elgin Bomb for another near fall. The fans thought the match was set and done there and started throwing streamers into the ring, which got them to chant: “We f***ed up!”
It gave the opportunity for Cole to come back into the match. He applied a figure four on Elgin from the outside through the ring post. He went for another figure four in the ring, but Elgin caught him in a small package. He then went for a school boy and a crossface, but Cole broke it up by hitting Elgin’s bad leg. He hit him with a superkick, followed by a Canadian Destroyer for a near fall. This was pretty close to the sequence just before Cole won the belt nine months ago. He went for another one, but Elgin countered it and grabbed Cole in a powerbomb position. He hit two powerbombs before hitting a third Revolution Elgin Bomb, this time for the win and the title. Elgin became the 20th champion in Ring of Honor’s history.
Best in the World 2014 – Tennessee State Fairgrounds/Expo, Nashville, TN – Card Results
Match 1: Six Man Mayhem – Winner receives a ROH World Television title match – ACH vs Takaaki Watanabe vs Caprice Coleman vs Tadarius Thomas vs B.J. Whitmer (both acc. by Adam Page) vs Tommaso Ciampa
Referee: Brian Gorie
Way too many moves to cover it all! Ciampa and ACH started the match. The latter showed great athleticism in the beginning. As ACH was about to do a dive, Whitmer blocked him, which got him a lot of boos. Whitmer had the over on ACH for a few minutes until Coleman got in. No hands hurricanrana followed by a series of suplex by Coleman. The match really picked up at that point. Ciampa exchanged big forearms with Watanabe. He then did two Project Ciampa on both Coleman and ACH. Whitmer and Thomas got in the ring at the same time. The Decade collided as Whitmer suplexed Thomas who rolled outside. After two stiff knees in the corner to Watanabe, Ciampa flew to the outside. Coleman followed him. ACH did his outside-the-ring stuff too with a one-foot-springboard-cannonball. ACH pinned Thomas with his 450.
Match Rating: 7/10
After the match, Whitmer and Steve Corino had a little pushing and shoving going on near the commentators’ table.
Match 2: ROH World Television championship match – Jay Lethal (c) w/Truth Martini & Seleyzia Sparks vs Matt Taven
Referee: Paul Turner
Truth Martini was handcuffed to the ring post for this match.
Taven got the upper hand to start the match. Nice standing moonsault for a near fall. Seleyzia interfered from the outside and Lethal took advantage of that and hit Taven with an enziguri. Taven came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb. The match was pretty much back and forth up to that point. Lethal put Taven in a modify sleeper hold, Taven broke it up and it was followed by an exchanged of right hands. A few kicks, a clothesline and another enziguri later, Taven had the upper hand again. Elbow from the top rope by Lethal, for a near fall. Taven went for a jumping enziguri/brainbuster combination, but Lethal kicked out at two. Lethal went for a suicide dive, but his feet got stock in the ropes as Taven was moving out of the way anyway. Taven hit two suicide dives and a huge dive over the top rope on both Martini and Seleyzia. Then Martini paid Jay Diesel, the head of security, who blocked a chair shot and punched Taven, before getting superkicked. Seleyzia broke the handcuffs from Martini and both ran to the dressing rooms. Frog splash by Taven, but Lethal put his knees up and hit his Lethal Injection for the win.
Winner and still ROH TV champion, Jay Lethal
Match Rating: 6.5/10
Match 3: Submission Rules match – Roderick Strong vs Cedric Alexander
Referee: Todd Sinclair
Some chain wrestling to start that off. Alexander did a suicide dive between the first and second rope. Outside, Strong backbody dropped Alexander who fell on the apron. Strong took the advantage from then. The story was Strong trying to weaken Alexander’s back ultimately for a submission. Strong put Alexander in a Camel Clutch for the first submission of the match. Alexander came back and dropkicked Strong to the outside followed by a dive that hit Strong’s corner men. Alexander hit a DDT into a guillotine but Strong reached for the ropes. He tried a Dragon Sleeper but Strong was able to break the hold. As Alexander was sitting on the top rope, Strong hit him with a superplex. After Strong tried to put Alexander in a submission, the latter reversed it, but again, Strong was able to escape. The two got on the top rope, Alexander hit Strong with a back breaker on the top turnbuckle, followed by Strong’s own finishing move, a back stabber and he finished him up with a form of Boston Crab, the Stronghold.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
Match Rating: 5/10
Match 4: Mark & Jay Briscoe vs Matt Hardy w/Nick Searcy & Michael Bennett w/Maria Kanellis
Referee: Paul Turner
Nick Searcy is an actor well-known for his role of Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal Art Mullen in the FX series Justified. The series won a Peabody award in 2010 and Searcy had his trophy with him. He was with Hardy because both are from North Carolina.
The Briscoes started the match on the attack. Soon enough, Bennett was with one brother in the ring and Hardy was outside with the other one. As the Briscoes were working on Hardy in the ring, Bennett ran in with the Iconic belt that Adam Cole had given Matt Hardy (the one Jay used to have before his injury) and hit the Briscoes with it to get disqualified. The Briscoes asked matchmaker Nigel McGuinness for assistance. McGuinness showed up and declared that the match would continue and that it would be no disqualification. He then joined Corino and Kevin Kelly at the commentators’ table. Seconds after, five or six chairs found their way to the ring. Mark hit Bennett with a back breaker on a chair, as Hardy and Jay battled outside. As Mark was about to hit Bennett with a chair, Maria interfered and got the chair out of Mark’s hands. Hardy then hit Jay with a suplex on a ladder. Searcy got in the ring with his trophy and was attacked by the Briscoes. Mark got on the top rope, but Maria pushed him. Hardy hit Jay with the Twist of Faith, but only for a near fall. Mark dropped a big elbow on Bennett who was on a table outside. Yes, tables, ladders and chairs in this match! Jay and Hardy were both on top of the ladder but Mark sprayed a fire extinguisher into Hardy’s face. He then superplexed Hardy off the top of the ladder through a table. Great spot! He then used a Jay Driller for the pin on Hardy. After the match, Maria took the Iconic belt and ran away.
Winners: Mark & Jay Briscoe
Match Rating: 8/10
They showed a video of a house show where Cole shaved Elgin’s hair and put Elgin’s wife, MsChif, in a figure four.
Larry Mercer and Mandy Leon interviewed the new ROH’s signee, Moose. The commentators put over the fact that he was a former NFL player. Actuality, his real name is Quinn Ojinnaka, he’s a former offensive guard who played for four different teams but mostly for the Atlanta Falcons. He’s 6-foot-5 and weighs 295 pounds.
Veda Scott showed up and took over the mike. She talked about RD Evans’ streak of 122-0 and asked Moose to join her. Moose said they could talk later.
Match 5: “Mr. Wrestling” Kevin Steen vs Silas Young
Referee: Todd Sinclair
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Steen got tons of streamers for his entrance. He started the match on the offense. Young took back the advantage as he pushed Steen on the guardrails, Steen hitting his head hard on it. Young worked the neck and the back of the head of Steen a lot. Steen came back with some stiff knees and a DDT, but only got a near fall. Steen hit a Pumphandle neckbreaker and went for his Package Piledriver, but Young countered it. Steen came back with his cannonball in the corner, followed by a cannonball from the top, but got another near fall. Young tried a wild move and missed, but went right back at Steen with a backbreaker and a lariat. Steen countered with a neckbreaker from the top and hit his Package Piledriver for the win.
After the match, Steen said that Young could call him whatever he wanted, but that he couldn’t say that he didn’t beat him. He also said that he respected Young and that he was a true professional. Steen said he was the top guy. He added that his ROH contract was up soon and that he didn’t have many matches left. He also said that for the month and a half he had left, he wished he could wrestle guys like Young. The two of them shook hands and Young left the ring. As Steen was thanking the fans, Young came back and attacked Steen’s knee.
Winner: Kevin Steen
Match Rating: 6.5/10
Match 6: ROH World Tag Team championship match – reDRagon: Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly (c) vs Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian
Referee: Paul Turner
O’Reilly and Daniels started the match and ended up exchanging slaps in the face. Kazarian got double-teamed by reDRagon. Daniels hit a springboard moonsault. O’Reilly ducked an attack by Kazarian who hit the ring post and fell outside. Fish hit Kazarian’s arm on the ring post and both champions worked on Kazarian’s arm inside the ring. Kazarian, caught in a guillotine, backbody dropped O’Reilly to make the tag, but Fish pulled Daniels from the apron. Finally, Kazarian made the tag and Daniels single-handed beat Fish and O’Reilly. He went for his Best Moonsault Ever, but O’Reilly moved and the champions were able to comeback into the match. That didn’t last long. Daniels tried again his BME but Fish ducked. Daniels hit his Angel’s Wings on Fish but O’Reilly broke the pin. Kazarian hit his Flux Capacitor on O’Reilly, but hurt his shoulder by doing so. He went for the pin, but Fish pulled Turner outside the ring. O’Reilly went for a pin pulling his opponent’s tights for a near fall. The champions went for their finishing move, the Chasing the Dragon, again for a near fall. O’Reilly finally put Kazarian in an armbar for the win.
Winners and still ROH World Tag Team champions, reDRagon: Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly
Match Rating: 7.5/10
Match 7: ROH World championship match – Adam Cole (c) vs Michael Elgin
Referee: Todd Sinclair
Winner and NEW Ring of Honor World champion, “The Unbreakable” Michael Elgin
Match Rating: 8.5/10
Overall Show Rating: 7/10
- Countdown to ROH Best in the WorldPat Laprade has been to a number of ROH shows and is thankful he could cover the company’s first live PPV. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit his website at www.quebecwrestling.ca or buy his book on Montreal’s wrestling history.
New Ring of Honor World champion Michael Elgin and his wife MsChif, after the victory Sunday night. Photo courtesy Michael Elgin