Ethan Page vs. Silas Young
The idea here was to strengthen Young’s character, which remains as the “Last Real Man on Earth”. The match itself was comprised of mat work, which is always refreshing in this day and age. This was a good way to start the card off, but we’ve had better openers in the past few months that make this one look feeble in comparison.
Winner: Silas Young
Caprice Coleman vs. TaDarius Thomas w/ Adam Page and Jimmy Jacobs
This was a good match that actually set back Thomas as a rising star. Before this bout, he was poised to be a sleeper hit that came complete with his own unique offense. Now, he has been made to look weak by the booking and is nothing more than an underling to someone who is already popular. Fortunately, this didn’t affect his ring work, which meshed well with Coleman’s power-style. Altogether, this was a good match that, because of the purpose behind it, left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Winner: Caprice Coleman
Jay Lethal w/ Truth Martini vs. Cheeseburger w/ “Brutal” Bob Evans – Ring of Honor Television Championship Match
Surprisingly, this bout was as much an effort to solidify the course Lethal is on, as much as it was a chance to legitimize Cheeseburger as a credible threat to the title. The work was a solid mixture of aerial work and X-Division moves that made what is normally a lackluster affair into something enjoyable.
Winner: AND STILL Ring of Honor Television Champion – Jay Lethal
MAIN EVENT: Kevin Steen and Cliff Compton vs. Outlaw Inc. – Charm City Street Fight
This was akin to the kind of stipulation bouts from the WWF in 2001. There was excellent psychology throughout the bout and the hits felt raw and nasty. To be frank, this was nothing that you’d find Lou Thesz doing at any point in his career. This was a fierce brawl that served to stir up the crowd and it most certainly did that.
Winners: Steen and Compton
News of the Night: The old punishment angle is in place with The Decade faction, as Jimmy Jacobs is now beating up the interns, Adam Page and TaDarius Thomas, which only served to make them look weak. This also dilutes the purpose of The Decade, as it was supposed to be the stalwarts versus everyone else. It’s hard to see that trajectory now.
Caprice Coleman is now being booked as someone who nurtures the young talent and seems to wrestle as much for them as he does himself.
Silas Young has expanded his character to show more respect to others, while still proclaiming himself to be an alpha male. Rest assured, he is still a heel, but one that is more mindful of who he views as an enemy.
Jay Lethal has created a very vivid heel turn explains his turn as a “claiming of his destiny”. It had the same verbiage as many turns before it, but Lethal’s portrayal as a man wronged gives this heel run more depth.
The ending to the main event was left ambiguous, as Compton turned his back on Steen after the victory.
Next Week: Jay Briscoe vs. Michael Bennett