Ring of Honor
Tennessee State Fairgrounds Arena (Nashville, Tennessee)
ROH World Championship
According to Dave Meltzer, at one point this match was under consideration to headline ROH’s Final Battle event in December (at least that was the impression he got). With the PPV debut in June, it was bumped up to this event which created a predicament of sorts. Elgin needed to win the title in his next shot. He had failed too many times before and was on the verge of contracting Lex Luger syndrome. At the same time, the promotion clearly would have liked to keep the title on Cole longer. They obviously intended to at one point and Cole was just coming into his own as champion. Something would have to give.
It should be noted that the build for this main event match included a well-executed old school angle at the previous week’s house show. After a Michael Bennett versus Michael Elin match ended in a no-contest, Cole and Bennett tied up Elgin in the ropes and proceeded to cut off his ridiculous ratty mullet that he had been clinging onto for far too long. Not satisfied with just that, Cole put a figure four on Elgin’s actual wife – indie wrestler Mischif – when she attempted to intervene. It was the kind of simple, dastardly action that pro wrestling has long had great success utilizing to build up a match. It definitely added a needed layer to the match.
Michael Elgin has gotten over with a certain segment of pro wrestling fans on the strength of a being a power wrestler in a promotion with few power wrestlers. That is one take on Elgin. Another is that he is not a very good power wrestler or a very good wrestler in general given his spotty selling ability, reliance on big move after big move, and lack of any real personality. Relatively speaking, Elgin kept his less desirable tendencies under control here but I am not sure it was a great performance from him by any means.
The match was smartly booked with outside interference from Hardy, Bennett, and Maria near the end to add to the drama. Elgin needed to be booked to overcome the odds and they effectively conveyed that. War Machine ran those guys off allowing the match to continue. There was one near fall from Elgin off of a combo turn buckle bomb/power bomb that the fans bought to the point that they threw streamers into the ring in celebration. When they realized the match wasn’t over, they briefly chanted “We F***ked Up!”. Chants are the lowest form of communication and generally can be done without, but I thought that was a cute play on a popular wrestling chant.
The actual finish came not long after and Elgin became the 20th champion in Ring of Honor’s 12 year history. ROH played the title switch up big, dropping a legitimately impressive amount of confetti from the ceiling as Elgin did the emotional “I can’t believe I won!” routine mid ring. Regardless of personal opinions on Elgin, he is over enough and the story had been built to this point so he sort of needed to win. It also gave ROH a big moment on their first PPV event which didn’t hurt.
US Indie Singles | Common | Title Change