*Like the Showdown in the Sun Events, I will be reviewing the DVD version, so sans the technical glitches during iPPV*
ROH Border Wars
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 5/12/12
1.) Eddie Edwards vs. Rhino: ***1/4
Rhino's services were recently sold by Prince Nana & The Embassy to Truth Martini & The House of Truth. This was a solid opener. Good for the time it was given. Edwards wins via roll up.
After the match, Rhino looks to possibly go after Martini due to the loss, but Truth gives him cash to settle his temper.
2.) The Young Bucks & Mike Mondo vs. The All Night Express & TJ Perkins: ***1/2
This was a very fin six-man tag. The usual multi-man tag team spot-fest that one sees from ROH. Very solid action.
3.) Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jay Lethal: ***1/2
Because he didn't win the World TV Title from Lethal back at the 10th Anniversary Show (the match ended in a draw), Ciampa has gone a little crazy, growing a white beard in the process. This was a very good match. Definitely a step up from their previous match. I like how Lethal had to do a ton of stuff to finally put Ciampa away and end his streak. The last 3 minutes or so are very good.
Afterwords, Ciampa goes crazy and beats up Lethal for a bit before leaving.
4.) Lance Strom vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett: ***1/2
This is a rematch from Day 1 of Showdown in the Sun. This time it's only Brutal Bob at Bennett's side. This was another pretty good match. I'd still say that their first match was better, but this one's pretty close. An attempted use of a chair backfires on Bennett and Storm picks up the win in his home country!
Storm cuts a promo afterwords, putting over ROH and the fans, thanking them.
5.) Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin: ***1/2
Here we have a rematch from Rise & Prove. Another very solid match. Cole & Elgin show why they are the rising stars of the company in 2012.
Truth Martini goes to cut a promo but Cole superkicks him. Elgin carries an unconscious Martini to the back.
6.) ROH World TV Title – Roderick Strong vs. Fit Finlay: ***
This is the Belfast Bruiser's ROH debut. It was a decently good outing, but I expected a little more from this. With the great encounters Finlay had with Sami Callihan, you'd think he have an equally good match with Roderick Strong. It was good, but not as good as you would think.
7.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Fight Without Honor – The Briscoes vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team: **3/4
So they essentially did the same thing they did two years ago at Death Before Dishonor VIII except it's just Mark Briscoe who couldn't cross the border. Of course, Mark comes through the crowd in hockey gear and attacks WGTT from behind. This match would have been a fine Fight Without Honor, not a great one, but decent enough.....had it not been for that ether rag ending. Stupid. That's all I gotta say. I blame Jim Cornette.
8.) ROH World Title – Davey Richards vs. Kevin Steen: ****1/4
This is Steen's one and only shot at the title. The Package Piledriver is also legal for this match. Kyle O'Reilly was going to be in Davey's corner, but had a family emergency & couldn't make it. This was a fantastic match. A lot of exciting moments. The Canadian Crowd was hot for this one, as they cheered Steen and at times heavily booed Richards. Richards would let the crowd get to him, and it would lead to him losing the match and the title.
Cary Silkin refuses to present Steen with the title like he usually does with World Title changes. Steve Corino was out on commentary and it looks like he's going to fight Steen & Jimmy Jacobs (who was also at ringside) but embraces them, and S.C.U.M. is born! Steen declares that he doesn't need to give a speech....because he's Kevin Steen.
Aside from the technical issues the iPPV suffered, when you look back at it, this was the second best show of 2012. A lot of it had to do with the consistency, as not a single match (save for the Briscoes/WGTT debacle) goes under ***1/4. Save for that one match, I can say with confidence that while there is no blow away matches on here, their is something for everyone.