ROH Supercard of Honor XII

ROH Supercard of Honor XII

By Big Red Machine
From April 07, 2018

ROH Supercard of Honor XII
This stupid little table they have the announcers at looks really pathetic. There isn't even enough room for them to sit down.

JONATHAN GRESHAM vs. CHUCK TAYLOR (w/Trent Beretta) - 6/10

A bad start off to things for the commentary team, who are claiming that Chuck Taylor's Awful Waffle finisher has been banned by the state athletic commission. I guess they didn't see the part of that story which said that ROH and WWE wrestlers would be allowed to use piledrivers because the commission has faith in their ability to correctly execute the moves.

This was a fine little opener. Gresham worked over Chuck's knee but Chuck was able to use this to his advantage by having a counter ready to an attempted Gresham leg submission in the form of a small package for the win.


Martinez got a really cool entrance. Ishii's entrance frustrated me because he came out with the RPW British Heavyweight Title, spoiling the main event of this weekend's RevPro show for me. BOO!

This was one hell of a slugfest! We're also now 2-for-2 on guys overshooting dives and landing on their heads but getting back up because they're just that tough.


Neither of these guys overshot their dives, but Page did nearly die taking a German Suplex OFF THE GUARDRAIL TO THE FLOOR. I really enjoyed the fact that they let the Bullet Club/Golden Lovers stuff hang in the background, allowing the announcers to talk about it while they wrestled a much more althletic, ROH-style match rather than the brawl it would have to be otherwise, which wouldn't play to Kota's strengths. This a GREAT match, with one hell of a finishing sequence.

Kelly Klein vs. Sumie Sakai - 3.5/10

Okay... here is where I get annoyed at things. First of all, they claimed Sumie Sakai was "one of the greatest stars" in women's wrestling history in Japan, which is a completely laughable statement. They then noted that she had been in ROH since 2002, which isn't really true. She was in ROH in 2002, and has wrestled maybe a few matches every few years until this most recent attempt at starting a women's division. They then asked if she would be able to "fulfill her destiny" by winning the title tonight, totally cheapening the storyline done with Christopher Daniels last year which really was fifteen years in the making. They also referred to Kelly Klein as "undefeated" in ROH, which I know is bullsh*t because they tried (and failed) to make a big deal out of it last year when KELLY KLEIN LOST TO KAREN Q.

Then they introduced Daffney as "one of the original female stars of Ring of Honor," which is also a ridiculous statement. Daffney didn't do sh*t in ROH. She wrestled a grand total of zero matches, and was only important in that she was the victim of an off-screen attack by BJ Whitmer on orders from Christopher Daniels to kick off the Second City Saints vs. Prophecy feud because she was dating CM Punk at the time... and by the time Punk was ready to take revenge on the Prophecy for attacking Daffney (or "Lucy" as she was known), he already had his new girlfriend Tracy Brooks coming out to ringside with him, putting a major damper on the whole thing. If you want to refer to someone as an "original female superstar" in ROH, it had better be Allison Danger, Alexis Laree, or Simply Luscious. This sort of thing irks me because this attempt at BS revisionist history solely to serve the company's needs of the moment is exactly the sort of thing that WWE does and everyone hates. If WWE does it and everyone always says that they hate it when WWE does it, why the hell would you copy that behavior?

There was SOOOO much wrong with this. The match itself went about seven minutes, which has been the problem with this division since the beginning. Basically every other company with women's wrestling right now is putting on a much better product, and a lot of that is because the women in ROH just aren't given the time to have good matches, and that continued here. We were six minutes into a match that has been 50/50 and they're telling me Sumi has "taken Kelly Klein to the limit" and that almost none of the other competitors have been able to do that, which just buries everyone rather than makes them look good. Half-way through the match there was a double-down and all of the other women came out from the locker room to be at ringside and it just felt so pathetically forced... which makes it the perfect metaphor for this entire division. The company will talk at us about how good it is until they're blue in the fact, without actually putting any real effort into it or giving the women the chance to make it mean anything.

Then there is the booking of this whole tournament. Sumie Sakai is a good wrestler, but in 2010, she's not championship material if you want your title to actually mean something. Then there is the cheap rip-off "destiny" story, which "paid off" here tonight with Sumie winning the title. She shouldn't be the champion. She shouldn't even have been in the finals. Nor should Kelly Klein. I like Kelly's work, but she was on top of the division for such a long period where it literally meant nothing that having her be your first champion is more of a detriment than anything else. The finals here should have been Tenille Dashwood vs. either Deonna Purrazzo or one of the big STARDOM names, with the tease that the STARDOM lady would be on an extended tour with ROH so people would actually buy her having a chance of winning. THOSE are the hot names right now, and they're either just as good or better in the ring as Kelly and Sumie.

SoCal Uncensored(c) vs. The Young Bucks & Flip Gordon - 7.75/10

This was a really awesome match. And then The Kingdom showed up. They had been banned from the building for this weekend, so naturally, when they showed up, some referees came out and politely asked them to leave. They didn't... and that was it. They were at ringside for a good eight minutes or so, and no one tried to get them to leave other than some referees. No security, and even worse, as Cabana pointed out, no Bully Ray, who we know is in the building. Ian Riccabonni then said "I don't know that Bully Ray had the authority to kick them out." OF COURSE HE DID! If he didn't, then WHY THE F*CK WAS THE COMPANY PORTRAYING HIS WORD AS LAW ON THEIR WEBSITE?!

Anyway, The Kingdom had to get involved. They got ugly purple camo pants made, too. All of this had to happen because the guy currently booking the company had the choice between "interference in a huge title match to further a feud between fat, old, broken-down Bubba Ray Dudley and a stable of loser goofballs that includes Vinny Marseglia" or "clean finish in a huge title match, and no fat, old, broken-down Bully Ray or stable of lose goofballs including Vinny Marseglia" and he picked the latter.

After that point, the match went all downhill, and not just because of The Kingdom and the interference. Quite simply, these guys went WAY PAST the point of diminishing returns. Yes, they did a spot or two with Matt's back, but in reality, there wasn't any story here. It was just twenty-five straight minutes of flips, dives, and ladder spots.

The Briscoes(c) vs. Jay Lethal & Hiroshi Tanahashi - 7.25/10

Solid tag team wrestling, but I think this really suffered from the fact that no one thought that Lethal & Tanahashi had a chance, and that, combined with New Japan's restrictions, meant that the only question going into this match was which Briscoe would pin Lethal. That being said, these guys did the best they good given those restrictions and the time they were given. I really wish they would have gotten another eight minutes or so.

After the video package hyping up the TV Title match, Austin Aries showed up, Ian Riccaboni responded to this by gasping and shouting "I know who that is, Colt!" as if it was the most shocking thing in the world. Don't get me wrong; if you want to act surprised that Aries showed up when he wasn't booked, that's great. But the way to do that is to sound shocked while saying "That's Austin Aries! He's not scheduled to be here!" because that's the shocking part. Acting shocked while telling your commentator that you know the identity of the man who the guy who just showed up makes no sense. This is part of a frustrating trend from wrestling announcers in general (and ROH and TNA in particular over the past six years or so) where they try to say every single line as if it is the most shocking thing in the world. They think this makes fans find the show more exciting and surprising, but in reality it just makes fans think the announcers are dumb.

I bring this up mostly to inform everyone that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and his name is Colt Cabana. When Ian exclaimed "I know who that is, Colt!" as if in complete and total surprise, Colt responded by saying "Yeah. It's Austin Aries" in a tone that conveyed that not only was this the most obvious thing in the world, but also that Ian was a complete and total moron for reacting the way he did.

AUSTIN ARIES PROMO - Good. He says he wants to challenge the winner of the TV Title match, and that he is going to do guest commentary for this match.

Kenny King(c) vs. Silas Young - 7/10

Aries' reaction to Kenny King locking Silas in the Last Chancery was great. The Beer City Bruiser came out to interfere on behalf of Silas Young. In the video package we saw Bully Ray ejecting BCB and Brian Milonas from ringside after they interfered in a title match between Silas and Kenny, so where is Bully now?

These guys had a great match, with both just hitting big moves to try to win with an additional little story of working on each other's backs. Then, on the finish, Kenny King hit Silas with a picture-perfect shooting star press through a table on the outside... and the Beer City Bruiser snuck under the ring and tied Kenny's feet together so he couldn't stand back up and Silas won the title. So basically, Silas wins with a cheap finish to take the TV Title from Kenny King. If that sounds to you like the same thing that happened at Final Battle, the reason for that is because it is.

Why are we doing this? We're just running around in circles, cheapening the belt with these title changes and now cheapening gimmick matches with these bad finishes. They've been feuding for three months. Why can't we just have a clean blow-off with a true and decisive winner and move on to the next story? This is Ring of Honor, not WWE or TNA where they spin their wheels all the time because they don't know how to have a feud without it being formulaic and repetitive.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Fine. The Beer City Bruiser & Silas Young started to beat Kenny King down after the match, so Austin Aries made the save. Obviously we're getting Aries vs. Silas, but now I'm not excited for it at all because there is no doubt in my mind that the finish is going to be Silas retaining via bullsh*t so Aries doesn't have to do clean a job. I'm not saying this isn't an understandable insistence on the parts of the various companies he is the champion of. What I'm saying is that Delirious should have known this going in, and realized that the publicity of using Aries really isn't worth anything in the end if all you do with it is a bunch of sh*tty finishes because the next time the same sort of buzzworthy thing happens, people will be less excited for the match because they'll just expect a sh*tty finish. Aries is an excellent wrestler an a key part of ROH history, but in this case it would have been much better to use some other name guy from TNA like Eddie Edwards, Homicide, Trevor Lee, or even Sonjay Dutt.

THE DAWGS vs. CHEESEBURGER & ELI ISUM - no rating, infuriating segment.

The only reason this terrible, wheel-spinning, never-ending, feud is happening is so that the literal f*cking bottom rung of the ladder guys can be brought all around the country on the company's dime and so they have something to do on the shows. That right there should be a good sign that this feud should not be happening at all and that none of these guys should be used regularly. This just goes to further my theory that these men are either blowing Delirious, or have pictures of him blowing someone else.

The Dawgs jump Cheeseburger and his new loser friend from behind. They crotch Eli on the post and Rhett hits him in the knee with a chair... and within ten f*cking seconds, Bully Ray has charged out to the ring. To recap:

- Guys who Bully has banned from the building hop the barricade and interfere in a major title match: Bully doesn't do sh*t.

- A guy who Bully had previously ejected from ringside in a title match interferes in a rematch between the same two guys: Bully still doesn't do sh*t.

- Someone attacks Cheeseburger and his loser friend from behind: Bully charges out to ringside like someone told him there was a money-mark booker or promoter looking for a lazy, has-been tag team wrestler to be the centerpiece babyface of his/her wrestling promotion.

Bully decries The Dawgs as "real scumbags." Why? Because they attacked some guys from behind on a wrestling show and tried to injure someone? That happens all the time and Bully never comes out here and gives a sanctimonious speech about it. Where was he at the end of the previous match to give this speech to Silas and Bruiser? Selective enforcement of the rules- either of wrestling or morality- based on the needs of the story is one of my major pet peeves, and seeing it in ROH is all the more infuriating because the way the promotion should be booked should make these issues few and far between, and there should be no question that these few violations that do happen will all be addressed by those in charge. It's in the G-d damn name of the promotion: Ring of Honor!

Bully tells Cheeseburger that he's sorry that this match had to go with way, but if he can't find a partner then he can't have this match. Cheeseburger begs Bully to be his partner. He tells Bully "last night you had your final moment. Tonight, have your final fight... with me." Yeah. "Last night," as in at WWE's Hall of Fame ceremony. This would be the same WWE that Bully buries in every pre-show speech. And yet he was more than happy to take the spotlight of being inducted into their hall of fame... and even so still continued to bury them. What kind of person would be that two-faced? Oooh! I know: a "real scumbag."

They milked this for what felt like several minutes until Bully finally agreed, so we got...


Colt Cabana, the only person in this company who seems to have any sort of memory, immediately points out that they did an angle a mere four months ago where Bully had to retire because he accumulated too many concussions, so he really shouldn't be in the ring at all right now.

Of course, fat, old, broken-down, too-many-concussions Bully Ray, in his street clothes and having had no time whatsoever to prepare for this match, beat up The Dawgs. They do the Whazzup, which is a headbutt to the groin- an illegal maneuver- right in front of the referee. There was no DQ for this, nor any mention of how hypocritical it was for the guy tasked with enforcing the rules to now be breaking them. We got the same lack of comment when Bully ordered Cheeseburger to get a table.

Then Bully turned on Cheeseburger. His reasoning? Because Cheeseburger "put [him] on the spot." So what? MAYBE there could be something here if Bully didn't want to look bad by saying no but also didn't want to look bad by losing, but in order for that to work BULLY & CHEESEBURGER CANNOT HAVE BEEN DOMINATING THE ENTIRE MATCH.

Bully says that Cheeseburger is "everything that is wrong with the wrestling business." He's partially right there. Burger is part of it, but fat, old, broken-down has-beens using stroke to staple themselves to younger, better talent in order to remain relevant and dragging that talent down as a result is a problem in the wrestling business, too. Bully apparently doesn't like young, flippy millennials, as he names Burger, Ospreay, Flip Gordon, and Ricochet by name.

Joe Koff comes out and Bully starts to yell at him. He says "this is why the wrestling business sucks. Because you sign guys like this" "and idiots like this (the fans) think that it's okay." F*ck. Now I'm starting to agree with Bully on some things.

Flip Gordon comes out but Bully Ray grabs Cheeseburger and threatens that if Flip comes one step closer, Bully give Burger a Piledriver, which he claims will not only break Cheeseburger's neck, but also cause the commission to shut the show down. At this point, I'd be perfectly fine with that. Hell... if we've come to interference in gimmick match title matches and relying on New Japan wrestlers and the Bullet Club's YouTube vanity show to draw crowds because the booker is too busy booking segments where 2018 Bubba Ray Dudley randomly turns on a comedy jobber to set up a feud between fat, old, broken-down Bubba Ray Dudley and Flip Spotting then they might as well just shut the whole f*cking promotion down.

Bully asks "do you know who I am? I'm Bully Ray, and I'm a WWE Hall of Famer," and he puts on his Hall of Fame ring. Now, what we've been led to believe over the years (mostly by TNA) is that WWE will sue the pants off of ROH for this. I doubt that will happen, even if they do actually have legal grounds for this.

This might have been a good angle if a million other people weren't doing it already. We've got Trevor Lee doing it with TNA in PWG, EVOLVE/WWN doing it with Austin Theory wanting to go to WWE, and a whole bunch of others over the years that just make this cliché and annoying. If it was an active competitor like in those cases then maybe I could get into it, but it's Bully Ray, and anything he does is going to suck, which I know from empirical evidence of watching him wrestle in ROH over the past year.

And, of course, most of the f*cking idiot fans in the crowd CHEERED FOR BULLY when he mentioned the Hall of Fame.

Bully then powerbomed Cheeseburger and left the ring. This went on F*CKING FOREVER and just kept getting more and more infuriating as time went on. It wasn't just the stupid booking or Bully's turn or Joe Koff's presence (Dixie Carter has more charisma and is a better actress). Even the commentary was infuriating, with Cabana ranting about "bitter veterans" who complain that today's wrestlers "don't know how to work," just to remind me that this is all fake.

And the worst part of all of this? Before this segment, I was mostly enjoying this show. There were some things that were definitely frustrating, but on the whole I was enjoying myself. This segment changed all that. Because the mark in the lizard mask things that Bubba Ray Dudley is going to help your wrestling company in the late 2010s.

KENNY OMEGA vs. CODY RHODES (w/Brandi Rhodes & Bernard the Business Bear) - 8.25/10

Ian Riccaboni talks about how Cody purchased weightlifting belts for "the entire cast of Being The Elite." "Cast." Like it's a f*cking fake TV show. Did Flip Gordon get a belt? He's on there often enough.

Cabana notes that Bury the Bear, who turned out to be Kenny Omega, has been replaced by Bernard the Business Bear because, unlike Bury, this bear "is completely subservient to Cody." That's kind of ironic because rumor has it that Kenny's refusal to be a completely subservient bear was the reason the Golden Lovers broke up in the first place. Cheap? Yes. Easy? Yes. But I need to amuse myself somehow while Cody wastes everyone's time stalling.
They finally lock up... and the f*cking director cuts away from the ring to show me the crowd cheering. Here's a hint: if you ever have a choice between showing the crowd reacting to something or showing the thing that they're reacting to, you should choose the latter.

Cody goes for the Shattered Dreams but stops and flips off the fans instead. The crowd boos, because I guess they were all excited to see this match we've been waiting months for end in four minutes via disqualification. This is a fine example of the sort of spot that shouldn't have been done in the first place. It exists solely for Cody to play with the crowd, and does absolutely nothing for the match.

The match eventually got quite good with Cody working the leg while Omega worked the head and neck, and they had some great nearfalls, but the pacing for it was frustratingly slow at times. The match was awesome, but not "thirty-five minutes" awesome. It was more like an awesome twenty-five minute match that got stretched out.

But the thing that hurt the match the most was idiotic finish. Brandy accidentally gets bumped through a table and Omegas checks on her and Flip Gordon takes her to the back so we can have the announcers emphasize that Cody doesn't care about his wife, just to make sure he hits every single heel cliché. Then we got another ref bump and a double-down, at which point the Young Bucks came out. They're out here to decide who they are going to side with. They tease that they'll kick each guy, either just to swerve people or because they're horrendously indecisive. They finally decide to side with Omega so they go to double-superkick Cody but Cody ducks and they hit Omega by accident. Cody then hits the Cross Rhodes on Omega, and the referee counts the pin... and apparently the Young Bucks were paralyzed in place by some sort of magical force because they were completely unable to move anymore.
They've made their choice. They've sided with Kenny. Even if Kenny doesn't currently realize that they kicked him by accident, Cody surely knows they were aiming for him, and even if he doesn't the tape will reveal that the moment someone shows it to him. If they wanted Kenny to win then why didn't they spot the referee from counting? Or just tell him that they kicked Kenny and thus Cody should be DQed? Or any number of other things they could have done. Not only would this help them achieve their goal of helping Kenny win, but it would also show Kenny that they really didn't mean to kick him, because if they did then they wouldn't be trying to stop Cody from winning.

Why were they even out here? They made their decision but couldn't tell Kenny and Cody in the back after the match like adults? They had to come out here and ruin a huge match by sticking their noses in it? All of this sh*t they're doing in this angle doesn't come off like a story with real people so much as it does like a series of theoretically connected but internally inconsistent PRO WRESTLING ANGLES, and I do mean that in all caps.

Kenny saves Kota from Cody! Cody causes problems for Kenny within the group! Kenny accidentally shoves Matt so Matt and Nick are angry at Kenny! All of a sudden Bullet Club is allowed to be booked against each other! Marty agonizes over having to hurt Kenny because the promotion booked them against each other (even though he has no problem kicking Chase's ass)! Then Marty chooses Cody's side over a ridiculously small slight. Then Cody attacks the Guerrillas of Destiny from behind for no reason. The Young Bucks haven't watched the videotape in a month and a half so they hate Kenny and MUST fight him and want the friendship to be over! Then, right after the match, one of them forgives Kenny but the other doesn't. Then Cody accidentally pushed one of them. Then Chase & Yujiro attack the Bucks from behind for no reason! But they're all still friends right after the match! Then Cody is about to do the same thing to Kenny that the Bucks did during their match with him but the Bucks tell him not to! Then the Bucks decide to be side with Omega! Meanwhile, Omega and Kota might be lovers! But now maybe Omega and Brandy have a past, too! Oh my, how intriguing!

They clearly have an idea of an endgame, but the way they're trying to get to it feels like they're just doing sh*t to temporarily get your attention each time rather than constructing a coherent narrative.

Dalton Castle(c) (w/the Boys) vs. Marty Scurll - 8.5/10

Nick Aldis is in the front row, because apparently we need to work with every rinky-dink promotion in the world... including one that isn't actually even a promotion anymore. Is there anyone not named Nick Aldis or Billy Corgan who actually gives a sh*t about the NWA World Heavyweight Title in 2018?
Marty went to go get his umbrella to hit Dalton with but ROH Senior Referee Tod Sinclair told him he had to put the umbrella back... so Marty just leaves it in the corner of the ring, and ROH Senior Referee Tod Sinclair was perfectly content to leave this dangerous weapon lying there within easy reach, during a world title match.

They were on the outside forever and yet I don't think Sinclair even once tried to count them out. If you ignore that fact, this was a really awesome wrestling match for a long time, with good work on body parts and some good character-work. The sort of thing that feels like it's going to be a truly epic world title main event.

Then the overbooking started. First Aldis passed Scurll some scissors which Marty used to cut a turnbuckle pad loose. The exposed turnbuckle never came into play. Then Marty went for his powder. No ref bump or distraction or anything. He just all of a sudden didn't care about trying to get DQed. Dalton kicked the powder into his face. Sinclair got between them to try to stop Dalton from going after the blinded Marty even though Dalton was acting purely in self-defense when he blinded Marty. This resulted in Marty grabbing Sinclair and thinking he was Dalton, so he broke several of his fingers. Dalton hit Bangarang and Sinclair went to count but he couldn't because his broken fingers hurt too much... and with babyface world champion clearly having the cheating heel defeated but having his victory snatched away from him due to an injury to the referee... the f*cking idiot fans all cheered.

People helped Sinclair to the back, leaving us with no referee. Marty grabbed his umbrella and beat the sh*t out of Dalton and the Boys. He hit his brainbuster... but there was no referee to count the pin for a good ten seconds until Paul Turner ran out. He got to two but Dalton kicked out. Apparently it was necessary to give the heel a visual pinfall on our babyface champion.

Then they returned to having an awesome wrestling match until the finish. Without that stupid bullsh*t, this would have been a 9/10, but of course we had to have it because that's what ROH has come to now, and the match suffered because of it.

Final Thoughts
Despite the excellent start and high match quality throughout, this still managed to be a disappointing show from ROH, and the reason for that is the booking. When Ian Riccaboni said early on in the show that "every match is a main event" tonight, I thought that for the most part that was true. I could see most of these matches main eventing a show somewhere. And almost every single one of them left me disappointed and/or frustrated due to overbooking. On a positive note, it was nice to see that ROH is willing to let their big shows run quite long again. This was the first time in a long time that I didn't feel like things were getting shortchanged on time. I'm also quite relieved to see Dalton Castle wrestling at such a high level as ROH World Champion. If they had let him wrestle like this before they put the belt on him, I wouldn't have been apprehensive about him winning it.


1. In talking about the men who Burger passed over to team with this Eli Isum loser, they mentioned BJ Whitmer, who they described as an "ROH all-time great." While I'm certain that BJ would have been a better choice than this jabroni, the idea of describing BJ Whitmer as an "ROH all-time great" sent me into a rage. A very good worker for many years and a key player in the promotion for five years? Absolutely. But an all-time great? You've got to be f*cking kidding me. "All-time great" is a phrase that should be reserved for guys like The Briscoes, Joe, Dragon, Punk, Daniels, Aries, Nigel, Steen, Roddy, AJ, and Homicide, Adam Cole, and Jay Lethal. You could maybe make a persuasive argument for the likes of Jimmy Jacobs, Cabana, Davey, Eddie, Hero, Claudio, Tyler, or Generico. But to call BJ Whitmer an "ROH all-time great"... who else are you going to add to that list? Erick Stevens? Matt Cross? Caprice Coleman? Michael Shane? D'Lo Brown? Hell you might as well throw in Sal Rinauro, Monsta Mack, Unibrow Matt Stryker, Elax from Special K, and Iceberg from Homicide's gang.

I harp on this because, like the Daffney thing, it shows ROH moving in a very WWE-like direction with their commentary, which, as I explained above, is stupid because they are imitating a behavior of WWE's that is universally despised by wrestling fans. Also, as a longtime fan, it annoys me that they are lying to my face and, like WWE, just expecting me to take everything they tell me as fact, even when the evidence doesn't bear it out. That attitude is a major turnoff to me. I want a promotion that strives for more than that. A promotion that puts in the work to tell stories that make me feel, rather than a promotion that books half-assed generic segments haphazardly thrown together and then tells me what I'm supposed to be feeling after watching them.

2. Ian Riccaboni says that while Cody has propelled ROH to all-time highs in attendance, PPV buys, and ratings, "the means he has used to do so have been dubious."
What? Are they telling me that Cody has been backing Nielsen boxes, buying each PPV over and over with thousands of stolen credit cards, and threatening to kill people's pets if they don't buy tickets to ROH? Because that's what it sounds like.

3. Ian Riccaboni- "Chop block: illegal in the NFL; legal here."
So are a punch, a powerbomb, an enzugiri, and about forty other moves we've seen tonight. What's your point?

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