Posted in: ROH ROH Final Battle 2011 Results
Dec 23, 2011 - 11:58:06 PM
ROH Final Battle 2011
New York City
- The iPPV broadcast (I’m assuming) goes off to a terrible start with a plethora of miscues with the audio and video. Not good form.
- The show begins with Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuiness, Jim Cornette, Cary Silkin and Joe Kohl in the ring, addressing the audience. The microphone is terribly quiet for a minute or two until a little into Cornette’s promo. Really terrible form, but the sound should be good now. Kohl thanks Cary Silkin and wishes everybody Happy Holidays, and we go to our first match.
Match #1: T.J. Perkins vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini)
- The match begins and the vocal crowd is more pro-Perkins here. Elgin starts by literally tossing Perkins across the ring and dominating him from corner to corner. Elgin challenges Perkins to try and attack him, and Perkins manages to dodge Elgin’s offense enough to hit a dropkick that only sends Elgin staggering towards the ropes. A running crossbody from Perkins takes Elgin over the ropes and out of the ring. Perkins tries to hit a tiger feint kick but Elgin gets out of the way. Perkins attempts to go for a rolling senton off the apron, but Elgin just catches him and slams him into the barricade to elicit the first “holy shit” chant of the night.
Elgin continues to remain in control and work over Perkins. Perkins attempts to come back but Elgin reverses a headscissors to a brutal face-first slam for two. Elgin imposing himself with a gutwrench which Perkins tries to get up and out from, but gets shoved to the ropes and pushed by Truth Martini. Perkins comes back with a quick rana that sends Elgin rolling to the outside, leaving Elgin open for a successful rolling senton over the top rope to the outside.
Perkins rolls Elgin back into the ring and hits a top-rope missile dropkick for two. Perkins tries to hit a sunset flip but isn’t able to get Elgin down. Elgin goes for a banzai drop but Perkins rolls away. Perkins manages to land a standing corkscrew senton splash on Elgin for just one. Perkin goes back up to the top but Elgin gets back to his feet and stop the fastbreak, getting up on the turnbuckle to attempt a superplex but Perkins pushes him down.
Perkins went to hit a rolling senton but Elgin impressively catches him in the suplex position and dropping him into an uranage for a near fall. Elgin goes for the powerbomb but Perkins rolls out of it and drops Elgin on the floor; Perkins tries for a spinning reverse STO but Elgin counters and props up Perkins for an Argentine backbreaker drop for another near fall.
Perkins retreats to the corner and plays possum to hit a quick neckbreaker. He fails to capitalize though as Elgin counters a monkey flip attempt into a Buckle Bomb. Perkins counters a Tornado Bomb attempt into a huracanrana for two. Both men get back to their feet and Perkins attempts to get Elgin on his shoulders for a Detonation Kick but fails; Perkins hits a quick superkick and gets Elgin on his shoulders for a second before Elgin slips out. After a backfist, Elgin hits another Buckle Bomb and hits the Tornado Bomb for the pin and win.
Winner by pinfall: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin in 7:34
Thoughts: Good, solid opening match from two men who have a complete grasp of their respective wrestling styles. Both Elgin and Perkins are two of the savviest workers in the roster right now, and it was a great idea to put them together. Definitely no complaints on the action side as Perkins is smart enough to know what and what not to do. Just wish there was a proper backstory to have gone with it, though, but the right man did win. 3 stars out of 5.
- More technical difficulties as a couple of audio and video that should definitely not be there have played. Get it together, production team.
Match #2: Tommaso Ciampa (with the Embassy) vs. Jimmy Rave
- Prince Nana tries to cut a promo, but is too filled with rage to make sense. Robert Evans takes the mic but the crowd is loudly chanting them to shut the fuck up. Evans says that Rave showing up tonight is like an unwanted ex-girlfriend crashing a Christmas party, but if he wants to spend Christmas with Ciampa, it’ll be a silent night for him.
No handshake from Ciampa as expected, and the two begin the match locking up. The two exchange quick holds for a while, and Ciampa ends up with the brief upper hand. The two men exchange slaps and Rave spits in Ciampa’s eyes, and has control for a little while until Ciampa hits a pretty stiff lariat. Ciampa dominates Rave on the outside, slamming him on the barrier and chopping him. Rave takes control back and rolls Ciampa back into the ring, but Rave eats a quick jawbreaker. Ciampa gets him on the corner and hits his signature running knee to the face twice for two.
Ciampa remains in control, but Rave tries to come back with chops. Rave hits a lariat and Ciampa tries to get back in the game with a boot, but Rave meets a running Ciampa with a heel hook. Ciampa quickly gets to the bottom rope. Ciampa rolls out onto the apron to recover, but Rave sends him flying into the barricade with a knee. Rave attempts to follow up with a baseball slide, but Ciampa catches him and swings him to the barrier like a bat.
Ciampa tries to get him back in the ring but Rave tries a sunset flip to no avail. Ciampa takes him off his feet with a low dropkick. Ciampa runs into a knee lift and into a rolling kick for two. Rave gets him up on the Rave Clash quickly but it’s only for another two count. The Rave Clash elicits a short “AJ Styles” chant. Rave hooks him to go for the Greetings From Ghana, but Nana quickly interferes, trying to offer Rave his old Embassy robe. Rave looks like he’s considering it, but gets his hands on Nana instead. Everyone in the Embassy interferes but Rave manages to deal with them, but it leaves Rave open for Ciampa to hit the Project Ciampa for the win.
Winner by pinfall: Tommaso Ciampa in 8:31
Thoughts: Not sure I liked that finish, even though it was mainly to build heat for the entire Embassy. At least Ciampa won relatively clean. The match itself was all right, but not much to write home about. Ciampa was his usual good self and Rave wasn’t slacking either, but for some reason this match wasn’t as clicking as it should have been. 2.5 stars out of 5.
- The production crew continues to screw up as they completely botch the instant replay, and now the graphic for Bennett/Lethal/Generico, which is our third match of the evening.
Match #3: Mike Bennett (with “Brutal” Bob Evans and Maria Kanellis) vs. El Generico vs. Jay Lethal (c) in a Three-Way Dance for the ROH World Television Championship
- Loud and hilarious “CM Punk” chants for Bennett and Maria (who is absolutely looking fine, by the way). Bennett cuts a quick promo, heeling on the crowd. It looks like he’s dropped the fake TV title angle, which is good. El Generico and Jay Lethal come out to their expected fanfare. Kevin Kelly just compared Bennett to Tim Tebow, saying that they’re both good but so hated.
Lethal and Generico shake but Bennett doesn’t. Bennett rolls out of the ring, letting Generico and Lethal duke it out, but he gets back in anyway to blindside them while they circle each other. Lethal wants to get after Bennett, but Generico talks him out of it. Bennett blindsides them again. The two fake their circling and they go after Bennett on the outside, pulling him back in the ring.
The two work on Bennett as Brutal Bob shouts at Bennett and Nigel flirts with Maria. Generico and Lethal argue about who gets to dive to the outside first, and eventually agree to do it at the same time anyway, flattening Bennett at ringside. After dealing with Bennett, Generico and Lethal get back to putting on a match themselves.
Lethal gets in a quick roll-up for two. Lethal hits a quick headscissors for two, and proceeds to set the tempo of the match. Lethal dominates Generico in the corner, but Bennett interferes and drops Lethal on the apron to get back in the match. Bennett is on Generico now, and tries to finish up with a body slam for two. Bennett and Generico trade shots, and Generico sends Bennett to the outside by sending him over the rope. Generico tries to follow up with a suicide dive but Lethal gets in with a quick missile dropkick for a near fall.
Lethal with his signature figure-four leglock/surfboard with the arms. Lethal remains in control as Brutal Bob and Maria tend to Bennett on the outside. Lethal walks into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Generico for two, and Bennett rushes back into the match and attacks Generico again, sending him to the outside this time. Bennett on Lethal now with his methodical offense. Bennett sends Lethal to the ropes and Lethal dodges and hits a springboard elbow smash. Bennett is on the apron and Lethal sends him back to ringside with a dropkick. Generico is waiting on the wings on the top rope though and he hits a crossbody from behind for a near fall of his own.
Generico in control now; the two trade shots but Generico is dominant. Generico gives Lethal a couple of arm drags and Bennett gets back in, but Generico easily handles him. Generico has Bennett in the corner and goes up top to hit the 10 punches, but Bennett reverses into an atomic drop before he could finish. Lethal comes back in and attacks Bennett and gives Generico another atomic drop. He puts Generico on top of Bennett and kicks Generico, forcing Generico backwards and leaving Bennett open for a dropkick and a two count.
Generico takes a corner and Bennett rolls to the outside. Lethal charges but Generico catches him with an exploder suplex to the corner. Generico tries to set up for the Yakuza Kick, but Bennett trips him from outside, forcing Generico to roll outside and deal with him. Brutal Bob gets in front of Bennett, wanting to fight Generico, but Generico lays him out with a right hand. Bennett hides behind Maria and pushes her towards Generico, and the distraction works as Bennett bashes Generico’s head on the announce table.
Bennett gets back in and lays Lethal out with a powerslam. Generico gets back in the ring and Bennett hits a TKO on him. However, Bennett taunts instead of going for the pin, and then drops Lethal on the top turnbuckle. Generico comes in with a Yakuza Kick on Bennett which the camera didn’t show, and Lethal has the last word with a superkick on Generico. All three are down on the mat.
Generico and Lethal get to their feet and trade shots. Lethal hits the Lethal Combination, but before he could make a cover, Generico rolls out of the ring and Bennett grabs him from behind. Bennett hits a huge spinebuster on Lethal for two. Bennett blocks a Yakuza Kick from Generico which the camera didn’t show again, but Generico hits a Michinoku Driver for two. Lethal gets back on his feet and hits an enzuigiri from the ring apron. Lethal goes up to the top rope for the Savage Elbow, but Generico gets up in time to hit a Yakuza Kick to his thigh.
Generico hits a rope to rope rolling senton to Lethal on the outside, and then proceeds to dive through the gap between the bottom and second ropes FROM ONE SIDE TO THE OTHER ON THE OUTSIDE to hit a tornado DDT on Bennett! That’s our second holy shit chant of the night. Generico with a Yakuza Kick and a dragon suplex to Bennett for only a near fall! As Nigel put it, how did Bennett kick out of that?
Generico tries to get back on Bennett but Lethal comes in and hits the back suplex to neckbreaker. Lethal goes to the top rope and hits the Savage Elbow for two. Lethal drops Generico with a slam and tries to go for it again, but Generico gets back up and goes to the top rope to stop Lethal and maybe hit a brainbuster. Bennett gets back on his feet and knocks Lethal down. Bennett pulls Generico down and hits a roll-up with a handful of tights to pin and eliminate him.
El Generico has been eliminated
After that, Lethal quickly comes in with a springboard cutter on Bennett for the pin and win.
Winner by pinfall, and STILL Television Champion: Jay Lethal in 18:15
Thoughts: Excellent match put on by all three men. It got a bit spotty in the end, especially on Generico’s part, but hell, he’s supposed to be a luchador, and to be honest, it was a match that would’ve worked perfectly on a bigger stage like TNA or WWE. Everybody played their roles to a T: Lethal was the credible champion who had all the answers, Generico was the fiery high-flyer, and Bennett was the classic cowardly heel. There were only a couple of glaring negatives (Bennett kicking out of a Yakuza kick and dragon suplex, Generico not staying down), and even then, the action more than outweighed the negatives. 4.25 stars out of 5.
- More replay botching. Production crew, is it so hard to mute the audio of the video you’re rendering in slow-mo?
Match #4: Steve Corino vs. Kevin Steen in a No DQ Match with Jimmy Jacobs as Special Guest Referee
- I’m surprised that this match is on pretty early considering that it’s an upper midcard feud. Steen enters through the audience to much fanfare; the crowd seems to be completely behind him.
The two take a few moments and then quickly charge towards each other, trading shots. Corino hits a dropkick and Steen rolls out of the ring. Corino tries to hit a baseball slide but Steen rams him into the barricade. Steen rams Corino on the ringpost and props him up on the apron for a rolling senton. Corino comes back with a flying knee from the apron. Corino gets back at Steen by driving him into the barricade twice. Corino rakes Steen’s eyes while Steen grabs Corino’s nose. Corino rolls Steen into the ring and throws a few chairs in as well.
Corino hits a running chair smash on Steen in the corner. Steen comes back with a superkick to the chair Corino was holding. Both men go to the outside and Steen hits a powerbomb on the edge of the apron, followed up by a frog splash from the apron. Steen backs up the entranceway and peels off a part of the barricade, driving it into Corino’s face.
Corino drives Steen back into the barricade and props a chair up on the barrier corners, but it’s Steen who takes advantage of it as he comes back and delivers a powerbomb on the propped-up chair. Steen goes over to the announce table and hilariously greets Nigel McGuiness. Steen grabs a table as Corino slowly rolls back into the ring.
Steen trying to go for another powerbomb, but Corino drops to his knee to block it. Steen runs and Corino catches up with a lariat. Corino goes outside and grabs the trash can from ringside and more chairs, throwing them in the ring and landing on Steen’s knees. Corino tries to bash Steen with the trash can cover but Steen dodges it and bashes Corino instead. Steen places the cover on top of Corino’s prone head and hits a rolling leg drop to the cover, and Corino is busted open. Steen makes the wound worse by biting into Corino’s ear.
Steen grabs the trash can now and tries to smash Corino on the back, but Corino with a back kick below the belt. Corino grabs the can and bashes Steen in the head with it thrice, ending with a suplex on the trash can. Corino now piling chairs in the middle of the ring and hits Steen with a body slam on top of the pile. Corino finishes up with a frog splash on Steen on top of the chairs for two.
Corino now propping up the chairs in the middle of the ring and putting the barricade frame on top of them. Corino tries to strike Steen some more but Steen counters and gets onto the apron. Steen goes to the top rope and Corino tries to stop him. Corino gets up on the top rope and lands a superplex on the setup for a nearfall!
Steen now on the table at ringside. Corino goes up to the top rope again but this time Steen gets to his feet and knocks him down. Steen with two chairs, setting them up on the table. He chases Corino at ringside, managing to land a chairshot to his back. Steen now propping a folded chair on top of the two chairs on the table. Steen gets Corino on the second rope, trying to go for a superplex, but Corino fights out and Steen bites him on the ear again. Corino drops back down and bashes Steen with the lid, sending him backwards into the chairs and the table!
Instead of going for the pin, however, Corino gets another chair from under the ring. Crowd starts chanting “we want fire.” Corino ends up rolling Steen back in the ring anyway and goes for the cover, but Steen kicks out at the very last second. Corino grabs a chair and lays it on Steen, and proceeds to bash that chair into Steen’s face with another chair for another near fall.
Corino props up yet another chair and tries to go for a suplex, but Steen counters and hits a neckwrench suplex from behind, and then proceeds to hit a trapdown exploder, driving Corino’s head down into the chair for another near fall! Steen is back on his feet and has a chair in hand, with Corino on his knees. Corino spits on Steen’s face and Steen directly bashes him in the head with it for yet another near fall!
Steen pushes Jimmy Jacobs, who is tending to Steve Corino, aside to try and bash him again, but Jacobs grabs the chair from his hands. The distraction is enough for Corino to get up and smash Steen in the face with a roll of quarters for another two. Corino with a chair now and two more chairs propped up in the middle of the ring. He gets Steen on top of the chairs, attempting to hit a big move, but Steen counters and gets the upper hand, wrapping Corino up for a package piledriver, which he hits! Jacobs tries to count slow, but has no choice as Corino isn’t getting up, and he is forced to make the three count!
Winner by pinfall: Kevin Steen in 32:51
Thoughts: Okay, look. I get that both Steen and Corino hate each other. I also get that this is a hardcore match, and it’s both men’s bread and butter. I get that the storyline is supposed to call for both men being able to take inhuman amounts of pain and punishment. However, that doesn’t make it an excuse for them to keep hitting several, life- and career-threatening big moves and keep believably kicking out of them. Don’t get me wrong; I’m taking this match for what it is and I loved what it is, which is an absolute, straight-up bloody brawl. There was a story told amidst the blood and the violence and the chaos, and I loved that story. However, the match should’ve ended a couple of big spots earlier. Not to mention this should’ve gone second to the last in the evening. That’s all I’m saying. On the bright side, though, old ECW lives on in ROH. 4.5 stars out of 5.
- After the match, Steen celebrates as Cornette checks up on Corino. Steen cuts a quick promo, saying that the Devil is back. Steen piledrives Jacobs and gestures doing the same to Cornette, and almost manages to before El Generico rushes in and makes the save. Steen and Generico start fighting, and Generico forces him into the corner, hitting a Yakuza kick. Generico sets up for the top-rope brainbuster but Steen knocks him back to the apron, and he hits a package piledriver to Generico through the table at ringside!
- We get a recap video of the current storylines.
- We enter the second half of the show now and it starts with the tag team gauntlet match. The first two teams to compete are the Bravados against Coleman and Alexander.
Tag Team Gauntlet Match #1: The Bravado Brothers vs. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander
- Not sure why this match couldn’t have been the first half main event. The Bravados blindside Coleman and Alexander as they finish making their entrance, sending them to the outside. The Bravados dominate them on the outside, and they roll Alexander in, who dives onto the Bravados on the outside. They isolate Lance on the inside, dominating him with their usual tag team moves. Some interference from Harlem sends Coleman to the outside while running, and Harlem hits a big boot on Coleman outside. He quickly gets back in to double team Alexander for two.
Coleman is knocked off the apron and Lance hits a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Harlem is tagged in and the Bravados hit double elbow smashes and drops for one. Coleman gets into the ring but the ref gets in his face, leaving him open for Harlem to toss him over the rope. Harlem distracts the referee while Lance goes in to attack Alexander, but only for Alexander to come back with an enzuigiri on Lance. Coleman drops Lance at ringside and goes up top to hit a top-rope clothesline on Harlem. Coleman flies again to Lance at ringside, and Alexander hits what looks like a Gory Bomb for two.
Alexander and Harlem now trading shots in the ring. Harlem counters a suplex attempt with a small package for two. Harlem tries to go for a schoolboy but Alexander reverses it by trapping his legs in a cover for the pin and win.
Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander eliminate the Bravado Brothers in 4:55
Tag Team Gauntlet Match #2: Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander vs. Future Shock
- Kyle O’Reilly starts the match out and he lets out some high-energy offense with knees and kicks. Adam Cole is tagged in and he quickly hits a dropkick. Cole with a snap suplex for two.
O’Reilly is tagged in but Alexander blocks the initial double team attempt, but falls to the next one. Coleman with the blind tag and they hit a Hart Attack-style leg lariat for two. Coleman with a sweet dropkick for another two count. Adam Cole makes the blind tag now and they hit a double northern lights suplex. Cole dominates Coleman on offense as he tags O’Reilly back in, who hits a backbreaker and two knee drops for two.
Cole is tagged back in and he hits a body slam for another two count. O’Reilly is tagged in again, but this time Coleman escapes the double team attempt as he hits a split-legged dropkick to Future Shock. Alexander is tagged in and he lays Future Shock out. He trades shots with O’Reilly, who manages to hit an enzuigiri, but takes an enzuigiri back in return. Cole tries to go for a superkick but Alexander blocks it, spinning him into Coleman who gets him up on his shoulders. Alexander goes up top and hits a double stomp to Cole’s head before Coleman dumps Cole on Alexander’s knees. O’Reilly tries to jump in from the top rope but Coleman hits a frankensteiner and Alexander hits a frog splash on him for two.
Future Shock recover and manage to fight back, and Alexander finds himself tied to the tree of woe. Future Shock hit a double low dropkick. Future Shock then finally hit Ride the Lightning on Cedric Alexander to advance.
Future Shock eliminate Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander in 5:30
Tag Team Gauntlet Match #3: Future Shock vs. The Young Bucks
- The Bucks take the time to taunt at ringside, but get stereo baseball slides for their troubles. Future Shock easily lay them out with an assisted crossbody to the outside. The Bucks manage to recover and hit a double team reverse DDT on Adam Cole on the apron. Nick with a springboard frog splash for two. The Bucks continue to control the match and oh my god Kevin Kelly is still making references to what the Bucks did to Booker T. A double team cutter to Cole, and the pin is broken up by O’Reilly.
Matt now the legal man and working over Cole. Nick is tagged right back in and hits a senton over the top rope. Matt is tagged again and hits a double axe handle from the top rope to Cole’s arm. Cole tries to fight back but Matt with a jawbreaker and a knee to the face. Matt with a suplex for two.
Matt with a headlock, but Cole gets up out of it. Bucks with an assisted double stomp for another near fall. Nick is tagged in, isolating Cole in their corner, leading into another quick tag. Cole tries fighting back again and reversing everything the Bucks are throwing at him and tagging in O’Reilly. O’Reilly a house of fire, attacking and evading the Bucks, and hitting a double dragon screw. The Bucks are keeping O’Reilly in check despite his best efforts.
O’Reilly with the signature rolling butterfly suplexes, getting it up to nine suplexes before bringing Matt to their corner. Cole is tagged in and they hit another double team move, and the pin is broken up by Nick. Nick hits the springboard facebuster, and Cole hits a wheelbarrow suplex on Nick on the ring apron. O’Reilly going for the flying knee on Nick on the outside but Nick moves out of the way and O’Reilly crashes and burns. Cole gets back in the ring and Matt rolls him up for two.
The two trade shots and Cole walks into a double superkick from the Bucks. Bucks hit More Bang For Your Buck to advance to the last round.
The Young Bucks eliminate Future Shock in 7:36
Tag Team Gauntlet Match #4: The Young Bucks vs. The All-Night Express
The Bucks try to get an early jump on ANX but they miss as ANX was a step ahead. They fight on the outside, sending Matt to the barricade and backdropping Nick on the outside. It’s made known that Rhett Titus seems to have a leg or foot injury, as he is also visibly limping. ANX continue to dominate outside and inside the ring, isolating Matt inside the ring.
Nick has Rhett from outside, bashing his knee against the ringpost, working on Rhett’s leg. King with a spinebuster to Matt inside the ring for two. The Bucks, with Rhett out of the equation, have turned the tables and are dominating on Kenny. Matt with a taunting pin on Kenny after a few moments on offense for one.
Nick is tagged in and Rhett is still down and out at ringside. Bucks exchanging quick tags in order to set the tempo and a double team move for a two count. Kevin Kelly compares Rhett Titus to Ben Roethlisberger and his playing through an injury. The Bucks continue to dominate until Nick misses a superkick, leaving himself open to a legtrap suplex from Kenny. Kenny is unable to capitalize with a pin, though, but Rhett has gotten back up to their corner and Kenny makes the hot tag.
Rhett fights through the pain and lays the Bucks out, but eventually slows down due to the injury. Nick misses an enzuigiri from the corner which Rhett reverses into a flashback, but Matt gets in there to help his brother. Rhett manages to come back with a Sky High on Matt. Nick gets in with a shining wizard and Kenny comes in to try and help, but eats a superkick for his troubles. The Bucks now working over Rhett’s knee, but Kenny comes back in quickly to stop the barrage, hitting Nick with the Coronation.
Matt takes Kenny out with a tornado DDT on the apron while Nick is in the ring with Rhett. Rhett lays out Nick with a huge lariat, but cannot capitalize as the Bucks continue to stop him from doing anything meaningful. Matt with a step-over toe hold on Rhett, and Nick hits a 450 splash on Rhett. Referee Paul Turner stops the match.
Winner by referee stoppage: The Young Bucks in 8:13
Thoughts: It’s a bit hard to rate this gauntlet, as it was pretty clear that they were a month’s worth of tag matches made for television. The middle was all right, but the ending was pretty flat as the crowd didn’t seem to have anticipated the stoppage finish. I will say that the sequence of winners was at the very least logical, and that the Bucks rightly won this (ugh) because of Rhett’s injury. In all fairness to the Bucks, though, they did wrestle at a step slower than the usual, something that was even noticed by the commentators. Interestingly, there wasn’t much in the way of crazy spots from them; I’d say the biggest offenders tonight were Future Shock. This is going to be an interesting next few months for ROH’s tag team division. 3.25 stars out of 5 overall
- After the match, the Bucks decide to injure Rhett even further as Matt reapplies the step-over toe hold and Nick gives another 450 splash. Kenny comes in with a chair but is too late. The commentators are pushing the angle that Kenny wasn’t aware of the referee stoppage, while Rhett is really selling the injury.
- It’s time now for the Roderick Strong Invitational Challenge. Kelly asks Nigel if it’s true that he considered answering the challenge; Nigel says he did, but Strong and Martini didn’t accept his offer. Roderick Strong and Truth Martini make their entrance, and Strong is out to cut a promo.
Strong says it’s sad that he doesn’t have an opponent for the biggest show of the year. A loud fan hilariously says that he has one and it’s “TBA.” Strong says he put out a challenge for many reasons, but most importantly to prove that he is the best in the world. He says he’s been in ROH 8 years and the list of possible opponents given him was sad, calling them jokes, never-has-beens, and interestingly, Mr. “Woo Woo”s. Strong calls for the timekeeper to ring the bell to declare the match over and give him the win so he can get out of there and party.
The bell rings and Martini takes the mic, saying that he’s going to count to 10. Martini starts the count while heeling it up. Before they can get to 10, though, the arena lights dim and music starts to reveal none other than the returning Chris Hero!
Match #6: Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini) vs. Chris Hero in a Roderick Strong Invitational Challenge
- Strong takes to the outside early on as the crowd cheers Hero on. Strong tries to take Hero down but fails; Hero with a boot to the face and a shoulder block for one. Martini walks over to the announce table and Kelly asks him how he could let this happen. Hero continues to dominate Strong.
Hero locks in a cravate but Strong gets out of it. Strong hits his usual chops and goes for a run, but Hero with another boot to send Strong over the top rope and out of the ring. Hero goes to the outside as Strong goes to the inside, and Martini nails him with his book as he takes the time to salute the audience.
Strong with chops and strikes to Hero on the outside, culminating in his signature back suplex on the apron. Strong rolls Hero back in and a dueling chant begins. Strong with a cover for one. Strong dominates Hero in the corner, and manages to stymie Hero’s attempts of a comeback. Strong with a boot of his own to knock down Hero, and drives him into the barricade.
Martini attacks Hero on the outside as Strong distracts Todd Sinclair. Strong rolls Hero back in and Hero takes the time to dropkick Strong off the apron. The two continue their fight outside again, Strong reversing a Hero whip attempt to send Hero to the barricade again. Strong rolls Hero back in and hooks the leg for two.
Strong with a headlock but Hero gets up out of it. Strong hammers down on Hero’s back and covers for another two count. Strong continues to dominate, but Hero gets back on his feet and the two trade shots. Hero with a huge dropkick which keeps them on the mat for a little while.
Strong chops Hero but Hero no-sells it in order to nail Strong with a huge elbow that sends him staggering. Hero with a powerslam and a senton. Strong rolls to the outside again but Hero catches him with a front dropkick through the ropes. The battle is taken to ringside again with Hero back in control, but both men get back into the ring.
Hero perches Strong up on the top turnbuckle and nails the cravate suplex for two. Strong reverses out of another cravate and hits a jumping knee to Hero’s jaw for two. Strong gets Hero in the corner and perches him up on the top turnbuckle, and eventually manages to drop Hero in a turnbuckle backbreaker for two. Strong follows up with his Stronghold Boston crab, but lets it go.
Hero comes back with a cravate suplex. Strong is in the corner and Hero hits a clothesline. Hero goes on the second rope and hits a quick stomp to Strong’s head, followed up with another elbow strike for two. Hero gets back on the top rope and misses a moonsault. Strong capitalizes with an enzuigiri from the corner and a back suplex landing on the top turnbuckle, connected with his double knee gutbuster and a double underhook piledriver for a near fall.
Strong selling frustration now but continues to dominate Hero on offense. Hero with a huge elbow that staggers Strong. The two trading chops now and Hero with more elbows. Strong with a knee to the gut and Hero with a quick lariat, and the two run until Hero scores a big-time roaring elbow. Hero connects with another elbow and the Cyclone Boot for another near fall. Hero with another elbow to the back of Strong’s head and a pin, which Martini breaks up.
Hero rolls out of the ring to chase Martini, which ends up with Strong scoring a roll-up on Hero for two. Hero gets up and manages to hit a boot on Martini, but Strong uses the distraction to hit a Sick Kick on Hero for the pin and win.
Winner by pinfall: Roderick Strong in 16:23
Thoughts: You know what? This match was actually quite decent and solid right up until the last few minutes, where Strong hit a string of big moves that Hero kicked out of. That’s two violations: he hit a string of big moves, and Hero kicked out at two. I thought Roddy was finally wrestling a decent match for once, and I thought Hero was going to lead Strong into a well-wrestled match. Then things just started getting worse, psychology-wise. The only good part of this was Truth Martini, who as always played his part well. Hero needs to come to the WWE posthaste. 3 stars out of 5.
- ROH needs to learn how to cover up the downtime in between matches. Next up is the second to the last match of the evening, the Tag title match.
Match #7: The Briscoe Brothers vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (c) for the ROH World Tag Team Championship
- The champions punk the challengers with their belts and the action quickly spills out onto the floor, and the bell hasn’t even rung yet! WGTT absolutely take it to the Briscoes at ringside, with Shelton on Mark and Charlie on Jay. Charlie with a back suplex on Jay on the barricade as Shelton rams Mark into it as well. Mark turns the tables on Shelton, but Shelton reverses him with a suplex onto the ramp, while Charlie continues to dominate Jay with another back suplex. Shelton reverses Mark again with a backdrop.
WGTT with chairs to the Briscoes and there aren’t any DQs as the match hasn’t officially started yet. Charlie with an unprotected chair shot to Mark. WGTT continue their dominance and Shelton with an unprotected shot of his own to Jay. Shelton with a chair to Jay’s back and WGTT is not letting up as Charlie hits a back suplex to Mark this time on the barricade.
Charlie is laying Jay out with more chair shots, and then they isolate Jay, nailing him with the chair to his gut and another chair to his back. Charlie has Mark in the corner with the chair, and the Briscoes can’t make much of a comeback attempt. Jay is already busted open and WGTT just continues the assault.
The bell finally rings almost ten minutes into the assault, and WGTT still has the upper hand. WGTT tries to go for a second leapfrog attack after somewhat botching it the first time, but Jay finally finds his second wind and hits a superkick on Shelton before he can complete the move. Jay and Charlie go face to face, and the two start brawling until Haas hits a huge boot.
Shelton has Mark in the corner now and I guess they’re the legal men. Shelton hits a splash and reels from it as he hits his injured rib. Jay is tagged in and he straight-up tosses Shelton like a rag doll with a hip toss. Jay now has the upper hand and Mark is tagged back in. Mark works on Shelton’s ribs, thrusting them in the corner and Jay is tagged in again.
Jay continues attacking Shelton but Shelton counters with a big backdrop. Charlie is tagged back in and works a few boxing-style punches and lariats on Jay. Charlie hits another shoulder thrust on Jay in the corner and just continues the assault, ending with an exploder suplex for a two count.
Charlie with a powerslam and a cover but Mark breaks up the attempt, causing Shelton to come in and dump Mark over the rope. WGTT with an atomic drop and superkick combo for two. Mark manages to drop Shelton at ringside while Charlie is in the ring with Jay. Jay reverses a Charlie lariat attempt into a reverse STO into the middle turnbuckle and Mark comes in with a running dropkick. Mark perches Charlie up top and hits a quick suplex for two.
Briscoes try for a double-team Jay Driller, but Shelton manages to stop that plan from happening. Charlie with triple rolling Germans on Jay, and he locks in a very high Haas of Pain. Mark goes up top to try and dive to break it up, but Shelton slides in to block it and take the move instead. Charlie seems to have been hit anyway, and the referees are checking on Shelton at ringside as his ribs were hit. The Briscoes have Charlie isolated as Shelton is taken to the back.
The Briscoes have the match under control and Mark is the legal man. Charlie manages to stop a double team attempt and hits an Angle slam that not only catches both Briscoes, but the referee as well. Shelton limps back out and pulls out a plank of wood from under the ring, which he bashes Mark on the head with, splitting it in two. The crowd chants “USA” and boos WGTT.
WGTT retake control and set up the Doomsday Device, but Mark stops it as he bashes Shelton with one of the planks from the outside. Jay hits a superkick on Charlie and the Briscoes take control and manage to hit the Doomsday Device for the pin and win!
Winner by pinfall and NEW ROH World Tag Team Champions: The Briscoe Brothers in 13:24
Thoughts: I… I think we just saw a double turn, ladies and gentlemen. It’s unbecoming of face champions to just go out and attack the Briscoes the way they did before the match. The crowd had been cheering the Briscoes and WGTT were being heavily booed here. But anyway, it is what it is. This match was, like Steen/Corino, ridiculously crazy, but also ridiculously fun. There’s something telling with this match and Steen/Corino, and I hope ROH is being intentional with it: they’re proving that they can be two sides of the ECW coin. They can be old ECW with all the bloody hardcore battles, and they can be new WWE ECW with the straight-up wrestling on the television show. As for the result, I called for it given the build-up, and being right only makes me like this match a little more. 4.5 stars out of 5.
- After the match, the Briscoes celebrate. Up next, our main event of the evening. Production really needs to find out what to do during lulls.
Main Event: Eddie Edwards (with Dan Severn) vs. Davey Richards (c) (with Team Richards) for the ROH World Championship
- The action starts fast here as usual with the two Wolves already trading chops and strikes and everything but the kitchen sink. Dueling chants for both men as the action winds down again before it starts back up. A bit of catch wrestling as Eddie trying to show off his new skillset from Dan Severn.
Eddie with a grounded headlock as Davey is trying to get a proper hold of his foot. Davey manages to get in control and locks in an inverted figure-four, but Eddie gets to the ropes. The action is restarted as the two lock back up and make the rope. Eddie pushes Davey and Davey comes back with a forearm, and Eddie pushes Davey to the floor. Eddie tries to go for a cover but Davey doesn’t give him the chance.
Eddie with a chinlock now, showing a little more aggression, but Davey is trying to kick out of it. Eddie has Davey in the corner. Davey takes control back with a kick to the gut as he pulls Eddie from the top turnbuckle. Davey with an ankle lock but Davey is already there at the ropes. Nigel is going off about different scenarios and Kelly is hardly listening to him.
Davey locks in a modified Texas Cloverleaf near the center of the ring, but Eddie finds the rope again. Both men trade shots again and a back kick sends Eddie staggering. Eddie with a quick suplex and Davey rolls out of the ring. Eddie follows him and takes control of the match. The two trade chops on the outside and Davey gets control back as he slams Eddie into the barricade and hits a drive-by kick.
Eddie with a huge chop that sends Davey to the floor. Eddie with the bridge on the leg and Davey breaks it after a few moments. Davey to the corner and Eddie charges, but Davey sends him over the ropes and onto the floor. Davey with stiff kicks from the apron and a dive through the ropes, crashing against the barricade.
Eddie rolls back into the ring and Davey goes up top to hit a missile dropkick for two. Dueling chants start up. Davey trying to go for a T-bone suplex but Eddie blocks it. Davey with a sequence of forearm shots to Eddie’s face, and he finally hits the T-bone for two. Davey with a knee to Eddie in the corner, and tries to capitalize but is blocked at the rear waist lock. Eddie goes for a chop but Davey catches it and ultimately rolls through into an ankle lock, but Eddie pushes out of it and catches Davey in rolling single-leg crab, which Davey counters into a roll-up for two.
Eddie with an overhead suplex which Davey seemed to counter as both men hit the floor and take a moment to get back up. Eddie has Davey back in the corner and hits him with more knife-edge chops. Davey runs but walks into a shining wizard from Eddie for two. Eddie tries to go for the Die Hard but Davey blocks it. The two trade stiffer forearm shots until Eddie whips Davey, and Davey goes for a handspring only to land in Eddie’s arms and get dumped over the rope. Eddie follows him with a moonsault from the apron to the outside, crashing into the barricade again and both men are down.
Eddie rolls Davey in and goes up top, but misses the double stomp. Davey goes up top but Eddie stops him with an enzuigiri and hits a backpack jawbreaker for a near fall. Eddie maintains control and hits a jumping double knee facebuster. Davey tries to go for the cross armbreaker but Eddie counters it into a roll-up for a near fall. Eddie with another roll-up for two, and then crosses over into an STF. Eddie breaks the hold before Davey can reach the ropes, and applies the ankle lock. Davey tries to break out of it but Eddie remains in control as he stomps at Davey.
The two stand up and stall for a bit before starting to get into another trading of shots. Nobody’s giving an inch. Eddie scores a superkick that does not knock Davey off his feet; in fact, he comes back with a lariat for two. They both get back up and Davey scores another stiff lariat for two. Davey goes up top and hits the double stomp which Eddie was clearly bracing for. Davey goes up top for another double stomp for yet another near fall, and the two are down on the mat.
Davey is back in control and he perches Eddie on the top turnbuckle. The two get into a headbutting fight and then a slap exchange, ending with an enzuigiri from Davey. Eddie is dazed up on the top and Davey hit the superplex, but Eddie gets right back up and suplexes Davey over the ropes and out of the ring, both men crashing and burning in the process. Both men are down at ringside.
Both men get in at the count of 19. They take separate corners and charge to try and both hit big boots twice. More trading kicks and chops and Davey is forced into the corner and Eddie is raining down chops on his chest. Davey comes back with kicks forcing him to the other corner, and this time Davey’s raining kicks. Eddie gets Davey back in the corner and rains chops again, and Davey gets Eddie and kicks him again.
Eddie walks up to Davey in the middle of the ring and dares him to hit him, which he does. More strike trading and both men are just unleashing their particular flurries. Nigel asks how these guys are still standing, which is a valid concern. Both men are now trading side suplexes, and then tiger and dragon suplexes, and then back to strikes. Davey hits the Alarm Clock, but Eddie manages to strike Davey in the chin with a knee before they both go down.
Roderick Strong comes down to the ring to interfere, but gets into trouble with Kyle O’Reilly and Tony Kozina, before getting into a brawl with Dan Severn himself. Michael Elgin comes down and it’s officially a brawl between Team Richards and the House of Truth. Dan Severn has a hold on Truth Martini and takes him to the back. Meanwhile in the ring, both Wolves are still down.
Both men get up and are slowly walking to the center of the ring, and Eddie is still daring Davey to get him. They get back to trading strikes once more. Eddie is hitting Davey with boots and he won’t go down. Eddie manages to hit a tiger suplex to Davey that didn’t seem to land properly.
Eddie perches Davey on the top turnbuckles, but Davey fights out. Eddie hits an enzuigiri on Davey up top and hits a frankensteiner, a dropkick and two powerbomb for a near fall. Eddie with a superkick and a chop for another near fall. Eddie finally hooks the dragon sleeper but Davey manages to roll out of it and into a bridge pin for two. Eddie locks in the dragon sleeper, but Davey gets to his feet. Eddie manages to lift him into a tombstone piledriver, and proceeding to hit the Die Hard for two.
Eddie has Davey back on the top rope, trying to set up the superplex, but Davey fights out of it. Davey tries a sunset flip but couldn’t close the deal. Eddie is on top now and Davey comes up to hit a super dragon suplex… for yet another near fall.
Davey tries to go for the dragon suplex in the apron but Eddie forces his way out of it. Davey does manage to hit an exploder suplex from the apron down to ringside. Eddie gets back into the ring by the count of 19, but Davey is back on the initiative and finally hits that dragon suplex on the apron to ringside. Eddie still manages to find his way back into the ring.
Davey with a couple of kicks that only get him another two count. Davey snaps in the ankle lock, but Eddie rolls into a pin for two. Davey locks it in again, but decides to hit a stiff running kick that gets another near fall. Nigel is basically pleading for this match to end already. Davey with three more kicks for the pin and win.
Winner by pinfall, and STILL ROH World Champion: Davey Richards in 38:11
Thoughts: Good news and bad news. Bad news: it was everything you’d expect from the American Wolves, so it was yet another ridiculous in-ring affair. Every time I thought either man would do something out of their usual, they go ahead and prove me wrong by sticking to their old ways. Good news: for all the lack of psychology in this match, I did feel the drama. There was emotion. I felt it, and that’s half the battle. Even worse news, though: the part I liked best had nothing to do with either Eddie or Davey; it was when Team Richards + Dan Severn got into a brawl with the House of Truth. It was a main event that barely, just very barely felt like a main event match, I’ll give them that. 3.5 stars out of 5.
- After the match, Kevin Steen comes out to talk trash with Davey Richards. He says that the only thing that matters tonight is that Kevin Steen is back. He says that in 2012, he will be World Champion and will hold ROH hostage. The show ends on that note.
Match(es) of the Night: Kevin Steen vs. Steve Corino, Mike Bennett vs. El Generico vs. Jay Lethal, The Briscoes vs. WGTT
Overall Thoughts: Did we seriously go a full four hours for that? Even though the crowd was in full support for both American Wolves, they were so tired out by the end that the ending of the show fell flat. It didn’t help that the main event ended in a very anticlimactic finish (a couple of kicks in a match full of huge moves), further proving that neither man can put together a true main event-caliber match and should not be anywhere near the company’s biggest title. The same goes for Roderick Strong, as usual. However, I am definitely excited for Kevin Steen, though, and the undercard (Elgin/Perkins, Ciampa/Rave, triple threat, Steen/Corino) as well as the tag team match were good.
One other big deal is the production. The production on this show was downright terrible. ROH needs to find some people who worked for one of the bigger companies before; WWE, TNA, WCW, there’s gotta be someone out there who knows how to handle these things, right? Absolutely terrible production that there was a botch after every match, not to mention nobody had even thought of putting together video packages to fill in the lulls, especially when the TV shows are taped well in advance and that the company relies on them in the TV shows themselves. You can’t use being rushed as an excuse.
ROH is lucky most of its workers and its stories are engaging. If you're just getting into ROH, don't try to catch the entire show. Look for the good matches. A very, very slim B-.