Posted in: ROH Ring of Honor Results 10/1/11
Oct 2, 2011 - 11:27:34 AM
Author’s Note: Hello everyone, this is your favorite friendly neighborhood Filipino columnist Romeo, and starting today I will be doing a test-run of coverage for the new Ring of Honor TV show which debuted last week. I’m going to take the time now to apologize in advance for the delay in posting this coverage – it’s a little impossible for me to watch the show as it airs (believe me, I’ve tried). I humbly ask for your understanding.
So with that out of the way, let’s begin!
Ring of Honor Wrestling 10/1/11
- The show immediately opens to a video recap of last week’s main event, an ROH World Tag Team Championship match between the Kings of Wrestling (Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero) and the champs, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin). The champions retained their titles after a hard-fought match, and with that, we go to the opening video.
- Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness welcome us to the show (we don’t get shots of them, though – this episode, they’re only introduced via on-screen graphics) and tell us that tonight’s main event will be Jay Lethal vs. El Generico for the ROH World Television Championship.
- Before anything, however, we go to a special interview of the ROH Tag Team Champions, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, by ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette. WGTT comes down to the ring wearing their ring attire and championship belts.
Cornette brings up their victory over the Kings last week and the fact that they’re 3-1 against them, and then asks them their thoughts on the Briscoe Brothers, who are seemingly the next in line for a shot at the titles. Shelton answers that they have proved that they are indeed Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, and that them being the tag champions is not a fluke. He says that they have gone to New York and beat every major tag team in ROH at Best in the World 2011. He recounts how the Briscoes returned to the ring after already being eliminated earlier in the match and laid them out with chairs (at this point, a short clip is shown). He then tells Jim Cornette that he is disgusted that Cornette has given them the Briscoes again.
Cornette counters that the Briscoes were fined $5,000 for the attack, but Shelton says big deal. Charlie takes the mic and says his dad never beat him that bad. Cornette then says he understands, and he went to the Briscoes and told them that WGTT wanted a match with them, but the Briscoes refused unless the tag titles were put on the line. Charlie says to put the titles on the line and “we’ll do this right here, right now!”
Cornette then says that the company is not going to basically reward the Briscoes for assaulting WGTT with chairs. The crowd boos at this, which Shelton acknowledges and uses against Cornette. Cornette remains vehement, and Charlie replies by playing to the fans and asserting that the Briscoes will have a shot against them, or else. Haas and Benjamin back Cornette out of the ring as the commentators play up Cornette’s sticky situation. WGTT poses with their belts on separate corners to end the segment, and the announcers promise us the main event between Jay Lethal and El Generico and a spotlight on “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett. Thoughts: Solid segment to open the show, and a fine bit of storytelling to move WGTT into a feud with the Briscoes. It was just a little strange to hear Shelton first saying they were disgusted, then ending up with them desperately wanting to take on the twins, but it was justifiable. A trained ear can easily spot how Cornette, Haas, and Benjamin were doing some exposition to help viewers catch up, but the good thing is that it didn’t sound at all forced. Cornette was his usual charismatic self, while Haas and Benjamin delivered their dialogue decently and came across as champions to be reckoned with.
- The Kevin Kelly and Briscoes ad spot that aired last week airs again.
- Focus on Mike Bennett. Jim Cornette puts him over as basically a complete package wrestler, and highlights his ego. Bennett says that ROH is a platform for him to get over and eventually go on to Hollywood and be better than the Rock. He really puts himself over as the next big Hollywood icon. Cornette introduces Bennett’s trainer “Brutal” Bob Evans, saying that he is a bitter, washed-up veteran who takes his frustration out on his students. Bennett puts over Evans as a hardcore trainer who worked his ass off to make him what he is today. Cornette highlights his ego as his potential downfall, and Bennett ends the clip by implying that he makes the show watchable by being on it. Thoughts: There’s no denying that this guy’s got the look and can talk, but I’m a little iffy on his character. I know there’s certainly no harm in dreaming big, but he didn’t make any tangible connection to being in ROH and wanting to be a movie star. He did mention the Rock, which was a ballsy move I appreciated, but wouldn’t it be more sensible if he said he was going to be ROH World champ, then go on to be a star? He also needs better scriptwriters, because his closing line was lacking in bite and left me pretty baffled.
- An ad spot for ROH.com airs, and we return to our next match (finally).
Match #1: Jimmy Jacobs (with Steve Corino) vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett (with Bob Evans)
Bennett sarcastically shakes Jacobs’s hand in arrogant adherence to the Code of Honor, and the bell rings to begin the match. Bennett taunts Jacobs as they circle each other and even pushes Jacobs in the face. Jacobs screams “You can’t wrestle!” which the crowd follows with, at Bennett, causing Bennett to push him in the face again. Bennett continues to dare Jacobs to hit him, and Jacobs finally nails Bennett with a rather hard right hand, causing a tooth-like part to fly out of Bennett’s face.
Bennett comes back with a kick to the gut and a right hand of his own, sending Jacobs to the corner. Bennett punches and stomps Jacobs in the corner, and taunts Kevin Kelly afterwards. Jacobs gets back up and puts Bennett in the corner, raining down a series of kicks on his body. Bennett reverses an Irish whip to send Jacobs into the opposite corner, and counters Jacobs to nail a rope-assisted backbreaker. Bennett stays on offense, taking measured shots at Jimmy Jacobs. Kevin Kelly brings up the Tweet of the Week (which, quite frankly, is a little bit silly and not in a good way). It’s so dumb I’m not even going to mention it here.
Jimmy Jacobs ducks a clothesline and sends Mike Bennett out of the ring with a spinning headscissors, but misses a dive to the outside. However, Bennett slides back in the ring to do some taunting despite the clear opening. He then goes back outside and bashes Jacobs’s head on the apron. Bennett rolls Jacobs back in the ring and hits a backbreaker and body slam combo. Bennett goes for the first cover of the night and Jacobs kicks out at two.
Bennett continues to dominate offensively, and Nigel McGuiness takes the time to compare Bennett with Kurt Angle, but saying that Kurt has humility while Bennett has none. (He’s so humble, he won’t even take the credit for the shots he takes at other people.) Jacobs hulks up as Bennett continues to rain down blows on him, and manages to take Bennett off his feet with two big clotheslines and a neckbreaker. Jacobs covers but Bennett kicks out at two as well.
Bennett regains control temporarily as he forces Jacobs back to the corner again and on the top rope. Jacobs blocks a punch and spins out of the corner into a snap suplex for two. Jacobs runs around Bennett a little but ends up walking into a huge spinebuster for another two count. Bennett tries to go for the piledriver but Jacobs escapes and runs to the corner to hit a jumping cutter from the second rope for yet another two count. Bennett is laid out on the floor and Jacobs tries to go for a senton off the top rope, but is blocked by Bennett, leaving Jacobs open for the Box Office Smash for the pin and the win.
Winner by pinfall: Mike Bennett at 5:57
After the match, Steve Corino is checking up on Jimmy Jacobs. Bennett arrogantly tries to shake Jacobs’s hand (as is stated in the Code). Jacobs takes the handshake, and Bennett patronizingly puts a hand on Corino’s head, causing Corino to take a swing at him. McGuiness plays up Corino’s recovery angle.
Thoughts: Basic, somewhat plodding match that Jacobs made watchable especially near the end. The crowd died out a little from their initial jeering of Mike Bennett at the start. It’s pretty damn clear that ROH wants to push Bennett as the eventual face of the company, playing up the comparisons to other wrestlers a lot (and if that wasn’t obvious, his finisher is an uranage). Bennett knows how to play his character, but he just isn’t there yet. 2.5 stars out of 5.
- Ad spots for the website again and for the Best in the World 2011 DVD. I’m telling you… the Wolves seriously look like they’re about to make out.
- Nigel McGuiness asks a member of the crowd who he thinks is gonna win the main event. He roots for El Generico.
- Inside ROH segment with Kevin Kelly. Eddie Edwards talks about his nickname “Die Hard,” telling a story about how his nasty elbow injury and how he fought through it, causing fans to call him Die Hard. Davey Richards talks about his bitter rivalry with Roderick Strong, comparing to how he and Eddie fight each other out of respect, and how he and Strong fight each other out of utter dislike. Strong fires back, heeling it up and saying he’s going to fuck (?) him out of the World title. Thoughts: Interesting segment, and another good way to help familiarize the newer fans to the ROH roster. That said, though, Roderick Strong should never be allowed near a microphone again. Ever.
- Ad spot that features WGTT this time. Shelton can’t pronounce “ROH” properly.
Main Event: Jay Lethal vs. El Generico (c) for the ROH World Television Championship
- Introductions right before the commercial break, and there’s a 15 minute time limit. The two men easily shake hands and the bell rings. Standard opening with a lock-up going into a wristlock by Lethal, which Generico reverses into his own wristlock. Lethal rolls through back into his wristlock, and the short lull prompts a really hilarious “WRRRRRESTLING! YAY!” from the crowd. Generico rolls through and takes Lethal down, beginning a quick running sequence that sees Generico hit a big headscissors takedown on Lethal, drawing applause from the audience.
Lethal briefly recovers in the corner, and then gets back into the match with another lock-up. We end up with another wristlock by Generico but this doesn’t take long as Lethal backflips out of it to hit an arm drag. Generico gets sent to the ropes and Lethal charges at him, getting sent up in the air by Generico but falling back down into a headscissors takedown of his own, making it even and drawing another round of applause and a “Let’s go Lethal” chant.
Both men recover and get into yet another catch wrestling sequence, which ends in a snapmare and dropkick to the back of the head combo from Lethal. Lethal goes for the first cover of the night which hardly gets a one. Generico retreats to the corner as McGuiness talks about Generico’s character, playing him up as a happy-go-lucky kind of guy that turns dangerous if pushed too far. Lethal follows up with a European uppercut to Generico in the corner, and then a whip to a hip toss to a dropkick to the face combo for two. The crowd starts singing Generico’s Ole theme song to cheer him on.
Lethal remains on the offensive with a backbreaker for two. Lethal continues to put on the pressure with a snapmare, then transitioning into a reverse figure-four leglock/surfboard combination, which he releases quickly to go for a pin for two. Lethal then with another hard European uppercut that leaves Generico staggering, followed up by a kick to the face for another two.
Lethal locks on a sleeper on the ground, which Generico then fights out of, getting to his feet. Generico tries to regain control with punches to the face, but Lethal returns with a dropkick for another two count. Both men get to their feet and begin trading punches, and Lethal goes for a side headlock to the ropes, which Generico manages to counter, but Lethal comes back with a takedown. A running sequence begins, which sees Generico narrowly landing on his feet after Lethal briefly slides out of the ring to avoid a quick springboard moonsault. Generico then proceeds to hit three arm drags in quick succession, regaining control and forcing Lethal to take a quick breather outside the ring. Generico riles up the crowd and runs to successfully hit an over-the-rope senton splash to Jay Lethal on the outside, laying them both out at ringside as the show goes to commercial.
After the break, we are shown that Generico has managed to hit a moonsault on Lethal from the guardrail during commercial. Back in the present, Generico hits an outside crescent kick for a really near fall. Lethal rolls to the apron and recovers outside the ropes. Generico goes to get him but gets a shoulder block for his troubles, as well as a sunset flip for two. Generico with an elbow to Lethal’s head.
It’s Lethal’s turn to hulk up as they trade shots again with one another, but Generico manages to remain in control. Generico with an Irish whip only to eat a springboard back elbow, but both men are on the mat, prompting the referee to begin the KO count. Both men get to their feet and answer the count at five.
Generico and Lethal trading right hands to the face once more, and Lethal quickly ends up taking back control with a series of strikes. Lethal backs Generico into the corner and charges at him, only to get flipped to the outside of the ropes, but he manages to hit another shoulder block from the outside. Lethal uses the opening to hit a missile dropkick for another near fall, and we are shown the clock ticking down with a little under three minutes left to go.
Generico manages to fend Lethal off momentarily, but Lethal regains the upper hand by hitting an absolutely sweet back suplex to neckbreaker for yet another near fall. The clock passes the two-minute mark now as Generico resists Lethal’s attempts to powerbomb him. Generico comes back with a springboard tornado DDT for two. The crowd sings Ole again as Generico is trying to rile himself up, and the clock is approaching the one-minute mark.
Generico goes for a rear waist lock, but Lethal escapes. Lethal goes for a big roundhouse but Generico ducks it and hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for a convincing near fall. Thirty seconds left and Generico tunes up his own band to prepare for the Yakuza Kick, but Lethal blocks it and rolls Generico up for two. Fifteen seconds left and Lethal tries to go for what seems to be an uranage, but Generico blocks and tries to go for a suplex as the time expires.
The announcer officially announces the draw due to time limit, and the crowd is chanting for five more minutes. Generico and Lethal try to talk referee Paul Turner into giving them five more minutes, but the referee says he doesn’t have the power to make that decision. Jim Cornette then runs down and says they don’t have five minutes, but they do have three, and the match will go on.
The bell rings again and Generico and Lethal trade shots like there’s no tomorrow. The match devolves into a straight-up fistfight, bringing the audience to their feet. A forearm from Jay Lethal sends El Generico back to the corner again, and Lethal follows up with a corner clothesline. Lethal calls for a move and runs to the opposite corner, but Generico recovers and follows him, nailing the Yakuza Kick and a dragon suplex, but only for two!
Generico calls for the Brainbustaaaaahhh, but Lethal manages to reverse it into a suplex of his own. All the armbands are off as Lethal goes to the top rope to go for the Macho Elbow, but Generico manages to get back on his feet and dodge the move. Generico pushes Lethal into the top rope, setting up for the brainbuster, but Lethal fights out of it and pushes Generico down to the mat. Generico is laid out on the mat and Lethal manages to hit the elbow this time around, but again only for two! Lethal can’t believe it!
Generico recovers in the corner, and Lethal goes to get him, but Generico manages to hit a T-bone suplex. Generico calls for another Yakuza Kick, but Lethal catches him with a superkick as he advances, and Lethal hits the Lethal Combination! Lethal goes for the cover, and we have a new champion!
Winner by pinfall, and NEW ROH World Television Champion: Jay Lethal at 17:00
Thoughts: Excellent match from top to bottom, no doubt about it, with the second solid title match main event in a row. The pace was just right, which is kind of rare for a promotion that is largely indy in nature (you know what I mean). The overchoreographed spots, if any, were kept to a bare minimum. Despite that, though, I just can’t help but feel that they were holding back somewhat. And a crowd that relatively small should’ve been a bit more electric than they were (but that’s not to say they weren’t anemic) but that may just be due to the long tapings. All in all, a well-done match, and a rightful showcase of why ROH is on air. 4 stars out of 5.
- Next week, we have an ROH World Championship match between Roderick Strong and Davey Richards. Jay Lethal holds the title up high to end the show.
Overall Thoughts: If you’re feeling a little underwhelmed by only two matches on paper, don’t be. I agree that a one-hour show generally has at least three matches, but consider that the show is still in the stages of re-establishing itself, so there are understandably a lot of “getting to know you” segments. What we did get from the four men who performed in the ring tonight (yes, even Bennett/Jacobs) was solid enough, and a handful of the important storylines were advanced, one way or the other. B+