Posted in: ROH Ring of Honor TV Results 10/22/11
Oct 22, 2011 - 12:24:19 PM
Ring of Honor Wrestling 10/22/11
- The broadcast seems to open directly to the show’s opening video. We are greeted by Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness, who run down tonight’s card. The main event of the evening will be Jay Lethal defending the ROH TV Championship against Mike Bennett, and the opening contest will be Mike Mondo versus TJ Perkins, with both making their ROH debut. We immediately go to a video of the two men.
- TJ Perkins opens the clip by saying that making his ROH debut is the highlight of his career so far. He says that he has been wrestling since the age of 14, and has managed to travel all around the world wrestling, sacrificing a lot for the business. He says he has made a name for himself all over the world, but feels that he still needs to take the next step and succeed in ROH. He says that he is a top-caliber athlete, and that he won’t find a greater challenge than in ROH. He ends his short promo by saying that “The Giant Killer” Mike Mondo can’t kill him because he isn’t a giant; instead, he has to try to catch lightning with his bare hands.
Mike Mondo (better known as Mikey from the Spirit Squad) begins his promo by explaining that he’s called the Giant Killer because he chops giants down to size. (He’s 5’8”.) He addresses the ROH locker room by saying that everyone better step aside when he walks in, because he needs a lot of room, puffing his chest out and flexing his lats as he says this. He ends the promo with a parting shot to TJ Perkins, calling him a nice kid, but hoping he doesn’t hurt him. Mondo finally finishes by calling himself the Biggest Man in Ring of Honor.
Thoughts: That was definitely… interesting, to say the least. It’s clear that Mike was playing a character, and TJ was just being himself, and you can already tell which is the better approach. If Mike was really trying to come across as at least intimidating, well, it definitely backfired. His nervous and/or excited overacting was completely exposed by TJ’s subdued yet honest and down-to-earth monologue, which wasn’t even that impressive to begin with. Unless ROH is intentionally saddling Mike with a somewhat over-the-top character with a Napoleon complex, keep him as far away from the mic as possible. Or give him to Truth Martini.
Match #1: TJ Perkins vs. “The Giant Killer” Mike Mondo
- Kevin Kelly notes that we’re at where Mike Mondo began his career, and puts over his time as OVW Champion. TJ Perkins comes out and Kelly puts him over as one of the youngest veterans ever due to his early start at age 14.
Both men begin the match circling each other and the action is quick. Mondo tries to go for a lockup and Perkins evades it and hits a quick kick to the leg. Perkins goes for a rear waist lock but Mondo counters that into a belly-to-belly slam, then following up with a headlock to a standing position. Mondo locks in a wristlock, but Perkins rolls around and through, countering with a dropkick. Perkins with a side headlock but Mondo sends him to the ropes, but they lightly bump each other in the middle of the ring. Mondo appears to tell Perkins to run to the adjacent rope, and the running sequence ends with Mondo taking Perkins down in an attempt to go for a boston crab, which Perkins counters. Perkins hit a sunset flip for two, then he transitions into a Boston crab and then a standing reverse rocking chair submission.
Mondo gets to the ropes, but Perkins forces him to the corner. Perkins hits a European uppercut and then ties Mondo into the tree of woe, capping it off with a running low dropkick, Tommy Dreamer style. Mondo slides out of the ring, and brings Perkins out from under the bottom rope when he gets too close. Mondo retakes control by slamming Perkins into the barricade. Mondo hits a frontflip senton from the apron as Perkins tries to get to his feet.
Mondo rolls Perkins back in the ring and follows up with an over the top rope splash from the apron for two. Mondo resumes control, with his offense sending Perkins into the corner as Kevin Kelly puts over Mondo, noting that he also began his training as a teenager. Mondo stomps a mudhole in Perkins at the corner. Perkins comes back though with a series of punches to Mondo’s face as Nigel McGuiness now puts Perkins over on commentary, bringing up his impressive international resume. Perkins tries to send Mondo into the opposite corner, but Mondo counters into an Irish Whip of his own sending Perkins into that corner, and follows up with a high knee, and another running knee for two. Kelly takes the time to give a shoutout to the Bret Michaels for promoting ROH on Twitter.
Mondo continues his assault with an elbow drop, scoop slam, and jumping knee drop in succession for another near fall. Mondo slaps on a seated sleeper hold, and Perkins gets up and tries to power out of it, but is sent to the corner. Perkins counters an incoming Mondo with a quick back elbow to the face, and the two go on to trade forearms to the face. Mondo sends Perkins to the ropes, and Perkins bounces back and tangles himself up in the opposite ropes. Mondo goes for the dive but Perkins’s ploy works as he evades and Mondo dives through to the floor. Perkins follows up by managing to hit his own dive through the ropes.
Perkins quickly rolls Mondo back into the ring and hits a springboard double stomp to Mondo’s back for two. Perkins props Mondo up on his shoulders but Mondo escapes and sends him to the ropes, trying to go for a clothesline but Perkins evades and counters by setting up for a figure-four deathlock, which is more of a modified Texas cloverleaf. Mondo manages to get to the rope and Perkins breaks the hold at two.
Perkins is sent to the corner after a quick sequence. Mondo charges but Perkins sends him to the apron. Perkins goes for a strike but Mondo counters with a hotshot. Mondo tries to get back inside the ring but trips, drawing laughter from the audience, and Kevin Kelly, being the professional that he is, tries to cover this up by explaining that Mondo is tired. Mondo and the referee also try to cover it up by proceeding to sell the figure-four deathlock from earlier by limping, but after all that running around you know he’s faking it. TJ tries to take advantage of this but Mondo hits a codebreaker, and Mondo does a Chinese getup, and now he plays up the fact that he is indeed faking the limp by strutting around. Nice way of covering up the embarrassing trip.
Mondo hits a big dropkick to a seated Perkins for a near fall. Mondo argues with the referee, and then goes to stalk Perkins. Perkins gets to his feet and tries to hit a superkick, which Mondo catches. Mondo with a quick forearm to the face, but Perkins gets back at him with another superkick, a stiff roundhouse that you can hear all the way from Kentucky, but misses a huge missile dropkick. Mondo tries to go for a roll-up but Perkins counters it with a La Magistral for the win.
Winner by pinfall: TJ Perkins, in 7:15
Thoughts: What a fun match. It was one of those matches you end up not putting too much thought into because it was just that much fun. While TJ Perkins is a notable high-flyer, and thus, may be a little too spotty at times (especially the finishing sequence), it seems as though he at least possesses a little more psychology and is a better technician than the American Wolves. Mike Mondo’s WWE training also kind of sticks out like a sore thumb, especially when the WWE style has been ingrained into your brain, but that’s definitely not a bad thing – in fact, his all-around style is believable and works for him given his height and build, and it definitely anchored down TJ’s high-flying. I also liked the La Magistral finish – it was spotty, but somehow the out-of-nowhere win was refreshing. Fun TV match, and I definitely want to see these guys meet again. 2.75 out of 5 stars.
After the match, Perkins offers his hand but Mondo refuses. We still have a TV title match, but up next Jim Cornette is set to talk to the Briscoes.
- Ad spot for Final Battle 2011, on December 23. Jay Lethal cuts a quick promo to hype the event. Merry Christmas, ROH fans.
- After the break, we go to the commentators talking about the upcoming segment, recapping the storyline between the Briscoes, the All-Night Express, and Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. For those who don’t remember, the Briscoes cheated to win the #1 contender match after everyone except the fans were distracted, and Jim Cornette nullified their earned #1 contender status. We go to a video that recaps that exact match.
- The Briscoes head to the ring and Cornette is already there. Cornette says that after their investigation (which is pointless, because you have SOLID VIDEO EVIDENCE) they have made their decision: the Briscoes and the All-Night Express are going to get a rematch, and the winner finally gets a shot at Final Battle. Jay asks if Cornette is serious that they have to beat the Express one more time, and says that they’ll whoop their ass one more time. Cornette tells him to watch his language and calm Mark, who is walking around behind Cornette, down. Jay says they know that ROH officials don’t want the Briscoes to headline Final Battle, but after they beat the Express, they won’t have a choice. Cornette says that what the officials don’t want is a repeat of what happened at Best in the World, where they assaulted WGTT. Jay says that they’ve already proven themselves, being 6-time ROH Tag Team champions, and WGTT can kiss the belts goodbye, because they’re going to get it back. They then both get into their Man Up routine to end the promo.
Thoughts: It’s a really long way to Final Battle, and it seems as though they’re stretching this out as much as possible. I say that because if Cornette really, truly wanted any finality with this issue, he would’ve made the #1 contender’s match a no-DQ match because you know the Briscoes are just going to cheat again. I predict the issue still won’t be resolved next week.
- We go to a quick video with Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. They put over All-Night Express as a good team, but they really want the Briscoes. Shelton says they’ve wanted the Briscoes since June, after Best in the World. (#Pause.) Charlie says they haven’t forgotten what the chairshots felt like. Shelton says they want the Briscoes to win against the All-Night Express, and he has good and bad news for them. The good news is that the Briscoes finally get to fight WGTT, and the bad news is that they have to fight WGTT.
Thoughts: Charlie is still the better promo cutter between the two; he really must talk more so as to put the team over as legit even more (as if they weren’t already). As for Shelton, he’s still kind of struggling, but this was a barely okay performance for him.
- We still have our TV title match main event.
- Today’s Inside ROH is about the Final Battle PPV. First is about Roderick Strong, who says Davey Richards couldn’t beat him straight-up last week, so instead he resorted to attacking Truth Martini. In comes Truth Martini with a hilariously huge bandage wrapped around his forehead, accusing Davey of “illegal tactics.” Strong says he was distracted with trying to help Truth out, and Truth believes Davey was trying to get DQed on purpose. Strong says the #1 contender for the World Championship at Final Battle is going to be announced in two weeks, and it won’t be him. Truth says that if the referee had DQed Davey and if Michael Elgin had beaten Eddie Edwards last week like they should have, Roderick Strong would be on top (#pause).
Truth says that he told Strong that adversity introduces a man to himself, and now Strong has a chance to prove to everyone that he is the best wrestler in the world today. Roderick Strong introduces a Roderick Strong Invitational challenge for anyone to come into Final Battle and prove that they’re better than him. Truth repeats what he just said and says that the challenge will prove that Strong is the best in the world today. Strong says he wants ROH to pick the best wrestler to apply, because he wants to stick it to Davey and steal the show at Final Battle.
Kevin Kelly announces that Roderick Strong will be facing Team Richards member Kyle O’Reilly next week. Strong says that that’s just a warm-up for him and an opportunity to send a message to Richards. He says Davey shouldn’t forget about him, and the match just gives him a chance to have some fun and make him miserable at the same time.
Thoughts: First, the disjointed setup was distracting. Would it have been so hard to film the promo with Roddy and Truth sitting together and verbally playing off of each other? They did it before with Mike Bennett and Bob Evans. Second, a relatively huge match like this shouldn’t have been introduced in a video promo; it would really have been better served if Strong and Truth cut this promo in front of the live crowd for maximum heat. Right now it doesn’t seem like a big deal. Third and last, Roderick Strong is still awful.
- We go now to Davey Richards’s portion, and he is looking like a mini-Sheamus here. He recounts last year’s Final Battle where Strong walked out of the event as champion, while he had to go to the hospital. This year he will walk in as champion, but with even greater pressure. He says it’s not just a fight for the belt, but a fight to be the best. He’s convinced that every great champion in any sport has taken themselves to a dark place, and that they have to be comfortable being uncomfortable. He says that he did this by moving people like Tony Kozina and Kyle O’Reilly in, badasses in their own rights, and he put himself through hell training with them. He says it’s all about training, putting himself through really tough stuff so that people will know to expect hell when they step in the ring with him.
He credits his guys, Team Richards, for making everything possible. He also puts over his time in Japan and the nature of puroresu, noting how the style is brutal and unforgiving, but that that brutal style has kept him sharp and focused for any challengers. He ends the promo by saying that as far as Final Battle is concerned, he doesn’t worry about who is opponent will be, because it’s a real battle in the end, and whoever steps in the ring with him is going to know his name.
- We get back from the break and before we get the main event, we get a recap video of how Jay Lethal beat El Generico for the ROH TV Championship.
Main Event: “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett (with “Brutal” Bob Evans) vs. Jay Lethal (c) for the ROH World Television Championship
- A commercial break after the ring introductions and before the match officially begins. What is this, RAW?
Bennett doesn’t want to shake Lethal’s hand, and on that the match begins. Quick reminder that this match has a 15-minute time limit, as with all TV title matches. Some brief taunting to fire up the crowd on Lethal’s part. Both men lock up stiffly, which takes them around the ring before they both break it off in a stalemate. After another quick session of taunting, both men lock up again for a while, but to no avail. Kevin Kelly does a quick recap of Bennett’s character during this.
Lethal attacks Bennett with forearms, but the camera was focused again on Bob Evans at ringside for too long when he began attacking. I blame the editing this time. Lethal with a big chop and an Irish Whip to a huge hip toss, finishing with a big dropkick to Bennett’s face for a two count. Lethal remains on offense, tries to go for a back body drop but Bennett is the wiser, eventually dropping Lethal with a quick running shoulder block. Another running sequence ends up with Bennett hitting a big dropkick on Lethal for a two count of his own.
Another running sequence sees Lethal putting Bennett over the rope and into the apron, and dropkicking him to the floor. Lethal works the crowd and tries to hit a baseball slide but Bennett evades. Lethal with a big chop and Bennett answers back with his own, and Lethal gets back with another chop, right in front of some fans who are chanting for Kevin Steen. Lethal rolls back into the ring and gets back out just to reset the referee’s count. Bennett with a knee to Lethal’s gut and ramming him into the apron, then slides Lethal back into the ring.
Bennett tries to follow up but Lethal cuts him down by the legs and locks in the figure-four leglock and inverted surfboard combination. Lethal breaks the hold and goes for a cover, getting a two count. Lethal goes for a running attack that we do not get to see because once again, the broadcast inconveniently cut to Bob Evans. Lethal with a cover for another two. Kevin Kelly notes that only Jay Lethal and Tommaso Ciampa are undefeated in ROH.
Lethal hits a low dropkick to Bennett’s head. Lethal then seems like he’s calling for the Macho Elbow, but decides against it as he is distracted by Bob Evans. Lethal goes for a springboard move off the apron but Bennett catches him in his shoulders, dropping Lethal’s neck on the top rope and proceeding to hit a big time clothesline on Lethal for two. Bennett continues on offense, stomping on Lethal, forcing Lethal to roll out of the ring and we go on one last commercial break.
We return from break with a running sequence. (The production staff really need to work on their cues; we had 2-3 seconds of awkward commentator silence after the show returned from break.) Lethal with a big chop, and then goes to send Bennett to the corner, but Bennett counters and Lethal gets sent instead. Bennett hits a big clothesline on the corner, causing Lethal to be wobbly. Bennett takes advantage and hits a huge neckbreaker for two.
We go to what happened during the break. We see Bennett with a seated facelock, and Lethal crashing and burning on a second rope moonsault. Back in the present, Lethal is draped over the apron and Bennett hits a quick axe handle. Bennett remains in control, working Lethal on the corner. Lethal gets sent to the opposite corner, and tries to come back with an elbow to the face, but runs right into a powerslam from Bennett for a near fall.
Bennett follows up the offense with an abdominal legscissors, but Lethal is trying to free himself from the hold. Lethal successfully manages to break it and tries to go for a suplex, but cannot lift Bennett, who counters it into a front facelock. Lethal trying to buck out of the hold but Bennett has it locked in tight, and manages to get Lethal to his knees. Bennett takes him to the floor, and Lethal fights to get back to his feet and finally manages to break the hold.
Lethal hits Bennett with a right hand, but Bennett answers back by trying to lock in the front facelock again. Lethal breaks out of it and hits a chop, but Bennett goes for it again, and now Lethal counters with an atomic drop. Bennett sells the crotch shot and Lethal sells the offense he had just gone through. Lethal runs, ducks a clothesline, and hits a quick double axe handle. Lethal now building up a house of fire, hitting a big outside crescent kick. At this point only three minutes are left in the match.
Bennett counters an Irish Whip with his own, but Lethal rebounds with a handspring cutter for a near fall. Lethal selling fatigue and frustration, and gets up on his feet to call for the elbow, but decides against it. Lethal looks to go for the Lethal Combination but Bennett fights out of it by elbowing Lethal. Lethal tries to go for a suplex but Bennett gets out of it only to get elbowed by Lethal. Lethal springboards from the second rope to jump into a spinebuster from Bennett that only gets him a near fall. Two minutes left.
Bennett raises Lethal up and looks to go for the Box Office Smash uranage, but Lethal gets out of the hold. Bennett goes for a big german suplex, but Lethal lands on his feet. Lethal hits a DDT on a kneeling Bennett for two. One minute left.
Lethal goes for a cradle pin for two. Bennett gets up on his feet only to walk into a superkick. Nigel shouts for Lethal to pin him, but Lethal heads to the top rope to hit the Macho Elbow, only for Bennett to roll out of the way. Bennett crawls toward Lethal, but he doesn’t go for the pin; instead, he inexplicably goes for a ground and pound. Bennett looks to ref Todd Sinclair for a possible stoppage, but Lethal takes advantage of this and rolls Bennett so he can ground and pound him (#pause). The time expires at this point and Todd Sinclair breaks it up.
Winner: Draw (Jay Lethal still ROH World Television Champion)
Lethal looks pissed that he didn’t win decisively, and Bennett is claiming that he won. The crowd is chanting for five more minutes, and Lethal is asking Sinclair for five more minutes as well. Just when Sinclair is about ready to give them the extra time, Bob Evans whispers in Bennett’s ear, and Bennett then refuses the extra time. Jay Lethal ends the show talking to the camera, wanting Mike Bennett to get back out there and give him the five more minutes.
Thoughts: Another fun match. Jay Lethal is a master, pacing the match properly and carrying Mike Bennett to a solid TV match. At first, I didn’t like the draw result, but the more I thought about it, the more I became okay with it; they set up a potential rematch, they’re protecting Mike Bennett as he is being built up, and the guy certainly stepped his game up facing Jay Lethal, even though Lethal was the bigger showcase here offense-wise. I actually would’ve been pissed off if they did actually get five more minutes, rehashing what happened on Lethal/Generico. Would have been 3.5, but I’m knocking off a quarter star for some questionable editing. 3.25 out of 5.
Overall Thoughts: This show was a lot more fun, wrestling-wise. Two solid TV bouts, Jay Lethal, and no Wolves and no Roderick Strong in the ring – definitely works. The show still has the same problem of relying on video packages more heavily than it really should, when the company should definitely try out having some of their top guys cutting a live promo in the ring, instead of comfortably behind a camera. I know it may be a “hiding weaknesses” thing, but it’s still part of the business. That said, though, I did immensely enjoy this week’s episode. B+