@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

gimmicks.se

gimmicks.se

From time to time, I’m unobservant. That was my lesson from the first round of the the Top Prospects Tournament. I am unobservant because I noticed the same problem with the second semi-final as the first. Hanson, he of the Scottish Highlander gimmick, started wrestling in 2002. Adam Everett was the younger of the duo but he started wrestling in 2007. That is also stretching the term “prospect”. I’m expecting much younger than that. That wasn’t the only similarity to the other semifinal. Hanson won this match in a virtual squash. Everett got in more offense than Corey Hollis and is more polished than him too. But the big man with the gimmick won. So the Top Prospects Tournament Finals pits Raymond Rowe, who started wrestling in 2003 probably with a biker gimmick, against another who started in 2002. A combined twenty three years in ring experience. I should have know ROH would be the worst at picking Top Prospects. Prince Nana would have the worst stable ever if he started the Embassy 7.0.

Mike Bennett is not on TV enough to warrant the treatment he gets. After winning a match against Cedric Alexander, Bennett said he was going back to Japan. Thanks for making my point for me. It’s one thing to take a tour over there it’s another to be there so often that the last time I had material to make fun of you was back in September of 2013.

Everyone knows how the end of the match between AJ Styles and Roderick Strong went, right? Botched Styles Clash and poor Roderick is laid up for a while. So let’s take a look at what happened before that bad spot. I’m not good with Styles continuing the new crotch rocket look. I make fun of people in TNA & ROH for not developing so making fun of his new look would seem to contradict that stance. It doesn’t when the new look is worse than the old one. I noticed during this match that Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino had head sets on. Congratulations on being in modern TV production guys. For some reason, the announcers pretend like AJ Styles isn’t used to wrestling longer matches. One step forward, one step back. Styles may not have been in thirty minute matches but they’re not even that common in ROH. Styles was in plenty of fifteen to twenty minute matches. He’ll be just fine. As much as I’ve made of Roderick Strong’s legendary fitness, I do enjoy his matches. I’m not the biggest Styles fan in the ring but I think he’s plenty good. The match was a lot of fun. Styles had a botched spring board attempt that hurt himself and Strong. It took them a moment to get things rolling again but they did. The view on TV of the botched Styles Clash has you looking square in Strong’s face which I think is a poor choice for the director. The further out shot from behind didn’t look quite that bad and didn’t show the pain in Strong’s face. Not a great start for Styles from where he began his career. – Kevin

@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

From funnyjunk.com

From funnyjunk.com

The Top Prospects Tournament got to the semifinals on TV on January 25. I didn’t watch it until it became abundantly clear that Peyton Manning had staked his claim on the “All Choke Team” during the Super Bowl. I’m in no hurry to watch ROH. They introduced Raymond Rowe as the first combatant. Corey Hollis was his opponent. ROH always does a tale of the tape before each match up which I like. The problem came along with the tale of the tape though. It noted that Rowe had debuted in 2003. Is he really a top prospect if his career has already spanned a decade? My vote is absolutely no. You’re a career minor leaguer. Kevin Kelly & Steve Corino should be using like “wily veteran move” to describe what Rowe is doing. Hollis was noted as debuting in 2009, which is the cut off for me to be a prospect. One needs some seasoning in a smaller league then you move on to bigger and better things. ROH is a good stepping stone after being seasoned in a local independent company.

Last column, I noted that I hated the size differential between Hanson and Cheeseburger. We had a similar problem this episode because Rowe is 6′-1″ and 247 pounds and Hollis is 5′-8″ and 192 pounds. That is a 55 pound swing. This discrepancy would not happen in the UFC or any other fighting league. This is professional wrestling though and you can do that. It sounds like I am countering my point I made previously but I am refining the thought. These participants, especially after the first round, should be somewhat evenly match in the skills department. They’re both desperate to get a contract with ROH and get a shot at the TV Title. They should be scrapping even if there is a size differential. Unfortunately, this match only went 5 minutes.

On the ROH management front, wouldn’t you be pissed if your talent evaluator Prince Nana has whiffed on Kongo, Cheeseburger, “The Benchmark” Bill Daly and Corey Hollis, who got into the second round? Nana may have also let in a current member of the ROH roster in the form of The Romantic Touch aka Rhett Titus even if he lost his match. A scout doesn’t get every pick right but Prince Nana has brought in a full half of bad tournament plus a fraud. That’s not just missing a prospect, that’s missing the iceberg you’re about to hit.

I have an ongoing problem with “ROH fans.” Considering that roughly 75% of their fans have TNA or WWE shirts on, they are just wrestling fans. But you consistently hear from people that they enjoy ROH because of the relative lack of story lines and concentration on wrestling. So it really got my goat that the crowd cheered quite loudly for “The Barrister” RD Evans, who is accompanied by the lovely Veda Scott. Evans is a fantastic character and quite entertaining. Scott plays her role well as taking over Evans law firm. I’ve got no problem with them at all. Evans & Scott are touting his imaginary thirteen match winning streak which grew to fourteen after the end of his match. If you enjoy wrestling and the story line “free” ROH, why do you enjoy a character that is complete story line? ROH fans are the worst. – Kevin

@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

Veda Scott ROH

Two of these four people are relevant to the topic. Screenshot courtesy of ROHWrestling.com

The Top Prospects is still going on so I’m going to try and write about a positive idea that ROH have. Unfortunately, they tested my patience with the opening match to this week’s show. Adam Everett, who Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino and Prince Nana talked about glowingly, got stuck in a match with an angle. His opponent was “The Romantic Touch“, who the announcers knew next to nothing about him including Prince Nana who organized the tournament. Veda Scott came down to call out Rhett Titus who was under the mask. Corino and Nana being misogynistic to her made some sense in that it was inline with their characters except for one small problem, she’s a heel and so are they! When Kevin Kelly joined in on the misogyny line of questioning, it became down right weird. Kelly is the baby face announcer who shouldn’t want to see a damsel in distress. The whole situation was made stranger by Scott herself making a very valid and baby face in nature point that Rhett Titus is not a top prospect hence compromising the competition. The Romantic Touch then played to Veda Scott who called him Rhett Titus. Touch got in another move or two but then played to Scott again. Everett took advantage of the distraction and rolls up Touch for the win. The Romantic Touch would not have played to her if he weren’t Rhett Titus. The last I checked, Rhett Titus was a heel. So Veda Scott, a heel, was calling out a heel in The Romantic Touch while all the announcers played doggie pile on the woman. Fantastic booking guys. To make matters worse, this Everett kid looked like he had a solid aerial arsenal but because the match was based around the angle, Everett didn’t get to show off much. He has at least one more round but I feel ripped off in the quality wrestling department.

ROH also tested my patience in the second match. Cheeseburger, crowd favorite for reasons that still escape me, took on Hanson, who looked like a Highlander. Hanson dominated in a squash match which is good because that’s what should happen when he was twice Cheeseburger’s size. The problem to me is that same obvious fact. A squash match against someone closer to Hanson’s size seems impressive. Having him beat a man that the announcers called 144 is just expected. I don’t think it gives Hanson much of a preview similarly to Everett in the first match.

The match set up was very similar to that of last week. Kongo didn’t stand much of a chance in my estimation despite being much larger physically than Cheeseburger because a green fat man with a terrible look isn’t even going to cut it in ROH. There was also a match with an angle in Corey Hollis vs “The Benchmark” Bill Daly vs Mike Posey, his partner. Fortunately for the match, the angle took place before it started. We’ve had one quality match so far out of this tournament. Here was the point that I was going to say, there are X number of matches left so we’ll see how things go. But despite going to their website and Facebook page, I can’t find the Top Prospects Tournament bracket. I made fun of Kevin Kelly last year for wanting everyone to fill out their bracket for this tournament. Now I wish I had the opportunity to just look at a bracket. ROH made it worse than last year’s Worst. – Kevin

@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

USHL_top_prospectsWhen I was looking through the end of the year material, I noticed that ROH should be getting ready for it’s annual Top Prospects Tournament. I wasn’t surprised at the beginning of 2013 when Matt Taven won the tournament against Tadarius Thomas. Both of them got some television during the previous year. I had no idea who they were going to have in it because they have no television time for prospects. Or at least they didn’t make time for them. On this past week’s edition of ROH, I was relieved to find out that they didn’t try to recycle some of the younger names on their roster. I like the idea of bringing a new face to television and giving them a jump start. I loved King of the Ring and this is it for lower members on the totem pole. ROH does get some things right. Now let’s look at who they brought in.

The first man out of the back was Raymond Rowe, who looks like he was brought in from Sons of Anarchy without the leather fetish. His opponent was Kongo, a tall and fat man who hailed from South America. I’m really surprised that the biker gimmick doesn’t get used more often. Aces & Eights filled our TV screens for the past year on TNA. The previous time before that that I can think of was Undertaker’s short stint as “The American Badass” with his Kid Rock lead in. Then prior to that, I can think of was the Disciples of the Apocalypse (DOA). Considering that I can name just as many Samoan gimmicks in recent history (3 Minute Warning, The Usos, Rikishi), I’m surprised this gimmick doesn’t come around more often. Rowe has a good look and wrestled well.

Rowe was pitted against a fairly agile man for his size in Kongo. Steve Corino called attention to a problem right off the bat, Kongo is from “South America” which is incredibly dumb in this day and age. You could at least put a country in there. No one is going to call you out for him looking more Peruvian than Bolivian. I’ve been talking about it recently with Chris Hero, body shape does matter. I don’t think everyone in professional wrestling needs to have a cookie cutter body builder look, but any wrestler needs to lift weights. Kongo’s arms looked smaller than mine despite him being three times my weight. I can’t say the same thing about Brodus Clay who has the closest build I can think of. I was glad that Raymond Rowe ended up winning the match. He’s a much more viable candidate for ROH not to look any more bush league.

The next match started with Corey Hollis and his partner Mike Posey in the ring. “The Benchmark” Bill Daly was supposed to be Hollis’s opponent but he had a high ankle sprain. Since he was a heel (I guess), Kevin Kelly wondered if he was really hurt or if he was exaggerating the injury. Steve Corino defended him, again reinforcing the fact that Daly is supposed to be a heel. This line of questioning made Kelly sound stupid to me. This injury is common in the NFL which requires 4-6 weeks of rest and rehab. Daly had claimed that he sustained the injury the previous weekend so not wrestling makes sense. Since Daly’s character hasn’t been on TV, it is a secondary reason why Kelly shouldn’t tell the fans what kind of character he is. Let Daly establish himself.

Posey took advantage of Daly bowing out of the competition. He talked his partner into a match up. The main problem was that it was never established as to whether Hollis’s spot in the Tournament was on the line. Kelly, Corino and “talent evaluator” Prince Nana all had no clue. I think GMs are over used these days. But this situation called for Nigel McGuinness, the match maker which is so different than being called a GM, to come out and clarify before the match started. ROH didn’t think to close this simple plot hole. At the end of the match, we find out in the Land of a 1001 Finishers that Corey Hollis’s finishing maneuver is a running back elbow. You mean to tell me that a package pile driver through a table may not pin someone but a running back elbow will? ROH is the worst. – Kevin

#ROH Is The Worst Part XIV

scarlette-johanssen-mullet

Scarlett Johansson can get away with a mullet. Michael Elgin can not.

“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin got mic time to address the Ring of Honor World Title Tournament. They ended up bringing out four of the favorites for the tournament. The other three were Kevn Steen, Mike Bennett and Tomasso Ciampa. I would imagine ROH would call these guys the face of ROH. I’m going to break down why this segment stunk and why each of these guys wouldn’t even be given a B+ from HHH.

Michael Elgin’s look is terrible. Mullets are just a bad hairdo. Trust me, if you look hard enough I’m sure there’s a picture of me with one floating around the internet. Once I got out from under my parent’s roof, it was gone. That was in 1994. Elgin feels differently though and has been letting his mullet grow out. To make matters worse, he’s going bald and you can clearly see his bald spot coming in. You’re not Donald Trump, you can’t get away with a whacky hairdo that is unexplainable. Shave your head and be done with the charade of a hair cut you have. His shirt is even worse than anything the WWE puts out, which is saying something. First off, on the front of the shirt is a skull with chains surrounding it. The design looks like a rough draft for what the shirt should look like, not the final product. At the bottom is Elgin’s slogan, #Elginmode, which would be fine if I had heard about it before he was sporting this shirt on this week’s program.

Kevin Steen was the next one out. I do like the his “Guilty” shirt but his look is still terrible. HHH made fun of Daniel Bryan’s physique (at least according to WWE.com is 5′-10″ and 210 lbs.) for being scrawny and small. What would he say about Kevin Steen who judging by his shirt (Because ROHwrestling.com only has his weight) is 6′-0″ and 240 lbs? And trust me, I understand that HHH wouldn’t be running down Bryan’s physique if he weren’t as over as he is. He’d do it to Steen to see if he was “Tough Enough” to take the verbal beating in public. Or maybe Michael Cole could give him the “Ferrari engine in a tank’s body” moniker since Bray Wyatt is now following buzzards all day which has got to slim his physique a little bit. Though Steen has mic skills, he seems to waste them. Steen makes similar jokes to John Cena which makes it even funnier that “smart” wrestling fans cheer for him. Another display of wasting his mic skills was his utter apathy to trying to turn the fans against him when he was trying to get Jim Cornette out of the company. The fans were hanging on his every word yet he did nothing to try and make them turn against him like a logical story line would dictate.

Mike Bennett was the next out and talks about all of the opportunities Elgin & Steen have been given by management. If he had been paying attention, he would see they weren’t handed opportunities. Steen was, as already noted, raging against the machine known as ROH with Jim Cornette at the helm. Elgin on the other hand had to subvert the entire House of Truth just to cash in his opportunity from Survival of the Fittest to get his title shot. I wouldn’t call either of those situations “having it handed to them multiple times by management”. He could be the future of ROH but his look has gotten worse during his re-imaging. One would think with a looks driven model like Maria Kanellis at your side, you would make better decisions. Trade mark hair? Let’s shave it all. Pretty boy look? Let’s get some terrible tattoos. I’ve revamped the rest of my look so naturally you’d change your trunks, right? Why would my fashion designer girlfriend not design me a pair? Nope, let’s keep them shiny silver and purple and the same cut. Ugh.

Tomasso Ciampa was the last one out. He has an awesome look. He exuded his “Sicilian Psychopath” attitude by going nose to nose with the rest of the competitor’s before saying “Your next ROH World Champion, Tomasso Ciampa” then stomping out of the ring. His underdeveloped mic skills makes him ripe for manager but he had a way too short feud with R.D. Evans (who booted him to the curb for his real life ACL surgery) and Q.T. Marshal so Evans is not an option. Prince Nana got unceremoniously unseated by R.D. Evans in his own Embassy Faction so Ciampa could go back to him but Nana is nowhere to be found these days. Ciampa could help re-build the House of Truth but he’s too busy pushing Hoopla Hotties and Matt Taven to be worried about adding to his stable. So Ciampa’s got to depend on under-developed mic skills which might be one of the reasons he got released from WWE Developmental.

So, if Daniel Bryan is a solid B+, let’s figure out HHH’s final grade for this quartet. Michael Elgin is in shape, strong as an ox but looks worse than Billy Ray Cyrus twerking on a stuffed animal – Grade C. Kevin Steen is out of shape, short, can’t wrestle all that well and has mic skills – Grade C+. Mike Bennett – Good physique, solid mic skills and overhaul-able looks AKA the Randy Orton tattoo special AKA covering up bad tattoos a la Fire Crotch on Tattoo Nightmares – Grade A. Tomasso Ciampa – Good look, good demeanor and terrible mic skills – C. That is ROH’s top 4 for their World Title. ROH is the Worst. – Kevin

#ROH Is The Worst Part VI

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I’m digging this picture from ricksilva.net

This week’s criminal act involves the recently interviewed Veda Scott, who not only wrestles in several independent leagues but also does interviews for Ring Of Honor. Recently at an iPPV Scott was interviewing Ms. Chif. She was upset that she didn’t win a multi participant match for a chance at something. I didn’t pay attention. I don’t feel like rewinding because it doesn’t matter to this crime. Ms. Chif out of her anger spit mist into Scott’s eyes. ROH did the right thing and held Scott off of television for a couple of weeks to see the injury. This week’s show was supposed to air before the pay per view (which only taped on Sunday for me this week meaning that it aired after the iPPV debuted. That’s a whole column similar to last week’s.) so it’d make sense if they decided to add a women’s match. They don’t have enough of a women’s division to have it be a weekly feature so they start this angle at the last iPPV then have a recap on TV a couple of weeks ago and then have this week’s confrontation. Ms. Chif came out for a scheduled match and started it but then Veda Scott showed up seething. Scott then attacked Ms. Chif. They had to be pulled apart. Kevin Kelly and Prince Nana do their job and sell the change in demeanor since she had been playing a meek reporter. Scott charges a second time. They get pulled apart again. Just then Kevin Kelly says “We HAVE to go to commercial now” so that we can do the iPPV center recap. (Emphasis obviously mine.) I’ve got no problem with Kelly on this one. He’s just doing his job. If he’s a producer, he’s culpable. There is no reason you should be cutting to commercial when Scott breaks away a third time to attack Ms. Chif. You’re trying to sell a change in personality and (I’m assuming) a match at some point between the two even if it wasn’t for Border Wars. You can’t go to commercial when this is happening. You can find thirty extra seconds if you even need that much extra. Ten probably would have done the trick. ROH is the worst. -Kevin

Alex Shelley is leaving TNA

Peace out bitches.

So Alex Shelley’s time in TNA has come to an end according to Prowrestling.net via some other place. I was hoping Eric would take this one since he is more familiar with his work. All of my experiences with Shelley have come from TNA and a limited time watching him in ROH.

It never seemed like TNA utilized him correctly and the only substantial push he received was as part of the Motor City Machine Guns. Even then they pushed and then pulled them from television so often they hardly built up any sustainable momentum. Hell his only other memorable run was with Goldy Locks as her Baby Bear. Oh yeah and when he was kind of sort of teamed with Kevin Nash.

Not sure what the future holds for Shelley. The obvious choice is to head back to ROH. He would immediately be inserted prominently you would figure. He also could head over to Japan for a stint which would probably be ideal. So best of luck to Alex. -Jeremy

Stunt Granny Audio #184

Caution: Clown car ahead.

This week Kevin and Dusty are at the helm of Stunt Granny Audio, and you are in good hands for sure, as they navigate you around the biggest stories in the week of professional wrestling. Those stories include the latest in the NHL playoffs and Josh Hamilton’s ownage of the Baltimore Orioles. They also find time to talk about some actual wrestling, including what they deemed worthy of discussion on Monday Night Raw. Just how earth shattering was the return of Paul Heyman? Just how vital to the entire show *was* that women’s tag team match? Why does Dusty hate the overrun so much? They then turn their attention to ROH. Dusty blows Kevin’s mind by revealing RD Evans’ secret identity. The duo sound impressed with Mike Bennett, and less so with Prince Nana. And then focus shifts to TNA. Or is it Impact Wrestling? Whatever it’s called, they seem to have a Master’s Degree in Giving People Stuff They No Longer Want To See. Do they find anything positive about the company to talk about? You’ll have to tune in to find out, and it’s not even going to take an hour off your life, so have a heart, people!

Stunt Granny Audio Show #184

#WatchROH – Aired 28 April 2012

It’s more highlights from Showdown In The Sun. They showed off the Briscoes beating the World’s Greatest Tag Team, Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin. Benajmin & Haas attacked the Briscoes after the match so they had to be carried to the back. I’ve bitched about other companies giving away their pay per views. It’s even worse when you only show the pin fall.

Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman are in a Proving Ground match against the Briscoes. ROH has too many types of matches. Alexander get the upper hand on Mark early.  Coleman started to get worked over by both Briscoes. Alexander gets a luke warm tag. Alexander gets a two count from a face buster. Coleman got wheel barrowed into the barracade. Alexander kicked out after a combo ending with a Razor’s Edge. Haas & Benajmin low blowed Jay with no one seeing it. Mark takes the pin after a huracanrana & frog splash combo.

Veda Scott interviewed Prince Nana & Barrister Evans along with Truth Martini. Rhino had his contract purchased by Martini. Rhino is going to rip Eddie Edwards in half. Vinny Marseglia was the sacrificial lamb for a debuting Rhino. The best thing I can say about this match is that Rhino is in much better shape than just about any other ECW alumni. Everyone was cheering Rhino. Um, he’s never been a particularly good wrestler. Rhino wins with a Gore.

I think John Cena gets less mic time than Kevin Steen. I’d take his dick jokes over Steen droning on about a horrendous angle any day. Jimmy Jacobs is with him. Kevin Kelly & Jim Cornette were already in the ring. Steen makes a fat joke about Cornette. People in glass houses Mr. Steen, should not throw rocks. He did have a good crack about the flags and theme of Border Wars being so 1987. Davey Richards comes out drag down the quality of this segment even more. Steen claimed that Richards promised to help him but he didn’t. Steen steals the show every time. Richards says he’s holding himself down.  Steen says that Richards threatened to leave ROH multiple times. They were ready to fight but security separates them. Cornette wants them to sign a waiver since the pile driver will be legal for the match. Cornette slipped in a provision that this is Steen’s only shot at the title. The segment was OK when they were yelling at each other. Richards would only threaten to go to Japan because his mic skills aren’t even good enough for TNA.

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ROH Results: Firsthand Account Of ROH’s Davis Arena TV Taping

Stunt Granny friend and partner in crime Steve Williams checks in with this burning missive:

Here is my way-too-long, nearly 1700 word account of Ring of Honor’s  national television taping, which was held in Louisville’s historic Davis Arena on 10/1/11.  There are no match times, because only fags bring notebooks and stopwatches to wrestling shows.  Enjoy.

So without any further ado, here is his firsthand account of ROH’s television taping last night:

The taping appeared to be a legitimate sellout.  We arrived at 6:45 and could only find scattered single seats.  We had to convince a group of fat guys to scoot over so we could get two seats next to each other.  They (ROH workers, not the fat people) eventually had to add  several rows of chairs to the floor area to accommodate the crowd.  One of the quirks of Davis Arena is that there are two oversized, black leather recliners in the crowd.  A local pizza company used to sell pizza at OVW shows and would draw a name from the crowd to sit in the “Wick’s Pizza Party Zone”, where they would kick back in the recliners and get free food and drink during the show.  When ROH comes here, they charge (I believe) $150 per ticket for the recliner treatment.  Yes, someone actually paid for a recliner that is several rows back at a wrestling show.  Tickets were priced at $50 (first row), $40 (second/third row, depending on which side of the building you were on, and $15 (GA).  My $15 general admission seat was 8 feet away from the $50 seats, plus it was on 12 inch platform, so I could see right over the ringsiders.  

Cornette came out for the rah-rah speech, and it was time for our first match!  OVW Tag Team Champions The Elite (Adam Revolver & Ted McNaylor) beat Moose Thomas & Rocco Bellagio, accompanied by “Prince” Bolin (Kenny Bolin’s son Chris).  The Elite are one of the best-working teams on the indy scene, and they have been together since 2006.  I believe The Elite won after their Spear/Russian leg sweep combo in about 10 minutes.  Good opener.

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were introduced to the crowd and were seated at ringside for commentary.  Kelly received polite applause, but the place went nuts for Nigel.  

 T.J. Perkins defeated Mike Mondo, but I have no recollection of how he did it.  Mondo is ok, but he really comes across as a lower-card act.  Perkins was technically good, but showed little personality.

Cornette interviewed The Briscoe Brothers.  They are supposed to be heels, but a Kentucky crowd is not going to boo an asskicking tag team that wears Confederate colors.  Briscoes demanded a match at Final Battle against ROH Tag Team Champions Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin.  Cornette booked Briscoes vs All-Night Express “next week” to determine the top contenders.

It was around this time that something odd started happening.  There was a girl standing near the barricade wearing a silk gown watching the show.  She took the gown off and approached the ring wearing a bikini.  No one acknowledged that this was happening.  One cameraman approached her and filmed her up and down for several minutes.  It wouldn’t be so odd if this happened once as a buffer to air between segments on the show.  This happened several times throughout the night.  At one point, she was being filmed for what seemed like ten solid minutes, including several minutes focused solely on her breasts.  It didn’t help matters that the camera guy looked just like the tow-truck driver from Adventures in Babysitting.  

It was time for the “television main event”.  Jay Lethal defended the TV title against Mike Bennett (with “Brutal” Bob Evans).  This was a good little match.  Bennett reminds me a lot of 2006-era Chris Masters, at least as far as his body appearance.  At one point, Lethal attempted the “Macho Man” elbow, but Bennett moved.  With 30 seconds left in the 15 minute time limit, Bennett mounted Lethal and started pounding on him, not unlike Ralphie beating Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story.  Lethal reversed the position with about 10 seconds left and stayed on top until the time limit expired.  Lethal and the crowd wanted five more minutes, but Bennett chose to retreat.

Roderick Strong defeated Kyle O’Reilly.  These two had a good, stiff match.  The story was that Strong is a stiff bastard, and the rookie O’Reilly was able to hang with him.  Apparently, O’Reilly trains with “Team Davey”.  Michael Elgin came out to attack O’Reilly after the match, and then someone else came out and got his ass kicked too.  Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards came out to clean house, going so far as to punt the Book of Truth into the front row, right into a fat guy’s face!  Cornette came out to help restore order.  I should point out that ROH had encouraged fans to bring signs to the television taping.  The only signs were two pro-Kevin Steen signs in the front row, and a guy behind them that had a sign which read “Let This Be A Sign”.  The three would all hold up their signs whenever they were on camera.  Cornette cut a promo on them, saying that he recognizes that Steen is a great wrestler, but the fans don’t have to deal with him as a person.  He called Steen mentally unstable and said he was an insurance liability, and reiterated that he had no plans of ever bringing Kevin Steen back to ROH.  

Tomasso Ciampa (with Prince Nana and Ernie Osiris) pinned Alex Silva.  Silva is a young, good-looking guy who works for OVW regularly.  Nothing special.

Mark and Jay Briscoe beat ANX to earn a title shot at Final Battle.  This was a great match with some fun double-teams.  I believe the finish was: one of the ANX held Mark in a powerbomb position near the corner.  Jay came off the top and nudged Mark, who turned the move into a hurricanrana and got the pin.  If that wasn’t the finish, it should have been, because it was the most memorable spot in the match.  The Briscoes didn’t do much to establish that they were supposed to be the bad guys.  

Next up was intermission.  They didn’t seem to be doing nearly as much merch business tonight.  The gimmick table was much smaller than usual, too.

Michael Hayes (no, not the Freebird) beat Mohammad Ali Vaez.  Both of these guys are OVW regulars.  Hayes is legitimately in his rookie year.  He also only has one leg.  He lost his left leg in an I.E.D. explosion in Iraq in 2006.  He was the only survivor  of the attack.  Unlike Zach Gowen, Hayes wrestles while wearing the full prosthetic.  He is quite mobile considering his predicament.  Vaez has apparently been attacking Hayes at OVW shows and ripping off the prosthesis.  He did it again tonight, only for Hayes to catch him in a submission hold.  Before he could tap, Vaez’s partner interfered for the DQ.  The match was ok, but a bit clumsy.  Considering Hayes’s inexperience, immobility, and the fact that Vaez had to work his right side, things went fairly well.

Michael Elgin dominated Shiloh Jones.  Good for what it was.

Jim Cornette came out to announce the top contender for the ROH World Title at Final Battle.  That man is…….Grizzly Redwood!  Just kidding, it’s Eddie Edwards.  Eddie came out and said that people always chanted “next world champ” at the American Wolves, and everyone assumed the chant was for Richards, but Edwards won the title before Davey did.  Eddie said that he learned a lot from Team Richards, but it was time for him to move on.  Eddie has a new trainer, but he wouldn’t reveal who it is.  The two shook hands and agreed to let the wolfiest man win.

Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin beat Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman in the week 2 main event.  This started out decent, but completely fell apart toward the end.  One of the guys not named Haas or Benjamin missed a series of aeriel moves that he was supposed to hit, including a standing shooting star press where he landed on his face Brock Lesnar-style.  This match is going to need to be cleaned up quite a bit before it airs.  

The Young Bucks beat the Bravado Brothers.  Full disclosure:  I hate the Young Bucks with a passion.  That being said, they were much more subdued than they were last time I watched them live.  At the beginning, they offered their hands to Lance and Harlem Bravado, only to turn and shake each other’s hands instead.  This was a fairly competitive match and both teams looked good.  The finish came when the Young Fucks did some double team flippy 9 move sequence nonsense that ended with a 450 splash.  They refused to shake the other team’s hands after the match.  I hope they catch herpes.  My personal hatred for Nick & Matt Jackson aside, they got very little reaction until the finish.  

MAIN EVENT TIME!  The American Wolves beat Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin.  Good, solid, hard-hitting match that seemed to go past 20:00.  My favorite comment of the night came from my friend, who is a casual fan and knows nothing about ROH.  As Richards was repeatedly kicking Elgin in the chest, my friend said “he’s just spamming the A button!”  He summarized the state of indy wrestling with that statement, in my opinion.  The finish was kind of screwy, although it could just be that I was tired and missed something.  Elgin had Richards in a hold (camel clutch), but the ref was distracted by Truth Martini.  Edwards locked Elgin in a dragon sleeper, choking him out.  Richards ended up on top of Elgin for the pin.  Davey kept looking at what appeared to me to be a wristband or something, then looking at Eddie like he didn’t know what to make of him.  Again, I had to have missed something here, because I have no idea what his deal was.

Overall this was a very entertaining night of wrestling, but far too long.  The show started at 7:00 and we were walking out at 11:05.  There were far too many superkicks and at least 4 “Codebreakers” throughout the show.  The crowd was hot for most of the show.   The venue was darkened quite a bit.  My guess is that they don’t want a building that small to be exposed on national television (Davis Arena sits 400).  Return date is 11/5.

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