#RingOfHonor Is The Second Worst

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Since TNA/Impact Wrestling has wrestled the crown of worst promotion from the very incapable hands of Ring of Honor, I wasn’t sure if I could continue doing this column. I will try to talk about the positives  but I already know it’s not going to last long. Simple solution. When they do more than 50% positive in a show, I’ll call it “ROH is Second Worst”, if not it will resume it’s former name of “ROH is the Worst.”

Tomasso Ciampa had a quality match with Roderick Strong, who continues to look better than he had for the last year and a half. 2014 has been sharp for him from what I’ve seen aside from not knowing how to take the Styles Clash. ROH has highlighted the ongoing feud between Cedric Alexander and The Decade, which consists of Strong, Jimmy Jacobs, BJ Whitmer and lackey Adam Page. Alexander interfered in Strong’s match and cost him the victory. They ended up fighting after the match which I’m not a big fan of since they are fighting at the next pay per view. On a positive note, they have fought recently (last week if memory serves) so they weren’t giving away anything we haven’t seen before. Having people cost their adversary a victory is in the Booking 101 hand book. Good on ROH.

Silas Young versus The Romantic Touch was good for what it is. The Romantic Touch is mildly amusing character so he lost to the more serious Young. Silas isn’t going to be moving up the ladder any time soon but he had a quality feud with Mark Briscoe early this year. He should and did get the win over the comedy act. ROH is 2 for 2.

Kevin Steen‘s claim for the World Title is a very valid one since he never got a rematch for his title. Playing a video package to recap this feud is what you should be doing. I never said wrestling was rocket science.

Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly cut a quality promo against the Young Bucks. I could have used without Kyle O’Reilly drinking casually out of a coffee mug but he was fine when he spoke. Bobby Fish really delivered and made me like this short promo.

Jimmy Jacobs taking on Corey Hollis was another example of The Decade going after younger wrestlers and disrespecting them. Jacobs did his part by not shaking hands with Hollis. The Decade also debuted a new lackey, Tadarius Thomas. I’m not sure that ROH needed to add anyone else to the ranks of the Decade because four seems to be a good limit. I’m also not sure what they have in mind so I’ll give the angle some time. Jacobs ended up winning the match without interference, which is another good choice by ROH. If The Decade wants to maintain their disdain of younger wrestlers, they need to beat them first so that the crowd rallies behind Cedric Alexander and whoever else they have help to dismantle The Decade.

Michael Elgin versus Rocky Romero was a good quality main event. It wasn’t anything special but much like the Touch vs Young match, the correct person won in Michael Elgin, which isn’t a given in ROH. They gave Romero enough offense to not look bad but had Elgin win fairly handily. Quality show for ROH all around. Maybe I’ll start calling them Second Best if this keeps up. – Kevin

@RingOfHonor Is The Worst

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I haven’t reported on Ring of Honor recently because they have done anything blatantly offensive recently. They haven’t exactly been hitting their show out of the park either. I’ll take the improvement to mediocre. After I came back from a Wrestlemania, I was giving my parents the run down of all things not wrestling and watched ROH on mute. It was a Road Rage edition so it was iPPV worthy material. The opening segment didn’t get my dander up but figured I may as well lay out my observations. The  second match was what led me to writing this article. I’ll get into those reasons below.

Chris Hero vs Roderick Strong – I’m starting to wonder how close Chris Hero was close to being called up to the main roster in the WWE. I’ve seen two or three matches and none of them have blown me away. The other match I know I saw was with Adam Cole, who I do enjoy both in the ring and on the mic. Roderick Strong usually has good matches in ROH. Hero hasn’t blown me away in either match. He doesn’t seem as athletically gifted as anyone called up recently. Hero looks like he’s going through the motions since he’s stuck back where he started. Maybe it’s dawning on him that he blew it in the WWE by not getting into shape, but I don’t think that’s the case since he still isn’t in shape for a guy who is 6′-4″ and 225. Bray Wyatt gets away with extra weight because he uses it to his benefit in the ring by showing off his agility and that spear/body block move he does. It’s hard to take advantage of being a thin tall guy without muscle tone and a baby gut. If you’re going to disobey a WWE edict, you better have something special to back it up. So far in his ROH run, Hero hasn’t shown me that something special.

The Young Bucks vs ReDRagon – Let’s start with the positives in this match. I have never been fond of The Young Bucks persona but I have enjoyed them in the ring. reDRagon is another act that I enjoy in ROH, both in the ring and on the mic despite how little time they’ve been given. Matt Jackson did have a cast on his right hand which limited him in this match but they worked around it fairly well. The main problem with this match was the ending, which ending in typical ROH style. Kyle O’Reilly was taking on Matt. Jackson whacked O’Reilly with his cast on the head while his brother Nick distracted the referee. O’Reilly kicked out which is ridiculous. Then the Young Bucks nailed their finishing move on O’Reilly, who kicked out again. O’Reilly quickly recovered from both of these devastating shots and went to lock in a triangle choke. Matt reversed it into a jack knife pin and got the win for the Tag Team Titles. So O’Reilly felt good enough to lock in his finisher but not good enough to kick out out a jack knife pin? ROH finishes are the worst.

The other problem with this match was called out during it. Forever Hooligans had not been on TV before they defeated the American Wolves last year. Kevin Kelly remind us of this event. The Young Bucks have been gone for months, if not over a year since their last TV appearance. reDRagon has defended the belts against all comers and defeated them. So like the American Wolves, reDRagon lose the titles to people who basically aren’t part of your product. I’m not a big fan of the booking. Have the Young Bucks at least win a contenders match before capturing the straps. The other comparison that could be made is that Forever Hooligans then left shortly after winning and then losing their titles to reDRagon. Wouldn’t it have been more effective to have the American Wolves beat Forever Hooligans then losing the straps to reDRagon? Not title hot potato and both of your acts look better than someone you brought in for two tapings at the most. ROH booking is the worst too.

#WatchROH – Aired 12 May 2012

I know it’s the wrong border. I don’t care.

Ultramantis Black is joining Nigel McGuinness & Kevin Kelly in the announce booth for the Chikara take over of ROH. They add a pillow ad on before this so I can only hope this is another short show on a PPV night. That’s not a bad plan on their part. Why waste a squash match after a PPV that has yet to be wrestled? Ophidian (Hypnosis dude) and the Ice Creams are teaming together against The Colony. They had separate names but they didn’t show them on the screen so I don’t care. They stressed the heavy Lucha Libre influence including following their rules. Soldier Ant has camouflage on. Green Ant is next in the match. I’m confused. The action is fast. They cut to commercial at a bad time.

They come back with Ricky Reyes hitting the ring for a match against Jay Lethal. What the hell happened to the Chikara match? Kelly calls Lethal’s 20 pound weight advantage negligible. Reyes went on the attack early. The announcers do a good job of selling Reyes’ previous loss on ROH TV against Roderick Strong. Lethal turned it around with a leg lariat. A hand spring back elbow only got a two count. Kelly informs us that we’ll get Border Wars highlights next week. A Roll of the Dice by Reyes got him a two count. Nigel sells ROH as a parity league. Lethal Combination then a Lethal Injection for the win. He took care of Reyes much easier than Tomasso Ciampa taking care of Matt Taven the previous week.

Veda Scott interviewed Davey Richards about his match with Rhino. Richards is confused why Truth Martini would hire a hit man when he has something better in Michael Elgin. Richards said Rhino won’t be able to gore him with a broken ankle. Richards tells Rhino he’ll knock him back into the jungle if he does get a chance to try and gore him. Richards then gives us his best Blue Steel look.

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#WatchROH – Aired 7 May 2012

We get a replay of Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander beating the Briscoes with the help Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin. Tomasso Ciampa starts off the show with his clown car. Matt Taven is his opponent. Kevin Kelly tries to sell us on Taven’s credibility. Ciampa got a quick jump on Taven. Jay Lethal comes to ring side and sits down. Ciampa nailed his finisher then stared at Lethal. Taven reversed into a suplex on the exposed concrete. They exchange on their knees and feet back in the ring. Taven uses his legs to his advantage. Taven gives Ciampa a neck breaker after Ciampa was hung up on the top rope. Ciampa kicks out after a frog splash. Nigel McGuinness says the crowd is going nuts. They aren’t. Ciampa gave Taven a jumping knee but only got two. Ciampa kneed Taven twice in the Tree of Woe.  Ciampa nails “Project Ciampa” for a win. If a schmuck gives Ciampa this trouble, shouldn’t Lethal walk all over him?

Veda Scott interviewed TJ Perkins who will be wrestling Mike Mondo again. The Young Bucks make fun of Perkins. They still suck, not in a good way. Perkins had a paint by numbers promo. He’s not engaging. I love his in ring work. They shake hands, which is more of a rarity than not shaking. Perkins gets in a neck breaker. Mondo crawled under the ring to attack Perkins from behind. Mondo fish hooked and dragged Taven around. Kevin Kelly tells me to set my DVR to watch Rhino take on Davey Richards. It won’t be that epic. Mondo ground his elbow into Perkins head. Mondo exposed the eyeball and appeared to be ready to eat it. Perkins fought out and started to use his speed advantage. Perkins nails a missile drop kick. The Young Bucks came to ring side. They distract Perkins. Mondo tumbles to the floor. Obvious over the top rope spot. One of the Young Bucks holds a leg. Mondo gets the win. The All Night Express makes the save after Mondo & the Bucks attack PErkins after the match.

Charlie Haas gives everyone a reminder that the Briscoes started the war between themselves. Shelton Benjamin said they want their belts. The Briscoes admit to starting the feud. They’re going to whoop them in Toronto. Truth Martini runs down his houses matches. Roderick Strong told Fit Finlay he’ll be in for the biggest fight of his life. Michael Elgin tells Adam Cole that he’s the only break out star. Rhino said that he’s going to take out Eddie Edwards. Eddie says it’s all about who can take more punishment. He told Rhino he won’t stand in his way to getting the ROH Title back. Mike Bennett told Lance Storm that he’s pathetic for asking for a rematch. Bennett said that Storm’s career will come to an end at Border Wars. I just realized that Border Wars was last night. Their events seem more packed together than the WWE’s PPV. I’m not even looking up the results but Dusty’s “LOL ROH” tweet takes on a whole other context now.

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#WatchROH – Aired 31 March & 7 April

I’m not going to bother with doing a full review for the show three weeks ago, but I am going to mention the results and little comments.

Tomasso Ciampa is one of the few guys that can cut a promo but they bring out a clown car with him. Jim Cornette is brilliant, right? Kyle O’Reilly took him on in the $25,000 pyramid tournament. Ciampa is no selling way too much in this match. Ciampa won with a knockout via a knee strike to the stomach. Ciampa no sold a dragon sleeper & knee strikes to the head too. Woof. The work isn’t bad but who thought it was smart to book a match this way?

Davey Richards is letting Kyle O’Reilly be himself. Richards isn’t happy without him not observing the code of honor. He says something about his opponent Brian McBride in a Proving Ground match. Dear lord, how many type of matches do you have? Richards picture for his tale of the tape is awful. How does anyone let that slide? Richards squashes McBride. (Edit: Wait, was his name really Brian? Like the soccer player? I don’t care enough to rewind.)

Kevin Steen needs more mic time. He doesn’t really. But we’re getting it. Steen wants more matches. He calls himself out for not wrestling. He doesn’t even come out obnoxious. It comes out stupid. Davey Richards wants to fight him. Steen calls out Cornette for being a bad figure head. Amen.

The Briscoes and World Greatest Tag Team replay. Jay Lethal is mad at Tomasso Ciampa. Jay, why not talk ROH out of dumb stipulations like time limit draws? Do it a couple of times a year at most, not every other month.

Mike Bennett comes down with his clown car. Granted, Maria Kanellis is a nice shiny item from this clown car. Eddie Edwards comes down. Nigel McGuinness mentioned Edwards winning money in a tag team tournament. Jimminy Christmas. Stop with the tournies for money. Please come back on Pro Wrestling Ohio. ROH is going to be the death of me. The ref bites on the worst acting ever from Maria so that Mike Bennett can win. That’s why I don’t miss her, she has no acting ability.

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#WatchROH – Aired 11 March 2012

We get review of the main event from the previous week of Eddie Edwards vs Roderick Strong and the post match announcement that they will both take on Davey Richards at Showdown in the Sun. Jim Cornette explains how they’ll have a title match on both days at Showdown. Six men are fighting to determine who randomly gets a title match on the second day after the winner of the three way match on Friday. They went to commercial. Wow, what a terrible way to start a show.

Kenny King is excited about being part of Blind Destiny. He only has to beat Jay Lethal. Lethal ends up saying he failed. King pops back on. Lethal says it’s his destiny to get the title match. Not a fan of flipping back and forth between the promos. Kenny King came down with Rhett Titus. Jay Lethal hit the ring second. This shows how much I care about ROH, but is Baltimore like their Orlando? I’m too lazy to check on my own. The match had barely started. Just some early offense when Roderick Strong & Truth Martini came to ring side. Lethal took over after a strong beginning for King. Lethal tried for a top rope power bomb but King fought out. Lethal calls for the Lethal Injection but had to switch to the Lethal Combination. He only got two. Kng went for a roll up, Lethal turned it into a bridge pin for the win. That doesn’t make sense. There was no offense by Lethal before King got pinned.

Adam Cole is dressed in a suit. He is pumped about teaming with Eddie Edwards. He’s not going to back down to anyone. Kevin Steen is going to make Adam Cole a casualty. Still amusing in a bad way with the announcers talking down about Steen yet the vast majority of the crowd is cheering for him. Cole tried to use power at first but moved to speed and capitalized. Steen breaks the refs count when he tosses Cole against a post. Cole turned around things using his speed. He executed a nice tornado DDT.  Steen gave Cole an Orton middle rope DDT. Steen got two after a senton in the corner. Cole got in some kicks and a back cracker but only got two. Cole nailed a pair of super kicks. Cole charged at Steen and he turned it into a power bomb. Steen F5ed Cole for the win. Steen went for the package pile driver but Edwards made the save.

Roderick Strong didn’t like the triple threat stipulations. Eddie Edwards doesn’t like it either. He just wants one winner. Strong thinks it sucks that he has two opponent. It was the second time he said sucks. Oh, it wouldn’t suck if Edwards & Richards beat the hell out of each other. Not a good theme. Mike Bennett is going to beat Lance Storm so fast, he can still get the early bird special. Ha. Solid one. We get replay of the Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin feud with the Briscoes. Someone is getting carried out of Fort Lauderdale according to the Briscoes. That was so short it was pointless. The Young Bucks will see the dorks in Fort Lauderdale. You can tell this company thinks promos are useless.

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#WatchROH – Aired 3rd March 2012

This aired just over a week ago.

Because of my preference for PWO, I give it first billing for reviews. They are not airing a new show this week so I hope to get to this week’s episode of ROH quicker. It’ll still be tough though because I’m headed to Smackdown on Tuesday. The plans are for me to do an exit interview audio. We shall see. Anyway, this episode is before last week’s pay per view so I’m pretty late on this episode. It’s kind of irrelevant. Whatever though, it’s content. Let’s roll.

It’s another episode from Baltimore. They really do tape more shows in one place than PWO. Holy cow. Mike Bennett is with Maria talks about Lance Storm. They’re going to fight March 30th. TJ Perkins forgets to name himself. He’s worth Bennett’s time. That was pretty cheesy in a bad way. Brutal Bob is such a bad idea. The act is bigger than the wrestler. I like Perkins in the ring. His character stinks. That can be said a lot in ROH. Poor Kevin Kelly has to talk about “the numbers game”. You could almost sense he didn’t want to use it. It was a gift to us fans to get their iPPV for $9.99. if it was a gift, it’d be a regular PPV for $9.99. Perkins lock in a submission. Maria distracted him. Bennett nails a cutter for the win.

Veda Scott gets to spend time with another faction that is too big. Tomasso Ciampa has nothing to lose at the PPV.  I like the guy’s promo delivery. He doesn’t need the clown suits. Guy Alexander is wrestling Ciampa. They let the other two clowns come to ringside. Kelly said his name but I don’t care. Ciampa is good in the ring too. Please get rid of the circus around him. The ref calls the match after Ciampa knees him in the face six times. I think he lost or they went time limit.

The Briscoes get to talk about the Young Bucks. They know the Bucks are serious but they mean business. Kevin Steen put on his party hat for Jimmy Jacobs. The blood will flow. The All Night Express wants to take out the Young Bucks because they took out Rhett Titus. The Young Bucks suggested a tornado match. All Night suggested a street fight. They will wrestle both over the March 30 & 31 in Florida. So they’re pimping two pay per views on one show. Mildly confusing. Maybe I should just say it lacks focus. Wait until after March 4th for people to talk about those matches.

Eddie Edwards is fighting Roderick Strong for the chance to fight Davey Richards in Miami. Good match so far They haven’t gone for the usual trade moves then look at each other with “respect”. Edwards gave Roderick a single leg drop kick from the floor while Roderick was in the Tree of Woe. Slick spot. Nigel trying to talk about Roderick and how physical he is. That is hilarious. You need more muscle tone to sell me on that. Great pace to the match as they hit the break.

Strong took over during the break with the help of a Truth Martini low bridge of Edwards. Strong kicked out after a middle rope Code Breaker. Strong hung out Edwards on the top rope. Back breaker and Gut Buster combo only got a to count for Strong. Edwards countered a super back breaker into a huracanrana. Edwards got in a back pack chin breaker. They traded kicks. Adam cole took out Truth Martini. Michael Elgin came out. Edwards nailed a suicide dive. Strong used a device on his boot to win. A second ref comes out and tells the ref he missed it. The second ref restarts the match and Edwards wins. The refs argue into commercial. Dumb. Killed a good match even if they restart it for a winner.

Kevin Kelly is explaining what happened in the ring. He asks Jim Cornette for a decision. Cornette explains the situation. Cornette does the logical thing and makes it a three way elimination match. Should be good stuff. -Kevin

#WatchROH – Aired 25 February 2012

I watched An Idiot Abroad earlier.

For some reason, honor makes me think of Japan. Since Karl Pilkington just went to Mount Fuji on An Idiot Abroad, I figured it’d be a good picture to use. ROH has an internet pay per view going on right now but I’m not going to pay for it. We get recap of Charlie Haas taking on Mark Briscoe from the week. The Young Bucks are going to teach someone else to show the Briscoes what they’ll do to them later. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander are the example. They worked their way up the food chain. The one guy ended by singing. I don’t know the difference between them. Caprice was the singer. Both teams are pulling out some fun aerial moves. Their characters stink. Pretty easy win for the Young Bucks. Their finisher is a bit much for me. It’s a Rolling Hill, 450 then a moonsault. Tomasso Ciampa is going to take whatever gold Jay Lethal has come March 4th.

DemBoys comes out to talk about the Lady Boys. They going to make the Young Bucks their bitches. Big man is going to beat $5000 out of Truth Martini if they come back to Baltimore. They’re going to put Charlie Haas or Shelton Benjamin in a body bag. I always think that’s stupid. No one is going to die.

We get more Kevin Steen review. Jimmy Jacobs learned one life lesson, evil wins. Jacobs is going to become more evil than Steen. Kevin Steen thinks Jacobs hope is amusing. He said Jacobs corporate man is going to kill him. He wants Jacobs to be evil. Rhett Titus is recovered from knee surgery. They want to prove they’re better than ever by beating Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas. I forget who Titus’s partner is. Truth Martini talks. Roderick Strong wants Jay Lethal to win because he can beat him easier. Strong has a match against Eddie Edwards to determine the number one contender. They are doing a great job of pimping tonight’s event, internet Pay per view that is.

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Kevin’s Blog: #ROH Aired 6 February 2012

Both Stunt Granny and ROH are trying to find the sweet spot.

They start the episode  by reviewing the situation with Jay Lethal and Mike Bennett. Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness introduced the show. Mike Bennett is going to walk away with the TV Title while Maria acts like a dumb ass again. That’s not a good thing. There is no time limit to this match. They’re big on using the time limit which isn’t a bad thing. You can imply a lot with how the match is going. Bennett begs off to start the match. You know how I say that manager’s should be used more often? I’m thinking ROH could use a couple less managers. Brutal Bob the trainer, Truth Martini, Prince Nana & his lawyer. I’m probably forgetting someone. Anyway, over used for their roster size. Match was on pace for the time of the match when the commercial hits.

Glad Nigel tells us it’s a twenty count. What a weird count. Bennett is on the offense after a Jay Lethal miss. They have a dumb slugfest with them punching each other and not moving. ROH consistently does little stuff like that to make their matches lose some polish. Bennett gets a neck breaker for a two count. Maria tries to help Bennett but it backfires and Lethal wins with a crucifix roll up.

Veda Scott is with Eddie Edwards. He pretty much gives the same promo he had last week. Kyle O’Reilly interrupts. O’Reilly wants him to put up or shut up. Edwards says he has to prepare for a match next week. Just terrible.

They go over the Kevin Steen situation for what seems like the 300th time even though I’ve only been watching ROH for the year 2012. Kevin Kelly gets to interview him. Steen has been off for a year but he evidently was allergic to the gym. At least do some cardio fatty. He doesn’t understand why he was kept away for a year. I’m loving the fact that a guy who used to be mentally unstable is now the corporate boy in Davey Richards. He tries to yell at the crowd but half of them are cheering for him. It kind of kills the mood. Jim Cornette interrupts. Jim calls him out for being fat. Steen has terrible come backs. Jim bans the pile driver in any format. Steen repeats his promo before Cornette came out. He’s a main eventer? Really?

Truth Martini and the House of Truth blame the Briscoes for losing the eight man tag match and $10,000. They’re going to shut up the Briscoes according to Roderick Strong. Michael Elgin tells them they’ve written a check they can’t cash. Or something similarly hacky. The Briscoes say they eliminated Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas so the House of Truth had an easy path. Davey Richards says that he’s going to kick Jay Lethal’s head off. Glad he admits that he only has one move. The All Night Express is bummed because of Rhett Titus’ injury. Good to see an injured guy hanging around. They’re setting their eyes on the Young Bucks before going for the tag team titles.

Veda Scott interviews the Young Bucks. Matt & Nick Jackson hit on Veda. They sort of run down their opponents. They hit on her more. I want to put my hand thru this monitor. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas hit the ring. Kelly admits they are running short on time. Haas tells us they’re not wrestling because Steen talked too much and their mic time got cut. So they’re taking their mic time. Benjamin calls for a rematch. They’re going to take the show hostage. Kevin Steen is threatening that too. Why are you running the same angle on the same show? You’re only an hour long.

Dem Boys the Briscoes hit the ring after the commercial break. Todd Sinclair calls for the bell as they brawl.  The action moves into the ring as Cornette rants about the night from hell. I know this is going to cut off but this match is going to be too short without interference. Nigel tells Cornette he’s setting a bad example by caving to those holding ROH for hostage. Amen Nigel. And it cuts off. Whatever. -Kevin

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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