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The Cubed Circle Newsletter
This was originally supposed to be a small bonus issue before the year end special issue, but it has turned into one of the biggest issues I have ever put out. Think of it as the Final Battle issue in a way, going over 12 pages it is an almost a double issue, which makes it a good precursor to the year end issue. As always you can find a full PDF above and if you haven’t downloaded it already, I urge you to do so. As always feel free to send in feed back and comment, enjoy your holidays.
ROH on SBG 2011/12/10 Review
As always the show started off with a great recap of last week’s show, highlighting the Steen segment from last week. Nigel and Kelly previewed the mainevent, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The All Night Express. We then had a Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander promo, Caprice Coleman continues to impress me with his mic skills.
1. The Bravado Brothers vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
The crowd chanted Justin Bieber at Harlem Bravado, Coleman and Alexander double teamed Lancealot, Coleman and Alexander were looking good as a team. Lancealot made the tag to Harlem. The Bravado’s got the heat for a short period of time on Alexander. He got the hot tag to Coleman, Coleman ran wild hitting a tiger kick around the ring post. Alexander then hit a topé suicida on the Bravados. Coleman and Alexander then hit a neckbreaker inverted side walk slam combo for the win. After the match Harlem refused to shake hands. A pretty decent opener, I am constantly impressed by Coleman.
Silvio is a wrestler from OVW, his gimmick is he is the psychedelic superstar, he is a pretty good promo, Silvio said that to win he will need to catch lightning in a bottle. Perkins was interviewed, he said that he won’t catch lightning he will get hit by it, Perkins strength definitely isn’t his mic skills.
2. TJ Perkins vs. Chris Silvio
I will never understand why Perkins isn’t used more, as specially at a time like this when ROH needs fresh faces, he could really be high up in the promotion. Perkins showcased his technical prowess early on in the match, he then nailed both boots to the face of Silvio on the outside. Silvio rammed Perkins into the barricade shoulder first, the crowd was behind Silvio at this point, due to him being a local talent. Silvio ran at Perkins in the turnbuckle, but Perkins moved out of the way and hit a dropkick. He then nailed Silvio with strikes and a hurricanrana that took Silvio to the outside, where Perkins hit a topé suicida. Silvio’s placing was a bit off when he took the hurricanrana, but it wasn’t really that noticeable. Perkins locked in a submission of the leg of Silvio, Silvio escaped and hit a powerbomb. Perkins took Silvio down by coming off the top landing the knees on the shoulders of Silvio. Perkins then hit a fireman’s carry into a knee for the win. Perkins was as crisp as ever and definitely came off well in this match. Silvio was fine in his role, even though his placing was a bit off.
We had this week’s edition of Inside Ring of Honor, footage was shown of Lethal’s title win and his title defenses against Bennett and Generico. This set up a Bennett promo, he said that ROH had to find two opponents for him at Final Battle, he said that he beat Lethal and Lethal beat Generico, that meant he was in the ring with two losers. Lethal was interviewed and said that he wasn’t going to complain about needing to defend against two other men and he said that he was tired of people saying that his matches could have gone the other way and at Final Battle he will prove that he is the definitive winner. We had another Edwards and Severn interview, he said that Richards was the most experienced, but now that isn’t the case because he has Severn in his corner. Severn said that an inexperienced corner man may get rattled, but he never gets rattled.
Davey Richards was interviewed about his match next week at Final Battle, he said that it was no coincidence that he was facing Elgin, he said that this was just mind games from Truth and Strong. He said that he will always be ready to knock them down.
3. Proving Ground Match
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The All Night Express
King and Benjamin started the match off in a collar and elbow tie up, they chain wrestled for about to minutes until they finally met in a face off. King tagged in Titus, Titus was double teamed, Haas was tagged in. Haas began to work on the injured elbow of Titus, they cut to a commercial and when they came back Benjamin was targeting the injured left arm of Titus. Benjamin hit a German suplex and held on, he tagged in Haas. The turnbuckle cover came off, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team continued to work on Titus. Benjamin was Irish whipped into the exposed turnbuckle, Titus almost got the tag to King, but Benjamin was still in control. Titus finally got the tag to King who ran wild with kicks, strikes and a spinebuster, he then hit a spinning kick on Benjamin. King hit an enzuigiri on Haas on the top turnbuckle, Titus then hit a face buster. Haas hit an Olympic slam on Titus, King went to the top rope and taunted but he taunted for too long, Benjamin leaped straight up to the top turnbuckle and delivered a slam on King. Haas got the leap of faith ready on King, but Benjamin was low bridged. The Briscoes came out, but the referee never saw, Benjamin got hit with a chair shot to the back, Benjamin sold like he had just been killed. ANX then got the back breaker leg drop combo for the win.
After the break medical personnel and referees came to ringside, Benjamin was still down. Haas said that he wanted the Briscoes, he said that they took out his brother, he said he knew something about loosing a brother referring to Russ. He said when Russ died Benjamin took his place and said that the Briscoes will be dead. This segment touched on real life tragedy, but it was still delivered in an elegant manner that made it feel real and in it’s place.
Overall Show Thoughts
Overall a very good edition of ROH on SBG. The openers offered something different and the mainevent really built to Final Battle well, while progressing the feud between the Briscoes and Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team well.
ROH on SBG 2011/12/17 Review
This is the go home show for Final Battle and they are still in Kentucky. They cut to an Eddie Edwards promo, he said that Severn told him how to reverse the ankle lock and he had perfected the dragon sleeper, he said that no one will distract him and that he will only listen to Severn. He then said he will be victorious in Richard vs. Edwards III.
1. Eddie Edwards vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge
I think that it was a really good idea to put Richards and Edwards on the go home show for Final Battle. Truth Martini was on commentary, Truth said that he is now a fan of Edwards, because Richards refused his offer. Edwards and Ridge landed and blocked strikes until they landed face to face. Ridge got some chops and kicks in, but Edwards hit an enzuigiri and went for a backpack stunner. But, Ridge escaped and hit some big kicks. Edwards locked in the STF, but Ridge got to the ropes, this was a great little touch, that adds to the Severn angle. Ridge nailed a springboard ace cutter, but Edwards hit a powerbomb and locked in the dragon sleeper. Ridge tapped as he hit the ground. Truth applauded Edwards at the end of the match, this match really did everything it could to build to Final Battle and add to the intrigue over Edwards training.
We had an update on the condition of Benjamin, a retrospective video package was shown on the feud between Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team and the Briscoes. Including the Briscoes match against ANX. The retrospective also included the involvement of the ANX in the feud. This retrospective did a great job at building to Final Battle.
We then had this week’s edition of Inside Ring of Honor, Kevin Kelly ran down the card in full, highlights of the match between Richards and Edwards were shown, including the post match promo. Richards vs. Strong from TV was shown as well, showcasing the resilience of Richards. Strong’s match against O’ Reilly was shown next, showing the post match attack and the save from Richards and Edwards, Kelly made it clear that they were still close friends at that point. But, the heat between them was shown, when Edwards was announced as the challenger. The tag match was shown next, showing Edwards first use of the dragon sleeper. Kelly then left the question open as to whether or not the friendship between the wolves would end.
2. Proving Ground Match
Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin
Kevin Kelly pointed out and explained the IWGP tag titles before the match. Elgin knocked Richards to the outside with a forearm, Richards then locked in the modified scorpion death lock in the ring. Richards attempted to knock Elgin down, but he wasn’t able to get him down, Davey ran at him, Elgin got him up in the fireman’s carry, bit Davey was able to get off of the shoulders and chop Elgin down to the ground. Once Elgin was on the ground, Davey began to work on the legs of Elgin. Elgin made it to his feet and hit a spin out side walk slam, Elgin then distracted the referee while Truth Martini dug at the eyes of Richards. Elgin worked on the back of Richards, Richards was able to power out. Richards bridged Elgin out onto the outside and landed a big kick and topé suicida on Elgin. Richards and Elgin exchanged strikes in the ring, Richards hit an enzuigiri. Elgin was on the outside once again, Davey went for the kick, but he was caught by Elgin, who hit a modified muscle buster on the floor. Fans in started to get behind Richards, Elgin shouted at Richards as he started to crawl back into the ring. Elgin then hit a suplex into a spinout side walk slam. Elgin went for a powerbomb, but Richards took him down and hit a foot stomp on Elgin. Elgin and Richards where both on the top rope, Richards was nearly knocked off, but he fought back with head butts. He then hit a superplex, Elgin fired up, Richards hit kicks to the head and elbows, but Elgin no sold. A kicking battle ensued, the battle was ended by a enzuigiri from Elgin, it was really impressive. Richards hit kicks to the chest of Elgin, he then hit a bridging suplex, but Elgin still kicked out. Three minutes remained in the time limit, Richards hit a kick of Truth Martini and a double foot stomp on Elgin. Richards then hit a kick to the head of Elgin and locked in the armbar. Richards still had the armbar locked in when he was picked up by Elgin, but he was able to roll Elgin up for the win. After the match Elgin hit a big suplex on Richards, the crowd started to chant “we want Eddie”. Out came Eddie who cleaned house, but he accidentally hit Davey with the belt, Richards was still on his feet, Richards and Edwards faced off in the ring. Richards took down Edwards, but Edwards locked in the dragon sleeper and Richards tapped. Both men had to be pulled away by team members and referees, as the show went off the air. This was an excellent finish, after having Richards go through a monster on his way to Final Battle, he was inadvertently attacked by his partner who made him tap prior to his match, this was pulled off perfectly.
Over Show Thoughts
This was really one of the best go home shows I have seen in 2011, it built to the show and had both main event participants on the card and the finish really left you wanting more. Both matches were good as specially the main event and the commentary was good, plus inside ROH also helped the build. Overall a very good show.
ROH Final Battle 2011 Review
The show opened up with an almost unwatchable segment with Kevin Kelly, Joe Koff, Jim Cornette, Cary Silkin and McGuinness, the transmission was terrible, even on the replay.
1. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. TJ Perkins
Bryce Remsburg made what I believe was his ROH debut. Perkins attempted to take down Elgin, but couldn’t. He then slid under the legs of Elgin, and was able to hit a suicide clothesline. Perkins attempted to hit the tiger kick through the ropes, but he was caught by Elgin who slammed Perkins into the barricade in a reverse powerslam position. Perkin went for a flying head scissors on Elgin, but he was slammed. Elgin attempted to throw Perkins through the ropes, but Perkins held onto the ropes, he was then pushed off the ropes by Martini. Perkins hit a flying take down with his knees on the shoulders of Elgin and then hit his topé to the outside. He then hit a dropkick and attempted to hit a sun set flip on Elgin, he wasn’t able to get him over, but Elgin missed the sit down. Perkins then hit a standing senton on Elgin for one. Perkins went to the top rope and went for a neck breaker on Elgin, but Elgin hit the sit out slam for two. Perkins tried to lock in the figure four leg lock, but Elgin hit the torture rack bomb for two. Perkins then hit a neckbreaker on Elgin, Perkins went for another take down, but Elgin hit the buckle bomb, he went for it again in the turnbuckle, but Perkins hit an absolutely beautifully executed reverse hurricanrana for two. Perkins hit a super kick and attempted to get Elgin up, but obviously couldn’t get Elgin up, Elgin then hit a second buckle bomb and sitout power bomb for the win. This was a very fun opener, Perkins and Elgin really meshed well and the crowd was really into it. The match moved really fast, but it still worked, really fun.
2. Tommaso Ciampa vs. Jimmy Rave
This was Rave’s first match in ROH in quite some time. The fans proceeded to shout vulgar chants at referee Todd Sinclair. Nana got on the mic and called Rave a fat big and then started to speak what sounded like gibberish. Evans then got on the mic, he said that Rave is like a fat girlfriend that ruins Christmas by showing up at dinner, Evans is definitely one of the best talents that ROH has on the mic. Rave and Ciampa started the match off face to face in the middle of the ring. Both men fought in and out of the wrist lock, Rave then slapped Ciampa who responded with a push, Rave spat in the face of Ciampa. Ciampa hit a big clothesline and rammed Rave into the barricade. Ciampa hit the big exposed knee in the corner twice, Rave fought back with chops and locked in the heel hook, but Ciampa made it to the ropes. Ciampa was thrown to the outside, Rave went for the baseball slide, but he was grabbed by Ciampa and thrown into the barricade. Rave then hit a shining wizard and the Rave Clash for the count of two. Rave went for the pedigree, but Nana offered Rave back his old robe, but he strangled him, Rave kneed Evans into the barricade, but he was held by Ernie Osiris who set the kick up for Mia. Rave ducked and Mia hit Osiris with the kick, Osiris when then thrown to the outside, Ciampa came up from behind and hit Project Ciampa for the win. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness did a very good job of explaining the relationship between the Embassy and Rave, after the match Ciampa put on Rave’s old robe. There were some technical issues during the match, like cut outs and the like, but nothing too drastic. The match was fine for what it was, although it was pretty average, I never expected much else since it wasn’t really built as anything to begin with.
3. ROH TV Championship Match
Jay Lethal vs. El Generico vs. Mike Bennett
Bennett was accompanied to the ring by Maria, who really looked like she didn’t want to be there, although she does add to Bennett’s gimmick. There were CM Punk, and “sloppy seconds.” chants, since Maria was a girlfriend of CM Punk at one point. Bennett and Maria responded to this by French kissing. Bennett then got on the mic and said that there is nothing better than Christmas in New York, he said that he was there with a Playboy model and the fans were stuck at home, ummm, well, lets just say he said that they were doing things. Bennett made more sexually orientated jokes, finally Bennett exited the ring as Generico and Lethal made their entrances. Bennett was on the outside as Lethal and Generico started the match, as the match got underway Bennett hit Lethal over the head. Generico and Bennett went back and forth, Bennett was then double teamed by Lethal and Generico, Lethal and Generico argued over who was going to take the dive to Bennett who was on the outside, they hit dual topé suicidas on Bennett. Generico and Lethal went back and forth in the ring while Bennett was on the outside, but Bennett made it back in the ring after Lethal was taken out, slamming Generico and working on him. I was fine with Bennett working on Generico, Generico is such a great face in peril that he compensated for Bennett. They exchanged strikes in the center of the ring, Generico went for a topé, but he was hit with a flying dropkick from Lethal. Lethal locked in a modified surfboard submission, Generico then hit a back breaker for two. Bennett was then pushed to the outside, as Generico worked on Lethal, Lethal hit a handspring back elbow and drop kick to knock Bennett back to the outside. Lethal was then caught with a cross body from Generico. Generico began to hit arm drag after arm drag on Lethal and Bennett and started to land strikes in the corner. Lethal hit a really wacky looking combination, where he placed Generico on top of Bennett, so when Generico is kicked he inadvertently locks in a surfboard on Bennett who is kicked by Lethal. Generico hit the exploder in the corner, but Brutal Bob pulled the leg of Generico, Bennett then ran to the outside and hid behind Maria and Bob. Generico hit the Yakuza kick on Bennett and Lethal hit a super kick on Generico. Lethal hit the combination on Generico for two. Bennett hit the spinebuster, Lethal hit the enzuigiri on Generico while Bennett was down. Lethal went up for the elbow, but he was caught with the Yakuza kick from Generico. Generico hit a senton on Lethal on the outside and what was definitely the spot of the match a tornado DDT on Bennett, after Generico basically slid through the ring and onto Bennett who was on the outside, the crowd really popped for this. Bennett was suplexed, Lethal set up the elbow on Generico who was pretty far away, he hit the elbow for two, the crowd really didn’t react to this. Lethal went up for the second elbow, but Generico got up and teased the top rope brain buster, but Bennett broke it up and eliminated Generico with a roll up with tights in hand. Lethal hit the Lethal Injection for the win. This match went way too long and as the match went longer Bennett’s flaws became more and more apparent. The match felt like a WWE three way more than anything else, each man in the match would take their turn going to the outside. Bennett definitely left something to be desired, very drawn out match.
4. No Disqualification Match
Kevin Steen vs. Steve Corino with Jimmy Jacobs as Special Guest Referee
I can not understand why this match was placed at such an early point in the show, it really was difficult to follow and should have been co-mainevent. Jacobs, Cornette and Silkin made their way to ringside. Corino then came out with bleached blond hair, this really acted as a visual representation that Corino is an evil person once more, the crowd chanted ECW during Corino’s entrance. The lights went off and Steen showed up on the balcony in the crowd, very Sandman esque. The fans really didn’t pop as big as I thought they would, I think that this is due impart to it being so early in the card. Both men ran at each other and began to brawl, Corino went for the baseball slide and like in other matches on the card, was thrown into the barricade. Steen hit the cannonball senton on Corino who was on the apron against the ring post on the outside. Corino began to throw chairs into the ring, Corino ran with chairs in hand into Steen, Steen then super kicked a chair into the head of Corino. Steen powerbombed Corino on the apron, he then landed the frog splash on the outside. Steen picked apart the barricade and rammed it into the head of Corino, he then through the barricade into the ring. Corino placed a steel chair between the guard rail, but he was powerbombed onto it by Steen. Steen ran up to McGuinness and said “It’s good to see you again Nigel.”. Steen grabbed a table from underneath the ring and placed it between the apron and guard rail, he was then clotheslined by Corino on the outside. Corino then threw a garbage can into the ring, he then started to throw more chairs into the ring, which landed on the bad knees of Steen. Steen hit Corino with the lid of the trash can, he then hit a standing senton leg drop onto the head of Corino with a garbage can. Corino was bleeding from the back of the ear, Corino hit a low blow on Steen and grabbed the chair, he then hit him with the chair on the head. Corino then grabbed the trash can once again and landed a suplex on the can. Corino then slammed Steen on the chair pile and hit a frog splash. Corino then placed the guard rail between a couple of standing chairs, he then landed a superplex on the guard rail, the crowd began to chant please don’t die. Corino went for the frog splash through the table, but Steen landed a chair shot to the back of Corino. Steen then set up two chairs on the table between the guard rail and apron, he then placed a chair in the middle of the other two chairs. Corino hit Steen with the lid of the trash can, Steen then went flying through the chairs and table, holy God this looked brutal. Some of the idiots in the crowd started to chant “we want fire!” suffice to say they never got it. Corino placed the guard rail in the corner, he then hit a shoulder drop with chair in hand on Steen who had a chair placed on his face. Steen delivered a really stiff back suplex and an exploder/ neckbreaker on a chair, this was a pretty brutal spot. Corino lifted his hands up and spat in the face of Steen, Steen then hit him with a completely unprotected chair shot, this boggled my mind. And this wasn’t the only brutal unprotected chair shot on the show, there were more to come, what I am wondering is why would you be so stupid to do this? I understand that you want to pop the crowd and send them home happy, but to risk your long term physical and mental well being for one pop, that could be achieved with protection is just ridiculous to me. Jacobs pulled the chair away from Steen, Corino then hit Steen with what looked like tongs, but I could be wrong. Corino set up another table with chairs on it, he went for something, but Steen countered it into the package piledriver on the chairs! Jacobs was hesitant to count, but he counted the three. This match went pretty long, but it never felt dull, my only major problem with the match was the idiotic unprotected chair shots, which could have been avoided.
Kevin Steen grabbed a mic after the match and said “Merry Christmas the devil is back.” He said that he came there to do three things. Number one was already accomplished that was to destroy Corino, he said number two and then package piledrived Jacobs. He then raised a third finger and turned his gaze to Jim Cornette, who attempted to escape but failed. Just as Steen was about to do something out came Generico, they started to brawl, Generico hit the yakuza kick, he went for the top rope brainbuster, but Steen countered and hit a package piledriver on the apron. They then went to an intermission, this could be part of an injury angle.
5. Tag Team Gauntlet Match
The Bravado Brothers vs. Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman vs. Future Shock vs. The Young Bucks vs. The All Night Express
The Bravados attacked Coleman and Alexander on their way to the ring, Caprice Coleman hit his topé to the outside on the Bravados. Harlem Bravado hit a bicycle kick on Coleman on the outside, the Bravados started to work on Alexander in the ring. There was confusion as to who was the legal man, it turns out Coleman was tagged in and in came out with big clotheslines and hit a big dive to the outside. Coleman then tagged in Alexander, which seemed pretty stupid since Alexander was just in the ring. Harlem got the small package for two, Alexander then rolled up Harlem Bravado and eliminated the Bravados at the five minute mark. The Bravados aren’t looking too good at the moment. The next team was Future Shock who entered at the five minute mark, O’ Reilly started off and began to work on Alexander, landing double team after double team. Alexander got the blind tag to Coleman, Coleman and Alexander hit the double team another sloppy tag. Coleman then hit a really great dropkick, Cole hit a Northern Lights suplex and began to work on Coleman. Coleman then made the warm tag to Alexander. Cole hit a big enzuigiri on Coleman, Coleman got Cole up in the fireman’s carry, Alexander went for the double foot stomp but missed. Coleman then hit a big splash on O’ Reilly, O’ Reilly and Cole then hit dual sliding drop kicks on Alexander who was in the tree of woe. They then hit Ride the Lightning for the elimination. The Young Bucks entered at 11:30. The Bucks taunted on the outside, Future shock hit dual baseball slides, O’ Reilly dived onto the Bucks he was caught by both Matt and Nick Jackson, but Cole landed a topé suicida onto the Bucks. The camera missed what I can only assume was a kick, the Bucks hit an assisted inverted neckbreaker on the apron, they then began to get the heat on Cole. The Young Bucks knocked O’ Reilly off of the apron and hit a footstomp combo on Cole. Cole finally made the hot tag too O’Reilly who ran wild and hit a double dragon screw. O’ Reilly landed a release belly to belly suplex, Nick Jackson attempted a splash. But landed on the knees, O’ Reilly then hit nine rolling butterfly suplexes and tagged in Cole. Future Shock hit a face buster German suplex combo, but it was broken up. Cole then German suplexed Nick Jackson against the apron. O’ Reilly went for the missile drop kick in the chair, but Jackson was able to move out of the way. The Young Bucks hit double super kicks and hit more Bang For Your Buck for the elimination. The final team, ANX, entered at the twenty minute mark. The Bucks missed a dive to the outside, they were double teamed by ANX. King landed a senton off the barricade, Nick Jackson hit the injured leg of Titus against the ring post. The Bucks worked on King while Titus was on the outside, Titus started to crawl to the ring, Matt Jackson went for the super kick, but King countered into a single leg belly to belly suplex. Titus was finally tagged in and ran wild with a bad wheel. Titus hit a sit out powerbomb, Nick Jackson went for a dive, but it was countered into a spinout side walk slam. Titus locked in a leg lock, but Nick Jackson hit a 450 splash on Titus and the referee stopped the match at the 29 minute mark. This would have been fine, but if the referee has the power to end a math like that why wasn’t the tag title match thrown out. Nick Jackson then hit another 450 splash on Titus, but out came King with a chair. This match was pretty much what was expected, a match that felt a bit bloated from the amount of teams in the match, but the match really picked up towards the end. The ending was a bit of an anticlimax, but it made sense as specially since Titus is going into hospital.
6. Roderick Strong Invitational Challenge
Roderick Strong vs. ??? (Chris Hero)
Strong came out and said that he had no opponent, he said that he wanted to prove to everyone that he was the best in the world, but even though he had been there for eight years ROH never brought him an opponent. He got the referee to count to ten and at ten he would be awarded the victory. As they got to ten out came Hero, as expected, he got a big pop. The deal seems to be that he is waiting for tests to come back for the WWE, so in the mean time he can work were he wants. Hero hit a big boot knocking Strong to the outside, but Hero was hit on the back with the book of Truth on the outside. Strong hit a big back breaker on the apron, we then had dueling chants. Strong worked over Hero, Strong then chopped Hero on the outside, Strong hammered at the back of Hero and locked in the head lock wearing him down. They exchanged elbows in the middle of the ring, until Hero hit a big dropkick. Hero then hit a big scoopslam and a back senton. He then flew through the ropes with a kick, Hero hit boots in the corner and a crovate suplex, there were a lot of crovates used in this match. Strong chopped and delivered elbows to Hero, Strong went for another back breaker on the apron, Hero briefly escaped, but finally Strong hit the back breaker. Strong locked in the Strong Hold, Hero powered out, Hero landed another crovate suplex, working on the neck of Strong. Hero hit a big elbow, but the crowd was pretty silent at this point. Strong landed a German suplex on Hero into the turnbuckle, he then hit a gut buster and Gibson Driver for two. Both men exchanged chops, but Hero hit two rolling elbows and then a rolling boot, before Strong finally went down. Hero landed another elbow, but Truth entered the ring and left immediately. Hero went after him, Strong hit an O'Connor roll, Hero hit a boot on Martini, but Strong hit the sick kick for the win. These two having a match could have mainevented any ROH show a couple of months ago, but it really didn’t live up to expectations, it wasn’t that it was bad, but it was a pretty uneventful match, that didn’t really work well.
7. ROH World Tag Team Championship Match
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. The Briscoe Brothers
The New York fans actually got behind the Briscoes during their entrance, embracing them, probably because of their heel turn. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team hit the Briscoes with the belts and began to brawl pre-match. Jay Briscoe got back suplexed on the barricade, Mark was then suplexed on the barricade. Jay Briscoe was thrown into the barricade and then got back suplexed once again. Haas grabbed a steel chair, and landed a chair shot to the back of Jay Briscoe. Mark received an unprotected chair shot, one of the first of many, I will never understand this. Jay Briscoe also received a chair shot to the head, but it was protected. They still continued to brawl, Benjamin hit the midsection of Jay Briscoe with a chair, Mark Briscoe was then back suplexed on the barricade. Haas then hit the side of Mark Briscoe over and over again with the chair. At this point it became pretty nonsensical, since one chair shot was sold so much on TV, yet everyone had taken so many chair shots and they were still standing. The other problem was you really couldn’t work out who were the faces and who were the heels through out the match. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team continued to beat down the Briscoes even when they were covering up and trying to fight back. Then Jay Briscoe took a huge unprotected chair shot, Nigel even shouted put your hands up, it was just so brutal, after the chair shot Jay bladed. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team then hit the Leap of Fate on the Briscoes, at this point the bell finally rang after around ten minutes of brawling. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team were really playing the heels at this point, getting the heat on Mark Briscoe, this in and of itself was fine and good it was just in the context of the storyline and brawl before the match that it made no sense. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team went for another Leap of Fate, but Jay landed a super kick, Jay then stared Charlie dead in the eye, this was an awesome moment. They squared off, we had dueling chants, Benjamin hit a splash, but sold the ribs, the Briscoes then pulled off his shirt to reveal the hurt ribs. The Briscoes worked on the ribs of Benjamin. Haas was tagged in and hit a knee lift and shouted **** you before hitting an exploder. Jay went for the Jay driller, but Haas countered and started to hit Germans while holding on. Haas then locked in the Haas of Pain, Mark went for an elbow, but Shelton dived in the way and took the elbow to the ribs. EMTs were called out as Benjamin was taken to the back. Haas was then double teamed, he hit an Olympic slam, we then had a referee bump. Benjamin then came back out and broke a board over the head of Mark Briscoe, if only the chair shocks could have been gimmicked. The crowd broke into ho and USA chants. Mark Briscoe looked for something under the ring, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, went for the doomsday, but Mark Briscoe hit Charlie Haas with a piece of broken table, he was then taken up for the doomsday by the Briscoes and they hit it for the win. It was almost like they were trying to tell three stories in this match, but instead of getting different chapters or even different books we got a whole bunch of jumbled words and nothing more.
8. ROH World Championship Match
Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards with Dan Severn
We had dueling chants, but even after everything that happened prior both men shook hands. The match started off with an elbow exchange, Edwards went for the dragon sleeper, Richards went for the soccer kick, Eddie moved and both men met eye to eye on their feet. Both men exchanged submissions and battled for control, Eddie then hit a big kick. Edwards then locked in a modified scorpion death lock, they then transitioned into a strike exchange. Both men battled on the outside, exchanging strikes up until Richards hit a big kick on Edwards. Edwards then locked in a toe hold with a bridge, but Richards punched out. Eddie then hit two kicks to Edwards on the outside, but Richards hit a topé suicida on Edwards. Richards then hit a big drop kick for two, Richards then hit a forearm after forearm and a suplex. Richards hit a knee and went for a German suplex, but Edwards chopped out, Richards then got the ankle lock locked in after many transitions. Edwards locked in the single leg Boston crab on Richards, but Richards countered into the small package for two. Edwards hit a face buster, both men were down in the middle of the ring, they then exchanged elbows once again in the middle of the ring. Richards went for the handspring back elbow, but he was dropped to the outside, Richards was kicked by Edwards who then hit a moonsault to the outside. Edwards hit the backpack stunner, Richards went for the arm bar, but Edwards rolled him up for two. Edwards got the STF locked in from the roll up. Richards locked in the ankle lock, Edwards laid into Richards with kicks to the face, Edwards and Richards faced off and exchanged slaps. Edwards hit the super kick and Richards hit a clothesline, but Edwards kicked out at one, which was a great near fall. Richards went to the top and hit a stomp to the back of Edwards, he then went back up and hit a stomp to the stomach, Edwards then kicked out at two. Both men went to the top and exchanged headbutts and slaps on the top rope, but Richards hit an enzuigiri. Richards delivered a superplex and rolled through, both men got to their feet and tumbled to the outside, which was an awesome spot. Both men got back into the ring at 19, both men collided with boots twice. They exchanged strikes, Edwards kicked and chopped, Edwards then got the machine gun chops in the corner, but Richards then got machine gun kicks in the other corner. Edwards fired back with chops, but Richards came back with the kicks, this continued until Edwards slumped down in the corner. Both men were back in the middle of the ring, Edwards dared Richards to hit him, they began to exchange strikes once again, Edwards then hit Samoa Joe like kicks to the head of Richards, who responded with an enzuigiri. Richards then hit a backdrop driver on Edwards, who no sold and then delivered one of his own and then once more. Edwards hit a dragon suplex, Richards responded with one of his own, Richards hit an alarm clock, but Edwards, hit a huge kick, both men lay exhausted in the middle of the ring. Strong then came out and took out the members of Team Richards at ringside, Dan Severn went toe to toe with Strong and Elgin for a few seconds which I thought was absolutely ridiculous. O’ Reilly then came out and they brawled to the back and Severn carried Truth to the back, a segment that really wasn’t need all that much. Both men finally made it to their feet and walked to the middle of the ring, Eddie asked Davey if he had anything left in the tank, Richards responded with an elbow, both men started to exchange forearms once again. Edwards hit a tiger suplex right on the neck of Richards, it looked brutal. Edwards placed Richards on the top turnbuckle and looked to deliver a top rope tiger suplex, but Richards fought him off and eventually knocked him off the top rope with a flurry of elbows. Edwards responded with a knee, Edwards then hit a big hurricanrana, a power bomb and a sit out powerbomb for two. Edwards hit a super kick on Richards who was still on his knees, Edwards then chopped him down to the mat and locked in the dragon sleeper. Richards countered into a pinning predicament, Edwards countered that into a partial dragon sleeper and hit a tombstone and die hard, but Richards still kicked out. The crowd began to chant “this is awesome!” Richards was perched on the top turnbuckle, Edwards set Richards up for the superplex, but Richards went for the sunset powerbomb, but he couldn’t get him over. Richards began to lay into the back of Edwards head with forearms. He then hit a top rope full nelson suplex for two, the crowd began to chant “ROH”. Richards went for the full nelson suplex on the apron, but Edwards was able to counter, as both men began to exchange strikes on the ring apron. Richards was then able to land a sick looking suplex on the apron, Richards landed a big kick on Edwards as he was making his way back into the ring and then hit a full nelson suplex on the apron. Richards waited in the ring for the count out, but Edwards made it back in the ring at 19. Richards almost snarled at Edwards in disgust, he shouted this ends right now and hit two kicks to the head of Edwards, but he was still able to get the shoulder up. Richards locked in the ankle lock, but Edwards rolled him up, but Richards countered and got Edwards back into the ankle lock, Richards came out with a big kick for two, the near fall got a lower reaction then I had anticipated. Edwards was on his knees as Richards delivered a final flurry of kicks for the win. People have been saying that this match was overdone, but I personally believe that it was more story driven then their match at Best in the World. My major gripe was actually not with the match itself, but with the pacing and length of the show, which led to a dead crowd for some spots. This isn’t to say that they weren’t into it, but some spots really didn’t get the reaction I had anticipated, as specially from the New York Crowd.
After the match Richards got on the mic and asked the crowd if they wanted to here some honesty. He said that when he got to the arena, Jim Cornette came up to him and said that no matter who won, ROH is about sportsmanship and whoever won that night was the toughest SOB. Richards said that he didn’t have to “put over” how tough Edwards was, because the crowd saw it in the match. Richards said that whenever Edwards finds closure, his brother will be waiting.
All of a sudden you hear fake crying, out came Steen, he said mockingly “thank you ROH and thank you God. He said stop this horse s***. He said if Richards came up to him, he would destroy him m***** f*****. He said that Richards and his MMA group should finish their circle jerk in the back, because what really mattered is that Steen is back. He said that in 2012 he will take the ROH championship hostage, because his name is Kevin Steen and he is the Anti-Christ of pro wrestling. This is the CM Punk angle done right.
Overall Show Thoughts
The show suffered from two major problems, the first was that it went way too long, approaching the four and a half hour mark. Number two was the pacing, even though they placed the Corino and Steen match before the intermission, in what I can only guess was an attempt to stop the crowd from getting burnt out, they failed. By the time the main event came, the crowd was really burnt out and didn’t pop for a lot of the big spots in the match. I also encountered a few technical issues, mainly during replays and the opening. The show was good, but it definitely wasn’t on the level of other ROH iPPVs from this year, luckily they set up a lot of things going forward for 2012.
Next Weeks Issue
In under a week I am putting out the year end special issue, featuring the top 100 matches of 2011, year in review, year preview and more. If everything goes according to plan it should be out before the end of the year, so look forward to that.
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