Happy holidays, everyone, and welcome to another edition of The ROHbot Report. Last night, Ring of Honor completed 2011 with their final show of the year, “Final Battle 2011”. Since ROH did something different by having the event on a Friday night, I’m doing something different here today. Today, I have for you the entire event in review format. Did Davey Richards have enough to stop the newfound training of Eddie Edwards, or did Eddie find the killer instinct that was missing in their prior battle that’ll help him win the ROH World title back? Can Steve Corino slay the monster of Kevin Steen, or will the beast come unleashed once again in ROH? Will WGTT gain a measure of revenge against The Briscoes, or is it Dem Boys’ time to become the seven time ROH World Tag Team champions. But none of these questions work if this one isn’t answered: Is ROH “Final Battle 2011” Worth Your Money?
“Final Battle 2011”
New York, NY
Michael Elgin w/Truth Martini vs. TJ Perkins
Elgin easily powered Perkins across the ring during the initial collar & elbow tie ups. Perkins decided to change the pace by angering the big man to set up a hit and run approach. Big cross body block took Elgin over the top rope, and allowed TJ to feign a dive to the floor. When Perkins went to somersault on top of the running Elgin, Michael caught him, using a reverse Oklahoma stampede against the barricades!
A near fall for Elgin following the devastating maneuver. Perkins somehow fought back, looking for a head scissors. Once again, Elgin’s strength allowed Michael to block the attack, backbreaking Perkins. The fans were behind TJ as Elgin tried to crush Perkins with his massive arms. Perkins heard the fans, elbowing his way to freedom before hitting the ropes. Perkins executed a unique head scissors that sent Elgin to the floor prior to connecting with a somersault plancha. Perkins landing a missile dropkick when the action returned inside for a two count of his own. Elgin easily stopped a sunset flip attempt, but not the sweep into the corkscrew senton. Perkins was ready to fly. Elgin stopped TJ’s ascent with a right hand. Looking for a superplex was Elgin until Perkins fought him off. Perkins dove off the ropes, getting caught in a suplex position that Elgin turned into a sidewalk slam … for a two count!
Perkins blocked the Spiral Bomb, but not the torture rack backbreaker for another two count. Perkins used the ropes to pull himself up, leaping over the coming Elgin before neck breaking the big. “Unbreakable” blocked the running double knees, turnbuckle bombing TJ in position for the Spiral Bomb. Perkins turned the maneuver against Elgin, hitting a reverse hurricarana … for another near fall!
Elgin stopped the Detonation Kick only to get super kicked. Spinning back fist by Elgin set up the turnbuckle bomb-Spiral Bomb combination for the three count.
Tommaso Ciampa w/The Embassy vs. Jimmy Rave
Prince Nana decided to grace us with a question, “Why, Jimmy Rave, why, huh?” RD Evans took the microphone from Prince Nana to express what Nana couldn’t by stating that Rave is like a desperate ex-girlfriend that crashes her old boyfriend’s family’s Christmas dinner. Evans promised this would be a horrible night for Rave thanks to Ciampa. Many “Welcome back” chants showered Rave during his entrance. No honorable handshake.
Ciampa actually broke clean with Rave when they tumbled into the ropes. Rave did a great job going hold for hold with Ciampa, focusing on the wristlock to keep his advantage. When Ciampa tried to turn this into a brawl, Jimmy spit in Tommaso’s eyes before hitting the ropes. Ciampa ended Rave’s momentum by clotheslining Rave to the floor. Rave couldn’t avoid being whipped against the barricades as the fans chanted “Twinkies” at referee Todd Sinclair. Rave turned the tables when they reentered the ring, but ended up being put in position for that running knee in the corner. Rave took two knees to the face, almost being pinned following the attacks.
Ciampa’s power had Rave grounded, but Jimmy kept fighting back with chops. When Rave got to a vertical base, Rave finally got his chance to catch a running Ciampa in the Heel Hook. With Ciampa on the verge of tapping, Tommaso mustered up the strength to make it to the ropes. Ciampa rolled on the apron, only to get kneed into the barricades. Rave was ready to fly, only for his legs to get caught by Ciampa. Like a baseball bat, Ciampa swung Rave into the guardrails. Jimmy somehow recovered, sunset flipping Ciampa. Ciampa kicked out, but ended up taking that shining wizard … for a two count! Rave Clash … only gained Jimmy a near fall!
Before Rave could use Greetings From Ghana, Nana offered Rave the original robe Rave used to wear while he was a member of The Embassy. Rave ended up fighting off all The Embassy members while Nana argued with the referee. When Jimmy thought he had everything in order, Ciampa hoisted him up, executing Project Ciampa on the former “Crown Jewel” to get the pin and continue his undefeated streak.
Following the match, Nana adorned Ciampa in Rave’s old robe.
ROH TV title: Jay Lethal (c) vs. Mike Bennett w/Maria Kanellis & Bob Evans vs. El Generico
A huge “CM Punk” chant rang out, causing Bennett to lay some lips on Punk’s old squeeze. Bennett pretty much cut Edge’s promo from ECW “One Night Stand” 2006. Kevin Kelly probably made a lot of fans by comparing Bennett to Tim Tebow, “He’s so good, but he’s so hated.”
Bennett immediately took a powder, telling Generico and Lethal to fight while “The Prodigy” watched. When Generico and Lethal almost locked up, Bennett ran into the ring, clobbering Generico from behind before exiting again. Bennett did it one more time, angering both of his opponents. Rather than wait for Bennett to do it again, Generico went after him so he and Lethal could ping pong Bennett’s head with their fists. Both champion and challenger had Bennett flopping following a big back body drop and a double clothesline. Generico and Lethal wanted to dive on Bennett, actually getting into an argument before deciding to tope Bennett together.
With Bennett down, Lethal and Generico locked up in the ring. Lethal used Generico’s back body drop against him, head scissoring the masked man instead of getting dropped. Lethal had one of his challengers on the ropes as Generico looked for a chance to fight back. That chance came when Bennett yanked Lethal off the apron, face fist against the ring’s edge. Sadly for Generico, Bennett caught him with a shoulder block before Generico could take advantage of the opening Bennett just made for him. Big body slam by Bennett only gained him a two count on Generico. Using Bennett’s own momentum against him, Generico dumped Bennett to the floor by pulling the top rope down as “The Prodigy” charged him. When Generico got a running start to dive on Bennett, Lethal used a springboard missile dropkicked to stop him. Lethal’s unique modified cloverleaf into the high elevation crucifix almost made Generico tap out as Evans and Maria tried to help Bennett recover. In the ring, Generico caught Lethal running with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Bennett reentered the ring, tossing Generico the floor before clotheslining Lethal in the corner.
Handspring back elbow by Lethal on Bennett turned the tides in favor of the champion, as did the springboard dropkick. Before Lethal could turn around, Generico caught Lethal with a pair of elbows to Lethal’s lower back for a two count. A few arm drags by Generico on everyone had the fans behind the masked man. Nueve punches on Bennett as Mike Bennett actually put Generico in position for a kick from Lethal as well as to “The Prodigy”. Lethal ran across the ring, only to get exploder suplexed into the turnbuckles by Generico. Grabbing Generico’s boots from the floor, Bennett stopped the yakuza kick. When Generico went after Bennett, “The Prodigy found a nice hiding spot behind Bob Evans and Maria. Evans got dropped, and Maria got a hug. When Bennett pulled Generico around, he popped Generico in the mouth. Lethal rushed the entering Bennett, getting power slammed for his trouble. TKO on Generico by Bennett saw Mike pose rather than go for the pin. Yakuza kick on Bennett! Super kick on Generico by Lethal, and all men are down! Generico and Lethal were the first two up. Lethal Combination … only gained the champ a near fall!
Catching the champ, Bennett used that spine buster … for a two count! Lethal rolled to the floor as Generico used the Michinoku Driver to gain a two count on Bennett. When Generico approached Lethal on the apron, he got an enzuguri for his trouble. Generico stopped Jay’s ascent up the ropes with another yakuza kick. Springboard somersault plancha by Generico on Lethal was topped off by Generico hitting that flying tornado DDT through the turnbuckles on Bennett. Yakuza kick-half nelson suplex combination on Bennett somehow didn’t put “The Prodigy” away!
Before Generico could follow up Lethal dropped the masked man in position for Hail to the King (the flying elbow drop) … for a two count! Lethal went for the elbow again, only for Generico to meet him on the top. Bennett yanked Generico off the top rope with a roll up, grabbing a handful of tights to pin El Generico for the first elimination.
A joyous Bennett turned around to find Lethal coming after him. Lethal bounced off the ropes, hitting Lethal Injection (the handspring ace crusher) on Bennett out of nowhere. Lethal quickly made the cover, pinning Bennett to a huge ovation.
Generico seemed despondent in shaking the hand of the TV champion before handing the belt to Lethal.
No Disqualification match: Kevin Steen vs. Steve Corino
If Kevin Steen wins, he gets reinstated in ROH. Jimmy Jacobs is the special referee. Jim Cornette has agreed to be at ringside to watch it go down.
The old school blond hair was back with Corino tonight as he stepped into the realm of evil. Like “Best in the World”, Kevin Steen entered the building through the crowd from the balcony. Steen mouthed at the camera, “Colt Cabana, this is for you!”
They just started throwing right hands until Steen raked Corino’s face. Leg lariat was Corino’s response, sending Steen to the floor. Corino tried to baseball slide into Steen, only to be whipped against the barricades. Cannonball by Steen on the apron after whipping Corino into the steel ring post. Corino recovered, diving off the apron, clotheslining Steen before grabbing a chair to toss into the ring. Steen felt the barricades shoulder first thanks to Corino. Tossing in a few chairs, Steve Corino was looking to crown Steen. Corino did just that, Masato Tanaka style. When Corino went for another running chair swing, Steen super kicked the chair against Corino’s face! Power bomb on the apron saw Corino land hip first on hard ring’s edge! Frog splash from the apron on Corino!
As Steen walked the aisle, grabbing a guardrail, Corino rose. Unable to stop the runaway train that was Steen, Corino took the edge of the barricade side of the head first. Corino recovered, placing a chair on the barricade in front of him after knocking Steen down. Sadly, Corino ended up getting power bombed on that chair! Steen took a moment to welcome Nigel McGuinness back to Ring of Honor before pulling table from underneath the ring. Placing the table between the barricade and the ring, Steen wanted to Awesome bomb Corino through that table. Corino stopped the bomb, hitting a big clothesline. Corino grabbed the streamer garbage can, as well as a few more chairs that actually landed on Steen’s knees when he threw them in. Steen recovered, crowning Corino with a trash can lid. Somersault leg drop by Steen crushed Corino’s head between the mat and the trash can lid! Corino was bleeding from the ear after the leg drop. Steen not only licked the blood of Corino, but also spat that blood in Jimmy’s face. Low blow by Corino before Corino could get hit with the trashcan. Several trashcan shots to the head of Steen had the big man reeling. Northern lights bomb by Corino destroyed the trashcan. Stacking all the chairs he brought in, Corino slammed Steen on all the chairs before heading to the top rope. Big splash by Corino … gained Corino a two count!
The fans were actually chanting in support of Corino as Steve set up four chairs to hold up the guardrail Steen brought in earlier. Steen found himself on the apron, scaling the ropes. Corino caught Steen on the top rope. Superplex onto the guardrail almost broke Steen’s back! But somehow, Steen kicked out right before the three count! With Steen lying on table, Steve Corino climbed the ropes for another Superfly splash. Once again, Steen knocked Corino loopy to save himself, dropping Corino from his perch. Chair to the back of Corino laid him right beside Jim Cornette and Cary Silkin. Steen stacked and opened two chairs before putting a horribly bent chair on top of that. Steen wanted to superplex Corino off the top, through the chairs and table. The “Please don’t die” chants rang out as Corino fought back. A wild trashcan lid to the head dropped Steen through the chairs and table on the floor!
Rather than go for the pin immediately, Corino grabbed some more weapons. When Steen was rolled into ring for a pin, Steen somehow kicked out. Corino stacked a chair on Steen, hitting Eternal Dream with a chair of his own … for another two count!
Steen recovered, pumphandle driving his former friend on the chair Corino just set up … to gain another near fall! Steen grabbed a chair, looking at a kneeling Corino like Generico did Steen a year ago at this very same event. Corino asked for the chair shot, and Steen delivered … to get a two count! What the…?!
Steen shoved Jimmy out of the way to crack Corino with the chair again. Angry, Jimmy yanked the chair from Steen before “Mr. Wrestling” could do anymore damage. Corino pulled out something during Steen’s confrontation with Jacobs, cracking Steen in the head when he turned around. Come to find out, a roll of quarters upside Steen’s head by Corino couldn’t put “Mr. Wrestling” down. Once again, Corino stacked the opened chairs before going for something on them. Steen low blowed his way out of the position, Package Piledriving Corino through the chairs! Jimmy almost couldn’t make himself count Corino down. Cornette demanded Jacobs to count, thinking Corino would kick out like he did before. Sadly for Cornette, Corino didn’t kick out.
“Merry Christmas, the devil is back!” – Kevin Steen.
Steen said he was here to do three things tonight. One just happened when he got his job back. Number two was to Package Piledrive Jimmy Jacobs - which he completed just seconds later without actually saying it. Steen confronted Cornette, motioning that Cornette was number three. Thankfully for Cornette, Generico hit the ring. One year later, it’s on again! Yakuza kick-top rope Brain Buster combination stopped by Steen kicking Generico in the balls! Package Piledriver on Generico through the timekeeper’s table!
With Kevin Kelly crying for doctors to assist Generico, we headed to intermission.
Tag Team Gauntlet: The Young Bucks vs. The All Night Express vs. Future Shock vs. The Bravados vs. Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman
The winning team gets a ROH World Tag Team title shot in 2012.
The Bravados and Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander drew the first two numbers. During Coleman and Alexander’s posing on the ropes, The Bravados jumped their opponents from behind, knocking them to the floor. 619 by Coleman around the ring post knocked The Bravados in position for Alexander’s somersault plancha. Lancelot found himself isolated, behind double team leg dropped over and over again. Thanks to his brother pulling the top rope down, Lancelot sent Coleman to the floor. Bicycle kick by Harlem dropped Coleman. The Bravados were in complete control thanks to a double team ace crusher. Whipping Alexander into the ropes, The Bravados used the Too Cool elbow drop. Enzuguri by Alexander knocked Lancelot into Coleman’s skin the cat head scissors that put Lancelot in position for a big moonsault on the floor. Alexander almost pinned Harlem following a big slam. Another enzuguri on Harlem didn’t drop the Beiber-like Bravado, almost leading to him gain a pin with a small package. Alexander turned Harlem’s la magistral attempt into a pinning combination to eliminate The Bravados.
Future Shock was out next. Kyle O’Reilly and Alexander were going forearm for forearm until Kyle kneed and kicked Alexander off his feet. That double team knee-dropkick combination from Future Shock almost pinned Alexander, as did Adam Cole’s snap suplex. Cedric tried to fight his way to Coleman, but ended up taking a double team flapjack. O’Reilly made a huge mistake, by whipping Alexander toward Coleman’s corner, allowing Caprice to tag himself in. Hart Attack leg lariat by Coleman and Alexander almost got Coleman the pin. Kyle recovered as Cole tagged himself in, O’Reilly back body dropped Coleman into Cole’s northern lights suplex.
Future Shock had Coleman stuck on their side of the ring, using quick tags, and even quicker attacks to keep him grounded. An ill-timed Irish whip allowed Coleman to dropkick both Future Shock members. Alexander tagged in, going clothesline for clothesline, kick for kick with O’Reilly.
Cole got spun into C & C’ Excellent Adventure. Frakensteiner by Coleman on O’Reilly put Kyle in position for Aelxander’s frog splash … for a near fall thanks to Cole breaking up the pin! Cole kicked a running Coleman on the head before using stereo dropkicks on Alexander - who they put in the tree of woe. Ride the Lightning by Future Shock put Alexander down for the three count.
The Young Bucks were the second to the last team in this one, posing too much for their own good as Future Shock took them down with a plancha and tope respectively. The Bucks recovered, using sliced bread #2 on Cole on the apron! Cole found himself stuck in The Bucks corner after surviving Nick Jackson’s pin attempt off the springboard frog splash. Kyle was on top of his game in saving his partner. An insulating slap angered Matt enough to claw Cole’s face. To make sure Cole could make it to his corner, Matt knocked Kyle off the apron to set up that double team double stomp by Nick before Nick ran across the ring, diving on a stunned O’Reilly. Cole recovered, kicking, elbowing, and flipping out of belly back suplex attempts by both Bucks to Kyle.
Series of kicks from O’Reilly had both Bucks out on their feet. Double dragon screw leg whip on both Bucks didn’t stop them. Getting his knees up, O’Reilly stopped Nick’s springboard big splash. Rolling butterfly suplexes by O’Reilly neared the double digits in NYC. Feel the Thunder by Future Shock only got a two count thanks to Nick saving his bother. Cole grabbed Nick, wheelbarrow suplexing Nick across the apron! Kyle missed the running dropkick off the apron. Double super kick by the Bucks on Cole left him open for More Bang For Your Buck, and the elimination of Future Shock.
Nick tried to dive on the approaching ANX, only for Kenny King and Rhett Titus to move. A somersault senton press and a moonsault off the barricades by King had Matt Jackson hurting on the floor. Nick dragged Titus under the bottom rope, slamming Titus’ knee against the steel ring post. King used the spine buster on Matt, but couldn’t get the pin. Without a partner, King took that handstand dropkick double team. King was all alone, being pounded by Matt Jackson, and choked by Nick. King was in bad shape following a double team that saw Matt use a flipping neck breaker to slam King’s neck against Nick’s knee. Titus was doing everything in his power to make it to his corner. King exploded with an exploder suplex by ducking a super kick. Titus made it on the apron as King looked for the tag, and got it!
Titus was throwing right hand after right hand, but his left leg was bothering him something fierce. Sit-out power bomb by Titus actually set him up for the running knee from Nick. Almost kicking King’s head off, Nick directed traffic. King saved Titus from getting his knee obliterated, but took a DDT on the apron for his trouble. Rolling back elbow by Nick only fired up Titus. Before Titus could capitalize, Matt clipped Rhett from behind. Spinning toe hold by Matt on Titus. With Titus being held, Nick used the 450 splash to add injury to injury on Rhett. The referee had no choice but to stop the match upon seeing the pain Titus was in, and the potential injury Rhett could suffer if he let it continue, giving the win to The Bucks.
Nick wasn’t done, using another 450 splash. A hurting King, ran off The Bucks with a chair before they could do any more damage to the severely hurt Titus.
Kevin Kelly confronted Nigel McGuinness on the rumor that Nigel would accept the Roderick Strong Challenge. Without saying yes or no, Nigel just noted that anyone could accept the Invitational.
Roderick Strong Invitational: Roderick Strong w/Truth Martini vs. ???
Roderick grabbed the microphone, upset that he doesn’t have an opponent for the biggest show of the year. Since Strong didn’t have an opponent, he wanted to be given a forfeit victory. Truth Martini gave the ten count. Before Martini could complete his rhyming countdown, the Kings of Wrestling’s music hit. Out came Chris Hero!
Hero and Roderick were going shoulder block for shoulder block until Hero flipped over the top rope, kicking an incoming Roderick in the face. Senton splash by Hero infuriated Martini. Strong was being chopped all around the ring. Running forearm dropped Strong in the corner. Cravat by Hero dropped Strong to his knees. Strong got free, only to get big booted out of the ring. Hero avoided Strong’s rolling out of the way, but ended up taking a Book of Truth to the head for his trouble.
Hero was pinned against the barricades, being chopped over and over again. Belly to back suplex across the apron sent shockwaves of pain through Hero’s back. The crowd was split down the middle as Strong chopped, kicked, stomped, and choked Hero. Hero tried to fight back and hit that KTFO, but Strong stopped him halfway through the combination with a simple shoulder ram against the turnbuckles. When Hero was pitched to the floor, Martini got involved once again by raking Hero’s face. Hero was shoved into the ring by Strong, only to catch Roderick with a dropkick when Strong tried to reenter. Hero followed Strong back to the floor, but got whipped into the barricades knee first. When the action returned to the ring, Strong tried to make Hero tap out. Hero started firing himself up even though Roderick was trying to keep him down with several stomps. Hero rallied to his feet, forearming Roderick. Flash kick stopped Roderick’s momentum immediately.
Series of strikes by Hero was topped off by a power slam into the senton splash. Strong rolled to the floor, holding his arm. Hero unleashed the sliding dropkick through the ropes, staggering Strong. Roderick was on the barricades, pleading for some room. Running big boot by Hero put Strong in position for the super cravatplex … for a two count!
Using a leaping knee strike to stop the Deathblow, Roderick almost gained the three count. Placing Hero on the top rope, Roderick went for that sidewalk slam across the top turnbuckle. After fighting through it, Hero ended up feeling the top turnbuckle back first. Stronghold didn’t make Hero tap as he kicked him away. Another cravatplex by Hero dropped Strong on his neck. Both men rose in opposite corners, with Hero rushing and hitting that flying forearm. KTFO … gained Hero a near fall!
Strong avoided the moonsault, using an enzuguri to German suplex Hero into the turnbuckles. Double knee gut-buster-Gibson Driver combination by Strong didn’t put Hero away! With Hero on his knees, Strong fired off right hands. Hero threw some chops back before using some of those forearms. Rolling Elbow not once, but twice by Hero. Hero’s Cyclone Kill somehow, some way didn’t put Roderick down; and nor did the Deathblow thanks to some well-timed interference from Martini behind the ref’s back. Hero went out after Martini, only to be rolled up by Strong. When Hero kicked out, he almost sent Roderick into Martini. Strong stopped himself, avoiding Hero’s follow up kick. Hero took out Martini with his boot, only to be hit with the Sick Kick when he turned around. Strong quickly made the cover, pinning Hero to win the first Roderick Strong Invitational.
ROH World Tag Team title: Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (c) vs. The Briscoes
Pro-Briscoe crowd in NYC here. Rather than wait for the bell, WGTT attacked The Briscoes with the belts. Shelton and Mark paired off as Haas belly to back suplexed Jay across the top of the guardrail! Mark felt something similar by getting suplexed on the entrance ramp. Another belly to back on the guardrail is what Jay felt. Mark’s back was back was killing him after being back dropped on the floor. Both Briscoes felt the force of a steel chair cracking their backs. Haas almost broke a chair over Jay’s head. Mark felt it, too. Haas flipped off the crowd as Jay struggled to get up. With Benjamin holding the chair, Haas whipped Jay into Shelton’s chair swing. Like is brother, Mark was belly to back suplexed across the guardrails. Jay was practically unconscious on the floor while Haas wore Mark’s back out with a chair in the ring. As noted by Nigel and Kelly, the match hadn’t started. The fans were chanting, “F*** you, Charlie!” Jay began fighting back, only to get whipped into another chair shot by Haas. The top of Jay’s head was bleeding and swollen! Stomp to the testicles of Jay was just another insulting injury to an injury. WGTT seemed to relish in the fans hatred for them. With a bloody Jay hanging across the top rope, WGTT screwed up the Leap of Faith.
The bell finally rang as Mark confronted both men. Mark took a DDT that ended his fight. The fans were still behind The Briscoes. Jay felt it; super kicking Benjamin to save his brother from taking the Leap of Faith.
Haas and Jay were slugging it out in the ring’s middle, only for Jay to get dropped by a big boot. Stinger splash by Shelton might have done more harm than good as Shelton fell to his knees afterwards. Mark speared the life out of Shelton before tagging out.
Double Briscoe hip toss on Shelton, and Jay ripping off Benjamin’s shirt revealed that Shelton’s ribs were taped up following that attack on ROH TV. The Briscoes had Shelton cornered, wearing out his midsection. Jay got ahead of himself, running into a back body drop.
Haas tagged in, throwing some Oklahoma jabs. Mark and Jay were being kicked and slammed by Haas. An exploder almost gained Haas the pin for his team. Big power slam by Haas was stopped by Mark. Shelton pitched Mark over the top rope, with Mark splatting on the floor.
When Shelton followed, he got whipped into the barricades. In the ring, Jay hit that downward spiral in the corner on Haas. Running dropkick by Mark set up the iconoclasm … and a near fall!
Mark called for the Doomsday Device. Before Mark could complete the clothesline portion, Benjamin yanked Mark off the ropes. Haas got free of Jay’s grip, German suplexing Jay over and over again. Haas of Pain on Jay almost made him tap out. As Jay held on in the submission, Mark climb the corner behind them. Benjamin knew what Mark had in mind, sliding into the ring. To save Haas from taking the Frog Elbow by Mark, Benjamin jumped on top of Haas, being elbowed in the ribs so Haas didn’t get hit. The referee called for help for Shelton as The Briscoes beat down Haas in the ring. Double Briscoe shoulder tackle almost turned Haas inside out. Haas stopped the second double shoulder tackle, Olympic slamming Jay into the referee.
Shelton Benjamin returned to ringside, grabbing a piece of plywood. Benjamin broke the board over Mark ‘s head, and cracked Jay’s back. The fans saw WGTT’s actions as a tribute to Jim Duggan. Grabbing his own board, Mark clobbered Shelton in the back before they could Doomsday Device his brother. Doomsday Device on Haas! Jay made the cover, and The Briscoes are now the seven time ROH World Tag Team champions.
ROH World title: Davey Richards (c) w/Team Richards vs. Eddie Edwards w/Dan Severn
Honorable handshake. Edwards immediately made a rush for Davey, leading to an exchange that almost saw Edwards lock in the Dragon Sleeper, Richards counter the hold and almost hit that same kick that allowed Davey to defeat Eddie six months ago for the title. The fans were split down the middle as the two clinched for an advantage. Eddie found himself caught in the trailer hitch, but made it to the ropes to save himself. No clean break when they found themselves in the ropes, leading to a forearm that dropped Davey. Richards used some wrist control to stop the Dragon Sleeper once again. Several kicks by the champ saved himself from the Dragon Sleeper position, but didn’t allow him to get off his back. It wasn’t until Eddie pulled Davey up did Richards have the chance to do something. That something was yanking Eddie off the ropes by his leg, into a kick to the chest. Eddie avoided the Ankle Lock by grabbing the ropes, but not some of those blistering kicks from the champ. That modified Texas cloverleaf had Eddie screaming in pain, but refusing to give up. Eddie lured Davey into a brawl, only to get dropped by a spinning back kick to the stomach. Belly to belly suplex sent Davey to the floor. Whipping Richards into the guardrails left the champ open for some strikes. Richards fired back, almost kicking Eddie’s face off.
When Davey pushed Eddie into the ring, Edwards kicked his legs from underneath him. Richards fought his way off the mat, back body dropping Eddie to the floor for that running kick from the apron. Tope by Richards scores!
Missile dropkick by the champ when the action reentered the ring almost gained Richards a two count. Series of elbows by the champ had Eddie against the ropes. Exploder suplex by Richards also got a near fall for the champ. Running knee strike by Davey was a set up for the German suplex. Eddie avoided the suplex, only to find himself in the Ankle Lock when Davey used a knee bar to sweep Eddie. Edwards freed himself, using the Achilles Lock. Davey small packaged his way out of the hold … for a two count!
Edwards hit that belly to back face buster. Edwards was the first to get up, using a few running knife-edge chops. Leg lariat by the challenger couldn’t get the job done. Richards avoided Die Hard, leading to another strike exchange. Handspring enzuguri didn’t pay off for Davey when Eddie caught Richards, tossing him to the floor. Moonsault off the apron by the challenger saw Eddie’s leg slam against the barricade. When the action reentered the ring, Eddie missed the double stomp, but not the backpack chin breaker.
Richards kicked out before the three count, only to take a code breaker for his trouble. Richards kept his balance, going for the cross arm bar on an incoming Eddie. Edwards rolled his way out of the hold, hooking Davey in the STF. Eddie gave up on the submission, Ankle Locking Richards! Davey kicked his way out of the submission, only for Eddie to start stomping him like Bryan Danielson used to with his arms held toward the sky. Somehow, Richards powered himself off the mat, confronting his fellow Wolf.
We have a slap exchange that turned into a super kick from Edwards. Explosive clothesline from Davey only gained him a one count! Another clothesline only added a second to that one count from seconds ago. Davey scaled the ropes, double stomping Eddie’s back. Running kick to the head by Davey put Eddie in position for another double stomp … and a near fall!
Richards put Eddie on the top rope, only to have a head-butt exchange on the up there. Davey gave up on the exchange, using another enzuguri before head-butting a stunned Edwards. Superplex by Davey. When Richards went to roll through with something else, Edwards turned the tables, suplexing Richards and himself over the top rope, to the floor! Both men reentered the ring right before the twenty count on opposite sides of the ring when Richards crawled around ringside to gain his bearings. Both men charged, throwing big boots. When that didn’t work, they Edwards started chopping Davey as Richards responded with kicks aimed at the same area. Edwards actually had Davey pinned against the turnbuckles, using the Kobashi-like chops. Richards somehow recovered and fired back a la Kobashi, but with kicks.
Someone threw a streamer as the Wolves were doing whatever they could to drop the other. Eddie fell in the corner after the kicks, but was still in this fight. Eddie stumbled out of the corner, telling Richards to come on. Davey’s lack of reaction angered Eddie, making him slap the champ didn’t react. Davey gave him some Kawada kicks in response, but Eddie kept fighting through. Enzuguri by Edwards. A belly to back suplex exchange ended with two a piece. Now a dragon suplex exchange. Both men were throwing bombs. Alarm clock by Davey didn’t stop Eddie from throwing a knee that knocked Davey’s mouthpiece out. Roderick Strong ran out to argue with the referee following the seemingly knockout blow from Eddie, only to get into it with Tony Kozina and Kyle O’Reilly of Team Richards. Dan Severn stopped the assault, beating up Roderick. The House of Truth and Team Richards were going at it as Dan Severn dragged Martini to the back.
In the ring, both men were struggling to get up. Eddie looked up to find no sign of Severn. Davey was near tears as he approached Edwards like two zombies. Edwards asked, “What do you have left?”
Davey responded with a forearm. They were going forearm for forearm in the middle of the ring. Big boot exchange. Eddie won the battle, dragon suplexing Davey on the back of his head. Richards had a glazed over look in his eyes following the move. Rather than go for the pin, Eddie put Richards on the top rope. Richards woke up on the top rope, stopping a super dragon suplex. Running knee strike by Eddie halted Davey before he could gain his balance on the top rope. Top rope hurricarana by Eddie set up two power bombs … and a near fall!
Kneeling super kick and the back chop by Eddie didn’t put Davey down for the three count. Richards tried to counter the Dragon Sleeper with a jackknife cradle, but ended up in the hold. Richards rolled through, only to be tombstone piledriven. Die Hard by the challenger … for a two count!
Placing the champ on the top rope, Eddie hooked Richards for another superplex. Davey head-butted his way out of the maneuver before looking for a sunset bomb off the ropes. Richards put Eddie in the position he was just in on the top turnbuckle, dragon superplexing Eddie … to gain another near fall!
Davey seemed focused and ready for the kill as Eddie struggled to pull himself up on the apron. Eddie stopped Davey’s dragon suplex on the apron, leading to another chop-kick exchange. T-bone suplex by Davey dropped Eddie halfway across the ring’s edge. Eddie was clutching his chest following the maneuver. When Eddie tried to return to the ring, Davey punted him in the head. With Eddie barely moving, Richards hoisted Edwards up, dragon suplexing him on the apron! Davey demanded that Eddie be counted out. Richards seemed shocked that the fans were chanting for Eddie during the challenger’s rise.
Somehow, some way, Edwards made it into the ring without being counted out. The look on Davey’s face was of utter disgust as he watched Eddie struggle to rise off the mat. Davey exclaimed at his kneeling friend, “This ends now!”
Two kicks to Eddie’s forehead did not put him down. Davey Ankle Locked Eddie, rolling him into that kick that helped Davey win at “Best in the World”. Buzz saw kicks by the champion leveled Eddie Edwards. Davey made the cover, finally putting Edwards lights out.
Davey tossed the ROH World title belt to the side, kneeling at Eddie’s lifeless body. Richards grabbed the microphone, telling us how Jim Cornette pulled the champ to the side earlier in the day to tell him that no matter the outcome, remember what ROH is all about. Davey told the hurting Eddie that no matter what, whenever he’s ready, his brother is still there for him.
Kevin Steen’s voice rang out. Mocking Davey’s sincerity, Steen challenged Davey to come down that aisle and fight him. Team Richards held the champ back, making Steen hurl insults some more at Richards. Steen promised that in 2012, he’ll win the ROH World title, and hold Ring of Honor hostage, “Because I’m the Anti-Christ of pro wrestling!”
Overall: Looking around the Internet following the show, I’m shocked to find some of the reviews of this show. Was it the best ROH pay-per-view ever? Probably not? Was it an incredible experience? Absolutely! There were so many intriguing stories going into and coming out of this show. Look no further than the main event. The expected heel turn of Eddie didn’t happen, and the story between them still maintains that epic battle of honorable competition. It’s hard to say if this match was better than their “Best in the World” encounter right now, but it’s definitely up there with that incredible contest. One great thing about this match over their June encounter was Eddie Edwards’ change during the match. It was noticeable that Eddie had a lot more fire in this one than before, and felt like he could do anything until he noticed Severn was gone. It was at that moment where Eddie lost his focus and couldn’t keep up with Richards - who once again was pushing himself beyond all possible limits.
Then came the post-match situation with Kevin Steen. After Steen had one of the most barbaric, emotional matches in ROH history (it was crazy sick for sure), Steen promised to continue his war with ROH by starting with Davey Richards. Color me excited for 2012 already.
I hate to just gloss over Steen and Corino as it was one of the most anticipated matches of the show. As I wrote, they had a brutal match that those with a weak stomach probably shouldn’t watch. You read the review; you know what happened. It came across much more dangerous and sickening live. I must commend both men or putting their bodies on the line while telling a story that paid homage to some of both men’s past ROH feuds (Corino playing the part of Steen from last year’s “Final Battle”, Steen taking Corino’s spot in their tag wars with Generico and Cabana during 2010 by being a rag doll getting thrown through everything). Then there’s the Steen-Generico fight that ended with Generico being put through a table. What does this mean for the masked man - who looked horribly upset following his TV title loss as if he didn’t know what to do next? Once again, the specter of Kevin Steen looming over the show before, during, and after his match gave a sense of dread to the show that no one else has been able to capture ever in ROH.
As disturbing as the pre-intermission match was, Jay and Mark Briscoe almost getting their heads crushed was horrible and unnecessary. Yet, like a car crash, I couldn’t look away. The story told in the Tag title match could be taken in a couple of ways, but the most important piece of business is the end. With The Briscoes surviving WGTT, Dem Boys are at the top of the pack once again - as it should be. With The Bucks earning a title shot for 2012, and WGTT still looking for revenge, The Briscoes already have a hard road to walk in the New Year.
Sadly, the Tag Team Gauntlet just didn’t click. It was good, but something was missing. Having the two least over teams kicking the match off didn’t do it any favors. Shockingly, The Bravados losing caused a ton of backlash from the fans - who became indifferent to the match until Future Shock’s elimination of C & C. Kudos to Titus for going through a legit knee injury to deliver a great story at the end. Hopefully we can see that ANX-Bucks feud in 2012 as that little bit of interaction here felt like something great in the making.
I know a lot of ROHbots let out a sigh of relief about Mike Bennett not winning the TV title. Unlike what a lot of people thought he’d be Bennett didn’t hold back Generico and Lethal from delivering a great TV title match by adding a lot heat to the match with his antics. Hero’s return made for an entertaining affair against Roderick in what could be his last match in ROH if the rumors are true. Michael Elgin and TJ Perkins gave us a solid opener that got the crowd into the show. And Ciampa and Rave did the best they could with the time given, and a crowd that didn’t really care about Ciampa.
There was a lot of hype coming into “Final Battle”, and for good reason. While there were production problems with the audience microphones going out, the replay attempts failing miserably, a few timing issues going from the still shots to the entrance, and those unprotected chair shots to the head (seriously guys, take Nigel’s advice and put your hands up!), it didn’t hamper the men and women of ROH from delivering on the hype. “Final Battle 2011” won’t be just a one-hit wonder of Kevin Steen’s return or Richards-Edwards III, but also will be remembered for The Briscoes becoming the team of the people while making history, Jay Lethal proving he is a force to be reckoned with in the TV division, and a good glimpse of what ROH has in store for us in 2012.
ROH “Final Battle 2011” Is Worth Your Money.
And there you have it, folks. To order this event, go to gfl.tv. You won’t regret it. We’re only one week away from the final ROHbot Report of the year, and that means it’s time for the coveted Honor Sprockets being up for grabs in The ROHbot Report Year End Awards. The categories include Breakout Star of the Year, Event of the Year, Match of the Year, Biggest Story of the Year, Tag Team of the Year, and Wrestler of the Year. You can get the jump on me by telling the WWI Multi-verse (we’re bigger than any universe) who and what you think deserves to win via the comment section below,
The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page),
on Twitter (@fasjab), in The ROHbot Report thread in the ROH section on WWI’s message board, or through e-mail
I hope you and yours have a wonderful and safe holiday. There’s no ROH TV this week, so you’ll hear from me again via “Honor Nation” some time next week with my predictions for 2012, then the final ROHbot Report of 2011.