Last Week: ROH TV gained some “Road Rage” in Spartanburg, SC by highlighting some of the action from the pre-“Final Battle 2011” live event.
ROH TV Episode 17 - “Northern Aggression”
1/14/12; Taped 12/4/11
We are greeted by Jim Cornette and Kevin Kelly after the Greensboro event - “Northern Aggression” - to tell us that tonight is now about the historic, “Longest match in modern wrestling”, the eight man tag main event that went eighty minutes. But before we get to the action, Jim Cornette wanted to show us a clip like last week with the Greensboro station’s general manager - John Hayes - that helped get ROH TV on the air in the area twice every Saturday night.
Getting to the wrestlers of the main event, Team Red of Eddie Edwards, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, and El Generico spoke on tonight’s action. Haas, Edwards, Generico, and Benjamin emphasized their lack of care for the $10,000 the winning team will attain, and more about whom they want to get their hands on. Eddie’s focus is on Roderick, WGTT on The Briscoes, and Generico on Elgin.
Somewhere else, Truth Martini spoke for Team Black of Roderick Strong, Michael Elgin and The Briscoes (“Dem Boys from Sandy Fork By God Delaware”). As Martini spouted off “intelligent” phrases, Mark Briscoe decided to speak up for himself by saying Mark is a, “fountain of wisdom,” before asking, “How are we gonna distributate that $10,000?” Yes, Mark said “distributate”.
Roderick informed The Briscoes that everything would be split down the middle for “Dem Boys” and Roderick, with Elgin being taken care of by Strong when he gives him, “a few dimes.” Martini took the negotiation process one step further with his proclamation of “ten percent for the House of Truth Foundation” being attached to the winnings. Jay Briscoe had heard enough, telling them to forget about the fake foundation because, according to Jay, The Briscoes would probably be the last men standing anyway.
Eight Man Tag Elimination match: ROH World Tag Team champions Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, Eddie Edwards, & El Generico vs. Roderick Strong, The Briscoes, & Michael Elgin w/Truth Martini w/Truth Martini
Haas wanted to start this thing off with a Briscoe, but the brothers opted not to, leading to our first cut of the match where the ROH logo set up a transition from angry Haas to Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong locking up. Another cut following a dropkick from Edwards that sent Roderick to he floor gave us Jay Briscoe and Shelton Benjamin when Jay started arguing with Elgin. Jay headed to the floor, giving us another cut. During this segment of the match, Jay showed his cowardice by hitting Shelton off of Elgin’s front face lock before tagging out immediately. The next segment of the match saw Jay getting arm dragged across the ring by El Generico. Eddie and Mark Briscoe were going hurricarana for hurricarana, arm drag for arm drag to a huge ovation following the next segue.
We were at the fifteen-minute mark following the next cut with Jay clobbering Haas from behind. The tides turned in Roderick’s favor by turning a hilo attempt by Generico into a backbreaker against the masked man. Elgin continued his partner’s assault of Generico’s back by hitting a long delayed vertical suplex for a two count. The Briscoes also had Generico reeling following that double Briscoe hip toss. The fans were behind Generico as he fought back against Roderick, only to run into a dropkick. The Briscoes lost the advantage for their team when Generico rolled underneath a double clothesline attempt, tagging in both members of WGTT.
Haas and Benjamin took The Briscoes to the floor, whipping Mark and Jay into the barricades over and over again at the twenty-four minute mark. Things were breaking down as all eight men were fighting on the floor while the crowd roared. Suplex by Benjamin on Jay on the steel entrance ramp! Running somersault senton off the apron from Mark on Haas. Jay DDT’ed Shelton on the apron as Generico yakuza kicked Roderick against the barricades off camera. Haas water bottled The Briscoes into a pair of super kicks from Benjamin. Finally, the referee gained some order by demanding Benjamin and Jay to enter the ring in the next ten seconds or be eliminated as we headed to a commercial.
They’s a clubberin’, Tony! Benjamin and Jay were going fist to fist until Jay mule kicked Benjamin low before tagging out to Elgin. Elgin almost pinned Benjamin following the power slam. Shelton fired back, tagging out to Haas to lead to another donnybrook on the floor at the thirty-eight minute mark. Martini demanded the referee to get the action in the ring, but the wrestlers were happy to obliterate each other on the floor. Body slam by Elgin saw Generico’s body bounce off the steel entrance ramp. A towel came into play as several wrestlers got choked. With the action still out of control, it was time for another commercial.
Coming back from the break, the action was now unhinged in the ring. The crowd was on its feet as Shelton super kicked Mark Briscoe. Michinoku driver by Generico on Elgin led to Team Red’s mounted ten punches in the corner on all members of Team Black before Team Black got whipped into each other. The fans were going wild as Team Red stood tall. When order was restored, WGTT hit the Leap of Faith on Jay … for a near fall!
Benjamin was hurting some forty-five minutes deep. This allowed The Briscoe to isolate Benjamin on their part of town. With the referee distracted by Truth Martini, Jay cracked Benjamin in the back with a chair before rolling Shelton into the ring for Mark’s Frog Elbow to gain our first elimination when Mark pinned Benjamin.
Haas ran in, beating the life out of Mark until he ran into an illegal knee to the back from Jay. Generico stopped Jay’s double team with Mark, allowing Haas to Olympic slam Mark into elimination.
Roderick attacked Haas from behind, using an enzuguri to set up a roll up with a fist full of tights to pin Charlie, and eliminate him.
An angry Haas grabbed Jim Cornette’s chair from ringside, waiting for the right moment to attack Jay. That moment came when Generico kicked out of Jay’s roll up attempt, sending Jay head first into a wicked chair shot. The masked man grabbed a wobbly Jay, hitting the Brain Buster before pinning the last remaining Briscoe before our next commercial break.
We were over fifty minutes deep as Generico found himself being beaten down by The HOT. Stuff like Elgin blocking Generico’s tornado DDT to drill him with an Oklahoma stampede were things that stopped Generico’s comebacks, but didn’t halt the fans support of the masked man. Generico heard the fans’ support and used it to energize himself by turning a flapjack attempt into a dropkick against Elgin. Generico dumped both opponents to the floor on opposite sides of the ring so Generico and Eddie could dive on Elgin and Roderick respectively.
Following the next cut, Generico almost pinned Elgin following the blue thunder driver. On the floor, Strong slammed Edwards back first across the ring’s edge. Elgin caught a flying Generico, hitting the TKO, but didn’t put Generico down. Generico fought back in the next segment, going for the super Brain Buster. This didn’t work well at all when Elgin broke free, using the Spiral Bomb to pin and eliminate Generico.
Elgin tried to follow up by clotheslining Eddie into elimination, but the former ROH World champ kicked out. Edwards was fighting off both HOT members, but the mixture of Strong’s backbreakers and Elgin’s power prevented his offense from sticking. Edwards showed the will of a champion by taking all Strong and Elgin could dish out, hitting that Backpack Stunner on Strong before yanking him into the STF. When Truth Martini tried to intervene, Eddie put Martini in the Achilles Lock. Elgin and Strong freed their life coach, only for Elgin to get rolled up and eliminated before heading to our final commercial break.
Back to the action, Eddie and Strong were going fist to fist until they started pulling out the big guns. Ending up on the top rope, Strong pitched Eddie off his perch, through the timekeeper’s table. Following the next cut, Strong super kicked Eddie into the Stronghold. Eddie survived, German suplexing Strong. After eighty minutes of grueling action, Edwards locked in the Dragon Sleeper, forcing Strong to tap out.
Next week, ROH TV returns with its normal formula and fallout of from “Final Battle 2011”.
Overall: While it was a lot different from last week’s edition of “Road Rage”, the goal was the same: Showcase quality in-ring action that you could only see on ROH TV. With nearly half of an eighty-minute match shown, ROH did accomplish their goal by highlighting the wild, fast and furious action without the possible drawn out moments that only the live crowd experienced. While it was noticeable at the beginning what they were doing with the transitions, as the match rolled along, the segment cuts blended into each other, and I found myself going along with the ride as if the match was shown in its entirety. It’s a testament to the editing crew and wrestlers for being to able to make a cut/disjointed match flow so well and keep the fans hyped throughout respectively. A very different, yet fun show here that did something I always wished WWF would’ve done back in the old days when they spent the holiday season recapping the year’s happenings rather than do something like tape and show the action from live events to keep the fans interested during the company’s down time. I don’t know when the next “Road Rage” is going to happen on ROH TV, and while I’m happy to finally get the show back on the road next week, these past two weeks have been nothing short of an enjoyable change of pace.