Last Week: The Young Bucks added some more fuel to the fire starting to roar between themselves and The All Night Express when Nick Jackson used Rhett Titus’ crutch to bash Kenny King in the back to help his brother Matt defeat King. Also, ROH World champion Davey Richards announced his alliance with Kyle O’Reilly will bring forth a tag team - Team Ambition.
ROH TV Episode 19
We get video clips of Kevin Steen’s “Final Battle” antics, focusing on the Package Piledriver.
Announcers Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness pimp the main event - Team Ambition vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander - and how Team Ambition could be the new American Wolves. Before we get to that, lets hear from The Embassy Ltd.
Once again, as Prince Nana started talking, Barrister RD Evans stopped the leader of The Embassy to remind him that this group isn’t about “royalty”, but about “The Dominant Male”. Ciampa didn’t understand how Perkins is bragging about being undefeated on TV when Ciampa is undefeated in ROH, period. Tonight is the next step toward ROH gold for Ciampa when he ends Perkins’ undefeated TV streak.
Tommaso Ciampa w/The Embassy Ltd. Vs. TJ Perkins
During Ciampa’s entrance, Evans insisted that the non-money makers (Ernesto Osiris and Princess Mia) be sent to the back to Ciampa could focus. Okay, screw you, Evans! How dare you take away our honor of seeing Princess Mia.
Shocking honorable handshake by Ciampa was actually a ploy to yank Perkins into a clothesline. Perkins ducked the attack, lighting up Ciampa with kicks. One of those kicks - a springboard dropkick - knocked Ciampa to the floor. Prince Nana argued with the ref as Perkins tied Ciampa in the tree of woe. Before Perkins could hit the dropkick, Nana tripped him. This slight distraction allowed Ciampa to free himself and hit that clothesline he was looking for earlier. Punt to the head of Perkins left him dazed. When Perkins tried to use that spider’s web hanging feign, Ciampa kneed Perkins to the floor. With Perkins hurt, Ciampa picked him up, whipping TJ into the barricades like a baseball bat. TJ showed a lot of heart by trying to fight back, but a combination of knees dropped him to his knees.
Perkins motioned for Ciampa to come on, catching another knee to dragon screw leg whip Ciampa. Super kick-springboard dropkick combination by Perkins set up that unique sit-out power bomb, gaining him a two count. Ciampa blocked the Detonation Kick and that sunset neck breaker, putting Perkins in position for two running knees in the corner. With Perkins out of it, Ciampa hoisted TJ off the mat, hitting Project Ciampa. Ciampa made the cover, continuing Tomasso’s undefeated streak three seconds later.
Today, we get the life story of Grizzly Redwood. Redwood had a hard childhood, being born premature, and told he wouldn’t live past the age of five; and wouldn’t be able to walk or talk even if he did live. After many surgeries, Redwood not only started living like everyone else, but also even achieved his dream of becoming a pro-wrestler.
Grizzly Redwood vs. Devon Storm
Before we could get the match between “The Littlest Lumberjack” and the man formerly known as Crowbar, Truth Martini came out with Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong. Why? To make Storm an offer to take $500 and leave, or get beaten up by Michael Elgin. Storm took the money, causing Martini to tell Redwood, “After this match, you’re going to wish you died as a child.”
Michael Elgin w/The House of Truth vs. Grizzly Redwood
Redwood took the fight to Elgin, but easily got plowed down. Redwood fought back, actually avoiding a running Elgin to send him to the floor. When Redwood went for the tope, Elgin caught him before rushing Redwood back first into the barricades. Elgin made a big mistake when the action returned inside by missing the tumbleweed. Redwood was on fire, hitting an enzuguri that put Elgin in position for the cannonball in the corner. Face buster-tornado DDT off of Elgin’s failed power bomb counter gained Redwood a two count. Elgin recovered, turning Grizzly’s hurricarana attempt into the turnbuckle bomb-sit-out power bomb combination. Elgin made the cover, beating Redwood after taking more abuse than planned.
Following the “Viewer Discretion” warning we get various clips and still photos of some of the biggest moments of Steen vs. Corino from “Final Battle 2011”, and it’s aftermath. Want a full recap of that match and the show itself?
The clips segue into another Kevin Steen promo. Behind the chain link fence that makes up the promo area with his face pressed against it, Kevin Steen expressed what’s lacking on ROH TV - unpredictability and chaos. With Kevin Steen here, that chaos is here. Steen promised to beat Davey Richards in 2012, win the ROH World title, and destroy ROH. Just in seven days, things change.
We shoot to a pre-taped promo by Jim Cornette, who noted that the fans didn’t understand what Steen was capable of, and even when they saw what he could do at “Final Battle”, they still supported him to the disgust of Cornette. Jim Cornette promised to have a message for Steen next week when “Mr. Wrestling” makes his ROH TV debut as a contracted wrestler.
This week on Inside ROH, ROH cameras caught up with Eddie Edwards and Kyle O’Reilly after the noticeable bad blood started forming during Eddie’s ROH World title reign. Eddie believed Kyle was upset because Eddie winning the title first upstaged Davey. Yet Kyle felt it was Edwards’ fault that he put the wedge between The American Wolves; thus angering Davey’s training partner and friend. Eddie admitted that he did what Kyle suggested, but it was a battle between two men, and had nothing to do with O’Reilly. Kyle had a similar thought process of Davey in Edwards training with Dan Severn behind Richards’ back was a slap in the face, and the first person to tell Davey about it was Kyle. Eddie wondered where is Kyle’s loyalty to Adam Cole, “His real tag team partner.”
We finally got a word from the champ, Davey Richards. Richards nonchalantly expressed his disappointment in two men who are his family fighting. But if Davey had to make a decision who he would take to war with him now, it would be Kyle. Oh no he didn’t!
Kevin Kelly moved the subject to next week’s main event of Jay Lethal vs. Mike Bennett for the TV title. With Maria Kannelis by his side, Bennett was furious over his “Final Battle” loss. But next week, Bennett said he had his real chance with no time limit, and no referee Todd Sinclair; and will capitalize on it by becoming the new ROH TV champion.
Also at “Final Battle”, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team lost the ROH World Tag Team title to The Briscoes, and Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin want their belts back. When WGTT asked for a rematch, Haas informed us ROH officials refused because WGTT hadn’t paid off their $5000 fines for using chair shots to the heads of The Briscoes yet. But as a consolation prize, next week they’ll begin their trek toward the gold once again by facing The Bravados.
Kevin Kelly ends this edition of Inside ROH by announcing The Young Bucks will cash in their ROH Tag title shot won at “Final Battle” at the “10th Anniversary Show” on March 4th.
Team Ambition (ROH World champion Davey Richards & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
As the men paired off, Jim Cornette joined the announcers to tell us once again that he has a message for Kevin Steen next week. O’Reilly had the privilege of watching his teacher go toe to toe with Cedric Alexander. Cedric actually got the better of the champ, nearly hitting a standing moonsault after tripping Davey. Both men tagged out, seeing Coleman get dropkicked out of sky when going for a leapfrog. Davey and Kyle cornered Coleman, only for Caprice to roll underneath a double clothesline to dropkick both men on the rebound. With Davey in the corner and O’Reilly on the floor, Coleman used a spinning heel kick to rock Davey before floating over the top rope to take down Kyle. Richards shook away the cobwebs, kicking Alexander off the apron as Coleman got up to a roaring ovation. When Coleman turned around, he avoided Davey’s running kick off the apron, leg sweeping him in position for Alexander’s somersault plancha that downed Team Ambition.
C & C were in complete control, using quick tags and hilos to keep Kyle near their corner. Coleman made a mistake getting into a slugfest with Kyle, being kneed in position or Davey’s illegal running kick before we headed to a commercial break.
During the commercial, Davey and Kyle’s kicks and knees abused Coleman. Back to live action, Coleman spun Davey into Kyle before kicking O’Reilly so Kyle DDT’ed his partner. Alexander gained the tag, dropkicking both opponents. Running dropkick into the corner by Alexander on Kyle set up his modified face buster, but didn’t pick up the victory afterwards. Davey ran in, stopping Cedric’s superplex by pulling him off the top, onto the champ’s shoulders. Alexander fell back, hitting a reverse hurricarana. Frakensteiner by Coleman on Kyle tossed O’Reilly into the ring’s middle so Alexander could hit the frog splash … for a near fall thanks to Davey!
That flying knee drop-Attitude Adjustment backbreaker double team by Coleman & Alexander I’m dubbing the “Ice Breaker” couldn’t get the job done in putting O’Reilly down for the three. Hoisting Kyle onto his shoulders, Coleman held Kyle so Alexander could get a running start for something. Davey stopped whatever Alexander had in mind by grabbing him for the Alarm Clock. All for men were throwing bombs until Davey super kicked Alexander into Kyle’s Regalplex … for a two count!
Modified Alarm Clock-Total Elimination double team on Alexander put him in position for O’Reilly’s front guillotine choke. When Alexander refused to give up, Davey scaled the ropes after using that running kick off the apron on Coleman. Leaping off the top rope, Davey used a double knee drop to knock the wind out of Alexander to allow Kyle to lock his choke in deeper. Alexander had no choice but to tap out.
To show his support, Eddie Edwards came out to give Team Ambition a stand ovation and his congrats. Team Ambition weren’t pleased.
Overall: Another very solid outing from ROH this week. The main event was absolutely exhilarating. The story of Team Ambition’s lack of cohesiveness in the early going due to their first teaming here worked great in getting the crowd not only behind the champ and Kyle, but also made C & C look like credible challengers - something that didn’t come across just last week when the match was announced. While Davey was the biggest name in the match, the brightest stars were everyone but him. Richards took a backseat to let Kyle showcase himself, and Cedric & Coleman did a great job looking as good, if not better than Davey’s protégé. If C & C were on the cusp of a big push, this would be considered their tipping point, even in losing.
The two men who have a ton of potential in breaking through to the World title scene also had great outings here. Ciampa is slowly but surely building up his reputation as that guy who just needs that one match or rivalry that will put him over the top. While not as good as Aries was during his rookie year in ROH, Ciampa shows flashes of brilliance in all of his matches similar to A-Double before he won his first ROH World title. Ciampa and Perkins have incredible chemistry, and it would do well for both men to have a mini-feud either to set up Ciampa’s TV title shot, or a best of series like Benoit and Booker T. over the WCW TV title. Elgin is a whole different animal as everyone knows he’s main event bound by himself, and Redwood was just a stumbling block. I don’t know what ROH has in mind for Redwood, but his performance here, and the video package beforehand might mean Grizzly could be ROH’s answer to Barry Horowitz.
From the promo side of things, Kevin Steen was absolute gold as usual. Everything about Kevin Steen feels like big time, and that’s one of the things this show needs that Steen didn’t mention. But for every positive there’s a negative, and Team Richards/Team Ambition still sound like a couple of dumped girlfriends. But, thankfully, ROH is adding a new element to the storyline that was missing before “Final Battle” when the interaction was just between Davey and Eddie. Eddie is claiming Kyle is a manipulator a la Droz when he tried to slip his way into Hawk’s spot in the Legion of Doom. The way Eddie sees it, Kyle is turning a competitive situation between two men into something personal so he can gain from it.
All in all, if you want no nonsense wrestling unlike anything else on TV right now featuring hungry, young guys, good to great promos, and smart storyline advancement, this is the episode you want to check out. Unless you wanted more Princess Mia; which I can’t blame you.