Last Week: Team Ambition of ROH World champion Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly bested Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander in a thriller. Afterwards, Eddie Edwards gave his congratulations, confusing the possible new American Wolves.
ROH TV Episode 20
We get some clips from Jay Lethal’s successful ROH TV title defense against El Generico and Mike Bennett from “Final Battle 2011”.
Announcers Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were in the ring to introduce us to the show, and promote the no time limit TV title match of Jay Lethal vs. Mike Bennett. Speaking of Bennett, “The Prodigy” had some words.
In the back with Maria Kanellis by his side, Bennett explained that he’s trying to make ROH the company is should be. Tonight, according to Bennett, he achieves his goal of becoming the new TV champ. And you know what? That match is next!
ROH TV title: Jay Lethal (c) vs. Mike Bennett w/Bob Evans & Maria Kanellis
For those who want to know, Maria is wearing the exact same style outfit she wore at “Final Battle”, but is red instead of white. And yes, the booty shorts are in full effect. Oh, and to showcase her equally beautiful mind and voice,
Maria has done an exclusive interview with ClubWWI. Jay Lethal took the fight to Bennett immediately, almost hitting the Lethal Combination II just seconds after the bell rang. Bennett avoided Lethal Injection, heading to the floor. Sadly for Bennett, Lethal cut him off at the pass, tossing him back in. Bennett was in a bad way until Jay made a slight mistake by using a hurricarana to send both men to the floor. Lethal got up, punching Evans out after Bennett used him as a shield. “The Prodigy” did the same thing with Maria, but Lethal refused to hit a woman, allowing Bennett to pop the distracted champion in the mouth when Lethal moved Maria out of the way before we headed to our first commercial break.
Coming back from the break, Lethal was turning the tables by ducking and dodging Bennett’s attacks until he hit a springboard dropkick that sent Bennett to the floor. During the break, Bennett stopped Lethal’s comeback with a snake eyes-clothesline combination. When Lethal went for the tope, Bennett sidestepped and shoved the airborne Lethal head first against the barricades. For some reason, Bennett wanted to win on a count out. Lethal reentered the ring before the twenty count, only to get punched in the face and rear chin locked.
Lethal broke free of Bennett’s grip, leading to a slugfest that Lethal won with an enzuguri. Flying forearms and clotheslines had Bennett reeling. The caperana by Lethal had Bennett in a bad way, as did the springboard dropkick, but it didn’t secure the champ the three count. Countering Bennett’s TKO with a super kick, Lethal went for the Lethal Injection. Somehow, “The Prodigy” countered with a neck breaker … for a two count!
Evans was going crazy on the floor, distracting the referee so Maria could assist Bennett go for a pin when he tried to collect himself. The shove by Maria actually knocked the challenger into a crucifix by Lethal, allowing Jay to pick up the three count out of nowhere.
In the back, interviewer Veda Scott was with Eddie Edwards to ask him about his actions following the main event. Eddie said that he was happy to see O’Reilly’s man-crush on Davey become something more as they strive to be the new America Wolves. Suddenly, Kyle O’Reilly entered the room, telling Eddie it was time to put up or shut up in the ring. Eddie accepted a match for next week between Davey’s quarreling friends.
Back from the commercial break, Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were fearful of what was about to happen as Kevin Steen planned to give his first interview since earning his job back two months ago. Speaking of two months ago, we got the same highlight package seen last week of Steen vs. Corino from “Final Battle”.
Following the video, Kevin Kelly introduced Steen to the ring. Steen immediately took the microphone before ushering Kelly out of the ring with Steen’s chewed gum. Kevin Steen questioned how ROH management could keep their best wrestler away from the organization when in other companies you can almost get away with murder and keep a job. Steen mocking Jim Cornette’s relationship with Davey Richards caused a Davey Richards-Kill Steen Kill dueling chant. Steen promised that if the world ends this year, he’d be the last ROH World champion while destroying the company.
Suddenly, Jim Cornette came to the ring with security and Cary Silkin. After going back and forth over Kevin Steen’s weight “issues”, Jim Cornette finally explained his reason for being out here. Jim Cornette remembered the match at SummerSlam 1997 that saw Owen Hart almost cripple Steve Austin with the piledriver. And while Cornette knew of Owen’s remorse for his actions, Cornette noticed that Steen could care less about what he did at “Final Battle” thanks to his Package Piledriver. That’s why Jim Cornette is banning the piledriver in ROH.
Kevin Steen seemed unfazed, actually making fun of two pro-no piledriver rule fans. Steen verbalized his knowledge that the piledriver ban was to save Davey Richards from the same fate as Corino, Generico, and Jacobs. Steen promised to figure out something else to tear Davey apart before he wins the ROH World title to put around his “fat waist”.
This week on Inside ROH, the finger pointing is happening between The House of Truth and The Briscoes after they lost that classic eight man tag match from South Carolina, and shown on ROH TV a couple of weeks ago. Truth blamed The Briscoes for making The HOT carry the load. Thankfully, Roderick got some money to put up against The Briscoes for a $5000 challenge (both teams put up $5000, and the winning team gets all the money).
The Briscoes accepted the challenge because they sold a whole flock of chickens over the past week. Even with that, they didn’t appreciate being called the stumbling block of their team when they got rid of Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team before being eliminated. We’ll find out who will be the richer team next week.
And right after that episode is the showdown between the ROH World champion and the ROH TV champion when Davey Richards takes on Jay Lethal. Richards spoke on the matter, stating that the TV title will only lead to a challenger getting their heads kicked off rather than winning double gold. And Jay Lethal will find that out very soon.
Up next, The ANX spoke on what happened “Final Battle”, where the great year of Kenny King and Rhett Titus ended on a sour note. While Titus was injured thanks to The Young Bucks, it got The ANX focused on what they’re going to do to The Bucks once Titus is ready to go.
Veda Scott was in the back with The Young Bucks. Matt Jackson noticed how WGTT messing themselves up by not paying those fines and The ANX being on the shelf put The Bucks in the situation they’re in for the “10th Anniversary Show” when they hope to take the ROH World Tag Team title away from The Briscoes. The situation got a little awkward when Matt and Nick wanted to make Veda the meat in a Young Buck sandwich.
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team came to the ring for their match with The Bravados. Upon entering the building, the crowd showered them with boos. Charlie Haas refused to let their interview time be taken away due to Kevin Steen’s promo. Benjamin expressed his disappointment over the fact the fans of Baltimore feel the same way the crowd in NYC did at “Final Battle”. According to Benjamin, every fan who cheers for The Briscoes are as dumb as Mark and Jay. Oh, thems fightin’ words! WGTT decided they were going to pull a Kevin Steen by holding the show hostage until they got The Briscoes. Executive Producer Jim Cornette came out to settle this situation by telling WGTT that they didn’t have time for a match like that, but Haas and Benjamin stood their ground as we went to another commercial.
Coming back from the break, Haas and Benjamin were still in the ring, refusing to leave. Suddenly, The Briscoes’ music hit, bringing out the champs. Jay grabbed a microphone, telling WGTT they weren’t scared to fight, and the rematch is on!
ROH World Tag Team title: The Briscoes (c) vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Jay and Haas were paired off as Mark took Benjamin around the ring. The bell sounded as Jim Cornette confirmed that this is the “Final Battle” rematch. Benjamin illegally kicked Jay in the face when Haas tied him in the ropes to allow Charlie to get a two count. Jay was in a bad way, being slammed and suplexed around the ring, but kept close to the challengers’ corner. Blocking the Stinger splash by getting his knees up, Jay was able to tag out as Shelton did the same.
Some Hillbilly Kung Fu Theater ended with an enzuguri to the head of Charlie. Mark’s palm strike set up the iconoclasm, but didn’t get him a three count thanks to Shelton. Grabbing a chair, Shelton waited for Haas to kick out of Mark’s roll up. Mark went propelling head first into Shelton’s elevated chair, knocking Mark out. Unfortunately for WGTT, the referee and Jim Cornette saw the illegal activity, signally for the disqualification.
Unfortunately, we were out of time as Jay yelled, “Ya’ll got a war now!”
Overall: Very different show here by ROH with it focused more on storyline and character advancement than producing several matches. Even with that, the show moved smoothly, and was over before I knew it. Lethal and Bennett have become well acquainted with each other the past few months, and it’s paying off as they had another very good match that was completely different from their previous encounters. The ending left a little to be desired, but it worked to keep Bennett in the title hunt, and emphasize that fact that Maria might be more of a hindrance than a help for “The Prodigy”. The main event was more storyline than a match, but was fun while it lasted. Yes, it’s a little messed up they gave away a highly anticipated rematch without any promotion, but the end justified the means. It’s great to see this feud finally grabbing the attention of a majority of the fanbase now that the roles have switched and the crowd can cheer for the team they’ve always supported against WGTT.
Other than that, everything was else was talking and videos. Kevin Steen is absolute gold in everything he does. Even when his promo battle with Cornette was getting hokey, Steen reeled it back in so the fans didn’t start rolling their eyes thinking this was a poor schoolyard argument. Steen’s promo, and WGTT’s follow up segment has definitely added a sense of unpredictability to the show that’s been missing since its debut, and that’s always good. But as good as a majority of the show was, this isn’t the ROH you’re accustomed to. With the focus less on in-ring action and more on everything else, you might be leery to watch this episode. If you want to keep abreast of things building up in several storylines, and a very good opening match without keeping your mind closed to what ROH usually promotes when it comes to this show, then you’ll enjoy this episode. If not, it’s probably best you wait until next week when ROH TV returns to the norm with two great matches lined up.