ROH TV Episode 41 - “Road Rage”
6/30/12; Taped 6/15/12
For the first time in ROH’s ten-year existence, Ring of Honor made its debut in Charleston, WV several weeks ago.
Executive Produce Jim Cornette and Kevin Kelly were in the ring to talk about tonight’s event that will feature, according to Kelly, the first Texas Death match in a major promotion in ten years that features the match’s original rules. But up first is Davey Richards vs. Mike Mondo.
Mondo spoke on his match, stating that Davey Richards finally faces the best tonight. Taking his words one step further, Mondo informed Davey that he’s not afraid of the hunt because he has no fear.
Davey Richards vs. Mike Mondo
During Richards’ entrance, Kevin Kelly noted Davey’s recent struggles including lost friendships and the ROH World title. Mondo actually did a great job hanging with Davey in a grappling exchange, but became frustrated after taking a kick to the shoulder. Richards followed up with two more kicks before going back to what brought him to the dance. Mondo struggled off the mat, leading to a shoulder block exchange that ended with Davey locking in that modified surfboard. Mondo rolled through the submission, almost being kicked in the face. The mat work turned into an exchange of pin attempts from both competitors until they entered a stalemate when they were both thinking arm drags. Seeing his possible advantage not actually being there, “No Fear” blindsided Richards. The former ROH World champion recovered, slipping onto the apron before dumping Mondo to the floor for that running kick off the apron.
Mondo paid Richards back by avoiding the double stomp when the action returned inside, slinging Davey onto the apron. Before Richards could recover, Mondo speared Davey from the apron, into the barricades! ROH TV had to go to a commercial break as Richards rolled on the floor, clutching his abdomen.
When we returned to the action, Mondo had Davey stuck on the mat, looking to torque the hurting midsection of Richards. Before Mondo headbutted Davey to prevent Richards from freeing himself, the announcement of three minutes remaining in the time limit sounded out. Davey found an opportunity to turn the tides off a sunset flip, double stomping Mondo’s as a counter to the pinning predicament. Following up with a dropkick after a forearm exchange, Richards was able to send Mondo to the floor for a tope that brought the crowd to their feet. One minute was left as Richards sailed from the top rope for the missile dropkick after rolling Mondo back in. Roundhouse kick-German suplex combo didn’t give Richards the win, so Richards went for the Ankle Lock. With agony etched on his face, and the feeling of his ankle snapping, Mondo somehow held on long enough for the time limit to run out.
The crowd wanted five more minutes, and so did Richards. On one leg, Mondo prepared himself for another round in this battle. Suddenly, “No Fear” hobbled his way out of the ring to a chorus off boos.
Proving Ground match: ROH TV champion Roderick Strong w/Truth Martini vs. Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly vs. BJ Whitmer
We join this match already in progress as Strong took a hurricarana from Whitmer … for a near fall!
Whitmer continued the pressure on Strong until Cole kicked him in the head to prevent a pin fall. Roderick took advantage of this kick, tagging out to Kyle so O’Reilly could knock Whitmer in position for the Regalplex. Whitmer kicked out, rolling into a tag from Adam Cole. Cole caught O’Reilly with the cross body block, but couldn’t get the pin. O’Reilly tagged was tagged out by Strong when he bounced off the ropes for a big boot. The champ ran in, almost defeating Cole with the double knee gut-buster. Things were breaking down as each man connected with a hard strike that ended with Roderick’s flying knee to O’Reilly’s jaw. All four men were in the ring, trading forearms and chops. Suddenly, Whitmer suplexed himself and O’Reilly over the top rope, to the floor!
Roderick saw what happened, super kicking the equally shocked Adam Cole for a two count. Roderick seemed to be on the verge of winning when Cole turned Death By Roderick into a crucifix to gain the three count and a future ROH TV title shot.
After the commercial we had a session to put over the Charleston TV general managers that got ROH TV in the area.
Texas Death match: ROH World Tag Team champion Charlie Haas vs. Jay Briscoe
This is under the old school TD match rules where a wrestler pins or submits the other, gets a rest period, and the wrestler who took the fall must answer the referee’s ten count following the rest period. Haas jumped Jay before the in-ring introductions, only to take a sunset flip for a quick first fall. Haas immediately got to his feet, taking the fight to Jay again as we head to another commercial break.
When we made it back, Jay had Haas on the floor, whipping him into the barricades. Jay took too much time playing to the crowd, allowing Haas to hoist Jay up, dropping him back first across the top of the guardrail. Rolling Jay into the ring, Haas gained a pin fall. Though Haas attacked him in during the rest period, Jay still got up before the ten count. Jay was staggered by Haas’ onslaught, being pinned off a power slam.
The referee made it to four when Jay got up. Haas peppered Jay’s face with punches and his back with kicks. For the first time, Haas couldn’t get a pin off his lateral press, opting to choke Jay before sending a running Briscoe to the floor. Haas followed Jay outside, giving the eldest Briscoe a taste of the steel barricades. We took another break after Haas assaulted Kevin Kelly at the announce table.
When we returned, Haas back dropped Jay on the floor. Like Jay earlier, Haas took too much time playing to the crowd with a chair, allowing Jay to recover and super kick the chair into Haas’ face. Both men got up throwing right hands to the chants of man up. Jay was on fire until his punches slung him into an Olympic slam. Unfortunately for Haas, during the maneuver, Jay’s swinging legs took out the ref. Haas went for the pin to find the match minus a referee. Haas, frustrated over the situation, knocked ring announcer Bobby Cruise to the floor to take the timekeeper’s table. Before Haas could get the table on the apron, Jay used a baseball slide to slam the table against Haas’ body. Jay exited the ring, pushing the table in before whacking Haas in the back with a chair.
Jay abruptly left the ring, heading to the back to grab a cooler full of weapons and beer. Jay opened the beer can to blind Haas so he could club him. Jay had a traffic cone and a piece of chain link fence in the ring alongside the table. Haas tried to knock Jay out with the traffic cone, only to discover the item did no damage. Jay knocked Haas onto the timekeeper’s table Jay set up, double stomping him through the table!
Jay found himself in the same situation Hass was in with no referee to count down the sure pin. Setting up two chairs in the ring’s middle, Jay made a bridge between the chairs with the fencing. Attitude Adjustment through the fence by Jay! Rather than go for the pin, Jay grabbed a kendo stick. Using a low blow, Haas was able to save himself before taking the stick to lay Jay out. During the commotion, Haas kicked the ref, only for it to come back to bite him in the butt when no one could count Jay down.
Exiting the ring, Haas grabbed a can of ether and a rag in hopes of putting Jay out like Haas did at “Border Wars” to Mark Briscoe. Haas taking too much time spraying the rag allowed Jay to recover, grab the kendo stick, and clobber Haas. Haas staggered to his feet, right into the ether can being bounced off of his head. Jay made the cover, gaining another pin fall. As the rest period started, fans at ringside smelled the rag, actually gagging afterwards. In the ring, Haas was struggling to get up while the ref counted him down. At the nine count, Haas fell through the ropes, unable to stand. The referee called for the bell, declaring Jay the winner of this long feud.
Next week, Road Rages continues as Jay Lethal takes on Michael Elgin and the ROH World title is defended.
Overall: Like all “Road Rage” episodes, this was nothing more than a showcase of what you’re missing by not attending live ROH events. While I’m sill not too keen on showing your biggest and best matches from shows you hope people will purchase just to watch them again, I must say that this show gave the viewer a good reason to check out this show when it’s released. Mike Mondo had a wonderful showing against Davey Richards that allowed both men to walk away looking great. I love the fact ROH is actually doing with Davey after his title loss what WWE should’ve down with John Cena following Wrestlemania 28. Though Richards is one of the best in the world, his mind isn’t in the game like it once was; yet he fights on to the best of his ability against someone trying to prove he’s ready to break through.
The closing minutes of the Four Way was thoroughly exhilarating, and a great way to entice the viewer into seeing the entire match by buying the DVD. Though I still don’t like the fact a Fight Without Honor was used to extend a feud, Jay Briscoe and Charlie Haas did a great job by themselves to cap this long rivalry between Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team and Dem Boys. The match was brutal at times, funny at others, and smart throughout its entirety. If they could’ve written out Shelton Benjamin and Mark Briscoe during the last month or so leading up to “Border Wars”, this would’ve been the perfect way to conclude the feud on iPPV. ROH’s missed opportunity is the viewer’s gain as they got a great match for free.
Thinking about the show as a whole, you have a little bit of something for everyone. Want a technical grappling match? Then you’re in for a treat. Like the fast and furious action of a Fatal Four Way? Hey, it’s on this show. Is your thing a wild brawl featuring people going through tables and taking kendo sticks to the back and head? ROH TV’s got you covered. And if you like it all, well it seems like this episode is right for you.