The ROHbot Report: Baltimore TV Taping Results, "Homecoming 2012" Card, New Year's Resolutions, And More
By James Bullock Jan 14, 2012 - 8:15 AM
Hello everyone to the first ROHbot Report of 2012. We’re almost halfway through the month, and I, “World Wrestling Insanity’s Resident ROHbot”, am here to not only continue to give you the Ring of Honor news you need to know, but also start my only New Year’s resolution of bettering The Report. From now on, I’m adding any video content to The Report I see fit that can better get you knowledgeable of what’s going on in ROH. But before we get to the videos, we have to check out what happened in Baltimore last weekend when ROH had its post-“Final Battle 2011” TV tapings. So lets get started...
January 21st Taping
* Eddie Edwards def. Mike Mondo
* Jim Cornette invited out the new Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions, The Briscoes, who received a huge reaction. Jim informed the Briscoes that Haas and Benjamin blame them for the hostile reaction they received in New York City at Final Battle. Mark replied that they just keep it real. They said that the Young Bucks, who earned the #1 contender's shots for the Tag Team Championships at Final Battle, were sitting ducks and that the Briscoes are going to knock them down. The segment concluded with the crowd chanting "Man up!"
* Roderick Strong with Michael Elgin and Truth Martini def. Ricky Reyes.
* Matt Jackson with Nick Jackson def. Kenny King with Rhett Titus. Rhett Titus, who is recovering from surgery, was at ringside on crutches. After an athletic contest, Nick Jackson stole one of Rhett's crutches and hit Kenny King as he was attempting a springboard. Matt covered him behind the referee's back and scored the pin fall. After the match there was a melee where both teams needed to be pulled apart. January 28th Taping
* Tommaso Ciampa def. TJ Perkins
* Michael Elgin def. Grizzly Redwood. This match was supposed to feature Grizzly Redwood against Devon Storm, but before the match commenced, the House of Truth interrupted. Truth Martini, dressed in a long purple waistcoat brushed aside "Willy Wonka" chants to make Devon Storm an offer. He could either A) take $500 and let Michael Elgin take his place or B) piss Michael Elgin off. Storm took the money. Truth then turned to Grizzly and alerted him that Elgin was going to hurt him so badly he was going to wish he had "died as a child." The match was slightly more than a squash with Grizzly getting in some good, if at times sloppy, offense.
* Davey Richards & Kyle O'Reilly def. Cedric Alexander & Caprice Coleman. After a lot of great back and forth and near falls, Kyle O'Reilly finally managed to secure a submission with the guillotine choke. After the match, both teams received a big ovation and Davey took the microphone. He pointed out that at commentary Nigel McGuinness sat as a former ROH Champion, in the ring he stood as the current ROH Champion, and Kyle O'Reilly is the future ROH Champion. Davey said that the American Wolves was the past, but now he and O'Reilly will compete together as Team Ambition. As the newly minted Team Ambition celebrated, Eddie Edwards approached the ring and sarcastically applauded both wrestlers as the show went off the air. February 4th Taping
* Jay Lethal def. Mike Bennett (with Brutal Bob and Maria) in a no time limit match to retain the ROH Television Championship. At the end of the match, Jay clunked the front of his head against the back of Bennett's as they were both running towards the ropes. Lethal fell to the mat while Bennett, dazed, clung to the top rope. Sensing an opportunity, Maria ran to Bennett and pushed him over so that he fell onto Lethal. The referee went to count Lethal's shoulders down, but Jay rolled Bennett through to secure a quick pin.
* Kevin Kelly entered the ring and invited "professional wrestling's worse nightmare, Kevin Steen" to the ring. Steen grabbed the microphone and told Kelly that he had waited an entire year to speak his mind. Steen asked the crowd what type of promotion sends their top guy home for one year, especially when performers in other wrestling companies get away with far worse. Steen argued that he was kept away not because he was out of control, but because he refused to suck up to Cornette's "golden boy", Davey Richards. Steen said that if 2012 was indeed the last year of civilization, then he would face the end of the world as ROH Champion, rip Davey Richards apart and "hold the company hostage." Jim Cornette then came to the ring with an entourage of security. Jim Cornette reminded Steen that he laid out Steve Corino, Jimmy Jacobs, and El Generico at Final Battle with pile drivers. He told the story of Owen Hart's pile driver on Steve Austin that left him paralyzed for 30 seconds and greatly shortened his career. He was a friend and a manager to Owen Hart and he knew how sorry he was. Steen, on the other hand, has shown absolutely no remorse. Therefore, from here on out, there will be no more performers put in ER because the pile driver is banned. Steen retorted that his move is being banned not for wrestlers' safety but for Davey Richards's safety. You might be able to ban my finisher, he argued, but you can't ban me. He promised that he will take Davey's title and become the nightmare from which Cornette would never awake.
* Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin come to the ring to a mostly negative reaction. Haas says they will not be wrestling the Bravados tonight because their time had been cut short because Steen went on for too long. Instead, he claimed that WGTT got to make the rules. Shelton Benjamin told the Baltimore crowd that he wanted to like them, but with such a negative reaction, it obvious that they had turned on him. As far as he was concerned, they were holding the show hostage until the Briscoes gave them their rematch. This started a "rematch" chant. This drew out Cornette, security, and eventually the Briscoes, who were all too eager to throw down.
* The Briscoes def. Haas and Benjamin by DQ after Shelton hits Mark in the head with a chair. February 11th Taping
* Eddie Edwards def. Kyle O'Reilly. The match started one-on-one, but soon Davey came out with a towel to lend support. After both competitors spilled to the floor, Eddie missed a kick, driving his ankle into the ring post. Davey immediately alerted Kyle who started working over the ankle. Adam Cole then came to the ring to encourage Eddie Edwards. After a ton of great, stiff, back and forth action Eddie pinned Kyle after a reversal of a couple small packages. After the match Eddie grabbed the mic and told Davey, "I guess you don't need me anymore." Davey could be heard saying, "It's not like that." Eddie turned to Adam Cole and asked him if he had a tag team partner. Adam Cole looked at Kyle for a long time and then shook his head no. Eddie then asked Cole if he would like to be tag team partners with him and Cole agreed.
* Mike Mondo vs. Matt Tavey fought to a no contest with Steve Corino at commentary. Three minutes into the match, Kevin Steen walked out and said, "You two have a match right now, but I have to wait until next week." He then proceeded to lay both of them out. Corino stands for a confrontation but security pulls them apart. Steen announces that once again Cornette has denied the fans what they want to see.
* The House of Truth, Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini) def. The Briscoes by DQ. The stipulation for this match was that both teams had put up a side bet of $5000 of their own money. Near the end of the match, Truth threw powder in Jay's eyes. Jay washed them out with water, went into the back, and came out with a baseball bat. He hit Roderick with it, leading to the DQ. Afterwards, the Briscoes celebrated as if they'd won the match, and the money, by leading the crowd with chants of "five thousand dollars."
The biggest piece of news coming off of this recent set of tapings (outside of the disqualifications and no contests that are not very ROH) is the continued interaction/rivalry between The American Wolves. After the newly dubbed “Team Ambition” defeated Coleman & Alexander, Eddie Edwards came out to congratulate the duo, with the fans in attendance noting there was an awkward feeling between the three. Two shows later, Eddie faced off against O’Reilly in a reported high-octane affair that had the crowd bumping. During the battle, both members of the opponent’s respective original teams came to support their non-partner. In the end, Eddie defeated the man who he accused stirred up the tensions between himself and Davey for his own agenda (now, seemingly, a tag team with the ROH World champ). But there was an odd man out in this situation, just like Eddie Edwards was the odd man out in his team, but had all the talent to do more, Adam Cole. Edwards offered his partnership to Adam Cole, and Cole smartly accepted.
This is a tough pill to swallow for many ROH fans as this signals the end of one of the greatest teams in ROH history - The American Wolves - and the upcoming destruction of a tandem that had all the potential in the world of making 2012 their year, and solidifying their spot as a top tag team - Future Shock. There are definitely positive and negatives to this situation. The negatives are obvious, and pretty much stated above, as two legitimate teams have splintered into two experimental duos. The positives revolve around Future Shock. Kyle O’Reilly finally gets his chance to be alongside his trainer and mentor, engraining that image of him being Davey’s protégé in the fans’ minds while forcing O’Reilly to step up to match Davey’s intensity and fluidity in the ring.
On the other team is Adam Cole. While his talents gained some recognition as a member of Future Shock, Cole was almost looked upon as the Eddie Edwards of the team to O’Reilly’s Richards. Cole is incredibly talented, and being put alongside a legitimate main eventer that knows what Cole is going through (a talented wrestler who is looked upon as inferior compared to his partner), and can help Cole hone his talents while sticking it to Davey and Kyle by either defeating them, or helping Cole do the same. One has to wonder what could happen in the coming weeks and months as Future Shock continue to team (more details later), Eddie Edwards attempts to climb the ranks toward another World title shot, and Davey Richards having both disrespected his former fellow Wolf and the specter of Kevin Steen in his quest to become the ROH World champion and holding the company hostage haunting him from afar.
Speaking of Steen, “Mr. Wrestling” went on the rampage in Baltimore with his new finisher, the F5. In a promo battle during the third episode taping, Jim Cornette informed Steen that the dangerous nature of the piledriver can’t continue in ROH, thus banning the Package Piledriver. Rather than take the declaration as problem, Steen returned an episode later, slaughtered two people with the F5. Afterwards, Steve Corino - who ROH decided to bring back rather than let him sit on the shelf to sell his “Final Battle 2011” bout - came out to confront Steen. The question of where ROH is going with Steen and Corino a great one. “Final Battle” felt like nothing short of a blow off between the two, and there’s no way they can top that brutal battle without practically killing themselves. Or was Corino’s arrival just the beginning of something bigger than we know. It’s always interesting when you’ve got Kevin Steen.
The World title situation isn’t the only interesting championship scene going in ROH. It seems that WGTT have completed their heel turn in their rivalry against The Briscoes by literally throwing away a title win during the third show taping just to hurt Mark and Jay. When confronted by Jim Cornette over their actions, Benjamin reportedly said, “They started it!” Shelton took his comments one step further by stating that he and Haas had a lot of money when Jim Cornette fined him. This is, seemingly, the next step in not only Haas and Benjamin’s heel turn, but also the change in their characters that The Briscoes alluded to in a promo before “Final Battle”.
The Briscoes called themselves the representatives of the workingmen who paid their dues to be considered two of the best. In The Briscoes’ opinions, WGTT didn’t earn the people’s respect before becoming WWE Superstars. Ever since WGTT arrived in ROH, they’ve looked like the odd men out who just happened to be incredible wrestlers that can hang with ROH’s best teams. In a lot of ways, the hardcore ROH fans see WGTT in the same way as The Briscoes do. With WGTT as heels and The Briscoes as fan favorites again who have the same violent tendencies from 2011 (as seen during the final match f the taping), we should have some crazy moments between the two leading up to either the “10th Anniversary Show” or ROH’s Wrestlemania weekend iPPVs.
Then there’s the TV title. Once again, Mike Bennett came up short against Jay Lethal. This time it was due to a miscue from Maria (who is being dubbed “The First Lady of ROH” now); possibly leading to another rematch between the two because of Bennett losing due to something out of his control. While it didn’t happen at “Final Battle” as many of us assumed it would, don’t think that “Mike Bennett, ROH TV champion” is an announcement too far off.
Outside of the main storylines, everything looks good (once again, outside of the disqualifications and no contests that are not very ROH). The Young Bucks-ANX rivalry is still going on nicely even though Titus is recovering from meniscus surgery. Michael Elgin and Tommaso Ciampa are still running through the competition in preparation and hope respectively for their inevitable title shots. And then there’s Mike Mondo. I guess Mondo being verbally abused by the crowd in Baltimore and getting an apathetic response during the last set of tapings in Louisville isn’t a good thing.
But what is a good thing is ROH’s return to Philadelphia next weekend. Lets see what ROH has in store for their original home base fans in what is nothing short of “Homecoming 2012”.
Ring of Honor will be in Philadelphia on January 20th with the following lineup:
*ROH World champion Davey Richards vs. ROH TV champion Jay Lethal
*Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong: No Holds Barred
*Chris Hero vs. Michael Elgin
*Future Shock vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin
*ROH Tag Team champions Briscoes vs. CHIKARA's Jigsaw & Hallowicked
*Kevin Steen vs. Kenny King
*Steve Corino interview about his ROH future
*Meet and Greet pre-show with Briscoes and Chris Hero
At the “Southern Defiance” event over a month ago, Jay Lethal survived the Honor Rumble match to earn an ROH World title shot at any upcoming event. Originally, Michael Elgin was supposed to be in Jay’s spot, but Truth Martini wiggled his boy out of the match so he could have his title match at a later date (which is great for Elgin as they build him up on TV for an iPPV title shot). No matter the reason, this is probably ROH’s best bet for its return to Philly. Longtime ROH fans see Lethal as a prodigal son of sorts. Jay was looked upon as the future of ROH before heading to TNA. Now that he’s come back better than ever, Jay taking on the face of ROH for the World title should have the old school ROH fans going wild. It should be nothing short of a fun, engaging athletic battle of wills that could be the testing of the waters for a Jay Lethal coming of age story if they ever decide to put the ROH World title on him for even a short period of time (hey, we’ve seen stranger things with people who just couldn’t hack it).
For the first time since “Final Battle 2011”, Kevin Steen will be in action in an ROH ring, taking on a man who is struggling to defend both the ANX and ROH banner by hoping to stifle Steen’s path toward an ROH World title match. According to ROH’s website, this is only the second time these two have wrestled in ROH, and that first encounter occurred almost three and a half years ago. Steen and King have grown leaps and bounds since that match both in the ring and character wise. While the chances are slim to none that Kenny King will walk away the victor, Kevin Steen can’t expect an easy night in what should be a highly enjoyable contest.
Speaking of enjoyable contests, the recently announced clashing of the ROH titans once again could be the most interesting battle between the two. Eddie Edwards and Roderick Strong put on classic after classic match last year at three big events (and that’s not even mentioning their confrontations at “Survival of the Fittest” and “Northern Aggression”). All three times saw them beat the life out of each other with their bodies. Now, following a confrontation during the recent Videowire, the two agreed to fight in a match where they could use not only their bodies, but anything they can get their hands on the beat each other. This might be the night Roderick finally one ups Eddie with the rules allowing things like interference, and without Davey or Dan Severn to back him up, Edwards will definitely enter Philadelphia with the numbers advantage against him.
What also should be interesting is the return of two of CHIKARA’s homegrown stars, Jigsaw and Hallowicked taking on two of ROH’s founding fathers in the ROH World Tag Team champions in a Proving Ground match. While the result is pretty much a given that the CHIKARA standouts won’t earn a title shot, it’s a signal that ROH is still trying to repair the working relationships between companies that helped them in the past like CHIKARA and NOAH. As for the match itself, it should be nothing short of a very unique encounter that might see The Briscoes dig deep into their repertoire to defeat the lucha-infused wrestlers.
With Chris Hero still waiting for WWE to say “yay” or “nay” in hiring him following his latest check up, Hero is making his rounds by competing as he pleases. One of those places, thankfully, is ROH. In Philly - a place home away from home for Chris - Hero will take on the other half of The House of Truth after falling to Roderick Strong at “Final Battle” last month thanks to the interference of Truth Martini. Elgin is hoping to keep his singles win streak alive on his way to an ROH World title shot and avoid Hero from trumping anyone in The HOT. For Hero, this could be his last time to impress the fans that helped make him before moving on to the much-deserved grand stage.
And then there’s the other tag match. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team will take on Future Shock one more time. On this occasion, title implications are not a factor as WGTT aren’t the Tag Team champions, and Future Shock seems to be going in different directions. This match will be a great indication of what ROH has planned for Cole and O’Reilly, and you know WGTT will come face to face with The Briscoes the night’s end.
Last but not least is the announcement by Steve Corino. While all signs point to him taking a leave of absence, Corino might surprise us with something completely different. Remember, it was barely a year ago when Corino, who many thought would leave with Kevin Steen, declared he would stay in ROH to rebuild his career, and change his ways as an evil man.
But that’s not all ROH has for their fans next weekend. Ring of Honor debuts in Norfolk on the 21st, and two big time matches have been announced.
ROH World Champion Davey Richards and his protégé Kyle O’Reilly will face House of Truth members, Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin with Truth Martini on January 21st, 2011 in Norfolk, VA at the Norfolk Scope Arena (Exhibition Hall)
This will be Team Ambition’s biggest test to date for obvious reasons. ROH World champion Davey Richards and protégé Kyle O’Reilly will take on their toughest opponents during their respective ROH careers. Everyone who has followed ROH for a long or short period of time know about the wars Richards and Strong have had that resulted in the two trading defeats while crafting a legacy. Both Elgin and O’Reilly hope to follow in their partner’s footsteps by creating a career ROHbots will reflect on fondly years from now by delivering incredible contests against each other (as reported by those in attendance during the finals of “Survival of the Fittest 2011” where Elgin stopped O’Reilly to win the tournament).
There’s also another aspect to this match. Roderick Strong, like Eddie Edwards, is rallying for another ROH World title shot. Unlike Eddie, Roderick doesn’t care about winning his way to a title match. In Roderick’s mind, if he can anger Davey enough by either insulting him or beating down O’Reilly, Richards will stand up and give Strong the match he wants. Roderick could complete both of those goals in this match. There’s also Michael Elgin’s upcoming title shot. The few times Elgin has clashed with Davey, Richards has walked away the worse for wear. Even though he hasn’t defeated Davey, Elgin has proven that he could have Davey’s number if he has learned from their past matches. We might get a glimpse of that in Norfolk in a match that could be an early Match of the Year candidate.
“Die Hard” Eddie Edwards vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett, round two! It all goes down in Norfolk, VA when Ring of Honor debuts at The Scope Arena (Exhibition Hall) on Saturday January 21st!
Mike Bennett is a guy a lot of dedicated ROH fans crap on, but matches like the ones he’s had with Jay Lethal, Adam Cole, and El Generico show that the man has the ability to hang with ROH’s best. Yes, blasphemy, I know, but it’s the truth. One of the Bennett battles that many haven’t had the privilege of seeing yet, but the live crowd called a really good match is the one happening again in Norfolk. And just like their match two months ago, both men are in interesting positions. Eddie Edwards is reeling from his loss to Davey at “Final Battle” and is regrouping by aligning himself with Adam Cole while winning matches against midcard talent.
Bennett didn’t fair as well as many expected at “Final Battle” by not becoming the ROH TV champion; thus ending the “Year of ‘The Prodigy’” on a sour note. Bennett followed up by losing to Jay Lethal once again at the Baltimore TV taping due mistimed interference from his girlfriend Maria. Both men are looking to show off in Norfolk, and definitely needs a win. The question is who will have his hand raised at the end. The obvious answer is to stick with what happened at “SotF” and pick Eddie. In reality, at this point, that’s the only answer.
The Embassy Limited is on their way up fast with Ciampa receiving his biggest match yet on January 21st in Norfolk against ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal in The Proving Ground! Is the sudden quality of opportunities for Ciampa a result of the new investors?
This was bound to happen sooner or later. In all honesty, it’s hard to understand why Ciampa is in a Proving Ground match when he’s undefeated. And it’s not some little win streak. The man has not been pinned in an ROH ring since his debut ten months ago. If that doesn’t snag you a title match, I don’t know what does. Whatever the case, the focus of the TV division might shift from Bennett dethroning Lethal to Ciampa - who has gained a better following than Bennett in a shorter time. It’ll be interesting to see how well these two gel against each other, and if Ciampa is really on the fast track to ROH title gold. Oh, and just like it tweeted (@fasjab) a few days ago, no matter what they call The Embassy, as long as Prince Nana is a part of it, it’s money! Ha, ha, fools!
GoFightLive has added the ROH Tenth Anniversary event on March 4th to their schedule as an iPPV event. The company will now have three iPPV events in March, as they are also running iPPVs on March 30th and 31st from Miami.
When the anniversary event was announced so close to ROH’s Wrestlemania weekend iPPVs I was a little shocked for the simple fact this is a monumental event that deserves an iPPV, but isn’t getting it. What isn’t noted here is the fact ROH isn’t trying to make the fans dig too deep in their pockets by paying regular price for this event. To commemorate the event, the event will be broadcasted through GFL for the nice price of ten dollars. Seriously, that’s a steal for three or more hours of quality wrestling. The question is what kind of card ROH will put together that will make this show worth your money while not taking away from their “Showdown in the Sun” events a few weeks later. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Here’s Jim Cornette’s recent interview with Fox45
Interesting comments from Cornette in regards to the ROH school shutting down for the time being. With Delirious as the head trainer before the closure, one must assume that Delirious being an SBG employee now, Sinclair Broadcasting couldn’t jeopardize themselves by having someone getting injured in their school. You know how lawsuits work these days. Daizee Haze was also helping out with the school; mostly training women. With her taking a hiatus from the sport, the school being replaced with seminars is probably the best bet for now.
Cary Silkin did an interview on various topics
Cary hit a lot of great points that put over what the company and the ROH wrestlers are all about. I’m glad Cary acknowledged the fact that he sees the problems with the TV show without noting what they are so it wouldn’t degrade their product. Cary is saying and doing everything right as the “ambassador of ROH”, and interviews like this, and the Jim Cornette one are tremendously needed if ROH wants to truly stake its claim as a national product.
The Briscoes: Hollywood Bred or Hillbilly Born
Few words can describe the greatness of this video. From Jay’s shoes (spoiler: they aren’t his) to Mark confronting his brother on his “goin’ Hollywood!” to the Big Man chasing his oldest boy in his underwear, this is absolute gold.
The Latest Videowire
So many little things happening here - including the push toward the top for Tommaso Ciampa and inner bickering between Nana and Evans; The ANX being the ANX that should’ve translated on TV; Michael Elgin proving he’s more than just the strong, silent type; the debut of Veda Scott as the “hot interviewer”. But probably nothing stood out more than the Future Shock promo. Kyle O’Reilly has obviously gone to the Davey Richards’ school of promos with his timing. What also stood out was Kyle’s name dropping of Richards and Adam Cole getting angry over the fact O’Reilly seems more concerned with putting over how much Davey’s helping Kyle than how great of a team Future Shock is, and how they’ll take over the ROH Tag division in 2012. There’s a slight level of resentment coming from Cole in their promo, and could mean a lot for not only the splitting of the team, but Cole embracing the cocky, “King of Panama City” character he portrays elsewhere.