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Ring of Honor
RADICAN'S ROH TV REPORT 11/19 - Edwards's training partner revealed, Richards-O'Reilly main event

Dec 5, 2011 - 2:20:08 PM
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RADICAN’S ROH TV REPORT
AIRED Nov. 19, 2011
TAPED AT THE DAVIS ARENA
LOUSIVILLE, KY
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A video package aired for the Richards & Edwards vs. Strong & Elgin main event from last week.

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness introduced the show. Kelly and McGuinness discussed the highlight package and announced that Davey Richards would take on Kyle O’Reilly in the main event tonight. Kelly said the first match would feature Mike Mondo.

Mondo was showed talking backstage. He said he takes up a lot of space when he walks by. Mondo promised not to his opponent too bad. Mondo said he didn’t want to come across like a bully, but he would do whatever it took to show he’s the biggest man in town.

Radican’s thoughts: Mondo’s persona is a real turnoff. It is way too far over-the-top and out of touch with what would draw fans to ROH.

Kelly ran down the tale of the tape prior to the start of the watch.

1 - - ALEX SILVA vs. MIKE MONDO

Both men stood on their heads and exchanged blows with their feet tied up. The ref broke them apart and Mondo immediately sent Silva to the outside with a punch. Mondo followed up with a corkscrew over the top to the outside. Kelly discussed Edwards revealing his trainer to be Dan Severn. McGuinness questioned teammates O’Reilly and Richards having a match tonight. Silva and Mondo began exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. Silva eventually caught Mondo with a spinebuster for a 2 count. Silva continued to dominate the action with a powerbomb for a 2 count. Mondo slipped out of Silva’s grasp and locked in an arm submission, but Silva got the ropes. Silva snapped Mondo’s neck over the top rope. Silva went for another spinebuster, but Mondo turned it into a face buster. Mondo then finished off Silva with a double arm DDT.

Winner: Mike Mondo – The action was fine, but neither man jumped off the screen in terms of showing charisma here.

Jim Cornette was shown backstage. He said he didn’t have an official response to Steen filing a lawsuit. Cornette said he denies Steen’s claims. Cornette said next week he will have an official response to Steen’s litigation.

A commercial aired featuring Kevin Kelly hyping “Final Battle 2011.” Kelly brought in the Briscoes to discuss their match against Haas & Benjamin at “Final Battle 2011.” The Briscoes said they would become 7 time World Tag Team Champions.

Kelly and McGuinness were shown at ringside. Kelly previewed the main event again and said next week ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal would defend against El Generico.

Jay Lethal was shown backstage talking about Mike Bennett. He said he knew what Bennett is up to and it isn’t going to work. Lethal said Generico had fought him like a man, but Bennett left when offered more time for their TV Title match. Lethal said Generico deserved a shot before Bennett. Lethal said until Bennett has the belt he’s not the champ, but instead he’s a chump.

Radican’s thoughts: Lethals’s deliver was solid, but since when does he get to determine who his challengers are.

Kelly said Olivencia comes in with a lot of hype as a former OVE Champion. Bennett made his entrance as Kelly ran him and Bob down on commentary.

Radican’s thoughts: I almost had some sort of medical event during Olivencia’s entrance with the camera shaking.

Bennett got on the mic before starting the match and said he was the TV Champion. Bennett said he had decided to grant Olivencia a TV Title shot. Bennett said, “Good luck, kid” and shook Olivencia’s hand.

2 - - JAMIN OLIVENCIA vs. MIKE BENNETT (w/Brutal Bob)

Evans went into the commentary booth and told Kelly to make sure people knew this is a TV Title match. Olivencia grabbed the upper hand early, but Bennett caught him with a big spine buster. Kelly hyped the upcoming live events in the Carolinas. Bennett continued to dominate the action with a neckbreaker for a 2 count. Olivencia fought back and hit a series of forearms. He then caught Bennett with a flying knee. Olivencia then hit a clothesline for a 2 count. Bennett countered Olivencia coming off the second rope, but Olivencia rolled over into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Bennett caught Olivencia with the box office smash for the pin.

Winner: Mike Bennett – Bennett’s storyline with Lethal isn’t the type of angle that’s going to draw interest from new fans. Bennett isn’t coming across as unlikable as he needs to in order to make this angle work. He didn’t do much during his match with Olivencia to further his heel persona. There’s something missing with Bennett right now in terms of how he carries himself as a heel that he needs to find in order for him to generate interest as an unlikable Hollywood type character.

Kelly promised an Inside ROH segment focusing on “Final Battle 2011” after the commercial break.

The Inside ROH segment started with Kelly narrating a tweet from Richards that said O’Reilly had discovered the Edwards was training with Dan Severn. Richards was shown with lines cut in his hair. Richards said he thought their trust had been broken. Richards said that he and Edwards were supposed to train with Severn, but it hadn’t happened because of scheduling problems. Richards said everything would come to a head at “Final Battle.” Kelly said they would have footage of Edwards training with Severn next week.

Radican’s thoughts: This is an interesting story with Richards discussing how the trust between Edwards and him had been broken. Richards’s delivery just didn’t do enough to sell this as a major development in the storyline. It also doesn’t help that Severn isn’t someone people are going to care much about either way given that he hasn’t been a name in wrestling for over a decade.

Kelly talked about the confrontation between ANX and WGTT last week. Kelly said the Briscoes have issued a challenge to Alexander & Coleman. The Briscoes were shown saying it’s been six months since they’ve had a shot at the ROH Tag titles. The Briscoes said it took Haas & Benjamin 13 minutes to beat Coleman & Alexander. They mocked Alexander & Coleman. Mark said they could beat them in less than four minutes to embarrass Coleman & Alexander. Coleman and Alexander were shown backstage. Coleman said a bunch of stuff really fast. He said they don’t fear the Briscoes. Coleman said “amen” when Alexander finished.

Radican’s thoughts: The Briscoes come across as much more likable compared to the rest of the ROH roster. They’re positioned as heels, but their interviews are way too entertaining to get people to boo them. Alexander spoke in clichés using biblical references and I had no idea what he was talking about. His words came across as forced and not natural. I think there’s potential with Alexander on the mic if he was given better material to work with.

A commercial aired for ROHWrestling.com.

Kyle O’Reilly made his entrance accompanied by Tony Kozina for the main event. Davey Richards made his entrance to a nice ovation, but the crowd noise seems slightly muted, as does the entrance themes on the entrances on this show.

Richards cut a promo in the ring. Richards said he doesn’t care about the feud stuff or the enemy stuff. He said the fans wanted to see a fight. Richards told O’Reilly that if he can’t beat him, there’s no way he can beat Edwards. Richards said let’s do this American strong style.

Before the match started, Truth Martini came down to ringside.

They went to a commercial break with Jim Cornette hyping “Final Battle 2011.” Cornette brought in Eddie Edwards to discuss “Final Battle 2011.”

Back from commercial, Kelly ran down the tale of the tape with Kelly highlighting Richards’s advantage in experience. Martini joined Kelly and McGuinness on commentary.

ROH World Champion DAVEY RICHARDS vs. KYLE O’REILLY (w/Tony Kozina) – Non-Title match

Martini said if Edwards or Richards joined him, they would have a guaranteed win at Final Battle. Richards nailed O’Reilly with some knees against the ropes and they came to a stalemate. Both men exchanged submissions on the mat. They went for dropkicks at the same time and came to another stalemate. Martini said Strong was training for his invitational challenge at Final Battle. Richards grabbed a leg submission, but O’Reilly countered. Richards and O’Reilly locked up on the mat and both went for a leg submission. O’Reilly eventually rolled to the ropes and Richards helped him to his feet.

Richards grounded O’Reilly and nailed him with a kick to the back. O’Reilly fired back with a series of kicks of his own. Richards fired up and both men exchanged blows, but O’Reilly sent Richards down with a kick. Richards shook off a kick and nailed O’Reilly with a kick to the back. Both men exchanged blows in the middle of the ring, but Richards took O’Reilly down with a kick to the stomach. Richards hooked in a submission working on O’Reilly’s arm and leg. Richards leveraged his weight down on O’Reilly and got a 2 count. Richards went back to work on O’Reilly, but he fired back and caught Richards with a series of butterfly suplexes right into a cross arm breaker, but Richards got the ropes. The fans chanted “that was awesome.”

Richards fired back and nailed O’Reilly with a running knee as he was hung over the top turnbuckle. Richards challenged O’Reilly to fight back and they began exchanging blows. Richards nailed O’Reilly with a big shot and he crumpled to the mat. Richards stalked O’Reilly as he tried to get to his feet and nailed him with a running kick, but O’Reilly kicked out. They came back from commercial break with Richards still in control of the Team Richards Challenge. They showed footage of O’Reilly trying to come back during the break, but Richards cut him off.

Both men exchanged blows as Martini said he was surprised this match was still in progress. Martini said if Richards was with him he would still be in control. After a big exchange, Richards hit a clothesline that left both men down on the mat with the crowd going nuts. Richards missed a charge in the corner. O’Reilly and Richards exchanged slaps in the middle of the ring. O’Reilly caught Richards with a knee and a running kick for a nearfall. O’Reilly blocked a kick and nailed Richards with a kick to the head. Richards went for the alarm clock, but Richards countered it with a suplex for nearfall and the crowd went nuts.

O’Reilly went up top, but Richards cut him off. Richards pulled O’Reilly off the top right into a kick. O’Reilly fell to the outside and Richards nailed him with a running kick from the apron. Richards went for a kick on the outside, but O’Reilly ducked and he kicked the ringpost. O’Reilly nailed Richards with a big dropkick off the apron to the outside that sent Richards into the guardrail. O’Reilly went up top and nailed Richards with a missile dropkick for a 2 count. O’Reilly then locked in a guillotine, but Richards countered it and eventually grabbed an ankle lock. O’Reilly drove Richards into the corner and hit a tornado DDT. O’Reilly applied the guillotine again, but Richards flipped into a pinning combination for a nearfall. O’Reilly got a standing guillotine. Richards grabbed an ankle lock while they were both in the standing position. O’Reilly countered Richards into an ankle lock of his own. O’Reilly grapevine Richards’s leg, but Richards rolled through and grabbed an ankle lock of his own. O’Reilly struggled and appeared to be in a great deal of pain, so Kozina threw in the towel.

Winner: Davey Richards

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was an excellent television match. Both men mixed in a lot of hard-hitting action with some nice submission work. Bringing in Martini on commentary keeps Strong in the background of the storyline and it will be interesting to see if he’s built up to challenge Richards after “Final Battle 2011.” O’Reilly looked really good here and is laying a nice foundation to break out as a credible threat in the singles division in 2012.

Kozina and Richards checked on O’Reilly after the match. Martini got into the ring and confronted Richards. Richards nailed Martini with a kick. Richards then kicked Martini into the turnbuckles. Kelly hyped the main event for next week of TV Champion Lethal defending against Generico to close the show.

Overall score: (5.0) – ROH’s TV at this point doesn’t feel like must-see episodic television. Not much happened on this show to further the ongoing storylines headed into “Final Battle 2011.” The Mondo-Silva and Bennett-Olivencia matches were both forgettable. Bennett’s ongoing storyline with Lethal isn’t an exciting angle in a way that would differentiate ROH from WWE and TNA in the eyes of a new viewer.

The show did a solid job of setting up a division between Edwards and Richards, but it just isn’t that exciting that Edwards was discovered by O’Reilly to be training with Dan Severn behind Richards’s back. This was just the first stage of the final push for Edwards-Richards heading into “Final Battle,” so I’m optimistic more will be done to build up their feud before the iPPV in the coming weeks.

ROH didn’t hype any main event for this week on the previous show, so it was good that ROH got back to hooking fans in with the promise of footage of Edwards training with Severn and ROH TV Champion Lethal defending against El Generico on the next show.

The main event with Richards facing his teammate O’Reilly was a really good TV match. Both guys put on a great example of what ROH brings when it comes to the in-ring product. O’Reilly has had some really good singles matches on TV with good showings against Strong and now Richards. He looks like he has the potential to be elevated in the singles division in 2012. I’d like to see fans investing in O’Reilly and Richards as wrestlers more than the in-ring action, which was once against the case with this main event. ROH needs to remember that people want to invest in characters and that great in-ring action has limited long-term appeal.

Contact Sean at PWTorchSean@gmail.com


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