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Ring of Honor
RADICAN'S ROH TV REPORT 12/3 - Final Battle hype kicks into high gear, Steen-Cornette confrontation, Young Bucks-Future Shock main event

Dec 12, 2011 - 5:19:08 PM
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RADICAN’S ROH TV REPORT
AIRED DEC. 3, 2011
TAPED AT THE DAVIS ARENA
LOUSIVILLE, KY
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The show began with highlights of ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal vs. El Generico from last week. The footage focused on Bennett getting involved as well.

Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness introduced the show. Kelly announced a new match had been at to “Final Battle” as a result of the fallout of the main event last week. McGuinness then announced the Young Bucks vs. Future Shock main event.

Prince Nana and Tomasso Ciampa were shown backstage. Nana said Ciampa is the only undefeated man in ROH. Ciampa was shown working out with some heavy weights. Ciampa was then shown boxing and he said he was the toughest S.O.B. in the world. Tomasso was shown lifting heavy tired and doing various exercises. Nana said until someone beats Ciampa, he is the dominant male.

Radican’s thoughts: This was a good video package to highlight Ciampa’s strength.

Ciampa made his entrance with the Embassy. Holy crap! It’s a female. Mia Yim is with the Embassy! I didn’t know there were females in the ROH universe. Wow. I’m speechless. Mindblown!

Kelly ran down the tale of the tape before the opening bell. Jonze offered a handshake, but Ciampa shoved him to the ground.

1 - - SHILOH JONZE vs. TOMASSO CIMAPA (w/Prince Nana)

Ciampa nailed Jonze with a series of knees and he slumped into the corner. Ciampa continued to dominate the action. Jonze fired back with some punches, but Ciampa eventually took him down with a big clothesline. The crowd tried to rally behind Jonze. He tried to make another comeback and eventually hit a big punch off the top. Ciampa ducked a punch and nailed Jonze with a dropkick from his knees. Ciampa then hit a big running knee on Jonze in the corner. Ciampa hit another big running knee and stared into the crowd. They must have fixed the lights, as I don’t see a glare from the floor camera. Ciampa hit several more knees in the corner, but the ref didn’t stop the match. Ciampa then hit project Ciampa and covered Jonze with his knee for the pin.

Winner: Tomasso Ciampa – This was a good showcase of Ciampa’s power and devastating offense. It’s nice to see the promotion using more effective squash matches.

Kelly pitched to footage of the Briscoes-Haas & Benjamin confrontation from last week. Jay said there wouldn’t be any steel chairs at “Final Battle.” They said it would just be the Briscoes and WGTT. Jay said he had guaranteed Papa Briscoe they would win the titles.

ANX was shown backstage. King and Titus said Haas & Benjamin were overlooking them. Titus said next week they would face Haas & Benjamin in a Proving Ground match. King said it didn’t matter if they faced the Briscoes or Haas & Benjamin.

Kelly hyped the main event before going to commercial.

A commercial aired with Jim Cornette hyping “Final Battle.” Cornette brought in Richards for a repeat interview.

Kelly was in the ring with McGuinness. He introduced Cornette, Corino, and Jacobs, who were also in the ring. Kelly then brought out Kevin Steen. Steen came out to a big pop. Steen made his entrance with his team of lawyers. Cornette got on the mic and said it was against his better judgment to be in the ring with Steen and his team of lawyers. Cornette said Steen was a great wrestler that sells tickets and wins matches. Cornette said the problem is that Steen is crazy. Cornette said Steen is also an a—h---. ROH’s censors don’t appear to be working. Steen got on the mic and said he wasn’t insulted by Cornette’s words. Steen swore a couple of times and the censor button apparently doesn’t actually censor anything. Steen said he had carried the company on his back for a year while Cornette got his rear end kissed by Richards. Steen said Cornette hates the fact he became a star on his own.

Cornette said he had decided not to make a settlement offer. Cornette said he was going to let Corino make the offer. Corino said he created what Steen had become. He said the monster inside Steen is there because of him. Corino said Steen had gone too far. Corino said after Steen left at “Final Battle” last year, he realized he needed to change. Corino told Steen that he would become him in the future. Steen interrupted him and said he let ROH management had cut his balls off. He said Corino and Jacobs were both as pathetic as Cornette. Corino said Steen’s words hurt, but he was just like him once. Corino said his salvation is now. Corino said if Steen wanted to get back into ROH, Steen would have to beat him at “Final Battle.” Corino said Steen isn’t going to face the good Corino. He said for one last night, he would be an evil person.

Steen said he hopes that’s true. Steen said he loved Cornette’s offer. Cornette said he had named a referee and announced it would be Jimmy Jacobs. Steen said that would be amazing. Steen said he can’t wait to see Jacobs’s face when he counts the pinfall to reinstate him. Steen then invited Cornette to watch at ringside. Steen said when Cornette saw him lose last year; he clapped louder than anyone else. Steen said he wanted him at ringside to see him reinstated. Steen said when he got reinstated; it would be Steen’s ROH. Steen spit in Corino’s face and he tried to fire back, but several people pulled them apart.

Radican’s thoughts: This was a really good segment that got the focus off Steen’s lawyers and had an ROH wrestler step up and challenge Steen for a match to get him back into the company. Everyone played their roles well in this segment and this sets up what should be a red hot match between Steen and the returning “evil” Steve Corino. They did a really good job building up a spotlight match here for the “Final Battle” iPPV.

A commercial aired for ROHWrestling.com.

Kevin Kelly was shown backstage introducing “Inside ROH.” Kelly said Lethal felt Bennett had cost him a victory last week. They showed footage of the end of the Lethal-Generico match from last week. Kelly said at “Final Battle,” Lethal would defend the ROH World TV Title against Mike Bennett and El Generico. Kelly also announced that per Bennett’s request, Todd Sinclair wouldn’t be the ref for that match.

They showed Edwards and Severn. Edwards discussed big rivalries were settled in three fights. Edwards mentioned Ali vs. Frasier. Edwards said 2 out of 3 would show who the better man is. Severn mentioned he had fought Ken Shamrock twice, but he had never gotten a third match to find out who the better man was. Severn said Richards and Edwards deserve to know who the better man is. Severn said he will have done his job if he can help Edwards wins the titles. Edwards was shown training and he said when Richards beat him, he went right back in Richards’s shadow. Edwards said he needed to know that he can stand on his own and prove he’s the better man.

Richards was shown backstage. He said he was training for someone he doesn’t know anymore. He said since Severn has come in the picture, something is different. Richards said he knew Edwards would be a whole new beast at “Final Battle.” Richards said he can’t prepare for a different person. He said O’Reilly and Kozina were telling him that Edwards’s dark side was overcoming him.

Kelly then transitioned to Roderick Strong. Strong was shown with a group of ladies. He said he had had a difficult cardio session last night and the ladies smiled. Strong had a sip of beer and said nobody near has level had stepped up to the plate to face him at “Final Battle.” Strong said he should be in the title match. Strong said if Edwards vs. Richards isn’t the best match ever, he would walk down the aisle and ask for a refund for his plane ticket.

Radican’s thoughts: Another really good chapter in the build to Edwards vs. Richards. I’m starting to suspect Edwards is going to turn heel at “Final Battle,” but they’re setting it up in a way where Richards could turn because of O’Reilly and Kozina getting in his ear. I thought Edwards and Richards were both really good talking about their training and build to the match. Strong was funny as well and did a good job establishing his heel persona while being bitter about not being in the ROH World Title picture.

A commercial aired for ROHWrestling.com.

They showed a couple of girls modeling ROH gear at ringside. Wow! More girls! Where did they come from? Did they come with Mia?

The Young Bucks were shown backstage. Matt talked about the respect that’s supposed to exist in wrestling. They wondered where their respect was. Matt said the main eventers thought they were the stars, but they’ve wrestled all over the world. Nick said according to Booker T, they don’t kiss enough butt. Matt said the old timers are jealous. The Young Bucks said they only shake hands with people that are their equal. Matt and Nick then shook hands and said they have no equal.

Bobby Cruise did the formal introductions for the main event. Cole & O’Reilly got a good reaction, although the crowd audio seems low. The Young Bucks were then introduced to some boos. Kelly then pitched to a commercial break.

A commercial aired with Jim Cornette hyping “Final Battle.” He brought in the Briscoes for a repeat promo.

They came back from break and ran down the tale of the tape. Kelly said the Young Bucks had a big edge in experience. Future Shock offered and handshake, but the Young Bucks refused and hugged each other.

2 - - FUTURE SHOCK (Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson)

Cole got the better of Matt and locked in an arm bar. Future Shock then hit a series of kicks on Nick after Cole tagged in O’Reilly. O’Reilly and Nick went at it. O’Reilly nailed Nick with a series of strikes. Nick tagged in Matt, but Future Shock caught him with a tandem bulldog for a 2 count. Cole caught Matt and O’Reilly blind-tagged himself in and hit a northern lights suplex with a bridge for a 2 count.

Kelly said next week ANX would face WGTT in a Proving Ground match. The Young Bucks fired back and took control of the match. Matt nailed O’Reilly with a sliding kick through the ropes and he flew into the ring barrier. Matt continued to work over O’Reilly back in the ring. O’Reilly tried to fight his way out of the Young Bucks’s corner, but they grounded him. The crowd tried to rally behind O’Reilly as they went to commercial break.

They came back from commercial and the Young Bucks were still in control. They showed footage from the commercial break with the Young Bucks double teaming O’Reilly. Matt mocked Cole and the ref tried to prevent him from coming into the ring, which allowed Matt to choke O’Reilly with his boot. O’Reilly got an inside cradle for a 2 count, but Matt nailed him with a sledgehammer right away to keep him down. The crowd tried to rally behind O’Reilly again as the Bucks tagged in and out of the match to work him over. O’Reilly caught Matt with a suplex and then got his knees up when Nick tried a springboard splash. O’Reilly struggled to his own corner and made the hot tag to Cole. Cole hit a double missile dropkick on the Bucks and continued to run wild.

Kelly mentioned that Cole had wrestled all over the world this year. Nick distracted Cole from the apron and sent him outside, but Cole caught him coming through the ropes and hit him with a wheelbarrow suplex on the apron. Damn! Cole went up top and hit a big splash on Matt for a nearfall. Matt countered Cole, but got caught with a stunner. O’Reilly tagged in and hit a series of butterfly suplexes on Matt. Nick tried to run in, so O’Reilly hit him with a series of butterfly suplexes. Cole & O’Reilly then hit a tandem butterfly suplex into a German suplex on Nick and the crowd went nuts.

The Young Bucks fired back and Matt hit two powerbombs on Cole and then a buckle bomb in the corner. The Bucks then hit a tandem superkick on Cole for a nearfall. The Bucks went for more bang for your buck, but Cole countered. O’Reilly ran in and hit a superkick/brainbuster combination on Matt. O’Reilly locked in the guillotine on Matt while Cole held Nick back from getting into the ring. Nick finally tried to make the save, but O’Reilly wouldn’t let go. O’Reilly spit in Nick’s eye. Nick caught O’Reilly with a running kick, but he wouldn’t let go of the hold. Nick finally punched O’Reilly off of Matt, but O’Reilly applied the hold again. Cole held Nick back, but he hit a springboard face buster on O’Reilly to break up the pin. The Young Bucks hit more bang for your buck for the pin.

Winners: Matt & Nick Jackson

Star rating: (***1/4) – This was a shorter version of the fantastic match these two teams had at PWG’s “Steen Wolf” in October. This was a really nice television main event with both teams going back and forth and building to a hot finish. I really liked the way the finish of the match was put together with O’Reilly and Cole mounting a comeback with O’Reilly refusing to let go of his guillotine choke on Matt even when Nick emptied the kitchen sink on him to get him to break the hold.

After the match, O’Reilly and Cole offered to shake hands, but the Young Bucks refused as the show went off the air.

Overall thoughts: (8.0) – This was compelling television from start to finish. The show started with a nice spotlight on Tomasso Ciampa and steamrolled forward from there. I’ve watched a lot of television from ROH and I can recall an hour flying by as quickly as it did this week.

The build for Steen reinstatement into ROH got on track nicely now that Steen’s lawyers aren’t involved. I’m glad they had Corino step up and challenge him to a match to get back into the company. I just wish they had done that from the beginning instead of having Steen get lawyers, which isn’t something that someone insane like Steen would normally do.

“Inside ROH” was also really good this week. It’s nice to see so much focus on all of the titles in the company. The Richards-Edwards build is really building some steam now and Severn has done a solid job cutting promos with Edwards on television. They’re really building up a nice angle with Richards not knowing what he’s getting into with Edwards at “Final Battle” because he’s training with Severn. Richards did a nice job of driving that point home in his promo. Strong was also funny in his role “training” for his match at “Final Battle” by living the nightlife with some lady friends.

The main event was a really good, albeit short match between the Young Bucks and Future Shock. The Young Bucks finally got some promo time to set up their heel personas and they did a good job with their backstage segment. The match itself was a blast to watch as the match built logically to a red hot finish that had the crowd in attendance on their feet.

I think this is the type of show that is going to get people to want to see ROH if they happened to catch it this week. There was a lot of interesting things going on and the show was filled with some compelling personalities and storylines with a nice main event to cap things off.

One thing ROH could do a better job of is hooking fans in going forward. They mentioned some things in passing, but didn’t do a great job of giving fans a reason to tune in next week, although I think some people that saw this show will most likely want to see more of ROH and hopefully they can use this show as a steppingstone to generate some momentum heading into the “Final Battle” iPPV. Thumbs up.

Contact Sean at PWTorchSean@gmail.com


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