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Ring of Honor
RADICAN'S ROH TV REPORT 2/4: Steen sets his purpose for 2012, Briscoes-WGTT main event

Feb 7, 2012 - 12:49:46 PM
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RADICAN’S ROH TV REPORT
AIRED FEB 4, 2012
BALTIMORE, MD
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The show kicked off with highlights of ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal defending the ROH TV Title against El Generico and Mike Bennett at “Final Battle 2011.”

The Da Burns Arena looks so much better than the other venues ROH has used to film their television. Kelly and McGuinness previewed the show in the ring. Kelly said ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal would defend against Mike Bennett in a match with no time limit.

Bennett cut a promo backstage with Maria. Bennett said ROH had stacked the odds against him. Bennett made excuses for losing his other shots at the ROH TV Title. He said he would walk away with the TV Title.

Radican’s thoughts: This was a good heel promo from Bennett. He’s starting to carry himself much better on the mic and Maria is a nice addition to his act. I still think Bob needs an overhaul if he’s going to be a part of this act.

Bobby Cruise did the formal ring introductions. Bennett drew some boos from the fans. Lethal got a good pop from the crowd. Kelly ran down the Tale of the Tape before the match started.

1 - - ROH TV Champion JAY LETHAL vs. MIKE BENNETT (w/Maria & Brutal Bob) – No Time Limit

Lethal charged at Bennett after he wouldn’t shake hands, but Bennett bailed to ringside. Lethal got the upper hand on Bennett and put the boots to him on the outside. Kelly said there would be a PPV quality main event on every show this month. Bennett continued to try to stall, but Lethal followed him and tossed him back into the ring.

They ended up back on the outside and Bennett used Bob as a shield. Lethal punched Bob, so Bennett used Maria as a distraction and he ended up taking Lethal down with a punch. They went to commercial break at this point.

Kelly plugged the WrestleMania weekend events. Kelly brought in Maria and Bennett for a promo. Bennett said he would be in Florida with Maria. He said they were going to take Florida by storm and win some matches in the process.

Back from commercial break, Lethal took out Bennett with a big kick. Kelly showed footage of Bennett working over Lethal during the commercial break. Back to live action, Lethal went for a dive, but Bennett got out of the way. Lethal beat the 20 count and Bennett mounted him and landed some punches. Bennett grabbed a sleeper hold, but Lethal fought out of it. Both men began exchanging punches in the middle of the ring as the crowd applauded. Lethal finally took Bennett down with a kick. Lethal mounted some sustained offense on Bennett as the crowd applauded. Lethal continued to run wild on Bennett as he connected with a springboard missile dropkick for a 2 count.

Bennett caught Lethal coming off the ropes, but Lethal caught him with a superkick. Lethal went for the Lethal injection, but Bennett countered it into a neck breaker for a 2 count. Lethal and Bennett ran into each other. Lethal was down on the mat and Bennett was slumped on the ropes. Maria pushed Bennett on top of Lethal, who rolled up Bennett for the win.

Winner: Jay Lethal to retain the ROH TV Title

Star rating: (**1/2) – This was a perfectly fine match for television that featured some good exchanges down the stretch from both men. I liked the finish, but I’m hoping it doesn’t start a division between Bennett and Maria since they’ve only been paired together for a short amount of time.

Veda Scott interviewed Eddie Edwards backstage. Edwards said he applauded O’Reilly last week because now he could finally get what he wanted. Edwards said O’Reilly only cared about swinging from Richards’s jock. O’Reilly came into the picture and said he told Richards he was a better friend to Davey than Eddie had ever been. O’Reilly challenged Edwards to a match and said to use his pull with Cornette to make it happen. Edwards seemed to accept his challenge.

A commercial for ROHWrestling.com aired.

McGuinness and Kelly said Kevin Steen was going to get some mic time in the ring. They showed a video package from the Steen-Corino match at “Final Battle 2011.” Kelly then introduced wrestling’s worst nightmare Kevin Steen. Steen came down to ringside to a good ovation from the fans.

Steen grabbed the mic from Kelly and said he’d been waiting for this for a year and told Kelly he didn’t want Kelly in the ring. He then handed Kelly his gum and told him he could exit the ring. Steen said he’d asked himself what kind of promotion keeps their top wrestler out for a year. Steen said other promotions let their talent get away with a lot worse. Steen said he was talking to Cornette and said he knew he was in the back. Steen said he was kept away from a year because he would kiss up to Cornette like his boy Davey Richards. The crowd started dueling chants for Richards and Steen.

Steen said if the end of the world came this year, he would face it as ROH World Champion. Steen said when he got his chance, he would take Jimmy boy’s little champion and rip him apart. Steen said as ROH World Champion, he would hold the company hostage. Steen said he was born to create chaos and pain in ROH. Cornette interrupted Steen and said he was pro wrestling’s biggest mouth. Cornette came to ringside with Cary Silkin and several security guards.

Cornette said in his position, he tried to remain impartial, but he said he wanted to look in Steen’s fat face and tell him what he wanted to tell him. Steen and Cornette exchanged some one-liners. Steen told Cornette it was cool for him to spend time in MMA gyms. Cornette said he had an announcement to make. Steen said he hoped Cornette was retiring. Cornette said he was there when Steen took out Corino, Jacobs, and Generico with the package piledriver. He talked about being there when Owen Hart injured Steve Austin with a piledriver. Cornette said Owen was sorry for what he did to Austin, but he knew Steen wasn’t sorry for what he did to those men at “Final Battle.” Cornette said from this point forward, the piledriver in any form is banned in ROH.

The crowd booed and Steen made fun of two fans clapping. Steen said Cornette was a hypocrite claiming he was doing it for everyone’s safety. Steen said Cornette was doing it for Richards’s safety. Steen said Cornette could ban his finishing move, but he can’t ban him. Steen swore on his son’s life that he would take Richards apart and win the title. Steen said he would be a nightmare Cornette would never wake up from. Steen blew Cornette a kiss as he left the ring.

Radican’s thoughts: This was a really good segment with Cornette and Steen going back and forth on the mic. Steen firmly established his purpose for 2012 in ROH and promised to take the company hostage after taking the ROH World Title from Richards. Steen is certainly a charismatic and dynamic performer on the mic compared to the rest of the ROH roster. This was a breath of fresh air, although I fear the crowd is going to be split between Richards and Steen. I’ve grown so tired of the dueling chants at ROH events. I’m hoping creative does something to avoid that dynamic before they eventually have their match.

A commercial aired for ROHWrestling.com.

Kelly previewed the Inside ROH segment. Kelly began running down highlights from the 8 Man Elimination Tag shown a couple of weeks ago. He said the losing team had been bickering in the weeks following the match. Truth Martini was shown and he said the hard work had been left to Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin. He said they lost out on $10,000 by losing the match. Martini said next week they would get their chance to redeem themselves. Strong said leave revenge to him and Michael. Strong said they would get revenge against the money. Strong said his friend at the gym had put up $5,000 for the winner of the match. He said they would take the money and the titles. Elgin said the Briscoes had written a check that their bodies can’t cash.

The Briscoes cut a promo backstage. They said Martini was blaming them for losing the 8 Man Tag match. The Briscoes said it was their fault they had lost the match. Mark said they would put up $5,000 as well.

Kelly said next week, Richards would put up the ROH World Title against Lethal. Richards said Lethal could be the best wrestler on television, but because he had the ROH World Title, he was the best wrestler in the world. Richards said Lethal would either get tapped out or knocked out.

ANX cut a promo backstage. King said they were on top of the world before “Final Battle.” He said at “Final Battle,” it all came crashing down. Titus said the ref had no choice but to stop the match at “Final Battle” because of his knee. King said they had their sights set on the Young Bucks now. King said the Young Bucks would go to the hospital in the express lane after the match.

Kelly said as a result of their victory at “Final Battle,” the Young Bucks would get their title shot against the Briscoes at the “10th Anniversary Show” on March 4. Kelly plugged that the show would be on iPPV for $9.99. Kelly then plugged that fans could get ROH’s WrestleMania weekend on iPPV in a package for $19.99. Kelly said next week the Briscoes would face House of Truth on TV.

A commercial aired for ROH’s “10th Anniversary Show.” Kelly brought in The Young Bucks. Matt said the Briscoes were challenging them because they’re rock stars. He said they sell out arenas all over the planet. Nick said they would take the belts. Matt said you’re welcome for the house to end the promo.

Veda Scott interviewed the Young Bucks backstage. Nick asked Scott if they had seen her on ET. Matt laughed and made fun of WGTT and ANX. He said on March 4, the titles would go from the Chicken Farm to California. Matt asked Veda if they could show here a little entertainment tonight.

Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin came down to the ring to a chorus of boos. Kelly said they were running late and needed to get the match started. Haas got on the mic and said they weren’t going to wrestle the Bravados. Haas said their interview time had been cut short because Steen had run his mouth for ten minutes. Haas said they make the rules and their interview starts now. Benjamin said he changed his mind about being happy to be in Baltimore. Benjamin said all they did at “Final Battle” was defend themselves. He said anyone that would cheer the Briscoes over WGTT was as stupid as they are. Benjamin said they were holding the show hostage until the Briscoes gave them their rematch.

Cornette came down to the ring with several refs. Cornette tried to reason with WGTT. He said they didn’t have time for the match tonight. The fans chanted for a rematch. Kelly pitched the show to commercial break.

They came back from break with Cornette trying to reason with WGTT. The Briscoes music played and they came down to the ring. Cornette had the referees separate both teams. Jay said they could do this right now and the Briscoes jumped Haas & Benjamin.

ROH World Tag Team Champions THE BRISCOES (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. WGTT (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin)

Cornette came in on commentary and said the belts were on the line because Haas & Benjamin had pissed him off. Haas got the upper hand on Jay. He choked him against the ropes. Benjamin then kicked Jay to the mat when he broke the hold. The crowd chanted for the Briscoes as Haas and Benjamin continued to work over Jay in the corner. Benjamin tossed Jay through the turnbuckles and his shoulder went into the ringpost. McGuinness said he didn’t like WGTT getting their way by holding the company hostage. Cornette said he felt like a victim of terrorism.

Jay began firing back on Benjamin with forearms. He blocked a charge from Benjamin by getting his knees up in the corner a short time later. Jay and Benjamin both tagged out. Mark did some karate on Haas. They botched a spot out of the corner and the action broke down. Jay tossed Benjamin to the floor. Benjamin got a chair. Haas kicked out of a rollup and sent Mark right into a chairshot from Benjamin from the outside. The ref called for the DQ.

Winners: Jay & Mark Briscoe via DQ

Kelly said Edwards would take on O’Reilly next week to end the show.

Overall thoughts: (7.0) – This was a very good edition of ROH TV. The show seemed to break apart from the predictable format and a lot of storylines progressed throughout the show. The only thing that was a negative is the chairshot angle going on between the Briscoes and Haas & Benjamin.

The opening match between Lethal and Bennett for the ROH TV Title was a fun match. Bennett cut a good heel promo to set the stage for the match by giving various excuses for his inability to capture the ROH TV Title in the past. They had a solid match that picked up steam towards the end and had the crowd invested in the action in the ring. There was a really nice spot where Lethal went for his finish, but Bennett countered it into a neckbreaker for a nearfall.

Kevin Steen’s in-ring segment was really good. Steen set his purpose for 2012 in ROH and had some good back and forth banter with Cornette. Cornette banning Steen’s pile driver is a cool old school wrestling tactic and it fits in well here with the Richards-Steen storyline with Steen claiming that Richards is kissing up to Cornette. It will be interesting to see how fans respond to Steen, Richards, and Cornette going forward. We can all hope that we don’t get another ROH main event at some point with dueling chants.

The show did a good job of taking the storylines from “Final Battle” and moving them forward towards the coming weeks on television and the “10th Anniversary Show” iPPV in March with the Inside ROH segment and various backstage interviews.

I liked the unpredictability element in the main event with Haas & Benjamin taking the show hostage until the Briscoes faced them. Cornette gave in and there was a nice touch on commentary with McGuinness questioning whether or not it was the right decision to let the match happen.

The finish of the match really stunk because doing an angle revolving around the Briscoes taking chairshots to the head isn’t going to draw ROH a dime. It’s counter-productive and even if the chairshots are protected, this isn’t something that should be a storyline featured on television.

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Contact Sean at PWTorchSean@gmail.com


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