Ring of Honor - October 1, 2011
-Welcome to week 2 of the SBG era! We are treated to a video recap of last week’s main event, where Haas and Benjamin defeated the Kings of Wrestling so badly they signed with WWE.
-From Chicago IL. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. Tonight’s big main event is El Generico vs. Jay Lethal for the Television Championship.
-We kick things off with James Cornette in the ring. He introduces the ROH Tag Team Champions, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. Cornette congratulates them for defeating the Kings of Wrestling last week and asks them about the Briscoe Brothers. Benjamin lists off the tough competition breathing down their necks, but it seems the Briscoes really have a problem with them. Benjamin is disgusted that Cornette hasn’t given them a chance to get the Briscoes back for a steel chair beat down. Haas is also pissed, saying that not even his own dad beat him that badly as a kid. Cornette gets defiant, refusing to reward the Briscoes with a title shot, but the WGTT aren’t having any of this. They punk out Cornette and pose with their belts. I liked this segment a lot, as it followed up events from last week (and from Best in the World) nicely. At this rate, the WGTT/Briscoes feud will be a great reason to tune in every week.
-Welcome to Focus on Ring of Honor! This week the talking heads are discussing The Prodigy Mike Bennett. Along with his trainer, Brutal Bob, Bennett is here to kick asses and rise up to Hollywood. Bennett says he’s a much better wrestler than The Rock was. Cornette explains that Brutal Bob is a veteran who never made it in the business, and as a result he takes out his frustration on his students. However, Bennett is his star pupil. Bennett explains that Brutal Bob whipped his ass every day, giving him the tools to make it in the business. This three minute package does more to put Bennett over than anything they’ve done in the last year.
Jimmy Jacobs (with Steve Corino) vs. Mike Bennett (with Brutal Bob)
Jacobs and Corino are working to repent all the evil things they’ve done in their lives. Mike Bennett wants to go to Hollywood. Both men really need a win to advance their angles, so that alone makes this contest interesting to your humble reviewer. The crowd chants “You can’t wrestle” at Bennett during a slow start. Bennett aggressively stomps Jacobs into the corner. Bennett improvises by flipping Jacobs into a backbreaker. Jacobs sends Bennett to the floor with a spinning head scissors. Sadly, Jacobs misses a dive to the floor. Bennett smells blood and works over poor Jacobs. Jacobs mounts a comeback but just can’t get the pinfall. Spinebuster by Bennett gets 2. Springboard neck breaker by Jacobs isn’t enough. Bennett blocks a flying senton and delivers the Box Office Smash for the win at 5:54. Basic midcard match, not much different from what you’d see on Smackdown every week. Still, it made Bennett look good, and that’s what’s important.
Winner: Mike Bennett
-Nigel McGuinness interviews fans about who they think will win the main event tonight. This continues to be a needless waste of time.
-Welcome to Inside Ring of Honor! Kevin Kelly is here to find out how Eddie Edwards earned the nickname “Diehard.” Edwards talks about how he broke his elbow during a match in Boston (I was in the audience that night). The very next night, Edwards participated in a Ladder War and along with Davey Richards retained the ROH Tag Team Championship. Then Edwards had surgery on his elbow and was told he would miss six months of action. Edwards came back nine weeks later and by then the fans were chanting “diehard” at him. This was a nice way to introduce Edwards to the new television audience.
-Davey Richards puts Roderick Strong over as his greatest opponent. They don’t like each other on a personal level. Richards explains that Truth Martini gave Strong the confidence he was lacking. Strong puts himself over as a real smartass. Strong reminds us that Richards has never beaten him. While Richards trains, Strong parties. This is a new change of direction for Strong, and it works. Next week, Strong and Richards will battle for the ROH World Championship.
ROH Television Championship:
They waste no time exchanging arm work. Lethal surprises with a head scissor takedown. Lethal helps Generico to his feet to put over just how much they respect each other. The match continues in a competitive fashion, with Lethal being just one step ahead of Generico. Lethal takes control and at one point seems to be crucifying Generico with a unique submission. Generico fires back with some desperate offense. Generico connects with a big dive to the floor! Cue the commercial! After the break, they are battling in the ring, and Generico has the upper hand. Lethal fires back with a handspring elbow. They trade head shots and chops. Lethal delivers a missile drop-kick as Bobby Cruise announces there are 3 minutes left until the time limit. Elevated neck breaker by Lethal only gets 2. Generico counters and nails a big tornado DDT. Blue Thunder by Generico isn’t enough. Lethal blocks the Yakuza Kick and gets a roll-up for 2. They are jockeying for position when the time limit expires at 15:00 (12:44 shown). Lethal and Generico both ask for an extension. Jim Cornette comes out and says that they only have three minutes left in the show and they can have it. The match continues with a real sense of urgency. Yakuza Kick by Generico and a half nelson suplex! Lethal kicks out!! Lethal counters with a suplex and goes high risk. Generico dodges the flying elbow and sets up the top rope Brainbuster. Lethal shoves Generico off and nails the flying elbow! Generico kicks out!! Generico suplexes Lethal into the turnbuckles! Lethal blocks the Yakuza Kick and nails the Lethal Injection for the win at title around the 18 minute mark! This was a solid match but the overtime portion was absolutely awesome, ***¾.
El Generico © vs. Jay Lethal
Winner and new Television Champion: Jay Lethal
-Jay Lethal celebrates in the ring as we head off the air.
Final Thoughts: I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. I liked the continuation of the WGTT/Briscoes feud (and you’ll notice they did it without having them even come in contact with one another), the fleshing out of Mike Bennett, the history of Eddie Edwards, and another great main event. This second episode has given me a lot of hope that this new ROH series will be something great. Thumbs up!
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