Ring of Honor - February 25, 2012
-We get a recap of Charlie Haas transforming into a bastard heel right before our very eyes. Haas masterfully manipulated the Briscoes last week, allowing him to leave Mark down and out.
-From Baltimore, MD. Our hosts, as always, are Nigel McGuinness and Kevin Kelly.
-The Young Bucks plan on using Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander as stepping stones on their way to the ROH Tag Team Championship. They only need to use 60% of their capabilities to pull off the win tonight.
-Coleman and Alexander are soooo close to getting the big win they’re looking for. Coleman asks the Bucks what they plan to do when they’re road to the titles are derailed tonight. Coleman wraps it up with some ill-advised singing.
Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman vs. The Young Bucks
Matt Jackson starts by pounding away on Alexander. Cedric is unimpressed and delivers a head scissors takedown. Alexander and Coleman make quick tags and double team poor Matt. Nick Jackson’s save attempt is foiled. The Bucks manage to overwhelm with their fast-paced teamwork, with Nick dispatching Coleman with a suicide dive. Nick lures Alexander into a trap and the Bucks are seemingly unstoppable. Alexander is effectively isolated for a stretch, while the Bucks work him over. Alexander ducks a double clothesline and makes the hot tag to Coleman. Coleman lands a back elbow in the corner and somersaults over the ropes. Alexander joins in with a senton to the floor. Superkick/DDT combo by Alexander and Coleman looked painful. The match breaks down with all four men going at it. Sadly, More Bang for Your Buck finishes it at 5:31. Spectacular little midcard match here.
Winners: The Young Bucks
-Veda Scott interviews Embassy Ltd. Scott asks Prince Nana who he thinks will win tonight’s Davey Richards/Jay Lethal ROH title match, but Tommaso Ciampa interrupts. Ciampa predicts he will beat Lethal at the 10th Anniversary Show, so he challenges Lethal to win the title tonight so he can take it from him. Ciampa will be the only undefeated champion in history.
-Kevin Kelly interviews Jay and Mark Briscoe in the ring. Jay is pumped up to be defending the ROH Tag Team Championship against The Young Bucks in NYC. He vows to make the Bucks their personal bitches. Kelly asks about the House of Truth, who are feuding with the Briscoes over 5,000 dollars. Jay says they’ll personally beat the money out of them. Finally, Jay rants about Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, who they will be facing at Showdown in the Sun. Whoever mess with Dem Boys had better be ready to man up. Good promo and a nice way to juggle multiple feuds for multiple iPPVs.
-Kevin Kelly hosts Inside Ring of Honor. They replay footage of Kevin Steen squashing Andy Ridge and being confronted by Jimmy Jacobs. Jacobs cuts a promo discussing his recent history with Steen. At Final Battle, Steen taught him that sometimes evil wins. Therefore, Jacobs is tapping into his inner evil. Steen responds, saying he hopes that Jacobs makes him bleed at the 10th Anniversary Show, so that way Jacobs can remember what it’s like not to be a little company man.
-The All Night Express are interviewed. Rhett Titus says he’s ready to come back to action. Before he and Kenny King can continue chasing the tag titles, he has to make sure he’s better than he’s ever been. The ANX will be facing Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin at the 10th Anniversary Show.
-Interview with the House of Truth. Truth Martini says the fates are rewarding Roderick Strong on his quest to regain the ROH title. Strong hopes that Jay Lethal wins the title tonight, because he feels he’ll have an easier time beating him. Strong is delighted to be facing Eddie Edwards next week, seeing as Edwards is on a losing streak. Strong vows to be the champion again by April 1st. Michael Elgin just hangs out in the background, sort of like Batista circa 2004. It’s nice to see Strong getting a sense of direction again.
-Veda Scott interviews Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole. Edwards says that Davey Richards is easily distracted, so his title could be in jeopardy tonight. Adam Cole pledges his loyalty to Edwards. How nice.
ROH World Championship:
They set the tone with a handshake. They exchange holds. Richards helps Lethal back to his feet after a rope break. Richards ties Lethal up like a pretzel. Lethal counters and gains a near fall. Lethal gains a sunset flip but Richards counters and they exchange pinning predicaments. Lethal lands a hip toss and a drop-kick to the face. Richards leap frogs and delivers a drop-kick. Richards applies an Indian death lock. Tirt-a-whirl backbreaker by Lethal and a leg sweep sets up a modified armbar. Richards counters into a leg submission. Lethal retaliates with a leg lariat for 2. It’s at this time that Tommaso Ciampa seats himself at ringside. Lethal is visibly distracted as we head to commercial. After the break, Richards and Lethal are continuing an evenly fought contest. Richards delivers a running kick to the chest from the apron and follows up with a suicide dive. Richards says something that upsets Ciampa and a brawl almost breaks out. Kyle O’Reilly shows up to cool the situation. Lethal takes advantage of the opening and mounts a comeback. Lethal Combination gets 2. The House of Truth shows up to watch. Richards fights tooth and nail to deliver a superplex. Richards holds on for a suplex and applies an armbar. Eddie Edwards and Adam Cole join the spectators at ringside. Lethal unleashes a flurry of hard strikes but Richards counters into another armbar. Lethal counters into a crucifix. Richards scores with a hard lariat. The House of Truth pick a fight with Edwards and Cole. Meanwhile, Jay delivers the Lethal Injection for a painfully close near fall. Lethal goes for a back handspring, but Cole is pushed into the ropes, causing Lethal to miss. Richards nails a kick to the back of the head and gains the victory at 16:07 (shown). Screwy finish aside, this was a more methodical Davey Richards performance than we normally get. I think it suited him, as he didn’t get carried away with the head shots, ***½.
“American Wolf” Davey Richards © vs. Jay Lethal
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Davey Richards
-Kevin Kelly points out that throughout the entire brawl, Tommaso Ciampa didn’t get out of his seat. That’s awesome. Richards doesn’t seem to know what happened that lead to his victory and looks for a handshake. Lethal takes it in stride.
Final Thoughts: This was another solid episode that capped off a great month of ROH television. They are really settling into a winning formula with this show. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of numbers they get for the 10th Anniversary Show, with the reduced price and the strong build. Easy thumbs up yet again.
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