Ring of Honor - October 29, 2011
-From Louisville, Kentucky. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. Tonight, the Briscoes get their rematch with the All-Night Express, with the winners facing the ROH Tag Team Champions Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin at Final Battle.
-Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong are interviewed about their motives going into their big match tonight. O’Reilly says Strong wants to be the best but he doesn’t want to work for it. Strong mocks O’Reilly’s determination, scoffing at the notion that he spends more time training than attempting to get laid.
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini)
The Boondock Saints dialogue has been dropped from Strong’s music. Shame. Martini forces ring announcer Bobby Cruise to clarify just how great and important he is. O’Reilly and Strong square off with some technical wrestling. Strong looks for a crossface but O’Reilly gets the ropes. The pace quickens and they go through a flurry of reversals and blocks. O’Reilly scores with a drop-kick but Strong answers by chopping. O’Reilly nails some hard martial arts kicks. Northern Lights suplex by O’Reilly gets 2. Strong rebounds with one of his patented backbreakers. Cue the commercial! Post-break, Strong is in the driver’s seat. O’Reilly surprises with an overhead belly to belly suplex. O’Reilly delivers a missile drop-kick for 2. O’Reilly hits his series of butterfly suplexes but Strong kicks out. Strong trips O’Reilly on the turnbuckles and unleashes a flurry of hard head shots. O’Reilly somehow kicks out of a sit-out power bomb! Double knee gut buster by Strong still isn’t enough. Strong hold gets a rope break. O’Reilly counters into a pinning predicament. DDT by O’Reilly into a guillotine choke! Strong counters and continues to target the head. A running kick finishes it at 9:51 (shown). This got a bit silly with some of the near falls, but featured some truly exciting sequences, ***Ľ.
Winner: Roderick Strong
-Truth Martini declares that Team Richards produces losers. Michael Elgin rolls into the ring and joins Roderick Strong in putting a hurting on O’Reilly. Tony Kozina runs in for the save but he gets his ass kicked too. Finally, Davey Richards runs in and fights off the House of Truth. Richards no-sells a cheap shot by Martini, but the distraction allows for Strong and Elgin to sneak attack. Eddie Edwards joins the fray and allows Davey to regain his ground. Martini is isolated and the American Wolves double team him. Fun segment and the run-ins actually made sense and furthered storylines, so huzzah.
-After a commercial, things have settled down. Jim Cornette is out to make a statement. Cornette announces that every member of the House of Truth will be fined for starting the melee. Some fans start shouting for Kevin Steen and it clearly throws Cornette off track. Cornette understands why fans want Steen back but he just doesn’t want to deal with the man. Steen is a public relations nightmare and ROH will not do business with him. Cornette says if Steen has a problem with that, he can sue.
-Welcome to Inside Ring of Honor! Kevin Kelly says that ROH officials have narrowed down Jay Lethal and Eddie Edwards as the two candidates to face Davey Richards at Final Battle. Lethal puts over his accomplishments since returning to ROH, including his Television title and undefeated streak. Edwards says that Final Battle is the biggest night of the year and everything is on the line. If chosen, Edwards will show everyone why they call him “Die Hard.” Kelly announces that next week Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander will challenge Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin in a “Proving Ground” match. If the newcomers can beat or go to a drew against the champions, they’ll receive a title shot. Coleman and Alexander are humble going into this high profile match, while Haas and Benjamin are confident but acknowledge that this new team is an unproven commodity.
-Steve Corino joins the commentary booth. Corino is an evil person but everyday he gets a little better. Corino feels responsible for what happened with Kevin Steen in the past. Kelly reminds Corino that they aren’t supposed to talk about Steen.
“Dominant Male” Tomasso Ciampa (with Prince Nana and Ernesto Osiris) vs. Alex Silva
I smell a squash match. Silva offers a handshake but Ciampa just spits on it. Ciampa cheap shots the rookie, Silva. Silva gets in a hard chop before Ciampa rams him into the barricade. Vertical suplex on the floor by Ciampa! Back to the ring, Ciampa pounds away on the chest and applies a chinlock. Silva fights back with an enziguri. Ciampa rebounds quickly, attacking the face. Ciampa misses a splash and eats a clothesline. Neckbreaker by Ciampa sets up running exposed knee strikes to the head. Project Ciampa finishes it at 3:48. The jobber got in way too much offense but Ciampa effectively killed him in the final stretch.
Winner: Tomasso Ciampa
Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Kenny King and Rhett Titus
The winners face the ROH Tag Team Champions at Final Battle. All four men duke it out as the bell rings. Jay and Titus brawl at ringside while King and Mark square off. The ANX manage to isolate Mark in the early going. Jay finally makes a blind tag and puts King down with a clothesline. Cue the commercial! Post-break, the Briscoes have effectively cut the ring in half and are working over poor Kenny King. Things get so desperate that Titus resorts to breaking pinfall attempts. King blocks the J-Driller and makes the hot tag. Titus cleans house with a frenzy of offense. The ANX double team with drop-kicks but can’t get the pin. Jay counters King while Mark stops Titus on the turnbuckles. One armed spinebuster by Jay! Titus counters Jay on the ropes but eats a big drop-kick. Top rope ace crusher by Mark Briscoe! Kenny King springboards in for a save! All four men are down after Jay and King collide. The ANX set up an electric chair but the Briscoes thwart it. Jay flies into Mark who then flips Titus into a roll-up! That finish was awesome! The Briscoes win at 10:32 (shown). This developed into a very satisfying match-up, ***˝.
Winners: Jay and Mark Briscoe
Final Thoughts: The road to Final Battle continued with some interesting developments. We now officially have the WGTT/Briscoes blow-off to look forward to. Things heated up with Team Richards vs. The House of Truth, which should provide some great matches in the coming weeks. The production values are still lacking (there were numerous blinding shots of the house lights throughout the program) but from a creative standpoint, I really like what this show is doing. Thumbs up.
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