Ring of Honor - December 3, 2011
-From Louisville, KY. Our hosts are none other than Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. Tonight’s main event will be The Young Bucks taking on Future Shock.
-Prince Nana puts over his client, Tommaso Ciampa, as the “crown jewel” of The Embassy. Ciampa says he doesn’t have a sense of humor but he finds it funny that ROH isn’t taking him more seriously. We are treated to footage of Ciampa training while he shouts about how great he is.
Tommaso Ciampa (with Prince Nana, Princess Mia, and Ernesto Osiris) vs. Shiloh Jonze
I wonder if the local fans appreciate ROH making jobbers out of the OVW locker room. Ciampa palms the face and kicks the head. Ciampa continues targeting the face with some knee lifts. Jonze desperately mounts a jobber comeback. Hard lariat by Ciampa! Ciampa repeatedly pounds the chest but Jonze still kicks out. Hard Irish whip by Ciampa but Jonze fights back with a flying club to the head. Ciampa hits a drop-kick from a kneeling position! Ciampa delivers some running boots and knees to the face! Project Ciampa finishes it at 4:07. Ciampa looked damn good here. Nice squash.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
-The Briscoes shout about the hypocrisy of Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas attacking them with chairs. However, this means the Briscoes have gotten in WGTT’s heads.
-The All Night Express are still upset that the Briscoes and WGTT are overlooking them. They challenge WGTT to a “Proving Ground” match next week.
-Jim Cornette, Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness, Jimmy Jacobs, and Steve Corino are in the ring, bracing themselves for the much anticipated Kevin Steen appearance. Kevin Steen comes to the ring with his team of lawyers and receives a baby face reaction from the live crowd. Cornette admits that Steen is a great professional wrestler who is an asset to ROH… but he’s crazy. Plus, he’s an asshole, and he doesn’t know when he’ll show up on TMZ with tattoos on his chest. Steen retorts that the only numbers that will ever be on his chest will be the date of Cornette’s death. That’s harsh. Steen says he’d rather be an asshole than a hypocritical piece of garbage like Cornette. Cornette allows Steve Corino to make the settlement offer. Corino says he created the monster that Steen has become. When Steen was booted from ROH, Corino realized that after 17 years in the business he had done everything wrong. Corino says that he has no friends and that Steen should look to him as a warning of the path he’s headed down. Corino officially challenges Steen to a match at Final Battle: if Steen wins, he’s back in ROH! Corino adds that at Final Battle, Steen won’t be getting the nice Steve Corino who has been losing matches. At Final Battle, he’ll be facing an evil person. Cornette adds the stipulation that Jimmy Jacobs will be the referee for their match. Steen says it’s all right because he can’t wait to see the look on Jacobs’ face when he has to count to 3 and give him his job back. Steen demands that Cornette be at ringside too so he can watch him win his career back. Steen wraps it up by spitting in Corino’s face. A brawl breaks out and Steen and Corino have to be separated. This is the best angle going in ROH right now and is giving the company some much needed momentum.
-Welcome to Inside Ring of Honor! Kevin Kelly replays the footage of Mike Bennett causing the Jay Lethal/El Generico TV title match to end in a draw. As a result, at Final Battle, it will be Jay Lethal defending the gold against Mike Bennett and El Generico in a triple threat match. Also, Todd Sinclair will not be the referee, per Bennett’s wishes.
-Eddie Edwards and Dan Severn are still training together. Edwards compares his trilogy of matches with Davey Richards to the all-time great feuds in professional sports. Severn says he regrets not getting to finish things with Ken Shamrock and is taking it upon himself to make sure Edwards and Richards know who the better man is. Edwards feels that when he won the ROH title, he stepped out of Richards’ shadow. However, when he lost the gold to Richards, he went back to the shadow.
-ROH Champion Davey Richards feels that since Dan Severn has come into the picture, he doesn’t know who Eddie Edwards is anymore. He feels that at Final Battle, Edwards will be a whole other beast. Richards doesn’t know how to prepare for a whole other person. Richards hopes the dark side isn’t overtaking Eddie. You know, this would be a more effective build if Edwards had actually displayed some heellish tendencies.
-Roderick Strong is pissed off that no one on his level has accepted his open challenge for Final Battle. He’s so angry that he’s surrounded himself by a group of ring rats. Strong downs a beer and rants about how he’s going to kill someone.
-The Blossom twins are pimping ROH merchandise. Who?
-The Young Bucks talk about how in pro wrestling you’re supposed to respect the veterans. But the veterans don’t respect them. The stars always tell the Bucks to go have a great “opening match.” Those stars could be their fathers, so that’s why they came back to ROH. Booker T says they don’t kiss enough ass, but the truth is they only shake hands with people they consider their equal.
The Young Bucks vs. Future Shock
Adam Cole starts against Nick Jackson. Kyle O’Reilly tags and helps overwhelm Nick with a flurry of offense. Matt Jackson tags but flies into both Cole and O’Reilly, who are ready for him. O’Reilly lights Matt up with his stiff offense, but Nick pulls him to ringside. The Young Bucks double team O’Reilly and set him up on the floor for a dive. O’Reilly tries to fight out of the Bucks’ corner, but suffers some more double team moves. Cue the commercial! After the break, O’Reilly has been isolated by the Young Bucks. O’Reilly manages to counter flying moves from both Bucks and makes the hot tag! Adam Cole delivers a double missile drop-kick on his way to cleaning house. Cole counters a baseball slide from Nick with a suplex onto the apron! Cole hits a leaping enziguri on Matt and a flying cross body. O’Reilly tags and delivers the rolling butterfly suplexes. Ride the Lightning by Future Shock! Cole tags but they are unable to fully connect with a combo attack. Matt Jackson power bombs the life out of Cole, with a super kick assist from Nick. Cole blocks More Bang for Your Buck! O’Reilly tries to put Matt away with a guillotine choke! Nick pulls Cole to ringside and knocks him into the ring post. Nick tries desperately to make O’Reilly break the choke on Matt. Cole pulls Nick to the floor while Matt is still trying to escape the choke. Nick returns and drives O’Reilly’s face into the mat. Nick flies onto Cole, while Matt sets O’Reilly up for More Bang for Your Buck! O’Reilly is finished at 11:00 (shown). The final stretch was amazing, but overall this was pretty formulaic and had some sloppy moments, **¾.
Winners: The Young Bucks
Final Thoughts: Nothing was too interesting this week, save the Kevin Steen segment. It’s really a shame that Steen’s storyline won’t be main eventing Final Battle, as it has such a great slow-burn build to it and about two year’s worth of easily digested back story. I think we are overdue for some more in-ring build between Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, as the issues between them seem really forced. Richards talked about how Edwards is showing a dark side, but we have yet to witness any sign of that for ourselves. Also, if Dan Severn training Edwards is going to lead to Edwards having a new “killer instinct” they had damn well better showcase it in the ring. Edwards really needs to squash someone before Final Battle to show what they’re talking about, otherwise I’m worried that Edwards/Richards III could just be more of the same.
Anyways, Thumb in the Middle.
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