ROH Final Battle - December 16, 2012
-We open with a great video package recapping the extensive history between Kevin Steen and El Generico.
-From New York, NY. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer.
Michael Elgin vs. Roderick Strong
Truth Martini is conspicuous in his absence. Strong sets the tone by spitting at Elgin and a brawl breaks out. Elgin catches Strong in a dive but Strong blocks a buckle bomb into the ring post. Strong misses a chop and hits the ring post! Truth Martini arrives as Elgin drops Strong to the floor. Flying shoulder tackle off the apron by Elgin! Martini appears to be cheering both guys on as Elgin hits a running power slam. Strong rebounds with a back suplex on the apron. Elgin absorbs some punishment and explodes with a running forearm. Elgin delivers a spinning Black Hole Slam. Fireman’s carry slam into the turnbuckles by Elgin! Strong trips Elgin on the ropes and nails an enziguri. Backbreaker across the turnbuckles by Strong! Elgin comes back with a series of upper-body blows, but Strong returns the favor. Elgin delivers an awesome dead-lift superplex! Strong absorbs a Buckle Bomb and nails his patented Gut-Buster. Elgin explodes back with a nasty clothesline. Martini slides the Book of Truth into the ring and distracts the referee. Strong uses the book to counter a power bomb and drives Elgin’s head into his boot for the win at 11:28. Hard-hitting, hot opening contest. This was just a taste of what these two can do, ***½.
Winner: Roderick Strong
-Truth Martini gloats over Strong’s victory and tries to claim him for the House of Truth. Strong reiterates that he’s quit the House of Truth and pushes Martini down. Strong exits, leaving Martini to try and plead with Elgin to rejoin him. Martini makes his case with “I love you” and a hug. Elgin isn’t buying it and goes for a power bomb, but Martini begs him to hear him out. Martini changes his tune to tearing down Elgin for turning his back on him and slaps him. Elgin hits the Buckle Bomb and spinning forearm to knock Martini to the floor. This was a good way for Elgin to get his heat back.
-Video package putting over Jay Lethal’s newfound “killer instinct.”
Jay Lethal vs. Rhino
Steve Corino joins commentary for the match and Rhino doesn’t seem too pleased to see him. The early going showcases Rhino’s strength vs. Lethal’s speed. Lethal gains the advantage with a suicide dive. Corino claims he dated Lethal’s mother as Rhino gets worked over at ringside. Rhino rebounds with a hard spinebuster. Corino verbally abuses Caleb Seltzer on commentary while Rhino wears down Lethal with an epic bear hug. Lethal mounts a comeback with a flurry of attacks. Belly to belly suplex by Rhino but the gore is countered with a super kick! Lethal applies the Koji Clutch but Rhino dead-lifts him for a nice suplex. That spot is worth an extra ½* alone. The Lethal Injection is enough to finish it at 9:31. Average match here, with one really cool moment, **½.
Winner: Jay Lethal
-Steve Corino hops on the apron with a mic and tears Lethal down for considering getting involved in tonight’s main event. Corino repeats his line about dating Lethal’s mother and says he used to like Lethal back in the day when he’d carry his bags for him. Lethal wants to fight but Jimmy Jacobs jumps him from behind. Corino and Jacobs double team Lethal and hold him up for a GORE from Rhino. Corino vows that Lethal will never main event, face Kevin Steen, or be ROH World Champion.
-Video package hyping the battle between former Embassy managers: R.D. Evans vs. Prince Nana. This seems like something the NYC fans won’t like.
R.D. Evans (with QT Marshall) vs. Prince Nana
Evans has been tearing it up in CHIKARA as the Handsome and Mysterious Stranger, so maybe this will be good. Evans comes to the ring wearing a hilarious pink cape. Nana is apparently the baby face in this feud. Evans sets the tone with a slap to the face so Nana tackles him. Nana delivers some running moves in the corner and aggressively drops Evans on his back. Evans wipes himself out on a dive attempt and Nana nails a tope of his own. Evans pulls Nana’s clothing to take control of the match. Nana counters a flying elbow drop and makes a comeback. Evans springboards into a cutter by Nana. Marshall pulls the referee to the floor to prevent a pinfall. Ernesto Osiris makes his return to dispose of Marshall. Evans spends too much time preparing a flying move and gets knocked off his feet. Superplex by Nana only gets 2. Evans uses an inverted Styles Clash to finish it at 6:37. This was pretty basic stuff, *½.
Winner: R.D. Evans
-Tommaso Ciampa appears in the crowd and wants to fight Evans.
-Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas cut a promo backstage. Benjamin finds Titus and Whitmer’s injuries humorous. Haas threatens to kick the shit out of them.
NYC Street Fight:
Titus and Whitmer jump WGTT during their entrance. Cue the ringside brawl! Whitmer and Titus dominate the early going just like good baby faces should. Titus has a giant Christmas stocking full of weapons to make things interesting. They break a giant candy cane over Haas’ back. This sparks a “Merry Christmas” chant. Titus and Benjamin battle it out using a Christmas tree as a weapon. Meanwhile, Haas is tearing apart the guard rail, with something nasty in mind for Whitmer. WGTT take control after destroying Whitmer with the barricade and taking a whip to Titus. Whitmer saves Titus from a double power bomb with some kendo stick shots. Haas nails BJ with the Olympic Slam for a 2 count. Benjamin brings the metal barricade into the ring and they stand it up. WGTT double team Whitmer with a backdrop on the steel! Titus finds his second wind and drops Benjamin face-first onto a chair. Haas sets the guard rail in in corner but Titus counters with a hip toss onto the steel! Benjamin sets up a table at ringside and dukes it out with Rhett on the apron. Benjamin puts Titus (and himself) through the table with Pay Dirt. Haas and Whitmer trade blows in the ring. Whitmer sets a fresh table up in the ring and places Haas on it. Haas dives off the table and meets Whitmer on the ropes. Haas throws Whitmer across the ring and he goes through the table head-first! That is the most disgusting spot I’ve seen in a long time. Haas gets the pin at 15:18. This was a great brawl, but that finishing spot was scary dangerous, ***¼.
Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin)
Winners: Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
-Video recap of Jerry Lynn defeating Nigel McGuinness for the ROH World Championship in 2009.
-BJ Whitmer gets a standing ovation as he’s helped out of the ring. Everyone is glad to see he isn’t paralyzed.
Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis and Brutal Bob) vs. Jerry Lynn
This is billed as Lynn’s last ROH match before retirement. Lynn outsmarts Bennett in the early going. They exchange holds as the crowd taunts Maria. Bennett avoids a piledriver and hides in the ropes. Lynn counters with a tirt-a-whirl head scissors and scores a dive to the floor. Bennett lures Lynn into a trap as Brutal Bob nails a clothesline. Lynn blocks a suplex but Bennett rebounds with a backbreaker. Bennett wears Lynn down with a series of head attacks. Jerry makes a comeback and slams Bennett around the ring. Lynn pulls the hair, pokes the eyes, and rakes the back. DDT by Lynn only gets 2. Lynn pays tribute to Nigel McGuinness with the London Dungeon off the apron. Bennett retaliates with a spinebuster for 2. Maria distracts the ref while Bob sends a chair into the ring. Lynn outsmarts with a cutter onto the chair. Lynn goes after Maria, who hangs him on the ropes. The Box Office Smash finishes Lynn at 10:05. Okay-ish match, with the usual Bennett shenanigans. Kind of a weak way for Lynn to end his ROH career, **¼.
Winner: Mike Bennett
-Mike Bennett attempts a beat down but gets dropped onto Brutal Bob. Lynn plants Maria with a DDT onto Bob. Lynn finishes Bennett with the Cradle Piledriver to score the moral victory. Lynn cuts a goodbye promo on the microphone. He’s joined by Nigel McGuinness and they reminisce all the ROH moments they shared together. Nigel presents Lynn with an ROH plaque and puts him over one last time.
-Nigel McGuinness is lingering behind in the ring when he’s joined by Jay Lethal. Lethal calls Nigel out for being the ROH Enforcer, but spending his time handing out awards instead of enforcing the rules. Lethal feels that as the Survival of the Fittest winner, he should be in the main event, not El Generico. Nigel promises Lethal that S.C.U.M. will have repercussions for attacking Lethal earlier. He adds that if El Generico wins the ROH title, Lethal will be first in line for a shot. Jay is still mad about Kevin Steen spitting in his mother’s face and isn’t satisfied. Lethal spits on Nigel and referees have to rush in to separate them.
-Kevin Kelly interviews Mike Mondo in the ring. Mondo is still on crutches but is expecting to return from injury much earlier than projected. Mondo refers to his crutches as “bitch sticks” and tosses them aside. Mondo promises no mercy to anyone who gets in his way. Too bad he still isn’t over. He is interrupted by the newly formed tag team of Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. Fish claims that the American Wolves reunion isn’t going to happen and that Davey Richards is going to have to face them alone. Seeing as Mondo is handicapped, he should be Davey’s partner. O’Reilly and Fish attack Mondo’s injured knee, forcing Davey Richards to run in. Richards gets double teamed and has to be saved by his old friend, Eddie Edwards. Eddie teases an attack on Davey before planting O’Reilly with a super kick and clearing the ring. Richards and Edwards embrace and floor O’Reilly and Fish with stereo suicide dives.
The American Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) vs. Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly
Edwards plants Fish for a missile drop-kick from Richards. O’Reilly rushes in and takes a series of hard shots from the Wolves. Fish gets isolated in the Wolves corners as they make quick tags. O’Reilly and Fish find an opening by knocking the Wolves out of the ring. Davey quickly rebounds but Fish blocks his running boot, setting him up for a running kick from O’Reilly. Eddie suffers a missile drop-kick on the floor. It’s Eddie’s turn to take a beating while trapped in the heel corner. Richards loses his patience and storms in for a save. Richards lifts both Fish and O’Reilly for boots to the head. Davey cleans house before suffering a Falcon Arrow from Fish. Eddie is revived and nails O’Reilly with a super kick. The Wolves both deliver suplexes to the floor. O’Reilly and Richards find themselves alone in the ring and exchange stiff shots. Richards counters O’Reilly’s Dragon Sleeper with the ankle lock. Edwards stops O’Reilly with an enziguri and the Chin Checker. Piledriver/Super Kick combo by the Wolves only gets 2 on O’Reilly. Kyle nails a Tornado DDT on Eddie (while kicking Davey) and gets an assist from Fish for 2. Eddie counters but Fish breaks the cover with a moonsault. The match breaks down. O’Reilly kicks out of a backstabber/power bomb combo. Eddie applies the Boston Crab while Richards stomps O’Reilly’s head and the match is over at 12:25. Fun reunion match here. The Fish/O’Reilly team will probably have to carry the work-rate load in the future, ***.
Winners: The American Wolves
ROH TV Champion Adam Cole vs. Matt Hardy
Seeing as Cole’s TV title isn’t on the line, I suppose Hardy is going over. We get a “Fuck you, Hardy” chant as they lock up. Hardy is acting like a dick so Cole slaps him. Hardy goes for a time out and eats a suicide dive. Cole scores with a second top rope dive. Hardy rebounds with a Side Effect on the apron! Hardy takes control and goes after Cole’s back. Cole reverses the Twist of Hate into the Figure Four. Hard escapes and nails the Side Effect a few more times. Cole absorbs the Hardy elbow and nails a super kick. Cole steals the Twist of Fate for a 2 count. Cole gets snapped on the ropes but retaliates with an enziguri. Hardy nails a Razor’s Edge sit-out power bomb. They tumble to the floor and Cole nails the Florida Key (German suplex) on the floor! Hardy surprises with the Twist of Hate for another near fall. Cole rebounds with the Figure Four. Hardy grabs the referee for protection and nails a blind low blow. Hardy wins with a small package at 11:38. Good effort here, but the crowd didn’t do them any favors and the finish was eye-rolling stuff, **¾.
Winner: Matt Hardy
ROH Tag Team Championship:
Corino and Jacobs get jumped by both teams immediately and the action spills to ringside. Steve Corino finds himself taking punishment from Jay and Alexander in the ring. Coleman sets Jacobs up for Redneck Kung Fu from Mark. There is a disagreement over who gets to pin Jacobs and S.C.U.M. are saved. The champions leave the ring and have to be forced back. Coleman and Alexander nail Total Elimination on Corino and Cedric dives onto the Briscoes at ringside. The match has already broken down with seemingly no tags and everyone picking their spots. S.C.U.M. isolate Coleman in the ring for a Texas Clothesline. Alexander saves Coleman from a roll of quarters shot. Corino knocks Alexander out with the quarters but only gets 2. The Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device on Jacobs for the win at 7:05. Holy crap, that was quick. Good enough, **½.
S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs) © vs. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman vs. Jay and Mark Briscoe
Winners and new ROH Tag Team Champions: Jay and Mark Briscoe
-Jay takes the microphone and reminds everyone that he and Mark are the best tag team in the world. They offer an open invitation to any team in the world. They want Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander to be their first challengers.
ROH World Championship (Ladder War IV):
The bell rings they begin brawling right away. Twisting tornado DDT by Generico and the Yakuza kick! Generico nails the tope over the ropes. Generico is first to grab a ladder and punishes Steen with repeated blows. Steen back drops Generico through a ladder against the ropes! Steen puts the broken ladder on Generico and delivers a running cannonball. Steen ruthlessly brings more ladders into the ring in between dishing out punishment. Steen sets up an extra big ladder and climbs. Generico trips on his way back in but pulls Steen down for a suplex through a ladder! Generico goes up but Steen pulls him down, only to suffer a nasty suplex onto a ladder. Steen pushes the standing ladder over to send Generico into the turnbuckles. Steen counters with a hard backbreaker. Steen bridges a ladder on the apron and barricade and stands a table on it. This isn’t going to end well. Generico counters and back drops Steen through the table and ladder! Security brings a super-size ladder to ringside and it looks like Generico is going to win. Steen climbs the turnbuckles so Generico attempts a Brainbuster, but Steen drops him through a ringside table! Steen climbs, but Generico bats him down with a second ladder. Steen bridges a small ladder between the two large ladders and power bombs Generico over it. Generico comes back and nails the package piledriver! Steen brings a fourth ladder in and hangs it over the other bridged ladder. They battle on the horizontal ladder to “Please don’t die” chants. Steen nails a low blow and the package piledriver on the ladder! That. Is. Disgusting. And awesome. Steen grabs the belt at 27:59 for the victory. This was a crazy brawl and hardcore spot-fest. I’m happy to say this was the blow-off that this long-time feud deserved, ****½.
Kevin Steen © vs. El Generico
Winner and still ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen
Final Thoughts: The main event is a must-see MOTYC. The rest of the show… is pretty good. The American Wolves reunion was a nice moment and probably a smart booking decision, seeing as Richards and Edwards have probably done all they can do as singles acts for the time being. 2012 was a creatively down year for ROH, and several feuds on this show lacked any sort of inspiration, but the Steen/Generico final encounter is worth going out of your way to see. Mild thumbs up.
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