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Ring of Honor - Feburary 4, 2012

by SamoaRowe

-The focus is on the Television title this week! We open with a video recap of the Jay Lethal vs. Mike Bennett vs. El Generico match from Final Battle, a match that I seemed to enjoy more than most other critics (I gave it ****, I see it hovering around the *** mark in other reviews). Either way, Lethal retained in convincing fashion.

-From Baltimore, MD. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. The commentary team is in the ring to kick off Fighting February! This month of ROH TV will feature pay-per-view caliber matches every week.

-Mike Bennett and Maria put themselves over backstage. Bennett promises to win the Television title from Lethal, seeing as there will be no time limit, and no crooked referee.

ROH Television Championship:
Jay Lethal © vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett (with Brutal Bob Evans and Maria Kanellis)

Lethal is eager to get his hands on Bennett, who hides out at ringside. They engage in a back and forth contest. Lethal gets into the driver’s seat as they brawl around the ring. Both men tumble to the floor. Lethal fights off Evans, and Bennett uses Maria as a human shield. The distractions finally allow Bennett to score with a cheap shot to the head. Cue the commercial! After the break, Lethal is looking to mount a comeback. Lethal goes for a suicide dive, but Bennett directs him into the guard rail! Lethal escapes a sleeper and wins a slug-fest. Lethal scores with clotheslines and a moonsault! A missile drop-kick only gets 2. Bennett counters a springboard back elbow with a neck breaker! Bennett is so exhausted that he has to lean on the ropes. Maria pushes him onto Lethal so he can get the pin, but Lethal counters and gets the win at 9:09 (shown). Perfectly solid television wrestling here, not exactly “pay-per-view quality” though, **½.
Winner and still Television Champion: Jay Lethal

-Backstage interview with Eddie Edwards. Eddie mocks Kyle O’Reilly for bad-mouthing him behind his back and for having an absurd man-crush on Davey Richards. O’Reilly storms in and gets in Eddie’s face. Kyle claims he’s a better friend to Davey than Eddie ever was. Kyle challenges Eddie to a match next week. This angle is becoming really juvenile.

-Kelly and McGuinness are all “sad face” because they have to interview Kevin Steen. First, they replay the footage from Final Battle showing Steen destroying everyone in sight. Naturally, Steen receives an overwhelming baby face reaction from the live crowd. Steen rips the mic from Kelly’s hand and kicks him out of the ring. Steen says for a year he’s been asking himself a question: what kind of wrestling promotion keeps their top guy at home for a year? Steen says that other promotions let their wrestlers get away with murder, but ROH keeps him home because he won’t suck up to Jim Cornette. Steen turns his attention to ROH World Champion Davey Richards. When he gets his chance, he will rip Richards apart, and as champion he will hold ROH hostage. Jim Cornette and Cary Silkin show up with security. Cornette and Steen trade personal insults, which is always good for a laugh. Cornette announces that from here on out, the Piledriver is banned from ROH! Steen swears on his son’s life that he’ll come up with some other way to become ROH Champion. This was all-around fantastic. Cornette and Steen are developing a great chemistry against each other.

-It’s time for Inside Ring of Honor! Truth Martini claims that the Briscoes are a huge disappointment, as they made Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong do the work back in the 80 minute elimination match. Strong and Elgin will be getting their hands on the Briscoes soon. The Briscoes (now the ROH Tag Team Champions) angrily rant and rave about how great they are and how much the House of Truth sucks.

-Kelly announces that in three weeks, Davey Richards will defend the World title against Jay Lethal. Richards says that Lethal might be the best wrestler on Television, but Richards is the best wrestler in the world.

-Rhett Titus is still on crutches for a backstage sit-down interview. Kenny King says that they were on a roll but everything came crashing down at Final Battle. Titus promises to cut his recovery time in half. King suggests that the Young Bucks are a couple of pussies.

-The Young Bucks are interviewed backstage. They insult Vayda Scott, the new lady interviewer. They ask if she was on Entertainment Tonight and then hit on her in sleazy fashion.

-Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team come to the ring for their match. Charlie Haas grabs a microphone and seems to call off their match. Shelton Benjamin says they had planned to say how happy they were to be in Baltimore, but because of the lukewarm crowd response, they’ve changed their minds. Benjamin says the fans are as stupid as the Briscoes are. They don’t want to wrestle the Bravados, so they are holding the show hostage until the Briscoes give them a title rematch. Jim Cornette and security comes out for the second time tonight. After a commercial, WGTT are still refusing to leave the ring. The Briscoes finally storm the ring and initiate a brawl.

ROH Tag Team Championship:
Jay and Mark Briscoe © vs. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin

The bell rings and the match surprisingly kicks off with less than four minutes left in the program. Haas is a bit too aggressive and gets reprimanded, allowing Benjamin to cheap shot Jay Briscoe. Benjamin tags and stomps Jay into the corner. Benjamin holds Jay for a clubbing blow by Haas. Jay counters Shelton with double knees in the turnbuckles. Mark tags and overwhelms Haas. Jay dumps Shelton to the floor. Jay rolls up Haas but Shelton nails a chair shot to the head! The match is thrown out at 4:19. This was right to the point, so huzzah.
Winners via DQ: Jay and Mark Briscoe

Final Thoughts: This was an all around good episode. Bennett/Lethal was fine television wrestling, the Steen angle continues to be all kinds of awesome, and things heated up with WGTT and the Briscoes. My only problem with this show is just how silly the issue between Eddie Edwards and Kyle O’Reilly is becoming. They come across as a bunch of fifth graders who can’t get along on a kickball team. Otherwise, this show has quietly built up some serious momentum going forward. Thumbs up!

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