ROH Final Battle 2011 Flashback: Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards for the ROH Title, Kevin Steen vs. Steve Corino, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas vs. The Briscoes for the ROH Tag Titles
The following is Chris Shore's review of the December 23, 2012 ROH Final Battle event. Dot Net's Zack Zimmerman is attending the 2013 event tonight in New York and is hoping to deliver live updates from the building.
ROH Final Battle 2011
Aired live on pay-per-view
New York, NY at The Manhattan Center
Before the show started, the audio feed was working and Bobby Cruise introduced Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness as the commentators, as well as some ROH officials and dignitaries...
The video feed wet live and the audio went out. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were in the ring with Jim Cornette and others. When the audio came back, Cornette said they had earned the biggest gate ever in ROH history, and that preliminary numbers indicated that more people would see this than any show in history.
Cornette introduced the new CEO, who stroked Cary Silkin's ego and then wished everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, and the Festivus for the rest of us...
1. Michael Elgin (w/Truth Martini) defeated TJ Perkins at 7:35. Bryce Remsburg is reffing tonight. Cool. Elgin showed off his power, followed by Perkins showing off his speed. Perkins tried for a dive from the apron onto Elgin on the floor, but Elgin caught him and drove Perkins face first into the barricade.
Elgin worked power on Perkins in the ring and tried to toss him to the floor. Perkins stopped himself in the ropes. Martini shoved Perkins back in the ring for Elgin.Elgin tossed Perkins in the air, but Perkins came down with a hurricanranna that spilled Elgin to the floor. Perkins hit a front flip dive on Elgin and rolled him in the ring for two.
Perkins went to the top rope and jumped off. Elgin caught him in a suplex position and dropped it into a side slam. Holy shit. Elgin hit a back breaker from the torture rack position for two. He hit a buckle bomb and went for the powerbomb. Perkins reversed into a reverse ranna for two. Elgin powered out of Perkins's finisher attempt and hit the buckle bomb and spinning powerbomb for the win...
Shore's Slant: Good opening match that did everything it was supposed to do. Elgin is going to be a star if he can learn to talk.
Senior Official Todd Sinclair came to the ring and the NY crowd chanted, "You're a fat F---." The Embassy was out next and Prince Nana asked Jimmy Rave, "Why?" over and over (Rave was in the Embassy in the past). RD Evans took the mic and the crowd chanted "STFU." Evans cut a promo on Rave saying it was a mistake to come back to ROH and said Ciampa would rip him to shreds. Rave got a decent, but not great pop from the crowd...
2. Tomasso Ciampa (w/The Embassy) defeated Jimmy Rave at 8:31. Rave worked like an equal with Ciampa for the first five minutes. He even locked on a heel lock that Ciampa had to make the ropes to break. Rave knocked him to the floor and tried for a baseball slide. Ciampa stepped aside and then slammed Rave face first into the barricade. Rave basically no sold it by coming right back in the ring.
Rave hit the Rave Clash for two. Nana jumped on the apron and offered Rave his original robe back. Rave grabbed Nana and the ref broke it up. Everybody tried to interfere and failed, but Ciampa used the distraction to hit Project Ciampa for the win...
Shore's Slant: Well, the right match went on second. That nearly put the crowd to sleep. Rave got decent reactions, but Ciampa just isn't over with the ROH crowd yet.
Mike Bennett and Brutal Bob started their entrance, and then Bennett went back and got Maria, who got a big pop. She got in the ring and the place started chanting "CM Punk." Bennet asked, "Who? Oh, you must mean," and then face raped Maria. He cut a promo about winning the TV title. The fans chanted something, but I couldn't make it out on my laptop speakers. Generico was out next, followed by Lethal and old school ring introductions...
3. Jay Lethal defeated Mike Bennett (w/Brutal Bob and Maria) and El Generico in an elimination match for the ROH Television Championship at 18:13. Bennett went to the floor to start. He waited until the other two faced off, and then hit Lethal from behind, followed by Generico. The two babyfaces trapped Bennett on the floor and attacked him. They rolled him in the ring just to clothesline him back to the floor, and then argued over who should dive on him. They finally decided to go at the same time and hit suicide dives on Bennett to leave him out on the floor.
Lethal and Generico squared off. Lethal took the early advantage with a head scissor off a pop up. Generico tried to tlowbridge the ropes on a charging Lethal, but Lethal landed on the apron. Bennett pulled Lethal onto the apron and then attacked Generico. Generico flipped Bennett over the top rope and ran for a dive, but Lethal hit a springboard drop kick on Generico.
Bennett ran in and drove Generico to the floor. He attacked Lethal, but Lethal hit his handspring elbow to drive Bennett to the floor. Generico hit a high crossbody on the back of Lethal for two. A weird "b18b" appeared on the screen. Generico hit two arm drags on Lethal and then a twisitng arm drag on Bennett.
Generico went for ten punches in the corner on Bennett. He hit seven, and then Bennett drove him out of the corner. Lethal tied Generico into Bennett ad hit kicks on them both. Generico hit an exploder suplex on Lethal in the corner and setup for the Akuza kick. The "b18b" disappeared.
The camera man missed an Yakuza kick on Bennett. Lethal hit the Lethal Combination for two on Generico. Bennett hit a spine buster on Generico for two. The camera man missed ANOTHER Yakuza kick, but finally caught the third on Bennett. Generico hit a full nelson suplex for a great near fall.
Lethal ran in and hit a neckbreaker on Generico. He kind of hit it for a two count and went to try again. Generico ran up and tried for the top rope brainbuster. They battled, and Bennett attacked Generico from behind. He rolled him up and hooked the tights to eliminate Generico at 18:04. Lethal immediately hit the Lethal Injection for the win...
Shore's Slant: Great match that you should reallly go out of your way to see. Lethal isn't a very exciting champion, and Bennett deserved the win, but the match itself was great. They tried to show a replay after the match that screwed everything up. How in the hell has iPPV production quality gone backwards? So strange.
Jimmy Jacobs and Jim Cornette came to the ring. Steve Corino was out next, sporting his bleached blonde look. Steen appeared in the balcony. Kevin Kelly screwed everything up by saying Steen had tried to gain entrance to the locker room but was denied. If hope he was fed that line...
4. Kevin Steen defeated Steve Corino in a no disqualification match with Jimmy Jacobs as special referee and Jim Cornette at ringside at 23:13. Kevin Steen is reinstated to ROH. Steen attacked immediately and hit a rolling dive on the apron. Corino dove off the apron and then slammed Steen into the barricade.
Steen rolled in the ring, and Corino tossed several chairs in the ring. Corino hit Steen with a chair, but Steen superkicked the next chair into Corino's face. They went to the floor and Steen hit a powerbomb on the apron, and then took a piece of the barricade apart to hit Corino in the head with it. Corino kicked Steen and then set a chair across the corner of the barricade. Steen kicked Corino and hit a powerbomb on the chair.
Steen put the piece of barricade in the ring and setup a table on the floor. He started to powerbomb Corino on it, but Corino reversed and hit a clothesline. Corino got a trash can lid, but Steen took it away and hit Corino with it. He followed with a front flip leg drop on the lid on Corino;s face, and Corino bled from the ear area.
Corino fought back and slammed Steen on a pile of chairs, and then hit the splash from the top for two. Corino put the piece of barricade on top of four chairs and then superplexed Steen onto it from the top rope for an unreal near fall. Steen crawled out onto the table. Corino went tot he top rope, but Steen stopped him and they battled to the floor.
Steen hit Corino with a chair, and then setup two chairs, with a third across them on top of the table that stretched from the ring to the barricade. Steen dragged Corino to the top rope as the NY crowd chanted, "Please don't die." Corino fought away, and then hit Steen with the trash can lid, sending Steen crashing through the chairs and table.
Corino tossed some more chairs in the ring, and then rolled Steen in for a two count. Cornette and Silkin yelled at Corino to finish it. Corino setup a chair, but Steen reversed into a sleeper suplex, and then a driver onto the chair for two. Steen took a chair and waited for Corino to sit up on his knees. Corino spit on Steen, and Steen hit him with an unprotected chair shot for two.
Jacobs checked on Corino, and Steen shoved Jacobs away. Jacobs snatched the chair out of Steen's hand in retaliation. Corino used the distraction to hit Steen with a roll of quarters for two. Corino setup four chairs in the middle of the ring and dragged Steen on top. Steen punched Corino in the stomach and hit the package piledriver. Jacobs slow counted two, looked at Cornette, and finally counted three.
Cornette slid in the ring to check on Corino. Steen took the mic and said, "Merry Christmas, the devil is back." He said he was there to do three things: one, destroy Steve Corino. He said, "Two," and hit the package piledriver on Jacobs. Cornette checked on Jacobs, and Steen glared at him. He held up three fingers, and went for Cornette. Cornette fled, and El Generico ran to the ring.
Generico and Steen faced off for a moment and then started throwing punches. Generico got the advantage and hit a Yakuza kick in the corner. He set Steen up for the top rope brain buster, but Steen knocked him down to the apron. Steen climbed down and hit the package piledriver on the ringside table. Steen left the ring, Kevin Kelly had a cow, and they went to intermission so the medical team could take care of business...
Shore's Slant: That was terrible. For a hardcore match it was passable I guess, but it never had that great feel about it. I'm glad Steen is back, but this failed to be a big deal. Not to mention the handful of unprotected chair shots we saw. They weren't as bad as some we have seen in the past, but still too much. The attack on Generico plays into the idea that Generico is on his way out of ROH.
5. The Young Bucks beat five teams in a Tag Team Gauntlet match at 28:53. The Young Bucks win a future title shot. The opening teams were The Bravado Brothers and Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman. Coleman and Alexander were making their entrance poses when the Bravados attacked. Alexander came back and hit a front flip dive on both Bravados. Coleman hit a skin the cat ranna that spilled Lancelot to the floor, and Alexander scored a roll-up pinfall. The Bravado Brothers were eliminated at 4:55.
Future Shock was out next, and Alexander and Cole stared. Future Shock worked in control for most of the match, and the crowd died. Coleman hit his jumping top rope ranna for a nice pop, but that was about it. Alexander took ride the lightning for the pinfall. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman were eliminated at 11:46.
The Young Bucks were out next, and Future Shock attacked them on the floor. The Bucks fought back and dropped Cole. Matt hit a wild looking flip on the apron, and Nick followed with a springboard splash for two. Later, the Bucks hit a cool double team stomp from the top rope on Cole, followed by a dive that took out O'Reilly for a near fall.
Future Shock came back and O'Reilly hit nine rolling butterfly suplexes in a row, followed by a German for two. Later, Nick tried to hit his combo move, but O'Reilly caught him and hit a wheelbarrow flip into the apron. Nick basically no sold it, because the Bucks hit More Bang for Your Buck for the pinfall. Future Shock was eliminated at 20:01.
All Night Express was out next. Rhett Titus, who is legit hurt, limped to the ring. The Bucks tried to attack, but ANX moved on the dive and attacked both Bucks. Titus hit a back drop on Nick on the floor; King botched a dive on Matt, but recovered and hit a moonsault from the barricade. ANX rolled Nick in the ring, but Matt grabbed Rhett's legs and dragged him to the post. He slammed the hurt knee into the post, and Titus took a powder, crawling around the ring.
King took the Bucks' offense while Rhett recovered. Rhett finally made it to his corner and got the hot tag. Rhett worked slow on the bum leg, but he hit an X-factor and pop up powerbomb on it. King took out one of the brothers with a dive over the top rope, but King sold it more. Matt locked a leg hold on Titus's injured leg, and Nick hit a 450 from the top rope. Referee Paul Turner stopped the match, and awarded the win to the Bucks. Post-match, the Bucks worked the leg some more, and Nick hit another 450 on Titus...
Shore's Slant: I don't know, I never got into that match. I think it was too long for the first match back from intermission. Everybody worked hard, and Titus deserves a double gold star for working hurt, but it just never caught on. The crowd is not mic'ed well tonight, but they died in that middle of that match. No real surprise with the Bucks winning, especially with the Titus injury.
Kevin Kelly asked Nigel if it was true he was considered for the Roderick Strong Invitational Challenge. Nigel said Roddy didn't want to wrestle him. Strong and Truth made their entrance. Strong cut a promo about nobody answering his challenge. They called for the bell and Truth counted to ten while rhyming a sentence with each number. As they hit ten, the Kings of Wrestling music hit and Chris Hero made his triumphant return...
6. Roderick Strong (w/Truth Martini) defeated Chris Hero at 16:38. Hero took quick control and got the crowd hot. He charged at Strong, who tired to toss him to the floor. Hero landed on his feet, but Truth hit him with the Book of Truth. Strong worked chops and slams on Hero. He hit a backbreaker across the top rope and locked in the Strong Hold.
Hero flipped out of the hold and hit a cravat suplex, but Strong came right back with a series of moves that ended with a Gibson driver for two. Hero came right back with two roaring elbows and a roaring kick for two. He hit the death blow on Strong and covered. Truth slid in the ring and shoved Hero off, and apparently Todd Sinclair and Earl Hebner went to the same referee school because he acted like he didn't see it even though he was looking right at it. Hero chased Martini into the ring and hit a Yakuza kick, but Strong used the distraction to hit a Sick Kick for the win...
Shore's Slant: Decent match, but this PPV is suffering. We just hit the same length as WWE PPVs, except there are two more matches left. Good to see Hero back, and a good match, but not one anybody will be talking about tomorrow.
7. The Briscoes defeated Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team for the ROH Tag Team Championships at 13:12. WGTT hit the Briscoes with the belts and they battled to the floor without the bell being rung. Haas hit a back breaker across the barricade on Jay, and Benjamin hit a suplex on the ramp on Mark. Haas rolled Jay in the ring and attacked him with a chair. Mark took an unprotected chair shot to the head, and then he took a back breaker on the barricade.
The assault continued because the bell had not rung, as Kevin Kelly pointed out too many times. Jay Briscoe tried to fight back, but Haas hit him with another unprotected chair shot to the head. I'm officially disgusted. They pushed Mark to the floor, and then Benjamin nearly killed Haas with the Leap of Faith on Jay. Jay went to the floor and Mark crawled in. Suddenly, the bell rang after nearly ten minutes of assault. Well, that's what you call a double turn folks.
Haas and Benjamin beat up Mark and setup for the Leap of Faith again. Jay slid in and hit a superkick on Benjamin. He and Haas battled, with Haas getting the better, but Benjamin tagged in and hit his corner splash. Benjamin sold the injured ribs from TV and Jay hit a spear.
Later in the match, Haas hit three, back-to-back German suplexes on Jay. He locked the Haas of Pain in, and Mark Briscoe went to the top. He jumped off to hit Haas, but Shelton jumped in-between them and took the blow. Benjamin went tot he floor and Turner checked on him. He called out help and they took Benjamin to the back. Turner climbed back in the ring and took a bump after a botched moment where Haas just stood there looking at the Briscoes who were bent over.
Benjamin hobbled back out and took a board out from under the ring. One of the Briscoes took it unprotected to the head, shattering the board. The crowd chanted "Hoooo!" and "USA." WGTT setup for the Doomsday Device, but Mark hit Benjamin with a piece of the broken board, and the Briscoes hit the move for the pinfall victory and new champions...
Shore's Slant: How was the match? It had too many damn unprotected chair shots, that's how it was. I'm really upset by this. Sinclair Broadcasting needs to end the unprotected chair shots now. The double turn was right, and the Briscoes winning was right, but those chair shots were disgusting.
8. Davey Richards defeated Eddie Edwrads (w/Dan Severn) vs. (w/Team Richards) to retain the ROH World Championship at 41:15. The bell rang and Eddie hit a kick immediately. They ran a series of reversals with Eddie going for the Dragon Sleeper at one point. Richards got the first submission attempt early, but Eddie made the rope quickly.
They locked up and went to the ropes. Richards broke clean. Eddie shoved him, so Davey hit him with an elbow. Eddie hit a stiff punch and took control. He worked a heel move set early, even choking Richards in the corner with his foot.
They spilled to the floor in front of fans who just sat there. Richards slammed Eddie into the barricade and then hit a Yakuza kick. Nigel said these two hate each other. I don't think that's the story they are trying to tell. Davey hit a nasty looking kick from the apron on Eddie, and then hit a suicide dive that Davey oversold a little.
Back in the ring, Davey hit a missile drop kick for two, followed by several elbows for two. Richards hooked several submission attempts in a row, but Edwards escaped each and came back with big chops. They traded blows in the middle of the ring. Davey went for a handspring elbow. Edwards caught him and dumped Davey on the floor. He followed with a moonsault from the apron and banged his legs on the barricade.
Eddie rolled Davey back in the ring and he applied several submission holds himself. Eddie stomped on Richards and then let him stand up. They squared off, trading slaps to the face at 18:00. Eddie took several slaps and then hit a superkick. Richards no sold and hit a lariat for one, so he hit another lariat for two.
Richards hit a double stomp on the back, followed by a running kick, and then another double stomp on the chest for a nearfall. He set Eddie on the top and they traded nasty looking head-butts. What the hell is up with this company tonight? Davey hit a top rope superplex and rolled through, but Eddie hit a suplex that spilled both men over the top rope. OK, that was a cool looking spot.
Both men tried to hit big boots at the same time. They id that spot twice, and then Eddie chopped Davey into the corner. He hit a ton of chops, and then Davey kicked Eddie back to the opposite corner to hit a ton of kicks. And then both men again traded blows in the middle of the ring.
They no-sold a ton of suplexes and then knocked each other out with kicks. Roderick String ran out and attacked Team Richards. Severn attacked Roddy. Michael Elgin and Truth Martini ran out, and Severn beat them up until Team Richards recovered. Team Richards beat up the House of Truth to the back as Severn carried Truth to the back.
Both men stood in the ring and traded kicks. Edwards got the best and hit a full nelson suplex near the corner. He followed with a top rope ranna and two powerbombs for two. Edwards locked in the Dragon Sleeper. Richards popped out into a roll up. Eddie kicked out into another Dragon Sleeper. He broke the move himself to hit a tombstone piledriver, followed by his finisher for two.
Eddie set Davey on the top. Davey flipped over for a sunset powerbomb, but Eddie held on. Richards attacked Eddie from behind and climbed up to hit a full nelson superplex from the top rope for two. Davey went for another suplex on the apron, but Eddie fought back. Davey hit a nasty looking slam on the apron that Edwards is going to feel over the holidays. Eddie made the count at 19, so Richards hit the half nelson suplex on the apron. Eddie made the count at 19 again.
Davey looked at Eddie and said, "This ends now." He hit him with several kicks for a near fall, then more kicks for a near fall, then one more kick for the win. Post-match, Davey tossed his belt aside and asked for a mic. He said Cornette told him before the show that whoever went over needed to put over the other guy as the toughest SOB he's ever been in the ring with. He said that was a no brainer, and then told Eddie whenever he got past whatever was consuming him, his brother was there.
Suddenly, Kevin Steen's voice filled the arena and he stepped out of the curtain. He said he was tired of Davey kissing ass. He called Davey a MF while Team Richards held Davey back, and said he was taking the belt in 2012, and then he would hold the GD company hostage because he was the Anti-Christ of wrestling. He flipped the crowd off and said, "Merry Christmas, bitches," before heading to the back. Davey raised hell in the ring and Kevin Kelly wished everyone Happy Holidays...
Shore's Slant: Well, I got the match I expected, which is not a good thing. Every Davey Richards match is the same. He has the worst finishes in the business with that weak "overwhelming" kicks thing he does, and he's just not very good at using ring psychology. As much as I didn't think their last match was all that great, it was much better than this one. There were so many no-sell spots in that match that nothing seemed impressive. I don't understand how ROH and Cornette don't see that.
Of course based on this show, Corette and ROH aren;t seeing a lot. With eight days until 2012, there are absolutely no excuses or reasons to have unprotected chair shots to the head. None. Zero. Nada. Concussions are a way of life in wrestling anyway. Why would you allow your talent to take that level of risk?
Overall this is the first ROH show I have seen that I would not recommend. Only Kevin Steen really felt special tonight. I go back to what Cornette said to open the show, more people than ever saw this tonight. I would be terrified to know that's what I gave my biggest audience ever.
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