ROH Final Battle 2012 Flashback: Kevin Steen vs. El Generico in a Ladder Wars match for the ROH Title, Matt Hardy vs. Adam Cole, Jerry Lynn vs. Mike Bennett, Roderick Strong vs. Michael Elgin
The following is Chris Shore's review of the December 16, 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 2012
Aired Live on iPPV
From The Manhattan Center, New York, N.Y.
A video recapped the long history of Kevin Steen and El Generico. The opening video aired and Kevin Kelly and Caleb Stelzer (I didn't catch his last name but I think that was it) checked in on commentary. The feed looks GREAT. Seriously great. I'm very impressed. The announce team hyped some of the matches and then sent it to the ring for the opener…
1. Michael Elgin vs. Roderick Strong. Truth Martini did not come out with either man, but he did walk out about 90 seconds in. Elgin slammed Strong on the railing and Martini celebrated. He kept celebrating as Elgin continued to beat up Strong, even going over to take one of the headsets and praise Elgin.
Strong hit a surprise back suplex on the apron, and Martini celebrated again, even going back to the headsets to put Strong over. Strong and Elgin traded reversals until Elgin hit a spinning black hole slam. Roddy came back with his elbow strikes, but Elgin scooped him up and hit a DVD on the buckle for two.
Elgin climbed the buckle, but Roddy caught him there and hit a backbreaker across the buckle for two. Elgin fought back and they traded blows. Strong one the exchange with a jumping knee for two. He went for the Strong Hold, but Elgin kicked him away. They fought in the corner, and Elgin hit a second rope superplex while pulling Strong up from the apron. Very cool visual.
They traded big moves and both sold. Truth jumped on the apron and tossed the Book of Truth in the ring. Roddy went for it, but Elgin stepped on it. He flipped Strong up for the powerbomb, but Roddy held on to the book and hit Elgin with it. Roddy followed with the Strong Bow for the pinfall victory…
Roderick Strong defeated Michael Elgin at 11:31.
Post-match, Truth Martini took the mic and introduced Strong as the winner and only member of the House of Truth, Roddy snatched the mic away and said he said it once and he'll say it again, he quit. Strong left the ring and Truth helped Elgin up. He said he loved Elgin and hugged him. Elgin grabbed him for the powerbomb, but Truth still had the mic and begged off to be heard.
Elgin relented and let Truth stand. Truth chastised Elgin and Strong and said them turning on him was a slap in the face. He said this was how a real man slaps someone in the face, and slapped Elgin. Elgin hit a bucklebomb, and then a spinning back fist knocked Truth to the floor…
Shore's Slant: Solid opener, but the Martini thing was poorly thought out. Truth actually did the manly thing if you think about it. At any rate, that was a good match to get the crowd pumping. I hope this is the blow off of this feud though, I have no desire to see it again.
A video hyped Jay Lethal's story. Lethal, made his entrance, followed by Rhino. Steve Corino joined commentary before the match could begin…
2. Jay Lethal vs. Rhino. Corino put Rhino over as a mercenary as Kelly tried to link Corino and Rhino. Lethal had the early control, chopping Rhino all over the floor. Rhino came storming back and setup for the gore. Lethal hit a kick on the charging Rhino and then the Lethal Combination. Lethal hooked in the koji clutch. Rhino sold it for a while and then powered up for a slam. Lethal came right back and hit the Lethal Injection for the win…
Jay Lethal defeated Rhino at 9:33.
Post-match, Steve Corino took a mic and continued to insult Lethal and his mother. Lethal dared him to get in the ring. Jimmy Jacobs ran out and attacked Lethal from behind. The two men beat Lethal down and then held him so Rhino could hit a gore. Corino said Lethal would never be in the main event…
Shore's Slant: Fine match for what it was. It was the right match to go on second, and it was more about the post-match than the match itself.
A video recapped the Prince Nana vs. RD Evans feud. Both men made their entrances. You have to see Evans's outfit to believe it…
3. RD Evans (w/QT Marshall) vs. Prince Nana. Evans slapped Nana before the bell. They worked a half comedy, half technical style, with Nana being more technical to Evans's comedy.Evans went for a springboard move, but Nana grabbed him with an ace crusher in the air. He covered, but Marshall pulled the ref from the ring to break the count. Ernesto Cruz ran out and attacked Marshall, but Marshall slammed him into the railing. Evans hit a driver and went to the top. Nana caught him and hit a superplex for two. Evans came right back and hit a reverse clash for the win…
RD Evans defeated Prince Nana at 6:39.
Post-match, Tomoasso Ciampa came through the crowd and tried to get to Evans, but security held him back…
Shore's Slant: Fun little match there. Nana was better than I thought, and Evans showed that he can wrestle, even if his body type isn't that of a "normal" wrestler. I cannot wait for the return of Ciampa. He's a stud.
A video recapped the WGTT vs. Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer feud. WGTT started to make their entrance, but their opponents attacked from behind to start the match…
4. Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team vs. Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer in a New York street fight. Whitmer and Titus attacked WGTT with a ton of Christmas gimmicks, including a fake tree. They split into pairs, and Benjamin used the tree to take out Titus, while Whitmer and Hass battled on the floor. Whitmer started to hit a piledriver on a piece of railing, but Benjamin hit a superkick to knock Whitmer out.
Haas and Bejamin continue to take Titus apart with a belt and a crutch. The fans chanted for the tree. Benjamin picked it up and tossed it to the floor. Good heel move. Whitmer had a hope spot with a kendo stick, but Haas knocked him down and busted him open. Benjamin put a piece of railing in the ring and they hit a double team backdrop on Whitmer across the rail. Ow.
Titus broke the count and sent Haas to powder. He hit a face buster on a chair on Benjamin for two. He set the railing in the corner, but Haas kicked him. Haas tried to whip Titus on the table, but Titus reversed and hit a hip toss. Benjamin hit a superkick and setup a table on the floor. He and Titus battled on the apron until Benjamin hit Pay Dirt through the table.
Haas and Whitmer traded blows and Whitmer got the best. He got another table and set it up in the ring He put Haas on it and climbed to the top. Haas ran up and they battled on top forever before Haas hit a belly to belly superplex through the table for the win. Whitmer went through the table head first, but the replay shows him saying "I'm fine…"
Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team defeated Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer at 15:26.
Shore's Slant: Typical garbage match, but I enjoyed it. The spot at the end was sick looking, but the fact that they moved on pretty quickly and that you could see Whitmer say, "I'm fine" in the replay gives me hope that all is OK.
A video recapped Jerry Lyn winning the ROH title several years ago. Back live, Whitmer was just leaving the ring as the fans applauded hi, I'm guessing that was half, "let's make sure" and half selling. At least I hope so. Mike Bennett and his entourage made their entrance. Jerry Lynn was out to a good pop…
5. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett (w/Maria and Brutal Bob) vs. Jerry Lynn in Jerry Lynn's last ROH match. A "Boston sucks" broke out for Bennett. Lynn started out fast. He hit a tilt-a-whirl head scissor that spilled Bennett to the floor. Lynn followed and chased Bennett, but Brutal Bob hit a surprise clothesline as Maria had the ref distracted.
Bennett rolled Lynn back in the ring and used a ground and pound approach. He hit an ace crusher on the floor from the apron in a nice spot. Back in the ring, Bennett hit a spine buster for two. Maria distracted the ref, and Bob slipped Bennett a chair. Lynn reversed the left and hit an ace crusher on the chair. He tossed the chair to the floor into Bob's nuts and covered for two. Lynn grabbed Maria. She hit a hang man on him, and Bennett followed with a Box Office Buster for the win…
Mike Bennett defeated Jerry Lynn at 10:07.
Post-match, Bob and Bennett went after Lynn again, but Lynn ducked a clothesline that took Bob out instead. He started to hook Bob for something, but Maria shoved him. He hit a DDT on Maria, and then a cradle piledriver. All three heels went to the back, and Lynn took a mic. He started thanking Cary Silken and the boys in the back, when Nigel McGuiness came out with a few of the younger guys.
Nigel took the mic and shared a story about working with Lynn and how over Lynn was. He said to all the guys in the back, Lynn would always be over. He gave him a plaque that thanked Lynn and they all clapped for him. Lynn said his thanks and thanked the fans for being there. He said the crazier they are, the more the boys want to put it on the line for them. He said he had six more matches and told everyone to try and make them. He thanked everyone again and left…
Shore's Slant: Pretty basic match, but a nice one to go out on. Lynn's speech was heartfelt, and the award was a classy touch.
Before Nigel could leave, Jay Lethal came out and demanded his match or he would take it tonight. Nigel said he wasn't backing down. Lethal played the "spit on my mother card" and Nigel said he was sorry, but Lethal should just watch the main event and cheer on Generico because if he won, Lethal would get the first shot. Lethal said Steen spit on his mother, ROH spit on Lethal, and now Lethal just spit on Nigel. He followed by actually spitting on Nigel. Nigel went after him and the crowd filled with guys to break them up. Nigel ordered Lethal tossed from the building…
Mike Mondo made his ring entrance in a boot and said he was coming back soon. Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish made their ring entrance. Fish took the mic and said Eddie Edwards wouldn't be there, so there would be no American Wolves reunion. Fish said since Davey Richards found himself in a handicap match, he though Mondo might want to be Davey's partner since he was handicapped. Mondo got in his face, so O'Reilly attacked from behind.
They beat Mondo down and Davey ran out for the save. They beat up Richards and Edwards ran out. O'Reilly and Fish held Davey, but Eddie hit a superkick on Fish. He tossed both men out and the Wolves reunited…
6. Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish vs. The American Wolves. The announce team gave an update on Whitmer, saying he had refused treatment and left on his own power. In other words, he's fine. The Wolves worked fast, hitting dives on the floor. O'Reilly took out Edwards with a dropkick on the chair on the floor. Fish caught Davey's foot on a kick, allowing O'Reilly to kick Davey.
The rapid fire offense continued while the heels were in charge and the match quickly broke down with all four men flying around the ring. Fish hit a moonsault to break a pin attempt and sold his knee big time. He moved around pretty good after that, so I don't think it's legit. After roughly one million moves, Edwards tried to hook an Achilles's lock on O'Reilly. Davey hut a double stomp off the top rope on O'Reilly, allowing Edwards to turn him over. Edwards stomped on O'Reilly's head and the ref stopped the match…
The American Wolves defeated Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish at 12:26.
Shore's Slant: A pretty good match for the wide open style. It's just too much for me, but I also understand why you put this on as the first match after intermission because it was impossible for that crowd not to get hot.
A video recapped the war of words between Matt Hardy and Adam Cole…
7. Matt Hardy vs. Adam Cole in a non-title match. Color me surprised, I thought this was a title match. Hardy hit a side effect on the apron early and continued to work Cole's back. He hit the side effect four times in the row in the ring to a chorus of boos. He went for the Twist of Fate, but Cole escaped and hit a Twist of Fate of his own for two.
Hardy came back and hit a Razor's Edge lift into a powerbomb for two. Hardy went for Twist of Fate again, but Cole escaped and they battled to the floor. Cole hit the Florida Key on the floor, and Hardy sold it like he was shot. Cole rolled Hardy in the ring and covered for two. Hardy came right back with a surprise Twist of Fate for two. Cole hooked for the Florida Key again, but Hardy grabbed the ref and pulled his shirt over his head. Hardy hit two low blows and rolled Cole up for the win…
Matt Hardy defeated Adam Cole at 11:41.
Shore's Slant: Meh, I was disappointed with this. I thought it would be better than it was, and I somehow missed that it wasn't a title match. Based on my Twitter, a lot of you didn't know it either. That took some of the shine off. I don't mind the finish so much, but we need to see more of Hardy on ROH TV for this to matter.
8. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman vs. The Briscoes vs. S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs) for the ROH Tag Team Championships. The babyface teams worked together to take out SCUM. Coleman and Mark teamed up on Jacobs as Cedric and Jay teamed up on Corino. Everything was grand until Mark covered Jacobs. Coleman broke the count and all hell broke loose with all six men flying all over the place.
SCUM finally ended up in control with Coleman in the ring. Corino grabbed a roll of quarters, but Cedric made the save. C&C setup for their finisher, but Mark ran in and took a missile dropkick from Cedric. Cedric took the roll of quarters punch, but kicked out. The Briscoes ran in, took out Corino, and hit the Doomsday device for the win…
The Briscoes won the ROH World Tag Team Championships at 7:05.
Post-match, Jay Briscoe cut a promo and said they did their part, now Generico needs to do his part and they will chase the SCUM punks out of the company. Jay said they were the best tag team in the world and would put the titles up against any team that asks. He closed by saying one team didn't have to ask, their first defence would be against a team they respect, Cedric and Caprice…
Shore's Slant: Fast action match that was hard to cover but I bet a blast to watch live. I still say this is the worst possible move for the tag titles. SCUM retaining or C&C wining would have been infinitely better. I don't see how the Briscoes add anything right now to the division. They would be better in a chase mode than a champion mode, but it is what it is. We'll see what Hunter has in mind at the next tapings.
9. El Generico vs. Kevin Steen in Ladder Wars for the ROH World Championship. The match started with both guys throwing haymakers, and Generico got the best. Generico brought the first ladder in the ring and slammed in against Steen. He tried to set it up to climb, but Steen hit him and the ladder fell against the ropes. They traded falsies on the ladder, and the Generico took the backdrop do destroy the first ladder at 3:15. Gonna be a long match for Generico's back.
Steen set Generico in the corner, laid the ladder on him, and hit his cannonball move. Kevin Kelly said he didn't think Cornette saw Generico the same way Nigel did. Way to bury a guy on the way out, Kevin! Steen brought several ladders in the ring and tossed them on Generico. He turned to the camera and said, "This won't end until he's broken more than the f---ing ladders."
Steen continued to assault Generico with ladders and heel moves. Steen got the heavy duty ladder and slammed it into Generico's head. Generico rolled to the apron and tried to stand, but he collapsed to the floor. Steen setup the ladder and climbed to the top. Generico recovered and pulled Steen from the ladder. He hit the half nelson suplex on a ladder that was setup in the corner.
Generico climbed the ladder, and Steen pulled him off. Generico hit another half nelson suplex onto a ladder on the mat. Generico climbed the ladder again, but Corino pushed the ladder over for a ladder spot on the turnbuckle. They repeated a spot three times where Steen would throw Generico to the floor and try to climb the ladder. After the third time, Steen went to the floor and slammed Generico into the railing.
Steen set a ladder from the rail to the ring. He hooked Generico for a powerbomb, but then shoved him away and went under the ring. He didn't find what he was looking for, so he went to the other side and pulled a table out. Generico crawled into the ring, and Steen set the table on top of the chair. A "Please don't die" chant broke out. Steen tried for a powerbomb on the table from the ring, but Generico reversed into a backdrop through the table.
Generico sent the ring crew over the railing, and they came back with a giant ladder and helped him put it in the ring. Generico setup the ladder and started to climb it, but Steen climbed the turnbuckle in the corner. Generico ran over for a top rope brain buster, but Steen reversed it into an F-cinque from the apron onto a table on the floor at 21:00.
Steen tried to climb the ladder, but Generico stopped him by hitting him with another ladder. Steen fought back, and used a small ladder to make a bridge between the two larger ladders. He powerbombed Generico on the ladder and climbed the ladder. Where the ladder was setup prevented him from reaching the belt, so he climbed down. Generico hit a package piledriver on Steen and started to climb again.
Steen stopped him and knocked him off the ladder. Generico's back is a mess. Steen took another ladder and put it as a bridge over the first bridge. Steen climbed one ladder and Generico followed. They fought on the bridge, and Steen hit a package piledriver on the top bridge piece. The crowd came unglued.Steen climbed the ladder and took the belt for the win. Steen's music played to end the show…
Kevin Steen retained the ROH World Championship at 27:57.
Shore's Slant: Crazy match. There were some unnecessary spots, but nothing extreme. The package piledriver is safer than a regular piledriver, so as scary as that looked, it shouldn't have been all that bad. The right call on the finish too. I have to say I'm surprised we didn't see Lethal. I realize he was thrown out of the building, but that never stops anyone anywhere else. ROH must have great security.
Overall this was a good pPPV from start to finish, but it was also a safe PPV. Only the one title changed hands, and that might be the worst move of the night too. Don't get me wrong. This was light-years ahead of what PPVs were three months ago, but it also didn't take any chances. Perhaps now all the pieces are in place for whatever ROH has planned in 2013. I certainly hope so.
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