Powell's 10/29 ROH Wrestling TV Coverage: The Briscoes vs. The All Night Express for a shot at the ROH Tag Titles, Roderick Strong vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Alex Silva vs. Tommaso Ciampa
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG affiliates
Taped in Louisville, Ky.
[Q1] The show opened with a recap of the Jay Lethal vs. Mike "The Prodigy" Bennett match from last week... The opening montage played... Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness introduced the show from the announcers' table and hyped the main event...
Sit-down promo footage aired of Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong discussing their match. O'Reilly said he knows Strong only took the match because he's the training partner of Davey Richards. Strong said O'Reilly is a yes-man for Richards, and mocked the idea of driving around the country and not getting laid. O'Reilly said Richards doesn't want to work to be great. Strong said he's going to embarrass Team Richards...
Powell's POV: Maybe he's just growing on me, but I liked Strong's promo. He came across as the cocky heel, and the whole video package was very effective in establishing the storyline going into the match. Nicely done.
1. Roderick Strong (w/Truth Martini) defeated Kyle O'Reilly in 11:00. The ring announcer said Truth Martini is a life intervention expert and then delivered an over the top introduction that Truth insisted he read. The wrestlers shook hands, and Truth joined the announcers on commentary.
Truth hyped the Roderick Strong Invitational Challenge. He said the challenge is out to any wrestler in the entire world to face him at Final Battle. O'Reilly slapped Strong at one point. Strong came back with a backbreaker and was in control of the match when the show went to break... [C]
Kevin Kelly hyped the Final Battle pay-per-view and then introduced Jay Lethal, who said he hopes he will beat someone at Final Battle. Then he promised he would be there...
[Q2] After the break, Strong was still in control and Truth was back at ringside. Nigel spoke about how impressed he was with O'Reilly. Late in the match, O'Reilly DDT'd Strong and locked him in a choke hold. Strong ended up rolling on top of O'Reilly, who had to release the hold or be pinned. Strong came back with the big kick and scored the clean pin.
Afterward, Truth took the mic and said Team Richards produces losers. O"Reilly went after him, but Michael Elgin joined Strong in roughing up O'Reilly. Tony Kozina ran out to help. Eventually, Davey Richards ran out and got the better of the heels. Truth punched him from behind, and Davey no sold it.
Davey was about to go after Truth, but Strong and Elgin attacked him. Eddie Edwards ran out to help and they cleared the heels from the ring and eventually hit a move on Truth... [C]
Powell's POV: A good television match. Kevin Kelly did a very good job of explaining why O'Reilly had to break the hold. I was surprised to see O'Reilly get so much offense. I figured he'd get some hope spots and then Strong would outclass him and humiliate him until Davey came out. This worked fine, but I get the feeling I'm not alone in not caring about the Truth Martini character based on the live crowd's lack of response. It's great that ROH has managers, but the guys they are using leave a lot to be desired.
After the break, Kevin Kelly interviewed Jim Cornette, who was standing over the babyfaces that were left at ringside from the previous angle. Cornette said Martini's crew would be fined $2,500 each. A few fans changed for Kevin Steen. Cornette turned his attention to Steen. He said ROH won't do business with him because he has mental problems. He said he suspects that the fans calling for Steen are on his payroll. Cornette said Steen can sue him if he doesn't like it...
Kevin Kelly hosted the "Inside Ring of Honor" segment and spoke about Final Battle. Jay Lethal spoke about being honored to be in the running for a shot at the ROH Title. He said he's undefeated since he returned. He said he's back to prove he's the best in the world. He said that to be the best, you have to beat the best and let out a Ric Flair "woooo" followed by a laugh.
Eddie Edwards put over the importance of Final Battle and said he would train and prepare like he's never done before if he's given the ROH Title match. Edwards vowed that he would show everyone that the reason they call him Die Hard if he gets a chance to challenge for the title.
Kelly hyped the Proving Ground concept and the Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin vs. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman match. Haas and Benjamin cut a brief promo about the upcoming match, as did the Coleman and Alexander...
[Q3] [C] The announcers were joined by Steve Corino on commentary for the next match. Corino said he's trying to get a little better every day. He apologized for the problems with Kevin Steen. Kelly said they were told not to talk about it, and shifted the focus to the ring...
2. Tommaso Ciampa (w/Prince Nana, Ernesto Osiris) defeated Alex Silva in 3:50. Silva offered his hand, but Ciampa spat on his hand rather than shaking it. Ciampa attacked Silva to start the match and they quickly went to ringside, where Ciampa suplexed Silva. Corino once again brought up Steen and his own guilt on commentary. Silva got in some hope spots, but Ciampa won clean...
Powell's POV: This felt like a throwaway match as they didn't set it up with a video package, and the announcers spent time talking about other topics. Ciampa's finisher is cool, as he picks up his opponent, falls back, and drops them back first on his knees.
Backstage, Jim Cornette interviewed Eddie Edwards, who spoke briefly about Final Battle...
Powell's POV: Isn't this a repeat? Can we hear from someone not named Eddie Edwards and Jay Lethal about Final Battle? Speaking of the pay-per-view, I wish they would have done a better job of setting up the tag team main event and the importance of the match given that an ROH Tag Title shot for Final Battle was at stake.
Ring entrances for the main event took place...
[Q4] 3. The Briscoes beat The All Night Express in 10:30. The two teams started brawling before the ring announcer could finish his introductions. Kelly stressed that the winners of the match would challenge for the ROH Tag Titles at Final Battle. Kelly hyped the Proving Ground tag match for next week as the teams continued the match inside the ring. The live crowd's energy didn't match the energy the wrestlers were trying to generate inside the ring. [C]
Highlights aired from during the break of Kenny King scoring a near fall on Jay Briscoe, only to take a running kick from Jay moments later. The Briscoes hit a cool double team neckbreaker spot. Jay went for his Jay Driller finisher, but King avoided it and made the hot tag to Rhett Titus, which did not get much of a reaction out of the tame crowd.
Rhett did get the crowd to stomp along with him before hitting a running dropkick on one a Briscoe in the corner. King did the same. Later, the All Night Express were setting up for a top rope finisher with one of the Briscoes on Titus's shoulders. However, King was cut off, and the Briscoe jumped off the top rope and pushed his brother so that it turned into a hurcanrana for the win...
The announcers hyped Haas and Benjamin vs. Coleman and Alexander for next week to close the show...
Powell's POV: The main event was a disappointment compared to what those teams have done in the past. They stole the show with their wild brawl during WrestleMania weekend. This was more of a wrestling match than a brawl, and the live crowd didn't help matters buy not rooting against The Briscoes. The finish of the match didn't strike me as heelish. It was a solid tag match, just not as good as I hoped it would be given their past matches.
Overall, the show did a good job of hyping the Final Battle pay-per-view, and the Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards feud. The hype for next week's show left a lot to be desired, as it's hard to get excited about a non-title match regardless of what it's called, but perhaps the idea is to make it seem like a big deal since the tag champions are wrestling.
Kevin Kelly is my favorite play-by-play voice of the big three (with Jim Ross sidelined). He calls the matches in a knowledgeable manner and brings a genuine enthusiasm. Nigel is just sort of there. I wonder if he'll end up being the wrestler who takes up Strong on his open challenge at Final Battle.
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