Powell's 11/23 ROH Wrestling TV review: ROH Champion Davey Richards vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Mike "The Prodigy" Bennett vs. Jamin Olivencia, Alex Silva vs. Mike Mondo
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG affiliates
Aired on November 19
Taped in Louisville, Ky.
[Q1] The show opened with a recap of the American Wolves vs. House of Truth main event from last week... The opening video played... Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness introduced the show from the stage area and hyped Davey Richards vs. Kyle O'Reilly...
Backstage, Mike Mondo cut a promo about his match. He said he's going to show that he's the biggest guy in town...
Powell's POV: Mondo's voice just doesn't match the body. However, it works for a Napoleon complex gimmick. It would have been nice to hear from Silva rather than just Mondo, as it naturally leads viewers to assume that the guy who does the talking is going to win the match.
1. Mike Mondo beat Alex Silva in 4:55. Kelly quickly pointed out that Mondo isn't the biggest guy around. He said he's only 5'7 and will never play in the NBA. He also said both men were trying to avoid going 0-2 on ROH television. Silva played the face and even offered his hand to the referee when he got caught up in the action. Mondo took advantage of this by throwing a punch. Mondo won with a double arm DDT...
Powell's POV: A good match with countless counters from both men. Both guys looked good. Mondo was clearly the heel, but he should incorporate more of his gimmick into his matches, assuming he's allowed to do so. It just felt like the gimmick didn't matter once the bell rang. I like the way Kelly mentioned that both men had lost previously on ROH television and were trying to avoid losing twice on TV. It makes the matches feel more important. ROH is plugging the names of the songs and the bands they are using for entrance music. Unfortunately, you can't hear the music well, so it's kind of pointless.
Backstage, executive producer Jim Cornette addressed the Kevin Steen lawsuit. He said he didn't have an official response. He said he was merely delivering a personal response. He went on to deny all of the allegations that Steen's legal team made last week. He said he would have an official response next week...
Powell's POV: The issue between Steen and Cornette isn't making for good television. Perhaps those who have followed it closely since its inception feel otherwise, but I don't think viewers who started watching when ROH debuted are captivated by the feud between the renegade wrestler and the executive producer.
Kevin Kelly pitched Final Battle backstage and then interviewed The Briscoes about their match with Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas... [C] The announcers hyped that Jay Lethal will defend the ROH TV Title against El Generico on next week's television show...
[Q2] Jay Lethal cut a promo about his issues with Mike Bennett and his match with El Generico. He said Generico fought him like a man, whereas Bennett passed up the chance to continue their recent match in overtime...
2. Mike "The Prodigy" Bennett (w/Brutal Bob Evans) defeated Jamin Olivencia in 3:35. Bennett took the mic and dubbed himself the real TV Champion, and claimed he was giving Olivencia a TV Title shot. After back and forth awesome, Bennett hit the Box Office Smash for the win...
Powell's POV: Kelly said Bennett runs with Playboy models (he's dating former WWE Diva Maria), yet we only see him with bush league Bob Evans. Shouldn't this guy have a valet or an agent type? Maybe there's a role for Evans, but he's just not a good fit with the Bennett character. As for the match, it was hard to care given that we were given no reason to see Olivencia as a threat.
Kevin Kelly hosted the Inside ROH segment. He noted that Davey Richards revealed that Eddie Edwards is being trained by Dan Severn. Davey said he was hurt and felt betrayed that Eddie did this behind his back. He said he's going to forget everything once they get inside the ring. He said it will be about the two of them and confidently stated that he's going to win...
Kelly turned the focus to the All Night Express. Footage aired of ANX confronting Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. Kelly also set up a brief promo from The Briscoes, who complained about Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander getting a Proving Ground match with the tag champs. They challenged Coleman and Alexander for next week and predicted they would beat them in three minutes...
[Q3] Coleman and Alexander responded in a promo in which they said they don't fear The Briscoes... Kelly said the Briscoes vs. Coleman and Alexander match is official for next week. He said they will also have training footage from Richards and Edwards... [C]
Ring introductions for the main event took place. Richards took the mic and said that if he can't beat Kyle O'Reilly, he can't beat Eddie Edwards at Final Battle. "Let's do this American strong style," Richards said. They shook hands. Truth Martini walked out. Kelly questioned what he was doing there...
Jim Cornette pitched the Final Battle pay-per-view and interviewed Eddie Edwards... [C]
3. Davey Richards defeated Kyle O'Reilly in a non-title match in 14:35. Martini joined the announcers on commentary. He said that if Richards was with him, he would be guaranteed a victory at Final Battle. He said the same is true for Edwards.
[Q4] The announcers played up that Richards and O'Reilly are training partners. Richards fired away with some kicks early and O'Reilly followed suit and got the better of the ROH Champion temporarily. [C]
O'Reilly scored a good near fall that popped the crowd around 11:00. Richards caught him on the ropes. O'Reilly ended up at ringside and Richards ran on the apron and hit him with a lousy looking kick. O'Reilly came back with a cool missile dropkick off the ring apron. Back inside the ring, O'Reilly hit another missile dropkick for a near fall.
O'Reilly locked Richards in the guillotine. Richards escaped and applied the ankle lock, but O'Reilly shoved him off and came back with a tornado DDT and reapplied the guillotine. He had to break the hold because his shoulders were down and the ref counted to two. Richards came back with the ankle lock, which O'Reilly countered with an ankle lock of his own.
Richards rolled through and applied the ankle lock. O'Reilly didn't give up, but Kozina threw in the towel. The crowd booed the finish. O'Reilly didn't complain. Richards and Kozina checked on O'Reilly afterward and helped him to his feet.
Truth Martini entered the ring. The announcers said Truth was telling Richards what he did wrong. Richards laughed and then he and O'Reilly roughed up Martini and left him lying in the ring. The announcers hyped Lethal vs. Generico for next week. The show concluded with Martini looking into the camera while making over the top facials and questioning how they could treat him like that...
Powell's POV: A damn good match, but the presentation left something to be desired. O'Reilly is very talented and has a bright future, but he doesn't look the part yet. Thus, they really should have given him some mic time or done more to make him seem important going into the match. It almost felt like a scrimmage between the two partners based on the way it was presented and Richards's pre-match promo, but the actual match was competitive and entertaining. Truth Martini looked like an idiot for getting in the ring and then taking the beating.
Overall, the show remains logical, but there's nothing cutting edge or cool about it. The production continues to be a disappointment and it's more than just the lack of HD. The announcer levels are good, but the crowd is mic'd poorly and the entrance music is faint. They did a nice job of hyping next week's main event and Final Battle, but this continues to feel like a show that you can watch occasionally rather than must see, episodic television.
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