Powell's 11/26 ROH Wrestling TV Report: ROH Tag Title match with Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs vs. Rhett Titus and B.J. Whitmer, Bobby Fish makes his ROH TV debut, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas vs. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG stations
Taped in Belle Vernon, Pa.
[Q1] The show opened with a recap of Nigel McGuinness being named the new matchmaker and announcing the Ladder War main event for Final Battle with Kevin Steen facing El Generico for the ROH Title... The opening montage aired... Kevin Kelly introduced the show and hyped an ROH Tag Title match with Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs vs. Rhett Titus and B.J. Whitmer for later in the show...
Nigel McGuinness stood in the ring and said there were two wrestlers who refused to wrestle unless they were given a chance to speak publicly. Nigel introduced Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. Kelly noted that the duo refused to stand at ringside when Jay Briscoe called a "team meeting" and addressed the rest of the roster.
Haas and Benjamin headed to the ring. Benjamin congratulated Nigel on becoming the new matchmaker and shook his hand. Haas teased a handshake, but pulled his hand away. Benjamin questioned how Whitmer and Titus could get an ROH Tag Title shot before them.
McGuinness said they earned it by beating Haas and Benjamin. Haas said they beat their asses in Toronto. Nigel said they could earn a title shot by beating Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman in a match that would be held immediately. Kelly discussed the tale of the tape graphic that was shown...
Powell's POV: A good opening that brought viewers up to speed on the McGuinness news from last week and set the table for the opening match and the tag title main event. They ran through the tale of the tape quickly. It should be onscreen a little longer or not at all. I like the ROH version much better than the TNA version. The ROH version shows normal tale of the tape info such as age, weight, etc., whereas the TNA version usually consists of bullet points.
1. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin vs. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman. Alexander hit a good missile dropkick on Benjamin. Coleman checked in and hit a nice leg lariat on Strong from a position where it didn't look possible. Haas and Benjamin made a comeback. Titus and Whitmer walked to ringside as the show went to break. [C]
Backstage, Kevin Kelly hyped the Final Battle iPPV and then conducted a brief interview with Truth Martini...
Powell's POV: I don't like the way they cut away from a match that Kelly is calling to show him interviewing someone backstage. They should just go to break if possible because it makes the match seem less important. If they have to go with this approach for some reason, then they should have Kelly throw it to someone else conducting the interview.
After the break, Titus and Whitmer were on commentary with Kelly. Haas and Benjamin were getting the better of Coleman. Haas spat on Alexander as a setup so that he would enter the ring and draw the ref's attention. Haas hit a good powerslam on Coleman for a two count.
[Q2] Alexander took a hot tag and worked over Benjamin. He hit a twisting huracanrana on Benjamin, but his legs slipped off Bejamin's head, so it looked like Shelton was twirling him around for no reason. Haas and Coleman bumbled to ringside, where Haas ended up taking a cheap shot at Whitmer. A big brawl broke out at ringside. Back in the ring, Shelton suplexed Coleman off the ropes, but Alexander immediately splashed him for a three count...
Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander defeated Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin.
Powell's POV: A good tag match with a strong finish. Kelly deserves an assist for making it feel important because he could be seen standing up and cheerleading the three count in a believable manner. I like the Alexander and Coleman team, but they need to update their looks. Alexander really needs to ditch the '90s looking mohawk. The retro look might be by design, but I'm not sure where the money is in that.
2. Bobby Fish vs. Ryan McBride. Kelly noted that this was Fish's television debut and gave him a big buildup. Most of the live crowd was flat for Fish, but a small "Bobby Fish" chant broke out. He got the rest of the crowd behind him when he dove onto McBride on the floor and followed up with a diving headbutt for a two count. Kelly said Fish teamed with Eddie Edwards in NOAH, and it was Edwards who recommended Fish for ROH.
McBride had a brief moment of offense. He went to the top rope and missed a top rope splash. Kelly noted that there are rumors of a new color commentator who will replace McGuinness beginning next week. Fish caught McBride with a knee for a two count, then followed up with two elbows and a kick to the head for the win...
Powell's POV: A solid debut for Fish. He had the crowd with the dive and the top rope headbutt, but he lost them by the end of the match. He got the pin and the crowd that had been cheering was flat.
After the match, Veda Scott interviewed Fish inside the ring. Fish said he owes a lot to Edwards for the way he prepared him for his debut. He said he's very interested to see what happens between Davey Richards and Kyle O'Reilly later in the show. Kelly said that confrontation was coming up next...
[Q3] Davey Richards walked to the ring dressed in street clothes. He said he was an asshole during his previous run. "I'm not proud of it, but it is what it is," he said. Richards said he turned his back on the wrong people and trusted the wrong people. He said his goals are to put on the best damn matches in the world and to right the wrongs with two people.
Richards said one of those people is Eddie Edwards, who is kicking ass in Japan. He said the other was Kyle O'Reilly, who he called to the ring. O'Reilly cut off Richards and said the only thing he's ever done is hold him back and throw him under the bus. He said Richards puts himself on a self-righteous pedestal.
Richards boasted about all the things he's done for O'Reilly in life. Richards said he was responsible for moving O'Reilly from Vancouver, giving him food when he couldn't afford it, and even introducing him to his new wife Erica. Richards said he's only tried to make O'Reilly's life better and somewhere along the line he turned into a little bitch.
Richards said he doesn't miss his protege or his tag partner, he misses his best friend. He told O'Reilly to let him know if he ever wants to reform Team Ambition and go after the ROH Tag Titles. Otherwise, he said he's done playing games with him. "You're right," O"Reilly responded. "I'm sorry, man. You're absolutely right. You're the reason I'm here, man."
O'Reilly said Richards is his best friend and the closest thing he's ever had to having an older brother. O'Reilly said that if Richards and the fans will forgive him, he misses Team Ambition and wants to go after the tag titles. They shook hands and hugged. A good portion of the crowd groaned. Suddenly, O'Reilly swept Davey's leg. Richards came right back and applied an ankle lock.
Bobby Fish came out. Richards released the hold and ran toward Fish, who blasted him with a kick to the head. Fish applied a hold and Richards tapped. O'Reilly asked him how it feels to suffocate. He said that's how he felt with Richards. He told Davey to do everyone a favor and stay gone... [C]
Powell's POV: An awkward angle. Richards started off apologetic, but then kinda came off like an asshole when he felt the need to run through the list of everything he's done for O'Reilly. That would have been better if someone else had stepped in and pointed that out for him. It was hard to feel sympathy for him when O'Reilly and Fish attacked him. Richards also ran at Fish, so I didn't immediately think Fish was the bad guy for catching him with a kick. More than anything, I hate the way Richards said he's back to put on the best matches in the world. It shouldn't be about that in front of the camera. It should be about winning matches and titles.
Backstage, Truth Martini complained about the Michael Elgin and Roderick Strong. He acted crazed and desperate while saying it can't happen and he can still talk them out of it... Footage aired of El Generico and Kevin Steen's Ladder War at Final Battle 2010...
Backstage, The Briscoes cut a promo about the three-way tag title match at Final Battle. They noted it would not be an elimination match...
ROH TV Champion Adam Cole cut a promo from inside the locker room. He addressed his match with Matt Hardy for Final Battle. He said Hardy has done so much talking that he's trying to convince ROH and the fans that he's still a wrestling icon. Cole said Hardy will have to convince him that he still has what it takes. He said Hardy will respect him at the end of the match...
Jay Lethal cut a backstage promo. He complained that El Generico was getting the title match instead of him. He said he has to face Rhino and there's nothing in that for him. Lethal took the mic off and stormed away... Kelly hyped Jerry Lynn's final ROH match for Final Battle... Kelly hyped Michael Elgin vs. Davey Richards for next week's TV show...
Powell's POV: A good collection of brief promos. Cole is a throwback nice guy babyface and it worked. Lethal conveyed everything he needed to in just a few seconds. Mark Briscoe appears to be a descendent of Mr. Peepers.
3. Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs vs. Rhett Titus and B.J. Whitmer for the ROH Tag Titles. The teams brawled quickly and Corino worked the early portion of the match with his jacket on. The heels got the better of Titus early. He went for a hot tag, but Jacobs pulled Whitmer off the ring apron. If you weren't listening to Kelly's call, you may have thought Whitmer left him hanging.
Later, Whitmer supelexed Jacobs over the top rope and they both bumped to ringside. Shelton Bejamin and Charlie Haas ran out and spiked Whitmer on the guardrail. Haas and Benjamin and ran off. Titus eventually lost the numbers game because his partner was out, and Corino pinned him.
Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs defeated Rhett Titus and B.J. Whitmer.
The ROH Tag Champs left the ring as Haas and Benjamin returned to give Titus a beatdown. They continued the attack as Kelly and graphics hyped The Headbangers vs. The Briscoes, and Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin for next week's television show...
Powell's POV: I'm not really seeing a spark with Titus and Whitmer as a team, but perhaps this angle and program with Haas and Benjamin will change that. I don't think they've figured out what to do with Titus since former partner Kenny King's abrupt departure. That said, it's good to see Whitmer kept himself in shape and is still good in the ring despite a long layoff.
Overall, a solid television show. The production values are still bush league, but that's an ongoing issue. The booking was good in that everything had a purpose and built toward something for next week's show or the Final Battle online pay-per-view.
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