Powell's 12/3 ROH Wrestling TV Review: WWE and TNA can learn from one aspect of ROH, Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin, The Headbangers vs. The Briscoes, Q.T. Marshall vs. Adam Page
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG stations
Taped in Belle Vernon, Pa.
[Q1] The opening video aired... Kevin Kelly introduced the show from ringside and hyped the Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin main event... Kelly noted that he was joined on commentary Caleb Seltzer for at least the next few weeks. Kelly pointed out that his former broadcast partner Nigel McGuinness had been made the matchmaker. Bobby Cruz handled the ring announcing...
1. The Headbangers vs. The Briscoes. The announcers noted that it was the first appearance for The Headbangers sort of. They pointed out that they wrestled as masked Guardians of Truth team. The Briscoes received the streamer treatment. After Kelly read through the tale of the tape, the teams brawled to start the match. In the end, Jay caught Mosh with an inside cradle for the win.
The Briscoes defeated The Headbangers in 5:40.
Powell's POV: The Headbangers wore the same gear they've been wearing for years. It's fine if they are a short term nostalgia gimmick in ROH, but they will need to update their looks if and change with the times if they're around for the long haul. After all, how many heavy metal acts are wearing kilts in 2012? The match was fine for an opening television match, though the finish felt flat by Briscoes standards.
Backstage, Kevin Kelly spoke about the Final Battle iPPV and then interviewed Roderick Strong about his match with Michael Elgin. Strong said he's not afraid of Elgin and cited his resume as proof. He said Elgin is beneath him and lived in his shadow... [C]
Backstage, Vede Scott interviewed Nigel McGuinness and Davey Richards. Nigel was concerned about Davey's health. Richards held his shoulder, but said it's a "hurt business." He questioned how many times Nigel defended the title while he was injured. Richards asked Nigel to pair him with Eddie Edwards in an American Wolves reunion to face Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish at Final Battle.
Nigel said Eddie is in Japan. "I can't just call him up and ask him," McGuinness said. Davey said Nigel could email him. Nigel agreed to reach out to Edwards. He said Edwards won't be there if he doesn't want the match...
Powell's POV: I was away for the weekend so maybe something changed, but at last check Japan had telephones. Seriously, that was an odd line about not being able to just call him. It's also odd that Davey wants Nigel to email Edwards when he could seemingly do so himself. Is ROH so bad off that they can't afford long distance calls? Is Davey's laptop in the shop? I need answers!
[Q2] 2. Q.T. Marshall (w/R.D. Evans) vs. Adam Page. Evans sat in on commentary and said Prince Nana became obsolete. Marshall suffered a bloody nose early on. It either started with a chop or when Page caught him with an elbow. Late in the match, Marshall caught Page with a knee as he was coming off the ropes. He followed up with God's Gift for the clean pin. Afterwards, Prince Nana ran out and attacked Evans and tore his pants off... [C]
Q.T. Marshall defeated Adam Page in 3:25.
Powell's POV: Page's early offense consisted mostly of chops, though he did get a power slam and later a standing moonsault for two counts. Another good television match, though the live crowd didn't seem to care much.
After the match, Kelly stood in the ring with Evans, Marshall, and McGuinness. He said Evans refused to leave the ring until he could speak with Nigel. Evans said he's under severe psychological distress. He said he has a restraining order against Nana, and blamed Nigel for allowing the attack to occur. Nigel booked Evans vs. Nana. Nigel said Evans and Marshall can leave ROH forever if they don't like it. He said he would worry about a lawsuit some other time...
Powell's POV: Evans is a fun throwback manager. I can't say I have any interest in seeing him wrestle Prince Nana, but I appreciate the throwback act. I don't know if the story has been that Evans has a restraining order if he's just going over the top while ranting. If it's been established that he has a restraining order then booking him in a match against Nana doesn't make any sense.
Kevin Kelly hosted the Countdown to Doomsday/Inside Ring of Honor segment. He focussed on the Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas vs. B.J. Whitmer and Rhett Titus street fight, and the potential American Wolves reunion match against Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly. Kelly said Edwards had been notified of Richards' request for a match but had yet to reply to the email. Kelly ran through the rest of the advertised matches...
Kelly hyped that Kevin Steen will defend the ROH Title for the last time before Final Battle when he faces Mike Bennett next week. He also hyped an interview with Steen heading into that match...
Powell's POV: The storyline is casting Eddie Edwards as the question mark. They aired footage of Fish from last week stating that he owed Edwards a lot for helping him get into ROH. Meanwhile, Richards thinks Edwards will be happy to reunite with him. I like the way it puts Edwards in the spotlight as far as this Final Battle match.
[Q3] [C] Ring entrances for the Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin match took place. Both wrestlers received the streamers treatment from the crowd. Truth Martini walked to ringside heading into the break... [C] Backstage, Kevin Kelly hyped Final Battle and interviewed Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin...
In the ring, Truth Martini told Michael Elgin that if he promised not to face Roderick Strong at Final Battle, he would promise him that he would be ROH Champion. Elgin threatened to attack him if he didn't leave the ring. Truth obliged...
3. Davey Richards vs. Michael Elgin. Elgin grabbed the crowd's attention with a fireman's carry bomb into the ropes for a two count. A censored "holy shit" chant broke out heading into the break. [C]
[Q4] Richards used his quickness to lure Elgin to the outside and then performed a suicide dive through the ropes onto Elgin, which drew ROH chants from the crowd. The strong action continued and the crowd reacted accordingly. Elgin kicked out of a tombstone piledriver. He nailed Richards with several knees to the head a short time later.
Richards caught Elgin on the ropes and kicked him. Richards tagged Elgin with repeated headbutts while both men were on the ropes and then followed up with a superplex. Elgin absorbed the superplex and slammed Richards down for a two count. An odd spot. Elgin went for a top rope senton, but Richards moved. Later, Elgin hit a corkscrew senton for a two count and then locked in the crossface.
Richards rolled out of of the crossface and into a pinning situation, causing Elgin to break the hold. Elgin followed up with a big knee to the head, a discuss style elbow, a buckle bomb, and then a sit-out powerbomb for the clean pin. The crowd applauded the finish and the effort shown. Elgin and Richards shook hands after the match...
Michael Elgin defeated Davey Richards in roughly 15 minutes of television time.
Kelly hyped Steen vs. Bennett for the ROH Title, and a SCUM promo regarding his history of hatred involving Steen and El Generico...
Powell's POV: A very good ROH style television main event. I wish they would have done more to let viewers know what to make of Elgin throughout the course of the show. It was one of those matches where it was left to the fans to determine which wrestler they liked the most. They booed Richards at one point, yet they cheered moves and near falls more more so than choosing a wrestler to rally behind. Again, though, a highly entertaining main event.
The ROH product is in a better place right now than it has been all year. I don't know if it's just a case of strong creative heading into Final Battle, but I'm guardedly optimistic that it's an indication that the creative shakeup will lead to an improved product.
If nothing else, ROH is showing that they can promote their iPPV events within their television shows better than WWE and TNA do with more hours of television time. ROH offers repeated pay-per-view hype via the backstage segments and commentary, and nearly every television matches and/or accompanying angle set up something for the pay-per-view. There's no mistaking what the most important event is in ROH. They hype future television matches, live events, the company website, etc., but you come away from the weekly television show feeling like the Final Battle iPPV is the most important thing in the ROH universe.
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