Powell's 12/15 ROH Wrestling TV Review: ROH Champion Kevin Steen's last comments before Sunday's Final Battle iPPV, Jay Briscoe vs. Steve Corino in a Street Fight, Davey Richards vs. Vinny Marseglia
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG television affiliates
Taped in Belle Vernon, Pa.
The opening video aired... Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer opened the show. Kelly hyped that he will have a new color commentator at Final Battle. He said he didn't know who that person will be...
1. Davey Richards vs. Vinny Marseglia. Seltzer said Marseglia is one of the stars of the New England indy scene. Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly watched the match from the stage. Kelly said Marseglia shows you can't judge a book by his cover. He noted that he's covered in tattoos, yet is a serious pro wrestler. Marseglia received plenty of offense, but Richards came back with a kick to the head and got the pin...
Davey Richards defeated Vinny Marseglia in 4:10.
Powell's POV: I'm fairly certain Kelly was the only person judging Marseglia based on the tattoos. After all, Undertaker, Jeff Hardy, and Randy Orton are just a few of the tattoo covered wrestlers who have thrived. He probably wishes he had that line back. A solid television match and Marseglia has upside.
Backstage, Kevin Kelly hyped Final Battle and then they cut backstage to Kevin Steen, Steve Corino, and Jimmy Jacobs. Corino and Jacobs spoke briefly while Steen sat silently...
Kelly introduced Mike Mondo, who walked to the ring on crutches. They showed footage of Mondo being whipped into the guardrail at a past event. They also showed footage of him jumping off the entrance after breaking his ankle. In the ring, Mondo spoke about his dream of being a wrestler and put over ROH as the best company in the world. The fans chanted his name.
Mondo recalled going "elsewhere" (WWE) and said that wasn't the top of the wrestling industry. He said they tried to make him be something he's not (Spirit Squad). He threw a crutch and fell to the ground. He got up and said he is not a quitter. He said he will keep fighting to be the best in the sport. He said everyone in the back is the best in the sport and he wants to compete with the best.
Once Mondo wrapped up his promo, Roderick Strong came out. He mocked Mondo by saying he just cried while listening to him. He said no one cares about Mondo and the television time should be given to someone like him. He said Mondo was trying to pump people up "kind of like a cheerleader." Funny.
Strong kicked one of Mondo's crutches out from under him. Mondo fell to the mat and struggled to get up. Strong said he left the House of Truth and he will break the unbreakable (Michael Elgin) at Final Battle. Elgin came out. Strong said that if Mondo came any closer he would break his other leg.
Mondo got out of the ring. Elgin approached Strong and asked what he would do now. Truth Martini ran out, stood between them, and begged them not to talk. Strong said Elgin had one good match and now he thinks he's a superstar. Elgin threw Martini aside, but Strong picked up a crutch and slammed it over Elgin's back. Strong left the ring. Elgin stood up and charged toward the back...
Powell's POV: Strong has come a long way on the mic and is more charismatic than he was in the past. He was the best of the bunch on the mic. I wasn't sure why they had Mondo on the go-home show, so it was good to see it played into an angle that builds to the pay-per-view.
Kevin Kelly hosted the Inside ROH segment and focussed on Jay Lethal. Kelly then ran through some of the pay-per-view matches. Footage aired of Cole and Hardy promos. Cole said Hardy has to prove he still has it, while heel Hardy said Cole has to prove something to him.
Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas cut a promo about their Final Battle match with B.J. Whitmer and Rhett Titus. Footage aired of Jerry Lynn vs. Nigel McGuinness to help hype Lynn's final ROH match at Final Battle. Kelly said Eddie Edwards emailed McGuinness to let him know he would be at Final Battle and would talk to him then about teaming with Davey Richards...
Backstage, Veda Scott interviewed Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander about the three-way tag title match at Final Battle...
Steve Corino walked to the ring wearing a suit. Kelly recalled Corino saying he only had a suit to wear for his street fight match...
2. Jay Briscoe vs. Steve Corino in a Street Fight. They fought in and around the ring. Brisco set up a table at ringside that was filled with streamers from his entrance. Brisco placed Corino on the table and then ran the ring apron and double stomped him through it. The show cut to commercial.
Kevin Kelly hyped Final Battle backstage and interviewed "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett. He said he'd be a rich man if he had a dollar for every washed up guy who wanted to make a name off him. He recalled beating Lance Storm and said he's going to ruin Lynn's retirement plan...
Powell's POV: They did a lousy job of making the announcement of Lynn's opponent seem important. It went from a mystery man graphic for weeks to then just acting like everyone read about it on the ROH website.
Back to the match, Jimmy Jacobs came to ringside and distracted Briscoe long enough for Corino to strike him with a roll of quarters. The announcers reminded viewers that it was legal due to the street fight rules. Jacobs entered the ring, but Mark Briscoe ran to the ring and took Jacobs to ringside.
Mark left Jacobs lying at ringside and then ran backstage. He returned with a wheelbarrow filled with chairs. "These two are absolute lunatics but the fans love them," Kelly said of the Briscoes. Mark threw the chairs inside the ring. Corino slammed Jay onto a stack of the chairs. Meanwhile, Mark put Jacobs onto the wheelbarrow and wheeled him backstage.
The crowd, which should have been burned out by this late point in the taping, stood at ringside and chanted "Man Up." Corino controlled the next several minutes of the match and suplexed Brisco onto a chair that was set up. Corino went for a cover, but Jay kicked out.
Jay came back with a Death Valley Driver onto another chair that was set up in the ring. Mark Brisco ran out with a piece of the ringside barricade. It got caught up on the curtain for a unintentional comedy moment. Jacobs came out and low blowed Mark. Jacobs helped Corino put Jay through a table in the corner of the ring.
Corino and Jacobs set up the barricade piece onto four chairs. Corino went to the top rope. Jay stood up and fought Corino on the ropes. Jacobs tried to break it up, but Mark recovered and fought him off. Jay superplexed Corino onto the barricade in a true "holy shit" moment.
As Jay pinned Corino, Coleman and Alexander ran out and performed dives off the top rope onto Jacobs and Mark on the floor. Kevin Steen came out and the show went to break...
Jay Briscoe defeated Steve Corino in a Street Fight in 15:30.
Powell's POV: That was one sick spot. Corino took an insane bump, and it looked like Jay hit his head on the barricade on the way down. I didn't care for the way Coleman and Alexander did their top rope dives at the same time as the pin was taking place. Overall, though, it was a wild match with a crazy scene at the end.
After the break, Steen was seated on a chair amongst the carnage left by the previous match. He held an El Generico mask in his hand and recalled El Generico beating him at Final Battle 2010. Steen yelled at the crowd to stop clapping and listen to him. He said the match was supposed to end his ROH career, but he refused to let that happen.
Steen said he thought Final Battle 2010 was the end of his feud with Generico. "I've since then realized that he and I are destined to do this forever," Steen said. Steen headed to ringside and approached Kevin Kelly. He asked him if he remembered what he said while hyping their 2010 match.
Steen yelled at Kelly and told him to speak louder. Kelly recalled saying he was very afraid. Steen yelled that Kelly should now be terrified. He said this is a Ladder War and it's Steen vs. Generico for the ROH Title. Steen headed back to the ring. He said some people are afraid that the end of the world will occur on December 21. He said he's not afraid of the end of the world, but he is afraid of waking up on December 17 and finding out that El Generico is the ROH Champion. Steen said he will leave New York as the ROH Champion "or as a goddamn corpse"...
Powell's POV: A strong go-home promo from the ROH Champion. This really should have been advertised since it looked like they might go off the air without a final push for the Final Battle main event. Steen did a hell of a job of coming across unbalanced and obsessed with beating El Generico.
Overall, a good go-home show. ROH deserves a lot of credit for the way they've promoted this match during their television shows. They've done a better job of selling their pay-per-view to their viewers than WWE and TNA have done this month. You can question whether the go-home show should have focussed more on some of the other Final Battle matches instead of the matches they went with, but they have succeeded in making Final Battle feel like a big event.
Chris Shore will be covering ROH Final Battle on iPPV on Sunday beginning at 1:00 p.m. CT. You can also listen to his Final Battle preview and predictions article in an All Access podcast on the main page, which also includes details on how you can enter a contest to win a free access code for ROH Final Battle.
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