Written by: SamoaRowe from Da Wrestling Site
-From Louisville, KY. Our hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. Tonight’s main event will be a “Proving Ground” match as Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman battle Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin.
-Jim Cornette is in the ring to talk about Final Battle. Cornette officially announces that Eddie Edwards will challenge Davey Richards for the ROH World Championship. Edwards comes to the ring and puts himself over. Edwards kind of stumbles through the interview but gets his point across: he knows just how crazy Richards is and what he needs to prepare for. Edwards hints that he has a new trainer to help him get ready. Richards joins them with a response. Richards is a good sport and is excited for “Wolf vs. Wolf” at Final Battle. Richards suggests they team up before to take care of Roderick Strong and the House of Truth. I guess they’re getting along too well, because Edwards points out that in the past the fans chanted “Next World Champ” at Richards, but it was Edwards who won the gold first. Richards doesn’t seem too bothered by this because they hug it out. Shucks.
-We are treated to a video package highlighting Eddie Edwards in action in recent weeks.
-Truth Martini motivates Michael Elgin backstage. The segment turns dark as Martini lists people in Elgin’s personal life that he let down. Apparently, Elgin let his brother drive drunk, shouted at his father before he passed, and worst of all, lost to Eddie Edwards a few weeks ago. Now we know exactly what sort of influence and control Martini has over Elgin.
-Interview with Shiloh Jonze (who?). He’s got a chance to become a star if he can beat Michael Elgin. Since when do jobbers get interview time?
Shiloh Jonze vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini)
Elgin is too angry to accept the Code of Honor. Elgin wastes no time shoving Jonze into the corner and smashing him down. Jonze fights back but Elgin plants him face-first on the mat. Flying shoulder tackle by Elgin gets 2. Jonze gets a boot up but Elgin counters a tornado DDT with a slam. Elgin stretches the arms but Jonze counters with a chin breaker. Jonze outsmarts Elgin and delivers a flying shot to the face. Back fist by Elgin and a turnbuckle power bomb! Sit-out power bomb finishes it at 3:39. Jonze got a few shots in but it was clear throughout that Elgin had nothing to worry about.
Winner: Michael Elgin
-Today, on Inside Ring of Honor, Kevin Steen brings Jim Cornette to court! Some disruptive fans have been demanding Steen’s return. Cornette challenged Steen to sue him so that’s exactly what Steen did. They play footage of Steen surrounded by a team of lawyers. Cornette is accused of a number of crimes culminating in a conspiracy against Mr. Steen. Steen says that he’s doing things Cornette’s way, because Steen’s way would include beating the sh(bleep)t out of him. Steen says the best people in this business are those who cannot be controlled and he belongs in ROH. Steen is coming back to deal with Jimmy Jacobs, Steve Corino, and especially El Generico, because he was serious when he said he’d be a never-ending nightmare to his former tag partner.
-Kelly moves on to the controversy surrounding Mike Bennett refusing to go into overtime against Jay Lethal in their recent Television title match. Bennett claims he had clearly won the match and it was only when he argued with the referee that Lethal got some lucky shots in. Bennett says he wants a rematch with a different referee. Referee Todd Sinclair defends his actions in the match, saying that he made the right call because Lethal had refused to give up. Lethal says he found an opening and took it and reiterates that he did not give up. Kudos to ROH for finally giving Bennett something interesting to work with.
-Video package highlighting the Briscoes on their crusade to get another shot at Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin. The Briscoes had to get past the All-Night Express first.
-Video package putting over the “Proving Ground” concept. Cornette explains that any credible competitor can challenge a ROH title holder. If the challenger defeats or draws the champion, a title rematch must take place within 60 days.
Proving Ground match:
ROH Tag Team Champions Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin vs. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander
Benjamin kicks off against Coleman in an even wrestling contest. Coleman springboards into Benjamin’s arms but avoids getting planted. Haas tags and quickly takes Coleman down. Haas is more aggressive than Benjamin was, and goes over the arm. Alexander tags and assists in double teaming Haas. Benjamin gets a blind tags and drops Alexander with a super kick. WGTT manage to isolate Alexander, targeting the leg. Cue the commercial! Post-break, Benjamin cuts off Alexander’s comeback attempt. Alexander survives some vicious leg work from Haas and nails a desperate tornado DDT. Coleman and Benjamin tag in and square off with a sense of urgency. Coleman delivers a leaping hurricanrana! Coleman and Alexander send Haas crashing into the barricade with stereo drop-kicks. We get the 3 minute warning as WGTT rebound with the Leap of Faith. Coleman suffers Wrestling’s Greatest Finisher for the loss at 10:41 (shown). Solid match here, I especially enjoyed Benjamin and Coleman’s clinic in the early going.
Winners: Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin
-WGTT offer handshakes afterwards. The Briscoes show up to ruin the feel-good moment. Jay takes a mic and sarcastically congratulates WGTT on their victory. The Briscoes vow to become 7-time tag team champions at Final Battle.
Final Thoughts: Not much in the way of in-ring action, but there was plenty of storyline development. The Edwards/Richards and WGTT/Briscoes storylines are providing the right momentum as they build up Final Battle. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed the follow up to Mike Bennett and Jay Lethal’s time limit draw and I can’t believe I’m looking forward to the rematch. The best part this week was the Kevin Steen segment, as his quest to rejoin the ROH roster has been a fun rollercoaster ride. Watching this show every week has turned out to be a rewarding experience and it’s consistently my favorite weekly show in wrestling right now. Thumbs up.