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ROH TV 8/4/2012

ROH on Sinclair – Episode 046 – 4th August 2012

This is the last week of TV before the impromptu Boiling Point ppv. Whilst ROH’s main focus is on moving towards Death Before Dishonor 10, surely some of tonight’s show will be dedicated to securing some ppv buys for next weekend. The in-ring content for tonight seems promising too – with the Briscoes facing the Guardians Of Truth in a Best In The World rematch (yes, the Headbangers make it back to TV in 2012) and the main event rubber match pitting Mike Bennett against Lance Storm one more time. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are in Baltimore, MD

Guardians Of Truth vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
The Guardians were brought into ROH with the specific task of getting rid of the Briscoes. Jay and Mark have been a thorn in the side of the House for nearly a year now, and Martini would like nothing more than to remove them, then push the Guardians into the Tag Title picture.

Mosh teases starting with Jay, only to have Thrasher jump him from behind. The illicit assault continues as Thrasher chokes him in the ropes whilst Mosh antagonises both the referee and Mark. Finally Mark gets the tag and dives in to drop Thrasher in with a flying knee strike. Double tackle floors him, then Mosh is sent packing too with a spinebuster from Jay. But Martini uses the mix-up there to pull a switch, seemingly confusing the Briscoes as to which Guardian is legal, and as we cut to commercials it’s Mosh sending Mark into the guardrails. Back from the break and it’s clear the Guardians are in control and have isolated Mark from his brother. A double press slam drops him ribs-first over the guardrails as the beating continues. Thrasher hangs Mark on the guardrail, exposing his back to a flying axehandle from the apron delivered by Mosh. At last Mark flips over Thrasher into a hot tag, then scales the ropes for a DVD/Froggy Bow combo which gets 2. As Martini tries to get involved Jay manages to roll up one of the Guardians to win at 07:16 (shown).

Rating – * – Basically the same version of the match they had at Best In The World (with the same finish), only longer, in front of a worse crowd and without any of the novelty or nostalgia value the first one had. Lets be honest, there’s no place for the Headbangers on the roster in 2012. They would have been an amusing bring in for a one-off (the pop Kamala got a couple of years ago was off the charts) but having them come in and work an angle with one of ROH’s top teams is beyond a joke. Hopefully this second defeat is the end of them…

Rhino and Roderick Strong run in to mount an attack on the Briscoes. Initially they were flanked by Michael Elgin…but Unbreakable turns around in the aisle and walks to the back instead. It’s still a 5-on-2 assault on the Briscoes until Jay Lethal, Adam Cole and C&C run in for a generic babyface save.

Kevin Steen reiterates what he said at the 10th Anniversary – that he thinks he and Eddie Kingston are a lot alike. He again calls Kingston a hypocrite for sucking up to ROH after they booted him out of the promotion years earlier.

Leading on from that Kevin Kelly brings Eddie Kingston to the ring for an interview. For all his critics, King is an incredibly charismatic guy and he cuts an emotional promo about what it means to be a World Champion – and he vows to end a decade of hurt by defeating Kevin Steen at Boiling Point. He wants to win the belt and live his dream – for Larry Sweeney and his own son.

INSIDE ROH – Kevin Kelly updates us on The Embassy Ltd – speculating that the faction has now dissolved but confirming that RD Evans remains as Ciampa’s manager and legal representation. He also announces that Shelton Benjamin has been suspended after his actions in assaulting ANX…

Mike Bennett vs Lance Storm
It’s the rubber match between these two, who stand at 1-1 after their first two encounters. Mike Bennett proved his critics wrong when he delivered a terrific performance and resounding victory over the Canadian legend at Showdown In The Sun – but it was his disrespectful actions after the match that prompted Storm to return to ROH again and demand a rematch. Lance won that second bout at Border Wars, much to the fury of The Prodigy. After two hard-fought and even matches, both men want to secure the bragging rights. Bennett wants to make his name and Storm’s expense, whilst Lance wrestles every match like it’s his last one ever, and won’t want to go out having lost and failed to beat some respect into the brazen and cocky Prodigy.

No Code Of Honor between these two, indicating just how personal this rivalry has become. Storm comes in hot, pushing and shoving at Bennett – even pie-facing him. Supposedly he’s pissed that Bennett called his win at Border Wars a fix (Canadian referee Jimmy Korderas officiated remember). He out-wrestles Bennett as has become traditional for their matches…and The Prodigy knows its in his best interests to make this more of a brawl. To that effect he swings a few punches…and nearly finds himself caught in the Half Crab. Even though he barely locked onto the hold, the fact that Mike comes up limping and favouring his leg shows just how devastating that hold can be. He makes an ill-advised charge and ends up crotching himself against the turnbuckles as Storm’s dominance continues. The Prodigy is struggling to get a foothold in the match. That is until he counters a suplex attempt from Lance and takes the match to the apron. Out there it obviously becomes more of a brawl, and immediately he seizes the initiative – raking Storm’s eyes then HURLING him off the apron into the guardrails. The window of opportunity has been opened as we go to commercials! Back from the break and it’s clear that Storm suffered an injury to his midsection in that tumble to the barriers which Bennett is intent on working over. He has a noticeable welt on his ribs to boot…and to make things worse Mike starts ramming his arm into the ringpost for good measure. Chickenwing applied – with a knee lodged into the spine to do damage to both injured body parts. The same can he said of the armbar DDT which he scores 2-count with next. Lance now has one functional arm and is struggling to catch his breath. He delivers an enziguri strike…but lands hard on the ribs and it leaves both men down. Bennett is even the first man up – and he takes Storm back to the apron for repeated trips into the turnbuckles. Out of desperation Storm clobbers Mike back into the ring…then MISSES that springboard lariat and lands hard on the midsection again. But he shows real resilience and comes up swinging with his good arm. SPRINGBOARD LARIAT SCORES! HALF CRAB ON STORM! The crowd boo as Bennett steals Lance’s hold…but Storm counters INTO THE BOX OFFICE SMASH! Both men try TKO’s…but both are blocked, and as Storm finally locks in the Half Crab Bennett is way too close to the ropes. They fight on the ropes…and a distraction from Bob Evans allows Bennett to drop him with a top rope neckbreaker. Maria distracts the referee whilst Evans slides a chair into the ring. TKO ON THE CHAIR! RIGHT ON THE BAD RIBS! Bennett wins at 15:27 (shown)

Rating – **** – The methodical pace here meant this might not have been to everyone’s taste, but personally I have this down as the best in the series. Much like the first match, whilst the wrestling might not have been spectacular, the story-telling on display was phenomenal. First we saw Storm working circles round Bennett. Then The Prodigy took the advantage by turning it into a brawl on the outside and injuring the veteran. Ultimately it was the injuries he inflicted there which allowed him to secure the win. The familiarity sequence where they stole each others finishers was fantastic – and even with the shady finish this one comfortably did enough to get into 4* territory. Bennett has had Lance Storm and Eddie Edwards fed to him this year in an effort to get him over. I’m not sure the fans are buying into him en mass as of yet – but his performances in the ring have been really strong. This is probably a career-best match for him.

Bennett, Evans and Maria look set to put a beating on Lance until Eddie Edwards and Sara Del Rey make the save. Sara again traps Maria in a vicious anklelock – sending a message ahead of the ppv.

Tape Rating – *** – Pretty much the same as last week, where the first half of the show was pretty skippable but the second half (featuring a stellar main event) did more than enough to save the show. Bennett/Storm III is must-see, even for the Bennett doubters. His style isn’t for everyone and I completely respect that, but for the third time he and Lance produced an engaging back and forth battle which I think most people will enjoy. The Kingston promo made for great television as well, and even if ROH have failed to mention even once that fans can actually buy Boiling Point on ppv, it did at least serve to hype the main event next weekend.

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