ROH on Sinclair – Episode 052 – 15th September 2012
Last week was the last fresh content we’ll see on ROH TV for sometime. Despite having good live events in Pittsburgh, Milwaukee and Charlotte they COULD have used for TV, what we’re now going into is about four weeks of Road Rage content – all of which gives away stuff ROH previous charged for on ppv. I’m warning you all now it’s going to take a LOT for me to avoid giving a DUD to every single one of these episodes. Tonight and next week it’s Boiling Point 2012, so we’re in Providence, RI with Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.
Nigel and Kevin have taped a special Road Rage intro. The first match is Elgin/Haas, and they air all the pre-match stuff with Elgin trying to challenge Steen for the title at Glory By Honor, followed by Roderick going on strike.
Michael Elgin vs Charlie Haas
This is a rematch from last year’s Death Before Dishonor. Haas is being forced to wrestle solo for the time-being since ROH has suspended Shelton Benjamin following his assault on ANX on television recently. He’s in a bad mood and is ready to take it out on anyone – even one of the year’s top rising stars in Unbreakable Michael Elgin. The 2011 Survival Of The Fittest winner is still to cash in his guaranteed title shot remember, and will want to start scoring significant singles victories if he is to prepare correctly for when he eventually does challenge for the title.
Truth Martini accompanies Elgin, and brings Roderick Strong (swollen nose and all) out with him to show House Of Truth solidarity. Elgin tries to announce he’s cashing in his title shot at Glory By Honor in Toronto…only to be interrupted by Roderick Strong who demands that he was promised it. He goes on strike from the House Of Truth if Elgin gets the title shot. From there we start the match, with Haas struggling to live with the power of Unbreakable. Stalling suplex nailed, as is an overhead belly to belly suplex…but Roderick Strong then appears at ringside again, distracting Elgin and allowing Charlie to attack him from behind. Haas starts picking apart Elgin’s leg – a smart strategy as it disables the power moves and sets up or the Haas Of Pain. It only works so much though, with Elgin kicking him THROUGH the guardrails! He tries the dead-lift superplex but Haas kicks the leg from under him – ramming it into the ringpost to do yet more damage. The pace grinds to a near-standstill, with Charlie methodically and meticulously picking apart Elgin’s knee. Amusingly Strong is at ringside trying to give his beers to Veda Scott – who is apparently underage. That’s more entertaining than the clinical but increasingly tedious beatdown we’re seeing inside the ring. After a few minute minutes of interminably dull offence, Elgin propels himself into a slingshot tackle to kick-start his comeback attempt. Dead-lift German suplex blocked, but Elgin simply spins Charlie round and delivers a standard German suplex variant for 2. He tries the Buckle Bomb but doesn’t have the power in his knee to execute the manoeuvre. Strong tries to revive Charlie with a pep-talk, and inadvertently stops Elgin’s offensive charge in the process. Haas and Strong drink beers together…until Elgin SPEARS BOTH OF THEM INTO THE GUARDRAILS! Spiral Bomb set up…but Strong interferes again to spit beer into Elgin’s face. Haas capitalises to roll him for three in a time of 14:40
Rating – ** – The psychology behind this match wasn’t actually that bad. The problem was it went way too long and Haas’ heat segment became incredibly boring. I was almost falling asleep whilst typing, it was that dull. I also don’t see the logic in putting Haas over your top breakout star – even to further the House Of Truth split angle, but there you go. Roderick Strong was the best part about this.
INSIDE ROH – At least this is all new stuff. Kevin Kelly announces the return to Toronto for Glory By Honor 11. Steen/Elgin is confirmed to main event (effectively blowing the DBD main event and eliminating any need for any viewers to buy a Death Before Dishonor replay). Bennett/Mondo is also booked in the aftermath of his sexual assault on Maria last week. We’ll also get Cole/Edwards for the TV Title, with Eddie still out healing his rib injuries sustained at the hands of Rhino. He also announces that Survival Of The Fittest 2012 will take place on Sinclair TV in October.
Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe vs Jimmy Jacobs/Steve Corino
This is a rematch of sorts from Brew City Beatdown. That night the Briscoes defeated SCUM (Steen and Jacobs) following a suicidal balcony dive from Mark. SCUM didn’t enjoy being on the losing end of that and are coming to avenge that defeat. With Steen working the main event Corino steps into the ring as part of this alliance for the first time, teaming with Jimmy Jacobs against the 7-time tag champs.
Corino is as slim as I’ve seen him in years here. He’s working in full new SCUM gear as well which looks really cool. It doesn’t stop him being wiped out by the double football tackle from the Briscoes though. Mark dropkicks him into the guardrails, and of course this quickly becomes a big brawl on the outside. SAITO SUPLEX TO THE FLOOR from Corino to Jay! TOP ROPE MOONSAULT TO THE OUTSIDE BY MARK! He recovers quickly from that bump to hotshot Jacobs into the apron. Back in the ring Jay tries to take it to both SCUM members only to be taken down with a neckbreaker/running STO combo. He retaliates with the turnbuckle flatliner and makes a hot tag to Mark and the Redneck Kung Fu. SHOTGUN DROPKICK literally sends Jacobs flying across the ring for 2. Iconoclasm blocked though, with Jimmy countering it into the tornado snap suplex. Corino nails Mark with the Colby Shock for 2. Eternal Dream blocked…SAITO SUPLEXES INSTEAD! Jay has to save his brother at the last. Saito Suplex on Jay as well to leave both men down…and Jacobs ready to capitalise with the senton bomb. He plunges into Jay’s knees, but bounces right back up to hit the spear. Guardrail legsweep from Mark to Corino…followed by the Froggy Bow. Steve shows unexpected agility to lunge into the ring and save the match. Jimmy sets up the Contra Code…COUNTERED WITH THE DOOMSDAY DEVICE! The Briscoes beat SCUM again at 12:46
Rating – *** – Clearly it wasn’t approaching the craziness of Brew City Beatdown, but this was a heated brawl allowing all guys to show real skill, put over the growing heat between the teams whilst keeping a lot in the tank and protecting their bodies whilst they aren’t in the main event. This match shows where Jay and Mark have improved. They were unparalled as a tag team during their 2007 run, but with three years of TV under their belts, they have streamlined their work meaning they can produce really entertaining undercard bouts without resorting to the crazy, spot-heavy madness which used to be the highlight of their matches. It may not be to everyone’s tastes, and I’ll admit we’ve not seen the Briscoes going at full-pelt with no restraints for some time, but for their career longevity it’s a really important skill to have mastered.
The episode ends with extended highlights of the Steen/Kingston main event. Again, all the best bits from the match are given away for free.
Tape Rating – DUD – ROH asked people to pay for this show, and are now giving away significant portions of it for free. It gets worse next week when they air Edwards/Del Rey vs Bennett/Maria – which was one of the f*cking main events. They even botched what should have been a good Inside ROH segment by spoiling several Death Before Dishonor 10 results, thus eliminating the need for anyone to even order a replay. I love ROH, but putting ppv stuff on for free is genuinely a sore point for me. I certainly won’t be buying anymore of their ippv’s live until they stop doing this.