ROH on Sinclair – Episode 062 – 24th November 2012
Ring Of Honor’s first TV tapings in the Pittsburgh area got off to a hot start last week. The Briscoes and Nigel McGuinness opened the ‘Honor Lives’ era with passionate speeches, whilst inside the ring it was young lions Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly producing an explosive main event to prove what great talent ROH still has in their midst. Tonight Final Battle 2012 will continue to take shape, and we have a scheduled headliner of SCUM defending the Tag Titles against Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer. Kevin Kelly is commentating solo tonight, and is in Belle Vernon, PA.
Nigel McGuinness is in the ring to bring out Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team. Apparently they are refusing to wrestle until they get some interview time. They want to know why Rhett and BJ have a title shot and they don’t. Nigel says they can have a title shot if they can beat C&C tonight…
Charlie Haas/Shelton Benjamin vs Caprice Coleman/Cedric Alexander
This is like the thousandth time C&C have had to face WGTT in the midst of Haas and Benjamin complaining about title shots and the like. More often than not Cedric and Caprice actually end up winning – almost always as a result of Briscoe interference. That won’t be happening tonight though, and they have a title shot at Final Battle to prepare for. It’s a big ask, but if they are to be considered worthy champions they need to start winning matches against teams like WGTT cleanly.
Shelton and Cedric start us off, largely because Haas is too busy arguing with as many ringside fans as possible. In fact Charlie only stops winding fans up when Shelton dumps Alexander out of the ring so he can lay in a few cheap shots. Cedric keeps getting tossed out of the ring, and eventually has had enough so takes to the skies to hit a missile dropkick on Benjamin. Coleman tags and gets 2 with a springboard lariat. Haas shows his experience though, dragging Caprice to the WGTT corner then distracting the official whilst Shelton illegally chokes him. As we go to commercials BJ Whitmer and Rhett Titus take a casual stroll up the aisle to watch their rivals in action. Crazily ROH let BJ get on commentary, and when we get back he’s busy droning on about being ready for war with WGTT. His partner Rhett can barely get a word out without stumbling and stuttering either. Inside the ring Haas and Benjamin have Caprice isolated, repeatedly resorting to nefarious tactics to ensure it stays that way. Charlie gets 2 with a running spinebuster…but finds himself on the deck seconds later as Coleman drops him with a DDT. Hot tag to Alexander is made, and he’s far too quick for Benjamin – nearly winning the match with a rebound enziguri from the top. Total Elimination gets another nearfall for C&C. Haas nearly wipes out the commentary table as Cedric hits him with a Cactus clothesline. Caprice misses his axe kick, but then ducks Shelton’s Dragon Whip for ROLLING NORTHERN LIGHTS! Benjamin powerbombs Caprice right back…as on the floor Charlie Haas starts a wild brawl with both Titus and Whitmer at the same time! ROPE RUN BELLY TO BELLY BY SHELTON! BUT ALEXANDER HITS HIM WITH THE FROG SPLASH AS HE LANDS! C&C win at 10:44 (shown)
Rating – *** – What an unexpectedly hot start to the show that was. Weirdly, these two teams have always had some chemistry together and this was possibly the best match they’ve had. As ever Shelton didn’t look particularly interested – but he played his part in an absolutely spectacular finishing spot. Kevin Kelly deserves credit too. I bash him frequently because I don’t think he’s the right fit to be ROH’s lead commentator – but I will commend him where it’s due, and the way he put over the brawl between Charlie and Rhett/BJ on the outside made the end of this match seem crazy. C&C get another big (and tainted) win over WGTT to build momentum going into Final Battle, and we’re now a step closer to the inevitable WGTT/Rhett & BJ match at the December ippv too.
Bobby Fish vs Ryan McBride
I think McBride has been a jobber on Sinclair TV before, but this is all about one man. It’s the SBG debut for Bobby Fish and it’s one ROH fans should be excited by. He put in a decent performance against QT Marshall when he returned to Ring Of Honor at Killer Instinct, and has now signed a contract so we can expect to see lots more from him. He’s a popular gaijin talent in Pro Wrestling NOAH, has produced terrific performances in the Evolve promotion, but now finds a new home – and will want to mark his arrival with an emphatic win this evening.
It doesn’t take long for Fish to kick McBride out of the ring…and he stays on him to wipe him out with a pescado. ROH being ROH, Kevin Kelly is busy waffling on about Fish’s record in MMA fights rather than his wrestling skills though. Ryan pulls out a nearfall with a brainbuster but then takes way too long with a frog splash and eats the canvas. Bobby pounces to batter him with knees and elbows, then knocks him out with a kick to win at 02:19
Rating – N/A – I like Fish, and he’s a great wrestler so I’ll let this one slide. Personally I could have done without McBride getting any offence in and making this a total exhibition of Bobby’s skills – but that’s just my taste. I also don’t care much for how MMA-centric they’ve made Fish’s gimmick. ROH already has Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly for that. At the end of the day though, I’m glad he’s here and can’t wait to see more of him in Ring Of Honor.
Veda Scott wants to talk to the new arrival. Bobby talks about his team with Eddie Edwards in Japan, and says he’s interested in what Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly will have to say to each other later.
And that segment is right now. Davey requested this time to address Kyle last week, and Nigel grants his request to talk to him face to face. Richards seems to want to make peace, but O’Reilly isn’t interested and doesn’t want to go back to being his ‘doormat’. Davey calls him ungrateful for not appreciating everything he’s done for him…but still wants to reform Team Ambition. Kyle acts remorseful, which is of course a set-up. He attacks Davey…and when Richards puts him in an Anklelock Bobby Fish comes out and puts the American Wolf in a Crossface. Kyle and Bobby are clearly allies…and put a beating on Davey since he has no friends left to save him.
INSIDE ROH – The headline from this week is that Strong/Elgin has been signed for Final Battle. Truth Martini is in denial though. Lethal/Rhino has also been signed, much to the disgust of Jay who refuses to even cut a promo since he doesn’t even want to be in the match.
NEXT WEEK – Richards vs Elgin in a Showdown In The Sun rematch…and Briscoes/Headbangers
Jimmy Jacobs/Steve Corino vs Rhett Titus/BJ Whitmer – ROH Tag Title Match
Titus and Whitmer earned this shot by defeating WGTT on television a few weeks ago. It’s sure to be a hard-hitting and violent match, and you can be absolutely sure that former partners Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer can’t wait to get their hands on each other again.
Straight into a brawl we go, and naturally Whitmer is quick to stalk Jacobs to the floor as the former partners collide again. Corino comes to Jimmy’s aid, then puts Rhett down with a Russian legsweep. Rhett is limping badly again, and as he hops around the ring he’s no match for the combined forces of SCUM. He barely gets off the deck landing a dropkick on Corino, and clutches his knee for so long afterwards that Jacobs has time to sprint around the ring and drag BJ off the apron to prevent him tagging. Whitmer is unrelenting though, eventually tagging in to throw Jimmy around like a toy with slams and suplexes. Rebound Ace Crusher countered…so Jimmy hits a REVERSE RANA instead. BJ no sells and clobbers the Zombie Princess with a lariat to leave them both down. Titus and Corino exchange strikes in their absence, with Rhett forcing him into the corner with the IED. Ugly ass tilta-whirl slam gets 2. Whitmer and Jacobs collapse out of the ring…and with BJ on the floor WGTT run in for a DOUBLE GUARDRAIL BACKBREAKER! Titus is going alone now, and fights valiantly before succumbing to a bridging Saito suplex by Corino. SCUM retain at 08:01
Rating – ** – Kind of dull, and really lacking in any kind of main event feel. Last week I commended O’Reilly and Cole for their ability to make something feel epic and memorable with only a short time allocation to work with. It surprises me that experienced talents like Corino, Whitmer and Jacobs weren’t able to do the same. Honestly it doesn’t help that they all have to carry Rhett – who is so immobile he has no business in an ROH ring – but this wasn’t great when he wasn’t in the ring either. When the biggest spot of the match is a WGTT run-in you have problems. I like SCUM, but I think ROH’s tag division (once their pride and joy) has serious problems when, outside of the Briscoes, the teams you have challenging for the belts are WGTT, SCUM, BJ/Rhett and C&C. This is a division that once had Steen-erico, the Wolves, the Briscoes, the Young Bucks, Future Shock, the Kings Of Wrestling and more.
Haas and Benjamin assault Rhett Titus with BJ Whitmer still down injured on the floor.
Tape Rating – *** – I liked this episode…despite it’s underwhelming main event. I enjoyed WGTT/C&C so much more than I was expecting to – and with those four delivering such a surprisingly entertaining start to the show they gave everything some momentum. Bobby Fish’s debut was managed well, and they immediately make him seem like a big deal by casting him into a program with Davey Richards (a main event guy) and Kyle O’Reilly, who despite not getting much screen-time is one of the more over heels in the company. All that, plus more build for Final Battle was enough to make this a worthwhile watch…even though watching Rhett Titus limp around and drag down another Tag Title match made for a mediocre conclusion.