ROH on Sinclair – Episode 063 – 1st December 2012
We’re just over 2 weeks out from Final Battle, and ROH’s adventures in the Pittsburgh area are really starting to generate a buzz for the ppv. We’ve had two weeks of hugely enjoyable television from these tapings thus far – and things should get very interesting tonight as we’re set one of the most anticipated rematches of 2012. Technically they have clashed in singles action on the Sinclair show before, but essentially tonight it’s the rematch from what many are calling ROH’s 2012 MOTY – Davey Richards facing Michael Elgin. If that isn’t enough to draw your attention, the Headbangers make their official ROH debut (having wrestled a couple of internet only matches and as the Guardians Of Truth) in a grudge match against the Briscoes. Kevin Kelly is in Belle Vernon, PA, and joined by his new co-commentator Caleb Seltzer. That’s the guy who joined Kevin and Nigel during the win-a-contract fourway at Boiling Point back in August.
The Headbangers vs Jay Briscoe/Mark Briscoe
Yes, this is really happening. In 2012 the Headbangers are back on television and wrestling one of the industries best tag teams. They clashed with the Briscoes as the Guardians Of Truth, but felt unloved and overlooked by Truth Martini – so quit the HOT, revealed their true identities and now come to Pittsburgh looking to secure permanent roster spots and end their mini-series against the Briscoes with a huge win.
Both Headbangers are in their 40’s. Seriously, are they not embarrassed to still be doing this gimmick? Thrasher eats Mark’s boots, but in the ring Mosh is having better luck as he hits a body avalanche on Jay. Mark sets up for a springboard only to be dragged to the floor and dropped onto the guardrails by Thrasher. Mosh wipes him out again with a springboard shoulder tackle…then gives him a completely brutal toss off the apron to the floor. Mark has taken some punishment but somehow powers Mosh into a swinging back suplex. He Redneck Kung Fu’s past Thrasher and gets the hot tag to Jay at last. Crab walking Froggy Bow gets 2. BACK BODY DROP TO THE FLOOR from Thrasher to Mark! In the ring Jay small packages Mosh to win at 05:36
Rating – * – It’s the third time these two teams have gone at it, and the reality is it’s never been any better or any worse than this. But by now it’s entirely boring. Mosh and Thrasher aren’t awful, but there is no need, requirement or place for them in Ring Of Honor. In 2002 ROH was set up to be the antithesis of guys like them. As a one-time nostalgia appearance they would have been awesome. But they’re not a Jamie Noble, a Jimmy Yang, a Brian Kendrick, a Jerry Lynn (or even a Mike Mondo) – all of whom are WWE cast-offs who have positively contributed on a longer term basis to ROH. And why the needed to be protected with a roll-up, rather than a decisive loss with one of the Briscoes finishing moves is beyond me. As far as match quality goes, 2012 has to be one of Jay and Mark’s worst ever. I feel bad for the guys, they’ve been stuck wrestling the likes of WGTT and the Headbangers for far too long.
In the back Nigel McGuinness checks on Davey Richards. He was assaulted by Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish last week and is concerned about whether he’s sufficiently recovered to face Michael Elgin this evening. Richards shakes off his question, and asks Nigel to book Fish and O’Reilly vs the American Wolves for Final Battle. Nigel says he’ll email Eddie and ask him…and won’t book him for Final Battle if he refuses.
Adam Page vs QT Marshall
It’s pleasing to see Page brought back for another opportunity. He’s impressed in his couple of ROH outings thus far, including an exciting little match with Jay Lethal at Caged Hostility back in September. He’s extremely talented at such a young age that you really feel like the potential is limitless for him. Tonight he faces QT Marshall, still looking to rebound from his loss in the 2012 Survival Of The Fittest tournament (despite having the backing of RD Evans).
Marshall delivers a cheap shot right to Page’s gut…but it’s not enough to stop the fiery youngster from reeling off a flurry of right hands and bloodying his nose. QT doesn’t like that one bit and hangs Page in the ropes. Blood is pouring out of his nose as he gets 2 with a tilta-whirl front slam. Page fires back by sweeping the legs and getting 2 with a Red Star Press. But he tries one high-flying move too many and dives off the ropes for a crossbody…and sails into Marshall’s knees. God’s Gift wins it at 03:25
Rating – * – Page is so much better and so much more interesting as a talent than Marshall, so it seems exceedingly backwards that QT is the guy getting the push, with the contract and with probably the best manager in ROH today. That said, credit to Marshall for finishing the match with his nose splattered all over his face…and hopefully another great showing from Page here will lead to him getting a lot more bookings.
Prince Nana sneaks into the arena and hits a Kane-esque flying lariat on RD Evans. He strips the Barrister to his undergarments in the middle of the ring before fleeing to evade QT Marshall. After the commercial break RD Evans is still in the ring having refused to leave until Match Maker Nigel McGuinness had come to meet him. Nigel books RD Evans vs Prince Nana for Final Battle…
INSIDE ROH – After the events of last week a WGTT vs Titus/Whitmer Street Fight has been added to the Final Battle card. Kevin Kelly also speculates about whether the Wolves vs O’Reilly/Fish tag will even happen given that Eddie hasn’t consented, has had issues with Davey for over a year and has been tagging with Bobby Fish in NOAH in 2012.
NEXT WEEK – Kevin Steen defends the World Title against Mike Bennett
Davey Richards vs Michael Elgin
Many people call the bout between these two men at Showdown In The Sun Day 2 Ring Of Honor’s Match Of The Year for 2012. They delivered a hard-hitting, thrill-a-minute, epic battle for the ROH World Championship…which ended with the American Wolf emerging victorious. People have been clamouring for a rematch, and it finally happens here on ROH TV. Both men are preparing for huge grudge matches at Final Battle, and neither can afford to lose momentum going into that show.
Elgin has new music, which isn’t anywhere near as good as his last theme. He eschews Truth Martini’s assistance and the battle begins with him having to deal with a flurry of strike and submission attempts from the Wolf. He retreats to the floor but still can’t avoid a running punt from the apron…and Richards follows immediately with a mafia kick against the guardrails. Elgin absorbs that blow, turns him around and does the same right back! An early Anklelock attempt is easily shaken off, and Elgin muscles Davey from a standing start…DEAD-LIFT SUPERPLEX NAILED! Handspring Enzi blocked, with Elgin powering Davey onto his shoulders FOR A RUNNING DVD INTO THE BOTTOM TURNBUCKLE! That’s where we go to commercials, and when we come back Richards is clearly hurting both from that spot and the attack by Fish and O’Reilly last week. He drives Elgin out of the ring to hit the TOPE CON HILO! Back in the ring he rattles Michael’s jaw with a kick, then dumps him on his head with a German suplex. Elgin no sells but in his anger runs straight into a cross armbreaker. Countered to a ONE ARM Buckle Bomb! JUMPING ENZI COUNTERED TO THE ANKLELOCK! Unbreakable is too fresh though, and makes his way to the ropes to hit CHAOS THEORY for 2! The Anklelock negated his ability to hold the bridge there apparently. He tries to scoop Richards up, only for Davey to turn him round and hit a TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! It’s anyone’s match here, with both men staggering to the apron then engaging in gruelling strike exchanges THROUGH the turnbuckles! Elgin climbs back up the ropes for another dead lift, but fails this time and is nailed with the superplex…BUT THEN ROLLS THROUGH INTO A FRONT SLAM FOR 2! Both men down! Unbreakable stumbles to the top again and predictably misses the corkscrew senton. He eats a knee to the face and immediately starts bleeding from the eye, but still scoops Richards up for a SPINNING AIR RAID CRASH out of the corner. CORKSCREW SENTON NAILED! He never hits that! CROSSFACE! That’s the hold both Bobby Fish used against him last week! BACK FIST! BUCKLE BOMB! SPIRAL BOMB! Elgin wins at 14:59 (shown)
Rating – **** – Obviously this wasn’t in the same league as Showdown In The Sun, and essentially played out like a bit of a greatest hits package from that encounter. HOWEVER, for free TV this was a stunning main event, and a fascinating battle pitting Davey’s speed and submission skills against the unrelenting power of Elgin. In the end it was Unbreakable who put together a significant combination of all his heavy-hitting offensive manoeuvres and took the win. Definitely one of the best Sinclair TV matches of 2012 and one worth finding in the Ringside Membership archive.
Tape Rating – *** – Most of the episode wasn’t that great (Headbangers, QT Marshall etc)…but with more Final Battle stuff taking place and a terrific main event there was still plenty to enjoy. Live reports from these tapings raved about Richards/Elgin, and it really didn’t disappoint. Given the constraints of television, they couldn’t reproduce what they did in Florida earlier in the year, but it was still a worthy successor and an example of why fans continue to follow the Ring Of Honor product.