Last Week: Kevin Steen successfully defended the ROH World title against Mike Bennett.
ROH TV Episode 65
Davey Richards vs. Vinny Marseglia
Richards clutched his neck upon entering to show he was still hurting from the two-on-one attack from Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish two weeks ago. Speaking of O’Reilly and Fish, their presence was known early as Richards was being taken advantage of by Vinny in and out of the ring. Vinny’s momentum was halted after his failure to pin or submit Richards left him prone for the submission skills of the former ROH World champion. When Richards spotted his “Final Battle” opponents, Davey’s intensity noticeably increased as he kicked and stretched Vinny to his liking.
Turning an Irish whip into the corner against Davey Richards by sunset flipping and using an enzuguri kick seemed to help Vinny, but ended with him being tossed into the Alarm Clock. Sliding buzzsaw kick by Richards put Vinny on his back for the three count.
Kevin Kelly introduced the injured Mike Mondo - who fractured his left ankle during “Glory By Honor XI” in a match with Mike Bennett - to the ring. Mondo talked about his dream of being a wrestler. A great ovation from the fans about “No Fear” stating that ROH was the best company. Mondo talked about his time in the Spirit Squad not being the pinnacle of wrestling, but competing with the best is, “And the wrestlers in the back are the best in the world.” Mondo went one step further by saying that he’ll come back and be the best ever in ROH.
Suddenly, Roderick Strong came out to tell Mike Mondo that no one cares about “No Fear”. Strong compared Mondo’s style to being a cheerleader before pushing the one legged Mondo to the mat. Strong switched gears to state that he’ll break “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin. Elgin hit the ring, only for Truth Martini to follow in hopes of stopping this boiling situation. Elgin pitched Martini out of the way, only for Strong to clobber Elgin in the back with Mondo’s crutch. Strong made a quick exit, posing in the aisle.
This week on Inside ROH, Kevin Kelly announced that Jay Lethal has added a wildcard to “Final Battle” by declaring last week that he’ll fight whoever is the ROH World champion at the iPPV even though he’s not involved in the ROH World title match.
Matt Hardy and Adam Cole did dueling promos about their match at the show. Cole claimed Matt Hardy is talking so much to convince himself he still has it in the ring. Hardy proclaimed that Cole will meet an unfortunate twist of fate at the hands of someone who doesn’t need to prove anything.
Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team were more than happy to face Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer in a Street Fight at “Final Battle” because they can finally put the worrisome duo down for good.
Also at the event is Jerry Lynn’s final ROH match when he takes on Mike Bennett. We got a chance to watch the conclusion of Lynn’s journey to the ROH World title when he defeated Nigel McGuinness. Eddie Edwards also sent a message to Nigel McGuinness about showing up at “Final Battle”. We’ll have to wait until then to see if there will be an American Wolves reunion.
In the back was Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander with Veda Scott. Coleman was very excited about tonight’s main event - a Street Fight between Jay Briscoe and Steve Corino - because it could lead to an advantage for C & C. After mocking Corino and Jacobs’ style of dress, Alexander declared there will be new ROH World Tag Team champions at “Final Battle”.
Steel City Street Fight: ROH World Tag Team champion Steve Corino vs. Jay Briscoe
Corino’s street fight attire was his suit with taped fists. At the sound of the bell, Corino removed his necktie to signify it’s on. And on it was as Corino and Briscoe spilled to the floor so they could slam each other against the barricades. Taking the fans’ bottled water and bandanas, Jay clobbered and choked Corino until Corino turned the tables and whipped Jay into a chair a fan held up at the wrong time. A table came into play not long after, with Jay jaw-jacking Corino so he could put Corino on the table for a double stomp that sent Corino through the wood! We headed to a commercial break as Corino crawled out of the wooden rubble.
When we came back, Jay had someone’s shoe to beat Corino. After ringing the champ’s bell, Jay rolled Corino back in before setting up four chairs in each corner of the ring. Jimmy Jacobs came out, allowing Corino to retrieve that roll of quarters. Sadly for S.C.U.M., Mark Briscoe hit the ring to run off Jacobs as Jay not only recovered, but also whipped Corino into three of the four chaired corners before executing that downward spiral into the last chair. Mark returned to the back, wheeling out a stack of chairs in a wheelbarrow Mark used to take Jacobs out of the building.
In the ring, Corino caught Jay low in preparation for a slam across the chairs Mark threw in. The fans got behind Jay Briscoe; angering Corino enough for the champ to kick Jay out of a chair he placed his opponent in. Following a chair toss, Corino set up a table in the ring. In a sickening sight, Corino soccer kicked a chair against Jay’s face. Northern lights bomb by Corino drove Jay Briscoe through an open chair … for a two count!
Corino went for that big boot on Jay as he sat in a chair again, only to run into a Death Valley driver that bent the champion across a chair. Returning from the back, Mark Briscoe returned with a guardrail. Jacobs saved his partner from being hit with another DVD, helping Corino suplex Jay through the table he set up earlier. Placing the guardrail on four open chairs, Corino set up for a big attack. Jay rallied to his feet, catching Corino on the top rope. Mark and Jacobs tried to prevent Jay from superplexing Corino onto the guardrail, but the inevitable maneuver slammed Corino’s body across the steel guardrail!
As security and referees tried to stop the brawl ensuring between Mark Briscoe and Jimmy Jacobs, Coleman and Alexander hit the ring to execute somersault planchas from the top rope to take everyone down at ringside! Jay fell on top of Corino, picking up a huge victory before “Final Battle”.
ROH World champion Kevin Steen walked the ring, ignoring everyone before we headed to our last commercial break.
When we returned, Kevin Steen was in the ring’s middle, seated in a chair so he could talk about how El Generico beat Kevin Steen at “Final Battle 2010” to end his career. In reality, that was only the beginning because, according to the champ, their war will never end. Steen explained that Ladder War doesn’t scare him. Steen said he’s in another place. Confronting Kevin Kelly, Steen asked what Kelly said during press interviews two years ago promoting “Final Battle 2010” and Steen vs. Generico’s Fight Without Honor. Kelly admitted he was afraid of what would happen then. Steen screamed that Kelly and everyone else should be terrified now. Kevin Steen was fearful of something - El Generico being the ROH World champion on December 17th. Steen promised to leave “Final Battle” one of two ways: either as champion or as a corpse.
Overall: This was not only a go-home episode, but also the final episode of original content for ROH TV this year. In both cases, this was a strong episode. The promo by Steen was absolutely phenomenal from a setting perspective as Steen talked about Ladder War, his rivalry with Generico, and fear itself while surrounded by broken tables, chairs, and a crowd who was fearful of Corino’s health after that sick suplex on the guardrail. While one could knock Steen’s promo for too much yelling or some speech flubs, one must remember that Kevin Steen is an unstable individual at this point. And how many unstable individuals have you seen speak perfectly and clearly?
Speaking of promos, Mike Mondo finally cut a promo where he came across as the perfect mixture of zany and likeable. He wasn’t talking about rape kissing Maria and how she liked it, or cursing for no reason other than to get a pop. Mondo spoke from the heart here, and the fans responded in kind. If he did a promo like this one months ago, the fans would’ve probably warmed up to him faster.
The matches themselves were very good this week as well. The main event was everything you’d expect from a Jay Briscoe-Steve Corino throw down outside of gratuitous blood loss - which is always a plus. While Davey getting somewhat schooled by Vinny Marseglia was probably unnecessary, it finally gave ROH fans a glimpse of that true talent of Marseglia. If what Vinny did against Davey is something he could do consistently against a variety of opponents, there’s no reason for him not to have a job in ROH.
This is definitely an episode you should check out before or after “Final Battle 2012”.