Hello everyone, welcome to this week’s recap of Ring of Honor Wrestling on Sinclair. The intro has hit, and let’s get on with the show!
Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness welcome us to the show, the 1st of many in the next couple of months from the Davis Arena in Louisville, KY.
Kelly & McGuinness hype up tonight’s main event as ROH TV Champion Jay Lethal puts the title on the line in a re-match from the June “Best in the World” iPPV as he will take on “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett.
We then go to pre-match comments from 2 of Ring of Honor’s newest signees, T.J. Perkins & Mike Mondo, as they will square off against one another in our opening contest.
T.J. Perkins vs. “The Giant Killer” Mike Mondo
“Tale of the Tape” graphic is shown before the bell rings. Code of Honor is adhered to by both guys as the bell sounds. Both men feel each other out before Perkins goes for a waistlock. Mondo switches and takes down Perkins. Front facelock by Mondo into a wristlock. Perkins uses his quickness to get out of the wristlock and then delivers a dropkick to Mondo. Side headlock by Perkins, but Mondo with the Irish whip out of it. No one goes down on the shoulder knockdown attempt, and then as Perkins tries to come off again, Mondo double legs him down to the mat. However, Perkins gets out of it and sunset flips Mondo for a nearfall. Perkins grabs Mondo’s legs after the pin attempt and locks in a Boston Crab, but also grabs a hold of Mondo’s wrists, and has Mondo in a unique submission hold, where Perkins has a grip of both Mondo’s legs and arms. Perkins switches into a STF, but Mondo gets to the ropes. Mondo now in the corner, as Perkins connects with a European uppercut. Perkins places Mondo in the tree of woe, as Perkins with a head of steam connects with a hesitation dropkick. Mondo goes to the outside to take a breather, but as Perkins begins to go out after him, Mondo sees it coming and gets away before Perkins has a chance to dive. Mondo grabs a hold of Perkins’ legs, and brings him to the outside. Mondo then drives Perkins back first into the barricade.
Mondo goes up on the apron, and comes off onto Perkins with a rolling senton. Mondo rolls Perkins back into the ring, then slingshots in, connecting with a splash for a nearfall. Mondo with a stomp, and then a right hand as Perkins goes to the corner. Mondo stomps away at Perkins in the corner, and chokes him with his boot. Perkins fights back with right hands and another European uppercut. Perkins goes for an Irish whip, but Mondo reverses it, and connects with a running double knee in the corner on Perkins. Mondo then comes off the ropes and hits a running kick for another nearfall. Mondo with an elbow drop, then lifts Perkins back up to his feet. Mondo with a scoop slam and a knee drop for another nearfall. Mondo locks in a rear chinlock as the crowd tries to get behind Perkins. Perkins tries to break the grip of Mondo with gut shots, but Mondo comes right back with a knee to the gut. Irish whip by Mondo, but Perkins stops himself before hitting the corner. Mondo charges in, and Perkins nails him with a back elbow. Both with an exchange of forearms, with Mondo gaining the advantage. Perkins, however, dares Mondo to nail him some more, as Perkins then comes back with a succession of forearms. Perkins goes for an Irish whip, but Mondo blocks it. Irish whip by Mondo, but misses the clothesline attempt, as Perkins places himself in the ropes with his unique taunting way to get the ire of his opponents. Mondo charges, but Perkins sidesteps him, and Mondo goes through the ropes to the outside.
Perkins gets the crowd into what he is going to do next, as with a head of steam, Perkins charges at Mondo, and scores with a tope dive to the outside. Perkins brings Mondo back in, and heads up top. Perkins connects with a springboard double stomp to the back of Mondo for a nearfall. Mondo doesn’t know where he is, as Perkins measures him. Perkins lifts Mondo up for the Detonation kick, but Mondo rolls off Perkins back, and Irish whips him. Mondo misses another clothesline attempt, and Perkins grabs the legs and locks in the Figure Four Deathlock. However, Mondo is quickly able to reach the ropes. Mondo in the corner now, as Perkins with another European uppercut. Irish whip by Perkins, reversed by Mondo. Mondo charges in, but Perkins tries to back body drop him over the ropes, however Mondo lands on his feet on the apron. Perkins goes for a clothesline, but Mondo catches him and hotshots him across the ropes. Mondo trips coming back in, feeling the effects of the submission move earlier by Perkins. However, it was all a sham, as Mondo baits Perkins to connect with a Codebreaker, and Mondo kips up to show he was fine all along.
Mondo taunts Perkins, and connects with a front dropkick for another close nearfall. Mondo has words with the official about the count, as Mondo then measures Perkins. Perkins tries to go for a superkick, but Mondo blocks it. Mondo with another forearm, but Perkins nails him this time with the superkick. Perkins with a roundhouse kick, and goes back up top. Perkins tries for a springboard dropkick, but Mondo gets out of the way. Mondo tries for an Oklahoma roll, but Perkins counters and rolls up Mondo with a La Magistral for the victory.
Winner: T.J. Perkins by pinfall (La Magistral)
Perkins tries for the Code of Honor after the match, but Mondo refuses.
We see footage from last week’s controversial ending to the Briscoes vs. All Night Express match and the decision made by Jim Cornette to make neither team the #1 contenders to the ROH Tag Team Titles.
Jim Cornette is in the ring and he introduces The Briscoes, who make their way out to the ring. Cornette says he feels the All Night Express deserve another chance, so next week it will be one more time, The Briscoes against The All Night Express, and the winner will face Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team for the ROH Tag Team Titles at Final Battle on December 23rd. Jay Briscoe says that is fine with them, as they will have no problem beating the All Night Express one more time. Jay says that ROH don’t want them headlining Final Battle, but if they win next week, then ROH has no choice. Jay says that Haas & Benjamin better kiss those belts goodbye, because they will be the Briscoes’ belts at Final Battle.
A video is shown with comments from Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, who says it’s no secret that they would rather face The Briscoes next week because of what The Briscoes did to them at Best in the World. Benjamin says it’s a good news/bad news situation for The Briscoes. Good news is The Briscoes will get their title shot. Bad news is they have to fight Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team.
It is time for this week’s “Inside ROH” video package, this week highlighting what is considered to be Ring of Honor’s version of WrestleMania, Final Battle. Comments are shown from Roderick Strong, who says he will issue an open challenge for Final Battle against anyone who claims they are the “Best in the World” and that his match will out-shine Davey Richards’s match on the show.
Davey Richards says that he is not going to worry about who his opponent is at Final Battle, because whoever does will remember his name.
A video is shown highlighting Jay Lethal’s win over El Generico on October 1st to become the ROH TV Champion before the main event.
Main Event for the ROH TV Title in a “Best in the World 2011” Rematch: Jay Lethal(c) vs. “The Prodigy” Mike Bennett w/”Brutal” Bob Evans
Before the main event, we get an “ROH on Tour” video, highlighting this year’s Final Battle, with comments from “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards.
“Tale of the Tape” graphic is shown, as Bennett refuses to adhere to the Code of Honor as the bell sounds.
Lock-up and a break, with neither man gaining the advantage. Another lock-up and another break, with Lethal breaking almost sending Bennett to the corner, and Bennett and Evans both have words with the official about that. Forearm shot by Lethal, but Bennett with a kick to the gut. Bennett’s attempt at an Irish whip is reversed by Lethal, who delivers a hard chop. Irish whip by Lethal, and he scores with his patented hiptoss/cartwheel/front dropkick combination for a nearfall. European uppercut by Lethal and another Irish whip. This time however, Bennett stops himself and Irish whips Lethal and locks in a side headlock. Lethal Irish whips him, but Bennett hits him with a shoulder knockdown. Bennett goes off the ropes, Lethal with a leapfrog, but Bennett drills with a standing dropkick for a nearfall. Irish whip by Bennett, but Lethal holds on to the ropes. Bennett charges in, and Lethal goes to back body drop him over the ropes, but Bennett lands on his feet on the apron. Lethal however, hits him with a dropkick, sending Bennett crashing to the outside. Lethal sets up for a dive, but Bennett gets out of the way. Lethal baseball slides out though to go after him and drills Bennett with another hard chop. Bennett comes back with a right hand, but Lethal nails him with a kick to the gut and another chop. Lethal rolls back into the ring to break up the referee’s count, and kicks away at Bennett. During this, we see a couple of signs about one Kevin Steen, who the announcers don’t mention by name. Bennett nails Lethal with a knee to the gut and drives him backfirst into the apron. Bennett brings Lethal back into the ring and yells at the fans, saying “Who sucks now?”. Lethal sweeps out Bennett’s legs, and locks him in that unique surfboard, where Lethal wraps up Bennett’s legs, and then with Lethal’s leg strength, lifts up Bennett with Lethal’s legs under Bennett’s armpits. Lethal breaks the hold, but not before driving Bennett facefirst into the mat. Cover by Lethal, but he only gets a nearfall. Lethal with a scoop slam and a running elbow drop for another nearfall. Lethal scores with a running dropkick to the side of Bennett’s head. Lethal heads out onto to the apron to setup for something, but Evans grabs onto Lethal’s foot to prevent it from happening. Lethal kicks him away and springboards, but Bennett catches him and hotshots him across the top rope, then drills him with a big clothesline. Bennett with a cover, but only gets a nearfall. Bennett stomps away at Lethal as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, as Lethal comes back with another chop. Irish whip by Lethal, reversed by Bennett. Bennett though, misses 2 clothesline attempts, as on the 3rd try, Lethal slides under the legs and nails Bennett with another hard chop. Another Irish whip by Lethal, reversed by Bennett, who sends Lethal to the corner and connects this time with a running clothesline. Bennett measures him and connects with a neckbreaker for another nearfall. We see during the commercial break that Bennett had the advantage on Lethal, and still does as we go back to live action, as Bennett has Lethal placed across the apron and drives his elbow right across Lethal’s face. Bennett with a forearm to the head as he goes back into the ring. Bennett begins to taunt Lethal, showing no respect for him. Lethal now in the corner, as Bennett kicks away at him. Irish whip by Bennett sends Lethal to the corner. However when Bennett charges in, Lethal catches him with a back elbow. Lethal charges in, but Bennett catches him with a powerslam for a close nearfall. Bennett locks in a body scissors as the crowd chants for Lethal, trying to get him back into the match. Bennett drives in elbows across the side of Lethal’s head and face to try and weaken him some more. Lethal with back elbows, breaks the scissors of Bennett. Lethal setups for a suplex, but Bennett blocks it and locks in a front facelock, almost using it as a guillotine choke submission hold. Crowd wills Lethal back to his feet, and Lethal breaks the hold with gut shots and a right hand. However, Bennett ties for the facelock again, but Lethal counters with another chop. Bennett tries a 3rd time, but Lethal counters with an inverted atomic drop.
Lethal goes off the ropes, Bennett misses another clothesline, and Lethal scores with a running elbow. Lethal with a clothesline and a back elbow. Irish whip by Lethal, and he connects with a leg lariat. Lethal is starting to get fired up as the ring announcer says there are 3 minutes remaining in the 15 minute time limit. Irish whip by Lethal, reversed by Bennett, but Lethal comes off and connects with a handspring into an Ace Crusher for a close nearfall. Evans desperately yells for Bennett to get up as Lethal heads up top. However, Lethal stops himself as he sees Bennett start to get up. Lethal sets up for the Lethal Combination, but Bennett blocks it with elbows to the head. Lethal with a forearm uppercut, but Bennett comes right back with a right hand. Lethal with a slap and setups for a suplex. Bennett counters and goes for a waistlock. Lethal counters that with back elbows and goes off the ropes. Lethal springs off, but Bennett catches him in mid-air and delivers a spinebuster with 2 minutes remaining in the time limit. Cover by Bennett, but he gets another close nearfall. Bennett setups for the Box Office Smash, but Lethal blocks it with elbows of his own. Bennett waistlocks him, setting up for a German suplex, but Lethal lands on his feet. Lethal connects with a DDT while Bennett was on his knees, but that only gets another nearfall. Evans tries to will his protégé on, as Lethal goes to lock in a figure four with 1 minute left in the time limit. Bennett counters with a small package for another nearfall. Bennett charges in, but Lethal drills him with a superkick and heads up top. Lethal goes for the Macho elbow, but Bennett moves out of the way. 30 seconds remaining as Bennett in a mount position, rains in right hands on Lethal. Bennett with words for the official, as Lethal switches the mount, and rains in right hands of his own as time expires.
Winner: No Winner (Time Limit Draw), Jay Lethal retains ROH TV Title
Lethal wants to keep going and asks for 5 more minutes, but Bennett refuses and goes to the back as we go to credits.
I thought that this was the weakest show so far for ROH this week. While the matches were solid, it didn’t have that “oomph” that the first 4 weeks did and it left me kind of underwhelmed a bit.
Perkins vs. Mondo was a decent match, and a solid way to get both guys over in their ROH TV debuts. Perkins, to me, has more potential than Mondo does, especially with the lame gimmick that Mondo portrays, it’s just too corny and cheesy for my taste. But, both men put on a solid match that I was entertained by.
Usual good promo by the Briscoes talking about next week’s match with the All Night Express. The crowd, who I don’t know if they were following recent storylines or what, but they were really into the Briscoes here. Loved the Briscoes’ intensity at the end of the promo, and I am looking forward to another good match in the never-ending Briscoes/ANX rivalry next week.
Same can be said in terms of usual for Haas & Benjamin, who again, should never be allowed to talk. They are not good at all with mic work, they fumble over their words, and just come across, to me at least, as always being nervous when the red light is on.
Nice “Inside ROH” segment putting over how important Final Battle is to the guys at Ring of Honor, and a good way to promote the open challenge issued by Strong. However, like Haas & Benjamin, Strong should never talk either. He just as that Evan Bourne-like voice that as a heel, never comes across as believable in any way. Please just let Truth Martini do all the talking for him, because Martini is a really good heel manager and talker, but for some reason, they want to give Roderick the mic and it never works.
Good main event with Lethal & Bennett, but Ring of Honor needs to be careful with these time limit draw finishes. Too many of them, and it will become overexposed and to the point where the fans begin to lash out it and that is not something IMO, ROH should or want to do, especially with the infancy of this TV show.
My Grade: C+
Well, that will do it for this week, at least for Ring of Honor. I will be back later today with the latest trek to the land of the Sunshine State with the FCW recap, and Thursday evening into Friday with the WWE Superstars report. I will see you all next week for the next chapter in the Briscoes/ANX saga, see ya then!