Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s ROH on Sinclair report. If you all are ready, then let’s get on with the show!
Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness welcome us to the show, from the Davis Arena in Louisville, KY. We go to pre-match comments from Eddie Edwards before our opening match.
“Die Hard” Eddie Edwards vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge
Ridge goes for a kick to start things off, but Edwards catches it and takes him down. Ridge gets himself to the ropes as we see Truth Martini go to the announce table to join Kelly & McGuinness on commentary. Lock-up and Edwards with a waistlock takedown into a front chancery. Ridge tries to break the hold, but Edwards counters it and gets a nearfall. Ridge then makes it to the ropes and Edwards breaks. Another lock-up and Edwards applies a side headlock. Ridge Irish whips out of the hold, but Edwards comes off and Sunset flips Ridge for a nearfall, but Ridge counters that with a roll up for a nearfall of his own. Ridge goes for some kicks, but Edwards blocks them and we are at a stalemate.
Both men go for a knucklelock and Edwards backs Ridge into the ropes. Edwards breaks, but then delivers 2 hard chops to Ridge. Ridge then spins Edwards around and delivers some chops of his own, followed by some kicks. Edwards then evades a kick from Ridge and hits one of his own. Ridge comes right back and nails Edwards with a kick to the chest for a nearfall. Ridge hits a chop and a forearm, but Edwards regains the advantage with a belly to belly suplex into an armbar, but Ridge is able to make it to the ropes. Ridge goes to the corner as Edwards nails him with a chop and Irish whips him to the far corner. Ridge nails Edwards coming in with a boot, but Edwards then drills him with an enziguri. Edwards goes for the Chin Checker, but Ridge escapes. Edwards comes right back with a chop, but Ridge fires back with a kick.
Ridge hits a succession of kicks to the back, followed by a running boot. Ridge goes for a superkick, but misses, and Edwards rolls him up for a nearfall, and then Edwards locks Ridge in the STF, but Ridge is able to make it to the ropes. Edwards goes for a back suplex, but Ridge lands on his feet, but then Edwards nails him with another kick, Ridge comes back with an elbow, followed by a slingshot Ace Crusher for a nearfall.
Edwards then drills him with a clothesline, followed by a powerbomb, and then finally locks in the Dragon Sleeper and Ridge has no choice but to tap out.
Winner: “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards by submission (Dragon Sleeper)
Truth Martini leaves the commentary table, and goes to the ring to applaud the performance of Edwards as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, video is played of the history between The Briscoes and Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team, heading into their Tag Team Title match at Final Battle. We then find out that after the Briscoes’ attack on Shelton Benjamin last week, the Briscoes are fined $5,000 and Benjamin suffered a cracked rib, but will be able to compete at Final Battle.
Back from commercial, we go to this week’s “Inside ROH” segment, as we run down the card for Final Battle this Friday and see the history between Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards, leading into their World Title match at Final Battle.
Main Event in the “Proving Ground”: ROH World Champion “The American Wolf” Davey Richards vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin w/Truth Martini
Richards wants Elgin to follow the Code of Honor but Elgin refuses. Lock-up and Elgin backs Richards into the ropes and breaks clean. Another lock-up and Elgin again with a clean break but Richards nails him with a forearm and then Elgin hits a forearm of his own and Richards goes to the outside. Back in the ring, Richards takes down Elgin and applies a step over toe hold into an Indian Death Lock, but Elgin gets to the ropes. Lock- up and Richards with a side headlock. Elgin Irish whips out, but Richards with a shoulder tackle, however Elgin stays on his feet. Richards tries again and he gets the same result. Elgin tries for a shoulder tackle of his own, but Richards goes for a kick, that is blocked by Elgin. Elgin lifts Richards on his shoulders but Richards escapes and hits a dropkick. Richards tries for a surfboard but instead he drives Elgin’s knees into the mat. Richards nails Elgin with kicks to the chest. Richards then tries for the running forearm in the corner but Elgin sees him coming and hits a Black Hole Slam for a nearfall. Elgin sends Richards to the floor and rams his back into the apron multiple times. Elgin with a succession of forearms to the head and kidneys of Richards. Back in the ring, Elgin kicks Richards in the head, but Richards tries to fight back with right hands, but Elgin comes right back with a forearm. Elgin sends Richards again to the outside and Truth Martini rakes his eyes while the referee is distracted by Elgin. Back in the ring, Elgin hits a slam for a nearfall. Elgin then applies a seated surfboard, with his knee driven into Richards’ back. Richards gets to his feet, but Elgin fires back with a kick. Elgin charges at Richards but Richards sidesteps him and Elgin goes out to the apron. Richards scores with a running kick to the back that sends Elgin to the outside. Richards charges, and hits a tope dive onto Elgin. The referee checks on Richards while Martini checks on Elgin. Back in the ring, Richards charges, but runs into a boot by Elgin, but Richards drills Elgin with a kick to the head as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial, and Elgin nails Richards with a kick but Richards comes back with a forearm, and then Elgin hits a forearm of his own. We see that during the commercial break Richards connected with a series of forearms to Elgin. Back to live action, Richards misses a springboard roundhouse kick and Elgin scores with a version of Shock Treatment. Richards comes back and sends Elgin to the outside, but Elgin blocks the running boot on the apron from Richards and Elgin connects with a version of the Muscle Buster on the outside.
The referee begins his count and Richards is not moving as the count gets closer to 20. Richards gets to his knees and he is able to get back into the ring just in time. Richards crawls to the center of the ring as Elgin stands over him. Elgin taunts Richards, who in response spits in Elgin’s face. Elgin then responds with a kick, followed by a suplex into a side slam for a nearfall. Elgin drills Richards with a forearm and back elbow, then hits a version of the Ki Crusher for a nearfall. Elgin measures Richards for the power bomb but Richards blocks it. Richards takes down Elgin and hits a double stomp. Richards tries to put Elgin on the turnbuckles, but Elgin prevents it with a club to the back. Elgin goes up top, but Richards stops him with a series of forearms and chops. Richards with a right hand and he goes for a superplex, but Elgin blocks it with forearm shots. Elgin nails Richards with right hands as Richards is teetering on the ropes, but Richards fires back with headbutts as both men become dazed. Richards goes for the superplex again, and this time he connects with it.
Elgin gets right back up to his feet and Richards is in shock. Richards comes off the ropes, and connects with a running boot, but it doesn’t faze Elgin. Richards hits a 2nd one and the same thing happens. Richards blocks a kick and then both men exchange forearms. Richards with a series of kicks, but Elgin fires back with a spinning back fist and enziugiri that knocks Richards down. Elgin hits a forearm, but Richards comes back with a kick to the chest. They go back and forth on the exchange until Richards connects with a series of kicks, backing Elgin into the corner. Elgin charges out of the corner, but Richards stops him and hits a German suplex for a nearfall. Richards sets up for a boot, but Martini grabs Richards’ foot. Elgin hits a German suplex of his own, but then Richards comes right back and hits the Alarm Clock. Richards kicks Martini off the apron and then hits a top rope double stomp for a nearfall. Richards with a roundhouse kick to the head for another nearfall. Richards locks in the cross armbreaker but Elgin kicks Richards in the head as he lifts up Richards.
Richards gets Elgin back down to the mat but Elgin lifts up Richards again for the 360* powerbomb, but Richards prevents it with elbows to the head, and finally Sunset flips out of the predicament for the victory.
Winner: “The American Wolf” Davey Richards by pinfall (Sunset Flip)
After the match, Martini tries to attack Richards but Richards sees him coming. Richards is about to hit Martini but Elgin stops him and hits another German suplex. Elgin then stomps away at Richards. Martini holds the ROH title belt over his head. Eddie Edwards then comes to the ring, but Martini tosses the title belt to Edwards. Edwards goes to hit Elgin with the belt, but “accidentally” hits Richards.
Richards gets up and sees Edwards with the ROH title belt and wants to know what he is doing. Richards yells at Eddie and takes him down to the mat, but Edwards puts Richards in the Dragon Sleeper as we see Truth Martini & Michael Elgin outside the ring watching what is going on. Kyle O’Reilly and Tony Kozina then come to the ring to try to break things up. Edwards shoves O’Reilly while Kozina checks on Richards. Richards gets back up and goes after Edwards while the referees, Kozina, and O’Reilly try to separate them. Edwards then goes after Richards as the former friends and tag partners are now at each other’s throats as we go to credits.
Solid show this week, with the final build for the top 2 matches for Final Battle in the Tag Title and World Title match respectively. I though they did a great job in the show closing angle of Richards & Edwards finally going after one another and the tension those two had for months just finally boiling over into one crazy pull-apart brawl. They had me uninterested for months with the whole “respect” deal, but now that we have an actual feud going between the two, it should make for hopefully a better match at Final Battle.
The 2 matches on the show were both solid, and the main event really put over Elgin as this guy who you have to literally throw everything but the kitchen sink at to finally beat, and that is a good way to protect a monster-like character like Elgin in defeat. The Edwards/Ridge was mainly a showcase for Edwards, but Ridge did a good job in the role he was given.
I would have liked to have seen more hype for the other 2 prominent matches with the Steen/Corino and TV Title 3-way, but if ROH feels that the Tag Title and World Title matches are the most important things on this iPPV, than I have no problem with them getting a lot of focus on the go-home.
Overall, a solid go-home show that leaves me very interested for Final Battle this Friday night.
My Grade: C+
Well, that will do it for me this week. I want to thank you all for reading and I will be back next week, but remember….
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See ya next week for more Ring-of-Honor!