ROH Final Battle 2012

Live from the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC. Anyone want to
take a guess at how long it will take for an ECW chant to break out? Hosted by
Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer, who announce that the new commentator (who was
supposed to be Adam Pearce) no-showed. OK then…

Michael Elgin vs.
Roderick Strong:
Good enough choice for the opener. The slug it out to
start, then Elgin ends up on the floor on a blind charge. Strong tries a
plancha but Elgin catches him, Strong gets out of the powerbomb into the ringpost,
but a forearm shot finds the post. Elgin gets caught coming back in and Strong
takes over with chops and forearms as Truth Martini makes his way out. Elgin
belly-to-belly suplexes Strong to the floor and hits a flying shoulderblock
from the apron. He sends Strong into the barricade a couple times and hits the
Bulldog powerslam on the floor. The fight it on the apron, Strong hits
a belly-to-back on the edge of the ring and hits a dive from the apron of his
own. Martini isn’t yet letting us know where his allegiances lie, cheering on
both guys and occasionally popping over to the commentator’s table to talk to
the people at home. More brawling on the floor and back in the ring, a quick
reversal sequence leads to a Black Hole Slam from Elgin for 2. Some guy tries
to start a “Let’s go Elgin” chant but the rest of the crowd won’t get into it.
Strong misses a blind charge and Elgin hits the corner Death Valley Driver for
2. Elgin goes for the corkscrew but gets crotched on the top rope and Strong
drops him into a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle. I question the
effectiveness of trying to hurt someone’s back on padding, but it was a
creative spot and it gets 2. Strong hits a couple jumping knees for 2, he sets
up for what looked like a front superplex, but Elgin knocks him to the apron
and hits the second rope apron-to-ring superplex. “Holy shit” chant is of
course not bleeped here, and that’s the one good thing about iPPV, it’s totally
unregulated. Strong no-sells the bucklebomb and hits the double-knee gutbuster,
Elgin no-sells that and clotheslines the shit out of Strong (with the full 360
sell). Martini hops up on the apron and slides the Book of Truth into the ring,
Elgin goes for the spinning powerbomb but gets nailed with the book and Strong
hits the jumping double-knee backbreaker to end it at 11:32. Decent opener,
**1/2, Strong tells off Martini AGAIN (can’t this guy take a hint?), so Martini
tries sucking up to Elgin, and when that doesn’t work he starts telling him off
and slaps him and gets bucklebombed for his troubles.
Jay Lethal vs. Rhino:
Not really any angle with these two, just a case of 2 guys with nothing else to
do getting matched up with each other. Here’s our first ECW chant as Steve
Corino makes his way out to do commentary. Awesome. Lethal hits a springboard
crossbody and tosses Rhino over the top to the floor. Corino: “That should be a
DQ!” Kelly: “It’s not 1975 anymore!” Rhino tries getting back in and Lethal
hits a springboard dropkick to send him back out. Lethal misses a plancha but
lands on his feet and hits a superkick and the Bret Hart dive through the ropes,
then tosses Rhino into the barricade as Corino talks about how he used to date
Lethal’s mother. Back in the ring Lethal gets a kick for 2 and calls for the
Lethal Injection, it misses and Rhino hits a spinebuster for 2. Corino informs
us that Rhino is being paid off to bust up Lethal and keep him from getting
involved in the main event tonight. Forearm shots to the back from Rhino,
Lethal tries to come back with chops but just gets beat on in the corner. Rhino
hooks a body scissors as Corino makes fun of Seltzer, Lethal gets free but
keeps getting pounded. Now a bearhug, and if not for Corino’s commentary I’d
seriously be losing patience with this match. Lethal gets free and hits a
handspring elbow and a leg lariat. Irish whip is reversed and Lethal gets
speared in the corner and eats a belly-to-belly. Rhino attempts the Gore and
gets superkicked, Lethal locks in the Koji clutch, Rhino just lifts him right
up while the hold is on and drops him for 2. Lethal is back up with punches and
the Lethal Injection finishes it at 9:33. Corino’s commentary was ***** as
usual, match itself was about *, way too much laying around for a match that
short. Corino hops up on the apron to talk shit and Jimmy Jacobs attacks Lethal
from behind, 3 on 1 beatdown results.
RD Evans (w/QT
Marshall) vs. Prince Nana:
While Evans is only a manager in ROH he’s a
CHIKARA regular (as Archibald Peck) and a 10 year vet of THIS BUSINESS, so this
shouldn’t be too horrible. Evans is wearing a fruity looking pink and black
outfit with a sash, Nana is dressed like New Jack. Evans bitch slaps Nana, Nana
attacks and we’re on. Nana pounds away for a while but gets tossed to the
floor, Evans tries a plancha but lands on his face. Nice bump there, QT
Marshall helps him up and Nana takes them both out with a running dive from the
ring to the floor. Back in Evans trips up Nana and sends him into the corner
and stomps away. A few shots to the back get 2. He grabs a sleeper then hits a
backdrop suplex and goes up top, Bret Hart elbow finds nothing but boot, a
spinning side slam and a standing senton gets 2, Evans tries a springboard
bodypress but lands in a Diamond Cutter, and Marshall pulls out the ref.
Arnesto O’Cyrus (whoever the hell he is…) attacks Marshall but gets wiped out as
Evans gets a scoop slam and goes up to again, this time he gets crotched and
Nana gets a superplex for 2. He charges, Evans boots him in the gut and hits an
inverted Styles Clash to end this one at 6:40. I thought for sure Nana was
winning here. *1/2, which is better than I expected. Tomaso Ciampa tries to
attack from the crowd but gets held back by security.
NYC Streetfight:
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin vs. Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer:
Titus
and Whitmer jump WGTT from behind as they make their entrance and beat their
asses all around ringside. Titus pulls out a big stocking from under the ring
and start beating on WGTT with huge candy canes. So it’s going to be one of
those sort of streetfights, eh? I’m waiting for the plastic lizard, or I guess
maybe a plastic Frosty the Snowman. Kelly tries to tell us that there are now
dangerous shards of candy in the ring but can’t even say it with a straight
face as the crowd chants “Merry Christmas”. Whitmer tosses Hass to the floor,
Titus heads back outside and tosses one of those 3-foot tall fake Christmas trees
in, Shelton grabs it and nails him in the head with it. Meanwhile, Hass and
Whitmer are in isle tearing shit up, in the ring Benjamin starts beating on
Titus with a crutch. Whitmer attempts to piledrive Hass on the concrete but
Benjamin runs up and blasts him in the face with a kick, Hass takes his belt
off and goes after Titus with it in the ring as Benjamin hits Whitmer with
pieces of the barricade. Benjamin back in the ring now and they double-team
Titus with belt shots, Whitmer crawls back in but gets sent out and beat on by
Benjamin while Hass goes to work with the crutch. Benjamin gets back in and
grabs a kendo stick, but for whatever strange reason tosses it outside right in
front of Whitmer, and of course he’s back in with it and goes to town on WGTT.
Why the hell would Benjamin toss it right to him? Whitmer dumps Benjamin to the
floor and hits the rolling Northern Lights suplex for 2. Haas comes back with
the Olympic Slam for 2, Benjamin brings in a piece of the barricade, Whitmer
(who’s bleeding, looks hardway, probably from a piece of Christmas ornament off
the tree) gets dropped back first on it, Titus makes the save. He and Hass go
out to the floor as Benjamin grabs a chair but Titus nails him from behind and
he lands face-first on the chair for 2. Haas sets up the guardrail in the
corner but ends up getting hiptossed into it, Benjamin makes the save and
superkicks Titus. He sets up a really beat-up table on the floor and both he
and Titus end up going through it as Whitmer gets a rollup on Haas for 2.
Exploder suplex on Haas gets 2 and Whitmer grabs another table, but ends up
getting belly-to-belly suplexed off the top rope through the table 3/4 of the
way across the ring (Holy SHIT!) to finish at 15:27. One HELL of a finish right
there. Some might hate the goofy weapon shots at the start, and this doesn’t
even pale in comparison to the craziness in Brooklyn later that night (though I’d
say this match had the better finish), but it was still damned entertaining.
****, replays show that Whitmer landed right on his head and he looks to be out
cold.
Mike Bennett (w/
Maria Kanellis and Brutal Bob) vs. Jerry Lynn:
This is Lynn’s final match
in ROH, as he’s retiring next month. He’s looks like he’s hardy aged since his
ECW days. Crowd gets into the “Fuck him Jerry, fuck him up!” chant before the
match even starts. This is the first time we’ve seen the Code of Honor tonight,
for those that care about that sort of thing. Headlock-based chain wrestling
sequence to start with the camera focusing more on Maria (who’s wearing shorts
so small I’m surprised that New York state law allows them, not that I’m
complaining about it or or anything) than the match. Lynn goes for the cradle
piledriver about 3 minutes in but Bennett quickly gets free and goes for some
advice from Brutal Bob. A tilt-a-whirl headscissors sends him to the floor and
Lynn follows with a plancha and Bennett hides behind Maria, Lynn chases him
around but gets nailed by Brutal Bob. Bob hops on commentary for a minute as
Bennett sends Lynn into the barricade. Is there some reason that spot has to be
in every match tonight? Back in Bennett tries a suplex and Lynn reverses it
into a rollup for 2. Bennett goes to the eyes and charges at Lynn in the
corner, Lynn gets his feet up but Bennett catches them and drops Lynn into a
backbreaker for 2. Bennett punches away, Lynn fires back and hits a rolling
elbow and a back rake, then does the 10-count punches in the corner. DDT for 2,
then Lynn hits an Ace Crusher from the apron to the floor. That was cool, and
it gets 2 back in the ring. Cradle piledriver attempt #2, Bennett gets free
again and hits a spinebuster for 2. Maria hops up onto the apron to distract
the ref as Brutal Bob tosses in a chair, Bennett tries a TKO onto the chair but
Lynn reverses it into one of his own for 2. Now Bob distracts the ref, Lynn
tries to go after Maria, she drops him throat-first on the top rope and Bennett
hits the Box Office Smash for 3 at 10:08. Seemed about **ish, but it’s kind of
hard to give it a fair rating with the camera more focused on Maria than the
match. Bennett tries to attack Lynn but Lynn spears Brutal Bob, DDTs Maria, and
lands the cradle piledriver on Bennett. Crowd gives him a standing ovation and loud “Thank
you Jerry” and “You still got it” chants.
Lynn gives a really nice farewell speech thanking the fans
and Cary Silkin for everything, Nigel McGuiness comes out and gives him a
plaque commemorating all his contributions to wrestling, Lynn gives another
speech thanking the crowd and he and McGuiness pose for some photos. Glad to
see Lynn get out of the business relatively healthy and on his own terms, class
act all the way. Now Jay Lethal has to stick his nose into all this and pester
McGuiness about not getting his title shot. Lethal says he’s taking El Generico’s
spot in the main event tonight, McGuiness tells him he’s not, Lethal starts to
whine about Kevin Steen spitting on his mom, and at this point this has all
gone on a bit too long and is starting to kill the crowd. Lethal spits in Nigel’s
face, Nigel tries to attack and security breaks it up, McGuiness has them toss
Lethal out of the building.
Intermission, video packages for Steen/Generico, Cole/Hardy,
and the tag title match are shown.
Mike Mondo is out for a promo. He’ll be back in a month.
Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish join us to run their mouths and attack Mondo.
Davey Richards makes the save but gets beat down, Eddie Edwards saves him, and
takes us right into…
Bobby Fish & Kyle
O’Reilly vs. Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards:
The Wolves start by
double-teaming Fish while O’Reilly is down on the floor, he gets back in and
gets beat on in the corner. O’Reilly gets dumped, Fish and Edwards are the
legal men and Edwards hits a snap suplex for 2. Richards in now and he hooks in
a modified Texas Cloverleaf, O’Reilly tries to get in and Edwards provides a
little more leverage to the hold behind the ref’s back. Richards turns it into
a pin, Fish kicks out. Edwards back in and he gets backdropped to the apron, O’Reilly
knocks him to the floor and goes after Richards but gets tossed over the top
and out. Richards tries the kick off the apron on Fish but it’s caught and O’Reilly
nails him from behind. Edwards is sitting in that chair that always in the
corner of the ringside area for whatever reason and O’Reilly nails him with a
missile dropkick from the apron. Fish takes over on Edwards back in the ring,
he and O’Reilly go into the classic formula, baiting Richards to distract the
ref so they can double-team Edwards. Sidewinder on Edwards, Richards makes the
save. Backdrop suplex by Fish for 2, O’Reilly in and some double-team kicking
gets a couple 2 counts. Richards has had enough and goes after the heels
(including a nice German suplex on O’Reilly) but gets caught with a Falcon
Arrow by Fish. All 4 men end up on the floor thanks to twin suplexes from the
faces. Nice looking spot there. Richards and O’Reilly are back in first and
they slug it out, O’Reilly grabs a standing Dragon sleeper, Richards hooks in a
standing anklelock while still in the sleeper. Richards wins that battle and
turns it into a standard anklelock, O’Reilly gets free but eats a kick to the
head from Edwards. Tombstone by Richards gets 2, Edwards tries a powerbomb but
O’Reilly gets free and hits a brainbuster for 2 as it appears the ref no longer
cares who the legal man is. O’Reilly goes for the Dragon sleeper, Edwards rolls
it into a pin and Fish breaks it up with a moonsault from the top and seems to
have messed up his knee doing it. He gets dumped to the floor and the faces hit
a double-team powerbomb on O’Reilly for 2, Edwards hooks the Achilles lock
while stomping on the back of his head and the ref stops the match at 12:27.
Kind of an odd ending there… ***1/2, good classic formula tag match that’s
pretty much impossible to screw up, with some crazy near falls towards the end.
Matt Hardy vs. Adam
Cole:
Crowd is NOT happy to see Hardy (nor am I), with quite a few fans
throwing him the double bird. Cole is the ROH TV champ, but the title isn’t on
the line here because Hardy doesn’t work for ROH. Pretty loud “Fuck you Hardy”
chant as we begin. Can’t say I disagree. Lockup to start goes nowhere, another
one has them fighting over a wristlock. Cole gets free and hits some forearms
and a dropkick and Hardy bails. Cole follows with a running dive to the floor
that also nails a cameraman, he tosses Hardy back in and Hardy bails again, so
this time Cole hits him with a plancha. He tries a German suplex from the apron
but Hardy gets loose and nails Cole with a Side Effect on the edge of the ring
for a 2 count. He hooks a sort of inverted full nelson, Cole gets loose. I’m
loving the crowd here, as they are just merciless in their abuse of Hardy. He
goes for the Twist of Fate, Cole turns it into a figure 4, Hardy reverses it
and Cole makes the ropes. Another Side Effect gets 2, he hits 2 more for
another 2 count and it’s pretty clear at this point that he doesn’t have much
else. Another one for 2 and I’m rapidly getting irritated with this match, it’s
starting to remind me of that HHH/Steiner Royal Rumble atrocity. He goes for
the Twist of Fate again, Cole shoves him into the corner but runs into a boot,
Hardy hits an elbow from the second rope but Cole pops right back with a superkick
for 2. Cole stomps Hardy down in the corner, Hardy goes for the Twist of Fate
again, Cole turns it into a backslide for 2. Now Cole hits the Twist of Fate
for 2, jumping enziguri and a knee to the face for2, and he tries to go up top
bet gets caught with a crucifix powerbomb. Both guys tumble out and Cole hits
the Florida Key on the floor and rolls him back in for 2, Hardy is back up and
finally hits the Twist of Fate. It gets 2, Hardy goes to the second rope but
gets pulled off and put in the figure 4 again. Hardy makes the ropes, Cole goes
for the Florida Key but Hardy grabs the and pulls his shirt over his head and
boots Cole in the balls while the ref can’t see it, and gets a small package
for 3 at 11:47. God fucking DAMNIT! The crowd is about as happy with that
finish as I am. Well, at least it wasn’t clean. Cole’s really talented but he’s
not a miracle worker, at least not yet. 1/2*, match was terrible, Hardy was
totally out of shape and had nothing here, doing only 4 moves in the entire
match. I’m not looking forward to the rematch, that’s for damn sure.
ROH Tag Team title:
Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander vs. The Briscoes vs. Steve Corino &
Jimmy Jacobs (c):
This is sudden death rules, meaning that the champs somehow
have to be involved in the fall to end the match. Better than WWE-style first
fall wins 3-ways, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be elimination rules. The
Briscoes are the pretty clear-cut favorite of the crowd. The rules basically
make this a 4 on 2 handicap tornado match, and the challengers jump the champs
and double-team them, with Jay and Coleman taking on Corino and Mark and
Alexander going after Jacobs. Mark hits an elbow from the top on Jacobs, but
Coleman grabs the ref to break the count. C+C gets into it with the Briscoes,
so S.C.U.M. takes the opportunity to try and walk out, but the Briscoes grab
them at the curtain and Jay tosses Corino (who’s wearing that awful looking
singlet again) back in, but Alexander knocks him off the apron and C+C take
over on Corino. They hit the obligatory completely fucked up Total Elimination,
then Alexander hits a running somersault dive to the 3 guys on the floor.
Coleman hits a springboard splash on Corino, Mark makes the save. Jacobs goes
for Sliced Bread #2 on Mark but can’t hit it, springboard Diamond Cutter does
hit for 2. Jay back in and he dumps Corino and slugs it out with Coleman, but
he too takes a Diamond Cutter and bails. Corino back in, Jacobs spears Coleman
and Corino hits a belly-to-back suplex, Mark and Alexander make the save but
quickly get tossed out. Jacobs hits the Corino-assisted Slice Bread #2 and
Corino hits a lariat, Coleman kicks out. Corino tries to hit Alexander with the
roll of nickels but eats a jumping enziguri as Coleman nails a top-rope rana on
Jacobs. Corino nails Coleman with the roll of nickels, it only gets 2. Briscoes
hit the Doomsday Device on Jacobs and we have NEW tag team champions at 7:06.
**, I feel like this should have been better than it was, and it was way too
short, there’s absolutely NO reason that the shitty Cole/Hardy match should
have gone longer than this one. The Briscoes cut a celebratory promo and tell
Coleman and Alexander that they will get the first title shot just out of
respect. Works for me.
Ladder War 4, ROH
Title: El Generico vs. Kevin Steen (c):
Steen is carrying the old belt, the
new one is hanging above the ring. Brawling to start, Generico hits a tornado
DDT and a Yakuza kick and Steen bails, Generico follows with a tope. Generico
sends him back in, grabs a ladder (there’s a bunch of them at ringside, and
they’re pretty cheap looking) and starts going to town on Steen with it. He
tries to set it up but Steen nails him from behind, Generico charges and Steen
backdrops hin onto the ladder (leaning up against the ropes) and it bends right in
half. Ouch. Now Steen goes to work with the busted ladder, he throws it at
Generico and a big chunk of it breaks right off. I hope they have a stronger one
under the ring or something, these ones look like they could barely support
Steen’s weight. Cannonball into the ladder with Generico lying under it, then
Steen nails him with the chunk that broke off. Steen heads out for a couple
fresh ladders, Generico tries throwing one of them at him but he just catches
it and bounces it off Generico’s face. Steen dumps him and tosses him right
through the guardrail and into the first row, then decides to go fuck with a
fan wearing a Generico mask. Generico sets up the ladder while Steen is
distracted, but he gets caught before he can start climbing. He gets whipped
into a ladder set up into the corner and Steen stomps away. There’s a bigger
(and what looks be a better constructed) ladder in the isle, Steen grabs that
and nails Generico with it, and Generico falls to the floor. Steen sets it up
in the center of the ring and starts climbing, Generico pulls him down and
suplexes him into one of the ladders in the corner. Generico starts climbing,
Steen pulls him down but Generico suplexes him onto the ladder again. Generico
goes for the belt again, this time Steen just pushes the ladder over and
Generico lands in the corner. He’s back up and tries for the tornado DDT again
but Steen gets the knee out and turns it into a backbreaker. He dumps Generico
to the floor and starts climbing, Generico pulls him down, so Steen dumps him
again and goes for the belt, Generico catches him again. Steen dumps him back
out and this time follows him out and tosses him through the barricade again.
He sets up one of the ladders between the guardrail and the ring but decides to
just send Generico into the barricade one more time and goes under the ring
looking for something, but comes up empty. OK… He goes to the other side of the
ring and finds what he’s looking for: a table. He sets that up on top of the
ladder that’s between the ring and guardrail, tries to powerbomb Generico through
it from the ring but ends up getting backdropped through it. Generico sends the
ring crew to the back for a really big ladder and the crowd gets into the “Si!
Si! Si!” chant. He sets it up, Steen is back in and goes to the top rope,
Generico meets him and goes for the super brainbuster but gets put through the
timekeeper’s table. Steen starts climbing the really big ladder, Generico is
back in and uses the other big ladder to knock Steen down. He sets the 2 big
ladders up and tries to wedge one of the cheap looking ladders horizontally in
between them but Steen nails him and sets it up himself. Steen powerbombs
Generico onto the ladder and goes for the belt, Generico pulls him down and
hits the package piledriver. Generico climbs, Steen pulls him down, grabs
another one of the smaller ladders and wedges that one between the 2 big ones
above the first and tries to reach the belt from there but he’s about 4 feet
too short. Generico gets up there with him as the crowd chants “Please don’t
die!”, Steen boots him in the balls and hits the package piledriver through the
ladders. Generico ain’t getting up from that, Steen claims the belt for the win
at 28:03. ****, this was really good but not one of the greats, and I honestly liked
Steen’s match with Elgin at Glory by Honor (or even the streetfight from
earlier tonight) better.
Like the ladder match this was a good but not great show,
but more than worth the money. Next PPV isn’t till March and the next TV show
won’t be for at least another 3 weeks, so no more ROH for a while.