The craziest ladder match of the day may not go to John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler or The Shield vs. Ryback, Kane and Daniel Bryan, but Kevin Steen vs. El Generico at Ring Of Honor's Final Battle iPPV. Read who won that match and the other bouts on the ROH show here.
Ring Of Honor (ROH) hit a home run with their last iPPV of the year, delivering on their promises of an improved viewing experience with their new video streaming platform Ooyala and presenting a show that will be very tough for the WWE TLC pay-per-view to beat. The workers seem a lot more upbeat under the direction of new head booker Hunter "Delirious" Johnston, whose storylines seem a lot more in tune with the youthful ROH fan base than the more conservative, old school approach of veteran creative mind Jim Cornette. Here's a quick and dirty overview of the results, more detailed reviews of the event can be found on the major wrestling websites like PWInsider.com, f4wonline.com and ProWrestling.net:
- Roderick Strong pinned Michael Elgin after executing a Codebreaker in a hard hitting, impactful opener. After the match, manager Truth Martini announced Strong as the winner and the only remaining member of his House Of Truth. But Roddy was having none of that, telling him that "I am done with you and all of your bullshit" and quitting his stable once again. Martini then tried to buddy up to his former protégé Michael Elgin like a right weasel, who grabbed him for a powerbomb only to relent when Truth asked for a chance to be heard. In a dumb move, Martini then chastised Elgin for his disloyalty and slapped him "like a real man", which naturally led to the powerbomb in the turnbuckles he was trying to avoid in the first place.
- Jay Lethal beat Rhino in a solid bout. Steve Corino, who commentated on the match, then made his way ringside to insult Lethal's mother again, which lead to the natural fight challenge from the hotheaded babyface. However, Jimmy Jacobs jumped Lethal from behind and the three heels beat him down. Corino concluded the segment by saying that Lethal "would always be a second match turd".
- RD Evans defeated Prince Nana in a better, more serious wrestling match than expected. Tomasso Ciampa then came through the crowd in order to sneak attack Evans, but he was stopped by security.
- Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas beat Rhett Titus & BJ Whitmer in a wild street fight that even featured a Christmas tree as a weapon. There was concern at the finish when Whitmer went through a table head first after a botched landing off a belly to belly superplex by Haas and he laid on the mat for several minutes before being helped to the back, but apparently he was fine and just suffered a stiff neck.
- Jerry Lynn put over Mike Bennett (with Maria Kanellis and Brutal Bob Evans) in his last match with ROH before he retires in three months time. It was a decent match despite Lynn starting to show his age, who cleared the ring of all three heels when they went to ambush him again and he then gave a farewell speech. Cue ROH commissioner Nigel McGuinness, ostensibly to give Lynn a plaque for his service to the company and put him over as a legend, but ultimately so a hopping mad Jay Lethal could confront McGuinness and spit on him for the company's failure to do anything about Kevin Steen spitting on his mother at Killer Instinct in October. This led to the two men having to be held apart from attacking each other and Nigel ordering Lethal to be ejected out of the building, which meant that he couldn't interfere in the main event later in the evening.
- The newly reunited American Wolves of Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards defeated Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish in a crowd pleasing match of similar ilk to the opener.
- Matt Hardy pinned ROH TV Champion Adam Cole in a non-title match, which was just OK, but that doesn't cut the mustard in Ring Of Honor. Matt has been through the wars too much to keep up with the talented young workers here and seemed to get some go away heat. He's a bad fit for the promotion, so I can't see him hanging around long term.
- The Briscoes beat SCUM (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs) and Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander in a three way tag team match to win the ROH World Tag Team Championships in a breezy, action packed spotfest when Jacobs was pinned after a Doomsday Device. In a post match speech, The Briscoes said they would defend the belts against any team that asked, but one team they respected didn't have to ask, Cedric and Caprice, who they said deserved the first shot.
- Kevin Steen retained the ROH World Championship against El Generico in a crazy Ladder Wars match that featured a lot of risky stunts that I doubt even Dolph Ziggler will be able to top at tonight's WWE TLC pay-per-view, including a package piledriver though a ladder scaffold. Particularly impressive was that they had the crowd believing that Generico could win the match despite reports leaking before the event that he was only being brought back for this show. Sounds like a match well worth going out of your way to see, if TLC hasn't fully satisfied your fix for men falling off tall climbing implements for one day.