The latest episode of Ring of Honor (ROH) TV has hit the airwaves and for those of you who can't see it live, Cageside Seats has you covered.
This week's show is main evented by ROH World Champion Davey Richards taking on his training partner and "Team Richards" member Kyle O'Reilly. Mike Mondo also steps inside the squared circle against Alex Silva and "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett puts his bitter feud with World Television Champion Jay Lethal on the backburner momentarily when he collides with Jamin Olivencia.
Before we get to the show, let's take a quick look at the results from this past weekend's ROH shows. Survival of the Fittest (SOTF) took place on Nov. 18 and saw none other than "Unbreakable" Michael Elgin join the likes of Eddie Edwards and Chris Hero as a SOTF winner and will get a future world title shot. In the Champion's Challenge, The World's Greatest Tag Team (WGTT) defeated the team of Richards and Lethal.
On Nov. 19, at Glory by Honor X, Elgin continued his winning ways by coming out on top in a four corners match while The Briscoe Brothers lived up to their word and defeated The Young Bucks. Lethal and former world champ Roderick Strong went to a time limit draw, earning Strong a future shot at the TV strap. WGTT defended their titles against The All Night Express (ANX) and in the main event, Richards defeated El Generico to retain the ROH World Championship before being attacked by none other than Kevin Steen following the match.
Crazy, crazy weekend for the Philly promotion. But enough talk, it's time for wrestling!
We open up with a video package of last week's main event between The American Wolves and The House of Truth.
We're welcomed to the Davis Arena in Louisville, KY by Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness who begin to run down the card from top to bottom.
Mike Mondo -- Mikey from the Spirit Squad in the WWE -- in a pre-recorded video talks about how big and jacked he is. Then he comes out with a sign that reads "Godzilla fears Mondo!" Haha, well played.
Alex Silva vs. Mike Mondo
They lock up and Mondo gets taken down. He hops up, slaps his chest, and goads Silva into bouncing off the ropes. Silva returns and the two collide before engaging in a test of strength. It leads them to the mat and the two begin trading chops! They roll up, legs locked, and are both on top of their heads, still delivering chops! They break and the referee gets knocked down in the process. Being a nice guy, Silva helps him up. Being a jerk, Mondo attacks Silva and sends him to the outside.
Springboard corkscrew flattens Silva out before Mondo rolls him back in and hits a dropkick for two. Mondo in complete control here. But his opponent begins to fire back with elbows and stuns Mondo enough to hit a spinebuster for two. Silva begins to build up steam and hops to the top rope. He leaps, counters a dropkick attempt from Mondo and nails him with a powerbomb. Two count and Mondo transitions from the pin into an armbar that Silva breaks with the ropes.
Mondo threatens with an ankle lock but it's fought off. He bounces off the ropes and Silva tries to hit a second spinebuster but eats a huge faceslam. A double arm DDT -- with the leg kick, love that -- ends Silva's night for good.
Winner: Mike Mondo
Jim Cornette says that his "official" response will wait until next week but his "personal" response is that Kevin Steen is bulljiving with his lawsuit. Steen knew what he was getting into when he signed the contract for his match with El Generico at Final Battle 2010 that banished him from ROH. My only guess is that it will be pre-recorded since A) there was no mention of it in when the TV tapings went down and B) he'll have to discuss Steen's actions at Glory by Honor X.
Also, Jay Lethal says Bennett isn't a champ unless he's got the belt.
Jamin Olivencia vs. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett w/ "Brutal" Bob Evans
Bennett on the stick before the match Says he's going to give Olivencia a "TV title shot." Love his commitment to the storyline. Match starts and Bennett quickly picks his opponent up and drops him down. He gives Olivencia a little smack but the youngster responds with a hard shot. A dropkick puts Bennett on his back but he quickly regains the upper hand. Neckbreaker from "The Prodigy" gets a two count and he begins to wear his opponent down with a chin lock.
Olivencia seriously has some of the worst ring gear I've ever seen. Ugly, ugly color scheme. And just as he builds some momentum, we get a random shot of the crowd. This, combined with last week's simliar shot, continues an awful streak of bad editing.
Anyway, Olivencia gets a little too big for his britches and gets countered into a side slam -- Bennett calls it the Box Office Smash -- for the three count.
Winner: Mike Bennett
Kevin Kelly here with Inside ROH talking about Dan Severn who is now training Eddie Edwards for his Final Battle 2011 title match. Davey Richards says that he had the idea to train with Severn but scheduling conflicts kept it from happening. The champ is hurt and confused that his former partner would go behind his back but promises to win next month. Kelly says we'll get footage of Edwards and Severn training next week.
Footage from last week's confrontation between ANX and WGTT is played followed by The Briscoes challenging the team of Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander. The ROH newcomers took WGTT to the limit a couple of weeks back on ROH TV and the six-time tag champs want to prove they're the best by taking Coleman and Alexander out in much more efficient fashion. References to chickens and whiskey are made and it is loved by me. Coleman and Alexander respond, quoting stuff from the Bible or something. Sorry guys but whiskey > Deuteronomy any day.
Kyle O'Reilly vs. Davey Richards
You know, I'm going to have to agree with what Cagesider Finian1 had to say about the booking here. There is nearly 20 minutes left in the show. There is absolutely no reason that O'Reilly should be in the ring that long with the ROH World Champion. I mean, unless they're working towards getting O'Reilly up to world title status relatively soon but I just don't see how that's the case. If any ROH newbie is getting the hard sell, it's Elgin.
I can appreciate the competitive spirit they're trying to convey but seriously, they were hyping a DVD for an event called "Best in the World 2011," a show that saw Richards win the title. In essence, that made him exactly what the event was named after, right? But he's going nearly a quarter of an hour against someone like O'Reilly? It makes Richards look weak at the expense of elevating his "Team Richards" teammate and going into his big rubber match with Edwards at Final Battle 2011, that's the last thing ROH needs to do.
Anyway, before the match starts, Truth Martini makes his presence known and joins the commentary team. The two start off by trading strikes like this is an old school Pancrase MMA fight. Some knees by Richards and a hard kick to the chest put O'Reilly on his back. Back to his feet, O'Reilly manages to get the champ down, they both miss head kicks and stereo dropkicks.
Kelly says, "They're so evenly matched." THEY SHOULDN'T BE.
They lock up and Richards rolls into a kneebar and then transitions into an ankle lock before O'Reilly reaches the ropes. Back to their feet, they lock up against and Richards torques his opponent's shoulder with a kimura, gets him to the mat, and delivers some hard kicks to the face. O'Reilly responds with some of his own but the champ just feeds off of it.
They trade snapmares and boots to the back before going toe to toe with forearm shots. Spinning heel kick from Richards drops O'Reilly to the mat. He gets whipped to the ropes and eats a big knee to the gut before getting trapped in a modified cloverleaf.
O'Reilly storms back and hits an awesome trio of butterfly suplexes before transitioning into a straight armbar. That was really cool. Richards recovers and drapes O'Reilly across the top turnbuckle. He charges in from the opposite corner and nails his opponent with a brutal knee to the ribs. Another battle of forearm shots ends when Richards kicks his opponent upside his head.
O'Reilly barely answers the ten count before Richards continues the attack. Kelly again says, "It has been as even a match as you can imagine." Martini responds, "I can't believe this match is still going on." Much like the great Bobby Heenan, the great heel commentators always have a hint of truth to their seemingly biased statements.
The two start slapping each other in the middle of the ring and O'Reilly gains the upper hand. He nearly gets a three count and then catches a kick, spins Richards around and hits a back suplex for another near fall. O'Reilly to the top rope but is pulled down by his opponent and eats a kick. O'Reilly is spilled to the outside and Richards follows. He tries to deliver a kick but O'Reilly ducks and the champ slams his shin into the ringpost. As he nurses the wound, he eats a huge missile dropkick from the apron and then another inside the ring from the top rope.
O'Reilly nearly gets a three count and follows up by sinking in a guillotine. Richards ends up lifting his opponent up and dropping him down, floating over for an ankle lock. O'Reilly rolls out of it, forcing the champ's head against the second turnbuckle. A running tornado DDT by O'Reilly leads to a second guillotine choke attempt.
Richards flips over and puts his opponent in a pin, forcing O'Reilly to break the hold. The challenger leaps into a standing guillotine but Richards counters with a standing ankle lock before turning his opponent over for a more standard approach. The two then trade ankle locks until the champ locks one in that forces "Team Richards" member Tony Kozina to throw in the towel.
Winner: Davey Richards
Uh, seriously ... unless O'Reilly is set to be the challenger for the world title post-Final Battle 2011, the booking in this match is absolutely mind boggling. Also, it seriously felt like an old school RINGS or UWF-i match. Richards really needs someone else inside the ring that will reel him in from doing these Japanese-esque "worked shoot" matches and O'Reilly isn't that guy. He seems like he'll just go along with whatever the champ wants.
After the match, Truth Martini hits the ring to "advise" Richards but he and O'Reilly lay him out.
And finally, here's what ROH has in store for next week's episode of Ring of Honor TV!
See you then!