Hey Cagesiders! Feeling down in the dumps because Ring of Honor's (ROH) new syndication deal doesn't include your neck of the woods? Well, join the club because I'm in the same boat. There's a boat club... or something. I'm sorry, I lost track of my expressions.
Regardless, there isn't any need to fear because due to the power of the internet, I'll be bringing you results and recaps from the show every week. Expect these reports every Tuesday starting next week to help you keep up with the the ROH product.
In this episode, we see House of Truth member Michael Elgin in action, the latest developments on what highly volatile Kevin Steen situation plus a Proving Ground contest involving the ROH World Tag Team champions The World's Greatest Tag Team (WGTT).
We start off with a recap of Kyle O'Reilly's match with "House of Truth" member Roderick Strong which ended with Truth Martini's crew -- Strong and Michael Elgin -- laying a beatdown on the Team Richards member. Tony Kozina and finally ROH World Champion Davey Richards himsef come out to even the odds but the fan favorites are overpowered until Eddie Edwards clears the ring.
And now, coming from the Davis Arena in Louisville, KY, we are welcomed by Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. They announce a non-title affair for the evening between ROH Tag Team Champions The World's Greatest Tag Team and the team of Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman.
But first to the ring where Jim Cornette announces Richards' opponent for Final Battle 2011 (available on iPPV here) and it's none other than his American Wolves partner Eddie Edwards!
"Die Hard" talks up their rubber match, saying he won the first time around while Richards came out on top in their second bout. He says he knows how his partner trains and knows what to expect. To prepare for the title bout, Edwards has gotten himself a new trainer which -- much to Cornette's chagrin -- he doesn't reveal.
Cue Richards' music and the champ makes his way to the ring. He shakes his partner's hand and Cornette asks for his thoughts on the match. The champ says that their match is for one of the few belts in the business that actually means something.
Richards then adds that before they collide at Final Battle, he wants Edwards to team up with him one more time to take on House of Truth. Calls Truth Martini a Vince Neil ripoff, ha! "Die Hard" agrees but wants his American Wolves partner to know that when they were a full-time tag team and the audience would chant, "Next world champ," they were chanting about Edwards.
Kelly shills Final Battle and he's joined with the only rednecks from Delaware, The Briscoe Brothers who are taking on The World's Greatest Tag Team at the iPPV. They won the number one contendership from The All Night Express a bit after their Ladder War at Death Before Dishonor IX. Kinda weird that the Briscoes lost Ladder War III to begin with but whatever.
Back to Kelly and McGuinness at the booth and we're treated to a video package of Edwards taking on House of Truth member and Cageside Side interviewee Michael Elgin. Backstage, Elgin looks none too pleased while Truth Martini is doing his creepy cult leader thing. Brings up Elgin's brother who apparently got hurt in a car accident after having too much to drink. He brings up Elgin's father who died before he could make peace with the old man. He brings up Roderick Strong who Elgin let down when he failed to pin Edwards. Martini gets the big man nice and amped.
Ohio Valley Wrestling talent Shiloh Jonze makes his to the ring to take on Elgin.
Michael Elgin vs. Shiloh Jonze
Elgin backs him into the corner but the referee forces a break. Elgin backs off but immediately barrels back into the young wrestler. Shoulders into the midsection soften him up and is followed by a hard irish whip across the ring. Elgin misses with the splash and gets punched by Jonze. Elgin shoves him back hard and nails a body splash in the opposite corner. Elgin climbs the turnbuckle and hits a shoulder tackle of the ropes for a two count.
Forearms to the back until Jonze starts to build some momentum. Elgin squashes that quickly by shoving his opponet into the corner and hitting him with a running forearm. Elgin whips Jonze to the corner and charges in after him but is met with a boot to the face. Jonze tries to scores with a tornado DDT but gets caught mid-air. Elgin shakes his finger and counters the move into a powerslam.
Elgin works a submission but Jonze fights back once again. The OVW wrestler gets back to his feet and hits Elgin with two clothes lines that nearly take the big man off his feet. A sunset flip fails to drop him as well as Elgin pops up and drops but nobody's home. A top rope clothesline from Jonze gets two. Elgin blocks an irish whip, backhands him, and buckle bombs him before picking him up again and nailing a spinning sitdown powerbomb for the three count.
Winner: Elgin via pinfall
Inside ROH -- the news segment of the show -- is up next and Kelly addresses the Kevin Steen situation. Steen has been out of the company since last year's Final Battle when he lost a match to El Generico (a freaking awesome match, by the way). He's been angling to get back and things came to a head at Death Before Dishonor IX when Steen interrupted the Jimmy Jacobs/El Generico match-up and nearly attacked ROH head honcho Cary Silken.
Jim Cornette, furious with Steen, said that the wrestler would never be allowed back in ROH and if he didn't like it, Steen could him sue. Well, according to Inside ROH, that's exactly what Steen is doing. Backed by a team of lawyers, Steen has filed suit against Cornette and will continue unless he's reinstated as a member of the ROH roster.
Pretty cheesy shots of the lawyers with smug looks on their faces throughout the segment. I haven't decided if it's awesome or lame.
Back to Kelly who introduces a video from "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett who demands a rematch with TV Champ Jay Lethal. Bennett has an issue with the way the referee handled the ending of the match. The referee and Lethal are all, "whatevs, BRO!"
Next up is a video package of the Briscoe Brothers/All Night Express rematch in which six-time ROH tag champs pick up the win the number one contendership.
Before we get to the main event, a video of Cornette explaining the idea behind the Proving Ground airs. It's a pretty nifty idea, adding a bit of realism to ROH -- not that the promotion is lacking in that department. Lately they've been focusing a little too much on the "OMG, THIS IS A SPORT" aspect. A little bit more sports entertainment -- even though that's a dirty word in the ROH locker room -- wouldn't hurt.
Anyway, the rules for Proving Ground contests are as follows:
Any credible challenger can challenge the champ
One fall match
Set time limits
Victory or draw gets the challenger a title shot
The tag champs and their opponents make their way to the ring and we get a Final Battle promo with WGTT talking about their opponents for that evening, The Briscoe Brothers.
Proving Ground contest: World's Greatest Tag Team vs. Cedric Alexander/Caprice Coleman
Benjamin and xxx start us off. Benjamin with a headlock and gets sent off against the ropes. He comes back with a stiff shoulder block that puts Coleman on his back. Some mat grappling from the two wrestlers and the former WWE Superstar works a wristlock until getting reversed.
Benjamin makes his way towards the ropes and bounces off the top one, flipping over and getting out of the submission. Whips Coleman to the ropes, gets caught and thrown. Benjamin misses a clothesline and nearly gets nialed with a Shining Wizard. He tags out to Haas.
Haas lifts Coleman up and drops him on his belly, clinching him up in the gator roll position. The tag champ slaps on a wristlock and drives his shoulder into Coleman's repeatedly. Forearms to the back and Haas gets his opponent back to the mat. Coleman fights back with kicks to Haas' head and he kips up and flips Haas over. He tags out to Alexander who nails a dropkick to Haas' knee while Coleman connects with a springboard leg drop.
Alexander hits a knee in the corner and whips the champ to the ropes. Haas makes blind tag and flips Alexander over to a waiting Benjamin who hits Alexander with the dropkick to the knee from behind. Haas creams the challenger with a boot to the face. Benjamin gets a two count and follows up with a leg submission. Tag out to Haas who continues to work the leg over.
We're back and Benjamin is back in the ring working over Alexander. The challenger starts to mount a comeback but Benjamin squashes that easily. Tag out to Haas who continues the assault. Haas slaps on a step over single-leg crab and the booking of this match is starting to bug me.
Okay, it's obvious that the tag champs aren't going to lose but yet, this match is booked like Coleman will get the hot tag. As it is, it's a glorified squash match that lasts like 15 minutes! That doesn't make one lick of sense.
As predicted, Coleman gets the hot tag and controls the action against Benjamin. He nails a tornado DDT and a hurricanrana but can't get the three count. With three minutes left, WGTT turns on the gas and Haas hits a giant German suplex on Coleman. A superkick from Benjamin to Alexander leads to Haas delivering a hot shot. Alexander is then subject to a double team manuever. WGTT then hits their "Wrestling's Greatest Finisher" double powerbomb to get the three count.
Winner: World's Greatest Tag Team via pinfall
After the match, the four men shake hands until The Briscoe Brothers come out. Jay mocks the champs for getting the "biggest greenhorns" on the ROH roster and guarantees they will be seven-time tag champs at Final Battle 2011.
Next week's main event will be American Wolves taking on The House of Truth! Until then, check out this video! See you next week, Cagesiders!