Rant of Honor 12.15.12 (Richards, Corino/Jay Briscoe)

The Glimpse:

One half of the Tag Team Champions, Steve Corino, takes on Jay Briscoe in a Street Fight in the last ROH TV before Final Battle 2012:  Doomsday.  Davey Richards is in action to warm up and still does not know if fellow American Wolf Eddie Edwards will be present for FB2012.

The Action:

Match 1:   Vinny Marseglia vs Davey Richards

Winner:  Davey Richards via pinfall

As the action starts, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly step out on the ramp to observe their opponent at Final Battle, allowing Marseglia to take early control with a dropkick and a plancha.  A Trailer Hitch and a Cloverleaf lead to Richards hitting the Alarm Clock and a running KO Kick for a quick win.  No shenanigans out of Fish and O’Reilly.

Mike Mondo in-ring Interview

Mondo was injured in October after an unnecessary dive from the top AFTER injuring his ankle earlier in the match.  Mondo vaguely refers to the Spirit Squad and that he didn’t feel like he was at the top of his industry.  Mondo reminds us that he keeps fighting, keep going, etc.  When his cast comes off, he promises to work out more.  After some more verbiage, Roderick Strong interrupts and gets bleeped 5 words in.  Roddy says that the time spent on TV with Mondo is better spent on someone like him and that Mondo is just pumping up the crowd like a cheerleader (tee hee).  Strong kicks the leg out from Mondo and reminds us that he’s left the House of Truth.  Elgin comes down to make a save and Strong backs down.  Truth Martini tries to intervene and bleep number two for Roderick.  Strong bops Elgin in the back with a crutch and runs.

Match 2:  Steve Corino vs Jay Briscoe, Street Fight

Winner:   Jay Briscoe vs Steve Corino

Corino is out in a suit, just like he said last week – That’s all he had to wear.  Right hands from both men right out of the gate and then immediately out to the floor where Corino turns the tables.  Briscoe answers and they throw one another into the barriers.  Briscoe grabs a water bottle from the crowd and bashes Corino with it, followed by choking him with a flag.  Corino stands strong and rakes away at the eyes to not allow the advantage to shift.  A table gets set up on the floor.  Jay lays Corino on it and then hops on the apron to deliver a double stomp through the table.

Back from a commercial, Briscoe nails Corino with a sneaker then rings the bell on his head.  Briscoe wedges a chair in the corner and then one in a second corner; make it all four corners.  Now if watching pro wrestling has taught me anything, he’s going to end up head first in one of these.  Jimmy Jacobs comes to ringside serving as a distraction and Corino cracks Jay with a roll of quarters, but it’s only good for a two count.  Jacobs gets in the ring which draws Mark out and he slams him clear out of the ring while Jay hits a mafia kick to the head.  Corino gets whipped into three of the corner chairs and then takes a reverse STO into one of them.  Mark retrieves a wheelbarrow of chairs (no, literally) and proceeds to throw seven into the ring, then dump the rest into Jacobs.

Corino returns the favor and drops Jay into a chair, then scoop slams him onto the chair pile.  Mark puts Jacobs in the wheelbarrow and takes him out of the ring area while Corino sets up a chair mid ring and sits his opponent down on it.  Corino delivers a boot to the face sending Jay tumbling.  Corino finds another table and gets it in the ring then chucks a chair at Jay.  The table gets set up in the corner and Corino kicks a chair at Jay which actually catches him right in the face (and must have hurt like hell).  Corino follows up with three stomps and a hammerfist below the belt.  Another chair is set up and Corino hits a suplex onto it for a two count.  Briscoe is sat on a chair once again but catches Corino as he rushes him and delivers a DVD onto them.  Mark Briscoe tries to bring a steel guardrail to the ring and gets on the curtain until someone helps him, then deposits it in the ring just in time to get a low blow from Jacobs who distracts Jay, allowing Corino to delivers a saito suplex through the corner table.  SCUM set up four chairs and the guardrail and lay Briscoe across it, but he fights to his feet and meets Corino on the top rope.  Jacobs wants a powerbomb but Mark makes the save and Jay superplexes Corino onto the guardrail, which doesn’t give at ALL.  Coleman and Alexander hit the ring, climb on the top rope and dive on Jacobs and Mark while Jay pins Corino.

Steen enters the ring after things settle down and sits down holding an El Generico mask.  The crowd rallies in favor of Generico, drawing the ire of the ROH World Champion.  Steen recaps being sent packing by Generico, making his return and becoming World Champion, but says it’s not enough.  Ladder War doesn’t scare Steen.  He asks Kevin Kelly to repeat what he said two years ago about Steen/Generico – That he was scared of what would happen to the two of them.  Steen says if he was scared then, he should be terrified.  The ROH Champion isn’t scared of the end of the world…he’s scared of El Generico being the World Champion.  Steen says he leaves Final Battle as the World Champion or in a body bag.

The Reaction:

New tights for Richards.  Marseglia has typically gotten the “jobber” treatment when seen in ROH, but in action, he’s pretty impressive.  Richards with the usual start of a Trailer Hitch, keeping his eyes on Fish and O’Reilly the entire time then soon after locking in the arm-trap Cloverleaf.  Richards finishes with a running kick to the head to keep that firmly in mind as his expected finish.  Good, quick match to reestablish Richards with a dominant win.

Lots of fire from Mondo, but not a whole hell of a lot of substance.  His promise to the fans is to work out more.  Roddy got bleeped…big surprise.  I’m with Roderick; this was definitely a waste of everyone’s time.  If Strong will have a program when Mondo rehabs, that’s fine.  Otherwise, they just stuck Mondo in there as an excuse to get Elgin and Strong in the same ring before the PPV.  Roderick Strong leaving the House of Truth is a really bad move; he needs a mouthpiece more than anybody in wrestling.

Well, I ate crow on that one – Briscoe set up corner chairs and actually got to use them!  Great use of street fight rules in this one and no unnecessary bleeding.  The suplex onto the chair and the superplex onto the guardrail were nothing shy of brutal.  Neither object gave whatsoever and you could see the men bounce right off the unforgiving steel.  Enough outside interference to not be obnoxious and we got to Mark Briscoe wheel Jimmy Jacobs away in a wheelbarrow, which was worth it.  Coleman and Alexander came off as a distant third in importance leading into Final Battle and as a huge afterthought.

Steen delivers like a star on these promos right before and right after a PPV.  The fervor with which he speaks shows a love for what he’s doing and a sincerity that a lot of guys seem to be missing when they do this.  The use of Kevin Kelly as a prop and harkening back to his comments from two years ago is well placed.

The Rant:

Richards uses the arm-trap variant of the Cloverleaf early in so many of his matches, then finishes with the Cloverleaf on occasion.  That’s kind of like using a Sharpshooter mid match and finishing a guy with a grapevine.  Not necessarily a bad thing, just always kind of irked me.

“From the heart”…”I didn’t know how to start this”…”the dream”…”All I ever wanted to is wrestle”.  It’s like Mondo flipped open his textbook for Promos 101 and copied chapter 3 verbatim.  And now Roderick Strong is out?  How can you be SO good at the wrestling part and be arguably the worst promo in pro wrestling?  It’s not even passable – He just sounds like a frat douche with a microphone, even down to the little things like how he reacts to someone stepping to him.  All together awful.  And Martini, what are you thinking?!  You’ve been tossed onto a guardrail and your leg torn to pieces, and both of the other guys want nothing to do with you.  Just recruit someone else!

Lots of low blows from the bad guys to remind you they’re the bad guys.  I already said Coleman and Alexander came off as an afterthought, but I think it’s important to reiterate that.  Those involved knew they would come out at the end of the show and yet they couldn’t get a camera to capture the impact of them jumping from the top rope to the floor.  Not to mention that it’s silly for them to just show up at the end, climb to the top and then immediately dive to the outside.  Given, things are more personal between SCUM and The Briscoes, but C&C are coming off as “just there” and likely included for some high spot-style action in the match.  Match wise, this was excellent.

The Preview:

Final Battle is shaping up with a great card with gems like Jerry Lynn’s final ROH match and RD Evans taking on Prince Nana.  Richards/Edwards vs Fish/O’Reilly should be a great hard hitting fight.  All of SCUM is in action defending gold and El Generico will return for a Ladder War and Rhett Titus will probably bleed when he and BJ Whitmer take on Haas and Benjamin in a street fight.  Matt Hardy will be on hand as well.

ROH TV next week will be a Christmas edition:  2012’s best PPV matches.

The Shill:

I will be attending Final Battle 2012 so be sure to follow me on Twitter for live updates and whatever pictures I can manage with an iPhone.  As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom.  Come on over to The Geek Asylum – we’re currently on hiatus, but we’ll soon be back for extended Raw and Smackdown reactions.

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