Road Rage to start out 2013 – ROH TV will take a look back at Final Battle 2012, including Lethal/Rhino, Ladder War for the ROH Title and the three way match for the ROH Tag Titles. It’s always an interesting contrast to go back and see a show you attended live with the addition of commentary and different camera angles, and that’s what I get here tonight.
Match 1: Jay Lethal vs Rhino
Winner: Jay Lethal via pinfall
Jay Lethal is upset because his match against Rhino provides him with nothing, win or lose. Lethal will keep his more intense attitude moving into 2013, without a doubt. Rhino, free of the monetary shackles of Truth Martini is back to being the ManBeast. Steve Corino shows up for commentary, which is always a treat.
Back and forth match, with a focus on Rhino’s overbearing power and Lethal’s ability to withstand punishment. Lethal would counter the Gore with a superkick and Koji Clutch, but Rhino deadlifts him into a monster backdrop. Rhino would attempt a TKO, but Lethal escapes and hits the Lethal Injection for the three.
Match 2: Mike Bennett vs Jerry Lynn
Winner: Mike Bennett via pinfall
Jerry Lynn’s final ROH match as he continues his retirement tour. Will this be his final retirement tour? Time will tell!
Bennett is doing a reverse retirement tour of sorts, after his series with Lance Storm and now this match. Some chair shenanigans would take place, with Lynn ending up hitting a TKO on it, but to Bennett’s credit he kicks out and hits the Box Office Smash for the win. The crew would attempt to get the best of Lynn after the match, but a low blow to Brutal Bob, a DDT to Maria and a Cradle Piledriver to Bennett makes the crowd happy. A heartfelt speech and a plaque presented to Lynn allows him to leave ROH head held high and with a warm, fuzzy feeling. The crowd would chant him to the back.
Jay Lethal Returns to the Ring
Lethal would re-enter the ring with Nigel McGuinness, demanding a place in the main event, ending in Lethal spitting on the new match maker and a pull apart fight. Lethal wants to defend his family’s honor but at the same time is coming off as a bit of an ass.
Match 3: Kevin Steen (c) vs El Generico, Ring of Honor World Championship – Ladder War IV
Winner: Kevin Steen
One of the most brutal feuds in ROH and one of the most consistent ones in recent wrestling history comes to a head with this match – El Generico returns after Kevin Steen put him on the shelf for months. Little did people seeing this match know they were seeing what might be El Generico’s last match in Ring of Honor.
Instead of showing segments of the match, Road Rage shows the violent highlights in a package. The match would end in a ludicrous Package Piledriver on top of a ladder bridge suspended between two much larger ladders and Steen grabbing the belt. This is a must see for all ROH fans, and a match I recommend to any wrestling fans who may not regularly watch Ring of Honor.
Match 4: Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman vs Jay and Mark Briscoe vs SCUM (c), Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship – Sudden Death Rules
Winners: Jay and Mark Briscoe via pinfall, new Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions
Sudden death rules is interesting here, if only because it adds a bit of a caveat to a standard three way tag match. The champions can pin anyone and retain, but the challengers must pin the champions to capture the Tag Titles. We would get a lot of the Briscoes and C&C fighting one another over who would get to attack or pin SCUM, which is to be expected in this kind of match. At one point, SCUM attempts to leave the ringside area, since without their presence, nobody could capture the tag titles. They would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those meddling chicken farmers. Coleman hits Jay Briscoe with a jumping snapmare driver which was actually really cool looking – Basically an RKO with a nosedive instead of landing on his back. SCUM lands a standing Contra Code and the Eternal Dream, but Alexander lives on. Corino tries to use the roll of quarters, and after being denied would eventually hit it on Alexander who kicks out again. The Briscoes roll in to break things up and after series of kicks, hit the Doomsday Device on Jacobs to become 8-time ROH Tag Team Champions.
Jay Briscoe says they’re offering an open invitation to the tag teams of the world, but are offering the first title shot to Coleman and Alexander.
Lethal hits a superkick about 45 seconds into a match, which is one of those things that leads people to think guys in Ring of Honor don’t have any ring psychology, and it’s hard to argue that point. Corino’s commentary disparaging Lethal (and his mother) is the highlight of the beginning of this match – He really hammers home that Lethal wants to be part of the main event scene and why, at least in his own mind, Lethal isn’t on the level of Kevin Steen. Strong showing from both men, and a strong win for Lethal would set him up to keep the intensity going into 2013. No doubt we’ll see a few title shots for him this year. Kevin Kelly would play up Rhino’s alliance to Corino, but nothing shown really demonstrated that, so we’ll see moving forward if that holds true. SCUM doesn’t really need an enforcer.
ROH can do whatever they want to make Bennett a star to their crowd, even if it’s a hated heel star, but most Ring of Honor fans will likely always see him as a guy that’s aiming to move on to acting/WWE as soon as possible. This will keep the crowd from really rallying behind him. Not to mention his style and attitude are incredibly reminiscent of Dolph Ziggler and this guy is absolutely no Dolph Ziggler. The match itself was quite good, with no small thanks to Jerry Lynn being a top notch performer. Bennett continues to win and win and win, but ROH doesn’t seem to intend to pull the trigger on him.
I’m thrilled to have seen this Ladder War, as it is likely Generico’s final ROH match, now that WWE has shown their vested interest in him as they await medical test results. The reaction live when Steen hit the killing blow was incredible – Quite a scene with Steen sitting on the ladder platform and Generico unconscious on the mat. I’d quite frankly love to gush about this match minute by minute, but I absolutely insist that if you did not see it and are reading this, you go about whatever means you need to (nefarious or otherwise) to do so. It’s an excellent ending to an excellent feud that fans have seen play out over two years.
Coleman and Alexander continue to show what excellent athletes they are and the Briscoes are still the absolute fan favorites in ROH. SCUM loses some of their gold, but they still have the big belt as we head into 2013. I would assume Corino will take a less action-oriented stance moving forward. I’d like to hear more from him on commentary, if only for Kevin Steen matches.
Great show, enjoyed the bejeezus out of it. Hard to complain. Ok, it’s my shtick, so…complaints, complaints…ok! I’ll voice a complaint that I hear from a lot of folks that are critical of ROH’s action and it’s an entirely valid complaint.
Jay Lethal and the rest of ROH – Stop throwing so many goddamn super kicks. A super kick is supposed to be a special strike, something to go crazy for. Throw a leg kick or something, it’s ok.
Caleb Seltzer – Guys have names for moves. Jacobs calls it the Contra Code, so call it that. (I’m desperate here – If I don’t get angry I’ll get the old pink slip!)
Yeah, that’s about as rant-y as I’ll get about this show. Aside from the fact that it WAS a Road Rage episode, which means no new content which is never fun.
No actual preview for the next show given, so nothing for you guys here!
As always, if you like what you read here, let me know in the comments or on twitter @sbfantom. I sincerely would like to hear what people think and strike up some conversation!
Come on over to The Geek Asylum – we’re currently on hiatus, but we’ll soon be back for extended Raw and Smackdown reactions.
Tags: Briscoes, Caprice Coleman, cedric alexander, El Generico, Final Battle, Jay Lethal, kevin kelly, Kevin Steen, Ladder War, Mike Bennett, Rhino, Ring of Honor, ROH, ROH TV, Steve Corino