Ring of Honor Review: 1/21/12 Eddie Edwards Rebounds from Final Battle

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Ring of Honor Review: 1/21/12 Eddie Edwards Rebounds from Final Battle

Ring of Honor returned to television January 21st after giving ROH personnel some time off with their families over the holidays. This was the first television episode since Final Battle, where Davey Richards retained the ROH Championship, the Briscoes won the ROH Tag Team Championship and Kevin Steen declared his intent to take down Richards, whom he sees as Jim Cornette’s puppet.

Eddie Edwards defeated Mike Mondo

This was a pretty good match after two incredibly awful promos. It’s tough for Mondo to sell the “crazy guy” persona in the same company as Kevin Steen and Eddie Edwards looks like he is going to poop himself every time someone turns a camera on him.

Edwards pinned Mondo after a Die Hard. It was a quick match that established Edwards’ renewed focus after a disheartening loss to ROH Champion Davey Richards at Final Battle.

Verdict: Thumbs Up
Best Moment
: Eddie Edwards selling limb damage. Final Battle convinced me that he couldn’t do that.

Haas & Benjamin and Briscoes Promos

Talking is typically not a strong suit for Ring of Honor. The announcers are okay and Jim Cornette is great. However, most of the wrestlers are neither of those adjectives. If they were, they’d probably be in WWE.

That said, Haas did a nice job explaining how the Briscoes took them out of their game at Final Battle. It’s refreshing to hear thoughtful analysis from the wrestlers themselves. Haas sounded like he tried to understand why he lost so they could avoid similar mistakes in the future. Isn’t this what every professional does? It’s all about the details, people.

Also, Shelton Benjamin should be seen and not heard. The more I hear him speak, the less upset I am that WWE released him.

Verdict: Thumbs Up
Best Moment
: Thinking

Roderick Strong defeated Ricky Reyes

I have always said that any story is only as good as its villain. Without a good antagonist, a story seems pointless. The House of Truth has been the featured heel stable since ROH’s Sinclair debut. Here, they dialed it up a notch.

Strong won after a rollup that included fistfuls of Reyes’ tights and a blurry circle over Reyes’ backside.

The House of Truth, while never above cheating to win, now preaches the Code of Honor before cheating to win. It’s a nice move to keep building the House of Truth as both heels and as threats.

Verdict: Thumbs Up
Worst Moment
: Nigel McGuinness negatively referring to Strong’s manager Truth Martini as his “life partner.” When did CM Punk start commentating? It’s 2012. Calling someone “gay” as an insult stopped being a thing five years ago. At least it should have.

Kevin Steen & Embassy Promos

Kevin Steen is fantastic. Everything about his promo shows why he might be the best thing in the company. He is the best heel in professional wrestling today. He is a destructive force. He is completely focused. He will destroy anything in his path to achieve his goals. He is without remorse.

No cowardly retreats. No “You People” promos. No cheating to win.

Just one man waging total war on ROH. I half-expected him to quote General Sherman.

Barrister R.D. Evans is the big change for The Embassy. He interrupted Prince Nana to put the focus on Tommaso Ciampa. This is an interesting setup. Nana seemed okay with being out of the spotlight, but one has to wonder how long that will last.

Verdict: Thumbs Up
Best Moment:
Steen wearing a shirt from his days tagging with El Generico to “show support."
Worst Moment
: Steen inexplicably slipping more and more into an Irish brogue as the promo went on.

Matt Jackson defeated Kenny King

TNA released the Young Bucks and WWE released Kenny King? There are at least three mistakes featured tonight’s main event.

Speaking of which, what does it say about Ring of Honor that they can take two of their tag team wrestlers and have a better match than most on WWE television?

A great story is emerging between the Young Bucks and the All Night Express. The Young Bucks mercilessly tormented the injured Rhett Titus, even using one of his crutches to secure the win.

This was the ideal match. The bad guys made you hate them. The good guys became more sympathetic. Everyone came out of the match looking better.

Verdict: Thumbs Up
Best Moment
: Matt Jackson’s springboard DDT to King, who was dropped from the apron to the floor.

Show Verdict: Thumbs Up

Overall, the show was solid, but unspectacular. The main event was the only truly “great” part of the show, but everything else served a purpose.

Next week: Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly in tag team action.

 

All photos courtesy of rohwrestling.com

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