Hello everyone and welcome to my second ROH review.
Let me start off by saying that I'm sorry this was late, I missed the show over the weekend and had to wait for it to go up on the website today, I'm sorry for that.
After last weeks show kicked off the new era of Ring of Honor in amazing fashion, will this week maintain the momentum, or will it fall flat?
As always feel free to comment bellow because universal agreement doesn't exist, and I always find it interesting to hear others opinions on things, especially wrestling.
I will grade each match from one to five stars, with one being Sting vs. Jeff Hardy at Victory Road and five stars being Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards at Best in the World (or Cena vs Punk at MITB if you "don't watch indy wrestling," despite the fact that 1. ROH isn't independent and 2. your reading an ROH review).
At the end of the show I give it a letter grade and give out a few awards that I make up on the spot.
So lets get this review started.
We kick off this weeks episode with highlights from last weeks contest between the World's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Hass and Shelton Benjamin) and the King's of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli).
After the opening fades we are greeted with everyone's favorite ranter (and if your a Botchamania fan, your favorite face) Jim Cornette. He calls out Hass and Benjamin and proceeds to put over the tag team and talk about how they are one of the best teams, if not the best, in wrestling today (I tend to agree).
He then explains that there is one team in the back that wants to get their hands on those belts, the Briscoe Brothers. The Briscoes get a big pop from the fans despite turning heel a few weeks back.
He explains that the Briscoes were fined $5,000 for what they did in New York at Best in the World, but Hass and Benjamin want more then that.
The team says that they will get their hands on the Briscoes sooner or later.
My Thoughts: A strong opening to the show, it both put over the Tag Team Champs and let new comers to the product know who the Briscoes are, and what feuds are about to start. Also, anytime Cornette is on the mic I can't help but watch, I almost wish he was a third man in the commentary team.
The only negative I have right now is that the lighting and production still don't look quite right. ROH has had this problem for years, but they really need to fix it if they ever want to be more then a niche product that appeals to hardcore fans.
We then get a video package hyping up "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett
Match 1: Jimmy Jacobs w/ Steve Corino vs. Mike Bennett w/ Bob Evans
Code of Honor is followed, glad their not doing the every face follows the code, every heel doesn't BS, it's refreshing.
I also like the "Tale of the Tape" it gives the illusion that this is an actual sporting event, adding to the drama of the match.
Match starts off with the typical singles moves. Bennett is really the type of sports entertainment guy that ROH should focus on as their future if they want to appeal to a larger audience. While I personally prefer the smaller, faster guys, he's the type of wrestler that appeals to the masses that are disgruntled with TNA and WWE.
The match continues back and forth until Bennett takes control after Jacobs misses a sling shot cross body on the outside. He rolls Jacobs back into the ring and hits a series of backbreakers only to get a near fall.
Jacobs gets a second wind and after conecting with a few neck breakers and clotheslines, hits a huge ace crusher for a near fall. Jacobs goes to the top rope for a Senton Bomb, but crashes and burns.
Bennett follows up with his finisher, the Box Office Smash for the pinfall.
Winner: Mike Bennett via pinfall by Box Office Smash at 5:57
Rating: 2.5 stars
My Thoughts: I'm not a big Jacobs guy, he just doesn't do it for me. I'm glad that it looks like they're going to use Corino as a way to get Bennett over with new fans. He's a recognizable name and is doing what legends his age should be doing, passing on the torch (I'm looking at you Hogan, Sting, Steiner and Flair).
As far as the match goes it was just ok, not the best by either guy.
Nigel McGuiness is interviewing a fan at ring side about the main event tonight between El Generico and Jay Lethal, the fan picks Generico to retain. I like that they are getting the crowd involved in ways like this, it's a classic concept from an era of wrestling long forgotten.
We then get a solid video package that puts over Eddie Edwards as a warrior that puts his body on the line, and how he got the nickname "Die Hard."
Yet again the production of these video packages is great, the rest of the production team could take a note from how these are being done. It did a good job selling one of ROH's toughest and best singles wrestler's to the new fan, no complaints.
We are told that Davey Richards and Rodrick Strong will face off next week for the ROH Title. Should be a good match between two great wrestlers.
Match 2: Jay Lethal vs El Generico for the ROH TV Title
The match opens with trading wristlocks until Generico hits a big running head scissor takedown. Lethal replys with one of his own and helps Generico up as both men stare each other down.
Lethal takes control of the early goings of the match after he hits a snap mare into a dropkick. He follows up by doing some kind of submission that I don't recognize.
After that Lethal stomps on Generico's face and gets a near fall. He follows that up with another submission, but the fans get behind Generico who gets up and throws Lethal around a bit until Lethal rolls out onto the floor. Generico then hits a suicide dive out onto the floor and the crowd goes wild.
We come back from break to see them going back and forth in the ring. Some impressive chain moves lead to both men being knocked out on the ground. The ref gets to five and both men are up.
Two mins to go until the time limit and Generico counters Lethal's powerbomb attempt into a springboard tornado DDT.
The "Ole!" chats are going and we have one minute to go. Things are about to hit fifth gear.
Generico gets a waist lock, Lethal counters and goes for a roundhouse, Generico counters that into a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Generico tunes up the band for the Yakuza Kick but Lethal ducks it and rolls Generico up for a near fall. He follows up with an attempted uranage, but Generico again counters it and hits a big suplex as time expire.
Both men look disappointed as the crowd chants for five more minutes. They beg the ref but he says he can't do it. Jim Cornette comes out and says that he can't give them five minutes, but he can give 'em three.
Here we go again, if I miss some stuff I'm sorry but this is kind of too fast to follow it all.
The bell rings and the punches are flying. Lethal gets the better of the exchange and backs Generico into a corner. He starts to set up a move but Generico recovers and hits a Yakuza Kick followed by a Dragon Suplex for a near fall.
He starts motioning for the Brain-Bustahhhhhhh, but Lethal fights out and hits his own suplex. He goes for the Macho Elbow. Generico gets up and dodges it and sets up for the top rope Brainbuster, Lethal punches out of it and hits Generico and hits the Macho Elbow, but only gets two.
Generico rolls to the corner to recover and as Lethal walks over to him to follow up, Generico hits a big T-Bone suplex. He calls for one more Yakuza kick but as he's going for it he eats a superkick from Lethal who hits The Lethal Combination for the pin.
Winner by pinfall via The Lethal Combination, and NEW ROH World Television Champion: Jay Lethal at 17:00
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
My Thoughts: This match was amazing, everything about it was great. From the front 15 minutes, which were very good, to the fast paced, edge of your seat finish that was jammed in those final three minutes, everything was great.
My only complaint is that Generico has earned to be more then just a transitional champion who took the belt off Christopher Daniels and proceeds to drop it to Jay Lethal, but I understand it, Lethal is the big name.
Overall Thoughts on the Show: Just like last weeks this was a great show, and better yet we didn't have 45 minutes of ROH advertising their DVD's. The first match was ok, but the second match was amazing, it alone is worth watching the show.
Only complaints on the show were yet again the production quality, the camera angles, and the fact that we have still not seen the ROH champion on television in something other then a backstage pre-tape. Add to that the fact that we yet again only get two matches, both similar styles, and I have to knock the grade down, but only a little.
Overall I felt this weeks episode was just a little better then last weeks and as such deserves a better grade.
Final Grade: A-
Awards of the Night
Holy $h*t Moment of the Night: Jay Lethal Hitting a Superkick out of Nowhere
Match of the Night: El Generico vs Jay Lethal
Wrestler of the Night: Jay Lethal, after what he's been through he deserves to be the face of the company
Runner-Up Wrestler of the Night: Mike Bennett, I see a bright future for this guy, he will one day be the face of the company
As always please comment bellow, thanks for reading, and take care.
See You Space Cowboy...