New York, NY – 12.16.2012
ROH World Champion: Kevin Steen
ROH Television Champion: Adam Cole
ROH World Tag Team Champions: S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs)
Commentary is provided by Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer.
Michael Elgin vs. Roderick Strong
Elgin tosses Strong right to the corner. Strong delivers a chop but then gets taken down and has his back pounded on. Elgin wins a forearm exchange but Strong is able to send him to the floor. He tries a pescado. Elgin catches him. Strong slides off his shoulders and accidentally chops a ring post. Elgin gets in a few more strikes before bringing Strong back into the ring. Strong kicks him in the face. Truth Martini makes his way down to the ring with the Book of Truth in hand. Elgin belly-to-belly suplexes Strong to the floor and follows with a shoulder tackle off the apron. Elgin gives him a running powerslam on the floor! Strong knees Elgin from the apron. On the apron they trade kicks until Strong delivers a backbreaker onto the ring frame. He throws a flurry of strikes, only for Elgin to respond with a running forearm smash. In the ring Elgin hits the Boss Man Slam for two. He then gives Strong a Death Valley Driver into the corner for another two count. Strong gives him a backbreaker across the top turnbuckle. Elgin kicks out. Elgin clubs him in the chest and neck with repeated short-arm clotheslines. Strong gives him a jumping knee strike for two. Elgin and Strong fight on the ropes. Elgin punches Strong to the apron, then deadlifts him back into the ring for a second rope suplex! After Elgin gives him a Buckle Bomb, Strong hits Death by Roderick. Elgin mows him down with a clothesline to block the Sick Kick. Martini throws the Book of Truth in the ring to no one in particular, then distracts the referee. Elgin backfists Strong. He picks him up for the spinning powerbomb. Strong hits him with the Book to block it. The Orange Crush backbreaker gets Strong the win at 11:31. Crummy finish, solid match otherwise. The fact that Elgin was built up so strongly through the year and put on two of the best ROH title matches in ages, only to lose from a hardcover book shot is so beyond stupid that it hurts. The work put in before-hand was really good, minus a few moments of shrugging off bigger moves. ***
After the match Truth Martini tries to appeal to Strong. Strong says once again that he wants nothing to do with him. Martini then sucks up to Elgin. He takes all the credit for Elgin’s successes, like winning the 2011 Survival of the Fittest tournament. He says Elgin and Strong turning on him is a slap in the face, so he slaps Elgin in the face. Elgin gives him a Buckle Bomb and then Backfists him to the floor. Elgin is left standing tall.
Jay Lethal vs. Rhino
Steve Corino is on commentary for this. Rhino gets in a few punches. Lethal comes off the second rope with a crossbody and then tosses Rhino to the floor. He dropkicks him off of the apron. He hits a superkick before coming at him with a suicide dive. Lethal earns a two count with a sliding dropkick in the ring. He goes for a back handspring maneuver. Rhino evades it and delivers a spinebuster. He snapmares Lethal into a bodyscissors. He applies a bearhug after some forearm shots are thrown. Lethal escapes. He hits a back handspring elbow and a leg lariat. He gets two with a rolling clothesline. Rhino shoulder blocks him in the corner and suplexes him out of it. Rhino sets up for the Gore. Lethal blocks it with the superkick. He delivers a Complete Shot and locks on a Koji Clutch. Rhino lifts up Lethal and slams his way free. Lethal comes back with the Lethal Injection for the pin at 9:33. This felt like a place holder match for both guys. Granted, it furthered Lethal’s issue with S.C.U.M. and also played off Rhino and Corino’s ECW relationship too. Hopefully they keep them associated for now. **3/4
Corino warns Lethal not to get involved in the main event, as Lethal had promised to do so in the past. When it looks like they are going to come to blows, Jimmy Jacobs attacks Lethal from behind. He and Corino stomp away before Rhino gives him a Gore. Corino says Lethal will never beat Steen and will never be the ROH World champion.
Prince Nana vs. Barrister RD Evans
QT Marshall is in Evans’ corner. Evans slaps Nana in the face. Nana takes him down and punches him in the corner. He smashes him in the corner with his elbow and his hip. Evans tosses him to the floor. Nana totally avoids a pescado. Marshall helps him up and Nana suicide dives onto the both of them. Evans chokes Nana back in the ring. He delivers some strikes to Nana’s lower back for two. Nana gets his boot up to block an elbow from the second rope. Evans gives him a boot in the corner. Nana catches him with a spinning sidewalk slam. He gets two with a senton splash. Evans goes for a springboard move and gets caught with an Ace Crusher. QT Marshall pulls referee Todd Sinclair out of the ring. Ernesto Osiris comes out to neutralize him. However, Marshall whips him into the barricades. Evans side slams Nana and goes up top. Nana crotches him and brings him down with a superplex. Evans comes back with a reverse Styles Clash for the pin at 6:39. That was fun for a novelty match. Evans is a king. **1/4
A still injured Tommaso Ciampa looks to jump in from the crowd to try and get his hands on Marshall and Evans. It takes many officials to hold him back. I cannot wait for him to come back.
New York City Street Fight
BJ Whitmer & Rhett Titus vs. Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin
Whitmer and Titus jump Haas and Benjamin as they come down the aisle, just like Haas and Benjamin did to them at “Glory By Honor XI.” Whitmer sends Haas into the barricades. Titus brings out a giant stocking from under the ring. Whitmer and Titus smash large candy canes across their opponents backs. Titus delivers a face wash kick to Benjamin. A Christmas tree is interjected into the match. Benjamin rams the base of it into Titus’ head. He uses a crutch on Titus as well. Haas slams a metal barricade sheet onto Whitmer’s back. Benjamin superkicks Whitmer to stop him from slamming Haas onto a barricade. Haas and Benjamin use belts and a crutch to beat down Titus back in the ring. Whitmer saves his partner with a Singapore cane. He gets two on Haas with a Northern Lights suplex. Haas responds with the Olympic Slam, also for two. A barricade is put into the ring. Benjamin comes off the top, elbowing Whitmer into Haas’ suplex onto the edge of the barricade. Titus breaks the pin. He gives Benjamin the Thrust Buster onto a chair for two. Haas tries whipping Titus onto a barricade in the corner. Titus blocks it with a powerslam onto the barricades himself. Benjamin superkicks Titus as the referee disposes of the barricade. Benjamin sets up a table ringside. He and Titus fight on the apron until Benjamin gives him Pay Dirt. Whitmer quickly rolls up Haas for two. The two exchange boots to the face. Whitmer hits an exploder suplex for two. Whitmer sets up a table mid-ring and places Haas on it. Haas gets up and looks for a superplex. He ends up suplexing Whitmer through the table and right onto his head for the pin at 15:25. That finish was absolutely terrifying. Thankfully at this point we know Whitmer is OK, but at the time it was really scary. This was a solid blow off though I would have much rather seen Whitmer and Titus go over. ***1/4
Jerry Lynn vs. Mike Bennett
Maria Kanellis and “Brutal” Bob Evans are in Bennett’s corner. Lynn holds on tight to a side headlock in the early going. Bennett tries early on for the the Photo Finish. Lynn escapes and goes for the cradle piledriver. Bennett escapes and finds solace in Evans’ encouragement. He sucker punches Lynn and throws him into the corner. Lynn comes back with a satellite headscissors that sends Bennett to the floor. He follows with a pescado. Bennett baits Lynn into a clothesline from Evans. Bennett sends him into the barricades before bringing him back into the ring. When Lynn gets a two count from a cradle, Bennett pokes him in the eyes. He gives Lynn a rope-assisted backbreaker for two. Lynn fires up and throws Bennett to the mat by his hair. He pokes him in the eyes and rakes his back before landing ten punches in the corner. He ducks a clothesline and delivers a DDT for two. Lynn hits a TKO on the floor also for two. In the ring Bennett delivers a spinebuster for two. Maria distracts the referee whiles Evans slides a chair into the ring. Lynn blocks the Photo Finish and hits his own TKO on the chair. He throws the chair at Evans and gets two. Evans distracts the referee so Maria can snap Lynn’s neck on the top rope. Bennett hits the Box Office Smash for the pin at 10:07. What the hell does this do for Bennett? Why couldn’t Lynn take a clean pin in his final match to put Bennett over? Just so he could beat up Bennett, Maria, and Evans post match (which he did, by the way)? The wrestling was fairly average and it did no favors for anyone. Not a great match for Lynn to go out on, if you ask me. **
Jerry Lynn thanks Cary Silken, essentially for keeping ROH alive with his money. He begins to thank the boys in the back when Nigel McGuinness makes his way out with many people from the locker room following. He tells some anecdotes about Lynn and their matches in ROH before presenting him an award for his accomplishments in professional wrestling. Lynn once again thanks the fans for the support over the years.
Before Nigel can leave, Jay Lethal steps into the ring. He feels Nigel has been ducking him all day when he’s been trying to get a word with him. He says S.C.U.M.’s attack from earlier tonight won’t keep him from fighting the champion tonight. He tells Nigel that as the Survival of the Fittest 2012 winner that the main event spot belongs to him. That being said, he says he is putting himself in that match and Generico can step to him if he’s got an issue with it. Nigel rejects this proposition. Lethal tells Nigel once again to make the match or else he’s going to take the spot. Nigel reiterates that it won’t happen. Lethal spits on Nigel as re-course for feeling like ROH spit on him. McGuinness looks to attack Lethal, but both men end up being restrained by officials.
Kevin Kelly brings Mike Mondo out. He has an injury that was supposed to keep him out for a year will only keep him out for 5 weeks. He sounds like a moron trying to come off like a tough guy. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish make their way out. Fish makes it sound like Eddie Edwards isn’t around and suggests that Mondo take his place in the upcoming tag match. Mondo is about to attack Fish when O’Reilly sweeps out his legs. They beat down Mondo until Davey Richards runs out. Richards then gets beaten down until Eddie Edwards make his way to the ring. O’Reilly and Fish hold Richards for Edwards presuming he will join with them. Edwards instead superkicks Fish. He and Davey give O’Reilly the Alarm Clock. The Wolves shake hands before delivering stereo suicide dives. The scheduled tag match is on.
The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) vs. Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish
In the ring the Wolves double team Fish. They throw strikes at O’Reilly in the corner. Fish becomes isolated while O’Reilly recovers on the floor. They apply a double team submission while taunting O’Reilly. Fish sends Edwards to the apron so O’Reilly can kick him. Fish sends Edwards into the guardrails. Richards pitches O’Reilly to the floor. He tries an apron kick to Fish. Fish catches Richards foot and O’Reilly boots him off the ring apron. O’Reilly then dropkicks Edwards into the barricades. Edwards becomes isolated once brought back into the ring. Richards at one point comes in and starts throwing kicks. Edwards superkicks Fish. They give O’Reilly the Alarm Clock again. O’Reilly and Richards kick one another until Richards gives him a German suplex. Fish does the deal with a Falcon Arrow. Edwards superkicks Fish and then O’Reilly. Kamikaze suplexes bring everyone to the floor. Back in the ring O’Reilly and Richards exchange strikes and kicks. O’Reilly puts on a Guillotine. Richards twists up his ankle while the hold is applied. O’Reilly lets go but Richards still holds onto the ankle. He rolls out of it but eats a gamengiri from Edwards. Edwards gives him a Code Breaker. He then superkicks O’Reilly into Richards’ tombstone piledriver. O’Reilly manages to kick out. Fish grabs Richards leg. O’Reilly gives Edwards a tornado DDT, kicking Richards in the process. Fish kicks Edwards into a brainbuster from O’Reilly for two. Fish moonsaults Edwards to break up his pin attempt. O’Reilly kicks Edwards in the side of the head and Richards breaks the cover. The Wolves give O’Reilly a powerbomb/back cracker combo for two. Richards kicks Fish from the apron. He double stomps O’Reilly. Edwards turns him into the Achilles Lock while stomping on his head. Referee Todd Sinclair stops the match, awarding the victory to the Wolves at 12:26. That was an awesome battle and a great way for the Wolves to re-debut. I am really happy to see them back together because they had spent a little too long on top of the singles ladder. I also think Fish and O’Reilly were excellent foils and I expect great things out of both teams in 2013. ***1/2
Adam Cole vs. Matt Hardy
Hardy backs Cole to the corner and fakes a cheap shot. Cole gets in a dropkick, causing Hardy to retreat to the floor. Cole suicide dives after him. Hardy comes back with a Side Effect onto the ring frame. In the ring he puts on a butterfly bodyscissors. He releases the hold and antagonizes Cole while he tries to recover. Cole blocks the Twist of Fate with a figure four leg lock. Hardy turns it over and Cole grabs the ropes. Hardy gives him the Side Effect for two. He hits it again two more times for the same result. Yet another gets two, again. Cole shoves Hardy to the corner. Hardy shoves Cole away and delivers an elbow to the back of Cole’s neck. Cole replies with a superkick for two. Cole stomps Hardy down in the corner. He gets two with a backslide after blocking another Twist of Fate. Cole hits the Twist of Fate himself for two. Hardy comes back with a Razor’s Edge for two. Cole gives Hardy the Florida Key outside the ring. This earns him a two count back in the ring. Hardy hits another Twist of Fate for two. Cole sweeps him off of the second rope and reapplies the figure four. Hardy grabs the ropes. Cole tries for the Florida Key. Hardy grabs referee Paul Turner and pulls his shirt over his head. While he’s fixing himself, Hardy kicks Cole in the groin and rolls him up for the pin at 11:42. This is another match that did nobody any favors. All that hard work from both guys ends with a low blow? I get that they want to build to a rematch, but that was such a dissatisfying finish. The good news is Cole looked good during the actual bulk of the match itself but Hardy being around really doesn’t do much for me. **3/4
ROH Tag Team Championship
S.C.U.M. (Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs) vs. The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander
The Briscoes, Coleman and Alexander work together taking down S.C.U.M. on the floor. In the ring Jay snapmares Corino into a dropkick from Alexander. They fight over who will go for the pin. Jacobs attacks them both. Coleman drops Jacobs with a spinebuster. Mark delivers an elbow from the second rope. Alexander stops the referee from counting Mark’s pin. Jacobs rolls up Mark for two. Jacobs gets sent to the floor. Alexander dropkicks Mark. S.C.U.M. begin to walk up the ramp but get stopped by the Briscoes. Coleman and Alexander hit Corino with a modified Total Elimination. Alexander tope con hilo’s onto the Briscoes and Jacobs. Coleman hits a reverse splash on Corino for two. Mark boots him down. Jacobs kicks out Mark’s leg. He tries for the Contra Code. Mark blocks, but Jacobs hits a springback Ace Crusher for two. Jay throws some punches at Coleman. Coleman responds with a snapmare driver. Jacobs spears him. Corino hits a Saito suplex. Alexander and Mark break the pin, then get thrown to the floor. Corino assists Jacobs with a Contra Code, then hits the Sliding D for two. Corino tries to hit Coleman with a roll of quarters. He ducks and Alexander sends him out. Coleman brings Jacobs off the top rope with the Leap of Faith. Alexander missile dropkicks Mark. Jacobs distracts the referee so Corino can nail Alexander with a roll of quarters for two. Jacobs grabs his title belt. Jay boots him before he can use it. Mark dropkicks Corino to the corner. The Briscoes hit Jacobs with the Doomsday Device for the win at 7:07. That was shockingly short, but very energetic and fun while it lasted. The ending did get to be a bit much. I was really hoping C&C were going to win because the Briscoes winning the belts AGAIN makes it seem like the tag division is stuck in neutral when really it’s on the rise. Hopefully they get those belts one day. After the match, Jay sends out an open invitation to any team for a challenge. Thankfully, Jay awards the first shot to Coleman and Alexander. **3/4
ROH World Championship; Ladder War IV
Kevin Steen vs. El Generico
Non-stop punches are thrown. Generico runs the ropes and delivers a tornado DDT. He yakuza kicks Steen in the corner. Steen rolls to the floor and Generico follows with a tope con hilo. In the ring Generico jabs Steen with a ladder before throwing it at him. Steen flips Generico off as he falls down. He fish hooks Generico’s mask but Generico bites his finger. He drops the ladder onto Steen’s back. The ladder ends up draped on the ropes. Steen goes to the eyes. Generico ends up being backdropped through the ladder! Steen cannonball sentons the busted ladder into Generico in the corner. Another ladder is brought in. Generico tries throwing one at Steen from the floor. Steen catches it and throws it right back at him. Steen sends Generico so hard into the barricades that one of them busts. Steen props up a ladder in the corner and whips Generico into it. He begins climbing a ladder towards the title. Generico pulls him down, leading to a punch exchange. Generico ends up giving Steen an exploder suplex onto the previously set up ladder in the corner. Generico brings to climb the ladder. Steen claws at him from the mat. Generico gives him a half-nelson suplex onto the ladder! Steen shoves Generico off of the ladder and into the corner. Generico tries another tornado DDT, but Steen counters it into a backbreaker. Steen once again sends him into the barricades. He places a ladder between the ring apron and the barricades. He places a table on top of that. Steen plans to powerbomb Generico through them both. Generico slides out and backdrops Steen through them instead. Some ringside attendants help Generico retrieve a taller more study ladder. Steen climbs to the top rope after the ladder is propped up. Generico stops him and looks for the top rope brainbuster. Steen stops him and gives him the F-Cinq through the timekeeper’s table. Steen begins to climb the ladder. Generico uses another ladder and rams it into Steen’s back. Steen throws a ladder onto Generico’s back, then props that ladder up horizontally onto two rungs of ladders that stand opposite one another. He powerbombs Generico onto that ladder. He goes for a Package Piledriver. Generico blocks it and hits the move himself! He begins to climb. Steen knocks him down. He positions a second ladder onto two ladder rungs after ramming it into Generico’s face. Steen climbs up looking for the title. Generico follows. They stand on the taller of the two horizontal ladders trading blows. After fighting one another, Steen ends up giving Generico a Package Pilederiver through the first ladder and onto the second! Steen then grabs the title at 28:02. That was an appropriately violent match with some crazy spots. The one thing this match had working against it was that this was a singles match, so there were a few dead moments where they were getting things set up. In other Ladder Wars that were tags, you had other guys to do some things so it wasn’t as noticeable when other things were being set up. That’s no fault to either guy, but it definitely killed some steam between spots. Regardless, this was a great way to definitively end their Ring of Honor history and to send Generico off. ****