Powell's 12/10 ROH Wrestling TV Review: Kevin Steen vs. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett for the ROH Title, Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly vs. The Bravado Brothers, Jay Lethal vs. Chris Silvio
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG stations
Taped in Belle Vernon, Pa.
[Q1] The opening video kicked off the show... Kevin Kelly introduced the show from ringside and hyped the Kevin Steen vs. Mike Bennett main event. Kelly was joined by Caleb Seltzer on commentary. Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer...
1. Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly vs. The Bravado Brothers. The announcers noted that this was the debut of Fish and O'Reilly as a team in ROH and hyped their Final Battle match. The Bravado's offered their hands for the pre-match handshake. Fish and O'Reilly accepted, but then attacked the Bravados to start the match.
Lancelot Bravado jumped out to a fast start and hit a German Suplex for a two count on O'Reilly for a two count. The Bravado's worked took turns working him over. Fish tagged in and performed a tag move with O'Reilly. They isolated Lancelot Bravado and took turns working him over until he made a hot tag.
Harlem had a flurry of offense and got the crowd behind him with his offense. He was eventually slowed by Fish and O'Reilly. Harlem kicked out following a knockout kick from O'Reilly, but he took a Total Elimination (high/low) move and was pinned...
Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly defeated The Bravado Brothers in 6:15.
Powell's POV: The crowd was noticeably flat from the start as this show was likely held late in the taping. Harlem O'Reilly was able to get a portion of the crowd excited with his offense following the hot tag. I was surprised to see the Bravado's get so much offense considering this match should have been all about establishing Fish and O'Reilly as a team heading into their Final Battle match with the American Wolves.
Backstage, Kevin Kelly hyped the ROH Final Battle iPPV and ran through the top matches before interviewing Davey Richards. Davey said no one has heard from Eddie Edwards and so he didn't know whether they would team against Fish and O'Reilly. He said Wolves run in packs and the hunt will be on at Final Battle... [C]
Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino delivered a promo while seated backstage. They complained about Nigel McGuinness booking them to defend the tag titles in a three-way match at Final Battle with Sudden Death rules. Corino said they would find a way out with the titles like they always do.
The camera moved down to show that Kevin Steen was seated between them. Steen said Nigel thinks he did something smart by bringing El Generico back and by putting them in a Ladder War. Steen said the only thing Nigel did was ruin Generico's career...
Powell's POV: A little too much focus on matchmaker McGuinness for my taste. Granted, they are trying to establish him in his new role and it played into the next segment, but I'd rather hear the champions talk about their opponents and their matches.
At ringside, Nigel McGuinness was seated with the broadcast team. He said he was there to put the honor back in Ring of Honor. He said Generico was the last person to beat Steen and said they could have the match of the year. Kelly set up a video package that looked at the history between Steen and El Generico...
[Q2] The Steen and Generico video aired. It showed the duo capturing the ROH Tag Titles and later breaking up when Steen kicked him low and slammed a chair over his head. There was also footage of Generico not being able to return the favor at a later event, but eventually snapping and attacked Steen and later pinning him in a match.
Additional footage aired of Steen's reign of terror and nearly attacking Jim Cornette until Generico made the save only to be piledriven through a table. It also showed Steen opening a package that contained El Generico's mask... Kelly hyped a Jay Lethal match for after the break... [C]
Powell's POV: A good video. The older footage looks rough on television, but the video established their history nicely. A viewer who hasn't seen a moment of their feud had to come away with a solid understanding of their history and how violent it has been. They showed enough carnage that viewers have to know this will be a war.
Chris Silvio was introduced for a match in the ring. He is billed as the Psychedelic Superstar (it was actually spelled wrong on the graphic). Kelly said Silvio is a mix of Austin Aries, Billy Graham, and Adrian Street. Jay Lethal came out and cut a promo in the ring.
Lethal complained that he's getting fined and chewed out for showing the killer instinct the company wanted. He complained that he has to face Rhino at Final Battle when there's nothing to gain. He said he shouldn't even work the match, but he will. He also promised to fight the World Champion in New York City no matter who wins...
2. Jay Lethal vs. Chris Silvio. Lethal jumped Silvio and threw punches at him to start the match. Lethal aggressively threw Silvio into the guardrail twice and the crowd cheered. Kelly said that ROH officials have apologized to Lethal and his parents for the spitting incident repeatedly. He said what Lethal is promising to do at Final Battle is something Steen would do.
Silvio got a little offense in after catching Lethal with a neckbreaker. Kelly noted that Maria will not be in Mike Bennett's corner for the ROH Championship match later in the show. One of the announcers said Lethal is becoming more controversial, yet is gaining more fans in the process.
[Q3] Lethal made his comeback in the ring and hit the Lethal Combination. Rather than go for the pin, Lethal signaled for the Lethal Injection. Lethal superkicked Silvio and performed a cradle DDT for the win... [C]
Jay Lethal defeated Chris Silvio in 5:05.
Powell's POV: The announcers did a really good job of telling the Lethal story. Just when I was wondering whether I'm supposed to like or dislike Lethal, one of them noted that he was gaining more fans while becoming more controversial. His threat to fight the ROH Champion at Final Battle was treated like a big deal, but it actually left me leery. He didn't threaten to get involved in the match, yet it still left me fearing that he will get involved in a match that needs a clean finish because of the Final Battle setting.
Backstage, Kevin Kelly hosted the Inside ROH segment. He noted that Eddie Edwards hasn't been in contact with anyone in ROH since Davey Richards requested that he team with him. Footage aired of Fish and O'Reilly cutting a promo. Fish said he spent a month in Japan with Edwards.
Fish said Edwards doesn't like O'Reilly much, but still said the Wolves are over. O'Reilly said there won't be a Wolves reunion and Richards would be on his own. They cut to a Richards interview. He said he knows his brother and his blood and wolves run in packs. He said whether Edwards shows or he works alone he'll be leaving New York with the "sheep's head in a basket."
Kelly hyped the three-way tag title match and explained the sudden death rules. He said if Jacobs and Corino beat a team they will receive the title, whereas the first team that beats Jacobs and Corino will become the new champions. He didn't say what would happen if one challenging team defeated the other team.
A Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander promo aired. One of them sang. They said they are on a roll and beat the World's Greatest Tag Team, the same team that put the Briscoes in the hospital. Meanwhile, the Briscoes cut a promo of their own and one of them sang.
Powell's POV: If this were WWE, all this singing would lead to an American Idol or The Voice inspired comedy segment. Fish showed good poise on the mic during his brief backstage segment.
Kelly ran through the rest of the iPPV lineup. Kelly then interviewed Truth Martini about the Roderick Strong vs. Michael Elgin match. Truth said no one wants to see family fight. He encouraged viewers to call in to encourage ROH not to let the match happen... [C]
Steve Corino joined the broadcast team for the main event match. Corino referred to Seltzer as Kelly's "Special Olympics son"...
[Q4] 3. Kevin Steen (w/Jimmy Jacobs) vs. "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett (w/Brutal Bob Evans) for the ROH Title. Bennett looked into the camera and said he's the only person in the company who looks like a star. Steen wore a pink shirt that read, "I'm A Lady." The announcers ran through the tale of the tape.
The bell sounded and Steen charged at Bennett and dropped him with two running clotheslines and a cannonball. "It's over!" Corino proclaimed. Steen clotheslined Bennett to ringside and whipped him into the guardrail. Corino said Steen vs. Generico may be good for buyrates and ratings, but it's not good for either wrestler or ROH.
Steen continued to dominate Bennett on the floor. He rolled him into the ring, but Bob Evans grabbed Steen's leg long enough to distract him. Bennett performed a spinebuster on Steen. Corino put him over by saying he spent the better part of a year being dominated by Bennett. Bennett continued his offensive run by throwing Steen to the floor and whipping him into the guardrail. [C]
After the break, Bennett caught Steen with a dropkick. Kelly said he will have a permanent color commentator starting at Final Battle. Steen came back with a cannonball. The announcers said Maria was not at ringside due to the threat of SCUM (Jacobs and Corino). Corino claimed he had sexual relations with Maria over 30 times. Hilarious.
Steen DDT"d Bennett off the ropes and got a two count. Steen went for a second rope springboard dropkick, but Bennett rolled out of the way. Bennett speared Steen and got a two count. Corino accused Bennett of stealing Jacobs move. "You're a move stealer, Mike Bennett, you're a move stealer!!!" Corino said.
Steen regained control of the match and performed a top rope senton. "And boom goes the dynamite," Corino exclaimed. Steen got a two count. Steen picked up Bennett on his shoulders. Evans grabbed his leg, so Steen threw Bennett onto Evans at ringside. Steen powerbombed Bennett on the ring apron and followed up back inside the ring with a package piledriver for the win...
Kevin Steen defeated Mike Bennett to retain the ROH Title in 7:30.
After the match, Steen was joined in the ring by Corino and Jacobs. He took the mic and ran through the list of challengers he's beaten. He said Lethal is never getting another title shot. "That's your own idiot mother's fault, bud," Lethal said. Lethal ran out and tried to charge the ring, but he was held back by referees.
Kelly hyped Jay Briscoe vs. Steve Corinio in a Street Fight for next week's show...
Powell's POV: Corino could be the next great heel color commentator for any national promotion. He's a quick-witted student of the game and I have no doubt that he could settle in and help tell stories in addition to adding plenty of comedy relief. The main event was a good showcase for Steen, yet ROH didn't do a good job of making it seem special that the ROH Title was being defended on television.
The strength of the show continues to be the consistent quality hype for the Final Battle pay-per-view. Kevin Kelly is very good at working that in during the matches. This wasn't my favorite show of the month, but it was solid. I do feel obligated to deliver my weekly complaint about the production values. If Sinclair Broadcast Group wants to make big time money with ROH then they need to make the product look big time. As much as I try to look past that while reviewing the shows to avoid being repetitive, it really is a huge problem that must be addressed in order for this company to grow.
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