After several weeks of seeing matches from the Carolina weekend shows, which included the eight-man tag team match that set the record for the longest match in Ring of Honor history, Ring of Honor returns with new programming this week. There should be a ton of fallout from “Final Battle 2011” over the next few episodes. The next few shows were taped in Baltimore, Md. Let’s get to it.
The show opened up by showing the highlights of the main event of “Final Battle 2011,” including the Kevin Steen speech after the match.
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness open the show, and the arena they’re taping in looks really good. The show already looks more professional than the locations of the previous few tapings. McGuinness announces it will be Kenny King and Matt Jackson with their partners at ringside tonight.
Mike Mondo says he happy to wrestle Eddie Edwards after Edwards suffered the biggest defeat of his life.
Edwards says it not about how hard you can hit, but how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.
Mike Mondo vs Eddie Edwards
Edwards gets the advantage in the match after several armdrag that followed a high-paced opening stretch. Mondo is tied in the tree of woe and Edwards delivers a dropkick from the floor to inside the ring. Mondo uses a cheap shot to take control of the match and he works over Edwards’ arms. Mondo is able to stop any Edwards comeback attempt until Edwards connects with a flying knee. Mondo goes right back to the arms and gets a nearfall on Edwards. Edwards fights out of a superplex attempt and hits the Die Hard to pick up the pinfall victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Eddie Edwards
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: It was a pretty good way to kick off a new year of action in Ring of Honor. It helped Edwards get back to his winning ways, and it made Mondo look good by being fairly competitive against a former world champion. It may have not been the best match these two wrestlers could have delivered, but for the time it was given it was pretty good.
We get to see the highlights from the ROH World Tag Team Title match from “Final Battle 2011.” These highlight packages always make the matches look better than I remember them being, which I guess is the point of them.
Haas says the fans in New York got to them. He says the Briscoes took them out of their game and it cost them the titles.
Jim Cornette says the fans are entitled to cheer for whoever they want. He says Ring of Honor won’t tolerate anyone hitting someone in the head with a chair, which is why he fined Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team.
In the ring, Jim Cornette introduces the Briscoes, for an in-ring interview.
Jay Briscoe wants to know who gets the money from the fines against Haas and Benjamin and says he and Mark deserve the money. The Briscoes say to line the challengers up and they’ll knock them down.
Ricky Reyes vs Roderick Strong
Truth Martini joins McGuinness and Kelly at commentary as Reyes gets a two-count on Strong. Strong hits a modified version of the backstabber after Reyes missed a move in the corner to get a nearfall and control of the match. Reyes makes the comeback and gets a two-count after a swinging neckbreaker. Reyes destroys Strong with a forearm and a DDT gets another nearfall. Strong rolls Reyes up and pulls the tights to get the pinfall victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Roderick Strong
ROHWorld.com Thoughts: This was really weird. Reyes got in a ton of offense on Strong, and while Reyes is a decent wrestler, he is nowhere close to being on Strong’s level. The ending was weird because it took a rollup and a pull of the tights for Strong to put Reyes away. If it was somebody who was higher on the card – or even someone who’s actually on the roster – that ending would have been fine. But there is no reason Strong could not go over Reyes clean. That match left a bad taste in my mouth.
Next up is Inside Ring of Honor. Kelly talks about Steen’s rampage at “Final Battle 2011” that left Steve Corino, Jimmy Jacobs and El Generico laid-out around the ring. Steen says it’s about to get a lot worse and he’ll be live on Ring of Honor TV in two weeks and he will take the company hostage until he gets exactly what he wants. The Embassy has a multinational corporation invested in the Embassy, Ltd. The “10th Anniversary” will air on GoFightLive.com March 4 for $9.99.
Veda Scott is in the locker room with Davey Richards and Kyle O’Reilly, who will wrestle Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander next week. O’Reilly says Cole is cool with him and Richards forming Team Ambition.
Kenny King with Rhett Titus vs Matt Jackson with Nick Jackson
It’s quite amazing that the Young Bucks have made an entire gimmick out of not shaking hands. King and Titus feel each other out for a few minutes before King gets the upper hand with a suplex and some ground and pound. King rushes toward Jackson, but Nick Jackson pulls him to safety. King stays in control with several armdrags. Nick Jackson tries to stop King from diving on his brother, but is met by a slingshot dive by King. This gives Matt Jackson the opportunity to dive feet-first through the ropes onto King, which takes us to commercial break.
Back from commercial and Jackson is still in control. King goes for his spinwheel kick, but gets destroyed by a kick from Jackson. Jackson goes for another kick, but King catches it and suplexes him and both men are down. King is able to make a comeback and connects with a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Jackson is able to hit a modified ace crusher. Jackson kills King with a crazy DDT on the apron and both men are down on the outside. Jackson rolls him into the ring and King kicks out at two. King gets his knees up when Jackson tries a 450 Splash and then hits the Coronation for a two-count. Outside the ring, Nick Jackson takes one of Rhett Titus’ crutches. He blasts King with the crutch he stole and his brother steals the pinfall victory.
Winner by Pinfall: Matt Jackson
ROHWorld.com’s Thoughts: That match was going along great until the ending. It’s always fun to watch two athletic guys wrestle, and this was no exception. If his is the kind of action we’re going to get from a feud between the Young Bucks and the All Night Express, then Titus can’t get healthy soon enough. I didn’t mind the ending, but it was sloppily executed. If it was executed cleaner, it would have come across much better. As it is now, however, it’s a disappointing end to an otherwise fun match.