After two weeks of recap shows, we are back with some fresh Ring of Honor action and the first we’ll see in 2012.
We hear from the Kevin Kelly and Jim Cornette who announce the ‘Road Rage’ concept where action from live events will be featured on the broadcast television show.
Before his match later tonight, Jay Lethal says he respects TJ Perkins because they both started out in wrestling at about the same age. He says it’s nothing personal but tonight, lightning will strike him and he’ll keep the TV title for as long as he lives.
TJP says that Lethal is one of the best around and they are indeed very similar. He says he came to ROH to win titles and that he wants want he believes should be his – the ROH TV Title.
TJ Perkins vs. Jay Lethal
This is a Proving Ground match so if TJP survives the 15 minutes or even beats Lethal, he’ll get a future shot at the title. Some great action to begin with, both men showing quickness to evade each other’s strikes until Lethal hits a backbreaker on TJP followed by a back suplex for two. TJP reverses a figure 4 into a small package for two but Lethal fights back with a handspring back elbow for another near fall. Hiptoss and a dropkick to TJP’s face gets Lethal another two as he continues to dominate. TJP finally on top with a series of strikes and a legdrop.
TJP gets Lethal in a tree of woe in the corner and then hits a hanging dropkick for two. They exchange strikes before TJP gets the advantage with a couple of kicks and gets another near fall. They both hit superkicks and then Lethal goes for a suplex but is reversed as both men are down on the mat. Lethal sends TJP out to the floor but he then gets cut off by TJP with a dropkick. Back in the ring and TJP hits a modified sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Lethal Injection from the champion but TJP manages to just kick out before three. TJP gets the boot up as Lethal goes for the elbow drop but Lethal reverses the Detonation Kick and then hits the springboard Ace Crusher for the win.
Winner by pinfall: Jay Lethal
ROHWorld.com’s thoughts: What a fantastic match! It’s about time TJP got some recognition and this match really helped put him over as a legitimate contender for titles in ROH. Credit to both men for a great back-and-forth contest that ended at just the right time. Very well done!
After the match we see a video package of some footage filmed of fans entering the arena for ‘Southern Defiance’ and at the merchandise table (yup…). We also see some clips from various matches. We also see footage of wrestlers meeting fans and having their pictures taken and such – really showing off the fan interaction.
Returning from a break, we see some highlights from Adam Cole vs. Mike Bennett. Cole hits a superkick and a bridging German Suplex for a near fall. Big crossbody from the top gets Cole another two count before Bennett fights back and hits a TKO for two of his own. Cole counters the Box Office Smash twice and then hits a big kick to the head for two. Bennett hits a modified backbreaker after cutting Cole off on the top rope and then finally hits the Box Office Smash for the win.
Back to the ring and Cornette and Kelly have the general manager of the local TV stations Jack Connors talking about when ROH is on in the market. I’ve no idea why he had to be in the ring…
Truth Martini talks about the main event and says that the House of Truth have nothing left to prove. They say they will prove that ‘Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team’ is just a nickname. He puts over Strong and Elgin and then says he won’t be responsible for what they do to Haas & Benjamin tonight.
The House of Truth vs. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Again, this is a Proving Ground contest meaning the HoT will get a Tag Title match if they can last the 20 minutes or even beat WGTT on the night. Shelton has taped up ribs and Strong goes straight after them. Shelton fights back though and he and Haas hit a double team shoulder tackle. Elgin in now but he gets a dropkick from Haas and falls to the outside. Truth Martini distracts Benjamin which allows Elgin to hit a powerslam for two. Elgin hits a stalling suplex for two and then locks in a bear hug. Benjamin gets thrown to the outside and then pushed into the barricades as Strong gets two. Strong stops any chance of Haas getting tagged in with a gutbuster for a near fall and he then locks in the Strong Hold. Shelton struggles and manages to get to the ropes and then finally gets the tag to Haas after shaking off Strong.
Haas comes in and clears house with a great looking belly-to-belly suplex on Elgin. Overhead suplex on Strong and then Elgin gets superkicked by Shelton which allows Haas to hit the Olympic Slam for two. Strong hits a jumping knee and then a dive onto Shelton on the outside. Elgin and Strong go to work on Haas and Elgin hits a spinning slam for a near fall. Buckle Bomb from Elgin and then the Sick Kick on Haas but Shelton breaks up the pin. Benjamin hits a big DDT on Elgin and then a spin kick to Strong. WGTT hit the Leap of Faith on Strong and Martini then goes to the top rope but Benjamin crotches him on the top rope. Sit-out slam on Shelton by Elgin and then a TKO on Haas as he goes for a moonsault. Shelton jumps up and hits a magnificent jumping German superplex off the top of Elgin! Haas quickly covers for the win.
Winners by pinfall: Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
ROHWorld.com’s thoughts: A big improvement on WGTT’s recent matches and this match told a simple story of Shelton’s ribs getting beat up. They looked pretty strong coming out of this one and Elgin & Strong were as great as ever and I think I’d like to see them as a permanent tag team. All in all a very good main event.
Kevin Kelly and Jim Cornette tell us we’re out of time and next week, ‘Road Rage’ continues with matches from ‘Northern Aggression’!