It's been a few weeks since an ROH Review has been posted on tha site, so let's get up to date.
The main story from the past few weeks involved figuring out the No. 1 Contenders for the ROH Tag Team Championships. Two weeks ago, on the last show taped in Chicago, the Briscoes defeated the All-Night Express, seemingly earning the shot at Final Battle in December. However, since the Briscoes used a low blow to get the pinfall, Jim Cornette said that neither team would be awarded the title shot.
On last week's show, Cornette announced -- with the Mark and Jay Briscoe in the ring -- that the two teams would face each other one more time (on this week's show) to finally figure out the No. 1 Contenders.
The Briscoes delivered their best promo since ROH returned to TV on that show. Even though the Briscoes are portrayed as heels, it's obvious that they're crowd favourites. The Briscoes vs. Wrestling's Greatest Tag Team is the match that most ROH fans want to see.
The re-match between the Briscoes and ANX was the main event of this week's show, and it was a good one. It was a back-and-forth match that ended with Jay coming off the top rope to give Mark an assist in hitting Rhett Titus with a hurricanrana for the pinfall.
As I've written in previous reviews, the Ladder War 3 match at Death Before Dishonor between these 2 teams remains the forgotten match in their rivalry. I don't understand how the main event of the most recent iPPV (and a match that should have had a huge effect on the most important storyline over the last month of TV) can be ignored.
Other thoughts on the (past few) show(s) ...
- Two weeks ago, in his first match on ROH on Sinclair, Eddie Edwards defeated Michael Elgin in the main event.
Edwards may be getting a re-match with former partner Davey Richards at Final Battle in December. It was announced on this week's show that Edwards and Jay Lethal are the final two candidates being considered for the World Title shot.
Both contenders were the focus of this week's "Inside ROH" segment. The video package not only did a good job of building up the two contenders, but did an even better job of putting over the World Title, Davey Richards, and the Final Battle show itself.
- In the main event of last week's show, Jay Lethal made his first TV title defence against "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett. Like Lethal's match with El Generico, this one went to the time limit as well. Although Lethal wanted this week's match to continue, Bennett walked away.
I'm glad there wasn't an overtime period, as ROH needs to firmly establish their time limits. If they keep giving more time to TV title matches, then what's the point having the time limit at all?
The way it played out made sense, with Lethal appearing like a fighting champion, and Bennett appearing like the heel looking for an easy way out.
- Having not read the spoilers, my guess is that Eddie Edwards will be awarded the shot at Final Battle. There are unresolved issues between the American Wolves, whereas there are no issues between Richards and Lethal.
Cornette could also say that although Lethal has had an impressive run so far in ROH, he needed an overtime period to defeat El Generico, and he didn't put Mike Bennett away within the time limit on last week's show.
Both Edwards vs. Richards and Lethal vs. Richards would be great matches, but my guess is they go with the re-match from Best in the World.
- Another potential top contender for Richards' ROH Heavyweight Championship -- but who is not in the running for a shot at Richards at Final Battle -- is Roderick Strong. Strong defeated Kyle O'Reilly (a member of Team Richards) on this week's show in a competitive and entertaining match.
Strong has made an open challenge to any wrestler in the world to face him at Final Battle.
- After the match, Strong and fellow member of the House of Truth, Michael Elgin, laid a beating on O'Reilly. Davey Richards came down to make the save, but the numbers game caught up to him as well. Finally, Eddie Edwards came down to even the odds, and Edwards, Richards and O'Reilly were able to clear the ring of the House of Truth.
Afterwards, Jim Cornette came down to ringside and said that Strong, Truth, and Elgin will each be fined $2500 for their post-match shenanigans (my words, not his).
Angles like this are so rarely done on ROH TV, that it makes each one more meaningful. It was simple, but effective.
- The Kevin Steen storyline also continued while Cornette was ringside. After announcing the fines, some of the fans started chanting for Kevin Steen (as has happened on previous shows as well). Cornette cut a great promo in addressing the chants, saying that ROH will not be doing business with Kevin Steen.
- Tomassa Ciampa's push continued this week. He defeated Alex Silva in a mostly one-sided contest. Ciampa and Lethal remain the only two undefeated members of the ROH roster.
- Top to bottom, this was the best episode of ROH on Sinclair. The opening match and post-match angle were great; the slow build on the Kevin Steen storyline continued with a great promo by Jim Cornette; the Final Battle hype was impressive; and the main event delivered.
If you're getting frustrated with the nonsensical booking on "Raw," and the rushed storylines on "iMPACT!", then I highly recommend you check out ROH.
Announced for next week's show is Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin vs. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman in a Proving Ground Match.
A Proving Ground Match is where a wrestler(s) from inside or outside of ROH challenge one of the champions (World, TV, or Tag Team). It's a non-title match with a time limit. The challenger(s) receive a future title shot if they can win the match, or take it to a draw.
We'll also learn who will be facing Davey Richards for the ROH World Title at Final Battle.