1. I’ve been very down on ROH TV recently, but, that’s not the case this week. A very enjoyable episode of TV. The show is still working from some inherent flaws that hold them back. It feels too much like a studio show, is the main thing. But, with the word that they will be showing some matches from their road shows in South Carolina, and clips of the 80 minute match, maybe they’ll begin to work towards changing that.
2. Caprice Coleman and Cedrick Alexander start off against The Bravado Brothers. Fairly standard ROH style tag. Coleman and Alexander seem fairly solid and the older one, Caprice, I believe, is better on the mic than most of the other guys in ROH.
3. Speaking of the age difference, during at least two of the Coleman/Alexander tags so far, they’ve made a point of mentioning the age difference between the teammates. It’s like 12 years. But, I’m somewhat intrigued at the possibility of where they could go with that if they continue to bring it up. Will Alexander at some point deflect the advice of his older teammate? Will Alexander think that the older dude can’t keep up in the athletic and young ROH? Shit like that they could turn into a decent little bit of storytelling in a couple matches.
4. TJ Perkins took on someone who was awful. I still can’t determine whether I think Perkins is good or not, though. Everything he does looks fairly crisp, but, I watched this match two days and I my recollection is that there were some issues with selling. But, really, he was in there with whoever. ROH is determined to bring jobbers back in the mix and damn it is annoying.
5. Every time I see Dan Severn with Eddie Edwards it makes me want to not order this Final Battle iPPV. Fuck them.
6. But, on the bright side, they’re bringing Jimmy Rave back for Final Battle, and that is absolutely something that I can get behind. The down side will be if they bring Rave back and try to fit him into the current ROH back and forth style. Rave was very average when that was his main schtick back in like 2003-2004. He had some decent matches, but, ultimately, trying to be AJ Styles just isn’t going to work for most folks. Rave found a ton of awesomeness in 2005 when he dropped his arsenal down really low and concentrated on pacing and match structure. He could slowly add more back into his offense as the structure suited, but, he had a great run in 2005 because of this style change. I’d love to see a Rave with that sense of match storytelling back with the company.
7. Main Event was Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas against the All Night Express. Probably the best tag match I’ve seen in the current run of ROH TV. Structure was better than most matches that Haas and Benjamin have, which helps add to their overall athletic offense. I definitely want to see more of this from them. I’d dwell on it, but the reasoning matches what I said I liked about Rave in 2005 during the prior point. This was also mainly a relief because with the Bravados/ColemanAlexander tag to start the show, I was worried they would dive into vapid athletic tag overkill. Very positive surprise and it help round out what ended up being one of the better episodes of TV I’ve seen from them.
7a. Also, the ending with Briscoes attacking Benjamin and Haas I thought was pretty solidly done, up until they decided, “you know what, let’s have Haas speak…and possibly spit in the camera!”
8. THREE MORE THOUGHTS?!?!?
8a. Fuck it, we’ll do a bit of a preview of Final Battle. First match we’ll take a look at will be Roderick Strong vs. TBA.
8b. Michael: We dont want to relive the TBA debacle.
Narrator: Years earlier, the Bluth’s held their first fundraiser, but the family had a hard time agreeing on a cause.
George Sr.: [reading the slips] “Neckflap”. “Ovarian Cancer”. Gee, I wonder who that was? “Shrinkage”. Somebody saw Seinfeld last night! Another one for “Neckflap”.
Narrator: So they sent out invitations with the disease still to be announced. To their surprise, the Bluth’s wound up raising over $25,000 dollars for TBA. Then, and here’s the really horrible part, they did it again the following year.
Gob: [footage of George Michael's Star Wars Kid] Keep fighting, little guy! Soon, we’ll rid the world of T.B.A.!
Michael: When they found out, we almost had a riot on our hands.
8c. So, yeah, Roderick Strong has been laying out an Invitational Challenge to a mystery opponent. I really just hope they go with someone who will be more about fucking Roddy up than anything else. Just because it would fit his current storyline. Either way, I’m satisfied having got the Arrested Development TBA quote in.
9. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin against the Briscoe Brothers for the Tag Titles. I haven’t been a huge fan of how the Briscoes got tossed into the Title picture. It’s really kind of stunted the advancement of All Night Express, they seem back where they were at Final Battle a year ago…and really, the best thing that came out of the 9th Anniversary show and the Atlanta shows is that the All Night Express looked like they were ready to take the leap.
9a. Now, they’re in a five team gauntlet with The Young Bucks, O’Reily and Cole, Bravados and Coleman/Alexander. That match could be pretty fucking crazy. But, everyone in there is in a pack, and that is a pack King and Titus should have found themselves separating from over the course of this year. I think their match with Haas and Benjamin this week showed ROH probably made a mistake not trusting them with being able to run with the ball.
10. Davey Richards vs. Eddie Edwards III!!!!!!!! 3!!!!!! 3-D!!!!!
10a. It’s not in 3-D, sorry if I got your hopes up.
10b. But, wasn’t it badass in Jaws 3-D when that shark fucking CRUSHED that glass?
10c. Technically, this match is the Main Event, but, I want to get talking about it out of the way this week, so we can talk about the real marquee match next week: whatever the hell match Steen is in. I think Edwards/Richards has been one of the worst feuds I’ve ever seen, and I don’t think that is too much hyperbole. These dudes will go out and hit crazy moves for 30 minutes and then be all, yo, let’s make this shit EPIC!!! and they’ll just trade a bunch of moves for another 15 minutes. And Dan Severn will fall asleep.
10d. I’d be more interested in seeing Severn catching some Z’s ringside than the match, I believe. Just let it end. Edwards sometimes looks like he is not going to be a Davey clone, and I like that. But, that’s certainly not going to happen when he’s Main Eventing with Davey. Just, if Richards is going to be the Champ, move it towards Steen-Richards somehow.