Ring Of Honor Wrestling – 1/14/12

The randomness of the stuff I’ve chosen to write about over the years never ceases to amaze me. Why this episode? No clue. I think I was just bored one night.

Date: Saturday, January 14, 2012 (taped: 12/4/11)
Location: Coliseum Events Center (Greensboro, SC)

We begin at ringside of an empty arena, as Kevin Kelly and ROH Executive Producer Jim Cornette inform the audience that they’ve scrapped the original format of the show in order to bring highlights of an 8-Man Elimination Tag match which clocked in at just over an hour-and-twenty minutes, apparently making it the longest pro wrestling match “in modern history”, which is a pretty dubious claim. Then again, it’s pro wrestling. Dubious is in its blood.

But first! Jim Cornette is in the ring to interview the GM of some local Greensboro TV stations. Some generic pimping occurs. And that’s it. Wow, that served no purpose whatsoever.

And now to prerecorded comments from the participants in tonight’s history making match. Charlie Haas mentions that apparently there’s $10,000 up for grabs to the winning team, although Eddie Edwards counters that it’s not about the money. El Generico sprinkles a few key words – “Michael Elgin”, “no unbreakable”, “tonight I come for you” – before Shelton Benjamin closes it out with some hate for the Briscoes.

On the heel side, Truth Martini and his ridiculous voice outlines the match (and the money), before Mark Briscoe interrupts with some high quality trash talk for Truth (“you listen to me you strange lookin’ individual”), before exhausting his vocabulary of big words and nearly starting a fight over how to divide up the money. 50/50 seems fair, but somehow Truth Martini’s getting his 10% cut, which don’t sit well with Dem Boys.

(referees: Paul Turner & Todd Sinclair)

A fired up Charlie Haas starts things off, looking to take on either of the Briscoes, but they don’t bite. *CLIP* Edwards and Strong lock it up and take it to the corner where things get testy. *CLIP* Same two guys and they run throught the arm-wringer/roll-through/cartwheel sequence, followed by some other high enery basics that nets Edwards a harmless two-count before both guys head outside. *CLIP* We catch Generico in the midst of making a hot tag to Benjamin which once again sends the Briscoes scurrying off the apron. Charlie wants a piece of Mark on the outside, but Elgin stands in his way. *CLIP* Elgin works over Shelton in the corner, so Jay tags in long enough for one axehandle across the back before stepping out again. *CLIP* Jay works a headlock on Generico. Big shoulderblock takes the generic luchador down, but a criss-cross sequence leads to a bunch of Generico armdrags. *CLIP* Mark’s in now, working over Edwards. They trade a bunch of stuff (hurricanranas, armdrags, etc) then each go for a dropkick before scrambling to their feet for INDY RESPECT! Edwards then lays in some corner chops. *CLIP* We’re 15 minutes in according to ring announcer Bobby Cruise as Haas works an armbar on Strong. Jay breaks it up and again the Briscoes run like either scalded or scolded dogs, depending on whether or not you’re Jim Ross. *CLIP* Generico tries a slingshot somersault into the ring, but Roderick is all like, “how’s about landing straight into a backbreaker”. He IS the Messiah! Tag to Elgin for a… *CLIP* …delayed suplex. Kelly tries to put over the strength it takes, but it’s not like Generico is a hoss. Elgin gets a two-count off of it though. *CLIP* Doubleteam hiptoss on Generico gets two for a Briscoe. *CLIP* Roddy and Generico slug it out, but a SWEET dropkick from Strong gets two. *CLIP* More Briscoe doubleteaming on Generico, who goes for the hot tag to Shelton just as Mark yanks him off the apron. It doesn’t really help though as Generico gets the tag moments later anyway – to both Haas AND Benjamin – leading to a fired up WGTT taking things outside for some babyface violence. Everybody gets whipped into barriers as a handy clock lets us know we’re at 24 minutes in. This obsession with the time is kind of silly. Things continue on the outside for awhile, with Shelton hitting a suplex on the ramp before taking a beating from Elgin. Mark gets a somersault senton off the apron on Haas. El Generico does some damage with a cup of beer and somebody gets DDT’d on the apron. It’s chaos at ringside and Kelly and Corny are as helpless to call the action as I am to recap it. Hell, I can’t even keep up with the clipping at this point. Some stuff happens, and then out of nowhere Cruise announces that Jay and Shelton are the legal men and they have a ten count to get back in the ring or risk disqualification. Sounds like a good time for a commercial break.

Back at the 31 minute mark as Jay and Shelton do a face-to-face into a slugfest. BIIIIG back bodydrop on Jay! *CLIP* Mulekick to the gold standards allows Jay to escape for a tag. *CLIP* Elgin and Shelton square dance into a big powerslam from Elgin for a close two. *CLIP* Stinger Splash by Shelton on Jay brings in Mark illegally and ultimately a hot tag to Haas. And the ringside brawl sparks up again! Lots of metal getting banged and crowd shouting “OHHHH!” follows. Kevin Kelly fires off this gem, “Bobby Cruise’s paperwork is being used as a weapon!”. Is a papercut considered “hardway”? Elgin gets a one-armed slam on Generico onto the ramp as Roddy chokes out Eddie with a towel. 40 minutes in with no eliminations as we continue to mindlessly brawl. Obilgatory “82nd Airborne” reference from Kelly regarding what it would take to regain control. Now Haas and Jay are announced as the legal men and given a 10 count to get back, which leads us to another commercial.

Back in and I mean EVERYBODY. Lots of sluggery as the refs try to sort out the mess. Generico gets a Michinoku Driver but the camera misses it. The babyfaces each prop up in a corner for the audience singalong punchathon! *CLIP* WGTT hit the Leap of Faith on one of the Briscoes for a nearfall. *CLIP* Crowd with a “MAN UP!” chant. *CLIP* Jay takes a chair to Shelton’s taped up ribs at the 48 minute mark. Mark takes advantage with a Savage elbow and ONE! TWO! THREE! Shelton Benjamin is the first man eliminated.

The refs switch up the in-ring assignment for the second fall. The Briscoes work over Haas with some doubleteams, but Generico puts a stop to that allowing Charlie to eliminate Mark with an Olympic Slam. We’re down to three-on-three.

Haas gets preoccupied with calling out Jay Briscoe, so Roderick sneaks in with the schoolboy roll-up to take out Haas and we’ve apparently hit the Survivor Series Memorial Ridiculously Fast Eliminations portion of the night.

Jay has Generico pinned with a roll-up of his own, but Turner is too busy trying to get Haas to put the ringbell down before he can do some damage, while Truth is on the apron to complain, drawing Sinclair over to THAT side. The end result? Charlie brains Jay with a chairshot (Turner is putting the bell back) and that opens the door for a Generico BRAINBUSTAAAA! ONE! TWO! THREE! We’re tied at two eliminations apiece!

With the two fueding tag teams eliminated, we’re down to Edwards and Strong (who are sort of fueding) and Generico and Elgin (who have no issue that I can think of). Commercial time.

Wheelbarrow into a backbreaker by Strong on Generico gets two. *CLIP* Elgin misses a corner charge, but he stops a Generico tornado DDT attempt and gets a running powerslam for two! *CLIP* Generico hulks up thank to an “OLAY” chant courtesy of the fans. He doesn’t have enough pop in his clotheslines to get Elgin over though, so Elgin tosses him high in the air only to eat a dropkick. Generico drops down on an Elgin charge and yanks the top rope, spilling the Unbreakable one to the outside. Strong comes in but gets backdropped out on the other side and it’s an Edwards plancha for Strong and a Generico somersault plancha for Elgin! *CLIP* Elgin back in control for a moment, but a Blue Thunder Bomb from Generico gets to within an EYELASH of eliminating him. *CLIP* Outside the ring Strong picks up Eddie and just HEAVES him back-first onto the apron. Hello, spinal surgery. Meanwhile Generico goes for a SUPER crossbody only to get caught and dropped with a TKO by Elgin. That’s it! ONE! TWO! THREE—HE KICKED OUT! *CLIP* Generico tries for a second-rope brainbuster, but Elgin shoves him off and hits a flying shoulder tackle off the top instead. That leads to his finisher, a spinning sitout powerbomb that finishes Generico for good.

So it’s down to Eddie Edwards versus Strong and Elgin. Roddy feeds him in to Elgin who turns him inside out with a clothesline. ONE! TWO! NOOOO! Corny says we are over an hour into things now. *CLIP* Things slow down for a bit as we clip back around some sluggery. Roddy snaps off a nackbreaker, but it’s not gonna get it done if for no other reason than Cornette calls it “over”. Elgin powers Eddie up into a crucifix position then flips him over into a face-first slam. Not sure if that has a name, but it’s pretty cool. Tag to Strong as the House of Truth are firmly in control. A series of forearm smashes in the corner follow, as Corny CONTINUES to harp on the time. Let it go, Jim. It’s not THAT big of a deal. Roddy sets up a superplex, but Eddie spazzes on him with headbutts to knock Strong loopy. Diehard follows up with a missile dropkick, but he’s too gassed to capitalize. *CLIP* The H.O.T. work some doubleteams for a bit before Eddie makes his comeback with a facebuster on Strong. Backpack chinbreaker gets two for Eddie, but when Strong kicks out Eddie rolls through into an ugly STF. Roddy gets to the ropes for a break though. *CLIP* “Boo/Yay” forearm exchange. Superkick by Edwards! He sets up for the Diehard only to have Strong slip out just as Truth Martini comes into the ring. Like a true moronic babyface, Eddie puts a one-legged Boston crab on Truth, leaving him wide open to eat a running boot from Strong that nets a very close two. Dumbass. Elgin and Eddie reverse a bunch of stuff before Edwards runs the big guy into his partner and scores the elimination with a jacknife cradle. Two men left means we take our final commercial break.

Strong and Edwards go nose-to-nose before breaking out the punches. 75 minutes in and Eddie gets an inside-out sitout powerbomb for TWOOO! Both guys are exhausted at this point (duh), but Eddie’s got enough of a reserve to stop some tope rope chicanery from Roddy. They slug it out on the top rope and out of NOWHERE Strong slams Edwards off the top and THROUGH A RINGSIDE TABLE!! Holy crap! That was one of those, “I DIDN’T REALIZE THERE WAS A TABLE THERE” spots that makes you think you’ve just witnessed a murder attempt when it happens. Sinclair lays in the twenty-count on Diehard Eddie who rolls in at 19 right into a Liontamer from Strong. The crowd begs Eddie not to tap while Truth begins to celebrate a tad too early. Surprise roll-up by Eddie almost steals the win, but Roddy kicks out and throws some punches. They trade All-Japanish “big move/pop up/big move” stuff before both collapsing. When they finally get up, Truth Martini comes back in, causing Eddie to fly off the top onto him. Roddy goes for the kill but Eddie slips off his shoulder and right into a dragon sleeper and Strong taps within seconds to FINALLY end this marathon match before Kelly and Cornette overdose on hyperbole.

Survivor: Eddie Edwards.

The other members of team babyface come back to celebrate with Eddie, who’s really too tired to care at first. The whole team then gets presented with one of those oversized lottery checks for the ten g’s. “But how are we going to fit it in the ATM?”

We close the show with a pimp for next week promising footage from Final Battle 2011 and new matches from the debut in Baltimore.

Overview: This episode is sort of a tough sell for me because it’s the one match and it’s all sorts of chopped up. I’d of been much happier if they showed the opening minutes, then cut out the next half-hour, before airing all the eliminations without edit. The clipping just wrecked any flow the match may have had. It was good, but there just wasn’t a strong enough narrative through the whole thing to keep me interested for a full hour.


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