I watched both shows this weekend, the Friday show was great, as good as a show could be when you know hardly anyone on the show. Lombard looked awesome, energentic and comfortable in the cage. If I was Bisbing I'd ignore him as well. I LOVED the crowd, when the crowd SOUNDS excited it makes the whole event appear more important. I wish that during regular PPVs, when Joe Rogan talks about how loud the crowd is, that we could tell at home, like we could here.
Saturdays show was OK, Mitrione looked (on his legs at least), like he was wise to ignore WADA testing. It is too bad Roy rubs dana the wrong way and looks so far out of shape, because he is competing clean and is competitive.
I have watched every episode of TUF since it started - except for this season when I only watched 2-3 episodes. In Canada, the show was on Sportsnet, after midnight on Fridays, but never at the same time. It was so confusing to my DVR that I had it scheduled to tape Fridays AND Mondays and nothing ever taped, because they kept showing up as 'not a new episode'. I know I am not the only one who had this issue. For the Saturday night show, it was not on in prime time where I live (Halifax), unless you have FX Canada, which noone has. I had to tape it overnight Saturday and watch it Sunday. The prelims were one at the regular time, but not the main card. What this does is that when I watch it, if a fight gets boring early, I just skip through it until the decision or finish, meaning I miss out on the commentary, and potentially a good fight. I would be shocked if the interest in Canada amongst the non-GSP events is way down. If the product is hard for me to find, who watches everything, then a casual viewer is not even going to try.
For the second year in a row I have been surprised by this gimmicked event. I have a few sporadic thoughts, not necessarily in the other the matches happened.
First of all, without really saying anything that hasn't already been said, the six man match was absolutely outstanding. Without exaggeration, this is a candidate for match of the year, and top 3 at best, contested only by Cena vs Lesnar and Taker vs Triple H. Over the past month, WWE have executed the debut of The Shield almost perfectly, and the guys themselves, as is often said that talent should, took the ball and ran with it. It's not enough to just turn up and be pushed, you've to make the push work for yourself and these guys did that. Despite Reigns being highlighted as the weak link, in terms of skill, he stood out for me. Ambrose and Rollins have blatant charisma and ability, but Reigns stood out as a strong character and was never in their shadow. Daniel Bryan brought the intensity, but then he always does, Kane played his role well and Ryback probably had the match of his career thus far. The perfect balance of babyface in peril and unstoppable monster. The overall psychology of the match in eliminating each member of the "face" team told a great story, and left Ryback looking strong as even two significant attempts could not finish him. Mr Alvarez will be pleased to have predicted that a member of the Shield would be left laying in the fray, and his correct prediction of Rollins was also the right one. Although, the bump he took did leave the heart in the mouth in terms of danger and unexpectedness. It seemed to me that the tables were perhaps designed slightly differently than usual, with more give but with that, the table frames are perhaps too strong, leaving parts either unbreakable or protruding.
Talking of which, Sin Cara took one hell of a dangerous backward bump on the tables during his match and I hope he is okay. Any time a wrestler falls backward without a guarantee of a broken fall, it is a risk, but the moment itself was spectacular. I've never seen a wrestler pushed off the rope when going for a springboard assault. That match was perhaps the second best of the undercard. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow make for a good tag team and it was right for them to go over here. The crowd definitely helped this match and it was well placed as the opener.
R-Truth and Antonio Cesaro was a much better match than their last outing, however nothing to write home about. The one notable thing is that the crowd are connecting with Cesaro much more than before, although this could be attributed to a very receptive Brooklyn crowd. Why can't they just hold shows in New York all the time?
Barrett vs Kingston seemed peculiar. I can only assume that Barrett is going to get a rematch down the line as this just screamed of parity booking. With Kofi winning clean, there is no distinct reason why Barrett should even be in the running for an IC Title shot now, but I get the impression this is just the beginning of them trading wins.
I was pleased to finally get to see some of Naomi in the pre-show however her eventual match with Eve exposed her lack of experience. She certainly has agility and my goodness is she beautiful - but she needs to get some live matches under her belt on NXT before she is used on RAW again.
The Big Show vs Sheamus match was yet another tough, hard hitting brawl, with more false finishes. It would be interesting to know the man behind the booking of the Show/Sheamus matches as it has Heyman all over it. Good match though, and it does leave you wondering what is next for Sheamus. A feud with Barrett would not go amiss.
Some thoughts on MizTV and the eventual match that resulted from it. When Miz came out, I thought "Please don't kill this crowd". But in the end, it actually revealed the pop of the night up to that point, when Del Rio came to the aid of Ricardo following 3MB bullying of the Spanish announce table. 3MB for their part were good and for Drew especially, this is a gimmick that they can allow their personalities to show through from. The match of course was forgettable, disappointingly so, as such a significant occurrence as a Del Rio babyface turn should be met with something a bit better. Brooklyn Brawler? Ah, I don't really care. There's guys who never made the PPV like Tyson Kid or Zack Ryder that SHOULD have been in that spot.
Cena vs Ziggler I must admit I couldn't really get into that much. It was an okay match, and was well played out, but the duelling chants of the crowd, while entertaining, killed any significant match story with Cena as a babyface. I think the problem with a ladder match like that is that the crowd know nothing is going to happen until late on. The gorilla press spot was incredible however, and will be one of those replayed moments no doubt. I just don't really get the AJ turn. Seems a bit stupid and desperate, if the only explanation is "well, she's crazy". Another Brad Maddox situation, where they booked themselves into a corner and needed a way out? They knew Ziggler couldn't lose the briefcase but couldn't have him going over clean. They had the kayfabed knee injury storyline that may have sufficed but then dropped that perhaps believing that the AJ turn would be more believable.
The three man commentary booth lost the thread a lot. They were listenable, no question, and funny at times, but they don't call enough of the action, and when they do they are just calling the names of moves hit by the superstars. They need to start building anticipation and contributing to the story of a match by doing the simple things, analysing why wrestlers are doing what they are doing in a match. Why is he going to the outside? Why is he holding that knee? Why doesn't he hook the leg? How must their body feel after a ladder shot like that? What must they be thinking now? There are two wrestlers on that commentary team and neither one of them give an insight into what the guys are going through.
Overall, I really enjoyed this show. The six man was the match of the night no doubt, not so closely followed by the tag match. Aside from the commentary issues, and the bonus Miz/ADR/BB vs 3MB match, this was a very good show worth seeing and anyone who didn't should order the replay.
This was the first ROH IPPV I have ordered since Borderwars in may. I really haven't kept up with the TV either since I wouldn't be watching the payoffs. However I heard they signed up with a new company to work with there IPPV and looked up the companies track record and thought I'll give them one more try. I did however try to be safe by ordering with Pay Pal and using the Bill Me Later feature they have, which let me watch it without going out of pocket and if it did mess up I could tell pay pal and get the charge stopped without having to risk money like I did in May.
I'm glad I did, the show was very good IMO and I had no issue. I did see a few people have a and I want to stress this SLIGHT BUFFERING ISSUE but even thoughs people all they had to do was pause the IPPV for 1 min or more and watch on that 1 min delay and then no issues whatsoever happened. So if ROH stays with this company I will keep ordering there IPPV's because the experience was supurb for me and didn't see anyone with less then a good rating on it.
The matches were sorta hard for me with no build but the action was good so I was cool with watching, similar to watching the New Japan IPPVS for me. I was really surprised that
Strong vs Elgin
was the opener, from when I left I thought Elgin would be a bigger deal and the match would be closer to the Steen match then the opener, let alone be the opener. The match itself was very good, though I didn't think it was as good as the person who did the PBP on the front page said. 4 stars is generous. 3 Stars is more like it, but not bad by any means.
Lethal vs Rhino
Man Rhino isn't good anymore. I mean he wasn't really "good" when he was younger in ECW but I can see he really is having issues. Lethal is a good talent and I hope ROH uses him higher on the card in 13. I saw some of the stuff about him and Steen but again not up on it so that might hurt my view on it.
RD Evans vs Nana
Wow, can you imagine my face when I saw this on the card knowing I haven't watched since May. In May theses guys are managers for Champa next time I see the product they are wrestling and Champa has I guess left both?
Haas and Benjermin vs Titus and Whitmer?
No idea who Whitmer is, never saw him before today and based on the bump he took I wouldn't be shocked if I never saw him again No complaints on the match, my biggest thought was I wonder if Kenny King is kicking himself for leaving a very close to main event role for an Opener role in TNA, I can't think they pay him that much more then he made in ROH but maybe I'm just delusional.
Bennett vs Lynn
Bennett is a talent, I can't believe WWE hasn't scooped him up yet, moreso with Maria having connections there. Lynn is always good even when he seems alittle off like he did today. Good solid match nothing really special except for Maria in this match. Brutal Bob Evans always cracks me up, just hearing the name makes me laugh.
I only had 2 thoughts when I saw the Lethal and Nigul angle. 1)guess Lethal is gonna attack steen durning or after the Main Event. 2)Is Nigul gonna have a last ROH match vs Lethal?
Cole vs Hardy
Hardy's been hitting the carbs up apparently. He wasn't fat but he wasn't in shape either. Cole impresses me every time I see him, not as much here but it seemed like Hardy wasn't wanting to work hard or didn't have the gas to work hard. The finish was a cool spot, I wonder if WWE has ever thought of doing that?
Briscos vs SCUM vs CC and CA again not up on the story of scum as much as I should which I thik might have knocked this match down alittle for me. The Briscos and CC&CA I was up on and they worked well together. Jacobs and Corino just felt out of place to me. Good match though
Generico vs Steen
What a Ladder match. One of the better ones I've seen in a long time. Talk about an OMG moment when Steen used the package Piledriver on Generico through 2 ladders. Generico is so good and Steen is good in his own right. That match alone is worht 15 bucks IMO.
I didn't know if you were doing ROH Final Battle feedback, but I had to type this up if you were. This was rough year for iPPVs with ROH, and I might've been one of the few who stuck with them all year long and followed their shows.
BEST MATCH: El Generico vs Kevin Steen Ladder War
WORST MATCH: Matt HArdy vs Adam Cole
Roderick Strong vs Michael Elgin: 3 Star match
A strong opening match that went back and forth.I wouldn't have a problem if this feud continued, but I don't know what you do with Truth Martini from here.
Jay Lethal vs Rhino: Another 3 Star match
A lot of power moves from Rhino, who was favorited by the crowd. Jay is very good and I'm digging the slow build to Steen and Lethal, but there might be a chance he could come off like a crybaby and wind up on the wrong side of the fans considering what happened later in the show with Nigel. Steve Corino was probably the real highlight on commentary during the match and he rendered Caleb nearly speechless.
RD Evans vs Prince Nana: 2.5 Stars
I was expecting a comedy match that the crowd would turn on, but I loved it the moment Evans came out in that ridiculous outfit. They worked very well together. QT Marshall has a nice look, and it was good to see Ciampa again.
WGTT vs BJ Whitmer and Rhett Titus: 3.5 stars
As usual, the NY crowd was all over Haas and Benjamin who are great heels. A typical brawl match, but had a lot of heat. Not sure if people take Rhett seriously, but they loved Whitmer. I would've scored it higher, but that table spot at the end scared me out of my seat. Not ready to see another Briscoes/WGTT feud just yet, if they wind up contending.
Mike Bennett vs Jerry Lynn: a modest 2 stars
Sadly, Jerry Lynn couldn't muster much, but worked as hard as he could. I'm a big Mike Bennett fan and I am shocked that he hasn't been pushed further up the ladder. While he has gotten easy heat for his Lance Storm feuds, he has steadily improved, but he is being completely wasted in these matches when he should be contending for the TV title, if not the World Title. ROH fans give him crap because he looks and wrestles like a WWE guy, so use that to your advantage and get heat on him that way.
Post match promo from Lynn was good, but turned into an angle with Lethal and McGuiness. Mixed feelings about this one, as I think that Lethal in storyline is digging his own grave and while Nigel will give him the match eventually, I felt he acted a bit rash and defensively. Time will let this unfold, at least until Steen runs out of opponents.
American Wolves vs O'Reilly and Fish: 3.5 stars
A by the numbers wolves match, but I loved the action and the crowd was into it. Wolves and Fish/O'Reilly will be great for the tag division, which needs some energy back into it with some new legit feuds. The stuff with Mike Mondo was pointless, this was the second time this year ROH tried to push him as a hometown hero in the Hammerstein Ballroom, but crowd didn't buy it for a second.
Matt Hardy vs Adam Cole: 2 stars
Hardy is just out of place here. They worked fine together, I think Matt got blown up early and Cole had to slow down. Hardy got great heat and I didn't have a problem with him going over to set up the rematch for the title. Adam Cole is great and is getting better all the time, staying over with great ring work.
Briscoes vs SCUM vs Coleman and Alexander: 3 stars
Dem Boys seemed like the only stars in the match. I enjoy Corino and Jacobs as a team, I expected them to retain. C & C aren't seen as on the same level, but I think if they keep having matches like this, fans will warm up to them.
Kevin Steen vs El Generico: 4 stars
I don't think it was better than Elgin and Steen in terms of workrate, but the story between these two is always great. Nobody else works the crowd the way Steen does and the package piledriver through the ladder LOOKED brutal, but seemed safe. Generico took a savage beating throughout and his back looked red and purple by the end.
A great show up and down. Mike in Ohio