I was expecting these Best of 2012 specials to be nothing but clips, but they’re actually showing complete matches and it’s stuff I haven’t covered before. So let’s get to it.
Eddie Edwards vs. Davey Richards (aired 6-9-12): So they’re going to show this, instead of the incredible Young Bucks/Coleman & Alexander match from August? Ugh… I don’t think I saw this match when it originally aired, though given how little I care about either of these guys it’s possible that I did see it and just forgot about it 2 minutes later. Richards is the heel here, for reasons I don’t remember or particularly give a rat’s ass about. Steve Corino is on commentary, but he’s just putting over Kevin Steen instead of trying to be funny and isn’t as entertaining as he usually is. Long chain wrestling sequence, and the crowd basically no-sells it, even throwing in some boos instead of popping. Both guys end up on the outside and Edwards chops away. Back in Edwards runs into a boot on a blind charge, Richards goes up top but gets caught with a jumping enziguri, Edwards hits the chin-checker but Richards locks in an armbar. Edwards makes the ropes, a fight on the apron leads to Richards doing a cool looking move where he twists Edwards’ arm and drops him shoulder-first on the edge of the ring as we go to break.
Back from commercial and Richards is working the arm. That goes on for a while, Edwards hits a missile dropkick for 2 and chops away. Richards comes back with some kicks to the injured shoulder. Tiger suplex by Edwards for 2, and that should have been the finish, but it keeps going. He goes up top, Richards catches him and hooks a kimura while Edwards is on the top rope, which makes absolutely no sense at all. Some crappy looking headbutts lead to a superplex rolled into an armbar, Edwards reverses that into the Achilles lock. He can’t really crank it because of the bad arm, and Richards reverses that into the anklelock. Edwards gets free, both guys hit simultaneous boots to the face and Richards goes back to the armbar. Long pinfall reversal sequence ends with Richards no-selling a superkick and hitting Edwards with a clothesline (with the full 360 sell by Edwards). Richards runs into a boot, Edwards gets caught going up top again but reverses the superplex into what I think was supposed to be a top rope double-knee gutbuster but looked more like an X-Factor. Richards is on his knees and Edwards just chops him right in the face for 2. Double stomp from the top misses and Richards goes back to the anklelock. Uh, Davey, you’ve been working the ARM the entire match, remember? Edwards gets free but gets kicked in the face, and here’s Jimmy Jacobs to distract Richards, and Edwards hits a missile dropkick and a rollup for the win at 15:39 shown. **, others will probably give this a higher rating but I was just bored out of my damned mind watching this, and it had the usual issues that plague Richards' matches. It also went on too long, especially with that cheap finish. This, BTW, was not even CLOSE to one of the best ROH TV matches this year.
Clips of a Briscoes vs. Steen and Jacobs match from a house show earlier this year. Pretty funny to see that the ramp leading to the back is clearly one of those ramps from a U-Haul truck. Match ends with Mark diving about 40 feet from a balcony to splash Steen trough a table. This looked fucking insane, why couldn’t they have showed it in full? Better question: why are they wasting crazy shit like that on house shows instead of doing it on TV or PPV?
Mike Bennett (w/Maria & Brutal Bob) vs. Lance Storm (aired 8-3-12): I don’t remember this either. Unfortunately it’s clipped to shreds. Last 5 minutes or so are shown, match ends when Maria hops up on the apron to distract the ref and Bennett TKOs Storm on a chair that Brutal Bob slides in. Looked about ***ish at least, and again I would have much rather seen this match than Richards/Edwards.
Quick overview of the title changes that happened though out the year.
ROH TV Title: Adam Cole vs. Roderick Strong (w/Truth Martini) (c) (aired 7-28-12): This one I definitely did see when it first aired. Cole gets baited into shaking hands with Martini during the Code of Honor and gets nailed from behind by Strong. That’s just inexperience right there. Strong dumps him to the floor and pounds away, then drops him back-first on the edge of the ring. Back in Strong continues to beat Cole’s ass with a little help from Truth when the ref’s not looking. Cole tries to come back but eats a stun gun and a backbreaker gets 2. More punchy-kicky stuff from Strong but it’s pretty stiff so I don’t mind it. He dumps Cole again, Irish whip into the barricade by Strong is reversed but he comes right back with a superkick and just launches Cole right into the ringpost. That looked REALLY painful. Strong rolls in to break the count and heads back out to continue the beating. This kid is just getting the shit kicked out of him. Suplex on the floor gets 2 back in the ring, Strong grabs a headlock as we cut to commercial.
Cole is throwing forearms as we return but Strong stops the comeback with a dropkick to the knee. He goes for the jumping double-knee backbreaker but Cole reverses it into a crucifix for 2, then hits a backslide for 2. He tries a vertical suplex but his back is shot from the beating he’s taken and Strong gets the Liontamer, Cole makes the ropes. Jumping enziguri by Cole but he’s too worn out to take advantage and we have a double-KO. Both guys are back up and Cole fires away with forearms and clotheslines Strong to the floor, then hits the Bret Hart dive through the ropes. He tosses Strong back in and hits a crossbody from the top for 2, but runs into a boot on a blind charge and is nailed with a jumping knee. Cole back with a dropkick to the knee of his own, and a Shining Wizards gets 2. He tries for the Florida Key but ends up getting put on the top rope and hit with the turnbuckle backbreaker for 2. That still looks stupid, especially with the ROH turnbuckle covers being so big that they look like pillows. Double-knee gutbuster and Cole just barely kicks out. Strong tries for the Gibson driver but Cole reverses into a rana and hits the slingshot DDT onto the apron for 2. He heads towards the ropes and Truth hops up on the apron and tries to nail him with the book, Cole ducks and sends Truth right over the turnbuckles and to the floor. Strong nails Cole from behind and goes for the double-knee backbreaker but can’t land it and Cole tries the figure 4, Strong gets a small package off it for 2. Superkick and a shoulderbreaker get 2 for Cole and he gets the figure 4 this time as Michael Elgin makes his way to ringside. He just stands there, another superkick from Cole and the Florida Key finishes it and Cole is your NEW ROH TV champ at 12:06 shown. Kelly seems really excited about it for some reason. ***1/2, good stiff match with a hot crowd behind it. Random fun fact: Cole is actually a product of the CZW school, which means that either that camp is a lot better than we give it credit for or he really is that talented to overcome training that crappy. Probably a combination of the 2…
Next week they’re showing the ROH MOTY, if they show it in full I’ll review it, if not I’ll find something else to do next weekend. Until then, have a Merry Christmas.