ROH Final Battle 2010 Review
Before we get into the matter of this DVD review, Iâ€™ve got a few things to get into, all three of which are Ring of Honor related.
-This is my last Ring of Honor DVD review until further notice. You may have noticed Ryan Rozanski not writing for the site as much since J.P. Nichols took over Impact reviews. That was done somewhat by design. Ryan is at college, and this break gave him a chance to focus on the things that matter in life (getting drunk), but I know Ryan will be psyched to start reviewing ROH again. This is not an indictment of the company but a matter of convenience. Iâ€™ll still be watching the shows â€¦. More importantly, Iâ€™ll still be making fun of Mike Bennett. Iâ€™m not sure what Iâ€™ll be reviewing instead, but Iâ€™ll be supplementing my AAW and PWG results with something else.
-I donâ€™t want to spoil our latest podcast, but I just wanted to send a salute Ari Bernsteinâ€™s way. Heâ€™s one of the most loyal fans for Ring of Honor, and heâ€™s put in a ton of hard work on the Column of Honor. Heâ€™ll continue to be a contributor to our podcast at least. Hopefully, we can have him on at some point during Wrestlemania weekend with two huge iPPVs taking place.
-Finally, I happened to be at the 9th Anniversary show. Might not have noticed it since Matt has been handling all of the coverage lately, but I was one of the 1,500+ in Chicago Ridge. There was some great action that took place throughout the night, but the finishes had a lot to be desired. I enjoyed Hero and Claudio against All Night Xpress a great deal. It did most of what it needed to. If only ROH would get over their obsession with KOW using the elbow pad to win Â matches. Theyâ€™re the best tag team in the world. They donâ€™t need shady tactics. People will counter and say, â€œTheyâ€™re heels.â€ My counter is, â€œItâ€™s lazy booking, and people will cheer them even if they take candy from babies.â€ The main event tag team match was very good, but the finish came off really sudden, and Iâ€™m assuming theyâ€™re saving a little in the tank for a rematch. The less said about Homicide versus Roderick Strong, the better. Oh, and I hate Mike Bennett.Â All that being saidâ€¦
-Taped from New York City
-Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak
-We get a swank video package before the show. Great work from whoever put this together.Â If Ring of Honor put out these kind of quality videos and video packages more, Iâ€™d be far happier with my Ring of Honor watching.
-All Night Xpress (Kenny King and Rhett Titus) vs. Adam Cole and Kyle Oâ€™Reilly
Match in Five Words or Less: Great Opener
Match Summary/Analysis: Am I the only one who realizes the oxymoron that is the All Night Xpress? The implication is that they can â€œgo all nightâ€ but â€œexpressâ€ impliesÂ going fast. How can they go fast all night long? Maybe the girls at ringside can answer that question better. Cole and Oâ€™Reilly have matching tights as they try to at least look like a team. Next, they need a name. Cole and Oâ€™Reilly show some good double team work early on in the match. Video looks as crisp as Iâ€™ve ever seen on Go Fight Live. This a rematch from the Toronto show, and I very much enjoyed that match. Titus hits a back suplex, and the ANX go to town on Oâ€™Reilly. If you had told me at the beginning of 2010 that Iâ€™d be a huge fan of ANX by the end of the year, Iâ€™d have called you crazy, but they improve with every match and should strongly considered for the title soon enough. Cole nails a DDT on King on the apron right in front of the announces. Cole nails Titus right in the face. Oâ€™Reilly with a butterfly suplex parade. Missile dropkick on King as Cole heads up top. Huge dive for two. Oâ€™Reilly and Cole have been a boon for the Ring of Honor undercard. Cole is sent down head first. King hits his shotgun knees. Titus rolls Cole for two. Amazing. More nearfalls as all four men battle. An incredible showcase here. Double team blockbuster powerbomb gets the win for ANX. THATâ€™S how you open a show. I dug this match. It reminded me of a lot of the PWG openers Iâ€™ve seen the last 18 months or so. And thatâ€™s a compliment.
Winner/Time/Rating: All Night Express/9:25/***1/2
-Kevin Kelly announces that the Steen/Generico match officially takes place after Final Battle 2010, and they will not be liable for anything thatâ€™s going to happen. Well then.
-TJ Perkins vs. Colt Cabana
Match in Five Words or Less: Scientific
Match Summary/Analysis: This was advertised as a purely scientific battle. Interesting to see that in pro wrestling during 2010. Thatâ€™s exactly what we get. Lots of mat wrestling and holds. Cabana also incorporates some comedy as well because thatâ€™s how he rolls. This isnâ€™t a great exciting match, but it served its purpose and brought the fans down a bit from the previous match. I consider this attribute to be a positive thing.Â Billy Goatâ€™s Curse quickly executed, but Perkins grabs the ropes. More back and forth until Cabana rolls Perkins up, holds the wrists, and gets three. They shake hands, and weâ€™re out. I have nothing bad to say about this.
Winner/Time/Rating: Colt Cabana/7:55/*1/2
-Video package for the womenâ€™s match. No one can convince me that this storyline is in any way interesting, especially since Chikara already did this exact some thing less than a year ago.
Sara Del Rey and Serena Deeb vs. Daizee Haze and Awesome Kong
Match in Five Words or Less: Women Can Wrestle? Holy Shit.
Match Summary/Analysis: Del Rey comes out to Daniel Bryanâ€™s theme music. Copycat. Serena Deeb nearly trips coming out of the entrance way in an LOL moment. Haze conforms her outfit to Kong in a nice moment. â€œFuck the Divasâ€ chant from the somewhat snarky NYC crowd.Â Haze and Del Rey continue their never ending battle to start. It wonâ€™t end until one dies or retires. Iâ€™m convinced of this. Deeb tags in, and she has hair. â€œC.M. Punkâ€ chant. Cute. I like the story of the match as Haze tries going for the tag, but Deeb and Del Rey refuse to let her make it. Haze hits a sweet cutter out of the corner. Kong in to a huge pop. Del Rey down. SPLASH! If we get to see Kong kill some Divas on WWE television, I will be so happy. Implant buster for a nearfall. Double team move. Haze covers, but Deeb punches away. Double team combination on Deeb. Del Rey with a combo kick. Haze and Del Rey continue fighting as their partners are down. Royal Butterfly into a slam. 1-2-NO! Piledriver gets two as Kong breaks the count. Deeb spears Kong. Del Rey nails another piledriver for the victory. Not a four star match or anything, but I wasnâ€™tÂ offended. Haze had one of the better efforts Iâ€™ve ever seen out of her, and Del Rey looked as awesome as always.
Winner/Time/Rating:Â Sara Del Rey and Amazing Kong/7:40/**1/4
-Kevin Kelly and Dave Prazak talk about Christopher Daniels winning the ROH World Television title at the last set of tapings. It would take another month for everyone to actually see the switch.
-Eddie Edwards vs. Sonjay Dutt
Match in Five Words or Less: Not Terrible
Match Summary/Analysis: Edwards was supposed to wrestle Kenny Omega. Thanks to an injury, we get Sonjay Dutt instead. Iâ€™m thrilled beyond belief.Â Dutt is his usual doofus self.Â Edwards does his best as always, but heâ€™s not a miracle worker. I saw nothing wrong with the match, and I thought Edwards pulled off a hell of a hurancanrana, but did anyone buy Dutt winning? After one of the better efforts Iâ€™ve seen out of Dutt in years, he succumbs to the gordbuster, double foot stomp off the top, powerbomb, and then a 2K1 bomb. How long has it been since that finished off a match? I donâ€™t have much to say, but this was relatively inoffensive.
Winner/Time/Rating: Eddie Edwards/10:44/**3/4
-Sheldon Benjamin and Charlie Haas interview. The most important news is theyâ€™re going to be ROH regulars in 2011. This is the best news of all. Good interview all around as both men provide their athletic background. Always refreshing to see this kind of thing since WWE ignores athleticism. Anyone who thinks these two donâ€™t have a personality needs to watch this interview to see how wrong they are.
-Christopher Daniels (ROH World Television Champion) vs. Homicide (w/Julius Smokes)
Match in Five Words or Less: Disappointing
Match Summary/Analysis: Huge â€œFuck TNAâ€ chant which is fitting since both of these men used to wrestle for that company. Mike Bennett is at ringside, and no one knows who he is. Isnâ€™t that lovely? In addition to being a battle of former TNA stars, itâ€™s a battle of ROH icons. Iâ€™ve never been a huge fan of the matches these two have had in the past, and Iâ€™m not quite sure why ROH booked these two to wrestle yet again. Both guys are solid enough to not have a bad match, but unless theyâ€™re in the right situation, youâ€™re not going to get anything more than a solid contest. Daniels in particular has shown an ability to still be able to perform at a high level. Iâ€™d love to see Homicide do the same. Heâ€™s a sentimental favorite of mine despite not being the best worker. As much as I usually detest Smokes, I thinkÂ he was a huge addition to the show based on his bombastic personality and ability to just be an insane man. Not something I want on every show, but his personality is welcome once in a while. Referee gets bumped as the match approaches its end. Homicide hits an acecrusher after throwing a t-shirt in Danielsâ€™ face. What an odd finish.Â I donâ€™t understand why Homicide needed to throw s shirt and then hit his finisher. Makes no sense. If you skipped this match, youâ€™d have missed nothing.
-Mike Bennett heckles Daniels a little bit, and the crowdâ€¦ goes apathetic. At least The Rock (the guy who Bennett is patterned after remember) got some sort of reaction. Even when they chanted â€œDie, Rocky, Die,â€ there was some sort of emotion there. If not reviewing ROH anymore means missing out on Bennettâ€™s push, I canâ€™t say Iâ€™ll shed a tear.
-The Briscoe Family (Mark, Jay, and Papa Mike Briscoe) vs. Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli [ROH World Tag Team Champions]) and Shane Hagadorn (w/Sara Del Rey)
Match in Five Words or Less: Go To Hell New York
Match Summary/Analysis: The loss of HDNet clearly wonâ€™t affect the New York crowd. They didnâ€™t know who Bennett was, and they donâ€™t seem to like the Briscoesâ€™ dad much either. Hereâ€™s what I love. The Briscoes interfered back in May during the dream tag team match, and the crowd still holds a grudge. I mean, really? These guys are ROH icons and busted their ass in this building for many years. This is why Ring of Honor fans consistently annoy the hell out of me. Mike Briscoe calls Hagadorn out before the match. Microphone doesnâ€™t work so well. Gotta love iPPVs everyone. Briscoes go to town on Hero early as the crowd doesnâ€™t exactly embrace Mike. We get miscommunication between Hero and Hagadorn. Briscoes maintain control. Claudio comes in and fares no better. We get more miscommutication because Hagadorn sucks at life. Heat segment on Jay Briscoe. Hagadorn comes in and canâ€™t even phase Jay Briscoe. Mike Briscoe nearly gets his hands on Hagadorn until Claudio tags in. We get a pose off. HEADSCISSORS! Claudio sells it like death. Sara Del Rey pulls Mike Briscoe out of the ring on a cover attempt. What does Mike do? Kisses her of course. Wonder what Mrs. Briscoe thought of that. Del Rey is tossed from ringside. The crowdâ€¦ boos. Oy vey. KOW take control on Mark Briscoe while Hagadorn does his best Bobby Heenan/Danny Davis impression.Â Hero accidentally elbows Claudios. Hot tag to Jay Briscoe to no pop. Exchange of high impact offense.Â Then the moment happens as Hagadorn and Mike Briscoe end up in the ring together. Hero breaks it up. The four actual wrestlers exchange kicks. Hagadorn with a low blow. Mike forearms Hagadorn to death. In front of a crowd that actually pays attention to angles, this would have been a huge pop. In front of these smarmy New Yawkers? Tepid reaction. Double dives by Mark and Jay. Hero nails a roaring elbow on the father. Crowd loves that. KRS-1 attempt. Jay with a spear. Mike hits a STUNNER! STONE COLD! STONE COLD! Jay puts Hagadorn up on his shoulders. Mike head up top and completes the Doomsday Device. Cover for three, and this feud is ovuh. I thought this was a tremendously fun match that ended the angle in the most logical manner possible. I feel like I got exactly what I paid for. Mike beat the hell out of Hagadorn, and the Briscoes got some revenge. Itâ€™s not that hard to book pro wrestling folks.
Winner/Time/Rating: The Briscoe Family/15:50/***1/2
-ROH World Championship: Roderick Strong (champion) (w/Truth Martini) vs. Davey Richards
Match in Five Words or Less: Great Match, Dumb Ending
Match Summary/Analysis: I will give ROH credit for one thing. This match had a big fight atmosphere. The commentators and director made that come across very well. Extended feeling out process. Hope everyone packed a lunch because these last two matches are both getting over thirty minutes. Â Prazak mentions all world title matches getting 60 minutes, and I get the shivers after everything that happened a year earlier. Strong throws the first strike of the contest. Richards continues going for submissions early on. Makes sense since the idea of a wrestling match should be to win it, especially if weâ€™re pretending what weâ€™re watching is real. Richards continues his assault on the outside of the ring with two running boots. Strong hits a jumping knee to get control. Brawl continues as Strong hits a running boot of his own. Back in the ring for more wearing down. Strong wins a couple strike exchanges. Richards goes for a handspring elbow but eats a dropkick. Battle on the ring frame. Richards dropkicks Strong, but Roddy avoids the diveâ€¦ once. Kick to the back and the big stupid dive. God, what a dumb move. Richards really needs to stop that because heâ€™s going hurt either himself or a fan. Richards goes back working the arm. Theyâ€™re definitely going for a more strong style match, more like a 2007 ROH match rather than a 2010 ROH match. As Richards continues applying submissions, Strong continues reaching the ropes every time.Â Both guys begin going for their high impact moves before Strong applies a submission move of his own, the stronghold. This time, Richards is the one who has to reach the ropes. Ridiculous strike exchange and neither backs down an inch. Richards finally comes out on top with a number of kicks. Belly-to-back suplex nailedÂ by Richards. Neither man looks particularly good. Richards comes oh so close with a lariat, straight kick to the head, and the ankle lock. Todd Sinclair misses Strong tapping because of Truth Martini. Richards hits a shooting star press for two. Strong hits a backbreaker off the top rope. That looked pretty messed up. Exchange of kicks before Strong tosses Richards through the table. Gibson driver on the floor. Richards tossed over the guard rail. Champion wants a count-out. Richards gets in at 19. Gibson driver for two and into the stronghold. Exchange of ankelocks. Richards into the cloverleaf. Strong applies a crossface. Richards rolls the champion up for 2 Â½. Gibson driver by Richards into the anklelock. And then he falls down because heâ€™s â€œconcussed.â€ Leaping knee. Leaping kick. Backbreaker. Sick kick. Two count. Richards KICKS OUT? Another backbreaker. Superkick. Sick kick for two. This is fucking ridiculous. Stronghold. Referee stops the match. The first 2/3 of this match led me to believe we were witnessing a match of the year contender. The final third fell off a cliff. Everything after Truth Martiniâ€™s distraction was completely ridiculous. Richards kicked out of waaaay too much, and Ring of Honor once again refuses to give someone whose time it is to win the belt at Final Battle. I donâ€™t want to hear the argument about Strong not doing anything with the belt. That has nothing to do with the fact that Davey Richards should have won the world title here. Once again, a guy is going to get the belt six months (or a year) after the belt should have been given to him. Gabe Sapolsky made this mistake with Nigel McGuinness. Adam Pearce made this error in an even dumber way with Tyler Black. And now Delirious completes the trifecta. Well done everyone.
Winner/Time/Rating: STILL ROH World Champion- Roderick Strong/30:30/***1/2
-Fight Without Honor: Kevin Steen vs. El Generico
Match in Five Words or Less: Wow
Match Summary/Analysis: Well, if you thought the last third of the previous match was absurd, I can only imagine what this match is going to be like. Â Generico spits in Steenâ€™s face instead of shaking his head. Immediate boot to the face and a huge dive. Well, at least they didnâ€™t lock-up and wrestle. If this a non-sanctioned match, why is there an ROH official out there? Why are the announcers calling the match? Steen bleeds early on and licks it because heâ€™s a sick puppy. Absurd amount of violence and use of everything not nailed down at ringside. I sure hope these guys are friends because they beat the hell out of each other. If they were enemies, I donâ€™t want to know what would happen. If you want a psychological wrestling match, go watch another DVD. This ainâ€™t it. They tease someone going through a ladder, and of course itâ€™s the back of El Generico. Thereâ€™s a bump Iâ€™d never take. Steen stalls for time and interacts with the crowd but doesnâ€™t forget to commit violent acts against Generico. Steen also rips the mask of Generico, almost completely off. Generico bleeds a gusher too. This is a fine excuse to have both guys get juice. Generico uses three consecutive moves on Steen but canâ€™t get three. Steen takes control back. He sets up a table on top of the ladder. Generico goes between the table and ladder to nail a swinging DDT! Sweet Jebus! Yakuza attempt met with a superkick by Steen. Half nelson by Generico into a chair. BRAINBUSTAH! 1-2-NO! Battle along the apron and the top rope. Generico sends Steen flying through the table and ladder. Good God. Package piledriverâ€¦ by Generico! 1-2-NO! Generico hits a brainbuster ON THE RING FRAME! 1-2-Corino PULLS THE REFEREE and begins interfering. Down goes Sinclair. Corino wants to swing a chair, but Colt Cabana prevents that. The chair that Corino grabbed is the same one Steen used on Generico a year earlier. Another two count. Generico yakuza kicks Sinclair accidentally. Package piledriver. Bryce Remsburg runs in and counts two. Package piledriver for referee number two. Package piledriver through a table. Paul Turner runs in and counts two. Steen, with dries blood permeating his face, looks shocked and appalled. Steen brings Generico on the top rope. He goes for a top rope brainbuster. Generico out. YAKUZA! TOP ROPE BRAINBUSTER! Steen falls to the floor. Back in the ring. 1-2-NO? Thatâ€™s the first time Iâ€™ve ever seen anyone kick out of the top rope brainbuster. Generico takes the Final Battle 2009 chair and ends the feud once and for all with one final shot, not before Steen hands Generico his mask. Incredible.
Winner/Time/Rating: El Generico/31:14/****1/4
-The last two matches should have been shaved by five minutes. No doubt in my mind about that. I still felt the world title match had more absurd false finishes in it because at least the main event was about a manâ€™s career versus a mask. I didnâ€™t like Corino and Cabanaâ€™s interjection, even if theyâ€™ve been a part of the feud for most of the year. However, this was an incredible contest and a fitting end. The last chair shot clearly landed on Steenâ€™s shoulder more than his head. Camera people did a great job hiding that fact. After this show, Iâ€™m basically exhausted. Letâ€™s get to the awards and get out of here.
Best Line: Kevin Steen asking Kevin Kelly if Generico bleeding turns him on. Still better than being referred to as a hermaphrodite.
Best Finish: El Generico really should be the only man to end the some part of his former partnerâ€™s and best friendâ€™s career. Maybe it wasnâ€™t theÂ the most creative, but Generico winning was the right decision and put an end to the best feud in professional wrestling in 2010.
MVP: Since this is likely his last show in Ring of Honor, possibly forever, Iâ€™m giving it to Kevin Steen one more top as a thank you for all his hard work. Maybe heâ€™ll never be a big-time WWE or TNA superstar, but he will always remain one of my favorite ROH wrestlers.
The Verdict: There are a number of really good wrestling matches on this show. The main event puts Finall Battle 2010 over the top as an easy recommendation. Iâ€™m still not a fan of how the world title match ended, but at least the company ended things on a more positive note (if you can call it that) with Generico conquering his big demon once and for all. Nothing on the show offended, and this felt like an epic show to end the year. Hopefully, they can take this momentum and carry it into 2011.
For more information on ROH and their upcoming shows , check outÂ ROHâ€™s Website. To buy this and many other ROH DVDs, check out their store. To watch all of the videowires that are included as bonus features and check out the tremendous video packages which hype various matches and iPPVs, check out ROHâ€™s Youtube page.. Below is a list of contact information for both the website and me.
Contact Pro Wrestling Ponderings!
E-mail:Â [email protected]
Read my blogs!
Pro Wrestling Guerilla:Â www.guerillaeffect.wordpress.com
E-mail:Â [email protected]