RADICAN'S TAKE RADICAN'S ROH DVD REVIEW SERIES: "Final Battle: Doomsday" 12/16 - Wolves re-unite, Lynn says goodbye to ROH, Generico-Steen Ladder War
Feb 13, 2013 - 6:54:36 PM
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By Sean Radican, Torch columnist
Ring of Honor "Final Battle: Doomsday" DVD review
December 16, 2012
New York City at Hammerstein Ballroom
Report by Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist
The show started with a really good highlight package on Kevin Steen and El Generico’s history together in ROH.
Kevin Kelly announced that Caleb Seltzer was joining him on commentary because the new commentator couldn’t be there today. Seltzer has since become the permanent commentator with Kelly.
(1) Roderick Strong beat Michael Elgin. Martini came out during the early stages of the match. Elgin tossed Strong to the outside and hit a flying shoulder tackle causing Martini to celebrate on the outside. Strong fired back with a backbreaker on the apron a short time later and Martini celebrated for him as well. They had some hard-hitting exchanges before Strong hit a backbreaker on the top turnbuckle for a 2 count. Strong ended a big strike exchange with a jumping knee for a nearfall a short time later. Elgin climbed the turnbuckles and dead-lifted Strong back into the ring from the apron with a superplex. The crowd went nuts for that spot. Elgin no-sold a gut buster after another big exchange and took out Strong with a huge clothesline and both men were down with the crowd going nuts. Martini distracted the ref and kicked The Book of Truth into the ring. Elgin went for the spinning powerbomb, but Strong hit him with the book and hit a huge lung blower for the win. (***1/4)
Martini tried to make up with Strong, but Strong got on the mic and told him he was done with the HOT. Martini told Elgin he’s the main man in HOT after he recovered. He told Elgin he loved him. Elgin went to hit a powerbomb, but Martini asked him to hear him out. Martini said Strong and Elgin had achieved a lot of success with him. He told Elgin he won SOTF 2011 because of him. He said he was the breakout star of 2012 because of him as well. Martini slapped Elgin in the face, so Elgin powerbombed him into the turnbuckles and hit a spinning back fist that sent him flying out of the ring.
Radican note: Is it just me or did Martini come across well in that angle?
They showed a highlight package chronicling Jay Lethal’s recent change in attitude.
(2) Jay Lethal beat Rhino. Corino came in on commentary and immediately tore into Seltzer. Corino hinted at a possible future affiliation with Rhino given their history together dating back to Rhino’s days in ECW. Lethal hit a dive to the outside to take out Rhino and went to work on him on the outside during the early stages of the match. Corino said he had dated Lethal’s mother and said she was an awful human being that created an awful human being referring to Lethal. Rhino avoided a handspring attempt from Lethal and hit a big spinebuster to cut him off. Corino said Rhino was making a little extra money to ensure Lethal didn’t get involved in the main event tonight. Rhino grabbed a long bear hug before Lethal finally freed himself and hit a handspring elbow. Lethal countered the gore with a superkick and grabbed the Koji clutch. Rhino dead-lifted Lethal to escape the hold and dropped him to the mat for a 2 count. Lethal hit the Lethal injection out of nowhere for the win. (**1/2)
Corino got on the mic after the match and told Lethal he was a hypocrite. Corino told Lethal he had dated his mother, but wouldn’t challenge Steen. Corino said Lethal used to be a good kid that carried his bags. Lethal flipped off Corino and Jacobs ran in and attacked Lethal. Corino got in the ring and they double teamed Lethal. Corino told Lethal it was SCUM’s night and he wouldn’t get involved in the main event. They held up Lethal and Rhino hit the gore. Corino got on the mic and told him he’d never be in the main event, face Kevin Steen, or be the ROH World Champion. He said Lethal would always be a second match turd.
They went to a video package setting up Nana vs. Evans.
(3) Prince Nana beat R.D. Evans (w/Q.T. Marshall). Nana ran wild early. Evans fired back and went for a dive, but Nana got out of the way. He then wiped out Evans with a dive through the ropes to take out Evans and Marshall and the crowd popped. Evans took control once they got back inside the ring and flexed for the crowd. The crowd taunted Evans with a power ranger chant mocking his ring attire. Evans controlled the action for a long period of time and worked over Nana’s back. Nana mounted a comeback and did a dance before hitting a senton. Evans went for a springboard, but Nana caught him with an ace crusher. He went for the pin, but Marshall dragged the ref out of the ring. Ernie Osiris ran out and went after Marshall, but ended up getting tossed into the ring barrier. Nana cut off Evans and hit a superplex. Evans hit a variation of the styles clash for the pin. (**1/2)
Radican note: This was much better than I expected.
After the match, Tomasso Ciampa ran in from the crowd. Several officials tried to stop him from getting after Evans. Kelly said Ciampa was still a long way away from returning to action.
They aired a video package on the Whitmer & Titus-WGTT feud.
(4) WGTT (Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin) beat B.J. Whitmer & Rhett Titus in a New York City Street Fight. Haas and Whitmer jumped WGTT as they made their entrance. Titus got a giant stocking from under the ring that had big candy canes in it. He tossed one to Whitmer and they nailed Haas and Benjamin with the big candy canes. The crowd chanted merry Christmas. Titus went under the ring and got a Christmas tree. Benjamin got the tree and nailed Titus with it. Kelly called it the tree of woe (insert rim shot here). Haas and Whitmer went at it in the entranceway while Benjamin and Titus went at it in the ring. Whitmer was going to hit a piledriver on the outside, but Benjamin ran in and nailed him with a superkick to save his partner. Haas got in the ring and whipped Titus with a belt. The crowd wanted Benjamin to use the tree again, but he tossed to the outside and they booed. Whitmer recovered and got back into the ring with a Singapore cane. He nailed Benjamin and Haas with it to give his team the upper hand once again.
WGTT got the upper hand again. Haas went and got a guardrail and brought it into the ring. He slammed Whitmer on top of the guardrail, but Titus made the save. Titus put Benjamin through a chair with a legdrop from behind, but Haas immediately tossed him into the guardrail in the corner. Titus countered Haas moments later and hip tossed him into the guardrail for a 2 count. Benjamin set up a table on the outside, but Titus cut him off on the apron. They went back and forth on the apron. Benjamin finally hit the paydirt through the table and the crowd went nuts. Haas and Whitmer went at it alone in the ring. Whitmer ended up getting a table and he set it up in the ring. Haas cut off Whitmer up top. They went back and forth up top. Haas ended up hitting a belly to belly superplex off the top and Whitmer went through the table head-first. That was scary, but the replay showed Whitmer telling Haas that he was fine after the spot went wrong. (***1/4)
Kelly previewed the Lynn-Bennett match and threw to a video package showing Lynn beating McGuinness for the ROH World title. Kelly talked about Lynn’s legacy in ROH and his career in general. Seltzer said this was Lynn’s final ROH appearance.
(5) Mike Bennett (w/Bob Evans & Maria) beat Jerry Lynn. Lynn got a big pop coming out to the ring. They had some nice exchanges on the mat during the early stages of the match. Lynn took control and hit a slingshot splash to the outside on Bennett. Bennett hid behind Maria and Lynn chased him around the ring, but Bob caught him by surprise with a clothesline. Bob got on commentary and made fun of Lynn. Bennett tossed Lynn into the guardrail on the outside and mocked his pose. Lynn mounted a brief comeback, but Bennett cut him off with a backbreaker off the ropes. The crowd tried to rally behind Lynn after he took a sustained beating from Bennett. Lynn fired up and went to town on Bennett. Lynn hit a roll into an eye poke. He then hit a back rake on Bennett followed by ten punches in the corner as the crowd counted along. Lynn then dragged Bennett to the apron and hit an ace crusher to the floor, but only got a 2 count back in the ring. Lynn went for the package piledriver, but Bennett escaped and hit a spinebuster. Maria distracted the ref, but Lynn hit a TKO on top of the steel chair, but he only got a 2 count. Lynn went after Maria, who dragged him neck first over the top rope. Bennett then caught him with the box office smash. (**3/4)
Bennett went after Lynn after the match, but Lynn fired back and took down Bob and Bennett. Maria went to slap Lynn, but took a DDT into Bob’s crotch. Lynn then hit the cradle piledriver on Bennett and the crowd went nuts and chanted for Lynn.
The fans chanted thank you Jerry after the match. Lynn got on the mic and thanked the fans. He put over ROH for giving his career a shot in the arm for an extra few years. He called Cary Silkin the most honorable promoter he’s worked for in this business. Lynn thanked the boys in the back for welcoming him since day one. McGuinness came down with several wrestlers. The crowd chanted for Lynn as the wrestlers slapped the mat. McGuinness got on the mic and said in ROH and life it’s all about moments. McGuinness said a lot of his moments in ROH involved Lynn. He told a story about facing Lynn early in his career expecting a pop when he came out, but he got no reaction. McGuinness said Lynn came through the curtain next and the place came unglued. McGuinness talked about wrestling Lynn as the ROH World Champion and said he got a decent pop, but once again Lynn walked out and the place came unglued. McGuinness told Lynn he will be always over with everyone in ROH. McGuinness gave Lynn a plaque honoring his accomplishments in wrestling. The fans chanted for Lynn again. Lynn said he has six matches left in his career and asked the fans to come out to see him. Lynn thanked the fans again before leaving the ring.
Lethal came out and confronted McGuinness, who was about to exit the ring. He said he had been trying to talk to McGuinness. He claimed McGuinness had been ducking him. Lethal asked McGuinness what he was going to do about SCUM attacking him while Nigel handed out awards. Lethal said he was still standing despite SCUM’s attack. Lethal said he should be in the main event after winning SOTF 2012. Lethal said he was going to put himself in the main event. Lethal told McGuinness to tell Generico if he didn’t like it, he could deal with it with him. McGuinness told Lethal he won’t tell Generico anything. McGuinness said Steen had called him to his locker room when SCUM attacked Lethal. McGuinness told Lethal to cheer on Generico because if he wins the title, Lethal will be first in line for a title shot. Lethal said this was about defending the honor of his family. Lethal told him to make the match for him tonight or he’s just going to take it. McGuinness told Lethal he’s not going to do anything tonight. Lethal interrupted him and told him to make the match if he’s sorry about what Steen did to his mother. Lethal told McGuinness that ROH had spit on Jay Lethal and now Jay Lethal just spit on you. Lethal spit on McGuinness, who went after Lethal before several officials separated them. Kelly said Lethal had been thrown out of the building by McGuinness.
Mike Mondo came out for an in-ring interview with Kevin Kelly. Kelly said Mondo was supposed to be out for a year, but he would be back sooner rather than later. Mondo said he’s coming back sooner because he’s Mike Mondo. Mondo said he didn’t need his crutches anymore. Mondo said he would be back in one month and put the ROH roster on notice.
Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly came out. Fish asked Mondo what he was doing out in the ring. He said they were here to put a beating on Davey Richards. Fish said he overheard a conversation between Nigel McGuinness and Edwards said he wouldn’t be teaming with Richards. Fish and O’Reilly then attacked Mondo, but Richards made the save. Fish and O’Reilly jumped Richards, but Edwards ran down to the ring. Fish and O’Reilly held up Richards, but he superkicked Fish. Richards then took out O’Reilly.
(6) The American Wolves (Eddie Edwards & Davey Richards) beat Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly. Edwards and Richards wiped out Fish and O’Reilly with stereo dives and the ref called for the bell. The crowd was into the action as the Wolves double teamed Fish and then O’Reilly. They continued to work over Fish for several minutes until Fish mounted a comeback and the action broke down. Fish blocked a kick from Richards on the Apron and O’Reilly kicked him to the floor. O’Reilly then nailed Edwards with a dropkick to the outside off the apron. Fish got Edwards into the ring and began working him over. Fish and O’Reilly began tagging in and out to work over Edwards. O’Reilly and Edwards hit a nice series of kicks on Edwards, but Richards broke up the pin. The action broke down with Richards taking out Fish and O’Reilly. The action broke down and Richards and Edwards hit stereo suplexes to the outside on Fish and O’Reilly and the fans went nuts.
After a big exchange, O’Reilly and Richards ended up alone in the ring. They went to a big exchange of kicks and strikes. O’Reilly got a dragon sleeper. Richards grabbed an ankle lock forcing O’Reilly to break the hold as the fans fired up. O’Reilly fought out, but Edwards cut him off with a kick from the apron. The Wolves hit a tombstone/superkick combo, but only got a 2 count. The action really picked up with all four guys going at it in the ring and the crowd went nuts. Richards finally took O’Reilly down and they hit a powerbomb into a lungblower on O’Reilly. Richards hit a doublestomp on O’Reilly and Edwards put him in the Achilles lock and kicked his head until the ref stopped it. That was a heck of a sprint that was hard to digest. (***1/2)
They aired highlights of dueling promos from Adam Cole and Matt Hardy. Hardy got a lot of boos coming out for his entrance
(7) Matt Hardy beat ROH TV Champion Adam Cole in a Non-title match. Cole slapped Hardy in the face after Hardy talked some junk. He hit a flurry of offense on Hardy, who bailed to the outside. Cole then caught Hardy with a dive through the ropes. Cole dominated the action on the outside and they battled up to the apron. Hardy hit a side effect on the apron and rolled Cole back into the ring for a 2 count. Cole blocked the twist of fate and applied a figure 4, but Hardy rolled over and Cole grabbed the ropes. Hardy hit several side effects and the crowd booed. Cole fired back with a superkick out of nowhere, but Hardy kicked out at the last second. Cole blocked the twist of fate again and hit the twist of fate on Hardy moments later for a 2 count as the crowd cheered. Hardy cut off Cole going up top and hit a splash mountain powerbomb for a 2 count. They ended up back on the outside and Cole hit the Florida Keys German suplex on the floor and the crowd went nuts. Back inside the ring, Hardy hit a twist of fate out of nowhere, but Cole kicked out.
Cole tripped Hardy going up top and applied the figure 4. The crowd chanted for Hardy to tap, but he eventually got the ropes. Cole went for a suplex, but Hardy pulled the ref’s shirt over his head and hit a low blow. Hardy then got a small package for the win. (***)
Radican note: This was a solid match and the crowd really hated Hardy. I like his role in ROH right now and he’s doing a good job playing into the bias of the crowd.
Kelly previewed Corino & Jacobs defending the tag titles against the Briscoes and Coleman & Alexander.
(8) The Briscoes beat ROH World Tag Team Champions Steve Corino & Jimmy Jacobs and Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander in a Sudden Death match. The rules are if the Corino & Jacobs pin either team, the match is over and if either team pins Corino & Jacobs, they are the new ROH World Tag Team Champions. Both teams went after Corino and Jacobs. Alexander and Jay began arguing, which allowed Jacobs to take them both down. Mark had a pin on Jacobs after a dancing froggy bow, but Coleman broke up the pin. Corino and Jacobs left the ring while the Briscoes went at it with Coleman and Alexander. The Briscoes saw them leaving and went to bring them back into the ring. All three teams went back and forth with multiple pinfalls broken up. Corino got a roll of quarters, but Coleman cut him off. Corino recovered and hit Alexander with a roll of quarters, but he kicked out. The Briscoes ran in and cleaned house before hitting the doomsday device on Jacobs for the win. (**1/4)
Radican note: That was disappointingly short for a tag title match. The action was solid overall, but it’s hard for things to sync in when everyone is constantly exchanging moves at a rapid pace.
Jay got on the mic after the match and said the Briscoes had done their part and now Generico needed to beat the fat boy and ROH would be rid of SCUM. Jay said he would face any tag team in the world. He then offered Coleman & Alexander the first shot at the tag titles because he respects them. The Briscoes then shook hands with Coleman & Alexander.
The fans began chanting for Generico before the main event. Generico came out to a big reaction. There were ladders set up all over the place as Generico made his entrance. The fans threw a ton of streamers at Generico once he entered the ring. Steen made his entrance and walked down to the ring slowly. Steen also got a lot of streamers thrown at him when he entered the ring.
(9) ROH World Hvt. Champion Kevin Steen beat El Generico in a Ladder War. They began the match exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. Generico dominated the action early and hit a big flip dive over the top to the outside. He nailed Steen with a ladder several times back inside the ring. Steen fired back and backdropped Generico onto a ladder set up against the ropes and it broke in half. The crowd popped big after that spot. Steen set up a ladder on Generico in the corner and nailed him with a running cannonball. Steen dominated the action and tossed a ladder on top of Generico before bowing to the crowd. Steen told the camera the match would end when Generico was more broken than the ladder. Steen tossed Generico to the outside and whipped him into the barricade, which broke. Steen set up a ladder in the corner back inside the ring and whipped Generico into it and he took a crazy bump.
Steen went and got the big yellow ladder outside the ring and shoved it into Generico’s head. Steen climbed the yellow ladder, but Generico cut him off. Generico then suplexed Steen into a ladder in the corner and the crowd went nuts and chanted for Generico. Generico climbed the ladder, but Steen pulled him down. This time Generico hit a suplex on a ladder set up on the mat and the crowd went nuts again. Generico began climbing the ladder, but Steen pushed it over and Generico went face-first into the top turnbuckle. Generico dragged Steen off the ladder several times, but Steen kept tossing him to the outside. Steen finally followed Generico to the outside and whipped him through the guardrail again. Steen set up a ladder between the apron and the guardrail. Steen then went under the ring and grabbed a table. Steen set the table up on top of the ladder on the outside. Generico tried to climb the ladder and Steen mocked him. Steen set up Generico for a powerbomb to the outside, but Generico escaped and ducked a clothesline. Steen charged at him and took a backdrop to the outside through the table and ladder.
Generico asked for help and the ring crew went to get something. They came back with a huge red ladder. The crowd chanted si as Generico brought the ladder into the ring. Steen tried to come back into the ring. They fought up top and then spilled to the apron. Steen ended up hitting the f cinq through the table outside and the crowd went nuts. Steen began climbing the big red ladder, but Generico got back into the ring. Generico hit Steen with the yellow ladder and he fell to the mat. Steen ended up putting a ladder in between the two ladders set up in the ring and he powerbombed Generico onto it. Steen then began climbing the big red ladder, but Generico dragged him back down to the mat. Generico countered Steen and hit a package piledriver. Generico climbed the ladder, but Steen cut him off. Generico fell off the ladder set up in-between the two other ladders. Steen got another ladder and set it up over the other ladder that was set up in-between the two ladders in the ring. Steen and Generico ended up battling on the ladder structure. Steen hit a low blow and hit a package piledriver through the ladder structure and the crowd went nuts. Steen then went up the ladder and grabbed the title to win the match. (****1/4)
Radican note: This was a really good main event, although it seemed to drag in spots when Generico and Steen were setting up the props. The crowd heat was good, but not at the level of their PWG Ladder match in 2011.
Overall thoughts: (8.0) The DVD sound and picture for this release are really good. This was a very good show from top to bottom. There weren’t any disappointments on the card, but none of the matches on the undercard got to the must-see level, but a lot of the matches were very good, especially Cole-Hardy and Wolves-Fish & O’Reilly matches. The crowd was good throughout the night and added heat to a lot of the matches.
The Steen-Generico Ladder War is well-worth going out of your way to check out. It dragged in spots and the crowd wasn’t super-hot the entire match, but they popped big for some of the more dangerous spots in the match. The package piledriver Steen delivered on Generico through the ladder structure set up inside the ring will go down as a historical “Final Battle” moment. Jerry Lynn’s farewell to ROH is also worth checking out if you’ve followed his career. Thumbs up.
You can purchase “Final Battle: Doomesday” at ROHWrestling.com.
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