ROH UndergroundNorfolk, Virginia 1/21/12
I'm not entirely sure why this show was included in with Rise & Prove. It should have been included with Homecoming 2012, since they were on the same weekend, but whatever.
Eddie Edwards comes out to start the show and explains that, like the night before in Philly, he won't be able to compete due to a staph infection. Edwards was originally scheduled to face Mike Bennett. He thanks the crowd for coming out.
1.) Kenny King vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge: **1/2
A pretty decent opening match. I think they kind of wasted King here a little bit while he was waiting for Rhett Titus to return from injury.
2.) Mike Bennett vs. Grizzly Redwood: **
As mentioned above, Bennett was scheduled to face Eddie Edwards, but that changed due to the Staph Infection that Edwards suffered. Before hand, Bennett says the real reason Edwards isn't facing him is because that he's afraid of him. Another decent match. Not as good as the opener, but still passable.
3.) Special Challenge Match – Kevin Steen vs. Adam Cole: ***1/4
While this one seemed to be a bit one-sided toward Kevin Steen, it was still pretty good for what it was.
After the match, Steen attacks Cole and goes for the (banned) Package Piledriver, but Eddie Edwards makes the save. On his way out, Steen passes Maffew of Botchamania Fame, who was in attendance for this show, and (forcibly) makes him flip off Jim Cornette.
4.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Caprice Coleman & Cedric Alexander: ***1/4
These two had a pretty good match back at Southern Defiance, but this time their are belts on the line. Another pretty solid match. The Briscoes cut a promo afterwords.
Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin come out and cut a generic heel promo and call out anyone who wants to face them. Team A1 comes out any we have a match.
5.) Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. Team A1: *
ugh.....this was bad. If they were looking to do a squash match, that's fine....but this got 10 minutes. 10 minutes of WGTT just beating up A1, who barely got in any offense. Plus, the match ended in a DQ. Dreadful booking.
The Briscoes come out to make the save, and the two teams exchange some words.
6.) Proving Ground Match – ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa (with The Embassy Ltd.): ***
If Ciampa wins or goes to a draw with Lethal, he gets a future TV Title Shot. This was a decently good match. The crowd helped out a good deal. Ciampa wins (in 15 minutes & 20 seconds, which is interesting considering TV Title Proving Ground matches are usually 15 minutes) and earns a TV Title shot.
7.) Grudge Match – Davey Richards & Kyle O’Reilly vs. Roderick Strong & Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini): ***3/4
The winners of this match with face The Briscoes for the World Tag Team Titles in Cincinnati. A pretty good tag team match. It went a little long, and I think O'Reilly got beat up too much, but the hot crowd kept me invested and the match actually turned out to be fairly solid. The finish was a little odd though. Davey Richards cuts another one of his generic promos to end the show.
This is one of the first throw away shows ROH has had in awhile. Not saying there wasn't any good stuff on here, because their was a fair amount of good stuff, but it never reached a truly great level. Coupled with the fact that there were some average and less then stellar matches on here, and you have the making of a generally uneventful show.
ROH Rise & Prove
Cincinnati, Ohio 2/17/12
1.) Adam Cole vs. Michael Elgin (with Truth Martini): ***
This was a pretty solid contest. A good way to open the show. You can tell that these two are future stars.
2.) Rise & Prove Tag Team Tournament Match #1 – Shiloh Jonez & Rudy Switchblade vs. Sean Casey & Chris Silvio: **
So ROH is having a Tag Team Tournament featuring local talent (mostly from OVW. Thanks, Jim Cornette....) and the winning team gets, not a title match, but a Proving Ground Match against the World Tag Team Champions in Florida. Not sure why winning a one night tournament wouldn't just qualify you for a regular title match, but whatever. So....going into this I had no idea who any of these guys were. They put on a decent match. By the way, did I forget to mention the yellow ring ropes? Really makes this more like an OVW show and much more minor league.
3.) Rise & Prove Tag Team Tournament Match #2 – TMDK (Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls) vs. Alabama Attitude (Mike Posey & Corey Hollis): ***
The Mighty Don't Kneel are a tag team from Australia who regularly competes for NWA I believe. This was a pretty solid match. Honestly, this match should have been the finals, since these were the two teams that were the most established out of the four teams in the tournament.
4.) No Holds Barred – Eddie Edwards vs. Roderick Strong (with Truth Martini): ***3/4
This was the match that was originally supposed to go down in Philly the month before but the staph infection Eddie Edwards suffered changed those plans. A very good match. The No Holds Barred stipulation added a fresh twist given these guys have faced off numerous times in the past year. I remember that there was some silliness involved Truth Martini being handcuffed to the turnbuckle (or was the the ropes or the ring post? I don't remember...), but the match was good regardless.
5.) Mike Mondo vs. Samson Walker: *3/4
This goes for a little bit until Monda wins with his foot on the ropes. Todd Sinclair comes out and informs the other referee of the tomfoolery and the match is restarted. Sampson Walker wins in a few seconds. Very strange booking....begs the question: What was the point?
6.) Rise & Prove Tag Team Tournament Finals – Shiloh Jonez & Rudy Switchblade vs. TMDK (Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls): **3/4
A decent match. Not the best match of the tourney but not the worst. The right team (TMDK) won, and they'll go to Florida for a Proving Ground Match with the World Tag Team Champions.
7.) Proving Ground Match – ROH World TV Champion Jay Lethal vs. BJ Whitmer: ***1/2
This is BJ Whitmer's first ROH appearance since 2008. I think he actually retired from pro-wrestling for a little bit before coming back the year prior. He had several matches in Dragon Gate USA prior to his ROH return. A pretty solid match. BJ Whitmer shows that he still has the in-ring ability he had in year's past. He may even be better. Lethal wins in an entertaining contest.
8.) ROH World Tag Team Titles – Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Davey Richards & Kyle O’Reilly: ****
Team Ambition, as they are being called, won this opportunity at Underground in Norfolk. A very good match. Exactly what you would expect from a Main Event World Tag Team Title Match. Lots of action, and it didn't go overly long as Davey Richards' matches tend to do.
Richards cuts another after match promo. I believe he put over the Briscoes.
While there was a lot of good on this show that is worth checking out, the tag team tournament and the other OVW Match really brought this show down to a more average level.
While this wasn't as good as the Battle in the Carolinas two-disk set of shows, this is still a good pick up. While the shows themselves are on the average to fairly solid level, there is enough good matches on these two that make it worth the purchase. Plus you're getting two shows for the price of one, and regardless of their quality, it's still a good deal.