Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 11/25/15: Strong-Lethal III
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
– On the final episode of ROH’s Destination America stint, it was essential to go out with a bang, yet keep everyone refreshed for Dec. 18’s Final Battle Pay-Per-View from Philadelphia. We started things off with Moose and Stokely Hathaway, as the former was making a case for being a main event contender for ROH World and Television Champion Jay Lethal. Moose was put in a match to take on rookie Dominic Carter, which lasted five seconds, three of them being the pinfall after a vicious Spear. Post-match was all about Hathaway talking up a big game for Moose, arguing Moose was a better choice than even “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin. We usually don’t hear much from Hathaway, so this was a welcome change from the ordinary. It made sense for Elgin to come out and stand up for himself, making the case that Hathaway was talking for Moose and his client couldn’t speak, which Moose didn’t back down from. This was an interesting clash, since Elgin and Moose have similar gimmicks, though Elgin is perhaps more versatile in the ring. Also a better time for The House Of Truth to intervene and have Truth Martini be Lethal’s voice, downing both Moose/Elgin. Upon this segment, we saw the vibrant Taeler Hendrix of TNA fame in a newfound valet role she fits well. Elgin coming on to Hendrix was supposed to make him look like a “man,” but it made him look sort of sleazy. Looks like we have a tag match on our hands.
– The Moose/Elgin-Donovan Dijak/J. Diesel match did its job of showing how Elgin/Moose could co-exist, but growing tension almost cost them the match, understandably. The action bordered on a brawl-like atmosphere but it was still entertaining. The faces getting the win made sense, to keep both on the hot side, yet it still looked like they were about to throw down. We’re intrigued to see what comes out of it.
– The in-ring segment with The Decade, Colby Corino and ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness was a fair follow-up to last week’s emotional speech by Steve Corino, who turned down a match against Whitmer at Final Battle for major neck surgery. Whitmer, one of ROH’s best natural heels, took this opportunity to put the spotlight on himself by “delaying” the main event to dispute Corino’s claims and make it look like he was scared to fight him. It was the douchey thing to do. To go even further, he picked on McGuinness sitting on commentary and tried to rile him up by comparing his career “downfall” to Corino’s situation. Since McGuinness had power of authority, we expected him to go down hard and sure enough, he delivered worthy justice by banning The Decade from Final Battle, a spot on ROH’s biggest show of the year, emphasized on commentary as a “big paycheck.” Corino being there served as a potential idea, for him to be the one that takes up Whitmer’s offer and stands up for his dad, but something would have to be done to let Whitmer back on the show and if that happens, that sort of defeats the purpose of this past segment.
– Now, while we’ve loved the amped-up quality and stellar in-ring storytelling of the Roderick Strong-Lethal feud this year with their prior two matches, going into this one was a bit tricky. This situation was different, because this wasn’t for the ROH World Championship, but rather for Lethal’s TV Title, almost feeling like the feud got “demoted” in order to continue. That said, the story of Strong hellbent on beating Lethal coming closer every time was captured excellently through a hype video that aired before the match. Our one gripe – we hated that Strong said the Title didn’t matter here. It’s wrestling. You’re competing for Titles. All Titles should matter. It devalues the Titles when that happens and that’s never good for business. Thankfully, this was quickly forgotten with the ride that both men took us on from the opening bell to the final bell. What can we say? This moved like a chess match – both opponents knowing each other so well, able to counter whatever the other guy would put out. They knew each other’s tricks. The athleticism here was insane from both guys and the chops…. ouch. The crowd was definitely a positive factor, evenly split between both men as they violently exchanged forearm strikes and kicks, ending up in exhausted heaps of sweat. Some excellent near-falls down the stretch as we expected another Lethal win, as per the last 18 months, but Strong packed on brutal, consecutive strikes and finally got his big moment – pinning Lethal clean to become the new TV Champion as the crowd erupted in what can only be described as an orgy of shock, excitement and awe. Strong as TV Champ can be great from here on out, with many competitors vying for a shot, firstly Bobby Fish, who was owed a shot when Lethal was Champ. Even better, Lethal has the company’s biggest prize, so even though he lost one belt, it doesn’t hurt his spot at the top and we still have plenty of feuds yet to come with him.
- Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway) def. Dominic Carter via pinfall
- Moose/Michael Elgin def. Donovan Dijak/J. Diesel (w/Truth Martini, Taeler Hendricks) via pinfall
- ROH Television Championship – Roderick Strong def. Jay Lethal (Champion) via pinfall to become new Champion
Posted on December 1, 2015, in ROH and tagged Colby Corino, Dominic Carter, Donovan Dijak, J. Diesel, Jay Lethal, Kevin Kelly, Michael Elgin, Moose, Nigel McGuinness, Roderick Strong, Stokely Hathaway, Taeler Hendrix, The Decade, Truth Martini. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.