April 5, 2012
Bob Colling
Wrestling Recaps

Ring of Honor TV
Date: 1/7/2012
From: Spartanburg, SC

Kevin Kelly and Jim Cornette are standing in the ring to open up the programming. Tonight, we will see two proving ground matches. Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team will meet the House of Truth and the ROH Television Champion Jay Lethal will square off against TJ Perkins. We hear from Lethal who says he respects Perkins and says tonight is nothing personal and will hold the title for his life. Perkins shares his thoughts as well saying they have a lot in common. He is here to win what he feels in his, and that’s the ROH Television Championship. Perkins doesn’t need twenty minutes to prove that he is worthy of the championship. “It’s the thunder that scares you, but it’s the lighting that will hurt you.”

Proving Ground Match:
ROH Television Champion Jay Lethal vs. TJ Perkins

They start off with some basic mat wrestling. Both men trade some monkey flips but neither man gets the advantage until Lethal hits a tilt a whirl back breaker for a one count. Perkins counters a figure four attempt with an inside cradle for a two count. Lethal nails Perkins with a handspring back elbow for a two count. Lethal gets another near fall after a seated dropkick. Perkins counters a submission hold by having Lethal in a Billy Goats Curse type of move but Lethal broke free. Perkins crotches Lethal on the top rope and puts the champ in the tree of woe. Perkins hits a nice dropkick but only gets a two count as we go to commercial.

Perkins has kept control of the contest with a chin lock. They trade super kicks with Perkins driving Lethal down to the mat with a vertical suplex. Cornette throws out a few cheap shots towards TNA and WWE. Lethal big boots Perkins to the floor but Perkins returns to dropkick Lethal to the floor. Perkins power bombs Lethal back in the ring for a near fall. Perkins with a hurricanrana but they roll through on several pin attempts. Lethal plants Perkins with the Lethal Combination but Perkins kicks out at two! Lethal heads to the top rope but Perkins gets his boot up to stop Lethal. Lethal comes off the ropes to hit a handspring ace crusher and is able to pin Perkins.

Your Winner: ROH Television Champion Jay Lethal via pin fall
Match Rating: ***

A video highlighting what ROH Southern Defiance is all about was shown.

Footage from earlier in the night that saw Mike Bennett take on Adam Cole is shown. Cole almost won after hitting a top rope cross body. Bennett hit the TKO but Cole popped his shoulder up at two. Cole countered the Box Office Smash with an ace crusher and followed up with a kick to the head. Bennett is able to win the match after hitting the Box Office Smash. The last few minutes they showed of that match were enjoyable.

Jim Cornette and Kevin Kelly have a special guest, Jack Connors in the ring with them. Connors puts over how big wrestling is in South Carolina. It’s just a promotion for the show in the local area.

We hear from Truth Martini wondering what they have to prove to Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team in order to get a title shot. Martini puts over Roderick Strong as being the greatest wrestler ever and hypes up his man Michael Elgin as being unbreakable. Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin say they deserve the name that has been given to them. They will prove why they are considered to be the greatest. Benjamin says the beating they are going to give Strong and Elgin isn’t going to be cute.

Proving Ground Match:
ROH World Tag Team Champions Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team vs. House Of Truth

0 Strong backs Benjamin into a corner and punches him several times in the ribs, which are taped up. Benjamin absorbs a few chops and begins to hammer away on Strong. Benjamin big splashes Strong in the corner. Haas tags in but Strong rolls to his corner soon after to tag in Elgin. Haas dropkicks Elgin to the floor and stands tall in the ring. Benjamin returns to the match but is rammed back first into his opponents corner and is double teamed by Elgin and Strong. Benjamin fights out only to be stopped by Elgin with a snap power slam. We go to commercial as Benjamin is stuck in the corner.

Strong spears Benjamin in the corner and taunts the fans before getting a one count. Elgin keeps control with a back suplex but isn’t able to put Benjamin away. Elign sets Benjamin up and drives Benjamin down to the canvas with a delayed vertical suplex. Elgin continues to work on the injured ribs with a bear hug. Elgin prevents Benjamin from making a tag with a spine buster. Strong returns to the contest and casually steps on the injured ribs. The referee is distracted as Truth Martini chokes Benjamin over the middle rope from the floor.

Benjamin fights out of a sleeper hold but Strong stops him with a knee to the gut and follows up with a gut buster for a near fall. Strong quickly recovers and locks in a Boston Crab! Benjamin struggles in the hold but is able to finally reach the bottom rope to break it. Benjamin counters a Gibson Driver, with I assume a back drop, because the camera guy misses the spot. Haas gets the hot tag and he drops Elgin with a right hand and a clothesline. Haas hits an over head belly to belly suplex on Elgin for a near fall. Elgin misses a splash in the corner and is back dropped by Haas. Strong is tossed over by Haas with a t-bone suplex.

Benjamin super kicks Elgin and Haas hits the Olympic Slam for a near fall. Kurt Angle must be pissed at that! Strong dives over the top rope to take Benjamin out on the floor. Elgin kicks Haas with a kick to the back of his head. Elgin gets a near fall after a swinging side slam. Elgin power bombs Haas into the corner and Strong follows up with the Sick Kick but Benjamin broke up the pin. Benjamin drops Strong with a neck breaker. Benjamin plants Elgin with a tornado DDT. Benjamin spin kicks Strong and WGTT hit the Leap of Faith on Strong. Martini is crotched on the top rope by Benjamin. Elgin hits Haas with a back fist and drives Benjamin down with a side slam.

Elgin hits a TKO on Haas before heading to the top rope. Benjamin stops Elgin with a release German suplex and Haas covers Elgin to pick up the victory!

Your Winners: ROH World Tag Team Champions Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team
Match Rating: ****

Next week, we will matches from Northern Aggression.

Final Thoughts:
This was hands down the best wrestling program for the first week of 2012. The opener between Lethal and Perkins was a solid match and thankfully didn’t end in a draw like ROH has been doing as of late. Lethal has really showed me that the people in TNA are really morons for letting him go. He has thrived in ROH and continues to make the ROH Television Championship look like a credible championship. The main event was an incredible match with all four men involved just putting on a fabulous match. ROH gets a huge thumbs up from me. All wrestling fans should watch ROH programming on a weekly basis.

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