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Can Richards survive the “Unbreakable” proving ground? – This week in ROH TV

Davey RichardsWe open the show with comments from the challenger for the ROH world title this Sunday at Final Battle, Davey Richards. Richards elaborates on the reasons why he has changes since training with Dan Severn and why he will emerge victorious in the rubber match for the world title this Sunday.

“Die Hard” Eddie Edwards vs. “Right Leg” Andy Ridge

Right off the bat we know that experience is going to be a huge role in this match and it’s evident as Edwards is owning Ridge on the mat. It’s also worth noting that Kelly & McGuiness are joined at the announce table by Truth Martini and Martini is backing Edwards much like he did some time back with Richards before Richards kicked his butt into the turnbuckle off the ring.

Nice striking being shown by the youngster Ridge in the early goings of the match. Edwards lands a nice textbook belly to belly suplex followed by a neck crank submission that is vintage Dan Severn. Ridge showing how he earned his nickname by landing multiple right leg kicks to the head and body of Edwards. Edwards showed an improved ground game and aggressiveness throughout the match, traits no doubt attributed to the training he has done for the last month with Severn. This was highlighted by multiple submission attempts. Ridge connected with a wicked spring board stunner from the apron into the ring. Edwards did follow that up though by taking Ridge’s head off with a nasty lariat that would make the great Stan Hansen proud!!!!

It was academic at this point and Edwards decided to put a bow on the whole affair by drilling Ridge with a power bomb that served as precursor to his new finisher the dragon sleeper.

Your Winner – “Die Hard” Eddie Edwards

There was no inside ROH this week which is to be expected with ROH’s biggest show off the year less than a week away. Therefore you were able to be brought up to speed as the entire card was announced and special attention was paid to the tag title match as well as the match for the world title. Promos were shown as well as video packages to review all the events that got each match to the point where it is now. This also allowed plenty of time for this week’s main event which brings us to….

ROH World Champion “American Wolf” Davey Richards vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin

The biggest question here did Richards bite off more than he can chew this close to the biggest challenge of his career??? Right up we remind you of the rules of a proving ground match. If Elgin is able to last the entire time limit or gain the win with a submission or pin fall than he will win a ROH world heavyweight title shot in 2012. Also the typical proving ground match carries a 15 minute time limit but leave it up to the genius that is Truth Martini to find a way to convince ROH officials to extend this proving ground match to a 20 minute time limit.

We know that Elgin has a distinct size and strength advantage by outweighing Richards by some 30 lbs and he is without a doubt the strongest man in ROH!!!! But need we forget that this isn’t the first time that Richards has ever step foot into an ROH ring with the unbreakable one. Richards right away decides to attack the monster legs of Elgin and try to ground him. At one point in the match Elgin catches a running Richards and delivers a vicious spinning black hole slam for a near pin fall.

On multiple occasion’s during the match the action does spill to the outside. Elgin is working on Richards back drilling him into the ring apron. Richards at one point nails a picture perfect suicide dive. He’s also on the apron and goes for a kick and Elgin counters by delivering a running muscle-buster to the mat!!!! This looked like it would change the course of the match as Richards was laying motionless for a while. Richards counters a power bomb attempt with a double stomp.

Under 3 minutes remaining in the match and Richards attempts an arm-bar submission that Elgin tries to fight out of and attempts another power bomb as a last ditch effort and with Richards rolls through and hits a sunset flip for the victory with 20 remaining!!!

Your Winner – ROH World Heavyweight Champion Davey Richards

Interesting to note that at the conclusion of this match when Richards was ripe for the picking Martini would enter the ring and he and Elgin would proceed to put the boots to Richards, and much to every ones surprise mainly Richards, Eddie Edwards would come to Richards aid and Edwards had the ROH world title and took a swing at Elgin and Elgin shoved Richards in the way and Edwards drilled Richards with the belt. Richards was quick to his feet and attempted to take Edwards down and Edwards immediately applied the dragon sleeper and these two had to be pulled apart as the show came to a conclusion.

Overall Thoughts

The show as a whole basically served as a way to get the fan caught up on all the events that have transpired and led up to this point in regards to the two biggest matches on the card at the biggest show of the year Final Battle. Naturally the recap packages would take up the lions share of the time on screen. Don’t get me wrong ROH definitely delivered on in ring action as expected with the main event. This match had it all and was very competitive. Although Elgin came out on the short end here he did improve his stock as a singles star and I believe will have a taste of ROH gold in 2012. Richards just did what Richards does and that’s prove that he is the best at what he does…hands down.

There are many interesting story lines heading into Final Battle this Sunday night in New York City. Who will emerge victorious in the contenders cup gauntlet tag team match and have a chance to challenge for the tag titles in 2012? Who will head into 2012 as the ROH TV champ? Finally who will watch the ball drop and the most to celebrate as he begins 2012 as the ROH world heavyweight champion, Davey Richards or Eddie Edwards?

Nothing more needs to be said in reference to Final Battle other than the parting words…CAN’T WAIT!!!!!
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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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