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T.J. Perkins debuts & Jay Lethal’s first TV title defense – This week on ROH TV

TJ PerkinsFunny thing the first major complaint I have regarding ROH and their new deal with Sinclair Broadcasting Group actually has nothing to do with the production value or lighting or even in ring product but actually the fact that every week thus far the show has yet to start on time!!!! Why is this such a big deal you ask? Well when the show airs at (or around) midnight in my market then I rely HEAVILY on my DVR to get the show and thus every week I have had to watch the second half of the show online due to the fact that my DVR cuts off before the end of the show.

So fans please take note and when recording the show make sure to set your DVR to record the show preceeding ROH as well as the show afterwards. Enough of all that, I’m hoping down off of my soapbox as I know you aren’t reading this to hear me complain but rather to hear what happened this week so without further adue let’s get to action.

The show opens with our announcers Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuiness. They immediately begin to hype the first bout of the night which pitts OVW alum Mike Mondo and the debuting T.J. Perkins and we go right to a video package where both men cut promos and then to the ring introductions.

T.J. Perkins VS “The Giant Killer” Mike Mondo

Let me start off by saying that Mike Mondo looks like John Hendenrich’s little brother. You remember Hendenrich from years ago in WWE. Perkins is heavily hyped in many circles coming into ROH and he has already made a name for himself internationally and is considered to be a in-ring veteran all by the age of 28. He did make his pro debut at the ripe old age of 14!!!! Interesting point made by McGuiness as he pointed out that Mondo is billed as the “Giant Killer” yet he is the bigger of the two wrestlers in this match. Mondo clearly wants to keep the match on the canvas and Perkins is definitely a high flyer and would love to showcase his skills.

Perkins showed alot of influence of say Alex Shelly and Chris Sabin as he put together some excellent chain wrestling and even pulled out the hesitation skate board drop kick after tying Mondo to the tree of woe ala Sabin. The action eventually spilled to the outside with Mondo hitting a running somersault of the apron to Perkins. Impressive for a man of Mondo’s size. The two both had failed attempts at their finishing manuevers and in the end Perkins countered a Mondo rollup with a majistral cradle of his own to get the win in his debut match in ROH.

Next we hear from Jim Cornette and get his decision on who will in fact be the number one contenders for the tag titles. He brings “dem boys from Sandy Fork Delaware” The Briscoe Brothers to the ring to tell them that they are going to have one final match against the All Night Express to decide once and for all who will be the top contenders and more than likely get a title shot against Hass and Benjamin at Final Battle in December. This match will be the main event next week. Needless to say the Briscoes don’t care for the decision and play the “nobody in ROH wants us to be the champs” card and point out that they shouldn’t have to prove themselves after being 6 time tag champs.

We then get words from the champs saying that they want The Briscoes at Final Battle.

Inside ROH

Inside ROH this week focuses on Final Battle and the feud between Davey Richards and Roderick Strong. We don’t know who Richards will be facing at Final Battle but we do know that it won’t be Strong. Strong does get a chance to stick it to Richards as next week he’ll be taking on Team Richards member and Davey Richards protege Kyle O’Reilly. I am really looking forward to this match up. Richards goes into detail on the whole concept of “Team Richards” and how he prepares for each match. I really liked the background insight that was given and love to see the MMA influence. Strong does a great job of playing the smarmy heel and still lives to make Richards life hell.

ROH TV Champ Jay Lethal VS ‘The Prodigy” Mike Bennett

Lethal and Bennett had a back and forth match. Lethal showed that he had stronger offense and Bennett showed that he is ready for a step up in competition. After a grueling 15 minutes and multiple pin fall attempts the match ended in a time limit draw. When was the last time you saw one of those on tv. Lethal, along with the crowd, begged Todd Sinclair for another 5 minutes but not tonight. You can see that ROH is bringing up Bennett to be a champion and didn’t want to have a clean loss on his record and also that they are behind Lethal as there was no clear winner tonight.

Overall Thoughts:

ROH deserves credit for putting a show on TV that was entertaining and insightful and didn’t just feature main guys in the ring. You had two fun matches featuring fresh faces and laid some background for Final Battle. I am really looking forward to next week and Kyle O’Reilly (a personal favorite) VS Strong and The All Night Express having their blow off match with The Briscoes.

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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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