Welcome to PWInsider.com's live, ongoing coverage of ROH Final Battle 2011 where we'll have segment-by-segment updates throughout the course of the event. For information on ordering the iPPV stream, click on the poster above.
At least one former ROH titleholder will be appearing on tonight's show.
Tonight's iPPV is being directed by Dan Bynum, who also directs the TV show on Sinclair, and this is the first ROH iPPV not directed by Dave Lagana.
Bobby Cruise welcomes the fans at the Hammerstein Ballroom and is joined in the ring by Jim Cornette, Joe Koff, Cary Silkin, Kevin Kelly, and Nigel McGuinness. The crowd starts a very loud ROH chant, and then Bobby Cruise introduces each of the folks in the ring while we count down to the beginning of the iPPV.
Kevin and Nigel do the proper introduction to the iPPV crowd, then introduce Executive Producer Jim Cornette, who lets us know that they set a record live gate and, based on preliminary numbers, this show will be viewed live by more people than any other ROH event in history. He then turns the intro over to ROH Founder Cary Silkin and COO Joe Koff, who thanks everyone for coming out and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and also Festivus for the rest of us.
Michael Elgin vs TJ Perkins
They tie up and Elgin casually tosses Perkins across the ring, but Perkins ducks a charge and fires in some kicks to Elgin that have no effect. Shoulderblock has no effect as well, but Perkins slides between the legs of Elgin and dropkicks him out to the floor. Perkins goes for a dive, but Elgin moves out of the way so Perkins swings through the ropes and comes down on his feet on the apron and he tries a somersault dive, but Elgin catches him and rams him clear across ringside and into the barricade. They head back in where Perkins fires off some weak right hands, but Elgin easily pounds him down and tries a charge, only to be met with a superkick. Perkins goes for a spinning headscissors, but Elgin again catches Perkins in mid-move and pops him up into the air for a flapjack that gets 2. Elgin gets a bearhug from behind on Perkins and then tries to toss him through the ropes, Perkins dangles himself between the ropes but gets shoved into the ring by Truth Martini. Elgin pops Perkins into the air but Perkins counters to a really impressive headscissors that sends Elgin out to the floor and Perkins follows out with a dive. They head back in where Perkins gets a top rope dropkick for 2, Elgin no-sells a sunset flip and tries a vertical splash, Perkins dodges and hits a twisting senton for 2. Perkins goes to the top rope but Elgin catches him with a right hand and sets for a superplex, but Perkins fights him off and tries a flying shoulderblock, but Elgin catches him in midair right into a vertical suplex for 2. Elgin with a swinging backbreaker and Shock Treatment for 2, but Perkins surprises him with a hanging neckbreaker. Perkins tries a monkey flip out of the corner but Elgin catches him, powerbombs him into the corner, then goes for the sitout powerbomb but Perkins swings around the back of Elgin's shoulders and hits an inverted Frankensteiner for 2. Elgin blocks a fireman's carry but Perkins scores with a superkick, Elgin escapes a second fireman's carry, hits a spinning backfist, powerbomb into the corner, and the sitout powerbomb for the win.
Winner: Michael Elgin
This was a HELL of a hot opener. Elgin looked like a monster here with the way he dominated Perkins. Crowd really got into the last few minutes and especially the spots where Elgin caught Perkins in midair with seemingly no effort.
Prince Nana comes out before the next match and wants to know why, Jimmy, why? Barrister RD Evans says that Jimmy Rave is like a desperate ex-girlfriend who can't take a hint and crashes a family Christmas dinner, but if he wants to spend Christmas with Tommaso Ciampa, tonight will be a silent night indeed.
Tommaso Ciampa vs Jimmy Rave
They start off with a feeling out process before Ciampa takes Rave down and works the arm with a nasty kneeling wristlock. Rave breaks free and they trade chops in the middle of the ring and Rave spits in Ciampa's face but gets his head ripped off with a hard clothesline. Rave rolls out to ringside to try and catch a break, but Ciampa goes after him and rams him into the barricade. Rave fires back with hard chops and they go back inside where Ciampa hits a messy slam thing and connects with a pair of facewash knees in the corner and covers for 2. Rave with more chops and takes Ciampa out with a clothesline, he charges Ciampa in the corner and gets Ciampa's boot in his face, but Ciampa charges him and Rave picks his ankle and gets the heel hook right in the middle of the ring. Ciampa struggles mightily and makes it to the ropes, then goes out to the apron where Rave boots him into the guardrail. Rave tries to follow up with a baseball slide, but Ciampa catches his legs and swings him into the barricade. Ciampa Rave sunset flips Ciampa back into the ring and connects with a running knee to the jaw for 2, then catches Ciampa kicking out and hits the Rave Clash for another 2. Rave goes for the Pedigree, but Nana gets on the apron and offers him his old Embassy robe back. Rave considers it for a moment before grabbing Nana and needing to be pulled off by the referee. Evans gets on the apron but catches a wicked running knee that sends him careening into the barricade. Ernie Osiris grabs Rave so Princess Mia can nail him, but Rave dodges out of the way and Mia boots Osiris in the face and then Ravedumps Mia to the floor. Finally the numbers are too much for Rave and Ciampa blindsides him and hits the powerbomb over the knees for the win.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
Solid match, Rave got a good reaction from the crowd and they told a good story where Rave had Ciampa's number, but just had to deal with too many Embassy members and finally wound up on the receiving end of the tactics he used for so long as a member of the Embassy.
Mike Bennett comes out with Brutal Bob Evans and Maria Kanellis and he tries to cut a promo, but I honestly couldn't hear a word he said because the fans started chanting "CM Punk" at them and then "sloppy seconds". Bennett responded by making out with Maria in the ring and reminding the fans that he's here with a Playboy model while everyone here is at home and (to make what he said printable) practicing their one handed calisthenics.
TV Title Match: Jay Lethal vs El Generico vs Mike Bennett
Bennett ducked out of the ring and let Lethal and Generico go at it, ducking in occasionally just to cheapshot one or the other. They finally go out after Bennett and surround him, then toss him back into the ring so they can take turns beating him up. Lethal and Generico hit a double backdrop and clothesline Bennett out to the floor, and Generico and Lethal both try to do a dive but keep cutting each other off until they decide to do a double dive onto Bennett. Lethal and Generico finally are able to go at it by themselves in the ring and Lethal gets a flying headscissors for 2, then the hiptoss/cartwheel/dropkick combo for another 2. Lethal rams Generico to the corner and charges him, but gets backdropped to the apron and Bennett yanks him down face first onto the ring apron. Bennett comes back in and unloads on Generico with hard right hands and hits a hard slam and kneedrop for 2. They trade right hands in the middle of the ring, but Generico ducks a charge and Bennett goes sailing out to the floor. Generico goes for a dive but Lethal blindsides him with a springboard dropkick for 2. Lethal gets Generico in the Condo Clutch but Generico refuses to tap so Lethal converts to the elevated version of the move and slams Generico down on his face for 2. Lethal comes off the ropes right into a windmill backbreaker from Generico for 2,and then Bennett again jumps Lethal from behind and rams him into the corner before hitting a clothesline and a kneedrop. Lethal ducks a clothesline and hits the Tajiri elbow to send Bennett out to the apron and Lethal dropkicks him to the floor, but takes a flying forearm from behind by Generico. Generico and Lethal go back and forth and Bennett comes in just in time to get rammed into the corner for a diez punch count from Generico. Lethal does a series of combos too fast and complex for me to recap, but it looked great and it got him a 2 count on Bennett. Generico gets a T-bone suplex into the corner on Lethal and goes for the running Yakuza Kick, but Bennett grabs his ankle and drags him out to the floor. Generico chases him and Bennett throws Maria in his path and uses the distraction to nail Generico, then they go back in and Bennett hits a TKO on Generico and a snake eyes on Lethal. He eats a running Yakuza Kick from Generico, Lethal superkicks Generico, and all three guys are down.
Lethal and Generico get to their feet first and Lethal hits the Lethal Combination for 2, blocks a German suplex attempt from Bennett, but comes off the ropes right into a spinebuster from Bennett for a VERY close 2. Bennett with a big boot to Generico, but runs right into a Michinoku Driver that gets 2 for Generico. Lethal knocks Generico flat with a leaping enziguiri and goes up top for the Lethal Injection, but Generico hit a running Yakuza Kick to send Lethal out to the floor where he hit a triple jump somersault dive onto Lethal followed by the diving DDT through the corner on Bennett. They head back in where Generico hits Bennett with another running Yauza Kick and the half and half suplex, but only gets 2. Generico sets Bennett up for the brainbuster, but Lethal comes in from behind and pops Generico into the air for a neckbreaker and hits the Lethal Injection, but only gets 2. Lethal plants Generico with a big slam and goes up top, but Generico pops right up and goes for the top rope brainbuster, Bennett grabs him from behind and gets an O'Connor Roll with the tights to eliminate Generico, but Lethal comes right in and takes Bennett out with the Tajiri Elbow to quickly pin Bennett and get the win.
Winner: Jay Lethal
There was a lot going on here and it was a good solid win for Jay Lethal, who's been on a real roll this year. Generico protested his elimination due to Bennett using the tights and looked frustrated as could be and stared at the TV Title belt like an ex-girlfriend who dumped him, but eventually picked it up and handed it to Lethal and shook his hand.
Kevin Steen makes his ROH return next on Page 2!