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Tomasso Ciampa vs. Jimmy Rave
Rave looks good, sporting a new look with close cropped hair and facial hair. Ciampa and Rave jaw with each other for a bit, Ciampa refuses to follow the Code of Honor. The bell rings and we get a lock up from both men. Ciampa backs Rave into the corner right away, breaking clean. Another lock up and Ciampa works on Rave’s arm, but Rave is quick to turn things around. The two trade holds for a bit, testing each other’s wrestling ability.
Ciampa takes Rave down to the mat and pulls Rave’s arm back by his fingers. Ciampa breaks the hold and allows Rave to back awaom. Another lock up and Rave reverses a rear chin lock attempt. Both men hit each other with chops and Ciampa pie faces Rave so Rave spits in Ciampa’s eyes. Ciampa is able to hit a monster clothesline that sends Rave falling to the floor.
Ciampa follows to the outside and throws Rave into the ringside barricade. Ciampa lays in with a big overhand chop and Rave responds with a knife edge chop, chasing Ciampa around the ring before sending him back. Rave jaws with Nana before coming back into the ring and it allows Ciampa to get the upper hand, taking Rave into the corner and hitting two big running knee strikes to Rave’s face. Ciampa goes for the cover and gets a two count. Ciampa takes Rave into the corner and sends him across the ring hard.
Ciampa kicks at Rave’s head before standing him up. Rave hits Ciampa with a couple of chops, taking him off of his feet. Rave sends Ciampa into the ropes and hits a big clothesline of his own. Rave charges Ciampa in the corner and catches a boot to the face, but he’s able to catch Ciampa in a heel hook, rolling through an yanking on Ciampa’s ankle. Ciampa makes it to the ropes to force a break, and he rolls to the apron. Rave hits Ciampa with a running knee that sends him falling out face first into the barricade. Rave goes for a baseball slide, but Ciampa catches him and throws him into the barricade instead.
Ciampa heads back into the ring, and brings Rave up to the apron, but Rave comes back in with a sunset flip, only to eat a dropkick to the leg. Rave comes back with a big knee to the face. Rave rolls up Ciampa for two, then holds on to hit the Rave clash, rolling Ciampa over into another pin, but Ciampa kicks out at two.
Rave goes for the greetings from Ghana, but Nana is up on the apron, holding Jimmy Rave’s old ‘crown jewel’ robes. Rave drops Ciampa and approaches Nana, but he grabs him. The ref is distracted and Rave avoids attacks from Evans, Ernie and Mia, but the distraction is enough to allow Ciampa to his project Ciampa, and he pins Rave for the three count.
Winner: Tomasso Ciampa
Following the match, Ciampa and the Embassy celebrate in the ring when Evans takes Rave’s old robe and puts it on Ciampa. Ciampa poses on the turnbuckles much to the chagrin of the crowd.
Rave is slow to get up, but when he does, he gets a great reception, and a ‘Thank you Jimmy’ chant from the crowd.
Kelly and McGuinness begin discussing the return of Jay Lethal, his winning of the ROH Television title, and his triple threat match coming up next.
The Prodigy Mike Bennett is the first man to make his way out to the ring, with Brutal Bob Evans and former WWE Diva Maria in tow. Maria gets a nice reaction, but the crowd don’t seem too happy to see Bennett or Evans.
The crowd is chanting ‘CM Punk’, as he used to date Maria. Bennett gets on the mic and asks ‘Who?’, before making out with Maria. He says Merry Christmas to him. He says there’s nothing better than Christmas in New York. The crowd absolutely hates Bennett. Bennett says it’s funny because he’s standing in the ring with a Playboy model, and they’re sitting at home j***ing off. Bennett says he’s here with Evans and Maria, and he wants to take home the ROH TV Title. So he’s gonna let Lethal and Generico fight it out, then take the title, then they’re going to go out on the town. Bennett makes another masturbation reference, then calls out his opponents.
El Generico obliges quickly, and the crowd loves him, giving him a great reception. And it looks like Generico has a spiffy new mask for the occasion tonight.
The lights dim, and the Champion, Jay Lethal, is the last man to make his way out to the ring. He too get a nice reaction from the crowd, as he’s from nearby Elizabeth, NJ, and he’s no doubt popular with the ROH crowd.
We get formal ring introductions for all three men from ring announcer Bobby Cruise, and it looks like we’re ready to begin this match.
ROH Television Championship Triple Threat Elimination Match
Jay Lethal vs. El Generico vs. Mike Bennett
Generico and Lethal follow the Code of Honor, but Bennett waves it off. The bell rings, and Bennett bails, telling Generico and Lethal to go at it. Lethal and Generico circle and Bennett attacks Lethal from behind before bailing again. Bennett laughs as Generico and Lethal look on from the ring. Generico and Lethl begin circling again and Bennett attacks Generico from behind this time. The action stops again as Lethal and Generico look on frustrated. Generico and Lethal try to wrestle again, but Generico slides out, as does Lethal, and they catch him, trading off hitting him with big right hands before sending him back into the ring.
Lethal and Generico continue to hit Bennett with rights before sending him into the ropes and hitting a double back body drop, then a double clothesline sending Bennett over the top rope and out to the floor. Lethal and Generico argue about who’s going to dive to the outside first. They decide to go at the same time, launching themselves through the ropes and sending Bennett crashing into the barricade and down to the floor.
Generico and Lethal slide back into the ring and finally lock up clean. Lethal locks in a head lock, but Generico fights it off. Lethal is able to roll Generico up for two. Lethal hits a nice headscissors for another near fall. Lethal picks Generico up and sends him into the ropes, hitting a hip toss and a low dropkick to a seated Generico for another near fall. Lethal sends Generico crashing head first into the turnbuckle before hitting him with a chop and sending him across the ring. Generico back drops Lethal to the apron, where he’s pulled to the floor by Bennett. Bennett comes into the ring and hits Generico with a big right hand before stomping away and choking him with his boot in the corner.
Bennett slams Generico down to the mat for a two count. When he pulls him back to his feet Generico hits him with a right. Both men trade punches, and Generico is able to low bridge a running Bennett, sending him crashing to the outside. Generico goes for a dive, but he’s surprised with a springboard dropkick by Jay Lethal, who goes for the cover and gets another two count. Lethal picks Generico up and slams him to the mat, locking in a crazy modified figure four submission.
Lethal slams Generico into the canvas face first for another neat fall. Lethal stomps at Generico before hitting him with a European uppercut, then another. Lethal hits the ropes, but he’s caught with a tilt a whirl backbreaker that’s good for a two count for Generico. Bennett is back in and he attacks Generico from behind, sending him to the outside. Bennett hits Lethal with a big running clothesline in the corner. Bennett takes Lethal down to the mat and hits a nice textbook leg drop. Bennett gloats for a bit before hitting Lethal with a big right hand. The crowd hates Bennett. Lethal drops a clothesline and hits a back handspring elbow that sends Bennett out to the apron. Lethal hits a springboard dropkick to send Bennett to the floor. Lethal is caught from behind by a springboard forearm to the back from Generico that’s good for another near fall.
Generico lays in to Lethal with a blistering chop to the chest that takes Lethal down to his knees. Lethal hits Generico in the gut and the two men trade blows before Generico takes Lethal to the mat. Generico misses a moonsault but scores with a couple of arm drags. Generico thwarts at attack from Bennett, taking him to the mat before hitting him with punches in the corner. Bennett hits Generico with an inverted atomic drop. Lethal hits Bennett with a kick and Generico with another inverted atomic drop and then Lethal drops both opponents.
Bennett rolls to the outside and Generico catches Lethal with an exploder into the corner. Bennett distracts Generico from the outside and Generico rolls out. Generico decks Brutal Bob, and Evans pushes Maria into Generico, allowing him to turn Generico around and hit him with a right, then slam his head into a table. Bennett rolls into the ring and hits Lethal with a powerslam, and Generico with a TKO. Bennett gloats before picking up Lethal and dropping him in the corner, but he eats a yakuza kick from Generico, who in turn eats a superkick from Lethal.
All three men are slow to get to their feet, but Lethal and Generico trade rights in the middle of the ring. Lethal hits the Lethal combination which is good for another two count. Bennett grabs Lethal from behind, but Lethal fights out, hitting a big chop. Bennett catches Lethal with a spinebuster for another two count.
Lethal rolls to the outside and falls to the floor. Generico hits another yakuza kick and scores with the Michinoku driver, putting Bennett down for a two count. Bennett rolls to the outside and Lethal is back up to the apron. Lethal hits Generico with a big kick to the side of the head, then he goes for the top. Generico stops him with a yakuza that drops Lethal to the outside. Generico goes to the apron, and hits a rope to rope dive to the outside on top of Lethal, then gets right up for a through the ropes DDT to Bennett. Generico sends Bennett into the ring and hits a yakuza, then a half nelson suplex but it’s still not enough for a three count.
Generico can’t believe it as he gets back to his feet. Generico is caught from behind by a big neckbreaker from Lethal. Lethal goes out to the apron and up to the top rope. Lethal goes for the top rope elbow drop and he nails is from 3/4 across the ring. Lethal pins Generico but Generico wont quit, kicking out at two. Lethal picks Generico up and slams him down, going for it a second time but Generico is up, attacking Lethal in the corner. Both men are attacked from behind by Bennett, who rolls Generico up for a quick three count.
Generico has been eliminated
Lethal hits the Lethal injection, and he pins Bennett for three.
Winner and STILL ROH Television Champion: Jay Lethal
Bennett is helped out of the arena by Brutal Bob and Maria, while we get some replays that continue the audio/video issues that happened earlier. Lethal and Generico stand across from each other in the ring and Lethal offers his hand to Generico. Generico shakes Lethal’s hand and raises his arm in victory before presenting him with the championship.
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness begin talking about the match two years in the making between Kevin Steen and Steve Corino. This match has been highly anticipated by fans, and honestly is the match that has me more excited than anything else on the card.
Jimmy Jacobs makes his way out to the ring to be the official for the next match. Jacobs is accompanied by Cornette, who insisted on being ringside, and Cary Silken, who Steen demanded be ringside for the match.
Steve Corino is the first man to make his way out to the ring, and surprisingly, he gets a pretty decent reaction from the usually blood-thirsty New York crowd. Maybe his years as a super-heel outweigh the last year of redemption storyline for Corino.
The lights dim, and the crowd is electric as Kevin Steen makes his return to Ring of Honor for his first match in one year, and his chance to return to active competition.