Ring of Honor – December 28th, 2016


Howdy!

Ring of Honor TV is taking a break for the next two weeks from current action, but we’ve still got a show to watch! This week, we’re across the pond as we look at matches from the Reach for the Sky tour, with a killer lineup of Will Ospreay vs Bobby Fish, Ospreay & Marty Scurll vs the Young Bucks, & Ospreay vs Scurll!

Actually, that IS a really killer lineup.

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 12/28/16

Video package of highlights from the tour play to start us off. Kevin Kelly appears, wishing us Happy Holidays, and tells us that we’ll see highlights from the first Ring of Honor tour in the UK in ten years! Kelly tells us that we’ll talk a lot about the TV title, which was very much in play on the tour, and we’ll see a dream tag match!

We are TAPED from Livepool Olympia, in Liverpool, England for our first stop! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, & Nigel McGuinness.

And the first thing we see is the ROH TV title lying on the mat, as Bobby Cruise gives us the ring intros for Will Ospreay and Bobby Fish! Fish leaves the Union Jack on the mat to insure that everyone knows who the heel is here, I guess.

Bobby Fish (c) vs Will Ospreay – Ring of Honor World TV title match

Code of Honor is followed. They circle and Fish dives for a takedown, but Will avoids it and goes to a headlock, taking Bobby over. Fish rolls him over, but Will hangs on. Fish shoots him off and hits a back kick, then tries for a quick armbar but Ospreay makes the ropes. Fish goes back to the arm, smashing it with a forearm, then a single leg takedown that hits the arm, Bobby covers for one. Fish keeps it up, dropping a knee on the arm and getting one again, then taking him over into a wristlock. He keeps it on and wraps the leg around it, but Will does the quick kip-ups to reverse and take Fish over. Will tells Bobby to bring it on, then reverses a few times into an armdrag, Fish tries for one of his own, Will bounces off the ropes and gets another one. Dropkick by Ospreay! Bobby rolls out and Will looks to fly, but Bobby moves and Ospreay just does his backwards flip into the ring and poses. And you should strike a pose too, a pose that says “I’m going to sit here and watch the following great ads!”

We’re back with Ospreay hitting a Space Flying Tiger Drop onto Fish on the outside. You know, like we see in every match. Everyone remembers the Miz doing that one, right? Ospreay is gonna have a matching wheelchair with Dynamite Kid far sooner than he should. He tosses Fish back in and somersaults into a reverse neckbreaker. 1, 2, no! Will goes up, but Bobby shoulders him on top and joins him, superplex attempt is blocked by Will with strikes, then a nasty headbutt drops Fish to the mat. Ospreay goes up now, but Fish hits him with a kick to the leg and Will takes a hard bump to the mat. This dude is nuts. Fish takes him to the corner with a shoulder, hits him with knee, then an Exploder into the buckles. That gets two. Fish says it’s over, but Ospreay counters the brainbuster and hits a stunner. Running shooting star press by Will, but he comes off the second buckle with a corkscrew moonsault right after and hits the knees of Fish. Bobby grabs Will by the leg and hits kicks, then a dragon-screw legwhip. Fish puts Will on the top rope and goes up, but Will slips out, tucks Fish’s head into the buckle, and hits a superkick! He pulls Fish down and cradles, 1, 2, Fish grabs the bottom rope! Spinning kick by Ospreay to Fish! Will pulls down his kneepad and does a handstand off the ropes, Bobby catches him by the knee and applies the kneebar! He’s got him good, but Will stands up in the kneebar and bridges back, Fish’s shoulders are on the mat…..1, 2, 3! Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a NEW Ring of Honor World TV Champion! (Will Ospreay over Bobby Fish, pinfall, 8:46)

WORTH WATCHING? – I liked what was shown, but I’m a bit biased, as I’ve seen the full match and obviously the full match is slightly better, with a bit more knee work from Fish to sell the kneebar as a finisher. That having been said, YES, I enjoyed watching this one muchly, and it’s a perfectly cromulent way to spend some time. Ospreay getting the pin while still in the kneebar and not off a high spot was a good way to sell the injured leg, and Fish grounding him for a portion of the match made it unlike most of what you see from Will in North America. Seek out the full match, though.

Post-match, Will seems in shock that he won, as is Bobby, who argues with the ref. Fish grabs the title belt from the ref while he continues to have words with the ref, but does the right thing and hands the belt to Ospreay, raising his arm. Bobby rolls out and lets Will have his moment.

Back to Kelly in the studio, as Kevin tells how shocking the upset was; but how long would Ospreay’s title reign last? We’ll find out later this hour. But up next, it’s a dream tag match, as Ospreay and his nemesis, “The Villain” Marty Scurll take on the Young Bucks! And that’s up right after these great ads!

We’re back! Kelly sends us to night 2 now, and tells us that the Bucks decided to put the tag titles on the line in the match – could Ospreay become a double title holder in his first weekend in ROH? We’re about to find out with an ending that has to be seen to be believed!

And now, we’re at the Leicester Community Sports Arena in Leicester, England, and we’ve joined the match in progress.

Will Ospreay & “The Villain” Marty Scurll vs The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) – Ring of Honor World Tag Team title match

Scurll and Matt are in the ring, with Marty holding a front facelock as Matt attempts to escape. He does into a wristlock, Scurll gets a hammerlock off that and takes Matt down with a side headlock, Matt breaks with a headscissors and goes for a superkick, that gets caught by Marty and he goes for the chickenwing, which Matt counters into an armdrag, and we’ve got a stalemate. Matt offers a ‘too sweet’ to Marty, then pokes him in the eyes; Matt comes off the ropes, so Marty pokes him in the eyes. Hee! Both guys are blind and wander to the wrong corners to make the tags, then dive for the correct ones upon being so informed. Hee again! That was cute, I will admit. Ospreay and Nick in now, lockup and Nick gets a wristlock, mocking Will by chanting ‘please don’t tap!’. Will with the quick kip-ups and a reversal to drop Nick, they run the ropes and Ospreay comes off the second rope, Nick attempt an armdrag and Ospreay lands on his feet, then nails Nick with a dropkick. Matt comes in and clobbers both Will and Marty, double-team clothesline by the Bucks is ducked by Will, double-team armdrag attempt and Ospreay hits the top rope and hits the Bucks with a double armdrag instead. Will looks to fly, but the Bucks move and he does his backwards somersault into his pose. Scurll gets in the fun, running the ropes and stopping, then dropping into Will’s pose. HA! There might not be another wrestler I’ve enjoyed watching in 2016 than Marty Scurll. The Bucks throw a tantrum on the outside as Will and Marty taunt them from the ring, and Nick Jackson gets back in to fight…..and catches his leg on the bottom rope, promptly falling on his face.

Nick begs off in the corner and tags in his brother, who runs right at Ospreay and Scurll and gets punished, and they run the ropes with Scurll tripping Matt and Will dropping a knee on his head. Right hands by Will and a tag to Scurll, and he takes over on Matt, with uppercuts and a headbutt, then a bodyslam. Marty taunts Nick in the corner, then puts Matt in a surfboard position and tags in Will. Ospreay takes out Nick on the apron, then runs the ropes and hits a dropkick to the face of Matt, which was cool. The Young Bucks being abused just warms my heart. Ospreay covers for two, then hits Matt with a headbutt, Nick tries to fight out of the corner, but Ospreay cuts that off and tags in Marty. Ospreay goes for a belly-to-back suplex, Matt lands on his feet and now Marty goes for it, Matt lands on his feet, now both of them go for it on Matt, Matt lands on his feet and backs into his corner, tagging in Nick. Nick in and he takes out Ospreay, sending him to the apron, then drops Marty with a clothesline. Springboard dropkick sends Ospreay to the floor, then a shoulder to a charging Scurll sets Marty up, Nick springs back in with a facebuster to Scurll, then back to the apron to moonsault Will on the floor. Nick back in and he goes up, but Marty goes to the apron to escape, so Nick grabs him there in a headscissors and Matt does a running kick to send Scurll to the floor with Ospreay. Terminator pose by the Bucks, they get a running start, stereo topes to Will and Marty on the floor! Hey, maybe someone is running some deals on stereos in the following great ads!

We’re back with Nick and Will in the ring, slugging it out. Scurll takes a superkick from Nick, who turns around into a kick from Will, and Ospreay follows that up by tossing Matt to the floor. Nick charges Will, but eats boot as Will flips over the top rope to the apron. Will’s gonna fly, but Matt grabs him and puts him on the shoulders, and Nick jumps to the apron and superkicks Will off and to the floor! Matt runs across the ring and springs to the apron, then grabs Scurll and goes for a tornado DDT (at least that’s what it looked like) to the floor, but doesn’t get all of it. Points for effort, I guess. Marty gets rolled in, 450 by Nick! Matt covers, 1, 2, NO! Bucks set up for the Meltzer Driver, but Nick gets taken out in midair by an Ospreay forearm, Scurll reverses, tombstone by Marty to Matt! Running shooting star press by Ospreay! Ospreay springs off the second rope, lands on his feet on a moonsault attempt, tries again as Matt keeps moving, then hits another shooting star from a standing position! Ospreay off the ropes again, corkscrew moonsault hits! Ospreay and Scurll both cover and the ref counts for some reason, but Nick breaks it up at two with a Swanton off the top rope. Everyone is down now and the crowd wants “Fight forever!”. Bucks back up and they tee off on Scurll with right hands, while crotch chopping in-between; one too many crotch chops, though, as Marty grabs both Bucks’ fingers and breaks them! The ref admonishes Marty, but he’s in the wrong place at the wrong time and the Bucks end up taking the ref out with a double superkick! Marty takes advantage with a double low-blow on both Bucks, then goes out to get his umbrella! Yeah! He goes to hit the Bucks with it as Nigel goes to find another ref, but Will doesn’t want to win that way, the goody two shoes! The crowd wants Marty to hit them, but Scurll gives the umbrella to Ospreay and tells Will to hit the Bucks! Ospreay polls the crowd and they want to see some umbrella smashin’, Will finally gets up the guts to do it and swings for the fences….but the Bucks move and Ospreay clocks Scurll instead! OH CRUEL IRONY! Will gets a GREAT look on his face as he turns around, double superkick by the Bucks! The Bucks hoist Marty up, More Bang for your Buck! The ref is recovered enough to crawl over and make the count, 1, 2, Ospreay makes the save! Nick tosses Will to the floor, and Matt goes down the line to kick Will in the face. The Bucks continue to double-team, hitting the power bomb/kick combo the buckles on Scurll, and they signal for the Meltzer Driver again. Matt hoists Marty up, Nick springs off the top, OSPREAY COMES IN WITH A ‘RANA TO NICK, WHO FLIPS OVER IN THE AIR TO COMPLETE THE DRIVER!!!! Holy SHIT. Nick holds Will off as Matt covers, and that’s all she wrote. (The Young Bucks over Marty Scurll & Will Ospreay, pinfall, 13:05)

WORTH WATCHING? – This one will test your patience for the Bucks, but dear GOD, that finish was awesome. I hadn’t seen this match, just a gif of the finish, but Christ. That having been said, YES, I’d watch this again with the full reservation that it was all about the spots without an ounce of psychology. It’s not the worst Bucks match I’ve ever seen, as they kept the superkicks pretty low in count and there was a fun little story in the beginning as Ospreay being a good high-flyer clearly befuddled them. As usual, there was little to no cohesion in that it was barely a tag match according to any rules that I’m aware of, but it moved quick and was fun to watch, so I’ll give it a pass. If you do indeed hate the Bucks but like Scurll and Ospreay, like myself, this one is just on the line, though.

Post-match, the Bucks celebrate with Matt shaking Ospreay’s hand for the assist. Replay shows that the finisher wasn’t quite as impressive as it looked, but hey, it was still really cool to watch. Scrull and Ospreay have words after the match, and that leaves us with our final match of the evening tonight, as Scurll and Ospreay will do battle for the TV title, and that match will happen….after these great ads!

We’re back with Kevin, who tells us that ROH will return to the UK in 2017, so stay tuned for that announcement. We recap what we’ve seen so far, with Scurll challenging Ospreay for the title on the last night of the tour. And let’s watch that match right now!

We have now arrived at York Hall in London, England! And there’s music of Marty Scurll! By the by, I really do enjoy his music in ROH quite a bit; it fits his character. And here comes the NEW Ring of Honor World TV champion, Will Ospreay! We get the big-time ring introductions, and we’re off…after the following great ads!

We’re back!

Will Ospreay (c) vs “The Villain” Marty Scurll – Ring of Honor World TV title match

We’re joined in progress as Scurll has a front facelock, with Ospreay rolling through it trying to break, he does into a wristlock and a headlock, then back to the wristlock. Marty spins on the mat to reverse, Ospreay kips up to reverse again, Scurll reverses again to the hammerlock, then goes through the legs of Will to trip him up, Ospreay kicks him off, side headlock takeover by Will, headscissors by Marty to break, side headlock takeover by Marty, headscissors by Will to break. Dueling legsweeps by both guys and now Scurll runs the ropes, they trade spots and Ospreay runs them, headscissors takeover by Ospreay, Ospreay bounces an armdrag attempt by Scrull off the top into one of his own, Marty rolls through it and comes off with a ‘rana, Ospreay does handstand out of that and goes for a kick that Marty ducks. Will goes for a moonsault, Scurll moves, Will lands on his feet, legsweep attempt by Scurll, Ospreay flips over it, chickenwing attempt by Marty! Will stops that by throwing Scurll over his shoulder, and we’ve got a stalemate as the crowd lets them know that they’re awesome. And they are.

Back to a standing position now, and the crowd is seriously torn, with both guys playing to the crowd as the dueling chants continue. Scurll takes control with a kick to the gut, forearm to the back, chop by Marty. Uppercut by Scrull, and he does some chicken moves, so Ospreay punishes his showboating with a dropkick and some good old-fashioned pose mockin’! Chop by Will, straight forearm by Will, and Ospreay goes for an Octopus, locking Marty up. Ospreay takes him down to the mat for two. Uppercut by Will, Irish whip is reversed, Ospreay avoids a charging Scurll against the ropes to send Marty to the floor, Will over the top rope to the apron, shooting star press off the apron to Scurll! “British Wrestling!” is the chant from the crowd now, as Will hits Marty with a few uppercuts and tosses him back in, but Marty rolls back out the other side, then goes under the ring to ambush Ospreay with a clothesline from behind! Scurll takes a victory lap around the ring, and here’s a way that you can be winner; watch these great ads!

We’re back in the ring and Will drops Marty with a headbutt to the chest, then goes for the Rainmaker, but Marty grabs the fingers to put a stop to that, Scurll breaks the fingers of Ospreay! I love how Marty can’t stand it when he does it, but he’s a villain, so he just has to. He charges Will in the corner, but gets caught on the second rope and gets his head tucked, Will goes for the kick but has to pause because of the pain in his fingers, and that allows Marty to get up the double boot to catch Will coming in. Marty loads Will up, brainbuster attempt countered to a stunner from Ospreay! Running shooting star press by Will! Moonsault attempt by Will, Marty moves, Will lands on his feet and tries again, Scurll moves again, Will lands on his feet and hits another shooting star! Ospreay off the ropes, corkscrew moonsault to Scurll! Will goes for the cutter off the second rope to finish, Marty catches him mid-air in the chickenwing! Ospreay’s caught in the center, but he rolls over onto the shoulders of Marty! 1, 2, NO! Back up, enzuigiri by Will! Ospreay off the ropes, pop-up powerbomb from Scurll! Scurll runs the ropes now, lariat from Marty turns Will inside-out! Ospreay kicks out at one! Scurll comes out from the corner, DDT Destroyer! 1, 2, NO!! Marty doesn’t know what to do, so he goes out and gets his umbrella; he gets back in and measures Will, who gives him the English finger, AKA the peace sign, so Marty drops the umbrella and breaks the fingers of Will! He grabs the other hand and breaks the fingers on that hand! Running knee to the face of Ospreay by Scurll! Marty lays into him with stomps to the head, and now it’s chickenwing time! He locks the hands and falls backwards, locking it in! Cranks it, cranks it…..Ospreay TAPS!!! Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a NEW Ring of Honor World TV champion! (Marty Scull over Will Ospreay, submission, 9:09)

WORTH WATCHING? – Okay, again, full disclosure – I’ve seen the uncut match, which is more than twice as long at 20 minutes+, and it’s AWESOME. And so was this. YES, these two have obviously worked together a long time and it shows, as the opening sequence was fun to watch, but I loved the finish more than anything, as the bad guy won doing bad guy things, but he still won cleanly with a submission. I’m aware that these guys have fought a bunch, but I urge that you seek out the uncut match, as it’s about as well as these two can do against each other. Anyway, two good pro wrestlers putting on a good match is pretty much an automatic thumbs up from me.

Post-match, Scurll celebrates with the belt in the ring as Corino pronounces that the Era of the Villain has begun!

Back to Kelly for the wrap-up, as he tells us to buy the VOD or the soon-to-be released DVDs of the Reach for the Sky tour. Next week, it’s the best of 2016, including matches from ROH live events never before seen on TV! And we’re out.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: This was the Will and Marty show, as there was a clear connecting thread for the entire episode to recap the tour. I have zero complaints about this, as I’m a huge fan of Scurll and I dig Ospreay as well. This was a good hour of wrestling television, with more than a half an hour of in-ring action, and it was a good way to intro both Ospreay and Scurll to the ROH crowd who may not know them very well. Big-time thumbs up for ROH TV this week.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter