Ring of Honor – January 11th, 2017


Still processing Wrestle Kingdom 11 over here.

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 1/11/17

We start off with recaps from our last original episode of ROH TV, in which Christopher Daniels advanced in the Decade of Excellence tournament by defeating Mark Briscoe. “A long time ago, men had a dream of what professional could be, and should be!” That dream became a reality in 2002, and one of the men who made that a reality was Christopher Daniels! And no matter where he went, he always came back and set the standard for excellence! The commentators, the fans, they all ask how Daniels can still do it at his age, and the reason is simple – there’s no expiration date on destiny! And Daniels will fulfill that destiny because he is almighty!

We are TAPED from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.

And we open with BJ Whitmer already in the ring! Oh BOY! And he’s even got Kevin Sullivan and Punishment Martinez at ringside with him, but he doesn’t have a microphone, so there’s hope for this segment yet! “Reach for the sky, boy!” That can only mean that his opponent will be one Jay Briscoe! Jay makes his way to the ring as we hear some comments from him. He’s been here since Day 1, and he’s ready to beat Whitmer in the first round; the winner will advance to face the winner of Jay Lethal and Jushin Liger.

Jay Briscoe vs BJ Whitmer (w/ Kevin Sullivan & Punishment Martinez)

Code of Honor is declined by Whitmer. Go-behind by Briscoe and a shove to Whitmer from Jay. Headlock by Jay, Whitmer shoots him off, Briscoe tries a shoulder that BJ stands up to, and now we exchange shots in the ring. Jay gets the advantage with a headbutt, so BJ pokes him in the eyes and sends him to the buckle. Overhand chops from Whitmer, then kicks in the corner. Irish whip by BJ, but Jay comes off with a forearm to knock BJ to the mat; he gets BJ back up in a corner, then a cross-corner whip followed by a splash hammers BJ. Briscoe off the ropes, but BJ avoids it and hits a shitty clothesline to Jay. Briscoe back up though, and a he takes BJ over with a ‘rana and a clothesline for two. Irish whip by Jay, reversed by BJ and Sullivan grabs the foot of Jay from the outside. Briscoe goes after Kevin, but Martinez steps in front of Sullivan as BJ comes up from behind Jay. Whitmer goes to the eyes and sends Jay to the barricade, and that’ll send us to watch these great ads!

We’re back with Martinez crotching Briscoe on the ringpost while the ref’s back is turned, and BJ covers for two. Jay hits a shot to get some room, then catches a charging Whitmer with a back elbow. Briscoe fires fists now, Irish whip and a dropkick by Jay, sending BJ to the floor. Jay comes off the ropes, tope by Jay Briscoe! Nobody does it crazier. Time Bomb neckbreaker by Jay back in the ring. 1, 2, no! Headbutts by Jay, but BJ clocks him with a right hand to escape a front facelock, then hits a snap German suplex for two. Exploder attempt by BJ, but Briscoe elbows out and hits a Death Valley Driver. 1, 2, NO! Right hands from BJ, and Whitmer spits on Briscoe! Oh, I wouldn’t do that. Jay levels him with uppercuts, Briscoe off the ropes, BJ with a right hand and the exploder for two! BJ looks over to Sullivan, who apparently tells him not to worry about the pin and says to sacrifice Jay instead. Oh JOY. BJ gets the spike from Sullivan and goes to jam it into Jay’s head, but Mark Briscoe runs down to distract BJ and run through the ring to hit a tope onto Martinez on the other side. Jay back up, big boot from Briscoe! Jaydriller! 1, 2, 3. (Jay Briscoe over BJ Whitmer, pinfall, 8:28)

WORTH WATCHING? – Match wasn’t really that great, just a bunch of punch-kicky stuff. I’m going with a NO on this one, as there really wasn’t much to watch; there didn’t seem to be any actual narrative, it was just ‘get to the finish for the spike’, which didn’t make much sense anyway (or maybe it did, I hate the Whitmer/Sullivan bullshit and barely have much of an idea what’s going on), and there was basically zero chance that Jay Briscoe was losing to BJ Whitmer. Take a hard pass on this one.

Post-match, we see that Briscoe has advanced and the brothers exit the ring as BJ gets a mic. You can imagine how happy I am at THAT development. “It is written that one must be sacrificed, and next week, we finish this!” Oh man, I swear to God, if next week is the end of this crap, I’ll suffer through a whole hour of it so long as it is NEVER SPOKEN OF AGAIN.

Up next, we’ve got the Kingdom vs…..Cheeseburger and his friends. What did I DO? First Kyle, now THIS? Maybe my priest was telling the truth about what masturb- hey, let’s check out these great ads!

We’re back with Silas Young and the Beer City Bruiser making their way to the ring. Never been happier to see these guys. Their opponents, of the ‘already in the ring’ variety, are Alex Reynolds and Jon Silver. I’m not feeling like they’re going to have a great chance in this one.

Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser vs Alex Reynolds & Jon Silver

Code of Honor is declined by Young and the Bruiser attacking before the bell. You know, I’m getting the feeling that Silas Young doesn’t particularly care for the Code of Honor. Young goes to work on Alex with a wristlock, but Reynolds shows some fire and fights back, springing off the ropes to armdrag Silas, then hitting a nice dropkick! Go get ’em, Alex! Give the city of ‘already in the ring’ their first win in ages! Tag to Jon, and they double team Young with kicks, then a double armdrag into a sitout flapjack for two! Young comes back with a knee, and tag to the Bruiser. Bruiser fights him off, but runs into a boot from Silver on a blind charge in the corner. Jon goes for a suplex, but come on. Bruiser reverses, but Silver floats over and tags in Reynolds, double dropkick sends the Bruiser against the ropes. Silas takes the opportunity to blind tag the Bruiser, Alex with a shot to Young on the apron, but he turns around and gets thrown in the air and dropped face first by Beer City. Young with a clothesline and a waistlock, Bruiser off the ropes, clothesline/German suplex combo to Alex! 1, 2, no! Reynolds fights them off in the corner, but gets yanked to the mat by the Bruiser, and Young makes a tag. Tag back to Silas and we get a double team as they drop Reynolds in the corner, butt splash by the Bruiser, running knee by Silas, cannonball by the Bruiser. 1, 2, no! Cravat by Young now, Alex fights up, Silas sends him back to the heel corner. Alex tries to fight out again and does, tag to Jon! Clotheslines by Silver! Big beel throw by Jon! Another one! Bruiser comes in, enzuigiri by Silver to the Bruiser! He loads the Bruiser up again, gets him over for the suplex! Silver poses for the crowd, but he fails to notice Young coming up behind him. Silas with shots, a kick, then a whip to the corner. Young charges, Silver moves! Kick to the head from Silver! Alex in, Silver whips Young into a right hand from Reynolds, another kick from Silver, Codebreaker from Alex into a German from Jon! 1, 2, NO! They had me for a brief second there. Bruiser back in and it’s breaking loose in Philly. They try a cross-corner whip in tandem on the Bruiser, but that doesn’t go anywhere. Alex whips Jon at the Bruiser in the corner, but Silver gets alley-ooped to the apron, Alex tries his luck on his own now, but Bruiser takes him over in a Falcon Arrow. Silver goes up, jumps over a charging Bruiser, but gets caught in the corner and takes a kick/splash combo from Young and the Bruiser. Short-arm clothesline by the Bruiser, Young springs in with a double stomp, Bruiser goes up, butt splash off the ropes to Jon! Young goes over the top with a jackknife pin, 1, 2, 3! (Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser over Jon Silver & Alex Reynolds, pinfall, 4:50)

WORTH WATCHING? – Surprisingly, YES, this one is worth checking out. This was some really fun tag wrestling, as the Bruiser and Young tried to walk all over these dudes, and they fought back hard, only losing due to an ending combination in a match they could have easily won. Young and the Bruiser gave these guys a bunch and sold well for them, making them look like a credible threat before dropping the hammer. This was a fun 5 minutes of tag wrestling that could have been straight-up squash, and I’m glad they didn’t go that direction. I would not object to seeing a bit more of Messrs Silver and Reynolds after this, and that’s a good thing for these types of matches to do.

Post-match, Young has something to say. “Now I know, the last couple of months, we’ve been looking for that 3rd man!” And after seeing those 6-man tag titles at Final Battle, it got Young thinking; maybe there is one guy that could be right, the perfect fit for them. He’s got a surprise for the Bruiser and here he comes – it’s Bull James! The former Bull Dempsey makes his way to the ring, and he IS a good fit for these guys! I agree with Young! Bruiser wants to know why; well, because, like Young and the Bruiser, he’s a no-nonsense type of guy, that he can get hit and then hit back harder! But here’s the most important part: after the shows, Bull is the type of guy that likes to go out and have 10, 20, 30 beers! Yeah! If there’s anything I’D want in a tag partner, it’s the ability to consume copious amounts of alcohol! Crowd agrees! So, Bruiser, Young knows what he’s thinking, right? And Silas is thinking…..he’s NOT the guy! And the beatdown is on, as they double team Bull, culminating in a Bruiser frog splash from the top! Man, why would you beat down a guy who might have bought the beers?

Eh, if he can drink 30 at a time, he might have hogged all of them anyway. I get it. Good decision, guys! I wonder if there’s any beer commercials during these fine ads!

We’re back to the music of Cheeseburger. I think it’s about time for me to start drinking 30 beers myself. He’s out with Will Ferrara (cool) & Joey Daddiego (meh) for this 6-man tag team match. “Who doesn’t love Cheeseburger?” says Nigel; I can think of a particular recapper, Mr. McGuinness. And there’s the music of our 6-Man tag champs, the Kingdom! Bitchin’ music, guys. We take a look back at Final Battle, as the Kingdom won the belts at that show. Oh, and Matt Taven wiped his ass with some toilet paper and threw it back to the crowd. That was a real thing that happened.

The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, & Vinny Marseglia) vs Cheeseburger, Will Ferrara, & Joey Daddiego – Proving Ground match

If Cheeseburger’s team wins, they get a title shot. Looks like we’re going to get a Code of Honor…..never mind, Vinny just changed his mind and kicked Cheeseburger in the chest. And now it’s a Kingdom beatdown, as they clear the ring except for Cheeseburger and go for the triple-team powerbomb (called the Supernova), but Joey and Will pull down the ropes on the other side to send TK and Vinny crashing to the floor. Burger fights off Taven, then sunset flips him out of the corner and gets a headscissors takeover. TK back in now, but he misses a charge to Burger in the corner and eats a splash from Will, then Burger jumps off the back of Ferrara with an elbow to TK, then an assisted knee sends O’Ryan to the floor. Vinny tries his luck now, and he ends up in the corner, he fights off a charging Will with a back elbow, then a boot to a charging Cheeseburger, then a knee to a charging Joey. Springboard crossbody attempt on Daddiego, but he gets caught with a fallaway slam that sends Vinny to the floor, and now the faces take a moment to pose, and we’ll take a moment (seriously? This match is going to be 2 segments?) to check out some of these great ads!

We’re back with the Kingdom cutting the ring in half and beating down Will in the corner. Ferrara manages to fight out briefly, but gets carried right back to the corner and kicked by all 3 members of the Kingdom, then Vinny runs across the ring and takes out Burger and Joey on the apron. Running start from Marseglia, TK carries Will on his back, running kick/jawbreaker combo on Will! Seated clothesline from TK! That gets two. Back to the buckle with Will, tag to Taven. Double team attempt, but we get some heel miscommunication on a double Irish whip and TK spears Taven. O’Ryan charges, but Will pulls down the top rope to send him to the floor, and it’s hot tag to Burger. He takes out Vinny on the apron, then takes it to Matt! Chops in the corner by Burger! Taven shoves him off, but Burger ducks a clothesline and hits Matt with a superkick, then a DDT. He signals for the Shotei palm strike, but TK is back in to break that up. Joey in now, and he shoves TK off, but takes a sitout uranage from Vinny, now Will with a jumping Flatliner on Marseglia, big boot from Taven to take out Will follows. Burger avoids a Taven charge in the corner, palm strike from Burger! He signals for another one, but TK avoids it and goes to the eyes. Pumphandle by TK, sitout Tombstone by O’Ryan! That was cool. Vinny follows with a swanton, and Taven finishes things with a frog splash off the top. (The Kingdom over Cheeseburger, Will Ferrara, & Joey Daddiego, pinfall, 5:31)

WORTH WATCHING? – There was almost literally zero drama in this match. The Cheeseburger all-stars had a few hope spots, but it was pretty boring overall. NO, I’d give this one a pass; there just wasn’t much here to watch. Contrast it with the tag match from earlier, which went about the same time and told a better story with the wrestlers hitting better moves crisper and more fluidly. Skip it.

Post-match, the Kingdom poses with their belts as Kelly proclaims that the Kingdom is at the top of the ROH 6-Man division! I mean, yeah – what division, exactly? That’s one of my complaints about this, there really isn’t much of a ‘division’ for them to be on top of, just a bunch of thrown together teams here and there.

Anyway, let’s go to footage from Final Battle, as the Bucks retained the ROH World Tag team titles and were interrupted by a certain Broken Matt Hardy, who laid down the challenge on behalf of himself and Brother Nero Hardy. ‘Delete’ is said a bunch.

Well, let’s hear what the Bucks have to say about that, as here come the Jackson brothers! They’re trying to get on my good side by actually wearing the belts. Matt Jackson: “First off, I’d like to apologize about losing my voice; I was screaming for joy after my brother and I signed the most lucrative contract in company history!” Crowd gives them an appreciative “Thanks for staying!” chant – looking at my Top 10 matches from ROH this year, I can’t deny that the Bucks can bring it in the ring when they want to, I just wish they did it more often instead of their usual silliness. Nick tells us now that after they retained their titles at Final Battle against the Briscoes, that made them the best tag team in ROH history! Yeah, no. But, while they were celebrating, the lights turned out (crowd chants ‘delete’) and Matt Hardy appeared and said he was coming for the Bucks! Well, you see, these two spot monkeys can’t be broken and they won’t be deleted!

And the lights go out.

And when they come back up, Matt Hardy’s drone is in the ring with the Bucks. “Vanguard One!” chants the crowd! The Bucks line it, superkick to Vanguard One! Vanguard One is down! I repeat, Vanguard One is down! The Bucks celebrate as we head to watch some great ads.

I have no idea how I feel about any of this, to be perfectly frank. Could be fun, I guess. Could be really stupid. Could be both.

We’re back to the music of Colt Cabana for another 1st-round match in the Decade of Excellence tournament! He makes his way out to the EVIL REMIX~! of his music. And that’s the music of one Chris Sabin! He makes his way to the ring with Alex Shelley, and he’s representing the Motor City Machine Guns. The winner of this one will take on Christopher Daniels in next round as Alex Shelley has joined us on commentary.

Colt Cabana vs Chris Sabin (w/ Alex Shelley)

Code of Honor is followed. Circle and Colt gets a quick wristlock, Sabin rolls through and armdrags Colt, Cabana back to the arm, Sabin with another armdrag to escape. Go-behind by Colt, back elbow by Sabin, Chris off the ropes and he catches Colt with a double-leg, Cabana rolls him up for two in response. Lockup and they go to the corner, clean break…..nah, Cabana chops him. Cross-corner whip, blind charge by Cabana hits the boot of Sabin, dropkick to Colt’s knee by Chris. La Majistral gets two for Sabin. Reverse thrust kick by Sabin, another kick by Chris, cross-corner whip but Cabana puts on the brakes. Colt comes out of the corner, Sabin takes him to the mat and runs through him with a kick. Sabin goes up, high crossbody! 1, 2, no! Sabin with the wristlock, Colt backs him to the corner, Colt goes for the cheapshot again but Sabin isn’t falling for it this time and he ducks it and gets one of his own. Arm-wringer, Colt rolls through and reverses, Sabin reverses, Colt wraps himself around the ref and takes a cheapshot with a right hand. That was nifty by Cabana there. Colt dumps Sabin to the floor and dumps us to our last ad break of the evening!

We’re back with Sabin hitting a right hand, but he comes off the ropes and runs right into an elbow from Cabana. During the break, Colt put the beatdown on Sabin outside right next to Alex, then did some commentary using Alex’s mic for good measure. Back to live action and Colt drops an elbow for two, then puts on a loose Camel Clutch. Sabin bites Colt to escape and gets up, firing rights, but charges Colt in the corner and runs right into an elbow. Cabana goes up and mocks Sabin’s hand gesture, but the stutter splash misses as Sabin rolls away. Colt hits boot on a blind charge, then Sabin follows that with an enzuigiri, Sabin off the top with a missile dropkick to send Colt to the floor! Sabin leaps to the apron, misses a kick, avoids getting tripped, then goes down the line to nail Colt with a kick. Sabin tosses Colt back in, springs off the second rope with a tornado DDT! 1, 2, NO! Running big boot in the corner from Chris, and he sets Colt on the top rope, but gets caught as Cabana goes for the Chicago Skyline. Sabin fights off and Colt leaps off to the mat, Colt charges and Chris leaps over him, Colt turns around and catches Sabin with a butt-butt! 1, 2, NO! Wait a second, Dalton Castle’s Boys are out, and they’re fanning off Colt! Cabana is distracted and here comes Sabin from behind. Tornado small package! 1, 2, 3! Sabin advances! (Chris Sabin over Colt Cabana, pinfall, 7:22)

WORTH WATCHING? – It’s a pretty standard heel/face match, with Colt playing a heel particularly well, I thought. I wish he would have declined the Code in the beginning, but I can live with it. YES, this one gets a pass. I really like Sabin and they put on a decent match out there, with little resting and a good, spry pace that didn’t bore me at all. Not a GREAT match or anything, but decent enough for 7 and a half minutes that I enjoyed it.

Post-match, Colt is pretty pissed as he stares down the Boys from the mat, while Alex Shelley comes in the ring to celebrate with Sabin. Colt stalks to the back as we’re promised more tournament action next week, as Jay Lethal takes on Jushin Liger! And we’re done for the week on ROH TV.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Daniels had a good opening promo, the tag match was surprisingly good for a quick one, and the main was passable. That’s about it. This was a really scattershot episode of ROH TV, as they had stuff going on in every segment with a lot of them being quick hit type stuff, such as the Bucks’ promo, the Bull James stuff with Silas, or the Kingdom match.

I mean, I’m not angling for a ****+ match every week, but if my alternative is 5 minute squash type stuff, NXT is right there. Quantity is not what I want over quality from this company, so I’d prefer we have longer, better matches. But that’s just my preference.

KYLE O’REILLY THOUGHTS: Okay, let’s talk about it. It’s literally no secret that Kyle O’Reilly is my favorite wrestler, mostly because I shout it out at every given opportunity like a deranged teenage girl seeing her favorite band (I have a 13 year old daughter who has tickets to see a band named 21 Pilots, and she’s literally marking down the days, so I get it), so if he goes to Vinceland and makes some money after all he’s given over the last few years in ROH and NJPW, more power to him and I’m genuinely happy for him. I mean that.

But there’s a selfish part of me that is disappointed, and I acknowledge that it’s a selfish part of me. I followed his quest to win that title for over a year, marked out whenever he got close, and just in general was invested in it as a fan; seeing him drop the title when he did after such a short reign was deflating for me. I was looking forward to the next year of ROH being the Kyle O’Reilly show, as he defended the title against all comers, against guys like Jay Briscoe, yes, but also against guys like Marty Scurll (check out their PWG match, BTW. It’s the match that got me into PWG, along with Bayless’ recaps), the newer guys that ROH has been bringing in.

We don’t know where he’s going, I know this, and anything could change at any moment, as Meltzer is reporting that he still hasn’t signed anywhere (although my money is on NXT and Dave has said he’s currently in negotiations with the WWE), but his profile has been taken down from ROH’s website, and he is not expected to return. On the one hand, I’ll look forward to him someday hopefully taking on Samoa Joe, or Shinsuke Nakamura, or maybe even AJ Styles if AJ’s back holds up. I’ll miss his matches against KUSHIDA and Shibata the most, but if he kept rising in NJPW, who knows? He might have ended up against Okada or Omega someday. Maybe another match or two against guys like Matt Riddle or Zack Sabre Jr in PWG.

In short, as a fan, I’m happy for him if he ends up fulfilling his dreams, whatever they are.

But I’ll miss him in ROH. I’ll miss my favorite wrestler in my favorite company.

And that’s it.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter