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Ring of Honor – April 26th, 2017

Howdy!

Back where I belong.

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

For those not following my personal life (AKA pretty much all of you), I now own a stake in a comic book store, and that process has consumed my life pretty much completely for the last few weeks. Something had to give, so I’ve given up recapping 205 Live for the foreseeable future, and will be focusing solely on the Ring of Honor from here on in. I just couldn’t give up the honorable ring, I suppose. Time to get recappin’!

Ring of Honor TV – 4/26/17

Still photos from Supercard of Honor start us off.

We are TAPED from the William J Myers Pavillion in Baltimore, Maryland! Your hosts are Ian Riccaboni & Colt Cabana.

And we’re starting off with the champ already in the ring! “My name is Christopher Daniels, I am the World Champion…..of the World, and you are watching Ring of Honor wrestling!” Yeah! We sure are! Tell us more, champ! As you can see by this belt in his hands, the reign of the almighty continues! He defeated Dalton Castle in front of the largest crowd in Ring of Honor history, but that was just the first step! He faces Matt Taven in Dearborn, Michigan (crowd: “meh”) and at the War of the Worlds PPV, he’ll be facing the winner of a 4-way match next week on ROH TV between Jay White (THAT would be cool, but no way it’s happening), Silas Young (nope), Adam Page (ditto), and Jay Lethal (probably). But another contender made his presence felt, as Cody Rhodes jumped him from behind at Supercard of Honor! Well, Cody didn’t need to do that – all he needed to do was ask! So, ROH officials, let’s get that match made! Crowd is happy about this.

And there’s the music of Cody Rhodes! Perhaps he has some feelings on this subject. Let’s watch! “Almighty. Almighty, Mr. Christopher Daniels.” Also dubbed the Fallen Angel; with a name like that, he expected Daniels to be covered in some stardust of something! SICK BURN, CODY. Cody doesn’t understand; if Daniel is saying he’s a contender, why not here and now? Why not tonight? Daniels looks ready to do it, but Cody changes his mind after asking the crowd, saying that it’s not happening here, wherever they are. Because it’s not worth it for him to compete for the ROH World championship here in…..Baltimore? No, no, not tonight. But Daniels did mention the War of the Worlds PPV in Hammerstein Ballroom; Daniels interrupts, asking if Cody wants his title match to happen there, in New York City? Cody very much does. Daniels says that if it were up to him, he’d make it happen; Cody says hey, you’re the World champ! Isn’t it up to Daniels? Cody doesn’t pay any damn dues or follow protocol; he was born a Rhodes! Cody can see what’s really going on here; as long as Daniels is the champ, the title has integrity! It’s like the Ring of Honor of old! Slow you role there, Cody. Let’s not get crazy here. Cody asks if you could imagine if some outsider, this guy who doesn’t even work for the company full-time, what if that guy took that title from Daniels? Could you imagine? And with that, Cody takes his leave as Daniels poses with the belt.

Good promo from both guys there. Cody nailed the way to get ROH fans to boo you; insult the promotion instead of insulting the fans. And with that, we’ll check out these great ads!

We’re back with some stills from Scurll/Cole at Supercard of Honor, which has improved quite a bit for me on the rewatch. Long live the villain!

Let’s go to Frankie Kazarian. “Who doesn’t like a good villain?” Hell, Frankie does! And Scurll, you’re a great bad guy! But tonight, you face an unsung hero in professional wrestling, a man who has been overlooked for years! Tonight, in mere moments, he takes the chip off his shoulder and replaces it with the ROH TV title! Get that umbrella ready, lad; because tonight, it’s raining blood!

Back to the ring and the music of Lio Rush! He makes his way out for what I believe will be the final time in ROH. I’ll miss him a bunch. Let’s take a look at Rush’s past history with the Rebellion, and Shane Taylor turning on Rush to join the Rebellion. And now, we see that Caprice Coleman has made his way out with a mic; he almost feels bad for Rush, they gave him a chance to join, but now he has to face Shane Taylor!

Lio Rush vs Shane Taylor (w/ Caprice Coleman)

No Code of Honor. Man, I don’t like Rush’s chances here. Taylor outweighs him by approximately 4,000 pounds (that’s a scientific fact). Taylor with a pieface to start, so Rush slaps him. Bad idea jeans there. Rush ducks a shot and fires away at Taylor, but Taylor levels him with a kick. Rush comes with one of his own, Taylor catches it and flips him, Taylor charges Rush against the ropes, Rush pulls down the top and Shane tumbles to the floor. Rush with a kick through the ropes, Lio off the ropes with a baseball slide, Taylor steps out of the way and knees him in the gut on the floor. Taylor tries to send him back in, Rush attempts a ‘rana off the apron, Taylor catches him and goes for a powerbomb, Lio catches the ropes to block and hits a kick. Again! Lio springs off the second rope with a crossbody, but Taylor catches him and runs him into the post, then presses him and drops him on the apron. Let’s drop out for a moment to watch some great ads!

We’re back with Rush trying a comeback, but Taylor tries a goozle. Rush jumps out of that and fires chops in the corner, cross-corner whip is reversed by Taylor as Rush gets run into the buckles and ends up crashing to the apron. Big splash from Taylor in the corner, that gets two. Rush fires a right hand, which perturbs Taylor. He peppers Shane with palm strikes, they run the ropes (with Taylor doing a drop-down that impresses the announcers – come on guys, I know he’s a big dude, but it’s a DROP-DOWN. For God’s sake.), Rush does a Matrix dodge and hits a kick to the head, then a spinning kick hits Taylor. Rush off the ropes, he slips out of a sideslam and hits a DDT! 1, 2, no! Coleman up on the apron now, and Rush knocks him to the floor with a back handspring, then a tope through the ropes! Rush goes up, lands on his feet after Shane moves out of the way of a frog splash, then Taylor MURDERS him with a lariat. Chokebomb by Shane follows, and Rush is a quivering pile of jelly on the mat. The 3 count is academic. (Shane Taylor over Lio Rush, pinfall, 5:45)

WORTH WATCHING? – Well, if that was the end for Lio Rush in ROH, it was pretty anti-climactic. I like him and I like Taylor, but this wasn’t much. NO, I’d skip here. The match was fine, I suppose, but below the standard I want from these guys. Lio Rush is going to be something special, though; ROH should have thrown money at him to get him to stay, honestly. I’m sure he’ll be in NXT before long after he’s done with EVOLVE, so good luck to him.

Post-match, Taylor poses as we watch the replays. Sabin and Shelley come in to check on Rush, and that allows Taylor and Coleman to attack. Ian says that Taylor has the winner’s end of the purse! I like this dude. Caprice sets up Sabin, Taylor splashes him from the second rope! Yikes.

Top Prospect tournament recap. This is not like last year; none of these guys are really tripping my trigger this time around like Rush and Kincaid did last year. The Finals are tonight! And they’ll probably air sometime after these great ads!

We’re back and we’ve been joined by Brutal Bob Evans! Good, he’s pretty decent at this commentary thing. Time for the Finals of the Top Prospect tourney! And there’s the music of John Skyler! Earlier, Skyler tells us that he worked 9 years for this shot, and tonight, he becomes THE Top Prospect in Ring of Honor! And now, his opponent, Josh Woods makes his way out! Tonight, he’ll prove why he’s the #1 seed in this event; anyone can get knocked out or tap out!

Josh “The Goods” Woods vs “The Southern Savior” John Skyler

Code of Honor is followed. Circle and a lockup and John controls with a wristlock, Woods takes him down to the mat and rolls him into a one-count off a waistlock. More decent wrestling and Woods gets an armbar. Skyler back to his feet, so Woods goes to a wristlock, Skyler reverses and takes a headlock. Josh shoots him off and takes him over in a Fireman’s carry and grabs a wristlock, Skyler reverses that by grabbing the hair into a standing cravat from John. Snapmare, but Josh lands on his feet and hits a jumping knee to drop Skyler, who heads to the ropes for a breather. Woods goes over, but gets caught and necksnapped on the top rope. Skyler stomps away to send Woods to the floor and send us to watch some great ads!

We’re back as we see that during the break, Skyler bent Woods against the ringpost and is in control. Skyler with a jumping senton out of the corner. That gets one. Woods tries to fire back, but the Irish whip is reversed and Skyler buries a shoulder into Woods. Chinlock against the ropes by Skyler, snapmare and another senton. That gets one again. This match isn’t very good. John goes for a 3rd senton, but Woods moves and catches a cross-armbreaker! Will Skyler tap? No, instead he maneuvers around to stack Josh up for two. Fireman’s carry slam by Skyler. 1, 2, no. Woods fights up with rights and throws knees, a few big fights, belly to belly suplex! 1, 2, no! Woods with a running knee in the corner that barely connects. He puts Skyler on the top rope, but John catches him, Woods wiggles free and hits him with a big right on the top. They exchange suplex attempts and Skyler brings Woods to the apron, they exchange rights, Skyler with a big bicycle kick, then a spear on the apron! Woods back in, Skyler springs in with a spear through the ropes! 1, 2, NO! Skyler goes for it again, but Woods is able to hit him with a knee. Skyler tries to spring in, but gets caught on the shoulders of Woods, spinning Go to Sleep! 1, 2, NO! Skyler slaps Woods, Woods fires back, Woods springs off the rope, superkick by Skyler for two. Running European uppercut by Skyler, he tries a second and gets caught in a waistlock by Woods; Woods runs him into the buckles, Chaos Theory by Josh! 1, 2, NO!! Oh, come on. Woods immediately goes to a cross-armbreaker, Skyler tries to get out, but gives up the knee and Woods switches to a kneebar, and that’s enough for Skyler, who taps out and gives the tournament to Woods. Skyler should have won. (Josh Woods over John Skyler, submission, 9:05)

WORTH WATCHING? – Blech. Woods is nowhere near ready for this. He was moving awkwardly, his transitions were slow and way too telegraphed with no variety. This was like watching a bad Young Lions match in NJPW. NO, I think you can give this one a pass. Skyler has some potential and some charisma, but Woods needs a LOT of work before he’s going to be even passable. It’s a top prospect tournament, I get that, but going from Lio Rush last year to this dude is just…..I don’t know, I just don’t see it with Woods. If he wants to work this type of hybrid MMA style, he should just be watching Kyle O’Reilly tapes forever, because that will teach him something.

Post-match, David Starr comes out and nails Woods in the back of the head! “Congratulations, Josh Woods!” You’re Ring of Honor’s top prospect! Now, let him formally introduce himself; he’s (insert 1,000 or so nicknames here) David Starr! And he is really good at professional wrestling! Colt agrees! Starr leaves the ring with Woods laying. I haven’t seen much of Starr’s work, but I’m more intrigued by him than I am by Woods.

Let’s hear from Adam Cole, shall we? “I’m not going to beg. I’m not going to plead.” Young Bucks, all he’s asking is that you listen to him! He knows that he said some things he didn’t mean, they said some things they didn’t mean, but they need to put this behind them and go back to what they do best – they need to go back to being Bullet Club!

For those not in the know, Cole attempted to ‘fire’ the Bucks from the Bullet Club a few episodes ago, and the Bucks responded by saying that Cole wasn’t the leader of the Bullet Club; Kenny Omega was, seemingly putting Adam on the outs with the Bucks and the rest of the Bullet Club.

By the way, NXT Takeover Chicago is about a month away. Just saying.

Wonder who’ll be in the crowd?

And with that bit of uneasy portent, let’s check out some fine ads!

“Worship us!” We’re back and it’s main event time! Frankie Kazarian makes his way to the ring, and he wants da belt! He earned this shot by winning the 6-man elimination match at the 15th Anniversary show. Turn those lights off – the Villain is here! The best entrance music in wrestling signals the arrival of the Ring of Honor World TV champion, Marty Scurll! The announcers run down all of the wrestlers that Scurll has defeated during his run as the champ while the crowd chants his name. Because this man is a STAR, and he acts like it.

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

Both guys uneasily dance around it for a second, then decide against the Code of Honor. Circle and a lockup, Scurll with a waistlock, countered to a wristlock by Frankie. Scrull rolls through and reverses that into a headlock takeover, countered with a headscissors by Frankie for the stalemate. Scurll gives Kaz a hand for that, then shoves him. Side headlock by Kaz, Scurll shoots him off, Frankie runs through him with a shoulder. They run the ropes again, Kaz hooking the top to avoids Marty, who gives a wing flap in response. I love this man in only a barely platonic way. Anyway, Kaz no-likey and he levels Marty with a right, whip to the ropes, Scurll to the apron and he points at his head to remind the fans how smart they are because they’re cheering for him. Frankie comes up from behind and grabs him by the hair, then legdrops him as Scurll attempts to come through the second rope. Kaz leaps to the apron and goes for a DDT on the apron, but MISSES it and they barely avoid disaster as Scurll is able to somersault over before hitting the floor. He could have easily broken his neck there. And hopefully there would have been some potential medical remedies available to him if he, like us, would have watched the following great ads!

We’re back as we see that during the break, Scurll took control with a superkick from the apron, and now he’s got a wristlock on Kaz that he snaps over the shoulder. He cranks on it some more, but Kaz reverses out to send Marty to the mat. Back elbow by Kaz! Clothesline by Kaz! Again! Irish whip into a follow-through hiptoss by Frankie! Lungblower by Kaz into the Unprettier! 1, 2, NO! Kaz off the ropes, Scurll fakes the superkick, Frankie covers up but was goldbricking as Marty tries to go low, Kaz catches the leg and flips him over into a three-quarters front slam for two. Whip is reversed into an armwringer by Scurll, who lowers the arm to the mat and stomps on the elbow. Off the ropes, Kaz with a forearm and he tries a springboard off the middle, but Marty is ready and sweeps his legs out to send Frankie crashing down. Scurll signals for the chickenwing, but Frankie counters into a fireman’s carry roll for two, countered back by Marty into a crucifix for two. Kaz with a kick to the gut, suplex attempt is reversed by Scurll into a brainbuster! 1, 2, NO! Scurll is frustrated, so he goes out to get his trusty umbrella to calm himself down. Perfectly understandable, if you think about it. Frankie interrupts this mental health moment because he’s a jerk and nails Marty with a right hand, slingshot cutter by Kaz! 1, 2, NO! Kaz is frustrated one now, but he takes too long and Scurll catches him by the hand when Frankie reaches down, Scurll breaks the fingers of Kaz! Marty goes back out for his umbrella again, but as he’s sliding back in the ring, Frankie puts his foot down literally, as in on the umbrella. Kaz takes it away and threatens to use it, but the ref manages to get it away from Kaz, allowing Marty to slide out again, this time going under the ring to find some white powder. Colt Cabana: “Marty likes to party!” Scurll back in and the powder is thrown at Kaz, who ducks, so the powder hits the ref instead. Ace of Spades hits for Kaz, but there’s no ref, and now Adam Page comes down to join us at ringside. Kaz jaws with him and Marty goes for the Chickenwing, but Kaz is able to roll him up. 1, 2, Scurll kicks out, sending Kaz towards Page, who clobbers him with a chair into a cradle from Marty to retain. (Marty Scurll over Frankie Kazarian, pinfall, 8:18)

WORTH WATCHING? – Man, this was not a good match for some reason. Kaz has been on a good roll recently, and Scurll has been, well, Scurll, so he’s been one of the best workers in the world for quite some time; that having been said, I’m going with a NO on this one, for a few reasons, not all of them bad. 1: the interference was a little much, even though I fully acknowledge that Page being pissed off at Kaz’s betrayal of the Bullet Club is perfectly reasonable and a logical storyline, and 2: they had communication problems and the match didn’t flow very well, not just with the missed DDT off the apron. It felt like there were at least two points where they couldn’t get on the same page with the match. I like both dudes just fine and mostly enjoy their work, but this was a miss on my end.

Post-match, Daniels comes down to check on Kaz while protesting what happened to the ref. They take their leave, and now Scurll has a mic! “Surprise, surprise, the villain does it again!” He came all the way to Ring of Honor for competition, but he’s beaten them all; there is no more competition!

Well, the music seemingly disagrees, because that there is one Matt Sydal! Making his return to ROH, he comes down and points at Marty, then at the belt! Matt wants da belt! Scurll exits the ring as they exchange some trash talk, but the bottom line is that Matt Sydal is back and he wants the ROH TV title! And we’re done for the week on ROH TV.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: This wasn’t the best episode of this show ring-wise by any stretch of the imagination. No standout matches at all to recommend. Now, we did move some goalposts that needed to be moved, something that ROH can sometimes be quite slow about doing, in that we had the insertion of Cody into the World title picture, we kept the angle going with Page/Kazarian, and we got Sydal back to start the challenge for the TV belt. So all of that is good. But as for the between-the-ropes stuff, this week is a pretty hard pass on my front. At least the Top Prospect is finally over.

SIGN JONATHAN GRES–

Wait a sec, they did? Huh. Power I didn’t even know I had.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter