News for DirecTV customers: Sinclair is negotiating a new
contract with DirecTV, and if it doesn’t work out all Sinclair stations will be
pulled from the carrier on March 1st. This pisses me off more over the fact
that I may lose my Fox affiliate than it does over losing ROH TV (which I can
still watch on ROH.com, albeit 5 days later), especially with the first third
of the NASCAR season being shown of Fox. In other news, ROH has signed ACH to a
contract. Unfortunately, their first program for him is teaming him with
TaDarius Thomas. Ugh…
Kevin Steen is out to try and officially turn, cutting a
pretty intense face promo and sort of apologizing to the fans for being a dick.
Basically he wanted to kill ROH because of Jim Cornette, but with Cornette gone
he really has no reason to be pissed off anymore. He also informs us that he’s
giving Jay Lethal the title shot as a reward for getting rid of Cornette. Usual
good mic work from Steen here.
We see a pretty well done video package hyping the Top
Prospect Tournament final. Matt Taven looks more like a guy you’d see in the
X-Games than he does a wrestler when you see him in street clothes.
Top Prospect Tournament
Final: Matt Taven vs. TaDarius Thomas: Truth Martini is absent from
commentary, automatically making this match better than all the previous
tourney matches. Winner of this gets a shot at the TV title against Adam Cole
(who wasn’t even at this taping thanks to attending the WWE tryout camp) at the
PPV on Saturday. Chain wrestling to start, Taven hits a dropkick to send Thomas
down. He tries a soccer kick that misses, Thomas is back up with capoeira kicks
that actually look pretty decent for 2. Taven ducks another kick and goes up
top for a twisting bodypress that Thomas rolls through for 2. Thomas grabs a
headlock, Taven fight free and hits a spinning wheel kick for 2. Thomas hits a
couple armdrags and a dropkick as Martini shows up at ringside. Taven comes
back with punches, Thomas is selling the ribs so Taven works the midsection in
the corner. Backbreaker into a gutbuster gets 2 for Taven. Taven hits a
stalling vertical suplex, kips up, and hits a twisting springboard somersault legdrop
that makes contact with nothing but Thomas’ head. Ouch… It gets 2, at any rate.
Thomas gets a sunset flip out of the corner for 2, La Magistral for 2, but he
eats an enziguri. Irish whip by Taven is reversed, and as he comes off the ropes
Martini grabs his foot. Thomas hits the distracted Taven with a legsweep, a
running elbow and a kick to the face gets 2. Hangman’s clothesline by Thomas
for 2, Dragon suplex only gets 2 this time. Taven reverses a suplex attempt but
accidentally takes out the ref with a kick to the head. Now Martini tosses one
his boots in to Thomas, but he throws it down because he’s a face, and in this
promotion faces don’t act all heelish. Taven grabs it but swings and misses,
both guys go into the ropes where Willie Wanker nails Thomas with the Book of
Truth and Taven pins him at 8:27. Shockingly good match with pretty decent
heat. ***, easily Thomas’ best match so far, as all the kicks looked nice and
crisp and he’s starting to work non-kicking stuff into his moveset. After some initial
reluctance Taven shakes hands with Martini.
Inside ROH: Just
PPV hype. Quick promos from Charlie Hass, Coleman & Alexander, The American
Wolves, Fish (who’s dressed like an accountant) & O’Reilly, Michael Elgin,
and Jay Lethal.
Jay Lethal is out for a promo. He thinks Kevin Steen is full
of shit, and he’s walking out of the PPV with the title. Daniel Bryan gets a good
pop when Lethal name-drops him.
Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish (still dressed like he works at
a bank or something), and Kyle O’Reilly are in the back with Veda Scott to cut
a crappy promo.
Bobby Fish, Kyle O’Reilly,
and Roderick Strong vs. Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, and Michael Elgin: Standard
6-man rules. They said last week that the Briscoes/WGTT match would be this
week, but they also said last week that the PPV was this weekend, so who knows…
Speaking of the Briscoes, they join us for commentary and are pretty much incoherent,
or maybe I just don’t understand the hick language. The face team attacks to
start and all 6 guys brawl out to the floor and we go to commercial about 30
Back from break and Fish is alone in the ring with the 3
faces, and he takes a powerslam from Elgin for 2. Delayed vertical suplex by
Elgin, O’Reilly and Strong try to get back in the ring but the Wolves send them
right back outside. Elgin finally gets 2 off the suplex after holding him
upside-down for nearly a full minute. Richards in now, Fish reverses an Irish
whip and Richards gets nailed from behind by O’Reilly and the heels take over.
Strong chops away in the corner, both guys throw some weak-ass forearms before
Strong hits a dropkick for 2. Fish in now with a senton for 2 and he kicks
away. Now Strong tries the minute-long vertical suplex, but can only hold him
up for about 10 seconds before Richards reverses it into a cradle. Another
dropkick sends him right back down and the heels continue to beat down Richards
in their corner with lots of quick tags. O’Reilly hits a spectacularly fucked-up
Dragon Screw just before we go to another commercial (one of the Briscoes: “Ya’ll
come back now, ya’ hear”).
We return with Richards making the comeback, and getting the
hot tag to Edwards off an incredibly stupid spot that ends with Fish DDTing O’Reilly.
Edwards hits Fish and O’Reilly with a kick from the top and chops away on Fish, who reverses
a whip but runs into a boot on a blind charge. Shining Wizard gets 2 for Edwards,
Fish comes back with a Michinoku driver. Strong in now and he tries for the
Stronghold, Edwards gets free and goes for the Achilles lock, Strong gets out
of that and we have a chop battle. Elgin tags in as Fish and O’Reilly get
dumped to the floor and the Wolves hit them with dives trough the ropes. That
leaves Elgin and Strong in the ring and Elgin just beats the piss out of him.
Black Hole Slam gets 2. He goes for a powerbomb but here’s O’Reilly with a
sleeper to break it up. Elgin German suplexes Fish while O’Reilly is still on
his back in a pretty impressive spot. Richards and Edwards both hit double
stomps off the top on Strong, but they get dumped and it’s now 3 on 1 on Elgin.
Strong hits the double knee gutbuster and Fish & O’Reilly hit Total
Elimination, Edwards makes the save. Everyone but Elgin and Strong end up on
the floor again, Strong hits 2 jumping knees and the Sick Kick for 2, a suplex
into a double knee backbreaker finishes for Strong at 14:49 aired. A couple
fucked up and/or stupid spots keep this from being great, but it was still
really good. ***1/2
Easily the best show of 2013 so far. Next week: I don’t
know, they didn’t bother to tell us. If there’s no review next weekend than the
Sinclair stations have indeed been pulled from DirecTV, so it won’t be up until
the following Thursday or Friday. Remember, if you lose your Sinclair stations
(or don’t get any to begin with) you can just go to ROH.com and sign up for a
free account, and ROH TV will be shown on the website the Thursday after it
airs on TV.