SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
PWTorch contributor Mike Metzger covers this week’s episode of ROH TV, which included a big tag team main event of The Briscoes vs. Young Bucks. Plus, the latest hype for Final Battle next Friday.
ROH TV Report
Aired December 6, 2015 in syndication
To air Dec. 9, 2015 on Comet TV
Taped in Nashville, Tenn.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The ROH TV opening aired.
The camera panned the crowd, as Kevin Kelly and ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness welcomed viewers to the show. They reminded fans that Final Battle was only two weeks away and then hyped tonight’s main event between The Briscoes and The Young Bucks.
1 – IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team champions REDRAGON vs. SILAS YOUNG & BEER CITY BRUSIER (w/”the boys”) – non-title match
ReDRagon received a nice reaction from the crowd. The Code of Honor was adhered to and then the bell rang. “Dalton Castle” chant from the crowd, as Fish and Bruiser started the match. Bruiser tossed Fish back into his corner. Fish asked for a Test of Strength, to which Bruiser obliged. Fish immediately kicked Bruiser, who took offense and struck Fish back. Bobby tried to knock the big man off his feet to no avail. O’Reilly made a blind tag, and then reDRagon double-teamed Bruiser with kicks.
Silas tagged in, but reDRagon took care of him as well. Things settled down with O’Reilly and Young in the ring. O’Reilly nailed Silas in the corner and tagged his partner. Fish nailed Silas with a suplex, which was good for a one count. O’Reilly quickly tagged in and then reDRagon took turns nailing Silas with knees in the corner. Silas raked Kyle’s eyes, though, which allowed him to tag Bruiser.
O’Reilly tried to take Bruiser off his feet, but was unsuccessful. He was able to hook on the guillotine choke, but Brusiser shoved him back in the corner and tagged Silas. Bruiser and Young double-teamed O’Reilly in the corner, culminating with a huge corner cannonball from Bruiser! Silas covered O’Reilly, but he kicked out at two. Adam Cole appeared at ringside, as the show cut to a break at the 4:07 mark of the match.
Back at 6:37, O’Reilly was fighting back against Bruiser, but the big man yanked O’Reilly down to the mat. He tagged Silas, while Adam Cole joined the commentators at ringside. Cole broke into a diatribe against O’Reilly, while Silas and Bruiser continued to dominate O’Reilly with quick tags. O’Reilly was able to dodge a clothesline from Silas, who ended up nailing Bruiser instead! Bruiser went after Kyle, but O’Reilly exploded into a flurry of strikes which finally took the big man off his feet!
O’Reilly made the hot tag to Fish, who came in and had his way with Silas. Both men traded blows in the center at the 8:10 mark. Silas came out on top after a back rake, but Fish quickly grabbed him and hit an exploder suplex in the corner! Fish went for the cover, but Silas kicked out at two. Fish immediately transitioned into a knee bar on the mat! Bruiser ran in and broke it up, though. ReDRagon tried to double-team the big man, but Bruiser fought them off and nailed O’Reilly with a stiff lariat.
Fish fought back with a Dragon screw legwhip, and then turned his attention to Silas. Young reversed with a DDT into the corner. Bruiser went for a huge splash from the top rope, but Fish rolled out of the way! One of “the boys” got on the apron, but O’Reilly ran over and kicked him to the floor. O’Reilly followed up with a big dive onto both Brusier and “the boy.” Back in the ring, Silas nailed Fish with Misery, but the ref was distracted with the other “boy” on the apron. Paul Turner finally turned around to count, but Fish kicked out at two!
Fish and Silas jockeyed for position until Fish hit a Samoan Drop out of nowhere. Silas tagged Bruiser. O’Reilly nailed Bruiser with some kicks and then applied the Guillotine Choke, but Bruiser again slammed O’Reilly into the corner. O’Reilly would not let go of the hold, however! Silas tried to break it up, but Fish held him at bay. The fans chanted “tap,” but Silas was eventually able to break the hold. ReDRagon took turns nailing Silas in the corner, and then followed up with their Two Man Smash Machine combo, followed up with Chasing the Dragon for the victory!
WINNERS: ReDRagon via pinfall in 12:36.
ANALYSIS: Strong win for reDRagon headed into their big singles matches at Final Battle. Silas and Bruiser were great fodder for them. I’m always amazed by how much movement a guy like Bruiser can create, despite his size. The offense from him and Silas built to the big comeback from reDRagon well. (**3/4)
After the match, Cole got up from the commentary desk and got in O’Reilly’s face. Both O’Reilly and Fish went after him, but Nigel McGuinness stood between them. Meanwhile in the ring, Silas ordered “the boys” to attack referee Paul Turner! One of them kicked Turner in the gut and then the other one DDT’d him! Silas congratulated “the boys” and then shook both their hands. Kevin Kelly was outraged.
Dalton Castle appeared at ringside to a huge pop! He grabbed a mic and said things had “gone on long enough.” He accused Silas of having something that belonged to him. Bruiser came into the ring, but Castle nailed him in the head with the microphone and sent him to the outside! Huge “Dalton Castle” chant as “the boys” got on the apron. Kevin Kelly wondered if they would go back to Castle, but they ended up dropping back down to the floor and leaving with Silas! Kevin Kelly and Dalton Castle were both stunned.
ANALYSIS: I hope this a swerve on the part of Castle and “the boys.”
Castle and “the boys” have not even come close to running their course
as an act and I hope they reunite sooner rather than later.
Back from break, Chris Sabin was in the ring with a mic. He accused the man in the red mask of stealing his gimmick. He went on to say that the masked man also cost The Addiction the ROH World Tag Team Titles. Sabin complained that the person only appeared when he wasn’t around and did all of his moves. Kevin Kelly was upset, since Sabin was interrupting an ROH TV Title Match. Sabin denied being the masked man and, instead, called out the “poser wannabe.” Sabin said he would not leave the ring until the masked man made an appearance.
A man in a red mask walked out. Aside from the mask, he was dressed identically to Sabin, He unmasked to reveal… Alex Shelley! The crowd ate it up, as Kelly talked up their history together. Sabin and Shelley stared each other down while the fans chanted “Alex Shelley!” Sabin rolled out of the ring and left the arena, as Shelley stood tall in the ring.
ANALYSIS: I always had a feeling it might be Shelley, given his availability and history with Sabin. This “big reveal” felt a bit anti-climactic, though. I have a feeling the pop would have been much louder if Shelley revealed himself at the climax of a match, or at least as a mystery partner. Nonetheless, Sabin-Shelley could be a fun program if ROH goes all the way with it.
2 – ROH TV champion RODERICK STRONG vs. SAMSON WALKER – ROH TV Title match
Clips aired of Walker beating a jobber while he made his entrance. Presumably, that’s why he’s getting a title shot despite this being his first appearance on ROH TV. Bobby Fish joined the commentators at ringside to talk about his upcoming title match against Strong at Final Battle. Both men shook hands, while Fish questioned why Strong was given so many opportunities at Lethal.
Walker, who resembles WWE’s Big E. a bit, overpowered Strong to start. Roddy quickly came back with a heel kick, but Walker overpowered him again. He charged at Strong, but Roddy lowbridged the rope. Roddy went for a baseball slide to the outside, but Walker caught him and slammed him into the ringpost! Walker broke the count and then dominated Strong on the outside for a few moments. He threw him back into the ring, but could only get a one count on Strong.
The fans cheered on Roderick, as Walker applied a bear hug. Strong attempted to forearm his way out and eventually did so. Roddy charged, but Walker reversed into a spinebuster! Strong fought back with an enziguri out of the corner. He followed up with some chops, but then ate a huge lariat from Samson! Strong kicked out of another pin attempt.
Walker dropped his straps and went for a powerbomb, but Roddy wriggled free and nailed a dropkick! Strong hit a running knee, a forearm smash, and then an Olympic Slam. He went for the cover, but Samson kicked out at two! At ringside, Fish grabbed the title belt to take a closer look at it. Strong hit a jumping knee, a double knee gutbuster, and then a Sick Kick for the victory!
WINNER: Roderick Strong via pinfall in 5:30 to retain the ROH TV Title.
After the match, Fish got into the ring with the TV title belt around his waist. Fish yanked it off him and then held it in the air while Fish yelled in his face. Some ROH referees ran in to settle things down.
ANALYSIS: Odd booking here. I assumed Roddy would get a “strong” win so soon after winning the ROH TV Title, but Walker dominated most of the match. It appears ROH wanted to protect Walker, who is large in stature and a product of the ROH Dojo. The Bobby FIsh stuff seemed forced, as he was overly heelish despite having played a babyface for most of this year. (*3/4)
Inside ROH: Mandy Leon was back, although she didn’t reference her absence over the last several weeks. Instead, she recapped the Survival of the Fittest tournament that was recently held in Milwaukee, Wisc. and Hopkins, Minn. Clips aired from Night 1, including Christopher Daniels pinning Mark Briscoe, Silas Young beating Dalton Castle, Jay Briscoe defeating Rhett Titus, and Michael Elgin pinning Adam Cole. A.C.H. was also shown defeating Matt Sydal in the final match of their Best of Five series.
Mandy then transitioned to Night 2, where she said the winners from Night 1 faced off in the next phase of the tournament. Elgin was shown pinning Jay Briscoe in the finals. Footage then aired of Elgin grabbing the mic and calling out Jay Lethal. He vowed to cash in his title shot in Japan.
ANALYSIS: Good set-up for the eventual Lethal-Elgin match, although I think ROH showed their hand as far as future booking plans are concerned. Not a major critique, I just think ROH could have held off on this until after Final Battle.
Rhett Titus and Kenny King joined the commentary desk for the main event. King spoke highly of both teams, but noted that ANX had beaten them both in the past. Kelly asked King about a recent controversy between ANX and the Young Bucks in Minnesota. Kenny was adamant that they had the Bucks pinned for a full 14 seconds, but there was no ref to count the pin.
3 – YOUNG BUCKS (NICK & MATT JACKSON) vs. THE BRISCOES (MARK & JAY BRISCOE)
Both teams shook hands and the bell rang. Mark and Nick started the match with some chain wrestling. There was a stalemate at the 0:30 mark where all four men got into the ring and a shoving match ensued. Referee Todd Sinclair regained control, as Mark began to pummel Nick Jackosn. Matt re-entered, however, and then the Bucks proceeded to deliver superkicks to both Briscoes! The Bucks followed up with dives to the outside onto both Briscoes in stereo! Nick raked Mark’s back and then shoved him back into the ring.
Nick nailed Mark with some chops in the corner, followed by an eye rake. Jay ran in, however, and nailed Nick with a stiff lariat in the corner. Mark was right behind with a kick from the middle rope. Matt ran in, but Mark immediately hit him with a uranage and Jay tossed him to the outside. Mark pummeled Nick some more and then tagged Jay. Jay stomped Nick while his brother held him in place. Jay tagged Mark, who came in and continued to dominate Nick. He hit a nice snap suplex and then mocked Matt on the outside. Mark went for the cover, but Matt kicked out at two. Jay tagged back in and nailed Nick with an elbow, as the show cut to a break at the 4:10 point in the match.
Back at 5:10, The Briscoes were still in control, until Matt nailed Mark with a superkick on the apron! Nick nailed Jay with a springboard kick that knocked him off the apron and then made the hot tag. Matt came in and pummeled Mark. Matt also nailed Jay with a baseball slide to the outside and then an ace crusher off the top rope, He covered Mark, but could only get a nearfall. Mark fought back with Red Neck Kung Fu. Mark hit the Karate Kid pose, but Nick ran in and superkicked him in the face! Mark fell into Jay, but legally tagged him into the match in the process!
Jay nailed Matt with an elbow, but then ate a springboard facebuster from Nick. Mark then hit Nick with a Blockbuster off the apron! He went for a Cactus Jack elbow, but Matt hit him with a superkick out of nowhere! Jay followed up with a big dive onto the Bucks. He rolled Matt back into the ring and went for a Jay Driller, but Nick broke it up with a superkick. Jay returned the favor with a superkick of his own to Nick and then fell to the mat.
Jay got to his feet and traded blows with both Bucks. Nick cut him off by going low, though. Mark yanked Nick out of the ring, while Jay hit Matt with a neckbreaker. Mark was right there with Froggy Bow onto Matt, but he somehow kicked out of the pin attempt! Jay tagged Mark and they went for the Doomsday Device. Matt somehow flipped out of it and nailed Jay with a superkick. Then Nick ran in and the Bucks hit Mark with a double superkick! They hit the Indy Taker on Jay, but Mark broke up the fall at the last possible moment! The Bucks immediately followed up with More Bang for Your Buck on Mark for the victory!
WINNERS: The Young Bucks via pinfall in 10:14.
After the match, Kevin Kelly hyped the deep tag division as he hyped The Kingdom defending the ROH World Tag Team TItles against War Machine at Final Battle. The Bucks and Briscoes were in the process of shaking hands when Titus and King entered the ring. King threw the first punch at Matt Jackson and then things broke down into a huge pull-apart brawl to close the show.
ANALYSIS: Typical Bucks match. Lots of movement and action throughout. I’ve been a critic of ROH’s over-crowded tag team division, but at least this was there to set up Bucks-Briscoes-ANX for the #1 contendership at Final Battle. (***)
FINAL REAX: Good mix of action and storyline throughout tonight’s episode. I really like how ROH has used the TV show to fill out its PPV cards this year. Just one or two TV segments make the matches seem much more important and not just “thrown out there” like many of the bouts on WWE PPVs as of late.
ROH still has the problem of generating a buzz outside of its TV deal announcements. When A.J. Styles was first announced for the main event of Final Battle, I thought ROH was on the right track to get people talking about this show. Unfortunately, ROH has done a poor job of hyping that the biggest independent wrestler in the world is challenging for their world title. The company might have lucked out in one sense since A.J. is injured and perhaps even questionable for Final Battle, but there is still no excuse for not utilizing a draw like A.J. to his full potential.