SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
This week’s ROH TV episode includes the big announcement of Jay Lethal’s ROH World Title defense on the 14th Anniversary PPV in February in Las Vegas.
ROH TV Report
Aired January 24, 2016 in syndication
To air January 27, 2016 on Comet TV
Taped 1/9 in Charlotte, N.C.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The ROH TV opening aired.
Ringside: Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III ran down tonight’s card,
including Michael Elgin taking on Jay Briscoe in the main event!
1 – BRIAN FURY vs. SHAHEEM ALI – Top Prospect Tournament first-round match
Kevin Kelly built up Fury as the man who trained both Sasha Banks and
last year’s Top Prospect tournament winner, Donovan Dijak. Ali has
appeared as a jobber on ROH TV in the past. The Tale of the Tape
billed Fury as a 17-year veteran, while Ali only broke into the
business back in 2012. Both men shook hands, and then the bell rang.
They tied up in the center. There was a quick break, and then both men
proceeded to feel each other out for the first minute. Ali came out on
top with an armdrag, followed by an armbar.
Fury backed Ali into the corner and hit him with a knee to the
mid-section. Ali fought back with some knees of his own, followed by a
dropkick to Fury while he was down on the mat. Ali went for the cover,
but Fury kicked out at two. Ali followed up with a splash, which was
good for another nearfall. Ali continued with some forearm shots, but
Fury reversed with a small package that sent Ali’s head into the
bottom turnbuckle! Fury followed up with a hard whip to the corner. He
went for the cover, but Ali kicked out at two. Ali fought back with
some chops, until Fury knocked him down with an elbow and another two
Fury followed up with a back suplex, but Ali kicked out of another pin
attempt. Fury threw a chop and whipped Ali into the corner, but Ali
exploded out with a couple of clotheslines and then a leg lariat! Ali
followed up with a gutwrench bomb into a pinning combination, which
was good for another nearfall. Ali burst into a flurry of chops and
strikes, but Fury reversed with a neckbreaker and yet another pin
attempt. Fury threw Ali to the outside and went for a plancha, but Ali
caught him and then hit an Exploder suplex on the floor!
Ali threw Fury back into the ring and went up top. Fury grabbed
referee Paul Turner’s leg, however. Ali jumped down to get a closer
look, which allowed Fury to seize the opportunity. He headbutted Ali
right in the jaw, followed by a sit-out powerbomb for the victory!
WINNER: Brian Fury via pinfall in 5:55.
ANALYSIS: Perfectly acceptable wrestling. I liked the plethora of
nearfalls, as both guys really seemed like they wanted to win the
match. The announcers totally blew it as far as putting heat on Fury,
with Kevin Kelly even referring to his cheating as a “veteran way to
win.” Nothing else really stood out, although I hope Fury is kept
around to interact with his protege Donovan Dijak at some point. (**)
Cedric Alexander and Veda Scott were out next. Veda grabbed a mic and
claimed that for four months, Cedric had been a victim of ROH’s
“reckless disregard for his safety.” Veda talked up their “crusade for
justice.” She said, “it was long, it was emotional, it was freaking
sweet,” referring to their cash settlement with ROH. Veda went on to
say that she and Cedric were able to buy and sell everyone in the
arena a thousand times over. Mr. Wrestling III wasn’t sure about that,
as he heard that The Bucks were making “some good coin.” Ha. Veda
brushed off Jonathan Gresham’s upset victory over Cedric a few weeks
ago on ROH TV, and then declared that Cedric was the best in the
world. Thus, she demanded Ring of Honor’s best for Cedric. The
knockoff of Jimmy Buffett’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise” started
playing, and out came Cheeseburger!
2 — CEDRIC ALEXANDER (w/Veda Scott) vs. CHEESEBURGER
Loud “Cheeseburger” chants from the crowd. Cedric wouldn’t shake
Cheeseburger’s hand. Instead, Veda got on the apron. Cheeseburger
shooed her away with his finger, and then the bell rang. Cheeseburger
went for a quick roll-up, but Cedric kicked out at two. Cheeseburger
attempted a sunset flip, but couldn’t get Cedric over. Cheesebruger
then reversed into a victory roll for another two count! Cheeseburger
then hit a hurricanrana into a pinning combination, which was good for
Cedric nailed Cheesburger in the face with a stiff forearm.
Cheeseburger dodged a charge, though, and then hit a jumping knee from
the second rope. Cheeseburger called for the Palm Strike, but Cedric
grabbed him and hit the Lumbar Check for the victory.
WINNER: Cedric Alexander via pinfall in 1:41.
ANALYSIS: Some decent hope spots for Cheeseburger. Much-needed win for
Cedric that put him over strong. (n/a)
After the match, Cedric beat down Cheeseburger. He proceeded to stomp
him several times, until Jonathan Gresham ran out and made the save.
Veda grabbed the mic and got in Gresham’s face. She asked him if he
wanted another match with Cedric. Gresham obliged and Kevin Kelly
announced the match would take place after a…
2b — CEDRIC ALEXANDER (w/ Veda Scott) vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM
The bell rang, and then both men wrestled on the mat. Gresham talked
Cedric to the outside, where he regrouped with Veda for a moment.
Cedric ran back into the ring and hit Gresham with a shoulder tackle.
They broke into another chain wrestling sequence, until Gresham sent
Cedric to the floor yet again. Cedric talked to Veda before
re-entering the ring. Gresham quickly reversed into an abdominal
stretch, but Veda ran in and attacked Gresham from behind. The ref
called for the bell.
WINNER: Jonathan Gresham via disqualification in 1:40.
After the match, Cedric hit a running dropkick into the corner. Veda
then held Gresham in the corner, which allowed Cedric to hit two more
running dropkicks. Cedric hit a Lumbar Check, and then kicked Gresham
in the face. Cedric continued to pummel Gresham him until several
referees came in to break it up.
ANALYSIS: So much for putting Cedric over strong on tonight’s episode.
Gresham is almost the mirror image of Cedric when he was a babyface.
Normally that would be a good story to tell, but as mentioned in my
report last week, this is just another example of ROH’s booking
feeling like a repeat. (n/a)
14th Anniversary PPV announcement
ROH World Champion Jay Lethal was out next, along with Truth Martini
and Taeler Hendrix. ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness was already in the
ring, Lethal got in Nigel’s face. He said he wanted to be there for
what Nigel was going to say, since he knew it pertained to him. Nigel
acknowledged that Lethal was correct, as he was about to make an
announcement regarding the main event of the 14th Anniversary PPV in
McGuinness touted Lethal’s two recent victories over A.J. Styles and
Michael Elgin. Nigel said that when he thought of a credible
contender, he thought of Kyle O’Reilly. Nigel reminded Lethal that
O’Reilly took him to the limit at All Star Extravaganza, and he
thought the only reason Kyle didn’t beat him was because of Adam
Cole’s interference. Lethal basically laughed it off, saying that
would be “a night off” for him. Nigel cut him off and brought up the
fact that Cole defeated O’Reilly at Final Battle, thus making him the
Out came Adam Cole, sans The Kingdom. Cole grabbed the mic and asked
“who’s ready for story time with Adam Cole, bay bay?” Cole said that
he was done with O’Reilly, and because he beat him, O’Reilly would
never receive another ROH World Title shot ever again. Cole touted
some of Lethal’s title defenses, but reminded Lethal that he hadn’t
defended the title against him yet. Cole went on to say that there
would be a new champ at the 14th Anniversary PPV, and his name was,
“Adam Cole, bay bay!”
Nigel cut him off and brought up Kyle O’Reilly’s name again. Nigel
said that there was unfinished business between the two of them,
therefore he would kill two birds with one stone and make the main
event at the 14th Anniversary PPV a three-way between Lethal, Cole,
and O’Reilly! O’Reilly’s music played, and out came Kyle! Nigel handed
his mic to O’Reilly, which prompted Cole to quickly leave the ring.
O’Reilly was excited about the announcement, but said he couldn’t wait
until Vegas. He wanted Cole in Charlotte. Nigel announced that Lethal
and Cole would team up to face reDRagon, presumably on next week’s ROH
ANALYSIS: This made the most sense for the 14th Anniversary main
event, given the state of ROH’s roster. While the three-way looks good
on paper and should be a great match, something just doesn’t sit right
with me. I still think O’Reilly should have beaten Cole at Final
Battle. I know that O’Reilly’s contract status was (and may still be)
in limbo, but I can only wonder what would happen if ROH pushed
O’Reilly to the moon, ahead of a one-on-one showdown with Lethal for
Clips aired from Final Battle when Dalton Castle defeated Silas Young,
and “the boys” re-joined Castle afterward. Silas Young then cut a
promo backstage. He talked about all he did to help “the boys” become
“men.” He shuddered at the thought of how Dalton Castle lived his
life. Silas then turned his attention to “the boys.” He said he was
giving them one more chance to come back to him, and that they would
be sorry if they didn’t.
The main event was next. Michael Elgin was pretty over during his
entrance, as was Jay Briscoe. Mark Briscoe joined the commentary desk.
Before the Code of Honor, Moose’s music blared and out came the former
NFL player and Stokely Hathaway. Stokely referenced Moose’s loss to
Elgin at Final Battle. Stokely also acknowledged how Briscoe was
always ready for a fight. And since Nigel was into making three-way
matches, Stokely talked him into making tonight’s main event a triple
threat match as well!
3 — JAY BRISCOE (w/Mark Briscoe) vs. MICHAEL ELGIN vs. MOOSE (w/Stokely Hathaway)
All three men immediately went after one another. Briscoe clotheslined
Moose out of the ring, but Elgin was right behind them with a huge
flip dive to the outside! “Big Mike” chants, as Elgin threw Briscoe
back into the ring. Elgin threw some forearms, but Briscoe came back
with a headbutt. Briscoe whipped Elgin in the corner, but missed a
charge. Elgin went for his delayed vertical suplex on Briscoe. Moose
tried to break it up on two separate occasions, but Elgin wouldn’t let
go! Instead, Elgin tossed Briscoe into Moose’s arms, and then
delivered an STO to both men!
Moose and Elgin were alone in the ring. Elgin came at Moose, but Moose
hit him with a bicycle kick. Elgin went up top, but Moose dropkicked
him to the floor! Briscoe reappeared and came off the top, but Moose
was right there with some fists. Briscoe came back with three running
boots, but couldn’t knock Moose off his feet. Briscoe eventually
knocked Moose to the ground with a dropkick, which was good for a
nearfall. The show then cut to break at the 3:08 point in the match.
Back at 4:08, Elgin was pounding on Moose in the corner. Elgin then
turned his attention to Briscoe on the apron. He went for a deadlift
superplex, but Moose broke it up. Moose climbed up top and nailed
Briscoe several times. He went for a superplex, but Elgin reappeared
and and hit a pyramid powerbomb that sent both Moose and Briscoe to
the mat! Elgin was in control. He and Moose jockeyed for position,
until Elgin deadlifted Moose into a powerbomb. He went for the cover,
but Briscoe broke up the pin.
Elgin and Briscoe fought in the corner. Briscoe yanked Elgin off the
turnbuckle into a Death Valley Driver, which was good for a two count.
Briscoe went for a swinging neckbreaker, but Elgin shoved him right
int a spear by Moose! Elgin then hit Moose with an enziguri. He went
for an Elgin Bomb, but Moose blocked, and then both men traded
lariats. Moose came out on top of the exchange with a huge lariat that
was good for another nearfall.
Moose called for the spear, but Elgin lepafrogged him. Briscoe
reappeared and superkicked Elgin, but Elgin rebounded off the ropes
and nailed Briscoe with a lariat! Elgin hit both men with forearms.
Elgin went for another forearm to Briscoe, but Jay reversed into a
backslide out of nowhere for the pin!
WINNER: Jay Briscoe via pinfall in 9:05.
ANALYSIS: Good match with solid action throughout. I thought Elgin’s
delayed vertical suplex spot was pretty creative. The finish seemed to
come out of nowhere, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I just think
it came before these guys were able to take things to the next gear.
After the match, Moose seemed frustrated on the outside. Stokely tried
to calm him down, while The Briscoes celebrated in the ring. Elgin
grabbed the mic. He said that they were even in one-on-one matches. He
added that it took both Briscoe and Moose to beat him tonight. Elgin
said that Jay also had Mark to depend on, “because that’s what
brothers do.” He then challenged The Briscoes to a tag match against
him and Hiroshi Tanahashi at the 14th Anniversary PPV. Elgin shook
hands with The Briscoes, and the match was made.
Next Week: ROH World Champion Jay Lethal and Adam Cole take on
reDRagon in the main event!
FINAL REAX: Just-okay edition of ROH TV this week. The 14th
Anniversary main event announcement was newsworthy, but the rest of
the show left a lot to be desired. The Top Prospect Tournament is
always fun, but none of the names in the bracket particularly stood
out to me. I’m not into Cedric Alexander, Cheeseburger, or Jonathan
Gresham at all. Moose lacks any type of purpose at this point, while
Elgin seemed to shoehorn himself and Tanahashi into a match with The
Briscoes. I give ROH credit for trying to create a reason for
Tanahashi to be at the PPV, but Elgin’s promo seemed forced. This
week’s show further convinced me that ROH needs a major booking
overall in order to remain relevant in 2016.