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ROH TV Report
Aired July 10, 2016 in syndication
Aired July 13, 2016 on Comet TV
Taped June 18, 2016 in Concord, N.C.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
Still-frames of the ROH World Title match between Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe from the Best in the World PPV were shown. For those who missed it, Lethal retained with a clean victory over Briscoe.
The ROH TV opening aired.
Tonight: Mark Briscoe faces A.C.H. in a match to determine the #1 contender to the ROH TV Title.
1 – DONOVAN DIJAK (w/Prince Nana) vs. JASON KINCAID
Kincaid wrestled on ROH TV earlier this year as part of the Top Prospect Tournament. Dijak posed in the corner, which exposed that the bleachers in the arena were completely empty. A wide shot during the Code of Honor further highlighted the sparsely-filled arena. Dijak overpowered Kincaid to start.
Kincaid responded with some acrobatics. He followed up with some nice kicks and then went for a springboard hurricanrana, but Dijak caught Kincaid and sent him to the floor. Dijak went for a suplex on the outside, but Kincaid slipped free and then hit an impressive facebuster off the apron, as the show cut to its first break at the 2:09 point in the match.
Back at 4:39, Kincaid dove at Dijak on the outside, but got caught and then thrown into the hockey boards at ringside! Dijak tossed Kincaid back in the ring and went for a lackadaisical cover. Dijak tossed Kincaid around the ring and taunted the crowd. Dijak then picked up Kincaid for a backbreaker and then threw him across the ring once more. Dijak went for a big elbow drop off the top rope, but Kincaid rolled out of the way! Kincaid came back with an extremely innovative double foot stomp on Dijak while he was on the apron, followed by an impressive sunset flip powerbomb to the outside!
Back in the ring, Kincaid followed up with a Tornado DDT, but Dijak kicked out of the pin attempt. Nana got on the apron, which allowed Dijak to regain control. He picked up Kincaid on his shoulders and climbed up top. Kincaid fought his way out and hit an amazing flipping cutter off the top rope, but Dijak kicked out at two! Kincaid immediately applied a modified armbar. Dijak struggled until Nana placed his foot on the bottom rope. Kincaid went back up top, but Dijak caught him and immediately hit Feast Your Eyes for the victory
WINNER: Donovan Dijak via pinfall in 9:38.
ANALYSIS: Hot opener. Kincaid was really impressive here with his high-flying and overall agility. Dijak played his part as the heel well, although I still think he’s mis-cast after he seemingly turned babyface earlier this year when he took out Truth Martini. (**3/4)
Backstage: A.C.H. said that he has a song in his head – the crowd chanting “A.C.H.” was the instrumental and all of his experiences were the lyrics. A.C.H. turned his attention to his opponent tonight, claiming that Mark Briscoe would learn that A.C.H. stood for “always crushing hopes.”
Clips aired of Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser putting away Rhett Titus to win this year’s Tag Wars tournament to earn a shot at the ROH World Tag Team Titles tonight.
Both teams made their entrances. After intros, Christopher Daniels grabbed the mic and taunted the crowd. He spoke of all the “dishonorable teams” they had faced recently like the Motor City Machine Guns, The Briscoes, and The Young Bucks, and was delighted that tonight they would have the opportunity to face “real men” like Silas and Bruiser. Daniels promised that the fans would see “exactly the type of wrestling that Ring of Honor was built upon.” Both teams proceeded to shake hands before the bell.
2 – THE ADDICTION (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & FRANKIE KAZARIAN) vs. SILAS YOUNG & BEER CITY BRUISER – ROH World Tag Team Title match
Kaz and Silas started the match. They broke into a chain wrestling sequence that lasted about a minute. There were a couple of nearfalls that culminated in a stalemate at 1:05. They did a cute spot where both guys tried to hit a cheap shot at the same time. Silas appeared to be getting the upper-hand until Daniels nailed him from the apron. Bruiser then did the same to Kazarian, as the teams continued to out-cheat each other. Silas and Bruiser hit a double-team on Kaz, but he quickly kicked out at one. Then Daniels entered and he and Kaz hit some double-teaming of their own.
Silas and Daniels ran the ropes, but Bruiser nailed Daniels from the outside. Silas and Bruiser made some quick tags as they cut off Daniels from his partner. Silas and Bruiser proceeded to pummel Daniels with a running knee from Silas and a corner cannonball from Bruiser. Daniels begged off around the 5:15 mark. Kaz tried to get involved, but Bruiser knocked him off the apron. Bruiser turned his attention back to Daniels, which opened him up to a trip from Kaz on the outside. Daniels hit a moonsault, as the show cut to a break at the 5:55 point.
(During the break, Mark Briscoe cut a backstage promo on A.C.H. He talked up A.C.H., but then proudly held up his IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Title belt and promised to win “that singles gold” because it was his destiny.)
(ROH World Champion Jay Lethal then cut a promo about the Best in the World replay where he talked up his title match against Jay Briscoe as “the greatest match in Ring of Honor history.”)
[MM Reax: Hyperbole much, Jay?]
Back at 8:25, Bruiser splashed Kaz and made the hot tag to Silas, despite the whole heat sequence on Bruiser taking place during the break. Silas nailed Kaz with the Killer Combo, which was good for a nearfall. Silas followed up with a superkick to Kaz and then a stunner. He went for the cover, but Daniels broke up the count. Silas and Daniels traded blows at the 9:55 mark, but Kaz came in and The Addiction hit their powerbomb/neckbreaker combo, which was good for another nearfall. A miscommunication caused Daniels to clothesline Kaz, and then Bruiser ran in and took advantage with a huge double-clothesline to both his opponents.
The Addiction fought back by driving Bruiser back into a corner. They positioned him on the top turnbuckle and went for a superplex, but Silas broke it up. Silas then grabbed Kaz and hit Misery, but Daniels was right there with Angel’s Wings on Silas! Daniels then ran up to the top turnbuckle, but Bruiser shoved him to the mat. Bruiser went for a frogsplash, but Daniels moved out of the way. Daniels followed up with a moonsault on Bruiser, followed by a springboard legdrop by Kaz for the win.
WINNERS: The Addiction via pinfall in 12:12 to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles.
ANALYSIS: The sequences where each team was trying to out-cheat their opponents were fun, but that was really the only thing this match had going for it. Bruiser is a decent worker for a guy his size, but he really should not be featured in anything other than a comedy role if ROH wants to be taken seriously as a national promotion. (**1/2)
Backstage: Kyle O’Reilly hyped his ROH World Title match against Jay Lethal in two weeks on ROH TV. In a pretty generic promo, O’Reilly said that he and Lethal would find out who is “the real best in the world.”
The Fish Tank w/Bobby Fish
Fish thanked the crowd for their cheers and then welcomed them to a live edition of The Fish Tank. Fish talked himself up and pondered if God just liked him more than everyone else. He pivoted by saying today wasn’t about him- it was about the two individuals facing each other tonight for a shot at “the king’s title.” Fish then introduced A.C.H. and Mark Briscoe as his guests.
A.C.H. came out first, followed by Briscoe. Mark took the mic and wondered what the initials A.C.H. actually stood for. Fish wondered if Mark had any ideas. Briscoe was ready with some, the first of which was “American Child Hero” because Mark thought he looked like a 14-year-old boy. He then tried “Acrobatic Cat-like Horse-man” because he thought A.C.H. had muscles like a stallion and the agility of a feline. Briscoe had one more guess- “Ass Cheeks Huge.”
A.C.H. was unamused and cut off Briscoe. He said that they had the same hopes and dreams, but Briscoe did have something he didn’t have- a legacy. A.C.H. then revealed what his initials stood for, “Annihilating Chickens’s Hopes!” Bobby Fish demanded the match start right there and then, as both men readied for battle.
[MM Reax: An okay promo exchange. One of my biggest critiques of Fish’s title chase and reign so far has been him facing mostly babyface opponents. I like how both A.C.H. and Briscoe were rewarded for their respective wins at Best in the World, but I think Fish could really use a heel opponent at this point. At least they tried to have add some back-story, which is a start, I guess.]
3 – A.C.H. vs. MARK BRISCOE – #1 contender match for the ROH TV Title
Fish joined the commentators at ringside. They felt each other out for the first couple minutes. Eventually, A.C.H. created separation with some acrobatics and a beautiful dropkick. A.C.H. went for his Air Jordan dive to the outside, but Mark grabbed his leg. Briscoe slammed A.C.H. onto the floor and then went for his Cactus Jack elbow off the apron, but A.C.H. moved out of the way! A.C.H. chopped Briscoe before throwing him into the ringpost. A.C.H. then ran across the apron and nailed Briscoe with a headscissors on the outside! Back in the ring, A.C.H. hit a hurricanrana, which was good for a two-count. Briscoe fought back in the corner, while Fish talked about moving on from Dalton Castle on commentary. The show then cut to its final break at the 4:30 point.
Back at 5:30, A.C.H. nailed Briscoe with a kick to the head and followed up with a clothesline. Both men traded blows around the 6:30 mark. A.C.H. came out on top with a snap German suplex into a bridge, but Mark kicked out at two. A.C.H. went for a suplex, but Mark nailed him in the side and went for a suplex of his own. After several suplex attempts from both men, Mark eventually suplexed A.C.H. to the mat. The began to count both men down.
They both got up at the count of 9 and then traded blows in the center once more. A.C.H. hit some stiff chops, but Mark came right back with some forearms to the head. Mark went for a big boot, but A.C.H. caught him. Mark was able to to recover and then hit a big kick! Briscoe proceeded to ram A.C.H.’s head into all four corners of the ring. A.C.H. tried to come back off the top rope, but Mark caught him in an exploder suplex! Briscoe went for the cover, but A.C.H. kicked out at two!
Briscoe exploded into a flurry of strikes that sent A.C.H. to the mat. He followed up with a big boot in the corner. He charged again, but A.C.H. got his boot up. Briscoe immediately responded with a Death Valley Driver. He went up top, perhaps for Froggy Bow, but A.C.H. got to his feet and hit a sick backflip kick to Briscoe’s face! A.C.H. hit a brainbuster and went for Midnight Star, but Mark got his knees up! Mark hit a fisherman buster, followed by Froggy Bow for the victory!
WINNER: Mark Briscoe via pinfall in 11:29.
ANALYSIS: The match started slow, but it gradually built up to an exciting finish. Their styles meshed well, but I found myself having a hard time getting invested in the match. Perhaps it was the bland babyface-versus-babyface dynamic, but something was missing. Not a bad match by any means, just more of the same from ROH. (**3/4)
After the match, Bobby Fish entered the ring. He and Briscoe stared each other down, as Fish raised his title belt in the air to close the show.
Next week: Roderick Strong faces Dalton Castle in Strong’s final ROH appearance.
FINAL REAX: While it was nice to have a fresh episode of ROH TV, this did not feel like a hot post-PPV show by any means. The show was off to a good start with the opener. Jason Kincaid looked very impressive, seemingly earning a spot on ROH’s roster in one match. It was all downhill from there, though. The last two matches were fine, but uninspiring to say the least. Perhaps it was the heel-versus-heel dynamic of the tag match and the babyface-versus-babyface main event that hurt the majority of the show for me, but I highly doubt anyone with be raving about this week’s episode.
With only an hour of TV per week, ROH would be better-served to feature its top acts more prominently. All we heard about “the biggest re-match in Ring of Honor history” was a 30-second recap video at the beginning of the show and a 60-second backstage promo from Lethal, where he was basically just hyping the replay of the PPV. The backstage clips elicit a certain nostalgia from long-time fans, but there is no reason Lethal or Briscoe shouldn’t come out and address the live crowd. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that anything will be changing anytime soon. It will be interesting to see what it will take for ROH management to finally realize that a new direction is badly needed.