SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Christopher Daniel Promo: Daniels opens the show delivering a promo after the recap from last week when Daniels defeated Mark Briscoe in the Decade of Excellence tournament. Daniels is one of the most underrated performers and talents in wrestling. I believe he is 46 years old and he is still performing at a very high level. Just see his Ladder War 6 match from last year which was one of the better ladder matches I have seen. Daniels’ promo during this segment makes the Decade of Excellence tournament feel like a big deal. Daniels speaks about how he came to ROH in 2002 and here he stands 15 years later after he’s come and gone from ROH on the steps of destiny and becoming ROH World Champion. Daniels is no stranger to delivering an outstanding promo and he shows his talents here again.
Decade of Excellence Progression: I have been critical of ROH in the past and their lack of episodic storylines on their week to week TV. Christopher Daniels set the tone in his promo at the beginning of the episode and I felt that it carried over into this episode feeling special as we saw progression in the tournament.
Jay Briscoe vs. B.J. Whitmer: I Loved the finish of the match where Whitmer is about to use Kevin Sullivan’s spike but Mark Briscoe comes in to save the day. I’m a sucker for the evil Kevin Sullivan, B.J. Whitmer, and Punisher Martinez stable. Seeing them try to “cheat” but in the end lose felt like an old school touch as we then witness Jay Briscoe getting the win and advancing in the Decade of Excellence Tournament.
Beer City Bruiser, Silas Young, and Bull James: Silas Young delivers a very good promo asking Bull James to come down to the ring because he’s got someone that will be joining he and Bruiser as they are going to go after the ROH 6-Man Tag Titles. It was all a big ploy to get Bull out to the ring and turn on him. Silas at the very end of the promo says “he (Bull) is not the guy” at which point Bruiser attacks Bull James. Beer City Bruiser finishes off Bull James with his version of a frog splash that is very impressive when it comes from a man his size.
Cheeseburger, Joey Diego (J Diesel), Will Ferrara vs. The Kingdom (Vinny Marseglia, Matt Taven, TK ORyan): If there is one thing I hate in pro wrestling these days with certain companies, it is when there is a non-title match and the champ almost always loses. I counted at least 15 instances on Raw last year where the champion was pinned clean. Although Kevin Kelly does announce as the match starts that this is a non-title match, we don’t see any of that here in this non-title match featuring the The Kingdom. Good job by ROH booking their champions strong and protecting them by not doing what certain companies like to do which is have their champs lose in non-title matches.
Broken Matt Hardy Appears at Final Battle and The Young Bucks Respond: By now you would have to have been under a rock if you had not heard the news of Broken Matt Hardy appearing in a video segment at Final Battle. For those who did not see the PPV, this was a great piece of video to place into this week’s TV for those who may have heard about the Broken Matt appearance but didn’t see it. This is followed by the Young Bucks appearing in the ring and responding to Matt Hardy. This promo by the Young Bucks is disrupted by Vanguard One. However, Vanguard One gets too close to the Young Bucks and is superkicked. Even an old time wrestling fan like me who grew up watching the territories, which saw nothing like this, can appreciate this type of whacky creativity of superkicking a drone.
Colt Cabana vs. Chris Sabin: This was a solid match for ROH TV. Cabana and Sabin are very talented with a lot of years of experience. I’m going to be a bit picky here though. I would’ve loved for Colt to get the win here and then have Colt face Christopher Daniels in round 2. I say this having not read any ROH spoilers and know where they are going with the direction of the tournament but I would’ve loved seeing Colt and Daniels square off in the next round. Instead Sabin gets the win and will face Daniels in round 2.
Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this week’s hour of ROH TV. They progressed things with the Decade of Excellence tournament, showed what happened at Final Battle with Broken Matt Hardy, aired The Young Bucks’ response to Broken Matt Hardy, and gave us a match with the newly crowned ROH Six-man Tag Champs The Kingdom. This was a solid hour of ROH TV.
Mike Mills is the new PWTorch.com ROH TV Hits and Misses Specialist, providing his point of view on ROH TV weekly. You can follow Mike at @BTT_Podcast and @Mike504Saints on Twitter and e-mail him at BookingTheTerritory@gmail.com