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Decade of Excellence: Nice little build at the beginning of the show with a short recap of how Christopher Daniels and Jay Briscoe reached the Decade of Excellence tournament finals taking place later in this hour.
Silas Young with The Beer City Bruiser vs. Bull James: A slight nit-pick at the beginning of this match is when Bull James shakes Silas’ hand in the code of honor. If I am Bull James, I am not shaking a man’s hand that put the screws to me just a few weeks back on TV. However, I enjoyed this match. Silas Young is what I like to call an old-school bruising and hard hitting wrestler. Yet, he still shows he has the ability to do more than just kick and punch when he pulls off a flip over the top rope down to Bull James on the floor. Also, Silas is my picture-perfect example of what a wrestling heel should look and wrestle like. During the match these guys pulled off some nice moves on each other. I am not sure I have ever seen someone monkey flip their opponent back into the ring when Bull James sent Silas flying back in from the ring apron in the manner that James did. It was also impressive right after that when Bull James tornado DDT’d The Beer City Bruiser when he jumped from the ring apron to the floor. Unfortunately for Bull James, as he’s getting back into the ring, Silas gets the upper hand on James and hits James with his finisher. Silas Young gets the victory. Overall, it was good match to kick off the hour.
Jay Briscoe: Intensity, believability, and fire are the words I would use to describe Jay Briscoe’s promo during this episode as he talks about his time in ROH over the years and what he is going to do in the finals of the Decade of Excellence tournament later in this hour. If you were tuning in to ROH for the first time ever and watched this promo, I would like to believe you would stick around to see his match at the end of the hour.
Bobby Fish: I was a bit critical last week of the placement of Bobby Fish’s promo. It was not that I thought the promo was bad, however, it felt misplaced. As I watched Bobby Fish’s promo this week talking about his match against Adam Cole for the ROH World Title, I’d like to say I realize now that ROH was planting the seeds for follow-up in the coming weeks. Last week I wrote this about Fish’s promo in my closing statement on it, “Hopefully this promo will make more sense a few weeks from now. I do find there are times when things do not appear to fit but when you look back in a month you see why it was placed the way it was. I guess we shall see.” After seeing them add to what was presented last week, this makes more sense now and credit Bobby Fish for another fantastic promo.
Christopher Daniels: Just like Jay Briscoe earlier in the show, Christopher Daniels cuts a nice promo talking about his accomplishments and competing in the finals of the Decade of Excellence on this week’s main event. Credit ROH for building the final matchup over the last few weeks and building anticipation for the final match this week with this promo and Jay Briscoe’s a bit earlier.
ROH Top Prospect Tournament Is Coming: Great recap of the winners of the ROH Top Prospect Tournament over the years. Matt Taven won the title in 2013, WarBeard Hanson in 2014, Donovan Dijak in 2015, and Lio Rush in 2016. I always look forward to the Top Prospect Tournament each year and this year is no different. I know the first round was taped recently, but I did not know they would be airing it starting next week. Good job of ROH announcing that it is starting next week and giving their fans something to look forward to when the fans tune in a week from now.
Jay Briscoe vs. Christopher Daniels: I must agree with Frankie Kazarian on commentary when he said before the match began, “I love that this tournament came down to these two guys…no two guys deserve this more than those two gentlemen in this ring right now.” I agree with Kazarian. It is only fitting that these two are in the finals. These two held nothing back in this match. Jay Briscoe hits a dive through the second rope in which he was basically flying at warp speed as he hits Daniels. Daniels hits a moonsault on to Jay Briscoe on the outside that Daniels appeared to take the brunt of the move when he appeared to over rotate and took a hard fall on to his back and possibly head. As I say that, Daniels appeared to be fine after the nasty fall. At 46 years-old, Daniels amazes me with his gas tank and ability to perform like a 30-year-old. Daniels does not seem to be aging. Daniels and Jay Briscoe put everything into this match and Daniels gets the victory when he hits Jay Briscoe with Super Angels Wings from the top rope. Daniels will go on to get his shot at the ROH World Title in Las Vegas at the 15-year anniversary card. Daniels gets a “you deserve it chant” from the crowd and Daniels and Jay Briscoe embrace after the match. This was a nice end to a good tournament.
The Boys vs. Colt Cabana: If comedy is your thing in wrestling, you will enjoy this match. I am not sure which one of The Boys Cabana hip tossed out of the ring during the match, but that was an extremely impressive bump. I think I enjoyed Dalton Castle on commentary more than anything during this match. I do not mind some comedy; this match just was my least favorite of the show this week. There was so much more that was entertaining in this week’s episode that this was the match that by process of elimination ended up being my least favorite thing throughout the hour.
ROH continues to put out a solid wrestling show each week. I mentioned to one of their talents that I interviewed last year that I felt like watching ROH was like watching an old territory wrestling show. Sure, it is recorded a few weeks in advance, but, nonetheless I find myself entertained by their product. This week felt a lot like watching old school wrestling. The show kicked off with Silas Young and Bull James who are two guys that you could drop into 1985 and they would fit in. The final of the Decade of Excellence tournament was exactly what I was hoping for. It was two very good veterans of the wrestling business giving it their all and laying it all on the line for the fans. I was slightly critical of the Colt Cabana vs. The Boys match but that was more of a product of what it was sandwiched in between this week and not a lack of their skills or abilities. Overall, I would rate this week a solid “A” rating of ROH TV.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: 2/11 ROH TV HITS & MISSES: Cody Rhodes, Mark Briscoe, Adam Cole, Jay Lethal, Kazarian, The Rebellion, The Boys, Dalton Castle
(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.)