SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Ian Riccaboni Commentary: I sang the praises of Ian Riccaboni on commentary last week and I will continue to sing Ian’s praises. In the opening of the show, he was joined by Dalton Castle, who let’s face it, Castle is Mr. Charisma. Back to Riccaboni though. If the long-term plan is for Riccaboni to remain in the commentary booth, I think it’s a great move. I’ll repeat what I’ve said previously, he’s got a great voice for commentary, speaks and projects clearly, and when you listen to him he just feels right in the booth. I believe at some point ROH needs a stable second man or color commentator in there with him but for now, keep up the great work Ian.
The Kingdom (Taven & O’Ryan & Marseglia) vs. The Rebellion (King & Titus & Coleman): Marseglia is turning into the “crazy” member of The Kingdom. It’s hard to explain but his antics do nothing but add to his character as being the wild member of The Kingdom who self-proclaimed “does this thing called whatever he wants” and I’m good with that. King and Taven also have a nice sequence in the match that ends with King hitting a nice kick to Taven. During the match, Titus appears to injure his right knee. They stop the match at one point and go to break. When we come back from the break, The Kingdom are in control and Titus is now in the back. It’s a two-on-one match. As the match continues, Coleman is being triple teamed but somehow pulls off a great dropkick to O’Ryan and Marseglia after rolling under an attempted double clothesline from them. Coleman makes the hot tag to Lio Rush who has now appeared in The Rebellion’s corner. The crowd has come alive with boos as Rush is in the ring handing out punishment to O’Ryan and Marseglia. Dalton Castle on commentary wants to know how this is allowed after Rush delivers two suicide dives to the outside taking out members of The Kingdom. King ends up in the ring and delivers a spine buster to Marseglia as Rush watches. King celebrates but turns around and Lio Rush turns on King and hits him with a Diamond Cutter. The crowd erupts with Rush turning on King. The Kingdom then hit their finisher on King and win. The Kingdom retain their titles as Riccaboni and Castle try to figure out what happened and why Lio Rush just did what he did to help The Kingdom. My guess is we will find out more in the coming weeks. Good opening match to open this week’s hour of ROH TV. Good to see The Kingdom retain and continue to be built as solid 6-man tag champs.
Jay White and Jay Briscoe Promo: White says he’s been undefeated since coming to ROH and how he took Jay Briscoe to the limit. White’s promo is OK. It’s not the best because I’m contrasting it with Jay Briscoe who responds immediately after. Jay Briscoe is a fantastic promo. He tells White that White didn’t take him to the limit. Jay Briscoe says I forgot that we only had 15-minutes. Jay says when he went undefeated for nearly three years he wasn’t beating Top Prospects insinuating he was defeating mainstay talent in ROH. Jay Briscoe ends it by telling White that White is “DAWG FOOD SON, YOU WANT A REMATCH WITH ME? YOU’RE DAWG FOOD!” A great promo as usual from Jay Briscoe. He is one of the best promos in wrestling today and for those that don’t realize that it’s because ROH just doesn’t get the exposure that the WWE does.
Raphael King vs. The Kingpin Brian Milonas: Decent promo from King before the match to introduce himself to the audience that might not be familiar with him. Also, a decent quick promo from Milonas. Match starts off with them trading punches. Milonas appeared to be laying them in good. I’ve seen Milonas before so if this is your first time seeing him, you may not be familiar with him; however, for a man his size he moves great. Something real small here, King hits a Rock Bottom on Milonas. Milonas kicked out at literally the 2.999999 mark of the count from referee Todd Sinclair. I thought for a split second that was going to be the finish. Milonas did a good job of kicking out at the very last split second. King went for a second Rock Bottom that Milonas fought his way out of. Milonas hits King with a sidewalk slam and then comes off the ropes with what Riccaboni calls a senton bomb that puts King down for the 1-2-3. Overall, decent showing by both guys. And I mentioned this last week, I am always a fan of the Top Prospect tournament given that it’s given birth to many future wrestling stars.
Bullet Club (The Young Bucks & Cody & Adam Cole) vs. Team ROH (Bobby Fish & Jay Lethal & The Briscoes): The action is non-stop with eight of the best wrestlers that ROH has. It was next to impossible to write play-by-play in this match given the tremendous spots and moves throughout. I mean it when I say this is 20 minutes of non-stop flips, dives, etc. You name it, these eight guys did it. At one point, Cody superplexes Mark Briscoe from the top rope to the floor on to the other six competitors. It got a big “this is awesome chant” and as a guy who’s not into that, even I can say that it was pretty darn impressive. After an insane opening with all eight guys going at it, the match turns into a true eight-man tag match. Lethal and Fish turn their attention to each other as they end up in a disagreement during the match. The Bullet Club loves this and applauds these two fighting. We go to break and then when we come back from break we see that Fish and Lethal have fought their way to the back leaving The Briscoes by themselves to fight The Bullet Club. The Briscoes hold their own and get the advantage on The Bullet Club. It doesn’t last long though. The Bullet Club take control and have a super kick party on Mark and Jay. Then, The Young Bucks set up Mark Briscoe and nail him with the Meltzer Driver to finish off team ROH. The Bullet Club get the win.
Frankie Kazarian In The Bullet Club: This is one of those moments when I wish the “MISS” section of the column is named something else such as “NOT SURE IF ITS A HIT OR MISS.” It’s not that I didn’t like this segment or thought it was a miss. But it was weird. Not knowing what the long-term direction of Frankie Kazarian as it relates to The Bullet Club makes this hard to react to. I wasn’t as shocked seeing this as I thought I should’ve been considering this is Daniels’ best friend turning on him. However, I have more questions than anything mostly with them being how does Kazarian fit in with them long-term? Put this in the category of NOT SURE if there was one.
Good episode this week of ROH. The Kingdom gets another TV win under their belts. King and Milonas had a good showing in the Top Prospect tournament with Milonas advancing to the semi-finals. And we saw the Bullet Club defeat Team ROH with Kazarian turning on Daniels and joining The Bullet Club. We are also approaching the 15-year anniversary card coming up next week. I’ll be curious to see who wins and losses next week at that card.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: 2/25 ROH HITS & MISSES: Ian Riccaboni on commentary, Fish, Dijak vs. Scurll, Skyler vs. Carr, Top Prospect Match
(Mike Mills is the 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.)