SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Recap (The Briscoes and Bully Ray): The Briscoes shoot a quick promo recapping the 15th anniversary run in that Bully Ray made when he came in to assist The Briscoes in Manhattan recently. They also show the closing moments of the match with The Briscoes & Bully Ray vs. War Machine & Smith Jr. from the 15th anniversary. Nice recap of the situation and how Bully Ray and The Briscoes became a team.
WarBeard Hanson vs. Punishment Martinez: Beautiful counter on Hanson’s part at the start of the match when Hanson catches a spinning kick from Martinez and plants Martinez with a slam in the middle of the ring. The agile Hanson follows that up with a dive through the ropes to the outside and nails Martinez. Eventually, Martinez gets the upper hand on Hanson and shows his own agility for a big man when he hits a springboard spinning senton off the second rope down on to Hanson. We go to commercial and when we come back Hanson and Martinez are in a battle of who can suplex who to which Hanson wins. Martinez is able to get the upper hand and sends Hanson to the outside. Martinez then launches himself from the inside to the outside by diving over the near corner post to the outside on to Hanson. After a series of moves, Martinez and Hanson trade punches and kicks. Hanson nails Martinez with a spin kick of doom but Martinez kicks out on two. Hanson hits Martinez with a whoopy cushion from the corner as Kevin Kelly calls it on commentary. Hanson goes to the top but is distracted by Davey Boy Smith Jr. who appears on stage. Hanson takes longer than he should to go for his moonsault. In the meantime, Martinez is able to recover and moves out of the way just as Hanson starts his moonsault. Martinez then connects with a kick and then his chokeslam finisher. Martinez gets the victory on Hanson. It was a very good match but I felt it made Hanson look silly because he was distracted by Smith Jr. who’s on the stage. Excellent match, I just didn’t like the distraction type finish. Again, that should not take away from the fact that this was an excellent match to start off the show.
“Hangman” Page attacks Frankie Kazarian: We know by now that Kazarian pulled a fast one on The Bullet Club when he assisted Christopher Daniels and helped Daniels win the ROH World Title. Page took matters into his own hands by attacking Kazarian in a parking garage to get even with Kazarian. I liked this. There has to be consequences when Kazarian does what he did to The Bullet Club and that’s what this was. It was a short and impactful segment.
“The Loan Star” Curt Stallion vs. John Skyler: This match opens with a standard collar and elbow. For the first few minutes these guys trade moves on each other. But then a few minutes into it, Stallion attempts to hit a dive through the ropes to the outside that Skyler moves out of the way on and oh my goodness it appeared that Stallion may have injured himself. The crowd erupted into a “YOU JUST KILLED HIM” chant. It was incredible. They came back from commercial with Stallion battling his way back into the ring after that devastating dive and miss. Skyler still maintains his offensive edge but then things turn. Stallion out of nowhere than lands a couple of nice German suplexes, a brutal elbow shot, and then a few kicks to the face in the corner on to Skyler. It was a nice offensive set of moves that seemed to get a nice reaction from the crowd. They trade kicks on each other but then Skyler nails Stallion with a spear as Skyler comes through the ropes. We go to the finish. Skyler blocks a Hurricanrana from the top rope. Skyler then hits his Southern Salvation finisher on Stallion. Skyler gets the win in another good Top Prospect tournament match. This was the sixth Top Prospect match so far and five of the six have been really good matches.
The Briscoes & Bully Ray vs. The Kingdom (Marseglia & Taven) & Sylas Young: Glad to finally see how they wrote this into the TV after a very unfortunate injury to TK O’Ryan. Young talked Taven & Marseglia into allowing himself to be the third man as they are going to defend against The Briscoes and Bully Ray. I’ve mentioned for a few weeks that I wondered how they would tell this story due to O’Ryan’s very unfortunate injury. On to the match, Bully Ray is mixing it up with Marseglia. He lands a few chops to Marseglia’s chest. Riccaboni on commentary throws out a great line when he says, “Marseglia’s family felt those chops and I can’t tell if the red on Marseglia’s chest is from his tattoos or from the chops.” It’s always good to hear when a commentator sells the moves as much as the wrestlers do. It’s a 6-man tag so there is plenty of action throughout the match. Eventually the The Briscoes & Bully Ray clean house and are able to isolate Marseglia in the ring. The Briscoes & Bully Ray then hit Marseglia with 3D. The Briscoes and Bully Ray are now your new 6-man tag team champions.
Adam Cole Promo: It wasn’t Cole that I didn’t like. This promo just did nothing for me. If it would’ve been omitted from the episode I’m sure that no one would’ve missed it and that is why this landed in the “miss” category in my opinion. Was it a bad promo? Not really, it just wasn’t needed.
iPPV last week, Supercard of Honor: It’s hard to ignore the fact that Supercard of Honor was on 4/1/2017. I say this because most are watching this episode at least a week after that ROH iPPV. For anyone who watched that iPPV, there was little doubt that The Briscoes & Bully Ray would win the 6-man titles here. While it was a good match, from an episodic story telling perspective it was like reading chapter 3 of a book on 4/1/2017 and then the author giving you chapter 1 of the book a week later. It’s the biggest complaint I have with ROH. I do understand that TK O’Ryan’s injury may have had a lot to deal with how this was presented since his terrible injury could not have been planned for. However, I’ve talked about this in the past with ROH. Since they often times shoot a lot of TV in advance, when they reach the week of an iPPV or PPV, the TV shows post-PPV are often behind from a storyline point of view.
GET WELL SOON
Recap of T.K. O’Ryan’s injury: No matter how many times I see the replay of T.K. O’Ryan’s injury, I still get an uneasy feeling in my stomach. That had to be extremely painful. This isn’t a Hit or Miss. This is in the category of get well soon T.K. That was a brutal injury and I think we all wish you a speedy and healthy recovery.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Besides what I mentioned above in the “MISSES” section, this was a good episode. I understand this is just how things shake out sometimes with ROH considering how they do their TV tapings but it wouldn’t be fair if I ignored that miss from above. As I say that, I thought there was a lot of good in this episode. I was impressed as usual with WarBeard Hanson and Punishment Martinez. I may not have liked the finish but those two guys put on a heck of a match.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: ROH HITS & MISSES 4/1: Rowe vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr., Top Prospect Tournament continues, Josh Woods, Scurll, more
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.