SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Christopher Daniels and Cody: Christopher Daniels cuts a short promo talking about being the ROH World Champion and how he will face the winner of an upcoming 4-way match on next week’s ROH TV. Cody Rhodes enters the stage. Daniels then proceeds to call out Cody saying that he wants a match with him in the future. Cody comes out and says forget about the future, let’s do this tonight. When the fans chant that they also want to see this tonight, Cody says no and that it is not happening tonight in Baltimore. Cody closes out the promo by really turning it up a notch when he says, “imagine if this part timer (alluding to himself) wins the ROH World Title?” The promo was left on a cliff hanger at the end but I thought it was effective and served its purpose of Cody calling out Daniels. It will be interesting to see if Cody indeed can win the title from Daniels or if Daniels gets a long run with the title. Personally, I liked how Cody teased the audience with seeing the match tonight and then telling them they’ll have to wait.
Lio Rush vs. Shane Taylor with Caprice Coleman: Before the match begins they show a segment from a few weeks ago where Taylor appeared to come out to help Rush against the Rebellion but then Taylor turns on Rush. Considering that this happened weeks ago, I thought this was a good, effective, and short recap letting the fans know what has happened recently. Rush and Taylor are two different types of wrestlers. I’ve had the opportunity to see Shane Taylor plenty of times on the independents over the years as he was coming up. He’s a big man that can wrestle as a big man against other big men but he also has great matches with agile and quick guys like Rush. I thought this match was very good. Both guys displayed their strengths. There was a sequence in the match where Rush hits an elbow, ducks Taylor’s clothesline, Taylor drops down, and Rush then hits Taylor with a swinging DDT. I point this out because this sequence displays Rush’s quickness and Taylor’s ability to wrestle any style. As the match proceeds, Rush gets distracted by Coleman on the ring apron. When Rush gets back in he goes to the top rope for the Dragon’s Call. He misses it on Taylor and rolls through. When Rush gets up, Taylor is there to hit Rush with a solid lariat. Taylor then hits Rush with his finisher and gets the win over Rush. At the end of the match, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin are trying to help Rush out. Coleman and Taylor attack Shelley and Sabin and lay them out. With that happening at the end, I guess we are looking at a feud with the Machine Guns vs. The Rebellion possibly as we set things up for the future.
Top Prospect Tournament Final – Josh Woods vs. John Skyler: Things start off slow in the match. Skyler controls the matchup similarly to Goods last match against Milonas. Things pick up when Skyler appears to have Woods up for Skyler’s finisher, “Southern Salvation.” Woods fights his way out of it and ends up on the apron fighting with Skyler. Skyler delivers a spear on the ring apron and then delivers another slingshot spear from the apron to the inside on Woods a few seconds later. Woods hits Skyler with a big-time knee shot. Skyler is able to get the upper hand and hit Woods with a super kick. Woods gets back on offense, German suplexes Skyler and then gets Skyler in a submission hold. Woods gets Skyler to submit and Woods is the ROH Top Prospect winner for 2017. But this is not the end of this segment. David Starr runs out and lays out Woods right after Woods wins. One would assume that this may lead to a match or series of matches with Starr and Woods. This was not the best match of the tournament. I thought Skyler’s first two matches in the tournament were better than this one. I also thought that Woods’ match with Milonas was very good. Overall though, this was fine and congrats to the 2017 Top Prospect winner Josh Woods. I look forward to seeing more of him in ROH. I mentioned this at the start of the tournament but historically the Top Prospect tournament has given birth to numerous ROH stars. While we celebrate Woods’ win, one must also wonder which one of this year’s wrestler in the tournament may end up being the next Dalton Castle or Beer City Bruiser. I mention those two because they did not win the tournament but they ended up doing well in ROH.
Frankie Kazarian vs. Marty Scurll: It might not be a five-star match by today’s standards but it certainly was an entertaining main event. I heard Ian Riccaboni at the beginning of the match mention that Scurll has elevated the ROH TV Title since coming to ROH. I have to agree, it feels like Scurll has elevated the title although that’s not a shot at any of the great previous champs in the last year. Scurll has great charisma to go along with his tremendous wrestling ability. As we get into the match, there is a spot that was a miss but it still looked great on TV if that makes sense. Kazarian is inside the ring with Scurll on the apron. Kazarian jumps to the outside attempting to, in one motion, DDT Scurll on the ring apron. Scurll’s head appears to miss the apron completely but it still looked great on TV as Scurll takes a spill to the floor. In all honesty, Kazarian appears to take the brunt of the move on his leg on the fall to the floor but it still looked great. The two go back and forth a good bit of time in this match. The crowd is into the match throughout especially once Scurll “breaks” Kazarian’s fingers. Scurll tries to use his umbrella but Kazarian takes the umbrella away. Scurll goes back to the outside and gets some powder. In old school fashion, Scurll tries to throw powder at Kazarian but Kazarian ducks and the powder goes into the eyes of the referee. Of course, then Kazarian hits Scurll with his finisher and the audience counts to at least seven but there’s no referee to count. Hangman Page comes out though. This distracts Kazarian momentarily. Scurll goes for the chicken wing finish but Kazarian reverses it into a roll up for a two count. Scurll kicks out, Kazarian is then nailed by a chair from Page, and then Scurll gets the pin and defeats Kazarian. Scurll retains his ROH TV Title but at the end we get a nice surprise. Scurll goes on a rant after defeating Kazarian. Scurll tells us that he’s beaten all the competition that’s in ROH. Matt Sydal’s music hits and Sydal heads to the ring leaving us with another potential new matchup for Scurll and the ROH TV Title.
Adam Cole: This is not an indictment of Adam Cole. I’m just not enjoying this storyline with Cole pleading to The Young Bucks to getting back to being Bullet Club. As I often say, I don’t hate it, it’s just not something that has me invested.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a solid episode of ROH TV. More than anything in this episode, I liked what they did as they set some things up going forward. Every match seemed to end with the thought or at least some thought of what’s next. I especially liked the finish of the Scurll and Kazarian match and the addition of Sydal coming out. Certainly, not a perfect episode but for an hour of wrestling, there is enough her to keep you entertained as an ROH fan.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: ROH HITS & MISSES 4/15: Roppongi Vice, Cheeseburger, Ferrara, Eight-Man Wildcard Match, Top Prospect Recap
(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.)