Recap Dalton Castle Sends Cody a Message: If you missed last week, this was a nice opening and short clip to show you a very important moment working towards Final Battle concerning Castle and Cody. Nice placement of this and I continue to be pleased with ROH’s short recaps week to week.
ROH TV Title 4-Way Match at Final Battle: Last week I didn’t quite understand the rules of the ROH TV title match and tournament for the contenders leading into Final Battle. I thought Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana did a good job of explaining that there would be three matches over the next few weeks. The winners of these three matches will then be in a 4-way match for the ROH TV title against Kenny King at Final Battle. One of the matches is discussed later in this column.
Mark Briscoe and Jay Briscoe: Interesting promo after the last few weeks where there has been some dissention between Mark and Jay Briscoe. However, Jay interrupts his brother Mark and tells him that he will be in Mark’s corner tonight when Mark faces Kenny King for the ROH TV title later in the hour. More to come on this situation which is good. Let the story continue to play out.
Jay Lethal Speaks: Jay Lethal comes out and declares that his goal is to become the ROH World champion again. He then leads to calling out Cody but when he does so, the lights go down and out comes Marty Scurll. That’s when things get interesting as Scurll hurls a few insults at Lethal including telling Lethal that Lethal was more entertaining back when he was wearing tassels and saying “oh yeah.” Scurll goes on to say Lethal was much better when he was a “villain” and not the way he is now. Scurll also challenges Lethal to a match at Final Battle to which Lethal accepts the challenge. This segment wasn’t a grand slam, but they certainly got a solid hit. Additionally, this is a solid match and one that most are going to love watching at Final Battle.
The Bullet Club: Cody, The Young Bucks, Marty Scurll, and Adam Page cut a short promo to help promote next week’s match where it will be Page vs. Castle. I could do without the lame jokes about Page’s “package” but for the purposes of making sure you plug something leading into next week I thought this was solid. I’d expect Castle to defeat Page but it’ll still be good to see the match and how the finish goes.
Mark Briscoe vs. Kenny King: Within 15 seconds of the bell ringing, Mark Briscoe throws in the towel and the referee calls King the winner. I had an idea that something strange would happen after the promo with Mark and Jay earlier, but this was a shocker. I say that in a good way. This then leads to Mark and Jay Briscoe heading to the back with the fans disappointed but from there all heck breaks loose when we see Martinez hit the ring to lay out King, then Shane Taylor comes out, then Jonathan Gresham, and Silas Young. Before we go to the commercial, Kenny King clears the ring though and we go off with Kenny in the ring standing tall. Nothing was resolved in this segment and that’s perfectly fine to me. Stay tuned to see not only what happens with The Briscoes going forward and what happens with everyone involved in the ROH TV title picture.
Coleman’s Pulpit: Another somber Coleman’s Pulpit but I understand why. Shane Taylor is being built as a hired gun or even a hitman. Taylor talking about his family and why he is doing what he is doing made perfect sense. I am more than good with this segment, but I am hoping we get back to the more comedic segments of Coleman’s Pulpit also.
The Addiction vs. Best Friends: As you are aware by now, The Addiction have been on a mission to cause problems for ROH. They interfere in matches causing no decisions, DQs, or causing wrestlers to lose matches. Keep this in mind as we see the finish of this match play out. This match was very good as most would expect. I loved the finish. After The Addiction contributed to War Machine losing last week, this week War Machine turned the tables and threw an assist to the Best Friends helping the Best Friends defeat The Addiction which costed The Addiction a shot at the ROH World Tag titles. War Machine also declared “THIS AIN’T OVER” as far as they’re concerned. One of the things I miss about the territory days of wrestling are things like this where the heel ones ups the baby face and then the face one ups the heel the next week all the while the title isn’t changing hands. It’s that type of week to week story that keeps a viewer invested. I thought this was a good example of what I have liked about ROH throughout much of 2018. They’ve committed to storylines and stuck to them. I’m looking forward to this one developing and playing out in the weeks to come.
Punishment Martinez vs. Josh “The Goods” Woods (TV Title Contender Match): I’m not sure how I felt about this match. There were moments when it felt far too choreographed. I simply can’t stand that, but it is what it is in today’s wrestling I guess. This is only a miss because I didn’t think the match was good. Yes, it served the purpose of Martinez defeating Woods where he has now earned his spot in the 4-way match at Final Battle for the ROH TV title, but, I thought the match was below average.
Good episode this week. Even the Martinez vs. Goods match that I was down on still served a purpose with Martinez moving on to get a shot at the ROH TV title. Everything else tied into moving towards Final Battle and the build to it. As we approach the end of the year, I think ROH has done a much better job this year making their product more episodic. Even things that I haven’t been emotionally invested in have still been episodic and continue to tell a story which is all many wrestling fans ask for week by week.
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.