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ROH TV REPORT
DECEMBER 24, 2017
TAPED 11/12 IN LAKELAND, FLA. AT RP FUNDING CENTER
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
[Q1] Cody was backstage in his big fur coat standing next to a Christmas tree and a stack of wrapped presents. In this week’s main event it’s a Christmas surprise ten-man tag featuring one team led by Cody and the other led by Dalton Castle. Cody was peeved that he didn’t get to select the four other members of his team. Instead, it’s a random draw. He opened a small box to find out who his first teammate was and sighed. Dalton Castle popped into the frame and asked who he got. Cody said it was none of his business and Castle called him a grinch. Castle looked into a gift bag, saw the name of his first teammate, and grinned.
-Rhett Titus made his way out wearing a Santa hat and a Christmas sweater. He was carrying a microphone and a wrapped present. He ho-ho-ho’ed and introduced Little Willy, the red-nosed reindawg. Will Ferrara came out in a full body reindeer costume with his nose painted red. Titus thought it was hilarious but Ferrara was not impressed.
(1) THE DAWGS (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara) vs. SIMON GRIMM & FLIP GORDON
This was the ROH television debut for former WWE Vaudevillain Simon Gotch. Riccaboni mentioned that the match was supposed to be Gordon teaming with Scorpio Sky but that got changed after Sky turned on Gordon at Final Battle and aligned himself with The Addiction. Grimm and Ferrara started things off. Ferrara tried to take off his reindeer costume but Grimm kept zipping it back up. Grimm put Ferrara into a chokehold early on, then hit a back suplex. Tag to Gordon. Ferrara asked Gordon to let him take off the reindeer costume because it was too hot. Gordon let him unzip it, but only so Ferrara’s chest would be exposed and prone to some chops from Gordon. Standing moonsault from Gordon for two. The announcers mentioned Gordon’s ongoing feud with Bullet Club. Gordon went after Titus, who dropped him on the apron and clotheslined him into the barricade. Ferrara used the distraction to finally get out of the reindeer costume. [C]
Titus and Ferrara, now in their regular wrestling tights, double-teamed Gordon. Double-suplex to Gordon and a catapult dawg splash for a two-count. The announcers mentioned that The Dawgs have their eyes on the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships as they were the last team to defeat the current champions, Roppongi 3K (on ROH television when that team was still known as The Tempura Boyz). Gordon with a springboard slingblade on Titus and an enziguiri. Both men tagged out. Grimm unloaded with forearms on Ferrara and hit an overhead suplex. Titus tagged back in and took a double underhook power bomb. Gordon went for a flip on Ferrara but got shoved to the floor. Grimm with a rollup on Titus, Titus shoved him off, and Ferrara bashed Grimm in the head with their Christmas present behind the referee’s back. Grimm was out cold and Titus and Ferrara hit Who Let The Dawgs Out? for the win.
WINNER: The Dawgs in 9:32.
(Analysis: So sue me, I’m actually digging the Christmas antics. Not every segment every week has to be super serious. If you’re going to do a goofy lighthearted wrestling episode, the Christmas Eve episode might as well be it. The Dawgs picked up a rare victory, which should help keep them from being viewed as enhancement talent. Grimm didn’t get a chance to show off too much in this match and he took the pinfall but it was due to nefarious means. It’s always refreshing that ex-WWE wrestlers are treated like anyone else when they come in the door of ROH instead of being rocketed straight to the top like in some other companies.)
[Q2] Backstage to Cody again, who was muttering about people claiming he has no holiday spirit. He opened another present to find out the identity of his second tag partner. This one he was pleased with. When he opened a box to uncover his third teammate, he looked confused. “Does this guy even work here?” [C]
-Cody had one tag partner left to select. He almost opened the huge box, assuming it must be the best, but stopped. “No, the last time it was Cheeseburger and I’m not falling for that again.” He went with the small gift bag instead and was disappointed. “I didn’t get any of my friends. Christmas sucks.”
-Elsewhere backstage Castle had one last gift to open. He ripped into a box, saw the name of his final teammate, and said “This certainly makes things interesting.” He laughed hysterically.
-Riccaboni threw to a video package on Women Of Honor in 2017. They mentioned Mandy Leon and Kelly Klein competing in Japan for Stardom, “the premiere women’s wrestling organization in the world,” and plugged Women Of Honor Wednesdays on ROH’s YouTube channel. Klein’s feud with Deonna Purrazzo was highlighted as well as Purrazzo bringing Karen Q into ROH, only for Karen to turn on her. The first ROH Women’s Champion will be crowned in early 2018. [C]
(Analysis: My biggest wish for ROH in 2018 was a women’s championship so I was very happy with the announcement of the new title at Final Battle. Purrazzo was presented as the top babyface in the division based on that video package with Klein and Karen Q as the biggest hurdles to her capturing the gold. I just hope that this also means the women will appear regularly on television mixed in among the men’s matches instead of being segregated away to their own episodes and YouTube.)
-Cody was in the ring with a wrapped Christmas present and said he would give it to the fan who cheered the loudest. He listened to the crowd, then said nobody gets it, and stomped on the present. “I hate Christmas!” he yelled. He complained again about not getting to select his own team and not getting to be with his friends on Christmas.
[Q3] (2) “THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE” CODY, SCORPIO SKY, JOSH “THE GOODS” WOODS, CHRIS SABIN, & PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ vs. DALTON CASTLE, “THE LAST REAL MAN” SILAS YOUNG, HANSON, JONATHAN GRESHAM, & “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL – CHRISTMAS SURPRISE TEN-MAN TAG
Well, we can infer that Scurll teaming against Cody was what caused Castle to laugh so hard earlier. Riccaboni and Cabana also brought up the awkwardness of Castle and Young teaming together. [C]
Search & Destroy teammates Sabin and Gresham started things off with some quick mat wrestling, neither man able to gain an advantage. Young and Sky tagged in. Riccaboni made a vague allusion to Castle and Young both winning gold at Final Battle but didn’t state it explicitly. When Young took over, Sky tagged out to Cody. Young tagged in Castle, bringing the two archenemies face to face “for the first time since Final Battle.” Cody immediately tagged out to Woods. Castle’s teammate Scurll cheered the decision. Castle and Woods locked up. Cody and Scurll blew kisses to each other from across the ring. Castle and Woods tussled into the break. [C]
[Q4] Hanson and Martinez faced off with clotheslines and a series of big moves that had no effect on each other. When Cody tried to tell Martinez what to do, Punishment responded by chopping Cody across the chest for a tag. Hanson did the same to Scurll. Scurll refused to get into the ring against Cody but Castle yelled “Rules is rules!” which led to a “rules is rules” chant from the crowd. The Bullet Club members met mid-ring and too sweet’ed each other. When Cody turned his back, Castle shoved Scurll into him. A livid Cody spun around and got in Scurll’s face. They both started shouting and looked ready to tear each other apart, only to hug instead. The other eight men jumped in the ring, Castle’s team beating on Cody and Cody’s team beating on Scurll. All ten men lined up against each other, ready to brawl. Castle jumped into the middle, waving his arms. “This is not in the spirit! Everybody’s hitting each other! It’s Christmas, for God’s sake!” Nobody listened to him and everything broke down. People brawled in and around the ring while the fans chanted “Merry Christmas!” Sky hit a big flip onto everyone at ringside. Woods powerbombed Gresham over the top rope onto everyone. Cody with a springboard splash onto everyone. Martinez with a flip over the top rope onto everyone. Hanson to the top rope as the others got back to their feet. Cannonball from the big man, knocking them down again like bowling pins. [C]
Castle’s team hit a clothesline train on Sky in the corner. Everyone connected except Scurll, who kept taking Sky’s boots to the face. Scurll was knocked for a loop and took a Flair flop. Scurll wound up in the opposite corner and took running offense from Sky, Sabin, Woods, and Martinez. When it was Cody’s turn he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Riccaboni mentioned that the winning team gets a big Christmas bonus (thus explaining why Cody and Scurll wouldn’t just walk out and refuse to compete). Since Cody wouldn’t attack Scurll, Martinez grabbed Cody by the neck and threw him at Scurll, only for The Villain to move and Cody to fly shoulder-first into the ring post. Cody and Castle wound up as the legal men. Castle took out Cody, then Sabin, then Sky. Bangarang attempt but Sky escaped. Gresham took out Sky before going at it with Sabin. Young with a Misery attempt on Sabin but Sabin escaped. Woods into the ring and he also escaped a Misery attempt. Hanson with a spinning heel kick on Woods. Hanson took out Martinez and traded cartwheels with Cody. Cody with Cross Rhodes on Hanson and a Beautiful Disaster kick on Castle. Castle with Bangarang on Cody. Sky into the match and a Bangarang on Sky seals it.
WINNERS: Team Castle in 19:38.
-Castle, Hanson, and Gresham celebrated in the ring while Young stood nearby. Scurll was at ringside looking upset and said he was very angry that Cody didn’t win.
(Analysis: Neither Cody nor Castle were introduced as ROH World Champion and there was no sign of the title belt, though the announcers alluded to the two of them “fighting tooth and nail” at Final Battle. This is the first time the taping schedule has been awkward in that respect. The main event was more holiday goofiness and fun, which I have no problem with. I always love the attention to detail with ROH so the announcers mentioning that the winning team gets a Christmas bonus gives a real gravitas to an otherwise (literally) random match. Wins and losses matter and there are clear reasons why you should want to win, even when you’re paired up with people you don’t like in a ten-man tag. Our new ROH World Champion stands tall at the end of the last show of the year, which is only fitting.)
-Next week: it’s a best of show featuring footage from the UK. “We’re giving our wrestlers a break on Christmas and the holidays. Let them be with their families,” Cabana said.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 12/17 ROH TV Report: The Elite vs. Best Friends & Rocky Romero, Addiction vs. Coast To Coast, Coleman’s Pulpit with Brandi Rhodes