ROH TV REPORT
JANUARY 21, 2018
PHILADELPHIA, PA. AT 2300 ARENA
AIRED ON SINCLAR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
[Q1] My feed cut off the first minute or two so we began with Cheeseburger sitting in on commentary. The Dawgs made their entrance wearing unbuttoned tropical shirts over matching lime green trunks. Ferrara continued to take umbrage at Titus referring to him as “Little Willie.”
(1) THE DAWGS (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara) vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Cheeseburger claimed that he’s looking for a new tag partner. Ferrara showboated in front of Cheeseburger at ringside and took a kick from Sabin as a result. The Guns double-teamed Titus and drove him from the ring. Sabin hit a suicide dive on both Dawgs. [C]
Titus used Ferrara as a battering ram and then catapulted him onto Shelley. A tag was attempted but Titus pulled Sabin off the apron before they could connect. Titus missed a doggy-splash and Sabin tagged in. Hurricanrana on Titus. At this point it’s unclear which Dawg is the legal man as both have been in the ring for a long time. The Guns hit their Dream Sequence on Titus and a series of kicks on Ferrara. The Guns hit what appears to be their new finishing move (a double-team cradle driver?) but it’s still unnamed by the commentators. This week they just said “Look out!” “Got him!”
WINNERS: Motor City Machine Guns at 7:44 to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles.
-MCMG’s music was cut short by The Briscoes. From the top of the ramp Jay congratulated them on the win but told them the titles are the Briscoes’ property and there’s not a damn thing they can do to stop them. Mark stared them down and pointed at the belts.
(Analysis: This was harmless. The Dawgs are still portrayed as more of a midcard comedy team than a legitimate threat so the loss doesn’t hurt them. Cheeseburger all but vanished on commentary after the first twenty seconds so I’m not sure why he was there unless the story is him finding a new partner to rekindle his feud with Ferrara. Meanwhile The Briscoes carry a palpable sense of menace these days. A ninth title reign in the near future seems inevitable at this point.)
-Shane Taylor was seated backstage with headphones on and his baseball cap pulled down low over his eyes. SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, & Scorpio Sky) walked up and Daniels slapped him on the shoulder. SoCal were about to head out to the ring and they wanted to hire Taylor to ensure no Bullet Club members crashed the party. Kaz was going to elaborate but Taylor cut him off. He didn’t care about the details. They write a check, he puts them down. Simple as that. They handed him an envelope and he threatened them that the check better clear. [C]
[Q2] -Kenny King was backstage. “Keep your head on a swivel,” his mother used to say to him. He forgot this and it resulted in him getting hit in the head with a beer bottle at Final Bottle and jumped by three men last week. But that won’t stop him and he’s coming for the TV title that Silas Young stole from him.
(2) JOSH “THE GOODS” WOODS vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM
Gresham beat Woods in a Final Battle dark match but Woods deemed it a fluke and asked for a rematch. The commentators mentioned Gresham referring to his in-ring style as “pure wrestling” and drew a link to the ROH Pure Championship that existed from 2004-2006. Gresham worked over Woods’ left knee. [C]
Woods blocked a monkey flip attempt but both men tumbled over the top rope. Gresham hit a slingshot splash onto Woods at ringside. When he attempted a second splash back into the ring Woods caught him with a big knee. Woods hit a trio of gutwrench slams for a two-count. Woods’ knee pain began to catch up to him and Gresham pulled off a bridging pin for the win, the same finish as their last match. Cabana pointed out that Woods didn’t learn his lesson but Woods shook Gresham’s hand after the loss anyway.
WINNER: Jonathan Gresham at 8:49.
(Analysis: Both men looked good and it appears that Gresham’s losing ways are starting to turn around. I just don’t know what to make of all the “pure wrestling” talk. Is it just a way to try to give Gresham some depth as a character or are they actually planning on bringing back the Pure Championship? I said last week that we’ve already got five championships in this company so we really don’t need a sixth. For that matter, this is our third episode of 2018 and we still haven’t had one appearance or match by any of the Women of Honor.)
[Q3] COLEMAN’S PULPIT with COAST 2 COAST (Shaheem Ali & LSG)
Last month Ali and LSG decided that if they don’t win their next match, they’re going to disband as a team. Coleman said they’re roommates and best friends. Is this what they want? No. They’re brothers and they want to tag together. They just don’t know what they’re doing wrong. They have a lot of respect for the other teams on the ROH roster. If they can’t get it done, they shouldn’t be taking other people’s spots. Coleman brought up that the potential split was Ali’s idea and made a crack about him being the weak link. This fired up Ali. He made it clear that they haven’t given up yet and they intend to win. Coleman then revealed that he knows who their opponents are in the upcoming do or die match. It’s War Machine. Coast 2 Coast were not happy about this but Coleman sincerely told them that anything is possible and he believes they can pull it off. [C]
(Analysis: The “win or disband” stipulation is one that Coast 2 Coast put on themselves after another in a long string of losses. It’s clear there’s no conflict between Ali and LSG. This isn’t a teased break-up due to jealousy or frustration with the other person; this is simply two men wanting to prove to themselves that they belong in ROH and that they’re capable of winning as a team. Going up against War Machine to prove that point is a big mountain to climb but this could be the beginning of a great redemption arc for them.)
-“The American Nightmare” Cody made his entrance, dressed in a suit, for his first appearance since losing the World Championship at Final Battle. The fans booed when he noted that he’s no longer champion despite the fact that they also cheered heartily for Castle as champion two weeks ago. Cody said Castle was the better man at Final Battle but he should have fun while he can because Cody’s owed a rematch. He might not have the championship anymore but he does still have the “official” ring of honor. As the camera zoomed in on his ring, The Kingdom’s music interrupted.
Matt Taven made his way to the ring with a microphone while TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia stayed on the stage. Taven said Cody’s had everything handed to him on a silver platter because of his last name. Cody didn’t have the balls to come to ROH on his own, he had to kiss ass and join the Bullet Club. Taven’s beaten everyone in the locker room but keeps getting looked over in favor of people like Cody. Cody’s career synopsis will say “a little undeserving, ungrateful, spoiled brat has now become nothing more than a little bleached blond bitch.” Mic drop from Taven. Cody stopped him from leaving. He would love to give Taven the last word but he needed to point out that the reveal of his blond hair at Final Battle got a bigger pop than Taven will ever hear in his entire life. So there’s only one thing left to do. Cody held out his hand. Taven hesitated, kissed the ring of honor, and kicked Cody between the legs.
(Analysis: The Bullet Club face turn continues. With The Hung Bucks going at it with SoCal Uncensored and Cody pivoting into a feud with Taven that just leaves Marty Scurll on the fence. I’m definitely on board with this. We all know Bullet Club will get cheered no matter what so why not use their popularity to help some heels get booed rather than undercut aspiring babyfaces? The quest of Taven to become the first ROH grand slam champion has been a driving storyline for a while now. I just love that every person on the roster has a clear goal and aspiration. That’s what makes you invest in a character.)
-Video package on Punishment Martinez. He is the end. He is the executioner.
(3) TEAM CMLL (Dragon Lee & Titán) vs. BEST FRIENDS (Beretta & Chuckie T) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson)
As Best Friends posed on the apron, Chuckie took a streamer right to the face and collapsed like he was shot. [C]
[Q4] Chuckie and Titán started things off by exchanging chops to the chest. Chuckie put him down with a dropkick and tagged in his best friend. They hugged over Titán while the Bucks applauded. Titán gave Beretta a hurricanrana into the Bucks’ corner so Nick tagged in. CMLL double-teamed Nick until Matt joined the fray. They took out CMLL, followed by Best Friends. Stereo dives from the Bucks onto Best Friends. Dragon Lee and Titán with a dive and a flip of their own onto the Bucks. Best Friends took the time to hug in the ring, then hit dives onto the other four men as their opponents simply stood there and watched. The Bucks took out Best Friends with superkicks, then put both of the luchadores into stereo sharpshooters. [C]
Nick and Lee were the legal men. Lee hit a double-stomp in the corner. Titán was nowhere to be found so he tagged out to Beretta. Best Friends with a lawn-dart cutter on Matt for two. Titán with a blind tag on Matt. CMLL worked over Beretta. Frog splash from Titán for two. Matt and Chuckie decided to team up against CMLL. They were successful, then hugged, but Chuckie was quickly betrayed by a superkick from Nick. The Bucks with superkicks to everyone and a Meltzer Driver on Titán.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks at 11:36.
-Scorpio Sky appeared on the apron to distract the Bucks, allowing Daniels and Kaz to jump them from behind again. The Addiction targeted their knees until Hangman Page made the save with a steel chair.
(Analysis: I’m a bit surprised that the Bucks won simply because they’re in the six-man division at the moment and Best Friends need the credibility more. But it also appears MCMG and the Briscoes will be tangling with the titles for a while so it’s no harm, no foul, I guess.
The show overall wasn’t as strong as the last two weeks but every match and segment continues to serve a purpose and be leading somewhere, which is always refreshing. There was no follow-up on the Shane Taylor segment, however. Daniels said they were heading out to the ring next and that never happened. Once they did hit the ring at the end of the show, Taylor wasn’t there to keep Page away, which was the whole reason they paid him.)
-Next week: it’s Coast 2 Coast vs. War Machine and the first appearance of Bully Ray since apparently retiring at Final Battle.