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Matt Taven Attacks Dalton Castle: At the end of last week’s show and after we went off air, we are shown Matt Taven attacking Dalton Castle. Taven tells us that if ROH doesn’t want to give him his shot at the ROH World title that he is just going to have to take it. This really makes things interesting because as far as I can see, Castle may now be involved in three potential feuds. Lethal has challenged him. Punishment Martinez has attacked him. And now, Taven has attacked him too. I like the unpredictability of this. Castle has a lot of challengers coming his way and he’s got to be ready to meet them. This was a nice follow up to the end of last week’s match and a nice change up for the opening of the show.
The Dawgs vs. Motor City Machine Guns: It was good to see the Motor City Machine Guns make their first ROH World Tag title defense on TV this year. This was a solid opening match with the Motor City Machine Guns winning against what I would classify as mid-card team in The Dawgs. The Machine Guns hit a nice finisher on The Dawgs described as a cradle driver double team. The end is interrupted by The Briscoes though which is the story of this segment. Jay Briscoe tells Sabin and Shelley that those ROH World Tag titles are The Briscoes property and that The Briscoes will win them again. I have mentioned this previously and will repeat it. In my opinion, The Briscoes are the best tag team in ROH and the way things have started this year, I fully expect them to win the ROH World Tag titles back soon. Good match and nice short promo from The Briscoes as they continue to put the Machine Guns on notice.
Kenny King: This was short and to the point. King talks about keeping his “head on a swivel.” King says he slipped when he lost his ROH TV title. King says he doesn’t care what Young has done by getting Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas to jump him. King declares he will get his ROH TV title back. This is obviously setting things up as we proceed with the Young and King feud. I was fine with this short promo that continues the storyline already that’s been in progress.
Coleman’s Pulpit: This was a repeat of what Coast to Coast already mentioned weeks ago. Coast to Coast stated that they need to get a win to stay together as a tag team. The problem that stands in Coast to Coast’s way is a big one and they are known as War Machine. This is going to be a tall building to climb for a team that has yet to get that elusive win on TV for the past year, but I think that’s what makes the match one that you won’t want to miss. Nice teaser here and good segment of Coleman’s Pulpit.
Cody: This was interesting. First, add Cody’s name to the list of people who want a shot at the ROH World title. I mean we know former champs usually get a rematch. Thus, this makes a lot of sense because everyone should be gunning for the title but now we have four legitimate challengers on Castle’s heels. However, the story of this segment was Matt Taven coming out and addressing Cody. Taven tells Cody that Cody has had everything handed to him on a silver platter because of his last name. Taven then says when Cody first came to ROH, Cody didn’t have the “stones” to do it on his own. Cody joined The Bullet Club like that has never been done before by placing himself with an established faction. Then to wrap up this from Taven’s side, Taven tells Cody that Cody’s career will boil down to Cody being a little undeserving, ungrateful, spoiled brat that has now become nothing more than a little bleached blond bitch. Taven then drops his mic and proceed to walk out. Cody then stops Taven from walking out of the ring. Cody says a few words and then tells Taven to kiss his ring. Unexpectedly Taven does kiss Cody’s ring but then he punts Cody below the waist as we end the segment. This was tremendous. Taven’s words can be taken as real which is what made this segment so great. Taven is a great heel and knows how to pull on the emotions of the audience. I am really looking forward to seeing where this goes which is everything you want in a wrestling program.
Punishment Martinez Vignette: This was very short but good. Its not really a hit or miss. In my eyes you can leave this out of the episode and not really miss anything important. That said, I sense the company getting behind Martinez lately with his attack on Castle. While I do not expect Martinez to defeat Castle, it still says something that he attacked Castle and is one of a few people Castle needs to worry about.
Team CMLL (Titàn & Dragon Lee) vs. Best Friends (Chuckie T & Trent Barreta) vs. The Young Bucks: This one is very easy to summarize. There was tons of action as one would expect from a 3-way tag team match in ROH. I suggest checking out the PW Torch Contributor column by Harley R. Pageot for the play-by-play on this one. Harley did a nice job covering the match specifics. The one surprise I did have from this was that I expected the Best Friends to get the victory. The Young Bucks are part of the 6-man champs right now and I figured the Best Friends in some way would pin Team CMLL. That was not to be the case though as The Young Bucks pull out the Superkicks and hit the Meltzer Driver to the loud applause of the crowd. The story here though is after the match when SoCal Uncensored came out to attack The Young Bucks. Adam Page comes out with a folding chair and clears the ring as SoCal Uncensored runs away as we go off air. See below for the rest of this as it relates to the Shane Taylor segment earlier in the episode.
Shane Taylor and SoCal Uncensored (Daniels & Kazarian & Scorpio Sky): Backstage, Christopher Daniels approaches Shane Taylor and offers him a check. Daniels tells Taylor that SoCal Uncensored is about to go out to the ring. Daniels hands Taylor an undisclosed amount of money to take care of things for SoCal Uncensored by ensuring that The Bullet Club does not get involved. This was good. I liked how they set this up with Taylor who we know has been a hired gun over the last few months in a few different instances. But, there’s more to come later in the show. As we read above, SoCal Uncensored attacked The Young Bucks after they got the victory in their 3-way tag match. Page came out to clear the ring and we went off air with no sign of Shane Taylor. Are we to assume that this segment is for something down the road as it relates to The Young Bucks & Page vs. SoCal Uncensored or was something not shown on this episode that was supposed to be included? I don’t know. The segment with Taylor and SoCal Uncensored made sense at the time it aired during the show. I just don’t see how it fit in this episode. Since Daniels said we’re about to head to the ring right now, I assumed Taylor would be involved once they went out. It’s a small miss but a miss at that for the time being. Let’s see if more comes of this Shane Taylor involvement in the coming weeks.
Josh “The Goods” Woods vs. Jonathan Gresham: I liked the recap from the last match that these two had where Gresham got the victory over Woods. Woods cuts a short promo at the beginning stating that he will get the victory this time. During the match, Cabana talks about the “Pure Championship” which makes me wonder if someone is considering bringing that back. If so, I am not a fan of adding titles. I think the promotion has enough. Gresham can still work that style into his matches without adding a title to the promotion. Ian Riccaboni mentions something on commentary that I thought from the start when Riccaboni said “Josh Woods needs a victory.” I completely agree as I feel Woods has been somewhat disappointing since the 2017 Top Prospect tournament. Just as I was agreeing with Riccaboni, Gresham defeated Woods again. This match is not a miss because the match itself was fine. However, I wonder where we go with Woods from here. It is good to see Gresham getting another victory, but it leaves me wondering what they do with Woods now. From his TV appearances, he just seems to be another guy at this point and any remnants lingering of him being the 2017 Top Prospect winner feels lost to me. Let’s see how this plays out in the next few months with Woods. In the meantime, I’ll repeat it is good to see Gresham putting some victories under his belt.
After the last two weeks, this was an average episode overall. However, let’s hand Matt Taven the MVP award for this week. His appearances alone, made this a fun watch. First, he confronted Castle at the very beginning of the episode and tells us he’s going to take what he wants since no one at ROH wants to give him a chance. Then, he confronts Cody and leaves him laying cutting a great heel promo. Just those segments alone will have me tuned in to see what goes on over the next few weeks. Once again, average episode but Taven was tremendous.
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. Also, check out his old school wrestling podcasts at tinyurl.com/BTTPod.