ROH TV REPORT
FEBRUARY 4, 2018
NASHVILLE, TENN. AT MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM
AIRED ON SINCLAR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
[Q1] We opened with a recap of Matt Taven confronting Cody two weeks ago and kicking the former world champion between the legs.
(1) BEST FRIENDS (Beretta & Chuckie T) vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Sabin and Chuck Taylor started things off. Dueling arm drags. Sabin hugged Taylor, who was greatly offended. Tags to Shelley and Beretta. Dueling chops. Beretta with an eye poke and a tag back to Taylor. Best Friends teased a hug but Sabin broke it up. After some back and forth the challengers caught the Machine Guns with clotheslines in the opposite corners before Beretta and Taylor finally hugged for the first time. [C]
The Machine Guns were working over Beretta before he made the hot tag to Taylor. Power bomb on Sabin for two. Taylor went to the top for a moonsault but Sabin rolled out of the way. Sabin with a tornado DDT on Taylor, pushing off of Beretta’s shoulder. Beretta fought back against both champions while Taylor recovered at ringside. The Machine Guns hit their Dream Sequence, though. Best Friends with a lawn-dart cutter on Shelley on the floor. Taylor with a cannonball over the top rope onto both champions. He was hugging Beretta at the top of the ramp when The Briscoes flew out of the back and went nuts.
WINNERS: No contest in 9:16.
-Mark stomped away at Best Friends on the ramp while Jay threw the Machine Guns into the ring. The Briscoes pummeled away at the champions to loud boos. Jay pulled some zip ties out of his pocket and Mark bound both of Shelley’s wrists to the middle rope. Jay stomped away at Sabin some more while Mark grabbed a chair. Riccaboni pleaded on commentary for some intervention from security. Mark held Shelley and made him watch while Jay hit a Jay Driller on Sabin on the steel chair.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Best Friends haven’t won a match in ROH since early November so nobody expected them to win the championship here. That said, the crowd didn’t seem to expect The Briscoes’ interference either. Run-ins are rare in ROH so The Briscoes storming the ring and destroying both teams was surprising and really continued the streak of their vicious new characters. For a team as popular and with such longevity as The Briscoes to be able to generate as much heat as they’ve been getting is a real testament to their abilities. There is nothing about these new Briscoes that makes you want to cheer them.)
[Q2] ROH World TV Champion Silas Young, The Beer City Bruiser, and Brian Milonas were backstage. Next week Bruiser and Milonas have their debut match as a tag team. Young can’t wait to see it and will be there live alongside them. [C]
-Video package on Punishment Martinez. His entire life has been about violence. He earned the name Punishment on the streets by breaking bones and cracking skulls. He spoke about his martial arts background and smiled sadistically. Clips aired of him flipping over the top rope, his hardcore brawl with Jay White, and his victories over Frankie Kazarian, Will Ospreay, and Jay Lethal. Martinez won the 2017 Survival Of The Fittest and earned a world title shot as a result. Clips of Martinez attacking Dalton Castle on the first TV show of the year. Castle’s time as world champion is dead.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Solid video package on the #1 contender to the world title. With WWE’s check book it’s often hard for video packages and featurettes from any other company to compare to theirs but this stood out in a good way, incorporating clips from past matches, Martinez speaking to the camera, and his dark imagery and motifs layered over top. Evidently Martinez is getting his title shot in the main event of next week’s TV show.)
(2) SHANE TAYLOR vs. “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL
Taylor took bribe money from SoCal Uncensored two weeks ago to attack Scurll in the locker room so Scurll’s playing the babyface in this one. Scurll went right at him with shots to the face but Taylor used his strength to throw him off. Scurll tried for a suplex but he couldn’t lift Taylor and just ended up straining his back. Taylor charged Scurll and tumbled to the floor. Scurll hit a superkick to the face but Taylor held onto his foot. Scurll tried for a hurricanrana off the apron but Taylor powered out and shoved Scurll into the barricade. Taylor chokeslammed Scurll onto the apron going into the break. [C]
[Q3] Scurll tried for a sunset flip, Taylor tried to sit out on him, but Scurll moved. Uppercut from Scurll, clothesline from off the ropes, and a missile dropkick finally took down the big man. Taylor rolled out of the ring. Scurll tried for a suicide dive but Taylor caught him. Scurll turned it into a tornado DDT on the floor. Scurll tried for the Ghostbuster in the ring but couldn’t lift Taylor. Taylor hit a knee to the chin and a splash for two. Cabana blamed Taylor for not putting leverage on the shoulders. Taylor with a baldo bomb for another two count. Taylor mocked Scurll, calling for the chickenwing. Scurll with a big slap and Taylor responded with a headbutt. Scurll finally managed to get Taylor up for the Ghostbuster but he wasn’t able to hit the knee and ended up with a brainbuster instead. The crowd thought that was it but Taylor kicked out. Scurll called for the chickenwing but Taylor heard him yell for it and hit a punch instead. Scurll went for the umbrella but Taylor stepped on it and took it himself. As the referee and Taylor fought over the umbrella Scurll grabbed a grocery bag from under the ring. He pulled out a handful of flour and blasted Taylor in the face behind the referee’s back. Scurll with a roll-up on the blinded Taylor for three.
WINNER: Marty Scurll in 10:57.
-Scurll took a microphone and called out Punishment Martinez for some reason? Martinez came from the crowd and appeared in the ring behind Scurll. Scurll predicts that Martinez will win the world title next week and he wants to be the first in line to challenge once that happens. Martinez seemed to nod slightly before dropping Scurll with a South of Heaven choke slam.
(Pageot’s Perspective: On paper this whole segment sounds awkward but it was actually set up beautifully over the past month and wrapped up a couple little stories. Scurll gets a bit of revenge for Taylor attacking him in the locker room and comes in positioned as the lovable underdog, furthering the past month of TV where it appeared that all of Bullet Club might be turning babyface. When Jay Lethal told Castle that he wanted a title shot at the top of the first episode of the year Scurll was very vocal about questioning whether you’re allowed to just walk out and ask for a match, hence his decision to do the same here. Of course Scurll is kind of a buffoon sometimes so he made the fatal mistake of calling out Martinez, rather than Castle.)
-Video recap of Bully Ray’s retirement speech from last week. [C]
-Short video package on the Women Of Honor Championship tournament that begins next week.
-Video recap of Coast To Coast’s big victory over War Machine last week.
[Q4] (3) MATT TAVEN (w/Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan) vs. “THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE” CODY
A fan was happy to kiss Cody’s ring of honor in the aisle and Cody was showered with streamers, the clear fan favorite. Loud “Cody” chant as the two men went face to face. Taven bailed to ringside early. Both men went for their signature moves but both men avoided. [C]
Taven and Cody traded punches. Cody was tossed to the outside but avoided a baseball slide. Cody drove Taven into the apron. O’Ryan and Marseglia asked the ref for a time out but they ate a bit splash from Cody. Taven took advantage, driving Cody’s arm into the barricade. Taven worked over Cody’s left arm in the ring. Taven distracted the ref, allowing The Kingdom to work over Cody at ringside. Riccaboni acknowledged that there’s been “tension” between Cody and Kenny Omega. Cabana pointed out that Cody has no Bullet Club members in his corner. Cody managed to hit a Beautiful Disaster kick that left both men down on the mat. [C]
Taven with a spinning heel kick and a springboard moonsault for two. Taven off the top, Cody ducked, and Cody hit an Alabama slam (a call-back to his former tag partner Hardcore Holly?). Taven with a swinging neckbreaker. Taven attempted a top rope frog splash but Cody got the knees up. Cody with a sunset flip but Taven caught him with a knee to the face. Marseglia and O’Ryan circled the ring until Todd Sinclair had enough and threw them both out. While this was going on, Taven grabbed his walking stick but Cody kicked him between the legs as a receipt for last time and rolled up Taven for the win.
WINNER: Cody in 11:23.
-O’Ryan attacked Cody after the match. Marseglia with a chair shot to Cody’s arm. The Kingdom triple-teamed Cody while the fans chanted for The Young Bucks. Marseglia and O’Ryan held Cody in the air while Taven kicked him between the legs again. Taven with the Climax and Taven stole Cody’s ring of honor. Taven put it on and made an unconscious Cody kiss the ring.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This was one of those instances where ROH’s advance taping schedule leaves things disjointed. The segment makes total sense based on what we’ve seen on ROH television this year. Cody was gracious in acknowledging his title loss to Castle and Taven’s been a scumbag who takes cheap shots and low blows and is essentially throwing a temper tantrum every time he shows up because he hasn’t been given a world title match yet.
Unfortunately in the two weeks between this being recorded and this being aired Cody attacked Kenny Omega at NJPW’s New Beginning In Sapporo, which triggered the implosion of Bullet Club, which has left everyone wondering where Scurll, the Bucks, and Page stand, which has made Cody one of the most hated men in wrestling at the moment, which led to the announcement of Cody vs. Omega at ROH’s Supercard Of Honor XII on April 7. Sure, you can have a guy be a clear villain in one story and more of a shades of gray villain in a different story at the same time (it’s a complicated world) but having Cody be so unanimously cheered and sympathetic here just felt awkward considering how Cody’s currently being treated so vehemently in New Japan, on social media, and on Being The Elite.)
-Next week: it’s Dalton Castle vs. Punishment Martinez for the ROH World Championship, Coast To Coast vs. Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas, and Mandy Leon vs. Madison Rayne in the first Women Of Honor championship tournament match.
-And in other news I’m happy to announce the launch of a new weekly ROH podcast for PW Torch VIP members entitled Talking Honor! Every week myself and Lola Bradbury will discuss the week in Ring Of Honor including all of the above TV happenings, pay-per-view news, Women Of Honor, Being The Elite, and other developments. Our premiere episode will be launching later today so keep an eye out for that. If you’re not already a PW Torch VIP member this is obviously a terrific time to sign up.
NOW CHECK THE PREVIOUS REPORT: 1/28 ROH TV Report: Bully Ray retires (for real this time), War Machine vs. Coast 2 Coast, SoCal Uncensored vs. Bullet Club