ROH HITS & MISSES 2/12: Bruiser & Brian Milonas Debut, Leon vs. Rayne in WOH Tourney Match, Castle vs. Martinez in ROH World Title Match, Bullet Club

By Mike Mills, PWTorch contributor


Dalton Castle (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)

HITS

Dalton Castle Opens the Show: Dalton Castle always delivers. His opening promo was straight and to the point. He mentions he’s come to Nashville for one thing and that’s to leave with his ROH World Heavyweight title. The promo served its purpose of making sure we were aware of today’s main event. Good stuff from Castle as always.

Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas (w/Silas Young) vs. Coast To Coast (Shaheem Ali & LSG): I like this new tag team with Bruiser and Milonas and from the start I was intrigued by how this match would play out. Remember, Coast To Coast finally got that elusive victory two weeks ago against War Machine. Milonas and Bruiser are announced at a combined 728 lbs. Colt Cabana mentions that Milonas is so huge that Bruiser actually looks like he is in shape which I thought was a great line from Cabana. I do agree that Milonas size is impressive and it reminds me of the old days when big bruising guys were semi-common in the territories. The tag team match breaks down quickly though. Young gets involved on the outside with LSG. King comes out to help Coast To Coast. We come back from commercial and it’s a 6-man tag between Coast To Coast & King vs. Beer City Brew & Young. From here, I liked what ROH did. We get a competitive 6-man match with a lot of action for the opening match. Coast To Coast and King hit their high-flying moves. We got a nice Bruiser cannonball as well at one point. Both teams represented themselves well throughout but in the end, King pins Young when King hits Young with The Royal Flush. I thought this was good because Young and King are still in a heated feud. King shows he can beat Young but since this is a 6-man match the TV title is not on the line and Young obviously retains his TV title. At the same time, I think it’s good neither members of the tag teams took a pin. With Coast to Coast finally winning a couple of weeks ago, I think it’s important that they didn’t lose. Additionally, Bruiser and Milonas are a new team and I didn’t want to see them lose. Really good opening match on today’s show where the outcome was the best-case scenario for all parties.

The Dawgs: I really like Little Willy and Rhett Titus as The Dawgs. They’re basically a comedy act right now but they’re good together and have chemistry. Will Ferrara is absolutely tremendous in his promos as one of The Dawgs. I liked this short promo. After Coast To Coast won, The Dawgs make it a point that they’re going to teach Coast To Coast a lesson and send them packing. It gives us something to see down the line with The Dawgs and Coast To Coast who with the help of King just won a 6-man match.

Mandy Leon and Madison Rayne Women of Honor Video Package: Nice spotlight segment and video package placement here. These are two of the more notable female athletes that ROH has. I think this helps sell the credibility of the WOH tournament given the experience of Leon and Rayne.

Cody, The Young Bucks, and Marty Scurll: In a follow up from last week, Cody finds The Young Bucks in the dressing room and questions where they were when he was getting the boots put to him by The Kingdom. Cody mentions how the fans were chanting for The Young Bucks, but they weren’t there to help Cody. Cody says everyone is worried about The Bullet Club and that he needs better from them. The Bucks say that they are sorry for being late and not being there for Cody. Cody then walks off and Marty Scurll comes in and shows off some goofy looking sign to the Bucks’ The Bucks say, “now that is not on time.” I liked this. They’re teasing us with what may or may not be happening in The Bullet Club these days. Is Cody going to stay with them? Are they going to leave Cody? Or is this just some other master plan in the grand scheme of things? We don’t know, and I feel like that’s the beauty of this all and this is coming from a guy who is NOT a Bullet Club fan. Nice segment and we have to keep tuning in to see what happens.

The Briscoes: The Briscoes, especially Jay, are great promo guys. As a team, they’re one of the best tag teams in the world. Jay Briscoe said it best during this promo when he said, “we don’t care about our opponents well-being, we don’t care if the people cheer for us, all we care about is making statements.” Mark jumps in and his statement is that they’re the best tag team on the planet. Jay ends it with that it’s nothing personal against the Motor City Machine Guns its just that the Machine Guns have the titles and that The Briscoes are coming to take their property back. I hate to repeat myself, but I will. These guys mean business. Their promos are phenomenal, and I believe everything they say. I’ve got zero doubt that Mark and Jay will win back their property and regain the ROH tag team titles. Great promo and solid segment.

Punishment Martinez vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys): I like the way ROH set this match up when we started the new year. Martinez attacked Castle at the start of the year and we have seen at least one video package of Martinez in the last few weeks to put a spotlight on him. I say this to say, they’ve built Martinez up on TV and kept him strong. By keeping him strong, it gave this match a bigger feel to it as he challenged Castle for the title. Martinez put up a valiant effort against the ROH World champion, but the experience of Castle wins out when Castle rolls up Martinez and gets the pin. After the match, Martinez is angry and he powerbombs one of The Boys on to Castle on the ring apron. Even in defeat, Martinez remains strong. As for Castle, I would imagine after defeating Martinez he moves on to his rematch with Cody and then he can deal with Lethal. Good main event and match to close out the episode.

MISSES

The Exotic Goddess Mandy Leon vs. Madison Rayne (Women of Honor Tournament Match): I thought it was a good idea to have Deonna Purrazzo on commentary with Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana. Deonna can discuss what it’s like to wrestle both competitors and I thought she did a good job doing so during the call of the match. Credit Riccaboni for mentioning Leon and Rayne’s credentials during the match. Riccaboni even mentions Rayne’s five knockout titles from Impact/TNA. As far as the match goes, I couldn’t get into it. Having seen Leon and Rayne wrestle many times before, I thought this was not indicative of how well they usually wrestle. Leon gets the victory over Rayne and moves on in the tournament to the next round but if we’re grading the match, it was average at best. With all of that said, I am still happy to see ROH mix in the WOH into their programming now. As you recall from the past, we use to only get WOH matches on the YouTube channel or a couple of times per year when we would get a WOH week during the weekly episodes. It’s nice to see the ladies get the main stage now also.

FINAL THOUGHTS

ROH continues to hit on all cylinders. While the WOH match wasn’t the best effort, the spotlight on the women during the episode was a positive. Additionally, in regards to WOH, I think it’s great that Tenille Dashwood formerly known in WWE as Emma will be in the WOH tournament. She adds some much-needed depth to the division. This was announced on the ROH live stream Friday during ROH’s televised event. Next to the matches that were good during this episode, I really enjoyed The Dawgs and The Briscoes’ promos this week. Definitely check out this week’s ROH. I think you’ll enjoy.


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 and you can check out his old school wrestling podcasts at tinyurl.com/BTTPod


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: ROH HITS & MISSES 2/5: Best Friends vs. Motor City Machine Guns, Bruiser, Milonas, & Young, Martinez Video Package, Taylor vs. Scurll, Women of Honor, Cody vs. Taven

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