KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe) vs. Best Friends (Chuckie T & Trent Baretta): I hate to sound like a broken record but The Briscoes are just a nasty and outstanding heel tag team. Chuckie T and Baretta fought the Briscoes hard here as we went almost 10 minutes before seeing The Briscoes put Chuckie T and Baretta away when Jay hit the Jay Driller and Mark came off the top rope with an elbow to get the pin on Baretta. However, after the match The Motor City Machine Guns (MCMG) hit the ring with their tag belts and give The Briscoes a taste of their own medicine by attacking The Briscoes from behind and they leave The Briscoes laid out as we head to the ROH 16th Anniversary this Friday night March 9, 2018. This was good and a nice way to send us into the match up between these two teams at the 16th Anniversary for the ROH World Tag Team titles.
Recap of Kenny King Defeating Silas Young for the ROH World TV Title: We got a quick recap and short video package showing King defeating Young for the ROH World TV title on last week’s episode. Once again, I’m always in favor of these quick video packages that show important points from the previous week’s episode for those that may have missed it. These recaps do not take up too much time and highlight the importance of what happened last week in the promotion.
Women of Honor Update: Another quick update from Ian Riccaboni giving us all the winners for the WOH tournament up to this point and giving us a heads up that more is coming from competitors such as the recent ROH signee Tennille Dashwood, who has added some much-needed depth to the WOH division.
Adam Page vs. Frankie Kazarian: See below for my thoughts on Bully Ray and his comments before the match could get started. While I cannot stand Bully Ray and The Enforcer role, I do like that he did send the other members of SoCal Uncensored to the back before the match. At least that part of Bully’s pre-match speech was good. As for the match, Page is future ROH World championship material and he was facing a former ROH World champion. The match did not disappoint. Page got the victory over Daniels in a big win. I agree with what Cabana said on commentary when Cabana said that this might be one of Page’s biggest victories to date. However, the celebration was not for long from Page as Shane Taylor came out and attacked Page. Riccaboni claims that he thinks that the other members of SoCal Uncensored must have paid Taylor to come out and attack Page. Daniels confirms this as Taylor leaves Page laid out when Daniels says, “this is the best money I’ve spent.” The match was very good, and I liked the mix at the end with Taylor getting involved. As Taylor and Daniels walk to the back, Bully Ray and Daniels exchange words on the stage and Bully and Taylor bump shoulders but do not exchange any words. Obviously, more is coming now with that exchange on the stage and we’ll have to tune in to see how it possibly develops.
Punishment Martinez & Marty Scurll vs. Jay Lethal & Dalton Castle: This was a weird match since Scurll and Martinez were on the same team and Lethal and Castle are as well with both sets of teams facing off against each other at the 16th Anniversary. Remember, this coming Friday March 9 we will see Lethal vs Castle and Scurll vs Martinez in individual matches. I liked the short promos in the picture in picture before the matches. It started with Martinez telling Scurll “if you want to make it through the night, stay the hell out of my way.” Martinez as a nasty heel with confidence gives the impression he can do it on his own which is believable. Scurll also cuts a short promo where he tells Scurll that Martinez is only safe this week because they are on the same side. Scurll also says he cannot wait to see who wins between Castle and Lethal since he looks forward to getting his shot at the ROH World title soon. Same thing for Lethal. Lethal is fine with tonight and has no issues with teaming with Castle but at the PPV, Lethal says “You’re all mine.” Castle also cuts a short promo and says that tonight’s match sure does make things interesting. The match was very good. I am becoming more impressed with Martinez with every appearance from him. He has grown a lot in the last few years and I thought he silently did a good job in this match. There was nothing flashy, but he hung with the veterans. Unfortunately, Scurll and Martinez lose the match when Scurll accidentally throws powder into the eyes of Martinez. His target was Lethal but Lethal ducked at the last minute. This allowed Lethal to hit Lethal injection on Scurll. Lethal then pins Scurll. This leaves even more bad blood between Scurll and Martinez going into the 16th Anniversary. As we are going off air, Lethal and Castle exchange stares and a few bad looks between each other. This is to be expected as the two get ready to face off Friday night March 9, 2018. This was a solid finish considering the matches coming this Friday at the PPV.
Bully Ray: I continue to be dumbfounded by Bully Ray and his enforcer job that again is a fancy word for authority figure, GM, etc. although do not tell Bully that. Again, we’re playing semantics, but I’ll digress. Somewhere along the way Bully as the enforcer became the person who not only is making sure the rules are followed but now he is “too sweeting” The Bullet Club which is in essence showing favoritism to one faction or group over another for a cheap applause from the crowd. Now I realize Bully Ray is a legend and he does not need any group to help him get over which is what further mystifies me with what I saw before the Page and Daniels match. I will say this, Bully is simply thanking The Bullet Club for following the rules of not being out there unless you are in the match. However, the tone and direction of Bully The Enforcer is that of showing favoritism. I mean there is no more showing favoritism than when Bully tells Page to kick Daniels’ ass before the match. Even if you want me to go with Bully as The Enforcer. That is fine I will go with it for a second but please explain to me why The Enforcer also has to show favoritism by saying “kick his ass Page” before Bully heads to the back? Let me give you an example of why Bully showing favoritism is inexcusable. Some, and I stress some, people believe Roger Goodell shows favoritism to the New England Patriots, but you will never outright hear Goodell say, “kick their ass Bill!” Now, I am not here for a debate on whether Goodell shows favoritism to New England or not. However, it is still the commissioner’s job to be impartial and do the job fairly no matter how much the commissioner, manager, GM, authority figure, or enforcer hates the heels. Lastly, so the way Bully is ensuring “Honor,” those are Bully’s words and not mine, is brought back to Ring of Honor is by telling Page to kick Daniels’ ass because Bully does not like the dishonor that SoCal Uncensored has brought to the promotion? Bully as The Enforcer role has more holes in it than a block of swiss cheese. Therefore, I hope this ends soon because it is becoming more irritating by the week.
This was another very good episode. ROH continues to put out a quality weekly wrestling TV show. It is not always 100% great but the positives consistently outweigh the negatives. Given the last month of TV episodes and this final episode leading into the 16thAnniversary PPV, everything made sense and we are looking at a very good PPV lineup this Friday March 9. My only complaint continues to be Bully Ray and The Enforcer role. It does nothing for me and now that Bully is showing favoritism in the role I think that makes The Enforcer role that more repulsive. On a side note, I believe I heard Riccaboni during the episode mention Tennille Dashwood will make her ROH TV debut next week. It’s important to signify that its her ROH TV debut since she has been on Honor Rising and Manhattan Mayhem. That leaves us something to look forward to next week when we may be looking at a show that does not advance any main storylines since we will be in the middle of the 16th Anniversary weekend and the next set of tapings.
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 2/26: Bully Ray the Enforcer, SoCal Uncensored vs. Bucks, Young attacks King backstage, Women of Honor Update, Briscoes & MCMGs, TV Title main event