SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The Kingdom: The Kingdom open the show. They came out and talked about getting back their 6-man titles at Supercard of Honor in two weeks. I thought Taven was good as usual here on declaring that there is a conspiracy against The Kingdom. He talked about how Cody is allowed to parade around with his circus at ringside but when The Kingdom does the same, the rules are not adhered to and The Kingdom gets kicked out. This reference was to what happened at the 16th Anniversary. I thought this was effective and, in all honesty, Taven has a great point. But then, Taven is interrupted by Bully Ray and that is where this went south in a hurry as I mention below.
Kelly Klein vs. Mandy Leon: This is a quarter-final Women of Honor tournament match. We get a couple of quick promos about the match from both ladies before they face off. I like the match, but the finish was controversial. Leon has Klein in Havana Dreams. With Klein in the middle of the ring and seemingly with no escape, Klein taps out. However, referee Paul Turner is not in position to see the tap. Leon releases Klein from the submission hold and begins to celebrate and relax since she feels the match is over. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana put the finish over on commentary but there is no bell signaling the finish. With Leon relaxing and celebrating, Klein goes on the attack after a nod and wink to the camera as she just got one over on everyone. Klein quickly snap suplexes Leon and then puts Leon in her own submission. Leon does not tap out but rather appears to be passed out. Klein wins the match and moves on to the semi-finals of the tournament. I like the match and felt both ladies were very serious as they treated this as a real fight. My guess is Bully Ray was in the back not watching though because this was not an honorable way to win a match by Klein and Bully never came out to restart the match like he has done with others who win without honor. Let me be clear. I am not asking for Bully to come out. This was a good finish because the heel cheated and won. My point is the level of inconsistency in this WWE like Enforcer role poisoning ROH right now. I speak more about Bully Ray below though. As for the ladies, good job during this match.
Jay Lethal: Quick promo with Lethal backstage as he talks about teaming with Hiroshi Tanahashi against The Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Team titles at Supercard of Honor. I should point out that Lethal has never been a ROH World Tag champ and this could be his first time becoming an ROH Tag champ. Good stuff from Lethal. Quick and effective heading towards Supercard of Honor although in no way would I expect Lethal and Tanahashi to win the titles.
SoCal Uncensored: We are shown a replay of SoCal Uncensored winning the ROH World 6-man titles at the 16th Anniversary. SoCal Uncensored declare that with time running down in their careers, there is nothing that they won’t do to remain champs. That last statement makes me wonder what will happen at Supercard of Honor when they battle Gordon & The Young Bucks which is announced later in the show.
The Bullet Club (Hangman Page & Marty Scurll) vs. The Boys: Dalton Castle comes out with The Boys and sits in with Riccaboni and Cabana to do commentary. This match felt very quick, but I thought it was effective. It generated more interest in the upcoming match between Scurll and Castle. Scurll may have been Page’s tag partner during the match but Page did all the work and looked very strong in doing so. Not to get sidetracked here but as I have said before, Page has the making of a big-time star to me. His future is very bright, and I see him as a future TV champ and World champ in ROH if he sticks around in the company. By the end of the match, Page gets the win for he and Scurll when Page hits Boy 1 with the buckshot lariat. During this time on the outside, Scurll and Castle are exchanging words. Scurll also takes the ROH World title belt for a second while Castle was checking on one of The Boys. Scurll does put the belt down on the ring apron before he and Page head to the back. It was just a little subtle tease at the end where Castle eyes Scurll down and Scurll retreats that made it effective. With the two gearing up for Supercard against each other, I liked the ending. And again, Page looked very strong in basically winning what looked like a handicap match since Scurll barely participated in it.
Silas Young & Kenny King Brawl: Right after Page & Scurll win, Riccaboni sends us backstage to a brawl that is happening between Young and King. This is slightly interrupted by The Briscoes promo below but then when we come back from commercial, Young and King fight from the back to the stage and entrance ramp. Eventually, security and what do you know Bully Ray break up the brawl. Long story short, Bully allows King to make the announcement of what King wants. These two will have a Last Man Standing match at Supercard of Honor. I liked the brawl. I liked the match announcement but for God’s sake why on earth is Bully out here again. King can challenge Young to the match without Bully’s ego involved. All that said, this should be another good match at Supercard of Honor and it makes a lot of sense when you consider that King and Young have been involved in a long feud.
The Briscoes: I am a broken record when it comes to these guys. With that said, they are always a good to great promo. This one was nothing spectacular, but it was effective. The Briscoes are intense and make their intentions known that they will put a beating on Tanahashi & Lethal at Supercard of Honor. They called Lethal & Tanahashi great singles wrestlers, but they are the best tag team in the world. I thought that was a great way to finish the promo. Good stuff as usual for The Briscoes.
Flip Gordon vs. Scorpio Sky: I’ll fast forward to the finish of this match because that’s where everything mattered that went on. Daniels and Kazarian get involved in the match and it appears that it will lead to Sky getting the victory. But, Gordon overcomes the disadvantage and gets the victory with a quick rollup on Sky. As SoCal Uncensored is beating up Gordon after the match, The Young Bucks come out and they chase off SoCal Uncensored. As you know, there has been bad blood between Gordon and The Young Bucks. Matt Jackson offers a handshake to Gordon. Gordon passively accepts the handshake and then we get a hug at the end from Gordon and Matt Jackson. And then Bully interrupts. We get an announcement that Gordon & The Young Bucks vs. SoCal Uncensored will happen at Supercard of Honor in a ladder match. Besides being completely exhausted with Bully on this episode, this match will be a good one, but it makes you wonder what happened that The Kingdom has now really gotten the raw end of the deal as it relates to Supercard. I feel like the company had a certain direction that they wanted to take after the Atlanta TV tapings. But, after the 16th Anniversary they had a change of heart and are rushing into SoCal Uncensored vs. Gordon & The Young Bucks. It is hard to explain but something doesn’t seem right about how quickly it changed. However, good match and it is a good match going into Supercard.
Bully Ray “The Enforcer” interrupts The Kingdom: Bully interrupts The Kingdom to put himself over. This is getting ridiculous. Bully comes out and tells The Kingdom that they are not needed at Supercard of Honor and that they will not battle for the 6-man titles. TK O’Ryan asked a simple and legitimate question when he asked him who made Bully the boss. Bully does not give a good answer but that’s not the worst thing. Bully tells them if they have a problem with him then why don’t they come do something about it. Ok, so now the retired wrestler is out here challenging a heel faction to come beat him up? How honorable is that? He was the one that said he was bringing back honor to ROH, not me. This smells more and more like a guy who cannot let go of the spotlight than anything else and his role is killing anything and everything that he touches as the commissioner I mean GM, no I mean “Enforcer.” More on how Bully hijacked this week’s show in my final thoughts below.
This was not a bad show, but I must state the obvious. Bully Ray constantly being on camera has gotten ridiculous. There is no logic in his role anymore. He wants to bring back honor – again his words not mine – but he allows the controversial Klein vs. Leon end to happen, which I am fine with, but it displays the inconsistency in his logic of enforcing honor. He comes out and puts himself in the middle of King and Young’s brawl and “allows” King to call for a Last Man Standing match. He tells The Kingdom if they have a problem with him pulling them off Supercard of Honor, then they can fight him. What an honorable authority figure Bully is, he tells the heels that they can fight him if they do not like his rules? I say all of this to say, I thought this was an average episode but with the constant injection of Bully throughout, I feel like ROH is slipping a lot lately. They need to stop trying to be like WWE by having an authority figure which in their case is Bully as “The Enforcer.” It was old after the first week. There is absolutely no logic in 90 percent of what he does. His constant appearances take away from the talent. He is everything he said he did not want to be when he came into this authority figure type of role. Once again Bully, step away and let the talent be the ones who shine. The promotion is called Ring of Honor and not Bully Ray of Honor.
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 3/19: The Dawgs vs. Coast To Coast, HZK vs. Mayu Iwatani, The Addiction & The Kingdom vs. Bullet Club