SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Cody Promo: Cody cuts a very short promo on Titan at the very beginning of the episode. The promo was fine and effective but please see my final thoughts on this week’s episode for a further assessment.
Christopher Daniels and Scorpio Sky: Daniels talks about the six-man tag gauntlet match coming up next week. Daniels feels SoCal Uncensored (SCU) has been done wrong by the fact that SCU has to go through a bunch of other teams just to get a chance at The Kingdom’s World Six-Man Tag Titles. This was an effective short promo from Daniels and he does have a good point. They are one of the only proven six-man teams in ROH. Why should they have to go through a gauntlet match in order to get a match with The Kingdom for the titles? Solid and quick promo.
The Dawgs (Little Willy & Rhett Titus): The Dawgs are shown backstage bullying Ryan Nova, recent enhancement talent on ROH. The Dawgs rob the guy of $6 after dumping him upside down and taking his wallet. Recall from last week, Shane Taylor told them they needed to bring him more money if Taylor would tag with the Dawgs in the 6-man gauntlet next week. For the purpose of continuing the story from last week, I thought this was fine. We will have to see if The Dawgs end up getting enough money to pay for Taylor to be their partner in the 6-man gauntlet.
Riley Shephard & Gabby Ortiz vs. Sumie Sakai & Stella Grey: This was Shephard’s ROH debut. I applaud ROH’s effort in getting more of the WOH more TV time during the weekly episodes, but I would be lying if I did not think that they should keep the ladies to singles matches for the time being at least as it pertains to the weekly TV. There is plenty of time to give the Women of Honor tag matches on Honor Club. For now, I wish they would showcase Sumie more. She won the title three months ago and showcasing her more in competitive individual matches against the other women with her defending her title might do more to build the division than what some would feel is a meaningless tag match. Just my thoughts. The match itself was fine. Sakai gets the pin for her team as Sakai and Grey defeat Shephard and Ortiz.
Cheeseburger and Bully Ray Recap (Again): We got yet another recap of the build up of the Cheeseburger and Bully Ray feud. Without going back and looking back at least week’s episode, I believe this was almost the exact recap we saw last week. Keep in mind I am usually a fan of recaps and have said this multiple times, but I think even the most impartial person would find the Bully situation way over done at this point along with the recaps of what has been going on with Bully and Cheeseburger.
Cheeseburger vs. Bully Ray: Bully Ray did not even wait for the introduction. He came out and attacked Cheeseburger from behind as Cheeseburger was on the second rope saluting and being cheered by the fans. In case you may not remember, this match was announced as a no DQ match. Bully hits Cheeseburger with a trash can not far into the match and the ECW chants break out in the building. Bully also pushes and taunts Cary Silkin while Cheeseburger is down selling. Bully Ray dominated the first 5-6 minutes of the match until Cheeseburger took advantage of Bully Ray doing too much showboating. It was at that point that Cheeseburger battered Bully Ray with a kendo stick. However, Bully takes back over and launches Cheeseburger with a power bomb that saw Cheeseburger’s head bounce of the canvas. Bully proceeded to then use his chain on Cheeseburger and then referee Todd Sinclair. Let me be clear. At this point I still hated this match up and I despise how much time ROH has given to Bull Ray. However, Colt Cabana finally got tired of seeing Bully Ray bully Cheeseburger and Sinclair. Cabana comes down to the ring and attacks Bully Ray. Cabana gives Cheeseburger the cheese grater that was laying in the ring. Cheeseburger comes off the top rope and hits Bully Ray in the groin with the grater. Bully Ray does get back up eventually. At this point, a table is in the ring and Cabana has faded to the outside of the ring. Cabana is also then sent back to the commentary booth by BJ Whitmer who it appeared reminded him he was here to commentate and not be involved in a match. While I understand BJ Whitmer’s logic, it was a no DQ match so logically Cabana could have gotten even more involved to ensure Bully lost to Cheeseburger. But, I shall digress. Back to where we were, Bully sets up the table and places Cheeseburger on it. Cheeseburger moves as Bully Ray splashes through the table. Cheeseburger goes for the pin. But Bully Ray kicks out of the pin attempt. Bully is still staggering here. But just as Cheeseburger goes to hit Bully with the Shotei, Bully gives Cheeseburger the big boot. Bully then pins Cheeseburger and Bully wins. Give ROH credit, they had me invested in this once Cabana came down to the ring. Unfortunately, after that it felt like the same old song and dance. That song and dance is the storyline of a guy with Bully Ray that has consumed seven months of TV time now that from start to this point has not been entertaining. This match was good. Unfortunately, I cannot get past being exhausted and tired of the Bully Ray saga and drama in ROH.
Coleman’s Pulpit with The Kingdom: The Kingdom thanked Coleman for the invite and talk about how big of a fan they have been of his since his days from The Rebellion. They even present Coleman a purple beret (the beret was a Melvin dunce hat). Caprice seemed to no sell the dunce hat though. After some back and forth between Coleman and The Kingdom this thing breaks down into The Kingdom calling Coleman names and Coleman calling The Kingdom a bunch of jive turkeys and then the Kingdom coming back calling Coleman a “Melvin” jive turkey. I was a fan of Coleman’s pulpit for a while. I still think there is a place for it, but this segment was terrible mainly because it was not entertaining and seemed to have no point to it. In fact, if anyone knows what the point of this was, please enlighten me.
Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes) & Burnard the Business Bear vs Titan: Last week’s main event with Taven and Ultimo Guerrero was an excellent match. I thought we might get more of the same here. Going into last week’s show I did not have high hope for Taven and Guerrero, but they delivered in a match that did not have much at stake. I figured Cody and Titan might do the same. I was wrong. Cody tries to get Titan to kiss his ring at the beginning, but Titan was not going for it. This match was much slower than I thought it would be with not much wrestling at all. There were numerous shenanigans near the end of the match. Cody hits Titan with a punt to the groin. Cody rips off Titan’s mask and then cradles Titan and gets the win. Overall, not much to this. It was not terrible but there was nothing whatsoever that would give you any type of emotional investment.
This week’s ROH takes a big time back seat to not only the ROH PPV from over a week ago, but it also took a back seat to the G1 on AXS TV that aired this same weekend. While Cody was building up his match at the beginning of this week’s episode against Titan, Cody had just come off of a stellar match with Kenny Omega. Let’s be honest, did anyone want to see Cody versus Titan during the same weekend we had Cody versus Omega?
On top of that, this taping took a place in early June, well before Best in the World (BITW), which feels like it meant that we are now getting almost all meaningless matches with the exception of the 6-man gauntlet match coming up next week. As an ROH fan right now, I am just not invested in this series of tapings. That is not meant to disrespect the talent by any means. There is just almost nothing happening this week or last that has an impact on anything important.
It would take some big time creative and a series of good backstage interviews and vignettes airing now that were produced with what creative knew was going to happen at BITW to get us past what occurred at the PPV. As I say that, I realize that is problematic and can be hard to do because of numerous factors.
That said, these tapings because of when they were taped and when they are being aired feel like lame duck episodes mostly. I hate to be so critical of a promotion that I enjoy watching and that I feel is loaded with really good talent, but my job is to report my findings as I watch the shows. Unfortunately, for the most part and with the exception of the six-man gauntlet, we are in a period of waiting for things to pick up once the new episodes filmed after BITW begin to air.
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