SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Scurll & Helms Video Package Followed by Scurll Promo: Nice and short video package of Scurll defeating Helms a few months ago. This was followed by Helms talking about vanquishing “The Hurricane” once and for all. Short and effective and a nice recap of why we are where we are with these two concerning their upcoming match.
Shane “Hurricane” Helms vs. Marty Scurll: Really nice reaction from the crowd during the introductions for both guys. Something as small as the code of honor even had a lot of drama in it before the match really got underway. While Helms is no doubt a big name and big star from the past, I thought the drama and interest in this one was from the small things they have done building this small feud up over the last 6 weeks or so. I found myself really into this match from the start and the crowd was very invested. I felt overall the last TV match these two had was better than this one. Not that this one was bad but the last was a little better. Helms ends up defeating Scurll when Helms countered Scurll’s pin attempt and sat out on Scurll. I guess this was surprising because I think back to where Scurll was as the ROH TV champion to where he is now. Certainly, this leads to a third match between the two which I would guess Scurll wins but I do wonder why it appears that Scurll is now floundering after being so hot for a while. At the end of the day, I did enjoy this though and I think Helms has looked as good as can be expected these days. He gets in there and definitely does not mail it in. He is busting his chops out there to give the fans their money’s worth. Good for him. Helms is definitely a professional and well-respected for doing so.
Cheeseburger vs. Will Ferrara: The promo before the match from Burger might not have been good but the “Fight without Honor” match they had lived up to it for me. Early on Ferrara took his belt off and whipped Burger. Ferrara then puts his belt around Burger’s neck and is about to attempt to hang him from the top rope but Burger counters. Burger then gets on the offensive and lays into Ferrara with the belt and wears him out. Burger also then hangs Ferrara but something happens to Burger’s hand which leads to Ferrara taking control. Ferrara gets his hands on a metal folding chair and is now using it for offense. At one-point Burger attempts to use his Shotei palm strike but Ferrara blocks it with the chair. Burger continued selling the hand and wrist even as he took back control of the match. With Burger in control of the match, Burger goes for a table, but Rhett Titus interferes and attacks Burger. Eventually in an attempt to put Burger through the table that is now set up on the floor, Eli Isom and Ryan Nova save Burger from catastrophe and powerbomb Titus through the table with the help of a Burger superkick. Back in the ring, Burger ducks a punch attempt from Ferrara where Ferrara has a chain wrapped around his fist. Burger then hits Ferrara across the back with a chair and then Burger wraps his fist with the chain and hits Ferrara with the Shotei Palm Strike. Cheeseburger pins Ferrara and wins the match. I had serious doubts whether or not Cheeseburger would finally win but was glad to see him finally get some revenge on Ferrara after a very long background feud. The best part of this “Fight without Honor” was the fact that they did not just throw a match together with tables and chairs for the sake of doing it. There was actually a backstory with these guys and their history of bad blood which made this all make sense.
Coast To Coast (Shaheem Ali & LSG) vs. The Kingdom (Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan): It was good to see Coast To Coast back after Ali’s unfortunate car accident a few months ago. As I said last week, I thought they were just getting on a roll after getting over the hump with a big victory over War Machine before Ali’s unfortunate accident. Good and solid opening match. Coast To Coast wins when Ali catches O’Ryan in a roll through attempt and O’Ryan is pinned. There is controversy at the end though. Ian Riccaboni and BJ Whitmer point out that apparently the non-legal man (Ali) pinned another non-legal man (O’Ryan). I liked this match and I liked that Coast To Coast comes back and immediately gets a win on the surface against The Kingdom. However, logically speaking, the entire legal man sometimes when it comes to an ROH tag match has holes in it. I mean there are never rules adhered to in tag matches in ROH as far as how long it takes for the tagged person to come in or the tagged-out person to leave the ring. ROH tag matches are often times 4-way matches where whoever is legally does not seem to matter but in this one instance it mattered? I get that this feeds the narrative of The Kingdom getting screwed again but there are much more creative ways to screw The Kingdom than this. In summary, the match was good but the logic in the finish is a head scratcher.
Video Package Recap of Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara: As Ian Riccaboni mentioned at the beginning of this episode, this mini-feud with Ferrara and Cheeseburger has been going on for 12-18 months. We got a recap of some of the key moments of their feud and bad blood. We also see the finish of a match with Ferrara & Titus that involved Burger where we see Burger gets finished off by Ferrara. This is followed by a promo from Burger that Burger declares that he will hurt Ferrara. I liked the video package recap. It was needed because unless you are really in tune with ROH, you might not have any idea about this mini-feud that has last well over a year. Burger’s promo following the video package was ok. But it was nothing memorable. For a guy who has been spit on and jumped from behind, I did not get the feeling that he was truly angry. I am not trying to be picky here but if someone spit on me and betrayed me the way Ferrara did to Burger, I’d be a little but more amped in my promo about getting revenge.
This was an average episode. It goes without saying but we are just buying time until we can see some of the post PPV tapings. I did like seeing the return of Coast To Coast. While I was critical of the finish, I am glad they got a win on their first TV match back and look forward to ROH doing something with them going forward. I also thought the long-term payoff of Cheeseburger and Ferrara was a nice addition to this show during a time when we are in limbo as we await the new post-PPV 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