SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The Kingdom (Matt Taven & TK O’Ryan) vs. The Boys: Before the match, Taven infers that The Kingdom vs. The Boys is a joke. Taven sends TK O’Ryan to the commentary booth because Taven believes he can defeat The Boys by himself. The, before the bell rings, Taven knocks out one of The Boys with his purple ROH World Title. Since the bell had not rang yet, there was no DQ and the match continued with Boy #1 knocked out on the outside and Boy #2 left to fight Taven alone. Boy #1 finally recovers enough to get involved in the match. But what do you know, Vinny Marseglia releases the balloons and drags Boy #2 under the ring. Taven then hits Boy #1 with his Climax finisher. The finisher looked absolutely devastating from Taven. I thought this was a good opener. I am not a huge fan of the release of balloons by Marseglia and him dragging people under the ring like they are going into an abyss. I enjoy some level of comedy in wrestling but this one just is not for me, I guess. However, I like the way this match went with Taven screwing Boy #1 in the very beginning and then ultimately Boy #2 being taken out at the end which Taven then uses his finisher to win the match. Storyline wise, Taven has screwed over Dalton Castle’s Boys and gives Castle extra incentive to want to get back at Taven going into Final Battle. All of this coming on the heels of Taven and The Kingdom burying Castle under chairs last week after they attacked Castle. Nothing was great but good stuff from them here leading into Final Battle.
Cody’s Story: Cody narrates from the start him coming into ROH, him winning the ROH World Title, and how he never got his rematch for the ROH World Title. I liked the short and concise story they told leading up to Cody vs. Castle at Final Battle. It was a little too short but given that ROH only has 1 hour of TV to work with weekly, I thought it was fine and I understand the time constraints.
Jonathan Gresham In-Ring Promo: Interesting promo from Gresham. Gresham basically gives an open challenge to all the best technical wrestlers in the world. Gresham says he wants to prove that he is the best pure wrestler in the world. Immediately, Zack Sabre Jr appears on the video board in the arena and Sabre Jr. tells Gresham that he accepts his challenge at Final Battle. This is a nice surprise and should be a fantastic match between these two. Gresham promised to tap out Sabre Jr. I usually like for a match to have some build to it but this one does not need a build to it. I get the feeling this is a match most ROH fans are invested in without a long build up given you have two excellent pure wrestlers who will do battle in an ROH ring at the PPV.
Jenny Rose vs. Kelly Klein: I really liked this match for a number of reasons. One, Rose and Klein have a lot of history in this last year. Two, I have continued to call for more Women of Honor singles matches. And lastly, something was on the line. The winner of this match earns a spot in the Women of Honor (WOH) four-way match at Final Battle for the WOH World title. As far as the actual match goes, it was a fight which it should have been given the bad blood and their history. I find myself much more entertained with Rose than Klein. Klein often times looks sloppy as far as her moves and execution. The match itself was not all that great but given the story behind these two and the fact that the match had a specific purpose, I was more than happy with what was presented.
Adam “Hangman” Page and Jeff Cobb Video Package: It was short but put together well. Page let Cobb know that he is not the only powerful person going in their upcoming match. Page claims he is just as powerful and will be a huge challenge for Cobb to deal with. This was nicely fit into the show to help build to Final Battle.
The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson): The winner of this match will receive a ROH World Tag Team title match at Final Battle. I would advise that if you are on the fence about watching this week’s episode, do yourself a favor and at least watch this match. As Colt Cabana said, this is free TV and we got a main event type match between two of the best teams in the promotion and the world. Things get wild near the end. We got yet another referee bump in the match when Todd Sinclair gets hit and rolls out the ring. From there, chaos continues with multiple chair shots from all the guys to each other. Security comes out to get things under control. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana are questioning what the outcome and official ruling is. Then, SCU hits the stage. To make a long story short, given what appears to be a double DQ in this match, SCU challenges The Briscoes and The Young Bucks to a ladder war at Final Battle. I do not think any fans oppose this one. I did not like the double DQ finish but if you are going to do a double DQ finish, I will certainly take SCU vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Briscoes for the World Tag Team Titles as the ultimate outcome. I will go out on a limb and say this match could be the best match of the PPV.
LISTEN TO THE “TALKING HONOR” ROH PODCAST
“SCU Later.” This week Emily Fear and Harley R. Pageot answer listener mail on how and why Talking Honor is scripted and recorded the way it is. Plus: SoCal Uncensored capture tag team gold, Marty Scurll vs. The Hurricane in a no DQ match, Dalton Castle and Matt Taven fight over a fake title, and ponderings on what the final Final Battle PPV card might look like.
SoCal Uncensored (SCU) From Their Hotel Room: Daniels, Sky, & Kazarian are in their hotel room with Daniels on the phone with Joe Koff. Daniels gets an update from Koff that SCU is under contract with ROH now. But the contract is only for Sky and Kazarian since they are the current ROH World Tag Team champions. Sky and Kazarian are dumbfounded at what to do next since it appears Daniels will have to leave the company without them. For the time being, this does not make much sense to me. Just because Daniels does not hold the title with his teammates is not a reason that he should be left out of the contract that Koff has now placed Sky and Kazarian under. I mean if we use the same logic that Joe Koff used at the beginning of the year when he put SCU on notice that they would be leaving when their contracts were up because of their evil shenanigans, then Joe Koff should be threatening The Briscoes for their actions on Daniels before last week’s match which left Daniels unable to compete. If we are talking about “honor” here, then that is certainly more logical to make sure Daniels is also under contract while threatening some type of action against The Briscoes. For the time being, this is a miss, but I do await the follow up to how they finish telling the story since this is just a small piece of it.
I thought everything mattered this week. All of the matches had a point to them. For example, the winner of Rose and Klein earned a spot in the 4-way WOH match at Final Battle with a chance to win the WOH World title. You also had the main even match with The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks where the winner of the match earned a match for the ROH World Tag Team titles. As we saw, neither team won but the ending of the show was good since now we will see all three tag teams in a ladder war at Final Battle for the ROH World Tag Team titles. With this being the case, the matches had a lot on the line and it made the episode a fun one to watch.
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