ROH TV REPORT
JANUARY 6, 2019
PHILADELPHIA, PA AT 2300 ARENA
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
We opened with a highlight video of Final Battle which focused on Jay Lethal retaining the world title over Cody and The Briscoes recapturing the tag titles in a ladder war over SoCal Uncensored and The Young Bucks.
-The same opening theme greeted us but with some new visuals mixed in. The Elite have been removed and were largely replaced by Jeff Cobb and Kelly Klein with Beer City Bruiser and Best Friends also marking new additions.
-It was straight to the arena where Ian Riccaboni stood in the middle of the ring. Chris Sabin was lying lackadaisically in one corner against the bottom turnbuckle while Flip Gordon, Dalton Castle & The Boys, and Marty Scurll milled around behind Riccaboni. Castle was in a blazer and suit pants and Scurll wore his glasses and carried his umbrella. Gordon’s forehead was badly scarred due to his blading job at Final Battle. Riccaboni acknowledged that all four men in the ring were owed future world title matches. Sabin took Lethal to a time limit draw in a proving ground match at Global Wars: Buffalo on November 9. Gordon won the Sea Of Honor tournament on the Jericho Cruise back in late October. Castle has a contractual rematch due to being the last world champion. Scurll won the Survival Of The Fittest tournament on November 4. Riccaboni said they would face off in a four-way in tonight’s main event to determine who would get first crack at Lethal in a world title match at Honor Reigns Supreme on January 13. He introduced the ROH World Champion…
And Matt Taven walked out with his fake world title over his shoulder. Taven said that’s correct, he did successfully defend his world championship at Final Battle. He said none of them deserve a shot at his title. Gordon won a tournament while everyone was on vacation. Sabin hasn’t been relevant since 2012. Taven asked where all of Scurll’s friends went and implied he wasn’t big enough to make it to Jacksonville. And Castle he already beat at Final Battle so he should just go away and fake another injury. None of them are getting shots at his title and the next person who does will have to earn it.
Lethal stormed down the ramp and took umbrage at Taven’s claims. Taven spat on Lethal’s title belt and they started brawling in the aisle. Referees and security ran down to separate them. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Very solid opening. A reminder that title matches are always earned in ROH, a look at some of the top main event names in ROH at the start of 2019, more fuel on the slow burn feud of Lethal vs. Taven, and a reason for tonight’s main event. Good stuff all around.)
-As Jeff Cobb made his entrance for a proving ground match, clips aired of his victory over Adam Page at Final Battle.
(1) ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION JEFF COBB vs. LUCHASAURUS – PROVING GROUND MATCH
Luchasaurus hit a kick to the head immediately that put Cobb down. He followed with a spinning heel kick. Riccaboni explained the proving ground concept, which is that the challenger will earn a future title shot if they can defeat the champ or take them to a 15-minute time limit. Cobb caught him on the second turnbuckle with a dropkick. Superplex. Standing moonsault. Luchasaurus with a chokeslam and standing shooting star press for two. [C]
More kicks from Luchasaurus rocked Cobb. Cobb with an overhead belly to belly suplex off the second rope. Piledriver. Tour Of The Islands.
WINNER: Jeff Cobb in 5:30.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Lucha Underground fans should have appreciated the throwback to Matanza vs. Vibora. Wrestling fans should have just appreciated two big men having a fun, but short, match.)
-Clips aired of Kelly Klein defeating Karen Q, Madison Rayne, and Sumie Sakai to become the second Women Of Honor World Champion at Final Battle. Her opponent, presumably enhancement talent, was already in the ring. Klein asked for a microphone. She boasted about defeating three women in one match and said every one-on-one match she has going forward will be for the title.
(2) “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN vs. NIKKI ADDAMS – WOH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Addams refused the code of honor so Klein forearmed her. The champion was in control out of the gate. [C]
Addams connected with a running chop and running boot in the corner but when she went to the top rope Klein yanked her off by the foot and Addams crashed hard. Addams countered K-Power into a roll-up. Klein nailed her with a knee to the face and that was enough.
WINNER: Kelly Klein in 3:08 to retain the WOH title.
-Jenny Rose made her entrance with mic in hand. She stood on the stage to congratulate Klein but said they had some unfinished business. They have a match for Honor Reigns Supreme on January 13 and since Klein wanted to make it a title match, Rose wanted to make it a street fight. Klein accepted.
(Pageot’s Perspective: So the strongest heel in the division is now a babyface? Klein hugged Sakai after beating her for the title, introduced herself as a fighting champion here, and offered the code of honor only for her opponent to decline. Maybe it’s just leaning into the cheers and respect the crowds have for Klein. On the one hand that makes sense as WWE has shown how disastrous it can be when you try to force people to boo wrestlers they want to cheer. On the other hand it leaves the division with the very new Twisted Sisterz as the only real heels.)
-Brian Milonas found Beer City Bruiser sitting alone at the bar. Bruiser said he and Silas Young were friends for years but now Young won’t even return his calls. Milonas assumed Young would be in the locker room if he was anywhere and told Bruiser to go find him and demand an answer.
(Pageot’s Perspective: We raved on the Tuesday PWTorch podcast Talking Honor about the last little video they did like this with Bruiser and my feelings remain the same. It was very short and very simple but it humanizes Bruiser and Milonas, establishes different personalities for them, makes friendships and partnerships in wrestling feel important, and gives them a direction for the weeks ahead. So simple and so effective.)
-A teaser video aired for “Farewell To The Elite”, the eight-man tag which marked the final ROH match for The Young Bucks, Cody, and Adam Page. That one’s available now exclusively through Honor Club. [C]
-Clips aired of Marty Scurll defeating Christopher Daniels at Final Battle in what may have been Daniels’ retirement match.
SCU’s music hit and Daniels made his entrance alone in the arena dressed in a suit. A “Thank you, Daniels” chant began immediately but he held up a finger to silence it. Daniels said Kaz and Sky were at home recuperating from the ladder war. He went in with everything to lose against Scurll and he lost. The only thing left for him to do was say goodbye. He talked about main eventing the very first ROH event against Low Ki and Daniel Bryan, wrestling a 60-minute iron match for the world title, and his love for his opponents and brothers. “There comes a time when the memory of a man becomes more important than the man himself. And so I ask you, I beg you, I want your memories of Christopher Daniels to be that of someone who gave every bit of his heart and his soul, every fibre of his being, to be the best professional wrestler that he could be every time that he stepped into a Ring Of Honor ring.” He thanked everyone in ROH and at home with tears in his eyes. “I love you. Goodbye.”
ROH COO Joe Koff walked out on stage. He said they’ve had their differences but Daniels did something at Final Battle. He put his body on the line (in the Flip Gordon-Bully Ray I Quit match) to protect Cary Silkin and he did it for ROH and what this company means to him. Because of that Koff wanted to offer him a 2019 ROH contract. Daniels hugged Silkin at ringside and then Koff, accepting the folded-up contract.
Shane Taylor jumped Daniels from behind and beat him down. Taylor demanded to know where his contract was. Daniels caught Taylor with a splash over the top rope. Daniels unloaded with chops but Taylor threw him into the ring post and guardrail. Taylor rolled him into the ring and brought a steel chair with him. Knee to Daniels’ chin. Chair to the back. Taylor said Daniels won’t be remembered for his legacy; he’ll be remembered as the guy Taylor took out. Taylor hit a sit-out piledriver onto the chair. He tore up Daniels’ contract and stuffed it into Daniels’ mouth. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Wow. All the rumors going around online have Daniels heading to All Elite Wrestling with the rest of SCU, which leaves a lot of this still very ambiguous. Obviously Koff can just reprint a new contract for Daniels and, once his neck heals, he should be eager to sign and get his hands on Taylor. So if we never see Daniels again in ROH after this that’s very eye-rolling. But I can’t see Daniels wanting to ruin his retirement match(?) on the big stage by coming back just to put over Taylor at a live event or on weekly TV. Honestly, if SCU are going to AEW, the sooner the better at this point. I’m over the “are they staying or leaving?” drama and ready to focus on the great crop of talent that ROH has that we know are sticking around for the full year.)
-A short video teased Zack Sabre Jr. making his ROH television debut next week.
-Jay Lethal was on commentary for the main event.
(3) “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL vs. DALTON CASTLE (w/The Boys) vs. “CONSTELLATION” CHRIS SABIN vs. FLIP GORDON – WINNER CHALLENGES FOR THE ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AT HONOR REIGNS SUPREME
Scurll bailed to ringside immediately and encouraged the other three to fight. They started to jockey when Scurll pulled Castle to the floor. Gordon and Sabin hit suicide dives on both men. Missile dropkick from Sabin to Scurll in the ring. Gordon with one for Castle. Sabin and Gordon shook hands, agreeing to work together for the time being. Castle clotheslined both men and peacocked in the ring. [C]
Castle worked over Gordon and clotheslined him to the floor. Sabin with an enziguiri to Castle. Scurll with a superkick to Sabin off the apron. Suddenly it was Marty & Flip Take Philadelphia in the ring. They traded chops. Scurll dropkicked Gordon’s knee out. Sabin with a crossbody onto all three men. Tornado DDT to Scurll that took out the other two with kicks at the same time. Castle with a back body drop. Kinder surprise from Gordon to Castle and a running shooting star press. Gordon with a 619 to Sabin while he attempted a suicide dive. Sabin kicked Gordon off Scurll’s shoulders, then put down Scurll with a kick. Sabin turned around into a Bang-A-Rang for the finish.
WINNER: Dalton Castle in 9:38.
-Lethal headed to the ring, looking over his shoulder for Taven. He offered a handshake. Castle ripped off his back support belt, threw it down, and shook his hand.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Unfortunately ROH social media spoiled the result of this match weeks ago when they announced Lethal vs. Castle for Honor Reigns Supreme. Well, I suppose they only spoiled who won, not who lost, but when you look at the four men in this match I don’t think anyone’s surprised at who took the pin here. This was another short one on an episode filled with lots of story development but they found the time to fit some fun spots in. I love the world champion having so many people gunning for him as it makes the title feel that much more prestigious and important. I assume Sabin and Gordon get knocked off on TV or Honor Club events after Castle and Scurll cashes in his shot for the 17th Anniversary pay-per-view. Whether he walks away with the world title? Now that’s a big question.)
-Next week: it’s The Briscoes vs. SoCal Uncensored for the tag titles, Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Tracy Williams, and Twisted Sisterz vs. Madison Rayne & Britt Baker.