1/27 Powell's Ring of Honor TV Review: 14th Anniversary PPV matches announced, Michael Elgin vs. Moose vs. Jay Briscoe, Top Prospect Tournament
By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped January 9 in Concord, North Carolina at Cabarrus Events Center
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
The opening video aired and then Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III (a/k/a Steve Corino) checked in on commentary and hyped the main event of Michael Elgin vs. Jay Briscoe. They also breezed over Kelly taking a superkick during the main event that aired last week...
The bracket for the eight-man Top Prospect Tournament was shown as follows: Brian Fury vs. Shaheem Ali, Leon St. Giovanni vs. Action Ortiz, Colby Corino vs. Punisher Martinez, and Jason Kincaid vs. Lio Rush...
1. Brian Fury vs. Shaheem Ali in a Top Prospect Tournament match. Corino raved about Ali, yet said you can't discount the experience factor that Fury has. Kelly said Fury is the most experienced wrestler in the tournament. The wrestlers shook hands before the match. There was an impressive spot where Ali caught Fury going for a suicide dive and performed an exploder suplex on the floor. Late in the match, the wrestlers bumped heads, then Fury powerbombed Ali and pinned him. Kelly put it over as a veteran way to win... [C]
Brian Fury beat Shaheem Ali to advance in the Top Prospect Tournament.
Powell's POV: A solid match didn't seem out of place on the ROH television show. Ali did a nice job of playing to the crowd throughout the match. Kelly noted that Fury was a 17-year veteran. Are you really a prospect if you've been working for 17 years?
Cedric Alexander and Veda Scott made their entrance. Kelly said Cedric is a wealthy man due to the settlement Scott negotiated with ROH over an unsafe work environment. Veda cut a promo about how she can buy and sell the locker room a million times over. Corino said he doesn't know about that because The Young Bucks make some good coin. Funny.
[Q2] Veda said Cedric is best in the world. She said he deserves to face the best that ROH has to offer and closed by saying "send them out." Cheeseburger made his entrance...
2. Cedric Alexander (w/Veda Scott) vs. Cheeseburger. The broadcast team spoke about Cheeseburger working in New Japan. Cheeseburger offered a handshake, but Alexander kicked his hand away. Cheeseburger got a few quick near falls. Cheeseburger hit a flying knee, but Cedric came back with his finisher and scored the clean pin...
Cedric Alexander beat Cheeseburger.
After the match, Cedric put the boots to Cheeseburger. Jonathan Gresham came out for the save. Veda took the mic and asked if he wanted another match against Alexander. She said Cedric would destroy Gresham... [C]
3. Cedric Alexander (w/Veda Scott) vs. Jonathan Gresham. The broadcast team put over Gresham as a great counter wrestler. Kelly said Cedric sees himself as someone who belongs at the top of the card and views Gresham as being beneath him. Gresham caught Alexander in a submission hold. Veda ran in and attacked Gresham for the DQ. Corino said Gresham is now 2-0 against Alexander. Cedric attacked Gresham, hit his finisher, and left him lying...
Jonathan Gresham beat Cedric Alexander by DQ.
Kelly hyped Nigel McGuinness addressing the 14th Anniversary event... [C]
Nigel McGuinness stood in the ring and then ROH Champion Jay Lethal made his entrance with Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix. Nigel said everyone wants to know who will challenge Lethal for the ROH Title at the anniversary show in Las Vegas next month.
[Q3] Nigel put over Lethal for beating AJ Styles at Final Battle, and beating Michael Elgin at Wrestle Kingdom in Japan (he didn't mention the Book of Truth cheap finish). Nigel said Lethal is the best in the world. Nigel said that when he thinks of contenders, the guy who comes to mind is Kyle O'Reilly based on their last match. Lethal said he beat O'Reilly before and can do it again. Nigel said Lethal didn't let him finish. Nigel said O'Reilly was beaten by Cole at Final Battle, which makes Cole the number one contender.
Adam Cole made his entrance and asked who is ready for story time. Cole said he beat O'Reilly at Final Battle, so that ends his matches with him and makes sure that he'll never get another ROH Title shot. Cole said Lethal's reign has been impressive, but Lethal has never defeated him during that reign. Cole said he will the ROH Title at the anniversary show.
Nigel said Cole didn't let him finish either. Nigel said that O'Reilly is also a credible contender and he wants to get his hands on Cole. Nigel said that unless Cole is afraid, then he assumes he wants to get his hands on O'Reilly again as well. Nigel said he is doubling down in Las Vegas and announced that the anniversary show main event will be Lethal vs. Cole vs. O'Reilly for the ROH Title. Kyle O'Reilly made his entrance and cut a brief promo about how he can't wait to get his hands on both men before Vegas. Nigel booked Lethal and Cole vs. O'Reilly and Bobby Fish for television...
Footage aired of The Boys turning on Silas Young and rejoining Dalton Castle... Young delivered a backstage promo about how Castle manipulated The Boys to return to his lifestyle. Young told The Boys they have one shot to come back and make it right. He said he will team them to be men and if they don't accept his offer they will be sorry...
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Mark Briscoe came out with his brother and joined the broadcast team on commentary. Before the Jay Briscoe vs. Michael Elgin match could start, Moose made his entrance with Stokely Hathaway. Stokely said Nigel agreed to book another Triple Threat match by adding Moose to the TV main event...
[Q4] [C] 4. Michael Elgin vs. Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. Jay Briscoe. Kelly announced that next week's main event will be the Lethal and Cole vs. Fish and O'Reilly match. Elgin sold at ringside and Briscoe was getting the better of Moose as they went to break. [C] Elgin was back in the match and had a run of offense on both men. Elgin impressively picked up Moose from the mat and powerbombed him.
Later, Elgin shoved Jay, who then ate a spear from Moose. Elgin caught Moose with a kick to the head. Corino said if Moose has a weakness it's his head due to suffering multiple concussions in the NFL. Ouch. Moose performed a big clothesline on Elgin for a two count. Elgin avoided a spear from Moose, but ate a superkick from Briscoe. Elgin came right back with a clothesline on Briscoe. Elgin threw punches at both opponents. He went for a discus punch on Jay, who countered into a backslide for the win. Mark stated what everyone was thinking by saying that he never thought the match would end in a backslide...
Jay Briscoe defeated Michael Elgin and Moose.
After the match, Elgin took the mic and said he and Briscoe are even in one-on-one matches. Elgin said he doesn't back down from a fight. He said it took Jay and Moose to beat him. Elgin said Mark may not have helped him physically, but Mark helped him mentally because that's what brothers do. Huh? Anyway, Elgin challenged the Briscoes to face him and someone who has his back - Hiroshi Tanahashi. There was a nice pop and then Elgin shook hands with both Briscoes...
Powell's POV: A good three-way main event and Mark was absolutely right about the finish being a surprise, which made it pretty cool. It did seem odd that the billed a match between Elgin and Briscoe to break the tie only to have Nigel agree to add Moose to it at the last second. That said, it was entertaining and the post-match announcement of Tanahashi teaming with Elgin to face the Briscoes at the anniversary show is exciting. Overall, this was a solid show with a strong main event and the announcements of the two anniversary show matches made it feel newsworthy. I love the way the broadcast team reacted to those announcements by acting like they were as surprised and excited as anyone. I also like that they set up next week's tag main event in a logical way and that it could be interesting given that it involves all three pay-per-view main event participants.
Check back on Thursday for Darren Gutteridge's ROH Hit List, and the ROH audio review with Darren and Haydn Gleed.
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