By Jason Powell
This is not a live review. Rather, this is the full review of the ROH television show as it aired over the weekend in syndication, and is replayed Wednesday nights on Comet TV.
Ring of Honor TV
Taped November 20 in Nashville, Tennessee
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
The ROH opening video played and then Kevin Kelly and Prince Nana introduced the show from ringside. They hyped the 10-man main event tag match with Jay Lethal and Roderick Strong as the captains…
Powell’s POV: This is the last of the tapings that were held prior to the Final Battle pay-per-view.
1. Will Ferrara vs. Caprice Coleman. Nana spoke about Ferrara knowing what he needs to do to take a step forward. Coleman cut a promo in the ring and said they have both been getting mail from the same mailman (Nana). Coleman told all the “jive turkeys” who get some mail will always come priority. The live crowd did not react.
Kelly questioned what was bringing the fire out of both men. Nana said it’s respect. Ferrara placed a chair at ringside and wanted to perform a move on it, but Coleman fought him off. Kelly questioned which wrestler Nana was supporting, but he was noncommittal. Later, both men brought chairs inside the ring and banged them together for the double DQ finsih. Referees and security immediately hit the ring to keep them apart as Nana spoke about how he loved it…
Will Ferrara fought Caprice Coleman to a no-contest.
Powell’s POV: The wrestlers did a nice job of working and acting more intense than usual due to the storyline with Nana. The referees and security hitting the ring that quickly was silly. I don’t have great faith in the payoff to this angle being great, but I will admit that I’m curious to see where it goes.
Backstage, Jay Lethal wanted to open Christmas presents, but Truth Martini (wearing a Santa Claus had and beard) stopped him as Taeler Hendrix held the ROH Title belt. Lethal explained that he and Strong both open the gifts and find out which wrestlers are on their teams. He opened a box and threw a fit when he found out that Cheeseburger was on his team… [C]
Truth Martini cut a promo in the ring as Donovan Dijak and “The Outlaw” Ken Phoenix stood by. Truth said he woke up and was out of cigarettes, so he bummed one from Phoenix and decided to give him a shot. He added that Phoenix would have a spot in the House of Truth if he impressed him during the match. He said this is the most important day of Phoenix’s life and wished him Merry Christmas…
2. Rhett Titus and Kenny King vs. Donovan Dijak and “The Outlaw” Ken Phoenix (w/Truth Martini). The teams had a tense handshake beforehand. Kelly put over Dijak during the match for having all the tools to have a successful career. Dijak and Phoenix got a near fall on Titus following a nice backstabber into a standing kick combo.
Dijak called for Phoenix to tag him in, but Phoenix said he had it. He lied. King went on an offensive flurry. Dijak saved him, then dragged him to the corner and tagged himself in. A short time later, Dijak performed a nice backbreaker onto his knee on Titus for a two count. In the end, the All Night Express doubled up on Phoenix and Titus pinned him to win the match…
The All Night Express beat Donovan Dijak and “The Outlaw” Ken Phoenix.
Afterward, Truth asked the crowd to give a thumbs up or down regarding Phoenix joining the House of Truth. The crowd booed and then Martini gave a thumbs down. Dijak performed his version of a GTS on Phoenix and left him lying. Nana got up and gave Dijak an envelope…
Powell’s POV: Phoenix and Titus starting the match together was unintentionally funny because they look alike. It can be argued that ANX felt like secondary players even though they won the match, as the focus was on whether Phoenix would earn a spot. Still, ANX got a win and I like that the match had a secondary story and wasn’t just positioned as a throwaway lopsided match.
Kevin Kelly stood at ringside and introduced Steve Corino. He noted that Corino had recently undergone neck surgery. Corino came out wearing a neck brace and received a nice ovation from the crowd. Corino said his neck brace will come off one day and B.J. Whitmer is going to have to pay for his sins. Corino said he will always be an evil man and Whitmer is going to find that out soon enough. Kelly shook Corino’s hand and then Corino headed backstage to end the segment…
Powell’s POV: It was nice to see Corino following neck surgery even though his character. It’s consistent with the storyline that he can’t be the color commentator, as there’s nothing preventing him from appearing in ROH. In fact, Nigel McGuinness even tried to give him a match against Whitmer.
Ring entrances for the ten-man tag match took place… The live crowd was hot for most of the babyface entrances despite it being late in the taping, but they were oddly quiet when the always popular Young Bucks were introduced. Kelly made a big fuss (as he should have) over the Briscoes being on opposite teams… [C]
3. Roderick Strong, Cedric Alexander (w/Veda Scott), Mark Briscoe, Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway), and Matt Jackson (w/Nick Jackson) vs. Jay Lethal (w/Truth Martini, Taeler Hendrix), Cheeseburger, Adam Page, Cliff Compton, and Jay Briscoe in a Christmas Surprise 10-man tag match. Mark and Compton slugged it out and then Compton called for them to battle at ringside. They headed there and Mark ran Compton into a barricade. However, Compton came right back by backdropping Briscoe onto the floor. Compton pulled out a table. Mark picked up a chair and referee Todd Sinclair stopped him and told both wrestlers to knock off the crap. [C]
Moose and Cheeseburger had an exchange after the break. Cheeseburger ended up getting the crowd behind him and managed to navigate multiple opponents to make a tag to Jay Briscoe, who then had an exchange with Moose and put him down with a Death Valley Driver. Moose tagged in Mark.
Jay and Mark squared off and traded repeated kicks to the head. Jay ended up hitting his brother with a forearm shot that knocked him down. Mark came back with another kick, and then both men tagged out. The live crowd ate that up and chanted “this is awesome.” Moose and Jackson took shots at Page while the crowd chanted “Suck It” and “Moose” after each shot. [C]
After the final break, Cheeseburger’s opponents all surrounded him in the ring. Cheeseburger punched Moose and then had a flurry of offense on each opponent. The live crowd loved it. Moose cut him down with a spear. The wrestlers from both teams took turns hit rapid fire finishers. Jackson superkicked Compton off the top rope and through a table on the floor. In the end, Mark hit Froggy Bow on Page and pinned him.
Roderick Strong, Cedric Alexander, Mark Briscoe, Moose, and Matt Jackson (w/Nick Jackson) defeated Jay Lethal, Cheeseburger, Adam Page, Cliff Compton, and Jay Briscoe in a Christmas Surprise 10-man tag match.
After the match, Cheeseburger’s opponents brought him into the ring and shook his hand to put him over while the crowd chanted his name. Kelly said next week’s show will be a look back on some of the best matches of 2015…
Powell’s POV: The main event was a lot of fun. I always get a kick out of Cheeseburger and his role in this match was great. They could have done more with the captains opening the presents to find out who their partners would be. I guess they only felt the need to show Lethal freaking out over Cheeseburger because of Cheeseburger’s big role in the match. Overall, this was a fun show despite being designed as pay-per-view weekend filler. We’ll take next week off from coverage since it’s a “best of” show, but I look forward to resuming ROH TV coverage in 2016.