By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped December 19 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
The opening montage aired and then Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary…
1. Trent Barreta and Rocky Romero vs. Kenny King and Rhett Titus. They cut to break a few minutes in with All Night Express (King and TItus) in control. [C] Titus worked over Barreta coming out of the break. Romero took a hot tag and worked over both opponents. Romero and Trent teamed up for a couple double stomp move. They followed up with their finisher on Titus, but the referee didn’t count. Baretta stood up to protest and was rolled up by legal man King for the win… [C]
Kenny King and Rhett Titus defeated Trent Barreta and Rocky Romero.
Powell’s POV: Good action. The wrestlers did their jobs well. The problem remains that the company has not done right by these guys from a creative standpoint. What am I supposed to feel about both teams when they are repeatedly thrown out there without mic time or character development? How was I supposed to feel about the way King and Titus won? Was that heelish? Are they babyfaces? I honestly have no clue. As usual, ROH just expects their viewers to know who these wrestlers are and what they are all about based on their past runs with the company or even from their runs in Japan or on the independent scene.
The Kingdom made their way to the ring and they were followed by security that stood in front of the ring. Adam Cole spoke while Matt Taven (using a crutch), Michael Bennett, and Maria stood by. Cole said some people walked away as winners and others walked away as losers at Final Battle. Cole said he did his job, but Bennett and Taven dropped the ball. He asked how The Kingdom would hold all the gold in 2016 when they don’t have the tag titles.
Cole said he was going to tell them what to do to get the titles back. He was distracted when Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly walked to ringside. Fish said that if O’Reilly gets loose from security, then Cole won’t live to see tomorrow. Fish said they reinvented tag team wrestling in Ring of Honor. Fish asked matchmaker McGuinness for a match against The Kingdom.
McGuinness stood up from commentary and said people came to see wrestling, not to watch them flap their lips. Nigel said the card is booked for this show, but he booked The Kingdom vs. Red Dragon for next week. Kelly noted that Taven only had a week to recover. The Young Bucks made their entrance to the best reaction of the night thus far.
Matt Jackson took exception to Fish talking about reinventing tag wrestling and not talking about them. He called The Kingdom a group of Bullet Club marks and said they would take them out. Nigel asked the fans if they want to see The Bucks next week. Nigel announced The Kingdom vs. Fish and O’Reilly vs. The Young Bucks in a Philly Street Fight for next week… [C]
Powell’s POV: Kelly did a really nice job of putting over the match as a big deal, and it’s always nice to see ROH promote a week out. Furthermore, the Bucks are one of those acts that doesn’t get a lot of mic time in ROH for some reason, so it was also encouraging to hear them get some mic time. That should be a fun match.
2. ROH Tag Champions War Machine vs. Donovan Dijak and Joey Daddiego (w/Truth Martini). War Machine was dominant early. Hanson stacked up both opponents on the top turnbuckle and threw forearms down on them. War Machine finished off Dijak with Fallout… [C]
War Machine beat Donovan Dijak and Joey Daddiego.
Powell’s POV: A squash match win for the new tag champions. I was surprised they didn’t give the House of Truth duo more offense, but it definitely helped keep War Machine’s momentum moving forward.
After the break, Truth Martini addressed his men and accused Dijak of being the weak link of the House of Truth. Martini said that if Dijak loses, then he loses. He said no one wants Dijak to win more than he does. He asked Dijak where he was during the main event of Final Battle. Truth said that Dijak not doing what he was supposed to do was a slap in the face. Truth said this is the real way a man slaps another way in the face. Truth slapped Dijak.
Dijak grabbed Truth, but Daddiego attacked him from behind and then held him for Truth to jaw at hime. Truth powered up Daddiego dropped him face first onto his knee. The crowd popped and chanted Dijak’s name. Truth announced that Dijak was fired. Prince Nana walked out to ringside and applauded Dijak… [C]
Powell’s POV: That explains why they had War Machine dominate the House of Truth duo. Dijak stands out in a good way because of his size. It would have been nice if they had taken some time to build to him leaving the group because that felt like it came out of nowhere. I don’t mind what Nana is doing with Caprice Coleman and Will Ferrara, but I cringed a bit at the thought of Dijak being thrown into that mix because it seems like ROH could do more with him based on the way the fans reacted to his turn.
Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish delivered a backstage promo about the street fight. He said he grew up on the mean streets of British Columbia. O’Reilly said he came from a broken home. He said his mom and dad were fine, but one day a tree smashed through their garage and he wants revenge on that tree. Funny. Fish closed it out and said the other teams have no idea what’s coming…
Powell’s POV: O’Reilly is really improving on the mic. He had some great facials when Fish was doing the Fish Tank routine, but there are times when he has looked a little gun shy on the microphone. That was not the case here, as he looked completely confident in what he was saying. That’s been the missing ingredient with O’Reilly. He’s amazing in the ring and he will be a star if he continues to improve on the mic.
A recap from Final Battle aired of The Boys reuniting with Dalton Castle… Ring entrances for the main event took place. Castle and The Boys were out first and we finally saw their awesome entrance routine…
3. Jay Briscoe vs. Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Matt Sydal in a four corner survival match. Dalton had some fun with the handshakes before the match, and Nigel explained the rules of the match, which are two men in the ring and the other two waiting for tags in the corner. Kelly gave background info on Moose and Sydal as they started the match. Jay was getting the better of Castle going into the final break. [C]
Sydal performed a backflip off the top rope and onto all four men on the floor. The crowd chanted ROH and the Boys used their fans. Hathaway did the same thing for Moose, which was comical. In the end, Sydal went for his finisher on Castle. Dalton got up and Sydal landed on his feet. Castle performed his finisher on Sydal and pinned him to win the match. The Boys celebrated with Castle afterward…
Dalton Castle defeated Moose, Matt Sydal, and Jay Briscoe in a four corner survival match.
Kelly hyped the three-way tag street fight as next week’s main event…
Powell’s POV: A good hour of Ring of Honor television. I covered my frustrations with the opening match, but even that was a well worked match. War Machine’s squash win showcased the new tag champs nicely and set up Dijak splitting away from the House of Truth. The main event was entertaining albeit somewhat random in terms of the wrestlers involved. It kinda felt like they don’t know where they are going next with these four creatively so they just decided to throw them all in a four-way. Still, it was an entertaining four-way match and a show that moved at a good pace.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Richard Holliday discussing The Dynasty faction in MLW, MJF's departure, the addition of Gino Medina, training under Paul Roma, and much more. Check out MLW Fusion Saturdays on beIN Sports and on the MLW YouTube Page...