2/24 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: Final hype for the 14th Anniversary pay-per-view, The Briscoes vs. Alex Shelley and ACH, Roderick Strong vs. Jonathan Gresham for the ROH TV Title

Logo_ROH_dn_crop600By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped February 6 in Nashville, Tennessee at Nashville Municipal Auditorium
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV

The opening video aired… Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary and they hyped the tag team main event…

Ring entrances for the Roderick Strong vs. Jonathan Gresham match took place with the new set and big video screen. Veda Scott entered the ring and told Gresham that she was prepared to give Gresham a check to surrender his title shot to Cedric Alexander and to go away from ROH forever. Gresham blew off her handshake and told her to leave the ring…

Powell’s POV: The set looks great and it’s a huge upgrade over what they had. The ring is well lit and the company looks more professional than ever. I was hoping that a graphics overhaul would have coincided with the upgrades, but I’m not complaining. This is definitely a step forward. All of that said, Gresham should have taken the check!

1. Roderick Strong vs. Jonathan Gresham for the ROH TV Championship. They took an early break with Strong in offensive control. [C] Gresham got plenty of offensive and applied an ankle lock briefly before stomping on the back of Strong’s leg and then kicking him in the face. Gresham rolled Strong into a nice pin and got a really good near fall. Strong came back with a chop and a high knee to Gresham’s head. Strong covered Gresham and pinned him as Kelly said Strong “knocked out another one”…

Roderick Strong pinned Jonathan Gresham.

After the match, the broadcast team hyped Strong vs. Bobby Fish for the pay-per-view. As Strong was holding up the ROH TV Title, Fish came out and swiped it from him. Strong hit Fish from behind. Fish fought back. Strong rolled inside the ring and Fish followed, but Strong rolled to ringside. Kelly said they don’t want to wait until Friday’s pay-per-view. Strong yelled “Best in the World” and then headed to the back… Kelly hyped the main event…

Powell’s POV: Despite what Kelly said, it looked like Strong did want to wait until Friday based on the way he avoided Fish. Anyway, a good match with Strong giving up that close near fall to Gresham before putting him away with the high knee. I really like that move as a finisher. Maybe he’s already done it and I’ve missed it, but he could really establish the move by “knocking out” television opponents with the ref calling for the stoppage rather than allowing the pin attempt.

Backstage, The Briscoes cut a brief promo about the main event… [C]

2. ROH Tag Champions War Machine vs. Brutal Bob Evans and Tim Hughes. Kelly said Adam Cole and The Young Bucks would appear on the show. Kelly hyped Hanson and Rowe vs. All Night Express for the pay-per-view. The fans gave War Machine the streamer treatment. Evans wanted nothing to do with Rowe, so he tagged in Hughes. They tried to double team Rowe, but Hanson broke that up. Hanson tagged in and they took turns destroying Hughes in the corner. War Machine performed a sloppy combo backbreaker and then followed up with their finisher on him for the win.

War Machine defeated Bob Evans and Tim Hughes in a non-title match.

After the match, All Night Express made their entrance with one holding a chair and the other holding a pipe. Kenny King said “War Machine” and then Rhett Titus said “tick tock.” Titus said time is ticking down until they take back the tag championship. King said they are the legitimate and undefeated tag champions. King said War Machine scares other teams, but he sees them as bearded bitches. King said they were there to play show and tell. Titus said ANX “is coming for that ass in Las Vegas.” King told Rowe that what they have planned is going to make his motorcycle accident look like a picnic…

Backstage, Silas Young said he’s been patient with The Boys, but they would rather associate with Dalton Castle. He said he was patient long enough and now the clock is ticking…

Powell’s POV: I dig war War Machine, but this was not the best showcase match and it’s on them rather than their opponents. Rowe looked unsure of himself a couple times, and that backbreaker spot appeared to be clunky because of Hanson. Rowe also checked out once he tagged out. I’d like to see him carry himself with more confidence from bell to bell in a squash match such as this one.

Kevin Kelly interviewed The Young Bucks at ringside about their six-man tag match at the pay-per-view. Nick Jackson said pro wrestling his a dirty business, but they know the best cleaner in the industry and his name is Kenny Omega. Matt Jackson said they would throw the world’s biggest superkick party in Las Vegas. A graphic touted their match against Kushida, ACH, and Matt Sydal…

Highlights aired of last week’s angle with Adam Page attacking BJ Whitmer…

3. BJ Whitmer vs. Chase Brown. Kelly told viewers not to judge the book by its cover when it came to Brown. He noted that the fans call him “Cauliflower” and he actually had one in his corner. Whitmer made quick work of Brown and finished him off with an exploder suplex.

BJ Whitmer beat Chase Brown.

After the match, Whitmer roughed up Brown a bit and then took the mic. Before he could speak, Steve Corino’s music cut him off and Corino walked onto the stage wearing a suit. Whitmer said Corino doesn’t get to talk. He said the neck surgery ended Corino’s career and he’s sick of keeping him relevant. Whitmer called for Adam Page to come out. Page entered the ring behind Whitmer and they fought. Page performed a nice flip over the rope into a clothesline, then threw punches at Whitmer until the referees ran in to break it up…

Powell’s POV: This felt a bit unnecessary given that it’s an undercard program that got attention last week, whereas there are bigger matches that won’t get this much attention on the go-home show.

Adam Cole came to the ring for a promo and spoke about the pay-per-view main event for the ROH Title. Cole said Kyle O’Reilly doesn’t deserve to be in the match and he will make sure that O’Reilly is never the ROH Champion. Cole said Jay Lethal acts confident, but he’s shaking in his boots because he’s never defended the title against him. Cole said he will win the ROH Championship on Friday.

ROH Champion Jay Lethal made his entrance along with Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix. Lethal said he heard his name so he assumed it was his cue. Lethal said O’Reilly is a good kid, but he’s never had the ROH Title. Lethal said Cole had it in the past and he has it now. He said he would like to leave the kids at home and let the adults handle this one. Lethal said he is out to prove he is the best wrestler in the world and he will prove to both opponents that “the house (of truth) always wins.” Lethal said he didn’t feel like waiting until Las Vegas. He said they could finish this now.

Kyle O’Reilly made his entrance looking a bit like a Briscoe with his camouflage shorts. O’Reilly teased speaking, but he kicked Lethal instead. Cole and O’Reilly fought. Lethal ran O’Reilly into the corner. Cole superkicked Lethal. Cole performed his finisher on Lethal. O’Reilly hit a brainbuster on Cole. O’Reilly picked up the ROH Title from the streamer debris. Security entered the ring as O’Reilly played to the crowd. A graphic for the match was shown… [C]

Ring entrances for the main event took place. The broadcast team hyped pay-per-view matches and noted that Christopher Daniels had joined them and that his suspension was over. Christopher claimed he was just defending himself against a referee “who had a weapon in his hand at the time” and that’s what caused his suspension. Funny…

4. The Briscoes (w/ODB) vs. ACH and Alex Shelley. The teams shook hands before the match. They cut to a commercial break early in the match. [C] Sydal had a nice flurry of offense on both Briscoes that included a drop toe hold that drove Mark into the middle turnbuckle. A short time later, ACH tagged in. Daniels climbed onto the apron and Sydal punched him off. Shelley went after Daniels, who held his leg to prevent him from returning to the ring. Meanwhile, the Briscoes hit the Doomsday Device on ACH and pinned him to win the match…

The Briscoes defeated ACH and Alex Shelley.

After the match, The Briscoes and ODB celebrated the win and left. Frankie Kazarian and Chris Sabin hit the ring. Kazarian attacked Shelley from behind. Daniels and Kazarian roughed up Shelley while Sabin watched in the corner. They held Shelley for Sabin to strike him, but Sabin stayed in the corner. ACH pulled Shelley to the floor. Daniels and Kazarian bickered with Sabin…

A brief video hyped the 14th Anniversary pay-per-view event to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A strong go-home show by ROH standards. We’ve seen some really bad shows leading into pay-per-views that were basically just three or four random matches with minimal pay-per-view hype, but this show was all about the pay-per-view. They could have picked a better main event for the go-home show since it felt pretty random and involved wrestlers who are in mid-card roles at the pay-per-view. Plus, it was odd to see ACH team with Shelley just a week after ACH and Matt Sydal scored the upset win over the Young Bucks. They could have simply closed with the Lethal, Cole, and O’Reilly segment. Perhaps ROH isn’t big on ending their shows with talking segments, but it certainly would have ended the show on a higher note than the main event did.

Overall, though, a good episode with a lot crammed into one hour. The good? The show looked great cosmetically with the video wall really standing out as a big positive and the ring looking well lit. The bad? They still have three weeks of television in the can, so we won’t be seeing the matches taped on Saturday in Las Vegas for several weeks. It won’t be an issue for casual viewers, but I wish there was a faster turn around time for their tapings. Hopefully they include a lot of timely backstage interviews coming out of the pay-per-view, which looks very good on paper. Speaking of which, join me for live coverage of the ROH 14th Anniversary event as it airs on Friday night.

We are looking for correspondents for the ROH shows in Las Vegas. If you are attending either show and want to help, email me at dotnetjason@gmail.com


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