By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped February 6 in Nashville, Tennessee at Municipal Auditorium
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
The opening video aired… Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III (a/k/a Steve Corino) were on commentary. The broadcast team hyped the replay of the the 14th Anniversary pay-per-view and spoke about what a great show it was (this was taped weeks before the event).
Silas Young and The Beer City Bruiser made their entrance for a match with The Boys. Dalton Castle’s music played and he ran out attacked Silas and The Bruiser. Security grabbed Dalton and took him backstage, leaving The Boys to fend for themselves. Young took the mic and spoke about how he’s been patient with them and gave them a chance to be real men. He said tonight is a reality check because they will be in the ring with better athletes, better wrestlers, and are more real men than they will ever be. Castle said he was so confident that he would quit the wrestling business if The Boyz can beat them…
1. Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser vs. The Boys. The fans chanted for The Boys. They teamed up on Bruiser yet failed to take him off his feet. Bruiser caught one of The Boyz with a fallaway slam off the second rope which drew gasps from the crowd heading into the break. [C]
Silas tagged in and was bulldogged by one of the Boys, who made the hot tag to his brother. The Boys had an offensive flurry and one of them took Bruiser down with a tornado DDT from the ropes for a two count. Silas regained control with a DDT onto the turnbuckle, but The Boys disposed of him quickly. Bruiser went for a top rope splash and it looked like one of The Boys was going for an RKO and something was clearly off.
Bruiser was covered for a two count. One of The Boys flipped off the shoulders of his brother and onto their opponents on the floor. The other performed a moonsault off the top rope and onto both men on the floor, which got a rise out of the crowd. Silas took a facebuster and then a sloppy leg drop from one of The Boys of the shoulders of his brother.
One of The Boys put Bruiser in a sleeper and Bruiser ended up stumbling into the other brother in the corner to break it up. Young and Bruiser performed repeated moves in the corner onto The Boys and Young ended up pinning one of them. After the match, Silas ran out to help his boys, but Silas and Bruiser got the better of him and Bruiser put him down with a wicked Samoan drop… [C]
Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser beat The Boys.
Powell’s POV: A fun match. The Boys performed some fun high spots and Young and especially Bruiser served as big bases for those moves. The Boys seemed unpolished with a couple of those high spots being off. Their selling was all over the place. They sold when Bruiser and Young had prolonged stretches of offense, but otherwise they were popping up pretty quickly from some high impact moves. They are far from the only wrestlers to do that these days, but it would really benefit them to improve in that area
Adam Cole delivered a brief promo in front of the screen backstage. He spoke about how he would beat Matt Sydal in the main event… [C]
2. Brian Fury vs. Action Ortiz in a Top Prospect Tournament semifinal match. With Fury at ringside, Ortiz flipped over the top rope and crashed into him on the floor. The live crowd popped huge and chanted ROH. Ortiz rolled Fury back inside and covered him for two. Fury cut off Ortiz with a dropkick to the knee. Later, Ortiz punched Fury, whose leg caught him below the belt as he hit the mat. With Fury selling the low blow, Fury headbutted Ortiz and then finished him off with a Popup Powerbomb…
Brian Fury beat Action Ortiz to advance to the finals of the Top Prospect Tournament.
After the match, Kelly interviewed Fury at ringside. He said he feels fantastic and it doesn’t matter which wrestler he faces in the finals… The other Top Prospect Tournament match was hyped for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: The big dive by Ortiz was insane for a guy his size. He’s an agile guy and just getting up high enough to make the finishing move look passable was impressive. I liked the spot with the punch leading to the “inadvertent” low blow. It was creative and the live crowd picked up on it quickly because of the way Ortiz sold it. Fury’s promo afterward was pretty generic, but he didn’t look uncomfortable in that setting.
3. Lio Rush vs. Punisher Martinez in a Top Prospect Tournament semifinal match. Martinez is 6’6 and a foot taller than Rush. Martinez shook Rush’s hand and squeezed it to start the match. Martinez no-sold Rush’s offense early while playing the monster role. Martinez went for a chokeslam, but Rush fought free. Rush went for a cross body block, but Martinez caught him. Rush avoided several of Martinez’s strikes, which drew some applause and a comparison by the broadcast team to Amazing Red vs. Low Ki.
Later, Rush went for a suicide dive, but Martinez caught him. Rush finally took Martinez off his feet with a corkscrew dive off the top that resulted in a kick. Rush knocked Martinez down with another kick as he entered the ring. Rush went for a springboard move but Martinez caught him and performed a power move. Martinez got a near fall.
Rush went for a running move, but Martinez caught him with a high knee and covered him for a two count. Rush rolled to ringside. Martinez performed a dive over the top rope that put Rush down. Martinez followed up with a powerbomb attempt. Rush slipped out, but Martinez elbowed him. Rush came back with a twisting bulldog type of move. Back inside the ring, Martinez performed a spinning kick for a two count. Martinez showed frustration. He set Rush on the apron and then said, “here comes the pain.” Martinez set up for a top rope chokeslam. The crowd chanted “please don’t die.” Rush performed a Flux Capacitor type move off the top and got the win…
Lio rush beat Punisher Martinez to advance to the finals of the Top Prospect Tournament.
Powell’s POV: Both wrestlers have bright futures. The match was mostly about the size difference with Martinez no-selling and Rush being resilient. It was a bit of a mismatch in that regard, but they did okay with both men hitting the obligatory big spots. Rush has shown freakish athleticism in both matches and presumably wins the tournament, and Martinez has good size and a unique look.
Ring entrances for the main event took place…
4. Adam Cole vs. Matt Sydal. Cole broke clean in the corner and did his “Adam Cole, baby” line while holding up his hands. Sydal high-fived him, which got a laugh out of the crowd. Cole was in control with a chin lock heading into the break. [C] Sydal took offensive control and performed a standing moonsault. Corino raved about the athleticism and how amazed he is by guys like Sydal and ACH.
Cole caught Sydal at ringside and then performed a wicked backbreaker type of move on the ring apron. Cole rolled Sydal back inside the ring and got a two count. Sydal went for a move off the ropes, but Cole put his knees up and then followed up with a shining wizard for a two count. Cole got cocky and sat on the top rope, leading to Sydal performing a huracanrana and getting a near fall. Cole came right back and applied the figure four. Sydal rolled it over and Cole grabbed the ropes to break it. Sydal dodged a shining wizard and blasted Cole with a kick. After they traded strikes and avoiding strikes, Cole caught Sydal with a superkick. Sydal came back with a reverse huracanrana and then followed up with the Shooting Star Press for the win…
Adam Cole beat Matt Sydal.
Powell’s POV: A good match and a nice overall show. Cole losing here and in the 14th Anniversary main event makes it seem like he’s on a losing streak. I’m curious to see if they tell a story with that or if it’s just random. I like the idea of having the semifinals of the prospects tournament take place on the same weekend as the pay-per-view. ROH still has two more weeks of television in the can. Here’s hoping they insert some backstage interviews into these shows so that we don’t get two more weeks of generic references to the show and no real storyline developments.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Kenny Herzog discussing his journalism career, his new Outside Interference podcast, doing a feature story on CM Punk, pro wrestling in the pandemic, WWE talk on Retribution, The Hurt Business, Roman Reigns as a heel, and much more...