3/16 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: Bush league time filler following a seven-team gauntlet match

Logo_ROH_dn_crop600By 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 and then the broadcast team Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III (a/k/a Steve Corino) introduced themselves at ringside…

1. Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Addiction vs. Roppongi Vice vs. Brutal Bob & Tim Hughes vs. Caprice Coleman & Will Ferrara vs. Joey Daddiego & Chris Larusso in a gauntlet match for a future ROH Tag Title shot. The broadcast implied the that order of entry was determined by random draw. Fish and O’Reilly started against Coleman and Ferrara. Fish and O’Reilly eliminated Coleman and Ferrara when O’Reilly forced Ferrara to submit to a knee bar.

Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly eliminated Caprice Coleman and Will Ferrara.

Truth Martini came out to introduce a House of Truth team, which turned out to be Daddiego and Larusso. Truth said Larusso is a martial arts expert and a lawyer. Larusso slipped a card into Truth’s pocket as he delivered his promo at ringside. Truth told Larusso that it’s a chance of a lifetime and that he will either get a thumbs up or a thumbs down. [C]

Fish and O’Reilly got the better of Larusso. O’Reilly had him ready to tap, but Daddiego broke it up and then tagged in moments later. Daddiego picked up O’Reilly and tagged Larusso right back in so they could perform a power slam and leg drop. Daddiego tagged back in and threw some punches at O’Reilly, who came back with kicks. Daddiego caught one of the kicks and slammed O’Reilly. Later, Daddiego held Fish for a Larusso kick, but Fish ducked and Daddiego took the kick. Moments later, Larusso went to his corner for a tag, but Daddiego dropped off the apron. O’Reilly eliminated House of Truth by forcing Larusso to tap.

Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly eliminated Joey Daddiego and Chris Larusso.

The Young Bucks were the next entrants. [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s asking a lot of a live crowd that has already sat through a long taping to get excited about a seven team gauntlet match. It looks like even more seats opposite the hard camera are empty compared to last week. Fortunately, the Bucks entering here woke up the crowd. I don’t think anyone took the first two eliminated teams seriously, but they serve a purpose in killing television time and likely serve another purpose that we’ll get to later.

The Bucks received the streamer treatment and were on the offensive early. They performed simultaneous suicide dives onto Fish and O’Reilly. Fish came back with an exploder suplex on Matt Jackson heading into the break. [C] The Bucks performed More Bang For Your Buck on O’Reilly to eliminate Red Dragon from the match.

The Young Bucks eliminated Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly.

Tim Hughes and Bob Evans were the next entrants. [C]

Powell’s POV: Picking up where I left off, I thought Fish and O’Reilly going through the first couple teams would give them an out in terms of being worn down before they lost to the Bucks. I guess it did to some extent, but it wasn’t something that was played up in a major way and this section of the match was a letdown given the talent involved.

The Bucks performed simultaneous superkicks on Hughes and Evans that knocked them to ringside. Then the bell rang to start the fall. Evans and Hughes killed some time by plotting at ringside and avoiding the Bucks, who eventually went to ringside and superkicked them again. Hughes performed a comical spinning side slam on Nick Jackson. He tried to do the same move to Matt, but Nick superkicked him. After a comical shin kick from Evans, the Bucks put him away.

The Young Bucks eliminated Tim Hughes and Bob Evans.

Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian were the next entrants. The Bucks looked to the entrance area, but Daniels and Kazarian came out behind them and attacked them from behind. A short time later, Matt Jackson superkicked Kazarian at ringside. Daniels set up for an angel’s wings suplex on Nick Jackson, but Matt superkicked Daniels, leading to Nick getting the pin.

The Young Bucks eliminated Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian.

Daniels and Kazarian attacked The Bucks after the match and hit Celebrity Rehab on one of the Jacksons. “Roppongi Vice” Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero were the final entrants in the gauntlet match. They came out and fought Daniels and Kazarian and eventually cleared them from the ring. Nick Jackson returned to the match and rolled up a distracted Romero for a two count. Matt Jackson was still down at ringside selling the effects of the previous fall. [C]

Beretta and Romero worked over Nick Jackson coming out of the break and scored a two count. Matt Jackson returned to his corner only to have Beretta knock him down with a punch. Nick eventually tagged his brother, who caught both opponents with a kick through the ropes and then performed a moonsault onto both men heading into the final break. [C] The Bucks were on an offensive roll and set up for More Bang For Your Buck, on Beretta when Romero made a blind tag. A short time later, Beretta and Romero hit their Strong Zero finisher and both men covered Matt Jackson for the win…

Trent Beretta and Rocky Romero won a tag team gauntlet match to earn a future ROH Tag Title shot.

Kevin Kelly hyped that ROH will team up with New Japan Pro Wrestling beginning with next week’s television show. He advertised Kazuchika Okada, Kushida, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Kelly then set up “the closing moments of one of our favorite ROH versus New Japan matchups.” Without naming the talent, they aired the last few minutes of The Briscoes vs. Okada and Shinsuke Nakamura from a previous show…

Powell’s POV: The final fall was the most entertaining of the match by far. However, it was an underwhelming gauntlet match. I understand that ROH did this essentially to fill an episode of television while knowing this would be the second show to air after the 14th Anniversary pay-per-view. It just wasn’t very exciting until they got to the final two teams. It wasn’t laid out well in that there should have been better exchanges with some of the elite teams, but it felt like they rushed through the Bucks vs. Dragons, and the Bucks vs. The Addiction.

There were no real stories told during the gauntlet match. I mentioned the one they could have told with the Dragons, and they could have done the same with the Bucks. Furthermore, the voiceless (at least in ROH) duo of Beretta and Romero enter seventh and win the match. Sure, it’s impressive that they beat The Bucks, but from the seventh spot? It’s also hard to get excited about any team earning an ROH Tag Title shot in this manner when you know that each of the meaningful teams in this match will get title shots at some point anyway. I dig the Bucks, but did ROH really sign them to be just another tag team?

The presentation of the closing minutes of the The Briscoes vs. Okada and Nakamura match was embarrassing. It’s my understanding that the plan was for the gauntlet match to go the full hour. When it came up short, this is the bush league plan what they came up with to fill a few minutes. They had this show in the can for over a month and this is the best they could come up with to fill time? Why not take the time to put together a video package on the NJPW talent instead of just throwing out a random match finish? I expect better from ROH.


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