By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped February 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Live
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
The opening video aired and then Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III (a/k/a Steve Corino) checked in on commentary… Ring introductions for Tomohiro Ishii vs. BJ Whitmer took place. Just as the match was about to start, Veda Scott and Cedric Alexander interrupted. Scott offered Whitmer a chance to give up his title shot to Alexander in exchange for a payoff. Whitmer took the mic and questioned whether Scott believes he is the type of man who can be bought off. The crowd chanted Yes! “Well, you would be absolutely correct in that assumption,” Whitmer said before taking the envelope containing the payoff… [C]
1. Tomohiro Ishii vs. Cedric Alexander (w/Veda Scott) for the ROH TV Title. Kelly noted that the main event of the show was The Young Bucks vs. Yoshihiro Tanahashi and Michael Elgin, and next week’s TV main event will be Jay Lethal vs. Hirooki Goto for the ROH Title. Late in the match, Alexander threw forearms that Ishii no-sold. Ishii came back with forearms of his own and then turned Alexander inside out with a shoulder block. Later, Ishii caught Alexander with a nice headbutt that popped the crowd. He went for a sliding lariat, but Alexander countered and got a two count. Ishii came back with a brainbuster for the win…
Tomohiro Ishii beat Cedric Alexander to retain the ROH TV Title.
Powell’s POV: A good match and a fun angle beforehand. I love the way Whitmer played it by asking if Veda really thought he was the type of guy who could be bought only to confirm that he is. Great stuff. The show has never looked better from a production standpoint. The negative is that I don’t have a sense of who Ishii is just from watching this television show and there should have been highlights of his title win.
The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) made their entrance as footage aired of Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin reuniting. In the ring, Kazarian said it makes them sick to their stomachs to see the Motor City Machine Guns reunite. He said they rescued Sabin from the bowels of obscurity and made him relevant again. Kazarian said Sabin would be as broken as Detroit’s economy if it wasn’t for them. Kazarian said he was chalking it up to one piss poor decision and said he wanted an apology.
Christopher Daniels took the mic and said the apology wasn’t good enough. He said he expects bad treatment from ROH and the fans, but he expects more from a friend. Daniels dubbed them Generation Killers and both men wore shirts with that slogan. Sabin and Shelley walked onto the stage. Sabin said he came to the realization that Daniels and Kazarian are bitter douchebags. Corino said that will cost Sabin a hundred bucks.
Sabin said they could fight on the spot. They headed to the ring, but Daniels and Kazarian fled to ringside. Daniels said children don’t tell adults what to do. He said the kids need to understand that the veterans would decide when the match goes down. Daniels said they could point at their hands all they want while the douchebag fans cheer them on, but they don’t deserve their attention…
Jay Lethal and Truth Martini delivered a brief backstage promo about the match with Goto while Taeler Hendrix stood by. Lethal said he was going to send Goto to the hospital. He said he would send Goto back to Japan with a notebook that reads “Jay Lethal’s the greatest”… [C]
2. Jay and Mark Briscoe vs. Reno Scum. Kelly said Reno Scum break every rule possible.
The Briscoes defeated Reno Scum (Adam Thornstowe and Luster the Legend). The Briscoes dominated early. Scum came back and isolated Mark. He eventually flipped over Thornstowe’s back to tag in Jay, who dominated and performed a DVD and a neckbreaker for a two count. Later, Scum came back with a nice german suplex and double stomp combo for a two count on Mark. In the end, Mark hit Froggy Bow on Thornstowe and pinned him… [C]
Powell’s POV: Reno Scum are solid. They have a good look and they did a nice job of putting over the Brisoces. I can see why they get work when ROH and Global Force Wrestling run shows in Nevada.
Ring entrances for the main event took place. The Young Bucks were out first to a great ovation. Elgin was out next to a decent reaction, and then Hiroshi Tanahashi came out to a respectful reaction and “Tanahashi” chants…
3. The Young Bucks vs. Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Nigel McGuinness sat in on commentary. Elgin went for a test of strength with Nick Jackson, who gave him a “too sweet” poke to the eyes that got a reaction from the crowd while making Elgin look like a clown. Nick performed a big dive over the top and onto Tanahashi on the floor heading into the break. [C]
Elgin threw big forearms at the Bucks coming out of the break, and then he and Tanahashi took offensive control. The Bucks eventually came back with superkicks and then Nick threw a few nice dropkicks at both opponents. Nick performed a facebuster on Tanahashi and then sprung up and onto the canvas, then back flipped onto Elgin and performed a tornado DDT going into the break. Wow! [C]
The momentum of the match was down coming out of the break with Tanahashi making a tag to Elgin, who threw forearms and then running clotheslines on both Bucks. He also caught one of them going for a superkick and spun the leg into the other brother, which woke up the crowd. Elgin followed with a double fallaway slam on both Bucks.
Later, the Bucks hit a double superkick on Tanahashi. They both hit 450 splashes on Elgin, then Tanahashi ran in to break up the pin. A short time later, Matt superkicked Tanahashi, who no sold it and then turned him inside out with a clothesline. Elgin picked up Tanahashi on his shoulders and flung him down for a splash, but Matt got his knees up. The Bucks came back with superkicks. The Bucks went for the meltzer Driver, but Elgin caught Nick Jackson and powerbombed him. Tanahashi performed a slingblade clothesline on on Matt. Elgin powerbombed Matt and then Tanahashi performed the High Fly Flo for the win…
Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi beat The Young Bucks.
Powell’s POV: The New Japan duo beat the guys with the most lucrative contracts in ROH. I’m certainly not overlooking the great athleticism in this match or the way the crowd was worked into a frenzy by the end. It was very entertaining. And while there’s no shame in their characters losing to Tanahashi and Elgin, I just don’t feel ROH is maximizing their investment in the Bucks by having them lose as often as they win. They have no real direction. Overall, the show was filled with good wrestling as it usually is. I just wish there was better storytelling to go along with it. Again, though, ROH never looked better from a production standpoint. It took longer than we hoped, but they have come a long way in that regard since Sinclair Broadcast Group purchased the company.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Jim Ross on his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, whether Ross knew Shawn Spears was going to hit Cody with a chair shot to the head, working with Excalibur and Alex Marvez, his new book and speaking engagement deal, and much more... Search "Pro Wrestling Boom" in Apple Podcasts or any podcast app to subscribe.