By Darren Gutteridge
ROH TV Hits
Kyle O’Reilly vs. Silas Young: This was a fine tune up match for O’Reilly. He never really looked in trouble, and the commentators did a good job putting over how his technical prowess will perhaps give him the edge at Final Battle. There are perhaps bigger ways to go into the main event of ROH’s WrestleMania, but they still have a week to sell it. Young, on the other hand, is in a weird limbo where he’ll be given big matches one month, then shipped off to the lower card the next. A little consistency would go a long way.
Colt Cabana turns on Dalton Castle: Cabana doesn’t look terribly smart abandoning a tag partner who just won a match in 15 seconds, and they did perhaps make it too obvious last week that this was coming, but the turn was still nicely handled on the night. Cabana didn’t turn into a psycho, betraying his character. Instead, he looked smugly confident as he attacked Dalton with the hand fan. It comes too late to really build momentum for a Final Battle match, but I liked it nonetheless.
ROH TV Misses
The Kingdom vs. Team CMLL: The Kingdom actually impressed me more than I expected, coming off as a competent heel trio. However, ROH is oversaturated with heels at the moment, in particular three man heel trios, so they are effectively white noise at the moment. And you know what white noise doesn’t get you excited for? The finals of a lackluster six-man tag tournament. Or anything really.
Final Battle hype: This is what happens when you leave yourself only two weeks to build your biggest PPV. We weren’t so much introduced to the Final Battle hype as we were hit in the head by it. The “brick wall” approach made the middle section of this show sag a lot, and I suspect next week will be no better. I’m more excited about this card than any other in recent ROH history, but these packages stifled my anticipation if anything.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ROH COO Joe Koff confirming plans for a weekly ROH online series, discussing his decision to call off ROH events due to the coronavirus outbreak, making Marty Scurll the head booker, ROH's partnerships with NJPW and the NWA, and much more...