12/21 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: The Decade of Excellence Tournament begins, Adam Cole and The Young Bucks vs. Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Dalton Castle, Caprice Coleman vs. Lio Rush


By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped December 4 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV

A vide recapped Kyle O’Reilly defeating Adam Cole to win the ROH Title at Final Battle… The opening video aired… Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary…

New ROH Champion Kyle O’Reilly made his entrance. O’Reilly opened by asking, “What’s up, Philadelphia.” The fans responded with a “You deserve it.” O’Reilly welcomed fans to his spectacle and then spoke about how the ROH Title has proven that ROH is the best wrestling on the planet, and he said holding the title proves he is the planet’s best wrestler.

O’Reilly promised to defend the title with honor and integrity just like McGuinness, Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe, and others did. Cole said Final Battle is a moment he will never forget and no one will ever be able to take away from him.

Adam Cole’s entrance music played and he walked onto the stage with a mic and demanded that his music be cut. Cole walked to ringside while saying O’Reilly should be apologizing for the travesty that went down at Final Battle. He said he prepared for a one-on-one professional wrestling match.

Cole said it was turned into a No DQ match with thumbtacks, tables, and chains. Cole called it a joke and said that O’Reilly is a joke as champion. Cole said O’Reilly was lucky. He said O’Reilly can walk around with the title over his shoulder, but Cole is still the best wrestler on the planet and the rightful champion.

Dalton Castle’s music played and he walked out and said this must be so embarrassing for Cole. Castle congratulated Cole and said they left him out of the conversation. He said he is a very dangerous man in the ring. Castle recalled beating Cole the last time they were in the ring together. Castle said he feels he is next in line for a title shot. O’Reilly was all for it.

Bobby Fish made his entrance and joined the other babyfaces in the ring. Fish said his brother O’Reilly made good on every promise he ever made about Cole and the title. Fish said he is the 2016 Survival of the Fittest winner and he has a title shot coming his way in 2017.

Cole interrupted Fish and said he will be the next champion. O’Reilly said that as long as there is breath in his lungs he will fight and even die for the ROH Title. O’Reilly offered advice to anyone who wants to take the title from him – good luck. O’Reilly stood on the ropes with the title over his shoulder…

Kelly hyped the Decade of Excellence tournament briefly and the brackets flashed on the screen for a couple seconds… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good opening segment with three men making their case for getting shots at the new champion. The most intriguing of the bunch is Fish given his longtime status as O’Reilly’s tag partner. Fish was cut off by Cole, but his interest in getting a title shot didn’t feel as big as it should have for some reason.

Kelly spoke about the tournament and the brackets listed Mark Briscoe vs. Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin vs. Colt Cabana, BJ Whitmer vs. Jay Briscoe, and Jay Lethal vs. Jushin Thunder Liger. Kelly explained that the tournament consists of wrestlers who debuted in ROH over a decade ago. The winner gets a title shot at the ROH Anniversary show…

McGuinness said he was changing the main event (which was never addressed beforehand). McGuinness announced Cole and The Young Bucks vs. Castle, Fish, and O’Reilly in a six-man tag match…

Ring entrances for the opening match took place. A pre-taped Daniels promo aired with him saying he has more than twice a decade of experience. He said his tournament will start with Briscoe and end with a title shot. Briscoe said he started under the guidance of Daniels and they’ve come a long way…

1. Christopher Daniels (w/Frankie Kazarian) vs. Mark Briscoe in a Decade of Excellence Tournament match. Kelly spoke about the experience of Daniels and questioned whether he still has it. There was some early comedy with Briscoe performing redneck kung fu while Daniels tried to counter with a crane kick that was blocked. Daniels was on the offensive heading into a break. [C]

Briscoe took control and performed a Cactus Jack elbow drop off the apron. Back inside the ring, Briscoe went up top and attempted Froggy Bow, but Daniels rolled out of the way. Daniels performed an Angel’s Wings supelx and scored the clean pin. Kelly said each of the tournament matches will air on ROH television. The wrestlers shook hands afterward…

Christopher Daniels defeated Mark Briscoe to advance in the Decade of Excellence Tournament.

Powell’s POV: I like the tournament concept, but the presentation of the tournament left a lot to be desired. The quick explanation and brackets graphic just wasn’t enough. If you want viewers to care about a tournament, then why not take the time to introduce it properly? Why not have Kelly and/or McGuinness make an in-ring announcement and introduce the participants rather than just dropping it on viewers shortly before the opening match? The wrestlers didn’t exactly set the right tone by going to comedy early in the opening match, but fortunately the intensity picked up as the match went on. My guess is Daniels wins the tournament, as they seem to be playing up his aging veteran status.

2. Caprice Coleman (w/Rhett Titus, Kenny King) vs. Lio Rush. The three members of Rebellion headed to the ring with a fourth guy who held the ROH logo upside down. They attempted to recruit Rush before the match, but he declined. Rush dodged Coleman charging him in the corner four different times and rolled him up for the win in under a minute. After the match, the Rebellion members worked over Rush. Jay White and Donovan Dijak ran out for the save… [C]

Lio Rush defeated Caprice Coleman.

Powell’s POV: It’s hard enough to take The Rebellion seriously following that hideous run as The Cabinet, but seeing Coleman get pinned in under a minute made it impossible.

Kelly and McGuinness hyped Jay Briscoe vs. BJ Whitmer in a tournament match as the main event for the show in two weeks… Ring entrances for the main event took place… [C]

3. Adam Cole, Nick Jackson, and Matt Jackson vs. ROH Champion Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Dalton Castle (w/The Boys). The Young Bucks attacked O’Reilly to start the match, then fought with Fish and Castle on the floor while Cole took advantage of O’Reilly in the ring. O’Reilly quickly recovered and traded punches with Cole. A short time later, Fish flipped onto the Bucks from the apron, then O’Reilly hit Cole with a running knee on the floor. O’Reilly put Cole in an arm bar over the ropes. The Bucks broke it with a double superkick.

The Bucks hit apron bombs on Fish and Castle, then the three heels performed a triple apron bomb on O’Reilly and then “too sweeted” with fans at ringside. McGuinness said Cole was all for the No DQ stipulation prior to the Final Battle match and said he’s now crying over spilt milk. Cole put O’Reilly in a Camel Clutch. The Bucks ran the ropes repeatedly, ten stopped and kissed Cole on the cheek heading into the break. [C]

Nick Jackson was wobbling on the top rope coming out of the break. The Boys used their fans and Jackson fell and crotched himself. Nick came right back and superkicked O’Reilly off the apron and into the arms of Cole and Matt Jackson three times, then performed a senton off the apron.

A short time later, O’Reilly made a tag to Castle as if the tag rules mattered. Castle performed a German suplex into a bridge on Matt for a two count. All three babyfaces performed German suplexes on the heels, which led to another two count. Castle went for his finisher on Matt, who avoided it. They clotheslined one another and then tagged in Fish and Cole respectively.

Later, the Bucks superkicked The Boyz on the floor. Nick went for a top rope move, but O’Reilly caught him in a trinagle on the way down. Fish took out Cole, and Castle hit Matt with the Bangarang, and then Nick tapped out to O’Reilly’s finisher…

Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, and Dalton Castle defeated Adam Cole and The Young Bucks.

Powell’s POV: A very good match in terms of six-man chaos with the Bucks pulling out all the stops and seeking applause rather than heat as usual. I will always wonder how good these would be if they were presented as rebel babyfaces or if they worked as true heels, but there’s no denying that what they do is entertaining as hell. The live crowd ate it up. Overall, a good show with a good opening, a strong main event, and the beginning of what should be an interesting tournament. Haydn Gleed will be by later this week with his audio review. By the way, I assume that next week’s show is actually the “Best Of” edition that Kelly said this episode would be last week. If so, then we’ll take a break from TV coverage and return once the next original show airs.



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