By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped on the November tour of England at various locations
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
A video package opened the show with clips from the ROH “Reach For The Sky” tour of the UK… The regular ROH TV opening aired… Kevin Kelly introduced the show while standing in front of the ROH logo screen. He hyped highlights from the UK tour and said they would talk a lot about the ROH TV Title, and they would air a dream tag team match involving the Young Bucks. Kelly set up the opening match…
1. Bobby Fish vs. Will Ospreay for the ROH TV Title. The match was taped in Liverpool, England at Liverpool Olympia. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Fish had a British flag with him and stepped on it during the introductions. Kelly was on play-by-play with Steve Corino and Nigel McGuinness on color commentary on the stage. They noted that the match was originally slated to be a Proving Ground match, but Fish agreed to make it a title match.
The broadcast team spoke about Ospreay being the subject of jealously due to his success at a young age. Ospreay dropkicked Fish, who rolled to ringside. Ospreay teased a dive and instead performed a handstand into the ropes and a backflip into a pose heading into the break. [C] Ospreay performed a backflip over the top rope and onto Fish on the floor. Back in the ring, Ospreay performed a neckbreaker for a two count.
Later, Fish went for a brainbuster, but Ospreay countered into a cutter in a cool move. Ospreay followed up with a standing shooting star press and then popped up and went for a move off the second rope, but Fish put his knees up. Ospreay caught Fish on the ropes and took him down into a pin, but Fish grabbed the ropes at two. Ospreay followed up with a spinning knee to Fish’s head.
Ospreay took his knee pad down and then performed another handstand into a backflip, but Fish caught him in kneebar on the way down. The broadcast team played it like Ospreay tapping was inevitable. Instead, he arched back into a pin and scored the pin. The broadcast team acted stunned by the outcome, as Ospreay sold the surprise with his jaw dropped while Fish protested with the referee. Fish handed Ospreay the title and patted his face, then raised his arm before leaving the ring…
Will Ospreay defeated Bobby Fish to win the ROH TV Title.
They cut away from the Ospreay celebration to Kelly in the studio talking about Ospreay winning the title in his debut match. He questioned how long Ospreay would be champion and said they would answer the question later in the show. He also teased Ospreay teaming with his rival to face the Young Bucks… [C]
Powell’s POV: A cool match with the upset win for Ospreay. It was a good introduction of Ospreay, though it would have been nice to hear from him or at least see his post match celebration. I’m surprised that Kelly gave away the outcome of the second ROH TV Title match that will air later in the show. Sure, a lot of viewers keep close tabs on ROH, but not all of them were aware of what happened.
Kelly set up the tag match and said the Young Bucks opted to put their tag titles on the line. Kelly said the match had to be seen to be believed and had an ending that was second to none…
2. The Young Bucks vs. Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll for the ROH Tag Titles. The match took place in Leicester, England at the Community Sports Arena and was joined in progress with the same three-man broadcast team. They noted that Ospreay and Scurll are bitter rivals, yet also said they were working well together and chalked it up to knowing each other so well. Scurll had Matt Jackson down at one point and then looked at Nick Jackson and mocked the “suck it” routine. Scurll and Ospreay continued to isolate Matt Jackson.
The Bucks eventually came back and Nick performed a springboard fasebuster on Scurll and then rolled out and moonsaulted off the apron onto Ospreay on the floor. The Bucks did the Terminator bit and performed simultaneous suicide dives onto their opponents heading into the commercial break. [C] Matt had Ospreay on his shoulders, and Nick superkicked Ospreay leading to a Doomsday style bump at ringside. Matt performed a DDT on Scurll on the apron, then rolled him back inside the ring where Nick performed a 450 splash for a two count.
The Bucks set up for the Meltzer Driver, but Ospreay broke it up. Scurll performed a tombstone piledriver on Matt, then Ospready performed a bunch of flip dives and eventually went for the cover, but Nick broke it up. The fans applauded and chanted “fight forever.” Scurll grabbed the hands of both Bucks and wrenched them in a silly spot. The Bucks accidentally took out the referee with a double superkick. Scurll low-blowed both Bucks and then went to ringside and grabbed an umbrella. Ospreay didn’t want his partner to use the umbrella.
Scurll handed Ospreay the umbrella and wanted him to hit the Bucks. Ospreay listened to the fans and swung the umbrella, but ended up hitting his partner instead. The Bucks hit a double superkick and then performed More Bang For Your Buck on Ospreay, but Scurll broke up the pin. The Bucks went for the Meltzer Driver. Ospreay was waiting and performed a huracanrana on Nick as he was coming off the top rope. However, Nick still performed his end of the finisher on the way down, and Matt pinned Scurll…
The Young Bucks defeated Marty Scurll and Will Ospreay to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
Kelly hyped Ospreay vs. Scurll for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Wow, that was one hell of a finish. The crowd didn’t seem to go as crazy as they should have for the finisher. They were hot for the entire match, so I don’t know if it happened to quickly and they missed it or what happened, but that was truly incredible.
Kelly recapped the tag title match and noted that Scurll issued a challenge to Ospreay for the ROH TV Title… Full ring entrances for the match were shown. Scurll received a babyface pop for his cool entrance. Ospreay was also cheered. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers. Ospreay offered a handshake. They cut to shots of fans and then went to break… [C]
3. Will Ospreay vs. Marty Scurll for the ROH TV Title. The match was taped in London, England at York Hall. The same three-man broadcast team called the action. There was some cool action early with the wrestlers countering and/or avoiding key moves before coming face-to-face, which led to a big pop and then ROH chants. The wrestlers soaked up the dueling chants before locking up again. Later, Ospreay performed a running shooting star press off the apron. Scurll ducked under the ring, let Ospreay pass, and then struck him from behind. Ospreay took a victory lap around the ring heading into the break. [C]
Ospreay set up for a Rainmaker clothesline, but Scurll grabbed his fingers and wrenched them. Ospreay caught Scurll on the ropes, but sold finger pain and aborted the move he was going for. Ospreay came back with a stunner, a shooting star press, another in the ring, and one more off the middle rope. Ospreay went for a springboard move off the middle rope, but Scurll caught him in a submission hold on the way down. Ospreay countered into a pin, but Scurll kicked out.
Later, Scurll went to ringside and grabbed his umbrella. Kelly noted that he would be disqualified if he used it as a weapon. Ospreay held up two fingers. Scurll dropped the umbrella, wrenched the fingers twice, blasted him with a knee to the face, and then stomped the back of his head repeatedly. Scurll applied a submission hold in the middle of the ring, and Ospreay tapped out…
Marty Scurll defeated Will Ospreay to win the ROH TV Title.
Kelly recapped the title change and said the look back at 2016 continues with matches from live events that have not been shown on television…
Powell’s POV: A great match with a red hot crowd. This was a terrific introduction of two huge additions to the ROH roster. I wish the show had been structured so that we could have seen the full angle that set up this show’s main event. That fact that they didn’t air it or broadcast anything with Ospreay and Scurll talking tells me this was a conscious decision to avoid giving them mic time. Either way, it worked as both wrestlers shined in the ring and it left me wanting to know more about their personalities. I was skeptical about airing Ospreay winning and losing the TV Title during the same show, but it did a nice job of establishing his rivalry with Scurll in front of a live crowd that was red hot for them. Finally, kudos to ROH for airing first-run material during the holiday weeks rather than just phoning it in with “best of” shows as they’ve done in the past. This was a nice surprise and a show that is definitely worth going out of your way to watch.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features former ROH TV Champion Shane Taylor discussing how his background prepared him for the world today, his run with Keith Lee, why Kofi Kingston's WWE Championship win was so meaningful, and much more...