2/1 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe in a Decade of Excellence tournament semifinal match, Marty Scurll vs. Juice Robinson for the ROH TV Title, and The Young Bucks set up a tag title defense



By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped on January 14 in Atlanta, Georgia at Center Stage
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV

The show opened with a video package of Adam Cole defeating Kyle O’Reilly to win the ROH Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 11, and included Cole’s comments on becoming the first man to win the title three times… The opening video aired… Kevin Kelly was on commentary…

1. Chesseburger and Will Ferrara vs. The Tempura Boys vs. “Coast To Coast” Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali. Cheeseburger and Ferrara were the fan favorites and got off to a fast start, but then the teams took turns with rapid fire offense. One of the Tempura Boys hit a big dive over the top rope onto a group of wrestlers. St. Giovanni followed that up with a backflip onto the wrestlers. He pretty much overshot them, but the fans popped big. The Young Bucks walked out heading into the break. [C]

The Young Bucks sat in on commentary. Matt Jackson spoke about their open challenge, hinting that they wanted the Broken Matt and Jeff Hardy, but they said they were not in the back. In the ring, Coast To Coast went coast to coast with simultaneous dropkicks on Ferarra, who was tied up in the tree of woe. Moments later, one of the Tempura Boys cross the arms of Ali and performed a piledriver on him for the win…

The Tempura Boys defeated Chesseburger and Will Ferrara, and Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali.

Kelly played up that the Bucks agreed to give the winners of the match a title shot. The Young Bucks entered the ring. Matt Jackson spoke about the open challenge and how it was a way to get the Hardy Boys to show up. Matt offered to give the Tempura Boys a shot at the ROH Tag Titles. The Tempura Boys high fived and then turned into superkicks from the Bucks.

Powell’s POV: The match had plenty of high spots, but they were so rapid fire that no one really stood out. The post match angle to set up the tag title match didn’t do much for the Tempura Boys, but hopefully their match with the Bucks does.

Nick Jackson introduced Adam Cole as the first three-time ROH Champion. Cole made his entrance and a few streamers were thrown. Cole mentioned Dalton Castle as a potential challenger. Cole said Castle is nothing more than a gimmick. He mentioned Bobby Fish and said he got rid of Kyle O’Reilly, so he might as well get rid of both Red Dragon members. Cole mentioned Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe as the wrestlers remaining in the Decade of Excellence tournament (not mentioning Christopher Daniels). Cole said 2017 will be a special year with the Bullet Club running the show, and he will continue to run ROH. Cole and the Bucks did the too sweet after he dropped the mic.

Kelly mentioned that Cole left out the name of Daniels and then set up a video package on Juice Robinson, which showed him clotheslining and punching wrestlers in Japan… [C]

Powell’s POV: Cole failing to mention Daniels in his promo is a nice touch. Of course, they couldn’t make it more obvious that Daniels is going to win the tournament than if they ran a spoiler warning with article naming the winner on the ROH website that included his picture.

Marty Scurll vs. Juice Robinson for the ROH TV Title. Alex Shelley sat in on commentary. Scurll was cheered by the crowd. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring intros for the title match. There was a loud “Marty” chant for Scurll. Shelley said Robinson can mat wrestle because he was trained by Norman Smiley. They spoke about the “career decision” he made because he wanted to train at the New Japan Pro Wrestling Dojo (not mentioning specifically that he left NXT). Scurll kicked Robinson from the apron and followed him to the floor heading into the break. [C]

Robinson performed a nice gutbuster and followed up with a clothesline for a near fall. Scurll came back with a brainbuster. He played to the crowd and then did a dance spin only to have Robinson punch him in the face. Robinson powerbombed him for a two count. A short time later, Robinson went up top and was kicked into being crotched by Scurll, who followed up with a superplex. However, Robinson cradled Scurll’s leg and got a two count.

They ended up at ringside and Scurll charged a cannonball attempt, causing Robinson to crash into the barricade. Scurll brought him back to the ring and piledrove him for a two count. Scurll did the finger breaking bit and acted sick by what he’d done. Scrull rolled up Robinson, who rolled him over and held the ropes for a two count. Scurll countered a Robinson move with his chicken wing finisher for the win…

Marty Scurll defeated Juice Robinson to retain the ROH TV Title.

After the match, Scurll took the mic and boasted that he is the undefeated and undisputed ROH TV Champion. The fans cheered. He said he came to ROH for competition, but he doesn’t see any. Scurlll issued an open challenge to anyone who thinks they are hard enough. Chris Sabin, Jay White, Jonathan Gresham, Lio Rush, and Donovan Dijak walked onto the stage…

Kelly set up a video package for upcoming live events in Texas… [C]

Powell’s POV: Scurll was cheered when he came out. And why wouldn’t he be? He has the coolest entrance in the company already and hadn’t been given mic time going into the match. And then when he got it afterward, he really didn’t attempt to turn the fans against him. I want to see him live up to the nickname of The Villain, but he’s damn entertaining as it is. Meanwhile, the Robinson teaser before the break wasn’t enough. Maybe some fans will remember him from NXT (hopefully not) and others may know him from NJPW, but why not build him up throughout the course of the tapings and then have the title match so that it could have meant something to all ROH viewers? That said, this was an enjoyable match that’s worth going out of your way to watch.

Kelly interviewed Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Jay White, Jonathan Gresham, Lio Rush, and Donovan Dijak. Sabin said the six of them were willing to fight it out next week to determine which one of them would get the title shot…

A video aired with Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe talking about their Decade of Excellence semifinal match against one another… Ring entrances for the main event took place. Briscoe came out first and another pre-taped promo aired with him saying talk is cheap and he’s going to shut his mouth and let his fists do the talking. Lethal was out next and then another clip of him talking aired. Lethal said he has beaten Briscoe twice and this time would be no different…

Frankie Kazarian joined Kevin Kelly on commentary for the main event…

3. Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe in a Decade of Excellence Tournament semifinal match. The winner faces Christopher Daniels in the finals. The wrestlers shook hands to start the match. Adam Cole walked onto the stage before a break early in the match. [C] Cole joined Kelly and Kazarian on commentary. Cole said he was just observing a match between two men he’s beaten before. Briscoe hit a Jay Driller for a two count.

The wrestlers fought to the floor and Briscoe jawed about Cole being a little bitch. Cole responded on commentary by talking about “that stupid haircut he has.” Briscoe continued to dominate the stretch of offense with a nice suicide dive. Kazarian sung the praises of his partner Daniels, and Cole scoffed at the notion that he wouldn’t be who he is without Daniels. Briscoe remained in offensive control heading into the final break. [C]

Cole was shown doing a taunting clap as Lethal took offensive control. The wrestlers traded punches and Lethal got the better of the exchange, landed a big boot, and got a couple of two counts. Lethal went up top, but Briscoe recovered and cut him off. Briscoe went for a superplex, but Lethal fought him off and chopped him off the ropes. Lethal applied a Figure Four a short time later. Cole said that’s his move and he invented it. Funny. Briscoe reached the ropes. Briscoe came back and set up for his finisher, but Lethal avoided it. Briscoe hit a big elbow and a clothesline and got the win…

Kelly hyped the finals of the tournament between Briscoe and Daniels airing three weeks from now. Briscoe pointed at Cole, who just smirked at him. Briscoe and Lethal shook hands to close the show…

Jay Briscoe beat Jay Lethal to advance in the Decade of Honor tournament.

Powell’s POV: A good main event and a good show overall. The hype for next week left a lot to be desired, which is usually the case, but ROH is off to a nice start with their television product in 2017. Now if only they would work harder to spread the word and make their weekly television product feel must see.


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