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 ROH opening video aired. It still includes clips of Steve Corino and Kyle O’Reilly… Kevin Kelly and Colt Cabana checked in on commentary and hyped the show as ring introductions for the opening match took place…
1. “War Machine” Hanson and Ray Rowe vs. Punisher Martinez and BJ Whitmer. Footage aired of the recent brawl between the teams. The match started with all four wrestlers slugging it out. War Machine took the early advantage and Rowe slammed Hanson onto Martinez. Colt heeled it up a bit by talking about how he can wrestle, podcast, and said he doesn’t need Kelly’s advice.
War Machine worked over Maritenz. Rowe covered him and he kicked out at one, which Kelly put over. Kelly also noted that Kevin Sullivan was conspicuous by his absence. Whitmer caught Rowe with a kick from the apron while the ref was distracted. Colt complained about it, saying the referee had to see that one, which was odd coming from a heel. [C]
Hanson worked over both heels with running clotheslines in opposite corners. The fans joined in by mimicking his yelling and then cheered once he finished going corner to corner. Martinez came back with a cool stomp on Rowe in the corner. He also performed a running elbow on Hanson, then Whitmer shoved Hanson into a spinning kick by Martinez.
War Machine came back with a cool popup slam on Martinez. Rowe threw a nice belly to belly suplex on Whitmer, who came back a short time later with a German suplex on Hanson. Whitmer also performed an exploder suplex on Rowe. The fans cheered as both wrestlers remained down and there was finally a break in the back and forth action.
Whitmer pulled a table out from underneath the ring and looked to the fans who cheered (odd for a heel). Whitmer set up the table on the floor while Cabana complained about him being allowed to introduce a table (odd for a heel). The referee ended up counting out both teams as they brawled at ringside, which drew boos from the crowd.
The brawl continued after the match. Hanson performed a suicide dive on Martinez, who remained on his feet and flexed at Hanson. They traded punches on the floor as the show went to break… [C]
War Machine fought Punisher Martinez and BJ Whitmer to a double count-out.
Powell’s POV: Martinez might be green and I’m sure he’s learning a lot while teaming with Whitmer, but I’d really like to see ROH protect him. And they do to some extent in these matches, but he has such a good look that he could easily be positioned as a rising singles star. The brawl between the teams was entertaining. It looks like Martinez and Whitmer have replaced Shane Taylor and Keith Lee as War Machine’s new brawling rivals.
Kelly hyped the six-way scramble match to determine a No. 1 contender for the ROH TV Championship…
2. ROH Six-Man Tag Champions Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, and Vinny Marseglia vs. Corey Hollis, Joe A’Gau, and John Skyler in a non-title match. O’Ryan slipped on the stairs by the stage while making his entrance, but he kept his balance and avoided an embarrassing moment. Taven powerbombed A’Gau on the floor while Marseglia and O’Ryan helped slam A’Gau to the ground. Cabana said it was a bit uncalled for (odd for a heel).
Taven ran Hollis into the ring post to take him out. The three heels worked over Skyler while his partners sold on the floor. Taven performed a backbreaker on Skyler and covered him for a two count. Skyler eventually looked to his corner, but no one was there. Hollis finally recovered and tookt he tag from Skyler, who worked over O’Ryan.
Skyler tagged back in and performed a nice spear through the ropes on Marseglia. Hollis went up top for a double team move, but Taven pushed him down. Marseglia bit Hollis. Cabana asked if that was legal. The Kingdom hit their three-man powerbomb on Hollis, and Taven pinned him to win the match.
Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, and Vinny Marseglia defeated Corey Hollis, Joe A’Gau, and John Skyler in a non-title match.
After the match, Taven told all the “Melvins” took take a long look because they are the best and only six-man champions that ROH would ever have. He said the belts are never leaving the Kingdom. Dalton Castle’s music played and he headed out with The Boys. Taven asked what Castle and the “mini-Melvins” are going to do to The Kingdom.
Castle said “show ’em Boys.” The Boys shoved Castle back and forth. One of them punched Castle in the gut. Castle blocked a shot from the other one. “Next time they’re going to do that to you,” Castle said. The crowd cheered. Taven said there was nothing between them but air and opportunity. He said they could do it now. Castle and the Boys headed to the ring, but Cabana stood up and took out The Boys. Kelly put it over by saying Cabana was a commentator. “How dare you,” Kelly said. Cabana headed backstage. Taven said initiation is over and “it’s time to be one of us”…
Kelly hyped the tag title main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: The six-man was okay. I liked the approach of the Kingdom taking out A’Gau to get the numbers advantage and then doing the same to Hollis. Skyler did a good job of looking to his corner while trying to fight off all three men. Hollis sold the post shot for ages. Don’t get me wrong, I wish being run into the ring post still meant something, but fans have been conditioned to see that as a meaningless spot that usually leads to a commercial break on WWE television. The best thing about the post match angle was Cabana taking a shot at the Boys and then laughing as he headed backstage.
A video aired with Cody (Rhodes) sitting in a chair and smoking a cigar. He said fans know him as a grandson of a plumber and the prince of darkness (while wearing a face shield) and the star that left them in the dust. He questioned whether the world is ready for the next chapter of the story. “Is the world ready for the American Nightmare?” he asked. Cody put out his cigar on the ROH logo. A voice could be heard saying “Bullet Club For Life”…
Powell’s POV: A cool video. This was the best looking thing on the ROH television show. It’s right up there with the cool video they aired to promote Marty Scurll recently.
Kelly set up footage of the setup for the main event… Cabana tried to rejoin Kelly on commentary, but Kelly told him he crossed the line. Cabana said he had to take a little break. Kelly said one of the rules is that there’s a zero tolerance policy when you sit in on commentary, and Cabana cross the line. Cabana questioned whether he was serious and then said he was being a bitch. Cabana tossed a pencil at Kelly and walked away…
Powell’s POV: Good consistency in that the storyline was that Corino was suspended (or was it fired?) for putting his hands on BJ Whitmer. Granted, Corino was not a full-time wrestler and I certainly don’t expect them to take it that far with Cabana, but I like that Kelly wouldn’t let him sit in on commentary, as it also helped establish Cabana’s actions as being heelish and unacceptable rather than simply comical.
The Tempura Boyz made their entrance. Kelly said they would hear from the duo. Instead, footage aired of the Young Bucks mocking Sho and Yo and acting like their faces hurt from superkicks. The Young Bucks made their entrance and were heavily cheered…
3. The Young Bucks vs. The Tempura Boyz for the ROH Tag Titles. Kelly flew solo on commentary as the match got underway. The Bucks had the early advantage going to a break in the opening minute. [C] Footage aired from during the break of the Bucks performing a simultaneous suicide dive and then powerbombing their opponents on the ring apron. Matt Jackson also stopped by the broadcast table and said he hopes “Matt” is watching at home, then called him a dork. Kelly hyped Broken Matt and Brother Nero (Matt and Jeff Hardy) for the WrestleMania weekend show.
The Bucks continued to dominate until Nick Jackson accidentally kicked his brother. The Bucks regained offensive control with some flashy moves from Nick. Nick hit a facebuster on one opponent, then rolled onto the ring apron and performed a moonsault on the other. Nick did the “Delete” and “suck it” bit with fans chanting along. Back in the ring, the Tempura Boyz scored a two count on Nick off a double team move.
There was a cool spot with Sho putting Nick in the Boston Crab. Matt tried to break it up with three punches, but Sho no-sold the punches. Matt went for a superkick, but Show released the hold to catch Matt’s leg and then put him in the Boston Crab. Nick caught Sho with a superkick. Yo threw forearms at both Bucks and eventually at a superkick after dodging a couple. In the end, Matt held Sho over the ropes until Nick hit him with a 450 splash. Matt covered Show for the win…
The Young Bucks defeated The Tempura Boyz to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
Kelly hyped Broken Matt and Jeff vs. The Bucks for the April 1 Supercard of Honor event. Meanwhile, the Bucks shook hands with the Tempura Boyz and raised their hands. Adam Page ran out and waited for the Tempura Boyz to return around and then hit them with a clothesline. Kelly hyped the return of Page before they abruptly cut away…
Powell’s POV: I was really hoping the Bucks would make the Tempura Boyz. I certainly didn’t expect them to put them over, but I was hopeful that the match would be designed to make them look really good in defeat. If nothing else, I like that they acted like heels by setting up the Boyz for the Page spot. It’s also really good to see Page back.
Footage aired of Marty Scurll issuing an open challenge, which was followed by five babyfaces walking onto the stage… A new Scurll promo aired. He spoke about being The Villain and how he doesn’t care who he faces… Scurll made his entrance and Kelly said he would join him on commentary…
4. Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin vs. Lio Rush vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Donovan Dijak vs. Jay White. The wrestlers did a group hug, which fans groaned over. Scurll gagged and called it stupid. Agreed. Later, Scurll gagged as Kelly described why the six babyfaces are aligned. He asked if they are X-Men or Power Rangers. Shelley puled Sabin off Rush, then tried to apologize to his partner. Sabin shoved Shelley, who shoved him back. They hugged. The fans applauded this. [C]
Dijak performed a big flip dive onto all of his opponents, which is pretty damn impressive for a guy his size. Scurll mocked it by sarcastically saying Dijak is the best. Funny. There was a scary spot with Rush performing a reverse huracanrana on Dijak, who landed a bit awkwardly. The Rebellion ran out and attacked Gresham and ended up fighting with the babyfaces. Kelly questioned whether they were saving Rush, was down in the ring and never got involved in the fight.
Rush and Dijak were left in the ring. Rush went for a frogsplash. Dijak put his hand out and grabbed him in chokeslam position. A short time later, Dijak hit Feast Your Eyes on Rush for the win. Kelly said that was a match that fans will talk about for weeks (um…)…
Donovan Dijak beat Lio Rush, Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, Jonathan Gresham, and Jay White to earn an ROH TV Title shot.
They cut backstage to War Machine fighting with Martinez and Whitmer in a hallway to close the show…
Powell’s POV: The friendship approach of the babyfaces in the main event did nothing for me. They’re really lost their way with the Motor City Machine Guns. There was no reason to cheer or boo anyone. Overall, this was probably the least impressive show that ROH has had so far this year. It had some moments and there was plenty of in-ring action, but it didn’t measure up to the better shows we’ve seen in recent weeks.