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 Cody (Rhodes) vignette that aired last week was replayed. It showed him sitting in a chair, lighting up a cigar, and putting it out on the ROH logo while asking if the world is ready for the American Nightmare… The ROH opening video aired… The broadcast team was Kevin Kelly and guest color commentator Mark Briscoe…
1. Hangman Page vs. Matt Sells. Page attacked Sells as he was being introduced. Page took Sells to ringside, hoisted him up on his shoulders, and tossed him into the ring post. Page performed his flip over the ropes into a clothesline. Page finished off Sells with the Rite of Passage…
Hangman Page defeated Matt Sells.
Powell’s POV: A nice squash match win for Page in his return to the ROH ring. I’m a big fan of the the way Page has been reinvented.
After the match, the Young Bucks headed to the ring to join their fellow Bullet Club member. Page shoved Sells into a double super kick. The Bullet Club entrance sounded again. Adam Cole and Cody (Rhodes) headed to the ring. Rhodes showed off his new leather jacket with the American flag on the back. Cole looked into the camera and said the American Nightmare is here and the fun is just getting started.
The fans gave Cody and Cole the streamer treatment. Cody kissed the ring as the fans chanted “welcome home.” He did the too sweet bit with Cole. Kelly said they do what they want and the fans still cheer them. Cody said he has waited ten years for that reaction. Fans cheered. Cody asked what took them so long. Cody said it strengthened his position that Atlanta is a garbage city. He said he and his whole family knew he was better than all of them.
Cody said he had a special guest. Cody called for Jay Lethal to come out. Cody spoke about Lethal being known as the gatekeeper, but he’s more like the doorman. Lethal came to the ring and stood on the apron. Cody asked if there was an invisible line and invited him into the ring. Cody said Lethal was handpicked to be his first opponent so that he could beat him and cement his legacy in ROH.
Cody said he would open the ropes for Lethal. Instead, Cody spat at Lethal, who entered the ring and tackled Cody. The rest of Bullet Club put the boots to Lethal. Bobby Rish ran out for the save and was quickly outnumbered. Jay White, Lio Rush, and Alex Shelley came out to help the babyfaces. The show cut to break as the brawl continued… [C]
Powell’s POV: Cody really is a terrific heel. His first two promos in ROH have been great, and in this case he managed to turn the hometown fans against him with ease.
After the break, Cole and Cody were at ringside while Fish and Lethal were in the ring. Kelly said Fish challenged them to hold the main event immediately rather than waiting…
2. Jay Lethal and Bobby Fish vs. Adam Cole and Cody. Kelly applauded Mark Briscoe for showing restraint by not getting involved in the brawl before the break. The heel duo isolated Fish for a good stretch heading into the break. [C] Lethal snuck in and took a shot at Cole before the ref made him leave the ring. Cody tagged in and continued to work over Fish. Cody mocked the crowd by clapping, which led to the crowd clapping briefly. Funny.
Cole tagged back in and Fish caught him with an exploder suplex in the corner. Lethal took the hot tag just after Cody tagged in. Lethal worked over Cody with punches, clotheslines, and a stunner. Lethal covered Cody, but Cole broke it up. Lethal caught Cole with the Lethal Injection and went for the cover, but referee Todd Sinclair pointed out that Cody was the legal man. The show went to break a short time later with all four men down in the ring. [C]
Lethal hit a suicide dive that Cody took with his hands up. It didn’t look good, so Kelly was there to say that Cody attempted to absorb it, but the damage was done. Cole jawed at Fish, who was down in the ring. Cole went for his shining wizard, but Fish caught him in a kneebar. Cody tried to break it up, but Lethal held onto him at ringside. Cole tapped out. Kelly touted that Fish forced the ROH Champion to tap out…
Jay Lethal and Bobby Fish defeated Adam Cole and Cody.
Powell’s POV: A solid tag match that showcased a couple of the top feuds. Fish is getting a title shot at the Manhattan event next month, so I assume that’s why they had him beat Cole.
Kelly said the new main event would be Dalton Castle and The Boys facing The Kingdom. Backstage, Castle played up the main event slot to The Boys and fired them up for the match…
At ringside, Kelly interviewed Mark Briscoe and asked him what’s going through Jay Lethal’s mind heading into the Decade of Excellence tournament finals that take place next week. Briscoe said Jay goes a little crazy when he loses the ROH Title. He said he had all the confidence in the world in his brother…
Frankie Kazarian delivered a backstage promo discussing Daniels vs. Jay Briscoe. Kazarian said it scares him to death that Daniels is in the finals. Kazarian said the tournament represented an opportunity to the other men in the tournament, but to Daniels it’s his last chance. Kazarian recalled telling Daniels that it could be his last chance when they found out about the tournament. He spoke about never knowing when time will catch up to a wrestler and show them the door. He said this is a back against the wall situation like no other. Kazarian said he envies the passion, drive, love, and desire that Daniels has for the business and ROH in particular. Kazarian said he will either be best friends with the man who can become the next ROH Champion or a man who could be out of the business… [C]
Powell’s POV: An excellent promo from Kazarian. We’ve seen Daniels and Kazarian clown around so much over the last few years and while it was really fun at times, I wish we had heard more serious promos from both men throughout their careers.
Kelly and Briscoe spoke at ringside about The Young Bucks vs. Broken Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy for the Supercard of Honor event on April 1. Briscoe’s music played. Kelly asked why. Briscoe said he forgot to tell Kelly that he has a match. Briscoe tossed a couple chairs around and then entered the ring…
3. Mark Briscoe vs. Sal Rinauro. Rinauro tore a streamer that a fan threw in the ring for Briscoe. He also licked his hand and offered Briscoe a handshake. Briscoe passed. Briscoe dumped Rinauro to ringside and performed a Blockbuster off the apron. Back inside the ring, Rinauro performed a split-legged slam for a two count. Briscoe won a short time later with Froggy Bow… [C]
Mark Briscoe defeated Sal Rinauro.
Powell’s POV: Another squash match, which was fine. Mark Briscoe is always entertaining.
Bobby Fish was featured in a sit-down interview. He spoke about teaming with Kyle O’Reilly and the success they’ve had as a tag team. He said they both decided to pursue something different. Footage aired of his ROH TV Title win. He said he had to choke out Tomohiro Ishii, which hasn’t happened before or since. He said he is out to break ever preconceived notion about who he is and what he is capable of. He said that when it left his possession it went back to being the No. 2 title and it will remain there until he decides to hold it again.
Kelly was joined on commentary by Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser for the main event. Bruiser was drinking from a taped up can that had “beer” written on the site. Kelly questioned whether he was going to drink it the entire time. Bruiser labeled it working out…
4. Kenny King, Rhett Titus, and Caprice Coleman vs. Dalton Castle and The Boys. A pre-tape aired with Castle talking about how there are three title belts with their names on them, but they had to get through the Rebellion first. Kelly reminded Young and Bruiser that they can’t get involved in a match because they were doing commentary. Young agreed. Bruiser said there was an emergency, he was out of beer. Colt Cabana walked out with a six-pack of beer for Bruiser, which drew the attention of Castle going into the break. [C]
Cabana took Bruiser’s spot on commentary, while Bruiser sat at ringside drinking his beer and chomping on his cigar. Kelly said he was unaware of the name of the Boys. He said it was Boy 1 and Boy 2 just the way Castle likes it. Funny. One of the Boys made a hot tag to Castle, who worked over Coleman. King and Titus tried to help, but they both took German suplexes. Castle performed a German suplex into a bridge for a two count. Kelly hyped Silas Young vs. Bull James and the finals of the tournament for next week.
The heel trio came back. Kelly shook hands with Coleman at ringside after he worked over one of the Boys. Late in the match, Coleman avoided a charging Castle, causing Castle to tubmle to the floor. one of the Boys leapt off the top rope. King caught him and slammed him, then Titus performed a top rope splash for the win…
Kenny King, Rhett Titus, and Caprice Coleman beat Dalton Castle and The Boys beat Kenny King, Rhett Titus, and Caprice Coleman.
Powell’s POV: A soft main event with an uneventful finish in terms of the heel trio winning clean when they had three different guys at ringside who could have interfered yet never did. I’m just not into The Rebellion gimmick even though anything is better than The Cabinet was. Does this mean we’re getting The Cabinet challenging The Kingdom in a heel vs. heel battle for the six-man tag titles? Ugh. Overall, the show dragged and closed on a low note, but it was a decent hour of television. Nothing memorable, nothing offensive either. They also delivered good hype for next week’s main event.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Brian Fritz of Sporting News and Between The Ropes discussing WrestleMania 36, WWE television from the empty WWE Performance Center, his own travel woes, NFL free agency, and more...