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 Decade of Excellence tournament video package spotlighting the finals between Jay Briscoe and Christopher Daniels… The standard ROH opening video aired… Kevin Kelly was on commentary…
Powell’s POV: A strong opening video package that made the finals seem important and told the story of both wrestlers nicely.
1. Silas Young (w/Beer City Bruiser) vs. Bull James. Footage aired of Young and Bruiser attacking James in a previous angle. Young asked for a handshake, telling James to be a man. James shook it, then pulled Young close. Bruiser provided a distraction and then Young hit James from behind.
James dumped Young to ringside. Young told him to come to ringside and fight him like a man. James went to the floor and hit Bruiser, but Young flipped onto James on the floor. Young roughed up James inside the ring heading into a break. [C]
Bruiser got involved again when he prevented James from suplexing Young. James performed a tornado DDT on Bruiser on the floor. When he returned to the ring, he and Young jockeyed for position, then Young performed Misery for the win…
Silas Young beat Bull James.
Powell’s POV: James was previously known as Bull Dempsey in NXT. The fans didn’t really react to the match. It may have been due to this taking place later in the taping, but it’s not like ROH did anything to make the fans like James. After all, he seemed more than happy to team with the heels before they decided they didn’t want him, and we haven’t really heard from him since then.
A Jay Briscoe backstage promo aired. He spoke about being the first person to walk through the ROH curtain 15 years ago when he was just 18 years old. He said he is soon to be ROH Champion… [C]
Footage aired from Survival of the Fittest 2016 of Bobby Fish defeating Lio Rush via submission. Fish spoke about winning SOTF and his plan to go from that to winning the ROH Championship when he faces Adam Cole for the title at Manhattan Mayhem on March 4…
2. Colt Cabana vs. The Boys (w/Dalton Castle) in a handicap match. Castle joined Kelly on ringside. Cabana sat on the top rope and spoke over the house mic. Colt said it was a sad day that the Boys were even allowed in the ring when he helped build the company. Cabana told the fans not to boo him because he’s a legend. Cabana said Castle isn’t better than him because of one fluke win. He said he would destroy his two “schmucks” and dubbed himself the Iron Jew. Fans chanted Iron Jew.
Cabana worked over one of the Boys with repeated bodyslams. The other Boy tagged in and the brothers got the better of him before he took a powder. Cabana walked over and jawed at Castle, who stood his ground heading into the break. [C] Cabana hip-tossed one of the Boys over the top rope.
Cabana went to ringside and threw one of the Boys into Castle, then asked one of the security members if he was okay. Funny. Castle followed up with the Chicago Skyline Drop on one of the Boys. The other tried to attack him from behind, but Cabana put him in Billy Goat’s Curse for the win…
Colt Cabana beat The Boys in a handicap match.
Powell’s POV: A fun match with Cabana being just as entertaining as a heel as he is as a babyface. I would question that approach if this were higher on the card, but it works for his mid-card program with Castle.
A backstage promo aired with Christopher Daniels talking about the matches he’s had with several of ROH’s tops names in history. He said he’s not happy with that. He said he’s called “the best that never was” and he’s going to change that and added that his destiny is to become ROH Champion…
A video aired on the ROH Top Prospect Tournament showing past winners Matt Taven, Hanson, Donovan Dijak, and Lio Rush. The graphic noted that the new tournament begins next week…
Kelly was joined on commentary by Mark Briscoe and Frankie Kazarian for the main event. They showed the brackets for the Decade of Excellence tournament and both men agreed that they would be watching the finals without any animosity between them… [C]
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Christopher Daniels was out first and a brief promo aired as he headed out. Jay Briscoe was out next and Mark spoke about how his brother hasn’t been the same since he won the ROH Championship. He said he’s not complete without it anymore. A brief Jay promo aired with him telling Daniels, “Let’s do it”…
Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the main event and noted that the winner would earn a shot at the 15th Anniversary pay-per-view on March 10 in Las Vegas…
3. Jay Briscoe vs. Christopher Daniels in the Decade of Excellence tournament final. The wrestlers shook hands and then the bell rang to start the match. The crowd had dueling chants of “Man Up” and “Daniels” before the wrestlers locked up. They cut to an early break when neither man had an advantage. [C]
Daniels controlled the bulk of the offense between the breaks. Kazarian said he knows Mark and Jay are brothers and have that bond, but he said Daniels is like a brother to him. [C] Jay charged at Daniels, who pulled down the top rope. Jay tumbled to the floor. Daniels performed an Asai moonsault.
Kazarian got up from the broadcast table to cheer for Daniels. Mark then did the same for his brother. A short time later, Daniels caught Briscoe in a small package for a two count. He followed up with an Angel’s Wings Suplex for a really good near fall. The ref checked on Jay while Kelly said there was a chance of a ref stoppage.
Jay got up and immediately hit a Death Valley Driver. Daniels came back with a uranage. Briscoe caught him with a rollup for a two count. Daniels hit another uranage. Briscoe avoided the Best Moonsault Ever. Jay performed a lariat for a two count while Kelly pointed out the same move beat Jay Lethal.
A short time later, Daniels hit the Angel’s Wings Suplex from the middle rope and scored the clean pin. Daniels showed emotion after the match while Kelly hyped that he would challenge for the ROH Title at the pay-per-view. Daniels and Kazarian hugged, and Kazarian raised his partner’s arm while a group of fans chanted “you deserve it.” Daniels and Jay Briscoe shook hands and hugged, then Jay raised Daniels’ arm before leaving the ring…
Christopher Daniels defeated Jay Briscoe to win the Decade of Excellence Tournament.
Powell’s POV: A strong main event. It was odd to hear so much from Kazarian instead of Daniels on past shows, but I really liked the way he and Mark Briscoe were used over the last couple weeks. This was a good tournament with a fun final. The Daniels win was telegraphed early on, but they still told a good story and that will continue going into his title match at the pay-per-view. Overall, a good television show. The Young and James feud is underdeveloped so that match felt a little flat, but the Cabana vs. Boys match was fun, and the main event was felt important. Haydn Gleed will return on Thursday with a member exclusive audio review.