By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped on February 11 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Stage AE
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
A Christopher Daniels video aired with footage of his Decade of Excellence tournament win along with comments about his goal of winning the ROH Title… The opening video aired… Ian Riccaboni and Bobby Fish checked in on commentary…
Daniels headed to the ring for a promo and was heavily cheered. Riccaboni hyped Daniels getting his title shot at the 15th Anniversary pay-per-view. Fish said there will be a title change in Manhattan, so he will defend against Daniels at the pay-per-view. Daniels recalled being on the first show and how his destiny was to become ROH Champion. He spoke about the same scenario as the broadcast team.
Adam Cole interrupted and walked onto the stage for a promo. He mocked Daniels’ age, and also claimed he will be ROH Champion forever. Cole said it looked like Daniels was ready to throw down. He said he was in luck. Cole said if it’s a fight with Bullet Club he wants, then it’s a fight he will get.
Hangman Page attacked Daniels from behind. Cole entered ther ing and set up to hit Daniels with the title belt, but Frankie Kazarian ran out to make the save. “Take your time, Frankie,” Fish said on commentary. “Your boy could have used the help.” Kazarian took the house mic and said Daniels will be the next champion, and he asked for a tag match on the spot. The heels entered the ring and traded punches.
1. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian vs. Adam Cole and Hangman Page. The referee ran out and basically just started the match as the wrestlers were fighting. Kazarian dove onto Page at ringside. Fish claimed that Kazarian was letting his partner take a beating from Cole inside the ring.
Daniels caught Cole with a dropkick, then performed a suicide dive onto Cole and Page. Daniels went to ringside after the heels. A short time later, Daniels set up for an Asai moonsault, but Page grabbed his legs and then Cole caught him with a superkick going into the first break. [C]
Powell’s POV: A really good start to the show with a segment that hyped the Hammerstein Ballroom and 15th Anniversary pay-per-view main events. Fish’s claims about Kazarian were awkwardly timed. We’ve seen countless tag partners, probably Fish included, take equal or more time to get to the ring to make a save, and Kazarian was actually working over Page at the time that Fish was questioning his motives. He obviously knows where the storyline is going and may have been told to say this, but it felt like he was watching a different match than we were. Again, though, this was a strong opening and the crowd was hot given that this is early in the taping.
The heels isolated Daniels coming out of the break. Daniels eventually made a hot tag to Kazarian, who worked over the heels. Daniels and Kazraian teamed up for a double team move that nearly led to a pin, but Page broke it up. In the end, Daniels went for the Best Moonsault Ever, but Page put his foot up and then rolled up Daniels for the win…
Adam Cole and Adam Page defeated Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian.
After the match, Kazarian jawed at Daniels, who was still sitting on the mat showing dejection over losing the match. Fish stood up at the broadcast table on the stage and spoke about how he would teach Cole a valuable lesson when he defeats him for the ROH Title. Fish said Cole is not fit to be the king of ROH, but he is… [C]
Powell’s POV: I love the way the first 17 minutes of the show was dedicated to putting over the next two high profile ROH Title matches. Fish’s promo was strong, and the post match scene with Kazarian bickering at Daniels was interesting. It may seem backwards to show Cole beat his pay-per-view challenger clean, but it’s obviously part of the story they are telling.
A backstage camera showed Kazarian who said Daniels isn’t the only one with something to lose. Kazarian walked away from Daniels…
Riccaboni was joined on commentary by Brutal Bob Evans for the Top Prospect Tournament match. They bracket graphic listed the following first round matches: Josh Woods vs. Chris Lerusso, Brian Milonas vs. Raphael King, Preston Quinn vs. Curt Stallion, and John Skyler vs. Sean Carr…
2. John Skyler vs. Sean Carr. Footage aired of a pre-taped Skyler promo as he made his entrance. He told competitors to get out of his way or they would be trampled. Carr also received a pre-taped promo in which he spoke about people telling him for years that he should be on television, and now he’s going to come out on top.
Skyler performed a nice tiger bomb for a two count. Skyler followed up with a senton and covered Carr for two. Evans noted that the referee was also from an ROH seminar camp. Skyler caught Carr with a superkick. Carr came right back with a kick and a weak superkick. Carr followed up with a nice suicide dive on the floor.
The wrestlers fought on the apron. Skyler performed a spear that drove Carr into the apron. Riccaboni put over the danger of the apron. Back in the ring, Skyler scored another two count. Carr came back with a Codebreaker off the ropes for a two count. It was a bit off and Evans said Skyler was about 18 inches too far away to take the move. The wrestlers fought for position on the ropes. Skyler performed a rolling senton from the ropes and scored the pin…
John Skyler defeated Sean Carr to advance in the Top Prospect Tournament.
Riccaboni hyped next week’s main event as Bobby Fish, The Briscoes, and Bullet Club vs. Adam Cole, Cody (Rhodes), and the Young Bucks. He hyped this week’s main event as Marty Scurll vs. Donovan Dijak for the ROH TV Title… [C]
Powell’s POV: How are we just now hearing about the ROH TV Title being the main event? Anyway, the match had a couple of off moments, but it was enjoyable for the most part. I like the idea of trying out Evans by making him the voice of the Top Prospect Tournament. I don’t think ROH has settled in on a new color commentator. Meanwhile, Riccaboni sounds a lot like an unpolished Kevin Kelly. I feel bad for the guy being thrown to the wolves without an experienced color commentator.
The Kingdom cut a promo about their six-man tag title defense against The Rebellion for next week’s ROH TV. The Kingdom said no peasants have ever toppled a kingdom. Vinny Marseglia said he farted in the big dog’s (Rhett Titus) dog food and there’s nothing he can do about it other than breathe in the greatness… Riccaboni said the winners of the six-man tag title match will be challenged by Dalton Castle and The Boys at the pay-per-view…
Powell’s POV: Wait, so Castle and The Boys were beaten by The Rebellion, and the Boys just lost a handicap match to Colt Cabana, yet they are getting the six-man tag title shot at the pay-per-view? Strange.
The Tempura Boyz headed to the ring for a match. The Motor City Machine Guns’ music played, but they didn’t come out. Riccaboni spoke to someone through his headsets and asked if they could get a camera backstage. Without explaining anything, he said they needed to go to break… A video package aired for the ROH Manhattan Mayhem show on March 4…
Donovan Dijak made his entrance for the ROH TV Title match. Riccaboni put over Dijak as a past Top Prospect Tournament winner and simply moved on without addressing the Machine Guns situation… [C] Marty Scurll made his entrance and then Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…
3. Marty Scurll vs. Donovan Dijak for the ROH TV Title. Dijak offered a handshake. Scurll thought about it and the fans chanted no. He jawed at the fans, then kicked Dijak’s hand away. Dijak caught Scurll with a big boot that sent him to ringside, then followed up with a Fosbury Flop over the top rope. Dijak hit a top rope elbow for a near fall. Dijak put Scurll in a Torture Rack, but Scurll raked his eyes. [C]
Dijak landed on his feet following a move by Scurll. Dijak demanded that Scurll shake his hand, but Scurll kicked it away again and caught him with a kick to the head from the apron. Lio Rush came out and watched the match match a chair he set up in the middle of the stage. [C]
Scurll blocked a discus clothesline attempt, but ate a discus kick. Scurll came right back with a brainbuster for a two count. Fans chanted “this is awesome.” Scurll performed a piledriver for a one count. Yes, Dijak kicked out at one. Dijak connected with Feast Your Eyes, but Scurll kicked out. Dijak once again stuck his hand out.
Scurll grabbed his finger and acted like he broke it, then stood on it and slapped Dijak repeatedly. Dijak came back with a chokeslam onto his knee. Dijak missed a corkscrew dive. Scurll applied the chicken wing. He wrenched on Dijak’s finger, then reapplied the hold, and got the submission win…
Marty Scurll defeated Donovan Dijak to retain the ROH TV Title.
After the match, Rush entered the ring and had a staredown with Scurll, who held up his title belt. Scurll teased leaving only to spin Rush around and hit him with his title belt. Scurll set up for the chicken wing, but The Rebellion ran out and Scurll fled. The Motor City Machine Guns and others came out.
Powell’s POV: A fun main event. This was expected to be Dijak’s final taping with the company and it was nice to see him have a competitive match rather than be buried on his way out. The hot start to the match was a nice way to bring fans in and swing some support to his side. Overall, a good show. Did I miss a shot of the Guns being laid out backstage? It’s possible I fast-forwarded too far through a commercial break, but that story was odd either way. The opening segment and match were strong, and the main event was fun. The Top Prospect Tournament match was solid and ROH has a good history of picking the right winners, so I’m genuinely curious to see which wrestler gets the nod this year. Haydn Gleed will be by on Thursday with his free All Access Daily Podcast audio review of this show.