3/15 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: War Machine vs. Damian Martinez and BJ Whitmer, Cody challenges Jay Lethal, Dalton Castle vs. Jonathan Gresham, The Young Bucks vs. Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni, Top Prospect Tournament

Logo_ROH_dn_crop600By 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

The opening video aired… Ian Riccaboni and Alex Shelley were on commentary. They hyped War Machine vs. BJ Whitmer and Punisher Martinez in a No DQ match as the main event…

1. ROH Tag Champions The Young Bucks vs. “Coast To Coast” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni in a Proving Ground match. The fans were hot for the Bucks, who got the better of the early action. They set up for their Terminator dives, but they were tripped from behind. The fans booed. They fans went back to cheering when Ali performed a big moonsault off the ropes and onto the Bucks at ringside. [C]

Ali and St. Siovanni performed a double coast to coast move on Matt Jackson, but Nick Jackson broke up the cover. The Bucks came back with double superkicks. In the end, Matt held Ali, whose legs were draped over the ropes. Nick Jackson performed a flip into a splash on Ali for the win. After the match, the Bucks hit a Twist of Fate and Swanton combination on Ali to taunt the Hardys. They also led “Delete” and “Suck It” chants…

The Young Bucks defeated Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni in a Proving Ground match.

Powell’s POV: A good Bucks style match. It’s always odd for the old school fan in me to see a wrestler take a double coast to coast, let alone be right back up and performing offensive moves just moments later. That said, the fans were hot for the match and it was nice to see the young team get so much offense. It would be nice to hear Ali and St. Giovanni get some mic time as an opportunity to get themselves over in that fashion.

A video package aired on Lio Rush helping The Rebellion by replacing the injured Rhett Titus, only to then perform a cutter on Kenny King…

Riccaboni interviewed Rush on the stage and asked him if he has a relationship with the Rebellion. Rush said they don’t know who they are or what they want to do. He said they play games and he showed them last week that he can play games too. Rush said he’s sick of dealing with them and he’s had enough. Kenny King came out and took the mic. King said they are not playing games with him going forward. He said they saw something in him, and questioned why he didn’t join them. King said Rush flies around with the grace of a cruiserweight, “but Kenny King gets live at 225.” King also said everyone will know King put the hush on Rush… [C]

Powell’s POV: Those lines probably read cornier than King was able to make them sound. This was a simple segment that set up their match for next week. I hope we see more promos on the stage that set up matches for future shows.

2. Preston Quinn (w/Andy Vineberg) vs. Curt Stallion in a Top Prospect Tournament match. Bob Evans joined the broadcast team and noted that Quinn has been working for 23 years. Riccaboni said it’s not about age, it’s about anyone who is on the company’s radar. Both men received promos prior to the match. Quinn seemed like a better talker than his manager, who looked like he was doing a Jim Cornette impersonation. Quinn took a cheap shot rather than following the Code of Honor.

Vineberg grabbed the leg of Stallion as he was running the ropes, allowing Quinn to take advantage of his distraction. Later, Stallion performed a headbutt to the face of Quinn, then followed up with a nice necbreaker style move onto his own leg. Quinn came back with a nice punch, then performed a piledriver. Quinn went for a second rope elbow drop. Stallion avoided it and then performed a diving headbutt for the win. Stallion will face John Skyler in round two… [C]

Curt Stallion beat Preston Quinn to advance in the Top Prospect Tournament.

Powell’s POV: In fairness to Vineberg, he only had a couple of quick lines, so there’s no way to fairly judge his mic work based on that. I’m not crazy about the idea of having a lot of older guys in the tournament, but perhaps the idea is to use the veterans to put over the younger talent while also improving the odds of the younger wrestler having a better match. Quinn actually stood out more than Stallion in this match, though Stallion did work from underneath.

Cody (Rhodes) made his entrance. and was cheered and received the streamer treatment. Cody said he wanted to play a little game called where is Jay Lethal. Cody pointed at a fan who said he had seen Lethal. The fan told Cody that Lethal was hanging out with Brandi Rhodes. “This man is a liar,” Cody responded. Cody recapped kicking Lethal “in his tiny little balls” at Final Battle. Cody said he became Lazy Jay at that point.

Cody said he wanted to talk about the youngest member of Bullet Club. He said Hangman Page worked on a farm and had callouses on his hands the size of a silver dollar. Page came out and was booed. Cody pointed at Paige’s noose. Cody said he was going to attach something to it that went upside the skull of Billy Graham in 1977. “That’s right, a cowbell,” Cody said. “The very same cowbell that has been in the Rhodes family for four decades.” The fans applauded and chanted Dusty. Cody challenged Lethal to a Texas bullrope match for WrestleMania weekend. Cody hugged Page and then played to the crowd…

Powell’s POV: It’s amazing just how much better Cody is on the mic since leaving WWE. He was solid to good in WWE, but he really shines now that he’s putting everything in his own words as a heel. I like the way they worked in the talented Page and his noose into this.

Backstage, Jay Briscoe said his match with Jay White would finally take place next week. Briscoe said White is good, but he questioned who he’s beaten. Briscoe said they had a time limit draw last time, and he said he would make quick work of White this time… Ring entrances for the Dalton Castle vs. Jonathan Gresham match took place… [C]

3. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Jonathan Gresham. Late in the match, Gresham caught Castle with a running high knee of the apron to the floor. Grsham went up top and leapt at Castle, who caught him and hit the Bangarang for the win…

Dalton Castle beat Jonathan Gresham.

Powell’s POV: Riccaboni and Shelley played up the offense that Gresham got in during the match and Riccaboni said gold may be in the future for both men. It felt a little odd to see Gresham in this match if only because he usually plays the role of babyface undercard wrestler. This felt like filler.

Marty Scurll delivered a brief backstage promo about the Supercard of Honor event that will be held during WrestleMania weekend… [C]

Ring entrances for the main event started with BJ Whitmer and Damian Martinez being introduced first only to be attacked from behind by War Machine…

4. “War Machine” Hanson and Ray Rowe vs. “Punishment” Damian Martinez and BJ Whitmer in a no DQ, no count-out match. Mark Briscoe replaced Shelley on commentary for the match. The teams continued to brawl in and around the ring. The heel duo of Martinez and Whitmer worked over Rowe going into the final break. [C] Whitmer performed a nice exploder suplex on Rowe for a two count. War Machine came back with a great Popup Powerslamon Martinez for a two count. Later, Martinez chokeslammed Hanson off the ropes and through a table in the middle of the ring and pinned him. After the match, Martinez chokeslammed Whitmer and stood tall to end the show…

“Punishment” Damian Martinez and BJ Whitmer defeated War Machine in a no DQ, no count-out match.

Powell’s POV: A good War Machine style brawling main event. It was similar to their last battle with Martinez and Whitmer, as well as their entire feud with Keith Lee and Shane Taylor. It was also a good fit in the main event of this show, which aired during a pay-per-view weekend. It’s not a match that carried over to the pay-per-view, so they were able to give it away as a quality television main event. This is a nice upgrade over some of the matches we’ve seen on television during pay-per-view weekends, and it’s also good to know we get more first run material next week. Amen to Martinez getting away from Whitmer. Martinez continues to stand out and it looks like the company intends to move him up the card as a singles act. Haydn Gleed will be by with his member exclusive audio review of the show on Thursday.



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