By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped on April 8 in Baltimore, Maryland at William J. Meyers Pavilion
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app, and Wednesdays on Comet TV
The opening video aired and then Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in from the broadcast table. Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…
1. The Young Bucks vs. “Spirit Squad” Mike Mondo and Ken Doane for the ROH Tag Titles. The broadcast team recapped that the tag title match was set up by an open challenge issued by the Bucks. The Bucks jumped out to a quick start and were the crowd favorites. The Squad came back with a nice press by Doane into a gutbuster by Mondo onto Matt Jackson. The Squad isolated Matt heading into the break. [C]
The Squad went for the gutbuster again, but Matt avoided it and tagged in brother Nick Jackson, who worked over Mondo and Doane with some of his signature offense. Mikey came back with a nice snap mare driver and then both men tagged out.
Doane slammed Matt and gloated only to eat a superkick from Nick. Mikey caught Nick with a spinebuster. Nick avoided a top rope legdrop from Doane. The Bucks delivered superkicks. Nick took out Doane on the floor, then the Bucks followed up with a Meltzer Driver for the win…
The Young Bucks defeated “Spirit Squad” Mike Mondo and Ken Doane to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A fun television match. The Bucks gave the Squad their share of offense and hit their own signature spots on their way to a win. Matt came up with blood on his face afterward, but it appeared to be a scratch and he seemed more agitated than injured. The Squad gimmick hasn’t really clicked in either appearance with the crowd, but it’s still fun to see the Bucks follow their feud with the Hardys by facing another team that recently worked for another company.
Backstage, The Kingdom delivered a backstage promo. Matt Taven did all of the talking and said he is in the prime of his career and will become the first grand slam champion in ROH when he beats Christopher Daniels at the Dearborn, Michigan live event on May 10… [C]
Backstage, Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe delivered a promo about facing The Rebellion for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles… The broadcast team sat at their desk and hyped the Briscoes and Bully Ray vs. The Rebellion title match for next week’s television show…
2. Punishment Martinez vs. Beer City Bruiser (w/Silas Young). Cabana said he hates to hear that Martinez’s first name is Damien and prefers that he just go by Punishment. The tale of the tape noted that Martinez has been wrestling since 2004. Young joined the broadcast team. Bruiser performed a big slam early, but Martinez no-sold it by standing right up. Bruiser remained the aggressor with punches, but Martinez came back with a flying body press. Bruiser came back and performed a summersault dive off the apron onto Martinez heading into the break. [C]
After some fighting at ringside, Bruiser performed a cannonball back inside the ring. Bruiser went for a cover, but Martinez kicked out aggressively and let out a primal scream. Martinez caught Bruiser with a spinning kick. Bruiser cut him off with a dropkick and a sidewalk slam for a two count. Martinez came back with a chokeslam for the clean win…
Punishment Martinez defeated Beer City Bruiser.
Powell’s POV: Another good television match. With his size and unique look, how did Martinez go ten years in the business before making it to this stage? Anyway, it’s another win over a big man for Martinez. It’s nice to see him winning and it will be interesting to see where this push takes him. Bruiser can absorb the loss since most of his work tends to be in tag matches with Young.
The broadcast team hyped the Marty Scurll vs. Matt Sydal match for the pay-per-view and set up a Scurll interview… Backstage, Scurll said he had no idea where Sydal has been, but now he’s back and he’s not surprised that he’s coming after him. Scurll said he is the man who people pay to see while Sydal is an insecure man who is crying for attention… [C]
Backstage, Adam Cole delivered a promo in front of the screen in which he spoke about Bullet Club being unified and stronger than ever. He hyped the main event with him teaming with Cody to face Dalton Castle and Christopher Daniels…
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Jay Lethal sat in on commentary and the broadcast team hyped the ROH PPV main event with Daniels defending the ROH Title against Lethal and Cody in a Triple Threat. Lethal wasn’t happy about it being a three-way match, noting that he’d already beaten Cody. Before the match, Cody took the mic and demanded that the Boys leave the ring. Castle’s Boys took their spot at ringside. Cody teased tossing some swag to the crowd, but instead tossed it down to the ringside attendant.. [C]
3. Cody Rhodes and Adam Cole vs. Christopher Daniels and Dalton Castle (w/The Boys). Cody and Castle started the match. Lethal was congratulated on his bullrope match with Cody. He said he’s not proud of the pain he inflicted on another human being, but he did what had to be done. Daniels tagged in to square off with Cody.
The heels ended up isolating Castle and worked him over. Cole wore a t-shirt throughout the match. Cole held Castle in the corner. Cody went for a Beautiful Disaster kick, but Castle broke free and the kick caught Cole. Cabana said it was clearly an accident. Riccaboni questioned whether it was accidental. Cole was upset. Cody pleaded with him and held up the “too sweet” sign from the ring. Cole responded with an “up yours” sign and headed backstage. [C]
The match continued with Cody flying solo against Daniels and Castle. Daniels worked over Cody in the ring while Castle continued to sell from the heels working him over. Cody face planted Daniels. Castle climbed onto the apron only to be knocked back down to ringside by Cody. Daniels came back and went for the Best Moonsault Ever. Cody avoided the move, but Daniels landed on his feet. Daniels performed a blue thunder bomb and went for his finisher, but Cole returned to the ring and superkicked Daniels. Cole hit his finisher and motioned for Cody to finish him off. Cody performed CrossRhodes on Daniels and then pinned him clean. Cole smiled and pointed at his head and then celebrated with Cody afterward…
Cody Rhodes and Adam Cole defeated Christopher Daniels and Dalton Castle.
After the match, the Young Bucks joined Cole and Cody in the ring. They all did the too sweet hand signal and then posed on the middle rope in each corner of the ring. Riccaboni questioned whether the issues between Cole and the Bucks were legitimate or more mind games. Lethal said it’s going to be a fight at the PPV. He said he wanted to ask Daniels to his face why he added Cody to their title match.
Lethal entered the ring where Daniels was still sitting on the mat. Daniels acted surprised to see Lethal, who helped him up and spoke with him off-mic. The camera mic picked up on Lethal asking why Daniels added Cody to the match. “What’s your problem?” Lethal asked. Daniels got defensive and they continued to bicker. Cody showed up and blindsided both men. Lethal recovered and threw punches at Cody, then performed a Lethal Injection on both men simultaneously. Lethal stood tall to close the show…
A narrator read through the pay-per-view lineup while graphics listed the War of the Worlds pay-per-view matches…
Powell’s POV: This show left me with mixed feelings. It was an entertaining hour of television with a good main event and two additional matches that more than held my interest. Unfortunately, this show failed in terms of serving as an effective go-home show for the War of the Worlds pay-per-view for anything other than the main event. The were ads for the PPV, but the hype felt minimal until the main event started.
They didn’t do a good job of showcasing any of the New Japan wrestlers who will be taking part in the show, and the first two television matches were entertaining, yet they really had nothing to do with the pay-per-view. The television show is much better in 2017 than it was in 2016, and the pay-per-view product is strong, but for some reason the company isn’t doing an effective job of promoting their product online and the pay-per-view hype on the television show was subpar. On a positive note, the main event hype was well done in terms of establishing a beef between Lethal and Daniels, who both had preexisting issues with Cody.
Join me for live coverage of ROH War of the Worlds on Friday night. The lineup looks good on paper and it should be a hot crowd from the Hammerstein Ballroom. Haydn Gleed will be by with his member exclusive audio review on Thursday, and the members will also hear my exclusive audio review of the pay-per-view on Friday night.