6/28 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: Jay White vs. Punishment Martinez, Bobby Fish vs. Silas Young, Flip Gordon vs. Jonathan Gresham

By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped on June 3 in Chicago Ridge, Illinois at Frontier Fieldhouse
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app, and Wednesdays on Comet TV

After the opening video, Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and Alex Shelley checked in on commentary from a table on the floor (Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer) and then ring introductions for the opening match…

1. Jonathan Gresham vs. Flip Gordon. The wrestlers shook hands per the Code of Honor. The broadcast team spoke about ROH’s history in Chicago Ridge. Riccaboni noted that the city has hosted more ROH events than any other city in America. Shelley noted that he and Cabana were both on the first Chicago Ridge event in 2004.

Gordon pleased the crowd by doing repeated kip ups while Gresham smiled. Gordon used his speed to avoid Gresham charging him, then ducked his clothesline, kipped up, and threw a beautiful dropkick at him. Gordon also caught him with a kick and a standing moonsault for a two count. Gresham came back with some moves of his own heading into a break. [C]

Gresham was seated on the top rope when Gordon leapt to the top rope and kicked him to ringside from there. Gordon followed up with a running springboard leap from top rope and onto Gresham at ringside. Back inside the ring, Gordon performed a leaping splash for a two count. Gresham came back with a cutter, an enzuigiri, and a German suplex. Gresham played to the crowd while Cabana questioned why in the world he wasn’t going for the pin.

Gordon came back with a nice fireman’s cary slam and a kick and went for a cover. Gresham countered into a pin for a two count. Gordon threw a series of kicks and then went for a top rope move. Gresham moved, but Gordon landed on his feet. They jockeyed for position and Gordon got another two count. Gresham rebounded and applied his Octopus finisher, which Gordon tapped to…

Jonathan Gresham beat Flip Gordon.

After the match, Shelley entered the ring and said he thought the match was awesome. Shelley told Gordon that he thinks he’s the future of the company. He said he wants him to realize that he needs ROH just as much as ROH needs Gordon. Shelley asked if they were clear on that. “Yes, sir,” Gordon replied. Shelley said it would be an honor if he could help him become one of those legends and then congratulated him on signing his ROH contract. Gresham and Gordon shook hands, then joined Shelley in raising their arms together…

Powell’s POV: A fun match from two of ROH’s latest contract signees. Gordon’s innovative high spots are so smooth and crowd pleasing. It will be fun to see where these two are in the ROH pecking order six months or a year from now. Gordon is going to be a star. I’m still not digging the Machine Guns playing the veteran nice guys for every young babyface on the roster. I hope it’s leading to them eventually turning heel. Shelley was fine here and even helpful, but we’ve seen too many examples of their veteran leadership role coming off really flat and not really helping them or the younger talent.

A video package aired on the Jay White vs. Punisher Martinez feud with comments from White’s recent sit-down interview… [C]

Riccaboni and Cabana were alone at the broadcast table. They recapped footage of Kushida defeating Marty Scurll to win the ROH TV Title and the role that Adam Cole played…

Riccaboni set up a Josh Woods video package and then interviewed him next to the stage. Woods spoke about dominating and winning the Top Prospect Tournament. He said he has earned his ROH TV Title match. He said their champion his all the way in Japan. He said he came for a challenge and he wanted to face one of the most badass and dominant wrestlers in the business in Jay Briscoe. Woods said he doesn’t care what Briscoe has done, even he can be knocked out or tap out…

Powell’s POV: The crowd gave Woods a polite round of applause when he was introduced. I think he’s supposed to be a babyface, but there’s still something heelish about him.

Riccaboni announced that next week’s main event will be a four corners survival match with the winner getting an ROH TV Title shot…

Powell’s POV: So they had Woods mention that he’s still due an ROH TV Title shot and then follow that by announcing a four corner survival match for a shot at the ROH TV Title? Odd, but maybe there’s a reason.

2. Silas Young vs. Bobby Fish. Fish sported a bandaid over his left eyebrow. He went for a cross arm breaker early, but Young reached the ropes to break the hold. Young came back and had offensive control heading into a break. [C] Riccaboni mentioned some of Young’s recent wins and how he’s becoming an elite talent in ROH. Cabana compared him to an opera singer in that he’s getting better with age. Riccaboni said the same could be said for Fish.

The bandage over Fish’s eye came off. Young put him in the corer and caught him with a kick to the head. Fish came back with a series of strikes and a suplex. Young caught him with an uppercut. A short time later, the cut over the eye of Fish’s left eye opened. Fish caught Young in a sleeper but Young reached the ropes and broke it. Fish applied it with Young on the apron, but Young clotheslined him over the ropes. Fish speared Young and they both tumbled to ringside. Fish and Young fought at ringside. Young threw Fish over the timekeeper’s table. [C]

Fish had Young through the ropes and threw multiple kicks to his chest. Young pulled Fish into the ring post and then threw repeated knees to the head of Fish. Young brought Fish to the ring and performed his Misery finisher for the clean win. Young offered a handshake afterward, but Fish stood up and shoved him…

Silas Young defeated Bobby Fish.

Powell’s POV: It was logical to have Young go over in that this was likely Fish’s last taping with the company. Furthermore, Young is still feuding with Jay Lethal even coming out of Friday’s ROH Best in the World pay-per-view, so they need to keep him strong. It was a good and competitive match, so Fish looked strong in defeat.

An ad aired for a Marty Scurll vs. Adam Cole match that is available on the ROH website’s video on demand section… Ring entrances for the main event took place… Footage aired of Christopher Daniels throwing out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox baseball game… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s cool that they included this footage. WWE no longer makes a fuss out of their players throwing out the first pitches at MLB games and I’m not sure why. It makes the company and the talents look important, as it did here for Daniels and ROH.

3. Punishment Martinez vs. Jay White. White clotheslined Martinez to ringside where Martinez landed on his feet. White eventually followed and caught Martinez with a flying forearm off the apron. Martinez came back, but White caught him with a dropkick. White charged Martinez in the corner and ran into a big boot. Riccaboni said it seemed like it took three or four shots from White to stagger Martinez, while it only took one shot from Martinez to take White off his feet. White performed a Flatliner and followed up with a suplex into a bridge for a two count heading into the last break. [C]

Martinez had control coming out of the break, but White put him down with a uranage for a two count. White played to the crowd by calling for his Kiwi Crusher finisher. Riccaboni said it was the same move he used to beat Christopher Daniels. Martinez avoided the move, but White performed a suplex for a two count. Martinez came back with a face buster for a near fall of his own. In the end, White avoided a chokeslam and rolled up Martinez for the win…

Jay White pinned Punishment Martinez.

Martinez tried to attack White afterward, but White avoided it and dropkicked Martinez to ringside. Martinez came back and ran White into the barricade. “Move or die,” Martinez told the timekeepers table. Martinez powerbombed White through the table and stood tall in the ring…

Riccaboni hyped Beer City Bruiser vs. Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin vs. Mark Briscoe in the four corner survival match for an ROH TV Title shot as next week’s main event…

Powell’s POV: A good match with White going up 2-0 in their feud, yet Martinez getting the last laugh on this night to keep it going. This match really should have taken place at the last television taping coming out of the War of the Worlds show, but I’m happy they finally got to it and positioned it as the main event of this show. This was a very good first-run episode. Joe Koff noted when I interviewed him at PWAudio.net that the gap shows ROH runs on pay-per-view weekends and the following week deliver the same type of viewership numbers, but it’s still nice to see good, first run material rather than some of the more dated matches that ROH has run in the past. If you’re someone who typically skips the PPV weekend shows, make an exception in this case.

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