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, a shot aired of the ROH Title belt in the middle of the ring. New ROH Champion Cody told the Chicago crowd that it had been so long, yet they had so much to talk about. The lights went out briefly and when they came on, Christopher Daniels stood behind Cody and eventually attacked him. They fought to ringside where Daniels ran Cody into the barricade and over the top of a table.
Daniels tossed Cody back inside the ring, but Cody caught him with a neckbreaker. Cody pickedu p the ROH Title belt and swung at Daniels, who ducked it and took Cody down. Daniels threw repeated punches at Cody until referee Todd Sinclair intervened. Daniels tossed Sinclair into the corner. Cody used the distraction to catch Daniels with a kick. Cody shoved Sinclair down. Daniels clotheslined Cody, who came back and threw shots at Daniels in the corner. Two security guards came out and tried to break it up, but Cody and Daniels beat them up and went back to fighting each other.
Cody caught Daniels with a Beautiful Disaster kick. Cody set up for CrossRhodes, but Daniels avoided it and then clotheslined Cody to the floor. Daniels performed an Arabian Press moonsault. Daniels picked up the ROH Title belt. Referees and security held Cody at ringside and then others entered the ring to surround Daniels…
Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana officially checked in and hyped the four corner survival match main event, and said Josh Woods would face Jay Briscoe after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A hot opening to the show with the new champion and the former champion brawling. The cool thing about it is that this show was actually taped 20 days before the title change, but they were creative in how they did it so that it came off as if it took place after Cody won the title at the Best in the World pay-per-view. Riccaboni has done a terrific job of replacing Kevin Kelly as the weekly voice, but I didn’t think his call matched the intensity of the brawl. That said, it was a good opening the show and the crowd was engaged.
Backstage, Jay Briscoe cut a promo about facing Top Prospect Tournament winner Josh Woods. Jay noted that Woods is a former collegiate wrestling champion. Jay said he admired Woods for calling him out last week, but he said he’s trying to figure out if his balls are that big or if he’s just that stupid. Jay said Woods is deep into the pool and is swimming with the sharks. Jay said it’s not NCAA mat wrestling, it’s the squared circle and he runs the show around here…
Powell’s POV: A good promo from Jay Briscoe, who showed good intensity and immediately sold me on the match.
The broadcast team checked in briefly before the ring introductions took place. Jay wore a chain around his neck as he headed to the ring. Riccaboni said Briscoe has shown a bit of a different side lately and said it’s a little more dangerous…
1. Jay Briscoe vs. Josh Woods. Woods was cocky and grinning as the match got underway. Woods backed Briscoe into the corner, smiled, and motioned for him to return to the middle of the ring. Jay connected with a suicide dive a couple minutes into the match and they cut to a commercial break. [C]
Jay worked over Woods and suplexed him on the floor. Back inside the ring, Woods blocked a suplex, but took a boot to the head. Jay went for the suplex again, but Woods caught him with a knee to the head and then performed what Cabana described as a ferris wheel suplex. Jay got back to his feet first and went for a neckbreaker, but Woods countered into suplex and then followed up with a German suplex.
Woods performed a running forearm in the corner, but Jay came back by clotheslining him with the top rope. Jay went to the ropes, but Woods caught him with a running knee. Woods followed up with a version of a neckbreaker and got a two count. Cabana critiqued Woods for not hooking the leg. Woods performed a springboard kick for a two count.
Woods waited for Briscoe to stand up in the corner and then charged him, but Jay caught him with a boot. Jay threw a discus forearm and a running clothesline for the win…
Jay Briscoe defeated Josh Woods.
Powell’s POV: A good television match with Woods facing a former champion and looking strong at points before losing in the end. It still seems like Woods would be better off playing a heel at this point, and perhaps that’s the plan given his cocky smile, though there seems to be a natural cockiness to him when he plays a babyface. Riccaboni and Cabana did a good job of explaining Briscoe’s recent attitude change. I like that Cabana questioned whether Woods should have released Briscoe when he performed a German suplex. Colt is obviously a funny guy, but it’s cool that he can also talk strategy in sports-like fashion while working as the color commentator.
A video package focussed on the Will Ferrara and Cheeseburger split. It showed them losing to the Young Bucks and then Ferrara clotheslining Cheeseburger afterward. In a new promo, Ferrara complained about having to wear a stupid hat, coming out to his stupid song, and all the times Cheeseburger dropped the ball. Ferrara said he is a workhorse while Cheeseburger is a charity case. He said he can’t progress with Cheeseburger in his way. Ferrara said Cheeseburger faced his hero on pay-per-view and has been to the Tokyo Dome. He said he should call it a career because the only thing left for him is a world of hurt… [C]
Powell’s POV: A decent promo from Ferrara. It was pretty basic heel mic work, but he seemed comfortable delivering his promo considering he hasn’t been given much mic time in the past.
“The Tempura Boys” Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu made their entrance, as did “Coast To Coast” Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali for a match. Before the bell, the Young Bucks made their entrance and said they wanted to make it more interesting by making it a three-way tag in Texas Tornado style for the ROH Tag Titles. The crowd popped…
Powell’s POV: The Bucks are the most giving, crowd pleasing heels in the pro wrestling industry. This defies all babyface/heel logic, yet it works for the Young Bucks.
2. “The Young Bucks” Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson vs. “The Tempura Boys” Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu vs. “Coast 2 Coast” Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali in a Texas Tornado rules Triple Threat tag match for the ROH Tag Titles. The Bucks jumped out to the quick start. The Tempura Boyz had their moment to shine. Coast 2 Coast performed big dives onto their opponents at ringside heading into the commercial break. [C]
St. Giovanni caught Nick going for a superkick and swung his foot into Matt’s face. Riccaboni said St. Giovanni knows the Bucks’ playbook inside and out. “Well, I think everybody knows they’re just going to do superkicks, it’s not like that’s a hard one to figure out,” Cabana said. Funny. There was a silly, yet highly crowd pleasing spot with C2C holding up the Tempura Boyz in tombstone position. The Bucks caught C2C with superkicks, then Matt launched Nick into their end of the Indy Taker, causing C2C to perform the tombstone part of it on the Tempura Boyz. The Bucks superkicks C2C and pinned the Tempura Boyz…
The Young Bucks defeated The Tempura Boys and Coast 2 Coast in a three-way tornado rules match to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: The usual Bucks styles craziness. They were the stars of the show, but both of the opposing teams worked the style well and had some impressive big spots of their own.
With his three opponents in the ring, Mark Briscoe made his entrance for the main event. As Mark made his entrance, they showed a promo he cut in which he spoke about how it’s his destiny to win the ROH TV Title… Riccaboni hyped Matt Taven vs. Ultimo Guerrero for next week’s show…
3. Mark Briscoe vs. Beer City Bruiser vs. Kenny King vs. Chris Sabin in a Four Corner Survival match for a shot at the ROH TV Title. Mark performed a big moonsault onto Bruiser and King a few minutes into the match. Sabin performed a missile dropkick off the apron on Briscoe. [C]
Briscoe put Bruiser in a sleeper. Bruiser stood up and then performed a cannonball that drove Briscoe into Sabin, who was seated in the corner. Cool spot. Bruiser went up top, but Mark cut him off. Kenny cut off Mark and then joined him on the ropes. Sabin snuck underneath them for the double suplex tower of doom spot with Bruiser taking the big bump from the top. Sabin followed up with a cannonball off the apron on King. Briscoe performed a blockbuster off the apron on Sabin. Bruiser performed a summersault dive off the apron onto Briscoe and Sabin.
Late in the match, Briscoe headbutted King off the ropes. Bruiser ended up on the opposite side on the top rope. Briscoe and Bruiser performed top rope moves on King and Sabin. The ref started counting both pins, but Briscoe and Bruiser stood up and traded blows while the Riccaboni pondered why they didn’t let the pins play out. A short time later, King caught Bruiser with a spinning kick and then performed an impressive Royal Flush on the big man and pinned him…
Kenny King defeated Beer City Bruiser, Mark Briscoe, and Chris Sabin in a Four Corner Survival match to earn an ROH TV Title shot.
Riccaboni hyped Matt Taven vs. Ultimo Guerrero for next week’s show to close out the broadcast…
Powell’s POV: A fun main event. The fans were a bit slow to get into it because there’s no real storyline involving the four men, but the wrestlers won them over with good action. Between this and The Rebellion split, hopefully it’s a sign that ROH finally intends to do more with King as a singles wrestler, as he has been wasted since returning to the company from TNA (where he was mostly wasted as well).
I can’t say enough good things about the opening brawl between Cody and Daniels in that ROH managed to make this show feel timely by acknowledging the title change in a creative way a week before they would normally discuss anything from a Friday pay-per-view. Now if only they would start recording backstage promos at those pay-per-view events and find a way to insert them into the next show. Still, baby steps, as ROH has come a long way when it comes to improving those gap shows in 2017. Another good episode, especially for a gap show taped prior to the pay-per-view. Haydn Gleed will be by on Thursday with his member exclusive audio review.