By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped on June 24 in Lowell, Massachusetts at the Memorial Auditorium
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app
After the opening video, a video package focussed on recent Cody and Christopher Daniels promos… Footage also aired of Cody in a sit-down interview in which he discussed how long it took Daniels to win the title. Cody put over Daniels as an “excellent, classy professional wrestler.” Photos of Cody with his father and brother Dustin were shown. “But that’s not what I am,” Cody said. “I’m a sports entertainer.” Cody said he doesn’t understand how Daniels doesn’t understand his journey.
Cody spoke about being inches away from pulling down a (Money in the Bank) briefcase. He said he showed the world his greatness while delivering the highest buy rate that ROH has ever produced for a pay-per-view. Cody said Daniels is holding ROH back. Cody said he brings ROH more exposure. He said the claim heading into his best of three falls match is that he can’t do it twice in one night. Cody said you look in Daniels’s eyes and you see the fire, but you also see the mediocrity that you see from the fans. He said mediocrity loves company and so does magnificence, and the ROH Title is magnificent… [C]
Powell’s POV: A cool start to the show. I thought we might be getting some undercard matches, but instead it looks like they are dedicating the entire show to the ROH Title match, which is excellent.
Ian Riccaboni spoke as footage aired of Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian walking to the ring for a promo. Riccaboni said the footage had been barred from ROH television for three weeks, but they were now letting fans decide what they think of Daniels. The footage showed Kazarian speaking about a win at the last pay-per-view while Daniels sat on the top rope. Kazarian said saying he felt great until the end of the night until Daniels lost the ROH Title.
Kazarian said Daniels can handle a loss, but it upset him that the fans booed Daniels and chanted that he sucks. The fans took their cue and chanted “Daniels sucks.” Kazarian said it also bothered him that the fat guys in the Bullet Club shirts were flipping off Daniels. Kazarian said it was just a few months earlier in March the day after Daniels won the title and there were grown men crying and thanking Daniels and saying no one deserved it more. Kazarian said the same people booing are the same “stupid marks” who were congratulating Daniels. Kazarian said all the fans make him sick.
Daniels sat on the top rope and said it’s funny how things can change on a dime in pro wrestling. He recalled the fans chanting “thank you, Daniels.” He said he thought he would get a hero’s welcome when he headed to the ring, but instead heard “Daniels sucks” and “Cody” chants. Daniels said the fans weren’t behind Cody when he was playing Stardust. Daniels told the fans not to clap for his line because it’s the truth. Daniels said Cody doesn’t even have enough respect to sign a contract with ROH, whereas he signed a two-year deal.
Daniels said he wanted to lead the company and a passionate fanbase to the next level, but now he realizes they are not an appreciative fanbase. He accused the fans of being bandwagon jumpers. Daniels said he would use his rematch clause, take back the title, and then approach Joe Koff and ask him for his release so that he could be a free agent and defend the title against fans like this crowd. Daniels said he will never do anything for the fans ever again. Daniels and Kazarian left the ring… [C]
Powell’s POV: The footage being barred from television felt like a bit of a reach. Sure, he cussed a few times and had to be censored, but it didn’t live up to the hype in that regard. That said, it was an effective gimmick if the goal was simply to make the fans listen carefully to the promo. And it was a very good promo with Daniels turning on the fans who turned on him. It’s refreshing to see a company listen to their fans instead of attempting to force feed the fans a top babyface they are clearly rejecting. This show is off to a very good start.
Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser stood in the ring with their safety board and updated it to ready that Jay Lethal hasn’t been seen on ROH television in 43 days. Young spoke about how proud of Bruiser he is and detail their attack on Lethal.
Jay Lethal’s entrance music played and he walked onto the stage wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Lethal headed to ringside where Young tried to hit him with the sign. Lethal ducked Young and knocked him down with a punch. Lethal struck Bruiser with the sign and then worked over both men inside the ring with punches and eventually chair shots to the back.
Security tried to intervene, but Lethal cleared them from the ring. Young tried to leave, but Lethal grabbed him by the back of his shorts and worked him over with more chair shots. Security entered the ring and tried to talk Lethal down, but he punched one and ordered the other to leave the ring. The security guard started to comply, but Lethal knocked him off the apron when he didn’t leave quickly enough. Lethal hit the Lethal Injection on Young and then changed the sign to read “0” days missed… [C]
Powell’s POV: Okay, so a quick break from the Cody vs. Daniels theme of the show. I like that they followed up on this rather than take a week off. Heck, they even had Young and Bruiser do this schtick on the Women of Honor show last week. Lethal’s return was well received by the live crowd. However, he was so dominant and got in so many blows on both heels that it felt overly satisfying. I’m surprised Bruiser didn’t take the beating while Young snuck away, which would have left fans anxious to see Lethal get his hands on him.
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Daniel was booed while Cody received cheers. Riccaboni was joined on commentary by Rico De La Vega for the main event. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Daniels whispered to him, then Cruise introduced him as “the greatest world champion of the world in ROH history”…
1. Cody vs. Christopher Daniels in a best of three falls match for the ROH Championship. Todd Sinclair served as the referee for the match. There were no handshakes. The match got underway 31 minutes into the television show. Daniels took an early powder and stretched in front of a man who gave him a thumbs down. Cody responded by doing pushups in the ring. Daniels bickered with a young fan at ringside heading into a break. [C]
Cody grabbed offensive control coming out of the break and laid down on his back and caught Daniels with an uppercut. Daniels came back with a punch to the face. Cody avoided a slide kick through the ropes and then pushed Daniels into the barricade. Cody set up for a similar spot. Daniels ducked while Cody stopped, then Daniels turned and Cody poked his eyes with a Too Sweet sign. At ringside, Daniels ran Cody’s bad shoulder into the guardrail. The referee and two security guards checked on Cody, who sold for Daniels heading into a break. [C]
Powell’s POV: If the security guards are playing doctor, does that mean the physicians are doing security work? That would explain why Jay Lethal was able to beat up so many security guards with ease.
Daniels slammed Cody and then performed an Arabian press for a two count. Daniels bickered with fans before going to the top rope. Cody ran up the ropes and flipped him down by the arm. Cody continued to sell his shoulder injury, then caught Daniels with a float over slam for a two count. Cody slammed his hand on the mat and the fans were receptive. Cody applied a figure four leg lock. Riccaboni said Daniels had to consider giving up so that he would live to fight in round two. Daniels reached the ropes to break it.
Cody tried to reapply the hold, but Daniels kicked him off and into the referee. Ref bump!!! Daniels caught Cody with a kick below the belt. Cody returned the favor and both men and the referee were down. Frankie Kazarian came to ringside and slid a chair inside the ring. Marty Scurll ran out and worked over Kazarian with punches. Daniels wound up to hit Cody with the chair, but Sinclair recovered and stopped him. Cody rolled up Daniels for the win to take a 1-0 lead.
Daniels got up and struck Cody with a chair to the back. Riccaboni noted that this occurred before the bell rang to start the second fall so it was legal. Cody was down heading into a commercial break. [C} Daniels slammed Cody at ringside and flipped off the fans (censored). Daniels played to the crowd and thought he would win the second fall by count-out, but Cody rolled back inside the ring.
Cody came back with a nice Flatliner. Cody and Daniels traded punched in the middle of the ring. Cody got the better of it and put Daniels down with a bionic elbow. Cody dropped another elbow on Daniels and covered him for a two count. Daniels came back by hitting CrossRhodes on Cody for a two count. Daniels called for Angel’s Wings, but Cody landed on Daniels in a pin. Daniels bridged out and then hit Angel’s Wings for a two count. Daniels barked at the referee.
Daniels waited for Cody to get to his feet and then performed a uranage. Cody caught Daniels in a rollup for a two count. Daniels performed another uranage. Daniels went up top for the Best Moonsault Ever, but Cody avoided it and ended up hitting CrossRhodes for the win…
Cody defeated Christopher Daniels 2-0 in a best of three falls match to retain the ROH Title.
Riccaboni hyped Kushida vs. Kenny King for the ROH TV Title for next week’s television show… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good match with a surprising sweep for Cody. It should be fun to see how the bitter Daniels character reacts to this. I’m also curious to see what’s next for Cody in terms of title defenses given that he swept Daniels here. It was cool to see ROH break from its usual formula to present an ROH Title match as a big television event. I hope we see more of this approach for future television title matches. I will have more to say about this show in my audio review later today.