8/16 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: Kushida vs. Kenny King for the ROH TV Title, Punishment Martinez vs. Flip Gordon, Frankie Kazarian tears into the ROH fans, Cheeseburger vs. Rhett Titus

By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped on July 29 in Concord, North Carolina at Cabarrus Arena
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app

The show opened with a video package on last week’s television match with Cody vs. Christopher Daniels best of three falls match for the ROH Championship… The opening montage aired… The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and and Colt Cabana checked in from their desk in the building while Frankie Kazarian made his entrance. The broadcast team hyped Kushida vs. Kenny King for the ROH TV Title, and Punishment Martinez vs. Flip Gordon for later in the show…

Kazarian entered the ring and sat on the top rope. He asked the fans if they respect Christopher Daniels and what he and Kazarian have done for the business. The fans reacted positively. Kazarian said it’s funny because there was zero respect shown for Daniels when he got his rematch for the ROH Championship last week. Kazarian accused the fans of lying.

Kazarian told the fans that they are there to throw streamers. A fan threw one that went in front of his face. “Don’t do that, this is not Japan, I hate streamers,” Kazarian told the fans. He said the fans were there to start stupid chants. Kazarian said he will ruin everything the fans like about ROH because “you deserve it.” After mocking the fan chant, Kazarian called the fans “stupid marks” and dropped the mic… [C]

Powell’s POV: Kazarian is delivering the best mic work of his career. I never considered him to be a great talker, but he’s definitely delivered with his recent promos on the Daniels situation.

1. Punishment Martinez vs. Flip Gordon. Gordon offered a handshake, but Martinez stared at him stone-faced. Gordon used his quickness to avoid strikes early. He went for a suicide dive, but Martinez caught him by the throat. Martinez went for a chokeslam, but Gordon, well, flipped his way out of it. Martinez ate a kick through the ropes and landed another kick from the apron. Gordon followed up with a moonsault from the ropes and onto Martinez on the floor. Martinez took offensive control back inside the ring and scored a two count off a forearm to the head. Martinez also connected with a nice clothesline heading into a break. [C]

Martinez caught Gordon in position for his finisher, but Gordon avoided it and performed a sling blade clothesline and then a frogsplash. Gordon covered Martinez, who kicked out at one. Gordon continued to dazzle with his acrobatics as he avoided a kick from Martinez with a flip. Gordon performed a backflip Samoan drop and a Lionsault for a two count. Martinez caught Gordon with a punch from the apron, but Gordon kicked him off the ropes and then performed a another flip off the ropes and onto Martinez on the floor.

Martinez caught Gordon with a boot to the face and followed up with a falcon arrow for a two count. Gordon came with a kick and a standing moonsault for a two count. Martinez caught Gordon as both men were on the ropes and chokeslammed him from the ropes for the win…

Punishment Martinez defeated Flip Gordon.

After the match, Martinez headed up the ramp where he was attacked by Jay White. Martinez and White brawled until security pulled them apart…

Backstage, Kenny King delivered a promo about having Kushida on his mind constantly. King said Kushida’s time is up and it’s time for the reign of the K-I-N-G… [C]

Powell’s POV: A fun match. Martinez sold a lot for Gordon’s acrobatic offense, but he maintained his character’s dominating presence by repeatedly regaining his composure and never looking too at risk. Gordon is one hell of an athlete and he is going to be a star.

Colt Cabana interviewed the Tempura Boyz in front of an ROH backdrop. They spoke in Japanese. Colt said he only made out “boys.” He said they already have The Boys in ROH and suggested the Tempura Boyz change their name to Tempura Men. The Tempura Boyz stuck with boys. Colt said they were great wrestlers, but maybe not the best interview. Cabana threw it back to himself on commentary…

Riccaboni and Cabana spoke at ringside and then introductions for the next match began…

2. Cheeseburger vs. Rhett Titus. Titus blasted Cheeseburger with a forearm to the face to start the match. Cheeseburger battled back and was on the verge of performing his finisher when Will Ferrara ran out and distracted him. Titus took advantage of the distraction by kicking Cheeseburger and then followed up with a top rope splash for the win…

Rhett Titus beat Cheeseburger.

Powell’s POV: The fans were happy to see Cheeseburger, and Ferrara and Titus got decent heat for their heel antics. Are we ever getting a Cheeseburger vs. Ferrara match? It feels like the build has been going on for months.

ROH Champion Cody delivered a promo in front of the ROH logo banner. He sang Johnny Cash’s “Ive Been Everywhere.” Cody said he has been everywhere and beat everybody. Cody said if there’s someone tougher and working harder than they can go ahead and find him and prove him wrong…

Back on commentary, Colt said he would do it. Riccaboni and Cabana were interrupted by Dalton Castle and The Boys. Castle wore a hilarious looking warmup suit and a neon green headband. Castle said he and the Boys were trying to cool down from a game of squash when he heard Cabana run his mouth. Castle brought up Colt claiming he had his own boys. Castle said that if that’s a match he wants then they will put the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles on the line. Cabana was up for it. Castle said they could do it next week…

A Shane Taylor video package aired… Bobby Cruise handled ring entrances for the main event. Riccaboni said King had put reality television behind him…

3. Kushida vs. Kenny King for the ROH TV Championship. Kushida and King shook hands before the match. Riccaboni hyped the War of the Worlds online pay-per-view for Saturday. King controlled the early offense. King set up for the Royal Flush, but Kushida escaped and applied a Hoverboard Lock over the ropes, which he released to avoid disqualification.

King punched Kushida to ringside and then missed a dive. Kushida knocked him down with a dropkick on the floor and then performed a leap off the apron. King caught Kushida, who performed a huracanrana that drove King into the ring post. Kushida performed a flip dive off the top rope and onto King on the floor. Back inside the ring, King rolled through a cross body block and then powered up Kushida, who countered into a pin for a two count. Kushida applied the Hoverboard Lock, but Marty Scurll and Hangman Page ran in and attacked both men to end the match. [C]

Kushida fought Kenny King to an apparent no-contest in an ROH TV Title match.

The broadcast team recapped the finish of the match. King had the mic in the ring and said he waited too long to face Kushida to be attacked by the Bullet Club’s B-team. King said they still need to have a one-on-one match, but it would be his honor if they put the beatdown on Scurll and Page. Kushida shook King’s hand and apparently the match was on…

4. Kushida and Kenny King vs. Marty Scurll and Hangman Page. Riccaboni referred to Kushida and King as a dream team. The Bullet Club members didn’t look pleased about being booked in the impromptu match, but they eventually charged the ring together to start things off. The heels had the advantage going into the final break. [C]

Scurll did the finger break spot on Kushida. A short time later, Kushida put Scurll in the Hoverboard Lock, but Page broke it up. King worked over Page and dove onto him at ringside. Scurll caught King with a kick from the apron. Kushida knocked Scurll off the apron and then ran the ropes only for Page to flip into the ring and clothesline him. Page performed a shooting star press off the apron on King. In the ring, Scurll powerbombed Kushida for a two count. In the end, King caught Page with a spinning heel kick and then performed the Royal Flush for the win. King and Kushida shook hands after the match…

Kushida and Kenny King beat Marty Scurll and Hangman Page.

The broadcast team hyped Dalton Castle and The Boys vs. Colt Cabana and The Tempura Boyz for the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles for next week…

Powell’s POV: A fun impromptu tag team main event. It was nice to see King back in a meaningful position. I was worried they were putting him in Bullet Club too when Page and Scurll interrupted the main event, but fortunately he worked as a babyface in the tag match. Overall, this was a good television show with an energetic live crowd.

The hype for Saturday’s online pay-per-view was limited to the broadcast team plugging the show. They also worked in hype for the London show too, which was questionable in that it made the pay-per-view feel less important than it already did. It’s too bad that ROH doesn’t seem to be taking the online pay-per-view seriously from a marketing standpoint.

The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Jim Ross on his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, whether Ross knew Shawn Spears was going to hit Cody with a chair shot to the head, working with Excalibur and Alex Marvez, his new book and speaking engagement deal, and much more... Search "Pro Wrestling Boom" in Apple Podcasts or any podcast app to subscribe.

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