By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped October 20 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app
A recap of last week’s Cody and Dalton Castle angle was shown… The opening montage aired and then the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in from ringside. Ring entrances for the opening match took palce…
1. Punishment Martinez vs. Josh Woods for a spot in the ROH TV Title match at Final Battle. The broadcast team explained that there are three singles matches in the ROH TV Title contender series. The winners of the three matches quality for a spot in the four corner survival elimination match at Final Battle. Woods avoided a kick and performed a nice suplex on Martinez. Martinez bounce back and got a two count heading into the break. [C]
Woods performed a neckbreaker for a two count coming out of the break. Cabana put over the training of Woods by saying it is “ridiculous.” Martinez blocked a springboard move and went on the offensive, including a spinning heel kick off the ropes for another two count. In the end, Martinez chokeslammed Woods and pinned him clean…
Punishment Martinez defeated Josh Woods to earn a spot in the ROH TV Title match at Final Battle.
Powell’s POV: It was surprising to see Woods pinned clean. He’s been working undercard matches, but it seemed like they were protecting him and his MMA gimmick. That said, the right guy went over, as Woods still hasn’t connected with the fans, who were very quiet during this match.
Mark Briscoe delivered a promo backstage about going after the ROH TV Title. Jay Briscoe showed up. Mark asked him what the hell he was doing now. Jay said they are the Briscoe Brothers and he would be in his brother’s corner. Mark said he wanted support all along and that sounded good. Mark walked off and Jay stared at him as the segment wrapped up…
Jay Lethal made his entrance dressed in street clothes going into a commercial break… [C] Lethal delivered an in-ring promo in which he said things haven’t been going great for him. He said every time he started to focus on getting the ROH Title back, something or someone comes along and sidetracks him. He said it’s frustrating because he’s constantly asked what’s next for him.
Lethal said he is the greatest wrestler in the world and he’s done things that some in the locker room dream about. He said there’s only one thing that can be next for him and that’s becoming a two-time ROH Champion. Lethal pointed out that he’s defeated ROH Champion Cody.
Marty Scurll’s entrance music interrupted Lethal and he headed to the ring, where he received the streamer treatment. Scurll said he came to ROH to face the best wrestlers in the world and Lethal was undoubtedly one of them. Scurll said he didn’t want to face the Lethal in front of him. Scurll mocked Lethal for shaking hands and trying to be the franchise of the company. Scurll said the Lethal he wanted to face wasn’t afraid to bend the rules.
Lethal said Scurll was making them out to be similar. He said he bent the rules because he wanted to, whereas Scurll does it because he has to. Scrull said Lethal was unbeatable when he broke the rules, but if he doesn’t want to be that guy anymore then he should put the clown costume with the tassels back on “because at least sticks with entertaining, dig it?”
Lethal started to move toward Scurll, who put his umbrella out. He pointed out that the fans who were wearing Lethal t-shirts are now wearing Bullet Club shirts. “Where are the Jay Lethal t-shirts?” Scurll asked. He said money talks in the pro wrestling business. Scurll said ROH allowed him to handpick his opponent at Final Battle, and announced that he chose Lethal.
Lethal accepted the challenge. He said Scurll seemed to know a lot about the old Lethal. “At Final Battle, you’re going to get every bit of that badass that you talk about and I just may teach you some new tricks,” Lethal concluded. Lethal’s music played to end the segment… [C]
Powell’s POV: A terrific verbal exchange with excellent with Scurll’s comments about Lethal hitting home and setting the stage for Lethal to drop the nice guy approach during their match. I thought Lethal was still feuding with Silas Young. In other words, there were no issues between Lethal and Scurll going into this segment, but the time it was done they had me anxious to see their Final Battle match. Very well done.
The Bullet Club delivered a backstage promo as a graphic hyped Dalton Castle vs. Hangman Page for next week. Cody said Page only cares about protecting the integrity of Bullet Club. Page said Castle wouldn’t make it to Final Battle…
2. Kenny King vs. Mark Briscoe (w/Jay Briscoe) for the ROH TV Title. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Mark had a cast on his arm. The wrestlers shook hands and circled one another. Jay threw in the towel for his brother, who wasn’t happy about it. Jay walked off and motioned for his brother to follow…
Kenny King defeated Mark Briscoe via forfeit to retain the ROH TV Title.
The broadcast team hyped the main event and teased going to break. Punishment Martinez showed up and attacked King. Shane Taylor came out and fought with Martinez. Jonathan Gresham ran out and fought with both men. Silas Young ran out and joined the brawl. Cheeseburger ran out to the biggest pop and went after Martinez. The fans chanted for Cheeseburger as he cleared Martinez from the ring. They all battled to ringside while King remained in the ring. King dove onto the group and celebrated in the ring heading into the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Briscoes drama continues to be enthralling. The post match brawl felt a little random, but it actually involved the participants in the ROH TV Title contenders series.
Caprice Coleman hosted the Coleman’s Pulpit segment in front of a church backdrop with guest Shane Taylor. Coleman said he was worried about Taylor, who got violent after the Rebellion went their separate ways. Taylor said he’s always been violent, but now he’s not waiting for people to hand him opportunities. Taylor said he takes those opportunities.
Coleman asked Taylor if he’s a hired hitman. Taylor said Coleman is a smart guy and then recalled taking money from QT Marshall to rough up Josh Woods. Coleman asked if that seemed honorable. Taylor said he could pander to the crowd and beg them to buy his merchandise like the Young Bucks or hope that someone throws him a bone like Coleman used to do, but now he takes care of things himself. Taylor told Coleman that he’d know if they had a problem. Coleman nervously wiped his brow.
Coleman asked Taylor what makes him tick. Taylor said he has a family to take care of. He mentioned his three-year-old daughter and said she needs to eat and go to college. He said he wants her to have a better life than he did and not grow up on the east side of Cleveland having his house shot up every other week because her father wouldn’t let the dealers sell on his corner. He said he doesn’t want her to go to over 100 funerals for friends and family members. Taylor said he needs her to be out of that environment and he will do whatever and to whoever he has to do to make sure that happens…
Ring entrances for the main event took place… [C]
Powell’s POV: Another good installment of the Pulpit show. Coleman fed Taylor the good questions and did a nice job of acting intimidated by him. Taylor the hitman is an interesting gimmick and he delivered his lines well, but the logic of doing it so that his daughter doesn’t have to grow up like he did came across as more noble and babyface-like than I suspect they were going for. I want the heel hitman to be a remorseless sociopath who will do anything for money, not because he’s a loving family man. If they want him to be liked then this was a good start. If not, then perhaps they need someone to call bullshit on his claims and point out that it’s possible to do everything for his daughter without taking shortcuts. Hell, I think it would be hilarious if they played it off as if he doesn’t even have a daughter and came up with a sob story when he’s actually just money hungry and sadistic.
3. “Best Friends” Trent Baretta and Chuckie T vs. “The Addiction” Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian for an ROH Tag Title match at Final Battle. The Kingdom watched the match from chairs on the stage and the Motor City Machine Guns were on commentary. Daniels and Kazarian were on the offensive heading into an early break. [C]
The Best Friends came back. With the referee distracted, Daniels grabbed a chair. War Machine came out and took the chair from Daniels, which led to Taylor putting away Daniels to earn the tag title shot for his team. “This ain’t over,” Ray Rowe of War Machine said at ringside.
Best Friends defeated The Addiction to earn an ROH Tag Title shot at Final Battle.
The Motor City Machine Guns held up the tag titles at ringside. The broadcast team hyped Jay White vs. Matt Taven, Dalton Castle vs. Hangman Page, and a Bully Ray appearance for next week. They cut back to the ring where the Guns were in the ring with Best Friends. Alex Shelley hugged Trent to close the show…
Powell’s POV: The main event was the least compelling segment of the show. They just seemed to randomly select two teams to fight for the tag title shot. There’s not much of a backstory between the teams, we still haven’t heard from Chuck Taylor on the mic, and I could have sworn The Addiction said they weren’t out to win the ROH Tag Titles in a recent promo. I would love to be as into the Best Friends act as much as some fans in the live crowds are, but ROH has yet to establish anything about their characters.
Overall, though, this was a strong television show. The talking segments really stood out with Lethal and Scurll doing a great job, and I enjoy the Coleman’s Pulpit segments. The Briscoe brothers saga continues to be strong. The Final Battle pay-per-view is coming together nicely. Haydn Gleed will be by later today with his member exclusive audio review of this show.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Vice TV's "Dark Side of the Ring" executive producers Evan Husney and Jason Eisner discussing the March 24 second season premiere focusing on the Benoit family tragedy, plus their pro wrestling fandom, the show's name and origins, highlights of season two, Chris Jericho becoming the narrator, and much more...