By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped November 12 in Lakeland, Florida at RP Funding Center
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app
The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in after the opening montage and plugged the show’s main event tag title match. They also hyped next week’s Kenny King vs. Caprice Coleman match for the ROH TV Title…
1. Marty Scurll vs. Beer City Bruiser. Scurll had the crowd behind him and showed early frustration after Bruiser shoved him to the mat. Scurll rebounded and got the wrestlers fought at ringside. Scurll encouraged the crowd to clap. Bruiser put Scurll in a chair against the barricade. Bruiser charged at Scurll, who moved, causing Bruiser to crash and burn heading into the break. [C]
Jay Lethal came out and watched the match from the stage. Scurll avoided a top rope splash from Bruiser. Later, Scurll caught Bruiser on the ropes and powerbombed him and then pinned him while using the ropes for leverage. Referee Todd Sinclair spotted it and stopped his count. The fans booed Sinclair. Bruiser took a shot at a distracted Scurll and then missed with a cannonball dive off the apron.
Later, Scurll pulled the referee into the corner to take Bruiser’s corner splash. The fans chanted “you deserve it” at Sinclair. With the referee down, Scurll picked up his umbrella in the corner. Lethal started to walk toward the ring and then stopped. Scurll struck Bruiser with the umbrella and the referee woke up to make the count… [C]
Marty Scurll defeated Beer City Bruiser.
Powell’s POV: I can’t say I understood the purpose of the match unless the idea is that Scurll is facing Lethal’s recent adversaries. Lethal staying on the stage rather than helping out was even confusing because of the matchup. I think they were trying to show that Lethal is embracing his dark side heading into the match as Scurll called for, but it just as easily could have been interpreted as Lethal declining to save one of his recent rivals. It would have been a better story if Lethal held off on saving a young babyface. It’s odd that ROH Bullet Club members like heels most weeks, yet there are times like this one where they put them in the position to be cheered. They are going to be cheered in most cases anyway, but I would like to see some consistency. By the way, the venue looks pretty low budget for television tapings even by ROH standards.
A graphic showed the Cody vs. Dalton Castle for the ROH Title at Final Battle. They cut to a sit-down interview with Castle, who said that when he was 12 years-old he stepped foot on a wrestling mat and he’s been a wrestler in some form, fashion, or style ever since. He said it’s not what he likes to do anymore, it’s simply what he does. “I’m a wrestler and I’m a damn good one,” Castle said.
Castle recalled taking part in the 2015 Top Prospect Tournament. He said he didn’t win, but he’s on his way to proving he’s as fantastic as he says he is. Castle said he earned the opportunity and he’s willing to suplex everyone who gets in his way. He said he wishes his match with Cody was about finding out who the better man is, but Cody has made it about himself. Footage aired of Cody dressed as one of the Boys in a show in Columbus, Ohio back in February. Cody kicked Castle below the belt and dropped him with CrossRhodes.
Castle also recalled losing his ROH Title shot against Christopher Daniels. He said he lost the match but he learned from it. Castle recalled Cody attacking him after the match. “He kicked me in the dick (hilariously censored by a peacock graphic),” Castle said. Footage aired of Cody attacking him in the UK again. Castle also complained about Cody putting The Boys in a box and shipping them out. Castle said that if Cody thinks taking The Boys out of the equation will make him weak, then his is wildly unprepared for him. Castle said Cody will walk in as ROH Champion at Final Battle, “and I’m going to be the man who kicks Cody’s (censored)”…
Powell’s POV: This was a strong segment that did a great job of recapping the history between Cody and Castle. It also exposed that ROH doesn’t do a good enough job of showcasing footage from their non-television events for their television audience. I watch the show every week and there were a couple of clips used that I don’t recall ever seeing before. The video showed that the feud between Cody and Castle has been building throughout the year. It was well done, but it’s a shame that viewers who only watch the television show didn’t know that until now. Again, though, this was very good.
The broadcast team hyped a contract signing between Cody and Castle for next week’s television show. They also hyped the Final Battle main event. Riccaboni shifted the focus to the feud between The Briscoes and Bully Ray…
Footage aired of The Briscoes showing up at the Team 3D Academy where two male wrestlers and a female wrestler were training in the ring. The Briscoes were searching for Bully, but the wrestlers said he wasn’t there. The Briscoes shook hands with the trainees, then Jay said he thought they were full of shit (censored).
Jay attacked both male wrestlers and then started smashing some of the photos on the wall of Bully with various wrestling personalities. Jay yelled and spat at a Bully picture on the wall. While the female wrestler protested, the Briscoes took one of the male trainees to the ring and performed 3D on him… [C]
Powell’s POV: Another terrific segment involving the Briscoes in what is the best story going in ROH right now.
Caprice Coleman interviewed himself on the latest Coleman’s Pulpit. The segment was edited so that it seemed like Coleman was sitting in the chair next to him. He fed himself questions about facing Kenny King next week, and the possibility that he will have to defend the ROH TV Title against three men in the four-way at Final Battle… [c]
Powell’s POV: This was fun and well produced. The Pulpit has been a terrific addition to ROH TV. I can’t say this really left me anxious to see the ROH TV Title match next week, but I still enjoyed it.
The broadcast team set up the ROH Tag Title match, which was taped in Fort Lauderdale, Florida at the War Memorial. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…
2. “Motor City Machine Guns” Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley vs. “The Kingdom” Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan. The Kingdom members took offensive control and mugged with the tag title belts heading into a break. [C] The Bucks went on an offensive flurry coming out of the break and performed a double team move on Marseglia before Sabin pinned him…
The Motor City Machine Guns defeated The Kingdom to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: There was no explanation offered in terms of why they cut from one venue to the other, but this was fine since the match felt relevant in terms of being a tag title match. The lighting and production quality was consistent with the ROH television show taping venue. In other words, this wasn’t low budget and awkward like most of the matches that Impact Wrestling airs from other promotions on their television show these days. At the same time, I can’t say that I care much about the Guns as champion, and The Kingdom just hasn’t connected with me.
They made an abrupt cut back to the Lakeland venue for “Hangman” Adam Page’s entrance… [C] Flip Gordon made his entrance and received a flat reaction. The broadcast team recapped Gordon’s team “coming up just short” in their eight-man tag match with Bullet Club last week…
3. Flip Gordon vs. Adam Page. Gordon performed a nice moonsault off the second rope and onto Page at ringside. The fans slowly started to get into him. Paige came back and leapt off a chair and dropkicked Gordon, who was in a tree of woe and hanging outside the ring. [C]
Gordon used some flashy offense that resulted in a two count. The fans clapped and hit the mat in encouragement as Gordon got to his feet. Page cut him off with a boot to the head and then went to the ropes, but Gordon cut him off and performed a huracanrana off the ropes. Gordon performed a running shooting star press for a two count.
Page came back and knocked Gordon off the apron and to the floor. Page went up top and performed a moonsault onto Gordon at ringside. Back inside the ring, the wrestlers exchanged chops. Gordon avoided Page’s Rite of Passage finisher. Gordon went on the offensive and performed a springboard into a Stunner before getting the 1-2-3…
Flip Gordon pinned Adam Page.
After the match, The Young Bucks came out. Matt Jackson was wearing a referee’s shirt and held up Gordon’s arm. Matt asked where he thought he was going. Matt held Gordon’s arm, then Nick blasted him with a super kick and the fans cheered…
Backstage, Cody ranted about Gordon having the audacity to think he could take the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles at Final Battle, then mocked the idea of Castle beating him at the same event…
Powell’s POV: A good match and a singles win for Gordon that should have felt bigger. There was zero build to the match during the show in that we didn’t hear from either man. The post match angle took the crowd from cheering Gordon to being happy to see the Bucks attack him. I guess the idea is that they ruined his moment, but the problem is that there wasn’t enough of a build to make his win actually feel like a moment.
The in-ring action was solid and yet the matches were my least favorite aspects of the show. It says more about how good the Castle interview and the Briscoes footage were. It’s been a treat to see ROH incorporate more out of the ring material into the television show this year as they are doing a much better job of storytelling and building to their pay-per-view matches. Haydn Gleed will have more to say about the show in his audio review later today.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...