By Jason Powell
Join me for live coverage of ROH Final Battle on Friday night as the show airs on pay-per-view and the FITE TV app. Dot Net Members will hear my audio review after the show.
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
ROH opened with a video that focussed on the build to the Kenny King vs. Caprice Coleman match for the ROH TV Title… The opening montage aired… The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in along with guest color commentator Silas Young…
1. Kenny King vs. Caprice Coleman (w/Shane Taylor) for the ROH TV Title. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Young questioned why Taylor was with Coleman, who declined the Code of Honor handshake offer. King caught Coleman with running double knees in the corner. Coleman took a powder to ringside heading into a commercial break. [C]
Coleman worked over King on the floor before looking into the camera and saying, “I think I just killed Kenny.” Funny. Young was asked about the Young Bucks. He said the only thing worse than the Bucks are their fans. Coleman hit three Northern Lights suplexes and got a two count. Coleman went up top, but King cut him off with a punch. Coleman shoved him off and performed a leg lariat off the top rope for another two count.
King avoided Coleman’s finisher. Taylor climbed onto the apron and King knocked him off and then dove on him on the floor. Back in the ring, Coleman got a two count while holding the tights. King performed a spinebuster and followed up with the Royal Flush for the win…
Kenny King defeated Caprice Coleman to retain the ROH TV Title.
After the match, Punishment Martinez entered the ring and ended up eating a spin kick from King. Taylor entered the ring and joined Martinez in working over King. Taylor and Martinez squared off and then Young entered the ring and got Taylor to join in on putting the boots to King. Martinez pulled Young away so that he could kick King. The three challengers to the ROH TV Title at Final Battle fought briefly heading into the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A decent match with King getting a win heading into Final Battle, and the challengers getting some post match time in. I can’t say the match or the post match fight really amped up my desire to see the four-way on Friday, but at least they got some time on the go-home show.
Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian made their entrance. Daniels spoke as they walked down the ramp and called for ROH to fire War Machine over the incident with the “fan” being injured. Je also noted that Raymond Rowe had been suspended for 30 days over the incident. Kazarian said they don’t give a damn about the injured fan. As he spoke, War Machine’s Hanson ran out and attacked the heel duo from behind and worked them over.
Riccaboni noted that Hanson would return for Final Battle. Kazarian struck Hanson from behind with a chair. The heels taped Hanson to the middle rope. Daniels pulled out a box cutter and questioned what Hanson would look like with some of his beard cut off the side. Daniels cut a little of the beard off, then asked Kazarian if he’d seen the movie Reservoir Dogs and teased cutting part of his ear off. Security ran in and were fought off, but one member cut Hanson free. The heels ran off while Riccaboni hyped War Machine vs. The Addiction for Final Battle…
Powell’s POV: The angle helped give the War Machine vs. Addiction match some needed juice heading into the pay-per-view. It was too little, too late to make the match feel important, but at least they have something to fight about given that the previous angle involving the fan was just sort of strange and didn’t put any heat on the heels. In fact, this angle didn’t go far enough in that regard either unless you sympathize with Hanson looking a little bit of his beard.
Footage aired of The Young Bucks and Adam Page talking briefly about their ROH Six-Man Tag Title defense against Flip Gordon, Dragon Lee, and Titan… [C]
Jay Briscoe could be heard asking, “Do you know who were are?” over the house mic as he and Mark Briscoe made their entrance minus music. Once in the ring, Jay said they were the guys who tell the truth. He said Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer are considered heroes by the fans, but they are nothing but cowards.
Jay asked what it would take to get them in the ring. Jay said the ruined Bully Ray’s retirement, laid out Dreamer in his own backyard (ECW Arena), and trashed the Team 3D Academy. Jay that despite all of this, Ray and Dreamer have not answered the challenge.
Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer walked out wearing street clothes without entrance music. Security ran out behind them and blocked them from entering the ring. ROH COO walked out and tried to talk to Ray, who told him that he didn’t belong at ringside. Ray asked Koff how he could let this happen. Jay said he never thought he’d see the day when Ray and Dramer took orders from a short old man.
Koff entered the ring and forcefully took the mic from Jay. “That’s enough,” Koff said. He said they don’t make matches, he does. He yelled at them for disrespecting Bully, Tommy, him, and the fans who had their backs. Koff said that they should be careful what they wish for because they would get their match at Final Battle. “It’s gonna be brutal, it’s gonna be extreme, and f’n hardcore,” Koff said before slamming the mic down and leaving the ring.
After Koff left the ring, Ray and Dreamer charged the ring and threw punches at the Briscoes. Security quickly separated the teams. Bully broke free and threw punches at Jay heading into a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: Another terrific angle from these four. This has been the best told story leading into Final Battle and it’s not even close despite one gaping hole. Ray was injured to the point that he cut three retirement style promos, yet all it took was Koff being called short and old for him to clear him. Still, they created real emotion with the fans and set up a grudge match that I’m really looking forward to on Friday night. That’s said, here’s hoping Uncle Joe isn’t having so much fun on camera that he becomes a regular. I will probably have nightmares over the thought of him too sweeting the Young Bucks and joining Bullet Club.
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Marty Scurll joined the broadcast team and said he’s wanted to face Jay Lethal for years. Scurll said Lethal is one of the best in the world now, but he wants the old Lethal…
2. Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven (w/TK O’Ryan, Vinny Marseglia). The wrestlers shook hands before the match, but Taven made the Kingdom hand sign and pressed it against Lethal’s head, which led to them brawling to ringside. Lethal was in offensive control when Marseglia grabbed him from behind. Taven took advantage of the distraction and caught Lethal with a kick. Taven followed up with a dropkick through the ropes. [C]
Scurll said the old Lethal was the ROH Champion and the ROH TV Champion simultaneously and he wants to face that Lethal at Final Battle. Lethal hit a Lethal Combination on Taven and then applied a figure four, but Taven reached the ropes to break the hold. Lethal hit a top rope elbow drop for another two count.
Scurll left the broadcast table and headed to ringside and threw his umbrella inside the ring and encouraged Lethal to use it. Lethal agonized over the decision before tossing it back to Scurll, only to have Taven roll him up and pin him…
Matt Taven beat Jay Lethal.
The broadcast team hyped the ROH Title match contract signing for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A solid match that obviously focussed on the story of Scurll playing head games by calling for the villainous version of Lethal and playing a part in Lethal losing this match. Their verbal exchange that set up the match was terrific and I was sold on the match at that point.
Cody stood in the ring wearing a fur coat while his wife Brandi Rhodes sat on a chair holding the ROH Title belt and wore a fur coat of her own. There was a table set up for the contract signing. A man held champagne glasses on a tray behind them, and Cody’s adviser was also present. Dalton Castle made his entrance while Cabana ran through the pay-per-view lineup (Riccaboni was in the ring for the contract signing).
Castle, who was wearing one of his peacock inspired outfights, stood up and told Cody that he looked ridiculous. Funny. Riccaboni gave Cody the mic. Brandi fed Cody from a meat and cheese tray. Cody said Castle had to try them after he grabbed a few. He took all the food and then told Riccaboni to go ahead. Riccaboni said it didn’t seem like Cody was feeling the gravity of the situation. Cody asked if Riccaboni knows who he is. Cody boasted that he is the ROH Champion, then he and Brandi sipped champagne.
Castle took the mic and stood up and asked what they were doing. He said he would break Cody’s heart at Final Battle. He said he would visit his uncle who would help make him an adhesive substance that would allow him to put Cody’s heart back together again so that he could break it again. Castle said he was excited when he heard Cody was coming to ROH. He said he wanted to like him and tried so hard to like him.
Castle said he thought Cody was a guy who liked wrestling as much as he did and he would help grow the company. Castle said he instead saw a boy who isn’t worthy of being ROH Champion. Castle said Cody is overdressed, overpaid, and overrated. Cody jumped up and took offense. Castle signed the contract. Cody removed his coat and suit jacket and signed the contract as well. Castle took the champagne glass from Cody and consumed the rest. They went face-to-face while the fans chanted “Dalton Castle” to close the show…
Powell’s POV: A really good contract signing with Cody continuing to play the role of throwback territory style heel champion and doing a damn good job of it. Castle’s brief promo was well done in that it established him as a confident challenger. This came off feeling like a big showdown match and didn’t need additional physicality.
Overall, this was a strong go-home show with every segment playing into Final Battle in some way. The highlights were the contract signing and the Briscoes, Bully, and Dreamer segments, which are also the two top matches on the show, so well done. I am really looking forward to the show on Friday night and I hope you will join me for my live review as the show airs.
The Best of The Boom features Tony Schiavone joining Jason Powell in this May 30, 2018 discussion in which he looks back on when he went to Ric Flair's house for his first pro wrestling assignment, his year with WWE, his one appearance for TNA Impact Wrestling, and more...