1/16 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: Will Ospreay vs. Jay Lethal, Dalton Castle and The Boys vs. The Kingdom, Kenny King vs. Brian Milonas, Coleman’s Pulpit with Jonathan Gresham

By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Ring of Honor TV
Taped December 16 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app

After the opening montage, the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in while ring entrances for the opening match took place. Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…

1. Will Ospreay vs. Jay Lethal. The wrestlers shook hands and then referee Todd Sinclair called for the opening bell. Ospreay teased a dive while Lethal was at ringside, but instead did a handspring into the ropes. In a creative move, Lethal grabbed Ospreay’s hands, pulled him to the floor, and ran him into the barricade. Lethal followed up with three suicide dives. Marty Scurll walked to ringside heading into a commercial break. [C]

Scurll sat in on commentary and spoke about how he wanted the old Lethal and he got what he wanted at Final Battle. Ospreay was back on the offensive and ended up performing a handspring into a dive over the top rope and onto Lethal at ringside heading into another break. [C]

Ospreay avoided the Lethal Injection. He actually tried to perform the move himself, but Lethal caught him in a torture rack and performed a rolling senton for a good two count. Ospreay came back with a huracanrana while Lethal was on the top rope. Ospreay picked up a two count a short time later. Ospreay caught Lethal with a shot to the back of the head for another two count.

Lethal avoided a kick and hit the Lethal Combination. Lethal went for a figure four, but Ospreay countered into an inside cradle for a two count. Ospreay followed up with a couple of nice kicks and then went for a springboard move, but Lethal caught him with a cutter on the way down. Lethal followed up with the Lethal Injection for the win. Lethal and Ospreay shook hands afterward…

Jay Lethal pinned Will Ospreay.

Powell’s POV: A fun match. It was good to see that ROH gave this match a good amount of time and didn’t simply make it the length of a usual television opener. It’s interesting that Ospreay lost in that it leaves me wondering whether this will be another year of him making infrequent appearances. There’s no shame in losing to Lethal in ROH, but you’d think they would want to make Ospreay looks strong on television if they had plans for him.

Caprice Coleman hosted Coleman’s Pulpit from an undisclosed location and interviewed Jonathan Gresham. Coleman had a short chair and a high chair. He chuckled as he asked a producer to take the small chair away since Gresham was sitting on the high chair. Coleman praised Gresham’s in-ring ability, but noted that he’s not really winning any matches. He asked if he’s won one or two matches.

Gresham told him to watch how he talks to him. He spoke about picking himself up after losses. Gresham spoke about mastering his in-ring style after studying it for 12 years. Coleman asked what that style is. Gresham said he hoped to have special rules instated for guys like him who enjoy pro wrestling in its original form. Coleman asked what he would call those rules. Gresham said he hasn’t made it that far, but he would come up with something… [C]

Powell’s POV: Coleman was highly entertaining as the heel. He came off better than Gresham, who didn’t have a good reason for his losses and it came off badly when he said he wanted special rules that would allow him to showcase his style. The obvious question is if his style is so great then why isn’t he winning matches with it now? Gresham came off like a nice guy who just didn’t have much to say. By the way, ROH is continuing to run teases for their Honor Club streaming service heading into commercial breaks.

2. Kenny King vs. Brian Milonas. The broadcast team recalled that Milonas made it to the second round of the Top Prospect Tournament last year. King avoided a splash from Milonas and knocked the big man down with a spinning kick. King failed ot hoist up Milonas on his back, but he came back with a springboard blockbuster for the win…

Kenny King defeated Brian Milonas.

After the match, King took the mic and said he couldn’t stop thinking about “that piece of crap” Silas Young. King called out Young to finish their fight. ROH TV Champion Silas Young headed to the ring and traded punches with King, who put him down with a spinning kick. Young fled the ring. Beer City Bruiser came out. Milonas attacked King from behind. Young and Bruiser entered the ring and they joined Milonas in putting the boots to King. Riccaboni shifted to hyping the show’s main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: The idea is that Milonas is the tag team partner that Bruiser was talking about last week. The match was fine as an enhancement match, but it was hard to come away from that feeling excited about Milonas and Bruiser as a team when he lost so quickly. It was especially odd that they cut away from the ring during the beatdown.

After the break, Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky were in the ring. Daniels announced that they would be known as So Cal Uncensored (or SCU) going forward. Joe Koff stood on the stage and said he asked them to appear in the ring. Koff said he knows the fans are tired of seeing him and that they want to see the best wrestlers. He said Daniels and Kazarian don’t fit in that category because they are disruptors and if he had it right, he’d probably fire them.

Kazarian threatened to kick Koff’s “corporate ass.” Daniels took the mic from Kazarian and took the mic from him. Daniels asked Koff if he remembered when he was champion and how they spoke about his grand plans to expand ROH worldwide. Daniels asked what was stopping him from calling his buddy Don Callis and telling him all about those plans.

Daniels said he had a best friend named AJ and there were a lot of people in the office where he works who would love to hear those expansion plans. Daniels said they know where the bodies are buried. Koff said it’s not like he hasn’t thought about that. Koff said he spoke with the ROH attorney and noted that they have one year remaining on their deals. Koff said they are done at the end of the year. Daniels and Kazarian acted stunned…

Powell’s POV: It seems like every owner/executive who appears on camera in wrestling seems to have one of these segments where they acknowledge that fans want to see wrestlers wrestle and don’t want to hear from people like themselves. And then they just keep appearing anyway. Here’s hoping Koff is different. This segment did nothing to put over Sky as the new member of their group, but I am mildly curious to see where they are going with the the announcement of The Addiction’s contracts expiring at the end of the year.

The Briscoes cut a promo in the parking area about going after the ROH Tag Titles… Ring entrances for the main event took place… [C]

3. Dalton Castle and The Boys vs. “The Kingdom” Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, and Vinny Marseglia. Marseglia threw Castle into his corner, and he tagged in one of the Boys. Marseglia punched the Boy in the face, but then ran into a couple of kicks from each Boy before tagging in Taven, who called for Castle to tag in. Castle obliged. Castle got the better of the exchange and then teased a dive onto the Kingdom only to strut inside the ring. [C]

The Kingdom isolated one of the Boys in their corner. He eventually tagged in Castle, who worked over Marseglia and O’Ryan while Taven was on the floor. Taven and Castle eventually jockeyed repeatedly for position in a tombstone with Castle eventually hitting the move. O’Ryan caught Castle with a kick, but Castle recovered and put him down with a Bangarang. Castle put Marseglia in his Julie Newmar finisher. One of the other Kingdom members slid Marseglia’s ax into the ring, but he couldn’t reach it and tapped out. The Boys dove onto Taven and O’Ryan at ringside…

Dalton Castle and The Boys defeated The Kingdom.

Riccaboni hyped Young Bucks vs. Best Friends vs. Titan and Dragon Lee in a Triple Threat tag match as next week’s main event…

Powell’s POV: A decent yet inconsequential win for Castle and the Boys. It’s a nice moment for Castle in terms of following up his title win, but it’s hard to take the Kingdom seriously as contenders to the six-man tag titles when they lost this match. Yes, Castle is the ROH Champion, but they’ve portrayed the Boys as basically being weak links. The opening match was the highlight of the show. Next week’s main event also seems fairly inconsequential and it was one that was just thrown out there rather than hyped in any meaningful manner. Overall, not a bad hour of television, yet mostly missable if you’re short on time.

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