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1/31 Ring of Honor TV Review: Bully Ray retirement speech, Cody, Marty Scurll, and Adam Page vs. SoCal Uncensored, War Machine vs. Coast 2 Coast, Punishment Martinez vs. Dobbs

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

A video recapped Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky attacking the Young Bucks last week. The footage included Shane Taylor attacking Marty Scurll after taking a payoff from The SoCal Uncensored faction… The broadcast team was Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana, and the ring announcer was Bobby Cruise…

1. Punishment Martinez vs. Dobbs. Martinez took a dropkick from Dobbs, but came right back with a kick of his own. Martinez finished him off with a chokeslam…

Punishment Martinez defeated Dobbs.

After the match, ROH Champion Dalton Castle and The Boys made their entrance. Castle entered the ring and had a staredown with Martinez. Castle ducked a punch from Martinez and suplexed him. Martinez rolled to ringside, the jumped onto the apron before smirking and walking away. Riccaboni reminded viewers that Martinez has an upcoming title shot…

“Coast 2 Coast” Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali delivered a brief backstage promo about their “do or die” match against War Machine… [C]

Powell’s POV: A spotlight squash match for Martinez and a little teaser for his upcoming title match with Castle. I assume we’ll se Martinez get the better of Castle in an angle before that match to trump Castle getting the better of this one.

2. “War Machine” Hanson and Raymond Rowe vs. “Coast 2 Coast” Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali. Coast 2 Coast previously announced that they would disband if they failed to win this match. Caprice Coleman sat in on commentary. Ali performed a flip dive onto War Machine once they arrived at ringside. They worked aggressively and were on the offensive early. War Machine came back with power moves.

St. Giovanni performed a nice 450 splash on Rowe and had him pinned, but Hanson broke it up. St. Giovanni showed great strength by picking up Hanson and suplexing him. Ali performed a swinging slam on Rowe. Hanson came back with a springboard elbow and all four men were down heading into a break. [C]

War Machine performed a Doomsday Device on St. Giovanni, who kicked out of Rowe’s cover. Rowe powerbomed St. Giovanni and then Hanson splashed him, but it once again led to a two count. Rowe acted shocked. Ali took a hot tag, but ate a big boot from Hanson, who went for his running clotheslines only to eat a kick of his own. Rowe was upset after being covered for a one count and headbutted both opponents. Ali hit him with a series of punches, kicks, and chops.

Hanson returned and powerslammed Ali off of a popup by Rowe, but it once again led to a two count. War Machine set up for Fallout, but St. Giovanni cut off Hanson before he could get to the top rope. Ali and St. Giovanni teamed up for a version of their Coast 2 Coast finisher for a two count on Rowe.

War Machine came back and hit Fallout on Ali, who kicked out for a two count. Both War Machine members acted shocked. Cabana said Coast 2 Coast refused to lose. War Machine set up for their finisher again, but St. Giovanni grabbed Hanson’s leg as he was going to the ropes, and Ali rolled up Hanson for the win…

Coast 2 Coast defeated War Machine.

After the match, the War Machine members acted stunned by the loss. St. Giovanni helped Ali to his feet. War Machine offered their hands and the teams shook hands. War Machine raised their hands going into a break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good match. This storyline came together nicely in that the broadcast team has been talking for ages about how Coast 2 Coast were still looking for their first meaningful win in ROH. So it made sense when Coast 2 Coast announced that they would win this match or split up. Beating War Machine is a big win for Coast 2 Coast and a logical booking move given that Hanson and Rowe are now under WWE contracts. I’m surprised this wasn’t the main event of one of the shows from this taping.

Footage aired of Beer City Bruiser, Brian Milonas, and Silas Young working over Kenny King. They cut to a backstage promo with Bruiser introducing Milonas as his partner. Beer City Bruiser dubbed Milonas as “The Boston Bruiser” and said the two biggest man in ROH are now a tag team…

Bully Ray made his entrance. “Final Battle was my final battle,” Ray started hoarsely. He said actually smiled after he lost the match because his entire career flashed before his eyes. “But I think I had a pretty damn good career,” Ray said. Riccaboni called it a Hall of Fame career (a hint at the time)? Ray said he left his boots in the ring in the middle of the ring in his hometown of New York City.

Ray said he was born in NYC, but as a pro wrestler Philadelphia is where he was born. He said that in October 1995, Bully Ray Dudley was born in the same building (then ECW Arena). Ray said this is the ring, arena, and city that he should leave his boots in. Bully thanked the fans and thanked the lord for thinking about him. He said he’s alive and feeling fine. “Do you know who I am?” Ray asked. “I’m Bully Ray and it has been my honor.”

Ray put his boots down and the fans applauded. The Ring of Honor locker room emptied as the fans chanted, “Thank you, Bubba.” The ROH wrestlers stood around the ring and pounded the mat. Jay Lethal entered the ring and said he’s known Ray for a long time and he had to get something off his chest.

Lethal said that when some of them heard Ray was coming to ROH, they didn’t know what to think. “There are a couple of rumors out there about ol’ Bully Ray,” he said. “Some good, some not so good, and then there are some really bad ones.” Lethal said they had their guard up, but then he watched Ray go above and beyond to help every wrestler from top to bottom. Lethal said Ray didn’t force his views on them, he let them come to him and pick his brain. He said Ray put over ROH in every interview he did. He said no one told Ray he had to come to ROH, he chose to.

“You represent what Ring of Honor is all about,” Lethal said. He added that Ray has done things in the wrestling business and for the wrestling business that he and others can only dream of. He said he’d never used the term before, but Bully Ray was truly a legend. Lethal said the door is always open for Ray. He said that he speaks for everyone in the locker room, the production crew, and the office, “thank you.” Lethal dropped the mic and gave Ray a hug…

Powell’s POV: A classy speech by Ray and very kind words from Lethal. Ray delivered multiple retirement speeches as part of his feud with the Briscoes, so he was wise to keep this one brief to avoid sounding repetitive.

A video package hyped the tournament for the first Women of Honor Championship. The entrants in the 16-woman tournament included Deonna Purrazzo, Kelly Klein, Karen Q, Jenny Rose, Mandy Leon, Sumie Sakai, Brandi Rhodes, and Jessie Brooks, plus HZK, Hana Kimura, Kagetsu, and Mayu Iwatani of the Stardom promotion. The narrator said the tournament will begin airing in two weeks on ROH television…

Matt Taven joined the broadcast team on commentary while Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan stood by… Ring entrances for the main event took place…

3. Cody, Adam Page, and Marty Scurll vs. “SoCal Uncensored” Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky. The teams fought to ringside. Cody performed a running leap over the top rope and onto all five men on the floor. They did the spot where Cody and Page hit Daniels with running clotheslines in the corner, but Daniels always put his boot up whenever Scurll would take his turn. Cody and Page picked up Scurll for a dropkick on Daniels. Scurll celebrated going into the final break. [C]

Page performed a cool dropkick into Daniels and then flipped over with a moonsault onto Sky. Cody and Scrull teamed up for a Doomsday Device Dropkick on Sky. Scurll went for his chicken wing finisher, but Daniels blocked it. There was a series of dives from the Bullet Club members concluding with Page doing a moonsault onto Sky. Page hit his foot on the guardrail and yelled out in pain. Page ended up taking a series of moves in the ring that concluded with a high knee from Sky, who pinned him…

Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky defeated Cody, Marty Scurll, and Adam Page.

Powell’s POV: A logical win for the new SCU faction, who are much more likely to end up in the six-man title scene than this Bullet Club trio. Overall, this was a strong show without filler, meaning everything served a purpose. The Bully Ray retirement and the Coast 2 Coast wins were highlights, but it just a good hour of television from start to finish. Haydn Gleed will be by with his member exclusive audio review later today.

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