By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor TV
Taped January 20 in Nashville, Tennessee at Municipal Auditorium
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app
ROH TV opened with Dalton Castle and The Boys standing backstage. Castle said he is always ready, limber, and never surprised. He acted surprised by one of the Boys being there. He said not much can surprise him, so he knew that he was the biggest target in the company once he won the ROH Championship.
Castle said he couldn’t even blame Punishment Martinez attacked him and called him a “big lummox with eyeliner.” Castle said Martinez would not be facing the same man he’s faced in the past. He said he is a man who is going to fight to keep what he is earned and he is someone who has no other plan but to come out swinging to make sure he leaves Nashville still champion…
Powell’s POV: A good promo with Castle. He started playful and got serious and worked up as the promo built to a nice crescendo.
The opening montage aired… The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in their spot on the floor. They hyped Castle vs. Martinez, plus Madison Rayne vs. Mandy Leon in the first Women of Honor Title tournament match…
1. Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas (w/Silas Young) vs. “Coast 2 Coast” Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali. The broadcast team recapped Coast 2 Coast beating War Machine. Bruiser and Milonas attacked to start the match. They went for splashes in the corner and ran into boots. However, they caught both men coming off the ropes and banged them together before roughing them up. Bruiser performed a running elbow on St. Giovanni for a two count.
Ali picked up a two count on Bruiser following a double team move. Young reached in and tripped up Ali from ringside and then worked him over at ringside while the referee was distracted. Kenny King ran out and attacked Young. Eventually, all six men fought in the ring and the bell rang to end the match without any official announcement head into the first commercial break… [C]
Coast 2 Coast fought Beer City Bruiser and Brian MIlonas to a double disqualification.
Powell’s POV: It seemed odd to book two teams that need wins against one another, so the non-finish was logical.
2. Silas Young, Beer City Bruiser, and Brian Milonas vs. Kenny King and Coast 2 Coast. Riccaboni noted that a six-man tag broke out. Cabana noted that it was an official match. King performed a big dive over the top onto Milonas. The heels isolated St. Giovanni for a stretch and then Ali tagged in and worked over Young briefly.
Late in the match, St. Giovanni performed a corkscrew dive onto Bruiser and Milonas. Young traded punches with Ali inside the ring while King held his head in the corner. Coast 2 Coast hoisted up Young onto the shoulders of King, who hit the Royal Flush and scored the pin…
Kenny King and Coast 2 Coast beat Silas Young, Beer City Bruiser, and Brian Milonas.
Backstage, “The Dawgs” Rhett Titus and Will Ferrara watched Coast 2 Coast on a small monitor and vented about them… [C]
Powell’s POV: The good booking continues with the former ROH TV Champion pinning the current ROH TV Champion heading into their rematch rather than having the tag wrestlers factor in. Meanwhile, the post match promo segment moves Coast 2 Coast into a match with The Dawgs that will likely be used to give Coast 2 Coast a momentum building win. Granted, the Dawgs are a fairly new team as well, but they seem to be more of a lighthearted comedy act that can take the loss.
A video package aired on Mandy Leon and Madison Rayne. Leon noted that she’s a product of the ROH Dojo. She said envisioned an ROH women’s division when she stepped in the ring five years ago. Rayne spoke about the growth of women’s wrestling and the tournament. Leon said she bleeds honor and respect and that’s what makes her a competitor in the Women of Honor Title tournament. She said Rayne is a world class competitor, but she hasn’t beaten her. Leon said she’s been with WOH since day one and this is her dream. Rayne gave Leon credit for the part she’s played in creating WOH, but she was here several years before her…
Powell’s POV: A good video package that spotlighted the personalities of both women heading into their match. They both came across as respectful of one another, yet eager to win the match and advance in the tournament.
3. Mandy Leon vs. Madison Rayne in a Women of Honor Title tournament first-round match. Deonna Purrazzo sat in on commentary for the match. Riccaboni said he thought this match might end up occurring very late in the tournament. They showed the brackets graphic for the first time on television. Rayne was in offensive control when they cut to a break. [C]
Leon performed a kick from the apron and then followed up with a cannonball dive onto Rayne at ringside. Back inside the ring. Leon performed a missile dropkick for a two count. Rayne came back with a Cutter for a two count of her own. Leon avoided a cross body block from the top rope and then hit her Astral Projection finisher for the win. Leon and Rayne shook hands and hugged afterward…
Mandy Leon defeated Madison Rayne to advance to the quarterfinals of the WOH Title tournament.
Powell’s POV: It’s great to see the tournament is playing out on the television show rather than on the weekly Youtube show. As much as I’ve enjoyed ROH over the years, there have been too many times when the television product felt like a complete sausage fest in that they could go weeks or even months without women appearing in any role. The actual match was nothing special, but it had its moments. Hopefully future WOH tournament matches will feature more traditional babyface vs. heel matches with the goal of getting the live crowd more involved than they were here. Still, I like the idea of using Rayne in the tournament due to her name value from TNA.
Footage aired from “after last week’s ROH TV show went off the air” with Cody asking The Young Bucks where they were when The Kingdom attacked him. The Bucks said they just arrived. Cody said everyone wants Bullet Club to break up. He said he needs better them. After Cody left the room, Marty Scurll showed up to show the Bucks a fan sign that featured him. They told him it wasn’t the time… [C]
Powell’s POV: Very nice. It seemed odd that no one from Bullet Club ran out to save Cody last week and I was wondering if they would acknowledge it. Fortunately, it was all by design and they worked it into the storyline. ROH should consider airing portions of the Being The Elite series and/or footage from New Japan Pro Wrestling events on the television show, as it can be difficult for fans who only watch ROH television to keep up on everything that’s happening with the Bullet Club members.
The Briscoes cut a promo on the steps leading into one of the arena sections. They said the ROH Tag Titles are their property and so they are coming to take the belts back from the Motor City Machine Guns…
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Marty Scurll sat in on commentary for the match…
Powell’s POV: The red lighting for the Martinez entrance is cool, but the music leaves a lot to be desired and doesn’t generate any sort of reaction from fans. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…
4. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Punishment Martinez for the ROH Championship. Castle slapped Martinez to start the match. Martinez avoided his early suplex attempt, but Castle broke free of a chokeslam attempt and slapped him across the face.
Martinez swung and his momentum took him to ringside when Castle held down the top rope. Castle performed a suicide dive. The broadcast team put over how Martinez stood up right after taking the move. Castle used the Boys as a ramp for a move, but Martinez caught him by the throat. Castle ran Martinez into the ring post heading into a break. [C]
Martinez took offensive control by performing a Last Ride on the ring apron. Scurll said that Martinez would roll Castle inside the ring and pin him if he was clever since it’s an ROH Title match, which pointed out he has not had a chance to challenge for. Martinez worked over Castle inside the ring and then took him to ringside and ran him into the guardrail multiple times. [C]
Castle caught Martinez going for a leaping elbow in the corner and then suplexed him for a two count. Castle threw a couple more suplexes and then ran into a clothesline from Martinez, who got a two count off a falcon arrow. Martinez ended up performing a big dive onto Castle and the Boys. Great spot.
Back inside the ring, Martinez caught Castle with a spinning heel kick off the top rope for a two count. Martinez set up for a chokeslam, but Castle fought it off with an elbow. Martinez put him right down with a kick to the head. Martinez threw another kick and then set up for his Psycho Driver, but Castle countered into a pin for the win…
Dalton Castle defeated Punishment Martinez to retain the ROH Championship.
After the match, Martinez chokeslammed one of the Boys onto the apron. He picked up the other Boy and gave him a Last Ride onto his brother on the apron…
The broadcast team hyped The Hung Bucks vs. SoCal Uncensored, another WOH Title tournament match, and Jay Lethal vs. Flip Gordon for next week…
Powell’s POV: A good match and a credibility building win for Castle. I was worried going in that Martinez could be damaged by taking the loss, but he got a lot of offense, kicked out right at the three count, and destroyed The Boys afterward, so he came away feeling protected in defeat. I realize they are playing up Scurll wanting a title shot and I normally get a big kick out of him, but he distracted from the match more than enhanced it by being on commentary. Overall, this was a good, well booked hour of television. Bring back Coleman’s Pulpit.