By Haydn Gleed, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
Ring of Honor TV
Taped March 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Live
Aired in syndication on April 7 and Mondays on the FITE TV app
The usual ROH video started the show. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in and promoted three matches for the show…
Gleed’s Notes: I’m your written guide through this weeks show covering for Jason, I think he will have a nervous breakdown if he has to cover another show this week following WrestleMania weekend.
1. Shane Taylor vs Punishment Martinez. Taylor was out first to a decent reaction followed by Martinez who came out to a more muted one. The announcers stated that this was a battle of two of the biggest guys in Ring of Honor. Shane offered a test of strength to start off the match before hitting a knee to the gut. Both men exchanged forearms before trying to exchange boxing punches which both men avoided.
Taylor caught Punishment attempting a crossbody, but Martinez reversed and both men couldn’t gain the advantage. Eventually Martinez caught Taylor attempting a suicide dive with a boot to the face as we went into a commercial break [C]…
Gleed’s Notes: I can’t help myself, whenever I see the advert for Chris Jericho’s cruise I get a pang of jealousy for the people that will be on that boat.
Following the commercial, we saw Taylor hit a cannonball from the apron to gain the advantage. Riccaboni noted that Taylor lost a 100 pounds in 2017. Taylor attempted t come off the top rope but Martinez slammed him from the top for a two count.
The finish of the match came when Martinez hit a number of kicks to the face of Taylor who stumbled to the outside, and Martinez came flying over the top with a somersault to a great reaction from the crowd. He hit a chokeslam on Taylor in the ring and got the three count… [C]
Punishment Martinez beat Shane Taylor via pinfall.
Gleed’s Notes: The announcers played up that Martinez was now at the bottom of the ladder again after losing in his match for the title and this was the first step back to another opportunity. I really enjoy this approach as it makes these types of matches feel like they mean something in the grand scheme of things. I enjoyed the match itself. It was a big man match which was very tame compared to what you regularly see on the indie scene these days, but there was certainly some exciting spots and the crowd really got into the match at the end.
An advert for Honor Club aired which again didn’t do a great job of explaining exactly what it is…
Coleman Pulpit time, and of course the truth will help you to see. He introduced his guest which was Jay Lethal.
Gleed’s Notes: They’ve advertised these two in a match for later, so this can’t go well.
Coleman tried to introduce Lethal who interrupted him immediately and said he’s watched this show before and he’s not a big fan of it. He asks stupid questions and tries to embarrass his guests (you sure you haven’t been watching the WWE pre-show social media lounge Jay?) but he said he’s not going to let that happen to him. He said in fact he only agreed to being on this show because Ring Of Honor asked him and the promised that Caprice is only allowed to ask him two questions.
Coleman continued to act very excited and said you are Jay Lethal several times. Caprice said he looked at his Wikipedia page and he noted that he lost the titles in 2016. He then noted that his goal in 2017 was to win them back and he guessed that Lethal’s goal in 2018 and 2019 must be the same. Lethal said that is none of your business, but his goal is always to win back the World title which Caprice will never know what that’s like acting like he does. He continued to tear Caprice down while Coleman smiled and laughed at him. Lethal ran down everything that he has done for the Ring Of Honor championship including having his hair shaved but he said it’s worth it because the title proves you are the best wrestler in the world.
Coleman continued to laugh and smile and said he is allowed one more question for Lethal. He looked over his notes and said you’ve wrestled Ric Flair, Sting and Kurt Angle but nobody cares about that. He said I’ve got the question, “It says here under relationships that you dated AJ…” and Lethal stopped him. Coleman said “I’m sorry I’m not trying to punk you”, and burst out laughing. Lethal knocked the notes out of Caprice’s hands, took out his microphone and walked out of the room shouting. Coleman closed out the Pulpit segment….
Gleed’s Notes: I thoroughly enjoyed that. Coleman’s Pulpit is all about Caprice asking uncomfortable questions and taking sly digs at the guest and I liked the dynamic of Lethal immediately trying to put Caprice in his place. I have to be honest I did laugh out loud at the “I’m not trying to punk you” line during the relationship talk. Small nitpick, I would have preferred if they hadn’t announced that this match was coming up tonight between Coleman and Lethal as I immediately knew that the segment was going to be highly confrontational before it started, but that is a very small nitpick.
Backstage, Frankie Kazarian talked about Hiroshi Tanahashi and spoke about their history in ROH together. He went on to say that him bringing a stuffed animal called Daryl to the ring was stupid despite how ironic the marks think it is. He said that he’s going to take Daryl and ram it down Hiroshi Tanahashi’s throat…
Gleed’s Notes: Uh, when are they having a match? That would have been useful. I don’t remember that match being advertised for TV or indeed a pay-per-view, so I was somewhat confused by that. I’m also not a big fan of using the term marks to try and generate heel heat as it comes off as desperate and Kazarian is so much better than having to resort to that. I did however enjoy the reference to their background together which shows a nice continuity. Just wish I knew when the match was.
2. Caprice Coleman vs Jay Lethal. Coleman was out first and he was all smiles. Riccaboni and Colt referenced the Coleman’s pulpit we had just seen with Colt saying that Coleman has to back up his verbal jabs in the ring. Lethal came out to a decent reaction. Riccaboni continued to build this as a grudge match based on the way Jay had been treated by Coleman. As Lethal stood on the apron while having the streamer treatment, Caprice attacked Jay from behind. On the outside, Lethal reversed the momentum and hit a suplex on the ringside mats.
Both men traded chops and punches before the former ROH champion gained the advantage with big chops and uppercuts. Both men continued to fight around the ringside area while exchanging knife edge chops. Finally Lethal tossed Caprice into the ring but Coleman rolled out the other side. Lethal whipped Coleman into the ring post, but Caprice swung around and kicked Lethal in the face.
Riccaboni continued to highlight that this was a fight as they continued with the battle outside the ring. Finally we got some action in the ring but not for long as Coleman was knocked to the outside, which allowed Lethal to hit a suicide dive as we went into a commercial… [C]
Following the commercial, both men were in the ring and it had descended into a standard wrestling bout. Colt ranted about Coleman’s interview style and said that Art Of Wrestling is Colt letting the wrestlers tell their story in a comfortable environment, he said Caprice just digs up dirt and only cares about Ratings, Ratings, Ratings.
Finish of the match came when Lethal managed to hit the Lethal Injection for the hard fought victory….
Jay Lethal defeated Caprice Coleman via pinfall
Gleed’s Notes: This was a lot of fun. It was somewhat unique that 80% of the match was around the ring but it was also logical in the way that they built up the reason for this match with the previously described Coleman’s Pulpit segment. The announcers framed this well as a fight not just a wrestling match and it came across that way. Caprice gained a lot of credibility for the way he managed to hang with Lethal and as a consequence the win for Jay meant a lot more. This is what I’ve been saying about ROH and using the time between PPV’s and next TV tapings wisely as this was entertaining as hell but also made both guys stronger coming out of this show.
Highlights of Kelly Klein beating Mandy Leon as well as Tenille Dashwood’s debut were used to promote the Women Of Honor tournament final on Supercard of Honor…
Gleed’s Notes: This was decent enough and gave the Japanese wrestlers some promo time. I wish they had used this on the go-home show last week.
Following a commercial, Riccaboni and Colt ran down the card for Masters of the Craft show which will be live on Honor Club on April 15…
3. Matt Taven vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Cody in a Triple Threat. Taven was out first without his fellow Kingdom members. Christopher Daniels was out next again on his own followed by Cody who, you guessed it, was on his own. Ok scratch that, Bearnard the business bear joined Cody at ringside, I’m not making that up. Riccaboni was ignored by the bear.
Gleed’s Notes: Very odd main event with essentially three heels facing each other, although at the point of this taping, Cody was still being significantly cheered.
Following another commercial, the bell rang for the main event. All three men cautiously circled each other before Taven was double teamed by Daniels and Cody. He was knocked to the outside, which left Daniels and Cody one on one. Ian noted that this was the main event from Best in the World. Taven returned to the ring with a dropkick before he was knocked to the ringside mats which left Daniels and Cody alone again.
The match broke down to two men fighting in the ring while one was selling on the outside. The finish of the match came when Cody imitated the Kenny Omega’s Rise Of The Terminator but Daniels interrupted. Cody hit Crossroads on Christopher, but Taven frog splashed both men as Cody was pinning Daniels. This allowed Taven to steal the pin for the victory…
Matt Taven defeated Cody and Christopher Daniels in a Triple Threat.
Riccaboni hyped Master of the Craft one more time and hyped that next week we would get Frankie Kazarian vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi along with a tag team gauntlet match to determine the number one contender for the tag titles.
Gleed’s Notes: Again this match was a lot of fun and it really put over Matt Taven strong going into the first blood match with Cody at the event next Sunday. Again Ring of Honor delivered a show that felt newsworthy while at the same time filmed way before the actual air date. When you think that these shows were taped a month ago it’s tremendous organisation to book a show like this rather than the dull random highlight shows we would usually get between pay per views and tv tapings that was actually building to an event after Supercard of Honor. It’s a lot of work but this viewer certainly appreciates it.
Jason should be back next week with his written review, but members be on the lookout for my audio review of this very show where I will have a lot more to say. Non-members, why aren’t you members? Take advantage of the $2 sale that is currently on (see the ad on the main page), and get a taste of what we do all the while being ad-free and having access to ten years of top notch audio. Check out an interview with ROH COO Joe Koff on the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell below.
As always, feel free to get in touch via email email@example.com or via twitter @haydngleed if you want to chat some wrestling