By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor TV
Taped April 14 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Stage AE
Aired in syndication on May 19 and Mondays on the FITE TV app
ROH opened with an “Honor is Real” clip followed by the standard opening video… The broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in from their desk and set up the show…
Ring entrances for the opening match took place. A Punishment Martinez promo aired as he was making his entrance. He said Lethal has an agenda now. Martinez said his own agenda is to leave Lethal lying at his feet again. Lethal said Martinez is his first stop in his road back to glory. He said Martinez has a lot of momentum on his side, but he intends to end it right now…
Powell’s POV: The Martinez promo was brief and yet it stood out in a good way. There’s been an obvious temptation to push him in an Undertaker-esque manner. In this case, he came off like a normal guy talking and it worked. Perhaps there’s a way to simply showcase him as a cool dude rather than playing up the goth persona or whatever it is they’ve been going for. Both promos worked even if there was nothing noteworthy about what Lethal said. These brief promos introduce new fans to the wrestlers and effectively set the table for the matches. I’d like to see more of these in ROH and on all pro wrestling shows.
1. Jay Lethal vs. Punishment Martinez. Lethal hit a bunch of suicide dives to start. Martinez sold a knee injury. He clotheslined Lethal in the ring and then sold the knee heading into an early break. [C] Lethal continued to target the knee. He suplexed Martinez heading into another break. [C]
Lethal hit his Hail to the Chief elbow drop for a two count. Coleman added some good strategy talk by saying that Lethal could have hooked the bad leg instead of the good leg and he may have won the match. Lethal hit a Lethal Injection and scored the clean pin…
Jay Lethal pinned Punishment Martinez.
Riccaboni introduced a video package that set up the Sumie Sakai vs. Jenny Rose match for the Women of Honor Championship on next week’s show… [C]
Powell’s POV: I was surprised to see a clean finish to the Lethal vs. Martinez match. I’m not really sure what purpose the match served or whether there was really a need to have Martinez lose clean to Lethal. I guess we’ll see if this leads somewhere. If so, no problem. If not, an odd call.
2. Shane Taylor vs. Joey “Diesel” Daddiego. The broadcast team acted surprised to see Daddiego returning. He spoke about outworking others and walking through Shane Taylor. No promo for Taylor, though they did show him destroying a recent opponent. Taylor dominated early and splashed Daddiego for a two count. Taylor and the broadcast team acted shocked by the kickout. Daddiego worked over Taylor with punches in the corner and then connected with a big right hand. Daddiego hoisted up Taylor and dumped him over and covered him for a good near fall.
Taylor took him to ringside and worked him over. Taylor eventually placed him on a chair and hit him repeatedly, then laid him over a second chair. Taylor went to the apron and performed a splash that drew loud gasps and then cheers from the crowd. A referee stood between Taylor and Daddiego. Taylor picked up the referee and chokeslammed him. A second referee ran into the ring. Multiple security guards entered the ring and were destroyed by Taylor. Riccaboni announced that the match was a no-contest…
Shane Taylor fought Joey Daddiego to a no-contest.
Powell’s POV: A fun match. The broadcast team told the story of Daddiego working 80 hours per week and doing whatever it takes to put food on the table. It’s an interesting approach to take with him and I like this more than his arrogant heel persona. The crowd got into Daddiego’s hope spot in a big way. This could be a fun undercard program if they can get Daddiego over as a hard working common man.
Backstage, Cody and Brandi Rhodes delivered a promo about the main event six-man tag match. Cody said he’s ready for the match and once they win he has a secret. He told Brandi to tell the fans, but then he cut her off and said he would be taking his rematch against Dalton Castle at the Best in the World pay-per-view… [C]
A video package recapped Bully Ray being fired as the ROH enforcer and then announcing that he is un-retired… The broadcast team set up footage from last week’s main event with the Briscoes attacking the Young Bucks with chairs. They noted that the Bullet Club members were slow to make the save and questioned whether Bullet Club is fine… Ring entrances for the main event took place. Bernard the Business Bear walked out with Cody…
3. Cody, Marty Scurll, and Hangman Page vs. “SoCal Uncensored” Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky. The broadcast team agreed that Sky was the unsung hero of SoCal Uncensored. Cody performed a vertical suplex on Sky heading into an early break. [C]
Cody threw a kick at Kazarian in the corner. Kazarian ducked the kick, which then caught Scurll. Riccaboni questioned whether it was actually inadvertent. SoCal Uncensored isolated Cody heading into another break. [C] They did a batch of big dives over the top rope.
Cody caught Daniels up top and they fought for position. Cody suplexed him onto the heap of wrestlers below. Riccaboni worked in a now timely “Danger, Will Robinson” line (the Netflix “Lost in Space” series is great!). The referee counted to 19 with everyone at ringside. All six wrestlers rushed back into the ring at the same time to break the count. In the end, Cody hit his Din’s Fire (Legend of Zelda reference) finisher on Sky. Page followed up with a Rite of Passage on Sky and pinned him…
Cody, Marty Scurll, and Hangman Page defeated Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky.
After the match, Daniels and Kazarian attacked Cody and Page from behind. They fought back. Scurll picked up an umbrella and swung it at Daniels, who ducked, causing Cody to take the umbrella shot. The broadcast team questioned whether it was inadvertent as the show went off the air…
Powell’s POV: The usual fun Bullet Club main event with some fun drama between Cody and Scurll. For what it’s worth, they were both made to look inadvertent, but the way both men sold concern along with the broadcast team questioning whether the shots were taken intentionally means there’s obviously setting up friction between the two. This coincides with Cody suddenly declaring that he wants a title shot when Scurll is supposed to be getting the shot at the ROH Title at Best in the World.
Overall, this a good show. The opening match featured two wrestlers who are typically high on the card wrestling to a clean finish. The middle match told a surprisingly good story. The main event was filled with Bullet Club star power and the intriguing post match angle. This was a fun hour of television. Haydn Gleed will be by later this week to discuss the show in his audio review for Dot Net Members.