By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor TV
Taped December 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired in syndication on January 5, 2019, Mondays on the FITE TV app
The show opened with still shots from the Final Battle event… The ROH opening aired…
Ian Riccaboni, who was joined on commentary by Colt Cabana, stood in the ring. Dalton Castle, Flip Gordon, Marty Scurll, and Chris Sabin were in the ring with him. He said all four men earned ROH Title shots in 2018 or, in Castle’s case, had a contractually obligated rematch. He said they would meet in a four-way match later in the show to determine who will get the first ROH Title shot on January 13.
Riccaboni was about to introduce ROH Champion Jay Lethal, but Matt Taven made his entrance and boasted that he defended his “real world title” on Final Battle. Taven mocked Gordon for winning a tournament where everyone was on vacation (Jericho cruise) and spoke about how he had his nose buried in the ass of the Young Bucks all year. Taven asked if he should go back to 2012 when Sabin was relevant and deserved to be in the title picture.
Taven asked Scurll where all of his friends went. “It looks like you have to be at least this tall to catch the train to Jacksonville, huh?” Taven mocked. Taven said he gave Castle his contractually obligated rematch at Final Battle and he lost, so he should go away and fake another injury. Taven said none of them should get another title shot.
Jay Lethal walked out and bickered with Taven in the aisle. Taven spat on the ROH Championship belt. Lethal and Taven traded punches until they were pulled apart by security and referees going into a commercial break… [C]
Powell’s POV: The best promo of Taven’s career. It was edgy and well delivered. Here’s hoping Taven does more of this and less of the Melvin talk in 2019.
1. ROH TV Champion Jeff Cobb vs. Luchasaurus in a Proving Ground match. Luchasaurus threw a kick to the head of Cobb as the bell rang and covered him for a two count. Riccaboni noted that the challenger would earn a future title shot by winning or simply lasting 15 minutes with the challenger.
Cobb got some offense in, but he continued to take kicks to the head. Luchasaurus followed one up with a chokeslam and a standing moonsault for a two count. [C] Cobb came back and hit a Tour of the Islands for the clean win…
Jeff Cobb defeated Luchasaurus in a Proving Ground match.
Powell’s POV: Luchasaurus has a good look and a bad name. Sorry, it’s all subjective, but the name just doesn’t do anything for me. Perhaps it will grow on me or they will do something to help explain the gimmick.
New Women of Honor Champion Kelly Klein came to the ring where an opponent was waiting. Klein boasted that she defeated three women at Final Battle to become the new champion. She said every singles match she has will be a WOH Championship match…
2. Kelly Klein vs. Nikki Adams for the WOH Championship. Klein was in offensive control when they cut to break during the first minute of the match. [C] Adams went on the offensive briefly and went up top, but Klein pulled her down. Klein threw a running knee to the head of Adams and pinned her…
Kelly Klein defeated Nikki Adams to retain the WOH Championship.
After the match, Jenny Rose walked onto the stage with a mic and said she and Klein have unfinished business. Rose said they will meet in a singles match in Concord, North Carolina on January 13. She asked Klein to make it a street fight. Klein didn’t have a mic, but yelled that she would see Rose in the streets of Concord…
Powell’s POV: A showcase match for the new champion. The broadcast team made Klein’s announcement of putting the title on the line in every singles match out to be a sign of overconfidence, so I assume Klein is still a heel.
Footage aired of Brian Milonas approaching Beer City Bruiser at a bar. Bruiser was upset that Silas Young hasn’t returning his calls or emails. Milonas told him to approach him like a man and demand an answer. Bruiser agreed and went back to drinking his beer…
Footage aired of Elite’s final match and the big beatdown by Bully Ray, the Briscoes, Silas Young, and Shane Taylor. A graphic noted that the footage was available on HonorClub… The pulse video aired… [C]
Powell’s POV: So Bruiser is a sensitive man who is upset because Young stopped being his friend? I guess I never saw his character going in that direction. Meanwhile, you’d think ROH would want everyone to see the heels beating down The Elite members rather than using it as a hook for their streaming service.
Footage aired from Final Battle of Marty Scurll defeating Christopher Daniels…
Christopher Daniels made his entrance dressed in a suit and received the streamer treatment and a “thank you, Daniels” chant. Daniels said Final Battle was not a good night for SCU. He said Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky were home recuperating from one of the most brutal battles of their careers, while he lost the match to Scurll when he had everything to lose.
Daniels said the only thing left to do is say goodbye. He spoke about facing Low Ki and Bryan Danielson in the first ROH main event. He spoke about finally winning the ROH Championship. He asked the fans to remember him as someone who gave his heart and soul and every fiber of his being whenever he stepped foot inside an ROH ring. “I thank you, I love you, goodbye,” Daniels said.
ROH COO Joe Koff walked onto the stage with a mic in hand and thanked Daniels. He said it started a year ago on the same stage and it was time for closure. He said they’ve had their differences over the years, but Daniels putting his own body on the line to save Cary Silkin at ROH Final Battle showed Koff that Daniels did it because he loves ROH, not because he was trying to save his job.
Koff offered Daniels a new contract. Fans cheered. Daniels went to ringside and hugged Silkin and then Koff, who presented him with his new contract for 2019. Shane Taylor attacked Daniels from behind. Taylor barked at Koff and asked where his contract was. Koff pointed at him and told him he was nothing, then made his exit.
Daniels dove onto Taylor and threw punches at him, but Taylor grabbed him and threw him into the ring steps and then the guardrail. In the ring, Taylor threw a knee to the head of Daniels and then worked him over with a chair to the back. Taylor performed an inverted piledriver onto the chair, then tore up the contract and put pieces in the mouth of Daniels… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good angle aside from Koff showing no fear of a monster heel and even telling him to his face that he’s nothing. It’s just not something a non-wrestling character should do even if he is in a power position, as it makes the monster look weak for not destroying him.
A brief video hyped the ROH TV debut of Zack Sabre Jr. for next week’s show… Jay Lethal joined Riccaboni and Cabana on commentary. Riccaboni said Sabre would face Tracy Williams on next week’s show. Lethal vented about Taven claiming to be something he is not. He said he’d heard Taven was thrown out of the building, but he wasn’t sure so he was going to keep his eyes open… Ring entrances for the main event took place…
3. Marty Scurll vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Flip Gordon vs. Chris Sabin in a four corner survival match for an ROH Championship match. The winner of the match earns a shot at Honor Reigns Supreme on January 13. Scurll tried to chill at ringside early to let the other guys fight amongst themselves. Gordon and Sabin worked together early on. Castle teased a dive onto all three opponents, then stopped and strutted heading into a break. [C]
Late in the match, Gordon performed a standing moonsault on Castle and covered him, but Scurll broke it up. Gordon and Sabin had a good exchange. Scurll put Gordon n his back at ringside, and Sabin kicked him over for a Doomsday Device type of move. Sabin also kicked Scurll. Moments later, Castle hit the Bangarang on Sabin and pinned him.
Dalton Castle defeated Marty Scurll, Flip Gordon, and Chris Sabin in a four corner survival match to earn the first ROH Championship match.
Lethal said he would show everyone what a real champion does. Lethal put the headset down and went to the ring where he held up the title belt and offered a handshake to Castle, who accepted. Riccaboni closed the show without advertising any additional matches for next week…
Powell’s POV: A solid television main event that probably meant more to the fans in Concord than anyone since all four guys will eventually get title shots. They will need to build up Sabin significantly or just burn through his title match on television because while he’s a good wrestler, I don’t think anyone views him as a realistic ROH Champion. Overall, a decent show that focused more on setting up the Honor Reigns Supreme event for HonorClub than it did on setting the tone for 2019. It’s a strange approach, as I expected them to come charging out of the gate to get people buzzing about the product or the new talents rather than focusing on the guys who left the company. I will have more to say in my audio review coming up later today.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Will Pruett reviewing the NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 13 event.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Jim Ross on his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, whether Ross knew Shawn Spears was going to hit Cody with a chair shot to the head, working with Excalibur and Alex Marvez, his new book and speaking engagement deal, and much more... Search "Pro Wrestling Boom" in Apple Podcasts or any podcast app to subscribe.