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 26, 2019, Mondays on the FITE TV app
NWA Champion Nick Aldis and Kamille made his entrance while the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana hyped the six-man tag title main event. Aldis joined the broadcast team and had his own microphone with the NWA logo on it. The trio all tried to get Kamille to say hello, but she remained silent…
1. PJ Black vs. Juice Robinson. Robinson received a strong reaction and wore a wild robe that read “The Flamboyant Juice” on the back. Robinson offered a handshake. Black responded with a chop. Black performed a double stomp on the back of Robinson and then posed for the crowd. Robinson came right back and then Black called for a timeout and rolled to ringside. Robinson dove onto Black at ringside. Black regained offensive control heading into a break. [C]
They cut to Aldis briefly and he hyped his upcoming NWA Championship match with Black. Black avoided Pulp Friction and then ran into an elbow from Robinsons in the corner. Robinson went up top, but Black cut him off with a huracanrana and followed up with a top rope moonsault for a near fall. Robinson rebounded and went up top. Black shoved referee Paul Turner into the ropes to knock Robinson down for the DQ.
Juice Robinson defeated PJ Black by DQ.
After the match, Black punched out Turner while Aldis called him a disgrace on commentary. Black walked toward the broadcast area where Aldis continued to refer to him as a disgrace and an embarrassment to the NWA. Kamille stepped in front of Aldis and then Black backed off… [C]
Powell’s POV: A nice match and I’m all for the match ending without a decisive finish since both guys need are being established early in their ROH runs. I was surprised to see Black work a heel style. It’s not that he didn’t do a good job, it’s that he came off as his usual nice guy self in the recent NWA video feature that focused on his comeback from a base jumping accident. I’m all for Black shaking things up because the nice guy persona never took off. In case you missed it yesterday, Black told Dot Net staffer Anish V that he signed a deal with ROH on Friday. He also shared some exclusive comments on passing on a WWE offer, AEW’s effect on the industry, and more during their chat, which can be read here.
Footage aired from “during the break” of Robinson addressing the live crowd. He said he didn’t come to ROH to lose by DQ. They said ROH is about sweat and honor and seeing who the better man is. Robinson said fans would see a hell of a lot more of him in an ROH ring in 2019. Robinson said there would be new life breathed into ROH and everyone in the building would be happy about it…
Powell’s POV: This is preceding the announcement of Lifeblood. ROH has already released that footage online. I’m not sure why they waited to film the introduction of the new faction until late in the tapings. Is it as simple as they wanted to put some television distance between the introduction of Villain Enterprises and Lifeblood? Either way, am I the only one who thinks Robinson and former Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach share the same speaking voice?
The Kingdom delivered a backstage promo. TK O’Ryan gave Marty Scurll credit for starting an enterprise just when they thought they had him beat. He said there are no enterprises allowed in the kingdom. Matt Taven spoke about being the real world champion. Vinny Marseglia said PCO says he’s not human, yet he has seen him bleed. “Welcome to Ring of Honor,” Marseglia said to close…
2. Shane Taylor vs. Mike Law. Law’s entrance was not televised. Caprice Coleman sat in on commentary. The bell rang and Taylor blasted Law with a forearm to the head. Taylor picked him up and performed his finisher on him before pinning him.
Shane Taylor defeated Mike Law.
After the match, Taylor delivered an in-ring promo. He said everyone has been wondering who paid him to take out Christopher Daniels. He questioned who hated Daniels enough to have the baddest man in ROH go after him. Taylor called the Philly fans pieces of garbage and then said no one paid him, he decided to take out Daniels. Taylor said he’s just getting started, then he dropped the mic and left the ring… [C]
Powell’s POV: A good showcase win for Taylor with a solid promo afterward. Coleman was cheerleading Taylor on commentary. Caprice usually plays it pretty straight, so I’m not sure if he is transitioning into a role as part of Taylor’s act or if that will just be his announcing schtick when Taylor wrestles.
Colt Cabana stood in the ring and introduced Flip Gordon for an interview. Cabana hyped up Gordon beating Bully Ray in the I Quit match at Final Battle. Cabana asked Gordon what’s next for him. Gordon said he dealt with a bully for eight months and then made him quit. “Mission accomplished,” Gordon said. He added that he’s onto his next mission, which is cashing in his shot at the ROH Championship.
Kenny King made his entrance and delivered a promo on the stage. He said Dalton Castle, Chris Sabin, and Gordon could take their imaginary title shots and put them in the garbage right next to the chances of the Philadelphia Eagles returning to the Super Bowl. King had footage from various angles play of him pinning Jay Lethal. Riccaboni noted that the camera angles used did not show that King had his feet on the ropes.
King walked to ringside and entered the ring and said he was screwed out of his championship opportunity. King said he sees through Gordon and knows he’s a phony. King said one of the last times we saw Gordon was when he was crawling on the mat and crying like a sick cat when Bully Ray hit him with a kendo stick. King said he’s tougher than Gordon and a superior athlete. He said Gordon is a weekend warrior who was only brave enough to join the reserves. King dropped the mic and left the ring. Riccaboni said he was proud of Gordon for not reacting… [C]
Powell’s POV: The live crowd liked Gordon, but his line about going after the ROH Championship was met with silence. It’s one crowd, but I suspect it’s because the fans don’t believe it’s his time. Still, I look forward to his eventual match with Lethal even if I’m with the masses in assuming there’s no chance of Gordon going over. King was very good on the mic. He delivered his promo well and packed a lot of zingers into one promo. Riccaboni’s line at the end was perfect in that it seemed odd that Gordon just stood there and took it, so Riccaboni turned it into Gordon doing something admirable. Riccaboni is great at what he does.
Ring entrances for the main event took place with Villain Enterprises coming out first. The Kingdom came out and Matt Taven questioned over a mic why they think they deserve an ROH Six-Man Tag Title match. Fair question. Taven said they have to earn everything they get in ROH. Taven said the Kingdom earned the titles three times and he’s earned the right to call himself the real world champion. Taven said he would give Villain Enterprises a chance to prove themselves. Taven built up the mystery team in a big way and noted that they are undefeated. Shinobi Shadow Squad made their entrance…
3.”Villain Enterprises” Marty Scurll, PCO, and Brody King vs. “Shinobi Shadow Squad” Eli Isom, Cheeseburger, and Ryan Nova. Villain Enterprises attacked Isom, Cheeseburger, and Nova and worked them over for a minute or so before the show went to break. [C] PCO no-sold pretty much everything his opponents threw at him and they went to another break. [C] In the end, PCO performed a top rope moonsault on Nova and pinned him…
Marty Scurll, PCO, and Brody King beat Eli Isom, Cheeseburger, and Ryan Nova.
After the match, Riccaboni hyped Isom vs. Silas Young to determine the No. 1 contender to the ROH TV Title, and he hyped the Road To G1 Supercard events for HonorClub. Riccaboni set up a Bully Ray video…
Bully Ray sat in front of a fire and poured lighter fluid onto it as footage was shown of his “I Quit” match loss to Flip Gordon. Bully kept pouring more and more lighter fluid on the fire and then threw the container down. “I never said I Quit,” Ray said. The line was repeated… The ROH pulse video aired and a graphic read: “A New Beginning From An Old Foundation – ROH Begins Anew”…
Powell’s POV: No complaints from me about the bait and switch main event even if it was obviously underwhelming compared to what was advertised. I mentioned last week that I thought it was silly that Villain Enterprises were getting a title shot when they hadn’t even worked a match together, so it’s logical that the heels would be able to get out of the title match. Plus, now they can build up to it and maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to make me care about the ROH Six-Man Tag Titles for the first time. Okay, probably not, but never say never.
I would still like to hear from Scurll about the formation of his new faction. He’s a great talker so I don’t know why we’re still waiting for this. Meanwhile, if ROH officials are high on Eli Isom, they’d be wise to get him away from the Shinobi Shadow Squad. I like Cheeseburger and the fun role he plays in ROH more than a lot of people, but Isom is defined down by being paired regularly with him and Nova. We saw Isom being destroyed with his undercard buddies this week and now we’re supposed to take him seriously when he tries to become No. 1 contender to the ROH TV Title next week?
Overall, though, this was a quality show with a good opening match, the Taylor showcase, the Gordon and King angle, the first Villain Enterprises match, and the ROH Pulse teaser at the end. The introduction of the new additions to the ROH roster is off to a solid start despite my concern that they will be too focused on factions. Haydn Gleed will be by on Tuesday with his weekly members’ exclusive audio review of this episode.
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