By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor TV
Taped February 9, 2019 in Lakeland, Florida at RP Funding Center
Aired in syndication on March 16, 2019, Mondays on the FITE TV app
The ROH opening aired… The broadcast team was Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana, and the ring announcer was Bobby Cruise…
1. “Shinobi Shadow Squad” Cheeseburger, Eli Isom, and Ryan Nova vs. Silas Young, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe. Early on, Riccaboni spoke about “what a war it was” when the Briscoes faced PCO and Brody King at the 17th Anniversary show. “No spoiling,” Cabana responded. Mark caught Cheeseburger with a nice dropkick going into a break. [C]
Isom caught Jay with a brainbuster for a near fall. Riccaboni gushed over how Isom is not even a year into training and he continues to shine in the ring against established wrestlers. The Briscoes came back with a Total Elimination style move, then Jay hit the Jay Driller on Isom and pinned him…
Silas Young, Jay Briscoe, and Mark Briscoe defeated Cheeseburger, Eli Isom, and Ryan Nova.
Powell’s POV: A solid showcase win for the heel trio. I like that Isom continues to be built up even when taking a loss as he did here, but I’m still not in favor of having him team with Cheeseburger and Nova. I like the attempt the broadcast team made when it came to making it seem like this show was current by referencing the tag title match that was held long after this event was taped. The only problem is that the Briscoes came out wearing the ROH Tag Titles, so anyone who believes this show is more current therefore assumes they retained the tag titles.
Rhett Titus delivered a backstage promo and said there will be a new NWA North American champion next week. Riccaboni noted that Willie Mack will defend the title against Titus on next week’s show… The Bouncers were shown opening and drinking beers at a bar. A graphic hyped them as coming up next… [C]
Coming out of the break, Brian Johnson and Joe Keys stood in the ring. Johnson took the mic and cut a heel promo about expecting sunny beaches in Florida and instead getting a bunch of busted up broads with beer slinging bozos on their arms. The Bouncers made their entrance…
2. “The Bouncers” Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas vs. Brian Johnson and Joe Keys. Riccaboni and Cabana told the story that Bruiser and Milonas are actually likable guys now that they are away from Silas Young. Milonas took the mic and said, “We’re the Bouncers and we’re here.” He handed the mic to Milonas, who said, “And we came to kick ass and drink some…” He let the fans fill in the beer.
Keys posed and mocked Bruiser’s belly. Bruiser led the fans in chanting for beer. In the end, Bruiser held out Keys as Milonas came off the middle rope with a legdrop before scoring the pin. A female ringside attendant handed the Bruisers two beers. They opened the beers, toasted, and took a swig on the apron…
Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas beat Brian Johnson and Joe Keys.
Powell’s POV: Pro wrestling fans love boozers. Steve Austin, Sandman, and The Crusher are just a few examples. In other words, like the idea of pushing The Bouncers as fun loving, beer swilling, babyfaces. That said, their post match sip of beer celebration needs some work.
Madison Rayne delivered a promo from an undisclosed location. She said Thunder Rosa and Holidead think they can come in and control the narrative. She said they go against everything that Women of Honor stands for. Rayne said she’s going to make a statement and it starts with Rosa… [C]
Powell’s POV: And it ended with her asking for and receiving her contractual release. For anyone who missed it, Rayne is already back with Impact Wrestling.
NWA North American Champion Willie Mack delivered a backstage promo. Mack said he wants to defend the title in all 50 states and Florida will make five when he faces Rhett Titus…
3. Madison Rayne (w/Sumie Sakai) vs. Thunder Rosa (w/Holidead). Holidead approached Sakai at ringside. Rayne performed a slide kick on Rosa under the bottom rope. Rosa gained offensive control and had it going into a break. [C] Rosa remained on the offensive until Rayne performed reverse DDT style move and scored the pin…
Madison Rayne defeated Thunder Rosa.
A Coast 2 Coast promo aired. They hyped their match against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham for next week… Ring entrances for the main event took place… [C]
Powell’s POV: The women’s match fine and seemingly missable from a storyline standpoint even if Rayne had stayed. The women just don’t appear frequently enough on television. Meanwhile, I hope ROH gets behind the Coast 2 Coast duo. They gave them a big win over War Machine and then haven’t felt like priority since then. Granted, injuries from a car accident sidelined Shaheem Ali for some time, but it’s never felt like ROH has fully invested in Ali and Leon St. Giovanni.
4. Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Rocky Romero. Sabre controlled the offense with his usual mat based and submission style. [C] Romero came back and then ran into a big boot. Romero threw a high knee at a charging Sabre, who rolled him into a submission hold, which got a rise out of the crowd. Romero reached the ropes to break the hold. Romero fought back and performed a springboard dropkick that led to a two count. Romero threw a series of strikes and then hit a running Sliced Bread for a two count. Romero went for Sliced Bread out of the corner, but Sabre dodged it and applied a hold for the win…
Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Rocky Romero.
Powell’s POV: It was nice to see Sabre appear on the ROH television show, yet disappointing that it was merely a showcase match rather than a match or an angle to set up something for the G1 Supercard. Overall, an uneventful hour of television due to it airing the same weekend as the ROH 17th Anniversary show. The matches were fine, but it was a missable episode in terms of storyline developments. Unfortunately, we have another gap show next week, meaning only one episode from the tapings that were held over the weekend in Las Vegas will air before the G1 Supercard on April 6, and then we’ll be in for two more gap shows. Hopefully the company does something in post production to help next week’s show push that event in a big way. Major League Wrestling is a smaller company and they are able to turn around their shows within a week. It’s long overdue for Sinclair Broadcast Group or ROH to change the way they do things so that the shows can air closer to the taping dates.
Check below for a recent Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Ian Riccaboni discussing his decision to re-sign with Ring of Honor, getting emotionally invested in matches, what’s different about the way he and Colt Cabana called the Lakeland tapings, the G1 Supercard at MSG, and much more.