ROH 01/07/17 TV Review
The show this week started off with a recap from the Decade of Excellence match between Christopher Daniels and Mark Briscoe. After the footage, Daniels cut a promo about one thing that has eluded him as a Ring of Honor competitor has been the world title and that he’s ready to prove to everyone why he deserves to get a chance to challenge for the title. Nice opener here as the promo work is top notch and the interspersing of old ROH footage showing Daniels at the first event really brings home the point that he has been a stalwart for the company. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary for this episode.
First Match:Decade of Excellence Tournament
B.J. Whitmer w/ Punishment Martinez & Kevin Sullivan vs Jay Briscoe
Before the match Briscoe cut a short backstage promo about how he has been in ROH since day one and that he is ready to prove he deserves to win. Whitmer refused to adhere to the code of honor and the two started off the match traded rights, with Briscoe using a headbutt to gain control. Whitmer poked Briscoe’s eyes and chopped him into the corner before beating Briscoe down with overhand chops. Sullivan pulled Briscoe’s leg as he bounded off the ropes, prompting Briscoe to slide outside to confront him, only to have Martinez shield Sullivan. Whitmer attacked Briscoe from behind and tossed him into the barricade repeatedly. After the break, Martinez yanked Briscoe into the ringpost while Paul Turner was distracted by Whitmer, but Briscoe used a combination of straight right hands and a dropkick to deposit Whitmer on the outside before connecting with a tope suicida.
Back inside, Briscoe hit a neckbreaker that earned him a two count. Whitmer was able to fight back and tossed Briscoe with a German suplex that quite nearly earned him the pinfall victory. Briscoe fought of an exploder and dumped Whitmer with a Death Valley driver, but could not keep Whitmer down for three. Whitmer seemed to be enjoying the punishment he was receiving and after another exploder suplex he was instructed by Sullivan to forgot about attempting a pinfall. He grabbed the infamous golden spike and went to impale Jay, only for Mark to run down to ringside to defend his brother. Mark took Punishment Martinez out with a suicide dive, distracting Whitmer enough for Jay to hit a Jay Driller and winning the match via pinfall. After the match Whitmer got on the mic and said that next week “one will be sacrificed”. Solid match from these two, with some hijinks at the end. There seems to be a new added layer to the Whitmer/Sullivan angle and hopefully there will be more of a definitive answer after next week.
Winner: Jay Briscoe
Second Match: Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser vs. Alex Reynolds & John Silver
Young and the Bruiser feigned going for the code of honor but attacked Reynolds and Silver, with Young working Reynolds over. Reynolds was able to springboard out of a wristlock and hit a dropkick before tagging SIlver in. The two double teamed Young until he was able to tag out to SIlver who took it to the larger man. Silver tried a suplex, but simply could not lift the Bruiser and both men tagged out. Young hit Reynolds with a German suplex as the Bruiser simultaneously clotheslined Reynolds. Young and Bruiser continued to assault Reynolds until he was able to evade Young and tag Silver in. Silver tossed Young about the ring before successfully suplexing the Bruiser to a chorus of cheers. Young capitalized on Silver’s celebration but fell victim to a succession a code breaker and German suplex, just barely kicking out. Young and the Bruiser were able to regain control and picked up the win after the Bruiser hit a sit down sitting splash on Reynolds. After the match, Young called Bull James down to the ring, implying that James could join their ranks. The Bruiser seemed hesitant until Young pointed out that James is tough and likes to drink beer. Young then changed his tune and said that James wasn’t the guy just before the two attacked him and left him in the ring after the Bruiser hit a frog splash from the top rope. Young and Bruiser always put on solid matches and the angle with James has the potential to be interesting moving forward. Hopefully, it wasn’t simply a one off.
Winners: Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser.
Third Match: The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) vs. Cheeseburger, Will Ferrara & Joey Daddiego
O’Ryan and Taven went to adhere to the code of honor, only for Marseglia to squeeze betwee them and lay a big boot on Cheeseburger as his partners attacked Daddiego and Ferrara. The Kingdom quickly tried to go for the team’s triple powerbomb on Cheeseburger, but Ferrara and Daddiego pulled the top rope down, dropping O’Ryan and Marseglia to the outside. Cheeseburger and Ferrara then cleared the ring, only for Marseglia to come in and take Burger and Ferrara out. Daddiego showed off his strength by catching Marseglia and tossing him to the outside, standing tall next Burger and Ferrara as the Kingdom regrouped on the outside.
After the break the match was in progress, as Ferrara was in the wrong side of town, getting pummeled in the Kingdom’s corner. O’Ryan fowled up a double team attempt, spearing Taven and allowing Ferrara to tag out. Cheeseburger hit Taven with Shoeti, but couldn’t capitalized and fell victim to a senton from Marseglia and a frog splash from Taven, which good enough to earn the pinfall victory. The match was a vehicle for the Kingdom to look strong and that was accomplished. Nothing overly exciting here except for the fact that Daddiego/Ferrara/Cheeseburger worse matching attire, which I think will be important for the division moving forward, as the Kingdom can’t be the only cohesive unit.
Winners: The Kingdom
A clip of Matt Hardy’s video promo from Final Battle after the Bucks/Briscoe match aired and the Young Bucks made their way to the ring for a promo. Matt started off by apologizing that his voice was hoarse, because he had recently been screaming after signing the most lucrative deals in ROH’s history. Nick then reminded everyone that since they are the champions, they are the best team in ROH history. However, after they beat the Briscoes, Hardy called them out. Nick vociferously proclaimed that the Young Bucks can not be broken and that they can’t be deleted. The lights went out and Vanguard 1 flew into the ring, only to be superkicked.
Main Event: Decade of Excellence Tour
Chris Sabin w/ Alex Shelley vs. Colt Cabana
Shelley joined McGuinness and Kelly on commentary for the match. Crisp back and forth from both men after they adhered to the code of honor. Cabana backed Sabin into the corner and didn’t break cleanly, but after he Irish whipped Sabin into the opposite corner, Sabin took advantage of the space to hit Cabana with a boot to the face. Sabin tried to end things quickly, using a magistral cradle and a high cross body block off the top rope, but was only able to garner two counts. The two then traded wrist locks, but Cabana tangled referee Todd Sinclair in between them, hitting Sabin with a cheap shot that forced him to the outside.
After the break Cabana was still in control, hitting Sabin with an elbow. During the break, Cabana mocked Shelley at the commentary table as he laced into Sabin. Back in the ring, Cabana cinched in a modified camel clutch that Sabin escaped by biting Cabana’s hand. Cabana missed his jumping splash from the second rope and Sabin took advantage hitting an enziguri and then a dropkick. Cabana rolled out, only to be kicked in the chest by Sabin who rolled him back in. A tornado DDT by Sabin led to a near fall, but Cabana was able to kick out and nearly hit the Chicago Skyline on Sabin, who wiggled out. Dalton Castle’s Boys came down to the ring and began to fan a bewildered Cabana, allowing Sabin to hit a tornado small package for the pinfall victory.
Winner: Chris Sabin
Final Reaction: B-/C+
It was nice to get back to new content for ROH this week. All of the matches were moving toward a future goal, but having both Decade of Excellence matches end in some sort of interference involved finish seemed to be a questionable decision. Although the reasons stemming from the interference involve separate stories and add layers to those feuds, the double interferences detract from the importance of the Decade of Excellence tournament. For a company the often prides itself on just plain old good wrestling matches, a choice should have been made about only have one match end with interference. Unless there is an a new development with Whitmer and the Briscoes, the shenanigans could have been held off until after the match, not during it.
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