ROH 01/28/17 TV Review
The show this week was the first episode taped at Atlanta’s historic Center Stage theater. The show started promo/video package from Adam Cole recapping the story of the issues between him and Kyle O’Reilly, interspersed with video of the actual match.
First Match: Tempura Boyz (Sho and Yo) vs. Coast 2 Coast (Leon St. Giovanni & Shaheem Ali) vs. Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara
As the teams adhered to the code of honor, the Tempura Boyz attacked an unsuspecting Coast to Coast and unceremoniously dumped them out of the ring before turning their attention to Cheeseburger and Ferrara. Ferrara was able to throw show from the ring, allowing him and Cheeseburger to hit some double team moves on Yo. They tried to do the same to LSG, but he was able to evade Cheeseburger, dropping him to the outside. Ferrara hoisted LSG up in a fireman’s carry, but LSG managed to wriggle out, just into time for his partner Ali to join the fracas as the two combined to take Ferrara down.
Sho reentered the ring and broke up LSG pin attempt before her and Yo hit a codebreaker/backbreaker combo. The action spilled outside, with Cheeseburger flying off the top before Shoe followed with a tope con giro, only to be bested by LSG’s a tightrope walk followed by a Phoenix splash to the outside. Just before the commercial break. The Young Bucks came out to scout the match and eventually joined commentary. After the break, Show and Yo combined for a flapjack/codebreaker comb, but Ferrara broke up the pin attempt. Ali and LSG successfully cleared the ring and hit coast to coast dropkicks on Ferrara who was in a tree of woe, but Sho broke the pin attempt up, allowing the Tempura Boys to hit the Shock Arrow on Ali for the win. Nice little shout out to Kevin Owens on commentary from the Matt Jackson who said that he had a friend who used to use that move. The explanation that the open challenge was for the Hardy’s ties in nicely to the brewing issues between the two teams, but I would have liked to see Coast 2 Coast pick up the win here as they are a team that has not gotten the fair shake that other teams have had in ROH.
Winner: The Tempura Boyz
After the match,Matt Jackson shared that the open challenge was for the Hardys, but as they didn’t responded the Bucs decided that the winner of this match would challenge them for the titles. He and Nick promptly superkicked the Tempura Boyz and then introduced the only three time champion in ROH history, Adam Cole. Cole started off storytime by proclaiming himself to be a god and history maker, as he is the first ever three time ROH World champion. He runs down the list of challengers, first calling Dalton Castle a gimmick before saying he would get rid of Bobby Fish just like he got rid of Kyle O’Reilly. He went on to remind both Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe that he’s beaten them before before he asked the Young Bucks to Too Sweet him.
Second Match: ROH Television Title Match
Marty Scurll(c) vs. Juice Robinson
A brief Juice Robinson video package aired before he came down to the ring. Alex Shelley joined Kelly on commentary for the match. Scurll overpowered Juice after the lock up and shoved him into the corner before squawking. He and Robinson then quickly traded wrist locks and headscissors,. Scurll kicked Robinson and followed with a shoulder block, which had little effect. Scurll then slapped Robinson who returned the favor, knocking Scurll down. Scurll was able to recover and send Robinson to the outside, before connecting with a superkick from the apron.
After the break, Robinson flew off the top more than half way across, hitting a flying headbutt on a prone Scurll, scoring a near fall. Scurll gained control after wards and hit two running knee strikes, but Robinson countered with a clothesline that floored Scurll, but Scurll was able to hit a superkick to the knee and before hitting a suplex. Scurll hit his chickenwing pose, but caught a right hand to the jaw. Robinson then hit a powerbomb for a two count but climbed the ropes to quickly, allowing Scurll to catch him with a superplex. Robinson rolled it into a cradle for a two count before both men to the outside. Scurll rolled Robinson inside and hit a piledriver, but Robsinon kicked out yet again. Scurll snapped Robinson fingers and the two exchanged schoolboy pins. As Robinson tried to lock Scurll’s arms, the Villain slipped out and applied the Chickenwing submission for the win.
Scurll got on the mic afterwards and reminded everyone that he’s undefeated and undisputed ROH TV champion. He said he is not getting any competition and issued an open challenge. Lio Rush, Donovan Dijak, Jay White, Jonathan Gresham, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin came out and stared him down. The match really highlighted the strengths of both men and began Scurll dealing with new contenders, while making MCMG look strong with their ranks growing.
Winner: Marty Scurll
After Scurll left, Sabin said that there are six men who are gonna prove that there is competition for Scurll in ROH. He went on to say that since iron sharpens iron,the six men members of the Motor City Machine Guns will battle to earn the right to challenge for the title since.
Main Event: Decade of Excellence Tournament
Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal
Promos from both sides aired during the intros, with both Jays asserting that they would be winning. Kazarian joined Kelly on commentary. After the code of honor the two locked up, with Briscoe backing Lethal into the corner and breaking away cleanly. The second go around Lethal returned the favor and broke away cleanly as well. Lethal and Briscoe exchanged waist locks but disengaged once Adam Cole came out and joined commentary to the consternation of the Jays. After the commercial break,Briscoe hit a hurricanrana and an early Jay Driller, but Lethal was able to kick out at the last moment, rolling out to the floor afterward. Briscoe went to the outside and struck Lethal with a series of European uppercuts, circling the ring. Lethal fought back with rights before being sent into the barricade. Briscoe quickly slid into the ring and hit a tope suicida, driving Lethal forcefully into the barricade. Kazarian and Cole jawed about Christopher Daniels chances of winning the title, with Cole scoffing at the idea.
Back in the ring, Briscoe continued to dominate the action through the next commercial break, as we returned Lethal seemed rejuvenated and hit a cutter on Briscoe before hitting a Lethal combination and scoring a near fall. The two Jays traded rights, with Lethal dodged a right and catching Briscoe in a backslide for a two count. Lethal followed with a bicycle kick, but that two only earned a two count. Briscoe thwarted a Hail to the King attempt, attempting a superplex that Lethal fought off before going for the Hail to the King elbow again. Briscoe raised a leg in anticipation, but Lethal so the reversal coming and locked on a figure four. Briscoe was able to reach the ropes to force the break and rolled to the apron. Lethal tried to suplex Briscoe to the inside, but Briscoe escaped and then blocked a Lethal Injection by flipping Lethal off his back and going for a Jay Driller. Lethal managed to escape the move but could not avoid a clothesline that turned him inside out and earned Briscoe the pinfall victory. Really nice back and forth between these, telling a great story in the ring. Cole and Kazarian really added to the narrative here and the clothesline ending was refreshing as it was unexpected.
Winner: Jay Briscoe
Final Reaction: A-
Another strong episode of Ring of Honor television this week. The tag match seemed to be out of place and bit, especially with many deserving tag teams left out of this mix in this one. The explanation as to why the Young Bucks chose to make the winners the number one contenders in plausible, but the aftermath of the match was a bit odd, as the Tempura Boyz had played the heels as the match began, only to be super kicked and kicked out of the ring by the Bucks. The brothers Jackson did their best to get the crowd to boo them, but the Atlanta crowd would have none of it. Scurll continues to impress and having him work with Robinson was an excellent pairing, however, Robinson getting a title shot out of nowhere does not make a great deal of sense. The main event truly showed how well Lethal and Briscoe work together and added to the narrative that they have battled so often that they can telegraph each other’s moves. It may not sound particularly spell-binding, but the clothesline finisher was an effective and surprising way to end this one. The best episodes lay the groundwork for the future and this one did a great job of doing that.
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