ROH 02/04/17 TV Review
Center Stage Theater
The show this week was the second episode taped at Atlanta’s historic Center Stage theater. The show started with Damien Martinez and BJ Whitmer making their way down to ringside. Colt Cabana joined Kevin Kelly on commentary to start the show
First Match: Punishment Martinez & BJ Whitmer vs. War Machine
All men started brawling as the bell sounded. Hanson slammed Martinez and then Rowe slammed Hanson on martinez as Whitmer rolled out of the ring. Hanson and Whitmer took their places in the respective corners as Rowe worked martinez in the corner. Hanson tagged in and War Machine took turns kneeing Martinez. They continued the tandem assault, with hanson hitting a cross body block on Martinez as the Purple Haze sat up. Rowe cover quickly, but only managed a two count. Rowe missed shotgun knees, allowing Martinez to connect with repeated rights. Rowe was able to ride Rowe into the corner and Whitmer kicked Rowe’s head, giving Martinez to chance to floor Hanson with a kick and tag out.
Back from the break hanson was taking care of both Whitmer and Martinez, barreling into both with forever clotheslines as the crowd was audibly with him during the spot. He followed by ramming Whitmer’s head into Martinez’s mid-section, but missed a Bronco buster. Hanson tagged out and Rowe quickly fell victim to martinez. Hanson ran in but caught a spinning kick to the face. Hanson cartwheeled through a double clothesline attempt, with Rowe following with a superman punch on Whitmer before War Machine combined for a pop up powerslam on Martinez. Whitmer recovered and hoisted Hanson up for a German that rolled him to the outside. Whitmer then hit an exploder on Hanson and the two slowly got to their feet. Rowe threw Whitmer outside and went for a tope suicida, but was met with a forearm to the face. Whitmer took the chance to grab a table and was nearly powerbombed onto said table, but Martinez made the save. The four then brawled on the outside to a count out finish, with Martinez and Hanson brawling back to the dressing rooms.
Not a huge fan of the count out finish, but Martinez looked good here, definitely more on the receiving end from the punishment, pardon the pun, than he normally is. War Machine are built for brawls like this and if the next encounter has a more definitive finish, it looks to be a great match.
Winners: Double Count Out
Second Match: The Bruiserweights (Corey Hollis and John Skyler) & Joseph A’Gau vs The Kingdom
Taven, O’Ryan and Marseglia used the code of honor to catch their opponents by surprise with an attack. The Kingdom quickly hit their powerbomb finisher on Agau on the outside and Taven tossed Hollis into the ring post, taking him out as well. When the match resembled more of a tag match, Marseglia worked Skyler until O’Ryan tagged in and hit a slingshot leg drop. A quick tag to Taven saw Skyler on the receiving end of a number of backbreakers, managing to kick out and mount a brief comeback, only to catch a superkick/spinning kick combo from Taven and O’Ryan. Hollis tagged in and a brief flurry, but all for naught. Another powerbomb spot on Hollis with Taven getting the pin.
Winners: Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia
Taven got on the mic and said they were the best, the most beautiful and only six man tag champs that ROH will ever have. Dalton Castle came out and the Boys pushed him back and forth and Castle said next time, that’s going to happen to the Kingdom. Cabana took the opportunity to attack the Boys and then ran to the back. Taven gloated a bit more as the show went to commercial
A recap of The Young Bucks granting The Tempura Boyz a title shot aired before the teams made their way to the ring. The Bucks posed as the Tempura Boyz and spoke in broken English, mocking Sho and Yo. Kevin Kelly did point out that it was the Bucks, in case we were confused. The Bucks then cut their own short promo before coming down to the ring. Cabana tried to rejoin commentary, but Kelly kicked him out, citing a zero tolerance policy regarding wrestlers on color commentary.
Third Match: ROH Tag Team Title Match
The Young Bucks vs. Tempura Boyz
Nick and Yo started off, with Yo ensnaring Nick in a side headlock which he followed with a shoulder block. Nick was able to use his agility to springboard out of a wrist lock and caught Sho with a drop toe hold before tagging out to Matt who slingshot into the ring with a leg drop onto Sho. The Bucks then flew around the ring and cleared it of the Tempura Boyz, striking a pose before the commercial break. During the break the Bucks hit the Rise of the Terminators and Nick flipped off the stage, taking out both Shoe and Yo. Matt got on commentary talked trashed to the Hardys.
Back in the ring Matt’s superkick was blocked and the empura Boyz hit a codebreaker/backbreaker combination. The action went outside again and Nick accidently hit Matt in the face with a kick from the apron before they were both dropped with German suplexes on the outside. Matt was hit with a powerbomb spinning kick from the top rope, but was able to kick out at two. Matt absorbed some more punishment before tagging out to Nick who took on both Shoe and Yo out with a bulldog/clothesline combo. Nick hit a springboard facebuster before moonsaulting out of the ring onto Yo, pausing to start delete/suck it chants before the Tempura Boyz caught him with a tandem codebreaker. Sho locked in a crab on Nick and almost caught matt, but was superkicked by Nick. All four men were in the ring and the Bucks hit both Tempura Boyz with double superkicks before Matt held Sho across the second rope, allowing Nick to hit a 450 splash that earned Matt the pinfall victory. The Bucks put the Tempura Boyz over, setting them up for a flipping slingshot clothesline from Hangman Page.
Winners: The Young Bucks
Main Event: Number One Contender Match (TV title)
Donovan Dijak vs. Jonathan Gresham .vs Lio Rush vs. Chris Sabin vs. Alex Shelley
Before the match, a backstage promo from Scurll aired, during which he essentially said he did not care who he faced as a result of the main event match. He then came out and joined Kelly for commentary. The extended Motor City Machine Guns adhered to the code of honor with a group hug before the start of the match. White and Gresham started this off, with Kelly telling us that the match would be fought under Lucha rules, meaning once someone exits the ring, another wrestler can legally replace him. Just as he finished Gresham and White went over the top rope, allowing Rush and Dijak to enter. Dijak stopped a kick from Rush and then was attacked with a flurry of strikes. Rush then caught Dijak’s quick, only for the big man to back flip out of Rush’s grasp.
Dijak went for a code breaker but Rush slipped out and hit a series of kicks that sent Dijak to the outside. Rush prepared for a tope suicida, but Sabin declared himself legal, Rush won the exchange and rolled Sabin up, but Shelley tagged himself in. Rush was sent to the outside for a good measure. Shelley flipped Sabin onto the apron, allowing him to catch Rush with a kick to the face. A distracted Shelley was caught in waist lock by Gresham, but Shelley and Sabin combined for a tandem sunset flip that sent him rolling out of the ring. Sabin dropkicked Dijak off the apron and then he and Shelley double teamed White, sending him to the outside as well. Eventually Shelley worked Rush over in the corner, working with and tagging out to Sabin. Rush tried to fight out but was caught by Shelley and fell victim to a double team spinning suplex slam. Sabin went for the cover but Shelley yanked him off and then begged his partner not to take it personally. They shoved each other before thinking better of it and embracing to applause from the crowd.
Gresham hit a stunner and then a bridging German for a two count before White and Dijak entered and tussled, with White getting the better of the exchange. White then tossed Rush to the outside before launching of the top rope and connecting with a missile dropkick on Dijak. As White went for the two count Gresham broke it up and then after connecting with a few moves abruptly flew to the outside and took Shelley down. White followed with a tope con giro before Sabin hit a tope suicida on the the crowd. Dijak quietly bided his time before hitting a springboard phoenix splash. Dijak grabbed Gresham by the throat and then a flying Rush as well. Gresham was able to fight it out, which allowed Rush to hit a reverse rana on Dijak. Gresham rolled Rush into the ring and climbed the turnbuckle but his high risk attempt was thwarted by the swarming members of the Rebellion. Sabin, Shelley and White came to the rescue and brawled with Titus, King and Coleman back to the dressing rooms. Gresham was incapacitated outside, leaving Dijak and Rush alone. Dijak won after hitting Feast Your Eyes. Scurll talked trash to Dijak before scampering off.
Winner: Donovan Dijak
Just before the show ended, a camera from the backstage area caught a live brawl between War Machine/Martinez and Whitmer and the show ended abruptly.
Final Reaction: C
There’s a great deal of action in this week’s episode, but it felt overloaded. If there are going to be essentially three tag matches in an episode, they need to be a bit more compelling than The Tempura Boyz challenging for the tag titles and the The Kingdom defending against three local talents. Neither match result was ever in question and do not make the Young Bucks or The Kingdom that much stronger. The War Machine vs Martinez and Whitmer wasn’t for a title, and on it’s own accomplished what it set out to do, build anticipation on television for their next match. However, it was an odd choice to include brawls to the back for the first and last match of the evening. The main event of the night had a lot of promise on paper, but was given less than ten minutes of the show. Then, despite the fact the Rebellion and MCMG brawled to the back, the last shot is of War Machine brawling with Martinez and Whitmer. Were they brawling the entire length of the episode? Were they brawling in a separate area than MCMG/The Rebellion? How much brawling goes on backstage?
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