ROH 02/25/17 TV Review
The show this week was the first episode taped in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ian Riccaboni and Bobby Fish were on commentary to start the show. The episode began with a short video package/promo by Christopher Daniels about winning the Decade of Excellence tournament because he is Almighty.
Then the show proper started with Daniels making his way down to the ring, cutting a promo about winning the Decade of Excellence tournament. He first welcomed every in Pittsburgh to ROH for the cheap pop from the crowd. He spoke about being in the main event of the first ROH show and that he deserves and is destined to win the title when he faces Bobby Fish or Adam Cole. Fun moment after the crowd chanted Bay-Bay, he agreed and said that Cole is a baby.
Adam Cole’s music hit and he came out pulling no punches, calling Daniels old and senile. He then said that he will be champion forever and that he will beat both Fish and Daniels. All the while, Daniels seemed hopped up and Cole mocked him for being so fired up. Cole then said that if Daniels is looking for a fight against the Bullet Club, then a fight with the Bullet Club he will get. Adam Page snuck into the ring and started to beat down Daniels, with Cole joining in. Frankie Kazarian eventually came down to ringside before the could do more damage and then challenged the Adam Club to a match. Interestingly enough, Fish made repeated comments about how Kazarian took far too long to come down to ringside and help his friend.
First Match: The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. The Bullet Club (Adam Cole & Adam Page)
The match started off with all four men brawling, with Daniels and Kaz dumped Cole and Page to the outside before Daniels hit a suicide dive, taking them out. However, Cole was able to turn the tables on Daniels after a hitting a superkick. After the commercial break, Cole was in control back inside the ring. He and Page took turns beat Daniels down until Kazarian was able to tag and take both Bullet Club members out alone for a short while. Eventually, Kazarian and Page ended up outside the ring, with Kaz raining fists down on Page as Daniels and Cole squared off. Daniels seemed to be in control and went for a best Moonsault Ever, but Cole was able to raise his foot and catch Daniels in the mouth before quickly rolling him up for the pinfall victory. A visibly angry Kazarian left the ring after yelling at Daniels. Bobby Fish then cut an impassioned promo on commentary, saying that Cole is playing checkers while Fish plays chess and that he is far more deserving of being the king than Cole is.
Winners: Adam Cole & Hangman Page
A backstage segment aired here, with Daniels catching up to Kazarian backstage. Daniels asked Kazarian what is wrong with him and Kaz responded by saying that Cole is Daniels’ head. He went on to say that Daniels will lose to Cole at the 15th anniversary show and reminded Daniels that the Almighty’s success or failure also impacts him. Kaz stormed off as Daniels slumped against a wall and slid down before the video ended. Great segment overall here. The match definitely was used to set up this dissension with Kazarian and make Daniels look unprepared for the Anniversary show title shot.
Second Match: Top Prospect Tournament Match
John Skyler vs. Sean Carr
Brutal Bob Evans joined commentary for the match. He spoke to having worked closely with all the men in the tournament, including thr referee and even Ian all being products of ROH tryouts. Skyler and Carr had two quick videos in which both proclaimed to make good on their opportunity in the tournament.
Start off trading wrist locks and side headlocks, with both rolling each other quickly before Skyler gained control. Carr quickly recovered and hit a standing moonsault before delivering knife edge chops in the corner. Skyler was able to catch Carr with a clothesline and followed with a Tiger Bomb into a pin attempt that went for a two count. Skyler and Carr traded superkicks, with Skyler falling to the outside and being launched into the barricade after a suicide dive. Carr hoisted Skyler up on his shoulder on the apron, but Skyler escaped and hit a spear on the apron before hitting another back in the ring. Carr was able to hit a diving code breaker from the top and followed with a moonsault, but could only get a two count. As Carr seemed to have control of Skyler on the top rope, Skyler fought him and hit Southern Salvation (a rolling fireman’s carry) from the top rope for the pinfall victory. Nice work from both men here, with Skyler getting the win and really showing off why he has been a mainstay in Southern wrestling for a good chunk of time. It would surprising if he did not make it to the finals.
Winner: John Skyler
Third Match: The Tempura Boyz vs. The Motor City Machine Guns
Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin never came out once their music hit and Ian Riccaboni got word that there was an attack backstage and that he was being told to go to commercial. Upon returning from break, no mention was made of the MCMG attack until later in the night, with nary a clip of the aftermath of the attack, which was a bit confounding and disorienting as a viewer.
Main Event: ROH World Television Champion
Donovan Dijak vs Marty Scurll (c)
Scurll feigned adhering to the code of honor, only to kick Dijak’s hand away before the bell rang. Dijak immediately caught Scurll with boot to the face before corkscrewing over the top rope after the champion before rolling him back into the ring. Dijak kept on Scurll, hitting a springboard elbow for a very near three count. Scurll was able to escape a Feast Your Eyes attempt and brought Dijak to the mat with a wristlock takedown. The program returned from commercial break with both men outside chopping each other, Scurll was able to escape a fireman’s carry and rammed Dijak into the ringpost before hitting an impressive tornado DDT, using the ringpost to elevate himself. Dijak found himself on the apron and took two forearms to the face the made his legs wobbly, but he surprised everyone with a backflip off the apron to the outside, dodging the third forearm. He demanded that Scurll shake his hand, only to have Scurll kick his hand away and superkick him in the face.
As Dijak put together a string of power moves, Lio Rush made his way out onto the ramp and sat down, scouting the match. After another commercial break Dijak and Scurll exchanged stiff shots, with Scurll able to come out in control after hitting a brainbuster. Dijak was able to escape two chicken wing attempts by Scurll and even connected with a Feast Your Eyes, but Scurll managed to kick at at the last moment. Yet again Dijak demanded to Scurll shake his hand, only to have Scurll snap his fingers. You would think the guy would have learned his lesson earlier, but apparently not. Dijak dodged a kick hit a chokebreaker, but his corkscrew from the top missed the mark and Scurll was able to lock in the chicken wing, securing the submission victory.
Rush confronted Scurll after the match, only to have Scurll lay him out with the title. Before Scurll could lock on the chickenwing The Rebellion came down and chased Scurll off, followed by the Motor City Machine Guns who we were told had recovered from the anonymous backstage attack. Great effort by Dijak in his last ROH match here, showing that he’s a consummate pro, putting it all out there while knowing that his time with the company is over. Scurll is always a pleasure to watch and the interaction with Rush/The Rebellion and MCMG adds a bit of intrigue to the proceedings.
Winner: Marty Scurll
Final Reaction: B
It can be hard to avoid spoiler news from television tapings, so going into this knowing that Dijak was leaving originally made me apprehensive about the whole show being centered around that main event, but to his credit and Scurll’s credit, the match came across really well. The Daniels/Kazarian/Bullet Club issues were developed nicely here and all the players did well to make you feel for Daniels as he slumped down to the floor, abandoned by his friend and weighed down by the enormity of his string of losses. The only real blemish here was the lack of footage of the MCMG attack backstage. If the attack was so impactful that they couldn’t make it to ringside, one would assume that some update about said attack would have occurred after the commercial break. Aside from that, the episode felt like a bounce back episode as it was much strong than the last two weeks.
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