ROH 03.04.2017 TV Review
The show this week was the second episode taped in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Ian Riccaboni and Dalton Castle were on commentary to start the show.
First Match: The Kingdom (Taven & O’Ryan & Marseglia) vs. The Rebellion (King & Titus & Coleman)
O’Ryan and Titus started off, both pulling hair during the lock up and both mirroring each other as they tried to establish dominance. Titus tweaked his knee and tagged out to Coleman, with O’Ryan tagging out to Marseglia. Coleman and Marseglia mirrored each other’s heel tactics to comical effect before King and Taven tagged in, quickly matching each other before Titus and O’Ryan come right back in. Titus briefly took charge, still favoring the knee. Taven honed in on the injury before Turner called for the Kingdom to hold off, checking in on Titus.
After the break Coleman and O’Ryan were floored, both tagging out. Titus was nowhere to be seen, leaving Coleman and King undermanned.Coleman was able to hit both O’Ryan and Marseglia with kicks to the face, but King was unable to tag in. Suddenly, Rush came down to the ring and tagged in, clearing house to a heavy chorus of boos. Rush quickly hit two suicide dives and after flooring O’Ryan, he tagged out to King slowly, allowed Marseglia to tag in before he took King out with a cutter. The jeers turned to cheers as Rush watched the Kingdom hit Rockstar Supernova, allowing Taven to easily score a pinfall victory.
Winners: The Kingdom
A Jay White promo aired during which he called Jay Briscoe out, challenging him to a match to decide one a for all who is the stronger competitor, as their last time out ended in a time limit draw. Briscoe retorted by being clear that he had lost track of time and White’s talk about being undefeated is unmerited as he has not faced the same quality of opponent that Briscoe did during his undefeated streak.
Second Match: Top Prospect Tournament Match
Brian Milonas vs. Raphael King
Brutal Bob Evans joined commentary for the match. As he did last week, he played really well off of Ian and provided that extra insight into the participants here. The video packages were short and sweet, but were effective in giving the audience a little peak into the competitors. The match itself was rather short here, with Milonas picking up in the win in a battle of two larger men. King’s valet allowed him to briefly gain the advantage, but ultimately Milonas’s strength was too much to overcome. The Kingpin’s finisher is a bit odd here, as he bounds off the ropes before stopping,seemingly killing momentum before dropping down backwards with a senton. Aside from that quibble, the match was well structured and came off as short but sweet.
Winner: Brian Milonas
Main Event: Bullet Club (The Young Bucks & Cody & Adam Cole) vs. Team ROH (Bobby Fish & Jay Lethal & The Briscoes)
Normally, eight man tag aren’t my bag, but this match really felt more cohesive. The Bullet Club obviously being a faction that works well together, but the group of the Briscoes, Lethal and Fish all felt as if they had a place here. Daniels on commentary added to the proceedings and has been something that ROH does well, swapping in appropriate color commentary. The match got off to a hot start, with all of the rivals facing off against each other alone in the ring at one point, as all the other combatants were floored. The end saw Matt Jackson roll with the flying clothesline, flipping over and proceeding to throw a superkick party with Nick. Matt,Nick and Cole hit a triple superkick on Jay briscoe before Cody connected with a Cross Rhodes before the Bucks kicked Mark as Adam Cole delivered the Last Shot for the pinfall victory. After the match, Christopher Daniels went down to ringside and began jawing with Cole, eventually coming to blows. Daniels was able to hit the Angel’s Wings and went to cut Cole’s hair afterwards, only to be joined by Frankie Kazarian. Kazarian ultimately revealed himself to be the newest member of the Bullet Club, simply watching as the Bucks hit superkicks on his former partner.
Winner: Bullet Club
Final Reaction: A-/B+
This week’s episode contained a few nuggets that changed what the company will be doing forward and some the work was exquisitely nuanced. The logic of allowing Rush to join the Rebellion mid-match is a bit irritating in terms of the rules of a match and the turn was more of heel move, but was well received by the crowd in general here. As a matter of fact, when he briefly aligned with the Rebellion, he was showered with boos. Rush is a great young talent and having him ensconced in an angle like this one is intriguing.
Kazarian’s turn has been built up of the last few weeks in a way that felt organic and believable. He has put his aspirations on the backburner to support his friend’s drive to the title, so snapping when he felt that he has something to lose as well makes all the sense in the world. What was particularly well done was how he never actually struck Daniels at any point. There is a definitely a window here, albeit small, that this could all be a ploy to give Cole a false sense of security, so it should be interesting to watch at the PPV this week. Considering the order of the tapings, the editing here is laudable as well as each segment felt like a natural progression of a night of action. If I wasn’t already compelled to watch the anniversary show, this week’s show put that desire over the top.
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