ROH 07/22/17 TV Review
The show this week opened with Ian Riccaboni and Rico De La Vega on commentary. The Bullet Club (Young Bucks & Hangman Page) made their way to the ring, sans Cody and Marty Scurll. Matt grabbed a mic and spoke about how there are no challengers for their tag team titles and so they are going to challenge Castle & The Boys for the 6-man titles, because they can. They then introduced Marty Scurll, one of the six men who would be in the first match of the night. This definitely adds intrigue to the 6-man division, but it should not be doing so at the cost of open deriding the lack of challenge the Bucks are facing from the tag division. Hopefully, this arrogance might indicate that there will be a new threat looming for them in terms of new challengers.
First Match: Marty Scurll vs. Vinny Marseglia vs. Josh Woods vs. Will Ferrara vs. El Terrible vs. Frankie Kazarian
Tons of action in this one, as you would expect from a match with six participants.Scurll played to his moniker as the Villain, content to spend most of the match lingering on the outside and waiting for his opportunity to break up pinfalls, a tactic that at least one person should always be using in this type of match. Shane Taylor came out and took Josh Woods out of the match, setting up a one on one match between the two at the next set of tapings. In the end, Kazarian hit a cutter on Marseglia, but Scurll ended up stealing the pin. The match was nothing special, but it did well to develop Scurll as an opportunistic heel, while possible setting up a program with Kazarian, who may want to avenge the lost opportunity. The Taylor attack makes a great deal of sense for the big man and thrusts him into a program with Woods after the dissolution of the Rebellion. El Terrible’s inclusion here was clearly because he was in town for the Best in the World PPV, but his inclusion here did little but add to number of wrestlers in the match. Marseglia has been making the horror persona work for him and makes his stand out from the rest of the roster in a positive way- O’Ryan’s injury was unfortunate, but it has allowed Marseglia to develop further as a distinct part of the Kingdom.
Winner: Marty Scurll
Second Match: The Beer City Bruiser w/ Silas Young vs. Brian Milonas
If you watch Best in the World closely, you can spot Milonas by the entrance a few times and his appearance here the day after confirms that he may be used by the company going forward from time to time. Bruiser needs large opponents like this and he can only tangle with Martinez so many times. With Taylor also playing a heel, Bruiser lacks anyone near his size that is a consistent member of the roster. This was a pretty standard hoss match, with Milonas actually being a bit bigger than Bruiser, allowing him to show off that he is deceptively agile for a man his size and shape. Ultimately, Bruiser won with a frog splash. After the match, Young updated his sign, stating that it has now been 29 days since Best in the World and no one has seen Jay Lethal since then. It’ll be interesting to see if he appears on the Women of Honor special coming up to continue the weekly reminders of Lethal’s absence.
Winner: The Beer City Bruiser
Main Event: ROH Television Championship Match
KUSHIDA (c) vs. Jay White
As opposed as I was to KUSHIDA winning the title originally, it’s matches such as this one that have truly won me over. The psychology in this match of his limb work was extraordinary and kudos should go to both men, as White sold it extremely well. Riccaboni and De La Vega really added to that narrative here, as De La Vega shared his own experience with a shoulder injury and the effect of adrenaline on a competitor experiencing that type of pain. KUSHIDA applied the hoverboard lock on the second rope and arm dragged White to the apron, further locking on the move in the middle of the ring. White showed some gutsiness as he almost broke the hold by grabbing the ropes, but KUSHIDA quickly transitioned into a front-facelock and hit Back to the Future for the pinfall victory.Kenny King came down to the ring right after the match ended and extended his hand to KUSHIDA, who seemed weary. King then grabbed the belt and shined it up, indicating that he plans on taking of KUSHIDA at the Queen City Excellence TV tapings. Great match between the two, as KUSHIDA always delivers and White has really improved in terms of engaging the crowd into his matches.
Final Reaction: B/B+
This episode was stronger than last week’s show, if just on the strength of the main event alone. There has been a continued push towards using and elevating younger talent. Giving Woods a reason to get fired up with Taylor allows both men to be utilized properly and White’s performance against KUSHIDA continues propping him up as a valiant competitor. However, the Young Bucks assertion that they have no challengers came off less like brash champions and more as a kernel of truth and that isn’t a good thing here. The build to the Christopher Daniels’ rematch against Cody for the world title has been solid, as a two out of three falls match for the title on TV is exciting, but at the same time anticlimactic, as one would assume the ROH World title won’t be switching hands at a TV taping, especially this soon. The first two matches weren’t spectacular, but every match has had a purpose the last few weeks and that makes for good television. Definitely an episode to watch, as the main event is highly recommended.
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