ROH 1/6/18 TV Review: Marty Scurll vs. Flip Gordon
This week was the first episode from the set of tapings from Philadelphia,PA. The show opened with a recap of ROH Final Battles biggest moments, ending with Castle celebration. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana were on commentary and welcomed everyone to show.
Dalton Castle and The Boys made their way to the ring for the customary championship celebration. Castle was decked out in his Sunday best, sporting slacks, a sport jacket and the new look ROH title to compliment the look. Castle proceeded to talk about how coming to ROH was the best decision he ever made, even if people told him that he would never be a champion. He proved them wrong and his vowed that as long as he is the champion, he’s not just a fish in a pong, but a megalodon in the ocean., which was one the first things he said to the live crowd at Final Battle after his victory.
Jay Lethal then made his way out with a mic in hand to address the newly crowned champion. Just for once, why can’t a wrestler enjoy his or her championship celebration? It’s sickening I tell you. Castle called Lethal out for his appearance, implying he knew why Lethal was there. Lethal acknowledged that he was there to talk to Castle about getting a title shot, even if Castle is currently the best wrestler in the world, despite being a strange dude. Lethal asked Castle to promise that the former champion would be at the top of the list of contenders and Castle agree. Just as the segment was about to end, Punishment Martinez stormed the ring and drove Castle into the mat with a South of Heaven chokeslam before posing with the title as the show went to break.
Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan cut a short promo about how 2018 will be their year and that even a Kingdom Conspiracy won’t stop them from claiming all of the gold in ROH.
First Match: The Beer City Bruiser vs. Marty Scurll
Good chain wrestling to start this one, with Grimm ending an exchange by rolling through a crucifix and picking Young up for a fireman’s carry, showing off considerable strength. Young sent Grimm to the outside with a clothesline, but couldn’t keep control and Grimm connected with a kick that sent Young staggering a bit. Commentary began to talk about how the Beer City Bruiser played a big role in Young’s victory at Final Battle, provided the beer bottle that eliminated Kenny King. Young then won the match cleanly after hitting Misery on Grimm, winning via pinfall.
Kenny King came out right after the match and continued the narrative that commentary began, calling Silas out for not being a real man for having to use a beer bottle to eliminate the former champion. Young retorted that King was naive, despite all of his smarts and that Young was the champion because he did what he had to do. King then announced that he was eight beers in and was ready to fight, before spitting the beer in Young’s face. There was a brief kerfuffle before the ring crew broke up the skirmish as Riccaboni made sublime Boyz II Men references.
The Briscoes vs. Eli Isom & Ryan Nova
Right from the opening bell, Mark and Jay attacked the nascent ROH grapplers with reckless abandon, dumping Nova to the outside. Jay focused on Ison, who did mount a brief comeback, showing a bit of heart along the way. The Briscoes were simply too much for the rookie, who suffered a brutal boot from Jay before Mark signaled for the end of the match. Jay pulled Isom into place and Mark launched off the top with a Froggy bow before the brothers picked up the pinfall victory. This was short and sweet and exactly what it needed to be. Post match, Jay got on the mic and spoke to the 2300 Arena crowd about how he retired one of their favorites, Bully Ray. He went on to say that the Briscoes are operating on a higher level than anyone else and that they have their eyes stet on the tag team championship.
Winners: The Briscoes
Backstage BCB and young. BCB calmed Young down and then said he found a partner to go for the tag titles with. Young agreed to it was BCB’s time to get some gold, as he has the ROH TV title now.
Young Bucks and Page cut a short promo on the attack they suffered at Final Battle and said that they will defend the titles against SoCal Uncensored after the brutal attack tp Page’s unmentionables.
Main Event: Flip Gordon vs. Marty Scurll
As Scurll made his way to the ring, ROH overlayed a promo box, akin to the old WWF promos that aired on Superstars. This was a really effective use of time here, as Scurll does have a long entrance, so using that time to have Scurll gets some words in about Jay Lethal and his desire for a World title shot was an excellent choice. Scurll has been doing comedy schtick with the Bullet Club as of late, but he was all bussiness here and the match was all the better for it. Scurll sold Gordon’s offense well here, particularly in the closing stretch.Gordon hit a 450, but Scurll kicked out just before two. Gordon then went for a Kinder Surprise, but Scurll almost reversed into a chicken wing, only to be placed on the turnbuckle and hit with the Kinder Surprise anyway. Gordon almost scored a three count after a driver, but Scurll blocked the Star Spangled Cutter with a European uppercut. Scurll quickly followed with the GhostBuster, a suplex neckbreaker over the knee, like Adam Cole’s Last Shot. Gordon continues to show grow when he’s on the defensive and Scurll with a bit of an edge is fun to watch here.
Winner: Marty Scurll
Final Reaction: A-/B+
A fun first “real” episode of the new year, with a brand new set of tapings from after Final battle. The Castle celebration segment was well done, setting up Lethal as a possible opponent down the road, while reminding anyone that had not been following that Martinez looms large as the next threat. Their match has been announced for the television tapings and although Castle was not going to drop the title this soon, having the World title match seems to clearly indicate that martinez has no real shot of winning the strap. Still, the segment itself was strong. The Briscoes made short work of their opponents and set themselves up for a future tag title shot, one I’m looking forward to seeing. Young’s work as champion against Grimm, in the post match segment and with Bruiser backstage were perfect and it’s good to see the company allowing BCB to more than Young’s lackey during this reign. A good “reboot” episode for the new ROH year that is worth your time.
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