ROH 2/3/18 TV Review: Matt Taven vs. Cody
This week was the first episode from the set of tapings from Nashville,TN. The show opened with a recap of Matt Taven squaring off with Cody and delivering a stiff low blow. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana were on commentary and welcomed everyone to show.
First Match: ROH World Tag Team Championship Match
Best Friends (Chuckie T & Trent Baretta vs. The Motor City Machine Guns
Good match between these two teams-just as Best Friends seemed poised to win, their hug by the entrance ramp was cut short by a Briscoes attack. The Briscoes then zip tied Alex Shelley to the ropes as Jay delivered a Jay Driller on a chair in the middle of the ring on Sabin. The Briscoes were clearly out to send a message and the interference allowed the Best Friends to walk away without the titles, but at the same time not suffer the loss to the Machine Guns. The booking was smart here- the match did not go too long as to frustrate with the finish, but both teams had enough time to show off their skill sets and the Briscoes interference continues to be effective. If you’ve never seen a Briscoes heel run this is enjoyable and the writing on the wall seems to indicate that they will be holding the straps sooner rather than later. (**3/4)
Winners: No Contest
Riccaboni sent us to the back where The Beer City Bruiser, Brian Milonas and Silas Young were waiting with a message BCB said that ROH better prepare to have the two tallest drinks in the tag division run roughshod over the competition. Milonas seconded the idea, saying that the two will throw their opponents out of the bar and Young said he would be right there to watch them.
A Punishment Martinez video packaged aired next, with him running down the list of people he has beaten in ROH, saying that he’s been a man of action, not words since he has joined the company. We discover that he earned the name Punishment on the streets as he fiddled with skulls and other occult objects before making it clear that he’s going to take Castle’s his title next week.
Second Match: Shane Taylor vs. Marty Scurll
Before the match, we find out that So-Cal uncensored paid off Shane Taylor to take Scurll out before their match with the Bullet Club, prompting Scurll to want revenge against Taylor. Taylor mocked Scurll as he did a little shimmy and encouraged the crowd to shout song with him as he prepares for the knockout, but proved that calling your shot is detrimental to winning, as Scurll blocked him and then hoisted him up for the Ghostbuster. Scurll was unable to connect with the knee and only got a two count. Scurll switched gears and went for the chicken wing, but couldn’t lock in on the big man, instead opting to grab his umbrella. Taylor thwarted the attempt and menaced the Villian with the item until he and the referee tried to pry it away from him. Scurll snuck back out and grabbed a hand full of powder, blinding Taylor before rolling him up for the pinfall victory. Afterwards, Scurll got on the mic and called our Punishment Martinez. The number one contender came through the crowd and snuck up behind Scurll, who then asked Martinez for a shot if the big man were to win the title next week. Martinez nodded his head in apparent agreement before delivering a South of Heaven chokeslam to end the segment. The powder spot is a bit ridiculous overall, as the suspension of disbelief needed here is at a high level. How the referee can miss the abundance of powder is a bit too much here. (**½ )
Winner: Marty Scurll
Main Event: Matt Taven vs. Cody
In the battle of two heelish figures, Taven and his cronies came out ahead here, despite suffering the loss. Taven and Cody were equal to each other to start the match, but Taven quickly used the numbers game to his advantage, distracting the referee as Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan tossed Cody about ringside into the barriers. Marseglia eventually menaced Cody with his trusty axe as O’Ryan tried to sneak into the ring and help Taven out, only for referee Todd Sinclair to finally toss them both out and send them to the back. As soon as Sinclair’s back was turned, Cody hit Taven with a low blow and rolled him up for the win. Marseglia and O’Ryan quickly returned and hoisted Cody up so that Taven could hit what amounted to a super low blow. The Kingdom’s leader then proceeded to take Cody’s ring and made the former champion kiss the ring. For a first time battle between these two, I would have personally have liked to see less interference here, but protecting Cody is logical here and the manner in which he won continues his tweener role. (**½ )
Final Reaction: C
None of the three matches had a clean finish here and although each had reason and purpose, it was overwhelming on a one hour program. The tag title match started off very strong and on it’s own was effective in keeping MCMG and the Best Friends looking strong, while continuing the Briscoes narrative as they chase the titles. Scurll and Taylor had a strong match as well, but the powder ending was a bit ridiculous, especially considering that Scurll is making a play for the title. It would have looked stronger if he had won cleanly and built off beating one big man while positioning himself to challenger the next possible champion. Cody and Taven was hyped up as a first, but fell into the trap of having too much Kingdom interference. Taven and Cody could have both worked a match with both playing the heel, with the Kingdom stuff taking place after the match. Viewed separately, these matches work and are entertaining, but stuffed into one episode this entire show felt overbooked.
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