Full Disclosure: This is a review/report of the ROH broadcast that airs on a local Sinclair broadcast channel over the weekend. It is the same show that airs Wednesday night on the new Comet TV Network. Check your listings to see where Comet and/or your local Sinclair Network Affiliate is on your dial.
Ring of Honor Weekly Television, Taped On December 4, 2016 at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA
Aired December 21, 2016 on Comet TV, and previously in ROH syndication
They recapped Kyle O’Reilly defeating Adam Cole at Final Battle to win the ROH Championship, then ran the opening video package. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were on the call.
O’Reilly made his way to the ring and asked “What’s up, Philadelphia?” The live crowd chanted “you deserve it” and O’Reily welcomed fans to his spectacle. He said the ROH Championship has proven that ROH is the best wrestling on the planet, and holding the title proves he is the planet’s best wrestler. He promised to defend the title with honor and integrity like Nigel, Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe and others did. He said Final Battle is a moment he will never forget and no one will ever be able to take away from him.
Cue Adam Cole with a mic. He demanded his music be cut and walked to ringside, saying O’Reilly should apologize for the travesty that went down at Final Battle. He said he prepared for a one-on-one wrestling match, but it was turned into a no-DQ match complete with thumbtacks, tables, and chains. Cole said it was a joke, and O’Reilly is a joke as champion. Cole said O’Reilly got lucky, and he can walk around with the title on his shoulder but Cole is still the best wrestler on the planet, and still the rightful champion.
That brought out Dalton Castle. He said this must be embarrassing for Cole, then congratulated O’Reilly. He said they left him out of the conversation and he is a very dangerous man in the ring. Castle recalled beating Cole when they were last in the ring together, so he felt he is next in line for a title shot. O’Reilly was all for it.
Bring out Bobby Fish. He said his brother O’Reilly made good on every promise he made about Adam Cole and the championship. Fish noted that he won Survival of the Fittest 2016, so he has a title shot coming to him in 2017. Cole cut Fish off and said he will be the next champion. O’Reilly said that as long as there is breath in his lungs, he will fight and even die for the championship. He offered advice to anyone who wanted to take the title – good luck. He posed on the ropes with the belt.
Bill Says: Well, ROH swerved me and put on an actual show this week, so here we are with delayed coverage. I thought this was “best of” week. Anyhow, a solid opening segment to the show that set all three men up to make their case for title shots. Fish vs. O’Reilly is pretty intriguing, to be so honest. But, with Cole cutting him off it seemed like it dampened the energy of his case to get a shot.
Kelly hyped the Decade of Excellence Tournament and they showed the brackets briefly. Back after a commercial they discussed the brackets. Mark Briscoe vs. Christopher Daniels, Chris Sabin vs. Colt Cabana, BJ Whitmer vs. Jay Briscoe, and Jay Lethal vs. Jushin Thunder Liger make up the bracket. Kelly noted that the talent in the bracket are all men who debuted over 10 years ago, and the winner gets a title shot at the ROH 15th Anniversary show.
Nigel announced a change to the main event (which we never got an announcement of to start the show…) and said it would be a six-man tag between Adam Cole and The Young Bucks vs. Dalton Castle and rEDragon.
We got a pre-taped promo from Daniels before the first match, saying he has twice a decade’s worth of experience. He said the tournament would start with Briscoe and end with a title shot. Briscoe also cut a promo, saying he started under Daniels’ guidance, and they’ve come a long way.
Match #1 – Christopher Daniels (w/Frankie Kazarian) vs. Mark Briscoe; Decade of Excellence Tournament Match
Kelly asked on commentary if Daniels still has it. They did some early comedy with Briscoe using redneck kung fu and Daniels countering with a crane kick, but Briscoe blocked it. Daniels took over and controlled the offense going to break.
Back with the action, Briscoe took over and hit a running elbow off the apron. Once back in, Briscoe went top rope for the Froggy Bow, but Daniels rolled away. Daniels hit Angel’s Wings and scored the win. The two shook hands afterward, and Kelly noted that all of the tournament matches will air on television.
Bill Says: I like the idea of a tournament to get to a future contender, but they need to make sure to build this up. The presentation so far left something to be desired. All they did was flash the brackets and throw a graphic up. They need to introduce this properly to the viewers, make it a big deal. Have McGuinness introduce the wrestlers in the ring in front of the crowd and really hype it up. Aside from that, the match was fine and after they got past the early humor spots the match intensity was good.
Match #2 – Caprice Coleman (w/Rhett Titus and Kenny King) vs. Lio Rush;
The Rebellion guys came to the ring with a fourth unnamed man who held the ROH logo upside down. They tried to recruit Rush, who declined. Rush dodged a charge on four different occasions, then rolled Coleman up to win in a really short match. Afterward, The Rebellion beat down Rush until Donovan Dijak and Jay White ran out for the save.
Bill Says: The Rebellion is not exactly off to a great start, and losing under a minute certainly doesn’t help.
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness hyped up Jay Briscoe vs. BJ Whitmer in a Decade of Excellence Tournament match in two weeks. So, that means the “best of” show airs next week? Main event entrances took place.
Match #3 – Adam Cole and The Young Bucks vs. rEDragon (Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish) and Dalton Castle (w/The Boys);
The Bucks went right after O’Reilly to start, then battled with Fish and Castle on the floor. Cole worked over O’Reilly in the ring, but he quickly rebounded and threw punches with Cole. A bit later, Fish flipped onto the Bucks from the apron, then O’Reilly followed with a running knee to Cole on the floor. O’Reilly locked Cole in an armbar over the ropes, but the Bucks broke it with a superkick.
The Bucks hit Fish and Castle with apron bombs, then they hit a triple powerbomb on O’Reilly and “too sweeted” with fans at ringside. McGuinness claimed that Cole was all for the no-DQ stipulation going into Final Battle, but since he lost he’s crying over spilt milk. Cole locked in a Camel Clutch, then the Bucks ran the ropes repeatedly, then stopped to kiss Cole on the cheek going into a break.
Out of commercial, Nick Jackson was on the top rope all wobbly. The Boys fanned him, and he fell to the rope and crotched himself. Nick came back with a superkick to O’Reilly, sending him to Cole and Matt Jackson. Rinse and repeat three times, then Nick followed with a senton off the apron.
O’Reilly tagged to Castle, who hit a German suplex into a bridge on Matt for two. The babyfaces all hit German suplexes on the heels, which led to a two count. Castle set up Bang A Rang on Matt, but he avoided. The two hit simultaneous clotheslines then tagged to Fish and Cole respectively.
Late in the match, the Bucks hit superkicks on The Boys out on the floor. Nick went top rope, but O’Reilly caught him in a triangle coming off. Fish took Cole out, then Castle hit Matt with Bang A Rang. Nick tapped to O’Reilly’s submission for the win.
Bill Says: A good six-man match that ended up being a bit chaotic in terms of the action. The Bucks really went all out, but again it felt like they were looking for pops rather than heat. These two guys are good wrestlers, but I can’t help but wonder what would happen for them if they really worked as heels or as rebel babyfaces. The live crowd was into this action and ate it up.
This was a solid show, with a good opening match to start off what should be a solid tournament, and a good main event. We didn’t get a ton of post Final Battle development, but at least it seems like the title picture is heading forward.
I’ll have more to say on this show later tonight on Around the Ring. I am assuming that the “best of” reference by Kevin Kelly at one point means that next week will be the true “best of” show that this week was going to be. If that’s the case, we’ll see you with more ROH after first of the year. If not, well, we’ll be back with more ROH next week.