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 November 18-20, 2016 at various UK Locations
Aired December 28, 2016 on Comet TV, and previously in ROH syndication
They opened with a video package showing clips of the “Reach for the Sky” UK Tour, then opened with the normal video package. Kevin Kelly introduced the show and hyped highlights from the tour, noting they’d talk a lot about the ROH Television Championship and air a dream match involving the Young Bucks. Kelly fed it to the opening match.
Match #1 – Bobby Fish (c) vs. Will Ospreay; Ring of Honor Television Championship;
This was taped at Liverpool Olympia in Liverpool, England. Fish heeled up a bit by stepping on a British flag during the introductions. Kelly, Steve Corino and Nigel McGuinness were on the call for this, and noted that this match was intended to be a Proving Ground match but Fish agreed to make it a title match.
The commentary team talked about Ospreay being subject to jealousy because of the success he has had at a young age. Ospreay hit a drop kick and sent Fish to the floor. He teased a follow-up dive but instead did a handstand into the ropes and a backflip then posed. Back after a break, Ospreay hit a backflip over the ropes onto Fish on the floor. The fight moved back in, and Ospreay got a two count from a neckbreaker.
Fish set up a brainbuster a bit later, but Ospreay used a nice counter into a cutter. He followed up with a shooting star press then popped up for a move off the ropes but Fish got the knees up. Ospreay caught Fish on the ropes and got him down into a pinning predicament, but Fish grabbed the ropes. Ospreay followed with a spinning knee.
Ospreay took his knee pad down then did the handstand into a backflip thing again. Fish caught him in a kneebar on his way down, and the commentary team sold it as if Ospreay would tap. Ospreay arched himself back and covered Fish to pin him and win the title. The commentary team acted stunned, Ospreay sold the surprise, and Fish protested to the official. Fish then handed the title to Ospreay and raised his arm before leaving.
Ospreay celebrated, and they cut back to Kelly in the studio to discuss the win. He asked how long Ospreay would hold on to the title and said they would answer that question later in the show. He also teased Ospreay teaming with the rival Scurll to face the Young Bucks.
Bill Says: This was a great opening match for this show, and a good introduction to Ospreay. I would liked Ring of Honor to give him some promo time or follow the post-match celebration a bit more to get to know a little more about him. I hadn’t seen much of his work to this point and was impressed with what I saw. Surprising that Kelly would give away the result of the other match we got on this show featuring the TV Championship. Not everyone keeps as tight of a reign on what is going on in ROH as that somewhat “niche” crowd does.
Kelly hyped the tag team match next, and said the Young Bucks opted to put up the titles. Kelly called it a match that had to be seen to be believed with a “second to none” ending.
Match #2 – The Young Bucks (c) vs. Marty Scurll and Will Ospreay; Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship;
This happened in Leicester, England and was joined in progress. The commentators noted that Scurll and Ospreay are rivals, but they were working well together and said it was because they know each other well. Scurll got Matt Jackson down at one point, then did the “suck it” routine to Nick. Scurll and Ospreay controlled the action, working on Matt.
The Bucks rallied, with Nick hitting a springboard facebuster on Scurll followed with a moonsault off the apron on Ospreay out on the floor. The Bucks did their Terminator bit then hit simultaneous dives. Back from commercial, Matt had Ospreay up on his shoulders, and Nick hit a superkick before the duo hit a Doomsday Device styled bump on the floor. Scurll hit low blows on both Bucks, then grabbed an umbrella at ringside. Ospreay waved that off.
Scurll handed Ospreay the umbrella and wanted him to use it. Ospreay swung, but hit Scurll instead. The Bucks followed with double superkicks and More Bang for Your Buck on Ospreay. Scurll broke the pin. The Bucks tried for the Meltzer Driver but Ospreay caught Nick with a huracanrana as he came off the rope. Nick hit his half of the finisher though, and Matt pinned Scurll for the win.
Bill Says: That was a fun match, and the finish was a really exciting moment. The live crowd didn’t seem to react to it like I thought they might, but they were hot for the whole match. It’s possible that it happened so fast that it sort of got missed in the moment or what.
Kelly recapped the tag match then noted Scurll issued a challenge to Ospreay for the ROH Television Championship. We got those entrances next, with both men getting good reactions from their fellow countrymen. Bobby Cruise handled the intros, and fans chanted for both men with dueling chants.
Match #3 – Will Ospreay (c) vs. Marty Scurll; ROH Television Championship
This was taped at York Hall in London, England. Early, the two men went through a cool sequence of countering and avoiding each others’ moves before facing off. The fans popped and chanted ROH for that. The men soaked up the chants then locked up again. A bit later, Ospreay hit a running shooting star press off the apron. Scurll rolled under the ring to avoid it, then attacked from behind. Ospreay took a victory lap going into a break.
Ospreay set for the Rainmaker, but Scurll grabbed his fingers and wrenched on them. Ospreay caught Scurll on the ropes but sold his hand being in pain and avoided the move he was trying. Ospreay then hit a stunner, a shooting star press, then another, then one more from the middle rope. Ospreay went for a springboard move but Scurll caught him with a submission. Ospreay rolled it into a pinning predicament, but Scurll kicked out.
Later, Scurll went back to the umbrella, and Kelly said he would be disqualified if he used it. Ospreay held up two fingers which led to Scurll dropping the umbrella and wrenching his fingers again. He blasted Ospreay with a knee to the face then stomped on the back of his head. He followed with a submission and Ospreay tapped out, so the title changed hands again.
Kelly recapped it for us, then said the look back at 2016 continues with matches from live events that were not shown on television.
Bill Says: This was great, and the crowd was hot for it. I am excited about both of these men joining Ring of Honor, but I would like to see the company do more to allow people to get to know them. For example, show me the angle that set the title match up. Give them promo time to talk about their rivalry. But none the less, the action was fantastic and it left me wanting to know more about both men.
I might not have aired Ospreay winning then losing the title in short order on the same show, but it sold the rivalry between him and Scurll, especially in front of the crowd that was so hot for them both.
I’m so used to ROH giving us “best of” shows around this time of year, so this was a nice change to air first run material. This was a hot show, and one that is definitely worth going out of your way to see. I’ll have more to say tonight on Around the Ring, so I’ll see you then.