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 Christopher Daniels defeating Mark Briscoe in the first Decade of Excellence Tournament match. Daniels cut a promo about being of the names that started with the company and said there is no expiration date on destiny. He insisted he would be one step closer to being ROH Champion by winning the tournament. The opening video rolled and Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness checked in for the call.
Match #1 – Jay Briscoe vs. BJ Whitmer (w/Kevin Sullivan and Damien Martinez); Decade of Excellence Tournament Match;
We got a pre-taped promo from Briscoe as he made his entrance. Whitmer started with chops while Briscoe returned punches. Briscoe ended up at ringside and had a staredown with Martinez, which let Whitmer run him into the barrier a couple times.
Back from commercial, Briscoe hit a suicide dive and threw Whitmer in, then hit a neckbreaker. Whitmer took punishment, then spat at Briscoe. Briscoe threw punches, then got caught short and Whitmer threw a suplex. Whitmer got the spike from his corner, but Mark Briscoe ran out for the save. He ducked a shot from the spike then took Martinez out on the floor. Jay caught Whitmer with boot then hit the Jay Driller to win.
After, Whitmer got a mic and said it is written that one must be sacrificed, and they would finish it next week. Kelly assumed that meant the trio was targeting the Briscoes. He moved on to hype Chris Sabin vs. Colt Cabana later in the show.
Bill Says: I can’t tell you how silly and low budget the Whitmer/Sullivan pairing is. Martinez needs to be pulled away from this, because he has a lot of promise and I think he will end up being bogged down by this dumb gimmick. The match itself was fine, and Briscoe gets the winner of Lethal vs. Liger in the next round.
Match #2 – Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser vs. Alex Reynolds and Jon Silver;
Bruiser pulled an Austin and brought beer to the ring and took a drink rather than observe Code of Honor. Young and Bruiser attacked the waiting Reynolds and Silver. Reynolds came back with a nice drop kick, and he and Silver got the better of Young briefly.
Kelly noted the start of the Top Prospect Tournament was coming up in a couple weeks. Bruiser got in the match and took a double drop kick, but he and Young teamed up for a nice clothesline into a German suplex spot. Silver hit Bruiser with a suplex later for a good pop, then he and Reynolds teamed up for a good sequence of moves on Young for two. Bruiser and Young hit Silver with boots to the head, then Young hit a double stomp. Bruiser hit a sitting splash, then Young pinned him.
After, Young said he and Bruiser have been looking for a third man to go after the six-man tag titles. Young said there might be one guy who would be a perfect fit and told Bruiser he had a surprise. Bull James (f/k/a Bull Dempsey) made his entrance, to Bruiser’s apparent displeasure. Young sold Bruiser on him being a no nonsense guy who can take a punch and hit back harder. Young also said he liked to drink “10, 20, 30 beers.” Young said Bruiser knows what he’s thinking – “he’s not the guy.” They attacked James and hit him with a splash.
Bill Says: Kind of a poor introduction of the former NXT talent Dempsey here, but it looks like it will lead to a mid to undercard feud for him. Young, on the other hand, was in the ROH Championship mix late in 2016 and it seems he has dropped back into the middle of the card. More than a little disappointing for a guy I think has something better in him that what ROH is giving him at the moment. Again, the match was fine, with the heels selling for their younger opponents more than I certainly expected.
Match #3 – The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, and Vinny Marseglia) vs. Will Ferrara, Cheeseburger, and Joey Daddiego;
They recapped the Kingdom winning the six man tag championship at Final Battle. They attacked early, with Cheeseburger avoiding the finish. Daddiego hit a nice fallaway slam on Marseglia to no reaction. Cheeseburger got the fans to react as he worked on Taven after a commercial. The Kingdom took over though, hitting top rope moves on Cheeseburger and finishing him off with a frogsplash from Taven.
Kelly recapped Broken Matt Hardy appearing at Final Battle via a pre-taped promo.
The Young Bucks came to the ring to cut a promo. Matt Jackson apologized for his voice, saying he lost it while screaming for joy after he and Nick signed the most lucrative deals in ROH history. He said keeping the tag titles at Final Battle made them the best tag team in company history. He pointed out the Hardy promo and said “these two spot monkeys can’t be broken or deleted.” The lights went down and a drone flew in. Fans chanted “Vanguard 1,” then the Bucks superkicked it. They did “suck it” and “delete” chants with the fans.
Bill Says: Insert my normal “ROH needs more timely follow-up to pay per views” rant here. They needed to do a better job of hyping this up and making this be known. The format they use right now for taping pay per views just doesn’t work when they do something like this. It’s been over a month since the Final Battle event, and this was the first reference to that night. Don’t get me wrong – I like the match and I like the barriers that are being broken down here, but they needed to promote it better.
Match #4 – Colt Cabana vs. Chris Sabin (w/Alex Shelley); Decade of Excellence Tournament Match
Cabana worked heel. Kelly noted that Cabana tends to underestimate his opposition, noting that he did that Nigel back in the day. Cabana got some heat early from using the official as a shield to get a cheap shot in on Sabin going to a commercial.
Cabana kept up the offense as they ran highlights of him mocking Alex Shelley, who sat in on commentary. Cabana mocked Nigel’s accent while using Shelley’s headset, and Nigel smiled. Kelly hyped Liger vs. Lethal for next week.
Sabin started a comeback by biting Colt’s thumb. He hit a drop kick then threw another kick on the apron. Back inside, Sabin hit a tornado DDT for two. Sabin hit a kick to the head then the two jockeyed for position on the ropes. Cabana rolled off and dodged a charge, then put Sabin down by running his backside into his face. The Boys came out and distracted Cabana, which let Sabin throw a tornado small package move to get the win. Sabin and Shelley celebrated while Kelly hyped Lethal vs Liger one more time.
Bill Says: Cabana kept things fun even though he’s working as a heel. Looks like he’s still going to be working with Dalton Castle since The Boys got involved in the match, which is fine. I was hoping we’d see more from him as a heel and have him be a bit more spotlighted that way, but that must not be in the plan.
Overall, this was a solid show, but unfortunately there were some missed opportunities in presenting some of it. The biggest miss was the Young Bucks promo – that needed to be hyped up a lot stronger than it was because that feels like it should be a bigger deal. Some of the presentation of the show was kind of flat as well. I’ll have more to say tonight in my Around the Ring audio. See you then.