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 January 25, 2016 on Comet TV, and previously in ROH syndication
They opened with a video that focused on Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll making their debuts on US television then ran the standard open. Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were on the call, and Kelly noted they would put some focus on the ROH Championship match that took place at Wrestle Kingdom 11.
Match #1 – Marty Scurll (c) def. Jonathan Gresham.
Fans gave Scurll the streamer treatment. In the early going, Gresham got some offense in. Scurll rallied with a superkick from the apron while Gresham was on the floor. Scurll kept control out of the break until Gresham rebounded to get a near fall out of a roll-up.
Scurll kicked Gresham’s knee, but Gresham returned a huracanrana for two. Scurll slammed him at the ropes, then got a two out of another slam. McGuinness noted that Scurll was irritated. Scurll called for his finish but Gresham avoided the cross face chicken wing. Scurll went to the fingers of Gresham then locked in the submission hold to win.
Bill Says: Scurll’s entrance was well presented on the video wall and with the lighting, so he seemed like a big deal. I think they should have given Scurll a different opponent and let this be a showcase match. Scurll isn’t well known to those who are outside of the hardcore fan circle, so use this as a chance to establish his offense and his character. Instead, he gave up too much offense to Gresham. Minor nitpick.
They showed footage from the Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole match for the ROH Championship that happened at Final Battle.
Jay Lethal talked about how his quest to become a two-time ROH Champion is in full swing. He said he needed to win the Decade of Excellence Tournament. He said he beat Jushin Liger in round one, and would beat Jay Briscoe in round two. Jay Briscoe cut a promo and talked about how he was blowing the roof off the place while Lethal was still pretending to be Macho Man. Lethal said they bring out the best in each other, but he has Briscoe’s number. Briscoe said Lethal beat him twice, and he can’t lose again.
Bill Says: This was well done. ROH struggles at times to hype matches coming up on television, but this was a good step in the right direction. Again, a minor nitpick, but why would you not put this AFTER the next match, which was a semi-final in the tournament? Anyhow, well done to set up some future television, and it should be a good match.
Match #2 – Christopher Daniels def. Chris Sabin in a Decade of Excellence Semi-Final.
Frankie Kazarian sat in for commentary and noted to Daniels that this might be his last shot at the ROH Championship. He said Daniels has never been so focused. Sabin got banged up early on his shoulder (some sort of abrasion from what I could tell). Sabin confronted Kazarian, who didn’t do anything and said he was the “silent majority.” Daniels took advantage of the distraction and slammed Sabin into the railing. Kaz called it a “jo-jo move” by Sabin.
Daniels controlled the offense in the ring after commercial. Sabin rallied but Daniels locked in a Koji clutch. Sabin broke it in the ropes, then threw a kick in the corner and followed up with a springboard DDT for two. Kazarian said that made him nervous as the two in the ring traded strikes. Daniels hit a Samoan drop. Late, Daniels hit a uranage then the Best Moonsault Ever to score the win. Daniels offered a handshake then helped Sabin to his feet.
Bill Says: Sabin was never a threat to go on and win the title. They propped him up hard with the success he had in his singles run and his TNA Championship run. It looked like Kaz was a bit thrown off by Daniels’ sportsmanship at the end. Hard to read much into it, but they didn’t stay with it long enough to form an opinion one way or the other. This looks like Daniels’ tourney to lose.
They ran footage of Cody defeating Steve Corino, then they ran new footage of Corino, BJ Whitmer, Damien Martinez, and Kevin Sullivan standing around a dumpster fire. How appropriate. Corino said he failed, and Sullivan replied unintelligibly. All four men laughed while Sullivan said “the golden one” repeatedly.
Bill Says: MAKE IT STOP!!!!! I will miss Steve Corino since it seems he’s heading to WWE, but this nonsense will be done at least.
Kelly noted that he had no idea what the previous segment meant and only Corino knows what the future holds. We didn’t know either, Kevin.
Match #3 – Kushida def. Will Ospreay and Kushida in a triple threat match.
All three shook hands first. Ospreay flashed a big grin that seemed over the top. Fans chanted “all these guys” as the match started. They had a neat exchange early as each guy avoided moves from the opponents, which drew a big pop going to commercial. After, they aired footage from O’Reilly vs. Cole at Wrestle Kingdom 11.
Back to the triple threat, Lee locked Kushida in a crossface. He slipped out and worked on Lee’s arm. Ospreay returned to the match and broke that up before dumping Lee out to the floor. Ospreay hit a neck back handspring into a kick a bit later, then sent Kushida to the floor and hit a handspring flip on to him on the floor. Lee came back to the ring and hit a big dive on Ospreay. A bit later, Lee hit a huracanrana on Kushida, who took out Ospreay on his way to the floor.
Lee hit Kushida with a superplex and bridged but Ospreay hit a shooting star press to break the count. Late, Kushida hit a big DDT then hit a second on Ospreay to get the win. The commentary team talked about how Kushida beat Ospreay again.
They recapped Adam Cole becoming ROH Champion for the third time at Wrestle Kingdom 11 by defeating Kyle O’Reilly. Kelly hyped Bullet Club appearing on the show and pondered what the first three-time ROH Champion would have to say.
Bill Says: A great main event with standout work from all three men. The match was just that though as ROH didn’t build the match up and didn’t do much to promote the personalities. We’ve yet to hear from Ospreay, who had his first match on ROH TV in the US and have only seen the show dedicated to him around Christmas. Also, losing again doesn’t do wonders for him as an ROH talent, though it may matter to his NJPW story.
I find myself hoping that ROH needs to do more to help those fans who don’t watch New Japan. They need to showcase the guys rather than act like people know who the international talent/NJPW workers are.
I do think that they did a good job of debuting Scurll and the three way match was fantastic. The DoE tournament match was solid as well. They need to promote this stuff more though so more people know what’s happening in the company and on weekly TV. I’ll have more to say on this show tomorrow night on Around the Ring. See you then.