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 January 14, 2017 at Center Stage in Atlanta, GA
Aired February 1, 2017 on Comet TV, and previously in ROH syndication
They opened with a recap package of Adam Cole defeating Kyle O’Reilly at Wrestle Kingdom 11 to win back the ROH Championship. Cole made comments about being the first man in ROH to win the championship three times. They went to the opening video then Kevin Kelly checked in on the call.
Match #1: The Tempura Boys def. Cheeseburger and Will Ferrara and “Coast to Coast” (Leon St. Giovanni and Shaheem Ali).
Cheeseburger and Ferrara were the fan favorites here. They got a fast start, but the teams started to settle in and trade moves. One of the Tempura boys hit a big dive onto all of the opponents at ringside, then St. Giovanni followed with a flip of his own. Big pop for that. The Young Bucks walked out to observe and join commentary.
On commentary, Matt Jackson talked about their open challenge, hinting at wanting the Hardys (Broken Matt and Brother Nero) but they weren’t in the back. Coast to Coast hit simultaneous drop kicks on a tied up Ferrara (he was stuck in the tree of woe position). Moments later, one of the Tempura Boys caught Ali, crossed his arms and hit a piledriver to win.
Kelly played up that the Bucks agreed to give the winners a title match, and the Bucks got in the ring. Matt spoke about how the open challenge was a way to get the Hardys to show up. Matt offered the slot to the Tempura Boys, who high fived in celebration. They turned into superkicks from the Bucks.
Bill Says: A fun match in terms of a lot of rapid big spots, but they all happened so fast that no one got to stand out as a result. The post match was all about the Hardys and really didn’t mean much to the Tempura Boys, but hopefully once they get the match with the Bucks it’ll mean more.
Nick Jackson introduced Adam Cole as the first three-time ROH Champion. Cole made his entrance and some fans threw streamers. Cole pointed to Dalton Castle as a challenger but called him nothing more than a gimmick. He brought up Bobby Fish, saying he got rid of Kyle O’Reilly so he may as well get rid of both members of rEDragon. Cole noted Lethal and Briscoe in the Decade of Excellence tournament, avoiding Christopher Daniels. Cole said Bullet Club will run the show and he will continue to run ROH, and 2017 would be a special year. He and the Young Bucks too-sweeted.
Kelly pointed out that Cole left Daniels out of the mix, then fed to a video package to hype Juice Robinson, showing him working with Japanese talent.
Bill Says: It’s kind of a foregone conclusion (and if you’re into spoilers you might know anyhow) that Daniels is going to win this tournament. So, Cole leaving him out of the promo makes a lot of sense and it’s a nice touch.
Match #2 – Marty Scurll (c) def. Juice Robinson to retain the ROH Television Championship:
Alex Shelley joined commentary for this one. Scurll got a good reaction from the fans as Bobby Cruise gave the intros. There was a loud “Marty” chant for him. Shelley put Robinson over and said he was trained by Norman Smiley so he could mat wrestle. They mentioned Juice (the former CJ Parker of NXT) making a “career decision” to go train at the New Japan Dojo. Scurll kicked Robinson to the floor and followed after him going to a break.
Back with the action, Robinson hit a nice gutbuster followed by a clothesline for a near fall. Scurll came back with a brainbuster then played to the crowd, but spun around into a punch. Robinson hit a powerbomb. A short time later, Robinson went top rope and got kicked, crotching him on the top. Scurll followed with a superplex, but Robinson cradled Scurll’s leg to get a two count.
The fight spilled back to ringside where Scurll dodged a cannonball, so Robinson crashed to the barrier. Scurll threw him in the ring and hit a piledriver for two. Scurll motioned for his finger breaking bit and acted sick. Scurll rolled Robinson up, but he reversed the pile for a two. Scurll countered Robinson’s next move into his chicken wing finish to get the victory.
Afterward, Scurll boasted about being the undefeated ROH Television Champion, which got cheered. He said he came to ROH for the competition but hasn’t seen any. Scurll issued an open challenge to anyone who thought they were hard enough to take him on. Chris Sabin, Jay White, Jonathan Gresham, Lio Rush, and Donovan Dijak all came to the stage.
Bill Says: Why should Scurll not be cheered? He has an awesome entrance, and has been given nearly zero mic time up til tonight. And in that promo, he really didn’t do anything to turn the fans against him. He’s called the Villain for a reason, and I would love to see him go on with it in ROH because it’s a good gimmick for him. He’s entertaining, and I think he could be a good heel. We needed some more focus on Robinson to build him up more. Some may know him from NXT, others from NJPW, but he needs to be known for all the viewers of the product. All that said – this was a good match, and one you should seek out.
Kelly hyped up live events in Texas with a video package. He then interviewed the men who came out at the end of the previous match, and Sabin said the six were willing to fight it out next week to see who gets a shot at Scurll next.
They ran a pre-taped package featuring Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe talking about their Decade of Excellence tournament match. We got the entrances for the main event. They ran a pre-taped Briscoe promo first, and he said talk is cheap and he will shut his mouth and let his fists do the talking. They then ran a pre-taped Lethal promo where he said he has beaten Briscoe twice and this would be no different. Frankie Kazarian came out for commentary.
Match #3 – Jay Briscoe def. Jay Lethal in a Decade of Excellence Semi-Final Match
They noted the winner gets Christopher Daniels for the final. They shook hands. Adam Cole came out and watched early on, then joined Kelly and Kazarian on the call. Cole said he’s watching a match between two men he has beaten before. Briscoe hit the Jay Driller for two.
They battled to the floor, and Briscoe jawed about Cole being a bitch. Cole retorted about “that stupid haircut he has.” Briscoe continued to control the offense for a bit, hitting a nice suicide dive. Kaz put over Daniels, and Cole scoffed that Kaz wouldn’t be who he is without Daniels. Briscoe was still in control heading to commercial.
Cole gave a taunting clap as Lethal gained control. They exchanged strikes with Lethal coming out on top. He hit a big boot and got a couple of two counts. Lethal went top rope, but Briscoe cut him off. Briscoe tried a superplex, but Lethal chopped him off the ropes. Lethal locked in a figure four shortly after, and Cole said he invented that move and it’s his. Briscoe broke it in the ropes then set up his finish. Lethal avoided, but Briscoe came back with a big elbow and a clothesline for the win.
After, Kelly hyped the tournament final between Daniels and Briscoe in three weeks. Briscoe pointed at Cole, who smirked, then Briscoe and Lethal shook hands to end the show.
Bill Says: A solid main event to close out a good show. The Daniels/Briscoe final should prove interesting, and one has to ask what role Kaz and Cole end up playing. Will Cole try to disrupt so that he gets his desired challenger? Will Kaz turn on Daniels? We’ll see.
A good show though, and it left a lot to be desired in terms of hyping next week’s event. But, all in all the company is producing good television so far this year, and I hope the trend continues. They really need to work more at spreading the word about what they’re doing and make the weekly television product feel more must see than it does right now.
I’ll have more on this show later tonight on Around the Ring. See you then.