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 15, 2017 on Comet TV, and previously in ROH syndication
The show opened with the Cody Rhodes vignette from last week, followed by the opening video package. Kevin Kelly and Mark Briscoe were on the call.
Match #1 – Adam “Hangman” Page def. Matt Sells.
Page attacked right away, then took Sells outside and tossed him into the ring post. He did a flip over the ropes into a clothesline and finished him off with Rite of Passage. A good squash win for Page as he returns to action in ROH. He has reinvented himself well and I’m liking it so far.
After the match, the Young Bucks came to the ring and Page shoved Sells into a double superkick. The Bullet Club entrance rang again and this time Adam Cole and Cody Rhodes came to the ring. Rhodes modeled his leather jacket with the American flag on the back. Cole looked into the camera and said the American Nightmare is here and the fun is just getting started.
Cody got the streamer treatment, and he kissed the ring as fans chanted “welcome home.” He did the too sweet bit, and Kelly complained that they do what they want and still get cheered. Rhodes said he waited ten years for that reaction, which drew more cheers. He asked what took them so long, then said it strengthened his position that Atlanta is a garbage city. He said that he and his whole family knew he was better than all of them.
Cody said he had a guest and called out Jay Lethal. He said Lethal is known as the gatekeeper but he’s more like the doorman. Lethal came to the ring and stood on the apron, to which Cody asked if there was an invisible line. He said Lethal was hand-picked to be his first opponent so that he could beat him and cement his legacy in ROH. Cody said he would open the ropes but spit at Lethal instead. Lethal got in and tackled Cody, but was quickly outnumbered by Bullet Club. Bobby Fish first ran out and was also outnumbered, so Lio Rush, Jay White, and Alex Shelley came out as well. The brawl rolled into a break.
Bill Says: Rhodes is doing a hell of a job as a heel so far. His first major promos have been excellent and he turned the hometown crowd against him very easily here. WWE really missed out on him, for sure.
After a break, Cole and Cody stood at ringside while Fish and Lethal were in the ring. Kelly said Fish challenged them to the main event immediately during the break rather than waiting.
Match #2 – Jay Lethal and Bobby Fish def. Adam Cole and Cody Rhodes;
Kelly applauded Mark Briscoe for not jumping into the brawl. The heels controlled Fish for a long stretch early. Lethal got a cheap shot in on Cole before the referee forced him out. Cody took back over and controlled Fish, mocking the crowd with a clap. The crowd returned the favor in a funny moment.
Cole tagged back in but got caught with an exploder suplex. Lethal took the hot tag as did Cody. Lethal teed off with punches, clotheslines and a stunner. Lethal covered but Cole broke up the pin attempt. Lethal hit Lethal Injection on Cole and covered, but the referee noted Cole wasn’t legal. All four men were down going into a break.
Lethal hit a suicide dive on Cody, who had his hands up in a not-so-good looking spot. Kelly tried covering it by saying Rhodes tried to absorb it but the damage was done. Cole jawed at Fish, who was down. Cole tried for a shining wizard, but Fish caught him and locked in a kneebar. Cody tried to get in the ring to break it but Lethal held on to him, and Cole tapped. Kelly hyped that Fish forced the ROH Champion to tap.
Bill Says: A solid tag match that put some emphasis on top feuds. I assume that, since Fish is getting a title shot at an upcoming event, the company had him beat Cole in this spot. Decent booking.
Kelly hyped The Rebellion facing Dalton Castle and The Boys in the main event slot now. Castle was shown backstage firing up the Boys for the match.
Kelly talked to Mark Briscoe about what is going through Jay Briscoe’s mind heading into the Decade of Excellence Tournament final. Briscoe said that Jay goes a little crazy when he loses the ROH Championship, and he had all the confidence in the world in his brother.
Frankie Kazarian cut a promo about the tournament final. Kaz said it scares him to death that Daniels is in the final, and said the tournament represented an opportunity to other men while for Daniels it represents his last chance. Kaz recalled telling Daniels that when they found out about the tournament. He talked about never knowing when time will catch up to a wrestler and show him the door. He called this a ‘back against the wall’ situation like no other. Kaz said he envies the drive, passion, love and desire that Daniels has for the business and the company. He said he either will be best friends with the man who can become the next ROH Champion or a man who could be out of the business.
Bill Says: That was solid. I wish that he and Daniels would cut serious promos more regularly throughout their career. Their comedy spots have been fun, but these kinds of promos are excellent.
Kelly and Briscoe hyped Supercard of Honor on April 1, focusing on The Young Bucks vs. Broken Matt and Brother Nero. Briscoe’s music hit, and Kelly was confused. Mark said he forgot to note he had a match tonight. He tossed around chairs then hit the ring.
Match #3 – Mark Briscoe def. Sal Rinauro.
Sal licked his hand and offered a handshake that Briscoe passed on. Briscoe dumped him to ringside and hit a blockbuster off the apron. Rinauro hit a split leg slam for two, but Briscoe took him out with Froggy Bow a few moments later. Another squash, which was fine. I love watching Mark Briscoe, admittedly, he’s entertaining.
They featured Bobby Fish in a sit-down interview. He talked about teaming with Kyle O’Reilly and their success as a team. He said they both decided to pursue something different. They showed him winning the ROH Television Championship and he noted that he had to choke out Tomohiro Ishii, which hasn’t happened before or since. He said he was out to break every notion about who he is and what he can do. He said when the title left his possession, it went to being a No. 2 title, and will stay there until he decides to hold it again.
Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser joined Kelly for the main event. Bruiser had a beer can taped up with “Beer” written on the side. Kelly asked if he was going to drink the entire time and Bruiser called it his work out.
Match #4 – The Rebellion (Kenny King, Rhett Titus, and Caprice Coleman) def. Dalton Castle and The Boys;
They ran a pre-tape with Castle saying there are three title belts with their names on them, but they have to get through The Rebellion first. Kelly reminded Young and Bruiser that they can’t get involved in the match since they were on commentary, and Young agreed. Bruiser said there was an emergency and he was out of beer. Colt Cabana came out with more beer, which drew Castle’s attention in the ring.
Cabana took over for Bruiser on commentary while he sat there drinking beer and chomping a cigar. Kelly said he didn’t know the names of the Boys, and Cabana said it was Boy 1 and Boy 2 just like Castle likes it. One of the Boys tagged in and worked on Coleman. Titus and King tried to help, but they all took German suplexes for their troubles. Castle hit a bridging German for a two count. Kelly hyped Young vs. Bull James and the Decade of Excellence Tournament final next week.
The heels rallied, and Kelly shook hands with Coleman after he worked over one of the Boys. Late, Coleman avoided a charge, which sent Castle crashing to ringside. In the ring, one of the boys jumped off the rope into a slam from King, then Titus splashed him for the win.
Bill Says: A softer main event than they would have gotten out of Cole and Cody vs. Lethal and Fish, but it wasn’t terrible in terms of action. The heels went over clean here when there were three other guys at ringside that could have caused interference and a dirty finish to keep the story going. I’m not into the Rebellion, but anything is an improvement over The Cabinet though the three men involved are talented.
This was an “okay” show – nothing offensive nor nothing memorable happened on it. I thought they did a good job of hyping next week’s main event overall and the promo work to support it was well done. A decent hour of television. I’ll have more to say later this evening on Around the Ring, so see you then.