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 22, 2017 on Comet TV, and previously in ROH syndication
They opened up with a Decade of Excellence tournament package before going to the standard intro. They spotlighted the finals of the tournament happening between Jay Briscoe and Christopher Daniels. A strong package that spotlighted and told the story of both wrestlers well and made the finals feel important. Kevin Kelly checked in for the call.
Match #1 – Silas Young (w/Beer City Bruiser) def. Bull James;
They recapped the previous angle where Young and Bruiser attacked James. Young wanted a handshake, telling James to be a man. James obliged but pulled Young in, then Bruiser distracted James to let Young get the advantage. James dumped Young to the outside and Young barked for him to come fight like a man. Outside, James hit Bruiser but Young hit a flip on James and took control.
Bruiser intervened late in the match when he broke up a suplex attempt. James hit Bruiser with a tornado DDT but when he got back in the ring Young hit him with Misery for the win.
Bill Says: James is of course the former Bull Dempsey of NXT fame. ROH never really did much to make James feel important or make the fans like him, so they didn’t really react to him in this match. He actually teased teaming with the heels, and he’s had no promo time. So, no wonder no one cared.
Jay Briscoe cut a promo about being the first man to walk through the ROH curtain when he was just 18 years old, and he plans to soon be ROH Champion again.
They recapped Bobby Fish defeating Lio Rush at Survival of the Fittest by submission. Fish talked about winning and how he planned to defeat Adam Cole at Manhattan Mayhem on March 4.
Match #2 – Colt Cabana def. The Boys (w/Dalton Castle) in a handicap match;
Castle cut a promo before the match, saying it was a sad day that the Boys would even be allowed to wrestle when he helped build the company. He told the fans not to boo him because he’s a legend, and that Castle isn’t better than him due to one fluke win. He said he would destroy Castle’s two “schmucks” and called himself the Iron Jew, which drew a chant.
Castle hit repeated slams on one of the boys, then the two teamed up on Cabana before he took a powder. He jawed at Castle at ringside. Coming out of a break, Cabana hip tossed one of the boys over the ropes.
He went to ringside and threw one of the boys into Castle, then asked security if he was okay. Castle hit the Chicago Skyline Drop on one of the Boys only to be attacked from behind by the other. He used Billy Goat’s Curse to get him to tap out.
Bill Says: This was a fun match with Cabana playing up as the entertaining heel. If this was a higher-card match I’d probably not like it much, but with it being a mid card program with no titles at stake and the Boys being not much more than valet types to the Castle character, it was fine.
Daniels cut a backstage promo about how the matches he has had with top ROH names. He said he’s not happy with that, and he’s called “the best that never was.” He said he would change that and become ROH Champion.
They hyped the ROH Top Prospect Tournament, showing past winners like Matt Taven, Donovan Dijak, and Lio Rush. That tournament begins next week.
Frankie Kazarian and Mark Briscoe joined commentary for the main event. Kelly recapped the brackets, and both men agreed to watch the finals with no animosity. Entrances took place, with a brief promo for Daniels airing as he made his way out. Jay Briscoe came out and Mark said he’s not been the same since he lost the ROH Championship. A brief Jay promo ran, with it ending with Jay telling Daniels “Let’s do it.” Bobby Cruise gave the introductions and said the winner gets a title shot at the 15th Anniversary show in Las Vegas.
Match #3 – Christopher Daniels def. Jay Briscoe to win the Decade of Excellence Tournament and earn a title match at the 15th Anniversary show.
The two shook hands and the crowd offered dueling chants of “man up” and “Daniels” as the match got underway. The two worked to a stalemate early. After a break, they noted Daniels controlled the offense during commercial. Kazarian said on commentary that he knows that Mark and Jay are brothers and have that bond, but Daniels is like a brother to him. Jay charged Daniels, who pulled the rope down and Jay spilled to ringside. Daniels followed with an Asai moonsault.
Kaz stood up and cheered Daniels on, and Mark did the same for Jay. Daniels used a small package for two, then followed with Angel’s Wings for a good near fall. The official checked on Jay, and Kelly noted that there could be a ref stoppage. Jay got up and hit a Death Valley Driver, but Daniels came back with a uranage. Jay rolled him up for two then took a second uranange. Daniels tried for the Best Moonsault Ever but jay avoided it and followed with a lariat for two. Kelly said the same move beat Jay Lethal.
Late, Daniels hit the Angel’s Wings from the second rope and scored the win. Daniels was emotional while Kelly noted he would challenge for the ROH Championship at the 15th Anniversary pay per view. Kaz and Daniels hugged, then Kaz raised his arm while some fans chanted “you deserve it.” Jay Briscoe shook his hand and hugged him as well, then raised Daniels’ arm before leaving.
Bill Says: This was a strong main event to cap off a good overall tournament. They kind of telegraphed that Daniels would be the winner early, but none the less the storytelling throughout the tournament was sound and the action was good. Mark Briscoe and Frankie Kazarian did a good job in their roles over the past few weeks to help hype the match and add to the storytelling as well. There is still mileage in the story too going to 15th Anniversary, so I’m looking forward to how they tell it.
Overall, a sound hour of ROH television. Young vs. James fell flat, but everything else was definitely worth your time to watch. I’ll have more to say about this show tonight on Around the Ring, so see you then.