ROH Honorable Mention:TV Review (2/11/17)
The show this week was the third episode taped at Atlanta’s historic Center Stage theater. The show started with the Cody video package that came out before Wrestle Kingdom 11 that foreshadowed him joining the Bullet Club. Kevin Kelly and Mark Briscoe were on commentary to start the show.
First Match: Adam Page vs. Matt Sells
Adam Page hit the ring and immediately went after Sells, throwing him into the corner and jettisoning him of the ring with a big boot. He followed Sells to the outside, hoisting him up in a fireman’s carry and tossing him head first into the ring post. Page then rolled Sells back inside and hit his slingshot flipping clothesline before hitting the Rite of Passage before picking up the pinfall victory. Decisive victory that definitely sent to a message that Page means business. As part of the Bullet Club, Page might be the very best heel in the faction, as he just comes off as ruthless and doesn’t give the crowd anything to cheer for.
The Young Bucks came out afterward as Page was about Hang Sells, and they double super kicked him. Matt Jackson got on the mic and introduced Cody and Cole. Cody cut a great promo crapping on Atlanta, but the crowd chanted that they still loved him. He called Lethal out, saying that Lethal isn’t the gatekeeper, he’s a doorman. Lethal kept his distance but after being spit on he came into the ring, only to be attacked by the Bullet Club. Fish came out to help, but was overwhelmed by the numbers. Just as things seemed grim, the MCMG came out and evened the odds. Fish then called for the tag match to begin right away. Cody, like Page, does an unbelievable job of working as a heel, even in his hometown.
Second Match: Lethal and Fish vs. Adam Cole and Cody
The four started brawling immediately, with Lethal and Fish sending Cole to the outside as Fish and Lethal worked Cody over. Cody managed to hook Fish’s arms and back into a tag to Cole, but Fish was quickly able to even the odds. The action spilled outside and Fish evaded the Bullet Club but eventually fell victim to a superkick from Cole. Cody and Cole hugged before Cole rolled Fish back inside. Cody and Cole continued to work Fish over through the commercial break. Lethal was able to make the hot tag and clotheslined Cody repeatedly before hitting a cutter, but the pinfall was broken up by Cole. Lethal hit a Lethal Injection on Cole and went for the pin, but Cody was the legal man, so a frustrated lethal tagged out as Lethal tossed Cody into the ring. Fish made Cole tapout to a kneebar. Crowd chanted next world champ as Fish stood triumphant.
Winners: Fish and Lethal
Mark was interviewed ringside about his brother Jay’s chances of winning the finals match against Daniels and spoke about how Jay is crazed to win and he has been training like he never has.
A Kazarian segment aired, similar to the Mark Briscoe one. He spoke about how important the tournament is to Christopher Daniels and how it may end up being the last chance he has to win the big one. Kazarian went on to say that he doesn’t know anyone else who has the drive that Daniels does.
Third Match: Sal Rinauro vs. Mark Briscoe
Fairly one-sided contest here. Rinauro immediately rubbed Mark the wrong way by liking his hand and offering it Briscoe for the code of honor. Once the match began,Mark made short work of Rinauro, who did manage to get some offense in, particularly a back flip kick to the head. However, it was just a matter of time before Briscoe hit the Froggy-bow for the pinfall victory.Shane Taylor and Keith Lee came out and got into the ring and surrounded Mark, Jay came out to even the odds and the four brawled, with Lee and Taylor powerbombing Mark and then put Jay through a table before leaving.
A Bobby Fish promo aired. He explained how he was proud of the accomplishments that he and Kyle O’Reilly achieved as tag team wrestlers and then went on to talk about how they both decided to go solo. Clips of his title win against Ishii aired, interspersed with his narration about how important it was to him to win back that title and bring it back to ROH. Really well done piece here. As always the video packages are great and Fish delivered the promo with a sincerity that highlighted his passion to win the ROH World title at Manhattan Mayhem.
Main Event: The Rebellion vs Dalton Castle & The Boys
Silas and Beer City Bruiser came out to join Kelly on commentary. King and Castle started off, with King bridging back, mocking Castle. Castle went to bridge himself and King caught him with a knife edge chop to the chest before celebrating with Titus and Coleman in the corner. Castle retaliated and tossed King around, gaining the advantage before posing, but when one of the Boys tagged in, King was able to quickly gain the advantage. Just as Coleman tagged in, Colt brought a six pack to the Bruiser who had complained that his beer was finished. Cabana took Bruiser’s seat and joined commentary as BCB happily began drinking his bribe. The Rebellion took turns beating on one of the Boys, although Castle was able to tag in and was almost able to single-handedly win the match. However, one of the Boys tagged in and flewoff the top rope at King who caught him mid-air. King then delivered a neckbreaker before Coleman connect with a skyscraper leg drop from the top, leaving him for. Titus to hit the Big Dawg splash for the pinfall victory. The Kingdom came out and mocked Castle and the boys, clapping as the show ended.
Winners: The Kingdom
Final Reaction: B-
Overall, this episode just lacked any real moving forward for the company. The Lethal/Cody interactions was solid and Cody did a hell of a job trying to get himself over as a heel in his return to Atlanta. Page continues to develop nicely in the heel role as well and Fish looking strong over Cole was the right play here leading into their match. The Fish video package was top notch and really drove home his desire. The flip-flopping of the main event, however, was unneeded and weakened the show overall. Two of the matches were throwaway matches, as Briscoe and Page were clearly going to win those, but it was the removal of the Shane Taylor/Keith Lee interaction with the Briscoes that also left a bit of a hole in the events of the show.
The main event being an establish trios team against Castle and his valets, albeit comical, was not worthy of the spot. Until the boys have their own names, that group can not and will not be viable challengers for the 6-man titles. Next week’s episode show a lot of promise with the finals to the Decade of Excellence tournament and will hopefully give ROH that strong push heading into the Manhattan Mayhem show and the the anniversary show as well.
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