Ring of Honor TV
Aired on FITE 12/10/18
Stage AE, Pittsburgh PA
RECAP VIDEO: Daniels/Scurll at Final Battle
The show opens with a recap of the end of last week’s episode, where the match was made official between Christopher Daniels and Marty Scurll for Final Battle, with Marty’s ROH World Title shot on the line and Daniels’ contract future potentially in the balance as well. Straightforward, “hey this is what happened” kind of video. Did its job.
SILAS YOUNG vs FLIP GORDON
Ian Riccobani, Caprice Coleman and Colt Cabana on commentary. We see recap footage of Silas defeating The Sandman a couple weeks back as part of Flip’s ongoing (…) feud with Bully Ray. Hoping for the upcoming I Quit match at Final Battle to end this storyline and move everyone forward, and honestly I think Flip and Bully are capable of delivering a great match there. Just… end it please.
Flip takes the mic and says that Silas calls himself the “last real man”, well lets just see how much of a man you are so lets have an I Quit Match. Silas proceeds to deck Flip in the throat and beat him down. Silas takes the mic and accepts, and we have the bell. Silas tears Flip’s shirt off and chops him hard, following up with a nice snap suplex. Silas mocks the crowd chanting for Flip and takes him over again with another suplex. Flip tries to fight back, lands his pele combo and a big inside springboard spear, Silas heads outside and Flip takes him out with a suicide dive followed by fists at ringside.
Silas attempts to fight back, but Flip is able to throw Silas to the barricade before laying in elbows. Flip is looking pissed off and aggressive. Big snap suplex to Silas from Flip on the floor, then throws Silas back in. Flip climbs the corner, looks for 450 but Silas moves and catches Flip in the backbreaker/seated lariat. Flip rolls through it though and hits Silas in the jaw with a superkick, evades Silas on the apron and pulls Silas outside where a brawl breaks out. Flip gets a superkick from the apron on Silas, and then lands a middle rope moonsault to the floor to take down Silas as we go to BREAK.
We’re back in time to see Flip head under the ring and bring out a table. Flip props it in the corner and heads out to get Silas, but Silas tosses a chair into Flip’s face to take control. Silas brings chairs into the ring, and hits big shots to the ribs to Flip. “Silas sucks” chants, as Silas opens a chair before dropping Flip chest and ribs first onto the seat. Silas hits an over the top rope double stomp and stands on the ribs, grabs a mic and asks Flip if he’ll quite. Flip does not. “Let’s go Flip” chants.
Silas looks to send Flip into the table but Flip evades, Silas able to catch him coming back with a knee shot to the face and an Anarchist Suplex off the ropes, followed by a grounded Full Nelson. Flip shifts weight to escape and hits another superkick to Silas, Silas outside and evades a plancha from Flip, allowing Silas to grab a kendo stick from under the ring. Silas back in, but Flip meets him coming with big chair shots. Flip lays them in and screams, fired up and with some crazy eyes.
Flip grabs the kendo stick, but Bully Ray runs down and chokes Flip from behind with a chain. Silas then spears Flip through the table. Colt has to be held back, saying he wants to run down. It seems we have a No Contest.
Silas Young and Flip Gordon went to a No Contest after Bully Ray interferes
JAY’S RATING: 2.5 out of 5
This match served its overall purpose well of making Flip look super aggressive heading into his I Quit match with Bully. The No Contest is super questionable to me, and also something I didnt find quite clear in the storytelling, especially In context of a match that supposedly is no DQ in nature… so if Flip cant respond, wouldnt that be a win for Silas? And the ref just sort of stands there, looking bewildered, and then Ian gets angry and we go to BREAK. I dont know, again the action was fine and Flip looked good in-ring, but this didnt feel like it helped propel anything into Final Battle. Missed opportunity.
VIDEO PACKAGE: TV Title Match
We get a hype package for Jeff Cobb defending the TV title against Hangman Page, with Page saying that he isnt impressed with Cobb and questioning what he’s going to do when he gets in the ring with someone as strong as he is? Somebody who hits harder than him? What is Cobb going to do when he finally has a real challenge? This was my favorite hype video ROH has produced in a while! Straightforward, but well produced, telling a clear story and providing some solid hype feelings going into Friday. THIS! Let this be the “starting place” of sorts from now on!
IN-RING SEGMENT: SCU Speaks
Kaz and Scorpio Sky come down to the ring, mic and belts in hand. We’re about to get “Worst Town”, but they get jumped by the Briscoes! Jay grabs the mic and says if they want a Ladder War with them, they are the OG’s of the Ladder War. They are the OG’s of the whole company. With that, the Young Bucks appear and clear house of the Briscoes. “Young Bucks” chants from the crowd, as SCU rises to face down the Bucks.
Matt and Nick extend their hands, and SCU accepts. “Elite” chants, and the Bucks turn their backs allowing the Briscoes to shove SCU into the Bucks, making the Bucks think they were jumped! The Bucks hit SCU with dual superkicks, and then take out the Briscoes with a pair as well! The Bucks head under the ring and take out a ladder, but Kaz hits a baseball slide dropkick into it to take down the Bucks as Sky hits a tope con hilo on the Bucks. SCU sets up and climbs the ladder, holding their belts high. This was a pretty solid in ring segment, with lots of storytelling without needing any actual promo time – it was all either action, or physical storytelling, and pulled off really well. The only interesting observation I had was that I felt like the room sort of deflated at the final image of SCU standing tall… That could mean that they are who the crowd “expects” to win, and so it was the least interesting final image compared to the Bucks taking the straps (which, contracts? But that could create intrigue as a final image) or the Briscoes regaining. So all in all, well done, but could have stuck the landing in a more interesting fashion.
VIDEO PACKAGE: WOH Championship
We get a hype video for the Women of Honor Title Four Way, with Sumie defending against Kelly Klein, Madison Rayne and Karen Q. All action spots between the women involved. A nice little hype package going into Final Battle, simple but well executed again.
VIDEO PACKAGE: Christopher Daniels
Daniels talks about how he’s had a couple of come to Jesus moments about what comes next. He says as he looks back on his career, he’d done about everything he set out to do. No one could blame him for retiring at this stage in his career. But the problem is, Daniels doesnt want to go out. What he fights for tonight is the chance of fighting again tomorrow, and thats more valuable than any prize – the simple ability to fight. Daniels says he doesnt blame Joe Koff, his behavior at the time warranted that. But now he realizes he was wrong, and he needs more time to prove it. The time is running out, and now its come down to Final Battle and Marty Scurll. He says Marty won at Survival of the Fittest and has put his title shot on the line, but this isnt about that, its about a new start. Daniels says he knows exactly what it feels like to be a Villain. Everywhere Marty has gone, Daniels has been. So now its just this match. Its so much more, but its just this match. And Daniels isnt ready to go out. He’s going to prove it. This was an EXCEPTIONAL promo from Daniels. Goddammit. He is truly a fine wine, getting better and better with age. There’s part of me that would LOVE to see him get the contract extension, regain the ROH title and then become evil again, as I dont know who I would say ROH’s “top heel” really is at the moment. Like, I don’t know if we have a current generation Kevin Steen. And maybe Daniels could fill that role, especially with the other members of SCU now functioning well as their own team… speculation aside, this was a great piece of promo from an all-time great. Thanks for showing everyone how its done, Daniels.
THE KINGDOM vs DALTON CASTLE, CODY & JAY LETHAL
“Dalton Castle” chants before the start. “Cody” chants follow. Lethal and TK begin. “Let’s go Lethal” chants. They circle each other a moment before Cody tags himself in, bringing some tension into the proceedings in advance of Lethal/Cody at Final Battle. Cody and TK circle, but then Castle tags himself in, hops over the top rope and starts beating down TK! The Kingdom in to jump Castle while Cody and Lethal argue for a moment, before finally coming to Castle’s rescue. A brawl breaks out, with Lethal sending Taven outside, Cody hitting a Beautiful Disaster to send Vinny outside before hitting a suicide dive on Taven (but takes down Lethal too), and Castle suplexing TK out of his boots.
Lethal and Cody get tense again, needing Castle to snap them out of it, with Cody tagging in and hitting a big gourdbuster on TK. Cody gets wrist control and tags in Lethal, who is a bit on guard before taking the fight to TK. Lethal takes him down and covers for 1, sends TK in the corner and looks to tag Cody but changes his mind and tags Castle. Castle stays on TK who tries to take control but eats a boot from Castle, who covers for 2 as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Castle sends TK to the corner and tags in Cody, who stays on TK and hits a big back drop. Cody looks for Cross Rhodes but Taven breaks it up, which brings in everyone else for another brawl. Taven tosses Castle outside as Lethal and Vinny brawl at ringside. Cody gets isolated in the Kingdom’s corner, with Taven tagging himself in laying into Cody, with a quick tag to Vinny who stomps the mudhole. TK catches his breath outside before popping back up on the apron as Vinny stays on Cody.
Tag to TK, who grounds Cody in a headlock. Cody looks to power out but TK takes Cody down, but Cody takes out the Kingdom off the apron and hits TK with a big snap powerslam. Cody looks to tag and makes it to Castle who is in hot, taking out everyone. Hits a back elbow on TK and looks for the corner knee strike from the apron, but Taven trips him up and Castle face plants on the apron and rolls off. Taven sends Castle hard into the barricade, and gets the double team with Vinny. Taven rolls Castle in and TK covers, but Castle is in the ropes.
Tag to Vinny, who keeps Castle in the Kingdom’s corner. Tag to Taven. Chants for the sweatshirt that Castle is wearing. Castle tries to fight back but Taven sits Castle down and hits a big running knee strike, covers but only gets one as Lethal comes in to back off Taven. Castle catches Taven coming back in with a rollup for 2, but Taven returns with a big lariat that takes down Castle as we go to BREAK.
We’re back with Taven still on Castle, but Castle is able to take the advantage with a kneeling DDT on Taven! Castle needs a tag, and makes it to Lethal as Taven makes it to TK. TK takes Cody off the apron first before meeting Lethal, who takes down TK and Vinny and backdrops Taven. Vinny looks to reverse, but Lethal catches a big powerslam. TK from behind on Lethal, but Lethal gets the Lethal Combination on TK, covers but Taven breaks it up at 2.
Taven grabs chairs and looks for the One Man Con-Chair-To on Lethal, but Castle intervenes! The sweatshirt comes off to a big pop as Castle beats down Taven outside, dumping him into the audience and chasing him off through the arena. Lethal still in with TK, sizes him up but Cody tags himself in. Lethal says he doesnt want the tag, TK comes at him but Lethal catches him with a cutter. Vinny hits a Dudley Dog on Lethal, but turns around into a Cody superkick.
TK takes down Cody but eats kicks from Lethal, and calls for the Lethal Injection, but Cody is legal and so rolls up TK for 2. Lethal looks for a superkick that might be aimed at Cody, but Cody moves and Lethal connects with TK. Vinny grabs Cody and sends him into Lethal who gets dumped outside. Cody eats a big left hand from TK, who picks up Cody for a pump kick from Vinny. The Kingdom looks for the finish but Cody fights it off, dumps Vinny and hits Cross Rhodes on TK for the 3 count and the WIN.
Cody, Jay Lethal & Dalton Castle defeat The Kingdom by pinfall after Cody hits TK with Cross Rhodes
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
This was a pretty good match with some really solid storytelling, which elevated it a bit more for me. The Lethal/Cody stuff was folded into the action well, and felt organic to it rather than distracting from the match. Castle looks good on his return, and I like his program with Taven for the moment. The Kingdom is great as an in-ring unit, whether 6-man or normal tag, so they are both entertaining as hell as well as versatile in terms of their constant contendership for any title at any time. This did the best job of the night in terms of building hype for some Final Battle action.
After the match, Cody grabs a mic and says there is nothing left to say or do. He will see Cody at Final Battle. A card rundown with hype interviews closes out the episode as we head into Final Battle this Friday.
This ended up being a decent go home show for Final Battle, with the main event in particular delivering on both action and story fronts. I’ll be honest, in terms of overall card, Final Battle is the most excited I’ve been in what feels like a minute, perhaps in part due to the scheduling issues that it feels like might finally be getting caught up. I feel like I can track the build to each of these matches, whether the long term stuff like Cody/Lethal or the short term dream matches like Gresham/Sabre, with anchors of Ladder War, Cobb/Page and Scurll/Daniels among others. Plus, the videos felt a lot less throwaway this episode to me as well. This episode feels like it can be the new benchmark of what ROH can be storytelling wise, and the timing of it being for the go home show of Final Battle worked out well. Nice work all around, and I’m looking forward to Friday.