Ring of Honor TV
Aired on Fite TV 1/7/19
2300 Arena, Philadelphia PA
We open with a recap of Final Battle, including the Briscoes becoming 10 time ROH World Tag Team Champions.
IN-RING SEGMENT: #1 Contenders
Ian Riccobani is in the ring with Marty Scurll, Chris Sabin, Dalton Castle (w/ The Boys and wearing an INCREDIBLE jacket) and Flip Gordon, all people who won title shots in 2018 for the ROH World Championship. Ian announces a 4 corner survival match, to determine who gets the first shot at Honor Reigns Supreme. Ian is about to announce the Ring of Honor Champion, when THE KINGDOM’S MUSIC HITS.
Matt Taven is out with his REAL ROH World Championship. Taven talks about how yes, he did successfully defend his title at Final Battle, and then runs down the contenders. As he hits his catchphrase, Jay Lethal comes out and gets in Taven’s face. Taven calls Jay a paper champion as Lethal calls Taven’s belt fake, Lethal knocks Taven’s belt out of his hand and Taven responds by spitting on the ROH belt! Thats the last straw and Taven and Lethal start waylaying each other on the ramp as we go to BREAK!
We’re back with Ian and Colt Cabana at the broadcast position, where they recap the 4 Corner Survival Match and Kelly Klein’s first title defense, and then take us to a Proving Ground match…
Proving Ground Match
LUCHASAURUS vs JEFF COBB
We get some recap footage of Cobb successfully defending the ROH TV Title against Hangman Page at Final Battle. Code of Honor adhered to. The bell rings and Luchasaurus fires right out of the gate and hits a big back spinning heel kick on Cobb, covers and gets a 2 count! Luchasaurus stays on Cobb, planting him facefirst and hitting a discuss knee to the face, covers Cobb again and gets another 2! Big double knees in the corner, but Cobb catches the next attempt and lands the Sidewinder Suplex.
Cobb with big shots to Luchasaurus, Luchasaurus counters with a big knee and sits up top, but Cobb hits a jumping dropkick to stun him! Cobb gets Luchasaurus over in a HUGE superplex, covers but only a 1 count. Standing moonsault by Cobb, covers again but only 2. Shortarm clotheslines from Cobb, Luchasaurus ducks a lariat and hits a unique kick, chokeslam and standing moonsault, covers Cobb but gets 2 as we got to BREAK.
We’re back and Luchasaurus laying in big chops, hoists Cobb but Cobb gets behind and lands a HUGE running Euro in the corner. Luchasaurus answers back with a thrust kick and jumping sidekick, sets Cobb up and looks to climb, but Cobb cuts him off. Cobb climbs and looks for an avalanche belly to belly and dumps him right on his head! Spinning piledriver from Cobb, followed by Tour of the Islands, the cover, the 3 count and the WIN.
Jeff Cobb defeats Luchasaurus by pinfall after Tour of the Islands
JAY’S RATING: 2.8 out of 5
This was a solid little outing that served to further showcase some of Luchasaurus’ unique brand of offense and immense agility for someone of his dimensions, though I do feel like if they were going to have Saurus get so much offense in on Cobb, I would have like to have seen a bit more toe-to-toe between them. Instead, it felt like Cobb just had these short bursts and that’s all he needed, and I get it and it allowed Saurus to look threatening, but honestly it did the opposite for me and robbed the drama whereas something more balanced could have been exciting between two big players with distinctive styles. Nonetheless, it was action-packed and Saurus keeps me intrigued.
We get a recap of Kelly Klein winning the Women of Honor Championship at Final Battle.
NIKKI ADDAMS vs KELLY KLEIN
Kelly grabs the mic before the bell, and talks about how she is the new WOH World Champion, and how she defeated 3 women to do it. Kelly says that starting right now, every single one-on-one match with her, will be for the Women of Honor Championship. Todd Sinclair raises the title and we now have a title match.
Women of Honor World Championship
NIKKI ADDAMS vs KELLY KLEIN
“Kelly’s Gonna Kill You” chants. Kelly extends the hand, Nikki refuses it so Kelly clocks her. Nikki answers back, big Euro and a clothesline in the corner, but Kelly dodges a corner boot and puts her own boots to Nikki. Cravate by Kelly as we go to another BREAK.
We’re back as Nikki breaks free of Kelly and hits a backhand that stuns Kelly, then hits a running chop in the corner and connects with the corner boot. Cover by Nikki but only 2. Crowd starts lighting up, Nikki looks to climb but Kelly pulls her off the corner, covers but only gets 2. Kelly hoists Nikki, but Nikki counters with a rollup for 2. Nikki on her knees after Kelly’s kickout, Kelly follows up with a big knee strike to the face, covers and gets the 3 count and the WIN.
Kelly Klein defeats Nikki Addams by pinfall after a knee strike to retain the WOH Championship
JAY’S RATING: 2 out of 5
This was an exhibition match in order to introduce Kelly’s new angle, and on that it was as successful as it needed to be, though the match felt a bit slow and lacked any real fire. I LOVE the idea for Klein to be a full time defending champ, especially with someone with the fighting style of Klein and making this a way to show her as a dominant force in the division… but OH DEAR someone please get her some help on the mic. She’s got what she needs in terms of character POV, it just desperately needs shape, because without it she felt LOST doing that promo. It was rough. Someone get her some character/acting help ASAP. I work in theatre – I volunteer. It will make all the difference.
After the match, Jenny Rose’s music hits and Jenny comes out with a mic. Jenny congratulates Kelly, but says that they have unfinished business. On January 13th they have a “singles… one on one… in Concord, NC.” Jenny says since you made it a title match, how about making it a street fight because… reasons… Kelly says “I will see you… in the streets… of Concord.” And that’s that. Ok… Jenny too. And her ring work has been impressing me more and more, they have a growing division with a TON of potential, but this feels like a HUGE blindspot. Seriously. I’m offering. This is what I do for a living, and its what the division needs IMMENSELY. All of the pieces are there, its just an area that needs some time and investment. There are real solutions to this – just give it the attention.
BACKSTAGE: The Bouncers
Brian Milonas finds BCB at the bar, and BCB complains about the seeming break with Silas Young. Milonas tells BCB to find Silas in the locker room, confront him and move past it.
RECAP: The Elite’s Final Match
We get a promo for Honor Club’s posting of the Elite’s final ROH match, including the beat down after by The Briscoes, Shane Taylor, Silas Young and Bully Ray. This was taped separately at the TV tapings, was special for the live crowd and is being released as an Honor Club exclusive. Haven’t watched this yet, looking to make time for it later today or tomorrow.
We get footage of Marty Scurll defeating Christopher Daniels, and the Thank You from the crowd after the match.
IN-RING SEGMENT: Christopher Daniels Speaks
Daniels comes down to the ring, and we get “Thank You Daniels” chants. Daniels says Final Battle was not a good night for SCU. Sky and Kaz are home recuperating, and he went in with everything to lose, and lost. So there is only one thing left to do, and that is to say goodbye. “No” chants from the crowd. Daniels says he is taking all of the ROH memories with him, the first ROH main event with Low Ki and Bryan Danielson, that first ROH Title match, all of the opponents who became comrades, friends and family.
Daniels says he will remember finally holding the ROH World Title. He wants the crowds memories of Daniels to be those of someone who gave everything to be the best performer he could be every time he went out. Daniels thanks everyone, says he loves everyone, and says goodbye as he begins to crack at the end. He gets a standing ovation, more “Thank You Daniels” chants. Joe Koff comes out and says thank you as well, and comes to closure with their issues.
Koff says when Daniels defending Cary Silkin at Final Battle, it showed Koff that Daniels loves ROH. Because of that, Koff offers a 2019 contract. The crowd pops. “Yes” chants. They hug, Daniels takes the new contract, and Daniels lives to fight in ROH another day… but SHANE TAYLOR JUMPS DANIELS! Taylor picks up the contract, but Daniels hits a dive on Taylor at ringside and takes the fight to Taylor until Taylor sends him hard into the ringpost, and then into the barricade.
Taylor tosses Daniels in the ring and gets a chair, then KOs Daniels with a GREAT knee strike. Big chair shot to the back of Daniels by Taylor, then lays the chair down and hits Greetings from 216 on the chair. Boos from the crowd. Taylor picks up the contract, and tears it up and stuffs it into Daniels mouth. This was a great segment from top to bottom, for 3 key reasons: 1) Daniels doesnt know how to not speak from the heart. He is so real on the mic, and it carried here so well. 2) So much was built around not only SCU’s story here, but Daniels’ specifically, so in terms of getting the crowd pop, this was well calibrated and executed, and Koff making the gesture was the right story move there. 3) Shane Taylor has found so much clarity in his character lately, and his strike game continues to be cringe-inducing, so Daniels is a perfect program for him to elevate his status while giving Daniels some new direction in a post-SCU world. Well done.
We get a promo package for Zack Sabre, Jr., making his TV debut next week against Tracy Williams. I CANNOT WAIT. An ROH with ZSJ, Cobb, Gresham, Tracy Williams, Lethal, Taven, Castle, Scurll and so many others feels like the recipe to a SUPER interesting 2019, one that really returns to form in classic ROH style but that also has the potential to feel very fresh.
Jay Lethal joins commentary.
Four Corner Survival: Title Shot at Honor Reign Supreme
FLIP GORDON vs CHRIS SABIN vs DALTON CASTLE vs MARTY SCURLL
The Boys are out with Castle. However, when it comes to many things including ROH ring entrances, LONG LIVE THE VILLAIN. We get the bell and Marty heads outside and cheers for the other 3 to get started. What a villain.
Gordon, Sabin and Castle start quick, but Marty trips Castle and pulls him outside. Gordon dropkicks them both but Sabin gets him back in, they trade go behinds before deciding to hit dual suicide dives on Marty and Castle. Sabin brings Marty back in and hits a big missile dropkick. Gordon brings Castle in and hits a springboard one. Handshake from Gordon and Sabin, double team on Castle but Castle runs them both over. Marty back in but a Castle lariat takes him down. Castle runs the ropes and teases the dive, but struts instead, which takes us to BREAK.
We’re back as Castle hits a stiff kick to Gordon’s head, then hits a nice falling Dr. Bomb. Castle clotheslines Gordon outside, Sabin in with an enziguri and PK on Castle. Marty in and evades the Sabin enziguri, Sabin fights back but Marty hits a Euro that sends Sabin out, Marty follows with the apron superkick. Marty skins the cat but turns into a Gordon chop. Chops are traded, until Marty dropkicks Gordon’s knee.
Marty looks for a Muta Lock on Gordon, Castle gets the crossface on Gordon and Sabin gets the octopus on Marty, then releases and dropkicks Marty which breaks up Castle while tweaking the deathlock on Gordon and everyone is separated! What an interesting sequence. Sabin on Castle but Castle lands a punch before eating a Gordon superkick, Gordon gets a huge rolling elbow from Marty but Sabin takes out Marty with the running chest kick. All competitors are down. “Fan up” chants.
Marty looks for a superplex on Sabin but Sabin fights him off and takes out all 3 with a crossbody, then hits a tornado DDT while kicking the other opponents on the spin! Sabin with a big boot to Castle in the corner, a running strike on Gordon but Castle catches the next one and tosses him. Gordon reverses Castle and hits Kinder Surprise, the rewind Samoan drop and the running Shooting Star Press, covers Castle but Marty breaks it up at 2.
Sabin takes out Marty at ringside and looks to dive but Gordon cuts him off, looks to climb but Sabin hits a big rana, Gordon pops up though, hits an apron gamengiri and looks to fly but Marty sits Gordon on his shoulders and Sabin hits Gordon with a PK, and then one on Marty! Sabin back in with Castle but Castle snatches him up in Bangarang! Cover, the 3 count and Castle gets the WIN and the next title shot!
Dalton Castle defeats Chris Sabin, Flip Gordon & Marty Scurll by pinfall after Bangarang to become the next contender to the ROH World Championship
JAY’S RATING: 3.75 out of 5
This was a fun and fast main event and a clear depiction of the World Title picture as we immediately move forward. And it isnt without its excitement! Castle as the former champ who dropped in part due to injury makes a ton of sense as the first challenger, especially with Gordon and Marty as “next-gen” contenders of sorts. I think Marty however is the most interesting choice to move on to the ROH title soon. However everyone got a chance to strut their stuff here and demonstrate why the next stretch of title matches have HUGE potential, particularly when Lethal is currently sitting at the head of the table. Really looking forward to the next few months on that front.
After the match, Lethal heads down to the ring to look his next challenger in the eye and extend the hand. Castle takes it, and we have the next challenge.
This was a decent episode to take us into the new year with Ring of Honor, and featured exactly the right main event for the first episode of the year. We get a clear lay of the land with the current ROH title picture, including Taven’s belt hanging over it all; we get the next phase of Kelly Klein’s gimmick, though again, that division needs some major live-performance help quick; we get teases of things to come on a couple of levels, and we get Daniels getting to stick around and carrying a program with another name I’m watching in 2019 in Shane Taylor, who I feel is continuing to show why he shouldnt be underestimated. It was an episode that succeeded in making me look forward to whats down the road – well done. Lets keep this momentum going!