Ring of Honor TV
Aired on Fite TV 1/21/19
2300 Arena, Philadelphia PA
Ian Riccobani runs down the card as we go to our first match. Ian, Caprice Coleman and Colt Cabana on commentary.
ROH TV Title #1 Contender Mini-Tournament
FACADE vs ELI ISOM (w/ Ryan Nova)
Have only had a small glimpse of Facade, and Eli Isom has been looking FANTASTIC lately. We get the Code of Honor, and the bell. Lock up, Isom goes behind, Facade gets a headlock but Isom reverses, grounded counter wrestling from both leading to a stand off. Some shoving back and forth, Facade with a trip, they run the ropes and Isom takes Facade down with a HHH-style high knee. Facade hits the apron and flips his way back in, misses the Asai moonsault but takes down Isom with a heel kick. Nice sequence, if a bit slow.
Rollup by Facade for 2, but Facade follows with a springboard dropkick to a seated Isom for another 2. Facade grounds Isom and locks in a bow and arrow. Transition to a Lotus Lock by Facade, turned into a cover for 2. Isom fires back, lands an enziguri and a belly to belly off the ropes, and takes Facade out at ringside with an insane suicide dive to take us into the BREAK.
We’re back and Isom hits a bit running Euro in the corner and a beautiful backdrop suplex, bridges into a cover but only gets 2. Isom looks for a suplex but Facade drops behind and hits a disaster kick off the ropes, and Isom rolls outside. Facade steps up the ropes and takes out Isom with a somersault springboard plancha. Back inside and Facade climbs the ropes but Isom evades, hits a roaring elbow and evades a Facade kick but Facade lands another one, hoists Isom and hits the Neon Hammer but cant follow up.
Facade climbs again, walks to the middle of the rope and comes flying off, nailing Isom with the Neon-Terminator flying kick! Cover, but only 2! Facade looks for a destroyer but Isom cuts him off with a lariat, hoists Facade and hits a vertical drop brainbuster to perfection, covers and gets the 3 count and the WIN! Code of Honor happens after the match.
Eli Isom defeats Facade by pinfall after a vertical drop brainbuster to advance to the finals
JAY’S RATING: 2.75 out of 5
This was a nice way to kick off the episode, and I’m thrilled to see Isom go over again. I have ENORMOUS hopes for this young talent, and he showed why once again here. Putting him with Cheeseburger, while also allowing singles showings like this, is a great way for him to start some ladder-climbing. For me his biggest asset is how he feeds a genuine urgency and fight-to-win into his matches – up and comers struggling with maintaining a real sense of urgency in their work should watch Isom. Facade looked good here as well, though I do feel he sometimes needs to slow down so much in order to hit his shit safely that it robs that exact sense of urgency and momentum that Isom brings so organically. But nonetheless, this was fun enough a showcase and Isom is on his way.
BACKSTAGE: Kelly Klein Speaks
Klein talks about beating 3 other women to become the WOH Champion, and says she is so confident in her abiliy to keep it that she will defend it any day of the week. Any one on one match is from now on a WOH Title match. This is just repeating information we already received in the storyline, and I’m disappointed that a choice was not made to build on what was already said, rather than simply restating. One can do that, and then also take it further to move the story along. This didnt try.
VIDEO PACKAGE: Villain Enterprises Debuts
We get a video of the end of last week’s episode, with Marty looking for the ROH title and The Kingdom interrupting, leading to the already-spoiled-debut of Villain Enterprises. We see the brawl, with VE cleaning house. Nice little package, still upset that this debut had already been spoiled.
PROMO: Jay Lethal
Lethal talks about the long list of people who want his ROH World Title. He calls out Taven and says their paths will absolutely cross some day soon. Eh, Jay’s great, but this was filler.
Commentary goes through the Road to G1 Supercard tour, recaps the debut of Villain Enterprises, and announces that next week The Kingdom defends the ROH 6-Man Titles against Villain Enterprises.
TK O’RYAN vs RUSH
This is the ROH debut of CMLL’s Rush, the leader of Los Ingobernables. Nice pop for Rush, great Los Ingobernables outfit, but I’m left wanting LOTS more from the music and video package. It just feels super non-specific to a character, POV, etc. And Rush comes with one pre-built in the form of Los. Come on, now. Do better. But the crowd is happy to see him regardless – “Rush” chants abound.
TK offers the hand, but Rush declines, Paul Turner calls for the bell, and they lock up. Ian talks about some bad blood history between Rush and The Kingdom. They start with mat work, and work their way to a standoff. “Toro Blanco” chants, with a number of “TKO” chants too. Interesting. Rush rips TK’s t-shirt, they run the ropes and TK snatches a nice snap German but Rush returns one of their own as they both shoot dropkicks and stand off. Crowd is into it.
Shoves from both turns into trading shots. Rush gets a big open hand slap, but TK connects with a boot to the face. TK brings Rush outside and keeps on him, sending him into the barricade and then bringing Rush back inside. Boots from TK on Rush, but Rush fights back. TK returns with a shot, whips Rush but Rush counters and hits a savate kick. TK sends Rush to the corner but Rush comes out of it with a Superman Punch that sends TK outside as we go to BREAK.
We’re back as Rush punches TK square in the face, lays in a big chop in the corner but TK returns one of his own and they switch back and forth trading chops until Rush sits TK down in the corner and hits his trademark Tranquilo kick to the face and pose. TK goes outside, Rush follows and TK hits a big left hand to Rush, then plays to the crowd. TK sends Rush to the barricade again and rolls him back in, cover but Rush out at 1.
TK unwraps the wrist tape and paintbrushes Rush and looks to choke him, Rush fights back but TK lands a belly to back suplex and a cover but Rush is out at 2. Rush catches TK with a boot, and tosses him with a belly to belly overhead into the corner. Corner splash from Rush but TK comes at Rush with a Euro and hits a big spinebuster out of nowhere for a 2 count on Rush! Nice spot. TK sets Rush up but Rush fights him into the corner, TK seated up top, Rush cracks him with a headbutt and hits a big superplex off the top rope! Corner splash again from Rush, sits TK in the corner and hits a great running corner shotgun dropkick, cover and thats the 3 count and the WIN!
Rush defeats TK O’Ryan by pinfall after a corner seated shotgun dropkick
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5
On the one hand, this was a solid debut for Rush, with TK showing good fight and a post-match angle to suggest a potential singles program for Taven in the near future before he and Lethal finally meet. Rush OOZES charisma and the crowd just soaks it up, and he came off looking strong in spite of the even matching with TK (which works here given history from CMLL). On the other hand though, I’ve seen Rush matches that have felt like they really kicked into a final gear and blew out the final stretch, and I wanted that here just so Rush’s “official” debut could show a bit more fire, give more of a taste of what his offense can be energy-wise. This isnt to say this was a bad showing, far from it – I just think it was capable of more in terms of establishing Rush in ROH.
After the match, The Kingdom jumps Rush, Vinny hits him with a reverse DDT and Taven brings the chairs into the ring. They set him up for a con-chair-to on the floor, and hit it HARD. Nice spot. They talk trash on Rush as they stand over him.
After a BREAK, we return to commentary where Caprice has been replaced by Rhett Titus and his trophy for Mr. Survival of the Fittest 2018. This was kind of weird, but tells us Titus is on commentary. Ok.
ROH TV Title #1 Contender Mini-Tournament
SILAS YOUNG vs BEER CITY BRUISER
BCB makes his way to the ring from the bar, which I think is the best choice he’s made with his character in a while. BCB has been showing more charisma lately, and has been playing the Silas story well. He seems determined to show that he can’t be underestimated. BCB takes a mic and calls out Silas for saying they werent friends, it was just business. He says he has realized now that Silas sucks. BCB calls Silas “Last Real Boy”, and asks Silas for a fight, right here, right now, and asks to make it a No DQ match. Silas and BCB starts trading, Sinclair calls for the bell and it looks like we are now No DQ.
BCB takes the fight to Silas and takes him outside with a Cactus Clothesline. Silas sends BCB into the corner post after BCB had set up a chair, and Silas puts BCB back in the ring and looks for the over the top stomp, but BCB evades to the apron, lands a shot and goes for an outside suplex. Silas blocks and is able to hotshot BCB on the top rope, feints the dive and evades BCB, finally landing a springing clothesline to BCB on the apron. They are both on the apron, Silas looks for a carry but BCB fights him off with elbows, with the crowd chanting “Beer” at each one. Silas goes to ringside and supports himself in the chair that had been set up, BCB lines him up and takes him down with a cannonball off of the apron, which takes us to BREAK.
We’re back and Silas is down at ringside, but he catches BCB coming. There’s a table at ringside. Silas comes in with the over the top stomp to BCB’s gut, kicks him in the head and looks for a corner whip. BCB reverses and has Silas up, Silas fights off, hits a knee, drapes him on the top rope and hits the Anarchist Suplex off the ropes and a cover but only gets 1. Silas goes outside and brings out another table, and brings it in the ring and sets it in the corner. There is also a chair wedged in the opposite corner. BCB reverse the whip but Silas puts the breaks on before ethe table, but BCB gets Silas down and hits a running cannonball on a kneeling Silas, putting him through the table! Cover by BCB, but only gets 2 on Silas.
Silas in the chair corner, BCB lines him up and runs but Silas moves and BCB eats the chair and rolls outside. Silas with chair shots to BCB, then sets up a couple of chairs at ringside. BCB fights back, tries for a barricade whip, Silas reverses but BCB catches him and lands a suplex on the floor. BCB puts Silas on his own set up chairs, then climbs the corner. Silas gets up though and cuts him off, lands shots to Bruiser in the corner, then climbs the corner as well and looks for a superplex. BCB fights him off, and gets a hip toss off the top rope into the ring on Silas! BCB keeps on him and hits the Beer City Slam on Silas, covers but only gets 2 as we get one more BREAK.
We’re back and BCB is “biting” Silas, sets him on a set of 4 chairs and climbs the corner. Silas cuts him off, grabs him and just throws him off the top rope through the chairs! Cover, but BCB is out at 2. Silas gets zipties, which he has been known to use before, and ties one of BCB’s wrists to the top rope as he gets a chair. Big chair shot to BCB’s back, and he talks trash. “Beer” chants from the crowd. Silas stalks him with the chair, when Brian Milonas hits the ring and starts beating down Silas, and backs it up into a seated Silas in the corner! Milonas cuts BCB loose, puts a chair on Silas, climbs the corner and looks for the Banzai Drop, but Silas gets up and puts Milonas over the top rope through the table at ringside! “ECW” chants.
Silas runs at BCB but BCB meets him coming with a single leg dropkick, looks to stay on Silas but Silas reverses before eating a BCB lariat. BCB puts Silas down and lays a chair on him, climbs the middle rope and gets the Vader Elbow Bomb onto the chair, covers Silas but only gets 2! BCB sets up another table that had been brought into the ring, and then grabs the keg and delivers a big shot with it to the head of Silas. BCB puts Silas on the table and climbs, looks for the frog splash but Silas moves and BCB wipes out through the table! Silas hoists BCB and lands Misery, cover and gets the 3 count and the WIN, and will now meet Eli Isom for the #1 Contender spot for the ROH TV Title.
Silas Young defeats Beer City Bruiser by pinfall after Misery to advance to the finals
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
This ended up being fun not in small part thanks to the storyline history, the slow breakdown of the relationship as Silas has sided recently with Bully Ray, and BCB’s continued improvement in both his character and ring energy. Look, BCB may never be ROH champion. But those chants for him here were EARNED, and this is not the first time that BCB has shown that he can deliver entertaining, hard-hitting matches with some great spots to boot. He’s capable of more than he gets credit for, and he and Silas worked a smart and engaging match together here. Silas going over is the right call, and we have an intriguing generational matchup now for the #1 contender spot. All in all, a successful way to end the episode.
This was a fine episode of TV, not quite as electric in my view as last week’s but anchored by a great showing by up and comer Eli Isom, a solid and entertaining main event story, and Rush’s ROH TV debut. The only downside was that it definitely felt like a loss of momentum from the post Honor Reigns Supreme episode, with the Rush match wanting more and a bit of what felt like filler surrounding it all. I think one of the more important dramaturgical lessons that ROH needs to learn is this: Everything Is A Choice. When it comes to storytelling to an audience, in any form, everything is a choice. So when choices are taken for granted, you get filler and what can feel like a sense of laziness. You get a redundant promo from Kelly Klein that covered no new ground, and Lethal talking vaguely about Taven even though Taven was just aimed at Marty Scurll for a moment. Were those really the strongest choices that could have been made? Dont take choices for granted. Nonetheless, this episode had some solid ringwork and storyline advancement through the matches, so all in all, this episode was fine.
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