Ring of Honor TV
Aired on Fite 2/11/19
Centerstage, Atlanta GA
Ian Riccobani, Colt Cabana and Caprice Coleman on commentary, and we hear about the NWA Title match tonight between Nick Aldis and PJ Black (who has not impressed me as of late), when suddenly John Skyler is in the ring and on the mic with his new trio with Corey Hollis and Josie Quinn. Skyler talks about how the spotlight belongs on them. He introduces the team but doesnt give themselves a name… they sort of seem like a knock-off of The Forgotten Sons… and they call out anyone to challenge them. The lights go down, and VILLAIN ENTERPRISES’ music hits.
JOHN SKYLER, JOSIE QUINN & COREY HOLLIS
“Marty” chants. Marty has a mic and says “how cute”. Marty runs them down sarcastically. He says they are about to feel the wrath of Villain Enterprises, and things start out fast with a brawl as Marty dumps Hollis, King holds him in a suplex and Marty gets the apron superkick followed by a King gourdbuster and VE celebrates in the ring as we go to BREAK.
We’re back as Quinn lays chops into PCO who absorbs them all and crushes Quinn in the corner with big chops, followed by the machine gun chops. Emerald Flowsion from PCO, Hollis and Skyler in to help but PCO takes them out and chokeslams Skyler. PCO climbs and looks for a cannonball onto Quinn on the apron, Quinn moves and PCO hits the apron hard… BUT HE’S RIGHT BACK UP. Hollis tries a suicide dive but PCO catches him by the throat and sends him hard into the barricade. “PCO” chants. Quinn with shots on PCO but PCO runs through him and tags in Marty. Marty in with confidence and keeps on Quinn with shots, Hollis trips him and Skyler gets a tag and takes down Marty with a slingshot spear for a 2 count, then rains down shots.
Tag to Hollis, knee drop and a 2 count. Tag to Quinn who grounds Marty. Marty fights back and is able to land a tornado DDT. Tags to Skyler and King and King is just taking everyone down. GREAT cannonball to the back of Skyler, nice combo with Marty ends in a King senton, and the crowd is alive for VE. Hollis tagged in but Marty powerbombs him, turns him into the Boston Crab so PCO can hit a legdrop off the middle rope, then PCO wipes out Skyler and Quinn with a suicide cannonball. King back in, they hit the slingshot elbow/senton on the knees combo, King follows with the Ganzo Driver and Marty locks in the Chickenwing Crossface to finish Hollis for the WIN.
Villain Enterprises defeat Skyler, Quinn & Hollis by submission after the Chickenwing Crossface
JAY’S RATING: 2 out of 5
This was a match that existed for VE to be dominant, and they were, fairly, save for a bit of offense from Team Skyler. Skyler and co look fine in the ring but they are still UTTERLY non-specific, dont seem to have any direction, and just basically exist. So VE looked good, but honestly could have been more dominant because their opponents just didnt have much to offer for the time they were given. Giving Skyler the mic sort of didnt help them seem like anything more than functional. They just need a point of view that is specific and different than “we’re the best guys yall have forgotten about.” Been there. Done that.
After the match we see the red balloons and hear laughing over the speakers, as The Kingdom emerges on the entrance. “Melvin” chants. TK takes the mic and says they are the best trio in wrestling history, and they dont fear anybody, especially VE. TK even talks about putting the titles on the line and gets fired up… but Taven takes the mic from him and says that they are fighting champions… just not tonight, and drops the mic as we go to BREAK.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: The Kingdom
We’re back and The Kingdom says they are in control, they have the crown, and they will defend the belts when they feel like it. Fine.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Jay Lethal
Lethal talks about all the different people in line for his belt, but all he can think about is Matt Taven. He says Taven has his attention. Good. This is the title story it feels like everyone is ready for.
PROMO VIDEO: Kelly Klein Title Defense
We get a video for an Honor Club special Women of Honor title defense. Looks interesting! (But also, anyone who watched Bound By Honor and didnt see this episode until after because they dont watch through a Sinclair station already saw Kelly lose the title… soooo…)
NWA World Heavyweight Championship
PJ BLACK vs NICK ALDIS (c) w/ Camille
We do not get a Code of Honor to begin, and ref Todd Sinclair calls for the bell. Aldis gets the arm at the bell, PJ reverses and they trade mat work until PJ gets the ropes. PJ gets a rollup for 2 and stays on Aldis who gets to the ropes, and we get some tensions. Aldis and PJ play some mind games with each other, Aldis gets a headlock and takes down PJ with a tackle, but PJ gets a leg sweep. Headlock takeover from Aldis grounds PJ, who reverses into a headscissors which Aldis counters out of into a PJ timeout, and we get a standoff. Lockup and a headlock by PJ, headscissors by Aldis and PJ answers with a similar counter and standoff.
PJ with a series of Euros, backslide counter by Aldis gets 2 and the action stays slow. PJ teases a handshake with his fingers crossed behind his back, and PJ gets some offense on Aldis but Aldis fires back with a clothesline and chops and shots in the corner. PJ gets a headscissors that dumps Aldis, Aldis evades a dive but PJ back in, they run the ropes and PJ pokes Aldis in the eye. Yup. “Darewolf”. Sigh. PJ climbs and looks to dive but Camille steps between him and Aldis, PJ looks for something on Aldis on the other side but Aldis floors him with a lariat on the floor as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Aldis is in control with a headlock, PJ fights back but eats another lariat that turns him inside out. Aldis with a nice stalling suplex, cover but only gets 2. Aldis with a big back body drop, cover but another 2 count, then keeps PJ grounded. PJ fights back and they trade shots, PJ hits a nice spin kick, hits Aldis in the corner and climbs and lands a standing elbow off the top. PJ climbs the other corner and hits another standing shot to the head, covers but only gets 2. PJ botches an AJ-style (HA) quebrada into a reverse DDT and puts Aldis down (hm…) then climbs again and hits a mushroom stomp off the top, covers but still only 2.
PJ slowly climbs the corner again (where is the urgency?) and looks for an axe handle but Aldis catches him and dumps him overhead with a release German suplex. Powerbomb by Aldis, PJ kicks out at 2 and Aldis looks for a Cloverleaf but PJ rolls him up for 2. Aldis crotches PJ on the top rope, climbs behind him but PJ fights back, Aldis climbs again and hits a release German from the top rope. Cover, but PJ kicks out at 2 again as we go to another BREAK.
We’re back and Aldis looks to climb but PJ cuts him off, climbs and looks for a superplex, Aldis counters but PJ is able to get an Avalanche rana and a standing moonsault off the top turnbuckle, covers Aldis but only gets 2. PJ locks in a Dragon Sleeper, Aldis is able to hoist PJ up and plants him with a tombstone piledriver, climbs and lands the big elbow drop and covers but only gets 2 on PJ. Camille sends the belt into the ring, PJ tries to beat Aldis to it and pulls an Eddie Guerrero cheat to distract the ref and get a rollup on Aldis for 2, PJ rolls through and locks in a Billy Goat’s Curse (but doesnt lock it well) but Aldis gets to the ropes.
Aldis goes outside, PJ follows with a suicide dive and looks for a dropkick through the ropes, but Camille pushes Aldis out of the way and takes the bullet. PJ puts Aldis back inside and looks for a crossbody off the top but Aldis rolls it through into a cover for 2. PJ with a sunset flip but Aldis drops into a cover but uses the ropes and Todd catches him before the 3, PJ rolls up Aldis for 2 but Aldis kicks out and gets his Cloverleaf locked in. Aldis sits down and PJ taps out giving Aldis the WIN.
Nick Aldis defeats PJ Black by submission with the King’s Lynn Cloverleaf to retain the NWA World Heavyweight Title
JAY’S RATING: 2.5 out of 5
I dont know, yall. Aldis isnt bad, he’s just a bit slow for my taste, but his sequence toward the end made sense from a classic NWA-style match perspective. And the match overall wasnt capital-B “Bad” – it was solid enough. But is that what an NWA Title match should feel like? “Solid enough”? For me this whole thing was dragged down by PJ Black, who once again seems to me like he JUST. DOESNT. CARE. Look, the theatre of pro wrestling is in part built around the idea of pursuing championships. That is almost always part of the story on some level. So when you have a chance to win a title, especially THE NWA WORLD TITLE, it doesnt make much sense story-wise to have ZERO URGENCY behind the match for it. Otherwise, the story I get is, you dont really want the title, in which case, why are you making us watch you fight for it? I’m sorry, but PJ is not the “Darewolf” anymore. There were at best 3 spots that whole match that even came close to being worthy of that as your primary moniker, and I’m sort of stretching it with that as well. PJ needs to find a way to evolve his character, evolve his in-ring POV, change something up and find a drive again. Because it feels like he doesnt care. So in turn, I dont. And its hurting his matches, which in turn hurts his partners and in this case hurts the prestige of the NWA Title with such a lackluster showing being called a Title Defense. Wake up.
IN-RING SEGMENT: Juice Robinson Speaks
Juice is on the mic and says that he promised that you are going to see more of Juice in ROH in 2019. “Juice” chants. He says but why ROH? New Japan is so fun, why ROH? He says its because its because of what this company stands for: Honor. Juice talks about the ROH forefathers like Samoa Joe, AJ, Danielson and more. He says that tonight he begins to restore ROH, to bring it to the next level, and we now get the OFFICIAL BROADCAST of the Lifeblood debut… more on that below… and the lights go down and when they come back up its all of the members of Lifeblood in the ring. A group hug takes us out.
Ok. I had a few issues with this week’s episode just in that the matches felt a bit “throwaway” to me, and if we want to believe in the prestige of the NWA title, something HAS to change on that front and soon. But I think the thing that CONTINUES to irritate me is how little thought is given to storyline progression. In this case, we’ve now heard about Lifeblood, gotten teases of Lifeblood’s debut, and we’ve even SEEN Lifeblood at events together such as the Road to G1 Tour of Texas. Sooooooo what does this TV debut accomplish? Now, I understand that its probably in part due to considering folks who dont have Honor Club, who dont see the Road to G1 Tour, and are more focused on the Sinclair broadcast side of things. BUT HERE’S THE THING: as a company, you have to decide if those events count as part of your storylines, or if they dont. Because right now I’m really blurry on that. For me, if its ROH-branded, I consider it part of the overall story arc. So in essence, Lifeblood has already debuted. Which makes this ending segment a) redundant, and b) makes it feel SUPER condescending from a storytelling point of view. When the audience gets ahead of the storytelling, that’s not a good thing. And this is getting pretty egregious.