Ring of Honor TV
Aired on Fite 4/8/19
Sam’s Town Live!, Las Vegas NV
Ian Riccobani, Caprice Coleman and Nick Aldis on commentary.
KARL FREDERICKS, CLARK CONNORS & ALEX COUGHLIN
DALTON CASTLE & THE BOYS
I mean, do I even have to begin? First episode of TV AFTER G1 Supercard was filmed before the event happened, Ian and co on commentary talking about it in terms of “go and check out what went down” suggesting we should treat it like it indeed already happened… and yet we open with a match featuring Dalton Castle and The Boys, which forces us to ignore the BREAKUP WE SAW AT G1! Someone had to choose to include this in the episode that comes after G1. Which means someone had to know that it fucks with the storyline continuity, and then not care. And that is ultimately one of the things that will keep the company from advancing as a product, mark my words. Treat your audience with respect for fucks sake.
Now that that is out of my system, we get the bell and Dalton starts off, but the Boys each want to tag in. Boy 1 in with Connors to start and Connors pushes Boy 1 around nicely, and Dalton tags back in. They grapple and take it to the mat amateur-style, with Dalton getting the advantage and reminding everyone that he has an incredible mat game. Connors escapes a slam and Coughlin tags in. Dalton hits the peacock pose to slow Coughlin for a moment, both Boys seem to tag, they run and ropes and Boy 1 hits a dropkick to put Coughlin down as he takes legal status. Chops by Boy 1 have no effect and Coughlin drops Boy 1 with a tackle, and again with a series of chops as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Fredericks misses Boy 1 in the corner and Dalton gets the tag and fires off on Coughlin, then hits a short DDT on Fredericks before backdropping Coughlin. T-bone suplex to Connors and Dalton goes back to Fredericks, hitting a huge release German suplex. Dalton calls for The Boys and proceeds to toss them onto the ROH Young Lions. Ridiculous pumphanlde gutwrench bomb by Dalton but its broken up, Dalton hits the Sam Patch on Connors but tags Boy 1, but Connors and Coughlin take out Dalton and Boy 2 and get the triple team on Boy 1, who eats a HUGE pounce by Connors. Big chop by Coughlin, elbow drop by Fredericks, and Fredericks locks in the Boston Crab as Dalton comes in to break it.
Fredericks stands tall as Dalton lays in strikes and they trader hard shots, but Dalton hits a back elbow and lariat. Connors dumps Dalton as the Boys pull a switcheroo while ref Todd Sinclair’s back was turned, Fredericks up and Boy 2 gets the cradle and pulls out the 3 count and the WIN!
Dalton Castle & The Boys defeat The NJPW America Young Lions by pinfall after a small package
JAY’S RATING: *½
So this was actually a decent match action-wise. The Young Lions are coming along incredibly well, it feels SO New Japan in a very good way, which speaks volumes for how Shibata is running things. But from a storyline point of view, this is an utter trainwreck of a match given the ending. The Boys pull out the W, Dalton is ecstatic, protects his boys in the post-match staredown… and thus COMPLETELY CONTRADICTS what we, the ROH fans, just saw at G1 Supercard. Way to undermine your own storytelling, and for a former ROH champion in a HUGE character change to boot, y’all. Does no one care? No? No one?
VIDEO: PJ Black Changes Heart
We see footage from Bandido vs PJ Black at Honor Reigns Supreme, with Bandido hitting that insane avalanche moonsault fallaway slam to take the victory. We then get a speech from PJ talking about how he’s been doing this for 20+ years, and how losing to Bandido opened his eyes that his current approach to wrestling isnt working for him. He’s done some soul searching, and he has to do things differently here on out. He says he needs to go the way Lifeblood is going – the way of Honor. PJ says he got jaded and thought he knew better, but he now sees he didnt. We get a promo for PJ and Bandido meeting again in a couple of weeks. Look, that’s fine and all. But while you are at it, also please find a new approach to your gimmick/identity that isnt “Darewolf”, because it doesnt really fit you as it once did. Re-invent. Wrestler’s have done it many times. This is your opportunity. I’m rooting for you.
THE VOROS TWINS vs THE BOUNCERS
The Voros Twins fake out the Code of Honor with a classic “too slow” move. These dudes are absurd, and are wearing what are essentially Hammer-pants. BCB starts taking out Chris with shots and a throw, Patrick pie-faces BCB and tries to help Chris, who clips BCB at the knee and works down BCB in the corner. Tag to Patrick who stomps away and lays in shots as we get some “Beer” chants led by Milonas. Tag to Chris who hits open-hand chops to the ribs, tag back to Patrick and they get the double team, but BCB breaks through and tags Milonas who runs over both twins and crushes both in the corner, then pounces one and hits a huge spinebuster on the other and I’ve lost track of who is who now. Tag to BCB who dumps one of them, then sets up the assisted leg drop and BCB covers and gets the 3 count and the WIN.
The Bouncers defeat The Voros Twins by pinfall after the assisted middle rope leg drop
JAY’S RATING: NR
And extended squash essentially, the Voros Twins are entertaining for a bit and had some stuff to show in the ring here and there but The Bouncers were clearly going over and made short work when all was said and done. Nice hot tag from Milonas, who I feel is learning how to use his body more intentionally in matches and its working for him more and more, and he’s looking more and more confident with each outing. Respect to The Bouncers for continuing to show they can evolve.
VIDEO: Main Event Background and Hype
We see footage of how we got to tonight’s main event, with The Kingdom interfering at 17th Anniversary and taking out Gresham’s knee with a chair against the barricade. We see footage of Gresham backstage being helped out, and running into Silas Young who runs him down after their match got cancelled as a result. Gresham fires up and Silas begs off saying he should learn how to take a joke, but then kicks Gresham’s knee out and leaves him laying. Nicely done.
PROMO: The Briscoes and The Crockett Cup
We’re outside with The Briscoes who talk about their qualifying match for the Crockett Cup against Jeff Cobb and Willie Mack. The usual Briscoes stuff, questioning why they need to qualify when theyre who they are. A. Good question. B. That match could be awesome and I sincerely hope it is.
SILAS YOUNG vs JONATHAN GRESHAM
They go forehead to forehead and chest to chest to begin as the bell rings. They lock up fast and hard with Silas getting the power advantage but Gresham showing equal fire and ref Todd Sinclair has to break them up against the ropes. Lock up again and they trade mat work, nice counter work until Silas goes for the eye so Gresham goes for the eye as well, which gets a count from Todd to break it up. Authority Todd is Authoritative. Silas talks shit to get in Gresham’s head, mocking Gresham’s size and they look at a test of strength and go for it, with Silas working Gresham down. Gresham powers up using his legs so Silas kicks him in the gut and hits a tackle, they trade hip toss attempts with Silas dumping Gresham outside.
Silas and Gresham counter each other at ringside and they trade chops, each absorbing each and laying one in harder. They trade faster and faster as Todd counts, get gets to 19 or so as Silas and Gresham make it back in and we go to BREAK. We’re back as Silas drives Gresham into the corner, Gresham out and they trade waistlocks back and forth, and Silas catches Gresham in the spinning backbreaker/lariat combo. Gresham back up fast but Silas puts him down again, Gresham dumps Silas and hits a pescado at ringside to wipe out Silas. Crossbody back inside by Gresham misses as Silas drops down to evade, and Gresham wipes out hard.
Silas takes advantage, slowing things down and laying in boots as he talks more shit. Snap suplex by Silas lands perfectly, cover but only 1, and Silas follows by grounding Gresham with an arm surfboard. Escape by Gresham but Silas is able to dump Gresham hard to the outside, and Todd starts the count. Gresham crawls back inside and Silas is waiting right there and lays in shots, then whips Gresham HARD into the corner and covers Gresham for 2. Silas pie-faces Gresham and tells him to give it up before dropping down on Gresham and talking more shit. Silas with another hard whip and Gresham takes it chest and clavicle first, Silas covers but still only gets 2 as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Silas is working over Gresham but Gresham escapes, they trade and counter and Gresham gets a rollup for 2, then evades a Silas backbreaker/lariat and they trade and counter again and Gresham snatches Silas in a DDT. Gresham looks to slam Silas but his back gives out, Silas crushes Gresham in the corner but Gresham drops Silas into the turnbuckle pad and follows with a GREAT hesitation dropkick. Silas goes outside and evades Gresham’s dives, but Gresham evades the Silas stomp back inside and gets a rollup for 2. Silas with a rollup, Gresham bridges up to escape and they trade rollups back forth with Silas folding Gresham up nicely but they both still only get 2. GREAT sequence.
They hit flush headbutts against each other, which is a terrible idea, then they hit running headbutts off the ropes back and forth, Gresham gets the advantage until Silas hits a big lariat and they both go down. Todd starts the count on both of them. Both up, rolling DVD from Silas is followed by the seated double stomp, cover but Gresham out at 2. Big knee strike by Silas connects, Anarchist Suplex follows and a cover but still only 2 for Silas. Silas looks for the full nelson, Gresham blocks the knee and takes out Silas’ knee, Silas is able to hoist Gresham but Gresham escapes, but the lower back gives out. Silas smells blood and talks shit but Gresham fires back with an elbow.
They trade, each throwing bombs, Gresham is the first to drop but he keeps popping up each time and throwing more, and Gresham gets a kip up, an enziguri, a release German suplex and a running forearm shot! Cover by Gresham for 2, so Gresham hits the ropes and lands another huge running forearm, covers again but still only 2, Silas cuts off the 3rd with a boot but Gresham hits another snap German and another running forearm and a cover for a CLOSE 2 count. Gresham calls for the Octopus Stretch, gets a waistlock but Silas hits a LOUD back elbow, Gresham with a nice evade and quebrada, Silas bails and Gresham follows with a suicide cannonball and lands on his feet! Nice full exchange here.
Gresham throws Silas back inside and climbs, and lands a great shooting star press, Silas kicks out but Gresham goes right into the ankle lock with Silas in the middle of the ring! The crowd is alive, Silas rolls through and sends Gresham into Todd which allows Silas to hit Gresham with a low-blow while Todd is composing himself, Silas rolls up Gresham and gets the 3 count to steal the WIN.
Silas Young defeats Jonathan Gresham by pinfall after a low blow and a rollup
JAY’S RATING: 3.8 out of 5
Almost a 4 star match, and would have been if not for the relatively deflating closing moment with the low blow. I mean, I get it, but its starting to feel like Silas needs to cheat to win, which isnt a great look on him especially considering how actually talented he is. I’m fine with shenanigans in general, and with Silas taking a W here as Gresham continues his slow but serious rise – they just could have buttoned it in a better fashion for all involved. Excited about a potential rematch though.
A solid episode of TV with a more than solid and almost great main event. Gresham is incredible and had great chemistry with Silas. The Bouncers are also evolving in interesting ways, and we got a taste of some other upcoming storyline progressions. But that opening match just made me angry. I try to write these reviews with a sense of the dominoes of the storytelling – how each piece of story hits the next one in sequence to create an arc and a journey. Because this is a storytelling medium rooted in a combat base. And if either of those falter, the whole thing doesnt work. It isnt even that hard – if you book a group to break up, just DONT INCLUDE THEM TOGETHER ON THE NEXT EPISODE. That shouldnt be that hard, and if you dont have anything else for the episode, do recap footage from G1 that literally just happened – Ian’s vague taped-in-the-past commentary will still work in that context. Please, someone give a damn about the storytelling. You’ve got the talent. You’ve got the action. You’ve lost that same rigor on the story-building and audience-journey front.