ROH TV Report
Ian Riccobani and Caprice Coleman on commentary, coming to you from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. World 6-Man Titles are on the line as Bullet Club defends against Silas Young and The Bouncers, and Aaron Solow gets a TV Title shot against Punishment Martinez. But first we go to the ring for…
Four Corners Survival Match
ELI ISOM vs SHANE TAYLOR vs FLIP GORDON vs CHRIS SABIN
We see a clip of Eli Isom getting a pinfall over Christopher Daniels. As Shane Taylor enters we see his victory over Josh Woods with the Greetings From 216. Flip is out next, followed by “Super, Ultra, Mega” Chris Sabin… still curious about this singles intro shtick he’s working on.
We get a partial Code of Honor, and Sabin and Flip are in first with Taylor and Isom on the apron. They lock up, Sabin to the ropes, takes down Flip but Flip pops up, Flip looks for a tackle of his own but doesnt budge Sabin. Sabin fires up and they trade forearms for a nice exchange, both competitors rocked, both go for a dropkick at the same time and then both take the other out with a running clothesline and tag the others in. Isom uses his speed to stay ahead of Taylor but comes off the ropes into a BIG spinster from Taylor, who then takes out Gordon and Sabin and hits a great jumping leg drop, but Sabin breaks it up at 2! Nice from Taylor.
Taylor grabs Sabin and talks some shit, Flip tries to springboard in but gets caught too, looks like a double chokeslam but Flip and Sabin fight out, hit a double team to take out Taylor and shake hands, but Isom runs between and looks for a dive on Taylor. Taylor catches Isom though, so Sabin hops on the apron and PKs Taylor, taking him (and Isom by association) down! Flip then dumps Sabin off of the apron, runs the ropes and hits a BIG tope con hilo taking EVERYBODY out! Gordon has the advantage and throws Taylor in. Taylor puts Flip back outside though, mounts the apron, and hits a HUGE running cannonball taking out all 3 opponents as we go to BREAK.
We are back and Flip is laying into Taylor who lands a big shot in response, Taylor puts Flip on the apron but that opens him up to eat a springboard dropkick. Flip dropkicks Taylor in the corner and looks to hoist him up, but Taylor’s size wins out. Flip looks for the springboard Sling Blade, Taylor counters but Flip able to land a springboard spear instead for 2. Flip climbs up top, looks for the crossbody but Taylor catches him and puts him up on his shoulder for the Greetings from 216, Flip flips out of it but eats a stiff clothesline from Taylor. I’m starting to see some real improvement in Taylor!
Sabin is in and takes Taylor down with some high paced offense, looks for Cradle Shock but Taylor is too big, Sabin stays on him and hits a big tornado DDT, hooks the leg but Taylor is out at 2. Sabin runs at the corner but gets dropped with a big urinage, Sabin fights back but eats a LOUD knee and ANOTHER ONE that drives him in to Isom’s corner, Isom is in and is fired up but Taylor shoots him a headbutt. Isom tries to come back and GETS TAYLOR UP FOR A SAMOAN DROP! Covers, but Flip breaks it up at 2! GREAT SHOW OF STRENGTH. Sabin fights off Flip and Isom and hits a DDT/Flatliner combo taking them both out. Looks for Cradle Shock on Isom but Isom counters into a tilt a whirl backbreaker, sends Sabin outside and lands a GREAT suicide dive taking out Sabin on the outside! Wow, all 4 are delivering some real goods here.
Isom back in with Taylor but Taylor pops him up and lands the knockout shot, Flip back in and stuns Taylor, goes for a springboard again but Taylor hits another SMACKING knee (really great job on the nap there), but Isom surprises him with a rollup from behind and folds him over and scores a HUGE WIN by pinfall on Shane Taylor! A second big upset for Isom!
Eli Isom defeats Shane Taylor, Flip Gordon & Chris Sabin by pinfall after a surprise rollup on Taylor
Jay’s Rating: 2.75 out of 5
I almost went to 3 out of 5 on this one, just simply because everyone really made great use of the opportunity to shine in a fun little opener sprint. Sabin and Gordon were the anchors here, delivering in each of their spots, but it felt like the greater focus was on Isom and Taylor, which Sabin and Flip facilitated wonderfully. And Taylor and Isom both made me go “Hm” during the match – Taylor I’ve been slow to warm to, as I feel like it took him a minute to find the style to best match him, and each and every time I see him I see improvement. This guy clearly gives a damn, and its showing. And Isom really impressed me as well – I know I’ve seen him but I cant remember the matches, but this one is going to linger for me. Great urgency, great focus, great babyface energy with the crowd and some really impressive athleticism – in particular, some F.R.S.-style power there. Really nice showing from everyone, and has me tuned further into Taylor and Isom. Job well done.
After the match Taylor is livid and just lays out Isom with Greetings from 216, hits one on Sabin too. Flip is down and Taylor hoists him up for a 3rd, but Flip is out of it and lands a big super kick sending Taylor outside, and Flip stands his ground opposite Taylor in the ring. Taylor teases taking the fight back in, but walks away as we go to…
VIDEO PACKAGE: Aaron Solow earns a TV Title Shot
We get a video showing some slo-mo highlights of Aaron Solow at Dojo Pro. We see Solow holding the Dojo Pro belt (which, I’m sorry, looks flimsy af) and a shot of the ROH TV belt (which, well, doesnt). Eh, did its job. And that brings us to our next BREAK.
We’re back from break and go straight to…S
PROMO VIDEO: Marty Scurll
Marty Scurll cuts a promo about the upcoming Superhero vs Villain II match with Hurricane Helms. Scurll says this Villain wants a hero, please be my hero, so he can then vanquish the hero once and for all. Simple, to the point, Scurll is capable of more though. And that takes us to the ring for…
ROH Television Championship
AARON SOLOW vs PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ (c)
I am particularly interested in the inclusion of this match given a reveal that was shown on New Japan during Fighting Spirit Unleashed… but there will be an opportunity to get into that later, for those of you who aren’t aware of what I am referring to. (STILL LOVE THIS DAMN ENTRANCE THOUGH. LOVE. IT.)
Solow extends the hand, Martinez pushes him off but Solow takes the fight right to Martinez off the top. Solow dodges shots from Martinez and lays in some of his own but they have zero effect. Goes for another shot but Martinez catches him by the wrist and shows the dominant power. Throttles him and looks for South of Heaven but Solow escapes and hits a dropkick, then sends Martinez outside and looks for a dive. Martinez catches him for a chokeslam but Solow gets out of it using his agility on the apron and evades a sweep by taking himself back into the ring, Martinez slides in and Solow gets distance and lands another big dropkick.
Solow runs at Martinez in the corner but Martinez gets the foot up and just DRIVES him down with the stomp. Solow to the outside, Martinez follows slowly and hits a big right hand cross. Martinez picks Solow up and just THROWS him into the barricade and plays to the crowd. Solow crawling back but Martinez picks him up and tosses him back in. Martinez stalks him inside. Solow tries to fight, Martinez knocks him down again and that brings us to BREAK.
We’re back and Solow is trying to get some momentum back, dodges a corner splash from Martinez, takes it to Martinez, gets sent to the apron but gets the kick on Martinez, Solow climbs up top, Martinez evades but Solow lands a super kick and dumps Martinez outside and takes him down with the tope con hilo! Martinez back inside, Solow climbs again but Martinez catches him, but Solow rolls it through into a grounded double stomp, Martinez reverses again and looks for South of Heaven but Solow out of it AGAIN and hits a belly to belly suplex! Solow gets Martinez with a twisting suplex, covers but gets only a 2 count.
The crowd is getting into it as Solow looks for another move but Martinez boxes the ears and fights out of it, lands a standing Psycho Driver and the Silencer, throttles Solow while still kneeling and picks him all the way up and puts him all the way down with South of Heaven for the 3 count and the WIN.
Punishment Martinez retains the ROH TV Championship over Aaron Solow by pinfall after South of Heaven
Jay’s Rating: 2.75 out of 5
Another better than solid outing for this episode, with Solow making the most of his TV opportunity against Martinez. Solow has now caught my eye as well for his aggression, his agility but ability to find ways to use what size he has quite well, and for his ability to tell a good in-ring babyface story. They gave him lots of opportunities to counter out of Martinez’s biggest spots, which both leans toward the upcoming development in his career as well as puts over Dojo Pro since thats where Solow earned the shot – from a booking standpoint, they are going for an “everybody wins” producing/storytelling opportunity here, and overall I think it worked. Martinez’s willingness to put over the offense of his opponents – even ones you KNOW he is gonna beat – while still maintaining his ability to feel dominant, in control and monstrous is really admirable and skillfully balanced. Well done by everyone here.
And we get a…
VIDEO PACKAGE: Coast 2 Coast
Highlight video showing the great tag team and individual ability of Coast 2 Coast, returning next week. By the numbers, did its job.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Bully Ray confronts Silas Young
We head backstage and Silas is taping up. Bully enters and says at DBD, they go out there and destroy Cabana and Flip. Bully says I dont think we see Colt again, and he doesnt care about Flip. But now he’s gonna go out and have a 6-man match, and puts down The Bouncers. He says its a step backward. Goes from nearly main eventing with a Hall of Famer, to team with a couple of shmucks. He condescendingly pats Silas on the back and walks away. A good segment – I’m enjoying how they are building a “wake-up call” for Silas through Bully, and am feeling like this might be the shot of adrenaline needed to put Silas solidly into the main event picture. He can hold it in the ring, but he needs his Last Real Man to evolve into its next form. I think Bully is the key. And honestly, its the best use of Bully we have right now, with the Flip saga wearing thin and the Gresham saga… well… I dont even know where we stand on that after the past couple of televised ROH events (hell Gresham wasn’t even really a part of DBD, sooooo…). This is the story to invest in.
And we go to a…
VIDEO PACKAGE: The Bucks and Cody win the 6-Man Titles
We get a recap video of Bullet Club beating The Kingdom for the 6-Man Titles, with Taven claiming conspiracy as he was the legal man. This is pre-head-shaved Taven who came back at DBD. A nice little video, but unsure of whether it was hype for this coming match or putting an eye back on Taven. Intent could be clearer in the execution, as it made the video feel a little arbitrary.
The announcers recap the evening so far and plug next week, featuring:
Coast 2 Coast vs The Kingdom
Shane Helms vs Marty Scurll
Cheeseburger vs Will Ferrara in a Fight Without Honor (ending this feud?)
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship
SILAS YOUNG & THE BOUNCERS vs BULLET CLUB (Cody & The Young Bucks) (c)
Silas showing to be pissed off with the audience coming in and gets caught in a staring contest with someone at ringside as the Bouncers get into the ring… Silas definitely looks like something is on his mind, which is great. Bullet Club is out next, with the Bucks coming out to their older theme music (someone wasn’t thinking about the continuity timeline here…). Cody is out last with Brandi, with only the 6-man belt in tow, but also accompanied by Burnard The Business Bear. And we get a BREAK before the match.
And we are back with Matt Jackson and Milonas starting off, with Milonas showing the power advantage first, Matt counters with some speed but cant manage to lock the hands due to Milonas’ size. Matt keeps on him with a headlock but Milonas puts him down, Matt mounts some back and forth but gets tackled down by Milonas. Matt back to his corner and tags in Nick. Chants for “Young Bucks.”
Nick in with BCB, who talks shit to Nick. They lock up and BCB shoves him off and says “this is a fight, fight me!” BCB demands the fight and takes the brawl to Nick in the corner but Nick fires back with shots, looks for a top rope cross body but is caught by BCB, but Matt in and dropkicks his brother to take down BCB. Cody in to intercept Silas coming in and a triple dropkick takes Milonas outside. Bullet Club is on Silas with some great triple team offense, a wheelbarrow cutter on Silas, Beautiful Disaster to Milonas and some Bucks offense on BCB, and the crowd is hot.
Silas regroups his team outside trying to play coach in the huddle as the announcers reference the relationship changing there due to Bully. BCB back in with Nick landing a hard knee, Nick counters and looks for the hand-clutch off the top rope but Silas grabs Nick’s foot allowing BCB to pick him off the ropes and land a powerslam. Silas talks trash on the apron as BCB bites Nick in the head, but says its ok because he has no front teeth. Wonderful. Nick fights out and gets the tag to Cody, who takes his speed to Milonas and hoists BCB up for a body slam! But Silas chop blocks the knee and takes the momentum.
Silas talks shit at Cody while picking him up, but Cody lays in a shot, they trade with Silas getting the brawling advantage (good choice), but Cody reverses into a gourdbuster. Silas tags in BCB, and the announcers make note of Silas’ backing away from the fight. BCB talks more trash and brings Brandi into it, leading to “Brandi” chants from the crowd. He’s able to get some shots at Cody but Cody is able to dump BCB outside into Burnard, BCB takes advantage back by draping Cody over the middle rope allowing Silas to get an attack in, and Milonas crushes him with a running crossbody. BCB covers for 2 as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Milonas picks up Cody, Cody able to take out BCB on the apron though before Silas comes in, Cody flips out of a double team and outsmarts Silas, hits a power slam but Silas is out (something wasn’t right on that spot). The crowd claps for Cody who gets the hot tag to Nick, who lands his big 2 on 1 sequence with beauty and stands tall to a pumped crowd. “Elite” chants as Milonas gets back up and in Nick’s face. Nick keeps the speed and strikes on, Matt joins for the double team, Milonas gets free but eats the elevated assisted dropkick before the Bucks get downed by BCB.
BCB looks for Banzai but gets crotched on the middle rope, Silas in and hoists Matt up for the Pee Gee Waja Plunge, hits the firemans carry and hits the headstand but eats a super kick by Nick while upside down! Nick springs to a stomp on Silas and rolls into a backstabber on BCB who was still in the corner. Nick up top for a combo splash/standing moonsault with Matt on BCB, covers but BCB is out at 2. Crowd claps for Bullet Club as Cody tags in and flies off the top rope onto Silas and Milonas at ringside. “Rise of the Machines” but the Bucks swerve and go under the bottom rope to hit double superkicks. But BCB is up top, and hits a HUGE CROSSBODY taking everyone out! “ROH” chants from the audience, as no one is moving and Burnard looks distressed.
Cody and The Bouncers are back in to “This Is Awesome” chants, they look to double team Cody and they squash him with a middle rope Death Sentence (Milonas hitting the leg drop off the middle). Oof. Covers but the Bucks break up that cover. Bucks are sent outside and keep the pressure on Cody, Milonas perches him up top looking for the PowerPlex, the superplex lands but The Bucks nail dual super kicks on BCB coming off the top, hit super kicks on Milonas and Cody lands Beautiful Disaster to follow. Silas comes in and looks to eat superkicks, but RETREATS, and leaves the Bouncers in the ring as he makes is way to the back, walking out on his team. Double super kick on Milonas and Cody lands a big Cross Rhodes on him, covers for the pinfall and the WIN.
The Bullet Club retain the ROH Six Man Tag Titles over Silas Young & The Bouncers by pinfall after a double superkick and Cross Rhodes
Jay’s Rating: 3 out of 5
A solid title match to serve as the main event of the episode. I still dont know quite what to make of The Bouncers. BCB has shown himself as more capable than people give him credit for, especially when he replaced an injured Trent a while back in a triple threat and really delivered a strong showing. But Milonas is just still so clearly the weak link, mostly for me due to lack of specificity. Especially in a 6-man format, Milonas shows himself able to blend well with his teammates, and while he is rather slow he can create solid strings of offense especially in double and triple team sections. But his shtick feels literally like “I’m the 3rd wheel to Silas and BCB” – the “Kingpin” moniker has no bearing on their team, the mammoth skull is a nice logo but beyond that is also sort of irrelevant beyond a statement on his size and strength… so really, who the hell is he beyond a big guy with some good teammates? He needs to figure out either his own identity, or where his identity fits in conjunction with who he is with, because right now its super vague. And his job just became harder because without Silas, I really dont know where The Bouncers sit as a whole. His gimmick and pursuit of gold sort of gave their team meaning. So now what? On the other hand, it was time for Silas to move on, and while I dont know why they need to make him into Bully to the extent of showing his strategic cowardice, I appreciate the shift of gears with him. Its making me watch him fresh again, which is needed if they are hoping to push Silas at all, which I keep getting the feeling they are planning. As a title match, what can I say? The Bucks and Cody are just so consistently entertaining, and while the outcome was never in doubt, Silas and The Bouncers told a solid story on the other side, and the 3 out of 5 really comes from how this match served to push the Silas story forward, which I am a fan of. The crescendo was there to button the episode nicely.
A solid little episode of TV to take us into the next phase of things following DBD. The timing of all of this definitely felt a little off from a creative programming standpoint, as this was clearly filmed before DBD with the only reference made to story progressions post-DBD being with the Silas/Bully/Bouncers situation, and a little awkwardness for those who follow the ROH/NJPW partnership independently as well as together (which means that some people have seen spoilers that this episode precedes). But, I also commend the decision to then make sure the main event had SOME connection to DBD and the storylines there, and using the other two matches instead to put eyes on Isom and Solow (as well as Taylor) as we move forward toward some new stories, feuds and angles. And the action delivered in solid fashion, capping with a 6-Man Tag Title match that the crowd totally ate up. In a way, this was a decent lemons-into-lemonade episode with the awkward timing, and they stuck the landing. A pretty decent episode of TV, but they really need to straighten out their booking from a long-view standpoint, both to avoid the timing disparity here as well as to help us figure out what the hell we are investing in story-wise these days…