Ring of Honor TV – January 12, 2014: Well, It Is Better

Ring of Honor TV
Date: January 11, 2014
Location: Tennessee State Fairgrounds, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Prince Nana, Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino

Some of you might remember me trying ROH TV when it first debuted and giving up after about two months. Since then, a lot of their very annoying fans have told me that I just don’t get it and I MUST give it another chance. Well here you are. I taped an episode of the show to give it one last chance. I’m not going to review this regularly but I’ll take a chance on an hour. I keep up with the basic stories in ROH so I’m not totally blind coming in. Let’s get to it.

We open with clips from Final Battle where Matt Hardy interfered to help Adam Cole keep the world title, apparently joining forces. This was followed by the return of Chris Hero who cleaned house and said he was back in ROH.

Opening sequence.

AJ Styles returns in three weeks.

Top Prospects Tournament First Round: Ray Rowe vs. Kongo

This is a tournament of young guys with the winner getting a TV Title shot. Rowe is your typical tough guy with tattoos and a beard while Kongo is a fat guy in war paint from South America. No handshake to start until they slug it out with no one getting an advantage. Kongo runs over Rowe with a shoulder but misses a splash in the corner. Rowe comes back with some forearms (in ROH? I’m STUNNED) as the announcers talk about a three way elimination tag on January 25.

The guys fight to the floor with Kongo being sent into the post to knock him silly as Corino talks about being runner up in the Top Prospect Tournament in 1995. Kongo hits something like a MuscleBuster but Rowe comes back with more forearms. Rowe ducks a right hand and hits a very impressive German suplex for one as the fat guy kicks out.

Two knees to the chest put Kongo down for a close two before hitting some YES Kicks. Kongo pops up and hits something like Money Brown’s Pounce and an Umaga hip attack in the corner. The fat guy misses a Vader Bomb, allowing Rowe to pick him up in a full nelson slam down onto Rowe’s raised knee for the pin.

Rating: C-. Rowe has a good look but I’m not wild on his in ring work. Kongo is just too fat to do much though he wasn’t immobile. This wasn’t too bad but there was almost no way Kongo was going to win given how he looks. Not a terrible match and the right guy won so I can’t complain that much.

Post match Kongo staggers to his feet but a ticked off Michael Elgin comes to the ring for a staredown. A spinning backfist knocks Kongo silly and an awesome looking release powerbomb puts him down. I’ve always liked Elgin.

House show ads.

Post break Elgin says this is his ring. Final Battle was supposed to be the night he finally won the world title. Adam Cole left New York with the title but it’s far from over. The way Cole was talking makes Elgin think the champion has forgotten just how good Elgin was in 2013. If Cole thinks Elgin is behind him, he needs eyes in the back of his head. Cole needs to stop worrying about Chris Hero, AJ Styles and Jay Briscoe because Michael Elgin is right in front of him.

This brings out Chris Hero who says he’s glad to be back, but doesn’t like what he’s hearing. It’s been a long time since he’s been in ROH but Elgin has become the man. Both of them want the title but they have to work together in Pittsburgh at the aforementioned three way tag, which will be the two of them, the Briscoes and Cole/Hardy. After that though, anything goes.

This brings out Kevin Steen who says (I think at least, as the audio is pretty horrible) that he still hasn’t gotten his rematch for the title (audio is better now). Elgin can’t get a rematch until after Steen does and Hero hasn’t been here for two years. If Hero thinks he’s getting a title shot, Steen has some bad news for him. They’re fighting tonight and after Steen gets done with him, all Hero will be able to say is OH NO. Eh point for a funny line.

Final Battle video.

AJ Styles is coming back.

Top Prospect Tournament First Round: Corey Hollis vs. Bill Daly

Daly has some goon with him who talks about how Daly has turned his life around. The goon holds up a sign with a bunch of sponsorship logos on it, but Daly says he’s unable to compete tonight due to an ankle injury. He demands a title shot anyway, despite not being able to compete. Hollis wins by forfeit, but a guy named Mike Posey offers to fight him instead.

Top Prospect Tournament First Round: Corey Hollis vs. Mike Posey

Apparently Posey is Hollis’ trainer. Both guys take the other to the mat for some head slapping as the announcers try to figure out if this is a tournament match or not. Posey heads to the floor but Hollis hits a nice plancha to take him down. Mike gets all aggressive and rams him into the barricade and post before throwing him back in. A slingshot legdrop gets two and Posey goes after the arm.

Posey drops five straight legdrops for two and it’s back to the arm. Hollis fights up with an atomic drop and some clotheslines before kicking Posey’s knee out. A running neckbreaker gets two for Corey but the arm gives out, allowing Posey to hit a double underhook spinning slam for two.

They trade forearms with no selling anywhere to be seen. Hollis shrugs off an enziguri and clotheslines Posey in the back of the head for two. That’s the kind of stuff that drives me crazy about ROH and it’s getting on my nerves again here. Posey ducks a roaring elbow and puts Hollis down with a neckbreaker before a guillotine legdrop gets two more. Hollis’ roaring elbow connects for the pin, sending him on to face Ray Rowe.

Rating: D. Erg that no selling drives me crazy and it’s still around in this company. If you get kicked in the back of the head, YOU SHOULD GO DOWN. Spare me the whole adrenaline nonsense too. I might buy that if you get kicked, hit one more move and THEN stay down but Hollis just kept on going with his offense. That drives me nuts.

Video from Pursuit Night Two with Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander amicably splitting up. I never cared for that team.

Caprice Coleman vs. Jay Lethal

The announcers talk about the new TV Champion Tomasso Ciampa challenging Jay Lethal for a title defense. Coleman is sent to the floor for a nice dive by Lethal for two back inside. Jay drops a few elbows for two as the announcers talk about Adam Cole and Matt Hardy hooking up at Final Battle. Steve Corino was involved with it somehow and was still thrilled to see it happen. Back to the floor with Lethal missing a kick and having his leg kicked into the post.

An Asai Moonsault with Coleman jumping from inside the ring puts Lethal down again for two as Coleman takes over. Caprice gets two off a top rope leg lariat but a Lionsault hits knees. He comes right back with rolling northern lights suplexes for two, only to walk into the Lethal Combination (backbreaker/downward spiral). Coleman counters a top rope elbow with a hurricanrana and gets two off an STO (leg sweep clothesline). Lethal comes right back with a superkick and a Tajiri handspring into a Diamond Cutter for the pin.

Rating: C. That finisher was ridiculous. I can understand someone getting in position for a move, but Coleman had to take a step back and lower his head so Lethal could grab him. If you want to use a Diamond Cutter then use a Diamond Cutter, but don’t make it look completely scripted. I still don’t get the appeal of Lethal.

Post match Lethal offers a handshake for having such a bright future. Coleman leaves and Lethal accepts the challenge from Ciampa. He’ll even do commentary for Ciampa’s match next week.

Jay Briscoe wants Adam Cole next week for the real world title. Briscoe has his own title belt which I guess he claims he never lost.

Chris Hero vs. Kevin Steen

They shake hands to start and we’re ready to go. The fans think Chris is Awesome, which is also the name of his theme song. Steen stalls to start until Hero grabs a cravate. That goes nowhere so it’s off to a top wristlock, sending Steen into the ropes. Kevin takes him down to the mat for some short lived technical stuff before shrugging off Chris’ shoulder blocks. Steen offers to try some shoulders but instead dropkicks Chris down in a surprising athletic display.

We take a break and come back with Steen knocking Hero off the apron and into the barricade. Back in and Steen hits (kind of) a slingshot hilo for two. The fans are split on who they like best as the guys slug it out in the middle of the ring. Hero flips over the ropes and comes back with some kicks to the face followed by a running forearm in the corner.

A big boot to the jaw gets two for Hero before the Package Piledriver and Roaring Elbow both miss. Steen comes back with an F5 (F-Cinq in a clever name) and a swanton for two. A BIG powerbomb puts Hero down as the fans start a LOUD ROH chant. Steen charges into a roaring elbow and a spinning kick to the face gets two for Chris. Cue the Decade (BJ Whitmer, Jimmy Jacobs and Roderick Strong, because one heel alliance on top isn’t enough) to distract Hero, allowing Steen to hit a sleeper suplex for the pin.

Rating: C+. Bring Hero back, have him lose in his first match on TV. Sure why not. This was a nice back and forth match but it would have been improved with an extra five minutes to shore things up. It’s not a great match or anything but it was a good change to have the main event run twelve minutes unlike the early days when it would get twenty.

Steen goes to leave but Cliff Compton jumps him from behind and chokes Steen down to end the show after 58 minutes.

Overall Rating: C-. It’s not as bad as it used to be but there are still a lot of problems here. As I mentioned, having Cole/Hardy and the Decade at the same time is overkill and I give them until March to merge into the latest mega heel stable that ROH and TNA are obsessed with. I’ll give them this though: the pacing is WAY better than it was when I stopped watching. Now there are multiple stories in an episode and you get a nice variety, meaning it might draw in more fans. I’m still not a fan of most of the guys featured here though and like I said I won’t be watching again. It’s better than it used to be though.


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  1. Jay H. (the real one) says:

    I think you should give ROH more of a chance. I got into it back after the 11th Anniversary PPV when SCUM got together and minus the no selling sometimes its a nice alternative (better than what TNA brings). What do u think of Steve Corino on commentary? I think he is awesome and very funny.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    A lot of people say that and I just don’t want to. The stereotypical indy stuff they do drives me crazy and I’ve never been a fan of most of their world champions.