Ring of Honor TV – January 6, 2016: Rise Above Spoilers

Ring of Honor
Date: January 6, 2016
Location: 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 600
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Mr. Wrestling III

We’re back to a regular show this week but due to the taping schedule, this show will be about setting up the January 4 show in the Tokyo Dome. This show aired earlier in syndication which makes the online version a bit of a problem at times, especially given that this taping cycle will likely run three weeks at least. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

TV Title: Roderick Strong vs. Stevie Richards

Strong is defending and ignores the YOU TAPPED OUT chants. Stevie grabs an armbar to start but it’s a quick standstill. A hard kick to the back has Strong in trouble but he ribs Stevie’s chest off with a chop. Strong gets in a nice dropkick for his first real advantage and puts on a seated abdominal stretch. They aren’t exactly burning up the mat here. An Angle slam gets one for the champ and we hit the chinlock.

We take a break and come back with Stevie walking into an enziguri for two more. Strong goes up top, allowing Stevie to superkick him down, drawing a Young Bucks reference from Mr. Wrestling. A double arm DDT gets two on the champ but Strong calmly drops him with a backbreaker. The Sick kick is countered by another Stevie kick for two, only to charge into an Irish curse. The Stronghold doesn’t go on so Roderick knees him in the head to retain at 9:36.

Rating: C+. Nice match here, even if it was almost all about the live crowd instead of anything else. Stevie was doing well enough considering he doesn’t wrestle that much anymore at forty four years old. Strong continues to look strong as well, even in a match that he had no chance of losing.

Post match here’s Bobby Fish for a live Fish Tank. He talks about what a banner year 2015 was for the TV Title. The title dates all the way back to Eddie Edwards and now it’s in the hands of Mr. ROH. However, it wasn’t all good. Fish shows us a picture of Strong tapping out at Final Battle but Strong denies it again and storms off.

Will Ferrara vs. Caprice Coleman

No DQ and a rematch from two weeks ago when it turned into a chair duel. Before the match, Coleman promises to show that he’s more than just a jive turkey. Will forearms him in the face to knock Coleman outside for a suicide dive to get us going. Coleman is sent hard into the barricade to bug his eyes out (I love when that happens) but quickly kicks Will in the head to take over.

Back in and Coleman whips him with a belt until Ferrara is smart enough to grab the belt for a breather. It’s already time for a chair duel with Caprice getting in a shot to the ribs. There are the rolling northern lights suplexes with the third sending Ferrara into the chair in the corner for a big crash. More chair shots to the back just tick Ferrara off, because that’s how chair shots work. A DDT onto the chair gets two on Coleman and it’s table time. Ferrara loads him up on the top for what looks like a superplex, only to get knocked back to set up the Sky Splitter through the table to give Caprice the pin at 5:53.

Rating: C. Another solid enough match here but I’m not sure how much it needed to be anything goes. This stuff with Prince Nana and the letters isn’t going anywhere and I’m really not interested in watching it until it actually advances. The ending looked good here but neither guy is getting much out of this story.

Prince Nana comes out and looks rather happy.

Cedric Alexander vs. Jonathan Gresham

Cedric quickly takes him down to start and gets two off a dropkick to the back of the head. He can’t get the Three Amigos though (good, as the rolling suplexes spot is getting too common) as Jonathan small packages him for a fast two. A middle rope cross body gets the same on Cedric and there’s an octopus hold, only to have Veda Scott get up on the apron for a distraction. Cedric gets back up and hits a wicked Lumbar Check (belly to back suplex into a backbreaker) to knock Gresham cold. He takes way too long covering though, allowing Jonathan to roll him up for the fluke pin at 3:37.

Rating: D+. This is another story that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere but I can handle it as long as I have Veda Scott on my screen. That Lumbar Check looked awesome if nothing else and it’s cool to see a rookie like Gresham get a win, even if it’s almost guaranteed that he’s going to lose most of his next matches.

Anniversary show ad.

Michael Elgin vs. Donovan Dijak

This is supposed to help set up Lethal vs. Elgin in Tokyo, which has already happened by the time this aired on ROH’s website. Lethal sits in on commentary but Jerry Lynn comes up to him and offers a handshake to admit that Lethal was better at Final Battle. Dijak makes the mistake of trying to slug it out to start and is quickly knocked back into the corner.

Elgin is staggered by a boot to the face but runs Dijak over again. A pretty impressive gorilla press puts Donovan down again and an even longer delayed vertical suplex gets two. Back up and Donovan sends him to the apron for a discus big boot (yes a discus big boot) and we take a break. We come back with Donovan dropping him with a release suplex for two and putting on a cravate.

Elgin powers up and grabs a quick t-bone suplex which still doesn’t impress Lethal. An enziguri stops Dijak again and a delayed German suplex gets two. Dijak grabs a quick chokeslam backbreaker, followed by a middle rope moonsault for two of his own. The fans start chanting for Dijak but Feast Your Eyes is countered into the Elgin bomb for the pin at 8:15.

Rating: C+. Another good match here as Elgin looked dominant for the most part. That’s how you want to set up a title match down the line and another good reason to have minions like Dijak around. Even without knowing the ending in advance, I didn’t think Elgin had a chance at the title but at least we had a nice little build here.

Elgin and Lethal stare each other down to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. It’s pretty impressive to put three good matches together in less than an hour of TV. The problem though is the midcard stories really aren’t doing much for me at the moment. The Prince Nana stuff is lame and I just can’t imagine Fish getting the TV Title from Strong once they have their rematch. Still though, fun show here, as is the case almost every week.

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