Ring of Honor TV – January 18, 2017: The Firm Divide

Ring of Honor
Date: January 18, 2017
Location: 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness

It’s a bit of a big week around here as we have the final first round match in the Decade of Excellence Tournament to go along with whatever BJ Whitmer meant by a sacrifice. If that means we don’t have to watch any more Kevin Sullivan ever again….well that wouldn’t be so much a sacrifice but rather a very nice surprise. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Jay White/Lio Rush/Donovan Dijak vs. The Rebellion

They’re in military gear now because this thing needs to keep going. It’s a big brawl to start with the Rebellion being thrown to the floor with ease. Back in and Rush gets triple teamed so the Rebellion can take over. An elbow drop/legdrop/splash sequence gets two on Rush before a quick sprint around the ring allows for a diving tag off to White.

House is cleaned for all of thirty seconds before a spinebuster gives King two. Back from a break with everything breaking down again and the Rebellion getting taken down with a cool looking stereo triple dive. Dijak gets to clean some house and it’s Lio getting on the big man’s shoulders to splash Coleman for the pin at 9:42.

Rating: C. Good enough match here but the Rebellion is so horribly uninteresting. This could have been a lot worse but at least White and Dijak looked good. Rush has some solid dives but I’m still not sold on him in general. I’m still not seeing the point of the trios matches either but the Rebellion losing is a good thing.

Post match the Rebellion destroys the winners but take it easy on Rush. Chris Sabin comes in for the save.

Video on Marty Scurll, who is a natural villain.

Video on Cody (Rhodes) turning heel at Final Battle.

Here’s Cody for a chat. He thinks he’s gotten off on the wrong foot with the fans because they thought they were going to judge him. Really, he’s there to judge all of them because there was this horrid smell of mediocrity at Final Battle. A heckling fan shouts something about Brandi but Cody says they don’t deserve that. Take your chance now to take his picture because it must be nice to finally have a star that hasn’t faded in this building.

Cue Steve Corino in wrestling gear of all things as Kevin Sullivan and company come out. Cody: “You’re taller than I thought you would be.” He brings up Corino saying he never respected Dusty Rhodes in this very building back in 1999. The fans chant for Dusty and after talk of a sacrifice in a story I probably don’t care about, the match is ready to go.

Cody vs. Steve Corino

One bionic elbow is enough to take us to a break because that’s how wrestling works. Back with Corino baseball sliding him into the barricade and they fight on the floor. Apparently Corino has officially joined Kevin Sullivan as we hear about the Dusty Rhodes vs. Kevin Sullivan feud from THIRTY YEARS AGO IN FLORIDA which is the whole reason Cody is involved here.

Corino gets beaten down for a bit until a right hand sends Cody outside. A quick spit of water blinds Corino and it’s time to go after his bad knee. The Bionic Elbow and Flip, Flop and Fly from Corino (who I think is supposed to be the villain here as he’s joined the heel stable….which also includes Cody) set up the package piledriver for no cover. Steve goes outside and gets the golden spike but the referee says no, allowing a low blow to set up the Disaster Kick. A Dusty elbow gives Cody the pin at 5:33.

Rating: D+. I’m assuming this is Corino’s swan song in ROH and it’s a shame that he’s stuck ridiculous story. Let me make this very clear: to really get this story, you probably had to be watching the Florida territory back in the 80s. How in the world does ROH think that’s the best possible idea? What do we need Sullivan in there for anyway? How does that make things better?

Jay Lethal runs in and chases Cody off. Back from a break, Jay goes on a rant against Cody for trying to cheat his way to the top around here. Cody is just smoke and mirrors and one day soon, Lethal will get his revenge. For now though, it’s Decade of Excellence time.

Recap of the tournament.

Decade of Excellence Tournament First Round: Jay Lethal vs. Jushin Thunder Liger

After a handshake, Lethal stomps him down to start and gets two off a dropkick. Another dropkick puts Jushin on the floor and that means three suicide dives. Those are only good for two and Lethal can’t hit a superplex. Liger grabs a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and there’s a running flip dive off the apron to take Jay down again.

Back with the Lethal Combination dropping Liger but Jay can’t follow up. An enziguri sets up a torture rack of all things but Lethal turns it into a reverse Regal Roll to set up a Crossface. An awkward looking Hail to the King is reversed into a crucifix for two and that means running palm strikes. Jay will have none of this and it’s the Lethal Injection for the pin at 10:15.

Rating: C-. This was just two guys doing moves to each other until one of them won and that’s not exactly thrilling stuff. Liger is a legend but this felt like “hey I’m Jushin Liger and I am in fact here”. Lethal going forward makes sense and this is little more than a way for him to advance to the second round. Nothing great here though it was fine.

They bow to each other to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. Not every show can be major and that was certainly the case here. It wasn’t exactly interesting and the matches were nothing special. What we had was a trio of mostly forgettable matches with stories that aren’t exactly thrilling. There’s a firm gap between the top stories and the lower level stuff and that was firmly on display here.

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