Ring of Honor
Date: February 1, 2017
Location: Center Stage Theater, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentator: Kevin Kelly
I’m not sure what to expect from this show other than probably the other semifinal match in the Decade of Excellence Tournament. We’re getting closer to the 15th Anniversary Show and that means we need to start putting together a card already. This could be anything and that means it could be fun. Let’s get to it.
We open with Adam Cole bragging about winning the World Title for an unprecedented third time. Not much to see here other than “Cole is awesome.”
You might be more familiar with Center Stage as WCW Saturday Night’s home.
Tempura Boyz vs. Coast to Coast vs. Cheeseburger/Will Ferrara
Coast to Coast is Leon St. Giovanni and Shahim Ali. The Tempura Boyz (Yo and Cho) send Coast to Coast outside to start but get kicked in the face for their efforts. Leon gets back in and fires off some elbows to the face so here are the Boyz again to clean house for the first time. Cheeseburger dives on a bunch of people and Cho does the same for an even bigger crash.
This time it’s Leon hitting a big corkscrew dive but here are the Young Bucks to watch (and take all the attention of course) as we take a break. Back with Ferrara taking a Shatter Machine to give Yo two and the Bucks on commentary to talk about the Hardys. The Bucks decide that the winners of this match are the new #1 contenders as Coast to Coast starts taking over. Stereo Coast to Coast dropkicks get two on Ferrara but a quick package piledriver puts Ali away at 7:24.
Rating: C. Just your standard indy style three way with no particular rhyme or reason to anything but that’s how it works around here. The Boyz aren’t all that interesting so that’s why they won and therefore get the title shot. At least the match meant something for a change, which is more than you can say about a lot of ROH matches. The double dropkick wasn’t bad but other than that it was a bunch of flip dives by people I had issues telling apart.
Post match the Bucks announce the title match and superkick the Boyz. This brings out Adam Cole for his first comments as champion. That means STORYTIME with Cole calling himself a legend and a history maker. Cole laughs off the idea of having various challengers, such as Dalton Castle, who is just a gimmick. Then there’s Bobby Fish and Cole might as well get rid of the other half of ReDRagon. Finally, he’s beaten Jay Briscoe and Jay Lethal so he can just do it again. For some reason Cole left off Christopher Daniels, which suggests that he’s winning the tournament.
Video on Juice Robinson.
TV Title: Marty Scurll vs. Juice Robinson
Robinson is challenging and Alex Shelley is on commentary. Scurll mocks Robinson like a bird for some reason and it’s already off to the left arm work. A shoulder goes nowhere so Marty slaps him in the face and does the bird a bit more. Scurll cranks on the arm some more and we take a break.
Back with Robinson hitting a top rope headbutt and a heck of a clothesline for two. I’m not much on Robinson but he certainly does hit hard. A good powerbomb gets two more but Juice grabs a superplex, followed by a superkick, to send Juice outside. Marty whips him hard into the barricade and gets two off a piledriver. That means it’s time to snap a finger and the crossface chickenwing makes Robinson tap at 10:34.
Rating: B-. Much better than I was expecting here as Robinson certainly has some fight in him. Marty is a good choice for a champion but I’d like to hear some more from him instead of just watching him do chickenwings every match. He’s still good (at being evil that is) and it’s hardly too late to make him work.
Post match Marty issues an open challenge for a title shot. Cue Chris Sabin, Jonathan Gresham, Donovan Dijak, Jay White and Lio Rush to answer for a nice change of pace. If there’s an open challenge like that, you would think more than one person would answer. Why doesn’t that happen more often? After a break, all of the challengers (plus Alex Shelley) agree to a six way match for the title shot next week.
Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe are ready to fight in the tournament.
Decade of Excellence Tournament Semifinals: Jay Lethal vs. Jay Briscoe
Frankie Kazarian is on commentary this time as I think we’ve got a running theme. They lock up to start but nothing of note happens until Cole comes out to watch. That means an early break and we come back with the slow pace picking up a bit as Briscoe grabs a hurricanrana. They seem to hit head, setting up an early Jay Driller for two. Lethal bails to the floor which means one heck of a suicide dive.
Back in and a hard clothesline gets two more as this is all Briscoe so far. Briscoe slowly hammers away as Cole rips on the fans at the upcoming Texas house shows. Back with Lethal getting two off a Lethal Combination and shoving Briscoe off the top to set up Hail to the King. That doesn’t quite work so let’s hit a Figure Four instead (Cole: “I INVENTED THAT MOVE!”). After the rope grab, Lethal misses the Injection and gets his head clotheslined off for the pin at 13:28.
Rating: B-. These two have some awesome chemistry but the time issues hurt things a lot here. Briscoe vs. Daniels will be a solid match though that promo earlier really suggests that they’ve spoiled the ending. I could go for Daniels getting a shot at the title and beating Briscoe would make him seem feel like more of a main event player.
Cole says he’ll be facing Briscoe for the title, again overlooking Daniels.
Overall Rating: B. That’s one of the best TV shows they’ve had in a good while, which says a lot considering there’s a lot on here that feels like it really doesn’t matter. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go with the Anniversary Show, which is a lot more than I can say for several of the most recent pay per views. Good stuff this week, which sounds rather strange to say around here.
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