Ring of Honor
Date: March 1, 2017
Location: Stage AE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentator: Ian Riccabani
We’re getting very close to the Fifteenth Anniversary Show and now we have a main event set in stone with Christopher Daniels getting his shot at ROH World Champion Adam Cole. Other than that we have the start of the Top Prospect Tournament, which is always a guaranteed look into the future but that could be either a big hit or a big miss. Let’s get to it.
We open with a quick speech from Daniels about his tournament win.
Here’s Daniels to welcome Pittsburgh to Ring of Honor. From the day he stepped foot in this company as a long haired babyface named Christopher Daniels (“Well, I don’t know about fresh faced or long haired but I was there!”). He knew it was his destiny to be the ROH World Champion and he has his chance on March 10 in Las Vegas.
Cue Adam Cole and it’s STORYTIME BABY! Cole says he’ll beat Fish in New York City (causing Fish to crack up on commentary) but Daniels looks like he wants a fight with Bullet Club right now. Adam Page runs through the crowd to jump Daniels but Kazarian runs out for the save. Fish: “Take your time Frankie!” Make your own Teddy Long joke.
Adam Page/Adam Cole vs. Addiction
Kazarian and Page head to the floor as Fish accuses Kazarian of hanging his partner out to dry. Daniels doesn’t seem to mind as he hits a good looking suicide dive to take out the Adams. A hurricanrana over the ropes doesn’t quite work though and Cole superkicks Daniels into a commercial.
Back with Cole taking too much time posing and charging into an elbow. The STO is enough for the tag off to Kazarian and a Backstabber plants Cole. House is quickly cleaned and the champ dives into a cutter for two more. Cole and Daniels slug it out in the ring with Daniels planting him off an STO. Daniels loads up the BME but lands on a raised boot, allowing Cole to grab a rollup for the clean pin at 7:43.
Rating: C+. This was more entertaining than I was expecting and that’s always fun. Addiction was a good heel team but I’m digging them even better as faces. The match wasn’t long enough to mean much and I’m somewhat intrigued about the idea of Daniels losing instead of doing the cliched “pin the champ before the title match” bit. If nothing else, Fish was really entertaining on commentary and makes me think he has a prayer in New York, which I’d never buy otherwise.
Kazarian yells at Daniels post match.
Fish cuts a quick promo about how Cole is playing checkers against a chess master. I know that’s the common line but how would a chess player beat a checkers play? I’ve never gotten how that line is supposed to make sense (yes I get what they’re going for).
Kazarian yells at Daniels again in the back.
Bob Evans replaces Fish on commentary, which is likely going to be a theme tonight.
Top Prospect Tournament First Round: John Skyler vs. Sean Carr
Skyler has made a few NXT appearances and calls himself the Southern Savior. Carr is always being asked why he’s not on TV and now he gets the chance. Feeling out process to start as I’m trying to find a reason to care about either of these guys. Skyler wins a slugout and takes him to the mat for a backsplash. It’s off to a chinlock for a bit as Evans talks about how important the ROH seminars really are.
Carr comes back with a superkick (he’s probably getting a job based on that alone) and a second sends Skyler to the floor. A suicide dive knocks John into the barricade. They head to the apron for a kick to the face that was so far from making contact that they had to cut the camera angle. Skyler spears him on the apron (looked cool) but gets caught in a middle rope Codebreaker for two. Back up and Skyler takes him to the middle rope for a super Regal Roll and the pin at 6:12.
Rating: C. Yeah I still don’t know who either of these guys are (Skyler was never much in NXT) and I have next to no reason to care about any of them. That’s always the problem with this tournament and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better with this edition. The match was fine but nothing exceptional, which makes for a rather uninteresting match when I have no reason to care because there’s no story.
The Kingdom thinks they’ll keep the titles forever and haven’t forgotten about Dalton Castle and the Boys. These titles continue to be the most worthless belts I’ve ever seen, including the Never Six Man Titles.
Tempura Boyz vs. Motor City Machine Guns
And never mind because the Guns have been attacked. No match.
We run down the Manhattan Mayhem card with Bobby Fish and Adam Cole giving some simple promos to set up their match. Cole has gotten much, much better on the mic.
Dalton Castle and the Boys are getting a Six Man Tag Team Title shot. They lost to the champs and the Rebellion but THEY’RE GETTING A TITLE SHOT??? I know I’d normally say they should have built a division before they have champions but New Japan did it first so it must be ok.
TV Title: Donovan Dijak vs. Marty Scurll
Marty is defending after Dijak won a big elimination match a few weeks back. The Code of Honor as Scurll throws a kick instead. Dijak knocks him outside instead and nails a suicide dive followed by a great looking springboard elbow for a near fall. Scurll knees his way out of a suplex attempt and we take a break.
Back with Scurll chopping away on the floor and Dijak getting kicked in the head for his efforts. Marty loads up a running kick so Dijak moonsaults off the apron to escape. That’s just scary athleticism. Scurll doesn’t really care as he kicks Dijak in the head for a near fall. Dijak is tired of getting kicked in the head (can’t say I blame him) as he picks Scurll up for a suplex but just tosses him with ease.
The chokebreaker is broken up as we see Lio Rush (#1 contender) watching on the stage. A sitout spinebuster gets two on the champ and it’s off to another break. Back again with Scurll elbowing his way out of another chokebreaker and kicking Dijak in the head. A piledriver gets two and Dijak is getting all fired up. Feast Your Eyes is only good for two and Scurll breaks the fingers to take over again. The crossface chickenwing and another broken finger (that sound never gets old) make Dijak tap at 13:39.
Rating: B+. This was all about the evil technician vs. the athletic freak but the fact that Dijak had already announced his exit from the promotion didn’t do it any favors. Scurll is getting better and better in this role as he just feels like a villain no matter how you look at him. I could go for more Dijak though as he’s just scary with the athleticism.
Rush comes to the ring and gets kicked in the head but the Rebellion comes out to chase Scurll off. The banged up Machine Guns and Jay White come out for another save and it’s a staredown to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. Good show here which ROH has been needing for a few weeks now. The wrestling was better but more importantly than that it felt like they were actually getting ready for a big show. Fish is a good choice for the Manhattan challenger but the money seems to be in having Daniels make a run at the belt. Finally, I’m still not much of a Riccabani fan but I’d gladly take him as a neutral commentator over someone trying to play a character.
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