Ring of Honor
Date: March 8, 2017
Location: Stage AE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentator: Ian Riccabani
Officially this is the go home show for the Fifteenth Anniversary Show but it’s hard to really imagine how the schedule is going to go based on how ridiculous some of these tapings go. We’re likely going to hear about the pay per view but also the Top Prospect Tournament, which continues to not do much for me. Let’s get to it.
The Briscoe Brothers, Jay Lethal and Bobby Fish are ready for their eight man tag against the Bullet Club.
Six Man Tag Team Titles: The Kingdom vs. The Rebellion
Kingdom is defending and Dalton Castle is on commentary. Titus and O’Ryan go after the hair to start as Ian points out how similar these two are, both in style and look. I really wouldn’t bring up how only one of them really needs to be employed dude. Titus seems to tweak his ankle on a leapfrog so it’s off to Vinnie and Caprice, both of whom try kicks to the ribs and then poke each other in the eye.
King and Taven come in instead with Kenny kicking him in the head. Titus comes back in to chop at O’Ryan and clean some house in general. The knee goes out again though and we take a break. Back with Titus being taken to the locker room and Coleman hitting something like an RKO on O’Ryan. King gets the tag but the referee doesn’t see it, nor does he see King hammering on Taven in the corner.
Coleman somehow knocks down all three champs but here’s Lio Rush dressed as a member of the Rebellion to take the tag. Lio cleans house (Castle: “HOW IS THIS ALLOWED?”) with his usual fast paced stuff before he gives King an RKO and watched from the apron. Ian: “Was this a ploy all along???” All along? It lasted like a minute and a half! The Kingdom’s triple powerbomb retains the titles at 8:14.
Rating: D. At what point does Ring of Honor realize that these teams are worthless as well as uninteresting and that having titles for a “division” that has three regular teams (including the champions) is ludicrous. Big waste of time here and time that could have gone to ANYTHING else.
Jay White wants a rematch with Jay Briscoe from their time limit draw a few months back.
Briscoe calls White dog food and accepts.
Dalton Castle and the Boys want a Six Man Tag Team Title shot at the pay per view. Castle starts quoting Pocahontas, asking if you’ve ever asked the grinning bobcat why he grins. Castle: “WELL I HAVE! And I got 36 stitches and a rabies shot!”
Top Prospect Tournament First Round: Raphael King vs. Brian Milonas
Bob Evans has replaced Dalton on commentary. King is a frat boy with a female manager. On the other hand, Brian is a huge guy who weighs nearly 400lbs. King does some shouting and the slugout is on with Brian’s right right hand not seeming to make contact. Trash is talked and King gets in a dropkick, only to be crushed by some splashes.
Brian misses a middle rope legdrop and gets kicked in the face as this isn’t exactly working. Evans asks what else you can do other than kicking and punching Brian, which isn’t the best thing to point out. The manager gets in a slap of her own, setting up a good looking Rock Bottom for two. A side slam sets up a…..well I guess a backwards splash as Milonas was setting up for a regular splash but turned around and just fell backwards for the pin at 3:38.
Rating: D-. No idea who these guys are and it was horrible to see Milonas just being huge and not having much skill beyond that. King was watchable enough but that doesn’t mean it’s worth watching. I really can’t stand this tournament and this is one of the weaker classes of talent I’ve ever seen it have.
Christopher Daniels is your new guest commentator.
Bullet Club vs. Jay Lethal/Briscoe Brothers vs. Bobby Fish
It’s Cody, Adam Cole and the Young Bucks. We’ll start with Lethal and Matt Jackson but Lethal has to knock the Club off the apron before really getting started. A suicide dive takes Cody into the barricade and everything breaks down in a hurry. We wind up with Cody and Lethal in the ring and Cody taking a cartwheel into a dropkick.
It’s off to Mark who gets pulled to the floor and pummeled by Matt as this match is all over the place so far. Cole hits some bicycle kicks on Fish but takes a big jumping knee to the head for his efforts. That means a Briscoes vs. Bucks showdown and of course that means superkicks all around.
The Bucks add some big flip dives to the floor but Mark gets in a running Blockbuster off the apron on Cole. Not to be outdone, Cody superplexes Mark onto the whole pile of people for a major crash. Back from a break with the Bucks working over Mark but stopping to strut because they’re cool heels you see.
Mark isn’t ready to fight out of the corner just yet so Cody suplexes Cole onto him for no count as Fish and Lethal have the referee’s attention. A flipping slam off the ropes takes Cole out though and the hot tag brings in Lethal. Everything breaks down and Lethal hits the four pack of suicide dives. Fish wants to pin Cole though and they get in a fight to take us to a second break.
Back with the Briscoes on their own and Mark punching all four Club members. A quadruple superkick is well scouted though and the Club is quadruple clotheslined to the floor. Jay gets two off a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination but Matt flips out of the Doomsday Device. Superkicks a go-go set up Cross Rhodes to Jay. The Last Shot sets up a Meltzer Driver for the pin at Jay at 12:46.
Rating: B. Well that worked. This was all about flying all over the place and letting everyone look good (especially the Young Bucks of course). Lethal and Fish are fighting at the pay per view so their brawl here makes sense, making the match a little more logical. It’s easily the best thing ROH has done in a few weeks and it was very necessary on this show.
Post match Cole is left alone in the ring so here’s Daniels in the ring with some scissors. A pair of Angel’s Wings drop Cole but here’s Kazarian to help. That leads to Kazarian pulling off his shirt to reveal a Bullet Club shirt, which freaks Daniels out as expected. Kazarian knocks the scissors away from Daniels and takes a lot of yelling. Too Sweet brings the Bucks back out for double superkicks and the Club stands tall to end the show. Note that Kazarian didn’t punch Daniels once, which seems like a potential swerve.
Overall Rating: D+. The main event did this show some wonders but there was just WAY too much damage done by the time we got there. As usual, Ring of Honor doesn’t seem capable of focusing on anything long enough to really build it up, which is why we’re seeing a pay per view build and a tournament at the same time. The main event helped but the talent drops off a cliff at various point in ROH and those first two matches really showed it.
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