Ring of Honor TV – April 26, 2017: Taste the Freshness

Ring of Honor
Date: April 26, 2017
Location: William J. Myers Pavilion, Baltimore, Maryland
Commentators: Colt Cabana, Ian Riccaboni

We’re FINALLY on a new taping cycle and that means we’re finishing off the Top Prospect Tournament once and for all. This taping mess continues to be annoying and I’m not sure what we have to expect here as it could be anything from World Title developments to a midcard feud getting TV time. Let’s get to it.

We see stills from Supercard of Honor XI, now only three weeks old.

Opening sequence.

Christopher Daniels is in the ring to get things going. He defeated Dalton Castle at Supercard of Honor and now it’s Matt Taven getting his chance. After that he’ll face the winner of a four way next week at War of the Worlds, but first up it’s the American Nightmare Cody. Daniels would love to face Cody anytime so let’s make that match as soon as possible.

Here’s Cody right now but the match isn’t happening tonight. It’s not worth it for Cody to compete for the match in Baltimore but New York City doesn’t sound too bad. That sounds great to Daniels so let’s add Cody to the War of the Worlds match and make it a three way. Cody thinks Daniels brings integrity to the title but imagine if a part timer like him took the title away.

Video on Marty Scurll retaining the TV Title at Supercard of Honor.

Kazarian is ready to replace the chip on his shoulder with the TV Title.

Lio Rush vs. Shane Taylor

Speed vs. power and Rush is basically the hometown boy. Taylor recently joined the Rebellion, who Rush has been dealing with for months now. Before the match, Caprice Coleman says this is Rush’s punishment for defying the Rebellion. Lio slaps Shane in the face to start but his strikes have as much effect as you would expect on someone twice his size. A low bridge sends Shane outside but he easily blocks a hurricanrana. Instead Rush tries some kicks to the head, only to be slammed back first into the post.

Back from a break with Rush hammering away and getting swatted away again. Yet another strike sequence works a bit better and he kicks Taylor in the head a few times. The tornado DDT gets two but Coleman offers a distraction, meaning Rush has to dive out onto him. Rush misses the Dragon’s Call though and a sitout spinebuster gives Shane the pin at 7:25.

Rating: C+. Taylor is just huge (especially in the thigh region) and there’s only so much that someone Rush’s size is going to be able to do against him. It’s also pretty clear that Rush is heading to WWE or at least out of ROH in the near future so this isn’t the most surprising result in the world.

Post match the Motor City Machine Guns come out to prevent a post match beatdown, which takes place anyway as the Rebellion destroys the Guns.

We look at Josh Woods and John Skyler before the tournament finals. I believe this is the same video as last week.

Top Prospect Tournament Final: John Skyler vs. Josh Woods

Bob Evans is on commentary and Woods gets some rare pyro. Woods takes it to the mat to start and it’s already off to the arm work. A running knee stuns Skyler but he grabs a quick hot shot anyway. John shouts a lot and we take a break with the fans not all that interested so far. Back with Skyler working over the ribs with some stomping and a backsplash for two.

A second backsplash is countered into a quickly broken triangle choke, followed by a series of strikes. Some suplexes give Woods two and he slips out of Southern Salvation (super Regal Roll). Skyler comes right back with a spear on the apron, followed but a slingshot spear for two more. For some reason Skyler tries another spear, only to dive into something like a GTS of all things. John tries a charge in the corner but gets caught in a Rolling Chaos Theory. Woods floats over into a kneebar for the tap and the tournament at 9:28.

Rating: C+. This was just a few steps above a squash as Woods was obviously the best option in the whole tournament from the start of his first match so there was no reason to believe he wasn’t winning here. Skyler was fine but no one I’m going to remember after this. Woods might not be great but he’s someone who should fit in well on the roster, which is more than I was expecting coming into this tournament.

Post match David Starr (Who is David Starr? Someone you’re supposed to know in advance because ROH doesn’t feel the need to explain.) runs in and lays him out before listing off his fifteen or so nicknames. Starr: “I am really good at professional wrestling.”

Adam Cole wants to make up with the Young Bucks and get back to being the Bullet Club again.

TV Title: Marty Scurll vs. Kazarian

Scurll is defending. They trade wristlocks to start and it’s a very early standoff, as is often the case. Kazarian switches things up a bit and blasts Marty with a right hand to the face before hitting a slingshot DDT onto the apron (read as it missed the apron by a good foot, though to be fair it was basically the same as being thrown over the top so there would still be impact) as we take a break.

Back with Scurll working on the arm until Kazarian hits a cool hiptoss into a brainbuster/neckbreaker (could have been either really). An inverted exploder gets two on the champ but he kicks Kazarian’s knee out to take over again. It’s too early for the chickenwing (Kazarian: “NO CHICKENWINGS ON THE MENU!”) so Scurll settles for two off a brainbuster instead.

Scurll goes outside for his umbrella but stops to snap Kazarian’s finger instead. The fingers are fine enough that Kazarian can grab the umbrella, but the distraction lets Scurll grab some powder. That goes into the referee’s face though, meaning the Ace of Spades gets no count. Cue Hangman Page to hit Kazarian with a chair, giving Marty a rollup to retain at 8:12.

Rating: C-. It’s never a good sign when you can take out a major plot point and have the same match. This is identical with or without the powder spot and that’s not good. They could have done the exact same story with Page chairing Kazarian into the chickenwing for the submission, which makes Scurll look strong but keeps the Kazarian vs. Bullet Club going. Instead though, just throw powder as an unnecessary bonus.

Post match, Scurll makes the eternal mistake of saying he’s out of competition. Cue the returning Matt Sydal to say he wants a shot to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. It’s amazing how much better a show can be when the stories are from the same month instead of several weeks beforehand. The wrestling being good was a major plus as well and now they have a few weeks before the War of the Worlds show, which already sounds like it could be a fun show. Granted it’s not going to matter if they just throw the New Japan guys onto the card in a bunch of random matches and expect everything to work without putting in the effort.

 

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