ROH TV Episode 271 (airing November 26, 2016)
Watch: ROHWrestling.com, Fite.tv, COMET, local affiliates, etc
The William J. Myers Pavilion – Baltimore, Maryland
I’m coming into this episode feeling a lot better. Thanksgiving holiday can make it it a little hectic plus had some extra stuff on my plate for This Week in Wrestling–the podcast where I review Indie & Int’l wrestling with Pete Shoe from Titans of Wrestling over on Pro-Wrestling Only podcast network. So I’m watching the show on a lunch break here at work and it starts out with a rematch I’m very into seeing anytime anywhere.
Lio Rush def. Jonathan Greshamgreat
These two have met up twice before in singles and it has gotten progressively better each time. Here Lio feels more confident to show off his amateur background from the start against Gresham, who usually grapples in a style that is more reminiscent of pro-style or jujitsu. Lio gets hot headed early on and it shows a little sloppiness as he’s more passionate. I like it, as Lio is looking more like his emotions are coming through in his wrestling. Lio throws some very great looking kicks. Rush has had stuff look a little to choreographed at times but here it’s all looking believable. Gresham just looks amazing at everything; he does grappling, striking, flying, and even selling to make Lio look like a big deal. This is a match up I’d love to continue to see as Lio keeps improving as I can see the big difference here from the first time they met up. Gresham is trying to play up the big counters into pins here but is a little sloppy on an attempt at a prawn hold. They get the train rolling smoothly again as Rush hits multiple Rush hours and a flying elbow drop for the pin.
Gresham has had a very weird year so far and if he’s not on your WDKW100 it’s not shocking. You’re probably just not watching the right companies as his visibility has been low but his output has been fantastic. Gresham in ROH as been weird as well as it seems like they are teasing using him more regularly but, he will then disappear for long periods of time. It’s been similar for Lio Rush as well as he seems to be busy with outside dates too regularly to get any real momentum going. It’s a real shame.
Post-match MCMG get in the ring to put the two kids over and I’m almost hoping for a turn as a MCMG vs. Lio & Greham match at Final Battle could be a great card filler. (Editor’s note: Too bad. We’re getting MCMG & Dijak vs. THE CABINET~!)
I gave ROH some shit about the booking last week for not hammering home the main event more and here they seem to be focus on it as they are pushing the main part of the show being Kyle O’Reily and Adam Cole talking about their history. Kyle is very good in this setting: sitting in a chair, edited, doing a talking head about their history.
They do a fantastic job of changing the mood of the promo as Kyle moves into talking about Cole using the Young Bucks to the upper hand on him. Kyle has an unfortunately over scripted allusion to himself as a river of rage that comes across way too phony. The ship gets righted as Kyle turns to talking about the now legendary Hybrid Fighting rules match from the past and playing of that really brings things back into focus.
The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) def. The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)good
This is exactly what should be booked as the main event going into the tag title match on Final Battle. This is an easy win to give towards The Briscoes momentum going into the PPV, over a team that still has some juice from a decent title run and the big Ladder War. Jay Briscoe always feels dangerous no matter what setting and to start this match is no exception. Jay feels like he can mess someone up at a moment’s notice. Kaz stands toe to toe with Jay but, there isn’t a second where I’m not sure that Jay could hurt Kaz bad if he has his way. Mark and Daniels tag in for a total mood change as Mark is more crafty and fun loving but, Daniels seems to try to take advantage of the Briscoes hot hotheadedness to set up a double team. I’d expect The Addiction to be smarter here and not try to brawl with The Briscoes. This match is more about The Briscoes so I don’t mind Addiction not being quite on their best game as they give most of the match to The Briscoes.
Addiction do take over but, again it’s all based misdirection and cheap shots you wouldn’t even slightly think of them as the better wrestlers they are snidely cheating heels and that’s it. Little cheap stuff from Daniels and cocky taunts by Kaz keep up the prick-ish-ness. The Addiction run a train of middle rope leaping moves to a prone Mark that I could have done without. Long heat worked on Mark that only has that one issue leads to the picture perfect hot tag from Jay. Jay has a long stretch where he easily fights off both members of Addiction but it’s nice that that still leads to Mark getting some shine of his own after. Briscoes break up the Best Meltzer Ever to set up the Flux Capacitor counter to the Doomsday Device, a spot that I have loved since the first time I saw it all the years back with Briscoes vs. Marufuji & Kota Ibushi. Briscoes get the decisive win with a Jay-Driller into Froggy-Bow as Jay tells the floor camera that he’s coming for the Bucks.
They delivered exactly what I was hoping for here. Briscoes looked strong the whole way through but, The Addiction still played up their heel shtick well. The Flux Capacitor was a great near fall that had almost everyone believing. After it’s over The Briscoes seem like a force to be reckoned with but they are going up against the Brock Lesnar’s of ROH in The Young Bucks.
Now we get the closing promo video similar to Kyle’s but, this time from Adam Cole. Cole is so much better at even making scripted stuff feel believable. Cole is taking some deep legit shots here and starts to play up his own frustration at having to prove himself as a better wrestler than Kyle something that feels real. My only issue with this is closing with this and the tone of it doesn’t make me as a fan excited to pay money to see Kyle beat Cole. It feels more like Cole is going to prove himself in an epic match which isn’t exactly a money drawing proposition.
ROH TV FOR 11/26/16
Good - 3.5/10
Much better stuff here pushing for the big show but still some stumbling blocks. Hey, it’s ROH, nothing perfect. I swear the product feels much better than it did earlier in the year already. The freshened up talent book and production team couldn’t have came at a better time as maybe the ball was already rolling for the booking of Final Battle--the push feels much better than it probably would have been. We are rolling onto the big show. I can not complain about the focus they showed here. Now it’s just time to see how the show goes.