After last week’s show with a mega-fun main event with the double execution of Styles’ last appearance on TV (most likely) as well as the sendoff of the Bennett couple, we move onto Episode 227 on ROH TV. Let’s get to the matches. I’m excited to learn more about the 14th Anniversary pay-per-view coming up in February.
It’s always fun to go through a loop of tapings and switch gears to the new location, which this time is the Cabarrus Events Center in Charlotte, NC. A good thing about the 1st episode of tapings is that the crowd is always guaranteed to be a peak one as they’re new and fresh.
Kevin Kelly & Mr. Wrestling III are on commentary as per usual. Michael Elgin vs. Jay Briscoe main events tonight. The Top Prospect Tournament is beginning now~!
The 1st Round Match-ups go as follows: Brian Fury vs. Shaheem Ali, Leon St. Giovanni vs. Action Ortiz, Colby Corino vs. Punisher Martinez, and last but NOT least; Jason Kincaid vs. Lio Rush (the match with the most potential, and one put over by some on ROH social media after it happened at these tapings).
Brian Fury was the man who trained Sasha Banks and 2015 Top Prospect winner Donovan Dijak. I’ve heard great things about him as he’s worked tons of Beyond and other northeast stuff. Shaheem Ali is a “heavy favorite” to win the whole thing.
These two had a good match that was capped off on an abrupt note with Fury outsmarting Ali with a veteran trick, holding the refs legs as Ali went for a top rope move but caused a disturbance and followed it up with a powerbomb for the win. I’d say Fury was more than fine, but Ali came off almost as a made star. The guy has awesome facial expressions, is built like a monster even though there are guys bigger, and works like an athletic hybrid explosive killer; with evidence being a Gutwrench Bomb, catching Fury out of a dive, strong style base offense, etc. The match was competitive and back and forth, much like I expect these quick TPT matches to be. I enjoyed the sub 10 minute encounter but it’s a damn shame Ali didn’t advance, although Fury deserves it too. Props to Fury for working the neck like a vet as well throughout the match. Fury takes on the winner of St. Giovanni vs. Ortiz.
Oh man, is it ever awesome to see Cedric Alexander get such a great hometown reaction. I don’t think I’ve heard a pop like that on ROH TV since the main event New Japan guys were making their entrances 8+ months ago. It’s intriguing as this is a complete heel act, but they’re being shown massive love (I love it). It’s promo time as well…
For months, Cedric Alexander was a victim of Ring of Honor’s reckless disregard for his health and safety. Their crusade for justice was long, emotional, and freakin’ sweet; they can buy and sell everyone in the crowd, and everyone in the locker room a thousand times over. They’re so generous that they allowed some “nobody” Jon Gresham to fluke a victory. The duo are onto bigger and better things. Cedric is BITW according to Veda, and at least he is in ROH. “He deserves Lethal, Cole, Elgin, etc” says Veda. They want big things. Cheeseburger is out!!! Coming off of the awesome two-shot shot performances, he’s more over than ever not only in Japan, but stateside.
This was a helluva 2 minute squash. All these Cedric squashes are so much fun. Cheeseburger managed to deliver a handful of roll-up attempts including a hurricanrana variation as well as a rotational flip one. Eventually after teases, Cheeseburger pre-maturely went for the palm strike and was hit with the Lumbar Check. Cedric wins.
Post-match he continues to beat down on Burger. Out comes Gresham for the save! He’s back, baby. Veda gets on the mic to put a halt to the “little guy”. Veda reassures Gresham that Cedric is going to destroy him. Apparently there’s another match. The cliffhanger headed into the next segment is “WILL THEY ACTUALLY WRESTLE??? FIND OUT NEXT!!”
It’s the epic rematch of the incredible short match on Ep. 224. An even shorter match this time around with really, really good angle development. Gresham outsmarted Cedric the entire time with holds culminating with the Octopus Stretch. After that Veda ran-in to attack and cause a DQ.
Post-match = a slap from Veda, multiple concussion dropkicks in the corner (the last where Veda held Gresham down), a Lumbar Check, and lastly a kick to the face. Refs break it up as Cedric continues to pounce. I love this couple and angle so much. All in front of Cedric’s hometown where the crowd turned to Gresham yet kept chanting Cedric. It was a really unique presentation in a unique place to do it considering Cedric is the biggest babyface they have in their hands in Charlotte.
The House of Truth are out, interrupting Nigel McGuiness before he could announce anything for the 14th Anniversary Show. Lethal wanted to come out and see/hear what Nigel has to say himself. Whenever Nigel is in the ring, his business better be about Jay Lethal. Once again Lethal is right. Everybody wants to know who Lethal will be facing at the PPV for the title. Jay has been on a tear, Nigel admits. Styles, Elgin, Roddy, all slain by the world champ. The ROH title proves that Jay is the BITW, apparently. Nigel thinks of Kyle O’Reilly when he thinks of credible challenges. At ASE, he took Jay to the limit, and if it wasn’t for Adam Cole interfering, Kyle could be champ. Lethal goes on a tear trashing Kyle, but Nigel adds another twist. Adam Cole beat Kyle O’Reilly at Final Battle, therefore he’s the #1 Contender. Cole out to a real great pop. This crowd is awesome. It’s storytime with Adam Cole Bay Bay. Adam Cole won the feud vs. Kyle, and it made sure that he will never challenge for the title again. Although the list of victims has been impressive, Jay Lethal has never beaten Adam Cole during this title reign. It bores Adam to be out here. At the PPV there will be a celebration, and that’s because Adam will be the new champ. Nigel keeps being interrupted, and has more to add. At the 14th Anniversary Show in the main event for the ROH World Championship: Jay Lethal defends his ROH World title vs. Adam Cole AND Kyle O’Reilly. O’Reilly now out. Kyle just can’t wait until Vegas. He’s been screwed time and time again, he wants a piece of Cole and Lethal. He wants it in Charlotte~! Next week’s main event sees Jay Lethal & Adam Cole vs. reDRagon! I love this damn booking.
We get a recap of Silas beating Dalton but Dalton & The Boys reuniting at Final Battle. Silas promo now. For the better part of three months, Silas brought The Boys up into manhood. Dalton manipulated ‘dem boys’ into coming back and living the way Dalton lives. Silas is giving The Boys one more chance to come back and make it right with The Last Real Man. If they don’t fulfill this offer, they’re going to be sorry.
Mark Briscoe is on commentary for Elgin vs. Jay, yay. He jokes about hearing so much about Mr. Wrestling III. Oh wait. What the heck?! Surprise Stokely and Marvelous Moose are here to save the day from the lack of them on TV. It’s 2016, and that means new goals, challenges, and opportunities. Nigel made the main event for the 14th Anniversary Show earlier, and as Nigel was walking to the back, Stokely purposed to make one more. At Final Battle, Elgin beat Moose, and Moose wants his rematch. Jay Briscoe never backs down from a fight. The main event has changed juuuuussssttttt a little bit. More exceptional booking and storyline advancement.
Decent main event with a horrendous finish. This had solid cut-and-paste 1 vs. 1 situations with the glue being chain sequences with Elgin as the mastermind. There was a spot where Elgin had Jay in the 60 second suplex but he placed him on Moose and gave Moose a DDT. Also came a tower of doom where Elgin sunset flipped the two who were in a superplex position. All that plus Elgin hopping over a spear attempt from Moose to where Jay was hit with it instead. The two battled on from there and turn ya inside out lariats were hit. There was nothing else to the match except those sequences which served as breaks from one vs. one stuff which is always at least solid from these guys. However, the match was still short and the end came with a Jay Briscoe backslide to Elgin. 1-2-3. Simple (and dumb) as that. A sour taste to a still really good episode of ROH TV. Oh well.
Elgin gets on the mic post-match. Elgin and Jay are one and one even in their matchups. The fact is, it took Jay and Moose to beat Elgin. Mark might not have helped Jay physically, but they have helped each other mentally and that’s what brothers do. Tonight doesn’t sit well with Elgin. The Briscoes will battle Elgin’s own brother and himself at the Anniversary Show. The Briscoes vs. Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi is now official. The finish is still dumb, but the fact that it set-up this is great.
ROH TV this week is near must watch territory. The Top Prospect tournament began with a good match and we learned more about the field, everything involving Cedric was bonkers, Veda was the best she’s ever been, the main event of the next Anniversary pay-per-view in Las Vegas was set-up perfectly as well as next week’s main event, and finally we got a fun albeit short and slightly weird main event. Speaking of the PPV, it already looks incredible. I can’t wait for that, and for the rest of the build as ROH is killing it to kickoff the year.