Ring of Honor TV Report | Episode #373 | aired on FITE 11/12/18

Ring of Honor

Ring of Honor TV
Episode #373
Aired 11/12/18 on Fite
2300 Arena, Philadelphia, PA

Ian Riccobani, Colt Cabana and Caprice Coleman on commentary.

SHANE TAYLOR vs JEFF COBB

Shane Taylor spits in Cobb’s hand at the Code of Honor. Bell rings and they trade tackles with neither getting the advantage, which fires up the crowd. Right from Taylor rocks Cobb to break the momentum. Cobb reverses a whip into a HUGE sidewinder suplex, but Taylor right back up and hits an Exploder on Cobb and Cobb is back up too! They trade shots and Cobb gets the advantage before eating a standing lariat from Taylor. Taylor looks to keep his control as we go to BREAK.

We’re back and Taylor is still in control and talks shit at Taylor before taking a big running European uppercut that sends Taylor into the corner. Cobb in with a corner running euro, Taylor replies with a boot and climbs to the second rope, but Cobb lands a jumping dropkick. Cobb uses Taylor’s elevation to pick up Taylor in a vertical suplex before just freefall dropping him, Cobb looks for the cover but only 1. Beautiful standing moonsault from Cobb and a cover but only 2. “Jeff Cobb” chants. Cobb with strikes, Taylor with a big knee that drops Cobb to his kness and then hits another nice one. Cobb starts to stir, Taylor hits the ropes and HITS A DESTROYER ON COBB OH MY GOD. Running clothesline to follow, covers, but Cobb SOMEHOW kicks out! “This is Awesome” chants. This is Awesome.

Taylor looks for Greetings from 216 but Cobb gets behind him and holds him up for a deadlift German Suplex! Lariat knocks down Taylor, Cobb then sends him into the ropes and catches him coming back in a BIG Tour of the Islands, cover and the 3 and the WIN.

Jeff Cobb defeats Shane Taylor by pinfall after Tour of the Islands
JAY’S RATING: 3.9 out of 5

This was an OUTSTANDING use of this TV match. The only reason I’m hesitating on the full 4 stars was how quick it was, which I totally get its just my gut reaction at this point.  But nonetheless, this was indeed awesome. These two made great use of a short time frame by kicking it action-centric, which allowed both of them to shine. Cobb is a future franchise player here if he wants to be, and proved that once again here with a great showing. But I have to say I’m continually impressed more and more by Shane Taylor, who has found a style and a role that feels honest and grounded, with his striking game still being on point. That Destroyer though… that shows me yet again how hungry Taylor is to improve and up his game and show what he is capable of, which is significant. Well done – this feels like Ring of Honor TV action at its best.

After the match Cobb stands tall until Hangman Page comes to the ring. “Hangman” chants. They go nose to nose with Cobb holding the TV belt, and security fills the ring and surrounds the two. Cobb and Page then decide to just clear the ring of security and go back nose to nose. Cobb raises the belt, and a security guard is still in the ropes and get in Cobb and Page’s sights, seems like something might happen, “superkick” chants, but then Page leaves the ring instead. The guard looks relieved, but then Cobb hits him with a superkick of his own and Tour of the Islands, killing the security guard and raising the belt high. Fun little post-match, this match could be AMAZING. Which takes us to…

VIDEO: Jay Lethal Speaks

Lethal says Kenny King may have jumped him but Lethal is going to get even, so King had better get ready. But tonight is different and he has a score to settle with Matt Taven and The Kingdom. He says his new partner will be a shock to see. This was fine because Lethal is a great talker.

VIDEO: The Bouncers Speak

Milonas says Cheeseburger and Eli Isom are gonna get punched in the mouth. He sends it over to Bruiser who says Isom’s name is pronounced “Ism”. Milonas says Bruiser needs to get his head in the game as they get back on track. This was a thing that happened. Which takes us to BREAK.

BACKSTAGE: Where’s The Bruiser?

Brian Milonas is backstage and cant seem to find Beer City Bruiser before their match. Ummmmmkay.

VIDEO: Hero vs Villain

Ok. A small rant here. This is what I’m talking about when I complain about the issues of timing, booking and now also post-production. Because sure, Scurll is a great talker. But he’s talking about hey they are tied at one win a-piece and talks about how at #3 there “will be no Glory for you, Shane”. Which… so was this a promo from #3, which then they just tack on some video FROM Glory By Honor and put a banner that says “#4” at the bottom and hope it doesnt look as sloppy as it is? Was this better than, say, a segment with the commentary team, even recorded in post, talking about how the business must be settled and will be next week in a No DQ Match? That seems at first glance like a less sloppy option than using an old promo that is phrased around their 3rd match and pretending like it works. This is a storytelling form. Characters, narratives, journies, audience investment and passion, these are all elements of storytelling. And in good storytelling, the details matter. I just want someone to care about this just a little bit. 

BACKSTAGE: The Bruiser is Found!

Milonas finds Bruiser drinking at a bar in the arena. Bruiser talks about how Silas has left and how he wont talk to him anymore. Milonas tries to snap Bruiser out of it, and Bruiser says he’s right, lets go punch somebody in the mouth. Eh.

THE BOUNCERS vs CHEESEBURGER & ELI ISOM w/ Ryan Nova

The Bouncers literally make their way over from the arena bar, which I adore. Cheeseburger enters with some recent friends, who are starting to look a bit like a stable. Also, Ian runs down the card for the upcoming Global Wars tour THAT ALREADY HAPPENED, (and actually thats why I’ve delayed in posting reports from the tour – because I’d have to go back 4 full events to plug the next two TV episodes back in to the narrative arc…)

Isom and Bruiser start off, with Isom and Bruiser trading tackles and Isom showing good grounding. Isom starts rocking Bruiser and looks for a suplex, but Bruiser is too heavy and strong, looks at taking advantage but Isom stays ahead of Bruiser and sends him into the corner and tags in Burger. Burger with a big chop on Bruiser and a headlock to follow, but Bruiser gets out and runs through Burger.

Tag to Milonas, who throws Burger into the corner but Burger fights back, comes off the top with an axe handle and gets behind Milonas for a sleeper. Tag to Bruiser and Milonas is able to bring Burger over for a sideslam/running boot combo, Bruiser covers but only 2. Bruiser bites him but then says he cant bit, HE AINT GOT NO TEETH (and well, he doesnt). Tag again to Milonas, who sits on Burger on the corner. Tag back to Bruiser, but Burger chops them both to fight back and avoids getting crushed by Milonas, uses his size and speed and gets the tag to Isom!

Isom in hot with forearms and a knee strike. He staggers Bruiser and climbs to the top, hits a big cross body and cover but only 2. Milonas in but Isom fires up on him too, but gets caught and THROWN in a belly to belly by Milonas. Burger in with chops to Milonas, Bruiser gets behind up but eats chops as well. The Bouncers are able to get control, they set Cheeseburger up for a middle rope Death Sentence, but Isom in with a dropkick to knock Milonas off the ropes and Burger hits a DDT. Isom gets Bruiser up for the suplex, cover but only 2!

Burger tries to take out Milonas at ringside but gets caught, as Isom looks to stay on Bruiser in the corner. Milonas sends Burger into the post, Isom fights off Milonas but Bruiser uses Milonas to crotch Isom on the top, Milonas hits a superplex and Bruiser comes off the top with the frog splash (they call the combo Last Call), covers and thats 3 and the WIN.

The Bouncers defeat Cheeseburger & Eli Isom by pinfall after Last Call
JAY’S RATING: 2.5 out of 5

This was fine, a way of putting The Bouncers on a road post-Silas Young as a tag team of their own. Milonas still needs to do a LOT of work to find his point of view as a competitor, because his ring work isnt great and I have no real reason to connect with him as a character, nothing to anchor to specifically with him, so Bruiser does the heavy lifting on that front. Bruiser can be surprising though and is a solid as hell scene partner in general, Burger is looking leveled up in a way that has me curious now, and Isom is someone I am watching VERY CLOSELY into the future. So, all in all, a solid match all around.

And we have a BREAK.

We’re back and SCU is in the ring, so of course we get the “Worst Town” shtick. Kaz then puts over the 2300 Arena. We get “ECW” chants. Still dont quite get the shtick. But fine. Daniels takes the mic and drops a Lance Storm reference and talks about Joe Koff saying that The Addiction will be done at ROH. Daniels says he was right, we gave him every reason to make him want them out. But they were wrong and theyre trying to make it right. They thought the best way would be to end the rein of the Briscoes. They had a chance, but they didnt get it done, and time is running short. But next week, they get one more shot… in a triple threat tag along with The Young Bucks! Daniels says that they will win the titles and change Joe Koff’s mind, and the best thing about ROH in 2019 will be SCU.

But as SCU leaves, they get jumped by The Briscoes! They beat down the team, and Jay Briscoe hits a Jay Driller on the entrance stage! Kaz chases the Briscoes out with a chair as Ian talks about calling for help for Daniels. The Sky and Kaz bit is weird fun, a bit more weird to me still, but Daniels is great on the mic and put us forward (FINALLY) to the tag title match. The Briscoes jumping SCU adds some extra fire. This one will be fun, and then we will finally be a bit more caught up story-wise!!!

BACKSTAGE: The Kingdom Looks Intimidating

The Kingdom is sitting around looking… tough? I guess? Taven walks in and they make their way to the ring. They spent time on that? And we go to BREAK.

We’re back and Ian walks us through the attendants and medical team tending to Daniels after getting Jay-Drilled by Jay Briscoe on the entrance stage. What does this mean for the title shot?

JAY LETHAL, JONATHAN GRESHAM & ??? vs THE KINGDOM

Briscoe is out first, then Gresham. Lethal takes the mic and says its them and a “mystery partner” agaisnt The Kingdom. Lethal said they only said yes when Gresham asked him. Lethal welcomes their partner… DALTON CASTLE! (Since, you know, this was his ACTUAL return…*grumble*) GREAT pop for Castle from the crowd. Big “welcome back” chant. The Kingdom is out next, which takes us to BREAK.

We’re back and Gresham is starting off with Taven. They lock up, Taven puts Gresham in the corner, says “IIIIIIIIIIIM MATT TAVEN, the REAL world champion” putting that last bit in Lethal’s face, which brings Lethal in hot. Taven retreats to his corner. Taven tags in TK, who spits in Gresham’s face. Gresham goes fast and gets the ankle pick on TK, and looks to hock up a loogie of his own, but TK dodges it. Gresham uses his speed to stay ahead of TK, landing a dropkick at the end that puts TK into his corner. Vinny tags in.

Vinny says “I want the peacock!”, and Gresham tags in Castle. “Peacock” chants. Castle is braced up HEAVILY. Castle in hot, whips Vinny to the corner and follows in with a clothesline, looks for a bulldog but Vinny escapes and they stand off peacock-style. Castle chops Vinny and works him into the corner again, stays on Vinny with chops and shots and rolls through to a unique armbar and looks to transition that into a German. Vinny fights out, but Castle dumps him outside, makes to dive but hits THE STRUT to a pop.

Vinny back in and Taven asks for the tag, which Vinny obliges. They start talking to each other as The Kingdom attacks Lethal and Gresham from the outside, which allows Taven to jump Castle and send him outside, into the barricades and over one into the audience. Gresham toe holds TK into a chair, and Lethal turns the tide on Taven, sitting him in a chair and looking to deliver a running shot… but Sinclair interrupts! He gets booed for interrupting Lethal… AND THEN SINCLAIR GETS PULLED UNDER THE RING BY SOMETHING!!! WHAT?

Taven and Lethal trade shots at ringside, with Lethal getting the advantage. He then goes back inside and hits a suicide dive on TK! Taven in with a chair and gets shots in on Lethal, and we have no ref for the DQ. Taven covers, and suddenly we get red balloons, Vinny suddenly appears as does Sinclair, who is in the ring to count but Lethal kicks out at 2! Well, that was abruptly resolved… hm… Colt asks “what happened to Tood?!?!” (THANK YOU, COLT!) that takes us to BREAK.

We’re back and The Kingdom is in control of Lethal, with Taven tagging in. Lethal looks to fight back, but eats a SHARP knee strike from Taven. Cover, but only 2. Tag to TK, and they get some solid tag team wrestling in on Lethal. TK with boots and trash talking, but Lethal is able to counter into a cutter. Lethal looks for the tag but The Kingdom knocks the partners off the apron and bring Lethal back. However, Lethal fights back and gets the tag to Gresham who comes in hot! Gresham works fast offense, evading The Kingdom and catching TK in a rollup for 2, and catches Vinny and TK in a double bulldog. GRESHAM IS THE FUTURE.

Taven in but Gresham tags in Castle who floors Taven with some offense and a big lariat. Castle with a running knee in the corner, slingblade bulldog coming out and a cover but only 2 as Vinny breaks it up. Castle sends Vinny back outside, goes back to Taven who fights back. TK climbs, but Dalton posts him and hits a running knee in the corner and a running knee off the apron on Vinny. Castle sends Vinny back in, who eats a missle dropkick from Gresham. Springboard moonsault on Vinny, and suicide senton on TK at ringside!

Gresham back in fast, climbs up top, looks for the shooting star but Vinny gets the knees up! Lethal in and hits the Lethal Combination on Vinny, TK in but Lethal counters him and hits him with Lethal Injection! TK rolls out as Taven brings Lethal outside, Vinny in with a chair but Castle intercepts him and looks for Bangarang, Vinny holds onto the chair and so when Castle lands the move Vinny goes face-first into the chair! Cover by Castle, the 3 count and the WIN!

Dalton Castle, Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham defeat The Kingdom by pinfall after Bangarang into a chair
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5

This was a nice showing by all here, punctuated by Dalton Castle’s triumphant return and Matt Taven’s growing feud with Lethal over who the REAL world champion is. The Kingdom also is continuing to specify their point of view as a team, both in terms of individual “gimmicks” as well as just a dont-give-a-shit-about-you attitude backed up by some serious in-ring aggression and execution. This is an exciting time for this team and I’m having all of it. This was ultimately a great chance for the faces to shine, though. Castle looks good in return, and fed off a crowd full of fans. Lethal is one of the most consistent performers in the world today period. And Gresham is THE FUTURE. He allowed for a bit of playfulness here as well, which showed another layer that he can continue to develop. His speed and technique are RIDICULOUS, and he runs the sprint spot better than most working today. Castle getting the win feels right, though it does overshadow (just for a moment) the Taven/Lethal issue, but I think thats ok here, especially given the chemistry that is anchoring this feud. Nice work.

After the match, the faces celebrate and Lethal raises the belt high, but Castle has his hand on Lethal’s wrist holding the best and won’t quite let go… Lethal pulls the belt away, and we get a moment of Castle making it clear that he’s coming back for his belt. Castle extends his hand, and Lethal accepts it. A nice little moment of face-to-face (haha) tension here, and good choice to have Lethal shake on it since his character has a big thing right now about “hey, lay down your challenge the right way, and I’m not hard to find”, and this continues to make that feel true.

JAY’S THOUGHTS:

This was a solid episode of television. The main event was good on a number of levels, including the ring work, Dalton Castle’s return, Lethal/Taven, Gresham taking the spotlight and The Kingdom solidifying more and more as a unit. The opening was also GREAT, with both Jeff Cobb and Shane Taylor looking fantastic in a fast paced, action-filled hoss fight and giving me even more reason to enjoy Taylor’s growth as a performer as well as just enjoy the hell out of Jeff Cobb. Eli Isom also continues to prove himself as one to watch – his passion feels really genuine, and I hope that remains true because its priceless. And of course, my big issue continues in the scheduling and broadcasting as it pertains to storylines, title changes and the like. I mean, you have an episode that aired on 11/12 saying “we’ll see you at Global Wars” to play us out… it is just so glaring. And there are ways to plan in advance so as to avoid such issues, it just needs time and attention. This, along with just an adrenaline shot of greater intentionality with the non-match materials (not much, keep the focus on the in-ring, just use the moments in more intentional ways), would elevate the overall product and its presentation IMMENSELY. Please. Pretty please. Anyone over there. But, in the end, a good episode of ROH TV.

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