Ring of Honor TV
Aired on Fite TV 1/28/19
Ian Riccobani and Colt Cabana on commentary. Nick Aldis comes down with Kamille and his NWA World Heavyweight Championship belt and joins the commentary team.
PJ BLACK vs JUICE ROBINSON
Juice is out in some distinctly Macho Man-looking gear. “Juice” chants. Juice offers the hand, PJ takes his glove off and chops Juice instead as we get the bell. They trade chops, PJ gets a headlock but Juice whips him, they run the ropes, Juice blocks a hop toss, PJ blocks one too, sweep by PJ for a 1 count, and PJ lands a double stomp to the back to take control. Juice fires back with jabs though, but PJ evades the Left Hand of God and rolls to the outside, but Juice wipes him out with a plancha. Juice rolls PJ back in and his a clothesline in the corner, PJ gets seated and Juice looks for a cannonball but PJ counters as we go to BREAK.
We’re back as PJ comes off the top with a top rope mushroom stomp on Juice, cover but only a 2 count. PJ rolls Juice through while hooking the legs and turns Juice over into a rocking horse, then walks him to the corner and bumps his head into the bottom turnbuckle, then hits a boot to the back and Juice takes a breather outside. PJ heads outside as well and keeps on Juice, then rolls him back inside where he takes Juice over with a guillotine suplex, floats over and works the arm until Juice gets the rope break. Back suplex by PJ, rolls through again and looks for ZSJ-style fujiwara armbar.
Juice powers out, they look for the backslide advantage with Juice getting it by 2 before PJ cuts him off with a clothesline and the pace slows down again. Elbow to the head off the middle rope by PJ, who then climbs the corner and hits a punch off the top rope and a cover for another 2 count. PJ with a splash in the corner before looking for a springboard, but Juice catches him and hits a belly to belly suplex. Juice with a corner clothesline, and another, and then a running clothesline drops PJ.
Sidekick by Juice is ducked but Juice catches PJ in a spinebuster, as Nick Aldis says whoever wins this match he will grant a shot at the NWA Title. Juice stalks PJ and hoists him up just to drop him into the Juice Box, cover but PJ is out at 2. Juice looks for Pulp Friction, PJ fights it off and gets a rana on Juice out of the corner, then hits a top rope standing moonsault and a cover but Juice is out at 2. Shots traded, Juice gets the advantage and lands the Left Hand of God, PJ gets seated in the corner and Juice hits the big cannonball. Juice climbs the corner, PJ up and sends the ref into the ropes to crotch Juice, which brings a DQ and a WIN for Juice.
Juice Robinson defeats PJ Black by DQ after PJ pushes the ref
JAY’S RATING: 2.25 out of 5
This match existed and was fine. It was all about setting up the upcoming NWA Title match between Aldis and PJ, but if anything… it left me less interested? Part of it is that the NWA/ROH relationship I think is still super muddy in terms of how the story of it has been presented. Dont get me wrong, FUCK anymore invasion BS storylines for a while at least, I just could use a bit more story to tell me why I need to give a damn about NWA on ROH when I already am caring about the ROH titles. But thats not what hurt this for me, honestly. PJ Black is just doing nothing for me really as of late, anywhere I’ve seen him. He’s competent as hell, but even just looking at this match alone, I dont know that I can watch this and have the nickname “Darewolf” make sense. He needs a brand refresh stat, because right now his stuff feels so slow to me, and without urgency. I never got the sense that he really wanted to beat Juice, so why should I invest in his desire to take the NWA title? He’s got ability, this just feels super vague as a performance to me.
After the match, PJ decks the referee. Colt is fired up. Aldis runs down PJ as PJ comes to commentary, they get in each others faces as Aldis runs down PJ until Kamille steps between them, and PJ leaves. This takes us to BREAK.
IN-RING SEGMENT: Juice Speaks
We’re back and Juice is still in the ring and is on the mic, and says he didnt come here to win by DQ. We get an edited version of this promo, where Juice talks about how he’s gonna be around ROH more in 2019. K.
BACKSTAGE PROMO: The Kingdom
The Kingdom is all there and TK talks about how Marty has more friends than he thought. TK runs down Marty, Taven calls him a Melvin and runs down Brody King and gets a HEEEEE’S MATT TAVEN in as Vinny runs down PCO. Vinny was the most interesting one here to me.
SHANE TAYLOR vs MIKE LAW
Caprice Coleman joins commentary. We get a flashback of Taylor tearing up Christopher Daniels’ contract. Law is the “newbie” here, who extends the hand to Taylor and Taylor replies by spitting on his hand. We get the bell and Taylor explodes out of the gate with a SICK shot to the heat and just KOs Law. DAMN. Taylor hoists Law and lands Greetings from 216, covers Law and gets the WIN in short order.
Shane Taylor defeats Mike Law by pinfall after Greetings from 216
JAY’S RATING: Not Rated
This was a dominant and short squash based around Taylor’s return from a stint in the UK, he made it look good. Best striker in ROH currently, makes me believe it every time. #Taylor2019
After the match (er, slaughter), Taylor takes the mic and says that people have been wondering who paid him to take out Christopher Daniels. Who hated Daniels enough to have Taylor go after him. Taylor runs down the Philly crowd and says no one paid him anything, HE decided to take out Daniels and take him away from the fans, and he’s just getting started. This was short and sweet, but had a clear POV and focus, it felt honest and had the desired impact. I am so behind Taylor for a rise soon. And this takes us to BREAK.
IN-RING SEGMENT: Flip Gordon
Colt is in the ring on the mic and introduces Flip following his huge win at Final Battle (so this must have been taped before Honor Reigns Supreme…) Come on, yall, its a taping, and Ian was so good this weekend on context, edit in something here to provide context as well since an event has already happened where Flip was injured. On a PPV. There needs to be a system where you can make a last minute edit and add a voiceover or SOMETHING. Flip comes out to the ring, Colt hypes up the fact that Flip made Bully say I Quit in the Hammerstein Ballroom. Flip says he’s been dealing with a bully, and he made him quit. Mission accomplished. So now its time to cash in his shot at the ROH World Title.
All of the sudden Kenny King’s music hits and out comes King. King has a mic and says he guesses this is ROH now – someone comes out and cries because he wants to be champion. King takes a shot at the Philadelphia Eagles as he runs down Flip and Jay’s other recent challengers, and then plays a tape of King beating Jay Lethal (though its edited so you cant see King’s feet on the ropes for leverage). King shows numerous angles (but all of them miss the feet on the ropes), and keeps rolling the footage so he can watch himself beat Lethal.
King comes down to the ring and says the whole world just saw me pin the champ, and he got screwed out of his shot, and Flip has the gall to ask for one? King calls Flip a phony, runs him down more, mentions Flip’s military cred, but says he is better, tougher and runs down Flip joining the Army Reserves and drops the mic. King leaves as Flip watches and we go to BREAK. This was a solid promo, and King/Flip program for a title shot actually sounds SUPER compelling to me… its just weird given the injury and whatnot, how this will be paced out over the coming weeks. But this kept me on board simply because I think King is coming into his prime, his ring work has been on point and I’m loving him on the mic. Time to level him up.
Ring of Honor World Six-Man Tag Team Championship
VILLAIN ENTERPRISES vs THE KINGDOM (c)
We’re back and we go to Marty’s entrance package, i.e. the best music and video in the company today bar none. The Kingdom comes out and Taven has a mic and tells Bobby Cruise to shut up. Taven asks VE why they think they deserve a shot at the titles? They are brand new, and think they can show up and challenge The Kingdom? They have to earn that shot. That’s why he can call himself the REAL World Champion becuase HEEEEE’S MATT TAVEN. Scattered “Real World Champ” quotes. Taven says he’s going to give them a chance to earn their shot, against… SHINOBI SHADOW SQUAD.
#1 Contenders Match: Ring of Honor World Six-Man Tag Team Championship
VILLAIN ENTERPRISES vs SHINOBI SHADOW SQUAD
The Kingdom is feeding 3S to the wolves essentially, 3S poses but VE jumps them before the bell and dump everyone outside as the beating begins. Lots of varied offense as VE dominates 3S, its just unstructured carnage as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Ian guides us through a reply of 3S mounting some offense and hitting a nice dive outside during the break, and inside Isom is on Marty but Brody gets a shot in and Marty takes down Isom. Tag to PCO who hits a great Michinoku Driver and tags Brody in. One armed slam to Isom and a running senton from Brody, cover but only 2. Brody puts Isom in the corner and lands a big chop, and another loud one. Cover with just the boot but Isom out. Isom is draped over the middle rope and Brody hits a cannonball to the back, cover but 2 again.
Brody keeps on Isom, but Isom ducks a shot and dumps Brody with a GREAT straightjacket German release suplex! Tag to Marty and tag to Burger, who hits a series of shots on Marty, Burger drops Marty and hits a great spinning somersault senton and covers but PCO breaks it at 2, and PCO and Burger face off. Burger goes right at PCO with shots that PCO just inhales, and PCO catches Burger off the ropes with a tackle. PCO drags Marty to his own corner and tags himself in, then grabs Burger from behind with a double nervehold, then lifts Burger up by the neck just to slam him back down!
Burger in the corner evades a crush by PCO, Ryan Nova gets the tag who goes for Brody and lays shots in on PCO, hits a big knee strike off the ropes but PCO clobbers him with a lariat. Burger in with a sleeper on PCO as Isom keeps the rest of VE at bay, superkick by Isom to PCO while Burger holds the choke but PCO wont budge. PCO finally breaks free and runs over Isom as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Brody is cleaning house but Burger dumps him and all of VE is at ringside as 3S calls for a dive, Nova and Isom go for suicide dives but get throttled by PCO and Brody, Burger comes over the top and guts cut off by Marty who hoists Burger, and VE hits 2 apron chokeslams and a tombstone on the floor on 3S. Back inside PCO hits a buckle bomb on Nova, then a pop-up powerbomb, rolls him over for a Marty superkick, a PCO knee and a Brody GANZO DRIVER. PCO finishes things with a moonsault and gets VE the WIN.
Villain Enterprises defeats Shinobi Shadow Squad by pinfall after a moonsault to earn a shot at the ROH 6-Man Tag Team Titles
JAY’S RATING: 2.75 out of 5
This ended up having good stuff for 3S to get in there as they continue their trajectory as a new team, but this whole match was hurt by not a single person every believing that 3S could pull out the victory. As a result, the crowd was largely quiet during a ton of VE’s biggest spots, which was unfortunate because the work itself wasnt bad. While I understand the storyline logic here, just from a match and impact standpoint, the title match wouldve brought a TON more crowd energy, as instead everyone here was appreciative but thats about all. VE was going to go over, so the match replacement itself was unfortunately always going to feel like a deflation. In a way, let it be a squash and call it a day, and do a post-match angle with The Kingdom to take us home. And I take nothing away from 3S as I say that, as they are an exciting trio with Burger looking great and Isom looking like the future – they were set up for this by the booking.
VIDEO SEGMENT: Bully Ray Is Depressed
Bully looks sad sitting in front of a fire, and pours lighter fluid on the flame, as we see Flip kicking his ass in weirdly edited “flashbacks”. Bully keeps adding fluid as he “remembers getting his ass kicked”. Oh look, more fluid and another flashback from the match. And more. We see Flip getting his hand raised, Bully looks sad, and says “I never said I Quit”. We hear an echo-ey repetition of it as the package plays out. Sorry, that wasnt very good, but it did what it needed to do.
Honestly this was the weakest ROH programming I’ve seen in a while, and I think its because theyve already started making some changes for 2019 that really only started taking full root after this taping happened. So I’m not going to hold it too against them here, especially coming off some great stuff with the Road to G1 Tour (which technically this aired before on Sinclair networks, but between Fite and Honor Club they drop on Mondays and thats where I can see them). So I also have to take my viewing in context there a bit. But also, the main event ended up being a bit of a letdown, as did the closing video package which was just… not well done. And I dont know what to make of PJ Black constantly trying to find the right home for his comeback. The problem I see is that I dont necessarily see his stuff evolving, he’s still calling himself the Darewolf even though thats not how he moves in the ring anymore, so theres almost a cognitive disconnect as his matches that I’ve seen lately just feel lethargic to me – that’s what a “Darewolf” match feels like? PCO is a walking masterclass in re-branding and re-inventing, as is Drew Galloway/McIntyre, so I think PJ needs to consider something bolder and soon. There’s so much out there now, and nothing about PJ stands out to me. The saving graces of the episode for me was Shane Taylor looking badass again and Kenny King’s current evolution. But other than that, I feel like this is a pretty skippable episode of ROH TV…