Ian Riccobani & BJ Whitmer on commentary, from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. We go straight to…
THE KINGDOM (TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia)
COAST TO COAST
God I cant wait for Marseglia to go singles, as I think his gimmick could evolve into something SUPER interesting. Havent seen much of C2C, but what I’ve seen I’ve enjoyed. Vinny and LSG start off, as Vinny dumps him outside early. LSG fights off TK, back in, fast action but Vinny gets LSG down with a tackle. They run the ropes and LSG hits a dropkick. Double team gets the advantage back to Vinny, who hits an interesting knee, tag to Ali and they get a great double team move on Vinny, cover but only 1. Some “Kingdom” chants. Vinny on Ali’s back, gets him to his corner and tags TK in. They double team but LSG aids the escape, C2C try to double team but Kingdom fights back, each team getting shots with LSG landing a running neckbreaker for an Ali 2 count. Tag to LSG, but Vinny catches and corners him. LSG reverses, but Vinny gets momentum back with a kick to LSG’s gut in the corner as we go to BREAK.
We’re back as LSG counters TK into a hip toss and gets a tag to Ali who is the house of fire. Hits TK with a complete shot and is fired up. TK from behind dumps Ali, Vinny releases a balloon and hits a neckbreaker on Ali on the floor. Rolls Ali back into a TK choke. Vinny uses the balloon as a weapon on Ali and TK hits a slam for 2. Tag to Vinny who targets the neck of Ali with a kick. Ali fights back, TK tags in and the Kingdom hits a spinebuster/headbutt combo but only gets 2. Tag back to Vinny, quick tags and great tag wrestling from The Kingdom. Ali fights back but eats a double flapjack and a combo for 2 before LSG breaks it up. Vinny works over Ali’s neck. Ali breaks out with a sitout jawbreaker, looks for the tag and fights off both of the The Kingdom to get it!
LSG in hot, great quickness to a jumping double clothesline taking out both Kingdom members. LSG follows up with a nice cradling gutbuster and flipping neckbreaker on TK. Takes out Vinny with a springboard strike for 2. LSG looks for something but Vinny escapes and hits a knee, hits Samhain forearms in the corner and TK grounds LSG outside, following up with a suicide dive to LSG. TK strikes LSG down, but Ali hits a dive on TK. Vinny hits a springboard that wipes everyone out at ringside. TK tosses LSG back in, but LSG climbs, and hits a rolling dive off the top onto everyone! Ali and TK in, Vinny sends LSG into the barrier, TK with a big strike to Ali, a strangely slow counter sequence ends with Ali getting a rollup coveer on TK for a 3 and the WIN.
After the match the question of who the legal man was, since it seemed that in fact it was not Ali but rather LSG. IS IT A CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE KINGDOM PERHAPS? C2C might have just stolen this one… and The Kingdom takes down referee Paul Turner! They are pissed as security hits the ring and The Kingdom clears all of them from the ring.
Coast 2 Coast defeats The Kingdom by pinfall after CONSPIRACY?!?!?! (and a rollup)
Jay’s Rating: 2.75 out of 5
I was about ready to give this a 3 actually, but that ending just deflated and flattened the arc of the match – they just couldnt quite stick the landing. Which is a shame, because all in all it was a really good match, with everyone playing their respective roles extremely well. The Kingdom is getting more and more interesting to me lately, in particular the tag team component here. With C2C coming into the picture more now and Kingdom dropping into themselves more and more, I’m very excited about the next phase of the tag team division right now. LSG particularly caught my eye, and I think I just have to own that I ADORE Vinny’s shtick and the dedication with which he has committed to that shtick. Hats off to all, and particularly those two.
We then go to…
VIDEO RECAP: The Superhero vs The Villain II
We see how Marty stole a win over The Hurricane with an act of pure villainy, a LOW BLOW. Marty cuts a promo saying every hero needs a villain but this villain is a hero, and says “be my hero” to Shane, as he would like to vanquish The Hurricane once and for all. Eh, Marty is charismatic as hell and thats all it had to it. No one seems to be thinking about these video bits much. Which takes us to BREAK.
We’re back and go to…
SHANE “HURRICANE” HELMS vs “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL
Nice crowd love for Hurricane who enters with his Career Legacy belt, which to be honest looks awesome for him. As a theatre artist in “real life” I sort of cant help adoring The Villain, who looks great in his entrance as always. I just eat this shit up, and Marty proves that you can have a great gimmick with great mic work and character specificity while also bringing the contemporary Strong Style-influenced direction of the industry to the table – YOU CAN HAVE BOTH. “This is Awesome” chants from the crowd, with some “Woop woop”s coming through loud as well. This has a particular kind of electricity and the bell hasnt even rung.
Marty extends the hand for a handshake. Helms says he’s watching Marty as he considers shaking it, as the crowd eggs him on to do it. Helms shakes it and everything seems fine… until MARTY GOES FOR A KICK WHAT A VILLAIN… but Helms is ready and catches the foot as the bell rings! Marty goes right for the eyes to take advantage, but Helms fires back with big clotheslines. Big vertical suplex on Marty and Helms is looking great. Helms rolls through to duck a Marty clothesline and turns around to throttle Marty for the chokeslam, but Marty fights out. Marty hits a tornado DDT on Helms and taunts, but Helms is back up! Marty turns around and begs off a moment. “Hurricane” chants.
Thottle again but Marty counters into a backstabber, covers but only 2, and Hurrican starts… “whirring up”, is that what they said? Ok I guess… I mean he Hulks Up, finger point and all (thank you Philly crowd for the requisite “YOU!!!!!!”), hits the shots, but Marty reverses the whip into Just Kidding taking out the knee. Marty looks cocky, but Helms hits JUST KIDDING, follows with a cool step over single knee facebreaker, covers but only 2. Russian Legsweep on Marty, Helms circles him and looks for the Hurricane’s Elbow, Marty cuts him off with Euro uppercuts taking Helms outside, lands the apron superkick, skins the cat and floors Helms with a suicide dive! Great combo from Marty. The crowd is on FIRE as Marty celebrates his villainy and we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Marty is still in control, and stomps the hand of Helms and goes for the fingers. Helms fights him off, but Marty snatches a brainbuster, covers but only gets 2. Marty paintbrushes Helms, lays in chops but Helms ABSORBS them. They trade chops and Marty goes down! Helms tries to get momentum but eats a corner gamengiri, and Marty hits a Ghostbuster over the knee! Slow to cover and only gets 2. “2 Sweet Woop Woop” chants. Marty looks for the apron tornado DDT to the floor but Helms throws him with a release Northern Lights on the floor! The double countout begins, they go opposite sides and the crowd builds for Marty. They are in and trade blows, Marty hits a hard elbow and looks for more but Helms hits a Colby Shot style Flatliner, follows up with a great inverted Unprettier style Eye of the Hurricane and covers but only 2. Marty hits headbutts and uncorks a RAINMAKER! Covers, but Helms up at 2!
Marty looks for Chickenwing, but Helms reverses Marty into the corner ringpost. Helms climbs and grabs Marty by the hair, but Marty crotches him up top. Marty climbs, looks for a superplex and hits it off the top, but Helms tries for a small package, only gets 2 and Marty hits a low superkick. Chickenwing called for again, Helms reverses again and Marty gets a low blow while the refs back was turned, and Marty hits the EYE OF THE HURRICANE on Helms, covers but only 2! “This is Awesome” chants.
Marty calls for a chokeslam, but Helms out of it and hits one of his own! Cover, but Marty turns it over for a quick 2 count. Helms looks for Vertebreaker, Marty into a magistral but Helms shifts weight his way and gets the rollup and the 3 count and the WIN!
Shane “Hurricane” Helms defeats “The Villain” Marty Scurll by pinfall after a rollup
Jay’s Rating: 3.25 out of 5
This was a cool match between two very charismatic performers, with a kitchsy but effective story driving it that is entertaining as hell and has the audience locked in between the Helms nostalgia and Marty just pure over-ness, as well as the quality of the ring work both can and did deliver. Helms is looking pretty great, definitely needs to move differently but has adapted his style well in a way that feels Liger-esque to me and I mean that as very much a compliment. A crowd that was eating this up elevated it past the 3 mark for me – this was a great time of a match, and still leaves room for another one as they are now tied at a victory apiece over each other. Nice work.
And we go to BREAK.
We’re back with Ian and BJ, who recap the action from earlier with the Kingdom falling to Coast 2 Coast, with Ian starting to believe the conspiracy. They also recap the rollup victory by Helms and discuss a rubber match. And then they get us to…
VIDEO PACKAGE: The Fall of Cheeseburger and Will Ferrara
We get a package recapping Ferrara turning on Cheeseburger and igniting a very personal feud between former friends and partners. Ferrara gets a promo running down Cheeseburgers stupid gimmick and how Cheeseburger would drop the ball. He says he’s a workhorse, Burger is a charity case. We get Burger’s challenge, Ferrara speaks with some aggression in his promo. We then get clips of the tag match with the Dawgs beating down Burger and SHOTEI!-ing his partner, with Burger spitting in Ferrara’s face before getting a SHOTEI! of his own. We then get a promo from Burger about the guy he used to care about, saying he didnt steal any opportunities he wanted to share them. He asks where this anger and jealousy has come from. Burger says he will hurt Ferrara. Decent enough, with a little forced aggression from Ferrara (mic skills still need a touch more) and a nice showing from Burger. He stuck the landing for me by keeping the end of the promo simple, just stating, quietly and honestly, what he promises to do. He’s getting more comfortable each and every time.
Fight Without Honor
WILL FERRARA vs CHEESEBURGER
We get entrances and then go right to BREAK.
And we’re back and get the Tale of the Tape, as both are in the ring and ready to go wearing “street fight” clothes. Crowd is behind Burger – I feel like the Burger story is gonna be one that gets told into the future, with the way this guy has developed not only his craft but his crowd connection. They start off hot at the bell, with Burger getting an early advantage in the scrap as he tackles Will and looks for SHOTEI! but Will goes outside. Burger follows and takes the fight to the floor. Chops to Will send him back inside and he uses the ref to sneak in an eye shot and shot to the back of the head, slowing the match for a moment as he takes control.
Will removes his belt while holding Burger down and WHIPS HIM, nice sound on that one! Remember, no DQ in a Fight Without Honor. And another! Burger shakes it off but eats the belt for his trouble. Another couple of whips and Burger is feeling it. Will then loops the belt around Burger’s neck and looks to hang him over the top, but Burger counters and goes to Will’s eyes to get a chance to stick a belly to back suplex and change the momentum. Burger now grounds Will with the foot on the head, just as Will did to him, and takes the belt off and returns the whipping to Will! Burger pursues Will around the ring and Will seeks cover. Burger then puts the belt around Will’s neck and chokes him over the turnbuckle for leverage, but he lets go and Will is able to drop off the apron which frees himself and damages Burger’s hand, allowing to Will to take the attack back to Burger with a focus on the hand. Will stays on him as we go to BREAK.
We are back as Will gets a chair and brings it into the ring, as Burger is hurting in the ring. Will lines it up and looks to crush the hand with the chair, trying to take out the SHOTEI!, but Burger moves and loads it up, but Will raises the chair and the palm strike goes straight into the steel! Will measures Burger and lays in a chair shot to the back, covers but only 2 on Burger. Covers again and still 2. One more but just a 1 count. Will to the outside again and gets the chair back, but Burger superkicks it right into Will’s face and both men are down!
Burger hits a great shotgun dropkick sending Will into the corner and stomps the mudhole. Burger with a corner shot, but the hand is still hurting. Burger with a big DDT on the chair, covers but Will kicks out at 2. Great selling of the hand by Burger. Burger goes outside and pulls a table out from under the ring, and the crowd pops! Burger starts setting up but gets blindsided by Rhett Titus, which is fine because no DQ! Titus sets the table up, and looks to bomb him through it from the apron, Burger fights out but Titus looks for a suplex instead, but Eli Isom and Ryan Nova are out to even the score, they hold Titus for Burger’s superkick which puts Titus through the table!
Will is lining up Burger with a chain on his wrist, Burger turns around but ducks it and grabs the chair, Will looks for the punch but connects with nothing but chair! Burger then gets his own chair shot in, and grabs the dropped chain. He wraps the chain around the hand and hits a huge SHOTEI! Burger covers for the 3 count and the WIN!
Cheeseburger defeats Will Ferrara by pinfall in a Fight Without Honor after a chain-wrapped SHOTEI!
Jay’s Rating: 3 out of 5
This was an entertaining main event and a nice little button on a mid-card feud with some solid history behind it. Burger is really coming into his own lately, and I think is getting poised to be ready for another level of push. Its always going to be hard for some to take his seriously, but its easy to see that this is a guy who has a ton of heart, a ton of passion for his craft, who is constantly working to improve and it shows as his ring and mic work is getting more and more compelling. I wasnt a big Burger fan at the outset, but his hunger has swayed me, and this performance keeps me interested. Its definitely time for both to move on in new directions though, and Will played his part well. His mic aggression could use some calibration, but his ring aggression serves him well, he had great urgency and fire while still playing the weasel when he needed to, and Burger carried the babyface banner high. Was it by the numbers in some way as a “final chapter”? Sure. But its a mid-card feud – it didnt need more than that and they executed it well. Nice work.
A solid episode of ROH TV, though the taping schedule still keeps us behind the DBD developments which is irritating. That and how phoned in the average video package are frustrating because I feel like just from a roster talent perspective ROH is SUPER interesting right now, but the packaging around it is very inconsistent. RAISE YOUR GAME. Its not even about production value as much as more intentionality with the content. So much feels so thrown away. Consider the spots, even the straight up humorous ones. Use them purposefully. Because right now they are adding very little so they just take up space. But the episode was nonethless anchored by its action, with Helms/Scurll being particularly fun and a nice lead to more that lies ahead for them I hope. I dont want Marty stuck on the midcard per se, but this is a nice little back and forth that delivered some good action to a crowd that ate it up. C2C continues to look promising in spite of a somewhat awkward ending in my opinion, and the Burger/Ferrara feud got a nice little bow in a match with some really good storytelling building off the history and chemistry of these two. A good episode, but they need to figure out this timetable issue and the impact it is having on keeping stories immediate and moving and getting the video packages to mean something.