ROH TV Report 4/2/17
*Show opens with footage of Adam Cole firing the Young Bucks from the Bullet Club after last week's episode went off the air due to the Bucks accidentally superkicking him. I like the thought here. Things shouldn't always end when the cameras stop rolling. The Bucks respond by saying Adam Cole can't fire them because he's not the leader of the Bullet Club. Kenny Omega is. Nice little story here with Cole becoming unhinged after losing his ROH title.
Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs. Raymond Rowe
These two are members of feuding tag teams. Rowe is one of their better guys. Hanson was my ROH guy when I started watching the promotion again in 2014 but at some point Rowe surpassed his War Machine partner in my eyes. Rowe has the intensity & explosiveness of Tomasso Ciampa while being bigger and looking like a dude who will happily stab you. I've seen DBS Jr. a few times. He never made much of an impact one way or another. He's tall with Mr. Kennedy hair. All these things have me assuming he is a bland 2003 OVW-type guy.
And I'm wrong! This was actually pretty good. DBS Jr. targeted Rowe's knee like a boss. He slapped on some nifty submissions, did all these dickish knee kicks to break up shitty strike exchanges, and never forgot he was the heel. The best is when he did the old Flair 'atomic drop the knee' spot on a table. DBJ Jr! Yeah! Rowe's selling was alright. Could have been better. Could have been worse. His best attribute is explosiveness and he wrestled a very unexplosive match due to the knee injury, which is actually a good thing. BUT his rare offense did consist of several (injured) knee strikes. Crowd wasn't that into it. Not even a single "This Is Awesome!" chant! But fuck 'em. This was more enjoyable than like 80% of "This Is Awesome" matches. Rowe's finisher sucks. It took until the replay for me to understand what the hell it was even supposed to be. In real time it looked like Rowe picked DBS Jr. up in full nelson position only to put him back down again. And then pin him. Upon replay I was just barely able to discern Rowe's finisher is descended from the degenerate Whateley branch of the GTS family. There's a chance it only looked bad because DBS Jr. is tall but I doubt it. Get a new finisher, Mr. Rowe.
*Footage of Daniels beating Cole for the title a few weeks back with some help from Frankie Kazarian is followed by an Adam Cole promo. His basic bitch indie style wrestling does nothing for me but he's a good promo when he's serious like he is here and not doing try hard shtick.
Josh Woods vs. Brian Milonas- Top Prospect Tournament
I had no expectations for this. I was tired and Milonas' turn of the century fat guy indie look was a turnoff. My tired ass is thinking "How the hell is this 15 year Boom Boom Comini/Mega-looking veteran a top prospect in what was once the most revolutionary promotion in America? I'm tired. Don't think I'll make it through this."
But I stuck with it and this was also not bad! Very smart match, actually, with a clear big vs. little story that played off their previous Top Prospect matches. The commentary team of Brutal Bob Evans &.....Ian Somebody, maybe(?) did a good job with a REAL SPORT~! style call talking about strategies and kayfabe psychology and all kinds of neat stuff. Milonas used his size advantage to control most of the way but Woods was never out of it due to his MMA/submission/kicking background. He'd occasionally catch Milonas with a big strike or flash submission. But Milonas would use his size advantage & veteran presence to power out and go back on control or reach the ropes. They even got me to bite on a nearfall when Milonas used this weird-in-a-bad-way back senton that he beat some jabroni with a few weeks back. But Woods kicks out! Woods eventually hits a big German Suplex and slaps on a leglock for the submission victory. We're two for two so far.
*Footage airs of Bully Ray debuting to save the Briscoes from a Bullet Club beatdown. This is followed by a typically entertaining Briscoes promo. Those boys ain't right. They grew up as big Bully Ray fans and will be teaming with him next week against Matt Taven's shitty Kingdom for the completely unnecessary 6 Man Titles.
*Marty Scurll promo hyping our television main event. Long live The Villain!
*Kazarian is #1 contender to the TV title and he's out to provide commentary for our next match. Meh. He was a 3rd rate indie/X Division guy at best even during his so-called prime and said prime ended a LONG time ago. No interest in seeing him nowadays. Super nice guy though! And what's the deal with his whole "turn on Daniels.... but not really!" thing? It's all very Russoesque.
Marty Scurll vs. Kenny King w/ Caprice Coleman- TV Title Match
This was crap. I want to like Scurll. He's charismatic and good on the mic. He has an actual gimmick and seems like a creative guy. My two favorite wrestlers over the past 4-5 years were early Bray Wyatt & Broken Matt Hardy. Both creative, charismatic guys with gimmicks and mic skillz. Hell, most of my favorite wrestlers over the past 30 years have been creative, charismatic guys with gimmicks and mic skillz. But Scurll's basic bitch indie style wrestling is such a turn off. King is no better. They do moves. It's technically heel vs. heel but neither guy does anything particularly heelish until the last 10 seconds of the match. King has a few nice superkick sells. Not unlike Randy Orton in that match he had with HBK in 2007. And I suppose learning to sell superkicks is a priority if one is going to be an ROH wrestler. Scurll's piledriver was very wimpy this time around. There were some hilariously bad strikes by both guys which were sold. At least Scurll's awesome finger break spot leads directly to a (rather poorly applied) crossface chickenwing for the quick submission win.
Final Thoughts- This show has been on a nice little roll. 3rd episode in a row with more good than bad. Enjoyed the first 2 matches and all the interview segments. Also liked how this show aired matches from several different locations. Gave it a very 80s feel.
*So I won't be attending the ROH show in Baltimore this Saturday. Have to work Too bad. But at least I won't be missing the Broken Hardys.