The ROHbot Report: Bucks-Hardyz, Atlanta Results, The Experience and More
By James Bullock Jan 22, 2017 - 7:34 AM
Welcome to another edition of The ROHbot Report – the only article you need for all the Ring of Honor news you have to know. ROH had the company’s first event of 2017 that was taped for the world to witness this past weekend. Lets find out what went down in Atlanta and the big announcement ROH made for the biggest weekend of the year in wrestling!
“Saturday Night at Center Stage” TV Taping Results; January 14th, 2017; Atlanta, GA - John Skyler beat Gladiator Jeremiah, Matt Sells, and Big Brother King in a dark match Episode One - Tempura Boyz beat Leon St. Giovanni & Shaheem Ali, and Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara - Marty Scurll beat Juice Robinson to retain the ROH Television Championship - Jay Briscoe beat Jay Lethal to advance in the Decade of Honor tournament Episode Two - Punishment Martinez & BJ Whitmer fought War Machine to a double count-out - The Kingdom defeated Corey Hollis, John Skyler, and Joseph Agau - The Young Bucks defeated Tempura Boyz to retain the ROH Tag Team Championship Episode Three - Donovan Dijak beat Jonathan Gresham, Jay White Lio Rush, Chris Sabin, and Alex Shelley to earn a ROH World Television title shot - Kelly Klein & Kennadi Brink beat Faye Jackson & Sumie Sakai - Adam Page beat Matt Sells - Jay Lethal and Bobby Fish beat Adam Cole and Cody Episode Four - Mark Briscoe beat Sal Rinauro - The Rebellion beat Dalton Castle & The Boys - Silas Young beat Bull James - Colt Cabana beat The Boys - Christopher Daniels beat Jay Briscoe in the Decade of Excellence Tournament final
You know the routine – I’m not going to judge too harshly about what happened during the TV taping without actually seeing the product these tapings were done for. With that being stated, Ring of Honor finished its first TV taping of 2017 and is gearing up for the company’s fifteenth anniversary by using this taping to establish a number one contender to the World title. In not-so-surprising news, Christopher Daniels bested Jay Briscoe – who got his first win over Jay Lethal in years during the course of the tournament – to win the entire tourney and earn his rite to fight for the gold against whomever is the champion come March. This was a rather predictable end, but a satisfying one knowing just how significant Daniels was in establishing the foundation of ROH from an in-ring perspective – becoming the company’s first villain and producing classic matches – yet has never won the World Championship. Daniels is only one match away from doing what has been the impossible for him and if it does happen it will go down as a truly historic moment that is greatly celebrated by long-time ROH fans. But it might not be Adam Cole who faces Daniels in the “Anniversary” event’s finale as Bobby Fish further established himself as the potential next World champ by besting the current titleholder in tag team action (not to mention having a World title opportunity waiting for him following his winning of last year’s Survival of the Fittest tournament). ROH’s other title divisions made waves in regards to contender establishments throughout the taping as well. Marty Scurll, after besting Juice Robinson in a reported excellent outing, was confronted by contenders galore after claiming he saw none. The end result was a Six Man Mayhem bout that allowed Donovan Dijak to earn another TV title opportunity. Dijak came up short the last time and it would be rather sad if it happened again. A personal hope of seeing Dalton Castle & The Boys challenging and potentially winning the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship is slowly becoming a reality as The Kingdom mocked the trio after their loss to The Rebellion. Though it wasn’t necessarily a feud built on Tag Team division dominance, the fact remains that Shane Taylor & Keith Lee used this taping to come after the undisputed greatest ROH tandem ever in the form of The Briscoes. With recent rumors & news regarding contract signings and the apparent collaboration between companies unexpected, this could create a figurative seismic shift in the two-on-two division ROH is currently offering. It’ll be interesting to see how these episodes play out and whether or not they can truly add an unbelievable level of hype to a historic event in ROH’s existence.
Ring of Honor debuts at the legendary Gilley’s Dallas with “Honor Reigns Supreme” on Saturday, Feb. 4th. Just signed for Honor Reigns Supreme is a match between Bullet Club’s Hangman Page and former ROH World Champion Jay Lethal.
This match comes from a simple premise seen throughout the years in wrestling regarding factions and the men they’ve angered. At “Final Battle”, Cody cheated his way to his first ROH victory at Jay Lethal’s expense. Before that night, Adam Cole not only disrespected the self-proclaimed “Greatest 1st Generation Wrestler”, but also ended his reign as ROH World champion. Now Jay Lethal is coming after each member of The Bullet Club to get to the men who has made his career rough the last few months, starting with Hangman Page. The unofficial enforcer of the faction, Hangman Page has spent the better part of his time in The Bullet Club not focusing on wins, but hurting his opposition. Look no further than Kyle O’Reilly – a person Page victimized after taking a relatively quick submission loss just to potentially soften him up for Adam Cole. Lethal has been blinded by revenge before and it has cost him greatly. On the other hand, Page has let revenge fuel him to be better. While it almost looks like a guarantee that Lethal will win thanks to stats alone, the actions of Page both legally and illegally in the confines of a wrestling ring mean more than wins or losses to not only him, but also his faction. Lethal’s coming to win; Page is coming to hurt in a match that could produce one of the best of the weekend.
Ring of Honor returns to Pittsburgh for Steel City Excellence on Saturday, Feb. 11. The international TV taping will feature all of the top stars in ROH as well as the start of the 2017 Top Prospect Tournament! Just signed for Steel City Excellence is a huge eight-man tag team match pitting Bullet Club’s contingent of ROH World champion Adam Cole, ROH World Tag Team champions The Young Bucks & Cody against Jay Lethal, Bobby Fish &The Briscoes.
With the surprising revelation that ROH’s return to Pittsburgh will be a TV taping came the need for marquee matches. Very few bouts have more marquee value in ROH than this potential exceptional encounter furthering the war for and against The Bullet Club’s further dominance in ROH. On one side of the ring will stand a group of men fortified under the banner of black & white – using the advantage of numbers to match their extreme levels of unbridled talent that has made them champions the world over including a first ever three-time ROH World titleholder in Adam Cole. But across the ring from The Bullet Club will stand four men just as highly respected and looked upon as pillars of ROH and the current wrestling world. Three of these men – The Briscoes & Jay Lethal – have found themselves on the wrong side of the faction to the point it has hindered them in regaining championship glory. Bobby Fish has too felt the wrath of The Bullet Club, yet found success on a more consistent basis – dethroning The Young Bucks to end their first reign as ROH World Tag Team champions, preventing the Television title from entering the group’s clutches, and earning his rite to fight for the ROH World Championship that could result in another title being removed from underneath The Bullet Club banner. Though the common threads connect them all, the unfamiliarity of being together in these forms could prove detrimental as none of these quartets have been in action alongside and against each other as what will be seen in “The Steel City”. No matter the outcome, expect an exceptional match that, thankfully, will be televised.
Due to a victory in a Six Man Scramble bout, Donovan Dijak heads to Pittsburgh as the number one contender for the ROH World Television title!
In 2015, Donovan Dijak made an immediate splash in ROH by winning that year’s Top Prospect Tournament. Rather than take his owed World Television title opportunity, Donovan opted to sacrifice it to become a member of The House of Truth. An argument could be made that the decision was less than wise as his career didn’t shoot through figurative roof as expected; leading to several shifts in mentorship and, most importantly, focus on his next goal. Refocused and supported by a pair of veterans who want nothing more than Dijak to embrace his promise as a future great in Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley, Donovan actually bested his friends and teachers alike to earn another TV title shot that could produce his greatest career moment to date. But it won’t be Jay Lethal or Bobby Fish standing across the ring from his latest challenger, but a man who prides himself as a villainous individual who takes pride in victory not matter how it comes to him – be it through the utilization of his dreaded Chicken Wing or bashing someone on the head with his infamous umbrella – Marty Scurll. Dijak is unlike anyone “The Villain” has faced not only since becoming the ROH World Television champion, but also during his short tenure in ROH thus far. The 6’7” athlete isn’t just strong. Dijak possesses uncanny agility that allows him to pull off impressive feats like a springboard somersault plancha that has the penchant of wiping out multiple targets in multi-man affairs. But everyone is the same height on their backs, and Scurll has the impressive penchant of bringing anyone down to his size. This pay-per-view quality bout will most likely be a great treat for every viewer of ROH TV and could produce another dramatic shift in a turbulent division if Dijak can finally achieve championship gold in ROH after coming up short the last two years.
Whoever the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Champions may be on February 11th will have a tough task ahead of them as the Rebellion challenge for the gold in Pittsburgh!
When ROH announced it was forming a Six-Man Tag Team division, the then-Cabinet trio featuring Kenny King, Rhett Titus & Caprice Coleman was simply having fun while “making wrestling great again”. But the antics and everything about their faction wasn’t producing what they truly wanted: respect. Changing everything about their approach, the trio transformed into The Rebellion – three men ready to take what’s theirs while potentially opening the eyes of those they feel have too gotten the wrong end of the stick when it comes to opportunities in ROH. After successful showings on both ROH TV and pay-per-view, The Rebellion finally has the opportunity they’ve been striving for since they formed last year. As of right now, The Kingdom will be the man standing across the ring from them – a trio undefeated thus far in ROH. With the lights on bright, there’s a chance The Kingdom’s reign could come to an end at the hands of men who are determined to prove they are bigger than the believed transgressions placed upon them as The Rebellion become the second holders of ROH’s Six-Man gold.
Ring of Honor has always been extremely fan-friendly, and now the company is giving its audience an opportunity to be directly involved in a live event unlike any other in ROH history. At “The Experience” on Sunday, Feb. 12th, fans in attendance at Express Live in Columbus, Ohio will vote to determine which three competitors from a group of 10 candidates will challenge ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions. The fans also will determine the stipulations for two other matches that night via poll voting on ROHWrestling.com and the ROH Facebook page a few weeks before the event: a Proving Ground match between World Television champion Marty Scurll and Lio Rush, and The Bullet Club vs. Jay Lethal & Bobby Fish!
Ring of Honor is calling this event the most “interactive show” in ROH history; and for good reason as the fans both around the world and those who will be in attendance will affect the show by voting on a series of matches – be it stipulations or actual opponents including the Six-Man Tag Team Championship match. Current reigning champions The Kingdom will face a trio to be determined by the crowd as they most likely cheer or boo in approval or disapproval as to whom they want to see battle for the gold. ROH World Television champion Marty Scurll will also be in action, but in a non-title, potentially beneficial environment. The 2016 Top Prospect Tournament winner Lio Rush was to be like his fellow tournament winners and wrestle for the World Television Championship after his big victory, but circumstances beyond his control prevented him not only missing out on his earned shot, but the title not even being defended in the United States. Rush was given an upgrade of sorts, failing the wrest the World title from Jay Lethal almost a year ago from this event. Though he’s tried, Rush has yet to earn another TV title shot, but could in his Proving Ground match with the champ. The stipulations, not surprisingly, could play a huge part in whether or not Rush makes it one win away from golden glory as fans online will vote for the pair to battle in either a Two Out of Three Falls, Submission or European Rounds match – the latter two really putting the advantage on the champion’s side as the UK star is the master of the Crossface Chicken Wing and obviously experienced with the rules of a type of match that has only occurred twice in ROH history. The Two Out of Three Falls bout could work more in Rush’s favor as Lio is experienced at winning more than once in a single night as seen in not only ROH, but also during the Shane Shamrock Tournament that has seen him walk away victorious. Last but not least is another confrontation between The Bullet Club’s Adam Cole & Hangman Page against two men they’ve antagonized for the last few months, Jay Lethal & Bobby Fish. While the problems between the two pairs started due to championship aspirations, the lack of honor shown by The Bullet Club has created more infuriating moments for Lethal & Fish that would allow a rage & anger to build perfectly made for two of the matches fans around the world will have the chance to vote for: a No Disqualification match and a Falls Count Anywhere bout. While the Tables stipulation also allows for the usage of weaponry through lax rules, the fact is in a Tables match there’s a good chance problems outside of human control can affect the bout’s quality. No matter the stipulation picked, the chance for one of the wildest tag team bouts of 2017 occurring in Columbus only two months into the year is great; as is this potentially being one of the most memorable events in ROH history by doing something the company shockingly never has in its fifteen years of existence.
The first match signed for The Experience is a ROH World Tag Team title match pitting champions The Young Bucks against War Machine.
When War Machine lost the ROH World Tag Team Championship during the annual ROH-New Japan “War of the Worlds” tour, their focus didn’t stay on regaining the gold, but getting revenge on the men responsible. Since then, War Machine has been battling constantly against men ready to destroy everything they’ve built up to this point. Though they haven’t been completely successful in their cause, they have done enough to warrant a shot at the gold that will happen during ROH’s return to Columbus. The Bucks have proven themselves as the best tag team the world has to offer, but against the likes of War Machine in non-title and multi-man affairs featuring teams of more than two haven’t been favorable for the current titleholders. The Bucks will be greatly tested as not only champions, but also their moniker as the best duo wrestling has to offer. This should be an excellent clash of styles to further make this event a memorable one.
The ROH Executive Board has been working tirelessly to sign first-time bouts and grudge matches for The Experience. Our return to Columbus last year proved Buckeye State fans are hungry for the Best Wrestling on the Planet and we are committed to delivering a pro wrestling experience unlike any other! Signed for The Experience is a first-time dream match nearly eight months in the making: Cody vs. Dalton Castle!
When the artist formerly carrying the Rhodes name to the ring left WWE he posted a list of names – names that would potentially give him the chance to prove his believed untapped greatness. While some were obvious choices, one stood out as he wasn’t a proven superstar and someone who had the potential of testing him unlike any other thanks to his eccentric personality and uncanny strength. Now, for the first time in wrestling history, “The American Nightmare” will come face to face with wrestling’s “Peacock”, Dalton Castle. It couldn’t be better timing for The Bullet Club that Cody challenges Castle now. Dalton is gearing up for a ROH World title shot at “Supercard of Honor” and Cody has the chance to not only prove his superiority against someone who could be a future World champion sooner rather than later, but also ensure that latter comes before sooner at Cole’s expense. Cody has been on a tear as of late in not only ROH, but across the globe - looking to make Dalton another notch in ever-growing belt of recent accomplishments. Castle, while not as world traveled as his opponent, is believed to be one of the brightest stars ROH has produced in quite some time without achieving champion status – something that could change starting with a win over “The Son of a Son” following a highly memorable match.
One of the most popular classic events makes it triumphant return in ROH’s most popular venue: on Saturday, March 4th, Manhattan Mayhem returns to the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom and the ROH World Championship will be on the line: Adam Cole defends against Bobby Fish!
Bobby Fish has been the center of controversy without being responsible for it in the least. All “The Infamous” has done throughout 2016 is attempt to become the undisputed king of ROH by winning gold – in his case the World Television Championship – and deliver memorable matches against a variety of opponents including Dalton Castle, Donovan Dijak, and Will Ospreay. While Fish was accomplishing impressive feats, his tag team partner was achieving his dream and losing it in the same as the other half of reDRagon won and lost the ROH World Championship in record time. Before Kyle O’Reilly’s first and potential only reign as ROH World champion ended, the belief that reDRagon would clash over ROH’s greatest prize was more believable than ever thanks to another of Fish’s accomplishments in 2016, winning the 2016 Survival of the Fittest tournament. After besting six men over the course of two nights, Fish earned a future World title opportunity that will now occur in the same building where his career changed for the better – the site of reDRagon’s first official ROH match. Two years ago, Fish literally talked his way into a World title match that had fans believing he could be the heir apparent to the figurative throne. The fans’ anticipation for history being made was only matched by the reality that at the time Fish was majorly a tag team wrestler who would’ve seemed like an odd choice as the top singles champion in a company. But Fish has greatly changed that perception thanks to his actions in 2016 – a year that saw him win gold on his own and succeed where few have in ROH. Ironically enough, the challenger isn’t the only one in this match happy about making history. The champ himself is now the first ever three-time ROH World champion – practically becoming a ROH legend at an age where few even get a solid footing in this business. Adam Cole has overcome the best of the best, be it Jay Briscoe, Jay Lethal, Kyle O’Reilly, and even Bobby Fish. This match has all the makings of being a classic from both an in-ring perspective and a historical one as Cole’s latest reign could believably come to an end at the self-proclaimed “King” just as much as it’s believable the champ will walk away with gold still in his possession.
At the monumental Supercard of Honor XI in Lakeland, Fla., on Saturday, April 1, Castle will receive his first shot at the ROH World Title, which is currently held by the only three-time champion, Adam Cole.
The end of 2016 proved to be fantastic for Dalton Castle. “The Peacock of Pro Wrestling” was on the verge of becoming a tag team champion alongside Colt Cabana when the wrestling veteran turned on him and initiated a feud that would apparently culminate at “Final Battle” where Castle solidly won. But between those moments, Castle did something he never accomplished thus far in his ROH career: pin the ROH World champion. It was during the closing moments of ROH’s Champions vs. All-Stars match when Castle, in a three-on-two scenario, turned the elimination match in his team’s favor by executing the Bang-a-Rang to pin Adam Cole. Since that night, Castle has been making verbal waves and reminding everyone what happened that night in Dearborn. But when Castle was initially letting the world know his intentions of becoming the next World champion it was Kyle O’Reilly holding the gold. Now the same man he pinned to gain such confidence in his abilities is the titleholder, Adam Cole. But so much can change between now and “Supercard of Honor” as Cole is scheduled to defend his title at least two times against two very different opponents, Bobby Fish and the winner of the Decade of Excellence Tournament. There’s a chance Castle could be stepping into the ring with men who have bested him in singles and tag team competition when he fights for the gold, or against the man whom he has pinned and been pinned by over the past year. In “Supercard of Honor’s” illustrious history, the World title has only changed hands twice – once in 2009 and once in 2013. ROH is promoting this as the biggest “SCOH” in the company’s history. If Castle wins it could also become one of the most historic.
The ROH World Tag Team Champions the Young Bucks have officially signed to face the Hardyz at Supercard of Honor XI!
“Final Battle 2016” was an absolutely grand moment in the careers of Nick & Matt Jackson as they achieved a goal long thought impossible by successfully defending the ROH World Tag Team Championship against The Briscoes on pay-per-view. But the aftermath is what really had people talking as Matt Hardy in all of his broken glory appeared on screen to put out the challenge to “The Bucks of Youth”. According to Hardy, he and his brother are on a quest that has taken them throughout time & space to prove themselves the best tag team in wrestling history, and one of the ways to accomplish that feat is by besting one of, if not the best tag teams in all the world on their home turf. For the first time in years (in the case of Jeff, over a decade) The Hardyz make their returns to ROH with the intent of proving that even in an era that should’ve passed them by they are still one of the best tandems wrestling has to offer. It’ll be incredibly interesting to see how this match plays out due to the inter-promotional nature of this bout. Being announced as the main event, this dream match can’t end without a decisive finish in the same vein as previous inter-promotional matches seen in ROH years ago (The Kings of Wrestling-Motor City Machine Guns match from “Supercard of Honor V”). ROH wants to sell out this event and there are very few matches that ROH can provide that will accomplish that goal like this one.
The ROH Executive Committee is thrilled to announce that NJPW stars Jushin Liger & YOSHI-HASHI and CMLL stars Dragon Lee & Volador Jr. will compete at Supercard of Honor XI!
Ring of Honor fans have grown accustomed to seeing the legendary Jushin Liger perform in a ROH ring including his recent bout with Jay Lethal on ROH TV. Dragon Lee, though he hasn’t been making appearances in ROH as long as his masked counterpart, the CMLL star made a big splash fairly quickly with matches against the likes of Kamaitachi and Bobby Fish. But Volador Jr. and YOSHI-HASHI, two men known around the world for their talents, will be making their ROH debuts in Florida for “Supercard of Honor”. Volador Jr. is renown since debuting in CMLL in 2001 where the second-generation grappler eventually won championships in his home promotion and abroad including NWA titles. Volador Jr. also has experience working in New Japan; almost winning last year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Volador Jr., the master of the Ataque Depredador (a double knee backbreaker), could begin a reign of greatness in ROH that starts in the “Sunshine State”. Then there’s the actual New Japan star that will also debut in ROH during the company’s return to Florida in YOSHI. Though he doesn’t have as much in-ring experience as his New Japan counterpart in Liger, HASHI’s 2016 and 2017 thus far have been the makings of potential greatness being realized. YOSHI not only pinned Kenny Omega before the IWGP Heavyweight title contender won New Japan’s annual G1 Climax tournament. But something even greater happened involving YOSHI and the landscape of ROH as HASHI actually has a pin fall victory over current ROH World champion Adam Cole that occurred one day after Cole’s third reign began. While HASHI won’t be challenging for the title in Florida, he could get one-step closer to becoming the first New Japan star to hold the ROH World Championship if he can make his ROH debut and potential subsequent appearances successful ones.
Matt & Jeff Hardy React to Supercard
Adam Cole Recaps His Third Reign
Sonny Kiss vs. Mike Orlando
Mandy Leon vs. Jessicka Havok
And there you have it. Show that love, or like, for The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page. Also, if haven’t already, make sure you listen to the latest FREE “Honor Nation” as I talk about the war between ROH & WWN and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/27_Mins_Honor_Nation_War_Against_Evolving.shtml). And don’t forget to send those questions in for the next “Honor Nation either through the comments section below, on Facebook (The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page), on Twitter (@fasjab), or by e-mailing me at Bullock@wewantinsanity.com. Here’s to a great week for you and yours; and as always, thanks for reading.