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The ROHbot Report: Pittsburgh TV, Masters of the Craft Review, And More

By James Bullock Apr 23, 2018 - 7:36 AM print


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 returned to “The Steel City” for another TV taping followed by an HonorClub exclusive event. Let's find out what ROH has ready for its ROH TV audience in the coming weeks.

Steel City Excellence TV Taping Results; April 14th, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA
- Chuckie T defeated Josh Woods
- Coast to Coast defeated Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas
- Sumie Sakai defeated Stella Gray to retain
- ROH World Television Championship: Silas Young defeated Flip Gordon to retain
-Jonathan Gresham defeated Will Ferrara
-Shane Taylor defeated Ryan Nova
- The Kingdom defeated Dalton Castle and The Boys
- The Young Bucks defeated The Briscoes via disqualification
- Jenny Rose defeated Brandi Rhodes
- Jay Lethal defeated Punishment Martinez
- Kelly Klein defeated Madison Rayne
- The Motor City Machine Guns defeated The Dawgs
- The Bullet Club (Cody, Marty Scurll & Adam Page) defeated SoCal Uncensored

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, this is the first TV taping results in quite a while where things come across as poorly booked or handled when it comes to some of the company’s champions. Similar to “Honor Reigns Supreme” where Dalton Castle was on the losing end of a six-man tag bout, it seems the same thing happened here with one of The Boys most likely taking the fall. Castle has lost a lot in tag team bouts on both live events & ROH TV. Hopefully this means Matt Taven is line for a title shot as ROH has done a great job building him up as a contender, but it’s disappointing it comes at the expense of Castle’s record prior to their inevitable clash. SoCal Uncensored continued their losing ways on ROH TV with this taping as well. It’s sad “The Smartest Guys in the Room” fail so frequently in pushing back Bullet Club even when the faction is in a fractured state. On the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to champion handling, ROH seems to be setting the stage for another Briscoes-Young Bucks rivalry that started with a reportedly must-see bout here. Sumie Sakai has challengers lining up both verbally like Jenny Rose and Tenille Dashwood voicing their intentions during the taping in front of the audience and physically such as Kelly Klein beating Madison Rayne. With Kenny King tweeting he’ll be taking some time off and Silas Young overcoming Flip Gordon the potential names of TV title contenders are still numerous, be it Jonathan Gresham, Chuckie T. or even Young’s old enemy Jay Lethal.
The remaining results are mostly by the numbers with moments such as Coast to Coast gaining revenge against Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas by defeating the largest team in ROH history (according to Ian Riccaboni) and Shane Taylor overcoming enhancement talent. But probably the biggest story coming out of this taping is the firing of Bully Ray as the ROH Enforcer and him un-retiring. Ray had taken an issue with wrestlers like Cheeseburger; thus making him a biased authority figure. Instead of just leaving, Bully is apparently sticking around to wrestle in front of a crowd that will turn him into one of the most hated wrestlers today. While it doesn’t look like the most exciting or progressive tapings from ROH this year, looks can definitely be deceiving.

“Masters of the Craft” Results; April 15th, 2018; Columbus, OH
- Coast to Coast defeated The Dawgs
- ROH World Television Championship: Silas Young vs. Cheeseburger to retain
- Sumie Sakai, Tennille Dashwood & Deonna Purrazzo defeated Madison Rayne, Jenny Rose & Brandi Rhodes
- The Young Bucks, Adam Page & Flip Gordon defeated SoCal Uncensored & Shane Taylor
- The Briscoes defeated Matt Fitchett & Davey Vega
- Jay Lethal defeated Jonathan Gresham
- First Blood Match: Matt Taven defeated Cody
- Defy or Deny Match: Marty Scurll defeated Dalton Castle, Punishment Martinez, and Beer City Bruiser to earn a future ROH World Championship opportunity

ROH’s first event to air on HonorClub since “Supercard of Honor XII” seemed like stereotypical house show that was once solely made for DVD & VOD consumers before the streaming service became a thing; turning out to be just that in the end with some minor story advancements & foundation establishments for the future. But before the action could be seen, ROH suffered from streaming issues; causing some fans to miss the entirety of Coast to Coast’s victorious match against The Dawgs. While WWE also had issues with its Network in it’s first few months, the perception of wrestling streaming service quality has been established and it makes ROH appear to be a step behind in comparison. Thankfully once everything was up & running across the board there were no complaints as the stream stayed strong no matter the resolution quality.

When it comes to what was seen, Bully Ray attacked Cheeseburger after the latter’s failure to become the new TV champion in a solid, though somewhat sloppy match. Flip Gordon made the save; setting the stage for a match with the two now that Ray is an active wrestler again. In regards to Gordon, he had a moment as well later in the show with The Bullet Club as he got the approval of Adam Page after their successful match against SoCal Uncensored & Shane Taylor in a fun outing. Just like the TV taping, it’s unfortunate SCU is losing so much lately. Jonathan Gresham evened his record against Jay Lethal; avenging his loss at “Honor Reigns Supreme” in another fantastic, Match of the Night offering. Post-match, Gresham expressed his need for another match; a tie-breaker in their trilogy that harkens back to the days of ROH’s early years when a rivalry was based simply on wins & losses between two grapplers without the sports entertainment.
On the opposite end of the spectrum has been the more pro-wrestling oriented storyline featuring Cody and Matt Taven that saw the former World champion’s rage cause his downfall as he struck the NWA Welterweight title belt Taven was using as a shield and ripped his hand open. With Taven potentially in line for a ROH World title shot in the near future this is a perfect way to establish him as a contender with an opportunist streak. Then there was the main event where Marty Scurll did where so many former ROH World champions failed to accomplish in the past by defeating the champion in a Defy or Deny match to earn a future World title opportunity instead of being shut out while the current champion holds the gold. The match itself was up the standard of the most recent bout with the same stipulation, but didn’t reach the heights of greatness of the first two most due to the rapid rate of eliminations late in the match that weren’t spaced out too well. This wasn’t a major pay-per-view, but something more in line to a WWE Network special like “Roadblock” – something fans need to get used to witnessing from ROH when it comes to HonorClub live events that aren’t considered official pay-per-views or major iPPVs like “SCOH” before it – a solid offering with a couple of strong bouts that deserve to be seen if you have an HonorClub membership.

“Bound By Honor: West Palm Beach” Preview; April 27th, 2018; West Palm Beach, FL

ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Briscoes defend against he Motor City Machine Guns
2017 proved to be a moment where Jay & Mark Briscoe – arguably the greatest tag team in ROH history – found themselves at a fork in the road when it comes to where they saw the future of their time as a duo in ROH. Both men had found some level of success by themselves, but it was as a brotherly unit that Dem Boys made gained their greatest success in Ring of Honor and, arguably, in all of wrestling. It was in 2017 that Bully Ray was added to the Sandy Fork package; helping Jay & Mark become the second Six-Man Tag Team champions. All was going well until a bad night ended with Jay Briscoe taking a rare pin fall loss thanks to The Boys’ interference gone wrong in an eight-man tag bout. Jay Briscoe became obsessed with getting revenge and found himself being lectured by Ray to the point he grew tired and attacked the legend. Jay clobbering Bully with a table also proved to be a wake-up call for brother Mark as the former ROH World champion altered his blood that either it’s about The Briscoes or about Mark doing his own thing; there for forgoing his family. Mark made his decision and returned by his brother’s side so they could go after another record-breaking Tag title reign. Ironically enough, it was during this time of mental & eventual physical conflict between The Briscoes and Bully Ray that The Motor City Machine Guns finally became the ROH World Tag Team champions by defeating The Young Bucks at “Death Before Dishonor XV”. But this is more than just a title match where one team feels they deserve to be called champions over the other.
Over a decade ago, Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley were, arguably, the hottest tag team in all of professional wrestling; warranting admiration and a fans’ want to see them compete against the best tandems any wrestling company had to offer. In April of 2007, ROH made a dream match become reality when management acquired the talents of the then-named “Murder City Machine Guns” to battle “The Baddest Tag Team on the Planet” that just so happened to also hold the ROH World Tag Team Championship at the time. The match proved to be one of the greatest in ROH history, with The Briscoes pulling off the victory after forty-five minutes of action. One year later, the rematch occurred and The Machine Guns made up for the loss in another great match that, while not heralded as a classic it was actually just as good, if not better than their previous contest.
It would take another six years before The Machine Guns were back in ROH and ready to attain the championship they never could win even after besting Dem Boys, but came up short. Last year they finalized their trilogy at a live event where The Briscoes walked away with a big victory; only for Sabin & Shelley to achieve what Jay & Mark couldn’t by ending the year as ROH Tag Team champions. By defeating Best Friends, The Briscoes solidified their positions as the next men in line to challenge Detroit’s own in their fourth ROH battle in eleven years featuring a pair of brothers who have declared they will battle the world to prove they are still the “baddest tag team in ROH” history and two men who might not be blood related, but have become inseparable in wrestling while innovating when no other tag team could many years ago. Unfortunately for The Machine Guns, The Briscoes were better than them in Las Vegas as the eventual former champions fell due to their need to prove themselves as better brawlers than Delaware’s finest. Depending on the amount of given to this match expect nothing short of a classic yet again with the lack of probability of new champions being crowned compared to their last encounter.

Proving Ground match: ROH World champion Dalton Castle vs. Flip Gordon
Once a man whose sole purpose in ROH was to end The Bullet Club’s reign of self-proclaimed terror, Flip Gordon has found himself on the good side of The Young Bucks. But something that hasn’t changed when it comes to the intentions of the Montana native is the fact he wants to become a ROH champion. Though not the ideal way of becoming a ROH champion, Proving Ground matches have been a perfect route to earn a future ROH title opportunity for a wannabe challenger while potentially adding a level of mental edge over the champion if said champion – in this case Dalton Castle – fails to overcome. This first-time encounter will not only be interesting from the perspective of its result, but also the quality as Gordon has stepped up big time as a competitor in the last few months. Dalton Castle has proven to be at the top of his game since going after & winning the ROH World title. This has all the makings of being a must-see match that could propel Gordon into top contender status.

The Young Bucks & Adam Page vs. The Kingdom
When Matt Taven returned to ROH action in the fall of 2016, he had two known goals he hoped to immediately accomplish: 1. Become one-third of the first ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions; 2. Ensure The Bullet Club doesn’t win the Six-Man Tag Team title. For Matt Taven, his faction’s problems with The Bullet Club were once personal as former Kingdom stable mate Adam Cole abandoned his role as The Kingdom’s leader prior to joining The Bullet Club. Taven expressed his feelings that Cole not only saw The Kingdom as a way to keep himself in the World title picture, but also to hold Taven back from reaching his believed future glory. In Lowell following “All-Star Extravaganza VIII”, Matt Taven began his journey to accomplish the aforementioned goals as the newest version of The Kingdom featuring Taven, the debuting TK O’Ryan and returning Vinny Marseglia put The Bullet Club’s Cole & The Young Bucks out of the tournament in the first round – a win that would lead to The Kingdom becoming the first Six-Man titleholders in ROH history. But this version of The Bullet Club is completely different from the one The Kingdom defeated almost a year & a half ago and at “Honor Reigns Supreme” as this is a unit featuring three men who came together and became the ROH World Six-Man Tag champs – becoming the longest reigning trio to hold the gold thus far. The Kingdom comes into this one at 2-0 against The Bullet Club, but that could easily change as The Hung Bucks break down a trio that should have their number in a bout that should be better than anything seen between the factions when in action against each other thus far.

Cody vs. Punishment Martinez
Unlike Cody’s matches leading up to this event with Kenny Omega and Matt Taven respectively, this one doesn’t have any real story or build; just a first-time encounter that could shape the ROH World Championship division in the very near future. Shortly after Dalton Castle became the World champion, Punishment Martinez staked his claim at being a top contender after winning the 2017 Survival of the Fittest tournament. Martinez came up short in his attempt to become the ROH World champion, but definitely established himself as someone who has all the potential of becoming a future World champion. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the former ROH World champion himself in “The American Nightmare”. Cody never got his World title rematch following “Final Battle” when he got pulled into a feud with Matt Taven and had his ring of honor stolen. Though Cody isn’t the smallest man, against the towering Martinez will put him at a distinct disadvantage; especially if he decides to involve more desperate/dirty measures into the match as Martinez has thrived in ultra-violent environments; though the same can be said about Cody after he put Christopher Daniels through a flaming table and almost turned Rocky Romero into a pincushion. Though Martinez will have the physical advantage, Cody’s experience and ability to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat when put in an apparent no-win situation. There’s a chance for a David vs. Goliath style match here, but Cody being more devious than the saint here is a lot more believable than him working like an honorable individual.

ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champion Scorpio Sky vs. Jay Lethal
On opposite sides of the United States, Jay Lethal and Scorpio Sky found themselves presented with various, yet differing opportunities that resulted in their careers taking completely different paths though both men were obviously extremely talented early in their careers. The prior found a mentor in Samoa Joe, became a multi-time ROH titleholder (be it the Pure title, Television Championship, or ROH World title), and even had the chance to take on legends like Kurt Angle and Ric Flair on a global stage. Scorpio Sky honed his craft on the west coast, becoming a standout in the then-fledging Pro Wrestling Guerrilla while gaining something of a reputation for being good enough to be a star but missing that one chance to prove himself. Sky finally had that chance in ROH this past September during “Death Before Dishonor” weekend; almost becoming the ROH World champion in the process. Turning on Flip Gordon, siding with The Addiction to form SoCal Uncensored, Scorpio Sky’s ROH tenure has seen him quickly rise to champion status as he became one-third of the Six-Man Tag Team champions during ROH’s “16th Anniversary”. This is another huge moment for Sky in ROH as he’ll be in the ring with the arguable face of Ring of Honor as we know it right now – a man who is synonymous not only with the company due to his personality, but also because of Lethal’s in-ring talents. Lethal has been on a roll in 2018 by stealing the show with any opponent win (vs. Jonathan Gresham at “Honor Reigns Supreme”) or lose (vs. Dalton Castle at the “16th Anniversary”), and this match should be no different at two very capable wrestlers come together with the ability to have the fans on their feet.

ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions The Addiction vs. ROH World Television champion Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser vs. The Dawgs vs. Coast to Coast

The team of Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni have been on a roll as of late since overcoming the onslaught of War Machine. The pair known has Coast to Coast has picked up various wins including one over their opponents in this one, The Dawgs. But The Dawgs won’t be the only team looking to end CTC’s winning ways as the reunited Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser have found themselves on the losing end of Ali & LSG’s talents as a partner of Kenny King on ROH TV. Most recently on ROH TV, BCB & his usual partner Brian Milonas attacked LSG before the Tag Team Gauntlet and disabled CTC from advancing and becoming number one contenders. In the middle of it all are the former two-time ROH World Tag Team champions. While they’ve been busy with The Bullet Club and The Kingdom while becoming Six-Man Tag Team champions, The Addiction would love nothing more than to ensure their future contractual status by holding more than one set of championship belts. It’s been a while since four teams have been in a ROH ring with the potential of creating a future environment where future first-time Tag Team champions could be crowned following a stellar match to set the stage like this one.

Bruno Sammartino Ceremony


reDRagon vs. Jay Lethal & Shinsuke Nakamura


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 WWE’s “Superstar Shake Up” and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/32_Mins_Honor_Nation_Break-Ups_and_Shake-Ups.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.

Till Then.



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