The ROHbot Report: Supercard of Honor XI, Baltimore Tapings, And More
By James Bullock Apr 9, 2017 - 8:10 PM
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 is coming off the biggest weekend of the year and its largest attended event in ROH history. Let's find out what happened at “Supercard of Honor XI”.
Supercard of Honor XI Results; April 1st, 2017; Lakeland, FL - ROH World Television Championship: Marty Scurll def. Adam Cole to retain - Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser def. The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia) - Six-Man Tag Team champions Bully Ray & The Briscoes def. The Bullet Club (Hangman Page & The Guerrillas of Destiny) - Texas Bullrope match: Jay Lethal def. Cody - The Motor City Machine Guns def. Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara and The Rebellion (Rhett Titus & Shane Taylor) - Punishment Martinez def. Frankie Kazarian - Bobby Fish def. Silas Young by disqualification - Volador Jr. & Will Ospreay def. Dragon Lee & Jay White - ROH World Championship: Christopher Daniels (c) def. Dalton Castle to retain - ROH World Tag Team Championship (Ladder match): The Young Bucks def. The Hardys to become the NEW CHAMPIONS
In a rather interesting turn of events, the Television Championship match kicked off the show as two rather villainous individuals squared off in front of a very receptive crowd. The early posturing gave way to the two men ready to do anything to win doing just that quickly including Scurll using the ring apron to tie up his opponent. Though the champ controlled a majority of this one, Cole wasn’t taking it lying down as he found an opportunity to fight through the pain around the ten minute mark; leading to an exchange of super kicks and illegal activities including both attempting to use Scurll’s umbrella as a weapon – something the champ was successful in accomplishing thank to poor referee positioning as he tried to regain some semblance of order. Though the umbrella didn’t knock out Cole, it did weaken him to the point that a comeback was easily halted by his own body giving out; in this case his attempt to perform a tombstone and being easy prey to the finger dislocation instead. The work Scurll accomplished throughout the match was exactly what someone needed to do to beat one of the best wrestlers in the world; allowing “The Villain” to make Cole tap in the Crossface Chicken Wing to kick off the show in thrilling fashion. Following a video package to explain what happened during & after the “15th Anniversary” that saw The Kingdom lose the Six-Man Tag Team Championship, TK O’Ryan’s injury and how Silas Young was responsible for the prior, this second bout of the evening featuring a group of men on the dishonorable side of the coin was all about the clubberin’ in the early going after BCB insultingly spit beer in the face of Vinny Marseglia. The Kingdom, though one man down, was working like a well-oiled machine by isolating the big man until Silas had just about enough and blatantly interfered to cause a breakdown of more brawling and bodies starting the fly both in the ring (Matt Taven performing the frog splash as Bruiser did the same from the opposite corner) and out (BCB utilizing his somersault senton off the apron to wipe out Taven). Mr. “I do whatever I feel like” Marseglia cost his team a big victory by trying to add insult to injury on Young by burning him with Bruiser’s cigar. Young stopped the disrespectful & painful act with Misery to somewhat surprisingly pin one-third of the first ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions in a match that was better than a lot of people could’ve and probably did expect; and a great way to continue the show’s positive momentum. Ironically enough, the new World Six-Man Tag Team champions were in action next in this inter-promotional bout featuring a teacher versus student affair as Bully Ray found himself, for the first time, standing across the ring against his students in The Guerillas of Destiny. But it was Dem Boys who took the fight to The Bullet Club contingent early on, actually dominating until Ray came in and tried to be honorable. The Bullet Club took advantage of the situation and made Ray (and subsequently his partners) pay while isolating the tag team legend; forcing Bully to switch up the game plan alongside The Briscoes to the point he wanted to grab some tables. Page stopped whatever Ray had in mind, but couldn’t stop the spear from Bully that set off a chain of events where Mark Briscoe became the legal man and ran wild. “The Sussex County Chicken” seemed to be on the verge of ending this one single-handedly when The Bullet Club stopped him. Thankfully for Mark, Jay & Ray were there to save him from a double team superplex while setting up a double Doomsday Device on both of Ray’s old student and Hangman. Tonga Loa, hurting from taking the Doomsday Device, couldn’t stop the Super 3D or the subsequent three count in favor of the champs to cap off this exhilarating, hard-hitting match that was everything you’d expect from the names involved. In one of the most highly anticipated matches of the evening, Cody and Jay Lethal came out for their Texas Bullrope match dressed in certified Jim Crockett era street fight attire including knee pads over jeans and Cody rocking a “Lethal sucks eggs” t-shirt. No corner touching in this one as it would only end in a pin, submission or referee stoppage as the original matches of this type would during Dusty Rhodes’ days; and Lethal & Cody made sure everyone knew just how brutal this type of match could be as they brought the hate to Florida. After some whipping action, Lethal was the first man to draw blood both on the back and eventually the face of Cody courtesy of the steel ring post by using the bull rope as a reel. With Cody bleeding, Lethal took the cowbell and looked to use it as an instrument to widen the cut. “The American Nightmare” fought through the blood loss and used Lethal’s anger against him (as well as utilizing his old “Phantom” mask to protect his face from further injury). When Lethal looked to drive Cody through a table courtesy of Hail to the King, “The Son of a Son” used the rope to yank him off his perch send a bloodthirsty former World champion through his own intended instrument of destruction. Surviving the table fall and even the Beautiful Disaster, the same item that put Cody at a severe disadvantage midway through the match proved to be his undoing as a second attempt at the Beautiful Disaster saw him miss and get yanked into the Lethal Injection thanks solely in part to the bull rope. Lethal made the cover to cap off this feud in grand fashion as these two put on, arguably, the most memorable Texas Bullrope match since the Dusty Rhodes-Billy Graham classic almost forty years ago. Following the match, Cody offered Lethal the bullrope in a shocking show of respect and admittance that Jay was the better man. During intermission there were several pre-show matches shown including the Motor City Machine Guns overcoming The Rebellion and Will Ferrara & Cheeseburger, and Damien Martinez besting Frankie Kazarian due to interference from Hangman Page (who was looking for revenge after what happened at the “15th Anniversary” concerning Kazarian tricking The Bullet Club). All nothing too memorable, but a nice way for the viewers at home to be forced to watch a repeating reel of promo videos usually reserved for these iPPV intermissions. More action didn’t immediately greet the fans following intermission as Bobby Fish came out to lament over his recent major losses including his failure to win the ROH World Championship. Silas Young interrupted Fish’s time while mocking his “wining”. An impromptu match came from this interaction that boiled down to a no contest where Fish and Young refused to stop fighting even when referees and security tried to break them up. While this was a good segment, it felt more appropriate for the TV taping happening in a week than on an iPPV. The high flyer showcase featuring the ROH debut of Volador Jr. was everything one would’ve expected from the men involved & more as the New Japan-CMLL contingent featuring Jr. & Ospreay saw the early advantage go in favor of their opponents after Ospreay early antics against Jay White resulted in him being caught and dove on by both of his opponents following some high octane action that wowed the crowd like nothing else seen on the show up to that point. As if expectations for something incredible for this match weren’t high enough as the match progressed, Ospreay executed a shooting star press to the floor that weakened White gave way to Volador ending the match in his team’s favor courtesy of a super hurricarana. Really, this recap can’t do justice to the insanity that was seen from bell to bell. The CMLL stars really shined here and the hope that Volador Jr. makes a few more appearances in the near future is definitely warranted following such an incredible outing. In his first ROH World Championship defense, the near fifty-year-old Christopher Daniels battled one of the company’s most profound young stars in Dalton Castle. Castle, in his first ROH World title match, handled the pressure relatively well, not being bothered when the champ performed “The Peacock’s” signature pose. Eventually Castle settled things down and began working his way toward sending “The General” to Suplex City. Daniels continually fought through Castle’s intended offense, making short comebacks that were cut off by either suplexes or even The Boys getting in the way. Daniels’ resiliency is what eventually saved him as he avoided a pinning situation after taking the Bang-a-Rang and caught his challenger off guard by countering the German suplex with a roll up to retain his championship. Unfortunately this wasn’t the must-see bout many were expecting; especially considering it was Daniels’ first title defense. Long-time ROH fans will remember the days when the first defenses were the worst of certain titleholders’ reigns including Samoa Joe, Bryan Danielson, Austin Aries and Nigel McGuinness. Those first worrisome impressions were obliterated soon after with each subsequent successful defense to cap off a memorable match. But it’s hard to know if Daniels will have that proper amount of time to find his groove as champion, or whether or not he and Castle just didn’t click and his next opponent will be a part of a classic title defense. Like the international tag team match, the evening’s main event can’t be done proper justice in the form of a written recap as The Hardys and The Young Bucks stole the show in one of the craziest matches seen anywhere during wrestling’s biggest weekend of the year. Nick Jackson doing a 450 splash to the floor to put Jeff Hardy through a table; Matt Hardy biting Matt Jackson’s foot to stop him from climbing and subsequently pushing him over the top rope from the ladder so Matt could fly through two tables at ringside; Nick taking a suplex by both opponents to destroy a ladder in the process. In grandiose fashion, the match came to an end when “The Bucks of Youth” successfully invited The Hardys to a #SuperKickParty atop the ladders before retrieving both the ROH World and Super Kick Championship belts. While not as great as Ladder War VI, this was nothing short of a classic that will probably rank at least number three in the all-time greatest Ladder matches in ROH history thus far (joining the aforementioned Ladder War VI, and the original incarnation). Just as great as the much was The Hardys putting over The Young Bucks as the future of tag team wrestling in a way that didn’t feel staged or hollow, but a true moment where the torch was passed from one generation to another. The Hardys’ short run in ROH was absolutely delightful and the company, for a short time, was better off for having them on the roster. It’ll be interesting to see ho the division pans out with The Bucks as the champs again, but for now the argument can be made that there are no two teams better going today on a big league level than The Young Bucks and The Hardys. Was it as masterful as the “15th Anniversary” PPV? No, but it didn’t need to be as the show was built on the belief that the main event would be worth the price of admission/iPPV buys alone. Thankfully the main event lived up to the hype and was the perfect way to cap off a very strong show with a very impressive first half including the TV title match (though there were a few minor production issues at the start that were sorted out by the first match). The show’s second half was a little shaky to start, but found itself thanks to the final two tag matches. Definitely worth the price of a VOD purchase.
“Charm City Excellence” TV Taping Preview; April 8th, 2017; Baltimore, MD
ROH World Television Championship: Marty Scurll defends against Frankie Kazarian Before Frankie Kazarian showed his true colors and helped his best friend overcome The Bullet Club and win the ROH World Championship, “The Heavy Metal Rebel” found himself in the ring with five other grapplers including Damien Martinez in hopes of becoming a top contender to the TV Championship. On that night, Kazarian overcame the onslaught of the big man and ended the match in his favor. Midway through the same event that slotted Kazarian as a future title challenger, Marty Scurll retained his ROH World Television title against Lio Rush in a thriller of a contest. Before that night, both men found success in different avenues. Before Scurll made his ROH debut he was traveling the world, making waves in promotions across the globe. Frankie Kazarian, on the other hand, was doing his thing as a tag team competitor; becoming a two-time ROH World Tag Team champion in the process. Now these two men have the chance to dictate not only the future of the division, but also their careers. Scurll has made a splash like no one else before him in ROH, winning the TV title in only his second singles match; retaining the gold since November; having excellent matches against the likes of Will Ospreay, Juice Robinson, the aforementioned Lio Rush, Donovan Dijak, and even former ROH World champion Adam Cole. Frankie Kazarian will, for the first time, get a crack at ROH singles gold. Kazarian proved at the “15th Anniversary” he is one of the smartest men in the room. But Scurll has proven to be the most villainous man in the ring who will break fingers for his own sick amusement. This match could boil down to whom is the dastardliest man entering the ring that night before a winner is declared.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: The Briscoes & Bully Ray defends against The Rebellion (Caprice Coleman, Rhett Titus & Shane Taylor) The last time ROH held a television taping history was made when The Briscoes and Bully Ray made it two for two during the weekend to become the second ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions by defeating a makeshift Kingdom. But weeks before, The Rebellion took a crack at the then-titleholders for an episode of ROH TV where they obviously came up short. The Rebellion contingent that fought for the gold on that night is totally different that what failed against The Kingdom two months ago. Replacing Kenny King in Baltimore will be the big man Shane Taylor. Taylor made a big splash last year alongside Keith Lee, yet couldn’t translate monumental wins into Tag Team gold. That could all change for Taylor in the “Charm City” alongside two completely different partners compared to Lee. But to do so would be The Rebellion defeating a trio that has gone undefeated thus far in their ROH tenure as a unit – a team that not only beat The Kingdom, but also The Bullet Club’s Hangman Page & Guerillas of Destiny on iPPV. There’s a great chance the undefeated streak for the champs will continue in Baltimore in another impressive six-man tag in a ROH ring.
Top Prospect Tournament Final: Josh Woods vs. John Skyler While not as phenomenal of a field compared to past years, there have been a few obvious standouts in this year’s Top Prospect Tournament – so it’s only fitting that two of those talents make it to the finale that has been won by former ROH champions and headliners including Matt Taven, Michael Bennett, and Hanson. There’s John Skyler. “The Southern Savior” – who was an early favorite to win when he was announced for the Tournament – bested “Hybrid” Sean Carr and Curt Stallion courtesy of that Southern Salvation attack. On the other side of the ring will stand Josh Woods. “The Goods”, a former MMA competitor and obvious submission specialist has succeeded against two totally different opponents, “The Heir Apparent” Chris LeRusso with his Grit Your Teeth and the near-400 lbs Brian Milonas. This year’s TPT couldn’t have come down to two better prospects considering the field. No matter the winner, there’s a great chance the winner will be a ROH champion in the future and the loser could find himself on the ROH roster in the near future as well. Who knows – this could be the first of a long-time series of matches between two future top tier stars.
Bobby Fish vs. Silas Young Bobby Fish and Silas Young are at very similar points in their respective careers, but the circumstances that put them in those positions have been drastically different. When it comes to Silas Young, “The Last Real Man’s” recent setbacks have been due to circumstances beyond his control as his believed shot at the Six-Man Tag Team title was obliterated with TK O’Ryan’s injury and Young being thrust into The Kingdom as a temporary member that saw him in a losing effort. Bobby Fish, on the other hand, had his chance to become a ROH champion, yet came up short. To top it off, Fish failed to win a top contender match the week later. Voicing his frustrations during “Supercard of Honor XI”, Fish drew the ire of Young and it started a fight between the two that saw a pull apart brawl that now moves to this impending televised event. This won’t be the first time these two have fought, with “The Infamous” having a better record both in singles & tag team outings against Young; but that could easily change as Fish is, for the first time in quite a while, fighting from behind with more losses under his belt than wins in 2017 in ROH. This could be the moment of 2017 thus far for Silas Young to defeat one of the best wrestlers in the world, or the chance for Fish to not only get back on track, but also restart his march toward that ever-elusive ROH World Championship reign.
Beer City Bruiser vs. Damien Martinez “Supercard of Honor XI” proved to be a great night for Beer City Bruiser and Damien Martinez. Alongside his fellow Milwaukeean Silas Young, Bruiser overcame The Kingdom’s Matt Taven & Vinny Marseglia. Earlier in the evening, “Punishment” Martinez put the TV title division on notice by beating the man who will challenge for the gold in Baltimore (but thanks to a little help from Hangman Page). But these two have crossed paths in the past mostly in multi-man matches. Probably the one that stands out the most is last year’s “Glory By Honor” that saw the two fight with and against Donovan Dijak. By the final bell it was Martinez standing tall. BCB comes in with something to prove as his win-loss record as a singles competitor isn’t as strong as Martinez’s and Bruiser is gunning for gold just like his opponent – and the only way to succeed is by being the monster to topple the monster, but only if he can avoid that match-ending South From Heaven choke slam that put BCB’s shoulders to the mat the last time they were in the ring together.
Kelly Klein vs. Karen Q September 2015 witnessed the unexpected happen in the restoration of ROH’s Women of Honor division as an unknown entity supported by BJ Whitmer made her debut in quick fashion as she choked out her first ROH opponent. This growing force known as Kelly Klein spent the next year choking out opponent after opponent – demanding respect from competitors and detractors alike. Karen Q makes her official ROH debut as a member of the Women of Honor roster after coming up short in a Future of Honor showcase weeks ago against ROH Dojo graduate Faye Jackson. Q claims to be one of, if not the smartest wrestlers going today; and she’ll have to come up with the strategy of a lifetime if she wants to have any chance of success against a woman no one has figured out how to beat in ROH thus far.
It is with great excitement that Ring of Honor Wrestling announces that Jonathan Gresham has officially signed a full-time contract and will be in action in Baltimore this Saturday, April 8th!
After weeks & months of ROH losing potential major signings featuring men poised to carry ROH into the future, Jonathan Gresham hasn’t become another cautionary tale for the company. While Gresham has been sporadic in his ROH appearances for obvious reasons and hasn’t been able to cultivate a true ROH following because of that, every time Gresham steps into a ROH ring he puts the crowd on notice while winning new fans. Now that Gresham is signed, expect that problem to be rectified as ROH fans around the country will be able to see Gresham on a consistent basis, and, hopefully he is involved in some impressive matches & feuds.
Will Ferrara vs. Shaheem Ali
The Gorillas vs. Seabass & Kikutaro
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 “Wrestlemania 33” weekend and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/43_Mins_Honor_Nation_The_Ultimate_Thrill_Ride.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.