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Worth Your Money? ROH "The Experience"

By James Bullock Jul 26, 2017 - 12:42 PM print


After fifteen years of existence there have been very few times Ring of Honor has actually given the power to the fans to control a show. Beyond the some of the match stipulations and even the pairings, ROH held a live Q & A that would be filmed – a rarity in wrestling. It’s time to review ROH’s “The Experience” to find out if it’s Worth Your Money!

“The Experience”; February 12th, 2017; Columbus, OH

The Briscoes vs. The Tempura Boyz
It was Mark Briscoe and Sho kicking this one off for their respective teams, with the former Tag Team champion using his size advantage to shoulder block Sho. Sho made him pay with the dropkick before tagging in Yo for a quick double team sequence that ended with another dropkick. Jay gained the blind tag, turning the tides in his team’s favor by setting up Mark’s blockbuster off the apron on Yo on the floor before getting a hold of Sho in the ring. It was all Dem Boys as Sho found himself on the wrong part of town while Yo was still downed at ringside following the blockbuster. Ducking a double team clothesline, Sho was able to spear both Briscoes before getting a head of steam. Showing great strength, Sho not only dead-lifted Mark into the gut-buster, but also slammed Jay into a single leg Boston crab. Mark saved his brother, having his Redneck Kung Fu showcase stopped short until Jay came running to help his partner and set up the Froggy Bow that gave The Briscoes the pin fall victory.

We had some Q & A for this special event, starting with Dalton Castle. The first question about Castle’s hair was answered with his daily diet of clementines & popcorn topped by a salt bath. The other question came from a guy wanting to know what he’ll do when he wrestles for the ROH World title at “Supercard of Honor XI”. Castle promised to make the champ regret he was born. The final questioner wanted to know if Castle ever considered having any Girls. While impressed with the questioner’s pecs, “The Peacock” confirmed he was satisfied with his Boys.

Search & Destroy (Jay White & Chris Sabin) w/ Alex Shelley vs. The Rebellion (Caprice Coleman & Kenny King) w/ Rhett Titus
Titus was wheelchair bound thanks to an injury he suffered the night before. Shelley got attacked during the same event, putting him out of this match as well. Caprice Coleman got run through by a fired up Jay White until he ran into the dropkick. Arrogant slap from Coleman angered White and forced Jay to pay him back with not one, but three slaps topped by the knife-edge chops and a flying forearm. Following a failed pin, White tagged out after Coleman did the same. Sabin took a page out of his partner’s playbook, staying one step ahead of his opponent courtesy of the head scissors before tagging in White for the double team. White played the part of Alex Shelley in a patented Machine Guns double team to put Coleman in position on the floor for a tope. Sabin wanted to follow suit, but got clotheslined by King for his trouble. Coleman recovered, distracting White as he climbed the ropes in the most absurd way ever witnessed. The strategy worked though; giving The Rebellion a chance to take control. Combinations such as Caprice’s Stinger Splash parlayed into a King spin kick that almost ended this one. It wasn’t until Caprice got too confident in his boxing skills did things go downhill for The Rebellion as White countered the strikes before flipping his way out of a double team belly to back suplex. Jumping to his corner, White was tagged out by Sabin – who came in like a house of fire with the cross body block and a tornado DDT on Coleman.
King had to save Caprice from a sure pin off the German suplex-jackknife cradle double team, but got super kicked by Sabin soon after. As all four men slugged it out, Shane Taylor came to the ring to watch White suplex King against the turnbuckles. White lost his focus, as did Sabin when he found Taylor had grabbed Shelley by his throat following an illegal stomp to White when Jay was clobbered from behind by Coleman. Sabin kicked Shelley to freedom, looking for a springboard attack on King in the ring. Kenny caught Sabin on his shoulders, utilizing the Chin Check to stagger Sabin into Coleman’s Sky Splitter. Coleman made the cover, picking up the three count for his team.

It was time for a little more Q & A, this time featuring The Briscoes. The first question was, “Who in the hell do you guys think you are?” Wow, kid’s got balls! Jay simply answered, “We’re the baddest team on the planet!” The second question was directed at Jay about his title goals. Jay declared he’d want another Tag Team title reign so he didn’t leave his brother hanging.

ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) w/ Frankie Kazarian vs. War Machine
Ray Rowe easily overpowered Matt Jackson, almost knocking him out of the ring with the shoulder block. Both men tagged out, with Nick using a hit & run approach to cause some miscommunications between War Machine that was topped by both challengers getting kicked to the floor. Rise of the Terminator didn’t end well for The Bucks as they were caught and pitched into each other like javelins. Using the entrance stage to their advantage, the champs somersaulted on their opponents before Nick decided he wanted to fight both members of War Machine by himself in the ring. After an impressive showing in this self-imposed two-on-one situation, Nick was pitched into a sit-out power bomb that ended in a two count. Hanson decided to use his ever-growing beard to face wash Nick before using a cross body block on the seated champion. As if Hanson didn’t crush Nick enough, Rowe slammed his partner atop a prone Nick Jackson to a big ovation. War Machine was looking for the pop-up double team power slam, but Nick was ready by flipping out of it and rolling to the tag.
Matt ran in, utilizing sliced bread on Rowe before landing the first super kick of the evening on Hanson as he moved around ringside. The fans wanted to see Rowe take the super kick, but got superman punched instead. Nick took his brother’s spot, super kicking Rowe before using the barricade to tornado DDT Hanson on the floor. With War Machine on the floor, the champs were able to execute Rise of the Terminator to another big response from the fans. The Bucks wanted to invite Rowe to the #SuperKickParty, but it was Hanson double power bombing The Bucks instead. Matt seemed to be easy Pickens when he felt the springboard Hart Attack … that gave Rowe & Hanson a near fall thanks to Nick interfering with the Swanton!
War Machine wanted to execute the Fallout on Matt when Nick came flying off the top rope with a hurricarana. Another Swanton connected for Nick that saw him crush Hanson underneath Rowe. Hanson proved to be too large for the champs to complete More Bang For Your Buck, getting caught in that never-ending clothesline series. The clotheslines eventually caused Hanson to run into the #SuperKickParty. Rowe got up, grabbing Nick from behind to execute the Fallout after Matt got wiped out with “War Beard’s” Spin Kick of Doom. Frankie Kazarian jumped onto the apron, distracting the referee to stop the count. Hanson got rid of the directions, executing the Fallout again … to gain a near fall!
Matt reentered; super kicking Hanson out of midair to stop the springboard Hart Attack. Getting his brother to help him put Rowe into Hanson’s grip, The Bucks caused “War Beard” to piledrive his own partner. With War Machine stuck on their knees, The Bucks unleashed a series of super kicks to finally knock out War Machine to retain the gold.

Cody vs. Dalton Castle
During Dalton’s entrance another Boy appeared and attacked Boy 2 (footstool Boy) and replaced him in the ring. It was obvious this Boy was Cody going out of his way to sneak attack Castle. Unfortunately for Cody, Castle’s need to rub The Boys’ faces during his entrance made him realize this Boy wasn’t actually a Boy. Cody stuck to the gimmick until he was unmasked. Kicking Castle low, Cody stunned Dalton long enough for not only the Beautiful Disaster, but also Cross Rhodes … for a near fall!
Cody, though only gaining a two count, was still happy to accept the streamers of his adoring public. Taking time to pose cost Cody as he missed the knee drop and left himself open to that running knee in the corner that put “The American Nightmare” on the floor. Trying to roll Cody back in cost “The Peacock” as he took a springboard kick. Cody was having fun flipping off the crowd and feigning the “Too Sweet” hand gesture to those at ringside. The abdominal stretch by Cody didn’t end this one in a submission, but saw him get pitched to the floor. Cody was ready for that 619 hurricarana off the apron, but couldn’t block it on Castle’s second attempt. Big tope from Castle put both men down at ringside. When the action returned inside it was Castle in control with those suplexes. Showing his slamming abilities, Cody countered a running attack by power slamming “The Peacock”. When that didn’t end in a three count for Cody, “The Son of a Son” decided to retrieve a pair of chairs. Before Cody could crack Dalton’s skull, Boy 1 arrived with Cody’s jacket in his possession. Looking to take the fight to Cody proved detrimental for Boy 1, but not Castle as he used the time to recover and execute the Bang-a-Rang. But the referee was too busy trying to stop interference from Adam Cole & Hangman Page as they assaulted Boy 1. Castle gave chase, running into Cross Rhodes when The Bullet Club entered the ring to avoid Dalton’s wrath; ending this one in Cody’s favor.
Jay Lethal & Bobby Fish ran to the ring, saving Dalton from a three-on-one beating before Fish declared their Falls Count Anywhere match with The Bullet Club was going to happen right now!

Falls Count Anywhere: The Bullet Club (ROH World champion Adam Cole & Hangman Page) vs. Jay Lethal & Bobby Fish
Dey was a clubberin’ in da crowd, Tony! Lethal & Page literally fought their way into an elevator as Fish gained a two count off the shoulder tackle through the barricade. The former World champion and “The Hangman” ended up fighting in the balcony. There was a figure four leg lock on the balcony before Page bashed his opponent in the face with a drink. In the ring, Fish countered the shining wizard with the heel hook. Seeing his partner in trouble, Page hobbled his way down the steps as fast as possible to stop a sure submission. Lethal soon followed, leading to another fight around the ring between himself and Hangman. Fish and Cole were doing battle in the crowd; with the champ getting drenched in beer as Lethal used the old drop toe hold into an open chair on Page. “The Infamous” wanted to suplex Cole off the entrance stage, but took a pair of super kicks instead. Lethal was signaling and executed that patented tope. Page avoided the second tope, coming off the apron with that shooting star press off the apron. On the other side of the ring, Cole jumped off the entrance with a double axe handle in mind. Instead, Cole was tossed overhead onto the floor.
The champ somehow recovered in time to save Page from taking the Lethal Injection, setting off a chain of events that saw Lethal going for Hail to the King. Punching Lethal into the tree of woe, Cole super kicked Jay into unconsciousness before they super kicked Fish. Lethal was staggering, but still fighting as he blocked the Rite of Passage. Ducking a lariat from Page, Lethal came off the ropes with Lethal Injection to put Hangman’s shoulders to the mat for those precious three seconds.

The Kingdom found themselves in the hot seat for some Q & A. The first question actually came from Larry Legend about who they didn’t want to wrestle tonight. Matt Taven couldn’t care less about whom the people picked including “a child” like Cheeseburger. When the little girl from the crowd got the chance to speak she not only commended Larry on his style, but also her belief that she could take the entire Kingdom in a fight. Of course The Kingdom wanted to beat down that little girl. The final questioner threw out more insults that had Taven almost going politically incorrect.

Beer City Bruiser vs. Shane Taylor vs. Will Ferrara vs. Damien Martinez vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. David Starr
The much smaller competitors were immediately surrounded by their much larger opponents when BCB spit his beer in their directions. The smaller wrestlers avoided the disrespectful act, causing Bruiser to shower Martinez. BCB tried to apologize while offering him a drink. Martinez pitched the beer to Taylor, who subsequently dropped it; angering Bruiser. With the big men arguing, Starr, Ferrara & Gresham decided to use their beer muscles to hit a trio of Stone Cold Stunners. Sending Bruiser & Taylor to the floor, Ferrara & Starr were able to dive on top of them as Martinez was taken down by a Gresham arm drag in the ring. Starr & Ferrara decided it was time to fight when “The Product” got pulled to the floor by Taylor and whipped against the barricades. Ferrara soon followed; resulting in BCB somersaulting off the apron to take them down. Taylor ran through Bruiser as he got up in celebration prior to entering the ring to confront Gresham. Squashing Gresham in the corner, Taylor lost sight of Martinez until “Punishment” came off the top courtesy of a spinning heel kick.
After being tripped and sent to the floor by Starr, Martinez was replaced by BCB in the ring as Starr grabbed him from behind with a dead-lift bridging German suplex. The impressive show of strength didn’t end in victory for Starr thanks to Ferrara’s interference. Martinez reentered, grabbing Ferrara before Last Ride power bombing him onto all of their opponents at ringside. Martinez met an incoming Bruiser, taking the BCB Driver, but refused to stay down. Bruiser wanted to follow up with another big maneuver when he ran into Martinez’s spear. Bruiser couldn’t stop the South From Heaven choke slam let alone the subsequent three count in “Punishment’s” favor.

For the final Q & A session of the night, Christopher Daniels was introduced. The first girl asked why Daniels sucked at wrestling. Daniels classically responded, “Why did you pay money to be in the front row to watch me wrestle?” The next questioner was definitely friendlier, thanking Daniels for writing “happy birthday” in her autograph book. The fans were one-step ahead of Daniels by chanting, “Happy birthday!” and Daniels wished that the little girl wouldn’t turn out like the first questioner when she grows up. The third comment was in support of Daniels’ comic book writing skills. The final questioner asked what Daniels was going to do to that backstabbing Frankie Kazarian. “The General” promised to focus on winning the ROH World title and then get payback.

Proving Ground (Two Out of Three Falls) match: ROH World Television champion Marty Scurll vs. Lio Rush
1st Fall:
Frankie Kazarian joined the commentators again, but was seemingly seeing things differently as he started calling Ian Riccaboni “Gorilla” and special guest commentator Silas Young “Jesse”. Instead of following the Code of Honor, Scurll insultingly slapped Rush. The potential future title challenger responded in kind, rocking the champ with a combination of palm strikes & kicks that put Scurll on the floor for a pair of topes. Lightning fast, Rush executed his frog splash, but Scurll kicked out right before the three count. Fired up, Rush let the champ recover and grab that umbrella. Lio turned around, getting bashed on the head. The referee had no choice but to disqualify “The Villain” to give Rush the first fall.
2nd Fall:
But Rush was in a bad way and easy prey to the tombstone and the three count for a hasty second fall.
3rd Fall:
Though Rush stopped the Chicken Wing with an enzuguri, it only staggered Scurll for a short time while Lio was still out on his feet. Recovering quickly, the champ not only utilized the suplex to put Rush on the canvas, but was also fish hooking him to his heart’s content. Tying Rush up, Scurll was moving the 2016 Top Prospect Tournament winner around the ring courtesy of a surfboard. Picking Rush off the mat for some finger dislocation, Rush head-butted Scurll to kick off a series of running strikes. Spinning “The Villain” into a snap DDT, Rush almost ended this one in his favor. Scaling the ropes, was Lio, but Marty was there to stop his ascent with the superplex in mind. Rush fought through the predicament, kicking Scurll down before jumping. Scurll caught him coming in, but Rush took the European uppercut and powered through by rolling through a failed cradle to kick the champ in his face. Scurll kicked out of the follow up pin, arm-whipping Rush to the floor for a super kick off the apron. In the ring, Lio felt a knee strike, but avoided the follow up attack. Rush tried to spin around, but put himself in position for the piledriver … that gave Scurll a near fall!
Dey got up a clubberin’ when Rush stopped the second piledriver, resulting in the champ kicking Rush’s legs from underneath him. Scurll topped that strike with a lariat. Rather than go for the pin, Scurll insultingly slapped Rush yet again. Lio caught the incoming hand to feign a finger dislocation when he simply super kicked Marty. But “The Villain” was able to stop a second attack, cinching in the Chicken Wing. Rush somehow saved himself, executing a tornado DDT to put Scurll in position for the frog splash … that ended in a near fall!
Rush found himself standing before a collapsing Scurll, grabbing him for something big when the champ clutched Rush’s hand to dislocate his fingers. With Rush stumbling in pain, Scurll motioned for the Chicken Wing, but got rolled up instead for the surprising pin fall.
Furious, Scurll tried to exact some revenge by busting Lio from behind with the title belt, but got his championship kicked out of his hands and used as an instrument of destruction again “The Villain”.

Six-Man Tag Team Championship: The Kingdom (c) vs. Chris Sabin, Jay Briscoe & Cheeseburger
Jay Briscoe decided to chase Matt Taven into the crowd while Sabin led the charge in having Cheeseburger play the role of Alex Shelley in this Motor City Machine Burger formation. As The Kingdom tried to mount a comeback, Jay Briscoe returned with Taven running from him to reenter the ring and double clothesline Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan. The first official tag came from The Kingdom when Briscoe was pulled out of the ring and whipped against the barricades, Cheeseburger was pitched to the floor, and Sabin got double stomped by O’Ryan on the apron. Taven was calling for the end early, but Sabin had other plans in mind by utilizing a trio of kicks and a tornado DDT to finally go for the tag. Unfortunately for Jay, Briscoe got yanked off the apron, but Cheeseburger was still ready & waiting. Cheeseburger was pickling O’Ryan & Vinny before executing a springboard plancha on TK that was topped by the springboard knee strike on Vinny. Marseglia found himself prone to the Shotei, as was O’Ryan and Taven. The power of the Shotei saw Vinny almost get his jaw cracked after a comical moment between the master and believed master where they tried to overpower each Shotei. Briscoe reentered, bleeding from the head to get knocked down again.
TK was the only man standing in the ring, so he decided to asai moonsault onto his opponents and partners on the floor. Sabin grabbed O’Ryan, looking to toss him off the entrance stage. While TK stopped the initial attack, he couldn’t prevent a back body drop that almost wiped out everyone. Sabin decided to somersault on top of his opponents as well, giving the challengers a chance to wear out Vinny in the ring. Rocket launcher connected for Cheeseburger, but it didn’t end this one. Briscoe called for the Doomsday Device when Vinny freed himself from a terrible position. Sabin got crotched on the top rope as Briscoe was spiked on his head courtesy of a DDT, and Cheeseburger couldn’t stop Rockstar Supernova or the three count that followed to allow The Kingdom to retain the gold.
The Kingdom decided they wanted to add insult to injury, but Cheeseburger had the power of the Shotei to save him. Taven found himself standing alone and prone to the Jay Driller to end this show on a high note.

Is It Worth Your Money: What was promoted as the most interactive show in ROH history proved to be another solid house show/live event that focused more on giving the fans a good time than pushing stories – that’s not to mean there were no stories connected to this show including the continued problems between The Bullet Club, Jay Lethal & Bobby Fish, and Lio Rush earning a future TV title shot. From an in-ring perspective there wasn’t a bad match on the show, but only a couple that really wowed: the Tag Team title & Proving Ground matches. Probably the worst part of the show was the thing that made it unique as the fans tried to entertain themselves more than ask great questions that resulted in the talent really stepping up to the plate to save each segment. As a whole it’s a solid show, but nothing that’s needed to be seen immediately.
ROH “The Experience” is a Completionist’s Purchase.



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