Last week: Jay Briscoe advanced to the finale of the Decade of Excellence Tournament after The Tempura Boyz became the number one contenders to the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
ROH TV Episode 281 2/4/17 Atlanta, GA
War Machine vs. Damian Martinez & BJ Whitmer It was several weeks ago when these two teams had a knockdown, drag-out match that ended in a no contest thanks to Ray Rowe being put through a table. And dey was a clubberin’ at da bell, Tony! Martinez was the first to go down, feeling Hanson’s body be slammed against his own. In an odd moment, Hanson apparently tried to use his beard to face wash Martinez, but it looked more like “War Beard” took “Punishment” to the Pit Stop. Ray Rowe tagged in, missing shotgun knees and getting his head illegally kicked by Whitmer. Martinez took advantage of BJ’s interference, hitting a springboard attack topped by a kick to Hanson on the apron that left both members of War Machine downed as the show headed into a commercial break. The show returned with Hanson using his never-ending series of clotheslines on his opponent as the fans roared in approval. As if that wasn’t enough, Whitmer was driven into his own partner in the corner as if Martinez was the top turnbuckle. Hanson’s follow up broncobuster on Martinez didn’t end well. Rowe, tagging himself in, got kicked and stomped against the mat by “Punishment”. Hanson reentered, using the cartwheel clothesline on both opponents to set up a popup power slam double team. It seemed like War Machine had this one in the bag until everyone started unleashing big maneuvers that ended with everyone down. Pitching Whitmer to the floor didn’t help Rowe as BJ clobbered him in midair to stop the tope. BJ decided to pull out a table and set it up beside the ring. The fight on the floor saw both teams eventually get counted out, but it wasn’t over as chairs started flying and bodies actually moved backstage. Martinez, feeling a tope from Hanson, refused to go down and initiated another fistfight between himself and “War Beard” as the show entered another commercial break.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions The Kingdom vs. John Skyler, Corey Hollis & Joe A’Gau The Kingdom wasted no time attacking all of their opponents before performing their finisher on A’Gau on the floor! TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marselgia decided to toy with their other opponents, only to feel some rights to the face. Matt Taven stopped Hollis’ follow up attack, slamming him on the floor so Skyler was all alone feeling the wrath of The Kingdom. Super kick from Taven set up a leapfrog clothesline from “The Sassy Wild Horse” in O’Ryan. As if that wasn’t enough, O’Ryan went for a pumphandle slam. Skyler kicked his way out of the situation, bringing in Hollis for an onslaught on all of his opponents. Vinny tried to take control back, but almost got split in half with a spear. Taven saved Vinny from sure defeat, only for Marselgia to repay the favor by biting Hollis to stop a jackknife cradle. Resolution followed and The Kingdom picked up another victory. Matt Taven grabbed the microphone to declare themselves as being the first and only Six-Man Tag Team champions in history when Dalton Castle’s music hit. When The Kingdom questioned what Castle & The Boys could do to them, The Boys showed them what they had planned as The Boys threw the fans down and started shoving Castle around. When “The Peacock” stopped them, Castle stated The Boys would give The Kingdom some of that as well. When Castle & The Boys tried to approach the ring, Colt Cabana – who had been doing commentary – side swiped The Boys and ended this potential title match before it could even begin.
Before showing what happened last week that gave us this week’s Tag Team title match, the Cody Bullet Club announcement vignette aired.
ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs. The Tempura Boyz Before their match, The Bucks mocked The Tempura Boyz and them being taken to the #SuperKickParty last week and this week to come. It was Nick Jackson feeling the headlock process of Yo until he picked up the pace and arm dragged Yo to set up a sequence of events ending with The Boyz being knocked to the floor. The show returned with footage from what happened during the break including stereo dives, apron power bombs, Nick diving off the stage onto his opponents, and Matt Jackson sending a verbal message to The Hardyz. Matt telegraphing the super kick cost him, but Nick was there to pick up the slack for his brother. Nick’s running kick off the apron didn’t hit his intended target, resulting in Matt getting wiped out. The Tempura Boyz saw their chance and started unleashing attacks aplenty including the double German suplex on the floor. In the ring, the challengers executed a doomsday senton splash to gain a two count on Matt that gave the challengers all the belief they needed to finish this one. Matt refused to stay down long enough to allow his brother to recover. Nick tagged in after some ducking & dodging by his brother to kick both of his opponents down. The fans were behind the champions as Nick unleashed his slingshot face buster-asai moonsault before starting a, “Delete-suck it!” chant. But taking too much time playing around almost cost Nick as he was caught in the Boston crab when the action returned inside. Matt was looking to super kick his brother to freedom, but Sho was ready, as was Yo when he tried to intervene. Unfortunately for Sho, it was a #SuperKickParty going on and he was invited as he couldn’t stop stereo kicks. Yo got a taste of the same soon after, leaving Sho by himself to feel the rope-assisted 450 splash double team for the victory and title retention. It seemed The Bucks wanted to show some honor and follow the Code of Honor when Hangman Page came out to attack The Tempura Boyz to a chorus of boos.
Last week, ROH World Television champion Marty Scurll declared there were no real challengers; initiating this week’s main event when he was confronted by six friends brother together by the Motor City Machine Guns. The champ spoke on the matter, simply stating all would fall to “The Villain”.
ROH World Television Championship #1 Contender match: Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin vs. Jay White vs. Jonathan Gresham vs. Lio Rush vs. Donovan Dijak
Not only did the six men follow the Code of Honor, they actually hugged before the match as Marty Scurll joined the announcers’ table to mock Kevin Kelly for not being a good person. It was Gresham and White starting this one and both men almost immediately fell to the floor after Gresham turned a shove off the ropes into a hurricarana before Rush and Dijak confronted each other yet again. Both men showed their agility by back flipping out of attacks until Dijak got kicked upside the head. Shelley wanted to help Rush dive on Dijak, but Sabin had other plans in mind – setting up some double team action by the Machine Guns on not only Rush, but also Gresham and White. Sabin stepped aside so Shelley could get his hands and boots on Rush. Showing great strength, Sabin caught the diving Rush in a suplex position. When Sabin went for the pin, Shelley broke up the pin. They seemed to be at odds when the Machine Guns hugged it out before the commercial break. Miscommunication caused by Gresham saw Shelley get hit by Sabin as the show returned. White and Dijak joined the fray with Jay not only using a suplex on the big man, but also the missile dropkick-uranage combo that seemed to have him in winning order when Gresham stopped the sure pin. Bodies started flying to the floor starting with White & Gresham. As everyone except Rush and Dijak fought on the floor, Donovan somersaulted through the air to put them down to a big ovation. Dijak got a hold of both Gresham and Rush, looking to double chokeslam both men, but got spiked on his head courtesy of a reverse hurricarana from Lio instead. Before Gresham could finish off Rush, The Rebellion attacked Jon. The Machine Guns and White tried to help, leaving Rush and Dijak as the only people in the ring as this brawl moved to the backstage area. Spin kick connected for Rush, putting Dijak in the ring’s middle for that frog splash. Dijak caught Rush by his throat on the way down, but couldn’t execute the Choke Breaker. What Dijak could do was muscle his way off the mat before hoisting Rush in position for Feast Your Eyes. Rush couldn’t stop a knee colliding with his chin that put his lights out and gave Donovan the chance to gain his title opportunity via pin fall.
The War Machine-Whitmer & Martinez fight was still going on backstage as the show came to a close.
Overall: Another very good, focused episode this week with the emphasis being on tag team wrestling that featured more rising talent than the division’s usual suspects in impressive fashion. Look no further than the show’s only title match where The Tempura Boyz really came across as stars poised for not only future greatness, but being on the verge of winning it all during this episode. The fans were really into the pair by the match’s end and there’s a chance ROH could have something special on their hands if The Boyz are presented properly from here on out. Not surprisingly another pair of teams with great chemistry is War Machine and Whitmer & Martinez. As long as it stick to just wrestling and doesn’t get all weird with the Kevin Sullivan stuff, this could be the feud that not only gets War Machine back in title contention, but also establishes Whitmer & Martinez as an actual force in the division. The Kingdom had another nice showcase before the seeds were planted for the Six-Man title match I’ve wanted since “Final Battle” featuring Castle & The Boys – not to mention the continuation of the feud between Cabana and The Boys being seen during the confrontation. If there was one disappointment about the show it was the conclusion to the main event. While it made sense in regards to the ongoing story of The Rebellion wanting to recruit Rush, it came at the expense of a highly entertaining main event’s finale. While this episode didn’t necessarily have the star power of the last episode, it made up for it with impressive action that reinforced that ROH’s roster looks a lot stronger now than it did this time last year.