Last week: Bobby Fish teamed with Jay Lethal to take on The Bullet Club’s Adam Cole and Cody, actually forcing the ROH World champion to submit in the process.
ROH TV Episode 283 2/18/17 Atlanta, GA
Silas Young w/ Beer City Bruiser vs. Bull James It was a few weeks ago that Young & Bruiser that the pair decided James wasn’t man enough to team with them and attacked the man who was once Bull Fit. BCB jumped onto the apron for the early distraction, but it didn’t work in Young’s favor as James showed off his agility by utilizing a head scissors. Young slid out of the ring, causing Bull to give chase. BCB intercepted, only to get wiped out. During the collision, Young slipped into the ring to get a running start for a successful somersault plancha to take control of this one before the commercial break. “The Last Real Man” was still in control when the show returned. Rolling his way out of a chin lock, James tried to yank Silas into a slam, but was taken down courtesy of a neck breaker instead. Mouthing off got the better of Young as James got a hold of his throat to set up some flip, flop & fly action. Polish hammer-Earthquake splash combo only gave James a two count. Bull, grabbing Young after Silas rolled onto the apron, put himself in position for some illegal interference that resulted in him ending up on his back on the apron. James monkey flipped the incoming Young over the top rope, back into the ring. James got up, executed a tornado DDT on BCB to make sure he didn’t interfere again. Reentering the ring, James hooked Young for a potential power bomb when Young broke free of his opponent’s clutches to show off his incredible strength by hitting Misery to pick up the three count.
Jay Briscoe spoke on tonight’s main event conclusion to the Decade of Excellence Tournament. Briscoe, a record setting Tag Team champion and two-time World champion, stated only one more win is needed for him to get his shot at becoming a three-time World champion.
Footage of Bobby Fish’s Survival of the Fittest Tournament victory was shown before part two of Fish’s sit-down interview was shown. Fish explained that the win was a means to an end in his journey to submit the World champion like he did last week. But on March 4th, the gold will be on the line because, according to Fish, he created this opportunity just like he did to become the Television Championship. Warning Cole of his fate, “The Infamous” declared himself as the next ROH World champion.
The Boys w/ Dalton Castle vs. Colt Cabana It was two weeks ago where Cabana continued to antagonize The Boys by attacking them before they could take up The Kingdom’s offer for a Six-Man Tag Team title match. Castle joined the commentators’ table as Cabana grabbed the microphone to greet Castle before declaring destruction upon The Boys for messing with “The Iron Jew”. Boy 1 was being slammed repeatedly at the sound of the bell to the point his ponytail was knocked loose. Colt got ahead of himself as he was tripped by Boy 2 & ran into a pair of peacock poses. Cabana left the ring to take a commentary moment before the commercial break. The show returned and it was Boy 2 now getting manhandled (the ponytail allowed for identification now). Bionic elbows for the interfering Boy 1 saved his partner from suffering the same fate. Rushing Cabana, Boy 2 got hip tossed over the top rope, to the floor! Cabana joined the fallen Boy on the floor, flinging him against Castle. Boy 1 couldn’t stop the Chicago Skyline, or the Billy Goat’s Curse atop the reentering Boy 2. With the match over, Castle had the chance to rush Colt. “The Iron Jew” escaped before “The Peacock” could touch him.
Christopher Daniels, the first ROH World Tag Team champion and second TV champion who was apart of the first ROH main event and World title match. Though happy about his career, Daniels isn’t satisfied because he will not be looked at as a “never was” having not won the World Championship. Through this tournament, Daniels can change that perception and finally become the ROH World champion.
There was a short video package highlighting the previous winners of the Top Prospect Tournament (except inaugural winner Mike Bennett) before alerting viewers this year’s edition begins next week.
Decade of Excellence Tournament Finals: Christopher Daniels vs. Jay Briscoe With Mark Briscoe and Frankie Kazarian at the announcers’ table, both opponents cut a pair of pre-taped promos simply hyping the match while emphasizing just how important the win is for both men. Big fight feel featuring in-ring introductions, spotlights and, of course, a stern Coe of Honor. The fans were split down the middle before the initial collar & elbow tie up. Briscoe ran through his opponent with the shoulder block off a side headlock topped by a hurricarana. Trying to give Daniels the Jay Lethal treatment from their last match, Briscoe went for the Jay Driller early. Daniels was ready, turning the position into a failed pinning combination before the commercial break. Daniels flipped out of a belly to back suplex attempt, side headlocking Briscoe. When Jay got free he landed a big boot that rocked his opponent. The pace quickened and Daniels swept his opponent with the STO. Face buster in the corner topped by the Arabian press set up Daniels’ Koji clutch. Though Briscoe made it to the ropes, Jay was still grounded and being peppered by strikes aimed at his neck. As Kazarian compared Jay Briscoe’s hair to Sonic the Hedgehog, Daniels almost clotheslined his opponent out of his boots. A running forearm knocked Briscoe to the floor as Mark remarked “The General” coming in strike heavy was rather shocking as the show headed to another commercial break. Briscoe had regained control thanks to his striking ability, putting Daniels in position for that tope. Daniels made it onto the apron before the twenty count, tripping the incoming Briscoe to send him careening to the floor. Before Briscoe could get up and recover, Daniels took him and nearly himself out with another Arabian press. Kazarian led the charge, exiting the booth to rally behind his partner. Mark did likewise as the match practically reset in the ring courtesy of both men thinking cross body blocks. Dueling clotheslines were the name of the game until a jab exchange broke out. Forearms started to fly, setting up head-butts from Daniels. Briscoe’s rolling forearm dropped Daniels before Briscoe could follow up with the lariat that helped him beat Lethal. “The General” tricked Briscoe, playing possum to set up a small package. Briscoe kicked out, stumbling into the Angel’s Wings … that gave Daniels a near fall! The referee was concerned over Briscoe’s health, only for Jay to give Daniels a taste of his own medicine by feigning injury to set up a big maneuver – in this case the Death Valley Driver. Both men were staggered with Briscoe taking not one, but two uranage slams to prepare everyone for his Best Moonsault Ever. Jay rolled out of the way, landing that lariat as a stunned Daniels could avoid the attack in time … giving Briscoe a near fall! The fans were still split in their support was “Almighty” backed himself into the corner. Jay wanted a superplex, but Daniels wasn’t having it. Dropping Briscoe across the top rope to his left, Daniels was able to pull his opponent off the ropes with super Angel’s Wings to put Jay down for those precious three seconds and win the tournament. “Next World champ!” chants rang out as Daniels stood on the ropes in celebration. Showing great respect, both men followed the Code of Honor to a great ovation.
Overall: ROH’s first ever TV taping in Atlanta ended with a bang solely thanks to the Decade of Excellence Tournament finale. Unlike Briscoe-Lethal, Daniels and the former World champion took a more slow & steady approach as the action crept toward its climax in grand fashion. The crowd – which was mostly quiet throughout the episode until the main event – was going wild by the final few minutes following a story where Daniels used his grappling to start a strike-based offensive barrage that rattled Briscoe early on. It was a fitting and impressive end to a highly enjoyable tournament overall. The rest of the show was solid. Young-James was probably better than anticipated, but the lack of energy from the crowd really hurt it, as did the handicap match that saw fans only respond to Cabana mouthing off to his opponents and Castle. Between it all were several great promos including Fish doing a one-man build for his match with Cole that very few could pull off like he can. Essentially this is a one-match episode featuring a memorable main event.