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ROH TV Episode 286: Harder Than Steel

By James Bullock Mar 17, 2017 - 6:11 PM print

Last week: Frankie Kazarian shocked everyone by turning on his best friend & tag team partner Christopher Daniels to join The Bullet Club.

ROH TV Episode 286
Pittsburgh, PA

Proving Ground: ROH World Tag Team champions The Young Bucks vs. Coast to Coast
The Young Bucks were on the search for The Hardys, but found nothing but Coast to Coast to take to a #SuperKickParty tonight. It was Leon St. Giovanni grappling with Nick Jackson to start this one and one-half of the ROH World Tag Team titleholders was having a lot of fun setting up LSG and eventually Shaheem Ali for some double team action that put LSG in position for a double dive. Ali stopped The Bucks from diving, dragged them out of the ring and put them in position for a tumbleweed by LSG to the floor on both Bucks! Coast to Coast were on fire as the show entered a commercial break.
The show returned with The Bucks backs in control looking for that double team turnbuckle bomb. LSG stopped the attack and helped Ali get ready to unleash their double team coast-to-coast dropkick. Matt couldn’t stop two pairs of boots colliding with his face, but had Nick to save him from a sure pin before he and his brother welcomed Coast to Coast to a #SuperKickParty. When LSG went for a springboard maneuver, Matt super kicked his legs from underneath him to put him in prime position for that rope-assisted 450 splash double team for a pin fall victory.
But The Bucks weren’t done, using the Twist of Fate-Swanton Bomb double team combo to send a message to The Hardys.

After a video recap of Lio Rush costing The Rebellion the World Six-Man Tag Team Championship last week, Ian Ricabonni interviewed Rush. Lio stated The Rebellion were like children playing games. Rush didn’t appreciate being toyed with and had enough of The Rebellion. Kenny King came out to confront Rush to verbally reprimand him for messing with him. King promised that next week he’d, “…put the hush on Lio Rush.”

Top Prospect Tournament First Round: Curt Stallion vs. Preston Quinn w/ Andy Vineberg
Stallion stated we were looking at the winner of the tournament in a pre-taped promo, while Vineberg – who stole his outfit from the Jim Cornette 1987 collection and spoke like Paul Heyman imitating a simple country lawyer – introduced “The Pain Train” who knew the pain was coming for the tournament. No Code of Honor from Quinn as he used his manager to set up a Pearl Harbor job. Coming off the ropes, Stallion clipped Quinn in position for the running double stomp. Vineberg put a halt to the momentum by tripping Stallion and setting up a body block from Quinn. It was the neck & back of Stallion that Quinn was looking to hurt as he unleashed not only a brain buster, but also shock treatment. “The Lone Star” refused to stay down, fighting through a clothesline to showcase some impressive strength by unleashing an air raid crash over the knee. Quinn stopped the follow up attack by simply popping his opponent in the mouth before executing his piledriver. Unwisely, Quinn didn’t go for the pin and scaled the ropes instead. “The Pain Train” was flying, but hit nothing but canvas. Seated on the mat & stunned, Quinn couldn’t stop a flying head-butt that knocked him loopy and left him susceptible to a three count.

In an unexpected moment, Cody arrived for a little promo time. Cody wanted to know where the Jay Lethal that held championships was and in his place is now “Lazy Jay”. How did it become this way? According to Cody, when he kicked Lethal in his “tiny, little balls” at “Final Battle”, the Jay Lethal we all knew & loved ceased to be. But forget “Lazy Jay”, Cody wanted to introduce the enforcer of The Bullet Club – Hangman Page. Page came out to undo his patented noose to give it to Cody so he could use the weapon as an instrument of destruction come “Supercard of Honor XI”. Attached to the rope will be a cow bell he promised will kiss Lethal’s skull just like it did “Superstar” Billy Graham forty years ago.

Jay Briscoe was hyped about next week and doing battle with Jay White yet again. Briscoe promised to make quick work of White this time because he knows the time will be against him just as it was last time and caused their previous bout to end in a draw.

Dalton Castle vs. Jonathan Gresham
Dalton rushed Gresham and pushed him against the turnbuckles. The smaller, yet incredibly strong Gresham found himself able to whip Castle around the ring with leverage alone. Castle saw what his opponent was trying to do, but couldn’t stop it from happening as Gresham made it look like he was at a disadvantage, only to outmaneuver and almost embarrass “The Peacock”. Castle decided he wanted to play Gresham’s game, but that didn’t work either; so Dalton just posed in retaliation to stop Jonathan in his tracks. The moment of hesitation by Gresham worked in Castle’s favor as he came after his opponent and was tossed around with ease. Castle went for the Bang-a-Rang too early, getting kicked, twisted and even taken to the floor courtesy of a hurricarana. Gresham came flying off the apron with a knee strike that landed flush and gave Jonathan a chance to do the peacock pose. Rolling Castle back in, Gresham scaled the ropes for a cross body block. Castle used his great base to catch Gresham and swing him into the Bang-a-Rang to pick up the pin.

The ROH World Television champion Marty Scurll promised to be at “Supercard of Honor XI” to show why he’s the greatest TV champ of all time.

No Disqualification: Damien Martinez & BJ Whitmer vs. War Machine
War Machine were not here to wait, attacking their opponents on the ramp and Ray Rowe slamming Hanson atop Martinez before “War Beard” somersaulted off the stage to wipe out both opponents as they stumbled to ringside. Pulling out tables from underneath the ring was War Machine. The moment of item grabbing saw War Machine get attacked by their recovering opponents. Martinez and Rowe were the first two men in the ring with Ray using the forearm smash to stop a flying forearm from “Punishment”. Whitmer wasn’t free from the abuse as he was being whipped from one end of ringside to the other. Martinez almost got thrown through the barricades before sidestepping the running knee from Rowe. In the ring, Whitmer avoided the cartwheel clothesline by Hanson to bash him on the head with a chair. The show entered a commercial break after Hanson’s back was rattled by a sickening chair shot.
The show returned and Hanson was back up looking for that series of never-ending clotheslines topped by the cartwheel clothesline on Whitmer. Spinning heel kick from Martinez downed Hanson before Rowe kneed Damien on the jaw. Rowe and Whitmer were a clubberin’ until Martinez got involved and kicked Ray into BJ’s Exploder Suplex … that gave them a near fall!
Hanson returned, knocking Whitmer out of the ring to set up his team’s double team pop-up power slam on Martinez! Hanson dove through the ropes immediately after to wipe out Whitmer as Martinez kicked out of what seemed to be a sure pin. War Machine wanted to use that table they unveiled earlier, placing it in front of the turnbuckles. Whitmer fought through the double team chokeslam, shoving both opponents to the floor. Martinez reentered the ring to soar over the top rope to take down everyone to a big ovation. Hanson and Martinez were the first to get up and fight atop the ropes. Martinez gained the leverage advantage on the top rope, yanking Hanson down to chokeslam him through the table for the three count!
When Whitmer entered the ring to celebrate, Martinez drove him into the mat with a chokeslam to turn on his partner!

Overall: Not surprising considering this episode aired on the same weekend of ROH’s latest pay-per-view that the major players given copious amounts of TV time over the last few weeks were mostly nowhere to be found. One of the biggest improvements about these type of episodes compared to what ROH would usually offer the weekend of a pay-per-view was the advancement of TV-only storylines including the build toward Briscoe-White II, Rush-Kenny King/The Rebellion and, most emphatically the main event where they tore the house down – there was even a major development in regards to the live event “Supercard of Honor XI”. While one would state ROH should have the culmination of feuds at PPVs, it adds a level of importance to the TV product as you won’t get a potentially satisfying ending to every feud/rivalry in the same manner every time a PPV is around the corner. Beyond the major talking points was another solid TPT match and the unproven talents in the form of Coast to Coast and Jonathan Gresham impressing to the point I want to see them as full-time roster members. While not the most memorable episode, it was one consisting of storyline advancement and a highly entertaining main event.

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