Last week: Punishment Martinez & BJ Whitmer were able to overcome War Machine in a wild main event before Martinez attacked his partner.
ROH TV Episode 287
Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser vs. Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara
Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser declared that on April 1st at “Supercard of Honor XI” they’d become the new World Six-Man Tag Team champions with a mysterious third man on their side. Code of Honor was shocking followed before a Pearl Harbor job by “Milwaukee’s Worst”. Ferrara was forced to fight by himself after Cheeseburger almost got slammed through the mat. After disposing of Ferrara, Young went for Misery a little too early as Cheeseburger countered and set up a double team knee strike in the corner. BCB helped his partner regain the momentum, using a kick from his partner to whip Cheeseburger into a wheelbarrow suplex. Slipping through BCB’s legs, Cheeseburger was able to tag out to a fired up Ferrara who almost pinned Young with a leaping downward spiral. Trying to showcase his lifting ability on BCB cost Ferrara as he was knocked to the floor in preparation for Bruiser’s somersault senton. Ferrara moved in time to save himself from being squashed before entering the ring and helping his partner Shotei Palm Strike Young … for a near fall thanks to Bruiser’s interference!
Getting rid of Cheeseburger, Young & Bruiser laid out Ferrara. Will had no way to avoid BCB crashing down atop him with the frog splash, let alone the three count that followed.
Top Prospect Tournament First Round: Josh Woods vs. Chris LeRusso
“The Goods” Woods claimed to be the number one seed in the tournament during his pre-taped promo, while hometown boy LeRusso stated the himself, the “Heir Apparent”, was the winner of this tournament. Poor LeRusso did the worst thing possible by trying to grapple with a man known for his time as an MMA competitor. LeRusso not only almost got choked out, he also felt a flying knee strike that Woods converted into a knee bar after the failed pin attempt. Using pro wrestling to turn this thing around, LeRusso tripped him in the ropes before unleashing a slingshot neck breaker. On his back, “The Goods” was scrambling for a submission any time LeRusso came toward him. “The Heir Apparent” made the big mistake of letting his opponent get up, getting not only stuck, but also thrown overhead. The fans were obviously pro LeRusso, but Woods was winning over the fans as he showcased his array of suplexes. Quick counter knee strike into a Death Valley driver didn’t end this one in LeRusso’s favor. When LeRusso tried to follow up, Woods broke free to unleash a roundhouse kick that staggered Chris. “The Heir Apparent hit the mat, prone to some ground & pound. The referee saw LeRusso was out and stopped the match in Woods’ favor.
Jay Briscoe was hyped about tonight’s main event and doing battle with Jay White yet again. Briscoe promised to make quick work of White this time because he knows the clock will be against him just as it was last time and caused their previous bout to end in a draw.
There was a quick recap of the confrontation between Kenny King and Lio Rush from last week.
Kenny King w/ Caprice Coleman vs. Lio Rush
The pace was incredibly fast in the early going, but neither could get a solid advantage early on. King decided to use his size to level Rush and his fists to rock him. Slipping & sliding, Rush avoided some haymakers to land with his own strikes that almost ended this one relatively early. Looking for a charging attack, King missed everything but the ropes as he careened to the floor. Rush wanted to fly, but King had another idea in mind; jumping up to kick Lio on the top of his head before the commercial break.
The show returned with Rush elbowing his way out of a rear chin lock. It was strike after strike landing for Rush including the flying forearm. Rush was back dropped over the top, in position for a capoeira kick. King’s attempted follow up saw him be knocked to the floor for not one, but two topes. Rolling King into the ring allowed Rush to scale the ropes. The Rebellion member countered Rush’s cross body block in an attempt to set up the Coronation. Spinning into the maneuver, Rush spike King on his head with a reverse hurricarana topped by a frog splash … that gave him a near fall!
King recovered, going for those shotgun knees. Rush moved at the last second, climbing the ropes yet again for the frog splash. This time King was able to move out of the way and slam Lio into the mat with the Royal Flush to earn the pin fall victory.
But this situation wasn’t over as Caprice Coleman entered the ring to take off his jacket for an apparent fight. Shane Taylor suddenly came to the ring in an effort to protect Rush … or so we thought as Taylor grabbed Lio by the throat to sit-out choke bomb him to showcase his allegiance to The Rebellion.
Jay Briscoe vs. Jay White
Shockingly, no Code of Honor from Briscoe – so White decided to dropkick him on the chest. White was on fire, utilizing a suplex to put Briscoe on the floor before driving on top of him. Using a running European uppercut while whipping the former World champ against the barricades proved very effective on the floor. But in the ring it was a different story as Briscoe unleashed a hurricarana-big boot combo that put White at ringside. Before White could move, Briscoe unleashed a tope of his own that gave him the advantage heading into the commercial break.
Briscoe was still in control when the show returned, leveling White over an over again as the fans split their support in favor of both men. White tried to fight his way off the mat, but Briscoe’s brawling abilities proved to be a lot more capable than what White could initially handle. Big Saito suplex from Briscoe saw him getting angry with the referee for not counting fast enough. When Briscoe ordered White to get up and fight him, his opposition responded with knife-edge chops. The former champ took all White had to offer and dropped him courtesy of the head-butt and a subsequent DDT before the final commercial break.
Dey was a clubberin’ when the show returned, trading forearm strikes before White came off the ropes with a forearm smash. It was a European uppercut showcase from White to set up that missile dropkick-uranage combo. When Briscoe kicked out, White converted the failed pin attempt into a crossface that was turned into a Rings of Saturn when Briscoe tried to make it to the ropes with his hands. Briscoe’s boots were the only things that helped him break the submission, but White was still all over him. Stuck against the ropes, Briscoe had to rally to his feet and big boot his way from a very prone position. The Yelping Neck Breaker was meant to put White in position for that Jay Driller, but it was Briscoe feeling the pain as White drove him into the mat with a flatliner before executing a suplex that sent Briscoe into the turnbuckles. White went to the top when Briscoe got to his feet and tripped him. Shoving the crotched White from his perch, Briscoe sent his opposition careening to the floor, through the timekeeper’s table!
After several moments, Briscoe followed to push White back in for the Jay Driller. Somehow, White stopped the maneuver to drop Briscoe on his head. Like White, Briscoe rallied to his feet and unleashed the big boot-DVD combo that gave Briscoe a one count! The fans were becoming more pro-White as he got up firing off forearms. Responding to an insulting loogie of spit by slapping the taste out of Briscoe’s mouth, White came off the ropes with the follow up when he ran into that discus elbow. Staggered was White as he was easy prey to the knockout lariat that gave Briscoe not only the pin, but also ended White’s undefeated ROH streak.
Overall: Similar to last week’s episode, the final episode of ROH’s Pittsburgh taping felt like a stand-alone sequence of events not connected to the most recent pay-per-view (more than likely that timeline restarting next week with the Vegas TV taping). Thankfully the episode itself was strong enough to make one forget that we still haven’t seen the fallout for the “15th Anniversary”, mostly thanks to the excellent main event. It’s really interesting that White’s undefeated streak came to an end here against a guy who didn’t need to beat him, but the loss doesn’t necessarily hurt White overall. Very few wrestlers have beaten Jay Briscoe over the last four years, and White took him to the limit – which is something Briscoe has been stating for the past two weeks wouldn’t happen. ROH could have an interesting story/rivalry between these two if they want where Briscoe has White’s number until the day Jay White finally beats him. This episode essentially used the same format style from last week right down to the number of matches, yet none of the bouts felt underwhelming. We witnessed the best 2017 TPT match thus far happened in this episode with both men looking better than almost anyone who has wrestled in the Tournament thus far, a highly entertaining opener both thanks to the action & the characters involved, and a great showing between Kenny King and Lio Rush that left me wanting to see a rematch. While it’s an episode mostly disassociated with the major stories left untold on ROH TV at this point, it’s still a highly enjoyable show that’s worth your time.