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ROH TV Episode 325: Declaration of Battle

By James Bullock Dec 13, 2017 - 7:35 AM print

Last week: Flip Gordon defeated Six-Man Tag champion Adam Page after The Motor City Machine Guns successfully defended the ROH World Tag Team Championship against The Kingdom.

ROH TV Episode 325
Lakeland, FL

The show kicked off with a video package of last week’s “Coleman’s Pulpit” where Caprice Coleman insulted the honor of World Television champion Kenny King to the point he wanted to fight Coleman so badly he offered him a TV title shot for tonight.

ROH World Television Championship: Kenny King (c) vs. Caprice Coleman
The Rebellion explodes with Shane Taylor playing the part of a jacked up Ms. Elizabeth. At the sound of the bell, Kenny King backed Coleman into the corner and broke clean. When Coleman responded with a pie-face, King exploded with shotgun knees in hopes of hitting the Royal Flush early. The challenger freed himself and bailed out of the ring as the show entered a commercial break.
The show returned with King still in control until Caprice slipped through the ropes while grabbing the champ’s incoming right hand to whip him into the steel ring post. Caprice was on fire, using the ropes to handstand his way into a head scissors that put King in prime position for a dropkick against the barricades. Happy, Coleman remarked, “I think I killed Kenny.” BlessedTO against the turnbuckles saw Coleman not gain a three count, but he did ground the champ as the fans tried to rally behind him. The challenger was looking for that super hurricarana when King moved and Coleman crotched himself on the top turnbuckle. King was on fire, executing a spinning heel kick to gain a two count prior to hitting that t-bone bridging suplex. King elbowed his way right into the Trinity … that gave Coleman a near fall!
The fans were actually turning in favor of Caprice as he climbed the ropes for the potential Sky Splitter. King tried to stop him, but to no avail as Coleman came off the top with a successful Sky Splitter … to gain another two count!
King had to stop a big piledriver before diving on an intending interfering Taylor. Spine buster connected for King as did the Royal Flush to put Coleman down for the three count.
Just as the fans started throwing streamers in celebration, Punishment Martinez entered the ring. Shane Taylor joined the fray just as King staggered the big man. Martinez and Taylor wiped out King before arguing with each other. Silas Young, the other challenger in the “Final Battle” TV title match, tried to convince his fellow title challengers to beat down King together, but they wanted to fight anyone potentially stopping them from becoming a champion until the commercial.

The voice of Christopher Daniels demanded silence to remind everyone about their problems with War Machine that included a fan getting injured during a brawl between the four – causing Ray Rowe to get suspended until “Final Battle”. While Frankie Kazarian talked about his lack of concern for fans’ safety, Hanson ran out to attack both men. But the numbers got the better of Hanson as Kazarian bashed him in the back with a chair over & over again. Taping Hanson to the middle rope, Daniels revealed a box cutter with the plan of shaving Hanson’s beard. When “War Beard” tried to fight back, Daniels thought a better idea would be to reenact his favorite moment from “Reservoir Dogs” (you know the scene). Security stopped the worst from happening while freeing Hanson so he could go on the warpath and chase The Addiction out of the ring.

The World Six-Man Tag Team champions promised to welcome their “Final Battle” challengers of Flip Gordon, Dragon Lee & Titan to Ring of Honor the only way they know how. Sounds like we’ll be seeing a #SuperKickParty.

Once again it was a lone voice breaking the silence, but this time it was Jay Briscoe asking, “Do you know who we are?” Jay wanted everyone to know that Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer are cowards. After calling them out, beating them up, and tore up the Team 3D Academy, but the ECW legends have gone silent. Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray made their arrivals, only for security to block their paths. ROH CEO Joe Koff tried to put a stop to this, but the fans wanted a fight. Confronting Dem Boys, Koff informed the brothers that things will get extreme at “Final Battle” with a newly announced match: The Briscoes vs. Bully Ray & Tommy Dreamer. Dreamer and Ray slipped past security to initiate a pull-apart brawl.

Jay Lethal vs. Matt Taven w/ The Kingdom
When Lethal followed the Code of Honor with his old adversary over the Television title, Taven pie-faced him. Dey started a clubberin’ early; with the action spilling to the floor before entering the ring for an early double axe handle, Lethal Combination II, and the figure four leg lock attempt. As Marty Scurll, who was at the commentators’ table, informed Colt Cabana that he spins to set up Chicken Wing for momentum. As Scurll talked about his plans to win at “Final Battle”, Lethal got distracted by the baseball bat-wielding TK O’Ryan to the point Taven was able to recover and springboard dropkick Lethal to set up a diving dropkick through the ropes prior to the commercial break.
During the commercial, Lethal was thrown face first against the steel ring post. Taven’s caperana failed when Lethal got his knees up, leading to another slugfest. A sunset flip lead to the Lethal Combination from the former World champ, but didn’t help him gain a pin fall. The figure four leg lock worked for Lethal on his second try, only for Vinny Marseglia to push the bottom rope to his clawing partner. When Lethal connected with Hail to the King, Marty Scurll ran down the aisle; tossing his infamous umbrella into the ring. Spotting the object, Lethal was encouraged to use it by his “Final Battle” opponent. Lethal found himself conflicted in regards to winning by dishonorable means – something once the norm to him – leaving Jay prone to a roll up by Taven. Taven held his old rival down for something of an upset victory. As Taven celebrated, Scurll yelled at Lethal, “You’re done!”

It was time for the “Final Battle” main event contract signing and Cody, decked out in a lavish fur coat, was accompanied by his wife. Dalton Castle, wearing a peacock feathered opened shirt, told the World champ, “You look ridiculous.” Cody had a plate of appetizers, taking them all for himself and his wife. Actually, Cody and Brandi Rhodes were wining and dining instead of paying attention to his challenger as Castle promised to break Cody’s heart, get his chemist of an uncle to mend it and break it again by wining the ROH World title. According Castle, he wanted to like Cody, but upon meeting him found someone unworthy of being the ROH World champion; stating that Cody is, “…overpaid and overrated.” Infuriated, Cody threw off the coat and signed the contract as the fans chanted for Castle. The closing sight was a face-off between the main event champion and challenger.

Overall: The road to “Final Battle” has reached its endpoint with a very good go-home episode that featured some great focus on ensuring that everything on the PPV card got a chance to shine from major & minor promos, to in-ring confrontations, to both matches having potential significant impact on the big show. The godfathers of extreme came for vengeance, Hanson almost got his beard and his ear cut off, and Castle put Cody on notice in a pleasantly unconventional pro wrestling contract signing that really established the challenger’s popularity over someone associated with The Bullet Club. From an in-ring perspective the matches were good with Caprice Coleman really maximizing his minutes to gain another boost of popularity from fans in attendance while the old rivalry between Matt Taven and Jay Lethal had another chapter written. But neither bout matters in comparison to the obviously story-driven moments to give ROH fans a definitive reason why they need to see “Final Battle”.

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