We’re less than a week from ROH’s 14th Anniversary PPV and we’ll have you covered here at PTBN with a preview prior and possibly two different reviews on the show. Now last weekend saw the stars of Ring of Honor in Japan for two Honor Rising shows. Be sure to check out Dave’s reviews of night 1 and night 2. Kevin also talks about Honor Rising and the 14th Anniversary PPV on the latest Kevin Kelly Show. We also put together a history of the relationship between ROH and Japan, covering 2002-2006. You can find all our great ROH content by clicking on the ROH Nation tag.
ROH TV #231 – original air date 2/20/16. From Nashville, TN.
ROH World TV Title Match: Roderick Strong vs. Jonathan Gresham
We get our first look at the new ROH set, which is such an upgrade. The lighting and entrance changes are positive steps for the company, and now Jim Ross will need to find another talking point to drive into the ground (plug: the Kevin Kelly interview portion of that show is really good – yes, we’re biased, but it was rightfully well received).
First time I noticed Gresham is in the show intro so good on him. Veda Scott joins us and due to this large settlement from ROH, tries to pay-off Gresham to lose the TV title opportunity (to Cedric) and leave ROH. This goes as expected. Gresham chews gum as he wrestles, the most minute wrestling pet peeve of mine.
Roddy blocks an attempted sunset flip from the apron by just side stepping Jon and hitting a backbreaker. Cool spot. Roddy works the back. Gresham blocks a superplex by working Roddy’s hand but eats a dropkick on his splash. More hand/finger work by Gresham, which is over with the crowd. Nigel really puts over the limb work by Gresham and Roddy does his part with decent selling. Flying knee off an irish whip gets the win for Roddy, somewhat abruptly (with a delayed cover too). I feel like the full uncut version of this had to be pretty good.
Bobby Fish is out now for a skirmish, and the commentary – and graphics – talk up the Final Battle rematch at the 14th Anniversary show. Now, Strong, of course, no longer has the belt but the TV was long done so not complaining; however, another triple threat match for a big singles title on the PPV? Ishii vs. Strong vs. Fish is on the docket. I get not bumping Bobby after literally months of build, but duplication like this is tricky with not just booking but crowd investment.
Tough Guy Inc. (Brutal Bob and Tim Hughes) vs. War Machine
Bob and Hughes work their faux tough guy routine, with neither man wanting to mess with Rowe. Hughes’ strength spot of carrying around Rowe is met with a nice knee. I get Hughes pretending to wrestle bigger than he is for the gimmick. This is almost a callback to the Hollys (Hardcore and Crash for those possibly not familiar) in 2000 (and I like it). Rowe gut wrenches Bob around and Hansen hits his splash for the win.
ANX is out to remind everyone that the All Night Express are the linear (their word!) ROH tag champs, having never lost their belts. King talks shit and War Machine lays down their belts, inviting a fight that we don’t get. Titus says the ANX is “coming for that ass in Vegas” – ok then.
The Young Bucks are with KK to talk about The Cleaner, Kenny Omega. We even get a faint Omega chant. Looking forward to Kenny’s ROH dates coming up.
We transition to last week with Corino announcing that Adam Page is the guy who wants to take out BJ Whitmer.
BJ Whitmer vs. Chase Brown
A couple face washes, punches and an exploder for Whitmer in this squash. BJ has a mic and out comes Corino. BJ notes to Corino that he’s “sick and tired of keeping you relevant.” Page attacks from behind and this just hasn’t had the build to really generate the kind of heat they’re going for with these pull-aparts (which wasn’t shown here). Should be noted – both Page/BJ and Daniels/Shelley are labeled as “Grudge matches” for the PPV. I feel like the latter has been earned a bit more.
Story time with Adam Cole BAY BAY and we have our go-home main event promo get-together. Ok, I dug Lethal tying in Vegas with “The House always wins”. He wants to leave O’Reilly out of this, but Kyle is “a good kid.” Kyle makes his appearance, Lethal eats a Cole superkick and O’Reilly ends up standing tall after a brainbuster on Cole. The action portion of this was real short. This should have closed the show.
ACH and Alex Shelley vs. The Briscoes
“Reach for the sky, boy” – still the best. ODB joins the boys here too given we’re in Nashville. “The Almighty” Christopher Daniels on commentary to hype his match with Shelley on Friday and honestly he adds really good insight here, putting over Jay’s forearms, ACH’s need to stay on his opponents, and more. Thought Shelley looked really good here and ACH breaking out an uppercut kick with Mark on the top rope was something.
ACH and Shelley appear poised to win, Daniels pops up to distract Shelley while he holds Mark down for ACH’s 450. To his credit, Shelley still motions for ACH to do the move as he goes to block the potential interference, but Mark rolls out of the way. Daniels begs off but then attaches himself to Shelley’s leg so he can’t get back in the ring and stop the Doomsday Device and the Briscoes win. See I like this; if you’re going to do interference, at least make it look smart (the ref couldn’t see Daniels holding him and Shelley didn’t stupidly stop doing a move or anything) and believable in the context of a pro wrestling match.
Post-match the Addiction beats down Shelley and Sabin appears hesitant as he waits in the corner. Before he can strike him, ACH pulls Shelley out and Daniels and Kazarian are in Sabin’s face questioning his commitment. Everything transparently points to a paint-by-numbers Sabin turn to reunite with Shelley, tying up the Addiction for a couple months.
Final thoughts There’s a lot crammed in here as the go-home show before the 14th Anniversary PPV and they managed to touch on everything in the hour block. So it’s a good appetizer and an easy watch, even if nothing match-wise is really “must-see” before the PPV.