Powell's 2/18 ROH Wrestling TV review: Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs, car lot brawl, Top Prospect Tournament semifinal matches
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG television affiliates
Taped in Baltimore, Md. at Du Burns Arena
[Q1] The opening video kicked off the show... Kevin Kelly and Caleb Seltzer introduced the show and were joined by Truth Martini on commentary for the Top Prospect Tournament. They also hyped Jay Lehtal vs. Jimmy Jacobs as the main event, and a fight at a car dealership...
Backstage, Veda Scott interviewed Tadarius Thomas about his tournament match. Q.T. Marshall interrupted and told him how to pronounce his name. He also noted that R.D. Evans was overseas. Thomas said he does his talking in the ring. Marshall said "you better walk away" sheepishly and then said he's going to win the match and the tournament...
Powell's POV: I didn't care for the out of place "you better walk away line" but Marshall did a good job of standing out in the brief segment. A viewer would definitely remember his name coming out of that segment.
1. Q.T. Marshall vs. Tadarius Thomas in a Top Prospect Tournament semifinal match. Thomas apprehensively shook hands with heel Marshall before the match. Martini kept his streak of campy sexual innuendo alive by holding stress balls and telling the announcers they could hold his balls. Seltzer noted that Marshall trained at the Monster Factory and spent time at the Team 3D Academy.
Late in the match, Marshall hit a power slam for a two count. He set up for an Alabama Slam, but Thomas blocked it and caught him with a cartwheel kick and then followed up with a dragon suplex for the win. The announcers noted that Thomas will face the winner of the Silas Young vs. Matt Taven match in the finals...
Tadarius Thomas defeated Q.T. Marshall in 5:45 to advance to the finals of the Top Prospect Tournament.
Powell's POV: The live crowd was pleased by the outcome. Marshall isn't winning the tournament, but he has a lot of potential and I really like his act when R.D. Evans is with him. Thomas is acrobatic and good in the ring but his look is a bit generic and he didn't show much charisma during the backstage promo segment.
Veda Scott hosted an iPPV teaser. She asked Kevin Steen if she could get his thoughts on his match against Jay Lethal. "No," Steen responded before walking away. Jimmy Jacobs and Steve Corino chimed in briefly and Corino yelled that evil always wins... [C]
The announcers set up footage taped "earlier today" at a car dealership...
[Q2] B.J. Whitmer was shown shaking hands with the people who run the dealership. Charlie Haas showed up and asked what was going on. The dealership workers told him he was late and they had to call in Whitmer for an appearance. Haas slapped Whitmer. He was told to leave.
Haas and Whitmer fought into the parking lot of the dealership. Haas got the better of the brawl and threw Whitmer on top of a car. He then slammed him into the side of the car and dented it. Haas opened the car door and slammed it on Whitmer, then threw him on the hood of the car while the dealership owners yelled at him. Haas left Whitmer lying on top of the car while the dealership workers yelled at him to leave. Haas flipped them off and left...
Powell's POV: The initial punches that started the brawl were pretty weak, but once they got to fighting it was kind of fun. They trashed the car by denting the door, the hood, and breaking the front window.
2. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman vs. Nate Westgate and Brian Fury. Coleman and Alexander jumped out to a fast start. Rhino hit the ring and gored Alexander.
Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman fought Nate Westgate and Brian Fury to an apparent no-contest in 1:05.
Steve Corino joined Rhino in the ring. Corino said the mission for SCUM has not changed and never will. He said evil is coming and Ring of Honor will die and "we all will live for Ring of SCUM"...
Backstage, Veda Scott interviewed Silas Young, who told her to address him properly. He said he's the last real man in pro wrestling. He said he would put Taven in the Stock Lock and force him to tap out or break him... [C]
Backstage, Scott interviewed Taven briefly. He said he's going to the finals of the tournament and Young is in his way... Bobby Cruise handled the introductions for the tournament match...
3. Silas Young vs. Matt Taven in a Top Prospect Tournament semifinal match. There was an early spot where Young caught a leaping Taven on his shoulders. He stumbled a bit and caught himself and then played it up to the crowd by shaking his head no. Nice recovery.
[Q3] Later, Taven tried to dive onto Young on the floor, but Young caught him and slammed him on the floor. He rolled Taven back in the ring and got a two count. Taven got Young down on the floor again and connected with a middle rope moonsault. Taven missed on a followup frogsplash attempt. Young performed a backbreaker and tried to followup with a combo move, but Taven caught him with a rollup for the win... [C]
Matt Taven beat Silas Young to advance to the finals of the Top Prospect Tournament in 5:45.
Powell's POV: I like Young. He has a grizzled indy look that works at this level. Taven's look is a bit indy-riffic in that he looks like a throwback rocker babyface with his gear and long hair. Two babyfaces in the finals?
Kevin Kelly hosted the Inside Ring of Honor segment. The segment focussed on Matt Hardy and Adam Cole. Footage aired of the two of them jawing and then brawling at an event in Milwaukee. Hardy struck Cole with the title belt and left Cole lying. Hardy took the title belt with him...
Cole cut a promo in which he said Hardy brought out a side of him that he didn't know existed. He cut a fired up promo and said no one cares about Hardy, but he's going to make people care about him by ripping him limb from limb.
In the studio, Kelly said he never thought he'd see that side of Cole, but Hardy pushed him. Kelly said Nigel McGuinness has a plan to settle it once and for all. Kelly questioned whether Nigel will give in to Hardy or Cole.
Footage aired of Nigel hyping a tag title match when he was interrupted by Charlie Haas, who was upset that his team wasn't included. He said he would put his team with Shelton Benjamin on the line. Nigel agreed to give them a tag title match, but said Haas and Benjamin would never be allowed to team together again if they lose.
Kelly said the match will take place in two weeks on ROH TV and then set up a Briscoes promo. They spoke about their iPPV match against Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish, and then said they are going to break up Haas and Benjamin.
Kelly teased the finals of Thomas vs. Taven for the finals of the tournament and noted that the winner will challenge for the TV Title at the 11th Anniversary iPPV... The Veda Scott interview with SCUM was replayed...
[Q4] [C] Veda Scott interviewed Jimmy Jacobs about the main event. She asked if he had any orders from Steen since he would be facing his iPPV challenger. Jacobs blew it off as a ridiculous question...
4. Jay Lethal vs. Jimmy Jacobs. Steve Corino sat in on commentary for the main event. Corino praised Seltzer for speaking the English language. He was asked whether that was a shot at the ethnic community. He said no, he just hates Nigel McGuinness. Funny. No handshake before the match. Lethal ran at Jacobs and attacked him. Jacobs came back and sat Lethal down on a chair at ringside. Jacobs went for a suicide dive, but Lethal moved, causing Jacobs to crash on the floor going into the break. [C]
After the break, Lethal took control of the offense as Corino railed on his family on commentary. Lethal played to the crowd and was rolled up by Jacobs for a two count. Lethal came right back with the Lethal Combination and got a two count of his own. Jacobs came back a short time later with Sliced Bread. Corino said it was party time because he though the match was over, but Lethal kicked out.
Jacobs went for a huracanrana off the ropes, but Lethal held onto the top rope. Jacobs went after Lethal again, but Lethal grabbed him and put him down with a Death Valley Driver. Lethal followed up with a top rope elbow drop for the win.
Jay Lethal beat Jimmy Jacobs in roughly 7:00 of television time.
Rhino hit the ring and Corino directed him from the floor. Rhino set up for a gore, but Caprice Coleman ran out to stop him. Corino tripped Coleman, and Rhino gored Coleman once he stood up. Jacobs grabbed Lethal's legs and Rhino set up for a gore. Kevin Steen entered the ring and stood in Rhino's path.
Steen put his hand out to Lethal to help him up. Lethal rolled out of the ring with a confused look and the announcers questioned what was going on heading into the anniversary iPPV main event to close out the show...
Powell's POV: A solid main even that helped further the storyline involving Lethal and SCUM with the surprising offer from Steen thrown in. It was a decent cliffhanger for next week. Here's hoping they follow up on it. Overall, this was a ho-hum show at best. The Top Prospect tournament matches were okay yet lacked star power at a time when the company is approaching its next iPPV. It doesn't feel like anyone in the tournament is being spotlighted in a star making way, but we'll see what happens in the finals next week.
It is hard to believe that next week is the go-home show for the iPPV for those of us who live in markets where the March 2 show will actually air during or after the iPPV. The build for the iPPV has not been as strong as it was for Final Battle. It just doesn't feel like as much of an event, nor have they done anything to play on the company's history to create an anniversary vibe. Rather, it feels like just another iPPV that happens to be the company's anniversary. ROH needs to deliver a hot go-home show next week.
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