Powell's 5/6 ROH Wrestling TV review: Davey Richards vs. Kyle O'Reilly, Michael Elgin vs. Karl Anderson, MsChif vs. Daviene
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG television affiliates
Taped in New York, N.Y. at Manhattan Center
[Q1] The opening montage aired... Kevin Kelly introduced the show as camera shots of the fans were shown. Kelly was joined on commentary by Prince Nana...
1. Karl Anderson vs. Michael Elgin. Anderson targeted Elgin's left knee. Kelly spoke of Elgin's past knee issues to help tell the story. Anderson removed his knee pad and dropped a bare knee onto Elgin's bad knee at 6:35 heading into the break.
A promotional spot aired with Veda Scott hyping the Richmond, Va. live event on May 18. B.J. Whitmer cut a promo about getting an ROH Title shot at the event. It was the same spot that aired last week... [C]
The match continued after the break with Anderson continuing to work the knee. Elgin stood up and started to fire up, but Anderson put him down again. Anderson slammed Elgin and then mugged for the crowd.
[Q2] Anderson performed a back splash and got a two count. Elgin avoided a running Anderson in the corner and then German suplexed Anderson into the corner. Elgin remained on the offensive for the next few minutes, but he was unable to put Anderson away.
Anderson came back after Elgin was unable to perform a superplex. Anderson caught Elgin with a kick that knocked him off the second rope and then he leapt off the top rope and performed a neckbreaker on the way down for a two count.
Later, Elgin fought his way off of Anderson's shoulders and then hit him with repeated knees to the head. Anderson came back with an Ace Crusher and pinned Elgin. Kelly raved that Anderson had beaten Roderick Strong and now Elgin with the Ace Crusher. Elgin shook Anderson's hand after the match and then raised it in the air... [C]
Karl Anderson pinned Michael Elgin.
Powell's POV: A match that needed some storytelling beforehand. Big wrestling fans may know Anderson's history, but the average fan wasn't given a story they could get caught up in. Kelly did his best to endorse both wrestlers and make Anderson seem like a big deal, but the presentation wasn't what it needed to be. One can only assume Anderson will be back, as it would be foolish to establish him with big wins (particularly over Elgin) for no reason.
2. Daviene vs. MsChif. "Look at the kegs on that, my friend," Nana said regarding Daviene. MsChif's music played while the ring announcer was still trying to introduce Daviene. MsChif yelled in Daviene's face before they could lockup. Daviene backed away and the announcers played it up as her using her experience to her advantage over her 18 year-old opponent.
MsChif was in control of the first minute of the match when Veda Scott suddenly entered the ring in street clothes. MsChif turned toward her and they fought. Four referees entered the ring for a pull apart brawl... [C]
MsChif fought Daviene to an apparent no-contest in 1:00.
Powell's POV: Look at the kegs on that? Really? I would be tolerant of the lousy line if she was going for sex appeal, but there was nothing sexual about Daviene's appearance or demeanor. That line was so out of place for so many reasons. ROH really needed a video package to establish what the hell was going on here for viewers who don't watch the show on a weekly basis. The WWE video packages sometimes telegraph things more than regular viewers would like, but this is an example of why it's crucial from a production standpoint to lay things out in a way that casual and new viewers can follow.
[Q3] Kevin Kelly hosted the Inside Ring of Honor segment. B.J. Whitmer spoke about returning to wrestling following his hiatus and his history with the company. Back in the studio, Kelly plugged the replay of Border Wars that was airing in some markets (including mine) as this show as broadcast. Kelly teased the fallout from Border Wars and the return of ROH to Baltimore for "the biggest event of the summer" for next week's segment...
Veda Scott hosted a spot hyping the Belle Vernon, Pa. live event. The same Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish promo from last week aired where they talked about how they don't know who they are facing. Ugh... [C] A local spot hyped a September 28 in Hopkins, Minnesota at Hopkins Eisenhower Community Center...
At ringside, Kelly and Nana spoke briefly and Kelly commended Nana on having a great audition. Nana took a phone call and sang that he's in the money. He jumped up and ran to the back...
3. Kyle O'Reilly (w/Bobby Fish) vs. Davey Richards (w/Eddie Edwards). Richards received the streamers treatment. As he was standing on the ring apron, he kicked O'Reilly in the head while O'Reilly was standing on the floor. Fish joined Kelly on commentary and complained that O'Reilly wasn't ready to start the match when he was kicked.
Richards took the match inside the ring and threw some kicks at O'Reilly, who came back with a couple punches. Later, Richards went for a dive off the ropes, but O'Reilly caught him in a submission hold on the way down. Richards escaped the hold and they stood up and traded punches. O'Reilly ran toward Richards, who pulled down the ropes, causing O'Reilly to tumble to the floor. Richards hit him with a suicide dive. Richards sold a knee injury.
[Q4] Back inside the ring, Richards performed a missile dropkick, sold the knee, and then fired off a long series of kicks. Moments later, he caught O'Reilly with a big kick to the head and suplexed him and bridged for a two count. O'Reilly caught Davey's leg when he went for a kick. O'Reilly followed up a wicked suplex for a really good two count heading into the break. [C]
After the break, Fish was standing up and told Kelly he came to ringside to do a job on commentary, yet he had to keep an eye on Eddie Edwards. A short time later, Richards caught O'Reilly in an arm bar, which was broken when O'Reilly reached the ropes. Richards went to the ropes and O'Reilly caught him. They fought on the ropes and Richards got the better of it with a slide over into a powerbomb off the ropes.
Richards caught O'Reilly with a kick and then followed up with a double stomp. Richards went back to selling the knee injury and walked into O'Reilly, who ended up twisting him into a Sharpshooter. Richards reached the ropes to break the hold. The fans banged on the ringside barrier before the wrestlers fought on the ring apron.
Back inside the ring, O'Reilly set Richards on the top rope and then stood on the second rope behind him. Eventually, Richards caught O'Reilly in a Cross Arm Breaker that the referee broke up because Richards was hanging on the ropes. O'Reilly ended up lying on a table at ringside. Richards performed a double stomp that drove O'Reilly through the table.
Back inside the ring, Richards stood over O'Reilly, who was on his knees. O'Reilly spat in Richards face. Richards fired off a series of kicks and went for a cover, but O'Reilly kicked out. RIchards immediately locked in the Cross Arm Breaker and got the submission win...
Powell's POV: A wrestling heavy show, which it needed to be considering it aired during an iPPV weekend. The opening match was good down the stretch, and the main event was very good. Unfortunately, the overall show suffered from a lack of storytelling by the production team. Richards and O'Reilly have had longstanding issues, yet only the announcers told us about those problems. We didn't hear from the wrestlers, nor did we get a good video package to show some of that history.
ROH really needs to improve when it comes to making their television show friendlier for new and occasional viewers. I guess that's the unintentional theme for this show. And as much as I enjoyed the main event, Richards needs to sell his injuries consistently. He sold like he was shot in the leg, then went crazy with kicks of all things, sold again for a moment, and then did everything without any sign of an injury, and finally sold again after the match. He should really sell it consistently or just not play up an injury whatsoever.
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