Powell's 6/17 ROH Wrestling TV review: Jay Briscoe vs. B.J. Whitmer for the ROH Title, Kevin Steen vs. Jimmy Jacobs, Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly, and Matt Taven vs. Cedric Alexander, Caprice Coleman, and Jay Lethal
By Jason Powell
ROH Wrestling on SBG television affiliates
Taped in Richmond, Virginia
[Q1] After the opening video aired, Steve Corino introduced the show while standing in front of the ROH backdrop. Corino said Kevin Kelly may have been given the wrong directions to the building. Corino hyped the lineup for the matches while mocking the babyfaces. He said he hoped all six men in the six-man tag get hurt...
1. Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly, and Matt Taven vs. Cedric Alexander, Caprice Coleman, and Jay Lethal. The match was joined in progress with Joe Dombrowski and Corino on commentary. The action intense and the crowd was on its feet. In the end, Alexander and Coleman performed their finishing sequence on O'Reilly, leading to Alexander getting the pin...
Cedric Alexander, Caprice Coleman, and Jay Lethal defeated Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly, and Matt Taven in a six-man tag.
Powell's POV: I'm not a big fan of joining matches in progress on a taped show. The positive here was that they joined the match at a point where the action was fast and furious. The negative is that we saw so little of the match that it didn't pack much of a punch when Alexander and Coleman got the better of one of the ROH Tag Champions. It looks like they have a hotter than usual crowd for TV.
Kevin Kelly hosted a quick teaser for the Best in the World iPPV and television taping in Baltimore. This set up a brief Jay Briscoe promo... [C] A local spot aired for the ROH event in Hopkins, Minnesota on September 28... B.J. Whitmer cut a backstage promo about his ROH Title shot in the main event. He said winning the title would represent redemption from years of bad decisions and self-destructive behavior...
Corino spoke in front of the backdrop and said he wouldn't say all of the corporate stuff they tell him to say. He read plugs for the upcoming matches from a sheet of paper while using a mocking voice. He spoke about Best in the World and how SCUM wrestlers would win the ROH Tag Titles, the ROH TV Title, and Matt Hardy would beat Kevin Steen...
Powell's POV: As entertaining as Corino is on the mic, it does seem odd that the leader of the heel faction that is out to destroy the company is playing show host for the week. They have covered his color commentator role by having SCUM win a match that gave him the spot as part of the stipulations. I also find Kelly to be a good salesman on the iPPV go-home shows, but it appears he was not in Richmond for this show.
2. Kevin Steen vs. Jimmy Jacobs. Steen made the second entrance and the brawl was on. They brawled at ringside and eventually fought their way back inside the ring. Jacobs wrapped a chain around Steen's neck, leading to the disqualification just a few minutes in.
Kevin Steen beat Jimmy Jacobs by DQ.
[Q2] Once Steen was loose, he attacked Jacobs again. He grabbed a chair and wound up, but several referees and wrestlers stood between them. Steen took the mic and said challenged Jacobs to get back inside the ring for a No DQ match. Jacobs wasn't keen on the idea, but apparently matchmaker Nigel McGuinness was and the match was on. Steen threw one of the wrestlers over the top rope on Jacobs and some of his SCUM companions.... [C]
3. Kevin Steen vs. Jimmy Jacobs in a No DQ match. After the break, Steen was beating Jacobs with a shoe. Corino questioned why Nigel would agree to this. "This is not Ring of Honor," Corino yelled. Jacobs came back by using the middle rope to crotch Steen with. Jacobs dominated the next few minutes of the match and once again choked Steen with the chain, which was now legal. Meanwhile, Dombrowski and Corino argued about Steen on commentary. Corino told Dombrowski to take his stupid tie off and reveal his Kill, Steen, Kill t-shirt.
Steen came back and performed a Swanton Bomb for a two count. Jacobs hopped on Steen's back and applied a sleeper, which Steen broke by driving Jacobs into the corner. Steen missed a cannonball in the corner. Jacobs leapt off the second rope and performed a Diamond Cutter. Steen came right back and tied up Jacobs in the tree of owe before executing another cannonball. Jacobs came right back with Sliced Bread for a two count.
Jacobs jabbed Steen with a chair. "Hit him in the head, B.J. Whitmer would," Corino yelled. "Didn't you watch Border Wars." Hilarious. Jacobs grabbed a piece of the ringside barricade and placed it inside the ring. Meanwhile, Steen wrapped a chain around his fist and struck Jacobs with it. Steen set up for a piledriver, but Jacobs tripped him up and Steen slammed onto the barricade piece.
Jacobs tried to hit Steen with a chair, but Steen avoided it and kicked Jacobs below the belt. Steen followed up with a package piledriver onto the barricade piece and pinned Jacobs to win the match. Corino sold it by acting speechless for the first time all show...
Kevin Steen defeated Jimmy Jacobs in a No DQ match.
Powell's POV: A very good brawl that showcased the right intensity for Steen's feud with his former stablemates. The Road Rage approach really worked here, as it gives viewers who only see the television show a feel for the difference between most of the television matches and a live event match with a hot crowd.
Mark Briscoe stood in front of the ROH backdrop and said next week's television show will be all about The Briscoes. He said they will be on the farm and fans will see chickens, dogs, and maybe even the big man. "Who knows what else you are going to see," he said. "Don't miss it"...
Powell's POV: This could be a lot of fun. The show will air during the iPPV in my market and probably others, but it's a definite DVR recording moment. I'm looking forward to the Briscoe episode more than any edition of ROH to date.
Ring entrances and the in-ring introductions for the ROH Title match took place. B.J. Whitmer didn't get much of a reaction. Jay Briscoe got a nice reaction... Kevin Kelly hosted the quick teaser for the Baltimore events, along with the Jay Briscoe promo... [C]
4. Jay Briscoe vs. B.J. Whitmer for the ROH Title. Mark Briscoe sat in on commentary with Dombrowski. After a few minutes of action, Whitmer threw Jay to the floor and caught him with a suicide dive heading into the commercial break. [C] Whitmer was still on the offensive after the break, but Jay was working his way back to his feet and threw a series of punches. Whitmer fired back with chops.
[Q4] They jockeyed for position and Whitmer got the better of it by powerslamming Briscoe for a two count. Whitmer missed a running knee in the corner. Jay went to the second rope and performed a neckbreaker. Mark said Jay stopped doing that move but brought it back. Dombrowski said Jay was going deep into his playbook for Whitmer.
Whitmer came back with a dragon suplex for a two count. Whitmer followed up with a pair of fisherman's busters for a two count. Jay caught Whitmer and suplexed him over the top rope and through a table that was set up on the floor. An ROH chant broke out. Dombrowski said the match might be over. The referee checked on Whitmer and two other referees came out to check on him as well.
Jay went to the floor and told the referees to go to the back. He picked up Whitmer and threw him back inside the ring. Jay covered Whitmer and only got a two count. Dombrowski said it was uncomfortable to watch, but he understood that Jay just wanted to win the match. Jay set up for the Jay Driller, but Whitmer avoided it, but was unable to dodge the big boot that Jay followed up with.
Jay hooked Whitmer's arms and performed the Jay Driller piledrove him for a two count. Jay sold the kick out by flashing a look of shock. Whitmer got back to his feet and caught Jay with a clothesline. Whitmer performed an exploder suplex for a two count. Mark said Jay was going on fumes. Jay came back with a series of kicks and then applied the Dragon Sleeper. Whitmer passed out to give Jay the win...
Jay Briscoe defeated B.J. Whitmer to retain the ROH Title.
Powell's POV: The scene with Jay ordering the referees backstage after Whitmer was suplexed through the table was awkward. This was a hard fought match between two babyfaces, but Jay looked heelish by showing no regard for his opponent's well being in that case and I don't think that's what they were trying to get across. The match was very physical and very entertaining. The live crowd didn't buy into Whitmer's near falls, though, as I don't think they thought there was any chance of him coming out of this as ROH Champion. I was surprised that we didn't get some sort of an angle involving the Briscoes as a final sell for their iPPV match.
A ROH Best in the World montage aired with brief appearances by Matt Taven, Truth Martini, and the Hoopla Hottie, Jay Lethal, Jimmy Jacobs separately hyping their three-way match for the ROH TV Title. Roderick Strong did the same for their iPPV match. Up next, the American Wolves hyped their match with Adrenaline Rush (Tadarius Thomas and ACH). Michael Elgin spoke about his match with Tommaso Ciampa. Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman spoke about the tag title match.
Kevin Steen spoke about his match against Matt Hardy. Steve Corino hyped up Jimmy Jacobs, Cliff Compton, and Rhett Titus on becoming the ROH TV Champion and ROH Tag Champions. Mark Briscoe said he loves Jay, but he's going to whoop him and take his title...
Powell's POV: The montage left something to be desired. I love the idea of bringing back the ECW staple, but this one just didn't pack much of a punch. Dombrowski was certainly up to speed on the ROH storylines. He focussed more on being conversational than calling the match. It worked more often than not, but he failed when it came to creating the big title match feel for the near falls. He played up the suspense of the two counts, but he could have done more to play up the possibility of a title change. Overall, though, Dombrowski did a nice job of filling in for Kevin Kelly.
Overall, this was pretty weak for a go-home show, yet it worked in terms of being a quality one-hour television show. The Road Rage concept led to better in-ring action than television viewers see on a regular basis, but they were missing angles designed to offer final hype for the pay-per-view. The last two weeks of Briscoe vs. Briscoe hype was disappointing
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