Ring of Honor Wrestling Television Episode #209 recap and review
Taped at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, PA
Welcome wrestling fans to another edition of the most in-depth and exciting Ring of Honor review going today. This is the first episode to broadcast since All Star Extravaganza VII and you can read my review of that show here. Due to the ROH taping schedule, this episode was taped prior to the PPV and won’t have any follow up to that event. This can result in a disjointed viewing experience but if done correctly it won’t be that noticeable. ROH has struggled with this in the past so one of the things I will be looking at this week is how the episode fares without the chronological tie in to the latest PPV.
Opening Match: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin V “The Last Real Man” Silas Young
I’ve always liked the work of Michael Elgin and wasn’t surprised to hear how well he performed in the G-1 Climax tournament. The list of power wrestlers I’ve liked over the years is pretty short, but Elgin is a master of working the style in a fluid, believable way that doesn’t look like he is just trading moves with his opponent and going through the motions. I’m looking at you, Ryback.
Elgin shows his power and throws Silas to the ground from the tie up. Silas comes back at Elgin but Elgin no sells the offense of Silas Young. Young charges again but Elgin takes him down with a shoulder tackle. Elgin hits a military press on Elgin and then a stalling vertical suplex that goes about 40 seconds. The crowd ate this up. Elgin covers but only gets a two. The action moves to the apron where Silas changes the momentum of the match by hitting a DDT on the apron and then a slingshot stomp back into the ring as we cut to the first commercial break.
Silas is in control as he grounds Elgin. Silas tries a tornado DDT but Elgin reverses only to get caught with a backbreaker for a 2 count. Elgin regains control with a German suplex but both men are down for a bit. Silas goes to the top rope but Elgin catches him with a slam and a 2 count. Elgin gets to his feet quickly and goes for a deadlift German suplex but Young powers out. Elgin hits a back elbow and an ensiguri to regain control. The crowd gets behind Elgin but Young gets a back slide, a rolling fireman’s carry which he transitions into a quick kip up and springboard-like plancha for a two count. What an athletic maneuver from Silas Young! Elgin regains control with an ensiguri and keeps it with a big clothesline that levels Young. Elgin then hits a super falcon arrow from the apron but it only gets him a 2 count. The crowd loudly chants “Big Mike”. Elgin goes for a powerbomb but Young reverses into a jackknife for a 2 count. Young hits the Misery finisher out of nowhere but Elgin rolls to the floor. Young follows Elgin to the floor and pulls the mat up, setting up a suplex. Elgin reverses and power bombs Silas into the barricade and quickly carries him into the ring for an Elgin bomb and a 3 count.
Winner: Michael Elgin via pinfall
Post-Match: Elgin extends his hand but Young refuses to shake it to a chorus of boos.
My take: This was the best TV match I’ve seen in quite some time. These two have undeniable chemistry as a result of their many matches over the years and I would love to see a full on feud with these two. It was funny to hear Kevin Kelly allude to the PPV match between Silas Young and Dalton Castle that had not happened when this was filmed but is history for those watching this episode at home.
Backstage: Adam Cole cuts a short promo to announce his match with Shinsuke Nakamura next week. What?! Super excited for next week over this announcement as this is one of the match ups I really wanted to see happen as a result of the ROH-NJPW partnership.
Singles Match: Caprice Coleman V ACH
This match starts off with Caprice grounding ACH using superior technical wrestling technique. ACH gets loose and tries to work his high flying style but Caprice Coleman is able to match him there as well. ACH eventually takes advantage as Coleman rolls to the floor to recover after the flurry from ACH. ACH follows him out but Coleman takes advantage again and gets ACH in the ring for a 2 count. Coleman continues to work ACH over until ACH hits a dropkick out of nowhere to send Coleman to the floor and ACH tries his kick from the apron again, but hits it this time. ACH shows a little grit at this point as he slings Coleman into the barricade. ACH throws Coleman in the ring but only gets a 2 count. ACH attempts a vertical suplex but Coleman counters and takes control again. Coleman then goes for the triple northern lights suplex and covers but ACH is able to kick out. Coleman misses a move in the corner but is able hit a Sky splitter for a 2. ACH counters a move in the corner and hits a brain buster into the Midnight Star for the victory.
Winner: ACH via pinfall
Post-match: Steve Corino heads over to interview Caprice Coleman about the letter he received from Prince Nana recently. Coleman says there was money and a letter. He says he took the money and read the letter but he didn’t get it at first. He says he read it over and over, and after this match he just had he gets it.
My take: Another fantastic match. ACH is the ROH answer to the WWE’s Neville with his super hero like aerial ability. Coleman more than held up his own, and the story of this match is that Coleman has the veteran smarts to take the early advantage but can’t match the youth and vigor of ACH throughout the duration of the match. Questions about his reading comprehension skills aside, all the obvious signs seem to point to a Coleman heel turn.
Inside ROH w/ Many Leon: The exotic Goddess covers the ROH-NJPW partnership. She interviews the NJPW chairman who says they want more ROH stars in Japan. ROH COO Joe Koff announces that there will be an ROH show held in Japan this coming February. NJPW will then come to Vegas for the 14th anniversary show and the May tour with NJPW stars will return again this year and travel to even more US cities. We go back to Mandy who bills next week on ROH TV as NJPW V ROH. We have Matt Sydal taking on Kushida as well as the previously announced Nakamura/Cole match. Delirious then interrupts to cut a nonsensical promo. Mandy laughs him off as she closes the segment.
My take: This partnership is what differentiates ROH from other major promotions in the US. I love the influence of the NJPW stars and any time they want to come to the US or produce PPV’s with English commentary I’ll gladly hand over my money. If only they could book a War Games match between the two promotions!
Main Event: The Briscoes and Hirooki Goto V RPG Vice and Kazuchika Okada
Okada is the IWGP world heavyweight champion and Goto is their Intercontinental champion. The ovation for Okada is deafening. Goto isn’t nearly as well known as the Big 3 from NJPW but he gets a respectable pop from the crowd. We cut to a commercial before this one gets started.
Much to delight of the Philly crowd Jay Briscoe and Kazuchika Okada start this out. The two trade blows in the center in the ring with Okada appearing to come out on top but Jay hits a big head butt. Okada recovers however and hits a big bot before tagging in Romero. Jay is able to get the upper hand on Romero and tag in Goto. Trent Baretta gets a tag is taken down by shoulder tackles from Goto. Mark gets the tag and locks in a headlock on Baretta. Mark hits a palm thrust and puts on Romero’s headband before unleashing his Kung-Fu. Romero gets a reversal into a double foot stomp in the corner as RPG vice goes for a double team on Mark. Mark tries to rally but Okada gets the tag and dives over the top rope onto Mark. Mark gets dominated for a bit as all three members of the heel team hit the Rainmaker pose. Mark recovers into a Death Valley driver before catching Goto with the hot tag. Goto cleans house and singles in on Okada. Goto hits a saito suplex for a 2 count. Okada takes control with a DDT and a running forearm but it only gets him a 2 count. RPG vice run in to take down the Briscoes as Okada heads to the top rope for an Elbow drop. Okada hits the rainmaker pose and goes for his clothesline but Goto counters with a neckbreaker as we go to the last commercial.
We’re back with Jay Briscoe in the middle of the ring fighting off all of RPG vice. Jay eats double knees to the face and is on the receiving end of a double team beat down but he won’t be pinned. Mark gets the hot tag and takes down Romero with his Kung-Fu. The Briscoes hit a combo neckbreaker power bomb that only gets a 2 count. Okada and Goto face off again and Okada hits a tilt awhirl neckbreaker on Goto, tries a Rainmaker Clothesline on Mark Briscoe but it is reversed. Mark is taken down by Romero and everyone is down. The action moves to the floor as the Briscoes hit a doomsday device to Tb on the floor. Mark hits a Froggy bow on Beretta but only gets a 2. Jay gets the tag and tries the Jay driller but it is broken up. Okada hits a tombstone on Mark and then nails that picture perfect dropkick on Goto. Okada tires a Rainmaker clothesline but Goto counters with a head butt that takes both men down. Jay and Trent get to their feet and trade blows, ending in an ensiguri from Trent. Jay then hits a discus clothesline on Trent into a Jay driller for the 3 count.
Winners: The Briscoe Brothers and Goto via pinfall
My take: Not bad for a random 6 man tag. Can we get a Jay Briscoe/Okada match one day? A feud between these two would be amazing. The more I see of Goto the more I am impressed by him, and I’ll be sure to keep a better eye on him going forward. The match was fun and chaotic and made for a good main event with a lot of star power.
Honorable Mention: With so much great wrestling jammed into a one hour show this is a tough choice. For this week, the award goes to Michael Elgin. If Philly erupts for you, you must be doing something right. He and Silas Young put on a great match and I expect Elgin to ride this newfound wave of popularity right to a ROH World Title shot. This is another great example of how the NJPW partnership can give the ROH roster a breath of fresh air to revitalize stale acts. Japan was good for Big Mike and from what I’ve read Big Mike was good for Japan.
Final Take: The show immediately following a PPV has suffered since I started this column. However, this time ROH found a solution to the problem and made this one of the better episodes of ROH TV I’ve reviewed regardless of when it occurred in relation to a PPV. The reason for this is pretty simple, the wrestling was awesome. I didn’t care that I didn’t see Silas Young with the boys. I didn’t care that Jay Lethal didn’t gloat about his sweep at the PPV. I didn’t care that AJ Styles winning his #1 contender match couldn’t be mentioned. I was too into the matches to worry about how it all fit together chronologically. Don’t get me wrong, story is hugely important for pro wrestling but if you can’t provide that continuity due to the logistics of a taping schedule every week then you damn well better deliver in the ring, and ROH has proven this week that they are more than capable of doing that.
Congratulations if you made it through this week’s review! Let me know what you thought about the show in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading!