Ring of Honor TV Report – January 12, 2014
Welcome back to ROH TV! Before I begin, I just want to inform you that in three weeks’ time, AJ STYLES will make his re-debut for ROH against Roderick Strong! I should warn you, that the match will feature Strong injuring himself during AJ’s finisher, The Styles Clash. So, keep that in mind come three weeks’ time, when that match takes place. However, we start the Top Prospect Tournament tonight, which puts a spotlight on newer talent and what they can do. So, never let it be said that ROH doesn’t invest in the future. Did you hear that Vince? Invest in the FUTURE, not the PAST. Quit worrying about the WWE Network and start worrying about your lack of drawing power amongst your young and promising talents. Anyway, ROH doesn’t have that problem, so let them show Vince how it’s done.
Raymond Rowe vs. Kongo – Top Prospect First Round Match
This was a fine showing for both of our young guns, with each man standing out for the right reasons. They chose a brawl this time out, one which was worked at a gradual pace that offered some back and forth action. Rowe displayed a terrific move set for a man of larger size and could certainly blend in with this roster. Kongo looks more like a monster of yesteryear and may have a tougher time assimilating himself into the ROH system, but he could make it happen if he knows how to milk his character, which is quite similar to Yokozuna. Rowe took the victory in a match that reached the five minute mark and not a minute was wasted.
Winner: Raymond Rowe
Michael Elgin made his way out and power-bombed Kongo afterwards, likely to make a statement to all others that he’s a force to be reckoned with. This only served to bury Kongo after a devastating loss, but, hey, I’m always hearing that we wrestling critics no nothing of the pressures of booking a card, so I must be wrong. This exchange leads to both Chris Hero and Kevin Steen coming out and laying claim to being the top guys for the company going forward. Overall, a nicely performed segment, although unnecessary, especially for a one-hour broadcast.
Bill Daly vs Corey Hollis
Top Prospect competitor Bill Daly formally withdrew from the tournament, due to a sprained ankle, and instead demands to be made # 1 contender to the ROH TV Title. His opponent Corey got his hand raised in victory by the referee.
Winner: Corey Hollis
However, Mike Posey claimed that Corey didn’t want that kind of victory, so he volunteered himself to fight in Daly’s place.
Corey Hollis vs. Mike Posey
This match didn’t have a chance to blossom into something beautiful, which is the curse of shorter time limits. Hollis was quite impressive regardless of this fact and was a success tonight, given the purpose of the tournament.
Winner: Corey Hollis
Caprice Coleman vs. Jay Lethal
Coleman’s first night as a singles wrestler turned out well, as he shined just as brightly as Jay, who continues to be one of wrestling’s very best. This was an incredibly athletic encounter that was so polished that the glare that reflected off of it blinded me for six seconds. I’m not pulling your leg, six seconds of blindness. Lethal brought this match to a close and got the much beloved victory. Afterwards, Lethal put over Coleman as a great talent, while challenging the TV Champion, Tommaso Ciampa, to a title match.
Main Event: Chris Hero vs. Kevin Steen
This was a dynamite way to bring the card to a close, with Hero looking elated to be back. It was great to see a main event with so much passion put into it, in a time when matches that are wrestled for free TV are often inconsequential. From bell to bell, these two earned their time in the spotlight and crafted a match worth recommending, which is precisely what I’m doing.
Winner: Kevin Steen
As Kevin celebrated his success, a mysterious man in the audience assaulted Steen, a man named…CLIFF COMPTON.
While not the strongest broadcast I’ve seen out of ROH, this was a fine night for action from this company, regardless. My only true gripe tonight is that they used Kongo as a mere stepping stone for Elgin’s promo, one which didn’t really set up anything new or important. I sincerely hope that they don’t take these new names for granted, let alone forget that the ones they misuse today may be the stars of they rely on in due time.