Ring of Honor TV Report – January 19, 2014
Welcome to week 2 of the Top Prospect Tournament! I am your host, Nathan Favel, and we have a great night of top notch action on our hands here. So, without further delay, let’s just jump right in.
Andrew Everett vs. The Romantic Touch – Top Prospect Tournament First Round Match
A great deal of athleticism was on display in our opener, with Everett showcasing some of the most fluid movements I’ve seen in a wrestling ring in quite some time. His transitional abilities are as finely-tuned as one could hope for and were the key to this match’s notability. The Romantic Touch, on the other hand, is a masked character who seems intent on kissing his opponents; much like CMLL’s Maximo. During the match, Veda Scott rushed out to the announce booth and claimed that the masked lothario was none other than former ROH World Tag Team Champion Rhett Titus. If this is indeed Rhett, then this was quite the departure for him. That all said, it could be a refreshing turn for him, so, hopefully, this gimmick gets a fair shake.
Winner: Andrew Everett
Jay Briscoe and Adam Cole had a good segment, where Cole claimed he would let Jay know if he would grant him a title shot, next week.
Cheeseburger vs. Hanson – Top Prospect Tournament First Round Match
Hanson, who competed in this tournament last year, I believe, worked a stiff squash match with ROH trainee Cheeseburger, who does, indeed, have pictures of the food adorned on his attire. Cheeseburger is one of those lightweight talents that have an uncanny penchant for selling the moves of far more formidable looking opponents; a skill he put on full display here. Hanson has a very natural aura about him, very much in line with some of the great tough guys of wrestling history, like Stan Hanson or “Dr. Death” Steve Williams. By the match’s end, Hanson had bloodied Cheeseburger’s eye, leaving it quite raw and tender in the process. Besides that incident, I couldn’t find any discrepancies with his work, so he certainly gets a thumb up from me.
Adam Page vs. Mark Briscoe
Before this bout could get going, The Decade(Roderick Strong, Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer) came out and claimed that Mark should side with them in their quest to rid ROH of the bandwagon roster members (AJ Styles, Chris Hero, etc.) Mark disagreed and a new bout started up instead…
Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer w/ Roderick Strong vs. Adam Page and Mark Briscoe
A fine tag team bout was worked here, with The Decade faction showing more in five minutes than the SCUM faction ever could. The chemistry is there and the believability is present, which added to a soundly worked and well-paced tag match. It’s odd seeing mark tag with anyone but his brother Jay, but he did so very nicely with Page, who continues to evolve into a better act, all the time.
Winners: Jimmy Jacobs and BJ Whitmer w/ Roderick Strong
Veda Scott made a challenge, on behalf of RD Evans, that he has placed a challenge, for next week, to anyone to face him in a match. Scott is increasingly one of the best heels in wrestling, with deliveries like these truly proving my point.
Kevin Steen cut an enraged promo, where he essentially declared war on his attacker, Cliff Compton, who is a one-time WWE Tag Team Champion as one-half of Duece & Domino. It’s good to see Steen getting back to the kind of intensity that helped separate him from the pack over the past few years.
MAIN EVENT: Tommaso Ciampa vs. Silas Young – ROH World Television Champion
Before we got this underway, Matt Taven tried to shake the hand of Ciampa, but found that Young was intent on kicking him in the head. Security took Taven to the back and we got right into a well-performed brawl that soon evolved into some enjoyable mat work. Both men have a commendable amount of charisma that added an extra level of passion to the bout, which is not always a compliment that I am blessed enough to give.
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa
After the finish, Young attacked Ciampa, who was quickly saved by Taven and Jay Lethal, who had been on commentary. The idea here is that Taven and Lethal saved the man that they are both looking to challenge, in the near future.
This was a solid edition of ROH TV, with a proper focus on the new and fresh. The Decade remains one of the few authentic angles in wrestling today, as these three are, most certainly, true stalwarts of a company that has had to manage without many of their top stars (CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Samoa Joe) for years now. It’s heartwarming to see that a corporate-owned ROH can still do right by its most loyal and trustworthy.