ROH 12/30/16 TV Review
The show this week started off with a Kevin Kelly intro that welcomed us to a recap show that pieced together matches from the Reach For the Sky Tour from Leicester, Liverpool and London. It could also be called the best of Will Ospreay in ROH, as he was involved in every match on the episode. Due to how this was loaded on ROHwrestling.com, this show actually aired on 12/23. My review of the episode that aired 12/30 can be found here.
First Match:ROH World Television Championship Match
Bobby Fish(c) vs Will Ospreay
Fish and Ospreay adhered to the code of honor, but Fish was a bit more serious this match than he normally is, as he shook only Ospreay’s hand and got down to the business of defending his title. Ospreay was able to string along offense that showcased his considerable aerial skill early on until Fish targeted Ospreay’s leg with stiff kicks and submissions. Kelly and Corino put over Ospreay, reminding the audience of his impressive list of accomplishments thus far and in the end, they foreshadowed Ospreay’s win in front of the English fans. Fish’s consistent attack on the leg continued into the final moments when it seemed that he would retain the title as he locked in a kneebar. Ospreay was able to bridge backwards and trap Fish in a pinfall, coming out with the surprise victory. Fish respectfully, even if begrudgingly, handed the title over to Ospreay. As usual with Fish as of late, his work in the ring also weaves a story and the hard work he has put in as champion the last few months has really elevated the title to a place that made Ospreay’s win that much bigger.
Winner: Will Ospreay
Second Match: ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Young Bucks vs. Will Ospreay & Marty Scurll
Feeling brash after their previous interference and looking to make a statement, the brothers Jackson, with Matt on the mic, offered Ospreay and Scurll the opportunity at a title shot, which prompted Nigel McGuiness to come to ringside. The ROH matchmaker made it clear that he didn’t appreciate wrestlers making matches, but in this case he obliged, as he felt it would appropriate to reward the fans in attendance with the added stakes of the tag team titles being on the line. Ospreay and Scurll accepted, with the Villain riling the crowd up by proclaiming that he and Ospreay would be the very first British ROH World Tag Team champions. Scurll and Matt started the match off, while the commentary team of McGuinness, Kelly and Corino painted a picture of the Young Bucks as fighting champions, simultaneously acknowledging that the two could be taking advantage of Ospreay and Scurll’s contentious relationship. Both men went for their finishers early, stymying each other and after they both Matt went to congratulate Scurll with a Too Sweet, which he used as an opportunity to score an eye poke. Scurll returned the favor and the two blinded competitors went to the wrong corners, leaping to tag out to their partners.
The Young Bucks took control for a bit and really gave everything to the fans there. They hit Rise of Terminators successfully as the entire crowd rose to its feet and stomped along in unison. Nick hit many of his patented flips and moonsaults and then Matt backflipped and did handstands about six times before finally just back scratching Scurll. Just a great job of executing fun spots that really drew the crowd into the match. Ospreay finally was able to tag in and then hit a number of absurd spots himself, including a shooting star press off of Scurll who was on his hands and knees. After Scurll seemingly broke the Bucks fingers in half, two misplaced superkicks caught Todd Sinclair flush in the face, allowing Scurll to score with a low blow. The Villain went right for his umbrella but Ospreay stopped him from using it, which prompted Scurll to hand Ospreay the umbrella. After a bit of hemming and hawing, Ospreay swung the umbrella, but caught Scurll upside the head instead. The Bucks set up for a 5 star Meltzer Driver but Ospreay did his best to stop Nick mid-air, catching him with a hurricanrana. Unfortunately for him, the move propelled Nick forward anyway, completing the move and earning the Bucks the pinfall victory. The Briscoes came down to the ring and got in the Bucks faces, presumably jawing about their Final Battle showdown. Jay got on the mic and put Scurll and Ospreay over, saying that they tore the house down before handing the mic to Scurll. The Villain blamed Ospreay for costing them the tag team titles and challenged Ospreay to put the ROH TV title on the line for their encounter in London. Ospreay accepted, waiting for Nigel to give his approval, which he did.
If you like the style that the Bucks and Ospreay bring to the ring, you’ll enjoy this spotfest. It really is a must watch match.
Winners: The Young Bucks
ROH World Television Championship Match
Will Ospreay (c) vs. Marty Scurll
The crowd was vociferously behind both men as this one began. After the introductions the two shared a tense handshake before both showed the crowd how good they are at escaping wrist locks and single leg takedowns. Just quick ridiculously fast paced wrestling from these two, both hitting Ospreay’s pose as the crowd went wild. After the pause of crowd chants was over, Scurll kicked Ospreay and took control, but after flapping his arms he walked into ospreay and the TV champion had a little fun, flapping his arms as well and mocking Marty. With Scurll on the outside, Ospreay hit a shooting star press off the apron but as he shook off a jammed finger, Scurll crawled under the ring. Ospreay searched for Scurll, but was ambushed with a clothesline as Scurll crawled out from under the adjacent side of the ring, much to the delight of Steve Corino.
Ospreay set up for a move from the corner of the barricades, but end up being launched at the ring post and then swung into the barricades by Scurll. The Villain began to work Ospreay’s arm on the inside but Ospreay turned the speed on and was able to connect with an aerial assault before Scurll knocked him around with stiff shots. Scurll went for a chicken wing but after he spun Ospreay caught him with an enziguri that sent Scurll to the outside. Ospreay followed up with a springboard shooting star press and followed up by jumping to the top again, only for Scurll to kick him and knock him off balance onto the turnbuckle pad. A superplex/suplex combo allowed Scurll to transition into a crossface chickenwing, but Ospreay was able to will himself to the ropes.
With Ospreay on the outside, Scurll superkicked him three times from the apron, but each kick seemed to energize his opponent and the two rolled to the inside, traded rights and lefts from their hands and feet as the pace slowed down. Scurll snapped Ospreay’s fingers, but had a suplex reversed into a stunner, that Ospreay followed up with 10,00 flips. As he bounded off the ropes after a handstand Scurll locked the chickenwing on again, but Ospreay flipped out and almost pinned him. A frustrated Scurll grabbed his umbrella, but dropped it and snapped Ospreay’s fingers again, following with a kick to the head before locking in the chickenwing for a final time as Ospreay was forced to tap. Really great match between these two, the chemistry they have is undeniable. If Scurll continues this work level of, he will be a very successful TV champion.
Winner: Marty Scurll
Final Reaction: B
Last year, I remember openly complaining about compilation shows like this one. What a difference a year makes. ROH smartly used the opportunity to showcase some its newly acquired talent, namely Will Ospreay, whereas last year, talents who had left for WWE were showcased. The show is a repeat for those who watched all three England tour shows, but for fans who may have only grabbed one, this was a treat. However, ROH’s website, even during the holiday season, should be kept up and running accurately. There’s really no excuse for the incorrect episode to be loaded to the website and for two episodes to be completely missing for Ringside Members.
Thanks for stopping by again this week and look for more Ring of Honor coverage the same time next week. Until then, please go over to Running Wild Podcast and take a listen to a show that covers oodles of wrestling news and ridiculous conversations. You can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Play store.