ROH 10/20/17 Philadelphia Excellence *TV SPOILERS*
Credit: Brian Streleckis (@pwchronicle)
First off, packed crowd, with a sea of Bullet Club shirts. While people were waiting in line, Bully Ray came out to say hi and shake hands with fans. Lots of people had standing room only tickets despite there being a handful of empty seats.
Future of Honor Match: Brian Milonas beat a wrestler whose name I didn’t catch, but he’s been on TV once before. He sings on occasion. Milonas won with a tilt-a-whirl Boss Man Slam to a fairly good reception. Ian Riccaboni and Rico De La Vega were on commentary.
Colt Cabana joined Ian on commentary for the majority of the taping. Bobby Cruise announced that they would be taping four episodes.
The Kingdom (TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) beat Coast To Coast (LSG & Shaheem Ali) and The Dawgs (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara) in a 3-way tag team match after they hit LSG with an assisted Finlay Roll. Matt Taven sat in on commentary. Good TV opener with a lot of fun action, including some doubleteam moves by The Dawgs brought on by a combative relationship between them. Afterward, Taven joined O’Ryan & Marseglia in the ring as they talked about a Kingdom Conspiracy, never getting a shot at the Six Man Tag Team Titles after O’Ryan returned from injury. They issued a challenge for the ROH World Tag Team Titles.
Cody made his grand entrance and promised to defend the World Title tonight. Fans chanted for Ian to get the title shot. Cody called Ian over and asked who he felt deserved the shot, and Ian said Dalton Castle. Cody got the crowd excited for the possibility of Castle challenging him, but then got heat for saying Castle wasn’t here tonight. He instead said he would defend the title against “Philadelphia’s Favorite Son,” Ryan Nova, a small wrestler announced as being from Hamilton, NJ right afterward.
Cody beat Ryan Nova with the American Deathlock to retain the ROH World Title. Nova actually got a nearfall after throwing off Cody with his ring (pulling it off his finger with his mouth), but Cody was able to catch him with CrossRhodes. He then pulled him up from the pinfall and put him in the submission hold instead.
Afterward, Dalton Castle came out after all, making his surprise return after being beat down by Cody in Scotland. He asked rhetorically if that (Cody’s match) is what the biggest contract in ROH is paying for. He said he’s not mad, just disappointed. He said Cody was “a good… no great… no good wrestler,” then asked if he wanted a real challenge. Cody said he can’t just come out and request a title match like this, and then he said he could make a call to Jane Geddes, but then corrected himself and said he’d put in a call to “Paul” and get Castle a developmental contract, joining his friends for guaranteed money. He told him to think about it and was walking away when Castle jumped him, threw him back in the ring, and hit him with the Bangarang. Castle said he thought about it, but he likes it here, and that he’s going to take Cody’s title.
The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) beat War Machine (Rowe & Hanson) to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles when Sabin rolled up Rowe. Very good, competitive match that started with a bang, and Hanson drew big reactions for his agility, especially a Tajiri-style elbow off the ropes. War Machine had the match won, but then The Addiction came out, with Christopher Daniels spraying silly string at them while Frankie Kazarian yelled random stuff over the mic. They clocked Daniels, but the distraction led to the loss. War Machine cut an angry promo on The Addiction afterward while the Machine Guns stood by at ringside. This was announced as a TV main event, and it actually may have been my favorite match of the night.
Women of Honor: Jenny Rose beat Sumie Sakai, “Bonesaw” Jessie Brookes, and a woman named Nicki in a Four Corner Survival after she hit Nicki with a spear and pinned her with a magistral cradle. Mandy Leon sat in on commentary for this.
Punishment Martinez beat Josh Woods with the South of Heaven Chokeslam. This match was to gain entry into a Four Corner Survival Match for the TV Title at Final Battle.
Jay Lethal came out to talk to the crowd. He said he keeps getting sidetracked when pursuing the World Title, and that it frustrates him. He’s still focused on becoming a two-time World Champion, no matter what people say, and he mentioned how Cody hasn’t lost to a lot of people, but he did lose to him. Marty Scurll then came out to the ring. Scurll said he’s had a desire to face the best in the world here in ROH. He said he wanted to face Jay Lethal, but not “this” Jay Lethal. He wanted to face the Lethal that was more ruthless, and villainous. Lethal told him that when he was doing more villainous things, he did them because he wanted to, whereas Scurll does them because he has to. Scurll kept his cool while saying there are so many more Villain Club shirts in the crowd than there are Lethal shirts. He told Lethal he was allowed to pick his opponent for Final Battle, so he’s challenging him. Lethal accepted and told him he’ll have some new tricks for him. Solid segment that kept the crowd engaged.
Kenny King beat Mark Briscoe (w/ Jay Briscoe) by ref stoppage to retain the ROH World Television Title. Mark’s left arm was in a cast, so I was baffled why this match was happening. As it turned out, it never really did happen, as Jay threw in the towel before King and Mark ever touched, leading the ref to call for the bell. Mark was upset at Jay as they went to the back, leaving King in the ring alone and confused.
This led to Punishment Martinez coming out of the crowd to jump King, which then led to the arrivals of Shane Taylor, Jonathan Gresham, Silas Young, and finally Cheeseburger (huge reaction for him!) for a brawl among all of them. They all went to the floor accept for King, who did a dive out of the ring onto all of them to end this segment.
Best Friends (Trent Beretta & Chuckie T.) beat The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian in a #1 Contender’s Match when Chuck hit Daniels with the Awful Waffle. The Motor City Machine Guns joined Ian for commentary on this one. Fun match. There was a streamer stuck in the lighting rig on the hard camera side, so I’m not sure if the troubled attempts to remove it will make TV (Trent seemed to wait for it to likely allow for some easy editing). Daniels was about to use a chair when the ref wasn’t looking, but War Machine ran out to prevent it and maybe hit him with it to lead to the finish. Hugs among the Machine Guns and Best Friends afterward.
Dalton Castle beat Adam Page with a kimura/cobra clutch combo submission. Cody sat in on commentary. No robe and no Boys for Castle. Good competitive match that Castle nearly won before Cody pulled the ref out of the ring. After some back-and-forth attempts at finishers and Page clocking heads with Cody, Castle hit him with a deadlift German to lead into this new submission hold. Afterward, Cody got in Castle’s face, Page clipped Castle’s knee, and the two of them beat up Castle.
Bully Ray came out to cut what was basically a retirement promo. He said this was the building that changed professional wrestling. He said he wrote some things down, and did a gag where he pulled out glasses to read the paper and they were Dudley Boys glasses, but then said he doesn’t need a script and wants to shoot straight. He said this is basically it for him, but he loves ROH, still has some time left on his contract, and would love to stick around to help out the young guys. Joe Koff came out and pretty much repeated what Bully just said and granted him that time to help out. Koff also said that Bully’s only been here for six months, but he’s already made a big impact, leading Bully to tell him not to say the word “impact” again to a good laugh. Nice, light-hearted segment, but then Jay Briscoe came out and yelled at Bully without talking into a mic for going out like this, calling him a pussy. He knocked Bully’s cap off and spit at him, causing Koff to separate them and even get in Jay’s face. This led to Bobby Cruise being joined by BJ Whitmer and Prince Nana, in producer mode, to come out and shield Koff from any physical contact. Jay then clocked Bully as the men in suits left the ring. Bully was out, and Jay was going to hit him with a chair before Tommy Dreamer came out to stop him and Velvet Sky came out to shield Bully. Mark Briscoe then came out trying to talk some sense, but then turned around kicked Dreamer in the groin and hit him with a chair. Then they pulled Velvet off of Bully and gave Bully a 3D before leaving. “Fuck The Briscoes” chant.
Intermission, during which Bully was helped out of the ring.
Women of Honor: Karen Q beat Deonna Purrazzo with a chairshot while the ref was down. Mandy Leon sat in on commentary again for this solid match, with Q acting as the heel while still wrestling fair until the finish. The ref (Mike Posey) was knocked out by an errant kick from Purrazzo, then Purrazzo caught Q in a small package for a visual pin before the dirty finish.
Bobby Cruise announced that ROH returns to Philadelphia on Saturday, December 16, a TV taping the day after Final Battle.
Matt Taven (w/ TK O’Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) beat Jay White with a top rope-assisted Climax (headlock driver). Distractions and interference from Taven’s Kingdom cohorts led to the finish. This was pretty good. The Kingdom beat down White some more before the Motor City Machine Guns and Jonathan Gresham ran out for the save.
Shane Taylor beat Cheeseburger with a knockout punch. Caprice Coleman sat in on commentary. This was the second match to gain entry into the Final Battle TV Title Match. Taylor was actually showing compassion at the start of the match, not wanting to risk injury to Cheeseburger, who had nothing of it and was all for this match. He had a close call with a sleeper hold, but it didn’t last very long at all.
Afterward, The Dawgs came out. Ferrara had a mug full of pennies he wanted with which to pay Taylor to take out Cheeseburger for good. Taylor took the mug and poured the pennies over Ferrara’s head, and he prevented them from beating up Cheeseburger themselves. After The Dawgs left and Taylor left, the pennies were swept up, and Cabana went and collected them in his shirt, perpetuating a stereotype, but he seemed to just toss them into the crowd rather than keep them for himself.
Silas Young (w/ Beer City Bruiser) beat Jonathan Gresham with Misery. The third match for entry into the Final Battle TV Title Match, with Kenny King sitting in on commentary. This was given more time than I anticipated, but they made the most of it. Bruiser started getting involved, including throwing his keg into the ring to distract the ref so he could get a shot in, but Gresham ultimately did a dive onto him. Young still won, so at Final Battle it will be Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young vs. Shane Taylor vs. Punishment Martinez for the ROH World Television Title.
War Machine came out for a match but were jumped from behind by The Addiction. They then brawled on the floor, and in the midst of War Machine throwing The Addiction around, they hit a woman in the crowd with one of them. War Machine acted concerned as this likely plant was helped out by crew, while The Addiction ran out the opposite end of the building.
Marty Scurll, The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson), and Adam Page beat Flip Gordon, Coast To Coast, and Scorpio Sky when Page pinned Sky after the four of them hit Sky and Gordon with a Rite of Passage/Indie Taker/Meltzer Driver combo. The main event of the taping, a completely crowd-pleasing combo of high spots and comedy. Before all of this though, Jay Lethal got a full entrance to sit in on commentary for this, and Cody made an entrance and cut a promo saying how strong the Bullet Club is and how their opponents don’t measure up. He called Adam Page a future world champion. Then, as people in the crowd were yelling various derogatory things towards people in WWE, Cody called for the fans to yell the same thing all in unison, which ended up being “Fuck Roman Reigns!” He remained at ringside for the match briefly before getting ejected for getting on the ring apron. Gordon and his team held their own in the chaos and big exchanges, with Gordon especially looking really impressive with how agile he is and how effortlessly he looks doing springboard moves. There was some Being The Elite related comedy, including Matt telling Flip, “Where do you think you’re going?” before letting Marty snap his fingers, plus everyone but Marty finding success in charging at Sky in the corner.
After the match ended, Nick took the mic. He commended the other team and said Scorpio Sky deserves an ROH contract after busting his ass for 15 years. He also thanked the fans for all of their support and that they love being here. Matt took the mic and also thanked the fans, claiming this show was the fifth straight ROH event to have a sellout crowd. He encouraged a “You Sold Out” chant, preferring that over “You Deserve It.” He then brought up some of the recent news with them and said that the hand gesture and “Too Sweet” can’t be taken away from the fans, leading all of the fans to yell “Too Sweet” in unison to close the show.
Fun night. Technically fourteen matches in all, most of them with a lot of meat and action to them.
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