10 Thoughts on … Ring of Honor December 24, 2016 (Reach for the Sky tour highlights, Young Bucks, Bobby Fish, and introducing Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll)

Thought Zero – Before the opening theme song we get a rapid clip production from the Reach for the Sky tour. With no context or explanation, I am left scratching my head. Let’s see what this is all about.

1) We start with Kevin Kelly telling us this is a “very special episode” of Ring of Honor where we will see highlights from the Reach for the Sky tour. Oh, so that explains it. You could have just said so earlier.

2) We start with the first stop in Liverpool with Bobby Fish putting his ROH World TV championship against Will Ospreay. I have only seen clips of Ospreay versus Ricochet on theinterwebs, so I am curious if he is a no-psychology spotify-fest like Vader says. Bobby Fish tries to troll Ospreay by laying the British flag on the mat, but it doesn’t look like it matters to Ospreay. Fish starts off strong and uses his strength advantage to, well, his advantage.

3) Fish starts working on Ospreay’s arm for five minutes or so, trying to break it off. But, of course, Ospreay starts doing some weird multiple kip-ups and then does a flippy-floppy arm drag on Fish to send him out of the ring. Because that arm of Ospreay’s wasn’t just bent 15 different ways by Bobby Fish. Maybe Vader was on to something. After a commercial break, Ospreay hits a backflip over the ropes onto Fish which would have been much cooler if he didn’t do a cartwheel before hand. Sigh.

4) Ospreay is now selling some sort of left knee injury which he apparently hurt flying onto Fish. I didn’t see anything there, but okay. At least he is trying to sell. And Bobby Fish, being awesome attacks that leg when Ospreay goes to the top rope. Fish then suplexes Ospreay around and then Ospreay “reverses” a brainbuster into a cutter of some sort. To be honest, it just looked like a botch. But right after, Ospreay hits a standing shooting star press and then tries some sort of flippy move off the turnbuckle. Bobby Fish then says fuck you punk and dragon whips the leg to remind him he should be selling. After a superkick and weird spinning and diving kick (again, your knee is supposed to be hurting, kid), he goes for another weird flippy move and Fish catches him in a kneebar. Instead of selling it like death, Ospreay arches back and pins Fish to win the TV title. (Look, I don’t hate Ospreay by any means. I think he is talented, athletic, and a lot of fun. But I think Vader made a good point about his lack of psychology in the ring. He is a spot-fest really. Which, in and of itself, is fine. But when you go up against a guy who has been Ishii, Shibata, Mark Briscoe, Roderick Strong, and many more, flippy floppy just doesn’t come across as serious enough to win. Just my opinion though.) Fish hands Ospreay the belt and raises his hand even though he was pissed at the decision because Bobby Fish is a good dude.

5) Up next is the Young Bucks versus Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll. We join the match in progress with Scurll and Matt Jackson going at it and Scurll matching Matt Jackson at every turn. Once Ospreay is tagged in, he hits a bunch of his flippy moves. He also likes to do an awful lot of superhero posing. I’m not a fan of that, but I’m old. Steve Corino then asks Nigel McGuinness if he gave Ospreay and Scurll a title shot because they are British. Ha. We go to break with the Young Bucks taking back control with their Young Bucking offense.

6) Back from break and Ospreay and Nick Jackson are going at it. Matt then catches Ospreay on his shoulders outside the ring ad Nick hits him with a superkick flipping Ospreay off and onto the floor Doomsday Device style. Matt then hits Scurll with a tornado DDT on the edge of the ring apron. A tad later the Young Bucks are setting up for the IndyDriver, and Ospreay comes flying in to hit Nick in mid-air while Scrull reverse Matt into a tombstone of his own. Ospreay then hits a couple standing shooting star presses and a weird flippy move off the ropes, but Nick Jackson breaks up the pin with a Senton off the top (take that Jeff Hardy).

7) After the Jacksons yell suck it about 10 times, Scurll grabs their hands and tries to break their fingers. The Bucks then hit referee Todd Sinclair with a double superkick by accident (although it looked like Scurll pulled him in the way). Scurll then hits stereo low blows on the Bucks. Scurll then grabs his umbrella (um, is he The Penguin or something?) but his partner, goody-too-shoes Will Ospreay tries to stop him from using it and, you know, winning the titles. So Scurll tries to turn him to the dark side and tells Ospreay to do it. Ospreay finally gives in (probably to get the cookies), but he misses the Bucks and hits Scurll instead. What a chump. The Bucks lands stereo superkicks to Ospreay and then land More Bang for Your Buck on Scurll. Todd Sinclair wakes up to count, but only gets to two as Ospreay dives back in to break up the pin. The Young Bucks then attempt another Meltzer Driver, and this time, Will Ospreay bounds into the ring and hits Nick Jackson with a hurricanrana. However, he flips Nick straight over to Matt who is holding Scurll and they complete the Meltzer Driver anyway, which gets the three count. I do have to say, this was a fun little Young Bucks style spotfest, but Ospreay really screwed the pooch for his team. If I were Scurll, I’d be pissed.

8) And we’re back from commercial and we see Marty Scurll placing blame (rightfully so) on Ospreay for their loss. Scurll then challenged Ospreay for the ROH TV title, and Ospreay accepted for the next night. So we have a title match between Scurll and Ospreay now. Cool. Three Ospreay matches on one hour show seems a little like overkill, but at least ROH is promoting their newest signees. Hey, now that I finally get to see these guys’ entrances, I have to say, Scurll looks like a mix between Jack the Ripper and a psychopathic mastermind and Ospreay looks like a Power Ranger. I am sure that is what they were going for, but it is also a pretty good idea as to why I tend to favor Scurll over Ospreay. Namely, I am not an 11 year old boy looking for superheroes in everything I watch.

9) Dueling chants from the crowd to start, and the competitors respond with a quick batch of chain wrestling which immediately shows that these two guys have wrestled many times and know each other inside and out. Given that I have never seen either of these guys in a full match before tonight, I have to say that is an awesome sequence to tell the story of their familiarity. We move on and Ospreay tries to stretch Marty Scurll for a bit. They move outside the ring and Ospreay hits a running shooting star press off the apron (like Adam Page likes to do, except Page is a heel and Ospreay is not). Scurll then sneaks under the ring and emerges from a different side of the ring to attack Ospreay (very old school heel work there) and then he takes some victory laps around the ring (very new school heel work there).

10) Back from break and Scurll tries to dislocate Ospreay’s fingers, and it sounds so sickening that Scurll even vomits a bit out of the ring. But Ospreay then reverses a brainbuster again into a stunner (that looked much smoother than the attempt in the match against Fish) and goes for his standing shooting star press into a flippy move off the second turnbuckle. Scurll counters a springboard backflip from Ospreay into a Crossface Chickenwing with a body scissors, butOspreay wriggles free from the body scissors and tries to flip backwards to get the pin in a nice callback to how he beat Bobby Fish. He only gets two however, then he hits an enziguri. Ospreay tries something else which Scurll counters to a pop-up powerbomb and then hits a big lariat, but only gets a one count. That’s sort of insulting. Scurll then hits an awesome looking destroyer DDT which only gets a two-count. Yeah, that should have been the finish. Scurll then goes out and gets his umbrella because the forecast is rain. It is England after all. Scurll aims to hit Ospreay with the umbrella, but Ospreay throws up two fingers to him (peace?). This infuriates Scurll, so he drops the umbrella, grabs Ospreay’s fingers and tries to break both of them, then he hits Ospreay with a hard knee to the face and stomps the living shit out of the back of his head. Seriously, he nailed him with 13 vicious looking stomps in about 10 seconds to the back of the head where even Nigel was yelling out to Todd Sinclair to stomp the match. But Scurll then picked Ospreay up and locked in that Crossface Chickenwing again and Ospreay tapped out, making The Villain the new Ring of Honor TV champion.

 

Overall, you can’t ask for much more than this hour of Ring of Honor wrestling. We saw two ROH TV title changes and a ROH tag team title defense. We saw three matches featuring the newest babyface of Ring of Honor in Will Ospreay and two featuring the newest heel in Ring of Honor in the person of Marty Scurll. Like I’ve mentioned before, signing these two guys is a great move for Ring of Honor. Ospreay seems to be the more likely pushed wrestler due to his fan-favorite aerial style, but I think Scurll has the goods and the potential to be a huge star in ROH. I can imagine him as ROH World Champion sometime in the relatively near future.

Next week, Kevin Kelly promises more “Best of 2016” featuring more matches from their live events. Okay, I’ll bite and see how that tastes. Until then…

 

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