10 Thoughts on … Ring of Honor February 25, 2017 (Donovan Dijak versus Marty Scurll, Top Prospect Tournament, New Announcers!)

Thought Zero – Kevin Kelly is gone and we now have Ian Riccaboni as the lead announcer. I have nothing against Riccaboni, but I really liked the work Kevin Kelly did in ROH. No word on a color analyst yet, so I guess they will continue the rotating wrestlers thing they’re doing. Anyway, on to the show…

1) We begin with Christopher Daniels talking about it being his destiny to become Ring of Honor champion. He is interrupted by the current ROH world champion Adam Cole. Bobby Fish, on color commentary, points out that Adam Cole might lose the title before Daniels gets his shot since he, Fish, has his own title shot coming up soon.

2) While I normally do not mind Bobby Fish having a microphone in front of him, he needs to stop stepping on Christopher Daniels’ and Adam Cole’s promos. It is like Fish has the need to talk no matter what anyone else is saying. It’s annoying and he needs to stop.

3) The bump on the side of Adam Cole’s forehead is not going away. I thought it would have gone down by now. It looks like Bugs Bunny asked if he wanted 2 or 3 lumps with his tea. Please get that checked out, Mr. Cole.

4) Hangman Page attacks Christopher Daniels from behind and he and Adam Cole begin the double team. Frankie Kazarian comes out to even the sides and we have a tag team match. Before that though, Bobby Fish needs to be quiet. I’ve speculated that this Christopher Daniels push might end with Kazarian turning on him. I was hoping it would happen after Daniels won the title though. But having Bobby Fish yell out on commentary, to Frankie Kazarian, “Take your time, Frankie. Your boy could’ve used your help earlier,” is just giving away the eventual turn we all know is coming. As a commentator, you are supposed to build our level of disbelief so we can be surprised when the unexpected happens. Pointing at the unexpected and saying, “Hey, look at this. Something weird is going on,” is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. Ian should be elbowing you and telling you to shut up at this point. Kevin Kelly would have.

5) Kazarian has gotten better during this Ring of Honor run, I must say. He looks more focused and less sloppy. Daniels gets pinned by Adam Cole for Bullet Club to pick up the win. And it isn’t just Bobby Fish beating on the potential split of The Addiction, as Ring of Honor has Kazarian berating Daniels in the ring after the match. Bobby Fish then cuts a promo at the announce table and walks off all fired up. After a commercial break, we get … what is that, security footage, of Daniels catching up to Kazarian in a stairwell and Frankie going off on him again for losing the match. ROH, you had a good thing going with Daniels’ push. And Kazarian could have turned on him after he won. This is not typical behavior for these guys, especially after seeing Kazarian staying out of Daniels’ matches during the Decade of Excellence tournament.

6) Now, “Brutal” Bob Evans is on commentary. Odd. I guess he is playing the mentor role in the top prospect tournament this year just like Prince Nana and Caprice Coleman have in past years. He’s actually not all that bad on commentary. Nothing flashy, but his tone is pretty decent. Anyway, the Top Prospect tournament begins with John Skyler going up against Sean Carr. Skyler has a cool jacket that appears to be two separate jackets stitched together after the apocalypse. The “Southern Savior” is a pretty awful nickname though. Sean Carr appears to be just a guy.

7) This match looks like a better-than-average indy match with neither guy connecting too well with the crowd. Skyler wins the match and advances with a fireman’s carry front roll off the corner turnbuckle. Not incredibly interesting. I don’t see Skyler winning this whole thing.

8) Cody Rhodes has a brief little commercial to sell his new shirt. That is, until he sees a Jay Lethal shirt. He gets offended and walks off. Okay, I will admit that Cody has some spark with his new character, but when he gets into the ring, he is still boring.

9) Our next match is set to be the Tempura Boys versus the Motor City Machineguns, but Sabin and Shelley never make it out to the ring. Ring of Honor doesn’t even have the courtesy to show us backstage footage of them writhing around on the ground after being jumped. They just let Ian tell us there was an attack backstage and then he goes to commercial. Weak. And when we come back Donovan Dijak is making his way to the ring with no further mention of the mysterious beating given to the MCMGs.

10) Main event time is for the Ring of Honor Television Title. Donovan Dijak is challenging the champ “The Villain” Marty Scurll. This should be awesome. Scurll is very over with the Pittsburgh crowd it seems. Chants for “Marty Marty” are intermixed with his bird-like “Whoot Whoot” calls. All the while, Dijak just stares a hole through Scrull, trying to use his size and intensity to intimidate. The bell rings and we’re off.

10) A) Scrull charges out of the gate and Dijak hits him with a big boot. Scurll smartly slides right out of the ring, but Dijak shows how much of a physical freak he is by following with a backwards backflip over the top and onto the champion on the floor. Dijak tosses Scurll back in the ring and hits a giant springboard elbowdrop and everyone thought that was the very quick finish. Damn, what a start!

10) B) Dijak picks him up for Feast Your Eyes, but Scurll rakes the eyes to get out of it. Dijak then hits a backbreaker, does a weird flippy corkscrew senton, then stands on the second rope to apparently call to the crowd, but it looks like he is doing a trust fall backwards where he spins mid-air and crashes onto Scurll for another pin attempt. Damn, dude, you’re on fire tonight. Someone hip Triple H to this match so he can make an offer.

10) C) After a commercial break, both men are outside the ring. Scurll is able to take some advantage by running Dijak into the post and then hitting a sweet tornado DDT off the same ring post. Scurll hits a couple hard forearms onto Dijak, but Dijak backflips off the apron to counter a third shot. Scurll then hits his apron side kick to stay on the offensive.

10) D) Ian lets us know that Lio Rush won a best-of-3 match to get him a title shot at the 15th Anniversary show, but Sonjay Dutt is going to challenge for the TV title before then. Glad to hear Dutt is back, I always thought he was underrated.

10) E) Back in the ring, Scurll tries for a suplex, which Dijak reverses and just tosses him. After trading charging elbows, Dijak blocks an Irish Whip, picks up Scurll, hits him with a high knee, and then just flings him across the ring.

10) F) Dijak appears to set him up for the chokebreaker, but Scurll blocks while Lio Rush sits in a chair on the ramp to scout the match. Dijak hits a powerbomb out of a fireman’s carry position for another two count and these guys are just rocking this match.

10) G) Back from another commercial break and both men are trading chops and forearms and elbows and all sorts of strikes in the middle of the ring. Suddenly, Dijak hits a big discuss boot to Scurll. He then goes to pick Scurll up for a suplex, but Scurll reverses it, actually gets the big man up, and hits a nice brainbuster to the ooos and awws of the crowd. A near-fall gets the crowd even crazier. A “This is Awesome” chant breaks out and for once, it is truly valid.

10) H) Scurll goes for the Crossface Chicken Wing, but Dijak blocks it with a goozle choke. Scurll breaks free of that, hits a knee lift, a side kick, and then plants a revved-up Dijak with a hands-free spike piledriver. But that only gets ONE as Dijak is screaming mad. The crowd can’t believe this. Dijak misses with a punch and Scurll grabs the Crossface Chicken Wing and pulls him to the ground. But Dijak rolls backwards out of the move and picks Scurll up onto his shoulders and hits the Feast Your Eyes. Everyone thought that was the finish, but Scurll kicks out at two. Well, I guess the rumors of Dijak leaving ROH are true because why else do you minimize a previously unstoppable finishing move like that?

10) I) Dijak can’t believe it and the crowd starts a super loud ROH chant. Dijak lifts up Scurll and demands that he shake his hand, since Scurll blew off the handshake at the beginning of the match. But Dijak hasn’t scouted Scurll very well, as Scurll grabs his fingers and does his sick little knuckle dislocation bit. Ian states that Scurll tends to break fingers when he gets desperate. I would say it is more a very effective tactic on his part.

10) J) Despite this, Dijak counters a side kick attempt and hits the Chokebreaker on Scurll. Dijak then hops to the top rope RVD-style and attempts a backwards corkscrew senton which Scurll dodges. Scurll pops up and locks on the Crossface Chicken Wing and has Dijak trapped in the middle of the ring. Dijak tries pulling Scurll’s hand off the crossface portion, but Scurll reaches over and snaps his fingers again, re-locks on the hold, and Dijak is forced to tap out.

10) K) Seriously, incredible match between these two. Marty Scurll is a fucking star and Donovan Dijak should be able to write his own ticket anywhere. He has definitely grown in his time in ROH and should be ready to take on the world. That was a great main event, not only for a television episode, but for any show.

 

This was a show which started off a little rocky, but that main event was fantastic. Go seek out that match, seriously. Until next time…

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