Thought Zero – Just a little bit of business to handle. If any of you also read my weekly Fantasy Book column, you may notice that it was missing this week. Well, I decided that The Fantasy Book was going to take the rest of 2017 off and will resume in January 2018. It just needed a little rest. The Ring of Honor 10 Thoughts will still be here each week though, don’t you worry.
1) We start off with the Beer City Bruiser versus Marty Scurll. YES! Of course, it seems they are just going to book Scurll as a huge fan favorite since he gets the reactions anyway. Oh, hey, I forgot that he is the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight champion. So Scurll has had the ROH TV title and the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title this year. That is a pretty good year, I must say.
2) Ian Riccaboni just said that Marty is one of the biggest fan favorites in ROH today. That just solidifies my point that he doesn’t need the Bullet Club. And here is reason #138 to love The Villain. When the action tumbles outside the ring, Scurll breaks the count old school by rolling in and then back out of the ring. Attention to detail. I love it. In fact, it is such a good thing, Bruiser does the same thing a little while later.
3) Last week, Jay Lethal came out to do commentary (and scout) during the Bullet Club match. Today, Lethal is out at the top of the ramp, observing his opponent for Final Battle (Scurll). Is it possible they are going to try to do a double turn at the PPV? With Scurll trying to convince Lethal to regain his villainous side, and getting huge fan reactions, maybe. Whatever they are trying to do with the storyline, I am just happy to get that match.
4) Scurll looks awesome here, and plays into the crowd’s emotion excellently. Lethal flashes a grin when Scurll gets caught trying to use the ropes as leverage for a pin. The finish was very interesting as well. First, Bruiser shrugs off an attempt at the crossface chicken wing. Second, Bruiser accidentally splashes the referee in the corner. Third, the crowd starts chanting “You deserve it!” at the ref in a funny bit. Fourth, with the referee out, Scurll grabs his umbrella. Fifth, Lethal starts coming down to the ring, but stops half way while Scurll smacks Bruiser hard upside the head with that umbrella (seriously, it was a sick looking shot). Finally, Scurll gets the pin while Lethal backs up and gives what some might call an approving nod. Yeah, I would say that Scurll-Lethal match at Final Battle is THE reason to get the show.
5) We have an extended sit-down with Dalton Castle to recap his rise in Ring of Honor and his feud with Cody Rhodes. I am not sure this did anything to up the emotional ante for me to see the match, but it does give a good summary and timeline of events for this feud which have been missing. When we come back to action, we get a shot of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana with the cotton candy vendor photobombing for some screen time. Is that important? Who knows… I guess if the cotton candy vendor jumps the rail and interferes in a match it will be.
6) Now we get another pre-taped segment with the Briscoes. I am still not really sure WHY the Briscoes turned on Bully Ray, but this segment was awesome. The brothers charge into Bully Ray’s wrestling school where a could trainees are practicing. Mark is recording it all with his phone. The trainees tell them Bully is not there and Mark and Jay shake their hands and introduce themselves to them. (Honestly, it was a nice touch.) Jay then lays them out and the brothers go storming through the building smashing pictures of Bully with great tag teams like the Hardys, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express, and the Midnight Express (and one with Terry Funk just because). Maybe the attitude change is because Bully Ray didn’t give the Briscoes enough respect as one of the greatest tag teams of all time? That could work. The segment ends with the Briscoes giving one of the trainees a solid 3D and we see that Mark doesn’t have that huge wrapping on his elbow any more, so hopefully he is recovering well. The Briscoes as bad asses are money.
7) We come back from commercial break with Coleman’s Pulpit. Today, Coleman interviews himself in a fun little split screen bit. They talk about Caprice Coleman’s upcoming ROH TV title match against Kenny King. The twitter comments on the scroll at the bottom of the screen are hilarious. I think Coleman and King could have a nice little match next week. Looking forward to it.
8) Now we get to see a tag team title match between the champion Motor City Machineguns and the challengers, TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia of The Kingdom. The Kingdom jumps MCMG before the bell to gain the immediate advantage, but Shelley and Sabin speed up the pace and take over. The Kingdom roughs up the smaller champions a bit outside the ring, and momentum continues to trade back and forth. One innovative move sees Shelley put O’Ryan on Marseglia’s shoulders while Vinny is on his knees and then hits a double flatliner while Sabin dives off the top onto them.
9) More fun double team work from MCMG, including a double figure four leg lock and an innovative sequence of leg kicks culminating in a dragon screw leg whip. We go to commercial with The Kingdom using some trickery to take control and then holding the tag belts up high. But you can’t keep MCMGs down as they come back. Somehow Sabin kicks out after a Stone Cold Stunner by O’Ryan and a Swanton Bomb by Marseglia. O’Ryan also picked up Marseglia who had picked up Sabin and we got a combo DVD that was only broken up when Shelley charged in and bowled over onto the pin. The Kingdom fake using Marseglia’s ax, but did try to use O’Ryan’s baseball bat. Some heel comunication resulted in Marseglia getting hit with the bat and the MCMG taking the win.
10) The main event is Adam Page versus Flip Gordon. Really? I think Page is pretty close to main event level, if he isn’t there already, but Gordon? Already? The dude’s been wrestling for about a week and a half. They are really, really banking on Gordon as being the next breakout star. And to that end, Gordon gets the victory here. I really think they need to turn Adam Page face. He plays a pretty good heel, but his moveset gets nothing but positive reactions. Add to that the multiple flips he has been doing, and he is at the top of his game. The end comes when they ramp up the counters at the end until Gordon hits a springboard, twisting, flipping, spinning stunner. Post-match, The Young Bucks hit the ring and attack Gordon. Then Cody talks a little backstage about Flip being as delusional as Dalton Castle. And we’re out.
Another very good episode of Ring of Honor and solid build towards Final Battle! Until next week…
Tags: adam page, Beer City Bruiser, Briscoe Brothers, Bully Ray, Flip Gordon, Jay Lethal, Marty Scurll, Motor City Machineguns, The Kingdom, TK O'Ryan, Vinny Marseglia