Friday Morning Backlash – ROH TV Taping Preview

Welcome to a late version of the Friday Backlash here at the Pulse.  Today was a busier day than I intended, but I’m here.  So let’s just get right into this.

SmackDown Unspoiled
Cody Rhodes(c) vs. Ezekiel Jackson – Truth be told, no idea if this is a title match.  Nothing I’ve read is really clear.
Justin Gabriel vs. Tyson Kidd
Alberto Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan
Kelly Kelly & AJ vs. Alicia Fox & Natalya
20 Man #1 Contender Battle Royal

As I posted last week, Gabriel and Kidd had a tremendous match on NXT last week, and while this likely won’t get as much time, it’s still tremendous to have Tyson Kidd on TV.  Beyond that, Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan is supposedly an utterly fantastic match.  Despite the mediocre Battle Royal concept to determine a #1 Contender, it seems like a solid show.

Ring of Honor SBG TV Taping

As I’m sure everybody knows by now, ROH taped their first set of shows for their new deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group this past Saturday in Chicago Ridge, IL at the Frontier Fieldhouse.

First off, let’s go down the match listing:

*Future Shock (Adam Cole & Kyle O’Reilly) vs. The Bravado Brothers (Lancelot & Harlem)
*Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Haas) (c) vs. The Kings of Wrestling (Chris Hero & Claudio Castagnoli) — ROH World Tag Team Title Match
*”The Prodigy” Mike Bennett vs. Jimmy Jacobs
*El Generico (c) vs. Jay Lethal — ROH World TV Title Match
*”The Project” Tommaso Ciampa vs. Andy “Right Leg” Ridge
*Davey Richards (c) vs. Roderick Strong — ROH World Title Match
*The Briscoe Brothers (Mark & Jay) vs. The All Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) — #1 Contendership Match
*Eddie Edwards vs. “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin

Photos from the event–including some very nice shots of the new ring, new logo and the look for the impending TV show–can be found via PWInsider here.

Of course, the show also featured–as reported here at InsidePulse–the return of Nigel McGuinness to become the new color commentator with Kevin Kelly.  Nigel’s return has really gotten the ROH fanbase energized in a very positive way, and he will be an excellent voice moving forward for Ring of Honor.  The taping will feature the first four episodes, and also (as you can see) features all three of the ROH titles on the line.

All reports are that virtually the entire taping was tremendous, save for the Bennett/Jacobs match and the Ciampa/Ridge match.  Between the return of the identifiable Nigel McGuinness and putting on four shows of tremendous wrestling, one hopes that this will be a strong debut for ROH on Sinclair Broadcast Group.  As we reported on InsidePulse, the list of markets, stations and timeslots can be found here, and if you don’t live in one of these markets or get one of these stations, you can watch it for free at ROHWrestling.com.

With the very strong possibility that the Kings of Wrestling are moving on from Ring of Honor in the near future (as they’ve been rumored for a month or two now) and the further rumors that WWE is looking to flesh out their tag division, not to mention the lack of main event stars which will be realized with the departure of Hero and Claudio, this taping was–in many ways–about building new stars for ROH to take up the mantle.  Guys like Jay Lethal (who returned to ROH at Best in the World 2011), the rapidly developing Michael Elgin, the surging Tommaso Ciampa and the like all needed to look strong to build into a more fleshed out main event scene, that didn’t consist solely of Roderick Strong, Eddie Edwards and the champion, Davey Richards.  This was all accomplished quite effectively it would appear, as well as the newly  named “Future Shock” of Cole and O’Reilly stepping up with a very good match against The Bravado Brothers, a tandem who are underrated in their own right in the ring, and quality smarmy heels to boot.

Moving forward, Ring of Honor is hardly out of the woods.  The SBG deal left them with a lack of exposure in several MAJOR markets, but SBG is apparently working tirelessly to make sure that isn’t the case for long.  With them having ownership in the company, it only stands to reason that they will do everything in their power to make sure that the biggest markets can be exposed to Ring of Honor.

There’s also discussions to be had regarding ROH’s commitment to continuity moving forward, vis-a-vis their taping schedule, and the problems that could develop with the show being on at a variety of times in a variety of markets sometimes over two or three different days.  Unfortunately, these are problems to tackle another time.

As always, thanks for reading, and I always appreciate every thought or comment that comes in for this column.  Until next time, keep supporting independent wrestling!

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