With the new year beginning, Ring of Honor is back to giving us our weekly dose of their latest (taped) hard-hitting action.
Fallout from the Final Battle PPV continues, as it was announced that reigning tag team champions The Young Bucks would address the mysterious message Broken Matt Hardy gave them at the event. We would also see the newly-crowned Six-Man Tag Team Champions, The Kingdom, in action for the first time since the PPV as well.
In addition, on deck were two more Decade of Excellence Tournament matches that would give us the final combatants for the semi-final round.
All that said, the advertised lineup for this weekly episode of ROH was as follows:
- Decade of Excellence Tournament Match: Jay Briscoe vs. B.J. Whitmer
- Decade of Excellence Tournament Match: Colt Cabana vs. Chris Sabin
- The Kingdom vs. Will Ferrara, Cheeseburger & Joey Daddiego
- Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser vs. DA Silver & Alex Reynolds
Let’s take a look at how things went down this week on Ring of Honor!
Ring Of Honor Television Results 1-7-17
- Jay Briscoe def. B.J. Whitmer by pinfall.
- Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser def. Silver & Reynolds by pinfall.
- After the match, Bull James made his ROH debut when Young said that he had found the third member to join him and Bruiser to challenge for the Six-Man Tag championship. But, in a swerve, Young said that James was in fact NOT the guy to join them and then they proceeded to attack him.
- The Kingdom def. Ferrara/Cheeseburger/Daddiego by pinfall.
- The Young Bucks announced their re-signing with ROH and addressed Matt Hardy’s challenge from Final Battle.
- Chris Sabin def. Colt Cabana by pinfall.
- Dalton Castle’s Boys caused the distraction that allowed Sabin to hit a small-package pin for the win.
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 6, 2017
The team of Silas Young and the Beer City Bruiser, at first, seemed to be a bit of an odd combo when they joined forces. To be completely honest, I thought it would only last for a handful of matches, and then the two would disband or end up feuding one another.
Instead, the two have really come into their own as a team. Tonight was evidence of that, as they displayed an interesting dynamic of wrestling styles in their match with Silver and Reynolds. That double stomp-banzai drop team finisher they use is top notch.
Even their entrance worked well, with them both wearing a “Last Real Man” t-shirt and Bruiser drinking a beer (as would be expected given his name). They’re manly in their own respective ways, and nothing about their union seems out of place anymore.
And while some may not have been happy about it, their post-match assault on Bull James gave us plenty more reason to take them seriously. Overall, Young and Bruiser really impressed me tonight.
It will be interesting to see if an angle with James develops, and whether they will indeed pursue The Kingdom’s championship.
— The Young Bucks (@MattJackson13) December 5, 2016
I was eagerly anticipating the Young Bucks’ comments regarding the challenge Broken Matt Hardy made at Final Battle.
Hardy has crafted a Broken Universe so absurd and enjoyable that it has transcended TNA and found itself spreading across world and into countless promotions. When he made his video appearance at Final Battle, I–like many others–really perked up at the idea of Ring of Honor putting the Broken Hardys in a program with the Young Bucks.
Well, the two teams may not have met in the ring yet, but shenanigans are already ensuing, which can only mean that a title match is inevitable.
While delivering their promo, the lights went out and the Young Bucks were joined by Vanguard 1 in the ring. As the drone flew around, the Bucks hit it with one of their classic superkicks.
It was a tease for what is likely to come, yes, but it was still by far the highlight of the night. The Bucks should be careful now, though, because attacking VG1 is a sure-fire way to be targeted for DELETION!
What Fell Short
— ROH Wrestling (@ringofhonor) January 7, 2017
Jay Briscoe and B.J. Whitmer put on a pretty solid match. It was nothing fancy, but the two can go in the ring and they had some good spots.
It was refreshing, really, to see Whitmer in a one-on-one match. Though he’s been with the promotion for quite a while, it seems like it’s been forever since he’s had a singles bout. I would imagine that can largely be attributed to the fact that ROH has been putting the focus on pushing his faction partner, Punisher Martinez.
That said, a decent match was tarnished by the finish.
Just as I was beginning to remember that Whitmer is a good in-ring worker, he attempted to “sacrifice” Briscoe instead of going for a pinfall. This led to a run-in by brother Mark Briscoe, which caused the distraction to allow Jay to get the win.
Why? Why couldn’t they go one match without doing something to emphasize their terrible demonic gimmick?
As I’ve said before, this faction is not at all my cup of tea. Is complaining about them more or less the equivalent of beating a dead horse at this point? Yes, perhaps. But Whitmer and Martinez deserve a better shtick to work with than this cult nonsense. It does nothing to make them seem like serious threats, and it does nothing to make me want them on my television. In fact, it does the very opposite of that.
Any attempted “sacrifice” on Ring of Honor programming will always be a low-point in my book.
Overall, this was a good episode to kick off the year.
None of the matches themselves were bad, but there definitely weren’t any five-star classics in this week’s lineup. They were all just fine for what they were. This seemed to be much more of a way to start building stories for the year going forward, as evidenced by the fact that the real draw of tonight’s show was the Young Bucks’ promo segment.
The main takeaways from the show were as follows: The Cabana-Castle program looks like it will continue. Bull James has arrived in ROH, and perhaps he will be feuding with Silas Young and the Beer City Bruiser. The semi-finals of the Decade of Excellence Tournament are set: Lethal, Sabin, Briscoe, and Daniels. Lastly, the Young Bucks are one step closer to facing off with the Hardys after their attack on VG1.
It will be interesting to see where things go from here, and really how this year as a whole will pan out for ROH, especially given the fact that Adam Cole reclaimed his title as Wrestle Kingdom 11. In my opinion, they have continually been pretty unpredictable.
I see plenty of possibilities and lots of potential for Ring Of Honor to provide some great wrestling and some great stories to go along with it in 2017.