Ring of Honor this week kicked off a different set of tapings, the first of the new year. The taping took place on January 14th at the Atlanta Center Stage Theatre. Kicking off show was a recap of Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly match from Tokyo Dome, where Adam Cole became the first three time Ring of Honor World Champion.
The Tempura Boyz vs Coast to Coast vs Cheeseburger and Will Ferrara (1st contender match)
Then it was time for some tag team action featuring The Tempura Boyz vs Coast to Coast vs Cheeseburger and Will Ferrara. These three teams had a fun, fast paced match that really won over the crowd. They all met in the middle to adhere to the Code Of Honor, when the Tempura Boyz tossed out Coast to Coast from the ring then went after Cheeseburger and Ferrara. Ferrara tossed Sho from the Tempura Boyz out of the ring so him and Cheeseburger could work over the other Tempura Boy. Coast to Coast got back in the ring tossing Cheeseburger out and double teaming Ferrara with a sick looking upper cut into a neckbreaker. The Tempura Boyz break up the three count and reverse a double team arm drag by Coast to Coast and start drop kicking everyone, then hitting Giovanni with a backbreaker/code breaker combo. Soon every team got a chance to leap on top of the crowd with a high spot from the ring to the floor. Right as Kevin Kelly is about to leave for a commercial break The Young Bucks come out and join in on commentary.
After the match the Young Bucks put over all three teams talking about how awesome the match is. They pitched an open challenge hoping the Hardys would come out but said they weren’t in the back at all. They then decided between themselves that the winner of this match would go on to become the 1st contenders. Coast to Coast had taken over the ring and set up Will Ferrara in the Tree of Woe, both members of Coast to Coast get on the ring post adjacent to an upside down Ferrara and hit a double Coast to Coast that was truly spectacular and was also how they got their name. This should have been a three count but because it was a triple threat tag team match the Tempura Boyz came into the ring and break it up. Hitting a member of Coast to Coast with a combination superkick into a German suplex that the Young Bucks wanted royalties for. The Bucks were also cutting a promo on The Hardys, stirring the pot for their upcoming match during Wrestlemania weekend. The Tempura Boyz clenched the finish with a devastating piledriver that reminded the Young Bucks of a certain longest reigning Champion, getting the three count.
Winners: Tempura Boyz
The Young Bucks, excited for the new 1st contenders, went to deliver the good news to the Tempura Boyz. This led the announcement that next week will be the Tempura Boyz vs the Young Bucks for the ROH World Tag Team titles. The Tempura Boyz were then introduced to two superkicks and the Young Bucks brought out Adam Cole for the first time since winning the ROH World Championship. Cole started Storytime with Adam Cole BAY-BAY calling himself a “God, living breathing Legend and 1st time three time champ.” He cut a promo calling Dalton Castle a gimmick, telling Bobby Fish he would get rid of the rest of Red Dragon and then the winner of the Decade of Excellence Tournament. Him and the Young Bucks did a “Too Sweet” and kissed Cole on the checks. The Bullet Club’s reign in Ring of Honor is still strong.
ROH Television Title Marty Scurll (Champion) vs Juice Robinson
The Television Title was on the line between Champion Marty Scurll and New Japan up-in-comer Juice Robinson. Alex Shelley joined on commentary momentarily taking the place of the newly missing Steve Corino who has left for the NXT training center. Shelley put over Juice talking about training with him in similar dojos and how he could mat wrestle with the best of them. The two started off by quickly trading holds left and right, finally breaking up for Scrull to hit his pose and the crowd went wild. The two bounced off the ropes with shoulder tackles but neither moved the other, they then traded slaps to the face ending with Scurll on the ground. Scurll reversed a suplex into a fireman’s carry and Juice is outside the ring, Scurll hops over the ropes and kicks Juice in the face while still standing on top of the ring, a classic Scurll move that the fans loved.
Back from commercial, Juice is on the top rope and nails a diving headbutt to Marty for only a 2 count. Juice picks up Scurll but Scurll headbutts out of it and rolls Juice up in a cradle for a surprise two count. The two start trading hard blows, Scurll hits Juice with two hard kicks to the face but Robinson gets a nice looking gut buster and a big clothesline for only a two count. The two get back up and trade slaps and chops. Marty hits the ropes into a big boot from Juice, Juice hits the ropes for a fake out then a kick to the knee by Marty, Juice looks hurt. Scurll hits a brainbuster then teases the audience with the Chicken Wing. Juice is up though and hits a hard palm strike to the face then a big powerbomb that Marty just kicks out of. Juice goes to the top rope but Marty hits the same knee he has been working on all day, getting Juice with a suplex off the top rope. Juice, however gets a surprise cradle for a two count. Marty is up quick and annoyed, he kicks Juice in the face hard. Then goes for another superkick to Juice who is outside, Juice has seen this already and pulls Scurll’s legs out from under him. Scurll is up against the barricade, while the audience chants “JUICE JUICE JUICE”, Juice goes to hit a cannonball similar to the one Kevin Owens does but just in the nick of time Scurll slips away sending Juice crashing hard into the barricade. Marty throws Juice back into the ring and hits a piledriver but still only a two count, Marty looks shocked. What does he have to do to end him? He goes for the hand, quieting the audience to hear the sick snap of Juice Robinsons fingers, a move so disgusting even Scurll himself is incapacitated by it. Marty grabs a handful of tights and goes for the O’Connor roll, Juice reverses it with a handful of ropes. They both are up Juice goes for his finisher but Marty turns it into the Chicken Wing, Juice has no choice but to tap. The Villain then cut a promo on being the “Undisputed, undefeated ROH Television Champion” going on to say he saw no competition left for him in Ring of Honor.
Winner: Marty Scurll.
This led to 6 different challengers including Donovan Dijak, Chris Sabin, Lio Rush, Alex Shelley, Jay White and Jonathan. They decided that next week they would fight between the six of them to decide who would take on Marty Scurll next.
The Main Event: Jay Lethal vs Jay Briscoe
Following was a promo video between Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe in the semifinals of the Decade of Excellence Tournament, a tournament between veterans of Ring Of Honor. The two adhered to the Code of Honor, despite being longtime enemies. The two traded collar-and-elbow holds, neither could gain much of an advantage. Suddenly the crowd boos, Adam Cole is seen walking out and waving to the two wrestlers in the ring and walking over to commentary. The two bounced of the ropes, neither giving the other much advantage. Out of nowhere Brisco hit the Jay Driver on Lethal for only a two count, Lethal rolled out of the ring. Briscoe followed as Cole promised he wouldn’t get involved in the match. Briscoe took control with a series of uppercuts, Lethal got in a few punches that were broken up with a Briscoe headbutt. Then he jumped in the ring and hit Lethal with a tope suicida right into the barrier. Briscoe continues to take control back in the ring, violently tossing Lethal around. Lethal almost looks dazed after a bump to the head that took place earlier and Kevin Kelly notices it. Briscoe peppers Lethal with punches then bounces off the ropes and nails Lethal with a big boot. Keeping control Briscoe tosses Lethal with a snapmare and locks in a chinlock.
Back from commercial break Lethal gets his first bit of momentum in a while when he hits a huge diamond cutter. Adam Cole condescendingly claps at the announcer booth. Lethal gets the ball rolling even more when he hits a Lethal Combination but for only a two count. The two get up and trade right hands, Lethal reverses a neckbreaker into a backslide for a two count. They both hurry up, Lethal uses and bicycle kick, enziguri combination; Briscoe gets out at two. Lethal goes to the top rope but Briscoe crotches him up there, they struggle at the top but Lethal gets a big elbow then a chop, knocking Briscoe to the ground. Lethal goes for the Hail to the King off the top rope but notices Briscoe put up his leg, instead he lands on his and traps Briscoe in a Figure Four leg lock, Briscoe thinks about tapping but makes the ropes. Briscoe tries to suplex Lethal out of the ring but to no avail the two tease finishers but they both know each other so well, and they both get out of them. Briscoe comes off the ropes hard with a huge clothesline, flipping Lethal and he goes for and gets the three count.
Winner: Jay Briscoe
What a show to kick off this series of tapings. Every match could have been its own main event. The triple threat set up for a ROH Tag titles should be great. The middle match showed off two young rookies putting out a better title match on TV than WWE has been able to do all year. Ending with the main event, the best match of the night by far, told a fantastic story of two ROH veterans putting it all on the line for a shot at the ROH World Title. Each man knowing the others moves and how to reverse them made for an interesting match where you never really knew what would happen next. All of these matches plus an excellent promo and commentary by Adam Cole. ROH has one of the best hours of wrestling you can watch all week.