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BRM Reviews the 3/18/2017 ROH (frustrating, despite an awesome main event)

Posted: Apr 25th, '17, 17:26
by Big Red Machine
SILAS YOUNG & BEER CITY BRUISER PROMO- They’ve finally found a third man to team with them to challenge for the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles. The title shot will take place at Supercard of Honor XI. BCB is about to reveal who their partner is but Silas wants it kept a secret.
A few things here:
1. This felt like it was straight out of the mid-80s. I understand the idea of building up the mystery of who their partner will be, but the combination of these two characters and then having them stand in front of a backdrop that is just a big, giant ROH logo and do the horribly clichéd bit where Bruiser is about to say who it is but then Silas stops him and says “Whoa! Don’t tell them who it is!” felt completely lost in time. ROH absolutely NEEDS to go full-screen with these backstage interviews and tape them in what feels like a dedicated “interview area” (and maybe even get a backstage interviewer) or else it won’t feel like a modern product.
2. This story of Silas & Bruiser looking for a third man has been going on since the tournament for the belts began at All-Star Extravaganza VIII almost six months ago. In that time they have not been seen trying to recruiting anyone, and exactly one man has been teased as a partner. This is completely unacceptable for the number of shows ROH is running, and is a problem that has been hurting the booking for quite a while, as fans often lose patience with angles in ROH long before the payoff comes (for example, Prince Nana’s mysterious envelopes or “Nana is unhappy with Dijak for losing” or every single thing the Rebellion did, or Cedric Alexander’s “unsafe working environment” angle or the whole Whitmer vs. Corino feud, the Cheeseburger vs. Brutal Bob feud).
3. What, exactly, have the team of Silas, Bruiser, & Mystery Man done to earn this title shot? They clearly haven’t won any six-man tags because Silas & Bruiser have not been on the winning side of a single six-man tag team match in their entire time as a team. (And yes, while it seems that no one has had to do anything to earn a shot at these titles, after the double-shot in Texas that took place the weekend before this was taped we actually have two teams that have good arguments that they deserve a title shot. First there is War Machine & Jax Dane, who lost their title match when The Kingdom cheated via using a foreign object, and even more glaringly we have MCMG & Jay White, who were about to win the titles when The Kingdom intentionally got themselves disqualified in order to retain them. You’d think that either of these teams would get priority over three guys who have never teamed together, but apparently not.)

To make matters worse, it seems that Ian Riccaboni wasn’t paying attention for this promo because all he kept saying that Silas and Bruiser were still looking for a partner rather than trying to hype up the mystery about who said partner might be or ever mentioning the title match at Supercard of Honor.

That 4/10 rating is me trying to be objective, because the truth is that I hated this match and spent almost the entire time screaming. Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser are headed for a title shot. Will Ferrara and Cheeseburger are a jobber tag team consisting of a generic dork who has been in the company for close to three years and done nothing and a man who has been in the company for over four years and done absolutely nothing despite the fact that he has been paired up with Jushin Liger, given a win over Christopher Daniels on PPV and has his merch pushed more than that of anyone else on the show aside from maybe Dalton Castle. Oh, and HIS HE F*CKING CALLS HIMSELF CHEESEBURGER! There is absolutely no reason that Silas & BCB should not COMPLETELY SLAUGHTER these dunces, but instead, despite Silas and Bruiser jumping them from behind to start things off, they had a back-and-forth match that went on for six minutes. That may not seem like a lot of time, but consider that most main events on this show only get 9-14.
Delirious’ time-management skills are absolutely abhorrent. Putting aside the fact that he often wastes precious PPV time with pointless promos and books matches that are so short that guys who clearly have the talent to stand out like Dijak, Rush, and ACH have rarely if ever gotten to, but just taking this in isolation: You have a one-hour TV show. This match does absolutely nothing for anyone. Even if you just had Silas & BCB squash the jobbers it still wouldn’t have helped them in any way because they’ve been a team long enough that they’re well past the stage where they should be doing that (although that certainly hasn’t stopped Delirious from having War Machine do it, either). This match had no potential to do anything other than eat up TV time so why not just have Silas cut a quick promo announcing that he and Bruiser have found a third man and will be getting the title shot at Supercard of Honor XI and save yourself seven minutes on the match plus entrances that you can then use for your main event or some other match (and speaking of things this would save you, without this match you wouldn’t have to bring Ferrara, Burger, or BCB to this show so you would save money on not having to pay them, which could then be spent to improve the product in other ways).

Both guys’ inset promos were… better than most of the others so far in this tournament, but that doesn’t say much. Woods was mostly fine, but the way he moved seemed oddly robotic. LeRusso really shouldn’t have filmed his in front of a door. He looks like a total indy geek, complete with a stupid nickname, “The Heir Apparent.” Yes, “apparent.” Even he doesn’t know if he’s actually good enough to take over… whatever exactly it is that he is “The Heir Apparent” to. Only making matters worse was the fact that Ian Riccaboni pitched us over to this promo by telling us that “he calls himself ‘The Heir Apparent’ and he’ not afraid to tell ya what ‘The Heir Apparent’ is all about.” Not only was this horrifically lame-sounding, but it was made even worse by the fact that he proceeded to tell us nothing other than the fact that he is “The Heir Apparent” and he is going to win the Top Prospect Tournament. The blame for this bit falls squarely on Ian for his terrible pitch, but it wouldn’t have been an issue if these guys were given time to say anything other than “my name is X and I am Nickname X and I am going to win the Top Prospect Tournament.” Then again, maybe they should consider themselves lucky because that’s more talking than ACH, Donovan Dijak, Matt Sydal, and Lio Rush have been allowed to do on TV in years. Combined.
But even without the stupid nickname it’s impossible for me to take LeRusso seriously because, in his last ROH appearance (Reloaded Tour: Pittsburgh), HE LOST CLEANLY TO CHEESEBURGER. He has also been wrestling since 2003, and despite almost a decade and a half of experience, he appears to have wrestled a grand total of FIVE matches outside of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Of those five matches, three were for ROH. He’s been in the business for fourteen years and he’s barely been brought ANYWHERE. And it’s not like he’s wrestling in North Dakota. He’s been wrestling in Pennsylvania and Ohio! If this f*cker was any good you’d think that between ROH, CHIKARA, CZW, AIW, 2CW, EVOLVE, JAPW, and everyone else that’s been around that someone would have discovered him already but apparently not. Or… you know… he’s just not good enough.
Brutal Bob tells me that “some people say that this guy got into this tournament by controversial means.” I have absolutely zero idea what Bob is talking about. Ian Riccaboni would then clarify this by saying that “he has tried to skip to the top of the line. He’s tried to audition with The Decade and with the House of Truth.” Ian gave no explanation of what he meant by this, but I know how Delirious does the “audition” gimmick and I looked it up and apparently he teamed with J. Diesel in a Gauntlet last February and he teamed with Jimmy Jacobs & Adam Page in a six-man tag the previous January. So Ian Riccaboni can remember the appearances of a forgettable from random episodes of TV years ago, but couldn’t remember that Cheeseburger pinned Christopher Daniels on a PPV (or any of the other things he routinely forgets on commentary, like the winners and losers of recent matches).
1) I fail to see how this is controversial. Can anyone really fault him for taking such an opportunity?
2) What does that have to do with THIS TOURNAMENT? If you’re trying to tell me that those two completely forgettable matches a year a part got him this booking then I don’t know what to say.
3) You’d think losing to Cheeseburger would erase all of that.
Brutal Bob then told us some things about Josh Woods. Firstly, he got his start on one of Brutal Bob’s shows. Who could have seen that coming? Secondly, Woods is apparently a former MMA fighter and a former national champion collegiate wrestler. WHY THE F*CK DIDN’T YOU HAVE HIM TALK THAT UP IN HIS PROMO?!
The match itself was fine for the time it got. Woods seems pretty decent while LeRusso… has a nice dropkick, I guess. Woods winning by KO will help set him apart from the rest of the field, whose names I have already forgotten aside from Brian Malonis and Rafael King.

On commentary, Silas mentioned that he and Bruiser were still looking for a third partner. Yes, really. HOW THE F*CK DO YOU LET SOMETHING LIKE THIS HAPPEN?! There is absolutely no quality control on this show, and as a fan, I find that insulting. If you want me to watch your show, you damn well better have someone go through and metaphorically proofread it first. And even if you don’t give a sh*t about your fans you should still do it for the good of your product… or even just to show that you have some sort of professional pride. If everyone on the show seems to think that Silas and Bruiser and still looking for a partner than how the hell do you let this show air with that promo at the beginning saying that they have found a third guy?
And even worse, this show aired AFTER T.K. O’Ryan’s injury and AFTER the crowning of the new champions had already been taped- and, presumably, AFTER they knew what they were going to do with both the belts and Silas & BCB at Supercard of Honor; in other words, they allowed this promo- WHICH ALREADY MADE NO SENSE IN THE CONTEXT OF THE SHOW- to air, ADVERTISING A TITLE MATCH ON A PPV THAT THEY ALREADY KNEW WASN’T GOING TO TAKE PLACE. This now marks the second time in six months where they have allowed an advertisement for a title match to occur on their TV even though they already knew the advertised match would not take place and it would have been perfectly easy to fix it.
You want to know that the current ROH is missing? A soul. Gabe made it very clear that he cared about the fans. He would do his best to deliver on advertised matches and to announce changes as soon as possible and would go so far as to cut matches from the DVDs if he thought they weren’t up to snuff. But now, in the Koff/Delirious era, they don’t give a sh*t if they air promo that is out of continuity with the rest of the show, advertising a PPV title match that they already know won’t be taking place. And they wonder why attendance is down in major markets and all of the top up-and-coming talent is fleeing the company.

JAY BRISCOE PROMO- how is it Jay White’s fault that he hasn’t been in title matches? He’s been winning just about every match he’s in so what more can he do? Also, someone should have corrected Jay that their last match was a TV time limit draw not a 15 minute time limit draw.

LIO RUSH vs. KENNY KING (w/Caprice Coleman)- 5.75/10
We got a short video package to hype this up. It was more of a recap than anything else. Chris Sabin is now doing color commentary. The match was very good for the time it got, but it was nowhere near long enough for Lio Rush to get over in defeat. Yes, defeat. Lio lost this match cleanly, despite the fact that, at the time this was taped, he was heading into first a tag title match at Manhattan Mayhem VI and then a TV Title match at the 15th Anniversary Show.

The Rebellion begin to menace Lio while Chris Sabin, who had said that he was out here as an “insurance policy” to make sure that The Rebellion didn’t use their numbers game on Lio, sat there and did nothing. This was done so that Shayne Taylor could come out and appear to be evening the odds before giving us a big old Russo Swerve and attacking Lio Rush. Only then did Chris Sabin com to Lio’s aid. If the goal of this segment is to establish that Taylor has joined The Rebellion and to have him lay Rush out then wouldn’t it make more sense to have Sabin join Rush to make it two-on-two during the post-match and then have Taylor run out and attack both babyfaces? It’s sh*t like this that shows you where a booker’s priorities lie, and Delirious is clearly inclined to book swerves just for the sake of swerves, which is always a bad thing.

Mark Briscoe has now replaced Chris Sabin on commentary. I hate this constant changing of announcers.
The story of this match was basically that they had an intense, hard-hitting match in which White was trying to prove himself against one of ROH’s best… and also that Jay Briscoe was a huge asshole for no reason. First we got top ROH babyface Jay Briscoe inexplicably deciding to not follow the Code of Honor and accept the pre-match handshake respectful young-boy Jay White. He held on to holds long after White had reached the ropes (including counting along with the ref as he counted the seconds until the DQ), he spat on him, and put him through a table, all for no reason. What an asshole!
Mark Briscoe tries to explain this by saying that his brother was “very angry” after his draw with Jay White back in August, and that he was even more angry a few weeks ago when Jay White challenged him to this match. First of all, if Jay was angry about the draw I don’t think we ever saw it, but more importantly, WHY would he be angry? What does he have to be angry about? That someone wants a rematch with him when their first match had an inconclusive finish which he himself was also apparently upset about?
The match was very hard-fought and White is an excellent babyface so the match worked very well. Then Jay Briscoe won with a big lariat, ending Jay White’s unpinned, un-submitted streak. Why? What does anyone get out of this? Briscoe is already a top babyface and two-time world champion in addition to being one half of the greatest tag team in ROH history. What does he benefit from ending Jay White’s streak? And White has already gone to a time-limit draw with Jay Briscoe so what does he get out of losing to him? The match was awesome (the best one I can remember seeing on ROH TV in a LONG time that wasn’t a Road Rage episode), but the booking once again leaves me completely baffled.

This was yet another extremely frustrating episode of ROH. These shows are becoming a chore to watch, and yet I feel bad when I consider giving them up because of how long I stuck with TNA despite the show being terrible so I feel I owe ROH, who were excellent for much longer than TNA was, at least that long… and yet the show constantly makes me scream. I really hope something changes soon because I don’t want to give up on what has been my favorite promotion since basically the moment I discovered it nine years ago up through about a year ago.