NEW ROH WORLD CHAMPION CHRISTOPHER DANIELS ADDRESSES THE CROWD- He pours an appletini so the crowd, which had just finished giving him a nice “YOU DESERVE IT!” chant, starts to chant “APPLETINI!’ You don’t have to chant at every f*cking opportunity. Chant when you have an actual EMOTION TO EXPRESS! You love the match or hate a wrestler or you want to see another wrestler win or you’re grateful to the wrestlers or the company. Don’t chant sh*t just because you can. You are supposed to be “part of the show” only to the extent that your expression of emotions adds to the atmosphere of the situation. “APPLETINI!” is not an emotion. It’s you chanting just because you can, which is really just you trying to get yourselves over.
Daniels is wearing a full suit and tie rather than his “ring general” attire. If he’s the same guy, then why is he dressed differently? That was very odd.
He puts over his plan to outsmart Adam Cole & the Bullet Club and says he will be defending the title all over the world. Kaz then pipes in that he won a shot at the ROH World TV Title at the PPV so he is coming for Marty Scurll’s TV Title, but even though they’re both focusing on singles gold right now they’re still going to be a team. This was a fine info-dump, but I was hoping for a lot more of a speech from Daniels, especially since we didn’t get one at the PPV due to PPV time constraints (and, due to Cole’s impending departure, it would have made perfect sense to have Cole come out and interrupt Daniels and set up Cole’s rematch, which you could do at the Baltimore tapings next month, soon after Supercard of Honor XI). Speaking of Supercard of Honor XI…
DALTON CASTLE COMES OUT-
Then Dalton Castle came out and Kevin Kelly asked “what’s on Dalton Castle’s mind? We’ll find out.”
Yes, I know he’s pitching to a commercial break but he still sounded like a moron for asking “what’s on Dalton Castle’s mind?” because anyone who has been following the product knows that Dalton is the #1 contender to Daniels’ ROH World Title and has his shot coming up at ROH’s very next show. There were a million better things to say here. Best would have been something along the lines of “and here comes Dalton Castle. He’s got a shot at the ROH World Title in a few weeks at Supercard of Honor... but what does he want with Christopher Daniels tonight?” Something that not only establishes why Dalton is important, but which doesn’t make it sound like Kevin Kelly is completely mystified as to why Dalton might be out here. This issue almost entirely stems from Kevin Kelly’s style of announcing, which usually involves using this tone of voice that punctuates everything he says with the question “See? Isn’t this SOOOOOO intriguing?” This style of announcing is absolutely horrific because not only does it often result in Kevin coming across like a total idiot because he can’t figure out the most obvious answers to even the simplest questions, but because it makes him come across not as an announcer character reacting to the events in front of him but as someone who is speaking to me through the TV screen and trying to convince me that something is exciting. He thus not only comes off as a phony hype-man when things aren’t anywhere near as intriguing as he seems to think, but he creates a major disconnect by essentially breaking the fourth wall (and I mean in the very “literal” kind of “If we shadows have offended” way) without actually turning towards or acknowledging the audience. Like he is a kayfabe character using the usual kayfabe character means communicating to us on a very non-kayfabe level. It makes the show feel fake and desperate.
Wow. That was quite the tangent (and I promise no more Shakespeare quotes for the duration of this review). Let me restart that heading. We’re back from out commercial break and we get a…
SEGMENT TO SET UP TONIGHT’S MAIN EVENT-
Dalton Castle was curious about Daniels’ drink. This was funny, but at the same time I really didn’t like it just because I did not for a second buy that Dalton Castle had never heard of or tried an Appletini before.
Dalton cut a very good promo, but right before things looked like they were about to get heated, Adam Cole & the Young Bucks showed up. Cole then cut a good promo on all three guys. Kaz then challenged Cole & the Bucks to a six-man tag team match in tonight’s main event, and they accept… and just like that Kevin Kelly says (paraphrasing) “you heard it here first, folks! This is going to be tonight’s main event.” So are you telling me that not only do they not need approval from anyone to just booked matches but 1) ROH went on the air tonight without even having a main event booked, even though 2) they had hottest act in pro wrestling, the Hardy Boyz defending the ROH World Tag Team Titles against the greatest team in ROH history The Briscoes booked for tonight’s show, but decided that that match should not be the main even though they didn’t have any other main event planned?! COME ON!
This might seem like a very minor thing to complain about but it really bothers me for two reasons. The first is that it makes the company look like kayfabe idiots for going on the air without a main event. Yes, I know that WWE and TNA often do this as well, and it’s dumb when they do it, too. This is supposed to be kayfabe combat sport league. When was the last time you saw UFC go on the air without a main event scheduled (and how much stupider would it be if it was a show that Connor was already scheduled to have a match on but he wasn’t the main event)?
The other reason that this sort of thing really bugs me is, quite frankly, laziness. It took me TWO MINUTES to come up with the following scenario: Tonight’s main event is originally scheduled as Kaz vs. Cole (obviously stemming from Kaz’s actions at the PPV). Everyone knows that the tag title match is the much bigger match and should be the main event, but because Kaz vs. Cole actually is a pretty big match at this point in time plus the fact that Daniels’ celebration was scheduled to open the show and everyone knew that Daniels would want his best friend Frankie Kazarian out there with him, out of respect for the legendary Christopher Daniels ROH management decided that the tag title match would go on before Kaz vs. Cole so that Kaz could have time to prepare for his match (and, because they’re all babyfaces, the Hardys and Briscoes had no problem with this either, also out of respect for Daniels). Then, instead of just making the match on the spot, Kaz challenges Cole to change the match to make it a six-man tag (Cole can justify this by thinking that in addition to getting revenge on Kaz he can now also injure Dalton within the confines of this match [so that ROH can’t punish him for it] and that he will then get the title shot at Supercard of Honor instead of Dalton), and then we wait a few seconds and Kevin or Ian grabs a mic and announces that ROH management just told them over the headset that the match has been approved. It took me two minutes to think of this, but the guy whose job it is to sit around and think about this sort of stuff all day didn’t put in the effort to come up with any sort of explanation for the company’s kayfabe moronic behavior.
MARTY SCURLL BACKSTAGE PROMO- he basically said that he needs better competition and challenged anyone on the ROH roster to step up. When Marty’s promo was done, but- and this is key- while it made sense for the camera to still be rolling- Kenny King stepped onto the screen, saying that he heard Marty running his mouth and he wants a title shot, noting that he himself has beaten two of the men that Marty has recently defended his title against (Lio Rush and Sonjay Dutt- although I’m certain that Sonjay match didn’t take place in ROH… unless it happened back during Sonjay’s run in 2009, which seems a little ridiculous for Kenny to use here as justification for a title shot, but then again, Kenny is a heel). Kenny cut the usual excellent Kenny King promo, which Marty then dismissively called “cute,” and accepted the challenge. This match should be quite good. An excellent segment.
ROH WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The Hardy Boyz(c) vs. The Briscoes- 7.75/10
Yes, the Briscoes are getting YET ANOTHER tag title shot despite not having done a single thing to earn one. Oh. Wait. Sorry. Let me take that back. After their most recent tag title loss at Honor Reigns Supreme they did actually win their next tag match. It was against the Tempura Boyz. Of course, since then they have lost three more matches (including their only actual tag match… to Cole & Omega, who aren’t even a regular team) before they won their six-man match at the 15th Anniversary Show. Factor in that they actually lost yet another match between their last title shot and their win over the Tempura Boyz and Mark & Jay’s record since their last tag title shot a whopping 2-4 as a team overall, and in standard 2 vs. 2 tag matches they are 1-1, with their only victory coming against a pair of jobbers and their loss coming against two guys who don’t even team together very often (for the purposes of completeness I will add that while Jay Briscoe did get a singles win over Jay White last week, he has also recently lost yet another tag match, this time a shot at the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles that he once again did nothing to earn). So yeah. They’ve definitely earned this title shot.
(And while we’re at it, I’d like to note that in the five weeks between their previous tag title loss and the night this show was taped the Briscoes have faced off against some combination of Bullet Club four of their six matches as a team, lost all four times, and yet not a single one of those results has mattered in any way. Way to go, Lizard Man).
And yes, you could point out to me that Bullet Club interfered in their most recent tag title shot so they didn’t lose clean, but I would then point out to you the following:
1. The Briscoes themselves actually cheated first, assaulting the Bucks with chairs after they were up one fall to none, hoping to forfeit the second fall in exchange for causing a debilitating injury to their opponents (you know… like heels would do).
2. That third fall was actually a No DQs match, so not only was Bullet Club’s interference not illegal, the Briscoes actually brought it on themselves by getting DQed on purpose in the second fall instead of trying to put the Bucks away in two straight falls- i.e. BEFORE Bullet Club would be able to interfere.
3. They didn’t do sh*t to earn that title shot, either
4. The announcers never brought this up, so even if this poor justification was what the booker intended, the message was never communicated to the audience in any way.
Oh, and on this note, Kevin Kelly said the following:
“We’ve seen the board of directors take some definitive action when it comes to contenders for championships.”
In other words “we’ve seen them do things.” That’s what he said there. Say what you will about the announcers in WWE or TNA, but at least when they open their mouths they actually say something. It might be something incredibly stupid, but at least it’s something. They’re using their words to attempt to make a point. Kevin Kelly just says words.
But anyway, we’ve totally got to give the undeserving Briscoes yet another title shot despite the fact that the only possible outcome is them jobbing to the Hardys, who ROH knows had to be on their way to WWE simply due to their refusal to sign any sort of longer-term contract, so that’s definitely a good look for ROH.
What is the purpose of the Hardys stealing the Bucks’ stupid gimmick belts? I doubt that could possibly make the Bucks any more upset at the Hardys than winning the real ROH World Tag Team Titles from them, so what is the point of it? All it does is make the Hardys look like jerks.
Okay… with all of that out of the way, this match was really great. They gave it a good eighteen minutes so it had time to breathe and all four guys worked their butts, as usual. I’m also a HUGE mark for the Compactor Clutch, so I popped huge when that was the finish.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine build to Supercard of Honor XI
The Young Bucks come out to the ramp and Kevin Kelly immediately says “it looks like the Young Bucks don’t want to wait until Supercard of Honor!” So Kevin can make a guess as to why the Bucks are out here now but couldn’t possibly fathom why Dalton Castle came out earlier? Even better, Kevin was completely wrong (as usual). Instead of wanting to fight the Hardys the Bucks instead came out here to tell them that they just talked to management and they want their match at Supercard of Honor XI for the ROH World Tag Team Titles to be a Ladder Match. Oh, also the Bucks want the Hardys to put the Superkick Titles on the line. Um… why should they want that? Shouldn’t they just want the Hardys to hand them their stolen property (the Bucks even noted that the Hardys stole the belt). The Hardys accepted.
We went to a commercial break and when we returned we were already in the middle of…
THE BULLET CLUB (Adam Cole & the Young Bucks) vs. THE ADDICTION & DALTON CASTLE (w/the Boys)- 6.75/10
The match was very good, but would have been much better without the comedy. Castle pinning Cole is definitely the right call here.
This was one of the better shows that ROH has put on, both in the ring and overall, in quite a while, yet I find it so frustrating that just a few small changes to sure up the logic would have made the show so much better. The product comes off more and more like TNA where they’re so desperate to do things that they think will draw ratings or get attention that they completely neglect basic storytelling.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Kevin Kelly says that “Adam Cole was a fantastic champion.”
Yes, the bar for a champion is now being set so low that a “fantastic” reign involves just three successful defenses, one of which took place on another promotion’s show and was only mentioned in passing, after it occurred, and another of which was against an undercard guy from New Japan who said champion was pinned cleanly by the night after he won the belt.
There was absolutely no reason for Kevin Kelly to say this, but he just felt the need to open his fat gob and say it because I guess he thinks that saying things that made you look ridiculous and kill your credibility are good for the product because what you’re saying is putting someone over. This is the sort of sh*t that everyone says they HATE about WWE, and yet ROH consistently does it, in just about every possible way they can do it in. But, no, they’re totally paying attention to what the fans want to see. Yeah. That’s definitely what happens in the ROH office.
2. Kevin Kelly referred to Adam Cole having to defend the ROH World Title four times in five weeks as a “gauntlet run.” Tell that to the ROH World Champions of the past who would often defend the belt on back to back nights.
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