Air Date: 2/1/16
This is the first episode featuring new content since Final Battle so I expect a lot of fallout from that show.
Roderick Strong starts the show asking for a new opponent for his title. I love this Roddy vs. The World gimmick and hope they keep bringing in a lot of random outside guys, I know there’s a Masada match coming up that I am super excited for. Stevie Richards is an interesting choice, but makes complete sense given they are in the former ECW Arena.
Roderick Strong © vs. Stevie Richards (ROH World Television Championship)
This was a really fun TV match. God bless Stevie Richards because he doesn’t look like he’s aged a day in the last 15 years and seemed to keep up with the much younger Strong. We got some stiff exchanges between the two and some innovative offence from Roddy. Even the near falls felt believable which is high praise since it was obvious that Roddy wasn’t going to lose the title. Strong continues the momentum of his awesome 2015 with a fun performance here. Roderick Strong retains with a knee to the face ***
Post-match Bobby Fish comes out and we get a live Fish Tank with Strong. This was a fun segment with Fish putting over Strong and then talking about how he tapped out at Final Battle. Fish came off very well and the slow heel turn of Roddy is cool to watch.
Will Ferrara vs. Caprice Coleman (NoDQ)
This match is a rematch from two weeks ago which was thrown out as a double disqualification. Part of the angle leading into this match is that both of these men have been given envelopes by Prince Nana whose contents are unknown, it’s not the most compelling angle in the world but it’s clearly undercard stuff so it’s not worth complaining about. They had a pretty good matched worked around the steel chair. Not as intense as you’d want from this kind of a stipulation but for a five to ten minute TV match it was what it was. Caprice Coleman wins with a Sky Splitta through a table ** ¾
After the match Prince Nana is shown ringside applauding.
Cedric Alexander (w/Veda Scott) vs. Jonathan Gresham
Gresham was already in the ring when the show got back from commercial. Gresham is one of the Southern US indie guys that has been getting a lot of hype in the last few months. This was a very good match with Cedric coming into the match super cocky and then getting the upset win over the veteran. Gresham got a lot of offense in here and looked good, hopefully this leads to him getting more work with Ring of Honor. Jonathan Gresham wins with a roll up ** ½
Donovan Dijack (w/Truth Martini and Jay Lethal) vs. Michael Elgin
Before the match Jerry Lynn comes out to confront Lethal in a weird bit. This match was taped before Wrestle Kingdom and so is supposed to hype the Elgin/Lethal title match coming up on that show. This was one hell of a match, it was stiff and hell and worked almost like a G1 match with Big Mike getting in all of his signature power moves. Dijack in RoH hasn’t been anything spectacular, however I’ve heard good things about his work in Beyond Wrestling and we saw glimpses of that here. Fun stuff. Michael Elgin pins Dijack with an Elgin Bomb *** ¼
Fun, easy to watch show. There was nothing bad on this show and even the worst segment was at least watchable. The main event was a lot of fun and it was a nice surprise to see Stevie Richards have a solid match at his age.