These are live spoilers and impressions from the episode of ROH TV that will (likely) air this weekend. I have highlighted in black the portions of the show which will likely not air on television. The episode is the first TV taping from the Du Burns Arena in Baltimore on January 5.
As far as I can recall, the Code of Honor was abided by in every match.
Match 1 – Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly def. Alabama Attitude (Corey Hollis & Mike Posey) in 5.5 minutes – This match was used to establish Fish & O’Reilly as a new force in ROH. They were aggressive, efficient, and like at Final Battle, they displayed great coordination. They also showed a willingness to cheat.
Fish and O’Reilly dominated most of the match, despite Posey hitting a nice top rope leg drop. After Hollis got taken out by a suplex on the floor, Fish and O’Reilly went to town on Posey. O’Reilly held him in a delayed vertical suplex position, Fish kicked him in the gut, and O’Reilly finished him off with the brainbuster. This looks to be their finisher.
When referee Todd Sinclair come out after this segment, a fan in the bleachers to the right of the hard camera put on a Barney Rubble mask which led to a “Bar-ney Rub-ble” chant.
Nigel McGuinness comes out to a great ovation and “Nigel” chant.
NIGEL: At Final Battle this year…
NIGEL: …I will admit things got a little out of control.
NIGEL: (pausing to give the crowd a look, then sarcastically) Is this 1999? Same old shit! Same old shit!
Nigel then pauses to restart the segment.
NIGEL: At Final Battle last month I will admit things got a little out of control and a situation occurred between Jay Lethal and myself where I had to kick him out of the building.
NIGEL: Look, it’s been a month now and I want to address the situation in a public forum so that I can make my position perfectly clear. Jay Lethal, I want you to be out here face-to-face so you can hear it straight from my mouth.
Jay Lethal comes to the ring to a positive reaction overall.
NIGEL: Jay, when I became Ring of Honor matchmaker here, I knew someone was going to step up to challenge me. And I have to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to be you. Maybe Kevin Steen, maybe Charlie Haas, but you spit in my face. I had no choice but to kick you out of that building. I hope you can understand that. I had some time to think about it – I can fine you, or suspend you…look Jay, we’ve been friends a long time and go back a long way. I’m not going to do that because I understand what it’s like to get emotionally invested. Sometimes things get out of control, so Jay, I’m not going to fine or suspend you. I’m going to give you a warning.
NIGEL: Watch my lips. This will be the last warning that you get. If you step out of line again, you will regret it.
JAY: Nigel, these last two weeks have been the most frustrating two weeks of my entire life. At Final Battle it all came to a boiling point for me. I haven’t played the role of Mr. Nice Guy, I know you can’t stand for it and I respect your position. But Nigel, respecting your position doesn’t help my situation with Kevin Steen. What will help my position with Kevin Steen however, is if you just tell me in plain English what I need to do get my ROH World Title shot against Kevin Steen.
NIGEL: It’s real simple, Jay…
JAY: Whoa whoa, Nigel, please, before you give me that whole spiel you gave at Final Battle about, “I can’t get a World Title shot unless Kevin Steen loses the belt,” I am telling you Nigel, I can’t wait until Kevin Steen loses the title. I want my Ring of Honor Title shot as soon as possible. So come up with a new answer. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO!!!???
NIGEL: No spin. I’ll make it simple. My hands are tied. Kevin Steen had it written in stone that you won’t get a title shot while he is champion. There’s nothing I can do about it. There’s nothing you can do about it. The only person who can do anything about it is Kevin Steen. So Jay, until you can change his mind, I don’t want to hear about that match ever again.
JAY: Nigel, I understand what I have to do.
NIGEL: Just remember, Jay, I’ve given you one warning. You won’t get a second.
JAY: That’s funny, Nigel, because I was going to say the same thing to you.
Match 2: QT Marshall (with RD Evans) def. Mike Sydal in the 1st round of the ROH Top Prospect Tournament in 6.5 minutes – Truth Martini was on commentary. Marshall is developing well as a heel and drew lots of heat. He was swamped with toilet paper streamers upon entering the ring. The crowd chanted “Marshall sucks,” which was doubly insulting because they pronounced his name incorrectly, saying [mahr-shuhl] (like federal marshall) instead of [mahr-shal] (like I shall have a donut).
In the ring, Marshall and Sydal played to their individual styles, trading power moves (Samoan drop, suplexes, whips) and speed moves (kicks, dropkicks) respectively, with no man earning a clear advantage. The tide turned with RD hit Sydal from behind and attacked him on the floor. Despite Sydal rallying to hit a top rope moonsault onto both RD Evans and Marshall on the floor (which drew an ROH chant), Marshall recovered and hit an inverted powerslam (i.e. chest first instead of back first) for the win.
Match 3: The Briscoes retain the ROH Tag Team Championships against Cedric Alexander and Caprice Coleman in 11 minutes – This was a good match, one worth watching. The Briscoes got an ABSURD amount of streamers, but to my ears, the crowd was 55/45 in favor of C&C.
This match went through a few phases. After Mark and Cedric exchanged quick moves and counters into a standoff, C&C, who looked crisper and more cohesive to start, took over with simultaneous TopÃ© con hilos.
The matched settled down as the Briscoes worked over Cedric. Coleman’s hot tag was punctuated by hitting suplexes on both Briscoes simultaneously. After C&C escaped the Briscoes’ Doomsday Device, Coleman hit the top rope hurricanrana and Cedric followed with the top rope splash. They pinned the Briscoes simultaneously, but both kicked out in a very close near fall.
CROWD: This is awesome! This is awesome!
Then it was the Briscoes’ turn. After Coleman was taken out with a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination, Jay hit the falcon arrow and Mark hit the top rope froggy elbow on Cedric. The crowd thought it was over, but Cedric kicked out at 2.9. The Briscoes responded by hitting the Doomsday Device and got the pin.
CROWD: That was awesome! That was awesome!
Post match, Corino and Jacobs run in and attack everybody. Then, Rhino runs out wearing a S.C.U.M T-shirt. He gores Cedric to a huge reaction as the show goes off the air.