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Ring of Honor TV: Episode 304 play-by-play & review

This week’s episode comes to us from the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, Massachusetts. Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana are on commentary.

The ROH opening video has finally undergone its much-needed editing, considering the recent departures of Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Lio Rush, and now features Cody Rhodes as the end piece.

They promote The Briscoes and Bully Ray vs The Young Bucks and Adam Page in the main event.

The show begins with the new ROH World Heavyweight Champion Cody making his entrance, dressed in a suit, holding his new belt. They actually show him hitting Daniels with the Cross Rhodes to win the title. He comes out to the ring and the fans chant “You Deserve It” before he can say a word.

He begins by saying “I do deserve it, don’t I?” Cody said that the Prince has become the King and Daniels is walking around with a boo boo face. The pro-Cody crowd boos Daniels and starts a “Boo Boo Face” chant. Cody then says it’s almost as if he’s lost his smile! The fans groan at this, as Lowell was the site of that famous promo, twenty years ago. Cody then told the camera to center in on his smile, which is clearly impaired and he says that he has six stiches in his mouth and can still taste the blood. He then harped how he wasn’t exclusive to Ring of Honor and that he still hadn’t signed his Ring of Honor. He then said that Sinclair Broadcasting (the owners of ROH, who have been in the news A LOT lately) didn’t own the ROH World Title, the Rhodes family did. He called out his critics, who say that he didn’t fit the Honor Style and said that Daniels’ rematch should be two out of three falls. The fans popped and Cody said “I love you.” The fans chanted back “We love you.” He said the discord with him and the company was that he was steroid free, full time, and the World Champion. Okay. Don’t know what to make of the steroid free comment.

Punishment Martinez vs. Jonathan Gresham

The announcers sold that Martinez had gone over the edge after two losses to Jay White and that Martinez wanted to take it out on Gresham, White’s Search and Destroy stablemate. They should Martinez ruining Search and Destroy’s celebration during the pay per view, when he laid out White with the sitout chokeslam. They showed that Martinez had over a foot height advantage over Gresham. Gresham went right at Martinez, trying to shove him back. Gresham side-stepped Martinez and went for a bodyscissors into a headlock takedown, but Martinez blocked. Gresham slid through Martinez and kegs and tried to jump on his back with a sleeper, but Martinez just pried the arms apart. Gresham tried to switch to the guillotine, but couldn’t lock the hands, so he tried to switch to his signature Octopus, but Martinez blocked it and tried to go to the tilt a whirl, but Gresham managed to reverse it back into the sleeper. Martinez tried to back Gresham into the corner, but Gresham saw it coming and slipped out from behind, avoiding the contact.

Gresham avoided a backelbow and a big boot, and caught Martinez with a kick to the quad. Martinez tried to corner Gresham again. Gresham was blocked trying to slip out either side, but managed to slip through the legs, only to be nailed with a back elbow. Martinez tried a whip, but Gresham grabbed the wrist and went to the mat, and use his legs to put pressure on Martinez’ shin. Martinez proceeded to lift him off the ground, but Gresham countered and caught Martinez with an armdrag! The fans applauded. Gresham sidestepped Martinez and kipped up into his shoulders and came with another armdrag from that position and Gresham taunted Martinez! Gresham went for a drop toe hold, but Martinez blocked it and grabbed him by the throat, Gresham went two on one on the grip and bent his wrist back and uses his legs to stretch the shin, hyperextending Martinez’s knee! Gresham then began trying kick at the knee while Martinez just tried to shove him away. Martinez finally managed to grab him and whip him in, but charged into a boot. Gresham went for a second rope senton, but Martinez caught him and tossed him into an Air Raid Crash backbreaker. Commercial Break.

BFC, Gresham his wrist control on Martinez and is kicking the leg, but Martinez cuts him off with a knee to the gut. Martinez goes for some type of springboard, but Gresham kicks the leg and Martinez crashes to the mat. Gresham goes for a quebrada Moonsault, but Martinez tries to catch him with a powerslam, but Gresham swings out into a DDT! Martinez rolls out to the floor and Gresham faints him with a baseball slide, only to launch himself in a nice Aasi Moonsault out of the corner. Gresham then caught him in the ring with a Flying Bodypress, but only got a one. Gresham then built for a charge, but Martinez caught him with a boot, driving him into the mat with his foot on the way down.

Martinez then hit his jumping back elbow in the corner, a clothesline in the corner, and a big right before hitting a Falcon Arrow for a two count. Martinez went for the chokeslam, but Gresham kicked out the knee. Martinez tried to catch with double handed chokeslam, but Gresham countered with a hurricanrana, rolling through for a double kneedrop on the knee! Gresham then went for the spinning toe hold, but Martinez kicked him hard into the corner. Martinez came up selling the knee and went for climbing the ropes spinning clothesline, but Gresham caught him by the legs and rolled through into some sweet version of the Indian Deathlock! The crowd popped and Martinez sat up and tried to grab him by the throat, but Gresham responded with a right. Martinez fired back, but Gresham just wrenched the hold harder. Martinez was forced to reach over and grab the rope. Gresham built up for a charge, but Martinez caught him with a clothesline that turned him inside out. Gresham went for his Trouble In Paradise style kick, but his knee gave out and Gresham hit an enziguri, then took him down with a bodyscissors into a leglace takedown that dropped Martinez face first. Gresham then went up top and hit a nice shooting star press, but Martinez kicked out just before three!

Gresham, however, went straight into an ankle lock! Martinez managed to crawl to the center of the ring and roll through to kick him off. Martinez charged, but Gresham low bridged him to the floor. Martinez tried to land on his feet, but his knee gave. Gresham then built up for a big tope, but Martinez caught him and lifted him in a massive Last Ride powerbomb onto the apron, with Gresham crossing himself in mid-air for good measure! Martinez then threw him in the ring and nailed him with Burning Hammer, which Riccaboni called the Psycho Driver, for the three count.

Winner: Martinez via pinfall

Afterwards, Martinez then set Gresham up for the chokeslam, but Jay White was there to make the save. They traded rights and Martinez grabbed him by the throat, but Gresham kicked him in the knee to break it. Gresham hit him with an enziguri and White laid him out with the classic Urange suplex.

They hype up the six-man main event for the night and Riccaboni mentions it was originally supposed to be for the Six Man Titles, but Bully Ray and the Briscoes were upset by Dalton Castle and The Boys at Best In The World. They then showed backstage footage for BITW, where an unnamed female voice asked Bully how he felt about the lost. Bully didn’t respond, but instead went towards the back and you could hear the Briscoes arguing about who caused the lost. Bully broke it up and said it was Jay’s fault, as Mark alleged, but Mark was also the one who got pinned. Bully said that they were both so concerned with themselves that they forgot about the team. Bully said they win together and tonight, they lost together. Damn, can that man cut a promo.

BFC, Mandy Leon was trying to promote the special Women of Honor episode of the show, coming up in two weeks, when she was interrupted by Silas Young, who said no one cared about women’s wrestling. What a heel. He then made Leon hold a modified sign that said that the “Golden Boy” Jay Lethal had been out of action for 22 Days since Young injured him. Young left, and Leon finished the promo.

They showed when Cheeseburger’s partner, Will Ferrera, turned on him at Chicago Ridge, nailing him with a low blow.

The Tempura Boyz (Sho& Yo) vs. Cheeseburger and Joey Diesel Daddiego

The Tempura Boyz are former New Japan young boys are their foreign excursion, where the company sends them overseas to gain experiences after their time in the dojo. During the Code of Honor, they teams are shouting at each other Japanese, as Riccaboni puts over how well these guys know each other and laments Ferrera’s absence. The Japanese start the match with kicks to the gut, and quickly throw Burger to the outside. They try to whip Daddiego into a double clothesline, but he runs throw it and lays them out with a double clothesline. He catches them both with clothesline in the corners and yells “BEEF” before throwing one with a fallaway slam. Don’t know which one is Sho and which one is Yo. Burger comes in and picks up the other one for a slam, but he instead passes him to his partner, who launches him with a reverse fallaway slam for a two count.

They try to set up a double team on Yo, but he spins out and catches Daddiego with a dropkick and Burger with a Codebreaker, and Sho comes from behind with a Lungblower. They whip Burger into a double Japanese armdrag, Sho hit a round kick, and Yo follows up with a standing moonsault for a two count. Sho tags in and hit some forearms in the corner, then whips him into a knee to the gut. He nails Daddiego, then slams him into Sho’s boot. The Tempura Boyz are looking for a big double team, but Burger catches Sho with a hurricanrana and presses Yo off the top into Sho. Burger then leaps over to tag Daddiego, who cleans house with clotheslines and right hands before tagging Burger in. They hit a battering ram on Sho and Daddiego hits a spear on Yo. Burger loads up looking for the Shotei Palm Strike, but Sho ducks it and hit a superkick and goes for a pumphandle, but Burger escapes, ducks a clothesline and nails the Shotei! Burger covers for the three count while Daddiego holds Sho.

Winner: Cheeseburger and Daddiego via pinfall

Afterwards, two female fans in Cheeseburger shirts and hats came out and starting hugging him and they pick him up like they are gonna take him away, before security comes and breaks it up. Daddiego laughs about and goes to the back while Burger stands and laughs, but then one of the security guards nails him from behind. He takes his sunglasses, hat, and a fake beard to reveal himself as Will Ferrera. Ferrera beats Burger down and takes his shirt off and starts choking him with it, dragging him around him it before Daddiego runs back out to make the save, chasing Ferrera across the arena.

They announce a massive main event for next week, as Jay White will challenge Kushida for the ROH World Television Title.

But now it’s time for a massive main event this week.

The Young Bucks and Hangman Page vs. Bully Ray and The Briscoes

Jay Briscoe and Page start the bout and Riccaboni puts over their rivalry earlier in the year. The two jaw at each other and start trading forearms. Page tries to get running start, but Jay catches him with a hurricanrana and a Yakuza Kick. Jay tags in Mark and starts firing forearms and goes for a whip, but Page cut him off with a forearm and tags in Matt Jackson, who comes off the top right into an Exploder suplex by Mark. Jay tags in and the Briscoes hit a drop down/ back elbow combo. Jay hits a chop and Mark nails Matt with a forearm. They come in looking a double suplex, but Nick Jackson enters to save his brother, and hit stereo kicks to the gut, before Matt assists Nick into a springboard crossbody on the Briscoes. The Bucks whip Jay into a double hiptoss, then cartwheel into a double basement dropkick. Commercial Break.

BFC, Bully Ray has tagged in and the Jacksons discuss whose gonna go at the big guy. It’s crazy ass Matt Jackson that goes face to face with the former World Champion. Matt nails him with a weak blow to the chest that Bully sells like a bug landing on him. Matt then dares Bully to chop him in the chest and when Bully licks his hand and rears back, Matt Too Sweets him in the eye. Matt then gets a running start for a second eye poke. Matt gets a running start again, but this time Bully catches him with a backdrop and chops him across the chest. Nick comes in and eats a hiptoss and a chop to the chest for him too. Bully lights them up with jabs at the same time and goes for the flip, flop, and fly, but instead yells “Suck It” and pokes both Bucks in the eye. Bully gets a running start, but the Bucks cut him off with a double superkick! The Briscoes come in, but Matt hoists Nick into a double dropkick, taking out both of them.

Page comes in and the Bullet Club kneels down to set up a big triple dive, but the faces trip them and pull to them floor. Jay runs in and hits a nice tope to take out all three of the BC. Mark then goes up and hit a moonsault press of the top rope! The fans starting chanting “Dive” as Bully goes in the ring and knees down to set up. Page tries to cut him off with his slingshot somersault lariat, but Bully blocks it and hits him with the Full Nelson Bully Bomb, but the Bucks were ready to take out the seated Bully with a double superkick! Nick hit a tope on Jay and Matt hit a slingshot tope con hilo on Mark. The Bucks get Bully in the corner and start pounding on him. Matt hits a top rope double axhandle on the back of him and wrings the arm before tagging in Page to come in and work him over. Page actually gets beeped for something he said. Matt tags in and slams his head into the buckle. Bully avoids a Matt charge, but eats a enziguri/enziguri/dropkick sandwich, then a double suplex from Matt and Page. Final commercial break.

BFC, Matt and Page are opening Bully’s legs, Dudleyz style, as Nick was climbing the ropes. But Bully managed to roll through and kick them off and caught Nick coming off the top rope with a cutter out of nowhere! Bully makes the hot tag to Mark, who comes in lighting everyone with chops. He hits Matt with an enziguri and Page tries to cut him off, but Mark catches with a flying clothesline and a Fisherman’s Buster on Nick for a two count. Jay comes in and they start lighting up Page with jabs and rights until Jay nails him with a clothesline, then hits a neckbreaker on Matt. The Briscoes hit a crucifix powerbomb/neckbreaker combo on Nick, then have all three BC members piled in the corner. Bully then goes for an avalanche on all three men, but the Bucks pull ref Todd Sinclair in to take the blow! The Bucks get tossed to the outside and they hit the 3D on Page! Another ref slides in to make the count, but the Bucks pull him out at two. Bully and Mark try to go after them and the Bucks try to cut them off with superkicks, but they duck and ref Paul Turner takes both feet. Mark then catches up with Nick while Bully lays in on Matt. Meanwhile, Jay has Page set up for the Jay Driller, but Marty Scrull comes in and breaks the umbrella across Jay’s back! Page covers in and Sinclair wakes up to count the pin.

Winner: Bullet Club via pinfall

After the match, the Club celebrates as Matt collects the belts. Bully Ray looks on in disbelief. Jay is pissed he took a rare pin, and Mark is more incensed. It’s Mark that starts attacking security at ringside and Jay joins in. Bully Ray just stands around as it gets done. They hype next week’s massive main event and that’s how the show ends.

Frank’s Take: Another fun little episode of the show. ROH, like NXT, is at its best when it feels like a one hour edition of old NWA or UWF television. This is one of those episodes. The Punishment Martinez/Jonathan Gresham episode is one of the unique matches I’ve seen a long time. In a big man/little man match genre that is SO PLAYED OUT, they found a way to do some original stuff. I loved that match. Jay White…well. I don’t know if he’s going to go back to New Japan at some point, but if not, he should be ROH World Champion by years end. I am dead serious when I say he’s the best babyface I’ve ever seen. The main event was fun and I like that they are doing something different with the Briscoes and Bully. I feel very interested in where that story is going. Otherwise, a fun little episode. Oh, and if anyone has a take on what the hell Cody meant with the steroid free comment…hit me up.

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