Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 1/6/16: Welcome To The Fish Tank
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Welcome To The Fish Tank
– Coming out of Final Battle, one of the primary developments was the attitude change of ROH World Television Champion Roderick Strong, pulling an Undertaker 2015 by tapping out of an opponent’s submission maneuver out of the Referee’s view to get him to break the hold before taking advantage. The opponent in this case was Bobby Fish and they wasted no time revisiting that moment, but not before a good opener that saw Strong defend his Title in the latest chapter of “Roddy Versus The World” against Philadelphia’s own Stevie Richards. Richards didn’t show an ounce of aging and hung in there to show a respectable effort by ROH standards, but could only go so far. Strong unleashed a wicked chop in the match that actually left a dark mark on Richards’ chest, which only set the pace to come, despite some nice near-falls. Strong teased some heel tendencies before putting Richards to rest with his running knee strike to retain. The “Fish Tank” segment that followed with a suit-clad Fish, a table and two comfy looking chairs was a stage to have Fish show photographic evidence of Strong tapping out at Final Battle to warrant him another shot. Strong went deeper into heel mode, telling the crowd to shut up and denied any wrongdoings, which will likely lead to a rematch at one of these next TV shows we can assume. We do like the new twist on Strong’s character, as it keeps him from becoming a stale babyface.
– Will Ferrara and Caprice Coleman continued to amp up their personalities to impress one Prince Nana presumably as they did battle in a No Disqualification match, stemming from two weeks ago when their match was thrown out due to simultaneous weapon use. We feel like Coleman’s getting the better of this storyline, as a more cocky personality fits him more as we saw with his pre-match promo and how he basically abused ROH’s ringside officials, but Ferrara’s also making a name for himself with a riskier in-ring style. The action was decent as you’d expect, carrying the overall “amped up” theme and ended appropriately with a Sky Splitter that put Ferrara through a table. Nana came out celebrating, but that’s neither here nor there. We still think he’s out to build a new Embassy.
– There’s only so far you can go with the storyline of a heel manager clamoring over a settlement on a lawsuit she filed against the company for unsafe working conditions with her client, such is the case with Veda Scott and Cedric Alexander. Luckily, the transition to a new storyline was carried well thanks to an upset victory when Jonathan Gresham pinned Alexander in a surprise roll-up after it looked like the heel would win in a squash style. Gresham had put in enough offense for it to be believable anyways, but this was the better story to tell since it gave Alexander a new goal and it’s always fun to watch Scott freak out with her over-the-top facial expressions. Gresham has something there for sure and 2016 could be a breakout for him if he continues to get backed like this.
– Given that “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin was challenging ROH World Champion Jay Lethal days later (at the time) for the Title at the Tokyo Dome in Japan at Wrestle Kingdom 10, the main event that pitted him against one of Lethal’s allies, Donovan Dijak made sense in context for this bout. The idea was to sell Elgin as a credible threat to Lethal and while in our hearts, we just couldn’t see Lethal losing the Title to Elgin of all people, they sold the possibility well. We even liked the little stuff that developed, like Jerry Lynn confronting Lethal on commentary saying he was proven wrong and Lethal was the better man, which Lethal used to put himself over while the match went on, even mentioning Elgin as a powerhouse of sorts, but powerhouses couldn’t beat complete packages. Funny moment in there also with Truth Martini transitioning from an attack behind the Referee’s back to a makeshift spin-a-roonie when he got caught. The back-and-forth was decent but as we said, this was the time to sell Elgin and that’s how it happened, as he got the pinfall in convincing fashion, with the staredown with him and Lethal the perfect way to end things.
- ROH World Television Championship – Roderick Strong (Champion) def. Stevie Richards via pinfall to retain
- No Disqualification Match – Caprice Coleman def. Will Ferrara via pinfall
- Jonathan Gresham def. Cedric Alexander (w/Veda Scott) via pinfall
- “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin def. Donovan Dijak (w/Truth Martini) via pinfall
Posted on January 11, 2016, in ROH and tagged Bobby Fish, Caprice Coleman, Cedric Alexander, Donovan Dijak, Jay Lethal, Jerry Lynn, Jonathan Gresham, Kevin Kelly, Michael Elgin, Mr. Wrestling #3, Prince Nana, Roderick Strong, Stevie Richards, Truth Martini, Veda Scott, Will Ferrara. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.