A Great Alternative: ROH TV 6-27-15

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More wrestling fans need to watch and get behind ROH. It’s the kind of wrestling that makes me excited to be a fan again. It’s not perfect, but it’s consistently the best WRESTLING show on television week to week. One of the best things about this show is you can watch it right here. No excuses anymore!

RING OF HONOR TELEVISION 6-27-2015

Can’t wait to sink my teeth into this one! Coming off a huge pay per view which drastically altered the ROH landscape, I expect nothing less than stellar follow up to what was a stellar show. The intro hits and I start to wonder when they might change it up to reflect the Best in the World results. We are in Philadelphia! I guess they went right back there after New York. And here’s the over dub telling me that there are no new matches and for me to order the pay per view again. Really??? I get the show that aired the night after being taped but they couldn’t get new footage together in a week. You come off a show where you do something exciting and you don’t follow it up for two weeks? Just a disappointing move on all accounts. I was really excited to watch the NJPW/ROH matches that hadn’t been released on the site yet, but now we’re getting highlights of the ones that have. These matches were filmed a month and a half ago, and I’m sure they’re going to be good, but if you’re a new fan tuning in after the PPV is this the kind of follow up you’re looking for?

I'm outraged!
I’m outraged!

Match #1 – The Addiction Vs. Kazuchika Okada & Gedo

Christopher Daniels starts things off by demanding that they be introduced as the “ROH world tag team champions of the world.” Kevin thinks it’s redundant, but I think that’s a bold faced lie sir. You know in your heart it’s awesome. The crowd is REALLY into Okada, and with good reason: he is positively beautiful! Kevin then takes some Okada dollars and attempts to make it rain on Mandy Leon who is sitting at ringside. Steve and Kevin go off about how disgusting he is, I’m just curious what Mandy is doing at ringside besides testing Kevin’s marriage vows.

Keep it together Kevin!
Keep it together Kevin!

Did you know there’s no new action tonight. It’s like a new president getting elected and for the next two weeks instead of hearing him speak we get shown classic debates from years gone by. Kazarian and Gedo work a punching sequence that makes Kazarian look like a fool in the best way possible. Daniels tags in and the crowd screams for Okada. They quickly get him. I’m a little worried though that the bar may have been set too high for Okada in the TV viewer’s mind after watching that six-man from last week. Okada’s such a pro though. Everything he does in ring is crisp and with purpose. “No wasted motion” would shout Michael Cole as I tortured him slowly to the sounds of his own commentary. Okada gets a great patronizing clean break and I start to get over the fact that I watched this match a month ago and begin enjoying it again.

The Addiction, as they are wont to do, get cooking with their sweet double team moves as we learn that Steve Corino tried to buy a pizza with the Okada dollars. Man I really hope if Kevin and Steve come to Canada they don’t go into a Canadian Tire as they’ll be in for a world of embarrassment. I do feel his pain though, I hate when my wife sees pizza on the debit card too. On the intrusive Code Line this week we get to find out who Jushin Liger’s favorite wrestler is. I don’t call because if it’s Cheeseburger, like I expect, I’m going to blow my brains out all over the kitchen table for my family to see.

My funeral.
My funeral.

Annnnnd I’m still not even talking about the match. Okada’s offense is fantastic but this one isn’t really clicking for me. Maybe I’m just in a bad mood. Do you guys think the WWF should have pushed RVD to the top in 2001-2002? I always felt that they missed the boat in making him a huge star. Before you guys all jump down my throat and yell, “he’s a pothead, he can’t be champion!” keep in mind that the champion for most of 2001 was portrayed as an alcoholic. If he can get drunk and presumably drive home after every show why can’t we take a chance on the guy that the crowd is pleading for? Oh wait sorry that’s old news. That’s not why you’re here.

Gedo nails a sweet superkick for a very close two count and The Addiction brilliantly counter the “Rain Maker” before hitting Gedo with their “Celebrity Rehab” for the win. Okada destroys Christopher Daniels after the match to regain the heat he could never possibly lose in Philadelphia. I said earlier it didn’t click for me, but I can totally acknowledge that it was a very good match. I’m not sure it’s the wisest thing to finish last week with Okada in that phenomenal six-man then follow up with this match, but I’m not the guy who gets paid the big bucks to program these shows. I get to sit back and bitch when I don’t get my way. The Addiction are a tremendous team, love watching them work and I dig their characters. Okada is just a stud and he makes every match better simply by being in it. I’m still not sold on Gedo. There I said some nice things (that I meant) about everyone involved. Can I move on now?

What's this doing here?
What’s this doing here?

Match #2 – Adam Page Vs. Takaaki Watanabe

JOINED IN PROGRESS!!! YES!!! Watanabe works a great headlock spot as Steve and Kevin discuss Colby Corino being the New Boy for the Decade. Obviously Colby is and adult and can do as he pleases but I’ll be knackered if Steve isn’t just a wee bit disappointed in his young lass. Watanabe punches Page in the face a bunch of times and follows up with a stiff German suplex which really pops the crowd. Watanabe hits the ropes and he’s tripped by the aforementioned disappointment. This leads to Colby Corino taking one of the sickest German suplexes I’ve ever seen on the floor of the arena. Watanabe is getting the suplex city chants which he complete deserves given his performance. Speaking of performance, I’d wager the best performance I’ve ever done was in a Shakespeare in The Park production of Much Ado Nothing. I was playing Count Claudio and when told that Hero had died due to my actions everything just clicked. The scene became real as I bawled my eyes out. My scene partners became my best friends and the grief was the realest it had ever been. I was as close to the edge of losing control as I possibly could be without going over. For the rest of the run, I felt I did a good job, but I wasn’t able to hit that level of connection again. I guess it was one of the best performances of my life. I still look back on it fondly. Then again it doesn’t really matter how great it was as it has no consequence or bearing on WHAT’S GOING ON RIGHT NOW.

That's me in the middle.
That’s me in the middle.

We’re back from break and Adam Page is in control while Colby Corino miraculously stands of his own volition at ringside. They wrestle over a neck breaker before Watanabe just dumps Page over the top rope. Steve’s call for a disqualification falls on the deaf ears of those of us who are busy laughing at his best running joke. You’re right Steve, it is a DQ IN ANY COUNTRY! Page gets Watanabe on the floor and hits him with a sweet standing shooting star press from the apron which he follows up with a wonderful jumping DDT. The sell job by Watanabe on the DDT is awesome. He plants his head in the ground and just goes limp. I think that’s how the Japanese guys do it. I constantly wonder how they’re not breaking their necks and I think it’s just the fact that they’re taught to go limp upon the impact of moves. No tension equals no injury. Or not. I have no idea, I don’t speak Japanese.

Don't worry, neither do I!
Don’t worry, neither do I!

Page then gets demolished by a suplex from the top before Watanabe hits the ropes, gets kicked by Colby Corino and falls prey to the “Rite of Passage” for the three count. Nice to see Page pick up a win here as the ROH guys in general are the ones on their backs by the end of most of these matches. Steve, again, is great sitting disappointed in silence, seeing his son flaunt his corrupted morals. Morals perhaps learned by watching a young Steve Corino. The circle is now complete.

Match #3 – Jay Briscoe (c) vs. Jay Lethal (c) – ROH World & TV Titles

Man what a match! These two completely tore the house down in New York. The crowd was completely bonkers for the entire match; popping for all the big spots and adding to the killer atmosphere with their dueling chants. The added bonus of seeing both guys’ parents in the front row was a sublime touch in a business that too often veers away from legit sentimentality. The match never really felt like melodrama, but instead a competitive athletic affair where one man was going to be either pinned for the first time in three years or lose a belt he had elevated to world title status. It had all the elements of a perfectly booked feud. Not only did both guys ooze legitimacy but it was very hard to imagine either losing. I can see the criticism that the match may have stated off a bit slow, but the final ten minutes or so is the stuff of legend. The wild crowd is astounded as kick out after kick out happens before their eyes. When the finishing sequence finally happens as much as you don’t want to believe it, you know the match is over. The outpouring of emotion at the end is wrestling magic and it’s easy to see why Kevin Kelly called it the best match he’d ever seen. I wouldn’t go as far to say that or even as far as to actually describe the winner BECAUSE THE WORLD OF RING OF HONOR IS STILL LIVING ON THINGS THEY DID A MONTH AND A HALF AGO.

Borrowed from the Seinfeld Re-Watch.
Borrowed from the Seinfeld Re-Watch.

Actual Match #3 – AJ Styles Vs. Adam Cole

Both guys just have so much star presence but I’d give AJ the edge because he never seems to participate in anything that makes him look stupid. Except for his years in TNA… right? Hahahahahahahaha! The TNA haters will love me now! See??? I made a joke at the expense of a company that’s going out of business! Hahahahahaha! Oh man… so many people are going to lose their jobs. Yes! I’m a heartless prick! Fuck TNA how dare they put on a wrestling show that I can watch for free??? Assholes! Oh and I guarantee, I promise (even though I have no firsthand knowledge) that NO ONE is getting paid! What a shit company! I hope everyone on the roster gets AIDS for having the gall to be on my TV set. LONG LIVE WWE!!!! Now how do I put that in the sarcasm font?

This is just a great match. Check out the ROH website and take the time to watch it. It’s scary how good Adam Cole is at what… 25 years old? He walks and talks like a star and you can’t teach that. Before you say it, yes… I’m aware you read that in an Enzo Amore voice. Fuck I wrote it in that same voice. Screaming on my couch. My cats are now hissing at me. Pffft. Don’t judge me Denny Crane, I wasn’t the one raped two years ago and had to get a cat abortion. I was only the guy who had to Google “cat abortion.” To which Google replied, “Did you mean cat abortions?” Maybe I’m reading too much into this but I felt there was a tone coming back at me.

Here's a pregnant cat!!
Here’s a pregnant cat!!

Lots of action here, I can’t do it justice and that’s why I’m hiding behind the tragedy of my cat’s assault. The end sequence is phenomenal. (BOOM!) AJ busts out this piledriver I’ve never seen before and after crushing him once, just picks him up and hits him again. Then he casually hangs on to Cole’s rotting husk and gives him the Styles Clash for the academic three count. When AJ decides you’re dead…you’re dead. I’m not sure I’ve ever enjoyed someone’s end sequences any more than AJ Styles. After he’s able to get back up (which in itself is a miracle) Cole really wants to shake AJ’s hand, but AJ doesn’t trust that bastard Cole. Who would really? In a rare show of sportsmanship Cole just grabs his hand and shakes it. The same hand he had spit into to start the match. We are out!

Best Match: AJ Styles Vs. Adam Cole
Worst Match: Page vs. Watanabe, only because we didn’t get all of it
Best Promo/Skit: There were no promos this week
Worst Promo/Skit: None
MVP: AJ Styles/Adam Cole

What Worked Really Well

– The main event was awesome.

– The other two matches were both very good depending on your tastes.

– Commentary was engaging while completely supporting the product.

– This show flew by, a very quick and enjoyable watch.

What Sort Of Works

Honestly nothing springs to mind.

What Didn’t Work

– I think I’ve made my thoughts on ROH deciding to air this show rather than follow up on their PPV. Obviously it’s not the fault of the wrestlers in the ring who busted their ass for my enjoyment here, nor is it probably the fault of the bookers who consistently give us concise, interesting storylines. I just think it’s such a big misstep coming off a PPV with such big repercussions. People’s attention spans are short. You only have so much time to get them invested in their product. I think ROH might have dodged a bullet here with these last two weeks because they had the cache of great ROH/NJPW matches to pull from, but they did the same thing following their 13th Anniversary show. I don’t understand the decision and I hope it doesn’t cost them any future viewers.

– I hate tuning into something expecting one thing and getting another. What about you guys?

So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?

This show itself was pretty great. You’re not going to find better action on ANY other wrestling show, save for possibly Cena/Cesaro this week, but let’s face it: that’s probably more of an anomaly than anything else. Do yourself a favor and check this one out. Or just bite the bullet and become a ringside member at ROH.com and watch the whole Global Wars/ War of the Worlds series.

Thanks for reading! See ya next week!

Author: Aaron George

Aaron is a classically trained Shakespearean actor by day who fulfils his culture quotient by watching wrestling by night. He has two sons a great wife and once explored the sewers in his hometown.