A Great Alternative: ROH TV 7-11-15

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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 7-11-2015

TONIGHT live from Terminal Five in NYC Jay Lethal defends his Television Title against Mark Briscoe. Do trains still pass through this station? Is it next door? Above? Below? Does no one care as deeply as I as to the logistics or the NYC transit system?

Choo-Choo!!!
Choo-Choo!!!

Match #1 – Adam Page vs. Matt Sydal

You know you have a good heel on your hands when you look just as dickish in your street clothes as you do when you’re wearing your tiny pink tights. BJ Whitmer, I salute you. Why is Matt Sydal always so happy? Not that I mind but I’d love a little of what he’s having when I have to sit down and watch Impact Wresting every week. Is it the synthetic marijuana? Does he just have a great family that he loves? Is he nailing┬áCastle’s boys? TELL ME YOUR SECRET MATT! In all seriousness the bun slash beard combination is disturbing and I’d like to never see it again. Speaking of disturbing Adam Page is making Colby Corino do everything for him. Lifts his knees pads clans the ropes, presumably cuts his eggs, EVERYTHING. Steve Corino even tells us that Adam Page made Colby watch him sleep! What’s going on here? I don’t want to feel this upset on an emotional level when I sit down to watch wrestling.

SPIDERS!!!
SPIDERS!!!

These two start off strong. Sydal hits some sweet arm drags and faster than the WWE could say “I regret letting this guy go,” also hits him with one of the tightest ranas in the business. Page flees to the outside and the comfort of Colby’s arms so Sydal decides to just up and kick the new boy in the face. OUCHY! Page then hits his shooting star flip from the apron to slow the match down a bit. I’m not sure how I feel about that particular move. It looks absolutely phenomenal but what part of Page’s body is actually supposed to be making contact with his opponent. Is it his head? Because that’s what it always looks like from where I’m sitting. Seems like an awful lot of trouble and risk to go through just to head butt someone in the chest. Perhaps thought the velocity his body creates enough force to stop one’s heart? I feel like I’m stretching here as I genuinely like Adam Page. I guess the decent thing to do would have been to not call attention to it at all. Nah.

We’re back from break and Kevin Kelly informs us that Sydal has not been able to get out from beneath Page’s relentless attack. Sydal though kicks Page a bunch of times before driving his face into the mat with a double knee for a two count. Great back and forth action that prods Corino to add, “This is the type of action you get each week on ROH.” The thing is when he says it, it has credibility as it’s built on weeks and weeks of great television. Sydal then hits his sweet standing moonsault. Man the WWE missed the boat with this guy. Seriously the best you could do was a tag team with perpetual jobber Kofi Kingston? Nothing personal against Kofi but he’s in the same position in the company FOUR YEARS LATER!

SOS! I Hear dem shoutin'!
SOS! I Hear dem shoutin’!

Corino picks up all the small details on commentary. He subtly notices stuff like that BJ and Colby are on opposite sides of the ring and it could spell trouble. Those were the kind of moments I loved about commentary in the eighties, stiff like Gorilla noticing that The Brain had his hands in his pockets. Corino’s a great throwback. Adam Page takes control of the match with a backbreaker and AGAIN you’re going to think this is a Steve Corino fluff piece but he points out that Sydal won’t be able to get his full rotation for his shooting star press. So take that guy on Twitter who called me dogshit for liking Kevin and Steve!

Page hits his great “Insider” Clothesline for another close two. Sydal fights back though with a jumping knee followed by the shooting star press for the pin and win. Really solid match to start the show off right. Whitmer, who’s clearly gunning for the prick of the year award, jumps Sydal after the bell. He demands Colby get him a chair much to the chagrin of a certain disappointed father at ringside. ACH comes out for the save but decides to attack page instead of stopping BJ. I look down to write some notes and when I look up there’s a bunch of chairs in the ring. That’s going above and beyond Colby. BJ grounds ACH and makes him watch Page destroy his friend Sydal with the “Rite of Passage” on a pile of chairs. The Decade leaves to a chorus of boos while ACH and all the officials check on his fallen friend. I’m really digging the heel work from the Decade here, great old school stuff. See you’d think Steve Corino would appreciate it, but instead he’s letting his failure as a parent cloud his judgment.

We get a quick rundown of the card at this month’s Death Before Dishonor. So far it’s Jay Lethal versus Roderick Strong for the ROH title, a four corners survival match for the tag titles between The Addiction, ReDRagon, The Kingdom and War Machine, ACH gets Adam Page in a no DQ match and Cedric Alexander goes one on one with Moose. Looks like a pretty decent little card they have planned. I’ll say this those three teams better team the fuck out of War Machine if they have any hope of surviving the night. I know in wrestling we’re supposed to accept that smaller guys can beat bigger guys but COME ON! Look at those two War Machine monsters. Does anyone in Earth have the power to stop them from taking what they want? If they want you to have a tea party with them, sit down drink the tea and be grateful that you can walk straight in the morning.

Do you take cream? You do now...
Do you take cream? You do now…

Veda Scott joins us OUT OF NOWHERE and grabs the microphone. Kevin is particularly angered by her presence, as he chastises her for chasing ambulances. I hope he hates Clarence Mason just a much. Otherwise the chants of “sexist” will rain down on him with the cumulative force of Isengard. If Isengard was defended behind keyboards because Thor forbid we tell people to their faces what we actually think of them. Veda chants Moose at the audience before stating, “Moose you tried to be a successful football player and you failed. You tried to be a successful wrestler and well… Cedric Alexander put a wrench in that plan.” This elicits a ” I hate puns!” from Steve and I can’t help but agree. Why do we tolerate them? How many days even live have been ruined by the lowest form of comedy imaginable? You know what killed Dino Bravo? Puns. A perfect circle of puns to the back of his head. Wow this got dark fast. See what puns do!!!

I smuggled cigarettes and I got SMOKED!
I smuggled cigarettes and I got SMOKED!

Veda continues by saying that she’s going to teach Moose that potential and famous friends don’t win matches, the guidance of Veda Scott wins matches. She closes with, ” Cedric Alexander will take everything that you didn’t deserve.” Strong promo from Scott here, which probably had more conviction in it than any diva promo on WWE TV…ever? I also dig the pairing of Veda and Cedric, Moose didn’t need two managers and Alexander was in desperate need of a new direction. Kevin cannot contain his contempt for lawyers any more as he lashes out at Veda. Perhaps the years of being labeled a hermaphrodite by the Rock, suddenly came rushing back in a violent rage. (Jim Ross font) Just get him away from the damn lawyers! She’s a jezebel kaannnnng!

Yes! Angry ass Silas Young is making his way out. Why is he always so upset. It’s not like we have YEARS of television footage of him being bullied by a guy talking in the third person like Kevin. I feel like ROH is quickly becoming a safe haven for damaged men. Gender confusion? #watchROH. Your son has joined your worst enemy in a crusade against you? #watchROH. You spend all your time with chickens? #watchROH. You’re a living, breathing peacock? #watchROH. I just hope Silas gets what he wants out of life. That being said I absolutely LOVE this character because he’s such a great throwback. He almost gets in a fight with a skinny fan to further prove my point. I just want to see him hurt people.

My parents never let me have a turtle!!!
My parents never let me have a turtle!!!

Match #2 Silas Young vs. Will Ferrara

Will Ferarra is dead. Steve tries to warm him by stating that Silas is as miserable as cat poop but is as tough as they come. Take it from me, the guy who cleaned cat poop off his couch this morning, it’s fucking miserable. Ferrara wrenches Young’s arm to start and then pauses to yell, “New York!” I really hope Silas fucking kills this guy for attempting the cheapest of heats. He should probably be a little more concerned about the angriest man who ever lived lifting him up with one arm and slamming him to the mat to break said arm lock. Silas screams something to the effect of “My father never loved me, ” and proceeds to stomp the shit out of Ferrara.

These two work quite well together. Silas is the brutal asshole and Ferrara is smooth as cat shit and he calmly transitions from move to move in an attempt to knock the closeted man to the mat. Ferrara hits a smooth tornado DDT, but Silas bounces back with a stiff DDT in the corner… oh man Steve Austin is gonna be pissed! Silas finally takes total control of the match but “The Boys” hit the ring following their backstage rape to distract the last real man in wrestling. Or maybe they’re there to admire his moustache. Fuck it, Rick Rude has risen from the grave to admire that thing. Ferrara uses that distraction to roll up Silas for the three count. Ferrara escapes with his life. The same can’t be said for the boys though as Silas thoroughly destroys them both. Good. I like the match but hate that finish. It’s really not fair to ROH that the WWE has driven that finish into the ground so many times that when ROH does it once in the entire time I’ve been watching it’s disappoints me. I have no issue with moving forward on the Dalton Castle feud for Silas though. Think about this: if they were doing this feud in WWE Silas would eventually fall for Castle and the results would be Vince McMahon hilarious!!! Here they just wrestle like men.

Inside ROH with Mandy Leon. We get a recap of the feud between Cedric Alexander and Moose. I LOVE the fact that they’re putting this much time and effort into a feud with two lower card guys. Cedric’s original turn was well handled, blasting Moose with a wrench in Philadelphia and Veda plays the Bobby Heenan slapping Andre the Giant role surprisingly well. I liked this segment. I do wish that Mandy Leon was a little more comfortable on camera and in her delivery. She looks like an “Exotic Goddess” but doesn’t act like one yet. I hope for her it comes with time.

Weekly Mandy Leon picture.
Weekly Mandy Leon picture.

Match #3 – Jay Lethal (c) vs. Mark Briscoe – ROH Television Title

Jay Lethal makes his way to the ring to the sound of simple applause which is awesome. Bobby Cruise has a great ring introduction as he introduces Lethal as, ” The Reigning ROH World Heavyweight Champion and the DEFENDING Ring of Honor Television champion.” I get it’s a small thing but I admire the attention to detail. This is exactly the right type of match to put Jay Lethal in following his big win. Mark Briscoe can go and these two tear it up early. Martini and Lethal try to bash Mark with the Book of Truth (The Davinci Code) and ODB comes out and makes the save. Mark takes controls with karate chops until Jay Diesel runs in to attempt to get Lethal disqualified. Mark cuts him off though before Diesel can get any offence in and tosses him from the ring. If he doesn’t touch Briscoe the ref can’t disqualify him shout our brazen commentators.

They work a front face lock spot where Mark keeps slipping out of Lethal’s clutches just enough to get the crowd cheering before Lethal locks it back in. Great, simple professional wrestling. The two guys start hitting their big moves: Mark nails a sweet fisherman buster, while Lethal crushes him with a super kick. The champ goes for “Lethal Injection” but is caught and release German suplexed for his trouble trouble trouble trouble trouble trouble trouble. Lethal s clothesline from the ring and Mark follows up with a dropkick between the ropes . WE HAVE TO GO TO BREAK!!! Screams Kevin.

Just let it go Kevin...
Just let it go Kevin…

WE’RE BACK WITH THIS WORLD TELEVISION TITLE MATCH! Again I know it’s a simple thing but Kevin Kelly matching the intensity with which he led us into break coming back from the break only makes the match feel more exciting. Donovan Dijak is out! He tries to get at Mark but Jay Briscoe stops him dead in his DiTracks. (There goes your day!) Lethal suddenly jumps through he ropes at ODB and while everyone stops to make sure she’s all right, little daddy cool sneaks in and low blows Mark Briscoe. One “Lethal Injection” (of puns) later and the match is over. Solid defense from the champ.

Lethal continues to beat down Mark after the match, which draws the ire of his rageoholic brother Jay. A slugfest ensues until the House of Truth jumps in and beats down the angrier Briscoe. (perhaps he spends less time with the chickens?) This all goes on until Roderick Strong, who’s been on commentary the whole time makes the save. That’s how non descript his commentary was, I had literally forgotten he was there until I had to think about how he got to the ring so fast. This from a guy who marks out for two guys talking about Melvin the Flight Attendant while a man is getting a beating. Roddy wants a six man tag next week. ODB wants a piece of Truth Martini so they make it eight on eight for next week. With that we are out of here! Let\s go clean some more shit! I think my cats are really sick guys…

Geez, I'd hate Melvin too.
Geez, I’d hate Melvin too.

Best Match: Jay Lethal Vs. Mark Briscoe
Worst Match: I guess Silas versus Ferrara for the finish alone.
Best Promo/Skit: Veda Scott now hates Moose
Worst Promo/Skit: None
MVP: Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino

What Worked Really Well

– Every match is good and has a solid story behind it.

– The whole night is presented as an athletic event.

– The commentary is engaging while not distracting.

– NO CODELINE!!!! The witch is dead!!!

– Jay Lethal is a credible champion and I look forward to his defenses.

What Sort Of Works

– Up that confidence Mandy! You can do it!

What Didn’t Work

– I don’t really like the idea of the feud between Jay Briscoe and Jay Lethal not being over. I really love the Jay Briscoe character and the Briscoe’s tag team matches. Singles Jay Briscoe falls a bit flat for me so I’d really like to see him move on. He’s a guy I want to like a lot more than I actually do.

– My cat pooped in my bathtub…. what do I do?

So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?

Because the wrestling is great, the stories are coherent and you never feel like your intelligence is being insulted while you’re watching. Was this the greatest single episode of ROH TV? Nope, but it was still damn solid and a fun way to spend an hour.

Thanks for reading! See ya next week!

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