A Great Alternative: ROH TV 7-25-15

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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 7-25-2015

We are still in Terminal 5 and I’ve decided to eat a vat of Red Velvet Ice Cream! The trend isn’t dead for me!!! The Kingdom makes their way down to ringside and we get a recap of Adam Cole shaking Kyle O’Reilly’s hand from a few weeks ago. This seemed to upset Maria to no end which seems unreasonable until you realize that she used to sleep with Santino Marella.

How many Divas have seen this face over them?
How many Divas have seen this face over them?

Match #1 The Kingdom Vs. Hollis/Grisham

Todd Grisham? Hollis Mason from the graphic novel Watchmen??? Nope the crowd chants “let’s go jobbers!” to clear that one up for me. If there’s one thing the original Night Owl is not, it’s a jobber. Unless you count him jobbing to that gang that came over and beat him to death. He did the J-O-B to internal bleeding and lung failure.

Hollis don't lay down for nobody!
Hollis don’t lay down for nobody!

Kingdom still wearing the NJPW Tag team titles, exposing that this match was taped over a month ago. Hollis and Grisham are very, very small and the Kingdom barely have to lift their legs to kick them in the face to start the match. Steve Corino laments that fact that he and Kevin don’t have announcer jackets to compliment the Kingdom’s great getup. When I was twenty two friends and I wanted to get matching Bukkake track suits, and in hindsight I’m extremely happy we were too cheap to buy them. I’m also confused as to how I was happy to by number eleven in the chain.

The Kingdom punishes the jobbers for having the gall to earn a pay check while Maria lambasts Kevin on commentary. She claims that “He’s wrong a lot,” much to my favourite play by play man’s chagrin. Maria’s pretty great on the mic here. Her voice is confident and she doesn’t miss a beat out there with Corino and Kelly. A far cry from the idiot she played in WWE, who, by the way, was banging Santino Marella. Todd Grisham nails a pretty sweet rebound German suplex on Bennett but is swiftly kicked in the face by Taven before taking a Hail Mary spike piledriver for the win. It was a squash match but it was fun. What a great character Maria has become here. Easily one of the best valets going today. Are we still allowed to call them valets or are we too close to 9/11?

There's not one picture of these two looking unhappy with one another...Yay Love?
There’s not one picture of these two looking unhappy with one another…Yay Love?

Match #2 – Caprice Coleman Vs. Brutal Bob Evans Vs. Silas Young Vs. Cheeseburger Vs. Moose Vs. Dalton Castle

Six way madness!!! Kevin bothers to explain the rules which is a hell of a lot more than the people at TNA do for you. Did you know that Brutal Bob is also known as “Bitter” bob according to Steve? Also since his breakup with Cheeseburger he’s “gone vegetarian?” You know for a man who complained about puns a few weeks ago he’s making quite the about face here. Shame on you sir.

Prince Nana is also here on commentary which will surely enhance the laughter factor about ten fold for me. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out the clearly pained/fearful expressions on The Boys’ faces as Dalton touches them while he disrobes. Prince Nana right off the top lets out a very unconfident, “Boy… this is a crazy cast of characters,” which confirms my suspicious that this is going to be great. The match starts with no one wanting to fight the other guy so they tag in and out until we end up with Silas Young against Cheeseburger. Corino puts over Cheeseburger by saying, “He’s a Big Mac full of heart and a whopper of a kid!” Damnit Steven! Come on! Cheeseburger rolls around the ring until Silas has had enough and just picks him up, pulls up his shirt and rakes his back with all the ferocity of a man who’s spend an hour raking his lawn only to have the wind fuck his shit up. Silas and Coleman then get together and have a nice little sequence before we go to break.

We’re back with Moose mounting his mighty offence on Silas. Everybody decides to do their leaps to the outside and we’re left with Dalton Castle in the ring. He runs the ropes as the boys “CAW” for him hoping deep down that he has learned to be a little more gentle than the night before. Silas jumps in and pounds away on Castle in what can only be described as a hate crime. Castle tries for a sunset flip with the boys trying to push Young over with their fans. This of course enrages “The Last Real Man,” as he attacks said boys while Corino exclaims, “Why does he keep beating these kids up???” ROH should run an angle where if Silas loses to Castle he has to attend a Pride parade. Perhaps then when he sees the adulation his moustache will receive he’ll finally learn about tolerance. And maybe true love!!!

" Did you see Richard Gere in Chicago? Amaaaazing!"
” Did you see Richard Gere in Chicago? Amaaaazing!”

Did I mention that Prince Nana LOVES Moose? Did I mention that I’m not sure he knows who anyone else is in the promotion? He can’t even remember Veda Scott’s name when questioned about their angle together. I love Prince Nana, the voice, the cluelessness and the fact that he’s playing an African Prince in 2015 all work for me. Man he would make the best stable head of the all racist gimmick team. Like if he could be at the head of the team of Akeem, Saba Simba, R-Truth and the Nation of Domination I think it would set the world on fire. “Prince Nana is the boss, mistakin’ names and playin’ games, you better watch your mouth or he’ll put yo ass in chains!”

Moose is about to jump on some guys until Silas Young punches him in the face eliciting a “What a bad man,” from Steve. Truly wrestling at its purest form. Now everyone is in and it’s all happening way too fast for me to write down. Silas hits a fantastic backbreaker/clothesline combo on Castle which I sincerely isn’t called a basher of any type. Castle recovers shortly after to nail a dead lift German on Moose which is so impressive I picture his antlers shattering on impact. How will he find a mate now?

This ref better do something!” Yells an animated Nana who continues to add wisdom to the match. It comes down to Moose spearing the shit out of Bitter Brutal Bob Evans for the three count which brings as much joy to Nana’s heart as when Simba finally takes back the kingdom from Scar. I’ve got to say the combination of the fast paced action, Steve Corino and Prince Nana made this quite enjoyable for me. For a moment I forgot about the rapid and horrible rape the Boys are about to receive.

THIS guy said "What a crazy cast of characters." THIS guy.
THIS guy said “What a crazy cast of characters.” THIS guy.

BJ Whitmer is in the ring and boy do the fans hate this asshole. He’s boasting about the fans getting to see the maturation of a young boy right before their eyes. A young boy who has more heart than anyone in the locker room and anyone sitting at ringside. There’s a huge “shut the fuck up” chant happening, and Steve is just beside himself trying to contain his rage. BJ puts over Colby Corino’s murders at the hands of Moose and War Machine as some sort of moral victories. Now both Kevin and Steve are protesting that the boy isn’t ready. No matter to BJ though as he tells the world he now looks at Colby as a son. “Are you serious BJ??” Yells Corino, but the aforementioned Blow Job continues hoping that Colby, “Sees him as the father he never had.” Kevin is now pretty livid as he yells, “DAMNIT STOP IT!” BJ’s not done though as he has a gift for Colby. He brings out four huge guys to beat the shit out of Colby under the guise of a gauntlet match. Steve is just done at ringside, his head buried in his hands, understanding the beating his son is about to take.

As Colby stretches for his challenge finally Steve Corino gets up and hits the ring. BJ jumps down his throat with, “ Oh now you decide to step up?? You think stepping up now is going to make up for you abandoning this kid? Tell me: how long until you abandon that pretty little wife of yours and your baby son?” JESUS CHRIST. Steve’s had enough and is taking off his clothes to get a piece of Whitmer. That sounds way less cool than it looked o TV. The refs and Nigel are out to break this up while BJ taints Corino and begs him to hit him.

ROH PURE asshole champion.
ROH PURE asshole champion.

What a great heel segment. BJ Whitmer is just killing it with these lately and this one was the best of the bunch. Normally I’d be against announcers getting into feuds but this one has been done so well that I feel we’re probably headed to some sort of bloody blow off where BJ gets the beating he so greatly deserves. Seriously great promo here.

nside ROH with Mandy Leon! This week we’re looking at Okada, Nakamura and KUSHIDA. We get highlights of their wrestling moves in lieu of their poses which is foreign to me after years of WWE hypnosis. They do a pretty solid job of promoting Field of Honor which is something they should have been doing for weeks now. I’m a little surprised they didn’t tell us who they were each fighting at the show but maybe they’re attempting to draw this thing out a bit. Good little segment here and I’m really glad they’re starting to use their show to push Field of Honor more. With the WWE being dicks and trying to bury their show ROH needs to be proactive like this. Sure, you can make the argument that WWE is just doing business and all’s fair and such but you can’t deny it’s a dick move. It’s also a dumb move. If they put companies like ROH out of business their own roster is going to be filled with way more Baron Corbins and Mojo Rawleys than Kevin Owens and Sami Zayns.

Match #3 – Bobby Fish vs. ACH

Corino is now in the back so Nigel McGuinness joins us for color now. I dig Nigel as a commentator but I always feel like I’m watching an F1 race when I hear his voice. Fish starts off with some solid mat wrestling but ACH is quickly flipping around the ring and hitting him with dropkicks. Nigel wonders aloud in my head if ACH is on a one or two stop strategy. ACH nails a sweet tornado suplex before getting #gutted in the tummy with a European uppercut. (At the European Grand Prix Kevin!) ACH then tries to jump on Fish but the aquatic one simply moves as ACH crashes to the ground.

WWE would make him a Vaudevillain.
WWE would make him a Vaudevillain.

Back from break Nigel points out that Fish (Schumacher) started working the abdomen and is still working on it. The two racers do a kick sequence followed by Fish attempting a cross body only to have ACH steal Trish Stratus` Matrix dodge. No slight on Stratus by ACH almost made me believe the conspiracy theories that we are in fact in the matrix and that Keeanu Reeves is overtaking Lewis Hamilton as we speak!

ACH hurts his foot and Fish is all over it like goldfish on fish food. Or like turtles on goldfish. Or like Nigel Mansel on Vicki Guerrero. ACH misses a kick to the face but plants Fish on the second try. He goes up for a 450 splash but lands on Fish’s knees in the stiffest way possible. It looked like the knees just stopped him in his tracks and jacked his jaw. Fish rolls him up for a two count before continuing to work the leg. ACH tries for his kicks again but Fish has learned from two minutes ago and easily evades. I love stuff like that when guys adapt to each other during the match. Fish cinches in an ankle lock, but ACH rolls him up nicely with a bridge for another two count.

ACH perches Senna on the top rope but gets trapped up there before falling to a top rope Falcon’s Arrow for the three count. Nice little win by Fish. Nigel goes on to mention that Fish is the veteran who worked a body part on his way to victory. Which adds almost as much legitimacy to the match as the handshake, hug and spraying each other with wine celebration that Fish and ACH share.

Next week we get Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly and War Machine taking on the Young Bucks. That sounds like a hell of a show.

Best Match: Bobby Fish Vs. ACH
Worst Match: The Kingdom Vs. Night Owl/Friend
Best Promo/Skit: BJ Whitmer is a heelish God.
Worst Promo/Skit: None
MVP: BJ Whitmer

What Worked Really Well

– BJ Whitmer cut the best promo I’ve ever seen him cut.

– All the matches were entertaining and treated like sport.

– The Commentary was on point while being entertaining.

– Everyone wrestler is promoted as legitimate,

What Sort Of Works

– I’m not the biggest fan of jobber matches but I get what they were going for here.

What Didn’t Work

– I always hated Jacques Villeneuve despite being Canadian. There was just too much reliance on the car being great as opposed to being a legit great driver like Schumacher.

So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?

It’s a quick hour of good to great wrestling that was very fun to watch this week. Were there any match of the year nominees? No. But I never felt like my intelligence was being insulted and I got to pretend I was watching an F1 race. Wait. I don’t even like F1. I did like this show though. Go watch it.

Thanks for reading! See ya next week!

In The meantime if you like my stuff please follow me on Twitter @aarondgeorge.

If you hate my stuff please come yell at me on Twitter @aarondgeorge, I promise I’ll yell back.

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.