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 8-1-2015
Roderick Strong’s handsome face starts us off. He could easily go with Roderick Handsome if he didn’t have such strong features. I promise, I swear on my children’s lives that will be the only pun of the report. He reminds us of what both he and Jay Lethal wanted going into Death Before Dishonor, Jay to be the greatest champion ever and he to be recognized as a champion. They both got a piece of what they wanted but NOTHING WAS SETTLED as they fought to a sixty minute time limit draw. Strong knows he had Lethal beat and demands a rematch! A word on their sixty minute draw: It was pretty great and you should seek it out, if you haven’t seen it yet. I loved, LOVED the ending, where they avoided the clichéd trope of the champ being caught in a submission when the time expired and instead just rang the bell when both guys were down. Such a small detail, but one I was actually hoping for as the match got longer. Also, that was adman fast sixty minutes and both guys should be proud of their effort.
On to the show proper, wait… they’re still in Terminal 5? How many hours did they tape there??? I’m quite looking forward to this week as both announced matches have the potential to be pretty great.
Match #1 War Machine Vs. The Young Bucks
War Machine’s beards are looking quite rigid tonight, which only adds to the fear that they might cripple the Bucks. “Did you get the invite???” Yells an excited Steve Corino. “To what?” Replies a puzzled Kevin Kelly. ‘TO THE SUPERKICK PARTY!!!”
The tale of the tape comes up and it really just doesn’t look fair on any conceivable level. War Machine goes in for the handshake but the Bucks reply with a crotch chop. “Why would you want to anger these men???” I say channelling my inner Bobby Heenan. War Machine, of course, pummels the shit out of the brash Bucks before Ray Rowe press slams Nick Jackson to the outside. Corino celebrates the disqualification that would save the Jackson’s lives, but sadly WCW didn’t win that war. The Bucks bounce back though with a SUPERKICK for each Machine (except for Hulk and Giant who were absent) before both moonsaulting onto the scary bikers/Vikings. Of course they just get caught in mid air and tossed into one another. I’d use the term lawn dart but I got so sick of that simile that lawn darts and Rey Mysterio are no longer welcome in my home.
Corino hits maybe the line of the night by stating, “I have it on good authority that the NJPW Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles are not on the line.” “Ya think?” Replies an incredulous Kevin Kelly and nationwide audience. What I’m digging about the match so far is that the only way the Bucks can stay alive is with the SUPERKICK, and other high impact strike moves. To me that’s the way to book any smaller guys. It makes no sense for the Bucks to outwrestle the bigger guys, but give them a move that has knockout potential and suddenly the match becomes more believable. The Bucks continue to assault Hanson as the beat him down and nail him with a top rope splash/standing moonsault combo. It only gets a one count, which Corino declares, “Disrespectful,” on Hanson’s part.
Hanson ducks out of the way of a double team by doing a cartwheel that would make Bam Bam Bigelow allow him to fight Lawrence Taylor in his place, unfortunately he runs right into a double SUPERKICK! The Bucks then leap to the outside prompting Steve to scream “CRASH AND BURN!” This in turn prompts him to re-evaluate his choices as he “can’t take much more of this,” and “will be the first announcer to have a heart attack on air.”
Off the crash and burn though Nick Jackson is down and clutching his ankle. He’s holding it in such a way that I can’t really tell if it’s legit or not. Ray Rowe has no fucks to give though about Nick Jackson’s injury as he grabs a distracted Matt and tosses him back into the ring. At this point, my notes just say “They Kill him,” so I hope that paints a good enough picture for what’s happening to poor Matt Jackson.
AJ Styles is out to check on Nick to a huge pop. Matt tries his best to fight back but gets repeatedly slammed through the mat. And that’s not a pun. It’s just an unfortunate series or words I probably could have avoided stringing together. War Machine is getting booed here which is more than a little unfair. I mean when you get down to it, the Bucks’ characters are really just douche bags. If this were the eighties one of them would be intercontinental champion for sixteen months and the other would be an annoying announcer who secretly owns the company. Where was I going with that? I hate Michael Cole… no… oh yeah damn you New York for booing War Machine.
Hanson attempts to power bomb Rowe onto Matt but the Buck slides out of the way and knocks Hanson out of the ring. Now would be a great time for a hot tag but there’s no one there…or is there??? AJ makes his way to the apron much to the delight of the crowd. Matt Jackson tags him in and THE REF ALLOWS IT! AJ dominates but quickly blasts the ref by accident. Matt Jackson is back up and SUPERKICKS both Rowe and Hanson but he quickly gets caught and tossed onto Rowe’s knee. Rowe then casually twists him into a gut buster and then calmly power bombs the shit out of him. I always laugh a little when War Machine does their finisher after this sequence. It’s enough guys they’re already dead. Hanson goes up for the splash but Nick Jackson is back and SUPERKICKS him out of the air. SUPERKICK to Rowe, followed by AJ nailing him with the bloody Sunday murder brain buster, followed by the academic Styles Clash for the even more academic three count. When AJ decides you’re dead, you’re dead. Just one of the many reasons he’s quite possibly the best pro wrestler in the world right now.
The Bucks celebrate the fact that they pulled one over the scary men, but I’ve got to believe there’s some revenge coming somewhere down the line. I had a feeling these two teams would work quite well together and I’m happy to say I wasn’t let down. The match was a lot of fun and ended in the only believable way in which the Bucks could beat these guys. I always though that a great blood feud could be had between these two teams. The Bucks could be beaten and bloodied fighting from underneath against a seemingly invincible foe. It would be such a throwback and yet so different for the Bucks. Anyhoo, I’m glad we got this here. Great way to start the show.
Adam Cole (bay bay) backstage talking about how good a friend Kyle O’Reilly is. There are questions apparently, such as: has he left the Kingdom? Well according to Cole (bay bay) there’s no dissention in the Kingdom and his friendship and handshaking with Kyle O’Reilly has nothing to do with Maria and company. When he was injured last year it was O’Reilly who was there for him. When Kyle got married Cole was by his side. (presumably screaming Bay Bay). They both have respect and admiration for each other and after their match later they still will. Perfect little promo that gives you everything you need to know in about ninety seconds.
Match #2 Cedric Alexander Vs. The Romantic Touch
Caprice Coleman is here for love making time! There’s a woman in the front row that has absolutely no idea what to make of The Romantic Touch. Her look of disgust and fear are what pro wrestling is all about. Cedric jumps Touch and beats the shit out of him. Caprice admits that Alexander has changed, but he changed out of need and the fear of losing his job. I like that motivation for a heel turn. No one ever comes out and says that. Coleman wants to show Cedric that you can still win doing things the right way which thirty years of fandom has taught me will lead to Caprice Coleman in a bloody love made mess. Romantic Touch gets some token offence but Cedric basically squashes him finishing him with an absolutely fantastic suplex/knees to back thingy. It looked sick. Let’s call it the Alexander of Macedonia paralysis maker as he travels to India.
Veda grabs the mic and reminds Cedric of everyone who told him that his time was coming and that all he needed to do was play nice and how wrong they were. Veda Scott never lies so Cedric should go ahead and unmask Touch and show what a loser Rhett Titus really is. Is this some secret that I completely missed? Caprice gets up to make the save but gets shoved down. Suddenly when all hope is lost… the Moose is Loose! Cedric runs away though and the segment comes to an end. The match was fine for a squash and the storyline advancement was solid. It may have been a filler segment but it was good filler.
Jay Lethal in the back demands that the cameraman hold the camera steady on the champ. He laments the fact that the ROH title smells like chicken coop and vows to cleanse the title of all it’s previous owners. He congratulates Strong for going for an hour with him but unfortunately he couldn’t get the job done so it’s to the back of the line with Roderick. There’s plenty of other guys he has to defend against and Strong has blown his shot. Dick move Lethal…dick move.
Mandy is here to tell us about how great Kyle O’Reilly is. She loves him too? She really is the woman of my dreams. Besides my wife of course… Bah she doesn’t read these. She just SAYS she supports me. We recap when O’Reilly made him tap a few months ago, and the excellent time limit draw they had for the TV title. Mandy tells us to let her and ROH know if they want Kyle O’Reilly to be champion. Interesting little way to poll if he’s over I guess. I think it’s painfully obvious O’Reilly will one day be ROH champ; I just worry that he may just be getting his shot at the wrong time.
Match #3 Adam Cole Vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Steve adds a “Bay Bay” to Cole’s ring introduction since apparently Bobby Cruise is asleep at the wheel. Christopher Daniels joins the team for commentary and as much as I dig him, I don’t want the match to be about anyone but the two guys in the ring. Daniels proceeds to wax poetic about victims and Patsies to the quizzical looks of Steve Corino. We start off with about a million reversals and escapes before Kyle takes Cole to “Headlock City.” The next five minutes or so are all headlocks but remains interesting throughout. You know why it’s interesting? Because O’Reilly doesn’t make it look like he’s resting. Instead he looks like he’s trying to tear Cole’s head off and both guys find a pile of ways to get in and out of said headlock. You know…wrestling.
O’Reilly even manages a headlock on the floor, but Cole Bay Bays him into the barricade. This draws Daniels to his feet, but when he gets too close Cole punches him in the face. Daniels then jumps him for the god damned disqualification. Man! I really wanted to see the Cole/O’Reilly match. O’Reilly rushes to Cole’s defence which draws out Kazarian which draws out a Future Shock revival in the form of a tag match.
Match #4 Future Shock Vs. The Addiction
O’Reilly and Cole don’t look like they’ve missed a beat as a team. I’ve just stumbled upon a conspiracy here. All the heels in ROH are bald or nearly bald. It’s not like the promotion has that many heels but look at the evidence. Daniels, Kazarian, BRUTAL BOB! Not to mention the biggest asshole of all BJ Whitmer. Wait! I just saw ANT MAN and the villain is bald. (don’t say it’s a spoiler you KNOW the second you see him) This thing might be bigger than we can even conceive. King Kong Bundy was bald, as was Vick Mackey. Ghandi was bald! Remember when he “Pearl Harboured” the British. Also Lex Luthor. Also Future Shock wins with an O’Connor roll.
Chris Sabin is out for the three on two beat down and the crowd wants Bobby Fish. They get him and now the crowd is chanting “New reDRagon!” The Kingdom is at the top of the ramp now looking none too please. Dissention! Nine men causing mayhem. OH MY GOD HULK HOGAN WAS BALD!
Best Match: War Machine Vs. The Young Bucks
Worst Match: Cedric Alexander Vs. The Romantic Touch
Best Promo/Skit: Lethal says no rematch.
Worst Promo/Skit: None
MVP: Steve Corino and Kevin Kelly
What Worked Really Well
– Stellar commentary tonight.
– The Opener was a fun romp where two kids escaped murder.
– All the backstage promos were tight and to the point. They said what they needed to in the shortest amount of time.
What Sort Of Works
– I can’t say the Cole/ O’Reilly match was bad but it really sucks we didn’t get a full blown affair from them.
– I like the Addiction both as performers but I’m not sure I really like then as heels. I was really digging their ring-work as faces, yet I enjoy their characters as heels. CONFUSION. At least Sabin is back…
What Didn’t Work
– I really wanted that Cole/O’Reilly match.
– Professor Charles Xavier is no heel. He doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with BJ Whitmer.
So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?
It’s a perfect example of maximizing your TV time. You got as much story advancement in an hour than you get Monday Nights during three. Couple that with a killer opener involving some of the best wrestlers on the planet and this is an easy win.
Thanks for reading! See ya next week!
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