Welcome back to another ROH TV recap, where weekly we ask the question – Is this a review or a recap? It’s kind of a recap, but then other times I spend three paragraphs breaking down a particular match. And sometimes recaps are just the facts, but that is f’n boring man. This week – a “Hot Takes on ROH (it rhymes)” vibe to this episode.
ROH TV #247 – original air date 6/11/16. From Toronto, Ontario
Moose vs Naito
- The Naito entrance is just amazing. The mask, the deliberate removal of his suit (w/ vest) into his wrestling gear.
- A chunk of this is for Mark Briscoe (on commentary) to try to build his match with Roddy Strong. This is still a ROH pet peeve of mine: way too much commentary that doesn’t involve what’s going on in the ring. At least in this case it’s building to something else and not just another wrestler commenting without an angle (please note: Matt Taven is completely immune to this critique; his work this year in his two appearances, has been great).
- Real quick: Naito worked his ass off the entire War of the Worlds/Global Wars tour. He battled through illness to still wrestle at the NYC show and, similar to his work with O’Reilly, goes all out with Moose
- Naito’s finish though – maybe it was a bad angle but Moose essentially gave himself Naito’s finish here.
- More on Moose and his future in upcoming columns, but damn I like the guy. Naito showed Moose belonged in this match, and he delivered.
All Night Express vs. Liger and Cheeseburger
- ANX with the Donald Trump gimmick, and one you’ve seen Kurt Angle banter around too: “Make Wrestling Great Again”. It’s low hanging fruit, but it works given the political climate.
- I will never tire of the crowd pops to Liger’s entrance and then his music. Liger was my #4 in the Greatest Wrestler Ever Project. After reading Chad’s thoughts on his 2016 so far, i’d confidently move him up to #3 (who was Nick Bockwinkel for me).
- Cheeseburger is SO over, and it helps generate real heat for the ANX. Cheeseburger with the reverent bow to Liger after taking the fall. Kenny hit him with a TKO->Urange move that was solid.
- Mark cracks me up when ANX comes to the desk post-match with “Kenny don’t even man, y’all looked good out there! Carry on”. And then Roddy comes out, Mark truthfully defends himself “I beat you plenty of times Roddy!” While I’m not real invested in that match, its easy to root for Mark.
Two quick bits before the main. Adam Cole and the Bucks backstage with Cole clearly inserting himself in the title picture. I don’t see them directly interfering in the match, that would be an awful idea after last month’s no contest, but I do see Cole taking the belt later this summer.
KUSHIDA vs. Kyle O’Reilly
- Solid promo by O’Reilly to set the stage here. He wants his revenge here.
- This is all arm vs. knee and built just as well as you’d think. KUSHIDA is probably my top ROH performer of 2016 and this is just padding the resume.
- O’Reilly drops KUSHIDA’s knee on the chair outside and sets him up for the big running attack and we get the ORIGINAL counter spot into an armbar, which the crowd erupts for. This was taped prior to NJPW’s BOSJ where the same sequence went down.
- KUSHIDA reverses the guillotine into his armbar, but we get a slick reversal into an O’Reilly roll-up. Big win for Kyle, and a logical counter to the submission that worked.
- Our buddy Pete (This Week in Wrestling, Titans of Wrestling) went ****1/4 for this one. It’s a contender for ROH TV match of the year so far, no doubt.
Final thoughts: real good in-ring work this week. Two fantastic matches and it’s always entertaining watching Cheeseburger (+Liger!).