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Ring of Honor – April 6th, 2016

Howdy!

Let’s get the preliminaries out of the way here….

Well, let’s start with last week. I made a comment upon the return of one Donovan Dijak that could be considered less than flattering. Which, you know, was the intent. Later that night, this happened:

dijaktweet

Hmmmm….well.

Not wanting to be a giant pussy about it, I tweeted back to him that I had indeed seen him wrestle many times, dating back to last year’s Top Prospect event. Now, imagine that you’re Donovan Dijak in this situation; some smark keyboard warrior who’s never taken a bump in his life is taking shots at you. (Hey, I’m at peace with who I am.) Do you…..

A) Tell him to go fuck himself
B) Make fun of him as much as possible
C) Sincerely ask why he isn’t a fan of yours and mean it?

I wish he had chosen A or B, because the man decided to take the high road and go with C, and we had a very brief Twitter convo where I told him why I didn’t enjoy his work, at least as much as you can on Twitter. And even after that, instead of retreating to A or B, which I probably would have done, he thanked me for my thoughts and just in general was so classy that I felt like the jerk I know that I am.

Of course, for all I know he was just screwing around with me, but I’m going to make the assumption that he was being genuine, to which I can only commend him for taking that high road. While I’m still not a fan of his in-ring work, he was much classier than I deserved, so let me return the favor a bit:

For those of you that don’t know him, Kris Travis was a British professional wrestler who passed away on March 31st from stomach cancer. He was 32. Wrestlers from Kevin Owens to Finn Balor have posted remembrances, but Dijak has gone one step further and created a Gofundme page for Kris, and will be taking the month of April along with Mike Bennett and Tomasso Ciampa to remember his work. If you all have a brief moment and maybe a few bucks to spare, drop it there to help out. The link is here:

https://www.gofundme.com/kristravis

Thanks, guys. And as for the fact that now I know that at least one of the ROH guys reads these things, I can only assume that all of them do, right? In which case I expect that restraining order from Kyle O’Reilly any day now.

Notable news from around the world of ROH this week:

–Supercard of Honor is in the books, and the biggest news is the return to Ring of Honor of one Colt Cabana, who made a surprise appearance on Friday’s show to challenge Jay Lethal for the ROH World title, and made another appearance on Saturday’s show to get a non-title pin on the champ. No word on when he’ll get a title shot against Jay, but it looks to be happening, and it also looks like Delirious is the master of rebuilding burnt bridges yet again, first with Kenny King and now with Colt.

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 4/6/16

Up first, we recap last week’s main event, as we see Dijak come back and level Truth Martini, leaving him convulsing on the mat. Jay Lethal: “Tempers are high right now”, and while he’s going to try to keep calm, his best friend is in the hospital with a broken neck and for what? A title shot? Well, Dijak doesn’t deserve that! But he better tell Prince Nana that Jay Lethal’s coming, and Dijak, you’re not going to survive this one!

We are TAPED from Sam’s Town Live! in Las Vegas, NV! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling Corino the 3rd. Tonight, our main event is The Addiction vs The Motor City Machine Guns! Also tonight, Adam Cole vs Kushida! But we’re getting started with some tag team action, and here comes Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly! They’re followed out by Gedo & Okada, and we’ve got the makings here!

reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) vs Kazuchika Okada & Gedo

Code of Honor is declined by Gedo and Okada. Bastards. The graphic says that Gedo debuted in 1989! For point of reference, Kyle and Okada were both 2 years old at that point. Fish and Gedo will start us off. “Bobby Fish” chant starts us off and they lock up, with Gedo taking the advantage with a headlock takeover on Fish. Bobby rolls him over for one, then gets back to his feet and shoots Gedo off, leapfrog and he attempts an armbar takeover, blocked by Gedo. Gedo tries to hold him down for the pin, but Bobby kicks out into the kneebar, Gedo makes the ropes. Fish wants Okada, and lays down on the mat to allow Gedo to make the tag. Okada comes in, but Bobby backs into the corner and Kyle tags himself in. Kyle/Okada? You had me at hello. They lockup as Okada teases a cheap shot, but gives Kyle a clean break against the ropes as the camera shows O’Reilly’s ear, which is as nasty as the commentators are making it out to be. Kyle charges but gets caught with a kick and Okada controls with a headlock. Kyle shoots him off, but Okada runs through him with a shoulder. They trade criss-crosses and leapfrogs, Kyle hooks the ropes and trips Okada with a double leg and steps over him, they run the ropes again and Okada goes for a sunset flip that Kyle turns into a cross-armbreaker. Smoother than a baby’s backside, these two. Okada locks the hands to prevent Kyle from cinching it, so Kyle takes the momentum and applies the armbreaker to the other side. Fish sees Gedo coming in and tries to stop it, but that only distracts the ref and allows Gedo to drop a fist on Kyle’s EAR to break the hold. We get even more gross closeups of the ear as Okada drops an elbow on it and tags Gedo in. Gedo comes in and fires taped fists at Kyle’s ear that O’Reilly sells like nuts. More shots to the ear from Gedo and there’s a tag to Okada. Okada comes in and slams Kyle, then follows with a springboard senton. That gets two. Okada picks Kyle up and runs him into Gedo’s boot as we run into our first ad break!

We’re back with Kyle trying to make the big comeback against Gedo, firing kicks, but Gedo catches his foot on one and grabs Kyle’s ear with his other hand to put a stop to that. Yee-ouch. Okada comes in to the ring and takes out Fish on the apron, but they miss a double clothesline on O’Reilly and he flattens Gedo with a kick and goes to work on Okada with kicks and knees, finally with a legsweep to put Okada down. That gives him enough time to tag in Fish, and he comes in firing with a sliding clothesline on Gedo and a splash to Okada in the corner. Bobby ducks an Okada clothesline and comes off the ropes with an elbow to Okada’s midsection, then a spinkick to Gedo. Another kick to Okada, and he hooks Gedo in an exploder suplex and throws him into Okada. Fish covers Okada for two. Bobby takes a moment to remind Tiger Hattori how to count, even using Japanese. What a helpful guy that Bobby Fish is. Fish off the ropes against Okada, Okada jackknifes him but Bobby rolls through, but that doesn’t get him very far as Okada drops him headfirst onto Okada’s knee with a neckbreaker for two. Okada with a slam and he goes up, beautiful flying elbow by Okada from halfway across the ring. Okada wants the Rainmaker to finish this, but Bobby counters with a Samoan drop, and both guys are down. O’Reilly is back on the ring apron, his face screwed up in pain as he reaches for the tag. I adore that man. Gedo gets the tag and he runs over to send O’Reilly to the floor and deny Bobby a tag of his own. Gedo with a jawbreaker and a kick to the face of Bobby for two. Gedo looks for a uranage, but Fish elbows out of it and looks to run, but he runs right into the dropkick of Okada, which is still one of the best I’ve ever seen. Gedo rolls Bobby up as Kyle comes back in and he slips past Okada barely to break up the pin. Okada tosses O’Reilly and follows him out, but Kyle gets behind him and sends him to the post. Meanwhile in the ring, Bobby flips out of a Gedo suplex and backs him into a corner, and here comes the 2-Man Smash Machine as Kyle and Bobby finish it with the kneedrop/backbreaker. 1,2, Okada makes the save this time, as this match continues to be awesome. Okada fights off both members of reDRagon for a few minutes, but takes a shot from Fish and then a kick and a straight right from Kyle to send him to the floor. That leaves reDRagon alone in the ring with Gedo, and that means that Chasing the Dragon is going to end this thing. 1,2,3. (reDRagon over Gedo/Okada, pinfall, 10:24)

WORTH WATCHING? They built a whole face-in-peril segment around the psychology of a cauliflower ear! What fun. YES, you should watch this one, as the selling and work are all top-notch. As usual, ROH brings the goods when it comes to tag work. Good job all around here.

Post-match, reDRagon celebrates with Kyle still selling the ear, and we’re told that up next is Adam Cole/Kushida! Don’t go away, just sit there and watch these ads!

We’re back with a look back at last week, as the Briscoes picked up the tag belts of Hanson and Rowe, and they seemed to want to take them home. The Briscoes are here for a promo, and they want to remind War Machine that they’ve never beaten the Briscoes; hell, it’s been 4 matches, and they’ve never beaten Dem Boys! And it’s been 3 years since the Briscoes have had their hands on those tag belts, the ones that they put on the map, and that’s too long. War Machine isn’t the only ones with something to prove!

And there’s the music of one Adam Cole, bay-bay! He looks a little more serious than usual as the announcers talk about his being kicked out of the Kingdom last week by Matt Taven. He’s followed by Kushida, who has his usual bitching music. This should be awesome.

Adam Cole vs Kushida

This match was originally scheduled for Honor Rising, but Cole didn’t make the trip, so we get to watch it here. Code of Honor is followed. Lockup goes to the corner, and Cole gives a clean break. “Adam Cole, bay-bay!” Kushida is less than impressed. They circle again, and Cole gets an armwringer to control, but Kushida flips out into one of his own, then a trip followed by a front facelock. Cole tries to spin out but Kushida moves with him, keeping the hold on with cartwheels, then his spin move on the back of Cole, followed by some slapping at Cole’s head. Kushida then MOCKS THE POSE: “Kushida, bay-bay!” Yeah! Cole no likey, though, and he comes with a kick and a headlock. Kushida escapes into one of his own, Cole shoots him off and drops down, but Kushida comes off the ropes with a dropkick to Cole on the mat. Cole attempts a tilt-a-whirl, that gets countered, Cole attempts a suplex, that gets countered, and Kushida drops into a Fujiwara armbar. This show is bringing the workrate this week, I can say that. Cole gets to the ropes to break, and Kushida comes back after the arm with an elbow, setting up the Hoverboard Lock. Off the ropes and Kushida gets a bicycle kick, flipping over the ropes onto the apron, but Cole gets an enzuigiri to send Kushida down to the apron. Cole goes out and tells the fans in the front row to move, but as usual it’s just a taunt as he sends Kushida back into the ring apron and ‘salutes’ the fans as we salute these great ads!

We’re back with Kushida elbowing his way out of an Adam Cole chinlock. He comes off the ropes, but Cole is right there with an elbow to put him back down. Cole takes a bow for that one. He takes too long to get Kushida though, and gets his arm snapped over the top rope. Kushida follows that by flipping into the ring with a clothesline. Kicks from Kushida now, but Cole catches the leg and elbows him in the knee. Cole off the ropes, but he gets caught with an inverted atomic drop and a dropkick to the knee from Kushida, followed by a cartwheel and dropkick to Cole’s face. Kushida wrings the arm again and drops it over his shoulder, but Cole avoids a kick and gets a kick of his own to Kushida’s midsection. Kushida tries to go for the big shot, but Cole ducks and feigns a superkick; Kushida covers up and Cole kicks him in the knee instead. Cole off the ropes, but Kushida follows him and hits him with some headstand legs to send Cole to the floor. Kushida to the top rope, CRAZY flipping dive onto Cole! Crowd appreciated that one. So did the recapper. Cole gets back in at about the count of 10, and is promptly greeted with a dropkick from Kushida. Kushida to the top, moonsault hits the knees of Cole! Cole loads up, Shining Wizard from Cole! 1,2, NO! “This is awesome!” says the crowd, and they are correct. Cole looks to finish, but Kushida reverses the brainbuster into the Hoverboard Lock! Cole won’t tap and grabs the ref, tossing him aside and goes to the eyes of Kushida to break. Cole goes for it again, and Kushida small packages him for two. They trade waistlocks, then Kushida drops down and goes through the legs, getting the Hoverboard Lock again, but Cole rolls him over for two, followed by Kushida rolling him over for two. Whew. Kushida off the ropes, but Cole gets a bicycle kick to stun him. Cole comes off now, right into a roaring elbow by Kushida, so Cole gets a jumping enzuigiri as they’re just letting it all hang out now with Kushida loading up and firing the big forearm. Kushida hurt himself on that one but lines up Cole and kicks him in the arm again, then rolls through Cole trying to catch him off the ropes into the Lock again. Cole almost makes the ropes so Kushida pulls him back. Cole tries to use the momentum into a fireman’s carry, but Kushida slips off the back and keeps the armbreaker on. Cole drops the mat in a pinning combo for two, forcing Kushida to break the hold. Cole with a superkick attempt, but Kushida counters by catching the foot and delivering his own superkick. Kushida with the Irish whip, but Cole reverses and gets a superkick to the back of Kushida’s head when he tries to bounce off the ropes, and Cole immediately grabs him for the brainbuster into the knee, and is barely able to hold him down for the 1,2,3. (Adam Cole over Kushida, pinfall, 10:14)

WORTH WATCHING? Man, that one really picked up at the end where they just let it all hang out there. Kushida kept fighting for the Lock the whole time, and Cole kept fighting to get out of it; he was never in it for very long, and I think that was important to keep the hold strong. YES, this was a very good professional wrestling match, although I would’ve liked to have seen, oh I don’t know, about 15 more minutes of it? It also makes ROH 2-0 against NJPW tonight, which is not how this normally goes. (Although I guess that depends if you consider reDRagon ROH talent, since they do wrestle a lot in Japan) Either way, this was good stuff.

Post-match, Cole reminds the camera that he’s Adam Cole! And the announcers remind us that our main event is coming up next, after these ads!

We’re back with Dalton Castle! “Every time I’ve met somebody new, I’ve thought about how I would fight them!” Hmmm, that’s interesting. It might not be the first thought that goes through my mind, but I suspect that myself and Dalton Castle are very different people, so cool. Anyway, he continues that it’s not about how he’s going to fight you, Silas Young, but rather what he’s going to use to fight you! Maybe a colannder! Maybe he’s going to fill Silas’ pants up with brine shrimp and throw him to a narwhal! Okay, that would be awesome. Make that happen, ROH! Hell, SeaWorld could use some good publicity. Castle says that he’s going to get weird next week. Next week, it’s a Fight without Honor!

We see footage from the 14th Anniversary, and the reuniting of the Motor City Machine Guns, at the expense of one Mr. Christopher Daniels. And as we hear the dulcet tones of The Addiction’s music, we also hear the voice of Nigel McGuinness, who has joined us on commentary. Sabin and Shelley are out next, and are just being referred to as ‘The Machine Guns’; I assume that the Motor City part is probably trademarked by another company. Oh well, they’re always going to be the MCMG to me.

The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs The Addiction (Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels)

Ref calls for the Code of Honor, but who are we kidding here? Daniels and Sabin look to start us off. Lockup, but Kaz comes in immediately and hits Sabin with a forearm as Daniels turns and fires at Alex. The Addiction beats down the Guns in the corners, they attempt to whip them into each other. The Guns do-si-do and they come out firing with clotheslines, the Addiction ducks those and tries their own, but the Guns duck THOSE and finally catch them in the corner off another run, which they follow by running Daniels into Kaz and tossing Chris to the floor. That was AWESOME. Kaz rolls out as well, and we’ll roll out into another ad break!

We’re back with Kaz catching Sabin with a shoulder and springing into the ring from the apron with a sunset flip attempt, but Chris roll through and kicks Frankie in the mouth. Sabin wrings Frankie’s arm a few times and tags in Alex, who comes in with a double axe handle from the top onto Kaz’s arm. Shelley wrings the arm and sets up for Chris to leapfrog over him and land on Kaz’s arm, and the commentators are right on, the Guns look like they haven’t missed a beat. Daniels tries to come in, but Alex backs him into a corner and Sabin gets a jumping forearm, and now the Guns go corner to corner on the Addiction again with double teams. Shelley slips on a Poetry in Motion attempt but recovers it nicely and Daniels falls to the floor. Inverted Atomic Drop on Frankie, Sabin dropkicks the knees, Shelley holds him in the chinlock and Chris finishes the sequence with a dropkick to Kaz’s face. Kaz falls to the floor and Sabin follows out with a tope onto both Daniels and Kaz. Sabin rolls Kaz back in and Shelley comes off with a crossbody for two. Shelley goes up for the ten punches in the corner, but he stops at 5 to send Daniels from the apron back to the floor. Kaz shoves Shelley away to the corner so Alex goes up, but Chris is able to pull his legs through the buckles and crotch him on the 2nd rope, and Kaz follows that with a backstabber. Frankie goes over to Sabin and spits on him, drawing Chris in and allowing the Addiction to go to work with double-teams on Shelley in the corner. Tag to Chris, and he comes off the ropes with a shot and Kaz follows with a neckbreaker on Shelley before he gets out. That gets two. Daniels keeps working on Shelley, taking him to the heel corner and putting him down, then tagging in Frankie. Frankie walks the mudhole dry on Alex, then a tag to Chris, who does the same, then back to Kaz. Frankie poses in the middle of the ring while Chris steps on Alex’s hand in the corner. Tag back to Daniels as the heels continue to cut the ring in half. Shelley tries to right out, but takes a clothesline and a splash from Frankie, followed by Daniels with a moonsault. Daniels goes for a one-foot pin, but Sabin comes in to break it up. Chris tosses Alex outside the ring, and we’ll go outside the show for our final ad break of the evening!

We’re back with Daniels still punishing Shelley. Tag to Kaz and Daniels shoulders Shelley in the corner, allowing Kaz to springboard in with a DDT on Alex. 1,2, Sabin in to break it up. Kazarian goes for an Unprettier, but Shelley manages to maneuver out into a jawbreaker position. Daniels comes in, but Shelley catches him on the way and gets the DDT/Jawbreaker combo to buy himself some time. Shelley reaching for the tag as Kaz grabs the leg, Alex gets free and he dives for Sabin….at the same moment Daniels pulls him off the apron! Shelley gets tossed back into the Addiction corner by Kaz, and there’s a tag to Daniels. They look for more double-teams against Alex, but he fights them both off, eventually getting a sidewalk slam to Kaz and a drop toehold to send Daniels into Frankie’s Kazarian. And that’s enough for Shelley to finally make the tag to Sabin, who comes in off the top with a flying crossbody onto both Addiction members, and he takes over on Daniels with elbows. Irish whip by Sabin, Daniels reverses but Sabin ducks the clothesline and gets one of his own. He sends Daniels to the corner and splashes him with an elbow. Kaz tries to trip him on the apron, but Sabin jumps over it and punts Kaz. Springboard is caught by Daniels on his shoulders, but Sabin wiggles out and runs the ropes, getting a springboard tornado DDT on Daniels. 1,2, NO! Kaz comes back in and the Addiction catch Sabin coming off with a double-team neckbreaker. That gets two, with Alex making the save. Frankie tosses Alex and the Addiction double-team Sabin, with Daniels getting a wristlock takedown from the second rope followed by him immediately running across the ring and through the ropes with a tope on Shelley on the floor. Meanwhile, Sabin is on the apron now, and Kaz brings him in with a slingshot into the Cutter. That gets two. The Addiction look to end this thing with Celebrity Rehab, but Alex is back in and breaks it up, but eats a Daniels STO for his troubles. Daniels goes to the corner for Sabin, but Sabin gets an enzuigiri to stun him, then Kaz takes a kick from Sabin to set up Sabin putting him in a front facelock – looked like a tornado there, but he gets an enzuigiri on Daniels followed by the Guns getting a spinning neckbreaker on Kaz from the gourdbuster position. Kaz falls to the outside and the Guns just tee off on Christopher Daniels with superkicks, followed by Shelley getting a springboard crossbody to Frankie on the outside to make sure he’s not coming back, and Skull and Bones finishes Daniels. (The Motor City Machine Guns over The Addiction, pinfall, 10:51)

WORTH WATCHING? We’re 3 for 3 on ROH this week. YES, this one is worthy of your time as well; this was more of an old-school tag match, with Shelley taking a beating in the middle before finally making the tag after the heels got caught. I wouldn’t have minded a little more cohesion at the end (I’ve said it before, but the tornado/no-tornado off and on stuff that dominates ROH tag matches can drive me crazy sometimes), but that’s a minor quibble. Good stuff here.

Post-match, the Addiction are not pleased with their loss and they attack the Guns, Sydal and Kushida come out to make the save, and they’re followed by the Young Bucks, who superkick Sydal and Kushida into next week. Now the Guns are going at the Bucks, and the Addiction are back in, and then Sydal and Kushida are back and we’ve got a huge brawl going on here. Finally, Sydal, Kushida, and the Guns clear the ring, and that’ll do it for this week’s ROH TV.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Better than Raw! Better than Raw! Better than…sorry. I thought I got that out of my system this last weekend. Regardless, this was a GREAT episode of ROH TV, with no filler and more than 30 minutes of quality wrestling with good workers. That’s all I ever wanted from this show, and it more than delivered this week. By all means, check it out.

Thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter