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Ring of Honor – September 14th, 2016

Howdy!

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Notable news from around the world of ROH this week:

–Michael Elgin will challenge Adam Cole for the Ring of Honor World title at All-Star Extravaganza VIII. October 1st is the date; mark it down!

Now that I’m done with the CWC recaps, I promise that I’ll try to get these done in a more expedient fashion; this should be the last late one. Until the next one.

Ring of Honor TV – 9/14/16

We open with a recap of Adam Cole and the Bullet Club’s promo from last week, with Lethal interrupting to set up this week’s 6-man tag between the Bullet Club & Los Ingobernables de Japon with Jay. That match is tonight!

We are TAPED from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas, Nevada! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness. And we’re wasting zero time as we hear the music of the Bullet Club! Adam Cole leads Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi to the ring, as Kelly tells us that we’ll be starting with our 6-man tag and finishing the hour with Bobby Fish defending the World TV title against Katsuyori Shibata! SHIBATA~! EVIL and Naito head out next, and they’re followed by the former ROH World Champ, Jay Lethal! Let’s do this!

Bullet Club (Adam Cole, Hangman Page, Yujiro Takahashi) vs Jay Lethal & Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & Tetsuya Naito)

Code of Honor is declined, although Naito tries to shake the ref’s hand; does that count? Regardless, it looks like it’s going to be EVIL & Yujiro to start things off. Takahashi controls with a kick and a side headlock. EVIL pulls the hair to get a headlock of his own, so Takahashi breaks that by biting EVIL’s hand; naturally, this causes EVIL to rake at the eyes of Yujiro. This is some glorious cheating already. EVIL knocks Takahashi to the ground with a shoulderblock, and Yujiro tags in Cole. EVIL tags in Lethal, and Adam immediately tags out to Page. Have I mentioned in the last 12 sentences how great Adam Cole is? I apologize for that oversight. Here’s something I won’t apologize for; these great ads!

We’re back and now it’s Naito in the ring, getting the better of Page and sending him to the floor. Naito runs the ropes and does his lay down pose mid-ring. Page tags out to Cole, and now Lethal tags himself in; I’m not sure that Naito cared for how hard that tag was there, Jay. Cole looks like he might lock up….but tags out to Takahashi and bails to the floor. Man, Cole is playing Lethal like a fiddle at this point. Naito tags back in and tries to calm Lethal down in the corner, so Cole tags himself back in and attacks Naito from behind. He stomps a mudhole and by GAWD walks it dry, and we get an ‘Adam Cole, bay-bay!’ from the World Champ. Naito grabs Cole and tosses him to the corner, and now he stomps away at Adam, then gives us his own version. Naito with an armwringer on Adam as Lethal desperately wants the tag; Naito looks like he’s going to, but shorts him twice so Lethal tags himself back in, pissing Tetsuya off again. Lethal is REALLY selling how much he wants Cole and that he doesn’t really give two shits about Naito at this point.

Cole and Lethal trade shots and the advantage a few times, with Lethal hitting chops and a discus forearm, Cole tries a bicycle kick to slow Jay down, but Lethal hits one of his own and an enzuigiri on Adam. Both guys are down, Cole makes the tag to Page, Lethal goes to tag in Naito…..but Naito shorts the tag! Page attacks Lethal from behind as Naito and EVIL take a walk, and it looks like Lethal’s down to a 1 on 3 situation. Page takes Lethal to the corner and runs him into the boots of Cole and Takahashi, as Naito and EVIL smile from the top of the ramp. Lethal is on his own! And so are you….to watch these great ads!

We’re back with Page dragging Lethal to the Bullet Club corner and tagging in Takahashi. Lethal fights out against Yujiro, but immediately goes after Cole on the apron, allowing Takahashi to hit Lethal from behind and take over again. Running kick by Yujiro connects for two. Tag to Cole, he comes in and mocks Lethal reaching for a tag, then stomps away, dropping knees to the back of Lethal. Cole bows for the crowd….but the music of Michael Elgin hits? Big Mike is here, and Cole turns to check out what’s going on as Elgin makes his way down the ramp. Lethal from behind on Cole, Lethal Combination! Elgin hops on the apron and grabs the tag rope, he wants the tag! Nigel is out of his chair and tells the ref that it’s okay, Elgin is now in the match!

And Lethal makes the tag to Big Mike! Elbow to Page! Elbow to Takahashi! Elgin pounds away on Cole, Page and Takahashi try to save, they eat more forearms, then back to pounding away on Adam Cole! Yujiro and Page try to double team Mike again by sending him to the opposite corner, but Elgin avoids the charge from Takahashi and hits Page with a big boot when Page runs at him. Elgin puts Takahashi on the top rope, scoops up Page and pulls Yujiro off the ropes, double powerslam by Elgin! The announcers speculate that this may be a message to Adam Cole, the man he will face for the ROH World title at All-Star Extravaganza. I’d say that is a distinct possibility.

Cole tries to attack from behind, but gets pressed into a powerslam and Page is forced to save at 2. Page and Takahashi try again, same results as Elgin levels them with forearms, sending Page to the floor, then a big boot puts Takahashi down. Elgin goes after Yujiro, who’s up against the ropes, but gets stungunned by Takahashi. Page flips back in with his somersault lariat, and the Bullet Club is back in control…..but there’s Kyle O’Reilly’s music! Kyle runs down and hops on the apron, and Nigel is just like ‘sure, what the hell? Put him in the match.’ Page runs at him and gets a right hand for his troubles, as does Takahashi. They turn around into a double clothesline from Elgin, Cole grabs the leg of Mike, but that’s not going to stop him from tagging in Kyle!

O’Reilly in now with Cole, and here we go! They slug it out, with Kyle eventually winning with a legsweep and a knee to floor Adam. Running forearm in the corner by Kyle, then a tornado DDT. He keeps the front facelock on, brainbuster by O’Reilly! 1,2, Bullet Club makes the save! Page and Takahashi go to work on Kyle as we’re told that this 6-man tag match is official; and we’ve also got to take our 3RD FUCKING AD BREAK IN THE MATCH? I’m sorry. I meant to say hey, let’s check out these great ads!

We’re back with Kyle hitting a double rebound clothesline on Page and Takahashi to send them to the floor, and now we’re back to O’Reilly and Cole, AKA the Final Battle 2016 main event. (Please?) They run the ropes and Cole tries to sunset flip O’Reilly, but Kyle turns that into a cross armbreaker, Cole breaks with kicks to the side of the head. Superkick by Cole is blocked by Kyle, and we’ve got strikes from O’Reilly, Cole jumps to avoid the legsweep and hits a superkick on Kyle to put both guys down. Tags from both guys to Lethal and Takahashi respectively, with the obligatory slugfest being won by Lethal. Jay follows with a bicycle kick, then avoids Yujiro’s and rolls him up for two. One last try to Takahashi, but Lethal easily avoids the clothesline and hits the Lethal Injection for the 1,2,3. (Jay Lethal, Michael Elgin, & Kyle O’Reilly over Bullet Club, pinfall, 16:36)

WORTH WATCHING? – This was a mess. And it pains me to say that, honestly, because I’m a huge fan of most of the guys in the match. And I get the point of the match, in that getting Lethal away from Los Ingobernables makes him more of a babyface against Adam, and that having Elgin and Kyle show up to help out against Cole just shows how many guys want to get their hands on the World Champ. I mean, lord knows that I think almost every match would be better if Kyle O’Reilly were involved (O’Reilly as the guest timekeeper for Shawn/Taker I, for example; think about it. I bet THAT would have gotten the match to *****), but the match was hugely disjointed in the middle, without a lot of flow from one segment to the next. 3 ad breaks was probably a big part of the problem, to be sure; but still, there just wasn’t an organic feel to what was being presented, at least to me. Lethal going after Cole the whole time was well-presented, as was Elgin getting his big stuff in, since he’s going to be challenging Cole for the strap in two weeks, but I gotta surprisingly say that NO, you can skip this match. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen by any stretch, but there wasn’t much substance to it.

Post-match, the faces stare Cole down outside the ring as he clutches and then raises the ROH World title. Kelly tells us that Michael Elgin has the first shot in two weeks, but after that, if Cole hangs onto the strap, who will be next? Wait, shouldn’t Lethal be getting a rematch? Don’t all former champs have a rematch clause? I wonder if there’s any promos for a law firm to help sort these questions out during these great ads!

Bobby Fish has something to say. “This roster rests easy at night, knowing that a man like me exists!” He’s the guy who stands up when other men won’t get out of their seats! Other men might not do it, but he’s here to bring violence to Katsuyori Shibata on the behalf! Highlights of Shibata beating the hell out of Silas Young are shown, then back to Fish, who tells us that it doesn’t end well for Shibata. Tonight, Shibata, your fate is in Bobby Fish’s hands!

bobbydamnit

Hey, we’re back with last week’s promo from the Addiction, standing on a ladder! That got them into a whole mess o’ trouble, that did. They’re at the top of the ladder, and all the other rungs are the tag teams beneath them! That is followed by Nigel’s announcement of Ladder War 6 with the Young Bucks, the Motor City Machine Guns, and the Addiction, and the subsequent less than thrilled reaction by Daniels and Kazarian.

And now we’re got ourselves some fresh Addiction promo action! Kazarian tells us that the Guns are too busy pointing to their hands, and the Bucks are too busy trying to sell a stupid t-shirt to think about taking the tag titles from the World Tag Team Champions of the World! Daniels tells us that they’ve beaten the Bucks and Guns time and again, and at All-Star Extravaganza, they put an end to both teams’ challenges for good!

Back to Kelly and Nigel at the desk, where we see that Lethal has been pacing behind the announcer’s desk. Lethal’s got something to say: “You know what? It’s one thing to have to watch your back because your enemies are everywhere, but it’s another thing when your friends, your friends!, stab you in the back!” He tells Naito that he’s made the biggest mistake of his life, that he’s in the mood to do ANYTHING to become the number one man in Ring of Honor again, and they’re going to settle it sooner rather than later! Nigel agrees, and he makes Lethal/Naito for ASE, which is shaping up to have quite the nice little card as of right now. Nigel tags it by reminding Jay “the last time you begged for a match, remember what happened.” OH SNAP. Nigel Mcguinness just dropped the MIC on Jay!

Well, no he didn’t technically drop it. See, it was a metaphor, and what I meant was….

Anyway.

SHIBATA~!

That is indeed the music of one Katsuyori Shibata! He makes his way to the ring, towel around his neck and perma-scowl on his face. I love this man. Bobby Fish is out next, and he doesn’t look the least bit nervous. He must be hammered. Let’s do this!

Bobby Fish vs Katsuyori Shibata – Ring of Honor World TV title match

Shibata…..slaps the hand of Bobby, so I guess that counts as following the Code of Honor. They circle and exchange a few shots, then Shibata hits a kick to the gut that drops Bobby to the mat, and he goes for the Penalty Kick, but Fish ducks out of the way. Knee from Shibata and he goes to a chinlock on the mat, knee firmly in the back of Bobby. He wrenches back on it, then kicks Fish in the back. Stomp and a figure-four leglock from Shibata. Bobby turns it over with some effort, but Shibata turns it right back. Bobby turns it back over and they roll to the ropes to break. Speaking of breaks, how about an ad break?

We’re back with Fish in control, as the announcers recap that Bobby hit a dragon-screw legwhip into a kneebar, forcing Shibata to make the ropes. Bobby kicks the leg and Shibata falls to the floor. Fish wants the countout as Shibata slaps the knee to get some feeling back. He rolls back in, and Fish meets him with stomps. Fish does the ‘leap to the apron, then leap back in with the senton’, this time hitting the knee of Shibata with the senton, and that gets two. Fish keeps working the knee, dropping his weight on it and then snapping it around. Snap suplex by Fish for one. Snapmare into a chinlock from Fish, and now he puts the knee in the back and works it. Kick to the back from Bobby for two, and Prince Nana is making his way to ringside now, and he joins the announce team.

Fish kicks Shibata to the buckles, then hops out and legsweeps him to a sitting position from the floor. Kicks in the corner from Bobby as Nana says that Dijak can beat either one of these guys, and he’s just out here to watch the match. Bobby with more kicks to the chest of Shibata, but Shibata is begging him to bring it on. That bodes very badly for Mr. Fish, I would think. Shibata back up to his feet now and Fish tries a forearm, but Shibata just pastes him with one of his own. Kick in the corner from Shibata and he runs across the ring to the other corner, but Bobby follows him in with a kneelift. Fish decides to try the same thing, but Shibata follows him and hits him with a boot to the face! Forearms by Shibata to drop Fish, Shibata gets a running start, delayed dropkick in the corner by Katsuyori! Single underhook suplex by Shibata gets two.

Sleeper by Shibata now, he drops Bobby into a sitting position, but Fish avoids the Penalty Kick again and hits an inverted atomic drop, then a spinebuster into an Achilles hook, then into an anklelock. Shibata tries for the ropes, but then remembers that he’s SHIBATA~!, and turns the move into an anklelock of his own! Fish screams in pain, but he torques on HIS anklelock, as both guys try to break the other’s ankle. Tremendous. They finally roll to the ropes to break the hold. Did I already use the ad break pun? A few paragraphs ago? Well, tough. Because I’m going to break the rules and use it again to send us to our final ad break!

We’re back with Fish firing knees and a right hand to Shibata, Bobby off the ropes and he runs right into a big boot from Shibata! Shibata off the ropes now, but Fish catches him and hits an exploder suplex! Shibata POPS RIGHT UP as Nigel yells “Fighting Spirit!” on commentary and hits a high-angle German suplex on Fish! Both guys are down as Nana is ranting on commentary about Nigel hating Donovan Dijak. Be careful, Prince; I’m coming around on the guy, but let’s not get too crazy here. They slug it out from their knees back to their feet, with Fish gaining a slight advantage, until Shibata gets a modified STO for one. Butterfly suplex by Shibata! 1,2, NO! Shibata tries for a cross-armbreaker, but Fish rolls him over for one, then into an armbar of his own, and Shibata quickly reverses back. Shibata looks to finally have it now, but Fish tries again to roll him over. Shibata counters that into a triangle, but Bobby shifts his weight to flip Shibata on the shoulders and rolls his body over him! 1,2,3! Fish retains! (Bobby Fish over Katsuyori Shibata, pinfall, 11:56)

WORTH WATCHING? – I love to watch both of these guys work. This was awesome to watch; it isn’t the single best example of what they can do, but it is a very good match. The ‘work through the pain’ stuff was well-done and fits in with what Shibata normally does, as was the finish, which kept Shibata strong even in the loss, as he had Bobby in the submission when he was pinned. I freely admit that two guys fighting over body parts for 11 minutes might not be everyone’s cup of vodka, but I’m definitely going with a YES on this match, check it out.

Post-match, Bobby rolls out to the floor in pain, so the ref goes out to hand him his belt as the replays air. Fish back in the ring now as Donovan Dijak has joined Nana on the stage. Fish poses, then rolls out to the floor, where he goes nose to nose with Shibata, and Katsuyori wants another shot at the title, which Bobby seems more than willing to grant.

Back to the announcers now, and Nigel has an announcement to make; next week, after a one-year suspension, Steve Corino will be making his return to commentary on ROH TV! Oh. Yay. Hey, Kevin Kelly is excited. So, good for him! And that’ll do it for ROH TV this week.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: This was good stuff on ROH TV this week. Despite my misgivings about the 6-man to start the show off, at least it moved forward the stories for Adam Cole’s world title challengers, which is always good. Especially with Elgin getting the title shot in just two weeks, something that they’ve done an abysmal job of promoting, they needed to get some work done in that area. We also got the Naito/Lethal setup, and I’m genuinely curious as to who wins that one, to be honest. Keeping Ladder War in the forefront of people’s minds was a good idea too, as I suspect that will be the match that sells the show for a lot of folks. As for the main, I enjoyed it but wanted more time for it; still, worth checking out, especially because I think that the TV title should be defended more often on, well, TV. ROH TV was pretty decent this week, worth a sit.

I swear to GOD though, with Corino coming back next week, if that Whitmer bullshit starts up again…..

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter