Final Battle is THIS Friday! Time to go home, ROH!
Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?
Ring of Honor TV – 11/30/16
We are TAPED from the William J Myers Pavilion in Baltimore, Maryland! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and Alex Shelley. Tonight, the Addiction face off against the Briscoes in our main event! We’ll also hear from Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole about their ROH World title match this Friday!
But up first, we hear the strains of music belonging to one Lio Rush! The 2016 Top Prospect winner makes his way to the ring as the announcers put him over as one of the most special athletes we’ve seen in ROH. And there’s the music of Jonathan Gresham! Holy SHIT, we’re starting with Rush vs Gresham? I must have been particularly good this week.
Lio Rush vs Jonathan Gresham
Code of Honor is followed. ROH PLEASE SIGN GRESHAM. Sorry, don’t know how that got in there. Must have been Tourette’s or something. Alex Shelley immediately puts over Gresham’s experience overseas, just to be the best commentator out there for the heck of it. Messy lockup (on purpose, no criticism) goes to the corner, and we get a clean break, but Gresham accidentally (?) paintbrushes him during said break. He offers the hand as an apology, which Lio accepts before shoving it away. Jon goes for the arm and they do a beautifully intricate reversal sequence involving a headlock takeover and a headscissors that just looked great; they do a second one and then both guys try for an armdrag at the same time, producing a stalemate. Lockup and another sequence that ends with a Matrix dodge from Lio and thrust kick to the midsection, then one to the head of Gresham. That gets one. Rush with a few nasty kicks to the chest of Gresham, but Lio gets caught with a chop. Avoids a second into one of his own, then another. He sends Gresham to the corner and charges, but Jon goes over the top after stepping on Lio’s outstretched hands by pushing himself off on the top rope, sunset flip by Jon, Lio rolls through, Gresham with a single leg and he rolls Lio over into a crawl position, then comes off the ropes with a kick to the arm. Rush avoids an armdrag attempt, but gets too close and Gresham gets the second one. Off the ropes and Lio catches the leg of Jon, but Gresham ducks a shot from Rush and gets an enzuigiri. Rush rolls out and Gresham runs the ropes, Lio gets out of the way of a dive that Jon puts a stop to, Gresham goes up and moonsaults Rush off the second buckle to the floor! Gresham winds up the left arm of Lio and slams it into the barricade, and that’ll slam us into our first ad break!
We’re back and Gresham is chopping away at Rush in the corner. Rush tries to fight back, but Gresham keeps nailing the injured left arm. Finally, Lio ducks one and gets a big right hand to gets some space. Irish whip attempt by Rush is stopped by Jon and he snaps the left arm against his feet, then armdrags Rush down for some further punishment. Rush keeps fighting with the right arm, though, and catches Jon on a corner charge with a palm strike. Rush alley-oops Gresham to the apron, Jon nails the injured arm and tries to run him into the opposite buckle, Rush blocks it by jumping up off the second buckle and bouncing back, then hitting an enzuigiri that Gresham manages to partially block with his arm. Lio jumps to the apron, superkick sends Jon to the floor! Rush springs off the bottom rope, skytwister press to Gresham on the floor! Rush tosses Jon back in and goes up, but Gresham rolls to the opposite side of the ring to avoid any shenanigans. Lio tries to bring him back in from the apron, but Gresham catches the left arm and uppercuts it. Jon goes up, but Rush gets his wits about him and does a running enzuigiri to Gresham on the top rope. Rush goes for a ‘rana off the top, Gresham rolls through it with a sunset flip, then flips Rush into a pinning position after Lio attempts to stack him up. 1,2, no! Lio goes for strikes, Gresham ducks and gets a full nelson, and they go into ANOTHER insaneo crisp pinfall reversal sequence that ends up getting two for Jon. Gresham charges right into Rush Hour from Lio! Gresham crucifixes him out of the pinfall attempt for two! Thrust kick by Rush glances off Jon, who loads Lio up for a brainbuster for two. Gresham goes for another, but Lio reverses into one of his own! Gresham kicks out at one! FIGHTING SPIRIT~! Kick from Lio, but Jon no-sells and turns Lio inside-out with a clothesline! German suplex attempt from Gresham, but Lio lands on his feet! Rush charges, Jon avoids it and Lio hits the ropes, snap German suplex from Jon! Gresham charges now, Rush Hour #2 from Lio! Lio picks him up, Rush Hour #3! Lio goes up, frog splash into a flying elbow! 1,2,3! Whew. (Lio Rush over Jonathan Gresham, pinfall, 8:27)
WORTH WATCHING? – Oh dear lord, YES, you should take a few minutes to check this out. This blew away everything that the WWE has done with their cruisers since the end of the CWC with the exception of the Swann/Kendrick match from last night. The action was crisp and quick, with both guys getting a chance to shine and get their moves in to look good. No resting and the match built so well, with Rush needing 3 of his finishers along with the big elbow to put away the spunky Gresham. I have absolutely NO idea why Jonathan Gresham isn’t in demand from every company on the planet earth, honestly; everything that he does in the ring is damn near perfect. Alex Shelley on commentary was great too, putting all of his focus on the wrestlers in the ring and making them sound like a million bucks; can we have him after Corino moves on? Minor quibble; the arm work didn’t really factor into the finish of the match, and considering that it took up some time in the match, it probably should have. Still, one of the better sub-10 minute matches I’ve seen this year on ROH TV, probably on par with Gresham/Strong in February.
Post-match, Chris Sabin comes down; he and Shelley get in the ring as Gresham and Rush are shaking hands. Alex has a mic: “I don’t know what everybody here thought, but I thought that match was awesome!” Sorry Alex, hard to hear you over the sound of my credit card information being entered at the prowrestlingtees website to buy me some Gresham merch. He continues, saying that when Gresham and Rush step into the ring, they hold nothing back and give everything they have! The best part about Ring of Honor for Shelley is to able to observe things like this, and that match made him a fan of pro wrestling! Sabin tells us that they’ve watched these guys for several months, and they are without a doubt the future of Ring of Honor! He wants to shake their hands, because they fight with heart and soul, with honor and respect, and that’s what ROH was built on! They do indeed shake hands as we’re told that up next, we’ll hear from the #1 Contender to the Ring of Honor World title, one Kyle O’Reilly! And we’ll hear that after we hear from these great ads!
We’re back with Kyle O’Reilly! “It’s funny to think where it all started. It’s kind of funny to think where it is now, and where it’s going to end.” Future Shock, it was innocence, they were just two guys thrown together! But they believed in themselves, they became best friends, they wanted to prove they were the future of wrestling! Footage of Future Shock is shown as Kyle continues. Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly’s careers will forever be intertwined, but not as friends; as enemies. As far as Kyle was concerned, this thing was finally over at Supercard of Honor, where he choked him out with a chain in a no-holds barred match and put him on the shelf for more than two months! That match was AWESOME, by the way; I am completely biased because I was there live, but still. It’s really great. But Cole came back with the Bullet Club, trying to maintain any relevance that he possibly could! Every time that Kyle has gotten close to the Ring of Honor world title, Adam Cole has stopped him out of pure spite. At All-Star Extravaganza 2015, Kyle had a shot the title, but he made a mistake and trusted Adam, and that cost him. But like a river cutting through rock, he worked his way back to the top, and got another shot at the title this summer on ROH TV, and once again, it was Adam Cole who ruined it. Footage of the Bullet Club, along with Cole’s promise that Kyle will NEVER be ROH World champion airs, then the attack on Kyle’s shoulder with the chair by the Bucks and Cole. Cole should have just let it die at Supercard of Honor, but he didn’t – he poked the dragon and started a war that he can’t win. And here’s what Adam Cole doesn’t seem to realize – he created the violent artist! And, at Final Battle, when this river overflows and consumes you, Adam Cole, the Ring of Honor world title flows to Kyle! They’ve fought before at Hammerstein Ballroom, and he knows that Cole remembers; because Cole left New York a bloody mess, with his mother crying in the crowd. He may have lost that match, but he learned, and now he knows that every time that Cole looks in the mirror and sees that scar on his lip, he’s reminded of Kyle O’Reilly! Kyle, like every great artist, left his signature on Cole, and at Final Battle, he’ll be the worst thing that ever happened to Adam Cole!
GREAT promo from Kyle here, laying out the history of him and Adam, and setting up a promise to make Cole bleed his own blood at Final Battle, so to speak. Good stuff. And you can find even more good stuff from the following great ads!
We’re back as Ian Riccaboni’s disembodied voice runs down the Final Battle card for us. And that card is:
The Briscoes vs The Young Bucks (c) for the ROH World tag team titles
Jay Lethal vs Cody Rhodes
KUSHIDA, Lio Rush, and Jay White vs The Kingdom in the Finals of the ROH World 6-Man titles tournament – Ian tells us that ACH stepped in for Rush to start the tournament while Rush was overseas, but that is not correct – it was KUSHIDA who stepped in for Rush, but I suppose we’ve gotta keep the narrative going. Anyway, Nigel is apparently ‘allowing’ Rush to rejoin the team in the Finals in place of ACH.
Dalton Castle vs Colt Cabana
Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs Silas Young
Marty Scurll (c) vs Bobby Fish vs Will Ospreay vs Dragon Lee
Kyle O’Reilly vs Adam Cole (c) for the ROH World title
All of these matches will, of course, be covered in depth in the BEST DAMN Final Battle PPV Preview by yours truly, coming to finer Blogs of Doom everywhere this week!
Back to the desk, as Kelly and Corino discuss the tag title situation, with the Briscoes going for their 9th title reign against the Bucks and the former champs, the Addiction, on the outside looking in. Can they change that trajectory in the main event tonight?
And there’s the music of the Addiction! Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian make their way to the ring, as we’re told that we will hear from Adam Cole before the hour is out. “Reach for the sky, boy!” That can only mean that Mark and Jay Briscoe are heading to the ring! Dem Boys hit the squared circle as the Addiction confers on the outside. This should hopefully be good and set up challengers for the aftermath of Final Battle.
The Briscoes (Mark & Jay Briscoe) vs The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian)
Code of Honor is declined by the Addiction, naturally. Jay and Frankie start us off. They go nose to nose and lock up, but that goes nowhere. They re-engage, and Kaz gets a headlock takeover that Jay breaks with a headscissors. Same sequence now, as Jay gets the headlock and Frankie breaks, then Kaz sweeps the leg of Jay, Jay out at one and he sweeps the leg of Kaz, Kaz out at one. They trade go-behinds, then trade cradles for one and two, respectively, and Frankie kicks Jay in the gut. Off the ropes, but Jay takes him over with a ‘rana, and Kaz responds with a nice dropkick. They both retreat, and there’s a tag to Daniels and a tag to Mark. Lockup and Mark with the headlock, Daniels shoots him off, shoulderblock by Mark puts him down, then a second one. Daniels comes back with an armdrag, Mark gets one of his own, Daniels with a second one, Mark goes for another one but Daniels avoids it to send Mark crashing to the mat. Mark kicks off when Chris approaches, and we get a shoving match. Daniels shoves Mark again and Kaz takes a shot on the apron, and the Addiction double team Mark as Jay comes in to put a stop to that nonsense. Everyone in now, and the Addiction gain the upper hand and toss Mark and Jay to the floor. Chris and Kaz go out after them and promptly get thrown into the barricade for their insolence. Briscoes get back in and run the ropes, with Jay hitting a tope and Mark hitting a dropkick through the ropes to put the Addiction down again. Mark sends Kaz into a big boot from Jay on the floor and that’ll send us to a break for these great ads!
We’re back with the Briscoes teeing off on Frankie in the corner. Splash by Jay, then a combo running kick/dropkick on a slumped Kazarian. Daniels comes in and goes right back out, courtesy of a hiptoss from Jay and a clothesline over the top from Mark. Mark gets a brainbuster on Frankie for one. Mark takes him to the corner and tags in Jay, and the Briscoes stomp a mudhole and BY GAWD walk it dry on poor Frankie. Jay levels Frankie with an elbow off the ropes and covers for one. Tag to Mark, and he splashes Kaz in the corner. Chops by Mark, Frankie tries to fight back but gets absolutely leveled by a big shot from Mark. Cross-corner whip is reversed by Kaz, but he eats boot on a blind charge. Mark goes up, Daniels tries to get him down and Mark levels him, but that leaves him wide open to a big thrust kick from Frankie to send him tumbling to the floor. Daniels meets him there and sends him to the barricade while Frankie takes Jay out in the corner. More abuse from Daniels on the floor to Mark, Daniels rolls him back in and Frankie gets two. Kaz drops an elbow on Mark to stop him from leaving the corner and tags in Daniels. Double arm-wringer puts Mark down, kick to the chest from Kaz, clothesline to the back of the head by Daniels, and a double stomp from Kaz keep him in place. Chris kneels across the throat of Mark to choke, then hits a headbutt before taunting Jay on the apron as this ring is cut in half, baby. Jay comes in and gets escorted out as Frankie chokes Mark against the bottom turnbuckle. Slam and an elbowdrop from Daniels. 1,2, no! Chris puts Mark in a seated bearhug, Mark tries to fight out, but Daniels puts him back down with a slam. Tag to Kaz, springboard moonsault from Daniels, springboard legdrop from Kaz, 2nd moonsault from Daniels, 2nd legdrop from Kaz, 3RD moonsault from Daniels, 3rd legdrop from Kaz! 1,2, Jay makes the save! Speaking of saving, maybe you can save some money with these great ads!
We’re back with Mark taking more abuse in the Addiction corner. Daniels steps on the head of Mark and tags in Frankie, who pulls Mark up by the beard, then snapmares him over into his own seated bearhug. Mark elbows out, Frankie clobbers him in the back of the head and nails Jay for good measure. Daniels comes in, but Mark kicks him away, then hits a Pele kick to put Frankie down. Mark rolls over and makes the tag to Jay as Frankie tags in Chris. Jay with right hands, sends Daniels off the ropes and levels him with a dropkick. He splashes Chris in the corner and knocks him down with a big boot, then covers for two. Time Bomb neckbreaker for Daniels, Kaz tries to stop it, so Jay decides that Frankie can take it instead. Elbow to Daniels puts him down. 1,2, Frankie makes the save! Jay eats an elbow charging Daniels in the corner, and Chris goes up, taking him down with a knucklelock into a stomp, immediately following that by running across the ring and hitting a tope onto Mark on the outside! Nice sequence there. Slingshot cutter by Kaz on Jay, and Daniels covers for two. Tag to Frankie, double Irish whip on Jay, Jay puts on the brakes by grabbing the top rope. Daniels charges but gets alley-ooped to the apron, he holds Jay in place as Frankie charges, but Jay ducks and Kaz levels Daniels to the floor. Tag to Mark, who comes flying in with a chop on Kaz. More chops from Mark as the Redneck Kung Fu is in full force, Mark off the ropes with a clothesline to Kaz. Briscoe charges but Kaz escapes to the apron and nails him. Kaz goes up and comes off, but gets caught by Mark with an overhead throw. 1,2, NO! Daniels sneaks in and we get a double team powerbomb/neckbreaker combo from the Addiction on Mark. 1,2, NO! Kaz gets Mark in position for the Best Meltzer ever, but Jay pulls Chris to the floor and tosses him to the barricade. Kaz is alone now, and the Briscoes set up for a Doomsday Device, but Kaz catches Mark MID-AIR and powerslams him to the mat! Awesome! 1,2, NO! Daniels yanks Jay back to the floor as the crowd thinks this is awesome, and the crowd is very much correct in this instance. Celebrity Rehab attempt is stopped by a superkick from Jay to Chris, who follows that with a Death Valley Driver to Frankie. Daniels avoids a charge from Mark in the corner, but doesn’t avoids Jay as he sets up for the Jaydriller as Mark goes up. Jaydriller on Daniels! Mark comes off the top rope, Froggy-bow! Put a fork in this one, we’re done here. (The Briscoes over The Addiction, pinfall, 14:29)
WORTH WATCHING? – Good tag team wrestling is always worth it. YES, this was fun and an easy thumbs up. Both these teams are excellent tag wrestlers, and the match itself had a bit of everything, with a good heat segment on Mark and a few possible wins for the Addiction, even though it seemed sure that the Briscoes would get the win before facing the Bucks. The continuing story of Daniels giving everything he has (that running tope from across the ring was excellent) but coming up short is proceeding very nicely and I hope they keep it up.
Post-match, Jay gets in the face of the camera and tells the Young Bucks that they’re coming for them, and that it’s only a matter of time. The Addiction are about to leave the ring, but Mark and Jay call them back in and offer the hand…..and they get it! Daniels and Kaz shake hands, and I just can’t praise Christopher Daniels enough for the work he’s doing right now, as he looks gutted but resolute. Speaking of resolute, I’m resolute that this will be the final time we watch some great ads this week!
We’re back with the Ring of Honor World champion, Adam Cole, bay-bay! “I am so, so tired. I’m exhausted from the same song and dance of Adam Cole versus Kyle O’Reilly.” Speak for yourself, Cole; I’d watch you guys wrestle until the earth falls into the sun. He could go back and look at the long storied history between the two, in 2010, when they broke in as Future Shock. When he became a breakout star and Kyle O’Reilly became a, well, a good wrestler. But he’s going to focus on the past year, Final Battle one year ago, when he stated that he would beat Kyle O’Reilly, that Kyle would never win the ROH championship, and that he, Adam Cole, would win the title back, and that’s exactly what happened. What did Kyle O’Reilly say? Oh, that’s right, no one remembers! Because he’s a step behind Adam Cole, behind the best wrestler on the planet. And that’s because Kyle is satisfied, he wakes up in his beautiful home, happy. He wakes up and looks at his beautiful wife, and he’s happy. He’s content. He gets that paycheck from professional wrestling, and he thinks that he made it. But for those who don’t understand what it’s like to be the best at anything, which is most people, it can be miserable. But that’s the price you pay for being the best! Kyle, there is no question that your talented. You’ve been all over the globe and gone toe to toe with top star after top star, and walked away to tell about it! But you are not and never will be Adam Cole! And the fact that he has to have this discussion for years, about the FACT that he is better than Kyle O’Reilly, that makes him sick! He’s carried Ring of Honor for years! Why does he have to prove to the world that he’s better than Kyle O’Reilly? What, are we out of challengers? Out of ideas? Let’s progress and put Kyle on the backburner where he belongs! If you put heroin on someone’s arm long enough, they become an addict; well, if he has to keep beating Kyle O’Reilly, everyone has to look in the mirror and realize that he’s a loser! Kyle, you know that you’re losing this fight on Friday, but have you lost yet? Not yet – that special occasion is reserved for Final Battle, one last time! This is your last shot, Kyle; choke or win the big one! Adam Cole versus Kyle O’Reilly one last time….one Final Battle!
Yeah, that was fucking amazing.
And we’re done with ROH TV for the week.
FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: ROH finally, finally, hits one out of the park when they needed to. Most of the hour was centered around promotion for Final Battle, with two excellent sitdown interviews to put over the main event and make it seem like a war that will finally end. Combine that with two excellent matches bookending the promos, and you’ve got an almost perfect hour of wrestling. Thumbs way, way up for this week’s ROH TV.
Final Battle is Friday night! Of course, you won’t have to wait that long to read the BEST DAMN Final Battle PPV preview, which should be up sometime before that event. I will, of course, be back with a review of the big show, probably some time on Sunday or so. Until then.
As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,
@MrSoze on Twitter