Ring of Honor – December 7th, 2016


I’m a week late on this one. Sorry about that!

Tonight, it’s our first show after Final Battle! And, since it was taped BEFORE Final Battle, I bet we’ll see none of the actual fallout FROM Final Battle!

And now that I’ve convinced you that this recap is completely superfluous, I’ll at least try to make it entertaining!

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 12/7/16

We are TAPED from the William J Myers Pavilion in Baltimore, Maryland! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness!

And oh BOY, we’re starting off with the music of Cheeseburger! Well, I knew that I was eventually gonna have to start paying for that Kyle O’Reilly title win, I just didn’t expect the pain to come this soon. Burger is out with Will Ferrara, who I am a fan of, and Joey Daddiego, who I am relatively lukewarm on to say the least. Also, him hanging with Will and Burger makes very little sense, but I guess with Truth Martini gone, he’s gotta do something. And there’s the music of the Tempura Boyz! Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu make their way out; they were first seen on ROH TV about a month and a half ago, getting squashed by Cabana and Castle. Joey joins the guys on commentary, as he’s just out here with his boys! First off, there’s never been a history, at least that I’m aware of, in which Joey is even friends with Cheeseburger or Will. Second, you don’t get to have boys in Ring of Honor unless you want Dalton Castle to whup your ass.

Or, you know, you’re Rob Feinstein.

Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara vs The Tempura Boyz (Sho Tanaka & Yohei Komatsu)

Kelly tries to give us a bit of backstory about this, saying that these teams have had run-ins with each other on recent shows in Florida, and while I admire the effort here to give context, they need to start putting together even the briefest of video packages for this stuff if they want it to come across on TV. I mean, 30 seconds would be enough.

Code of Honor is followed. Burger and Sho start us off, but Yohei comes in from behind and clobbers Burger before taking Will out on the apron. Someone must have explained the very loose definition of ‘tag team match’ that applies to ROH. Double team attempt, but Yohei runs into a boot from Burger and Sho gets tossed to the floor, and now the faces work over Yohei with running splashes in the corner, then a double-team drop toehold/elbow combo. Stereo crossbodies over the top rope take out the Boyz on the floor, then they toss Sho back in for a double atomic drop. Cheeseburger gets tripped up by Yohei and pulled to the floor, and a few standing switches later, Will gets sent to the ropes by Sho into a Yohei kick, followed by Sho nailing Will in the back of the head with a clothesline to take over. Tag to Yohei, and they hit a double flapjack on Will, then a few seated dropkicks for a two count. Will tries to fight out against Tanaka, finally getting a jawbreaker to get some space, but Komatsu runs over and pulls Burger off the apron before the tag. Sho grinds Will down with a chinlock as Kelly tells us that tonight, we will see Kevin Sullivan, BJ Whitmer, and Punishment Martinez! They’re here! Christ, I might just watch Final Battle again. Will fights up and blocks a suplex from Sho, then manages to duck a kick from Komatsu that ends up nailing Tanaka, and it’s hot tag to Cheeseburger! Burger comes in and takes out Yohei on the apron, then fires ‘strikes’ at Sho, including some of the shittiest KENTA chops I’ve seen in a long time. Burger with a kick, Sho responds in kind, but Cheeseburger goes around him and comes off the ropes with a bulldog. Burger calls for a Shotei palm strike, but Yohei comes in to put a stop to that nonsense, and Sho tries for what looks like a package or fisherman’s piledriver. Will takes out Yohei on the outside and then sunset flips over Sho back into the ring, rolling him through into the palm strike from Cheeseburger, then a jumping facebuster from Will. 1,2, Yohei makes the save. And to save us from watching more of this match, we’ll instead watch these great ads!

We’re back with all 4 men in the ring and Will going at it with Yohei. Fireman’s carry by Will, but Komatsu gets out and Sho nails Will from behind, wheelbarrow by Sho into a Codebreaker by Yohei, then a suplex from Tanaka. Will rolls out to the floor, leaving Cheeseburger alone in the ring, and the Boyz double-team him with a superkick and a package piledriver that keeps him down for 3. (The Tempura Boyz over Will Ferrara & Cheeseburger, pinfall, 6:34)

WORTH WATCHING? – Well, it wasn’t terrible, I’ll give it that; most of it was executed well, with a few hiccups here and there. But it’s nothing that has any consequence or will matter in the future, so I’m going with a NO on this one, as the ringwork wasn’t memorable enough to make it worth the sit. Giving the Tempura Boyz at least some identity by having them work heel here was at least a decent idea, we’ll see what happens down the road with it.

Post-match, Joey Daddiego complains about all the double-teaming from the Boyz, which is laughable considering that Burger and Will did more than their fair share. But wait! That’s the disembodied voice of Prince Nana on a mic! He says “Come on Donovan!” and we now see he’s leading Donovan Dijak to the ring, who doesn’t seem to want to do this. But Nana doesn’t care, as he tells Dijak to get in the ring and end their careers! Start with Cheeseburger! That’s me saying that by the way, not Nana. Anyway, Dijak chokeslams Will into the backbreaker as Nana eggs him on, telling him to do it again. He does so, and now Joey has gotten up from commentary and is in the ring, and if there’s anything that can stop Dijak, it’s the awesome power of Joey Daddiego, right? Joey grabs the mic from Nana and tells Dijak that these aren’t just his training partner or his friends, they’re his family! Yeah! This would be so much cooler if we had seen ANYTHING about this before now, but still! Hey, remember when these guys were in the House of Truth together? Wouldn’t this have been a good time for Joey to bring that up, that they were once partners? Nah, that ended badly, probably good that he forgot about that. Anyway, Joey says that if Dijak wants to knock someone down, why not try to knock HIM down? And it appears we have an impromptu match!

Donovan Dijak (w/ Prince Nana) vs Joey Daddiego

Now remember, at Final Battle, we found out that Nana and Dijak were no longer together, so you already know the ending to this storyline! It’s like the Steiners/Freebirds of wrestler/manager breakups!

Code of Honor is not followed. Joey fires punches to start, then a running kick. He picks Dijak up for a slam, but Donovan elbows out. More punches from Joey, so Dijak picks him up and hits him with a knee, then tosses him across the ring from the slam position. They exchange punches and Dijak levels Joey, but gets caught and hung on the 2nd rope, Joey goes up and comes off with a stomp to the back of Dijak. Joey goes for a power bomb, I think, but Dijak hoists him up on the shoulders, Joey elbows out and hits Dijak with forearms, Dijak catches a charge from Joey in the corner with an elbow. Dijak goes up, but Daddiego catches him on the 2nd rope and drops him with an electric chair. Brainbuster by Daddiego! 1,2, no! Daddiego goes up, but Nana crotches him on the top rope while the ref isn’t looking, and Dijak pulls him off the top and hits Feast Your Eyes for the pin. (Donovan Dijak over Joey Daddiego, pinfall, 2:27)


Post-match, Nana gets on the mic and tells Dijak that, THAT is how you win a match. Yeah, whatever. I’m far from Dijak’s biggest fan, but Daddiego sucks and Dijak shouldn’t have sold a move from him, much less needed Nana to cheat to win that match. Should have been a squash. Hey, you know where you may be able to find squash? Find out, possibly, if a supermarket paid for some of these great ads!

We’re back with a recap of the former Cabinet’s actions, including them telling us on ROH TV that there are more of them than we think. Let’s look at a recent show in San Antonio, where the Cabinet laid out Donovan Dijak and the Motor City Machine Guns, telling them that they wanted to recruit Sabin, and if you don’t get down with the Rebellion, you lay down and stay down! Hey, that’s probably why they were fighting at Final Battle; pity that we didn’t see this video BEFORE the PPV to give us that context.

Oh GOODIE, it’s a video recap of the recent advancements in the Corino/Whitmer/Sullivan story! Anyway, they say some stuff, none of it makes much sense or matters, (or maybe it does, I just hate this angle so thoroughly that I want it all to not make sense and disappear forever) and the gist seems to be that they want Corino to join them. Sure. Whatever.

And there’s the music of whatever you call these guys, as Punishment Martinez, BJ Whitmer, and Kevin Sullivan make their way to the ring. Yippee. Anyway, Kelly tries to actually explain this nonsense, so if you give a shit, listen to Kelly; for the rest of us sane humans that exist on the planet earth that are still watching, WHY are we doing this to ourselves?

Kyle O’Reilly is the World Champ. Kyle O’Reilly is the World Champ. Kyle O’Reilly is the World Champ.

Okay, got my moment of zen out of the way. I’m back. Anyway, here comes the opponents, as War Machine’s music starts up! Hanson and Rowe make their entrance, and frankly, they might be able to drag a decent match out of these fools.

War Machine (Hanson & Rowe) vs Punishment Martinez & BJ Whitmer (w/ Kevin Sullivan)

Code of Honor is declined by Whitmer and Martinez, and they attack before the bell to get us started. They toss Hanson and work Rowe over, but Ray fights back with a knee to the face of BJ and a shot to Martinez, who is subsequently pulled to the floor by Hanson and sent to the barricade. Whitmer also gets tossed, and now he and Rowe get into it on the floor, BJ sends Rowe to the barricade and then gets leveled by a kick from Hanson. More brawling outside the ring as Hanson gets a table from under the ring. Yet more brawling as Martinez hits a thrust kick to Rowe, while Hanson beats on BJ. Martinez comes over for the double-team on Hanson, but Rowe returns with Superman punches for both Whitmer and Punishment. Rowe goes to set up the table as Punishment gets the better of Hanson, and now BJ stops Rowe. Whitmer fires some shitty chops to Rowe as Hanson comes back over, and now Hanson starts to dominate with punches and kicks. Punishment fights back and this is LITERALLY just guys punching and kicking each other out there, and it’s SO BORING. Martinez sends him head first to the apron, then hits a nice slam on the outside to send us to this great ad break!

We’re back and FINALLY in the ring, as Whitmer is firing away at Rowe. During the break, Hanson dove onto Martinez on the outside to take him out. In current action, Rowe gets the upper hand against BJ now, with a nice knee to the face. He comes off the ropes but gets flattened by a nice clothesline from BJ. Back to their feet now, and we have a slugfest, won by Rowe with kicks until Punishment comes in and clobbers Rowe from behind, because why not? It’s not like ROH refs ever enforce the rules of a tag match anyway. Hanson joins the party and hits a Cactus clothesline to send himself and Martinez back to the floor. Goody. They pop back up and start firing at each other, while Rowe and BJ do the same in the ring. The ref tries to stop them, and BJ shoves him away, ref tries again and now Rowe shoves him away, and even the ref is tired of watching this shit. (Double DQ, 5:36)

WORTH WATCHING? – I think Ring of Honor is trying to kill me tonight. NO, this was a boring brawl with a shitty finish that was clearly set up to make us want to see another match between the teams, but I’m sure as shit not there. War Machine is great, and I don’t want them to get bogged down in all this crap.

Post-match, Whitmer kicks the ref in the face for his insolence, but turns into a Superman punch from Rowe as a result as Hanson gets thrown to the barricade by Martinez. Rowe tries to suplex BJ out of the ring through the tables, but Punishment stops that on the apron and chokeslams Rowe through them instead! Pretty sure that Rowe smacked his head on one of the tables. Hanson tries to get his vengeance, but gets laid out with kicks from BJ and Martinez, and now Sullivan is in the ring with a mic. Joy. Sullivan calls him “Todd” and talks about Hanson being a kid who went to the matches with Sullivan when he was little and…..oh, F this. He screams some more and calls him Steve Corino and calls out the real Corino. Steve comes out, more shit happens and the segment mercifully ends. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. I DON’T WATCH RING OF HONOR FOR THIS SHIT. And I don’t have to for the next 90 seconds or so, I get to watch these great ads!

We’re back with a promo for next week’s ROH TV, which will be a Women of Honor show. Mandy Leon/Jessica Havok, Candice LeRae/Deonna Purrazzo, & Kelly Klein/ODB. Already sounds better than this week!

And there’s the music of the Motor City Machine Guns! Time for our 8-man tag team main event! The Guns are out with Lio Rush and Jay White, as they’re team #1. “Reach for the sky, boy!” That’s the music of the Briscoes! Jay and Mark are out, and there’s Silas Young to join them, with the music of Jay Lethal hitting to round out the team. This episode has been very not good; time to save the show, boys!

The Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin), Lio Rush, & Jay White vs The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe), Silas Young, & Jay Lethal

Code of Honor is followed by everyone except Silas Young, which makes total sense. Rush and Lethal start us off. Quick chain sequence leads to a Lethal headlock. Lio shoots him off, Jay runs through him with a shoulder, Lethal off the ropes, criss-cross and Rush takes him over with a headscissors to send Lethal to the floor. Rush wants to fly, but Lethal pulls him out to the floor and gets in the ring, now Jay wants to dive, but Rush slides back in as Lethal stops himself on the apron, Rush with a matrix dodge of a shot from Jay and a springboard kick to send Lethal down to the floor. Rush tries to fly again, but Lethal slides in and drops him with a superkick. Lethal tries to fly again, but Rush slides back in, kick is caught by Jay and he flips Rush, but Lio lands on his feet. Flurry of shots from Lio and a spinning back kick sends Lethal back out. They’re having a really fun little battle over who gets to make the first dive. Rush keeps him out the with a kick and looks to run the ropes, but Jay Briscoe hops to the other side apron and dares him to try it. While that’s going on, Lethal pulls Shelley off the apron, I assume just to be a dick. I approve. Lio Rush, on the other hand, does not and fires off a tope con hilo to Lethal on the outside! Nice one, too. Jay Briscoe comes in and fires off a tope that takes out Rush and Lethal on the floor, but gets nailed by Jay White off the apron. White turns around and Mark Briscoe’s feet are right there, as Mark comes through the ropes with a dropkick. Sabin on the apron now, but his down the line kick is caught by Mark and he gets dropped face first on the apron. Mark is pleased, but less so when he turns around and gets superkicked by Shelley. That’s everyone but Silas Young…..oh, never mind, as he comes off the apron with a flying clothesline to Alex. Action has been non-stop so far, and we’ll see if it continues that way after we watch these great ads!

We’re back with Jay Briscoe getting backdropped by White on the floor, and Lethal is with Rush in the ring. Sabin is covered in streamers from underneath the ring as Lethal chops away at Rush in the corner. Carnage reigns outside the ring, as White bounces a trash can off the head of Mark while Kevin Kelly explains the reason for the streamers being under the ring; does he think that there’s a shit-ton of new viewers this week or something? Because the commentary is really putting over ROH as a company. I mean, I’m fine with it, but it’s noticeable. Back in the ring now, and Rush runs Lethal into the Guns’ boots in the corner, tag to Alex and now the Guns double-team Lethal as Mark Briscoe has somehow gotten a headset for commentary, which is always good news. No sarcasm, I love Mark. “Kevin Kelly, I got hit in the head with a trashcan, I got thrown into the guardrail, et cetera, et cetera, but I’m getting back in this fight!” Triple and quad teaming continues on Lethal, as the Guns, White and Rush all hit dropkicks to a slumped Lethal in the corner. Straightjacket choke by Shelley on Lethal as now Kelly and Nigel are into bashing other companies, talking about how you see guys using moves from ROH on other programs, usually not as well done, and all I want to do is find them and scream at them “DID YOU SEE THE FIRST HALF OF THIS SHOW?!??!” I mean, this match has been pretty good, but let’s calm the fuck down, okay? Lethal tries to break, but Shelley keeps the hold on, then drops an elbow onto Lethal’s head to keep him down. Tag to Lio Rush, so of course Chris Sabin comes in. Sigh. Anyway, the Guns tie Lethal up with the help of White on the apron, holding him against the top rope so Rush can come off with a double stomp to the back of Lethal. 1,2, NO! Kicks from Rush, but Lethal catches one and uses the last of his strength to drive Rush into Lethal’s corner, and there’s a tag to Silas. Young stomps a mudhole and BY GAWD walks it dry on Rush in the corner, then hits a nice high-angle belly-to-back suplex on Lio. Tag to Jay Briscoe, and he starts clubbering away with a European uppercut before tagging in Mark, and it appears that we have some visitors on the ramp, as the Rebellion are making their way to the ring. Mark splashes Rush in the corner and hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex on Lio for two. Tag back to Lethal, and he chops at Rush in the corner, off the ropes, and Lethal just tosses him in the air and Lio crashes to the mat. 1,2, no! Tag back to Jay Briscoe, and he nails Rush with a few forearms and a running splash in the corner, snapmare and a boot to the face gets two for Briscoe, and we need to take two ourselves; two minutes to watch these great ads!

We’re back with Lethal signaling for the Lethal Injection, but he gets cradled by Rush for two. Lethal strikes back with a beautiful spinebuster on Lio. 1,2, the Guns save it! The Briscoes come in and toss the Guns to the floor, and now Rush tries to fight back. Lethal tries for a cutter, but in a tremendous move, Rush puts out his hands as he goes down and does a handstand as Lethal crashes to the mat! Words can’t do that justice, it was suh-weet. Kelly: “Nowhere else but in Ring of Honor are you going to see that!” Okay, now it’s officially annoying. Shut up, Kevin. Rush finally tags in Jay White, and he drops Lethal, then knocks the Briscoes to the floor with a double elbow on the apron. Young comes in and misses a wild right, and White starts firing rights at Silas. Irish whip is reversed and White knocks Young down with a back elbow, then its opposite corner uppercuts to Lethal and Young. Suplex takes Lethal down, then a half and half suplex drops Young on his head. Ouch. Crowd chants for White, which is cool, and he comes off the top with a missile dropkick to Lethal. 1,2, Jay Briscoe makes the save! Mark and Alex Shelley are also back in now, and he gets Mark in DDT position, then catches a Jay Briscoe clothesline; with the help of an enzuigiri by Sabin, he gets a DDT/Flatliner combo on both Briscoes. Shelley hops on the ropes and Lio Rush comes through the bottom and middle ropes at blinding speed, hitting a tope on Mark. He does the same through Sabin’s legs on the other side to take out Jay Briscoe. Nigel: “Like a bullet!” Yeah, that about sums it up. Rush is crazy good. White and Sabin double-team Lethal now, with a clothesline by Sabin and an uppercut by White hitting Lethal in the corner. The Guns hit Lethal with a kneedrop off the top rope while he’s in a backbreaker position, and then hit Lethal in the head with a kick and forearm before White hits a spinning uranage on Lethal. Tag to Rush by White, and Rush goes up as the Guns and White hit topes onto the Briscoes and Young on the outside. Frog splash by Rush, but Lethal got the knees up! 1,2, NO! Lethal Combination by Lethal! He goes up for the Hail to the King elbow, but Jay White shoves him off the top rope, and there’s a tag to White from Rush. White with a charge, but Lethal gets the boot up and blind tags in Mark. White with a dropkick to Lethal, but that leaves him open to some Redneck Kung-Fu from Mark. Mark turns around into a Sabin clothesline, but Jay Briscoe comes in and boots Sabin down. Lio comes off the ropes and turns a tilt-a-whirl attempt by Jay Briscoe into a DDT, but that leaves him open to Silas Young hitting Lio with a backbreaker and clothesline across the knee. Shelley back in now, irish whip attempt is reversed and the Guns now double-team Silas, dropping him with a dropkick to the knee and the chinlock into a Sabin dropkick to the face. They double-team Mark Briscoe next, as this thing has suddenly become a complete mess, but Briscoe lands on his feet after an attempted double back drop, and he fights off the Guns and Rush with chops and forearms. Off the ropes, but he gets leveled by a double superkick from the Guns, a dropkick from Rush, and the Kiwi Crusher from White finishes Mark in what could be considered an upset. (The Motor City Machine Guns, Jay White, & Lio Rush over Jay Lethal, Silas Young, and The Briscoes, pinfall, 13:26)

WORTH WATCHING? – I’m mixed. The match wasn’t boring at all, and excitement goes a long way with me, plus the right team went over, as giving the young guys the win was most assuredly the right move. I hate, hate, hate how ROH tag matches just decide randomly to either have rules or not have rules, but I’m more forgiving of it in an 8-Man tag, where there’s so many dudes that it’s hard to stop. I’m going with a YES, because the match, despite its flaws, was really fast-paced and it did entertain me, which is the spirit of whether it’s worth watching. The commentary was absolutely TERRIBLE, though, and that’s not something I normally harp on, as Kelly and Nigel were insufferable.

Post-match, we see some replays as Jay White checks on Mark Briscoe in the corner, and Kelly sells us on Women of Honor next week. And we’re out.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Man, this was moving towards all-time worst ROH TV for the first half, with bad matches, terrible finishes, and the continuation of the Whitmer/Corino/Sullivan mess. The second half of the show saved it somewhat, but I’ve gotta say that I would pass on ROH TV this week, or at least the first half of it for sure. With next week being Women of Honor, we’ll see the fallout from Final Battle the week after, but this one was skippable.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter