Ring of Honor – December 21st, 2016


Two recaps today, so I can get caught up!

Tonight on ROH TV, it’s time for the fallout from Final Battle! You may remember Final Battle as “The day that all became right with the world”, as Kyle O’Reilly finally became the Ring of Honor World Champion. Let’s see what happens tonight!

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 12/21/16

Video package from the main event of Final Battle opens the show; I may end up setting “Your new Ring of Honor World champion, Kyle O’Reilly!” as my ringtone.

We are TAPED from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.

And we’re not wasting any time tonight, as “Dance Away” starts up and here comes the NEW Ring of Honor World champ! “O’Reilly!” chant from the crowd as Kyle grabs the mic. “What’s up, Philadelphia?” He doesn’t even get a sentence into his promo before the crowd starts chanting “You deserve it!” You know, Philly crowd, I think it’s about time to forgive you guys for booing Santa Claus, because you’re showing some exquisite sophistication here. Kyle continues, saying that this title has always represented that Ring of Honor is the best wrestling on the planet, and this title around his waist means that Kyle O’Reilly is the best wrestler in the world! Well, that is indeed a factual statement. Kyle promises to defend the title with honor, just like Nigel McGuinness, like Bryan Danielson, like Samoa Joe, and he could keep going on! Final Battle was a moment that he’ll never forget; after 11 long years, it’s a moment that no one will never be able to take away from him!

“Bullet Club, bay-bay!” I sense that some disagreement will be thrown Kyle’s way here, as Adam Cole makes his way out. “Cut my music! Cut it!” Kyle shouldn’t be out here celebrating, he should be out here apologizing for the travesty that went down at Final Battle! He prepared for weeks to beat Kyle yet again in a professional wrestling match, but at the last minute, it gets changed to No-DQ? With thumbtacks? Tables? Chains? It was a joke! And O’Reilly is a joke as a champion! Crowd loudly reminds Cole that he tapped out, which earns them a ‘SHUT UP!’ from Mr. Cole. It was luck, Kyle, all luck! And you can walk around with that title on your shoulder, but the best professional wrestler on the planet is still Adam Cole, bay-bay!

Wait a moment; that’s the music of Dalton Castle! YES! PUSH THIS MAN! “Wow! This must be so embarrassing for you!” He was in the back in an intense game of Uno, and he heard Cole going on about the Ring of Honor World championship! “Congratulations, Kyle.” But while he was back there, he noticed that Cole left this peacock out of the conversation; maybe they forgot, but in this ring, Dalton is a very dangerous man! He’s a fantastic wrestler, and the last time that Cole and Castle were in the ring together, Dalton pinned Cole! And if Dalton is doing the math correctly, which he thinks he is, because one of his parents was a math teacher and that makes him at least HALF-math teacher (God, this man is awesome), then he thinks that he’s in line for the next shot at the ROH World championship!

But wait a minute – that’s “Dance Away” again, and here comes Bobby Fish! The winner of the 2016 Survival of the Fittest tournament comes down to the ring. “It appears to me that my brother, Kyle O’Reilly, at Final Battle, made good on every promise that he’s ever made, Adam Cole, concerning you and that World title!” Yet, mere days later, Cole is out here complaining! And now Dalton Castle wants to know who’s next? Well, Fish stands here as the winner of the SOTF tournament, and that gives him a World title shot in 2017!

He goes to address Kyle, but Cole interrupts. He couldn’t care less what Bobby thinks, and he cares even less what Castle thinks; Kyle’s championship reign won’t last much longer, because regardless of what anyone thinks, Adam Cole will by the next, 3-time, Ring of Honor World champion! Kyle wants to make something perfectly clear to Adam as Cole goes to leave – as long as there is a breath in Kyle’s body, he will sweat, bleed, and die to keep the ROH World title! And any man that wants to try to take this title away, well, all Kyle has to say is ‘Good luck!’.

Great opening promo, as Castle gets mixed in with the top guys, as he should. Cole stakes his claim to a rematch and we’re reminded that Fish has a title shot in the future, which could lead to some very interesting possibilities if they decide to break up reDRagon.

But who will get the title shot at the 15th Anniversary show? Well, Kevin and Nigel have an answer for that, as we see that there will be a Decade of Excellence tournament, and the winner will face the ROH World champ at the 15th Anniversary! Brackets are as follows:

Top Bracket:

Mark Briscoe vs Christopher Daniels
Chris Sabin vs Colt Cabana

Bottom Bracket:

BJ Whitmer vs Jay Briscoe
Jay Lethal vs Jushin “Thunder” Liger

It’s going to be fantastic, and that tournament begins on ROH TV…..after these great ads!

We’re back with another look at the bracket, as Kelly voiceover reveals that all of the competitors in the tournament debuted in ROH at least a decade ago. Back at the desk, where Nigel changes the main event tonight, as we’re going to have a 6-Man tag, with Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, & Dalton Castle vs Adam Cole & the Young Bucks!

“Worship us!” That can only be the music of Christopher Daniels! He’s out with Frankie Kazarian at his side. Let’s hear what Daniels has to say! “The decade of excellence? Well, understand that Christopher Daniels has more than twice that amount of excellence in his experience!” The tournament may start with Mark Briscoe, but it ends with Christopher Daniels having a shot at the World championship!

Hey, it’s the Anthem of the Sussex County Chicken! That can only mean one thing, and that’s the arrival of Mark Briscoe! Let’s hear what Mark had to say: “The hell with 10 years!” He made his debut 15 years ago, in 2002! He used to be guided by Christopher Daniels in those days, but since then, they’ve come a long way!

Christopher Daniels (w/ Frankie Kazarian) vs Mark Briscoe

Daniels strikes first with a single-leg takedown, then a cartwheel over Mark into a headlock takeover, which Briscoe breaks with a headscissors. Daniels takes him over again and blocks the headscissors this time, keeping the headlock on. Briscoe gets back up and shoots Chris off, Daniels with the shoulderblock, but Mark isn’t moving on that. Briscoe tries one of his own, Daniels stands up on that. They trade shoulders again, and Daniels bounces off the ropes right into an armdrag by Briscoe. Armwringer by Mark, then a headlock, Daniels shoots him off, and this time the Briscoe shoulderblock drops Chris. Mark with a headlock, Daniels shoots him off and tries a backdrop, Mark lands on his feet and hits the Crane pose. Kick is caught and Daniels flips Briscoe, then tries for some Crane style of his own. Hee. Kick is caught by Mark, and he spins Daniels before hitting a fallaway enzuigiri to Chris. Briscoe in the corner and he mounts Daniels with right hands, then tries it again in another corner, this time in Spanish. Mark tosses Daniels outside and looks for a tope, but stops to jaw at Frankie on the outside, allowing Chris to sneak back in and hit Mark with an STO. And we’re going to take a TO, as in time out, to watch these great ads!

We’re back with Daniels catching Mark with a back elbow and a Saito suplex. Daniels covers. 1, 2, no! Cross-corner whip by Chris, then a reverse neckbreaker that he finishes with his arm for two. Daniels puts on a chinlock, Briscoe elbows out, but walks into a slam from Chris. Split-legged moonsault from Daniels hits the knees of Mark, and Briscoe chops away at Daniels, then reverses off a charge to the corner with a forearm coming out. Off the ropes, Briscoe drops Chris with a clothesline, then clotheslines Daniels in the corner and sets him on the top rope as the commentators are having a weird conversation about the person who appeared on the screen after the Bucks/Briscoes match at Final Battle. What, we aren’t allowed to say Matt Hardy out loud or something? Briscoe levels Daniels on the top with an uppercut and goes up for a superplex, Daniels fights him off and tries to come off the top, but Mark catches him with an overhead uranage, sending Daniels to the floor. Briscoe comes off the ropes, dropkick through the middle to Daniels! Mark tosses him back in and goes up, chop off the top rope! Running kick from Mark and he covers for two. Briscoe tries a suplex, but Daniels floats over and catches Mark coming off the ropes with a modified Blue Thunder Bomb. Lionsault by Daniels gets two. Briscoe back up with rights, but he comes off and gets caught by Daniels with a standing uranage, and Chris goes up. Best Moonsault Ever attempted, Briscoe moves, Daniels lands on his feet, and now Mark fires up the Redneck Kung Fu, sending Chris to the corner. Briscoe charges, but Daniels moves and sends Mark to the floor, and Briscoe pulls Chris out with him, sending Daniels to the barricade. Mark on the apron, Cactus Jack elbow to Daniels on the floor! Mark rolls him back in, rolling Death Valley Driver, Mark goes up, Froggy-Bow misses! Daniels wastes zero time, loading Mark up and hitting Angel’s Wings. 1, 2, 3. (Christopher Daniels over Mark Briscoe, pinfall, 9:23)

WORTH WATCHING? – This was two good professional wrestlers putting on a good professional wrestling match. That’s my speed and I hope it’s yours if you’re watching this show, so YES, this was a fine way to start us off this week. Noticeably, Kaz didn’t do a thing in this match, and Daniels won clean as a sheet when Mark went for a big move and it didn’t pay off. I really think that they need to be careful with Christopher right now, as his character is at an all-time high; if it were up to me, I’d send him all the way to the Finals and have him lose there, just to further push him to the edge of whether his time is done or not. I would have absolutely zero problem with him getting a final main event push, but I want it to be built for a long time over the next year.

Post-match, we see an updated bracket with Daniels advancing, as Kelly tells us that we’ll see all the tournament matches on ROH TV, which suspiciously sounds to me like they’re using the TV show in a way that advances a long-running storyline; what is going on with this company? Who hired someone competent? Back to the ring, as Daniels and Briscoe shake hands, following the Code of Honor. Will wonders never cease? Speaking of wonders, I wonder what wonders we’ll see in the following great ads!

We’re back to the upside-down ROH logo, so that can only mean that we’re about to see the Rebellion! Indeed, here comes Caprice Coleman, Kenny King, and Rhett Titus, as we’re about to see Coleman in action! And here comes his opponent, one Lio Rush! He makes his way to the ring as we see highlights from Final Battle in which Rush’s team came up a bit short as the Kingdom became the new ROH 6-Man tag team champs.

We’re back live now, and Kenny King has a mic. “Do not adjust your television set, and no, the beer and percocet is not blurring your vision, we’ve turned Ring of Honor upside-down!” Well, they’ve been okay, I suppose, but I hardly think…..oh, he’s talking about the logo. Got it. King continues, saying that the fans may boo, but they’re just like the Rebellion; the Rebellion loves pro wrestling, they love Ring of Honor, but unlike the fans, they do what they have to do! All they’re trying to do is get Rush to see things their way; is Rush ready to take a stand and join the Rebellion? Rush has the mic now, and he wants to get one thing straight – what the Rebellion stands for is nothing like what Lio stands for! He stands for respect, integrity, and honor! Coleman takes the mic back, saying that now he understands why Rush doesn’t get the mic! Word. He understands Rush now, that Rush is just here to be seen and get his first ticket out the door, and then he’s gone! But before he leaves, he’s gotta face Caprice Coleman here in the 2300 Arena! And he’s not going to treat him like he stole something, he’s going to treat Rush like he stole something from HIM. Okay, sure. He says more stuff, but it’s a pretty tortured metaphor, to be honest. Anyway, he’s going to beat him post to post, wall to wall! Ring the bell!

Lio Rush vs Caprice Coleman (w/ Rhett Titus & Kenny King)

No Code of Honor. Coleman charges, but Rush avoids a clothesline in the corner, then avoids another one, then another one. Rush keeps moving and Caprice charges again, this time hitting the post with his shoulder! Lio rolls him up! 1, 2, 3! (Lio Rush over Caprice Coleman, pinfall, 0:21)


Post-match, the beatdown is on, as King and Titus clobber Rush along with Caprice. Piledriver from Power Bomb position by Coleman, and the Rebellion poses. Jay White and Donovan Dijak run out to make the save, and with the time you saved by not watching that match, you can surely watch these great ads!

We’re back at the desk, as Nigel and Kevin recap the earlier match, telling us that in two weeks, we’ve got Jay Briscoe vs BJ Whitmer in a first-round match!

But there’s the music of the Bullet Club! The Young Bucks are out with their hardware, followed by Adam Cole, and the Bucks get their usual crazy pop. And there’s the music of reDRagon, as the Ring of Honor World champion (get used to it, ’cause I’m gonna keep saying it) Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish head out, and that’s followed by the music of Dalton Castle! He’s out with the Boys, and this should be good stuff. And it’ll be next after we see what good stuff you can buy from the following great ads!

We’re back!

The Ring of Honor World Champion Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, & Dalton Castle vs The Bullet Club (Adam Cole, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson)

Cole and Kyle look to start us off, but the Bucks hit the sneak attack, and that brings in Fish and Castle, and we’ve got a pier-6 brawl as the Bucks head outside the ring with Fish and Castle, leaving us Cole and O’Reilly in the ring. Fine by me. They slug it out as chaos reigns on the floor, and Kyle gets a kick to the chest and a legsweep to drop Adam, and Cole rolls out. Castle and Fish come back in, and Dalton runs the ropes, before doing his stomp across the ring. Meanwhile, Kyle alley-oops Fish to the apron, and he dives over the turnbuckles to take out the Bucks, while Kyle heads to the apron and flies off with a knee to Cole. Kyle tosses Cole back in, then catches him against the ropes with an armbar. The Bucks manage to get free and hit a double superkick on Kyle to break that up. Superkick to Castle! Superkick to Fish! And now the Bullet Club is in control, as they’re back in the ring. Terminator pose, and we get stereo topes from the Bullet Club onto reDRagon and Castle on the outside! The Bucks load Fish and Dalton up, stereo powerbombs to the apron by the Bucks! Cole gets O’Reilly up, and the Bucks give Adam a hand, as we get a triple powerbomb to the apron on Kyle! Cole is especially pleased at this turn of events, as he rolls in and Kyle gets tossed in for some beatins’. Cole takes him to the buckle, then wrings the arm and whips him to the buckle, Bret Hart style. Adam puts Kyle in the camel clutch and tags in Nick; he and Matt come in and run the ropes, and we get the double kiss on Cole’s cheek from the Bucks. Adorable! Almost as adorable as the following great ads!

We’re back with Nick Jackson wobbling on the top rope, as the Boys try to fan him down. Oh, and Dalton Castle is also shaking the top, but I’m going with the awesome force of the Boys as the reason that Nick bounces, crotch-first, off the top rope. Kyle crawls for the tag, but Cole and Matt take out Dalton and Bobby from the apron. In a pretty funny bit, they jump up on the apron and beg for the tag from O’Reilly, who realizes that he’s currently pretty screwed. He takes a shot at them, but they drop down and Kyle turns around into a knee to the face from Nick. He ends up on the apron and Nick hits him with a superkick, sending him into the arms of Matt and Cole, who stand him back up on the apron. Second superkick from Nick, and they stand him up again, third superkick! Kyle falls back into the arms of Matt and Adam again, and this time they bridge him out as Nick runs to the apron and hits a Swanton bomb off the apron through Kyle. O’Reilly gets tossed back in and Nick covers. 1, 2, NO! Tag to Matt and the Bucks attempt a double suplex on Kyle, but O’Reilly flips out and lands on his feet, then turns and blasts Cole with a forearm. Matt charges, but he eats a boot from the Ring of Honor World champion. Nick charges, but he gets alley-ooped to the apron and dropped to the floor with a right hand. Matt back with a kick to the chest of Kyle, but he comes off the ropes and gets caught with a belly-to-belly throw. Nick tries his luck with a springboard splash, but O’Reilly gets the knees up, and there’s the hot tag to Dalton Castle! The peacock is fired up and it’s right hands for the Bucks, then a German suplex for Cole! German suplex for Nick! Matt jumps off the ropes backwards, Castle catches him mid-air! German suplex with a bridge! 1, 2……3? No, ref says he got the shoulder up at two. Castle keeps the waistlock on as Cole and Nick try to pull him off, but now Fish and Kyle are back, and we get stereo German suplexes on the Bullet Club! Castle bridges again, 1, 2, NO! Dalton goes for the Bangarang on Matt Jackson, but Matt manages to shove him off; Castle repays him in kind by hitting him in the face with a right hand. Matt bounces off the ropes, superkick to Dalton! Both of them charge, they clothesline each other! Both guys down now, and they both make tags to Fish and Cole respectively. Fish comes in with kicks on Adam, then one for Nick, then a jumping Samoan Drop to Matt! He drives Nick into the corner, then hits an Exploder on Cole for two. Tag to Kyle, and reDRagon tees off on Cole with the 2-Man Smash Machine! O’Reilly covers for two, but the Bucks dive in to break it up. They drag Adam to the corner and Nick tags in, and he comes in with kicks and elbows for both members of reDRagon. Knee to Fish in the corner, and then the bulldog/clothesline combo drops both Fish and O’Reilly. Nick follows that up with a dropkick to send Castle off the apron to the floor. Kyle charges him, but Nick hits him with a shoulder and springs in with a facebuster to Kyle, then back out to hit a moonsault off the apron to Dalton. Matt joins him outside, and they SUPERKICK THE BOYS! Nigel: “Well, you can’t say they didn’t deserve it!” Man, Nigel’s a dick. Nick goes up for the 450 on Kyle, but he gets caught in a triangle coming down! Cole tries to break it up, but Fish intercepts and hits a Falcon Arrow on Adam! Matt in now, but Castle cuts him off and hits the Bangarang! Nick tries to escape, but only manages to end up getting caught in an armbar, and that leads to the tapout! (The Ring of Honor World champion Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish, & Dalton Castle over The Bullet Club, submission, 10:38)

WORTH WATCHING? – This type of match can only be done well by certain wrestlers, and this was done well. I’m not a huge fan of the lax tag rules in ROH (he’s said a MILLION TIMES), but in that context, the finish was really well-paced and exciting, and the entire match moved like a shot. YES, the main event is worth the time to check out this week, as one of the important things that came from this is that Dalton Castle looked completely at home in there with these guys, and that can only help his quest to make it to the next level. Kyle got a lot of the heat, got the submission, and was a focal point in several situations that made him look strong and I’m all for that. I freely admit that I’m BIASED, as when I like almost everyone in the match, I’m likely to say that you should watch it. Enjoy.

Post-match, reDRagon and Castle celebrate as Kelly tells us that next week, it’s a very special edition of Ring of Honor TV, as we’ll be taking a look at the Reach for the Sky tour from the United Kingdom! And we’re out.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Oh, come on. You know that I’m going to recommend this one for the main alone. Still, ROH spun the wheels nicely this week, as the opening segment isn’t normally something that they do, but it established the line of contenders that Kyle has, and the tournament to determine his challenger for the next PPV is a fine idea and should play out well over the next several weeks. Overall, outside of the Rebellion stuff in the middle (and even that had a purpose), this was a fun episode and worth the sit.

Next week, it’s coming! The big one! The Ring of Honor YEAR IN REVIEW, as written by me! I’ll have a month-by-month review of the highs and lows in ROH this year, with more lists than you can shake a stick at! It’ll be way too long, but it’ll be better than anything you’re going to read anywhere else about ROH, and it’s coming to the Blog of Doom! See you then!

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter

Also: The Ring of Honor World champion Kyle O’Reilly!