Ring of Honor – January 4th, 2017

Howdy!

It’s time for another edition of ROH TV!

Do I want to talk about what happened at Wrestle Kingdom 11 regarding the ROH World title?

No, I do not!

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

ROH TV – 1/4/17

We start with Kevin Kelly welcoming us to the show! This is a special edition of ROH Wrestling, in which we’ll spotlight matches that have never before been seen on ROH TV! So, it’s a clip show, but with new material…..to you!

We’ll start off in San Antonio for a no-rules match between War Machine and Shane Taylor/Keith Lee!

War Machine (Hanson & Rowe) vs Shane Taylor & Keith Lee

We’re joined in progress as War Machine double-teams Keith Lee on the floor. They send Keith to the barricade, then do the same to Taylor. They set each guy up on the barricade and rain down forearms, and we get a time jump!

Rowe has a garbage can now, and he introduces it to Taylor’s head. “Shane Taylor’s trashed!” Oh, Corino. Go away. War Machine sets up a table at ringside, but Lee shoulders both guys to the barricade. He’s a bit too proud of himself as he gets up on the apron, allowing Hanson and Rowe to grab him and powerbomb him through the table. Rowe goes around and hits a running knee to Taylor, and we get another time jump.

Oh boy, now it’s War Machine in the ring with Taylor, and they both slam him, then Rowe slams Hanson on top of Shane. Rowe kicks Lee away as the latter tries to get back in the ring and they go back to work on Taylor. Chop by Rowe, knee by Hanson, garbage can to the head of Shane! And with that, we should take another jump – to these great ads!

We’re back with the Briscoes – Jay says they had a great year! Really? They lost all their title matches, for the tag, TV, and World titles – that would make me think that 2016 was a pretty bad year. Anyway, Jay tells us that 2017 is the year of the Rooster, which causes Mark Briscoe to have an erection with his eyes, as he goes wild and tells us that the Briscoes are gonna become 9-time tag champs, he’s going to win the TV title, and Jay is going to win the World title! Oh, and they’re going to win the 6-Man tag titles too! They’ll find another guy, don’t worry. Happy New Years from the Briscoes!

And now, we’re back to the match! Hanson is going to the top rope now, Moonsault from Hanson to Keith Lee! 1, 2, NO! That was impressive, that was. So impressive, that we’re jumping again!

There’s a table set up in the corner now as Hanson puts Lee on his shoulders in a fireman’s carry, but Lee escapes and gets one of his own, Death Valley Driver by Lee on Hanson! Lee sets up another table (why? There’s already one out) and puts Hanson on top of it. Lee goes up, but gets caught from behind by Hanson, Hanson tries to powerbomb him through the table, Lee fights him off so Hanson just shoves him down to the floor. Hanson goes up, cannonball to Rowe, Taylor, and Lee on the floor! War Machine is back up now, and Rowe clobbers Shane with a right as they go to the commentary table, causing no amount of consternation for Kelly and Corino. And with that, how about another jump?

Hanson runs the ropes in the ring and goes for a tope on Lee, but Keith moves and Hanson hits Kevin Kelly, sending him to the barricade!! Kelly covers his head and twitches as the ring crew comes out to tend to him. That’ll take awhile, so let’s jump again.

Rowe and Taylor in the ring now, Rowe with a kneelift. Taylor attacks, but gets caught by Rowe, EXPLODER SUPLEX BY ROWE THROUGH THE TABLE! HOLY SHIT. That was awesome. Rowe puts the badmouth on Shane, who begs off, cheap shot by Taylor as Lee comes in from behind, pop-up powerbomb by Keith Lee through the table to Rowe! We’re done here. (Keith Lee & Shane Taylor over War Machine, pinfall, 9:52 aired)

WORTH WATCHING? – I have no idea. Seriously. The match jumped all over the place, so I can’t really tell you – at one point, Corino said that we were more than 15 minutes into the match. I guess I would say NO, in that it really wasn’t a match, but the moves looked impressive. I kind of want to watch it now, but what was presented was a highlight package, not a wrestling match. I do really like War Machine and Keith Lee, hell, even Taylor has some potential.

Back to Kelly: “Well, I’m glad we got to show you that match here on Ring of Honor wrestling television.” WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? A ‘match’ has a beginning, middle, and end. You showed us random stuff from the match. Come the fuck on. Anyway, the war between the two teams is far from over, but it hopefully will be in 2017. Later, we’ll see how Adam Cole won the ROH title from Lethal, along with highlights from Ladder War – but up next, it’s a special look at the Women of Honor! And that’ll happen after these great ads!

We’re back with a quick collection of vignettes and video from the Honor Rising show. The less said, the better. They’ll be heading back to Japan in 2017 for Honor Rising 2: Rising Harder. Well, I named it that, but still, don’t tell me that isn’t a bitching name. And instead of the aforementioned Women of Honor, we’re apparently going to take a look at highlights from Ladder War 6 now; not the whole match, no, that would be far too violent to show on regular TV, just the highlights. Well, I already reviewed that match and the rest of All-Star Extravaganza while I was at it, so here’s a link to that: http://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/10/04/ring-of-honor-all-star-extravaganza-vii-september-30th-2016/

And now we’re with the NEW ROH World tag champs, the Young Bucks! 2016 was a great year, sayeth Jackson the Matt; so many memories they created! Nick agrees, mentioning Adam Cole joining the Bullet Club, Ladder War, selling 1000s of shirts, and, oh yeah, holding onto the ROH tag titles through the end of the year! Too Sweet him, by God!

Back to Kelly, who says that they showed what they could, and you can stream the entire match or own the DVD, all available on ROH wrestling dot com. Up next, we’ll see how Adam Cole became the ROH World champion, and document the rise of the Bullet Club! And that’ll happen for sure, after these great ads!

We’re back with a video for the Women of Honor. Oh, for the love of God, guys. Watch your own show and get your bumpers right, will ya? Kelly VO tells us that the ROH female division, Women of Honor, made great strides in 2016, including getting two episodes of the TV show and their own event! Wrestlers from all over the world, wrestlers with years of experience, and women from the ROH Dojo competed in Women of Honor this year! Including talents like Faye Jackson, who had her first match ever broadcast on ROH TV. Let me tell you, I can’t help but remember that train wreck, despite the attempted lobotomy I went through to try to forget it. Deonna Purazzo, on the other hand, is a pretty decent worker, and had a great match against Sumie Sakai – let’s see some highlights from that match!

Sakai goes for a cross-body off the top rope and gets caught in a Fujiwara armbar coming down, which is cool, and a missile dropkick from Sakai after a neckbreaker is the next thing we see, Fisherman’s Buster is blocked and Deonna hits her with a release German that looked like it dropped Sakai on her head. Fujiwara armbar gets the tapout.

But only one female wrestler was undefeated in 2016, and that was Kelly Klein, the Gatekeeper of Women of Honor. Can anyone defeat her in 2017? Meanwhile, the biggest rivalry in 2016 was between Mandy Leon and Taeler Hendrix, as we see highlights from their No-DQ match, including Leon putting herself and Hendrix through a ringside table, and Taeler trying to hang Mandy with a chain. They slap it out in the middle of the ring, with Leon hitting Hendrix with headbutts, then Hendrix hitting her with a chair. Later, Mandy has a chance to hit Taeler with a chair but doesn’t, because she’s either a Woman of Honor or a moron; I’m not sure which. Either way, Taeler does hit Mandy with a chair, and a tombstone on top of a pile of chairs ends it. When we return, we’ll see Cole/Lethal – they wouldn’t lie to us! And we will return after the following great ads!

We’re back with a video package from Global Wars, as we see the Bucks come down, then the big reveal of Adam Cole as the newest member of the Bullet Club. Superkicks to Lethal and Cabana, and Cole hits his “We, WE, are the Bullet Club!” and they proceed to destroy everyone at ringside. Cole cuts his promo before his match with Lethal as we see highlights from Bullet Club cutting off Lethal’s hair, and Lethal’s response and desire for revenge. Lethal’s character was really great at this point, in that he had kept his title the entire run by being smarter than the other guy and escaping time and time again, but he let his desire for revenge cloud his judgment for the first time, and that would prove to be his undoing.

“Bullet Club, bay-bay!” And here comes Adam Cole! Looks like we’re going to get most of the match. Good, it’s a great match. Jay Lethal is out next, as the commentators run down the length of Jay’s title reign and play up Lethal’s accomplishments during his title reign. Kelly tells us that this never before seen championship match will continue (Oh, it hasn’t been seen before? Must have imagined watching it) after the following great ads!

We’re back with Jay and Adam standing in the ring, facing off.

Jay Lethal (c) vs Adam Cole – Ring of Honor World Title match

Cole reaches into his pants and pulls out Lethal’s dreads to taunt him with, and here we go! They slug it out and Cole gets a kneelift, but gets caught with an armdrag by Lethal, who does a cartwheel…..and slaps Cole in the face. OOOHHH. Snapmare by Lethal and he mounts Cole, firing right hands. He sends Adam to the buckle and Lethal chops away on Adam, taking him corner to corner. Cole catches Jay with a kick and stomps away to get some distance, but Lethal gets the advantage back and chops Cole down in the corner, then stomps a mudhole and BY GAWD walks it dry. Cole’s chest is scarlet red already. Irish whip by Lethal, reversed by Cole, Lethal hooks the top rope and dumps a charging Adam to the floor. Lethal runs the ropes and slides out of the ring when Cole moves, then pastes him with a right. And with that, we’ll jump ahead!

But not too far, as they’re still on the floor and now we’ve got a slugfest. Lethal avoids a shot from Cole and drops him on the floor with a cutter. Jay sets Cole on a table on the floor now, and Lethal goes up to the top rope, Hail to the King elbow misses! Cole moved and Lethal shatters the table! More time jumping!

Back in the ring now, with Lethal in the corner, Cole charges and eats a boot from Jay. Lethal off the ropes, leg lariat drops Adam! Corner clothesline by Jay, running Death Valley Driver from Lethal! 1, 2, no! Dropkick sends Cole to the floor off the apron, and Lethal wants to fly, tope by Lethal! Again! A third time! Lethal’s got some NASTY bruising on his side. A 4th time! A 5th time! Lethal is FEELING IT! Sixth time, but Adam moves and Jay crashes into the barricade! And with that, we’ll crash into these great ads!

We’re back with Cole and Lethal slugging it out in the middle of the ring, and it’s a good one, too. Cole drops him and spits on him, Lethal goes crazy with right hands. Lethal off the ropes, Adam takes him down with a leg lariat! 1, 2, no! Cole tunes up the band and goes for the superkick, Lethal moves! Lariat by Jay! He calls for the Lethal Injection, Cole grabs the tights, Lethal with a back elbow! Jay goes for it again, Cole shoves the ref out of the way and hits Jay with a low blow behind the ref’s back! Last Shot by Cole! 1, 2, Lethal gets his foot on the ropes! Time jump time!

Cole sits on the top rope and goes for the Panama Sunrise, but Lethal backdrops out of it. Lethal on the second rope now, cutter hits! Lethal calls for the Injection again, but Cole moves and snaps off a superkick to Lethal! Cole goes back up, Panama Sunrise hits! Last Shot from Cole! 1, 2, NO!!! Cole can’t believe it. Cole slaps Lethal in the head and puts the badmouth on Jay, then spits on him. Cole goes for the superkick, but Lethal moved! Lethal Injection! 1, 2, NO!! Crowd thinks this is awesome, crowd is astute. Both wrestlers are struggling to get to their feet, and Cole flips Lethal the double bird, Lethal goes for a superkick, Cole avoids it and rolls him up holding the tights! 1, 2, NO! But that would prove to Lethal’s last stand. Last Shot #3 by Cole! Shining Wizard by Cole! Last Shot #4 by Cole! 1, 2, 3!! Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a NEW Ring of Honor World Champion. (Adam Cole over Jay Lethal, pinfall, 11:54 shown)

WORTH WATCHING? – Even skipping large chunks of the match, YES, this one was a keeper from ROH this year. Here’s the big reason that I like this match so much – Cole went over clean, and did it by psychologically outsmarting Jay. Lethal fell victim time and time again in both the buildup and the match itself, as Cole was just better at the psychological game in every way, and he turned the more cerebral Lethal into an emotional wrestler, which is why Jay lost. The story that this match and feud told was as good as almost anything ROH did this year, and it was the right time and right place to change the title. Great stuff.

From there, we segue immediately into a video of highlights from Final Battle, where my favorite moment in pro wrestling for the year 2016 happened, as Kyle O’Reilly won the title that he deserved for a long time.

Promo from Cole now. “How do you feel, Adam Cole?” That’s the #1 question that he’d been asked post-Final Battle. Well, he’s confused, angry, and depressed; not for himself, but for the company he works for, Ring of Honor! Because he prepared for a wrestling match, not a war with someone who wanted his head! But he has a vow, and that is that the Ring of Honor World championship will be his again!

Goddamnit.

Back to Kevin Kelly now, who wraps us up by wondering if Bullet Club will be able recover and regroup in 2017. Next week, the Decade of Excellence tournament continues, as we find out who will face the ROH World Champ at the 15th Anniversary in Vegas in March! And we’ll see you next week on ROH TV!

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: It was a clip show, with some of the edits and hack-ups of the matches not being done very well. Ring of Honor stuck a great landing in 2016 (which you’ll hear more about in part 2 of my ROH Year in Review, coming soon to finer Blogs of Doom everywhere!), but you only need look at the show and see how they all but ignored the first 6 or so months of 2016 in this show; they did that for a reason. As for the actual program, if you haven’t seen Cole/Lethal, this was a good chunk of the match, so that’s probably worth your time. The rest of it isn’t necessary and a hard pass unless you’re curious to see a few highlights here and there.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter