Ring of Honor – October 7th, 2015


Let’s get the preliminaries out of the way here…

We’re still in a negative taping cycle with ROH this week, so we’re in for more ROH/NJPW stuff from Field of Honor. I’m weeping about it, trust me. Not much to say this week, so let’s watch some wrestling….and before I forget, GO CARDS! BURN CHICAGO TO THE GROUND!!!

Ring of Honor – 10/7/15

We are TAPED from MCU Park in Brooklyn, NY! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, Prince Nana, and Steve Corino, and Kelly lets us know that tonight, we have two main events, one of which is Roderick Strong/Kazuchika Okada! We’re a two match show tonight, folks, and our 1st match starts right….now!

Timesplitters (Alex Shelley/KUSHIDA) vs The Briscoes (Matt and Jay)
Mark immediately takes advantage of the fact that they’re on an actual baseball field and jumps the barricade to high-five a few fans and toss a chair back over. Bear with me on this one, as it’ll only make sense to comic book fans out there; wouldn’t the Briscoes make a great Jody and TC for the Preacher TV series? I think they could nail those roles.

Code of Honor is followed, Kushida and Jay are going to start. Jay with a kick to the gut after they circle, headbutt puts Kushida down. Uppercut by Jay, tag to Mark, who gets a side Russian legsweep for a two count. He backs Kushida into the Briscoe corner and unloads with kicks and stomps, tag back to Jay. Mark holds Kushida open for Jay, who kicks him in the midsection and then the head. That gets two. Tag back to Mark as Jay holds Kushida open for Mark to fire, then Mark elbows Shelley off the apron. The Briscoes are working as the heels, no question here. They fire Kushida off, but a double backdrop attempts results in Mark getting kicked in the face and Jay getting rana’d to the outside. Mark charges, but Kushida gets the bulldog. Right hands by Kushida, but Mark hits him in the face on the big wind-up shot. Irish whip, but Shelley gets a blind tag and a drop-toehold on Mark, followed by a Kushida dropkick. Shelley holds Mark up and Kushida kicks him in the left arm. Jay back in now with rights to both ‘Splitters, but a series of dropdowns off the ropes results in a kick to Jay by Shelley and a kneelift by Kushida to put him down. Speaking of putting something down, let’s put down our remotes, because we don’t want to miss these ads!

We’re back with Shelley getting an armwringer on Mark on the apron and snapping it against his shoulder, over and over. He tags back in, and we get a pretty funny spot where Kushida turns to pose for the crowd and Mark reverses the arm-wringer, but Kushida assumes he’s being fed Briscoe and punishes Shelley’s arm instead. Mark kicks Shelley down and Kushida comes in with a Fujiwara armbar on Mark. I suppose Shelley getting his arm abused by Kushida counts as a tag. Mark makes the ropes, but Kushida gets an arm-wringer and we get a great sequence where he and Shelley continuously tag in and out and just keep arm-wringing Briscoe over and over. Finally they double team him with two arm-wringers, stereo elbows to the head, and a double running suplex. That gets two. Shelley gets mounted punches on Mark in the corner, and comes off with a double axehandle to send Jay to the outside. Irish whip, but Mark catches himself and gets a boot to the face of a charging Alex, and Jay gets the tag. Jawbreaker by Mark sets up a lariat by Jay to put Shelley down. Uppercut by Jay and a front facelock on Shelley. Tag to Mark, who runs at Shelley in the corner, but Shelley dodges…sort of? That wasn’t all that clear, but Mark retains control with knees and chops. You can see Shelley reaching into his mouth at this point, and I would assume that is where he broke his tooth, which the announcers confirm seconds later as Jay kicks him in the corner. Off the ropes, big elbow by Jay gets two. That had to SUCK with a broken tooth, and I suspect it will only get worse. Jay throws on a chinlock as they figure out what’s next with Shelley’s broken mouth. Shelley fights up but he eats a boot from Jay and we get a look at his mouth, which does indeed sport a broken tooth and some blood as Jay tags Mark back in. Mark misses his charge at Shelley in the corner, and Jay gets a faceful of boot on his. Shelley gets a bulldog on Mark at the same time getting a clothesline on Jay coming out of the corner, landing near the announcers and prompting Nana to exclaim that “Alex Shelley’s teeth are all falling out of his mouth!” Well, I sure hope that not ALL of them are falling out, but who am I to doubt the leader of the Embassy? Shelley finally gets the tag to Kushida, and he comes in with a flying strike to Mark. He fights off both Briscoes before miscommunication causes Jay to kick Mark. Kicks by Kushida to Jay, off the ropes, backspring elbow to Jay! A charging Mark gets kicked as Kushida goes over the top rope to the apron, and another charge from Mark results in another kick. Springboard attempt is cut off by Jay; Jay charges, but Kushida pulls down the top rope and Shelley comes off with a kneedrop to the outside on Jay. Kushida and Mark are back in the ring, and Kushida gets a dropkick to Mark’s knees and a very nice moonsault. 1,2, no! Meanwhile, Jay and Alex are going at it on the floor, while Mark tries for redneck Kung Fu in the ring. He comes off the ropes, but Kushida gets the wind-up palm strike to send Mark to the mat. He kicks Mark in the arm and comes off the ropes, Hoverboard Lock by Kushida! Jay sees what’s going on and gets back in the ring to make the save with a kick to Kushida’s head. Shelley comes back in, so Jay throws forearms at his BROKEN TOOTH. I mean, I get that it was probably one of the safer things you can do, but you couldn’t switch to kicks or something there, Jay? Off the ropes, but Shelley gets an inverted atomic drop on Jay, followed by Kushida dropkicking the knees. Shelley holds Jay for Kushida to do “you can’t see me” followed by a cartwheel dropkick to the face of Jay, who rolls to the outside. The ‘Splitters double team Mark, with knees and a kick, culminating in a Shelley splash/Kushida moonsault combo. 1,2, NO! Kushida tags in Shelley and puts Mark on his shoulders while Shelley goes to the top rope, looking for a super Sliced Bread #2, but Jay is back up on the apron. All four fight and Alex ends up in the tree of woe, and Mark sends Kushida into him. He sends Kushida to the other corner and the Briscoes doubleteam him, resulting in a HUGE lariat by Mark Briscoe. They turn their attention to Shelley, still in the tree of woe in the corner, and Mark picks him up….Crucifix bomb neckbreaker by the Briscoes! 1,2, NO! Wow, I genuinely thought that was the finish. Jay sets Shelley up for the Jaydriller, but Alex fights out and they exchange forearms, including a spinning one from Jay that must have hurt like a BITCH. Jay goes for it again, but now Kushida is back in with a running enzuigiri. Mark gives chase to Kushida, but Kushida hiplocks him over on a uranage attempt. 2nd attempt by Mark ends with an exploder suplex, but Shelley gets a superkick on Mark. He turns around, but Jay ties him up for a 3rd time, and this time, the Jaydriller hits (with Shelley doing an awesome sell job where he just sits straight up until Jay pushes him back down to the mat) and ends this thing. (Brisoces over Timesplitters, pinfall, 13:08)

WORTH WATCHING? Holy shit, Alex Shelley is a MAN. He was clearly in a ton of pain and was in there against two guys that work relatively stiff in the Briscoes, and he toughed it out. Match itself was really great, with some sweet double-team work, especially the arm-wringer sequence in the middle from the ‘Splitters. I have no earthly idea how Alex Shelley got through this one, but kudos to him for that, and this match is more than WORTH WATCHING, for sure.

Post-match, Code of Honor is followed, and we’re going to take a break for these ads!

We’re back with highlights from Watanabe/Alexander. Prince Nana cracks me up asking Kevin if he can borrow $100, to which Kelly replies “Ask Steve.” Highlights only, not the full match, including a HUGE Michinoku Driver from Alexander that didn’t get the pin, along with a very nice finishing sequence by Watanabe that ended things with a nasty STO. Watanabe gets his TV title shot….next week on ROH TV! We’re basically promised fallout from ASE will occur next week, as we should be done with the NJPW stuff at that point.

Up next, Okada/Strong! Until then, how about some ads?

Time for Inside ROH. I think I’ve figured out what bugs me about Mandy Leon – her delivery is just so stilted, I can’t help but become almost less emotionally involved in the storylines she’s trying to push than more involved in them. She’s just so dry and methodical. Anyway, this week we’re taking a look at the Page/Briscoe feud. They run down the history between the two, including Page hitting Briscoe with a Rite of Passage on the chairs when last they met. Well next week, the wait is over! Briscoe/Page on ROH TV, with no-DQ rules. I’ll try not to hold my breath too long, especially while watching these ads!

We’re back and we’ve been joined by Nigel. It’s time for our 2nd main event tonight!

Roderick Strong vs Kazuchika Okada
Well, there’s about a 0% chance that this won’t rule the earth. Almost half the show is left just for this match. Code of Honor is followed. Lockup, and Strong controls with the wristlock, really wrenching on it to start. Okada reverses, but Strong reverses right back, getting an overhead throw and holding onto the arm. Back to their feet, Strong continues to work the arm, but Okada finally gets a break with a knee and an elbow to the back of Strong’s head. Snapmare and seated dropkick by Okada. Okada wraps Roddy up with an abdominal stretch variant that I don’t know the name of. Roddy makes the ropes for the break. Okada sends him to the corner, but Roddy jumps over an Okada charge. Irish whip sequence results in a dropkick by Strong. That gets a 1 count, as they’re really taking their time, putting over what a big deal this match is and not wanting to make any mistakes. Strong unloads with chops and a nice belly-to-back suplex that gets a 2 count. Stomps by Roddy, and we’d best take a break to watch these ads!

We’re back and Strong still has control. Suplex by Strong as Nigel suspects that he’s going to start working the back of Okada. Strong hits the chinlock, tucking Okada’s arm as the commentary team talks about the grueling schedule that these guys have been through. Okada fires elbows to break, but comes off the ropes and gets caught with a leg lariat by Strong. 1,2, nope. Strong puts him in the corner with shoulders and sets him on the top rope. Okada attempts to fire back with forearms, but Roddy answers with chops, and just basically says ‘fuck it’ and brings him off the top with a running powerslam. 2 count for that, and Roddy goes back to the chinlock. Okada makes the ropes for a break again, so Strong sends him outside the ring. Chops by Strong are exchanged with forearms from Okada, and the ROE favors chops today, as Strong keeps control and back suplexes Okada into the first row. Ref is out to check on them and back Strong off. Okada stumbles back over the barricade and Strong meets him. Chop by Strong! Fireman’s carry and he drops Okada on the barrier! Roddy is dominating this match. Strong heads back in while the ref counts, but Okada manages to stumble back in by the count of 6. Strong puts the boots to Okada. Back to the chinlock for Roddy, almost half a camel clutch this time. Okada elbows out and tries to run the ropes, but Roddy catches him with a knee. Fireman’s Carry by Strong, but Okada slips out behind and gets a neckbreaker to possibly slow Roddy down. Clotheslines by Okada and a reversal sequence leads to a DDT and a kip-up by Okada. Okada charges at Strong in the corner, but Roddy catches him, so Okada uses elbows to break. Chop by Strong and he comes off the ropes, but Okada flapjacks him for two. Slam by Okada and he goes up, but Roddy charges and Okada has to jump over him. Second charge gets a boot to the face and an enzuigiri by Strong. Inverted back suplex by Strong! 1,2, no. Strong gets him up for a suplex, then throws him down. He’s looking for the Sick Kick, charges Okada in the corner, but Okada is ready and avoids it, putting Roddy on the top rope and hitting a dropkick to send Strong to the floor. More ROH will come…after these ads!

We’re back and Okada heads out to get Strong, but Roddy catches him and tosses him into the ring apron back first, further weakening Okada’s back. He sends Okada back in, 1,2, no! Strong looks for the suplex throw again, but Okada counters out with a knee to Strong’s head. He gets Strong up in an Alabama Slam position, and drops him with a neckbreaker. Both guys are down, but they’re able to make their way to a standing position after the count of 7, and they just slug it out, Okada with forearms and Strong with chops. Okada switches to European uppercuts, but Strong decides that nothing beats good ol’ rock, and he sticks with the chops. Finally, Strong ducks an Okada shot and gets an Olympic slam. Running knee to Okada in the corner! Running forearm to Okada in the corner! He sets Okada on the top rope, Okada fights off the superplex attempt, but Roddy gets an enzugiri to knock Okada back. 2nd attempt at the superplex hits it! 1,2, NO! And now, the earlier part of the match that Strong spent working on the back starts to pay off as Roddy gets the Stronghold. Okada almost taps, including when Strong tries to trap the arm from reaching the rope, but a last-minute surge gets Okada to the bottom rope to break. Suplex attempt by Strong, but Okada floats over, Rainmaker is ducked by Strong, and Strong just smacks him in the face with a right hand. He drives Okada against the ropes with forearms and elbows and comes off, but Okada is ready and gets a dropkick to put Roddy down. Rainmaker is blocked again, this time by a jumping knee! Another! A third! Fireman’s carry by Strong now, double gutbuster! Off the ropes…Sick Kick by Strong! 1,2, NO! That was a GREAT sequence that should have ended the match in a plausible universe. Strong can’t believe it and takes too much time recovering; he comes over to Okada, who picks him up and tombstones him. He picks him up again but this time Roddy goes for the jumping knee, but he gets caught by Okada and tombstoned again! Okada calls for the Rainmaker, but Roddy has one last counter that Okada is ready for, resulting in Okada getting a SICK German suplex into the Rainmaker for the 1,2,3. Whew. (Okada over Strong, pinfall, 15:28)

WORTH WATCHING? Now this was an interesting match in many ways, actually. Most of Strong’s big power moves had a point in setting up the Stronghold, while still being able to get the pin at a random time if they hit hard enough, while Okada’s Rainmaker looks like the badass move that kills after Roddy avoided it the whole match, yet when Okada got it, the match just ended. The match took awhile to get going, but even the restholds had their place, as all of them were used to work Okada’s back and stay within that part of the psychology of the match. I know I’ve taken shots at Strong before, but this was great, high-level ringwork. If the whole point of the match was to prove that he could hang with Okada, then mission accomplished, and I hope that NJPW welcomes him on one of their tours with open arms. Match was 100% WORTH WATCHING.

Post-match, Strong hugs Okada and leaves him in the ring to celebrate.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: This has been a GREAT 3 weeks of NJPW/ROH crossover fun. Next week, we’re back regular tapings and the fallout from All-Star Extravaganza, but let’s revel in the fact that this show spent more than half their allotted time in the ring, and let some great wrestlers do their work. Just brilliant stuff all the way around.

Thanks for reading,
Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter