Ring of Honor – October 14th, 2015


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

Well, first off, mad love to Dock Muraco for putting me over the top about subscribing to NJPW world. I know that this is ROH and not Puro or anything, but let me just say that I subbed just in time to watch the PPV last week, and it more than met my expectations. But the biggest thing that surprised me about it is the sheer amount of stuff they had that I’ve never seen before – Hogan/Inoki, Steiners/Bigelow & Vader, rewatching the ’94 J-Cup, things like that have been part of my viewing for the last few days. Of course, O’Reilly/Kushida has been watched more than once as well.

Anyway, highly recommended. It comes out to a little more than 8 bucks a month and is very awesome, plus you get to check out all the adventures of the ROH roster in Japan.

Speaking of Japan, we’re done with our NJPW adventures in ROH world as of last week and we’re back to the regular taping cycle, which means that it’s FINALLY time for the fallout from All-Star Extravaganza! So let’s get this party started!

Ring of Honor TV – 10/14/15

We are TAPED from the Shrine Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino. Tonight, Jay Lethal will defend his TV title against Takaaki Watanabe! Up first, though, it’s time for match #4 between Sydal and ACH in their best of 5 series!

Matt Sydal vs ACH (Best of 5 series: ACH leads 2-1)
Have I ever mentioned how much I love ACH’s entrance music? ‘Cause I do. Makes me want to get up and dance, but as I do possess a mirror and know better, I choose to stay seated. Highlights of ACH defeating Sydal at All-Star Extravaganza, as the announcer’s speculate over whether winning match #3 gives ACH the advantage. I wonder, in listening to the commentary, etc, whether or not they’re planning on turning Sydal heel relatively soon. Feels like it would freshen up his character in a needed fashion.

Code of Honor is followed, but ACH won’t let go right away, holding up two fingers with a big smile on his face; Sydal responds by backing him into a corner, and we break a rather intense handshake. Lockup, armdrag by Sydal. Circle, and ACH returns the favor. Kevin Kelly, being awesome, has been putting over how Sydal would suffer if he lost this match in standing with NJPW, etc, making it seem as though the wins and losses actually matter to him. Shocking, I know. I’ll give you a moment to wrap your head around that. They trade armdrags again, again a stalemate. Sydal takes him over with a headlock, ACH uses a headscissors to break. Deeper armdrag by ACH, and he works the arm. Sydal transitions it to a wristlock, then a fireman’s carry takeover into an armbar of his own. ACH gets the bottom rope, and we break. Sydal puts the badmouth on him and poses and he may have said some naughty words there. ACH with a headlock, but Sydal transitions to an arm-wringer and shoots him off, ACH knocks Sydal down with a shoulderblock. ACH runs the ropes, Sydal with a leapfrog, they trade hiptoss attempts, Sydal ducks a clothesline and attempts a ‘rana, ACH cartwheels through it and does a backflip. So Sydal just dropkicks him in the chest. Attaboy, Matt. Punish that showboating right there. ACH rolls to the outside, but Sydal times him and dropkicks him through the ropes to send him to the barricade. ACH comes back with a chop, and Sydal alley-oops him to the apron, where he does a handstand against the ropes and ‘ranas Sydal on the way back down. Back in, ACH sends Sydal cross-corner, but Sydal reverses and follows him in with an elbow. ACH ducks a jumping Sydal kick and gets a Flatliner to send Sydal’s head to the top turnbuckle. He goes to the top rope, Dum Dum stomp! 1,2, no. ACH with an armwringer and a single-arm DDT for 2. He poses too long, and Sydal gets back up with chops and a legsweep. Sydal goes for a standing moonsault, but ACH gets the knees up, which gets a 2-count AND sends us to our first ad break!

We’re back with Sydal fighting up, but ACH gets a dropkick to send him outside. He flips to the apron and gets a running kick to Sydal. Cross-corner charge by ACH, Sydal sends him over the top to the apron, shoulder by ACH to Sydal’s gut. ACH to the top, but Sydal catches him mid-air with a spinkick. They fight it out in the corner, Sydal wins with kicks, Irish whip by Sydal is reversed by ACH, Sydal flips through and gets the Final Cut. 1,2, no! Well, sort of, as it looked to me like ACH forgot to kick out there. Sydal kicks him in the leg and ACH fires a fist at Sydal which must have angered him, because Sydal’s next move is to attempt to remove ACH’s face with a vicious kick. Those were pretty STIFF, to say the very least. The ref checks to make sure that ACH isn’t knocked out, so Sydal goes for a pin that gets two. That would be an indicator that he is very much conscious. Sydal goes for another pin, but that only gets two. He tries it again, putting on a half-nelson and rolling him over, but that also only gets two. He sends ACH off the ropes, but ACH slides through Sydal’s legs, Sydal ducks the enzuigiri, but gets kicked in the face on the comeback. Running elbow by ACH in the corner on Sydal, Sydal ducks the lariat but ACH gets a go-behind, german suplex! 1,2, no! ACH to the top, Sydal attempts to ‘rana him off, but ACH flips through and lands on his feet! Roaring elbow by ACH! Spinning neckbreaker by ACH! 1,2, NO! ACH looks frustrated, but he measures him…Get Over Here by ACH! He heads to the top rope, looking for the Midnight Star, but Sydal rolls out of the ring. ACH shrugs and gets a running start….backflip over the top rope onto Sydal! He rolls Sydal back in, but takes too long and Sydal gets a NICE jumping knee to ACH’s face! A second one by Sydal, and he goes up. ACH is stirring, cartwheel kick on Sydal on the top rope! Sydal falls to the mat, brainbuster by ACH! ACH to the top now…Midnight Star gets the knees! Sydal back to his feet….reverse ‘rana SPIKES ACH’s head on the mat! Sydal to the top rope…shooting star press! No one does it better. 1,2,3. (Sydal over ACH, pinfall, 12:43)

WORTH WATCHING? No analysis needed, really. This was two great pro wrestlers putting on a very, very good match. Yes, this was very much worth watching, and I’m looking forward to match #5.

After the match, we get the staredown as both ACH and Sydal hold up two fingers. Post-match Code of Honor is followed. This series is going to 5, baby! Well, that’s all well and good, so…wait! From behind, The Addiction and Chris Sabin have hit the ring and are beating the shit out of ACH and Sydal! Celebrity Rehab on both ACH and Sydal, and we’ve got to get some help out here…and take an ad break! Let’s do that second thing now, and we’ll see if help arrives when we return!

We’re back, and The Addiction have mics! Kazarian is here to tell everyone that their World Tag Team titles were stolen from them at All-Star Extravaganza, and they’re here to demand justice! Daniels gets the mic and wants the people to know that he isn’t addressing them, because the people are beneath them! Chris Sabin cracks my shit UP in the background by helpfully showing with his hands how far beneath them the people in the audience are. No, he’s addressing the charlatans who are interfered in their match at All-Star Extravaganza and are now casting aspersions on their good friend Chris Sabin! Yeah! Shame on them, sayeth Daniels! Shame on all of ROH for allowing that miscarriage of justice to stand! We weren’t beaten, so we’re still the World Tag Team Champions of the World, and we want The Kingdom to return our belts! Interesting points by Mr. Daniels, there. But that’s not the Kingdom’s music; that’s the music of the All-Night Express! Rhett Titus and Kenny King make their way to the ring. Rhett Titus looks so damned happy, it makes me happy. He cuts a promo on The Addiction, and then Kenny King cuts this absolutely insane promo in which he claims that they were never pinned either, they were beaten by bureaucracy!

Yes, Kenny King, the guy who left Rhett Titus and ROH twisting in the wind to sprint to TNA, is saying these things. Can’t make this stuff up.

Anyway, long and short of it: the road to the tag belts doesn’t go through The Addiction, it goes through the ANX! And if there’s a problem with that, much like the ladies of San Antonio, they can get some whenever they want to! The two teams jaw with each other, and all that excitement must mean that we need a little bit of cooling down with some ads!

We’re back, and Kevin informs us that next week on ROH TV, we will see The ANX vs The Addiction! But now, let’s talk about Silas Young winning the boys from Dalton Castle; footage from All-Star Extravaganza shows Young dragging the boys away after the match. And now, here’s Silas and the Beer City Bruiser along with the boys, and they’re heading to the ring!

Young’s got a mic, and he runs down the boys, telling them that he told them to get some gear on, but they showed up wearing this Dalton Castle crap! But that’s no big deal, the big deal is that their first lesson is going to be in how to take a whuppin’ from a man! He and Bruiser drop the boys with right hands, and I guess we have a match?

Silas Young/Beer City Bruiser vs The Boys
Code of Honor is not followed. Try to contain your shock. Bruiser starts and gets a Saito suplex on one of the boys. Dropkick by Bruiser to the other. He sends the 2nd boy into the corner with the first and splashes them both, followed by a double suplex on both. Bruiser goes to the top, which prompts a Corino line that I actually laughed out loud at as he screams “You’ll kill them!” as Bruiser dives…and misses! The crowd chants for the boys as they, uh, mount Bruiser and deliver headbutts? I mean, what can you say, really? Young comes in and rips off one of the boys’ heads with a clothesline, and I feel as though that might end the comedy here. Slingshot suplex on the boy still straddling the Bruiser (just typing that sentence made me uncomfortable) and Misery on the other boy will bring this one to a finish. (Young/Bruiser over the Boys, pinfall, 1:47)

WORTH WATCHING? Come on. This was all angle advancement and no match. It kills me that I watched Young and Elgin have a ***+ match on this same show less than a month ago, and now we’re onto the wacky adventures featuring Young and the boys. I know that a lot of people really dig this feud, but I didn’t get a thing from this, and that would be a NO, skip the heck out of this one unless you’re REALLY into the Young/Castle angle I guess.

Post-match, Young and the Bruiser carry the boys to the back. Our TV main event is next, and we cut to a promo with Truth and Lethal, who promise to teach Watanabe how to speak English, specifically ‘Jay Lethal is the best wrestler in the world!’ That match is next; until then, why not check out these ads!

Time for Inside ROH, and we’re talking about The Kingdom and Adam Cole! As Mandy says, Cole betrayed Kyle O’Reilly at All-Star Extravaganza and cost him the World title! In an interview, reDRagon tells us that Jay Lethal is the luckiest man walking the face of this earth, and Adam Cole is the most wanted man! Fish promises that crossing reDRagon was one of the dumbest moves Cole could have made, and O’Reilly promises that Cole will be eating the rest of his meals through a straw. Over to a promo from Cole, who finds it laughable that anyone questions what he did to Kyle O’Reilly! He had to sit home for five months, and all heard about was Kyle O’Reilly, about how Kyle O’Reilly was going to be the next big thing in wrestling, the next ROH World Champ. ADAM COLE READS MY RECAPS! I’m honored. Everyone wanted O’Reilly to be the next big thing when they broke in together, but guess what? Adam Cole won the title first, and Adam Cole is the next champ! Kyle O’Reilly is a lesser Adam Cole! We cut to footage from ASE and see Taven winning the tag belts for The Kingdom, while Mandy opines that with The Kingdom holding that tag belts, and Adam Cole gunning for the world title, it could only be a matter of time before they’re on top of all of ROH.

Time for our main event! Takaaki Watanabe makes his way to the ring as the announcers recap how he got his title shot, winning the gauntlet match at Field of Honor – you can check that out with VOD, if you’re so inclined.

Takaaki Watanabe vs Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini) – World TV Championship match
Big time intros, and we’re ready to go. Code of Honor is followed…and Lethal attacks from behind afterwards. There you go. Lethal kicks Watanabe down in the corner, and some might say that he walks it dry. Cross-corner whip is reversed by Watanabe, but he eats Lethal’s boot on a blind charge. Jay comes out but a hiptoss is blocked and a clothesline is ducked, Watanabe with the go-behind, Jay with elbows to break. Lethal off the ropes, spinning side slam by Watanabe. 1 count, neckbreaker by Watanabe, into a very nice senton by Watanabe. 1,2, no. Chop by Watanabe in 3 different corners sends Lethal down. Lethal goes to the floor, but Watanabe is having none of that shit and goes right out to send him back into the ring. Watanabe blocks a shot from Lethal on the apron and gets one of his own, but Martini takes advantage of the referee being distracted to yank Watanabe off the apron, Watanabe hitting his head on the way down, and here comes Lethal. Tope to the barricade! A second! A third! Lethal poses on the top turnbuckle and we are going to take our final ad break!

We’re back with Lethal putting the badmouth and the chops on Watanabe in the corner. “I’m the greatest wrestler in the world!” says Lethal. “Yes you are!” says the crowd. Well, glad that’s settled, then. Suplex by Lethal gets two. He starts raining right hands down on Watanabe, and this match is not really that great. Lethal sends Watanabe outside and picks a fight with the ref before heading outside himself and sending Watanabe to the barricade. Watanabe rolls back in at 9, so Jay shoots the half and gets two. Chinlock by Lethal. Shots by Watanabe to attempt to break, but Lethal suplexes him. He drops a knee on Watanabe, and another, and another. That gets two. Back to the rear chinlock. Watanabe fights to the corner with chops, but Lethal cuts that off with a kick to Watanabe’s head. 1,2, no! Snapmare by Lethal, who poses…and puts on a chinlock. Okay, that one was on purpose, but this match is still stuck in the mud. Watanabe fights out and gets the better of Jay, and sends him buckle to buckle relatively stiffly, so that might pick some things up a bit here. 5 times, in fact, and Watanabe gets a release german onto Lethal’s head. Watanabe off the ropes, bicycle kick by Jay Lethal! He goes for the Lethal Injection, but Watanabe catches him with a full nelson, Lethal gets out but eats a big lariat by Watanabe! 1,2, no! Watanabe looks to finish, but Truth slides in the book to distract the ref; low blow by Lethal sets up the Lethal Injection. 1,2,3. (Lethal over Watanabe, pinfall, 8:37)

WORTH WATCHING? No, not in the slightest. Boring match , far below what Lethal has established that he’s capable of over the last 6 months. He seemed bored, there was no drama at all (I never thought for one second that he was dropping the belt at any point), and while I have no problem with Lethal cheating like a heel to get a win, this was one where he shouldn’t have had to do so. Not a good showing.

After the match, the crowd serenades Lethal by chanting “AJ Styles!” as we go off the air for the week.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: This was a below average week for ROH. While the bar may be a bit too high, considering that we got all that NJPW goodness for the last several shows, the fact is that outside of the first match, there wasn’t much to this week. I watch ROH for the ringwork in most cases, and this week it didn’t deliver enough on that front. Check out Sydal/ACH, skip the rest.

Thanks for reading,
Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter