Ring of Honor – November 4th, 2015

Howdy!

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

Notable ROH news this week:

While TNA appears to be finishing up in January with Destination America, ROH hasn’t received word about their fate with the network yet.

The Young Bucks’ deal is for one year and includes a ton of concessions that a lot of other ROH talent does not have. They will still be able to work for PWG and keep their Pro Wrestling Tees shirt store. Apparently NJPW encouraged them to sign the deal, as it lessens the chance they will be hurt on the Indys. They will be exclusive to ROH for that year in North America except for PWG, and some on the indy scene think that it shows that ROH might be ready to spend more on talent than ever before. Which will be tested soon because…

Michael Elgin’s contract with ROH expired this past week. They will probably make an offer, but the WWE is apparently somewhat interested in signing Elgin to NXT to build the brand, especially with his connections to Japan.

COLE/O’REILLY/STYLES LET’S DO THIS!

Ring of Honor TV – 11/05/15

We open with a promo from Kyle O’Reilly, as apparently I did something right in the eyes of God this week. Kyle tells us that tonight, he faces off against Styles, a man he respects, and Adam Cole, a man he considered a friend. If he has to go through and obliterate AJ to get revenge on a man who betrayed him, he will! And he wants Cole’s family to know that he feels sorry for them and what they’ll go through after he puts Cole in the hospital. This ends with you unconscious Adam, and Kyle O’Reilly’s hand in the air! YEAH!

We are TAPED from the Shrine Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness, and…Mark Briscoe? Alrighty then. Tonight, the aforementioned triple threat will take place! I can hardly wait! But until then, we’re going to start with some tag team action!

Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser (w/ the Boys) vs The Young Bucks
Young has the boys in grey wifebeaters, jeans and sunglasses. It’s actually pretty funny, to be honest. Briscoe: “Look at ‘em!” The Bucks get a monster reaction. The Boys try to fan them off, and Silas backs them up into the corner. Referee calls for the Code of Honor, but who are we kidding here? No Code, to say the least. Silas and Nick start us off. Headlock by Nick, Silas shoots him off, Nick runs through him with a shoulder. Cartwheel by Jackson and a ducked clothesline result in a dropkick by Nick. Tag to Matt, and Nick catches a charging Young with a drop toehold, allowing Matt to springboard in with a legdrop. Bruiser comes in and takes a double kick to the midsection, followed by a double team alley-oop dropkick to put him on the floor. Whip by Matt, reversal, but Young charges into an elbow. Young avoids a clothesline and comes off the second rope with one of his own. Tag to the Bruiser, but Matt works him over with lefts and rights until he poses and gets sent into the heel corner. Tag back into Young, he and the Bruiser start splashing Matt in the corner, finishing a knee and a cannonball by the Bruiser. That gets two, as the Boys start fanning each other at ringside. Silas and Matt slug it out, which Silas wins, but he sends Matt to the corner and gets boots to the face when he charges. Bruiser tries to clothesline Matt from the apron, but he avoids it and there’s a tag to Nick. Kick to the gut of Young, then a knee to the head of the Bruiser on the apron. He reverses and gets an elbow to Young’s face, and a springboard dropkick puts the Bruiser on the floor. Springboard facebuster on Young by Nick, and he hops back to the apron and moonsaults the Bruiser on the floor. The Boys are impressed enough to come over and fan him off. Get your minds out of the gutter, you know what I mean. Nick goes to the top and rolls through a Senton Bomb that Young avoids, but Young gets a backbreaker and a nice lariat from the backbreaker position. Plunge by Young and he goes for the turnbuckle handstand, so Matt just comes across the apron and superkicks him while he’s upside-down on the top turnbuckle to the outside. Assisted dropkick to the Bruiser on the apron, and now he’s on the floor as well as the Bucks celebrate. But Silas has a mic? “This match was originally scheduled to be the Boys vs these two young punks right here!” says Silas, who tells the Boys that they’ve softened up the Bucks for them, so now it’s time for them to get in there! Well, that’s quite the development, so let’s sort it out while we watch these ads!

We’re back with the Matt and one of the Boys in the ring, Matt with a headlock. Shoots him off, leapfrog, superkick by Matt! The other Boy drags the first over to the corner and makes a tag, so Matt does the same. This time, it’s Nick who gets caught in a headlock, and the Boy who does it is so excited, he yells out “GOT ‘IM!” to a GIANT pop from the crowd, and a laugh from me as it was hilarious. Nick doesn’t look to be in much pain, though. He picks the boy up, but keeps the headlock on as the crowd chants “Please don’t tap!” Alright ROH crowd, you got me there. That was funny as hell. Nick shoots him off and shoulderblocks him down, off the ropes but Young grabs his leg. Dropkick by the Boy! Hiptoss by the Boy! “Hey, hey, hey! Too sweet me!” says Nick, clearly out of respect for those great wrestling maneuvers…oh, he poked the Boy in the eye instead. Whip, reversal and Nick ends up on the apron and it’s superkick time! Superkick (very nice one, too) to Young on the floor! Superkick to the Bruiser! Charge by the Boy in the ring, but a shoulder to the midsection and a springboard back into the ring results in the Bucks getting the gutbuster/neckbreaker combo. Tag back into Matt, and they send the Boy to the corner and clothesline him, but he ducks out of the way of the double combo and Nick kicks Matt in the face on accident! Tag to the other Boy! He comes in with a top-rope double dropkick! Double ‘Rana on the Bucks! I mean, it defied the laws of physics, but it was still cool looking. He makes the mistake of playing to the crowd, who are popping like nuts for him, and that gives the Bucks time to recover and for him to turn around into a double superkick! The other Boy goes to the top rope, comes off, double superkick in midair by the Bucks! One Boy gets powerbombed into the other in the corner, while Nick flies out over the top to make sure that Silas and the Bruiser go down again. Matt picks up both Boys in a fireman’s carry…double More Bang for Your Buck! That’ll do it here, as Matt pins them both at the same time. (Young Bucks over Silas Young/Beer City Bruiser/The Boys, pinfall, 9:41)

WORTH WATCHING? I might be high, drunk, or in a REALLY good mood at the prospect of tonight’s triple threat, but YES, this was really, really fun to watch. It was a comedy match that sprung up out of what looked to be a regular match, and the Bucks do excel at that type of thing, keeping the crowd into it and keeping the match moving in those situations. The reaction to the Boys was off the charts, and I have to admit that my misgivings about this angle are slowly eroding as instead of wacky vignettes, we’re getting ring-time to tell the story and that works for me. I loved this.

After the match, Young and Bruiser decide to give the Boys some tough love, so the Bucks come back in to hand out some superkick love, as the Bruiser takes a double superkick and Young barely avoids one by bailing out. We may not have head the last of this one! With that prospect out there, let’s take a quick ad break!

We’re back with BJ Whitmer out to harass Nigel about firing Steve Corino for hitting him two weeks ago. He looks to get in Mark Briscoe’s face, but Mark has no qualms about that and BJ backs off, still yelling at Nigel to fire Corino. While all that is going on and Nigel escorts BJ to the back, Kevin Kelly lets us know that last week, Veda Scott filed suit in court against ROH…you know what? I’m not going to even recap why, it’s dumb. As dumb as most of these angles are. The point of the segment is that Nigel is under a lot of stress as he finally gets BJ to the back and returns to the commentary table. He can’t talk about it, dontcha know? Contractual, legal, whatever. Let’s watch some wrestling, huh?

Will Ferrara vs Roderick Strong

I really like Ferrara a lot. I wish they would do something with him to move him up. Code of Honor is followed. Ferrara charges, an idea proven ill-thought out, as Strong chops him in the corner. Roddy sends him to the buckle and whips him cross-corner, but Will catches a charging Strong with a kick. Second-rope headscissors takeover by Will, but he stops to pose for a second too long, and Strong gets a leg lariat to put him back down. Strong with a backbreaker for two. Ferrara tries to fight out, but Strong gets a vicious dropkick! Strong lets everyone know that he wants the belt. Couple of stomps and a belly to back suplex by Strong. He works a chinlock with a knee in the back into a modified camel clutch. Will tries to fight up with elbows, but Strong just slams him and hits a jumping stomp. This is a shitkicking of the first order right here. Double underhook suplex by Strong gets two. Seated abdominal stretch by Strong, but Will fights up again. Strong shoves him off, but Ferrara comes off the ropes with elbows twice, and reverses a clothesline into a swinging neckbreaker. Sliced Bread attempt by Ferrara is countered by Strong, but he misses a running knee and Will gets a tornado DDT on Roddy. 1,2, no! Strong rolls out to the floor to think it over, but Will follows. Reversals and Ferrara ends up on the apron…tornado DDT on the floor to Strong! Ferrara sends him back in and gets a sunset flip Canadian Destroyer for 2! Will goes for Sliced Bread again, but Strong drops him over and gets the big double gutbuster! Jumping knee from Strong! And here’s the Stronghold (with nice commentary from the announcers about how Strong hasn’t used the move in his matches with Lethal, setting up him perhaps using it in the upcoming one) for the submission. (Roderick Strong over Will Ferrara, submission, 4:57)

WORTH WATCHING? As stated above, I like Will Ferrara quite a bit, but even with his hope spots this was basically a squash for Roderick as they get him ready for one more shot at Lethal. Enjoyed it for what it was, but NO, I’d probably not watch this one again nor do I recommend you all do so. It was fine, but nothing really.

Post-match Code of Honor is followed, and our main event is our next match! I can hardly wait, but I’ll have to until we’re done with these ads!

Time for Inside ROH! It’s all about Strong/Lethal this week, according to Mandy. They’ve given us two of the best matches of the year, she says, and there’s more to come. We get video from Nigel making Strong the #1 contender for the TV title and a promo from Lethal, saying that whenever he has a kid with the hottest woman in the world, he hopes they have Strong’s determination! He hopes they’re not a loser like Strong is, but still. He accuses Nigel of being in Strong’s back pocket and accuses Nigel of being unfair in making him defend both belts at ASE and in making him scrap for a title shot in the first place! We’re promised that the match will take place at some point on ROH TV, and that it is destined to be a classic.

Okay, sidebar here. I like both Strong and Lethal, I do. But I really thought that the 60 minute draw was overrated by a lot of ROH guys. I actually enjoyed their rematch more. I might be in the minority on that one, but I’ll stand by it. Besides that, doesn’t Strong kind of have to win the belt now? Are they really going to have Lethal clean sweep him 3 times in 6 months? I don’t know, honestly. I was thinking that Jay might drop the TV title at some point before Final Battle, but there’s a part of me that says he keeps the TV title to have bragging rights after he loses the World strap. Anyway, I’m probably overthinking this. Let’s clear our head with some ads!

We’re back with the music of Adam Cole! He leads the Kingdom to the ring, and it’s main event time, bay-bay! Our World champ, Mr. Jay Lethal has joined us on commentary, and he categorically DENIES any knowledge of what Adam Cole planned to do to Kyle O’Reilly at ASE! Speaking of a certain Mr. O’Reilly, the music of reDRagon hits, and here’s Kyle with Bobby Fish and Michael Elgin in tow. The jawing in the ring between the two factions starts as AJ Styles makes his entrance, but he made sure to have his fellow Bullet Club members the Young Bucks tag along. Lethal stands up to have himself a staredown with Styles as he comes to the ring. Nigel can already see the writing on the wall here, and he kicks everyone but Styles, Cole, and O’Reilly to the back. And while they’re on their way, let’s take what is hopefully our last ad break!

Adam Cole vs AJ Style vs Kyle O’Reilly

To say I’ve been waiting since last week for this is quite the understatement. Code of Honor is followed…by AJ and Kyle. Cole rolls out and tells AJ and Kyle to get started, but AJ gestures to Kyle to give him the honors, so O’Reilly gives chase outside the ring. Cole back in and he yells at Kyle, so AJ comes from behind and sends him back out to the floor and a waiting Kyle O’Reilly. Kyle appreciates this so much that he starts wearing Cole out with kicks to the midsection against the apron, but AJ gets tired of watching and comes over the top rope with a forearm to put Kyle down. Styles tosses Cole back in and sends him to the corner, then brings him out with a backbreaker. Lethal is being dry as unbuttered toast on commentary here, really laying it on about AJ. O’Reilly back in now, and Styles throws forearms at him. Off the ropes, Styles attempts a sunset flip but Kyle ties up the arm and goes for the cross-armbreaker. Cole comes in to break it up with a stomp, but O’Reilly decides that shit isn’t going to fly, so he grapevines the leg for a kneebar, but Styles kicks Kyle to break that up. Styles sends Cole cross-corner, but Cole flips over the charge and AJ hits the buckles. O’Reilly with a go-behind, Cole with an elbow to Kyle. AJ gets kicked in the gut charging out of the corner and Cole gets him up for a Fisherman’s suplex, but Kyle decides not to let them have all the fun and gets a German on Adam at the same time. 1 count on AJ for Kyle, then a 2 count on Cole for Kyle. Hey, that adds up to 3, doesn’t he win the match now? “O’Reilly!” chant from the crowd as he gets Cole on his knees and draws his thumb across Adam’s throat. 3 kicks to Cole’s midsection from Kyle, but he tries to come off the ropes and AJ pulls them down from the apron to send O’Reilly to the floor. AJ gets a shoulder to Cole from the apron and does a backflip to the floor to hit a scorpion deathdrop on Kyle. AJ gets back to his feet just in time for a tope from Adam Cole, sending AJ to the barricade and putting all three men down on the floor. “Adam Cole, Bay-Bay!” He sends Kyle back in and goes to work on his knee with stomps and an elbow. Splash to the knee by Cole, dragonscrew legwhip by Cole. AJ looks to get back in, but Cole sends him back to the floor with a stomp. Kyle back to his feet now, and he and Cole slug it out. O’Reilly off the ropes and Cole fakes a superkick, so Kyle covers up and Adam just superkicks his knee. Ouch. Figure-four attempt by Cole is countered and O’Reilly gets a knee and guillotine on Cole. Styles is still out there, however, and he springboards back in with a HUGE forearm on Kyle to break it up. His hangtime was awesome there. AJ still shaking off his landing and Cole makes him pay, coming out of the corner with a shining wizard! 1,2, no! Cole looks to finish AJ, but AJ rolls through and gets a calf cutter, but Kyle is there to put an armbar on AJ to break that up. Cole puts AJ in a figure four while Kyle has him in the armbar, and Kyle decides he wants to beat up Cole more than he wants to break AJ’s arm, so he breaks and mounts Cole with strikes. Cole covers up, so Kyle switches to a cross-armbreaker, dragging Cole away from the ropes. AJ breaks it up before Cole can tap. Slam by AJ on Kyle and we have to take another ad break? DAMN IT.

We’re back with Cole and AJ trading strikes, AJ misses an enzuigiri, allowing Cole to hit a bicycle kick, AJ comes back with a pele. Kyle takes AJ to the corner and monkeyflips him into an Adam Cole superkick, which is truly a thing of beauty. I don’t think there’s anyone in pro wrestling who does it better. He gets one on O’Reilly too, but Kyle does the Ambrose clothesline out of the ropes to put Cole down. Brainbuster by Kyle O’Reilly on Cole! 1,2, Styles makes the save! Kyle and AJ slug it out now which Kyle wins, but he misses the leg sweep and AJ unloads forearms on him. Combination by AJ is countered with a combination from O’Reilly including a jumping knee, and another reversal allows Kyle to put AJ in a triangle, and that whole sequence was just beautiful professional wrestling. AJ tries to fight out with a Styles Clash, but Cole is back on his feet and there’s a superkick to the back of AJ’s head. He tosses AJ from the ring and gets Kyle up, neckbreaker from the brainbuster position! 1,2,3! GIVE ME TEN MORE MINUTES OF THIS! (Adam Cole over AJ Styles and Kyle O’Reilly, pinfall, 8:16)

WORTH WATCHING? Well, you know that my answer was going to be YES on this one, didn’t you? First things first, Adam Cole is on a roll right now. Every mannerism is on point, even him hijacking the win tonight. Second, the booking here was completely correct; AJ can’t take a loss leading up to Final Battle cleanly, and Cole/O’Reilly is clearly going to happen at some point in a one on one match. Therefore, Cole gets the first win (clean, which is important), but it was in a triple-threat so Kyle has some claim that AJ did most of the real damage in the match. On the other side of the coin, how can you only have 8 minutes of match here? This thing was begging for at LEAST 15+, and that’s not just because of how much I like the wrestlers involved, but because…well, screw it, it’s because I like the wrestlers involved. I think my main disappointment with the match lies in that, as there was potential to get past the ***1/2 range if they would have had more time and let it all hang out, but what we got was very, very good. Kenny Reigns, props to your boy Cole, because he was great out there tonight.

Post-match, the Kingdom comes in for the beatdown on O’Reilly, but they’re soon joined by Fish, Elgin, and the Bucks to make sure we’re breaking loose in Tulsa, by God. The Bucks put everyone down with a dive to the outside; AJ back in, and he helps the Bucks get a double Indydriver on The Kingdom! Lethal comes in and we get the big staredown with AJ, as we hear Lethal proclaim “I’m the greatest wrestler in the world!” while we go off the air this week on ROH TV.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: I wish they have given more time to the main event, but I’m never going to complain about a show where I like both a Young Bucks match and we get the main event we got. Thumbs all the way up this week, ROH.

Thanks for reading,
Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter