Let’s get the preliminaries out of the way here…
Notable news from the world of ROH this week:
–Conflicting reports around Michael Elgin are all the rage this week, apparently. First he re-signed with ROH, then he didn’t, and now we seem to have come around to he’s happy to work for the company but doesn’t want to sign a contract. Take that for what it’s worth.
–Other contract news, though, concerns The Kingdom. Maria confirmed on Twitter this week that her contract with ROH expires at the end of the year, and there are rumors floating around, as they are wont to do, that WWE might come sniffing around for Bennett and Taven once their contracts are up. No word on whether or not Maria would be welcomed back, having rumored heat with the Bellas.
–ROH will have a huge presence at WrestleKingdom 10 next year. Matches were announced, including: reDRagon vs the Young Bucks vs Roppongi Vice vs Matt Sydal/Richochet, Kenny Omega vs Kushida, and AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura. This is all awesome.
Time for ROH TV this week, so let’s do this!
Ring of Honor TV – 11/11/15
We are TAPED from the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, MI! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel Mcguinness (no Mark Briscoe this week? Aw.)! We’re promised that we’ll get an update on the Corino situation this week, but let’s turn our attention to the main event: The Briscoes vs ANX in an All-Star Extravaganza rematch! Ah, so that’s why we can’t hear the dulcet tones of Mark on commentary this week. Fair enough. But that’s the main event; it’s time for our opener this week!
ACH vs Cedric Alexander (w/ Veda Scott)
Veda glares at Nigel on her way to the ring, while Kevin Kelly notes that ‘she’s got her eye on you’; if you think this doesn’t open Nigel up to make a lecherous comment about Veda, well, you haven’t been listening to Nigel Mcguinness very long. Unlike Lawler, debauchery just sounds more cultured coming from Nigel; must be the accent. Anyway, two things are going on here, with Veda’s lawsuit (vomit) against ROH happening and ACH needing a tuneup before the final match in the best of 5 with Sydal. And there’s ACH’s music! Time for Rick to dance like no one’s watching while they show some of the highlights from the best of 5 series.
Code of Honor is not followed as Cedric kicks ACH’s hand away. Lockup and Cedric reverses a hammerlock to a side headlock on the mat. ACH to a headscissors, and Cedric makes the ropes. “No cheating!” screams Veda as the ref backs ACH off. Headlock by ACH, Cedric gets the corner and whips ACH across, ACH over the top of a charging Alexander, he gets a hiptoss out of the corner. Cedric does the same, however, and blocks ACH’s second attempt with a back elbow. Leapfrog by Cedric on a rope running sequence, so ACH does a cartwheel and flip into a dropkick on Cedric. That gets one. Arm-wringer by ACH, takes Cedric to the corner and goes to the second rope, tornado suplex by ACH. 1,2, no. Cedric ducks an ACH enzuigiri and yanks the leg out from under ACH to send him to the mat. Punches on the mat by Alexander. Chops by Alexander, but ACH reverses a whip off the ropes and hits two kicks to send Cedric to the floor. ACH looks for the running kick from the apron, but Veda puts herself in front of Cedric, distracting ACH and allowing Alexander to get an STO from the apron to the floor. Time to give ACH a chance to recover by watching these ads!
We’re back with ACH attempting a comeback, but Cedric cuts that off and gets a suplex. He pops the hips and rolls through, getting a second one. He teases a third, but opts instead to taunt the fans. I don’t know if I’ve said this yet, but Cedric is really a good heel. I’d gotten so used to him being a face that I had forgotten how good he can be. Charge by Cedric to the corner, but ACH ducks the jumping kick off the buckles and sends Alexander to the top turnbuckles to give him some room, then he comes with chops. Whip, reversal, ACH misses the enzuigiri again, but gets a mule kick this time. ACH come off with a clothesline that turns Cedric inside-out, and Alexander falls to the floor. ACH looks to fly, but Cedric gets back in to the ring after ACH hits the outside; while Veda taunts him, Cedric looks to come out over the top, but ACH moves this time and Cedric almost hits Veda. While they both agree that was a close call, they may not have noticed ACH sneaking back into the ring…GIANT springboard swandive onto Alexander on the outside! That was gorgeous. ACH sends Cedric back in and goes to the top, misses Alexander coming off but gets a spinning forearm anyway. Go-behind by ACH, German suplex on Alexander! 1,2, no! Reversal sequence off a suplex attempt results in ACH alley-ooping Cedric to the apron, Get Over Here by ACH is blocked into a Michinoku Driver variant for 2. Cedric looking for the Lumbar Check it appears, but ACH is blocking it, ACH with a superkick after Cedric misses a 540! Both guys down and this match is pretty good. Standing switch, Dum-Dum stomp misses, 540 connects! Running dropkick by Cedric in the corner! Cedric looks to springboard off the top rope, but he slips on the top! Superkick by ACH into a brainbuster, and he goes up…Midnight Star! That’ll do it here. (ACH over Cedric Alexander, pinfall, 10:44)
WORTH WATCHING? Man, they’ve got something special with ACH, they really do. This was an outstanding professional wrestling match, and YES, you should take some time to watch it. Even with the dumbass lawsuit storyline, these guys were good together and the match was good as a result. I hope they pull the trigger on ACH soon, as he loses a lot when the chips are down. It’s probably time that he win one.
After the match, Kevin Kelly asks ACH about the finale of the best of 5 series with Sydal. He says that he’s walking in with the same mentality that he had against AJ Styles, the same mentality he had against Samoa Joe, but this time, he’s walking out with his hand raised! Well, after that declaration, we had best simmer down with a break for these ads!
We’re back with Veda screaming at Nigel and Kevin, saying that there was baby oil on the ropes and that is just another contribution to the unsafe working environment! Jesus. Long story short, she yells at them for about 1 minute going on 3 days while Nigel and Kevin just sort of sit there and take it, and then she and Cedric leave and the choirs of angels sing. Let’s move on to our next match, shall we?
Will Ferrara vs Caprice Coleman
Hey, Will’s back again this week! Bueno. We recap Prince Nana giving Coleman an envelope last time he was out here, and the announcer’s speculate on the contents of said envelope. Back in the ring, Coleman is out and he’s got the stick! “Ladies and Gentlemen, I want you to give it up for Will Ferrara!” He was so happy to be Ferrara’s mentor, but he noticed that their conversations got shorter as they went along. But hey, Will had a great match against Kushida! Well, who doesn’t, but that doesn’t seem to be the point as Caprice points out that he would have LOVED to face Kushida! Well, Caprice taught Will a lot, but he didn’t teach him everything, so let’s have this match!
Code of Honor is followed. Chain wrestling to start, they trade hammerlocks, and Coleman gets Will over with a hiplock takeover. Lockup again, Ferrara off the ropes and runs through Caprice with a shoulder. Will comes off the ropes, but Caprice gets consecutive armdrags to put him back down, 3rd one is blocked by Ferrara and he gets one of his own with an armbar at the end. He wrings the arm and takes him back over into a keylock, but Coleman makes the ropes. Coleman working the arm now with a wristlock, Ferrara tries to counter out but gets kneed in the face by Caprice. Caprice knees him in the face again in the corner. Slam, elbow, and legdrop by Caprice for two. He looks to go back to Will’s arm, but Ferrara counters and snaps the arm over his shoulder. Double knees to the arm by Will, but he misses a blind charge and Caprice gets a back elbow in the corner. He grabs Will and VICIOUSLY shoves him into the bottom turnbuckle! That looked nasty. Coleman dropkicks him in the corner. 1,2, no! Something resembling a Shining Wizard gets two for Coleman. Ferrara tries to fight up, Coleman throws knees but gets caught with a dropkick by Will. Running elbow in the corner by Will, and they exchange reversals before a back elbow by Ferrara allows him to go up. Springboard tornado DDT! 1,2, no! And now, Prince Nana has joined us at ringside it appears. He’s writing something down on a piece of paper as Coleman gets a kick to the midsection and one over the back of Will’s head back in the ring. Side Russian legsweep is countered by Ferrara into a rollup for two. Coleman avoids the running charge in the corner and Will hits the post. Caprice grabs Will…and tosses him into the post again! He pulls Will back into the ring and gets a Stroke, followed by the Judgment Seat for the tapout. (Caprice Coleman over Will Ferrara, submission, 6:02)
WORTH WATCHING? From a psychological perspective, I enjoyed the hell out of them trying to tell the story of Coleman resorting to using questionable tactics when he couldn’t beat his former student, but I don’t think that the story worked in this compressed a time frame; that story needs at least 10+ minutes to tell properly. I never got the impression that Coleman had done all he could do before he got frustrated, but the finish directly fed off the arm being punished, and I always appreciate good psychology on the physical side. I’ll go with YES, you can watch it, but there’s no shame in skipping either.
Post-match, Code of Honor is followed, with Coleman having a big ‘ol grin on his face while Will looks a little perturbed at what his former mentor was willing to do to win. He hops out of the ring to head to the back, but Prince Nana stops him and gives HIM an envelope that looks a lot like the one that Caprice got a few weeks ago! Intriguing, to a point. We’ll see where this goes. I know where we’re going now, though, and that’s to an ad break!
Time for Inside ROH with Man- no, wait! In a stunning, amazing, probably-assisted-by-Kenny-Reigns-move, Adam Cole has taken over Inside ROH this week! I am intrigued by this development and wish to subscribe to its newsletter. He tells us that this is actually storytime with Adam Cole now, and asks us whether or not we like the set, which has been decorated with pictures of Adam Cole himself and several of his former foes, such as Kyle O’Reilly, Jay Briscoe, etc, with some x’s and other drawings on those gentlemen’s faces. Adam says that everyone wants him to talk about what’s going on with him and Kyle O’Reilly, to which I am in complete agreement. While everyone knows about the hatred that exists between the two, he’d like to remind you that last week in the triple threat, he pinned Kyle O’Reilly 1,2,3 in the middle of the ring! Let’s take a look at that footage. We’re back with Adam, who asks us to go back to 2012, when Future Shock faced off against each other for the first time. He says that’s where he got a permanent scar from Kyle, but it was also where he beat Kyle for the first time! We see footage of O’Reilly tapping out to the figure four in said match, Cole’s face stained with blood. Do we see the pattern? When Kyle O’Reilly goes one on one with Adam Cole, he wilts and loses! So long as Adam Cole is in ROH, not only will Kyle O’Reilly not ever be the ROH World Champ, Adam Cole will not stop until Kyle is gone from ROH forever!
Whew. That was awesome. I’m going to take an ad/smoke break, and we’ll be back with the main event!
We’re back and Kevin Kelly is standing with Prince Nana, and he asks him what’s in the envelopes he keeps handing out? Prince Nana tells him not to be foolish, he’s not going to tell him that! But we’re living in the Age of Enlightenment, and if those men follow the instructions in the envelope, they’ve got a bright future ahead! And Prince Nana is FAR from done! Kelly segues into introducing footage of ANX’s return to ROH with a victory against the Briscoes at ASE; tonight is the rematch! And there’s the music of ANX, as Rhett Titus and Kenny King appear on the stage! They hit the ring, and it has to be said again; Rhett Titus looks so damned happy to be back out there, it almost makes me cry. “Reach for the sky, boy!” And here comes Mark and Jay!
All-Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) vs The Briscoes (Mark and Jay)
Code of Honor is followed without prompting from the ref. These teams work well together, so this match should be great. We’ll get it all started…after these ads!
We’re back with Mark and Kenny starting us off. Mark takes Kenny over with a side headlock, King goes to a headscissors. Mark escapes that and goes back to the headlock. Armwringer into a wristlock by Mark, but Kenny escapes with a flipping hiptoss. Armdrag by King, but a blind charge gets a boot to the face by Mark. Running bulldog attempt by Mark is blocked by Kenny, so Mark just takes him over with a headlock again. Kenny breaks and they run the ropes, Kenny gaining the advantage after a ducked clothesline and a right to Mark. Front facelock and he tags in Rhett, who runs at Mark with a kick to the midsection. Gutwrench suplex by Titus gets two. He sends Mark to the corner, but Mark goes over the top when Titus charges and gets an overhead throw on Rhett. Tag to Jay, who comes in with uppercuts and rights on Rhett. He sends Rhett off the ropes, but King gets a blind tag; Rhett reverses Jay into an inverted atomic drop, holding him for King to come off the ropes with a clothesline to put Jay down. That gets two, and King goes to work on Jay’s shoulder. Tag back to Rhett, and the ANX do the springboard legdrop/running splash combo for two on Jay. Titus puts Jay in a chinlock, but Jay fights out. He and Rhett exchange kicks as Jay knocks King to the floor off the apron; Titus regains control with forearms, but Jay ducks a big shot and dives to make the tag to Mark. King is back up on the apron, so Mark gets a running dropkick underneath a Titus clothesline to put him back on the floor. Rhett ends up in his own corner with Mark chopping away. Whip, reversal, but Mark ducks a clothesline and does a somersault dive onto King out on the floor! A charging Titus gets a shoulder to the midsection and Mark goes up. He jumps over a running Rhett Titus, who turns around into Jay Briscoe splashing him in the corner. Jay whips him directly into a lariat by Mark for two. And now, the Briscoes cut the ring in half and take it to Titus. Shots by Mark put Rhett down in the Briscoe corner, tag to Jay. Stomps to Rhett in the corner, he tries to fight up, but an elbow by Jay puts him down again. And now Jay wants his turn in the ‘Knock Kenny King off the apron game’, but Kenny gets uppity and tries to pull him out, so Jay backs off. Headbutt by Jay, tag to Mark. He signals for Froggy-fu and gets a crane kick, followed by rights in the corner. He backs up to get a head of steam, but Rhett catches him coming in and gets him up for a spinning version of Snake Eyes. Both wrestlers down as Titus looks for a tag, but Mark grabs his leg and Jay comes in with stomps to keep him from the corner. Side Russian legsweep by Mark gets two on Titus. Tag back in to Jay. He comes in with a dropkick on Rhett for a two count as Mark once again knocks Kenny King off the apron. Mark puts Titus in a camel clutch and it’s time for us to take our LAST ad break of the evening!
We’re back with Jay headbutting Rhett and tagging Mark back in. Mark fires chops and looks for a belly to back suplex, but Titus flips out and finally tags in Kenny King, and King’s a house afire! Clothesline to Mark, back elbow to Mark! King shoots Mark off the ropes, but Briscoe lands on his feet after the attempted back body drop..handstand kick to Mark’s head by Kenny! Exploder suplex by King! 1,2, Jay makes the save! King puts Mark up on the top rope, Jay comes over to help but Kenny sends him to the floor with right hands. Mark shoves Kenny off now, but Kenny lays out with a backflip and comes back up with a jumping enzuigiri! Dropkick by Kenny to Jay keeps him on the floor, and now Titus comes in with a running X-factor off the top rope for two. Tag to Rhett, who comes in with Mark in the corner, but Mark reverses and gets an exploder on Titus into the turnbuckles, leaving us with Kenny and Mark in the ring. King gets an enzuigiri on Mark in the corner, but Jay is heading back to the ring apron and that may spell trouble for Kenny. Kenny turns to pose to the crowd, not seeing Jay, which proves to be detrimental to his overall health as Jay murders him with a spinning forearm when King turns around. Titus back in now and Jay gets the machine gun neckbreaker, with Mark coming in with a jackknife pin for two. Briscoes signal for the Doomsday Device, but King is back and breaks it up. Rhett dropkicks Jay and ANX gets in position, but the One Night Stand is broken up by Mark diving in to cut off Kenny in mid-air. Jay fights off Titus and sends him over the top with a Cactus clothesline. Jay runs back into the ring and gets a tope on Titus on the outside; King tries to make one last go of it, but Jay ducks and Mark gets a Blockbuster from the apron to the floor on Kenny. Titus gets tossed back in by Jay, Jaydriller! Mark goes up, Froggy-bow! That’ll do it for a great tag match. (The Briscoes over the All-Night Express, pinfall, 10:49)
WORTH WATCHING? You better believe it. Yes, this was a very, very fun match. ROH’s tag division is absolutely STACKED right now, and because of that they can throw guys out every week and get ***+ TV main events whenever they want. There was a lot going on here, with the Briscoes trying to remain relevant in the hunt for the tag belts, with ANX trying get a 2-0 lead on their rivals since their return. Now at 1-1, I’d guess we get a rubber match, which would be quite welcomed. Really, really fun piece of work.
After the match, Code of Honor is followed. Next week, The Addiction gets their rematch against The Kingdom for the tag belts; will one of these teams be the ones to take those belts away? Who knows, but we’re out of time! See you next week!
FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Well, the in-ring action was all solid to excellent, so that alone makes this one completely worth watching. I have some trepidation over where some of these stories are going (legal angle), I’m reserving judgment on others (Prince Nana, ROH Postmaster General), and there are some that I would drive hours to watch their resolution (Put O’Reilly/Cole against each other in Australia, I give a shit. I’ll steal a plane to get there). All that having been said, this was an excellent episode of ROH TV, so kudos.
As always, thanks for reading,
@MrSoze on Twitter