Ring of Honor – November 18th, 2015

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

Notable news from the world of ROH this week:

–Obviously, the big one is that we’re on the move. ROH switches from Destination America to Comet starting December 2nd; next week’s episode will be the last on Destination America. Comet is also owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, so the prevailing theory is that ROH will be better positioned on Comet than it ever was on Destination America.

A quick reminder that ROH puts their show online at rohwrestling.com for free every Thursday, so for those of you that don’t have Comet or are interested in ROH but haven’t watched it yet, you have that chance on the website. Check it out.

–Rumors persist that WWE is planning to expand NXT next year, and there are several ROH and Lucha Underground members in their crosshairs. As they want to do much more extensive touring in 2016, there is a necessity for wrestlers that may not have otherwise been signed to fill roles. The plan was described to the Observer as ‘ROH style main events with WWE production values.’ Take from that what you will, but there may be some interesting times on the horizon.

–Neither AJ Styles nor Michael Elgin are apparently under contract anywhere, either with ROH or NJPW. Rumors are that Styles in particular will go where the money is, and it’s unlikely that he can make as much in NXT as he will in NJPW or ROH; that may change if the above item is true.

In the world of me this week, my first check cleared for Wrestlemania weekend, so anyone who’s going to be down there and wants to hang, let me know. I’ll be at ROH on Saturday for sure, not totally clear on Friday yet. Depending on how long the tapings go, I plan to be at the WWN show on Saturday night as well, as I’ve done the Hall of Fame already.

Ring of Honor TV – 11/18/15

We open with Silas Young trying to teach the Boys how to change a tire. Hilarity ensues. It’s wacky! Remember what I said last week about this angle starting to grow on me when they kept this stuff in-ring? Yeah, not so much here. The boys are almost literally presented as functionally retarded, and I mean that. I don’t mind wacky slapstick, but last week they’re working against the Bucks doing wrestling moves, this week it takes two of them to lift a spare tire.

Okay, fine. I did laugh out loud twice; once, when Silas tells them that he said ‘Jack it UP!’ and gives the camera a hilarious look, and once when he teaches them not to use sanitizer, but to use ‘MANITIZER!’ and spits in their hands to show them how men wash up. Silas Young is too good for this angle, I swear to god.

We are TAPED from the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, MI! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel Mcguinness. This week, we have a main event tag title match, as The Kingdom defends against The Addiction! Also, Nigel will tell us his final decision on the fate of Steve Corino. But for our opener, let’s have ourselves a tag team match!

Silas Young and the Beer City Bruiser (w/ The Boys) vs War Machine

Young and the Bruiser force the Boys to carry out a half-keg of beer (which it takes both of them to do) while the Bruiser carries out his own full keg. Silas throwing the streamers back at the fans always makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. Hanson and Rowe are out next, murder in their eyes as usual. Kelly and Nigel note that they will get their shot at the tag belts at Final Battle.

Code of Honor is not followed, duh. Hanson and the Bruiser look to start us off. They go nose to nose, then each of them back into a corner and run at each other and collide in the center of the ring; nobody moves. They jaw at each other, run the ropes, collide again; nobody moves. God, Jim Ross would be in his glory calling this match. There’d be a world record for use of the word ‘Hoss’ in a single paragraph. Bruise takes quick control with a knee and a forearm, but he shoots Hanson off the ropes and Hanson barrels him over with a shoulderblock, Bruiser tags in Young. He runs at Hanson 3 times, Hanson shoulderblocks him down 3 times before Silas rolls out and the Bruiser tries to come in from behind, so Rowe comes in as well. SHOTGUN KNEES~! by Rowe on the Bruiser, and Hanson adds the Broncobuster in the corner. Young comes back in and gets tossed down by War Machine as the Boys attempt to pick up the Bruiser on the outside. Running boots to Silas in the corner as the Boys almost have the Bruiser back in, Young gets a rake of the back but Rowe just picks him up, backbreaker to Silas. Young wiggles out of the Path of Resistance, but Rowe get a Superman punch to put him down. Rowe runs at Silas in the corner, but the Bruiser cuts that off with a huge shoulderblock on Rowe to send him flying. Silas grapevines the leg and drags Rowe over to his corner, tag to the Bruiser. Bruiser with forearms, Rowe tries to fight out with a kneelift, but Silas comes back in and gets a backbreaker on Rowe followed up by a clothesline from the Bruiser, who Silas tags back in afterwards. Rowe tries to fight out of the corner, but Silas gets a DDT into the turnbuckles and the Bruiser is going up…FROG SPLASH by the Bruiser! Rowe may, in fact, be dead. 1,2, no! Apparently, he’s alive. We’ll check back in on his condition after these ads!
We’re back with the Bruiser in control. He sends Rowe into the corner and follows it up with a running ass to the face. No idea if that move has an actual name. Bruiser backs up to run at him again, but this time Rowe gets an uranage on the charging Bruiser and makes the tag! Hanson is a house afire. He backdrops Silas after he charges into the ring, sideslam on the Bruiser. Young tries to fight him off, to no avail as Hanson gets a spinning powerslam. Bruiser whips him off the ropes, but puts his head down and Hanson cartwheels past and gets an STO to send Bruiser to the floor and clear the ring. Hanson looks to fly on the Bruiser, but one of the Boys grabs his leg! Hanson pulls said Boy into the ring with said leg, but now the other one decides he wants to be involved and grabs the other leg with a similar result. Hanson stacks both Boys in the corner on the top rope and signals for the forearm, but now Young is back. “Only I hit them!” screams Young, but Hanson doesn’t seem to particularly care about that; he grabs Young and puts him on top of the Boys, and we’re 3-deep on the top rope now. Hanson murders them with forearms, causing Silas to fall off after 3, the first Boy to fall off after 6, and the last one to finally drop after 10. The Boys fall outside the ring, and Silas is propped against the corner. Hanson wants to run, but the Bruiser is back in and cuts him off with a belly-to-back suplex. Rowe comes back in now, and he grabs the Bruiser and loads him up….delayed exploder suplex! Yikes. Rowe turns his attention to Young now, but Young gets a knee and a second rope clothesline to stop him. Rowe rolls out, and the Boys grab him as per Young, Bruiser comes off the apron, Rowe moves! Bruiser takes out both Boys with a cannonball! Young yells at them, turns around, spinkick of doom by Hanson! Bruiser gets back in now, and this may not go well for him…jumping knee by Rowe! He gets Bruiser up, Hanson goes to the top rope, Fallout! This one’s in the books. (Hanson over Silas Young/Beer City Bruiser, pinfall, 7:33)

WORTH WATCHING? Well, for a heavyweight tag match, this might be as good as you’re going to get. This type of match is not really my thing – they weren’t stiffing each other all that much in there, and while I don’t want guys to get injured, I would like to see some decent contact from the heavyweights. The STO was particularly gentle; there were a lot of spots that seemed designed to show how strong each team was, which is fine in small doses, I suppose. The liberal use of the Boys to emphasize how fat Bruiser was, etc, was about what I expected from this angle in the beginning. I’m going to say NO, this one is pretty skippable unless you’re a mark for any of the teams. I can see how people would enjoy it, but I’m not really one of them. That Bruiser frog splash was pretty sweet, though.

Post match, Young gives the Boys a double noggin knocker, with him and the Bruiser carrying the Boys to the back as we segue into a video package about Corino/Whitmer, specifically about Corino slugging Whitmer and walking away. Let’s see what happens after these ads!

And there he is! Steve Corino makes his entrance while Nigel stands in the ring. Nigel gets right to the point; Corino knew that if he touched a wrestler again, he was done. He was warned, and while Nigel understands what he did, he can’t reinstate Corino as a color commentator. BUT, he does have one option, and that’s to reinstate him as a wrestler! He’s talked to BJ Whitmer, and he’s ready to fight! So, at Final Battle, it’ll be a Fight without Honor! Crowd loves this. Corino looks less than happy about it, and takes the mic. It felt great to punch BJ Whitmer in the mouth, sayeth Corino! And, as a 42 year old man, he never would have guessed that he would have the opportunity to stand in this ring and be cheered by the greatest wrestling fans in the world. His body is beat, and he’s never complained! That’s the life of a professional wrestler, and he’s never regretted it. But he’s had a pain in his neck, a numbness in his fingers, and his wife make him get an MRI. He was hoping that it would just be 21 years of wear, but that turned out to not be the case; he has to have 3 vertabrae fused. His in-ring career is over. And while he’s not saying goodbye; but if it is, he wants to thank ROH for so many great memories and for keeping him around when they didn’t have to. He thanks a whole host of guys, from Cary Silkin to Kevin Kelly to Kevin Steen, to all the staff and the boys in the back. “THANK YOU STEVE!” chant from the crowd. No, thank you, says Corino, and he wants you to know one thing – his name is Steve Corino, and he will always be an evil man! Thank you! Corino exits the ring and hugs Bobby Cruse, the timekeeper, and Kevin Kelly before taking his leave. For those that are curious, the full speech that Corino gave was more than 10 minutes long and is available on You Tube and other sites, and is worth watching.

Okay. Now, I’m not going to pretend I’m Steve Corino’s biggest fan, because I’m really not, nor am I a hypocrite. I liked him at exactly one point in his career, and that was during his run with SCUM. But I was more than a little touched by this, because he came off as someone who truly cared about the business that he has to leave, and when pro wrestling loses someone who loves it that much, it’s a profound loss. I wish that BJ hadn’t been injured, or that Steve hadn’t been injured, and we could have brought this whole angle to a natural conclusion; that having been said, the most important thing is the health of Steve Corino. For better or worse, he did 21 years in the ring, and he deserves respect for that if nothing else; I hope his surgery goes well and he wakes up pain-free for the first time in a long time. Good luck, King Corino.

Now, let’s break for some ads!

We’re back for more hilarity with Silas Young and the boys, as Young attempts to teach the Boys how to…use a urinal. JESUS CHRIST. Look, I can live with some of this bullshit, but really? The angle is that they’ve never used a fucking URINAL before? And, of course, one of the Boys tries to squat in the urinal, because HAHAHAHA. Come on.

Because ROH wants to make me feel better, Inside ROH has once again been commandeered by Adam Cole for another edition of Story Time with Adam Cole, Bay-Bay! I would immediately make this the highest rated talk show on earth if it was a real thing. I’m willing to bet he has PWG stories that would blow our minds. Anyway, he’s here to talk about the ROH World title; more specifically, why hasn’t Nigel mentioned him as on the list of challengers? He’s a former World champ! Hell, Nigel even has the unmitigated GALL to keep Kyle O’Reilly on that list! He points out that he even gave Roderick Strong another title match for the TV belt; Cole seems to think that just like Strong, he has to whine, scream, and complain to get what he wants! We cut to Nigel making Roddy the #1 contender for the TV belt; that match is next week right here on ROH TV. Cole is sure that it’s going to be a great match, and speaking of great matches, he has nothing going on yet for Final Battle, so he’s going to focus all his energy on making sure that Kyle O’Reilly never wrestles for Ring of Honor again. And hey, Nigel, if you think that’s all your fault? Well, it is.

Good lord, Adam Cole is so good. I hope he and Kyle tear the fucking HOUSE DOWN at Final Battle when the inevitable match is signed. I will buy the PPV solely for that match.

After this awesomeness, we’re treated to Silas coming out of a stall and handing one of the Boys a plunger, telling them to take care of it and that it’s all yours. I’m too high to get pissed off about this toilet humor bullshit. Adam Cole, Bay-Bay! Let’s take a moment to ponder these ads!

We’re back to the music of Michael Elgin!

Michael Elgin vs Kevin Lee Davidson
Kevin Lee Davidson is also known as ‘Already in the ring’. Code of Honor is followed.
Davidson strikes first. There’s a weird jump cut, and Elgin gets a forearm, followed by a lariat…for the pin? (Michael Elgin over Kevin Lee Davidson, pinfall, 0:09)

WORTH WATCHING? Watching what? There was no match to speak of.

Post-match, Elgin gets a mic and talks about Japan and the G-1 Climax. It opened his eyes! It made him realize why he does this, what’s important – that’s the Ring of Honor World title! Unfortunately for Jay Lethal, that gold is around your waist, and he wants this to be clear as day – it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when they step into the ring together and Elgin gets the gold back! Play his music! And play some ads!

We’re back! Our tag team title match is next! Let’s take a look back at ASE, where the Kingdom stole the pinfall to become the NEW tag team champs! Tonight is the rematch, so let’s get to it as we hear the music of The Addiction! I have it on good authority that Christopher Daniels is wearing the SS jacket for the sole purpose of annoying Charlie Owens at this point. And there’s the music of the Kingdom; good GOD, Maria. WWE should take note – enough with the Susan G. Komen stuff, Maria wearing that shirt makes me want to give breast cancer research my life savings.

The Kingdom (Matt Taven/Michael Bennett w/ Maria) vs The Addiction (Christopher Daniels/Kazarian w/ Chris Sabin)

Nigel and Kevin debate who will break the most rules in this match as we get set to go. Code of Honor is not followed, of course. Daniels and Taven start us off, Daniels with a standing side headlock that he cranks on. Taven shoots him off, Bennett with the kick to the back off the ropes as we have our first cheating of the match. Daniels reverses an Irish Whip, and Kaz decides to return the favor as he kicks Taven from the apron. Daniels off the ropes, Bennett hits him from the apron, Taven off the ropes, Kaz whacks him from the apron. Oh boy, this could be fun. Bennett and Kaz come in, they both attempt a kick at the same time, they both catch each other’s legs. They seem to settle on a truce and both gently put each other’s legs down…and they both attempt a cheap shot at the same time. HA! Daniels and Taven grab them from behind and roll them up, they kick out at 1 and Daniels and Taven collide. Stalemate! Let’s take an ad break and figure this out.

We’re back with Daniels stomping a mudhole and walking it dry on Taven in the corner. Cross-corner whip and Daniels charges, but Taven goes over the top and gets an armdrag and a dropkick on Daniels. Front suplex by Taven gets 1. Daniels fights back with a jawbreaker, tag to Kaz. Double arm-wringer on Taven, followed by a kick by Kaz, clothesline to the back of the head by Daniels, and a double stomp by Kazarian. Taven gets back to his feet and drives Kaz back to the Kingdom corner and tags in Bennett. Bennett whips Kaz into a big boot by Taven, then gets a big boot of his own to put him down. Second rope dropkick by Taven, cover by Bennett gets 1. Kaz goes to the eyes and tags in Daniels, who clotheslines Bennett down. He sends Bennett to the corner and shoulders him in the midsection several times. He stops to say something to Maria, and that pisses Bennett off enough to turn it around and fire shots of his own to Daniels’ midsection. They slug it out and both guys go over the top to the floor, where they continue to fire at each other. Double clothesline and both guys are out; the ref goes out to check on them. Meanwhile, Maria hands Taven a title belt, while Sabin hands Kaz a belt, and they both hit the ring, see that the other guy has a belt, and fall down to sell getting hit by the belt. That was pretty funny, I must admit, although I would assume that winning by DQ is not what Daniels and Kaz want. Either way, the ref comes back in and Maria gets halfway up on the ring apron, and the camera angle gets two thumbs up from me, while Kazarian mocks her behind the referee’s back, remembering to fall over as though he were dead when the ref turns around. Both of them continue to plead their case that they were the ones hit with the belt, but they finally just slug it out in the middle of the ring, including going to the eyes. They both come off the ropes and both Sabin and Maria trip up the guy on the other team, and the ref has had enough and tosses both of them. Let’s sort this out on the ad break, shall we?

We’re back with Taven kicking Daniels in the face and sending Kaz into him off a backdrop attempt. Tag to Bennett, and he comes in with clotheslines on Kaz. He sends Kaz to the outside and follows him out with a crossbody! Bennett poses and turns around into Daniels with a kick to the chest, split-legged moonsault by Daniels! Matt Taven wants to get in this action, and he takes everyone out with a giant dive! Taven and Bennett get Kaz back into the ring, they set Kaz up, but Daniels is back in and he takes out Bennett! Taven is on the top and comes off with a huge crossbody to Daniels. He tries to whip Daniels, but Daniels reverses and he and Kaz get the powerbomb/neckbreaker combo for 2. They send Taven to the corner, but Taven alley-oops Daniels out of the ring, and Bennett is back in. They get Kaz up, Proton Pack by the Kingdom! 1,2, no! Daniels breaks it up and takes Bennett down with a test of strength slam, but eats a superkick from Taven as a result. Taven misses a kick on Kaz, who springboards in with a DDT on Taven. Bennett tries to spear Kaz, but Kaz moves and Mike spears the ref instead. Slam on Bennett and now Nigel has gone to get a new ref and Maria is back to check on Taven, but Daniels is right behind her. He sets her up for the Angel’s Wings, but Bennett is back. He breaks it up but eats an STO from Daniels, who laughs and turns around right into a kick to the nuts from Maria! Superkick by Maria! It was good one, too. Kazarian grabs Maria by the hair, but Taven comes off with a kick to stop that. Off the ropes, moonsault gets the knees of Kaz! Kaz gets him set up, but here’s the KRD…superkick to the midsection of Kaz! Spear to Kaz by Michael Bennett, and that’s enough for this to be done. (The Kingdom over The Addiction, pinfall, 11:42)

WORTH WATCHING? This match was pretty fun. Did they do too much with the heel/heel dynamic? I suppose, but I’m still saying YES, this one’s a keeper. I enjoyed it, sue me. I admit that it’s not normally why I dig ROH, but I’ll let it go because it was fun to watch, and that’s all that really matters.

War Machine does the big staredown at the entrance, and we’re done for the week here.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: This was a pretty middling episode of ROH, to be honest. Nothing stood out with the in-ring work, there weren’t a lot of angles that developed that needed it, and there’s nothing that you really need to watch here. I would watch the main again, along with the Cole stuff, but that’s about it. We were due for a mediocre one, I suppose. Next week, Lethal/Strong 3!

Thanks for reading,
Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter