Let’s get the preliminaries out of the way here….
News from around the world of ROH this week:
–The Wrestling Observer is reporting that contract negotiations have stalled between ROH and reDRagon, and this has apparently led to WWE talent reaching out to Fish and O’Reilly to get them to consider making the jump to NXT. With WWE looking to beef up more in NXT, the idea that they’ll jump has actually gained some traction, as according to the WON source, the two sides ‘aren’t close’ on their contract negotiations right now. With reDRagon basically able to work NJPW if they don’t come to an agreement with either fed, they may have more leverage than initially thought. My take on this? I don’t know if they’ll do it, but I will say that reDRagon’s style fits more in NXT now than it would have a year ago, so it’s a possibility. I would miss Kyle if he goes, but I’d like to see him be happy and make some money, Fish too. Again, just a rumor for right now.
–As part of their talent exchange with NJPW, ROH will be bringing over some talent for the 14th Anniversary show in February. First one announced? That would be Shinsuke Nakamura. Show is scheduled for February 26th, with TV tapings the next day, and more NJPW stars are expected to be added to the shows.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Let’s watch some wrestling!
Ring of Honor TV – 11/25/15
We are TAPED from the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, Michigan! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel Mcguinness; tonight, it’s Lethal/Strong III for the World TV Title! But we’re not wasting any time, as we come in immediately to Stokely Hathaway leading Moose to the ring!
Moose vs Dominick Carter
Code of Honor is followed. Carter, aka “currently in the ring”, is from my hometown of St. Louis, MO. Clearly, he’ll do us proud! I can only assume he trained with the finest….Moose with the spear! 1,2,3! (Moose over Dominick Carter, pinfall, 0:07)
WORTH WATCHING? See my answer to the Elgin match from last week. Nothing to watch here.
After the match, Stokely Hathaway has the stick! He says that Moose is going to be the next ROH World Champion, so Jay Lethal is on notice! He saw what Michael Elgin did last week; in fact, this whole speech sounds a lot like what Michael Elgin said last week! But time to face some facts here; Moose is bigger, stronger, and a better wrestler, plus he won faster than Mike did, so add it all up, and that means that Elgin can’t beat Moose! And here’s Big Mike himself. Elgin says that if they want a fight with some real competition, he’s more than happy to give them one, because he doesn’t back down. Moose offers to do it right now! Yeah! They look ready to go, but here comes The House of Truth. Martini, Taeler Hendrix, Donovan Dijak, and J. Diesel are out, and Truth isn’t going to sit in the back and let them use Jay Lethal’s name in vain. Truth busts out ‘Psych!’ in response to saying how much he kind of likes Big Mike; they’re not on the same level as Jay Lethal! The House of Truth doesn’t like their riff-raff, and everything they were talking about was wack! Yep, he said wack. Elgin points out that he and Truth go way back, but the only checking that’s going to happen is he’s going to take that side piece of Truth’s (I assume he means Taeler there), and they’re going to check into a motel! But hey, if they want a fight, when it comes to Diesel and Dijak, well, he’ll take both of them…out. And then, sweetheart, he’ll show you a good time. Well, sayeth Truth, nobody talks like that about the lovely Ms. Hendrix! Stokely Hathaway channels his inner Teddy Long and says that we can do this right now, and Truth agrees; the fight is on!
Moose/Michael Elgin vs The House of Truth (Donovan Dijak and J. Diesel)
I promise that I will only make 1 Donovan Dijak joke during this match, because it’s like shooting fish in a barrel at this point. And there it was. Code of Honor is obviously not followed. Everyone starts battling at ringside, with Moose and Elgin gaining the upper hand; they send both members of the House of Truth into the barricades! Let’s take a break to get this thing sorted out while watching these ads!
We’re back with Elgin in control over Dijak. Corner whip is reversed, but Dijak charges and Elgin gets an enzuigiri. Dropkick by Elgin, Moose wants the tag, so after a few words are exchanged, Elgin gives him one. Moose gets a standing dropkick to ape Elgin, and I have to say that Moose doing a dropkick is damned impressive. He tells Elgin he’s going to show him how to do a suplex, and he does. Now Elgin wants back in, and gets the tag. Nigel: “Thus far, Dijak hasn’t really shown too much.” That doesn’t count as a joke because I’m just recapping what he said, honest. Elgin gets him up for the delayed vertical suplex and keeps him up there for a fan count of 32 before he drops him, and Elgin takes the lead on points with that one. Elgin goes and gets in Moose’s face on the apron, so Moose shoves him, which counts as a tag. They face off in the ring, but before much can happen Diesel and Dijak attack. This goes poorly for them, as Moose and Elgin tee off on them. Double Irish whip is reversed, but Hendix grabs Elgin’s leg, allowing Dijak and Diesel to double-team Moose with a boot to the head from Dijak. Elgin turns around, chokeslam backbreaker by Dijak. Diesel and Moose are legal now, Diesel with the advantage. He drapes Moose on the second rope and gets a legdrop while Dijak boots Moose for a two count. Diesel presses with forearms and kicks, including a running boot, but Moose is done selling for a few seconds. He gets back to his feet and wears out Diesel with lefts, making sure to wind up like Popeye on the last one, which Dijak decides needs to be stopped. Moose gets sent to his own corner though, and Elgin tags himself in. Dijak charges Elgin on the apron, but Mike hiptosses him over, Diesel charges but gets sent over when Mike pulls the top rope down. Mike on the apron….cannonball onto the House of Truth! Taeler tries to help, but Elgin gives her a dip and shoves her back over to Truth, then tosses Diesel back in. Deadlift German with a bridge gets two. We’re reminded that the House of Truth has been banned from ringside for tonight’s title match. Dijak back in, he grabs the top rope on an Elgin rollup attempt, but Moose clobbers him with a clothesline. Diesel back after Elgin, but Mike gets a spinning chop on Elgin that sounded like it took off skin. Moose blind tags himself back in, and this match has a very nice pace to it. He waits for Elgin to bucklebomb Diesel in the corner, and comes in with the spear for the pinfall. (Moose/Michael Elgin over The House of Truth, pinfall, 6:29)
WORTH WATCHING? This was a glorified squash, but it was one that had a reason for existing and didn’t overstay its welcome; it was there solely to set up Moose/Elgin for Final Battle, and it delivered on that front. I’m actually going to say YES, this one is worth it, and pairing Moose with Elgin is exactly what they should be doing if they see him as a star of the future; with the roll Elgin is on right now, he can teach Moose a lot and have good matches while doing it. Fun stuff.
After the match, they have a staredown; I had no idea how tall Moose actually was. I remember seeing Elgin at a show and thinking while he wasn’t the tallest dude in the world, he was a big enough guy, but Moose TOWERS over him.
What time is it? Oh, you know it’s Story Time with Adam Cole, Bay-Bay! Goddamn, I hope Mandy never comes back. This week, Cole wants to talk about his boys in The Kingdom. While it’s only a matter of time before he gets his ROH World Title back (what is with all these guys wanting titles? It’s almost like they mean something in ROH.), The Kingdom has reigned supreme in the tag division, defeating all comers! Heck, just last week, they beat the former champs – let’s take a look at that video. We see the end of the match with Maria and KRD interfering to give the champs the win, and the staredown at the end with War Machine. Back to Cole, and he loves it! He knows that while War Machine is a challenge, the Kingdom is up for it! As for next week, it’s going to be Adam Cole and Dalton Castle, one on one here on ROH TV! He wishes Castle luck, because he’s going to need it.
Video package for Stong/Lethal – you know, it doesn’t exactly make much sense that Strong can still claim to be better than Lethal when he’s had two opportunities to win and not delivered; he took the pin in the middle of the ring last time! Oh well, the match should be good, so I can live with it. Let’s take a break for some ads to ponder what we’ve just seen!
We’re back with The Decade in the middle of the ring, and BJ Whitmer is not thrilled. Since the Decade is in the ring, I would assume that mirrors the viewers thoughts as well. He saw through Corino last week, and he isn’t surprised that all the idiots in the crowd bought what Corino said last week…but he is surprised that Nigel bought it. See, Nigel did the same thing a few years ago when he was in a tough situation – he lied about it and quit! And now Nigel is in the ring, and he’s tired of Whitmer, he’s tired of hearing it from Whitmer. So he’s going to make a decision – since Steve Corino can’t be at Final Battle, neither can The Decade! They can sit at home and watch it, but they’re not going to be there! Now get out of the ring! Security! BJ tries to calm down Adam Page, who is glaring daggers at BJ; let’s take a break before our main event for some ads!
We’re back to the music of Roderick Strong! It’s time for the main event as Mr. ROH makes his way to the ring! He gets the streamers, and here comes the World/World TV champ, Jay Lethal! Noone with Jay, he’s gotta go it alone this time. Two referees will be here to ensure a fair fight, so there’s not much left but to get it on!
Jay Lethal vs Roderick Strong – World Television Championship match
Nigel points out that the second ref is out here in response to all the shenanigans that happened last week after he left to go get a ref when the first one was KO’d in the tag title match. Code of Honor is followed, and here we go! Crowd is split, but it sure SOUNDS like the cheers are louder for Lethal. Lockup, Lethal gets a side headlock, Roddy shoots him off, Jay runs through him with a shoulder. Single leg by Strong takes Lethal down, and he rolls to the outside to think it over. Lethal back in now, controls with a wristlock. Roddy reverses, gets a fireman’s carry while still holding onto the arm. Roddy gets a chinlock into a cradle for two, and Lethal goes outside again. He grabs his belt and looks to take a walk, but Roddy gives chase. Lethal back in and tries to drop an elbow on Strong as he enters the ring, but Strong avoids it and take Jay to the corner. Cross-corner whip is reversed, but Roddy floats over and gets a sidekick to the face of Lethal. Lethal once again decides to think it over outside the ring, so we’re going to go outside the show and take ourselves an ad break!
We’re back with Lethal controlling with chops on the outside, he sends Strong into the barricade. Strong comes back fighting, but Jay sends him to the other barricade. The announcers run down the potential challengers for Lethal, intimating that this is Strong’s last shot. Lethal sends Strong face first into the ring, and they exchange shots, which Lethal gets the better of. He sends Strong back in and stomps him down. Big chop in the corner by Lethal, Roddy responds in kind. Jay whips Roddy into the buckles and gets a one count off that. Lethal slaps on a headlock to ground Strong, and this match is slowing down a bit TOO much. Strong gets back to his feet, and they exchange chops again, with Strong getting the best of it. Jay grabs a side headlock, but tries for the Lethal Injection and gets caught with a Strong dropkick to the back of the head. Strong is up against the ropes as Jay stumbles, kick to the head by Roddy and an enzuigiri! There must have been some clipping here, because they’re selling like they’ve been out there for 20 minutes, and it’s barely been 7 of TV time. Even Nigel is noting that Strong is sucking wind deeply out there. They trade chops and fists, and Strong grabs Jay in a fireman’s carry, but Lethal wiggles out. He ducks a clothesline and gets a part of the Lethal Combination, but Strong sends him off the ropes and gets a knee to the midsection. Roddy off the ropes, running forearms to Lethal! 5 of them, to be exact. Strong charges Lethal in the corner, but Jay gets the boot up. He goes up, but Strong takes him down; pretty sure he was supposed to catch him, but he just drops him to the mat instead. He picks him up again, backbreaker by Strong. That gets two. Strong needs to figure out what to do next, but I know what we’re going to do – take an ad break! Hopefully our final one of the evening.
We’re back with Lethal on the top rope, kicking Strong away. He comes off with a dropkick, but Strong saw it coming and swatted him down. Lethal with a superkick, but it’s caught by Strong, who gets forearms on Lethal. Jay ducks the last one, however, and gets the Lethal Combination for 2. He transitions immediately into a Koji Clutch; Strong maneuvers his leg around and makes the ropes. Strong rolls to the outside this time, and Jay looks to fly, tope sends Strong to the barricade! Again! He goes for a third one, but Strong got him this time, Olympic Slam! The crowd thinks this is awesome. I’m inclined to say it’s above-average, but that chant just doesn’t sound right when you say it. Roddy rolls Jay back in and gets two. While they struggle to their feet, Kevin Kelly tells us that by popular demand, Mark Briscoe will be back on commentary next week! Yay! Back on their feet, they exchange shots again, Jay gets a DDT. He goes to the top, but Roddy is able to meet him there. Lethal and Strong are going at it, Jay looking for a top rope bulldog, but Roddy gets an overhead throw from a suplex position! 1,2, NO! Roddy looking for the Stronghold…he’s got him! Will Jay tap? Jay almost makes the ropes, so Strong brings him back to the center, but Jay rolls him up for 2. Close one, there. Superkick by Lethal staggers Strong, and Jay gets the Lethal Injection! 1,2, NO! Jay can’t believe it! Neither can the crowd as they chant ‘that was 3’ at the ref. Lethal decides to go for another Lethal Injection, but Strong rolls him up for 2! Jumping knee by Strong! Again! Lethal (doing an AWESOME sell job) staggers to the corner, Strong with another knee! Running forearm! He sets Lethal up on the top rope for another try at the superplex, but Jay reverses! TOP ROPE LETHAL IN JECTION! 1,2, NO! Jay is beside himself. He tries for the pin again, no! Again, no! Again, and this time Roddy kicks out at one and slaps Jay across the face! They throw hands at each other in the center of the ring, Jay gets a superkick to gain the advantage, then a second one! Lethal comes off the ropes, but he runs right into a jumping knee from Strong! Double knee gutbuster! Strong off the ropes…Sick Kick flips Lethal clean over! Double knee backbreaker by Strong! He turns Lethal over, Stronghold! Jay’s trying to hang on….Lethal taps! Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a NEW World Television Champion! (Roderick Strong over Jay Lethal, submission, 14:48)
WORTH WATCHING? Started REALLY slow, this one did. If you can make it through the first half of the match, which was essentially one long feeling-out process, there’s a pretty good match in the last 6 minutes or so. I don’t think it was their best match by any stretch of the imagination; I actually think it was their worst match of the three, although I will give them credit for the use of psychology regarding Lethal’s back throughout the match. That having been said, YES, this is worth watching; it’s still two very good professional wrestlers putting on a match. It was the right booking decision, in that Lethal isn’t going to pull double duty at Final Battle with Styles looming, so one of the belts had to come off. Losing the World TV title on TV is pretty much why the belt exists. Strong can get fresh matches with a lot of guys from here on in.
Strong celebrates in the ring with his title while Truth and Taeler come out to get Lethal, who can’t believe he lost.
FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Decent ROH this week, certainly better than last week. Only two matches, but things were actually pushed forward for Final Battle – when you consider that the PPV is on December 18th, that’s only 3 weeks of TV left to get the build done. We got movement for Elgin/Moose, a little bit of a recap for Kingdom/War Machine, and took one of the belts off Lethal. Good show this week.
As always, thanks for reading.
@MrSoze on Twitter