Ring of Honor – December 2nd, 2015

Howdy!

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

Notable news from the world of ROH this week:

–AJ Styles is apparently still in a world of pain. He was pulled from the NJPW events over the last month, and his activity at the last ROH tapings consisted of his face to face with Lethal that airs tonight. According to more than a few sources, there is real concern for Styles making his dates since he has two high-profile title matches coming soon – Final Battle against Lethal and Wrestle Kingdom 10 against Nakamura. Apparently, Styles has been telling people that he pushed himself too hard on the indies last year and it caught up to him; Meltzer stated that at this point “Styles is hurting so badly, he can barely move.”

–Add Jay Lethal to the list of ROH stars that the WWE is apparently sniffing around, as the Observer claimed that it had confirmation that the WWE is interested in Lethal. Adding in Michael Elgin, possibly the Kingdom, and reDRagon, and it looks more and more like the WWE is taking notice in ROH to a much more intense degree.

–Jim Ross in a blog last week claimed that he would be extremely interested in calling the ROH show in Las Vegas with NJPW talent; he stated that he would make himself “readily available” to call the show if ROH was interested.

Final Battle is coming soon! Let’s get to this week’s show, the very first of the Comet TV era in ROH!

Ring of Honor TV – 12/2/15

We are TAPED from the Wings Event Center in Kalamazoo, MI! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly, Nigel Mcguinness, and back by popular demand, Mark Briscoe! Tonight, Adam Cole takes on Dalton Castle in our main event! But right now, let’s go to the ring for our first match as The Decade is making their way down the aisle.

Adam Page (w/ The Decade) vs Will Ferrara

Man, Will has been all over these shows recently. Cool. Page attacks from behind before the ref can even call for the Code of Honor, and he traps Will in the corner with forearms and stomps. Ferrara gets back to his feet as Page takes his vest off, he ducks a kick from Page and unloads with rights. Page tosses Will to the apron, but Ferrara gets a front facelock and attempts to suplex Page to the floor. That’s reversed by Adam, but Will floats over and lands on his feet. Page elbows Will to the corner, but a charge hits a boot and Ferrara comes off the second rope with a ‘rana. Running elbow to Page in the corner, but he tries a second and Page dropkicks his midsection to take over. Ferrara rolls to the floor and Page follows, grabbing Will and running him into the post. Briscoe is talking about Page being a ‘good kid’ at heart; it’s all Whitmer’s fault that he’s acting the way he is. They are setting up for that face turn. Page tosses Will back into the ring, Irish whip is reversed but Will ducks his head and Page just kicks him straight in the face, which I can always appreciate, following it with a discus punch. Pump-handle by Adam and he brings Will back to the center of the ring before deadlifting him over with a suplex and a bridge for 2. They exchange shots and Page looks for the Rite of Passage, but Will carries his momentum over for a sunset flip, then a knee to Page’s face and an enzuigiri. Will on the comeback trail now, neckbreaker by Ferrara. Fireman’s carry, but Page wiggles out and sends Will to the corner as the announcers talk about Will being handed the envelope by Prince Nana. Page is charging behind Will, but he floats over, sunset bomb! 1,2, no! Briscoe is again praising Page, saying that he earned his respect for his match with Jay from a few weeks back. Ferrara kicks Page in the face and clotheslines him over the top to the floor. Whitmer goes over to check on him, allowing Ferrara to take both of them out with a suicide dive. He sends Page back in, but Colby is on the apron to distract the ref. BJ has the crutch and tosses it in, but it’s over Page’s head right into Will’s arms! He cracks Adam over the head with it and the ref turns around for the 1,2,3. (Will Ferrara over Adam Page, pinfall, 4:08)

WORTH WATCHING: Meh. This was all story and nothing else. The match wasn’t that great, and the commentary put over Page in a way that makes me think he’s leaving the Decade at some point pretty soon, while BJ missing with the crutch is another nail in that coffin. Plus, Will being willing to use the crutch to win might eventually mean something as well; the biggest problem with the match is that there wasn’t much to the body of the match itself, and that dragged it down for me. I’d say NO, you can skip this one without missing much.

Post-match, the Decade is in the ring for the beatdown on Will, led by BJ. Right as Kelly is telling Mark that he has to just sit there because he’s on commentary this week, BJ tosses the referee across the ring and Mark decides he’s had just about enough of this commentary shit, so he tosses down his headphones and clears the Decade from the ring. Now, normally I would assume that this leads to Briscoes/Decade at Final Battle, but the Decade is banned from the PPV, Jay already beat Adam, and I don’t totally see the point of that match now, unless it’s the fulcrum to turn Page face. Let’s ponder this whole thing during these ads!

We’re back at ringside with Kevin Kelly, who is being joined by Christopher Daniels and Kazarian! They are somewhat perturbed at their situation in ROH right now, as the company is completely biased against the best tag team in the business! But they keep getting screwed out of the tag team titles; whether it’s because they keep getting put in multi-man matches because ROH has a grudge against them, or whether it’s interference from Maria of all people (of whom he states that she should be in “a nursery or kitchen”), or whether they’re being attacked by a masked man, they’re tired of it! They know that they’re the best tag team in the world, so they’re taking their talents to New Japan, where they’ll win the World Tag League tournament, and then they’ll return to regain their World Tag Team Championships….of the World! And that is how we’re going to write off the Addiction for the next taping cycle, it seems.

Video package of Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly is next, focusing on ASE and Cole turning on Kyle, costing him the ROH World title. They also show Cole pinning Kyle during the triple threat from a few weeks ago; long and short of it is that they’re going to settle this at Final Battle! Yeah! I hope they do a MILLION buys, because these two are awesome. This segues into a video package about the Kingdom and their run as the tag champs.

Once that’s done, we have one more video package to show you, recapping the saga of Brutal Bob Evans and Cheeseburger. Yay. They’re going to have a Youtube exclusive match before the PPV on the 18th; let’s go back to a recent ROH live event, where Cheeseburger was taking on Bob’s protégé Tim Hughes, a match that Cheeseburger won with a palm strike. After the match, Evans and Hughes proceed to Pillmanize Cheeseburger’s wrist, which is fine! Hey, that’s a great way to make this feud more intense!

And then…

Evans leaves the ring, goes underneath, and gets….a SAW. And Hughes is holding up Cheeseburger’s arm, because they want to CUT OFF HIS HAND.

Yeah.

I don’t feel the need to explain why this is FUCKING STUPID. Cheeseburger escapes, they’ll have a wrestling match to settle this whole thing….after Evans threatened to CUT OFF HIS HAND. THIS WAS TOO STUPID FOR THE WWE, MUCH LESS ROH. NEVER DO THIS AGAIN. Let’s take an ad break because I need to remind myself how much I do love this company.

We’re back to highlights of Strong winning the TV title last week, followed by the music of the House of Truth! Jay Lethal, Truth Martini, and Taeler Hendrix are making their way to the ring. Man, if Tim Burton could design a woman, it might be Taeler Hendrix. I’m not entirely sure if that’s a compliment or not. The champ has something to say, so give him the stick! “Roderick Strong! Congratulations!” Because after he lost 1,000 matches to Jay Lethal, he finally figured out a way to beat him! But he’ll probably have the TV title back next week, because he’s the greatest wrestler in the world! And that’s why he’s going to beat AJ Styles at Final Battle. In the past, in every locker room they shared, Jay always went to AJ for advice. He looked up to AJ, and everywhere AJ went for years, he was the best wrestler in the world! But that was before Lethal became the undisputed Ring of Honor Champion! You’ve never been the ROH World Champ, AJ! You’ve never been the Television Champ, AJ! When Lethal was younger, he wanted Styles to take him under his wing, but AJ was too busy, and now Lethal sees why; when you’re the greatest wrestler in the world, you don’t have time! He understands that now, because he’s the greatest wrestler in the world! And AJ, Lethal knows that you’re backstage, so why not come on out and get in this ring so Lethal can say this face to face?

And there’s the music of AJ Styles, who comes out to the ring! “AJ Styles!” chant from the crowd. You know what, Jay – AJ agrees that you are one of the best in the world! And he can tell that because everyone wants to call Lethal out to get a title shot, but isn’t it ironic that Lethal is the one calling AJ out? Let AJ make something clear; the best thing that happened to Lethal this year was him losing that TV title, because now he can focus on AJ Styles! And he doesn’t want to hear any crying, complaining, because at Final Battle, he will win the ROH World Title! So, with that settled, he puts out his hand and demands that Lethal shake it like a man, and say may the best man win. Jay looks apprehensive, but he shakes AJ’s hand. “May the best man win….and it’s gonna be me!” sayeth Lethal, because he’s the best wrestler in the world, and AJ knows it! Lethal holds up the belt in AJ’s face as they jaw out of the segment. That was a GREAT promo from both guys, as Lethal really turned it up a notch here. His paranoia/intensity with regards to beating Styles was conveyed extremely well here, along with his motivation for this match. Really, really good stuff here.

And you know that the match at Final Battle won’t need? A FUCKING SAW.

It’s time once again for the best show on wrestling television today, Story Time with Adam Cole! Cole tells us that he’s going to cut to the chase; the match has been signed. Adam Cole vs Kyle O’Reilly at Final Battle! And it’s appropriate that this is taking place at Final Battle, because this is the end; the end of a friendship, the end of the matches, the end of Kyle O’Reilly in ROH! Ever since Cole kicked O’Reilly in the face at ASE, he’s been trying to get Kyle to understand that he did it to help him! He did it to remind him that some people are champions, and some are not. So now, he’s going to beat O’Reilly to a bloody pulp to remind him of that fact. Cole gets even more awesome, asking Kyle what he has to do to get it through O’Reilly’s thick skull that he will NEVER be Adam Cole, he will NEVER be ROH World Champion! He’s going to make Kyle quit ROH, and not because of the beating that he’s going to give him, but because of the feeling that O’Reilly is going to have when he wakes up on Saturday morning after Cole has mangled him; that feeling, the truth that he’s never going to be up to par with Adam Cole, the best pro wrestler on the planet! After all (Cole gets a shit-eating grin on his face here), that’s what friends are for, right Kyle? They’re there to tell the truth, and sometimes, Kyle O’Reilly? Sometimes, the truth hurts.

AWESOME. TAKE MY MONEY RIGHT NOW!

After two great promos in a row, I’m ready to take a break for these ads!

We’re back to the music of the one and only Dalton Castle! Time for the main event!

Dalton Castle vs Adam Cole (w/ The Kingdom)

Castle once again comes out without his peacock gear, just a shirt and trunks. Cole comes out with the Kingdom in tow. Kelly tells us that reDRagon is in Japan this week, but they will return to ROH TV next week. Cole and the Kingdom attempt to intimidate Castle, but the Boys run out through the crowd and stand next to Castle! They’re still wearing their Silas Young approved wifebeaters and jeans, but they’ve got their masks and they look ready to stand in Castle’s corner, who busts out a crooked grin. “Free the Boys!” chant as Silas Young runs out from the back and tells the Boys to get out of the ring, to which they reluctantly comply; while Castle’s back is turned, Adam Cole attacks! That would be a negative on the Code of Honor, there. Stomps by Cole, as Nigel somehow refers to the Boys as ‘trophies’ as Silas leads them to the back. Cole continues to stomp away, but Castle fights back with chops. He comes off the ropes, but Taven trips him up. Cole charges at Castle, but Dalton pulls down the top rope and Cole goes sailing to the floor. Castle with the tope, taking out Taven and Bennett as Cole gets out of the way. Cole goes to the apron and comes off, but Castle catches him and tosses him in an overhead throw. Castle poses and comes back down, Cole reverses a whip attempt to the ring apron. Castle slides through the apron, but turns around and gets hit with the best Superkick in the business by Cole. Cole nods to the other Kingdom members, and the 3 on 1 beatdown begins as the ref has no choice but to call for the bell. The Kingdom tosses Castle back in as the crowd chants “6-man!” They can clearly see where this is going, and indeed, here’s War Machine from the back to even things up. Let’s sort all this out during these ads!

We’re back with Nigel addressing the retreating Kingdom, saying that hey, if they want to get involved in a match, there’s 3 guys on each side, so why not get involved in this one? Nigel IS TEDDY LONG! The Kingdom thinks about it for a few moments, then they rush the ring! The fight is on! The faces quickly gain control and send the heels all over the ring and then the ringside area, sending them to barricades, etc. Finally, after a few minutes of that, we’ve got Cole and Hanson back in the ring. Cole escapes a powerslam and sends Hanson off the ropes, but Hanson cartwheels past Adam and just crushes him with a lariat. Cole gets a jawbreaker to send Hanson to the heel corner, but Hanson just takes that as an opportunity to elbow Taven and Bennett to the floor. Cole charges but he eats a boot from Hanson, while Taven and Bennett grab Hanson from the floor and introduce his balls to the post while Cole is distracting the ref. Adam goes to work on Hanson in the corner with stomps and tags in Taven, who chokes Hanson in the corner. The ref backs him off, allowing Hanson to try to fight out of the corner by sending Bennett and Cole to the floor, but Taven cuts that off with a dropkick. He gets a 2 count off that as Taven grapevines the leg of Hanson and tags in Cole, who comes in with a legdrop. Cole tags in Bennett, who whips Hanson into Cole’s outstretched boot, Hanson turns around into a Bennett kick and turns around again into a flying bodypress by Taven. That sequence was really well-done, and it gets one for Bennett before Rowe makes a save. Bennett tags Cole back in, and he grabs a front facelock as we have to take a moment to watch ourselves the final ad break of the evening!

We’re back with Cole sending Hanson to the heel corner. Cole spits at Rowe, causing him to come into the ring and allowing the Kingdom to triple team. They pieface Hanson in the corner, which proves to be a mistake as Hanson goes wild with elbows and fists to send Bennett and Taven to the floor. Cole charges Hanson, but he does the sitout from the headscissors position to put him down. Tag to Rowe by Hanson, who tosses Bennett over his shoulder and catches Taven coming off the top rope, overhead suplex on Matt Taven! Rowe charges Bennett in the corner, but Mike gets his boot up. Rowe decides that he isn’t selling that one, and Superman punches Bennett. Taven attacks from behind, but Rowe still isn’t going to sell a thing as he comes off the ropes with SHOTGUN KNEES~! on Taven. Cole finally stops the onslaught with a kick to the back of Rowe’s head that sends him into the face corner, where Dalton Castle is there for the tag. Castle comes in off the top rope, misses Cole but somersaults through and gets him with a kick on a Cole charge. They trade shots with Dalton getting the best of it, clothesline by Castle. He gets a running knee to Cole in the corner and a missile dropkick on Cole. Taven comes up from behind and they do multiple tombstone reversals, bordering on parody to say the least, before Castle finally gets the tombstone on Taven. As Castle gets back to his feet, Cole and Bennett are waiting with a double superkick! Rowe back in now, Cole and Bennett with a double whip but Rowe comes off the ropes with double SHOTGUN KNEES~! And now everyone but Rowe is on the outside, so Rowe decides to fly, but Cole and Bennett shut that down by catching him as he comes out. Everyone slugs it out on the floor as Hanson goes to the top, Cannonball by Hanson takes everyone out! Hanson tosses Cole back in, whip, reversal, and Hanson and Rowe get the Path of Resistance, with Castle getting in on the fun with a delayed German suplex. Castle goes for the pin, but Taven and Bennett make the save while covered in streamers at 2. War Machine goes after Taven and Bennett and clothesline them over the top rope to the outside. Rowe holds open the ropes, but Hanson loses sight of Taven and Bennett on the floor through the streamers; they move out of the way of his charge and his dive goes splat on the floor. Rowe turns around on the apron as Taven has hold of his leg, and Bennett spears him! And now we’re back to Castle and Cole in the ring, Cole on the top rope. He comes off for the Destroyer, but Dalton catches him in the position for the Bangarang; but Cole has the top rope, and that leaves Castle wide open for a double superkick from Taven and Bennett. Cole loads Dalton up, suplex into the knee neckbreaker by Cole! That will do it for us here. (The Kingdom over Dalton Castle/War Machine, pinfall, total time of both matches: 13:43)

WORTH WATCHING? I’m not really the biggest War Machine fan on earth, but for big men, they’re very, very good. And I enjoy watching Castle and Cole wrestle, as I do Taven and Bennett, so this was fun to watch. Would I have preferred to just see Cole/Castle in a long match? Probably, but I’ll give this one a pass as the only decent in-ring stuff on the card tonight and say YES, this is worth watching.

The Kingdom celebrates in the ring to end the show.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: For one of the few times I can ever remember, especially in the post-Steen era of ROH, the promos were the thing this week, not the in-ring action. There were only two matches and only one of them was worth watching, really, but this show was about the promo work for the lead up to Final Battle. Both Lethal and Cole cut great promos that were better than anything else on this show, to be honest. We’re two weeks away from Final Battle, so it’s nice to see the hype starting to ramp up. Sometimes, this type of show is necessary, and they did it well this week. That having been said, if you’re up to date on ROH storylines, there wasn’t much you didn’t already know and the in-ring action probably won’t keep enough interest for you.

As always, thanks for reading,
Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter