Ring of Honor – December 16th, 2015

Howdy!

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

Notable news from around the world of ROH this week:

–Well, the verdict appears to be in, and AJ Styles says he will wrestle at both Final Battle and at Wrestle Kingdom 10. His injury is apparently a herniated disc in his back, and amongst other attempts, he’s been having success with DDP Yoga, apparently. I hereby nominate DDP for every wrestling hall of fame that exists – I don’t know anything about DDP Yoga, but it appears to be saving everyone’s career at this point.

–The biggest news from ROH this week is the official announcement of a partnership with Pro Wrestling Guerilla on the west coast. Many ROH regulars are already a part of PWG; combined with the talent sharing arrangement that currently exists between ROH and NJPW, and it appears that ROH is getting bigger as the days go on. Basically, the agreement appears to give the exclusively contracted talent that ROH has the chance to appear on multiple PWG shows a year. It will hopefully allow for ROH to get more exclusive contracts with some of the bigger stars on the Indy circuit, seeing as how those wrestlers will be sure to work more dates with ROH’s partners, thereby giving them bigger paydays.

–ROH’s own Adam Cole added another title to his resume recently, winning the Preston City Wrestling Championship. Congrats to Adam! (*cough*GoKyleO’Reilly*cough*)

It’s the last show before Final Battle! I hope you enjoyed the PPV Preview (handily available here) and are already making plans to catch Star Wars on another night. But tonight, it’s time for some wrestling!

Ring of Honor TV – 12/16/15

We are TAPED from the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tennessee! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. Final Battle is this Friday! Tonight, our main event will be Matt Sydal and ACH against Roppongi Vice! But we’re starting off with Adam Cole, Bay-Bay!

Adam Cole vs Corey Hollis

As Corey Hollis got the helpful ‘already in the ring’ introduction, I suspect he might be in trouble in this particular matchup. Code of Honor is followed. Cole wins the lockup, tossing Hollis to the corner and laying in with stomps. A couple of slaps from Cole and Hollis seems ready to fight back, so Cole goes to fireman’s carry that Hollis elbows out of. Off the ropes, dropdown by Hollis but he gets caught by Cole in a fireman’s carry, and this time Cole completes the move, dropping him across the knee. Slam by Cole, and he drops elbows on Hollis. Knee by Hollis to block a Cole suplex, and Hollis fires headbutts at Adam. Hollis charges Cole in the corner, but Adam shoves him down and gets a Shining Wizard. He poses and charges Hollis in the corner, but Hollis gets the boot up to stun Adam. Second charge by Cole, Hollis with an elbow this time. He ducks a clothesline from Adam and comes off with a crossbody to drop Cole. Charge at Adam, but Hollis gets alley-ooped to the apron and kick from Cole sends Hollis to the floor. Cole teases sending Hollis into the crowd, but tosses him back into the ring instead. Cole teases some Sweet Chin Music back in the ring, but Hollis gets out of the way and fires back at Adam with forearms and a headbutt. Cole tries a bicycle kick, but Corey dodges and rolls him up for two. Second bicycle kick hits, but when Cole goes for the brainbuster across the knee, Hollis carries over and gets a stunner. Fireman’s carry slam by Hollis, 1,2 no! Hollis has actually made a pretty nice accounting of himself here. Hollis goes up, but Cole catches him coming down with a superkick. Brainbuster across the knee finishes for Cole. (Adam Cole over Corey Hollis, pinfall, 4:37)

WORTH WATCHING? For what was essentially a squash, Cole gave Hollis quite a bit of offense here. It was a nice, competitive back and forth match, but as much as I do like Cole, there really wasn’t much here beyond showcasing him for the PPV. I’m going to go with a NO on this one, but you wouldn’t be completely wasting your time checking it out.

Post-match, Cole’s got a mic. “Who’s ready for Storytime with Adam Cole, bay-bay?” Oh, I am! I am! And it’s the live version! Cole tells us he’s going to keep this short and sweet: when he makes a promise, he delivers on that promise! So, at Final Battle, not only is he going to beat Kyle O’Reilly, he’s going to end Kyle in Ring of Honor once and for all! Drop the mic! And let’s take a quick break to mull all this over and check out these ads!

We’re back as Nigel and Kevin talk about the main event, and the fact that due to last week’s ending of ROH TV, we’re going to have ourselves a #1 Contender’s tag team match at Final Battle! But I hear the dulcet tones of War Machine’s entrance!

War Machine vs The Washington Bullets

Uh-oh, these gentlemen also appear to be from the ubiquitous town of ‘already in the ring’. I’m sensing a trend for tonight’s episode. Code of Honor is not followed by the Bullets, and I suspect that may be a mistake. Trash talk from one of the Bullets, and he kicks Hanson in the face; Hanson seems amused. Hanson catches him coming off the ropes and gets a huge sideslam. The other Bullet comes in, but Hanson just cartwheels past him and flattens him with a clothesline. Tag to Rowe, and he gets a throw on one of the Bullets and a kick to the head. He finishes that with a deadlift German suplex, and this is a slaughter. Rowe tags Hanson back in, tosses Bullet #2 at him, and Hanson drops him from his shoulders onto Rowe’s knees, Rowe spins him over his head into a gutbuster, and there’s your Path of Resistance. Powerbomb by Rowe, top rope splash by Hanson to turn this kid into jelly. Bullet #1 must have hit his head harder than I thought, because he decides to charge at War Machine; Fallout on Bullet #1 ends the carnage. (War Machine over The Washington Bullets, pinfall, 1:34)

WORTH WATCHING? Same thing as the first match, except War Machine gave these guys nothing, nor should they have. Just a complete squash on every level, and that earns a NO, you don’t need to watch this one.

War Machine pose on the turnbuckles, and they want da belts! And I know what you want, and that’s an ad break!

We’re back with P-dog? Yes, Mike Posey is heading to the ring with an entourage, and while he might not already be in the ring, I have to admit that I am skeptical about his chances in this particular matchup. He gets the mic and attempts to…rap? He tells Dalton Castle that he ain’t nothing because he can’t rap. Yeah, sure. He continues, but the music of Dalton Castle interrupts, thank God.

Mike Posey vs Dalton Castle

Code of Honor isn’t followed because Posey seems to want to rap in Castle’s face, so Castle responds like anyone would; he grabs him in a t-bone and suplexes him. Running knee to Posey in the corner and Castle beats him down there. Castle charge eats a boot, but he catches Posey with an armdrag out of the corner. He rolls Posey over on his stomach and nails him with headbutts. High knee by Castle to Posey in the corner as one of Posey’s entourage gets on the apron. Castle send him to the floor, and then another one gets on the apron, Castle does the same. Posey rolls him up from behind off that for one and gets a kneeling enzuigiri. Posey goes to the top, but Castle catches him coming down and gets an overhead suplex to send Posey out of the ring, taking out his entourage. Castle tosses Posey back in and gets the Bangarang, and that’ll do it. (Dalton Castle over Mike Posey, pinfall, 4:01)

WORTH WATCHING? Sigh. See matches one and two for reference, but I’ll just say NO and accept that we’re getting all squashes until the main event tonight.

Post –match, Dalton has a mic! “I think it goes without saying that inside this wrestling ring, I am the Aurora Borealis!” You can describe him as handsome, tall, but you sure can’t describe him as patient! He doesn’t want to wait until Final Battle, he wants Silas Young right now, so get out here so I can kick your ass! And the music of Silas Young plays, but instead, we’ve got The Boys. They’re up on the apron…and here’s Young from the crowd! Misery by Silas Young on Castle! The Boys raise the arms of Silas over a fallen Dalton Castle. When we return, we get to talk to former ROH champ Jerry Lynn; and that return will happen after these ads!

We’re back with Kevin Kelly in the ring, and he introduces our guest, Jerry Lynn! A montage of Lynn winning the ROH World title plays as Lynn enters the ring. Kelly welcomes him, thanks him, and talks about how well his recent back surgery had gone. He offers Lynn the chance to thank everyone, and Jerry thanks, well, everyone, from the doctors to the promoters to the fans. Kelly asks him to pick a winner between Styles and Lethal, and I slowly….fall….asleep. Sorry, but Lynn is not and never was a great promo guy, and he’s going on and on about what they’ve been eating, etc. Kelly presses him to pick a winner but Jay Lethal decides to interrupt to save this promo. Lethal makes his way to the ring with Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix. Lethal says he’s out there for one reason only – he wants to hear Lynn’s answer! Who’s going to win at Final Battle, Lethal or AJ? Lynn decides to answer the question, calling Lethal an ‘arrogant prick’ and saying that he does indeed believe that AJ is going to win the title at Final Battle! “AJ STYLES!” chant from the crowd. Lethal accuses Lynn of blindly following AJ, just like the crowd. In fact, he doesn’t give a damn what Lynn thinks, and he tells Jerry that he needs to leave the ring. Lynn tells him that as long as he’s known Jay, he’s known his parents, and it would be the saddest moment of Lethal’s life if his parents saw Lethal lay a hand on Lynn. Jay tells him to think about the fact that he’s the greatest wrestler in the world! He goes off on AJ, saying that he climbed a ladder to the top while AJ climbed a stepstool. And the only reason that he’s not going to kill Lynn right now is that he wants Lynn to be healthy to console Styles after AJ loses at Final Battle! Lethal leaves after saving the whole promo, proclaiming once again that he is the ‘greatest professional wrestler in the world!’ Let’s reflect on that possibly truthful statement with these ads.

We’re back with a video package for Moose/Elgin at Final Battle. They’re going to fight at Final Battle, don’t you know.

Hey, look who it is! Alex Shelley is making his way down to the commentary table, which can only mean that our main event is next! Let’s go back to last week and see Shelley unmask in his return to ROH. And the music of Roppongi Vice plays Trent and Romero down to the ring!

Roppongi Vice vs ACH/Matt Sydal

Code of Honor is followed. Sydal and Romero to start us off. They trade go-behinds and Romero controls with a wristlock. Sydal reverses and controls, but Romero returns the favor and controls Sydal on the mat. Shelly on commentary is declining to explain why he’s been under the KRD mask, preferring to make people guess on his next move. Sydal gets back to his feet, reverses into a hammerlock and takes Romero over with a side headlock. Off the ropes, monkey flip by Sydal but Romero lands on his feet. Kick by Romero to Sydal, but Sydal catches him with a ‘rana off the ropes, and Romero scurries over to Trent to make the tag, so Sydal tags in ACH. They lockup, and Baretta takes him to the corner, chops by Baretta. Man, I must be STARVED for some wrestling after the first half of this show, because this shit is looking like Flair/Steamboat to me at this point. Cross-corner whip, ACH flips over a charging Baretta and comes off the ropes, doing a backflip after a cartwheel past Trent. Baretta promptly runs right into a dropkick as I long for Jesse Ventura wanting the heels to just punch the showboaters, like he did in every Rockers match. I like ACH, don’t get me wrong, but all the flippy shit is the definition of indy wrestling, and not in a good way. ACH gets one and we’re going to take our FINAL ad break of the evening after that.

We’re back with Romero holding an octopus on Sydal. Knees from Romero when Sydal decides to break. He sends Sydal off the ropes and puts him down, steps over, STF. He switches to a chinlock, then a headlock as Sydal gets to his feet. Romero keeps control, but he sends Sydal off the ropes and Sydal gets a heel kick to put them both down. Sydal stretching….tag to ACH! And we’re off. Romero charges but gets kicked in the face. He goes to the top and hits a BEAUTIFUL cross-body (the air he gets on that is just astounding, really) on Romero, then he pops up and takes out Trent on the apron. Whip, reversal, leaping enzuigiri by ACH. He flips over the opposite turnbuckle, running kick to Baretta from the apron! Romero charges, but ACH pulls down the bottom rope and Romero goes flying. ACH runs the ropes, gorgeous swan dive over the top onto Roppongi Vice! He tosses Romero back in, but Romero catches a charging ACH with an elbow. Romero charges but eats a discus punch and a vicious delayed German suplex for two. ACH to the top, jumps over Romero, comes off the ropes, but Baretta is back in and they get a double kneelift to ACH. Romero jumps over the top and gets a running knee to Sydal on the outside; meanwhile, Baretta hangs ACH on the top rope, Romero to the top, top rope head stomp on ACH! Dropkick by Trent to ACH after he lands, and that gets two. ACH looks for the tag, but there’s no Sydal, as Romero tags in Baretta. Baretta with a big elbow to ACH in the corner, but Sydal is back on the apron, and he gets a blind tag! Sydal comes in, shoves ACH out of the way, and gets a jumping knee to Baretta! Romero comes in, Sliced Bread #2 on Sydal! He charges ACH in the heel corner, but ACH avoids it and goes to the top, double foot stomp to the back of Romero’s head and everyone is down. Now Sydal and Baretta are back up exchanging shots in the middle of the ring. Kicks from Sydal, Baretta misses his, big kick to the head of Trent! Pumphandle by Sydal, but Romero comes flying in with a knee to break that up. Clothesline in the corner by Romero. A second! Third attempt, but this time Sydal dodges and puts Romero on the top rope, ACH with the enzuigiri from the apron and Sydal follows it up by taking Romero off the top with the no-hands ‘rana. Baretta back now, and Sydal gets a kick followed by the Get Over Here by ACH! ACH takes out Romero on the floor by diving over the top rope as Sydal goes to the top, but the shooting star press hits the knees! Running knee catches Sydal flush! 1,2, NO! Romero gets back on the apron, and Vice sets up for Strong zero….but ACH is back and takes out Romero in midair! Meanwhile, Sydal balances himself…Code Red! 1,2,3. (Matt Sydal/ACH over Roppongi Vice, pinfall, 9:34)

WORTH WATCHING? Just about the only match on this show that was, YES, this one is well worth a look. I enjoy watching all of these gentlemen engaging in fisticuffs, and this was spotty but fun to watch.
Post-match, Shelley goes to join ACH and Sydal in the ring as Kelly runs down the Final Battle card for us.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Meh. This was not the best go-home show in the world. On the one hand, it did focus heavily on the wrestlers that will be competing at the PPV, and that’s good. On the other hand, all but one of the matches were squashes, and the main promo of the week wasn’t really all that great until Lethal saved it. Truthfully, I would have put the Lethal/Styles promo from a few weeks back here, as it served to better put over the main event, but oh well.

Friday, Final Battle 2015! Woo-hoo!

Thanks for reading,
Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter