Ring of Honor – March 9th, 2016

Howdy!

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

Notable news from around the world of ROH this week:

–Not much this week, but there’s been a few shakeups around the backstage area, as Christopher Daniels & BJ Whitmer have moved into roles behind the scenes. Not much has been reported on what those roles are, but hey, it’s a slow news week.

We are less than a month away from Supercard of Honor X, but we’re lacking some matches. Here’s hoping that we get to fixing that soon.

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 3/9/16

We’re starting his week with an interview with the peacock himself, Dalton Castle! “Just the other night, I was drawing myself a lavender-scented salt bath,” ….okay, that’s enough of that. Castle goes on with several other double entendres until he gets to his main point, which is that he’s hungry! Hungry for victories, that is. And tonight, Christopher Daniels will be there to feed that hunger, as our main event this evening is Castle vs Daniels! The Boys recover his face as I can confidently state that this promo was indeed a thing that happened. Let us move on.

We are TAPED from the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Corino Wrestling 3. Besides our aforementioned main event, we’ve got the finals of the Top Prospect tournament, and that’s going to kick off the show! First out of the gate, we’ve got Brian Fury as we look a clip from his interview last week, where he promised to win! And there’s Lio Rush, who should be the favorite in this match. Last week, neither one of these guys had a particularly great showing; here’s hoping they can turn it up another notch tonight.

Brian Fury vs Lio Rush – Top Prospect Tournament Finals

Code of Honor is followed. Lockup, Rush with the headlock for control. He breaks and we’re back to parity. Armwringer by Fury, Rush reverses and gets a drop toehold into a front facelock. They chain go-behinds and Fury backs him into the corner. Clean break? No sir, as Fury fires a back elbow. He takes Rush to the other corner and shoots him across, Rush goes over the top on the Fury charge and they do an INSANE sequence off the ropes involving a Matrix dodge after a backflip by Rush, into a kick and a leaping enzuigiri by Rush to send Fury outside. Transcription does not do justice to how smooth and well-done that sequence was. Rush decides to fly and does a gorgeous swan dive over the top, landing on his feet. God, the spotfests that Ricochet could do with this guy. Rush with chops, but Fury shoves off and hiptosses a charging Lio into the barricade. Fury is pleased with his work, as are the ad wizards that came up with the ads we’re about to watch!

We’re back with Rush firing back at Fury with forearms in the ring. Rush comes off the ropes, but Fury drops down and catches Rush with a back elbow as he comes back off. That gets a 2 count. Whip into the ropes by Brian, but Rush comes off with a leg lariat. They trade shots in the middle of the ring, then exchange kicks, with Rush getting a leaping back kick to put Fury down. Rush comes at him again, Fury catches the leg, so Rush backflips off, but proceeds to get turned inside out by a Brian Fury clothesline. Both guys down. They get back to their feet and fire at each other with forearms, Rush with the advantage so Fury just headbutts him. Fury looks for the pop-up powerbomb, but Rush ‘ranas him to stop that, then turns a tilt-a-whirl attempt by Fury into a DDT by Rush. 1, 2, NO! Rush fires kicks to a prone Fury, Fury ducks and gets a rollup that Rush rolls through. Kick to the head by Lio Rush! He looks to finish, but his charge is caught by Brian in a Gory Special, and Fury just falls to the mat, dropping Rush chest-first down. Awesome. That gets two. Fury puts Rush on the top rope looking for the superplex, but Rush headbutts him off and delivers an awesome Frog Splash. 1, 2, NO! Cross-corner whip by Rush is reversed by Fury, Fury charges but Rush goes over for a sunset flip, Fury counters by sitting down on him and grabbing the middle rope. 1, 2, the referee catches him with his hand on the rope! He kicks Fury’s hand off the ropes, and that allows Rush to complete the sunset flip for two! Rush charges…right into the pop-up powerbomb by Fury! He BOUNCED on that one, too! 1, 2, NO!!! Fury sets up for the brainbuster, but Rush floats over into a go-behind. He runs Fury into the ropes, Fury hangs onto the top and turns around….right into the Rush Hour! 1, 2, 3!!! (Lio Rush over Brian Fury, pinfall, 7:22)

WORTH WATCHING? While I would not classify this year’s crop of top prospects as being as good as recent years, these two were definitely exceptions. YES, this match was a worthy final. While I was more enamored of the match between Rush and Jason Kincaid, the fact remains that this one had almost zero resting, spots that hit, and the right winner. Good stuff all around here, and well worth it to check out Rush before Ishii murders him in the center of the ring.

Post-match, Cary Silkin & Nigel McGuinness come into the ring to congratulate Rush as Fury leaves to the back.

Hey, it’s reDRagon! Always a welcome sight on my screen, these two scamps! Bobby: “Ring of Honor is where you come for tag team wrestling!” Well, that’s completely true. He goes on to talk about the ROH tag team gauntlet, taking place next week on ROH TV. Kyle tells us that when it comes to team on team, two men on two men, there’s no one who can match the 2-Man Smash Machine that is reDRagon! No one….except these ads!

We’re back with tribal beats as a giant fat dude comes out. His name is Kongo, apparently. Think Umaga without all the brilliant talent but with a much larger gut. Well, maybe I’m being unfair. Let’s see what he does in the ring against….Moose? I have a bad feeling about this. Moose is out alone, as the announcers say that Stokely wanted Moose to try a match without him at ringside. Alrighty-then. From Okada to this guy.

Moose vs Kongo

They go nose to nose to start, forget about the Code of Honor. They trade strikes, which Moose LOSES, but Moose gets a back elbow off the ropes on Kongo. Kongo returns the favor with a splash against the ropes, but he comes off and gets caught with a Moose dropkick and goes to the outside. Moose follows him out and gets shoved against the ring apron by Kongo, but Moose reverses a whip attempt and sends Kongo to the barricade. Moose charges but Kongo sidesteps him and Moose hits the barricade this time. Why the fuck is Moose going 50/50 with this goof? This should have been a squash of the highest order. Cannonball on Moose to the barricade. He tosses Moose back in and avalanches him in the corner, snapmaring him afterwards. Splash by Kongo for two. Headbutts and forearms by Kongo, but Moose is MOOSING UP. Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to catch on, huh? Anyway, Moose counters a Kongo charge with a headbutt, then another one, then some corner splashes. Moose is sucking WIND out there, man. He looks rough. Moose fires rights and winds up the big left, but Kongo catches him and tosses Moose over his shoulder. Moose pops right back up and gets a discus clothesline. Standing somersault senton by Moose! That was cool. It gets two. Kongo fights out and they exchange hands and headbutts, but Kongo gets a Pounce off the ropes that sends Moose flying. 1, 2, no! Kongo with an avalanche in the corner, but a second charge eats a Moose bicycle kick. This match is a mess. Moose runs up the ropes and gets a high cross-body, followed by a spear for the pin. (Moose over Kongo, pinfall, 5:04)

WORTH WATCHING? This match sucked. NO, you should skip with extreme prejudice. No flow, no real story, Kongo being worthless but still booked as a threat to the guy that you someday want as a huge babyface; these are a few of the things that were wrong with this abortion. Moose needs a LOT of work before he’s ready to carry matches with stiffs like this and make them interesting. Go bang your head against the wall, you’ll probably see some stars and feel dizzy, which will be a better use of your time than this match.

Post-match, we catch the replays as I start drinking. Join me after these ads to see how drunk I am, won’t you?

We’re back with The Young Bucks, who say that they signed with Ring of Honor to be a part of this great tag team division. And next week, they’re going to win the tag team gauntlet, so check your mail, because there may be an invitation to a Superkick Party in there!

Let’s go back to before the show began, as Mike Posey and his posse were in the ring laying down some beats. ‘P-Dog’ calls out Cheeseburger, who heads out to the ring, and the next thing we see is Cheeseburger single-handedly laying out the entire posse with palm strikes. Yeah, if your whole posse gets laid out by Cheeseburger, you don’t have a posse. You have something else with a p and two s’s. Anyway, this segment was stupid and the definition of time filler. Show must have been short this week or something.

Two weeks ago, Veda Scott offered Jonathan Gresham a lot of cashola to give up his World TV title shot to Cedric Alexander. Gresham refused and instead proceeded to have a ***1/2 six minute match with Roderick Strong that had me begging for more. So, good for me, but probably bad for Gresham, who lost both the match AND the money. Rough week for Jonathan. But in the meantime, here’s Cedric Alexander! He’s accompanied by Veda Scott in her wrestling gear, and I am in COMPLETE approval of this. Va-va-va-voom. Alexander is set to face off against this man – Adam Page! Page’s music hits and he makes his way to the ring. He poses on the turnbuckles, but BJ Whitmer is right behind him and proceeds to deliver an exploder suplex to Adam. He waves Cedric in, and Alexander sort of shrugs and proceeds with the two on one beatdown. Gresham makes the save from the back, and the crowd is just burnt at this point in the taping cycle, because they give Gresham no reaction at all. Page and Gresham clear the ring and Page gets a mic. Page tells Whitmer that he can run and hide, but this is not over! Whitmer agrees from the aisle as the refs are out to separate everyone. You know, it’s sort of a shame because this story is being really well-told, but the crowd really doesn’t seem to care at all, which makes me sad. Oh well, I’ll get over it while I watch these ads!

We’re back with a recap (jeez, is it just me or have there been a TON of those tonight?) of Young and Bruiser beating down the Boys in their tag match last week. And there’s the music of The Addiction! Daniels and Kaz make their way to the ring as Kelly introduces Silas Young on commentary. Kelly accuses Young of just being out there to interfere in the match; when is he going to let this thing with Castle go? Hey, I would also like the answer to that question! Dalton Castle’s music hits now, and he makes his way to the ring with The Boys; time for the main event! And that main event will happen…after these ads!

We’re back!

Dalton Castle (w/ The Boys) vs Christopher Daniels (w/ Frankie Kazarian)

Code of Honor is reluctantly followed after Castle catches Daniels by surprise with the handshake. This should be fun. A few lockups go nowhere. Castle stops as Young stands up, but Silas is just straightening his pants, man! Lockup to the corner, Castle gives a clean break. Castle does his lean-back stare, and Daniels is seemingly hypnotized before snapping out of it. Hee! Test of strength now, but Chris kicks Castle in the gut and they run the ropes before Daniels runs through Dalton with a shoulderblock. Daniels mocks the Castle pose while Young insists that he doesn’t care about Castle, that he’s only out there because Christopher Daniels asked him to be there. Go-behind by Castle and they run the ropes again, Daniels with a leapfrog and they collide on shoulderblocks, then again, no one goes down. Standoff and they assume fighting stances, but Daniels leans back too far to try to match Castle and falls on his ass. Ha! Well, they’re doing the comedy spots justice. Daniels charges into a hiptoss by Castle and Castle takes it to the mat, deadlift tilt-a-whirl attempt, but Daniels lands on his feet. Dalton attempts a rollup but he rolls through it and tries for the deadlift again, getting the overhead on Chris this time. Daniels back up with a shot and he takes Castle to the corner. Running start as he charges Castle, but Dalton alley-oops him over to the apron. Daniels looks to go up, but Castle kicks his leg out from his leg and Daniels ends up sprawled on the top buckle. Castle leaps to the apron and gets a running kneelift on Daniels to send him from the top to the floor. Castle goes after Daniels with a right and sends him to the barricade. Castle looks for the spinning kick from the ring apron, but Daniels ducks it and sends Castle to the barricade. Daniels scares the Boys off and tosses Castle back into the ring, stomps to Castle. He sends Dalton off the ropes and shoulders him in the midsection. Daniels drops and elbow and gets a 1 count. He sends Castle to the corner, Bret Hart style, and stands on him against the ropes. Daniels throws knees to the midsection of Castle and wraps him up on the mat with a reverse bearhug, and that seems as good a time as any to take our final ad break!

We’re back with Daniels in control, wrapping Castle up in a hammerlock and putting the badmouth on him. More shots to the ribs from Daniels to Castle, as we seem to be on that as our story. Daniels looks to fire away again, but Castle shoves him away. Daniels comes in at Castle in the corner, but Castle levels him with a forearm to buy some time. Chops and rights by Castle as he mounts the comeback, Irish whip by Castle, Daniels reverses, but Castle ducks the clothesline and drops Chris with one of his own. Castle clutches the ribs, but gets a running start and a high knee on Daniels in the corner. Overhead suplex by Castle. Castle charges, but Chris kicks him in the ribs to stop him. Daniels goes up, but Castle catches him coming off and throws him over his shoulder. Castle goes for the deadlift German….hits it! 1, 2, NO! He stops to jaw with Kaz on the outside, and that allows Daniels to take him to the corner with a shoulder to the midsection. Castle counters the whip attempt with a straight right hand, but stops to stare down Young on the commentary desk. That proves to be a mistake, as Daniels moves out of the way when Castle tries to charge with another high knee, and Castle goes over the top and to the floor. Daniels shoves him to the barricade mid-section first. He attempts to send Dalton to the ring apron, but Castle turns it around with a ‘rana from the apron. Kazarian attempts to take a shot at Castle, but Dalton ducks and hits Frankie with a right hand. Castle tosses Daniels back in and goes up, but Daniels moves out of the way on a cross-body attempt and Castle wipes out. Kaz hands Daniels a wrench, but one of the Boys gets on the apron to take it away and poke Daniels in the eye with his feathers. Sigh. The match was going pretty well, but I suspect that’s going to stop now. Kazarian on the apron now and he takes the Boy down, but Castle takes Kazarian off the apron in retaliation. Daniels charges, but Castle gets him up for the Bangarang. Daniels hangs on and Kazarian trips Castle up from the outside, which leaves Chris in position to hit Angel’s Wings. That’ll be enough for the 3 count. (Christopher Daniels over Dalton Castle, pinfall, 9:31)

WORTH WATCHING? Well, before the silliness started, I was really enjoying this. It wasn’t the greatest match I’ve seen these guys have, but they were working a nice story with Daniels targeting the ribs and midsection of Castle. I’m going to go with a mild YES on this one, but it wasn’t great. Castle was spotty with some of his selling, and with half the roster around ringside, you knew this was going to end screwy, and it did. Still, decent work.

After the match, The Addiction leaves the ring while Silas gets on the apron to yell at Castle, telling him that he can’t beat anyone! Young goes to leave, but Castle gets a mic. “Not so fast, sweetheart.” Silas, he says, normally I think that everything that comes out of your mouth is absolute trash. But he’s right – tonight, Castle lost. And that’s confusing, because Castle is fantastic! Everyone knows it! And you can bet your balls that he’s going to win every championship this world has to offer, but how can he do that while he’s still so focused on Young? The man makes an excellent point. So, Castle says, let’s end this thing the only way he thinks they can: he wants to fight! And not a fight with rules, no; he wants to fight Young in a Fight Without Honor! Young looks agreeable to this, as is the rest of the world that wants this feud to just END already. Castle poses in the ring as Kelly hypes the tag team gauntlet for next week, and we’re done.

FINAL THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: This was clearly near the end of the taping cycle, and man did it show. The crowd was exhausted and you could tell. The opener and the main event are just enough to make it worth watching, but there were a TON of video packages and filler in this one. Also, that atrocious Moose match didn’t help matters. ROH normally does better than this, to be honest. Watch at your own discretion – if you turn it off after the Top Prospect Finals, you aren’t missing that much.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter