Ring of Honor – April 13th, 2016

Howdy!

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

Notable news from around the world of ROH this week:

–We have two more PPVs announced from Ring of Honor! Death before Dishonor will air on the Friday of Summerslam weekend in Las Vegas, with TV taping the next day. All-Star Extravaganza 8 will be on Friday, September 30th in Boston, with TV taping the next day. Notably, ROH has announced that NJPW wrestlers will appear on both shows; combined with the TV tapings, that means we’ll have NJPW guys mixing it up with ROH for the better part of 3 months or so.

Once again, I implore you to share the link for the Kris Travers fund-raiser:

https://www.gofundme.com/kristravis

It’s for a good cause, folks. Even if you can’t contribute, spread the word!

Speaking of ROH’s friends in NJPW: For those that missed Invasion Attack, check it out; a genuine shocker in the main event, with Naito defeating Okada to win the NJPW Heavyweight title, but Will Ospreay and Kushida stole the show with a ****3/4 Junior Title match. Very much worth tracking that match down; hell, the whole show is just great wrestling up and down the card, easily the best PPV I’ve seen this year so far. Check out Ioan Morris’ handy review here:

https://blogofdoom.com/index.php/2016/04/10/njpw-invasion-attack-2016/#more-20597

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 4/13/16

We are TAPED from Sam’s Town Live! in Las Vegas, NV! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Steve Wrestling Corino. This is the last taping (I believe) of this cycle, and our main event will be a Fight without Honor between Dalton Castle and Silas Young! Also tonight, Kenny Omega will take on ACH! But we’re going to get started with a title defense!

There’s the music of Roppongi Vice! Side note, at Invasion Attack, these guys had a pretty good match as well, defeating Matt Sydal and Ricochet for the IWGP Jr tag titles. But tonight, they’re cashing in their ROH World tag title shot they won after winning the tag gauntlet match several weeks ago on ROH TV. And we hear the dulcet tones of War Machine’s music, as Hanson and Rowe make their way to the ring, and we’re set to go!

War Machine (Hanson & Rowe) vs Roppongi Vice (Trent Baretta & Rocky Romero)

War Machine poses on the apron with the straps, so Roppongi decides to attack from behind and send them to the floor before the ring announcer even announces them. I sense that we’re not getting the Code of Honor in this one. Stereo topes from Trent and Rocky to War Machine on the floor. The bell finally rings to start this thing as Rowe and Rocky end up in the ring to start us off, Rocky with the forearms beating down Rowe. Blind tag from Trent, and he comes in with rights on Rowe. Tag back to Rocky and Roppongi double-teams with kicks and a standing moonsault from Baretta. Rocky covers for one. Romero takes another shot at Rowe, but Rowe has had enough of this shit and just picks Rocky up casually and throws him into the corner. Baretta comes in, but so does Hanson and he tosses Trent into the other corner. They pick up both members of Vice onto their shoulders and look to run them into each other, but Vice flips out of it. More fists from Roppongi. Hanson whips Rocky into the ropes, but Romero catches himself in them, so Hanson runs at him and boots him to the floor. The ref escorts Hanson out of the ring and we’re back to Rowe and Baretta. Rowe attempts a press slam on Trent, but Trent grabs the beard of Rowe to break and chops him. Baretta off the ropes, but Rowe catches him and sets him down, then knees him in the face. This match is boring the crap out of me; I wonder if these ads will? Let’s find out!

We’re back with a War Machine double-team of Baretta in the corner. Splash by Hanson! He tries to whip Trent into some SHOTGUN KNEES~!, but Trent reverses it and Hanson takes them instead. Tag to Romero, who comes in with a high crossbody on Rowe. Rocky runs the ropes and slides underneath Rowe, Rowe catches the foot and avoids the enzuigiri by Romero, but Rocky gets the back kick to stun Rowe. Rowe comes off the ropes and eats a high knee from Rocky, followed by a Salida Del Sol for two. Romero starts the Forever clotheslines in the corner, but Rowe bounces out on the 4th one with a Superman punch. These guys are not gelling at ALL. Tag to Hanson and War Machine goes for a double chokeslam, but Trent comes off the top with a double dropkick to both members of War Machine to break that up. Trent with a kick and a BEAUTIFUL tornado DDT out of the corner on Rowe, who rolls to the outside. Double whip by Vice on Hanson, but he cartwheels through the double clothesline attempt. Hanson charges and Roppongi gets two high knees on him; Hanson no-sells it and charges again, and eats the double high knee again, and this is enough to put him down. They hang Hanson on the top rope and Romero comes in with a springboard double foot stomp. Shining Wizard from Trent, and Rocky covers. 1,2, NO! Vice looks for Strong Zero, but Rowe catches Romero coming in with a fireman’s carry. He transitions into powerbomb position at the same time as Hanson does on Trent, and they toss both members of Vice into each other. Tag to Rowe, and they get the Death Valley Driver into the backbreaker on Trent. Path of Resistance continues with the gutbuster, but Baretta ‘ranas out before they can hit Fallout. In the meantime, Romero comes up on the apron and ‘ranas Hanson off the top rope. Baretta attempts to dive onto Rowe on the outside, but Rowe catches him and powerbombs him into the ring apron! Rocky charges and he and Rowe do an awkward rollup sequence that ends with Rocky getting two. Rocky gets to his feet, but Hanson nails him with a spinkick. Baretta is still out on the floor, and Romero takes Fallout as War Machine retains. (War Machine over Roppongi Vice, pinfall, 6:23)

WORTH WATCHING? Yeah, this was not a good match. I don’t know if it was just a styles clash between the teams, because I know I’ve seen better from both of them; hell, I JUST saw Roppongi have a match ten times better than this a few days ago. NO, I would skip this one. No drama, as Vice never had a chance here and the teams didn’t gell at all.

Post-match, War Machine celebrates and Hanson calls out the Briscoes. “Briscoes, we’re ready; are you?” I suspect that they are, Hanson. I’m also ready for some ads, and here they are!

We’re back to the music of Donovan Dijak. As mentioned last week, I’m done taking cheap shots at Dijak; I’ll only take earned shots from here on in, I promise. He makes his way to the ring with Prince Nana, and Dijak is wearing a Jay Lethal shirt. Okay, that’s pretty funny. We recap Dijak kicking Martini in the head, as the announcers speculate that we may never see Truth again. Prince Nana has the stick, and he tells us we keep asking what’s in those envelopes, what’s in those envelopes? Well, just speaking for me, I’ve been a little less interested than you might think, Nana, but that doesn’t matter, since it’s for Nana to know, and us fans to find out! Uh….okay? Nana also says that people want to know who the next ROH Champion will be, and his name is none other than Donovan Dijak! I wish to disagree with that sentiment. He hands the mic off to Dijak. “For one year, I’ve only had one real purpose in Ring of Honor,” he holds out his Jay Lethal shirt. That was to protect Jay Lethal and the House of Truth! He pulls the shirt off and tosses it aside. But Prince Nana showed him that one year ago, when he won the Top Prospect tournament, and Truth Martini told him ‘if you wrestle Jay Lethal for the TV title’ (He does do a GREAT Truth Martini impersonation here), but he doesn’t get any further as Jay and Taeler are out at ringside, and the World Champ attacks. Security is out to break them up, as Nana is cracking my shit up with his facial expressions.

Okay, so they seem to be going for almost a Batista type vibe here, as the big guy turns on the guys that were holding him back. Now, I’m all for babyface turns that make sense, but this wasn’t like Dijak had a World title shot or anything; Truth just fired him for what amounts to no logical reason. It’s not like Daddiego was winning more matches or anything. Also, why would Dijak turn face and take on another heel manager? Isn’t the whole point of this storyline for the big guy to be on his own? I can’t help but wonder if they’re actually trying to turn Jay with this. This whole thing has been a head-scratcher for me, as I’m not sure who it helps; Dijak probably isn’t going to beat Lethal, and it feels WAY too early to just feed him to Jay. I’m not at all sure where this is going.

We’re in the back with Dalton Castle, who tells Silas Young that Young may have confidence heading into that ring tonight, but he should remember that just because Young may hold a few victories over him, that doesn’t mean anything, because each time they fought before, Castle had different goals. Well, tonight, he has one goal – he’s going to hurt Silas Young. You know what won’t hurt? These ads! Let’s watch them.

We’re back and there’s the music of ACH! Time for Rick to dance like no one’s watching! For the record, he was a cool cat down in Dallas, even taking an extra second for a pic as I couldn’t figure out how to get us both in a selfie. I fail at technology. And there’s the equally awesome music of The Cleaner, Kenny Omega! He’s out with his broom and the Young Bucks, all of them in matching Young Bucks gear. Well, Kenny and the Bucks are. Not the broom, although the broom probably sells better than the Bucks, amirite? Omega does his full singing entrance, and this match should be great. Kenny Omega and the Bucks feel so right together, much moreso than the Bucks ever did with Styles or Devitt in the Bullet Club.

Kenny Omega (w/ The Young Bucks) vs ACH

Crowd is RABID for Omega, who declines the Code of Honor. Lockup and ACH gets a wristlock and transitions into a headlock. He holds on tenaciously, Omega shoots him off, ACH with a shoulderblock and he mocks the Bullet Club fingergun. Off the ropes and ACH does his cartwheel flip into a dropkick, but Omega just swats him away. Omega with forearms and chops, ACH returns them in kind. They do-si-do around an Irish whip, and ACH gets a Thesz press and an Austin elbow, by Gawd. ACH goes for a stunner, but Omega gets a full-nelson. This whole sequence looks like it was lifted from a PWG show that these guys wrestled on. ACH hiptosses out of the full-nelson and hits Omega with a dropkick, sending him to the floor. ACH looks to go over the top onto Omega on the floor, but Kenny slides in. He charges, but ACH gets a shoulder to the gut. Omega charges, but ACH does a backflip to the floor to avoid it. He doesn’t avoid a superkick from Nick Jackson, though, as Kenny has the ref distracted. Then, in an admittedly hilarious bit, the Bucks put a banana peel on the ground and tell the ref when he comes over that ACH slipped on it. “He slipped!” is the chant from the crowd. Omega comes out and helpfully gets his broom and sweeps the peel under the ring, so no one else gets hurt. How thoughtful! And let’s follow that up with these thoughtful ads!

We’re back to….a promo from Adam Cole? He tells Matt Taven that his medication must have made him crazy. Kick him out of the Kingdom? The only reason that anyone cared about the Kingdom was because of Adam Cole! I’m with you, buddy. He tells us that when he had his injury, Taven and Bennett were a disaster running the Kingdom. They were a joke! They were a Bullet Club ripoff! To be honest, Matt Taven, you were holding Adam Cole down anyway!

And now we’re back to the match, Omega with a chinlock on ACH. ACH breaks with right hands and a jawbreaker. ACH comes off the ropes, but Kenny puts him down with a knee to the gut. Kenny with chops, fireman’s carry and a forward roll, but a springboard to the second rope and a flip misses. Omega landed on his feet and charges, but ACH stops him with an elbow. ACH with the chops, Kenny reverses a whip to the corner, but ACH does a baseball slide and stops himself, then catches Omega coming in with a seated pele kick. Kenny comes in again, ACH alley-oops him to the apron. Kenny wins a striking battle and takes ACH to the opposite turnbuckle face-first. Omega runs to the other corner and goes to the top, but ACH follows him and does an INSANE springboard flip kick to Kenny to send him to the floor. That was cool as shit. The Bucks distract ACH and Omega rolls back in. He charges ACH, but ACH sends him over the top to the floor. ACH gets a running start and gets Air Jordan to the entire Elite on the outside. Crowd is now full of ACH fans. He rolls Omega back in and goes up, but Kenny stops him with an open-handed shot. Kenny wants the superplex, but ACH fights him off, then fights him off a second time and gets a double foot stomp to the back of Kenny’s head. That gets two. Brainbuster attempt, countered by Kenny. Omega goes for the Dragon suplex, but ACH wiggles out. Kenny isn’t having that shit, though, and a couple of slaps to the back of ACH and he loads it up again, and he SNAPS off the Dragon suplex! Seriously, how he doesn’t kill someone there amazes me; it’s SUCH a nasty move. One-winged Angel is countered by ACH into a brainbuster. 1,2, NO! Damn, that was close. ACH goes up, but Omega avoids the Midnight Star. ACH landed on his feet and they trade go-behinds, and then they just let it ALL hang out, as Omega gets a kneelift and ACH gets a palm strike. Kenny gets a running start and another kneelift knocks ACH loopy. Kenny grabs ACH by the leg, but ACH keeps up with the strikes, just doling out shot after shot. Omega flips him, but ACH lands on the apron, getting hung up on the ropes and rolling back in, while Omega collapses in the corner. They’re in a hell of a groove right now. Omega back to his feet ,and he tunes up the band, but the superkick gets caught by ACH. Kick to the gut by ACH and now he wants the Stunner, but Omega shoots him off the ropes. Rock Bottom attempt by Omega, ACH elbows out, and it’s KICK WHAM STUNNER by ACH! Okay, I KNOW I’ve seen that sequence before in PWG. ACH stacks him up, 1,2, NO! ACH goes up, but he goes SPLAT on the Midnight Star. Omega comes off the ropes with a knee to the head of ACH and follows that up with the One-Winged Angel. Whew. 1,2,3. (Kenny Omega over ACH, pinfall, 11:21)

WORTH WATCHING? While I don’t normally go for this type of spotfest, these were the right two guys to do it in the right type of match. I’ll say YES, this one is pretty cool; the banana peel spot is funny as hell in the beginning, and although it took them awhile to get going, they threw everything but the kitchen sink at each other in the second half of the match. It’s a total spotfest, don’t get me wrong, but it worked due to the greatness of the workers involved. Omega is just killing it right now. And while I never mind an Adam Cole promo, they probably could have picked a better place to put it.

Post-match, the Bucks are in to sweep ACH out of the ring with Omega’s broom as the Elite celebrate; Kevin Kelly tells us that up next, we’re finally going to settle it once and for all. It’s time for a Fight without Honor! And we’re going to see it…after these ads!

We’re back with Bobby Cruise, who helpfully explains that a Fight without Honor is just a match with no rules, one fall to a finish. Silas Young is out first, with a trash can lid in tow. And there’s the music of Dalton Castle, who comes out to the ramp with the Boys, but not in his usual peacock gear, just trunks and a t-shirt. He sends the Boys to the back and charges the ring, and this match is on!

Silas Young vs Dalton Castle – Fight without Honor

No Code of Honor, obviously. Castle charges the ring and immediately avoids a lid shot from Young, firing rights at Silas as streamers fly into the ring and the bell rings. They take it to the floor and Young gets the last shot, sliding back into the ring. I suspect there won’t be much in the way of wrestling in this match, which is fine; these two HATE each other, so they should just be trying to kill out there. Young catches Castle coming in, and it’s a pretty funny visual, as he has streamers wrapped all over him. Young misses a shot and Castle clotheslines him back to the floor. Castle does the peacock strut in the ring; Young gets back to the apron but Dalton boots him back to the floor, Young hitting the barricade. Castle runs the ropes and gets a tope on Silas, sending him to the barricade again. Castle rolls Silas back into the ring and tosses him down onto the mat from behind. Young tries to fight Castle off with punches and kicks, but misses a charge and Castle sends him to the apron. Dalton charges, Young with a forearm, but Silas goes up and gets crotched by Dalton. Castle hops the apron and tries a running kneelift to Young on the top, but Silas avoids it and shoves Castle to the floor. Young with a springboard somersault onto Castle on the floor. LUCHA SILAS~! Young reaches under the ring for a chair, which is absolutely covered in streamers, and he nails Dalton in the back with it. He sets the chair up and looks under the ring for something, but doesn’t find it and Dalton is firing back now. He chops Young up against the post, but goes for another one and chops the post instead. Fucking OW. You could hear his hand clang against the post there. And now Silas has a target. He slams Dalton’s hand into the ring apron and sets up another chair. Silas goes to suplex Dalton on the chairs, but Dalton gets a go behind and runs Young back first into the ringpost. Dalton goes to chop him again and Young ducks, but Castle was faking it and hits Young on the back. Castle with a straight right hand, and he goes to the apron and comes off with a knee to Young, sending him flying and sending us to an ad break!

We’re back with Young tossing Castle to the apron and setting up a table on the floor. The camera shows us that a ladder has been put in the ring as well. Castle fights Young off with rights and tries to whip him into the apron, Silas reverses it. Castle tries to slide around for a ‘rana, but Young catches him and powerbombs him onto the chairs he set up earlier. Silas tosses Dalton back in and springs in with an elbow for two. Young sets up the ladder, fireman’s carry, but Castle gets out. They trade go-behinds and Young tries for a victory roll. Castle kicks out, but Young lands on top of him and applies an STF. Castle rolls Young out to break, but he ends up on the ladder. Young with stomps and kicks and he goes up, headstand on the top rope into the split-legged moonsault misses, and Young hits the ladder hard! They trade rights from their knees, then they get to their feet and continue to fire away at each other. Castle wins that one, but Young ducks another shot and rakes the back of Castle. That just pisses Dalton off, and he fires away at Young, but Young ducks one and gets a knee to the face of Castle and a Cutter for two. Young gets Castle up, Misery! 1,2, NO! Young goes out and gets his trash can lid and a mic. “Come on, Dalton!” He hits Castle with the lid and a shot with the mic. Young keeps talking, saying that he wishes that the Boys were here to watch this. And lo and behold, the Boys appear from the back. Young tells them that they’re just in time to see Young finish Castle, but one of the Boys jumps Silas. Silas slams him to the mat, and now the other Boy is in, but after a few shots, Young knees him and tosses him to the floor. But now Castle is back up, and he firing away at Silas. Running high knee to Young in the corner! Another one! But Silas moves on the third, and Dalton goes over the top rope and crashes to the floor. The Boys come over to help, but Young takes out both of them with a tope to the barricade. Castle has recovered now, and the apron ‘rana hits, followed by a tope of his own, sending Young to the barricade. He tosses Young back in, deadlift German suplex! 1,2, NO! Castle looks for the Bangarang, but Young hangs onto the top rope….so Dalton backdrops him from the ring to the outside through the table! DAMN. “You just killed him!” is the chant from the crowd. Castle rolls Young back in, 1,2, NO! One of the Boys tosses a chair in the ring as Dalton looks to finish, but Young with the Greco-roman ballshot to stop him. He rolls Castle over, 1,2, NO! Young with a shot to a kneeling Dalton, and he spits on him! Silas comes off the ropes, but Dalton catches him….Bangarang on the chair! 1,2,3! (Dalton Castle over Silas Young, pinfall, 13:12)

WORTH WATCHING? Well, you can’t say that they didn’t throw everything at each other here. This never resembled a wrestling match, and it shouldn’t have. YES, as the final blowoff to this feud, this fit the bill nicely. It was a brawl with stiff shots and big spots, and that’s exactly what it needed to be. Now, let them never wrestle again; let this feud be over. This was a good way to put it to rest, so let it rest. Kudos to both guys.

Post-match, the replay shows that Young hit his HEAD on the table, which looked horrible. Castle celebrates as confetti and streamers fall. And we’re done with ROH for this week.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Not as good as last week, but two above average, yet completely different matches make this week a thumbs up. Skip the opener and catch the last two, and you’re good, as we continue to get 30 minutes of actual wrestling in our wrestling show, something I wish other promotions would take a cue from. I do hope that we’re done with Castle/Young, though. Next week, highlights from Honor Rising!

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter