Ring of Honor – June 29th, 2016

Howdy!

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

–It looks like the WWE may be cooling on Moose. Dave reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that things have “changed with Moose” and that the WWE may not have made enough of an offer to bring him in; there’s also a domestic violence allegation from a few years ago that may be a problem. After Best in the World, Moose tweeted out that we “will see more”; no one has been able to confirm whether that means in ROH or WWE at this point.

Thanks to all of you who commented on the ROH PPV recap I did; I appreciated the disparate responses. For what it’s worth, I did pretty much enjoy the in-ring work that the wrestlers did; most of my problems have stemmed from the booking that the company has been using over the last several months. I have been told that the tapings the next night were excellent (I don’t read spoilers on ROH), and that I’ll be happy with them. I hope so.

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 6/29/16

Voiceover time! We’re told that with Best in the World in the books, not only should we order the replay, but ROH will be back in two weeks to give us the fallout from that event! Next week, we’ll take a look at the best of the first half of 2016! Props to Mike Metzger from the PWTorch for pointing out that it’s probably a good idea to air a clip show, since most people catch ROH on the weekend in syndication, and with 4th of July no one’s gonna be watching anyway. But this week? This week, we’re going to watch some Women of Honor! The whole hour will be Women of Honor matches. Now, there’s not a specific women’s division in ROH, but there are frequently women’s matches at their events, normally featuring some pretty good female indy talent. Let’s see how this goes, then.

We are TAPED from the Nashville Municipal Auditorium in Nashville Tennessee (probably amongst other places). Your hosts are Ian Riccaboni and Nigel McGuinness. We’re going to get this party started with some six-woman tag action!

Veda Scott, Amber Gallows, & Allysin Kay vs Sumie Sakai, Thunderkitty, & Crazy Mary Dobson

“What’s better than 2 girls wrestling? 6 girls wrestling!” Oh, Nigel McGuinness! You dick. Anyway, sexist comments aside, here’s the lowdown. Veda Scott is familiar to most ROH watchers, but she can work and has notably in Shimmer amongst other places. Amber Gallows is the wife of Doc Gallows and is known as the “Bullet Babe”. Allysin Kay is also known as “Sienna” and is the current TNA Knockouts champion. Sumie Sakai has worked for ROH before, notably from 2003-2005. Thunderkitty currently works for both Shine and Shimmer. Mary Dobson also has worked for Shine and Shimmer, and has made a few appearances on NXT.

Code of Honor is followed. Gallows and Thunderkitty start us off. Gallows takes her to the corner off a lockup and lays into her with kicks and chops. Cross-corner whip is reversed and Kitty follows her in with a clothesline to the buckle, then a whip and splash to the other buckle. Snapmare and legdrop gets two for Kitty. She applies the Claw to Gallows, but Amber drops into a split, goes through the legs and gets a running kick, then a tag to Kay. Allysin comes in but Kitty breaks away and tags in Mary. Mary with a knee and a headbutt to Kay. Kay stops a whip and sends Mary to the corner, but charges in and eats an elbow. Mary to the second rope for a Thesz Press, but Allysin catches her and turns it into a Fisherman’s suplex for two. Tag to Veda, who comes in with kicks on Mary, but misses one and gets rolled through into a dropkick from Dobson, allowing her to tag in Sakai. Scott fires kicks and misses the first two, but the third one connects. A go-behind is broken by Sakai into a Northern Lights Suplex for two. Mary comes in and they hit Veda with a double dropkick. Thunderkitty comes in now with a dropkick to the back of Veda’s head, and Sakai covers for two. Veda catches Sakai with a kick, allowing Gallows to distract the ref and Allysin comes in a Mafia kick to Sakai as Veda takes the other girls off the apron. Veda with a springboard bulldog on Sakai, and we’re going to spring into this ad break!

We’re back with Gallows kicking Sakai in the back of the head. X-Factor from Gallows, but she poses for about 20 minutes before covering, and Sakai kicks out at two. She goes for it again, but Sakai blocks and muscles her over for a Fisherman’s Suplex to buy some time. Tags to Dobson and Kay, and Mary comes in with a clothesline. Veda comes in and takes one as well. Dropkick to Allysin, then one for Scott. Mary hops on Kay’s back and gets a Code Red! 1,2, NO! That was criminal, should have been it there. Dobson goes up, Kay catches her, everyone comes in for a Tower of Doom spot, and everyone goes down except for Gallows and Thunderkitty. They trade forearms and kicks (good forearms too, something that I rarely see from women’s wrestling) and Kitty gets a DDT. Veda takes her out with a rolling kick, but Sakai was on the top rope and hits Scott with a missile dropkick. She poses, but Kay is back up and puts Sakai into a backbreaker position, then spins her around and drops her! Mary back at it now, and she counters a hold from Allysin with a kick and hits a split-legged moonsault, but Gallows and Veda make the save. Mary fights them off momentarily, but Gallows gets a superkick, Scott gets a belly-to-back suplex, and Allysin gets a discus lariat to finish this. 1,2,3. (Allysin Kay, Amber Gallows, & Veda Scott over Sumie Sakai, Thunderkitty, and Crazy Mary Dobson, pinfall, 9:01)

WORTH WATCHING? Bitching match. Really, really fun stuff here, the type of women’s wrestling that blows away stuff like NXT and the WWE division a lot of the time. YES, this one is worth the watch. However, there’s a fundamental problem here, in that most if not all of the matches tonight will have zero effect on any storylines,etc, so it’s all going to be ringwork. Still, these ladies killed it out there. Watch Shimmer and Shine! Most of them have worked in those promotions, and there’s some really great wrestling going on there.

The winning team celebrates as we’re told that later tonight, it’ll be the undefeated Kelly Klein vs Taeler Hendrix! But right now, it’ll be these great ads!

We’re back!

Faye Jackson vs ODB

Faye Jackson is making her ROH debut here, from the Ring of Honor Dojo. We get a few words from her before the match; we see clips of her training, she’s excited to face ODB, and you shouldn’t underestimate her. Okay then. ODB comes out to Mark Briscoe’s music, and she probably doesn’t need an introduction to most of you. Former TNA star who has wrestled all over the world, ODB’s moniker in ROH is ‘One Dirty Briscoe’. Appropriate.

Code of Honor is followed. Lockup and ODB with a go-behind, Faye breaks with a…thrust. ODB immediately wants that booty checked while she takes a swig. Go-behind by Faye this time, but ODB makes the ropes to break. ODB finishes her flask and ducks a clothesline, shoulderblock put Jackson down. ODB sends her to the corner and splashes her, but Jackson catches her with a clothesline for one. There’s a weird jump cut in here, then Faye with a forearm and a crossbody for two. ODB gets sent to the corner, then Faye comes in with the ass to the face, then another one. A third one, and she yanks ODB out of the corner and down to the mat for two. Jackson tries for a Fireman’s Carry, but can’t get her up and ODB sends Faye to the corner. Splash by ODB, then a Broncobuster. She tries for the Carry now, can’t get her up, so ODB with a kick and she takes Faye to the corner and goes up. Turnbuckle smashes to Jackson’s face, then ODB comes off the 2nd rope with a Thesz Press for the 1,2,3. (ODB over Faye Jackson, pinfall, 4:15)

WORTH WATCHING? Uh, well, this wasn’t the WORST first match I’ve ever seen. The answer is NO, you can skip this one. Jackson may have something, but it was very clear that she’s a rookie. No harm in that, sure; but the match wasn’t good.

Post-match, Code of Honor is followed. Now follow me for these ads!

We’re back with a promo from Mandy Leon! She wants to know if you remember her from Inside ROH; oh, Mandy. Let’s not remember that, shall we? Luckily, she’s still got the robotic voice when it comes to her wrestling promos, so we can’t forget that. She wants another match with Hania, who she considers the best competition there is; Hania comes on screen and immediately cuts a better promo, with actual inflection and feeling. She lost to Mandy last time they faced off, but she won’t this time!

Mandy Leon vs “The Howling Huntress” Hania

Hania is introduced as being from the unseen woods, and she apparently killed the bear that raped Leonardo DiCaprio and wears it as a trophy. She’s worked for Queens of Combat & Woman Superstars Uncensored. Mandy’s up next, from the Ring of Honor dojo. Let’s see what she’s got in the ring!

Code of Honor is followed. Lockup goes all the way to the mat and Mandy controls with a wristlock into a top version. Reversal by Hania, then they trade reversals working the wristlock. Leon takes her over and armdrags her. Good sequence there. Test of strength and Hania gets a monkey flip, they keep the hands locked and go back to it. Mandy does the monkey flip this time, they keep the hands locked again. Back up, and Mandy goes behind with a hammerlock and takes her over with a side headlock. Holy shit, Mandy can work! Hania counters out with a headscissors and goes to a side headlock of her own on their feet. Mandy shoots her off, Hania runs through Leon with a shoulderblock. Off the ropes, Mandy with a hiptoss into a pin for one, Hania rolls her over in a crucifix for one. Hania with chops and she whips Mandy, but Mandy counters a side slam into a headscissors to send Hania to the floor. Mandy goes outside and looks to spring off the ropes, but Hania grabs the leg and drops her on the apron, face-first. Hania tosses her to the barricade and us to this ad break!

We’re back with Hania hitting a springboard missile dropkick on Mandy for two. Hania picks Leon up, but Mandy hits her with a jawbreaker. Mandy goes up for a moonsault, Hania catches her for an Electric chair, but Leon rolls into a victory roll for two. Mandy comes off the ropes, but gets caught with a spinning heel kick from Hania for two. Hania puts the badmouth on Mandy, so Leon fires back with forearms, but Hania goes to the eyes to break. Forearms in the corner by Hania and she charges, but Mandy catches her with her legs and sends her to the 2nd buckle. Reverse neckbreaker by Leon and she holds onto it, hooking the Havana Dream. Leon drops her and covers. 1,2, no! Leon tunes up the band, but runs into a boot from Hania, who goes up. They trade the advantage before Mandy does the handstand ‘rana off the top! Mandy goes up now, moonsault misses! Rollup by Hania, that gets two. She tries a double-leg, but Leon turns it into a backslide for one, they keeps the arms locked and jockey for position. Hania comes off the ropes and they clothesline each other! Not exactly Hogan/Warrior, but still. They crawl towards each other and trade shots on their knees, then Hania is up with kicks to a kneeling Mandy, who tells her to bring it on. Mandy back up now, she’s almost LEON’ING up! Shots from Leon! She sends Hania to the buckle, then whips her cross-corner and follows with a clothesline. Again! Off the ropes, Mandy with a bulldog! 1,2, NO! Hania back up with a jumping kick and a leg lariat in the corner. Hania wants a reverse DDT now, Mandy reverses, again, again, Hania with a knee to the head of Mandy. She goes for it again, but Mandy counters into a Flatliner and hooks the Koji Clutch! Hania makes the ropes, and now they stand center of the ring and trade slaps, Mandy with the big slap off a split. Mandy charges Hania in the corner, Hania moves, Hania charges and catches Mandy’s legs, then drops her to the mat by her hair. Hania waits for her to get up, then charges and hits a Codebreaker for the 1,2,3. (Hania over Mandy Leon, pinfall, 12:01)

WORTH WATCHING? My jaw is on the fucking FLOOR. YES, watch this one and try to forget that Mandy ever hosted Inside ROH, because she was great here. Seriously. They were awkward in spots, but if the WWE women put on this match, people would be all over it. Both of these women looked more than ready and comfortable out there, they threw great forearms in the transition spots, hell they even threw some pretty good headbutts! A pleasant, pleasant surprise and a really fun piece of work. Kudos.

Post-match, Hania poses after a hard-fought win. And now we go to BJ Whitmer, who puts Kelly Klein over as one of the best-kept secrets in professional wrestling. Talks her family lineage, her college athletics, the whole shebang. While other women are going out with their girlfriends, Kelly Klein is choking bitches out. And indeed, they then show a montage of said bitches getting choked out. And now we’re out….for these ads!

We’re back with Taeler Hendrix! She’s been wrestling for 9 years, and she said she promised herself in 2015 that everyone would hail Hendrix by 2016! But all anyone wants to talk about is Kelly Klein; well, Ring of Honor is HER house! She’s the HBIC, and she’s going to show that to everyone!

And it’s time for the main event!

Taeler Hendrix (w/ Truth Martini) vs Kelly Klein (w/ BJ Whitmer)

Nice to see that Truth has been resurrected. Behold the magic of the pre-tape! Kelly comes out with BJ, and she looks like she spends just a few hours in the gym. Nigel McGuinness basically implies that BJ Whitmer wants to fuck Kelly. I’ve pretty much ignored Nigel this week as he’s been fairly awful with his sexist bullshit, but that one was just insulting. Look, you’re trying to put these women over, and implying that….you know what? Let’s just leave it at Nigel has been fairly awful, because I’ll never finish this if I keep on that train.

Code of Honor is declined. They go nose to nose, lockup goes all over the ring. Kelly finally breaks it and tries for a clothesline, but Hendrix ducks the first and does a matrix dodge on the second. Klein comes off and hooks an abdominal stretch, reversed by Taeler. Klein tries to get out by picking Hendrix up, but Taeler hooks a sleeper instead. Kelly reverses that into a bearhug. Taeler breaks with a headbutt, but Klein hits her with a knee lift and tosses her. While Hendrix figures out what to do, I’ll figure out what to buy from these great ads!

We’re back with Klein on the top rope, holding Taeler in a chinlock and lifting her up while the ref counts. Hendrix breaks with a kick to the head. Taeler does a cartwheel towards Klein, who has recovered enough and warms my heart by just kicking Hendrix in the face. Damn showboating. 1,2, no! Taeler rolls to the apron and hops back in, Kelly charges but Taeler moves out of the way of the charging elbow and pastes Kelly with a right hand. Irish whip by Taeler is reversed, but Hendrix is able to catch Klein with a kick. She ducks a clothesline from Kelly and hits her with a palm strike. Knee and a scissor kick from Taeler. High kick from Hendrix, then a reverse savate kick to the head for two. Taeler sends her off, lifts Kelly up for a sideslam and pivots forward to drop her face first. 1,2, NO! Hendrix picks Klein up and kisses her, then goes for a tombstone that could more accurately be described a shoulderbreaker. 1,2, NO! That was a bit awkward. Whitmer gets up on the apron to give Klein a second to recover, and she hits a jawbreaker on Taeler. She follows that up by dropping Taeler’s head onto her knee, transitioning from that while still holding onto the facelock into a front choke (which has the incredibly dumbass name “The End of the Match”), and that’s enough to secure the tapout. (Kelly Klein over Taeler Hendrix, submission, 5:34)

WORTH WATCHING? Klein has some talent, but Taeler didn’t really show much. She’s expressive in the ring, but a lot of her stuff was halting, and that tombstone was an atrocity. I’m going with NO on this one, although I admit that I might be biased after seeing the match before it, which blew it out of the water in every way, shape, and form.

Post-match, Klein celebrates with BJ while Ian reminds us that next week on ROH’s 250th episode, we’re getting to see the best matches so far from 2016! And don’t forget to order the replay of Best in the World! And we’re out.

FINAL THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Man, I have to admit that I was dreading this one, and it turned out to be a pretty decent show. A lot of that turns on whether or not you enjoy women’s wrestling, but there was some good stuff here. The 6-woman from the beginning was fun, and Leon/Hania was actually a really, really decent match. There’s nothing here if you’re looking for ROH storyline stuff, and I do question the wisdom of the Women of Honor thing if you’re only going to showcase them once in a while on TV, but as a one-off, this was just fine.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter