Ring of Honor – July 13th, 2016

Howdy!

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

Notable news from around the world of ROH this week:

–And the saga of Moose has come to a close. Moose showed up on TNA this week, so we can officially close the door on the big guy in ROH. Reports are that he signed a two year deal for 110 dates. Good luck, Moose. I know you’ll end up in the WWE when all is said and done, but I did enjoy watching you come along in ROH. All the best.

–Cedric Alexander won his first round in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic; good luck to him. As I said in my recap of that event, ROH will rue the day they let him go. Pull off the shocker and beat Ibushi in Round 2!

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 7/13/2016

We’re done with the best-of shows; this week, we’re going to see the fallout from Best in the World!

Still shots of Lethal and Briscoe from BITW over music is our opener this week, with the video opener playing right after.

We are TAPED from the Cabarrus Center in Concord, North Carolina! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness! Tonight, we’re going to have a #1 Contenders match for the TV title, as Mark Briscoe takes on ACH! So, Dalton Castle is just fading away, huh? I do not understand this company sometimes. And we’re not wasting any time this week, as the first thing we see is Jason Kincaid on the ramp! Yay, I like him! Kincaid, as you may or may not remember, had a great match with Lio Rush in the first round of this year’s Top Prospect tournament; if that earned him a job, cool beans. And that’s followed by the music of Donovan Dijak! Hey, I only sort of hate him! Seriously, he seems like a good dude, and he DID have a decent match with Lethal, so hopefully he can keep that up!

Donovan Dijak (w/ Prince Nana) vs Jason Kincaid

Code of Honor is followed. Kelly talks about us counting down the days, because in two weeks, Kyle O’Reilly will face Jay Lethal for the ROH World title right here on ROH TV! And now I shall count down the days as well; a friend of mine who was at the tapings told me that I was going to be very happy with this set of tapings, and now I see why. I wonder HOW happy I’m gonna be? Lockup and Dijak takes Jason to the corner, slamming his head against the buckles before breaking. Kincaid tries to grab Dijak’s arm, but just gets shoved down. He tries it again and Dijak shoves him off, but Jason goes over the top on a Dijak charge to the corner. Kincaid somersaults into a cross-legged position and prays. I like this dude a lot. Dijak charges but Kincaid ducks and springs to his feet with kicks to Dijak. He grabs the arm of Dijak in a knucklelock and takes him over to the ropes, walking the top, bouncing on the top rope back to a standing position and attempting to ‘rana Dijak, but the big guy puts a stop to that and tosses him through the middle rope to the floor. Dijak goes out and attempts to suplex Jason onto the barricade, but Jason escapes and just kicks Dijak straight in the face. Kincaid charges and Dijak alley-oops him to the apron, so Jason just jumps backwards off the apron and hits a facebuster to Dijak on the floor! Kincaid hops back in the ring and pulls the straps down to the cheers of the crowd, while we strap in for these great ads!

We’re back and Kincaid’s gonna fly. Tope by Kincaid….is caught by Dijak and turned into an awkward belly-to-belly that crashes Jason’s legs into the top of the barricade. That probably hurt a bit. Dijak tosses Kincaid back in the ring and gets two. Dijak sets Jason up for a suplex, but just tosses him over once he hoists him up. Nice move there, as it shows off Dijak’s height and strength. That gets two. Kincaid tries to fight up as Kelly talks about how Jason was actually born on a mountaintop in West Virginia, in a home with no running water. Dijak cuts him off and hits him with a backbreaker, then a throw from a slam position. Dijak goes to the apron and tries a springboard elbow, but Kincaid moves! Double stomp from Kincaid, and then a springboard neckbreaker while Dijak is seated from Jason! Dijak rolls to the apron and Kincaid comes off the ropes does a flip over the top with a double stomp onto Dijak! That was cool-looking. It was also contrived as hell. Regardless, Dijak falls outside the ring now, and Kincaid gives him a receipt for that earlier suplex into the barricade by diving through the second rope and sunset flipping Dijak headfirst into the barricade! Back in and they almost f--- up a tornado DDT, but Jason manages to complete the move. 1,2, no! Kincaid charges Dijak in the corner, Dijak stops him and puts him on his shoulders in a Fireman’s Carry and goes up. Jason manages to elbow out and get Dijak in a sitting position on the top buckle; Jason then stands on the post (!)and somersaults over Dijak on the top rope into a cutter! He damn near spiked Dijak’s head on that move, that was dangerous as f---. It’s apparently called Grave of the Fireflies, and it gets two. Kincaid immediately puts Dijak in an armbar, as there’s been a subtle story about Kincaid targeting Dijak’s chokeslam arm the whole match. Dijak manages to stretch out and make the ropes with his feet to break, though. Kincaid slams the mat in frustration and goes up, but he gets caught by Dijak coming down and Donovan hits Feast Your Eyes to put a spunky Kincaid away. (Donovan Dijak over Jason Kincaid, pinfall, 8:11)

WORTH WATCHING? Surprisingly, YES, I’m giving this one a pass with a few caveats. First off, the pacing of the match was good and let both wrestlers show off what they had (Dijak with big power and control, Kincaid with fast, flashy moves). There were fewer awkward transitions between the moves, although there were a few, and that’s something that Dijak still needs to work on. But my caveat is that Jason is a flashy worker, but there were a few moves in there that were pretty dangerous and I’m not blaming Donovan this time. I like Kincaid a lot, but he screams Indy all over, and he’s got a shot at being a really good pro wrestler overall if he can reduce that spottiness. Still, good match.

Post-match, Nana gets in the camera and tells us that we just saw the best wrestler in ROH, and who manages him? The best manager in Ring of Honor, that’s who! Up next, we’ve got a tag team title match! But what’s really up next? Why, these ads!

We’re back with ACH! “See, there’s a song that plays in my head on repeat.” And that song’s lyrics are everything that he’s been through in ROH, and the only lyric to end that will be him winning the World TV Title! Mark Briscoe, you want to know what ACH stands for? Always Crushing Hopes.

And there’s the music of Silas Young! He and the Beer City Bruiser make their way to the ring for their tag team title shot! They earned their shot at Tag Wars, a two-night tag team tournament to get a shot; you can see both nights on Ring of Honor dot com! “Worship us!” And here are the World Tag Team champions….of the World! Daniels and Kaz make their way to the ring and here we go!

Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser vs The Addiction (Chris Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) – ROH World Tag Team title match

Before we begin, Daniels has a mic: “Do we have a treat for you humps, lumps, and hobos!” Oh boy! What could it be? Tonight, after dealing with the Machine Guns, the Briscoes, and the Young Bucks, they’re finally going to wrestle some REAL MEN! Yeah! They’re going to show us the type of wrestling that ROH was built on! Well, unless the Beer City Bruiser somehow morphs into Samoa Joe, I’m gonna doubt that a bit there, Chris.

Code of Honor is FOLLOWED, which….okay. Makes sense, they’re both heel teams.

Kaz and Young start us off. Wristlock by Frankie, Silas cartwheels a few times and reverses it. Kaz flips to reverse it this time, they trade go-behinds and Kaz rolls him up for two, then a wrestling sequence into a backslide from Young into La Magistral from Frankie. Stalemate. They’re so happy with how that went, they shake hands again, and each of them goes for the cheap shot with the kick. Man, I saw that coming and I still laughed. They agree to put each’s others legs down, which they slowly do….and each of them takes a cheap shot with a right hand! Ha! Now they trade fists and Kaz elbows Young against the ropes, which Young returns in kind. Irish whip by Young is reversed, and Daniels sneaks in the cheap shot from the apron to cheers from the crowd, as they’re in on the joke here. Young takes a few shots, but he manages to reverse the whip and now the Bruiser gets in a shot from the apron. Tremendous. Daniels comes in and gets clobbered by Silas, and the Bruiser comes in and they double-team Frankie with a double hiptoss for one. Blind tag from Chris, and he hits Silas with an inverted atomic drop while Frankie follows with a cutter into the knee of Daniels, and Daniels follows that with an STO on Young. That gets one and Daniels grinds his elbow into Young’s face on the mat. Daniels whips Young cross-corner, but Young goes over the top of Chris and Daniels runs right into a clothesline courtesy of Bruiser on the apron. Bruiser comes in for some shots, then tags Silas back in as they pin Daniels in their corner and tee off. Snapmare by Young into some overhead elbows, then a kick to the chest of Daniels for two. He drags Chris back over to the corner and tags in the Bruiser as they continue to cut the ring in half on Daniels. They stand Daniels up in the corner and Young hits him with a running forearm, then a splash from the Bruiser, knee from Chris, cannonball from the Bruiser. BCB back in and he drops an elbow on Chris. Daniels begs off, Bruiser kicks him in the chest and comes off the ropes, Kaz tries to kick him from the apron but Bruiser just turns around and clobbers him to the floor. He fires rights at Chris, but comes off and Frankie trips him up as the cheating continues. Awesome. Split-legged moonsault from Daniels, and we need to split for these ads!

We’re back with Mark Briscoe! I really, really hate when ROH interrupts a match to show a promo, then goes back to the match. Fucks up the flow of it. Still, let’s hear what Mark has to say! “Young man named ACH, been running wild here in Ring of Honor over the last few years!” He says that ACH is one of the most blessed athletes in the company, but Mark Briscoe is a man of destiny! He’s no stranger to gold, he says, holding up the IWGP Tag Team title belt, but now he wants that singles gold!

And now, we go to Jay Lethal. Oh, for the love of GOD. Anyway, Lethal tells us that Best in the World 2016 was one of the hardest-fought battles of his life! And he knows that Jay Briscoe feels the same way! Years from now, they’re going to ask what was the greatest match in Ring of Honor history, and they’re going to say that it was the rematch between Jay Briscoe and Jay Lethal!

YEAH! ALL 13 MINUTES OF THAT AMAZING MAIN EVENT!

Yeah, I’m not letting that go any time soon.

FINALLY, we’re back to the match. Kaz is teeing off on the Bruiser, but the BCB comes back and gets a splash to slow Frankie down. Tag made to Young, and Daniels tries to come in as well, but Silas takes care of that and tosses Chris into Frankie, following with a running neckbreaker that causes Frankie to DDT Chris at the same time. Daniels rolls out as Young goes over to Kaz, but Kaz hits Silas with a jawbreaker to get some space. Young comes back with the backbreaker/lariat combo for two. They fight over a backslide, but Silas escapes and kicks Frankie in the head. Young with a full nelson, Kaz escapes it but Silas manages to hang on a second time and turn it into a Stunner. 1,2, Daniels breaks it up! We need some more cheating in the worst way here, that was the best part of the match. Young makes a go of it against both members of the Addiction, but gets caught with a powerbomb/neckbreaker combo for two. More doubleteaming, but Silas ducks and Daniels clotheslines Kaz by mistake, and there’s the tag to the Bruiser. Beer City in with clotheslines, Addiction tries a double-team but Bruiser runs right through it and clotheslines them both again. Daniels and Kaz do manage enough of a double-team to finally set Bruiser on the top rope. They go up for a double superplex, which would certainly be interesting to watch, but Young is back in and pulls Daniels off. Young pulls Kaz off now and hits him with Misery, but Daniels is right there to hit Silas with Angel’s Wings. Daniels goes up to try a superplex, but get shoved off by the Bruiser, frog splash from the Bruiser misses! Best Moonsault Ever by Daniels! Springboard legdrop by Frankie! 1,2,3. Champs retain. (The Addiction over Silas Young & The Beer City Bruiser, pinfall, 10:43)

WORTH WATCHING? The beginning is funny as hell, even though you know exactly where they’re going with it. But it slowed down a lot after the double interview segment broke up the match. Also, if we’re going to do this type of thing, it would help to have the ref actually enforce the rules to give them something to break (double-teams were going on for minutes in this thing). That having been said, I’ll go with a mild YES, it’s worth a look. The story of the match was fun in the beginning with the chain wrestling giving way to the cheating. I wish they had kept that going, but it was perfectly acceptable wrestling after that.

Post-match, the Addiction pose with their titles as Kevin tells us that up next, we’re going to have a live Fish Tank before the main event! Also before the main event – these ads!

We’re back with Kyle O’Reilly! Yay! “Jay Lethal. Kyle O’Reilly. Once again, we square off the Ring of Honor World title.” Jay Lethal, you’re a fighting champion! You’ve honored every single one of my challenges, you faced me like a man, and I respect you! So one more time, this time, we find out who the best in the world truly is! Yeah! KYLE O”REILLY IS GONNA WIN THE ROH WORLD TITLE!

Well, if I keep saying it, maybe it’ll come true?

Back to the ring, and one Bobby Fish is holding court with the mic! Let’s hear what he has to say. “Thank you, thank you, thank you! Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to invite you all to a live edition of the Fish Tank!” He is, of course, your host, the ROH World TV champion and one half of the baddest team on God’s green, Bobby Fish! He’s the undisputed king of Ring of Honor, and he goes over the reasons why that is; could it just be that God likes him more? As usual, Fish can rock a mic when he wants to. But today is not about him, it’s about the two men that will face off for a shot at his title; ACH and Mark Briscoe!

There’s the music of ACH, and time for some chair dancin’! The music hits for Mark Briscoe, and he makes his way to the ring, holding the IWGP belt. Briscoe grabs a mic, and ACH gets one as well. Let’s see what happens! Fish asks to stand between them, because he doesn’t want to get his clothes dirty if there’s a fray about to go down. Mark asks Bobby if he’s wondering what Mark is wondering; well, Bobby is dying to know what he’s wondering! Briscoe is wondering what his opponent’s initials ACH stand for! Fish invites Mark to speculate and gives him the floor. Briscoe’s first option is ‘American Child Hero.’ Because ACH looks like a 14 year old boy who’s been eating grilled cheese all morning! Or, could it be the ‘Acrobatic Catlike Horseman’? Because he’s got muscles like a stallion and moves like a feline! Okay, this is stupid. But Briscoe’s got one more! ACH – ‘Ass Cheeks Huge’! Because ACH has a big ass! ROFLMAO, RIGHT?????? ACH: “Do you find that funny?” Well no, I found it to be tedious and stupid and I thought that was clear….oh, he’s talking to Mark and Bobby. Right, he can’t read this. Anyway, that’s not funny! Okay, now we’re in agreement. ACH heard Mark talking about his hopes and desires for the TV title, and he respects that, because he has the same hopes and desires! But the difference is that Mark has a legacy, and ACH doesn’t, and ACH’s legacy is going to start with that title! And if he wants to know what ACH stands for, it stands for ‘Annihilating Chicken’s Hopes’! Okey-dokey. Fish: “Touche, young man!” He’s not going to stand here in his nice duds, let’s have this match right now! Bobby takes a seat at the commentary desk, so park yourself in a seat of your own, because the main event is next! After these ads, of course!

We’re back and the bell is rung!

ACH vs Mark Briscoe – TV Title #1 Contender Match

Hammerlock from ACH to start but Briscoe gets out and we have a stalemate. Side headlock by Mark and he hangs onto it for awhile, ACH shoots him off, Mark with the shoulderblock to put ACH down and drops on top of him to regain the headlock. ACH back to his feet, shoots him off again, but he runs right into a Mark Briscoe armdrag. ACH quickly returns the favor. He wrings the arm a few times, but Briscoe backs him into a corner and chops him off the break. Cross-corner whip, ACH goes over a charging Mark and comes off the ropes, Briscoe tries for a knee but ACH rolls him up for two. Briscoe gets the knee to the midsection this time, they trade snapmares. ACH cartwheels off the ropes and does a backflip into a dropkick. ACH looks to dive but Mark moves, so ACH goes to the apron and tries for a running kick, caught by Briscoe and Mark pulls him to the floor. Mark with rights and chops to ACH on the floor, then a body slam. Cactus Jack elbow attempt by Mark, ACH moves, Mark lands on his feet but ACH is right there with the chop and he tosses Briscoe to the post. ACH takes a lap around the ring and slingshots himself around the post into a headscissors on Briscoe. Neato. Back in, ACH goes up but Mark sees him coming, ACH lands on his feet and ‘ranas him over for two. Mark catches him with a forearm as Kelly asks Bobby about whether or not Dalton Castle deserves a rematch from Best in the World; Bobby screams at him “DID YOU SEE WHERE HE ALMOST BROKE MY NECK? HELL NO!” No, he doesn’t. He says that Castle was defeated and it’s on to the next. Briscoe sends ACH cross-corner, ACH goes to the apron (after a first try doesn’t work) and catches Briscoe coming in with a boot. ACH tries for Get Over Here, but Mark is ready with a dropkick to cut that off, and we’re ready for our final ad break of the evening!

We’re back with Briscoe going over the top of a sliding ACH on a cross-corner whip. Briscoe charges but takes a kick to the head from ACH on the mat, followed up by an ACH discus clothesline in the corner a lariat when Mark staggers out. German suplex attempt from ACH is blocked by elbows from Mark, then forearms. Irish whip by Mark, but ACH hooks the top rope, Briscoe comes in but ACH slips behind him and snaps off a German suplex with a bridge! 1,2, no! ACH goes for a brainbuster, but Briscoe blocks and goes for one, and they have a decent fight over it before Briscoe goes over the top and gets it, putting both guys down. They trade shots, with Mark getting the better of it; ACH tries to catch Mark’s leg, but Mark just slaps him in the face. Kick is caught by ACH and this time he’s able to flip Briscoe, but Mark Peles ACH. More forearms as Briscoe takes ACH corner to corner to ram him into the top buckles, finally setting him on top. He looks to slam him off, but ACH shoves him away with the foot. ACH comes off, but Mark catches him in Uranage position and gets an overhead throw. 1,2, NO! Mark looks for a Fisherman’s Buster, ACH blocks so Mark just starts slapping him silly. Stiff ones, too. He slugs ACH down in the corner and follows with a boot to the head. Another charge and Briscoe eats a boot, but he’s able to hit ACH with a Death Valley Driver and Briscoe goes up. He takes too long, though, and ACH gets an awesome flip kick to bring Briscoe down. Dropkick in the corner by ACH, Brainbuster by ACH! He goes up for the Midnight Star, but Briscoe gets the knees up! Fisherman’s Buster by Mark Briscoe! Briscoe goes to the top, Froggy-bow! 1,2,3. (Mark Briscoe over ACH, pinfall, 10:01)

WORTH WATCHING? Well, the wrong guy went over. I’ve got nothing but respect for Mark Briscoe, but ACH needs to start winning some of these matches to get to that next level, and he should have won here. The match itself was alright, in that Briscoe had control most of the way with ACH coming back in spurts but just not having enough to win. YES, this was a very decent main event. Thumbs up.

Post-match, Code of Honor is followed and I just want ACH to turn on Briscoe and whoop the s--- out of him. But that doesn’t happen, and Briscoe and Fish go nose to nose as Bobby holds up the title.

Next week, our main event is Dalton Castle against Roderick Strong! And even though Kelly doesn’t say this, it’s Strong’s last match in ROH. Also, we’re two weeks away from O’Reilly/Lethal for the ROH World title! Kelly tells us we can’t afford to miss it! And we’re out.

FINAL THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: What the f--- did I just watch? Breaking down the segments, you had a showcase match for a wrestler they’re clearly high on, a tag team title match that paid off one of the shows they sell on the website, interviews hyping the main event, an interview with Kyle before he challenges for the World title in two weeks to build anticipation, an interview segment before the main event to hype said main event and give some context to the fight, continued mentions of the upcoming PPV in August, and a match signed to that show based on the main event of tonight producing a #1 contender to a title.

THIS WAS A WRESTLING SHOW. HOLY S---.

Seriously, this was almost a complete 180 from where ROH was. Everything tonight had a purpose to build towards other matches and the PPV with several weeks to go, and it was TREMENDOUS. This was one of the best episodes of ROH TV I’ve seen in awhile, not for the in-ring action but for the competence showed in understanding how and why to use their television program.

Kudos, ROH. Keep doing this.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter