Ring of Honor – July 27th, 2016

Howdy!

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

No preliminaries! Lethal/O’Reilly!

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 7/27/16

We are TAPED from the Cabarrus Center in Concord, North Carolina! Tonight, Kevin Kelly tells us that we’re dedicating the whole hour to Kyle O’Reilly challenging Jay Lethal for the ROH World Title! Woo-hoo!

And there’s the music of the best wrestler in the world! O’Reilly makes his way down the ramp as Kelly talks about never seeing an athlete more prepared for an opportunity. Kelly promises that Nigel will be joining us shortly.

“Who’s ready for storytime with Adam Cole, bay-bay!” Wait a second; that’s one Adam Cole making his way onto the ramp! I have a sinking feeling in my stomach all of a sudden. He’s got a mic: “Kyle, I have said it before and I will say it a thousand times; as long as I am in Ring of Honor, you will NEVER be ROH World champion!” Kyle even being in his match makes Cole sick! Kyle isn’t next in line to be ROH World Champion, the next guy in line is Adam Cole, bay-bay! Kyle, you don’t stand a chance in tonight’s matchup – in fact, you won’t be wrestling in tonight’s matchup!

Oh, crap.

The Bucks are in the ring! Double superkick to Kyle! Cole makes his way to the ring as the Bucks toss a chair in, and the beatdown is on. Cole smashes Kyle in the shoulder with a chair! Again! Another! The Bucks wedge the chair onto Kyle’s arm and Cole lines up for a shot with another chair; Kyle spits on Adam! Cole swings for the fences and smashes Kyle’s shoulder! Again! Again! Again! Again! Kevin Kelly is apoplectic on commentary as Adam wails away at O’Reilly. Nick Jackson gets in Cary Silkin’s face at ringside before the Bullet Club bails as Bobby Fish is out now to make the save. Kyle rolls around in pain on the mat as the Bullet Club taunts him from the crowd.

Now then. The rational part of me that understands wrestling knows that this actually accomplishes something, as the Bullet Club should be doing this type of thing until they get what they want, which is what heel factions do. Plus, it furthers Cole’s promise that Kyle will never win the ROH World title and keeps their feud alive, which could be relevant for the future if Cole takes the strap at some point. All in all, I completely understand and approve using the TV show to set up PPVs in this fashion. It’s very rational booking.

Pardon me for just a moment…..

GODAMNITMOTHERFUCKINGSHITASSHOLEIWANTEDTOSEETHISMATCHEATMYNUTSACKADAMCOLEYOUFUCKINGPIECEOFSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahem. Let’s take a break for some ads!

We’re back with Kelly, who apologizes as he recaps the Bullet Club attacking Kyle. He even makes a cogent point about the Bullet Club making the company a lot of money, which is why they keep getting away with this stuff, but someone has to put a stop to this. Kelly says that the World title match is up in the air and that Kyle’s in a lot of pain; for the time being, Nigel is setting up standby matches. Kevin promises that we will have matches when we return, along with an update on Kyle’s condition.

We’re in the back with O’Reilly, as both the doctor and Fish are advising against Kyle competing tonight, but Kyle doesn’t care; tape his shoulder up, because he wants the match! The doc tells him that the shoulder may be separated and he needs an MRI, but O’Reilly is having none of that shit – he’s going to fight!

Back to Kevin Kelly, who’s been joined by Nigel McGuinness at the commentary desk. They decry the actions of the Bullet Club. Nigel says that Kyle is injured and won’t be able to wrestle, and that there will be repercussions for Bullet Club, because Nigel is tired of it. Kelly tells us that we have standby matches ready to go for the hour, so let’s get to them.

There’s the music of Brutal Bob Evans and Tim Hughes! And that’s followed by the music of War Machine. Man, I know that Nigel had to fill the matches quickly, but I suspect this one isn’t gonna go the distance, so to speak. We see highlights of Taylor and Lee putting a beatdown on War Machine as they head to the ring. War Machine wastes no time in attacking!

Brutal Bob Evans & Tim Hughes vs War Machine (Rowe and Hanson)

Hughes tries to go through the crowd to escape, but Hanson catches him and tosses him back in. SHOTGUN KNEES~! by Rowe, then a Bronco buster by Hanson. Evans gets back up and immediately eats a spinkick from Hanson. Double Irish whip by War Machine and Rowe tosses Hughes into a powerslam by Hanson. Fallout by War Machine completes the slaughter. (War Machine over Bob Evans & Tim Hughes, pinfall, 0:38)

WORTH WATCHING? NOPE.

Post-match, Taylor and Lee hit the ring for the big brawl. Lee, Taylor and Rowe end up on the floor and Hanson does a somersault dive from the top rope onto everyone, as War Machine stands tall. This was stupid and wasn’t Lethal/O’Reilly, so it sucked. Let’s take an ad break!

We’re back with the Briscoes, who hype their upcoming match against the Young Bucks next week on ROH TV. It’ll be the first time that the IWGP Heavyweight champs meet the IWGP Jr Heavyweight champs on ROH TV! Yea!

We’re back in the ring now with Will Ferrara against Cheeseburger. They’re just fucking with me now, right? This is also not Lethal/O’Reilly, so I’m anticipating suckage.

Will Ferrara vs Cheeseburger

They circle for the lockup, then trade armwringers in a decent sequence. Short-arm scissors by Will, but Burger rolls him over for two to force the break. Will back to his feet….and there’s the music of the Cabinet? A bunch of people parade out to the ring chanting “Make Wrestling Great!” And there’s the ANX and Caprice Coleman! Coleman has a mic: “We now cancel your regularly scheduled match for a very important message brought to you by the Cabinet!” Wait, they’re putting a stop to a Cheeseburger match? I thought these guys were supposed to be heels! Anyway, Coleman goes on to introduce himself, Rhett Titus, and Kenny King, and states that the two kids in the ring don’t meet the criteria of a professional wrestler. Hey, that’s mean! To Will. Kenny says that they’re not just a bunch of talkers, they’re about action – so they’re going to institute the ‘buy-a-ticket’ program! And Cheeseburger and Will look more like the fans than wrestlers, so they can either climb over the guardrail and buy a ticket, or the Cabinet is going to violently remove them from the ring! Will gets a mic and says that they don’t have a bear, or an elephant, or an ox, but they do have something – and there’s the music of Moose! We’re back in time (or pre-taped, you make the call) as the big guy makes his way to the ring. Man, I feel bad for Stokely; he’s got no other clients in ROH! And it looks like we’re going to Teddy Long our way into a little six-man tag match! And that’ll happen after these great ads!

We’re back with the Young Bucks and Adam Cole, who promise that just because the Briscoes have been there since Day 1, well, that doesn’t matter! Because here’s another number 1 – the Young Bucks are the #1 tag team in the world today! And next week, they’ll prove it!

Back to the ring!

Moose, Will Ferrara, & Cheeseburger vs The Cabinet (Caprice Coleman, Rhett Titus, & Kenny King)

Code of Honor is followed….by the Cabinet, who shake each other’s hands. The other three don’t take too kindly to that and attack! Meanwhile, Nigel says that he has to go to the back because there’s something going on with Kyle. Oh, you mean Kyle O’Reilly? The man who should be wrestling right now?! Great, now everything sucks again. The Cabinet quickly clears out the ring of Will and Burger, and turn their attention to Moose for a little triple team. They whip him to the corner and Rhett charges, but he eats an elbow. Kenny charges now, he takes the other elbow. Coleman tries a clothesline, but Moose ducks it and runs up to the top rope, springing crossbody onto the ANX! Ferrara is back in now, and he comes off the second rope with a ‘rana onto Caprice. Cheeseburger is also back up, and he comes in with a springing knee onto Rhett Titus. The faces do a triple pose in the center of the ring, and it’s hilarious how much larger Moose is than the other two. Burger whips Will into Kenny in the corner and follows him with a forearm of his own. Droptoehold by Ferrara on Kenny and Cheeseburger hits a jumping elbow onto King for two. Wait, forget this match; Kevin Kelly has some breaking news in his ear! Apparently, Kyle O’Reilly is refusing to take no for an answer, and he still wants his match! Yeah! In the meantime, Ferrara takes a knee to the back from Titus off an Irish Whip, but who cares? Nigel’s apparently trying to sort all this out in the back while King jumps over the top rope and snaps Will across it. Coleman in now and he tosses Will to the post. Coleman with a stomp and a jumping knee onto Will as Kevin says that he’ll have the final word after this match, which he’s done a spectacular job of making me not care about. Kneelifts from Caprice and he tags in Kenny, who tags in Rhett. Slingshot legdrop by King into a splash by Titus. 1,2, no! Rhett goes to the chinlock, Will tries to fight up. Titus tosses him back into the heel corner and charges, but Will gets the boot up. Elbows knock King and Coleman off the apron, and Will somersaults through and tags in Moose. Everyone charges at Moose one at a time, and everyone eats a shoulderblock one at a time. Moose goes corner to corner on the ANX and sets Rhett on the top rope, Kenny charges so Moose puts him up there too. Moose with the dropkick to send King to the floor! Titus manages to stand up, so Moose grabs him in a choke and hits a sitout powerbomb! 1,2, NO! Moose is owning this ring….so he tags in Cheeseburger? Well, he did sign with TNA, so I suppose that smarts aren’t exactly his game. Rocket Launcher attempt hits the knees of Rhett while Coleman and King pull Moose outside. Moose attempts to send Coleman to the post, but Caprice do-si-dos around and slides back through with a dropkick, which stuns Moose enough for King to hit a corkscrew Plancha! Nice one, too. Back in and Titus has Burger in trouble, but Burger escapes and Will comes off with a tornado DDT onto Titus! Coleman back in now with a choke STO on Will, but Burger comes up behind and nails him with a Shotei Palm Strike. He goes for it on Titus, but Rhett just punches him in the face. Simple, yet effective. Titus charges, but this time Burger gets the palm strike! He goes up, but King runs across the ring and gets an enzuigiri on the top rope. And then, in one of the most amateurish moves I’ve seen in ROH in a long time, Coleman goes for the no-hands ‘rana off the top and misses it….or does he? Well, Cheeseburger was kind enough to literally jump off the top by himself (as in, the camera made it absolutely clear that there was space between Caprice not landing the move and Burger just jumping off). What a team player. And he rolls right into Titus, who finishes this mess with a brainbuster. Thank God. (The Cabinet over Moose, Will Ferrara, & Cheeseburger, pinfall, 5:43)

WORTH WATCHING? This sucked. If this was the last time we see Moose in an ROH ring, he deserved better. NO, you can skip this one. It was a mess from start to finish with soft shots, phantom moves, and a nonsensical angle that isn’t going to amount to much of anything. Also, it wasn’t Jay/Kyle, so screw it.

Post-match, the Cabinet celebrates as Kevin Kelly asks Nigel to repeat something to him. Kelly tells us that he has news we’re not going to believe; in spite of doctor’s orders, Kyle O’Reilly says that he WILL take the match, and he will face Jay Lethal for the ROH World Title! YEAH! Kyle O’Reilly is ALL THAT IS MAN. And that match will happen after these ads! Woo-hoo!

We’re back to the music (again) of Kyle O’Reilly! He makes his way to the ring, shoulder taped and looking subdued but determined. Kyle doesn’t even pose, selling the arm the whole way and crouching in the corner. Jay Lethal is out now, shaking his head as he walks towards the ring. He looks conflicted as he gets in the ring, doing a killer job of looking like he really doesn’t want to do this. Big time ring intros by Bobby Cruise, and Lethal grabs the mic. “Hold on, hold on, hold on. Kyle, contrary to popular belief, I have a lot of respect for you.” He tells Kyle that he doesn’t have anything to prove, we can do this some other time, man! Kyle tells Jay that he appreciates the concern, but as long as there’s a breath in his body, he’ll fight for that belt, and they’ll fight like men! So ref, kindly, please, ring the bell!

Kyle O’Reilly vs Jay Lethal – Ring of Honor World title 

“Ring the bell, Todd!” is the chant as we get set to go. Code of Honor is followed, with Lethal still telling Kyle that they don’t have to do this. The bell rings and we’re underway! A few kicks by Kyle to start, but Jay takes him over into a side headlock. Kyle rolls through into a headscissors, but Jay maneuvers out and reapplies the headlock. Kyle shoots him off and Lethal runs him over with a shoulderblock on the bad shoulder, and Kyle hits the mat in pain. Jay pauses (he’s selling how conflicted he is right now REALLY well) but finally goes over to O’Reilly, who surprises him with a snapmare and a kick to the back. Kyle goes for the big roundhouse but Lethal avoids it, and now he realizes that he’s going to have to win this match. Lethal goes straight for the injured shoulder now with an armwringer, but Kyle makes the ropes. O’Reilly goes to the apron and tries to walk it off, while the announcers put over that Jay has become a more mature wrestler and champ after passing the one year mark with the title. O’Reilly back in now and he goes for a triangle, which would only require one of his arms, but Jay pretty easily escapes that. Kyle throws kicks in the corner, but has to stop to walk off his shoulder again. This man is a God at selling injuries. Kyle charges but gets sent to the apron by Lethal. Jay goes for a dropkick but misses and Kyle applies a rear-naked choke from the apron, first with the bad arm then switching to the good one after his shoulder is too hurt to hold it on.  Jay stretches out the injured arm to break the hold and gets a spinkick to Kyle, who puts up the injured arm to block on instinct and howls in pain as he falls to the floor, clutching the shoulder. I’ll be clutching anything around me while I wait in anticipation of coming back from these ads!

We’re back with Lethal pounding away on the shoulder of Kyle. Kyle tries to put a front choke on Jay with the injured arm, but he can’t hold it and Jay just pries it off and sends O’Reilly face first to the canvas. That gets a one count as the announcers speculate that Jay is holding back a little from really going after Kyle. Kyle makes the comeback with strikes and a legsweep, again trying not to use the injured arm. More kicks and a straight knee from O’Reilly. Ax and Smash attempt by Kyle is countered into the Lethal Combination for two. Lethal turns over into a crossface, putting the injured arm above his head to punish the shoulder. Kyle stretches for the ropes and makes it to break, rolling out to the floor. Lethal with the tope, sending Kyle to the barricade. Again! The ref goes out to check on Kyle, but Jay decides to follow him out and bring O’Reilly back in. He goes at Kyle, but O’Reilly pulls the ropes down and Jay gets dumped to the floor, and now Kyle hits a tope of his own! He injured the shoulder again on the dive and can’t capitalize, though. Nigel says that he’s been in this position before, you feel like your arm could drop off any second, and it could. KYLE HAS LEPROSY! Get him away from the populated areas! Kyle tosses Jay back in now and goes up, missile dropkick by Kyle! But O’Reilly hurt himself on the landing and is rolling around clutching his shoulder, as Kelly is begging the ref to stop the match now. Lethal is actually the first one up and he goes to the top now, but he doesn’t want to do it….Hail to the King elbow by Lethal! Wait, O’Reilly caught him! He’s trying for the armbar! He can’t break Lethal’s hands, which are locked together, with one good arm though, and rolls Lethal over to try for a triangle. Lethal breaks it by kicking Kyle in the shoulder, and we’re going to get a break too; our final ad break of the evening!

We’re back with Lethal hitting a release German on Kyle, who lands on his injured shoulder. Kyle tries to pop up and hit one of his own, but he can’t even lift Jay, who pushes him off and hits a superkick! Kyle hits the ropes, though, and gets the rebound clothesline! O’Reilly lifts Lethal off pure adrenaline using the injured shoulder and hits the Brainbuster, but once again he can’t get over to Jay for a cover because of his shoulder. Finally, he manages to crawl over and drape his body on Jay’s. 1,2, NO! Lethal grabbed the injured arm and reapplied the crossface! Kyle tries to roll through, but Lethal hangs on. O’Reilly uses the last of his strength to lift Lethal up and Regalplex him, but he has nothing left, as he’s just clutching his shoulder on the mat. Kyle finally gets to his feet and goes over to Jay, but Lethal has had ENOUGH of this shit and picks Kyle up and hits FOUR shoulderbreakers in a row on the injured arm! Lethal signals for the Lethal Injection, but he can’t bring himself to do it and asks the ref to stop the match instead. The ref looks like he’s going to do it, but Kyle is back up now and he begs the ref not to, then turns around and tells Lethal to bring it on! Big slugfest in the middle of the ring! They keep teeing off on each other until they hit each other at the same time, with Lethal coming up and hitting a bicycle kick to the shoulder! Lethal Injection! 1,2,3. (Jay Lethal over Kyle O’Reilly, pinfall, 13:07)

WORTH WATCHING? This one is pretty tough. It was more of an angle than a match in some ways. But if you want to see one of the main reasons that I love Kyle, look no further. Everything he did in this match revolved around him selling the chairshots from earlier, to the point where he took collateral damage off any move that hit the shoulder in the slightest way, but still fought on until he couldn’t fight anymore. His selling in this match was absolutely impeccable and flawless, and he looks like a hero for fighting as hard as he did the whole time to win even though he really had almost no shot. And Jay deserves a ton of credit too, as a dude who didn’t really want to hurt Kyle but wanted to keep his title more; he had a hard line to walk here and walked it very well. YES, I’m giving this a well-earned thumbs up. 

Post-match, Lethal slams the mat in frustration at what he had to do, grabs his belt and yells “That’s not right!” at Nigel while pointing at Kyle in the ring before stalking to the back. O’Reilly is rolling in pain in the ring as the refs come out to help him….but the Bullet Club comes back out through the crowd! I don’t believe they’re there to help. Indeed, the Bucks lay into Kyle with stomps as Cole tosses the chairs back into the ring. Kelly pleads for mercy as Cole holds off security with a chair while the Bucks get Kyle up and hit him with an Indytaker onto the other chair. Fish and Lethal run out to make the save as the Bullet Club retreats, and Nigel gets a mic. “THAT IS IT!” He points at Cole and says that since Cole always says that as long as he’s in ROH, Kyle O’Reilly will never win the ROH World title, well, as long as Nigel is the ROH matchmaker, Adam Cole will NEVER get another shot at the ROH World title! Cole screams at Nigel from the crowd as Kelly promises us that Adam Cole will have no more World title matches, and we’re done for the week.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Let me say something: I don’t read spoilers on ROH. I like the surprise of finding out week to week what’s happening. And this week, I was glad. I was a little more sarcastic than I normally am in this week’s recap, and the main reason is that I had those honest emotions while watching the show, which means that it did the job it needed to do. Cole got over as an asshole, Lethal continued his tweaks to his persona that have been more readily apparent, and O’Reilly came out looking like a hero who fought the good fight. We’ve got ready-made matches for the future, because who honestly believes that Cole ISN’T going to end up with the title shot at Death before Dishonor? He’s got matches with Lethal and a well-earned feud with Kyle ready to go after that. The key is that they have to put the belt on him, but I think that they will; even ROH has to recognize that Cole is just on another level at this point.

The rest of the show sucked from an in-ring perspective, but this show was all about the angle and the main event. Skip the middle portion and watch the beginning and end, as they used the TV show relatively well this week to further the main angles, especially the Bullet Club. I’m cautiously optimistic for the future.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter