Ring of Honor – August 10th, 2016

Howdy!

Let’s get the preliminaries out of the way here….Nothing notable this week in ROH, except for the announcement of a working agreement with CMLL; check out the Daily Update for details, as Mr. Brian Bayless has you covered.

We’re one week away from Death Before Dishonor! Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 8/10/16

Video package recaps last week’s episode, notably the ending and the Bullet Club shaving Lethal’s head at the end, along with footage of Lethal’s reaction in the bathroom afterwards. What will the Bullet Club do this week?

New intro, with Roderick Strong and Moose edited out.

We are TAPED from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. This crowd is JACKED, by the way. Tonight. it’s a rematch from Global Wars as Jay Lethal puts the Ring of Honor World title on the line against Colt Cabana! Nigel promises that there will be extra security at ringside to make sure there’s a clear winner tonight! Yeah! We all know that Nigel hires ONLY THE BEST security, so I’m sufficiently satisfied! Also tonight, Mark Briscoe will be Bobby Fish’s guest on the Fish Tank! But up first, we hear the dulcet tones of Will Ferrara’s music. I dig Will, and it’s always good to see him. He’s followed by the music of one Mr. Jay White, who Kelly calls one of the ‘hottest stars EVER to kick off his Ring of Honor career’, and I think that perhaps Kevin might be….well….CRAZY. Yes, White is very good, but he’s green as grass. Calm the f--- down. Still, hopefully this match will be pretty good – let’s watch!

Jay White vs Will Ferrara

Code of Honor is followed. Will goes for the arm right away with an armwringer and drops Jay to the mat with a wristlock. White springs up out of it, but Will puts him right back down. White tries an armdrag to escape, but Will rolls through and hangs onto the wristlock. I love it when wrestlers do stuff like that, I really do. White rolls through and gets the armdrag after a nice sequence of counters, and follows that with a deep armdrag that Ferrara turns into a headscissors on the mat, and we’ve got ourselves a stalemate right here as the crowd gives them a nice round of applause. This time, Will goes for a side headlock, White shoots him off and chops him in the chest; may I say that I love the way that Will sells chops? It’s such a minor thing, but he really does make it look like he’s in agony out there. Another chop and Jay sends Will cross-corner, but runs into a Ferrara boot off a blind charge. Will comes off the second rope with a ‘rana on Jay! La Magistral gets two for Will, and he hangs on and rolls White over again for another two. Whip by Will is reversed by Jay, who takes Will down with an elbow across the chest, which gets a one count. Belly-to-back suplex by White. He wrings the arm and takes Will over, rolling through into a hammerlock on the mat. He ties up Will’s legs in a cloverleaf position and takes the other arm back, twisting the wrist around. Ow, ow, ow. That looks like it HURTS. He adds to the pain by grabbing the fingers of Ferrara and pulling them apart, then rolling him over in a crucifix position for two. White with the snapmare and chinlock on Will. Will fights up, but White cuts that off with a knee to the midsection. Jay off the ropes and he eats a back elbow from Will, followed by a Ferrara clothesline. Another! Jay goes the corner, running elbow from Ferrara! Fireman’s carry, but White elbows his way out and shoves Will to the ropes. White charges, but Will sidesteps and Jay gets dumped to the floor. Will runs the ropes, tope by Will sends Jay to the barricade! And by sheer coincidence, it sends us to our first break to watch great ads!

We’re back with Will springing back into the ring, double jump Tornado DDT on White! 1,2, no! Will with a half-nelson, White takes him to the corner to break, Ferrara hangs on, so Jay throws back elbows and Ferrara decides that it’s probably time for him to break the hold now. White ducks a clothesline and just punches Will in the face. Attaboy. Violence solves everything! Running European uppercut in the corner by White, who follows that with a running vertical suplex on Will. White goes up, missile dropkick hits! 1,2, no! They slug it out in the center of the ring, won by Will. He counters a White reversal into a Paydirt, 1,2, NO! Will comes off the ropes RIGHT into a Jay White dropkick that flattens him, though, and Jay catches him with a spinning Uranage! 1,2, NO! That was Will’s last stand, though, as White hooks him up and hits the Kiwi Crusher for the 1,2,3. (Jay White over Will Ferrara, pinfall, 7:52)

WORTH WATCHING? It was a decent match, part of what Scott would probably call Perfectly Acceptable Wrestling. I wouldn’t put it on any best-of lists, but it was similar to what the Young Lions do in NJPW before the bigger guys come out, and on that front, YES, I would check this out again. Not setting the world on fire, but both guys can work; Ferrara needs something to stand out a bit from the pack, though.

Post-match, Code of Honor is followed as Will shakes out his hand, still selling that finger pull from earlier.

Let’s go to a special announcement about Death Before Dishonor……SHIBATA~!!!! YES!!!! Katsuyori Shibata will make his Ring of Honor debut at Death Before Dishonor, and for those of you that don’t know him, FIND OUT ABOUT HIM. He is one of my favorite wrestlers in NJPW, a badass stiff striker that looks as though he’d kill you for looking at him sideways. He just got finished with a war with Nagata and the rest of the old guard of NJPW, and currently still has a chance in the G-1 Climax. He’s the NEVER Openweight champ, and I can’t say enough about him. He’s awesome.

Back to Nigel and Kevin at the booth, where Nigel tells us that Shibata will take on Silas Young at the PPV. Funeral arrangements for Young are pending.

Video package of Mark Briscoe beating ACH to become the #1 Contender to the TV Title airs, and while I love Mark Briscoe, there is NO WAY that he should have won this match. ACH would have benefitted a lot more and needs a shove to get to the next level. Mark is ROH royalty and needs nothing to remain perpetually over, while ACH’s feud and team with Sydal concluded with him saying that he needed to strike out on his own to make it to where he wants to be; a win over Mark would have helped that immensely. Suffice to say that I disagree strongly with the booking in that match and the choice made by ROH. You know what I don’t disagree with? These great ads! Buy the stuff!

We’re back with Mark Briscoe throwing chairs in the ring while the crowd chants “Man up!”. Jeez Mark, I apologize. Take the title shot if it’s that important. He’s got a mic, so let’s hear what he has to say! “Now listen, as many of you all know, I was scheduled to be on the award-winning, critically acclaimed segment of television known as the Fish Tank tonight!” But he’s delved deep into the annals of the inner workings of the Fish Tank, and it’s nothing but Communist propaganda! It’s divisive rhetoric! It’s Bobby Fish subliminally trying to infiltrate your mind! So he’d not going to be a guest tonight, he’s going to host his own segment; welcome to the Chicken Shack! Crowd chants for the Chicken Shack! It’s the new phenomenon! Time for our first ever inaugural guest on the Chicken Shack, the ROH World TV Champion, Bobby Fish! Fish comes out, resplendent in a 3-piece suit, to the crowd chanting his name. Once again, I must note that this crowd is just absolutely popping for EVERYTHING. Briscoe offers Bobby a seat. “Well, I gotta say Mark; thank you for having me.” What a gentleman! They trade pleasantries, with Bobby pointing out that he looks like a million bucks, which Mark agrees with. Mark brings up Bobby’s travels to NJPW, saying that he and Kyle have been kicking ass over there! But on the flight, does Bobby prefer the chicken or the fish? Bobby doesn’t eat the airplane food, to be honest! Mark next asks if it’s true that the last time in Vegas, he married an Ethiopian midget? Hey, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, Mark! Well, Bobby, Mark wants to tell him what happens next time Bobby goes to Vegas, and that’s that Mark Briscoe will become the new ROH TV champ! Well, Bobby says, let’s say the impossible happens and Mark takes the title from him in Vegas; who would Mark be then? Who would he be? Well, that was a rhetorical question, because Bobby knows who he would be; he’d still be Jay Briscoe’s little brother! OOOHHHH, s---. That might have hit a little close to home there, Fish. After Bobby choked out Ishii in Chicago, the TV title became the most important title in the company, but Mark having it would make it the secondary title all over again. Bobby calls him Jay’s little brother again, and goes to leave the ring as Mark is up out of his chair now. Security rushes the ring as Bobby tells them to watch Briscoe, because Fish is calm, cool, and collected! He taunts Mark a bit more with the TV belt and leaves the ring as security keeps Briscoe back.

Good segment, with Fish finally bringing something personal to this feud; the line about Mark just being Jay’s little brother has a ring of truth to it in a lot of ways. I’d like to see him get more promo time, as he’s fantastic at it. Speaking of fantastic, let’s watch some fantastic ads!

We’re back to the music of one Colt Cabana! The challenger makes his way to the ring as it’s main event time! Security is surrounding the ring. Jay Lethal is out next, alone again, to chants of ‘Best in the World’ from the crowd. Lethal slowly takes off his hood, showing his now bald head. Bobby Cruise does the ring intros, and it’s time to do this! Well, almost; it’s really time for these great ads!

We’re back!

Jay Lethal vs Colt Cabana – Ring of Honor World Title

Code of Honor is followed after a few words in the center of the ring. Crowd chants for both guys. Lockup goes to the corner, clean break by Colt. They trade armwringers, with Colt tripping Lethal to break and Lethal going to the ropes. Cabana opens the ropes to welcome Jay back in, and they circle once more. Go-behind by Cabana, into a snapmare then a surfboard on Lethal. Lethal reverses that into one of his own, so Cabana trips him up and locks up the ankle of Jay. Kick from Lethal to break. Lockup, Cabana with the side headlock. To the ropes, clean break, then Jay gets a side headlock of his own, Colt shoots him off, Jay runs him over with a shoulderblock. They run the ropes and Lethal slides under a Colt leapfrog and comes up with a dropkick to put Colt down, so Colt slides out to take a breather. Lethal mimics Cabana from earlier, and kindly holds open the ropes for Colt to re-enter. Greco-Roman knucklelock, with Cabana taking Jay down and stepping on his hand, then to a reverse chinlock. Side headlock by Colt, Jay shoots him off, Colt with the shoulderblock this time to put Jay down. Off the ropes, and now Cabana goes under the leapfrog and gets the dropkick to send Lethal to the floor. Lethal rubs his head on the outside as the announcers speculate that Jay might not be fully concentrating on this match. Back in now, Cabana grabs the arm of Lethal and goes to a hammerlock. Jay backs him into the corner and breaks with an elbow, then sends Colt to the other corner. Lethal charges and Colt alley-oops him to the apron, Colt tries for a shoulder, Lethal drops down to avoid it and pulls Cabana outside, Bicycle kick by Lethal! He ducks a clothesline from Colt, then slides back into the ring, runs the ropes, tope by Lethal onto Colt! Again! A third time! Crowd chants for Lethal as we need a breather to watch some great ads!

We’re back, and Colt is in control in the ring now. Cabana chops Lethal down and does a Flair strut. Whip to the corner is reversed by Lethal, Jay goes for a superkick, Cabana blocks it, so Lethal just clobbers Colt with a forearm. Running elbow in the corner by Lethal, but he takes too much time on the followup, getting turned inside-out by a Cabana clothesline! Both guys struggle to their feet, then meet in the center of the ring and slug it out. At the risk of sounding uncool, the ‘two exhausted guys meet in the center of the ring and slug it out’ thing has kind of been a little played-out for me. It’s a great spot, but there’s been a lot of it recently. Anyway, they slug it out with Lethal winning, but Cabana ducks one of them and starts firing rights of his own. Flip, Flop and Fly by Colt, he charges Jay in the corner, but Jay rolls him up. Colt rolls through that and goes for the Billy-Goat’s Curse, but Lethal kicks him off to the corner. Lethal charges right into an elbow by Cabana, who follows that up with the stutter splash! 1,2, no! Cabana wrings the arm of Lethal, but Jay is ready and turns that into the Lethal Combination! Lethal goes up, Hail to the King elbow is turned into a crucifix by Colt! That gets two. Lethal ducks a Cabana clothesline, Lethal Injection! 1,2, NO! Lethal signals for another, but Colt manages to stagger back to the corner. He’s selling the Injection really well here. Chop by Lethal and he puts Colt on the top rope, then goes up with him, setting up for a super Lethal Injection. Cabana fights him off and gets the Chicago Skyline! 1,2, NO! This match is finally picking up! You know what else you should pick up? Products from the following great ads!

We’re back with Jay pounding away on a kneeling Colt, Cabana tries to fight back, superkick by Jay! He comes off the ropes, Hip Attack by Cabana! Colt covers, 1,2, NO! Kick by Lethal, then an enzuigiri by Jay. Lethal off the ropes, Colt tries a clothesline, Lethal reverses to a Cutter! Jay goes for it again, Lethal Injection #2! Cabana’s not kicking out of a second one, folks. (Jay Lethal over Colt Cabana, pinfall, 12:03)

WORTH WATCHING? It was okayish, in that it took awhile to get going. I liked it to a certain extent, but the cutting of the match was really jarring between the commercials, and I’m just not sure these two mesh very well in the ring. I’m going with a VERY mild YES here, as I think they’re both great wrestlers, but this wasn’t their best match by a longshot. I did enjoy the second half of the match more than the first, so I’ll give it a pass.

Post-match the commentators speculate over who is left for Lethal to beat at this point, as Lethal and Cabana shake hands. Jay’s got a mic now, let’s hear what’s up. “Nigel, Nigel, Nigel, please come into the ring.” He’s got something that he wants to say to Nigel, face to face. Now normally, Lethal would be screaming about how there’s no one left; but he’s not doing that, because there is someone left! Lethal wants Adam Cole! Look at Lethal’s head! Look what Adam Cole did to him! The Bullet Club is putting Ring of Honor in the dumpster! Make the match, Nigel – Lethal vs Adam Cole at Death Before Dishonor! Nigel tells him that he can’t do it, because it would make him look like a hypocrite; there are other worthy contenders! “You have got to be kidding me!” Well lookie here, it’s one Adam Cole, Bay-Bay! He can’t believe that anyone expects to believe this crap! He accuses Lethal and Nigel of being in cahoots to prevent him from challenging for the World title! Unless Lethal defends that title against Adam Cole, his championship reign means NOTHING. He and everyone else in the ROH locker room refer to Lethal as a little bitch! Lethal loses it at that; he’s the greatest wrestler in the world! Everyone knows it! And guys like Adam Cole, that cocky little prick, the only way to set him straight is to beat him on PPV in front of the world! The crowd chants “Make the match!” at Nigel as Lethal begs him to do it! Nigel: “Jay Lethal, Friday night, August 19th, Las Vegas Nevada, Death Before Dishonor, you will defend that World title; it will be Jay Lethal against Adam Cole!” They’ve made the match! It’s gonna happen! THE ROH WEBSITE HAS PSYCHIC POWERS! Lethal and Nigel exchange words in the center of the ring as we’re done for the week.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: A decent show this week again, with them FINALLY setting up the main event for Death Before Dishonor and doing a bit of progression towards Briscoe and Fish, along with a nice little showcase for Jay White. Lethal’s title run HAS to end against Cole, though, because there really isn’t anyone left and the well is dry. Lethal’s run has been great, but Cole is just killing it right now. I’ll have more in the Death Before Dishonor PPV Preview this week, coming to the Blog of Doom!

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter