Ring of Honor – August 17th, 2016

Howdy!

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

Notable news from around the world of ROH this week….

–Ring of Honor has entered into an agreement with CMLL wrestling in Mexico similar to the NJPW deal; their press release states that the three companies will be working with each other to promote, and some ROH stars will be heading to Mexico as part of the agreement. Nothing concrete yet, but expect more in the future.

–Death Before Dishonor XIV is THIS Friday night! Of course, you can expect the BEST DAMN PPV preview from yours truly, going up on finer Blog of Dooms everywhere on Friday, but here’s your card:

Donovan Dijak vs Jay White vs Kamaitachi vs Lio Rush – #1 Contender’s match for the TV title
Jay Briscoe vs “Hangman” Adam Page
CHAOS (Rocky Romero, Trent Baretta, & Toru Yano) vs Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa)
Silas Young vs Katsuyori Shibata
Kazuchika Okada vs Dalton Castle – Non-title match
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & EVIL) vs Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs The Addiction (c) (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) – Triple Threat match for the ROH World tag team titles
Bobby Fish (c) vs Mark Briscoe – World TV title match
Jay Lethal (c) vs Adam Cole – Ring of Honor World Championship match

It’s a stacked card, folks – I’ll break it all down in my PPV preview on Friday!

But that’s the PPV – in the meantime, Ring of Honor does have themselves a TV show! Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 8/17/16

Opening video recaps last week, as Lethal asks for Cole at the PPV, Nigel doesn’t want to do it, Cole comes out and calls him a bitch, Lethal asks again, and Nigel’s like ‘alright, I suppose.’

We are TAPED from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! Your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. Kelly asks Nigel is he’s had any second thoughts about his decision last week, and Nigel says that he does, but he made his decision and has to stand behind it! Yeah! Just like when he said Adam Cole wasn’t getting any more title shots and he stood behind it! Wait a second…..

Anyway, Kelly tells us that the tag team title situation for Death Before Dishonor is up in the air, as the Addiction were scheduled to defend their belts against the Motor City Machineguns and War Machine in a triple threat, but the Guns are injured and War Machine suffered an attack earlier today; we’ll see that footage! But first, the dulcet tones of Donovan Dijak’s music are heard, and the Jolly Giant comes out, following Prince Nana. And out next is Lio Rush! This is going to be a matchup of the 2015 Top Prospect winner vs the 2016 Top Prospect winner; my heart is just a-flutter!

Donovan Dijak (w/ Prince Nana) vs Lio Rush

So, when my nephew was about 5 years old and I would watch wrestling with him, he used to try to do the moves on me and I’d have to get down on my knees because of the size difference; that’s pretty much what we’re dealing with here, as Dijak TOWERS over Rush. He crouches down to shake the hand of Rush, as the Code of Honor is followed. The camera shows us a group of fans holding up signs that say they’re part of the ‘Dijak District’; arrest those people, Philly police. Don’t let them try to stop you, they know what they did.

Rush tries to grab the leg of Dijak to start, Dijak manages to grab him anyway and get the overhead suplex throw almost all the way across the ring on a squirmy Rush. Rush catches Dijak with some shots as Donovan approaches, but Dijak cuts that off with a kneelift. Cross-corner whip sends Rush flying out of the ring after he hits the buckles, and they’re not hiding the dynamic they’re going for here, are they? Dijak goes out after him and whips him towards the barricade, Rush manages to stop himself and leapfrog a charging Dijak, who spears the barricade. Lio goes for the Rush Hour on the floor, but Dijak catches him and hits another kneelift. He looks to chokeslam Rush on the floor, but Lio catches himself on the apron and ‘ranas Dijak headfirst into the barricade! Nana prevents Rush from getting back in the ring, because there’s only a ref and Nigel at ringside, what are they to do against the power of Prince Nana? Rush finally just shoves Nana down and gets back in. He charges Dijak in the corner and runs right into a discus boot from Dijak, doing a full somersault sell midair. Jesus Christ, Rush is bumping like a pinball out there for Dijak. Dijak covers for two. He puts Rush on his shoulders in a fireman’s carry, Lio slips out and tries to sunset flip him, but Dijak won’t go over and grabs Rush on the mat in a double choke. He picks Rush up in a slam position and knees him in the back, then tosses him backwards. Nana: “Don’t put your hands on royalty, Leo DiCaprio!” Hee. Nana is funny sometimes. Dijak goes after Lio in the corner, but Rush starts to fight back, using quick strikes and avoiding Dijak’s big punches. Dijak really, really needs to work on his punches, they’re either too short or too exaggerated; he really hasn’t found the sweet spot for a good worked punch yet. Rush keeps fighting out and dodges a Dijak clothesline with a Matrix, then a kick to the gut of Dijak is followed by an enzuigiri to send the big lug to the floor. Rush looks to fly, but the tope is caught by Dijak. He goes for a suplex on the floor, but Rush ends up on the apron and hits Dijak with a kick to the face, following that with a knee to the face and a corkscrew splash off the bottom rope onto Donovan! With Lio Rush looking to capitalize on the outside, how about some capitalism, AKA this great ad break?

We’re back with Dijak in the center of the ring and Rush going to the top. Dijak comes at Lio, but he jumps over Dijak and lands on his feet, rolling forward. He runs at Dijak, tornado DDT by Rush! 1,2, NO! Lio goes up again, but this time he gets caught by Dijak, who hits a few forearms and goes up himself. Rush slips out to the apron and gets a kick to send Dijak crashing down, Rush goes back up. Frog Splash by Rush, but he gets caught by the hand of Dijak in chokeslam position! A bit contrived there, boys, but it is pro wrestling. Chokeslam is countered by a Rush ‘rana attempt, but Dijak catches him, puts him in a Fireman’s Carry and then drops him down in a sitout powerbomb position. That gets two. Chokeslam attempt by Dijak now, Rush tries to counter that into a forward roll, Dijak counters that into Feast Your Eyes, Rush counters that into a rollup and a step-up kick to the head of Dijak. Nice sequence there. Roundhouse kick misses, but Rush connects on a strike to the head soon after, yelling “Feast your eyes!” at Dijak before hitting a basement DDT. Springboard enzuigiri by Rush! 1,2, NO! Rush with forearms, followed by headbutts, then strikes to the face of Dijak, but Donovan grabs Rush and chokeslams him across the knees! Nana gets up on the apron and tells Dijak to do it again to teach Rush a lesson, so Dijak hoists him up for Feast Your Eyes; Rush wiggles out though, and hits a REVERSE ‘RANA on Dijak! Holy S---. Kudos to Dijak for taking that move, considering his size. Rush follows that with a 450 kick and goes up, Frog Splash by Rush! 1,2, NO! They had me; I thought that was it. Crowd chants “This is awesome” and for the first time I can ever remember in the history of Donovan Dijak matches, they’re RIGHT. Rush fires shots at Dijak and goes for Rush Hour, but Donovan catches him mid-move and lifts him into position for Feast Your Eyes, but Rush lands on his feet and grabs a crucifix! 1,2,3! (Lio Rush over Donovan Dijak, pinfall, 10:33)

WORTH WATCHING? – A very watchable big man/little man match; with the two of these guys being so disparate in size, you kind of had to do it that way. And it worked. YES, this one is worth 10 minutes of your time. Rush might turn out to be a once-in-a-lifetime talent, as his striking and his quickness are breathtaking to watch when used in concert with each other. Combine that with his bumps to put over Dijak in this match, and you’ve got a great performance. Don’t think that I’m discounting Dijak’s performance out there; he more than kept up his end of the bargain. Despite still needing work on his strikes, he hit all of his moves smoothly and I’ve got mad respect for anyone who’s that tall that’s also willing to take that reverse ‘rana bump, because if it were me, I sure as f--- wouldn’t. A good, fun match with the right result before the 4 corners match on Friday.

Post-match, Dijak is rather perturbed that he lost and lays in some boots on Rush; Nana joins in the fun as well. Jay White runs in to make the save, but you just know that Kamaitachi is right on his heels to put a stop to that, as Kama and Dijak take out White and leave him laying. Security hits the ring to put a stop to all this fightin’ and Kelly reminds us that these 4 men will meet on Friday to determine the #1 Contender for the TV title! Speaking of TV, let’s watch some great ads on THIS TV!

We’re back with Dalton Castle and the Boys! “Every time I see a miniature horse, I think I’m just seeing a regular horse, really far away!” Yeah! Wait, I mean Huh? But Dalton has more. He starts to speak, but he’s interrupted by Caprice Coleman! Damnit Caprice, now I’ll never know what the horse metaphor was going to be! Maybe he was just literally talking about horses. Yeah, I could totally see Castle doing that. Anyway, where were we? Yes, Coleman! He interrupts Dalton and introduces the Cabinet. Rhett Titus makes a move towards one of the Boys and Dalton puts a stop to that; the Cabinet tells Castle that he can’t protect the Boys forever, but Dalton says that these Boys don’t need to be protected, they can kick anybody’s ass! Kenny King says that the Cabinet is going to check the polling stations, but they know that everyone wants Castle removed from wrestling, and they’re going to see about it! The Cabinet walks out as Castle watches them go.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE HORSES, DAMNIT?

Back to Nigel and Kevin at ringside, and they have to get the World Tag team title situation sorted out tonight, hopefully. The title defense of the Addiction is up in the air, as the Guns were already on the shelf. But as we’re about to see, War Machine got attacked by Keith Lee and Shane Taylor backstage at a recent ROH event; let’s go to the footage! And indeed, that’s what we see, as Taylor and Lee attack War Machine before they can give an interview and leave them laying.

Back to Kevin, who’s standing by with Hangman Page. We see footage of Page attacking Jay Briscoe in the back at a recent event, putting his noose around Jay’s neck before security pulls him off. Kelly wants to know what’s next for Page. “Every move that I make is a bidding of the Bullet Club.” And the Bullet Club’s current mission is to scratch out every piece of gold they can find, whether it’s in ROH or in NJPW; the Briscoes have something that Page wants, and it’s the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team championships. But the issue between Page and Briscoe has been much more personal. So come on down at Death Before Dishonor and see how much Jay Briscoe can Man Up before Adam Page puts his mangy ass DOWN. Well, Jay Briscoe comes out to those words and he doesn’t have a mic in his hand, folks. They brawl all over the ringside area before security manages to break it up. Man, security has actually been doing their job well this week! Cary Silkin must have hired them instead of Nigel. Maybe he found the company from a great television ad, like the ones we’ll watch on this ad break!

We’re back and it appears that Page and Briscoe managed to brawl all through the commercial break. Nigel must have hired security. Anyway, they show the footage of War Machine getting attacked again, and apparently still during the break, the Addiction hit the ring and had a few things to say. Basically, there’s not going to be a World Tag team title match, and the Addiction is going to take the night off. But Roppongi Vice hits the ring and says that they’re completely healthy, and they just spent a month in Japan and went undefeated, so that has to count for something, right? They lay out the challenge for the titles, Vice vs The Addiction! But that isn’t all, as now the Young Bucks come out. ALL THIS HAPPENED ON THE COMMERCIAL BREAK? The Bucks have something to say: “What do you say that we go from this potential two and a half star match at best, and we make this a five star classic? How about a three-way dance?” Crowd would very much like that to occur, but Nigel points out that the Addiction signed to face the Guns and War Machine, not Roppongi or the Bucks, so he can’t make the match for the titles. But Roppongi deserves a title shot, while the Bucks, due to their actions outside the ring, don’t deserve it at all! But Nigel has to face facts; the Guns are out, War Machine is out, so right now, we’re going to have a #1 Contender’s match: The Young Bucks vs Roppongi Vice! And now you’re up to speed on what happened on the LONGEST AD BREAK IN THE HISTORY OF PRO WRESTLING. But on the other hand, we didn’t have to listen to any promos that may or may not have been boring! And we’ll have that match after these great ads!

We’re back, and Kevin Kelly tells us that during THAT ad break, we’ve now progressed to December and it’s time for Final Battle 2016!

Naw, that didn’t happen.

We’re back with the ringing of the bell!

Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Trent Baretta) vs The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson)

We’ve been joined on commentary by the Addiction, and it looks like Matt and Romero are going to start us off. Lockup goes to the ropes and Jackson gives a clean break, but Rocky takes the cheap shot. They trade shots and Matt pokes Rocky in the eye, then takes over with forearms and stomps. Romero ducks a clothesline and snaps off a ‘rana in response, as Daniels and Kaz are talking up the match on PPV against Los Ingobernables & Elgin/Tanahashi. Romero goes for Sliced Bread #2, but Matt catches him and sets up for the Indytaker, but Rocky escapes and stuns Matt with a European uppercut. They do a nice sequence avoiding each other’s kicks before Romero catches Jackson with the last one, right in the face. Seeing a Buck get kicked in the face brings a smile to mine, I must admit. Tag to Baretta and he takes out Nick on the apron, setting up the Vice doubleteam on Matt. Double elbow by Roppongi, followed by a kick from Romero and a standing moonsault from Trent. 1,2, no! Baretta chops at Matt, then chokes him against the top rope before tagging in Rocky. You know, Baretta actually is pretty good both on the mic and in the ring; check out his NJPW stuff or Evolve stuff. I wish they’d give him and Rocky more to do in ROH, but I know that their #1 commitment right now is NJPW. Chops by Romero, then a back rake. Romero sends Jackson into the turnbuckle cross-corner as the Addiction now is talking about Trent having ‘resting jerkface’. It’s actually a little funnier than it sounds; not much, but a little. Slam by Romero and he tags in Trent, who runs the ropes on the apron shaking his hand out, I know what’s coming….but Nick Jackson runs in and superkicks Baretta! Headscissors by Matt holds Romero in place, and a dropkick by Nick sends him to the floor. The Bucks do Omega’s Terminator pose in the ring, then run the ropes; stereo topes onto Roppongi Vice on the floor! Nick tosses Trent back in, and Matt comes in and does the ARROGANT COVER~! for one. Jericho must be proud. Tag to Nick, who comes in off the top dropping forearms onto Baretta. Corner whip and Nick charges, Baretta gets his feet up, Nick catches them and puts them on the second rope, then hits a reverse neckbreaker on Baretta. He holds him in place and Matt comes in with a Swanton that, if we’re being generous with the use of the word, grazed Baretta. 2 count, but Rocky breaks that up and now all 4 guys are in. Romero tosses Matt and goes to work on Nick, laying in a stiff shot in the corner. Romero is really good; I don’t give him enough credit. Back elbow by Nick and he runs across the ring and leaps to the apron, going for the down the line kick to Trent. Baretta catches the leg and puts Nick on his shoulders, and now Rocky runs across to the apron and hits a running knee Doomsday Device onto Nick Jackson! Baretta asks for a high-five from Rocky as Kelly tells us that we’re due to watch some great ads during this ad break! Let’s do it!

We’re back with Vice double-teaming Nick in the corner. Romero whips Baretta at Nick, but Trent eats some boot, and a charge from Romero runs right into an elbow from Nick. He spins over a bent over Rocky and hits a spinning heel kick onto Trent, and we get tags on both sides. Romero gets caught in the gut by a shoulder from Matt on the apron, and Matt slides into the ring, then turns around and tosses Rocky. He turns his attention to Baretta now. Clothesline! Again! Irish whip, but Matt jumps through the ropes to hit Rocky, then skins the cat back into the ring and hits Sliced Bread onto Baretta, finishing the sequence by sliding to the floor and superkicking Rocky. Matt goes up and Baretta starts to stir, so Matt jumps off the top and superkicks Trent back down, then goes back up and hits a top rope elbow! 1,2, no! Powerbomb attempt by Matt, but Trent slips out. Jackson with a kick to the midsection, but he runs right into a chop from Baretta. Matt fires back with the ‘Suck it’ punches, but takes too long coming off the ropes and gets caught with double knees from Roppongi. Now Nick is back and he takes out Trent, but gets caught with a high knee from Rocky, and Romero finishes by clotheslining Nick back out to the floor. He goes for the Forever clotheslines in the corner, but only gets two before Matt avoids the third. Jackson does two of his own and goes for the third, Romero dodges that, superkick by Matt! Romero tells him to ‘suck it!’ and turns him inside-out with a clothesline! Both guys are down and Matt rolls to the floor, where Baretta is waiting. He gets Matt in position for Strong Zero as Rocky goes up, but Nick Jackson runs back in and superkicks Rocky to put a stop to that. Nick heads to the apron and gets a running kick to Baretta’s face, causing Matt to powerbomb him on the way down. Neato. The Bucks turn their attention over to the Addiction now, superkicking Daniels and Kaz off commentary. Back in now, and Nick wants to know who wants a superkick party? Well, the audience apparently does. The first attempt is blocked by Trent, but the Bucks double legsweep him and hit a double superkick while he’s in a seated position, then one for Romero as he makes his way to the apron. Matt drapes Trent across the second rope and holds him in place, 450 splash by Nick Jackson! 1,2, NO! Nick hops to the apron and calls for the Meltzer Driver, but the Addiction are back now, so Nick just moonsaults them instead. Baretta reverses the hold in the ring, Dudebuster by Trent! 1,2, NO! Baretta puts Matt on the top rope and follows him up, Matt fights him off with elbows, but before he can come off, Trent is back and hits a release German off the top rope, turning Matt inside-out! That was suh-weet! Romero back in now, and he does a running tope onto Nick on the floor. Baretta lines Matt up, running knee strike by Trent! He goes for the cover, 1,2, Jackson reversed to a crucifix! 1,2,3! (The Young Bucks over Roppongi Vice, pinfall, 12:31)

WORTH WATCHING? These teams know each other inside and out, and the result is normally about the same. As is the case with most Bucks matches, everything broke down in the middle and we just started straight up ignoring the tags, which is just something that I’ve grown to accept about watching Bucks matches. YES, if you like the Bucks, this was fine. The second half of the match was far better than the first, as they really turned it into high gear there. I know that the Bucks are a weird case in ROH, but they are TECHNICALLY heels, and I wouldn’t mind seeing them act like it every once in awhile instead of continually sucking up to the crowd, but I get that things are different for the Jackson boys. Watch at your own discretion.

Post-match, the Addiction get in and put a whuppin’ on the Bucks, including hitting Matt with Celebrity Rehab across one of the title belts. Now, since the Bucks kicked them first, I don’t totally understand why they’re the bad guys here, but whatever. Nothing about the Bucks makes any sense anyway. More stomps from Daniels as Kelly tells us that up next, we’ll get the contract signing between Adam Cole and Jay Lethal; but what’s actually up next? These great ads!

We’re back as Kelly runs down the card quickly, and there’s the music of the Bullet Club as Adam Cole makes his way to the ring. Footage of Lethal getting his head shaved runs as Cole gets in the ring. Jay Lethal’s music is next, and frankly, I kind of dig the bald look on Lethal. He makes his way into the ring, and let’s get this party started.

Lethal tosses his chair from the ring as Cole leans back in his as Nigel tell us that on Friday, August 19th, Jay Lethal will defend the ROH title against Adam Cole, and we’re here to make it official, sign the ink, make it happen! Any final words, gentlemen? Cole: “Who’s ready for storytime with Adam Cole, bay-bay?” You know I am, Adam! He asks Jay if he’s sure about this; he’s mad at Cole now, he can’t imagine how angry Lethal is going to be when Cole takes the title from him! But let’s stop for a second here; you know, Jay, when I shaved your head, which looks great by the way, it wasn’t personal. It was to prove a point; and that point is that Cole can take whatever he wants from Lethal! And at Death Before Dishonor, he’s going to take the World title from him! Lethal may think he’s the man, but the whole world knows that Adam Cole runs the show in ROH! He’ll give Lethal credit – Lethal’s one of the best in the world….but so is Cole. And they’re going to go one on one at Death Before Dishonor, and Cole has no intention of stealing the show with Jay, just stealing the ROH World title!

Lethal’s turn now, and he asks Nigel for the contract and to show him where to sign. But before he does, he wants Cole to know something. Every match that Lethal has had in ROH has been about the Ring of Honor World Championship. No matter if it was an outsider like Alberto El Patron, or someone he hated like Jay Briscoe, or Roderick Strong beating the crap out of him; it’s always been about the Ring of Honor World Championship. Lethal doesn’t give a crap what anyone else says; the Ring of Honor title is the most prestigious title in the wrestling business! But with that said, for the first time ever, this one isn’t about an ROH World championship; this is personal. Lethal can’t stop thinking about one thing, Adam, and that’s revenge. He needs revenge, because every time he walks past a mirror, he’s reminded of Adam Cole! And at Death Before Dishonor, he’s got no cool catchphrases, it’s quite simple; Lethal is coming to Las Vegas to FIGHT!

Lethal throws down the mic and signs. Cole: “Ladies first, right champ?” Cole makes a promise to Lethal, and that’s that Jay just signed away the ROH World championship! As Cole signs the contract, Lethal casually tosses a pair of scissors on the table. Cole looks confused, and looks up – and Lethal attacks! They slug it out, and Cole gets a superkick to put Jay down! He grabs the title and tells Lethal that the title will be his! He waves it in Lethal’s face….low blow by Jay Lethal! Cole got racked! Lethal gets the scissors, he’s going to cut Cole’s hair! Cole manages to fight him off long enough for the Bucks to make the save, as they help Cole to the outside. Cole yells that Lethal is a dead man from the outside as the crowd chants for Lethal and he holds his title high. And we’re done for the week.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Nothing offensive on this one tonight, with two watchable matches and the final build to the main event of Death Before Dishonor. Ring of Honor has done a pretty decent job with the build for the main of this PPV, something they’ve been missing for awhile. Cole and Lethal are set to go to war, yet who do I think will win? Well, the PPV preview is going up on Friday, you’ll have my answer then. Until then, this week’s ROH TV is worth a watch, with minimal bad and two decent longish matches.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze