Ring of Honor – August 31st, 2016

Howdy!

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

–ROH will be introducing their first new titles in many years, as they’ve announced a tournament for World 6-Man Tag team titles. I actually support this move a little bit, as there are a few factions in ROH that this could work for, and if they’re going to continue with NJPW and CMLL, 6-man matches are obviously well-known in those areas.

–Adam Cole will defend the Ring of Honor World title in Japan at the NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima event against Will Ospreay. Ospreay is set to make his debut with the company on the ROH tour of the United Kingdom, but his main commitment remains in NJPW, as this will be part of the ROH/NJPW talent-sharing agreement.

–Speaking of Cole, rumors persist that the WWE continues to circle the ROH World champion, whose ROH contract runs out in April of 2017. Vince McMahon himself is (allegedly) spearheading this, as he’s apparently become a big fan of Adam.

My take on this? Sounds like mostly BS to me. I can’t imagine that Vince McMahon is watching Ring of Honor, much less watching a bunch of Adam Cole matches. Plus, Cole has had a tryout with the WWE before, and wasn’t signed.

Now, if he’s gonna go at any point, it makes sense that it will happen soon. Plus, with NXT being raided, there’s going to be a continued need for more talent like Cole from the indies.

Look towards Final Battle 2016, because that will probably tell the tale; if Adam drops the belt to Kyle O’Reilly, which I think is the direction we’re heading (which makes Kenny Reigns absolutely right in retrospect if it happens), then he’s probably on the move.

We’ll have to see, won’t we?

This is still a wrestling recap, right? So let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 8/31/16

We are TAPED from the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! This week, it’s all about tag teams here on ROH TV! In our main event, the Young Bucks will get a shot at The Addiction for the ROH World tag team titles. Your hosts are Kevin Kelly & (oh, f---) Matt Taven. Well, I’ll definitely be ignoring commentary this week, then. You know, ’cause Taven really sucks at it.

No wasted time as we hear the music of Shane Taylor and Keith Lee! These boys have had a few problems with their opponents tonight, and there’s the music of said opponents, Hanson and Rowe of War Machine!

War Machine (Hanson & Rowe) vs Keith Lee & Shane Taylor

Recaps of Lee and Taylor’s attacks on War Machine as we get a little context; Shane Taylor was a protege of Rowe’s, even following him to Texas, but when Rowe got signed he forgot all about Taylor, and now Shane has come for revenge. Simple, yet effective.

No Code of Honor, as War Machine rushes Taylor and Lee and the fight is on! Kevin Kelly basically tells us that we should just ignore all those ‘rules’ about one in and one out, which is a relief to those anal-retentive recappers who HATE when the tag rules get routinely violated! Hey, why is there a mirror in front of me?

Everyone pairs off and starts brawling in the corners, with Hanson tossing Taylor to the floor then following with a tope. He beats on Taylor with forearms as Rowe attempts to monkeyflip Lee, but Lee lands on his feet, which is pretty impressive for a man his size. He tries a spinkick to Rowe, but Rowe just ducks and punches Lee in the mouth. Effective. Tag to Hanson and War Machine with the doubleteam, including a Rowe knee to the mouth of Keith. Hanson gets dragged to the floor by Taylor, so Rowe does the same to Lee, and we’re paired off on the floor now, with Rowe sending Lee to the barricade. Taylor does the same to Hanson, and now Rowe runs around the ring and nails Taylor with a jumping knee to the face. More brawling on the outside and Rowe gets sent to the post by Taylor. We’re approaching almost a full minute on the floor now, with the ref not even bothering to count.

Taylor charges at Rowe against the barricade but Rowe moves, and Taylor crashes into it instead. Hanson slams Lee on the floor, and Rowe slams Hanson onto Lee right after. They finally toss Lee back into the ring and Hanson tags in Rowe. Yes, a tag. Try to contain your shock. Lee manages to backflip out of a double suplex attempt and tag in Taylor, and I’m not doing it justice by saying it that way, because Lee is a legit 250-300 pounds. It’s amazing. Shane curses at War Machine and runs right into a big boot from Hanson, followed by a slam from Rowe. Rowe off the ropes and Hanson looks to powerbomb Rowe onto Taylor, but Shane moves and Rowe just ends up getting powerbombed. Ha! Good, I hate that nonsense. Shane and Hanson fight to the corner with forearms and Lee just comes back into the mix, no tag or anything, and they pound Hanson with the doubleteam. Rowe back up now, but SHOTGUN KNEES~! hits Hanson in the corner after Lee and Taylor move out of the way, and Lee does a handoff to Taylor by flipping Rowe onto Taylor’s shoulders from a belly-to-back suplex position, which was pretty awesome. Powerslam by Taylor! Somersault Senton by Lee! Big splash by Taylor! These great ads for US!

We’re back with Taylor splashing Rowe in the corner. Lee tries one, but Rowe fights back with a spinebuster. He runs across the ring using Lee as a springboard and hits a Superman punch on Taylor, then tags in Hanson. Hanson comes in with big boots for both Taylor and Lee, then running splashes to opposite corners on both. This match is a complete mess. He finally misses a splash on Taylor, but shoves Taylor down to the mat with his knees anyway, then tries a spinkick to Lee, who avoids it and slams Hanson. Lee decides to pick up Taylor and slam him onto Hanson, thus showing that he didn’t learn from when the babyfaces already tried this and IT DIDN’T WORK IN THE SAME DAMN MATCH, and Rowe comes across the ring with double knees to put both guys down before the slam can occur. Jesus. Hanson covers for two. Rowe tries for a spinkick on Taylor now, but Shane just winds up and punches him in the mouth. Hanson tries to whip Taylor to the corner, reversal, and Hanson does the Flair over the top rope flip and goes up. Tries for what looked like a double clothesline, but Taylor and Lee catch him under the arms and hit him with a double forward slam. 1,2, NO! Double whip to Hanson, who hits a blind tag to Rowe (which is hilarious because no one has been obeying the tag rules anyway) and cartwheels through the double clothesline attempt. Clothesline from Hanson to Taylor as Rowe hoists Lee up, Decapitation! (Think a Hart Attack but with Anvil holding the guy the other way, then finishing with a German suplex) 1,2, Taylor saves it! Taylor tosses Rowe and flattens Hanson with a clothesline to put him the apron. He charges Rowe, but Rowe hits him with an Exploder! Superman punch attempt from Rowe to Lee, but Keith catches him in fireman’s carry and flips him into a powerslam! That was neato. He puts Hanson on the top rope, but Hanson catches him charging in with a Whoopie Cushion, of all things. Rowe hoists Lee up, sitout powerbomb! 1,2, NO! Rowe with a tag to Hanson and they go for Fallout, but Taylor breaks that up by crotching Hanson on the top rope and clobbering Rowe with a clothesline. Powerbomb on Rowe by Lee, then a top rope splash by Taylor, but they don’t even bother with a pin attempt. Taylor pulls Hanson off the top rope and hands him to Lee, who hits a sitout powerbomb to end it. 1,2,3. (Keith Lee/Shane Taylor over War Machine, pinfall, 9:57)

WORTH WATCHING? – I’ll certainly give mad props to the guys for tossing each other around like cruiserweights out there, but I’m not sure that’s enough to recommend the match, quite frankly. I didn’t love the middle portion and it seemed like the only story that was being told here was “I hit a big move, you kick out, you hit a big move, I kick out, rinse, repeat.” I mean, that’s fine if you like that, but I like my tag matches to actually involve using the tropes of tag team wrestling. The effort was there, the match didn’t live up to it. I’m going with a NO on this one, I’ve seen better from both teams. Lee and Taylor are tremendous, though, for guys of their size that can move. If they keep on track, they’ll have a long career.

Post-match, Lee and Taylor celebrate as Kevin tells us that in addition to our main event, we’ll also have six-man tag action, with Dalton Castle and the Boys taking on the Cabinet! And some of that will hopefully start after these great ads!

We’re back just in time to hear the music of Cheeseburger! You know, that ad break could have gone on a little longer, ROH. He’s announced as “participant #4” as Kevin Kelly tells us that we’re going to see a 4 Corners Survival match. And once I see the other participants (Tim Hughes, David Starr, and Joey Daddiego), I REALLY want to go back to watching those ads.

“Tough” Tim Hughes vs David Starr vs Cheeseburger vs Joey Daddiego – 4 Corners Survival match

Cheeseburger offers the Code of Honor to start us off and Starr looks receptive, but Hughes and Daddiego attack to cut that off…..and here comes BJ Whitmer down the aisle. Man, I haven’t said this in a long time, but I’m SO HAPPY TO SEE BJ WHITMER! He’s got a black X painted on his forehead and some eyeliner on, ’cause he’s EVIL. And now he goes and sits at the commentary desk instead of interrupting this match, so I’m rescinding my earlier happiness at seeing him. Oh man, a 3-man commentary team with Whitmer, Taven, and Kevin Kelly? Is it the opposite of Christmas? Well, I suppose I might as well recap the match, then.

Daddiego charges Cheeseburger in the corner, but ‘Burger moves, so Starr charges and ‘Burger moves again and David hits Joey, then ‘Burger suckers in Hughes, who ends up splashing everyone else in the corner when ‘Burger moves yet again. Heels are DUMB. ‘Burger fires shitty slaps (I refuse to call them chops) at Hughes, then at Starr, and only Daddiego has the self-respect to no-sell it and toss Cheeseburger in the corner. We cut back to the commentators as Matt Taven actually cracks me up by whispering to Kevin. “Kevin? What’s wrong with BJ?” Okay, I don’t like Taven on commentary, but his delivery there was pretty funny. Daddiego rocks ‘Burger in the corner with rights and poses for the crowd, allowing Starr to sneak up behind him and hit a deadlift German suplex on Joey. Bob Evans gets up on the apron to distract Starr, so David sends him back to the floor. Tim Hughes charges now and he gets tossed through the ropes onto Evans. Starr follows him out with a tope onto both guys. By the way, Whitmer has been babbling about the ’13th Step’ and other such nonsense on commentary, for those interested.

‘Burger looks to fly now, but Joey catches him and press slams him onto Bob and Tim on the floor. Starr sneaks in to try to roll Joey up, but Daddiego kicks out at two. He misses a few strikes and Starr nearly takes his head off with a gorgeous thrust kick. Very nice. Tim back in and he doublelegs David down and pounds away, but he stops to go after ‘Burger in the corner. Hughes eats a double boot from Cheeseburger but catches him and picks him up for the delayed sideslam. Starr is waiting with a knee to the face of Tim, then a shot to the back of Tim’s head coming off the ropes, and then BJ says that “It’s time” on commentary and the lights go out and f--- this. I cannot stand this entire thing.

But here’s what happens. The lights go out and there’s a Whitmer promo with Sullivan, and they’ve got Punisher Martinez from the Top Prospect tournament in the vid with them and he’s apparently joined forces with Whitmer and Sullivan. The lights come back on and Martinez is in the ring and he destroys everyone and stands tall after finally hitting Cheeseburger with a sitout chokeslam. (No Contest, interference, 4:11)

WORTH WATCHING? Jesus, NO. Stop this crap right now, ROH. Just stop it. I don’t watch this show for this garbage. The WWE would be embarrassed by this, and that’s saying something.

Post-match, Whitmer kneels in front of Punisher, who poses as Kelly tells that we’ve got more tag team action coming up….after these great ads! Please come back. Forget the previous segment ever happened.

We’re back with our brains freshly scrubbed to a Young Bucks promo, and they tell the Addiction that tonight, they’re going to become the 2-time ROH tag team champions by throwing the World’s Largest Superkick Party! Nick superkicks the camera to emphasize the point.

And there’s the music of the Cabinet! Okay, so Titus and King get me by kissing some fake babies and then tossing them to each other to repeat it. Hee. And then we hear the music of Dalton Castle to a MONSTER pop from the ROH crowd. Okay, they’ve gotta do something with Castle NOW. He’s the only out and out face in all of ROH that gets near universal cheers, and would be a natural foil for the Bullet Club guys. I do not understand what the holdup possibly is.

The Cabinet (Rhett Titus, Kenny King, & Caprice Coleman) vs Dalton Castle & The Boys

Code of Honor is followed, surprisingly enough. The crowd chants for the Boys to start, so Castle tags Boy #1 in to take on Titus. Rhett nails him with a right and struts. Irish whip and Boy #1 hangs on and gets a blind tag from Boy #2, who nails a charging Titus in the face from the apron, followed by Boy #1 hitting Rhett with an enzuigiri. I really wish that they would name the Boys; hell, Silas Young did! I just can’t remember which was which. Boy #2 comes flying in with a crossbody. Titus has had enough as Boy #2 tags in Castle, and in comes Caprice off a tag of his own. Dalton with a go-behind, but Coleman shrugs off the O’Connor roll and Castle comes up with his lean back pose as the crowd goes nuts. Coleman tries to copy him, but the crowd no-likey. They do it again, same result. One more time, and finally Coleman has enough and puts Castle in a headlock. They reverse that a few times, really playing the crowd well, and Castle gets shot off and they run the ropes.

Castle catches a go-behind and muscles Caprice for an overhead throw. Coleman rolls out and Castle looks like he’s gonna fly, King charges down the apron but Castle ducks and elbows Rhett, but he doesn’t duck the second one and King drops him with a clothesline. The Boys come in and hit a double dropkick to send King to the floor, then Castle tosses one of the Boys on top of the heels; Coleman comes back in, but Dalton catches him and tosses him on top of everyone, then gets his last boy and tosses him onto Caprice. Castle looks to fly now as he runs the ropes, but stops and does his stomp and pose as the Boys come back in to complete it and the crowd goes bonkers. And we’re going to go bonkers for the products in these great ads!

We’re back with Coleman in control of one of the Boys in the ring. Choke and a bodyslam by Caprice, then a tag to Kenny. He comes in with a tag to Rhett and a springboard legdrop to the Boy, then Titus follows with a running splash. 1,2, no! Quick tags follow as Kenny chops away, then a double team on Boy #1 by the ANX with a splash in the corner, a kick to the back of the head by Coleman, and a jumping spinkick by Kenny. Coleman in now with a stomp to the chest of the Boy, then a tag to King as the Cabinet has the ring cut completely in half. Fireman’s carry by King and the Boy elbows out, but gets caught with a shot from Titus on the apron, and Kenny follows that by hanging the Boy on the top rope, jumping over the top Randy Savage style. The Cabinet celebrates and distract the ref accidentally, allowing Boy #2 to sneak in for some twin magic. He catches King with a small package for two as a result. Enzuigiri puts King down and here’s the tag to Castle, and the opposite side to Rhett. Dalton’s a house afire! Shot to Caprice on the apron! Elbow to Titus! Exploder on Kenny! Overhead belly-to-belly on Rhett! Caprice tries to come off the top, but Dalton catches him and throws him over! High knees to Titus in the corner. Dalton charges in, but get caught with a boot from Rhett. Castle slips out of a go-behind and gets the deadlift German suplex on Titus! 1,2, NO!

Castle tags in Boy #1 and slams him on top of Titus, then Boy #2 does a leapfrog out of the corner with a doublestomp on Rhett. Castle goes up, but Coleman is back and shoves him to the floor and that leaves the Boys alone with the Cabinet. Dropkick by Titus sends Boy #1 to the floor, and Kenny catches Boy #2 with a very nice enzuigiri on the top rope. Superplex by Kenny is followed by Coleman hitting a top rope legdrop as Titus hits a frog splash; they may need to work on the old timing there. Regardless, that’s going to be more than enough to finish this. 1,2,3. (The Cabinet over Dalton Castle & the Boys, pinfall, 8:04)

WORTH WATCHING? – Fun, energetic and well-paced tag match. YES, this one was just about the right time for this match to go; it wasn’t too long and it wasn’t too short. It’s clear that Castle benefits from being crazy over with the ROH crowds, as his matches have an energy that pushes them above average. The Cabinet gimmick may be dumb, but all of those guys can work and put together a good match. Good stuff. Not going to reinvent the wheel here, just a good six-man tag.

Post-match, the Cabinet struts to the back while Castle cradles the fallen Boy in his arms as Kelly tells us that up next, it’s the Bucks vs the Addiction! But first, how about these great ads?

We’re back with the Ring of Honor World Champ, Adam Cole! Yay! “Last week was the biggest night of my life, when I became a two-time Ring of Honor World champion, like I promised!” But who had to go and ruin the party? Kyle O’Reilly, of course! He thought that he was done with Kyle! Kyle, you’ve been a thorn in my side for years, and I have proven for years that I am better than you! He once again promises that Kyle will NEVER be the Ring of Honor World Champion, and now that he’s a two-time champ, that’s a promise he can keep!

Man, they are really laying the groundwork for these guys to kill each other at Final Battle at this point. I wholeheartedly approve.

“Worship us!” Here come the World Tag team champions….of the World! Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels make their way to the ring, as we’ve apparently been joined by Veda Scott on commentary. I am very much in favor of this development, because I love me some Veda Scott. The Bullet Club music hits and here come the Bucks. Or….do they? Because The Addiction goes up the ramp to attack, but the Bucks don’t seem to be coming out….but there they are sneaking behind the Addiction through the crowd, superkicks to Kaz and Daniels! The Bucks continue the attack on the floor, sending Daniels to the barricade and hitting the ring-assisted swanton on Frankie. They double-team Daniels and crotch him on the barricade, then Nick gets alley-ooped into a dropkick on Chris. I’m pretty sure that this match hasn’t even started yet, by the way.

Nick yanks a table out from under the ring and they set it up against the barricade, but Kaz reverses a whip and knocks the Bucks’ heads together, then flattens them both with a double clothesline. Frankie looks under the ring and finds a ladder, which I’m sure is going to add a new dimension to this….I still haven’t heard a bell, so I don’t know what this is. He approaches the Bucks but gets kick in the knees, causing the ladder to fall on his head, and the Bucks superkick said head. And now the graphic tells us that the match will continue (uh, so I guess this is a match? I’m not even trying to be funny, I never heard a bell) after we check out these great ads!

We’re back and the Bucks hit a double-team onto Kaz in the corner, so at least we’re in the ring at this point. Matt with a cannonball as Nick hits an enzuigiri to keep Frankie down. The Bucks go for More Bang for your Buck, but Chris just casually gets back to the apron and shoves Nick Jackson off the top rope and through the table. Matt forearms Daniels back to the floor and checks on his brother, who is still lying in the ruins of the table. Kaz brings him back in with a slingshot into a cutter. Daniels pounds away for a minute and then just goes back over the corner and Kaz comes in, no one even bothering to tag at this point. Frankie sends Matt back to the corner and tags in Daniels for more double teaming. Slam by Daniels and he hits a springboard moonsault, then Frankie with a springboard legdrop; they do it again and mock the Bucks’ pose! Well, I’m sure that cannot stand. Daniels beats on Matt some more, then sends him to the corner, where Kaz holds him. Daniels tunes up the band, but stops and just punches Matt in the face. Quick tags by the champs as they stomp a mudhole and walk it dry on Jackson. They send Matt cross-corner, but he manages to alley-oop a charging Daniels to the apron, where Nick is finally back up and he hits Chris with a superkick. A charging Kaz eats the boot of Matt, and Matt goes up and hits a somersault cutter to Kaz.

Both guys are down and they crawl for the tags…..tag to Daniels! Tag to Nick! Clothesline to Daniels! Knee to the face for Kazarian against the ropes! Another clothesline for Daniels! Springboard dropkick to Kazarian! Daniels tries to retake control, but Nick cuts that off with an elbow, then jumps over the ropes and runs down the apron to punt Kaz on the outside. Shoulder to a charging Daniels by Nick, who leaps in with a facebuster to Chris, then he hops back out and moonsaults Kaz on the floor. Swanton attempt by Nick hits the knees of Daniels, who tags in Kaz. Nick reverses a clothesline into a spinning kick to the gut, but his blind charge meets the boots of Kaz, then a second one hits the buckles as Kaz moves out of the way. Matt is back now, and he runs in, jumping over the ropes and DDT’ing Kaz on the apron. He rolls Kaz back in and Nick goes up, beautiful 450 splash, 1,2, Daniels makes the save! Chris drags Kaz back over to the corner and tags himself in the match, but he runs right into a double superkick by the Bucks. Powerbomb attempt by Matt is countered into a ‘rana from Daniels, while Kaz yanks Nick to the floor and hits a belly-to-back suplex on said floor. Daniels shoves Matt off and Kaz leaps back in with a DDT, Daniels covers. 1,2, NO! Daniels brings Matt over to the corner with a full nelson and tags in Kaz, Kaz runs Matt into the back elbow of Chris, then Kaz with the full nelson and Daniels comes off the top with a foot to the chest of Matt, and he immediately follows that with a tope to Nick on the outside! Kaz with a leaping facebuster on Matt and he covers with his feet on the ropes for two.

In the background, we see Daniels being sent into the ringpost. Kaz tries to get the slingshot cutter on Matt, but Matt stops that and shoves Kaz towards a superkick from Nick. Daniels back in with a clothesline on Nick, but that leaves him wide open to take a superkick from Matt. Rolling legsweep by Kaz takes out Matt, Nick hits Kaz with a superkick, Daniels hits Angel’s Wings on Nick, Matt hits a superkick on Chris. And now everyone is down. And f--- it all to hell, because now Kamaitachi is out, and he’s followed by the Motor City Machine Guns to start a brawl at ringside, and the ring clears out, leaving only the Addiction and Matt Jackson left. Kaz grabs a chair from ringside to hit Matt, but Chris Sabin comes in the ring and grabs it from him. He goes to hit Frankie, but Kaz ducks and Sabin nails Matt instead, and Kaz falls on top of him for the pin. (The Addiction over the Young Bucks, pinfall, ??:??)

WORTH WATCHING? – I dunno, I think I’m getting old. But this was garbage, at least to me. I know the Bucks are capable of better than this, despite my personal feelings towards them. I have no idea when the match started, so I can’t give a bell-to-bell time, and the inherent structure of the match was….uh….I’m not really sure, to be frank. Throw in a multiple level screwjob finish in addition to all the insanity, and all we really needed was a ref bump to really make this thing stupid. I’m going with a NO all the way on this one, but hey, if you like the Bucks’ particular brand of insanity in tag matches that defy all common sense and logic, this one is here for you.

Post-match, Kevin Kelly says that despite the fact that he doesn’t like what the Bullet Club has done, what’s right is right and this wasn’t right. And we’re out of time for the week!

FINAL THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: A step up from last week, and I’m sure that there will be people who actually like fun who enjoyed the main event, but I couldn’t get there. It was almost everything about the Bucks that I hate in one match. As for the rest, Dalton Castle was the star of the show as he usually is. BJ Whitmer’s angle was dumb as expected, and the opening match could go either way; I didn’t get there with it, but even I understand that this was the definition of a filler episode, as it was the last of the taping cycle. Next week, the Vegas tapings begin to air, so we’ll get the fallout from Death Before Dishonor. See you then!

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter