Ring of Honor – September 21st, 2016

Howdy!

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Ring of Honor TV – 9/21/16

We are TAPED from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas, Nevada! And we’re starting off with the music of Steve Corino, as Bobby Cruise tells us that we’re welcoming Mr. Corino back to commentary on ROH TV! So, I guess your hosts are Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino! And Kelly tells us that it’s a heck of a week to be back, as our main event tonight will be the Addiction and Kamaitachi vs Kazuchika Okada and Roppongi Vice! That’s quite a nice main event indeed, ROH.

And we’re starting off with tag team action as well, because here’s the music of the Cabinet! Hee; Caprice Coleman’s look on the intro video is HILARIOUS. These dudes have grown on me quite a bit in the last few weeks. It looks like we’re getting the All-Night Express to represent the Cabinet tonight. And there’s the music of the Bullet Club, as the Guerillas of Destiny are on the ramp. Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa make their way to the ring.

The All-Night Express (Kenny King & Rhett Titus) vs The Guerillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tonga Loa)

ANX offers the Code of Honor, but Tonga shoves Titus away. That would be the textbook definition of ‘declining’ right there. Tama and Rhett start us off. Fireman’s carry takeover by Titus into a wristlock, then blatantly yanks on Tama’s hair for some fine cheatin’. Titus is proud enough to pose afterwards. Go-behind by Loa into a front facelock on the mat, then he works the arm with a wringer and some elbows into a side headlock. Man, I keep trying to care about the Guerillas, especially after Tama didn’t embarrass himself in the G-1 this year, but they just bore the hell out of me. Tama chokes away in the corner, and Titus complains about his hair being pulled afterwards. Heh. Side headlock by Rhett, Tama shoots him off, then confuses him by running the opposite rope twice, getting a blind tag from Loa on the second one. Go-behind and Tama slams Titus to the mat, and here comes Loa. Slam and a legdrop gets one for Loa. Rhett slips out of an attempted powerslam and tags in Kenny. Dueling shoulderblocks go nowhere, headlock by Loa, King shoots him off and Titus nails him in the back with a kick from the apron. Loa takes some offense to this and turns to go after Rhett, allowing King to snap him on the top rope by jumping out of the ring. ANX poses with Coleman on the floor as it’s time for us to watch some great ads!

We’re back with Titus in the ring now, and Loa fights out of a headlock with a belly-to-back suplex. Apparently having Corino back has lowered Kevin Kelly’s IQ, as he talks about how well ANX is looking against the Guerillas as Titus goes crashing to the mat. Tag to Tama now, and he takes a shot at King on the apron before going around Titus off an Irish whip and getting a laughable ‘rana to take him over. Oy. Big splash in the corner by Tama is easily avoided by Rhett, who tags in Kenny. King takes a shot at Loa on the apron, then hits Tama with an atomic drop into an enzuigiri. King gets a GORGEOUS spinebuster on Tama for two (he seriously does that move as well as Arn Anderson ever did) and tags Titus back in. Double-team kicks from ANX ends with a Titus dropkick. 1,2, Loa makes the save! Loa with some stomps and all 4 guys are in, and Katie bar the door, because we’ve got ourselves a pier-six brawl! Well, considering the guys in the ring, I’d really rate it about a pier-three brawl. ANX gets dumped to the floor as a result, and the Guerillas follow them out with some truly scintillating forearms. They toss Kenny back in, but Titus stops them long enough to get a twisting sky press onto both Tongas! ANX back in the ring now with Tama, but a big splash from Titus misses, allowing Tama to gently press King to the corner with a splash of his own. Jumping neckbreaker by Tama on Titus, Fireman’s Carry slam onto Kenny. Powerbomb/neckbreaker combo on Titus by the Guerillas! 1,2, NO! Damn, I thought (hoped?) that was it. ANX tosses Tama and Titus rolls up Loa for two. Bicycle kick by King and a splash by Titus on Loa, and now Rhett distracts the ref as Kenny puts Loa on his shoulders and Coleman goes up. Kenny drops Loa with a stunner, but Tama is back on the apron and pushes Coleman onto King, which sends both guys to the floor and leaves Titus alone in the ring with the Guerillas. Superman punch by Tama, and Guerilla Warfare finishes him off. (Guerillas of Destiny over All-Night Express, pinfall, 9:08)

WORTH WATCHING? – This. felt. so. long. ANX did what they could, but the Guerillas just aren’t very good pro wrestlers. They’re perfectly serviceable, and Kenny and Rhett bumped all over when they could, but I’m going with a NO on this one, as I just can’t imagine watching this ever again. It was the usual messy ROH tag match, and that can work with two talented teams, but not with these two. The match didn’t seem to build to anything, there were a few double team moves to pay off the conventions of the genre, but there was no real story to what we were watching. Disappointing.

Post-match, the Guerillas pose as Kevin Kelly tells us that we’re going to see a recap of last week with Lethal and Naito, but Caprice has something to say first. He cuts a mostly incoherent promo on the headset about how this whole thing isn’t over between the Cabinet and the Bullet Club, and you can just picture me melting with joy over that announcement.

Video package of last week’s match, specifically Naito and EVIL walking out on Jay. Now here’s the thing; Lethal has done a FANTASTIC job at being obsessed with Adam Cole this whole time, and it keeps costing him more and more; it cost him his title, and during the match he kept tagging in too hard and focusing more on Cole, which frustrated Naito. This is a subtle and good story that they’re working here, so I wish they would have shown those parts of the match so we could continue to see Lethal walk this path of still not getting that he is costing himself these matches.

Instead, we see the walkout and immediately cut to a babyface promo by Lethal, calling this both business and personal, as he needs wins to get back in the title picture and he wants revenge for the walkout last week. And that match will happen at All-Star Extravaganza next week! But up next? These great ads!

We’re back with Shane Taylor, who wants to tell us a story. Hey! The only storytime around here is Storytime with Adam Cole, bay-bay! It’s the number-one talk show in Jakarta! But Taylor wants to talk about Raymond Rowe. Rowe trained Taylor, and for seven years, when Rowe talked, Taylor listened. But then Rowe left Taylor, formed War Machine and became a star, leaving Shane behind with all the enemies that Rowe had created! That’s……actually a really good reason for a feud. Carry on. Well, Taylor buried them all one by one, and now, Ray Rowe, there’s no one left but you; everyone’s past catches up with them, and yours just did.

And that segues right into the music of Shane Taylor and Keith Lee! They make their way to the ring as we see that their opponents hail from the vast wasteland known as ‘already in the ring.’ Their names are Ricardo Rojas and Keith Phoenix, but I’d guess that we probably didn’t really need to know that.

Shane Taylor & Keith Lee vs Ricardo Rojas & Keith Phoenix

Code of Honor is followed. Phoenix and Lee start, with Phoenix getting some offense, including a dropkick! He even gets Lee to one knee before the slaughter begins. Pop-up headbutt by Lee, then a giant belly-to-belly suplex. Tag to Taylor was Ricardo courageously charges in to help his partner….oh, sorry. I meant stupidly charges in to help his partner. Taylor kills him with a right and a uranage. Clothesline in the corner on Phoenix by Taylor, then a powerbomb/big splash from the second rope turns Phoenix into a quivering pile of jelly on the mat. 1,2,3. (Keith Lee & Shane Taylor over Ricardo Rojas & Keith Phoenix, pinfall, 2:01)

WORTH WATCHING? – NOPE.

Post-match, Taylor gets the mic and proclaims that they are now the baddest team in Ring of Honor! War Machine, we smashed you in Philly! The crowd is so into these guys, they chant for the Young Bucks. Taylor calls out War Machine, and they’re only too happy to oblige. Hey, Rowe has a mic! “Shane Taylor, you are absolutely right. You made a mistake. You had us down, and you didn’t kill us.” He asks Taylor how many times he put a roof over Shane’s head, or how many doors he opened for Taylor! He was the last person that Rowe expected to stab him in the back, but tonight, Rowe isn’t here for revenge, he’s just here for violence! Taylor looks giddy at the prospect. Rowe tells Taylor that he hoped he enjoyed his 15 minutes of fame, because the next 15 minutes in that ring are ones that he’s going to hope that he forgets! Ooh, good line there. The crowd now chants for War Machine as Kevin Kelly tells us that we’ve got to chant for these great ads!

We’re back with ROH World Champion Adam Cole! He cuts a promo about next week, when he and Adam Page will take on Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin, a team that Cole likes to call “Wishful Thinking”. Man, imagine those t-shirts. Anyway, he calls them that because both men wish that they could be as dominant as Bullet Club, they both wish they could be ROH World Champion! Well, next week, they’re going to be made an example of, and they won’t like it!

Back to the ring now, and it looks like we’re gonna have a match! Yeah!

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

Rowe and Taylor look to start us off, and Rowe attacks before the bell. They trade right hands and Rowe gets the advantage with knees to the face, but goes for a discus punch and gets leveled with a right from Taylor. Taylor tags in Lee, who fires shots at Rowe in the corner. Rowe tries to fight out, but Lee stops that with some shoulders to the gut against the buckles. Back to the heel corner now, and they work over Rowe some more with stiff shots, tag back to Lee. He keeps on Rowe and cuts off a single-leg comeback attempt, then back to the corner for more punishment. Tag back to Taylor, who fires a headbutt at Rowe, but Rowe has had enough and takes both guys out with forearms. Superman punch on Taylor, and there’s the tag to Hanson. Rights from Hanson to Lee! Double axehandle to Keith! Corner to corner clotheslines on both Lee and Hanson, continuing until Lee finally cuts him off with a big boot. Lee charges, but gets caught with a Hanson powerslam! Taylor out of the corner with knees to Hanson and looks for a powerbomb, but looks up right into SHOTGUN KNEES~! from Rowe! Rowe turns around….into a belly-to-belly suplex from Lee. Lee and Hanson now, Irish whip is reversed, Hanson cartwheels around the back body drop and hits a clothesline on Keith. Hanson ducks a clothesline from Taylor, but doesn’t duck the second one, and Taylor follows that up with a Saito suplex on Rowe. Taylor charges Hanson in the corner but gets put down, but that allows Lee to hit a Death Valley Driver on Hanson! DAMN. That was cool. Rowe back now, and he takes Lee over and hits a running knee right to the face of Lee. Rowe wants to fly and goes for a tope, but gets hit in the face with a chair from Taylor on the floor mid-dive. That angers Hanson, who nails Taylor with a chair, and the ref has seen enough and throws it out. (Double-disqualification, 4:28)

WORTH WATCHING? – Okay, hear me out here. No, the match wasn’t great by any stretch of the imagination. But, as the first part of what could be a buildup to a Fight without Honor, this was pretty okay. The issue between the two teams is fine for a feud, and both teams are just incredibly agile big men that can throw each other all over the ring; some of the stuff, like the DVD from Lee, was just awesome. I’m still going with a NO on this one, but you can watch it and not be disappointed, and it made me want to see them fight again. So it did it’s job.

Post-match, Lee and Taylor get a couple of chairs with Rowe in the ring, and Lee powerbombs him through both chairs! I can’t help it, I really want to see this match. Taylor puts the badmouth on Rowe before security hits the ring to push Taylor back. And we’ll be back after these great ads!

We’re back to a promo for Ladder War 6, including a lot of footage from Steen/Generico, which remains the best f------ ladder match I’ve ever seen. I do have a fondness for Briscoe/Cole at Supercard of Honor, but I was there for that one, so I’m completely biased. It looks as though we’ve been joined by one Matt Taven on commentary, continuing the black hole of suck on the headsets this week as Kevin Kelly puts over Ladder War, which is a good idea because I think that’s what’s going to sell the PPV. Taven welcomes Corino back and promises that the Kingdom will be one of the participants in the 6-man tag team title tournament! Hey, speaking of 6-man tag team matches, we’ve got ourselves one in the main event this week about to start!

“Worship us!” Here comes The Addiction, accompanied by Kamaitachi! Taven makes a bunch of unfunny jokes about Kama wearing a red helmet. You know, ’cause of his hair. Taven sucks. And the music of Kazuchika Okada is up next, prompting a roar from the crowd as Okada makes his way out with Baretta and Romero. This should be excellent.

The Addiction (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, & Kamaitachi) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Rocky Romero, & Trent Baretta)

No Code of Honor, and we’re going to start things off with Kama and Romero. Roppongi Vice has really grown on me as I watch more of their stuff on NJPW, but also watching more PWG and EVOLVE with Trent. The WWE really didn’t have any idea how to use the dude.

Kama avoids a lockup attempt and taunts Okada on the apron, telling Romero that he wants Okada. Romero is only too happy to oblige. Lockup goes to the ropes and Okada gives a clean, if condescending, break and Kama attacks with a kick and some chops. Another kick and he MOCKS THE RAINMAKER POSE. Oh, Kama. I think that doing that activates Okada’s superpowers. Indeed, Kama comes off the ropes and gets flapjacked by Okada, then Daniels takes one as well when he comes in. Frankie in now and he gets a kick, but an Irish whip is reversed and he goes to flapjack town as well. Baretta is dancing on the apron and cracking my s--- up. Slam by Okada and he does the in and out senton on Kaz as we’re going to do the old check out these fine ads!

We’re back with Romero hitting the forever clotheslines in the corner on Frankie, but Kaz avoids one, but doesn’t avoid a chop from Baretta and the clotheslines begin again. Daniels finally comes in to try and put a stop to it, but gets sent to the corner and now Rocky goes corner to corner with the clotheslines. Kaz tries to duck out of the corner, but Romero turns around and clotheslines both Addiction members. Slam by Romero and he tags in Trent, but Daniels rolls outside to avoid Baretta jumping in. Kama charges, but Baretta sidesteps him and tosses him outside, running start, giant Tope Con Hilo onto Kama and Daniels! Trent tosses Daniels back in and goes up, but hops down, walks over to Chris, and rakes the eyes with his boot to the delight of the crowd. Daniels begs off, but reverses an Irish whip and Kaz trips Trent to slow things down. Daniels comes off the second rope with a moonsault…..and hits Baretta in the HEAD with his knee on the way down. Yee-ouch. Looked like a total accident, and Chris goes to ground and pound to give Trent a few seconds to recover. Tag to Kama from Daniels now, and Kama chops away at Baretta in the corner, cross-corner whip, corner clothesline from Kama. He tosses Kama to a sitting position and runs the ropes, finally hitting a basement dropkick. Vicious one, too. He covers, but Okada comes in and kicks him in the head before there’s even a count. Kama drags Trent over to the heel corner and tags in Daniels, who immediately goes over to the face corner to pick a fight while Kama and Frankie merrily double team Trent, choking away. I’m ALWAYS a sucker for heel spots like that in a tag match, which is one of the reasons I bitch so much about how many ROH tag matches descend into tornado nonsense; I LIKE to see the heels cheat to build up a hot tag. Daniels runs Trent into Frankie’s boots and tags Kaz in. Double arm-wringer by the Addiction, forcing Baretta to his knees, then a kick from Kaz, clothesline to the back of the head from Daniels, finishing with a jumping double-stomp from Kaz. More choking from Kaz and he sends Trent back to the heel corner and stomps away, while Taven and Kelly are talking about who the leader of the Bullet Club is, Adam Cole or Kenny Omega? Tag to Kama for some stomps, then to Daniels for the same, then back to Kaz. Kaz tags in Daniels now, and the double-team ensues, with an inverted atomic drop from Daniels, Kaz snapmares the head of Trent onto the knee of Chris, who finishes the sequence with a flatliner. Cover with one foot, 1,2, NO! Daniels drops back down to ground and pound as we go back out for our final ad break!

We’re back with Daniels taking a shot at Okada on the apron, but he misses and Okada nails him with a right hand, and Daniels turns right around into a flying knee from Trent! Tag to Okada! Okada’s a house afire! Shot to Daniels! Shot to Kamaitachi! Reversal of an Irish whip, back elbow to Kaz! Back elbow to Daniels in the corner, he moves out of the way of a charging Kama, who hits Daniels, big back body drop to Kama! Kick to Chris, DDT! Diving European Uppercut to Daniels follows, 1,2, NO! Slam by Okada and he goes up, flying elbow to Daniels! Okada signals for the Rainmaker, but Kaz puts a stop to that; double clothesline is ducked and Okada runs Daniels into Kaz, then hits Daniels with a European uppercut and tags in Rocky. Romero comes in with a high cross body onto both Addiction members, then a ‘rana to Kamaitachi. Vice with the doubleteam on Daniels now, as Baretta hangs him on the top rope and Rocky comes in with a springboard dropkick, then Baretta hits a running knee. Okada comes in and hits the over the knee neckbreaker for two as Kama breaks it up. Kama takes the dropkick from Okada, but Kaz comes in with a springboard DDT on Okada right after. We’re down to Vice/Addiction now, as Kaz takes the double knees from Vice, then Romero hitting the comeback kick after Daniels avoids the enzuigiri. Tornado DDT from Trent now, then a tope from Romero onto Kama on the floor. Roppongi goes for Strong Zero, but Kaz catches Rocky as Chris escapes and hits Angel’s Wings on Trent. Romero makes a go of it with an attempt at Sliced Bread #2, but Kaz catches him in tombstone position; Daniels goes up with the moonsault, Best Meltzer Ever hits! 1,2,3. (The Addiction over CHAOS, pinfall, 11:03)

WORTH WATCHING? – Absolutely. I like all of these guys, and this was a fun six-man tag. About on par with what you’ll see on the undercard of an NJPW show, although I still wish that they would have kept with a more traditional vibe to the match after the extended heat segment on Trent than just descending into chaos in the second half of the match. Regardless, the work was good and I enjoyed it, so YES, this one is your worthy one for the week.

Post-match, another quick promo for Ladder War as Daniels tells the Guns and the Bucks that they’re ready. Kelly gives us a quick promo for next week’s main, and we’re out.

FINAL THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: I was okay with most of it, in that this was very much a move the chains episode; but it wasn’t really great, to be honest. They did more with the War Machine/Taylor & Lee story, which was good, and the main was fun. The opener was meh and this week’s ringwork wasn’t anything to write home about. You can skip it if you wish, but as I said, this one was alright in my book on a certain front. A step down from last week, though.

Next week, you get a double dose of me as we’ll have our normal recap, then the BEST DAMN PPV preview of All-Star Extravaganza! See you then!

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter