Reviews

Ring of Honor Wrestling TV 07/15/15 Review

Ring of Honor TV episode #199

Welcome back TJR faithful to another addition of the ROH Weekly Recap and Review where we break down the action from the best hour of pro wrestling on television, Ring of Honor. The hype for tonight’s main event kicked off last week with the announced match of ROH dual champion Jay Lethal defending the television title against Mark Briscoe. This is the first title defense for Lethal since winning both ROH singles titles and I’m really interested to see how long he will be able to pull of defending two championships. ROH has another iPPV looming on July 24th so I am also expecting some development on the card for that show.

We are broadcasting again from Terminal 5 in New York City. I thought last week’s show looked noticeably better than what had been produced in weeks prior and I think most of that is due to the venue. Your usual announce team of Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are with us as we dive right in to the action in typical ROH fashion.

Adam Page (with B.J. Whitmer and Colby Corino) V Reborn Matt Sydal

If you didn’t see Best in the World 2015 Adam Page got a cheap win over Sydal and we get clips of that. We get a Tale of the tape to start things off.

Tie up to begin and Sydal shows his athleticism as he works the arm of Page with chain wrestling and arm drags before taking down Page with a big flurry. Crowd chants Sydal as he dominates. Page rolls out and Sydal dives through the ropes only to hit Colby. Page hits that beautiful standing shooting star shoulder tackle from the apron. B.J. works over Sydal outside as we cut away.

*commercial*

We’re back with Sydal still in control. He gets a 2 off a rollup. P gets up first and hits a pump handle fall away slam with a bridge for a near fall. Sydal gets a second wind and reverses another attempt at the same slam by Page. Sydal hits a flurry of offense on page and another big leg lariat and a spinning kick. Sydal follows that up with a knee for a 2 count. You can hear really loud chants for the Artist formerly known as Evan Bourne at this point from the great New York crowd. Reverse DDT variation and a standing shooting star press for a 2 count on Page. Sydal hits a big kick and heads up top. Page knocks him down and hits a fireman’s carry into a backbreaker for 2. Sydal is down and selling big after that. Page hoists Sydal to the top rope but Sydal fights out and goes for the shooting star press but Page rolls away. Page hits a big clothesline for a near fall. Page looks shocked very well done sequence! Page sets up the rope but Sydal fights out. He hits a jumping knee and goes for a shooting star press for a 1-2-3.

Winner: Reborn Matt Sydal via pinfall

*Post match* Whitmer jumps Matt Sydal who, even with help from an ACH run in, takes a serious beating from the Decade ending with a Rite of Passage (over the shoulder reverse tombstone) onto a pile of chairs. It was a nasty beat down.

My take: These two are a joy to watch. Matt Sydal has the veteran polish and WWE camera awareness that only comes from working primarily for the camera and not the live audience. This is a guy you want to utilize with the new cable audience. Page is still a relatively new talent and has a major upside. This guy is only 23 and will have a bright future as he gets a little more ring savvy to go with his impressive athleticism. I expected Page to win since he’s in a program at Death before Dishonor and was surprised by the finish. I might be biased as a current St. Louis resident but I’m a big fan of Matt Sydal and don’t want to see him falling to jobber status in ROH. He needed a win here after doing the honors for Adam Page at Best in the World to stay relevant.

*commercial*

We return to a recap of the action we just saw and a run-down of the Death before Dishonor card. Once the announcers get to the Moose V Cedric Alexander match Veda Scott interrupts. She trashes Moose and mentions his failed NFL career and how potential and famous friends won’t win you matches. Only the ruthlessness and guidance of Veda Scott can do that.

My take: Veda Scott is a really talented heel manager and really helped the audience get behind Moose with that promo. Moose has a ways to go ring wise but he and Cedric Alexander put on a solid TV match a few weeks ago to kick off this feud and if they can exceed that at the iPPV it will show that Moose is improving in the longer matches.

The Last Real Man Silas Young v Will Ferrara

We see recaps of the brewing Castle/Young feud from last week. Will Ferrara is doing the young, plucky, just proud to be here gimmick is case you didn’t know. We’re 2 for 2 on Tale of the Tape tonight hopefully we can keep it consistent because this little thing can really help grow your audience and gives the show a sports-like feel no one else is doing right now. The code of honor is adhered to as the two men tie up. Young gets a side headlock and cranks it on as Ferrara tries to fight out. Young continues dominate as the announcers remind us that Young beat Kevin Steen last year. Ferrara reverses into a pinning attempt and uses his speed to get the upper hand on Young and cranks on an arm bar. Young powers out but runs headfirst into the turnbuckle. Young counters into a short arm scissors submission as Young fights it. Young shows great power here as he dead lifts will into a big slam. Young is firmly in control again as he takes his time beating on Will. Young sinks in a sleeper rest hold which Will counters with a jaw breaker. Ferrara uses his speed offense to hit another high speed flurry ending in a big tornado DDT which gets him a 2. Ferrara gets another pinning attempt but only a 2 which fires him up. Young fights him off and hits the big DDT into the bottom turnbuckle. At this time the boys of Dalton Castle hit the ring and distract Young. Ferrara takes advantage of the distraction and hits a quick roll up for the win.

Winner: Will Ferrara by pinfall

*Post Match* Silas Young destroys Dalton Castle’s boys in a fit of rage as we cut to commercial.

My take: Will Ferrara got a nice W for his troubles but given the finish this match was more about continuing the Castle/Young feud which I’m enjoying right now. The distraction finish, like all screwy finishes is fine from time to time but only if they are the rare exception and not expected on a weekly basis.

*commercial*

ROH Dual Champion Jay Lethal (with Truth Martini) v Mark Briscoe

Jay Lethal would be very hard to boo right now if it wasn’t for Truth Martini standing right next to him. We get the full on in ring introduction as well as a 3/3 Tale of the Tape for the week. Mr. ROH Roderick Strong makes his way to the commentary booth for this one. I hope he doesn’t talk too much. We get an AWKWARD HANDSHAKE to kick things off between Jay and Mark and the champion wastes no time in taking control of the match, stomping Briscoe in the corner and throwing him to the floor for a double team with Truth Martini but ODB shows up to make the save. Mark sends the champ into about every barricade before he throws Lethal back in the ring and comes off the top rope with a big axe handle. Cover and a quick kick out by Jay Lethal before we go to break.

*commercial*

We’re back with Mark in control as he works over Lethal in the corner. Back and forth chops before mark hits a vertical suplex for a 2 count. Jay takes control as we hear dueling chants from the fans. Mark leapfrogs Lethal in the corner and then throws him across the ring. Mark is in control when J Diesel makes a run in. Mark throws him out but Lethal takes advantage. Jay is now in control and hits a backbreaker for a 2 count. Jay then goes to a sleeper hold in the middle of the ring. Mark escapes with a jawbreaker but lethal hits a clothesline for a 2 count. Lethal then applies the front face lock to Mark who powers up only to be caught in it again. He powers out again but Lethal slaps the hold right back on! Mark gets to hit feet yet again and manages to catch Lethal with a Yuri Nagi. Lethal is down now and Mark hits a big clothesline and a fisherman buster for a 2 count. Mark lifts lethal into a fireman’s carry but lethal fights out and hits a big kick. He sets up lethal injection but mark catches him with release belly to back. Lethal is sent to the floor as Mark Briscoe hits the Cactus Jack “bang bang” elbow drop onto the floor.

*commercial*

Back to the action as Mark Briscoe scales the turnbuckle. ODB takes down Truth Martini on the outside. Dijak makes a run in but Jay Briscoe comes out for the save. Froggy bow from Mark for a near fall as everyone brawls at ringside. Irish whip on Lethal who hits a suicide dive on ODB. Diesel hits a low blow on mark Briscoe which allows Jay lethal to hit a lethal injection for the win.

Winner and still ROH television champion Jay lethal via pinfall

*Post Match* An all-out brawl leads to the set up for the next weeks main event between the Briscoes, ODB, and Roderick Strong taking on Jay Lethal, J. Diesel, Dijak, and Truth Martini.

My take: There was a little too much going on here for my liking. The match was basically a set up for next week’s main event which should be fun but seems a little lackluster for the main event of a milestone episode, especially considering the caliber of recent main events. That’s a shame because these two showed great chemistry in the short time they had to actually wrestle.

Final Take

Awesome job by ROH this week to lay out the upcoming iPPV Death before Dishonor on July 24th as well as next week’s main event. I’m a little underwhelmed by the upcoming multi-person match but I’m glad it’s booked a week in advance just the same. The show has taken on an episodic feel but also has a level of unpredictability like we saw in the opening contest. We had a lot of shenanigans during the matches this week with is ok occasionally but I don’t want ROH to imitate WWE with screwy predictable matches every single week. By and Large I think ROH is on the right path here and just a little more effort on the TV production end will help them continue to grow and gain viewership.

What did you think of the show? Feel free to email me webbanderson2@gmail.com or follow me on twitter @webbanderson2 or reply in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!