Reviews

Ring of Honor Wrestling TV 08/05/15 Review

Ring of Honor Wrestling Television episode #202 Review

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 wrestling on the planet, Ring of Honor. The ROH production team has had time to incorporate the results of the Death before Dishonor iPPV into the show unlike last week. The iPPV was okay but if you haven’t seen it you really haven’t missed anything in terms of storyline advancement. My plan is to provide ROH PPV coverage going forward but the time just wasn’t there for me to make it happen for Death before Dishonor. For now let’s move past a mediocre iPPV event and get to this week’s action!

Opening backstage segment: Roderick Strong is sporting a heavy black eye in the locker room and talks about his one hour draw with Jay Lethal. He says nothing is settled and Lethal couldn’t beat him. Strong says Lethal knows that he would’ve lost the match if time had not expired. Strong demands a rematch for the title as the ROH intro plays.

My take: Good promo by Strong he showed passion and has a credible claim to a rematch which actually matters in ROH. I wasn’t crazy about the match but maybe a 3rd party can be incorporated into the feud to make things a little more interesting going forward.

Ringside: Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino welcome us once again to Terminal 5 in New York City. They hype the big time main event announced last week, Adam Cole V Kyle O’Reilly.

Tag Team Match: War Machine V The Young Bucks

Hanson and Rowe attempt to adhere to the Code of Honor but The Young Bucks hit a couple of crotch chops in response. This aggravates War Machine who come out of the gate swinging hard and isolating Matt Jackson while Nick is thrown to the outside. Nick recovers and hits a cross body on both men who basically no sell it. They now keep Matt Jackson on the floor and work on Nick. Both Young Bucks are sent to the floor and War Machine looks strong early on. War Machine attempts to throw the Young Bucks back in the ring but gets hit with a pair of superkicks which barely faze them. The Bucks follow up with standing moonsaults from the apron but are caught and are thrown head first into one another on the outside by War Machine. Hanson and Rowe set up a double chokeslam on Matt but Nick makes the save with a superkick and Matt then hits one of his own. The Young Bucks take control at this point and double team Hanson. Nick comes off the turnbuckle with a splash while Matt hits a standing moonsault. The double team continues and Hanson hits an athletic cartwheel to set up a double clothesline. Hanson has a momentary advantage but is hit with a double superkick. Nick then flies over the top rope and takes out War Machine but appears to hurt his ankle. We cut to commercial with Nick down and a trainer taking a look at him.

We return to see Nick still down and Rowe attempting to get Matt back in the ring. He succeeds and Matt is suffering through a double team before AJ Styles makes his way down the ramp. He checks on Nick Jackson at ringside while Matt continues to take a beating from Hanson. Tag to Rowe who continues to work over Matt Jackson. Rowe hits a spinebuster and tags in Hanson for a big head-butt. Tag back to Rowe but Matt attempts to fight both men head on. He fails and is on the receiving end of a double body slam. Hanson then attempts to powerbomb Rowe onto Matt but he escapes. Matt uses his speed to take a momentary advantage and AJ Styles hops up on the apron. He gets the hot tag and works over Rowe with a hurricanrana before AJ accidentally takes down the ref. Matt Jackson gets back in the ring and hits a couple of superkicks before Rowe grabs him and manhandles him. From out of nowhere Nick Jackson runs in and superkicks War Machine. AJ hits the Styles Clash on Rowe and gets the 1-2-3.

Winners: AJ Styles and The Young Bucks via pinfall

My take: The Young Bucks are supposed to be heels but you sure wouldn’t know it from the crowd reaction. The old fake injury gag is a surefire way to get some heat even for a very popular team like the Young Bucks so I like the use of the tactic in this match. Anytime AJ Styles shows up it’s a good thing. If there was any doubt about his start power or age his NJPW run should have erased any questions about the Phenomenal One. He is still one of the best wrestlers in the world today. The way Styles was just added to the match without explanation could’ve been handled better but it’s a minor complaint and allows the NJPW stars to go over the ROH talent without having an up-and-coming team like War Machine take a clean loss.

Backstage segment: Adam Cole is shown in the locker room discussing his upcoming main event match. He talks about all the questions he’s facing since returning from his injury. He says his relationship with the Kingdom is fine but that he is friends with Kyle O’Reilly going way back to their Future Shock days. He says he and Kyle will enter the ring with respect and admiration for each other and they will leave the same way.

My take: Can we stop teasing this and just get to the break up already? Adam Cole should be a top babyface in ROH and it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

Singles Match: Cedric Alexander w/ Veda Scot V The Romantic Touch

Caprice Coleman is on commentary. Alexander attacks Touch while he’s still posing on the apron. The bell rings and Alexander continues to beat on Touch before he can take his jacket off. Coleman talks about how Alexander has changed because he was afraid. Alexander continues to dominate in the ring. Touch gets a bit of offense in as he hits a dropkick to send Alexander to the ground and then Touch dives over the ropes to take down Alexander. Veda Scott grabs the leg of Touch while the ref is distracted and Alexander gets a low blow using the ropes. Alexander hits his finisher for the 3 count.

Winner: Cedric Alexander via pinfall

Post Match: Veda Scott gets in the ring for a promo. She talks about how everyone told Alexander all he had to do was be nice and patient and he would get ahead. She says they lied to him but Veda Scott would never lie. She tells Alexander she knows he knows what she needs and to unmask the Romantic Touch. Coleman tries to intervene but is taken down. Moose then comes out and Alexander runs out of the ring as loud “MOOSE” chants can be heard throughout the crowd.

My take: More of an angle than a match, but the Cedric Alexander/Veda Scott pairing is working really well for me. The heel turn from Cedric was believable and Veda Scott is channeling her inner Vicki Guerrero on a weekly basis bringing great heat by association. Moose has an unmatched presence on ROH TV right now. Losing the undefeated streak is going to test the Moose character, but so far he seems to have gotten out from under the shadow of his streak without missing a beat.

Backstage: Jay Lethal cuts a locker room promo with Truth Martini. He asks Truth what the ROH title smells like. “Chicken coup” he replies. Jay says he needs to remove the stench of former ROH champs from the belt. He then says Strong will be remembered as the man who couldn’t get the job done. Jay is the greatest champion of all time and Strong has to go back to the end of the line after not getting the job done. Truth then chimes in and says Jay Lethal is the greatest in the world.

My take: Lethal is more than capable of cutting promos solo, but this pairing reminds me a bit of the CM Punk/Paul Heyman run in WWE a few years back. They play off of each other very well and their real life friendship shines through. After narrowly escaping with the title at Death before Dishonor it only makes sense for the heel champion to want to avoid Strong in the future. I got my fill of this feud after the hour long iPPV bout. I thought Lethal should have won decisively. From a storyline perspective you have to give Strong a rematch but it needs a gimmick or another superstar added to make me want to see these guys lock up again.

Inside ROH with Mandy Leon: The lovely Mandy Leon talks about the top contenders for the ROH title and how Kyle O’Reilly is high on that list. We then cut to clips of a 3-13-15 taping where Kyle O’Reilly taps out Jay Lethal after interference from Jay Briscoe to win a tag team match. Kyle won a TV title shot for that victory on 4-25-15. The match went to the time limit when it looked like Lethal was on the verge of tapping out.

My take:I didn’t get to see this segment watching the Destination America broadcast and I enjoyed it. If you are new to ROH you now have a bit of backstory on Lethal/O’Reilly and a valid reason for booking a title match between the two wrestlers. Wins and losses matter in ROH and the top title is protected. It looks like Kyle O’Reilly will be the next challenger for the ROH world title and I have high hopes for that match. With Strong still having a claim to a title match I could see O’Reilly losing the first encounter with Lethal due to shenanigans which could set up a 3 way match between Lethal/O’Reilly/Strong in the future.

Main Event: Adam Cole V Kyle O’Reilly

I’m really excited about this one. Christopher Daniels is on commentary. We start off with a Tale of the Tape and an adherence to the Code of Honor. Tie up into a full arm drag and twist by Kyle. Adam rolls out of it and reverses the hold. Kyle gets a takedown into a rear waistlock which is reveres several times before Kyle misses a big roundhouse, but ducks out of a big superkick from Adam. There is a lot of familiarity between these two wrestlers and it is good to see that incorporated into the match. Kyle taunts Adam as they head to opposite corners. Knuckle lock tie up into a side headlock by Kyle. Cole throws him off and hits a drop toe hold but Kyle grabs a headlock. The fans chant “Headlock City” as we see a shoulder block by O’Reilly into another headlock before the commercial break.

We’re back with a short exchange before Kyle locks on the headlock again. Cole fights out but Kyle goes back to the headlock. Cole tries to fight out again but Kyle isn’t letting go. Cole gets the ropes, forces a break, and ducks to the outside. Kyle won’t quit and grabs the hold yet again on the floor but this time Adam is able to throw him into the barricade. Daniels gets up at this time to obnoxiously get a better view but is laid out by Adam Cole. Daniels hits both men and forces a disqualification. This devolves into a beat down of the Addiction as Kazarian joins the fight. Cole gets on the microphone and says he’s tired of the bull crap. Cole says for one night only let’s reunite Future Shock and beat these two old bastards. Will they accept the challenge? This will now be a tag team match as the ref rings the bell.

New Match: Christopher Daniels and Kazarian V Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly

Kazarian and Adam Cole start this off but Daniels gets a quick tag in. Adam Cole hits a backdrop and a clothesline before tagging in Kyle O’Reilly. The former Future Shock rips the shirt off of Daniels and pummels him with kicks and chops in unison against the ropes. We get a throwback to the old tandem offense of Future Shock as we cut to commercial break.

Kyle O’Reilly and Christopher Daniels are the legal men with O’Reilly in charge until Kazarian hits a clothesline out of nowhere from his position on the ring apron. Daniels tags Kazarian and the addiction double teams O’Reilly. Kazarian hits a vertical suplex before tagging in Daniels. The ref is distracted as addiction double teams O’Reilly. This was a great veteran tag move by the Addiction to provoke the opposing non legal man so the ref will be tied up keeping them out of the action. O’Reilly continues to take a beating until he reverses a move by Kazarian that results in the head of Kazarian colliding with the groin of Daniels. This is the chance Kyle needs to get the hot tag to Adam Cole. Cole comes in with clotheslines to Daniels. Cole goes for a fireman’s carry, Daniels reverses, but Cole catches him with a neckbreaker. Cole follows this up with a shining wizard but only gets a 2 count. Figure four leg lock by Cole in the center of the ring, but it is broken up by a Kazarian leg drop. O’Reilly lays a stiff kick on Kazarian but the Addiction is able to hit a double backbreaker. Cole makes a quick return to the match and rolls up Kazarian for a 3 count out of nowhere.

Winner: Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly via pinfall

Post-match: Sabin hits the ring but Bobby Fish comes out to even the odds. The babyfaces stand tall and the KRD retreat. Maria and the Kingdom come out to cast disapproving looks on Adam Cole as he stands tall with ReDRagon.

My take: Even though we technically had two matches in here I’m just going to look at it as one big main event. This match furthered the dissention between Cole and the Kingdom but accomplished little else. Like the main event of the last two weeks this just felt like a house show style match.

Honorable Mention: The Young Bucks. My favorite part of the Raw Deal every week is the stars of the show section and I would like to incorporate something like that into the ROH review. The Honorable Mention is the MVP of the show for the week and goes to the most entertaining wrestler or tag team. I picked a hell of a week to do this as the match quality wasn’t as good as what we typically see on a weekly basis but the Bucks added star power to the show and made the opener the highlight of the week.

Final Take:

I really liked the backstage promos and the inside ROH segment this week. The Young Bucks match was fun but the show had little else to offer. I hate to say this but in my opinion ROH put out the worst show out of all the promotions that air on Wednesday night this week. If you missed it you didn’t miss anything important. If you were giving ROH a try for the first time this week you may not be back. We didn’t get a hook for next week so it is anyone’s guess as to what we might be seeing. It will take a fresh set of tapings to bring some life to this show and it is sorely needed. We have the upcoming NJPW crossover shows to look forward to but not much else. It will be awhile before any of those matches will air on TV so the pressure will really be on ROH to retain and gain viewers without the added novelty of the star studded NJPW roster.

What did you think of the show? Does ROH losing their prime time slot affect how you watch? Follow me on twitter @webbanderson2 or send me an email at webbanderson2@gmail.com. You can also reply in the comment section below and we really enjoy the feedback. Thanks for reading!