Welcome back for another exciting look into the best hour of pro wrestling on the planet, Ring of Honor Wrestling Television. Last week’s episode was a breath of fresh air after weeks and weeks of the leftovers from the New York tapings and ROH appears to be hitting their stride. With Lucha Underground wrapping up their groundbreaking first season, ROH is the undisputed top WWE alternative in the US right now and I hope they can capitalize on it. Please note that the Bigfoot obsession on Destination America has lead me to reviewing the online version of the show for now, but I plan to transition to the weekend syndicated broadcast so that I can get a review up before the Destination America broadcast airs. Let’s get down to business!
We’re back in the Myers Pavilion in Baltimore, Maryland with Nigel McGuinness and Kevin Kelly on commentary. Nigel tells us that Steve Corino has the week off with pay after his altercation with BJ Whitmer last week and I just about did a little jig over that announcement. If you’ve been reading you know I’m not a fan of the Corino/Whitmer feud and the less screen time it takes up the better. The Young Bucks v RPG vice is announced as the main event.
Opening contest: Silas Young V Dalton Castle w/ his boys
This match has been built up in weeks prior so we have a pretty decent backstory to work with. The story is simple but effective, the “Last real man” Silas Young doesn’t like the flamboyance of Castle or his boys and Castle loves to get under the skin of Silas Young. Castle wastes no time and jumps on Silas in the corner as the bell rings. Dalton hits a backslide but Silas rolls through. Dalton continues to pound on Silas, using his agility and aggressiveness to take an early advantage. Castle shows his power as well and hits a dead lift suplex that sends Silas to the floor. The boys get a little too close to Silas and it sets him off. Castle comes out of nowhere with a blow to the head as the action returns to the ring. Silas has a burst of offense and the action ends up back on the floor with Castle being thrown into the barricade by Young as we go to break.
We’re back with both men trading blows in the center of the ring. Silas is able to take advantage as he locks on a submission while Castle sells his ass off. A distraction by the boys allows Castle to get a quick advantage but a clothesline from Young turns the tide back in his favor until Castle hits a quick t bone suplex. He follows it up with a rear waistlock but Young fights out. Castle charges him but Young ducks and Castle flies over the top. The boys quickly run over and fan Castle as Silas recovers in the ring. Castle rolls in at the 7 count and gets stomped by Young. Young follows up with a knee to the face and a big chop that sends Castle to the floor. Young taunts Castle as he gets to his feet. The two charge each other and their momentum carries both men to the floor. Castle is up first and head butts Young on the floor repeatedly before hitting a hurricanrana to reverse an Irish whip from Young. The fans are really behind Castle as he sets up for a big forearm in the corner followed up by a knee. He then hits a spinning slam for a 2 count. Young takes a momentary advantage and hits a DDT in the corner on Castle for a 2 count. Young hits a killer combo and takes charge but the boys once again provide a distraction. This is all Castle needs to hit his finisher for the 1-2-3.
Winner: Dalton Castle via pinfall
Post-match: Young grabs a microphone and slowly gets to his feet. He says he is tired of this while the crowd chants shut up loudly. Young says he says what he wants because he’s a real man. He doesn’t like Castle’s boys or his lifestyle. He says Castle can’t beat him on his own and he wants another match where the winner gets the boys. Young says he’s going to teach the boys how to be real men.
My take: Silas Young appears to be the only one not enjoying the shtick that Castle and the boys are doing these days. Even though Castle uses the boys to gain an unfair advantage frequently he is still a big time babyface and the fans are more than happy to boo the grumpy old dinosaur that is Silas Young, even though he just wants a fair match. I like both of these guys and a longer match with something on the line is the logical next step in this feud.
Inside ROH: Mandy Leon joins us to recap the issues between the Kingdom and reDRagon. She talks about Future Shock and how they recently reunited to take on the Addiction. Future shock won this match and upset the reigning tag team champs. Next week these teams will meet again for the tag titles.
My take: This should be a good match that will further the Adam Cole/Kingdom storyline in some way. All four of these guys can tear the house down and any time we get to see a title match on TV it makes the episode feel much more special.
Ringside interview: Kevin Kelly and Bobby Fish talk about Fish’s upcoming TV title shot. Fish thinks Hanson will win the title from Jay Lethal before the match but Lethal comes out to dispute that. The two get into a shouting match and Fish says Lethal has too much on his plate. The refs get Lethal out of the way as we cut to an ad hyping the return of the NJPW stars.
My take: I like the fact that they are really playing up how stressful it is to carry a title in ROH, and how carrying two it just about impossible. There are so many ways this could go and it is pretty unpredictable but I expect Lethal to go over both Hanson and Bobby Fish in the coming weeks.
Singles match: Will Ferrara V Moose w/ Stokely Hathaway
Nana is on guest commentary. Moose doesn’t get a huge reaction but he does get a few streamers thrown his way. The tale of the tape quantifies what we can clearly see, Moose dwarfs Ferrara and that will be a big part of this match up I would imagine. Ferrara wastes no time in coming after Moose but the big man absorbs Will’s offense and takes him down with a knee. Will goes to the top rope but is hit with that top rope drop kick Moose does so well. The fight goes to the floor and Moose swings Will into the barricade repeatedly. It looks brutal and Nana says Moose has found an aggressive streak. Moose goes for a cover but only gets a 2 count. Will tries to fight to his feet but a single uppercut sends him to his knees. Moose then picks him up for a powerslam but Will turns it into a tornado DDT. Moose hits the floor and Will tries a suicide dive but Moose catches him, only to have it turned into another tornado DDT on the floor. Will is now in control and struggles to get the huge Moose back in the ring. Will goes to the top rope but Moose recovers and throws Ferrara from the turnbuckle. Moose sets up his flipping spear and gets an easy 3 count.
Winner: Moose via pinfall
My take: Moose should be able to dispatch Ferrara fairly easily at this point in their careers. We saw a level of aggression from Moose that we don’t typically see when he kept swinging Ferrara into the barricade but I don’t think their foreshadowing a heel turn. Moose could be a good candidate to take one of the titles from Jay Lethal when the time is right and the feud between those two would be awesome.
Backstage promo: Adam Cole cuts a short, serious promo about his tag title shot with Kyle O’Reilly next week. He says he is the best pro wrestler on the planet and that the kingdom questions that makes him sick. He says Kyle doesn’t question him and next week they will be the future tag team champions.
My take: I think Adam Cole should be the top dog in ROH and promos like these are a part of that. He has great delivery and can back up everything he says in the ring. I’m really looking forward to the match next week.
Main Event: The Young Bucks V Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero and Trent Berretta)
The tale of the tape gives a huge experience advantage to the Bucks. Nick Jackson and Trent Berretta are up first. These two tie up and waste no time in showing off their athleticism. Nick hits a terrific springboard arm drag to take the early advantage and goes for an early superkick which backs off Trent. Trent tags out as does Nick. Rocky Romero taunts a bit before tying up with Matt Jackson. Matt hits a kick to the gut and pounds on Romero. Rocky recovers and hits a hurricanrana and a couple of clotheslines in the corner before Matt can get the advantage and tag in his brother Nick. You can’t call Bucks matches when they get to moving this fast and pulling off moves I can’t name but their innovative tag offense is a thing of beauty and you should be watching it. Rocky catches Matt with an elbow and tries a tornado DDT but he gets caught up in position for a Meltzer driver. He avoids it and the action spills to the outside with Nick hitting a Swanton over the top rope to the floor as we cut to break.
We’re back with the Bucks in control; Nick and Rocky are the legal men. The ref waives off a pin attempt by Matt as he is not legal, which is a refreshing thing to see. Trent Baretta derails the Bucks’ offense and the fighting spills to the outside once again. Nick Jackson eats a big knee from Romero as they try to isolate the NJPW Junior Tag Team champs. Romero gets cocky again as he hits a back rake on Matt and rips off the Young buck’s taunts to a chorus of boos. Tag to Trent as they double team Matt Jackson and Trent hits a standing moonsault for a 2 count. The crowd is firmly behind the Bucks as Matt plays the babyface in peril. Tag to Rocky as Nick finally recovers on the apron. Scoop slam on Matt before tagging in Trent who taunts on the apron before getting in and inviting Nick to jump in and land a big superkick. Rocky gets the tag again and rams Matt in the corner before catching a superkick from Nick. Matt gets the tag to Nick who runs across the ring for a dropkick, runs back to take down Rocky, and then runs back to take down Trent. The Bucks then hit combination dives to the outside. Nick hits a Swanton to the back of Rocky and gets a near fall. The bucks try a double super kick but Rocky turns it into a double hurricanrana. The Bucks continue to double team Rocky and nearly get the pin but Trent breaks it up before the break.
We return from the break to see the Bucks use a double Irish whip to send Trent from one turnbuckle to the other. He fights out and hits a double stomp on Nick and a tornado DDT on matt. Double double stomp from PRG vice gets them a two count. Trent and Matt are the legal men. Matt tags out and Nick comes in and cleans house. Matt tries to start the superkick party but eats a big clothesline from Rocky and everyone is down in the middle of the ring. Rocky and Matt trade blows and Matt winds up on the shoulders of Trent on the floor while Rocky comes running in and nails matt with a knee to the face. Nick also gets taken down by RPG vice but can’t be put away by the pin attempt. Rocky gets the tag and RPG tires a double suplex but Nick fights out, only to get hit with double knees to the face. RPG goes for their finisher but Matt recovers to hit a superkick and Nick hits a destroyer on Trent before tagging in Matt. The bucks work their double team offense and hit rocky with a unique version of a 450 splash that only gets a 2 count. Matt sets up for a Frankensteiner on rocky but Trent runs up for a German off the top but Nick gets him with a superkick, then rocky eats a double superkick while Nick dives over the top to take out Trent. A double team maneuver ending in a moonsault allows Matt Jackson to get the pin on Rocky.
Winners: The Young Bucks via pinfall
Post-match: The Addiction, along with Chris Sabin, hit the ring and takes down the Bucks from behind. They put a beating on both members of the Bucks and they tape Matt to the tope rope before pounding on him mercilessly. Nick tries to take on all of them but is quickly subdued. The beating continues as the trio lands superkicks on both Matt and Nick and mocks them before the Addiction lands the Indytaker on Nick Jackson. The show ends with Sabin, Daniels, and Kazarian standing tall.
My take: My play-by-play simply can’t do the Young Bucks justice. These guys are so entertaining and RPG Vice matches up really well with them. No one does tag team wrestling like ROH right now and the level of cooperation we see between Matt and Nick Jackson is unlike anything I’ve seen in wrestling before. It must kill WWE management to not have these guys locked up in NXT right now, but the Bucks are living proof that you can do just fine in pro wrestling these days without ever stepping foot in a WWE ring.
Honorable Mention: Once again, this has to go to The Young Bucks. If they are on the card it is going to take something really exceptional for them to not get this award in all honesty. They’re that damn good.
What a fantastic hour of pro wrestling! ROH is really hitting their stride and we have a great main event to look forward to next week. I was glued to every minute of this episode which is not something I can say for any other wrestling show this week. Things are only looking up as the Jay Lethal title reign is about to get interesting, Adam Cole is getting closer and closer to leaving the Kingdom, and the best of NJPW will be coming back stateside this weekend to add some unique star power to the promotion. It’s a good time to be watching ROH and it looks like it’s going to stay that way for a little while. We’ll see how the show plays out once they get to the tail end of what was filmed in Baltimore but for now I couldn’t be happier with the product that ROH is putting out.
What did you think of the show? Feel free to email me email@example.com or follow me on twitter @webbanderson2 or reply in the comment section below. Thanks for reading!