After an intense Final Battle pay-per-view, ROH TV is here; kicking into holiday spirits as Christmas is less than a week away. This episode is also the second last of 2015.
Ring of Honor Television
Aired: December 19, 2015
Tennessee State Fairgrounds
Kevin Kelly & Prince Nana are on commentary this week. A surprise Team Captain Christmas extravaganza main events tonight’s show, with Lethal and Roddy being the two captains.
These two had a solid match a few weeks back on TV. With Nana on commentary then as well. Caprice cuts a promo pre-match just like last time. Both of these guys have gotten “mail” from Nana. Coleman wants Will and every other ‘jive turkey’ that may be getting mail, that his mail will always be thicker, and that his mail will always become priority.
This was storyline advancement, albeit not the best storyline advancement. The match was just getting started, yet it was thrown out (ruled a No Contest) because of both men smashing their steel chair into each others’. Nana rambled on and on about the envelopes he’s been handing out. I can only see this turning into a stable of some sorts, with Caprice as the head worker and Nana as the operation’s leader. By the jist of what was going on, I could tell that they were following orders from the envelope, being destructive and not wanting to wait to cause maximum harm on each other. I could also see Nana doing this because he wants to see who is the craziest mofo in the ROH locker room that will listen to him. After the two collided chairs, a blitz of officials came out to stop the madness. That was it.
A segment airs kicking off the build to the main event. Lethal, Truth (in Santa attire), and Taeler are looking to choose a present; as whatever name is in it becomes a member of a captain’s team for the match. Lethal is hoping for Moose. Taeler opens the first envelope and it’s none other than…CHEESEBURGER! In a Sid Vicious “22” vibe, Lethal and Truth plead to Nigel (who isn’t there), and scream not only his name for Cheeseburger’s name.
Before the match starts, Truth gets on the mic. Hoes and gentlemen, he says. He wants to share a little story. Ken Phoenix gave a cigarette to Truth, and since it was the holidays, he’s giving Ken a chance tonight. If he impresses Truth, he will have an official truth in the H.O.T. This is Truth’s Christmas gift to him in return for the cig. These two take on the new #1 Contenders for War Machine’s tag team titles, ANX.
This match served as a reminder as to how good, as well as how improved Donovan Dijak is in comparison to his January Top Prospect stuff. As the 2016 tourney was announced during the match, it served as a double innuendo of sorts; making you think more about Dijak in general. The match itself was nothing impeccable, but a fun little exhibition that still served as a story worth telling. Ken Phoenix was the rookie sticking himself in awkward situations, never fully utilizing the ‘big man’ to his advantage, as well as not communicating/tagging himself in. This led to communication breakdowns, with exclamation points put on them via ANX’s exciting offense and tag work. There were some nice highlights in the little tag, such as Dijak’s time in the ring, Kenny King’s explosive hot tag work as well as continuity as he used the trip over the ropes move to Dijak that Dijak used on them at the beginning of the match, and lastly, Rhett playing face in peril good enough to be believable. Phoenix ended up tagging back in after the duo finally worked together, where the continuity trip happened/a Kenny dive, and a lay-on-the-knees assisted splash was executed for the ANX win. Simple and effective, but nothing great.
Truth is back on the mic after the fact. He either gives a thumbs up or down to the potential recruit. He plays to the fans, and the majority give thumbs down. He plays a meter with his thumb, and teases an up but goes right back down a la Batista. “Feast Your Eyes”, he says, as Dijak delivers exactly that to Ken Phoenix.
Nana gave Dijak an envelope as Truth walked ahead, and Dijak put it in his trunks without anyone else noticing (dramatic irony paired with overacting on the big man’s part). I’m enjoying the booking path of Donovan thus far, and hopefully it gets even more compelling come 2016; as he deserves a big, permanent spot on the card.
Another ringside segment with Kevin Kelly. Steve Corino is here in a neck brace. He inquires about the neck surgery and how it’s going to affect his life ongoing. Corino thanks the kind crowd. He thought it’d be tough, but it was the most intense pain that he’s ever felt. It’s worth it though, since this is all he’s ever wanted to do. He wishes he could start off 2016 in the commentary booth beside Kevin.
“But I’m not saying it’s going to happen, but I’m not saying it’s not. BJ Whitmer, one day, this neck brace is going to come off and you’re going to pay for your sins. I don’t care how long this goes on. My name is Steve Corino, and I’m always going to be an evil man. And BJ Whitmer, you’re really gonna find it out soon enough.”
When the match was about to get under way, ref Todd Sinclair threw all the managers out.
All I can say is…my God. What a wacky combination here. At least Delirious could excel at something he’s actually good at. Creating insanity. There are a total of 17 people in the match or at ringside, excluding Kelly & Nana. That’s almost 20 people ‘on the roster’ that are apart of this thing. I guess this is the best ROH Christmas treat possible? There are so many ridiculous things about this match: The Briscoes being on opposing sides, only one Young Buck working the match, Cheeseburger on the ‘heel’ side, Cedric on Team Roddy (Roddy beat Cedric at SOTF to qualify for the SOTF finals he didn’t work) and more. I’m ready for this clusterfuck.
This match is the definition of a fun time. It was wacky as expected, with an elongated reoccurring spotlight on Cheeseburger that was quite awesome. Roddy & Matt (hello Mt. Rushmore 2.0), were amazing by themselves and with each other, doing a double superkick at one point then too sweeting (Moose did one too). They also triggered an awesome spot where Roddy would bodyslam every member of the team onto Cheeseburger; with Lethal breaking up the pin after the Moose cap-off bodyslam ironically. Mark and Cliff got to have their interactions that didn’t happen back in August in Atlanta (due to Cliff having a seizure in the locker room). They went full out brawl which was entertaining yet it didn’t last long as it was used a leverage for one of many commercial breaks; getting wrangled back into the heard in the ring by “BITW” Todd Sinclair. Moose was fun but wasn’t used much except for a few pop spots and tons of interactions with Moose that turned out really well. The big vs. small dynamic was so much of a hoot to see, with the heels trying to erk Cheese on during the interactions. Jay Briscoe had moments with his brother, and that’s about it for the most part. Lethal was excellent in this scenario, especially with Cedric and others you don’t see in the title picture right now; showing off what could be some potential title matches come 2016 with some of the best (midcard albeit) talent on the roster. Lastly, Adam Page was used as the fall guy, the guy who would try but always get caught, as well as the periodic drop-in for things (the best description for someone you don’t remember too much doing anything else). Confession: It was easier to describe things by person, as it all intertwined and you get a better picture of the craziness spider map that went down.
After all the prior fun, Cheeseburger cleared everyone else but Moose out with palm strikes, Lethal ducked a Moose lariat and hit Lethal Injection. Whilst sitting up he was hit with a superkick. Page then hit his slingshot lariat on Matt. Roddy hit the Sick Kick on Page, then Briscoe hit him with a dropkick. Brainbuster from Cedric to Jay, and Compton hit a Michi Driver on Cedric himself! Matt hit Compton with a superkick as he was climbing up the top rope, and Compton went through the table that he couldn’t use vs. Mark earlier on in the match. Page tried for the slingshot lariat yet again but was hit with a jumping knee/End of Heartache combo. Mark Briscoe got the win for his team with the Froggy Bow.
This was simply a fun way to end ROH TV episodes in 2015, as the last episode of the year will be the “Best Of” edition. We had some funny/intriguing segments, along with character development in Nana & Truth’s separate storylines (that actually intertwined during the show)! Steve Corino solidified the fact that the Whitmer feud is ongoing and provided more hype for 2016, and lastly, the 10 man tag captured the best of what the talent had to offer on the well booked separate sides; with the ‘faces’ getting the last laugh headed into the new year. It’s been a pleasure starting my ROH recap journey with TV and shows. This was my 23rd straight week of recapping television, and I don’t plan to stop headed into next year. Happy Holidays to ya.