After Lio Rush won the Top Prospect Tournament, a horrendous main event took place, and promos for the Tag Gauntlet main event for this week aired, it’s now time for the newest episode of Ring of Honor television. We are one week out from Honor Rising shows airing in place of the rest of the taped Nashville television. I’ll savor this new content while I can. In a little bit of a newsbit for this week’s review, Tomohiro Ishii vs. EVIL for the ROH World Television Championship is on the books for Invasion Attack, ROH fans. Let’s get into the show.
As aforementioned this episode emanated from Nashville, TN in the Nashville Municipal Auditorium, with Kevin Kelly & Mr. Wrestling 3 on commentary. It was announced that the Tag Team Gauntlet will be taking up the entire hour.
By no means was this bad, but it felt anti-climatic at all points with the crowd not making much noise and the acoustic sound dominating the room. Will Ferrara got worked over for a good portion of the match until he got a tag to “The Preacher,” who then turned the tide as Ferrara hit a suicide dive on Fish. However, reDRagon still made fairly short work of the team by locking in stereo submissions: a Knee Bar on Ferrara and a Guillotine Choke on Coleman. reDRagon advance.
Out came The House of Truth as the next entrants, but Truth Martini introduced a new “tryout” member; and if you remember, the last time that happened triggered the dissension of Donovan Dijak from the stable. He announced the member as “The Air Apparent” Chris Larusso, who’s served some time in ROH in the past. There’s the added on fact he’s a lawyer, but also the same thing that’s happened to other tryout members will happen if he doesn’t deliver, he will be checked by Martini.
Better than Match #1, but not by a large margin. Everyone worked hard to deliver a solid continuation of the gauntlet. The whole match was built around the awkward team of the House of Truth, with Daddiego and Martini eventually leaving Larusso high and dry after there was a miscommunication kick to the face by Larusso on Daddiego. Speaking of Daddiego, he threw an easy Top 10 worst working punch ever in the match, as the sequence with O’Reilly was a highlight with O’Reilly countering a one-arm powerbomb with a lock only to be slammed into the mat still. With Larusso left alone, he only fended off O’Reilly for a few moments until he tapped to the Guillotine.
I loved this ordering decision of having the Bucks come out in the middle of the pack. They also superkicked poor Larusso walking up the ramp to start the party. This was a main event caliber sprint. The match was built in such a unique way, in that The Bucks were never able to hit EVEN ONE superkick until the end of the match came. That, combined with the sprint time allocation made for so many fun counters, especially that to all the trademark tag moves from both sides, which kept me on the edge of my seat waiting for what was to come. This was crash course tag wrestling at its best, and the two have valuable chemistry. I’m all of a sudden much more excited to see their recent PWG match. The finish of the match saw The Bucks finally hit a stereo superkick on O’Reilly who was coming off the ropes to hit a Nigel. Fish was already taken out of the equation with an assisted Sliced Bread. Then More Bang For Your Buck was hit for the win! Excellent work in the middle of the gauntlet.
The father-son tag team has returned to my excitement, and how better of a return than to face The Bucks. This was a lot of fun for the short time it got and added a comedy element to keep things light whilst giving The Young Bucks a bit of a break in-between actual matches. We got tons of teases of offense from Tough Guy Inc. but nothing that resulted in a win for them. The match started with them isolating themselves on the outside, which resulted in them counting down as a family to enter the ring only to get superkicked, and superkicked again on the apron, then…well…superkicked some more when Hughes tried to win the match all on his own in the ring. After Brutal Bob tuned up his boot, he got superkicked as well in extravagant fashion. Then the rope-assisted senton was hit on Hughes for the win. Also, Tim Hughes telling The Young Bucks to suck it on the outside combined with the fervor-pitch screams during sidewalk slams makes him one of the best comedy acts in the business.
This was short and sweet, no problems in how it was worked. The Addiction jumped The Bucks from behind during their entrance and took control for the short time they were in the match. They taunted The Bucks around every corner, and tried to isolate one, but in reality, they weren’t good enough to do so and were being too cocky~! Kazarian flimsily tried to dive on the outside but was superkicked by Matt, and then Daniels who had Nick in Angel’s Wings was superkicked by Matt, as Nick used the jackknife roll-up for the win. After the match The Addiction beat the winners down, and hit Celebrity Rehab on Matt. However, the last entrants in the match are out, Roppongi Vice!
Roppongi Vice and The Addiction brawled as The Bucks were down. Trent chucked both guys out of the ring.
“Hey Young Bucks, you suck it huh?! (Complete with hip gyration.) -Rocky Romero
This match made me increase the star rating of the match overall. This was such a fun sprint much like the reDRagon match, but was slotted in as the “just f*** everything up juniors, go crazy” match! The match was all about building to the finishing sequence, which essentially told the story of this match anyways. I’m letting play by play do my job to send the gauntlet off. The finishing sequence to the match was off the chain. I loved it. It was based around Roppongi managing to slip through the cracks at just the right times in order to not be put away. After the pullquote sentence happened, this slipped its way into my heart. Nick did a rolling senton onto Romero who was in the Styles Clash position on the top rope. Trent shadow tagged Romero as he was on Nick’s back for More Bang For Your Buck. Romero put his knees up BUT although Trent tried to German Matt, he landed on his feet and went for a superkick — BUT Roppongi Vice hit the Strong Zero for the win. What a fantastic ending to the gauntlet.
This episode of ROH TV was some of the most fun I’ve had watching a wrestling television show this year. It was one match, and that was a very well put together gauntlet match that branched off so many storylines, had comedy elements, flat out wrestling, and junior style sprinting done at its finest. reDRagon managed to go through newly branded Nana’s team as well as the House of Truth that ruined their own chances. Then however The Young Bucks managed to finally hit their superkicks and win the match, to move on to beat Tough Guy Inc. BUT, they fell victim to Strong Zero in a great ending to set up War Machine vs. Roppongi Vice in the future. Next week begins recap and match showings for the previous Honor Rising events in Japan, which allows my job to be easy, but makes me sad that we won’t get new television tapings content like this week’s episode for a while now. Until next time.