Coming off of the first New Japan/Ring of Honor television episode of the year, we move onto another one that sees Jay Lethal defend his ROH World Championship in the main event vs. Hirooki Goto. Also, Adam Cole seemingly will get promo time, and we also get Cheeseburger in action plus a four way survival match. Let’s get into the show.
We got an awesome establishing shot outside of Sams Town zooming back into the building for our first match of the evening.
This was an alright opener although the finishing sequences sure turned the ring ablaze from all the fire. Sydal and Page was what I was most intrigued in as they tore it up. Whether it was the curvature roll-up that’s so squeaky clean, or Sydal balancing Page’s legs on his neck like a ninja, or Page taking it to Sydal; it makes me ponder when these guys will feud or get a lengthy singles match. Moose continues to just be there in matches which is sad, although he did take a ridiculous looking top rope hurricanrana from Sydal and Roddy, Page offense to boot. The finish was bizarre aside from moves as BJ Whitmer came down to distract Page. Page went for a flip-in lariat anyways and already knew Sydal would be ducking; so why go for it in the first place? Very lame setup which led into Sydal hitting a Shooting Star Press only for Strong to give him Death by Roddy and hit a jumping high knee on Page for the win. Grrrr.
It’s time for storytime with Adam Cole baybay. The dude looked like a star from a physical standpoint more than ever. Although he’s been on a down-slump, dropping the ball with title shits and television main events, he explained he is the uncrowned ROH World Champion. Kind of contradictory. Two promises that are still in tact is that Kyle O’Reilly will never win the title, and Cole will be the one to dethrone Lethal, especially if it were to happen in a one-on-one situation. He calls out The Kingdom, throwing shade that with or without them he will get the title. This was a cue for Matt Taven in full Kingdom gear/out to full Kingdom entrance. Taven went on a rant about Kingdom’s success worldwide and put down Cole for never winning the top prize. “You got hurt, and I had to keep you relevant,” said Taven still going off about he was the bigger star in the Kingdom. Taven told Cole he was going to rebuild the Kingdom’s image underneath himself, and said the only thing over with the Kingdom is Cole. I so dig this feud boiling. Taven has grown on me and that’s a good thing.
Another Dalton promo aired for the Fight Without Honor match happening in 2 weeks on TV.
It was Cheeseburger vs. a circus clown looking GEEK. Cheeseburger was literally about to squash Foxx when All Night Express ran down and destroyed Foxx. Cheeseburger looked great in the match and the crowd responded well. Foxx throws a mean scoop powerslam.
“Easy Cheesy,” said Rhett Titus as Cheeseburger put away the Shotei. All Night explained that Cheeseburger is one of them and not one of the crowd. They told him the crowd doesn’t love him. This was so bizarre and I do not understand why this happened, and Kenny suddenly brought up his daughter seeing him do a table spot. ANX continued to tout themselves as better than ever and ran down the fans. All of a sudden we got a game of mean tweets. What. They made up two tweets and blamed it on two people in the crowd and then pandered and ranted. Titus nearly stripped and King called out teams for being spot monkeys which is HILARIOUS. Then apparently ANX contradicted themselves by saying Cheeseburger is a little bit of both (crowd and them). They then attacked. War Machine and Briscoes saved Cheeseburger. This was by far the worst segment of 2016 and potentially the worst thing I’ve seen since Brian Christopher returned to the same reaction as a locked up gym. Briscoes grabbed the tag titles but War Machine confronted them as the show cut to break. I don’t swear a lot, but what in the fuck was that ROH? Come on guys…
We got the same “Goto the hospital” promo as last week for the main event.
This match was a flop, plain and simple. There’s no other way you could put it. It got about 15 minutes of allocation on TV and was nearly a 10 minute match for your main title…with a New Japan guy…overbooked in itself and it’s not even a pay-per-view main event. I cannot believe what I just watched. The action was OK, with some solid stuff like a crazy Lethal suicide dive, a Goto headbutt and Ushigoroshi, work from both sides during the match, but was over-plagued with interference and it went so short. Hendrix interfered two times, which led to the finish where Truth Martini got involved by trying to smash the Book of Truth into Goto, but Goto turning around only to be hit with the Lethal Injection. Why did the match only get 10 minutes? Why did it need to be so overbooked? And to top it all off, truly in ROH fashion, after the match, we had run-ins. At least it was Dijak, but it made NO SENSE to put all of this together, as Dijak got rid of Lethal and as Truth backed into Nana, the spin kick absolutely dismantles Martini; as this was the angle they ran that made Twitter think Truth legitimately died.
Skip this episode at all costs. This was really, really bad. If this was someone’s first viewing experience of ROH I’d feel so bad for them. You had one of the most nonsensical segments ever that interrupted a Cheeseburger match, that ran too long, leading into a main event that went TEN MINUTES with a New Japan talent that had to be overbooked including post-match. At least we got a decent opener, but that is not something you should go out of your way to see. Absolutely unacceptable work here from all angles. Until next time, where I hope ROH puts out a better show than an in the dumps product showcase.