Ring of Honor Television
Watch: ROHWrestling.com, COMET TV, Sinclair Broadcasting Networks
Syndicated air date of June 11, 2016
Ted Reeve Arena – Toronto, Ontario
I’ve been dragged back into the spotty (in more ways than one) abyss that is Ring of Honor Wrestling. I honestly had to take a break, which coincided with the temporary break and eventual relaunch of WWW anyways. Global Wars was too much, after being a consumer of multiple pay-per-views in a row; with each continually lacking ambition, branding, and strokes of good compared to pure stupidity. However, I’m back…and better than ever, here to take on ROH TV review duties for the site once again. It’s almost been a year since I’ve started to cover ROH, and there have been lots of ups and downs. As we inch closer to Best in the World: Lethal vs. Briscoe II in 13 days; we’ll see what ROH had to offer: typical television, or maybe something better and more identifiable than a recap show or phoned in TV block usage.
This match is apart of the War of the Worlds tour. The other Naito match (vs. ACH) from New York was garbage. Yes that is a hot take. Yes it has justification. No I didn’t expect the same thing to happen again. Yes I was OK with that none the less because Naito was very ill prior to the show. This was a good TV match, and was about five times better than the ACH match. This combined taunts, Naito’s charisma, big bumps, and translated Moose’s ‘fighting spirit’ best since the Roddy Strong WrestleMania weekend match. Whether it was Naito falling on the apron, taking a Gorilla press slam into the barricade, constantly stealing the Moose fist bump taunt, and incorporating his Ingobernables shenanigans – it felt like a complete, fun act, and didn’t wear off. There were fighting spirit spots that actually made sense, with Naito taunting only to have the match shoved back in his face. Stokely’s banter is always appreciated. The finish came when Naito slapped Moose to get him fired up, dazed, and confused, only to hit Destino for the 3 count.
This “Make Wrestling Great Again” gimmick for the All Night Express is the worst thing on ROH TV since the (coincidentally) ANX segment with Cheeseburger. They talked about wrestling being “too PC…” etc. That in itself should have been ripped off the show. They’re painfully average in ring and with an UGH reactionary gimmick like this, it does not help their cause whatsoever.
ANX came out with loud speakers. I’m pretty sure they were gimmicked to the point where they were just rambling. Literally no one could hear them. (Maybe?) This wasn’t anything special or worth watching, et al. Liger was over like a God in the Six, which is expected. ANX have go-away heat with me more than anyone in wrestling right now. Even KAI. The gimmick combined with their overstayed welcome and awful heat control segments/promos – I’m just so over them. Liger Burgers is an awesome team that are fun to watch, but it was blatantly hard to put a good match together here. It was more a solid Liger showcase with Cheeseburger trying to stay alive. Liger got smashed into the barricade and Cheeseburger was hit with a spinning spin-out slam type of move as ANX pick up the win. Making wrestling brutally average again.
The entire show to this point saw Mark Briscoe on commentary with some verbal build to the Roderick Strong match at Best in the World. The match graphic was shown as well as next week’s main event, where the two are forced to team with each other along with Jay Briscoe and Jay Lethal vs. Bullet Club. They had a banter-ful stare down before a cut to commercial.
Silas Young cuts a promo commentary table side to build up his match vs. ACH. I don’t understand why this match is happening. I don’t really like it on paper either just because it’s ‘eh’. It’s freaking HILARIOUS to hear Silas Young talk about “dumb Japanese cartoons” and video games, running down ACH for goofing around backstage (which is 100% true). He’s a child living in a make belief world. Shoot week types of fire there. Silas beefed with a guy in an ACH shirt which led to ACH diving onto security and Silas – yep, Jordan style!
O’Reilly cut a completely mediocre promo that sounded like a practice from a pre-tape. It really wasn’t good and was totally unconvincing. At least he’s deadly in the ring.
From the Best of the Super Junior final in 2015, to Revolution Pro in England, back to the Best of the Super Juniors this year, and now to Canada. These two are taking their undeniable chemistry all over the world for multiple promotions under different circumstances every time. It is awesome. This match went way beyond to deliver as expected. This is my third favorite match of theirs. They deliver in every single environment. My favorite of these environments is ones like this match and in RevPro; where the match feels more like an exhibition grappling/MMA esque contest with wrestling intertwined and typical wrestling things involved. I’ve been too harsh on O’Reilly lately. He’s having a really good year. I wasn’t as high on others as the BOSJ match from last month, but my goodness if that wasn’t good still to you you’re out of your mind. These guys targeted a limb each, worked on it throughout the match, and sold the entire way through. Commentary did a great job of analyzing situations. The match built to the BOSJ chair sit spot, except this involved KUSHIDA on the chair, propping the hell up; catching O’Reilly in the CRAZY arm-bar in mid-air. This series of spots is all-time levels of great. We got tons of submissions and counters, but what also stood out was a RevPro-esque repeat spot with axe and smash and the baseball punch occurring; with the punch hitting so hard that O’Reilly’s mouth-guard fell out. I love when KUSHIDA props up like someone getting fresh air, selling the damage, only to drop down with desperation back into the mat. What I loved about this match is it was paced perfectly, and felt once again, perfect for TV. The finish reflected that as well, with a O’Reilly surprise roll-up.
ROH TV this week delivered. It was much more good than bad. The middle of the show saw ANX stink it up, but besides such, everything around it made for a pleasing experience. Moose and Naito came through with a fun trail mix type of match, incorporating a bunch of elements. So did KUSHIDA and Kyle O’Reilly in the main event, in their own, world tour series of matches type of way; and it was damn brilliant. Watch this episode, or if not interested in anything else, the main event; because it only adds to the legacy of two mastermind performers influenced by the evolution of wrestling and each others’ styles. Until next time. May the ROH train roll on…