ROH TV Episode 265 (airing from October 15 onward)
Watch: ROHWrestling.com, Fite.tv, COMET, local affiliates, etc
Lowell Memorial Auditorium – Lowell, MA
A recap of the fantastic Ladder War from All Star Extravaganza leads us into the intro.
The Bullet Club of the new ROH Tag Champs, The Young Bucks, ROH World Champ Adam Cole and Hangman Page were out to kick things off. The promo started with an amazing line from Matt Jackson: “The Bullet Club turned All Star Extravaganza into 5 Star Extravaganza.” This was a standard heel domination promo. It got the job done with them relaying smarky messages. It was all about assuring the audience that the stable would take every title in the promotion, even when its said and done with Adam Page as TV Champ. There was bragging about Cole being champ and The Bucks being “the greatest tag team of all time”. Not much of note, but short, solid and to the point to open the show. It wasn’t overtly goofy like a lot of Bullet Club things can be. It gave a clear message.
Jay Lethal dug into Silas Young for build to this show’s main event. He cut a fired up babyface interview about the assent back to the top of the company. He doesn’t know how the Silas beef happened or why, but he’s going to put a stop to it tonight. Good convection as usual from Lethal. It’s going to get taking used to not having to put up with Flair parody anymore.
War Machine vs. Shane Taylor & Keith Leegreat
Our very own Dan wasn’t lying when he attended the tapings and said this was his favorite match of the night, as it was a needed put over. If you were to boot up the newest edition of the WWE Games series, WWE 2K17 and have these two CAW teams clash, this would be the result. It was what I aspire all big lads wrestling to be. It felt so right. It didn’t feel as if it was two big teams artificially trading blows. Everything had rhyme and reason flowing from the outside back in the ring. We only got a handful of tags during the match. That shows how this combined the modern style of ROH with ‘hoss’ like elements. Not only did we get an absurd amount of spots fluctuating between double teams and athleticism, but it built a story. Hanson eventually bled like a pig from his face which led to him being in peril. Rowe made an epic comeback providing the best superman punches he’s done, leaping off one Pretty Boy to hit the other. This was a grudge match and it felt like it. All the signatures and finishers were being kicked out of. The finish was out of this world. Keith Lee missed a moonsault only to be Canadian Destroyer’d by Rowe. This ended the undefeated streak of the Pretty Boy Killers. This was a perfect feud evener that was worked better than most grudge matches. It allowed the hosses to be creative in everything they did. Whether it spilled outside, kept to a few tags, showed Hanson bleeding in peril trying anything to win, and more, this is totally worth your time (most likely to be a hidden gem at its finest in the year of so many matches making tape).
War Machine def. Pretty Boy Killers
We go from the bundle of tag team awesomeness to … … wait for it — Caprice Coleman of The Cabinet referencing the trios tournament, actually doing a good job intertwining political references while keeping a mean streak character going. It was creepy and did its job, without shoving a joke of a kneel or Donald Trump down your throat. More of this deep dark political stuff and less of parodies of politics, please.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship Tournament First Round: Leon St. Giovanni, Jason Kincaid & Shaheem Ali vs. The Cabinetok
The Top Prospects vs. The Cabinet is what you’re looking at as the first match in the tournament. The Cabinet got a “special” entrance with citizens walking down the aisle to ‘Murica music. While I can’t doubt The Cabinet are good in ring, it’s just so hard to not roll my eyes at whatever they do. Like doing the kneel again. I feel as if this was the right matchup regardless as to how the match went. It allowed for the Top Prospect Trio to get more exposure and try something new instead of singles, while working with two (fairly) experienced guys and a top class veteran in Caprice. It got goofy yet did its job, like Shaheem Ali being picked on with kneels to boot. There were three positive takeaways from this, three more than expected: Shaheem Ali could be used in the future as another lanky big man like Dijak, Jason Kincaid got the spotlighted a handful of times and The Cabinet are better at working well in ring without the gimmick completely clouding over it. The trio did end up getting too much shine though. The Cabinet should have been more dominant if we should be seeing them as a fluid heel unit. Titus was the brunt of a lot of offense including a triple suicide corner dropkick. Sky Splitter was hit on Giovanni for the win. Solid but not anything notable.
The Cabinet def. Top Prospect Trio to advance
The Cabinet will face ACH, KUSHIDA & Jay White in the next round.
Silas Young vs. Jay Lethalok
This is your television main event, with the build stemming from house shows and the Silas promo on the PPV. This is the most note worthy Silas match since the Fight Without Honor (Dalton Castle) blowoff. While this doesn’t seem to be as good as their other matches this year, based on others’ reports, it served its job as being a nice TV match setting up cross roads between both guys and Cole. Cole was on commentary for the match, as he plugged the Bull James match this coming Friday I shook my head harder than ever. Reminder that that is happening. Silas is an underrated as a base, able to take a lot of punishment and switch up styles. From grappling in AAW with Thatcher to working mid-west Canadian indies vs. random dudes to working with ROH big league guys he’s always believable. As the match was picking up into something really fun it transitioned into a four way story being told. O’Reilly ran down starting beef with Cole, attacking him, which led to the two fighting next to the ring as Lethal managed to roll Silas up for the win. Silas had a stare down with Cole only to be pulled out of the ring by Lethal. O’Reilly hit the brainbuster on Cole to end the show. A good quick chaotic ending that keeps things up in the air. A helluva lot better than no build clipped or random events TV.
Jay Lethal def. Silas Young
ROH TV FOR OCTOBER 15, 2016
Strong Effort - 7/10
ROH TV kicked off a new string of tapings from post-ASE in Lowell, and they brought their B+ game. Everything had purpose, the big lads tag grudge match was wonderful, the promos were solid, the storytelling in the main was resourceful, and we even got a Jason Kincaid stunner on the outside as the cherry on top. Without the War Machine vs. Pretty Boys match this episode could have been a lot weaker, but that's the beauty of ROH TV when it's not terrible. We get hidden gem matches that have meaning. Just if that could be done more. Still not looking forward to Bull James main eventing.