ROH TV Episode 266 (airing from October 22 onward)
Watch: ROHWrestling.com, Fite.tv, COMET, local affiliates, etc
Lowell Memorial Auditorium – Lowell, MA
ROH put in a 2012 SmackDown levels fake pop during the intro. It was literally disgusting. It was something you’d download to insert into a student film or something. I’ll upload for proof as per usual. Regardless, Steve Corino was unable to say Los Ingobernables yet again as we went to the ring for a surprise.
Tempura Boys (Sho & Yohei) vs. Colt Cabana & Dalton Castleok
I want to start off by saying that Sho Tanaka has gotten THICK. He is EVIL super heavyweight like at this point. It was the human embodiment of the upgrade button meme. The Tempura Boys got a shot at the new #1 Contenders for the ROH Tag Team Titles. Tempura Boys immediately have a theme to their team, with first names only and Yohei in green and red gear with shackles, with Sho’s beefy chest hanging out first in Goto-esque trunks with flaps. About the match. It was a really fun exhibition for Tempura Boys to gain experience working TV. This was an ideal contest for them to be in as they were able to get some serious offense in while playing around with the goofy Cabana/Castle team, that have ironically been a very good asset to ROH. We got some fun combos like a Castle backdrop into a Cabana World of Sport pin. Not much else was of note as this didn’t get any type of grandiose presentation. Castle did the finishing job himself, hitting a German on Sho and hitting Yohei with Bang-a-rang for the win. Good work.
The Briscoes during commercial break came on stage to confront the #1 Contender tag team. Kevin Kelly was with The Briscoes to react to such. Briscoe Bros will never not be entertaining in any segment they’re put in. Not only are they one of my favorite tag teams ever, but they get across their words so well for being so abstract with their tones. It looks like we’re heading for a Young Bucks vs. Briscoes Final Battle direction as there’s no way they drop the titles to Cabana and Castle. Short but useful segment.
Adam Cole and Jay Lethal cut promos on each other regarding their ROH Title match in London, England and it was awful. They spliced together the two to make it seem like a face to face type of segment. No comment. Kyle O’Reilly then cut a promo regarding the possible winner of the match as he’ll be challenging whoever wins at Final Battle (aka Adam Cole, which is the biggest money match in the company right now). I fully expect O’Reilly to finally get his due come Final Battle in the Hammerstein.
Jonathan Gresham vs. Kyle O'Reillygood
Absolutely ridiculous that we get this for free on TV. This is a world-class matchup. Boy did it ever deliver. Even if they had to splice this between two commercial breaks right when Gresham started to target the protective tape on O’Reilly’s arm, this flowed incredibly well and never left me pondering why they were doing what they were doing. It was ultra competitive with slick grappling and meaning. Although it was sub 10 minutes it was one glorious. O’Reilly had to fight through the maestro grappling, as well as being targeted and worked over. He eventually charged up hitting his trademark offense and a knee to Gresham’s face. This led to an insane front choke on Gresham’s throat which commentary did a GOOD JOB putting over huge. A brainbuster got O’Reilly the win. It possessed everything I wanted in a technical bout. Only if it got just 10 minutes more and could be seen in full.
Post-match continuity continued from the last PPV as Bullet Club jumped O’Reilly and subsequently Bobby Fish. Hangman Page is primed for a TV Title shot as Adam Cole furthers the O’Reilly feud by doing this along with him. It was a half injury angle as Fish’s ribs got decimated with a steel chair. Once again another good segment elevating the stories in ROH right now.
BJ Whitmer & Punishment Martinez vs. Will Ferrara & CheeseburgerN/R
In WWE squash match fashion, Ferrara got on the mic nearly yelling that him and Cheeseburger are ready for another shot at Martinez (they got destroyed in Las Vegas in the summer). Punishment is someone I’ve minor leveled lobbied for since this year’s Top Prospect Tournament. He’s a very good hoss, and now that he’s an evil demented type guy, he works very well. Although Whitmer and Sullivan are by his side, that adds or subtracts pending on what’s going on, yet Martinez shines through regardless. This was an extended squash with Cheeseburger getting in an awesome hot tag, giving a false sense of hope that BJ would be pinned and Martinez wouldn’t be able to do anything. It was labelkled false for a reason as Martinez hit the turnbuckle launch punch on Cheeseburger for the win. For the entire time on commentary, Kevin Sullivan was acting all crazy and ended up whispering something into Corino’s ear, which led to Corino coming out attempting to save the day. In shades of the past 365 days, Corino stood up to a Whitmer led unit. ROH was stupid, going to commercial during the segment, just showing the highlights when we came back. The story of Corino and a spike!
Motor City Machine Guns got on the mic pre-main event to discuss Ladder Wars. Sabin is not good on the mic. Shelley is better. The story is that Nigel McGuiness offered them to take the night off, but they refused and got this main event tag instead. It was a total pander promo but it worked on the local crowd because the PPV carryover. “This is no time to tranquilo.”
Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & EVIL)good
I can’t get over this two hours later. ROH thought it was a fantastic idea to promote the hashtag, and I quote, “#MOTORCITYMACHINEGUNSvsLOSINGOBERNABLESDEJAPON“. MCMG vs. LIJ isn’t good enough I guess. Although the match wasn’t as epic as its counterpart hashtag, it was well worked as a TV main event. It stuck to the story put in motion during the promo, which was Motor City can hardly stand to perform for injuries in tact and LIJ wanted to take advantage of it. Everything tended to be so smooth which is going to happen when you have four good wrestlers in the ring at once. Sabin was the choice for face in peril the majority of the time, even hitting some 2 vs. 1 offense. We got all the classics like the Machine Gun tope through the legs in the ropes. The match was basic work over to babyface fiery offense to a climax, but they didn’t need to veer away from that for any reason. When the teams picked up it was blessed. EVIL hit his beautiful STO on Shelley which nearly decapitated him. We got great near falls whether it was the jackknife pin or misc. pins. Destino was suddenly hit on Sabin for the win as LIJ prevailed. It had all the elements of what could have been a great tag, but I’m unsure if this was even 10 minutes. It was very good for what its worth. It gets a “you should watch this if you have a time” recommendation.
Next week sees The Brisoces vs. The Addiction and the first Second Round Match of the Trios Tournament: ACH, Jay White & KUSHIDA vs. The Cabinet.
ROH TV FOR OCTOBER 22, 2016
Good - 7.5/10
ROH hit the nail on the head this week with TV, as its rare when they do so, but very rewarding as someone who sits through it all. We've got character development, supreme wrestling, and story arches being implemented from all sides. This is a more ideal image of what ROH SHOULD BE all the time and not just a couple episodes every few months. I look forward to more as well as the ridiculous England tour and Final Battle. Watch this episode if you have the time. I'll have ROH catch-up articles/match reviews coming out very soon as well.