Ring of Honor METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 6/21 & 6/24: Huge showcase of ROH/New Japan including Bullet Club vs. CHAOS main event, Nakamura-Strong, soft Best in the World follow-up
Jun 24, 2015 - 10:09:50 PM
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ROH TV Report
Aired June 21, 2015 in syndication
To air June 24, 2015 on Dest. America
Taped 5/16 in Toronto, Ont.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The ROH TV opening aired.
Ringside: Kevin Kelly welcomed viewers to the show with Steve Corino and Nigel McGuinness by his side. Kelly mentioned that Best in the World was now "in the rearview mirror," but said nothing else about last Friday's PPV.
1 -- RODERICK STRONG vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
There was no mention of Strong's victory at Best in the World, only that he has been on quite the hot streak lately. Nakamura received a huge ovation and plenty of streamers as well. Both men shook hands and the bell rang. They started the match with a chain wrestling sequence and traded holds on the mat. Strong got the early advantage with a wrist lock, but Nakamura made it to the ropes after about 30 seconds.
Nakamura did some of his schtick where he bent over and acted like he was asleep, to which Roddy responded with some chops and then a leg lariat. Nakamura quickly kicked out of a pin attempt, but Strong stayed right on him with a chin lock. Nakamura fought out of it, but Strong countered with an Olympic Slam. Nakamura rolled to the outside. Roddy followed, but that gave Nakamura the opening to snap Strong's ahead across the top rope! Nakamura followed up with a running knee to Strong on the apron and then again against the hockey boards, as the show went to its first break at the 4:15 mark.
Back at 6:45, both men were trading blows in the center. Nakamura came out on top with a stiff strike to Strong's head. Roddy got up quickly, however, and threw Nakamura to the outside. He followed up with a dropkick through the ropes. Both men quickly got back into the ring, as the camera revealed that Strong had been busted open. Roddy charged at Nakamura a couple times in the corner and then dropped the New Japan star back-first on both of his knees. Strong went to follow up, but Nakamura applied a sleeperhold out of nowhere!
Strong quickly escaped, but could not avoid a suplex from Nakamura! Nakamura went up top, but Roddy ran over and nailed him with a running knee! Strong climbed up and delivered a backbreaker across the top turnbuckle! Strong went for the cover but could only get two! Things settled down and Nakamura fought back with a knee strike from the middle rope! Nakamura went for another knee strike, but missed. This opened him up for a double-knee gutbuster from Roddy! Strong then applied the Strong Hold in the center of the ring! Nakamura was in pain, but was able to quickly reach the bottom rope!
Both men again traded blows in the ring. Nakamura was clearly the crowd favorite at this point. Nakamura looked like he was going to come out on top, but Roddy created some separation and nailed Nakamura with a Sick Kick out of nowhere! He immediately hit a nasty-looking double-knee gutbuster, but Nakamura somehow kicked out! Strong looked surprised that he didn't put his opponent away. After a brief hesitation, Strong went for his gutbuster again, but Nakamura escaped and countered with a baseball slide! He covered his opponent, but Strong kicked out at one! Nakamura charged at Strong, but Roddy reversed with a knee strike out of nowhere! He went for another one, but this time Nakamura countered with a standing knee strike to put Strong away.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall in 14:05.
ANALYSIS: Hard-hitting match from the "King of Strong Style" and the "Messiah of the Backbreaker." Things really picked up after the commercial break, which brought this match up a few notches. Not either man's finest work, but not a bad way to fill 15 minutes of TV time either. While the match-up looked good on paper, I just don't see why you would bother having your new #1 contender do a job to a special attraction on TV. Perhaps plans had changed since this was taped last month. (***1/4)
2 -- MICHAEL ELGIN vs. GEDO
Both men shook hands and the bell rang. Kevin Kelly did not mention anything specific from Best in the World, but did hype the Death Before Dishonor iPPV in July. Elgin and Gedo felt each other out for the first minute, until Elgin nailed his opponent with a stiff chop. Gedo responded with a couple of rakes to the eyes, but Elgin came right back with a fallaway slam and a nearfall. Both men fought on the apron, where Elgin was able to lift Gedo for his delayed vertical suplex. The fans counted to 30 and then Elgin dropped Gedo to the mat. He went for the cover, but Gedo kicked out at two.
Elgin looked a little frustrated despite only being 3:00 into the match. He came off the top, but Gedo moved out of the way! Gedo threw some fists and then nailed Elgin with a jawbreaker followed by a superkick. He covered Elgin, but could only get two. Both men got to their feet and jockeyed for position. Elgin eventually came out on top with a double foot stomp to Gedo's back. Elgin hit a Buckle Bomb, followed by a full-revolution Elgin Bomb for the victory.
WINNER: Michael Elgin via pinfall in 4:45.
ANALYSIS: Gedo did not impress me here, but perhaps that was by design. Elgin was given the dominating victory that should have been reserved for Roderick Strong. Perhaps Elgin was originally slated to go over in his match with Strong and Moose at Best in the World and plans changed, or maybe ROH just didn't think that far ahead. (*3/4)
Inside ROH: Mandy Leon introduced a video package of the best matches and moments from Ring of Honor's recent tour with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Various match clips were shown while the ROH/NJPW promotional theme music played in the background. The highlight (or lowlight) of the package was A.J. Styles and the Young Bucks triple superkicking Maria Kanellis. I can hear the sound of the "WWE/Pro Wrestling" box being checked off on Destination America's "Do Not Advertise" list. For a more in-depth discussion on this matter and the rest of the Best in the World PPV, please check out the 90-minute PPV Audio Roundtable I participated in with James Caldwell and Sean Radican over the weekend, available for VIP members HERE. [ Not a VIP member? Find out how to Go VIP - PWTorch.com/GoVIP. ]
3 -- BULLET CLUB (IWGP World Hvt. champion A.J. STYLES & IWGP Jr. Hvt. tag champions YOUNG BUCKS - NICK & MATT JACKSON vs. CHAOS (KAZUCHIKA OKADA & ROPPONGI VICE - ROCKY ROMERO & TRENT BARRETA) -- six-man tag match
Okada and Styles started the match, which served as a preview to their IWGP World Hvt. Title re-match in Osaka, Japan on July 5. They went back-and-forth on the mat for the first minute until they reached a stalemate. Styles tagged Nick Jackson and Okada tagged Barreta. They both jockeyed for position for a few moments until Barreta hit a nice overhead suplex into a pinning combination for a nearfall. Romero tagged in and RPG Vice double-teamed Nick for a bit. Barreta tagged right back in and went for a leg drop, but was cut off by a superkick from Matt Jackson!
Nick was in control of Barreta, as he choked him across the middle rope. Nick tagged his brother and then the Bullet Club triple-teamed Barreta. Matt Jackson talked trash to his opponents, while Batreta found himself isolated in the enemy corner. A.J. tagged in and suplexed Barreta into the corner, as the show went to a commercial at the 5:00 mark.
Back at 6:00, Barreta was still playing the face-in-peril. He was able to create some separation, but Styles yanked Barreta's partners off the apron before he could make the hot tag. Meanwhile, Nick continued to dominate Barreta in the ring. He went for a Swanton Bomb from the top rope, but Barreta got his knees up! Barreta was able to finally make the hot tag to Romero, who was took care of all three of his opponents and then hit a double-hurricanrana on both Bucks!
Romero did his charging in the corner routine, but Matt cut it off with a superkick and then a stiff lariat! Romero tagged Okada and Matt tagged Styles. Okada nailed A.J. with a flapjack and then splashed him in the corner. Okada followed up with a back elbow, but Styles kicked out of the pin attempt. Styles fought back with a boot to Okada's face. He couldn't capitalize, as Okada dropped him head-first over his knee. Things really started to break down, as Nick Jackson ran in and was double-teamed by RPG Vice. Matt came back in and attacked his opponents, but Barreta and Romero countered with a Doomsday Device-like maneuver on the outside where Barreta lifted Matt onto his shoulders and then Romero nailed Matt with a running knee strike from the apron!
Styles and Okada found themselves alone in the ring. Styles went for his flying forearm, but Okada caught him. They jockeyed, until Styles nailed Bloody Sunday out of nowhere! He went for the Styles Clash, but Okada reversed into a Tombstone piledriver! Okada did not go for the pin, however. Instead he went for the Rainmaker, but Styles escaped. He went up top but Okada dropkicked him to the outside! Both Romero and Nick made blind tags and then faced off with one another. Nick hit a springboard facebuster on Romero in the ring and then nailed Romero with a Tornado DDT on the outside! The Bucks then set Romero up for a Swanton Bomb while he was draped across the middle rope, but he kicked out of the pin attempt!
The Bucks then went for More Bang for Your Buck, but Romero made a blind tag to Barreta. RPG Vice took out both Bucks and then Okada appeared out of nowhere with an elbow from the top! The camera zoomed out on cue for his Rainmaker pose, but A.J. reappeared to break up the momentum. An amazing sequence then ensued The Bucks assisted Styles in setting Barreta up for a Styles Clash, but Okada broke it up with a beautiful dropkick!
The smoke cleared and all six men were trading blows in the ring. The Bullet Club then hit three super kicks in stereo on their opponents. Okada no-sold it for a moment, but then the Bullet Club hit their double superkick/pele combo to take out the Rainmaker! The Bullet Club finished Barreta off with a spike piledriver, a Meltzer Driver and then a double superkick/Styles Clash combination for the victory.
WINNERS: Bullet Club via pinfall in 15:50.
ANALYSIS: Your typical Styles/Bucks match with flashy moves, creative sequences, and hard-hitting action throughout. The Styles-Okada and Bucks-RPG Vice dynamics provided some intriguing moments, but this was just a crazy spotfest when you get down to it. The Styles/Bucks team has some great chemistry in the ring, but I can see there being diminishing returns after a while. I think their match against the Kingdom last Friday was better, but this one was available for free if you skipped the PPV for any reason. (****)
FINAL REAX: Ring of Honor has come a long way since their debut on traditional PPV last year, but their overall presentation still isn't perfect. Putting the focus on the New Japan stars was the right idea on this lame duck episode, but ROH still got caught with their pants down by having Strong lose on TV on the same weekend he became #1 contender to the ROH World Title. That being said, I am personally relieved that ROH has gotten its act together and synced its TV product with its live events and PPVs. As mentioned on this weekend Best in the World PPV Audio Roundtable, I believe this will give ROH tremendous momentum going into the summer, compared to last year when viewers were subjected to four weeks of TV repeats following BITW 2014.
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