Ring of Honor METZGER'S ROH TV REPORT 9/27 & 9/30: NJPW vs. ROH Series continues - Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Adam Cole, Sydal vs. KUSHIDA, more
Sep 30, 2015 - 10:56:04 PM
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ROH TV Report
Aired September 27, 2015 in syndication
To air September 30, 2015 on Dest. America
Taped 8/21 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The ROH "Creating Excellence" signature aired, followed by the ROH TV opening.
Tonight: Adam Cole faces NJPW's Shinsuke Nakamura in the main event!
1 - MATT SYDAL vs. then-IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion KUSHIDA - non-title match
Both men shook hands and then the bell rang. The fans chanted "this is awesome" before both men even tied up. They felt each other out for the first couple minutes, as the announcers talked up KUSHIDA's recent accolades on commentary. KUSHIDA cartwheeled out of a head scissors takeover at the 2:00 mark and then hit an inverted atomic drop. KUSHIDA followed up with a dropkick to the knee and then another one to Sydal's face. KUSHIDA threw some right hands, but. Sydal fought back with some kicks and an enziguri in the corner! Sydal began working KUSHIDA's knee and then locked him in a Muta Lock! This lasted about 15 seconds until Sydal let go and the show cut to its first break at 3:33.
Back at 6:03, Sydal was still in firm control of the match. KUSHIDA quickly fought back with an enziguri. KUSIDA hit Sydal with another kick and then jammed his arm across the top rope. He came off the top rope, but Sydal reversed with a spinning heel kick in mid-air! Sydal started working the leg, but KUSHIDA reversed by flipping heel-first into Sydal! This sent Sydal out of the ring, where he was a sitting duck for a huge flip dive from KUSHIDA! Despite the big offensive maneuver, KUSHIDA sold his injured leg. Sydal got into the ring at a count of 15, but KUSHIDA nailed him with a kick as soon as he entered. He then followed up with a moonsault from the top rope, but Sydal kicked out of the pin attempt!
Both men jockeyed for position until Sydal again kicked KUSHIDA in the leg. Sydal went for his standing moonsault, but KUSHIDA got the knees up and then applied the Hoverboard Lock! Sydal quickly got to the ropes to cause a break, though. Sydal went back to KUSHIDA's knee, but KUSHIDA hit a big kick out of nowhere. Boith men started trading blows on the mat at 10:05. Then they switched to kicks. KUSHIDA came out on top. It looked like he was going for a Lethal Injection, but Sydal hit him with a reverse hurricanrana which was good for another nearfall! Sydal went up top for Air Borne, but KUSHIDA moved out of the way. KUSHIDA applied the Hoverboard Lock again. Sydal struggled for about 20 seconds until he finally broke free.
KUSHIDA immediately followed up with kicks, but Sydal fought back with some kicks of his own. The back-and-forth went on until Sydal hit a stiff jumping knee strike to KUSHIDA's face! Sydal went up top again and hit the Shooting Star Press this time for the victory!
WINNER: Matt Sydal via pinfall in 12:32.
ANALYSIS: Fine for what it was, but nothing really stood out. Just the latest chapter in Sydal's lackluster run in ROH since returning last year. The action was good, it was just another example of the ROH-NJPW relationship's downside. Two guys just thrown out there to fill TV time with no back-story or feud. Sydal got a much-needed win, but there was zero mention of his current issue with A.C.H. (**1/2)
Back from break, B.J. Whitmer and Adam Page were in the ring. Whitmer had a mic and was demanding to know where the Decade's main event matches were. On commentary, Corino wanted to know when Whitmer's contract was due to expire so the viewers didn't have to hear from him anymore. As the wrestlers for the next match made their entrances, clips were shown from a few weeks ago on ROH TV when Adam Page delivered his Rite of Passage behind-the-back piledriver to Jay Briscoe.
2 -- ADAM PAGE vs. WILL FERRARA vs. TAKAAKI WATANABE vs. MOOSE (w/Stokely Hathaway) - four-corner survival match
Everyone except Page adhered to the Code of Honor. Instead, Page immediately nailed Watanabe with a big boot and then the bell rang. Page pummeled Watanabe in the corner, as Kevin Kelly explained that this match would be contested under Lucha rules. Watanabe fought back with a side slam, but Ferrara tagged himself in. He and Page jockeyed for position until Ferrara hit a nice huracanrana off the second rope. Page tagged Moose, who came in and nailed Ferrara with a pop-up clothesline. Moose motioned for the spear, but Page walked over and tagged Moose. Moose and Page stared each other down for a moment before Moose exited the ring.
Ferrara tried to fight back, but Page hit a nice powerslam. Page then hit a modified fallaway slam on Ferrara, which was good for a two count. Ferrara cut off the momentum by rolling Page up for a nearfall and then he tagged Watanabe. The NJPW star hit a neckbreaker and then a senton on Page. He went for a German suplex, but Page stomped on his foot to break it up. Watanabe quickly recovered and hit a fisherman buster, however. Both men left the ring, which allowed Ferrara and Moose to enter. Moose quickly flipped Ferrara to the outside and on top of Watanabe!
Colby Corino got on the apron and taunted Moose. The former NFL star made quick work of him with a big boot that knocked him off the apron. Page tried to capitalize, but Moose nailed him with a massive spear that sent him back to the outside as well! Ferrara came in and actually took Moose down with a tornado DDT. Watanabe reappeared and nailed Ferrara with a sick German suplex. He went for another one on Moose and after a brief struggle, he dropped Moose on his head and to the outside! Ferrara ran in, but Watanabe hit him with the STO for the victory!
WINNER: Takaaki Watanabe via pinfall in 5:47.
WINNER: Another just-okay match. Page added some much needed heel heat to these ROH-NJPW exhibitions, but there was still a lack of anything on the line here. Surprised to see Watanabe go over here as he is usually the New Japan job guy, but I guess Ferrara is the bigger jobber of the two. (**1/4)
Ringside: Announcers Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino hyped tonight's main event, as Bushwhacker Luke randomly appeared doing the Bushwhacker walk around the ring. The crowd chanted "Luke!" as the announcers segued to footage from earlier in the TV taping. Cheeseburger was shown throwing t-shirts to the crowd, as "Brutal" Bob Evans and a lookalike (who Corino mockingly referred to as Evans's "son") came out and attacked Cheeseburger. Before too much damage was done, Bushwhacker Luke made the save and hit the lookalike with a stunner and then a Battering Ram with the assistance of Cheeseburger!
Back in the arena, Kevin Kelly interviewed Luke. He said he loved it in ROH and the Philly fans. Luke then turned his attention to Corino. He said that he looked like "a fresh bucket of sardines" and then proceeded to lick Corino's head.
Next Week: A special look at Field of Honor from August 22 in Brooklyn, NY.
3 -- ADAM COLE vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Both men shook hands and then the bell rang. They tied up in the center and then a chain wrestling sequence ensued. There was a stalemate at the 1:00 mark as dueling chants broke out in the crowd. Cole did his "Adam Cole, bay bay" spot and then both men tied up again. There was a clean break in the ropes and then Nakamura did a signature pose of his own! Cole kicked the rope into Nakamura's arm and then mocked him as the show went to a break at 2:22.
Back at 3:22, Nakamura had Cole crotched on top of the hockey boards at ringside. Nakamura hit a running knee and then set up Cole on a different section of guardrail to do it again! Nakamura charged, but ate a superkick from Cole instead! Cole rolled Nakamura back into the ring and then stomped his arm, as the announcers sold Nakamura's recent arm injury. Cole continued to stomp Nakamura in the corner, before applying a chin lock in the center of the ring. After a few seconds, the ref deemed it a choke and called for a break.
Cole continued to dominate with a couple of harsh Irish whips to the turnbuckle. Cole continued to play the heel, despite his apparent face turn in recent weeks on TV. Nakamura came back with an exploding kick out of nowhere, however. The New Japan star followed up by delivering stomps in the corner like only he can. Nakamura hit a gord buster and then covered Cole for a two count. Nakamura followed up with a hold, but Cole elbowed his way out of it. Cole then followed up with two kicks to the knee and then a superkick to jaw as Nakamura fell to his knees! Cole went for the cover, but Nakamura kicked out at two! Nakamura tried to fight back with some kicks, but Cole stomped on Nakamura;s knee, as the show cut to another break at the 8:38 point in the match.
Back again at 9:38, Nakamura tried to fight back, but Cole yanked him off the top rope and turned it into a backbreaker! Cole quickly followed up with the figure-four leglock in the center of the ring! Nakamura writhed in pain for a good minute until he was finally able to slither to the ropes. Nakamura sold the knee, as Cole hit a variation of a Dragon screw leg whip in which he drove Nakamura's knee across his own. Cole called for the figure-four once again, but Nakamura reversed into an armbar! Cole broke free, but Nakamura came right back with an enziguri! Both men were down on the mat at the 12:20 mark!
Reset at 12:45 as both men traded blows in the center. Nakamura came out on top. He positioned Cole on the top rope and then delivered a running knee strike to the mid-section. He followed up with a variation of the backstabber and then hit a back suplex on Cole. Nakamura went to follow up, but Cole collided with him in mid-ring. Both men were down on the mat again. Cole got to his feet first and hit a Shining Wizard, but Nakamura kicked out of the pin attempt!
Cole went for Florida Keys, but Nakamura stomped on his foot. Cole came right back with a superkick to the back of Nakamura's head and then hit the Florida Key! Somehow Nakamura kicked out at two! Cole thought about striking referee Todd Sinclair, but thought better of it. After a few seconds of hesitation, Cole went for a suplex but Nakamura reversed with a knee strike! Cole came right back with with a a bicycle kick., but Nakamura regained control with a jumping knee strike from the middle turnbuckle!
Both men traded blows again at the 16:20 mark. Cole kicked the knee and then hit another superkick. Nakamura came back with an axe kick and then rammed his knee into Cole's face! Nakamura went for the cover, but Cole kicked out at two! Nakamura charged at Cole, but Cole spat in his face and then hit his signature brainbuster over the knee! Both men jockeyed for position until Nakamura hit the Landslide out of nowhere! Nakamura followed up with a running kick for the victory!
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall in 17:55.
ANALYSIS: Some good psychology and workrate from both men. While Cole playing the heel doesn't really fit with his current storyline, it definitely helped this match. (***1/4)
The show abruptly ended as Nakamura struggled to his feet after a hard-fought victory.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another solid, yet inconsequential edition of ROH TV. And it looks like we have another one on the way with next week's Field of Honor episode. I've talked about the downside of the ROH-NJPW relationship in recent reports. The "honeymoon period" is ending and it really is time for both companies to coordinate their long-term plans to make the most of their partnership going forward.
Kevin Kelly mentioned that the New Japan stars might be looking for future ROH title shots and I only hope that is the case as the inter-promotional relationship expands in 2016. It would really help both ROH and its TV product to feature these great Japanese talents in a meaningful way rather than the exhibition-like presentation viewers have grown accustomed to in the last two years.
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