SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH TV Report
Aired October 4, 2015 in syndication
To air October 7, 2015 on Dest. America
Taped 8/22 in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The ROH “Creating Excellence” signature aired, followed by the ROH TV opening.
The camera panned the crowd at MCU Park in Brooklyn, N.Y. The sections on the hard-camera side were full, as announcer Kevin Kelly’s voice was dubbed in. He spoke in the past tense about how tonight’s edition of ROH TV would be a unique look at the Field of Honor show that took place back in August.
1 — TIME SPLITTERS (Then-IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion KUSHIDA & ALEX SHELLEY) vs. THE BRISCOES (JAY & MARK BRISCOE)
Again, the crowd looked very good on TV. It was by no means a sell-out, but all of the best seats were filled. Both teams shook hands and then the bell rang. KUSHIDA and Jay started the match. Jay kicked KUSHIDA in the mid-section and followed up with a headbutt. He tagged in Mark, who came in and hit a side Russian legsweep on KUSHIDA, which earned him a quick nearfall. Mark beat on KUSHIDA a little bit and then tagged his brother back in. Jay kicked KUSHIDA in the gut a few times while Mark held him back. Jay covered KUSHIDA for another two count.
Mark re-entered the match and knocked Shelley off the apron. The Briscoes went for a double-team, but KUSHIDA fought out and nailed Mark with a bulldog! KUSHIDA threw some fists, but Mark came right back with a stiff right hand of his own. KUSHIDA tagged Shelley, however, and then the Time Splitters double-teamed Mark for a few moments. Jay came in and threw some fists at both Shelley and KUSHIDA, but they fought him off as well. The show then cut to a break at the 2:47 point in the match.
Back at 5:17, KUSHIDA was in firm control of Mark Briscoe. Shelley rammed Mark’s arm across the top rope several times from the apron and then KUSHIDA did the same. He entered the ring and applied a Fujiwara armbar on Mark. The Time Splitters made quick tags as they continued to dominate Mark. This went on for a good minute. Jay tried to break it up, but Shelley nailed him with a double axehandle from the second rope.
Jay was able to get the tag and he nailed Shelley with a big clothesline. Jay applied a front chancery and then tagged Mark back in. Jay tried to catapult Mark into Shelley in the corner. Shelley tried to get out of the way, but Mark still got some of him. Mark tagged Jay back in, as the announcers commented on Shelley perhaps losing a tooth during the match. Jay applied a chin lock at the 8:40 mark. Shelley fought out pretty quickly, but ate a boot that sent him right back down to the mat.
Mark came back in. They tried to double-team him, but Alex fought back with a clothesline/bulldog combo on both Briscoes! KUSHIDA made the hot tag and pummeled both Briscoes. They tried to fight back, but a miscommunication allowed KUSHIDA to remain in control. KUSHIDA hit a handspring elbow off the ropes. Shelley took care of Jay on the outside with a running knee from the apron. KUSHIDA then hit a second-rope moonsault onto Mark, but he kicked out at two!
On the outside, Shelley and Jay traded blows. Mark hit Red Neck Kung Fu on KUSHIDA, until the NJPW star hit back with a vicious strike that sent Mark to the mat. KUSHIDA hit the Hoverboard Lock out of nowhere, but Jay ran in to break it up. Jay nailed KUSHIDA in the jaw, but Shelly reappeared and then the Time Splitters hit a reverse chin lock/dropkick combo to the delight of the crowd! The Splitters followed up with a running knee/enziguri combo on Mark in the corner and then a splash/moonsault combo in the center of the ring, but Mark kicked out at two!
KUSHIDA and Shelley set Mark up on the top rope, but Jay ran over to fight them off. Shelley got caught in the Tree of Woe and Mark rammed KUSHIDA into Shelley! Mark nailed KUSHIDA with a stiff clothesline. The Briscoe then hit a Razor’s Edge/neckbreaker combo on Shelley, but he somehow kicked out! KUSHIDA tried to re-enter, but Mark tossed him back to the outside. In the ring, Jay went for the Jay Driller, but KUSHIDA broke it up. Mark ran over and nailed KUSHIDA with a back suplex after a brief struggle. Shelley nailed Mark with a superkick in the corner, but the brief distraction allowed Jay hit the Jay Driller on Shelley for the victory!
WINNERS: The Briscoes via pinfall in 14:35.
ANALYSIS: Hard-hitting and action-packed throughout. It built to a nice climax where it was hard to keep up with the action. Proof that the Briscoes can have a great match without weapons and brawling. It was also pretty cool to see the Briscoes wrestle in front of such a huge crowd. (***1/4)
Back from break, a voice-over from Kevin Kelly encouraged viewers to order the replay of All-Star Extravaganza. Kelly then announced that ROH World & TV champion Jay Lethal emerged from the PPV with his two championships, despite having to defend them both in the same night. Kelly announced that Lethal would defend the ROH TV Title against Takaaki Watanabe on next week’s episode. Kelly then introduced clips of how Watanabe earned his title shot.
2 — CEDRIC ALEXANDER vs. TAKAAKI WATANABE — finals of a gauntlet match for a shot at the ROH TV Title [joined in progress]
Cedric was in firm control of the match at that point. He hit a series of suplexes and then flipped the crowd off. Cedric climbed up top and went for a frogsplash, but Watanabe rolled out of the way! Watanabe hit a couple of running forearms and then a neckbreaker! He followed up with senton splash and a cover, but Alexander kicked out at two! Watanabe went for a back suplex, but Cedric elbowed his way out and reversed with a Michinoku Driver. He went for the cover, but Watanabe kicked out at two.
Cedric was getting frustrated. He unwrapped the athletic tape on his wrist, but Watanabe decked him in the face. Both men began trading blows, until Watanabe came out on top with a series of strikes. Cedric fought right back with a clothesline and then a dropkick. Cedric hit a running dropkick and then called for one more. He hit it and then posed for the crowd. Veda Scott got on the apron, as Moose appeared at ringside! Watanabe hit a German suplex and then a half-nelson suplex. Watanabe then delivered a stiff headbutt, a forearm smash and a vicious STO to win the match!
WINNER: Takaaki Watanabe via pinfall in 3:55 shown.
ANALYSIS: No wonder Watanabe got the victory last week. I like how they are building him up in the short-term for a TV title match against Lethal. They could have easily let Watanabe continue to be New Japan’s “job guy,” but instead the company is giving him a few wins before eventually feeding him to Lethal. Pro wrestling is all about winning streaks and earning title shots, and I hope there is more of this going forward when it comes to the NJPW stars. (n/a)
Inside ROH: “The Exotic Goddess” Mandy Leon introduced the segment by saying that Adam Page had been calling out Jay Briscoe for weeks. Clips were shown from several weeks ago on ROH TV when Page called out Briscoe knowing that he wasn’t in the building. Mandy continued narrating the story, as clips were shown from the next week on TV when Briscoe accepted Page’s challenge for a match on ROH TV. Viewers were then treated to clips of that match, where Page was intentionally disqualified just so he could beat down Briscoe and deliver his Rite of Passage finisher on a stack of chairs. Mandy announced that the two men will face off next week in a no-DQ match on ROH TV!
[Reax: Excellent use of Inside ROH. This feud has been built up quite well and I’m excited to see how it will play out next week.]
3 — IWGP Hvt. champion KAZUCHIKA OKADA vs. RODERICK STRONG – non-title match
Okada received a huge ovation from the Brooklyn crowd. Both men shook hands before the bell. ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuinness joined the commentary desk for this match. There was a dueling chant as both men locked up. They did a chain wrestling sequence as the chants got a louder. Okada got the early advantage with a dropkick to Strong. The IWGP champ then applied a variation of an abdominal stretch, but Roddy got to the ropes fairly quickly.
They ran the ropes and Roddy came back with a beautiful dropkick! Okada kicked out of a pin attempt, but Roddy didn’t relent. He hit Okada with a couple of chops and then a back suplex, which was good for another two count. The show then cut to a break at the 2:35 mark.
Back at 3:40, Roddy was still in control as he hit a nice snap suplex. He applied a chin lock, as another “Okada” chant broke out. Okada fought out, but ate another dropkick from Strong. Roddy pummeled Okada in the corner and then positioned him up top. Okada tried to fight back, but Roddy powerslammed him to the mat! Roddy applied another chin lock, but Okada was too close to the ropes. Roddy dumped Okada to the outside and delivered several chops to Okada’s chest. Strong then suplexed Okada into the crowd.
Referee Todd Sinclair ran over to check on Okada and the fans in the front row. Okada re-emerged fro the crowd, but then ate another stiff chop from Strong. Strong then dropped Okada chest-first across the ringside barrier and got back into the ring. Okada struggled a bit on the outside, but eventually made it back into the ring. Strong immediately stomped Okada upon re-entry and applied yet another chin lock.
Okada elbowed his way out after about 20 seconds, but Roddy was right there with another kick to the gut. Okada was able to reverse with a neckbreaker. Both men got up and jockeyed for position, until Okada hit a DDT. Okada charged at Roddy, but Strong fought back with some chops. Okada flapjacked Strong and covered him for a two count. Roddy fought back with a suplex, but Okada kicked out of his pin attempt.
Roddy picked up Okada and just dropped him on the mat. He charged at Okada, but somehow Okada launched Roddy onto the top rope and then dropkicked him to the floor! The show then went to another break at the 10:25 mark.
Back at 11:25, Strong was still on the outside. Okada went to grab him, but Roddy reversed and slammed him on the apron. Strong rolled him back in and went for the cover, but Okada kicked out at two! Roddy charged at Okada, but the NJPW star caught him and dropped him head-first over his knee! Both men were down as the ref began to count. They got to their feet and began trading blows at the 13:05 mark. This went on for a solid 30 seconds until Strong nailed Okada with an Olympic Slam and then a running knee in the corner. Strong followed up with a running forearm and then placed Okada on the top rope. He went for a move but Okada fought him off.
Strong tried again and this time nailed Okada with a superplex! He went for the cover, but Okada kicked out at two! Strong quickly applied the Strong Hold in the center of the ring! Okada struggled for several seconds before eventually crawling to the bottom rope! Both men jockeyed for position until Okada hit a beautiful dropkick. Okada went for the Rainmaker, but Strong countered with three consecutive running knees, a double-knee gut buster, and then a Sick Kick! Strong went for the cover, but somehow Okada kicked out at two!
“This is awesome!” chant, as both men struggled to their feet. Okada then hit a Tombstone piledriver out of nowhere! Strong tried to fight back with a jumping knee, but Okada caught him and hit another Tombstone! Okada then hit a German suplex, followed by the Rainmaker for the win.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada via pinfall in 17:23.
ANALYSIS: Technical showcase between two of the best in the business today. Strong continues his series of stellar in-ring performances in 2015. The crowd was hot and the finish was absolutely insane. Worth going out of your way to see. (****)
Kevin Kelly closed the show by hyping other matches from Field of Honor and encouraged fans to order the VOD on ROHWresting.com. Kelly then hyped next week’s main event of Jay Briscoe against Adam Page, as the show faded to black.
FINAL REAX: Great show all around. The atmosphere made ROH feel major league. The NJPW stars were also used well this week. The Briscoes got a credible victory over the Time Splitters to advance them in the tag title hunt, Watanabe earned a TV Title shot at Jay Lethal, and Okada brought out another memorable performance from Roderick Strong. I definitely recommend checking out this episode. It was so good, I won’t even complain that three weeks have gone by without any follow-up from ROH’s All-Star Extravaganza PPV.