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Read PWTorch specialist Mike Metzger’s report on this week’s ROH TV episode that originally aired in syndication and airs Wednesday night on Destination America.
ROH TV Report
Aired October 11, 2015 in syndication
To air October 14, 2015 on Dest. America
Taped 9/19 in San Antonio, Tex.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The ROH “Creating Excellence” signature aired, followed by the ROH TV opening.
Ringside: Announcers Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino welcomed viewers to the show and then hyped tonight’s main event of Jay Lethal defending the ROH TV Title against Takaaki Watanabe.
1 – A.C.H. vs. MATT SYDAL – Match #4 in a Best-of-Five series (A.C.H. leads 2-1)
The finishes of the first three matches aired while A.C.H. made his entrance. Kelly said that “75 percent of teams that win Game 3 of a Best-of-Five series end up winning the series,” and wondered if the same would hold true for A.C.H. coming off his victory at All-Star Extravaganza. Both men got in each other’s faces before they shook hands. A.C.H. mockingly made a peace sign at Sydal, which also indicated his two wins in the series. The bell rang and both men felt each other out for the first minute. They traded holds on the mat for the next minute or so, until Sydal threw a couple of peace signs back in A.C.H.’s face.
Things picked up at the 2:30 mark when A.C.H. did some acrobatics before Sydal nailed him with a dropkick that knocked him to the outside. Sydal followed up with a baseball slide to the outside. Sydal pummeled A.C.H. for a moment, until A.C.H. hit a headscissors takeover off the apron! A.C.H. hit a hard chop on the outside before throwing his opponent back into the ring. A.C.H. hit another chop and then drove Sydal face-first into the turnbuckle. A.C.H. quickly followed up with his Dum-Dum double-foot stomp off the top rope, but Sydal kicked out of the pin attempt. A.C.H. was back in control and threw up another peace sign. Sydal fought back with some chops and then went up top, but A.C.H. got the knees up on the standing Shooting Star attempt . The show cut to its first break at the 5:10 point in the match.
Back at 7:40, Sydal and A.C.H. were jockeying for position until A.C.H. nailed a big dropkick that sent Sydal to the outside. A.C.H. kicked Sydal from the apron, as Kevin Kelly explained how this friendly series came about. A.C.H. came off the top, but Sydal reversed with an enziguri in mid-air! Both men go to their feet and traded blows in the corner. Sydal hit his signature leg drop bulldog, but A.C.H. kicked out at two! Sydal followed up with a couple of stiff kicks in the corner, which caused the ref to check on A.C.H. Sydal walked over and covered A.C.H. for a two count. Sydal followed up with a couple more pin attempts, but A.C.H. kept kicking out.
They ran the ropes and A.C.H. hit an enziguri off the rebound. He followed up with a snap German suplex into a pin, but Sydal kicked out at two! Sydal hit a jumping huracanrana on A.C.H. in the corner, but A.C.H. amazingly landed on his feet! A.C.H. busted into a flurry of offense, but he still couldn’t put Sydal away. A.C.H. followed up with the Get Over Here and then went for his Midnight Star, but Sydal rolled out of the ring. A.C.H. readjusted and hit a beautiful flip dive to the outside in which he changed direction in mid-air!
A.C.H. rolled Sydal back in the ring, but Sydal came right back with two jumping knees to the face. Sydal went up top, but A.C.H. hit him with a crazy kick during a backflip! A.C.H. followed up with a brainbuster and then the Midnight Star, but Sydal got his knees up! Sydal popped up and hit a reverse huracanrana in which he dropped A.C.H. on his head and then followed up with the Shooting Star Press for the victory!
WINNER: Matt Sydal via pinfall in 14:09.
ANALYSIS: This match had an old-school start that progressed nicely and built to a hot climax. Probably Sydal’s best match on TV since returning to ROH last year. This series has barely been promoted on TV, but the concept is so universal that it instantly puts something on the line that’s worth getting invested in. (***1/2)
After the match, The Addiction and Chris Sabin ran down to the ring and attacked both A.C.H. and Matt Sydal. Kevin Kelly yelled for the production truck to cut to a break.
The Addiction Speaks
Back from break, Kazarian had the mic and complained about having the “World Tag Team Championships of the World” stolen from them at All Star Extravaganza. Kaz said that it was apparent to him that ROH had turned into a “tyrannical dictatorship.” He then turned his attention to the Texas crowd. He said they didn’t believe in education or bathing, but they did believe in justice and The Addiction was there to make sure justice was served.
Daniels took the mic and addressed the “charlatan” who cost them the match at All-Star Extravaganza. He blasted this “charlatan” for casting dispersions on Sabin and stealing their genius by donning the red mask. Daniels then blamed the announcers and the promotion for allowing that miscarriage of justice to stand. Daniels said that they were never beaten for the titles and then demanded the Kingdom to come out and award them the titles that were rightfully their own.
All of a sudden, the lights went out and a big “ANX” flashed on the big screen which brought out Rhett Titus and Kenny King! The crowd exploded with chants of “All Night,” as Titus apologized for breaking up the Addiction’s party with a party of their own. “And an ANX party goes all night long!” King took the mic and said that they were in fact the true champions as they were never pinned when they were stripped of the titles in 2012; They were only “beaten by bureaucracy.” He said that the road to the tag titles started with ANX and just like all the fine ladies in San Antonio, The Addiction could have a piece of them anytime, anywhere. Both teams stared each other down, as the show cut to a break.
[Reax: Classic pivot to move The Addiction away from feuding with fellow heels the Kingdom. Not sure what the long-term plan is, but I really think ROH left a lot on the table by skipping through the Addiction’s feuds with both reDRagon and the Young Bucks. The Addiction’s separate beat-downs of both teams were perhaps the two most memorable moments on ROH TV all year, yet there wasn’t a satisfying conclusion to either feud. Perhaps ROH wanted to wait until the titles were off Daniels and Kaz so reDRagon and the Bucks could win cleanly, but that remains to be seen.]
Ringside: Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino announced that the All Night Express would face The Addiction on next week’s episode of ROH TV.
Silas Young was out next with “the boys.” Young’s friend the Beer City Bruiser followed with a small keg hoisted over his shoulder. Silas and the Bruiser berated “the boys” as they walked to the ring. Silas grabbed the mic and insulted his new proteges’s wrestling gear. He ripped peacock feathers from their heads and said he was going to teach them how to “take a whoopin’ like a man.” Silas immediately started throwing punches and then referee Todd Sinclair hopped into the ring to make things official.
2 – SILAS YOUNG & BEER CITY BRUISER vs. “THE BOYS”
Silas left the ring and allowed Bruiser to have his way with “the boys.” Bruiser nailed one of them with a Saito suplex and then threw both of them into the corner and splashed them. He followed up with a double suplex onto both “boys.” Young encouraged Bruiser to climb to the top rope. Bruiser obliged, but the boys moved out of the way of the huge frogspash! “The Boys” jumped on Bruiser’s back in a spot that resembled anal sex and the crowd went wild! Silas came in to break it up. He nailed his Misery finisher on one of “the boys” for the victory.
WINNERS: Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser via pinfall in 1:46.
After the match, Silas and Bruiser carried “the boys” backstage.
ANALYSIS: More of a follow-up to an angle than a match. I’m looking forward to seeing Dalton Castle regain the boys, but won’t mind watching some fun backstage vignettes in the meantime. (n/a)
Backstage: ROH World & TV Champion Jay Lethal and Truth Martini cut a promo about tonight’s main event. Martini congratulated Watanabe on his recent hot streak and made a racial joke about Watanabe’s eyes. Lethal followed up by saying he would give Watanabe the English lesson of his life because tonight he would teach him how to say that “Jay Lethal is the greatest wrestler in the world.”
Inside ROH: Mandy Leon recapped the conclusion of All Star Extravaganza when Adam Cole cost Kyle O’Reilly his title match against ROH World Champion Jay Lethal. Leon said that O’Reilly winning the ROH World Title was something Cole would never allow. The show cut to a backstage promo from reDRagon. Fish said that Lethal was the luckiest man in the world and Adam Cole was the most wanted. O’Reilly said that Cole chose to “chase the dragon” instead of “riding with the dragon” and he would be eating from a straw because of it.
The segment cut to Cole who was very animated about how he had to sit at home recuperating from elbow surgery while everyone talked about how Kyle O’Reilly would become the next ROH World Champion. Cole yelled that he won the title long before O’Reilly ever would and closed the promo by saying that O’Reilly was merely a “lesser Adam Cole.” Clips then aired of the Kingdom winning the ROH World Tag Team Titles at All Star Extravaganza, as Mandy Leon hyped that the Kingdom would announce their agenda in the ring next week on ROH TV.
[ANALYSIS: Nice follow-up from the PPV, although I don’t see why this couldn’t have been edited into a one of the last two episodes. ROH showed they had the capability to add similar post-production after other PPVs this year, but perhaps they wanted to give fans a longer window to order the replay.]
3 – ROH World & TV champion JAY LETHAL (w/Truth Martini) vs. TAKAAKI WATANABE – ROH TV Title match
Both men shook hands before the bell, but Lethal attacked Watanabe as soon as he turned his back and then stomped him in the corner. The fans got behind Lethal, but he flipped them off in response. Watanabe came back with a huge side slam, but Lethal kicked out at one. He followed up with a standing senton and a another cover, which got him a two count.
Watanabe chopped Lethal in the corner a few times and the champion rolled out of the ring. Watanabe quickly threw Lethal back in, but Martini yanked Watanabe off the ring apron while the ref had his back turned. Lethal immediately followed up with a series of three huge dives to the outside, as the crowd went wild! The match then cut to a break at 2:50.
Back at 3:50, Lethal was delivering chops to Watanabe in the corner. Lethal hit a snap suplex, which was good for a nearfall. Lethal immediately followed up by pounding on Watanabe’s forehead. Referee Todd Sinclair got in Lethal’s face when he wouldn’t break, which drew a “Todd” chant from the crowd. Lethal went to the outside and threw Watanabe into the hockey boards. Watanabe slowly climbed into the ring and Lethal scored another nearfall. Lethal followed up with a chin lock. Watanabe tried to fight out, but Lethal remained in control with a suplex.
Lethal dropped several knees into Watanabe’s chest and then applied another chin lock. The fans got behind Watanabe, who was able to back Lethal into a corner and deliver several chops. Lethal came right back with a kick and another nearfall, though. Lethal then applied yet another chin lock. Watanabe punched his way out after about 15 seconds and threw Lethal into different corners five times in a row!
Lethal went for a punch, but Watanabe reversed into one of his signature German suplexes! Watanabe went to follow up, but Lethal reversed with a bicycle kick. Watanabe blocked a Lethal Injection attempt and nailed a stiff lariat, which was good for another two count! Watanabe went for what looked like a uranage, but Martini threw in the Book of Truth. The brief distraction allowed Lethal to hit Watanabe low and then hit the Lethal Injection for the victory!
WINNER: Jay Lethal to retain the ROH TV Title in 9:28.
ANALYSIS: Typical Jay Lethal match. It started slow and then built to a climax where Lethal won with help from Martini. Solid title defense for Lethal, but nothing particularly memorable or special about this one. At least Watanabe was a somewhat credible challenger after a couple of wins on TV recently. (**1/4)
The announcers closed the show by hyping next week’s No DQ main event between Jay Briscoe and Adam Cole.
FINAL REAX: Not quite the hot follow-up to All-Star Extravaganza, although that would be hard to pull off almost three weeks after the fact. Not sure I agree with keeping the main angle from the PPV relegated to the Inside ROH segment. Building anticipation for Adam Cole’s explanation next week is fine, but as mentioned earlier, I think ROH could have been more efficient by airing that Inside ROH segment last week so the Kingdom’s in-ring promo could air ASAP after the PPV.
It seems as if ROH thinks its fanbase needs several weeks before they can get around to watching one of its major shows. The chance to catch-up is appreciated, but I think it sends the wrong message to fans that ROH shows are not appointment or must-see television. That’s a major problem in today’s “watch on-delay” TV landscape.