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This week’s Ring of Honor TV episode features A.J. Styles in a three-way main event against Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole. Plus, the Young Bucks in tag action on the show airing Wednesday night on Destination America.
ROH TV Report
Aired November 1, 2015 in syndication
To air November 4, 2015 on Dest. America
Taped 9/19 in San Antonio, Tex.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
Backstage: Kyle O’Reilly said that he would be facing two very different individuals tonight- a man he admires in A.J. Styles and a former friend who turned his back on him in Adam Cole. He said he didn’t care if he had to obliterate a man he respects in order to get his hands on Cole. He told Cole that he feels sorry for his family for what they’ll have to endure when they’re in a hospital room watching Cole eat through a straw. He concluded by saying that Cole will be broken down, beaten and embarrassed at the hands of Kyle O’Reilly. A graphic then aired hyping tonight’s main event of O’Reilly vs. Cole vs. Styles.
The ROH TV opening aired.
Ringside: Kevin Kelly was joined by ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness and Mark Briscoe, who hyped tonight’s main event and wished the viewers at home a Happy Halloween.
1 — SILAS YOUNG & BEER CITY BRUISER (w/”the boys”) vs. YOUNG BUCKS
The “boys” came out donning a new look- “wifebeater” tank tops, jeans, and sunglasses. Silas threw streamers back at the fans and then Bruiser threw his cigar at the announcers. The Bucks’s music hit and they received a huge pop and a lot of streamers. The “boys” started fanning the Bucks upon their entrance, but were quickly admonished by Young. There was no handshake before the bell. Instead, Silas just yelled at the crowd before tying up with Nick. Nick hit a quick dropkick and tagged his brother, who came in with a springboard legdrop to Silas’s back. Bruiser ran in, but was on the receiving end of a pop-up dropkick from the Bucks!
The Bucks didn’t celebrate for long, as Silas fought back with a clothesline out of the corner. He tagged Bruiser and then they attacked Matt in the corner. Bruiser hit a huge Corner Cannonball on Matt, but Silas could only score a nearfall. The “boys” were fanning each other on the outside, as a “fan up” chant broke out. Meanwhile, Matt was able to escape enemy territory and tag his brother! Nick hit Bruiser with a running knee on the apron. He held off Silas and then turned to dropkick Bruiser to the outside. He came back with a springboard facebuster on Silas in the ring and then, in one fluid motion, pivoted into a moonsault to Bruiser on the outside!
Nick celebrated with some fans on the outside as the “boys” watched on. Nick climbed up top, but missed a swanton on Silas. Young hit his patented backbreaker/lariat combo. Silas went for the Pee Gee Waja Plunge, but Matt cut him off with a superkick to the head while he did his handstand on the top rope! The Bucks then dropkicked Bruiser to the outside as well!
Silas grabbed the mic and said that the match was originally supposed to be the “boys” against “these two young punks,” referring to the Bucks. Silas told his young proteges that he did them a favor by “warming them up.” Kevin Kelly wondered if the “boys” would really have to face the Bucks after a commercial break.
WINNERS: No announcement after 4:45.
1b – YOUNG BUCKS vs. THE “BOYS” (w/Silas Young & Beer City Bruiser)
Back from break, it appeared the bell had just rung for the impromptu match. Before long, Matt hit a superkick on Boy #1. Boy #2 entered and then dragged his partner over to the corner so he could legally tag him. Nick also tagged in, but Boy #2 actually applied a side headlock. Nick easily broke free and delivered a shoulder tackle, before telling his opponent to “suck it.” A brief distraction from Silas allowed Boy #2 to regain control with some arm drags. Nick offered a “two sweet” hand signal. Boy #2 obliged, but was met by a rake to the eyes instead!
Nick then jumped to the outside and superkicked both Silas and Bruiser! The Bucks then hit their backbreaker/neckbreaker combo on Boy #2 in the ring! They hit him with a series of clotheslines the corner, but a miscommunication caused Nick to hit Matt with an enziguri! Boy #1 got the hot tag and dropkicked both Bucks. He quickly followed up with a huracanrana on both of the Bucks at the same time!
The Bucks came right back, however, and hit Boy 1 with a double superkick. Boy #2 came off the top, but ate a double superkick as well. The Bucks followed up with a Buckle Bomb/enziguri combo on both “boys” in the corner, and then Nick dove onto Silas and the Bruiser at ringside! The Bucks then hit More Bang for Your Buck on both “boys” at the same time for the victory!
WINNERS: Young Bucks via pinfall in 3:55.
After the match, Silas and the Bruiser walked over to admonish the boys for losing. Bruiser turned around and ate a double super kick from the Bucks! They positioned for another one on Silas, but Young saw what was happening out of the corner of his eye and rolled out of the ring to safety.
ANALYSIS: Impressive showcase match for the Bucks, which coincides perfectly with their new ROH contracts. This also advanced the Silas-“boys” situation, but this felt too similar to the Decade-Colby Corino storyline from just a couple months ago. (**3/4 combined rating for both matches)
Back from break, B.J. Whitmer was in Nigel McGuinness’s face at ringside. Mark Briscoe told Whitmer to calm down and then both men stared each other down. Clips were then shown from three weeks ago on ROH TV when Steve Corino put his hands on Whitmer. At ringside, Kevin Kelly announced that Nigel McGuinness was served legal papers from Veda Scott earlier in the evening. Kelly recapped last week when Veda threatened to sue ROH for “unsafe working conditions.” Kelly asked McGuinness to comment. Nigel deflected the question, only saying, “we’ve done nothing wrong.”
2 – RODERICK STRONG vs. WILL FERRARA
Both men shook hands and then the bell rang. Ferrara tried to get the early advantage, but Strong immediately chopped his opponent into the corner. Ferrara responded with a headscissors out of nowhere, but he didn’t follow up and ate a heel kick from Roddy. Ferrara tried to fight back from underneath, but he ate another dropkick. Strong methodically hit a back suplex and then applied a chin lock. He transitioned into a modified Camel Clutch, as Ferrara struggled to break free.
Ferrara eventually elbowed his way out, but Strong quickly slammed him back down to the mat. Strong stomped his opponent and then posed for the crowd. He hit a double underhook slam and scored a nearfall. Roddy followed up with a modified abdominal stretch on the mat, as Ferrara again tried to will himself free. After about 15 seconds, Ferrara fought out with some elbows and then hit a swinging neckbreaker on Strong!
Both men jockeyed for position for a moment, until Ferrara hit a Tornado DDT out of the corner, which was good for a nearfall. Strong rolled to the outside. Ferrara followed and hit another Tornado DDT, this time off the apron and onto the floor! Back in the ring, Ferrara rolled Strong into a sunset flip pinning combo, but Strong kicked out at two! Ferrara came off the ropes, but ate a double-knee gutbuster from strong. Strong came right back with a jumping knee and then immediately locked on the Strong Hold for the victory!
WINNER: Roderick Strong via submission in 4:56.
ANALYSIS: Really good, hard-hitting match packed into five minutes. I was really impressed with Ferrara, as he was able to score a couple of convincing nearfalls despite being a huge underdog here against the #1 contender to the ROH TV Title. I also liked how Kevin Kelly pointed out how Strong pulled the Strong Hold out of his repertoire after failing to use it during his recent unsuccessful title matches against Lethal. (**3/4)
Inside ROH: Mandy Leon set the stage for the upcoming Jay Lethal-Roderick Strong match for the ROH TV Title and then threw to clips of the match being made last week on ROH TV. The segment then cut to backstage comments from Jay Lethal and Truth Martini. Lethal applauded Strong’s “guts and determination.” Lethal said he hoped that when he had a kid, he hoped he would have the same kind of determination.
Lethal changed the subject to Strong having ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness in his “back pocket.” Lethal built his case, claiming that Nigel gave Strong another match with him despite him not deserving it. Lethal wanted to know where Nigel was when he had to defend both his titles in one night at All Star Extravaganza. Lethal went on with the allegations, as hewondered where Nigel was when he “got ripped off at the car dealership.” Lethal closed the promo by saying the ROH World Title was his entire life. Mandy then ended the segment by announcing that Lethal would defend the TV Title against Strong “on a future episode of ROH.”
ANALYSIS: Fine use of Inside ROH this week. My only minor critique is that I think they should have aired this segment before the Strong-Ferrara match, as it would have added some context.
3 – ADAM COLE (w/Michael Bennett & Matt Taven & Maria Kanellis) vs. A.J. STYLES (w/Nick & Matt Jackson) vs. IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team champion KYLE O’REILLY (w/Bobby FIsh) – three-way match
Jay Lethal joined the commentators at ringside. Kevin Kelly asked Lethal if he had any foreknowledge that Cole was planning to cost O’Reilly the match against him at All Star Extravaganza. Lethal immediately denied, only saying that Cole knew that O’Reilly would be “sent to the back of the line” after losing the match. Nigel McGuinness got up from the announce desk and said that when he originally booked this match, he wanted to see who the best man was. Nigel said that would be impossible with all of the extra people at ringside. He kindly asked the Bucks and Bobby FIsh to leave. He then turned to The Kingdom and demanded they get their asses out of there!
The bell rang and Cole immediately left the ring. O’Reilly followed and chased Cole back into the ring, where Styles clotheslined him over the top and back to the outside. O’Reilly pummeled Cole and then Styles hit a dive to O’Reilly on the outside. Styles hit a backbreaker on Cole and then O’Reilly ran in and locked on an armbar. Cole tried to break it up, but O’Reilly locked onto his leg until Styles broke it up.
All three men jockeyed for position until O’Reilly hit a German suplex on Cole while Cole had Styles locked in a fisherman buster! O’Reilly covered Styles and then Cole, but both men kicked out of the pin attempts. “O’Reilly” chants as he hit some Daniel Bryan-style kicks on Cole. Styles low-bridged O’Reilly out of the ring and then hit his moonsault/inverted DDT combo off the apron! Cole quickly reappeared and hit a dive onto both men on the outside, followed by an “Adam Cole, bay bay” pose!
Back in the ring, Cole worked O’Reilly’s leg. On commentary, Lethal claimed Roderick Strong would “go home” after losing to him one more time. Cole continued to work O’Reilly’s leg until O’Reilly got up and started trading blows in the center. O’Reilly charged at Cole, but Cole hit a superkick to the knee. They jockeyed some more until O’Reilly hit a knee to the face and then guillotine choke! Styles reappeared with a forearm smash off the top rope! Cole came right back with a Shining Wizard before Styles could capitalize, however. Cole went for the cover, but Styles kicked out at two.
Cole and Styles squared off until Styles applied the Calf Killer out of nowhere! O’Reilly snuck in and applied a cross arm-breaker to Styles. Cole then applied the figure-four to Styles at the same time. O’Reilly got up and pummeled Cole on the mat and then locked him into the cross arm-breaker. Styles broke it up after about 10 seconds. He slammed O’Reilly to the mat and then nailed Cole, as the show cut to a breakl at the 6:35 mark of the match.
Back at 7:35, Cole and Styles were trading blows in the corner. Styles won out with a pele kick, but Cole came right back with a superkicks to Styles. Cole then hit one on O’Reilly too, but O’Reilly hit a rebound lariat and then a brainbuster for a two count on Cole. “This is awesome” chants, as O’Reilly and Styles began trading blows in the center. Styles exploded into a flurry of offense, but O’Reilly responded with some strikes of his own before applying a Triangle Choke! Styles attempted to reverse into a Styles Clash, but Cole superkicked him in the back of the head of nowhere! Cole then dropped O’Reilly neck-first over his knee for the victory!
WINNER: Adam Cole via pinfall in 9:32.
ANALYSIS: Really good while it lasted, although the three-way situation hurt the O’Reilly-Cole feud. It just felt like O’Reilly got his hands on Cole too soon after delivering a star-making promo on last week’s episode. (***1/4)
After the match, The Kingdom ran out and attacked O’Reilly. Fish and Elgin ran out to Kyle’s aid. The Young Bucks also appeared and then all nine men began brawling. The Bucks hit a big dive onto the other seven competitors at ringside. Styles and the Bucks were then in the ring with Cole and Taven. They hit a double Indy Taker on the Kingdom members! Jay Lethal entered the ring and got in Styles’s face. They stared each other down, as the show faded to black.
FINAL REAX: Enjoyable show, book-ended by the Young Bucks and A.J. Styles. One of my major critiques about the Ring of Honor product has been their misuse of special attractions. It appears ROH might be turning the corner after signing the Young Bucks and featuring A.J. Styles in the #1 contender slot at Final Battle later this year.
As mentioned in the main event match analysis, I didn’t like how quickly O’Reilly and Cole crossed paths. As good as ROH booker Delirious is at times, he seems to lose focus of his big one-on-one feuds when he adds in other acts into countless three-way and four-way matches.