12/2 ROH TV Report – Lethal-Styles confrontation, Final Battle build


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PWTorch contributor Mike Metzger covers the first episode of ROH TV distributed on Comet TV (along with standard syndication) featuring a confrontation between ROH World champion Jay Lethal and A.J. Styles.

ROH TV Report
Aired November 29, 2015 in syndication
To air December 2, 2015 on Comet TV
Taped 10/23 in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor

The ROH TV opening aired.

The camera panned the crowd, as Kevin Kelly announced that a new ROH TV champion was crowned last week when Roderick Strong defeated Jay Lethal. Mark Briscoe joined Kellyand ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness at the commentary desk. They hyped tonight’s main event between the “boy-less” Dalton Castle and Adam Cole.

1 – ADAM PAGE (w/B.J. Whitmer & Colby Corino) vs. WILL FERRARA

The announcers really sold the fact that Page and the rest of The Decade have been left off the Final Battle show after Steve Corino announced a career-ending injury a couple weeks ago on ROH TV. Page ran up and attacked Ferrara before the Code of Honor and then the bell rang. Page pummeled Ferrara with fists and stomps in the ropes. Ferrara came out of the corner and slapped Page. He was able to follow up with a series of blows. Page got up and then both men struggled on the apron. They eventually wrestled back into the ring, where Ferrara hit a second-rope huracanrana!

Ferrara hit a running elbow, but Page exlpoded out of the corner with
a dropkick! On the outside, Page rammed Ferrara’s head into the
ringpost. Page threw Ferrara back into the ring. Ferrara tried to
fight back, but Page kicked him inthe head and then nailed a spinning
forearm strike! Page hit a pumphandle suplex and covered Ferrara for a
two count.

They traded blows in the center. Page went for the Rite of Passage,
but Ferrara rolled up him up for a nearfall and quickly followed up
with a dropkick! Ferrara hit a sunset flip powerbomb out of the
corner, but Page kicked out of the pinning predicament! Ferrara came
right back with a clothesline that sent Page to the outside. Ferrara
then hit a huge dive onto all three members of The Decade! Back in the
ring, Colby Corino got up on the apron and distracted the referee.
Page went to use Whitmer’s crutch, but Ferrara got hold of it and
nailed Page! He went for the cover as the ref turned around and
counted to three!

WINNER: Will Ferrara via pinfall in 4:08.

After the match, Whitmer ran in and hit Ferrara with an exploder
suplex. Mark Briscoe sounded upset on commentary. Whitmer tossed the
referee across the ring, which prompted Briscoe to run in and chase
The Decade out of the ring!

ANALYSIS: Good for a four minute match. Page has come a long way since
being The Decade’s original “young boy.” It’s good for him to be
involved in the whole Decade-Corino feud, but I really hope ROH has
more meaningful plans for Page in 2016. (**)

[Commercial Break]

Ringside: Kevin Kelly was with The Addiction at ringside. Daniels said
they considered Kelly the verbal representation of a company that is
biased against the “best team in the bus-i-ness.” Daniels was furious
that Maria Kanellis had attacked him when her “true place was in the
kitchen.” The crowd booed, as Daniels turned his attention to the man
in the red mask who has been interfering in The Addiction’s matches
since All-Star Extravaganza.

Kaz spoke up and talked about the massive conspiracy against The
Addiction. He said, “if you’re going to play checkers, then we’re
going to play chess. We’re going to take our talents to New Japan Pro
Wrestling.” The Addiction said New Japan was a promotion that wasn’t
governed by a tryanical dictatorship. Kaz said after they conquered
NJPW’s Tag League, they would go on to regain the ROH World Tag Team
Championship “of the world.”

ANALYSIS: Solid promo from Daniels and Kazarian that sets the stage
for their team going forward. The Addiction has been one of my
favorite acts in ROH this year after their memorable angles with
reDRagon and the Young Bucks. I assume they will be back on ROH TV
sooner rather than later, but I really feel ROH has dropped the ball
by not capitalizing on these hot angles. The Addiction should have
been featured in true money matches against reDRagon and the Bucks,
but instead fans were treated to a lot of forgettable three-way and
four-way match-ups.

Backstage: Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly shared their thoughts on each
other. Cole had a chip on his shoulder because of his injury, while
O’Reilly felt betrayed by someone he thought was a good friend. Cole
wanted to prove that “Kyle O’Reilly was a lesser Adam Cole,” as clips
of their feud aired.

The package suddenly transitioned to a promo from Maria where she
bragged about not having to play by a man’s rules, despite being in a
male-dominated industry. Clips aired of Maria kicking Christopher
Daniels low and then superkicking him last week on ROH TV when The
Kingdom retained the ROH World Tag Team Titles against The Addiction.
The Adam Cole-Dalton Castle graphic then aired. Awkward transition
between the two video packages.

Kevin Kelly then introduced yet another video package. This one
chronicled the history between Chesseburger and “Brutal” Bob Evans.
Clips aired from several weeks ago on ROH TV when Cheeseburger
defeated Evans with a palm strike he had learned from Jushin “Thunder”
Liger. The video then featured clips of “Brutal” Bob attacking
Cheeseburger at this taping in Kalamazoo.

Cheeseburger had just beaten a local talent when Evans attacked him.
Evans placed Cheeseburger’s arm in a steel chair and stomped it, Brian
Pillman-style. The local wrestler suggested to “Brutal” Bob that they
chop off Chesseburger’s hand! Evans laughed manically and then grabbed
a saw from under the ring! The crowd was shocked, as ROH officials
pulled Cheeseburger to safety. Kelly ended the package by announcing
that Cheeseburger will face “Brutal” Bob in a grudge match at Final
Battle!

[Commercial Break]

Clips aired from last week’s episode when Roderick Strong defeated Jay
Lethal for the ROH TV Title.

Jay Lethal – A.J. Styles confrontation

Jay Lethal was out next with Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix. Lethal
grabbed a mic and congratulated Roderick Strong on finally beating him
“after 1,000 tries.” Lethal figured he would probably win back the TV
Title by next week, anyway. He said that Strong might have his title,
but he’ll never know what it’s like to be Lethal. He said everyone was
talking about what a great TV champ Lethal was instead of talking
about Strong.

Lethal said people were also talking about what a great ROH World
Champion he is. Lethal said that was why he will beat A.J. Styles at
Final Battle. Lethal said he always looked up to A.J. in every locker
room they ever shared. But that was only until Lethal became
“undisputed” ROH World Champion. He said that Styles had never been
ROH World Champion, let alone an “undisputed” champion. Lethal
demanded Styles come to the ring so he could tell him that he was the
better man face-to-face. Styles music played and out came A.J.!

A.J. entered the ring and stared down Lethal, as the crowd chanted his
name. He agreed with Lethal that he was one of the best in the world.
He pointed to the title belt and said that Lethal had a target on his
back. He thought it was ironic that Lethal was calling him out, and
not the other way around. Styles said that Lethal losing the TV Title
was the best thing that could happen to him because now he could truly
focus on A.J. Styles. Styles told Lethal he didn’t want to hear any
whining or complaining after Final Battle when Styles proved he was
the better man once and for all.

Styles demanded Lethal shake his hand. Lethal hesitated as he stared
Styles in the face. Lethal eventually shook his hand and said, “may
the best man win, and it’s gonna be me! I’m the best man. I’m the
greatest wrestler in the world. And you’re looking at me because you
know it!” Both men stared each other down and talked trash, as the
show cut to another break.

ANALYSIS: Simple, yet effective promo work from both men. It still
wasn’t the buzz-generating angle that will get people talking about
the PPV. The fact that this segment, which featured one of TNA’s
biggest stars in company history, did not air adjacent to Impact
Wrestling is just the latest (and final) example of ROH not fully
capitalizing on their TV deal with Destination America.

[Commercial Break]

Inside ROH: Adam Cole hosted yet another edition of “Story Time with
Adam Cole.” Cole said he was going to cut right to the chase. He
announced that he will officially face Kyle O’Reilly at Final Battle.
Cole said he never saw things going the way they did. He claimed he
was looking out for O’Reilly when he kicked him in the head in San
Antonio. Cole said he had to bring Kyle back to reality because people
kept telling O’Reilly that he would someday become ROH World Champion.
Cole raised his voice and told O’Reilly he would never be Adam Cole
and never be ROH World Champion. Cole vowed to make O’Reilly quit ROH
after beating him and embarrassing him at Final Battle. Cole concluded
by saying, “that’s what friends are for, Kyle, to tell you the truth.
And sometimes, Kyle O’Reilly, the truth hurts.”

ANALYSIS: More great promo work from Cole, although I feel like this
would have been a better fit for last week’s episode. Not only was
last week’s Inside ROH segment corny and pointless, but it could have
also allowed ROH to officially hype the grudge match it has been
building to all summer to their Destination America audience.

In a voice-over, Kevin Kelly ran down the Final Battle card, including
the announcement of Bobby Fish challenging Roderick Strong for the ROH
TV Title and Moose vs. Michael Elgin.

[Commercial Break]

2 – DALTON CASTLE vs. ADAM COLE (w/Michael Bennett & Matt Taven & Maria Kanellis)

Caslte came to the ring in a sparkly, yet simple ring vest. He did his
signature peacock pose, despite the absence of “the boys.” The Kingdom
stared down Castle before the match. All of a sudden, “the boys” ran
out and donned their mardi gras masks once more, which drew a huge pop
from the crowd! Silas Young quickly ran down to retrieve “the boys,”
however. Cole attacked Castle from behind and then the bell rang.

Cole stomped Castle, as Silas forced the boys to the back. Castle
fought back with some chops, but was tripped by Bennett at ringside.
Cole charged at Castle, but Dalton pulled down the rope and sent Cole
to the outside. Castle followed up with a dive to Bennett and Taven!
Cole dove at Castle, but Dalton caught him and hit an overhead
belly-to-belly suplex on the outside! Castle went for a huracanrana
off the apron, but Cole caught him with a superkick! All three Kingdom
members began stomping Castle right in front of referee Todd Sinclair,
who immediately called for the bell.

WINNER: Dalton Castle via disqualification in 1:45.

The Kingdom tossed Caslte into the ring and continued to attack him.
War Machine appeared in the entranceway and then chased The Kingdom
out of the ring, as the show cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness grabbed a mic and
made the match a six-man tag!

2b – THE KINGDOM (ADAM COLE & MICHAEL BENNETT & MATT TAVEN w/Maria Kanellis) vs. WAR MACHINE (HANSON & RAYMOND ROWE) & DALTON CASTLE – six-man tag team match

The Kingdom charged the ring and then the bell rang. All six men
brawled until the heels were sent to the outside. War Machine and
Castle had their way with The Kingdom on the outside for over a
minute. Things settled down when Hanson threw Cole back into the ring.
Hanson hit a Cartwheel Clothesline, but Cole came right back with a
jawbreaker. Hanson found himself in enemy territory. He held his own
for a moment, but Bennett and Taven grabbed his legs, crotched him
against the ring post and then nailed him with a double dropkick!

Taven tagged in. Hanson tried to fight back, but ate a dropkick from
Taven. Hanson kicked out of a pin attempt. Cole tagged in and nailed
Hanson with a leg drop. The quick tags continued, as The Kingdom
continued to dominate Hanson. Taven hit a flying cross body. Bennett
went for the cover, but Rowe quickly broke it up. Bennett tagged Cole,
who came in and applied a front face lock as the show cut to a break
at the 4:30 point in the match.

[Commercial Break]

Back at 5:30, Hanson was still in the enemy territory. He tried to
fight his way out and eventually hit Cole with an awkward-looking move
in which he jumped up in the corner and basically sat on Cole. Hanson
slowly crawled over and made the hot tag to Rowe at 6:35! Rowe was a
house afire as he tossed around The Kingdom members. He hit Taven with
Shothun Knees, but Cole cut him off with a superkick to the back of
the head. Castle tagged Rowe, however, and the “Party Peacock”
immediately went after Cole!

Castle hit Cole with a clothesline and then a running knee in the
corner. He followed up with a missile dropkick and then posed for the
crowd. Taven reappeared, however. Castle went for a tombstone, but
Taven reversed. Both men reversed the move several times until Caslte
finally settled Taven down and hit the Tombstone! Bennett and Taven
were right there with a pair of superkicks to Castle, however. They
threw Rowe to the ropes, but he came right back with a pair of Shotgun
knees to Bennett and Taven!

Rowe went for a dive onto Cole and Bennett, but they cut him off with
a pair of forearms. They began brawling on the outside, which set up
Hanson to hit a huge flip dive onto the sea of humanity at ringside!
Back in the ring, Hanson and Rowe hit a backbreaker combo. Castle came
in and German suplexed Cole down to the mat, which put him in perfect
position for a big splash from Hanson! Cole went for a jackknife
cover, but Bennett and Taven broke it up. War Machine clotheslined
Bennett and Taven out of the ring. Rowe held the ropes open and Hanson
went for a dive, but The Kingdom side-stepped it, which sent Hanson
crashing to the floor!

Back in the ring, Cole went for a Destroyer off the top rope, but
Castle tried to reverse into his Bangarang finisher. Bennett and Taven
cut him off with a pair of superkicks, though, which allowed Cole to
regroup and hit Castle with a neckbreaker over his knee for the
victory!

WINNERS: The Kingdom via pinfall in 11:13.

ANALYSIS: Standard ROH main event. I think it accomplished its mission
of mixing three big Final Battle matches together without it being
overly convoluted. I would really like to see a darker Dalton Castle
without “the boys,” but it looks like the toned-down ring gear might
be as much as I’m going to get. War Machine did a great job of
creating movement, as did Castle and Cole. (***)

Next Week: Kyle O’Reilly returns to ROH TV!

FINAL REAX: Storyline-heavy episode tonight, which is fine considering there are only two more TV episodes until the Final Battle PPV. For ardent ROH fans, the card has come together quite nicely. I am looking forward to most of the matches, especially Cole-O’Reilly. Unfortunately for ROH, the larger pro wrestling fanbase does not seem as excited for ROH’s “biggest show of the year.” That is very disappointing, considering A.J. Styles is in the main event.

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