KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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ROH TV Report
Aired March 27, 2016 in syndication
Aired March 30, 2016 on Comet TV
Taped 2/27 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The ROH TV opening aired.
An exterior shot of Sam’s Town Live! was shown, as announcers Kevin
Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III welcomed viewers to the show.
1 – RODERICK STRONG vs. ADAM PAGE vs. MOOSE (w/Stokely Hathaway) vs. IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team champion MATT SYDAL – Four Corner Survival match
Before the bell, the camera missed Strong pulling his hand away from
Moose before the former NFL player could shake it. Adam Page also
refused The Code of Honor, despite no longer being part of The Decade.
The bell rang with Strong and Sydal starting things out. They broke
into a chain wrestling sequence. Strong had the early advantage with a
headlock and then a shoulder tackle. Sydal came back with a spin kick,
followed by some kicks to the body. Sydal charged, but ate Roddy’s
elbow. Strong immediately followed up with a backbreaker, which was
good for a two-count.
Page tagged in and then dropkicked Strong from the second rope, which
was good for a nearfall. Page pummeled Strong in the corner. Strong
fought back and dropped Page across the top rope and to the outside.
This allowed Moose to re-enter. He easily yanked Strong off the second
rope and nailed him with a sit-out powerbomb. Page ran in, but Moose
nailed him with a beautiful dropkick! Sydal entered and hit a sloppy
leg scissors that was able to send Moose to the outside. Sydal went
for a dive, but Moose caught him and powerbombed him across the apron.
Roddy was right there with a through-the-ropes dropkick to Moose. Page
then nailed a dive onto Roddy, as the show cut to a break at the 4:00
point in the match.
Back at 6:30, Strong and Page were exchanging chops. Page exploded
into a dropkick that sent Strong back into the corner. He went for a
cover, but Roddy kicked out at two. Strong fought back against Page
and then dropped Moose back-first across the apron. Sydal re-entered
the ring and scored a nearfall on Page. Sydal hit Strong and Page with
a combination STO/Slice leg drop. Sydal hit a standing moonsault on
Page, which was good for another two-count. All four men were in the
ring. Moose traded blows with Roddy. The fans chanted “Moose,” but
Roddy fought back with several chops. Roddy yelled out, “I told you to
stop that,” but Moose came right back with a huge clothesline! Moose
charged at Page and Sydal in separate corners. He put both of them on
the top turnbuckle of one of the corners, and then nailed a beautiful
Sydal came out of nowhere and hit Moose with a top rope hurricanrana.
Roddy reappeared and hit Moose with a double-knee gutbuster, followed
by Adam Page hitting Moose a flipping clothesline. Page hit a delayed
DDT on Strong. Page and Sydal squared off, with Page nailing an
exploder suplex. Page went for a springboard move, but B.J. Whitmer
appeared out of nowhere and grabbed his leg. Page kicked him away, but
the distraction allowed Sydal to nail Page with a spin kick. Sydal hit
a jumping knee on Page, followed by a Shooting Star Press. He went for
the cover, but Roddy appeared out of nowhere to break it up. Roddy hit
the End of Heartache on Sydal, followed by a jumping knee strike to
Page for the victory!
WINNER: Roderick Strong via pinfall in 10:55.
ANALYSIS: Good opener. All four men had their moments. Unfortunately,
it’s just another case of four guys being thrown out there. ROH didn’t
even bother to put a title shot on the line. The only thing this match
really furthered was The Decade storyline, which is beyond the point
of having run its course. Also, why not book Moose to win his first
match since his impressive match with Kazuchika Okada? Roddy’s great,
but his ROH work is far from buzz worthy at this point. (**3/4)
Story Time with Adam Cole, bay bay
Adam Cole was out next for “Story Time with Adam Cole, bay bay!” Cole
assumed that the fans wanted to hear about his supposed downward
spiral. He referenced losing to Matt Sydal on a recent episode of ROH
TV and being unsuccessful in his World Title bid at the 14th
Anniversary PPV. Cole claimed to still be “the best damn pro wrestler
on the planet.” He said there wasn’t a man in the locker room or
around the world who could deny that he is the rightful ROH World
Cole complained about Kyle O’Reilly being in “his” ROH World Title
match at the 14th Anniversary PPV, despite Cole having beat him at
Final Battle last year. Cole vowed to continue to beat O’Reilly, as an
“O’Reilly” chant broke out from the crowd. Cole promised that O’Reilly
would never be ROH World Champion, and then promised to be the man to
take the title from Jay Lethal. Cole complained that Lethal had The
House of Truth and O’Reilly had Bobby Fish. Cole said he was without
his Kingdom, but still promised to be the next ROH World Champion.
The Kingdom’s music played, and out came Matt Taven with the
assistance of a crutch. Kevin Kelly sold Taven’s knee injury, saying
that his doctor had never seen an injury as bad before. Taven took the
mic and announced the reuniting of The Kingdom. Taven promised that
The Kingdom would pick up where they left off in 2015. Taven talked of
The Kingdom’s accolades in both ROH and NJPW. Well, everyone had
accolades to celebrate except for Adam Cole.
Taven blasted Cole for losing two ROH World Title matches. Taven said
that Cole got hurt and he had to keep him relevant. Taven proclaimed
to be the only “real star” of The Kingdom. Cole told Taven that he had
a lot of nerve. Taven referenced blowing his knee out at Final Battle.
He patted himself on the back for finishing the match, despite the
fact that it probably shortened his career. Taven proclaimed that The
Kingdom would be rebuilt in his image, and that the only thing
finished with The Kingdom was Cole. Taven dropped the mic and walked
out as Cole pondered what had just happened.
ANALYSIS: Good mic work from Taven here. His claims were ridiculous,
but that’s part of being a good heel. It almost seems like the seeds
were being planted for an Adam Cole babyface turn. While that might
freshen up the ROH main event scene, it just seems too soon after Cole
feigned going babyface last fall before turning on Kyle O’Reilly.
Backstage: Dalton Castle talked about next week’s “Fight without
Honor” against Silas Young. Castle was never a fan of rules, whether
they be road signs or restaurants with dress codes- he’s a “clothing
optional” man! He reminded Silas that there would be no rules in their
“Fight without Honor” next week on ROH TV.
The announcers briefly recapped what had just happened with Adam Cole
and Matt Taven, as Cheeseburger made his entrance.
2 – CHEESEBURGER vs. FOXX VINYER
Foxx appeared to be much larger than Cheeseburger, but who isn’t? Both
men shook hands, but Foxx immediately stomped Cheeseburger in the gut.
Cheeseburger fought back with some chops and blows. He threw in a slap
and then a Mongolian chop. Cheeseburger kicked Foxx in the mid-section
and ran the ropes, but Foxx caught him in a powerslam that was good
for a nearfall. Foxx charged at Cheeseburger in the corner, but
missed. Cheeseburger then hit a flying knee off the second rope. He
called for a palm strike, but The All Night Express ran down and
yanked Fox out of the ring! The ref immediately called for the bell.
WINNER: No announced winner at 1:23.
ANX beat down Foxx a bit on the outside and then entered the ring.
Titus grabbed the mic first and surprisingly offered an olive branch
to Cheeseburger. Kenny took the mic and continued to egg on
Cheeseburger. King stirred the pot and told Burger that the fans
didn’t like him. In fact, the only reason they acted like they liked
him was because even they thought they could beat up Cheeseburger.
King spoke out against the fans and sadly talked about how his
daughter had witnessed him being put through a table. He couldn’t even
crawl over to console his crying daughter because his legs hurt too
much. Yet, the fans didn’t care about him at all. Titus and King both
tried to convince Cheeseburger that the fans didn’t really care about
him, while at the same time teasing Cheeseburger about his small arms.
Titus and King remembered when the fans cared about them. They read
some mean tweets, including one about a fan saying he uses the
bathroom during ANX’s matches.
ANX continued to lambast the fans, while talking up each other. They
pitched their new t-shirt, as Titus stripped off his shirt and posed
for the crowd. King said the fans would rather chant for “spot
monkey…super kick suckers” like The Young Bucks. Or, “red neck
hillbillies” like the Briscoe Brothers. Or, “stank ass” War Machine.
Titus asked the crowd if they liked Cheeseburger more than them.
“Cheeseburger” chant, as King tried to convince Burger that he was
just like ANX. He even invited Cheeseburger to read the back of their
t-shirt. Cheeseburger read, “if you can’t run with us, you better run
King told Cheeseburger that he couldn’t run with them, and then ANX
attacked Burger. They finished him off with their dropkick into a
Royal Flush combo. Kevin Kelly was irate on commentary, claiming that
it was ANX’s fault for “walking out on the company.” ANX continued
their assault with a top-rope kneedrop/backbreaker combo. Finally, War
Machine and The Briscoes ran out to make the save. War Machine and The
Biscoes stood tall in the ring. The Briscoes grabbed the tag title
belts. War Machine took offense and yanked them both back into their
possession. Words were exchanged, as the scene faded out.
ANALYSIS: This segment went way long, especially considering the
participants involved. Perhaps ROH thought ANX needed to get their
heat back after losing in their title bid against War Machine, but any
affiliation with Cheeseburger (other than a squash victory) instantly
defines down an act. The inclusion of War Machine and The Briscoes
just made things worse, as this surely signals some type of three-way
or four-way match in the future.
Backstage: Truth Martini was with Taeler Hendrix and ROH World
Champion Jay Lethal. It was actually the same promo that aired on last
week’s ROH TV.
3 – ROH World champion JAY LETHAL (w/Truth Martini & Taeler Hendrix) vs. HIROOKI GOTO – ROH World Title match
Goto did his full entrance, which was cool to see in ROH. There were
full ring intros. They shook hands, but Lethal immediately stomped
Goto and the bell rang. Lethal pummeled Goto in the corner a bit, and
then ran the ropes. Goto came back with a shoulder tackle. He worked
Lethal around the ring and then hit a back drop. He covered Lethal for
a two-count. Goto sent Lethal chest-first into the corner. Goto threw
some punches and then went for a chin lock in the ropes, but the ref
called for the break.
Goto chopped Lethal in the corner a few times, as Kevin Kelly ran down
some of the ROH vs. NJPW matches that will air on TV in the coming
weeks. Goto clotheslined Lethal in the corner and then placed him up
top. Goto went for a superplex, but Lethal fought out. They exchanged
blows on the top turn buckle. Goto came out on top and attempted a
top-rope hurricanrana, but Hendrix distracted him from the apron.
Lethal knocked Goto to the outside and then hit him with a big dive.
Martini ran in the ring and hit a Truth-aroonie, as Hendrix sat
seductively on the ring apron.
Lethal went outside and continued his attack on Goto. He tossed him
back in for a two-count. Lethal stomped Goto in the corner several
times. Lethal applied a chin lock in the center of the ring. Lethal
realized he wasn’t facing the hard camera, though, so he shifted
positions as the show cut to a break at the 4:47 mark.
Back at 5:48, Lethal was still in firm control of the match. He
punched Goto in the head several times, but Goto egged him on. Goto
then turned Lethal inside-out with a clothesline. He whipped Lethal
into the corner and immediately followed up with a spin kick. He went
for a Saito suplex, but Lethal escaped. Lethal went for a Lethal
Injection, but Goto dodged and then hit the Saito suplex! He went for
the cover, but Lethal kicked out at two. Lethal hit a discus forearm,
but Goto came right back with a stiff headbutt.
Goto followed up with an Adam Cole-esque neck breaker over his knee.
He called for a big move, but Hendrix grabbed his ankle from the
outside. Goto actually stomped on her hand and Taeler sold her injured
fingers at ringside. Martini tried to hand Lethal the Book of Truth,
but Goto yanked it out of his hands. The brief distraction allowed
Lethal to hit a superkick and then the Lethal Injection for the
WINNER: Jay Lethal via pinfall in 8:15 to retain the ROH World Title.
ANALYSIS: So, after all of controversy surrounding ROH’s big losses to the NJPW roster, here is the big pay-off for ROH fans – the ROH World
Champion can only beat an NJPW wrestler with all kinds of outside
interference. The match was off to a good start, but was over before it
really began. Also, violence against women really sucks. (**1/4)
After the match, The House of Truth stood tall in the ring. All of a
sudden, out came Donovan Dijak and Prince Nana. Dijak won a fistfight
against Lethal and then tossed him to the outside. Truth Martini ran
in and nailed Dijak from behind, but it had no effect. Dijak turned
his attention to Martini, and then nailed him with a huge spin kick.
“You just killed him” chant, as Martini acted paralyzed in the ring.
Kevin Kelly demanded help for Martini, as the show faded to black.
FINAL REAX: A huge step back from last week’s episode. This show was
extremely frustrating from start-to-finish, with the exception of the
Cole-Taven promo. The matches just seem thrown out there and feuds
never get a chance to fully develop. Also, way too much valuable TV
time is wasted on lower-card acts like B.J. Whitmer and Cheeseburger.
It’s a real shame considering the depth ROH’s current talent roster.
The most maddening part was the return of Donovan Dijak. Here is a guy
that has a great look, a sick finisher, and generates a good share of
buzz. Yet, he has been saddled with a utility role in The
House of Truth for the majority of 2015. He turns babyface on the
January 10, 2016 edition of ROH TV, and is not seen or heard from
since. He finally makes the big return tonight, and he runs out to the
ring with Prince Nana. Nothing against Nana, but he has mostly played
a heel throughout his ROH tenure. On top of that, all of Nana’s recent
prospects have been lower mid-card guys. Way to water down a guy who
could have had a break-out program against Lethal. Not that it’s too
late, but things are certainly off to a rough start. Recommendation to
avoid during this busy week of wrestling.