KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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ROH TV Report
Aired April 3, 2016 in syndication
Aired April 6, 2016 on Comet TV
Taped 2/27 in Las Vegas, Nev.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
Clips aired from last week’s episode when ROH World Champion Jay
Lethal defeated NJPW’s Hirooki Goto with assistance from The House of
Truth at ringside. After the match, Donovan Dijak made his return to
TV after almost three months and got revenge on The H.O.T. when he
spin-kicked Truth Martini to the point of apparent paralysis.
Backstage: ROH World Champion Jay Lethal said he was trying to keep it
all together, but he couldn’t believe that Martini was in the hospital
with a broken neck. Lethal turned his attention to Dijak, wondering if
that was how he planned to get an ROH World Title match. Lethal told
Dijak he didn’t deserve it. Lethal talked of he and Martini giving
Dijak a shot in The House of Truth. Lethal claimed that Martini wanted
to groom Dijak, but now it was Lethal’s turn to try things his way.
Lethal warned Dijak and Prince Nana that they wouldn’t “survive this
The ROH TV opening aired.
The crowd panned Sam’s Town Live! once again, as Kevin Kelly and Mr.
Wrestling III hyped tonight’s main event of The Addiction versus “The
1 – REDRAGON (KYLE O’REILLY & BOBBY FISH) vs. IWGP Hvt. champion KAZUCHIKA OKADA & GEDO
Okada got his usual big reaction from the ROH crowd. Okada and Gedo
both refused the Code of Honor. O’Reilly and Fish jokingly shook hands
with each other, instead. The bell rang with Fish and Gedo starting
things off. Decent “Gedo” chant to start. “Bobby Fish” eventually rang
out as well. It took about 40 seconds for them to even tie up, and
then they wrestled on the mat a bit. They ran the ropes. Fish went for
an armbar, but Gedo reversed into a roll-up for two. Fish was able to
apply a knee bar early, but Gedo made it to the ropes. Gedo begged off
in the corner, as Fish plotted his next move. “Okada” chant. Fish
turned his attention to Okada and then laid on the ground to entice
him to enter. In came “The Rainmaker!”
O’Reilly tagged in as well and then tied up with Okada mid-ring. Okada
feigned a chop in the ropes before giving him a clean break. Okada
wrenched on a side headlock. They ran the ropes and then Okada hit a
shoulder tackle. They ran the ropes some more, this time with O’Reilly
getting the upper-hand. Okada went for a sunset flip, but O’Reilly
reversed into a cross arm-breaker! He seemed to have Okada in
jeopardy, but Gedo ran in behind the ref’s back and punched O’Reilly
directly in his cauliflower ear! Gedo officially tagged in and
continued to pound on the side of O’Reilly’s head in the corner. Okada
threw O’Reilly into his corner and tagged Okada. Okada hit a slam and
then a slingshot senton. He went for the cover, but O’Reilly kicked
out at two, as the show cut to its first break at the 5:10 point in
Back at 7:40, O’Reilly was exploding into a flurry of kicks and
strikes to Gedo. Gedo cut him off by again grabbing O’Reilly’s ear!
Okada came in, but O’Reilly was able to stop him with kicks, strikes,
and a legsweep. He made the hot tag to Bobby, who came in and nailed
Gedo and Okada with separate clotheslines. He then hit Gedo with an
exploder suplex into Okada, which was good for a nearfall on Okada!
Fish hit Okada with a knee to the mid-section. Okada wrestled his way
out and then dropped Fish’s neck over his knee! He went for the cover,
but Fish kicked out at two.
Okada hit a slam and then followed up with an elbow smash from the top
turnbuckle. He hit his signature “Rainmaker” pose and the camera
zoomed out. Okada went for his finisher, but Fish came back with a
Samoan Drop! Fish tried to make the tag, but Gedo tagged in first and
knocked O’Reilly off the apron. Gedo kicked Fish in the mouth and
scored a two-count. Fish blocked an exploder from Gedo, but
immediately ate a beautiful dropkick from Okada! Gedo went for the
cover, but O’Reilly broke up the count. Okada went to the outside
after O’Reilly, but Kyle threw him into the ringpost! In the ring,
ReDRagon hit their Two-Man Smash Machine on Gedo, but Okada was able
to break up the pin attempt at the last second! ReDRagon hit Ax and
Smash on Okada, which sent him to the outside. They then hit Gedo with
Chasing the Dragon for the victory!
WINNER: ReDRagon via pinfall in 11:52.
ANALYSIS: No kidding- The ROH guys actually get a win over their NJPW
counterparts! I mean Gedo was the fall-guy and all, but it’s a start,
right? The match was good, on the verge of great. I liked the
methodical pace in the beginning, especially Gedo’s offense to
O’Reilly’s injured ear throughout. It built up to a hot finish, and
the right finish at that. (***)
Clips aired from last week when The Briscoes faced off with War
Machine, after all four men broke up a Cheeseburger beat-down by ANX.
The Briscoes then cut a backstage promo. Mark had a message for War
Machine: They never beat The Briscoes, despiting having faced them on
four separate occasions. Jay told War Machine they weren’t the only
ones with something to prove because it had been three years since The
Briscoes held the ROH World Tag Team Titles.
ANALYSIS: At least they’re framing it as a traditional two-on-two
between The Briscoes and War Machine, rather than including ANX for
the watered-down three-way.
2 – ADAM COLE vs. IWGP Jr. Hvt. champion KUSIHDA – non-title match
Both men tentatively shook hands and the bell rang. Things started
slowly, as both men paced around the ring. They tied up into a corner.
There was a clean break from Cole and an “Adam Cole, bay bay!” The
felt each other out some more. KUSHIDA took control on the mat and
then mockingly posed like Adam Cole. Cole took offense to this and
kicked KUSHIDA in the mid-section. They ran the ropes and KUSHIDA hit
a basement dropkick on Cole. He followed up with a Fujiwara armbar,
but Cole immediately got his foot on the bottom rope. They jockeyed on
the ring apron, until Cole came out on top with an eziguri. Cole
instructed the fans in the front row to move out of his way, but then
flipped them off and threw KUSHIDA back into the ring instead. The
show cut to a break at the 3:01 point in the match.
Back at 5:31, Cole was still in control with a chinlock. KUSHIDA
attempted to fight back, but Cole cut him off with a running back
elbow. Cole grabbed his opponent on the apron, but KUSHIDA snapped his
arm over the top rope. KUSHIDA followed up with a flipping
clothesline! KUSHIDA threw some kicks, before hitting a reverse atomic
drop and a basement dropkick to Cole’s knee. He then followed up with
a big cartwheel into a dropkick to Cole’s head! KUSHIDA worked on the
arm. Cole ran to the ropes, but KUSHIDA met him with a cannonball
kick. KUSHIDA then hit a big swanton off the top rope on onto Cole on
the outside! Huge “KUSHIDA” chant, as the NJPW star rolled back into
Cole re-entered, but KUSHIDA immediately greeted him with a dropkick.
KUSHIDA went for a top rope moonsault press, but Cole got his knees
up. Cole hit a Shining Wizard, which was good for two. “This is
awesome” chant, as Cole went for his signature over-the-knee
neckbreaker. KUSHIDA reversed into a Hoverboard Lock, however. Cole
grabbed the ref, using the resulting leverage to break the hold. Cole
went for a hold of his own, but KUSHIDA reversed into a small package
for two. They wrestled on the mat, until KUSHIDA reapplied the
Hoverboard Lock! Cole was able to roll it over into a small package,
but KUSHIDA reversed into one of his own for another nearfall.
Both men traded some big blows until KUSHIDA came out on top with a
stiff right hand. KUSHIDA kicked Cole in the arm and then applied the
Hoverboard Lock yet again! Cole struggled for about 30 seconds, as he
desperately tried to reach the ropes. Cole was somehow able to lift up
KUSHIDA onto his shoulders, but KUSHIDA rolled him back into the
Hoverbaord Lock! Cole overpowered him to the point KUSHIDA’s shoulder
were down for a quick two-count. KUSHIDA hit a superkick, but Cole
tossed him back into the ropes and then hit a superkick of his own the
back of the head! Cole immediately hit his neckbreaker over the knee
for the victory!
WINNER: Adam Cole via pinfall in 11:42.
ANALYSIS: Really strong performance from both men. Cole is higher on
the totem pole out of the two, and deserved the win here. This was a
good match-up that culminated in some high drama with KUSHIDA’s
repeated Hoverboard Lock attempts toward the end. (***3/4)
Backstage: Dalton Castle addressed his “Fight without Honor” against
Silas Young next week on ROH TV. It wasn’t a matter of how they would
fight, it was a matter of “what I’m going to fight you with,” declared
Dalton. Castle listed some bizarre suggestions, before promising that
he would “get weird” next week.
Clips aired from the 14th Anniversary PPV when Chris Sabin and Alex
Shelley reunited, after Sabin turned on The Addiction and cost
Christopher Daniels his match against Shelley.
3 – THE ADDICTION (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & FRANKIE KAZARIAN) vs. THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (ALEX SHELLEY & CHRIS SABIN)
ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness joined the commentary desk for this
one. “Motor City” chants, despite that part of the team name being
dropped. Sabin and Daniels started the match. They tied up in the
center, but Kaz immediately ran in and attacked Sabin from behind.
Daniels took care of Shelley on the apron, and then he whipped him
into the opposite corner. The Addiction attempted to collide the
Machine Guns into each other, but Sabin and Shelley did a dosey-doe
and then came back with a pair of corner clotheslines. The Machine
Guns threw Daniels into Kazarian, as the show cut to a break at the
Back at 2:11, Kaz went for a sunset slip on Sabin, but Sabin rolled
through and kicked Kaz in the mouth! Sabin worked Kaz’s arm a bit and
then tagged Shelley. Shelley came in with an axe-handle to Kaz’s arm.
Daniels attempted to run in, but Sabin nailed him with a forearm into
the corner and then got down on all fours so he could assist Shelley
in doing the same. Shelley then did the honors for Sabin, who nailed
Daniels with a back elbow in the corner. The Machine Guns hit their
basement dropkick combo on Kaz, which sent him to the outside and then
Sabin followed up with a big dive to both his opponents at ringside.
Back in the ring, Shelley hit a flying cross-body on Kazarian for a
two-count. Shelley measured Kaz before punching him several times in
the corner. Shelley went for a cross-body, but Daniels grabbed his leg
from the outside, which allowed Kaz to take advantage. They pummeled
Shelley in their corner at the 5:00 mark. Daniels tagged back in and
then the Addiction hit their kneelift/swinging neckbreaker combo,
which was good for a two-count on Shelley. Daniels continued to
dominate Shelley, as he stomped on him in the corner. The Addiction
made quick tags, as they took turns stomping on Shelley in the corner.
Daniels stood on Shelley’s hand as he tried to crawl out of enemy
territory. Daniels back-suplexed Kaz onto Shelley and then immediately
followed up with a springboard moonsault! Daniels went for a cocky
cover, but Shelley kicked out as the show cut to its final break at
the 6:54 point in the match!
Back at 7:54, as Daniels rammed Shelley’s face into the top
turnbuckle. He tagged Kaz, who came in with a slingshot DDT to
Shelley. Kaz went for the cover, but Sabin ran in and broke it up. The
Addiction went for another double-team, but Shelley reversed with a
stunner/DDT combo! He desperately tried to crawl to his corner. Kaz
grabbed his leg, but Shelley kicked out and made it to his corner…but
Daniels yanked Sabin off the apron at the last second!
The Addiction went for a double-clothesline, but a miscommunication
allowed Shelley to drop-toehold Daniels head-first into Kaz’s groin!
Shelley crawled over and finally make the hot tag to Sabin! Sabin
nailed Daniels with a clothesline and then a running back elbow in the
corner. Sabin followed up with a double cross-body on Kaz and Daniels
He went for a slingshot move, but Kaz grabbed his legs. Sabin kicked
him away. Daniels tried to take advantage of the distraction, but
Sabin was able to stay in control with a tornado DDT! Kaz re-entered
and then The Addiction hit their pop-up neckbreaker/powerbomb combo,
but Sabin kicked out of the pin attempt. Daniels hit his holding-hands
footstomp, and then immediately transitioned into a big dive to
Shelley on the outside!
Kaz nailed a slingshot cutter, but Sabin kicked out again! The
Addiction went for Celebrity Rehab. Sabin was able to counter with
help from Shelley, but Daniels came right back with an STO to Shelley.
The Machine Guns stayed on top with a swinging neckbreaker combo. They
hit Daniels with superkick/enziguri combo, before Shelley hit a
slingshot plancha to Kaz on the outside! The Machine Guns hit their
swinging neckbreaker/frogsplash combo to put away Daniels!
WINNERS: The Machine Guns via pinfall in 12:48.
ANALYSIS: Really good all-around. There was a particularly strong heat
sequence on Shelley that glued together all of the big sequences. Both
teams have some great combination moves, many of which were on
full-display here. Add in the fact that this is The Machine Guns
return against a new-found enemy in The Addiction, and all of the
elements of a great match were present. (****)
The Addiction attacked Sabin and Shelley after the bell. Matt Sydal
and KUSHIDA then ran down to make the save. The Young Bucks weren’t
far behind with a double-superkick to KUSHIDA. The babyfaces squared
off with the heels until The Machine Guns and Sydal/KUSHIDA got the
better of The Bucks and The Addiction. The babyfaces stood tall in the
ring, as Kevin Kelly signed off.
FINAL REAX: Big improvement over last week’s effort. All three matches
were three-star-plus affairs. Also, ROH finally got some strikes in
the win column over some NJPW stars. I’m not sure why they wouldn’t
sprinkle these victories into other recent episodes to make it not
seem as lopsided, but it’s a start, I guess. Definitely worth going
out of your way to see, even if you are suffering from
Some of ROH’s bigger issues were still prevalent, though. There was an
overall lack of hype for this week’s episode (as usual), which I
thought was particularly wasteful since the quality of the show was so
good. On a weekend where fans were devouring wrestling content, why
not go all-out to advertise that The Machine Guns were re-uniting to
face their foes, The Addiction? It’s not like ROH offered some type of
iPPV/VOD option over WrestleMania weekend. The four-way brawl at the
end was endemic of ROH’s almost-bankrupt booking philosophy of just
throwing a bunch of acts out there in multiple-team efforts, rather
than crafting long-term feuds and storylines that have been the
lifeblood of pro wrestling throughout its history.