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ROH TV Report
Aired April 10, 2016 in syndication
Aired April 13, 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, and then Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III ran down tonight’s packed card.
Roppongi Vice made their entrance, as clips aired of them earning a title shot when they won a 7-team gauntlet match a few weeks ago on ROH TV. Romero sported a Black Tiger mask to the ring. War Machine posed for the crowd during their intro, but were immediately attacked from behind by RPG Vice! Romero and Baretta hit a pair of dives and then brawled around ring until Rowe and Baretta entered the ring. Rowe asked the ref to ring the bell.
1 – ROH World tag team champions WAR MACHINE (HANSON & RAYMOND ROWE) vs. ROPPONGI VICE (ROCKY ROMERO & TRENT BARETTA) – ROH World Tag Team Title match
RPG Vice had the early advantage on Rowe. Baretta hit a standing moonsault, but Rowe kicked out of the pin attempt. War Machine took control when Hanson tagged in. He kicked Romero to the outside, while Rowe pounded on Baretta in the ring. Rowe went for a press slam on Baretta, but Trent grabbed him by the beard! They exchanged strikes until Rowe caught Baretta with a knee to the chin. An obvious voice-over from Kevin Kelly broke in to announce a break at the 2:25 point in the match.
Back at 4:25, Rowe whipped Hanson in Baretta. Rowe went for Shotgun Knees but missed. This allowed Baretta to make the hot tag to Romero! Rocky hit an enziguri on Rowe and then took him down for a two-count. Romero charged at Rowe in the corner with several clotheslines. Rowe came right back with a stiff lariat. Hanson and Rowe went for a double-chokeslam, but Baretta made the save with a dropkick to the champions.
RPG Vice dominated for a bit. Hanson went for a Cartwheel Clothesline, but RPG Vice hit him with stereo knee strikes. Hanson tried to no-sell, but they hit him with another pair of knee strikes! RPG Vice positioned Hanson in the ropes so Romero could hit a missile dropkick. Another pin attempt was unsuccessful. Trent set up Hanson for Strong Zero, but Hanson came in and caught Romero. War Machine then powerbombed RPG Vice into one another! Crazy spot!
War Machine went for Path of Resistance, but Baretta countered with a hurricanrana to Rowe. Romero then came out of nowhere with a top-rope hurricanrana to Hanson! Trent went for flip dive on Rowe, but was caught and then powerbombed into the ring apron! Back in the ring, Romero rolled-up Rowe for two, but Hanson was right there with a Spin Kick of Doom, followed by War Machine hitting Fallout for the victory!
WINNERS: War Machine via pinfall in 8:54 to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles.
ANALYSIS: Typical start, but things really picked up after the break. War Machine has come a long way since first being teamed up a couple of years ago. RPG Vice certainly contributed as well with their signature spots and creative sequences. ROH continues to make a comeback after its initial losing streak to NJPW during this tour. (***1/4)
Donovan Dijak Speaks
Donovan Dijak and Prince Nana were out next. Dijak wore a Jay Lethal t-shirt. Nana addressed the crowd as “idiots,” taunting them that the contents of his envelopes were for him to know and the crowd to find out. Prince Nana proclaimed that Dijak would become the next ROH World Champion.
Dijalk took the mic and said that his entire purpose for the last year was to protect Jay Lethal. Dijak tore off the shirt and pointed to Nana. Dijak recalled how Martini had talked him into giving up his ROH TV Title shot against then-champion Lethal, but Lethal and Taeler Hendrix appeared and then marched to the ring. A huge brawl ensued until several ROH officials and security ran down to pull them apart.
ANALYSIS: Finally, a sense of where the ROH World Title picture is headed. While the match-up makes sense, the storytelling seems off. Dijak spends a year in Lethal’s shadow before being brutally thrown out of The House of Truth. Then he returns with a heel manager, paralyzes poor Truth Martini, and gets shot right to the top of the card, despite losing most of his matches the last year? I get it, I just wish Dijak had some sort of momentum going, rather than having been absent for most of 2016 so far.
Backstage: Dalton Castle had some last-minute thoughts about his Fight without Honor against Silas Young later tonight. Castle called out Young for having “false confidence.” Castle proclaimed himself “a man who fight for his ‘boys,'” and then promised to hurt Silas tonight.
2 – IWGP Intercontinental champion KENNY OMEGA (w/Nick & Matt Jackson) vs. A.C.H. – non-title match
Omega did his rock opera-esque entrance, broom-and-all. The Elite faction was greeted with a great many streamers as they entered the ring. Huge “Omega” chant from the crowd, as the streamers were removed from the ring. Omega refused the Code of Honor, so the bell rang. The Bucks pounded the mat to the Terminator theme. A.C.H. got the early advantage and hit a huge dropkick.
This had seemingly no effect on Omega, who came back with some strikes. A.C.H. fought back with a Thesz Press and then a Stone Cold-like forearm smash. A.C.H. continued with a pair of middle fingers and a stunner attempt. Omega blocked, but A.C.H. hit another dropkick! Omega went to knock A.C.H. off the apron, but A.C.H. hit an Asai Moonsault to the floor for safety! He was met with a double-superkick from the Bucks behind the ref’s back! Omega acted confused, before sweeping up some streamers at ringside. The show cut to a break at the 3:08 mark.
(During the break, Adam Cole cut a backstage promo about Matt Taven kicking him out of The Kingdom. Cole, sounding like an angry babyface, said that Taven and Mike Bennett were “Bullet Club rip-offs” who no one took seriously. Cole said that he was the reason people took The Kingdom seriously, and then promised revenge on Taven.)
Back at 5:38, Omega had a headlock on his opponent. A.C.H. broke free with a jawbreaker, but Omega quickly cut off his comeback. Omega threw some chops before hitting a tuck-and-roll. He went for a moonsault, but A.C.H. moved out of the way. A.C.H. hit some chops. Omega charged into a corner, but A.C.H. countered with a kick. Omega created some separation and then went up top, but A.C.H. kicked Kenny while in mid-backflip in the corner! A.C.H. followed up with his signature Air Jordan dive to all three Elite members at ringside!
A.C.H. went up top, but Omega cut him off with an open-hand slap to the face. Kenny went for a superplex, but A.C.H. knocked him to the mat. Omega persisted, but A.C.H. again knocked him to the mat and then hit a double foot stomp to Omega’s back! A.C.H. went for the cover, but Omega barely kicked out at two. A.C.H. called for a brainbuster. Omega reversed and then just slapped A.C.H. on the back. Omega followed up with a Dragon suplex. He hoisted A.C.H. onto his shoulders. He went for his finisher, but A.C.H. countered into a brainbuster! He went for the cover, but somehow Omega kicked out at two! A.C.H. went up top for his Midnight Star, but Omega rolled out of the way!
Both men began exchanging stiff shots, until Kenny used A.C.H.’s momentum against him and tossed him into the ropes. “This is awesome” chant from the crowd. Omega got to his feet first and “tuned up the band.” The crowd clapped along, but A.C.H. blocked the superkick and countered with a stunner! A.C.H. went for the cover, but Omega kicked out at two. A.C.H. went for Midnight Star again, but Omega moved and hit A.C.H. with a sick knee strike to the head. Omega then hit the One-Winged Angel for the win.
WINNER: Kenny Omega via pinfall in 12:50.
ANALYSIS: Really good stuff from both men. Omega came off like a star with his entrance. I thought A.C.H. using Steve Austin’s moveset was odd, but it didn’t really hurt the match for me. This match is the epitome of A.C.H.’s ROH career so far- has a great match, but loses to the bigger star every time. (***1/2)
3 – DALTON CASTLE (w/ “the boys”) vs. SILAS YOUNG – Fight without Honor
Young brought a trash can lid to the ring. Castle did a scaled-down entrance on the stage, before sending “the boys” to the back. He charged the ring and the fight was on! Dalton quickly sent Silas to the outside, and then they brawled while covered in streamers. Dalton got the early advantage before strutting around the ring. Silas tried to re-enter the ring, but Dalton knocked him back down and then hit him with a huge suicide dive to the outside!
“Fan up” chants, as Dalton outwrestled Silas in the ring. Dalton remained in control for about a minute or so, before Silas knocked him to the outside and immediately followed up with a huge flip dive! Silas hit Dalton with a chair and began looking under the ring. This gave Castle a chance to fight back, but he ended up punching the ringpost after Silas ducked! Young slammed Dalton’s hand on the ring apron. He went for a suplex, but Castle blocked and then chopped Silas to the ground. Castle’s right hand appeared okay as he pounded on Silas. Dalton hit a big running knee on the outside, as the show cut to a break at the 4:08 point in the match.
Back at 5:08, Silas was still in control on the outside. A ladder had been introduced during the commercial, as Silas set up a table on the outside. Castle tried to fight back with a Tornado hurricanrana off the ring apron, but Silas reversed into a powerbomb onto two steel chairs at ringside! Stiff. Back in the ring, Silas went for a cover, but Dalton kicked out at two.
Both men jockeyed for position in the ring, until Dalton rolled up Silas out of nowhere for two. Young maintained his composure and applied an STF. Castle struggled for a good 30 seconds until he was able to maneuver himself out of the hold. Silas went to follow up with a moonsault to Castle on top of a ladder, but Dalton moved at the last second!
Reset at 8:30, as both men traded blows in the ring. Boo-yay sequence. Castle seemed to be coming out on top. but Silas reversed with a back rake! Silas followed up with an Ace Crusher, but Castle kicked out of the pin attempt! Silas picked up Castle and hit Misery. He went for the cover, but Dalton again kicked out at two! Silas brought in his trash can lid and a microphone. He verbally taunted Castle in between nailing him in the back with the lid.
Silas said he wished “the boys” were there to see how pathetic he was. Silas was glad they were there to seem him finish Castle off, but “the boys” entered the ring to save their man! Castle seemed to be taking control, but missed a huge running knee strike in the corner. Silas went to follow up with a flip dive to the outside, but the boys pushed Dalton aside and took the full brunt. Castle then hit a dive of his own to the outside!
Back in the ring, Caslte hit a deadlift German suplex, but somehow Silas kicked out of the pin attempt. “Dalton Castle” chant, as Dalton picked up Silas for the Bangarang. Young held onto the top rope, but Castle simply tossed Silas over the top and through the table at ringside! “You just killed him” chant. Dalton rolled Silas into the ring and went for the cover, but Silas miraculously kicked out at two.
The boys slid a chair to Castle, but the brief distraction allowed Silas to hit a low blow. Young went for the cover, but Dalton kicked out at two. Young talked trash to Castle as he punched him in the face. Silas then spat in Castle’s face. This infuriated Dalton, who hit the Bangarang out of nowhere for the victory!
WINNER: Dalton Castle via pinfall in 14:10.
ANALYSIS: Satisfying conclusion to a long, drawn-out feud. They were some dead spots during this match, but the action was decent and the right guy went over in the end. Finally, Castle can move on to bigger and better things. Hopefully ROH has thought of something for Castle, considering they had 10 months to do so. (***1/3)
Dalton and “the boys” triumphantly posed in the ring to close the show.
FINAL REAX: Three solid matches with some storyline progression. That being said, ROH has just finished airing its TV taping from late February. And next week, ROH will be airing matches from Honor Rising, a couple of shows that took place even earlier in February.
Ring of Honor has had some decent online buzz after its Supercard of Honor shows, but their dated TV model is preventing the company from capitalizing on it. It’s definitely something ROH needs to focus on
changing if they want to gain any sort of traction in today’s crowded pro wrestling landscape.