5/18 ROH TV Report – Metzger’s Recap of Jay Lethal Tribute Show


ROH TV Report
Aired May 15, 2016 in syndication
Aired May 18, 2016 on Comet TV
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor

Video Package: Jay Lethal’s insatiable drive to achieve perfection and his rise to greatness.

The normal ROH TV opening aired.

Backstage: Kevin Kelly set the stage for tonight’s special look at ROH World champion Jay Lethal.

Clips aired of Jay Lethal winning the ROH TV Title from Tommaso Ciampa at “Supercard of Honor” in 2014.

Kevin Kelly ran down several of Lethal’s key victories throughout 2014 and then threw to clips of Lethal successfully defending the ROH TV Title against Alberto El Patron at the 13th Anniversary PPV in 2015.

[M.M. Reax: Lethal had some tremendous TV Title defenses throughout his 18-month reign, yet this match does not stick out as one of them. Perhaps ROH is using this time to feature Lethal’s victories over the most recognizable names possible.]

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Kevin Kelly continued to recap Lethal’s TV title reign. He talked about how Lethal declared himself the one true ROH champion, despite Jay Briscoe holding the ROH World Title at the time. Kelly teased that clips their eventual meeting would air after a…

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Kevin Kelly again set the stage for the clips of the Briscoe-Lethal “Winner Take All” match from last year’s Best in the World PPV. Clips from the later portion of the match then aired, including Lethal’s coronation as “undisputed” ROH World Champion.

[M.M. Reax: This was a great moment for Lethal at the time, but his World title reign has been lackluster, to say the least. Also of note, the matches aired so far seem to be slightly sped up, as if there was a technical issue with converting this footage to the SD TV feed.]

[Commercial Break]

Kevin Kelly segued into Lethal’s ROH World Title reign. He said that Lethal declared himself the greatest champion of all-time, and lived up to that monicker by defeating both Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly in the same night at the All-Star Extravaganza PPV last September. Kelly then backtracked a bit by talking about Lethal’s feud with Roderick Strong last summer. Clips then aired of Lethal-Strong on ROH TV in November, where Strong defeated Lethal for the ROH TV Title. Kelly said that despite losing that match, Lethal still had a record-setting ROH TV Title reign.

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Kevin Kelly continued to talk about Lethal’s ROH World Title reign. Kelly then introduced clips of Lethal’s defense against A.J. Styles at Final Battle 2015. Roughly eight minutes of the match were shown, culminating with Lethal scoring the victory.

[Commercial Break]

Kevin Kelly reminded viewers that Jay Lethal was approaching a full year as ROH World Champion. Kelly ran down a few different promotions Lethal had defended the title in, including against Tomoaki Honma at New Japan’s “Honor Rising” in Japan this past February. Clips of that match then aired. Lethal won after a ref bump and a lot of interference.

Next Week: A very special look at Bullet Club.

Final Reax: Another week that ROH’s TV product slips further into obscurity. This episode wasn’t particularly maddening, as it was a solid recap of Lethal’s rise to the top in Ring of Honor. ROH has aired similar episode-long tributes dedicated to the likes of Adam Cole and Michael Elgin in the past, so this was not unprecedented. It would be fine if ROH featured an episode like this between TV tapings. It gives ROH a chance to feature matches that were previously PPV-exclusive and it makes a big deal out of the company’s history. Unfortunately, ROH TV hasn’t been fresh in several weeks, with a couple more weeks of re-hash to come.

PWTorch VIP members: Check out the Global Wars PPV Audio Roundtable from this past weekend where James Caldwell, Sean Radican, and I analyze the more current goings-on in Ring of Honor. (Not VIP? Find out how to sign up HERE!)

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