SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH TV Report
Aired May 29, 2016 in syndication
Aired June 1, 2016 on Comet TV
Taped May 11, 2016 in Toronto, Ont.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
Video package: Adam Cole joined Bullet Club at Global Wars after interrupting the main event between Jay Lethal and Colt Cabana for the ROH World Title. The package closed with the fans chanting “too sweet” in response to the brutal beat-down by Bullet Club.
The ROH TV opening aired.
Ringside: Kevin Kelly and ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness hyped tonight’s show. Kelly also teased the latest from Bullet Club after the May 9 show in Dearborn, Michigan.
Lio Rush made his entrance for tonight’s opening contest. Kevin Kelly praised Rush’s match against Roderick Strong in Dearborn, Michigan. A.C.H. was out next and he received a nice pop from the crowd. Kelly spoke of A.C.H. and Matt Sydal dissolving their partnership in Dearborn. Clips were then shown from the May 9 show, where A.C.H. respectfully told Sydal he had to go it alone and “be himself.” Both men embraced, and then Sydal raised A.C.H.’s arm.
1 – LIO RUSH vs. A.C.H.
Both men shook hands and then the bell rang. Silas Young appeared and joined the announcers at ringside. Both men felt each other out, while Young complained that A.C.H. spent his free time playing video games in the locker room. A.C.H. hit a nice dropkick, which caused Young to refer to A.C.H. and Rush as “video game wrestlers.” Rush came back with a nice hurricanrana and an enziguri that sent A.C.H. to the outside. Rush followed up with an explosive flip dive, but Young was unimpressed on commentary.
Back in the ring, Rush nailed a DDT which was good for a nearfall. A.C.H. fought back with a kick to Rush’s face, followed by a huge clothesline. A.C.H. showed off for the crowd. Rush tried to fight back, but A.C.H. reversed with a stiff German suplex, as Kevin Kelly announced Lethal-Briscoe for the ROH World Title at Best in the World for the first time.
In the meantime, Rush hit a kick and scored a nearfall on A.C.H. Rush went for a clothesline, but A.C.H. countered with a superkick. A.C.H. hit a snap suplex and then immediately followed up with Midnight Star for the victory!
After the match, Silas entered the ring and berated Rush, who was still down on the mat. A.C.H. got in his face. Silas appeared to back down, but then re-entered the ring and attacked A.C.H. from behind. Silas tossed Rush to the outside and then hit his Misery finisher on A.C.H. There were boos from the crowd, but it sounded like they might have been added in post-production.
WINNER: A.C.H. via pinfall in 4:13.
ANALYSIS: Not sure why ROH matched these guys against each other here. Rush is essentially the latest iteration of A.C.H.- an under-sized guy who does crazy moves you’d see in a video game. The action was good while it lasted. I don’t agree with the Top Prospect Tournament winner losing so quickly, but at least A.C.H. appears to be getting a renewed singles push and a new rival in Silas Young. (**)
Clips were shown of The Addiction defeating War Machine for the ROH World Tag Team Titles in Dearborn, Michigan, on May 9. Christopher Daniels scored the pin after Kazarian nailed Ray Rowe with a foreign object.
Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian were out next, as Kevin Kelly praised War Machine for defending their titles three times in a 24-hour span before losing to The Addiction. Daniels grabbed the mic and told Toronto that if their food tasted better that day, it was because “all was right in the world.” Daniels took a dig at the local Toronto crowd before proclaiming that The Addiction were “the world tag team champions of the world.” Daniels claimed they were better than several ROH teams, including The Motor City Machine Guns and The Briscoes. Daniels went on to declare himself and Kaz “the undisputed and undefeated world tag team champions of the world.” Kevin Kelly was dumbfounded by this claim, as the theme music for The Motor City Machine Guns blared throughout the arena.
Sabin and Shelley walked down the aisle. Sabin called The Addiction “d*uchebags” and then reminded Daniels that they had lost to The Machine Guns previously, just like they were losing their “battle with male-pattern baldness.” Sabin challenged The Addiction to a title match tonight. Before they could respond, Roppongi Vice’s music played and out came Rocky Romero and Trent Barreta!
Trent said it was the part where they said they wanted a shot too. He referred to themselves as “the hot, new tag team,” and referred to The Addiction as “old.” Daniels was irate at being called old and bald. He challenged both teams to a three-way, and said that if either team could beat them, that team would receive a title shot at Best in the World.
ANALYSIS: Not the greatest performance by either team on the mic, but it was fun to see Daniels over-selling the old and bald remarks. The Machine Guns and Roppongi Vice coming out felt random, and not like the climax of a hot team earning a title shot.
2 – ROH World Tag Team champions THE ADDICTION (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & FRANKIE KAZARIAN) vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY) vs. ROPPONGI VICE (ROCKY ROMERO & TRENT BARRETA) – non-title three-way match for a title shot against The Addiction at Best in the World
Romero and Sabin started the match. The Addiction broke things up soon enough with some double-teaming. Kaz tried to isolate Romero, but Rocky fought back with several clotheslines in the corner. Barreta tagged in and ran back-and-forth across the apron before raking Kaz’s eyes with his boot. Shelley blind-tagged Trent, and then The Machine Guns hit a double-team on Kaz. They kicked Kaz from both sides and then posed for the crowd.
Kaz fought back with a rake to Shelley’s eyes. A distraction from Daniels on the outside allowed Kaz to follow up with a neckbreaker. The Addiction made some quick tags, as they isolated Shelley. Daniels and Kaz hit a nice inverted atomic drop/STO double-team, which was good for a nearfall on Shelley. Daniels was in firm control, as the show cut to a break at the 5:20 point in the match.
(During the break, clips aired of Bobby Fish defeating Tomohiro Ishii via referee stoppage to capture the ROH TV Title at Global Wars.)
Back at 7:50, Daniels was still in control of Shelley. The Addiction went for a double-team, but Shelley was able to drop toehold Daniels into Kaz’s crotch in the corner before making the hot tag to his partner! Sabin cleaned house, but then RPG Vice reappeared. Sabin held them off as well, before diving onto The Addiction at ringside! Trent tagged into the match and hit Sliced Bread on Kaz. He nailed Daniels with an elbow and then a Shining Wizard for a two-count. Daniels tried to fight back, but was hit by double-jumping knees from RPG Vice!
Barreta and Romero went for Strong Zero, but Kaz broke it up. Daniels hit a uranage and then an STO on Romero, but The Machine Guns ran in and hit their signature basement dropkick double-team. They hit their enziguri combo on Daniels in the corner, and then immediately followed up with Skull and Bones for the victory!
WINNERS: Motor City Machine Guns via pinfall in 11:31 to earn a title shot against The Addiction at the Best in the World PPV.
ANALYSIS: Standard fare for these teams. The Addiction did an okay job of isolating Shelley during the middle-portion of the match, but it really didn’t generate much heat. The fast-paced ending was good, but not enough to take the match to the next level. The right team won, but again, this was a random way of going about it. The Machine Guns already had an issue with The Addiction, yet the announcers did a poor job of telling that story here. (**1/2)
Backstage: Adam Cole and The Young Bucks bragged about the carnage they caused at the end of the Global Wars of PPV. Cole welcomed ROH to Bullet Club’s world. He spoke in platitudes about the group, concluding with, “The Bullet Club is just getting started!” The Bucks both kissed Cole on the cheek like they did at Global Wars to close the segment.
Ringside: Matt Taven joined the commentators at the announce desk. ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness paused before announcing that Steve Corino will finally face B.J. Whitmer at Best in the World after Whitmer posted videos of himself stalking Corino’s wife and son on YouTube. The videos were not shown.
Kevin Kelly then transitioned into a video package about the newest member of Bullet Club, Adam Page. Clips of Adam Page turning on the Briscoes and joining Bullet Club in Dearborn, Michigan were then shown. Kevin Kelly announced to the audience that due to broadcast regulations, they could not even show exactly what Bullet Club did. For those unaware, Page tied a noose around Sabin’s neck and then “hanged” him over the ropes.
3 – NEVER Openweight six-man tag champions BULLET CLUB (KENNY OMEGA & NICK JACKSON & MATT JACKSON) vs. MICHAEL ELGIN & HIROSHI TANAHASHI & YOSHI TATSU – non-title six-man tag team match
Bullet Club received a huge pop as soon as their music hit. The babyfaces not so much. Bullet Club responded to the Code of Honor with a triple-crotch chop. The bell rang and all six men brawled. The babyfaces responded with a triple-crotch chop of their own, before they sent Bullet Club to the outside and hit dives onto all of them at ringside! Back in the ring, Elgin went for a vertical suplex on Matt Jackson. Nick tried to break it up, but Elgin grabbed him and hit a double-suplex!
Omega ran in and nailed Elgin with a Dragon suplex. Tatsu entered and was able to fend off The Elite of Bullet Club with some dragon screw leg whips, but was eventually hit with a double-superkick from The Bucks. Bullet Club followed up with a triple-dive onto all of their opponents at ringside, followed by the fans chanting “too sweet!” Bullet Club followed up with a triple-enziguri on Tatsu in the corner. Omega then hit a springboard moonsault, which was good for a two-count. Matt tagged in and did an elongated back-handspring back-rake. More “too sweet” chants from the crowd, as Tatsu kicked out of a pin attempt. Matt applied a chin lock, as the show cut to its final break at 5:15 of the match.
Back at 6:15, Tatsu fought out with back-rakes to all three of his opponents and then tagged “Big Mike!” Elgin came in and hit a huge German suplex on Matt. Nick tried to break it up, but Elgin grabbed him and hit a double-German suplex! Matt Taven was unimpressed on commentary. Elgin slingshotted Omega into the ring and hit a powerslam. Elgin hit a top-rope Falcon Arrow on Matt, but Omega broke up the pin attempt.
Tanahashi came in and got on Elgin’s shoulders. Nick broke it up with a superkick, however. The Bucks went for a Meltzer Driver, but Elgin caught Nick in mid-air and powerbombed him onto Omega at ringside! The “babyfaces’ triple-teamed Matt in the ring, but Omega reappeared to break up a pin attempt. Tatsu went for a pedigree on Omega, but The Bucks shot a spray can into Tatsu’s face to break things up. Bullet Club hit a triple-superkick on Tatsu. He somehow kicked out, but Omega was right there with the One-Winged Angel for the victory!
After the match, The Guerrillas of Destiny and Adam Page appeared to celebrate with the rest of Bullet Club in the ring.
WINNERS: Bullet Club via pinfall in 10:05.
ANALYSIS: Really fun match, but the crowd heat was all wrong after Bullet Club’s beat-down at Global Wars. ROH would have been better-served to open the show with an in-ring heel promo from Adam Cole and Bullet Club in an attempt to turn the crowd against them. Instead, this just felt like yet another Young Bucks exhibition-style match when all was said and done. (***)
Next Week: Donovan Dijak finally gets his hands on Jay Lethal for the ROH World Title.
FINAL REAX: Really disappointing follow-up to Global Wars. It was bad enough that it took weeks for a fresh episode to air, but things really started to unravel with the crowd reaction during the main event. It felt like ROH wasn’t even trying to get Bullet Club over as heels. An in-ring promo by Bullet Club to start the TV taping seemed like the most obvious way to go, but this is Ring of Honor we’re talking about, after all. There is nothing else to blame but poor booking, as the fumes from the big angle at Global Wars continue to evaporate.