KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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RADICAN’S “BITW ’16 REPORT”
JUNE 24, 2016
AIRED LIVE ON PPV
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness kicked off the show on commentary. They ran down the big matches on the card in Lethal-Briscoe, Fish-Castle, and MCMG vs. The Addiction. Kelly also previewed the Corino vs. Whitmer Fight Without Honor.
(1) Kyle O’Reilly vs. Kamaitachi. It wasn’t long before both men were exchanging forearms. O’Reilly took Kamaitachi down and went for an arm bar, but he got to the ropes. O’Reilly wiped out Kamaitachi with a combination of strikes a short time later and the fans chanted for O’Reilly. O’Reilly focused on Kamaitachi’s arm. O’Reilly got flipped around and sold a leg injury when he landed. Kamaitachi went right after his leg and began working it over. He eventually began working over O’Reilly’s leg with a modified figure-four leglock. O’Reilly managed to get to the ropes, but Kamaitachi applied the hold again. O’Reilly got to the ropes once again after a struggle.
Kamaitachi sent O’Reilly to the floor with a shoulder tackle through the ropes. O’Reilly landed on the floor and sold his leg. O’Reilly got back up to the apron and got an arm bar while using the ropes for leverage, but the ref forced him to release the hold. O’Reilly eventually hit combination of strikes capped by a jumping knee to the head to deck Kamaitachi. Kamaitachi bailed to the floor and O’Reilly followed him and hit a couple of kicks to the chest. He went for another kick, but O’Reilly kicked the ringpost. Kamaitachi then hit a running dropkick off the apron to the floor and the fans fired up. Jay White was shown watching the match in the front row. They got back into the ring and Kamaitachi went after O’Reilly’s leg.
After some back and forth action, O’Reilly connected with a pendulum lariat and both men were down. Kamaitachi caught O’Reilly with a suplex that sent his legs crashing into the turnbuckles. Kamaitachi caught O’Reilly charging at him a short time later and hit a powerbomb, but O’Reilly applied a triangle choke. Kamaitachi kicked his way out of it. They went back and forth trading blows until O’Reilly hit a brainbuster. Kamaitachi kicked out and O’Reilly went right into an arm bar for the win!
After the match, O’Reilly wanted a handshake. Kamaitachi hesitated and then spit on O’Reilly’s hand before leaving the ring.
WINNER: Kyle O’Reilly.
Star rating: (***1/4) – The muted crowd didn’t provide much of an atmosphere for this match, but this was very good with each man working a body part and O’Reilly eventually putting away Kamaitachi with an armbar.
(2) ACH vs. Silas Young. ACH offered a hand shake, but Young looked at his hand and punched him in the face. Young hit a slingshot double stomp to ACH’s chest a short time later and began working him over. ACH fired back on the floor and hit a springboard forearm. Young took control once again a short time later and began working ACH over once again. ACH fired back and caught Young with a kick to the head. He eventually caught Young with a discus clothesline. Young fired back and took control.
ACH got a back slide, but Young kicked out and nailed him with a kick to the head. ACH went for a slingshot ace crusher, but Young caught him with a back breaker and then a clothesline. They battled up top and ended up on the mat. Young hit total anarchy, but ACH kicked out at 2. Young went to the outside to get some plunder and began arguing with the ref, so ACH nailed him with Air Jordan. ACH hit a brainbuster a short time later and connected with the midnight star for the win.
WINNER: ACH – This was a fine match. It just wasn’t very exciting with Young dominating so much of the action only to fall short.
(3) Roderick Strong vs. IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champion Mark Briscoe. The fans broke out into a “Thank you Roddy” chant. Mark wanted a handshake, but Strong kept pushing him away. Strong grabbed Mark by the hair and it came off in his hand. Mark took his hat off and he had his head shaved. He then ran wild on Strong, who was shocked by his fake hair apparently. Mark went to town on Strong on the outside. Kelly said Mark’s new look was to get an advantage over Strong. Strong eventually countered a charge from Mark and sent him flying into the ringpost. Strong sent Mark flying into the guardrail and said this is his company. Strong ended up working over Mark inside the ring as the pace slowed.
They went back and forth with each man trying to hit a suplex. Mark finally hit one and made the cover for a 2 count and the fans fired up. Both men collided in the middle of the ring a short time later and collapsed to the mat. The crowd fell silent as both men went back and forth. Mark hit an exploder, but only got a 2 count. Mark hit a DVD and went up top. He went for a froggy-bow, but Strong got his knees up. Kelly acted amazed that Strong got his knees up to counter the froggy-bow. Strong hit a series of big running knees in the corner and then he dumped Mark to the mat for a 2 count. Mark fired back and applied the Stronghold, but Strong managed to escape. Strong and Mark went back and forth up top. Strong finally hit a superplex, but Mark countered into a pinning combination for a 2 count.
Strong hit a double knee gutbuster and a Gibson driver for a 2 count. He then applied the Stronghold. Mark eventually escaped and then ended up on the apron. Mark avoided a back breaker on the apron by holding onto the ropes. He knocked Strong off the apron and connected with a cactus elbow. Both men were slow to get up once they got back into the ring. They went face-to-face and began trading blows. Strong ducked a forearm and hit the sick kick for a near fall. One fan and his child opposite the hard camera popped for the near fall. Mark ducked a pair of running knees. He eventually hit a sick kick and a brainbuster for a 2 count. Mark then hit a fisherman buster for the win.
After the match, both men shook hands. The fans then started a light “Thank you Roddy” chant.
WINNER: Mark Briscoe – It felt like a big middle finger from ROH to send Roderick Strong out with a loss for what was billed as his final PPV match. Mark isn’t any kind of a threat as a singles wrestler. The action was solid, but the fans not invested in the match made it feel like a drag to get through it.
(4) The Bullet Club (IWGP Jr. Hvt. Tag Team Champions and NEVER Openweight Tag Team Champions (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) & Adam Cole) vs. Moose & Hanson & Rowe (w/Stokely Hathaway). Moose and War Machine were all wearing face paint on half of their faces. The Bullet Club got into the ring and hit a triple superkick to send all of their opponents to the floor. Taven was in on commentary and he made fun of Cole and called him Kenny Omega. Bullet Club then hit a triple terminator dive and the fans seemed to like that. Moose set up and hit everyone with a big dive. Moose did a lap around the ring and went for a spear on Cole, but he got out of the way. Hanson and Rowe brawled with The Young Bucks up to the top of the entrance ramp. They picked Matt and Nick up and tossed them into each other.
Both teams continued to go back and forth on the outside. Moose got isolated inside the ring, as The Young Bucks hit the suck punches and Cole hit the Adam Cole baby punches. War Machine and Moose mounted a comeback and went to town on The Bullet Club. Hanson went for a dive through the ropes, but Bullet Club got out of the way. Moose and Rowe took superkicks from The Young Bucks. Matt then helped Nick flip tot the floor to wipe out Moose and Rowe. Hanson recovered and wiped out everyone with a big flip dive off the turnbuckles. Cole took a combination of moves capped by a big splash from Hanson off the top, but The Young Bucks made the save. Moose set up for a spear, but The Young Bucks nailed him with a double superkick.
They did a series of big spots capped by Hanson hitting a huge sit out piledriver on Cole. Hanson went up top, but The young Bucks nailed him mid-air when he went for a moonsault on Cole! Stokely got up on the apron, so The Bullet Club nailed him with a triple superkick. Moose took the Meltzer driver and Cole made the pin for the win.
WINNERS: Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson & Adam Cole.
Star rating: (***) – They pulled together a lot of fun exchanges during the match, but it was just hard to care about The Bullet Club beating up a bunch of cold acts on the ROH roster.
(5) ROH World Tag Team Champions The Addiction (Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels) vs. MCMG (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin). The Addiction jumped their Sabin and Shelley right after the introductions. Sabin got worked over for a bit until Shelley got the hot tag. The Addiction fired back and wiped out Shelley with a combination of moves. Shelley was then isolated as The Addiction worked him over. Daniels with for an Asai moonsault to the floor, but Shelley got out of the way and he hit Kazarian. Sabin got the tag and went to town on Kazarian and Daniels. Shelley lifted the ropes and Sabin connected with a dive that wiped out Kazarian and Daniels.
The Addiction then hit a tandem powerbomb on Sabin inside the ring for a near fall. Both teams went back and forth as the pace picked up. All four men traded blows and Kazarian ended a big sequence with the flux capacitator on Shelley. Kamaitachi ran down to ringside and pulled Jay White out of the fans and into the ring. WTF? They brawled back to the floor and McGuinness went over to check on them. Daniels hit Shelley low and the cameras didn’t catch it. Sabin went at it alone with The Addiction. Daniels and Kazarian eventually hit the best Meltzer ever for the win.
Kamaitachi posed with The Addiction after the match at the top of the ramp, to indicate it was on purpose after all.
WINNERS: Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels
Star rating; (***) – This was very good until the “Delirious Special” finish came into play to lead into the finish. Kamaitachi running down to brawl with White was hilarious.
(6) Steve Corino vs. B.J. Whitmer in an Unsanctioned Fight Without Honor. Corino came out first wearing eye black and a white shirt and pants. He took his hat off and his hair was blond. The fans threw streamers at Corino and his attendants threw several chairs into the ring as well. Whitmer was out next wearing white trunks. Corino ran to the floor and went right after Whitmer. Whitmer took control on the floor and tossed Corino into the guardrail. Kelly said Corino had lost a tooth after getting whipped into the guardrail.
Whitmer hit a spinebuster back inside the ring a short time later. Whitmer had Corino’s signature Evil font on his tights. Whitmer hung Corino upside down in the corner and eventually hit a draping neck breaker. Whitmer went for a piledriver on the apron, but Corino fought out of it. Corino caught Whitmer running at him on the apron and hit a STO. The announcers said that each man had gone to a dark place. Corino wound up and tossed a chair at Whitmer’s surgically repaired knee. Corino then placed a chair over Whitmer’s leg and nailed it with a chair shot. Corino put a chair over Whitmer’s ankle and nailed it with a chair shot.
Whitmer begged for mercy and Corino teased a chair sot and then ended up slapping Whitmer. Whitmer fired back and punched Corino above the eye. Corino came up bleeding. Several doctors checked on Corino as Whitmer set up a table in the corner. Corino blocked an exploder through the table, but Whitmer sent him face-first into the table with an exploder a short time later. The table didn’t break, so Whitmer hit a second exploder on Corino through the table and he kicked out at 1! Corino was really bleeding badly, but mounted a comeback with several superkicks and a big lariat for a near fall. Corino was bleeding on his white outfit. Somewhere Jimmy Jacobs is smiling.
Corino got a beer bottle and broke it over Whitmer’s head. The fans fired up as Kelly went nuts. Corino then dug the beer bottle into Whitmer’s head. Whitmer came up bleeding like crazy. Wow this is nuts in 2016. Corino got rubbing alcohol and poured it on Whitmer’s cut. The fans fired up with an ECW chant. Corino took off one of his socks and filled it with coins. Corino swung at Whitmer, but Whitmer cut him off with a roll of quarters. Whitmer made the cover, but Corino kicked out at the last second as the fans fired up.
Both men met in the middle of the ring and traded rights. The fans fired up with each Corino punch. Corino suddenly grabbed Whitmer and hit the package piledriver, but Whitmer kicked out! The lights went out and when they came on Kevin Sullivan was in the ring. He went after Whitmer, but Whitmer smiled and Sullivan hit Corino with the golden spike. Kelly said Corino had been driven straight to hell with the spike. Whitmer then hit an exploder for the win. Wow!
WINNER: B.J. Whitmer.
Star rating: (****) – I’m not a fan of this much blood being used in matches, but this felt like an incredible old school brawl. Hopefully both men were tested prior to the match, as they had a sick all-out war that really woke this dead crowd up. Sullivan appearing at the end was a great touch. Both men really did a great job of drawing on their dark history together.
Kevin Kelly said he had a feeling that it wasn’t over between Corino and Whitmer.
(7) ROH World TV champion Bobby Fish vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys). Castle came down to the ring with tons of boys. Both men shook hands before going at it. Fish went for a flying arm bar early and Castle got out of it so he went right to an ankle lock with a grapevine, but Castle got to the ropes. Castle got the upper hand and went to work on Fish, but Fish tripped him off the turnbuckles and went to work on his leg. The crowd was once again silent. Castle fired back and got the upper hand. He went on the attack and worked over Fish with some knees to the back. He hit a dead lift gut-wrench suplex a short time later.
Fish ducked a charge in the corner and eventually drove Castle into the opposite corner. Fish then hit an exploder in the corner. Fish went back after Castle’s leg and hit a dragon screw. They went back and forth and Castle hit a dead lift German for a 2 count. Castle caught Fish with a big clothesline after an exchange off the ropes. Fish fired back and caught Castle with a heel hook with a grapevine, but Castle managed to get to the ropes. They ended up going at it on the outside. Castle went for the 619 head scissors, but Fish ducked it and drove him into the barricade. Fish tried to hit a dive off the apron, but Castle caught him and suplexed him over the guardrail and into the crowd! Castle brought Fish back to ringside and got him into the ring, but Fish rolled back to the floor. Fish caught Castle charging at him and suplexed him into the ringpost! Holy s—!
Both men barely made it back into the ring to beat the 20 count. Castle got up and hit a pair of Saito suplexes. Castle went after Fish, but ate a knee from Fish. He went for the bang-a-rang, but Fish rolled through and got a pinning combination for the win.
WINNER: Bobby Fish to retain the ROH World TV Title.
Star rating: (***1/4) – This was awfully good. A couple of issues are present in that Castle still has an undercard character even though he’s being pushed higher up the card right now. I wasn’t a big fan of the roll-up finish, as I thought this match deserved a better finish than the one it got, but they did a good job of putting together a really good match.
Patriotic music played and The Cabinet came out. It turned out it was Rhett Titus and Kenny King with Caprice Coleman. Coleman got on the mic and said he is a minister of information. He said at BITW 2012, ANX were crowned the World Tag Team Champions by beating the World’s Greatest Tag Team. He said they were never pinned for the title. He said it was now four years later. Coleman said they had watched each other’s matches. He said they were underrated and underpaid, so they were going to unite. He said they were going to be known as The Cabinet from now on.
Titus got on the mic and asked when was the last time you saw a pro wrestler actually look like a pro wrestler. Titus said The Cabinet would put a headlock on high spots. They kept cutting to shots of Nigel and Kelly looking bored. King got on the mic and kept blabbing on. King went on and on and nobody cared. THIS SUCKED BAD.
A video packaged aired and when it ended there was 23 minutes of PPV time remaining.
(8) ROH World champion Jay Lethal (w/Taeler Hendrix) vs. IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champion Jay Briscoe. The match began with 18 minutes of air time left. Lethal hit his signature cartwheel into a dropkick right away. Briscoe caught Lethal charging at him in the corner with an elbow and went on the attack. Lethal hit an inside out dropkick to send Briscoe off the apron to the floor. He then hit a pair of dives to the floor to wipe out Briscoe. He set up for another dive, but Briscoe cut him off. Jay then hit a big dive through the ropes. He got back into the ring and hit a second dive on Lethal. The fans fired up a bit as Jay stood tall in the ring. Jay went for a third die and connected with a flip dive. Hendrix attacked Briscoe on the floor and the ref kicked her out. Hendrix was then escorted to the back screaming. She had a scuffle with Mandy Leon before heading to the back.
Back inside the ring, Briscoe connected with a discus forearm. Briscoe hit a big DVD a short time later, but Lethal managed to kick out. They went at it near the apron a short time later and jay hit a big ace cutter off the arpon to the floor. Wow! They battled up top and Jay went for the Jay-driller, but Lethal turned it into a hurricanrana. Lethal then hit hail to the king, but Briscoe kicked out at 2. Lethal went for the Lethal injection twice, but Briscoe countered it. He went for the Jay-driller, but Lethal slipped out. Briscoe then hit the Lethal injection and the Jay-driller, but Lethal kicked out. WHAT! Briscoe dragged Lethal up top. They teased a table bump. Lethal eventually hit a super ace crusher. He then hit the Lethal Injection for the win.
The fans applauded both men after the match for their efforts and threw streamers into the ring. Both men then shook hands.
WINNER: Jay Lethal to retain the ROH World Championship
Star rating: (**3/4) – This was good for the time it was given, but it felt like something was missing. The biggest rematch of all-time in ROH getting 13 minutes is a joke. They pulled off some nice sequences, but there wasn’t much to settle in here when it came to enjoying a main event style match.
A plug for “Death Before Dishonor” on Aug. 19 on PPV was shown to close out the show.
Overall Quick Thoughts: (5.5) – This show was a mixed bag. The highlight was the awesome Corino-Whitmer match. There was a nice collection of matches on the undercard, but overall some of the booking was really lame.
The Kamaitachi vs. Jay White brawl during the MCMG vs. The Addiction match was flat out odd. Then before the main event, there was a rather long segment to introduce The Cabinet with Coleman and ANX. This was a horrible segment and one of the worst ROH moments I can remember in recent history.
The biggest re-match in ROH history (their words not mine), Lethal-Jay Briscoe, only got 13 minutes. They put together a nice match, but it felt like nothing more than a good match when all was said and done. The crowd being dead for just about everything on the card didn’t help either, although they did get really hot for Corino vs. Whitmer, which had a crazy Kevin Sullivan appearance booked into the finish.
Given the show was built heavily around the main event, it’s hard to give this show anything more than a slight recommendation.
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