SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH TV Report
Aired August 7, 2016 in syndication
Aired August 10, 2016 on Comet TV
Taped July 16, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
Video package: Last week, Jay Lethal pinned Matt Jackson in a six-man tag that pitted Lethal and The Briscoes against Bullet Club. After their loss, Bullet Club brutally attacked Lethal before shaving his head bald. Comments from Cole and The Bucks were inserted, in which they held Lethal’s dreadlocks in their hands. Bullet Club declared that Lethal had created his “own personal hell” after getting in their way and then a clip was shown of Lethal looking in the mirror and screaming in anger at what Bullet Club had done to him.
The ROH TV opening aired. Some new clips were inserted this week. Of note, War Machine and Dalton Castle were prominently featured. The final image remained a Jay Briscoe close-up, although it was a different clip of him than had been used previously.
The camera panned the 2300 Arena in Phllly. At ringside, Kevin Kelly and ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness announced that tonight’s main event would be a re-match between Jay Lethal and Colt Cabana for the ROH World Title!
1 – JAY WHITE vs. WILL FERRARA
White received a handful of streamers and a decent “Jay White” chant before the bell. Both men shook hands and the match was on. They wrestled on the mat to start, with Ferrara holding firm on a wrist lock. White eventually broke free, which caused a stalemate at the 0:55 mark. White threw a couple chops, but then ran into Ferrara’s boot. Ferrara followed up with a hurricanrana and a couple of two-counts.
They ran the ropes and White came out on top with a forearm and a one-count. White delivered a suplex and then wrenched Ferrara’s wrist back. Ferrara tried to fight back, but White wrestled him down into a chin lock. Ferrara broke free and then hit a couple clotheslines. He charged at White with an elbow in the corner and then lifted him up. White broke free, but Ferrara tossed him to the outside and followed up with a big dive, as the show cut to its first break at 4:00.
Back at 6:30, Ferrara nailed a Tornado DDT. He went for the cover, but White kicked out at two. Ferrara elbowed his way out of a full-nelson attempt and then nailed Will with a fist. White followed up with a charging uppercut forearm in the corner and then a brainbuster. White went up top and nailed a missile dropkick, but Ferrara kicked out of the pin attempt! Reset at 8:00, as both men traded blows in the center. They jockeyed for position until Ferrara nailed a reverse-STO out of nowhere, which was good for another nearfall. They ran the ropes until White hit a dropkick and then a uranage. White followed up with the Kiwi Crusher for the victory
WINNER: Jay White via pinfall in 9:20.
ANALYSIS: This was just-okay. There wasn’t technically anything wrong with it, just two guys working a basic match. Totally fine, as ROH is still just introducing White to its audience. White’s wrist/finger offense was also established. Hopefully White will be put in a meaningful match at the Death Before Dishonor PPV, perhaps against Kamaitachi. (**)
Video package: NJPW star and current NEVER Openweight Champion Shibata will be making his ROH debut against Silas Young at Death Before Dishonor on Friday, August 19.
At ringside, the announcers hyped Shibata’s debut. They then transitioned to tonight’s Fish Tank segment where Bobby Fish will interview his opponent at Death Before Dishonor, Mark Briscoe. Clips then aired of Briscoe earning his title shot in a match against A.C.H. a few weeks ago on ROH TV.
(During the break, an ad for NJPW’s show on AXS TV aired.)
Fish Tank/Chicken Shack segment
Back from break, Mark Briscoe entered the ring to a nice crowd reaction. The graphic aired for the ROH TV Title match between Fish and Briscoe at Death Before Dishonor. Mark grabbed the mic and explained how he was supposed to be a guest on The Fish Tank tonight. He did some digging, however, and found that The Fish Tank was actually “communist propaganda.” He accused Fish of trying to control viewers’s thoughts with subliminal messaging, therefore he cut off Fish from coming out for his segment. Briscoe announced that he would be hosting his own show, entitled The Chicken Shack! “Chicken Shack” chant from the crowd, as Mark introduced the show’s inaugural guest, Bobby Fish!
Fish came out sporting a nice suit and his title belt under his arm. Fish entered the ring and Briscoe asked him to have a seat. Fish thanked Briscoe for having him and then spoke of how he “looked like a million bucks,” while the “host” looked like an unmade bed. An angered Briscoe brought up Fish’s exploits in Japan with partner Kyle O’Reilly. Briscoe asked his guest if he preferred “the chicken or the fish?” Fish replied that he didn’t eat airplane food. Briscoe continued with the hard-hitting questions, asking Fish if he married an Ethipoian midget the last time he was in Las Vegas. Fish calmly responded, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
Briscoe fast-forwarded to the next time in Vegas, the city where Death Before Dishonor will be held. Mark declared he would win the ROH TV Title then. Fish rhetorically asked Briscoe what would actually happen if he actually won the title at the PPV. Fish then answered his own question by claiming that Briscoe would still just be “Jay Briscoe’s little brother, walking around with his secondary title.”
Fish explained by saying that Mark would pull the TV title back down to “secondary” status after Fish elevated it when he choked out Tomohiro Ishii to win the championship back in June. Fish again referred to Mark as “Jay Briscoe’s little brother.” Mark was upset and started tossing around the chairs that were set up in the ring. Security ran out to hold Mark back, while Fish heelishly told Mark that he was looking at the ROH TV Champion. The fans chanted “man up.”
[MM Reax: This segment turned out to be stronger than it looked on paper. Briscoe did his “wacky chicken farmer” routine, while Fish gave his usual impassioned promo where he really put over the ROH TV Title. While it seemed like Fish was turning heel, we’ve been here before with Fish’s last two feuds (Roderick Strong and Dalton Castle). Fish always sounds obnoxious going into the match, but remains babyface in what is usually a solid, yet bland match.]
Backstage: The Addiction hyped a three-way match they had coming up against both War Machine and The Motor City Machine Guns. Kaz called it a relapse match since they had already beaten both teams, while Daniels promised to handle their business either the night of or before they even walk in the door.
(The NJPW on AXS TV commercial aired once again during this break.)
2 – ROH World champion JAY LETHAL vs. COLT CABANA – ROH World Title match
Over a dozen ROH security members stood at ringside to prevent interference from Bullet Club. Both men shook hands and the bell rang, as the fans chanted “both these guys.” The match started slowly with a feeling-out sequence. Cabana looked a bit sloppy with a takedown before a stalemate at the 1:05 mark. Dueling chants rang out, as both men plotted their next move. Cabana hit a legsweep, but Lethal quickly slapped Colt to break the resulting leg lock. They ran the ropes around the 2:45 point and then Lethal came out on top with a dropkick.
Cabana regrouped on the outside for a moment, and then was invited back into the ring by Lethal, who held the ropes open for him. Cabana took Lethal down and stood on his hand, before applying a chin lock. They ran the ropes again, and this time Cabana hit a dropkick of his own. On commentary, McGuinness actually referred to the matching dropkicks as “even steven.” Another dueling chant broke up, as both men tied up again. Lethal eventually pulled Cabana to the outside and nailed him with a kick, before quickly following up couple of big dives to the outside! The crowd demanded a third and Lethal happily obliged, as the show cut to a break at the 6:00 mark!
Back at 7:00, Cabana had gained control over Lethal. The crowd chanted “this is awesome,” despite not much happening at the moment. Colt blocked a superkick, but ate a forearm from Lethal. Jay charged, but Cabana cut him off with a clothesline that showed some light. Both men began trading blows around the 8:30 mark. Colt came out on top with several fists and a Bionic Elbow. Lethal tried to roll him up, but Colt temporarily countered him into a reverse-Boston Crab! Lethal quickly freed himself, but Colt stayed on the attack with a big splash and a two-count.
Dueling chants, as Jay hit a Lethal Combination out of nowhere. Lethal went up top for Hail to the King. It looked like he hit it, but Colt actually caught him and quickly rolled him up for a two-count! Lethal immediately followed up with a Lethal Injection and went for the cover, but Colt somehow kicked out at two! Cabana looked stunned on the mat, as Lethal called for his finisher again. Colt avoided it by collapsing into a corner, but Lethal was right there with a stiff chop. Lethal positioned Colt for a superplex, but Colt fought out and reversed into a Chicago Skyline! He went for the cover, but Lethal kicked out as the show cut to its final break at the 12:10 point in the match.
Back at 13:10, Lethal was pounding away on Cabana in the ring. Colt fought back with a chop, but Lethal responded with a superkick. Lethal charged at Cabana, who hit a hip attack! Colt went for the cover, but could only get a nearfall. Lethal hit an enziguri, but Colt refused to go down. Lethal responded with two consecutive Lethal Injections for the win!
WINNER: Jay Lethal via pinfall in 14:12 to retain the ROH World Title.
ANALYSIS: The commercial breaks really hurt the flow of this match, especially with the finish occurring only one minute after returning from the last break. This was an issue with last week’s episode as well, so hopefully ROH will adjust in the future. The match itself was fine. Colt looked a bit sloppy at times. The middle portion of the match was very good, but this match didn’t hit the three-star level the way it was presented on TV, at least. (**3/4)
After the match, Lethal extended his hand to Cabana and then both men shook hands. The fans applauded, as Lethal grabbed a microphone. Lethal demanded that ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness enter the ring. Lethal admitted that usually he’d “scream that there was nobody left.” According to Lethal, there was someone left this time – Adam Cole. Brief “Adam Cole” chant, while Lethal talked about how Cole shaved his head. Lethal warned Nigel about the damage Bullet Club had been doing to ROH, and vowed to be the one to stop them.
Nigel reminded Lethal that he already banned Cole from competing for the ROH World Title, therefore he didn’t want to be a hypocrite. “You have got to be kidding me,” said an emerging Adam Cole, which drew a loud pop from the crowd. Cole accused McGuinness and Lethal of being in cahoots to prevent him from being the ROH World Champion. Cole went further and suggested that Nigel had Lethal face a bunch of bogus challengers to build up his title reign. Cole then added that Lethal’s reign would mean nothing if he didn’t defend against him. Cole went on to say that the boys in the locker room referred to Lethal as “a little b—-.” This sent Lethal over the edge, as he yelled at Nigel and declared that he was “the greatest wrestler in the world.”
Lethal got in Nigel’s face and explained that the only way to set Cole straight would be to beat him in front of the entire world. Lethal again demanded a match against Cole, this time literally begging on his knees. The crowd chanted “make the match,” as Lethal repeated the demand from the audience. McGuinness then announced that Lethal would, in fact, defend the ROH World Title against Adam Cole at the Death Before Dishonor PPV on Friday, August 19!
FINAL REAX: A just-okay edition of ROH TV this week. Neither match’s in-ring action particularly stood-out, but at least the main event featured a big angle at the end. It was a positive that the main event for Death Before Dishonor was finally set, despite it being less than two weeks before the event when this aired in syndication. Regardless, Cole challenging Lethal for the title has been brewing since Global Wars, so this does feel like a big match-up going in. It also gives ROH a chance to change direction, as an Adam Cole title reign would certainly freshen things up.