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ROH TV Report
Aired August 21, 2016 in syndication
Aired August 24, 2016 on Comet TV
Taped July 16, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The ROH TV opening aired.
Ringside: Kevin Kelly and ROH matchmaker Nigel McGuinness welcomed viewers to the show. No mention was made of last Friday’s Death Before Dishonor PPV.
1 – “HANGMAN” ADAM PAGE vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM
Page walked to the ring with his patented noose draped around his neck. Gresham received the slightest of chants before the bell. Page extended his hand for the Code of Honor, but then spit in it. Gresham refused to shake hands, which prompted Page to kick him in the gut. The bell sounded and Page pummeled Gresham to start. Gresham tried to out-quick Page, and eventually did so when he hit a springboard hurricanrana. Gresham then dropkicked Page to the outside. Gresham went to follow up with a dive, but Page caught him and then catapulted him hard into the ringpost, as the show cut to its first break at the 1:05 point in the match!
Back at 3:35, Page was in control. Gresham was alb to briefly reverse into a guillotine choke, but Page responded with a suplex and a nearfall. Page charged into a Gresham’s boot in the corner. Gresham followed up with an armdrag takedown, as he sold his injured back. Gresham quickly followed up with a stunner and a step-up enziguri. He then hit a German suplex into a pinning combination, which was good for two!
Page charged into the corner again, but this time Gresham moved and Page went shoulder-first into the buckle. Gresham kicked Page in the arm and then hit a tilt-a-whirl bulldog, which was good for a another nearfall! Gresham immediately transitioned into a crossface, but Page lifted Gresham up and then superkicked him out of the ring. Gresham came back in, but Page nailed him with a stiff slingshot clothesline and then his Rite of Passage finisher for the victory!
WINNER: Adam Page via pinfall.
ANALYSIS: Nice win for Page. I thought Gresham received more shine than Page, but Adam certainly looked good in executing his finishing sequence. ROH didn’t really get anything out of Page here, as the announcers didn’t want to reference the PPV results the weekend of the show. ROH would have been better served by featuring this match last week to further build toward Briscoe-Page, instead of wasting precious TV time on that tag title mess on last week’s show. (**1/4)
Vignette: Presidential music played as the words, “The Cabinet: Make Wrestling Great Again,” were featured on the screen. “Minister of Information” Caprice Coleman was the first to speak. He had confidential information on Dalton Castle. Coleman talked trash about Castle’s “team” while, no joke, instrumental Christmas music was playing in the background. Rhett Titus and Kenny King chimed in and referenced some type of upcoming tag match against Castle and some partners. King repeated their slogan to close out the segment.
[MM Reax: Odd, just odd segment all around. The Cabinet is just not working, neither in these backstage segments nor in front of live crowds. This angle needs to be scrapped fast, perhaps by the end of the U.S. Presidential Election at the absolute latest. ]
Video package: Kevin Kelly chronicled the brief history between War Machine and the team of Shane Taylor & Keith Lee. Big men Taylor and Lee have attacked War Machine on more than one occasion. Both teams will face-off for the first time next week on ROH TV. Also next week, The Young Bucks will receive a title shot against ROH World Tag Team champions The Addiction, after The Bucks defeated Roppongi Vice on last week’s episode. The show cut to pre-recorded comments from Bullet Club. The Bucks, along with Adam Cole and Adam Page, promised to throw a “giant superkick party” next week. They hit a double-superkick directly toward the camera, and then the shot faded to black.
[MM Reax: Nice little package that built anticipation for next week’s show. I still don’t understand why ROH is bothering with the heelish Young Bucks against The Addiction, but at least ROH showed they were in the business of promoting, not just presenting big matches on their TV show.]
2 – KAMAITACHI (w/ ROH World Tag Team champion Christopher Daniels) vs. STUKA JR.
During entrances, Nigel McGuinness referenced how ECW had brought Mexican stars like Rey Mysterio, Jr. and Psicosis to the U.S. scene in the same building 20 years ago. Kamaitachi strutted past Stuka instead of shaking his hand before the bell. They wrestled on the mat to start. Stuka came out on top early with a head scissors takeover. Stuka did some acrobatics, before nailing Kamaitachi with a huge suicide dive to the outside. Stuka Jr. followed up with another, which drew an “uno mas” chant from the crowd. Stuka began to climb into the ring to oblige, but Daniels yanked him to the floor while the ref’s back was turned. Daniels continued to attack Stuka on the outside, while Kamaitachi distracted the ref inside the ring. The show then cut to a break at the 1:58 mark.
(During the break, a generic ad for the Death Before Dishonor replay aired.)
Back at 4:28, Kamaitachi was pounding away on Stuka. Kamaitachi crotched Stuka on the top turnbuckle and then began unfastening his mask from behind! Loud boos from the crowd, as Stuka held him off for the moment. Stuka’s mask appeared to be loosened, as Kamaitachi chopped Stuka on the outside. Kamaitachi followed up by tossing Stuka into the guardrail. Daniels distracted the ref, while Kamaitachi jammed a steel chair into Stuka’s throat on the outside.
Kamaitachi rolled Stuka back in the ring for a two-count. Kamaitachi then went back to the mask. More boos, while Kamaitachi struggled to de-mask Stuka. Kamaitachi then methodically, but somewhat lazily worked on his opponent for the next minute or so. Kamaitachi applied a leg lock, but Stuka quickly grabbed onto the bottom rope. Kamaitachi followed up with several stiff chops to Stuka’s chest. He wrenched on Stuka’s leg through the ropes, but the ref called for a break. Daniels yelled words of encouragement from the outside, and then Kamaitachi shoved his boot in Stuka’s face until the ref counted to four.
They went to the outside, where Stuka fought back with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Stuka climbed up top and quickly followed up with a beautiful Asai moonsault from the top rope to the floor! Stuka rolled his opponent back into the ring, but could only get a two-count. Stuka hit a neckbreaker and another nearfall. He went for a moonsault, but Kamaitachi got his knees up and scored a nearfall of his own. Both men traded strikes in the corner. Stuka tied Kamaitachi in the ropes for what looked like Goldust’s Shattered Dreams, but he hit a dropkick to Kamaitachi’s mid-section instead. Stuka climbed up top, but Daniels distracted him, which allowed Kamaitachi to hit a victory roll for another two-count.
Both men traded several nearfalls. Stuka charged toward the corner, but Kamaitachi pulled referee Paul Turner directly in Stuka’s path! Stuka hit a backbreaker on Kamaitachi. He climbed up top and then hit a flying cross-body onto Daniels on the outside! Stuka climbed back up top and nailed a frog splash. The crowd counted to 8, but referee Paul Turner was still down. Stuka went to check on the ref, but Kamaitachi stood up, ripped Stuka’s mask off, and then rolled him up for the pin! The camera never got a close-up of Stuka, as the CMLL star quickly put his mask back on.
WINNER: Kamaitachi via pinfall in 14:08.
ANALYSIS: Stand-out match for both men. Stuka struck me as a jobber at first based on his stocky appearance and the fact that he was pitted against the up-and-comer Kamaitachi. It didn’t take long for him to put that idea to rest, as he brought out his stiff, high-flying offense on Kamaitachi throughout the match. Kamaitachi came across as a disrespectful punk, which is exactly what ROH was going for here. There was great storytelling with Kamaitachi going after the mask for the entire match, before eventually yanking it off Stuka’s head and scoring the win as a direct result. (***1/4)
Video package: The Steve Corino-B.J. Whitmer feud was featured, basically rehashing Sullivan’s promo from a few weeks ago into a trippy, Wyatt Family-like video. Some new cryptic comments from Sullivan were shown, including, “Kubla Khan had to wait his turn, and he almost didn’t make it.” It closed out with Sullivan saying that he had two sons, “but maybe one has to be sacrificed.”
[MM Reax: ROH barely has time to build toward its PPV events on TV, yet this type of segment airs. Kevin Sullivan’s appearance at Best in the World was a pleasant surprise, but he is quickly wearing out his welcome.]
3 – IWGP Hvt. Tag Team champion JAY BRISCOE (w/Mark Briscoe) vs. JAY WHITE (w/Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley)
Kevin Kelly explained that White had teamed with Alex Shelley in Japan previously, thus the reason for The Machine Guns being there. Both men shook hands and then the bell rang. Slow start, as they felt each other out until there was a quick roll-up pin attempt by White at the 1:00 mark. Briscoe came back with a shoulder tackle that took White off his feet.
White got right back up, but soon ate an elbow from Briscoe. Briscoe followed up with another shoulder tackle and pin attempt. White tried to fight out of the corner with a chop, but Briscoe held him at bay. Briscoe clotheslined White in the corner and then hit a basement dropkick. Briscoe scored another nearfall, as the show cut to a break at the 2:40 mark.
Back at 3:40, Briscoe was still in control. Briscoe hit a dropkick and then stalked his opponent. Briscoe stomped White in the face, before hitting a standing double foot stomp. Briscoe went for another cover, but White kicked out at two. Briscoe applied a chin lock around the 5:00 mark. White quickly elbowed his way out, though, and then nailed Briscoe with a trifecta of running elbows to the face. Briscoe sent White to the outside, however, and then hit a suicide dive with amazing velocity! Briscoe pummeled White on the outside before tossing back into the ring.
Back inside, Briscoe hit a neckbreaker and scored another nearfall. Briscoe followed up with a big boot that showed some light, and then a Death Valley Driver. Briscoe went for the cover, but White kicked out at two. Quiet dueling chants, as White slipped behind Briscoe and hit him with a German suplex! White went outside and dragged Briscoe to the apron. White hit several uppercuts on Briscoe, before suplexing him on the floor! The show then cut to its final break at 9:12.
Back at 10:12, White hit a charging European uppercut in the corner, followed by another suplex. White climbed up top and hit a missile dropkick. He went for the cover, but Briscoe kicked out at two. Briscoe elbowed White several times, but then walked right into a dropkick. White then hit a uranage and another nearfall. White immediately rolled into a crossface! Briscoe struggled for about a minute, until he finally got his boot on the bottom rope in desperation. White was shown to have a trickle of blood dripping from his eyebrow. Out of nowhere, Briscoe came back with a stiff forearm shot to White’s face!
“Man up” chant at 13:00. Both men struggled in the corner, where White began pummeling on Briscoe with his hands, elbows and feet. White charged, but Briscoe came right back with a stiff lariat! Both men were down, as another “man up” chant rang out from the crowd. Briscoe positioned White on the top turnbuckle. He went for a superplex, but White fought back. Both men traded shots up top, until eventually Briscoe hit a textbook superplex!
Alex Shelley looked concerned on the outside, while the fans clapped in unison. Both men traded blows on their knees at 15:40. Briscoe came out on top of the exchange, but for some reason, the bell sounded. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise announced that TV time had expired, thus making this contest a draw!
WINNER: TV time-limit draw at 16:10.
ANALYSIS: A somewhat clever finish, although it seems odd that the timekeeper knew exactly how much time would be left in a heavily post-produced TV show. Nit-picking aside, this was a decent match that never quite got to the next gear. I really wish ROH would stay away from face-face and heel-heel match-ups. There’s just no reason for White and Briscoe to be facing each other, especially without any hype and with nothing on the line. At least neither man had to lose here, but I’d much rather have seen White defeat “Brutal” Bob or some other mid-card heel at this point. (**1/2)
FINAL REAX: Maintenance episode of ROH this week. As mentioned previously, I though Adam Page’s match belonged on last week’s show ahead of his big showdown with Jay Briscoe at Death Before Dishonor. I did like how the focus was on the future of ROH, with Page and Kamaitachi receiving victories, and Jay White looking strong against Jay Briscoe. Next week’s show will be yet another episode from the Philadelphia tapings. The last few weeks of TV have been enjoyable, but the show would feel much more fresh if ROH just fast-forwarded to the post-Death Before Dishonor tapings (or at least added in some post-DBD promos in post-production).