ROH TV Report
Aired August 28, 2016 in syndication
Aired August 31, 2016 on Comet TV
Taped July 16, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pa.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The ROH TV opening aired.
The camera panned the crowd in Philadelphia, while a Kevin Kelly voiceover hyped that tonight’s program would feature updates from the Death Before Dishonor PPV. Matt Taven joined Kevin Kelly on commentary.
Clips aired chronicling the brief history between War Machine and Taylor/Lee during each team’s entrance. Kelly asked Taven why Taylor and Lee would immediately attack War Machine upon their arrival in ROH. Taven explained that Raymond Rowe had been in prison, where one makes a name for himself by going after “the biggest dog in the yard.” Kelly immediately debunked Taven, and instead told the story of Shane Taylor actually being a protege of Raymond Rowe. Kelly explained that Rowe had asked Taylor to move down to Texas with him after he relocated there, but Taylor had “forgotten about him.”
1 – WAR MACHINE (HANSON & RAYMOND ROWE) vs. SHANE TAYLOR & LEE
All four men immediately came to blows, prompting the bell to ring. Hanson eventually shoulder-tackled Taylor to the outside, and then followed up with a big dive. Rowe went for a monkey flip on Lee, but he landed on his feet! Rowe followed up with a Superman Punch and then tagged Hanson. War Machine double-teamed for a moment, until Taylor pulled Hanson to the outside. All four men went to the outside, where they pummeled on one another. War Machine gained the upper-hand for a moment, culminating with Rowe body slamming his own partner onto Lee on the outside!
Things settled down with Hanson and Lee in the ring. Rowe tagged in, but Lee escaped and tagged his partner. Taylor audibly cursed at both his opponents, so Rowe responded with a huge scoop slam. Hanson then attempted to powerbomb Rowe onto Taylor, but Taylor moved out of the way! Lee came in and double-teamed Hanson in the corner with Taylor. Rowe came in with Shotgun Knees, but missed and nailed his own partner! Taylor and Lee then hit a powerslam/splash combination, as the show cut to its first break at the 4:00 mark!
Back at 6:30, Taylor and Lee were dominating Rowe. Rowe fought back with a uranage and then a Superman Punch, before tagging Hanson! Hanson was a house afire against both his opponents, hitting several splashes on them in opposite corners. Hanson missed the Spin Kick of Doom and was taken down. Lee tried to slam Taylor onto Hanson, but Rowe broke it up with Shotgun Knees! Taylor whipped Hanson in the corner. Hanson responded with a Ric-Flair like flip to the apron. He ran over and climbed atop the turnbuckle, but Taylor and Lee caught him and hit a devastating double-chokeslam, which was good for a nearfall. War Machine hit their new Decapitation finisher, but Taylor broke up the pin attempt at the last second.
Lee fought back with a Death Valley Driver to Rowe. He then positioned Hanson up top, but Hanson came back with a humungous seated senton onto Lee! Rowe then hit a sit-out powerbomb on Lee, but he somehow kicked out at two. Rowe tagged Hanson, who climbed up top. They went for Fallout, but Taylor broke it up and clotheslined Rowe with a vicious clothesline. Lee then powerbombed Rowe and Taylor immediately followed up with a splash! Lee then hit a huge sit-out powerbomb with an assist from Taylor, and the newcomers scored the victory!
WINNERS: Shane Taylor & Keith Lee via pinfall in 11:26.
ANALYSIS: I really liked the build-up leading up to this showdown, and the match itself did not disappoint. Matt Taven had a rare instance of making a good observation when he said that both teams were “mirror images of each other.” This was hard-hitting tag action at its best, with some fun sequences and nearfalls sprinkled throughout. Stand-out performance for both teams. (***)
2 – CHEESEBURGER & DAVID STARR vs. JOEY “DIESEL” DADDIEGO & TIM HUGHES (w/“Brutal” Bob Evans)
Cheeseburger extended his hand, but Daddiego immediately kicked him in the gut. The bell rang, as B.J. Whitmer walked out. Whitmer donned some mascara and an “x” painted in the middle of his forehead, an ode to Kevin Sullivan. Meanwhile in the ring, Daddiego was dominating Cheeseburger. Starr ran in and hit a German suplex. “Brutal” Bob took offense as he got on the apron, but Starr responded by knocking him to the floor.
Hughes charged at Starr, but Starr simply side-stepped him which sent Hughes diving onto “Brutal” Bob at ringside! Starr then hit a dive onto Evans and Hughes. Cheeseburger called for a dive and was then picked up by Starr, who press-slammed him onto Hughes and Evans on the outside! All the while, Whitmer spoke in coded language on commentary.
Evans took down Starr and pummeled him in the center of the ring. Hughes charged in the corner, but Cheeseburger got his boots up. Hughes fought back by picking up Cheeseburger for a delayed-backbreaker. He eventually hit it, but he looked like he tired himself out in the process. Starr re-entered and kicked Hughes in the face. All of a sudden, the lights went out. The show cut to a pre-recorded, Wyatt Family-like video package. There were random comments from both Kevin Sullivan and B.J. Whitmer. Sullivan talked about having two sons, as an unnamed man was shown.
The lights came back, and the man showed in the video was standing in the ring. Matt Taven declared that it was Punisher Martinez, who had participated in this past year’s Top Prospect Tournament. Martinez curb stomped Hughes and then powerbombed Starr. Martinez set his sights on Cheeseburger before nailing him with a devastating chokeslam. Small “Punisher” chant, as Whitmer and Martinez posed in the ring!
WINNER: No contest around the 4:15 mark when Punisher Martinez interfered.
ANALYSIS: This match screamed “fourth episode of a TV taping,” so the interference was welcome. Not much else to say, except I’m glad that the focus of the Corino-Whitmer-Sullivan storyline looks to be shifting to a new act in Punisher Martinez. (n/a)
Backstage: The Young Bucks talked trash about their opponents tonight, The Addiction. The Bucks spoke in generalities about “throwing the biggest superkick party of all time,” before promising to win the ROH World Tag Team Titles for a second time tonight. Matt then superkicked the camera to close out the segment.
3 – THE CABINET (RHETT TITUS & KENNY KING & CAPRICE COLEMAN) vs. DALTON CASTLE & “THE BOYS” – six-man tag team match
The Cabinet literally kissed baby dolls during their entrance, while Kelly and Taven were still stunned over the previous segment involving Whitmer and Punisher Martinez. The Cabinet had Secret Service-like security at ringside. Dueling “Dalton Castle/let’s go boys” chants, as the ref called for the Code of Honor. Handshakes (or something like them) were exchanged and the bell finally rang! Huge “boys” chant, as Castle immediately tagged in Boy 1. Both “boys” ended up getting the better of Titus with some double-teaming. Castle and Coleman then both tagged in. Dalton did his signature Peacock pose, and Caprice did one of his own. They ended up doing a full Peacock-off, which Castle easily won via crowd approval.
The crowd hung on Castle’s every move, as he tossed Coleman across the ring! Castle was distracted by Titus, which allowed King to nail him from the apron. Fortunately for them, “the boys” were right there to knock King to the outside! Castle threw one of “the boys” onto Titus and King at ringside, but he got caught. Castle then tossed Coleman onto everyone on the floor, but he was caught as well. Castle hit the trifecta and threw the other “boy” onto the sea of humanity, finally taking everyone down! Dalton and his “boys” posed in the ring, as the show cut to a break at 2:56.
Back at 5:26, Coleman was in control of one of “the boys.” Coleman hit a scoop slam and tagged Titus. He and King double-teamed Boy 1, before Titus nailed him with a splash and a two-count. Coleman tagged back in and continued to dominate Boy 1. The quick tags continued, as the crowd cheered on “the boys.” King bulldogged Boy 1’s head right over the top rope, Randy Savage-style. King went to capitalize, but Boy 2 snuck in and scored a nearfall on King! Boy 2 made the tag to Castle, who came in and tossed all three of his opponents around the ring!
Castle nails Titus with some knees in the corner, but Rhett got his boot up on the third attempt. Castle fought right back, however, with a beautiful deadlift German suplex, which was good for a nearfall! Castle tossed Boy 1 on Titus, who was then immediately hit with an assisted double foot stomp from Boy 2. Castle went up top, but King shoved him to the floor. Titus then sprang up and dropkicked one of “the boys,” while King nailed the other with an enziguri. King then superplexed one of “the boys” hard to the mat, with Coleman and Titus immediately following up with a double-splash for the pin!
WINNERS: The Cabinet via pinfall in 9:31.
ANALYSIS: Fun match with the wrong guys going over. Castle and “the boys” are one of the most over acts in the entire company, with the crowd seemingly hanging on their every spot. On the other side, you have a team that has drawn a good amount of go-away heat beginning with their awful promo at the Best in the World PPV. There have been bad promos and negative reactions since then, yet ROH seems content with continuing to push The Cabinet. (**)
Backstage: New ROH World Champion Adam Cole was shown with the title belt over his shoulder. Cole proclaimed last week “a celebration.” He said that he fulfilled his promise of becoming a two-time champion. He quickly transitioned to talking about how Kyle O’Reilly interrupted his celebration. Cole raised his voice, as he continued to complain about O’Reilly interference. Cole claimed he was better than O’Reilly because Kyle had never held the ROH Title. Cole then promised that O’Reilly would never win the title and warned Kyle to stay out of business.
[MM Reax: Short, yet effective promo that transitions the ROH World Title picture to Cole-O’Reilly.]
3 – ROH World Tag Team champions THE ADDICTION (CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & FRANKIE KAZARIAN) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (NICK & MATT JACKSON) – ROH World Tag Team Title match
Veda Scott joined Kelly and Taven on commentary. Scott said she was out there because she was a “professional broadcaster,” but made no mention of her former “client” Cedric Alexander. The Addiction were out first, but they walked back to the entranceway in an attempt to jump The Bucks as soon as they emerged from the curtain. Unfortunately for the champs, The Bucks came through the crowd and blindsided The Addiction with a pair of superkicks! “Too sweet” chants, as The Bucks pounded on Kaz and Daniels throughout the arena. Nick hit a swanton on Kaz while Matt held him on the apron. The Bucks then double-teamed Daniels with a pop-up superkick!
On commentary, Taven vowed that The Kingdom would return and be the ones to finally disband Bullet Club. Meanwhile on the outside, Kazarian fought back with a double-clothesline on both Bucks. Kaz propped up a table against the railing after he set another one up on the outside. Kaz went to set up a ladder, but The Bucks nailed him with a double-superkick! The show then cut to a break at roughly 2:45 after the brawling on the entranceway began, with the bell still yet to officially sound.
Back around the 3:45 mark, the match continued with no mention being made of the lack of an opening bell. Daniels shoved Nick off the top rope and through the table at ringside! Kaz then hit an Ace Crusher on Matt in the ring. Daniels tagged in and pummeled Matt on the mat. The quick tags continued, as The Addiction hit a couple of springboard moonsault/legdrop combos. Daniels kicked Matt in the chest, as Veda and Taven heelishly talked trash about The Bucks on commentary. Daniels and Kaz took turns stomping Matt in the corner, as Taven went on and on about the return of The Kingdom on commentary.
Matt eventually fought back with an Ace Crusher of his own out of the corner. He tagged in Nick, who had recovered from the table bump. He dropkicked Kaz off the apron and then kicked him in the face! He followed up with a face buster to Daniels in the ring and then a moonsault onto Kaz on the outside! Nick went for a swanton in the ring, but Daniels got his knees up. Kaz tagged in, but Matt ran over and planted him with a DDT on the apron! Nick then hit a 450 Splash on Kaz, but Daniels broke up the pin attempt! Daniels dragged Kaz over to his corner and made the tag, but walked right into a double-superkick from The Bucks!
The Addiction regained control both inside and outside. Daniels scored a nearfall on Matt in the ring and then tagged Kaz. Daniels hit his holding-hands foot stomp and then immediately dove onto Nick on the outside! Kaz went for the cover on Matt in the ring, but he kicked out at two. Kaz went for another Ace Crusher, but got caught and then superkicked. Daniels was right there with Angel’s Wings on Nick, but Matt nailed him with a superkick!
Kamaitachi showed up and got on the apron, but Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin were right behind him. They held Kamaitachi at bay for a moment. Nick then dove onto them, but Kaz got out of the way. Meanwhile in the ring, Sabin went to hit Daniels with a chair, but missed and hit Matt Jackson instead! Daniels tossed Sabin out for he ring, while Kaz covered Matt for the victory.
WINNERS: The Addiction via pinfall in about 12:00 to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles
ANALYSIS: What a mess. First, you have the awkward heel-heel dynamic. Add in the headache-inducing combination of Matt Taven and Veda Scott on commentary, and this was almost unwatchable. Some of the action was good, but it was mind-numbing to hear Taven and Scott heelishly dressing down The Bucks for the entire match, despite The Bucks being part of the most dastardly heel factions in recent ROH history. Throw in the cluster-mess ending involving Kamaitachi and The Machine Guns, and this was just bad. Strong recommendation to avoid. (*)
FINAL REAX: This definitely felt like the fourth hour of a marathon TV taping. The opener was solid and the best part of the entire show. Taylor & Lee certainly made a statement in their in-ring debut, and War Machine held up their end of the match quite well. It was fun to see Dalton Castle and “the boys,” despite them being misused. The main event was among the worst I’ve seen in two-plus years of covering ROH TV. The rest was a mish-mash of the ROH undercard. I’m happy to see the company take time to focus on some up-and-comers, but a lot of the new acts come across as indy-riffic in their appearance. If this episode was a glimpse of what ROH might look like after its established talent base either ages out or seeks out greener pastures in WWE/NXT, then the company has a lot of work to do.