SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH TV Report
Aired October 2, 2016 in syndication
Aired October 5, 2016 on Comet TV
Taped August 27, 2016 in Coney Island, N.Y.
Report by Mike Metzger (@md0uble), PWTorch contributor
The show opened with Keith Hardy singing the U.S. national anthem at MCU Park in Coney Island, N.Y. prior to this year’s Field of Honor event.
The ROH TV opening aired.
A random fan was shown in the stadium, with several rows of empty bleachers behind him. At ringside, Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino welcomed viewers to a special, two-week presentation of this year’s Field of Honor event on ROH TV.
1 – ROH TV champion BOBBY FISH vs. EVIL – ROH TV Title match
The announcers explained EVIL’s transformation from Watanabe to a member of the Los Ingobernables de Japan group in NJPW. They also did a good job chronicling Fish’s year during his entrance. As the camera zoomed in on Fish, a number of empty bleachers were shown in the background. EVIL immediately went after Fish with some kicks to the mid-section. Fish tried to fight back, but EVIL responded with a rake to the eyes and a shoulder tackle.
Fish eventually responded with a dropkick. He hit some kicks and went for a cross arm-breaker. EVIL tried to break it up, but Fish was able to grab onto the leg. EVIL quickly made it to the bottom rope, however. EVIL rolled to the outside and Fish followed. Fish dominated for a bit, until EVIL threw him into the ringpost. EVIL grabbed a chair and nailed Fish in the mid-section, although there was no disqualification. The announcers suggested that referee Paul Turner was letting things slide because it was a title match. EVIL proceeded to place the chair over Fish’s head and then rammed him into the ringpost! The announcers were now outraged that there was no call for a DQ, as the show cut to its first break at the 3:20 point in the match.
Back at 5:50, Fish charged at EVIL in the corner. EVIL attempted a kick, but Fish ducked and nailed him with an elbow. Fish followed up with an exploder suplex into the corner, but EVIL kicked out of the pin attempt. Fish continued to control the match, until EVIL fought back with some stiff forearms. He proceeded to clothesline Fish in the corner. He went for a fisherman buster, but Fish escaped. Both men traded blows in the center around the 7:25 mark. Fish eventually won out with a Samoan Drop. EVIL responded with a belly-to-back suplex, but Fish came right back with a Dragon screw leg whip!
The fans clapped, as both men struggled to their feet. EVIL hit his signature fisherman buster, but Corino noted that he didn’t appear to get all of it. Both men got to their feet once more, and then traded blows again at 8:45. Watanabe gained the upper-hand with a German suplex in which he had Fish’s arms hooked. EVIL followed up with a stiff clothesline and a cover, but Fished kicked out at two. EVIL then hit a sit-out powerbomb, but Fish kicked out again! EVIL called for an STO, but Fish escaped. Both men jockeyed for position until Fish hit a heel kick and then a Falcon Arrow! Fish held on for the cover, but EVIL kicked out at two. Fish didn’t release his grip of EVIL’s leg, however, and then immediately transitioned into a knee bar! EVIL struggled for several moments, until he eventually tapped out!
WINNER: Bobby Fish via submission in 10:50 to retain the ROH TV Title.
ANALYSIS: Decent opener. Last year’s Field of Honor made ROH feel big-league (apologies for the pun), but this year’s crowd appeared to be more sparsely filled. I wouldn’t expect ROH to sell out the 7,000-seat stadium, but the sections and sections of empty seats were just jarring to look at. Fish continues his dominant reign as TV champ with a win over yet another NJPW star. Nothing bad about this one, but nothing really special either. (**1/4)
2 – IWGP Intercontinental champion MICHAEL ELGIN vs. DONOVAN DIJAK (w/ Prince Nana) – IWGP Intercontinental Title match
The bell rang and both men tied up in the center. Dijak towered over “Big Mike.” Elgin threw a couple of shoulder tackles before finally knocking the big man off his feet. Elgin went for his delayed vertical suplex. The crowd counted to 40, while Prince Nana yelled at the announcers. Elgin eventually dropped Dijak on the mat, which drew another huge “Big Mike” chant from the crowd!. Elgin slammed Dijak and then hit a slingshot splash from the apron. He went for the cover, but Dijak kicked out at two.
Dijak regained control after Elgin missed a charge in the corner. Dijak was doing okay until he went for a charge of his own and ran right into a hip attack from Elgin. Dijak regained his composure, as he picked up Elgin and just tossed him across the ring. Dijak softened up Elgin some more. He eventually went for a big suplex of his own, but Elgin stood his ground. Both men tried to lift each other up, until Elgin eventually won out and suplexed Dijak hard onto the mat. The show then cut to another break at the 4:01 mark.
Back at 6:31, Elgin nailed Dijak with a stiff lariat. The fans cheered Elgin, as he hit another one! He went for the cover, but Dijak kicked out at two. Elgin hit a powerbomb into a pin, but could only score a nearfall. Loud “Big Mike” chants, as Elgin pondered what to do next. He lifted up Dijak and Buckle Bombed him into the corner. He went to follow up with an Elgin Bomb, but Dijak was able to reverse into a powerbomb pin combination, which was good for a two-count. Both men traded blows from their knees around 8:30. They eventually got to their feet, where Elgin won out with a flurry of forearms shots.
Elgin ran toward Dijak, but Donovan nailed him with a discus boot, and then a flurry of strikes before nailing another discus boot! Dijak followed up with a chokebreaker and then a huge top-rope moonsault! He went for the cover, but Elgin somehow kicked out at two! Elgin tried to regroup on the apron, but Dijak was right behind him. Both men proceeded to trade blows on the apron until Elgin picked up Dijak and dropped him with a Death Valley Driver! Elgin climbed to the top turnbuckle, but Nana grabbed his leg. Elgin kicked him away, but the distraction allowed Dijak to get up and press-slam Elgin off the top rope. Dijak went to the top, but Elgin followed right behind him and hit a release-German suplex off the top! Elgin followed up with a discus forearm and then hit his Buckle Bomb/Elgin Bomb combo for the victory!
WINNER: Michael Elgin via pinfall in 11:46 to retain the IWGP Intercontinental Title.
ANALYSIS: I didn’t like this match-up on paper, as the booking made it impossible for Dijak to win. That being said, this was an above-average match that built to a really strong finishing sequence. No surprise for a ring general like Elgin, but this match was further proof that Dijak can hang with world-class workers and deserves a bigger push in ROH. (***)
3 – BULLET CLUB (NICK JACKSON & MATT JACKSON & “HANGMAN” PAGE & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI) vs. CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY & A.C.H. & LIO RUSH – eight-man tag team match
Matt Jackson and Lio Rush started the match. “Young Bucks/Lio” dueling chant for a moment. They wrestled on the mat for a bit, until Jackson raked Rush’s eyes with a “two sweet” hand signal. Rush responded with a kip-up and a basement enziguri. Nick tried to intervene but Rush held him at bay with a leg lariat. The Bucks regrouped on the outside, as the show cut to a break at 1:28.
Back at 2:28, Sabin and Page were feeling each other out. Kevin Kelly spoke about Page’s decisive win over Jay Briscoe at Death Before Dishonor, while The Machine Guns double-teamed Page. Shelley came in officially and punched Nick Jackson low. The babyfaces cornered Nick for a bit. The Machine Guns held Jackson on the top rope which allowed Rush to hit a double foot stomp from the top rope! Sabin tagged in and scored a nearfall on Nick. All four men proceeded to put their boots to Nick in their corner, stealing a page from Bullet Club’s book! The babyfaces proceeded to hit a four-man basement dropkick on Nick in the corner, but the Bullet Club member kicked out of the pin attempt.
Rush went to dive on the rest of Bullet Club at ringside, but Matt Jackson ran in and nailed a superkick! Matt and Page then slid to the outside and nailed A.C.H. with a double-superkick. Nick Jackson was right behind them with a big dive onto A.C.H. on the outside! Bullet Club isolated Rush, as they began a sequence of quick tags. Rush tried to fight back with some forearms. He went for a springboard hurricanrana, but Matt caught him and then The Bucks hit their signature enziguri combo in the corner! Matt then locked Sabin in a head scissors, while Nick ran in and hit another enziguri! The Bucks stood tall, as the show cut to its final break at 7:31.
Back at 8:31, Rush began to fight out of enemy territory. He went for the tag, but Page slammed his knee onto the mat. Page went for a T-bone suplex into a pinning combination, but Rush kicked out at two. The quick tags continued, as The Bucks hit a Camel Clutch/eye rake combo to the delight of the crowd. Matt tagged back in and nailed Lio in the gut. Rush fought back, though, and then both men traded blows around the 10:00 mark. Matt threw crotch chops in between his shots, while the fans chanted “s-ck it!” Rush eventually fought back when he dropkicked Takahashi off the apron. Rush did a crotch chop of his own, as a miscommunication caused The Bucks to send each other to the outside!
A.C.H. tagged in and was a house afire. He hit everyone that moved and then isolated Page in the ring. A.C.H. followed up with a Lumbar Check on Page (which drew a veiled Cedric Alexander reference from Kelly and Corino on commentary) and went for the cover, but The Bucks ran in and made the save. The Machine Guns were right behind with a double-team of their own. Rush re-emerged and hit a series of dives onto several Bullet Club members at ringside. The babyfaces all entered the ring and destroyed Page with a series of kicks, before A.C.H. scored a nearfall with a German suplex into a pinning combination. Takahashi took control briefly, but was overrun by The Machine Guns with their signature reverse chinlock/basement dropkick combo.
A wild sequence ensued, culminating with Page hitting a Shooting Star Press onto Shelley at ringside! In the ring, Rush hit some quick, video game-like offense. He appeared to be going for an Asai moonsault to the outside, but was cut off by a double-superkick from The Bucks! The fans cheered, as The Bucks hit stereo basement dropkicks onto several men on one side of the ring, followed by a big dive onto a sea of humanity on the other side! A.C.H. was not to be out-done, as he hit his signature Air Jordan dive onto another pile of people at ringside! “This is awesome” chant as The Machine Guns hit Takahashi with a double superkick in the corner. They went to finish him off, but were cut off by superkicks from the Bucks. Page then went for the Rite of Passage on Sabin, while The Bucks topped it off with a double-superkick for the victory!
WINNERS: Bullet Club via pinfall in 15:26.
ANALYSIS: Your typical crazy match from The Young Bucks and company. There actually was some selling and even a couple of elongated heat sequences, for those keeping track. The action eventually built to a crazy finish. Fun to watch if you’re in the mood for a solid Young Bucks match. (***1/2)
FINAL REAX: Non-offensive episode of ROH TV during a PPV weekend. It would be nice if next week’s episode kicked off the post-All-Star Extravaganza TV tapings, but another week of August’s Field of Honor event is in store. Although this episode featured a fun hour of wrestling, it’s definitely skippable if one wants to dedicate time to the plethora of other wrestling programming out there.