By Jason Powell
This is not a live review. Rather, this is the full review of the ROH television show as it aired over the weekend in syndication, which is replayed Wednesday nights on Comet TV.
Ring of Honor TV
Taped November 20 in Nashville, Tennessee
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
The opening video aired and then Kevin Kelly introduced the show from ringside and hyped Friday’s Final Battle pay-per-view. Kelly was joined on commentary by Nigel McGuinness…
1. Adam Cole vs. Corey Hollis. The broadcast team framed this as Hollis having nothing to lose and everything to gain. Cole went on the offensive. Hollis came back with a running headbutt, but Cole caught him with a kick as Hollis was going for a springboard move and knocked him to the floor. Back in the ring, Cole tuned up the band and went for a superkick, but Hollis dodged it and threw several forearms. Hollis rolled him up for two, but Cole put him down with a big boot. Hollis came back with another near fall that the live crowd didn’t believe in. Hollis went to the top rope and leapt into a superkick from Cole, who followed up with a neckbreaker onto his knee and scored the pin…
Adam Cole beat Corey Hollis.
After the match, Cole asked who was ready for story time. He said he was going to keep it short and sweet. Cole said that when he makes a promise, he means it. Cole said that he’s not just going to beat Kyle O’Reilly, he promises to him and the world that he’s going to end O’Reilly in Ring of Honor once and for all… [C]
Powell’s POV: Cole gave up some two counts, but the match was a showcase for him. The post-match promo is interest in that contract negotiations between ROH and Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish were at a standstill at last check. However, I believe those negotiations stalled after this television taping. So whether they planned to have Cole make good on his promise or not, there’s a chance that it could happen on Friday.
The broadcast team mentioned the television main event briefly and then shifted to hyping The Briscoes vs. The Young Bucks vs. All Night Express for Final Battle. Kelly said that match would settle issues between those teams and determine the No. 1 contenders…
2. War Machine vs. The Washington Bullets. Kelly hyped War Machine challenging The Kingdom for the tag titles at Final Battle. The Bullets blew off the handshake and did some odd dance moves instead. Trey of the Bullets kicked Hanson, who quickly dominated Trey and his partner Jon. War Machine dominated the match and finished off one of the Bullets with their finisher… [C]
War Machine defeated The Washington Bullets.
Powell’s POV: A showcase match for War Machine, which makes sense heading into the pay-per-view. Speaking of contractual issues, there’s a good chance that Matt Taven and Michael Bennett will be dropping the tag titles either on Friday or at the television taping, as Bennett and Maria had yet to re-sign with ROH at last check.
3. Dalton Castle vs. Mike Posey (w/his crew). Posey had three men and two women with him. He rapped before the match and said Castle was nothing because he can’t rap. He served up some rhymes until Castle’s music mercifully cut him off. Kelly hyped Castle vs. Silas for Final Battle. At one point, Castle suplexed Posey onto his entourage at ringside. Back inside the ring, Castle performed a spinning face first slam and pinned Posey…
Dalton Castle beat Mike Posey.
After the match, Castle said he is the Aurora Borealis inside the wrestling ring. Castle called out Silas Young because he wants to kick his ass. Kelly said that choice of language was unlike Castle. Nigel said on commentary that won’t be happening tonight since the match is signed for Final Battle. The Boys came out instead and entered the ring. Young entered the ring from the other side and hit Misery on Castle…
Kelly hyped his interview with Jerry Lynn and hyped the television main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: Posey is bringing PG-13 back. The post match angle was simple yet effective.
Kelly stood in the ring and introduced Jerry Lynn. A highlight package played as Lynn, who has short hair and is clean-shaven, headed to the ring. Lynn thanked the fans for supporting him over the years. There was a half-assed “Jerry” chant from the crowd. Kelly asked Lynn whether he expects A.J. Styles or Jay Lethal to win at Final Battle. Lynn avoided answering the question. Kelly pressed him, but Jay Lethal’s music interrupted them.
Lethal headed to the ring with Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix. Lynn offered a handshake, but Lethal took the mic instead and told him he wants him to answer the question. Lynn said he’s known Lethal for years, but he’s not the guy he knew. “You’re an arrogant prick,” Lethal said. “That overconfidence is what can cost matches.” Lynn said Styles is going to win. The fans chanted A.J. Styles.
Lethal said he doesn’t give a damn what Lynn thinks. He said they’ve reached the point in the show where someone who disrespected him gets his ass kicked. Lynn said Lethal is in a no way situation. Lynn said he’s known Lethal’s parents as long as he’s known Lethal. Lynn said Lethal became a pro wrestler to make his parents proud. He said that if Lethal laid a hand on him, his parents would not be proud of him, and that would be the saddest moments of his life.
Lethal got worked up as he boasted about his accomplishments in 2015. He said he’s not going to put Lynn down because he needs him to console Styles after Final Battle. Lethal said he is the number one man and he is professional wrestling. Lethal dropped the mic and left the ring with his crew… [C]
Powell’s POV: Lynn looked great with his new look. He lives in Nashville these days, which is why he was at the show. This was good use of him even though most of the live crowd didn’t give him the props they should have. I don’t know if they’ve forgotten this quickly or were simply burned out this late in the taping. I could have done without the line about Lethal and his parents. Sure, he’s spoken publicly about his love of his parents many times, but I don’t want to think about the top heel in the company being worried about what his parents think. Still, it was nice to see Lynn looking good after undergoing neck surgery earlier this year.
A Moose video package aired and touted that he scored the fastest pin in ROH history in just eight seconds. The video focussed on the Moose vs. Michael Elgin match at Final Battle… [C] Kelly recapped Alex Shelley unmasking himself last week. Shelley sat in on commentary for the tag team main event…
4. Baretta and Rocky Romero vs. ACH and Matt Sydal. The crowd was flat for Baretta and Romero’s entrance, and they weren’t much louder for ACH or Sydal. Tough crowd. Kelly hyped a ten-man tag match with Roderick Strong and Jay Lethal as captains for their respective teams as next week’s television main event. They cut to a break early in the match. [C]
The crowd woke up for some of ACH and Sydal’s flashy offense. Sydal went for his finisher, but Baretta put his knees up and got a two count moments later. A short time later, Sydal hit a sunset flip powerbomb on Baretta and pinned him…
ACH and Matt Sydal defeated Trent Baretta and Rocky Romero.
Kelly delivered final hype for several Final Battle matches as the graphics for those matches were shown…
Powell’s POV: Why was this match the main event of the go-home show for Final Battle? The wrestlers worked hard and it was a quality in-ring performance from both teams, but it did nothing in terms of making me look forward to Friday’s show. I felt like I watched the go-home show two weeks ago, because that show did a much better job of setting the stage for Final Battle. I was hopeful that it was a sign that ROH was going to do a good job of building to the pay-per-view, but they took a couple steps back last week and this show was nothing special. Granted, they hyped Final Battle more consistently through this show than they have for past pay-per-view main events, but this just was not a great final push for the pay-per-view with three squash matches and a random tag team main event. A.J. Styles was in the building, so why not have him do something on the go-home show? Despite the disappointing go-home show, I am still looking forward to Final Battle on Friday night. It’s a strong lineup and with the uncertainty regarding several wrestler’s futures with the company it should be a very interesting show. Join me for live coverage as the event airs on pay-per-view on Friday night.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...