By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped February 27 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Live
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
Footage aired of Donovan Dijak taking out Truth Martini with a big boot… Jay Lethal delivered a promo stating that Truth was out with a broken neck. He said it was Truth’s idea to bring Dijak into House of Truth coming out of the Top Prospect Tournament. Lethal said Dijak doesn’t deserve a title shot or even to be in ROH. He said they would do things his way now… Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wrestling III (a/k/a Steve Corino) checked in on commentary…
1. Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish vs. Kazuchika Okado and Gedo. Okada had fake money thrown at him as he made his entrance and he got a great reaction from the live crowd. Okada teased shaking hands and instead just walked past both opponents while Gedo smirked. Fish and O’Reilly shook hands instead and then the match started. Tiger Hatori was the referee for the match.
Fish got the better of Gedo and then pointed at Okada and called for him to enter the match. Fish laid down on his back. The crowd booed a bit, then cheered when Okada tagged in. Fish tagged in O’Reilly. Kelly noted that O’Reilly suffered a right ear injury and has had it drained several times, but it’s never going to be right. He said Adam Cole aggravated it at the 14th Anniversary pay-per-view. Moments later, Gedo broke up an arm bar that O’Reilly had on Okada by punching O’Reilly’s bad ear. The NJPW stars worked over O’Reilly heading into the break. [C]
O’Reilly made a hot tag to Fish, who worked over both opponents and performed an exploder suplex on Gedo right into Okada. A short time later, Fish found himself looking for a tag, but Gedo ran over and knocked O’Reilly off the ring apron. Okada threw his A-plus dropkick at Fish. Okada and O’Reilly fought to ringside. O’Reilly returned to the ring and joined Fish in hitting rapid fire moves on Gedo. Okada returned and broke up a pin, but he was dumped to ringside and then Fish and O’Reilly hit Chasing the Dragon on Gedo and got the win… [C]
Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish beat Kazuchika Okada and Gedo.
Powell’s POV: A nice tag team match. I like the way the broadcast team pointed out O’Reilly’s bad ear and the way it played into the match moments later. It was nice to see an ROH team beat NJPW wrestlers. Yet as much as many of us have complained about NJPW guys getting the better of the ROH talent, I do wish they would showcase Okada a bit more. If you’re new to the show or NJPW talent, you wouldn’t have come away impressed by anything about him other than the ring entrance and his dropkick.
Footage aired of the War Machine and Briscoes confrontation… Backstage, The Briscoes cut a promo about how its been three years since they were ROH Tag Champions. Mark said War Machine has never beaten them. Jay said they’ve been in the ring four times. He congratulated them on becoming the tag team champions, but he said they can’t claim to be the best until they beat them…
Powell’s POV: A strong promo. The Briscoes are always entertaining, but I like when they have something like this to sink their teeth into. I also like the way they spoke about how War Machine has never beaten them and therefore they are not the best team in the world despite being champions. Simple and very effective.
2. Kushida vs. Adam Cole. The crowd popped big for Kushida. Cole had the advantage at ringside. He told the fans to move while teasing that he was going to throw Kushida over the rail. Instead, he smiled and gave them an up yours gesture, which drew a mix of laughs and heat. [C] Kushida performed a great flip onto Cole at ringside, which got a huge response from the crowd that followed their pop by chanting his name.
Later, Kushida applied a Cross Arm Breaker, but Cole turned into a cover for a two count. Kushida came right back with a kick, but then he did a handspring coming off the ropes and ate a kick. Cole followed it up with a neckbreaker onto his knee and scored the clean pin… [C]
Adam Cole pinned Kushida.
Powell’s POV: A nice win for Cole to defeat the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and one that helps with the balance mentioned earlier in the ROH vs. NJPW matches.
Footage aired from the 14th Anniversary event of the Motor City Machine Guns reuniting… Nigel McGuinness joined the broadcast team…
3. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin vs. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian. The Machine Guns (Shelley and Sabin) jumped out to a quick start and they cut to break early in the match. [C] The Addiction took advantage while Kelly hyped next week’s show with War Machine vs. RPG Vice for the ROH Tag Titles, Kenny Omega vs. ACH, and Dalton Castle vs. Silas Young in a Fight Without Honor. Meanwhile, Daniels covered Shelley while standing on him with one foot. Shelley kicked out and was tossed to ringside heading into the final break. [C]
Sabin took a hot tag and performed a cross body block off the top rope. Sabin set up for a springboard move on Daniels, but Kazarian distracted him long enough for Daniels to break it up. Sabin quickly went back on the offensive, but then The Addiction put him down with a double team move that required Shelley to break up the pin.
Daniels performed a nice knee driver off the ropes on Sabin and then ran over and performed a suicide dive onto Shelley. The sequence drew cheers for the heel. The Addiction went for their finisher on Sabin, who apparently blocked it. There was a bit of confusion with all four wrestlers standing around until Daniels clearly told Kazarian to go to Sabin.
The Guns performed a double superkick on Daniels. Shelley took out Kazarian on the floor. After another double team kick on Daniels, the Guns performed a neckbreaker top rope splash combo onto Daniels that resulted in Sabin getting the pin.
After the match, The Addiction attacked The Guns from behind. Matt Sydal and Kushida ran out and made the save. The Young Bucks ran out and delivered superkicks to ACH and Sydal. The Guns recovered and fought the Bucks. All of the teams fought while Kelly put over how competitive the tag team scene in ROH is. Kelly gave a quick plug for Castle vs. Young and a graphic was shown, and then they cut back to the ring where The Guns were celebrating with Sydal and Kushida…
Powell’s POV: I’m a little surprised they didn’t go with the Cole vs. Kushida match in the main event slot because it certainly felt bigger. For that matter, so did the opening match given the presence of the IWGP Heavyweight Champion. At the same time, there is something to be said for showcasing the ROH regulars. I have a feeling it was more about closing with the big brawl that may or may not set up an eight-man tag.
Overall, this was a quality show. The ROH attendees know the NJPW stars and treat them accordingly. Next week’s show is loaded and it’s good to hear them hype the match a week out, though I wish they would do so with a little more fanfare than simply having Kelly list them mid-match. Baby steps.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features ROH COO Joe Koff confirming plans for a weekly ROH online series, discussing his decision to call off ROH events due to the coronavirus outbreak, making Marty Scurll the head booker, ROH's partnerships with NJPW and the NWA, and much more...