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
The opening video aired and then Kevin Kelly and Mr. Wresting III (a/k/a Steve Corino) checked in on commentary and hyped the main event and the tag title match…
1. War Machine vs. RPG Vice for the ROH Tag Titles. RPG Vice (Rocky Romero and Trent Baretta) attacked War Machine (Hanson and Ray Rowe) before the bell. Kelly noted that Rowe told the referee to ring the bell to start the match. War Machine recovered and the match settled down into a standard tag. Rowe caught Baretta with a knee heading into the break. [C]
Late in the match, War Machine picked up the RPG Vice members and threw them into one another. RPG Vice came back by breaking up War Machine’s rapid fire spots and the crowd cheered. However, Rowe caught Baretta going for a dive at ringside and delivered an apron bomb. A short time later, War Machine hit Fallout on Romero and then Rowe pinned him for the win. After the match, Hanson looked into the camera and said they are ready for the Brisceos while questioning whether the Briscoes are ready… [C]
War Machine defeated RPG Vice to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: It was nice to have Rowe call for the referee to start the match, as it always looks silly when referees reward wrestlers for jumping their opponents before the match by calling for the match to start. I have no idea whether RPG Vice are heels or babyfaces. I’ve made this point before and I’ll continue to make it until ROH finally makes it clear. It also feels pretty silly in retrospect to dedicate a full hour of television to a gauntlet match that led to RPG Vice getting a tag title shot when ROH is clearly setting up War Machine vs. The Briscoes.
Donovan Dijak and Prince Nana made their entrance. Dijak wore a Jay Lethal t-shirt. The crowd was flat. Once in the ring, Nana said people want to know what’s in the envelopes he’s handed out to certain wrestlers. He said it’s for them to know and for the fans to find out. Nana said people want to know about the enlightened ones. Huh? He also said the next ROH Champion will be Dijak.
Dijak took the mic and said that he’s only had one purpose for a whole year in ROH and that was protecting Jay Lethal and the House of Truth. Dijak removed the Lethal t-shirt and tossed it aside. Dijak started telling a story about how Prince Nana showed him the light on something. He also impersonated Truth Martini. Jay Lethal and Taeler Hendrix walked out. Lethal attacked Dijak and they fought in the ring until security broke them up…
Backstage, Dalton Castle said Silas Young is entering their Fight Without Honor with confidence because he has a few wins over him. He said his goals were different in those matches. Castle said he fought to show Young that he’s a man and for his boys. “Tonight, I’m fighting to hurt you,” Castle said… [C]
Powell’s POV: Well, Dijak and Nana’s promo accomplished nothing. I stopped caring about the envelopes. You can’t drag out a story involving undercard wrestlers and Nana this long and expect the audience to remain engaged. Dijak didn’t really get to say anything and the live crowd wasn’t very receptive. Meanwhile, I liked the Dalton promo a lot. He used a serious tone heading into a serious match.
2. Kenny Omega (w/The Young Bucks) vs. ACH. Omega and the Bucks came out to the Bullet Club video wall and all three of them wore camouflage shirts with Young Bucks on the front. Omega brought a broom and comedically sang into the handle. The fans chanted “Omega” after his entrance. ACH performed a “Texas style elbow” in a Steve Austin tribute. He followed up with a basketball shot that drew “Ballin'” reactions from the crowd.
ACH ended up at ringside and he took a superkick from one of the Bucks. They placed a banana peel on the mat and pointed to it when the referee noticed that ACH was down. Omega grabbed his broom and swept the banana peel under the ring, which drew some laughs and cheers from the crowd. [C]
There was a really cool spot with Omega going to the ropes only to have ACH perform a backflip during which time his knee struck Omega. ACH followed up with a big springboard flip from the second rope onto all three members of The Elite at ringside.
ACH performed a nice brainbuster and got a two count from referee Tiger Hattori. ACH went up top again and went for his 450 splash, but Omega avoided it and ACH landed on his feet. Omega took control by flipping ACH over the top rope. Omega turned up the band HBK style. ACH ended up hitting a Stunner for a strong near fall. ACH went up top and Omega avoided the 450 (Midnight Star). Omega performed a running knee and then hit his finisher for the win…
Kenny Omega defeated ACH.
Kelly hyped the Fight Without Honor match for after the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: There was some very good athleticism shown by both wrestlers. I tend to prefer Omega more straight forward, yet the comedy in this match was very entertaining and it’s good to see that he has that type of ability. The live crowd ate up the match and the comedy.
Todd Sinclair handled ring introductions for the main event. Young looked into the camera and said Castle would find out how men fight in the Fight Without Honor match. The Boys accompanied Castle onto the stage and tore his shirt off, then Castle motioned for them to go backstage. Castle ran to the ring and the match was on…
3. Silas Young vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) in a Fight Without Honor. Streamers were still all over the ring as the match started and Castle swung and missed with a trashcan lid. The fans chanted for Castle, who performed a nice suicide dive early in the match. Young came back by knocking Castle off the ropes and down to the floor. They fought at ringside and Castle backed Young into the ring post. Castle followed up with a running knee off the apron. [C]
Kelly noted that they introduced a ladder that was in the ring during the break. Young set up a table on the floor. Moments later, Young caught Castle going for a huracanrana and slammed him onto a couple of chairs on the floor. Later, Young placed Castle on a ladder that was lying in the ring and went for his handstand springboard moonsault. Castle moved and Young’s leg landed awkwardly, leading to Corino pointed out that it was Young’s bad (surgically repaired) knee.
Young and Castle traded punches on their knees and then once they stood up. Silas performed his Misery finisher on Castle, who kicked out at two. Silas grabbed a mic and the trashcan lid. He said he wished The Boys were there to see how pathetic Castle really is. The Boys ran out to ringside. Young said they were just in time to see him finish him.
Young tried to hit Castle with the lid, but The Boys stopped him. Silas fought them off quickly, but it let Castle recover. Silas sent Castle to ringside and went for a suicide dive. The Boys shoved Castle out of the way and took the dive instead. Castle followed up with a huracanrana on the floor and then a suicide dive before rolling Young back inside the ring.
Castle set up for an Alabama Slam, but Silas held onto the ropes. Castle opted to shove his legs over, causing Silas to flip over the top rope and through the table that was set up earlier. The crowd chanted “you just killed him.” Castle rolled Young back inside the ring and covered him, but Silas kicked out at two. The broadcast team questioned how he kicked out. The fans chanted “this is awesome.”
Young caught Castle with a low blow as one of The Boys slid a chair inside the ring. Silas jawed at Castle to get up. Dalton shoved him off and then hit his finisher onto the chair for the win. Confetti fell from the rafters as The Boys celebrated with Castle afterward. Kelly promised highlights from Honor Rising in Japan for next week’s show…
Dalton Castle defeated Silas Young in a Fight Without Honor.
Powell’s POV: A very good match and a fitting likely end to a terrific feud. The characters were natural rivals on paper, but there was no guarantee that the wrestlers would mesh so well or that ROH would know where the line was when it came to the storytelling. Everyone involved played it very well with Young crossing into offensive territory and the wrestlers working very well together. I really hope the company has big things planned for both wrestlers. Castle has such a bright future, but here’s hoping that Young won’t be overlooked like he was for too long prior to this feud with Castle.
Overall, this was the best ROH television show in weeks. The opener didn’t do much for me and Lethal and Dijak angle was forgettable, but I enjoyed the Omega vs. ACH match and especially the main event. Go out of your way catch the last two matches if you haven’t watched them already.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Frank Zarrillo discussing his film "The Wrestler: A QT Marshall Story", which includes appearances by Matt Riddle, Damian Priest, Gerald Brisco, Kevin Kelly, Steve Corino, and many more, the involvement of Marshall's wife and mother, and much more. Stick around after the interview for Powell's audio review of Wednesday's AEW Dynamite television show...