By Jason Powell
Ring of Honor TV
Taped July 16 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 2300 Arena
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV
A video package recapped Adam Cole and The Young Bucks shaving the head of Jay Lethal following last week’s main event. It included new comments from the Bullet Club members delivering a backstage. Cole said Nigel McGuiness created his own personal hell by saying he could never have another title shot. “The Bullet Club runs this place,” Cole said. They also showed Lethal looking at his own shaved head in the mirror and getting angry…
Powell’s POV: It’s not so bad, Jay. Welcome to the club. Bald guy jokes aside, the video did an effective job of recapping what has been Ring of Honor’s best episodic television angle.
The opening video aired… Kevin Kelly and NIgel McGuinness were on commentary (bring back Steve Corino). The duo hyped Lethal vs. Colt Cabana for the ROH Title as the main event. Nigel said there would be extra security and vowed that there would be a winner and a loser…
1. Will Ferrara vs. Jay White. Ferrara went on the offensive and performed a suicide dive on White heading into the break. [C] Ferrara performed a tornado DDT on White and got a two count coming out of the break. White came back with a missile dropkick for a two count. Ferrara came back and scored yet another near fall. White caught a charging Ferrara with a dropkick and then a uranage for a two count. White followed up with the Kiwi Crusher for the win. The wrestlers shook hands after the match…
Jay White defeated Will Ferrara.
Powell’s POV: White looked like a star when he won two matches in one show during his first appearance on ROH television. As much as I like Ferrara and would actually like to see ROH do something with him, it seemed odd for White to give up as much offense as he did to him. The right guy went over, but the match was more competitive than it needed to be.
Kelly set up a video that touted Shibata for the ROH Best in the World pay-per-view on August 19… Nigel announced that Shibata will take on Silas Young at the Best in the World event… Kelly set up a recap video that showed how Mark Briscoe earned an ROH TV Title shot… [C]
Mark Briscoe headed to the ring for a promo. He said he was scheduled to be on the Fish Tank talkshow, but it’s nothing but communist propaganda. Briscoe accused Fish of trying to subliminally control the minds of viewers. Briscoe said he would instead host his own segment called The Chicken Shack. Briscoe set up a pair of folding chairs and then introduced Fish as his guest.
Fish walked out wearing a suit and carrying the ROH TV Title while some fans chanted his name. Briscoe welcomed Fish and they shook hands before sitting down in the chairs. “So, Bob, how the hell are you?” Briscoe asked. Fish said he was looking like a million bucks and the host of the show looked like an unmade bed. Fish said he had a question. “Are you the host of the show, Bobby?” Briscoe replied.
Briscoe said Fish has been traveling to New Japan and having a lot of success. Fish confirmed that they have. Briscoe asked if Fish prefers chicken or fish on the flight. Fish said he doesn’t eat the airplane food. Briscoe asked if it’s true that Fish married an Ethiopian midget the last time they were in Las Vegas. Fish said that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Briscoe said the next time they go to Vegas, Fish has to step in the ring with him. Briscoe said becoming TV Champion has been his destiny since day one. Fish said if Mark won, he would be Jay’s brother holding a secondary title. Fish said it’s secondary when Mark holds the title, but it’s number one when he holds it. Fish said he’s the five tool player the company needs. Mark got upset and threw the chairs aside. Fish left the ring and stood on the ring apron. Security intervened. Fish said he didn’t need security. He entered the ring and said the clock is ticking down to their match…
Powell’s POV: The questions were ridiculous and Mark’s explanation for why he had a talkshow was absurd, yet he has so much unique charisma that it worked in that he had the live crowd with him every step of the way. Fish is still very quirky, but they showed good tension between the two of them. By the way, an ad aired for NJPW on AXS-TV in my local market.
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Colt Cabana made his entrance and received a good ovation and the streamer treatment. Kelly pointed out the extra security around the ring to prevent Bullet club from interfering. Lethal made his entrance with a hood covering his newly shaved head, which had already been shown in a new graphic. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match… [C]
2. Jay Lethal vs. Colt Cabana for the ROH Title. Lethal and Cabana shook hands before the bell. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers early. The Lethal chants were louder than the Cabana chants. Lethal performed a couple of suicide dives on Cabana and was cheered loudly heading into the break. [C] The fans were chanting “This Is Awesome” as Cabana was on the offensive inside the ring. Lethal made a brief comeback, but Cabana caught him with a clothesline.
Later, Lethal hit the Lethal Injection and went for a cover. Cabana kicked out at two. Lethal expressed shock over the kickout. Cabana came back and performed the Chicago Skylline and got a near fall of his own, which led to another “this is awesome” chant heading into the final break. [C] Lethal went for his finisher again, but Cabana caught him with a butt-butt for a two count. Lethal performed a cutter and another Lethal Injection and scored the clean pin…
Jay Lethal defeated Colt Cabana to retain the ROH Title.
The broadcast team put over Lethal’s win and lengthy title reign. Cabana showed anguish over his loss, yet he still shook Lethal’s hand. Cabana left the ring. Lethal took the mic and asked for McGuiness to join him in the ring. Lethal said he would normally be screaming that there’s nobody left for him to beat, but he said he wasn’t doing that because there is somebody left.
“Nigel, I want Adam Cole,” Lethal said. The fans cheered and then an Adam Cole chant broke out. Lethal told Nigel to look at his head. Lethal said Cole embarrassed him. He said they had to have security guards around the ring to prevent Bullet Club interference and he said they are turning the place into a dumpster. Lethal said he wanted to defend the title against Cole at the pay-per-view.
Nigel said he can’t grant the match because he would be a hypocrite if he did so after saying he wouldn’t give him another title shot. The fans booed. Cole walked onto the stage. “You have got to be kidding me,” Cole said. He accused Lethal and McGuinness of being in cahoots and staging Lethal’s desire to defend the title against him. Cole said Lethal’s title defense means nothing if he doesn’t defend it against him. Cole said Lethal calls himself the best first generation wrestler ever, but everyone backstage calls him a little bitch.
Lethal flipped out. He said the only way to set Cole straight is the beat him live on pay-per-view in front of the entire world. Lethal got down on his knees and pleaded with McGuinness. He stood up and said that if he won’t listen to him, then he should listen to the people, as the fans were chanting “make the match.” Nigel announced Lethal vs. Cole for the ROH Title at the Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view on August 19. Cole smiled and blew a kiss at Lethal, who jawed at him…
Powell’s POV: A very good match that is worth going out of your way to watch. It’s been fun to see the turn of Lethal play out over the last few weeks. Cole has also been elevated into the position of the top heel. I’m still not blown away by a lot of the other programs, but this has been booked to perfection. It’s great to see that ROH is capable of delivering episodic booking and hopefully this is a sign of things to come. I’m already more excited about the pay-per-view main event than any of Lethal’s title defenses. By the way, I hope they have a plan for Colt Cabana to bounce back from his loss because it would be a shame if he just faded into mid-card or comedy programs. Overall, a very good show.
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...