9/14 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: The Bullet Club vs. Jay Lethal vs. Tetsuya Naito, and Evil, Bobby Fish vs. Katsuyori Shibata for the ROH TV Title


By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped August 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada at Sam’s Town Live
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV

A video recapped Adam Cole delivering an in-ring promo last week while standing with his fellow Bullet Club members. They also showed Jay Lethal coming out and saying their feud isn’t over and being joined on the stage by Tetsuya Naito and Evil, which set up this week’s main event… The opening video aired… Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary at ringside…

1. Jay Lethal, Tetsuya Naito, and Evil vs. Adam Cole, Hangman Page, and Yujiro Takahashi. A couple minutes into the match, Lethal tagged in. Cole immediately fled to ringside heading into the break. [C] When Cole checked in again, Lethal tagged Naito, who looked a little flustered. Lethal got upset when Cole checked out again, then tagged Naito. Cole returned to the match and attacked Naito from behind.

Naito got the better of Cole then headed to the corner and held out his hand for Lethal to tag. When Lethal tried to tag, Naito pulled his hand away twice. Lethal and Cole ended up in the ring together while Naito and Evil spoke at ringside. Naito returned to the apron. Cole tagged in Page. Lethal tried to tag in Naito, who pulled his hand away. Naito smiled and then dropped back down tot he floor. Naito said “adios” and then left with Evil. The Bullet Club members worked over Lethal heading into the break. [C]

Lethal continued to fight the Bullet Club members on his own. As Cole toyed with Lethal, Michael Elgin’s entrance music played and he headed to the ring with his head bandaged (from a title belt shot). The fans popped and chanted Big Mike. Matchmaker McGuinness stood up and gave his blessing to the referee.

Elgin picked up Page and Takhashi and slammed them both to the mat. Cole charged at Elgin, who pressed him, slammed him, and covered him for a two count. With Lethal down, the heels outnumbered Elgin. Kyle O’Reilly’s music played and he came out and stood in the corner of the babyfaces. Elgin tagged in O’Reilly, who traded forearm shots with Cole, then they threw punches at one another. O’Reilly hit a brainbuster and went for the pin, but the other Bullet Club members broke it up. [C]

O’Reilly was working over the heels coming out of the break. O’Reilly applied an arm bar on Cole, who used his foot to stomp his way free. A short time later, Lethal hit Lethal Injection on Takhashi and pinned him…

Jay Lethal, Michael Elgin, and Kyle O’Reilly defeated Adam Cole, Hangman Page, and Yujiro Takahashi.

Powell’s POV: A fun match. The logic of Elgin and O’Reilly being allowed to replace Naito and Evil was covered nicely with matchmaker McGuinness appearing at ringside. This was a fun match that showcased Cole’s top challengers while also setting up the need for a match between Lethal and Naito.

Bobby Fish delivered a backstage promo. He said the roster sleeps well knowing that a man like him exists. He said he’s the guy who stands up. He said they rest well knowing that men like himself can bring violence to a man like Shibata on their behalf. He said there was a time that calling out the ROH locker room was the thing to do until he beat Tomohiro Ishii. Footage aired of Shibata beating Silas Young. Fish said Shibata’s fate is in his hands… [C]

Footage aired of last week’s setup for The Addiction vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Motor City Machine Guns in Ladder War…

Backstage, Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian delivered a promo. Kazarian said that while the Guns point at their hands and the Buck sell t-shirts, they have defended their tag titles around the world…

At ringside, Kelly noted that Jay Lethal had been pacing behind he and McGuinness. Lethal was handed a mic. He said it’s one thing when you have to watch your back because your enemies are everywhere. Lethal said it’s another thing when your friends stab you in the back. Lethal said Naito made the biggest mistake in his life. Lethal said he will do anything to himself or his opponent to get his title back, and yet now Naito opted to do this. Lethal said they would settle this sooner rather than later. Nigel stood up and announced Lethal vs. Naito…

Kelly hyped the All Star Extravaganza lineup: Reilly vs. Elgin for the ROH Title, the six-man tag tournament, the tag team ladder war for the ROH Tag Titles, and Donovan Dijak challenging the winner of the ROH TV Title match… Ring entrances for the TV Title match took place…

Powell’s POV: It’s still odd to me that Elgin is the guy challenging Cole rather than Lethal or O’Reilly. I’m sure it will be a fine match, but the outcome feels rather predictable.

2. Bobby Fish vs. Katsuyori Shibata for the ROH TV Title. Fish offered his hand, which Shibata slapped away. The broadcast team stressed that part of the contract for the match is that Shibata must honor all the commitments of the ROH TV Champion. Shibata applied a figure four, which Fish rolled over. Shibata rolled Fish back over. Fish teased tapping, but he eventually rolled over again. Shibata rolled over and they were in the ropes, so Shibata had to break the hold. [C]

Prince Nana walked to ringside and joined the broadcast team. Nana spoke about how his man Donovan Dijak will challenge the winner for the ROH TV Title. In the ring, Fish threw kicks at Shibata, who no-sold them. Shibata fired back witih a punch and a kick, but Fish followed him into the corner and caught him with a running knee. Shibata followed that up by following Fish to the corner and delivering a big boot. Shibata threw a running dropkick at the seated Fish.

Fish came back and applied the Fishhook. Shibata grabbed Fish’s ankle from the same position and turned it into an ankle lock. Nigel said neither man was able to apply enough pressure to get a submission. They went to the ropes to break the stalemate. [C]

Shibata applied a cross arm breaker coming out of the break. Fish countered into one of his own. Shibata regained his arm bar. Shibata put Fish in the triangle choke, but Fish rolled onto him while he was in the move and the referee counted the pin…

After the match, Nana was joined on the stage by Donovan Dijak, as the duo watched Fish. However, Fish and Shibata ended up going nose to nose at ringside. Shibata indicated that he wants another match. Fish said he loves it…

Nigel announced that the suspension of Steve Corino is up after one year, and he will return to commentary next week…

Powell’s POV: A really good match with a good mix of submission holds, some great physicality, and a good, clean finish. I get that Nana manages Dijak, but he was an unnecessary distraction. I didn’t let that get in the way of my enjoyment of the match, though, and I wish we were seeing the rematch at the pay-per-view.

Overall, a good show with two lengthy and meaningful matches in front of a good crowd. They even managed to close the show on a high note by announcing the return of Steve Corino to commentary. I don’t care if it’s been a year or not, I’m just happy the guy is back in the color commentary position he never should have left. Haydn Gleed will be by on Thursday with an audio review of this show.

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