11/9 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: The New Kingdom vs. The Bullet Club in a six-man tag title tournament match, Bobby Fish vs. Dragon Lee in a Proving Ground match, Michael Elgin vs. Toru Yano


By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped October 1 in Lowell, Massachusetts
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV

After the ROH opening aired, the broadcast team of Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino checked in from their perch on the entrance stage. The duo hyped the six-man tournament main event and made a fuss over the new version of The Kingdom featuring Matt Taven and his new allies facing three Bullet Club members…

1. Toru Yano vs. Michael Elgin. The broadcast team said Elgin is haunted by his tournament count-out loss to Yano, who threw water at Elgin once he entered the ring. Elgin offered a handshake, but Yano remained in his corner and clowned around. Kelly said Yano has run the Tokyo Marathon before. After Elgin got the better of Yano to start, Yano offered him a left-handed handshake. Elgin accepted. Yano squeezed like he was hurting Elgin, who no-sold it and then squeezed, which Yano sold to put over Elgin’s power. They ended up at ringside where Yano tripped Elgin into the steps by the stage. Yano pulled out his tool (not that one) and cut the turnbuckle pad off, then struck Elgin with it several times heading into the break. [C]

Elgin whipped Yano toward the exposed turnbuckle. Yano stepped himself, but then walked into a power slam. Elgin grabbed Yano’s tool (not that one) and snipped another turnbuckle pad free while the referee scolded him. Ugh. Elgin struck Yano with the pad. Elgin pointed to the corner and called for the Buckle Bomb. Yano avoided it and catapulted Elgin into an exposed turnbuckle. The referee stopped Yano from using his usual low blow. He managed to kick Elgin low without the referee seeing and got a two count. Elgin came back with a clothesline for a two count. In the end, Elgin hit the Elgin Bomb and scored the clean pin…

Michael Elgin defeated Toru Yano.

The broadcast team hyped the Proving Ground match… Footage aired of Dragon Lee performing flashy moves during his ROH TV match against Kamaitachi… [C]

Powell’s POV: This was an oddball matchup with the ultra serious Elgin facing the clown prince of New Japan Pro Wrestling. It’s one thing to watch an undercard heel sell the turnbuckle pad shots from Yano, but it looked silly that Elgin, who no-sells some big moves, had to sell those shots. The broadcast team tried to tell the story of Elgin being haunted by his loss to Yano. It’s a nice followup if you’re an NJPW viewer, but it was pretty meaningless otherwise.

Footage aired of The Bullet Club working over Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly… Backstage, Fish cut a promo in which he said Hangman Page somehow convinced Bullet Club and ROH management that he can handle the pressure. Fish said Page is an unproven commodity who is listening to the wrong advice. Fish said when the lights shine the brightest, he does his best work. He said Page is not the man who will unseat the king…

Powell’s POV: A well delivered promo, yet the context was questionable if Fish is going to beat Page. After all, he basically made it seem like Page isn’t ready for the spot he’s been given. They can have Page prove otherwise and then it will be fine, but otherwise it comes off like Fish won a match he expected to win over an inferior opponent.

2. ROH TV Champion Bobby Fish vs. Dragon Lee in a non-title Proving Ground match. Kelly said Fish was coming into the match with cracked ribs from the Bullet Club attack. Fish had his ribs wrapped. Lee had his shoulder heavily taped as well, but the announcers really played up the pain of a rib injury. Fish sold the ribs consistently. A few minutes into the match, Lee sent him to ringside and then performed a suicide dive. Lee yelled “one more” but the show cut to break. [C]

When they came back from commercial, the wrestlers were back in the ring exchanging blows. Lee performed a wicked suplex. Lee threw a high knee and then performed a Northern Lights suplex and a standard suplex, which Corino called a brainbuster even though it didn’t look anything like a brainbuster. Kelly played up the idea that referee Paul Turner was thinking about stopping the match due to Fish’s injury.

Corino added some good strategy talk by saying he would take the Proving Ground match loss to be sure that he’s healthier when he faces Page next week. In the end, Lee caught Fish with a kick to the knee and then rolled him into a pin for the win. Afterward, Lee and Fish hugged…

Dragon Lee defeated Bobby Fish in a Proving Ground match to earn a future ROH TV Title shot.

Kelly hyped Fish vs. Page for the ROH TV Title for next week’s show, then hyped the main event and played up the mystery of Matt Taven’s new men… Backstage, Taven delivered a promo in which he said “tick tock” repeatedly before saying time is up. He said his Kingdom will come. He said if people thought his countdown was for him, “you Melvins” are wrong, because it was for the Bullet Club…

Powell’s POV: The Fish vs. Lee match was a big disappointment. It looked so good on paper, but they used it to tell the story of Fish being vulnerable heading into his title defense against Page next week. And while I understand that, it’s just a shame that it had to come during a match with Lee. I suppose the good news is that we’re guaranteed to get Lee in a title match at some point. Meanwhile, Adam Cole and Hangman Page are heels, and the Young Bucks act like babyfaces even though they are in the same faction. Just when it seemed like it couldn’t get more confusing, heel Taven is going after the Bullet Club.

Footage aired from the six-man tag title tournament with ACH, Kushida, and Jay White advancing to the finals… Ring introductions for the main event took place…

Bullet Club members Adam Cole, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson made their entrance for the six-man tag title tournament match. Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan made their entrance as the new Kingdom. They had people bowing on the stage as they walked by. Kelly put over Taven’s new duo as a pair of blue chippers. The Bullet Club members blew off the handshake and then the teams started fighting…

3. Adam Cole, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan. Taven wore a brace on his knee in his first television match back from major knee surgery. The new Kingdom jumped out to an early advantage. They all posed together on the ring apron heading into a break. [C] The Bullet Club members performed a triple superkick coming out of the break. They struck the Terminator pose, but the Kingdom members brought them to ringside. The Bullet Club members quickly regrouped and powerbombed them into the edge of the ring. They went right back to the Terminator pose and then performed a triple suicide dive and played to the crowd.

The Kingdom trio isolated Matt Jackson in their corner and worked them over. Kelly told viewers that Ryan was a baseball prospect whose career was ruined due to injury, so he opted to focus on wrestling. Matt eventually tagged in his brother Nick, who worked over the two new Kingdom members on his own heading into the final break. [C]

Nick tagged in Cole, putting him in the ring with Taven. Cole kicked the bad knee of Taven and then followed up with a shining wizard for a two count. Taven performed a neckbreaker for a two count. He told the other members of his team that he needs help. They went for some type of powerbomb spot, but Marseglia lost his balance while holding up Cole for the powerbomb end of the spot. A short time later, the Bucks double superkicked Taven, then followed up with single superkicks on Marseglia and O’Ryan. A short time later, the Bullet Club members went for a big spot that was broken up by Marseglia from the floor. A couple of low blows and big spots later, Taven pinned Matt Jackson to win the match…

Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan beat Adam Cole, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson to advance in the six-man tag title tournament.

Powell’s POV: I am more confused than ever by the Bullet Club’s heel/babyface dynamic. Are we supposed to like the Kingdom? Taven’s character is nearly impossible to like and he calls the fans “Melvins” repeatedly, so I’m guessing not? I honestly have no idea what the booker wants his audience to feel. The live crowd got into the Bullet Club antics, but I don’t think they had any idea how they were supposed to react to the Kingdom. This was a strange and disappointing match, which is also a fair description for the overall show.


Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.