-In Honor of ROH premiering tonight on Destination America, I’ve signed on to begin recapping the weekly program once again. Here’s hoping I knock any rust off quickly. Tonight’s episode is the first of four taped in Toronto on the final night of the ROH vs New Japan tour.
-Looking to blend in with the usual programing of Destination America, the show opens with two hillbillies incoherently shouting. The gist: Lethal has been ducking Jay Briscoe for months, and that greatly upsets Mr. Briscoe.
-We cut to King Corino and Kevin Kelly at the announce table, they put over the partnership with New Japan and hype the Title vs Title main event at Best in the World.
Will Ferrara vs KUSHIDA
-KUSHIDA gets a great ovation, while Ferrara gets one intoxicated fan screaming about his being a worthless jobber. Hey, as long as you’re getting a reaction right? Side headlock by KUSHIDA to start. Ferrara gets dropkicked down and KUSHIDA double-stomps on his face before cartwheeling around to again dropkick him, this time in said face. Standing Shooting Star Press gets knees and Ferrara nails a neck breaker for 2. KUSHIDA escapes a headlock but ends up on the apron. He scores a stiff kick and riles up the crowd yanking Will’s arm over the top rope. KUSHIDA leaps back in with a springboard Karate chop. Ferrara eventually regains control with a clothesline that draws BIG heat from the crowd. Kushida rolls to the floor but Ferrara follows with a suicide tornado DDT! Ferrara presses the advantage but can only manage a 2 count. The announcers talk about what an upset victory would mean for Ferrara in an attempt to display that Win/loss records matter in ROH. KUSHIDA reverses into the Hover-board lock (strangely not called by the commentary team) but Ferrara makes the ropes. Boo/Yay shot trading ends with the New Japan star scoring a wicked knockout punch that earns him a massive KUSHIDA chant. Moonsault gets 2, KUSHIDA argues with the ref which allows Ferrara the chance to roll him up for 2. Schoolboy also gets 2 as Ferrara desperately tries to sneak out with the win. Kusida counters an Irishwhip with a crazy awesome Tornado into the Hover-board Lock for the submission win.
-Rating: **3/4 A fine opener that served its purpose as a showcase for Kushida. Ferrara is super generic, and has no business being any higher on the card, but he works well enough as a competitive jobber.
-We’re back with the Addiction, and Kazarian has something to say. He’s sick of reDRagon bitching, pissing, and moaning about wanting a shot at his and Daniels World Tag Team Titles…OF THE WORLD. reDRagon is part of an entitled generation, but The Addiction is going to give them a shot next week (and ONLY next week) anyways.
-A brief recap from Global Wars night one plays, showing Silas turning on Watanabe after their tag team loss to Moose and Gedo.
“Pro Wrestling’s Last Real Man” Silas Young vs Takaaki “Doesn’t Get An Entrance Video” Watanabe
-Young wants nothing to do with the Code of honor and the two men trade shots. This ends with Watanabe getting shoulder tackled to the ground. Silas runs the ropes and Watanabe tries to roll under him so Silas STOPS RUNNING and stomps on him instead. We got a fucking ring tactician in here, a regular Sun Tzu. Can’t believe no one has ever thought of that before! Silas controls the early on until Watanabe reverses into position for a German. Silas elbows out but Watanabe won’t let go of his tights and pulls him in for a back-suplex. Really cool perseverance Spot for Watanabe there. Now Watanabe gets his German. He puts Silas up top and the crowd starts with dueling chants. Silas blocks the superplex attempt and connects with a diving clothesline. Silas shit talks the crowd before making the cover and only gets 2. Reversals are traded until Silas gets neckbreakered for 2. Silas rolls out and manages to hang the pursuing Watanabe through the ropes. The Last Real Man attempts one too many kicks and gets clotheslined to the floor. Silas blocks a German attempt but gets shoved into the barricade for his trouble. Clothesline is ducked and Watanabe Germans Silas on the floor. The Crowd is solidly with Watanabe on this one now. Back in the ring Watanabe gets two. In an awesome sequence, Watanabe reverses a backslide attempt into one of his own, but Young Rolls out and punts him in the head. Staggered, they fight over a few move attempts before Young hits the TKO for the win.
-Rating: **3/4 A Nice TV match that puts Silas over strong in his first TV appearance since breaking his leg last year. I’m always happy to see Silas get wins on TV. He’s one of the most under appreciated guys in ROH—never has a bad match and is such a natural asshole he turns live crowds against him completely. Watanabe is still a work in progress but he showed way more charisma this year (he was a blackhole the first time I saw him) and showed the makings of what could one day be a solid talent.
BJ Whitmer w/ Adam Page and Colby Corino vs Moose w/ Veda Scott and Stokely Hathaway
-Before this one can get started BJ asks for a Mic. While he’s sure he’d mop the floor with Moose, he thinks that someone else should wrestle him instead. A young guy looking to prove himself. He teases Adam Page before revealing Colby Corino as Moose’s opponent! “Do it Colby, prove you’re twice the man your Father ever was”! Colby accepts the offer and makes his Ring of honor debut with…
Colby Corino w/ Adam Page and BJ Whitmer vs Moose w/ Veda Scott and Stokely Hatheway
-Colby (who for those unaware, looks like he doesn’t weigh 120 pounds soaking wet) begins the contest by proving he is as dumb as he looks, slapping the near 300 pound Moose in front of him. The crowd thinks Moose is gonna kill him. The crowd is correct. Moose completely no sells some elbows, and tosses Colby to the outside. Moose murders Corino Jr. with a ridiculous slam into the baracade. The Former NFL linebacker then picked up the corpse and gave it a giant swing, smashing Colby's head off the steal barricade on either side of him repeatedly. Steve, who I actually found really underwhelming calling the match, asks for the Ref to stop the match. Moose hits an apron bomb, doesn’t release, and just powerbombs Colby into the ropes. Moose preforms the coup de gras and just straight up powerbombs Colby on the floor. Moose was content to collect a count-out win, but Page throws Corino back in the ring where he’s pinned with a single foot on his chest.
-Rating: a total squash can be hard to rate—this was really fun, had great crowd heat, and set up an interesting angle involving BJ, the least interesting man on the planet. He’s a never was who takes out his failure on rookie kids. It may only have been a * wrestling match, but it was a ***** dramatic re-enactment of what happens when a smart car collides with a Moose at high speed
-Inside ROH Recaps The ACH vs Adam Page feud and announces ACH/Sydal vs the Decade (Whitmer/Page) at Best in The World.
-A really strange scene plays from the parking lot, where Lethal is upset about having to get in the ring with Jay Briscoe tonight. Truth says he has it all under control. This looked really low rent, even by the usual lower ROH standard.
Main Event: The Briscoes vs The House of Truth w/Truth Martini and Jay Lethal
-Kevin Kelly fills us in that Martini has pulled strings to get H.O.T. bodyguard J. Diesel to be Donovan Dijak’s partner tonight instead of Jay Lethal. Wouldn’t that have sufficed, why the shitty parking lot nonsense? Lethal is on commentary and stresses that as far as he’s concerned, he is not challenging Jay Briscoe, Briscoe is challenging him. Well, at least they are building title vs title perfectly. Dijak and Mark start. Mark hits his usual offense to start. Dijak intercepts a crane kick but Mark back flips to safety. Mark catches a boot but then DIJAK back flips to safety. Dijak is over 6’0 tall, it’ still impressive even though he didn’t land perfectly flush. Diesel is tagged in and WOAH BOY IS HE AWFUL. He just throws these quasi shoot style jabs over and over again until Mark tags out…and then he just keeps throwing these Jabs. Briscoe, seemingly as confused as I am that J. Diesel has a full 3 fewer moves then Big Daddy Cool Diesel, with that move being “shitty punch” no less, just throws him into the corner and starts pounding away with a variety of strikes. Briscoes work him over in the face corner for a while until Lethal provides a distraction posing with the world title. Diesel seizes this golden opportunity to deliver a devastating barrage of awkward punches. Dijak in now and he throws Jay across the ring with a vertical suplex toss. Tag to Diesel and he delivers a body slam(!!!) we’re up to two moves! Heels briefly cut the ring in half but before long Jay gets the hot tag and Mark is a house of fire. Mark sets Diesel up for the Froggy Bow but Truth distracts the ref and allows Dijak to run across the ring and knock Mark down as we fade to…
-We’re Back with Dijak still manhandling Mark. Tag out to Diesel and he hits move number three, a world’s strongest slam, for 2. Move number 4 is a fall away slam, it also gets 2. After a fairly long heat segment Mark manages to dodge both guys and its Jay’s turn to be a house of fire. Dijak gets dumped and Jay drops Diesel with a Rolling Elbow. Mark takes out Dijak. Doomsday Device on Diesel is good enough for 3.
-Rating: *** While everything with Dijak was good, everything with Diesel…wasn’t. Fortunately he only had the one extended sequence in the ring without Dijak so the match actually settled into a nice groove. Much like every match tonight, this was alright, but nothing here is worth seeking out. I have to think ROH would have planned a better Main Event for week one on Destination America if they had known that’s what this week would be when they taped it.
-Post match, Dijak hits Mark with “Feast Your Eyes” (it’s like an inverted GTS, and it’s awesome) before getting taken out by Jay Briscoe. Lethal save Diesel from a Jay Driller but ends up taking one himself as Briscoe finally gets his hands on the TV champ. Kevin Kelly asks us if this is a preview for Best in the world as the show fades to black.
-Final Verdict: The Moose squash was the most exciting part of a somewhat mediocre week for ROH TV. It most certainly didn’t feel like a special episode—and having attended the taping I can attest that each of the next three weeks are superior to this week’s offering. That said, the build for Lethal vs Briscoe has been tremendous so it ain’t all bad. See you all next week for reDRagon vs the Addiction, Dalton Castle vs Jushin “Thunder” Liger, and The Bullet Club vs The Kingdom