Ring of Honor TV
Las Vegas, NV
Ian Riccobani and Caprice Coleman are on commentary and tell us about the tag team main event of Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham vs Jushin Thunder Liger and KUSHIDA along with Eli Isom taking on Shane Taylor, as Scorpio Sky makes his way out to the ring. Hangman Page comes out next, and we get a screen-in-screen…
VIDEO: Hangman Page Speaks
Page says this is Sky’s chance, and asks if he can strike gold and beat the Hangman? Answer: no, you cant. I mean sure.
SCORPIO SKY vs HANGMAN PAGE
We get the Code of Honor to start, which is interesting. They lock up, Page gets the wrist. Sky with a great counter, Page responds in kind, great counter sequence goes back and forth. Sky to the ropes and a tackle takes neither down. Page downs Sky with a second tackle but Sky kips up, they trade quick evasions but Page lands a big kick to Sky’s face. Sky to the corner and Page stomps the mudhole. Page looks for a suplex but Sky goes behind, but gets sent over the top to the floor by Page. Page follows outside and sends Sky to the railing twice. Page hoists Sky up in a firemans carry, then runs toward a corner post and just tosses Sky head first into the metal as we go to BREAK.
We are back just in time to see Page seated on the top rope and Sky hitting a straight leap to the top rope into a hurricanrana, covers but Page is out of 2. Sky pulls Page under the bottom rope on the apron and hits an apron leg drop on Page, covers but another 2 count. Sky hits a big backbreaker on Page and goes for the cover again but still 2. Sky with a modified chinlock, Page powers up, they trade shots and Sky gets the upper hand but Page fires back with a huge lariat! Page with chops, they run the ropes but Page catches Sky with a nice fallaway slam, running dropkick in the corner and a bridging German suplex for a 2 count on Sky.
Page hoists Sky again and hits that unique bridging pumphandle suplex for another 2 on Sky. Page tries to get Sky from behind, Sky fights him off and looks for a modified fisherman suplex but Page rolls up Sky for 2. Sky follows up with a nice jumping double stomp to Page’s back and a GREAT over the top flipping cutter off the apron, covers but Page kicks out at 2. Sky right on him and hits that modified fisherman buster but only gets 2 again. Page on the apron but misses Buckshot as Sky gets a rollup for 2. They trade shots and Page hits a discus clothesline, looks for Rite of Passage and nails it, covers Sky and gets 3 and the WIN.
Hangman Page defeats Scorpio Sky by pinfall after Rite of Passage
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5
This was overall a strong match, with two of ROH’s most reliable talents turning in a really nice performance off of each other. My big issue here was the ending, which just felt a little abrupt and deflated. I dont disagree with Page going over Sky here, as Page is definitely seen across the board as a long-term investment – I just also felt like Sky could have had one more strong play for the win, and that Page overcoming that would for me have given the necessary extra beat of urgency that the match needed to stick its landing more completely. Instead, I just was left with a moment of, “Oh, that’s it? Oh. ‘Kay.” But good work from both nonetheless, surprising no one.
VIDEO: The Kingdom
We get an interview with The Kingdom, with O’Ryan says the conspiracy is getting turned upside down. Taven says you dont have a Melvin representing this company, now you have a REAL worlds champion, because HEEEEEE’S MATT TAVEN and this is his Kingdom. Vinny plays us out by saying “the conspiracy is dead.” This was fine. Give me more Vinny please.
BACKSTAGE: Hangman Page
Page screams at the camera saying DID YOU SEE THAT? I’M BACK. GIVE ME A TITLE SHOT. He calls out each title, including the ROH title. PAGE SMASH.
Ian and Caprice recap Jeff Cobb’s dominant victory over Punishment Martinez to take the TV Title, which takes us to…
SHANE TAYLOR vs ELI ISOM
Isom asks for the Code of Honor but Taylor spits into his hand as we get the bell. Taylor looks for a shot but Isom ducks and looks to strike. Taylor absorbs and tries to fire back, but Isom uses quickness to keep Taylor rocked. Isom looks for a springboard hurricanrana but Taylor catches him, Isom escapes however and hits a dropkick. Isom charges but is sent to the apron and eats an elbow from Taylor, draping him over the top rope. Taylor pulls him over the top while keeping him draped and hits a Tower of London style stunner, HARD. Taylor puts Isom in the corner and lays in a big open hand chop to take us to BREAK.
We’re back and Taylor is still in charge. Slam to Isom, who tries to fight back with shots and forearms, stick and move and Isom hits an enziguri, runs the ropes but eats a HUGE lariat from Taylor. Taylor lines him up but misses the big splash as Isom moves out of the way. Isom with shots, dropkick and tries to lift Taylor and GETS HIM UP INTO A SAMOAN DROP! Covers, but Taylor is out at 2. That was a great spot for Isom… Isom stays on Taylor but gets hit with a headbott, Isom tries to fire up but Taylor rakes the eyes and hits that big knee. Taylor pops him up for Greetings from 216, covers and gets the 3 count and the WIN.
Shane Taylor defeats Eli Isom by pinfall after Greetings from 216
JAY’S RATING: 2.5
This was a good match that had a very clear and simple purpose that it delivered on. While I’ve seen better from Taylor as of late, his strike game is still top-notch to me and that was allowed to come through along with his obvious power advantage. Isom also had the chance to build some momentum and took full advantage of it, in particular with that Samoan Drop spot that the crowd ate up. I’ve definitely got my eye on Isom now – there’s almost like a Gargano-crossed-with-Roderick thing I can see brewing there, and thats not a bad thing.
After the match, Taylor brings a chair into the ring and beats down Isom, and puts the chair around the neck of Isom, but CHEESEBURGER RUNS DOWN and lays shots to Taylor, looks for SHOTEI! but Taylor counters it and hits another Greetings from 216 on Cheeseburger… but FLIP GORDON RUNS DOWN and spears Taylor down and lays in shots. Flip then uses the chair on Taylor with several big chops, as Coleman says Flip has snapped! Flip then takes the mic and says “is this what you wanted Bully”? You want me to get extreme and hardcore? The crowd responds “YEAH”. Flip says I dont care what kind of match you want, I will fight you anywhere anytime.
Bully comes out with a mic and mocks Flip, saying he’s all fired up and ready to fight. He says looks like we are both ready for a fight. Bully says if you dont know what kind of match you want, maybe the crowd can decide, before (of course) running down the crowd and saying they arent getting what they want tonight. He says Flip is getting nothing tonight, he’s beaten him up and has no reason to get in the ring with him. Bully says Flip is a nobody and he is a god. He will, however, ask him if he’s a betting man. Flip says he bets he could beat Bully’s ass tonight. Bully says its not happening, but next week, you show up in Philadelphia at the ECW Arena with your best guy, I’ll bring mine, they will fight it out, and if Flip’s guy wins you can do whatever you want to me. But if Bully’s guy wins, he gets to do whatever he wants to to Flip. Bully says he sees the fear in Flip’s eyes, but Flip accepts the challenge. Bully then introduces his best guy, Silas Young, which brings out Silas to the entrance who says he’s the man for the job. This was a fine little segment, but once again suffered to me because of a strange issue of focus. Like, when we got to Bully/Flip, great, I think this thing is going on too long now but at least its a new story development. But what the hell does that have to do with Shane Taylor? Its booking of convenience rather than intention, and muddies the different storylines. Its not that stories cant overlap, but this feels hobbled together rather than tailored, if that makes sense. But Bully on the mic always makes me smile, so theres that.
And that takes us to another BREAK.
We’re back and get a slate of our tag team main event, which then transitions into…
VIDEO PACKAGE: Jay Lethal’s Challengers, Cody Rhodes
We see a tweet from Cody asking about his 1-on-1 singles rematch for the ROH title, saying its been 10 months since he lost the title. I mean, ok. That’s one way of building some anticipation for Lethal/Rhodes… but also, that was pretty blah.
Kenny King joins the commentary booth, as we go to…
JUSHIN “THUNDER” LIGER & KUSHIDA vs JONATHAN GRESHAM & JAY LETHAL
The pop for Liger’s music just makes me smile. Also, the music and entrance does that too. LEGEND. King talks about how he beat Liger at Death Before Dishonor. As the rest come out, King continues to talk about how he’s beaten everyone. And Lethal’s final entrance takes us to BREAK.
We are back just as the bell rings, with Lethal and KUSHIDA starting us off. They lock up and trade wrist and arm work. KUSHIDA grounds Lethal, but Lethal counters again and they continue to trade holds. Lethal is finally able to work his way into an Indian deathlock variation and quick cover for a 1 count. We get tags on both sides, with Liger and Gresham coming in. Chants for Liger.
Liger and Gresham lock up and we get more hold trading, with Gresham looking extremely smooth in his ring work. And Liger is, well, Liger. LEGEND. They trade again with Gresham grounding Liger and looking for cover attempts on Liger but only getting 1 counts before Liger is able to get the bow and arrow stretch before Gresham rolls out of it. Gresham tags in Lethal, who squares up with Liger.
Lethal and Liger lock up, Liger to the ropes and tackles move no one. Lethal messes with Liger’s horns which fires Liger up. Lethal runs the ropes and gives Gresham the blind tag, the misdirection works and Gresham gets behind Liger for a great deadlift German release on Liger. Gresham stays on Liger, and also knocks KUSHIDA off of the apron before whipping Liger to the corner hard. Lethal back in on Liger with a nice backbreaker, covers and just under 2.
Lethal keeps Liger grounded with knees to the back, cover but Liger in the ropes at 1. Gresham tags back in and they look to double team, but Liger outsmarts them and hits an almost-SHOTEI!-esque clothesline to down Lethal and get the tag to KUSHIDA who comes in hot! Kicks to Gresham’s arm and lands the handspring back elbow. Lethal looks for the hiptoss kick on KUSHIDA but KUSHIDA moves and lands it himself! Gresham tries to take advantage but he and KUSHIDA keep trading rollup attemps with no one getting ANYTHING until finally KUSHIDA gets the shoulders down for 2 as we head to BREAK.
We’re back and KUSHIDA has taken control of Gresham outside, but tosses him back in to Liger who applies his classic Romero Special. Lethal tries to break it up but KUSHIDA catches him with the cross armbar. Gresham gets released from the Romero as Lethal and KUSHIDA head outside. Liger applies a GREAT submission (a combo Indian deathlock, Kimura lock and grounded octopus!), but Gresham able to tweak Liger’s ankle to get the release.
Tag to KUSHIDA who rolls Gresham through into a unique hammerlock, but Gresham makes the ropes. KUSHIDA keeps the arm and lays in a chop, but Gresham fires back with one of his own. Double team on Gresham, but Gresham outsmarts those two this time and gets the hot tag to Lethal who hits a BIG backdrop to KUSHIDA, and then finally hits his cartwheel dropkick. Lethal with the Lethal Combination but only gets a 2 count. Lethal calls for Lethal Injection but KUSHIDA counters with a kick to the arm during the handspring, which allows Liger to hit a big splash and cover for 2.
Liger hits the rolling Kappo kick on Lethal in the corner and looks for the Liger Bomb, Gresham intervenes, KUSHIDA eats an enziguri from Gresham who then takes out KUSHIDA with a knee at ringside. Back in Lethal looks for the Figure Four on Liger, Liger with a package but only a 2 count. Liger looks for SHOTEI! but misses, eats kicks from Lethal and a Lethal Injection, Lethal covers and gets the 3 count and the WIN.
Jay Lethal & Jonathan Gresham vs Jushin Liger & KUSHIDA by pinfall after the Lethal Injection
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
This was a solid main event by 4 rock-solid ROH main eventers (and yes I’m including Gresham in there because holy shit he’s amazing and still strikes me as the perfect fit for ROH’s next wave, hearkening back to the American Dragon days). I’m not sure the fire carried all the way through to the end of the match, not unlike the opener with Page and Sky. But everyone got a chance to show just why they are some of the best at what they do, with Lethal anchoring the whole and Gresham SHINING once again. That rollup sequence with KUSHIDA was particularly brilliant. Nice work all around.
Next week: Silas Young vs Flip Gordon’s pick, with the person whose pick wins, either Flip or Bully, getting free rein over the other.
This was a solid little episode of ROH TV, with some decent to good action, some story progressions and a match made for next week. I feel like now that that big stretch of big events has passed, that things feel a little more focused again, but I’m also curious to see if that continues to be true going into the upcoming tour. Its my one big concern that remains as the company goes forward, which was only reconfirmed given the way the Flip/Bully angle was brought into this particular episode. Nonetheless, the talent delivered, with Taylor and Isom working their story well, Page and Sky getting a good showing and the main event capping off a pretty strong line of work here. (I do still wish they could figure out how to focus their backstage and interview pieces – they can stay short and sweet, they just dont need to feel so tacked on so much of the time. They feel like afterthoughts, and thats not good TV.)