Ring of Honor – July 8, 2015: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria’s Kingdom?

Ring of Honor
Date: July 8, 2015
Location: Terminal 5, New York City, New York
Commentators: King Corino, Kevin Kelly

This should be an interesting show as it’s FINALLY just a new ROH show instead of a co-promoted show with New Japan. The main story is the fallout of Jay Lethal winning the World Title at Best in the World to go with his TV Title. Now it’s time to get ready for Death Before Dishonor in a few weeks so let’s get to it.

After a quick opening sequence, we get a stills package on Lethal vs. Briscoe at Best in the World with Jay walking out with the titles. That was a pretty safe bet all around.

Regular opening.

Dalton Castle vs. Watanabe

The fans are almost entirely behind Castle here. Castle dances around to start but gets dropped by a shoulder. I still don’t get Watanabe. He’s really just a guy in tights who does moves, which actually would get him way over in Ring of Honor so maybe I just don’t get the point. Castle gets knocked into the corner so his guys fan him off, only to have Watanabe get knocked into the corner where Dalton’s guys fan him off too. Ok point for a funny spot.

We take a break and come back with an exchange of small packages without many counts in between. A backsplash gets two for Watanabe but Dalton grabs a suplex to get a breather. Castle follows up with a German and we get a cool, Lucha Underground style overhead shot to show Watanabe sprawled on the mat. Watanabe pops up (a Japanese wrestler not selling that much?) and hooks a Cloverleaf….into a catapult? That’s a new one on me. Watanabe spends a bit too much time posing though and gets caught in a reverse sitout powerbomb for the pin at 10:10.

Rating: D+. Castle isn’t bad but again, I have no idea why I’m supposed to care about Watanabe. Something about Watanabe being on a training mission which I know is a real thing in Japan, but I see no reason to care about him training to go and become a bigger deal in Japan.

Castle says there are a lot of boys out here tonight, but after Best in the World (at this point he lays back on his guys’ bent over chests), he’s the only real man in Ring of Honor. Cue Silas Young as we go to a quick break.

Nigel McGuinness brings out Jay Lethal for his first chat as champion. The fans tell the heel champion that he deserves it because smark fans don’t understand the difference between faces and heels. Truth Martini says the fans aren’t Lethal’s people, because the House of Truth are his people. Jay is clearly the best in the world because he is the undisputed World Champion. Fans: “TIE YOUR SHOES!”

Lethal is about to leave but Nigel asks him which of those titles is he going to be vacating. That’s fine with Nigel, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. See, Lethal may see the titles as the same thing, but Ring of Honor sees them as two different things. Therefore, Lethal will be defending the World Title against Roderick Strong at Death Before Dishonor, but he’ll be defending the TV Title next week against Mark Briscoe. Jay rants about how he knows he’s the greatest and if he has to wrestle twice in a night, so be it.

This brings out Roderick Strong to a better reaction than Lethal. Strong tells Lethal to look him right in the face like a man. On July 24, Lethal is walking in as champion but Strong is walking out with the belt. That was one of the most generic, lame face promos I’ve heard in a very long time, but at least Strong can usually back it up in the ring.

Kingdom vs. Michael Elgin/Red Dragon

That would be Matt Taven/Adam Cole/Michael Bennett with Maria, who is as gorgeous as ever. Before the match, Maria tells Cole not to worry about what happened at Best in the World (not important enough to specify) because tonight they’ll prove that this Kingdom shall never fall. After a break and they shake hands for the Code of Honor and therefore we don’t miss any action. That’s a good ROH.

Bennett vs. Elgin to get things going with Mike’s (Bennett) shoulder having no effect. Elgin’s shoulder on the other hand works a bit better and he loads up a suplex. Taven and Cole come in to kick him in the ribs but he won’t go do, so Red Dragon slaps on a pair of submission holds as this is one sided so far. The rest of the Kingdom finally gets together to take Elgin to the floor so Bennett can hit a flip dive.

Back in and a high cross body gets two on Elgin as Taven takes over. We take a break and come back with Elgin diving over for a tag, only to have Cole and Taven pull his partners down to the floor. Elgin finally takes the Kingdom down and makes the hot tag as everything breaks down. Taven eats a DDT into a wheelbarrow suplex for two but pops up and dives onto O’Reilly and Fish.

Back in and a hot tag brings in Elgin to clean house with suplexes, followed by a fireman’s carry to Taven and Bennett at the same time. Cole’s kick to the ribs doesn’t break it up again so Elgin swings their legs around to hit Adam in the face. The Kingdom takes them down again and Bennett loads up a Backpack Stunner with Taven adding a running boot to the face for two.

Red Dragon dives on Cole and Bennett, leaving Elgin to powerbomb Taven onto all four of them. Back in and a superbomb gets two on Taven with Cole diving in for a save. Cole plants Elgin with the Canadian Destroyer and a big spike piledriver gets two so Kyle actually tags out to Kyle. Yeah tagging still exists in this thing. A guillotine choke has Cole in trouble but he has to settle for a Dean Ambrose rebound lariat, followed by Chasing the Dragon for the pin on Cole at 17:16.

Rating: C+. I had fun with this but I’m really not a fan of the big messy tag matches. These are basically ECW tag matches without the weapons, which isn’t something that’s really appealing for me. It’s certainly entertaining, but it’s nothing that I’m ever going to want to watch again. Well other than Maria of course.

Cole walks out on his partners to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. I liked this show more than the previous few weeks because now I’m going to have a chance to get to know the Ring of Honor roster instead of some all star team they have. It’s good that there’s a continuing relationship with New Japan, but I’m glad that it’s limited instead of dominating the shows anymore. Fun episode this week and another shot that flew by.

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  1. Wirehead says:

    “That was one of the most generic, lame face promos I’ve heard in a very long time, but at least Strong can usually back it up in the ring.”

    That just about sums up Roddy perfectly. Guy was cursed with having absolutely no personality or charisma.

  2. Jay H (the real one) says:

    The 6-Man Tag was so much fun and Adam Cole is one of my favorites in ROH.