Ring of Honor – August 5, 2015: Taped Shows Can Work

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

These marathon TV tapings are starting to become an issue as they’re still in the same venue, even after a pay per view elsewhere and as we’re coming up on the next pay per view where the cycle starts all over again. Last week’s show really didn’t work for me but maybe things can pick up again in another stand alone show. Let’s get to it.

Roderick Strong is in the back and talks about proving himself against Jay Lethal at Death Before Dishonor in their hour long draw. They went toe to toe for sixty minutes but Lethal couldn’t beat him. Nighel McGuinness needs to understand that Lethal’s next defense is a rematch with Strong. What Strong needs to understand is that he needs a mouthpiece because he just can’t talk.

Opening sequence.

War Machine vs. Young Bucks

Oh joy, another match of hearing SUPERKICK over and over. It’s a brawl to start with Hanson and Rowe destroying the Bucks with ease. An old Harris Twins H Bomb drops Nick and Rowe launches him over the top and onto his partner. The Bucks’ stereo apron moonsaults are easily caught in midair and War Machine throws them into each other for a cool crash.

Superkicks (what else?) break up a chokeslam off the apron but Hanson shrugs off the Bucks’ flippy splashes and takes them down with a double clothesline. That earns him a double superkick to the floor and Nick follows with a flip dive, only to come up lame. Back from a break with Hanson throwing Matt Jackson back inside as Nick is still down on the floor. War Machine has Matt two on one but here’s AJ Styles to check on his Bullet Club teammate.

This also presents another problem with the taping schedule as Styles is still announced as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion but he lost the belt over a month ago. Matt’s rollup is countered with a wicked clothesline from Hanson, but he’s able to roll away when Rowe tries to powerbomb Hanson onto him. Cue Styles onto the apron as the new partner to help clean house, only to clothesline the referee down by mistake. It’s superkick time with Nick Jackson running in, totally fine of course, to help out. The Styles Clash puts Rowe away at 14:12.

Rating: C. So the Young Bucks. I’m still not sure what I think of them as the idea of being cool heels is played out but well done, but at the same time, I really don’t like the huge wink at the camera and breaking of the fourth wall as they’re as close to flat out saying “yeah we’re faces but saying we’re cool heels and cheating to make the whole face/heel dynamic worthless.” I really can’t stand that kind of character but it’s something you have to deal with in Ring of Honor and other similar companies as they have to try to be smarter than the fans who want “real” wrestling.

Adam Cole knows where he is in Ring of Honor after his surgery. As far as he can tell, his handshake with Kyle O’Reilly a few weeks back didn’t cause any problems in the Kingdom, because he and Kyle have been friends for years. Tonight’s match is about respect.

Cedric Alexander vs. The Romantic Touch

Touch is a masked man and an over the top, stereotypical, uh, romantic, I believe played by Rhett Titus. Alexander dropkicks him in the corner during the entrances as Cedric’s former partner Caprice Coleman is on commentary, taking issue with Cedric’s recent heel turn. A big right hand drops Touch but he sends Cedric to the floor for a flip dive and pelvic thrusting. Veda Scott grabs Touch’s leg though, allowing Alexander to kick the middle rope for some crotching. A belly to back suplex into a backbreaker (Lumbar Check) puts Touch away at 2:45.

Post match Veda says Cedric should be tired of waiting on his time to come. She would never lie to him and Alexander knows what she needs to him: to rip off the Touch’s mask and expose him as Rhett Titus. This brings Coleman to the ring for the save but here’s Moose for the real save as Cedric runs off.

Jay Lethal and Truth Martini admit that Strong took Lethal to the limit at Death Before Dishonor but now he’s going back to the end of the line.

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Adam Cole

These two used to be partners in a team called Future Shock and Christopher Daniels is on commentary. They wrestle around to start and tease a superkick, because that’s the one move you always get in Ring of Honor. Kyle grabs a headlock on the mat (fans: “HEADLOCK CITY!”) and takes Adam over with another one for good measure as we take a break. Back with Kyle headlocking Adam down a third time.

Cole flips to the apron but Kyle grabs him by the head and drags him back inside. Adam’s belly to back suplex still can’t break the headlock so Cole bails to the floor. That earns him another headlock with Kyle DIVING off the apron to grab the hold again. Well at least they’re trying something different. Cole goes after Daniels for no apparent reason, drawing Daniels in for the no contest at 8:24.

Rating: D+. The headlock thing was an idea and was actually getting entertaining by the end but then they cut the match short to set up the post match stuff. That’s fine in this case as they were talking about respect so not really going after each other makes sense. These two probably could have a good match with time and an ending but they got cut off here.

Kazarian comes down to help Daniels but Kyle gets back in and Future Shock clears the ring. Cole says they’re tired of this nonsense from the Addiction, so why not settle it right now?

Addiction vs. Future Shock

Non-title. Cole grabs a neckbreaker on Kazarian to start before backdropping Daniels (in street clothes). It’s off to Kyle for some chops and kicks to the chest as Future Shock is already rolling with their tandem offense. We take a break and come back with Daniels begging off from Kyle and getting hit in the face for his efforts. Addiction finally takes over and gets to double team for a change with Kazarian suplexing O’Reilly down for no cover.

A running flip neckbreaker drops Kyle again as we’re into an old school tag formula here, which is probably why I’m enjoying this as much as I am. Kyle manages to crotch Daniels, allowing the hot(ish) tag to Cole. A Shining Wizard gets two on Daniels and it’s time for a Figure Four but Kazarian makes the save with a springboard legdrop. For those days when a regular legdrop just doesn’t do it you see. Addiction’s powerbomb/neckbreaker combo puts Kyle down but Cole rolls Daniels up for the surprise pin at 8:37.

Rating: C+. I liked the ending here as the wrestlers beat the cocky team when the cocky team started showboating a bit too much. Cole as a face has potential but I’m hoping they keep ReDragon together for a bit longer as I don’t see O’Reilly as a solo act. I’m sure this sets up a title shot, which likely sets up Cole’s split from the Kingdom. Nice little match here.

Chris Sabin and Bobby Fish run in to keep up the brawling with ReDragon and Cole cleaning house. The Kingdom comes out to stare down the three of them as the show ends.

Overall Rating: C+. This was a better stand alone show than last week as the stories felt like they were advanced better, with the promos from Strong and Lethal making a big difference. Sure they were just basic speeches but it made you feel like you were watching something a bit more important. The matches were all decent at worst and the talking worked well. Good enough show here as we get close to some fresh shows soon enough.

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