Ring of Honor TV – September 30, 2015: Like A Rolling Stone

Ring of Honor
Date: September 30, 2015
Location: 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commentators: King Corino, Kevin Kelly

It’s another stand alone episode with the New Japan guys coming in to help bridge the gap between the pay per view and the start of the new taping cycle. Tonight we have a dream match with Adam Cole facing Shinsuke Nakamura, who is one of the best in the world right now. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Matt Sydal vs. Kushida

Kushida’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title isn’t on the line. I’m not a fan of Kushida’s in ring work but the Back to the Future theme is awesome. The fans start the THIS IS AWESOME chants at the bell which always gets on my nerves. Feeling out process to start with Kushida taking him down off a headlock and floating around Sydal’s back until it’s a standoff.

They trade armdrags until Kushida no sells a hurricanrana and blasts him with a dropkick. Sydal gets smart and goes after the knee with some kicks and a bridging Indian deathlock as we take a break. Oddly enough WCW would always go to a commercial whenever anyone else put on those holds. Back with Kushida diving into a spinwheel kick but he comes back with a front flip into a kick to the head. So much for selling the knee of course but that’s such a common problem in wrestling and Japanese wrestling in particular.

Back in and a moonsault gets two on Sydal but Matt kicks the knee out. His standing moonsault is countered into the Hoverboard Lock (sweet name for a Kimura) but Sydal makes the ropes. They trade big strikes to the head and both guys are down. Sydal is up first with a reverse hurricanrana for two but the Hoverboard Lock goes on again. Matt rolls out of it and kicks Kushida in the head, setting up the Shooting Star (which still takes forever) for the pin at 12:14.

Rating: C. I’m not a fan of either guy and this really felt like a very stereotypical ROH match. The knee work went nowhere because Kushida wouldn’t sell the thing. Sydal is better than just a single finisher but I’m still not a fan of his since he left WWE. This wasn’t a bad match or anything but it’s not my style.

Watanabe vs. Will Ferrara vs. Moose vs. Adam Page

One fall to a finish. Before the match, BJ Whitmer says Page should get some better competition because he beats everyone he fights. Page goes right after Watanabe to start and the fans aren’t pleased because Watanabe is Japanese and therefore the ROH fans worship him. Ferrara comes in and knocks Page around the ring like he stole something. Off to Moose who throws Ferrara around but Page tags himself in to pick the bones. A belly to belly gets two on Ferrara but it’s quickly back to Watanabe for a backsplash.

Moose breaks up a cover and backdrops the much smaller Ferrara over the top and out onto Watanabe. Colby gets on the apron and is promptly kicked back to the floor. Page comes back in and gets speared in half, only to have Ferrara tornado DDT Moose. Back to Watanabe for a German suplex to Moose and an STO to pin Ferrara at 5:45.

Rating: C+. This would have been better with more time and I like Watanabe a little bit better than Kushida so this didn’t get to me as much. Moose is kind of in a free fall at this point and could use a big win but as usual Watanabe needs another win that doesn’t seem to get him anywhere. Ferrara continues to be spunky which is about as good as you can get for someone his size.

Bushwhacker Luke marches around the ring. This is a semi-regular thing in ROH.

We see Cheeseburger getting beaten down by Brutal Bob Evans earlier in the night because these two are destined to be fighting forever. Luke came in for the save with a Stunner (yes a Stunner) and used Cheeseburger for a Battering Ram.

Back in the arena and Luke says Corino looks like a bucket of sardines (a compliment) and licks his face. As someone who has experienced that as well, I don’t know why Corino is wincing.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Adam Cole

Nigel McGuinness is in on commentary. Cole is full on heel here and thankfully the commentary knows it for a change. Unfortunately they can’t say what he did but that’s the danger of a taped show. I still get a Mick Jagger vibe from Nakamura. Cole works on a wristlock to start but they stop to take in some crowd reactions. Nakamura does Cole’s pose in a funny bit but Cole kicks him in the leg and does an awkward little dance as we take a break.

Back with Nakamura driving Cole into the barricade but Adam scores with a superkick. Corino misses it though and sounds downright depressed. He’s really starting to grow on me and I’m not sure if I like that. Back in and Cole sends him hard into the corner before going into that evil smile of his. Nakamura starts driving the hard knees into the head and gets two off a gordbuster. We could all use a bit more Arn Anderson in our lives so I heartily approve.

Cole comes back with a superkick to both knees and a low one to the jaw for two. More kicks to the knee take us to a break and we come back with Cole slapping on the Figure Four. Nakamura gets the ropes so Cole busts out some dragon screw leg whips, only to get caught in a cross armbreaker. That goes nowhere so Nakamura comes back with knee strikes (gah) and an overhead belly to back suplex. The knee gives out though, allowing Cole to come back with a running knee to the face.

A Shining Wizard gets two for Adam and a superkick to the back of the head into a cross arm German suplex for two. Cole freaks out and goes after the referee but charges into a knee in the corner. Nakamura’s middle rope knee drops Cole but he can’t cover. An ax kick sets up the running knee to the side of Cole’s head for a close two. Cole spits in Nakamura’s face so Shinsuke comes back with the Landslide (sitout Death Valley Driver) and another running knee for the pin at 22:50.

Rating: B. Good but not great match here which felt like a major showdown as it was supposed to. Nakamura has more personality than anyone else in New Japan and it’s always fun to see him in the ring. Cole has that it factor and the smile when he had Shinsuke in trouble was great. The match was certainly good and well worthy of the spot they were going for here though I’ve seen better. The constant knee strikes from Nakamura after Cole spent the time working over the knee got annoying in a hurry but at least Shinsuke sold the knee a bit in between. That’s a lot better than some people would do.

Overall Rating: B. This was a solid, wrestling heavy TV show. When one match takes up nearly half the show it’s going to dominate the rating and that’s exactly what happened here. That being said, I could go for some more stories as I had them built up for weeks and now I have to wait more weeks to see where they go. I’d really like them to fix this problem because it gets on my nerves every single time. Still though, fun show here with a lot of solid to good wrestling.

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