Ring of Honor TV – June 15, 2016: More Japan

Ring of Honor
Date: June 15, 2016
Location: Ted Reeve Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Kevin Kelly, Mark Briscoe

We’re less than two weeks away from Best in the World and we’re getting ready for the showdown between Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe for the ROH World Title. However there’s also the issue of the Bullet Club’s Adam Cole circling around the title as well, which almost has to be the next hurdle for whichever Jay comes out with the belt. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Moose vs. Tetsuya Naito

Naito’s IWGP Heavyweight Title isn’t on the line and he has a taped up knee coming in. Moose powers him into the corner to start and teases a right hand before just slapping Naito on the chest. Naito’s right hands have no effect so Moose dropkicks him down with ease. Another dropkick puts Naito on the floor and it’s easy to see why Moose is rumored to possibly go to NXT.

Naito slides back in and teases a dive but stops to pose instead. I can go for a cocky heel who knows how to deal with a monster like this. The second dive actually works as Mark talks about wanting to fight Roderick Strong at Best in the World. Moose misses the spear as we take a break.

Back with Moose doing his jab sequence but getting taken to the top for a hurricanrana. Since it’s just a hurricanrana though, Moose pops up and BLASTS him with a discus lariat for two. Moose keeps up the power with a suplex into the corner. A quick Koji Clutch slows Moose down and his delayed vertical suplex is countered into a snap DDT. Naito steps away from a dive ala Samoa Joe (love that spot) and a backflip into a reverse DDT gives Naito the pin at 10:16.

Rating: C+. It’s kind of weird to see the smaller guy as the heel and still have him be so dominant like this. Moose is someone who has kind of hit a wall as he has all the potential in the world but he needs to get a big win or have a story other than “he’s fighting people way better than him” because losing over and over doesn’t really do him much good, no matter how competitive he is.

The All Night Express want to make wrestling great again and get rid of all the superkicks. Now this I can get behind.

Jushin Thunder Liger/Cheeseburger vs. All Night Express

The Express attack at the handshake as the announcers try to figure out what makes Liger and Cheeseburger’s palm strikes so awesome. Speaking of the palm strike, Liger uses it to clean house before Cheeseburger’s dive is pulled out of the air. Instead Liger baseball slides into Cheeseburger’s back to put the Express down again. King drapes Cheeseburger over the ropes to take over as we take a break.

Back with Titus driving a knee into Cheeseburger’s face before King plants him with a spinebuster for two. We hit the chinlockery for a bit before Cheeseburger kicks King away and makes the hot tag off to Liger. Titus takes too long going up and gets superplexed down for two with King making the save. Liger saves King from a powerbomb/springboard clothesline combo but gets sent to the floor, leaving King to hit the Royal Flush (F5 with King landing on his face instead of his back) for the pin at 8:45.

Rating: C. It was nice of them to let one of the Ring of Honor teams to actually get a win instead of having to be beholden to the New Japan guys. Liger and Cheeseburger aren’t exactly interesting but I’m sure it gives the fans a thrill to see Liger in there after being in the ring for over thirty years. It’s not a bad match here but the New Japan vs. ROH idea has really gotten old.

Next week: ROH vs. Bullet Club.

Roderick Strong comes out to yell at Nigel about having to team with Mark in next week’s match against the Bullet Club. Mark doesn’t take kindly to this but no violence ensues.

The Bullet Club thinks Adam Cole should be in the main event at Best in the World and takes over the production stuff to let Cole talk about how awesome he is.

The announcers try to talk about the Best in the World card until Silas Young comes out to interrupt. Silas doesn’t like the idea of ACH playing video games in his locker room. ACH believes he’s a superhero from some Japanese cartoon but Young is ready to give him a hard fall back to reality at Best in the World. Young goes after a plant but security drags him away so ACH can run out and dive on him.

Kyle O’Reilly wants a rematch against Kushida after losing to him last year in the finals of the Beast of the Super Juniors. It’s been 367 days in the making and the match starts now.

Kyle O’Reilly vs. Kushida

So yeah, the ROH main event is a rematch from the finals of a New Japan tournament from last year. Kushida’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title isn’t on the line. Feeling out process to start until Kyle takes it to the mat. That’s fine with Kushida who can’t get a Hoverboard Lock but Kyle can’t get a cross armbreaker either. Back up and Kushida kicks him in the leg and then gets in one on the arm before stomping on the triceps. Kyle comes back with strikes of his own before going after Kushida’s leg. A knee bar has Kushida bailing to the ropes so Kyle knees him in the head as we take a break.

Back with Kyle getting in an ankle lock but Kushida flips away for the escape. Kyle takes him to the floor to work on the knee out there but dives into a cross armbreaker almost underneath the ring. Back in and they slug it out with Kushida knocking Kyle’s mouthpiece out. Kushida sends him into the ropes but gets caught in a guillotine, only to have Kushida reverse into the Hoverboard Lock. That’s reversed into a rollup for the pin at 11:50.

Rating: C+. So Kyle just pinned Kushida clean in the middle of the ring. Is this going to lead to a title shot? Say in Ring of Honor? I haven’t heard about anything yet, but I have a feeling that if it happens, we’ll see it in New Japan. That’s where they lose me on this promotion vs. promotion stuff: I shouldn’t have to go buy some other promotion’s shows or follow their stories to see where this stuff is going.

If you want them to feud in ROH then have them feud in ROH. If you want them to feud in New Japan then have them feud in New Japan. Either of those are fine, as are the occasional crossovers. The problem is these companies are basically running a full time crossover with a shared roster. If I want to know what half of this stuff is about, I have to watch New Japan as well. The problem is I’m not watching this show to see New Japan because the show is called Ring of Honor. I get that this is a special, but this same idea has been going for four months now. At what point does it stop being a special and become the norm?

Overall Rating: C. It’s another Ring of Honor vs. New Japan show and it seems that it’s what we’re going to get next week as well. “But KB! It’s War of the Worlds!” Yeah and it’s coming after Global Wars which came after Honor Rising which came after a bunch of regular shows with the New Japan guys around. Like I said earlier: this is now the norm instead of something special. Other than Young vs. ACH and a few mentions of Lethal vs. Briscoe, this was a stand alone show despite the pay per view airing in nine days. This keeps happening and it’s really getting old.

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