Ring of Honor TV – July 20, 2016: …..THE TASKMASTER???

Ring of Honor
Date: July 20, 2016
Location: Cabarrus Arena, Concord, North Carolina
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness

We’re less than a month away from Death Before Dishonor and it should be interesting to see how much ROH can cram into the card in the next few weeks. I mean, there’s always the possibility of bringing the New Japan guys in again as they haven’t been around in a full week at this point. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Kamaitachi vs. Jay White

This is fallout from Best In The World where Kamaitachi attacked White (a New Zealander), who was in the crowd. Naturally the commentators just show us this happening without actually saying anything. White’s name isn’t even mentioned in the clip they show. Kamaitachi is part of the Addiction (the New Japan contingent) and has Christopher Daniels in his corner. White is a good looking kid and New Japan Dojo graduate making his ROH debut.

Kamaitachi jumps him to start and a running shoulder to the ribs puts White on the floor. I’m not a big fan of the guy but Daniels is rather awesome as the overly proud manager. That’s something you can almost count on from a veteran and it adds a lot. They trade whips into the barricade and Daniels adds a clothesline to really cheat. Back from a break with Kamaitachi working on the leg with a modified figure four.

White escapes and hits a brainbuster but can’t nip up. That’s better selling than you get most of the time. A missile dropkick gets two for Jay but Kamaitachi hits a release Falcon’s Arrow. Double knees from the top rope get two on Jay and a swinging Rock Bottom gets the same on Kamaitachi. Daniels’ interference doesn’t quite work as Jay sends Kamaitachi into him, setting up something like a lifting Cradle Shock (Chris Sabin’s old finisher, called the Kiwi Crusher here) for the pin at 10:25.

Rating: C. Who are these people and why should I care? That’s what comes to my head far too often when I see New Japan wrestlers on this show: I have really no reason to care about these people and the wrestling is nowhere near good enough to overcome that lack of an emotional connection. I know a lot of fans only care about the in ring action but I need more than that and it lacks almost every time with this revolving door of imports. The match was fine but without a reason to care, it was just two people doing moves to each other.

The Addiction beats White down until the Motor City Machine Guns make the save. Now why couldn’t they have made this a proxy match for the teams’ feud? Sabin wants to make it a six man tag right now and McGuinness says ring the bell.

Addiction/Kamaitachi vs. Motor City Machine Guns/Jay White

Following WWE’s bad example, the bell rings and we take a break five seconds later with no one even in the ring yet. Back with Sabin getting double teamed followed by a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker from Daniels. Kamaitachi hits a running basement dropkick before it’s off to Kazarian for a front facelock. Everything breaks down for a little bit and the hot tag brings in White for some running clotheslines. A powerslam gets two on Daniels and the Guns start in with some of their signature stuff, including the bridging neck crank into the running dropkick. With everyone else on the floor, White hits a sitout powerslam to pin Daniels at 9:10.

Rating: C+. I’m still not a fan of the Guns in ROH but this was an improvement for the simple fact that I know who these people are and who they’re having issues. White looked fine and was probably the best part of the match but I need a little more of a reason to care about the two newcomers. Having four others in there helped but White and Kamaitachi need some work.

The Bullet Club is tired of everyone running from Adam Cole, who promises that Kyle O’Reilly will never be ROH World Champion. If I were them, I’d be tired of that whole ending at Global Wars still not going anywhere. Was there a point to that or was it really just a random beatdown that might lead somewhere in a few months?

Shane Taylor/Keith Lee vs. Victor Andrews/James Anthony

Taylor and Lee are two monsters in suits who attacked War Machine at a recent show in Columbus. Anthony is sent outside early on and it’s time for the loud chops. A pop up sitout powerbomb sets up a middle rope splash (Senmetsu, Japanese for annihilation) crushes Andrews at 2:00.

War Machine comes out for the brawl with Lee, who probably goes about 350lbs, hitting a huge flip dive over the top to take everyone out.

Quick preview for Jay Lethal vs. Kyle O’Reilly for the World Title next week. Both of them want to prove that they’re the best in the world. This was a simple exchange but it’s far more than we get most of the time.

Here’s BJ Whitmer to brag about beating Steve Corino at Best in the World. He’s accompanied by KEVIN SULLIVAN, in a purple wizard robe, who cost Corino the match. Whitmer says tonight is about Steve Corino’s questions. This started back in 2013 when Whitmer was sitting at home with a broken neck.

Sullivan approached him to carry on the legacy of evil that was started by King Curtis Iaukea and was supposed to be handed on to Corino and Whitmer. That wasn’t good enough though because Corino wanted it all for himself. Chaos is going to reign over ROH and all that matters is who will be causing that chaos to come. This chapter is over but the book has yet to be finished.

Does ANYONE want to see this ridiculous feud continue? Apparently this has been going on for three years now and they brought in KEVIN SULLIVAN to keep it going? That’s really the best they can do? Bring in someone who hasn’t been a regular wrestler in over twelve years (assuming you count a run in FIP as being a regular wrestler) because they’re evil? This really is the best thing they can come up with? As usual, ROH seems to have no idea how to just end something so they just keep it going, likely until Final Battle. The fans called this boring, which really isn’t something you hear around here.

Dalton Castle vs. Roderick Strong

There’s no real hiding the fact that this is Strong’s farewell match. Strong is taken into the corner to start and Castle tells him to bring it. Castle puts him on the mat and slams him for good measure. Now it’s Strong taking him to the mat as this is still in first gear. We take a break and come back with Castle being kneed off the apron, meaning it’s time for some fanning. Strong lays out the Boys and you just don’t do that to Castle.

Dalton’s fire is quickly extinguished with an Angle Slam into the post and both guys are down on the floor. Back in and some suplexes have Strong in trouble but he comes right back with a belly to back faceplant. Castle throws him down with a backdrop and some suicide dives send Strong into the barricade. The bridging German suplex gets two for Castle followed by more suplexes for the same. Dalton charges into a jumping knee to the face followed by a superplex and the Sick Kick for two. Back up and Strong charges into the Bang A Rang for the pin at 13:44.

Rating: C. This was fine but again it was just two people doing moves to each other. Castle lost a lot of steam with that loss to Fish though I get why they didn’t want to take the title off Bobby so soon. Strong didn’t get a sendoff or anything but maybe they just want him to quietly slip away instead of drawing the attention away from Castle and his win.

Overall Rating: C-. Slightly better show than last week as they’re still pretty much starting over from scratch since almost nothing was developed for weeks and months at a time. Having Cole mention Lethal and a World Title match announced for next week should help, especially with a pay per view in less than a month.

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