Ring of Honor TV – January 4, 2018: British Scoundrels

Ring of Honor
Date: January 3, 2018
Host: Ian Riccaboni

It’s another Best Of show as we’re STILL waiting on the fallout from Final Battle. In theory this is the last show before we move forward but that doesn’t exactly do much good for the fans who are waiting around. That being said, a highlight show can do a lot of good so hopefully this lives up to expectations. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Ian welcomes us to the show and says tonight is going to be all about the War of the Wolds UK Tour.

From August 18 in London.

TV Title: Titan vs. Kushida

Kushida is defending. Technical sequence to start and it’s an early standoff with the fans being impressed. Then again it’s a Ring of Honor crowd so they would probably cheer if they were bored out of their mind. Titan springboards into an armdrag to the floor, followed by a running hurricanrana on the outside.

Back in and Titan teases a hand walk headscissors but Kushida throws him at the referee for a kick to the ribs. They’re quickly back on the floor with Kushida putting him in a chair for a running dropkick. Kushida starts in on the arm to soften it up for the Hoverboard Lock. A basement dropkick mixes things up a bit but the actual holds sends Titan bailing to the ropes. Back up and something like a Pele cuts Titan down but he’s still able to hurricanrana the champ to the floor. A big old Lionsault puts Kushida down (and sees Titan landing on the barricade) as we take a break.

Back with Titan grabbing something like a Figure Four but a rope is grabbed in pretty short order. Titan gets caught on top but Kushida pulls him down into a cross armbreaker. That’s rolled into the ropes again but Titan handsprings right back into the hold. Titan rolls out of that as well and la majistral gets two.

Another wacky rollup gets the same and that draws the FIGHT FOREVER chant. A springboard hurricanrana takes Kushida down but he’s right back up with the Hoverboard Lock. Titan gets a bit too close to the ropes so Kushida rolls away and tries Back to the Future. That’s countered as well (geez) and Titan kicks him in the head. A Downward Spiral into the buckle sets up Back to the Future to retain the title at 15:49 shown.

Rating: B+. Wow. When this match started, I was expecting just another pretty good TV match that didn’t really offer anything special. What I got was one of the best Ring of Honor matches I’ve seen in a VERY long time as both guys left it all in the ring and came out looking like stars. Kushida is my favorite New Japan guy and this is a great example of why. I’ve always really liked his matches and this is one of the better ones I’ve seen from him. Definitely check this out.

From August 19 in Liverpool.

Jay Lethal vs. Josh Bodom

Bodom’s British Cruiserweight Title isn’t on the line. I’ve seen Bodom’s work before and wasn’t that impressed but maybe a better opponent will help. They exchange wristlock counters to start until Lethal blocks a hiptoss and grabs a swinging neckbreaker. A springboard dropkick puts Bodom on the floor but he comes back in with a hurricanrana. There’s a dropkick to really stagger Lethal, though not enough that he can’t hit his cartwheel into a dropkick of his own.

A missile dropkick misses and Bodom knees him in the head. Bodom grabs a reverse hurricanrana to put him outside, followed by a middle rope moonsault. Back in and a top rope double stomp to the back of Jay’s head, followed by a standing shooting star, gives Josh a near fall. The Lethal Combination gets Jay out of trouble and Hail to the King gets two. We hit the Figure Four but cue Silas Young for a distraction. Not that it matters as the Lethal Injection is good enough to pin Bodom at 9:18.

Rating: C-. Ok so maybe it is Bodom. This did nothing for me, again, and that’s not a positive sign when we’re only on the third match. Lethal shrugged off the distraction and won anyway, making me think that Lethal vs. Young was the right move here. You know, a match between two people with a story and who happen to actually WORK FOR RING OF HONOR. There were some moments here but it didn’t work, again.

Once again from August 18 in London.

Bullet Club vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon

Cody/Young Bucks/Hangman Page/Marty Scurll

Tetsuya Naito/Bushi/Evil/Sanada/Hiromu Takahashi

Marty and Takahashi start things off with Hiromu stealing the umbrella. That scoundrel! Does he not know who the villain is around here? The tease of a lick to the umbrella is just too far for Scurll and the fight is on with a technical sequence into the bird pose. A running hurricanrana allows Takahashi to do his own bird pose but he has to flip out of a chickenwing attempt.

Cody and Sanada come in with the fans singing about Cody, including his last name as a copyright infringement. Maybe that earns another Cease and Desist letter? Sanada dropkicks him into the corner and the singing continues. We get the big ten man showdown but there’s no violence. Instead the fans want some superkicks so it’s Page coming in and teasing one. Naito comes in as well and we take a break.

Back with Naito avoiding a lockup and handing it off to Evil. Page is sent outside and it’s Naito spinning into his signature pose to a BIG reaction. Scurll jumps him from behind but Los Ingobernables clear the ring without much effort. A quick spank from Evil keeps Scurll in trouble (Appropriate?) and it’s off to Bushi for a middle rope dropkick. Marty gets in a Backstabber and the hot tag brings in both Bucks (sure why not) for the house cleaning to go with the big reactions from the crowd.

Everything breaks down and the Club does the five man Rise of the Terminators, setting up four straight dives. Marty gives Bushi a reverse Razor’s Edge into something like a One Winged Angel, followed by a top rope splash to give Matt two. Back from another break with Page and Nick missing moonsaults. Matt misses as well so Nick and Cody stomp away. The Club wants Marty to try a moonsault and panic sets in very quickly. He finally gets up (shaking the entire way) and….I think misses? His hands grazed Bushi but he sold it like a miss.

The hot tag brings in Sanada to tie Page up, followed by the running dropkick to the back. Everything breaks down again and Page hits Naito with the rolling lariat. Sanada comes back in with Cross Rhodes for Cody, only to have Scurll break his fingers. The Superkick Party is on and the Bucks grab Takahashi’s stuffed cat Daryl. Takahashi has to save Daryl from the chickenwing but he winds up taking the Meltzer Driver.

The Club poses and Takahashi starts crying. Fans: “SAY YOU’RE SORRY!” Takahashi fights all of them because his partners are out looking for hot dogs and beet juice. A quintuple superkick drops Takahashi but Naito comes back in. Bushi offers some mist and Naito rolls up the very green Page for two. Destino plants Page for the pin at 22:09 shown.

Rating: B. That’s a great way to do a major house show main event and that’s the right idea. The fans need something entertaining to make the shows feel more important and having two big groups like this in one match is the right way to go. They had some good stuff going on here, but some of the screwy comedy stuff wasn’t exactly my taste. I can see why this is considered one of the best things the company had though as it was some good fun, especially for the fans there live.

Ian wraps it up and we get some credits to end the show in a nice touch.

Overall Rating: B+. In a way, I like this better than just going with the standard Best Of formula. There’s way too much to cover in the course of a year in just an hour long show so focusing on a single tour might have been the way to go. Two really solid matches and…well they had two really solid matches and that’s more than you get more often than not. Fun show here, but I’m really looking forward to getting back to the regular stuff.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Volume VI: July – December 1999 in e-book or paperback. Check out the information here:

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