Ring of Honor
Episode 188
Air Date: April 25, 2015

Episode 187 was an excellent episode that showed ROH getting out of their recent rut of cold, meaningless matches, and starting to set up directions for characters. The big story was the build to an upcoming Jay Lethal/Jay Briscoe match.

This week’s episode beings with a promo video for The Addiction. They say they came to Ring of Honor believing they were the best in the business. However, they’ve had two chances against reDRagon and they couldn’t get the job done. Tonight, their only option is to slay the dragon and win the ROH World Tag Team Titles.

I liked this as a different way to start the show. And Kazarian and Daniels did a great job of cutting a serious promo that got me legitimately excited for their match tonight, even though the outcome is not in doubt.

Four Corner Survival Match – BJ Whitmer (with Adam Page) vs. Will Ferrara vs. Caprice Coleman vs. Moose (with Veda Scott and Stokely Hathaway):  The main focus before the start of this match is Colby Corino’s decision to join The Decade and its impact on the relationship between Colby and Steve Corino. But the second biggest story, as Moose enters, is why Veda Scott is always slightly behind the beat as she does the Moose chant. I can’t wait to see Veda and Gedo interact and Global Wars!

Whitmer and Moose are in the ring to start. We are under trios rules so anyone can be tagged in at any time and if a competitor ends up outside the ring, another competitor can take his place without a tag. Whitmer thinks better of starting the match against Moose and tags in Ferrara. After a short exchange, Whitmer slaps Moose on the back to tag himself in. Whitmer controls Ferrara for a bit before Ferrara finds himself close enough to Moose to finally arrange a confrontation between Whitmer and Moose. But it’s short-lived as Moose sends Whitmer to the outside and Caprice Coleman enters the ring.

Thus starts the fun part of the match as we get a number of high spots, capped off by Moose hitting a tope con hilo to take out the other three competitors. Everyone switches off for a bit before Moose and Caprice end up in the ring together. Caprice gets in some offense before Moose lays him out with a vicious clothesline. Moose starts to hit the spear but Whitmer tags him as he starts running. Moose hits Caprice anyway and lays him out but Whitmer sneaks in and steals the pin for the win. **

This match was pretty lame. I’m not sure it accomplished anything for anyone. I know the last thing I want to see is BJ Whitmer vs. Moose.

Whitmer gets in Moose’s face after the match and calls him a “big, goofy bastard.” But suddenly, we head to commercial and when we come back, only Whitmer and Adam Page are left. There is a chair in the ring with an ACH shirt draped over it. Page grabs the mic and runs down ACH’s high-profile losses against Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, and Alberto El Patron. Page says he wants to rid Ring of Honor of ACH and starts to set the shirt on fire. But before he can, ACH’s music hits. ACH throws Page out of the ring. Whitmer runs at him but ACH pulls the top rope down and Whitmer falls to the outside.

ACH gets some promo time and says Page and he have had the same opportunities but Page tucked his pride between his legs and ran off with BJ. ACH: “I am pride! I am wrestling!” Page runs in to attack ACH and… the bell rings?

ACH vs. Adam Page:  There is no chance to get the streamers out of the ring so ACH and Page are wrapped up in them for a bit. Whitmer distracts ACH and lets Page get the advantage before ACH hits a nasty kick to lay out Page. ACH goes up top for the 450 but Whitmer distracts again. This time, Page takes control and is able to hit The Adam’s Apple and secure a three count. NR

Whitmer and Page continue to attack ACH but Matt Sydal is out for the save. And luckily, he’s wearing pants.

Page’s promo wasn’t bad. I have generally enjoyed the Decade/ACH program. ACH’s promo really didn’t help things as it was mostly nonsensical rambling but the crowd ate it up. I hope at some point we get to hear him talk about the actual chances he got, why he failed, and why he’s going to prove himself against Page. Of course, going from Joe/Styles/El Patron to Page or Whitmer is quite a demotion for ACH but let’s hear why he needs it.

Next is a short promo package on the Michael Elgin/War Machine match from three weeks ago. Elgin cuts a pre-taped promo telling us that he has recruited Killer Elite Squad to take on War Machine. “You call yourself machines? You don’t know what war is.”

Elgin’s promo work has been solid of late. I’m glad he’s getting something to focus on here though I’m not sure Hanson, Rowe, or Elgin really need the eventual loss based on their current position. I love KES coming in to keep the ROH tag team scene fresh.

ROH World Tag Team Championship – reDRagon (c) vs. The Addiction:  Corino hints that The Addiction might be done if they can’t win the titles tonight.

Kelly reminds us that the KRD attacked Bobby Fish last week and damaged Fish’s knee. Kelly points out Fish’s knee brace for the sell job. We start the match shining up those babyfaces as Daniels and Kazarian take control. But O’Reilly is on the apron when he distracts Kazarian and is able to lock in a hanging cross armbreaker while Fish takes out Daniels. reDRagon uses some great double team offense to build to a hot tag to Daniels who comes in and cleans house.

We go to commercial while The Addiction has the advantage and, for once, we come back from a commercial break and The Addiction is still in charge! Then this match really starts to pick up. Both teams swap the advantage for awhile. As usual, the match is built around O’Reilly getting cross armbreakers. He finally gets one locked onto Daniels in the middle of the ring before Kazarian comes in to break it up. But O’Reilly refuses to break to Kazarian’s kicks and eventually gets Kazarian in an ankle lock of sorts while not giving up the cross armbreaker. However, Kazarian is able to make the rope for the break.

Now these two awesome tag teams show off their combination offensive attacks. There’s no point in recording all the moves: just watch it. And as it continues being awesome, we get a shot of a KRD member in the crowd. Uh oh. Daniels looks like he’s about to get the win when the KRD member jumps into the ring. He attempts to superkick Daniels but hits O’Reilly instead. KRD guy looks as if he did not intend to hit O’Reilly. Regardless, The Addiction takes advantage and hits Celebrity Rehab. And we’ve got new tag team champions! ***1/2

Bobby Fish drags the KRD member back into the ring and unmasks him. And it’s Chris Sabin! The San Antonio crowd audibly gasps. Fish and O’Reilly encroach on Sabin before Daniels and Kazarian hit Fish and O’Reilly with the belts! O’Reilly is busted open but Sinclair blurs out his face. Sabin, Daniels, and Kazarian hold up KRD masks and continue to attack ReDRagon.

Fish is pissed. He gets just close enough to Kelly and Corino for their mics to pick up a quick promo. Fish says they’ve been loyal to ROH and yet ROH “lets this shit happen.” He yells that this is the only way The Addiction could beat them.

Honestly, this was legitimately awesome. I’ve been very down on the KRD angle and I still feel like the build was a very tired one. But the payoff worked. Sabin’s identity had been spoiled for me but I didn’t know exactly how it would go down, as evidenced by my statement at the beginning of this review that the outcome of this match was not in doubt. I popped for The Addiction’s win; it’s fun to see good things happen for them. And we have a roster that is starting to be involved with each other in several interesting scenarios.

Final Thoughts: The final match and angle is a must-watch. I’ve been loudly criticizing the lack of direction on ROH TV since I started these reviews so it’s time for me to give them credit. This show alone highlighted the Decade/ACH program, the Elgin/KES/War Machine program, and the new Addiction/reDRagon/Everyone(?) program. I’m much more excited to watch next week’s episode than I usually am. If you’re just skimming this for what to watch, feel free to skip everything before the main event. But this did flow well as a full show. Next week, Jay Lethal takes on Tomasso Ciampa. And two weeks from now, Alberto El Patron returns to ROH to team with ACH and Matt Sydal against the Briscoes and Roderick Strong.