Ring of Honor
Air Date: May 9, 2015
The big takeaway from last week’s episode was the apparent write-off of Tommaso Ciampa. After coming up short in his challenge for the ROH Television Championship, Ciampa took his frustration out on referee Todd Sinclair. Of course, Ciampa has had a bit of a history of interactions with non-wrestlers in ROH. ROH and Ciampa floated that Ciampa was wrapping up with the company but most people thought it was an angle. However, the attack on Sinclair seemed like a logical way to actually write Ciampa off of ROH TV. Ciampa is taking indy bookings now but did not show up in the amazing Global Force Wrestling roster reveal press conference. I’m honestly not sure where Ciampa’s career is headed. Maybe that’s the point.
Adam Cole is with Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino. Kelly reminds us that Alberto El Patron, Matt Sydal, and ACH vs. The Briscoes and Roderick Strong is the main event. Chris Sabin is here to make his ROH Television debut. Kelly runs down the KRD angle and the payoff in the Addiction/reDRagon tag title match.
Chris Sabin vs. Kyle O’Reilly: Sabin hits the ring but then jumps into the crowd and disappears. Shockingly, Sabin attacks Kyle O’Reilly as he tries to make his entrance. O’Reilly’s head is wrapped to sell The Addiction’s attack from two weeks ago. The match does not begin in earnest for awhile as Sabin brutalizes O’Reilly outside the ring. The highlight comes when Sabin digs his boot into O’Reilly’s face and yells, “eat my boot!”
As O’Reilly turns the tide, Kelly announces that Tommaso Ciampa has been fired from ROH as a result of his attack last week on referee Todd Sinclair. So there’s the storyline reason we won’t be seeing Ciampa in ROH anytime soon. Someone who knows more than I do about this situation should leave a comment below!
Back to the match, the story is essentially Sabin using chickenshit heel tactics to get an advantage that he presses as long as he can hold off O’Reilly. Then O’Reilly strikes and suplexes Sabin until we start the chickenshit heel process again. I have a really hard time taking Chris Sabin seriously because he reminds of Seth Green.
The match becomes much easier to take seriously when the offense becomes genitals-based. Sabin gets O’Reilly in the Tree of Woe and stomps on his junk. Then, Sabin backs up for a running baseball slide into O’Reilly’s head but O’Reilly moves and Sabin gets his comeuppance as he slides balls first into the ringpost!
As we move into the back-and-forth portion of the match, Bobby Fish makes his way out to the ring to cheer on O’Reilly. But when O’Reilly starts to get an advantage, Christopher Daniels comes out to distract the ref. That brings in Kazarian, who enables Chris Sabin to get the win. **3/4
Forgive my excitement from the Addiction title change. This KRD angle is immediately back to being lame. Not only did I never buy Sabin’s offense in this match, relative to O’Reilly’s, the Addiction run-in was just the worst. I already feel bad for O’Reilly and Fish having to be involved in this crap. I can’t say enough bad things about how this made me feel. Moving on…
Before our main event, we see a promo package on the issues between ACH and what’s left of The Decade. Next week, ACH will take on Adam Page.
ACH, Matt Sydal, and Alberto El Patron vs. Jay Briscoe, Mark Briscoe, and Roderick Strong: As Matt Sydal enters, I wonder if he’s going to get any interesting reactions at Global Wars due to the leak of his private nude photos and the strong implication that Sydal is gay. I hope we’re past that but this is a company where the most over guy said he’d kill someone for telling his kid it’s OK to be gay. Overall, Sydal seems to have done well as far as nude photo scandals go. He went with the “just ignore it and pretend it never happened” strategy, which at least seems to have not added any fuel to the fire. Clearly, the GOAT of wrestler nude photo scandal reactions is Seth Rollins. That dude was outed as cheating on his fiancé with a woman in developmental and had his nude photos and his mistress’ photos posted on Twitter DURING Monday Night Raw. Rollins addressed the situation only to say the photos were private and should not have been made public. A few weeks later, he won the World Championship in the main event of Wrestlemania! What a guy.
As for this match, I swear to God Kelly tries to sell the hashtag #6ManDreamMatch. While it’s not quite that, it does start out fun and the crowd eats up certain combinations, particularly when Jay Briscoe and Alberto El Patron end up in the ring together.
I’m not going to recap every move. This is obviously a spotfest. The match does suffer somewhat from Kelly continually remarking on how sensational the match is and selling every exchange as if it is Flair/Steamboat. There is of course a fun segment about halfway through where everyone starts doing dives. The highlight is Sydal attempting a cannonball from the apron onto Roddy Strong, who catches Sydal and brutally throws him into the barricade.
I thought this was going to turn into a slightly more logical match as ACH got some heat on Jay Briscoe. Weirdly, the hot tag went to ACH’s partner, Alberto El Patron, who cleaned house after Briscoe also tagged out. But after that short segment, the match was back to being guys swapping moves. So if you like movez, this should be right up your alley.
Unfortunately, the non-stop action lulls the crowd (and me) to sleep. But the match finishes strong and wakes everyone up. El Patron locks the cross armbreaker on Mark Briscoe. While has has it on, Sydal climbs to the top and hits a shooting star press as Alberto releases the armbreaker. As Sydal sells the damage to him from the SSP, ACH lands a 450 and gets the pin. ***
This is about a 20-minute match that was way too long for me. It was an assault on the senses of one move after another move and different guys coming in and out of the ring at a frantic pace. I feel weird criticizing the match because sometimes I enjoy spotty 6-mans but this just never got going for me.
After the match, Alberto and Jay Briscoe shake hands and exchange an awkward hug before Alberto raises Jay’s arm. This moment was honestly striking for how much Alberto El Patron is bigger than Briscoe.
Final Thoughts: Meh. Maybe I’m just ready for War of the Worlds and Global Wars but this was a throwaway episode. The Sabin/O’Reilly match/angle did zero for me. I was pretty excited for the 6-man but it didn’t connect either. My suggestion would be to skip this episode completely and count the days until Friday’s ROH/NJPW iPPV.