Ring of Honor TV
September 16, 2015
Ring of Honor’s next pay-per-view offering is upon us, with All-Star Extravaganza airing from San Antonio on Friday, September 18. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found the build to ASE somewhat wanting because none of the matches have much juice. ROH usually fails to build to matches at all. This time, several matches have builds but they have stagnant stakes. Oh well, the matches are going to be good so I’m going to try to just enjoy it for what it is.
reDRagon vs. The House of Truth (Donovan Dijak & J. Diesel)
The episode started with a focus on Jay Lethal’s double title defenses against Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly at All-Star Extravaganza with Lethal on commentary for this opener.
Diesel is so bad. He’s apparently a former boxer but he and O’Reilly had a strike exchange, in which O’Reilly’s strikes put Diesel’s to shame. Despite that, Diesel and Dijak were able to gain the advantage and controlled the match for way too long. It was predictably rough. O’Reilly started a fun little comeback for reDRagon but he handed the keys to Fish and things got sloppy. And they stayed sloppy pretty much till the finish, which saw Fish get Diesel to tap out to a knee bar while O’Reilly had Dijak in a cross armbreaker. Of course, Lethal and both members of reDRagon exchanged words after the match. **
Cedric Alexander vs. Dalton Castle
Both of these guys have big matches coming up at ASE with Alexander taking on Moose and Castle facing Silas Young, in what figure to be blowoffs for each feud. Neither needed a loss and Silas Young was on commentary, so it seemed likely from the outset that shenanigans were in order.
Kelly, Corino, and Young did a great job here of putting over Castle as a great wrestler and athlete but also putting over Young’s personal issues with Castle. And they accomplished the last part without Young crossing the line into homophobia, though he straddled it. Kelly, though, was particularly bad here as the “face” announcer who kept asking Young questions that fed into his worldview.
As for the match, Dalton Castle delivered as he almost always does. Alexander does have his good (and very good) moments but I’m starting to wonder if it’s just that Castle is good enough to raise the level of all of his opponents. I’ve never been much of a fan of Silas Young’s in-ring work and I’m dying to see their PPV match. Castle’s shtick was kept to a minimum here; instead, Castle went through his repertoire of power moves, while he controlled most of the match. That led to Silas Young getting involved to distract Castle long enough for Alexander to roll The Party Peacock up for a three-count. With the help of a Stokely Hathaway distraction, Moose caught Alexander unawares immediately after the match and laid him out with a Spear. ***
The Kingdom vs. War Machine
This was basically the best possible The Kingdom match. That is, War Machine got 90+% of the offense. Perhaps Matt Taven’s best skill as a pro wrestler is playing Ricky Morton. But he would need a different tag team partner to maximize that skill. Anyway, War Machine’s offense was in the spotlight here and it was brutal and crisp as always. I really like these guys as a team even if I don’t much care for Hanson on his own.
At about the time Maria was going to start with her silliness, The Young Bucks came out to keep an eye on her and allow War Machine to hit Fallout to win. Commentary made a point of saying that War Machine had beaten a team that is going to be in the three-way match at ASE for the ROH World Tag Team titles. The Bucks stuck around to Superkick Taven & Bennett and, of course, The Addiction also had to come out to attack The Bucks. The match was fun but I don’t see any real reason to care about the three-way tag. ***
Final Thoughts: Ring of Honor and All-Star Extravaganza are in the same place coming out of this show as they were coming in. The matches were already set and the stakes haven’t changed. As I suggested at the beginning of this review, maybe it’s time to stop getting so worked up about how these programs are constructed because I know ROH matches are going to deliver. I know what ROH is going to give me so I might as well take it. As for this particular episode, there were two matches I really liked and are worth checking out if you’re a regular ROH viewer. But there’s nothing here you have to seek out. Despite that, I would definitely advise anyone reading to buy All-Star Extravaganza because there are several matches that are sure to make it worth your time and money.