Ring of Honor TV
September 23, 2015
All-Star Extravaganza is behind us and the road to Final Battle begins with this week’s episode. Ring of Honor’s booking, particularly on the ASE pay-per-view, has received a lot of criticism. Now, as ROH looks toward their biggest show of the year, it is vitally important over the next couple of weeks to start laying the foundation for a strong show. And what better way to get that foundation started than with the return of #BigMike in the opening match.
Silas Young vs. Michael Elgin
The crowd greeted Elgin with a raucous #BigMike chant. Steve Corino even said he wanted a #BigMike shirt. But no mention was made of Voices of Wrestling’s Joe Lanza or how royalties will be paid to this site.
Elgin worked this like a tribute to his run in the G1. And despite my general agnosticism toward Silas Young, he was game. Young bumped around perfectly for Elgin’s power repertoire and his ability to brawl allowed him to hang with Mike. The Super Falcon Arrow got a huge pop from the crowd. Apparently none of them actually watched the G1 because the entire audience seemed to buy the near fall. Seeming to sense he didn’t have the goods to take down Elgin, Young tried to move the match to the outside but ate a powerbomb into the barricade for his troubles. Elgin rolled Young back in the ring and the Elgin Bomb was enough to finish the contest. Elgin offered his hand to The Last Real Man after the bell rang but the ever surly Young blew off the peace offering and left the ring. ***
Adam Cole showed up for a pre-taped promo to let us know that, in next week’s main event, he will take on The King of Strong Style, Shinsuke Nakamura.
Caprice Coleman vs. ACH
Coleman, the vet, was initially able to outsmart ACH and gain the advantage. But ACH’s athleticism would eventually overcome Caprice and allow ACH to take over the match. After a period of ACH control, Coleman and ACH largely exchanged offense before ACH hit the 450 for the win.
This was a fun match that was mostly intended to start a post-match angle. Corino interviewed Caprice regarding Prince Nana giving him an envelope. Caprice said the envelope contained money and a letter. This appeared to start a heel turn for Coleman, as he said that after this loss, the letter was starting to make sense. **3/4
Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero & Beretta) & Kazuchika Okada vs. The Briscoes & Hirooki Goto
I love that Rocky Romero always sings the Roppongi Vice theme song. No matter how many times he hears it, he just can’t seem to get enough. The difference in the reactions for Okada and Goto were so different as to make me feel slightly awkward on behalf of Goto.
In a nice touch, Goto won’t shake hands with Okada and his CHAOS brethren. Okada and Jay Briscoe started out in the ring together and I just realized how badly I want to see a singles match between those two. The crowd was clearly on Okada’s side and he made sure to point that out to Jay. That was quickly followed with a RPG control segment, which featured Kevin Kelly asking if there was “a lot of double teaming in Roppongi” and Okada making a hilarious attempt to mimic Beretta’s ring apron antics.
Okada and Goto did eventually find themselves in the ring together but it was a relatively sloppy segment that ended abruptly with a commercial break and neither was even on the apron when the match continued. Then came the hot portion of the match, which the Briscoes largely controlled. A lot of that was sloppy and just seemed poorly designed. In a rather anticlimactic finish, Briscoe hit Beretta with a Jay Driller to get the victory for he, his brother, and Goto.
This just wasn’t on par with most of these New Japan/ROH 6-man tags. It had fun moments but the energy of the participants was much lower than normal and the work was much less crisp. That doesn’t mean it was bad; these are just usually very good so they get graded on that curve. ***
Final Thoughts: There a couple of months before Final Battle so there was no reason to rush into anything here. Instead, we got three solid matches and a few hints of things that might be on the horizon. That’s hard to complain about. Unlike a lot of these ROH TV shows that have featured New Japan talent, there aren’t any matches on this episode you have to seek out. But if you’re a regular ROH TV viewer, there is nothing to skip here. Next week is not to be skipped either as we have been promised an opening match between KUSHIDA and Matt Sydal and the Cole/Nakamura main event.