Adam Cole takes on KUSHIDA and The Motor City Machine Guns reunite!

Ring Of Honor TV
Episode #237
April 2nd, 2016
Sam’s Town Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada

Before the opening match, we get a video package recapping Donovan Dijak’s return and his attack on The House of Truth. ROH World Champion Jay Lethal cuts a backstage promo talking about how Dijak broke Truth Martini’s neck, and that Dijak now has his attention. He adds that he doesn’t deserve a shot at the ROH World Title, and that he shouldn’t be in Ring of Honor at all. He mentions how it was Truth Martini’s idea to bring Dijak into The House of Truth after Dijak won the 2015 Top Prospect Tournament. Lethal says that now, he’s going to do things his way, and that he’s coming for Dijak.

reDRagon def. Kazuchika Okada & Gedo

The show kicks off in a big way, as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, along with his mentor, go up against one of the best tag teams in the world! While Okada got a win at the 14th Anniversary Show over Moose, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly are coming off losses in two big triple threat title matches (through neither man was pinned in their respective match). Very early on in the match, Kevin Kelly & Mr. Wrestling III brought up that one of O’Reilly’s ears was injured at the 14th Anniversary Show, and that he’s not fully recovered. That actually played into the match, as Gedo would specifically target that injured ear on several different occasions. We always hear about legs, arms, or the back being worked over, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone working over an ear. I thought this was a pretty solid, yet at the same time relatively standard, tag team match. It kind of reminded me of the match Okada & Gedo had with The Addiction at War Of The Worlds in Philadelphia last year (a match which I saw live). Both matches were fine, Okada got to showcase some of his signature spots, and Gedo would eat the pin in the end, taking Chasing The Dragon in this case. A much-needed with for reDRagon. We’re only one match into this week’s episode, and it’s already better than anything for last week. ***¼

Up next, we get a backstage promo with The Briscoes. They talk about how War Machine has never beaten them, and that War Machine can’t call themselves the best tag team on the world until they defeat The Briscoes. Jay Briscoe then brings up the fact that they haven’t held the ROH World Tag Team Titles in over three years, and that War Machine aren’t the only ones with something to prove. It’s hard to believe that the last time The Briscoes held the ROH World Tag Team Titles was in early-2013. It’s really interesting, because even though The Briscoes have held those titles eight times, they’ve been away from the titles for so long that them getting into a program with War Machine over the titles feels fresh.

Adam Cole def. KUSHIDA

Cole comes out in plain black trunks, with no logos of any kind. Kevin Kelly & Mr. Wrestling III ponder about this as a sign of Cole being officially disassociated with The Kingdom. Of course, KUSHIDA is the current IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion. I thought this was a fantastic match! Some great action throughout this match. There some especially good exchanges towards the end, and the crowd was really into both guys. Cole is such a great performer, in almost every aspect. As far as KUSHIDA goes, we all know that he’s awesome, but for some reason, I came away from this match in particular really appreciative of just how good he is. I know there has been talk recently of KUSHIDA possibly getting “lost in the shuffle” in New Japan’s Junior Division, with new talents coming in, but let’s not forget that KUSHIDA is arguably one of the best in the world. I also hope that he makes more appearances in ROH outside of these shows and the ROH/NJPW Crossover Events in May. I don’t know what it is, but KUSHIDA in ROH just fits so well, and matches like this further prove that. Despite his best efforts, KUSHIDA would eventually fall to Adam Cole, who gets a big win after getting pinned in the ROH World Title Match at the 14th Anniversary Show. ****¼

Before the Main Event, we get a backstage promo with Dalton Castle, who hypes up his Fight Without Honor with Silas Young next week on Ring of Honor TV. Castle says that every time he meets someone, he thinks about how to fight them. He says his battle with Young next week will be more about what he’ll fight him with, bringing up a colander and (I kid you not) filling Young’s pants with brine shrimp and throwing him in a tank with a narwhal. Castle promises to “get weird” next week. After that promo, I really can’t wait for their Fight Without Honor next week. Seriously, how awesome is Dalton Castle?

The Motor City Machine Guns def. The Addiction

This is the first time that we’ve seen The Motor City Machine Guns in ROH since 2010, when they wrestled The Kings of Wrestling at Supercard of Honor V. Of course, the big question here was how Sabin & Shelley would do in this match, considering that both have had a number of injuries over the last few years. I thought the two of them looked really good here, and that had a very solid Main Event here against Daniels & Kazarian. We saw some classic MCMG double-team moves at the start of this match, which was pretty cool. Just based on this match, would I say that Sabin & Shelley are on-par right now with their absolute peak in TNA? Not quite, but they still looked very good here in this match, and I think they’ll start to get back in the groove more and more with each match. As far as The Addiction are concerned, they were very good here also. I think they’re pretty underrated as heels. Daniels & Kazarian play their roles very well, and that showed in this match. The Motor City Machine Guns pick up the win here with a neckbreaker/top rope splash combo on Daniels. ***½

After the match, The Addiction attack Sabin & Shelley. KUSHIDA & Matt Sydal then run out to make the save, going after Daniels & Kazarian. The Young Bucks then came out and superkicked both KUSHIDA & Sydal! Sabin & Shelley then both go after The Young Bucks. The chaotic brawl eventually ends with the faces (KUSHIDA, Sydal, & The Motor City Machine Guns) standing tall to close the show. ROH has done these kinds of brawls many times over their history to close a show (not just on TV, but on live events as well). The focus of this one was to show the strength of the tag team division. The only weird things about the segment were that KUSHIDA isn’t really a tag team wrestler at the moment, and that Sydal should have come out with ACH (who has been his regular partner in ROH for a year now). That’s only a minor gripe to an otherwise fine closing segment.

Final Thoughts:

This week’s edition of Ring of Honor TV was not only a significant improvement over last week, but maybe one of the best episodes in recent memory. You had an awesome match between Adam Cole & KUSHIDA, and that was bookended by two really solid tag team matches, which saw reDRagon & The Motor City Machine Guns emerge victorious. I thought this show was really easy to watch from start to finish. You had one hour of some really good/great wrestling, the only promos of any kind were backstage (and they were all pretty short), and most importantly, BJ Whitmer was nowhere in sight! This week was a very wrestling-heavy episode that’s definitely worth watching, and those are the kinds of episodes that are usually the easiest to watch. A very strong outing this week from ROH.