10 Thoughts on … Ring of Honor December 31, 2016 (War Machine versus Keith Lee and Shawn Taylor, Adam Cole, Mandy Leon)

Thought Zero – Greetings all. Today is another special edition of Ring of Honor. Basically, it is a bunch of matches from throughout the year put together for an end of year edition. But it is going to show some of Ladder Wars and some of the Women of Honor. Let’s get to it.

1) The first match is War Machine versus Keith Lee and Shawn Taylor in a no-rules tag team match. We are joined in progress and I am not sure when this match took place but it was after War Machine started with the face paint. The look works, I must say. This seems to be a bunch of highlights from the match instead of the whole match itself. That’s a little disappointing. However, seeing War Machine putting Keith Lee through a table with a double powerbomb is a pretty impressive visual.

2) Then we break for a commercial. Why? It is a clip-show of a match. Couldn’t you just edit it down to fit in your allotted television time? That is the second time I’ve been disappointed in the first ten minutes. Let’s get with it, guys. As we get back from the commercial break, the Briscoes are wishing us a Happy New Year. Jay Briscoe reminds us that 2017 is the Year of the Rooster, and Mark Briscoe makes an hilarious face which actually made me laugh out loud (LOL for you younger readers). Okay, ROH, you’re forgiven for now.

3) Back from break and Hansen is going to the top rope for a moonsault onto Keith Lee. Damn impressive for a guy that size. We then cut to later in the match and Keith Lee gains control and puts Hansen on a table. Lee then goes to the top, but Hansen dumps him out to the floor. Then Hansen cannonballs Lee, Taylor, and Rowe because he is just a crazy person. We have another cut and see Hansen do a suicide dive to the outside which Lee avoids and Hansen nails Kevin Kelly. That looked sick. We cut to the end of the match and Rowe puts Taylor through a table with a T-Bone suplex. Then Taylor sucker-headbutts Rowe and Lee puts him through a table with a Last Ride powerbomb. And, appropriately for this “feud”, Lee and Taylor come out on top. But, going into break, Kevin Kelly tells us that he thinks this feud will continue into 2017.

4) Now we get to see highlights of Ladder Wars 6. And they even put in a Viewer Discretion Advised warning. The highlights even go black and white when Christopher Daniels’ bloody face is in view. I can not accurately describe this segment because it was honestly a string of high-spot highlights. It was definitely hard-hitting and violent. And Christopher Daniels should not be taking bumps like that at his age. Actually, nobody should be taking bumps like that.

5) We come back with some Women of Honor highlights. After a little propaganda from Kevin Kelly, we see some of Deonna Purrazzo versus Sumie Sakai. Purrazzo won that with a Fujiwara armbar, in case you were curious.

6) We follow that with a Kelly “Goldberg” Klein promo which shows she is still undefeated. I get that Klein is being billed as unbeatable, but then you remind us that she was trained by BJ Whitmer, so we know she is definitely familiar with losing.

7) Finally, we get some footage with Mandy Leon versus Taeler Hendrix in a No-DQ match. I have to admit, some of those spots were pretty harsh. Leon put Hendrix back first through a table at ringside. Hendrix hung Leon with a chain. In the middle of a chop fight, Leon spit blood all over Hendrix. Hendrix superkicked a folded chair into Leon, basically Pillmanizing Leon’s face. And finally, Hendrix Tombstones Leon onto a pile of chairs to pick up the victory. Also, I have to say that both Leon’s and Hendrix’s makeup was on point.

8) We get a recap of Adam Cole joining the Bullet Club, along with the shaving of Jay Lethal’s head, leading to the Nigel feeling “forced” to make a title match even though he said Adam Cole would never get a shot at the title again. . Then we get the entrances of both men before the commercial break.

9) This is the match at Death Before Dishonor where they switched the belt from Lethal to Cole. It was a good match, as you would expect from these two, I don’t know that I would call it a match of the year candidate like I have heard bandied about, but it was definitely a solid main event match.

10) I will end this here by reiterating something I have said before, I disagree with the title change at Death Before Dishonor. Not that Adam Cole was unworthy, and not even because I think Lethal is the best wrestler on the planet, but that I thought ROH had something going with Lethal as champion which was pretty awesome. He fought all the best and beat all the best during his reign (including AJ Styles). That was a nice little trump card for ROH fans to pull out when in arguments with WWE fans. But now, even though Cole has lost the belt to Kyle O’Reilly, we are still left with a big issue which I don’t think Ring of Honor has adequately dealt. We haven’t forgotten that Lethal is better than everyone on the roster. So what do you do with him now? Jobbing him to WWE castoffs like Cody Rhodes is not a long term solution.

 

Overall, not a bad episode of ROH Wrestling, which is what you would expect from a Year in Review show. I wish we could have seen more of that Mandy Leon – Taeler Hendrix match, and all the edits and cuts were a bit annoying, but overall, it was an hour of enjoyment. And you can never go wrong with watching a Jay Lethal match.

 

Until next week…

 

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