10 Thoughts on … Ring of Honor May 21, 2016 (Bullet Club – Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, Adam Cole)

Thought Zero – As I write this 10 Thoughts column, I am feeling a bit down. My Pittsburgh Penguins lost game 5 to the Tamp Bay Lightning in overtime. While I was watching that, I was catching bits and pieces of WWE Extreme Rules on my laptop. Also, I flipped over to the NBA Western Finals and saw that the Warriors were getting whipped by the Thunder (which may or may not be good news for my bookie). Then, to cap off the misery of the evening, I switched to the Billboard Music Awards and saw Madonna and Stevie Wonder paying tribute to Prince. Everything tonight has just been sad. Can Ring of Honor television help?

1) Apparently tonight is an hour of Bullet Club. Why? I have no idea. Maybe ROH likes keeping their fanbase in the dark about current storylines and upcoming events. I’m glad we got the hour of Jay Lethal last week, and this shouldn’t be bad, but it seems like forever since we’ve seen anything remotely current on ROH TV. Oh well, let’s get on with the nWo-ishness of this.

2) We start off with some early Bullet Club with Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows versus the Briscoes from War of the Worlds in 2014. We see very little of this match, but it looked like Anderson pinned Mark Briscoe who was not the legal man. Didn’t see enough of this match to sense why Bullet Club is special. What’s next?

3) Next up is a ten-man tag match from Global Wars 2015 between Bullet Club and ROH All-Stars. And they start the footage with Hanson diving onto everyone outside the ring. Great visual to begin with, I must say. Then we get Roderick Strong with high knees and superplexes for Matt Jackson, AJ Styles, and Karl Anderson. Then he tries to superplex Doc Gallows and gets caught by Nick Jackson. But Roddy is unstoppable and he superplexes Jackson to the floor on top of everyone. That set up was too contrived, and I just don’t buy super-Strong as a man gone wild. Lots of spots get hit all over the ring and it ends with a Froggy Bow by Mark Briscoe for the pin. Nice to see that they threw a bone to Mark here.

4) Quick question – If this show is about how awesome the Bullet Club is, why did you show a match where they lose?

5) Kevin Kelly talks about how the Bullet Club has been dominant in New Japan Pro Wrestling and how they have won every belt they have there. Now, I know ROH and NJPW have a working relationship, but why should I care about the Bullet Club’s dominance over there? My point is that if I haven’t seen Global Wars or heard about what happened with Adam Cole (spoiler alert) joining the Bullet Club, I would be wondering what the heck this has to do with the ROH wrestlers I want to see. As set up for an angle, it is not the most logical way to tell the story to a television audience.

6) And now we get to see the match at Honor Rising for the Never Openweight 6-men tag team titles. And we get pre-match nWo style attack by Cody Hall. I still think Cody Hall looks like a big stiff, but they are doing him no favors by continuing to call him “The Son of the Bad Guy.” We know the Bullet Club wins here, but it is fun watching The Elite work. I agree with Pat Metalhead that Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks work very well as a group with their humor toned down and the focus on their athletic abilities.

7) I know I have said it before, but Kenny Omega’s snap dragon suplex looks scary and painful. On a slightly different note, Mark Briscoe should really head over to Old Navy and get some new camo shorts. His look like they have been worn to every Pearl Jam concert ever.

8) Another Honor Rising match, the 8-man tag team match between Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows versus reDRagon, Hirooki Goto, and Katsuyori Shibata. This is apparently Anderson’s and Gallows’ last match in NJPW before heading to WWE. But to be honest, my only interest in this match is to see Tama Tonga and Shibata. (By the way, Shibata’s little kick to Goto’s back to “motivate” him was awesome. I don’t see that kind of thing enough.) I need to see more Tama Tonga. I am super-impressed with his speed and athleticism in the ring.

9) This deserves its own thought – Doc Gallows’ “Gallows Pole” slam is one of my all-time favorite moves.

10) We wrap up with the debacle of the Global Wars main event with Adam Cole joining the Bullet Club and everyone eating a superkick. The nWo-ishness of the Bullet Club reaches another level here as spray paint gets introduced to the proceedings. Ugh. Anyway, a big deal was made about how the Bullet Club has always bounced back after losing members. So the inference is made that they are going to try this gimmick in Ring of Honor with Adam Cole and go after Jay Lethal. Two problems I see as Adam Cole says Jay Lethal is spewing lies about how he has beaten everyone – 1) Lethal has already beaten Adam Cole as part of that triple threat title defense at 14th Anniversary, and 2) at this point, to me, the Bullet Club looks not only like a nWo retread, but a second generation Aces and Eights as well, which is not good. It is a nice attempt to try to get me to put Adam Cole on the same level as AJ Styles and Prince Devitt, but it just feels hollow.

Now, ROH, can we get back to some current action?

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