Thought Zero – Today, I believe we continue with the War of the Worlds shows featuring talent from both Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. Let’s see what is in store for us.
1) We start with a few comments from the participants in the main event. Prince Nana and Donovan Dijak brag about how they took out Truth Martini while Jay Lethal and Taeler Hendrix explain that they have revenge on their mind. Not badly done. Not up to WWE hype video levels, but I think we got the gist of it.
2) The first match tonight is Matt Sydal versus Kazuchika Okada. Sort of an odd matchup, but it could be good. Once more, and it can not be said enough, Okada looks and acts like a HUGE star all the time. Okada is one of the few wrestlers today where putting him on the card means you can just take my money.
3) Okada’s dropkick is pretty sweet looking, but I have to wonder if it is too important to his repertoire. I mean, Bob Holly had a sweet looking dropkick. You don’t want people to be watching an Okada match saying to themselves, “I wonder when the dropkick is going to happen.” Speaking of moves, Sydal hit two moves in this match which someone really should steal and make a finisher – the reverse hurricanrana and the double knee press off the top rope. I think either of those moves, if promoted properly, could propel someone to another level.
5) A little backstage interview confirms my worst fears. The Silas Young-ACH feud appears to be about Young wanting to teach ACH how to “be a man,” you know, like ALL of his feuds are based. It would have worked so much better if they stuck with Young seeing ACH as one of the “video game wrestlers” of this generation and not willing to learn the craft or something of that nature.
6) Next up is Colt Cabana versus “The Hangman” Adam Page. The Hangman is a decent nickname, but I probably could have done without the actual, you know, ATTEMPTED MURDER to set it up. Oh, and Adam, wearing the noose around your own neck to the ring is probably not the best idea. And this will be my first Colt Cabana match to watch in its entirety. From his entrance, Colt Cabana looks like the bad guy from every 80’s movie ever. Is that what he is going for? Because if not, Biff Tannen would like his wardrobe back.
7) As this match begins, I just want to say outright that if ROH is serious about pushing the whole Bullet Club thing and sort-of-repackaging Adam Page, then Adam Page should definitely go over here. Cabana hasn’t been around ROH in years, so why not use him to build up your new project? And if Cabana is going to stick around and be a player, having him lose here to set up a prolonged battle against the Bullet Club just seems like a no-brainer. Oh well, I am probably way off and Cobana will squash Page here.
8) And just as I thought, Cobana gets the cheap pin after channeling Dusty Rhodes’ 1980 offense. Ugh. This is not the way to get Page over. After the pin, here are the Guerrillas of Destiny for the beatdown. Because NWO. I mean, because Bullet Club. And Adam Page goes to hang Colt Cabana and they go to break so we don’t see such horror. Okay, you want to make Page seem frightening and intimidating, but if you don’t let him win a match, no one will care very soon.
9) Weird little promo from the All Night Express who claim they will make wrestling great again. I know it is a major political season, but can we cool it with the silly campaign parodies. Plus, how will ANX make wrestling great again by fighting Jushin “Thunder” Liger and Cheeseburger? Plus, once again I should point out, Kenny King and Rhett Titus are just not good on the mic.
10) Hey, here’s BJ Whitmer to talk about his Fight Without Honor with Steve Corino. The crowd begins a “boring” chant which isn’t wrong, but may be the first time I have ever heard that at a Ring of Honor show. But here is Steve Corino to yell back at BJ Whitmer. They tease a fight and then Whitmer backs off. I can not wait for this lame feud to end. It is like a curse.
Bonus Thoughts! (Because the main event is a World Title match involving Jay Lethal!)
11) Main event time. Donovan Dijak’s entrance music is possibly the worst I have ever heard. Meanwhile, Jay Lethal gets a very positive reaction from the crowd. That seems to be happening much more often lately. Oh yeah, and Kevin Kelly states unequivocally that Dijak will be facing the “greatest wrestler in the world.” Damn straight.
12) Taeler Hendrix looks fierce tonight. But here is something I forgot to mention earlier. They had a brief in-house commercial for the Women of Honor shirts and they interspersed it with some clips of their matches. I know Ring of Honor television is only an hour a week, but it might be nice to see a women’s match or two every once in a while. Here’s a suggestion – take BJ Whitmer and Steve Corino off my screen and show me one of these Women of Honor matches for which you are trying to get me to buy a t-shirt.
13) Lethal looks to be all business, even charging Dijak before the bell. Nice showing of his emotional stake in this match. Pretty soon, Dijak just tosses Lethal outside the ring. Dijak’s size and strength does work pretty well in professional wrestling. If I were a booker though, I would repackage him as a Gronkowski brother and have him be hated everywhere except New England.
15) Lethal turns the tables on Dijak outside the ring and the crowd is going crazy for the champ. Lethal chases Prince Nana into the ring and the crowd really wants him to crush him, but Dijak returns only to be outclassed by the champ again. Lethal hits the Jericho springboard dropkick and snaps it off even better, because he is that damn good. Then he goes flying onto Dijak through the ropes twice and he does that better than anyone. Dijak dodges Lethal the third time and then hits an impressive backward spin dive over the top rope onto Lethal on the floor. See, it is shit like that which should make people hate him. He is big, he is strong, he can do amazing things, and he is good. It makes you want to knock the pretty boy down a few pegs. That is something a lot of wrestling companies just do not understand. We know the four-star letterman, starting quarterback, prom king, etc. is popular because he is good at so much. That is why we want to hate him. A clean cut Jack Swagger can never be a babyface. No one will ever want to cheer him. Everyone hated Kurt Angle until they added to his character. If someone realized that about Dijak now, you could make some real money off him
16) Kevin Kelly makes mention that this isn’t a title match. I’m cool with that because Dijak doesn’t really deserve a show, but it might have been nice to know that on the broadcast before now.
17) The crowd is just all about Lethal in this match, cheering every strike he makes. And then, just to show us how awesome he is, Lethal sells a knee injury, hits a German suplex and then does a backflip to counter a chokeslam. Just damn, dude.
18) Oh yeah, then he does a complete 360 off a big boot by Dijak to make Dijak look like a monster. Because he is the best. Period.
19) I’ve said it many times before, but I mark out for the Lethal Combination every single time.
20) The finish is a weird cluster as Prince Nana hops on the apron to distract Lethal, but Taeler Hendrix pulls him down and they get into it. Then, Kenny Omega and Nick Jackson (where was Nick Jackson?) charge the ring to hit dual superkicks on Lethal, but they miss and hit Dijak. Lethal tosses Jackson into Omega, knocking them both out of the ring, and then nails Dijak with the Lethal Injection. Honestly, the match didn’t need the Bullet Club run in, but I did like how it showed Lethal as being aware that they (including Adam Cole) are coming for him.
21) Before I could even finish that sentence, the Guerillas of Destiny hit the ring and attack Lethal. The Briscoes are out to chase of the GoD, which they do easily. The Jay Briscoe swipes the world title belt and stares down Lethal. And we’re out.
Another pretty good hour of Ring of Honor television. But I am already tired of the Bullet Club crap. And if BJ Whitmer and Steve Corino don’t get off my screen soon, I swear I will scream.
Later this week, my Fantasy Book column will take on the upcoming WWE draft, so look for that. And I will be back next week with more ROH goodness. Until then…
Tags: ach, adam page, b.j. whitmer, bullet club, colt cabana, Donovan Dijak, Jay Briscoe, Jay Lethal, kazuchika okada, Matt Sydal, silas young, Steve Corino, Taeler Hendrix