Thought Zero – Sorry about the delay this week. Something came up and I was out of pocket for a few days. Let’s see what Ring of Honor has in store for us this week.
1) We start with a recap of the Bullet Club disrespecting the World Champion Jay Lethal, hitting him with a triple superkick, and then shaving his head. I’m not sure Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake is really a good look in 2016, but we’ll see where they go with it.
2) First match is Will Ferrara versus Jay White. Jay White has an odd little haircut. It is almost a mohawk, but so super long on top that it flaps around and into his face often. I counted roughly 3490 hair flips during his entrance alone. Maybe the Bullet Club should bust out their clippers for Mr. White. (Yes, I fully expect there will be several hair jokes and comments during these ten thoughts. It’s the least I can do for the memory of Jay Lethal’s cornrows.)
3) Some good mat wrestling and stretching and counters between White and Ferrara. Ferrara is a good little wrestler, but I haven’t bought into any of his attempts at a personality. He is a good hand who will put on a solid match, even winning occasionally. In much the same way Jay White is in ROH to learn and get some experience, I think Will Ferrara could do well in a similar role in New Japan. In fact, I may just try to fantasy book something like that soon.
4) Special announcement – Shibata will be making his Ring of Honor debut at Death Before Dishonor. Shibata will be defeating Silas Young at that event. Silas Young really needs to wash his hair every so often. It just looks so greasy.
5) Next up is going to be a special Fish Tank segment with Bobby Fish’s opponent at Death Before Dishonor, Mark Briscoe. Mark Briscoe, it should be noted, used to have awesome hair, but pre-emptively shaved his head before the Bullet Club could do it. At least that is probably what he did.
6) Mark Briscoe comes out first and has the crowd cracking up as he proclaims the Fish Tank to be Communist propoganda with Bobby Fish trying to infiltrate and control your mind. Briscoe then steals the segment and renames it the Chicken Shack. Here comes Bobby Fish and his beard is fuller than usual, I must say. Fish also looks very dapper this evening. This is actually funny and enjoyable. Unlike most WWE “interview show” segments.
7) Mark Briscoe is just hilarious on the mic. And all of his matches are entertaining. He is quickly becoming on of my favorites on this program. I really hope they put the belt on him at Death Before Dishonor. I like Bobby Fish, but I think Mark is deserving of a major singles push.
8) Main event time – Ring of Honor World Heavyweight Title match between the champion Jay Lethal and the challenger Colt Cabana. The crowd is hugely behind Lethal from the first notes of his entrance. Lethal’s shaved head is a look that will take some getting used to, but that is mostly because I have gotten so used to his previous ‘do.
9) Jay Lethal is just awesome. Want to know how awesome he is? He came down to the ring, acknowledged the fans, did the big reveal to show the new baldness, and didn’t acknowledge Colt Cabana until the ring introductions. Some might say that was not cool, he isn’t showing the proper respect to his challenger, or he doesn’t look focused on defending his belt. But the thing is, he is playing this role so perfectly that he can convey how pissed he is at everything else that has happened lately with the Bullet Club, etc. but he still knows he is the greatest and has a responsibility to defend that championship. The same type of story was told during the match with Kyle O’Reilly a couple weeks ago. It’s a subtle shift, but one that makes perfect sense. Lethal will continue to be a professional, he will continue to show why he is the best, and he will continue to hold that title belt. But you can tell that he is fuming, and when he explodes, Adam Cole is going to get an ass-kicking of the highest order. Yeah, I’m in on this storyline, but mostly because Jay Lethal is doing such a masterful job in it.
10) They break for commercial, and on my local channel I get an ad for Bosley hair growth for men. That’s a low blow there, local channel 10.
11) Yes, there are bonus thoughts tonight because it is a World Title match, baby!
12) Some wrestlers are fast but look sloppy. But Jay Lethal is fast and almost always looks sharp and crisp and effective. And with that speed, there is some impressive chain wrestling with unique reversals early on with neither competitor able to get a clear advantage.
13) Kevin Kelly is taking some of the down time in the match to speculate on how much Lethal has been thinking about Adam Cole and if he is distracted at all. He then flows right back into the action when it picks up. I mention this just because it is a good example of the announce team selling a story while not taking away from the match. Take note, Michael Cole.
14) Colt Cabana doing the Dusty Rhodes bionic elbow is a nice tribute, but it just looks weird to me. Actually anyone doing it except for Big Dust looks weird. And, yes, Dusty Rhodes looked weird doing it too.
15) I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Lethal Combination is one of the slickest things you’ll ever see in wrestling.
16) Cabana hits something called the “Chicago Drop Skyline.” Or at least that is what I thought I heard Kevin Kelly say. Basically, he had Lethal on his shoulder while standing on the second rope, and then drops straight down and Lethal crashed onto the top of the turnbuckle. I’ve never seen that move before, and I have to say it was pretty cool.
17) Lethal wins the match as it should be. I was pretty impressed with Colt Cabana though. I have never seen much of him before and so I wasn’t sure what all the hype was about. I thought he was good, but not superb. He struck me as being a big fish in an independent pond. Which is a good position to be in, I guess. In WWE, he would be a mid-carder at best, I think. Maybe a United States champion level or so.
18) After the match, Jay Lethal gets the mic and tells Nigel McGuinness to give him Adam Cole. McGuinness says no since he already declared Adam Cole would never get a title shot again. Out comes Adam Cole who stokes the fire a bit. Lethal keeps asking Nigel for the match and gets the crowd to chant “Make the match!” in a nice touch. Nigel finally relents and makes the match for Death Before Dishonor.
19) Okay, Ring of Honor, you have a good storyline going at the main event level. But please, please don’t put the belt on Adam Cole just to sell more Bullet Club t-shirts. Give Jay Lethal the revenge he deserves and then build up a new challenger. You have a very good roster, don’t limit yourself to just a couple guys.
Tags: Adam Cole, Adam Ferrara, Bobby Fish, colt cabana, Jay Lethal, Jay White, kevin kelly, Mark Briscoe