Thought Zero – We are back with Ring of Honor television. We are about a week away from Death Before Dishonor, so let’s see what they do.
1) First match is Donovan Dijak versus Lio Rush. These are the last two Top Prospect winners (Rush in 2016 and Dijak in 2015) so this match could be seen as a big deal. Personally, I am not a fan of the flippy-flippy Lio Rush, so I am maybe a tad less enthused than the fans at ringside. The Tale of the Tape shows that Dijak is over a foot taller than Rush and 110 pounds heavier than Rush. Prince Nana’s advice to Dijak here should be “squash this bug and let’s go.”
2) Dijak is mocking Rush during the opening handshake. He really has this dickish heel personality down. And I still get a Gronkowski-level jerk sense from him that works for his character.
3) Rush tries using his speed and some flippy-floppy moves to generate some offense, but Dijak just keeps crushing him with big power moves to just kill him. Rush sells well but constantly forgets he has been destroyed and all of a sudden gets a ton of energy. Really not a fan of that. He did the same thing during the Top Prospect tournament – get killed for several minutes and then win with a flippy finisher. Let’s hope he continues to work on that.
4) They are giving Lio Rush WAAAAY too much offense in this match. It just doesn’t work. Rush is too small and gets too beat up during his matches to realistically be getting that much offense in. And as I type that, Dijak crunches him again with a chokeslam into a backbreaker. But Prince Nana wants more violence, so of course Rush picks up the win with a crucifix rollup.
5) Post-match, Dijak beats Rush down and Jay White of all people makes the save. But Kamaitachi comes out to counter that. I know Kamaitachi went after Jay White a few weeks ago, but that seemed sort of random. Oh wait, that’s why. They just flash the graphic that there will be a four-way match to determine the TV #1 contender at Death Before Dishonor between Rush, Dijak, White, and Kamaitachi. I’m not quite sure what White and Kamaitachi have done to deserve that match, but oh well. Should be a fun match. And at least this wasn’t a tag team match setup like the WWE does EVERY SINGLE TIME they have a four-way match scheduled.
6) The Cabinet just interrupted a Dalton Castle promo to apparently set up a new feud. Okay, I guess that gives them all something to do. But cutting off Castle’s promo is criminal. I need to know what he was going to say. I will now quote what Castle started with before being rudely interrupted, “Every time I see a miniature horse, I think I am seeing a regular horse just really far away…” What was he talking about? That sounded like it was going to be epic!
7) We return with some footage of Keith Lee and Shane Taylor taking out War Machine. And with the MotorCity Machineguns being sidelined with an injury, the bait and switch for tonight’s three-way tag team title main event is complete. Um, I’ve seen War Machine take worse beatings. But oh well. Let’s see what the switch in the bait and switch is.
8) And now we get an interview with “Hangman” Adam Page. Dude looks quite different with a full and scraggly beard. Page calls out Jay Lethal and challenges him to a match at Death Before Dishonor. Briscoe does not take kindly to that and the two have a short little brawl at ringside. I am cool with this. Page and Briscoe had a brief and exciting little program a few months ago, so I think this could be fun as long as the Bullet Club nonsense is kept to a minimum.
9) The Addiction come out and proclaim that they have the night off now. Rappongi Vice then come out and challenge The Addiction for the ROH tag team titles. Then the Young Bucks come out to throw their headbands into the ring. Nigel doesn’t make a three-way match, but instead books Rappongi Vice versus the Young Bucks and the winner gets a title shot in two weeks. They claimed all that happened during the short commercial break, but it is quite obvious that was an edited 30 minute segment guys…
10) So I guess this is our main event now. It could be worse. Both of these teams are solid and fun. And they each tend to pull out new tag team moves every time I see them. The Young Bucks have some crazy Randy Savage-level day-glo tights going on tonight. This is a rare moment where I am glad I am not watching this in High Definition. Bottom line – pretty good match with The Young Bucks with the win. The Addiction attack afterwards and lay out the Bucks. I know the crowds love the Bucks, but they really need to either make them full-blown babyfaces or really turn them into hated heels. We find this line they walk (faces one time, heels the next, and so on) annoying when Stephanie McMahon does it in WWE, so we should be consistent in our reasons for disgust, IWC.
Bonus Thought A) They run down the Death Before Dishonor card and I have to say I am looking forward to a good chunk of it. The ROH TV title will be a big focus o the card, where the Mark Briscoe vs. Bobby Fish title match should be excellent and the #1 Contender match should be fun with Lio Rush, Jay White, Donovan Dijak, and Kamaitachi, The Addiction is apparently defending the ROH World Tag Team Championship of the World in a triple threat match against Naito and EVIL and Michael Elgin and Tanahashi. I expect The Addiction comes out on top there to play off this beatdown of the Young Bucks today. Hey, the Adam Page versus Jay Briscoe match is now No Holds Barred, so that should make it that much more interesting. We also get to see Shibata kick Silas Young’s ass, so there’s that. Not sure I understand this one though – Dalton Castle is facing Kazuchika Okada. Really? Seems like a weird matchup. And the main event should be a good one with Adam Cole challenging Jay Lethal for the ROH World title.
Bonus Thought B) Apparently the tag team match was not the main event. It looks like we will be having a little WWE-style contract signing as the main event. The odds are not good for the table set up in the ring. Adam Cole is good as a smarmy jerk, but he doesn’t go all out with it to really cement his heel status. And the cheers he gets with his little catchphrases tend to undermine the heelish aspects of his character.
Bonus Thought C) Jay Lethal being scarily-calm in his delivery and actions the last two weeks has been just awesome. The seething anger he is displaying is pretty darn effective. And the contract signing ends with a brawl and Lethal trying to cut off Adam Cole’s ponytail in revenge. The Young Bucks make the save and we’re out.
Enjoy Death Before Dishonor everyone!
Tags: Adam Cole, adam page, Dalton Castle, Donovan Dijak, EVIL, Jay Briscoe, Jay Lethal, Jay White, Kamaitachi, Lio Rush, Michael Elgin, naito, Okada, Rappongi Vice, Shibata, silas young, Tanahashi, The Addiction, The Cabinet, Young Bucks