Thought Zero – Good evening, everyone. Big night of Ring of Honor action, including a Ring of Honor TV title defense, the World Champ in action, and the greatest of them all, Jay Lethal. Let’s get to it.
1) We start off the night with the big six man tag team match featuring Bullet Club members Adam Cole, Adam “Hangman” Page, and Yujiro Takahashi going up against Jay Lethal, EVIL (I wonder if EVIL and Kevin Sullivan share that demonic robe), and Tetsuya Naito. Before a commercial break, we see Adam Cole running scared from Jay Lethal when he tags in, as he should. When Cole tags out though, Lethal tags in Naito with a shot to the arm. And a minute in and they have established that Lethal just wants to get a hold of Cole and nothing else matters to him. Plus, we’ve established Cole is a a little weasel. That works for me.
2) We’re back with Naito and Page in the ring and Naito doing his Naito thing and the crowd is loving it. We get a pretty big “Naito” chant going as well. Adam Cole gets tagged in and the crowd thinks they are going to see Naito versus Cole, but Lethal charges and then tags himself in. Cole tags back out, of course, so Lethal tags Naito back in hard. But as Naito tries to calm Lethal down, Adam Cole tags back in and jumps Naito from behind.
3) Naito gains some control and goes to tag in Lethal, but teases him and pulls his hand away. Lethal finally just smacks him in the back to tag himself in. And Lethal and Cole go at it for a brief time before both men hit big kicks to each other and are down on the mat. I should point out that EVIL has not been on the ring apron since he was tagged out by Lethal early on.
4) Now Lethal reaches for Naito to tag and Naito pulls away. Naito and EVIL leave Lethal high and dry to fight the Bullet Club alone and go to the back. To be fair, Lethal wasn’t being the greatest of teammates and was blinded by his hatred of Adam Cole, but it still isn’t very cool to just abandon the dude.
5) Jay Lethal gets beaten up for a bit and even his brief hope spots get cut short when he blindly attacks Cole. Then, weirdly, Michael Elgin comes out to the ring and climbs up on the ring apron. Nigel McGuinness is on commentary and he declares Elgin to be an official part of this match now. That seems odd.
6) Elgin hits an impressive, yet very contrived double powerslam on Page and Yurijo (one guy on each arm). But the numbers game wears Elgin down and now Kyle O’Reilly comes out from the back. Nigel makes him part of the match now. Apparently contracts don’t mean too much to Nigel this evening. Apparently this match is the Bullet Club versus anyone who hates Adam Cole. And this weird little cluster of a match ends with Lethal pinning Takahashi after a Lethal Injection. After the match, Jay Lethal screams and challenges Naito. Nigel makes the match for All-Star Extravaganza. Then, Nigel tells Lethal to think about what happened the last time he begged for a match, obviously referencing the loss to Adam Cole. Hmm, I wonder who pissed in Nigel’s tea this morning.
7) Main event time. Bobby Fish defends his ROH TV title against Katsuyori Shibata. This should be pretty darn violent. And the main event introductions lends a not only a big event feel, but a big “fight” feel.
8) Early on, Shibata misses on a PK then they fight over a figure four leglock for a while. Commercial time breaks up the early domination by Shibata. When we come back, Bobby Fish is in control and we’re left with Night and Kevin Kelly having to fill us in on what happened. Apparently Fish hit a dragon screw leg whip and a knee bar which really damaged Shibata’s knee ligaments. Thanks, Dr. Nigel. It would have been nice to see some of that rather than just hear about it though.
9) Prince Nana comes down to the ring to scout the match / help out on commentary. This episode is too heavy on the shenanigans for my liking. Especially when the matches don’t really need it. Fish works over Shibata for a while before Shibata “Shibata’s up” for lack of a better term. Multiple kicks gets Shibata energized and he takes over. Stiff kicks and a rear naked choke set up the PK which Fish dodges and he locks on a Fishhook submission. Looking bad for Shibata until he hooks Fish’s ankle and the two men just wrench the hell out of each others’ legs in the middle of the ring. Even Prince Nana is all “it hurts looking at this.” Eventually they both roll to the ropes and the holds are broken.
10) Back from break and both men are hitting big strikes, suplexes, forearms, and more suplexes and strikes. Shibata and Fish fight over an armbar until Shibata turns it into a triangle choke. Fish rolls Shibata back and collapses on him to pick up the three count and the victory. After the match, Shibata tells Fish he wants one more match with him and Bobby agrees. Meanwhile, Donovan Dijak stands menacingly at the top of the ramp.
Nigel ends the show by announcing that Steve Corino’s suspension is over and he will be back on commentary next week. I guess that means that we will get more thrilling Corino-Whitmer-Sullivan battles. Ugh.
Not the best episode of ROH this week, which is a bit of a shame based on the talent in the ring. Until next week…
Tags: Adam Cole, adam page, Bobby Fish, Donovan Dijak, EVIL, Jay Lethal, Katsuyori Shibata, Kyle O'Reilly, Michael Elgin, Tetsuya Naito, Yujiro TAkahashi