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Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall – Las Vegas, NV – Friday, August 19, 2016
Kevin Kelly & Nigel McGuinness are on commentary.
~PRESHOW MATCH #1~
Will Ferrara defeats Kenny King (w/ Caprice Coleman & Rhett Titus) by disqualification at 0:48. Joey “Diesel” Daddiego joins Kelly and McGuinness on commentary. King controls to start, and then “tags” Titus in, and as soon as Titus makes contact with Ferrara the ref calls for the DQ at 0:48. Well that was dumb. CHEESEBURGER runs out to make the save but he gets beat down as well. Daddiego joins the fray and gets rid of all three members of the Cabinet. King challenges the three to a six-man tag.
~PRESHOW MATCH #2~
The Cabinet (Caprice Coleman, Kenny King & Rhett Titus) defeat Will Ferrara, Joey Daddiego & CHEEEBURGER at 4:37. Daddiego and the good guys start off all fired up, but the Cabinet takes over and they isolate Ferrara. That goes on for a few short minutes and then CHEESEBURGER gets a hot tag. Sadly, three professional wrestlers are then obligated to sell for CHEESEBURGER’s terrible looking offense. The referee loses control and the ANX are able to catch CHEESEBURGER with the One Night Stand to get the win. Short, acceptable preshow stuff.
Donovan Dijak (w/ Prince Nana) defeats Jay White, Kamaitachi, and Lio Rush in a Four Corner Survival Match at 8:10 to earn a shot at the ROH World Television Title. Kamaitachi and Dijak work together, forcing White and Rush to do the same. This is all action from all four men, who have something legit to fight for. Late in the match Kamaitachi takes White out with a dive to the floor. Dijak throws Rush onto them, and then follows with a beautiful twisting plancha from the top rope. Back in the ring Dijak we come down to Rush v Dijak, and Rush looks poised for an upset. That is, until Dijak delivers a big boot and then Feast Your Eyes to win the title shot. Terrific opener here, non-stop action and a nice clean finish. I’ll take it.
Katsuyori Shibata defeats Silas Young at 9:20. Shibata is the IWGP NEVER Openweight Champion but this is a non-title match. The crowd loves them some Shibata that’s for sure. Both men are aggressive right from the get-go. They strike hard and strike often. At one point, Young spits in Shibata’s face and he pays for it big time. Young won’t back down from Shibata, even hitting the Peejee Waja Plunge but it’s not enough to get the pin. Moments later, Shibata takes Young down with a sleeper hold and then delivers the Penalty Kick to get the pin. This was a fun back and forth display from two tough guys. I’m still waiting for ROH to really do something with Young though.
CHAOS (Rocky Romero, Beretta & Toru Yano) defeat BULLET CLUB (Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Yujiro Takahashi) in a Six Man Tag Team Match at 11:17. Beretta and Romero appear in ROH so infrequently that this pretty much feels like an NJPW match. The teams go back and forth, and the crowd responds pretty well to the CHAOS trio. Nothing is at stake here though except vague promises of “momentum,” so there’s not really much to get invested in. It drags on for a while and eventually Yano hits Takahashi with a low blow and rolls him up to get the pin. This was just nothing.
BULLET CLUB continues the beating after the bell, and “Hangman” Page comes running out. That brings Jay Briscoe out, and now they can start their match.
Adam Page defeats Jay Briscoe at 17:40 in an Anything Goes Match. These two have been feuding for quite some time, so things get violent right off the bat. They spend a lot of time fighting outside the ring, using chairs, tables, and whatever they can get their hands on. The crowd stays with them as both men brutalize each other throughout the match. Jay goes for a Jay Driller off the apron and through a table at ringside, but Page reverses it to the Rite of Passage! Back in the ring Page covers but only gets two. Page then chokes Jay out with his noose, and hits one more Rite of Passage to get the pin. It’s pretty rare that Jay Briscoe does a clean job in ROH, so this is big for Page. The match was sufficiently brutal given the feud and the stipulation, and the violence escalated well throughout the match. Really good stuff here.
Kazuchika Okada (w/ Gedo) defeats Dalton Castle (w/ The Boys) at 13:35. Okada is the IWGP Heavyweight Champion but this is a non-title match. They start with a feeling-out process, as I believe this is their first time in the ring together. Castle does very well for himself, working Okada over both in and out of the ring. Okada of course comes back, and momentum shifts back and forth. The Boys get a little too involved and find themselves in the ring. Okada bosses them around and they just go along with it. Castle fires up and hits the Bang-A-Rang, but Okada wisely rolls right to the floor. Back in the ring Castle can’t put Okada away. A series of reversals ends with Okada hitting the Tombstone Piledriver. One Rainmaker later and Okada is your winner. Good showing for Castle here, but he had no realistic chance of winning and everyone knew it. Still, performing well against Okada is nothing to be ashamed of.
ROH World Television Champion Bobby Fish defeats Mark Briscoe at 16:04 to retain the title. Fish has been the Champion since 5.8.16, and this is his second defense. These two are familiar with each other from the many Briscoes v reDRagon matches over the years. Mark controls the early going with his unorthodox offense. Fish responds by slowing the pace and focusing on Mark’s back. Mark eventually connects with a Froggy ‘Bow, but Fish is able to kick out. Fish comes back with an exploder into the turnbuckle and a Falcon Arrow to get the pin. Technically this was fine, but I happen to find both guys boring so it just never really grabbed me.
ROH World Tag Team Champions The Addiction (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) defeat Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi and Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & EVIL) in a Three Way Match to retain the titles at 14:50. Daniels and Kazarian have been the Champions since 5.9.16, and this is their sixth defense. With this many talented performers in one match, there’s no shortage of action at any point in time. The crowd really love Elgin and Tanahashi in particular here. Naito and EVIL also have plenty of supporters in Vegas. The offense is non-stop from all six men, and the finish is pretty cool. Tanahashi is on the top rope and Daniels tags himself in just before Tanahashi hits the High Fly Flow on EVIL. Daniels then sneaks in the ring and jackknifes EVIL’s legs to get the pin, with Tanahashi right underneath him. Hot action but again hurt by the unlikelihood of a title change.
Adam Cole defeats ROH World Champion Jay Lethal at 24:10 to win the title. Lethal has been the Champion since 6.19.15, and this is his twenty-ninth defense. Cole taunts Lethal with the hair that he shaved from his head, and that infuriates the Champion. The ringside is fortified by extra security to make sure no one interferes. Whether they’re inside or outside the ring, Lethal dominates Cole, even setting up a table. Lethal goes up to the top rope and tries to deliver an elbow drop to Cole, but the challenger moves and Lethal crashes to the floor. Cole throws Lethal head-first into the ring post and Lethal is bleeding from the head. Lethal fights back and sends Cole to the floor, and instead of hitting his usual three consecutive suicide dives, he hits five. On the sixth, Cole sidesteps Lethal and swats him into the barricade. Cole appears to have Lethal’s number but the Champion will not quit. Even when Cole hits the Panama Destroyer and the Last Shot Lethal kicks out at two! Cole taunts Lethal too much and the Champ hits the Lethal Injection! Cole kicks out at two! The challenger defiantly flips Lethal the double bird, and avoids a superkick and rolls him up for two. Cole hits The Last Shot, a Shining Wizard, and another Last Shot to get the pin and win the title for the second time. Great match, with awesome work from both guys. They did the big spots in the right places, built everything up expertly, and finished strong.
Strong effort from the Ring of Honor and New Japan crews here, with only the six-man tag team match serving being lame and serving no purpose. Everything else was good to great, with the main event topping everything just like it should. It was an especially good night for the Adams, with big matches and wins for both Page and Cole.
Tags: Adam Cole, Death Before Dishonor, Jay Lethal, njpw, ROH