ADAM COLE PROMO- Cole was good, other stuff… not so much.
Cole and the rest of Bullet Club came out and Cole cut his promo. I would have preferred for this to start off as Kevin Kelly or Nigel McGuinness doing an interview, simply to keep up the tradition of the new ROH World Champion’s first appearance being an in-ring interview on the show after he wins the belt (and for all aside from Lethal, it has opened the next show, like this one did). I know that it’s a minor thing, but I also think that there is real merit to keeping your promotion’s traditions intact, especially when it doesn’t interfere with whatever your goal is for this segment.
Also, after everything that went down between Cole and Nigel, I can completely see Cole insisting that Nigel have to stand there and hold the mic while he cuts his promo so he can rub it in Nigel’s face.
Cole says that he’s the best and Bullet Club is the best and no one can stop them. He says that they all have targets on their back, but that’s okay because they’re the best. He vows to be the greatest ROH World Champion of all time… and that’s when Kevin Kelly decides to open his stupid mouth and say “well, there’s a lot of speculation, Nigel, as to whether or not that will be true.” HE HASN’T EVEN BEEN THE CHAMPION FOR A FULL F*CKING DAY YET! Why is anyone talking about whether or not he’ll be the greatest of all time? This isn’t a WWE championship that they just created a few days ago because they decided that they need to have a million belts again. It’s the RING OF HONOR WORLD TITLE!
Nigel’s response was to say “well, he’s got a lot to prove,” which has got to be the understatement of the year because, as of right now, HE HASN’T PROVED A F*CKING THING!
One subtle bit in here that I liked was that Cole kept speaking in very general terms, saying things like “whoever my next challenger may be” instead of mentioning Kyle O’Reilly by name in order to show that Cole won’t even entertain the possibility of his arch-nemesis becoming the ROH World Champion after Cole vowed that Kyle would never hold the belt.
Jay Lethal came out and started to talk. Cole insulted him, which sped things a long and got us to the point. Lethal wans his rematch… kind of? It’s apparently Cole’s “night off.” Night off? F*ck that sh*t! Are you telling me that if I show up to an ROH show and they advertise that the world champion will be on the card, I might show up only to learn that he won’t be wrestling tonight because it’s his “night off?” COME ON! Why not have Nigel say that he can’t book that match for tonight because the card is already official?
(This would also set them apart from WWE and TNA who apparently don’t bother booking a good chunk of their matches until the show has already started, because their authority figures are apparently kayfabe lazy and/or unprofessional, as well as straining credulity. I mean really! Can you imagine UFC on Fox [from some hypothetically completely unregulated location] going on the air and they don’t actually have a full card booked, so they send Ronda out to the cage to run her mouth and cross their fingers hoping that some other female bantamweight decides to come out there and interrupt her?)
Lethal is apparently perfectly fine with just giving Cole the night off and not trying to regain the ROH World Title as soon as possible. That was dumb.
Cole says that if Lethal messes with him, he is messing with Bullet Club, too. Lethal responds by saying that Cole has his friends… but Lethal has friends of his own as well. I figured that this would lead to Los Ingobernables coming out, since Lethal and Naito seem to have worked out whatever issues they had in Dearborn because they were teaming together in Japan during the end of the G1 (which the ROH announce team called, and which featured many ROH wrestlers in semi-prominent roles, including an ROH World Title defense and being heavily involved in the heavyweight, Jr. heavyweight, and six-man tag team title pictures, so I figure it should be part of the storyline), and they’re booked on this show anyway, so it seems like a perfect opportunity, right?
Some music plays, and Kevin Kelly says “the music is unmistakable.” Meanwhile, I’m scratching my head trying to figure out whose music this is. Out come Los Ingobernables de Japon, which Lethal is part of over in Japon (he and Naito seem to have worked things about after their issues back at War of the Worlds Tour: Dearborn. Kevin Kelly says that Lethal is trying to “even the sides” but it’s still five-on-three.
When we come back from commercial Nigel tells us that Cole “contractually can’t wrestle tonight” which is really stupid. Like I said above, there is no reason that they couldn’t have just run down a full card for tonight at the top of the show and had Nigel say that tonight’s card is full. Next week’s isn’t, apparently, so Nigel has booked Los Ingobernables de Japon vs. Adam Cole, Adam Page, & Yujiro Takahashi of Bullet Club.
Apparently there was a lot more violence after last week’s main event that we didn’t get to see. That’s lame. This would have been SOOOO much better than the pointless Cabinet vs. Dalton & the Boys match, or that dreadful BJ Whitmer/Punisher Martinez bullsh*t. Like with the Rockstar Spud/Braxton Sutter angle on Impact, these things are a lot less effective if you show them as replays with dispassionate narration instead of letting us watch them live. In this case, it also definitely would have helped make it feel like they have earned level of violence required to book a Ladder War (they still wouldn’t be there yet, but it’d be a lot better than where we are now).
Then The Addiction came out and accused Nigel McGuinness and Kevin Kelly of showing “doctored” footage and libel and slander. Remember when Christopher Daniels was treated like an icon of Ring of Honor instead of coming out and acting like a buffoon doing an act that people only liked because character-assassinating comedy was the best thing we could hope to see in TNA in 2012-2013? Can we maybe go back to that instead of this stupid bullsh*t “comedy” of having two guys come out here and tell lies so ridiculous that no one can possibly take them seriously? Please?
CORINO/WHITMER/SULLIVAN/PUNISHER MARTINEZ VIDEO PACKAGE BULLSH*T- this was like a sixty-second video package with at most about three seconds worth of new footage in it. Every time this feud is mentioned they give me a new reason to hate it.
And the f*cking Kevin Kelly has to go and say “I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.” YOU DUMB F*CK! YOU’VE SEEN 90% OF THAT AT LEAST TWICE ALREADY!
And now the f*cking Cabinet is coming out. After the PPV I was finally starting to hope that maybe ROH was getting back on the right track, but now they’re back to booking stupid, pointless sh*t that just makes me more and more infuriated with every passing segment.
You know… in two months when the election is over and Donald Trump is no longer relevant , Delirious will either keep pushing this stupid stable well past the time when the mere iota of an excuse currently justifying its existence as passed, or he’ll just disband them, and all three of these men will have wasted six months of their lives and so much time that could have been spent on better, more constructive things, on this dumb one-note joke of a stable that will have gone absolutely nowhere. F*cking Delirious and his f*cking bullsh*t. How can he possibly be so out of touch with fanbase? Or with what Ring of Honor is supposed to be!
CAPRICE COLEMAN (w/the Cabinet) vs. DALTON CASTLE (w/the Boys)- DUD!
Didn’t we just get these guys in a six-man tag last week, with a clean finish? I’m pretty sure The Cabinet won, and I would remember ranting about it being ridiculous for anyone to need to cheat to pin one of the Boys, so it must have been clean.
When the Cabinet came out, Kevin Kelly, who has been so against them and has always answered their “make wrestling great again” bullsh*t with the hackneyed “I thought it already was great” (you know, because G-d forbid there be any actual creativity involved with this stable), says that he thinks that ONE RANDOM SINGLES WIN HERE would “solidify” their point of view and prove their arguments. WHAT THE F*CK?! I would literally rather have Michael Cole call ROH than Kevin Kelly. Both do the WWE style, but at least Cole doesn’t flip-flop from week to week and only talks about sh*t that we have seen on our TV instead of random bullsh*t that supposedly happens backstage or tidbits of history between the two wrestlers that were never part of the angle and neither wrestlers has ever acknowledged.
When Dalton Castle comes out, Kevin Kelly plugs the upcoming ROH shows in Lockport, NY and Pittsburgh, PA, where “you can see Dalton Castle and all of the Ring of Honor stars!” If you want to sell the show to me, how about telling me what MATCHES I will see live. Why? Because I have no interest in seeing a card full of weak matches like, say, Dalton Castle vs. Caprice Coleman. And if there is any Dalton Castle match they should be pushing, it’s the match the week after that in Duluth where he faces JUSHIN F*CKING LIGER.
They waste a bunch of time on stupid gimmickry and comedy and stalling and all other manner of bullsh*t that doesn’t belong in ROH, never mind on ROH TV. Eventually a commotion is caused on the outside by Rhett and Kenny grabbing the Boys and slapping on headlocks, so the referee ejects everyone from ringside… or so I thought. When we came back the Boys were still out there, despite Kevin Kelly having just told me it was now going to be one-on-one. Kevin’s goof was not fixed in post-production.
Soon after we returned from the commercial, Rhett and Kenny came back out. Logically this should be cause for a DQ or something, but noting of the sort happened. Instead, Dalton was distracted, allowing Caprice to get a roll-up for a nearfall, and then the Boys got into the ring so that they could take out ANX with dives. So basically, the whole point of them coming back out was so Dalton Castle’s little 110lbs man-slave bitch jobber servants could get over on ANX. Putting aside the fact that the whole idea that we need to do a spot where the Boys get over on the heels is f*cking ridiculous… if you wanted to do this stupid spot so badly, why do the ejection spot in the first place? Just have them wrestle, and then have ANX distract the Dalton and then have the Boys get their sh*t in (rule of thumb: nameless jobber servants do not need to get their sh*t in).
Dalton then wins with Bangarang, basically undoing the result of last week’s match. The Cabinet six-man unit go over on Dalton and his Boys last week, Dalton and Boys get over on them this week. As I said above, the Cabinet are already living on borrowed time, so a bullsh*t go-nowhere feud with two characters who aren’t regular wrestlers is not what they should be doing. Dalton…
Dalton Castle, for some inexplicable reason, is one of the most over guys in ROH in most markets (because between the WWE comedy bullsh*t and TNA comedy bullsh*t and PWG comedy bullsh*t and New Japan Toru Yano comedy bullsh*t, we seem to have created a new breed of wrestling fan who is more interested in chanting wacky sh*t like “FAN UP!” and cheering for people either weird sh*t for no reason or 1990’s rip-off Young Bucks “SUCK IT!” bullsh*t than they are in actual professional wrestling with stories and babyfaces and heels and action that makes sense and is taken seriously, but whatever the reason…), and yet in the year and a half he has been on the ROH roster, he has done ALMOST NOTHING. He had one feud with Silas Young that wasn’t even than good in the ring. Oh, and he recently challenged Bobby Fish for the TV Title. That’s it. Other than that, he has almost exclusively been booked in either pointless, go-nowhere matches against guys who should have some sort of wacky “funny” reaction to him, or he has been put in matches against top guys who everyone knows he can’t beat (and he never gains anything from the losses because it’s always right back to months of pointless comedy matches right afterwards), and, with the exception of his match against Roddy, he doesn’t even deliver in those! Dalton Castle is so much more over than he should be… and yet HE’S STILL NOTHING BUT A F*CKING MID-CARDER AT BEST because Delirious has no idea how to book, especially for a product like ROH.
On next week’s show we’ve got Bobby Fish defending the TV Title against KATSUYORI SHIBATA! Maybe we could spend some time building up that match instead of wasting it with boring matches that no one cares about like this one, or bullsh*t like whatever is going on with Whitmer/Corino/Sullivan, or the ROH World Tag Team Champions coming out and making complete fools of themselves?
They tried to build up tonight’s main event with some highlights of the Briscoe vs. White match from two weeks ago. A promo hyping up next week’s TV Title match would have been much better. Also, we should probably get Kyle O’Reilly on TV pretty soon, seeing as how he laid out the new ROH World Champion at the end of the last PPV.
ANOTHER ADDICTION PROMO- better than the last one, though I would still really prefer that they not come across as delusional. That whole thing with them on top of the ladder and saying that they rungs they are standing on symbolize all of the tag teams ROH and New Japan have thrown at them? Why can’t we just have that?
What is the point of them accusing Nigel McGuinness of “doctoring footage?” So Nigel can get angry at them and book a Ladder War (which is what they hinted at)? How about Nigel just books matches where teams that deserve shots at the titles get those shots and then we ramp up the violence so that Nigel has no choice but to book a Ladder War? Why make Nigel part of this at all? Also, if that’s the direction this goes, it would be the second time in less than a year where comes across like Nigel McGuinness doesn’t really give a sh*t about protecting the innocent or enforcing fair play unless it affects him personally, in which case then he takes action. That’s not how a babyface authority figure should act, and especially not in ROH.
Every time I see these New Japan commercials after this utter bullsh*t it makes me more and more angry, because that comes across exactly like the ROH that sucked me in so many years ago, while this comes across like WWE/TNA Lite… which you’d think ROH would have learned from TNA’s example and not done, considering that the beginning of TNA’s downfall is usually cited as whatever point the person making the point thinks they stopped being themselves and started trying to be WWE Lite.
Now here is a commercial for some upcoming ROH events. They forgot the word “Extravaganza” when plugging their f*cking PPV and TV tapings, so instead of All-Star Extravaganza Weekend, they told fans to go to “All-Star Weekend.” Getting the name of the show wrong is inexcusable on its own, but it’s even worse when the name you’re accidentally using is the name of an actual set of shows a different promotion does.
BOBBY FISH PROMO- FINALLY!
Great promo by Fish to build up his TV Title defense against Shibata next week.
MANNY LEMONS vs. DONOVAN DIJAK (w/Prince Nana)- no rating, bad segment.
This was a pointless squash that did nothing but waste five minutes of time that could have gone to the main event. Dijak is another guy who has been around for a year and a half now and should be a lot higher on the card than he currently is. He’s a gigantic dude who does moonsaults… but Delirious had him spend his first year in the company doing nothing but semi-squashes of nobodies and losses to anyone above the bottom of the midcard (his only win in ROH against anyone above the undercard level was his recent win against Moose in one of Moose’s last matches in the company) then put him in an angle against the House of Truth in which he wound up having one match against Jay Lethal that ended due to interference and the feud had no real conclusion. Now he got lucky and won a random four-way on PPV and is getting a TV Title shot at the next PPV… and all Delirious can do with him is another f*cking pointless squash match, leading into a title match that no one thinks he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning.
Kevin Kelly yells at Prince Nana, accusing him of setting up Lemon as an easy win for Dijak. Why is he yelling at Nana? Nigel is the matchmaker. Ask him why he let this f*cking tomato can on the show!
Oh great. Now we’ve got to waste time with Prince Nana cutting a promo. Nana points out that Dijak never cashed in the TV Title shot he earned for winning last year’s Top Prospect Tournament… so like I said in my review of Death Before Dishonor XIV when Dijak won this title shot… why have him win that match when you could have given it to someone else and you would have two guys deserving of title shots instead of just one? And really… we all know Dijak isn’t going to win the belt, so why not resolve his title shot on the Reloaded Tour to make those shows actually feel important and give the win at DBD to a guy like Kamaitachi or Jay White who hasn’t been booked into the ground for so long that people will actually think he has a shot of winning the title on PPV?
BRISCOES PROMO- not bad, but at this point I’d rather they just used this time for the main event itself.
THEY PLUG THE VOD OF THE WOMEN OF HONOR SHOW FROM BALTIMORE ON JULY 8th- I’ve been saying quite a while that they should be using the TV show to push the live event DVD/VODs… and now that they finally do that, the one they push is the f*cking pointless Women of Honor show? COME ON!
Look… I like women’s wrestling as much as the next wrestling fan, but the Women of Honor are nothing but pointless filler. There are almost no stories, and it’s a roster of women almost all of whom are mediocre at best, all doing random eight-minute matches so that ROH can put them up on YouTube where they make no money. They are not integrated into the regular ROH product at all, so they are then, by definition, a side-show… and quite frankly it’s a side-show that ROH can’t afford to spend time on when you consider the piss-poor state of booking of the main product.
If you want to plug a VOD, why not the War of the World’s Tour with the New Japan guys and the major follow-up to the Bullet Club invasion (not to mention a tag title change and Kyle earning a world title shot)? Or the Road to Best in the World Tour, where the ROH guys get their first chances to get revenge on Bullet Club, the War Machine vs. Lee-Taylor feud begins, we get the big Tag Wars Tournament, Roderick Strong has his last set of matches before his final weekend in ROH? Or why not the semi-recent Baltimore show that was the main card to the Women of Honor’s pre-show, with the ACH vs. Silas Young Last Man Standing blow-off and Jay Lethal puts aside his differences with top rivals Jay Briscoe and Colt Cabana so they can all try to get their revenge on the Bullet Club? In other words… why not push something that helps the actual product?
THE BRISCOES vs. JAY WHITE & LIO RUSH- 6.75/10
During this main event that involved neither The Addiction nor anyone they are feuding with, Kevin Kelly randomly brought up their comments from earlier, with the specific focus being on their accusations of slander against Nigel, and Nigel insisted that he would think of some way to punish them. Yeah… that’s definitely going to be how they get to Ladder War, which is total bullsh*t for the reasons I explained above.
Apparently, according to Kevin Kelly, Jay White, Lio Rush, and ACH are all friends and that’s why they’re teaming up together in the Trios Titles tournament. Oh come on! Rush has only been in the business for a year, while White has spent the past bunch of years in Japan. They’ve been on, like, three shows together and this is the first time we’re seeing them interact outside of wrestling each other in a match. ACH’s first tour of Japan started right after White came over to North America, so they haven’t had a chance to interact, either. Why are they friends all of a sudden? Why is everyone always “friends” somehow even if we’ve never seen them interact together? At this point, I think I’m just going to try to mentally substitute the word “acquaintance” every time Kevin Kelly talks about guys being “friends.”
Meanwhile, despite the fact that he spent his ENTIRE first match in Ring of Honor CHEATING, Toru Yano is not only being brought back to ROH, but given a spot in the Trios Title tournament. Literally ANYONE in New Japan would be better than bringing in Yano. This is supposed to be the promotion of no bullsh*t finish, and now they’re bringing over a comedy jobber whose entire gimmick is that he’s a cheater whose cheating is always excused for no reason whatsoever. Hell… bring over NOBODY from New Japan and filling Yano’s spot with a random local indy guy or ROH Dojo student would be better than bringing in Yano.
Speaking of Yano, during this match, the same announcers who did whatever they could to excuse his cheating at the PPV, criticized Lio Rush for the terrible infraction of entering the ring without first making a tag, and said that he was “risking disqualification” by doing so. So… low blows, foreign objects, and exposing the dangerous metal turnbuckle are okay, but entering the ring without a tag is a serious infraction? COME THE F*CK ON!
The main event got just over ten minutes of televised airtime. There were also two commercial breaks in here, which killed the flow of the match. Another ROH main event is cut short by the stupid, pointless crap that bogs down these shows. We had a good opening segment involving a main event-level angle that sets up a big match for next week and we had a main event with very good talent who did their best with the unfortunately short time they were given, but the middle half hour of this show was stupid, pointless frustrating crap. It’s almost like a symbolic representation of the way that ROH has been a hollow shell of itself. For public scrutiny they put on their best showing, with the top angles and matches generally being handled well enough that it should draw some fans in, but a deeper probing reveals that ROH is devoid of any substance that is more than skin-deep.
NIGEL ANNOUNCES A LADDER WAR- yup. I was right. The focus for this is all in the wrong place. Instead of on the wrestlers, it is in the absolutely pointless heat between Nigel and The Addiction. For some reason we had a camera backstage (just about the first time we’ve seen ANYTHING live backstage in forever) to show us Kaz and Daniels’ reaction to this announcement.
This show was a sh*t sandwich. The opening segment was good, the main event was good, but everything else was pure sh*t.
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