SILAS YOUNG vs. KYLE O’REILLY- 6.75/10
Very good opener. Adam Cole did commentary for about a minute or two to push his title defense against Kyle at Final Battle.
On commentary, Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino kept trying to push Silas as some sort of top contender by telling us that he “almost” beat Adam Cole and that he “came very close” to beating Jay Lethal multiple times. Then, after he lost here, they tried to push it as some sort of big thing that “he didn’t tap out” and that Kyle had to hit him with the brainbuster to get a pinfall victory… and all I can think is “so what?” Yeah, maybe he “almost” beat some of the main eventer, but he still loses against each and every one of them every time. You can’t elevate a heel by having him lose clean to the main eventers every time he faces them. That’s not breaking through to the main event scene. That’s being a jobber to the stars. If you want to elevate someone (and especially a heel) to a main event level, he needs to win. ROH actually had a PERFECT chance to give Silas that big win recently against Jay Lethal in Lockport, NY, but instead opted to give Jay the clean victory even though Jay was going to end the night by pinning the ROH World Champion clean in the middle of the ring. Jay didn’t need to beat Silas that night, but Delirious booked him to do so. The win did nothing for Jay, but not getting that credibility-building win really hurt Silas.
KEVIN KELLY INTERVIEWS SILAS YOUNG- Silas buries a fan in a Liger costume and the real Jushin Liger to build up his match at Final Battle.
JAY LETHAL PROMO- he’s facing Cody Rhodes at Final Battle. The promo was decent.
MCMG VIDEO PACKAGE- interesting. The basic gist of this is that they want to form an alliance of up-and-coming babyfaces to join with them and fight groups like Bullet Club. I like the idea, but part of this just felt very lost in time. Like it’s a promo that we should have seen five months ago. They talked about Page trying to hang Sabin back at War of the Worlds Tour: Dearborn, and I’m pretty sure this was the very first promo MCMG have cut about that major incident which happened six months ago, and in since then they seemed to have feuded with Bullet Club and gotten their revenge on Page on the Road to Best in the World Tour (specifically Indy and Collinsville) and then moved on from that to chasing the tag titles (yes, the Young Bucks are part of Bullet Club, but that never really felt relevant in the three-way feud, and the Bucks pretty much always came off as interlopers in the already-established Addiction vs. MCMG feud). Instead of cutting this promo now they should have been the ones teaming up with guys like Jay Lethal and Colt Cabana and the Briscoes to fight the Bullet Club back in June, July, and August. This feels almost like a step backwards for them. Not because Bullet Club isn’t a big deal but rather because they’ve already done this. They tried to frame it as if their loss in the Ladder War made them realize that they can’t do this on their own, but that doesn’t quite add up because while the Bucks won that match, they were actually the only team who didn’t have anyone interfere on their behalf. Again: I don’t think this is a bad idea, but the timing on all of this in the big picture comes off as very, very strange to me.
ADDICTION PROMO- great. They’re facing the Briscoes next week.
COLT CABANA & DALTON CASTLE BACKSTAGE- unlike last week, they started this as Cabana cutting a promo to the camera about their loss last week, which establishes a reason for the camera to be there to see Dalton come up to Colt to talk about the match. That’s all I ask.
Dalton says he didn’t feel comfortable out there without the Boys last week. Colt is highly skeptical that not having the Boys at ringside contributed to their loss, but given in and allows Dalton to bring the Boys to ringside this week.
KEN DIXON & PRESTON QUINN vs. COLT CABANA & DALTON CASTLE (w/the Boys)- squash.
Kevin Kelly talked up how these dudes had impressed ROH officials at a recent tryout. Then Dalton just hit one of them with Bangarang and got the win in seconds.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good segment for now.
Dalton cuts a promo saying that they might be at the bottom of the division now, but they’re working their way back up. Then Cabana says that his goal in coming back to ROH was to be a champion and he doesn’t think this team is working out so he wants to split up. Dalton is hurt by this. Colt offers him a handshake but Dalton wants a hug, so Colt knees him in nuts. Colt went to leave, but when the Boys went to check on Dalton, Colt beat them up, then went back at Dalton. He stabbed him with one of the Boys’ fans and also appears to have broken Dalton’s nose.
Overall, I like this direction, but I do have a few issues with the set-up of it. Before we cut to above Cabana promo, Kevin Kelly said the following about the Castle & Cabana team: “We’ve got an opportunity to see a team that needs a win, right here and right now.” Well… they just got a win, and it was Dalton doing all the work and scoring the pinfall for his team in dominant fashion. It seems to me that Colt’s turn would have made a lot more sense if it had happened after a loss. Yes, they lost last week but they won this match and actually also won their match on the ROH show before these tapings, so since they lost their title match to the Young Bucks they are actually 2-1. That doesn’t sound like the bottom of the division to me. We know how ROH loves to push a guy like Will Ferrara actually having some potential and they love to give Cheeseburger upset wins, so instead of booking Colt to decide to split the team up after a dominant win, why not have them suffer a big upset loss here? This would not only make more sense but it would also make future Will Ferrara roll-ups more believable.
One of the major issues with ROH right now is that there is that the attitude of the booking seems to be “pay attention to what we say, not what we do in the ring.” What I mean by that is that what the announcers try to tell us and what the booker seems to want us to believe are often not borne out- or in bad cases like this one outright contradicted- by the things we see in the ring. They want me to believe that Colt and Dalton are on the bottom of the tag division and yet they give them wins right before breaking them up. They want me to think Silas Young is a top title contender, but he always comes up short whenever he faces a main eventer. And don’t even get me started on the huge clusterf*ck that was the ACH-Matt Sydal team. Even the way Colt & Dalton earned their title shot falls into this category: they lose all of their matches but we’re supposed to think they’re so great that they get put into a #1 contendership match at All-Star Extravaganza VIII. This is pro wrestling. If the finishes of your matches don’t mesh up with the story you are trying to tell, then you either need to change the finishes or tell a different story.
I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to say about this when Colt gets to explain why he turned.
ROH SIX MAN TAG TEAM TITLE TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINAL MATCH: Team CMLL (Ultimo Guerrero, Hechicero, & Okumura) vs. The New Kingdom (Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia, & TK O’Ryan)- 6.25/10
Yeah… these CMLL guys aren’t doing anything for me. The match also didn’t get enough time, but in general these CMLL guys aside from Dragon Lee just having been bringing anything.
BRISCOES PROMO- good, but I’d rather this have aired before the main event.
A decent show from ROH. Like last week, it certainly wasn’t great or anything, but it definitely feels like the company is finally focusing on the right things again.
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