ROH Conquest Tour: West Warwick (4/30/2016)- West Warwick, RI
We start off with a commentary team of Kevin Kelly, Ian Riccaboni, and BJ Whitmer impersonating Mr. Wrestling III.
KONGO vs. DALTON CASTLE (w/the Boys)- 4.5/10
Pretty much the first thing out of Kevin Kelly’s mouth was that Kongo is “one of the most dangerous men to compete in professional wrestling ever.” Why the f*ck would you tell such a blatant lie? This would be the same Kongo that has lost every single non-dark match he has had in ROH (and even some dark matches, too)… and even if you didn’t know about those losses, any one with half a brain knows Kongo isn’t beating Dalton Castle here, so saying that Kongo is one of the most dangerous men to ever compete as a pro wrestler is idiotic because ten minutes from now he is going to be a loser and Dalton will be none the worse for wear, completely destroying your credibility as an announcer. Kevin Kelly has been doing this for almost twenty years now! You’d think he’d have picked this important lesson up somewhere along the line.
Dalton Castle has apparently just returned from a tour of England. I wonder if he visited Dalton Castle.
The match was okay. Dalton did his stuff and they did the usual spots that you do with a big fat guy like Kongo (can’t get him up for the body slam, missing a splash, etc. etc.). They did have a bit of a story with Kongo working over the midsection. Dalton won with a German Suplex on the fat guy, which looked impressive.
Kevin Kelly and BJ Whitmer’s constant “you’re not Mr. Wrestling III! You’re BJ Whitmer!” “No I’m not!” came off as completely childish and was infuriating to listen to. Thankfully Kelly was replaced by Will Ferrara for the second match.
DONOVAN DIJAK (w/Prince Nana) vs. JOEY DIESEL DADDIEGO (w/Taeler Hendrix)- 5.25/10
They stayed with the story of the feud, which was Daddiego working over Dijak’s ribs, but I thought they lost focus towards the end when they started doing too much stuff with the managers.
And now Kevin Kelly is back on commentary and the first thing he does is scold Ian Riccaboni for not mentioning that “Mr. Wrestling III” is an imposter.
CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. LIO RUSH- 6.5/10
Just when it looked like the match was about to really kick it into top gear, Kaz ran out and shoved Rush off the top for the DQ. Moose came out to make the save. You’re probably wondering why. I was, too. Thankfully Stokely Hathaway was there to explain it for us: Apparently he and Lio Rush are good friends. That might be true, but that doesn’t make this not lazy storytelling. Can we at least get a f*cking backstage interview of Rush where Moose and Stokely come over and wish him good luck or something to actually establish this fact on camera?
Stokely challenged the Addiction to a tag team match because as we all know, it’s much better to do a bait-and-switch and a have DQ in a match that a lot of people were looking forward to instead of just delivering the matches you advertised with nice clean finishes.
THE ADDICTION vs. LIO RUSH & MOOSE (w/Stokely Hathaway)- 4/10
The Addiction never actually accepted this match. Rush just dove onto them and Paul Turner decided that this match was official.
Moose went to do The People’s Elbow but apparently Lio Rush thought this was just as dumb as I did because he tagged himself in on the way by. Instead he and Moose hit some goofy double team. If you are in a promotion that is trying to be taken seriously by mainstream wrestling fans, you should not be doing People’s Elbows or Stone Cold Stunners or things like that. It makes you look like children playing wrestler in the den, not fully-grown adults who are professionals in their own right.
The match was short. Two singles matches would have been so much better. On commentary. Kevin Kelly went on and on about how “reprehensible it was what Kaz and Daniels did to Sabin” in San Antonio last weekend (they attacked him after a match and hit him with the Best Meltzer Driver Ever and he was stretchered off). Of course, we haven’t been given any indication that Sabin isn’t wrestling as scheduled in tonight’s main event, so it can’t have really been that terrible, could it?
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Something must have happened that needed to be edited out because we cut to “after the match” where Daniels was in the process of attacking Lio Rush. Kaz joined in and then they hit Rush with the Best Meltzer Driver Ever. After this happened, the Young Bucks came out to chase them away. Not MCMG, who they did this exact same thing to last week, and who they are supposed to be in the middle of a big feud with. The Young Bucks, who are apparently annoyed that the Addiction are using a stupid name for their new move which is a take-off on the Bucks’ stupid name for one of their moves.
Now they’ve got commercials for a Women of Honor t-shirt. If they actually want people to buy this, they should probably try to do something with the division that people will actually care about instead of just posting a seven minute match on YouTube every Wednesday. Still… it’s better than having to be subjected to the Cheeseburger t-shirt commercial.
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH: Jay Lethal(c) (w/Taeler Hendrix) vs. Vinny Marseglia- 6.75/10
Matt Taven joined the commentary team at this point, so now we had four people in the booth, all talking over each other. Actually, it turns out Kevin Kelly left so it was just three people talking over each other, but the fact that it sounded like four should tell you how bad this was.
I just couldn’t take any of the announcers’ attempts to put Marseglia over as a “dangerous competitor” etc. etc. quickly because he has always been portrayed as an undercard schmoe in the few ROH appearances he has had. I mean- from a kayfabe point of view- if this guy is so good, shouldn’t he already be a regular on the roster instead of someone who gets to wrestle for ROH once or twice a year and always loses? (He has one win, which was in a six man tag where he didn’t even get the pin for his team).
Even worse, while they kept telling me that Marseglia was such a big threat and talking about how he has been wrestling for a long time, they didn’t do anything to help me the viewer along in the match. For example, there was a point in the match where Marseglia hit a double-underhook backbreaker but Lethal kicked out… and then the announcers started talking about how amazing it was that Lethal had kicked out of this move that had beaten so many wrestlers. If, at some point in the match they had told us that Marseglia has put many wrestlers down with the double-underhook backbreaker then I would have reacted to the false finish, but because they didn’t, I didn’t even know that it was a false finish and the potential drama was lost.
The match itself was exactly what it should have been. Marseglia was a fine choice for this spot as the local crowd did react very well to him, but I saw nothing to make me think he is worth ROH bringing in on even a part-time basis.
Taven also buried Cole on commentary, so I guess that’s the direction Cole will be going in next.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good.
Taeler Hendrix started putting the (high-heeled) boots to Marseglia because she’s a heel and that’s what heels do. Then Donovan Dijak came out and brawled with Lethal, eventually laying him out with Feast Your Eyes (that name needs to change ASAP). Nana then took the ROH World Title and gave it to Dijak to pose with. The fans reacted very well to this, even chanting Dijak’s name.
G-d damn it the f*cking Cheeseburger t-shirt commercial is here, too. If they had put anywhere as much time into marketing a guy like Matt Sydal or ACH or Silas Young as they have put into Cheeseburger, this promotion might actually have a guy ready to burst through to the main event.
SILAS YOUNG vs. DELIRIOUS- DUD!
Kevin Kelly has once again replaced Matt Taven on commentary. Before the match Silas cut a promo saying that he would make it his mission to run people like Cheeseburger and Delirious and ACH out of ROH because they’re not real men.
Part of the way into the match Delirious crawled under the ring, and out from the other side crawled Cheeseburger wearing a Delirious mask. Why the f*ck was Cheeseburger hiding under the ring wearing a Delirious mask? He and Silas did a bunch of spots while the babyface announcers all played along and the referee did absolutely nothing when he should have been calling for a DQ. If they had done comedy spots with Silas and Cheeseburger maybe this would have been palatable, but they didn’t. They tried to have a professional wrestling match.
Eventually Cheeseburger went back under the ring and Delirious came out, all fresh and rested while an illegal combatant was doing his dirty work for him. Then they did a heel finish with Silas distracting the ref and kicking Delirious in the nuts before hitting his finisher. Why should I be upset at Silas cheating when Delirious was cheating the entire match?
After the match, Silas dragged Cheeseburger out from under the ring and hit him with his finisher as well. Then Ian Riccaboni, who just seconds ago had said been insisting that Cheeseburger was Delirious, had the audacity to scold Silas Young for this, saying “he has all of the tools; everything needed to become an ROH World Championship contender… and he chooses to behave like that.” What an unbelievable piece of sh*t. I hope Silas hears this and kicks Ian’s ass, too.
Also, why would you not give Silas Young a clean win over the guy who is barely even a part of the roster anymore?
This match completely shattered my confidence that the booking in ROH will improve without Delirious’ removal from the position. The fact that he himself was involved in this match completely infuriates me. It really feels like everything that ROH used to stand for- everything that brought it to the great heights it has reached over the past fourteen years- is now dead.
ALL NIGHT EXPRESS vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS- 5.75/10
Kevin Kelly puts over ANX by saying that it was so impressive that they first beat the Briscoes and then managed to beat both the Briscoes and ANX. What Kevin seems to have forgotten was that those matches were three months apart and they suffered a bunch of losses in between, including losses to both the Briscoes and the Young Bucks.
So first ANX jump the Bucks from behind to get an advantage in this important tag team match... but then they squander that advantage by starting to attack the Kenny Omega broom instead of the Bucks themselves. That was stupid. After that, ANX got some decent heat on one of the Bucks, but then the Bucks made a relatively quick comeback for the victory in under ten minutes.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- bad.
The Addiction come out to attack the Young Bucks. Their angle appears to be that they are trying to injure all of the other tag teams. That's fine. The problem is that it if this is the angle, then they should have been attacking Kenny King, too (Rhett was down, still selling the Meltzer Driver). It's the same problem I had with NXT recently where Dash & Dawson said they were putting the “entire division” on notice, but when push came to shove, they only came out and attacked a babyface team even though there was an already weakened heel team right there they could have also easily beaten up on.
Kenny King actually joined in the Addiction’s beatdown of the Young Bucks. Then Moose came out to make the save. No explanation why he would do that this time, even though they went out of their way to have Stokely give an explanation for an almost identical situation earlier in the show. I guess Moose is just feuding with the Addiction now for no reason. The Bucks got back up and all three heels ate superkicks, so the end result of this was no heat whatsoever, which has been a constant problem in ROH pretty much anywhere the Bucks are involved for the past seven or eight months. By the time they started beating Kaz up it was just annoying and I desperately wanted this segment to end.
ACH vs. KAMAITACHI- 7/10
A great match, but the fact that these two only got thirteen minutes (especially in the semi-main event) is criminal. This show would have been SOOOOOO much better if they had cut the Silas vs. Delirious match and gave its time to this match.
THE BRISCOES vs. reDRagon vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS- 7.5/10
Ian Riccaboni said that Mark Briscoe has told both him and Kevin Kelly (and Kevin confirmed this) that “being the world television champion is his ultimate dream.”
1) That’s stupid. Why wouldn’t you want to be the ROH WORLD CHAMPION?
2) I don’t think he has ever cut a single promo saying this. If winning a certain title is his “ultimate dream” then that seems like the sort of thing you’d have him cut a promo about. Maybe even book an angle around it. But no. In ROH nowadays, it’s just a throwaway line. I’m really not trying to nitpick problems with the booking. It’s just that the booking and the announcing make these problems so glaring.
The match itself was on the low side of what I consider acceptable from an ROH main event, which is a big problem for the following reason: ROH’s strategy for booking the tag team division this year (and even more so since MCMG reformed in February) has been to just throw these big “blockbuster” “dream” tag team matches out on every show- usually as the main event- and expect it to draw based on “OMFG THIS MATCH WILL BE CRAZY! Think of how cool these two/three/four teams facing off will be!” rather than actually trying to tell stories or have finishes that matter. Basically, it’s PWG's (lack of) booking. The problem is that the reason people are willing to overlook PWG’s “booking” is because nine times out of ten in PWG the wrestlers actually go out there and put on the crazy, insane match you were expecting. In ROH, that hasn’t been the case (and I think that is due more to them not getting enough time than anything else), and thus each time you don’t deliver like people expect, you hurt the ability of this “crazy insane dream match” concept to draw… and if all you are relying on to draw is this concept, and you are hurting its ability to draw each time you do it, then sooner or later you’ll have nothing.
The Briscoes won the match. If you’ve been watching the rest of the show, you would have expected The Addiction to come out and beat everyone down after the match like they have been doing all night, but I guess they just decided not to this time. Instead we got Bobby Fish going over to the commentary table to cut a short promo hyping up his ROH TV Title shot against Tomohiro Ishii at Global Wars.
I really think this match would been better (or at least felt a lot bigger) as regular tag match. I don’t think MCMG vs. reDRagon has happened yet, so why not book that as the main event here (with reDRagon going over because they are both heading into title shots at the PPV), have the Briscoes beat the wacky combination of Dalton Castle and Delirious, and start your Silas vs. Cheeseburger angle by having Silas bully Cheeseburger in a (short) regular match.
This was a bad show from ROH. There was definitely some good wrestling on here, but the (over-)booking was bad, the matches didn’t get enough time, very few of the finishes felt like they meant anything, the announcing was painful to listen to no matter what combination of guys were out there, and that Silas vs. Delirious match was everything ROH shouldn’t be.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Kevin Kelly says that “Moose got pushed to the limit by Kongo on Ring of Honor television.” IT WAS A FIVE MINUTE MATCH!
2. Ian Riccaboni referred to the Addiction vs. Liger & Cheeseburger match at Global Wars as “huge.”
No match involving Cheeseburger can possibly be considered “huge.”
3. Ian Riccaboni- "It's interesting to me that the Young Bucks would take a match so close to Global Wars."
What is "interesting" about it? It's their job! They wrestle every weekend anyway, so it's not like wrestling a match on one week's rest is something they've never done before. Hell... they wrestle matches on one DAY's rest! And making this is even more infuriating is the fact that earlier in the show, Ian had speculated that Lethal had asked for the Vinny Marseglia match just one week before Global Wars so he could have a "tune-up" match before he faced Cabana, so not only is what Ian is saying stupid, but it's also inconsistent with his own logic from earlier in the show!