ROH Road to Final Battle 2016: Lakeland





By Big Red Machine
From October 22, 2016

ROH Road to Final Battle 2016: Lakeland
Kevin Kelly tells us that Steve Corino said he won't be on commentary tonight. Why? Because Corino did the stupid Midnight Rider thing as Mr. Wrestling III last night because he needed a mask, and the company needs to maintain plausible deniability about Corino being Mr. Wrestling III, so we have to pretend he's not here. Or, instead of all of this sh*t, they could have just booked Steve Corino & Bull James vs. BJ Whitmer & Punishment Martinez in the first place, but why just book a simple card with a bigger match-up when you can advertise an underwhelming match and then do a bait-and-switch? F*cking Delirious logic.

KYLE O'REILLY vs. DONOVAN DIJAK (w/Prince Nana) - 7/10


They really need to add some damn promos to these shows to help get over the storylines instead of just having Kevin Kelly explain to us what is going on secondhand based on conversations he had with the talent earlier in the day. I know I complain about this often, but this case was particularly egregious. At the beginning of this match Kevin Kelly told us that Nana had told him that, for tonight, things for Dijak "will be different. They must be." Setting aside, for the moment, what we lose by having Kevin Kelly tell us this instead of doing a backstage promo (and stay tuned, because over the course of the past two sentences, I actually did come up with yet another reason for why they need to do promos instead of Kelly-provided exposition), in this case, the man Kevin Kelly was speaking for was Prince Nana. I can understand wanting your announcers to do the talking in place of someone whose mic skills you might not have much confidence in, like some feel about War Machine or the two men in this match. I disagree with it (they're not going to get better if you never give them the chance), but I can understand it. But in this case they have Kevin Kelly speaking for PRINCE NANA! Why would you even book Nana if you're not going to have him cut promos?

Now as for what we lose out on by not having the backstage promo, there is the obvious fact that the emotion is always more real when we see it firsthand, but in this particular case we not only lose out on Nana's emotion, but on Dijak's as well, from his reaction to Nana's words. The angle here is that Nana is unhappy with Dijak losing, which will eventually lead to Dijak dumping Nana as his manager. In order for this to not feel like it comes completely out of nowhere, we need see Dijak's frustration with Nana's criticism of him.

And speaking of Kevin Kelly and Prince Nana, Kevin took time away from calling this match to scold Prince Nana for yelling at the fans. Yes, really. Kevin is so utterly infuriating for his insistence on acting like an announcer form the early 70's scolding wrestlers and announcers for things like this, or for saying naughty words or other annoying crap like that. I cannot remember a worse lead announcer who has spent so much time in the wrestling business other than Mike Tenay, and at least with Tenay he occasionally knew what he was talking about when it came to Lucha or Puro.

Due to the aforementioned Corino/Bull/Whitmer/Martinez thing, Kevin Kelly is telling us that there is "speculation" that the originally scheduled Bull James vs. Punishment Martinez match has been changed to a tag team match, and that he'll "need to get clarification" on that. So either they sent Kevin Kelly out here without telling him about a change in the card, or Kevin is just repeating hearsay about a possible change to tonight's card even though it may not be true. Pick whichever one you like best. The first one makes the company look rinky-dink while the second one makes the babyface announcer into an unprofessional rumor-monger. And all because Delirious insists on booking these stupid bait-and-switches.

Oh. Right. The match. Dijak did his power stuff. Kyle first worked the arm before switching to the head, and won with a brainbuster. Nana was furious at Dijak's loss and stormed off. Dijak was still down from the brainbuster so I don't know if he saw it. Great opener, and finally we get something that feels like advancement in this Dijak-Nana angle.

THE CABINET CUT A STUPID WORKED SHOOT PROMO - they hate their gimmick, so they're just not doing it anymore, I guess. Of course they didn't actually say "we don't like our gimmick," because that would be breaking kayfabe. Instead they just said crap like "this is disrespectful to us" and "we deserve better than this" (paraphrasing). Normally I would be very happy that they didn't break kayfabe, except that if you're doing a worked shoot it requires breaking kayfabe by necessity. As a result of their tip-toeing around the issue, what they said made absolutely no sense.

Kenny walks off. He and Rhett start to beat up the group of dorks that follow them around. No one in the crowd cheered this, which is even more evidence that these Florida crowds are some of ROH's worst and there is no reason for them to go back to Ft. Lauderdale ever again. We got a close-up of the two women in the group, who did not look surprised by this at all, so they have no idea how to do their jobs, either.

So you would think that walking out on a scheduled match and shooting on the company would result in ANX and Caprice being fired (or at the very least suspended for a while), and Kevin Kelly insisted that there would be repercussions for this. Well, at the next ROH show (the TV tapings in Baltimore the next weekend) they were allowed to come out and cut a promo... and wouldn't you know it, they shot on the company again. Then, the next week, Rhett and Kenny both had their scheduled Survival of the Fittest qualifying matches. They were never announced for the UK tour to begin with, so them being left off of those shows is not a punishment. This brings us to Final Battle, where they wrestled in the opener under their new stable name. Yup. They sure got punished. Way to go, ROH. You sure showed them.

Now that their opponents have walked out, Shelley and White are left without opponents. White cuts a promo saying that respect is earned in the ring so he wants to wrestle tonight and makes an open challenge, which is answered by War Machine.

ALEX SHELLEY & JAY WHITE vs. WAR MACHINE - 6.5/10


Shelley and White won, which was shocking, considering that Shelley isn't doing anything at the moment and War Machine are an established team. White got the pin, which shows you just how hard ROH is intent on pushing him- and he definitely has the talent to warrant that push- but despite his never having been pinned/made to submit (or even having never been DQed or counted out) and all of the big wins they've given him over Daniels, War Machine, etc. he doesn't feel anywhere near as big as he should because they're still not really doing anything with him. He just has matches, with no direction in sight until now when MCMG decided they like him and can trust him. (Yes, I know he was supposed feuding with Kamaitachi. I was about to go on a rant about that feud never even got a blow-off, so I went back to look at the results first just to make sure there wasn't one that I forgot about, and I discovered that, in fact, they only had ONE singles match against each other, and that was Jay White's first match in the company.

MARK BRISCOE vs. ADAM PAGE - 6.5/10


They kept cutting to the announcers during the match. They did it twice in less than a minute, which should NEVER happen in the middle of a match. Then they showed us the crowd. Yes, they were chanting and on their feet, but cutting the crowd also showed us how empty this building was. Bad idea. Meanwhile, Kevin Kelly and Bobby Fish were on commentary, chatting away about how jealous Steve Corino will be because Kevin and Bobby are on commentary together, with Kevin even going so far as to say that he feels like he is "cheating" on Steve. Once that discussion was done, Kevin Kelly had the audacity to say "But our attention is on Hangman Page," which caused me to scream "NO IT F*CKING ISN'T!" at the top of my lungs. Not the announcers' attention and not the cameramen's, so don't f*cking tell me that it is. And, of course, within ninety seconds they were again ignoring this match to talk about tonight's main event.

The match itself was good, but I was extremely unhappy with the dirty finish. Yes, Page is a heel, but you're not going to get a guy over in ROH with dirty finishes in ten-minute matches. Page NEEDS CLEAN WINS. He has already been terribly damaged by the booking this year, with all of his big wins immediately being erased by months of jobs, including one last weekend to the guy whose title he is challenging for next week. I understand protecting Dalton Castle last night because Dalton does have a world title shot coming to him at some future date (although in that case they never should have booked the two against each other in the first place), but there was no reason for Page to need to cheat to beat Mark Briscoe here. I mean... if you were willing to have him go over Jay clean on PPV, and- as the last few years of the booking have made clear, Jay is the superior Briscoe- then why the hell wouldn't you let him beat Mark Brsicoe cleanly on a house show?

BJ WHITMER & PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ vs. MR. WRESTLING III & BULL JAMES - DUD!


Mr. Wrestling III is once again dressed like the Midnight Rider, which is a big chunk of the problem with this feud. It's Corino and Delirious and whoever else being a f*cking mark for a feud that happened almost thirty-five years ago, and it's coming at the expense of the product.

Kevin Kelly told us that this feud was now about "spiritual kinship." Yeah. Because that's what makes for good wrestling feuds. Remember when this used to be about Corino and Whitmer just plain hating each other? Can't we please go back to that?

Kevin also told us that Bull James has become involved in this due to the "special relationship he had with the late Dusty Rhodes." You know... something that not one single fan knew about until this moment because we have never once been shown it and no one has ever spoken about it until this moment. THAT'S NOT HOW YOU TELL AN EFFECTIVE STORY.

I know I should just skip this, but if I'm going to review a show to recommend it, I think I owe it to both the reading audience and to the promotion to watch everything, so I don't miss a chance to praise something that deserves praise and condemn something that needs to be condemned, and that is the only reason I am watching this because just about everything in this feud makes me angrier by the moment, and it is just so terrible on so many different levels. Here is another new one for you:

Kevin Kelly's new story is that due to this whole "spiritual connection" crap, that Punishment Martinez and Bull James "were drawn to each other" in the Honor Rumble. Well, I've seen that match, and their interactions in that match felt no different than anything else we've seen a million other battle royales, and Kevin Kelly's commentary at the time did nothing to indicate that this interaction was anything out of the ordinary, either. Yeah, they brawled to the back, but that's a common enough occurrence after a double elimination, and the ROH product has become so overbooked that it didn't feel like anything out of the ordinary. Now, though, Kevin is trying to pretend as if there was some sort of feeling in the air that the moment these two laid eyes on each other you knew there was some of connection between them, when there clearly wasn't. It's not just revisionist history (which is never something a promotion should engage in), but it's revisionist history that is being engaged in for no reason other than this out of place sensationalism in this obnoxious feud.

When Martinez interfered in Bull's match with Adam Cole last night, it was like "fine. He's pissed that Bull eliminated him from the Honor Rumble and cost him an ROH World Title shot, so now he is preventing Bull from earning an ROH World Title shot." I can understand that. That's normal, and normal is exactly what their interactions have felt like. But then BJ Whitmer last night tells me it's because Bull James is connected to Dusty Rhodes because Bull was in NXT, and thus as the spiritual son of Kevin Sullivan he hates Dusty, and now I've got Kevin Kelly trying to tell me that there is this clear, obvious mystical link between Martinez and Bull due to their connections to Kevin Sullivan and Purple Haze and Dusty Rhodes, but this connection isn't "clear" to me because they haven't done anything to show it to me. Imagine if instead of months of Paul Bearer building up The Undertaker's secret all we had gotten was some short graphics with a picture of Kane telling us that "Kane is coming." If that was the case, when Kane showed up at IYH: Badd Blood and cost Undertaker the Hell in a Cell match, you would never have thought that they were brothers. It just would have been Paul Bearer's new monster attacking Undertaker. Maybe you might have guessed something was up when he used the Tombstone Piledriver, but that could just be him putting Taker down with his own move to be a dick or maybe Bearer taught it to him or a number of other plausible reasons that don't involve them being related. Then imagine that the next week on TV Jim Ross is telling you that clearly Kane and Taker are related because they're both big and they both use the Tombstone Piledriver. That's the way this whole thing makes me feel. I am doing my job as a fan, watching the product, but they are now putting on this feud that, in order to understand it, you need to have information that they are privy to but haven't given me. I feel completely lost because there is stuff going on that feels like it exists in a realm that I can't see, and yet I am expected to be able to see it, and that is extremely frustrating to me as a viewer.

Kevin Kelly spent the whole match trying to explain these spiritual bonds, but not in a way that was particularly helpful. For the most part he was just giving us the family tree that we've already figured out. The closest he came to being helpful was by explaining that Dusty and Bull are connected because of the love and caring that Dusty apparently had for Bull. This would have been... well, I won't say good but I'll say "acceptable," except for the fact that he then tried to explain the supposed bond between Corino and Dusty as having arisen from "the many wars" they had against each other. So despite having had completely opposite relationships with Dusty, Corino and Bull have the same spiritual connection to him?

This was doubly bad because, as I understand this whole thing, Corino is a member of the "evil" family but he wants to be good and be a family man (which is why Sullivan is trying to convince him to leave his family, as he has done on commentary a few times. And, now that I think about it, that would also actually make the whole "Whitmer takes videos of Corino's family" thing play into Sullivan choosing Whitmer over Corino at Best in the World. It would also play into Corino's character in ROH since his return in late 2009 and convincing Steen to turn on Generico, and especially since the whole "rehab from being evil" angle started at the beginning of 2011. And no, that doesn't mean that his feud is good or makes any sense. I should not have to be making wild guesses to make the connections between these things. I'm the audience, not the storyteller). Corino also being a member of Dusty's "good" spiritual family therefore makes no sense, so not only was Kevin's attempt to illustrate a bond between Corino and Dusty detrimental to his explanation of the bond between Dusty and Bull, but it also seems to be at odds with the storyline. (And while I'm wasting my time hypothesizing things they could do or say to make this crap make more sense, one could say that by dressing as the Midnight Rider instead of Steve Corino this weekend when there is no reason for him not to be Steve Corino this weekend, it shows that Corino is trying to hide from his true self by adopting the guise of a member of the "good" family.)

Oh. Right. The match. Yeah... this sucked. They had a meh brawl. I think at least fifty percent of the offensive maneuvers the babyfaces performed in this match were bionic elbows. You know, because they're the spiritual sons of Dusty Rhodes. On a related note, if the idea is that he is doing a bunch of bionic elbows because he is the spiritual son of Dusty Rhodes because of his time spent in NXT, then maybe someone should tell Bull James that he shouldn't also do a crotch chop followed by a pedigree. It might send an unintended message.

Corino brought a table into the ring. The referee made no effort to stop him. The referee also did not call for the bell when Whitmer put Corino through said table when he countered a bionic elbow with an exploder suplex. At least they put Martinez over, because I was seriously afraid that they were going to have the babyfaces win this one.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT - pointless and bad. The heels were going to unmask Mr. Wrestling III as Steve Corino, but then decided to try to do... something... to him with a piece of the broken table. Stab him, maybe? It didn't matter in the end because Bull James made the save, fighting both of them off. Yes, despite sh*tting the bed last night when booked in a fifteen minute match in the semi-main event against the ROH World Champion, Bull James is apparently getting brought back, so we've got to make him look good.

JAY LETHAL vs. KAMAITACHI- 6.25/10


Completely out of character, Kamaitachi actually gave Lethal the Code of Honor-mandated pre-match handshake. I shouldn't complain about this, but it was quite striking that he would randomly do so, when ignoring the Code of Honor has become something that virtually every heel does in ROH. Kevin Kelly then called him "a true rudo." Poor Kamaitachi just can't catch a break. Even when he follows the rules he still gets called a bad guy. He then went on to start the match off by raking Lethal's eyes. Because the simple fact that a heel actually followed the Code of Honor has put me in such a good mood, I am going to go ahead and instead of say that it makes no sense for him to follow the Code of Honor and then do this, I will instead assume that this was his devious plan all along. He would lure Lethal into a false sense of security with the handshake, then, once the bell sounded and his actions began to matter, he would take advantage of that by going for the eyes. I can totally see Kamaitachi coming up with such a plan, and I can also see Kevin Kelly completely failing to come up with such an idea to explain it to us on commentary, because thinking has never been Kevin Kelly's strong suit (and, to be frank, I'm not quite sure Kevin even has a strong suit).

There was absolutely no reason for these two to only get eleven minutes. This is the sort of match that if you give the guys the time to deliver a great match, it will help sell DVDs. With the price of ROH DVDs (when you factor in the outrageous shipping prices), the much higher quantity that they are now putting out, and the lack of sales like they used to offer in the pre-Sinclair Era, people are cutting back on the amount of DVDs they buy. Therefore, if you want to see DVDs, you need to either make the shows important to the ongoing stories, or make sure the quality of the wrestling is high enough that people will want to see them (which will also help general buzz). When I see a match like this only go eleven minutes, it really makes me feel like there has been a very bad change in the philosophy of the product over the past year or so. Before then, it feels like the wrestlers would have been told "go out there and sell me some DVDs!" Now it feels like they are being told "just go out there and put in your ten minutes for the night." Like the thought process of those in charge is "they came to see Jay Lethal so we gave them some Jay Lethal" rather than "they came to see great wrestling by great wrestlers so we need to deliver great matches."

A lot of the booking actually feels that way, too, especially on the non-major shows. The feeling seems to be that the fans have come to see the ROH wrestlers, so we give them a bunch of matches and they get to watch Jay Lethal do his thing and watch the Briscoes do their thing and watch Dalton Castle do his schtik and watch Bullet Club do their schtik, and we put over the babyfaces or the hometown guys so that the fans will be happy, and we'll give them a main event that delivers. It's a house-show mentality, based off of the assumption that the people have come to see that thing they watch on TV but now they get to see it live. And if you're going to do actual "house shows"- meaning a show only for those in the house- where it doesn't matter if the matches great because you already have their money and it doesn't matter who wins and who loses because no one outside of the building will ever see it and you and just pretend it never happened on TV and 99% of the fanbase will be none the wiser, then that's fine.

The problem that that's not what ROH is doing here. This is a show that is being taped to be sold as a VOD and later as a DVD to ROH fans around the world. That means that you're going to need to book a card that delivers in the ring to the point that it creates enough buzz to get fans everywhere else to want to check it out, and a show whose results make sense based on the overall continuity of the product. Because even the most rabid fan is eventually going to get tired of seeing all of the stars of ROH just go out there and do their schtik in meaningless ***-***1/2 matches- and even on a show like this one where the main event has been built up as a big deal, only having one excellent match is not always going to be enough to make fans part with fifteen or twenty dollars for the right to watch it.

THE TEMPURA BOYZ vs. CHEESEBURGER & WILL FERRARA vs. COAST TO COAST (Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni) - 5/10


I guess Ali and Giovanni must have come up with this name overnight because they didn't have a name last night but they do have one tonight.

Kevin Kelly spent time putting over Chris Jericho's list gimmick in WWE, talking about how Cheeseburger was on it because Cheeseburger did not think an invitation from Jericho to go out for drinks was serious, so he no-showed. I don't understand what the purpose of Kevin even saying this was. Was it supposed to make be dislike Jericho? Or was it supposed to make me think that Cheeseburger is cool because Jericho wanted to hang out with him? Either way, it's f*cking stupid because IT DOES NOTHIG FOR THE PRODUCT (and no, Jericho thinking that Burger is cool does not help the product in any way because Cheeseburger is still a comedy jobber and Jericho wanting to consume alcohol with him will not alter that portrayal in any way).

He also decided that it was necessary to inform us that Raymond Rowe, one half of ROH's team of big, angry, scary, modern-day Vikings who call themselves "War Machine" was the one who suggested that the Tempura Boyz get some more colorful gear now that they're not young boys in the New Japan Dojo anymore. For all I know this might well be true, but whether it's true or not doesn't matter. The color of someone's gear (especially someone else's) is not the sort of thing that the Raymond Rowe character that I watch on every ROH show would ever give a sh*t about, so all Kevin Kelly telling me this story does is shatter my perception of Rowe as this badass Viking.

The match was fine for the time it got, and pretty much solidified in my mind that Ali & LSG are good enough to be used on a regular basis. F*cking Cheeseburger getting the pin- especially off of something other than a roll-up will always infuriate me.

JAY BRISCOE vs. BOBBY FISH - no rating, bad, pointless segment.
Adam Page was doing commentary for this match. Kevin Kelly put over how "rare" it was that he had singles victories over both Briscoes. I guess that's true, but in reality it's only true because up until Jay's second world title run, they were primarily tag team wrestlers, so they didn't wrestle singles matches that often (and since Jay's second world title run they've gone to insane lengths to protect him).

Well now you can add Bobby Fish to that list, as he won this match by DQ in about two minutes when Adam Page attacked him. Jay Briscoe came over to make the save and got in Page's face. Fish and Briscoe both cut promos saying they wanted a three-way dance. Page said no, but then attacked them, and Tod Sinclair ordered the bell rung. I know Page attacked them, but never agreed to the damn match, so how can he be forced into it? Maybe he just wanted to attack them and head to the back?

This sort of thing is so frustrating to me. As I've said WAY too many times over the course of the last few shows, if this is the match you want to do, why not just book that match from the start? Book your three-way and have Mark face off against one of the local guys you brought in to do dark match to give that guy a good tryout, or against Delirious. What is the point wasting time on the card setting up this three-way (especially if you are operating under the rules that ROH seems to be operating under nowadays to ensure that every show is kept under three hours)? It doesn't get any heat on Page for attacking Fish here if he is then immediately forced into a match where Fish gets to get some revenge by beating Page up.

JAY BRISCOE vs. BOBBY FISH vs. ADAM PAGE- 4.25/10


The match didn't go very long and didn't have much of a story, but the real problem with it was that Page's addition to the match made it feel completely unimportant. He has already gotten his big win over Jay Briscoe and then went right back to being Bullet Club's job-boy, so any potential finish between those two was either going to be (in the event of a Briscoe pin on Page) a diminished version of something we'd already seen and then been told didn't matter, or (in the event of Page beating Briscoe) just more business as usual. Fish, too, had recently gotten a "big" pinfall on Jay- just last weekend, in fact- so him pinning Jay here would feel redundant, but him getting pnned by Jay here would feel like something important was being undone.

The real issue, though, comes when we get to Page and Bobby Fish. Page is getting a shot at Fish's TV Title next week. Last week, however, Fish beat Page clean, and it had absolutely no bearing on their title match (as it shouldn't), which tells us that any finish between these two is also completely unimportant because it won't affect the title match in any way. It's just a random finish between two guys, seven days before they actually have the important match where the finish actually does matter.

Page did get the win, pinning Fish, which at this point came off more like damage control to try to actually make Page look credible again after last week's outstanding stupid decision. Despite getting the pinfall, Page once again didn't look strong in his victory because he waited until Jay Briscoe had hit Fish with the Jay Driller, then kicked Jay in the nuts and pitched him to the outside, then picked up the already downed Fish and hit the Rite of Passage.

THE ADDICITION vs. COLT CABANA & DALTON CASTLE (w/the Boys) - 6.75/10


In the middle of this match, Kevin Kelly thought it was necessary to bring up to Mark Briscoe that Steve Corino did not know the name of the Detroit football team. If I were running a company, bullsh*t like this would be a firing offense. The job of an announcer is to call the match and get the feud over, not play your own little games and entertain yourselves.

The match was good. I actually enjoyed a lot of Cabana and Castle's comedy (in fact, the only comedy spot that I really didn't like was the Addiction's arm spot). Colt and Dalton actually seem to be developing some tag team combination offense now. Which, of course, well...

Knowing where the Castle and Cabana team is going (or rather, where it isn't going) them getting the win here makes no sense. If Colt is going to think that they will never have any success together then he comes off as completely delusional if he breaks the team up while they are winning most of their matches. If I were booking this, I would have had them go to a draw. It still preserves the Addiction's winless streak, while playing into Colt's turn because the team of himself and Dalton couldn't even pick up a win against two guys who haven't won a match in a month. But instead Delirious put Cabana and Castle over clean here because they're the babyfaces. This is part of what I mean when I say that it feels like Delirious is just booking house shows where the results don't matter.

ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Adam Cole(c) vs. Silas Young - 8.25/10


Our commentary team for this match was Kevin Kelly and Jay Lethal. Kelly was actually close to being passable here, and Lethal surprised and impressed me early on by Lethal acknowledging his time as a heel during this title run and using it to show how he has changed, rather than just doing what most companies do today and just ignoring the fact that a top babyface was ever a heel.

Lethal's main flaw as a commentator was that he spent way too much time talking about himself. This was especially a problem here because Lethal has the next shot at the ROH World Title in what we all know is going to be a much-hyped grudge match against Cole. Jay did his best to play up the chances of him challenging either man, but Jay's very presence was a constant reminder to me that there was no way Silas was going to win, which prevented me from putting that fact out of my head while watching the match. In doing this, though, he did do a good job of pushing the idea that when he got his title shot he "would no longer be fighting from anger," which follows up very well from the story of their first title match.

The match itself was pretty awesome, with Silas essentially playing the role of the babyface, which was very jarring to see. The story here was simply Cole trying to put Silas down, working over both his knee and his head, while Silas was refusing to stay down. Actually, he was refusing a little too well, as there were one or two spots that, even with fighting spirit, I just couldn't buy that he could do with his injured knee. The good news for Silas is that this match has certainly raised his stock a bit. Silas has developed (at least in my eyes) the unfortunate reputation of not quite delivering when given a big spot in ROH (for examples of this, see his Fight Without Honor against Dalton Castle, his ROH World Title shot against Michael Elgin, and his "big" win over Kevin Steen at Summer Heat Tour: Cincinnati, which I had totally forgotten about until I was trying to remember how he earned the shot against Elgin in the first place). This match was definitely an acceptable level for an ROH World Title match (although I will admit that in a match that goes over twenty-five minutes [something ROH needs more of, by the way], I was kind of hoping for a bit more).

This was basically a one-match show. That match definitely delivered, but I'm not quite sure it delivered to a truly show-saving level. Between the main event and the opener there was definitely some wrestling here worth watching, and there were several important storyline developments, so I guess I have to say that this show was important in the overall continuity, but at the same time everything else on the show feels bland or worse. I guess I'd say you should watch it for the storyline-important events and for the main event, so I'd make sure to get it if you're a storyline person. If you're just looking for great wrestling, though, I'd give this one a pass.

STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:


1. Kevin Kelly said that ANX "while they were the world tag team champions were in a contract dispute and they decided to leave.

Actually, it was only Kenny King who decided to leave, and it was only Kenny who was having any sort of dispute with ROH. Rhett stayed in ROH for another entire year (in kayfabe, out of kayfabe he never left). It's bad enough when an announcer doesn't remember an important fact, but this one was even worse because Kenn leaving but Rhett staying (and thus being stripped of the tag titles) was a major motivating factor in Rhett's decision to turn heel and join SCUM, and SCUM was not only a MAJOR angle in company history, but is also the thing that Kevin Kelly always tries to constantly remind Steve Corino about (which Steve always denies any memory of- another one of their supposed "jokes" that they have beaten into the ground over the past three years). The fact that Kevin remembers it enough to bring it up to Corino but doesn't remember one of the key players is extremely annoying.

2. When Kaimatachi tried to pin Jay lethal with the arrogant "foot on the chest" pin, Kevin Kelly said "I don't know why an official would even dignify that with a count."

BECAUSE IT'S A LEGAL PINFALL, DUMBASS! The referee's job is to enforce the rules, not to enforce humility upon the wrestlers and make sure they don't get each other angry.

3. Kevin Kelly- "Over the course of fifteen days Jay Lethal will circumvent the globe to perhaps earn two of the most prestigious championships in the world."

Really? He's going to "circumvent the globe" in order to do that? Why? Is one of the matches on Mars and the other on Venus, and he'll have to alter his flight path to go around the Earth so that he doesn't crash into it? Because that's what it means "circumvent" something. The word closest to circumvent that I assume Kevin confused it with would be "circumnavigate," but even that would only make this a true statement if he left from his home in the US to go to Japan and did not fly back to the US before setting out for England almost two weeks later.

4. Kevin Kelly theorized that the Tempura Boyz would be "at a distinct disadvantage from this because Cheeseburger, Ferrara, LSG, and Shaheem Ali all train out of the ROH Dojo, so are very familiar with one another and I have a feeling that each will be able to counter what the other does."
(And to make things worse, while he was saying this, Kevin would take about a three second pause between phrases, as if he had no idea where he was going with what he was saying when he started his sentence)

Okay, but doesn't the inability to counter the moves of the other two teams get cancelled out by the fact that the other two teams won't be as familiar with the Tempura Boyz's offense and thus they will be much less likely to counter it?

5. Kevin Kelly- "If you were a doubter or a non-believer in Hangman Page, now you can point to it. Yes, he cheated. Yes, broke the rules. But, man, the role that Hangman Page is on. There isn't any indication that this momentum will stop before that man right there Hangman Page challenges for the Ring of Honor World Television Title."

The role he's on? Yes, four in a row is good, but I'd definitely argue that the fact that he had to cheat to win should matter a great deal. If you want to say that his momentum- four straight victories in which he cheated in the finish of at least three of them- is good, then you should be saying that the momentum of Cheeseburger and Ferrara- four straight wins which were all 100% clean (though one was a DQ) is at least as good, and they're f*cking Will Ferrara and Cheeseburger. And how the hell does stealing Jay Briscoe's pin here generate momentum against a guy he tapped out to cleanly last week. If he has to keep cheating to win, Kevin Kelly should not be telling me that it is now impossible to deny how good this guy is. "Wow. He's got a lot of momentum going into this title match" is how you hype up someone who has been winning CLEANLY. In a situation like this Kevin Kelly should be saying something like "if Page uses the tactics he used tonight in next week's match, he could steal the ROH TV Title!"

6. Jay Lethal and Kevin Kelly both theorized that the Young Bucks were around somewhere, waiting for the perfect moment to strike should Cole need them.

Where the Bucks actually were was on tour with New Japan for the Super Juniors Tag Team Tournament. There is no excuse for Kevin Kelly to not know this.

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