They've got a goofy little video now assuring us that "the passion is real," "the connection is real" and finally that "honor is real." Maybe I'm alone in this, but I think that trying to use the word "real in connection with pro wrestling is a bad idea. I'm not disputing that the passion and connection are real (the honor on the other hand... give me a few months where we have limited f*ck finishes, the ones that do are all followed up on in a logical manner, not following the Code of Honor isn't just done for cheap heat, and we don't have people randomly cheating in matches and everyone going along with it because it got a pop, and then we'll talk), but I think that to any non-fan or even casual fan, any time they see a promotion trying to tell them something is "real," it's a turn-off.
ADAM PAGE vs. SHANE TAYLOR - 6.5/10
Ian Riccaboni tells us that Shane Taylor is upset because he feels that "guys like Adam Page have been handed their spots." In other words, Shane Taylor is upset that management has taken opportunities that he thinks should be his and instead given them to other people... which, as you might remember, is the same exact thing he was doing with The Rebellion, a stable that broke up over a year ago. I'll also point out that since that break-up, Taylor has been a mercenary for hire, then decided to not be a mercenary and win the right way to make a better life for his daughter, and is now back as a whiny heel again... and in all this time he has remained an undercard jamoke, with the biggest name he has gotten win over being the third wheel of SoCal Uncensored, Scorpio Sky. Taylor isn't particularly good and Delirious clearly can't think of anything to do with him, so why do they keep using him?
The did a good job using the size differential to tell a story and Taylor did his part of this "Page got handed his spot" angle as well with all of his yelling, but ultimately this was another forgettable ten-minute match in which the Bullet Club member beat the guy who feels like he'll be on the undercard for life. If Taylor is to have any chance at this point, they at the very least need to be giving him time to have stand-out matches. Otherwise he's just another whiny heel who never wins so you wonder why- from a kayfabe point of view- the company keeps booking him. Maybe with Beer City Bruiser or Brian Milonas this match would have been fine for its spot on the card, but with Taylor it felt like it needed to be something more.
To argue against Taylor's assertions about Page, Ian Riccaboni listed off a long litany of medium to big names that Page had defeated recently, including Minoru Suzuki, Joe Hendry, Jimmy Havoc, and others, and said that that's the kind of record that gets you into title contention. Good point, Ian. Okay...so why the hell hasn't ROH announced that Page is getting a title shot yet? Why are they making him go through Survival of the Fittest, just like Beer City Bruiser, a complete and total loser who has beaten nobody?
FLIP GORDON & CHEESEBURGER vs. THE KINGDOM (T.K. O'Ryan & Vinny Marseglia) - 4/10
This was supposed to be The Kingdom vs. Flip Gordon & Kenny King but Kenny has apparently decided to no-show. They played his music but he never came out. While everyone was waiting for Kenny, The Kingdom decided that this would be an opportune time to attack Flip, and so they did.
As Flip was being beaten down two-on-one, Ian Riccaboni told us that "we do not have an enforcer. We don't have an official ROH matchmaker. It's a board of directors. So Tod Sinclair; a lot of this responsibility comes down to him."
While it's good to know that Bully Ray has finally been fired after six months of not only not doing his job, but also assaulting people, exposing them to lawsuits by constantly showing off his WWE Hall of Fame ring and THREATENING TO MURDER A COWORKER (and get one of the biggest shows of the year cancelled in the process), but if the board of directors thought the position was necessary, why didn't they appoint a replacement as soon as they fired Bully Ray (and nothing has changed in the past nine months that makes me feel like some sort of authority figure is any less necessary). The same goes for a matchmaker, which we haven't had since Nigel left. The whole unseen authority figure/"board of directors" making decisions thing can work in a promotion like EVOLVE in which nine times out of ten the only change you'll get is to the order of the matches because someone cuts the "You come out here and LET'S DO THIS RIGHT NOW!" promo, and the tenth time is the every once in a blue moon where something happens and a singles match becomes a tag after all competitors okay the change. But in a company being booked like ROH is at the moment where at least once a show we are presented with a situation where the announcers are throwing their hands up in their air and asking each other "is this official or not? I don't know!" and basically telling us that they have no idea who is supposed to me making the decisions, then quite frankly not having an authority figure makes the supposed board of directors look stupid and makes the company look bad. And if that person is going to be Tod Sinclair then that's great. I love Tod Sinclair, think he can handle the role, and like the idea of their being some additional air of authority added to the title of "senior referee." But if it's going to be Sinclair then he has to fill that role on all occasions, with all decisions of this sort being credited to him, etc., and despite what Ian said here, that really hasn't been the case.
So Sinclair eventually ordered the bell rung and the match made official. As you can probably guess by the heading, Cheeseburger eventually came out and Sinclair let him be Flip's partner. This is the role I think Cheeseburger works best in: the young lovable loser babyface eager for experience and opportunities and always ready to do the right thing. If you need someone for a spot like this, Cheeseburger is a great choice. He should not be given title shots (or really even #1 contendership matches) and should not be booked in 50-50 feuds with other undercard dorks.
The match itself was perfectly good for what it was, with Flip looking strong, Burger looking valiant and eager, and The Kingdom coming out of it with a clean win pinning everyone's favorite jobber. Even Vinny Marseglia managed to not do anything that annoyed me. The commentary, on the other hand...
First Ian decided to discuss the Kingdom's claims that there has been a conspiracy against them. Strangely, Ian introduced this idea by saying "they've declared the conspiracy dead, and the facts speak for themselves," and then began listing evidence in favor of the continued existence of this conspiracy. What? Yes, I know they claimed the conspiracy was "dead" after they won the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Titles back in May (even though it didn't make sense then because Taven's claims that ROH World Champion Dalton Castle was ducking him were still unresolved), but since then several things have happened that Ian is literally pointing out to us right now that could be construed as evidence of them purposely being screwed by the office (including the way they lost those same titles), so why is Ian telling us they're saying the conspiracy is "dead?"
Later, when Burger came out, we got the following comments. First it was Cabana trying to tell me that someone quickly drew up a contract for Cheeseburger to wrestle in this match. Even if that were true, it would need all of the other participants to sign it, which they clearly didn't because we saw them out here the whole time. Additionally, this comment completely steps on Ian's claim that Tod Sinclair is in charge of these things now and the decision in these cases is his.
Then Ian, possibly trying to lend credibility to Cabana's statement in the kind of ridiculous way that only Ian Riccaboni can told us that this would have been possible because "I saw the COO Joe Koff here" earlier. Not only does this not solve the problem of "the other wrestlers would have to sign off on the contract as well," but it also implies that Koff's presence is necessary for all contracts- which, just based off of the impromptu nature of so many of the matches we have seen, seems pretty clearly false (although the whole "contracts for individual matches" thing in pro wrestling is its own big can of worms)- but it just makes me ask "if the COO is here then why did you tell me that there was no one here from management to make important decisions like this?" Isn't the COO in charge of the company and a member (or at least an authorized representative) of the board of directors? We certainly have not been shown any higher authority in ROH than Joe Koff, so why are these decisions having to fall to Tod Sinclair when the actual boss is in the building?
JEFF COBB vs. ELI ISOM (w/Ryan Nova) - no rating, okay squash
They did a very good job of establishing that Cobb is the big, dominant monster who almost never even gets knocked off of his feet, but even at five and a half minutes, this felt like it went on for WAY too long. I think it would have been a lot better to just have Cobb obliterate Isom, and save the "first time knocking Cobb off of his feet" in ROH for another time.
I don't get it. Is Cobb a babyface or a heel? He ruined the Top Prospect Tournament (heel move), but also saved Sabin from Martinez at Death Before Dishonor (babyface move), and he is offering Isom and Nova legitimate, honest handshakes after the match (babyface move). Also, if Cobb ruined the Top Prospect Tournament, you'd think management would book a new one, right? What better story could you have than one of the guys whose opportunity Cobb ruined now going on to win the tournament and then challenge Cobb for the title at Final Battle? Even if you want Cobb to win (and I would have him win cleanly), the Top Prospect could still get the rub of earning Cobb's respect (maybe even wind up as an on-again, off-again tag team to give the division a little more depth)... or at least he could have until they just shot their wad on that with this as well.
THE BRISCOES vs. THE BOUNCERS (Brian Milonas & the Beer City Bruiser) - 6.75/10
"The Bouncers" is an extremely stupid name. They fought on the outside forever without Sinclair trying to count them out. This was a good, solid brawl, but I think it was hurt by the fact that no one thought The Bouncers had a snowball's chance. They all shared beers after the match while the announcers told us that this was "a building block match" for The Bouncers and that they have a great future in ROH, which I disappoints me greatly because Milonas isn't very good and BCB is only palatable to me in his role as Silas' dangerous but dim-witted lackey, and with Silas seeming to have split from those two recently on TV, I would be very happy if ROH just stopped using them so they weren't taking up spots on the card that could go to guys like Coast 2 Coast.
MARTY SCURLL vs. HURRICANE HELMS - 1/10
This "hero vs. villain" idea is nice, but it's the sort of thing you do as a story in CHIKARA or as a one-off in some random indy, but you can't have Marty Scurll feuding with the f*cking Hurricane in Ring of Honor (and especially not when he's suppose dot be part of a totally babyface Bullet Club). And especially not losing cleanly, which he has done in this feud.
Scurll had Adam Page come out on stage dressed like him to distract Helms so he could sneak out of the crowd and jump Helms from behind. The fans responded to this by cheering loudly and showering Marty with streamers. This is why you can't do a feud like this: because the fans will crap all over the premise, because it's Bullet Club Member Marty Scurll vs. a guy in a superhero costume in 2018.
They were having a decent little match with Scurll working Helms' head and Helms working Scurll's leg, but then someone decided it was necessary to do a ref bump to have THE HURRICANE GET A VISUAL PINFALL ON MARTY SCRULL. Eventually Marty recovered and kicked the Hurricane in his Hurri-Testicles, then hit him with the Last Shot. Marty then called to the back, and a referee responded to Marty's call by running out to count the pinfall. Let me get this straight:
They have a second referee back there watching the match in case he is needed, but instead of running out as soon as there is a ref bump, he only comes out when someone calls him? And if he was watching the match enough to see Marty calling for him, how did he not see Marty kick The Hurricane in the nuts? Shouldn't he have just DQed Marty as soon as he took over officiating duties from the incapacitated Paul Turner?
Anyway, The Hurricane kicked out. Meanwhile, the announcers are all saying they have never seen this referee before and saying they have no idea who he is. Marty then grabbed Hurricane's stupid fake "Hero Championship Belt" (so we're on our second made up championship angle in less than two years, and Superkick Party Tag Team Titles never actually mattered in storyline, so I doubt this one will either). The conscious referee stopped Marty from using the belt as a weapon. Marty and Hurricane then took turns goozle-ing each other, with the result being both men trying to choke the other, so the referee ordered them to break. They did so... and then these two men who have been feuding for months and were just in the middle of a battle so heated they were trying to choke each other, decided to work together to give this referee a chokeslam (and don't tell me they were trying to Hurri-Slam each other, because you don't do the Hurri-Slam by goozling the opponent with both hands. But even if they were, it still wouldn't make this not stupid).
The fans all cheered for this assault on an innocent referee. Then Paul Turned called for the bell to disqualify both men for attacking a referee, and the fans all booed. WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN, YOU F*CKING MORONS?! These people... they're not even marks. They just cult-members. At least a mark buys into the story. If Bullet Club all came out and instead of having a match they all just took off their boots and silently and stoically took turns passing a nail-clipper around trimming their toe-nails, these people would cheer for it and tell you how awesome it was to be able to sit there and watch people silently stim their toenails for fifteen minutes instead of giving you the promised wrestling match.
They kept brawling and had to be separated by security. Meanwhile, the announcers are just making jokes about the fact that they don't know who that referee was instead of selling the angle. We got the standard spots where each guy gets a turn to break free of security and jump onto the other. Adam Page then ran down and started attacking the security guys holding Marty back, and even though this was now about to be an unfair fight in favor of the guys who had cheated and use dishonest tactics several times already, the crowd ate it up, because they'd happily eat overpriced horse manure if you put a Bullet Club logo on it.
Seeing that this was now going to be an unfair fight, did the same thing he has done all night in such situations, which was make an excuse for why he won't do the right thing here, even though he did so in the past when Bully Ray was involved. Helms figured that if he was about to get double-teamed then his best move would be to try to take one of his opponents out right away, so he bravely charged right at the mostly-fresh Adam Page and took him down. The heels overwhelmed him and beat him down like a gang of heels. Then they took his mask off, and then announcers all acted shocked that this was Shane Helms, because apparently they think that gag is still funny fifteen years later. They finally started to become serious when Marty was flaunting his trophy, with Ian saying "We have a little bit of fun, we have a little bit of a ha-ha moment," but now it's apparently time to be serious, because they took Helms' mask off and Marty said "I just made you my own bitch" (to which Ian responded by saying "oh come on. You can't say that. My son is watching" in his mildly reproaching "you've taken it a little bit too far now" voice). Because I guess it wasn't serious when they were beating the sh*t out of Helms, but once you take the guy's mask and call him a bad name within earshot of children, that's crossing a line. Hey, Ian? If you're concerned about bad language, then maybe don't let your two-year-old watch professional wrestling.
After then heels left, the fans all loudly chanted "HURRICANE! HURRICANE! HURRICANE!" Anyone remember two minutes ago when they were cheering loudly as he was savagely beaten by two men? Because they apparently don't. If I were Helms I would grabbed a mic and told them to go f*ck themselves. This whole thing sucked. The first few minutes of the match were the only thing that kept me from giving it a dud.
BRITT BAKER & SUMIE SAKAI vs. JENNY ROSE & STELLA GREY - 6/10
Caprice Coleman, who had joined Colt and Ian on commentary for the past two matches, has now departed, and is being replaced by Madison Rayne. If everything we've heard from the announcers so far tonight is any indication, Madison has now lost half of her brain cells merely by putting that headset on.
On commentary, Ian told me that Kelly Klein is looking for revenge on Jenny Rose because Kelly is angry that Jenny chipped one of her teeth during a match. Wow. That sounds like a personal issue that could get me interested in a feud. So why am I watching this completely generic tag team match instead of a singles match between Jenny Rose and Kelly Klein?
Madison seemed to be on commentary for the specific purpose of telling me how great Britt Baker was. Ian also lavished much praise on Britt (Cabana, on the other hand, seemed incapable of moving past the fact that she went to medical school). Meanwhile, the Women of Honor put on their usual solid but not particularly great or anything nine-minute match. Britt got the win, but after the match was over I was still left asking myself what the big deal about her is. On the one hand, I know there are other promotions out there I could be watching to get a much better gauge of Britt's abilities (RISE, SHIMMER, STARDOM, other women's promotions with their names in all caps), but on the other hand, if ROH is going to bring Britt Baker in and tell me she's a big deal, it's ROH's job to give her the opportunity to show her abilities in their ring.
BULLY RAY WASTES A BUNCH OF TIME TRYING TO GET CHEAP HEAT - First he came out with no music like Ciampa. Then threatened Bobby Cruise. He ranted and raved for a while, including shouting at Cabana. I wish I could eliminate the concept of cheap heat from professional wrestling so that instead of wasting time on stupid bullsh*t like this or SCU's usual promo, this time would be spent on wrestling. A small child shouted "YOU SOUND LIKE PAUL HEYMAN!" at Bully Ray, which is extremely false.
Bully let Cruise start his intro, then threatened him again. One fan threw a streamer which nailed Bully in the face. Other fans then started to throw streamers at him. The guy they hate. Can someone explain to them that in ROH we use toilet paper for that, not streamers? Bully decided to encourage people to throw the streamers at him (not a good idea), and managed to get in a dig at the local baseball team while doing so. He then buried the crowd for being "dirt-sheet readers" (to which Cabana responded by saying "real edgy, Bully. What are you going to do next? Burn the Observer?" which got me to laugh. The announcers continued to point out how way out of touch Bully was if he thought he could get heat in 2018 by calling fans "dirt-sheet readers." He then challenged fans to come fight him, which obviously no one did because they know it's a work and thus not worth getting ejected from the building. He then kept repeating the he is from New York City. Well... that was six minutes of my life I'll never have back.
Mercifully, Gresham finally came out so we could finally start the...
NO DISQUALIFICATIONS MATCH:
Bully Ray vs. Jonathan Gresham - 6.5/10
Wait. No. Can't start yet. Now we need to wait for Bully to get Gresham a cheap pop. I'm not disputing that it works, but I would SOOOOO much rather be watching them get reactions by telling a story in the ring.
To be fair, they did a pretty good job of telling a story in the ring as well, but the pace was extremely slow. Don't get me wrong. That's not always a bad thing, and these guys definitely milked every last little thing they did for the most they could, but a slow pace works well when you're having a 18+ minute match. When you're having a twelve-minute match (and especially a gimmick match that is third from the top), a very slow pace almost certainly winds up making the match worse.
There is a fan in the second row with a sign that says "GIANTS 1-5" on one side and "TOYOTA DRIVERS SUCK" on the other. Did this guy wander into the wrong building or something?
SOCAL UNCENSORED PROMO - Would have been fine if their delivery was a little less over the top.
SOCAL UNCENSORED PROMO - Yes, there was another one. Apparently someone felt it was necessary to play the promo they put up on "ROH's social media channels" (according to Ian), and then to also have them cut another promo in the building. In this promo they seem to be babyfaces, with "this is the worst town we've ever been to" somehow becoming a babyface catchphrase.
I'm sorry. I don't understand the people who go to these shows anymore. As best I can tell, fans nowadays love any sort of shtick, regardless of what the person is actually saying. Cabana also seemed perplexed at this, and Ian told him that the catchphrase had been "popularized on Being The Elite." Do you think Ian even realizes that every time he says that something was "popularized on Being The Elite" he is actually burying ROH's own TV show, which you would think would actually have more viewers than BTE and yet BTE is what seems to get everything over?
ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes & the Young Bucks)(c) (w/Brandi Rhodes & Bernard the Business Bear) vs. SoCal Uncensored - 7.5/10
So SoCal Uncensored just cut a promo about how Bullet Club are such extremely tough opponents and how important it is that they win tonight's match because this might be their last chance at a title match in 2018 and they need to be champions so they have leverage to force Joe Koff to renew their contracts because Koff has publicly stated that he will not do so... so of course the first thing we get in this match is Cody and Kazarian doing comedy based off the fact that they're both wearing the same t-shirt. I think Colt Cabana best summed up my feelings when he said responded to Cody grabbing a mic and telling Kazarian "that's a great t-shirt!" by saying "this is the wrestling business in 2018."
Basically, Kaz and Cody have opened a cigar shop together, and instead of wrestling their professional wrestling match, they decided to use this time to plug their cigar shop and shoot a commercial with them and Brandi. I really, truly, honestly hope they paid Ring of Honor for this time, because this whole thing is just so f*cking wrong. What do you think would happen if you went to your job and your boss gave you a product to do, and when he/she asked you for a progress report a few hours later, you said "I haven't started it yet because I've been making sales calls for my side business instead?" Your ass would be fired, and rightfully so. But that's what these assholes just did.
With that stupidity out of the way because one of the Young Bucks (of all people!) called them out on it and put an end to it, they shake hands... and Kaz sucker-punches Cody. One would think this would affect their new business partnership (if the guy is slimy enough to sucker-punch you after a handshake, he's probably not above embezzlement, either), but we all know it won't because that would require these guys actually thinking about how their actions in one segment should effect their character interactions in the future, and they've spent this entire year proving that that particular capability is way beyond them.
After this sucker-punch, Kazarian hits Cody with a dropkick... then rolls to the outside and pulls a cigar out of somewhere (didn't the ref check him for foreign objects before the match?) while the fans chant for free samples. Instead Kaz offers the cigar to the bear, but then drops it when the bear reaches for it, and kicks the stupid bear in the head when the bear went to pick it up. Because winning these titles- a necessary step to securing SCU's continued employment!- is so important to Kazarian that rather than follow up on the advantage he just created, he's going to go to the outside to trick the stupid mascot.
Once the Space Clown and the regular clown tagged out, an actual wrestling match broke out and it was pretty darn great. I would have greatly appreciated a few more minutes of that instead of the stupid bullsh*t they wasted the first few minutes of this match on.
During the above match Ian Riccaboni informed us that he had "gotten word from the board of directors" that Shane Helms and Marty Scurll with face each other in a no DQs match at Sunday's TV tapings. So the board of directors is paying attention to tonight's show? Because earlier, Ian had basically said that they weren't.
MATT TAVEN PROMO - A great promo, but a bad storyline. Taven comes out with The Kingdom and cuts a this promo in which he makes several excellent points about his worthiness a contender and the fact that he legitimately had the ROH World Champion pinned for a three-count in an ROH World Title match but the referee was down, so now he's got his own belt and he's claiming to be the "real world champion" and I'm supposed to hate him for doing this and for being a chickensh*t who says he'll be a fighting champion but then claims that he hasn't done so because no one in the locker room deserves a title shot... and while that last point does make me dislike him, I'm having a really, really hard time getting over that first thing he said. Because he's 100% correct. So correct that it really makes you wonder why, in the three and a half months since that match, ROH management has given title shots Jonathan Gresham, Silas, Young, and Will Ospreay for absolutely no reason (Haskins and Flip did at least earn theirs), while Taven hasn't gotten one.
ROH WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Jay Lethal(c) vs. Silas Young - 7.75/10
We got great pre-taped promos from both men before the match. The announcers made a big deal about if Lethal were to retain tonight he would pass Nigel for second-most combined days as champion and he would be only five wins away from tying both Nigel and Bryan for most combined title defenses...and I really hope he never passes either of those marks. I like Jay Lethal a lot and think he's a great wrestler, but neither the booking nor the in-ring quality of his defenses deserve that accolade. (although I attribute that second part more to the booking than anything else because he has rarely been given time to go out there and have classic world title matches, and rarely been booked in situations where the title defense felt like it really meant something and there was a snowball's chance of him losing).
Can you name me one Jay Lethal ROH World Title defense that people were raving about? I sure can't, and I'm a guy who keeps prodigious notes. The only ones that are even popping into my mind are his Ironman Match with Gresham (because it was recent) and his draw with Roddy (which, if I remember correctly, a large segment of the fanbase did not like, though another large segment liked it a hell of a lot). Compare that Dragon's instant classic defenses against Roddy, KENTA, and Nigel, or Nigel's against Dragon, Tyler, and Aries. Or the great stories involved in Cabana, Nigel, and Homicide's chasing of Dragon, or Steen, Dragon, or Claudio's chasing of Nigel. Lethal doesn't any a single title chase that has been anything close to that. And yet if he passes those marks, I'm going to have to sit here, show after show, as the announcers insist to me that Lethal is the "greatest ROH World Champion of all time," and while those numbers might look like they support that statement from just a superficial glance, anyone with any real knowledge of the product's history will know otherwise. How can Jay Lethal be the "greatest ROH World Champion of all time" if he only defended the title four times in his first six months as champion but Bryan Danielson defended the belt on a more regular basis when he had a f*cked up shoulder and Nigel McGuiness defended it on a more regular basis- and kept throwing lariats all the while- with torn muscles in his arm? It will be just another painful reminder that this once-great product has now become completely superficial.
This got an unfortunately short amount of time for an ROH World Title (and especially at a show like Glory By Honor), going just fifteen minutes, but they made the most of it. They told the story that they had wrestled each other so many times that they each had a bunch of counters for the other's usual offense, and Lethal in particular was getting frustrated by this. Finally Lethal got the advantage by throwing Silas the ultimate curveball of hitting Silas with Silas' own signature moves, then hit a HUGE flurry of stuff for the win.
Silas did actually get one move off during Lethal's huge flurry, which was countering the Lethal Injection with a schoolboy when Lethal finally went for it (after hitting, consecutively, Misery, a clothesline over the top rope, three suicide dives, a missile dropkick, a Lethal Combination, and finally Hail to the King), but Lethal kicked out, ducked a Silas clothesline, and then hit a Lethal Injection for the pin, but I honestly thought it would have been better if he had just hit that first Lethal Injection and got the win, as it would have made the curveball that Lethal threw Silas the thing that ultimately led directly to Lethal's victory whereas just going for the moves the other had expected from them had been failing for both men so far.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Very good. Cody came out and suggested to Lethal that Lethal defend the ROH World Title against him because he never got a one-on-one rematch after losing the ROH World Title to Dalton Castle. While Cody does have a point (especially because it was Scurll who got pinned at Best in the World and Dalton who got pinned when Lethal won the belt the next night, not him), but as with Jay Briscoe, I have to ask what the hell has taken Cody so long to get around to asking for this? Ten lost the best ten months ago.
Before Lethal could answer, Kenny King showed up and accused Cody of "politicking." As I said above, Cody does have a point and really is entitled to this match, but at the same time, between Cody's oily manner of talking and the fact that less than two weeks ago he talked himself into an IWGP Heavyweight Title match that he hadn't done a damn thing to earn, I will admit that when he started talking, "politicking" was the first word that came to my mind as well.
Kenny, being a heel, then proceeded to do some politicking of his own. He began by saying that while Cody has won a bunch of belts recently, his only ROH belt is a six-man tag team title in which his co-champions are one of the best tag teams in the world... so how much credit does Cody really deserve for his recent success in ROH? Kenny pointed out that he himself has been undefeated all summer, including beating pretty much every singles wrestler in Bullet Club. He dubbed himself the "Bullet Club Silencer," pointed out many similarities between himself and Lethal (although he was wrong when he said Lethal is a former world tag team champion), and pointed out that Jay Lethal has never beaten him before.
The fans thought Kenny's promo was boring, which is yet more evidence that this crowd is just plain stupid. Lethal insulted Kenny, but then told both Kenny and Cody "any time, anywhere." I thought this was a very good segment to set up two new deserving challengers for Lethal's title. I was a little surprised that Matt Taven didn't make an appearance to claim that he was the one they should be challenging and not Lethal, though, and that somehow (perhaps through Taven's promo also serving as a distraction for O'Ryan and Marseglia to attack Kenny, Lethal, and Cody from behind with weapons?) could have led to an interesting six-man tag in which the non-Kingdom team would, of course, have problems getting along, leading to Taven pinning Lethal, which Taven could then use to bolster his claims of being the "real world champion."
This was... not a Ring of Honor-quality show. Everything aside from the Scurll/Helms atrocity and Bully/Gresham was solid or better for what it was supposed to be (and even Bully and Gresham succeeded in what they set out to do; I just think it was a poor choice), but aside from the top two matches, none of it was better than just "solid," and those two top matches were not even close to enough to carry a show, and not really even particularly great when you consider the talent involved, either (though in the case of Silas vs. Lethal that was more due to the time they were- or maybe more accurately, weren't- given). This felt like another middling show from a product that has set out to be mediocre and generic. That's not what ROH is supposed to be, and especially not for what has traditionally been one of the biggest shows of the year.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES
1. Colt Cabana claimed that Major League III: Back to the Minors was the best of the trilogy, when anyone with a brain knows that Major League II was the best and number three was the worst.
2. Colt Cabana- "I don't know the legality of double-chokeslamming a referee."
Well, considering that attacking a referee is against rules and that a chokeslam is a form of attack, I'd say it's illegal. And if you're not smart enough to figure that out on your own, Colt, you should have taken a hint from the fact that both men were disqualified for doing so.