ROH 12/23/16 TV Review
The show this week started off with a Kevin Kelly intro that welcome us to a Best of 2016 episode that featured highlights of matches from the year. Despite the show being a collection of highlights, the following will be the complete match reviews from earlier this year. Hope you all enjoy and thanks for coming along with the ride 2016.
First Match: Keith Lee & Shane Taylor vs. War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe)
Lee and Taylor stood in front of the ring as War Machine came out and the bout started with all four men brawling on the outside, with Rowe and Hanson gaining the early advantage, slamming Lee and Taylor into the barricades. War Machine then combined to lay out Taylor with a garbage can before trying to put Lee through a table. Lee was able to shove them both into the barricades before standing on the apron and indicating he was going to go for a moonsault. His posturing allowed War Machine to combine to powerbomb through Lee the announce table. The two continued to dominate, rolling Taylor into the ring, but unsuccessful in their attempt to win with a quick pinfall attempt. Rowe punished Taylor by body slamming his partner on him and then kicked a weakened Lee back to the arena floor. Rowe and Hanson tried to double suplex Taylor through yet another table, but Lee was able to recover to save his partner. Hanson fought Lee and Taylor off from the apron, but received a foreman to the face for his troubles, crashing through the table on the outside. These four really showed off their considerable strength and agility in this one. Hanson hit an incredible moonsault off the top, but even Taylor was able to stop the pin attempt before the referee’s count reached three. As the four brawled near commentary, Kelly was forced to move and ended up taking a suicide dive from Hanson into the barricade. As officials attended to Kelly, Taylor ate an exploder through a table on the inside and set Taylor up for the finish, but stopped as Taylor begged him off. Lee crept up behind Rowe and powerbombed him through a table for the huge victory. This was a brutal match, with all four men excelling in this one.
Winners: War Machine
Tour of New Japan video package from earlier this year is shown.
Second Match: ROH World Tag Team Championship
The Addiction vs. The Young Bucks vs. The Motor City Machine Guns
The Addiction were sent to the outside at the onset, leaving the Bucks and Gun alone as the two teams respectfully locked up, allowing Daniels and Kazarian to crack their opponents with chairs. The Bucks made the Addiction mix and superkicked the two out of the ring. Just as Daniels and Kazarian were carrying a ladder, Nick dropkicked the ladder and then flipped off the apron over the ladder somehow, as the Guns and then Bucks dove over the top rope onto the rest of the crowd. Nick slid the first ladder into the ring ring, but Shelley kicked the ladder out. Matt stopped the Guns from hitting a second gear with their double team moves and the Bucks were left alone to start to scale the ladder. Kazarian snuck in and quickly ascended the ladder, but the Guns were there to stop him.
Daniels came in, showing signs of being busted open the hard way early. With both Addiction members down the Bucks took control until Kazarian hit his slingshot DDT. Matt and Nick recovered, superkicked a ladder than was around the necks of the Addiction. Matt powerbombed Daniels onto a ladder and then held it up for Nick to connect with a senton from the top onto the Almighty One, necessitating a new ladder. The Bucks started to construct a table made out of the barricade when they noticed that Kazarian was climbing the ladder. Back in the ring, Kazarian swung Nick off the ladder with a cutter that grounded both men.
The Guns began a domino of broken tables, with Shelley driving Kazarian through one table, Sabin launching Matt through another with a back body drop. Daniels rock bottomed Sabin through another table and then Nick launched off the top with a 450 splash to Kazarian. Craziest consecutive table shattering I’ve ever seen. Three tables were then set up in the ring and all six men brawled atop the ladder with the belts right above them. Daniels reached Flair levels of blood as the Guns sandwiched him in a table and propped it in the corner. Kazarian accidentally hit the ladder with a chair and the Guns then slammed Daniels and ladder to the mat. The Guns and Bucks stymied each other and Corino was too tired to call double superkicks, saving his breath for the next four, the last one that sent Daniels onto the barricade fort that the Bucks and conveniently placed outside earlier. Shelley went for sliced bread off the ring post, but Matt reversed the move and as Nick was pushed from the ladder he was able to springboard to the outside for the Indytaker.
As the Bucks climbed the ladder, Kamaitachi ran in and pushed the ladder down. As the Addiction were gathering their thoughts, White came down to even the odds, but was driving through a table by Kazarian with a cutter off the apron. Left alone in the ring with Matt, Daniels hit a best moonsault ever and he set up a ladder as Kazarian set up a table near the corner. Daniels head butted Matt onto the table while Kazarian held him in place. Nick climbed from the other side after making a ladder bridge into the corner, which he later backdropped Daniels through. Kazarian tried for a cutter through the table, but Matt reversed into the Indytaker. Nick was atop the ladder and instead of grabbing the title, went for the move, driving Kazarian through a table in the process. Matt and Nick climbed the ladder and grabbed the titles, winning the match.
Winners and NEW champions: The Young Bucks
Women of Honor video package, highlighting Faye Jackson, Deonna Purrazzo vs Sumie Sakai. The clip focused on Kelly Klein’s undefeated streak, Mandy Leon and Taeler Hendrix’s feud this year, culminating in clips of their no DQ match, which Hendrix won with a Kiss Goodnight onto a pile of chairs.
Global Wars/Bullet Club video package of Adam Cole joining the Bullet Club, then cutting Lethal’s hair going into their Death Before Dishonor match.
ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Adam Cole vs Jay Lethal (c)
The two stared each other down as the bell rang, with the crowd chanting for both in the background. Cole yanked Letha’s hair out of his trunks and Lethal waits no more before attacking with a series of rights. A cartwheel reversal for Lethal led to a slap and some ground and pound. Lethal knife-edge chopped Cole around the ring until Cole stomped him into the corner, pausing to chant Adam Cole Bay Bay along with the crowd. The brief respite allowed Lethal to regain control and attempt a suicide dive. Cole moved out of the way, but again his bragging left him open to attack by Lethal. Cole broke the referee’s 20 count, only to have Lethal deliver a snapmare followed by a dropkick on the outside.
Lethal seemed to be searching for something under the ring, but was having trouble finding it under all the streamers and myriad other objects under the ring. The search for the table gave Cole a chance to get to his feet, only to be greeted by a cutter on the arena floor. Lethal draped Cole on the table and perched on the top turnbuckle, but Cole rolled out of the way and Lethal’s elbow went through the table, splitting it in half.
Back in in the ring, Lethal was at the mercy of Adam Cole, as the champion sported a cut on his head and a gash on his back from the crash through the table. Cole bounced on the ropes and locked in a reverse chinlock to much fanfare. Lethal briefly escaped, but was felled by an elbow rather quickly. Lethal launched Cole to the outside with a springboard dropkick and hit his trifecta of suicide dives. In an unexpected mood Lethal hit two more dives in a row before he finally went to the well one too many times and crashed into the barricade.
Cole wasn’t able to win with a shining wizard but it gave him the opportunity to tune up the band for a superkick that was blocked by Lethal. Jay’s attempt at a Lethal Injection was countered and with Todd Sinclair shoved out of the way, Cole caught Lethal between the legs followed by a brainbuster to the knee that only scored a two count. Cole then locked in a guillotine choke which Lethal escaped with a Lethal combination.
Lethal delivered three consecutive back suplex before launching from the top for a Hail to the King elbow. The ensuing pin was only a two count and then both men kicked each other repeatedly until the both collapsed to the mat. Cole’s first attempt at a destroyer from the top was blocked, but he connected a second time. Cole connected with the Last Shot, but could not keep Lethal down for three and the concern showed on his face. He began to deride Lethal, spitting in his face and missing with a superkick attempt, which allowed Jay to hit a Lethal Injection. Cole again stopped to insult Lethal, flipping him two birds before Lethal rushed him. Cole went for a Last Shot, a shining wizard and then another Last Shot before scoring the pin.
Winner: Adam Cole
Video package of O’Reilly/Cole from Final Battle aired next.
An Adam Cole promo aired where he talked about ROH stacking the deck against him at Final Battle with the no DQ match, but that it would not stop him from regaining his title.
Final Reaction: B+
Fun Fact: I hate year end review shows. I am always voracious for new content and it is difficult to tune into a show and see a recap of things that I have seen before. That being said, looking at this episode as someone who might not watch as much ROH as I do, this show did a really good job of featuring important moments, while also including excellent recaps of major feuds that occurred this year. Clipping matches is a bit problematic, as it detracts from the story told in the ring, but for this episode, in this format, it worked.
Thanks for stopping by again this week and look for more Ring of Honor coverage the same time next week. Until then, please go over to Running Wild Podcast and take a listen to a show that covers oodles of wrestling news and ridiculous conversations. You can find us on iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud and Google Play store.