ROH “Death Before Dishonor XV” Review

ROH Death Before Dishonor XV Review
Las Vegas, Nevada
Sam’s Town

Ring of Honor’s Death Before Dishonor started off with Ian Riccaboni and his partner in crime, Colt Cabana in commentary running down the matches before announcing that the 6-man tag team number one contenders match would be kicking off the show.

Number One Contender’s Match
The Kingdom (Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan) vs. Bully Ray & The Briscoes
Mark and Marseglia started off for their respective teams, with Marseglia getting into Mark’s face, with the two trading chops until mark busted out some Redneck Kung_fu before he made way for his brother. Jay quickly floored Marseglia and then knocked O’Ryan and Taven off the apron before turning his attention back to Marseglia. O’Ryan came in and was in dire straits until Taven kicked Mark in the back as he bounded off the ropes. Bully tagged in and started by trashing talking O’Ryan for disrespectful tweets before chopping him in the corner yet again, much to Cabana’s concern. Ray backdropped all three Kingdom members before scoring a near fall on O’Ryan. Commentary reminded us that Sam’s Town was the sight of O’Ryan’s issue with the guardrail under a year ago as the action broke down and spilled to the outside. O’Ryan faked going for a moonsault again, but relented and gave the crowd a special message before Jay took him down, culminating with Ray leaping off the turnbuckle and taking down the entire crowd. The Kingdom were in control for a bit, but Jay eventually tagged himself in and was a bit over eager, planting some seeds for discord. Mark and Bully hit the Doomsday Device on O’Ryan for the win and Jay tossed a chair at O’Ryan’s head after the match. Nice opener between the two teams here, albeit surprising here. A bit of dissension between the winners plays well into a possible breakdown down the road.

Winners: The Briscoes & Bully Ray

It was announced that Kenny Omega would be appearing at all four Global Wars shows, before a video of the Bullet Club looking for Adam Page outside of Sam’s Town, to no avail.

Chuck Taylor vs. Marty Scurll
Quick wristlock, hammerlock work between the two to start the match. High-paced back and forth between the two, until Scurll threw Taylor to the outside, slamming into the guardrail and then following up with a vicious back rake.. Scurll went to work on the arm and called his shot with the chicken wing, but couldn’t get enough leverage to floor him, allowing Taylor to grab the ropes and forcing a break. Scurll continued his deliberate offense, which Taylor used to turn the tables by launching him into the turnbuckles with a belly to belly. Taylor hit a Falcon Arrow, but Scurll kicked out! HE DID THE DEED! Scurll avoided a moonsault and connected with a superkick before hitting a tope suicida into a tornado DDT, but the two quickly went back inside. Taylor hit a powerbomb, but could only muster a two count. Scurll blocked an Awful Waffle attempt by working the fingers and did the same to thwart Taylor’s attempt to leap from the top turnbuckle. Taylor did hit the Awful Waffle moments later, but Scurll was able to get his leg on the rope before the three count. Taylor tossed Scurll over the guardrail in anger and flew over both ways before the action went back inside. As Taylor charged Scurll, the Villain pulled Todd SInclair in the way, slowing Taylor and allowing Scurll to make Taylor tap to the chickenwing. Great first match between these two with legitimate false finishes. Taylor looked very strong here and came within an eyelash of beating a former ROH World Television champion.

Winner: Marty Scurll

Las Vegas Street Fight: Jay White vs. Punishment Martinez
White ambushed Martinez with a chair during the entrances and the action spilled outside immediately, with martinez being staggered and suplexed on the metal ramp. Riccaboni managed to make a Donkey Kong reference earlier on “it’s on like Donkey KOng” which immediately raised the importance of this match. Back inside Martinez took control and Cabana would not be deinied line of the night honors, commenting that both men were unleashing JIm Thome like shots with chairs on each other. Martinez wedged two chair into the corner but had a spear reversed and instead ate a suplex into the chairs that earned White a very near fall. Martinez tossed White to the outside and leapt over the corner to the outside, but the very chair he tossed inside became a weapon for White, who used it to turn the tide. White hit a Kiwi Crusher, btu Martinez kicked out and Cabana sold the kick out very well, reminding the fans that no one has previously kicked out. White then set up four chairs facing each other and two on top. White went for a suplex, but Martinez hit a low blow and powerbombed White onto the structure before hitting a Psycho Driver that White somehow kicked out of. Martinez went and grabbed some tacks, hitting the South of Heaven chokeslam on the tacks before securing the pinfall. The match started out and had some slow stretches, but the last few minutes really ramped up the action. White looked strong in the loss and both put everything into the match here.

Winner: Punishment Martinez

ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship Match
Bully Ray & The Briscoes vs. The Hung Bucks ( Matt & Nick Jackson, and Hangman Page
Jay seemed irritated as he came down to the ring and Bully held him back for a little talk. The Bucks came out alone and seemed very dejected, only to have Hangman slide into the ring bound and gagged, still managing to hit a moonsault to the outside. The action was fast and furious and never really fell into a normal match. After a Wassup spot, Bully called for the tables, only for Jay to hit Bully Ray with the table. Everybody froze for a second before Adam Page had the wherewithal (thanks Taz) to cover Bully Ray for the victory in the short match. Some confusing logic here, as the Young Bucks did not have to wrestle double duty against the challengers, but instead go into the tag match having wrestled once on the night already. Everything seemed to point to a blow up between Jay and Bully Ray, but the execution here was a bit confusing.

Winners: The Hung Bucks

ROH World Television Championship
KUSHIDA (c) vs. Kenny King
Crisp mat wrestling to start the contest here, with King taking a break to check in with his daughter before rolling back into the ring. KUSHIDA was sent to the outside and then he checked with what appeared to be his mother before heading back inside. King hit an early chin checker and locked on a Last Chancery, a throwback to his former mentor Austin Aries, but KUSHIDA was able to escape and the action spilled outside. KUSHIDA sat King on a chair right in front of King’s daughter before springboarding off another chair with a dropkick. As per usual, KUSHIDA worked the arm over back in the ring

Hurricanrana into the ringpost by KUSHIDA who then followed with a senton dropkick then took a great deal out of both men. King managed to escape a Hoverboard lock by grabbing the ropes and thwarted KUSHIDA attempt off the top rope. Great exchange that saw both men reverse each other’s finishers, with Kushida locking on another Hoverboard lock. King managed to suplex out of the hoverboard lock. The two had a great sequence, ultimately ending with King hitting the Royal Flush to win the title and celebrating in the ring with his daughter and adhering to the code of honor at the end.

Winner and new ROH World Television Champion: Kenny King

Last Man Standing Match: Jay Lethal vs. Silas Young
The match started as a standard match but quickly had the violence kick up a notch as the action spilled to the outside and the two took turns beat each other about the outside. Lethal scored with a side Russian leg sweep on the table on the outside. Lethal then wielded a belt and whipped Young on the inside. Young challenged Lethal to be a man and hit him more, which lethal obliged , whipping him all around the outside as Riccaboni shouted “call Eminem cuz this just Bezerk”-classic stuff.The Beer City Bruiser hobbled to ringside and began to beat Lethal down. Young set up a table on the outside as Cabana commented that Bruiser’s knee injury made this match a 1.75 on 1 match. Bruiser missed a bullfrog splash and Lethal then hit a cutter threw the table, laying out both mid-westerners. Young then gained control of the belt and whipped Lethal with glee, taunting him in the process. Young set up a chair and went for Misery, but Lethal reversed it and hit a Lethal combination into the chair, keeping Young down for a seven count before bashing Young with the chair and focusing on the knee, as he did with Bruiser. Lethal then grabbed a roll of duct tape and trapped Young on the bottom rope, much to Riccaboni’s displeasure.

As Lethal went for a figure four, Young kicked him into poor Todd Sinclair, who was dazed. As Lethal checked on him, Young escaped and was able to hit Misery. Sinclair counted , but Young broke the count to hit Lethal Injection on Lethal, who was gushing blood at this point. Young slid a ladder into the ring but had it used against him and Lethal was able to hit two straight Lethal Injections, leaving the ring to set up the ladder and a table on the outside. Lethal was able to positioned Young on the table and called for Hail to the King, slowly climbing the rungs as Riccaboni commented that he was Knocking on Heaven’s door. Young was able to recover and grabbed a zip tie and trapped Lethal on the top rung of the ladder. The two then crashed through the table and SIlas was able to stand just before the 10 count, winning the match. The zip tie seemed to set up Lethal to be attached to the ladder and thus not allowing him to meet the referee’s count, but it slipped off and took just a little bit away from the end, but this was a brutal match and Lethal put over Young in a huge way here. Easily the match of the night up to this point.

Winner: Silas Young

ROH World Tag Team Championship Match
The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Johnson) (c) vs. Motor City Machine Guns ( Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley)
Matt and Shelley started off, with some quick teases of finishers for both. Sabin and Nick were in next, with Sabin gaining the upper hand, but Shelley hit the buckle on a Whisper in the wind attempt and all four men spilled into the ring, ultimately all attempting dropkicks, as commentary sold how the teams are mirror images of each other. Amazing action that simply needs to be watched and not read. Interestingly, the crowd did not seem to be behind the MCMG here, despite enjoying the action.Matt hit a superkick on the outside and Riccaboni called him a Wild and Crazy kids and if it’s not a Nickelodeon references, I’m not sure what is. Dueling too sweet sharpshooters, but MCMG escaped and all four men were on the outside, with Shelley hitting a sliced bread off the ring post. Back inside MCMG hot Skull and Crossbones followed by Made in Detroit, but Sabin couldn’t keep Matt for the three count. Paul Turner caught an errant superkick and all five men were laid out. The Addiction promptly came out and Daniels tried to hit an Angels Wings on a chair, but was thwarted. The Bucks went for dueling sharpshooters again, only for Kazarian and Daniels to stop them and hit try for a Best Meltzer ever, only for the teams to combine to hit dueling Indytakers on the outside on the intruders and stand face to face in the ring before all locking up again. The Bucks went for more bang for your Buck, but Shelley lifted his knees and Sabin then used his own partner to jump on top the top roping and hit a super German Suplex. Shelley and Sabin then combined for a tandem driver, picking up the win and their first ROH tag team titles. A great results and a fun match that was marred by the interference. As Cabana put it “this is not what Ring of Honor is all about”.

Winners: The Motor City MachineGuns

ROH World Championship
Cody vs. Minoru Suzuki
Cody offered Suzuki to kiss the ring, only for Suzuki to bite his finger and locked on a Fujiwara armbar, that sent Cody packing to the outside. Cabana added some great commentary, sharing how petrified he was of Suzuki when he wrestled the former MMA himself. Cody kept sliding to the outside, prompting Suzuki to try to fly off the apron, but Cody used Brandi as a shield and Suzuki relented. The two brawled about the outside and the match was really a game of cat and mouse throughout, with Suzuki consistently locking on submissions that Cody would manage to escape. The match felt the right length of time and the lack of a crazy overbooked ending was something I appreciated here. Cody won after hitting the Cross Rhodes-it felt as if Suzuki would fight back and kick out, but he didn’t and Cody retained. Afterwards Suzuki leered over Bobby  Cruise and and Cary Silken before commentary sent well wishes out to the areas affected by hurricanes as of late in a classy move before the show ended.

Winner: Cody

Final Reaction: B+
The show started with a great deal of promise and delivered in some spots, but fell flat in others. The Last Man Standing match was truly a sight to behold and is worth the price of admission, as they say. King winning the Television title was a great moment, as was the Motor City Machineguns winning- but that victory felt tainted due to the interference of the Kingdom. The card order seemed a bit odd, as Shelley and Sabin could have won earlier and it still would have been a great moment, leading to the 6 man match feeling more balanced, with both teams tired from earlier defenses and the Hung Bucks still looking strong, despite losing the tag titles. Riccaboni and Cabana on commentary were exceptional as usual, really making every match entertaining and proving again how their chemistry on commentary goes a long way to elevating the product. Cody’s match with Suzuki came off much better than his match with Sanada, but the end fell a little flat, as a near fall at the end with Cody needing to go further to win would have been a better story. Overall the show was enjoyable and most of the matches really delivered in front of what felt like a subdued crowd at times. Definitely worth a watch, especially with the title changes, but not as good as it could have been.

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