Ring of Honor TV Report 1/13/16: ANX vs. RPG Vice
by Matt Storm
Our announcers calling the action this week are Kevin Kelly and ROH Matchmaker Nigel McGuiness. I guess Steve Corino and Mr. Wrestling III took the show off to go hang out and trade BJ Whitmer secrets?
1. The All Night Express (Kenny King& Rhett Titus) vs. Roppongi Vice (Rocky Romero& Baretta)
It’s pushed on commentary by Kelly that ANX are the #1 contenders to the ROH World Tag Team Championships by virtue of their victory over The Briscoes and Young Bucks at Final Battle 2015 in the three way dance.
The Code of Honor is adhered to as it’s King and Baretta starting things off.
They lock up and Baretta quickly goes behind and traps King in a waistlock. King drops down and escapes with a drop toehold, transitioning into a front facelock. Baretta reverses that into a hammerlock seating King on the mat. King fights up and spins out to score with a Japanese armdrag. King applies a side headlock and lands a shoulder block when Baretta pushes him into the ropes. He stomps at Baretta’s head before tagging in Titus.
King slams Baretta and ANX are in sync on the offense; King hits a springboard twisting leg drop as Titus comes off the ropes with a splash. Baretta fires back, chopping both ANX before King pops him good with a right hand. King sends Baretta into the corner but winds up whipping Titus into a boot to the face. A dazed Titus charges Baretta but is sent to the floor with a backdrop. Almost immediately King lands a Cactus Clothesline sending him and Baretta to the floor as well.
Romero gets a piece off the action, coming off the apron with a double knee press onto King. He follows with a spinning back kick to King’s ribs and going for the Sliced Bread, looking to kick off the ring post for leverage. However, King blocks it and sends him right into a leaping knee to the jaw from Titus. ANX slams Romero into the security wall. Baretta wipes out ANX with a corkscrew plancha off the wall.
When the action returns to the ring, Baretta has Titus in the corner and drives a knee into the midsection. He heads up top but Titus is up and he sweeps him off the top rope, the back of his head snapping against the turnbuckle.
After a commercial break, we return as King has tagged in and Baretta firing right hands to his gut. King throws him to the mat by his hair and tags in Titus. ANX send Baretta into the ropes to deliver a double boot to the midsection. A wicked combination ensues as Titus lands a boot to the face, King following with a Capra Kick and Titus finishing it off with a high dropkick for a nearfall. Titus traps Baretta with a bow&arrow then clubs him across the back as he starts to stir to his feet. King tags in and goes for a back suplex that Baretta flips his our out of, landing off his feet. King catches Baretta coming off the ropes with a nice Exploder Suplex. King sends Baretta into the corner and after some jawing with the fans, rocks him with a few right hooks.
King backs up across the ring but the continued trash talk costs him; he rushes Baretta and winds up eating a double boot to the chest. Both men are down but managed to tag in their respective partners. Romero comes off the top with a crossbody to Titus. King tries a clothesline but Romero ducks and snaps off a hurricanrana. With both ANX in adjacent corners, Romero goes wild with the Forever Clotheslines. He ducks another King attempted clothesline and takes out ANX with a double clothesline.
Romero hits Sliced Bread on Titus for a nearfall. Baretta gets the tag back in and delivers a double foot stomp off the top rope after Romero hits a Codebreaker on Titus and stretches him out; this is a good for a nearfall. Baretta goes for a backdrop but Titus catches him with a kick to the chest as he ducks his head. Baretta shakes it off and lands a forearm smash. They exchange blows with Titus gaining the upperhand. He rocks Baretta with a fist but can’t prevent him from tagging Romero back in.
RPG Vice hit stereo leaping knee strikes to Titus. Romero tags in Baretta and dropkicks King off the apron (but before King makes a blind tag slapping Titus’ back on the way down). and follows with a middle rope plancha. RPG Vice deliver Final Zero to Titus but the referee won’t count since he’s not the legal man. King suddenly rolls back into the ring and rolls up a surprised Baretta for the pinfall.
Winners:The All Night Express
Analysis: An excellent, all action opener. Both tandems have double team psychology down to a science and it would’ve made for a great opener to any NJPW card. Clever finish since it allowed ANX to pick up a clean win to keep their momentum alive but didn’t weaken RPG Vice for when they go back to Japan.
Story Time with The Kingdom:
Adam Cole leads the troops to the ring with Mike Bennett&Maria and Matt Taven (on crutches) are close behind, as well as a host of security guards. Mic in hand, Cole informs us that the security around the ring is there to protect them from Kyle O’Reilly in case he had any ideas of sneak attacking him again. He proceeds to recap the results of The Kingdom’s night at Final Battle. One of them held up his end of the bargain by winning (Cole) while others completely dropped the ball (Bennett&Taven). He asks his cohorts if they remember what their ultimate goal of 2016 was? How can they dominate the ROH landscape by holding all the gold without the ROH Tag Team Titles? He set the tone that night by proving O’Reilly will never be capable of defeating him while they were beaten by War Machine in short order.
There’s a burst of activity at ringside and we see ReDragon making an attempt to get in the ring, prevented doing so by the wall of security. Bobby Fish touts RD as having redefined tag team wrestling in ROH; They have their eyes on the tag titles as well but wouldn’t mind earning a shot by crumbling The Kingdom for good. Fish turns to Nigel and asks for that match to happen next week. Nigel stands up and says the fans want action, not bickering so next week it will in fact be The Kingdom vs. ReDrago..
Not so fast! At this point The Young Bucks emerge to a big pop. Matt Jackson takes great exception to RD’s claim of any tag team revolution. The Bucks are the hottest duo in demand anywhere on the planet! Nick takes the microphone and states that if anyone is going to wipe out “these Bullet Club marks” (Kingdom), it will be them. Nigel polls the crowd who voice their approval of that proposition. Thus, next well it will be Kingdom vs. ReDragon vs. Young Bucks.. in a Philadelphia Street Fight!
Analysis: Basic but effective segment. In just a few short minutes, they managed to plant seeds for the end of The Kingdom in its current form, set up next week’s main event, further the Cole vs. O’Reilly feud, and set the stage further elevate potential contenders for the ROH Tag Team Titles. It was all very well laid out.
2. Non-Title Match
ROH World Tag Team Champions War Machine (Rowe&Hanson) vs. The House of Truth (Donovan Dijak&Joey “Diesel” Daddiego w/Truth Martini)
As soon as the bells rings, Daddiego jumps Rowe from behind but is quickly dispatched with a forearm smash to the face. Dijak tags in and connects with a spinning boot to the face and then knocks Rowe off the apron. Dijak ducks a clothesline, sends Rowe over the top rope to the floor with one of his own.
Dijak takes out both of War Machine with a beautiful Sky Twisting Plancha. Dijak rolls Rowe back into the ring; it’s then Martini slides in the Book of Truth, urging Dijak to use it for a quick win. Instead Dijak kicks it away and to his dismay has to exit when Daddiego tags himself in. Rowe connects with a judo flip followed by a stiff knee strike to the jaw. Hansen and Dijak tag in. Hanson catches an incoming Dijak with a powerslam and Daddiego with a sidewalk slam. Hanson stacks both House of Truth members onto the top turnbuckle and unloads with heavy forearm smashes.
With both down in the corner, Hanson continues the onslaught with a chest crushing bronco buster. Dijak stumbles to his feet but misses a big boot allowing Hanson to deliver a cartwheel clothesline. War Machine catch Daddiego coming off the ropes and drop him with a modified H-Bomb. Rowe then slams Hanson right on Daddiego’s chest.
Hansen lands a Tilt-a-Whirl backbreaker on Dijak, then throws him into a Superman Punch from Rowe. Rowe hits an impressive dead lift release German Suplex to Dijak. Daddiego tries to make a save with feeble shots to War Machine but they eliminate him with a double chokeslam.
Dijak misses a charge in the corner and Hanson is right behind him to squash him with an avalanche. Hansen whips Dijak into a shotgun double knee strike from Rowe. Hanson hits a second bronco buster in the corner. War Machine follow with Fallout, Hansen covering for the pinfall.
Winners: ROH World Tag Team Champions. War Machine
After a commercial break, we return to see Martino and his troops still in the ring, Truth looking none too pleased. Staring directly at Dijak, Martini says that when people think of The House of Truth they think of Daddiego, Taeler Hendrix, ROH World Champion Jay Lethal, and himself. He’s come to realize the weak link is Dijak, proven by his inability to be there for Lethal at Final Battle. While Lethal’s superior talents allowed him to retain his title against AJ Styles, Dijak showed he is absolutely worthless. Having heard enough, Dijak grabs Martini by the collar but is spun around and decked by Daddiego. They exchange fists until Daddiego takes a cheap shot to subdue Dijak. He holds him in front of Martini who begins to yell in his face. Suddenly Dijak pops up and lays Daddiego out with Feast Your Eyes. As he poses on the turnbuckle, Martini screams he’s fired from HOT. We see Prince Nana, who previously handed Dijak one of his mystery envelops, standing at ringside applauding his new prospect.
Analysis: Great showcase for War Machine who have quickly become a force to be reckoned with in ROH. They are exactly what The Ascension could have, if not should have, been in WWE; smash mouth brawlers with freaky athleticism and power. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were on the company’s radar down the line. I was happy to see Dijak removed from House of Truth. His time spent with them was a benefit but he wasn’t going to truly stand out as Lethal’s muscle. I love the potential he’d have as a centerpiece of the army Prince Nana is assembling.
We get a promo from ReDragon hyping next week’s main event Street Fight.
3. Four Corners Survival Match
Moose (w/Stokley Hathaway) vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. Jay Briscoe vs. Matt Sydal
Kelly explains the rules that two men start but in addition to tags, Lucha rules apply where if someone goes to the floor, anyone else can enter the match.
Initially nobody wants to adhere to the Code of Honor with Castle until Sydal does and everyone exchanges the Code. It’s Sydal and Moose kicking off the action.
After a cautious feeling out process, Sydal looks to chop Moose down to size with kicks to the right leg. Moose cuts him off with a knee to the midsection. Sydal ducks a clothesline and comes off the ropes; Moose catches him in a sidewalk slam position but he manages to turn it into a head scissors attempt. Moose shakes him off and goes for a slam but Sydal is able to escape. Moose goes for a bicycle kick, Sydal catches the foot on his shoulder and goes for a jumping spin kick that Moose evades. Big ovation for that sequence.
Moose grips the fist of Sydal out of a test of strength and hurls him to the floor. Jay enters the ring for a staredown but before he and Moose can go at it, Castle slaps Moose on the back to enter himself in the match, Briscoe ducks a clothesline and looks for the Jay-Driller but Castle fights out of it. Jay goes up and over for a sunset flip, Castle rolling out of it before a count of 1. Castle misses a boot but is able to duck a clothesline and land on his feet as Briscoe goes for a hip toss. Castle does a Matrix pose near one of The Boys for a fanning. As the show goes to commercial, Briscoe boots Castle in the face then drops him with a headbutt.
The action resumes with Briscoe delivering battering rams in the corner to Castle. Castle fights back with shots to the midsection but is taken to the mat with another headbutt. Moose tags himself in A sequence ensues where Castle twice forearm smashes Moose only to be met with more headbutts. Castle cradles Moose going for a suplex for a nearfall with Sydal breaking up the pin.
Briscoe tags in and rocks Sydal with three straight uppercuts. A second staredown with Moose ensues before Moose lands a palm thrust. Moose does his “Moose Rhythm” jabs. Briscoe misses a boot coming off the ropes and is nailed with more jabs. Sydal flies off the top rope into a Moose jab in the midsection.
Moose jabs Briscoe and Sydal at the same time. Briscoe catches Moose coming off the ropes with a forearm smash and Sydal lights him up with a pair of leaping knee smashes. The actions turns Tornado Style with Castle entering and hitting a dead lift German Suplex on Moose for a nearfall, Sydal breaking it up. Sydal catches Briscoe with a running Enzugiri. Castle throws a forearm to Sydal’s jaw but Sydal is right there as he comes off the ropes with a leaping knee strike.
Briscoe delivers a pair of clotheslines to Castle. Moose charges Sydal who pulls the top rope down, sending him to the floor. Castle and Briscoe are out on the floor as well and Sydal wipes them all out with a moonsault off the top rope. In a hilarious moment, Hathaway steals the fans from The Boys and waves them on Moose. The Boys recapture them and scamper off.
Back in the ring, Moose badly misses a kick and Sydal makes him pay for it with more leg kicks. Sydal connects with a jumping head kick and another leaping knee to the jaw, Sydal puts Moose on the mat with a Pop Up Hurricanrana but Briscoe breaks it up at the count of two with a kick to the face. Briscoe gets a nearfall on Sydal with a forearm smash/neckbreaker combination. He lifts Sydal onto his shoulders and Moose nearly spears him out of his shoes. Castle hits a top rope missile dropkick on Moose taking him out of the match. Sydal misses a knee strike on Castle but escapes a Bang-a-Rang to land on his feet. Sydal connects with a Reverse Hurricanrana and heads up top for the Shooting Star Press. The Boys try distract him with their fans to no avail. Castle rolls out of the way forcing Sydal to change his body position to land on his feet. Castle nails The Bang-a-Rang for the pinfall.
Winner: Dalton Castle
Analysis: An excellent main event! Many moving parts but everyone got an opportunity to shine. Moose is scary good considering how new he is to wrestling. From his debut on he’s been improving rapidly. If he stays healthy, he’s going to be a major player on the roster in no time. Briscoe and Sydal brought their A games as always; Matt in particular gets overlooked when people speak of pure athletes who deliver every time they compete. Big statement win for Castle coming off his feud with Silas Young and regaining his Boys. His personality and charisma are not in doubt so it’s nice to see him pick up a win to compliment them.
Final Thoughts: Big thumbs up edition of ROH this outing. Two great matches bookend a showcase for the Tag Champs and a solid post-match angle. Can’t ask for much more in an hour!
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