Ring of Honor Wrestling Television Episode #215 recap and review
Taped at the Shrine Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas
Welcome back wrestling fans to your source for the most in-depth and exciting Ring of Honor review going today. Tonight’s show is loaded with star power as AJ Styles and the Young Bucks are set for action. This should wrap up the matches from the San Antonio show, but hopefully the episode doesn’t suffer from this. Let’s get to it!
Kyle O’Reilly opens the show with a fantastic backstage promo about the upcoming triple threat main event. He talks about his respect for AJ Styles but says he has no problems going through Styles to get to a man he has no respect for, Adam Cole.
Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness are joined by Mark Briscoe as they welcome us to the Shrine Auditorium.
Opening Contest: Silas Young and the Beer City Bruiser w/ the Boys V The Young Bucks
The boys have a new look, and are decked out in jeans, grey tank tops, and shades. This must be Silas Young’s picture of an ideal man. This is the first time we’ve seen the Young Bucks since they have officially signed with ROH, even though this match was taped prior to that.
Silas and Nick Jackson start this off with a tie up. Nick applies a side headlock and bounces off the ropes, taking down Silas with a shoulder tackle. Nick then just wrestles around Silas before dropping him with a drop kick and tagging in Matt. The crowd chants “TOO SWEET” as Silas springboards off the middle turnbuckle to take Matt down with a sloppy clothesline. Silas tags in the Bruiser who absorbs some blows from Matt before ramming him into the turnbuckle repeatedly. Bruiser then hits a cannonball before tagging in Silas who goes for the cover. The boys are fanning each other, presumably because they don’t know what else to do. Silas continues to pound on Matt in the corner but the agility of Matt Jackson allows him to evade Young and tag in his brother who cleans house. Matt finally misses a Swanton bomb but rolls through, only to be caught by a backbreaker clothesline combo from Silas young. Silas heads to the top rope but Matt Jackson nails a super kick. Silas then hits the floor and grabs a microphone. He says the match was supposed to be the Boys V the Bucks. Silas says they softened the Young Bucks up so now the Boys need to get in there to and do something. We then cut to break.
We return to see Matt Jackson lock in a side headlock on one of the boys. Rarely are the Bucks the big guys in a match as they are now. Matt tags in Nick Jackson who manhandles the other boy. Or would that be boy handles? No, that sounds absolutely awful. Nick goes for a “too sweet” and the boy tries to do it but Nick goes for an eye poke. The Bucks continue to dominate, trading tags and methodically working over one of the boys. At one point, the Bucks collide, allowing for a hot tag from the boys and a double hurricanrana, only to be hit with double super kicks. Nick then dives onto the Bruiser and Silas for good measure. Matt then hits a double moonsault on the boys, pinning both of them.
Winners: The Young Bucks via pinfall
Post-match: Silas and the Bruiser enter the ring and taunt the boys. The Bucks return to take down the Bruiser with superkicks but Silas ducks out before he can be taken down.
My take: Have I mentioned before that I really like the Young Bucks? I fully expect Ring of Honor to heavily feature these guys, and tag team wrestling by extension, now that the Bucks have inked a deal with ROH. Everyone involved in this match played their roles really well. The boys just have a goofball nature about them that you can’t help but like a little bit. This was far from a wrestling classic, but the match was highly entertaining nonetheless.
Back from break, BJ Whitmer is at the announce table demanding that Nigel fire Steve Corino for punching Whitmer a few weeks ago. BJ mouths off to the wrong man, however, as Mark Briscoe backs down Whitmer. Kevin Kelly then discusses the lawsuit over unsafe working conditions that Veda Scott is currently working on. Kevin says Nigel was served with papers before the broadcast. Nigel says he can’t really get into it legally right now but that ROH will come out on top.
Singles match: Will Ferarra V Roderick Strong
This should be a faced paced, exciting match. Roddy doesn’t tower over many guys but Ferarra is only about 5’7. Ferarra takes down Roddy with a quick head scissor but Strong takes him down with a drop kick. Strong then hits a backbreaker for a 2 count. Ferrara tries to fight out but Strong hits a picture perfect dropkick to take down the smaller man. Roddy then hits a back body drop and locks in a chin bar/camel clutch variation. Roddy continues to grind down Ferarra, but gets taken down with a swinging neckbreaker. Ferrara then hits a tornado DDT for a 2 count. Roddy rolls to the floor, limping slightly, and is taken down with a tornado DDT on the floor. Ferrara hits a pinning combination, but only gets a 2 count. Roddy takes over with a gut buster before locking in the Strong hold for a quick tap out victory.
Winner: Roderick Strong via submission.
My take: Strong hasn’t won in a while, but dominating Will Ferrara just doesn’t impress me all that much. However, I like how the announcers played up that we didn’t see the Strong hold in either previous match with Jay Lethal. Expect the move to come in to play when the two lock up for the 3rd time in this series.
Inside ROH: Mandy Leon recaps the feud between Roderick Strong and Jay Lethal. Roddy was unsuccessful in his two attempts to take the ROH world title from Lethal, but has one more shot at the ROH TV title. We cut to a backstage promo with Jay Lethal and Truth Martini. Jay admires the determination of Roddy but claims that Nigel McGuinness is in Strong’s back pocket and is giving Strong an unfair advantage. Jay says this is his life, and he is the greatest wrestler alive. No date is announced, but the ROH TV title match will happen soon.
Main event: AJ Styles w/ the Young Bucks V Kyle O’Reilly w/ Bobby Fish and Michael Elgin V Adam Cole w/ the Kingdom
AJ Styles stares down Jay Lethal as he enters the ring. Nigel interrupts the proceedings due to everyone being at ringside. He then bars everyone from ringside to avoid the inevitable interference. We cut to break before the match begins.
We return to see Adam Cole on the floor, trying to let the other two wear each other out. Kyle gives chase and levels Cole with kicks before AJ dives over the top rope to take down Kyle. Styles takes down Cole and hits a sunset flip on Kyle, who locks in an arm bar. Cole tries to stomp Kyle who locks in a knee bar. AJ breaks up the submission but is on the receiving end of a combo suplex. Kyle takes charge and delivers solid kicks to the chest of Cole. Style pulls the ropes on Kyle and moonsaults onto him. Cole dives through the ropes to take down the other two men. Cole stomps Kyle in the ring, applying a submission to the knee of Kyle O’Reilly. Kyle fights out but Cole hits a dragon screw leg whip and then stomps AJ Styles as he tries to get back in the ring. Kyle and Adam Cole trade blows in the middle of the ring before Cole drops Kyle with a superkick. Cole goes for a figure four but Kyle reverses, ducks under, and locks in a guillotine. AJ Styles comes flying in with a big punch, but eats a shining wizard from Cole. Cole tries to pin Styles but gets a 2 count. AJ Styles reverses a move from Cole and hits a calf cutter, but Kyle breaks it up. Cole locks on a figure four and Kyle gets an armbar on Styles, but Kyle breaks the hold to hit Cole, locking in the arm bar. AJ Styles breaks this up and scoop slams Kyle as we cut to a break.
We’re back as Cole and AJ trade blows. AJ hits the Pele but gets monkey flipped by Kyle into a superkick from Cole. Kyle then takes down Cole with a clothesline and a brainbuster for a near fall, broken up by AJ Styles. Kyle and AJ then trade blows before Kyle catches AJ in a triangle. AJ tries to counter into a Styles Clash but Cole superkicks AJ Styles and throws him to the floor. Cole hits a vertical suplex neckbreaker on Kyle O’Reilly for the win.
Winner: Adam Cole via pinfall
Post-match: The Kingdom hits the ring, followed by Elgin and Fish, and finally the Young Bucks. This devolves into a big brawl, with the Bullet Club taking down everyone. The three men then hit a double Meltzer driver on the tag team champions as they stand tall. Jay Lethal enters the ring to confront AJ Styles. The show ends with the two men nose to nose as Jay Lethal holds the ROH world title high in the air as the show ends.
My take: Typically you have to damn near kill a man to win a main event match on ROH TV, so this tame finish caught me a little off guard. The match was ok, but it never really moved into the higher gear that you know these guys are capable of. I loved the creative submissions, but you just knew no one was going to tap out here. The brawl at the end was predictable but the beginning of the build for AJ Styles and Lethal drew me back into the action. I’m not sure how the face/heel dynamic is going to play out here. AJ is a major heel in NJPW and wrestles a heel style right now, but he really doesn’t have heat with the ROH crowd. Lethal manages to get heat even though everyone loves him. This will be something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks.
Honorable mention: You know what, nobody really stood out this week. You don’t see the Pulitzer Prize being given out if nobody steps up and earns it. However, the prestige of the honorable mention isn’t quite to that level yet, so I’ll have to give it to the Young Bucks. They had a lot of help in making their segment entertaining but they did pick up the victory and, as always, they did an excellent job of showing off the best chemistry in tag team wrestling today. Congratulations to Matt and Nick Jackson, you are now the envy of the entire ROH roster and are the have won this prestigious award more than anyone else. Yes, I do keep statistics on these things.
Final take: There is no getting around the fact that this was a filler show. Next week, we move on to a new venue with fresh match ups, but this week we got leftover meatloaf again. If you missed this week’s episode, this review should cover you, as absolutely nothing of consequence happened. If the taping schedule forces you to air an episode where you can’t progress storylines, you better have at least one really good match to make up for it. We didn’t really get that this week. On a positive note, the table is being set really well with the AJ Styles/Jay Lethal feud looming over everything. We have to resolve the issue between Dalton Castle and Silas Young at some point, Roddy and Lethal are going to go at it one more time, and the Steve Corino and Veda Scott angles are also hanging out there. Be patient ROH fans, it gets much better.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comment selection below. You can also contact me via email [email protected] or on twitter @webbanderson2. As always, thanks for reading!