Welcome back to “Honorable Mention,” Daily Wresting News’ once-weekly breakdown of Ring of Honor TV. Tonight’s episode of Ring of Honor was taped in Las Vega Nevada at Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall. Kevin Kelly is sitting ringside, joined per usual by Mr. Wrestling III. Tonight’s card features a world tag team title match, as well as a “Fight Without Honor.” So, in the interest of streamlining this column—let’s get right to the action!
ROH World Tag Team Championship
Rappongi Vice vs. War Machine (c)
The show begins with a tag team matchup with the world titles on the line. War Machine’s Ray Rowe and Warbeard Hanson are ready to put the titles on the line against one of the most explosive tandems in the entire world, Rappongi Vice. The duo of “Azucar” Rocky Romero and Trent Barreta are next in line for a shot at the titles after winning a number one contender’s competition during WrestleMania weekend. Things begin as both teams use their strengths to mitigate their opponent’s weakness. Rappongi Vice—far more used to junior heavyweight combatants—use their high flying, death-defying acumen to counter the raw aggression from Hanson and Rowe. The gargantuan champions run roughshod over the duo from NJPW; their strength earns them an early advantage but not without causing long-term troubles. Trent Barreta dropped to his knees before an incoming collision with Ray Rowe, sending both members of War Machine careening into one another. After a brief commercial break, the action returns and Rappongi Vice is in control. Rocky Romero makes a hot tag to Barreta, and electrifies the audience with his one-of-a-kind arsenal of high spots and impact maneuvers. Rappongi Vice maintained an earnest lead over the champions by employing a bevy of double team maneuvers, and working faster than either Rowe or Hanson are capable. After a brief hope spot from Trent, the superheavyweight title holders regained the lead thanks to a combination of debilitating power moves. The tag team champions hoisted both challengers into mirrored power bombs, and threw them into one another. War Machine won the match and retained their titles with their trademark double team finisher, “Fall Out.”
Winner: War Machine
Rating: 2 ¾ Stars
After the world tag team title match, we get a surprise visit from Donavan Dijak and his new manager, Prince Nana. Dijak recently turned on ROH World Champion Jay Lethal and Truth Martini, after being fired from the House of Truth. Dijak leveled Lethal and his longtime manager, and was immediately signed by Prince Nana. Dijak enters Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall with a smile on his face and a Jay Lethal t-shirt on his back. Prince Nana begins by calling the audience “idiots.” He says, “You want to know who the world champion of Ring of Honor will be going forward? His name is none other than ‘Donavan Dijak.’” Dijak went on to explain how he’s been lying in wait for over a year in the hopes of blindsiding Lethal and taking his title. Dijak say, “I’ve only had one real purpose in Ring of Honor—and that was to protect Jay Lethal and the House of Truth.” With those words, Dijak removed the red Lethal t-shirt as a sign that he’s no longer obligated to protect the champion. Jay Lethal soon burst onto the scene, flanked by Taeler Hendrix. Jay hit the ring in a hurry, going right after Dijak. The two battled until security tore them apart.
ACH vs. Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega’s entrance is reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. I’m talking about the opening scene, wherein Willie Scott (Kate Capshaw) sings a Japanese version of “Anything Goes” at Club Obi Wan. While the waning days of the Bullet Club have been bittersweet, the introduction of the Elite has helped to fill large gaps left in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Omega is accompanied to the squared-circle by his allies, the Young Bucks. All three individuals are wearing the new camouflage color scheme best associated with the Young Bucks, and Kenny carries his signature broom. The pre-match festivities included an overabundance of pomp; Omega sang into the broom like a microphone per usual, and used Kevin Kelly’s headset to reach the wrestling fans watching at home. The audience chants, “Omega, Omega, Omega,” as we view the tale of the tape, and this one is underway. ACH attempts to adhere to the Code of Honor, but Kenny refuses. Neither man is willing to give an inch to his opponent; Kenny knows that ACH can turn an inch into a mile, whereas ACH has no reason to trust Kenny Omega. ACH gets the first discernible lead, after taking advantage of Kenny’s uncanny ego. ACH loses the upper hand however, when he falls to the outside where the Young Bucks are waiting to strike. Nick Jackson hit ACH with a superkick to the side of the head while Kenny Omega distracted NJPW senior official Tiger Hattori. Nick then pulled a banana peel from his pocket, and laid it beside ACH’s fallen body. We head into a brief commercial, and Kenny is still in control when we come back. Kenny levels ACH with a series of chops, each met with a collective “Wooo” from the ‘Vegas crowd. ACH returns a few chops of his own, but Omega is quick to level the playing field once more. Kenny sent ACH skull-first into the ring post, but—upon going for a second attempt—lost his advantage in the process. ACH countered the attack, and failed to lose his focus after being distracted by the Young Bucks. He hit a springboard senton to the outside, wiping out all three adversaries in one shot. Kenny had the Ring of Honor veteran well-scouted however, and returned to action with an attempted “One Winged Angel.” ACH reversed the move for a nearfall; ACH climbed the ropes for his signature “Midnight Star” finishing manuever. Kenny moved out of the way and ACH rolled through to a standing position, where Kenny capitalized with a series of high knees to the face. After another brief back-and-forth, Kenny went for “Sweet Chin Music,” complete with the foot-stomping setup. ACH scouted the Cleaner, and hit a huge “Stone Cold Stunner.” He ascended the ropes once more, but Kenny was able to move again. Kenny countered with a running knee strike, and a successful “One Winged Angel” for the definitive 1-2-3.
Winner: Kenny Omega
Rating: 3 ½ Stars
Fight Without Honor
Silas Young vs. Dalton Castle
Earlier in the night, Dalton Castle told Silas Young that—while he may have a few wins under his belt—he’s interested in more than just wins and losses. Dalton said, “First I was fighting to prove I was a man. Then I fought to protect my boys. Now I’m fighting just to hurt you.” The “Last Real Man” Silas Young entered Sam’s Town with a trash can lid in his right hand. For the record—Silas Young’s interview on this week’s “Art of Wrestling” with Colt Cabana was awesome. Dalton enters next—clearly looking for a fight. Rather than his usual Freddie Mercury jumpsuit, Dalton is wearing a black t-shirt and his wrestling trunks. He sends the Boys back to the locker room and goes right after Silas Young. Young attacks with the garbage can lid, but Castle ducks the attack and sends Silas flying to the outside. Dalton proceeded to offer up his usual brand of showmanship, but wasn’t about to get caught up in pageantry when violence is the name of tonight’s game. Steve Cor—I mean, uh—Mr. Wrestling III reminds us that Silas Young and Dalton Castle have been at odds for the greater part of a year, dating back to Dalton’s debut in Ring of Honor. Silas gets the lead using a steel chair; he heads under the ring to look for weapons, but finds only colorful streamers. Dalton and Silas continue their war at the ringside area. Dalton attempts a big chop on Silas, who’s positioned against the ring post. Silas dodges the attack, and Dalton smacks his arm against the unforgiving steel. The sound of the chop against the metal—and the reaction from the live audience—sent shivers down my spine. How do you fake the sound of bone smashing metal? Silas followed up with an all-out onslaught against Dalton’s injured right arm. This was the longest match on the card, which allowed for a great deal of back–and-forth for both parties. The Sam’s Town audience chants “Man Up” in the final moments of the match. Silas Young hits “Misery” for a nearfall, but fails in finishing Castle once and for all. Silas reintroduced his original weapon—the garbage can lid—while berating Castle on the microphone. “Come on Dalton,” Silas says, “You wanted a fight without honor? I just wish your Boys were here to see how pathetic you really are.” That line of dialogue from Young sent Dalton’s Boys running through the curtain. Silas continued: “Just in time boys. Now you can watch me finish him.” The Boys tried to protect Dalton, but were subsequently thrown to the outside. The distraction is all Dalton needed however. As Silas proceeded to deal with the Boys, Dalton fired up with a surge of momentum. Dalton attempted the “Bangarang,” but Silas Young refused to relinquish his grasp on the top rope. Without much in the way of alternatives, Dalton sent Silas backwards through the table erected on the outside. The fans chanted, “You just killed him,” as Dalton sought to seal the deal. Castle dragged Silas’s lifeless body into the ring for a two count, and finished Young once and for good with a Bangarang onto a pile of steel chairs.
Rating: 3 ¾ Stars
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