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Ring of Honor TV Report: Episode 296



The show opening airs. They’re probably gonna have to do some serious editing to this one soon…

And then we see this a highlight show from the Honor Rising Show from this past February. Ian Ricanobi does a voiceover that announces the matches for the show with the Bullet Club (sans Adam Cole) taking the “eclectic” group of the Briscoes, Will Ospreay, and Okada, plus Punishment Martinez vs Hiroki Goto, and a six-man match pitting Los Ingobernables De Japon versus a trio of masked men.

Kevin Kelly and Rocky Romero are on commentary.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, and BUSHI) vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask IV, and Delirious for the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Titles

We join the match already in progress with Delirious trying to wrench on EVIL’s arm, but EVIL shook it off and nailed with a double chop. Tags out to Tiger Mask and SANADA. BUSHI distracted Tiger Mask and SANADA jumped him and briefly went after the mask, but worked him over a bit before tagging in BUSHI. Tiger Mask managed to turn the tables on BUSHI and tag in Liger. They worked him over in the corner, including a running Shotei Palm Strike from Liger. Liger then set him up looking for the avalanche brainbuster, but BUSHI grabbed him by the horns of the mask and then EVIL came from behind and knocked Liger off the top rope and Liger went to the floor. BUSHI attacked him briefly on the floor and tossed him back in and started to work Liger over, and even tried briefly to pull at his mask. SANADA hit some right hands, then a snap suplex for a two count. The fans got behind Liger, as EVIL tagged back in and knocked Tiger Mask to the floor before working over Liger in the corner with kicks, then a clothesline in the corner. EVIL hit a bodyslam, then dropped a senton for a two count. BUSHI hot a top rope dropkick on him and did a spin-o-roony to his feet, but Liger came back with a Shotei on EVIL and a tilt a whirl backbreaker on BUSHI. SANADA tried to cut Liger off, but Liger threw him over the top to the floor. Tag to Tiger Mask! And then they go to commercial.

BFC, BUSHI is on top, but Tiger leapt up and hit an armdrag off the top, then hit a Tombstone Piledriver on him. Tiger Mask went up top, but EVIL came and slammed him off the top. BUSHI hit a Fisherman’s Neckbreaker for a two count. Tiger Mask then hit the Tiger Driver, and made the tag to Delirious, who did his stupid ass running around routine before hitting a Flying Clothesline for a two count. Delirious missed a charge, and SANADA came in, but bookerman hit a Fireman’s carry slam followed by a DDT for a two count. Delirious raked his back and his chest and tried a cobra clutch on the larger man, but SANADA backed him into the corner and it’s a LIJ triple team ending in a Codebreaker by BUSHI and a Saito suplex by SANADA, but Liger and Tiger Mask broke up the pin. BUSHI and EVIL fight them to the outside. SANADA tried to a Dragon Sleeper, but Delirious dropped down and grabbed him in a Sushi Roll for a two count, then use a schoolboy and a grounded crucifix for close near falls. Delirious went for a German, but SANADA landed on his feet and hit a drop toe hold into the second rope, and then EVIL nailed him in the head with a chair. SANADA then locked in the Dragon Sleeper and Delirious tapped out.

Winners: LIJ via submission

Hiroki Goto vs. Punishment Martinez for the NEVER Openweight Title

Goto shoved him, and Martinez responded with a creepy ass laugh. They lock up and Goto locks on a headlock, then goes for a shoulder block, but Martinez stands strong. Goto goes for another one that has no effect, and goes for a third, but Martinez puts him down with a shoulder, but misses a kick that might have put him out. They lock up again, and Martinez puts him on the ropes. Goto switches it around and gives Martinez a clean break, so Punishment growls at him, and Goto responds by lighting him up with a series of forearms. Martinez reverse a whip, but Goto holds on to the ropes and growls and poses. Martinez charges in response, but Goto low bridges him to the floor only to have Martinez land on his feet. He jumps to the apron and charges in, and Goto tries a hip toss, but Martinez reverses into a hip toss of his own, then hits a big boot that tangles him in the ropes, and Martinez flips him to the floor.

Martinez then goes out and whips him hard into the guardrail, before tossing him back in the ring. He yells “Here Comes The Pain” before whipping him into a flying back elbow for a two count. Martinez wrenched him with a chinlock. Goto fought out of it, but ran right into a spinning heel kick. Martinez followed up with a jumping back elbow in the corner, but Goto came back with a spinning heel kick in the corner. Goto went for a Saito suplex, but Martinez fought it off only to charge into a round kick to the chest. Goto followed up with a clothesline in the corner, then hit a top rope elbowdrop for a two count. Goto tried to lift him up into a Fireman’s carry, but Martinez fought him off, and they exchanged some front elbow strikes, before they are trading rapidly at close range until they gas out briefly, only to tear into each other again, until Martinez cut him off with a knee to the gut, but Goto caught him the Ishimorgoshi! And they go to Commercial!

BFC, they collide twice on double clotheslines, before Goto fires up and charges, only to be turned inside out with a clothesline. Martinez then hit a 540 Spin Kick for a near fall. Martinez then pounded him in the corner with strikes and hit a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. The crowd is chanting heavily for Goto. Martinez then goes all the way to the top, but Goto rolls to the floor, only for Martinez to nail him with over the ring post suicide dive that he actually hits perfectly! Martinez then tosses him in the ring and hits a top rope spin kick, but Goto kicks out. Martinez sets him up and they exchange reversals until Goto hits a headbutt to the chin. Goto goes for a Penalty Kick, but Martinez catches it and hit an uppercut! Martinez then goes for the chokeslam, but Goto escapes and hit a reverse DDT into a neckbreaker on the knee for the three count!

Winner: Goto via pinfall

The Briscoe Brothers, Kazuichka Okada, and Will Ospreay vs. The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Cody Rhodes

The fans are actually very much behind the Bullet Club chanting for the Young Bucks, The Elite, and Cody. Okada asked very much to start the match, as did Omega. Oh yeah! This would have been the first time those two have faced off since their match at the Tokyo Dome. They go face to face, but Okada breaks off to stare down Cody. Okada then tags out to Mark Briscoe, who tags Cody, who the crowd chants for. Cody ails Mark with a boot and applies a headlock. Mark shoves him off, but Cody slides under his legs and mocks him, but Mark responds with some hard chops to the chest and a pair of armdrags, before making the tag to Jay. Cody cuts him off with the drop down kick to the head and tags in Nick Jackson, and they hit a drop down/dropkick combinations. Nick lets out a loud “Suck IT!” before charging into a boot. Jay lights him up and tags in Opsreay. They have a crazy exchange, until Will puts him down with a dropkick. But then Matt Jackson comes from behind and starts clubbing people. The Bucks try a double hiptoss but he rebounds off the ropes and double armdrags them to the outside. He fakes a dive, but when they move vaults to his knees to SHOW THEM UP! THAT”S WHY YOU DO IT! IT’S A PSYCHOLOGICAL PLOY, PEOPLE! Sorry, rant over. The Bucks kick the rail in frustration, before running back in. Ospreay tries a springboard crossbody, but they catch him, and try to set the Meltzer Driver, but Will takes Matt over with a headscissors into Nick, then hits another headscissors that sends him to the floor. He tries another dive, but they run back in, and Ospreay jumps to the apron, but Nick catches him in a headscissors, and Matt hits him with an enzugiri that drops him to the floor. The Bullet Club celebrates as they go to a slightly appropriately timed commercial.

BFC, Nick rams Ospreay into the heels boots in the corner. Nick then yells “six boots” which gets a chant going. The heels then set up in the corner, and but Ospreay reverses it and rams Nick into six boots in the corner. Nick cuts off one hot tag attempt, but Ospreay flips to his feet and…dives, but the heels pulled the faces off just in time. Classic tag team psychology that the BC is amazing at and they get no credit for. Nick then nails Ospreay hit a sliding knee. Ospreay somehow manages to briefly hold off four heels before Matt superkicks him into Cody and Kenny’s waiting arms. They hoist him up and Matt superkicks him again! Repeat! The Bucks hit a double superkick and Kenny and Cody hold him so Nick can hit a swanton from the apron on the outstretched Ospreay. Nick then throws him in the ring. They Bucks hit a springboard splash/standing Moonsault combo, but Will kicks out. Kenny tags in for the first time in the match, stomping on Will and bodyslamming to set up a Muta elbowdrop for a two count. Kenny then slaps on a serious looking chinlock. Ospreay’s arm goes up twice, but stays up on the third and he comes in throwing elbows before taking a kick from the back from Cody. Kenny goes for a suplex, but Ospreay somehow counters it into a stunner, then hit follows up with a satellite DDT! Okada and Cody get the tag! Okada lights up Cody, but the Bucks cut him off. Okada is soon yelling “Suck It” and nailing him with rights, before catching them both in a flapjack. Cody cuts him off with the Disaster Kick and goes for Cross Rhodes, but Okada counters into a backdrop driver into a neckbreaker. Mark tags in and he takes care of everyone until Jay tags in with a lariat on Omega. They then lite up Matt Jackson in the corner before we get one more effing commercial.

BFC, Jay hits the BC with a tope, and Mark follows up with a Cactus elbow on Matt. Omega cuts off an Ospreay dive, but Ospreay hits with a flip kick, then launches into an amazing Space Flying Tiger Drop on the BC! Okada then went go up top, but Cody cut him off and they teased a superplex spot, but Will came to rescue Okada, only for Cody to superplex him onto the pile, which includes some young boys!

Then in the ring, we finally get what we’ve been waiting for all match-Okada vs Omega. They start out trading forearms, until Okada starts raining in European uppercuts. Omega cuts him off with a hard chop, only to run into a boot, but he comes back with the jumping knee! Omega goes for One Wing Angel, but Okada slips out the back and goes for the Rainmaker, but Omega ducks and the Bucks him with a double superkick, and Omega hit a snap Dragon suplex. They play around a bit, then the Elite hit a Triple Superkick on Okada. Ospreay then comes out of nowhere to nail the Bucks with a Flying Bodypress, then catches Omega with the handspring enzugiri. Cody then cuts him off with the snap powerslam. Mark tries to cut him off the urange, but Cody armdrags through and decks him with a forearm. Jay drops him with a forearm, then starts handling the Bucks on two on one, avoids a double superkick, and drops them with a double clothesline. Omega cuts him off with a chop, but Okada hits a dropkick on him. Jay then hits a superplex on him, then Mark hits the FroggyBow, and Okada hits the Rainmaker top rope elbow. Okada then goes for a Rainmaker, but Omega ducks and hits the Jumping Knee. Omega was setting up another, but Will runs in and catches him with the C4. Tags to Will and Cody. Cody hits the drop down uppercut, but Will bounces back and hits the skateboard dropkick in the corner. Will hits a Falcon Arrow for a two count. That move is really in vogue right now. Will goes up top, but the Bucks came up, only to get cut off. Will goes for the Shooting Star, but Cody moves, only to have Will land on his feet. Cody cuts him off and goes for Cross Rhodes, but Will counters into a Sushi Roll for a two count, then hits the basement 540 Kick to the head. Ospreay then goes for the OsCutter, but Cody blocks it and hits the Cross Rhodes for the three count. Wow.

Winner: The Bullet Club via pinfall

We see them celebrate and Riconobi gives a voiceover to end the show.

Fanatic Take: This effing company…I have been following ROH on off for fifteen years, and this has been one of the glaring weaknesses. Their effing TV. Two weeks ago, they had a hot PPV that everyone was talking about, and do they follow up, no! After a lame duck episode last week that I didn’t even bother to watch, they follow up with a damn clip show. It’s two weeks since the PPV, and they can’t follow up their hot angles. It’s ridiculous and until this company can begin to think just a little out of the box, they will never ever grow the way that they deserve, with all the talent they STILL have. And then, ROH is even worse than WWE at going to commercial at the worst time in a match. They did it twice on this show at the worst times in the match, right during the hot tag in the six man, and right during Goto’s comeback in the second match. At least in the main they came during near resting conditions.

All that being said, at least the matches were good. The Goto-Martinez match was the best match Martinez ever had, and I liked the way he worked here for the Japan crowd than he does in the states. It was smarter, made him look more like a monster, and made his cool spots worth more. And the main event is just incredible. If you pigeonhole these guys as spot monkeys or flippy guys, you are ignorant. Will Ospreay may be the best athlete in wrestling, ever. The Bucks are a great tag team that can work face and heel, and our a classic 80s tag team in a 2017 dressing. Okada is a stud athlete. Can’t say enough about these guys and this match. It’s a must see…but it didn’t need to be on TV this week. It’s a paradox, but still.

"Frank has been a wrestling fan since he was two years old. (Don't worry, he's got proof.) He's also a huge boxing and UFC fan and has a long standing love affair with Popeyes Chicken. He still owns a VHS copy of the first Ring of Honor show ever and was watching NXT before it was cool (or good). Bret Hart > Shawn Michaels. You can follow him on Twitter at @FightFanaticPod and on Tumblr at FrankTheFightFanatic." He's also starting his own podcast soon!

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