We see the usual intro, then commentary welcomes us to the show. Commentary talks about tonight’s main event, then we go to the opening match.
Donovan Dijak w/Truth Martini vs. “The Peacock” Dalton Castle w/Manservants
Nice reaction for Castle in San Antonio. Castle wants Dijak to kiss his hand in adhering to the Code of Honor, but Dijak refuses and just shakes Castle’s hand instead. They get into an argument about it, with the ref having to back them up as the bell sounds. Castle goes for a waistlock early, but then instead, slaps Dijak on the keister. Dijak backs Castle into the corner, but misses a right hand and Castle taunts him. Castle with a drop toe hold, then hits a series of knees to the ribs. Castle makes a peacock sound, then hits a running high knee to Dijak in the corner. Dijak slips out of a running bulldog, but Castle with an armdrag. Castle with a series of headbutts to the back of Dijak’s head, then plays to the crowd. Gut shot by Castle, then he pulls down the top rope, sending a charging Dijak outside. Castle with a head of steam, but instead of diving, bounces off the ropes and does his peacock walk in the ring to mess with Dijak. Dijak gets back in and charges again, but Castle sidesteps him, sending Dijak back outside. Castle again plays to the crowd, but Dijak gets back in and nails him from behind. Dijak sends Castle onto the apron, then knocks him down to the outside with a clothesline. Martini taunts Castle on the outside as Dijak goes out after him. Dijak sends Castle hip-first into the apron, followed by a forearm. Dijak breaks the referee’s 20 count, then sends Castle into the barricade, once again hip-first. Dijak goes to send Castle into the apron, but Castle uses the ropes to swing around and then HITS DIJAK WITH A RANA ON THE OUTSIDE!! Castle goes onto the apron and Dijak backpedals to another side of the ring, but then Castle gets back in, gets a head of steam and wipes out Dijak with a Heat Seeking Missile, sending Dijak crashing into the barricade! Castle’s manservants fan down Castle on the outside as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial as Castle goes for a suplex on Dijak back in the ring, but Dijak counters by SUPLEX THROWING CASTLE INTO THE TURNBUCKLES!! Dijak with a knee to the ribs of Castle for 2. Dijak springs off the bottom rope and hits a twisting senton as Martini does his victory lap around ringside. Dijak taunts the crowd as the manservants again fan down Castle. Castle fights back with gut shots and a right hand, but runs into an elbow by Dijak. Dijak goes for Feast Your Eyes, but Castle slips out and hits a big boot. Dijak misses a right hand and Castle with a clothesline and a forearm, but Dijak does not go down. Castle with a running dropkick, but Dijak still does not go down. Castle runs into a back elbow by Dijak in the corner, but then drives Dijak into the corner and unloads with gut shots. Dijak misses a clothesline, but catches Castle in mid-air off a springboard crossbody attempt. Dijak with a knee to the ribs of Castle from a slam position, but Castle slips out and hits a big right hand that buckles Dijak. DEADLIFT GERMAN BY CASTLE!!! 1-2…..DIJAK KICKS OUT!! “That was 3” chants by the crowd as Castle can’t believe it! Castle with another knee to the ribs, then goes for a whiplash slam, but Dijak slips out. Dijak blocks an O’Connor Roll, but Castle lifts him up and hits the spinning whiplash slam into a facebuster for a close 2. Castle again can’t believe it. Castle goes for another German, but Martini grabs onto Dijak’s ankles to block it. Dijak with a back elbow to free himself from Castle.
FEAST YOUR EYES!! 1-2-3!
Winner: Donovan Dijak by pinfall (Feast Your Eyes)
Dijak & Martini celebrate his win afterwards, then Martini says to the camera that later on, Jay Lethal will be in the house. The manservants check on Castle, but Martini shoves him down. Martini grabs Castle by the hair and trash talks him, but Castle grabs Martini in a Testicular Claw! Dijak charges in, but Castle avoids him, sending Dijak outside. Castle stands tall in the ring while the House of Truth leaves as we go to commercial.
THOUGHTS: Fun match. Martini being paired with Dijak is already showing good benefit for Dijak going forward as another form of muscle in the House of Truth and he shows tons of potential by virtue of his great look for being so tall at 6’7 and yet, being very agile for his size. And my goodness, the ROH crowds have fallen in love with Dalton Castle. Castle brings a real breath of fresh air to the ROH mid-card scene with his over-the-top persona, while at the same time, being a very solid and fluid performer in the ring. Sky is the limit for Castle in ROH, this was a real fun way to kick-off the show.
Back from commercial, we go to the next match.
War Machine (“The War Beard” Hanson & Raymond Rowe) vs. Andy Dalton & Ken Phoenix
“Welcome back” chants by the crowd for the home statesman Rowe. Code of Honor before the bell, although Dalton spits on his hand before shaking hands with Rowe. Bell sounds and Rowe LAMBASTS Dalton with a HUGE forearm! Hanson tagged in.
FALLOUT!! 1-2-3! Thanks for coming!
Winners: War Machine by pinfall (The Fallout)
War Machine celebrate their win afterward as Phoenix cannot believe what just happened. Rowe licks his hand, then adheres to the Code of Honor with the laid out Dalton as we go to commercial.
THOUGHTS: If you are a fan of squishy-squash matches, you will love this match. Hanson’s rise in popularity in the time Rowe was away due to injury has fortunately been able to transfer to not just Rowe, but the War Machine team as well upon his return and doing smash-mouth, no-frills squash matches to showcase the team has been very successful so far. War Machine is quickly becoming the next hot team in ROH and much like Castle, brings a breath of fresh air to the ROH Tag Team division.
Back from commercial, reDRagon is in the ring for the live installment of “The Fish Tank.”
O’Reilly: “What’s up San Antonio? Welcome to the Fish Tank, it is so great to be back here, deep in the heart of…..Oklahoma, where are we?”
Fish: “Texas, Kyle, we’re in Texas.”
O’Reilly: “Texas? I LOVE TEXAS!”
Fish: “We are Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions, three times over. We are IWGP Junior Tag Champions. Now, where I come from, Kyle, carving out a legacy, like we have since we’ve been together, well man, if I had to sum It up in one word, that word would be dominance.”
O’Reilly: “Dominance, what a powerful word, Bobby. It makes me think of our guest at this time, a champion like us and for the last 365 days, he has called himself Television Champion. A man that I personally tapped out in the middle of this ring…..”
Fish: “He did.”
O’Reilly: “I did. Ladies and gentlemen, from the House of Truth, Jay Lethal!”
The House of Truth’s music hits as Lethal & Martini make their way to the ring. Commentary notes that there is something different about the ROH TV Title belt.
Fish: “Gentleman, thank you for being here.”
Lethal: “Now hold on, first of all, if you’re gonna spit out facts like the little dig you took where you tapped me out, you know, I have no problem admitting that I tapped out because first of all, that was a 3-on-1 match, OK. Whoever the hell my partner was, he wasn’t qualified to be in the ring with me, he wasn’t qualified to be on my team and he’s jealous of me. So yeah, yeah, you’re right, I lost in a 3-on-1, you tapped me out, but in an upcoming Ring of Honor event, we’re going to be in Hopkins and you get a shot at the greatest Ring of Honor champion and we’ll see then if you can tap me out.”
Fish: “You ain’t gotta do that, Jay Lethal…….”
Lethal: “Now hold on, hold your horses, let’s get to some business. The only reason we agreed to come out and do your stupid Fish Tank show……”
Fish: “Hey, the people will tell ya right there, this show is anything but stupid.”
Lethal: “There’s your problem, you guys agreed to do one thing for this, that’s why we said we’d come out here. You said that you would help promote the greatest DVD that Ring of Honor will ever produce, that’s my best-of DVD.”
Fish: “OK, we’ll play ball.”
Lethal: “OK, let’s get this out of the way, business is business, let’s get business out of the way.”
Fish: “OK, we hope you not mind, guys, we took it upon ourselves to put a little something together, um, (speaking to O’Reilly) there’s a part that in here where he goes on and on about his hot ex-girlfriend, its great.”
Lethal: “Hey, what was that?”
Fish: “Nothing, we’re gonna take care of your thing here.” (pulls out a prepared script to put over Lethal’s DVD)
O’Reilly: (clears throat) “Hey there, insommiacs.”
Fish: “Can’t sleep?”
O’Reilly: “Tired of counting sheep?”
reDRagon: “Pop in the new Jay Lethal DVD.”
Martini: “HEY! HEY! You stop that right now! This man is the greatest first-generation wrestler. This man is the legend. This man is the Ring of Honor champion. I took it upon myself with my own money to correct the mistake that this company made by putting the word ‘Television’ on his title.” (shows the change to the TV Title belt to the camera)
Fish: “Wait a second, we can take our World Titles and we can change the writing on those to be ‘Masters of the Universe’ if we wanted, but, but, He-Man has already got that thing locked down, therefore, we don’t do such a thing. Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the elephant in the room here. This company already has a World Champion, last time I checked, his name is Jay Briscoe.”
Lethal: “DON’T YOU EVER SAY THAT NAME!! DON’T YOU EVER SAY THAT NAME! That name….
Fish: “Jay Briscoe. Jay Briscoe.”
Lethal: “SHUT UP!”
Fish: “Jay Briscoe.”
Crowd chants for Briscoe.
Lethal: “SHUT UP!!! DON’T YOU EVER MENTION THAT NAME!! THAT NAME IS UNWORTHY!! THAT NAME MEANS NOTHING TO ME!!! That name means used toilet paper, that’s what that word means to me! The fact that Jay Briscoe is in the spot he is in is like winning the lottery and furthermore……shut up! Furthermore, when it comes to Jay Briscoe, that man was born on the highway, because that is where most accidents happen!”
The music of Jay Briscoe hits and he makes his way to the ring as multiple referees & attendants come down to try & get Briscoe away from Lethal. “MAN UP” chants by the crowd. Jay grabs the mic.
J. Briscoe: “Jay Lethal, let me tell you something.”
Briscoe nails Lethal in the head with the mic! The two slug it out with referees & attendants getting in-between the two. The brawl heads outside and all the way to the back. reDRagon goes to finish out the Fish Tank, when all of a sudden, the Knights of the Rising Dawn run in and attack reDRagon from behind! KRD goes for the Kingdom’s Ode to V1 on O’Reilly, when Matt Sydal, ACH & Christopher Daniels run in to clear the ring of the KRD. Commentary brings up that yet again, the KRD tries to do a Kingdom move, but Corino on commentary notes that the Kingdom is in Japan. Babyfaces check on reDRagon as we go to commercial.
THOUGHTS: To me, this was the best Fish Tank segment to date. Had a very good, balanced mix of comedy with reDRagon ripping on Lethal’s DVD, but then at the same time, a good amount of storyline development with not just more exposition on the imminent Jay Briscoe-Jay Lethal clash of the titans at the next ROH PPV, but what appeared to be a babyface turn for reDRagon as they head to a new rivalry with the masked Knights of the Rising Dawn faction. I always say that in Lethal’s current TV Title run that he is channeling Ric Flair in the 1980s, but this segment really brought that to the forefront with Lethal just blowing a gasket at the mere mention of Jay Briscoe’s name, it was sensational. The brawl between Jay Briscoe & Jay Lethal, followed by the Pearl Harbor attack by the KRD on reDRagon, was very well done in how both things flowed from one to the other. Lots of things went down here in this segment, but I loved it and this segment is well worth checking out.
Back from commercial, we go to a promo from the Decade.
Whitmer: “ACH, ACH, all we ever hear about is ACH, I am sick & tired of hearing about ACH. ACH, you get all these opportunities handed to you, but you got a guy like Adam Page here who is paying his dues, who is doing things the right way, who doesn’t get any of the opportunities you’ve gotten.”
Page: “ACH, I’ve traveled the road with BJ & Jimmy, all around this country, paid my dues. ACH, I took pay-cuts, I paid my dues. ACH, I carried around a bucket of water for these men, I have paid my dues. And what do I get? I don’t get what you get, I don’t get these big matches, ACH. See, you’re the problem with Ring of Honor. As long as the Decade’s here, we’ve got a one-way ticket for you out.”
Whitmer: “Let’s do business, Albert (laughs).”
THOUGHTS: Good, solid promo from the Decade to set-up their next rivalry with ACH. Matches with Page & ACH should be pretty good.
Main Event: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs. Cedric Alexander
Code of Honor before the bell. Crowd chants for a Test of Strength as the bell sounds. Elgin obliges, but when Cedric goes for it, Elgin decides not to do it. Exchange of chops & forearms early, then Elgin with a gut kick & a back club. Elgin with a side headlock & a shoulder tackle. Both block hiptosses, Elgin misses a clothesline, but no one goes down off a shoulder tackle. Cedric with a dropkick, but then Elgin TURNS CEDRIC INSIDE OUT WITH A BIG SHOULDER TACKLE!! Elgin lifts up Cedric, but Cedric counters with a Sunset Flip for no pin attempt. Elgin goes onto the apron, but Cedric knocks him off with a running dropkick. Cedric with a head of steam, flip dive wipes out Elgin! “ROH” chants by the crowd. Back in, Cedric heads up top and goes for Overtime, but Elgin moves out of the way! Elgin goes for a Deadlift German, but Cedric counters it with a wheelbarrow Victory Roll for 2. Elgin pulls down the top rope, sending Cedric onto the apron. Elgin misses a forearm, but avoids a shoulder by Cedric and hits a front kick. Cedric is draped across the ropes as Elgin goes to the middle rope, DRAPING SOMERSAULT LEG DROP!! Elgin gets 2. Dueling chants by the crowd for both men. Elgin with a big forearm that knocks Cedric down. Elgin paintbrushes Cedric and taunts the crowd. Cedric comes back with a jawbreaker, then catches Elgin with a spinning back kick to the ribs. Cedric goes for a springboard Tornado DDT, but Elgin blocks It in mid-move, drapes Cedric across the ropes in a suplex position and hits an Egotrip variation for another 2. Elgin sends Cedric outside, then yells at the ref to start his 20 count. Elgin then goes outside after Cedric, but Cedric fights back with chops, but they have no effect on Elgin. Cedric with a forearm, but Elgin DRILLS him with a rolling forearm! Elgin breaks the ref’s 20 count as we go to commercial.
Back from commercial as Elgin goes to powerbomb Cedric on the outside, but Cedric counters it with a back body drop! Back in, Cedric with a big forearm, then another one in the corner. Cedric fires out of the corner with another forearm, then goes for a Sunset Flip, but Elgin blocks it. Elgin goes for a butt drop, but Cedric moves out of the way! Crowd wills on Cedric. Cedric sidesteps a backdrop attempt and Cedric hits Two of the Three Amigos. Elgin blocks the third, but Cedric slips out of a suplex. Elgin blocks a German with a back elbow, but Cedric catches Elgin off the ropes with a roll-through into a BIG chest kick! Elgin sends Cedric onto the apron, but Cedric with a forearm, followed by a springboard clothesline for 2. Cedric charges at Elgin in the corner, but Elgin catches him with an enziguri. Elgin goes to the middle rope and hits a 2nd Rope Codebreaker. Elgin off the ropes, but Cedric catches him with a Michinoku Driver for a close 2. Cedric can’t believe it! Cedric goes for the Lumbar Check, but Elgin blocks it with elbows. Elgin avoids the 540 Kick, rolling forearm to the back of Cedric’s head! Elgin off the ropes, misses a clothesline, but then hits a left-arm lariat for a close 2. Now its Elgin who can’t believe it! “This is awesome” chants by the crowd. Cedric rolls onto the apron as Elgin goes to the middle rope. Elgin goes for the Deadlift Superplex, but Cedric crotches Elgin on the middle rope. Back in, Cedric with not one, not two, but three Concussions on Delivery to the back of Elgin’s head! Cedric heads up top, OVERTIME!! Cedric heads back up top for another Overtime, but Elgin gets the knees up! Cedric blocks a pump kick from Elgin, this time hits the 540 Kick! Cedric goes for the springboard 540 Kick, but Elgin avoids it, roll-through into a DOUBLE STOMP TO ALEXANDER’S BACK!!! Running pump kick by Elgin in the corner, ELECTRIC CHAIR DRIVER!! 1-2……CEDRIC KICKS OUT!! Elgin lifts up Cedric, but Cedric takes him down, Jackknife Pin gets a close 2. Cedric avoids the spinning backfist, LUMBAR CHECK!!! 1-2…..ELGIN GETS HIS FOOT ON THE BOTTOM ROPE!! “ROH” chants by the crowd as Elgin rolls out onto the apron. Cedric goes out with him, but Elgin avoids a head kick, crotching Cedric on the ropes in the process. Elgin then CLOTHESLINES CEDRIC OFF THE ROPES!! Elgin goes to the middle rope back in, but Cedric catches him with an enziguri! Cedric heads up top with Elgin and hits a Super Rana, but Elgin holds onto Cedric, rolls through, DEADLIFT POWERBOMB!! SPINNING BACKFIST!!
ELGIN BOMB!!! 1-2-3!
Winner: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin by pinfall (Elgin Bomb)
Afterwards, Elgin grabs a mic.
Elgin: “No matter what the two of you say (looking at commentary), I’m calculated, I’m FOCUSED! Focused on making every single wrestler in Ring of Honor pay for the sins of the men they follow. So boys back there, when you have the misfortune of standing in this ring across from me, realize I’m a killer and you just dug your own grave.”
Elgin adheres to the Code of Honor with the fallen Cedric as commentary hypes up next week’s main event as the show closes.
THOUGHTS: Very good main event. Elgin & Alexander have great chemistry with one another, with having two great matches against one another last year in ROH. Elgin, who seemed to take a while to get going with the change in character, had what I felt was his first great match since that change where it came across like ‘Yeah, that’s a Michael Elgin match’ where as before, that feeling just did not come across the screen. Cedric has been quietly putting on a number of very good matches over the last year and I like the new direction with them that he keeps coming SO close to getting that big win, but just can’t seem to obtain it and it teasing a probable heel turn. Post-match promo from Elgin was also much like my feeling on this match, the first time since the character change where the promo clicked and got across what Elgin’s character change clearly is, a guy who had it all as ROH champion, lost it in his home country, is blaming the higher-ups for his problems and now will take it out on the roster. Very glad to see things come together finally for Elgin in ROH as he always was a very good wrestler, but just needed that one thing from a character standpoint to get him over-the-top, this new wrinkle to the character I feel can do just that.
Overall, what seemed to be a run-of-the-mill show this week on paper, greatly exceeded expectations and turned into a very good episode of ROH TV. Main event was very good, opener was a lot of fun and finally, lots of things were done from a character & storyline standpoint to warrant me giving this week’s show a solid recommendation.
Jason Namako recaps and reviews the weekly Ring of Honor TV, as well as all PPVs and VOD releases for Wrestleview.com