ROH Honorable Mention: Road to All Star Extravaganza
Ring of Honor‘s television show this week emanated from Sam’s Town in Las Vegas, Nevada. The episode was the first of the tapings from the night after Death Before Dishonor, transitioning to a new ROH World Heavyweight champion as well as the company’s next PPV, All Star Extravaganza on September 30th.
Adam Cole Championship Celebration
New minted ROH Heavyweight Champion Adam Cole came to the ring flanked by his Bullet Club brethren the Guerillas of Destiny and Takahashi. He regaled the crowd with story time as he recounted his winning of the championship, as well as the sneak attack he suffered at the hands of Kyle O’Reilly. He vowed that O’Reilly would never get the ROH title and was promptly interrupted by Jay Lethal. Cole said that even if Lethal does get a rematch he won’t win the title because Cole is not only the best wrestler, but he also has the help of his friends. Lethal then revealed that he has his own friends as Naito and Evil from Los Ingobernables flanked him on the ramp.
This was an effective showdown between the new champion and the former, while also keeping O’Reilly out of the title picture for now, as it seems that he and Cole will finally meet at Final Battle in December. Before then however, ROH announced that Cole will defend his title against Will Osprey at the Road to Destruction event on September 22nd. If he is able to walk away with the title, he will then defend against IWGP Intercontinental Champion “The Unbreakable” Michael Elgin. Throw in a rematch with Jay lethal and Cole has a serious list of excellent contenders to defend against. Although he looks to presumably hold on to the strap until his showdown with O’Reilly, these up coming matches have the potential to be match of the year candidates.
Ladder Wars VI
The last few weeks have featured a number of clues as to how the tag team titles would be defended at All Star Extravaganza. This week’s show featured two segments with The Addiction. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian claimed the footage from last week’s episode was doctored and that the Young Bucks never got the better of them. A bit of a heavy handed promo atop a ladder by the ROH World Tag Team Champions of the World finally made a light go off in Nigel McGuinness‘s head, as he decided that Daniels and Kazarian will defend the titles in a three way ladder match against The Young Bucks and the Motor City Machine Guns at All Star Extravaganza.
Daniels and Kazarian sold their displeasure very well and the announcement of another Ladder Wars match is certainly exciting. The build to this match has been effective and it would not be surprising if the Addiction drop the titles during the ladder match. They have had an excellent run with the titles, but eventually all their chicanery and underhand tactics need to catch up with them.
Donovan Feasts His Eyes on ROH Television Title
At Death Before Dishonor, Donovan Dijak won a four corners match against Jay White, Lio Rush and Kamaitachi. Since coming under the tutelage of Prince Nana, Dijak has been a rising star in ROH. His Top Prospect 2015 win made him a hot commodity that was scooped up by Truth Martini as part of the House of Truth. After breaking away he seemed to be floating around directionless, but Nana has brought him into prominence in the company. The victory in Las Vegas earned him a ROH TV title shot against Bobby Fish at All Star Extravaganza.
This week’s episode had him taking on Manny Lemons in a very short squash match. Dijak looked dominant as he steam rolled over his relative unknown opponent. The match was effective in having him pick up steam going into his title match. Dijak has been deserving of a title and his size as well as his athleticism have gone a long way to prove that he should be carrying gold by the end of the year.
After ROH’s announcement of a new six man tag team championship, this week showcased some of the talent that will be competing in the tournament. Jay White and Lio Rush took on The Briscoes, Mark and Jay in the main event. Although the dynamic of the teams will be different with the other members of the six man tag tournament paired with these two teams, the match showcased White and Rush’s talents well, especially after White’s draw with Jay Briscoe on last week’s episode.
This week’s episode was filled with video recaps and every match built to All Star Extravaganza. It seemed as this week’s show was an attempt to keep continuity with next week’s episode centering around NJPW talent. Lethal’s choice in back-up is a formidable one for now, but a bit short-sighted considering that those two will presumably leave for Japan in the near future. Choosing someone within the company would have given whoever he chose the opportunity to get some main event shine.
Dijak’s segment worked to make him look strong heading into his clash with Bobby Fish at the next PPV. The main event was a great match and was an attempt to build for the six man tag titles, but the dynamic will certainly be different with ACH joining White and Rush to battle Dem Boys and Toru Yano. It wouldn’t have hurt to have ACH appear on the show, but his prior commitments made that impossible. This wasn’t an ineffective hour of wrestling, it just was not as exciting as ROH television has been this summer.