The ROHbot Report: Honor Reigns Supreme, Sonjay Dutt Returns and More
By James Bullock Feb 12, 2017 - 8:17 AM
Welcome to another edition of The ROHbot Report – the only article you need for all the Ring of Honor news you have to know. ROH finished up its first tour of Texas in 2017 Lets find out what went down in when Honor Reigned Supreme.
“Honor Reigns Supreme” Results; February 4th, 2017; Dallas, TX - Dalton Castle def. Donovan Dijak - War Machine def. Dirty Andy Dalton & Rhett Titus - The Bullet Club (ROH World champion Adam Cole & Cody) def. The Addiction - Hangman Page def. Jay Lethal - Will Ferrara def. Jax Dane, Jonathan Gresham and Sho in a Four Corner Survival match - Bobby Fish def. Lio Rush - ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: Search & Destroy (Motor City Machine Guns & Jay White) def. The Kingdom by DQ - ROH World Tag Team Championship (Two Out of Three Falls): The Young Bucks def. The Briscoes to retain two falls to one
Reputedly this was another great show during ROH’s first appearances in Texas for 2017 thanks mostly in part to a main event those in attendance are claiming to be an early Match of the Year candidate. The first fall ended in The Briscoes’ favor, only for the second fall (held under Lucha Rules) to go to The Young Bucks when their opponents bashed them with chairs to start the third fall where there were no disqualifications. The action comes across as wild including an Indytaker off the entrance to the floor. Sadly for Dem Boys the fall they wanted the most (No Disqualifications) proved to be their undoing thanks to some interference from Hangman Page. There were a few surprising outcomes including Will Ferrara picking up a big win during a Four Corner Survival match to make up for his loss the night prior, The Kingdom losing for the first time since forming (though due to disqualification and not by pin or submission – thus leaving the door open for a rematch sooner than later), and the aforementioned Page overcoming Bullet Club rival Jay Lethal thanks to the actions of Cody and Adam Cole. The Bullet Club really had a grand night overall thanks to being involved in what would become three successful matches including The Addiction falling to Cole & Cody in a tag team match where the champ pinned his future challenger – mentally destroying Daniels in the process and giving him every reason to believe the “15th Anniversary” will result in another failure to win the ROH World Championship. Cole’s potential other challengers in Fish and Castle continued their winning ways and have all the momentum to become the ROH World champion (Castle potentially being at Fish’s expense if “The Infamous” wins at “Manhattan Mayhem VI” next month). It seems like this turned out to be a must-see show that parleys into ROH’s next TV taping.
“Steel City Excellence” TV Taping Preview; February 11th, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA
The Bullet Club (ROH World champion Adam Cole, ROH World Tag Team champions The Young Bucks & Cody) vs. Jay Lethal, Bobby Fish &The Briscoes With the surprising revelation that ROH’s return to Pittsburgh will be a TV taping came the need for marquee matches. Very few bouts have more marquee value in ROH than this potential exceptional encounter furthering the war for and against The Bullet Club’s further dominance in ROH. On one side of the ring will stand a group of men fortified under the banner of black & white – using the advantage of numbers to match their extreme levels of unbridled talent that has made them champions the world over including a first ever three-time ROH World titleholder in Adam Cole. But across the ring from The Bullet Club will stand four men just as highly respected and looked upon as pillars of ROH and the current wrestling world. Three of these men – The Briscoes & Jay Lethal – have found themselves on the wrong side of the faction to the point it has hindered them in regaining championship glory. Bobby Fish has too felt the wrath of The Bullet Club, yet found success on a more consistent basis – dethroning The Young Bucks to end their first reign as ROH World Tag Team champions, preventing the Television title from entering the group’s clutches, and earning his rite to fight for the ROH World Championship that could result in another title being removed from underneath The Bullet Club banner. Though the common threads connect them all, the unfamiliarity of being together in these forms could prove detrimental as none of these quartets have been in action alongside and against each other as what will be seen in “The Steel City”. No matter the outcome, expect an exceptional match that, thankfully, will be televised.
ROH World Television Championship: Marty Scurll defends against Donovan Dijak In 2015, Donovan Dijak made an immediate splash in ROH by winning that year’s Top Prospect Tournament. Rather than take his owed World Television title opportunity, Donovan opted to sacrifice it to become a member of The House of Truth. An argument could be made that the decision was less than wise as his career didn’t shoot through figurative roof as expected; leading to several shifts in mentorship and, most importantly, focus on his next goal. Refocused and supported by a pair of veterans who want nothing more than Dijak to embrace his promise as a future great in Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley, Donovan actually bested his friends and teachers alike to earn another TV title shot that could produce his greatest career moment to date. But it won’t be Jay Lethal or Bobby Fish standing across the ring from his latest challenger, but a man who prides himself as a villainous individual who takes pride in victory not matter how it comes to him – be it through the utilization of his dreaded Chicken Wing or bashing someone on the head with his infamous umbrella – Marty Scurll. Dijak is unlike anyone “The Villain” has faced not only since becoming the ROH World Television champion, but also during his short tenure in ROH thus far. The 6’7” athlete isn’t just strong. Dijak possesses uncanny agility that allows him to pull off impressive feats like a springboard somersault plancha that has the penchant of wiping out multiple targets in multi-man affairs. But everyone is the same height on their backs, and Scurll has the impressive penchant of bringing anyone down to his size. Another factor regarding this match is Dijak’s contractual status with the company. As of this time this will be the last appearance for Dijak, but in ROH we’ve seen people in their “final” ROH match actually walk away with the gold. This pay-per-view quality bout will most likely be a great treat for every viewer of ROH TV and could produce another dramatic shift in a turbulent division if Dijak can finally achieve championship gold in ROH after coming up short the last two years and maybe stay around longer than expected.
The Kingdom vs. The Rebellion When ROH announced it was forming a Six-Man Tag Team division, the then-Cabinet trio featuring Kenny King, Rhett Titus & Caprice Coleman was simply having fun while “making wrestling great again”. But the antics and everything about their faction wasn’t producing what they truly wanted: respect. Changing everything about their approach, the trio transformed into The Rebellion – three men ready to take what’s theirs while potentially opening the eyes of those they feel have too gotten the wrong end of the stick when it comes to opportunities in ROH. After successful showings on both ROH TV and pay-per-view, The Rebellion finally has the opportunity they’ve been striving for since they formed last year. As of right now, The Kingdom will be the man standing across the ring from them – a trio undefeated thus far in ROH. With the lights on bright, there’s a chance The Kingdom’s reign could come to an end at the hands of men who are determined to prove they are bigger than the believed transgressions placed upon them as The Rebellion become the second holders of ROH’s Six-Man gold.
No Disqualification: Damien Martinez & BJ Whitmer vs. War Machine Though they haven’t been on ROH TV, live events, or pay-per-views as of late, the former ROH World Tag Team champions War Machine haven’t been sitting around doing nothing. New Japan Pro Wrestling invited Ray Rowe & Hanson to participate in the company’s annual World Tag League. Though not successful in winning the entire tournament, War Machine impressed as they picked up four impressive wins and almost advanced into the finals. But before they went to Japan, War Machine had a short run-in with Kevin Sullivan’s protégés and pair of men unbelievably dangerous, BJ Whitmer and “Punishment” Damian Martinez. Their first clash ended in a no contest and witnessed the former champions be obliterated by weapons and Rowe feeling his body get choke slammed through two tables. During the chaos, Whitmer struck the referee and was suspended for thirty days – allowing him and Martinez to plot their next move. Things escalated during the ROH TV taping in Atlanta; resulting in another uncontrollable battle. War Machine is not the type of team to take what happened to them lightly and will be looking for revenge come Pittsburgh. While Hanson & Rowe thrive in conditions where the rules are lax, their opponents have proven they enjoy chaotic environments – environments just made for memorable battles between two barbaric duos.
The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Tempura Boyz The Motor City Machine Guns have been on a mission as of late. Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley, though as good as they’ve ever been, haven’t found the same level of success in ROH’s Tag division due to what they believe is a lack of support in this growing game of numbers being taken advantage of by the likes of The Bullet Club. The Machine Guns have been trying to recruit guys who they feel exemplify what the future of ROH could and can be such as Lio Rush and Jay White. Interestingly enough, The Tempura Boyz could find themselves on that list of potential main event ROH stars The Machine Guns hope to groom into becoming future faces of the company if this match turns out as good as it looks on paper even if The Motor City Machine Guns predictably win.
Taeler Hendrix vs. Jenny Rose It’s the return of two Women of Honor staples – one from an era gone by and one who is trying to craft the latest version of ROH’s Women’s division in her own image – Jenny Rose and Taeler Hendrix. Rose, per the norm for her over the last few years, has spent the last few months touring Japan. Hendrix, following the biggest win of her WOH career thus far by defeating Mandy Leon in a No Disqualification match, hasn’t been seen in ROH throughout 2017 thus far. That changes in Pittsburgh when the two do battle for the first time in singles competition. When it comes to ROH encounters, the two are mildly familiar with each other thanks to a six-woman tag team bout that occurred during the “Conquest Tour” almost a year ago where Rose’s team actually picked up the victory over veteran Kyoko Kimura & Veda Scott who teamed with Hendrix on that night. But Hendrix didn’t display the same vicious streak in that match that allowed her to overcome Leon – something that could prove to be the difference between victory and defeat for Rose.
“The Experience” Preview; February 12th, 2017; Columbus, OH
Falls Count Anywhere: The Bullet Club (ROH World champion Adam Cole & Hangman Page) vs. Jay Lethal & Bobby Fish Ring of Honor is calling this event the most “interactive show” in ROH history; and for good reason as the fans both around the world and those who will be in attendance will affect the show by voting on a series of matches – be it stipulations or actual opponents including the Six-Man Tag Team Championship match. Current reigning champions The Kingdom will face a trio to be determined by the crowd as they most likely cheer or boo in approval or disapproval as to whom they want to see battle for the gold. But one match already locked in is the main event and another confrontation between The Bullet Club’s Adam Cole & Hangman Page against two men they’ve antagonized for the last few months, Jay Lethal & Bobby Fish. While the problems between the two pairs started due to championship aspirations, the lack of honor shown by The Bullet Club has created more infuriating moments for Lethal & Fish that would allow a rage & anger to build perfectly made for two of the matches fans around the world had the chance to vote for: a No Disqualification, Tables or Falls Count Anywhere bout. ROH fans went with the one that could, ironically enough, end with the wrestlers actually physically interacting in the crowd as ROH fans that’ll both be in attendance and watch the show on VOD/DVD chose Falls Count Anywhere as the match stipulation. This has the chance to be one of the wildest tag team bouts of 2017 occurring in Columbus only two months into the year is great; as is this potentially being one of the most memorable events in ROH history by doing something the company shockingly never has in its fifteen years of existence.
ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks defend against War Machine When War Machine lost the ROH World Tag Team Championship during the annual ROH-New Japan “War of the Worlds” tour, their focus didn’t stay on regaining the gold, but getting revenge on the men responsible. Since then, War Machine has been battling constantly against men ready to destroy everything they’ve built up to this point. Though they haven’t been completely successful in their cause, they have done enough to warrant a shot at the gold that will happen during ROH’s return to Columbus. The Bucks have proven themselves as the best tag team the world has to offer, but against the likes of War Machine in non-title and multi-man affairs featuring teams of more than two haven’t been favorable for the current titleholders. The Bucks will be greatly tested as not only champions, but also their moniker as the best duo wrestling has to offer. This should be an excellent clash of styles to further make this event a memorable one.
Proving Ground (Two Out of Three Falls) match: ROH World Television champion Marty Scurll vs. Lio Rush The 2016 Top Prospect Tournament winner Lio Rush was to be like his fellow tournament winners and wrestle for the World Television Championship after his big victory, but circumstances beyond his control prevented him not only missing out on his earned shot, but the title not even being defended in the United States. Rush was given an upgrade of sorts, failing the wrest the World title from Jay Lethal almost a year ago from this event. Though he’s tried, Rush has yet to earn another TV title shot, but could in his Proving Ground match with the champ. The stipulations presented for the fans to vote on regarding this match, not surprisingly, could’ve played a huge part in whether or not Rush makes it one win away from golden glory as fans online voted for the pair to battle in either a Two Out of Three Falls, Submission or European Rounds match. The fans en masse decided seeing two of the most impressive ROH competitors going today fight more than once in a night. The Two Out of Three Falls bout could actually work more in Rush’s favor as Lio is experienced at winning more than once in a single night as seen in not only ROH, but also during the Shane Shamrock Tournament that has seen him walk away victorious. This could be the moment Rush has been working toward for over a year in ROH as he proves his superiority over the TV champion on one night before going for the gold sooner than later. But to count out the champ – a man who has gone undefeated in singles competition since his ROH debut – would be absolutely silly.
Cody vs. Dalton Castle When the artist formerly carrying the Rhodes name to the ring left WWE he posted a list of names – names that would potentially give him the chance to prove his believed untapped greatness. While some were obvious choices, one stood out as he wasn’t a proven superstar and someone who had the potential of testing him unlike any other thanks to his eccentric personality and uncanny strength. Now, for the first time in wrestling history, “The American Nightmare” will come face to face with wrestling’s “Peacock”, Dalton Castle. It couldn’t be better timing for The Bullet Club that Cody challenges Castle now. Dalton is gearing up for a ROH World title shot at “Supercard of Honor” and Cody has the chance to not only prove his superiority against someone who could be a future World champion sooner rather than later, but also ensure that latter comes before sooner at Cole’s expense. Cody has been on a tear as of late in not only ROH, but across the globe - looking to make Dalton another notch in ever-growing belt of recent accomplishments. Castle, while not as world traveled as his opponent, is believed to be one of the brightest stars ROH has produced in quite some time without achieving champion status – something that could change starting with a win over “The Son of a Son” following a highly memorable match.
Jay White & The Motor City Machine Guns vs. The Rebellion October 2016 was a turning point in the faction then known as The Cabinet as Caprice Coleman, Kenny King & Rhett Titus transformed into The Rebellion. Ironically enough, shortly before that career-changing night for the trio, The Motor City Machine Guns & Jay White had the opportunity to fight with The Cabinet and won. From that moment on it seems The Rebellion has put their sights on The Machine Guns and the men who currently run with them – look no further than “Final Battle” where The Rebellion bested The Guns & Donovan Dijak. Between and after that, The Rebellion have attacked the likes of Jay White, Lio Rush, Dijak, and of course The Machine Guns. The last time these six men were in the ring together it was a great encounter, but back then it was solely based on competition. The Machine Guns & White are gunning for revenge while The Rebellion want to use every match and every win as a way to get their message across that opportunities are not given, they are taken.
The Briscoes vs. The Tempura Boyz This will be another huge test for The Tempura Boyz as they come toe to toe with, arguably, the greatest tag team in ROH history following their recent successes against the likes of Coast 2 Coast and Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara and tests against the ROH World Tag Team champions. Depending on what happens the week prior, this could or couldn’t be for the ROH World Tag Team Championship. In this hypothetical, yet potential reality, The Briscoes could be weakened and prone for one of the most shocking upsets in ROH history. Even without the title on the line, The Tempura Boyz winning would be huge not only for their careers, but also in ROH history. The Briscoes have stood across the ring from relatively new talents and helped them breakthrough to the next level win, loss or draw.
Kelly Klein vs. Scarlett Bordeaux September 2015 witnessed the unexpected happen in the restoration of ROH’s Women of Honor division as an unknown entity supported by BJ Whitmer made her debut in quick fashion as she choked out her first ROH opponent. This growing force known as Kelly Klein spent the next year choking out opponent after opponent – demanding respect from competitors and detractors alike. In her mind, the grandeur of Klein’s appearances in ROH weren’t properly presented by ring announcer Scarlett Bordeaux and caused several run-ins between the two focusing on Klein’s physical presence causing moments of obvious intimidation and bullying. Things got incredibly physical between the two during ROH’s “Glory By Honor XV” weekend when Klein, using her stature to somewhat frighten Scarlett yet again, demanded Bordeaux to reintroduce her during a segment that didn’t even involve the Women of Honor. When Scarlett finally stood up for herself, Klein knocked her out. Officials and security had to stop what was sure to be a thrashing that could’ve ended Scarlett’s time in ROH as both a ring announcer and potential Woman of Honor. While this might seem like a sure victory for Klein like so many of her matches in the past, Scarlett isn’t just some announcer with no prior in-ring experience. Scarlett has competed in ROH and other promotions over the last few years, slowly but surely improving her craft. Klein, potentially looking past her opponent, could put herself in prime position for the upset of a lifetime if Scarlett can pull off the practically impossible in a match where the rules will be a little lax and made for someone fueled on revenge fighting for unexpected success.
One of the most popular classic events makes it triumphant return in ROH’s most popular venue: on Saturday, March 4, Manhattan Mayhem returns to the Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom! With unprecedented fan demand, The Young Bucks have signed to defend their ROH World Tag Team Championship against two of the best young stars in the world, Jay White & Lio Rush!
“Undisputed Legacy” wasn’t a grand night for the contingent organized by The Motor City Machine Guns now going by the name of “Search & Destroy” as The Bullet Club picked apart Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, and Jay White until Lio Rush was the last man standing and prone to a quartet onslaught. White eventually made a comeback and in a four-on-two situation, the pair almost won the entire match for their team before succumbing to the inevitable. Rush & White – who teamed in both two-man and trios scenarios during 2016 – didn’t take the loss lightly as they confronted The Young Bucks to remind the current Tag Team champions that while they took the loss they did push The Bullet Club to the limit and felt they could be one win away from ending The Bucks’ second reign as ROH World Tag Team champions. Belief is one thing, but action is another and the actions of Nick & Matt Jackson are that of men who can win in a variety of tag team environments – something Rush & White haven’t proven they’ve been able to do. This match has not only all the makings of being an early ROH Match of the Year candidate, but also historic if Rush & White can overcome inexperience both as a tandem and in high stake matches to become the new ROH World Tag champions shortly before ROH’s “15th Anniversary” pay-per-view. “Manhattan Mayhem VI” just keeps getting better and better.
Sonjay Dutt makes his return to Ring of Honor in Manhattan with a golden opportunity! Dutt will face whomever the Television champion is at Manhattan Mayhem.
For the first time in nearly four years, Sonjay Dutt makes his ROH return after spending his time traveling the world, winning titles in various companies and still impressing just like he did when he was one of the standouts in TNA’s X-Division during, arguably, the company’s golden era. But as much as Dutt became a recognizable force when wrestlers like him were breaking out in ROH and beyond, Sonjay never really had monumental tenures in Ring of Honor – only having short stints similar to Frankie Kazarian and Chris Sabin before their most recent times in ROH. Dutt has mingled in the ROH title scene thanks to his popularity elsewhere, but nothing has panned out for him in ROH like one would think. That could change, shockingly enough, in a time where so many of Dutt’s contemporaries have either found success in ROH or moved beyond the heights Sonjay has been struggling to attain for years. No matter the champion, this should be another excellent addition to a card that seems like ROH’s Event of the Year thus far.
QT Marshall vs. O.G. Mike
Fish in Dallas
RPG Vice Challenge The Bucks
Jay Briscoe Accepts White’s Challenge
RPG Vice Challenge The Bucks
White & Rush confront The Young Bucks
Kazarian Talks Some Sense into Daniels
War Machine Are Focused on Tag Gold
And there you have it. Show that love, or like, for The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page. Also, if haven’t already, make sure you listen to the latest FREE “Honor Nation” as I talk about ROH’s upcoming World title matches and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/25_Mins_Honor_Nation_Readying_For_The_Future.shtml). And don’t forget to send those questions in for the next “Honor Nation either through the comments section below, on Facebook (The ROHbot Report and Honor Nation on its Facebook page), on Twitter (@fasjab), or by e-mailing me at Bullock@wewantinsanity.com. Here’s to a great week for you and yours; and as always, thanks for reading.