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The ROHbot Report: Honor United Previews, ROH TV Episode 348, And More

By James Bullock May 22, 2018 - 7:28 AM print

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 is heading back to the UK for another tour featuring the stars of New Japan joining the elite ROH talent. Lets find out some of the action that will be seen across three nights.

“Honor United: Edinburgh” Preview; May 24th, 2018; Edinburgh, Scotland

ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Briscoes defend against Cody & Adam Page
Loyalty has been something Cody has wanted since joining The Bullet Club, but has found himself not living by the golden rule as he went out of his way to unofficially usurp the position of Bullet Club’s leader from Kenny Omega; culminating in a match between the two where Cody won due to a mistimed double team super kick from The Young Bucks knocked out Omega and left “The Cleaner” prone to a pin fall at the hands of “The American Nightmare”. But before Cody was obviously causing a schism in The Bullet Club, Adam Page found himself on Team Cody. “Hangman” was loyal to Cody in everything he did, siding with the grandson of a plumber while trying to play mediator whenever need be while making sure everyone knows that if it comes down to Cody or everyone else he’ll choose to be by Cody’s side – no better example of this occurs in this match as Cody will team with the former Six Man Tag Team champion in hopes of winning another piece of ROH gold in the process. To do so this relatively new team will have to overcome the best tag team in ROH history – the record-breaking nine time ROH World Tag Team champions and a pair of men Page knows very well. Beyond the fact Page’s only ROH title reign thus far was essentially caused by The Briscoes losing to Dalton Castle & The Boys is the history between Jay Briscoe and “Hangman” that resulted in some brutal matches two years ago with the finale seeing Page actually pin the rarely defeated eldest Briscoe brother. The Briscoes’ return to their roots in terms of attitude have allowed them to gain a level of ruthlessness that they’ve parleyed into genuine dominance since regaining the Tag Team title. To top it off, The Briscoes left their eventual opponents lying on ROH TV with a brutal chair-based attack. Coming for revenge could cost the challengers as The Briscoes are just as focused on retaining their title by any means necessary – something that has definitely worked well since regaining the title at ROH’s “16th Anniversary”.

ROH World Television Championship: Silas Young defends against Joe Hendry
Ring of Honor’s first appearance in Edinburgh was a perfect one for Silas Young. The then-future two-time ROH TV champion found himself headlining not only ROH’s debut in the capital city of Scotland, but also the entire “War of the Worlds: UK” tour as he took on Jay Lethal in a No Disqualification match that proved to be everything the fans dreamed of and more. On that night Young also won in grand fashion, setting the stage for both his feud-ending bout against Lethal a month later and his TV title reigns. But before all of that, ROH returned to the UK in 2016 with Joe Hendry making his ROH debut. The most famous wrestler to come out of Edinburgh, Hendry has found himself winning titles and fans around the globe. Though it would seem to be out of the question a major title change wouldn’t happen on anything but ROH pay-per-view, ROH’s recent UK tours have produced both singles and tag team title changes including the TV title changing hands two times over the course of three nights in 2016. Though “The Last Real Man” is having a stellar run as of late, there’s a good chance a new champion will be crowned if the numbers game doesn’t play a big part in this one.

The Kingdom vs. Dalton Castle, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Jay Lethal
Considered the franchises of their respective promotions, Jay Lethal and Hiroshi Tanahashi found themselves on opposing sides of the ring during the early days of ROH’s relationship with New Japan. But after Lethal lost the ROH World Championship and Tanahashi took a backseat for Kazuchika Okada to prove himself worthy of being the “Ace of New Japan” title, the two competitors found a kinship that allowed them to successfully tag in New Japan before testing the ROH Tag Team division waters during last year’s “War of the Worlds” tour and, most recently, at “Supercard of Honor XII”. Though it just seemed like a random pairing, the truth is Tanahashi & Lethal’s alliance is based not on sheer chance, but on the mutual needs to be ROH champions. Tanahashi has gone on record to say that he would love to be a ROH champion. Jay Lethal, in all of his years as a ROH competitor both before & during the Sinclair Broadcast era, has never held a ROH World Tag Team title. By their sides is not only a man who is familiar with ROH gold, but he’s also familiar with Six Man Tag gold in Dalton Castle. Most importantly, the current ROH World champion Castle is familiar with The Kingdom. It was during his first trios match with The Kingdom that ended with TK O’Ryan breaking his leg and essentially ending the three’s reign as ROH Six Man Tag Team champions last year. The Kingdom didn’t forget that; most recently on ROH TV Pillmanizing Castle’s injured arm after they defeated “The Peacock” & The Boys. For Tanahashi & Lethal this is a chance to potentially earn a future Six Man Tag title opportunity while their partner has an opportunity to gain a huge measure of revenge against three men who almost ended his World title reign due to injury. This should be nothing short of a stellar match that could easily see the champs lose in this non-title bout.

Nick Aldis & Mark Haskins vs. The Young Bucks
With announcement of “All In” wanting to have a NWA World title match on the show where Cody gets a title shot, the current NWA Heavyweight champion took exception with the idea that someone could never compete in a sanctioned NWA match and demand a shot at the man in the NWA. In response to Cody want to wrestle for the illustrious ten pounds of gold, the former “Magnus” has a few demands of his own including wrestling in Cody’s home promotion. But Aldis, who won the NWA title in CZW of all places last December, isn’t one to feel he deserves everything handed to him as his request to take on one of the best tag teams in the world today comes with the stipulation of having a partner chosen not by him, but by ROH management. Looking at his performances both in ROH last year and internationally, ROH has decided that Mark Haskins will be the perfect partner for Aldis. Haskins had a stellar showing during ROH’s last UK, even winning a match against Silas Young. This will be a major test for Aldis and potentially the first of many times ROH fans will witness the master of the King’s Lyn Cloverleaf in a ROH ring.

EVIL & SANADA vs. The Addiction
SoCal Uncensored are still reeling from losing the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship – something they looked to use as an insurance policy against ROH COO Joe Koff who informed Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian that after “Final Battle” their ROH careers would be over due to a lack of renewal when it comes to their contracts. On the opposite end of the spectrum are the current IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team champions EVIL & SANADA. Since winning the gold at “Wrestle Kingdom 12”, the pair has picked up a variety of victories both as a unit and by themselves including a win over Kazuchika Okada in tag team action. For The Addiction, this is the opportunity of a lifetime as a victory over the current New Japan Heavyweight Tag Team champions would quickly earn them a title shot that could ensure them a job in New Japan if the ROH COO sticks to his guns and refuses to keep the two veterans on the roster come the year’s end in a match that should be full of shenanigans and dastardly deeds before a winning team is declared.

Kenny King vs. Punishment Martinez
When Kenny King became the new ROH World Television champion at “Death Before Dishonor XV” he had a declaration in mind that would dictate the future of his reign if his first defense proved to be successful. By defeating Josh Woods on ROH TV, King found the confidence to proclaim that any time he was on a ROH card in singles competition his TV title would be on the line. King’s words gained the attention of several ROH competitors to the point Ring of Honor decided the champ would have a chance to test his mettle (and his luck) against three of them. By defeating Woods, Cheeseburger and Jonathan Gresham respectively, Punishment Martinez, Shane Taylor and Silas Young earned the chance to finally become a ROH champion at King’s expense; and that’s exactly what happened after King got his skull cracked with one of Beer City Bruiser’s beer bottles. With King eliminated from the match, Martinez almost became the new TV champion; but a debilitating leg injury stopped his chances. ROH’s “Creeper of Violence” didn’t let the loss hinder his progression up the ROH ladder as he challenged for the World title on ROH TV and defeated the likes of Tomohiro Ishii at ROH’s most attended event in history. With both men obsessed with becoming a ROH champion this is a huge opportunity for either to solidify their spot as a top contender for the World or Television titles. King will have to sustain a high level of punishment if he wants to outlast Martinez and win. Martinez has also shown that he can be outsmarted and Kenny isn’t against going against the grain of honor to attain victory. But never count out Martinez as Punishment has proven he can win on big stages and is quickly becoming a sure future ROH champion – that potential could become reality for Martinez with wins over the likes of competitors like Kenny King.

Shane Taylor vs. Scorpio Sky
This will be a definitive clash of styles as the former ROH World Six Man Tag Team champion takes on a 300 lbs-plus behemoth who has only gotten more agile and fiercer since debuting in ROH over two years ago. Shane Taylor is determined to become a bigger name in ROH while Sky is determined to break an unwanted streak of singles loses even when he was a titleholder. But there’s more to this match than just two men looking for wins. Sky & SCU have spent a good amount of cash to hire Taylor in their initial effort to become ROH champions. The alliance featuring SCU & Taylor even saw them going to war with The Bullet Club together. Then The Kingdom decided they wanted their title back even if it meant physically stealing the championship belts. To ensure SCU couldn’t regain their rightful property, The Kingdom hired Taylor to protect the three belts and even attack Christopher Daniels. Sky needs to win here to gain a measure of revenge against the man who prevented him from being able to walk down the aisle with the title he earned before The Kingdom unceremoniously ended SCU’s reign. But to beat a man like Taylor one needs to be able to adapt and even overcome some debilitating strikes.

Sumie Sakai & Tenille Dashwood vs. Kelly Klein & Chardonnay
Sumie Sakai had an arduous task en route to becoming the first Women of Honor champion as the tournament’s dark horse had to defeat one of STARDOM’s best before returning to stateside where international star Tenille Dashwood awaited. In arguably the most surprising result in the tournament, Sakai defeated Dashwood before overcoming Kelly Klein to pin “The Gatekeeper” for the first time in a ROH ring. Since then people have been wondering when Sakai past opponents will get their respective shots at the champ. The stage could be set here as a win by Klein or Dashwood winning for her team could easily establish tem as top contenders. But then there’s also Chardonnay. The Robbie Brookside trainee has been honing her craft around the UK and even touring with STARDOM and challenging for the company’s Tag Team title. Chardonnay’s experience as a tag team competitor will definitely be beneficial for herself & Klein, but will it be enough in a Women of Honor match that could be very good if given some time and the ladies don’t feel the need to rush things.

The Boys vs. Delirious & Toru Yano
There’s not much more that can be said about this match than this: insanity. Just like their mentor in Dalton Castle, The Boys have shown time & time again how their eccentric natures isn’t a cover for a lack of ability; having won plenty of bouts in ROH with & without “The Peacock”. Two-thirds of the former ROH World Six Man Tag Team champions will have one interesting test as few teams in ROH history have featured two uniquely charismatic and, most importantly, unpredictable men like this coming together of Delirious and Toru Yano. While both men have found success by themselves in their home promotions, Yano & Delirious’ recent years have focused on tag team action; action usually featuring some type of chicanery. Really it’ll be up to whether or not twin magic or the Yano Special works first before a winning team is determined in a match that’ll be unlike anything else seen throughout the entire tour.

Ring of Honor returns to London (5/26) and debuts in Doncaster (5/27) for the Honor United Tour! The ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championship will be defended in London when The Kingdom defends against former champions SoCal Uncensored and The Young Bucks in a must-see Triple Threat match!

When ROH instituted the World Six Man Tag Team Championship, few ROH fans & competitors believed in the unknown trio formed by the returning Matt Taven after the former ROH World Tag Team champion had been on the shelf for almost a year following a knee injury. With Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan by his side, Taven not only created a faction in his image – underrated, New England-based wrestlers who were surpassed by their peers – but he also formed a championship-worthy team as The Kingdom became the first ROH World Six Man Tag Team champions at the same event Taven lost the World Tag Team title one year prior. An ironic twist of fate ended The Kingdom’s reign only three months after it began when O’Ryan broke his leg attempting a moonsault on his floored opponents. Since that tragic night, The Kingdom has been claiming ROH is out to ensure they never reach superstar status, let along champion status. Before The Kingdom’s claims became their battle cry, The Addiction & Scorpio Sky have been saying for years not just ROH, but the entire wrestling world hasn’t given them the credit they deserve. Upset with their current standings in ROH especially compared to The Bullet Club, The Kingdom and SoCal Uncensored tried to join forces to defeat the supposedly fractured Bullet Club shortly after SCU became the new ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions at The Hung Bucks’ expense.
The alliance to destroy The Bullet Club featuring The Kingdom & SCU fell apart on ROH TV when Scorpio Sky accidentally hit his own ally and cost them a match against The Bullet Club quintet; setting the stage for an encounter featuring two duos not on the fan favorite side of the fence. But before that night in Florida where SCU overcame The Kingdom, Kazarian, Daniels & Sky defeated The Hung Bucks to become the new Six Man Tag Team champions. Taking exception to both the loss and the title change, The Kingdom stole the title belts from SCU; leading to a sanctioned match for the gold in Lowell. The hometown boys shocked the ROH world and dethroned SCU for the championship to become the first two-time Six Man Tag Team titleholders. With both SCU and The Hung Bucks trying to regain their championship, this could produce one of, if not the wildest match during the entire tour. A title change also isn’t out of the question as The Hung Bucks actually won the Six Man title the last time ROH toured the UK last year. With three teams desperate for a golden win this has all the makings of being a classic encounter.

In London, Jay Lethal takes on a man who is currently one-half of the ROH World Tag Team champions Mark Briscoe!

Jay Lethal has been determined to become a ROH champion yet again even if it means he has to rely on the abilities of someone else to help him achieve that goal. No better example of that happened at “Supercard of Honor XII” where Lethal teamed with Hiroshi Tanahashi in hopes of defeating The Briscoes to become the new ROH World Tag Team champion. Unfortunately for Lethal the talents of two of the best ever to grace the ring were unable to overcome one of the greatest tag teams of their generation and beyond in The Briscoes’ environment. It’s incredibly ironic that this match features two long-time ROH competitors fighting from different positions compared to their prior contests. A couple of years ago it was Jay Lethal doing everything in his power to keep The Briscoes away from either his World or Television Championship. Another interesting stat is the fact in singles matches Lethal has never lost to Mark Briscoe in ROH. Considering Jay Lethal is reportedly nursing an injury that stat could easily change across the pond in their first singles match in nearly two years.

The ROH World champion has his back against the wall, battling a series of lingering back injuries that have worn him down physically and mentally and he has drawn one of the hottest international stars in EVIL for Honor United: London!

December 2007 was a very unique time in ROH. Then ROH World champion Nigel McGuinness entered New York’s Manhattan Center with the intent of successfully defending his World title two nights in a row against stellar competition. On the first night, McGuinness suffered a nasty cut over his eyebrow topped by an even worst concussion that forced him to not compete at “Final Battle”. The fans, who knew McGuinness was hurting since the night he won the title, demanded he forfeit the championship so someone who could wrestle could defend it like they wanted; but Nigel refused and played through the pain for the next sixteen months to become one of the greatest ROH World champions in history while shortening his in-ring career in the process. Now, almost eleven years later history has repeated itself as the current champion is hurt and it’s causing a groundswell against Dalton Castle where fans are demanding someone step up and take the title from him; those fans might get their wishes as Castle battles one-half of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team champions and a man who has found success both in New Japan and ROH as recently as the “War of the Worlds” tour. These two world-class competitors have only wrestled once in singles battle back when EVIL was on excursion in America and hadn’t found himself as a wrestler; resulting Castle defeating the then-Takaaki Watanabe. But their recent encounters in tag team competition have seen Castle on the losing end of things. With Castle hurt there’s a good chance Castle will be hampered by his injuries, but it might not prevent him from overcoming a man of pure evil in a bout where its quality will definitely be dependent on how well “The Peacock” is compared to the “War of the Worlds” tour just a few weeks earlier.

Shane Taylor continues to test himself against the very best in ROH in singles competition. His quest goes international when he takes on former IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion Toru Yano in London!

Shane Taylor recently made the declaration that he’s tired of waiting for opportunities in ROH and needs to make it further than anyone expects of him not just for pride, but for his family. Ironically enough, Toru Yano is the complete opposite. While money & success are prime reasons for Yano to win any match he’s a part of, the famed “producer” enjoys letting his art sell itself while taking every shortcut available to attain victory if need be with a smile on his face. Taylor, who has been building up a reputation of being able to knock out an opponent with one perfectly placed right hand, must be aware of everything Yano brings to the table when it comes to chicanery as Shane won’t be able to punch someone if his eyes are teary from getting hit in the groin or have perfect precision after colliding with an unprotected turnbuckle. This is a great opportunity for Taylor to pick up a much-needed victory against a former multi-time New Japan Tag Team champion, but don’t be surprised if the Yano Special ends this one in Toru’s favor.

Two top stars from both Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling meet in a Four Corner Survival match in London that could have championship implications when Silas Young, SANADA, Punishment Martinez & Hiroshi Tanahashi do battle!

This is a very interesting bout featuring champions both in ROH and New Japan, hopefully titleholders and a bona fide legend in not only his home country, but also the entire wrestling world. On the champions side of things there’s the ROH World Television champion Silas Young looking to prove himself one of the best singles wrestlers in the world while overcoming the likes of IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team SANADA – an individual who helped add a loss to “The Last Real Man’s” record during the “War of the Worlds” tour via a tag team bout. Punishment Martinez, though he’s been focused on the ROH World title and Bullet Club member Adam Page, has hoped to breakthrough in New Japan having challenged the likes of Hirooki Goto for the NEVER Openweight title. After impressing the audiences of New Japan, Martinez almost became the ROH TV champion at Young’s expense during “Final Battle”. So what better way for Martinez to accomplish his goal of gaining some leeway in New Japan than by defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi? And then there’s “The Ace of New Japan”, the man who is a once in a generation wrestler in Tanahashi. Though Tanahashi is busted up and not considered the wrestler he once was, Hiroshi has been winning matches aplenty and even challenged for the IWGP Heavyweight title a few weeks ago. It’s hard to deny that any time Tanahashi’s in a match there’s a chance he will attain victory. This has all the makings of being a fantastic bout that could send shockwaves through both ROH and New Japan depending on the outcome such as a New Japan talent taking the fall to a ROH star.

In London, Cody faces a first-time opponent in Kenny King!

“Final Battle 2017” was a turning point in the respective careers of Cody and Kenny King. The latter saw his first single ROH title reign end not because of a talented wrestler overcoming him, but a beer bottle cracking his head and leaving him unconscious. On the opposite end of the spectrum was then-ROH World champion Cody. In New York the same night King’s first reign as TV champion ended, Cody met his match as the defending ROH World champion when he was defeated by Dalton Castle. While both men have had title aspirations in 2018 with King actually regaining the TV title for s short time they’ve found themselves mostly without conflict. King has encountered members of The Bullet Club before including a recent bout with Marty Scurll. Though it seems Scurll and Cody aren’t the most amicable right now, there’s a good chance “The Villain” will inform “The American Nightmare” about what it takes to defeat King. But Kenny has gladly showcased his repertoire and overcome time & time again. This could be anyone’s match as both men try to earn a ROH title shot.

“The Gatekeeper” Kelly Klein takes on international star Tenille Dashwood in a Women of Honor dream match come true in London!

When the brackets were fully revealed for the Women of Honor Championship Tournament, many believed one of these two women had the best chance to winning the entire thing. The records spoke for themselves. The former “Emma” had global success while revitalizing an entire women’s division in WWE during her time in NXT. But in ROH no one has been more dominant be it male or female as Kelly Klein went undefeated for eighteen months and wasn’t pinned for another year until she failed to defeat Sumie Sakai to become the first Women of Honor champion. With both women gunning for a chance to attain the title they couldn’t win during wrestling’s biggest weekend of the year and ROH’s most attended event thus far, it’s anyone’s match as a definitive top contender will be crowned following this match. While Dashwood would be the favorite on star power alone, the fact is she hasn’t been able to pull off a consistent winning streak like her opponent. But Klein’s confidence after losing on such a grand stage could be shaken and mean the difference between victory & defeat at the hands of the woman who says it’s all about her in a WOH bout that could be one of the best all year thus far.

Four of the top teams in the world meet in the main event of Honor United: Doncaster when Ring of Honor World Tag Team champions The Briscoes meet IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team champions EVIL & SANADA, two-thirds of the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan, and three-time ROH World Tag Team champions The Young Bucks!

ROH’s debut in Doncaster now has a guaranteed must-see main event. In a rare Four Corner Survival Tag Team match that fans both in attendance and watching on HonorClub four of the most important tag teams on the current ROH & New Japan landscape. In one corner will be two-thirds of the ROH World Six Man Tag Team champions who, during the most recent co-promotion between ROH and New Japan, shocked the ROH fan base by overcoming SoCal Uncensored to become the first two-time Six Man Tag titleholders in ROH history. A few months earlier, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s EVIL & SANADA turned their success as a part of a trio alongside BUSHI into a fearsome twosome by becoming the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team champions at New Japan’s biggest show of the year. Between SANADA & EVIL and The Kingdom’s title victories were The Briscoes winning their record-breaking ninth ROH World Tag Team title while The Young Bucks, who lost the Six Man Tag Team Championship to SCU on the same event that saw Mark & Jay win ROH gold yet again, decided it was time to prove they are the best tag team ever by moving up to the heavyweight ranks – setting the stage for an inevitable two-on-two match with EVIL & SANADA for the latter’s title. This match guarantees a preview of that IWGP Tag title match while potentially securing some top contenders to either or both IWGP Heavyweight & ROH World Tag Team titles. If given enough time this could be the best match of the entire tour with the fans calling it the best ROH match of 2018 thus far.

Honor Nation: Doncaster will see the return of Doug Williams as he takes on Silas Young for the Television Championship if Young is still the champion!

Before he gained fame in TNA Wrestling as Douglas Williams, the master of the Chaos Theory made frequent appearances in Ring of Honor during the company’s formative years. Williams’ greatest achievement in ROH was becoming the second Pure champion in 2004; successfully defending it against the likes of Austin Aries and Claudio Castagnoli. Almost three years ago, Young accomplished something else that could prove to be incredibly significant coming into this bout: defeating Silas Young in singles competition. Though both men have evolved since that night, the fact remains that Williams knows how to defeat “The Last Real Man”. ROH’s previous returns to the UK have been known to feature shocking title changes and this one might be no different as Williams could potentially end the second TV title reign of Young in grand fashion as their match should be absolutely excellent.

The Women of Honor Championship will be defended for the first time on international soil when the first Women of Honor champion Sumie Sakai defends against Chardonnay at Honor United: Doncaster!

Very few if any loyal Women of Honor fans successfully predicted the outcome of the inaugural Women of Honor Championship tournament where Sumie Sakai overcame two of the heavy favorites to win it all in one night. While Sakai was making history, “The Queen of Chavs” was proving herself as a future Women’s champion in whatever promotion she’s a part of; be it STARDOM, SHINE, or, now ROH. The member of Queen’s Quest in STARDOM will have to overcome a distinct experience disadvantage as her training under the legendary Robbie Brookside has given way to only a five-year career thus far. The champion, on the other hand, has over twenty years of knowledge between the ropes as well as the experience of being a titleholder on a grand stage. This experience edge could definitely mean the difference between a title changing hands in Doncaster.

In Doncaster, Cody and Scorpio Sky will meet once more!

It was almost a year ago when Scorpio Sky finally made his ROH debut, taking up one of the many open challenges issued by then-ROH World champion Cody. Sky took the champ to the limit and also surprised the world with a title victory. That loss to Cody and subsequent battles with other Bullet Club members opened Sky’s eyes and allowed for him to find a common bond with fellow Californians and Bullet Club haters The Addiction. Since then Sky has done everything in his power to ensure that The Bullet Club loses everything they hold dear including championships like the Six Man title. Cody is gunning for gold as well, looking to regain the ROH World title and looks to continue his crusade at Sky’s expense just like he did to prove he was the best in the world a year ago. They had a great match with very little time last year and this bout should be no different.

Bullet Club’s Problem Solver faces off against the only seven-time IWGP Heavyweight champion in an amazing first-time match signed for Doncaster: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Adam Page!

Since debuting in New Japan, Adam Page has transformed from a problem solver for The Bullet Club into a perennial title contender; most recently challenging for the IWGP United States Championship. With his hopes dashed of entering this tour as a New Japan champion, Page has the chance of a lifetime to reestablish himself as a top contender to whatever title he wants to challenge for as he’ll be across the ring from the seven-time IWGP Heavyweight champion and a man many believe is the greatest wrestler to ever come of out of Japan. Hiroshi Tanahashi too wants to become a New Japan champion again, but also wants to have his name etched in the ROH history books; that opportunity could come for Tanahashi if he defeats a former ROH World Six Man Tag Team champion and someone many believe will be a Heavyweight champion on his own in the very near future. This has to be one of the most highly anticipated bouts of the entire tour and could set the stage for an international title clash depending on who wins this encounter.

Jay Lethal and Matt Taven meet once more in Doncaster!

In 2014, Jay Lethal aligned himself with Truth Martini en route to become a two-time ROH World Television champion shortly after Martini dropped Matt Taven from The House of Truth. The year prior was a breakout time for the New England native as Taven won not only the Top Prospect Tournament, but also became the only man to win the Television Championship off his TPT victory. After a year of cheap wins and partying, Taven lost it all and Lethal, thanks to the same man who assisted Taven during that entire time, helped Lethal pick up the pieces while Martini constantly mocked his former client. Taven took exception to not only Martini’s actions, but also Lethal’s as the then-champ did everything in his power to keep Matt away from the title he held for a majority of 2013. When “Field of Honor ‘14” concluded, Taven walked away from the rivalry defeated and focused on tag team competition while Lethal grew into the face of ROH by winning the ROH World Championship and having great matches with a variety of opponents. Though far removed from their rivalry over title gold, Taven hadn’t let the fire of revenge die out and let it fuel him during the “Soaring Eagle Cup” where he pulled off one of the most shocking victories of his ROH career thus far by pinning Lethal to advance into the finals of the tournament. Taven’s win in Mt. Pleasant was a huge moment of validation for him that proved Taven is not only so much better than he was three years ago, but also has the ability to take that next step to main event status. Taven followed up with another win over Lethal, but that second encounter in less than two months came from interference by Marty Scurll and not solely due to sheer talent. With Taven having recently regained the Six Man Tag Team title alongside his Kingdom brethren and declaring himself the uncrowned World champion when his match with Dalton Castle for the World title didn’t occur due to the various injuries hindering Castle, Taven enters this one with a level of confidence like never before; especially compared to their previous battles. Lethal needs to get back in his winning ways if he wants to not let his era slip and men like Taven take the moniker of ROH’s “franchise.”

Now lets find out what happened this week on ROH TV.

Last week: The Briscoes survived with the ROH World Tag Team Championship by slaughtering The Young Bucks and their Bullet Club brethren with steel chairs to cause a disqualification.

ROH TV Episode 348
Pittsburgh, PA

Jay Lethal vs. Punishment Martinez
Punishment Martinez promised to take his opposition South From Heaven during a picture-in-picture promo. Jay Lethal also had a promo, promising to end Martinez’s momentum on his road back to the top. No waiting around for Jay Lethal as the former ROH World champion as he had to avoid a sneak attack to take Punishment to the floor for not one, but seven successful topes. The fans were going wild as Caprice Coleman, who was doing commentary tonight, took credit for firing up Lethal during Jay’s recent appearance on “Coleman’s Pulpit”. Martinez stopped an attack aimed at his legs with a clothesline just as the show went to a commercial break.
Lethal was still going after Martinez’s legs to keep him either grounded or cornered. Martinez was getting sick of being hit, punching Jay in the throat. Sidewalk slam connected for Martinez, but didn’t end this one. The fans were solidly behind Lethal as Jay ran into a spin kick that helped Martinez knock down his opponent, but stunned himself due to his knee hurting. Lethal quickly recovered, catching Martinez on the top rope for a superplex attempt. Martinez stopped Jay, knocking him in position for that super spinning heel kick that too almost helped Punishment win, but hurt his own leg in the process. After trying several times, Lethal was able to suplex Martinez after stopping the big man’s next attack prior to the commercial break.
The show returned with Lethal cinching in the figure four leg lock. Martinez was literally biting his own hand to not give up; leading to him reaching the ropes. Lethal signaled for the end, only to get curb stomped for a two count. The previous attack obviously lacked the height of a usual curb stomp due to Martinez’s hurt limb; leading to Martinez looking for another rope-based attack. And like Martinez it was Lethal sailing off the top after knocking his opponent to the mat with Hail to the King for a two count of his own. Going for the figure four again, Lethal got kicked away. Martinez rose with another spin kick in mind when his leg gave out and left him prone to a super kick. Stunned, Martinez couldn’t stop the Lethal Injection or the three count in favor of Jay.

There was a recap of Jenny Rose challenging Sumie Sakai for the Women of Honor Championship – a match that will happen next week.

Shane Taylor vs. Joey Daddiego
Joey Daddiego has made it back to ROH and in a pre-match promo he promised to walk through anyone including men like Shane Taylor who believe can knock out anyone. Rushing Daddiego, Taylor got his abdomen worn out with hooks. Taylor stopped the assault, hitting the baldo bomb for a big splash. “Diesel” kicked out before the three count; actually causing a chant in his favor. Avoiding the cannonball in the corner, Daddiego started throwing those Golden Gloves strikes including a hook that staggered Taylor enough for him to hoist Shane up for the Death Valley driver … for a near fall!
The fans were actually going crazy for the two count, losing all joy soon after Daddiego got caught with a slam on the floor topped off by several Irish whips against the barricades. Setting up a chair, Taylor placed Daddiego in it after opening the furniture prior to grabbing another. Draping Daddiego between the chairs, Taylor used a running splash off the apron drive “Diesel” through the chairs! The fans were going wild as referees ran out to stop Taylor from doing further damage. So Taylor took out his aggressions on the referees & security.

In the promo area was a verbally prepared Cody alongside his wife to inform the viewing audience (after comically interrupting Brandi every time he tried to let her give the big news) that he’ll be getting his ROH World Championship rematch from his “Final Battle” loss at “Best in the World”.

Last week, after assaulting several wrestlers including Cheeseburger, Bully Ray was fired as the ROH Enforcer. So Bully decided he was un-retiring from in-ring competition.

Also last week, The Briscoes left The Young Bucks lying with a chair-based attack save their ROH World Tag Team title before assaulting Adam Page, Flip Gordon & Cody.

ROH World Six Man Tag Team champions SoCal Uncensored vs. The Bullet Club (Cody, Adam Page & Marty Scurll)
The crowd wanted nothing but The Bullet Club especially when Cody started this one off with Scorpio Sky (featuring a comically late bell ring); ending into a stalemate. When they locked up again, Cody was able to grab him with the delayed gourd buster just in time for the commercial break.
Marty Scurll and Christopher Daniels were in the ring with the prior using a handstand to free himself from the head scissors. The fans wanted “Hangman” and that’s exactly who they got; with Page wanting a piece of his old adversary Frankie Kazarian. Rather than brawling, both were trying to take the other down with headlocks and head scissors. Page got up wondering, “What are we doing?” before they just started slugging it out in the middle of the ring. Dey was a clubberin’ like old times, Tony! Dropkicking the incoming Daniels after knocking Kazarian down, Page used “The General’s” chest to moonsault splash Kazarian. “The Heavy Metal Rebel” found himself on the wrong part of the ring; only to drop & avoid the Disaster Kick so Cody hit Scurll. Cody, stunned over his inadvertent action, Cody left himself prone to an underhanded attack from Kazarian. Cody ended up being double teamed and eventually triple teamed as he was slung across the ring by a super monkey flip after a palm strike-dropkick combo before the commercial break.
With Burnard watching on, Cody ran into a clothesline while thinking the same to double down himself and Daniels. Sky and Scurll were the recipients of the tags, leading to “The Villain” stomping a mudhole into Sky. Sweet Chin Music worked for Marty to stop the intervening Daniels, leading to dropkicks on all three members of SCU. Daniels recovered, sending Scurll to the floor for an Arabian press. Cody ran up the ropes, diving on his opponents; leading to Page hitting that shooting star off the apron on Kazarian. As Page celebrated, Sky came flying off the top to wipe him out; leaving Cody and Daniels battling on the top rope. Superplex by Cody to the floor caused himself & Daniels to crash into everyone! The crowd was going wild as the wrestlers dove into the ring to stop a count-out. Scurll and Daniels were the first to get up; leading to a fistfight. “The Villain” rocked “The General”, only to get poked in the eyes. Power bomb to Daniels by Page; slingshot ace crusher to Page by Kazarian; power slam to Kazarian by Cody; slingshot DDT by Sky to Cody; Ghetto Blaster to Sky by Scurll was the sequence to set up Marty’s Chicken Wing. Sky blocked the submission, getting saved by his partners. Page utilized the Buckshot Lariat to wipe out The Addiction before Cody hit the Vertebreaker on Scorpio. As the commentators informed us Cody’s version of Shane Helms’ patented maneuver is named “Din’s Fire” (Cody and his “Zelda” references) Page hit the Rite of Passage to KO Sky for the three count.
The Addiction weren’t done, attacking the winners from behind. Scurll attempted to make the save by swinging his infamous umbrella; only to clock Cody as the show came to a close.

Overall: While last week’s episode was certainly a breath of fresh air when it came to character & storyline development and match quality, this week’s show blew that one out of the water when it comes to latter. Opening and closing the show were fantastic bouts that showed just how potential Punishment Martinez has when it comes to being a big-match player in ROH regarding the prior and how wild these six-man tag bouts can become in ROH. Even the Shane Taylor-Joey Daddiego match was very entertaining with the returning “Diesel” actually getting a good amount of offense in with it all making sense (Daddiego being a boxer who can take a punch & give one against a guy who’s gimmick as of late has been his ability to knock people out). If there’s one flaw when it comes to this episode it has to be SCU losing yet again. In the ROH TV timeline they are still the Six Man Tag champs and here they are failing in a six-man match. The post-match problems between Scurll and Cody could’ve easily led to the finish where SCU wins. Other than the Six Man champs losing, this was a fantastic episode that’s definitely worthy of your time.

Adam Page vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi at Honor United: Doncaster

Delirious & Toru Yano vs. The Boys at Honor United: Edinburgh

Throwback Thursday: The Briscoes vs. Ultimo Guerrero & Rey Bucanero

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 “All In” selling out and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/25_Mins_Honor_Nation_All_In.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.

Till Then.

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