The ROHbot Report: Undisputed Legacy Results, Kevin Kelly Quits, and More
By James Bullock Feb 5, 2017 - 6:21 PM
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 in the middle of its first tour of Texas in 2017, starting in San Antonio. Lets find out what did and will go down in the state where you always remember the rumbles.
“Undisputed Legacy” Results; February 3rd, 2017; San Antonio, TX - Jon Gresham def. Will Ferrara - Tempura Boys def .The Addiction - ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: The Kingdom def. War Machine & Jax Dane to retain - Dalton Castle def. Jay Lethal & Bobby Fish in a Triple Threat match - The Briscoes vs. Keith Lee and Shane Taylor ended in a No Contest - Cody Rhodes def. Donovan Dijak - The Bullet Club (ROH World champion Adam Cole & ROH Tag Team champions The Young Bucks) def. Lio Rush, Alex Shelley, & Jay White
What appeared to be a paint-it-by-the-numbers return to San Antonio produced something a little more surprising than expected thanks to several match outcomes. Look no further than the top contenders Triple Threat match featuring Dalton Castle overcoming Jay Lethal and Bobby Fish – one of the faces of ROH and the World title number contender respectively – in what was said to be the best bout of the evening until the main event. The foundation could be set for a “Peacock” reign coming sooner than later. Other contenders both known and potential had a rough night when it came to wins. The Addiction took a shocking loss to The Tempura Boyz, but only due to Adam Cole making an appearance and distracting potential future title challenger Christopher Daniels. After the main event – which was said to be excellent – Lio Rush & Jay White confronted The Young Bucks to potentially set up a match for “Manhattan Mayhem” or even the “Anniversary” pay-per-view. In another surprising outcome, the highly anticipated, potentially final clash between The Briscoes and Lee & Taylor ended in a No Contest. With all accounts pointing to Lee leaving and not returning to keep his team alive in ROH, having The Briscoes not win is a decision that would lead one to believe the tandem of Taylor & Lee aren’t done with Dem Boys or ROH as a whole. Cody bested Donovan Dijak as predicted by most, but the post-match antics of Cody bludgeoning his opponent with a chair is something no one saw coming. ROH has made it a tradition of producing unexpected greatness in Texas and it seems this show is no difference. Hopefully the trend can continue in Dallas.
“Honor Reigns Supreme” Preview; February 4th, 2017; Dallas, TX
ROH World Tag Team Championship (Two Out of Three Falls): The Young Bucks defend against The Briscoes “Final Battle 2016” was a defining moment in the careers of both The Young Bucks and The Briscoes – a changing of the guard. On that night, for the first time in history, Matt & Nick Jackson defended the ROH World Tag Team Championship against Jay & Mark Briscoe on ROH pay-per-view. What resulted from their latest confrontation in a near decade-long rivalry was one of their best clashes to date. Unfortunately for, arguably, the greatest tag team in ROH history, The Briscoes fell to a plethora of super kicks and ended up walking away the losers. The feeling of losing to The Bucks in title scenarios was foreign territory for Dem Boys as a majority of their encounters, both for championships and non-title, have been in their favor; yet “Final Battle” changed all of that. In a somewhat shocking reveal, ROH has decided that The Briscoes will have a chance to change the new perception that The Bucks are better than them in Dallas when the company returns to the state of Texas with a huge “Final Battle” rematch for the ROH World Tag Team Championship as the bout will be contest under not only Two Out of Three Falls rules, but each fall will have a special stipulation – the first will only end in a pin, the second held under lucha rules (meaning tags aren’t necessary as a teammate can legally enter the match as long as his partner’s feet touch the ringside floor), and a potential final fall having no disqualifications. It’s been stated before and it will be stated again – The Bucks and The Briscoes can’t have an average match, let alone a bad one. This bout will not only be incredible, but could also be historic as unexpected title changes have become something of the norm for ROH as of late.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship: The Kingdom defends against The Motor City Machine Guns & Jay White It would only be appropriate that in the city where The Von Erichs and The Freebirds fought over the WCCW Six-Man Tag Team title that ROH’s newest championship would be defended in Dallas. Before The Young Bucks and The Briscoes battle over the ROH World Tag Team Championship, The Kingdom will find themselves standing across the ring from a trio of men who too support each others’ successes and want to be considered the very best tag team wrestling has to offer in 2017. Jay White is the most familiar with The Kingdom’s approach to this style of tag team wrestling as the New Zealand native came oh-so close to becoming one-third of the first ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions at “Final Battle” alongside Kushida & Lio Rush. Now White has a chance to avenge that disappointing loss while attaining his first ROH championship. But doing so is a tall task if there ever was one thanks to the unity and cohesiveness Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia & TK O’Ryan have showcased since forming shortly after “All-Star Extravaganza VIII” – a union born & bred on the New England circuit. The Kingdom in its current form may not have the believed star power of its previous incarnation, but it’s obvious this faction was poised for potential greatness once they arrived that eventually became reality thanks to one tournament. 2017 could be a further emphasizing that The Kingdom is the crème de la crème of six-man tag team wrestling … if they make it past another group of men who get each other and want nothing more than one & all to flourish.
The Bullet Club (ROH World champion Adam Cole & Cody) vs. The Addiction The Addiction has found themselves in a weird position. Though veterans and highly respected, Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels have spent the better portion of their time in ROH as villains ready to break any rule possible to gain or retain the ROH World Tag Team Championship. But since their second reign ended it appears The Addiction is more apt to letting honor dictate their actions. So when Cody viciously attacked Jay Lethal after cheating the former World champion out of a win, The Addiction took a stand. Not long after, Cody announced his alignment with The Bullet Club; allowing him to team up with the likes of new ROH World champion Adam Cole. Though dastardly and willing to do anything for a victory, The Bullet Club contingent don’t have the experience level, or, potentially, the combined mean streak of their opponents returning to the state that saw them become the World Tag Team titleholders the first time nearly two years ago. Though The Bullet Club won’t come in with the advantage on paper, the sights seen every time The Addiction try to take on the faction is that of two men in over their heads against the mounting numbers. There’s a chance The Addiction can change their running problem with The Bullet Club and restore their status in the Tag Team rankings. There’s an even greater chance The Bullet Club will be too much to overcome even if it seems the chips are down.
Jay Lethal vs. Hangman Page This match comes from a simple premise seen throughout the years in wrestling regarding factions and the men they’ve angered. At “Final Battle”, Cody cheated his way to his first ROH victory at Jay Lethal’s expense. Before that night, Adam Cole not only disrespected the self-proclaimed “Greatest 1st Generation Wrestler”, but also ended his reign as ROH World champion. Now Jay Lethal is coming after each member of The Bullet Club to get to the men who has made his career rough the last few months, starting with Hangman Page. The unofficial enforcer of the faction, Hangman Page has spent the better part of his time in The Bullet Club not focusing on wins, but hurting his opposition. Look no further than Kyle O’Reilly – a person Page victimized after taking a relatively quick submission loss just to potentially soften him up for Adam Cole. Lethal has been blinded by revenge before and it has cost him greatly. On the other hand, Page has let revenge fuel him to be better. While it almost looks like a guarantee that Lethal will win thanks to stats alone, the actions of Page both legally and illegally in the confines of a wrestling ring mean more than wins or losses to not only him, but also his faction. Lethal’s coming to win; Page is coming to hurt in a match that could produce one of the best of the weekend.
Dalton Castle vs. Donovan Dijak In 2015, Dalton Castle and Donovan Dijak entered ROH with the plan of becoming the Top Prospect Tournament winner. By the tournament’s end Dijak was not only declared the tournament victor, but also a TV title number one contender. Ironically enough, Dijak’s decision to forgo his title opportunity to join The House of Truth gave way to Dalton Castle’s first breakout moment in ROH as he took Donovan’s spot and pushed then-TV champion Jay Lethal to the limit – immediately becoming a fan favorite. Though they’ve clashed in both singles and tag team bouts in the past, neither seemed so poised to become a champion as they are now. Dijak has been testing himself as a tag team wrestler alongside the Motor City Machine Guns while Castle has staked his claim as a future World title contender after pinning former champion Adam Cole during last year’s Champions vs. All-Stars match. Castle has shown uncanny strength for a man his size while Dijak can fly through the air like a cruiserweight. This will be unlike any type of “David vs. Goliath” style match seen not only in ROH, but also in all of wrestling throughout 2017 no matter the winner.
Bobby Fish vs. Lio Rush This time last year both of these men were striving for the opportunity of a lifetime. “The Infamous” Bobby Fish has been cheated out of the ROH World Television Championship while Rush was gaining win after win before his inevitable arrival in the 2016 Top Prospect Tournament. While Fish eventually turned his wins early in 2016 into a title victory, Rush struggled to prove himself worthy of being called a “champion” in ROH after winning the TPT; but that didn’t stop Lio impressing in both singles competition and as a part of six-man pairings such as him, Kushida, and Jay White as they came one win within becoming the first ROH World Six-Man Tag Team champions. Rush has shown his proficiency at hitting & striking with the best and fastest wrestling has to offer in ROH, but none of his opponents have been masterful at mixing hard-hitting strikes with grappling that can end a match in a submission like the former TV champion. This could prove to be the biggest win of Rush’s ROH tenure thus far if he can outmaneuver Fish in the same way Will Ospreay did to win the TV Championship in the UK, or it could be a painful reminder that Lio has a long way to go before he can even come close to conquering a king.
Ring of Honor returns to Pittsburgh for Steel City Excellence on Saturday, Feb. 11. The international TV taping will feature all of the top stars in ROH as well as the start of the 2017 Top Prospect Tournament featuring participants Raphael King & Curt Stallion.
Raphael King is a familiar face, yet left an unremarkable during his sporadic appearances in ROH mostly due to the fact he was nothing more than a punching bag in P-Dog’s Get Along Gang that would show up from time to time during ROH live events. But “Big Brother” is more than an unconscious body waiting to happen as the 6’5” athlete has been progressing quickly thanks to not only his natural abilities, but also interactions with some of the best the wrestling world has to offer including Luke Gallows, Cedric Alexander and even Kurt Angle. King has also had some reality TV fame come to him thanks into part to his wife and possible future Woman of Honor Devyn Nicole. It’ll be interesting to see how much better King does as an actual ROH competitor in his first official ROH match to be broadcasted. Someone with connections to ROH greatness is the last entrant named for this year’s Tournament in the form of Curt Stallion. “Lone Star” has not only done battle against former ROH World Tag Team champion Ray Rowe and War Machine’s greatest rival Shane Taylor, but was also trained by former ROH World champion Michael Elgin – making the protégé of “Unbreakable” being one of the few with that trait. Stallion has found a lot of success in his home state of Texas as of last and could potentially parlay that into an impressive TPT win.
Kenny Omega has been announced for Ring of Honor "Honor Rising" events at Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan on 2/26 and 2/27.
This isn’t surprising news considering Kenny Omega was a part of last year’s events and can freely work in Japan for ROH thanks to the company’s relationship with New Japan. Add that to the fact Omega is taking a break from his home promotion; making it even more valid as to why he’d wrestle elsewhere to keep in ring shape for his inevitable return to New Japan. The most interesting part of this news is the potential for future appearances in ROH stateside. Omega was featured during last year’s “Anniversary” events and could do the same and then some in 2017 if everything works out better than it did last year. And more Omega in ROH is a great thing.
The ROH Executive Committee is thrilled to announce that CMLL stars La Amapola & Marcela will compete at Supercard of Honor XI!
The Women of Honor will most certainly be in action during wrestling’s biggest weekend of the year thanks to this announcement of two long-time luchadoras making their ROH debuts on behalf of their home promotion. La Amapola, a near twenty year pro and the master of double knee backbreaker, has the great claim to fame of not only being one of CMLL’s elite, but also the longest reigning CMLL World Women’s champion in history by retaining the title for four years. Ironically enough, it was Marcela ended the historic reign to begin her second try at being the best women’s wrestler the company had to offer. Over the course of four Women’s title reigns, Marcela – who began her career over a decade before La Amapola – has made it a habit of keeping challengers at bay for nearly a year (with only one reign coming under 100 days). It’ll be interesting to see if ROH decides to pair these two rivals against or even with each other to showcase the greatness that has bee occurring in CMLL all these years.
PWInsider confirmed Kevin Kelly, who has served as the voice of Ring of Honor since 2010, departed the company this week.
Certain ROH message boards had been buzzing about a big announcement regarding talent leaving in the near future, but this is surely the most unexpected turn of events since … well, Nigel McGuinness leaving for WWE. Kevin Kelly wasn’t just an announcer, but also a liaison between talent and management that affected situations both onscreen and off. As of now, Kelly will still commentate for New Japan as he’ll be apart of the company’s Sunday event. As for replacements, ROH used a revolving door of in-ring talent during its recent TV taping in Atlanta to fill the void left by McGuinness and Steve Corino – two ROH commentators and onscreen personalities who left the company less than a month apart from each other. Women of Honor lead broadcaster Ian Riccaboni could become the new voice of Honor thanks to Kelly’s departure, or maybe someone else fans don’t expect. 2017 is already an interesting time for ROH, but hopefully it’s not the beginning of a major down turn that sees its best talent jumping the figurative ship.
Faye Jackson vs. Karen Q
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 this past week’s great episode of ROH TV, Samoa Joe’s “Raw” debut and more (http://www.wewantinsanity.com/am2/publish/free_audio/29_Mins_Honor_Nation_New_Age_Assassin.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.