The first episode of ROH on Destination America was a re-airing of the final episode in syndication. For those who missed the review that was published last weekend, here is our review after the Destination America debut.
The Briscoes def. The House of Truth
ROH’s final scatter-shot syndication broadcast included matches from the War of the Worlds tour that featured several New Japan wrestlers. ROH will move to Destination America next Wednesday in a regular time slot in the build to Best in the World. The main event was billed to include Jay Lethal, teaming with Donovan Dijak against the Briscoes. When the match arrived, though, Truth Martini removed Lethal from the match and substituted J Diesel to keep the TV Champion separated from the World Champion on the way to Best in the World.
Although Lethal did not wrestle, he sat in on commentary and continued his verbal assault on Jay Briscoe and the ROH World Title. Jay overpowered Diesel, but when Dijak tagged in, he hurled Jay across the ring with a huge vertical suplex. Mark Briscoe tagged in and rallied to set up a Froggy Bow. When he went to the top rope, Martini distracted the referee and Dijak knocked Mark off the top rope with a kick.
Mark finally reached Jay for a hot tag and he powered through both opponents with a series of boots and a big neckbreaker. He grounded Diesel with a discus forearm and Mark joined him in the ring to hit the Doomsday Device. As Jay eyed Lethal after the match, Dijak hit Feast Your Eyes on Mark outside the ring. Jay saved his brother and set up for a Jay Driller on Dijak. Lethal ran into the ring for a sneak attack, but he got a Jay Driller instead.
The build for the upcoming title match has been outstanding. Lethal has taken his time in his title pursuit so that the rivalry has felt organic and natural. Briscoe and Lethal have mostly stayed apart physically- like Lethal staying out of this match- so the confrontation is even more enticing.
KUSHIDA def. Will Ferrera
The show’s opener featured two wrestlers who have found their way onto TV quite a bit recently. In addition to Ferrera’s cameo as a WWE cameraman, KUSHIDA has been featured on some of the recent NJPW episodes on AXS TV. It’s a great matchup for Ferrera, because KUSHIDA is the type of established veteran who can help him take his skills to the next level.
Ferrera had some success early, but the match mostly revolved around KUSHIDA. He targeted Ferrera’s arm early to set up for his Hoverboard Lock- a version of a double wristlock. He hit a nice moonsault, but Ferrera almost stole a win with a schoolboy when he ducked a buzzsaw kick. KUSHIDA fought back and counterd a powerslam into the Hoverboard Lock to get the submission win. The loss does not hurt Ferrera as much as the opportunity to be in the ring with KUSHIDA helps him.
Silas Young def. Watanabe
Young brought his breed of highly entertaining misery back to ROH after a significant period of injury recovery and the fans couldn’t wait to cheer against him (including some wonderfully photoshopped posters with his face in place of Tom Selleck’s). Watanabe had a bone to pick with Young after Young turned on him at the end of a prior tag match.
Watanabe looked very good early in the match. He clotheslined Young off of the apron to the floor and delivered a big release German Suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Young lifted him on his shoulders and hit a spinning fireman’s carry cutter to get the pin. Young had too many losses to be taken seriously prior to his injury, but he has enough charisma to recapture some momentum with a few wins.
Moose def. Kolby Corino
BJ Whitmer was scheduled to face Moose, but deployed Corino in his place. Corino opened the match with a slap to Moose’s face to explain why the babyface would ravage such an underdog heel. Moose powerbombed him on floor and pinned Corino stood on his chest to get the pin. Steve Corino pleaded on commentary, but it was a little curious that he did not try to stand up for his overmatched son.