9/2/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Jay Lethal def. Hanson to Remain TV Champion
It has been a challenge for ROH to adapt to it weekly cable TV slot in terms of telling stories from week to week that make fans want to tune in to future episodes to see how rivalries and narratives are resolved. Part of the problem is likely that ROH tapes several episodes at a time and therefore cannot adapt in real time. Another part of the problem is simply that ROH has not had to tell stories in that way before. With more experience, ROH has showed an ability to sequence its rivalries better to ensure that something important is always happening on TV. The company has also embraced the simple practice of teasing upcoming stories in an effective way.
A great example of the latter practice was Lethal’s main event match with Hanson. As a double champion, Lethal not only had Hanson, but also Bobby Fish, Roddy Strong, and Kyle O’Reilly in the queue as upcoming challengers to the TV or World Titles. With Fish on commentary for this match, Hanson started pummeling Lethal until Truth Martini interfered. Lethal took advantage with a trio of suicide dives.
Lethal maintained the advantage with a series of counters until Hanson hit a cartwheel lariat. Lethal got his knees up to block a splash and hit Hail to the King for a near fall. Hanson responded with an awkward version of the Lethal Injection, but Lethal blocked a moonsault attempt with his knees once again. After a failed attempt at the Lethal Injection, Lethal hit a superkick and a pair of Injections to get the pin. After his title retention, Fish, Strong and O’Reilly stood up to Lethal to remind him that his work is far from over, thereby teasing all of the matches to come.
Jay Briscoe def. Adam Page by DQ
Last week, Page challenged Briscoe to a match that would give him a chance to make a name for himself as he moves up the card. When the match arrived, it quickly became clear that Page was less interested in wrestling than making an impact. He twice refused the Code of Honor handshake and slapped Briscoe instead. The match went outside the ring and Colby Corino hit Briscoe with a crutch. Page hit him with a chair to cinch the DQ and then delivered the Rite of Passage on a chair. Mark Briscoe ran in to make the save for his brother, but Page made his impact and set the stage for a more personal rivalry that will give him a big opportunity.
-Cedric Alexander tried to use a wrench once again to beat Caprice Coleman. Instead, Stokely Hathaway and Moose conspired to distract Veda Scott and the referee and steal the wrench. Coleman hit the Sky Splitter to get the payback win and provide some narrative meat to enhance the Alexander-Moose rivalry.
-Despite consistent bludgeoning by the bigger Brutal Bob, Cheeseburger continually fought back and even hit a version of a senton on a chair. Bob tried to put Cheeseburger through a table and Cheeseburger fought himself free to hit a palm strike. Bob fell through the table and could not beat the count to earn Cheeseburger a rare win. The match was s silly that it was hard to suspend disbelief to enjoy in a company that prides itself on more serious, competitive wrestling.
-Dalton Castle accepted Silas Young’s challenge for his “boys,” on the condition that a win would mean that Young has to become one of his boys. This feud is precisely what I mean when I say that ROH is doing a better job of staggering the pace of their feuds. As Lethal hits the high notes in his title matches, this shocking fun rivalry is just getting going. I can’t wait to see this match.