9/9/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
Jay Lethal def. Roderick Strong to Remain ROH World Champion
I have complemented ROH in recent weeks for showing growth in its use of a weekly cable TV show to tell sequential stories and set up for bigger narrative conclusions. To continue that trend, ROH put together its best show since landing a weekly national TV slot on Destination America. A big part of the success was the fact that the hour revolved around two title matches. There were also smaller details, such as expanded use of video recaps and instant replays, which greatly enhanced the TV presentation.
On the heels of their 60-minute time limit draw, Lethal and Strong had plenty of heat between them as they started to slug it out from the opening bell. Lethal quickly hit him with a suicide dive, but Strong recovered to meet his second dive with a high impact dropkick. The House of Truth started to pay dividends for Lethal when J. Diesel and Donovan Dijak caught a baseball slide and let Lethal catch Strong with the first of many superkicks. He proceeded to work Strong over with a load of punches that busted Strong’s forehead open. Dijak continued to aid Lethal with stomps on Strong when the referee turned his back.
At long last, Strong blocked a Lethal Combination and hit a back breaker and several vigorous chops. He ran the ropes with forearms for Lethal at each pass. Lethal responded with a superkick and a Lethal Combination, but Strong threw him from the ropes and did his own version of Hail to the King. A running knee and superplex appeared to put Strong in control, only for Lethal to roll him into a small package for a near fall. Strong side-stepped a Lethal Injection and downed Lethal with a Sick Kick for a two count.
Lethal used his teammates and heelish approach again in the closing sequence. He started to choke Strong with his wrist tape. When the referee took the tape and threw it out of the ring, Lethal got his belt from Truth Martini and hit Strong with it. He followed it with a Lethal injection and Strong miraculously kicked out. Despite Lethal’s look of disbelief, he regrouped to hit the move again to get the win. It was a fantastic match for ROH TV and serves as a reminder that the company is more than just random, fun matches. Lethal and Strong built a rivalry over a couple of months and it paid off in a way that was both entertaining and helped develop Lethal as a heel champion.
Young Bucks def. The Addiction by DQ, The Addiction Remains Tag Team Champions
The other title match on the show was absolutely frenetic and impossible to fully summarize in text, but very fun nonetheless. Christopher Daniels came to the ring in military garb and earned plenty of boos before the Bucks jumped his team when they entered the ring. Chris Sabin interfered early and got himself ejected and got a double superkick on his way out. Daniels hit a nice split-legged moonsault onto the floor. Matt Jackson fought back with a smooth shiranui in the corner. Nick compounded the offense with a tornado DDT to the floor and a springboard facebuster for a near fall. The Bucks teamed up for a rope hung senton on Kazarian, which required Daniels to make the save. The Bucks blocked the Best Moonsault Ever and answered a Kazarian cutter with a superkick to reset the match with everyone laid out.
The Kingdom, set to face The Addiction at All-Star Extravaganza, came to ringside and jumped Daniels (they have residual heat over The Addiction posing as them under their KRD masks). The Bucks hit a springboard moonsault to the floor and an Indytaker, but Daniels pulled the referee out of the ring at the last second. Both teams tried to hit the other with the title belts until Matt set up for a superkick on Maria on the apron. Kazarian positioned himself behind Matt and rolled him into a schoolboy with a handful of tights to get the pin.
After the dirty finish, Nigel McGuinness came to the ring and announced that the Addiction-Kingdom title match would go on as planned at All-Star Extravaganza and that the Young Bucks would also join in to make it a triple threat match. The Bucks are hitting a high point in their career right now as evidenced by the huge response they got from the live crowd. Their style is neither traditional nor straightforward, but they are entertaining anyway. The tag team title match at the PPV could be considered a co-headliner.