8/12/15 – Andrew Berg – @WrestleRosters
The Kingdom def. Redragon
Two of the most entertaining and established tag teams in a deep division faced off in the main event to make their cases for a shot at The Addiction’s Tag Team Titles. It’s always fun when two teams are in a position to put together a legitimate tag team main event, and there’s no doubt that these teams have earned it. The story immediately got more interesting when Adam Cole joined Kevin Kelly on commentary. As a possibly-estranged member of The Kingdom and a friend of Kyle O’Reilly, Cole is at the heart of the rivalry between the teams and it made sense for him to be present for basically the entire match.
When Matt Taven went for a sunset flip, O’Reilly blocked it and immediately locked in Armageddon before a quick rope break. The tensions grew deeper when Maria orchestrated a double team behind the referee’s back and Cole whole-heartedly condemned their rule breaking. Regardless of Cole’s opinion, the attack finally helped Taven and Mike Bennett get control of the match and quarantine O’Reilly in their corner. When he finally reached Bobby Fish, he unloaded on Taven with an array of strikes.
O’Reilly made it back into the ring and The Kingdom hit him with a Proton Pack while he was not the legal man. Bennett turned his attention to Fish and connected with a Twist of Fate. Taven continued the Hardy homage with a Swanton Bomb for a very near fall. Redragon broke up a spike piledriver and responded with a double-team version of a German Suplex. Bennett’s superkick slowed O’Reilly, but not enough to prevent ax and smash. O’Reilly then tried a rebound clothesline, only for Bennett to catch him with a superkick while he was prone between the ropes. Maria distracted the referee again and The Kingdom hit O’Reilly with a spike piledriver on the floor.
Fish fought valiantly against two opponents in the ring. It wasn’t enough, as Bennett took him out with a spear. That move set up another spike piledriver, this time to get the victory. They tried to celebrate their win with another spike piledriver and Cole begged his own teammates to show mercy. For the second week in a row, the show ended with tension between Cole and his Kingdom friends. In both cases, the disagreements felt fresh and creative. It has been a great transition so far into the next phase of Cole’s career.
War Machine def. Donovan Dijak and J Diesel
Despite a Truth Martini-inspired sneak attack at the start of the match, Hanson and Rowe proved that they can match size and power with even Dijak. Hanson stacked both opponents in the corner and hit a cannonball, but when Jay Lethal distracted him from the commentary table, Dijak downed him with a big boot. Dijak followed with an impressive suplex on the big man and Diesel got a two count off of a spear. Despite that flurry, War Machine turned things around with a Spin Kick of Doom from Hanson and the double-team Fallout finisher to get a solid victory. The monster tag team is a dying breed, but that type of pairing can be extremely popular when done well. War Machine are working themselves into the upper-echelon of a great tag team division. They are working so well that Hanson’s shot at Jay Lethal in three weeks is meaningful and exciting.
ACH def. Watanabe
Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino effectively laid the groundwork for this opener by explaining that both wrestlers badly need a win to get back on track. The wrestlers opened the match by exchanging knife-edge chops to show who could tolerate more pain. ACH hurt his leg when Watanabe blocked a kick outside the ring and Watanabe started to wear him down. He put together a rally and hit a topez con giro. Back in the ring Watanabe got near falls off of a lariat and a fisherman buster. Out on the floor, ACH blocked a smash into the ring post by walking up the post and landing on his feet. Unfortunately, he gloated too long and Watanabe hit him with a release German suplex. Finally, ACH hit a brain buster and his 450 Splash to get the win. The victory is not big enough to be considered a breakthrough for ACH, but he needs wins like this one to warrant more high-profile matches. Altogether, I think ACH is on the right path.
Nigel McGuinness Books a Full Schedule for Jay Lethal
In a brief in-ring appearance, McGuinness announced a series of upcoming matches that could prove very difficult for the ROH double champion. First, he announced a rematch between Lethal and Roddy Strong for the ROH Title. He added that the winner of that match would face Kyle O’Reilly for the ROH Title in the main event of the All-Star Extravaganza in September, while O’Reilly’s partner Bobby Fish will face the TV Champion. If Lethal doesn’t lose either title, that would mean a type of gauntlet match against Redragon at the show- a very fun possibility.
Adam Page def. Tim Hughes
It only took a few seconds for Page to hit the Rite of Passage to get an easy win over a local wrestler. Afterwards, BJ Whitmer worked his protégé into a frenzy and encouraged him to call out Jay Briscoe, even though Briscoe was not in the building. Whitmer proceeded to do everything he could to provoke Steve Corino with the intention of getting him fired. Page has risen steadily in ROH and any association with Briscoe would be the type of test that would show if he has what it takes to capitalize on his tools. Meanwhile, Whitmer continues to annoy everyone endlessly in a way that dangerously straddles heel heat and go-away heat.