Strongly focusing on tag teams, Ring of Honor television from this past week was another episode from Lowell, MA that continued to establish a path to Final Battle.
As noted in the latest issue of the Observer, the current direction could change for the ROH world title match at the next PPV. Whether by coincidence or not, there is a hint on this episode at a possible shift in storyline tying Jay Lethal into the ongoing narrative involving challenger Kyle O'Reilly and ROH World Champion Adam Cole.
Other than that brief hint and O'Reilly later shining in a showcase match, the episode was all about tag teams and teams in general.
Colt Cabana & Dalton Castle defeated The Tempura Boyz
The Tempura Boyz are Yohey & Sho. New Japan young lions on excursion in North America, they formerly appeared in ROH under masks representing personas they first used in CMLL. Here they were unmasked, taking part in a match with some comedy but also some serious wrestling.
When Cabana used a sunset flip for a two count, Steve Corino jokingly called it a “Tony Garea special” on commentary. They sure don't make wrestlers like Tony Garea anymore. Anyway, Dalton pinned Yohey after a delivering a bang-a-rang.
The Briscoes walked onto the ramp for a promo afterwards and had words with Cabana and Castle. They briefly argued before the Briscoes vowed to win the tag team titles for the ninth time at Final Battle.
Promos edited together featuring ROH World Champion Adam Cole and Jay Lethal hyped their upcoming title match in London.
After those promos, Kyle O’Reilly cut a promo himself about his title shot facing whoever is champion at Final Battle. He has a vendetta against Cole, but a point to prove with Lethal. He will take on either to challenge for the title at the next PPV.
Kyle O'Reilly defeated Jonathan Gresham
A showcase for O’Reilly and his grappling skills, Gresham held his own in this mix of old fashioned pro wrasslin’ spots and more realistic hand-to-hand combat. Displaying good sportsmanship at first, that soon eroded when Gresham started targeting O’Reilly’s injured shoulder.
The intensity picked up when tempers flared and O'Reilly cut Gresham down with kicks and strikes, transitioning later into some submission holds. O’Reilly choked out Gresham with a front facelock, then finished him off by hoisting him for a brainbuster followed by a pinfall.
Bullet Club's Hangman Page ran in after the bell to attack O'Reilly. His reDRagon teammate and TV champion, Bobby Fish, made the save. Fish brawled with Page before Cole sprinted into the ring to help assault Fish. Page grabbed a chair and began clobbering Fish, leaving him laying. This sets up Page challenging Fish for the World TV title while also continuing the feud with O’Reilly and Cole.
A video package hyped Punishment Martinez before Cheeseburger and Will Ferrara came down to the ring to issue a challenge. The video showed them being mauled by Punishment. So they proceeded to gallantly challenge Punishment, and company, to a match.
BJ Whitmer & Punishment Martinez (w/ Kevin Sullivan) defeated Cheeseburger & Will Ferrara via DQ
On commentary, Sullivan told Corino to basically take his rightful seat at his side in joining his evil stable, almost blaming him for the punishment (pun intended) seen in the ring. The match itself was a backdrop for the unfolding drama, with Sullivan somewhat speaking in tongues as he said Corino should join his family.
Corino could take no more as Punishment looked to finish off Cheeseburger, after pummeling him and Ferrara in the match. Corino left the announce table and ran to the ring to make the save, sparing Cheeseburger. Corino caused a disqualification when he ran in and shoved Punishment. Whitmer sneered at Corino. Sullivan was seemingly pleased with the mind games he unleashed.
A Ladder Wars featurette led into an in-ring promo from the Motor City Machine Guns putting over their work ethic and their drive to please the audience. Chris Sabin said that Nigel McGuinness and ROH had given them the night off, as this was taped the night after the now infamous Ladder Wars match at the last pay-per-view. They refused to take the night off, apparently for the sake of the fans. Alex Shelley vowed to take the fight to Los Ingobernables de Japon.
Tetsuya Naito & EVIL defeated Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley
Los Ingobernables de Japon lived up to their name of being “the ungovernables” as they broke the rules with a double team to gain the upperhand in the opening moments. The Motor City Machine Guns soon fired up, leading to Shelley with a flying knee off the apron on Naito and Sabin doing a senton off the apron on EVIL.
The Machine Guns were running wild until Naito tripped up Sabin and EVIL cut off Shelley. EVIL put a chair around the neck of Shelley before posting him. Los Ingobernables worked over Shelley heading into a commercial break.
Shelley eventually gets some separation to make the the hot tag. Sabin ran wild and soon jumped off the top with a missile dropkick on Naito. On commentary, announcer Kevin Kelly kept mentioning that Sabin had taped ribs, despite him running wild on Naito. EVIL then saved Naito by targeting the Sabin’s ribs. Nevertheless, Sabin and Shelley both flew off the top with crossbodies.
MCMG then did a double team tope dive. Back in the ring, Naito was at the mercy of the Machine Guns. He tripped them up again as EVIL jumped back in to dispatch Shelley with a STO. Sabin tried to fight off the assault, but Naito executed the Destino and covered him to score the pinfall.
On the next episode of ROH TV airing this weekend in syndication, the focus on tag teams continues with a semifinal match in the ongoing six-man tag tournament. Plus, The Addiction face The Briscoes. After first airing on Sinclair affiliates, the latest episode is available on various services and streaming platforms before also airing this Wednesday night on Comet.
This week from ROH on YouTube: