When you watch enough wrestling, it’s hard to actually have moments or matches where you have to step back and wonder, “What exactly did I just see?” Some promotions make a living (or go out of business) by having such events in a bad way.
The latest episode of ROH had the “WTF?” quality, but it wasn’t a bad thing. It … was a good thing. A VERY good thing.
The first match is good. The second match is a hidden gem. The main event? The hardest I’ve popped for a tag match in more than four years.
If you haven’t yet, get off your ass (or stay on it) and watch this show. If you’re a fan of fast-paced, athletic, pure in-ring competition, this is one of the greatest hours of professional wrestling you’ll see.
We get superkicks for days in the main event! But we start with The Decade. Yay.
I still think BJ Whitmer sucks as a human being, especially after interrupting that Tadarius Thomas promo. Granted, Thomas’ second take was actually better until the end.
“You have no redeeming qualities. You’re a piece of shit, and I hope you die.”
That was a bit much. Anyway, Whitmer and Jacobs are in action.
THE DECADE (BJ Whitmer & Jimmy Jacobs, w/Adam Page & Tadarius Thomas) vs. CAPRICE COLEMAN & WATANABE
Nice trunks, Whitmer. What a smug bitch. Watanabe hits a lariat for the first advantage, and we get a tag and a drop toehold/splash to the back combo. Jacobs gets in and eats a Coleman dropkick and a kick combination. Also, nice trunks, Jacobs. I actually mean it that time. Watanabe whips Jacobs into the corner multiple times and side slams him. But Watanabe gets too close to the wrong corner, and Whitmer evens the score on the apron. Neckbreaker and cover, but Jacobs can’t really follow up. Nice vertical suplex from Watanabe, and it’s time to tag. Coleman goes right, left, right, lariat, right, elbow, claw before Whitmer hits him from behind. Coleman responds with a frankensteiner for Whitmer, a chain of three Northern Lights suplexes for Jacobs, and a springboard moonsault to the floor on both. Great sequence.
Dropkicks for both in the ring, and a tag to a fresh Watanabe, but since Whitmer’s still in there, he stops the threat. Coleman pulls the rope to dump Whitmer, then Watanabe hits a belly-to-back on Jacobs and goes up top with his partner. Whitmer knocks Coleman off and distracts Watanabe, which leads to a Jacobs spear and a double-team finisher, the All Seeing Eye.
Technical Merit: Caprice is fantastic. The man just doesn’t seem to slow down, especially in a tag-team setting. Great combinations and sequences that really moved the match along.
Artistic Impression: The bad guys took a beating, but won the numbers game at the end. Was it decisive? No. Does that matter? Not really.
TOTAL SCORE: **1/4
After the match, The Decade starts recruiting? I guess it’s the “if you can’t beat us, join us” philosophy.
Caprice puts an end to that when he comes to.
“The other day, I walked into the house, and I saw my nephew on the computer, and he told me he was being cyber-bullied. So I picked up the keyboard, I smacked him in the back of the head, and i told him, ‘Now you’re really being bullied.'”
A great prelude to the appearance of The Last Real Man in Professional Wrestling.
Also, he doesn’t like streamers, so he throws them back. I’ve found my favorite heel in ROH.
Hey, I remember this guy!
His TNA run was … well … interesting. He’s, well, interesting. Maybe he’ll have an interesting match!
BRIAN KENDRICK vs. “The Last Real Man” SILAS YOUNG
Silas doesn’t think much of the Code of Honor, so Kendrick gives us the first superkick of the night. Drives the knee into the back of Silas’ head and the cover. Several kicks, but that just makes Silas angry as he hits a lariat. Meanwhile, Kevin Kelly and Steve Corino are marking out to Kendrick on the mic. Chops from Kendrick, but forearm to the back from Young. Kendrick rollup, then some forearm shots. Charge in the corner, but Silas bodydrops him on the floor.
COMMERCIAL BREAK … and the weekly Jay Lethal Markout Moment
Next week? Briscoes vs. Young Bucks.
“It’s been a real long time since we got to whoop yo ass. You got a little bit more pretty, we got a little more ugly, and next week, it’s gonna be a pretty damn ugly ass-whipping for y’all little bitches.”
That’s it. I’m a Jay Briscoe mark. I love the ugly son-of-a-bitch.
ANYWAY, BACK TO THE MATCH …
It’s the 3:36 mark, and Silas is covering Kendrick. Headlock on the floor, then Silas hits a powerslam, but Brian rolls through! I like it. Silas doesn’t, so he’ll trade chops with Kendrick, who has much better ring attire than last time I saw. Pretty sure the tighty-whitey look was his thing for a while.
Now we switch to forearms, then kicks, and Kendrick ends it with a heel kick. Standing moonsault? Nope, that’s blocked. A few seconds later, the best rolling senton I’ve ever seen. Silas pops right back up, does a headstand thing on the top turnbuckle, but misses the springboard moonsault. Kendrick hits Sliced Bread No. 2, but Silas does a not-so-manly thing and gets his foot on the rope.
Forearm shot and another superkick, but a well-placed knee and a suplex from the apron to the floor put Silas in control … -ish. There’s no way that didn’t destroy both men.
Kendrick whips Silas into the edge of the ring, then Silas goes for some sort of body drop, but Kendrick hangs on and hits a sick DDT onto the mat. Brian goes up top and hits a frog splah, but that’s not enough either. Sliced Bread No. 2 attempt thwarted, so Kendrick goes for a backslide. Silas rolls out and just kicks the hell out of Kendrick’s dome. But that doesn’t faze him as Kendrick gets a boot up, but then he falls victim to a backbreaker/lariat combo for 2. Kendrick kicks out, so Silas locks in the King Cobra hold. Kendrick can’t hit the rope for a break, so he rolls Silas up for 2. Second attempt on the senton/springboard combo is successful, but Kendrick kicks out yet again.
Superplex blocked, but Kendrick can’t take advantage as Silas crotches him up top, back to the ring. Kendrick fends off Silas and hits Sliced Bread No. 2 FROM THE TOP … for 2.
Kendrick jumps around a bit, and Silas puts Kendrick in a fireman’s carry. Kendrick goes for the rollup, but Silas sits into it and finally gets 3. Hell of a match.
Technical Merit: I forgot how good Kendrick is in the ring, and he showed a vicious side as well when needed. I’ve never been disappointed by Silas Young, and he played the counter game extremely well with Kendrick.
Artistic Impression: Both men hit multiple moves that could’ve ended the match, but they kept going. But it didn’t feel contrived like it does in WWE, when The Rock would hit about 3-4 of his finishers (and one of yours, AND the Sharpshooter) to no avail. They told a great in-ring story of attrition and determination, and you kind of knew it was going to be a matter of who can find a way to keep the other man down for 3 seconds as opposed to a decisive win.
TOTAL SCORE: ****
NOW we get the handshake. Turns out you just have to earn Silas Young’s respect! I get a feeling that’s hard to do, though.
The superkick count is at 2 for the night. It’s about to increase exponentially. I’ll be honest … I HATED The Young Bucks as Generation Me in TNA. Like, “GET THEM OFF MY SCREEN!” hate. But that was 4 years ago. You know who I didn’t hate in TNA? Their opponents.
THE ADDICTION (Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt & Nick Jackson)
Corino hypes the Bucks as the best tag team in the world. Apparently he forgot about reDRagon. Hell, I know about reDRagon. Nice headscissors from Matt early, but Kaz keeps him from getting much further. But Matt tosses Nick into a missile dropkick on Kaz. Nick then tries to splash onto Kaz and Daniels, but they catch him. Matt slides under, and Kaz and Daniels throw Nick into Matt into the barricade. With that, it’s time for a break.
We’re back at about 2:45, and Daniels is on Matt. Tag in, and a kick/lariat to the back/senton combo from The Addiction. But the Bucks take over from there and show some innovative double-team offense on both opponents.
OK, forget what I said earlier.
Nick handsprings for days … into a back rake. That’s awesome. Besides that, this is just too damn fast to call. Daniels bulldogs one Buck while clotheslining the other, then uses one to legdrop the other before a cover. For his next trick, he puts Matt up top, then catches him right into the reverse STO and the Koji Clutch!
Nick breaks it up, but Daniels maintains the aggression. Tag, then elbow drop/legdrop combo. Delayed vertical suplex from Kaz. Tag, and a leapfrog/lariat/assisted moonsault/springboard moonsault combo.
Spinning leg lariat from Daniels, which incapacitates Matt enough for him to turn right into Kaz’s corner. Another tag and a gutwrench suplex, and another break.
Just kidding! We’re right back at 8:30, and Matt’s still taking a beating from both foes. But Matt gets breathing room with a leaping snapmare driver variation from the top and … HOT TAG TO NICK!
Daniels takes the sea of lariats, and Kaz takes a dropkick. Nick’s just going off. Sitout facebuster from the apron back in on Daniels, then a tornado DDT onto the mat for Kaz. Nick re-enters with a top-rope crossbody for 2 as Nigel McGuinness rightly points something out … there hasn’t been a superkick, and we’re 10 1/2 minutes in. This feels very heelish. I’m down.
First attempt at one is blocked by Kaz, and he and Daniels hit a sitout powerbomb/neckbreaker tandem move for 2. Now a Full Nelson into a stomp from the top, and Daniels dives onto Matt outside. Meanwhile, Kaz hits a cutter on Nick for 2.
FIRST SUPERKICK of the match at 12:30 from Matt while Kaz has Nick tied up, and Nick rolls through for a cover. Daniels breaks it up, hits an enziguiri on Matt and goes for Angel’s Wings, but Matt headscissors out. Nick has running knees for both, and Matt has his own Sliced Bread No. 2 variation. Another running knee and a cover. Kaz causes the Bucks to collide, then comes from the apron back in with a DDT on Nick. Matt hits a spear, then Daniels with the palm strike and STO. We’re a few seconds away from two more superkicks, one by each Buck for each opponent. All four men down at 14:00.
Daniels up first and has a series of strikes for Nick. Spinning roundhouse for Nick and a lariat outside. Then … hold up. Kaz rolls Nick up. Matt goes for a kick to break it up, but Kaz, WHILE STILL IN THE ROLLUP, ducks a lariat, hits a Northern Lights suplex on Matt and COVERS THEM BOTH.
Naturally, both kick out, because it’s hard to cover two men. He keeps the pressure on, but he gets stereo superkicks for his troubles. Bucklebomb into a kick to the back of the head. Matt hits a rolling senton to set up Nick, but Daniels knocks him off the top, comes back into the ring and lariats Matt out. He follows with a springboard moonsault onto the floor. He goes for a superplex attempt, but Nick blocks with a superkick. Kaz climbs up and hits the Flux Capacitor (great name for a finisher!) for 3.
Superkick count: 6 (match), 8 (show). That’s 2 cubed, so it was exponential. Yes, I know. I’m a nerd.
Technical Merit: Kaz slipped a bit on the ropes before gathering himself and hitting his finisher. That’s the ONLY thing that wasn’t absolutely perfect. This was a 16-minute match that took about a half-hour to watch, just to go back and digest what moves actually took place. It was innovative and fast-paced, with plenty of fresh tandem moves and great individual efforts. You go into a tag-team match dreaming of something like this, and it happened here.
Artistic Impression: What’s not to love? In a one-off dream match, the only story you have is the one in the ring. Both teams told a beautiful story of athletic competition that’s just unparalleled in “mainstream” wrestling today. There just aren’t many teams who could keep up or have a match that good. There’s reDRagon … and who who else in the U.S.?
TOTAL SCORE: *****
I’ve now given the 5 twice. The first was Sami Zayn vs. Cesaro at NXT ArRIVAL, because it’s WWE’s match of the year. Granted, my wrestling viewing hasn’t strayed a whole lot from the mothership, especially from 2011 until a couple months ago, but this was the best tag team match I remember since the finale of the Motor City Machine Guns vs. Beer Money best-of-five series for the TNA Tag Team Championship in 2010. I saw that match and lost my damn mind. Hell, I’m gonna watch it again now! Bucks-Addiction had the same mind-blowing quality for me. Hopefully it happens again soon.