Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 9/21/16: Prepped For Ladder War

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

Image provided courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez


“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.






(Aired 9/21/16)

Prepped For Ladder War 

– This episode was best known for Steve Corino’s “return” to color commentary on Ring Of Honor television after a one-year suspension. Yes, the catchphrases are back and they won’t have to sub in “Mr. Wrestling III” anymore. Of course, we have our fears of BJ Whitmer back in the picture, but let’s stay optimistic.

– Just when we soaked in the goodness of Corino back on our screen, the forever buzzkills of The Cabinet came into the shot and it was back to reality. This was a set-up for the All-Night Express-Guerrillas Of Destiny bout. Yup, a clash between self-righteous heels and “cool guy” heels in the Bullet Club representatives. Didn’t make sense on paper, but it was an excuse for commentary to get over that BC was on top of the wrestling picture. The action was mostly limited thanks to the awkward dynamic, but Caprice Coleman’s obnoxious nature was enough to rile up some of the ROH dedicated. Things didn’t take off until near the end, when Coleman stood atop the top rope behind the Referee’s back and it backfired when he got tossed off and landed on his allies. It inevitably set up Rhett Titus to get hit with the Guerrilla Warfare finisher. An easy way to continue BC’s momentum as Coleman spewed blame upon management and promised things weren’t done. Right.

– Ever since Jay Lethal was betrayed by his former allies in Tetsuya Naito/Evil of Los Ingobernables De Japon, he was swore revenge in the worst way possible. Nope, Lethal isn’t back in the Title picture to get his rematch just yet, but this feud with Naito is a smart way to keep him busy and build up to that eventual rematch. With All-Star Extravaganza two weeks away from this show, perhaps they throw Evil to Lethal in the go-home episode before Lethal faces Naito at ASE? Either way, Lethal’s video package promo glossed over what we needed to know and was a justifiable way to want us to see him get his revenge on LIDJ.

– Shane Taylor/Keith Lee are relative newcomers to ROH, but it helps that they have used Taylor’s connection to Ray Rowe as someone who was trained by him for his first semi-major feud. The video package promo by Taylor explained their history and why he had a problem with Rowe, which stemmed from how he felt betrayed that they ran the world together, but was “left high and dry” when Rowe went on to form War Machine with Hanson. Based off his appearance and promo style, it was hard not to associate Taylor with the former Moose, but at least he has the intimidation factor based off that alone.

– The Taylor/Keith Lee-Ken Phoenix/Ricardo Rojas match was a traditional tag squash to put Taylor/Lee over as genuine powerhouses. Luckily, they entertained with some unorthodox maneuvers, namely where Phoenix was hoisted in the air and came down upon a vicious headbutt. Rojas also withstood a stiff forearm to the face. After some more rag doll tosses, it came to an end as Taylor covered Rojas with a frog splash after Lee hit a powerbomb. The post-match promo by Taylor was a logical call-out of War Machine for battle because it “wasn’t over.” Of course, the crowd chanted “Young Bucks” loudly, but it wasn’t acknowledged by the burly heels. This was answered when WM came out and we heard perhaps Rowe’s best mic work to date, as he provided information that he gave Taylor a roof over his head and opened many doors for him, but now it was time to pay because it was about violence more than revenge. Solid stuff, as we were thrown to a commercial break with the hook aa the question if this challenge would take place here.

– We had a big main event set for next week, as ROH World Champion Adam Cole teams up with Hangman Page as they take on “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Cole pushed the point that Elgin/Tanahashi were jealous of his golden success and he’d shove it in their faces next week. Cole has always been a good talker, so he could face a jar of mayonnaise in next week’s main event and still make it sound salvageable.

– The Taylor/Lee-WM match was simply about three words – agile big men. Plenty of forearm strikes, high-impact slams and even big dives. Based off the pre-match exchange, we figured this would be designed as more of a brawl than an a regular bout. That came to life when they brought in the chairs and the match was thrown out after as a double disqualification. Luckily, it was saved with the big powerbomb spot by Taylor on Rowe upon a couple of seated chairs. Just the right amount of animosity this feud needed to push the personal edge. The image of officials that had to forcibly clear Lee/Taylor from the ring was a nice way to reinforce these were bad big men. Plain and simple.

– The Six-Man Tag main event between Kamaitachi/ROH World Tag Team Champions The Addiction and Kazuchika Okada/Roppongi Vice with Matt Taven on commentary was your general spot-fest with Taven’s witty banter as a form of enhanced flavor. Taven’s involvement made sense since he announced beforehand that The Kingdom would appear in the Six-Man Tag Tournament to begin at ASE to crown the first-ever ROH Six-Man Tag Team Champions. We were left to wonder who’d be recruited as the new Kingdom, as Taven also reminded us how much he hated Cole. At the same time, the action itself never missed a beat, as it primarily revolved around the great chemistry between Kamaitachi/Okada with RPG’s fun aerials thrown in. Eventually, the heels battled back, as they poked fun at WWE with their own version of the “Unicorn Stampede” a la WWE World Tag Team Champions The New Day. The finish was cool in that it showed we can take The Addiction seriously in the ring, as they swept Rocky Romero’s momentum out from under him to switch it to the Best Meltzer Ever, which won them the bout and sensibly put them over as they prep up for Ladder War VI at ASE against The Young Bucks and The Motor City Machine Guns.






Quick Results

  • The Guerrillas Of Destiny def. The All-Night Express (w/Caprice Coleman) via pinfall 
  • Shane Taylor/Keith Lee def. Ken Phoenix/Ricardo Rojas via pinfall 
  • Shane Taylor/Keith Lee and War Machine to a no-contest via double DQ 
  • Six-Man Tag – The Addiction/Kamaitachi def. Roppongi Vice/Kazuchika Okada via pinfall 

About Nicholas Jason Lopez

Just a 29-year-old Brooklynite. Nothing more, nothing less. Currently a freelance journalist with two websites - Pro Wrestling Opinion and The Music Bugle - he has also been published on sites such as The Bensonhurst Bean, Sheepshead Bites, Review Fix, College University of New York Athletic Conference, Dying Scene, Brooklyn News Service, All Media NY, and Yahoo Voices. He has also interned for The Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator based out of Brooklyn, NY.

Posted on November 19, 2016, in ROH and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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