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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 4/27/16: Elite: Dangerous

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 4/27/16)

Elite: Dangerous 

– There were some aspects to the tag opener pitting Tetsuya Naito/ROH World Champion Jay Lethal against Kazuchika Okada/Yoshi Hashi. On top of the initial hesitant dynamic between Naito/Lethal for both having massive egos, it was always a pleasure to see both the ROH and IWGP World Heavyweight Champions square off in the ring. This match was actually at its highest points when it was purely Okada-Lethal. Commentary was okay here, but more could’ve been done to explain the factions involved and what significance they had on the bout for those of us who don’t nosedive into New Japan Pro Wrestling. Taking place in February from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan, it always offers a unique environment, where the crowd’s more appreciative of the art of wrestling and whatnot. We liked that they didn’t pretend this was a few months back and made it feel “exclusive,” to help hype ROH’s “Global Wars” Pay-Per-View airing this Sunday, May 8. Anyways, as the match progressed, good action on both ends with an excitable pace that ended when Naito clonked Okada over the head with Truth Martini’s book to help Lethal score the pin. Post-match was telling in that Naito/Lethal embraced, signifying an alliance between The House Of Truth and the Los Ingobernables factions headed into the PPV.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 3/30/16: Hit By The Truth

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 3/30/16)

Hit By The Truth 

– The Four Corner Survival match between Roderick Strong, Moose (w/Stokely Hathaway), Adam Page and Matt Sydal gave us a decent ensemble of clashing personalities. Page was angry, Roddy was cocky, Moose was fancy and Sydal liked to fly. It just worked. Good near-falls down the stretch. Page drew close to a win, but a BJ Whitmer distraction allowed Strong to hit him with a knee strike and win.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 3/16/16: Gauntlet 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 3/16/16)

Gauntlet War

– With one show left before the post-ROH 14th Anniversary Show tapings, it wasn’t a bad idea to fill television time with a seven-team tag team gauntlet to determine new #1 contenders, but we figured it’d feature highlight teams like Matt Sydal/ACH, Silas Young/Beer City Bruiser or The All Night Express, but that didn’t happen. Anyhow, let’s get to the coverage. With War Machine as the Champions, we were pulling for either reDRagon or The Young Bucks for that spot. With the first match being reDRagon-Will Ferrara/Caprice Coleman, we were curious if they’d pull that “first team up, last team standing” story, which carried us through the match’s first half. Ferrera showed some aggression and Coleman some nice athleticism, but it wasn’t long before Bobby Fish made Ferrara tap out to his kneebar. The second match (reDragon-Joey Daddiego/Chris LaRusso) continued the storyline of Truth Martini looking for an acceptable replacement for Donovan Dijak, giving them opportunities to impress him or suffer the consequences. Looking at the “martial arts lawyer” LaRusso, you could tell which way it’d go. The crowd dumped “Justin Bieber” chants on him, which wasn’t wrong per se. LaRusso accidentally kicked Daddiego and he received a “thumbs down,” as they left him to dry, reDRagon getting the second fall. It was so-so thus far, until The Young Bucks came out. Now, it’s exciting. This was the second best fall of the match, with some creative spots. Also liked how they built up to the first Superkick until towards the end when it led to the finish and YB finished them off. You could guess who won between YB and Tough Guy Inc., though that was entertaining while it lasted, with the heels constantly strategizing and Tim Hughes being too dramatic. The sixth match (YB-The Addiction) was unexpectedly short, but Addiction made their presence felt by attacking YB from behind when their music hit and did some fancy “Too Sweet” mocking before getting pinned. They heeled it up by attacking YB and hitting Celebrity Rehab on them and then attacking the final team, Roppongi Vice. At this point, we thought they were setting up YB to win this and the last fall was certainly competitive, as the two teams had some history surrounding the IWGP Tag Team Championships and worked well together. YB was teasing the Indy-Taker enough but couldn’t hit it and RPG got the upset win, seemingly disappointing everyone in attendance. We thought the torch was going to be eventually passed to YB, but every time they come close to teasing it, they always pull the curtain back. RPG-War Machine doesn’t sound as exciting to us. Neither team talks, so that’s even worse. RPG’s credible in the ring, but all we know about them is their cool theme that simply says “Roppongi Vice” and things that rhyme with it. Also didn’t get why the last four minutes went to the finish of The Briscoes-“Unbreakable” Michael Elgin/Hiroshi Tanahashi from ROH’s 14th, perhaps to hype the New Japan Pro-Wrestling talent appearing on ROH TV next week, but it felt out of place.

 

 

 

 

 

Quick Results

  • Seven-Team Tag Gauntlet To Determine #1 Contender’s For ROH World Tag Team Championships – Roppongi Vice def. The Young Bucks, The Addiction, Tim Hughes/Brutal Bob Evans, reDRagon, Joey Daddiego (w/Truth Martini)/Chris LaRusso and Caprice Coleman/Will Ferrera 

ROH 14th Anniversary Show Reaction

Photo courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

Photo courtesy of Ring Of Honor.

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

 

Despite the adage, what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas, since Ring Of Honor held its 14th Anniversary Show live on Pay-Per-View and stars from New Japan Pro-Wrestling were also here for the party at Sam’s Town.

An underwhelming undercard was made up for by a better second half, fronted by the triple-threat for the ROH World Championship between Champion Jay Lethal, Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole and an insane six-man tag.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 2/24/16: Patience Wears Thin

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 2/24/16)

Patience Wears Thin

– Another week, another match where ROH World Television Champion Roderick Strong takes on “the world.” This time, it was Jonathan Gresham. We had a brief promo before the bell from Veda Scott, who tried to buy Cedric Alexander that TV Title shot, tying back to when Gresham upset Alexander, as Gresham valiantly turned down a check offer. Good explanation from commentary in questioning the legitimacy of Scott’s promise, saying that she couldn’t have had that much money from the lawsuit settlement and having a possible clause that’d get her out of dishing out that cash. As for the match, it had the makings of a Strong squash, as he boasted beaming confidence en route to his match against Bobby Fish that’d take place at ROH’s 14th Anniversary. Gresham put on an impressive showing, perhaps his best to date, moving around with ease, switching from submission to submission, even scoring a close near-fall on Roddy before a knee strike did him in. The post-match interaction with Fish and Strong fit their feud, as Fish attacked Strong coming out of the crowd and taunted him to fight, only for the heel Strong to raise his belt and back away.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 2/3/16: Forever Trolling

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 2/3/16)

Forever Trolling

– The ROH World Television Championship match between Champion Roderick Strong and Masada creatively kept the “Roddy Versus The World” storyline going, since death match mogul Masada was as polar opposite from Strong as you could get. On that note, Masada hasn’t aged a bit and was somewhat over with the crowd. Strong has been more heelish lately and this was no different. Still, it was unique to see these two go at it and we had some decent action along the way. We understood the lenience of rules throughout, but did we need the bamboo sticks bit towards the end? At least Strong’s knee strike was the final move here. The post-match stuff with Bobby Fish coming out to “troll” Strong for taking on the world yet avoiding him was a solid argument that’ll likely be leading to a match between the two at the 14th Anniversary Show. Strong stood heel with his retort that Fish was jealous of his success and tried to emulate that, even though he lost at Final Battle. Strong seemingly had the last action by throwing his mic at Fish after calling him a sore loser, where Fish called Strong a coward and would continue to haunt him to get what he wanted.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 1/27/16: Menage A Trois

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 1//27/16)

Menage A Trois

– With an eye to the future, we always applaud ROH for spotlighting new talent with the Top Prospect Tournament, since it gives them an early chance to impress fans and officials alike for the ultimate prize of an early career accolade. Even better, some tourney matches would play out on TV, like the one that opened up the show between Brian Fury (17-year veteran who trained Sasha Banks and Donovan Dijak) and Shaheem Ali. Fury had a look about him that looked like a blend of Damien Sandow and The Ascension while Ali reminded us of Shelton Benjamin in his early days. The two did some flashy suplexes, but the big story of the fight was Fury using his “veteran heel status” to use the Referee’s leg to block Ali from hitting a top-rope maneuver, turning the distraction into a moment where he could pull out his Pop-Up Sit-Down Powerbomb finisher to advance.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 1/13/16: The Boys Are Back In Town

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 1/13/16)

The Boys Are Back In Town 

– Ever since returning to Ring Of Honor unannounced, it has been expected that fans would buy back All-Night Express as an unstoppable force, with no explanation of their whereabouts the last three years. We only know they’re doing well and want the World Tag Team Titles, like any team should. The lack of explanation and character development for ANX has alienated fans from embracing them and that led to the story told in the opening match between ANX and Roppongi Vice, which was a keen way to kick of the hour with good action. It appears ANX – already the #1 Contender’s – are showing more heel tendencies and reacting to the crowd’s lack of enthusiasm for their moves and maneuvers. As the match progressed, their actions became more ruthless and calculated. The finish served to make ANX look clever by way of ring awareness, as King blindly tagged in right before Rhett Titus was seemingly finished off, as King snuck in the winning pinfall. Rocky Romero stood out in the match for his enthusiasm and Trent Barretta also shined in his aerial moves. Wish we knew more about Roppongi Vice from an ROH perspective, because they rock a swagger all their own. Creatively, this was a better way to tell the story with ANX going forward and with War Machine as Champs, it makes it possible.

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Notes In Observance – ROH Wrestling 1/6/16: Welcome To The Fish Tank

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 1/6/16)

Welcome To The Fish Tank

– Coming out of Final Battle, one of the primary developments was the attitude change of ROH World Television Champion Roderick Strong, pulling an Undertaker 2015 by tapping out of an opponent’s submission maneuver out of the Referee’s view to get him to break the hold before taking advantage. The opponent in this case was Bobby Fish and they wasted no time revisiting that moment, but not before a good opener that saw Strong defend his Title in the latest chapter of “Roddy Versus The World” against Philadelphia’s own Stevie Richards. Richards didn’t show an ounce of aging and hung in there to show a respectable effort by ROH standards, but could only go so far. Strong unleashed a wicked chop in the match that actually left a dark mark on Richards’ chest, which only set the pace to come, despite some nice near-falls. Strong teased some heel tendencies before putting Richards to rest with his running knee strike to retain. The “Fish Tank” segment that followed with a suit-clad Fish, a table and two comfy looking chairs was a stage to have Fish show photographic evidence of Strong tapping out at Final Battle to warrant him another shot. Strong went deeper into heel mode, telling the crowd to shut up and denied any wrongdoings, which will likely lead to a rematch at one of these next TV shows we can assume. We do like the new twist on Strong’s character, as it keeps him from becoming a stale babyface.

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Top 20 Of 2015

Top 20 Of 2015By Nicholas Jason Lopez

*Graphic by Angel Ancantara*

 

2015 certainly had unmemorable moments – a Global Force Wrestling invasion, a “Divas Revolution,” a ridiculous love rectangle, tater tot promos, among others.

However, we also saw fantastic ones – a Money In The Bank Briefcase Cash-In during the WrestleMania main event, a revamped Undertaker-Brock Lesnar feud, “four horsewomen,” John Cena’s United States Open Challenge, TNA World Title Series and that’s scratching the surface.

Below’s our list of the top 20 moments of 2015.

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