Tonight at ROH Death Before Dishonor XVI, Will Ospreay made the challenge and ROH World Champion Jay Lethal accepted. Can Lethal extend his reign as champion in Ospreay’s return match to Ring of Honor? Plus, Bullet Club’s Young Bucks, Hangman Page, Marty Scurll, and Cody take on Kazuchika Okada, Chuckie T., Beretta, Rocky Romero, and Tomohiro Ishii of Chaos in a ten-man tag! All that and more at Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor XVI!
We are LIVE from Las Vegas, Nev. Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman have the call for tonight.
Kenny King vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
Chain wrestling to start and Liger to a surfboard, but King gets the rope break. Reset and Liger with a Russian legsweep to an octopus stretch and to the headscissors. King headstands out for another reset. Shoulder tackle stalemate, but Liger gets dropped by one. Liger with a back bodydrop to the outside and a cannonball off the apron. King tries to kick Liger off the apron and Liger slaps him. King with a legsweep and a slingshot corkscrew crossbody to the outside. King runs Liger into the apron outside for a nearfall inside. King works the back of Liger after finding the injury target, landing backbreakers and a side slam for a nearfall. King with a back elbow out of the corner to a Boston Crab. Liger fights out and sidesteps King diving into the corner. Liger kicks away to land a shotei and a Rolling Koppu Kick in the corner gets a nearfall. King comes back with a Chin Checker and a tornado kick for a nearfall. Liger comes back with chops and shoteis. King with a swinging backbreaker for a nearfall and they go up top. Liger lands a superplex and gets a nearfall, but favors his back more. King gets Liger up and Liger gets an inside cradle for a nearfall. Shotei and bulldog for Liger followed by a frog splash for a nearfall. The referee checks on both and stops the match for an injury check on Liger. King encourages the fans to cheer Liger on. King offers his hand and shakes Liger’s hand, but pulls him into a spinebuster.
Winner by pinfall: Kenny King
Rating: 2.25 out of 5 stars
I liked the cheap ending and injury-focused offense from King, but this was pretty slow and methodical for an opener and the crowd really wasn’t into it. Nothing bad, but just a standard match that didn’t really fire up the crowd.
Scorpio Sky with the microphone before the ROH World Tag Team Championship match and he calls Las Vegas the worst town he has ever been in the SCU introduction. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian lead the chants for SCU.
Video package from The Briscoes.
ROH World Tag Team Championships: The Briscoes (c) vs. The Addiction (w/Scorpio Sky)
Daniels starts with Jay Briscoe. Jay tries to knock Kaz off the apron, but The Addiction have them scouted and send Mark out. Jay pinballed with punches and The Briscoes move out, grabbing chairs in frustration before returning inside. Mark tags in with Kaz and a shoulder tackle stalemate sees them exchange slaps. Kaz with right hands to send Mark out and Daniels brings him back in. The Addiction with tandem offense on both Briscoes to send them out again. Mark throws chairs into the ring and Jay does the same to draw The Addiction outside for attacks. Daniels gets isolated in the ring, but he lands chops on Mark. Mark sends him into the ropes as Jay pulls them down. Mark with a diving blockbuster off the apron and The Briscoes work The Addiction outside. Daniels worked in the Briscoe corner back inside. Tandem shoulder tackle on Daniels and they keep him grounded. Daniels kicked to the outside and Mark tosses him into the barricade outside. Jay with a nearfall inside and Mark with a Death Valley Driver inside. Froggy Boy misses and Daniels with a Blue Thunder Bomb to put both down. Jay kicks away the hot tag momentarily, but Daniels ducks a clothesline to bring in Kaz on the hot tag.
Kaz with the house on fire offense and he lands a slingshot hurricanrana on Mark outside, but Jay with a big boot to drop him outside. Jay makes a chair bridge, but Daniels with a crossbody off the apron. Daniels ducks a chair shot from Mark for a suplex on the floor. Jay and Daniels inside, but Kaz joins for a Blue Thunder neckbreaker tandem for a nearfall. Daniels with a flip dive over the top turnbuckle on Mark. Slingshot cutter from Kaz gets a nearfall on Jay inside. The Addiction call for the Doomsday Device, but Jay falls out and they bump the referee. Kaz knocked off the top rope with a chair shot and he is busted open. Kaz hit with a uranage on the chair and Scorpio Sky runs back out to check on Kaz. Mark gets a brainbuster on Daniels back inside for a nearfall. Neckbreaker and powerbomb combo from The Briscoes only gets a nearfall on Daniels and Jay is shocked. Daniels fights back up and lands a double clothesline. The Briscoes chop block Daniels and go for Doomsday Device. Daniels falls through and rolls Jay up, but Mark drops him from behind. Daniels fights off the shoulders of Mark to land a Uranage and BME lands, but Jay breaks the nearfall. Jay lands a Jay Driller on Daniels outside and sends him into Mark, but Daniels again manages to kick out. Jay Driller from Jay inside puts Daniels down.
Winners by pinfall: The Briscoes
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Very good tag here with the crowd getting behind Daniels working as the lone man after Kaz got taken out early.
Women of Honor Championship: Sumie Sakai (c) vs. Tenille Dashwood
Sakai with a hip toss off the side headlock and she controls on the ground with ground-and-pound. Sakai stomps Dashwood down. Dashwood fights up with forearms and a clothesline. Sakai with a leg sweep and they stand off. Dashwood with a drop toehold into the second turnbuckle. Basement crossbody in the corner for Dashwood gets a nearfall. Dashwood with elbows to the back of the head, but Sakai with a knee to the body and a back suplex. Missile dropkick and Sakai with a pendulum knee drop in the corner. Dashwood sent out and Sakai with a crossbody off the top to the floor for a nearfall back inside. Sakai looks for a cross armbreaker, but Dashwood gets out. Dashwood rolls Sakai up for nearfalls and lands a forearm that hurts the taped right arm. Dashwood with clotheslines on her good arm for a nearfall. Sakai sat up top and hit with a head kick. Double underhook superplex from Dashwood lands. Big boot for Dashwood misses, but she sweeps the leg for a surfboard deathlock. Snapmare stomp by Dashwood gets a nearfall and she goes up top. Sakai meets her and Dashwood falls out for a powerbomb attempt. Sakai with a hurricanrana nearfall and a swinging fisherman’s neckbreaker sets up a shining wizard for a nearfall.
Swinging neckbreaker gets Sakai a nearfall and she looks for a cross armbreaker on the right arm. Dashwood gets the rope break and kicks out of the corner. Double-underhook suplex in the corner lands for Dashwood and she locks in the Tarantula. Dashwood slips out and powerbombs Sakai on the floor for a nearfall. Wheelbarrow from Sakai blocked for a German Suplex by Dashwood for a nearfall. Back elbow from Dashwood and they exchange forearms. Sakai gets powerbombed on a hurricanrana attempt, but transitions to the cross armbreaker. Dashwood passes out in the submission.
Winner by referee stoppage/submission and STILL Women of Honor Champion: Sumie Sakai
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
Both brought it here and had some good spots that got the crowd into it, but the finish knocked it down a peg or two.
Video package recaps what led to the ROH World TV title match between champion Punishment Martinez and challenger Chris Sabin.
ROH World Television Championship: Punishment Martinez (c) vs. Chris Sabin
Martinez looks for a Chokeslam, but Sabin victory rolls for a nearfall. Enzuigiri and dropkick to the knee from Sabin followed by a superkick. Martinez rolls out and Sabin dropkicks the knee to send him off the apron. Apron punts and a springboard dive out of the corner by Sabin on Martinez. Sabin looks for another apron kick, but he blocks a powerbomb. Sabin gets a suicide dive caught for a Chokeslam on the ring apron. Sabin sent into the barricade. Martinez spikes Sabin into his knee inside and lands a lariat for a nearfall. Martinez up top and Sabin with an enzuigiri to meet him. Sabin fights off a choke to land a Frankensteiner. Martinez with a forearm and Sabin lands three of his own, but Martinez rocking him with one shot. Martinez tries a forearm and falls outside for a slingshot crossbody from Sabin. Suicide dive lands this time to send Martinez into the barricade. Sabin with a crossbody off the top to the floor. Missile dropkick inside by Sabin and he gets Martinez up. Martinez falls out and they exchange stopping short of the referee until Martinez boxes the ears and big boots Sabin into the referee. Spinning heel kick from Martinez and he brings in a chair. Sabin dropkicks the knee of Martinez and drops him face-first to the chair. Tornado DDT on the chair by Sabin gets a nearfall.
The referee takes the chair out and Martinez hits a snake eyes on the top turnbuckle. Psycho Driver from Martinez followed by the curb stomp and a sitout Chokeslam.
Winner by pinfall and STILL ROH World Television Champion: Punishment Martinez
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Solid match with Sabin getting a lot of spots and dives, but never really kicked out of first gear and another referee bump slowed its momentum a bit.
Post-match, Martinez looks to stomp Sabin into a chair in the corner. Jeff Cobb comes out and stares Martinez down. Martinez fakes leaving and hits Cobb in the back with a chair. Cobb shakes it off and stares Martinez down again. Kick from Martinez caught for Wrath of the Gods. Cobb lays the title over Martinez.
Video package from Bully Ray recaps what led to the tables match between the teams of Bully Ray & Silas Young and Flip Gordon & Colt Cabana.
Elimination Tables Match: Flip Gordon & Colt Cabana vs. Bully Ray & “The Last Real Man” Silas Young
Gordon goes after Bully Ray and Cabana with a spinning sidewinder suplex and Gordon with a springboard dropkick. Bully sent out with a back bodydrop and they fight outside. Young sends Gordon into the barricade and Cabana runs into a body block inside by Bully. Young goes up for Wassup, but Gordon with a springboard kick to knock him down and Cabana reverses for them to land Wassup on Bully. Cabana tells Gordon to get the tables and they set one up inside. Suplex on Young lands, but Bully moves the table and lands a double clothesline. Bully misses an elbow drop and Gordon with kicks. Bully catches one and Young with a clothesline. Back bodydrop sees Cabana move the table and he lands a springboard moonsault to take out both. Gordon with a springboard senton to take out Young, but Cabana misses a slingshot crossbody and lands on the floor. Bully trash talks Ian Riccaboni on commentary while taking the chair to Cabana’s back. Riccaboni runs off and checks on Cabana. Bully turns around and looks to take the chair to Riccaboni, but Gordon with a dive on Bully and Gordon. Riccaboni gives Cabana the chair and he takes it across the back of Bully. Bully lands a back bodydrop on Riccaboni. Bully says this for Riccaboni and powerbombs Cabana through the timekeeper’s table.
Colt Cabana has been eliminated.
Table cornered by Bully and Gordon held onto by Young and Bully while they take turns chopping him. Gordon lands kicks to drop both and Bully tackles Young to stop him from running into the table. Gordon gets dropped by a Bully superkick, but Young and Bully attack each other after the tackle. They swat Gordon out of the air and Bully tells Young to calm down and stop punching him in the face. Gordon flips off the table in the corner and sends Bully in.
Bully Ray has been eliminated.
Young lands a backbreaker and lariat combo. Young with a springboard clothesline that turns Gordon inside-out to the floor. Table set inside and Young tries Misery though the table. Gordon spins out and kicks the referee in the process. Springboard spear by Gordon and he lands a 450 splash through the table on Young. Bully lays out Gordon and picks Young up. Bully puts Gordon on the table wreckage and wakes the referee up.
Winners: Bully Ray & Silas Young
Rating: 1.75 out of 5 stars
Standard fare hardcore match with some good spots, but the booking on this with the referee bump and the screwy finish felt over the top.
Post-match, Bully whips Gordon with his chain and beats Gordon with the table.
Tenille Dashwood shown having been attacked backstage.
Nick Aldis joins commentary before the ten-man tag.
Ten-Man Tag Team Match: Chaos vs. Bullet Club (w/Brandi Rhodes)
Hangman Page starts with Tomohiro Ishii and a shoulder tackle stalemate. Forearm exchange and big boots exchanged. Forearm exchange won by Ishii. Spinning forearm from Page and a shoulder tackle from Ishii. Suplex by Ishii and Kazuchika Okada tags in. Marty Scurll tags himself in and Okada stands over him before tagging out to Rocky Romero. Romero moonsaults out of the corner for a hurricanrana and he lands a chop. Romero catches himself in the ropes to send Scurll out. Matt Jackson lands a kick to the back from the apron and Scurll takes advantage with a big boot. Chuckie T. in and Nick Jackson follows. Chuckie leapfrogs and ducks to an atomic drop on Nick. Matt in, but Beretta sneaks a tag and The Best Friends tandem offense The Young Bucks out. They look to hug and Romero tries to get in on it, but gets shoved out. Chaos with triple dives and they hug outside. Okada in and Cody brought in. Okada presses him against the ropes and pats his head off the break. Cody with a drop-down slap, but Okada with a flapjack. Beretta back in with a chop, but Cody drops him out of the corner. Beretta hit with a clothesline against the ropes and sent out. Springboard from Cody misses outside and it breaks down with dives outside. They fight to the stairs and Chuckie with a flip dive off the stairs. Chaos call for Ishii and he goes up top with a cannonball to take them all out.
Beretta and Cody get inside and Beretta works him in the corners. Brandi gets in and allows Cody to land a low blow. Beretta isolated by the Bullet Club and they take out Chaos. Scurll with a superplex for a nearfall broken by Romero. Beretta rebounds out of the corner for a clothesline on Cody. Hot tag to Romero on Page and Romero with hurricanranas on everyone. Romero like a house on fire, but Chaos outside and Bullet Club all up at the same time to give Romero a Superkick Party. Okada in with back elbows on the Bucks and a double DDT. Nick beaten in the corner and hit with a neckbreaker across the knee by Okada for a nearfall. Okada up top and it all breaks down after he lands. Disaster Kick on Ishii does nothing and he lands double clotheslines, but superkicks from The Bucks. Rainmaker from Okada blocked, but he and Chuckie land a spike piledriver for a nearfall after it all breaks down outside. Okada goes for a Rainmaker on Matt, but he sidesteps Page for a Buckshot Lariat. Cody with a Cross Rhodes on Okada and he goes for another, but Okada with a Rainmaker to put both down.
Page with a rolling elbow on Ishii and they exchange counters until Page hits the Buckshot Lariat. Rite of Passage blocked for an Ishii powerbomb attempt. Ishii with a lariat for a nearfall and Romero brought in. Cody and Ishii fight outside and Romero with a right hand inside on Scurll. Romero superkicked by Scurll and a powerbomb lands. Chickenwing from Scurll blocked and Matt accidentally superkicks Scurll. Sliced Bread from Romero caught and The Bucks take out each other. Beretta piledrives Matt on the apron and it breaks down again. Romero with a step-over enzuigiri on Scurll, but Scurll with an X-Plex into the Chickenwing.
Winners by submission: Bullet Club
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
A great outing by some, particularly Rocky Romero and Beretta, but pretty much a full-on sprint and spot type of match after the initial setup. It worked really well for the crowd though and delivered the hottest reactions of the night, so a good match for the fans of both stables, but just plain fun.
During the match, Nick Aldis announced his rematch with Cody for the NWA title would be two out of three falls at the anniversary show.
ROH World Championship: Jay Lethal (c) vs. Will Ospreay
Ospreay turns down the Code of Honor to start and the lock-up sees Lethal struggle, but presses Ospreay against the ropes. Break and Ospreay with the takedown into the front facelock. Lethal with the wristlock and they exchange submissions as they feel each other out with chain wrestling. Shoulder tackle stalemate and Ospreay slaps Lethal to drop him with a shoulder tackle. Ospreay tries to leapfrog Lethal and Lethal with a chop. Lethal Injection blocked and an Ospreay Cutter blocked to reset. Ospreay with chops in the corner and a back elbow, but Lethal chops him off the top rope. Lethal with a sucide dive to send Ospreay into the barricade and he lands two more, the third sending Ospreay into the crowd. Backbreaker inside gets Lethal a nearfall. Lethal counters an Ospreay cartwheel dropkick for a cartwheel dropkick of his own for a nearfall. Lethal bounces Ospreay into the corners. Ospreay comes back with a handspring kick. Ospreay with chops and roundhouse kicks to the legs and body. Ospreay works Lethal in the corners and lands a running dropkick for a nearfall. Lethal with a corner chop to counter and Ospreay challenges him to do it again. Lethal does it again and again. Ospreay returns it and challenges him again, but sucker punches him. Push kick from Ospreay sends Lethal out and a suicide dive bounces Lethal off the barricade outside. Ospreay with a roundhouse kick to the chest and Lethal moves under the ring. Lethal with chops outside to knock Ospreay over. Ospreay pulls out a ladder and Lethal works him with chops. 619 over the top by Ospreay followed by a springboard forearm for a nearfall.
Lethal with an STO to put both down. They exchange strikes from their knees and Lethal with a pump kick. Ospreay with a jumping hurricanrana to send Lethal out to the floor. Handspring dive sees Ospreay land on his feet outside and they fight by the timekeeper’s table. Bobby Cruz gets taken out by a superkick from Lethal and Ospreay catches the title out of mid-air. The referee tends to Cruz and they send each other into the barricade, with Lethal winning out after landing an STO onto it. Lethal pulls out the barricade and leans the ladder on it. Lethal with a DDT on Ospreay coming inside. Lethal goes up top and the elbow drop misses as Lethal lands on his feet. Lethal Injection blocked for a rewind hurricanrana and Ospreay with an enzuigiri and he flips off Lethal for a powerbomb that gets a nearfall. Lethal to the apron and Ospreay with the sunset flip powerbomb onto the ladder. Ospreay gets Lethal back inside before the countout and lands a missile dropkick. Hook kick from Ospreay and he gets Lethal up. Lethal falls out and Ospreay looks for the cutter, but Lethal gets the cutter. Lethal Injection blocked by the hook kick from Ospreay to put both down. Ospreay again gets the title belt and fakes hitting Lethal to land a spinning hook kick. Oscutter lands for a nearfall. Ospreay curb stomps Lethal down and sets him up top. Frankensteiner attempt blocked for a powerbomb off the top and Lethal Injection lands.
Winner by pinfall and STILL ROH World Champion: Jay Lethal
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars
Great main event with Ospreay really showing some character and story work here.
Post-match, the two shake hands and the red balloons go up. The Kingdom attack without Matt Taven and Jonathan Gresham tries to make the save, but Lethal fights up. Matt Taven runs out and lays Lethal out with a new purple title, revealing his new shaved head. Taven declares himself the real world champion to close the show.
Overall, ROH still has one of the better in-ring shows in the world, but the booking is really lacking in creativity and continuity. Referee and announcer bumps and involvement and Dusty finishes tend to pop up in just about every match. The NJPW talent share is a saving grace, but their matches also only tend to be great-one offs or a few steps below what they offer in Japan. While ROH isn’t without its redeeming qualities, but the product is stagnant because of booking.
Nolan Howell can be reached at [email protected] for any questions or comments.