From Sam’s Town Live in Las Vegas, NV, Ring of Honor presents their “Death Before Dishonor” pay per view event. The show kicks off at 9PM EST, with the main event featuring Jay Lethal defending his ROH Championship against the Bullet Club’s Adam Cole. Will Cole have help from the Young Bucks to steal the title tonight, or will Lethal get revenge? The full card shapes up as follows:
- Jay Lethal (c) vs. Adam Cole; ROH Championship
- Bobby Fish (c) vs. Mark Briscoe; ROH Television Championship
- Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito and Evil vs. Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi; ROH Tag Team Championship under Triple Threat Rules
- Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Champion) vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys); Non-Title Match
- Silas Young vs. Katsuyori Shibata
- Roppongi Vice and Toru Yano (Chaos) vs. Yorjiro Takahashi and The Guerrillas of Destiny
- Jay Briscoe vs. Hangman Page; Grudge Match
- Lio Rush vs. Jay White vs. Donovan Dijak vs. Kamaitachi; Four Corners Match to earn a #1 Contender slot to the ROH Television Championship
Show Open, Live from Sam’s Town Live, Las Vegas, NV:
We got a video package to recap the main event storyline between Jay Lethal and Adam Cole, then Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness checked in for the call.
Bill Says: I miss Steve Corino on color. He’s so much better.
Match #1 – Kamaitachi vs. Donovan Dijak (w/Prince Nana) vs. Jay White vs. Lio Rush; Winner earns a #1 Contender slot to the ROH Television Championship, match under Four Corners Survival Rules
Winner: Donovan Dijak to earn the #1 Contender’s slot
Quick Summary: The heels and faces each shook hands, but they did not cross. The heels had the early advantage by attacking while the faces stood on the apron. White got in a flurry, then Rush cut him off and hit suicide dives on all the opponents. Dijak caught him, but Rush countered with a reverse huracanrana.
Dijak came back with a press slam, then hit a nice corkscrew dive on his opponents. The finish came when Dijak hit Rush with a big boot then Feast Your Eyes.
This was a fun crowd pleaser of an opening match. I found myself wanting ROH to follow White’s big TV debut up by having him win here, but Dijak needed it more. That loss to Rush on the go home show was questionable, and Dijak needed momentum again. By the way, Dijak should separate himself from Nana – Nana is an undercard manager, and Dijak seems to be held back at least in terms of perception by him.
We got a promo from Silas Young, who made fun of internet nerds and how he makes fun of dorks on Twitter. They ran a video package for Shibata to hype the next match.
Match #2 – Silas Young vs. Katsuyori Shibata (NEVER Openweight Champion); Non-Title Match
Winner: Katsuyori Shibata
Quick Summary: The fans were into Shibata and chanted for him, and Young told the fans they were stupid after an early lockup. Young went after the taped up shoulder of Shibata, but he started no-selling it and motioned for Young to keep bringing it.
Young spit at Shibata and ate some strikes and a running drop kick in the corner. Young came back with a backbreaker, a clothesline, and his headstand into a springboard moonsault. In the end, Shibata released a sleeper hold, then ran the ropes and hit a kick to win the match. The two traded slaps, then shook hands.
The fans were into Shibata and liked the finish – I personally was not as much of a fan of it as they were. Young rarely shows respect to anyone after losing, so the finish slaps then shaking hands was a unique touch.
Match #3 – Tama Tonga, Tonga Roa (The Guerrillas of Destiny) and Yojiro Takahashi vs. Toru Yano and Roppongi Vice;
Winner: Toru Yano and Roppongi Vice
Quick Summary: Caprice Coleman sat in on commentary and told us that The Cabinet would face the Bullet Club members at Saturday’s TV tapings (SPOILERS WANTED – email@example.com!!). Coleman cut on the Bullet Club, asking how many times they’d add second rate talent to rebuild the Club. Kelly pointed out that Kenny Omega just won the G1 Climax Tournament.
They did a comedy spot where they told Yano not to use the buckle pad as a weapon, but then Tonga and Roa used it moments later. Yano did a catapult on Yojiro into the exposed buckle, then moments later hit a low blow for the win. Afterward the Guerrillas worked over the opponents until Hangman Page came out and put a noose on Yano. Jay Briscoe ran out for the save.
I’m baffled by the use of Bullet Club in ROH. Adam Cole is well positioned as the top heel, but other members of the Club are poorly positioned or positioned as faces – so much so that Kevin Kelly actually endorses them on commentary. It’s mind blowing, and it’s confusing as to what I’m supposed to think about this particular match. The action was fine for what it was, but beyond that…?
Match #4 – Hangman Page vs. Jay Briscoe;
Winner: Hangman Page
Quick Summary: They jawed early and grabbed chairs. A bit later, Briscoe hit a suplex out on the floor then grabbed the noose. Page threw a chair at Briscoe in return. Page hit a powerbomb on a chair a bit later, then tied Briscoe to the barrier and proceeded to land (safe) chair shots on him. Later in the match, Briscoe set Page up on a table, but he rolled off. As the fight moved back inside, Page flipped over the rope and hit a clothesline for two. The fans chanted that it was awesome.
Page put the noose on Briscoe and tried to hang him but Briscoe fought out. Briscoe got out but ate a shot that sent him to the floor. Page tried a running moonsault, but Briscoe caught him with a leg shot that the crowd reacted to. Later, Page and Briscoe fought on the apron, then Page hit Rite of Passage through a table. Briscoe held his knee. Page threw him in to get a two count, then put the noose on Briscoe for leverage. He hit a second Rite of Passage for the win.
This was really good. A huge win for Page in ROH too, so he gets a lot out of this. I’m not a fan of going back to the noose a lot, but that misgiving aside this really elevated Page tonight. Well done.
They showed Dalton Castle scolding his Boys for playing with the Okada bucks. They fanned him. He said he knows the Boys like New Japan, and said he thinks Okada is fantastic and enjoys New Japan too. He also enjoys dropping people on their heads much more.
Match #5 – Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Champion) vs. Dalton Castle (w/The Boys); Non-Title Match
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
Quick Summary: Both men got chants, but the live crowd was slightly in favor of Okada. After a few minutes, Okada tossed a nice drop kick that sent Castle off the ropes and to ringside. The Boys fanned Castle, and he came back with a huracanrana then a nice suicide dive.
Back inside, Castle hit a high knee and a bulldog, then hit a bridging German suplex for two. Castle tried another, but Okada grabbed one of the Boys by the arm and dragged him in. Okada used the distraction to his advantage and hit an elbow on Castle. The Boys posed with Okada, and Castle came back with his Bang-A-Rang finish. Okada rolled out of the ring.
Late, Castle ran the ropes but ate a drop kick. Okada tried for Rainmaker, but Castle ducked and tried to set up the Bang-A-Rang again. Okada countered with a tombstone then hit the Rainmaker for the win. Okada and Castle shook hands, then the Boys got in the ring and they all posed together. Nigel called it a lovely display.
I could have done without the Boys getting involved, but this was good overall. The last five minutes really picked up and the action got really good down the stretch. Castle can get something out of this as long as ROH pushes the concept that Castle took the IWGP Champion to the limits.
They set up the ROH TV Championship with a video package, focusing on comments from Bobby Fish who said he could relate to Mark being “little brother.” He talked about his own experience being in his brother’s shadow but he is now a man who stands on his own two feet and he s the king in the land of ROH.
Match #6 – Bobby Fish (c) vs. Mark Briscoe; ROH Television Championship
Winner: Bobby Fish to retain the ROH Television Championship
Quick Summary: Bobby Cruise gave them the in-ring introductions, then they shook hands. Mark got the first run of offense, hitting a nice neckbreaker on the apron. He stomped Fish then suplexed him on the apron, following with the Cactus Jack elbow. Mark sold a back injury off of that, then hit a suplex back in the ring and sold it again.
Fish used a leg whip and hit multiple kicks until Mark kicked back then hit a suplex. He hit a fisherman’s suplex for two, but Fish came back by dropping Briscoe on his knees. Briscoe tried a top rope elbow, but Fish got the knees up. Briscoe escaped a leg submission then hit Froggy Bow. The two fought on the ropes, and Fish sent Briscoe to the mat but Briscoe came back with a strike. Fish slipped between Briscoe’s legs and kicked his leg out from under him. Fish finished it with an exploder suplex and a sit out slam for the win. They shook hands afterward.
They never found second gear with this to really make it memorable, but it was a very solid championship match. They need to find Fish’s character though.
Daniels and Kazarian cut a promo about the tag championship match.
Match #7 – Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito and Evil vs. Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi; ROH Tag Team Championship, Triple Threat Rules
Winner: Daniels and Kazarian to retain the ROH Tag Team Championship
Quick Summary: Naito had the referee hold the ropes open and teased kicking him. Elgin didn’t get much reaction but Tanahashi did. Matt Taven sat in and said he knows about tag team wrestling, three ways and tag teams.
Naito and Tanahashi were set to start but Daniels tagged in before action got underway. Later on commentary, Taven mocked fans for cheering for Elgin, noting that they booed him til he went to Japan and won a title. Naito and Evil went at Daniels and Kaz, getting a pop from the fans as they cleared them.
Elgin went to work on Kazarian, and hit a double German on both tag champs. Taven made fun of him for tweeting about his own strength after the match is over. The champs teased a finish on Elgin but Tanahashi cut them off. Action fell to ringside, and Elgin hit a flip dive over the top which got a big reaction.
Elgin slammed Evil off the middle rope a bit later, then catapulted Tanahashi onto him. Kamaitachi came out and ran a distraction so Daniels could try a belt shot, but he hit Kaz instead. Evil got a great near fall out of a powerbomb, then Tanahashi came back with a slingblade and High Fly Flow. The official didn’t make a count because Daniels tagged in ever so softly on Tanahashi’s foot. Daniels rolled Evil’s leg up with Tanahashi still on him to score the win.
A fun finish to a really good match that I enjoyed. As much as the Daniels and Kazarian gimmick doesn’t seem to click in ROH, the entire match was well received by the live crowd and they were very into Elgin and the other Japanese stars.
They set up the main event with a video package.
Match #8 – Jay Lethal (c) vs. Adam Cole; ROH Championship
Winner: Adam Cole to win the ROH Championship
Quick Summary: Both men came out to the ring alone, and Lethal stared a hole through Cole during introductions. No handshake though the referee did request one. Lethal touched Cole’s hair, then Cole pulled out the braids he shaved off of Lethal from his trunks. The commentary team noted that the official might be looser with the rules than normal given this match.
Lethal attacked right away, then looked under the ring for something. Lethal pulled out a table but got caught with a kick. He and Cole traded shots on the floor, then Lethal hit a cutter. Kelly noted that Lethal might have hurt his back as he winced after the move. Lethal positioned Cole ont he table and tried an elbow drop but Cole moved out of the way. Lethal crashed and burned.
Cole followed with a chinlock, then Lethal mounted a comeback with five suicide dives. Lethal went for number six but Cole moved and Lethal ate the barrier. Cole smiled and clapped while Lethal was down, but Lethal sat up. Cole shoved him back down. Lethal got up again and they traded shots, then Cole came back with a shining wizard. Cole smiled then tuned up the band while Kelly said we have never seen Lethal fight like this. Lethal ducked the superkick and knocked Cole down.
Lethal wanted Lethal Injection, but Cole grabbed his trunks. Lethal fought away and set it up again but Cole pulled himself up on the referee and that allowed Cole to use a low blow. Cole covered but Lethal got his foot on the ropes. Cole locked in a guillotine a bit later. Kelly noted that Kyle O’Reilly made the move famous as Lethal escaped by hitting Lethal Combination.
Lethal came off the top and got a two out of an elbow drop. He threw a couple kicks, but Cole hit a superkick of his own. Cole tried a destroyer from the middle rope but Lethal countered with a cutter of his own. Lethal tried for Lethal Injection, but Cole hit a superkick and followed with a destroyer off the ropes. He hit his finish for a good near fall.
Cole jawed at Lethal then spit at him. Lethal ducked a superkick then hit Lethal Injection for another good near fall. Both men down now, and Cole flipped Lethal off. That got him going and he tried for a superkick. Cole ducked and rolled him up for two. Cole came back with a combination that he capped with a brainbuster to the knee to get the win.
The commentary team was shocked and Nigel held his arms up in disbelief. Cary Silkin presented Cole with the belt and Cole blew him a kiss. Kyle O’Reilly snuck up on Cole, and as he turned around O’Reilly blasted him with a clothesline and a suplex. He put a knee on Cole and held up the ROH Championship to close the show.
As I sort of predicted on Around the Ring last night, this was a very good main event with a surprising clean finish. Cole played into the heel antics so well, and Lethal played his part well too. It really helped that the weekly television show had built this match up so well – the story played out perfectly. The fans were hanging on the near falls as well.
Lethal had a great run as ROH Champion, and it was a matter of time until Cole regained the belt. This puts Cole in position to defend against Lethal in rematches, as well as O’Reilly down the road in the future as well as other babyface challengers. Lethal having turned now, it will be fun to watch him in chase mode as the babyface. All in all, well done.
As many reservations as I had about the build to this show, I have to say it was a great event. I highly recommend getting a replay if you missed it. The show was bolstered by solid action in every match and a crowd that was into the show from start to finish. I hope ROH learned from building the main event the way that they did though, so that they build the undercard just as well as they did the top programs. The TV Championship and ROH Championship were supported well by storyline, but nothing else was. But, because the talent work was high, it made this pay per view enjoyable from start to finish. Here’s to Hunter Johnston getting the hint and consistently booking good week to week television for all the programs that he sees for the next pay per view.
Thanks for following along tonight. Were you there? Want to give me feedback? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, we’re looking for correspondents for the television taping at Sam’s Town Live this weekend as well – so you can send spoilers to the same email address. See you tomorrow night for NXT Takeover: Back to Brooklyn!