While we’re still getting used to WWE’s new bi-weekly (most months) pay-per-view (PPV) schedule, don’t forget there are other companies out here hustling for your entertainment dollar.
Sunday, Oct. 2 brings TNA’s Bound for Glory - and with it all the ex-WWE stars you can shake a stick at. But that’s not the only televised show looking to fill the rare Raw and SmackDown-free spot on the pro wrestling calendar. Ring of Honor (ROH) starts the weekend of with All-Star Extravaganza VIII on Friday.
The venerable indie has been taken to task for charging $35-plus in the age of $9.99, but does counter with an opportunity to not only see their stars like the Briscoes and Adam Cole, but also New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW)’s biggest names.
What are they offering up for Sept. 30 in Lowell, Mass?
- Young Bucks vs. Addiction (c) vs. Motor City Machine Guns (Ladder War 6 for the ROH World Tag Team championship)
This is front & center on the poster and listed first on ROH.com, and these are three of the biggest tag teams to have existed outside of WWE in the present era, so it’s fitting. They also don’t trot out the “Ladder War” stip for just anything - it’s usually involved either Jay & Mark Briscoe, or some guys called Kevin Steen and El Generico...
- Adam Cole (c) vs. Michael Elgin (ROH World title)
This feud goes back to well before Elgin had his #BigMike career re-birth in New Japan, as Cole shaved his mullet as part of a 2014 program that saw him end the Panama City native’s first run as ROH champ. Elgin will now try to end the recent Bullet Club addition’s second go just as it’s getting started.
- Donovan Dijak vs. Bobby Fish (c) (ROH Television championship)
The 6’ 7” Dijak is a guy ROH should probably push before he pulls a Cedric Alexander, but the veteran Fish’s title win was a long-time coming, and he’s been making the most of it with good matches against everyone from Dalton Castle to Katsuyori Shibata.
- Tetsuya Naito vs. Jay Lethal
At one point, it looked like Lethal might join Naito’s stable. Now he’s set to face the massively popular New Japan star, who’s bring fellow Los Ignoberables member EVIL with him.
- Dragon Lee vs. Kamaitachi
NJPW isn’t the only global fed ROH is working with these days. These two put on a series of matches in Mexico’s CMLL that had the wrestling internet buzzing last year, and now U.S. audiences will get a front row seat where they can decide for themselves what all the excitement was about.
- Hangman Page vs. Kyle O'Reily
Seems pretty clear head booker Delirious wants KOR and Cole as his top program for Final Battle- traditionally ROH’s WrestleMania. Having the current champ’s ex-tag partner work the guy he joined Bullet Club with sets the stage for that.
- Jay White, KUSHIDA & ACH vs. Toru Yano & the Briscoes (1st round match in the 6-man tag title tournament)
Yep, ROH is getting in on the Trios championship game all the kids like these days, and this match should have crazy spots and lots of laughes, because - I mean - look at the dudes who are in it?
- All-Night Express vs. Shane Taylor & Keith Lee vs. Dalton Castle & Colt Cabana vs. War Machine (4 Corner Tag Survival for a ROH Tag title shot)
The good news is, hopefully this won’t mean a separate 20 minute “Cabinet” promo. The bad news is, ROH really isn’t going to push the Party Peacock, are they?
That’s the card so far. Silas Young is also listed as appearing, and with that and these eight matches, this could be the final offering.