Hey there Cagesiders! This week's Ring of Honor episode comes to us from Nashville, Tennessee with a huge main event featuring Punishment Martinez getting the first crack at knocking Dalton Castle off of the mountain top. Let's get it on!
The show opens with a decent Dalton Castle promo, backed by his trusty Boys. Dalton claims he is always ready and never one to be surprised. Being attacked by Punishment Martinez? Not a surprise and, in fact, doesn't blame him. He would do the same thing if he were in Punishment's shoes, but Dalton is here to protect what he's earned. I liked his promo here, but it seemed a little generic compared to what The Party Peacock has been able to say in the past.
Beer City Bruiser and "Kingpin" Brian Milonas with Silas Young vs Coast 2 Coast
Prior to the match, we get a reminder of how The Bruiser and Kingpin hooked up as a team as both men ganged up on Kenny King. We also get a reminder of Coast 2 Coast getting an impressive victory over War Machine before Hanson and Rowe head off to NXT. Bruiser and Kingpin jump all over Ali and LSG right at the bell and the two big men go to work on LSG, isolating him in their corner. LSG manages to escape to get the hot tag to Ali who uses his speed to outmaneuver the big men as Bruiser accidentally hits Kingpin.
C2C with a Russian Leg Sweep/Flat liner on Bruiser!
As Ali stands in the corner to set up the Bruiser, Young grabs Ali by the leg holding him in place long enough for Kingpin to hit a splash. Young pulls Ali out of the ring and starts beating him while the ref is distracted, but here comes Kenny King to even the odds and attack Young! The brawl goes into the ring and now all 6 men are fighting until the ref throws out the match and C2C is standing tall with King in the ring.
When we return from commercial break, this is now a 6 man tag match and the match is restarted. The match quickly turns into a high flying spectacle with King doing a tornado cross body over the top rope to Kingpin, Bruiser hitting King with a cannonball from the apron, then Ali with cannonball over the top rope. Young is next with a second rope springboard clothesline on LSG in the ring, flips over the top rope onto the apron, boots King, then hits Ali with a Side Effect onto the apron. Young then slingshots into the ring to double stomp Ali. Young eats a boot from LSG and gets tossed to the outside. Bruiser and Kingpin have since climbed back into the ring with LSG and take the advantage by hitting LSG with a boot/sidewalk slam combination. Young back in the ring with LSG as they trade shots. LSG tags Ali who his a leaping Flat liner on Young. Ali tags in King who hits a spinning heel kick on Young. King is hit by a cheap shot from Bruiser and the 3 men climb in to triple team King with a knee strike and then a belly to belly smoosh and a back to back smoosh. As Bruiser and Kingpin turn there attention to C2C, C2C low bridges the two big men out of the ring leaving Young all alone. King hits the Royal Flush on Young and goes for the pin!
Kenny King and Coast 2 Coast win via pin fall.
Pretty good match with a lot of high flying you expect to see in Ring of Honor. Kingpin still seems a little green, but that could be due to his huge frame. They managed to hide it well while giving C2C a push and setting up a Young/King rematch for the TV Title
After the match, we get a promo from The Dawgs claiming they will be the ones to send Coast 2 Coast packing and out of Ring of Honor.
The "Exotic Goddess" Mandy Leon vs. Madison Rayne in a first round match for the Women of Honor Tournament to crown the first Woman's Champion, with Deonna Purrazzo on commentary.
First, we get a video package to introduce us to Leon and Rayne. The match begins with a couple of lockups and clean breaks in the corner followed by the two women trading side headlocks, arm drags, and pinning combinations. As we come back from commercial, the women are trading forearm shots and headbutts until Leon hits Rayne with a Flat liner into a Koji Clutch! Rope break and Rayne heads for the outside. But Leon follows with a cannonball from the top rope, then throws Rayne back into the ring. Leon hits Rayne with a pump handle flip slam and gets the pin.
The Exotic Goddess Mandy Leon wins by pin with The Astral Projection.
Good match with a lot of classic technical moves and some newer moves sprinkled in. Some of the striking looked a little off, but a great effort by both women.
Before going to commercial, we get a look backstage from last week after "The American Nightmare" Cody was defeated by Matt Taven. Cody finds The Young Bucks and he is not happy about being left to be attacked by The Kingdom following his match. Cody wants to know where The Bucks were. Were they coming from Winnipeg from a Kenny Omega thing? The Bucks tell him they just got there after a late flight and had no idea what was happening.
Cody tells them everyone benefits if Bullet Club breaks up and that he needs everyone in Bullet Club to do better.....especially The Young Bucks.
We also get a promo from The Briscoes. They only care about statements and getting their property back. Specifically the Ring of Honor Tag Titles. This is personal against everyone including The Motor City Machine Guns and they are the baddest team on the planet.
Punishment Martinez vs. Dalton Castle for the Ring of Honor Heavyweight Championship.
"The Villain" Marty Scurll on commentary. Villain brushes past questions about the issues within Bullet Club and claims the real story is his pursuit of the Ring of Honor Title.
This will be the first title defense for The Party Peacock and what a challenger to defend against. Punishment has the obvious size and strength advantage so Dalton uses his speed and strikes to gain the advantage, eventually low bridging Punishment to the outside and following with a tope suicida. Dalton keeps striking, uses the rail, and the post to maintain the advantage. After the commercial break, Punishment works Dalton into the corner, Dalton sits on the top turnbuckle, and Punishment nails Dalton with a spinning kick, knocking Dalton to the outside.
Punishment follows him outside and hits Dalton with a Last Ride Power Bomb onto the apron!
Both men back into the ring, and Punishment slams Dalton to mat followed by a springboard, corkscrew senton splash. Dalton escapes to the outside again and gets thrown into the rail for his troubles. Back from another commercial and Dalton back on the attack. Following a hurricanrana on the outside, Dalton gets Punishment in a waist lock and pulls off a German Suplex with a bridge. Dalton dodges some strike attempts and more throws, but Punishment with a big clothesline, followed by a Falcon Arrow. Punishment then catches Dalton with a big boot into stomp and Dalton to the outside. But Punishment chases him out with a tope suicida over the top rope! Dalton rolled back in and gets hit with a spinning heel kick from off the top! Punishment gets Dalton into a Torture Rack to set up a Psycho Driver, but Dalton rolls him up!
Dalton Castle wins by pin fall and retains the Ring of Honor Heavyweight Championship.
Following the match, Punishment takes out his frustration by delivering a Choke slam to Boy 1 onto the apron, then a Last Ride Power Bomb to Boy 2 onto Boy 1. I really enjoyed the main event as Dalton had to use his speed and his smarts to get the upper hand to defeat a beast like Punishment.
3 Out of 5 for the show.
Overall an entertaining show with two decent matches to start and a good main event. It was fun to see the Bullet Club story line being played out a little more and the obvious tension pushing towards its conclusion, but that's what keeps a lot of people tuning in I'm sure.
Until next week, Cagesiders - If you're not cheating, you're not trying!