Ring of Honor on Destination America 11/25/15 Review
1. Moose vs. A guy with the last name Carter
Silly flipping spear, match over. "What a way to kick off this hour of ROH television." Okay, Kevin Kelly. Elgin comes out after prompted by Stokely Hathaway. and gets in Moose's face. Moose says "we can do this right now". Never before has anybody who said that, actually done something right now. Truth Martini says a bunch of stuff I don't listen to. Any Truth Martini is too much, but it sets up this match...
2. Moose & Michael Elgin vs. Donovan Dijak & J. Diesel
And it's not bad! It's brisk, almost worked tornado style. Everybody except Moose looked good. Moose had these terrible standing headbutts to Diesel's shoulder, and Diesel looked like he had no idea what he was supposed to be selling. Elgin hit a fun somersault senton off the apron, Diesel took an absolutely disgusting spinning back chop to the face from Elgin (that one got a couple rewinds), Dijak takes a crazy Psicosis ropes bump off a lariat, Taeler Hendrix looked like a weird plastic monster, Dijak's 360 pump kick is goofy but resulted in Moose getting kicked in the neck (even though Moose doesn't get that whole selling thing at all). So yeah, this was good. Moose is not good.
3. Roderick Strong vs. Jay Lethal
Damn this was goooood. I strongly dislike most of this Jay Lethal touring heel champ run, as he has terrible offense for a main event heel, the worst finisher in wrestling, and just doesn't have the persona for the style he's trying to work. Strong I like, but wasn't expecting anything when I dislike 50% of the guys in a match. But the match kicked ass. It's probably, easily, the best match from the whole run of shows shown on Destination America. Strong beat Lethal's ass the whole match, tossing out big elbows and nasty chops, really working him over all around the ring. There was a minor blown spot that I think helped things, where Strong tried to pick Lethal up to drop him with a backbreaker he dropped him. BUT then he muscled him up hardway to redo the spot and planted Lethal over his knee. I'm not usually the biggest fan of immediately redoing spots, but it just made Strong look determined. Least favorite part of the match was Lethal hitting the Lethal Injection only to have Strong kickout. The kickout itself was really well done, nicely placed, made sense in the match, but Lethal made this impossibly goofy face afterwards to express "shock" and the camera just lingered on this awful face. He had half his lip tucked into his mouth and was doing these exaggerated stage breaths, like the community theatre cast of Godspell coming out for a minorly deserved curtain call. His horrible facial expression, with that weird tucked lip and heaving breath, looked like he was doing an impression of Oklahoma doing his impression of JR. I'm not sure what face he thought he was making, but it couldn't have possibly been that face. Lethal did keep going for his bad offense, his wimpy dives, his horrible finisher, but Strong just kept beating ass. His knees are a thing of beauty. He's got the timing down pat, and I've seen few better jumping knees. The finish run was great with Strong throwing every single thing at Lethal, one right after the other, and you knew it was building to something big, like when they shoot up tons of fireworks right at the end of 4th of July, all at once, with Lee Greenwood playing somewhere. Strong hits some big ass knees, a big gutbuster, his running kick, backbreaker, really just stacking up all his offense for one big blowoff. By the time he locked on the Stronghold Lethal tapped almost to just make it stop, which was the proper finish. Really really good match, not just because it exceeded expectations, but because it was legitimately good. And also, because that means less Lethal in big title matches, some distance for Strong and Lethal, and puts everybody in a better place.
If this was the last episode on DA (and I think it was) they at least went out on a nice high note.