MURPHY PREDICTS: PREVIEW & PREDICTIONS…ROH DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR XIV
By Don Murphy
The third weekend in August has quickly become the summer’s version of WrestleMania and this coming weekend, hardcore professional wrestling fans will be treated to no less than three major events, not including the usual weekly fare. So, you’ll be reading a lot from me over the next several days, as I help get you ready for the weekend.
We start with the fourteenth annual Death Before Dishonor Show, presented by Ring of Honor, this coming Friday night from Las Vegas, Nevada. The company has been criticized in the past for its painfully slow storyline builds and inability to establish clear-cut heels and babyfaces. But, over the past few weeks on ROH television, the company has done a nice job changing course from usual practices and, on paper, this show has the potential to be one of the better shows the company has presented this year. Let’s run down the card….
Main Event: Jay Lethal defends the ROH World Heavyweight Championship against Adam Cole
Analysis: Turning Lethal babyface over the past several weeks was the logical move, as he’s essentially defeated every credible babyface on the roster. When I first read that this match was going to take place, I was worried that the company wouldn’t do enough to put heat on Cole, as the Bullet Club has been wildly popular in the U.S. and overseas. But, the Club’s recent shaving of Lethal’s head, a throwback heelish tactic, gave this match the juice it needed to make it intriguing, with Lethal out for revenge and the opportunistic Cole looking to regain the championship. Both wrestlers can work, so I’m not worried about this being a great match. That being said, I don’t expect a clean finish, which I’m not usually a fan of for pay-per-view championship matches. But, if this match is built the right way and Cole underhandedly snatches the title while keeping his heat, the table will be set for fresh new set of title defenses, with the cowardly heel being chased by the babyface roster.
Murphy Predicts: Adam Cole wins the ROH World Heavyweight Championship, due to Bullet Club interference
ROH World Television Title Match: Bobby Fish defends the title against Mark Briscoe
Analysis: On the one hand, the company has done a nice job making the TV title seem important, while transforming Fish into a cocky heel. This should be a good match, though they haven’t done enough over the past couple of years to make Mark credible as a singles competitor. So, the outcome should be pretty straightforward, with Fish retaining. It will be interesting to see if this is building to the official split of Red Dragon, as a match between Kyle O’Reilly and Fish would likely be incredible. As for Mark, his only options at this stage would be to focus on tag team matches with Jay, or perhaps have one of the Briscoes turn heel and set out on a different path,
Murphy Predicts: Bobby Fish retains the ROH World Television Title
Triple Threat Match for the ROH World Tag Team Championship: The Addiction (Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels) defend the titles against Tetsuya Naito/Evil and Michael Elgin/Hiroshi Tanahashi
Analysis: I’m not a fan of three-way title matches, as to me, it represents lazy booking and a quick way to get as many wrestlers on the card as they can. However, since ROH hasn’t done a great job building credible title contenders, they’re not left with many options here. In addition, the usual formula, when stars from New Japan Pro Wrestling appear on ROH shows, is to have most of them go over, which of course, doesn’t help the ROH talent. However, in this case, I see the Addiction holding on the titles, since they won the titles fairly recently and as I noted, there really are no credible title contenders. As Naito is a top NJPW act, I don’t expect his team to take the fall. That will be the likely duty of either Elgin or Tanahashi.
Murphy Predicts: The Addiction retains the ROH World Tag Team Championship
Non-Title Match: IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada takes on Dalton Castle
Analysis: Castle is one of the most over acts in the company and coming off of a loss to Bobby Fish, a win here would be nice to put him back on track. However, as noted, NJPW tends to take the majority of the matches. There’s a remote chance Castle gets the win to earn a title match, but I don’t see that happening, given NJPW’s history with ROH.
Murphy Predicts: Kazuchika Okada defeats Dalton Castle
Singles Match: Silas Young meets Kaysuyori Shibata
Analysis: If you like stiff shots and snug workers, this is your match. I’m a big fan of Young’s act and his no-nonsense style should match well with Shibata’s “ground and pound presentation. It will be interesting to see how the crowd takes to him, but expect a lot of stiff shots and submission holds in this one.
Murphy Predicts: Kaysuyori Shibata defeats Silas Young
Six-Man Tag Team Match: Chaos (Rocky Romero/Trent Beretta/Toru Yano) meets The Bullet Club (Yujiro/Tama Tonga/Tanga Loa)
Analysis: This should be an interesting match. As I mentioned, the ROH tag team division is fairly stagnant, so solid outings by either the Bullet Club or Romero/Berretta may give us a clue as to who may be in the tag title picture going forward. Yano and Yujiro are placed here in an effort to get more NJPW stars on the card.
Murphy Predicts: Chaos defeats The Bullet Club
Singles Match: Jay Briscoe meets Hangman Page
Analysis: I’m not expecting much out of this match. It should be a solid effort, but it seems that they still can’t figure out what to do with Page. It looked like they were planning a semi-push when they broke him away from BJ Whitmer, but he’s basically now playing the same role in the Bullet Club. As for Jay, he hasn’t been able to settle in to a credible storyline since dropping the ROH World Title to Jay Lethal. This match will likely take place as a buffer between one of the main events to give the fans a chance to take a breath.
Murphy Predicts: Jay Briscoe defeats Hangman Page
Four Corners Survival Match – The Winner is the Number One Contender for the ROH World Television Champion – Featuring: Lio Rush, Jay White, Donovan Dijak and Kamaitachi
Analysis: This will likely be the typical spotfest that opens the show. All four competitors will give us a good effort, but in the end, as they’ve been slowly building and establishing White as the competitor with the most potential, I expect him to win this one and eventually challenge Fish. Pay attention to Dijak and Rush in this match as well. Both of them are past “Top Prospect” winners and neither have been given a real direction since winning. Perhaps we’ll get some clues as to where they’re headed after this match.
Murphy Predicts: Jay White becomes the Number One Contender for the ROH World Television Title
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