Ring of Honor episode #399 featured an epic main event of Bandido taking on Shane Taylor. Though it is a non-title match, Taylor comes fresh from victory winning the Television championship during the War of the Worlds show in Toronto, with much to prove.
Shinobi Shadow Squad (Cheeseburger & Ryan Nova) vs Coast 2 Coast (LSG & Shaheem Ali) vs The Bouncers (Beer City Bruiser & Brawler Milonas)
Starting off the show, the Shinobi Shadow Squad took on Coast 2 Coast and The Bouncers in a three-team tag match.
The first match in the Ring of Honor tapings was up next. The match started with lockups between LSG and Nova. The two went at it with some lightning speed chain wrestling before Nova caught him in a neck breaker out of nowhere. Cheeseburger came in to help out with some double team maneuvers.
Ali attempted to come into the aid of his partner, but missed both opponents, launching himself into the Bouncers standing on the ring apron.
Both Bouncers came in and went to work on both teams, as they took turns crushing them in each corner of the ring where each competitor stood.
Coast 2 Coast regained their stamina, knocking the Bouncers to the outside. Shadow Squad both launched themselves to the outside with dual flying cross bodies but were both caught by the giants. The two Bouncers ran at each other, smashing the two bodies of Cheeseburger and Nova into each other.
But the advantage by the Bouncers was short lived as Ali and LSG went flying to the outside onto all four of them. Back in the ring, Cheeseburger was being worked on by Coast 2 Coast, as the team took turns tagging one another in.
Cheeseburger ducked a flying kick and jumped towards Brawler, tagging him in. After some back and forth action, Milonas took out Ali with a back senton, followed by a sidewalk slam, while Bruiser knocked Nova to the outside.
Ali attempted to body slam Bruiser, but his weight was too much, and he fell backward being crushed by the big man. Immediately after, Brawler flipped LSG off the top ropes on top of Ali who was laying down on the mat.
Nova tagged himself into the ring by touching Ali’s shoulders. Cheeseburger and Nova used some teamwork against Bruiser, while Coast 2 Coast was still recovering outside the ring.
Cheeseburger barely avoided an offensive by Brawler, and instead sprung himself to the top rope and seamlessly flew to the outside onto Coast 2 Coast. This left his partner in the ring alone with both Bouncers.
Nova was no match against both Bouncers, as they finally took him out with their finisher – a bear hug and a simultaneous leg drop off the turnbuckle to the mid-torso by Brawler. The Bouncers picked up the win via pinfall.
Winner: The Bouncers
Kenny King Speaks
Kenny King came out to the ring. He appeared to be blind, as he endured Great Muta’s red mist a few weeks earlier, which was spit in his face following King’s unclean win of the Honor Rumble at the G1 Supercard. King was walking to the ring with a cane, assisted by Amy Rose.
He said he would like the audience to address him by his new name Kenny “Shawn Michaels” King, ridiculously comparing his win of the Honor Rumble to Michael’s historical Royal Rumble win in the 1990s as his career rose to stardom. He went on to dramatize the electricity between the living legends of Jushin Liger and Great Muta, the seemingly final contestants in the rumble, as it appeared they were going head to head at the end of it. But he reminded the audience how the spectacle truly ended, with Kenny King coming in out of nowhere after having sat on the sidelines for most of the Rumble, as he proceeded to throw these two Japanese legends over the top ropes to win the Rumble.
Kenny King told unconvincingly the audience that it was he who offered to shake the Great Muta’s hand in a show of respect but was met back with the mist. King then addressed Matt Taven, stating that they were two Kings with great respect for each other. He said sooner or later the two would have to sit down and discuss the terms for Taven’s surrender to King, but that Taven should go on and be a dominant force until that day.
For the time being, King said that Taven is not his current target. King then lashed out at Jay Lethal. He challenged Jay Lethal to a future matchup and promised that he would make him bend the knee to him.
Flex Simmons vs Josh “The Goods” Woods
The second to final match on the Ring of Honor tapings was up ahead. Flex Simmons made his ROH debut, taking on Josh Woods. The two shook hands and Woods immediately surprised Simmons with a harsh spear as soon as the bell rang. Woods threw Simmons on his belly, followed with an exploder suplex then lifted him for his finisher, a seismic toss, pummeling him to the mat. Woods scored the victory in under a minute via pinfall.
Winner: Josh Woods
In an interview following the match, Josh Woods was interviewed backstage. Josh Woods was asked what he has been up to lately, as he has not been seen in Ring of Honor for a while. He said it is of little concern about what he has been up to, but what matters most is what he has just done and what he has continued to do his entire career. He concluded by saying he has always been “down to fight.”
Shane Taylor vs. Bandido – Non-Title Match
The final match of the Ring of Honor tapings involved the television championship. The Television Champion, Shane Taylor, slapped down Bandido’s attempted handshake, and chain wrestling was underway quickly, skipping the usual starting-match lock-ups. Bandido used his speed, smaller size, and aerial abilities to avoid attempts at power moves and grabs by Taylor, and caught the giant in the jaw with a crescent kick.
Bandido surprisingly showed strong domination at the start of the match as he continued to be a step ahead of Taylor every moment. He kicked Taylor to the outside and nailed him with a spear through the ropes, followed with another flip over the top ropes.
Taylor was dazed, but quickly rebounded and knocked Bandido down with a single chop to the chest. The two went at it in a chopping contest, which the less powerful Bandido had little chance of gaining anything from it.
Bandido attempted to pick Taylor up, but he was too much weight. Taylor responded back with an earth-shattering chokeslam to the mat.
Taylor went to work throwing Bandido around the ring while going at it with a slower pace that was more fit for his size and conditioning.
Taylor crushed Bandido in the corner, running into him, then worked down his morale by stepping on his head, compressing his skull. Bandido attempted to fight back but was nailed with clothesline strong enough to cause whiplash.
Bandido attempted a maneuver off the turnbuckle and Taylor caught him in the jaw with a knockout punch that could be heard across the arena. Bandido managed to kick out and a look of shock transpired across Taylor’s face.
Bandido again attempted to lift Taylor, but again it was too much weight. So he attempted to kick Taylor in the mid-section but was caught and pushed backward. As Bandido rolled back onto his knees, Taylor launched himself at Bandido delivering a skull-shattering knee strike to his jaw. Again, Bandido kicked out.
Taylor began to work Bandido’s morale and confidence down with some half-hearted slaps to the face and smack talking, seemingly mocking him. Bandido shot back with a set of hard slaps, with an impact so stiff one could see the sweat fly off Taylor’s cheeks.
Taylor attempted a retaliatory slap a couple of times, but Bandido responded with some kicking combinations. When Taylor knocked Bandido down with a clothesline out of nowhere, Bandido got right back up in a state of fury as fight or flight mode kicked in.
With estrogen and testosterone pumping through Bandido’s veins, he nailed Taylor with a set of quick slaps, kicks and then got dropped back down with a second chokeslam by Taylor using the last of the moment’s energy reserves.
The two competitors slowly climbed to their feet. The two traded blows to the noggin, and Bandido slapped himself in the face a couple of times to try and think clearly and stifle himself to pick back up the pace. But Bandido was met with a head butt that throttled his brains.
Taylor followed with a flatliner, and just when everyone thought the match was over, Bandido kicked out at the last moment. The crowd went berserk, chanting, “Bandido.” Taylor began to look worried.
Bandido again scored a couple of kicks on Taylor but was cut short when Taylor clobbered him in the jaw as he attempted a springboard to the top rope. Taylor hit Bandido with a face crusher, and again he kicked out.
Moments later, Bandido caught Taylor with a flip off the top rope and the fury built up in him again. The third time proved to be a charm, as Bandido picked Taylor up on his shoulders in a fireman’s carry.
His legs were shaking trying to hold up Taylor’s weight on his shoulders. He dropped Taylor down, bashing him in the face with his knee. As a dazed Taylor attempted to hold himself up on the second rope, Bandido hit his signature 21 Plex and nailed it, pinning Taylor in a huge upset victory.
Bully Ray launched himself into the ring out of nowhere and attempted to grab Bandido. But Bandido was too quick and did a backflip off the turnbuckle over Bully Ray. Suddenly, Lifeblood members, Traci and Haskins came to the ring to back their partner up.
Suddenly, Bully Ray found himself outnumbered by the three Lifeblood members. But out of nowhere, the Soldiers of Savagery debuted out of nowhere and jumped Lifeblood from behind. They proceeded to destroy Lifeblood with a series of devastating maneuvers which left their bodies strewn out across the ring. They clearly demonstrated themselves to be a new power to be reckoned with during this startling debut.
Bully Ray and Shane Taylor both asked each other who ordered them to come to the ring and where they came from. It seemed that neither knew. But obviously, neither one were disappointed with the circumstances, as the show ended.
Check back in next week for the next edition of the Reflection of Honor with Micah Shapiro for our weekly Ring of Honor review. To read past editions of Reflection of Honor reviews of Ring of Honor television click here.