Ring of Honor Wrestling
BOUND BY HONOR 2019
Nick Aldis & Caprice Coleman on commentary. Aldis is a bit rough around the edges out of the gate on commentary… and also… why?
RHETT TITUS vs JAY BRISCOE
Titus takes the mic and tells Jay to calm down. He says Jay is ROH’s resident badass, but he sees Jay as a fat ass. Jay fires up, Titus says he respects Jay, but runs down Jay’s physique. Scattered “Jay’s Gonna Kill You” chants. Titus says he’s gonna help Jay, because Jay is going to be the first member of the Flex Express. Caprice and Aldis do a subtle reference to the “Lex Express” from the WWF days as Titus looks to oil down, but Jay jumps him and we have the bell. Jay takes Titus outside and lays into him at ringside, whipping him hard into the barricade.
Titus back inside as Jay stays on him and stomps the mudhole. Titus mounts a comeback and lands a great dropkick, covers Jay but only gets 2. Running frog splash and a cover by Titus but only 2. Chops by Titus light up Jay, suplex is reversed by Jay who gets dumped outside and Titus hits a tope con hilo, rolls Jay back in and gets a jumping bulldog for a series of 2 counts. Jay fires back and gets a stiff neckbreaker, nice crowd response and levels Titus with a lariat. Jay Driller lands hard, cover by Jay and thats the WIN.
Jay Briscoe defeats Rhett Titus by pinfall after the Jay Driller
JAY’S RATING: 2.25 out of 5
For a fairly short outing, this had good fire behind it, and Titus might have finally found a gimmick he can ride for a while because his pose down thing feels so natural to him but he’s also embracing the humor, which he’s always been good at, while showing the most in-ring fire I’ve seen from him over the past couple of years. He looks hungry, and he made the most of a short match to push Jay and really make it seem like he could steal the win. If Titus keeps harnessing this aggressive competitiveness and hunger to win, 2019 could be a nice year for him.
SHINOBI SHADOW SQUAD vs DALTON CASTLE & THE BOYS
Code of Honor is adhered to. I have no idea what’s going on here as they seem to be comparing quads… ok. Castle and Nova start us off. They looks to grapple after the bell, with Castle showing the mat experience edge. Nova fires back with a series of forearms, but Castle almost calmly is able to take the advantage back with a submission. Coleman comments on Castle’s smoothness before Castle just amateur throws Nova and gets a gutwrench. Nova keeps some quick reversals coming and tags in Isom and we get a standoff.
Looks like they cover a miscommunication a bit with Castle “playing head games” before getting a hip toss on Isom and grounding him. Tackle by Castle floors Isom but Isom lands a jumping knee, Castle answers back with a release suplex and tags in Boy 2, stays on Isom, quick tag to Boy 1and the Boys get a great double team dropkick sequence, covers but only gets 1. Burger gets a blind tag and gets a bulldog on Boy 1, cover but only 1. Tag to Nova, double kicks take down Boy 1, cover but only 2.
Burger back in, double team sequence sets up a tag and frog splash from Isom, covers but only 2. Boy 2 comes in and pulls the switcheroo with Boy 1, Burger tags back in and stays on Boy 2 but Boy 2 gets a surprise rollup for 2, then lands an enziguri and tags Castle back in. Gutwrench throw plants Burger. Standing splash from Castle, cover but only 2. Interesting drop from Castle, tag to Boy 1 who stays on Burger, tag to Boy 2 who keeps on him and works over the knee. KneeDT and a cover gets Boy 2 a 2, then tags Castle back in who lands a side legsweep.
Burger fires back but gets thrown by Castle with a suplex, tag to Boy 1 who Castle tosses onto Burger, tag to Boy 2 who gets a leapfrog double stomp for a 2 count. Boys look for the double team but Burger escapes and tags in Isom who comes in hot. GREAT pop-up Air Raid Crash on a Boy, Castle gets dumped and Isom tosses Boy 1 over his head. Isom misses a corner splash as Castle tags back in and lands a big boot. Isom blocks a suplex as Boy 2 tags himself in and hits a dropkick, but Castle is upset about the blind tag and demands a tag back in… HMM… Castle back in, hits a big knee but gets rocked by Nova and Isom is able to land his brainbuster! Cover by Isom, and thats the 3 count and a HUGE UPSET WIN!
Shinobi Shadow Squad defeats Dalton Castle & The Boys by pinfall after the brainbuster
JAY’S RATING: 2.75 out of 5
The ending of this match is what pushed it past the halfway point for me. It was a solid match overall, not taking it away from anyone here. The work was good. It just also was not necessarily memorable. And then we get more tension from Dalton toward the Boys… and then Isom pins another former world champion… and now I’m more interested. I think a Dalton heel turn could be FANTASTIC for him right now, and having him break slowly with the Boys is exactly how to do it. And Isom continues to show that he is a next generation superstar here, and why they can trust him going over someone like Dalton Castle. Keep watching this dude.
COLT CABANA vs ZACK SABRE, JR.
The commentary team puts over how Cabana asked for this match as a technical competition. ZSJ refuses the Code of Honor after the bell. They tease locking up with Cabana showing the comedy mind games aa bit early. We get a stalemate as each of them plays a bit of chess before ZSJ gets put into the corner. Cabana gets a nice sequence with the arm to put ZSJ and flaunts around the ring in victory. Chants for Cabana. Cabana goes back to the arm and is able to ground ZSJ who kips up and breaks out. ZSJ gets a hammerlock, Cabana trips ZSJ up and looks to keep the technical advantage and get in ZSJ’s head.
Cabana gets a body scissors but ZSJ gets a great reversal into a butterfly to take control and shove Cabana hard into the mat. Cabana escapes and gets a rollup for 1 but they are in the ropes, and tensions are starting to flare. ZSJ gets the mount on Cabana and gets a nice arm trap cover for 2 but Cabana gets a shot to the head to escape. Very start and stop match so far, but also locked in. ZSJ snatches the arm but Cabana reverses. ZSJ with a nice escape and another stopping point. Cabana snatches ZSJ and lifts him, just balancing him on his feet for a fun spot before locking ZSJ in a body scissors and keeping ZSJ grounded, and ZSJ is getting pissed.
Cabana is able to keep the arm again, ZSJ is unable to make a comeback until he finally snatches a Euro that wakes Cabana up. Another short Euro follows, and another. Strikes to Cabana but Cabana answers back with a HARD double open chop to the chest and ZSJ drops. Nice pop. ZSJ looks for a rollup, they trade rollups and 2 counts, nice exchange and Cabana is able to lock in a high angle Billy Goats Curse! ZSJ escapes into a rollup for 2, Cabana turns it into his own rollup for 2 and ZSJ fires back with more Euros. ZSJ runs in but Cabana lands an elbow shot and covers, but only gets 2.
Colt chants. Cabana looks for a bomb but ZSJ gets a wristlock, Cabana escapes but ZSJ gets a running Euro in the corner and a PK, covers but only gets 2. ZSJ works over the arm and gets some kicks in to the chest, but Cabana gets a sharp jab to the face, lays in jabs, looks for Flip Flop and Fly but ZSJ looks for a triangle. Cabana hoists ZSJ but ZSJ pulls it back and locks in a double wrist lock while keeping Cabana trapped in a triangle-like hold and Cabana has no choice to but tap and give ZSJ the WIN.
Zack Sabre, Jr. defeats Colt Cabana by submission with a wristlock triangle submission
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5
Some will probably find this slow, but I just LOVE this kind of match, so I’m rating based on taste in a big way and I totally own that. If you love ZSJ and Cabana in general, this is a nice outing with a decent story of Cabana going hold for hold with ZSJ throughout, and ZSJ having to go to striking in order to gain the advantage (and even then Cabana still gave a hell of a fight). I think with more time these 2 could put on a really exciting clinic. But for its place on the card, this was fun, and ZSJ going over and keeping his momentum on the rise was the right call. Well done.
Four Corners Survival
SILAS YOUNG vs WILLIE MACK vs KENNY KING vs MARTY SCURLL
We get the bell, Silas heads outside and Marty and Willie begin by teaming up on Kenny, with Marty holding Kenny so Willie can get a DOUBLE NIPPLE-TWIST! Willie with a great dropkick to put Kenny outside and Silas comes back in and gets into a strike exchange with Marty. Hip toss by Marty sets up Silas for a Willie leg drop, Silas heads outside and now Marty and Willie square off. Marty not playing dirty there. Interesting. Lock up, they hit the ropes and Willie gets an arm drag, Marty gets an evasion but King pulls him outside and Silas pulls Willie out sending him into the barricade.
King and Silas inside now, they trade shots and drop each other with double clotheslines until Silas gets the backbreaker, looks for the lariat but Kenny gets out and lands Eddie Gordo, they stun each other with boots and Marty and Willie are able to take advantage. Shining Wizard by Willie and apron superkick by Marty drop Silas and Kenny, but Willie then picks Marty up into a spinning scoop slam and looks to climb. Silas back in to cut off Willie, Kenny interrupts and drops Silas with a back suplex and hits Shoryuken on Willie to sit him on the corner. Kenny looks for a superplex but Marty shoves Kenny off.
Marty does a heavyweight pose and looks for the superplex but Willie counters and drops Marty off the top rope and Willie hits a HUGE flying crossbody on all 3 opponents, sending all of them to ringside! Willie runs the ropes and hits a great tope con hilo and takes everyone out. Marty sent back in and Willie floors him with a HARD lariat. One for Kenny as well, pump kick to Silas. Willie gets the inverted cannonball on Kenny and Marty but Silas snatches the spinning backbreaker/lariat combo.
Marty comes back but Silas drops him on the apron, Kenny looks for a move but Silas gets a knee and Anarchist Suplex on Kenny. Silas catches Marty and looks for a Plunge but Willie superkicks Silas while he is upside down. Kenny takes out Willie with a kick but Marty gets a kneeling enziguri on Kenny. Kenny drops Marty with a lariat, Silas back in but Kenny lands a great spinebuster, cover but Willie breaks it at 2. Kenny climbs and gets a blockbuster off the top rope, covers but Silas breaks it at 2. Kenny looks for a dive outside but misses, Marty in with Silas and gets a nice backstabber out of the corner, bombs Kenny, slingshots Kenny into a Willie elbow and holds Kenny across the knees for a Willie senton. Nice pop.
Willie and Marty trade chops, “heavyweight” chants for Marty. Marty with a series, Willie fires back STIFF but Marty hits a great rolling elbow. Willie answers back hard. Just Kidding from Marty connects and he goes for Willie’s fingers, but gets cut off by Silas and Kenny who then take out Willie. Silas looks for a Plunge on Kenny but eats knees and Marty gets a big half nelson suplex right on Silas’ head! Marty picks him up and locks in the Chickenwing, Silas taps but Kenny distracts the ref with a chair, the ref dumps the chair as Kenny gets a low blow on Marty and rolls him up, the ref turns around to count the 3 and Kenny gets the WIN.
Kenny King defeats Marty Scurll, Silas Young & Willie Mack by pinfall after a low blow
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
I’m torn a bit on this match, as the finish felt a bit anti-climactic to me in spite of it being on brand for King’s recent trajectory, and I’m not unhappy with him getting a win here. Marty is solid, you dont have to worry about Marty right now, and Silas will always be reliable, so in terms of future main event investment King going over feels really right on here. And everyone looked great. While Mack had no chance of winning he showed why he should and can carry a platform in ROH if he wants, with his in-ring charisma and work just OFF THE HOOK as always. Really strong work all around, just wish the finish had just been more…. I dont know… creative?
Ring of Honor World Television Championship
ROCKY ROMERO vs JEFF COBB (c)
We see Cobb’s size advantage right away, and we get the Code of Honor and the bell. Lockup and we see the strength advantage too as Cobb easily moves Rocky into the corner. Rocky applauds. Rocky locks up again and looks for the power, but Cobb puts him all the way to sitting on top in the corner just by pushing him up there. Go behind by Rocky but Cobb doesnt move, Romero tries to use some quickness and looks for a headlock, Cobb catches him but Rocky flips out and lands a forearm series. Cobb pushes him off and runs him over with a tackle and stops the momentum right there.
Rocky looks for strikes, Cobb eats them but then Rocky goes for the eye. Rocky keeps the speed game up and is able to get Cobb onto the apron, gets Cobb down to ringside and looks for a dive but Cobb catches him, drives a knee in and looks to throw him into the post but Rocky gets out and hits the running knee off of the apron. Cobb back inside and Rocky almost whiffs a springboard dropkick and barely connects to the knee, then follows with a basement dropkick for a 2 count and then locks in the cross armbar. Cobb uses his power to lift Rocky up to counter, Rocky looks for a sunset flip but Cobb powers Rocky up, then counters a Rocky rana and hits a Stampede. Cover by Cobb but only 2.
Headbutt by Cobb, he whips Rocky across and Rocky hits the corner hard. Covers by Cobb but Rocky is out at 2. Rocky fires back but gets caught in a bearhug, keeps on him as Rocky tries to fire back. Big chop from Cobb puts Rocky down hard in the corner. Another headbutt lands hard, followed by a Euro to the back of the neck, cover but still only 2. Spinning body slam is followed by a standing moonsault by Cobb, nice pop, cover but only 2. Rocky fires back again, Cobb cuts him off but eats the middle turnbuckle from a Rocky trip and Rocky is able to snatch a tornado DDT out of the corner to halt the momentum for a moment.
Rocky winds up a Forever Clothesline and hits one in the corner but then gets caught, counters with a knee and lands a few more clotheslines and a spinning Sliced Bread, covers but only gets 2. Cobb gets draped over the middle rope and Rocky looks for another springboard dropkick, almost whiffs it again and barely salvages it for a connection and a 2 count. Sliced Bread gets countered into a NASTY backbreaker by Cobb, looks for a deadlift waistlock but Rocky fights back with elbows, looks for another springboard but gets caught, but gets a counter into a rana pin for 2!
The crowd is getting behind Rocky, who keeps on with elbows but Cobb answers back with a HARD shot. Rocky fires back up, hits strikes and a rewind kick to stagger Cobb, Rocky is getting the speed advantage but COBB JUST THROWS HIM HARD. THEN SUPLEXES HIM. AND THEN GERMANS HIM. Finally, Cobb whips Rocky into the ropes and catches him coming back into the Tour of the Islands, cover and thats the 3 count and the WIN.
Jeff Cobb defeats Rocky Romero by pinfall after Tour of the Islands to retain the ROH TV Title
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
This was a solid outing by 2 entertaining competitors who are just really good at what they do. There was no chance of Rocky taking this, but his offense was good and he put on a good show with Cobb that the crowd was able to still bite into even though really everyone knew how this one was going to go. Special nod to that closing sequence of destruction from Cobb, cuz that was HARDCORE. After the match Aldis talks about Cobb as a future ROH World Champ down the road… YUP.
Women of Honor World Champion
MAYU IWATANI vs KELLY KLEIN (c)
Klein is out with Camp Klein and Mayu out with Sumie Sakai. Klein offers the hand and we get a tense Code of Honor to begin. We see Klein’s size and likely strength advantage over Mayu, but Mayu has been SUPER exciting in her outings in ROH. They lock up and jockey, with Mayu able to fend off Klein’s advantage. They go head to head as tensions continue to flare up and they trade shots. Headlocks traded next. Mayu tries to take down Klein but Klein uses her base to reverse it and they get to the ropes. They play the strength difference but Mayu gets some strikes in before eating a tackle. Mayu right back up but eats another one.
Mayu keeps coming and lands a tackle of her own on Klein who also pops right back up. Flurry from Mayu, Klein drills her with a knee, cravate and knee strikes to the head as she mocks Sumie at ringside. Mayu gets dumped and Klein sends her hard into the barricade. Klein back inside and the ref starts to count but Mayu rolls back in as Klein drives her repeatedly into the mat. Klein chokes Mayu in the corner, breaking before the ref’s 5 count. Mayu fights back but Klein drops her with a kick and covers her for a 2 count.
Mayu comes back and gets Klein over with a flying headscissors, then lands a nice low dropkick to Klein against the bottom rope that sends Klein out. Mayu climbs the corner and wipes out Klein with a GREAT crossbody all the way to the floor, but Klein is right back up (FIGHTING SPIRIT?!) and hits a big release German Suplex on the floor, then looks for the countout win again. Mayu back in around 18, Klein right on her but Mayu counters, strikes traded, Mayu gets the advantage and gets a release version of her German suplex, then kicks Klein right in the face! Nice pop, cover and a 2 count.
Mayu looks for a Dragon Suplex but Klein fights out and drops Mayu, then runs Mayu over with a big lariat for another 2 count. Klein fires up and lays in shots but Mayu gets a snap Dragon suplex, then hits a second one and Klein lands on her head hard. Low superkick by Mayu, covers but Klein is out at 2. Mayu with a Shining Wizard, lines Klein up and lands a big moonsault off the top, covers but Klein is out at 2! Mayu drops Klein with another kick and looks for a 2nd moonsault, covers Klein and thats the 3 count and the WIN!
Mayu Iwatani defeats Kelly Klein by pinfall after two moonsaults to WIN the Women of Honor World Title for the first time
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5
This was a solid outing that I think could have had even more impact with a tighter, stronger finish. I really love Mayu Iwatani’s work, but she and Klein had moments where it felt like they just couldnt connect with their ring work, and Klein still shows some execution roughness that she hasnt been able to shake yet. Nonetheless, Klein sells with the best of them and landed some nicely agressive spots, Mayu showed that she has a LOT more inside of her if ROH can give her the venue for it, and the title change caught everyone off guard in a way that is in and of itself really good. I just wish the finish had more UMPH to it, because the opportunity was there.
8-Man Tag Team Match
COAST 2 COAST & THE BOUNCERS
(Juice Robinson, Mark Haskins, Bandido & Tracy Williams)
Nice video and entrance package for Lifeblood. I can dig it. We get a full Code of Honor. Haskins and Ali start off. Quick and spritely mat work at the start. They trade holds and groundings, stand-off and show of respect. Tags to Williams and BCB. “Hot Sauce” chants. BCB gets a few competing “Beer” chants. Lockup gets to the ropes, show of respect, and then Tracy snatches the arm and a headlock, then goes back and works the arm. BCB looks to brawl, and he and Tracy trade shots. Tracy gets a flurry, but BCB absorbs them and BCB lands hard ones of his own. Tag to LSG but Tracy catches him with strikes coming in.
Tracy calls for Bandido while holding LSG’s arm, then tags Bandido in who comes off the top onto LSG’s arm. The crowd is hot for Bandido. Quick evasions from LSG lead to a nice dropkick that drops Bandido, Bandido looks for a running rana but LSG kips out of it to his feet and tensions flare as all 8 wrestlers hit the ring. The crowd wants a fight as the ref tries to keep control. LSG and Bandido calm things down and face off with each other, then LSG tags Milonas in.
Milonas plays the size difference, but Bandido flexes and looks for a slam attempt which he cant get. Milonas pushes him into the ropes, Bandido tries a crossbody and just bounces off. Another attempt off the ropes, but Bandido just bounces off again. Bandido gets a couple dropkicks from behind and tags in Haskins, Milonas shoves Haskins hard but Haskins comes back with strong kicks and strikes, Milonas fights back and is able to get the back senton hard. That’s a good way to uses Milonas’ size and speed. Tag to BCB who stays on Haskins, and we get the “I cant bite, I aint got no teeth” bit.
Tag to Ali who keeps on Haskins. Slam to Haskins, Ali follows with a twisting standing splash and a cover for 2, then tags in LSG. C2C with a great double team kick to the head, covers but Haskins is out at 2. Tag to BCB who keeps Haskins isolated. Tag to Milonas and The Bouncers get Haskins in a sandwich, but Haskins evades two middle rope dives and looks to make the tag, which he gets to Juice. C2C in but Juice is in hot and gets a full nelson slam on Ali, jabs on BCB and then dumps him before hitting cannonballs on both members of C2C. Juice tries to slam Milonas but Milonas crushes him, looks for a leg drop but Juice evades and tags Bandido.
LSG with a sloppy tag, he and Bandido trade and LSG accidentally hits BCB, Bandido with an awesome rana on the floor on BCB then back in and floors LSG with a corkscrew standing moonsault off the top! Ali in and wipes out Bandido, but Haskins gets him down with a PK from the apron. BCB up on the apron too and lands a hard DVD on Haskins onto the apron. Milonas and Bandido inside, Bandido climbs the corner and comes off the top with a Deep Impact-style diving DDT, but is left open for a 450 from LSG! Cover but Juice breaks it at 2.
Double team reversed by LSG, hits Juice with a springboard Sling Blade. Haskins takes out C2C then DVD’s LSG right on top of Ali. BCB in and Haskins trades shots with him but gets sent into a Black Hole Slam from Milonas. Bandido in and sends BCB into Milonas (sort of), Milonas down but BCB climbs the middle and dives at Bandido, BUT BANDIDO CATCHES HIM AND HOLDS HIM BEFORE SLAMMING HIM DOWN TO A GREAT POP! LSG comes up behind Bandido but Bandido is able to counter and hit the West Knee, follows with the 21-Plex and covers LSG for the 3 count and the WIN!
Lifeblood defeats Coast 2 Coast & The Bouncers by pinfall after the 21-Plex
JAY’S RATING: 3.5 out of 5
This was a really entertaining showing by a bunch of dudes who deserve to get highlighted. Really on all levels. The Bouncers are evolving into an interesting team and figuring out how to use their size to tell stories better. C2C is gonna break out soon as a team, I feel it. And Lifeblood is just a SUPER exciting crop of talent. If anyone needs a special shout out its Bandido. He has the crowd electrified, and he knows how to deliver the goods. That finish was a FINISH, from the slam to BCB to the closing sequence with LSG. THAT’S how you end a match, and Bandido proves again and again that he is one of the best young talents in the world today. He’s destined for some truly great things, and not too long from now.
After the match, we look to get a Toast of Honor. Tenille Dashwood is in and grabs a beer for herself.
MARK BRISCOE vs PCO
This is probably the match I am most excited about on the card, period. Just because they are both NUTS. We get the bell, and somewhat surprisingly they walk slowly up to each other… which is actually a great way to start. They growl in each others facee, and then start things off trading kicks. Tackle attempt from Mark moves no one. And a second. Mark follows with a shot to the head and looks to use a speed advantage but PCO blocks shots and they go head to head. Then suddenly they both go outside and both grab chairs and bring them back inside. Referee Todd Sinclair gets between them as they raise the chairs, PCO turns his back but Mark jumps him and dumps him, then hits a dropkick through the ropes and a blockbuster off the apron on the floor.
Mark keeps on PCO on the floor, rolls PCO back in and follows with a boot. Mark chops PCO against the ropes but PCO comes back and they start trading HARD CHOPS. JESUS. Mark finally bites PCO to get momentum back. More chops from Mark, PCO gets put in the corner and Mark stays on him. PCO fires back with chops and we get another trade, PCO absorbs a lariat from Mark, and a second one, and just feeds off of it. PCO eats a third lariat and then drops Mark with one of his own. Big chokeslam from PCO and a running knee strike puts Mark in the corner. “PCO” chants.
Machine-gun chops from PCO in the corner, then dumps Mark, runs the ropes and hits a SUICIDE CANNONBALL through the ropes to wipe out Mark. Chops by PCO against the barricade but Mark is able to elevate him and drop PCO across the barricade, then hits a running elbow drop off the apron to PCO on the floor. PCO throttles Mark and shoves him into the ringpost, then chokeslams Mark on the apron, positions Mark, climbs up top and looks for a cannonball off the top but MARK MOVES AND PCO LANDS HARD ON THE APRON! Mark climbs the corner and wipes out PCO with a Whisper in the Wind to the floor! HOLY SHIT.
Mark sends PCO into the barricade, and the fight spills up the entrance way. They trade shots on the stage, chops from both resonate loud, and Mark is able to DROP PCO with a powerbomb onto the stage! The crowd is eating it up. PCO is seated in front of the steps and Mark boots him in the face, dropping PCO down the stairs. Mark drags PCO back to the ring as the ref finally decides to begin a count. Mark decides to abandon PCO in the entryway and take the countout win, but the crowd fires up, and SUDDENLY PCO IS UP AND RUNS INTO THE RING TO BREAK THE COUNT!
Mark is able to distract the ref and open up a chair shot on PCO, then gets another distraction which opens up ANOTHER chair shot to the head, Mark climbs and comes off the top with Froggy Bow and covers, but PCO IS OUT AT 2! HE’S NOT HUMAN! Flurry from Mark, running single dropkick staggers PCO against the ropes but PCO hits a rolling elbow and Emerald Flowsion! PCO climbs the corner and looks for his moonsault, and lands it PERFECTLY! Cover by PCO, the 3 count and thats the WIN!
PCO defeats Mark Briscoe by pinfall after a Moonsault
JAY’S RATING: 3.8 out of 5
This was about 2 beats or so away from being GREAT to me, and in that was still my favorite match on the card so far and by far. This was a GREAT pairing of styles, they did a lot with what was actually not a huge amount of time, told a strong story of two hardcore mad-people who also have real skills, and PCO continues his rebirth and rise as a genuine monster. I cant get enough of PCO right now, and neither can the crowd. What a rebranding – its so simple, makes so much sense and can be taken in any number of directions. Mark is reliably amazing, and he continued to show how good he is here, but I’m super happy that PCO went over. Long Live Villain Enterprises.
6-Man Tag Team Match
THE KINGDOM vs JAY LETHAL, JONATHAN GRESHAM & RUSH
This is a non-title match for The Kingdom. Rush needs a new entrance package and STAT, because this doesnt stand out to me at all. I also still miss Jay Lethal’s old music. Team Lethal enters the ring and The Kingdom backs down and heads to ringside. Tensions flare early with weapons teased, but referee Paul Turner gets things back together. Gresham and Vinny start us off and we have a bell and a fast lockup that gets to the corner. Vinny with a cheap shot on Gresham on the break, they hit the ropes and Gresham lands a sharp elbow to the back, then follows with a dropkick that drops Vinny.
Gresham grounds Vinny, Vinny escapes and we get tags to TK and Rush. They start fast and hard, big chops traded, TK gets the lead but Rush hits a big knee, they run the ropes fast and TK gets a snap German, Rush gets one of his own and hits a dropkick that sends TK back. More strikes traded from both, TK laying them in HARD but Rush sits TK down and stomps TK. Rush with the Los Ingobernables kick in the corner and hits the Tranquilo pose, getting a chant from the crowd. TK comes in hot but Rush catches him in a crossface, as LETHAL RUSHES TAVEN AND ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. TK and Rush keep on in the ring as everyone else is at ringside, TK gets dumped and Rush takes EVERYONE out with a huge tope con giro! “Rush” chants.
Lethal lays into Taven at ringside as Rush keeps on TK. Vinny is on Rush as Lethal slams Taven on the floor. Rush takes control of Vinny and dumps him roughly on the timekeepers table as TK takes out Gresham. Rush grabs a chair but TK cuts him off, and Vinny is able to DDT Rush on a chair behind Turner’s back. Taven and Lethal are now in the ring but Lethal dumps him again with a triangle dropkick. TK now sends Rush into the barricade and sends him back inside as they are the legal competitors, and the match starts up proper again. Tag to Vinny for a Kingdom double team on Rush. Taven pulls Rush down and sends him into the barricade and the steel ringpost, then sends Rush back inside.
Vinny with stomps, tag to Taven who keeps the pressure on, tag to TK and so on with quick tags and stomps. They play the numbers game on Rush hard as Paul Turner finally asserts some authority. Cover by Vinny but Rush is out at 1 to a nice pop. Vinny gouges Rush while the ref is distracted, and TK tags in and keeps on him, but Rush is able to fire back and get a hot tag to Gresham. Smart evasions from Gresham forces Vinny to take down TK and assist in a Gresham moonsault on TK, but Vinny gets momentum with a great backbreaker and holds a front chancery. Gresham however pulls power from underneath and suplexes Vinny, who tags Taven as Gresham tags Lethal.
Lethal is on top of Taven, keeping him reeling and dumps him, then hits a suicide dive on TK, another one on Vinny, and lastly one on Taven before tossing Taven back in. Lethal climbs and looks for Hail to the King, Taven moves and Jay thinks he’s going to roll the other way and lands SUPER WEIRD on Taven in a blown spot. Lethal comes back with a Lethal Combination, covers but only gets 2 as Taven kicks out, and the crowd is taken a bit out of it with the botch. Crowd starts to fire back up, Taven hits Just The Tip and covers but Lethal kicks out at 2.
Tag to Vinny, they look for Rockstar Supernova but Vinny gets tripped and Lethal ranas Taven to the outside. Team Lethal triple teams TK in the corner, landing a nice three way dropkick, Lethal covers TK but it gets broken up at 2. All members start trading shots and strikes, Lethal gets a cutter and Rush lands a dropkick on TK, Vinny hoists Rush and they land Land of A Thousand Horses and dump Rush, then hit the finisher on Gresham as well to clear them away. They then set up Lethal and look for Rockstar Supernova again, Lethal fights off all 3, Taven looks for Climax, Lethal blocks and looks for Lethal Injection but Taven counters and lands Climax, covers and gets the 3 count and the WIN, and has pinned the ROH Champion.
The Kingdom defeats Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham & Rush
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5
This was a pretty great 6-man outing, had a couple of missed moments here and there but overall told a good story built around the tensions of Jay Lethal and Matt Taven over the ROH Title. While a very entertaining match overall, I think the thing that made me happiest here was the finish, because it feels like such a REAL first step toward the title showdown between Lethal and Taven, which I think has the potential to be a blowout match. Both of these dudes are capable of a great deal, and I dont know if they have been fully let off the leash yet. Giving Taven a clean pin over Lethal is EXACTLY the way to take that step, as now Taven is unquestionably in line for a title shot, and his face at the closing bell said it all. The Kingdom is becoming my favorite stable in ROH more every day from just how they are owning their characters and team POV. And you just cant fuck with Lethal, Gresham and Rush on the other side, who all had a chance to look outstanding. A good way to end the night… or so I thought…
After the match Kenny King is out with a mic, and runs down Jay Lethal. Then he runs down Marty Scurll and calls him a “Junior Heavyweight”. Marty runs down and attacks Kenny King as Lethal rolls out into a waiting Matt Taven. Now Silas Young runs down, followed by PCO, and now the entire locker room starts running down and filling the ring. Not really sure why. Why not, I guess? Everyone is brawling. More people keep running down. This is nutballs and random. The bell keeps ringing, meaninglessly. Jeff Cobb comes out and Caprice loses his shit. What am I supposed to care about here? People start getting dumped, seemingly randomly. And now everyone is out at ringside. Bully Ray is here too because why not, and he runs down to an empty ring save for Todd Sinclair, who Bully starts berating in the corner. PCO comes up behind Bully. Now, THIS could be interesting… “PCO” chants. They start trading until The Briscoes run down and take on PCO who takes them both out. Everyone starts gathering as PCO looks to climb and we’ve got a big crazy moonsault spot that wipes everyone out as Caprice tries to channel Joey Styles. PCO looks crazy as Nick Aldis signs us out of this weirdness.
Overall, not a bad card, and one that I felt crescendo-ed nicely from the opening outing to the main event, giving the final 2 matches prominence. The only thing I would take note of is the closing angle, which was fun and all, but just felt so… RANDOM to me. It actually started out fine, with the current crop of main event challengers all come down to get a piece of each other after King pulls his usual asshat-ery, and then of course I see The Kingdom getting involved as VE coming to support Marty… but why that suddenly means LETS HAVE AN ALL OUT BRAWL is completely lost on me from a storytelling perspective. It felt like a classic “lets do it cuz its cool” idea, which must be used sparingly and with great intentionality – and this wasnt one of them. And what that ended up meaning for me as an audience member is that it robbed Taven’s victory of some of its meaning and impact, which is still BY FAR the most interesting note they played at the end of the event. That’s what I would have much rather been left with, because the story of Taven getting his one on one challenge really could have kicked into the next gear here, only to be swallowed up by over-booking. One might even say… there is a CONSPIRACY at work here? Hmmm….