Ring of Honor TV
Aired on Fite 4/15/19
Sam’s Town Live!, Las Vegas NV
VIDEO: The Briscoes & The Crockett Cup
We open with the Briscoes talking about NWA bringing back the Crockett Cup. They talk about how the Briscoes are being forced to qualify in order to appear in the tournament, and how that is disrespectful to them. So when they win, standing on top of a pile of bodies, remember whose fault it is. Nice promo work here, but thats no surprise.
Ian Riccobani, Caprice Coleman on commentary.
SHANE TAYLOR vs LUCHASAURUS
Taylor and LS go face to face to begin, and Taylor runs him down saying that this is his company. They pie-face each other and lock up, with neither getting the advantage. Chants for LS. Kicks by LS keep Taylor on the perimeter, but Taylor lands a straight left hand, dodges a kick and hits a great open hand chop on LS. LS answers back with a kick series, Taylor puts LS on the apron and hits another punch, and then hits a stunner-style Tower of London off the top rope and covers for 2 as we go to BREAK. We’re back and Taylor is still on LS in the corner, LS hits a boot to the face and a knee strike but runs into a pop up spinebuster from Taylor, cover but still only 2.
More chants for LS, some chants for Taylor. LS looks for a chokeslam, Taylor escapes and throttles as well but LS breaks it and hits a flurry and the Snake Bite, and then hits a great spinning knee strike (did Ian call it the “Shining Lizard”?) and covers for 2. Shots traded, Taylor lands a headbutt, LS returns with another knee and the Tail Whip but Taylor LEVELS LS with a lariat and covers for 2. Taylor talks trash sitting next to LS and LS pops up and throttles Taylor, hits a great series of strikes and a BIG chokeslam. Standing moonsault by LS eats knees from Taylor, big uranage from Taylor connects followed by the sharp knee strike, sets up the Greetings from 216 and connects with it for the cover, the 3 count and the WIN.
Shane Taylor defeats Luchasaurus by pinfall after Greetings from 216
JAY’S RATING: 1.75 out of 5
This match existed, and it pains me to give this rating to two talents I am super interested in. Taylor has had a banner year and has delivered a great ring game based around strikes and a couple of key power spots, and LS has been entertaining in the past. But this just felt like molasses to me, everything moving super slowly and thus dissipating any and all urgency that could be present in the match. That being said, Taylor still showed that he can remain grounded and in character here as well, so I’m still calling Taylor to be a main eventer sooner rather than later – for fucks sake they had better put the TV title on him soon, at least.
VIDEO: Flashback to Gresham/Young, and Silas Speaks
We get footage of last week, with Silas pushing Gresham into the ref and hitting a low blow to steal the win. We hear from Silas backstage after the match running down Gresham, who then walks up to Silas mid-interview and talks shit back. Gresham says Silas cant beat him fairly one on one. Things start to get heated and a bunch of folx come in to pull them apart as Gresham tells Silas to be a real man. Decent stuff.
We go to BREAK and when we are back, we get Tenille on commentary with Ian and Caprice, talking about how she is cleared to return to the ring.
OKAY. HERE’S WHAT PISSES ME OFF. I first heard that Tenille parted ways with ROH over 2 weeks ago. OVER. TWO. WEEKS. This episode was filmed before that. So here we are, hyping Tenille’s return to the company on April 18th, over 2 weeks AFTER she left the company. Now, either this is on the ROH team who chose to keep this bit in the episode anyway, which is SUPER misleading to an audience, or its on Sinclair not letting them adjust an episode after its been submitted for broadcast. Both are BS. If you want the folx who dont go on internet message boards (since everyone absurdly complains about those people anyway, conveniently forgetting that they are your paying audience too and are thus entitled to have an opinion about the product they are forking over valuable time and money to…), what is the audience experience for them, who are now being hyped up for a performer that they will not get to see anymore on ROH??? How is that good storytelling for your audience?!?!?! (And lets not forget that by showing this on the episode, ROH is telling me to get excited to watch Tenille return… and she is no longer with ROH… so great, I’ll go watch her elsewhere, and give more of my time to whatever company she is in, which might take time and thus viewership/money away from ROH? Come on, y’all. Make better TV.)
MAZZERATI & KATIE FORBES vs SUMIE SAKAI & MAYU IWATANI
And of course we see Mayu still wearing the WOH belt she lost… how many weeks ago now? Almost 2 full weeks on that one as well? Sumie and Mayu offer the Code of Honor but they get blown off by Forbes and Maz. The bell rings and Mayu offers to Maz once more but Maz slaps her and calls her a loser, but Mayu fires up and gets a great armdrag off the ropes, Maz botches the sell on a hair snapmare sequence and Mayu covers for a short count as Maz tags in Forbes and escapes. Tag to Sumie, who gets a nice crowd response. Lockup, Forbes uses size and strength to overpower Sumie, and then talks some shit. Lockup again, Forbes shows the power again but Sumie evades her in the corner and lays in Mongolian chops to a great pop before Forbes takes Sumie down by the hair.
Hip attack by Forbes to a grounded Sumie and hits a nice handspring back elbow in the corner, and pulls off a Stink Face of sorts before covering Sumie for 2 as we go to BREAK. We’re back and Maz is in and staying on top of Sumie, hitting a decent suplex and covering Sumie for 2. Maz runs the ropes bit misses the running legdrop, Sumie runs over Maz and looks for the tag but Forbes pulls Mayu off the apron and drops her face first to prevent the tag. Snap DDT by Maz connects on Sumie, cover but Mayu is back in and breaks it at 2. Sumie evades a spin kick and hits the TJ Neckbreaker, but cant follow up. She looks for the tag to Mayu and makes it as Mayu takes down Maz with a dropkick.
Forbes in for the double team on Mayu, Mayu counters and gets a GREAT flipping double armdrag off the ropes and follows with a double basement dropkick on Maz and Forbes seated against the bottom rope. Northern Lights Suplex by Mayu connects for 2, tag to Sumie, Mayu hits a middle rope missile dropkick and Sumie follows with the top rope crossbody for 2. Forbes in with a kick to Sumie, Sumie and Mayu are able to get Forbes in the corner but Maz takes advantage, and Forbes is able to get a double firepersons carry, WITH SQUATS, and hits a double Samoan Drop. Nice, she needs work but there are seeds there for development. A bit of confusion for a moment before Mayu connects with nice kicks on Forbes, superkick on Maz and Sumie follows with Smash Mouth, covers and thats the 3 count and the WIN!
Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani defeat Mazzerati & Katie Forbes
JAY’S RATING: 2 out of 5
Eh, this was fine, but nothing special. Mayu is a treasure, though I believe I heard she is now out with an injury for a bit. And Sumie looked great here too. Maz and Forbes are SUPER GREEN and it showed here a lot, but there are definite seeds there that, given more time, could develop into something for both of them. But in the meantime, this essentially existed, and not much more. And also, STOP. CROSSING. YOUR OWN. TIMELINE. Seeing Mayu with the belt 2 weeks after dropping it is dumb. Put yourselves in your audiences shoes for a moment, and think about how they are receiving your product/story. And then do something about it. Please.
VIDEO: PJ Black Speaks
We get an interview from PJ talking about how he thought he was better than everyone else, before he lost to the young upstart Bandido. This is to hype their match next week, with PJ saying he’s woken up, that he has been taking too many shortcuts, and he wants to get back to the Honor side of the company. We see the hug after Bandido beat PJ, and that takes us out. Eh, fine. PJ needs a reinvention desperately though.
Qualifying Match: NWA Crockett Cup 2019
WILLIE MACK & JEFF COBB vs THE BRISCOES
Nick Aldis joins commentary for this joint NWA match. We get a Code of Honor to begin with, which is an interesting choice for the Briscoes coming off losing the tag titles given their recent violent and crazy heels run. The bell rings and Willie and Mark start us off. Lock up, Mark works over Willie in the corner as ref Paul Turner calls for the break. Willie evades a shot and they trade chops in a nice and sharp exchange. Mark gets dropped with a tackle, they run the ropes and Willie hits a HUGE Thesz Press and 3:16 Combo, the dude is just electric as he moves Mark into his corner and tags in Cobb. Cobb keeps on Mark, hoisting him up deadlift into a vertical suplex, which he holds with one arm for 15 seconds, and then dropping him hard. The Briscoes regroup on the outside.
Tag to Jay, lock up and they trade holds, Jay shows some fucking great mat work which the crowd notices, but Cobb just lifts him off the ground and deposits him in the corner for a standoff. The crowd is starting to feel Cobb/Jay. Jay teases a test of strength but kicks Cobb instead as he tags in Mark and we go to BREAK. We’re back and Jay is back in and on top of Cobb, tag to Mark again and they take down Cobb with a double 3-Point-Stance tackle. Cover by Mark but barely 1. Boots by Mark, Cobb fights back but Mark drops Willie to prevent a tag before getting cut down by Cobb. Cobb has the opportunity for a tag but instead keeps on Mark, which commentary calls out as a lack of thinking like a tag team player on the part of Cobb (nice storytelling there).
Cobb whips Mark but Jay gets the blind tag and they are able to double team Cobb and take down Willie, Jay dumps Cobb and Mark climbs and takes both Willie and Cobb out with a Whisper in the Wind all the way to the floor and lands on his feet. Awesome. Cobb is sent back inside, cover by Jay but only 2. Jay stomps a mudhole in Cobb, tag to Mark and they have cut Cobb off from Willie completely. Great tag team wrestling as they stay on Cobb, tag to Jay who drives the shoulder into Cobb in the Briscoes corner. Snap suplex by Jay, and the Briscoes are controlling the pace.
Tag to Mark who keeps on Cobb, but Cobb is able to land a dropkick and gets the hot tag to Willie who takes out Jay on the apron and hits a FANTASTIC running flying knee to Mark, then hits a great series of strikes in the corner and lines up the inverted cannonball which is ALWAYS AWESOME. Cover, but only 2. The Briscoes fire back with a double team, dropping Willie with a running boot by Mark and the Briscoes are back in charge that quickly. Cover by Mark but only 2. Tag to Jay and we go to BREAK. We’re back and Jay distracts Paul Turner as Mark chokes out Willie in the corner, and they get the double team. Tag to Mark and they keep Willie cut off and grounded.
Willie fights up, Mark hits the ropes and Willie hits him with a POP-UP FLATLINER (YES) and gets the tag to Cobb. Jay runs in but Cobb catches him in an overhead release belly to belly, and hits Mark with one two. The Briscoes are in opposite corners and Cobb hits flying Euros to both, looks to throw Mark but Jay cuts him off, they look to double team but Cobb reverses and just hoists and throws both of them. Standing moonsault connects on Mark, cover but only 2. Mark fires back and hits a pele, tag to Jay who gains momentum and hits a big lariat, cover but only 2. Rude Awakening is reversed and Cobb hits a superkick and tags in Willie, who drops Jay with a clothesline, elbow, Samoan Drop and a standing moonsault into a cover, but only gets 2.
Jay begs off and heads to ringside, Willie hits the ropes but Jay evades the dive and baits Willie around the ring for Mark to hit the sliding suicide dropkick and the apron blockbuster. Willie is rolled back in, Jay looks for Jay Driller but Willie hits a great exploder suplex and covers for 2. Willie looks to climb but Jay gets Willie on his shoulders and Mark comes out of nowhere for the Doomsday Device! Cover, but Cobb pushes Mark into the cover to break it at 2. “This is Awesome” chants. Tag to Mark, they look for Redneck Boogie but Cobb cuts it off, Willie hits a stunner and that bounces Mark into a German suplex from Cobb! Willie climbs and hits a big frog splash, covers, but Mark somehow kicks out at 2!
Cobb follows up and looks for Tour of the Islands but Jay catches Mark to block, they dump Cobb and Jay takes him out with a boot. Chops traded in the ring by Willie and Mark, then forearms and shots, Mark with an elbow in the ropes, Willie answers with a running boot but Jay hits a great running rana and plants Willie with Jay Driller, Mark comes off the top with Froggy Bow and covers and that is the 3 count and the WIN!
The Briscoes defeat Willie Mack & Jeff Cobb by pinfall after Froggy Bow
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5
This was a great main event with great action throughout, a well paced and well told story in the ring and an earned closing stretch and final beat. The Briscoes are just so. fucking. good. I mean, just all-star level tag team wrestling. And Mack and Cobb are simply astounding in the ring. That made for a real blowout to close the show that had the crowd salivating. Great work here, and the right team wins and moves into the Crockett Cup.
This was an underwhelming episode of TV up to the main event, which delivered big time and stuck the landing. However, it also suffered from the curse of the pre-Big-Event tapings that follow said Big Event. And in this instance, the lack of care in the storytelling was super bad. The Tenille thing is just ridiculous. At least in theory, tapings have the distinct advantage of being editable. Someone please care.