Las Vegas, NV
October 19, 2018
VIDEO PACKAGE: The Run Down
We get an opening video hyping tonight’s two title matches – The Briscoes vs Coast 2 Coast for the Tag Titles and Jeff Cobb vs Punishment Martinez (……) for the TV Title, plus Chris Sabin going one on one with Marty Scurll. Does the job well enough, though I’ve sort of made my opinions known about the booking timing for the TV title match in particular… also, is it just me or when it comes to the stuff produced AROUND the in-ring content, is the tone super inconsistent? I think this and the timing issues are potentially related – there isnt enough of an eye on the COMPLETE PICTURE when it comes to ROH product at the moment, which is saved by the fact that the talent and ring work is some of the best in the world. They need someone to pull all of the disparate tones and thoughts together into something consistent and crafted, and ROH really could be a competitor here.
We get the usual opener package, and that takes us to ringside in Las Vegas, with Ian Riccobani and Caprice Coleman on commentary. Ian and Caprice take us to the first match which is intended to be Sabin/Scurll… EXCEPT C2C’s MUSIC HITS AND THEY INTERRUPT! LSG says he knows they were supposed to be in the main event, but they dont want to wait any longer. Ali says they have been undefeated all of 2018, and it doesnt matter because Briscoes, get your asses out here. Unsuprisingly, the Briscoes music hits, because when arent they ready to fight?
ROH World Tag Team Championship
COAST 2 COAST vs THE BRISCOES (c)
Still dont know how I feel about the heel theme music. It doesnt have enough of a percussion or baseline to drive, and they bring SO MUCH ELECTRICITY with them, so it feels like they are dragging the music upward with their energy. But, just my taste.
They go nose to nose after the intros. Bell rings and LSG in with Mark. They lock up, Mark outwrestles LSG to begin and paintbrushes him, then drives his face into the mat. LSG tries to come back but Mark stays in control, LSG whipped to the ropes and a shoulder block moves no one. LSG with strikes, and able to tag Ali but Mark evades the double team into his own corner, continuing to show the experience edge. Nice story to tell at the start of the match, well executed. Mark stays in with Ali, gets a cheap shot in at LSG off the apron and Jay sneaks in behind with a shot to Ali. They lay the boots to Ali and Mark tags in Jay who stomps the mudhole. This takes us to BREAK.
We are back and Mark hits Ali with a gutwrench slam and covers for 2. Tag to Jay, who headbutts Ali hard. Tag back to Mark for the quick change, he kicks Ali but Ali fires up until Mark goes for the eyes. Mark takes Ali down and locks in a neck vice, working on Ali after a car accident and neck injury. Ali goes behind and is able to stun Jay and evade Mark to get the hot tag to LSG! He takes down Mark with a fantastic swinging gutbuster/running flipping neckbreaker combo, looking great! Whips Mark but Jay gets the blind tag, but LSG takes down Mark and lays into Jay.
Jay dumps LSG and Mark takes down Ali at ringside with a dropkick. Jay slams LSG which allows Mark to hit a running elbow drop off the apron. Jay then sends Ali HARD into the barricade, and they double team LSG. Mark sends LSG back in to Jay, who barks at Ali still down at ringside. LSG fights back but Jay kicks him down and tags Mark. Double team shots on LSG, and Mark keeps Ali off the apron before another shot on LSG, cocky cover and barely a 2. Mark with chops, tag to Jay who boots him in the head, cover but only 2. Jay is in control as we hit another BREAK.
We are back and little has changed. LSG is down against the bottom rope, but he’s able to fight back for a moment, looks for the tag, enziguri to Jay and gets the tag! Ali in hot takes down Mark and Jay, big sidewalk slam on Mark. Jay cuts the momentum off with a boot. Mark and Ali trade chops, then elbows but Ali hits a discuss lariat taking down Mark, but Mark gets the tag and Jay cuts off Ali again. Big Rude Awakening, cover on Ali but only 2. Mark back in and they just beat down Ali. Mark looks for and lands the fisherman buster, but Ali is out at 2.
Tag to Jay who takes LSG off the apron, double team on Ali, they hit Redneck Boogie (crucifix bomb into a neckbreaker), but Ali still kicks out at 2! Jay tags Mark and looks for Jay Driller, but LSG breaks it up, takes down Jay and slaps Mark, and C2C hits a great double team flapjack and a Stroke/Flatliner combo! Ali covers Mark but only 2! LSG keeps Jay off the apron, and C2C hits Coast To Coast, then LSG climbs up top and hits the 450, covers but Jay Briscoe breaks it up! Caprice thinks they shouldnt have added the 450 and gone right for the cover.
LSG puts Mark up top and Ali dumps Jay, they look for something big, but Jay breaks it up from behind and Jay as able to set Ali up easily for Doomsday Device, Mark hits the clothesline and thats the 3 and the WIN.
The Briscoes defeat Coast 2 Coast to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles by pinfall after the Doomsday Device
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5
This was a fine match, and I was tempted to give it an extra quarter point or so, except that there was a fire missing at the end that made it suddenly not feel like a title match to me. Some part of the urgency dissipated for me, the finish while good from a story point of view felt a bit by-the-numbers in its execution, I dont know something just didnt quite click for me at the end. However, this was still a VERY good match, with C2C giving us a ton of in-ring reasons to keep watching them in the coming year, and the Briscoes showing once again why they are the franchise tag team of this company. They are brilliant. Their storytelling, their trash-talking, their execution, their focus. They are masters of their craft. Good work, just couldnt quite stick the landing for me.
And that takes us to…
VIDEO: Jay Lethal speaks on Matt Taven
Lethal talks to Matt Taven, saying he has a problem with ROH management, fans, and now the champ, as he runs around with a belt that means nothing. Putting hands on Lethal at DBD. Lethal says you might be the one with a problem, but he’ll be the one to solve it. Short, sweet and perfectly executed because he’s Jay Lethal, damnit.
VIDEO: Matt Taven and The Kingdom
Matt Taven says its nothing personal, Jay… its just that, he’s Matt Taven, the REAL ROH World Champion. The calmness of this was a cool choice. Not much to it, but it did indeed do its job.
BACKSTAGE: The Briscoes
We’re backstage as the Briscoes talk shit on C2C into the camera. 1000 days as tag team champions combined. They ask, who’s gonna stop it? They are the Briscoes and that makes this work so well.
VIDEO PACKAGE: Top Prospect Jeff Cobb
We get a video package on Jeff Cobb DESTROYING the Top Prospect Tournament, challenging Martinez and fighting him off dominantly. Your basic hype video.
ROH World Television Championship
JEFF COBB vs PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ (c)
Nice pop for Cobb on the intro. Martinez stares Cobb down. They are frozen in intensity. The bell rings and they just step in toward each other. Martinez with shots to start, Cobb unphased with shots of his own. Lots of counter wrestling but Cobb is able to scoop him and hit that swinging belly to back on Martinez! Martinez tries to fight back and evades a whip, gets behind Cobb and turns him around into a jawbreaker, lays in a lariat BUT IT DOES NOTHING. Martinez able to get a kick to the head instead that staggers Cobb, and hits the Silencer on him. Cobb back up, Martinez looks for another one but Cobb tosses him off and FLOORS HIM with a lariat. Cobb looks for Tour of the Islands and LANDS IT, covers and GETS THE 3 COUNT AND THE WIN!
Jeff Cobb defeats Punishment Martinez to WIN the ROH TV Title by pinfall after Tour of the Islands
JAY’S RATING: Not Rated
I mean, I sort of dont know how to feel about this. Martinez got the NXT call up. Most know about that by now. But this whole thing felt short-shrifted in a way, with the person least affected by it at least as far as the internal ROH universe is concerned is Jeff Cobb, simply because his whole entry into ROH was as an unstoppable destructive machine. As such, this continues that story and maintains his build, which, great. HUGE fan of Cobb and cant wait for more. But at the same time, an actual Martinez/Cobb match, given time, could have been INCREDIBLE. It could have been a war. These are two big men with bigger agility, great focus, strong points of view and just sheer and utter ability. And this is how you send off Martinez? This is how Cobb takes the title, when the potential of this was so much more? Plus, how much more anticlimactic for those of us who have already seen Cobb with the belt on both New Japan and ROH programming? Dont get me wrong, I’m thrilled for Martinez in NXT, and Cobb I think could be the future of ROH for a bit if he wants to be (COBB/GRESHAM, PLEASE). But this felt like a big missed opportunity to create a stellar match and title change. Again, not a lot of big picture thinking here, in my opinion.
IN-RING SEGMENT: Tenille Dashwood
Tenille comes out with her right arm in a sling, as we see clips of her passing out to the armbar by Sumie Sakai in her WOH Title match. She takes the mic and says that people keep asking how she is, and she keeps saying I’m good, I’m fine. But thats not the truth. She says she feels she can be real right now, and that shes not ok and hasnt been for a while, she has a skin condition and a shoulder injury, the latter of which has been there for 6 months. Because not having wrestling scares the hell out of her. Applause and affection from the crowd. She says after DBD she was attacked from behind, so how is she right now? She’s pissed off. She doesnt know who attacked her, AND there’s nothing she can do about it as she has to have surgery before she can wrestle again. She says she loves doing this more than anything in her entire life, and she will have plenty of time to think about what shes going to do to the person who jumped her, and that person will have to think about what will happen when shes back at 100%. This was a great “see you later” piece by Tenille. She’s at her best when she’s allowed to be most real. And this was really real. I’m quite glad that they have created a ready-to-go story for her when she returns, showing a clear intention of real future investment upon her return (COUGH *Finn Balor* COUGH COUGH). Wishing her a speedy recovery and cant wait for her to come back.
VIDEO: Adam Page
Page talks about how much he loves Vegas, but how for Scorpio Sky, Vegas will be the Worst Town He’s Ever Been In. Hyping for an upcoming match, it seems. Page used Sky’s catchphrase. Get it? Its funny. …
CHRIS SABIN vs MARTY SCURLL
Bobby Cruise introduces Sabin as “Constellation” Chris Sabin. Ok. We get a little video with Sabin sayin that Scurll’s spirit animal is a bird, which is lame. Sabin says his is a combo of a lion, a tiger, a dragon and an eagle, so he’s gonna win…….. Ok. Marty out next with MY FAVORITE ROH ENTRANCE. I mean, I can be honest and say that I dream of Scurll wearing the ROH World Title some day. I sincerely hope that happens some day.
We get the bell and they lock up. Sabin with a wristlock, Marty counters out of it beautifully. Counter by Sabin, counter by Marty, shoulder blocks and no one moves. They pose down mid-ring. They run the ropes and keep thinking of the same move, ultimately holding each others legs and needing the refs help to bring them apart as neither trusted the other. GREAT STUFF. Crowd is pumped.
Back at it, more quick counter wrestling, leapfrongs and rope work until Sabin hits a kitchen sink and a single leg dropkick. Covers Marty, almost a 2 count. Sabin looks to lock Marty up in an Octopus of sorts, rolls it into a cover for 2. Marty with Euro uppercuts takes Sabin outside allowing him to hit the apron superkick, which takes us to BREAK.
We’re back and see that Scurll has maintained control during the break, has a straight-jacket chinlock on Sabin who tries to reverse but Marty keeps it on. Sabin reverses again but Marty able to gain control yet again. Sabin powers up again, rolls Marty up for 2 but Marty out and tries for a sunset flip, but Sabin rolls through it for a PK. Chants for both. Both hit forearms, Sabin gets the speed advantage, goes up top, big missile dropkick sends Marty outside. Sabin with an apron PK, rolls Marty back in and hits a rope draped swinging neckbreaker for 2.
Sabin stays on Marty, Marty goes behind and hits a big forearm, they trade rollups and 2 counts but no one able to get the 3. “ROH” chants. Marty with another forearm but Sabin cuts him off and hits a big running enziguri of sorts, and a big running boot in the corner. Sabin looks to climb again, but Marty hits a Euro. He climbs up too and hits a big top rope superplex on Sabin, but Sabin gets a package for a surprise 2 count! Marty up and hits a seated Sabin in the face with a superkick and both men are down.
Both are on their knees and start trading shots. Chops back and forth, Sabin looks for speed but Marty hits another superkick and looks for Graduation. Sabin counters into a great straightjacket rolling bridge but only gets 2. Superkick and enziguri from Sabin, looks for a suplex but Marty reverses it and drops him right into the CHICKENWING! Sabin rolls over into a pin for 2, but Marty turns that into a pin for 2, Marty with a powerbomb for 2 and finally hits Graduation for the 3 count and the WIN!
Marty Scurll defeats Chris Sabin by pinfall after Graduation
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
This was a super fun way to end the episode, with two wrestlers with EXTREMELY similar skill sets and styles, when you really think about it, going move for move. And part of that overlap in styles includes a great sense of fun and playfulness in the ring, and they both just leaned hard into that when they needed to which added some great theatre and storytelling to a really top notch match. The counter wrestling was awesome, the opening stretch was a wonderful way to prime the crowd, great strike work to help shape the momentum… the only thing that couldve bumped this up for me was, I think I wanted more time for it. I think it ended too soon for me, and could have used a beat or two more to just jack up the urgency to the final degree. Nonetheless, these two are wonderful, and wonderful together, and while I love Sabin I do believe that the right man won here. Long Live The Villain.
From a wrestling standpoint, this wasnt bad. Before I go deeper into Cobb/Martinez, taken for what it was, it was a well-executed angle for a decent semi-squash, sandwiched between two truly very good-to-great outings on either side. Meanwhile you advance Lethal/Taven (GOOD), provide a nice send-off for Tenille while she takes time away but already building an angle for her return, and set up a match next week that has the potential to be in-ring dynamite because Page is great and SKY IS TALENT. So its a good episode. It is. But I feel so deflated by the Cobb thing. First it was spoiled, and then the match where it happened was, well, underwhelming considering the talents of the two competitors involved. Like, since I knew it had happened, I had seen Cobb with the belt, I AT LEAST wanted the title change to have made it worth the spoil. Which would have also been a great goodbye for Martinez in dropping the belt. And so, in the end, great show, but I feel robbed due to creative oversight issues.