ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 349
The joint ROH-NJPW event, War of the Worlds 2018, has come and gone, and we have NEW ROH World Six Man Tag Team champions! The Kingdom stole those belts but now they truly own those belts. However, SoCal Uncensored want their rematch and they’re getting it tonight! Who will keep the ROH Six Man Championships for good?
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service
- The Dawgs VS Cheeseburger & Jushin Thunder Liger; Cheeseburger & Liger win.
- ROH Women of Honor Championship: Sumie Sakai VS Jenny Rose; Sumie wins and retains the ROH WOH Championship.
- ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships: The Kingdom VS SoCal Uncensored; SoCal Uncensored win, by disqualification; The Kingdom retains the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Dawgs VS Cheeseburger & Jushin Thunder Liger!
Chicago, don’t be silly! It’s Big Rhett & Lil’ Willie, and they plan to not only whoop Cheeseburger again, but also whoop his legendary tag partner. Can the Dawgs avoid a large Shotei with a side of defeat?
The teams sort out, and Burger starts against Rhett Titus. Fans are already loud for “Cheeseburger! Cheeseburger!” at the bell. Burger and Rhett tie up, and Rhett powers Burger down. The “Big Dawg” brags, but Burger gets up. Burger gets behind then shifts to a headlock but Rhett powers out. Burger goes up and then under, then speeds up to roll up, Oklahoma Roll, ONE. Rhett rocks Burger with a right jab! Rhett gut wrenches and throws Burger, then tags in the fired up Ferrara. Ferrara powers Burger to a corner then whips him corner to corner. Burger elbows back, then hops up to crossbody. Fans fire up, Burger tags Liger! Ferrara gets free, but he’s in the ring with the living legend.
Fans chant for Liger as he ties up with Ferrara. Liger gets the headlock but Ferrara powers out. Liger runs Ferrara over, then fakes Ferrara out to elbow drop. Ferrara rolls out and regroups with Rhett, but the Dawgs see Liger coming so they split up. Liger stays on his feet, but then goes to the apron to cannonball on Ferrara, while Burger cannonballs on Rhett!
Burger & Liger are in control with the fans all fired up, and we go to break.
ROH returns to Liger stretching Ferrara in the Mexican surfboard. Fans applaud, and Burger intercepts Rhett, to put him in the Octopus Stretch! We have side-by-side submissions! The referee tells Burger to let go, he and Rhett aren’t legal. Burger lets go at 4, and Liger shifts to chinlock. Liger pushes Ferrara and tags Burger. Liger whips Ferrera and gives him a backbreaker, Burger adds on the running knee. Burger covers, TWO. Burger brings Ferrara up but Ferrara hits back. Ferrara runs, Rhett tags in with some sauce, and that upsets Ferrara. Ferrara turns around into Burger’s jawbreaker, but Rhett comes in as Burger whips Ferrara. Burger hits Ferrara with a back elbow in the corner, but Rhett sandwiches Burger and Ferrara with the corner splash!
Rhett rocks Liger for good measure, but Ferrara is upset again. Rhett shoves Ferrara down, to then catapult him for the Doggy Lariat into Burger! Ferrara rolls out with a grin on his face while Rhett brags. Rhett drops an elbow on Burger, cover, TWO. Rhett keeps on Burger with a half nelson while fans rally for Burger. Burger fights his way up, but Rhett knees low. Rhett whips Burger but Burger hits Ferrara. Burger elbows Rhett, then runs, but his tilt-o-whirl is stopped. Rhett tags Ferrara at the same time, then Northern Lights Burger down. Ferrara uses the ropes to springboard for the Puppy Splash, then moves aside for Rhett’s standing Doggy Splash! Ferrara covers, but Liger breaks it up. Fans rally for Burger while Ferrara fumes. Ferrara drags Burger up, tags Rhett, and The Dawgs work together to straitjacket whip Burger back.
But as usual, Rhett doesn’t let Ferrara whip him into the corner, to instead whip Ferrara in for the shoulder tackle. Ferrara comes running back out but Rhett redirects him for another shoulder tackle. Ferrara tries the third time, but Burger puts him on the apron. Rhett comes running in, but Burger ducks and that boot goes into Ferrara! Burger crawls for his corner, but Rhett grabs him. Burger slips undr, tilt-o-whirl inverted DDT! Fans are fired up as Burger hot tags Liger! Liger rallies on Ferrara, tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Liger runs at Ferrara in the corner for the running palm strike! Then, Liger Bomb! Cover, TWO!? Ferrara is tougher than expected, but Liger doesn’t stop. Liger drags Ferrara up and waistlocks, but Ferrara standing switch for the BLL! Ferrara tags Rhett, but Liger fires off chops!
Liger chops and chops and chops, then runs, but into a dropkick from Rhett. Rhett drags Liger up, and Ferrara fires up, but Burger intercepts with a SUPERKICK! Liger slips down and together with Burger, double SHOTEI for Rhett! And double SHOTEI for Ferrara!
Liger drags Rhett up, Brainbuster! Cover, Liger & Burger win!
Winners: Liger & Cheesburger, Liger pinning
Team Jushin Thunder Burger combines for a victory! The living legend helps Burger get some revenge on his bullies, will this bring an end to the grudge?
The WOH Champion has her first defense tonight.
Sumie Sakai won the inaugural Women of Honor Championship Tournament to then become THE inaugural Women of Honor Champion. However, the returning Jenny Rose made it clear that she wants to be Sumie’s first challenger. Sumie doesn’t want to fight Jenny, because they’re friends, but if it’s over the title, she will. Sumie wants this to be a friendly bout, but Jenny doesn’t seem so concerned about that. Will they still be friends after this match? Will Sumie still be champion?
Dalton Castle speaks.
“So many questions up in the air. Top of the list: Who gets a shot at my ROH World Championship?” Marty Scurll has a win over Castle, so he feels he’s next. But Cody also has a win over Castle. Who is the first challenger? Castle has an idea: both of them get in the ring with Castle. “Because this is mine, and I fight for things that are mine.” Castle “would fight a grizzly bear over a parking space,” so what do the Villain and the American Nightmare think The Peacock will do to them when it comes to the title? Can Scurll and Cody come to an agreement and allow their match to be a Triple Threat?
ROH Women of Honor Championship: Sumie Sakai VS Jenny Rose!
Championships leave little room for friendships, and it seems the challenger has already made her choice. Will the Ray of Sunshine still shine after facing the American Joshi?
Sumie goes for the Code of Honor handshake, but Jenny just swings on her! Sumie ducks and fires back, and the referee hurries to ring the bell! The champ whips the challenger corner to corner, then hits a big forearm smash. Sumie stomps away on Jenny, then adds the swinging hip attack. Jenny rolls out while fans fire up and Sumie climbs up top. Sumie takes aim and LEAPS onto Jenny with a flying crossbody!
Down goes Jenny but fans fire up while we go to break.
ROH returns, and Sumie climbs again. She aims at Jenny, and hits a big missile dropkick. Cover, TWO, but Sumie keeps focus. Sumie drags Jenny up but Jenny elbows back. Sumie tries again but ducks the elbow this time. She fires off elbows of her own, then runs, but into Jenny’s spinning side slam! Cover, TWO, but just barely. Jenny stomps on Sumie, and then stands on her face at the ropes. Jenny backs off at the ref’s count, but drags Sumi out for a Half Crab. Sumie endures and crawls for ropes while fans rally again. Sumie gets the ropebreak, and Jenny lets go. Jenny stomps on Sumie more, then brings Sumie up. Sumie reverses the whip to hammerlock and forearm Jenny. Sumie runs, and runs Jenny over with forearms. She rallies now, and fires up again. Sumie drags Jenny up, and hits a swinging fisherman!
Cover, TWO, and Sumie is surprised, but not frustrated. Sumie goes to a corner, and forearms Jenny away, only for Jenny to run back and BLAST Sumi from apron to floor! Sumie crashes down hard but Jenny comes out to fetch her. Jenny drags Sumie up and then throws her into barriers! She drags Sumie up again, but Sumie reverses the whip! Jenny stops herself, then drop toeholds Sumie into the chairs! Sumie crashes and burns, but Jenny drags her up again. Jenny puts Sumie back in the ring, then climbs up top while fans rally. Sumie staggers up, and Jenny takes her down with a flying clothesline. Jenny drags Sumie up, for the Perfect Plex! Cover, TWO! Another close call for Sumie.
Jenny keeps on Sumie and puts her in the corner. Jenny shovels Sumie up on her shoulders, but Sumie victory rolls to counter. TWO, and Jenny runs Sumie over with a clothesline. Jenny drags Sumie over, to position her for a back senton. Jenny climbs up now while Sumie is in the drop zone. But Sumie stands up and stops Jenny on the top. Sumie climbs up and fights with Jenny, and hits a SUPER Steiner! Cover, TWO, but Sumie is still focused. Sumie waits for Jenny to stand, then runs full speed, but Jenny side-steps her to send Sumie into buckles. Jenny throws Sumie with a German Suplex, but Sumie pops right up! But Jenny SPEARS Sumie! Cover, TWO!!
Jenny can’t believe it, and she’s furious now. She drags Sumie up again, but Sumie wheelbarrows out of the yurinagi, TWO. Sumie hits Jenny with a back elbow, for the Smash Mouth cutter!
Cover, Sumie wins!
Winner: Sumie, by pinfall; still ROH WOH Champion
The Ray of Sunshine succeeds! Sumie retains her title after her first defense ever. While Sumie is elated, Jenny is clearly upset. Will Jenny cool off and return to being Sumie’s friend? Or has her desire for a championship broken that relationship for good?
The ROH World Championship contenders are closing in.
Marty Scurll pinned Dalton Castle on April 15th at Masters of the Craft, in a Defy or Deny Fatal 4 Way. This would earn The Villain a legitimate claim to a title opportunity. However, weeks later at Bound by Honor, there would be a slip-up by Scurll and Cody as a Beautiful Disaster Kick would go into Scurll’s face instead of Castle’s. Castle used that to eliminate Scurll, but Cody would then quickly eliminate Castle. Therefore, the American Nightmare also has a legitimate claim to a title opportunity.
Cody now speaks on “The Peacock, Dalton Castle, the current champion” and how he’ll face the “most deserving contender”. That contender will be the man who is dominating the ring, dominating the news feeds, and ROH’s number one. Scurll agrees, and promises that Castle will lose to The Villain. Cody disagrees. They talked this over, because “Bullet Club is fine”, so therefore, Castle faces– The Villain! Damn it, Marty. Is there a new wrinkle in Bullet Club over these championship aspirations?
SoCal Uncensored speaks.
Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky are clearly upset. The Kingdom stole the ROH World Six Man Championship belts from them during a Ladder Match. That means they also stole the SCU’s leverage in keeping ROH contracts past Final Battle 2018. It doesn’t matter if it’s The Kingdom or the Hung Bucks, “there is nothing we will not do to get our titles back!” Scorpio will “never get tired of beating up my old friends, The Young Bucks.” As for “King-Dumb”, tonight they settle a score. Daniels says the Kingdom may have been the first, and the Hung Bucks may have been the most popular, but the SCU will be the best! Can the SCU reclaim the titles and their contracts with them?
Silas Young speaks.
The Last Real Man says “there’s two types of guys in this world: the guys who take pride in their work; and guys who whine and cry and make a bunch of noise until they get things handed to them.” To Silas, Austin Aries is the latter. Aries gives ROH a sob story about how the World TV Championship is the one belt that’s eluded him. Magically, Aries gets a shot, despite not being in ROH in years. Silas doesn’t mind, he gets work done. Next week, Silas will prove he’s truly The Last Real Man, and that Aries calling himself The Greatest Man That’s Ever Lived is just the greatest joke Silas has ever heard.
ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships: The Kingdom VS SoCal Uncensored!
At War of the Worlds, Matt Taven was going to face Dalton Castle for the ROH World Championship, the one title he has yet to hold. But Dalton Castle was in no shape to compete, and The Kingdom cried conspiracy. However, they were given a last minute opportunity to take back what they feel they never lost. The SCU were completely unprepared, and the result was them losing and The Kingdom winning. Can the Almighty Daniels, the Heavy Metal Rebel & the California Closer get revenge for everything The Kingdom has done? Or will their ROH careers go back on the countdown clock to Final Battle?
ROH returns from a break, and TK O’Ryan starts against Frankie Kazarian with the bell. Kaz and O’Ryan circle, but then Kaz wants Daniels and Scorpio to check under the ring. The SCU can’t be too cautious going up against The Kingdom. Daniels and Scorpio don’t anything, or anyone for that matter, but Kaz finds himself in a punching circle! The Kingdom gangs up on Kaz, but then Daniels and Scorpio hurry in to help him out. The teams brawl in the ring and the referee works to get order. Vinnie stays in the ring with Daniels while Kaz and Taven double clothesline on the outside. O’Ryan and Scorpio brawl while Vinnie rocks Daniels. Daniels hits back while Scorpio gets control of O’Ryan. Daniels POPS a balloon on Vinnie’s head! Fans love it, and chant “ROH! ROH!”
Daniels brings Vinnie up and whips corner to corner. Vinnie bounces off buckles, and Daniels brings him up for another whip. Vinnie kicks Daniels away, then wraps on a headlock. Daniels powers out but Vinnie runs him over. Vinnie runs but Daniels speeds things up, and Scorpio sucker kicks Vinnie in the back! Daniels grins as he throws haymakers on Vinnie. Daniels runs, but now O’Ryan sucker kicks him. Vinnie and Daniels both roll for hot tags to O’Ryan and Scorpio! Scorpio kicks first, then headlocks. O’Ryan tries to power out, but it takes a second effort to get out. Scorpio and O’Ryan both run, dodging each other’s clotheslines, but then Taven and Kaz trip their opponents up. Taven and Kaz spot each other, then rush in to argue and scrap. Daniels sneaks in, Blue Thunder Bomb to O’Ryan! Scorpio takes out Vinnie, then drags O’Ryan over.
Kaz tags in, and mugs O’Ryan with body shots. Kaz snap suplexes and covers, TWO. He trash talks Vinnie before bringing O’Ryan over for double boots. Daniels tags in, and The Addiction double wrench O’Ryan to his knees. Kaz kicks, Daniels clobbers and Kaz double stomps. Fans actually clap for SCU, and Daniels grinds his foot into O’Ryan’s face. Daniels stops at the ref’s count, but rains rights on O’Ryan in a corner. Tag to Scorpio, and Daniels brings O’Ryan up for Scorpio to mug. Scorpio snapmares and scrapes O’Ryan, but O’Ryan uppercuts back. Tag to Vinnie but Scorpio fights off The Kingdom. Scorpio dodges Vinnie, but runs into a double flapjack hotshot! Scorpio goes down but fans seem to cheer for The Kingdom.
Vinnie looks around with wild eyes as he brings Scorpio up. He rocks Scorpio with a European Uppercut, then fetches a balloon, to POP in Scorpio’s ear! Fans declare “This is Awesome!” even though the SCU are upset. Scorpio crawls but Vinnie is on him. Scorpio fights back, but O’Ryan tags. Vinnie reverses the whip to feed Scorpio into O’Ryan’s spinebuster! Vinnie adds a diving headbutt, then O’Ryan jackknifes, TWO. The Kingdom want a faster count, but fans rally for the SCY. O’Ryan brings Scorpio up, and bumps him on Taven’s boot. Taven tags in, and hits Daniels and Kaz for good measure. Taven drags Scorpio up while Kaz protests, for a suplex. Cover, TWO, and Taven still wants a faster count. Even so, The Kingdom is in control while we go to one last break.
ROH returns once more, and The Kingdom is still in control. They isolate Scorpio but Scorpio fights back. Vinnie knees Scorpio low then whips, but Scorpio dodges and they collide with double crossbodies! Fans rally while the referee starts a ten count. Scorpio crawls for his corner, but The Kingdom trips up The Addiction! Kaz protests, but Scorpio is stuck in the match. Scorpio fights back again, then whips, but Vinnie reverses. Scorpio leaps for double stomps to Vinnie’s back! O’Ryan runs in, but Scorpio sends him out with a huricanrana. Taven runs in, grabs Scorpio, but Scorpio slips out to tag in Kaz! Kaz rallies now, spinning heel kick rocks Vinnie.
Taven runs at Kaz but is sent out to the apron. Kaz brings him back in with the slingshot cutter! O’Ryan runs in, Kaz waistlocks and rolls him up, but O’Ryan isn’t legal. Vinnie runs in, he’s legal, so Kaz Northern Lights for a unique double cover! TWO, but fans fire up for Kaz. Daniels comes in and The Addiction work together on Vinnie, Daniels hits the wristlock stomp, to then DIVE onto Taven & O’Ryan!
The Addiction regroup and double whip Vinnie. They double hip toss into the powerbomb neckbreaker! Cover, TWO, but Kaz keeps his cool. Kaz runs at him, but Vinnie puts Kaz on the apron. Kaz hotshots Vinnie back, then slingshots in for the DDT! Cover, but The Kingdom breaks it. Taven drags Vinnie over to tag in, but Kaz wrenches him to run. Taven dodges the clothesline to springboard for the King’s Kick! Cover, but Daniels breaks it. Daniels stands Taven up but Taven punches him away. Taven goes back to Kaz but gets a jawbreaker. Kaz tags Daniels, and Daniels jabs away on Taven. Daniels whips but Taven reverses, Daniels kicks and hits the STO. Daniels and the fans fire up, and Daniels runs, but Taven tosses him out. Taven runs, and FLIES!
Kaz slingshots out to huricanrana Taven! But Vinnie springboards to senton onto Kaz, and O’Ryan wants his turn. Scorpio knees O’Ryan mid-springboard, and O’Ryan ends up trust falling onto The Kingdom. Daniels resets them and Scorpio builds speed, to FLY!
Scorpio pays the price a bit for that, but he and the SCU regroup to get Taven in the ring. Daniels prepares some sort of makeshift knuckle duster, but misses. Taven back suplexes but Daniels slips out, to roll Taven up, TWO. The referee spots Daniels’ fist weapon! The ref confiscates it, but Taven grabs his walking stick! Daniels ducks, and now the referee sees that weapon. The ref confiscates it, too, but misses Kaz coming in with a chair! Taven dodges that, and the chair rebounds to hit Kaz in the face! O’Ryan thinks Kaz is legal, so he tells Taven to pin him. But the referee says it doesn’t matter, someone hit someone with a chair, this match is over.
Winners: SoCal Uncensored, by disqualification; The Kingdom retains the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships
That’s the decision, but neither team is happy. The Kingdom dislike this blemish on their record, but the SCU don’t get to be champions. This feud is far from over, but what will it take to establish definitive ROH World Six Man Tag champs?
An ROH World Championship match has been made!
The Peacock has been heard by the ROH administration, and they have decided to make it a TRIPLE THREAT! Cody and Scurll no longer have to argue over who faces Dalton Castle at Best in the World, but this only complicates things more. Will Castle be able to survive two men who have both defeated him before? Or will the disagreements between the Bullet Club’s Allied Forces cost them both the gold?
This was a really good episode, with lots of really good action. The opening tag was fun, with Burger & Liger teaming up again for a rather sudden blow-off kind of match with The Dawgs. It was good they got this out of the way so that Burger can move on to fully focus on the un-retired Bully Ray. The first-ever WOH Championship defense was alright, and it works out that Jenny and Sumie are so familiar with each other. If the chemistry wasn’t there, the match would’ve probably been a lot sloppier. This wasn’t perfect, but it’s a good first outing for both of them. Great promo from Silas Young to set up Episode 350’s World TV Championship match. Silas VS Aries is going to be great, too, and I think Aries’ larger “Collector of Championships” will continue as he finally checks the TV title off.
The Six Man Tag was really great, lots of story going into it and the action actually got people to like Daniels and Kaz again. Ending with a disqualification is actually brilliant, because it keeps both teams strong. This can even allow things to circle back around to The Young Bucks and any third partner they want joining in for a massive 9 Man Tag of some kind. Best in the World is coming, so it’d be a great time to do something like that. Plus, that helps muddy the math so that it’ll be hard to predict who wins. Then the news of the ROH WHC Triple Threat is great, because we get the “Bullet Club is (Not) Fine” story tied in. This probably allows Castle to retain without anyone looking too strong or too weak while pushing the Bullet Club story ahead.
My Score: 8.5/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Japan Cup 2019 Part 1!
The 2019 New Japan Cup begins!
NJPW begins the 2019 New Japan Cup! Who among Tetsuya Naito, Kota Ibushi, Zack Sabre Jr. and EVIL will move on to the second round?
Coverage will be as broadcast by AXS TV
Find gifs on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL; ZSJ wins and advances to the second round.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi; Ibushi wins and advances to the second round.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene to kickoff the 2019 New Japan Cup!
Spring brings the best in the world in this special single elimination tournament! Only one man will win the right to challenge the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Madison Square Garden!
The first round has already seen a bit of action, with NJPW standards, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, advance, but others falling victim to upsets. Juice Robinson lost to Chase Owens while Sanada overcome Hirooki Goto. The biggest surprises perhaps came from the biggest men losing to the Junior Heavyweights when Bad Luck Fale and Hiroyoshi Tenzan lost to Will Ospreay and Ryusuke Taguchi respectively. But tonight, two of the most anticipated matches take the spotlight! The rivalry of the last year takes the stage again as EVIL and Zack Sabre Jr. face off once again! Plus, Kota Ibushi returns from injury to battle Tetsuya Naito in a G1 Climax rematch! The Golden Star looks to be the comeback kid while the Uncontrollable Charisma wants to be a historic dual champion! Only one can make their dream come true tonight!
Zack Sabre Jr. VS EVIL!
Taka Michinoku welcomes everyone to Zack Sabre Time, and asks who everyone thinks will win this year’s New Japan Cup. Well it’ll be the man who won last yer’s winner, the Submission Master and British Heavyweight Champion! So Evil, you’ll #JustTapOut! C’mon over here! The King of Darkness responds to being called out, and we begin the next chapter of this already storied rivalry!
The bell rings and fans cheer Evil on as he circles with ZSJ. They slowly approach and Evil knees low. Evil headlocks but ZSJ tries to power out, only for Evil to hold on tighter. Evil gets the headlock takeover but ZSJ works for a headscissor counter. He can’t get it so he stands up. ZSJ spins through and arm-drags Evil off, but Evil headscissors him. Evil squeezes and ZSJ endures. ZSJ finds his way up and pops free, then dares Evil to come on. ZSJ headbutts and headlocks but Evil powers out and runs him off! Fans cheer as Evil waits for ZSJ to return. Taka keeps ZSJ calm as he gets back up. ZSJ and Evil circle again, and Evil calls for a test of strength. ZSJ accepts and they grapple, and Evil gets the double knuckle locks.
Evil brings ZSJ to his knees but ZSJ reels him to reverse. ZSJ hammerlocks but Evil switches to his own, but ZSJ switches back, and so on. ZSJ spins and drops to get the takedown but Evil pushes him away. Evil avoids the Penalty Kick but ZSJ ducks the clothesline. Evil blocks ZSJ’s boot to chop and senton! But ZSJ gets his knees up and reels Evil into an armbar! Evil stacks for a cover, TWO! ZSJ still has the arm, but Evil gets the ropebreak. ZSJ lets go but comes back for more. He cranks Evil’s arm back then stomps the hammerlock. ZSJ also kicks Evil in the chest and stomps his legs. ZSJ ties the legs up in a figure four and pulls hair. The referee reprimands ZSJ but ZSJ stays on the arm with pulling fingers and twisting the arm.
ZSJ uses the hammerlock to turn Evil for a cover, TWO! Evil tries to get feeling in his arm but ZSJ kicks him in the back. ZSJ looms over Evil and gives his bad arm toying kicks. ZSJ kicks Evil again, but Evil grabs the kick! Evil hands the foot to Red Shoes before he mule kicks ZSJ down! The 2018 cup winner is down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Evil brings ZSJ up for forearms. Evil puts ZSJ in a corner then whips him corner to corner. ZSJ stops himself and comes back, but for a sidewalk slam! Fans fire up with Evil as he drags ZSJ back up. Evil suplexes ZSJ up and over then covers, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he brings ZSJ up again. ZSJ blocks the fireman’s carry and goes after the arm with a double wristlock. Evil powers through but ZSJ slips out to a full nelson. Evil endures the hold and breaks free! He headlocks and knees ZSJ right down! Evil stalks ZSJ to a corner and headlocks, but ZSJ denies the bulldog into the abdominal stretch! They go around and around and Evil puts it on ZSJ! ZSJ endures and pries the arm off, to Pele it!
ZSJ gives Evil European Uppercuts in the corner! He goes corner to corner but Evil follows for a clothesline! Evil runs but ZSJ follows, only for Evil to see him coming and clothesline him again! Cover, TWO! Evil drags ZSJ right up, fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Sabre survives but Evil has more where that came from. Evil drags ZSJ up and slashes the throat. But ZSJ victory rolls! TWO and Evil has it on ZSJ, TWO!! ZSJ wants a backslide but Evil powers it around, backslide on ZSJ! TWO, Penalty Kick! Both men are down, and fans cheer for Evil while Taka coaches ZSJ. ZSJ goes right at Evil to keylock stomp the arm! ZSJ kicks at it but Evil only gets angry. Evil stands and ZSJ throws EuroUppers, but those only make Evil stronger. He CHOPS ZSJ off his feet!
Evil stands ZSJ up for another chop, but ZSJ stands on his feet. ZSJ gives Evil a shoulder breaker, but Evil gives one back! Evil spins but into a EuroUpper. ZSJ runs but Evil goes sideways, ZSJ catches the clothesline into an Octopus Stretch! He drags Evil down and he cranks back! Evil endures as ZSJ twists him all around! ZSJ has one arm trapped and the other arm back, but Evil uses a leg for the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go but he comes back to dig his elbow into the back. He grabs Evil’s arm and twists it in his legs! ZSJ Penalty Kicks Evil down again! ZSJ catches his breath while Red Shoes checks on Evil. Evil sits up but uses Red Shoes as a shield! Evil mule kicks ZSJ again, then drags him up, to place on Red Shoes! Magic Killer!!
Evil catches his breath and grins while he, ZSJ and Red Shoes slowly get up. ZSJ gets to a corner as Taka coaches him up. Evil runs in for a big clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil drags ZSJ up to the top rope. He climbs up to join ZSJ, for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Sabre survives again but he clutches his own shoulder now. Evil stands and slashes the throat! He drags ZSJ up, spins him around but ZSJ slips through to scoop. Evil escapes but ZSJ standing switches. ZSJ rolls Evil back but the European Clutch is blocked! Evil wants a Half ‘n’ Half but ZSJ resists. ZSJ reaches for ropes but Evil shifts to a German Suplex! Evil takes aim, but ZSJ kicks the clotheslines away once, twice, but not the third time! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous after that close call!
Evil roars and drags ZSJ up again. He spins ZSJ around but ZSJ slips around and hops up! Sleeper to victory roll to EuroClutch, to EVERYTHING- Is Octopus! ZSJ drags Evil down, Napalm Death! Evil is stuck, Evil taps! ZSJ wins again!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission; advances to the second round
The 2018 New Japan Cup winner keeps on winning! ZSJ has a cup winning streak, will it continue all the way to the finals?
Tetsuya Naito VS Kota Ibushi!
This match feels almost too soon in the tournament! The leader of Los Ingobernables and the Golden Star could both have both made their way to the finals, but now only one of them will move on! Will Ibushi’s comeback lead him all the way to New York? Or will the IWGP Intercontinental Champion move towards being a historic dual champion in NJPW?
Fans love both stars so they’re naturally divided at the bell. Naito and Ibushi stare down as the cheers are thunderous. They start circling and then approach to tie up. Naito gets a headlock but Ibushi spins out for a keylock. Ibushi headlocks now but Naito punches out. Naito pulls hair and pushes Ibushi and things speed up. Ibushi hurdles Naito then again, but Naito ducks the kick and moonsault. Naito arm-drags but Ibushi headscissors, and the two break! Naito even hits Tranquilo. Fans cheer while Naito decides to roll out of the ring. Naito takes his time returning, telling Ibushi to relax. Ibushi doesn’t give Naito a choice, but then Naito escapes Ibushi to tease him about taking time. Ibushi returns but Naito is on him with kicks and elbows.
Naito whips but Ibushi reverses, but Naito grabs ropes. Naito dumps Ibushi out then sweeps the legs. He slingshots and dropkicks Ibushi down, a new take on his Cabron Combo. Naito has control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito whips Ibushi into railing. Naito drags Ibushi up and brings him around the way, to whip him into more railing! Fans cheer Naito but also show concern for Ibushi as Naito whips him into railing a third time! Naito brings Ibushi around the railing and bounces him off the desks. Red Shoes tells Naito to bring things back to the ring but Naito bounces Ibushi off wood again. Naito leaves Ibushi behind and rests in the ring. Ibushi crawls his way back as the ring count begins. The count passes 5 of 20 as Ibushi stands. Ibushi returns ringside at 10 and hops in at 11. Naito is on Ibushi with a whip and big elbow, then a swift basement dropkick! Naito poses more while Ibushi writhes.
Fans cheer for Ibushi and Naito spits at them. Naito stomps Ibushi and drags him up into a cravat neck wrench. Ibushi endures as Naito cranks hard. Ibushi fights out with body shots but Naito elbows him down. Naito then brings Ibushi around for a neckbreaker and casually covers, TWO! Ibushi’s bad neck is a target and Naito keeps on it. Naito brings Ibushi up but Ibushi breaks free. Ibushi throws forearms but Naito just smirks. Ibushi throws more but Naito elbows him around the side. Naito throws more elbows into the neck and Ibushi slumps against the ropes. Naito toys with Ibushi but Red Shoes reprimands him. He whips but Ibushi reverses and dodges to whip back. Ibushi dropkicks Naito right down! Both men fall into each other but Ibushi’s up first.
Ibushi drags Naito up for a strike fest! Naito blocks the kick to kick the knee, but still runs into a roundhouse! Ibushi standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he drags Naito up again. Naito resists the German suplex and gets the standing switch. Ibushi throws elbows to break free. Ibushi runs in but Naito boots him from the corner. Naito runs out but into a huricanrana! Fans fire up while Naito bails out of the ring. Ibushi fires up with the fans and goes to the corner. Naito knows it’s coming and stops the Golden Triangle! Naito drags Ibushi out for a draping neckbreaker to the apron! Ibushi falls to the floor and Red Shoes checks on him. He’s somehow okay to continue and drags himself into the ring.
Naito is waiting again, and runs out from a corner, shotgun dropkick! Then he drags Ibushi up to the top rope and out for another draping neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives and Naito is surprised, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito drags Ibushi back up. Naito ties Ibushi up but Ibushi fights out with his free arm. Naito clubs Ibushi in the neck then hits a German Suplex, but Ibushi lands on his feet! Ibushi kicks but Naito ducks to enziguri! Naito whips but Ibushi reverses only for Naito to come back with flying forearms, only to be caught into a snap German! Both men are down but the fans fire up! Naito and Ibushi stir as fans duel. Red Shoes checks and they’re both okay to continue. Ibushi and Naito grit their teeth as they sit up. They head for each other and start throwing forearms. Ibushi hits, Naito hits, repeat. They slowly stand but the brawling continues.
Ibushi hits but Naito comes back. The two stare down and Ibushi throws a forearm. Naito throws one back, so Ibushi gives another. They start picking up speed and now they’re just swinging wild! Ibushi fires off many palm strikes but Naito throws slaps. Ibushi runs but into Naito’s spinebuster! Naito drags Ibushi up and to the top rope again. Naito climbs up behind Ibushi and fans anticipate something dangerous. Ibushi holds on so Naito clubs away. Naito stands Ibushi up, but Ibushi grabs at Naito’s leg. Ibushi turns around and trips Naito up! Naito manages to stay on the apron, but Ibushi stalks him from above. Ibushi drags Naito up while standing on the ropes. Ibushi lifts but Naito fights out! Naito slaps away on Ibushi’s face, then brings Ibushi in, TOMBSTONE on the apron!!
Naito puts Ibushi in the ring then drags him up again. Hammerlock and underhook, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!? Ibushi still lives but Naito isn’t fazed. Naito drags Ibushi up again, arm wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but into Ibushi’s own PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!! Cover, TWO!? Now Naito survives and shocks everyone! Fans duel as Naito and Ibushi drag themselves to opposite corners. Naito runs at Ibushi but into a roundhouse! Ibushi brings Naito in but Naito spins out for a tornado DDT! Naito aims at Ibushi and runs in, into a clothesline!! Ibushi drags Naito up and to a lift, SIT-OUT LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives again but Ibushi is too tired to be frustrated. Ibushi drags Naito up and grabs both hands, but Naito dodges Kamigoye, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!?!
Fans are thunderous as this match continues! Naito staggers up and drags Ibushi to his feet. Wrench and tilt-o-whirl but Ibushi slips out to roundhouse! Ibushi gives a shout out to the King of Strong Style as he aims from a corner. Naito sits up, BOMAYE!! Cover, TWO?!? Ibushi can NOT believe Naito survived again! But Ibushi vows to finish this, double underhook, Butterfly Driver! But he’s not done there, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the second round
It took so much, but Ibushi makes it through the opening round! Naito’s dream is denied for now, what will it take for him to become the first-ever dual Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion in NJPW history? As for Ibushi, he advances only to take on Zack Sabre Jr. next! Will Ibushi break ZSJ’s streak in the New Japan Cup? Or will he #JustTapOut?
Ibushi takes the mic and thanks Naito for that amazing match. “In 2019, in NJPW, I’ll show you a new version of Kota Ibushi.” Ibushi vows to go all the way and win! Will everyone else in the tournament, let alone Jay White, take this to heart?
Wow, what a great opening to the tournament! At first, I thought it was a bit of a shame that this will be it for the first round, no Okada or Tanahashi, but seeing they had matches with slightly less important opponents (sorry, Mike Elgin), the two matches we got were much more worthy of airtime. Evil VS ZSJ is again an incredible match, and it makes a lot of sense for ZSJ to win. While Sanada is in the tournament, too, he and Evil are still strongly in the Heavyweight Tag Team Division. ZSJ has a great New Japan Cup win streak story to tell, and it’ll make a loss, should one come, all the more exciting if it’s in the later rounds. ZSJ going for back-to-back tournament wins on top of a huge title match is great, but I can’t be sure the chances of it happening.
Naito VS Ibushi was a really great match, and it’s not just kayfabe saying this match could’ve been a logical tournament finals choice. Naito’s story of becoming a dual champion could’ve propelled the tournament to some interesting places, but at the same time, it doesn’t have to be told in the tournament. Ibushi is in NJPW to stay so it means a lot more that he gets a push in the tournament. He already has a hard road ahead of him if the second round pits him against ZSJ, but perhaps a Kota Ibushi that can get through such big names, much like ZSJ did in last year’s tournament, can be a Kota Ibushi that defeats Jay White in Madison Square Garden.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (3/16/19)
Zack Sabre Jr. continues his journey in ROH!
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 391
It’s ROH 17th Anniversary weekend, but the action keeps on rolling! The Submission Master returns, will he make Rocky Romero #JustTapOut?
- Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes; Young & The Briscoes win.
- The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys; The Bouncers win.
- Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead; Rayne wins.
- Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero; ZSJ wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Silas Young & The Briscoes!
Cheeseburger leads Ryan Nova and Eli Isom into battle! Will their fighting spirits combined be enough to overcome the Last Real Man and #DemBoyz?
The bell rings and Isom begins against Jay Briscoe. Isom is no stranger to taking on former ROH World Champions, this could be his third upset on one already. They tie up and Jay waistlocks. Isom standing switches and throws Jay down but Jay reverses to a facelock, but Isom slips away. Fans applaud the Future of Honor keeping up with Jay. Jay and Isom circle again and Jay keeps Isom guessing on the grapple. Jay reels Isom in for a headlock, but Isom powers out, only for Jay to run him over. Things speed up and Isom kicks Jay. Isom runs but sees Jay follow. Jay fakes Isom out and kicks him down. Jay tags Mark and The Briscoes mug Isom. Mark suplexes but Isom slips out and shoves Mark. Mark turns around into Isom’s arm-drag!
Isom tags in Nova and Nova hops up for ax handles. Nova wrenches the arm but Mark rolls through. Mark breaks free but Nova dodges and fires off strikes. Nova wrenches and tags in Cheeseburger! Burger climbs up to drop his own ax handle. Burger wrenches but Mark pushes him away. Mark rushes at Burger but Burger crawls under and kicks him away. Burger speeds up but Jay stands in his way. Mark rocks Burger with a shotgun dropkick! Silas and the Briscoes take control as we go to break.
ROH returns and Silas taunts Burger to stand, only to stomp him down. Fans rally up for Burger and he throws body shots on Silas. Burger fires forearms but Silas shoves Burger for the backbreaker clothesline on the rebound! Silas drags Burger over and tags in Mark. Mark drops an elbow then drags Burger up. Mark suplexes and holds Burger up for a few seconds before dropping him down. Fans rally but Mark puts Burger in a camel clutch. Burger endures while Jay and Silas taunt him. Mark fish hooks Burger but lets up at 4. Mark blasts Nova but the ref keeps Isom from going after Mark. But he misses Mark biting Burger! Mark gets away with it then CHOPS Burger in a corner! Mark whips corner to corner but Burger dodges! Burger dodges Silas and Jay, too, hot tag to Isom!
Isom dropkicks Mark to his corner where Jay tags in. Silas runs at Isom but Isom puts him on the apron and dropkicks him down! Jay goes after Isom with a waistlock but is bucked off. Isom pops Jay up to a fireman’s carry! Nova intercepts Mark and DIVES on Silas! Air Raid Crash from Isom to Jay! Cover, TWO!! Isom almost had another former world champion caught! Isom keeps going but Jay blocks the suplex. Jay fights back but Isom throws his own forearms. Isom runs but into Jay’s fireman’s carry. Jay hits the Spicolli Driver while Mark climbs up! FROGGY-BOW! Jay covers, TWO!? Isom survives and The Briscoes are shocked!
The ref tells Mark to go to the corner but the Briscoes ignore him. #DemBoyz work together to finish this, double underhook but Isom fights out. Isom pushes Jay into Mark then kicks, suplex to brainbuster! Cover, TWO!! Another close call but Isom keeps his focus. Isom and Jay stand as fans rally up. Isom throws forearms and elbows then an enziguri. Jay staggers and Jay runs, but SUPERKICK for Jay! High-Low combo for The Briscoes! Mark keeps Burger out while Jay hits his Jay Driller! Cover, The Briscoes & Silas win!
Winners: Silas Young & The Briscoes, Jay Briscoe pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad struggles in the Six Man Tag Division against such accomplished opponents. Will it be the Last Real Man and Dem Boyz who move on towards the titles instead?
Rhett Titus speaks.
“Willie Mack, I heard you had plans to take the NWA National Title and defend it in every state across America.” Well Willie, plans change, because the Fittest is looking to take that belt and bring it with him on the Flex Express. Will Rhett’s own plans have to change after facing The Mack next episode?
The Bouncers VS Brian Johnson & Joe Keys!
The literally biggest team in the ROH Tag Team Division takes on two other Future of Honor stars. With physiques like theirs, JK and The Number One were hoping for sunny beaches and “beautiful baby dolls”, but instead got “busted up broads and their beer-swilling bozos”! Well that’s no way to talk about the fans or beer! The Bouncers make their way out with plenty of drinks, and Brian Milonas takes the mic. He and The Beer City Bruiser are here to kick ass and drink beer! Will they do just that against these rude rookies?
The Code of Honor is still upheld between the teams, and we start with Bruiser and Keys. Keys shows off his body while teasing Bruiser about the beer belly. Bruiser admits Keys wins the body building, but Bruiser has the fans as they chant “Beer! Beer!” along with him. Keys calls for a test of strength and Bruiser isn’t sure he’s serious. Keys shoves Bruiser and tells him to take it serious. Bruiser accepts the test, and SLAPS Keys off his feet! Keys gets up and kicks but Bruiser catches it. Bruiser spins Keys for an atomic drop. Keys gets to a corner but covers up from Bruiser’s punch. So Bruiser CHOPS instead! And CHOPS, and CHOPS! Fans cheer for more but Keys turns around to protect his chest. So Bruiser CHOPS his back! Keys scrambles to his corner and tags in Johnson.
Johnson fires off on Bruiser but Bruiser shoves him to run him over! Bruiser drags Johnson up but Johnson powers him to the corner. Keys anchors Bruiser’s feet and Johnson gets a sucker punch! Johnson stomps away in the corner then tags in Keys. Keys stomps Bruiser now but lets up at 4. Keys chops Bruiser back then goes to scoop. Bruiser’s too big for that, so Keys gives a European Uppercut. Johnson tags in and rams in his own uppercut. Johnson and Keys work together for a double scoop slam! Cover, ONE, and with power! Bruiser reaches for Milonas but Keys tags back in. Keys stomps Bruiser down then puts Bruiser back in the corner. Keys throws EuroUppers then gestures at Milonas. He runs in for a splash but Bruiser dodges! Keys hits buckles and both men are down!
Fans rally up as Bruiser crawls for his corner. Johnson shouts to Keys, and Keys tags him in. Johnson grabs Bruiser’s feet but Bruiser still gets to Milonas! The Mastodon rallies on both Future of Honor stars! Fans fire up as he pounces Keys out of the ring, then squashes Johson in a corner. Milonas whips Johnson corner to corner for another splash, then scoops. Johnson slips out and shoves Milonas away. Johnson dodges the clothesline but gets a pop-up spinebuster! Keys attacks Milonas from behind but Bruiser gets Keys. Bruiser whips Keys and Milonas gives Keys a pop-up spinebuster! The Bouncers say bottom’s up and grab Johnson. Milonas climbs and Bruiser holds Johnson up, draping leg drop! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
They kicked ass, now they drink beer! Will the Bouncers find their way to the ROH World Tag Team Championships and drink to a title reign?
Madison Rayne speaks.
“Thunder Rosa, you think that you and Holidead can come into ROH and control the narrative and call the shots?” Here’s the reality: the Twisted Sisterz are the opposite of what the Women of Honor stand for. The Queen Bee vows to make a statement, but will it go the way she hopes?
Willie Mack speaks.
The inaugural NWA National Champion is all about making history, and he makes history with ROH next week. He’ll defend his title in all 50 states, and is already on number 5. If Rhett Titus wants to stay fit, then he better get ready for a fight!
Madison Rayne w/ Sumie Sakai VS Thunder Rosa w/ Holidead!
As The Queen Bee alluded to, The Twisted Sisterz have done what they want to who they want since joining the Women of Honor Division, including the Ray of Sunshine. Now Sumie stands beside Madison, will they put the trouble-makers in their place?
Madison doesn’t wait for the bell, she goes right at Thunder Rosa! She tackles Rosa down and the bell has to ring as she fires off right hands. Rayne puts Rosa in one corner then runs her all the way to the other. She bumps Rosa off a third then hits a sliding lariat. Rayne runs Rosa over with a shoulder and fires up while Rosa regroups with Holidead. Rayne doesn’t give Rosa much time to regain composure, she goes right out and rocks her with a right! She puts Rosa back in while Sumie keeps her eyes on Holidead. Rayne runs Rosa over with a clothesline but notices Holidead egging Sumie on. Rayne runs and wrecks Holidead with a dropkick! Sumie and the fans cheer Rayne on but Rosa hits Rayne back!
Rosa fetches Rayne and rams her into the apron. She then CHOPS Rayne against the apron, before shoving her into the ring. Rosa stomps Rayne then covers, TWO! Rosa drags Rayne up and bumps Rayne off the buckles. She stomps a mudhole into Rayne but backs off at 4. Rosa snapmares Rayne and kicks her sharp on the back. Holidead wants another so Rosa kicks Rayne again. Rosa runs and dropkicks Rayne in the back, covers, TWO! Sumie coaches Rayne up while Rosa mockingly applauds. Rayne throws body shots but Rosa clubs her down. Rosa scoops and slams Rayne down, then applauds herself. Rosa runs side to side for a BIG leg drop! Cover, TWO! The Queen Bee is in trouble while we go to break.
ROH returns and Rosa toys with Rayne. Rayne throws forearms back and enziguris! Rosa falls over and Rayne covers, TWO! Holidead is relieved but Rayne keeps on Rosa. Rosa throws Rayne down by her hair, then drags her up for chops. Rosa whips Rayne corner to corner then runs in for a big back elbow! She snapmares Rayne to a cover, TWO! Fans rally for Rayne but Rose wraps on a chinlock. Rayne endures and fights her way up, but Rosa throws her back down. Cover, TWO! Rosa grabs Rayne for more chops, then does a little salsa to show off. She whips but Rayne reverses and things speed up, Rayne SPEARS Rosa down! But Rayne is also down and a standing 10 count begins.
The count reaches 5 as both women sit up. Rosa grabs Rayne and brings her up but Rayne fires forearms! Rayne dodges Rosa and rallies with more forearms. Rayne fires up and goes corner to corner but Rose catches her! Rosa puts Rayne on the top rope but Rayne boots her back. Rayne leaps for the crossbody! Both women are back up, Rayne ducks a kick to give an enziguri! Cover, TWO! Rayne keeps on Rosa with a waistlock. She wrings Rosa out but Rosa goes to swing. Rayne adjusts and gets around Rosa again for a dragon sleeper. Rosa elbows out and brings Rayne up into the Gory Especial, and spins around for the facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Rayne survives and the Twisted Sisterz are shocked!
Rosa is furious as she drags Rayne right up onto her shoulder! Rosa spins but Rayne slips out for the Rayne Drop! Cover, Rayne wins!
Winner: Madison Rayne, by pinfall
The Queen Bee wins outta nowhere and gets revenge on behalf of Sumie Sakai! Will Rayne and others teach the Twisted Sisterz a lesson about being Women of Honor?
Team Coast2Coast speaks.
“We were gone for a very long time, but for good reason.” Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni were “rediscovering” themselves. But now C2C is better than ever and will take on the best in the world! Their return is next week against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, will Chocolate Man and the Human Rocket be ready for the Franchise and the Octopus?
Zack Sabre Jr. VS Rocky Romero!
The partnership of ROH and NJPW is on display as the Submission Master returns! But not only that, the player-coach of Roppongi 3K makes his own return! Will Rocky make a run in ROH for gold? Or will he #JustTapOut?
ROH returns with the bell! Fans cheer Rocky on as he circles with ZSJ. Rocky keeps away from ZSJ’s grip and then they approach. ZSJ still gets Rocky down with a headlock but Rocky keeps up with his reversals. ZSJ gets free but both he and Rocky smirk as they circle again. They tie up again and ZSJ gets the arm. He cranks on it to get Rocky to the mat. Rocky endures the wristlock and ZSJ grinds a knee in. Rocky gets to his feet but ZSJ wrenches and arm-drags Rocky back down. Fans cheer ZSJ’s technique as he twists and pulls Rocky’s arm. Rocky spins through and gets up to dropkick ZSJ out of the ring! ZSJ is frustrated already as he kicks the railing. Rocky waits for ZSJ as he catches his breath.
ZSJ returns and circles with Rocky. They tie up and ZSJ gets a leg. He trips Rocky and stands on his feet. ZSJ twists the leg around and then ties the legs up so he can go after Rocky’s neck with a wrench. But he also hooks the face so the ref counts. ZSJ lets up at 4 to bring Rocky into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow. Rocky pops out to a cover, TWO! Fans applaud as Rocky and ZSJ circle again. Rocky and ZSJ approach and Rocky gets ZSJ’s leg now. Rocky waistlocks but ZSJ wrenches to a switch. ZSJ wrenches again and brings Rocky to his knees. ZSJ brings Rocky further down as he mounts the arm to pull back. Fans applaud while Rocky endures the pair of knuckle locks.
Rocky and ZSJ go shoulder to shoulder but ZSJ gets the cover. TWO so ZSJ tries again. TWO as Rocky brings up the shoulder, so ZSJ pushes it down. Rocky bridges this time, and then anticipates ZSJ hopping on with a monkey flip! It’s a double cover, but Rocky rolls back, only to get caught into ZSJ’s armbar! Rocky rolls and shifts but ZSJ slips out to a hammerlock. Fans applaud this continued exchange as Rocky reaches back for ZSJ. Rocky leaps and snapmares but ZSJ headbutts back. ZSJ snapmares but Rocky handsprings through to dropkick him down! Rocky brings ZSJ up for a chop then a cravat. ZSJ endures but Rocky snapmares. ZSJ responds with his own snapmare, but then Rocky snapmares back. They go snapmare for snapmare, but then ZSJ shoves Rocky down for a neck crank! Rocky writhes while we go to one last break.
ROH returns once again as Rocky manages a ropebreak while in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ reluctantly lets go, and waits for Rocky to sit up. ZSJ clamps on a half straitjacket, then digs in elbows and knuckles to get the full. Rocky endures as fans rally up. Rocky feeds off the energy but ZSJ does his best to keep Rocky down. The two struggle against each other, and ZSJ digs a knee in to keep the straitjacket. Rocky stands and spins the straitjacket around but ZSJ spins it back on. ZSJ brings Rocky back down then flips him over, but Rocky uses that to reverse the hold! Rocky has ZSJ but ZSJ breaks free to throw a EuroUpper. ZSJ whips but Rocky elbows back. Rocky springboards for a tornado DDT! Both men are down but fans rally up.
Another standing count begins and Rocky sits up at 3. ZSJ follows and grabs Rocky first. Rocky dodges and huricanranas! Things speed up, Rocky springboards again for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Rocky toys with ZSJ, then starts slapping him around. ZSJ EuroUppers then grabs a leg. Rocky misses the first enziguri but not the rewind! Fans fire up with Rocky as he runs corner to corner to start the Forever Clotheslines! He gets one, then another, but runs into a boot! ZSJ runs but into Rocky’s leaping knee, only to make it an STF! Rocky is caught, and ZSJ shifts sides! Rocky drags himself around and manages a ropebreak! ZSJ lets Rocky go and catches his breath. Now ZSJ toys with Rocky as he stomps him around. ZSJ kicks but Rocky gets mad. ZSJ pie faces so Rocky SLAPS away!
Rocky knees and hauls ZSJ up to the top rope. Rocky runs corner to corner for a top shelf knee! ZSJ falls to the apron but Rocky checks his shoulder first. Rocky brings ZSJ up but ZSJ resists the suplex. ZSJ goes after the arm but Rocky throws forearms. Rocky shoulders in but gets caught into an Octopus through the ropes! ZSJ lets go at 4 then shoves Rocky away. Rocky dropkicks ZSJ on the return! Rocky throws forearms and CHOPS, then ties ZSJ up in the ropes. He goes to the side and springboards for a guillotine missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and Rocky is exhausted. Fans build to a rally for Rocky as he brings ZSJ up. Rocky throws forearms on ZSJ then eggs him on. ZSJ throws a EuroUpper, but Rocky comes back for fast hands. Rocky kicks and runs for a Sliced Bread! Cover, TWO!
Rocky drags ZSJ up again and wants more, but ZSJ escapes Sliced Bread 2 for the standing abdominal stretch! Rocky reaches but ZSJ rolls him away, then around, Hurrah! The double wrist-clutch octopus is on and Rocky taps quickly! ZSJ wins!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission
The Submission Master brings in Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last. Will ZSJ’s first year in ROH be golden sooner rather than later?
Another ROH PPV, another disconnect between it and their television episodes. This episode, as all episodes are, was clearly recorded long before the PPV as nothing that happened at the PPV affects this episode’s events. For those who didn’t see the ROH 17th Anniversary, make sure to check here for the full card results. But for those who did, you know The Briscoes lost the the ROH World Tag Team Championships to Villain Enterprises, yet Jay & Mark still had the belts here. And all this makes it strange for commentary to vaguely reference the PPV when it hadn’t happened for them yet. The Six Man Tag they had was only okay, so I don’t see why it couldn’t have been three other Heels going against Shinobi Shadow Squad to get the spotlight instead.
In fact, seeing as how more Future of Honor stars were brought on for this episode, I’m starting to think that’s what episodes like this should be about. ROH Future of Honor stars can appear, get some television exposure, and take the card in place of literally anyone involved on the PPV card. And of course, facing Future of Honor stars meant an easy win for The Bouncers, who might finally be moving up now that they’re Faces. Meanwhile, Rhett Titus’ new gimmick is like if Lex Luger and Val Venis fused, but then the combination was slightly diluted. But Rhett VS Mack, even non-title, sounds fun. Pretty sure Mack wins that, but bringing NWA and its new championship into the fold of ROH’s many partnerships also sounds great.
Rayne VS Rosa was a good match, and I’m sensing this is building to something more. I’ve said before that having the Twisted Sisterz in WOH must mean Women’s Tag Team Championships are on the horizon, and it would be pretty big if Sumie Sakai joins Rayne in competing for those. I don’t think Rayne & Sumie would be the inaugural champions, that really should be the Twisted Sisterz given their resumes. But Sumie one day becoming a tag champ to be the first woman to have both the WOH World and Tag Team Championships would be a great thing for her own career. ZSJ VS Romero was a good match, and clearly ZSJ is set to dominate to at least a World Television Championship level. ZSJ VS Jeff Cobb would be great for the sheer difference in styles, but we know it’ll have to wait until after G1 Supercard.
My Score: 8/10