ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 350
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived does NOT impress the ROH World TV Champion. But if it means proving a point, The Last Real Man will put up his title against the belt-hungry Austin Aries as his way of “welcoming” the former ROH talent. Who will be THE Man holding the title by the end? Plus, more Women of Honor action!
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service
- Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood; Tenille wins.
- ROH World Television Championship: Silas Young VS Austin Aries; Silas wins by disqualification and retains the ROH WTV Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
The American Nightmare is here!
And he’s brought Bernard the Business Bear! Cody and his bear head to the ring while fans chant “All in! All in!” for Chicago will be the site of the explosively popular event of the summer. Cody speaks on “the irony that I go by the American Nightmare, when the last six months has been a complete Dream”, given how he is now (the self-proclaimed) Leader of Bullet Club. A banner six months, and a future senator from the great state of Texas, Cody will also be the future NWA World Heavyweight Champion! “But the world is not enough.”
Cody stands here and says that “the time is now.” He deserves his ROH World Championship rematch. It’ll be bittersweet, because at Best in the World, his personal anniversary, Cody doesn’t get 1v1 with Dalton Castle, but a Triple Threat with his friend, The Villain, Marty Scurll. Cody is sure everyone loves Marty, right? “YES!” And speak of the Villain, Marty’s here!
Scurll joins Cody in the ring with Chicago fans going wild. The streamers rain down on the second third of the coming championship triple threat but Cody smugly sneers. Scurll takes a mic and says “y’know something, Cody? You just love to tell everyone how good you are. But y’know what mate, I don’t have to tell anyone how great I am, because they already know it.” And who knows it better than anybody else? Cody himself. Scurll can tell when he looks Cody in the eyes, that Cody’s intimidated. At Best in the World, Cody is going to find firsthand just how good Scurll is. Fans “Woop Woop!” Even though they’re friends, if Scurll has to go through Cody to get on his first ROH World Championship, “then that’s exactly what I’m going to do.” Gentleman’s handshake?
Scurll offers, but Cody wonders if there’s more to it. Scurll puts down the mic and the umbrella, to offer the handshake. Cody says Scurll’s a good guy, and fans chant “Shake! Shake!” They do shake hands, but then Scurll bends the hand! To give it a pat. He also keeps Bernard on his toes with an umbrella strike feint. The Villain plays mind games already, but will he be the winner in the end?
Silas Young speaks.
“Tonight’s the night.” Silas tells Austin Aries that Aries spent the last few weeks “whining and crying” until he got this title opportunity. But tonight, Aries better have also spent that time researching Silas, because Silas studied up on Aries. After Silas wins, he doesn’t want to hear excuses, he wants to hear Aries say, “Silas Young IS the realest man that ever lived.”
Karen Q VS Tenille Dashwood!
Karen may put the Q in Queens, and she may have been the first woman to give Kelly Klein a loss, but she didn’t go as far in the WOH Championship tournament as her opponent did. Tenille put the spotlight on herself when she came to ROH, but the Aussie All-star wants more. Which woman will rise up to head for a shot at Sumie Sakai’s inaugural reign?
Karen gets annoyed by the streams, and claims, “I’M the only superstar here!” She reluctantly upholds the Code of Honor, and barely at that. Fans boo and the bell rings, and Karen ties up with Tenille. Fans rally as Karen and Tenille go around the ropes, and they end up in a corner. Karen has Tenille but Tenille turns that around, and then they break. Fans keep rallying as Karen rushes out, but Tenille reverses her into a wristlock. Karen rolls and kip-up to reverse back. “Who’s the superstar now?!” Tenille pushes Karen down, then dares her to come back. Karen does, but Tenille sidesteps and trips her up with a tabletop. Tenille then high stack covers, TWO. Karen kicks low, then waistlock, but Tenille standing switches. Karen switches back but then Tenille but then Karen. They go around and around, and fans applaud the exchange.
Tenille smiles, giving Karen credit, but then trips her up with a single leg. Fans cheer but Karen is frustrated. Things speed up and Tenille comes back with a tilt-o-whirl into another leg takedown. Cover, TWO, and Karen scrambles to a corner. Tenille lines it up, but Karen rolls out of the way before getting a Taste. Karen claims she’s “too smart” for that, and narrowly avoids Tenille’s baseball slide. Karen slides into the ring, and throws a shoulder out, but Tenille sees that coming and kicks her back. Tenille then turns Karen around for the hotshot neckbreaker. Fans fire up, but Karen trips Tenille on the apron. Karen has control while we go to break.
ROH returns and Karen has Tenille against the ropes as she rakes the back. Karen throws forearms in a corner, then runs in corner to corner to handspring clothesline! She keeps moving, for a back elbow and then a running roundhouse! Fans fire up, they like this. Karen throws Tenille with an exploder, covers, TWO. Fans rally as Karen drags Tenille over for a knee to the ribs. Karen clubs away with hammer fists, then barks at the referee for reprimanding her. She brings Tenille up, snap suplexes her, then boasts. Fans boo and jeer, but Karen keeps on Tenille in a corner. Karen pushes and shoulders Tenille into buckles, then backs off at 3. She snapmares Tenille and kicks her in the back a couple times. She stands on Tenille’s hair and pulls the arms, letting off at 4.
Karen goes back for more but Tenille kicks her away. Karen trips Tenille and tries to turn her over, but Tenille powers her away. Tenille whips but Karen kicks her away. Karen clubs Tenille, then bounces her off the mat. Karen stalks Tenille to a corner, and drags her up for more forearms. She whips Tenille corner to corner, but Tenille dodges and lets Karen hit buckles, before putting Karen in the Tarantula!
Tenille lets go at 4, then drags Karen back up. She whips but Karen reverses and lifts, for the side slam. Cover, TWO. Karen tries again, TWO. Karen curses in Mandarin Chinese out of frustration, then shouts at the ref the same way. Fans rally and Tenille fights back. Karen hits Tenille down, then whips into a corner. Tenille hits buckles then hits the mat, but Karen keeps on her. Karen whips her the other way and just as hard. Karen drags Tenille up again, and whips for a hat trick. She runs in, but Tenille boots her away. Tenille back elbows Karen, then runs to rally with clotheslines. Tenille brings Karen around and throws her by her hair! Fans fire up with Tenille as she runs corner to corner, and gives Karen a Taste of Tenille!
Cover, TWO! Tenille is surprised, but she keeps focus while fans rally again. She brings Karen up in the double underhook, but Karen trips her up and turns her over for the Spring Roll Crab! Tenille endures as Karen bends her back. Tenille claws and drags herself over while fans rally, ropebreak! Karen lets Tenille go, but comes back with stomps and kicks. Karen goes for it again, but Tenille tucks and covers, Tenille wins!
Winner: Tenille, by pinfall
The spotlight is on her again, but Tenille bails out of the ring before Karen can attack again. Can Tenille keep it #AllAboutMe and reach the top?
Meanwhile, Karen takes her frustrations out on buckles, then confiscates a chair to start swinging it like mad! Karen is having a sore-loser meltdown, but she’s only been back for one match. Will she be able to turn it around towards a title shot? Or is this just a sign of things to come?
ROH recaps the vicious feud forming between Punishment Martinez and Hangman Page.
Part one was 4/27/18, Lakeland, FL, when the Reincarnation of the Purple Mist would blindside and beat down the Problem Solver moments before their scheduled match. Part two was 5/11/18, in Toronto, ON, during the War of the Worlds 2018 tour. Martinez was moments from winning the IWGP United States Championship off Jay White, but Hangman would come out to distract him. This gave White the win, but Martinez would come back for revenge later that night when he attacked Hangman just moments before his own match. Hangman would not leave it for their rematch in Royal Oak, MI, as he attacked Martinez in Detroit, 5/12/18. Between the chair shots and the table smashing, Hangman made it very clear to Martinez that he’s not going away quietly.
Given all of this, it is being made official! Hangman and Punishment will meet again, but in the ring, at Best in the World! Who will win this gritty grudge match? Will either man even be able to walk away?
Another Best in the World match has been made!
Yes, after the brutal beating #DemBoyz Jay & Mark Briscoe gave to Matt & Nick Jackson simply to retain the ROH World Tag Team Championships, management had no choice but to grant a rematch. But it won’t be an easy road for The Briscoes, as they’ll have to defend against Roppongi 3K’s Sho & Yoh next week on ROH 351! Will Jay & Mark #ManUp and make it through one defense to then walk into another against arguably the best tag team in the world?
ROH World Television Championship: Silas Young VS Austin Aries!
The Greatest Man That Ever Lived has been collecting belts far and wide, from DEFY to Impact to World Series Wrestling, and now he’s come back to grab the belt that he’s never held. But the Last Real Man won’t let go of that belt so easily. Can Silas show the A-Double Level means nothing in today’s Ring of Honor? Or will Aries just add another belt to the collection?
ROH returns as Chicago duels in chants for Milwaukee’s two toughest sons. The bell rings the Silas circles with Aries. They tie up, and Silas powers Aries to ropes but Aries turns things around. Aries backs off and Silas finally takes off his shirt, and throws it at Aries! But Aries catches it!
Fans cheer, and Aries goes to throw it, but changes his mind. He just tosses it on the ground, saying no one wants a Silas Young shirt. Aries circles with Silas again, and ties up. Aries gets the waistlock takedown and floats all around, to then cover, ONE. He puts Silas in the crucifix cover, ONE, but grabs Silas in the facelock! Aries goes for Last Chancery but Silas slides under the ropes. Aries honors the break, and Silas gets away while Aries dares him to be a man. Silas takes his time, so Aries lounges on the top rope. Silas slowly returns, and sarcastically applauds for Aries. They circle again, tie up, Silas gets the hammerlock.
Aries moves around and snapmares but Silas stays on his feet. Silas sweeps the legs and covers, but Aries slips out. Aries sweeps and covers, but Silas slips out. Silas Oklahoma Rolls, ONE, and the fans applaud the standoff. Silas shows no respect as he flicks snot and sweat onto Aries. Aries brushes that off while Silas taunts the fans. They circle again, tie up, and Silas gets another armlock. Aries rolls and handsprings to reverse then put on a headlock. Silas powers out, but Aries goes up and over. Aries runs and speeds it up with a cartwheel to then arm-drag Silas a couple times. He puts Silas in an armlock but Silas headscissors. Aries headstands and pops out to dropkick Silas!
Silas gets to a corner, and Arise gives back the snot and sweat flick. Silas rolls out of the ring in disgust, but Aries lets him catch his breath. The ring count begins, but Silas returns quicker this time. Silas shoves Aries so Aries shoves back. Silas puts on a headlock, but Aries powers out. Aries swings but Silas dodges to then shoulder Aries down. Silas gets big handfuls of sweat from his chest hair, and flicks it all at Aries! Aries SLAPS Silas! Then they brawl with haymakers! Silas gets the edge and whips Aries corner to corner, but Aries reverses and back elbows. Aries snapmares, then climbs up, for the second rope elbow to the neck! Cover, TWO, and Silas rolls to the apron.
Aries goes over, and drags Silas up by that chest hair! Aries bumps Silas off one buckle, then the other, then back again. And again, and again, then ear claps Silas off the apron. Fans cheer as Aries builds speed, but Aries runs right into clobbering hands from Silas. The Last Real Man has control while we go to break.
ROH returns as Silas bowls Aries into barriers. Silas tells the ref, “If you don’t like it, count ’em out.” Silas then bumps Aries off the blue chair, and the ref comes out to stop him. Fans rally for Aries but Silas grinds his boot into Aries’ throat. Silas stalks Aries around the corner, then haymakers him into the ring. He slingshots and stomps on Aries, then covers, ONE. Silas keeps his cool, and drags Aries up for more haymakers. Aries hits back, and they brawl. Silas boots Aries but Aries comes back with a forearm. Aries walks over to Silas in the corner, but Silas boots him right in the face. Silas snapmares into a chinlock to grind and squeeze Aries on the mat.
Fans rally again, and Aries feeds off that energy. Aries fights out, then overhand chops. Aries runs, but into Silas’ backbreaker and lariat! Cover, TWO, and Silas grows frustrated. Silas can’t believe fans are still cheering for Aries. He goes after Aries with a full nelson but Aries stomps and elbows out. Silas goes after the full nelson again, but Aries breaks free again. Silas tries a third time, but Aries runs around and reaches for ropes, but just ends up slinging Silas right out of the ring. Aries stands up but Silas returns, so Aries shoulders him and neckbreaker hotshots Silas down. Aries fires up and fans follow, he builds speed to DIVE!
The “Low-pe” hits and fans fire up with Aries again. Aries puts Silas back in, then climbs up top. He takes aim, and hits the missile dropkick. Cover, TWO!
Aries keeps his cool and stands up as fans rally up again. Aries brings Silas up, but Silas powers him to a corner. Silas rams his shoulder in, but Aries clubs his back. They trade chops and forearms, and Silas rams his shoulder in again. Silas whips Aries corner to corner but Aries reverses. Aries runs but into a big boot! Silas grabs Aries, Full Nelson Knee, then fireman’s carry but Aries slips off. Aries kicks low, suplexes, but Silas slips out and kicks Aries low. Silas lifts Aries up again, but Aries slips out again. Aries kicks low again, lifts but Silas slips out again. Silas kicks and lifts, but Aries slips out and onto the apron. Aries tries to suplex but Silas lands on his feet, so Aries lifts Silas in the fireman’s carry. Aries gives Silas a Death Valley Driver to the apron!!
The champion goes down and we go to one last break.
ROH returns once more, and Aries puts Silas in the ring. Cover, TWO! Aries grows frustrated, but he feels he’s getting closer. Fans rally again, Silas crawls to a corner, and Aries runs in, but the dropkick is caught into a fireman’s carry! Silas hits the rolling senton, then headstands for the Plunge! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Silas is shocked, but fans say “This is Awesome!” Silas goes out and grabs his belt, wanting to use it. The referee grabs the belt to stop Silas, but Aries rolls Silas up! TWO, but into Last Chancery!
Silas endures as Aries wrenches him back. He reaches, and gets a ropebreak. Aries is in disbelief now, and so Aries grabs one of his belts. The ref confiscates that belt, too, and then Silas rolls Aries! TWO, and Aries throws hands. Silas returns them and it’s a Milwaukee brawl in Chicago. Fans are on Aries’ side, but Silas keeps pace. They go back and forth, back and forth, then Aries gets the edges. Aries chops and chops, then runs, but the Discus Fivearm is caught into the fireman’s carry! Silas’ spin takes out the referee! Aries escapes again, and hits the Fivearm! Fans fire up, Aries runs and hits the dropkick. Aries climbs up and takes aim, but wait! Out comes Beer City Bruiser, but with Kenny King in pursuit!
The two pals of the two Milwaukee men brawl it out on the outside, but that gives Silas the opening to knock Aries off the top! Aries goes down, and Silas wakes the referee up. Kenny King has finished with Bruiser, but Silas wants to use his belt! Kenny sees that and snatches that belt away. Silas screwed Kenny out of the ROH WTVC before, he’s not letting Silas do it to his friend. Kenny swings on Silas and clobbers him with the gold!
Aries stands up, and Kenny is all fired up. Cover, Aries wins!!
Winner: Aries, by pinfall; NEW ROH WTV Champion
The Belt Collector is victorious, and the Last Real Man is beside himself. Fans chant “You Deserve It!” but wait, a second referee comes out and talks it over with the primary ref. They then talk to the ring announcer, and it seems a change has been made… “Ladies and gentlemen, your attention please.” Because senior referee Todd Sinclair is using his authority as backstage monitor, Austin Aries has been disqualified via interference from Kenny King. Therefore, the decision is reversed, and the real winner, and STILL ROH World TV Champion: Silas Young!
New Result: Silas Young wins, by disqualification; still ROH WTV Champion
If you’re Austin Aries, this is a travesty. But if you’re Silas Young, this is a triumph of justice. Either way, a rare instance when the head referee changes the decision on the field.
Aries and Kenny argue with Todd Sinclair, but Sinclair says Silas retains. Aries doesn’t accept that, so he kicks Sinclair in the balls! Kenny tries to stop Aries but now Aries is choking Sinclair! The Greatest Man That Ever Lived is furious, but taking it out on an official won’t help his chances of staying in ROH. Kenny tries to talk reason into Aries, but fans tell Sinclair “You Deserved It!” Aries still has three other belts, and Kenny reluctantly touches the Impact title to hand it back to him. The good friends high five, but then Aries kicks KENNY in the balls!! Aries is NOT okay with Kenny costing him the title, and he gives Kenny the Greatest Brainbuster! The Greatest Man is not so great, as he puts Kenny in Last Chancery!
Aries leaves his “friend” out cold in the ring, and has fury in his eyes. Will Aries ever return to ROH? Will he pay for betraying the K I N G, who was only trying to help? And what about Jay Lethal’s big announcement!?
A solid night for ROH from start to finish. The divide between Bullet Club is growing as Marty Scurll is already questioning the abilities of the “new leader”. He toys with Cody already, this is going to be a fun few weeks leading into Best in the World. Win or lose, these two having a feud all their own will also be great. Karen Q VS Tenille was a great match for WOH, and just as commentary said, this was a great showing for Karen’s return. Karen’s sudden tantrum was a nice touch to her character, and I bet this will become a recurring thing for her when she loses. Tenille moves up in the rankings, as she should, but I sense she’ll have a #1 contender’s match with the likes of Kelly Klein or Mandy Leon before challenging Sumie Sakai.
Great video package for the Hangman VS Martinez rivalry and coming grudge match. That match is going to be intense, and could easily count as a contenders match for the World TV or World Heavyweight title. Young Bucks VS Briscoes at BitW is going to be great, because I’m pretty sure Briscoes get through Roppongi 3K one way or another. Silas VS Aries was incredible, practically worthy of a PPV in itself. The story elements were great, too, and what a way for Aries to turn Heel in the ROH kayfabe. I’m pretty sure this means Aries returns for more matches, namely against Kenny King, but given the link made by Don Callis between ROH and Impact, we could be seeing even more crossover matches between those promotions. The only downside is that I might have to start watching Impact… Or at least start following Ja’ Von’s Impact coverage.
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