ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 354
It’s Best in the World Weekend, and ROH makes sure to deliver even on free TV! The Kingdom has cried conspiracy, but the ring leader, Matt Taven, gets his chance to shine. Can he defeat one of CMLL’s most decorated in Ultimo Guerrero? Plus action from young stars like Josh “The Goods” Woods and Jonathan Gresham!
- Jonathan Gresham VS Kenny King; King wins.
- Josh Woods VS Facade w/ Danni; Woods wins.
- Ultimo Guerrero VS Matt Taven w/ TK O’Ryan; Taven wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Jonathan Gresham VS Kenny King!
The Octopus has worked to revive a more technical grappling style to ROH, but he hasn’t quite gotten it to stick. Meanwhile, the K I N G is reeling from a loss to his former friend, Austin Aries, at the Best in the World PPV. Which man will rebound with a win in the Hammerstein Ballroom?
The Code of Honor is upheld and the bell rings. Gresham and King circle as fans rally up. They tie up, and Gresham gets the arm wrench to wristlock. King pries his way out, but Gresham gets him in a hammerlock. King reaches for ropes but spins through to overhead arm-drag. They both stand up and King arm-drags Gresham again, into an armlock. Gresham sits up and arm-drags but King holds on arm-drag Gresham again. Gresham headscissors to counter, but King pops out. They stand off, and fans applaud.
King and Gresham circle as fans duel. More fans are on King’s side as he ties up with Gresham again. King powers Gresham to a corner, then pats the shorter Gresham on the head as they break. They circle again, tie up, and Gresham goes low to come back up with a keylock. He brings King to the mat, trapping an arm while pulling on King’s neck. Gresham then shifts and rolls to crucifix, TWO. King arm-drags Gresham again, but Gresham works his way up again. King puts Grehsam in a corner, then back elbows on the break. He whips Gresham corner to corner but Gresham goes up and under. Gresham offers the leg, but it’s only bait to bring King in for a headlock. King powers out then runs Gresham over. King dances and grins, then runs again.
Gresham stops him with another offer of the ankles. King pushes the feet aside to get moving again. Gresham tries again, and King grabs the legs to tell Gresham to stop. But Gresham uses that moment to smack Kenny’s wrists against each other. Gresham gets the headlock takeover but King pops out. Gresham gets another takeover, then another, but King keeps powering out. King gets a takeover, but gets caught in the headscissors while we go to break.
ROH returns and Gresham is clamped onto King with a sleeper hold and body scissors. King carries Gresham as a backpack as he pries his way out, and he throws Gresham off with force. King stalks up behind Gresham and carries him in a fireman’s carry. Gresham grabs ropes as he resists. King gets him to let go, then hits Gresham with the chin-check to spinning enziguri! Cover, TWO! King keeps on Gresham with a backbreaker, then stalks Gresham to a corner. He clubs and kicks Gresham’s back, then whips Gresham corner to corner hard. King rolls Gresham over for a hammerlock clutch. Fans duel as Gresham endures. King blocks the ropes but Gresham still reaches. Gresham stands and fights out. Gresham throws a forearm, then tries for a lift, but that bad back won’t let him. King stomps on the back, then covers. TWO, but King won’t let up.
Fans rally as King scoops and slams, then gets to the ropes. King springboards but Gresham avoids the leg drop. Both men get to a corner, and Kenny runs in, but misses those shotgun knees. Gresham runs in now, for a big boot. He goes again for another! Gresham fires up but King follows, only to end up in a drop toehold that sends him into buckles. Gresham gets moving again, for a big dropkick! Fans are fired up with Gresham as Kenny crawls out. Gresham climbs on and goes for a sleeper, but King puts him on the apron. King gets the Eddie Gordo kick, then slingshots. Gresham sees it coming and slips back inside. King manages to stay on the apron, and as Gresham runs, King returns to SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!
King can’t believe it, but fans are rallying. He brings Gresham up, fireman’s carry, but Gresham lands on his feet to small package! But the cradle is rocking, it’s TWO after TWO. They keep moving, fighting for control, but fans are loving it. It lands in Gresham’s favor, TWO! So close, but King rocks Gresham with a forearm for it. King runs, but Gresham follows to springboard quebrada! Fans rally up again as both men slowly stir. King is up first, but Gresham isn’t far behind. Gresham throws a forearm, so King gives it back. Gresham hits, then King hits, and back again. They pick up speed, but King blocks to counter and then give a spinning forearm. But Gresham’s back up for an enziguri!
Gresham runs in but is put on the apron. He shoulders back in, then climbs up top. Gresham leaps, crossbody but roll through! TWO! Gresham rolls and spikes King with that huricanrana! High stack cover, TWO, but Gresham Oklahoma rolls. King rolls through, fireman’s carry, Royal Flush! Cover, King wins!
Winner: Kenny King, by pinfall
The K I N G breaks even as he gets a win back on his record. Will the two-time ROH World Television Champion manage to fight his way back up towards that title? Will Gresham ever get that “signature win” he’s seeking?
ROH looks ahead to two weeks.
In two weeks, ROH TV Episode 356, it will be the first ever Six Man Tag GAUNTLET! The winning trio will then earn a title shot at the World Six Man Tag Team Champions, The Kingdom! Who will enter the gauntlet? And who will win to challenge the champions?
Josh Woods VS Facade w/ Danni!
It’s time to #GoNinjaGoNinjaGo as the Aerosol Assassin takes on The Goods in his ROH return match. Meanwhile, The Notorious Hitman, Shane Taylor, is watching is current rival closely, as their grudge is not so easily settled. Can Woods focus on the Neon Ninja before him? Or will he be too distracted by the serious threat looming nearby?
The Code of Honor is upheld and the bell rings. Facade comes out quick with a boot to the face, but Woods doesn’t fall down. Facade runs, but into Woods’ boot! Woods gutwrenches, and throws Facade! He holds on to do it again! Woods drags Facade up for a third time, but Facade huricanranas out. Facade thrust kicks, then runs, then ducks the clothesline to a waistlock. Woods powers his way out to a standing switch, then throws Facade down. Woods pulls on the arm, but Danni and fans rally up for Facade. Facade endures and powers up, to fight out. Woods comes back but misses, Facade hits a roundhouse. Facade runs but into a punch. Woods whips Facade, but Facade ducks to quebrada!
Woods gets out of the ring, and Facade builds speed, but runs into another punch. Facade is down but Woods covers, TWO. Fans rally for Facade but Woods stalks him. Woods throws Facade overhead, then fires up. He runs into the corner, but Facade dodges. Facade mule kicks, then again, but that spinning back kick is blocked! Woods kicks but Facade Matrix handsprings to come back with a calf kick. Facade gets up but Woods hits back with forearms and knees. Woods whips but Facade goes out to the apron. Facade hits Woods away, then climbs up top. Facade walks the tight rope, for a missile dropkick! Fans rally and Woods goes out of the ring again. Facade builds speed again, double hop for the springboard senton! Down goes The Goods, but fans fire up!
Facade puts Woods back in the ring, then aims again. He springboards, bulldog! Cover, TWO! Facade can tell he’s close, and Danni keeps the fans going. Facade prepares another move, but is caught by Woods into the waistlock. They go into the corner, roll, Chaos Theory! But Woods isn’t done, as he fireman’s carry and Widowmaker! Cover, Woods wins!
Winner: Josh Woods, by pinfall
The Goods downs the Neon Ninja, but the Hitman gives him credit. Woods knows Taylor is there, so he calls him out. “Last time we fought, you knocked me out. And I’ve been fighting my whole entire life.” Woods has been hit a lot, but he never felt something like that. Woods knows something is up. Taylor responds, asking what Woods means by that. What’s up is that Taylor’s #OnePunchShane for a reason. But maybe Woods is just a glutton for punishment, so anywhere, anytime. If he wants another shot at Taylor, just come get it. Then why not here and now?
Taylor double checks, he wants to fight here in New York? Bet! Taylor makes his way to the ring and Woods is ready. But then Taylor reconsiders. “The Hell I look like, fighting in front of these people for free?” Taylor is pretty sure New York treats stars like trash. “Just ask Carmelo Anthony.” NBA aside, Taylor says ROH needs to sign the contract, because #BigMoneyShane doesn’t fight for free. Taylor leaves Woods and the fans wanting more, but when and where will it happen?
The Dawgs speak.
Big Rhett & Little Willie heard about that Six Man Tag Gauntlet, and they want in. But that means getting a third man for the job. This might not be the best way to recruit one… It’s okay, Rhett and Shane Taylor go way back. Yes, they’re going to talk with Shane Taylor.
They explain to Shane about the Six Man Tag Gauntlet and how they need a third man, so who better than him? Don’t worry, they’ve got money, drinks, just… Not right now. They have a certified IOU! Seriously? It’s on a napkin. And IOU’s don’t work. Come back with money. Real money. If it’s a big jar of change like last time, he’ll unload on both of you. Rhett and Ferrara argue as Shane makes his way out of the room. Will they get enough money for Shane to accept? Or will they be shut out of the Gauntlet completely?
ROH looks at what led to next week’s No Holds Barred match.
Cheeseburger requested such an intense match after everything Bully Ray has done. It was back at Supercard of Honor XII that The Dawgs challenged Burger to a match, but Burger needed a partner. So Burger turned to a man he thought would help him in the tag team hall of fame legend. Bully accepted, and the two rallied on Rhett & Ferrara, only for Bully to turn on Burger mid-match! Bully was disgusted by Burger putting him on the spot. To Bully, Burger and wrestlers like him are what’s wrong with wrestling today.
Then, as Burger looked for payback at War of the Worlds back in May, Bully robbed him of it with a low blow! Bully let himself be counted out as he glared at fans, then came back to hurt Burger more with a powerbomb. Burger got back at Bully a couple days later with a low blow, only to suffer a SUPER sit-out powerbomb! Bully added insult to injury as he used chains to whip and lash Burger. Burger wins on the record books, but he wants more.
“My first hardcore match. How fitting it takes place in New York City, your hometown, Bully.” Burger has nothing to lose and Bully can’t get the job down. Burger vows to use the fire in his heart and the gold boots on his feet to kick Bully’s ass! Will Burger’s first extreme match be his last?
Ultimo Guerrero VS Matt Taven w/ TK O’Ryan!
The relationship of ROH and CMLL is on display as The Kingdom’s Ring Leader revives a rivalry with Mexico’s Ultimate Warrior. In fact, Taven is still the NWA World Historic Welterweight Championship under CMLL, on top of being one-third of the ROH World Six Man Tag Champions. Can Taven prove himself in singles competition in his quest to become a Grand Slam Champion? Or will Ultimo earn himself opportunities in both promotions instead?
The bell rings but no Code of Honor because Taven does not like Ultimo at all. They circle, but Ultimo takes offense to O’Ryan banging on the apron. Ultimo scares O’Ryan off with a kick, then turns his attention back to Taven. They tie up, and Ultimo gets a waistlock, but Taven counters with a drop toehold. Taven floats over to a headlock, but Ultimo stands up. Ultimo reverses to a wristlock and brings Taven to the mat. Taven headscissors back, but Ultimo pops out. Fans chant “Lucha! Lucha!” for the CMLL Legend and he joins in, “Lucha Libre! Lucha Libre!” Taven mockingly applauds, he doesn’t care. Streamers fly in, Taven definitely doesn’t like that. O’Ryan takes those for him to tear them up, but Ultimo chases O’Ryan off again.
Ultimo returns to the ring and circles with Taven again. They tie up, but Taven kicks low. Taven throws hands and a European Uppercut, then flexes as Ultimo falls. Taven drags Ultimo back up to put him in a corner with a hard buckle bump. He then stomps a mudhole into Ultimo, and O’Ryan chokes Ultimo against the ropes! O’Ryan gets away with it, then Taven keeps on Ultimo with a corner to corner whip. Ultimo reverses and reverses direction, and his whip sends Taven up and over to the outside! Taven manages to hold on, but Ultimo sweeps the legs to then blast him off with a baseball slide! Fans fire up and clap along with Ultimo. Ultimo goes outside, and he rocks Taven with a chop. Ultimo then whips Taven so hard, he goes tumbling over the barriers!
Taven wipes out the trash can full of streamers, yet that fan’s beer somehow goes undamaged. Fans are loving it, though, as Taven crawls his way back. Meanwhile, Ultimo throws O’Ryan into barriers for good measure. Ultimo keeps going, throwing O’Ryan into more barriers. Taven returns, and he’s thrown into barriers nearby. Ultimo refreshes the count, then climbs up top. Ultimo aims, and LEAPS! Taven escapes damage, but O’Ryan is taken out by that elbow!
Ultimo gets up while Taven builds speed. Taven wrecks Ultimo with a dropkick! Ultimo hits barriers, and Taven rubs in that he’s a champ! Taven brings Ultimo up, and runs with him to throw him into barriers on the far side. Taven even snags a fan’s drink! The crossover champion has control while we go to break (before we can see what he was planning with that beer).
ROH returns and Taven has Ultimo back in the ring. Taven has the chinlock on, but fans are rallying behind “Lucha Libre!” Ultimo powers up and fights out, but Taven knees low. Ultimo hits back, then runs, but into Taven’s fireman’s carry. Taven spins to throw Ultimo over the top rope. Ultimo manages to hold on, but Taven sends him down with the Kick of the King. O’Ryan talks trash while Taven builds speed, but then Ultimo yanks O’Ryan over! Taven FLIES, but onto O’Ryan! The Kingdom wipes out, and Ultimo borrows a beer to take a sip. He then throws the rest of it on The Kingdom! Fans are loving this as Ultimo brings a chair over. He sits Taven down, then sits O’Ryan on Taven’s lap. Ultimo gets room, runs and barrels into them both!
Fans are thunderous for the lucha legend throwing caution to the wind, “This is Awesome!” Ultimo is up first, and fans chant “SI! SI!” as Ultimo raises the roof. Ultimo is back in the ring but Taven returns. Taven gets to a corner, but Ultimo chops him sharply. Uno mas! Uno mas! And still, uno mas! Uno, dos, tres, all the way to diez! But Ultimo isn’t over, he whips Taven corner to corner. Taven reverses but Ultimo goes up. Taven climbs up to join him, only to get a SUPER Gordbuster! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally while Taven stirs. Ultimo stands up and stalks Taven to a corner. He whips Taven corner to corner again, but Taven goes up and over. Ultimo catches Taven, but Taven slips out, only to get a stiff back elbow. Ultimo runs corner to corner, for the headstand… swinging bronco buster! AKA Senton de la Muerte! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Taven survives, and Ultimo is a bit surprised. Ultimo drags himself up to his feet while Taven sits up. Fans are dueling now as Ultimo tries to bring Taven up. He gets him up but Taven headscissors. Ultimo sunset flips but Taven rolls through for the Shining Wizard! Taven falls back into the cover, TWO! Taven throws a tantrum while we take one more break.
ROH returns once more, and Ultimo breaks free of Taven’s hold. Ultimo swings on Taven, but Taven turns that around into a swinging neckbreaker! Taven positions Ultimo, runs, LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Taven is again frustrated, but fans and Ultimo fire up with “Lucha Libre!” again. Ultimo staggers up while Taven takes aim. Taven hits a forearm smash, then hoists Ultimo up for a swing kick. He climbs up to join Ultimo, but Ultimo blocks the Super Steiner! Ultimo hits a SUPER Powerbomb! Cover, TWO!
Both men are down from exhaustion alone. Ultimo sits up first, but Taven slowly follows. Ultimo stands first, and goes over to Taven. He hits Taven, but Taven hits back. Taven runs, springboards, Kick of the King again! Taven keeps going as he drags Ultimo over. He climbs up, but Ultimo trips him up! O’Ryan distracts while Ultimo climbs up. Ultimo slaps O’Ryan away! But wait, red balloons float out from under the ring! It seemed odd the Horror King wasn’t ringside, but surely that means he’s here after all. And yes, Vinnie Marseglia appears from the other side! He POPS a balloon near Ultimo’s ear! Ultimo falls down, and Taven comes back with CLIMAX! Cover, Taven wins!
Winner: Matt Taven, by pinfall
The Kingdom just can’t leave each other alone. They always help each other out, but in the worst ways possible, as they screw over the CMLL legend. The only #KingdomConspiracy is how they’re always winning by bending the rules.
“What more do I have to prove?” What will it take so that the Melvins of the world recognize Matt Taven’s greatness? Taven respects Ultimo, but it doesn’t matter where you are, “Matt Taven will always, ALWAYS be better than you!” The Six Man Tag Gauntlet is coming. Will a team rise up that can finally shut these three up?
A solid episode of ROH for Best in the World Weekend. As most episodes just after a PPV, it doesn’t outright acknowledge anything that happened at said PPV so as not to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Therefore, the opening match of Gresham VS King was essentially filler since King’s next story likely isn’t booked yet. The match was great, but King getting a win helps keep him afloat in the ROH TV title rankings. I still want Gresham’s story to become that of reviving the ROH Pure Wrestling Championship and subsequent match type, it just seems where he’s heading with all he’s said and done over the last several months. Woods VS Facade was a bit clunky, they haven’t had enough time with each other. Woods VS Taylor should be a good rematch, though.
I know ROH isn’t using the term “No Holds Barred” but they should because that’s what Cheeseburger VS Bully Ray is. No Disqualifications, No Count Outs, that’s basically No Holds Barred. Given there are no rules, that may be the only way Burger stands a chance of winning, but it still looks unlikely. Then the main story of the night is the Six Man Tag Gauntlet coming soon. Five teams, which SoCal Uncensored was mentioned as one, that’s going to be great. SoCal Uncensored might be the team that wins, assuming some form of Bullet Club with the Young Bucks isn’t entered. Taven VS Ultimo Guerrero was great, but Heels gotta Heel with that finish. I hope there’ll be a twist where Taven is told he will both defend the Six Man titles and challenge for the world title, forcing him to choose which is more important.
My Score: 8/10