ROH WRESTLING TELEVISION, Episode 357
The Peacock is banged up and bruised, but he’ll still putting his ROH World Championship on the line! Against THREE opponents! Will he survive as champion?
All images courtesy of the Fite.TV app and streaming service
- WOH Championship: Sumie Sakai VS HZK (Hazuki) w/ Oedo Tai; Sumie wins and retains the WOH Championship.
- ROH World Championship Fatal 4 Way: Dalton Castle w/ The Boys VS Matt Taven VS Cody w/ Bernard the Business Bear VS Jay Lethal; Lethal wins and becomes the new ROH World Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
ROH reviews Best in the World 2018!
The Briscoes battled with the Young Bucks for the ROH World Tag Team Championships, and would score another win for Sandy Fork VS Everybody. The Greatest Man That Ever Lived and the K I N G went from great friends to bitter enemies in a grudge match. The Franchise Player made back another loss with a win over the Time Splitter. The Purple Mist and World Television Champion would punish the Problem Solver in their No Disqualification match for the title. A Bully would be run off by someone his own size. And a Peacock would survive both an American Nightmare and a British Villain to remain on top. With BitW finally behind us, what will happen going forward?
Jay Lethal heads to the ring!
The Franchise is here coming off his win over Kushida. He lets us know that when he won, “it wasn’t just a victory for me.” Lethal reminds us of the goal he set for himself, that if he’s going to return to the world title scene, he’d be at the top of his game. And if you ask Kushida, he’ll tell you that Lethal is. The best way to get back to the top was to avenge his losses, as few as they were. Best in the World, Lethal completed the list, so the only thing left to do is to get back in the world title picture. Lethal therefore officially declares while everyone is watching and listening, “Dalton Castle, I want a shot.” Fans like the sound of that, but instead of Castle appearing, it’s The Kingdom’s Matt Taven!
“No, no, no!” Taven protests as he storms out to the ring. How many times does Jay Lethal need? How many opportunities will he get? In six years, Taven’s gotten only two, and it’s the only belt he hasn’t had. The fans can boo but it’s all true. Two shots in six years, yet it always ends with interference and ROH did nothing about it. By the way, nice salmon shirt. Taven would be dressed up too but he actually does work. Castle has been ducking Taven with fake injuries, so Taven is the REAL World Champion! Fans still boo as he calls himself the “Uncrowned King”! Lethal needs to get in line behind him. But now, a former World Champion appears. It’s Cody!
The American Nightmare also brings Bernard the Business Bear! Cody and Bernard go to the ring, and Cody joins the conversation. Taven teases him over the black eye, but Cody admits Taven has a point. Taven is in line for a shot, as is Lethal. “But guys, I am next in line for a title shot.” However, the world champion himself appears now!
“Well this is pretty wild right here.” The last time this many people wanted something he had, it was 1997 and he got a Tamagachi. Jay and Cody look sharp, by the way. But to make something clear to all three, Castle feels like his body was run over by a herd of wildebeest. And yet he’s still ROH World Champion, and still has a diamond heart. He won’t back down from a challenge. And if it’s all three at once, then he’s up for it. Fans chant “Fatal Four Way!” and Castle is up for one of those. He’ll even do it TONIGHT! Is the Peacock courageous or crazy?
WOH Championship: Sumie Sakai VS HZK (Hazuki) w/ Oedo Tai!
The Ray of Sunshine and inaugural Women’s Champion defends her title for the second time ever. Stardom’s World Tiger #4 wants to make up for not winning the tournament, can she make good on this golden opportunity?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, but there’s no Code of Honor. HZK slaps Sumie’s hand away then swings on her, but Sumie ducks to Mongolian chop! The bell rings and Sumie is already fired up. She whips but HZK reverses to throw her down by her hair! There’s that new found edge from joining Oedo Tai. HZK picks Sumie up and throws her to a corner. She gets the fans into it as she claps while scraping her boot into Sumie. HZK then runs for the corner to corner for another boot wash! Sumie ends up outside the ring but HZK fetches her. She throws Sumie into barriers while Oedo Tai lurks.
HZK scoop slams Sumie right to the floor mats! She then stares down a fan, and flips him off! HZK drags Sumie up to throw into another barrier, then puts her back in the ring. HZK runs and dropkicks Sumie back out! Fans fire up as HZK climbs up and takes aim. HZK leaps for a SUPER SENTON! Direct hit! The young upstart is in control while we go to break.
ROH returns and HZK grinds Sumie with a headlock. Sumie gets free but not for long, as HZK uses body scissors to roll Sumie around! HZK stops to make it a cover, TWO! Oedo Tai knows HZK was close as she drags Sumie up. HZK prepares a full nelson but Sumie breaks out. Sumie and HZK trade forearms back and forth. Fairfax is on Sumie’s side as she gets an edge. HZK knees low, then runs, but into a back elbow. Sumie whips but HZK reverses only for Sumie to reverse back. Sumie gives an elbow then runs, for a big forearm smash! Fans fire up with the champ as she drags HZK up. She hits a Northern Lights with a bridge, TWO!!
Sumie rallies the fans up as she runs, but into a bicycle kick! HZK drags Sumie up, Full Nelson Slam! Running senton! TWO! HZK was close again, but she doesn’t lose focus. She runs in corner to corner for the back elbow, then climbs up for the tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! That was close but not enough. HZK drags Sumie up but Sumie counters to a small package, TWO! Code Breaker outta nowhere from HZK! Both women are down but the fans are fired up. HZK stands first and drags Sumie over. She climbs up again, and fans rally up. She jumps, but her senton flops as Sumie rolls away. Sumie fires up now as she takes aim. HZK stands and Sumie runs in for a modified shining wizard! Sumie keeps going, swinging fisherman neckbreaker, the TJ Special! Cover, TWO!!
Sumie was super close, but she’s not done yet. She climbs up top, but HZK stirs. Sumie waits and the fans fire up, for a big missile dropkick! Sumie then gives HZK the swinging knee. HZK slumps out of the ring, but Oedo Tai goes to her side. Sumie climbs up, to SUPER Crossbody onto them all! Fans are thunderous while Oedo Tai is reeling. Sumie drags HZK back up and in, then drags her back up while fans chant “This is Awesome!” Sumie hits the Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! HZK is young but she has heart beyond her years. Sumie’s fine with that, as she drags HZK up again. Dragon sleeper but HZK slips out. HZK kicks but Sumie blocks to double stomp.
Sumie climbs up now, but HZK crawls over. They brawl and a headbutt knocks HZK down. HZK gets back up to kick Sumie’s legs out, then she hits a DRAPING Code Breaker! Cover, TWO!? Sumie shocks everyone, and Hana Kanamura is pissed. She argues with the ref, but here comes Kagetsu! HZK holds onto Sumie while Kagetsu throws a kick, but Sumie ducks and the kick hits HZK! Sumie gives Kagetsu a big saido suplex, then drags HZK up. Smash Mouth! Cover, Sumie wins!
Winner: Sumie Sakai, by pinfall; still WOH Champion
The Ray of Sunshine survives the shadowy trio of Oedo Tai to remain the first and only champion. Will Sumie’s streak continue on to be the best of all time?
Marty Scurll speaks.
The Villain makes sure ROH staff knows where his powder should be. But then ace reporter, Gregory Helmsworth, asks him about that world title triple threat he lost. Shane, Greg, whoever you are, now’s not the time. No need to get hot, Mr. Cobblepot. That was the last straw, Scurll attacks! Staff security tries to stop him, but they only suffer his wrath the same as Helmsworth. Scurll takes Helmsworth’s fingers, and snaps them! He DARES Helmsworth to come back for more. Will the Villain soon find a vengeful hurricane coming through?
ROH World Championship Fatal 4 Way: Dalton Castle w/ The Boys VS Matt Taven VS Cody w/ Bernard the Business Bear & Brandi Rhodes VS Jay Lethal!
The Peacock’s body may be brittle, but his heart is indestructible! Which one will carry him through this match when the “Uncrowned King”, American Nightmare and Franchise Player are all gunning for his gold?
The bell rings and all four men stand off, but then Taven rushes Castle. Cody and Lethal brawl, too, as they have history. Castle ends up outside but he brings Taven with him. They continue to brawl, Taven targeting the bad back. Lethal clubs Cody then chops him. He bumps Cody off buckles while Taven rocks Castle with haymakers. Lethal whips Cody but Cody stops himself to drop down for the uppercut. Cody whips Lethal, but Lethal reverses. Lethal hip tosses and dropkicks, then avoids Taven’s missile dropkick. Taven gets to a corner, and Lethal chops him. Lethal whips corner to corner but Taven goes up and over. Things speed up and Taven kicks, punches, but misses the heel kick. Lethal chops Taven, then whips him again.
Taven holds ropes to dump Lethal to the apron, and the Kick of the King sends Lethal down. Taven rushes Cody but ends up on the apron now, and gets the Beautiful Disaster Kick! Castle returns and gets Cody with the knee to slam. Castle runs and clotheslines Cody out. Fans rally and Castle builds speed, but only to strut! The Peacock sees Cody coming and sends him back out. Taven runs in to clothesline Castle out, but then Lethal does the same to Taven. Lethal takes aim, builds speed, and DIVES onto Castle and the Boys! He gets back in and DIVES onto Taven! Then he DIVES on Cody! The trifecta is complete but Lethal still wants more. Lethal aims and builds speed, to DIVE on Castle & The Boys again! Then he DIVES onto Taven again! Lethal aims at Cody again, but Cody uses Bernard as a shield!
Well that was a trifecta, but not on the right target. Fans are still thunderous while Lethal puts Cody in the ring. Lethal chops, Cody chops, but Lethal chops again. Lethal backs Cody down to a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Cody back elbows out, then has Brandi toss him the Ring of Honor! The referee stops that, but Cody takes advantage to low blow Lethal! Taven returns, but Cody blocks Taven’s low blow to send it at Castle. Castle catches the leg, which leaves Taven open to Cody’s low blow! The referee finally gets Brandi to back away, and this leaves Cody and Castle.
Fans rally up as the two circle. Cody throws a forearm but Castle gives a swift jab. Cody throws another forearm, and Castle throws another jab. The brawl continues back and forth, but Castle gets the edge. The bad leg slows Castle down but he still uses those arms. He jabs Lethal and scoop slams him. Lethal rolls away but Taven returns. Castle grabs Cody, but Cody reverses to a takedown. Cody goes for the American Deathlock while Lethal throws Taven into barriers. Lethal takes his time, letting Castle suffer. Lethal climbs up top but Taven pushes him down. Taven climbs up, for the Frog Splash on Cody! Cover, TWO! Castle’s reign is in danger while we go to break.
ROH returns as Taven whips Lethal corner to corner at Cody. Lethal reverses, and Cody sends Taven all the way out of the ring. Lethal kicks Castle then catches Cody, and hits the DDT and Complete Shot side-by-side! Cover on Castle, TWO! Lethal drags Cody up to throw him out. Lethal positions Castle, then climbs up top. Fans rally behind him, and he takes aim… for Hail to the- Nope, saw that boot coming, so Lethal adjusts to a Figure Four! Castle’s bad leg endures the legendary hold, and he grabs the referee to keep from tapping. Cody returns and drags Lethal off the hold, but Lethal snapmares out of Cross Rhodes. Lethal boots, enziguris and spins to roundhouse Cody out. Taven runs in but his boot misses. Lethal chops him on the ropes, then keeps chopping.
The chops keep coming, faster and faster, harder and harder, until Taven is on the mat! Fans fire up with Lethal as he is the only man standing. Lethal drags Taven up, whips, but Taven reverses. Lethal sunset flips but Taven rolls through for #JustTheTip shining wizard! Cover, but Castle breaks it. Taven gets an elbow from Castle, but boots back from a corner. Taven runs, into Bangarang position, but he school boys out of it! But the referee is busy with Lethal’s injury. He’s late to the count, TWO! Taven is shocked and furious, he would’ve been champion twice over by now! Cody creeps up behind, ducks the enziguri to then give Cross Rhodes! Cover, TWO!! Taven somehow survives, and Brandi is furious for Cody’s sake.
Castle gets up but gets hands from Cody. He hits back, and Lethal comes in. Castle hits Lethal, as does Cody. But then Castle and Lethal both hit Cody. Castle and Cody hit Lethal, but then Castle hits them both. Lethal hits Castle, and all three men drop to their knees. Fans are loving this as they all get back up. Lethal enziguris Castle, but Cody rocks Lethal with a haymaker. Cody whips but Lethal reverses. Cody goes up and over, spinning powerslam! Cover, TWO! Castle stands but runs into a kick. Cody springboards, Beautiful Disaster! Taven returns, CLIMAX! Cover, but Cody breaks it. Taven shouts, “I hate you!” at Cody, and now they brawl. Lethal stands up, handsprings, DOUBLE Lethal Injection!
But Taven and Cody both roll away before he can cover one. Castle returns and scoops Lethal. Lethal slips out to give a cutter! Lethal fires up and the fans do, too. He handsprings again, Lethal Injection! Cover, but Taven drags the referee out! If Taven isn’t champ, no one else will be champ. But then Brandi SLAPS him! ROH Fatal 4 Ways can have disqualifications, but the ref lets this one slide. The match continues after one last break.
ROH returns once more, and Cody has a chair! He brings it around, but Lethal takes aim. Lethal DIVES, but Cody shields himself with the chair! Cody walks over to Lethal, but Taven FLIES! Taven walks over to them, and drags Cody into the ring. Taven looks under the ring, and finds a table! Fairfax hates Taven but the love this idea. Taven puts the table back in and starts setting it up. He drags Cody over to a corner and hoists him up top. Taven keeps Cody still with a swing kick, then climbs up to join him. Taven goes way up, but Castle returns! Castle adds on, and his powerbomb sends the SUPERPLEX through the table!!
Lethal returns and covers Taven, but ROPEBREAK saves the match. Fans know “This is Awesome!” as the ref clears the table out. ROH staff helps with that while Lethal goes after Castle. He and Castle brawl with big haymakers and slapping palm strikes. The brawl speeds up to be fast and furious! Castle gets the edge, but then misses his discus to get Lethal’s SUPERKICK! Lethal runs, handsprings, but misses the cutter. Castle gets him up and spins him around, but Lethal turns that to a victory roll! Then that becomes a Figure Four, but Castle turns it into a small package! TWO! Lethal dodges, handsprings, LETHAL INJECTION! Cover, LETHAL WINS!
Winner: Jay Lethal, by pinfall; NEW ROH World Champion
He’s done it!! The Franchise finishes his quest for redemption by once again becoming ROH WHC! Taven is furious over the screw job, while Cody and Brandi are distraught. As for the former champion, Castle stands up and faces the new champion. Lethal sets the belt down, and offers a handshake. Castle accepts it to uphold the Code of Honor. When and where will The Peacock come back for the rematch?
A great episode of ROH, though it does point out the glaring flaw in their system: TV coverage. They only now give a recap of Best in the World when that happened weeks ago. ROH does their best using Honor Club to keep fans more current with their events, but their TV needs to do something to help the company as a whole grow. But that aside, the two matches we got were great. The Women of Honor Championship was a fun match, and it really established Stardom’s Heel trio here as they almost get the upset on Sumie. Sumie wins so that Oedo Tai doesn’t have belts from both promotions, and to grow her legacy as the inaugural champion. Chances are it’ll still be Kelly Klein who takes that belt off Sumie as the strongest Heel in the WOH Division.
Then the “scheduled” ROH World Six Man Tag titles were moved back a week. In kayfabe, that’s because Taven was put into the World Championship. In reality, it was also way too soon. Kenny King, Chuckie T & Eli Isom only just became #1 contenders, give them time to rest and prepare to challenge the champs. But that’s fine, because this “impromptu” World Championship Fatal 4 Way was great. Of course, Honor Club had this match weeks ago, too, so anyone who closely followed ROH news already knew Lethal won. However, it was still great to see it for myself, everyone was so good in the match. Lethal wins, or rather Castle loses, because Castle is clearly worn down from all the matches he’s had while champion. Castle will recover while Lethal takes the baton, but the controversy following him might complicate things. Only time will tell how his reign goes.
My Score: 8.5/10