Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 365
The ROH World Television and World Tag Team Champions team together, hoping to destroy SoCal Uncensored before any of them are challenged for their titles!
- Sumie Sakai VS Tasha Steelz; Sakai wins.
- Jonathan Gresham VS Bully Ray; Gresham wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: Punishment Martinez & The Briscoes VS SoCal Uncensored; SoCal Uncensored wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Jay Lethal heads to the ring!
The Franchise Player is still ROH World Champion, even after a grueling 30-minute Ironman Match with the Octopus, Jonathan Gresham. Death Before Dishonor is on its way, but while the World TV and World Tag Team Champions have challengers, what about THE champion? Lethal takes the mic and says that he “wanted to address something.” For years, people have asked Lethal about his ROH career and ask what his favorite match was. Lethal liked him VS Roderick Strong, him VS Samoa Joe, and even him VS AJ Styles. Fans like all those, too.
But Lethal has a new one on the list, because after last week, his favorite ROH match is that Ironman match! Lethal says that match reminded him what the company was built on and why Lethal fell in love with this company to begin with. It’s also a match that reminded him that “you don’t need story lines, you don’t need angles, you just need two great friggin’ wrestlers in one ring to prove who the best is!” Fans agree with that, too! Lethal continues to say that “At the end of that match, Jonathan Gresham, not only did you earn my respect, you earned a good friend.” If the Octopus ever needs him, he’ll be there.
That brings him to the locker room of ROH. Lethal VS Gresham reminded him of what this company was built on, and he wants more matches like that. “So if you can hear this, listen up.” Lethal issues a Lethal Open Challenge, to both ROH’s locker room and ANY roster around the world! “If you feel you have mastered your craft,” whatever that style may be, “then this is for you.” “Boys, come and get it!” The Franchise is eager to put his title on the line, but it looks like someone already answers! Will Ospreay is on the titantron!
Ospreay wonders if Lethal ever feels like he’s lost “it”, he doesn’t have “it” anymore. Ospreay’s had those days. Does Lethal remember him? Their previous match in ROH, Lethal won. But Ospreay is back, and he wants something. Ospreay wants to put ROH on his back, so he has to go through Lethal and get that world title. The Aerial Assassin VS The Franchise, for the title, at Death Before Dishonor. What does Lethal say? “Hmm, hmm, hmm…” Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it, but at the same time, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Lethal accepts the challenge! DBD has it’s main event, but who will lead ROH as THE champion?!
SoCal Uncensored speaks.
“All of this started with The Addiction VS The Briscoes.” But now Punishment Martinez butts in, so Scorpio Sky is glad to join in. No one plays this game better than SoCal Uncensored. Daniels couldn’t have said it better himself. Can SCU overcome the ROH championship combination? Or will Martinez and #DemBoyz get major momentum before Death Before Dishonor?
The Briscoes and Martinez respond.
“Tonight, you in the ring with the champs, boys!” And they’ll joy SoCal how the East Coast gets down. It’s time, so hopefully those SoCal boys are ready. SCU, prepare to be punished. The champs are grinning now, but will SCU have the last laugh?
Sumie Sakai VS Tasha Steelz!
Call this a #ProvingGrounds match, as “Badass Boricua” tests herself against the Women of Honor Champion. Can the rookie from the Garden State surprise the Ray of Sunshine? Or is defeat inevitable against the star of Japan‘s Jersey Shore?
Fans rally behind Sumie already, and she offers the handshake. Tasha prefers to flex and double gun than honor the Code. But then she does, only to bring the champ in. The champ saw it coming, and throws hands at the bell. Sumie puts Tasha in a corner and whips but Tasha goes up then over. Tasha turns around to get a dropkick! She bails out and Sumie pursues, but Tasha grabs Sumie and knees low. Then she uses her power to throw Sumie into barriers. Tasha runs back in for a cannonball! She puts Sumie in the ring and covers, TWO! Sumie is tough, it’s how she’s undefeated in her reign as inaugural champ.
Sumie fires back with forearm then Mongolian chops. She runs but dodges Tasha to give her a backhand! She hammerlocks and back suplexes Tasha down! But Sumie’s not done there, she and the fans fire up as she aims from the corner. Tasha stands and Sumie gets her with the clothesline, then the shining wizard. Fisherman and spin out for the TJ Neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Sumie stays positive as she climbs up top. Tasha stands again and Sumie sends her down with a missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Sumie keeps on Tasha, dragon sleeper but Tasha fights out. Tasha headlocks and runs at the ropes, for a springboard bulldog! Cover, TWO! Tasha is frustrated, she felt close on that one. Fans rally up for Sumie, but Tasha stands first. The BA Boricua trash talks as she calls for an end. She double underhooks, but Sumie fights out, swings around to Smash Mouth! Cover, Sumie wins!
Winner: Sumie Sakai, by pinfall
The champion is still undefeated during her reign, but Tasha gave her a good match. Who will rise up to challenge the Ray of Sunshine? Who will be the woman to dethrone her and become the second-ever champion?
The Bullet Club speaks.
The Villain, Hangman Page and the new ROH World Six Man Tag Champions are gathered together as Marty Scurll starts off. “When you talk about the most popular groups in Japan, at the very top is the Bullet Club.” Number 2, LIJ. Number 3, Suzuki-Gun. At number 4, The Firing Squad. The very bottom, the least popular group in NJPW today, is… Cody has an idea to the answer: Chaos. Yes, that’s right, Chaos! They’re the bottom of the pile. Cody mocks the “chubby little Ishii”, but Chaos is no match for The Bullet Club. Will Las Vegas be a sure thing for The American Nightmare and his friends? Or will Chaos win as major underdogs?
In-ring interview with Sumie Sakai!
Ian Riccaboni joins Sumie in the ring, and here in the Philadelphia 2300 Arena, we have major news. Sumie the international star has defended her title around the world, from America to Japan to the United Kingdom. ROH Board of Directors have announced it, and we hear it here, the title will officially be known now as the Women of Honor WORLD Championship! A huge accomplishment, but what is Sumie’s reaction to this news?
First, she addresses that she does speak in broken English. But fans don’t mind, they love her! Sumie knows she was training, wrestling and crying a lot here in ROH, but ROH is her home. She is so unbelievably happy to be the inaugural WOH World Champion. She vows to be the best ever, but she has one person in mind to defend this title against. Therefore, Tenille Dashwood, come on out. And the Australian all-star appears! Tenille heads right for the ring to stand in front of the now world champion.
Ian says that this has to make for a title match, so that Sumie can validate the “world” in her title. Tenille asks for clarification: is this a challenge? Because if so, Tenille knows where to have it: Death Before Dishonor! Tenille respects Sumie and everything she’s done for this company. Sumie is the foundation of this division. But that doesn’t mean Tenille won’t take that title. The two shake on it, and it’s official! Will the Ray of Sunshine still shine in Vegas? Or will the spotlight move to Tenille and make it #StillAllAboutMe?
Kenny King speaks.
The K I N G reminds us he’s on this show, too. But he’s not here to fight, he actually likes Hangman Page. Hangman’s good looking, could even be on The Bachelor like King, but King’s on a Bullet Club bagging spree. Just ask Marty Scurll. Then after Page, King’s going after the legend named Liger. Kenny is after some big prizes, but will he bust in Vegas?
In-ring interview with Jonathan Gresham!
The Octopus stands with Ian and is praised as one of the best pure wrestlers and having been only 90 seconds away from his first world title reign. Everyone wants to know, what’s next for him? Gresham says that he heard Lethal challenge the world, but before he can continue, here comes Bully Ray! Fans make a lot of noise for the meanest man in the building, and chant “E C Dub!” for him. But he tunes all that out as he gets in Ian’s face and rubs in that Colt Cabana isn’t around to defend Ian right now. So Ian should say to Bully’s face that he says on commentary. Ian doesn’t want trouble, but Bully gets angrier for that. Bully tells Ian to get out of the ring, and Ian does. Fans boo and jeer but Bully doesn’t care. However, Gresham stands right in his face now.
Gresham dares Bully to bully a real wrestler. Oh sorry, did he interrupt the interview? Bully will interview Gresham now. Bully hasn’t been properly introduced to him. Does Gresham know who he is? Of course he does, he’s “the guy that single-handedly sold out Madison Square Garden for this company.” That’s not true, that’s just Bully’s ego. Bully claims that G1 Supercard is sold out because of Bully! “Never because of guys like you.”
This reminds Bully of the Piper’s Pit days, Roddy Piper interviewed Frankie Williams. Piper was the legend and Williams was the jobber. Fans boo because Gresham’s not a jobber. Bully says not out of disrespect, but because it’s the truth. Gresham is great, he’s this and he’s that, but Bully knows the fans. If fans really loved Gresham, they would’ve given a standing ovation when he showed up. They aren’t doing it now, are they? But they do, though! They even throw streamers. Gresham wants to talk. If he wants it, take it. So he does.
“Thank you, Bubba.” Gresham knows “Bubba” is looking for a fight. He always is. But Bubba, Gresham isn’t here to give him that fight. Gresham can’t go toe to toe with him and win. Therefore, Gresham challenges Bubba to a wrestling match! Because for the last 20 years, on national TV, D-Von was carrying Bubba through all their matches! Fans love that burn on Bubba! And fans chant for “D-Von! D-Von!” Gresham puts the jokes aside, and still wants that match. If Bubba wins, Gresham will be a man and shake his hand. But if Bubba loses, in this building, the building he put on the map, he must stand in the ring, look Gresham in the eyes and shake his hand. Bully takes the mic back and says, “Get a referee down here right now!”
Jonathan Gresham VS Bully Ray!
Bully makes Todd Sinclair ring the bell, and it rings. Philly is behind Gresham as he circles with Bully. They approach, and Bully low blows Gresham! As if he was going to do anything else!
Winner: Jonathan Gresham, by disqualification
Bully then shoves Sinclair! And he grabs his chain before speaking again. “Well, I guess you’re the better wrestler, Mr. Gresham.” Then he lashes Gresham with the steel! But wait, here comes Flip Gordon! Flip throws hands on Bully, but then Bully shoves and boots Flip down! But here comes Jay Lethal! Lethal just said he’d be a friend to Gresham, and now he gives Bully big haymakers! He climbs up for corner punches and gives way more than 10. But Silas Young appears! We know Silas doesn’t like Lethal, and he yanks Lethal off Bully for Misery, the spinning neckbreaker! Philly boos the Last Real Man as he looms over Lethal. Bully grins while the fans cuss out Silas. But then Silas shoves Bully!? The Last Real Man is friend to few, will he regret his actions one way or another?
Lethal regroups with Gresham backstage.
The Franchise tells the Octopus, on camera, that Gresham IS the greatest technical wrestler. Lethal is sick of Bully, he’s sick of Silas digging up the past, so time to settle this! Gresham isn’t in ROH for these shenanigans! Lethal & Gresham VS Silas & Bully to settle this! They’ll accept it, right? Will the Franchise & the Octopus prove who the real men of ROH are?
ROH takes a quick look at the coming World Television Championship match.
Chris Sabin made a major move in his singles career in ROH when he defeated former champion, Silas Young, to earn himself this title opportunity. Alex Shelley gave a heartfelt speech to both announce his retirement from the ring and encourage his best friend in going for gold. However, The Purple Mist would ruin the moment with a sneak attack! Punishment Martinez does not respect the Motor City Machine Guns, but was stopped by Scorpio Sky coming in. But from what we can assume, Martinez finished Shelly off backstage with an attack targeting that weakened jaw.
Sabin speaks, Martinez is surely trying some mind games. But Martinez doesn’t realize who Sabin is. Sabin can read Martinez’s actions like a book: Martinez is worried, because he’s never been in the ring with someone like Sabin, because there’s no one like Sabin. At Death Before Dishonor, put all your money on Sabin to walk out as ROH WTVC, because #ChrisSabinRules!
Six Man Tag: Punishment Martinez & The Briscoes VS SoCal Uncensored!
The monster of ROH joins the fight of Sandy Fork VS Everybody, and right now “everybody” is Southern California. Can this alliance of champions conquer The Addiction before they can challenge in Sin City? Or will we get a preview of Death Before Dishonor here in the City of Brotherly Love?
ROH returns from a quick break, and SCU jumps Martinez & the Briscoes! Chris Sabin is on commentary, and he hopes this softens up Martinez before they face each other in Vegas. The brawl continues amid the mess of streamers as the bell rings. Scorpio sends Mark out while Christopher Daniels is on Martinez and Frankie Kazarian stomps Jay. Daniels throws Martinez out then hits him with a flying forearm! Jay and Kaz brawl in the ring as Scorpio rocks Mark with a knee. Kaz holds ropes to elbow Jay, then Scorpio rocks Jay with that big knee! Kaz slingshots to headscissor Martinez! Scorpio and Kaz regroup as fans chant “SCU! SCU!” They double whip Jay, hit him with a running kick and the swinging dropkick! Kaz kips up then covers, TWO!
The streamers are finally moved aside and Kaz bumps Jay off Daniels’ boot. Tag to Daniels and the Addiction kick, clobber and stomp Jay. Daniels drags Jay up to whip him hard into buckles. He brings Jay back up for a pumphandle and slam! Cover, but Mark breaks it with a kick. Mark backs off while Daniels brings Jay up. Jay fights back with body shots, but Daniels hits back. Daniels headlocks but Jay powers out. Things speed up but Mark gets a cheap shot. Daniels hits Mark away but Jay gets him with a clothesline. The ref has to keep Kaz back, but that allows Martinez to choke slam Daniels on the apron! Mark throws hands, too, then feeds Daniels to Jay.
Jay drags Daniels up for European Uppercuts. Jay tags Martinez and they mug Daniels together. The monster stalks the Fallen Angel, and rocks him with an uppercut. Mark holds Daniels for Martinez as the mugging continues. Tag to Mark and he stomps a mudhole into Daniels. He brings Daniels out to suplex! Mark taunts SCU, so that he can get away with a forearm grind. Martinez comes in without a tag, so that he and Mark can double suplex Daniels down. Mark drags Daniels over to tag Jay, but both Jay and Martinez rush Kaz and Scorpio! Jay runs back in for a big clothesline, then Martinez adds a splash. Mark hits a splash, then the Briscoes feed Daniels to Martinez’s uppercut! Martinez looms over Daniels as he drags him up. Fans rally for SCU but Daniels gets the scoop slam. Cover, TWO, and we go to break.
ROH returns again as Daniels fights out of Martinez’s chinlock. Daniels throws elbow after elbow then a forearm. He runs but his forearm only staggers Martinez. Daniels runs again, but into the choke grip. Daniels slips out but Martinez elbows him back. Martinez runs, but into a Blue Thunder Bomb! Daniels is too tired to cover, and both men are down. Fans rally up as both men crawl. Hot tags to Mark and Scorpio! The Closer rallies on the Sussex County Chicken, but he also hits Jay for good measure. Scorpio runs and headscissors Mark! Jay runs in, Scorpio whips but Jay reverses. Scorpio double stomps that back drop down! Then he goes to the apron to roundhouse and slingshot cutter Mark! Cover, TWO!
Fans fire up with Scorpio as he kicks at Mark. Mark dodges but he gets that enziguri. Scorpio runs but into Jay’s Death Valley Driver! Then Martinez comes in for the Silencer curb stomp! Jay hits Kaz down while Mark covers, TWO!! The Briscoes and Martinez are shocked, but fans fire up with more “SCU!” chants. Martinez whips Scorpio to a corner, but Jay runs into boots. Kaz slingshots for an “SCU you son of a–” DDT! Martinez roundhouses Kaz but Daniels missile dropkicks. Mark urenages Daniels but Scorpio suplexes. Mark slips out but gets an elbow. Scorpio runs and Kaz tags in, to then get the assisted tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! SCU keeps their cool as they regroup.
Kaz whips Mark into Daniels’ elbow, then they work together for the wristlock stomp! Daniels DIVES on Jay! Former world champions wipe out together while Kaz slingshots Mark in for a cutter! Cover, but Martinez breaks it. Martinez stomps Kaz then Scorpio then Kaz again. The ref reprimands Martinez, but Martinez just stomps Kaz more. The ref warns Martinez, but Jay comes in with a chair. Jay swings but Kaz dodges, SMACK on the REF! Kaz swings on Jay with haymakers, but Martinez has the chair. Martinez throws it in Kaz’s face, then spinning roundhouses Daniels down! Jay chucks the chair into Scorpio’s face now! Mark returns with another chair, and throws it off Scorpio’s face.
Martinez has something, but Sabin isn’t about to let him use it. Sabin moves from commentary to ringside. Mark hits a bang bang apron elbow on Kaz, but Sabin throws a shoe at Martinez! Martinez gives chase, and they brawl! Sabin backs the monster down with his other shoe! Meanwhile in the ring, Jay drags Scorpio up. Jay prepares the Driller but Scorpio counters with a knee. He clotheslines Jay out and goes with him. Mark has Kaz and whips but Kaz reverses. Daniels boots Mark, and Kaz scoops for the Tombstone, Best Meltzer Ever!! Cover, but where is the referee!? Sinclair returns, counts, SCU wins!!
Winners: SoCal Uncensored, Kazarian pinning
The Addiction do get the win tonight, and gain major momentum towards Death Before Dishonor. Will we see another Best Meltzer Ever to crown new tag team champions? Or will #DemBoyz #ManUp and stay golden in Vegas?
This was a really fun episode here. Major points for tying stories together, namely with Jay Lethal. He issues his open challenge and it’s immediately answered by a really great choice, given that Death Before Dishonor is also used for a lot of ROH-NJPW crossover. If only Ospreay recorded that promo in a room that didn’t echo so much. I’m not sure I actually understood what he said. But that aside, Lethal VS Ospreay is going to be amazing, though I expect Lethal to retain.
Then with the next segment, tying Lethal right into the story of Bully Ray was great. Bully picks on Ian, he picks on Gresham, and amazingly turns even Philly against him. Flip coming out was great even though he gets wiped out quick. Silas coming out after Lethal to take Lethal down for his own reasons, not because was helping Bully, was great. Next week’s tag team match of Lethal-Gresham VS Bully-Silas will be good, and I bet Silas half-turns and abandons Bully as payback for their match with Best Friends. Silas doesn’t have to change too much to go from Heel to Face, he just has to direct his attitude at Heels instead of Faces. Therefore, Bully VS Silas can come out of this in time for Death Before Dishonor.
Tasha Steelz does pretty good in the “proving ground” match for her ROH TV debut, but obviously the big story is Sumie Sakai. She is now officially the WOH World Champion, and her first defense as a world champion will be Tenille at DBD. I would be pleasantly shocked if Tenille was the first woman to take the belt, but it would also boost Sumie even more if she won, and it’s truly well-deserved if she does. Either way, a Face VS Face match is really good, because the winner can come out and still wrestle the same line-up of women either way, such as Karen Q or Kelly Klein.
The Six Man Tag was a great bit of chaos, and I like that there was no sense of dysfunction for Martinez and The Briscoes. They’re all united under destroying contenders and they almost did that here. It was an interesting assist for Sabin to be present, and perhaps he turned the tide for SCU. I can’t be sure if Sabin wins, but clearly Scorpio Sky is set up to challenge next if Sabin doesn’t. The Addiction win here but there’s still time before the PPV. Something could happen that The Briscoes stand tall last, allowing the Addiction to win via 50-50 booking. I’ve said it before, but I like the idea of The Addiction winning titles to then defend them as if every match could be their last. A countdown can only be compelling for so long in a chase scenario, the hunters must become the hunted.
My Score: 8.5/10
WWE 24/7 Championship Results & Report! (7/20/19)
Stand back! There’s a Comic-Con coming through!
The WWE 24/7 Championship makes an SDCC debut!
As superheroes, super villains and super fans all converge in San Diego, watch as WWE icons collide! Who gets out of the convention with the title?
- WWE 24/7 Championship: R-Truth VS The Hurricane VS Drake Maverick; Truth wins and retains the WWE 24/7 Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE 24/7 Champion, R-Truth, appears for an interview!
What’s up, San Diego and IGN!? Truth sits with hosts Max Scoville and Sydnee Goodman and has been having a blast. he’s seen everything and everybody, but he just hopes no one recognized him. Truth being the 24/7 Champion, he had to stay incognito. Someone, anyone, everyone, they could take this title because it is defended at all times of the day. That is why it is the “48/7 7-11 TV” Championship. How has Truth been holding up? Well he can’t sleep, not even for a nap. He’s fought over this belt on a golf course, a tarmac, in a plane, and ruined one man’s wedding AND honeymoon. But don’t worry, Drake Maverick’s not constipated.
And now at SDCC, Truth has been able to slip through as a penguin! Pengi the penguin, noot noot! He got to shake hands and hang out with Darth Vader. Truth loves SDCC, it’s the bomb. But what else has Truth done while here? Chewbacca stared him down, but then Pikachu came along. The weather’s been a bit iffy, though. But wait! Is that…?! Yes! It is THE Hurricane!! Truth mentioned weather, so stand back, because there’s a hurricane coming through! Truth thinks this is a really great cosplay, but he’s a bit thick around the waist. Oh wow, what a great referee cosplay! He looks just like John Combs! But he’s blonde. No, wait, that’s… Nevermind. ROLL UP! TWO, but Hurricane runs away before Truth can retaliate. Because here comes Rockstar Banana, Drake Maverick! Roll up, TWO!!
Truth bails out before Maverick can attack again. Maverick vents! Truth has ruined Maverick’s life! His wedding, his honey moon, and he’s yet to consummate the marriage! Maverick is getting sick and tired of this! And then he realizes he’s on camera. Maverick gets up and runs off, but into the cameras! The signal goes down, but is Maverick too down in the dumps to get back up?
This title continues to be amazing! I was actually shocked Truth didn’t lose the title here, but him retaining is actually even more surprising. Great to see Hurricane again, even if it’s just for the gag of, “Oh, it’s Comic-Con, cosplay is everywhere.” Maverick is slowly breaking, and I love that he tied in the banana costume from when he showed up at the WWE Mattel panel during SDCC. Can’t wait to see reference to this on Raw.
Andrew’s G1 Climax 29 Ratings & Analysis: Night 6 B Block
Juice Robinson, Tomohiro Ishii and Jon Moxley come in at the top of the standings. How do we see B Block take shape?
Juice Robinson, Tomohiro Ishii and Jon Moxley come in at the top of the standings. How do we see B Block take shape?
This whole day is based around two major things:
Will Jay White or Tetsuya Naito get a win?
Will Moxley or Ishii kill one another?
Let’s find out!
- Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens vs Zack Sabre Jr & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Fale wins via Grenade @4:50 – **
- Tomoaki Honma & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer: Archer wins via EBD Claw Hold @9:50 – **
- SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI vs KENTA, Kota Ibushi & Clark Connors: BUSHI wins via MX @9:02 – ** 1/2
- YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada vs Will Ospreay & Toa Henare: YOSHI wins via Fisherman Buster @8:45 – ** 1/4
- B Block: Shingo Takagi vs Taichi: Takagi wins via Last of the Dragon @14:40 – ****
- B Block: Jeff Cobb vs Juice Robinson: Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @13:20 – *** 1/2
- B Block: Toru Yano vs Jay White: Yano wins via Brass Knuckle Low Blow/Roll-Up @3:05 – ** 1/2
- B Block: Tetsuya Naito vs Hirooki Goto: Naito wins via Destino @16:00 – *** 3/4
- B Block: Jon Moxley vs Tomohiro Ishii: Moxley wins via Deathrider @20:35 – **** 1/2
Well Fale tried to outsmart the Rainmaker in his last G1 match, and that didn’t go too well. So Sabre is being a whiny child, tried to step to Fale and for the most part, got brushed off. Fale isn’t really in a position to eat another loss, but it’s unusual for Sabre to be doing so poorly. I’m curious if Sabre continues this slide until maybe TAKA Michinoku returns to be his hype man, or Sabre gets off the schneid.
People, everybody dies. You know that, Lance knows that, Honma knows that…Kairi Sane knows that. This didn’t really add much to things except the undercurrent of a quiet Minoru Suzuki is scary for the whole world. Also – Everybody Dies!
Now that SANADA and EVIL have had their match, there is some symbiosis back on the LIJ undercards. KENTA and Kota teaming together was a cute call back, but nothing of heavy merit came from this match. BUSHI continues to rack up positive momentum during these tags, Clark Connors is impressive for an LA Dojo Young Lion. So decent match, but aside from EVIL and KENTA brawling after the match and SANADA and Ibushi having a rather civil fan support battle, nothing too important for the impending matches.
Okada and Ospreay did have the crowd hot, but aside from a small flourish, this was mostly YOSHI and Henare. Surprisingly, YOSHI-HASHI has put together a few pinfalls in the tag matches, so that tends to actually play a role in the second half story telling. Ospreay may be on his way to a big upset since even if Okada seems to be positioned to win A Block, he won’t make it through unscathed.
Now this was a fun match. It was a continuation of the Suzuki-Gun/LIJ drama, but Taichi has his own issues. Shingo is fighting as a Junior Heavyweight and Taichi moved up to Heavyweight last year, but was overlooked for the G1. So the fact that Shingo asks and gets in, yet Taichi moves up and was ignored has to bother him. With all of these little things eating through, Taichi brought out the Dangerous T that many of us have grown to love. Sure there was a brief moment of shenanigans with lovely Miho and the microphone stand, but 90% of the match was on the up and up. Pumping Bomber versus Axe Bomber was great, the callbacks to both of their mentors was wonderful and just generally speaking, when the Holy Emperor tries, those are great matches. Shingo getting the win won’t sit well with Taichi, but we’ve got plenty more time to see how this all falls.
Juice starts off the match in a 3 way tie for first, but Cobb really needs a win to legitimize his tournament. Being undefeated in ROH for about a year, as well as all his other accolades, he needs to stop losing. Cobb showed a little more fire than usual in this match and took it to Juice. Juice has been in hard hitting affairs all tournament and it looks like Juice might’ve finally hit the wall. Should be interesting to see if Juice flounders from here or if he recovers.
Well the Chaos revenge tour has another stop with Toru Yano and Jay White. Jay has not gotten off to a good start and it’s all his past decisions coming to bite him. This match…would be no different. Yano takes advantage of Gedo getting involved. Between Barbara Jean the turnbuckle pad and the brass knuckles from Gedo, Jay White’s nuts didn’t stand a chance. So Yano runs away with 2 more points and Jay’s pride…and other things…are a bit sore.
Goto started off the tournament looking like a new man, Naito has also looked different, but for different reasons. Naito sitting in the basement with zero points and Goto with the renewed sense of purpose makes for an odd dynamic. This match is one of their usual ones, where it’s quick bursts, hard hitting and a few solid false finishes. However, at multiple points Naito’s usual tranquilo is shaken and you can see him show levels of concern. Goto being the one with the power in the match, makes for some unique interactions. Naito does pull off the win, but it’s not for Goto’s lack of trying and kicking out of one running Destino. Naito finally gets some points, but it’s nothing near dominant enough to breathe a sigh of relief.
Moxley versus Ishii was the insane hard hitting match we expected. Ishii even flew. He hit a splash on Moxley through a table. The Stone Pitbull flew. Yes I realize there is a callback to Masato Tanaka in that move, but you don’t understand, Ishii flew. Anyway, the beauty of Red Shoes as a referee is he understands each wrestlers personality, so he gives them a little more leash to do what they like to do. Moxley used weapons, Ishii egged it on, there were huge strikes, Ishii’s torpedo style rising headbutts and just good violence. This was a bar fight and no one was upset. Moxley getting the win was a little surprising since most of us assume he won’t be available for many if any later dates once AEW TV starts up. This was just a nice change of pace for the usual New Japan and/or Strong Style match.
Overall Score: 7.75/10
With a great Taichi match and Moxley changing the pace, this show was definitely something to behold. Jay White’s continued spiral is more amusing than Sabre’s since this seems like retribution where Sabre is just a punk bitch when he loses. Even with an uneventful undercard, the main Block matches kept everything moving upward and onward.
With Moxley as the sole 3-0, who unseats the Death Rider?
B Block Standings:
- Jon Moxley – 3-0 (6 Points)
- Toru Yano – 2-1 (4 Points)
- Tomohiro Ishii – 2-1 (4 Points)
- Juice Robinson – 2-1 (4 Points)
- Shingo Takagi – 2-1 (4 Points)
- Jeff Cobb – 1-2 (2 Points)
- Tetsuya Naito – 1-2 (2 Points)
- Hirooki Goto – 1-2 (2 Points)
- Taichi – 1-2 (2 Points)
- Jay White – 0-3 (0 Points)