Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 372
ROH may not be in Vegas this week, but the stakes are still high in the ECW Arena! Will Bully’s Last Real Man or Flip’s mystery man win their brutal bet?
- Pick Your Punishment Match: Bully’s Pick, Silas Young VS Flip Gordon’s Pick, ???; Silas wins, and Bully can do whatever he wants to Flip.
- Six Woman Tag: Karen Q, Britt Baker & Kelly Klein VS Jenny Rose, Madison Rayne & Sumie Sakai; Rose, Rayne & Sakai win.
- Kenny King VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes; Cody wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Last time on ROH TV…
The Hitman was going off on not only Eli Isom, but the heroic Cheeseburger. So out came Flip Gordon to save both of them! He ran off Shane Taylor with chair shots after chair shot, and asked “Is this what you wanted, Bully!?” Flip told Bully he’d be ready to go anywhere and anytime. Bully said that fight would have to wait. They’ll bring their best guys, and those two will fight. If Flip’s pick wins, then he can unload on Bully. But if Bully’s guy wins, that goes the same for Bully on Flip. That night has come, who does Flip have up his sleeve?
Pick Your Punishment Match: Bully’s Pick, Silas Young VS Flip Gordon’s Pick, ???
Bully walks out first, with an envelope labelled “Flip’s Punishment.” He’s already assuming The Last Real Man wins, but what could be in the envelope? Bully tells the ring announcer to stop there, and drop the mic. The announcer does, but then Bully tells him to pick it up. The announcer does, then Bully has him give the mic over. Bully gets the mic and says he’ll properly explain the match. Bully picked a guy, Flip picked a guy, and those guys fight. He went with Silas Young, and when Silas wins, Bully gets to do whatever he wants to Flip. But if “by the grace of God, Flip Gordon’s guy wins”, then Flip does what he wants to Bully. Bully can’t wait for this because his guy is the Last Real Man!
Silas makes his entrance, and he mocks all the fans who basically wear anything but Silas Young merch. Flip makes his entrance next, and he also has an envelope that’s labelled “Bully Ray Punishment.” Seems Flip’s just as prepared as Bully. Flip looks over at Colt Cabana on commentary, and Colt hops away from the announce desk? Is Colt Cabana the mystery man?! Flip and Colt shake hands and head down to the ring, but Colt isn’t dressed to compete. Fans are still fired up for Colt, but Bully asks, “You have to be kidding me. You could’ve chose anybody, and you chose a guy who was your partner, that we beat in Vegas in a Tables match?” Flip’s fate is in Colt’s hands. Guess he really is stupid, which is why he was in the Army and not the Marines.
Colt swipes the mic and says Bully’s got a real big mouth. Colt’s here for two reasons: to support Flip; and to be in the ring to tell Bully who Flip chose, and to see Bully’s reaction when it wasn’t Colt. And saw it was… ECW ORIGINAL, SANDMAN!! Yes, here in Philly, in the ECW Arena, the one and only Sandman is here! Fans chant “E C Dub! E C Dub!” as Sandman helps a fan chug down a cold beer. This match finally begins, after the break!
ROH returns and Sandman is in the ring with his kendo stick. He revels in the “E C Dub!” chants, then dodges Silas to SMACK away. The bell rings, and SMACK again. Cover, TWO! Sandman gives Silas kendo punches and fans already know “This is Awesome!” Silas crawls to a corner but Sandman is on him for more kendo punches. Colt tells Silas “That’s a REAL man!” Sandman throws Silas out, then throws haymakers on the outside. Silas kicks back, but Sandman elbows low. Sandman throws more haymakers, then stalks Silas around the corner. Fans hope they come “Over Here!” and Sandman does to clobber Silas! Sandman goes looking for something special, and brings out a ladder! Bully freaks out for Silas’ sake as Sandman brings the ladder into the ring.
Sandman fetches Silas for more haymakers, then he grinds Silas into the ground with more punches. Fans chant “ROH!” as Sandman suplexes the ladder onto Silas! Usually it’s the other way around. Silas writhes in pain as Sandman tosses the ladder into the ring. Fans know “You Still Got It!” as Sandman puts Silas in the ring. Sandman covers, TWO! Bully is relieved, and Silas gets to a corner. Sandman sets the ladder up in the opposite corner, then whips Silas corner to corner. Silas reverses, and Sandman takes a tumble into the ladder! The ladder falls with Sandman, but Silas is on him with stomps. Silas picks up the ladder and rams it in Sandman’s ribs. Silas mockingly cheers Sandman on, but fans genuinely cheer.
Bully wants Silas to finish Sandman, so Silas gives him a quick chin check. Silas positions the ladder but Sandman throws hands. Fans are thunderous but Silas hits back. Sandman rolls to ropes but Silas stays on him. Silas goes out and goes past Flip and Colt to bring out a table! He puts it in, but Sandman puts the ladder in a corner. Silas and Sandman brawl more, and Sandman takes control of the table, putting it in another corner. Sandman drags Silas over and sticks the ladder on top of him. Sandman climbs up, SWANTON LADDER SANDWICH! Cover, TWO!! Silas survives and Philly is shocked. But Sandman gets his kendo stick back, and swings. Silas ducks, kicks low, and picks Sandman up for Misery! Cover, Silas wins!
Winner: Silas Young, by pinfall; Bully can do anything to Flip
Sandman has failed?! This does not bode well for Flip… Bully takes his envelope and a mic as Sandman apologizes to Flip. We will learn Flip’s fate after the break.
Bully tells Flip off for trying to “get one over” on him, bringing in Sandman. Flip lives and dies by his decision. Flip’s punishment is ten shots of the kendo stick. Bully picks up Sandman’s own stick. Flip takes his shirt off, and SMACK, the punishment begins.
ROH cuts to a few smacks later, per the graphic nature of this punishment as well as time constraints of television. However, all of it is available on Honor Club. At this time, Flip’s friends in Cheeseburger and Jonathan Gresham have appeared to support Flip. Flip still stands up, and it’s SMACK number 4. The stick broke, so Silas gets Bully another. Bully toys with Flip as we reach the halfway point, but Flip gets up and glares Bully in the eyes. Flip doesn’t speak, but his expression tells Bully to get through with the punishment. Bully winds up, SMACK number 5! Bully says that Flip can stop this, if he says “I Quit.” If Flip says it, Bully will stop and leave Flip alone. “Just say ‘I Quit’.” Flip says “Never.” Then Bully swings for SMACK number 6!
Now even SoCal Uncensored come out. They tell Bully HE doesn’t have to do this, he doesn’t need to keep hitting Flip. But Flip spits on Bully, so SMACK number 7! Here come Cody, Brandi & the Young Bucks! Oddly enough, the Bullet Club used to pick on Flip a lot, but ended up seeing him as an equal and even as a friend. Cody gets in the ring with Bully while Brandi checks on Flip. Flip grits his teeth as he forces himself off the mat. Fans chant “FLIP! FLIP!” and Cody even encourages Flip that he can do this. Bully sees Flip’s friends gather together, and says “Hey Brandi, this one’s for you.” SMACK number 8! Bully gives Flip the out again, but Flip takes the mic to say, “F*CK! YOU!” Flip has become Philly’s hero as Bully winds up.
But Bully drops the kendo stick to low blow Flip instead!! Bully runs away, with Silas by his side, as all of Flip’s friends rush the ring. Silas and Bully dare any one of them to start something, but we go to break in the stand off.
Six Woman Tag: Karen Q, Britt Baker & Kelly Klein VS Jenny Rose, Madison Rayne & Sumie Sakai!
The Queen of Queens joins up with The Dentist and The Gatekeeper to take on the American Joshi, the Queen Bee and the Ray of Sunshine. These six may be in teams, but everyone wants after Sumie’s WOH World Championship. Will the champ carry her team to victory? Or will a challenger rise up?
Rose and Klein want at each other already, given how Rose chipped one of Klein’s teeth. The teams keep them apart, and we start with Sumie and Baker. They uphold the Code of Honor, and we begin. They circle, tie up, and Baker pushes Sumie to a corner. Baker backs off but Sumie dodges to give Mongolian chops! Sumie fires up and runs corner to corner, but Baker follows. She redirects Sumie, but Sumie gets a waistlock. Baker bucks her off then spins her around for a big forearm. Sumie ends up in the corner, Baker runs in for the shining wizard, then fireman’s carry. Roll through to Rings of Saturn! Sumie makes it a cover, TWO! Shining wizard from Sumie! Cover, TWO! Sumie stomps Baker then brings her over to whip. Baker dodges, and then hits a slingblade! Cover, TWO!
Baker drags Sumie around, runs, but Karen tags in with authority. Karen runs into a drop toehold! Sumie stomps away on Karen’s back! Sumie drags Karen over, Rose tags in. Rose gets a headlock and Philly is on the side of their hometown favorite. Karen powers out of the headlock, but Rose runs her over. Rose goes again and runs Karen over again. She keeps moving, Karen ducks down but Rose rolls over to get her with an arm-drag. Rose has Karen in an armlock, then tags to Madison. Madison wrenches Karen and gets the wristlock. Karen throws a forearm but Madison ducks. Madison runs and counters Karen’s hip toss into an arm-drag takedown and bridge! TWO but she rolls Karen for a cradle, TWO!
Karen kicks low, then says “Enough’s enough!” She suplexes but Madison resists, to Northern Lights! Bridge, but Kelly breaks it up. Rose rushes Kelly and a brawl breaks out with all six women as we go to break!
ROH returns and Karen has Sumie in a chinlock. Fans rally up and Sumie fights out. Karen clubs Sumie down, then whips. Sumie tilt-o-whirls for headscissors! Hot tag to Madison! Tag to Klein, but Madison dropkicks her legs out. Madison keeps going and dropkicks Klein in the face! Madison fires off chop after chop, then hits a roaring elbow! Karen runs in, but into Madison’s crucifix driver! Madison forgets Karen isn’t legal, so she has to let her go. Madison eggs Kelly on, while Sumie wipes Karen out with a missile dropkick! Kelly swings but misses and hits Baker! She turns around into an enziguri! Madison wrings Kelly out, for Rayne Check! Then tag to Rose!
Rose SPEARS Kelly and throws furious right hands! She and Kelly scrap as they get to their feet, Kelly puts Rose in a corner. Kelly hits a big back elbow, then runs out to run back in. Rose dodges that elbow to hit a code breaker! Rose then gets Kelly in the standing abdominal stretch! Kelly makes her way towards her corner, but Baker says no to the tag! She seems to take offense to that hit from earlier. Kelly gets free and throws Rose down, then shouts at Baker that she’s supposed to tag when Kelly calls for it. Baker shrugs that off, and Rose gets Kelly with Northern Lights to a sitting clutch! Cover, Rose’s team wins!
Winners: Madison Rayne, Sumie Sakai, and Jenny Rose, Rose pinning
Kelly Klein getting pinned is a rare sight! Baker leaves Kelly behind to celebrate with the winners, and Karen is mad that Kelly got caught like that. Will Rose and Kelly settle their score on their own? Will Rose use this to again challenge Sumie’s impressive inaugural reign?
The Kingdom speaks.
Next week, Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan & Vinnie Marseglia are set to face Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham and a third mystery partner. But the Horror King asks if him lurking under the ring looks familiar to the Franchise. Taven tells Lethal that those red balloons were just a warning before he popped the bubble Lethal lives in, and shows him who the real ROH World Heavyweight Champion is. The Sassy Wild Horse sarcastically says they’re “so wicked scared” of the mystery partner. Go ahead, call Will Ospreay or whoever you want. Whoever that third man is, he better make sure to check under ring. Who will the real ROH WHC and The Octopus choose to go into battle against The Kingdom?
Kenny King VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes!
The #BulletClubSilencer continues working his way up their ranks as he now takes on the American Nightmare! Will the K I N G stoop to new lows to defeat one of The Elite? Or will the man of many belts show Kenny exactly why he has those titles?
And speaking of titles, Jay Lethal joins commentary with his real world title on his shoulder. Is The Franchise scouting out potential partners for his showdown with The Kingdom? Or is he keeping eyes on his future challengers?
ROH returns once more, and with the bell. Cody and King circle as fans rally up. They tie up and go around, King gets the waistlock. Cody gets the standing switch, but King gets a drop toehold to headlock. Cody works his way out, and bends King back. King bridges, and gets a ropebreak. Cody lets King go, to cartwheel and flex! Fans cheer the multi-promotion champion. King kips up and poses, but fans boo. Cody and King circle again, then tie up. Fans are behind Cody but King gets behind Cody with a waistlock. Cody standing switches to a headlock, but King gets one back. Cody powers out but King runs him over. King does his dance, but fans boo again. King does more dance moves, but fans tell him “Kenny Sucks!” Cody and King circle again and fans rally up.
Cody gets behind King and gets a hammerlock. King works his way around and arm-drags Cody to then kip up! King stomps Cody, then drops elbows. Cody gets to ropes, but King is on him with forearms. King whips but Cody slides under. Cody kicks and drops for the uppercut! Cody reels King in, suplexes King up, and holds him up. After a count of about 10, he drops King on his face! Cover, ONE, but Cody keeps his cool. Cody gets King’s arm and wrenches into a shoulder breaker. King kicks low, then whips, but Cody reverses. King “trips” and accuses Brandi of doing it? Brandi wasn’t even near him! The ref still questions her, but only King thinks she did anything. But this itself is a ploy, as King gets Cody with a sucker punch! Cody kicks King on the reentry, then clothesline to complete shot! Cover, TWO!
Cody keeps his cool as he brings King up. King spins out of the facelock to hit the Eddy Gordo kick, but then he runs into a drop toehold! The ref backs Cody off before he goes after Kenny again, but Kenny fakes a slap from Brandi! Fans boo as Brandi again has to defend herself to the ref. Cody defends his wife, but King grins as he gets more sucker punches! Cody bails out but King pursues. King bounces Cody off the barrier, then goes to take a kid’s American Nightmare shirt? The young fan won’t let King ruin their fun, so King goes after Cody. King puts Cody in, and drags him up for a snap suplex. Float over to some ground ‘n’ pound, then cover, TWO! King is in control with a chinlock as we go to one last break.
ROH returns once again as King lifts Cody. Cody fights out of the fireman’s carry, then shoves. King dodges the clothesline but Cody dodges the heel kick. They both run, and collide with double clotheslines! Both men are down and a ten count begins. Brandi and the fans rally for Cody, but both men stand at 5. King runs but Cody follows, and Cody hits King with forearms. King doesn’t fall so Cody gets to the corner, but Cody has to go up and over as King runs in. Cody gets King in the powerslam! Cover, TWO! Cody keeps his focus and fans rally up again. He runs, Beautiful Disaster Kick! Cover, TWO!! King survives, but Cody keeps his cool.
Cody drags King up but King gets the fireman’s carry. King hits the chin check, and Cody staggers. King climbs up top, but Cody rushes over. Cody hits King, then climbs up. Cody gets the SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! King survives again, but fans rally up for Cody again. Cody stalks King as he stands. Dragon sleeper hold, but King snapmares Cody off. Cody runs in but misses in the corner. King roundhouses Cody in the back, then rolls him up. He uses the ropes! The ref sees that and calls the count off. Fans boo King for trying to cheat yet again, but Cody runs in for King to dump out. King slingshots for the corkscrew plancha! Both men go down but the fans fire up.
King is up first to brag and boast, then puts Cody in. King springboards but Cody gets under, only to run into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO! Brandi and fans cheer Cody but King takes off the elbow pad. And he throws it at Brandi!? Now he’s just asking for trouble. Brandi gets up on the apron but the ref keeps her back. King grabs Cody’s IWGP United States Championship belt, but instead of hitting Cody with it, he tosses the belt to Cody so that it looks like Cody hit him! The ref sees Cody holding the gold, but the fans vouch for Cody. Head ref Todd Sinclair comes in, and HE vouches for Cody! King’s cheating is undone, so he shoves Todd! AND kicks Cody in the balls!
Winner: Cody, by disqualification
Seems King doesn’t care about winning so long as he stands tall over Bullet Club. Brandi shields Cody but King snatches up Cody’s title. He tells Brandi to get out of the way, but she refuses. King puts his hands on Brandi, so here comes Lethal! Lethal defends Brandi & Cody from King, trying to talk sense into him. King doesn’t want to listen, even as Lethal says he’s better than this. So King hits Lethal! And then Cody! The K I N G gets a title shot on Veteran’s Day, November 11th. Will ROH Global Wars see a NEW (true) ROH World Champion? How will Lethal taking on The Kingdom and the self-proclaimed world champion affect that?
I feel that the choice to put the Pick Your Punishment match on first was in a similar fashion to putting Punishment Martinez VS Jeff Cobb for the ROH World Television Championship on before the main event. Putting something like that on early keeps fans guessing as to how long everything will take. In Cobb’s case, it added surprise to the squashing. In this week’s case, it added surprise to the disappointment that Flip’s guy didn’t win, while giving lots of time for the punishment to happen. And in the end, Flip taking such a beating really adds a lot of heat to Bully while making Flip look like the manliest man in all of ROH. Flip can still get the win in the end at perhaps another PPV in a direct fight with Bully, and that’ll skyrocket him to no less than the TV title.
The Women’s Tag match was pretty good, has good story tie-in for Kelly Klein and Jenny Rose. Commentary did a great job indirectly referencing both Karen Q’s and Madison Rayne’s part in WWE’s Mae Young Classic tournament this year, and that addition to each of their resumes should help them both get some major play in other Women’s Divisions. Depending on how Rose VS Klein turns out, the winner of that could move up to challenge Sumie. Sumie’s reign has been impressive on length alone, but I’m thinking if Kelly wins against Rose in their blow-off, Kelly gets the title off of Sumie. Finally adding a second name to the WOH World Championship lineage does great things for both title and that second champion.
The main event was pretty good, and the story elements were strong. King has clearly studied every trick in the book, some of those tricks looked like something Eddie Guerrero would use. In the end, Cody still wins, but only because King gave up and was blatant in his actions. This makes for some good story going into ROH Global Wars, but I’m thinking Lethal finds a way to win so that Lethal’s story with The Kingdom continues until we get our undisputed ROH World Champion. Plus, King specifically using Cody’s IWGP United States title, I wonder if King will challenge Cody for that belt given the close relationship of ROH and NJPW.
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