Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 379
It’s the Best of ROH 2018! Join Ring of Honor in reviewing the greatest moments of the year, from titles to debuts to history made in and out of the ring!
PLAY BY PLAY
2018 was a great year for ROH.
From establishing the Women of Honor World Championship to strengthening bonds with promotions like NJPW, CMLL and even RevPro, it is clear that #HonorIsReal. ROH has grown stronger around the world and even online thanks to the Honor Club streaming service, and looks to grow even more in 2019. Join us in reliving some of the major highlights of this year from the biggest events on the Ring of Honor Calendar!
Supercard of Honor XII: Kenny Omega VS Cody!
This match between Best Bout Machine and the American Nightmare came about as part of the Bullet Club Civil War’s first phase. Omega and Cody constantly clashed in regards to how to lead the Bullet Club between both ROH and NJPW promotions. When Omega lost the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship to The Switchblade, Jay White, in Sapporo, Hangman Page would step up to go after the new champion. Omega didn’t want Page showing disrespect, but Cody felt Omega was disrespecting Page. One thing led to another, and now we are in New Orleans as these two battle!
ROH jumps in as Cody takes off his weight belt. Cody uses it to whip and lash Omega on the mat! Cody climbs up top, for a moonsault! But he flops as Omega rolls away! Omega has a wild look in his eyes as he gets up. Cody slowly rises, too, but Omega is on him with a point-blank V-Trigger! Cody dares Omega to keep hitting him, so Omega gives another V-Trigger. Omega double guns but Cody uses the ref as a shield. Cody then spits on Omega, and rakes the eyes. Omega stops that for yet another V-Trigger! Then a running V-Trigger!! Cover, TWO!!
Cut to moments later, Omega gives Cody a V-Trigger at the ropes! Omega drags Cody up, Electric Chair, but Cody fights out. Cody underhooks, Dinn’s Fire!! High stack cover, TWO!! Omega lives after the vertabreaker and fans are thunderous!
Cut to another moment later, and Cody slashes the throat. Cody drags Omega up for the dragon sleeper but Omega fights out. Cody catches the leg but Omega flips through. They back up into the ref! Things speed up, and double crossbodies collide! Everyone is down, but here come the Young Bucks! Matt & Nick Jackson were the two caught in the middle of the Bullet Club Civil War as they’re both great friends with Omega and Cody. The Bucks slide into the ring, and it’s the moment of truth. Whose side are they on? The Bucks take aim at Cody, but also take aim at Omega. Fans duel and The Bucks have to decide. They aim for Cody, but Cody dodges to send the SUPERKICKS into Omega!! What have they done?! Cody drags Omega up, Cross Rhodes!! Cover and the ref returns, Cody wins!
Cody would win the first battle in Bullet Club Civil War’s opening phase, but we know it wouldn’t end there. Through NJPW, the battles would rage on, and it would be at the G1 Special in San Francisco that things would change. Omega defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Cody in an epic and extreme match and successfully retained. Just as it seemed that Omega and Cody had reunited the Bullet Club, it would be torn apart again by the Firing Squad, as led by Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa. It is unclear how the future of “Bullet Club” will unfold, or The Elite’s for that matter. Where will 2019 bring everyone involved?
The ROH World Television Championship also had a wild 2018.
Just between Silas Young and Kenny King, the title would change hands several times, and ultimately, the Last Real Man would keep it away from the K I N G. But then Silas would have to deal with a monster in Punishment Martinez. Martinez would take the title from Silas and run with it for a long and solid reign. However, a shocking in-ring debut would end even that, as the Hawaiian Hulk, Jeff Cobb, would appear on the scene!
ROH Wrestling TV Episode 370 – ROH World Television Championship: Punishment Martinez VS Jeff Cobb!
Martinez and Cobb are monsters in the ring to say the least, and this collision rivaled the action of any classic kaiju movie. Everyone from ROH fans to Martinez himself was shocked to see that Cobb could take the punishment and dish it out! There was nothing Martinez could do to finish Cobb, but Cobb had more than enough for Martinez. In fact, this match was so surprisingly short, ROH can replay it all here!
Cobb is now the ROH World Television Champion, and has already prove he is worthy with wins over great talents like the Notorious Hitman, Shane Taylor, Mr. Top Prospect 2017 Josh “The Goods” Woods, and perhaps his orneriest challenger ever, Hangman Page. Even as recently as Episode 378, he helped Team Lethal win the ROH Christmas Surprise tag match. Cobb rolls on into the New Year with gold, who will step up to the colossal challenge that he is?
The Kingdom’s 2018 was all about conspiracy!
Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan & Vinnie Marseglia had to wait roughly a full year for their contractual rematch for the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships. And while they got them back in controversial fashion, they also lost those titles in controversial fashion. Cody and The Young Bucks would pin an illegal tag partner, but the referee’s decision was final. However, The Kingdom would get their justice at Survival of the Fittest.
Survival of the Fittest 2018 – ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships: Cody & The Young Bucks VS The Kingdom!
ROH jumps in as Vinnie and Taven double whip Matt Jackson, only for Matt to come back with double clotheslines! Ohio fires up with Matt as he wrecks Taven with a dropkick. Matt skins the cat into a Sliced Bread on Vinnie! Matt calls for the “SUPERKICK PARTY!” but Taven swipes at Matt. Matt turns around into a double flapjack from Vinnie and TK! They add a leg drop and back senton, then Vinnie covers. TWO and the Kingdom are frustrated. Vinnie drags Matt up and whips him to the Kingdom’s corner but Matt hits TK and Taven. Vinnie runs in but Matt dodges. Matt runs into Vinnie’s knee, but he SUPERKICKS Vinnie off the ropes! Matt dodges TK and tags his brother, Nick!
TK runs into a swing kick, then Nick slingshot double stomps! Nick keeps moving with a somersault to draping backstabber on Vinnie! The Bucks fire up and they whip TK and Vinnie at each other. The Kingdom reverses, we dosido, and The Bucks go for Sharpshooters! Taven runs in but so does Cody. Cody slingshots and sunset flips, to his own Sharpshooter! It’s a TRIPLE Cease & Desist! Fans chant but The Kingdom endures. Vinnie gets free then Taven, and even TK. The Elite regroup to whip Vinnie corner to corner. Cody runs in for a forearm, Matt htis his own forearm, then Nick hits a shining wizard! And then, TRIPLE SUPERKICK!! Cover, but Taven and TK both break it!
Cody throws TK out and Nick throws Taven. Cody runs to triangle jump and FLY onto TK! Nick Penalty Kicks, but he gets the outside referee! Taven trips Nick off the apron, then laughs at the “Melvin.” Matt wrecks Taven and skins the cat, but runs into Vinnie’s Sliced Bread! Cody runs in, Cross Rhodes! Taven returns, but the Kick of the King hits the main referee! Cody gets Taven with Cross Rhodes! Cover, but there’s NO ref! Fans count to five but it doesn’t matter, and then TK clubs Cody with his bat! TK swings for the fences and takes out both Bucks! Fans boo and jeer but there’s no ref to call the action. Taven drags Cody up, and The Kingdom coordinates, for ROCKSTAR SUPER NOVA! A third referee appears, but wait, is that…? Yes, it’s BRANDI! And she flips The Kingdom off!
Fans fire up for Mrs. American Nightmare, but she’s all alone in the ring. But The Bucks return to SUPERKICK TK and Vinnie! Then TRIPLE SUPERKICK for Taven! Cody grabs TK, Cross Rhodes! Cover, Brandi counts it, The Elite win! But wait, this can’t be official, because Brandi’s not a real referee. The actual referees see this and argue it with Brandi. The Kingdom obviously don’t want this to stand, and they shove Cody into Brandi! And the decision has been reached: Brandi isn’t an actual referee, so this match continues. Taven defends he didn’t mean to hurt Brandi, and allows Cody to pick up his wife. Cody carries Brandi but then Taven hits him with the Climax!! TK throws Nick to a post, Vinnie blocks a superkick, and they combine for House of 1000 Horses! Cover, The KINGDOM wins! They’re now THREE-Time trios champions!
The conspiracy, real or imagined, was finally put to rest. At least, a tag title related one. Taven would move on from the concern of the trios championships and on to the ROH World Championship. Taven claims to be the uncrowned king and the “real” champion, but saying so and making up a purple version of the belt doesn’t mean it’s true. Will Taven and the REAL World Champion, Jay Lethal, settle this “controversy” in 2019?
And speaking of Jay Lethal…
The Franchise was a great former ROH WHC, but he wasn’t satisfied with resting on his laurels. Lethal talked with ROH management about getting back to the title, and they brought up it was about what you do lately. Lethal agreed, and decided to make up for some losses in 2018. He would go on a streak of wins against some classic opponents, and would earn a shot at the title.
ROH Wrestling Television Episode 357 – ROH World Championship Four Corner Survival: Dalton Castle w/ The Boys VS Matt Taven VS Cody VS Jay Lethal!
So soon after retaining his title, The Peacock felt like putting it right back on the line! The Kingdom’s ringleader, The American Nightmare and The Franchise Player were all given a fair shot to see if they could dethrone Castle. Things would get chaotic and extreme, as tables and chairs would be brought in and used to destructively amazing effect. It would boil down to Castle and Lethal, and an emphatic Lethal Injection! Jay Lethal is now a two-time ROH World Champion, a rarity in itself. He would successfully retain against Cody at Final Battle, bring both wrestlers full circle in their rivalry. And again, as Taven wants to establish himself as the “real” world champion, Lethal continues to prove why he is the REAL world champion. When and where in 2019 will these two settle who is the undisputed ROH World Champion?
But let’s not forget the ROH World Tag Team Championships.
There are any number of great teams in ROH, but the two best of them are The Briscoes and The Young Bucks. This rivalry has raged long before 2018 but it certainly heated up. The fiercest may have been ROH Best in the World over the Summer.
Best in the World 2018 – ROH World Tag Team Championships: The Briscoes VS The Young Bucks!
#DemBoyz got away with these titles thanks to Championship Advantage and a disqualification, but that wouldn’t get Matt & Nick Jackson to give up on getting those titles back around their waists. At the time, The Bucks were already IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team and NEVER Openweight Six Man Champions, but that also was not going to stop them from trying.
ROH starts this match at the top with the introductions being made and the titles being raised. Mark and Nick start and tie up. Mark powers Nick to a corner then gets all over him but the ref backs him off. Nick hits back and whips corner to corner. Mark goes up and over but Nick chops him. Nick goes “lucha libre~” to arm-drag, but Mark deflects the dropkick. The two grind foreheads, but then Nick hits Jay Briscoe! Nick throws haymakers but Mark whips. Jay dumps Nick out but Nick still kicks him away. Nick shoulders and slingshots, but Jay comes in to run him over.
Matt jumps in to dropkick Mark but Jay throws hands. Jay gives a stiff European Uppercut, but Matt reverses the whip. The Bucks double hip toss and back flip, but Mark disrupts their rhythm. The Bucks go to superkick but the Briscoes block! Now all four men grind foreheads and talk trash, while ROH goes to break.
ROH returns and the brawl rages on between Bucks and Briscoes. The Briscoes get the edge, then run, into SUPERKICKS! The Bucks throw more hands on The Briscoes, then they run. Matt boosts Nick for the double dropkick! Fans fire up while The Briscoes back down. Nick tags in Matt and the fans chant for “The! Elite! The the Elite!” Matt and Nick double whip Jay and double hip toss him again. They backflip and finally get those double dropkicks. Mark returns and Matt headscissors, but Jay intercepts Nick going around the world! Mark then feeds Matt to Jay’s clothesline! The Briscoes combine for Redneck Boogie! Cover, TWO!
Cut to Mark and Matt brawling. Matt runs but Jay trips him up and drags him out. Jay holds Matt and Mark runs in, but Matt gets out of the way! Mark’s dropkick wrecks Jay! Matt kicks Mark, then hits a somersault cutter! He wrecks his back but he takes Mark with him. Fans rally up and Matt gets back in to tag Nick! Nick runs and triangle jumps for a corkscrew moonsault! Fans are thunderous as Nick lands on his feet! Nick rallies with kicks and elbows, and shining wizards Mark into barriers! He brings Mark along for the bulldog clothesline combo! Nick returns and Matt runs with him, and they double DIVE! The Briscoes go down and Nick puts Jay in the ring.
Nick runs in at the corner, shining wizard! He hoists Jay to the top rope and climbs up to join him. Mark wrecks Matt into barriers, and then yanks Nick down into a rear naked choke! Jay intercepts Matt, and then Mark feeds Nick to Jay’s clothesline! Mark wrecks Matt with a dropkick and blockbuster! The Briscoes coordinate and Jay hits the stiff neckbreaker. Mark climbs and leaps, Froggy-Bow! Cover, TWO!! Nick lives and keeps The Bucks in this match! Fans are thunderous again, and duel with “Young Bucks!” “Man Up!” Mark drags Nick up and Jay coordinates with him. Matt intercepts and drags Jay down. Nick SUPER STEINERS Mark! Nick crawls for his corner as fans rally up. Hot tag and Matt rallies on Mark!
Matt throws hands but Jay returns to clobber him. Jay headbutts Matt, and The Briscoes double whip. Matt breaks through to hit double clotheslines! Matt fires up and runs, but into a Death Valley Driver! Fans know “This is Awesome!” but it’s also far from over. Jay stands first and stomps Matt. He eggs Matt on, but says “Y’all boys ain’t sh*t!” Matt gets up to SUPERKICK! Mark runs into a SUPERKICK! The Bucks power up but The Briscoes SUPERKICK! The Briscoes run into SUPERKICKS! But then The Bucks run into clotheslines! Jay Driller on Matt!! Cover, but Nick manages to break it! The battle rages on after the break!
ROH returns once more in 2018, and The Briscoes call for Doomsday. Fans boo and jeer but Jay flips them the bird. Mark climbs while Jay drags Matt up in the Electric Chair. Nick intercepts Mark with a SUPER Cutter! Matt victory rolls Jay, TWO! Jay fights both Bucks with haymakers, elbows and EuroUppers. Jay runs, but into boots! Nick cartwheels to asai onto mark! Matt lifts Jay with an Electric Chair, and Nick springboards for a Young Bucks Doomsday!! Cover, TWO!! Jay survives and shocks The Bucks. Fans rally up and The Bucks work to use one of theirs. Nick climbs and Matt scoops Jay. More Bang for Your Buck completes the cycle, but Mark Froggy-Bows on the ref?! That was on purpose?! Yes, because Mark then grabs a chair!
Mark swings but misses, and gets double SUPERKICKS! The Bucks go back to Jay and call for it. Nick springboards, Five-Star Meltzer Driver! Cover, the referee returns to count, but Mark breaks it! Nick stomps Mark out of the ring and Matt positions the chair. The Bucks decide to up the ante, and reset the tombstone. Mark throws a second chair at Nick’s face! Jay slips out and gets Matt, with a Jay Driller on th chair!! Cover, TWO!? How does Matt survive?! Fans are thunderous in Baltimore! Jay stands and tags Mark, and they hoist Matt up top. Mark climbs and they coordinate again. Jay has to kick Nick away first, and then they hit SUPER Redneck Boogie! Cover, The Briscoes win!!
As epic as that instant classic was, The Briscoes would not finish the year with the titles. Not only were The Bucks hungry for more, SoCal Uncensored would be spurred on by their Final Battle countdown. The Addiction would step up to go after the titles, but #DemBoyz would take Christopher Daniels out of the running with a Jay Driller on the stage. However, Scorpio Sky stepped in, and in an amazing Triple Threat, he and Frankie Kazarian would shock the world! SoCal Uncensored would then raise the stakes on themselves, by allowing The Young Bucks and The Briscoes to challenge them for the titles in a Ladder War! This would ultimately backfire as Jay & Mark become the historic TEN-TIME ROH World Tag Team Champions! What new heights will The Briscoes reach in 2019? Where will we find SCU and The Elite?
Another year, another review episode. This was pretty good given that ROH aired the matches, in part or in full, to fill their hour of content. I think they hit some really good points of their year, making sure to highlight the best of each Division. However, there are some things pointed out with this retrospective. They said the Fatal 4 Way that Jay Lethal won was on June 30, but from the television airing (and therefore my previous article) it happened on July 21. I’ve said it before but obviously ROH still needs to work on streamlining how it schedules, tapes and airs their content. That is the one flaw in their system keeping them from being as great of a wrestling company as they could be. Other than that, they really do put out quality wrestling and I look forward to what they have planned for 2019.