Matt Davis checks in with his look at this week’s edition of Ring Of Honor featuring Joe Hendry, Flip Gordon, and more!
“Since 2002 we have created excellence together.” – Jay Lethal
Welcome to Ring of Honor Television! We open this week at the Summer Supercard, showing Flip Gordon attacking Tracy Williams with a kendo stick before his match for the TV Title in Toronto. We cut to Global Wars in Chicago when Gordon pinned Williams in a Chicago Street Fight with an F5 into opened chairs. Ian Riccaboni welcomes us to the show and tells us the main event will be “Hotsauce” Tracy Williams against his rival Flip Gordon in a No Disqualification match! If you’ve read my Glory By Honor Review, they discuss the match, but tonight we will see it in full! Quinn McKay tells us that next week we will see Joe Hendry challenge Shane Taylor for the ROH TV Title from Honor United.
There is a promo detailing Shane Taylor’s contract situation and recaps his thoughts about Ring of Honor failing to promote him. Come on Shane, it’s not personal, they aren’t promoting anyone! Cut to Taylor walking around backstage trying to leave an arena being followed by reporters and cameramen wanting to discuss his contract and next challenge. First, Taylor walks into a door that clearly says “Exit Only”, and says “Of course they wouldn’t let me in” then turns to have a press conference. Then one of the people, holding up a cell phone, asks him who his next challenger is to his “world title” in one of the most rehearsed lines I’ve ever heard. Taylor says he’s going to sit down with ROH again to renegotiate his contract because they tried to screw him by adding Dragon Lee to the match but he still retained. The next question was since he’s a free agent, where will he be going next. Taylor says it doesn’t matter, he could go anywhere. He says if ROH wants him to defend the championship they need to pay him more. He wants to be featured and promoted more. A security guard breaks up the impromptu segment and tells Taylor the casino wants him to leave because people can’t be recording in the casino. That was one of the worst backstage promos I’ve ever seen, and this whole storyline is garbage. Strip him of the championship!
After a break we cut to a segment between Joe Hendry and Dalton Castle at Death Before Dishonor, where Castle reveals a mimosa under a cone in the middle of the ring without any explanation of what we are watching. Quinn McKay is standing in the ring dressed like a ringmaster of a circus. Watch this and disagree with me. Castle tells us the mimosa was made with real Equadorian orange, French champagne, and bubbles that were put in by Shaoudi monks in Napal and takes a sip to a cheer. Castle asks how Hendry will top that? Hendry says that will be tough, even though he believes in the tag team even though Castle is second best. Hendry says he’s going to host karaoke. The song about Dalton Castle is horrible and I’m not even going to type it out. Hendry attacks The New Boys as Castle exits the ring. What the absolute trash was that? Cut to McKay with Riccaboni telling us that got out of hand as she introduces the next match.
Joe Hendry vs Dom Kubrik
This is an exclusive television match featuring Kubrik already in the ring as Hendry signs an autograph for a child in his fathers arm at ringside. Hendry offers a handshake as the bell sounds.
We are told Hendry have an excellent amateur background as they tangle up as the match begins. About a minute in Hendry tries a Hendry-Lock, as were told that Kurt Angle bestowed the ankle lock to Hendry. A shoulderblock tackle drops Kubrik, reverses a leapfrog as Kubrik reverses an armdrag into a counter attack. Back elbow by Hendry gets two! Stalling showboat vertical suplex gets two by Hendry! We are told that this is basically an exhibition match for the Scottish singing star, great way to put over your lesser talent guys! We are told Santino Marrella trained Kubrik. At ringside, Hendry signs another autograph as the fans rips it up. Commentator snarks “That’s at least $12 on eBay that he just ripped up.” Highlight of the match so far. Kubrik drops Hendry face first into the turnbuckle! Superkick! Two! Kubrik hits a move that looks like the Black Plague for two, into a guillotine choke! Hendry powers out and tries a suplex but Kubrik drops again ans Hendry breaks in the corner. Hendry with a suplex countering another try. Hard DDT by Hendry, butterfly into a shoulderbreaker across the knee, hard lariat hooks the leg and Hendry gets two! We are reminded next week Hendry challenges for the TV Title next week. High knee by Kubrik! Crossbody rolled through into a fallaway powerslam! Ankle Lock reversed, but Hendry steps over and locks it in for the submission in 5 minutes.
Winner: Joe Hendry
Thoughts: A highlight squash for Joe Hendry. He has a crisp style and a great look and character which immediately draws you to him. He’s like a mix of early Nigel McGuinness and Drew Gulak. He will be in WWE before long. He has a unique creative offense and has good control of his offense. The story that Angle bestowed the Ankle Lock to him is great. Impressive victory as he heads into next week. #IBelieveInJoeHendry
After a break we are brought backstage with Jenny Rose as she discusses that she has had championship matches before, but now shes pissed off because Angelina Love finally got what she wanted. She says ever since she came here it’s been dirty tactics and disrespect, and of course shes a legend but she’s not honorable. In a cringy moment, her promo is cut off and we only hear her voice as we are shown a graphic for next weeks show. We are told next week Angelina Love will defend in a triple threat against Jenny Rose and Sumie Sakai. Can we talk about this week please? Riccaboni talks about Rhett Titus and Kenny King, the former ROH Tag Team Champions, have been feuding as King has been targeting his former partner at every angle.
Mark Haskins vs Rhett Titus
“Global Wars: Espectacular: Night 1”
Begins mid-match, Haskins knocks Titus down and goes up top, missing a stomp. Titus catches a boot in the corner, sloppy Super Facebuster off the top by Titus gets two and a half! I miss The Romantic Touch. Titus with a kick to the chest, mid kick, and an elevated DDT and hooks the leg and Haskins kicks out again! Running boots in the corner stun Haskins, Titus tries a tilt-a-whirl but Haskins reverses into a grapevine into a high angle deathlock and Mark Haskins wins by submission
Winner: Mark Haskins
Thoughts: For the one minute we saw, Titus looks like he has looked like for a decade with sloppy offense and zero compelling character traits. Haskins almost breaks Titus’s hip with the high angle submission. Like last week, can’t grade a match you see a small fraction of.
Backstage after the match, Haskins talks to Titus about their “scrap” and Titus says it was just what the doctor ordered. Kenny King walks up and taunts Titus. He criticizes Titus for tapping out, telling him he used to see him pass out before he tapped out (it’s true) when they used to roll. He asks Titus if he should be at home breastfeeding his son as Titus laughs and quips that at least he didn’t get knocked out walking into a camera and walks away.
I’m intrigued by this because these two have great chemistry as a team. Kenny King was the best thing that ever happened to Rhett Titus’s career. Will we eventually see a reunion of the All Night Express?
Backstage with Jeff Cobb as he praises ROH’s return to the United Kingdom, as he prepares for his ROH World Championship match with Rush. He says Rush might be a bull, but so is he, and it’s going to be two bulls colliding as he becomes champion.
In the ring at Death Before Dishonor Fallout we cut to The Kingdom with Matt Taven talking about how seven years ago he joined Ring of Honor because that’s where the best were. He said he tried every day to be the best, and he’s done it all, winning the Top Prospect Tournament, winning the TV Title, winning the Tag Titles and gives a shout out to Mike Bennett that gets a pop (Please come back Mike!), to winning the Six Man Tag Title belts with his two best friends on three occasions, and that all that was nice but since he was a boy he to wanted to be ROH World Champion! He said at Madison Square Garden and in front of tens of thousands of fans all his dreams came true. He said he’s held the title knowing the legacy it has as the most prestigious championships in wrestling. He said everytime he defended it, he would leave it all in the ring which got a cheer and a “Thank you Taven” chant. He thanks the fans. He says he’s at a crossroads, and people have been talking about what happens now. He said when he came here ROH was the best innovative best wrestling company on the planet and he still believes that and he is going no where. The only second Grand Slam champion in company history is staying in Ring of Honor as he hugs Marseglia and O’Ryan in the ring. Commentators tell us he will go down as one of the most underrated champions of all time.
Backstage, Angelina Love and Mandy Rose discuss how bitter Love was that she had to defend the championship next week and complained it took her three months to get an opportunity at the title, but now everyone is lining up to face her. Mandy Rose says its the Age of the Allure and no one is taking the championship from them and ends with a chalk on chalkboard nauseating “Bye” and I’d rather have my eyes pecked out by seagulls than ever listen to that again.
“Hotsauce” Tracy Williams vs Flip Gordon
Death Before Dishonor Fallout Tour
Las Vegas, Nevada
Not sure of the difference between a “television exclusive”, and a match taped for television. This was taped the night after Death Before Dishonor, and begins right away with Williams attacking Gordon on the stage as fisticuffs fly! Gordon cracks a kendo stick across his ribs and back! Gordon chases Williams towards the ring and cracks him again! The welts already appear on his back!
Gordon digging under the ring and grabs a chair at ringside, Williams dives to the outside and splashes it into Gordon’s face! Chops and elbows by Williams! Williams back ripped open already. Butterfly suplex on the outside! Williams rolls Gordon into the ring as Gordon drops Williams face first into the corner! Knife edged chop by Gordon. Williams reverses and gets a chop of his own! Gutwrench toss, to the top rope, Williams rips Gordon off the top with a snap superplex for two!
Williams aggressively all over Gordon as Gordon rolls to the outside and Williams jumps on him again! Gordon reverses a suplex outside and posts Hotsauce! We are told this has been boiling since Gordon joined VE, and dislocated his elbow on a 450 attempt on Williams. Gordon stalks and haunts Williams against the barricade. Gordon tries a suplex but it’s blocked. Gordon tries to whip Williams into the steel but Williams reverses and Gordon jumps over the barricade into the crowd! Williams tries running..and catches an elbow in the face. That was poorly executed, what was plan? Were you going to run knee first into the barricade if Gordon didn’t elbow you? Springboard tornado DDT plants Williams as we fade to commercial!
We are back with both men in the ring, with Gordon swinging a chair. He misses! Williams grabs it, misses, superkick by Gordon! Gordon with a swinging neckbreaker on the chair and gets two! Williams playing possum and drives the chair into Gordon’s ribs. He drops the chair outside, then goes get it again. Jumping knee in the corner! On top, Gordon blocks a superplex. Gordon reverses and drops Williams groin first on the top rope! Gordon tries a full steam charge but stops, stalls, and baseball slides Williams in the back, low risk. He grabs the chair again as both men inside. Gordon opens it and tries to brainbuster Williams into the open chair but Williams blocks. Springboard kick by Gordon! On the top, Williams catches Gordon and all hell breaks loose when Williams drops Gordon with a sitout suplex across the open chair! Hooks the leg, two and a half! Damn! Williams tries a crossface and wrenches back, trapping the arm. Gordon drags himself to the side rope! Williams refuses to break the hold as it’s No DQ! Gordon continues to crawl and drag himself out of the ring and slips away.
Under the ring, Williams unveils another kendo stick and cracks it across Gordon’s chest and back, White Russian Legsweep adapted by The Sandman! Again across the back as it echoes across the arena (easier when it’s empty) Williams cracking it over and over Gordon up the ramp, as he breaks it across Gordon’s back. Williams tries a piledriver on the ramp but Gordon hits a low blow! Gordon with an inverted DDT as we fade to another commercial.
Back, as Gordon grabs a table from under the ring. Gordon opens the table in the ring as Williams rolling around outside. Gordon throws a chair on Williams and rolls him inside. Gordon places Williams on the table and thinks about a 450 Splash. Williams up and nails a european uppercut! Both men on the top now. Headbutt by Gordon! Gordon tries a Kinder Surprise, but Tracy launches Gordon into the barricade and the floor. Williams drops the table closed and then opens it back up half open. Running boot to Gordon on the apron! Williams drops a double axe handle and drags him onto the apron and then the top rope again. Williams with a Piledriver off the top rope through for the table for win in about 15 minutes shown!
Winner: Tracy Williams
Thoughts: This rivalry is far from finished, but here we are with a big win for Tracy Williams and Lifeblood as the carnage continues against Villain Enterprises. Small complaint of not enough weapons for me in a No DQ match. There was a wrinkle of a No DQ match stipulation here, but overall, not a lot. Some kendo sticks, some chairs, and the one table spot that ended it. The momentum of the match was severely interrupted by two commercial breaks. I couldn’t get into the match because of them. The finish kind of came out of no where and wasn’t “built up”, at least not in what they showed. Down. Oh sorry, that’s not my gimmick.
Overall Show Grade: 5/10
Better than last week, but still had some very awkward stuff going on. That awkward segment with Joe Hendry and Dalton Castle was not introduced, and it wasn’t funny in any way. Hendry is hilarious but it really fell flat as they tried to make dick jokes and neither the crowd or I, as a viewer, cared at all. The akward segment with Jenny Rose had awful production. I’ve never seen an interview cut off as their voice continued as we were looking at graphics on screen before. The Shane Taylor storyline is TURRRRRIBLE and that whole interview was really poorly done, little things make a huge difference. We just saw NJPW strip Jon Moxley of a championship because he couldn’t defend because of inclement weather, you’re telling me you’d allow a champion to get bought out of his contract but keep the title on him? If he wants out, agree to buy him out and strip the title. It literally doesn’t make sense from a business stand point, it’s not believable and drives me insane! The TV Title could be utilized so much more with characters like PJ Black, Joe Hendry, or either of the guys in the main event. Great promo by Matt Taven. Felt real, heart felt, and the fans were invested in everything he said. Less complaints than last week, but still enough to irritate me. Until next week! #UseYourHead