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Ring Of Honor Coverage

ROH Glory By Honor Review: 10/12/19

Matt Davis presents your look at Saturday’s ROH Glory By Honor event, featuring Marty Scurll, PCO, World Champion RUSH and more!



ROH Glory By Honor

Matt Davis presents your look at Saturday’s ROH Glory By Honor event, featuring Marty Scurll, PCO, World Champion RUSH and more!

Ian Riccaboni welcomes us to Glory by Honor as we start off with a battle royal and the winner will face Rush later tonight, Colt Cabana and Caprice Coleman also doing commentary for this show.

1) 15 Man Battle Royal
Winner Receives ROH World Championship match later tonight

As the bell sounds everyone brawls, and Kenny King slips under the bottom rope and rolls under the ring. We are told he did the same thing at the Honor Rumble in Madison Square Garden which he won. About 10 seconds in, Matt Lancey goes over the top rope, followed by Chase Valor. Quickly, Booku is tossed and the crowd boos. After about a minute, Beer City Bruiser yells “I can’t bite, I aint got no teeth”. Everyone brawling, as Brian Johnson tries for his third elimination but Joe Hendry tosses him as the crowd cheers. Josh Wood airplane spins Cheeseburger over the top rope, and Woods and Young bump into each other and they knock Cheeseburger out. Announcers keep putting over Big Daddy Yum Yum as a bonafied main eventer in CMLL and mentioned he wrestled in New Japan as well. Rhett Titus skins the cat ad comes back in, and gets caught in a belly to belly by Josh Woods. Silas Young tosses Rhett Titus! Silas tells his protege the point is to throw them out!

Rhett Titus paces around the ring after he was thrown out and grabs Kenny King from under the ring. The former All Night Express partners argue, as Joe Hendry buckets Kenny King from behind and tosses the former ROH TV Champion to the floor! Silas Young tucks Joe Hendry as he hits the floor. We are told that Silas Young and Josh Woods are the first announced competitors in the first ever Tag Team Survival of the Fittest in Texas in November. Coast 2 Coast eliminates Beer City Bruiser with a double dropkick. They’re splashing Brian Milonas in the corner, and Milonas eliminates both men at the same time as he drives them over the top rope. Yum Yum and Milonas goes face to face and they begin to brawl. Nigel Lariat from Yum Yum staggers the big Milonas. Yum YUm tries a springboard crossbody and gets caught, Milonas tosses the CMLL main eveters as we are down to three men. Silas Young, Josh Woods, and Brian Milonas. Milonas crushes Josh Woods with a crossbody off the ropes! Silas saves his studet as they double team Brian Milonas and Silas Young tosses the giant man. Silas Young asks for a hug from his partner,and he suckers in the oblivious Josh Woods and chucks him for the win in about 8 minutes.

Winner: Silas Young
Grade: *
Thoughts: Too short, not enough star power to interest me in the least bit. The fact they made a announcement that Young and Woods were the first team announced for the first ever Tag Team SOTF made me realize they were reaching the finals. Young with good heel tactics tossing his student for the win made sense as he tries to make Josh Woods more of a man. I have to say, Young “teaching him the ropes” has provided some excellent inadvertent comedy between the two.

2) PCO vs Dalton Castle
Second Round – “#1 Contender At Final Battle Tournament”

The Peacock, the former ROH World Champion Dalton Castle, makes his entrance first. One third of the ROH Six Man Tag Team Championships, and a former ROH Tag Team Champion has made a huge impact since debuting in ROH under a year ago. Jim Johnston produced his entrance theme music tonight, the first time the famous composer did a theme song for a wrestler outside WWE in three decades. Dalton Castle seems terrified outside the ring as the smoke and fog clears. Castle says “If I shake your hand you aren’t going to eat it will you?” Castle quickly shakes.

Castle cirles around as PCO stalks the former champion. The fans are split cheering and chanting for both men. They’re feeling each other out early on. Castle tries to cheap shot PCO, and PCO openly invites Castle to hit him. Castle tries, it doesn’t phase him. PCO yells ” HIT ME”, Castle jumps on him and drops him with a german suplex. PCO is stunned for just a second but gets to his feet and plants the Peacock with a hard clothesliene! Hard spiking DDT by the 52 year old redemption project, followed by a dropkick to the spine! PCO in control as the fans love it.
Castle with a fast back elbow. Castle sprints to the apron, and PCO levels Castle with a hard clothesline dropping Castle back first on the apron and to the outside. They exchange hard chops and chest slaps outside as PCO bludgeons his opponent. Castle reverses and posts him! PCO is down. PCO suckers him in and chokeslams Castle spine first onto the ring apron! PCO pulls the padding up exposing the concrete. Caprice Coleman says “We often wonder what PCO thinks, but we’ve realized he doesn’t, he just does.” They’re brawling on the top rope above the exposed concrete.. Fans chanting “Please dont die”. PCO starts grabbing his face as he tweaks and stumbles. PCO falls to the floor and Castle with a running knee and he rolls inside to regroup. Castle dropkicks PCO through the ropes. Castle with a belly to belly on the outside, keeping PCO down. Referee begins to count, as PCO rolls in at 10, being reminded ROH uses a 20 count.

Back in the ring, Castle tries to win it with a quick DDT but PCO kicks out at one. Knee to the side of the head! Castle with a quick t-bone pop suplex head over heels! PCO struggles to his feet, PCO misses a swing, and another inside out suplex by Castle dropping the bigger man. Castle dumps PCO to the outside to the exposed concrete. Colt Cabana remarks if this was a battle royal, we’d have a winner, but it is not. Snark! Referee begins to count again, PCO up at 12, looking around and rolls inside at 14. Castle on the attack right away. Hiptoss by Castle who remains in control. Running Knee by Castle against the barricade. Fans chant “One more time” and Castle gets a chair and sits it open arguing with the referee. PCO tries to attack but Castle CRUSHES PCO THROUGH THE CHAIR WITH A SPINEBUSTER! Referee counting PCO down again, referee reaches 17 as PCO up and stumbling and rolls in at 19. Double DDTs by Dalton Castle, a third one, off the ropes, running knee, and hooks the leg and PCO kicks out! PCO Up, grabs the throat and Castle blocks the chokeslam. Big Boot to Castle and both men spill outside. PCO rolls inside as the fans cheer the oncoming assault. Diving headbutt through the ropes! He’s insane! 52 year old diving headbutt through the ropes. Chokeslam inside the ring, and PCO climbs to the top rope. PCO gets the PCO-Sault and wins at 12:30!

Winner: PCO
Grade: **1/2
Thoughts: PCO is one away from main eventing Final Battle after pinning former ROH TV and Tag Champion Kenny King in the first round, and former ROH World Champion here and now. This match was a great highlight for both men. That spinebuster into the chair looked great. PCO doing what he does at 52, flips, dives, brawling, incredible.

3) Jay Lethal vs Marty Scurll
Second Round – “#1 Contender at Final Battle Tournament”

We are told these two have only met one one other time, at Final Battle 2017. Jay Lethal has held the ROH World Championship and ROH TV Championships longer than any one else in company history, labeling him the Franchise of ROH! He’s out first to a great reaction. Colt Cabana compares Jay Lethal to Bruno Sammartino as The Villain makes his entrance next. Hoot hoot’s by the crowd, Colt Cabana tells us he’s ever wrestled anyone like Scurll, having bested Colt in the first round. Also one third of the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships, he comes in here looking for one more opportunity at the ROH World Championship which he has had at Supercard of Honor in 2017 and the G1 Supercard in 2018, losing both matches. If he wins here, he will be one win away from another opportunity.

Marty Scurll adheres to the code of honor as the bell sounds and Lethal with a boot to the face! Lethal charges and dives outside, not once but twice! He rolls Scurll inside, Scurll fast, misses the superkick, dropkick knocks Scurll to the floor, third time is the charm for Lethal as he dives to the outside and connects again! Scurll blocks Hail to the King, booting Lethal to the apron, Lethal sweeps Scurll and climbs to the top again. Hail to the King reversed into a crucifix pin roll-up…two! Caprice Coleman with the best line I’ve heard in quite some time, Corey Graves needs to step his game up. After Lethal missed, CC says “That was more like Hell to the Nah”. Memes for the win! Big boot by Lethal, and calls for the Injection countered into the Chickenwing, reversed into a cutter! Cabana tells us the difference between a cutter and the Injection is the momentum. Lethal with a stalling vertical suplex, crashing Scurll to the mat, press pin and gets two! Lethal tries a figure four but Scurll scrambles to the ropes. They exchange blocks, Scurll tosses Lethal outside, and superkicks him from the apron! Boom! Hoot hoot!

Knife edge chop ad a punch to the throat from The Villain! Throat first across the apron as Scurll tries a pin and gets two. Scurll targeting the neck with chops. They have a chop fest as the crowd woos! Backbreaker across the knee, pin and Lethal kicks out at one. Scurll works over Lethal, kicking the elbow with the fingers pinned backwards. Scurll now with his ow vertical suplex, sending the former champion crashing to the mat. Pin and Lethal kicks out. Chops from both men in the corner, Lethal sent back first into the opposite corner and he collapses. Scurll sends him into the corner two more times buit Lethal with a desperation clothesline. Lethal misses the missile dropkick, Lethal ducks a clothesline into the buzzsaw powerslam! Hail to the King connects flush! He can’t get all the leverage on the pin due to landing awkward on his elbow and Scurll kicks out. Bicycle boot by Lethal drops Scurll. Scurll fakes the superkick, and kicks out the knee. He calls for the CHICKEN WING as the crowd is on their feet. Lethal reverses the chicken wing into a sweep into a fast Figure four in the middle of the ring! Awesome transition! Riccaboni questions if you can tip your hand as the fans chant what’s going to happen against such an experienced veteran like Lethal. Scurll trying to reverse the figure four but can’t get the leverage to turn it. He tries the other way and flips it! Lethal shouts in pain and releases the hold. Both men limping around, striking on dead legs in the middle of the ring.
Spinning forearm by Scrull, half dragon suplex, into a LARIAT OFF THE ROPES WHICH SPINS LETHAL UPSIDE DOWN! Is that enough? Lethal kicks out at two and a half! Lethal reverses the Chickenwing into a victory roll and gets two. Lethal blocks Black Plague, Scurll into the British bridge pin and gets two! Transitions into the chickenwing, no Lethal blocks with a pin and gets two! Scurll tries another Chickenwing, trying to reach for the ropes, but Scurll finally breaks the Franchise as Lethal’s body gives out and Scurll drops the hooks in as The Villain moves on to the finals in 13 minutes.

Winner: Marty Scurll
Grade: ***1/2
Thoughts: Excellent match, but as an undercard semi-final match, it certainly didn’t go as long as it should, but it was a fast paced match with everything in it, great counters, technical wrestling, multiple finishing sequences. Scurll felt like someone who arguably could be the next ROH World Champion if he could have a match like this against Rush at Final Battle, but his faction partner stands in between that later on tonight. I liked the story being told now after both of these matches, with the top finalists defeating two former ROH World Champions to reach the finals. That is an old school ROH approach, and I like to see that type of storytelling.

4) ROH TV Champion Shane Taylor vs (???)
Open Challenge

Shane Taylor beign escorted by Shane Taylor Productions, we are told Shane Taylor does not have a contract with ROH, only agreeing to show up because the price was right. That is an awful thing for your company to be endorsing. Before the match, some fans chant “You’re trash” and Taylor grabs a microphone and goes Ric Flair-esque calling out the fan and saying “we aren’t talking about your mother!”. What a heel! Shane Taylor cuts a promo about how he started to wrestle 12 years ago and he decided he didn’t want to be the regular cookie cutter hugging good guy. We are told J. Spade who is from New Orleans is the challenger for this Open Challenge tonight. Shane Taylor asks Spade if he’s ready to get knocked out.

Spade starts quick and early with a dropkick sending the champion to the corner. Taylor blocks a toss, but Spade with a superkick. Running uppercut knocking Taylor to the outside. We are told Spade and Taylor go way back, having a rivalry on the independants before Taylor came to Ring of Honor. Diving splash drops the champion as Spade celebrates with the hometown crowd. Back in, Spade tries a springboard splash, but Taylor counters into a sitout bomb! Huge hard open palm strike from the champion echoes across the arena. Taylor with hard right jabs, dropping Spade flat in the corner. Taylor tells the referee to count him down, referee gets to 6, and Taylor crushes Spade with a huge hiptoss, and a hard lariat. Gets two!

Caprice Coleman says Shane Taylor compares to Larry Holmes and Muhammad Ali because both men talked a lot of trash to his opponents but earned their names and the respect as great champions because they backed it up as fighting champions. Spade with some running strikes, spinning kick, springboard crossbody gets two by Spade! Taylor grounds the challenge with a headlock, Spade reverses a lariat into a Blue Thunder Bomb for two and a half!! Almost a new champion there! Taylor catches a boot, and drops Spade with a uranagi and running splash off the ropes. Spade kicks out! Spade tries a powerslam, Spade out with a forearm, but Taylor gives him the Greeting from the 216 piledriver out of no where to retain in about 6 minutes.

Grade: *1/2
Thoughts: Hard to grade this. Spade looks good in the limited time we got to see him here. They made a big deal about these two rivalry outside of the company, but the crowd didn’t seem to care even though he was a hometown talent. Taylor had everything going for him in what was basically an athletic squash. The comparisons between Taylor and Holmes and Ali was great to build Taylor’s character.

5) Kelly Klein (w/ ???) vs ROH Women of Honor Champion Angelina Love (w/ Mandy Leon)

This match is a rematch from Death Before Dishonor when Angelina Love took the championship from Kelly Klein. She comes out and is introduced as the only two time Women of Honor Champion. We are told Klein has won it at Final Battle and at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden. We are told she has a mystery friend here tonight to help protect from interference from The Allure. Angelina Love makes her entrance next, being escorted by Mandy Leon.

Bell rings and Klein spears Love! We are told Love has pinned Klein twice, Klein with a clothesline in the corner and charges in the opposite corner. We are told Kelly Klein went undefeated i ROH for over two years. Belly to belly bridge gets two from the challenger. Klein gets distracted by Mandy Leon and Love dropkicks Klein to the floor. Diving Thesz Press from the apron from Love, pummeling Klein on the ground. Love in control, throwing Klein face first into everything around the ring. They’re questioning who Kelly Klein’s enforcer is, as she hasn’t showed up yet. Love stomps a mudhole in Klein in the corner before standing on her chest, pin, and two! Off the middle rope, clothesline by the champion and gets a two count. Klein blocks a suplex and turns it inside cradle for two. Roll up for two! Love with a flatliner into the Koji clutch! Klein slaps the mat, commentators question if she just submitted, Klein has no where to go, Love has it in deep in the middle of the ring. Klein tries to escape, but Love locks it in deeper. Klein leverages up and flips her leg across the bottom rope but the damage has been done.

Kelly Klein blocks the Botox Injection and counters into a sitout DDT as both women are down! They’re exchanging blows in the middle of the ring now. Champion and challenger face to face, flying forearms send the champion to the mat. Klein with a fallaway slam, and follows up with a second one! Saito suplex by the challenger has her in full control! K-Power connects, hooks the leg with high leverage and Love kicks out at two! Botox Injection connects and Klein kicks out! Klein uses her experience and rolls outside. Love climbs to the top turnbuckle, diving crossbody to the outside crushing Kelly Klein! Love rolls in the ring and referee begins to count Kelly Klein down. Klein rolls in at 18, and Angelina Love is waiting, Botox Injection blocked, Klein with another K-Power but Love knocked out the referee during the move with her feet. Mandy Rose in with a chair and smacks Klein. Lights are out……

Standing in the ring is The Maneater Maria Manic (I had to look that up), Manic takes out Mandy Rose with a Torture Rack Burning Hammer, Klein hits Angelina Love with a third K-Power and gets the pin and win in 12 minutes.

Grade: *
Thoughts: I had to look up who that was, at first I thought it was ODB, which utterly disappointed me (after Love and ODB had a feud in TNA a long time ago), but once I looked it up and did some research I’m excited about this. But was peculiar, based on my research she actually debuted in June at Best in the World, also involving Love and Klein in a tag match, which makes me question why this was such a reveal with the lights going out. Did they really surprise debut her twice in the same year? Match itself was poor. Love is beyond her prime at this point, and it just didn’t click at all. Kelly Klein is now a three time Women of Honor Champion, as she’s won the championship from everyone else who has held it. Maybe she’ll come to WWE and run her championship total up like someone else….

6) Luke Hawx & Perry Hawx vs ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoe Brothers

We are told that Luke Hawx has been around a long time in wrestling, and also has made his name known in Hollywood movies, including Fast and the Furious and Logan. He is partnering tonight with his son, Perry Hawx as they challenge the 11 time ROH Tag Team Champions tonight. #DemBoys ready for a fight.

Mark Briscoe and Perry Hawx start us off. We are reminded that Mark was once this young, even younger, at the first ROH show and he wasn’t legally able to compete in the first show. Mark Briscoe grappling with Perry, and Perry shoots the half into a inside cradle for two! Another roll up for two! Briscoe with a knee to the gut. Mark tagged Jay who went like a house of fire on the young boy, before Perry ducked a corner charge and tagged in his dad.
Luke Hawx in the former two time World Champion, and Jay pummels him! Crowd really into this match, making noise, and Luke Hawx powerslams Jay Briscoe hard! Perry tags ad tries a double leg takedown but Jay tags his brother Mark and the Briscoes stop the younger Hawx cold in his tracks, sending him to the outside, Jay with the attack on the outside. Mark Briscoe breaks down Luke Hawx who tried to save his son. Double boot by the Briscoes on Perry Hawx! Jay throws a chair in the ring. Mark uses the chair to step up somersault splash the Hawx’s! Mark Briscoe with a brainbuster to Perry, tags in Jay with the double stomp. Briscoes tag in and out abusing Perry Hawx, double shoulder tackle and the Briscoes taunt the crowd, Luke Hawx, and Perry. Jay Briscoe with a double underhook butterfly clutch draws Luke into the ring to stop the torture and breaks it. Mark in, hard chinlock trying to drain the life from the younger Hawx. Perry Hawx out of desperation with a spinning suplex! Hot tags to Luke Hawx and Jay Briscoe! Trading blows!

Luke Hawx with a spinning heel kick! Hawx with a double team backbreaker and Mark Briscoe saves the match and the titles. Perry Hawx sends Mark into the barricade, Luke grabs Jay off the top and Stun Gun’s him across the top rope. Perry Hawx with a diving splash onto the Briscoes as the fans are making noise with the Hawx in control! Innovated ASAI MOONSAULT from the outside from Luke, gets two on Jay Briscoe! Hard clothesline by Jay Briscoe is enough for a tag, and the Briscoes knock Perry down, double team, superplex into the Froggy Bow.. and Perry Hawx makes the save! Jay on top of the kid with closed fists! Briscoes set the Doomsday Device, Perry trips Mark Briscoe off the top, Jay fights back against both Briscoes, the Hawx with a Double Pop Up Powerslam! Luke hooks the legs….we have new champions…MARK BRISCOE MAKES THE SAVE! Mark with a uranagi to Luke Hawx! Perry face to face with Mark Briscoe who challenges Perry to hit him. Briscoe absorbs it and Mark rips his chest apart with karate chops! Perry with a high angle suplex out of no where! Mark with a hard lariat! Redneck Boogey connects! JAY DRILLER! Jay hooks the leg and Perry Hawx is done after 16 minutes.

Winners AND STILL ROH TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: The Briscoe Brothers
Grade: ***1/2
Thoughts: Wow, I really loved that match. I thought it was some gimmick attraction having a guy team with his son, but they looked like a well oiled machine up against the greatest team of all time in ROH history. The Briscoes tried to break Perry Hawx several different times and he kicked out. They almost won the championships on three different occasions but by the skin of their teeth, the Briscoes used their experience and did enough to win the match. I am firmly impressed with Perry Hawx, and I hope he goes through training some more, I’d love to see more. The comparisons between him and The Briscoes in 2002 is a great correlation. Perry Hawx actually looks alot like Jay Briscoe did in 2002. I think this could potentially be the Match of the Night.

7) Jonathan Gresham vs Alex Shelley

Two former tag team partners clash here as Gresham tries to prove he belongs in Ring of Honor. We are told that this match came about after the Dearborn event when Alex Shelley lost the World Championship match. Gresham out first, and we are reminded that Gresham defeated Jay Lethal at Death Before Dishonor. Shelley out next, and we are told that Shelley took both Jay White and Jonathan Gresham under his belt, and it paid dividends for both guys in their careers.

Amateur takedown by Gresham, and a counter takedown trip. They grapple back and forth with some great technical exchanges. They square away to cheers and Gresham tries a half nelson into a hammerlock as Shelley yells. Shelley reverses and gets Gresham in an abdonimable stretch into a hammerlock stretch. Gresham tries to escape but Shelley with a cravate. Gresham spins out as the fans cheer. Gresham with a hammerlock, Shelley with some aggressive manuevers in the corner and drives Gresham shoulder first into the buckle hard. Swing and misses from both, Gresham fakes a leapfrog, and kicks Shelley’s leg and dropkicks his face to cheers. Shelley with a knee to the gut and a hard kick to the spine. Snap suplex, jumping knee and a cover and Gresham kicks out.

Shelley with a spinebuster into the Billy Goats Curse and turned into the reverse wheelbarrow stretch, Shelley flash pins Gresham with a crucifix and gets two! Cabana says all the boys in the back are watching this match, and that they call it a locker room sell out. You gotta get sell outs where you can right? Gresham ducks the boot, springboard moonsault connects! Gresham targets the shoulder and twists and turns it into a stepover grounder hammerlock into a wristlock and tries to hyperextend Shelley’s shoulder. Gresham drops the knee trying to pop the joint and ties up Shelley into a half crab pin and gets two. Shelley scampers away. Gresham with a boot to the sternum and traps the arm. Pin gets two. Gresham bends Shelleys fingers and wrist back. Gresham with a crucifix now, into a snap armdrag and holds onto arm control. Shelley tries to whip Gresham but Gresham inverts and tries to rip Shelley’s arm out of its socket. Uppercut into the bicep/shoulder of Alex Shelley. Gresham tries another arm bar but Shelley bites Gresham’s ear out of desperation. Gresham back to the arm but Shelley with a headscissor, Gresham tries a dragonscrew, Shelley with an enzuguiri, and dropkicks the knee!

Shelley on the apron, enzuguri to the back of the head, diving crossbody gets turns inside out and both men roll around in pins, Gresham gets a small package and gets two! Gresham pops the elbow out, step around go behind, stomps on the arm, and gets a la magistral cradle for two and a half! A hold like that hurts the shoulder and potentially gets a pin. Shelley can’t get the whip due to pain. Gresham reverses an electric chair into an arm drag, Shelley tries a lateral press but Gresham escapes, Shelley escapes another la magistral, and Gresham with a bridge pin! Two count again! Gresham dropkicks the arm as Shelley was in the corner. Gresham grabs the wrist and tries to submit Shelley, Shelley with a Super inverted atomic drop to escape! Shelley tries Sliced Bread but Gresham with a backslide, two and a half! Shelley with a spinning fishermans buster! SUPERKICK! Gresham blocks a reverse DDT, Shelley blocks the Octopus Stretch, Shelley flips Gresham inside out with a crucifix and gets three at 15 minutes!

Winner: Alex Shelley
Grade: ***1/2
Thoughts: Just as I was thinking I was going to give this match four stars when it hit the next level, it gave a shock flash pin ending and sucked the momentum the match had established. That being said, I loved this match. It was an old school style ROH match with two great technicians. With Gresham targeting the arm in the second half, Gresham has established himself as one of the best technical wrestlers in the world, he really reminded me of Bryan Danielson circa 2005 here. Found a body part, worked it, targeted it, tried to get unique submissions, roll ups/bridge pins, etc. That really hearkened back for me and gave me an old classic feel. Wish it got five more minutes.

After the match, Gresham gets a chair and gets in the ring but Jay Lethal runs from the back and talks down Gresham. Lethal tells him to relax and calm down. Lethal tells Gresham he just wrestled one of the best matches he’s ever seen. Gresham gives Shelley a handshake as Lethal defuses the situation. Are we building to a Jonathan Gresham heel turn? Interesting little story being told there.

8) Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams vs Flip Gordon & Brody King

Well known feud here in ROH as Lifeblood tangles with Villain Enterprises. We are reminded that Tracy Williams and Mark Haskins are the origial Lifeblood tag team, and almost won Tag Wars earlier in the year. Tracy Williams beat Flip Gordon in a No DQ match at Death Before Dishonor after a piledriver through a table.

Flip Gordon starts off against Mark Haskins, bell sounds. Haskins with a back tie up into a slam, amateur takedow, Gordon with a roll up gets one. They roll around on the mat trying to get any advantage, break and square away even. Haskins tags in Tracy Williams, and Gordon immediately tags in Brody King! Collar and elbow against the ropes. Williams with a back tie up, King reverses and tosses Gordon across the ring like a rag doll.

They begin to exchange strikes and brawl back and forth. Brody King slaps Tracy silly with a hard open hand slap to the chest, dropping Hotsauce into the corner. King tries a running boot and Williams reverses into a leglock grapevine in the corner. Williams tries a springboard but Brody King with a Black Hole Slam for two! KIng tags in Gordon. Hard chop by Gordon and drives his rival into the corner. Roundhouse kick to the back of the ear, pins and Williams gets out. Coming up at ROH The Experience, fans get to pick the stipulation between these two! Gordon tags in Brody King and he drives a boot into Tracy in the corner, followed by a hard chop and slam. Standing Frog Splash gets two and a half as Tracy flips out of a pin. Gordon tags back in as VE double team Hotsauce. Grounded headlock as Williams fights back. VE tries a double team whip, but Williams fights back after Gordon misses. Tracy Williams exhausted couldnt make the tag, and Flip Gordon trips him up to stop him reaching for Haskins. Williams flips inside out and jumps for the tag! Mark Haskins in

Haskins disposes of Gordon, and a fast strike arsenal against King. King tries a chokeslam but Haskins escapes, dumping King to the outside, followed by running kick to the face on the apron! Haskins wants to fly, Gordon stops the dive into a pin, Tracy blocks Gordon, and throws him full speed off the apron with a powerbomb to the barricade from inside the ring! Double Lifeblood criss cross suicide dives onto VE! Double whip splashes by Lifeblood on Gordon. Atomic drop by Haskins, Spicolli Driver by Tracy Williams, a sitout powerbomb for pin and KIng breaks it up. Brody King destroys both members of Lifeblood now. King tries a Gonzo Bomb on Tracy Williams, but Haskins dropkicks the knee, Tracy drops into Flip Gordon ito a triangle choke! Haskins with an armbar on Brody King! Double submissions! Gordon powerbombs Williams onto Haskins to break both holds! All four men down.
King charges and crushes both of his opponents with double clotheslines. KIng throws Gordon into both men, and cannonballs both members of Lifeblood in the corner! Flip Gordon goes under the ring and grabs a kendo stick as Brody King sets Tracy Williams, Gordon swings and Tracy ducks and King gets a face full of cane! Haskins with a suicide dive onto King! Williams with a crushing lariat! Piledriver from Williams gets the three count on Gordon in 12 minutes.

Winners: Tracy Williams and Mark Haskins
Grade: **1/2
Thoughts: Tracy Williams is one of my favorite wrestlers, and I wish he had signed with NXT not ROH. I’m sure he wishes the same thing now in retrospect. Hotsauce is just extremely talented and is able to play this role so well, while bringing years of experience after learning from great technicians like Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, and Timothy Thatcher after his time in Evolve. This match was mostly control over Williams as Villain Enterprises dominated, but it was a miscue that led to the teams loss. Flip Gordon’s man bun makes him look like Marty Scurll if you didn’t know the difference. Mark Haskins also really looks like CM Punk with his long blonde hair. Tell me I’m wrong. From where these two factions began almost a year ago (much maligned with many questions), they have found themselves in great positions within the company. For what it was, it was fine.

After the match Bully Ray jumps both members of Lifeblood, and tosses Williams outside. Ray crushes Haskins with a tossing powerbomb. Flip Gordon in the ring with a cane, and drops Bully Ray back, no love loss between these two! He hands the cane to Bully Ray …who almost breaks it in half over Haskins’s back! Ray shouts “Do you know who I am?” as he stands on the apron looking at his destruction.

9) Silas Youg vs ROH World Champion Rush

“The Last Real Man In Wrestling” Silas Young makes his way out first, challenging for the championship here after winning the battle royal earlier in the night. The undefeated reigning ROH World Champion”El Toro Blanco” Rush makes his way out second. With Lanny Poffo on guest commentary, and Ian Riccaboni compares Rush to Poffo’s late brother, Randy Savage. Poffo says Rush is as unpredictable and savage as his brother. Riccaboni calls Rush a future Hall of Famer.

They reverse about five collar and elbow tie ups, Young tries a suplex but Rush jumps over him. Rush sweeps the leg in the corner, jumps on Young’s face, and Riccaboni tells us this is the set up for The Bulls Horn. Silas Young has it scouted as Young spears the champion! Poffo says for every move there is a counter. Young with a reverse suplex for a one count. Young trash talks Rush and throws him to the floor. Young with a diving double axe handle to the ribs and Silas Young tells Rush to get up and be a man. Silas Young sends Rush head first into the post! Young rolls the champion in the ring, and Young crushes Rush’s midsection with a twisting springboard double stomp! Young with a front face lock DDT! Rush kicks out at one.

Rush blocks a suplex and Young drives Rush hard into the corner and gets the snap suplex, pins and gets one. Silas Young grounds the champion with a chinlock, trying to cut the air flow out. Young drags Rush down by his hair driving his head into the mat hard. Young trash talking the fans. Rush spits at the challenger and Rush with a snap german suplex followed by a dropkick to the face! Rush now in control on the outside, driving the Real Last Man into a chair and then the apron. Rush continues the assault. Rush rolls Silas Young into the ring and tells the referee he understands the count but to tranquilo! Rush sets up for the Bulls Horns. Rush fakes Young out, flips backwards, and TRANQUILOOOO! Fireman carry slam and stomps Young’s ribs now. Misses the senton splash from the middle rope. Silas Young with the rolling slam into the headstand backflip plancha! Silas Young pins and gets two! Rush blocks a fireman carry, Anarchists suplex by Silas Young! Hooks the leg two and a half! Youg with a full nelson, knee to the face! Young charges and Rush flips him inside out into the turnbuckles! Running forearm knocks Young down, Bulls Horns! Rush gets the pin and win in 10 minutes

Grade: **
Thoughts: The ROH World Championship match on Glory By Honor should go longer than the main event match of your weekly television match the same weekend. But this did not. I didn’t need or want to see a squash match. The championship means more than that. How do you not give Taven a rematch or something? This is one of the biggest shows historically. I just didn’t like how this match came about, or how it was laid out or how it ended.

Before the main event begins, Matt Taven comes down to the ring with Vinny Marseglia, and challenges whoever has been following them around and attacking them from behind. A video package airs on the screen showing someone tape The Kingdom from behind all day. Taven exists the ring and heads backstage. What the hell was that?

10) PCO vs Marty Scurll
Final Round – “#1 Contender at Final Battle Tournament”
#1 contender ROH World Championship

Ian Riccaboni tells us that PCO has been wrestling as long as he’s been alive, and is called the Canadian Frankenstein, having wrestled in the main event of Madison Square Garden, and also wrestled in front of ten people in his small hometown. The former Pierre Carl Oulette gets in the ring to a good reaction, as The Villain Enterprises leader makes his entrance secod. Both of these men wearing two of the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships. Streamers fly over Marty Scurll as the crowd sings along with his entrance.

Before the match, Marty Scurll says this match was inevitable, an all Villain final. He says he doesn’t want this opportunity to come between them, so he wants to keep it clean, and may the best man win. Both men shake hands and Scurll cracks the umbrella across PCO’s face!

Quick pin and PCO kicks out! Scurll with three superkicks and all it does is power up PCO! Scurll charges into PCO and runs into a human wall. PCO smirks as the fans chant his name! On the top rope, PCO fends off Scurll, Scurll then with an enzuguiri into a double wristlock bomb from the top, formerly Oulette’s old finisher, getting a two count! Scurll throws the monster to the outside and drops him with a knee to the head. Scurll sends PCO back first ito the barricade! Back in the ring, Scurll in control, boot to the face! Scurll bends the fingers and stomps on the arm. Commentary question how much damage he wants to do to his own championship winning tag partner. They both exchange slaps and chops. Scurll gets caught in a pop up powerbomb followed by a shoulderblock by PCO! Dropkick sends Scurll into the corner, chokeslam! PCO climbs to the top rope to cheers, CANNONBALL! PCO hooks and gets two.

PCO tries a chokeslam, Scurll block and breaks two fingers on the hand! BIG BOOT by PCO sends Scurll to the outside! PCO grabs a table at ringside, drives a knee into Scurll and lays Scurll onto the table. PCO mumbles to himself and says “ON HIS BACK”. Scurll gets off the table and tosses PCO off the top rope through the table to the floor! Fans on their feet chanting “holy shit!” PCO stands though! Scurll rolls him inside and gets a two count! Fans behind PCO now, as Scurll sets for the chickenwing but PCO escapes but runs Scurll into the referee. French Canadian Slam, there’s no referee! Fans count to five! Brody King in the ring, Pump Kick! Black Hole Slam! King throws Scurll on top of PCO. PCO tosses Scurll in the air for two! King holds PCO on the apron, Scurll off the ropes, PCO ducks and Scurll crashes into Brody King! Man, King needs some stick’em, that’s the second time someone has slipped from his grip tonight! Sidewalk slam by PCO! Scurll is out. PCO climbs the top rope. Scurll from behind, tripping him up. PCO with back elbows, and Scrull falls into the referee again! PCO climbs to the top rope again, Flip Gordon with a jumping kick to the face, knocking PCOZ off the top, Scurll with the Six Man title belt to the face! Pin, and Scurll gets the shoulder up at two and three fourths!! PCO ducks a clothesline, dives through the ropes with a hilo into Gordon and King at ringside! Chokebomb to Scurll! PCO climbs up top again, PCO SAULT! Scurll kicks out at two! All the fans on their feet!! It is gut check time for both of them. Fans chanting “Lets Go Marty- PCO!” PCO sets Marty for a cannonball across the apron, but Scurll moves out of the way the Canadian Frankenstein crashes across the apron. Scurll rolls him inside, LARIAT!!!!! Scurll hooks the leg and gets a two count! PCO with his own lariat! PCO climbs to the top one more time. PCO SAULT! PCO gets the win! He’s going to Final Battle! I don’t think the fans thought it would happen, as they were silent during the pinfall.

Winner: PCO
Grade: ***1/2
Thoughts: An entertaining main event here between two veterans giving it their all. Intriguing story as Villain Enterprises had to fight among themselves, with Gordon and King siding with Scurll. It was a fun match, with a table spot, some top rope splashes, and a lot of good near falls. PCO is headed to Final Battle against Rush!

After the match, all four men square away, with King and Gordon flanking their leader. Scurll says in three long years, he’s never been ROH Champion. He says this tournament was his opportunity to finally do that, and PCO took that chance away from him. He says, “congratulations” as the fans stand and cheer for that. He says “Let’s be honest, I’m 31, in the prime of my career, you’re at the end of your career and you just beat The Villain!” Fans chanting and cheering for PCO. Scurll says “Like me, you’ve also never been world champion, but this is your last opportunity, and no one deserves the championship more than you!” All four members of Villain Enterprises stand united in the ring as we head for Final Battle!

Overall Show Grade: 7/10
There was some definite cause for concern with this show. There was poor build after Death Before Dishonor in their weekly programming, with several matches announced in the couple days before the event. The use of local talent kind of disappointed me, as no one is buying the show or buying tickets to see champions face local talent in one of the biggest shows of the year. In fact, none of the men’s championships were defended in a pre-announced match or consisted of any rivalry at all. The only thing built before this show was the Tournament. To that, this show delivered, with three great tournament matches. The match with Gresham and Shelley was fantastic and was my Match of the Night!

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Greg DeMarco’s ROH #470 Review: Finlay/Romero & Delirious/Sydal

Greg DeMarco continues his catch-up on ROH as the Pure Championship tournament continues with David Finlay vs Rocky Romero and Delirious vs Matt Sydal.



ROH Ring Of Honor Pure Tournament Pure Championship

Greg DeMarco continues his catch-up on ROH as the Pure Championship tournament continues with David Finlay vs Rocky Romero and Delirious vs Matt Sydal.

If you know me, you know I am a huge ROH fan going back to the “old days” when the company featured stars like CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), Kevin Steen (Owens), El Generico (Sami Zayn) and many more. Recent years turned me off of the of the product, but with ROH making a return and focusing on the Pure Championship, I am ready to make my own return…to honor.

ROH episode #470

Quinn McKay welcomes us and we see the end of both matches from last week, followed by comments from the winners. I don’t hate it, but this show (on is 50 minutes long. Both promos were effective, addressing their possible block semifinal opponents, all of whom are wrestling on this episode.

Quinn then introduces our upcoming matches for this week, before we head to commercial. At this point, I don’t know if we’re getting the promo packages like we got last week.

David Finlay promo

I enjoy Finlay’s backstory–fourth generation pro wrestler, injured in his last ROH match, and his history with Rocky Romero (including Finlay doing Romero’s laundry). My problem is simple: he comes off as a geek. He’s not imposing as an athlete, and doesn’t jump out as anything special. I know what he’s capable of, and in the ring he suits ROH. But…he’s just so blah.

“We have to figure out who the best one is. I think  that’s me.” You think? Okay…

Rocky Romero promo

Man, these sit down promos aren’t helping either guy. Rocky Romero is a great athlete, charismatic wrestler, and someone who can still deliver on all fronts. But here he seems boring and bland. Maybe it’s the sit down concept? I don’t know, because Jonathan Gresham and Wheeler Yuta delivered in these last week, and Jay Lethal showed a ton of intensity. But these two are just boring.

I do have to praise Rocky for the way he talks strategy in terms of his match with Finlay. He plans to focus on his armbar submission and make Finlay exhaust his rope breaks early. THAT is great. Just zero intensity.

Pure Championship Tournament Block A First Round: David Finlay vs. Rocky Romero

Fifteen minutes and 2 commercial breaks later, we have a match! Love the stats for Rocky, including his record over Finlay in Japan and his notable wins in ROH (including Daniel Bryan and Cesaro–but they insist on avoiding those names). David Finlay enters still devoid of any charisma. Code of Honor is respected with a handshake before the bell, and we are reminded that the winner will face Jay Lethal in the Block A Semifinal.

Caprice Coleman with the great point about both men being active in New Japan this year, meaning they have less ring rust than most. Of course, they’re opponents, so it gives neither the advantage. Ian Riccaboni gives the rules during the opening moments of the match, which at least wastes less time.

Three minutes into the match and David Finlay is finally showing some charisma.  This tournament is all about athleticism and in-ring prowess (a fact which Coleman just remind me of on commentary), but it’s STILL pro wrestling, and you need the whole deal to keep people engaged. Also, we go to commercial 4 minutes into the match, giving us three commercial breaks and less than 4 minutes of wrestling in the first 22 minutes of the program.

No offense to Riccaboni, but reminds me of how much I miss Dave Prazak calling ROH matches. Ian is a great host and would do well if ROH utilized panels, but this just isn’t working as well for me.

Rocky cuts off Finlay seven and a half minutes in, meaning that we are halfway through the time limit of the match and nothing of significance has happened. But with Rocky in control, and with a face towards the camera, the storytelling finally begins. I really hope Rocky wins, because this tournament needs personality.

Rocky shows some fire after not getting three, using his warning on a closed fist. He moves to another Diablo Armbar, getting Finlay to use another rope break. Finlay reverses Sliced Bread into a back breaker for a nearfall, then gets the win with his Last Shot

Winner and advancing to the Block A Semifinals – David Finlay
Rating – ***
Impression: Good match, started off slow, but picked up. Watch for the brilliance of Rocky Romero.

I am bummed that Rocky Romero was eliminated here, because he was really shining in the match.

Matt Sydan promo

In the opening 30 seconds of Matt Sydal’s promo, he’s outclassed everyone on this episode. He speaks with a certain urgency that was lacking. He puts over himself, his opponent in Delirious and their history, and the importance of Ring Of Honor both historically and today.

Delirious promo

I remember when Delirious took over the ROH Academy, and all the talents suddenly started to have personas. This man is a fantastic character, and proves so here. Talking in jibberish with subtitles, he tells a better story than Finlay or Romero before him.

“I’m doing this because I’m bored, and I want to play chess with the best wrestlers in the world” is a brilliant line that perfectly sums up this character.

Pure Championship Tournament Block B First Round: Matt Sydal vs. Delirious

Lots of intensity despite the opening being an obvious “feeling out process.” These two know each other so well, and it shows. The intensity also minimizes the need for commentary, making it complimentary to the product, it doesn’t have to make up for anything like we saw earlier.

Both guys are also, for lack of a better word, noisy. And that really makes a difference as we don’t have fans. Four and a half minutes in, Delirious uses a rope break to impact Sydal’s shoulder, showing how smart he is in the ring. He had been focusing on the leg, but commentary brilliantly points out that Sydal had shoulder surgery in 2010 and it’s always bothered him, proving that Delirious had this set-up in mind all along.

Delirious kicking out multiple times with his legs trapped under him tells me two things: you can still do something new in wrestling in 2020, and Delirious is obviously a fan of yoga. Sydal then taps Delirious’ out with his own move, the Cobra Clutch, right before the 10 minute mark.

Winner and advancing to the Block B Semifinals – Matt Sydal
Rating – ***1/2
Impression: Match of the night, you can tell they’ve done this more times than we know. Great intensity, great wrestling, and great finish.

Matt Sydal advancing makes total sense, since he was wrestling the booker. Glad to see him moving on and I am looking forward to his match with Gresham.

Overall Impression – 7/10

Honestly, my quips are the same: goofiness outside of the ring that makes this look like we are “playing wrestling promotion.” In-ring action was great, but we went nearly 20 minutes before getting to the action. Cut down the promos, and add in a third non-tournament match. It’s a simple idea, and it would add so much.

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Greg DeMarco

Greg DeMarco’s ROH #469 Review: Pure Championship Tournament Kicks Off

Greg DeMarco starts playing catch-up on ROH with the Pure Championship tournament, featuring Jay Lethal vs. Dalton Castle and Jonathan Gresham vs. Wheeler Yuta!



ROH Ring Of Honor Pure Tournament Pure Championship

Greg DeMarco starts playing catch-up on ROH as the company makes its return to TV with the Pure Championship tournament, featuring Jay Lethal vs. Dalton Castle and Jonathan Gresham vs. Wheeler Yuta!

If you know me, you know I am a huge ROH fan going back to the “old days” when the company featured stars like CM Punk, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), Kevin Steen (Owens), El Generico (Sami Zayn) and many more. Recent years turned me off of the of the product, but with ROH making a return and focusing on the Pure Championship, I am ready to make my own return…to honor.

ROH episode #469

The company gives us a quick overview of the Pure Championship that was impactful for me–a guy who was already familiar with the product. For someone who isn’t? I think it’s lacking. Then we have Quinn McKay here to present the field to us, in a manner that was downright goofy with the majestic music and all. It doesn’t seem to fit the “pro wrestling” motif they are going for.

They also give us an overview of the rules, and I am left wondering if they simply forgot that the first closed fist earns you a warning, and the second costs you a rope-break if you have any left. If you’re going to bring this back, even using the old belt, let’s do it right!

Jay Lethal promo

We’re doing sit down interviews with each person, and it’s still just…odd. I don’t know if it’s the music, the way it’s lit, filmed, or what. It just seems like I am watching an old show, not something that was released within the past month. Jay Lethal does a good job selling the importance of the championship, but I question calling Brian Kendrick “Spanky.” Yes, that was his name when Lethal beat him, but today’s fan isn’t going to remember this as well. This is a problem similar to AEW. you’re trying to build new fans, not just appease old ones.

Dalton Castle promo

I am on record thinking that Dalton Castle was cheated in his ROH World Championship reign. but his promo didn’t sell me on ANYTHING. And I love Dalton Castle.

Pure Championship Tournament Block A First Round: Dalton Castle vs. Jay Lethal

I love, love, LOVE the stats on the wrestler cards on their way to the ring. Kinda reminds me of another company that was going to focus on stats….and hasn’t. The clock and rope break counter on the bottom of the screen is a nice touch. It’s strange to see if during a whole match, but it’s also something I will get used to.

Jay Lethal was manipulated into the ropes by Dalton Castle early, establishing the importance of the rope breaks. Later Castle used the rope for leverage, allowing Ian Riccaboni to explain to use that that wasn’t a rope break.

Castle went for a Bangarang at the 11-minute mark, seeing his leg give out at the end. Lethal had to use his second rope break to stop the pinfall. Jay Lethal connects with the Lethal Injection at 13 minutes to score the pinfall.

Winner and advancing to the Block A Semifinals – Jay Lethal
Rating – ***
Impression: Great match, cheated out of fan reaction, definitely one to watch.

I really liked his this match established the rules of the tournament, as Lethal used two rope breaks and Dalton Castle used none. Castle was highly effective with his legal closed fists, telling that story as well. This was a good match to kick off the tournament.

Wheeler Yuta promo

I was exposed to Wheeler as part of Dojo Pro on Amazon Prime, but this promo did a good job establishing who he is. Might be worth it to secure some footage of his matches, even if it’s from Dojo Pro. Pictures are great, but footage is better. Wheeler Yuta fits in with ROH, and this promo told me exactly that.

I also really liked Yuta describing his in-ring philosophy as a “decoder.” One who figures out his opponent through film study and the feeling out process of a match, and then “decodes” how to beat them. Break down their tendencies and exploit them. If you want to see wrestling presented as a modern-day sport–this is it.

Jonathan Gresham promo

Gresham’s rise to prominence in ROH came when I wasn’t really watching, so for me this was a great opportunity for me to gain an appreciation for what he means to the company now, and how he compares to those who historically came before him. He ended with a bit of a manifesto on pure wrestling, and it makes me wonder if we could see a pure wrestling vs. non pure wrestling feud of some kind. Not sure it would work.

Honestly my reaction to the Yuta and Gresham promos makes me think I was too hard on the Jay Lethal and Dalton Castle promos. The goofy music didn’t matter as much to me, because I was engaged in both talents. I am literally sold on both after these not-so-short promos.

Pure Championship Tournament Block A First Round: Jonathan Gresham vs. Wheeler Yuta

Love the storytelling of Jonathan Gresham coming to the ring without his World Tag Team Championship, when Lethal did. Gresham was the one campaigning for this title to return, and he is fully focused on it. I love Wheeler Yuta already, but dude we gotta talk about your footwear. You stopped wearing a shirt, and look more like a wrestler. Get some boots! I knew Gresham was shorter, but didn’t realize that was 5’4″. I am going to assume that’s not worked at all, even though many heights are.

I don’t love the amateur wrestler in the background, this is pro wrestling. You don’t want to associate this tournament with a regression in the product–because despite this being a return of a championship after being gone for 14 years, it’s not that.

Wheeler Yuta is 6 feet tall, the tallest of all four competitors featured on this episode. And at 23 years old, he’s already a fantastic storyteller. If he adds size, he can be a big time star–not only for ROH, but in the wrestling business in general.

If you think the first match of this show told a good story, then this one told a phenomenal in-ring story. I can’t even describe the finishing sequence of this match, a punch of rolling pinfall combinations that ended with Gresham pounding Yuta’s knee into the mat until he tapped.

Winner and advancing to the Block A Semifinals – Jonathan Gresham
Rating – ****
Impression: Match of the night, which sounds silly when we only had two matches. But if there were more, this would still likely be on top.

Wheeler Yuta belongs in ROH, and he proved that here. Jonathan Gresham is one of the best in-ring wrestlers in the world today. Hopefully he sticks around.

Overall Impression – 8/10

Ring Of Honor is still a little too “goofy” for my tastes outside the ring, but they more than make up for it in the ring. I am not 100% sure others will agree. It makes me wonder who is producing the non-in-ring elements of the program, and what we have to do to replace them. The in-ring action honestly holds up against any in the world, but the other elements remind me of a high school media project. The talent deserves better.

I do want to talk about the environment. It reminds me of WWE NXT at Full Sail or the Performance Center. Outside of the WWE Thunderdome, I think it’s one of the best environments anyone has created during this “COVID era” of wrestling. I wouldn’t be opposed to piping in some crowd reactions to go along with this action, as there were some great moments in both matches that didn’t land as well without the crowd noise.

Ian Riccaboni makes a great point about how the fans would “come alive” when Lethal and Castle were both down, and he was exactly right. Caprice Coleman, being a wrestler himself, is really underrated as a color commentator. He does a great job adding to the story by adding the wrestlers’ perspective, as well as explaining the technical elements. Riccaboni sounds like a fan who has learned from commentators (not his fault, he’s not a wrestler) when getting technical. Coleman sounds 100% credible and legit.

Putting aside the goofiness of some non-in-ring elements, the only thing I would change here is adding a middle match that is designed to give us a break from the Pure Rules, and introduce (or reintroduce) us to other ROH talent. My 8/10 rating is propped up by the in-ring action, which has to make up for the goofiness otherwise.

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