Ring of Honor Wrestling
MANHATTAN MAYHEM 2019
The Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC
Ian Riccobani, Caprice Coleman & Colt Cabana on commentary.
Gresham requests the Code of Honor, we get it but as soon as the bell rings Gresham looks for an Octopus Hold and they pick up the pace with evasions, attempts, escapes, no-count falls and kip ups until they stand off. Shots traded, Lee hits a dropkick and goes Tranquilo to an interesting response, and Lee goads Gresham. Gresham fires back, chops traded, they each fire up and just start throwing until Gresham fakes out Lee and distracts the ref and taps Lee a bit south! Interesting. Gresham takes the advantage working the arm and keeping Lee grounded and slowed down, wrenching the arm back in a hammerlock Fujiwara, then steps over to work the shoulder and drops down HARD while playing a bit of a heel. Gresham now adds a high angle single crab, transitions to a cover but Lee is out as Gresham gets in the ref’s face. Hammerlock slam by Gresham gets 2 as Gresham keeps control of the arm. Lee is worked over in the corner as Gresham shows the aggression. Lee comes back and hits a big hesitation dropkick. Chants for Lee. Butterfly backbreaker connects but Gresham catches the knee strike, they trade shots, just slapping away at each other, Lee drops Gresham but Gresham kips up for an enziguri, Lee hits a knee but Gresgam goes for a quebrada and gets caught by Lee and turns it into a tornado DDT. Snap German by Lee but a HUGE lariat and a bridging German by Gresham gets 2! Nice sequence. Chants for both. Lee gets sat up top, Lee counters and they both sit up top and start slapping the hell out of each other, Gresham gets rocked back and Lee hits a hanging double stomp and BOMA YEEEEEE! Cover but only 2! The kneepad comes down, BIG knee strike by Lee, cover and thats 3!
Dragon Lee defeats Jonathan Gresham by pinfall via knee strike
JAY’S RATING: 3.5 out of 5
This was a VERY strong and surefooted way to open the card, and both Lee and Gresham played well together here. Gresham playing the heel is VERY interesting to me, and he showed that he can wear that skin really well which is SUPER exciting to me as Gresham starts leaning toward a future main event run (which I am calling). I am curious that the character shift didnt lead to a victory, as Gresham feels more long-term for the company, but cant argue with a really good match. Well done.
IN-RING SEGMENT: Matt Taven Speaks
Taven grabs a mic and talks about how everyone here in NY got to seem him take home the ROH World Title. He says he thought nothing could top that… until he threw out the first pitch at Fenway while wearing the belt. Negative reaction from the NY crowd. And now tonight might do all the other nights because the rivalry between Taven and Lethal – 7 years long – comes to an end. He runs down the crowd and says HEEEEEEE’S MATT TAVEN and he’s better than Jay Lethal. Suddenly out goes KENNY KING. He runs down Taven as lame, and then runs down the Yankees for some heat too. He says he doesnt care that Taven beat Lethal and Scurll, because last time he was here he beat Liger and The Great Muta. But this is about the new ROH, and lets do some unpredictable shit. King wants his shot at the title, and asks to be added to the match tonight with Lethal. He says Taven needs to prove who the real King is in ROH. Taven says for once he agrees with NYC that King needs to shut up. Taven runs down his recent wins and says he’s happy to add King to the list, because there’s only one King in ROH and HEEEEEEE’S MATT TAVEN! King takes that as an agreement and excuses himself. After King leaves Lethal gets in Taven’s face and says it was his opportunity, and they start brawling. Security rushes the ring to break it up. So now its a triple threat for the title… because. Ok then.
Triple Threat Tag Team Match
COAST 2 COAST
SOLDIERS OF SAVAGERY
The Bouncers being so over is so interesting to me. LSG and BCB start off. Chants for LSG, who gets chops to BCB. BCB blocks the next and hits jabs and then does the bite bit, but he cant bite because he ain’t got no teeth. Khan (SOS) tags himself in off of BCB and Ali tags in as well. Sidekick by Ali misses but Khan gets a nice back suplex and Milonas tags himself in as Moses (SOS) tags in. They shoot of tackles with Moses able to rock Milonas, they rock each other, trade shots and Moses is able to back Milonas into the corner. Corner avalanche connects but Milonas hoists and slams Moses to take control. LSG tags in off Milonas and kicks him in the face, then heads to Moses who gets the power advantage and tags in Khan. Suplex by Khan who chokes LSG against the middle rope. Tag to Moses, big chop, tag to Khan, and they double team LSG in the corner. LSG fires back and tags Ali, Moses tags in but eats shots, headbutt and corner splash by Ali lands but SOS lands a version of Guerrilla Warfare! Cover but its broken up and the match breaks down and spills outside with all teams in chaos. Moses drops BCB with a lariat and SOS repositions the timekeepers table, and then puts BCB through it hard! Referee Brian Hebner comes over and decides to DQ SOS but keeps the match going, essentially throwing SOS out of the match! Well thats a new thing that can now happen. C2C hits a double team on Milonas and cover but Milonas is out at 2. Blockbuster by LSG and frog splash from Ali hits, cover but Milonas kicks out at 2 again. C2C fires up but Milonas LAUNCHES LSG OVER THE TOP TO THE FLOOR, BCB in to grab Ali and they hit Closing Time for the WIN.
The Bouncers defeat Coast 2 Coast & SOS by pinfall via Closing Time
JAY’S RATING: 2.75 out of 5
This was an entertaining match that keeps The Bouncers in the #1 Contenders spot with momentum, and with C2C and SOS both looking good as the tag division continues to grow and evolve. Good work by all.
After the match we get red balloons and THE KINGDOM just take apart The Bouncers with chair shots. TK takes a mic, The Kingdom sits down and Vinny takes the mic and says these 2 lifeless bodies are your #1 contenders. But everyone knows that The Kingdom should have been the #1 contenders a long time ago. He talks shit to the Bruiser and then PUTS A CIGAR OUT ON BCB’S CHEST! Well dang. Vinny and TK crack open a bottle of whiskey and TK takes the mic and calls out Rush, saying he feels bulletproof, and tells Rush to come down to the ring.
LOVE Rush’s tron now. The bell rings and they go at each other hot. A tackle by TK doesnt affect Rush, they run the ropes, they trade corner rushes but Rush drops TK with a flying shot to the face. Chants for Rush. TK is dumped outside and runs away, heads back in and is able to jump Rush and beat him down. Headbutt by Rush puts TK back outside, TK plays the evasion game staying away from Rush and plays possum before SOCKING Rush right in the face! Rush goes down hard and TK beats him down on the floor. TK sends Rush into the corner post and puts Rush back inside, cover but only 1. TK keeps the pressure on and covers again but still only gets 1. Three Amigos lands by TK and he mocks the Eddie G taunt, cover but only 2. TK just beats on Rush, Rush tries to fire back but TK lands a nice spinebuster for 2. Fisherman DDT connects by TK, another cover but still 2 as Rush tries to fire himself up and spits at TK. Big slap by TK but Rush just savors it. Rush absorbs a TK chop and barely flinches and asks for more. Rush calls out TK for having no balls, catches the hand and PUNCHES TK IN THE FACE. Snap German and sharp running knee connects, Rush is now outside with TK and just starts THROWING him into the barricades! The crowd is fired up. TK sent back inside, Rush fakes out an over the top stomp and then kicks TK in the head, TK fires up but Rush tosses him into the corner, hits BULLS HORNS hard and covers and thats that.
Rush defeats TK O’Ryan by pinfall via Bull’s Horns
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5
This was a very good match with the right person winning as Rush continues to establish himself as a force in the company. TK looked good here and pushed Rush a bit harder, but Rush was still the star of this match with an execution that is just RIDICULOUS. Really great work.
After the match Rush notices a fan wearing a Toro Blanco mask, goes up and reveres it and offers the fan the Los Ingobernables salute, he gets it… BUT THEN THE FAN JUMPS RUSH FROM BEHIND! The fan beats down Rush outside, throws him back in and mockingly hits Bull’s Horns on Rush. The mask comes off and its DALTON CASTLE. Castle makes a statement off of Rush and leaves him laying. Nice segment.
VIDEO PACKAGE: G1 Supercard at MSG
We hear Lethal talk about performing – and losing – at MSG. He talks about not wanting to disappoint himself, he talks about what the ROH title means to him, so his mindset is to not leave NYC without the title. Jay Lethal is just ALWAYS dropped in. He’s so natural, so organic, and so passionate. What an artist.
Alex Shelley takes Caprice’s place on commentary, and will be challenging for the World Title in Toronto.
Ring of Honor World Championship
MATT TAVEN (c)
Lots of energy in the ring right now, and the crowd chants “fuck ‘em up Lethal”. Code between King and Taven, Code between Taven and Lethal, but King laughs in Lethal’s face and gratuitously refuses. Nice bit. Taven says he’s the champ and heads outside to have a seat as King and Lethal start off. They get moving quick with moves and countermoves, King looks for the cartwheel dropkick but Lethal moves, also looks to steal the triangle dropkick and Lethal evades, but Taven grabs Lethal. They trade but King wipes them both out with a tornillo. Big spin kick wipes out Taven, cover by King but only 2. Sweep by King and a buzzsaw kick, Lethal back in and he gets chops to King as Taven bails. King gets a backbreaker and lariat to put Lethal down, cover but only 1. King grounds Lethal, Taven eyes his spot and hits King with a dropkick. Lethal on Taven, Lethal drops King with a lariat but eats a kick from Taven who lariats King out of his boots. Cover, but only 2. Nice sequence. Taven is on Lethal, they start slapping each other and Taven beats Lethal into the corner, Lethal fires back but Taven hits a great Moonlight Drive and lionsault, cover but King breaks it at 2. Shots and a DDT by Taven on King, cover but only 2. Taven sits King up top, King fights him off but Taven gets punches in the corner. Lethal cuts it off, sits Taven on King in the corner into a tree of whoa and hits a sliding dropkick to Taven and a running corner dropkick to King. Lethal covers Taven but he gets the ropes to break. Cartwheel dropkick by Lethal connects on King, cover but only 2. Lethal and King trade shots but Lethal hits the Lethal Combination, cover but only 2.
Taven slaps the shit out of Lethal and works him in the corner, Lethal fires back and they trade, slaps by Lethal and an enziguri puts Taven down. Low dropkick stuns King and Lethal goes back to cover Taven but only gets 2. King gets dumped, Lethal Injection gets cut off and everyone brawls with everyone. Lethal hits King with an enziguri, King eats a Taven superkick and eats more kicks from both Lethal and Taven but then runs through both with a double clothesline and everyone is down. Lethal and King trade shots on the apron, Eddie Gordo drops Lethal and Taven kicks King down as well, baseball slide connects on King and a suicide dive hits both Lethal and Taven, and then Taven flies over the top to wipe out King. Lethal however, gets momentum and wipes out both Taven and King with suicide dives. King is sent back in, Lethal climbs, King blocks Hail but Lethal adjusts and gets the Figure Four, but Taven comes off the top with a frog splash for 2. Lethal rolls out and Taven locks in a Figure Four of his own, Lethal climbs but Taven moves to evade Hail… but to do so Taven turns over and reverses the pressure on himself! Lethal now has a crossface locked but King gets free and breaks it up. Chin Checker connects on Lethal, Kick of the King by Taven wipes out King, nice enziguri by Taven to Lethal but King gets a double blockbuster, covers each but only gets 2 on both. Taven counters the Royal Flush into a cradle for 2 and hits Just The Tip, but then eats the Lethal Injection! Cover, but only 2! The crowd came alive for that one. King now hits the Lethal Injection on Lethal and follows with the Royal Flush, but Taven gets behind King and hits the Climax! Cover and thats the 3 as Taven retains!
Matt Taven defeats Kenny King & Jay Lethal by pinfall via Climax to retain the ROH World Title
JAY’S RATING: 4.25 out of 5
This was a great match and the ROH Title defense from Taven that I had been waiting for. Its not that his previous ones werent good, but this one felt like a Title Defense in a way that the others just didnt. It felt high profile. It felt high stakes. It felt like it mattered. The chemistry between these 3 was great, the booking felt AIRTIGHT with each sequence and the final stretch was beautifully executed. I want to see more of this ROH more often.
After the match Lethal extends the hand to Taven. Taven takes it, the crowd applauds… and then Taven kicks Lethal in the nuts and raises the title high. I kind of love it. Taven’s a great dick champion, and he’s being booked to nonetheless be a fighting champion who is opportunistic but nonetheless can win clean. I’m here for it.
8-Man Tag Team Match
LIFEBLOOD (Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams & Bandido) & PJ BLACK
Intriguing entrance mask for Tracy Williams. I dig the VE music in general… but I really hope they treat this like Suzuki-Gun and Marty keeps his old music for singles outings. Chants for Bandido before the bell. Marty and Tracy start off. Lock up, they work technical to begin trading control, BEAUTIFUL counter and escape work from both and Tracy locks on a cravate but good. Tracy dominates Marty on the mat which fires him up, they trade shoves and the teams go nose to nose as tensions flare. The crowd starts to chant for Bandido, who wants in. Tracy tags him in and Marty jumps him right away, they run the ropes and Bandido gets a rana and dropkick, and Marty tags in Flip. Flip’s new look is pretty badass. Flip flips off Bandido and tags out to Brody, and Bandido goes nose-to-chest. Knuckle lock, Brody walks the ropes BRILLIANTLY and gets an insane arm drag! That is utterly amazing. Chants for Brody. Bandido fights back, hits a superkick and a spring rana. Brody tags in Marty but Bandido catches him in an armdrag and tags in Haskins. Haskins targets the arm and keeps the pressure on and intense. Tag by Tracy who keeps on the arm, tag to PJ who continues to work the arm and ground Marty, tag to Bandido who gets a top rope double stomp to the arm and follows with a basement single leg dropkick to the head. Cover but only 2.
Tag to Haskins who keeps on the arm, tag to Tracy and they get a teeter totter atomic drop, tag to PJ who gets a stomp to Marty and a rocking horse submission. Tag to Tracy who gets a spring dropkick to the back of the head, cover but only 2. Marty dumps Tracy as VE takes out Team Lifeblood, and Brody wipes out Haskins and Tracy with an INSANE tope con giro! PCO now fires up and Marty tosses him onto Haskins and Tracy! Tracy is rolled back inside, cover by Marty but only 2. Tag to Brody, chops to Tracy and tag to PCO who hits a sidewalk slam, climbs and hits the cannonball! Cover but only 2. Chants for PCO. Tag to Marty who tags Brody and they get a triple team on Tracy, double chokeslam by Brody and PCO, cover but only 2. Flip tags in who keeps the pressure on Tracy, choking him in the corner and then tags in Brody who keeps the pressure on, tag to Marty who plays headgames with Team Lifeblood but Tracy gets a sharp back suplex and looks for the tag. Bandido gets it and wipes out Marty with a top rope tornillo. Brody in who catches a Bandido spring, Bandido escapes but eats a big chop. Bandido evades Brody’s charge and Brody hits the corner post, and then PCO’s, PCO looks to dive but Bandido catches the crossbody and hits a powerslam! That was great. Bandido climbs and hits a twisting moonsault taking out all of VE save Flip! Chants for Bandido.
Marty back in but Flip slides a chair in. Tracy intercepts and chases off Flip. Marty fires back but Bandido hits a knee before eating a big lariat by Marty. Tags to Haskins and Brody and PCO comes in, with Haskins fighting off both before getting put down. Haskins escapes thee double chokeslam and dumps both, and hits dual suicide dives. Marty hits a kick to Haskins, eats a PJ superkick, Brody dumps PJ and Tracy comes in swinging at Brody. Flurry by Tracy, piledriver is blocked but Tracy gets a corner 619, climbs and hits a top rope front missile dropkick. Brody outside, Tracy follows and a brawl breaks out as PCO climbs and takes everyone out with a moonsault! HE’S NOT HUMAN. Chants for PCO. PCO and Bandido on the apron and looks for a Destoryer but it turns into more of a sunset bomb on the apron! That’s how to salvage that spot! Back inside Haskins strikes Brody, but Brody hits a boot, a right hand and a Liger Bomb, covers but only gets 2! Brody calls for the end, Ganso Bomb is countered and PJ tags in and hits a top rope mushroom stomp! Haskins gets a kick to Marty and a kick to Brody, Bandido gets the 21-Plex and PJ follows with the spring 450! Cover and thats the 3!
Lifeblood & PJ Black defeats Villain Enterprises by pinfall via springboard 450
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5
This was a great war that made the most of the situation with Flip’s injury and delivered great spots, great drama, great character and great aggression. Everyone looked great and got a chance to look great, Tracy Williams continues to shine as a natural for this company, Bandido is a fucking superstar as usual and PJ is getting his good stuff back. Brody King is a phenomenon as is PCO, and Marty needs a main event push again soon. All in all, great work delivered but great talents.
Ring of Honor World Tag Team Championship
New York City Street Fight
GUERRILLAS OF DESTINY (c)
God I hope this delivers what it is capable of delivering. Nice pops for both teams. The Briscoes already have chairs on the outside and are slamming them around the ring to try to psych out GoD, who are alone in the ring but look non-plussed. GoD keeps their wits about them as the Briscoes stalk around ringside, pulling out kendo sticks. The Briscoes are in but GoD gets control as Tama hits a Stinger splash. Double team into a neckbreaker on Mark as Loa beats down Jay. Loa with a back suplex on Jay and Tama gets a sharp spinebuster on Mark. Chants for both teams. Tama rollls Mark out and sends him into the barricade, Loa is on top of Jay who rolls out. BIG kendo stick shot to Jay’s head by Loa as Tama sends Mark back inside and Loa slams Jay on the outside. Tama keeps on Mark as Loa whips Jay into the railing but HARD. Tama now picks up the chair and brings it inside, and cracks it over Mark’s back. Mark gets sat on the chair as Jay works over Loa on a table outside. Mark drops Tama and uses the chair to launch himself over the top rope onto Loa outside, driving him through the table! Then Mark follows with a Cactus Elbow off the apron as Jay works Tama viciously.
Another table is set up by Loa against the edge of the ring, and Loa body slams Mark through it hard as Tama gets control of Jay before Jay reverses him into the barricade, Mark gets a kendo stick low blow on Loa before Jay drops him. Jay now tosses non-folding audience chairs into the ring! Back inside and Jay and Mark work over Tama, apron suplex onto a pile of chairs is blocked by Tama but Tama fights off, Loa in to help, Tama hits Jay with a head and arm throw on the floor as Loa hoists Mark and gets a standing DVD off the apron on Mark onto the chairs! Tama gets a fancy shot with the kendo stick to Jay for a nice pop. Loa and Mark duke it out as Loa gets a suplex on the floor. GoD sends Mark back inside, looks for Guerrilla Warfare but Jay cuts it off and the Briscoes hit Tama with Redneck Boogie on a chair! Cover but only 2. Nice crowd responses. LOUD chair shot by Mark to the face of Loa, and the Briscoes beat down GoD in the ring. Mark grabs another table, Tama is outside as Loa is isolated and the table is set up outside.
Tama in with a kendo stick and hits Jay but Mark cuts him off and then chokes out Loa. Kendo shot by Mark on Loa, then on Tama. Mark lays Tama on the table and looks to climb, might be looking for Froggy Bow, Loa cuts it off as Tama fights off the table and takes it to Jay. Tama now lays Jay on the table, Loa and Mark are on the apron and Loa gets a running apron bomb ON TOP OF JAY THROUGH THE TABLE! Nice. “Holy shit” chants. “This is Awesome” chants. Tama throws chairs into the ring as Loa uses one to beat down Mark in the ring. GoD hits Magic Killer onto the chairs, cover but Mark kicks out at 2! The Superbomb is now set up, but Loa ranas Loa to reverse, catches the Gun Stun, Mark shoves it off, Tama hits Gun Stun on Jay but then eats chair from Mark who throws one on Loa to boot. Mark now heads back under the ring and pulls out a ladder! The crowd pops. Mark sets up a table in the ring and riles up the crowd, then sets the ladder up in a corner but fully stood, Jay and Loa go nose to nose and trade on the outside. Tama on the table, Mark climbs the ladder, Loa in and climbs the other side, BIG shots by Mark… AND THEN THE HONOR CLUB FEED CUTS OUT! When it comes back, Loa and Jay are down, Mark is still on the ladder and Tama climbs up it quickly and looks to superplex Mark off the ladder through the table. Jay gets behind though and sits Tama on his shoulders in front of the table, Mark is on top of the ladder and THEY HIT A DOOMSDAY FROGGY BOW THAT DRIVES TAMA THROUGH THE TABLE! WHAT A SPOT! Cover, and The Briscoes are Tag Team Champs ONCE AGAIN!
The Briscoes defeat GoD by pinfall via Doomsday Device off a ladder through a table to win the ROH World Tag Team Titles for the 11th Time (!!!)
JAY’S RATING: 4.25 out of 5
WHAT A MAIN EVENT! This was an easy 4 out of 5 and then that final spot happened – thank GOD the feed cut didnt lose the final moments, because that end spot was amazing and the perfect closing button to this match – this war – for the titles. This is easily the strongest GoD has looked in AGES, the crowd was on fire from top to bottom for this one, and The Briscoes show why they will go down in history as EASILY one of the greatest tag teams of all time, regardless of company. These are two of the best performers in the biz, and they proved it YET AGAIN in taking their 11th ROH Tag Title reign with style. Cheers to all involved on an incredible main event.
Chants for Briscoes take us out.
This was an overall strong card, and while I felt the lack of womens wrestling presence hard, the sad truth is that that is the weakest division in this company at this point… they really need to work on that. Beyond that issue, this delivered well to a crowd that was just eating it up the whole time, and leaves us with some stuff to really think about as ROH marches into its immediate future. Gresham teasing heel is SUPER interesting to me, and I hope is in advance of a title run of some kind, though his taking the loss here again needs to be considered. Rush/Castle continues, and the Castle heel turn is just great. And then the final three matches all excelled as one would hope they would at an event like this. It felt like a triple main event, and yet also didnt feel overstayed to me either. Arguably one of the strongest all-ROH events I’ve seen in a while, and definitely check the final three matches. Cheers all around.