Ring of Honor TV
Aired on Fite 2/4/19
Centerstage, Atlanta GA
Ian Riccobani, Colt Cabana & Juice Robinson on commentary.
TRACY WILLIAMS vs DAVID FINLAY
Juice says he’s on commentary to cheer on his partner in Fin-Juice, David Finlay. “Welcome Home” chants for Finlay. Code of Honor adhered to, and we get the bell. Lockup, go behind by Finlay but Tracy gets the arm, they trade holds, great counter technique by Tracy, Finlay gets the headlock but they go to the ropes and break. Tracy with a headlock and takes down Finlay with a tackle for a 1 count, before stomping Finlay’s ankle and working the leg. Finlay pushes him off but Tracy follows with a rollup for 2, looks for his crossface submission but Finlay gets out of it and nails Tracy with a dropkick that sends him to ringside.
Finlay takes out Tracy outside with a dive over the top, then tosses Tracy back inside. Tracy fires back with headbutts and gets a series of shortarm chops and a great throw on Finlay, covers but only gets 2. One-armed straightjacket chinlock by Tracy, Finlay fights up but eats a great chop from Tracy and a head and arm suplex, floats over for a cover but only gets 2. Tracy now focuses on tweaking Finlay’s arm, then sits him up and ties up Finlay in something that looks like a Stretch Plum, Finlay out again but more LOUD chops by Tracy. Finlay changes the momentum with a flying Euro and gets some distance. Finlay crushes Tracy in the corner with a running Euro, then hits a middle rope diving Euro off to take down Tracy, covers but only gets 2 as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Finlay gets a chop of his own as Colt says theyve been trading chops during the break. Tracy misses a corner dive but catches Finlay with a sharp strike, looks to climb but Finlay cuts him off. Finlay looks for something out of the corner but Tracy reverses into his falling top turnbuckle facebuster/DDT, lines up Finlay and hits a HUGE discus lariat and covers but only gets 2! Nice spot, great lariat. Tracy looks for his piledriver but Finlay fights out, they trade shots, back and forth, nice counter wrestling until Finlay catches an Irish Curse, covers but only gets 2!
Finlay calls for a lariat and TAKES TRACY’S HEAD OFF, nice cover but only gets 2! Finlay looks for Trash Panda but Tracy turns it into the crossface, Finlay counters into a rollup for 2, Tracy looks for the piledriver again but Finlay gets another rollup for another 2. Death Valley Driver by Tracy, covers but Finlay is out at 2! Piledriver attempt again from Tracy lands hard, covers and gets the 3 count and the WIN!
Tracy Williams defeats David Finlay by pinfall after a Piledriver
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
Now thats the way to start off an episode of TV. Great work by both, a hot stretch of counters and nearfalls toward the end, real drama over who will take the win, and a classic ROH-style competition level and focus maintained throughout the match. Big fan of Williams going over here – I like Finlay a lot and he’s growing WONDERFULLY, but I just think Williams makes so much sense in ROH and I want to see him pushed. He fits here like a glove, and it showed again here.
After the match, we get another Code of Honor.
VIDEO PACKAGE: Bandido vs Haskins, TONIGHT!
A hype video for a match happening on this episode. It was a hype video.
BACKSTAGE: The Kingdom Talks
The Kingdom is backstage and TK says Villain Enterprises should thank Matt Taven for giving them a chance to show the world what they can do, and The Kingdom is not impressed. Vinny says The Kingdom will reign in his signature creepy awesome fashion. Taven opens an umbrella that says “Melvin Enterprises”. LOL.
MARK HASKINS vs BANDIDO
HUGE response for Bandido. His package is also spot on. Code of Honor adhered to and we get the bell. Lockup, quick arm work and a standoff. The action moves fast on the mat with neither getting the advantage. This one might get too fast to call. Haskins grounds Bandido with a headlock. Juice seems to be drawing the ire of Colt on commentary, not knowing who Haskins is despite a huge UK career and calling Bandido’s entrance gear a “costume.” Interesting.
Bandido bridges out of the headlock, gets one of his own, they hit the ropes fast, they look for armdrags and standoff. Bandido grabs a Haskins kick, hoists for a bomb but Haskins gets a rollup for 2. Headstand counter from Bandido, dodges a Haskins kick, and the crowd LOVES it. They hit the ropes fast again and Haskins is able to dropkick the leg, looks for the Sharpshooter but Bandido pushes him off. The pace quickens again, Bandido goes outside and Haskins takes him down with a suicide dive as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Haskins gets a dragon screw, looks for another one but Bandido gets a stomp to the gut, rocks Haskins in the corner and hits a GREAT flying corkscrew crossbody! Haskins sent outside, Bandido runs the ropes and floors Haskins with a great Fosbury Flop! “Bandido” chants. Haskins rolled back in but Haskins goes for the leg and gets Bandido outside again, looks to run the ropes but Bandido comes in and counters into a pop-up cutter, covers but only gets 2. Bandido lines up a kick, Haskins counters, gets a rollup for 1 but rolls through with Bandido into a Samoan Driver, covers but only gets 2!
“This is Awesome” chants. Elbow by Bandido and a great superkick, lariat by Haskins and they both hit single-leg dropkicks to the chest and they are both down as Sinclair counts. Both up at 9, with Bandido kipping up. They trade shots, Bandido catches Haskins in the West Knee, covers but Haskins kicks out at 2! The crowd is hot. Bandido looks to climb and goes for a moonsault, Haskins moves but Bandido lands on his feet, Haskins rolls through and locks in the Sharpshooter, but Bandido gets to the ropes!
Haskins stays on him with a kick to the face from the apron, climbs the corner and lands the double stomp! Covers, but only 2! Haskins immediately goes to the bridging Fujiwara armbar, Bandido almost taps but struggles, almost gets the ropes, Haskins gets a firemans again but Bandido gets out and lands a superkick and hits the 21-Plex! Cover by Bandido and he gets the 3 count and the WIN!
Bandido defeats Mark Haskins by pinfall after the 21-Plex
JAY’S RATING: 3.5 out of 5
That was freaking great. Both of these guys locked into each other, paced it well, brought serious fire, had the crowd locked in, and delivered amazing action all around. One of the better TV matches I’ve seen, not just from ROH but from anywhere, in recent memory. This felt urgent, important and passionate. Haskins has been a reliable force for some time and proved why again here, and Bandido is shaping up to be a huge star and that makes me SUPER happy. Well done.
BACKSTAGE: Nick Aldis
Nick Aldis introduces himself, and says he will be setting another first when he defends his NWA World Heavyweight Championship for the first time on an episode of ROH TV, against PJ Black. I dont mind Aldis, but PJ is doing very little for me, so they are gonna have to pull something out if I’m going to really care about this match right now.
#1 Contender: Ring of Honor Television Championship
SILAS YOUNG vs ELI ISOM
This is the finals match of the mini-tournament that took place to determine Jeff Cobb’s next challenger. Isom is out with his Shinobi Shadow Squad teammates, but Isom sends them to the back and tells them he has this. I’m really hot on Isom right now, so I’m hopeful for this match. Isom extends the hand but Silas refuses. We get the bell and they lockup with Silas getting an early advantage, grounding Isom with a hammerlock.
Silas keeps control of the arm, Isom tries to counter out but eats a chop from Silas. Isom gets an arm drag but Silas counters the next into a rollup for 2 and grounds Isom again. Suplex attempt from Silas is blocked, they trade shots and Isom gets behind out of a suplex and gets a rollup for 2. Flying knee staggers Silas into the corner, Isom to the apron but misses a springboard dropkick, goes to the apron and eats a springboard clothesline from Silas as we go to BREAK.
We’re back as the crowd chants “You Suck” at Silas, who gets the up and over stomp onto Isom. “You still suck” chants. Silas stomps the mudhole on Isom, then plants him with a gourdbuster before mocking the crowd. Big chop by Silas collapses Isom over the top rope, and Silas lands a nice belly to back suplex and covers Isom for 2. Silas plants Isom again with a belly to back into a facebuster, covers but Isom out at 2 as Silas grounds Isom with a headlock and body scissors. Isom fights up and throws Silas off, lays in strikes and an enziguri, and tosses Silas coming off the ropes with a belly to belly, covers but Silas is out at 2.
Crowd gets behind Isom as he hoists Silas, Silas out of it though and floors Isom with a right hand to the face. Silas stands over Isom and mocks him, toys with him, Isom swings but Silas evades and just slaps Isom. Isom gets a takedown and rains down shots on Silas, then gets an Air Raid Crash, covers but only gets 2! Silas to the outside, Isom tries a dive but Silas moves and Isom wipes out and we go to BREAK as Silas tosses Isom into the barricade.
We’re back and Silas has Isom in a full nelson in the ring, Isom fights out and gets one of his own, Silas breaks it and Isom tries a German, Silas rolls through into a cover and gets 2. Silas gets the spinning backbreaker/lariat combo, covers but Isom out at 2. Isom blocks the knee from Isom but Silas is able to get the Plunge, covers but Isom out at 2 again! The crowd is getting hot. Silas stalks Isom into the corner, sits Isom on top and climbs looking for a superplex, climbs all the way to the top, and gets Isom over hard! Cover, but ISOM IS OUT AT 1! (FIGHTING SPIRIT!)
Isom tells Silas to come on, Silas gets in his face, Isom with an elbow, Silas asks for more, they trade shots, trade chops, trade blows, Isom gets a backslide but only gets 2! Silas gets the knee strike, hoists Isom and lands Misery! Cover but Silas, and thats the 3 count and the WIN!
Silas Young defeats Eli Isom by pinfall after Misery to become the #1 Contender for the ROH TV Title
JAY’S RATING: 3.8 out of 5
This was a really strong TV main event, with Silas getting the #1 Contender spot for Jeff Cobb (which is a good call to keep Silas a relevant threat, and since Isom has PLENTY of time and will without question be there sooner rather than later). Silas is a really entertaining heel, and is doing a great job getting real heel heat in this era. His ring work also still hasnt missed a beat, as he constantly shows that he can brawl, grapple and fly at a moments notice. This was also a showcase match for Isom, who delivers a GREAT performance yet again for someone so early in his career. He brought some great, earthy fighting spirit here, and continues to raise his own stock against someone with the crispness and experience of Silas Young. This was a great Strong Style showdown, and a great cap to a strong episode.
After the match, Silas takes the mic and brings up Jeff Cobb. He says what some of you may not know, is that Jeff Cobb is not only ROH TV Champ but also an Olympic athlete. The crowd tries to drown out Silas, but this is some good real heel heat as Silas runs down the crowd and Cobb as disappointments. Cobb appears to a pop with the belt, and comes into the ring. Silasa and Cobb get face to face, Shane Taylor comes up behind but Cobb turns right into him. Silas tries a shot but Cobb doesnt back down from either, takes the jacket off and takes on both! He hoists Taylor but Silas gets a low blow, giving Taylor the chance to hit Greetings from 216. Cobb is laid out for the first time in ROH. Taylor picks up the ROH TV title and drops it next to Cobb… A decent angle to close the show, straightforward and classic but executed well. This could be a fun title match. And lets please add Taylor to this title picture soon?
This is a great episode of ROH TV, with 3 matches that really delivered the goods on numerous fronts. Tracy Williams now truly joins the current class of ROH Neo-Throwback talent that is shaping up to be the future of the company, alongside Cobb, Gresham and Scurll among others. I liked him in Evolve – but he seems more mature here, and I think we’ve barely scratched the surface of what he’s gonna be bringing soon. Haskins and Bandido was just joyous, and Bandido is poising himself to be a breakout star in the wrestling world as a whole – he’s on the cusp of something very big. And the main event was a strong match of two generations, and both came away looking great (Isom is on an extremely exciting road right now and I hope he maintains this momentum), leading to some hype to a potentially great title match and what I’m hoping is a tease of Taylor getting title-hungry soon. This is an episode to watch for sure. This feels like a great representation of where ROH wants to go, and if thats true, I’m on board. They got this one right.