Ring of Honor TV
Aired on Fite 3/18/19
RP Funding Center, Lakeland FL
Ian Riccobani and Colt Cabana on commentary.
Six-Man Tag Team Match
SHINOBI SHADOW SQUAD vs SILAS YOUNG & THE BRISCOES
Aaaaaaaaand the TV/event timing disconnect strikes again – The Briscoes are out with their ROH Tag Championship belts. ARGH. So as an audience member, seeing them lose them at 17th Anniversary meeeeeeeans…. what then? Its just sloppy storytelling. Again. We get the bell and Isom starts off with Jay Briscoe. Lockup and they trade some quick mat work to begin and go right to standoff. Headlock by Jay, whip by Isom and Jay runs through Isom on the rebound. They run the ropes, Isom gets a leapfrog but Jay’s experience wins out as he evades a second and kicks Isom in the gut before tagging Mark in. Arm drag by Isom to take some control back and tag to Nova, who comes off the corner onto the arm. Mark counters out of it but Nova hits strikes and tags in Burger, who comes off the top on the arm as well. Mark pushes Burger off but Burger away before getting distracted by Jay and dropkicked by Mark as we go to BREAK.
We’re back and Silas is on top of Burger, who fires back but gets caught in the spinning backbreaker/lariat combo. Tag to Mark who hits a sharp elbow drop. Huge vertical suplex by Mark connects, Mark manhandles Burger and locks in a Camel Clutch. Chop by Mark on Burger in the corner, Burger evades all three opponents and tags in Isom who springs in with a dropkick. Tag to Jay and Silas is in but Isom sends Silas to ringside, evades a rollup by Jay and gets a firemans carry as Nova drops Mark from interfering, Isom hits an Air Raid Crash and covers Jay, but only gets 2! Isom looks for the Brainbuster but Jay blocks it and hits a DVD as Mark flies off the top with Froggy Bow, cover but Isom kicks out at 2!
The Briscoes are shocked. Jay looks for the Jay Driller, Isom escapes and takes out Mark and hits Jay with the Brainbuster, covers but only gets a close 2 count on Jay! Shots by Isom, enziguri connects but Jay nails a superkick and they hit a version of Total Elimination, Jay gets Isom hooked up and drops him on his head with Jay Driller, cover by Jay and thats the 3 count and the WIN for the Briscoes.
The Briscoes & Silas Young defeat 3S by pinfall after a Jay Driller
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5
That was a quite good outing by 2 great sets of competitors. I’m just still so bummed out by these timetable/storytelling issues that impact ROH’s own HonorClub platform. Why should people be giving money to ROH for a product that they know will have a more disconnected audience experience? Is that Sinclair’s thing with ROH, so that watching on a Sinclair network is made more appealing? If thats the case, well I get it, but you are then putting corporate concerns over your audience. And I can get the same timeline disconnect for free watching on Fite. But, back to the match, everyone looked pretty good overall here, the vets of course know how to keep the ball in the air and Isom once again shows that he is staking his claim to some territory in the future of this company with consistent performances like this. Dude hasnt even really broken out yet. He will, and he delivered another great showing as to why with his performance here.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Rhett Titus Promo
We get the sensual saxophone underscoring as Titus talks about taking on Willie Mack for the NWA North American Championship. Gotta be honest, if Titus pulls out another in-ring showing like he’s been giving lately, this could be an AWESOME match.
IN-RING SEGMENT: Two Dudes Are In The Ring
So, two dudes are in the ring, it looks like in anticipation of a match, and one is wearing an off-brand Bobby Roode robe – this is Future of Honor star Brian Johnson. His partner is named Joe Keys. Johnson has a mic and talks about their physiques (after seeing a promo from Rhett Titus, though…) and toss out some mysoginistic bullshit which gets them heat in the most dated and uncreative way I’ve seen in a while, and we mercifully get the next entrance to get this match underway.
BRIAN JOHNSON & JOE KEYS vs THE BOUNCERS
Milonas gets a mic, we get some “Beer” chants. The Bouncers cut a quick little promo in the ring and it rhymes, soooooo… We get a Code of Honor though the FOH stars are a bit cocky with it as we get the bell, and Keys and BCB start us off. Keys strikes a pose. BCB gets a beer chant going and rubs his belly. Ok. Keys offers the test of strength as BCB just smiles at him, finally Keys pushes BCB so BCB takes one hand for the test and then just SMACKS Keys and follows with an atomic drop and chops in the corner. Keys tries to hide so BCB chops him in the back. Tag to Johnson who goes right at BCB but gets taken down, Keys looks to distract and Johnson takes advantage and stomps the mudhole in the corner.
Tag to Keys who stomps and chokes BCB. Keys looks to slam BCB but cant get him up, hits a strike and tags in Johnson. Double team slam from the FOH guys, cover but only a 1 count as BCB powers out and looks for the tag. Keys cuts BCB off keeping him isolated in the FOH corner but BCB evades a Stinger Splash, tag to Johnson who tries to cut off BCB but Milonas gets the tag and just runs through everyone. Corner splash on Johnson by Milonas, Johnson gets behind but Milonas hits a big pop-up spinebuster. Keys in but BCB set him up for another Milonas spinebuster, The Bouncers get the middle rope Death Penalty, cover and thats the 3 count and the WIN.
The Bouncers defeat Brian Johnson & Joe Keys by pinfall after a middle rope Death Penalty
JAY’S RATING: 2 out of 5
This was fine, a bit humorous and everyone was reasonably dropped in and urgency in terms of the action. But I also never really had a reason to care, the FOH shtick wore thin fast, and there was no doubt who was taking the win. And Johnson, come on dude, its 2019. Whether you agree with it being misogynistic or not, its also just an antiquated and cheap heat tactic to play today, especially in such an uninspired and cookie-cutter sort of way, and feels like such.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Madison Rayne
Rayne calls out Thunder Rosa and Holidead and their manipulative tactics. Rayne says she has the real narrative: that they go against what WOH stands for. Tonight shes making a statement, through Rosa. Eh, it was fine.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Willie Mack
Willie talks about his plan in defending the North American Title in every state, and talks about his match with Titus next week. Love Mack, but no real fire of POV to be found here…
THUNDER ROSA w/ Holidead vs MADISON RAYNE w/ Sumie Sakai
God I love the Twisted Sisterz shtick. Rayne hits the ring and goes right at Rosa and lays in shots. Rosa is sent head-first into the corners by Rayne who hits a sliding lariat and a short-arm clothesline to take control as Rosa bails. Rayne follows her out and tosses Rosa back inside. Quick high five to Sakai followed by a clothesline to Rosa and then hits a basement dropkick to Holidead before eating an elbow by Rosa that knocks Rayne off the apron. Rosa drives Rayne into the apron and lays in a chop before rolling Rayne back inside.
Cover by Rosa for 2, and she stays on Rayne and stomps the mudhole. Snapmare by Rosa is followed by a nice kick and a dropkick to the back, covers Rayne again but only 2. Slam by Rosa, she runs the ropes and hits a nice running legdrop and covers for another 2 count as we go to BREAK. We’re back and Rosa is still in control, Rayne looks to fight up and hits an enziguri to put Rosa down for a 2 count. Rosa uses the hair to take Rayne back down, hits a running elbow in the corner, snapmares Rayne and covers her for 2 before locking in a chinlock variation. Rayne tries to fight off but Rosa slams her back down and covers for 2. Chops by Rosa, they run the ropes but Rayne PLOWS into Rosa with a spear and both are down as ref Todd Sinclair starts to count.
Both are up and Rayne throws elbows and runs over Rosa, Rosa catches her in the corner and sits Rayne on the corner but Rayne fights back and hits a middle rope crossbody. Enziguri by Rayne connects better this time and she covers Rosa, but only gets 2. Rayne looks for the ripcord, Rosa counters but Rayne is able to set up Off With Her Head, Rosa reverses that into a spinning Gory Bomb (nice!) and covers Rayne, but only gets 2. Rosa screams at Rayne, shows nice power in hoisting Rayne onto her shoulder, Rosa spins with her but Rayne is able to get behind and hit Off With Her Head! Cover by Rayne and thats the 3 count and the WIN!
Madison Rayne defeats Thunder Rosa by pinfall after Off With Her Head
JAY’S RATING: 2.8 out of 5
This was a solid match that I just wanted a touch more fire behind, but I get the feeling from Rayne’s overall energy that she was well on her way out of ROH at the time of this taping, I know there were creative differences so I think while Rayne delivered well, its hard to find the passion when creatively unhappy. As an artist in my other career I fucking understand that quite well. Nonetheless, she delivered a good match, and Rosa is one I really have my eye on whether in tags or also solo, as I think she is SO dropped in and organic with her stuff, and her ring game is solid as fuck and has the potential to get even better. I’m starting to feel a Rosa braekout in the near future, and personally I would find that awesome.
BACKSTAGE SEGMENT: Coast 2 Coast
C2C speaks about being gone for a while, and during that time they were rediscovering themselves, and now they are back and are ready for Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham next week.
ROCKY ROMERO vs ZACK SABRE, JR.
Rocky has been looking outstanding lately and feels more at home with himself in the ring, as a manager and on the mic than I’ve ever seen, and ZSJ is simply one of the best in the world right now in my opinion, so I’m excited for this one. We get the bell and there are some early ZSJ chants. They take it to the mat to begin, and make it to a stand off. Lockup as ZSJ goes to the arm and shoulder, grounding Rocky and maintaining a dominant position. Rocky escapes and lands a dropkick that sends ZSJ outside. ZSJ jaw-jacks with a fan and gets back inside.
Lockup goes to the mat again with ZSJ taking the ankle and leg this time, deathlocks the legs and fishhooks, transitions into a bow and arrow but Rocky drops into a cover for 1 and they stand off again. Lockup and hold trades, ZSJ gets the wrist again and works Rocky down. ZSJ gets Rocky’s shoulders down for nearfalls, Rocky bridges and flips ZSJ to escape but ZSJ snatches the arm again, Rocky escapes as they trade hold attempts on the mat with ZSJ finally getting the advantage and grounding Rocky again. Snapmare by Rocky and he counters ZSJ into a dropkick that puts ZSJ down.
Chops by Rocky to ZSJ against the ropes are followed by a cravate, they trade snapmares and bridges up from them repeatedly until ZSJ gets Rocky’s neck between his feet and twists his neck as we go to BREAK. We’re back as ZSJ is working the arm just as Rocky gets the ropes for the break. ZSJ gets the stranglehold chinlock, Rocky fights up, ZSJ looks to stretch Rocky’s back as well but Rocky follows through and gets his own strangehold on ZSJ. Euro by ZSJ, Rocky is able to fire back and hit a springboard tornado DDT off the middle rope and both are down.
Rocky ducks a shot by ZSJ and gets a running rana and a springing crossbody into a cover for 2. Paintbrushing kicks by Rocky along with smacks fire up ZSJ, but Rocky comes back with the rewind kick and calls for Forever Clotheslines! Rocky hits 2 but eats a boot from ZSJ, looks for a jumping knee but ZSJ catches him and locks in an STF, with Rocky struggling to the ropes for the break. ZSJ now steps on Rocky’s head and lays in stomps and kicks that wake Rocky up, ZSJ pie-faces Rocky who comes at ZSJ in a flurry and sets him up in the corner for a Nakamura-style knee to the gut.
ZSJ rolls to the apron, Rocky looks to suplex him inside but ZSJ blocks and gets the wrist, Rocky fights back but ZSJ catches him in an Octopus in the ropes. Rocky hits a dropkick to ZSJ as he tries to get back in the ring and hits strikes, then springboards off the top into a double stomp to ZSJ’s back while he’s in the ropes, Rocky follows with a cover but only gets 2. Shots traded, flurry by Rocky and he hits a running twisting Sliced Bread for a 2 count, looks for Sliced Bread but ZSJ counters into an abdominal stretch, then rolls Rocky around the mat and applies a grounded twisting abdominal stretch (GOD ROCKY’S SPINE!) and Rocky taps out to give ZSJ the WIN.
Zack Sabre Jr defeats Rocky Romero by submission with a grounded twisting abdominal stretch
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5
This was a fun main event that never really kicked into Great, but coming off of 17th Anniversary this actually felt like a great way to cap off the episode, in spite of the taping schedule issues. ZSJ is badass in his mat-work as always, and Rocky is just looking incredible in my opinion lately as he settles into this “player coach” phase of his career with R3K. I wonder if Rocky is getting some momentum behind him for breakout run? Honestly, I think he could carry it – he’s been going toe to toe with some incredible folks lately. Keeping an eye on him, and would love to see him get a singles push…
This was a solid enough episode of TV coming out of 17th Anniversary, anchored by two solid bookends with 3S/Briscoes & Silas and ZSJ/Rocky. The taping schedule issues rear their head again… SIGH. It actually shouldnt be this hard. There are ways to build the system out so that this sort of thing can be anticipated. Someone just needs to do it. Seeing the Briscoes with the belts is absurd. Looking forward to getting beyond the Lakeland taping so we can get back on narrative track…