ROH TV REPORT
MARCH 11, 2018
ATLANTA, GA AT CENTER STAGE
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
[Q1] Opening theme.
-We opened with a swarm of wrestlers surrounding the ring. The bell rang and they all dove under and jumped through the ropes into the ring.
(1) BATTLE ROYAL – 2 WINNERS FACE OFF IN TONIGHT’S MAIN EVENT FOR A FUTURE ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The last two competitors left standing would face off in a singles match later in the night with the winner of that match earning a shot at Kenny King’s World Television Championship. Chuckie T and Beretta hugged in the middle of the ring so Shane Taylor grabbed them both by the collar and chucked them over the top rope for the elimination.
They consoled themselves with another hug on the floor while Josh “The Goods” Woods stepped up to Shane Taylor. Taylor hit his knockout punch on F.R. Josie and Flip Gordon effortlessly tossed him out.
People paired off in different corners. The theme of the match is that everybody here has never held gold in ROH. LSG skinned the cat. Will Ferrara went after him on the apron but LSG pulled down the top rope and Shaheem Ali guided Little Willy right over the top for another elimination. The commentators pointed out that Ferrara’s current partner Rhett Titus wasn’t in the match to provide back-up as Titus is a former tag team champion with All-Night Express.
A luchador named Kid USA slipped out of a body slam attempt from Ali and landed on the apron. When he posed on the middle rope (rookie mistake) Ali punched him to the floor.
Coast 2 Coast double-teamed Tayor. LSG hit a dropkick and they tried to power him up on the ropes. Caprice Coleman whipped LSG into the corner. He leapt over QT Marshall and landed on the apron. A kick to the head put Marshall down but when LSG attempted to springboard back in Coleman shoved him to the floor.
Woods hit some knees on Ali in one corner. Gordon and Taylor traded forearms. Woods managed to dump Ali onto the apron. Ali tried to pull himself back in through the bottom ropes but Woods blasted him with a kick that sent him out.
Coleman immediately grabbed Woods from behind and dumped him.
The final four were Coleman, Taylor, Gordon, and Marshall. We hadn’t seen Marshall on ROH TV since a singles loss to Woods last August. Taylor and Coleman shook hands, forming an alliance against the white men. Marshall begged off, offering to pay Taylor more. All four men eyed each other nervously. [C]
Gordon was unloading with punches on Coleman and Marshall out of the break. Springboard spear to Coleman. Taylor dropped him with a clothesline. Marshall encouraged Taylor to hold Gordon up for him but Gordon moved and Marshall clocked Taylor by accident. He immediately apologized and begged off but Taylor was livid. The big knockout punch shot Marshall straight up into the arrow, over the top rope, and to the floor where he did another 180 degree flip, landing on his stomach, out cold.
Gordon with a superkick on Taylor. Samoan pop to Coleman but Taylor caught Gordon and tossed him over the ropes. Gordon hung on, hit a shoulder to Taylor’s stomach through the ropes, and springboarded back in with a forearm on Coleman. Taylor blasted him with another clothesline. Coleman dropped Gordon. He reminded Taylor of their days together in The Rebellion and Taylor seemed to be on the same page but the second Coleman turned his back to go after Gordon, Taylor grabbed him and threw him out to end the match.
WINNERS: Shane Taylor and Flip Gordon in 8:54.
-Coleman went bug-eyed on the floor. One referee raised Gordon’s hand while another raised Taylor’s. They stared each other down ahead of tonight’s main event. “Flip” chant from the crowd.
Order of eliminations:
1) Beretta by Shane Taylor
2) Chuckie T by Shane Taylor
3) F.R. Josie by Flip Gordon
4) Will Ferrara by Coast 2 Coast
5) Kid USA by Shaheem Ali
6) LSG by Caprice Coleman
7) Shaheem Ali by Josh Woods
8) Josh Woods by Caprice Coleman
9) QT Marshall by Shane Taylor
10) Caprice Coleman by Shane Taylor
(Pageot’s Perspective: Who doesn’t enjoy a battle royal? This was a hot start to the show with wrestlers flooding the ring and the bell going off before we were even told what was going on or what was at stake. I love the explanation of who was in the match and why as so often matches like these will feature notable absences and you’ll be left wondering “okay, why isn’t Person X in there?” We even got a couple Future Of Honor wrestlers making their TV debut. Best Friends looked like shmucks at the beginning there but with Beretta out on injury now this will be quickly forgotten. Taylor looked the most dominant, which is perfectly logical considering his role as the heavy in the match. Gordon, Coleman, and Coast 2 Coast also looked pretty good. I also love that it was the final two qualifying for a singles match rather than the winner just earning a title shot due to the battle royal alone. Winning a battle royal doesn’t mean you’re a skilled singles wrestler so making the competitors prove themselves in that a one-on-one wrestling match before getting a title opportunity is just great, classic ROH logic.)
-The Kingdom (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, & Vinny Marseglia) were backstage. The Kingdom conspiracy is real, you melvins. Bullet Club is dying but ROH is still investing everything they have in them, instead of The Kingdom. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian crashed the promo. Kaz pointed out that they know how it feels to be conspired against by Ring Of Honor. They’ve been putting up with that crap for four years. O’Ryan and Marseglia got in the faces of The Addiction before Taven calmed them down and asked why they were there. Daniels said opportunity is knocking. Bullet Club always had the numbers game before but now there are three Kingdom and three SoCal Uncensored, which gives them the numbers for once. He told them to think about it. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: There was a time where the TV shows that aired during pay-per-view weekend were all filler, usually just enhancement matches or old live event footage from months earlier. This is definitely not the case tonight. This was the first chapter in what’s clearly going to be a new story. It makes sense for Bullet Club’s enemies to try to take advantage of all the discord in the group right now. Bullet Club are often the top stars and focal points of any show they appear on so it’s also logical that these guys would claim that ROH plays favorites with them and be envious. The Kingdom Uncensored could be a powerful threat to everyone in ROH, though it’s hard to imagine their egos staying in check long enough for any real success.)
[Q2] -Riccaboni and Cabana talked about tonight’s main event and Tenille Dashwood making her TV debut before Cabana threw it backstage to The Kingdom again.
-O’Ryan smelled a rat. He doesn’t trust SoCal Uncensored and he’s never liked them. Taven told him to relax. Every King needs his pawns. Marseglia wanted every Bullet Club member to bring an umbrella because it’s going to be raining blood next week.
-Deonna Purrazzo was on commentary again for the next Women Of Honor Championship tournament match.
-Video package on Stacy Shadows and Tenille Dashwood. Shadows is the Midwest slayer. She will go through every woman to make history for this company. Dashwood wore her sunglasses in her promo. She’s wrestled for half her life and been overlooked for too long. She chose Ring Of Honor to prove she’s the best women’s wrestler in the world. Footage of Dashwood pinning Shadows in her debut WOH tag match at Honor Reigns Supreme. It’s all about her.
(2) “THE MIDWEST SLAYER” STACY SHADOWS vs. TENILLE DASHWOOD – WOMEN OF HONOR CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT EIGHTH-FINAL MATCH
Shadows had a significant size advantage. Shadows drove Dashwood into the corner. Dashwood attempted an arm drag and a German suplex but she couldn’t budge the big woman. Dashwood hit a headscissors into a Russian leg sweep for a one-count. Dashwood hit The Taste Of Tenille in the corner. Shadows came back with a hard slam. [C]
Dashwood tried to fight back with punches but Shadows clubbed her down again. Snapmare from Shadows. Kick to the back. Body slam. Shadows went to the second rope for a Vader bomb but Dashwood rolled out of the way and Shadows crashed. Dashwood bounced Shadows’ head off the top turnbuckle and managed to lock in the tarantula.
[Q3] Dashwood hit a high crossbody off the top rope for two. Shadows avoided The Spotlight and caught Dashwood in a firewoman’s carry. Dashwood escaped and drove Shadows into the ring post. Spotlight for the win.
WINNER: Tenille Dashwood in 9:14.
-Shadows offered the code of honor after the match and they shook hands.
(Pageot’s Perspective: With all the hype surrounding Dashwood coming in, her win here is no surprise. In fact, anyone who watched the 16th Anniversary pre-show on Friday saw Dashwood defeat Brandi Rhodes and advance to the semi-finals already too. She’ll face either Sumie Sakai, Kagetsu, or Jenny Rose there. As for this match, it was a nice showcase of both women and the story was simple. Dashwood pinned Shadows with The Spotlight in her first WOH match so Shadows knew to avoid it here but Dashwood finally hit it again and that sealed the deal.)
-In the Bullet Club locker room Marty Scurll was sitting on a couch and beatboxing while Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson stood around. Cody entered. He asked if they heard the Kingdom/SoCal development from earlier. Matt sarcastically told Cody that Bullet Club is fine, though, right? “Is it not?” Cody asked. Scurll muttered that it’s complicated. Cody said he’s not the bad guy. They don’t have to be his best friend but think of the money, think of their kids. They don’t want this to end now. Bullet Club is for life. They have to work together.
-Bruiser & Milonas got a short backstage promo before the match. They’re the biggest bouncers in this bar and the biggest tag team in ROH history. They want the tag team titles.
(3) BEER CITY BRUISER & BRIAN MILONAS vs. RYAN NOVA & ELI ISOM
Bruiser & Milonas weigh in at a combined weight of 728 pounds. Cabana laughed at Nova and Isom’s chances. Bruiser clubbed Nova in the corner. Nova came back with some forearms but was shoved down. Crossbody from Bruiser and a tag to Milonas. Back senton from Milonas. Isom yelled for a tag but Milonas told him he’d stay out there if he knew what was good for him. Bruiser tagged back in and knocked Isom off the apron. Nova was caught between big splashes from both big men. Bruiser hurled him into his corner and encouraged Isom to make the tag. Isom avoided a few moves and hit a missile dropkick on Bruiser but Bruiser wouldn’t go down and came back with a big punch. Bruiser backdropped Isom onto Milonas’ shoulder, who then gave him a buckle bomb and Bruiser followed with a splash in the corner. Milonas sat Isom on the top rope. Superplex from Milonas and a frog-splash from Bruiser for the win. [C]
WINNERS: Bruiser & Milonas in 3:50.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Very glad to see them getting squash matches at this stage of their development. “The biggest tag team in ROH history” is marketable and I like that they’re testing out some double-team maneuvers. Now they just need a team name and we’ll be off and running.)
[Q4] -ROH enforcer Bully Ray joined commentary for the main event.
(4) SHANE TAYLOR vs. FLIP GORDON – WINNER EARNS A FUTURE ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Bully spoke about the small shoulder bump and look between he and Taylor last week and said he’d have done the same thing when he was young and hungry. Gordon offered the code of honor but Taylor shoved him to the mat instead so Gordon kipped up and slapped him across the face. Cabana said Gordon reminds him of a young Rob Van Dam or Eddie Guerrero. Bully agreed. Gordon hit a 619 variation on Taylor but springboarded into a spinebuster for a two-count. Taylor unloaded with clubs in the corner. Bully compared Taylor to his brother D-Von and Bam Bam Bigelow. Gordon tried fighting out of the corner but Taylor nailed a headbutt. Body slam and jumping leg drop from Taylor for two. [C]
Taylor hit a big knee to the chin for two again. Kinder surprise from Gordon but Taylor caught him again on a springboard attempt. Jumping knee from Gordon. A Star-Spangled Stunner attempt was countered into a Bully Bomb by Taylor. Bully was insulted on commentary and instantly switched his allegiance from non-partisanship to openly cheering for Gordon. Gordon caught Taylor with two Pele kicks. Taylor hadn’t left his feet of his own volition once at this point. Taylor went to the second rope for a splash but Gordon moved and caught him with the Star-Spangled Stunner. He followed with a 450 for his win singles win in 2018.
WINNER: Flip Gordon in 9:28.
-Scorpio Sky suddenly jumped Gordon after the bell. The Young Bucks made the save. After some hesitation from everyone, Matt Jackson held out his hand to Gordon but Gordon bailed from the ring without shaking. He was not about to fall for Matt’s “Where do you think you’re going?” trick again.
-Backstage Cody was alone on the promo set. He asked the off-camera producer if they were coming but the man said he didn’t think so. Cody said fine, he’d do it himself. He knows their parts anyway. Nick would superkick the camera. Matt would say “It’s time to start the show!” Hangman would look handsome and muscle-bound. Marty would say “numpty” and “spot of bother.” Bullet Club is fine.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Bully’s investment in and passion for ROH is really refreshing. He seems to genuinely care about the company and be in awe of the skill of the young guys on the roster. The match itself was good with the classic story of Gordon being unable to get Taylor off his feet until right at the end. This was another big moment for Gordon after not winning on ROH TV in several months. Riccaboni implied that he’ll get his title shot against Kenny King sometime on television in the next month with the winner of that match defending the belt at Supercard Of Honor.
The graphic for next week’s main event showed Cody, Page, Scurll, and the Bucks vs. Daniels, Kaz, and The Kingdom. I assume the post-match here will result in Gordon teaming with Bullet Club and Sky being added to make it a full 12-man tag.)
-Next week: it’s Bullet Club vs. SoCal Uncensored & The Kingdom and Mayu Iwatani vs. HZK in the Women Of Honor Championship tournament.