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ROH TV REPORT
MARCH 24, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NV AT SAM’S TOWN LIVE
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
[Q1] Opening theme.
-The Kingdom (Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia, & TK O’Ryan) were out first with walking stick, baseball bat, ax, and red balloon in hand. Following their brawl with SoCal Uncensored at the end of last week’s show they’ll be challenging SoCal for the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship at Supercard Of Honor. Taven took a mic in the ring and talked about the Kingdom conspiracy again. He complained about Brandi and Bury being at ringside for Cody at 16th Anniversary while O’Ryan and Marseglia got bounced. He vowed they would get back the six-man titles.
Enforcer Bully Ray made his entrance. He insisted there is no conspiracy. Maybe they just suck. “You suck” chant from the crowd. Ray said all they do is complain and get involved in matches they don’t belong in. He said they’re not needed at Supercard because they don’t have a match and don’t need to show up. Taven pointed out that they do have a title shot. O’Ryan asked why Ray’s allowed to make matches and what makes him think they won’t just show up at the pay-per-view anyway. Ray said they’re not needed at Supercard or on television and he’d fire them if they could. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: I’ve defended Ray’s enforcer role in previous appearances but this was a complete turnaround. The Kingdom haven’t really done anything more villainous than SoCal or The Briscoes or Shane Taylor in recent weeks so he really came across as overreacting here. And the heels made good points. What does give Ray the right to make matches or, in this case, cancel matches? He can just take away their title shot and cut them from the pay-per-view? Who booked the six-man match in the first place? That person can’t be too happy about Ray changing his plans. I had hoped ROH would handle Ray the way NXT handles William Regal, which is sparingly and in a more or less impartial manner. Ray entered Raw General Manager territory here, which is particularly ironic considering he dubbed himself “an enforcer” on his first night to avoid just that.)
-We went straight into a Women Of Honor Championship tournament video package out of the break. It started with a highlight reel of Jenny Rose vs. Kagetsu in the eighth-finals, though there was no commentary or voiceover so anyone who isn’t a regular Stardom viewer would be hard pressed to know which was which. Kagetsu won after spitting water in Rose’s face and hitting a 450 splash. This was the first time any portion of this match has appeared on television.
A quick transition took us into Sumie Sakai vs. Hana Kimura in the eighth-finals. This match aired in its entirety on the 16th Anniversary pre-show. Sakai defeated Kimura despite Kagetsu interfering on Kimura’s behalf. The heel duo attacked Sakai after the match.
-Kelly Klein got a picture-in-picture promo ahead of the next match. She just sees Mandy Leon as the next person she steps on on her way to the top. Leon also got her own picture-in-picture promo. Klein claims to have defeated every woman in WOH but she hasn’t defeated her.
(1) “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN vs. “THE EXOTIC GODDESS” MANDY LEON – WOMEN OF HONOR CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT QUARTER-FINAL MATCH
Klein hasn’t been pinned or submitted in two years. Leon started off serious and intense, which the commentators pointed out was a change of pace from her. They traded slaps but Klein no sold Leon’s offense. Klein hit a backbreaker. She hit a knee to the face and some more clubs to Leon’s head. Klein hit a clothesline and back elbow in the corner, following with a running boot. The crowd applauded the heel. Klein went to a chinlock. Leon tried to escape but was pulled back to the mat. Leon was able to shove Klein off the apron to the floor and followed with a running cannonball. [C]
[Q2] Leon hit a missile dropkick from the top rope. Running knees to a seated Klein in the corner. Leon hit a Kryptonite Krunch onto her knee for two. Klein caught her up top and hosted her into a fallaway slam from the second rope. Both women were down. At the referee’s seven count, they crawled toward each other and exchanged blows in a kneeling position. Leon worked over Klein’s left knee but Klein caught her with a dragon sleeper. Leon escaped and managed to hit Astral Projection (her finishing move) but it was only good for two. Leon locked in Havana Dreams (her submission finisher) and Klein tapped with her left hand on Leon’s leg but the referee was standing on her right and didn’t see it. Leon, feeling the tap, released the hold. As she questioned referee Paul Turner as to why he hadn’t called for the bell, Klein grinned at the camera. She walked over to Leon, effortlessly hit her with a snap suplex, and rolled through into End Of The Match. Leon passed out.
WINNER: Kelly Klein in 11:55 via referee stoppage.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Where’s Bully Ray now? That was a disputed finish that could use some enforcing from an authority figure. This whole Women Of Honor tournament has been so frustrating in its inconsistency. There appears no rhyme or reason to the order that matches have been presented in (with second-round matches sometimes airing before first-round matches) or the selection of which matches air in their entirety and which get the 10-second clip show treatment. Despite the tournament being announced three months ago, it also feels incredibly rushed. Why are we in such a hurry to have the finals at Supercard Of Honor? Couldn’t we have taken another month and allowed all the matches to air in their entirety and had more time to establish personalities along the way?
Klein came across well here. She’s obviously one of the best wrestlers of the division and her “never pinned or submitted in two years” story could be a bigger plot point if she appeared on TV more than once every couple months. Her character work still feels a little hollow, though. She’s a villain but a Saturday morning cartoon villain. It’s all surface. Leon is the opposite. She has the look and comes across as personable but her in-ring work is still behind most of her peers. She’s just noticeably slow in the ring, whether it’s running the ropes or executing a move. If this were WWE circa 2011 she’d have been a two-time Divas Champion already but expectations are simply higher in 2018. Klein faces either Deonna Purrazzo or Mayu Iwatani in the semi-finals on the Supercard Of Honor pre-show.)
-Jay Lethal was backstage. At Supercard Of Honor he teams with Hiroshi Tanahashi to challenge The Briscoes for the ROH World Tag Team Championship. Lethal has never been a tag team champion in ROH. “At New Orleans, Tanashi, don’t let me down.” [C]
-Video footage of SoCal Uncensored capturing the six-man titles at 16th Anniversary. Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, and Scorpio Sky were backstage. Daniels and Kaz told Sky to trust them and he did. Now he sees the benefits of standing at their side. He looked down at his title belt. Kaz chimed in. With a ticking clock on their career, there’s nothing they won’t do to keep the titles.
[Q3] -Hangman Page and Marty Scurll made separate entrances for their tag match. Scurll was dressed in a full suit, tie, and eyepatch. ROH World Champion Dalton Castle joined the commentary table. Page faces Kota Ibushi at Supercard Of Honor while Scurll of course challenges Castle for the world title.
(2) BULLET CLUB (Hangman Page & “The Villain” Marty Scurll) vs. THE BOYS (Brandon & Brent)
The bell rang and Scurll started the match off, still wearing his suit and eyepatch. He took off his watch and put it in his pocket. He handed his blazer to Page on the apron and rolled up his sleeves. He threatened Boy 1 but instead tagged out to Page. Page challenged Boy 1 to a test of strength, which Boy 1 got the better of. Page broke free and hit an elbow to the face. [C]
Page effortlessly tossed both Boys around and hit a buckle bomb to Boy 2. Tag to Scurll. He teased the chicken-wing but immediately tagged out instead. The Boys pulled Twin Magic behind the backs of Page, Scurll, and the referee. Page was caught with an inside cradle for two. Boy 1 worked over Page with slaps and a missile dropkick. Page fought out of a double team attempt. Scurll approached Castle at the commentary table. Page hit a pop-up punch on Boy 2 and a buckshot lariat on Boy 1.
WINNERS: Hangman Page & Marty Scurll in 7:22.
-Scurll held up the world title while Castle mocked his eyepatch.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Nothing really to that one. Page picks up a handicap win to look strong against Ibushi and we get a little bit of tension between Castle and Scurll ahead of their match. Castle’s championship reign has really been overshadowed by all of the Bullet Club drama these past three months. He needs some sort of personal, involved feud to sink his teeth into rather than a respectful babyface like Lethal and a distracted Scurll.)
-We cut to backstage where Silas Young and ROH World Television Champion Kenny King were brawling through the arena yet again.
-ROH World Tag Team Champions The Briscoes cut a promo in front of a brick wall. The only thing people will be talking about after Supercard weekend is the beating they put on Lethal and Tanahashi. They might be two of the best singles wrestlers in the world but this is a tag team match and The Briscoes are the best tag team in the world. [C]
-King and Young brawled out onto the stage. King hit a big boot that sent Young tumbling down the ramp. Security tried to separate them but Young and King both took them out. Security finally managed to separate them with the aid of Bully Ray and a couple referees. Young grabbed a mic and jumped in the ring. He pointed out that he had the clean pin over King at 16th Anniversary (while the referee was bumped) and demanded Ray give him his rematch. King pleading with Ray for something at ringside. Ray agreed and let King make the announcement. King said Young can’t beat him and he’s not a better man. He challenged him to a last man standing match. King acknowledged that Young has a good track record in those matches but asked how he was going to stand after King broke both his legs.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This is one of those instances where the gimmick match makes sense as it wasn’t just thrown out arbitrarily. These two have had a heated rivalry for months and this seems destined to be the last chapter. I can see Coast 2 Coast preventing Bruiser & Milonas from helping Young and thus King retains. Hopefully Young can then move into the main event scene as he has become one of the strongest all-around stars in ROH. There was notably not a single mention of Austin Aries from anyone here, despite him issuing a challenge to King for the TV title at 16th Anniversary.)
[Q4] -Scorpio Sky came out alone for the main event.
(3) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION SCORPIO SKY vs. FLIP GORDON
Sky offered the Code of Honor but Gordon didn’t trust him. Gordon hit a dropkick and kip-up. Handstand into a headscissors takedown and a flip over the top rope took out Sky on the floor. [C]
Sky tripped Gordon up on a springboard attempt and took over. Sky unloaded with body shots in the corner. Diving shoulder block to the stomach. Gordon with a clothesline and a 619. Springboard slingblade. Daniels ran out and grabbed referee Todd Sinclair by the shirt collar while Kaz snuck in the back door and grabbed Gordon. Gordon escaped and sent Kaz tumbling to the floor, though. Gordon caught Sky with a roll-up for the win.
WINNER: Flip Gordon in 5:26.
-SoCal triple-teamed Gordon after the bell but The Young Bucks made the save. The heels ran off and Gordon didn’t know what to make of this. Matt Jackson offered his hand again. Gordon looked insulted at them thinking he was really stupid enough to fall for that again. He started to leave but the fans booed. He paused, jumped back in, and shook Matt’s hand to a pop. As Gordon turned to leave, Matt held on. But instead of a “Where do you think you’re going?” Gordon got a hug. Nick clapped.
Bully Ray walked past SoCal on the stage. He looked at the two trios and said this was interesting. He put over Gordon for earning his spot in ROH and not complaining about all the harmful ribs from Bullet Club. He pointed out that Gordon and the Bucks don’t have a match at Supercard Of Honor so he booked a ladder match between the two trios. No mention of the six-man titles being on the line, though I guess they’d have to be or what else do you hang above the ring?
(Pageot’s Perspective: The match was just a preface to Gordon and the Bucks finally putting the past aside and becoming friends. It’s another interesting wrinkle in the Bullet Club saga as Cody hates Flip Gordon. Meanwhile Page seems to be in Cody’s corner but has always been on good terms with the Bucks. How will he feel about Gordon “replacing him” in their trio, though? As we’ve seen with Joey Ryan on Being The Elite, Page can get very jealous.)
-Next week: it’s Deonna Purrazzo vs. Mayu Iwatani in the Women Of Honor Championship tournament quarter-finals and champions vs. champions when Dalton Castle & Kenny King team up to take on The Briscoes.