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ROH TV REPORT
APRIL 1, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NV AT SAM’S TOWN
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
[Q1] A short video hyped tonight’s Champions Challenge.
-Marty Scurll was sitting in on commentary for the opening contest. He was still wearing an eyepatch.
(1) ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION KENNY KING & ROH WORLD CHAMPION DALTON CASTLE (w/The Boys) – NON-TITLE MATCH
Castle and Mark Briscoe started off with some amateur wrestling. Jay and King tagged in. King hit a shoulder block and played to the crowd. King hit an overhead hip toss on Jay. [C]
Castle worked over Jay but Jay hit a back elbow and tagged out. Castle and Mark went back and forth until Jay hit a knee to the back of Castle as he ran the ropes. Castle fought back but fell to a double team. The Briscoes went after King too. Mark bodyslammed Castle on the floor while Scurll cheered them on. He tried to start a “man up” chant. Mark ran Castle’s head into the turnbuckle but Castle blocked a chop and knocked Jay off the apron. Jay shoved King off the apron to prevent a tag. Mark with a Russian leg sweep and a jumping elbow on Castle. Double shoulder tackle to Castle. Jay held Castle for Mark to hit a dropkick off the apron. [C]
[Q2] Castle continued to try to fight out for a hot tag. He finally made it. King unloaded with right hands on Mark and hit a spinning heel kick. Spinebuster to Mark for the first two count of the match. Jay caught King with a clothesline and Mark landed a ura nage. Mark dropkicked Castle off the apron and Jay hit a superplex on King. Froggy-bow from Mark but Castle broke up the pin. Mark and Castle exchanged chest slaps. Castle hit a big back drop. King hit an exploder suplex on Jay. Shotgun knees in the corner and Silas Young walked out. King and Young jawed and Jay caught King with a hurricanrana and a Jay Driller. Mark tackled Castle to prevent him making the save.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 16:18.
-Young entered the ring and held the TV title over the fallen King. Castle chased him off. Scurll entered the ring with the world title and looked like he was going to clock Castle with the belt from behind but Castle spun around. Scurll handed him the title and acted like that was his intention all along. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Quite unexpected that this was the opening contest and not the main event. I think because of that it felt a little less epic than you would expect it to with four of your seven champions in one match. It’s quite rare for champions to lose in ROH and even rarer for it to be a clean finish so Young distracting King was logical. The Briscoes remain undefeated in ROH tag action since March of last year. Scurll vs. Castle continues to feel like it’s missing a certain something going into Supercard Of Honor. It’s certain to be a good match but there’s just no real animosity between the two beyond Scurll feeling like he should have already been world champion by now.)
-Footage played from last week of Bully Ray canceling The Kingdom’s Supercard match and banning them from the building that night. We then cut to The Kingdom (TK O’Ryan, Matt Taven, & Vinny Marseglia) backstage. O’Ryan said that they’ve been denied their six-man title rematch for over a year now. They never even lost the titles. (O’Ryan was injured at the time so it was the team of Taven, Marseglia, and Silas Young that dropped the titles to Bully & The Briscoes last March.) Taven said they thought Bully was going to see past the politics but he’s just another melvin. They promised that his attempt to ban them from Supercard won’t work.
-The Dawgs (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara) joined commentary for our next match.
(2) CHEESEBURGER vs. KIKUTARO
Cabana said that Kikutaro is a legendary comedic wrestler from Japan. He wears a rubber Halloween mask like you might find at a dollar store and he’s apparently competed for promotions including Osaka Pro Wrestling, Dragon Gate, and Chikara. The announcers said this was Cheeseburger’s dream opponent. They exchanged wrist locks, which turned into them dancing and posing together. Kikutaro hit a shoulder tackle and did some classic Hulk Hogan poses. He kicked Cheeseburger in the head and followed with a strut and a chop in the corner. He charged Cheeseburger in the corner twice but took a boot each time. Kikutaro whipped referee Paul Turner into the corner but Cheeseburger moved. Kikutaro charged and Cheeseburger lifted Turner’s leg to catch Kikutaro with another boot. Cheeseburger hit a forearm for a two count.
[Q3] Kikutaro caught Cheeseburger with a power slam for two. The Dawgs were disgusted by all of this on commentary. Kikutaro put Cheeseburger in a headlock and made Turner hold a microphone for him. Kikutaro thanked the fans for coming and encouraged them to enjoy the show. The Dawgs hit the ring and attacked both men.
WINNER: No contest in 2:43.
-They cleared Kikutaro from the ring and hit Who Let The Dawgs Out? on Cheeseburger. Bully Ray hit the ring and The Dawgs bailed. Ray helped Cheeseburger to his feet. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Bizarre. Maybe this was a special April Fool’s Day match? I’d never heard of Kikutaro before so I had no idea what was happening here at first. This was only Cheeseburger’s second TV appearance of the year so him being booked for a singles match against anyone would have felt a bit out of nowhere let alone against a guy in a rubber mask. The Dawgs got a small amount of heat for interrupting the match but was anyone actually disappointed that we didn’t get to see it continue? Then Bully showed up, helped Cheeseburger to his feet, and we cut abruptly to commercial. None of these people are booked for Supercard in six days so I’m even further confused as to why this segment happened.)
-A video package highlighted clips of Tenille Dashwood defeating Brandi Rhodes in the Women Of Honor tournament quarter-finals on the 16th Anniversary pre-show. We then got previously unaired footage of Sumie Sakai defeating Kagetsu in the quarter-finals. Her semi-final opponent Dashwood shook her hand after the match. No indication of where or when that match took place.
-Mayu Iwatani wore a cat luchador mask to the ring for the next match but took it off before the bell. She’s held every championship available in Stardom. Deonna Purrazzo got a picture-in-picture promo during her entrance. Iwatani might be the icon of Stardom but she’s The Virtuosa and the Fujiwara armbar specialist.
(3) MAYU IWATANI vs. DEONNA PURRAZZO – WOMEN OF HONOR CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT QUARTER-FINAL MATCH
They mat wrestled to start with neither getting the advantage. Iwatani finally caught Purrazzo with a dropkick and ran the ropes into an arm drag. She hit another dropkick on a seated Purrazzo that sent her through the ropes. Purrazzo caught her with an uppercut, intercepting a suicide dive attempt. [C]
The women exchanged loud chops. Iwatani caught Purrazzo with a northern lights suplex for two. Iwatani attempted a double stomp but Purrazzo moved. Purrazzo went to the floor for a breather. Iwatani went for a move off the top rope but Purrazzo caught her with the Fujiwara armbar on the way down. She had to break the hold to break the count out, though. Purrazzo with a brainbuster for two. Purrazzo countered a wheelbarrow into a German suplex and held on, hitting two more. Iwatani nailed a dragon suplex of her own. Both women sold exhaustion. Iwatani hit a slingblade and went back up top, landing a missile dropkick for two.
[Q4] Purrazzo locked in the Fujiwara armbar out of nowhere but Iwatani made it to the ropes. Iwatani hit two kicks to the head and landed her bridging dragon suplex for the win.
WINNER: Mayu Iwatani in 9:28.
-They obeyed the Code of Honor after the match. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: I’ll admit I did not expect Purrazzo to lose here. She was voted the 2017 Women Of Honor Wrestler Of The Year and has been arguably the top name in the division for a while. When the tournament was first announced I assumed she would win the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, Iwatani has looked great in her two tournament matches thus far but this was literally the first time she’s ever set foot in an ROH ring and we still don’t know anything about her other than the fact that she’s won a lot of titles in Stardom. Iwatani advances to the semi-finals to face Kelly Klein on the Supercard Of Honor pre-show.)
-A video package ran through all the Supercard Of Honor matches with dueling promos from the American competitors.
-Cody made his entrance in a gray suit, chewing gum, and letting fans kiss the ring of honor on his way down. Bullet Club is fine. He asked if fans could name a great Kenny Omega match that didn’t include Kazuchika Okada or bonafide superstar Chris Jericho. You can’t. Because Omega is that underground band you swear you love, but you can’t name any of his songs. The perception is that Omega is the greatest wrestler in the world today but Cody dominates the news feed, monopolizes the ROH budget, and leads the Bullet Club. Omega and Ibushi are just a publicity stunt. Omega called Cody a WWE reject but Omega is just a WWE developmental reject. He started to address Omega putting his hands on Brandi when the lights went out and Omega’s music hit.
Omega walked out on stage, carrying Bury The Drug-Free Bear’s head under his arm. Pyro went off and Omega left the head on the stage. Omega wore a Bullet Club t-shirt and jeans. Omega restated that he’s the leader of Bullet Club. “And as for your wife…” When she forced herself upon him and kissed him, he was confused. He’s confused by Cody’s reaction. Omega claimed that wasn’t the first time that had happened. Cody took off his suit jacket and threw it down. Omega wouldn’t be surprised if Brandi wanted to do it again.
Cody went after Omega. They traded blows. Hangman Page hit the ring and tried to hold back Cody. Security and Marty Scurll also intervened to separate the men. The Young Bucks and Flip Gordon followed. Security left and the show closed with Cody, Hangman, and Marty on one side, Kenny and Flip on the other, and Matt and Nick in between.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A solid final sell for Saturday’s show. Omega rarely appears in ROH, let alone on TV, so his presence here came across as a big deal. I can’t help feeling that Cody’s feud with Matt Taven hurt him a little over the past two months as it kept him in a gray area where he was mostly getting cheered on ROH TV while simultaneously being a huge heel on Being The Elite and in New Japan. The fans are undeniably behind Omega, though, and there is a lot of intrigue around where everything stands with Bullet Club coming out of this weekend. It’s no longer as simple as being Team Cody or Team Kenny. Loyalties and friendships have been tested all over the place lately and I doubt anyone can say with certainty that they know how this is going to turn out.
I’ll have a full preview column for Supercard Of Honor up later this week and live coverage Saturday night. Thanks for reading.)