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ROH BOUND BY HONOR
APRIL 27, 2018
WEST PALM BEACH, FL AT PALM BEACH COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
We headed right into our opening contest. Scorpio Sky was without his championship belt due to The Kingdom stealing the six-man titles at Supercard Of Honor earlier this month.
(1) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION SCORPIO SKY vs. JAY LETHAL
Sky attacked before the bell but Lethal quickly took over and hit his trio of suicide dives while still wearing his entrance vest. Lethal called out, “Here’s a move I learned from the Nature Boy” before going for the figure four. Sky escaped to ringside so Lethal gave him a Flair chop instead. Lethal wound up crotched on the top rope and Sky took over. He got a two count off of a back body drop. Dropkick to the face for another two. Lethal started a comeback so Sky gouged his eye right in front of referee Todd Sinclair. Lethal broke free of a nerve hold with some chops. They went back and forth and back and forth attempting a suplex before Lethal finally landed one. “Lethal” chant from the crowd. Lethal Combination and he called for the Macho Man elbow drop. Sky blocked the elbow by putting a boot up so Lethal grabbed the boot and locked in a figure four. Sky escaped to the ropes. Sky hooked an inside cradle for two and followed with a double stomp to the back. Sky tried for his slingshot cutter but Lethal blocked and caught him with Lethal Injection.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 11:08.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Solid opening number. Sky’s stock continues to rise as he’s still relatively new to the company despite being a current champion. Lethal is the established top tier talent that makes the midcard wrestlers look good when they’re in the ring with him and come away with the credibility of having held their own temporarily, even if they end up losing.)
(2) SHANE TAYLOR vs. JOSH “THE GOODS” WOODS (w/King Mo)
It’s been a while since we’ve seen Woods but he’s the hometown boy here and received a big babyface reaction with friends and family in the crowd. Taylor cut a promo on Woods and “that fake ass Rampage Jackson” before the match. He then jumped Woods before the bell. Woods fought back as they brawled at ringside. Taylor dropped Woods back-first on the apron. Taylor and Mo jawed at each other. Taylor whipped Woods into the guardrail and roughed him up on the floor in front of Mo. Taylor hit a cannonball on Woods against the guardrail. Back in the ring they traded chops and forearms. Springboard knee from Woods and a German suplex took Taylor off his feet for the first time. Taylor with a knee to the face, judo throw, and standing splash. He went to ringside, got in a fan’s face, and grabbed a steel chair. Mo tried to take the chair away. As the referee lectured Mo about getting involved Woods kicked the chair into Taylor’s face and picked him up for a TKO onto his knee.
WINNER: Josh Woods in 6:48.
-Taylor knocked down Woods during his celebration. Mo and Taylor looked like they were going to lock up but Taylor gave him the finger instead and took off.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Cabana talked during the match about how Woods didn’t have a great win/loss record as of late. After the match he and Riccaboni wondered if this was the win that would turn things around for him. He hasn’t done a lot since winning last year’s Top Prospect tournament so it would be beneficial to ROH to fix that.)
-Mandy Leon joined the commentary table for the next match.
(3) “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN vs. “THE VIRTUOSA” DEONNA PURRAZZO
Klein grabbed a mic before the match and got the anti-cheap pop by miscalling the city as Miami. She then called Deonna “Mandy” and “Deonna Dashwood.” Purrazzo hit a crossbody off the apron early on and chucked Klein into the guardrail. In the ring she targeted Klein’s left arm immediately, setting up for her armbar finisher. Klein hit a running boot for a one count. It was Purrazzo’s turn to be thrown into the guardrail. Suplex on the floor from Klein. She rolled into the ring and told Sinclair to count her out. Purrazzo broke the count at 18. Klein tried to suplex her back into the ring but Purrazzo countered into a choke on the rope. Double clothesline took both women down. Klein with a snap suplex into an End Of The Match attempt but Purrazzo countered into a pin.
WINNER: Deonna Purrazzo in 5:13.
-Klein jumped her after the match and they brawled until security and referee’s separated them. Purrazzo threw two middle fingers at Klein from across the ring while Klein stormed off.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Decent match if quite short. The post-match might indicate they intend to go to a rematch soon so they didn’t want to give away too much here but five minutes is barely anything. Why not just do an enhancement match for Purrazzo instead and let Klein jump her afterwards if the goal was to simply further their feud?)
(4) KENNY KING vs. “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL
The commentators summarized the events on the Being The Elite finale but came to the same conclusion most of us have: that we didn’t get any kind of resolution or conclusion to anything following Supercard weekend and Bullet Club seems to just be treading water at the moment. The fans sang Backstreet Boys in support of Scurll. King was booed through the opening minutes but he gave the patented John Cena smile and shrug. Body slam and guillotine leg drop from King. Scurll stomped on his fingers and hit a superkick off the apron. Loud “Marty” chant. Back body drop to King on the apron. King hit a spinning heel kick at the seven-minute mark and followed with a spinebuster. Scurll hit a piledriver for two. He tried to break King’s fingers but King hit him with a kick instead. The story of the match has been Scurll loudly calling out each of his signature moves to the fans before attempting them and King thus easily countering and avoiding them. With Scurll sitting on the top rope King hit an enziguiri. Scurll went for the chicken-wing but King elbowed out. Scurll grabbed the ropes to steal the pin.
WINNER: Marty Scurll in 10:49.
-Scurll offered the code of honor after the match. King shook his hand as Cabana questioned if King even knew Scurll had the ropes. After King left Vinny Marseglia and Matt Taven appeared from the crowd to beat down Scurll. TK O’Ryan ran out from the back and joined in. They set up Scurll for Rockstar Supernova but The Young Bucks’ music hit and they and Hangman Page charged the ring. The six men brawled so Todd Sinclair rang the bell to start the next match.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Poor Kenny King found himself in the same position as all of the Bucks’ opponents last year where he was supposed to be the babyface but wound up booed against a popular heel. Not a lot to that one but the takeaway is how massively popular Scurll is with the ROH fans at the moment.)
(5) THE KINGDOM (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, & Vinny Marseglia) vs. THE HUNG BUCKS (Hangman Page, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson)
Matt Jackson’s bad back became the target of The Kingdom in the opening minutes. O’Ryan’s beard had him looking like Big Cass’ younger brother. They stole Matt’s weightlifting belt and mocked Nick and Page while tagging in and out to work over Matt. The methodical working over of Matt’s back continued as we reached the nine-minute mark. Taven locked in a Boston crab until Matt crawled to the ropes. O’Ryan choked Matt behind Sinclair’s back. Matt landed a dropkick through the ropes on O’Ryan and Marseglia, then ran around the ring in the hopes of a tag but Taven cut him off. Then O’Ryan and Marseglia yanked Nick and Page off the apron to again prevent the tag. Taven hit a top rope frog-splash for two. Double clothesline from Matt on O’Ryan and Marseglia. Hot tag to Page at 11:12 finally. Clothesline to Taven. O’Ryan dumped over the top rope. Cradle piledriver to Taven but Marseglia broke the pin with a senton. Swanton of his own from Nick. Kicks from Nick to all three Kingdom members. Facebuster to Taven. Springboard crossbody to O’Ryan. Matt tagged back in. Assisted sliced bread #2 to O’Ryan. Sharpshooters to Marseglia and O’Ryan. Taven shoved Page into them to break the holds. Matt and O’Ryan faced off with everyone else down in the ring. Superkick from Nick. Discus forearm from Page to Marseglia. Superkicks to Taven. Superkicks to Marseglia. Taven prevented a Meltzer Driver. O’Ryan hit Matt in the back with his baseball bat while Sinclair was distracted but Matt kicked out at two. Matt avoided Rockstar Supernova and Scurll returned to ringside. He clocked O’Ryan with his own bat. Three superkicks and a Rite of Passage got Page the pin on O’Ryan.
WINNER: The Hung Bucks in 15:48.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The commentators pointed out that this Bullet Club quartet seem fine, though neither of their supposed leaders were in sight. The match dragged a bit while Matt Jackson was worked over. I almost wanted him to get pinned without ever tagging in Nick or Hangman as that would have simply been different from the usual tag formula. This has felt the most “house show” of all the Honor Club events thus far.)
-Intermission was an ROH classic with Tyler Black (Seth Rollins) & Necro Butcher vs. Jimmy Jacobs & Delirious from ROH Proving Ground in Florida, 2009.
-A masked wrestler named Serpentico came out for the next match only for Bully Ray to hit the ring and power bomb him. Ray gave ring announcer Bobby Cruise shit for not getting him a microphone quickly enough. He grabbed the mic and shoved him off the apron. “Do you know who I am?” he asked. Cheeseburger ran down to the ring. “I know who you are. You’re an asshole.” Ray went for a chokeslam but Burger escaped and hit a number of right hands and a dropkick to the knee. Burger went for the shotay but Ray channeled Shinsuke Nakamura and hit a low blow instead. He walked off and left Burger laying.
(Pageot’s Perspective: You know, I was just thinking during intermission that we had managed to make it halfway through the show without Bully appearing. Jinx on me. A cursory web search says that Serpentico is an alias of Jon Cruz and he was trained by… Bully Ray and D’Von Dudley! They must have had a falling out since those days. So Bully’s wrestling full-time again? Is that where all this is heading? Is he still an authority figure in ROH? If not, has he been replaced? Again I feel like nothing substantial in ROH has been addressed or changed in the past three weeks since Supercard Of Honor.)
(6) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE ADDICTION (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian) vs. ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION SILAS YOUNG & BEER CITY BRUISER vs. COAST 2 COAST (LSG & Shaheem Ali) vs. THE DAWGS (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara)
It’s kind of odd that it’s Bruiser & Young instead of Bruiser & Milonas but I suspect that is solely so that your Television Champion could find his way onto the card tonight. Ali and Daniels started things off. Ali hit a dropkick so Daniels tagged out to Kaz. Young tagged Ali to enter the match. Young and Kaz mat wrestled and scored some near falls. Double crossbody brought them down to Earth. Titus and Ferrara tagged Kaz and Young, making them both legal?? Little Willy went for a backslide on Titus while everyone else (including the commentators) sold confusion. Titus tagged in Bruiser instead, laughing at Ferrara’s predicament. Bruiser comically held him off while Ferrara tried to punch him. LSG tagged Ferrara. He unloaded on Bruiser, looking for revenge from Bruiser & Milonas attacking him backstage on TV a few weeks ago. Daniels came in illegally, which set off Bruiser. He and Young traded rights with The Addiction. The Dawgs tried to calm things down only for Titus to roll up his partner for two. Everything broke down. Bruiser took out The Addiction with a cannonball on the floor. Titus hit a dropkick on Young and threw Ferrara into a suicide dive on Bruiser but Bruiser effortlessly caught him. Ali then crashed onto both Bruiser and Ferrara. Young and Daniels took out C2C at ringside. Bruiser and LSG wound up your legal men. Titus tagged in and cleared Ali from the apron for a one count on LSG. The Dawgs bickered again but managed to hit some double-team offense on C2C. The Addiction tagged in and worked over LSG too. Bruiser with a DDT on LSG for two but Kaz broke it up. Daniels and Young collided. Ali tagged in and went to work on Young and Daniels. The Dawgs were dropped too. Young and Daniels found themselves on the same page again only to be jumped by Kaz and Bruiser. LSG hit a top rope corkscrew onto the four men on the floor. Titus with a helluva kick to Ali. LSG prevented a doggy-splash. C2C with a coast to coast on Little Willy.
WINNERS: Coast 2 Coast in 15:02.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I mistakenly thought this was an elimination match so I was confused by teams breaking up pinfalls. Luckily it all made sense in the end as it was first finish to a victory. The Dawgs taking the pin made most sense. For the life of me I don’t know why I find them as hilarious as I do but I think they’re the funniest act in ROH at the moment. They are undercard enhancement, though. If C2C keep picking up wins like this they’ll definitely be considered viable tag title challengers sooner than later. They are probably the top act this year to most successfully move up the card gradually with a solid push behind them.)
(7) PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ vs. CODY (w/Burnard The Business Bear)
For the third time tonight someone jumped their opponent before the bell. This time it was Martinez. Apparently Cody’s a babyface again tonight? Burnard took a South of Heave chokeslam on the floor at ringside. Cody struck Martinez across the back with a wooden chair (not a folding chair). Martinez no-sold it. Cody shoved him into the ring post. With both men in the ring the bell finally rang to start the match. Curb stomp from Martinez in the first minute. For the third match tonight someone was thrown into the guardrail. This time it was Cody. Martinez with a spinning heel kick off the top rope for two. Cody hit a dragon screw leg whip around the middle rope. Springboard dropkick. American deathlock from Cody. Martinez reached the ropes. Cody ripped off a top turnbuckle. Martinez with a falcon arrow but Cody avoided the Psycho Driver. Cody was thrown head-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Psycho Driver for two. Martinez seemed to not know what to do next. He decided to try for his chokeslam but Cody countered into CrossRhodes.
WINNER: Cody in 7:46.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Not as fun as most of Cody’s recent matches but this wasn’t in a prominent spot and he had no bad blood with his opponent. It is kind of frustrating for Cody to be positioned as a babyface again here. I was willing to ride it out with the Taven feud because it felt like they were just wrapping up some loose ends there but at this point they need to pick a lane. He’s an incredibly strong heel and routinely does such dastardly things on Being The Elite and in New Japan in particular. To then put him in situations like this where the fans are encouraged to cheer him seems to undercut all that work. Or am I just out of touch wanting heels to be hated and booed by the fans in 2018?)
(8) ROH WORLD CHAMPION DALTON CASTLE (w/The Boys) vs. FLIP GORDON – PROVING GROUND MATCH
If Gordon can win or survive 30 minutes, he’ll earn a future world title match. Castle’s right hand was bandaged up due to Scurll breaking it at Supercard Of Honor. Slow going through the first five minutes with lots of breathers and Castle being unsure what to make of Gordon’s handstands and kip-up series. Once Gordon got his first two count Castle came back more aggressive and determined. Gordon took out both Boys, but not Castle, with a flip off the top rope to the floor. Gordon thought Castle was among them and apologized when he realized he wasn’t. Castle got incensed but ate a suicide dive. He avoided a 450 but took a Samoan pop and standing shooting star press. Bang-a-rang a short time later.
WINNER: Dalton Castle in 14:46.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I truly hate to say it but I think Castle is a bust as world champion. I was as big of a fan of his as anyone last year but things just haven’t clicked in 2018. None of his matches have stood out in any kind of memorable way. That’s not to say it’s all his fault. Nearly his entire reign has been overshadowed by Bullet Club drama and he had a cold pay-per-view match vs. Jay Lethal then another half-built encounter against Scurll. When Castle was at his peak it was when he was allowed to do a lot of character work (see his feud with Silas over custody of The Boys), which hasn’t been the case lately. I can’t remember his last real promo at this point. It’s disappointing and I fear that it’s more likely he drops the title to Scurll in the near future than it is that ROH gets him back on track and finds the right formula for Castle as champion.)
(9) THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The commentators relayed that Sabin and Shelley have been thinking of calling it quits as a tag team if they lose again tonight. Sabin all but confirmed this with a mic before the bell. Shelley said the Guns might have run out of bullets but it breaks his heart to see their tag team titles “around the waist of Bully Ray’s bitches.” Jay choked Shelley with his shirt. The Briscoes took turns working over Shelley. Mark hit Jay with a dropkick when Shelley moved. Tag to Sabin. Splashes on both brothers on the floor. Superplex on Mark to the floor from a crouching position on the guardrail. Shelley and Jay fought up the ramp. Mark exposed the concrete at ringside. Jay took a back body drop on the stage. Mark brought a steel chair into the ring. The Briscoes with a crucifix cutter to Sabin for two. Dream Sequence to Mark. Mark prevented Skull & Bones on Jay. Shelley prevented a Doomsday Device on Sabin. Mark prevented Made In Detroit. Shelley prevented a Jay Driller to Sabin. Jay Driller to Sabin while Mark had Shelley in a submission hold.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 12:59.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Refreshing to see the tag titles in the main event slot. We had a detailed discussion on the Apr.17 PWTorch Livecast edition of “Talking Honor” about tag team wrestling being treated as lesser to singles wrestling. With this being the only title match on the card tonight it makes sense for it to headline but also helps raise the prestige of the championship in that it’s still very rare for a tag match to headline a wrestling show in many promotions. Is this the end of the Machine Guns? They’re scheduled to face Coast 2 Coast tomorrow night so I guess we’ll find out then.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to the round-table PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor” every Tuesday.
Bully Ray’s status as enforcer was addressed at the last TV tapings. It should be airing in the next couple of weeks.