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ROH TV REPORT
MAY 13, 2018
PITTSBURGH, PA AT STAGE AE
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, BJ Whitmer
[Q1] Opening theme.
(1) “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN vs. MADISON RAYNE
Klein had no interest in the code of honor. Rayne got a couple roll-ups in the early moments. Klein clotheslined her in the corner and hit a running big boot. [C]
Klein choked Rayne on the second rope in the corner until the referee made her separate. Suplex on the floor. As Klein tried to re-enter the ring Rayne dropkicked her off the apron. Ripcord cutter from Rayne for two. Rayne Drop but Klein kicked out at two. Klein with a firewoman’s carry slam. Rayne charged in the corner but took the post. Klein followed with a knee strike to the chin.
WINNER: Kelly Klein in 8:14.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I don’t know why it is but there’s just something about the majority of the Women In Honor matches where they’re noticeably slower than not only the men’s matches but also the women’s matches in Impact Wrestling and WWE. The storytelling and execution is there but there’s a fluidity missing, almost like an extended pause between every move. Klein getting the clean win over a known name in wrestling is obviously a notch in her belt and further solidifies her as one of the top four names in the WOH division.)
-SoCal Uncensored (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian, & Scorpio Sky) were backstage. Despite the shenanigans of The Kingdom SCU are still the six-man tag team champions. (Actually, they’re not. They lost the titles to The Kingdom on Wednesday at War Of The Worlds: Lowell.) Next week they face the Bullet Club. [C]
[Q2] Jay Lethal was backstage. He faces Punishment Martinez next week and listed all of Martinez’s size advantages but said this is a pro wrestling match. Martinez defeated Lethal back in November at Survival Of The Fittest and next week Lethal’s getting the win back on his quest for redemption.
-The Motor City Machine Guns were already in the ring. Chris Sabin said that their goal when they reunited was to win the ROH tag titles, which they did. They don’t have the belts anymore, though. So what’s next? Should they shake hands and go their separate ways? Should they stay together and prove they’re the best tag team there’s ever been? They don’t know but Sabin assured Shelley he’s his brother for life. They hugged. Alex Shelley was about to speak when he was interrupted.
The Dawgs made their entrance. Rhett Titus said that his favorite movie as a kid was Old Yeller and sometimes you need to put Old Yeller out to pasture. They attacked the Guns as Titus called for referee Todd Sinclair.
(2) MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) vs. THE DAWGS (Rhett Titus & Will Ferrara)
The Dawgs were quickly clotheslined and dumped to the floor. Sabin with a suicide dive on both men. Sabin with a back elbow on Ferrara in the corner. Double-team moves from the Guns on Ferrara. Titus jumped in but Ferrara rescued him from Dream Sequence. Ferrara hit a tornado DDT on Sabin on the floor. Titus followed with a flip over the ropes. [C]
Titus threw Ferrara shoulder-first into Shelley in the corner. Ferrara went for a suicide dive but Shelley moved and he took out Titus. Sabin followed with a splash onto both men. Missile dropkick to Titus in the ring. Kick from the apron to Ferrara. Dream Sequence to Titus. Sabin ran Shelley into the guard rail. Titus with a backbreaker and gutwrench snake eyes. Big boot and dawgy-splash but Shelley broke up the pin. Ferrara fought to keep Shelley on the floor as Titus sat Sabin on the top rope. Titus wound up in the tree of woe. He took a low dropkick from Shelley, had Ferrara thrown at him, and then another dropkick from Sabin. Skull & Bones from the Guns on Titus.
WINNERS: Motor City Machine Guns in 8:23.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Well, if they’re not losing to The Dawgs maybe things aren’t quite as dire for the Machine Guns as they felt. I agree with a lot of viewers that they’ve been vanilla as a tag team lately but things would likely be worse for them as singles acts. On the PWTorch livecast “Talking Honor” Emily Fear and I threw out the idea of Shelley and Sabin hooking up with their former Search & Destroy stablemate Jonathan Gresham again and going after the six-man titles. All three men could likely benefit from the change of scenery a new division provides and feuds with SCU and The Kingdom might help coax some more personality out of these guys.)
-The Young Bucks were in the Bullet Club backstage area. Tonight two of the best tag teams in ROH history face off for the titles. Nick said they’re going to become four-time ROH tag team champions; Matt said they’re going to prove they’re the greatest of all time.
-A short Punishment Martinez vignette aired to promote his match with Jay Lethal next week. [C]
[Q3] The next match may or may not have been the start of the 2018 Top Prospect Tournament. Out first were Façade and Danni from Port Vue, Pennsylvania. He’s the neon ninja and wore neon green and gears including a bandana and hood over dyed blond dreadlocks. He carried a “Go Ninja Go!” sign, which he spray-painted at ringside. Danni was dressed in matching green and blue women’s wrestling gear and could pass as Summer Rae’s younger sister. They got a picture-in-picture promo in front of a wall of graffiti. Façade said he’s traveled all over the world and listed a slew of places including Malaysia, Russia, and India. He squirted a can of spray-paint as Danni looked on.
His opponent was Future Of Honor star Eli Isom. He’s a student of the ROH Dojo and we’ve seen him on television a couple times this year in enhancement roles. Isom got a picture-in-picture promo as well in front of a white wall. “Good lord, have mercy” he began. It’s about time he got his shot. By the time he’s done tonight everybody in the arena is going to be yelling “sheesh”(?).
(3) “THE NEON NINJA” FAÇADE (w/Danni) vs. ELI ISOM – 2018 TOP PROSPECT TOURNAMENT???
Façade with a quick roll-up. Isom avoided a springboard backflip off the second rope from Façade. Roll-up exchanges from both men. The hometown crowd chanted “go ninja, go ninja, go” for Façade. Isom with some leapfrogs over Façade and he caught him with a knee. Running European uppercut in the corner. Façade caught Isom with a springboard kick to the face. Gutwrench backbreaker from Isom. Release northern lights suplex and a kip-up. Façade caught with him a kick as he approached the ropes, though. Façade hit a double springboard 450 clotheslines on Isom on the floor. Façade ran the top rope and hit a single-leg dropkick on Isom in the ring. Isom kicked out at two. Bully Ray hit the ring and clotheslined Façade.
WINNER: No contest in 4:39.
-Ray dumped Isom out of the ring as Danni checked on Façade. Ray stared her down and dumped Façade too as the crowd chanted for Cheeseburger. Ray had the hood of his sweatshirt up and his baseball cap on the entire time, shadowing his face from the cameras. He grabbed a mic. As enforcer of ROH he’s enforcing his right to fire the both of them. He called them young boy bottom-feeders who don’t deserve a job in wrestling and told them to never show up here again. The commentators were fairly certain he can’t do that.
Cheeseburger hit the ring. He and Ray circled each other. Burger said he respected and trusted Ray. He went face to face with Ray and told him he’s a piece of shit. The last word was bleeped and Whitmer said he’ll be fined $100 for that. The fans popped. Ray grabbed Burger by the throat and choke slammed him.
ROH COO Joe Koff walked out on stage with a mic. “You’re so proud of yourself, aren’t you?” Koff said that other wrestlers and other promotions warned him about Ray but he gave him a chance. Koff told Ray that he’s done. Ray said that if he’s fired as enforcer, then he’s officially unretired. He put on his WWE Hall Of Fame ring. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Riccaboni mentioned earlier in the show that we would be getting the start of the 2018 Top Prospect Tournament tonight but no brackets were shown here and with the non-finish I find it hard to believe this will be noted as the official first match. Maybe we get a rematch between these two in the next couple weeks? They’re both worthy entrants. Façade has a distinct look and busted out a couple impressive moves. Danni didn’t get a chance to do anything but there’s always potential there obviously. Isom looked okay as well. His promo made me think a pairing of Isom with Caprice Coleman as his manager could be a great fit.
The Bully Ray stuff again suffers from ROH’s disjointed schedule. We just saw Ray “wrestle” two matches on the War Of The Worlds tour this week before this episode aired so the announcement here that he’s coming out of retirement lost a bit of its oomph. At least he’s finally officially been removed as “enforcer” but logic says that Koff now needs to find a new authority figure, right? I don’t think so and I think ROH is better off without one but if Koff kayfabe needed someone to enforce the rules in the company before Ray came along then he should need someone even more now that Ray is adding to that chaos.)
-Cody, Marty Scurll, and Hangman Page were in the Bullet Club backstage area. Cody said that he hates Christopher Daniels. Page said that he’s always hated Frankie Kazarian. Scurll said he’s okay with Scorpio Sky. No, wait, he despises SoCal Uncensored. Cody said that after they beat SCU next week they should get a shot at the six-man tag titles. He and Scurll again bickered about who’s challenging Dalton Castle for the world title at Best In The World while Page tried to keep them on track with the promo being focused on SCU.
[Q4] The brother duos made their entrance for the main event.
(4) THE BRISCOES (Mark Briscoe & Jay Briscoe) vs. THE YOUNG BUCKS (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Briscoes threw two steel chairs into the ring before the bell. As referee Todd Sinclair removed one from the ring, the Briscoes attacked. Jay got the better of Matt, stomping away at his bad back, while Nick grabbed the second chair and threw it at Mark, bouncing it off his head. The men paired off and brawled on the floor as the bell rang. Riccaboni reminded us that The Briscoes are up 7-4 in their past ROH encounters but the Bucks won three out of the four most recent matches including the last two. The Bucks hit stereo dives onto the Briscoes on the floor. Stereo apron bombs to the Briscoes. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: I love the statistics. It really sells this as a big sports rivalry between two teams that goes back years and makes this feel like a legit competition.)
Mark had the advantage on Matt out of the break. Matt hit a desperation spear. Tag to Nick. Kicks and elbows to both Briscoes. Bulldog + clothesline combo. Superkick party. Top rope splash from Nick and standing moonsault from Matt on Mark for a two count. Mark with a running chop on Nick. Tag to Matt. Superkick and sharpshooter. Jay shoved Nick into them to break it up. Jay with a sharpshooter on Nick while Mark put Matt in a chokehold. Jay gave the finger to the fans. Redneck Boogie to Matt but he kicked out. “This is awesome” chant. Doomsday Device to Matt but he landed on his feet. Jay Driller but Matt kicked out! “ROH” chant. Matt rolled up Jay for a two. Matt got Jay up for a Meltzer Driver but before Nick could springboard into the ring Mark cracked him across the back with a steel chair.
WINNERS: The Young Bucks in 7:55 by disqualification. The Briscoes retain.
-They wrapped the chair around Matt’s knee as Jay hit Nick over the head with a second chair. Mark reached over the guard rail into the crowd and stole more chairs from the fans, tossing them into the ring. More chair shots to Matt. The commentators wondered where the rest of Bullet Club were. Double superplex from the Briscoes to Matt onto a pile of chairs.
In anticipation of a BC save Mark ran up onto the stage and hid in the shadows with a chair. As Hangman Page and Flip Gordon ran out to help Mark lunged out of the wings and blasted them both with chair shots. Cody hit the ring with a chair and jabbed both Briscoes in the guts with a chair only for Mark to choke him with his belt from behind as Jay blasted Cody with a chair to the head.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Loved all of this. The match that we got was great, even if it was just a taste tease for what will inevitably be a crazy war between the two teams for the tag titles at Best In The World. The Briscoes taking the cheap DQ finish fits their characters perfectly as does the post-match assault. Mark foreseeing a Bullet Club save and hiding in the shadows to cut them off was brilliant. Any time people on wrestling television show that they have an actual knowledge of how wrestling scenarios typically play out is A+ in my book. The most interesting part of all is who tried to make the save. Hangman, Flip, and Cody fell in an effort to help the Bucks while Marty Scurll was nowhere to be seen. It’s clear Cody and Scurll are butting heads going into Best In The World but all assumptions would have had Cody as the heel and Scurll as a tweener. Yet Cody was heroic here, putting himself in harm’s way for his stable mates while Marty was missing in action. Very curious.)
-Next week: it’s Jay Lethal vs. Punishment Martinez and SoCal Uncensored vs. Cody, Marty Scurll, & Hangman Page.