ROH TV REPORT
JUNE 10, 2018
CHICAGO, IL AT ODEUM EXPO CENTER
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
[Q1] Opening theme.
-Flip Gordon did a picture-in-picture promo telling people to enjoy the ride.
(1) JONATHAN GRESHAM vs. FLIP GORDON
Even back and forth action in the early minutes. Gresham hit a hard Irish whip into the corner and locked in The Octopus before eventually breaking the hold. Gordon hit a springboard splash off the top rope onto Gresham on the floor. [C]
They traded chops and forearms out of the break. Gordon blocked a springboard DDT attempt into a falcon arrow. Gresham with an enziguiri; Gordon with a Pele kick. Star-Spangled Stunner from Gordon did it.
WINNER: Flip Gordon in 8:51.
-Bully Ray stormed the ring while Gordon was celebrating. Gordon put his dukes up but Ray told him to calm down. Ray said he discovered some things recently that changed his perception of Gordon. He didn’t know his family was from Montana, which is where Ray’s parents always wanted to retire. 15 years ago his mom passed away from cancer. When she died he was in the process of buying his dad a ranch in Montana. His dad had a heart attack and died in the process. He pulled some photos of his parents out of his pockets and gave them to Gordon. Their families could have been neighbors. Ray also recently found out Gordon was in the army. Anyone who knows Ray knows how he feels about veterans. He might not agree with how Gordon came up in the wrestling business but in life he will show Gordon the respect he deserves. Ray claimed they have zero heat. Some fans applauded. They shook hands. Gordon gave Ray his photos back and Ray kicked him in the balls. Gordon crumbled on the mat while Ray laughed. “Do you know who I am? I’m Bully Ray and, Flip, you’re nothing but a stupid young boy.”
(Pageot’s Perspective: A nice little match telling the story of two of the young rookies on the roster matching their dissimilar styles up against each other while still being evenly matched. It continues to be disappointing that more isn’t being done with Gresham but he always excels in the few moments that he’s given. The Ray promo was interesting in that it gave us much more of substance than we’ve gotten from him in months, although there was no reconciliation between his promo and turning on Flip again at the end. What does the story of his parents have to do with him hating Flip? Why tell that story? Just to bait and switch him? He could have kicked him in the crotch without the story and achieved the same effect. It felt like we were getting a personal issue incorporated into the Ray-Gordon feud but instead we’re left with the same thing we had all along – Ray is a bully who likes to take cheap shots at the kids.)
-Video package on the Deonna Purrazzo vs. Kelly Klein feud from the early beginnings last year up to recent altercations on the Honor Club live events. [C]
-Video recap of last week’s show closing angle where Kenny King inadvertently cost Austin Aries the television title and Aries subsequently kicked King and referee Todd Sinclair in the balls.
(2) “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN vs. “THE VIRTUOSA” DEONNA PURRAZZO
Purrazzo speared Klein through the ropes before the bell and they brawled at ringside. They eventually rolled into the ring to officially start the match. Purrazzo with a side Russian leg sweep and an armbar attempt but Klein avoided it. Klein hit a Samoan drop on the floor. [C]
Notably Purrazzo is competing in jeans and a t-shirt, presumably to indicate that she’s not here to wrestle but to fight. Purrazzo with a kick to the gut and a float-over suplex. She transitioned into the Fujiwara armbar but Klein hit the bottom rope with her foot. Klein took over and sat Purrazzo on the top turnbuckle. She hit a fallaway slam from the second rope to a nice round of applause but Purrazzo kicked out at two. As they jockeyed for position the ref got bumped. Purrazzo had a pin but he wasn’t able to count it. The ref recovered and Purrazzo locked in the Fujiwara only for Klein to transition into End Of The Match. Purrazzo tapped.
WINNER: Kelly Klein in 9:38.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Klein winning was expected as she’s likely next in line for a shot at Sumie Sakai and her WOH World Championship. The match was hard-hitting and nicely paced but the ref bump felt unnecessary. I also can’t help but be disappointed at the length of this one. I praised last week’s Dashwood vs. Q match for being the first time in months that a women’s match went longer than ten minutes. Call me gullible but I actually came into tonight’s show thinking there was a chance this could be an epic 20-minute main event. I mean it was positioned as the final blow-off to a feud that’s continued for well over a year. So why not? Meanwhile it’s unclear whether or not this is Purrazzo’s final ROH match. She’s expected to report to NXT sometime in July and isn’t advertised for the three upcoming June events, though I don’t know if she appeared at the last set of TV tapings as I avoid spoilers.)
-Jay Lethal was backstage to make the announcement he was supposed to close the show with last week before Aries’ shenanigans caused us to run out of time. At Best In The World it’s him vs. Kushida per his request. He defeated Kushida in 2014 at War Of The Worlds. In 2017 at War Of The Worlds Kushida beat him. This is the rubber match and he’s going to prove that he’s the best wrestler in the world. [C]
-ROH World Champion Dalton Castle & The Boys were backstage. He asked if he should be scared of Marty Scurll and Cody teaming up against him at Best In The World. They should fear him.
-Caprice Coleman joined the commentary team for the main event.
(3) THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. ROPPONGI 3K (Sho & Yoh) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Briscoes double-teamed Yoh out of the gate with some strong offense. [C]
Mark hit Sho with some forearms but Sho caught him with a dropkick as he was coming off the top rope. Jay tagged in and took over. More double-teaming behind the ref’s back as he worked to keep Yoh out of the ring. Yoh got the hot tag finally and hit a big spear on Mark. Superkick + German suplex combo from Roppongi. Mark hit a big lariat on Yoh. [C]
The Briscoes got a two-count on Yoh but Sho broke up the pin. Jay with a superplex on Yoh and Mark followed with a froggy elbow from the top rope but Yoh kicked out to a huge reaction from the fans and the commentators. Mark tried for a second rope Razor’s Edge on Yoh but Sho helped prevent it. Sho tagged in and Roppongi were a house of fire on Mark. They hit a double-team move on Mark but he kicked out at two and a half. Lungblower and dropkick combo on Mark. Jay threw a chair into the ring. As referee Todd Sinclair threw the chair out Mark kicked Sho in the balls and locked in a rear naked choke on Yoh. Jay hit the Jay Driller on Sho for the pin.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 14:04 to retain the tag titles.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Apologies for the brief coverage here. Things were happening in my apartment during the match and the live stream I was watching on doesn’t offer pausing or rewind functions. ROH didn’t give the audience any real reason to invest in Roppongi 3K or even know who they are as they haven’t appeared regularly since their enhancement days as The Tempura Boyz. Despite this, the match effortlessly won the crowd over and things were very loud in the arena. Then the finish.
I’m done tiptoeing around this. Emily Fear and I already went into detail about our feelings on this on the May 29th episode of our PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.” In past editions of this report I’ve used euphemisms like Steve Corino’s “right in the ding-dings” or synonyms like crotch or groin but I’m tired. Every cheap low blow usage like this is ROH kicking their fans in the balls so let’s just call it that. We had three segments on this show and two featured guys getting kicked in the balls. We also had a video recap of last week’s show closing angle that featured two guys getting kicked in the balls. The number of lazy, cop-out, low blow finishes that we’ve had in the past month, tallied up over all of the TV episodes and live Honor Club events, is easily in the double digits by now if not the high teens. There has to be another way for heels to get heat. There have to be other possible finishes in the wrestling playbook that they can consider. We should not see someone get kicked in the balls every week on a wrestling show. We especially should not see it happen multiple times every week. Think of something else.)
-Nothing was advertised for next week’s show.