SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Jonathan Gresham vs. Flip Gordon: Good match between Gordon and Gresham. I was intrigued by who would get the win. I would say for the most part no one had the upper hand and it was back and forth with both trading who was on the offensive. We got a nice series of chops and forearms at the midway point of the match that fans were invested in. Nice back and forth also as we work towards the finish that ended with a Pele kick from Gordon and then Star-Spangled Stunner from Gordon on to Gresham that looked nice. Nice match to start the show but the story of this came after with, you guessed it, Bully Ray. More on that later.
Kelly Klein vs. Deonna Purrazzo: Very nice job of airing the finish and drama between Klein and Purrazzo over the last few months as they went to commercial break. After the commercial break and after the recap of King and Aries mentioned below, Purrazzo hit the ring in jeans and a t-shirt and immediately attacked Klein without waiting for a formal introduction of the match. As the two rolled back into the ring, the referee called for the bell to officially start the match. Based on the news about Purrazzo signing with WWE, I assumed Klein would be the victor of this match. With that said, I thought these two had a nice fight where Purrazzo was intense and ready for a serious fight. Purrazzo appeared to have the win, unfortunately, the referee took a fall right before Purrazzo pinned Klein for easily a 5 count. Purrazzo then got Klein in a Fujiwara Arm Bar but Klein reversed it into a choke hold and Purrazzo taps out. Purrazzo being on the way out is a little sad. In my eyes, she helped build this division when it was basically just YouTube matches on WOH. Sure, there was the occasional time when twice per year there were WOH episodes but the WOH were usually never weaved into the regular episodes until this year. I hate to see Deonna go. Now, I do not know if she is on TV in any of the upcoming TV tapings since I do not watch ahead but if this is her last match, I wish her nothing but the best in WWE. It is a tough loss for ROH and the WOH division, but no one can blame Purrazzo for making the move she is making.
Recap of Austin Aries vs. Silas Young: This was very short as Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana walk us through the last minute or so of the finish and the aftermath with Aries attacking Todd Sinclair and Kenny King. This was good. If you missed last week, you got a nice snippet of what happened.
Jay Lethal Promo: Lethal announces at Best in the World that he will face Kushida. This will be the third time that Lethal and Kushida will battle at Best in the World. As of now, both have a victory. I like the draw of a third match between the two and who comes away the winner in the series. While there has not been a big build to this, I think it is a good match to have at Best in the World.
Dalton Castle and The Boys Promo: This was just as quick as the one above from Lethal. Castle is short and to the point and says that Cody and Marty Scurll should fear him. Nothing spectacular but Castle made his point heading towards Best in the World.
The Briscoes (Mark and Jay Briscoe) ROH World Tag Team Champions vs. Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh): Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman mentioned at the start of the match that Roppongi 3K looked different than the last time we saw them. I wish they would have mentioned that they were formerly known as The Tempura Boyz. It made me wonder if for some reason they purposely did not say their old name and if they did I guess I missed it. The crowd was into this match from the start which seems to be the case for all Briscoes matches. Roppongi 3K really looked good in this match. Lots of nice exchanges throughout. Late in the match Jay hit Sho with a superplex followed by Mark’s big elbow off the top but Sho kicked out and the crowd went nuts as Coleman really built up how much these guys have improved since we last saw them in ROH. While I knew The Briscoes would win, I felt like this was one of these matches where you could get invested in even if you figured Roppongi 3K would eventually lose. Unfortunately for Roppongi 3K, there was a bit of a distraction finish when Jay Briscoe threw in a chair. The chair did not hit anyone, but Todd Sinclair goes to get the chair and removes it from the ring. With Sinclair’s back turned, Mark punts Yoh in the groin. Jay is tagged in and hits Sho with the Jay Driller. Jay pins Sho and The Briscoes defeat Roppongi 3K for the win to retain the ROH World Tag Team Titles. A really solid main event from these four guys that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Bully Ray: If this is your first column of mine that you are reading, please see any of the previous ones for a recap about my feelings towards the entirety of the Bully Ray storyline. Just when you think it will not get any worse, it does. Bully Ray comes out at the end of the match with Gordon vs. Gresham. As mentioned above, Gordon had just defeated Gresham. Bully tells Gordon that he found out recently that Gordon’s family was from Montana. Bully’s mother and father always wanted to retire and move to Montana. Unfortunately, Bully’s mother died from cancer before this could happen. As Bully was trying to buy property in Montana for his father, his father died. Bully then gives photos of his parents to Gordon and says that they could have been neighbors with the Gordon family. Bully then pulls out the military card by saying how much respect that he has for the military and for Gordon for serving. Bully goes to shake Gordon’s hand and says he has no heat going forward, they shake hands and just as expected Bully Ray punts Gordon in the groin which makes Gordon look like the dumbest wrestler in the promotion. Bully Ray continues this ridiculous and terrible act. What makes matters even worse is that this made Flip Gordon look stupid. Why would Flip Gordon trust Bully Ray after all that Bully Ray has done over the last few months? There is nothing honorable or trustworthy about Bully Ray at this point. Bully could tell me he just lost 100 members of his family to cancer. I would roll out the ring a tell him you have my condolences but there is no way I am shaking his hand after all of the stupidity Bully has pulled. In this instance, Flip should have stared down Bully and retreated without a response. There is no reason for Gordon to trust Bully at this point after all he has done. Once again, the entire Bully Ray storyline is up there with worse angle of the year and it leads by a few light years because it makes no sense.
The opening match was solid between Gresham and Gordon. I also thought Purrazzo and Klein was good and the main with The Briscoes vs. Roppongi 3K was a solid main event. Bully Ray making Gordon look stupid was terrible though. Gordon is a young talent and making him look like a moron does not help Gordon at all. Even if this ends with Gordon defeating Bully somewhere down the line, Gordon still should have never been sympathetic towards Bully after all that Bully has done recently.
Mike Mills is the PWTorch.com ROH TV Hits and Misses Specialist, providing his point of view on ROH TV weekly. You can follow Mike at @BTT_Podcast and @Mike504Saints on Twitter and you can check out his old school wrestling podcasts at tinyurl.com/BTTPod
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: ROH HITS & MISSES 6/4: Young vs. Aries For The ROH World TV Title, Karen Q vs. Dashwood, Cody and Scurll Confrontation