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DOJO PRO TV REPORT – S1E02
RELEASED JULY 9, 2018
TAPED IN NASHVILLE, TN
AVAILABLE IN THE U.S. AND U.K. THROUGH AMAZON PRIME
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Marc Warzecha
DOJO PRO presents the ultimate professional wrestling opportunity. A gauntlet competition in which 13 independent wrestlers fight their way up the ladder. The winner of each match receives the Dojo Pro White Belt and continues on. At the top, the Dojo Pro Black Belt, and a shot at the Ring Of Honor World Television Championship.
-In the studio Matt Lott recapped Kevin Ku’s submission victory over Kerry Awful on the first episode to become the first holder of the Dojo Pro White Belt as well as Jeff Cobb showing up and accosting a fan. He transitioned into Ku’s defense this week against Gunner Miller.
-Video package on Kevin Ku. He spoke about how amazing it feels to be the first to hold the white belt as highlights played of last episode’s match.
-Video package on Gunner Miller. He’s been wrestling for four years out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was a football team captain from 2009-2013 and led his team to a southern conference championship. While playing football he painted his face in homage to the Ultimate Warrior to pump himself up and give him a psychological edge. An article was published about this which led to Warrior himself calling Miller and them striking up a friendship. It was Warrior who guided Miller into wrestling. Last year he was ranked the #1 wrestler in Georgia by his peers, which “is what should have happened.”
Ku said he knows a lot about Miller. They’ve wrestled in Georgia but Ku assumes Miller doesn’t like him. Miller said it’s not that he dislikes him, he just doesn’t care about him one way or another. All he cares about is himself. Ku said he’s been in tournaments and iron man matches so this gauntlet is nothing new to him. Miller said he’ll pummel Ku to prove a point. Ku said he doesn’t care about the size difference because the bigger they are…
(Pageot’s Perspective: Ku continues to come across well as a no-nonsense babyface who believes in himself and refuses to be intimidated. Miller’s connection to Warrior is a good story and does a great job of establishing why he made the switch from football to wrestling. Unlike a lot of other athletes-turned-wrestlers it wasn’t about the money or the celebrity. Rather, he’s a lifelong wrestling fan who was encouraged to give this a go after being mentored by his idol. But he’s still arrogant and dismissive so no fears of us wanting to root for him.
Miller was trained by Ace Rockwell and competes often for Anarchy Wrestling, Nova Pro Wrestling, and Platinum Championship Wrestling.)
-Ku made his entrance first with the white belt around his waist. Miller received boos before even appearing. He was dressed in plain black trunks, knee pads, and boots, the complete opposite of Warrior’s gear in every way. “Go away” chant from the crowd. Ring announcer Dominic Malnar handled the introductions. Miller did a high jump into the air to show off his athleticism. Ku held up the white belt. The referee is Justin King.
DOJO PRO WHITE BELT KEVIN KU vs. “THE PEOPLE’S CAPTAIN” GUNNER MILLER
Lock-up. Miller drove Ku into the corner so Ku shoved him off. “C for Coward” chant from the crowd in reference to the C for captain on the back of Miller’s trunks. Ku struck and dodged with a few kicks. Miller smacked him so Ku knocked him to the floor. Ku went for a suicide dive but mostly just landed on his feet next to Miller. He went for another, which Miller sort of caught. Belly to belly suplex to Ku on the floor and Miller threw him into the ring posts. Miller worked over Ku with blows in the ring. Ku tried to come back but Miller hit him with a back elbow as he came off the ropes. Miller clubbed Ku some more across the chest. Suplex to Ku for a two-count. He ran his shoulder into Ku’s gut repeatedly in the corner. Ku fired up with a series of slaps across Miller’s chest and shoulder but a lariat put him back down. Miller slapped Ku again, which woke him up. Ku with some running uppercuts in the corner but he ate a stinger splash from Miller. Enziguiri from Ku. Dragon suplex. Kick to the side of the head but it only got him a one-count. Octopus stretch from Ku into a roll-up for two. Kick to the back of Miller’s head. Float-over suplex. Ku looked for a moonsault but landed on his feet instead. Miller speared him and followed with a jackhammer à la Goldberg. Rather than go for the pin, though, he elected to lift Ku to his feet and turn him inside out with a clothesline. The referee stopped the match in the interest of Ku’s well-being.
WINNER: Gunner Miller in 9:56 by referee stoppage to capture the Dojo Pro White Belt.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Miller definitely wrestles like a former football player. Lots of clubbing blows and he even uses Goldberg two finishing moves. For all the talk of Warrior’s influence on him he came across kind of plain and unmemorable here but I get that it’s a tough line to walk. You can’t really have a heel come out painted up and colorful. I’m a little disappointed to see Ku go already but it puts over the toughness of starting at the bottom of a gauntlet match. None of our bottom seven have a chance of winning this thing anyway because you know whomever ends up facing James Storm is going down to the veteran.)
-Miller will defend the white belt against Wheeler Yuta on the next episode. Interviewer Rob Johnston joined Miller in the ring. He asked if the match went the way Miller expected. Miller ripped the microphone away from Johnston and told him to shut up before badgering him out of the ring. “I am Dojo Pro,” Miller said before heading backstage. Ku was seen regaining consciousness and rolling to ringside as Warzecha put him over and the crowd applauded. Ku collapsed on the ramp. No sign of any of our top ten seeds this time around.
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”