DOJO PRO TV REPORT (Season 1, Episode 5): “Bad Boy” Joey Janela vs. White Belt

By Harley R. Pageot, PWTorch contributor

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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.

Opening video.

-In the studio Matt Lott recapped Wheeler Yuta defeating Corey Hollis to become the first person to successfully defend the white belt. He spoke about Joey Janela challenging this week. Lott said some people think Janela’s ranked too low on the list but many industry leaders feel Janela’s extreme style and disregard for his own well-being may be more of a liability than a strength.

-Video package on Wheeler Yuta. He said it means a lot to be the first person to successfully defend the white belt. He didn’t know much about Hollis but was able to beat him anyway. Janela doesn’t care about his own health but he has a goal and Yuta intends to apply what he learned facing Hollis.

-Video package on Joey Janela. People call him a crash test dummy or a stuntman but anywhere he goes he can have a five-star match. People overlook him because he gets thrown off buildings and hit by cars and has his face smashed by a bundle of light bulbs but he can go hold for hold with any technical wrestler.

Yuta said people think Janela’s a mad man but there’s a method to his madness. Yuta just has to find counters in Janela’s controlled chaos and look for his fatal flaw, like he did against Gunner Miller. Janela said he’s very disappointed at being ranked #8. He’s one of the biggest indie wrestling stars in the world. Do they discriminate against him because of what goes viral? Yuta said you always have to be concerned when you’re facing someone who doesn’t care about their own safety. Janela said Yuta always delivers but Yuta’s a pinch hitter and Janela’s a home run derby king.

(Pageot’s Perspective: I like the explanation provided by Lott as to why Janela’s ranked low on the list. It fits with the polarizing reactions Janela receives from fans and critics, gives him something to tick him off and light a fire under him, and creates an opportunity for us to see some star power in the first half of this series run rather than having to wait until we hit the top six. The more I see Yuta the more I’m slowly being won over by him even if he doesn’t have a strong personality. This is my first time seeing Janela wrestle but I’ve heard a lot about him so I’m very intrigued. The promos here would imply we’re about to see a violent hardcore match, though, and somehow I doubt that’s the case.

Janela hails from Asbury Park, New Jersey and famously had no formal training in wrestling. He competes for many different promotions including Evolve, PWG, CZW, Progress, and Beyond.)

-Yuta entered first. Janela wore his signature sunglasses and jacket. Ring announcer Dominic Malnar handled the introductions while Janela ran a lap around him and posed on the middle rope. The referee is Justin King.


Janela wrestled Yuta to the mat and looked for a submission but Yuta rolled free. More mat wrestling ending with Janela locking in a figure four on Yuta. “Janela wrapping up the legs” was the call Warzecha provided. Yuta managed to turn the hold over and Janela reached the ropes to break. Slow going in the early minutes. Yuta with a rolling senton over the rope from the apron. Arm drag, body slam, back senton from Yuta got him a two-count at 6:00. Slingshot on Janela ran his throat into the bottom rope. Bow and arrow hold from Yuta. Release German suplex from Janela. Daniel Bryan kicks to Yuta’s chest with Yuta in a kneeling position. Yuta with some stomps in the corner. Yuta looked for a tombstone piledriver but Janela threw Yuta throat-first into the ropes. Janela dumped to the floor. Suicide dive by Yuta but Janela caught him with an armbar on the floor. Lott reminded us that Hollis targeted Yuta’s arm in the last match (however long ago that was). Janela looked for a top rope moonsault but Yuta moved. Yuta fired up and went on a run, ending with a slam to Janela for a two-count. Yuta chopped Janela on the apron. Janela raked his eyes and hit a death valley driver on the apron. Yuta met Janela on the top rope. Superplex but Yuta was too exhausted to make a cover at 15:30 as this is now the longest match in the gauntlet thus far. Springboard somersault from Yuta to Janela on the floor. High crossbody from Yuta from the top rope but Janela rolled through for a two-count. Yuta hit The Painthriller for another near-fall. Yuta flexed his hurt arm. Knee to the face. Suplex. Yuta went up top for his elbow drop but he landed on his feet and fell over into an armbar from Janela. Yuta escaped and locked in the cloverleaf crossface that he beat Hollis with. Janela made it to the ropes. Janela grabbed the ropes to avoid a German or dragon suplex. Out of the referee’s sightline he threw his right leg backward, low blowing Yuta, and followed with a superkick.

WINNER: Joey Janela in 19:14 to capture the Dojo Pro White Belt.

-Janela left with the white belt. The crowd applauded as Yuta sat up in the ring. Janela will defend the white belt against Brandon Cutler on the next episode.

(Pageot’s Perspective: An okay match that became a good match in the final third. It felt totally disconnected from their pre-match promos, though. All of the selling points going into this were about how insane and reckless Janela is and how he doesn’t care about his own safety and he wrestled a fairly typical match. If anything, Yuta was more reckless than Janela with the springboards and suicide dive. The death valley driver on the apron was the only real moment I could point to that showed Janela being “dangerous.” Janela winning was expected, though, and the prospect of him possibly facing James Storm on episode 7 is an interesting one.

I haven’t mentioned commentator Marc Warzecha much in previous reports but he stood out on this episode as really being in need of a play-by-play partner. He’s fine at explaining who these men are and reminding us of the stories in play but he rarely calls moves and often seems unsure what certain submissions are called. Having an established wrestler with him to handle the calling of the actual action and providing someone to discuss things with would make a big difference.)

Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”

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