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DOJO PRO TV REPORT – S1E06
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 Joey Janela defeating Wheeler Yuta via a low blow. He talked about Brandon Cutler coming back to action after an extended hiatus.
-Video package on Joey Janela. He addressed Yuta and claimed he beat him clean in a straight-up wrestling match.
-Video package on Brandon Cutler. He grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California alongside The Young Bucks, who also trained him. Photos of Cutler wrestling with and against the Bucks in PWG and Matt Jackson’s High Risk Wrestling. Cutler stepped away from wrestling to get married and have kids. Now he feels like he can return, knowing he’s not missing out on anything by focusing on this.
Janela implied Cutler came back now because indie wrestling is all abuzz and he’s just trying to capitalize on that. Janela told him to go get a job in a hardware store.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Some nice smarmy work from Janela here. Cutler wrestled from 2005-2011 before stepping away. He returned to the ring this January for Alpha Omega Wrestling and has also competed for Maverick Pro Wrestling and Championship Wrestling From Hollywood since then.)
-Janela entered first to loud boos. Ring announcer Dominic Malnar handled the introductions. Cutler posed in the corner on the second rope. The referee is Mark Allen.
DOJO PRO WHITE BELT “BAD BOY” JOEY JANELA vs. BRANDON CUTLER
Janela with a headlock. Cutler rolled though and caught Janela in a headlock of his own. Janela with a wristlock, then Cutler with his own. Test of strength. Flying forearm from Cutler. Janela threw Cutler to the floor but couldn’t capitalize. Cutler hit ten punches in the corner but Janela put him down with a sit-out power bomb. Janela with running knees to Cutler seated in the corner. Janela looked for a superplex but Cutler fought out. Janela with a death valley driver in the center of the ring. Cutler with some kicks and a cobra clutch slam. German suplex from Janela and a package piledriver for two. Janela tore off his wrist tape. The referee discarded the tape. Enziguiri from Cutler, discus forearm from Janela. Discuss lariat puts down Cutler. Float-over suplex for another two on Cutler. Superkick to the Bucks’ protégé. Top rope double stomp for the clean win.
WINNER: Joey Janela in 11:06 to retain the Dojo Pro White Belt.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A surprising clean finish, which the fans were not pleased about. Janela got to show off more here than he did in his first appearance despite this match being almost half the length. He’s easily the standout star of the first half of the series.)
-Janela will defend the white belt against the veteran James Storm on the next episode. Interviewer Rob Johnston joined Janela in the ring. Storm wasn’t ranked sixth. Rather the #6 slot was assigned from start as a slot for a veteran competitor and Storm was the man given that opportunity. Janela stole the mic from Johnston and threatened him just like Gunner Miller did. Janela said Storm was relevant in 2003 but it’s 2018 and Janela’s name is all over the internet now. He said no good wrestlers ever came out of Tennessee. He took shots at Jerry Lawler and PG-13. He said Storm comes from a long lineage of Tennessee wrestling disasters with $5 to their names. They show up in the Memphis tabloids and everyone goes “I remember when that guy was cool but now he’s a mess.” Johnston tried to take the microphone back. When Janela wouldn’t hand over the mic the producers cut his audio. Janela left in a huff.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Again, a solid performance from Janela. It’s hard to tell whether the fans are legitimate wrestling fans reacting to what’s being presented or a studio audience told what to chant and when to cheer and boo. There’s some sort of disconnect there where their involvement always feels a little phony and a little insincere.
We’re halfway through the season now and the formula they’ve got locked down is serviceable. I actually think this series might appeal more to someone who’s never watched wrestling before than someone who is a long-time established fan. It’s all pretty paint-by-numbers, which I can’t help finding a little disappointing. Any time a new promotion or a new wrestling TV show launches I’m very excited to see how they present things and what they do differently from the established conventions and here the answer is… nothing. It’s also an odd way to present the roster. We’re halfway through the series and we’ve only seen one of the top six seeds one time. This would have been a great opportunity for Storm to come out and confront Janela but instead the first appearance of Storm will be next week minutes before his match. That’s been the case with almost everyone in the gauntlet. The top seeds like Strickland and MJF should feel like big time superstars looming over everything so that, by the time we finally get to see them wrestle, it’s like the final boss reveal at the end of a video game or movie. Instead we know nothing about them and someone like Wheeler Yuta will probably end up appearing on more episodes than they do.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”