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DOJO PRO TV REPORT – S1E011
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 Aaron Solow defeating MJF. The winner of this episode’s match advances to the season finale and the final match against Jeff Cobb for the Dojo Pro Black Belt.
-Backstage with Solow. He spoke about it feeling good to pin someone but even better to make someone tap. He’s hurt but insists he’ll be fine. He thinks Strickland is the most creative guy he’s ever seen in the ring.
-Video package on Shane Strickland. He’s the international king of swerve. Swerve is confidence. He focuses on one match at a time. This is another opportunity to extend his legacy. Solow said Strickland makes it hard to establish a game plan. Strickland cited mastering the mental game as the key to his success. Solow is not underestimating Strickland.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Strickland hails from Tacoma, Washington. He is the current MLW World Heavyweight Champion and also wrestles for Combat Zone Wrestling and Lucha Underground.)
-Solow made his entrance first. Strickland wore red sunglasses and a black vest. Ring announcer Dominic Malnar handled the introductions. The referee is Adam Real.
DOJO PRO WHITE BELT AARON SOLOW vs. “THE INTERNATIONAL KING OF SWERVE” SHANE STRICKLAND
Strickland ducked some kicks. Shoulder block from Solow but Strickland kipped up. Strickland put Solow down with a dropkick. Headscissors from Strickland. Arm wrench. Rings of Saturn from Strickland. Arm drags and dropkick from Solow. Clothesline in the corner. They traded slaps, then traded kicks. 619 to Solow’s stomach and a leaping flatliner. Solow with an enziguiri. Strickland with some more kicks. Solow with a double stomp and a suplex for two. Strickland fought out of a cradle DDT attempt. More kicks from Strickland and a hanging DDT on Solow from the second rope. Jumping knee and Swerve Stomp but Solow kicked out. Strickland dropped Solow on the apron and grabbed a steel chair. He pulled the referee out of his way by the shirt and set up the chair at ringside. Solow ended up seated in the chair. Strickland ran the apron but Solow kicked his leg out and Strickland’s head hit the apron. Cradle DDT from Solow in the ring but Strickland kicked out. Solow into the crossface and Strickland tapped.
WINNER: Aaron Solow in 14:21 to retain the Dojo Pro White Belt.
-Interviewer Rob Johnston joined Solow in the ring. Solow will defend the white belt against Jeff Cobb in the finals. Solow said today he was better than Strickland. Johnston asked for his strategy against Cobb. Solow said he won’t share his strategy in case Cobb is watching. He vowed to be victorious against Cobb.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I mean I sort of understand it. Having a gauntlet match come down to the last two guys who entered would be logical from a sports perspective but in terms of wrestling storytelling you want a babyface in the finals who’s had to fight his way to get there. Solow just doesn’t feel like that babyface. He’s been outshone in terms of charisma and abilities by both MJF and Strickland now. This was his third episode appearance and I still can’t really tell you anything specific about his personality or character outside of the same generic babyface qualities that Wheeler Yuta and Kevin Ku had.
A lot of the presentation of the wrestlers has been lacklustre. Cobb beat up a fan at the end of the first episode and we haven’t seen him once since then. It certainly doesn’t feel like Solow’s heading for a major showdown with a dominant villain as we go into the series finale. Kerry Awful was the first person eliminated in the gauntlet way back on the first episode and I can tell you more about him than I can Cobb at this point.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”