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DOJO PRO TV REPORT – S1E012
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 welcomed us to the season finale.
-Video package recapping the entire season. Voiceover from various wrestlers talking about what this opportunity meant to them. Highlights from different matches and promos ending with Aaron Solow defeating Shane Strickland to make it to the finals against Jeff Cobb.
-Backstage with Solow. Solow said he had respect for Cobb until Cobb decided to beat up a fan [at the end of the first episode]. He doesn’t know what that proved.
-Video package on Jeff Cobb. He was a 2004 Olympic athlete. In amateur wrestling you get points for throwing people; he gets paychecks. Being ranked #1 doesn’t mean much to him. He’s going to win.
Solow said they came from the same independent area. They’ve never wrestled but he is quite familiar with Cobb. Cobb isn’t threatened by Solow. He knows of him but he’s just like anyone else. Cobb said Dojo Pro is a platform for the younger, future talent. He’s the current talent. Solow won’t make a name off of him. Solow said he’ll beat him with his speed and cardio.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Cobb has the same casual confidence to him that James Storm did. He just feels authentic and real rather than staged but still has a personality to him that most of the babyfaces on this series have lacked.
Cobb was trained by Oliver John and hails from Honolulu, Hawaii. He currently wrestles for Lucha Underground, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling.)
-Ring Of Honor senior official Todd Sinclair is the special guest referee. Solow made his entrance first with the white belt around his waist. Cobb entered to loud boos. Clearly they didn’t learn from what he did at the end of the first episode. Ring announcer Dominic Malnar handled the introductions.
DOJO PRO WHITE BELT AARON SOLOW vs. “MR. ATHLETIC” JEFF COBB
Solow ducked Cobb’s strikes and hit a flurry of his own. Cobb sent him flying with a shoulder tackle and stomped on him in the corner. Solow with a missile dropkick from the second rope. Solow tried to catapult himself over the ropes onto Cobb on the floor but got caught. Solow slipped out and shoved Cobb head-first into the ring post. Jumping flip over the ropes took out Cobb on the floor. Solow avoided a chop and Cobb’s hand hit the ring post. Dropkick to Cobb seated in the corner. Crossface but Cobb rolled over into a pin. Kick out from Solow. Cobb dropkicked Solow off the top rope but pulled him back up for a vertical superplex from the second rope. Cobb made a laidback cover and Solow kicked out.
Chinlock from Cobb. Strong back elbow. Headbutt. Pumphandle suplex. Solow blocked another superplex and hit a tornado DDT instead. Kicks from Solow. High crossbody. Wheelbarrow roll into a double stomp. Cobb kicked out at two. Daniel Bryan Yes! kicks from Solow. Cobb with a running Samoan drop. Athletic-plex but Solow kicked out again. Cradle DDT from Solow.
WINNER: Aaron Solow in 13:22 to capture the Dojo Pro Black Belt.
-Solow was showered with streamers and posed with the black belt. Interviewer Rob Johnston joined Solow in the ring. Solow said he’s feeling beat up but great because there can only ever be one first. He spoke about the struggles of being an independent wrestler. Solow will receive a title shot for the Ring Of Honor World Television Championship at an undisclosed date in the future, which is currently held by Punishment Martinez.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Like I said in a past report, a babyface always wins this sort of thing. I’m just not sold on Solow as being the guy. He’s decidedly more polished and well-rounded than the guys we saw in the bottom half of the rankings but Cobb, Strickland, and MJF all came across as bigger stars with more appeal. Will Solow be joining ROH permanently or is this just leading to a one-time appearance? My best guess is we’ll see Solow vs. Martinez at ROH Death Before Dishonor in September but Solow also just pinned the CZW and MLW world champions in succession. That should have consequences too, shouldn’t it?
Overall Dojo Pro season one was an experiment. The presentation felt very ‘80s, kind of sterile, and there was little outside of the basic pre-match promos. Not meeting any of the wrestlers until minutes before their matches was a real head-scratcher too. Why not have Strickland sit in on commentary in an early episode? Interview MJF backstage for his thoughts on Wheeler Yuta defeating Gunner Miller? There were no ongoing storylines to invest in and no personal issues between anyone, which also left things feeling a little flat. Not terrible but it didn’t contribute anything new to the world of professional wrestling either.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”