SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH TV REPORT
JULY 29, 2018
FAIRFAX, VA AT EAGLE BANK ARENA
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
We opened with a video package recapping Jay Lethal re-entering the world title picture and winning the championship in last week’s main event.
-In the arena Riccaboni and Cabana promised we’d hear from Lethal and Austin Aries tonight as well as seeing the six-man titles defended in the main event.
-Jonathan Gresham came out wearing red trunks and boots and a red robe looking like a young Daniel Bryan, which the commentators also acknowledged. Kushida wore an astronaut flight suit and wrap-around sunglasses.
(1) KUSHIDA vs. JONATHAN GRESHAM
Kushida with a wrist-lock. Gresham tried to arm-drag out but Kushida held on. Kushida with a crossface into a side headlock. Gresham cartwheeled out. Cabana sounded audibly awed at Gresham’s transitions and counters. Gresham with a surfboard-like hold on Kushida on the mat. Rolling pinfall exchanges at 4:30. Kushida put Gresham down with an enziguiri. [C]
Gresham jumped onto Kushida’s arm and transitioned from a series of roll-ups into an armbar. Kushida escaped and kicked Gresham in the back. Kushida with a pop–up DDT and he rolled into the hoverboard lock. Gresham got to his feet and escaped. Kushida slapped Gresham at 10:00. Gresham returned the favor. They traded blows. A bridging German suplex gave Gresham a two-count. Hoverboard lock again from Kushida. Back To The Future ends it.
WINNER: Kushida in 11:57.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Gresham’s matches are so slow and methodical that I’d almost be afraid of 2018 crowds turning on them with “boring” chants but luckily the ROH crowds seem fully supportive, and rightfully so. His style is unlike anyone else on the roster and he’s fascinating to watch work, even if I find it very difficult to track the action properly in my match coverage. My gut told me the NJPW guy was going to win (as is usually the case in ROH) but I was actually on the fence for some of it as they’ve been talking up Gresham a lot lately. I’m just not sure how I feel about leaning into the Daniel Bryan comparisons. They’ve been coming up for a while but now he’s even got the same gear as The American Dragon and looks like he might be growing out his facial hair too. There’s a chance it could end up making Gresham look second-rate but if they can manage the balancing act well we’ve got a dream match in the works should Bryan choose not to re-sign with WWE in September.)
-Marty Scurll was in the locker room. He asked Shane Helms if he was trying to piss him off or make a name for himself off of Scurll. They face off next week and a broken finger will be the least of Helms’ problems. Scurll isn’t cosplaying like Helms does when he’s the Hurricane; Scurll is a real villain. [C]
-Video recap of The Briscoes defeating The Young Bucks at Best In The World and SoCal Uncensored saving the Bucks and attacking The Briscoes after the match.
-SCU were in the locker room. Christopher Daniels said it’s about a lack of respect. He reminded us that he and Frankie Kazarian turning on the fans and ROH COO Joe Koff was because the fans turned on him and supported the heel Cody during their world title feud. He also reminded us that Koff has vowed that Daniels and Kaz are finished with ROH when their contracts expire at the end of December. Daniels asked if they need to find a new home. Do they want to start over? Does he want Scorpio Sky’s big break to be wasted? Daniels could beg Koff for forgiveness but instead they’re going to earn it over the next six months by making the idea of ROH letting SCU go a preposterous proposition. Kaz asked, if we knew the exact moment we were going to die, what would we do? They’ve had time to ponder their demise since Koff told them that this year’s Final Battle is it for them. The Briscoes have always been the hunters and never the hunted. Kaz put over SCU’s total combined experience. He said their careers and lives depend on beating the Briscoes for the tag titles. Sky said he’s worked his entire life to be in this company where he belongs but clarified that if Daniels and Kaz are done in December, he’s going with them. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: A long promo by ROH standards but these veterans always deliver. Koff’s threat to Daniels and Kaz happened way back on January 14 TV so, now that we’re more than halfway through the year, it was important to remind us of the stipulation. SCU are convinced that Koff can’t fire them if they’re champions and the Briscoes have the tag titles so that makes them their targets. A full babyface turn by SCU, giving fans permission to cheer them over the next five months, before retiring in December is a wonderful way to cap off their illustrious careers.)
-Short video package on ROH World Television Champion Punishment Martinez.
-Mandy Leon joined commentary in her first appearance in over three months. She cited her absence as being due to her embarrassment and unhappiness with failing to win the Women Of Honor Championship tournament.
(2) MAYU IWATANI & JENNY ROSE vs. OEDO TAI (Kagetsu & Hana Kimura w/Hazuki)
Rose and Kagetsu started. Shoulder block from Rose and a tag to Iwatani. Somersault senton for a one-count and a tag back to Rose. Kimura tripped Rose as she ran the ropes. Iwatani whipped Kagetsu toward the ropes but she turned it into a suicide dive on Rose instead. [C]
The heels worked over Rose but she hit a double clothesline. Tag to Iwatani. Dropkicks to both opponents. Double springboard armdrags to both Oedo Tai women and a dropkick to both women as well. A second to Kimura sitting against the bottom rope gave Iwatani a two-count. Iwatani missed a top rope frog-splash and Kimura locked in a submission until Rose broke it up. Spinning kicks from Iwatani. Kimura with a vertical suplex. Tags from both teams. Rose unloaded on Kagetsu. Diving clothesline from the top rope but Kimura broke up the pin. Cross armbreaker from Kagetsu to Rose. Kimura prevented Iwatani from getting into the ring. Rose was able to reach the bottom rope with her foot. Rose and Kagetsu traded blows. Iwatani with a kick to Kagetsu’s head out of nowhere and Rose got another two-count before Kimura broke it up. Kagetsu collapsed into referee Todd Sinclair’s arms suddenly. As he fought to get her off of him Hazuki passed the wooden Oedo Tai placard to Kimura who hit Iwatani and Rose with it. A firewoman’s carry into a falcon arrow gave Kagetsu the pin on Rose moments later.
WINNERS: Oedo Tai in 9:57.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another great match from the women of Stardom and Rose, both of which are becoming trends this year. I was just thinking how heel teams almost never win in Women Of Honor and there we go. Match quality certainly hasn’t been an issue with WOH lately but all these matches would feel bigger if they had any sort of build behind them. Since the Rose/Sumie Sakai and Tenille Dashwood/Deonna Purrazzo stories wrapped up there hasn’t been one proper feud in the women’s division. Just throwing the women out on TV with no promos or vignettes or story support is doing them a disservice when they could mean so much more.)
-ROH World Champion Jay Lethal was caught backstage immediately after the show went off the air last week. It had been almost two years that he had been without the world title. The greatest championship in the world is finally back to him. He stands at the top of the wrestling world. The title doesn’t mean he’s the greatest; the belt is the prize for him being the greatest. He knows men are going to be lining up around the corner for a shot at him. Come and get it, boys. He’s at the top of his game. [C]
-Austin Aries was at the commentary table with the Impact World Championship and a banana.
-Video recap of Kenny King, Chuck Taylor, & Eli Isom beating SoCal Uncensored to win a gauntlet match two weeks ago for this shot at the six-man titles.
-The Kingdom got a picture-in-picture promo. They were supposed to give their thoughts on their opponents but just laughed hysterically the entire time at facing an ROH rookie in Eli Isom.
(3) THE KINGDOM (Matt Taven, TK O’Ryan, & Vinny Marseglia) vs. KENNY KING, CHUCKIE T, & ELI ISOM – ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Kingdom jumped the babyfaces before the bell and stomped away at Isom in the corner. They knocked King and Taylor to the floor and dragged Isom into their corner. Isom fought out and tagged to Taylor. He fired up on Marseglia, then O’Ryan and Taven too. With a Kingdom member in each corner they ran at them with forearms and made a threeway hug in the middle of the ring. Taven immediately put down Isom again and O’Ryan and Marseglia double-teamed him while Taven distracted the ref. [C]
King was a house of fire on O’Ryan and Marseglia. Taven with a cheap shot from behind. Aries questioned why King isn’t a top guy when he has all the tools. King took out Taven with a corkscrew splash over the ropes to the floor. Falcon arrow from Taylor to O’Ryan but Marseglia broke it up. Everyone took out everyone and all six men were down around the ring and floor. Taven and Isom tagged in. Fallaway slam from Isom. Marseglia popped a balloon in Isom’s ear and they set him up for Rockstar Supernova but King and Taylor pulled the henchmen from the ring. Isom made the same bridging pin on Taven that he pinned Daniels with two weeks ago but Daniels kicked out. Rockstar Supernova a minute later on Isom put him away.
WINNERS: The Kingdom in 7:52 to retain the six-man titles.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The Kingdom get a clean win and… prove their point? Eli Isom is just a rookie who got one fluke victory and can’t really hang with the established stars? I guess it will depend on where he goes from here but there hasn’t been a lot of upward mobility in ROH this year. People like Gresham, Shane Taylor, and even Adam Page lose the majority of the time while guys like Josh Woods are only even remembered as existing once every couple months. Very surprising to see Aries back on ROH as he hadn’t been discussed at all in the past month following Best In The World. Indications are that he thinks King would be more successful if he were heel so Aries is going to try to push him there. Maybe he’s right. Main event heels are in short supply in ROH right now.)
-Next week: it’s Bullet Club vs. SoCal Uncensored vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón, Marty Scurll vs. Shane Helms, and Silas Young vs. Chris Sabin to become #1 contender to Punishment Martinez’s ROH World Television Championship.