ROH HITS & MISSES 8/19: Sabin vs. Sky, Shelley “Retires,” Lethal and Gresham, Isom vs. FR Josie, Jeff Cobb Debuts, The Kingdom, Rose vs. Q, King vs. Scurll

By Mike Mills, PWTorch Specialist

Jay Lethal (art credit Grant Gould © PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

HITS

Chris Sabin (w/Alex Shelley) vs. Scorpio Sky: During introductions and before the match begins, ROH’s new bright canvas hits you in a good way. It looks really nice and gives the show an overall clean presentation. It took me a while to get into this match since there has not been much build up between these two. However, I like the back and forth between the two throughout. These two went nearly 10-minutes before Sabin picks up his second TV victory in a row when he hits Sky with his finisher. I like the story being told about Sabin by the commentary team of Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana. Sabin defeated Silas Young in what I still see as an upset a few weeks back. Now Sabin defeats Sky. Sabin, as we find out shortly, is about to be a singles competitor. The best way to build a guy up is to give him a few wins and give him some credibility. I think over the last couple of weeks they have done a good job with this with Sabin and I am looking forward to seeing more from him in singles as he attempts to climb the ladder towards a singles title.

Alex Shelley “Retires”: Shelley was almost immediately teary eyed as he grabbed the microphone to make an announcement. Shelley talked about everything he and Sabin have accomplished as a tag team. Shelley does not think they have much left to offer as a team, but that Sabin has a lot to offer as a singles wrestler. Shelley asked Sabin to go and validate everything they did as a team by having a great single’s run and winning the ROH TV title and beyond. The two embraced each other. I felt the emotion was real from them, especially Shelley. Out of nowhere, Punishment Martinez hits the ring and attacks both men from behind. Martinez then kicks/stomped Sabin’s head into a metal folding chair on the canvas. He then turned his attention to Shelley, but Sky made the save in a surprise. I thought this was a good segment. Shelley said “no one retires from wrestling and maybe this is just see you later” during his speech. He is absolutely correct in mentioning that no one retires. I am sure we will see him compete again, but I also believe it will be a while before that happens. For now, as I mentioned earlier, I look forward to seeing Sabin in singles and what appears to be an obvious feud against Martinez.

Kenny King Backstage Promo: King is backstage discussing his main event match later with Marty Scurll. Nothing special but it was a short and effective promo building up to the match later.

Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham Video Package: This was an excellent video package discussing the history and recent matches between these two guys. Gresham sells himself as a pure technical wrestler. Lethal talks about how he underestimated how great Gresham was when he first battled him. All of this led up to the announcement of these two facing each other in a 30-minute Iron Man match for the ROH World title in a few weeks. Great promotional video package here. I cannot wait for this match to air.

Eli Isom vs. FR Josie – 2018 Top Prospect Tournament 1st Round Match and Jeff Cobb: I did not think we would have a tournament this year and I still have my doubts that we will, but I will explain shortly. Isom and Josie have a very short match. The crowd was into it with these guys and rightfully so. Although short before it was interrupted, Josie and Isom were working hard. The match was short lived because out of nowhere and a complete surprise Jeff Cobb hits the ring! Cobb cleaned house and destroyed both Isom and Josie. The match appeared to be thrown out. The crowd went nuts for Cobb. First, I think Cobb coming into ROH is fantastic. This injects a load of possibilities and new singles feuds into the promotion. Now, back to the Top Prospect tournament. I am wondering if we will really have one. This was the first technical announcement of a tournament. A few months back, Riccaboni mentioned on commentary when Isom and Façade wrestled that it was a Top Prospect match but Riccaboni stopped short of calling it a tournament match. Additionally, there was no tournament bracket shown at all nor has there been any mention to my knowledge of the eight competitors. In years past, the competitors were mentioned on social media and a bracket was shown once the matches started. With all of that said, I do think we will have to wait and see if a tournament materializes. I have not read any spoilers about the remainder of the tapings, so I am curious what they will do. In any case, Cobb coming to ROH is a big deal to me and I think it should be great seeing him compete in ROH.

The Kingdom Backstage Promo: This was great. But the best part about what Matt Taven says during these promos is that he is telling the truth which makes it hard to hate him. Taven said in so many words that Cody and The Young Bucks are handed everything and do not have to work for nothing. He talks about how they were handed the match next week for the titles. Someone tell me how he is not telling the truth? Again, he talks about a Kingdom Conspiracy and I have to agree, he is telling the truth usually.

Kenny King vs. Marty Scurll: This was a very good main event. Typical back and forth between the two guys. The crowd was into it throughout. Scurll tried cheating in much of the match. However, King turned the tables on Scurll. Late in the match, Scurll DDTs King. King is down. Scurll heads over to get his umbrella. Referee Paul Turner takes the umbrella away from Scurll. King rolls up Scurll from behind. King is right up against the ropes, so King puts his feet on the second ropes for leverage. Scurll cannot kick out since he is pinned down as King uses the leverage. King wins. Really good match overall. What made it better was that I did not know who would win and I felt it could go either way. The crowd did boo King for his actions, but I did not think it took away from what we saw. I thought Scurll tried to cheat a lot and King basically gave him a dose of his own shenanigans in the end.

MISSES

Jenny Rose vs. Karen Q: I hate to do this. Let’s start with the positives first. Both ladies cut a few short and effective promos as they made their way to the ring. I thought that was good. I also applaud ROH for once again giving us a singles match with the ladies and not just a random tag match. As I have mentioned numerous times, this division needs to build up contenders to the WOH title. Everything mentioned thus far is a positive. Unfortunately, when the bell rang I was not impressed. I have seen both Q and Rose have much better matches but there were multiple times in this match where I felt they were moving in slow motion. There were multiple Irish whips by Q to Rose in this match where Rose looked like she was having a stroll in the park and not in a competitive match. I know this is not the norm from Rose, but I would be lying to myself if I did not mention it. I also thought the finish was lame. I have seen it way too many times where the face gets distracted and then the heel wins. Let me explain. Kelly Klein is on commentary during the match. There is bad blood between she and Rose. Klein leaves the commentary table and jumps on the ring apron to get Rose’s attention. Klein throws her mouthguard at Rose. From behind, Q hits her finisher and gets the pin on Rose. I am sorry, but I despise when faces are made to look stupid and that is what Rose was made to look like here. Once again, I appreciate a singles match with the WOH as the division is being built but the actual match and finish was not good.

Shelley Knocked Out Backstage: The only reason this is a miss is because it looked rather ridiculous. They cut straight to Shelley who is laying on his side curled up backstage. Sabin yells for help and for someone to call a doctor. Randomly there are four well-dressed men standing there who run up to the scene. One grabs a phone to call 911, I assume. We are left to assume it was Martinez who attacked Shelley. Cabana and Riccaboni mention the same thing about Martinez being the guilty party. I just do not think this was needed. We already know Martinez had bad intention for Shelley earlier in the show. On top of that, four random dudes dressed well just happen to run simultaneously to Sabin when he calls for help. This episode could do without this segment.

Final Thoughts…

Placing the misses aside, I thought this was a good week. I am really excited for two things that happened. One was finding out about the 30-minute Iron Man match between Lethal and Gresham. And two, I am really looking forward to Jeff Cobb being in ROH. The definite announcement of Sabin being a singles competitor also has some intrigue since in a way that also means some new singles matchups are on the horizon. I was down on a couple of things with the WOH match and Shelley’s backstage attack, but this was still a good hour of wrestling.


Mike Mills is the PWTorch.com ROH TV Hits and Misses Specialist, providing his point of view on ROH TV weekly. You can follow Mike at @BTT_Podcast and @Mike504Saints on Twitter and you can check out his old school wrestling podcasts at tinyurl.com/BTTPod

 

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