Jay Lethal: Lethal opened the show with a promo in the middle of the ring. Lethal addresses some of his best matches and opponents in ROH. He named Roderick Strong, Samoa Joe, and AJ Styles. He went on to say that he is now adding Jonathan Gresham to that list especially after the 30-minute Iron Man match from last week. Lethal went on to put over Gresham and how he sees Gresham as a friend and Lethal will always have his back. Lethal then went on to say to everyone in the ROH locker room and any locker room around the world that he is offering them the “Lethal Challenge”. Lethal tells all the wrestlers around the world to “come and get it”. As soon as he says that, Will Ospreay appears on the video board entrance. Ospreay tells Lethal that at Death Before Dishonor, he would like to take Lethal’s challenge. Lethal, not wanting to back down to anyone, tells Ospreay “you got it”. And with that, we have our ROH World Heavyweight title match at the next PPV. I thought this was good. I loved how Lethal did not just use the term open challenge but rather called his calling for opponents the “Lethal Challenge”. I was wondering who Lethal would face at Death Before Dishonor and now we have that answer. This should be a good one.
SoCal Uncensored (SCU) followed by The Briscoes and Punishment Martinez: This was really quick. Scorpio Sky does all the talking and tells us due to Punishment Martinez actions that he is injecting himself into this feud. There really was not much to this. If you blinked, you would have missed it. They cut to a quick commercial followed by The Briscoes and Punishment Martinez responding to SCU. Nothing flashy and special just more build up to the match between these six in the main event today.
Tasha Steelz vs Sumie Sakai: Brandi Rhodes joins Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman on commentary for this WOH match. Riccaboni builds this one up as a proving ground match for Steelz. This was my first-time seeing Tasha Steelz. I thought she was a good and effective heel. Sakai struggled a little with Steelz early on. However, Sakai turned the tide and ends up getting the victory over Steelz. I once again applaud ROH for showcasing the WOH title and giving us a singles match. I still stand by what I said months ago and that is to continue to build the champion and competitors by having the WOH compete in singles match. That includes building up Sakai with wins and having challengers show that they are worthy WOH champions.
Ian Riccaboni Interviews Sumie Sakai: First Riccaboni says that the Women of Honor title will now be known as the Women of Honor World title. Sakai then takes the microphone. She apologizes for as she says, “my broken English”. The crowd is very receptive to Sakai and cheers her on as she talks about this being her home and she worked hard to get to this point as the WOH champion. Sumie then calls out Tenille Dashwood. Dashwood heads to the ring where Riccaboni reiterates that Sakai said battling Dashwood would validate her as the WOH champion. Dashwood says she will take Sakai’s challenge and the two shake hands on it. Riccaboni officially announces that Sakai will defend the title at Death Before Dishonor against Dashwood. Good segment and it gives us a singles match for the WOH title at the PPV to look forward to.
Kenny King: Another very short promo with King talking about wrestling Adam Page soon. King also says he is on a Bullet Club bagging spree making it sound like he will go after them one by one I assume. The promo was fine. Nothing special though.
Ian Riccaboni Interviews Jonathan Gresham But Is Interrupted By Bully Ray: Evidently this is the week for in ring interviews. Riccaboni starts off by asking Gresham what is next for him after battling Jay Lethal for the ROH World Heavyweight Title. However, before Gresham can answer, Bully Ray comes down to ringside. Bully gets in the ring and confronts Riccaboni by “bullying” him and telling him Cabana is not here to save him and telling him he does not have much to say right now considering how he runs his mouth on commentary all the time when Bully is not in his face. Riccaboni retreats and leaves the ring when Bully tells him to. Gresham, who is still in the ring, confronts Bully and tells him that he interrupted his interview time. Bully proceeds with interviewing Gresham but first claims he is the person responsible of selling out Madison Square Garden for ROH. Bully then belittles Gresham and compares Gresham to a jobber on Piper’s Pit from many years ago. During the belittling, Gresham gets cheers from the fans. Gresham eventually gets the microphone and it was fantastic. Gresham tells Bully that he knows Bully wants a fight, but Gresham does not stand a chance in a fight with Bully. Gresham goes on to tell Bully but if he wants a wrestling match that Gresham can beat him. Gresham then tells Bully that D-von carried Bully for all those years while Bully was headlining the bingo hall. Gresham tells Bully that if he beats Bully in a wrestling match that Bully has to shake his hand in the middle of the ring. Bully accepts the match and we now have a match between the two. But, it does not last long. Bully is immediately disqualified when he punts Gresham in the groin and then disposes of Todd Sinclair. Bully mocks Gresham after getting DQ’d. Flip Gordon comes out to help but Bully disposes of Gordon quickly. Jay Lethal then hits the ring and is laying it into Bully when Silas Young hits the ring and hits Lethal with misery. Bully looks happy to see Young. But then Young pushes Bully away when Bully tries to thank him. Young then leaves the ring and we go to commercial. When we come back from commercial Lethal and Gresham are backstage. Lethal tells us that he is sick and tired of this stuff. Gresham says he is tired of it also. Lethal lays out a challenge to Bully and Young. Lethal wants a tag match between he and Gresham vs. Young and Bully Ray. This was a fantastic segment with some real personal issues involved between all four guys. I am looking forward to the tag match between these four. Excellent segment overall and fantastic promos from Bully, Gresham, and Lethal at the end.
Chris Sabin: Video recap of Sabin defeating Silas Young which made Sabin the #1 contender for the ROH World TV title. That is followed by Alex Shelley retiring and then the attack by Punishment Martinez on Shelley and Sabin. This led to a Sabin promo building up to his match with Martinez. Sabin claims that Martinez is trying to play mind games but that just proves Martinez is really scared. I really liked the recap showing how we got to this point and I thought Sabin’s promo was fine.
SCU (Frankie Kazarian & Christopher Daniels & Scorpio Sky) vs Punishment Martinez & The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe): Point of note about 3-4 minutes into the match. Riccaboni mentions that they will try to finally get the Top Prospect Tournament going next week after all of the interruptions the last few weeks. I still have my doubts we are actually going to have a tournament, but I do like the effort in continuing to sell it like it is happening after all of the shenanigans with Jeff Cobb. On to the match we go, this was another fantastic 6-man tag match. The action was non-stop as you would expect. Near the end of the match, everything breaks down when Martinez and The Briscoes bring out the chairs. Jay Briscoe, while swinging for Kazarian with a chair, hits referee Paul Turner. They then use a chair on everyone else from SCU. Sabin, who was at the commentary table, gets involved and chases off Martinez with a shoe. Yes, a shoe. It was cheesy. SCU gets back on offense eventually after all the chaos. Kazarian and Daniels hit their own version of the Meltzer driver on Mark. Sinclair comes down to count the pin and SCU defeats Martinez & The Briscoes. Good match overall although Sabin chasing off Martinez with a shoe felt really lame.
The Bullet Club: First, this promo was not bad. They needed to do something to promote the match at Death Before Dishonor. This was a quick way to do it and it felt like it was just that. That is a promo just slapped into the middle of the show to check the box before Death Before Dishonor. Again, nothing bad or terrible but definitely just thrown in the episode to check the box.
I had a lot of hits in this episode but if I were to rate the episode overall it was average. We did get a bunch of match announcements for the PPV. I would say the best part of the show was the segment with Bully Ray, Gresham, and Lethal. I thought that segment was as perfect as it can get from all three of those guys. Lastly, I thought the main event was good. It is hard to dislike a match with The Briscoes and SCU involved in.
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