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ROH DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR XVI
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NV AT ORLEANS ARENA
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman
We opened with a narrated video package highlighting all of the matches on tonight’s card. In the arena Riccaboni and Coleman welcomed us to the show and ran down the lineup as well.
-Kenny King had a red carpet unrolled for him with gold walk of fame-style Kenny King stars on it.
(1) KENNY KING vs. JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER
Liger got one of his classic surboards locked in early but King grabbed the bottom rope. Slow going in the early moments. They traded shoulder blocks. King sent Liger to the mat and posed. Liger with a cannonball off the apron. Liger did his own pose on the floor. With Liger on the apron King swept his legs and followed with a corkscrew over the ropes onto Liger. King targeted the back with a whip into the corner and a backbreaker. King with a Boston crab in the center of the ring but Liger made it to the ropes. King missed a jumping back elbow in the corner. Liger got a bit of offense in but King came back with a chin-checker. King avoided the shotei palm strike and hit a swinging backbreaker. Liger with a superplex. Royal Flush attempt but Liger countered into an inside cradle. Shotei, bulldog, and Liger went up top for a frog-splash. It got him a two-count. Liger appeared to be hurt so referee Todd Sinclair asked King to back up while he checked on him. King stood in the corner and respected the ref’s wishes. King eventually helped Liger up, offered a handshake, and pulled him into a spinebuster.
WINNER: Kenny King in 12:06.
-As King left he audibly thanked Austin Aries and said he finally sees the picture. He bragged about beating Liger.
(Pageot’s Perspective: As the only non-title singles match on the card it made sense to have this one open the show, in theory. Unfortunately it was very low energy and slow with a recently-turned soft heel competing in his hometown. Not a great formula and not exactly a hot start to the show.)
-Video package on the SCU-Briscoes feud.
-SCU entered first. Scorpio Sky took a mic and said Las Vegas is the worst town he’s ever been in. “But,” Daniels said, “one of the good things about this town is all the badass wrestling fans.” Kaz encouraged the crowd to shout SCU along with them, which the crowd was happy to do.
-The Briscoes had a pre-taped vignette. Jay held an hourglass and reminded SCU that it’s time’s up for them after Final Battle. They’re on Briscoes time now. Jay sat the hourglass on a log and Mark blasted it with a shotgun.
(2) THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. SOCAL UNCENSORED (Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian w/Scorpio Sky) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Riccaboni said the Briscoes are 3-0 against Daniels & Kaz in their careers. Daniels and Jay started but all four men quickly wound up in the ring. The Briscoes fled to the floor and grabbed chairs. They wound up dropping the chairs and re-entering the match. Mark and Kaz were now the legal men. Mark tried bailing to the floor again but Daniels threw him back in and took a tag. They double-teamed Mark, then Jay with some tandem offense. Mark threw a chair into the ring but Daniels threw it back at him. Jay threw one too and Kaz caught it. He swung at Jay at ringside, who ducked (thus saving Kaz from disqualifying himself). The Briscoes roughed up both opponents on the floor. Daniels wound up isolated in the Briscoes’ corner. Double shoulder tackle. More stalling and methodical working over of Daniels. Chinlock from Jay. Back elbow. Mark threw some punches at Daniels on the floor and threw him into the guardrail behind the ref’s back. Mark dropped Daniels throat-first across the metal guardrail. Daniels tried to fight out of the heel corner but Mark put him down with a death valley driver. Daniels avoided a froggy-bow and hit a blue thunder bomb. Hot tag to Kaz. He took out both Briscoes. Slingshot hurricanrana to Mark on the floor but Jay caught him with a big boot. Jay grabbed two chairs again and set them up facing each other at ringside. He looked for a power bomb onto the seats of the chairs but Daniels made the save. Daniels ducked a chair shot from Mark and suplexed him. Blue thunder + neckbreaker combo to Jay in the ring for a two-count. Daniels dove over the turnbuckle onto Mark. Slingshot cutter from Kaz to Jay for another two-count. SCU set up for a Doomsday Device but Jay escaped and referee Paul Turner got squished in the corner. He didn’t go down, though!
Mark with a ura nage to Kaz onto the open chair on the floor. Kaz was bleeding from the back of his head. Sky ran back down to ringside to check on Kaz. The Briscoes isolated Daniels in the ring. Medics were seen with Sky checking on Kaz. Redneck Boogie to Daniels but he kicked out! Daniels tried to fight back against both men. Double clothesline put both brothers down. Daniels wanted a tag but Kaz was out of it on the floor. The Briscoes set up Daniels for a Doomsday Device. Daniels tried to counter into a victory roll but Jay escaped. Best Moonsault Ever to Mark! Jay sort of almost (let’s pretend he did) broke up the pin. “That was three” chant from the crowd. Jay Driller to Daniels on the floor. He rolled Daniels into the ring for Mark to cover but Daniels kicked out again to no reaction. The visual pin that Jay failed to break up really sucked the life out of the crowd. A second Jay Driller in the ring ends it.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 17:42 to retain the tag titles.
(Pageot’s Perspective: It’s unclear when and where Kaz suffered the cut on the back of his head but it’s clearly not as bad as they played it up. It’s a fine way to give the heels a clean win while showing Daniels fighting valiantly against the odds. The kickout of the Jay Driller on the floor was wholly unnecessary at that point, though. Daniels had already been through the wringer enough and the Jay Driller was once one of the most protected finishers in all of ROH.)
-Video package on the Sumie Sakai-Tenille Dashwood friendship.
(3) SUMIE SAKAI vs. TENILLE DASHWOOD – WOH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Sakai with a hiptoss into a side headlock out of the gate. Sakai mounted Dashwood and unloaded with forearms. Dashwood shoved her hard to the mat. They traded forearms. Sakai looked for Smash Mouth early but Dashwood escaped. They squared off. Dashwood with a drop toe-hold that sent Sakai into the corner. Taste Of Tenille for a two-count. Sakai with a back suplex. Missile dropkick. Dashwood went to the floor but Sakai followed with a high crossbody. Sakai looked for an armbar but Dashwood locked her hands to block. Dashwood with a roll-up for two. She hit some clotheslines but sold an issue with the right shoulder that she was wearing kinesio tape on. Dashwood set Sakai on the top rope and hit a double underhook superplex. Dashwood with a sort of Indian deathlock surfboard. Sakai refused to tape so Dashwood let go in frustration. She stomped on the back of Sakai’s head. Dashwood went up top but Sakai met her. Dashwood slipped out into a power bomb attempt but Sakai countered into a hurricanrana. TJ neckbreaker. Running knee. Dashwood kicked out at two. Smash Mouth but Dashwood kicked out again.
Dashwood with a double underhook suplex into the corner. Tarantula. Dashwood power bombed Sakai off the apron to the floor. She rolled her into the ring but Sakai kicked out at two. German suplex from Dashwood. They traded forearms again. Power bomb from Dashwood but Sakai rolled through into an armbar on the injured arm. Sakai wrenched it in and Dashwood passed out.
WINNER: Sumie Sakai in 12:35 by referee stoppage to retain the Women Of Honor title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: We haven’t seen Sakai’s MMA background come into play during her matches all too often so it was an interesting story to go to here. It’s just too bad Dashwood’s hurt shoulder wasn’t established prior to tonight either accidentally in a tag match or via an angle with another wrestler like Kelly Klein. I loved the aggressiveness and that both women really felt like they were out to prove a point and walk away with the gold and I’m glad Sakai retained. Now we just really need to start building up some strong heels for her to face down the line because we’re right back to having no obvious next challenger.)
-Video package on the Martinez-Sabin feud.
-Sabin interrupted ring announcer Bobby Cruise’s introduction of him to hand him a piece of paper to read instead. It was a long fantasy bio that concluded by referring to him as a warrior-poet, the kind of thing that you probably thought was really cool when you were twelve. That appears to be Sabin’s new gimmick.
(4) PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ vs. CHRIS SABIN – ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Sabin with a victory roll right off the bat for a two and a half count. Sabin targeted the big man’s legs and sent the champ to the floor. High crossbody put him down. Sabin with a light suicide dive. Martinez caught him and chokeslammed him on the apron. Martinez with a big lariat. Sabin with a top rope hurricanrana. Sabin hit a suicide dive at 5:00 and followed with another high crossbody to Martinez on the floor. Missile dropkick in the ring. Referee Paul Turner wound up between both men and ended up going down. Martinez with a jumping spin kick to Sabin. With the ref down he brought a chair into the ring but Sabin dropkicked out Martinez’s knees. Tornado DDT to Martinez on the chair for two. The chair was cleared and Martinez hit a Psycho Driver and Silencer. South Of Heaven chokeslam gives Martinez the win.
WINNER: Punishment Martinez in 8:01 to retain the TV title.
-Martinez brought the chair back in and laid it in the corner against the bottom turnbuckle. He set up Sabin for another Silencer (curb stomp) onto the chair but Jeff Cobb walked down to the ring. Martinez let Sabin go and he and Cobb went face to face. Martinez threw his title over his shoulder and walked off. Cobb let him but Martinez backtracked and hit him with the chair. Cobb no-sold it and hit Tour Of The Island on Martinez. He held up the TV title over the fallen Martinez.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Okay, first the match. Weird finish. The ref bumps, the heel brings a weapon into the ring, doesn’t get a chance to use it, and then wins clean. Based on the post-match it makes more sense as Martinez will need to look very strong in the coming weeks if he’s facing off with Cobb down the line. Sabin is slightly better off than where he was when the Machine Guns ended so his involvement wasn’t all for naught. As to the Cobb involvement – I’m very glad they’re doing something big with him right out of the gate but I can’t believe they’re making him a babyface. He just spent weeks beating up innocent rookies and ruining the 2018 installment of the prestigious Top Prospect Tournament. And ROH is desperately in need of strong heels!)
-Pre-tape video from Bully Ray. He narrated footage of Cabana, Gordon, and Lethal power bombing him through a table at All In and footage from his issues this summer with Colt, Flip, and Silas.
-Ray entered first, then Young. Cabana stopped by the commentary table to hug his broadcast partner Riccaboni. Gordon appeared behind Ray while his entrance music played.
(5) FLIP GORDON & COLT CABANA vs. “THE LAST REAL MAN” SILAS YOUNG & BULLY RAY – ELIMINATION TABLES MATCH
The faces cleared the heels to the floor and followed close behind. Cabana and Gordon hit the Dudley Boyz’ Whassup? on Ray at 2:00. They also did the Dudleys’ “get the table!” spot. A table was set up in the ring but Ray prevented them from using it. The heels tried to backdrop Gordon through a table but Cabana pulled it out of the way. Springboard moonsault from Cabana onto both heels. Ray grabbed a chair and hit Cabana across the back while yelling at Riccaboni. Riccaboni threw down his headset and ran to the ring. He checked on Cabana while Coleman lost it on commentary, pleading with him to get out of there. Ray advanced on Riccaboni but Gordon cut him off with a suicide dive. Young took one as well. Riccaboni picked up the steel chair and handed it to Cabana. Cabana unloaded on Ray while Riccaboni cheered him on. Cabana tried for a power bomb through the timekeeper’s table but Ray backdropped out. He power bombed Cabana through the table to eliminate him.
Colt Cabana was eliminated in 6:56.
Young stomped away at Gordon in the ring. Ray set up a table in the corner. Riccaboni joined commentary and Coleman scolded him for putting himself in danger. Ray and Young took turns holding Gordon so the other could chop him. Young charged Gordon, who dove out of the way, and Young knocked down Ray. Gordon went to town on Young but Ray caught him with a superkick. Ray yelled at Young for clotheslining him. Young yelled back. The heels turned on each other with punches but Gordon threw himself in their way, which actually caused them to stop fighting and unite again. Ray charged Gordon and went shoulder-first through the table in the corner.
Bully Ray was eliminated in 10:44.
Young hit a springboard clothesline to Gordon on the apron that sent him to the floor. There was still one table set up in the ring. Young looked for Misery through the table but referee Todd Sinclair took Gordon’s boots to the head and went down. Gordon hit a 450 on Young threw the table but apparently it didn’t count because Sinclair didn’t see. Ray got back to his feet and bludgeoned Gordon. He threw Gordon’s body into the table debris. Sinclair saw Gordon lying among the pieces and declared him eliminated.
WINNERS: Silas Young & Bully Ray in 13:34.
-Ray whipped Gordon with his steel chain. He picked up a piece of broken table and smashed it across Gordon’s back.
(Pageot’s Perspective: So stupid. Sinclair is the ROH senior official and should not be made to look this ridiculous. The match didn’t end when Gordon hit the 450 because Sinclair didn’t see it happen. Yet it ends when he thinks Gordon might have gone through the table without seeing that? There were some very fun moments in the match like the involvement of Riccaboni but Cabana was eliminated far too early without getting a chance to do a whole lot. This barely even felt like a tag match as Flip and Silas weren’t involved in the first act at all and Flip and Colt had next to no interaction with each other. There was so much potential with this one but it just ended up disjointed and rushed and the ending was straight-up bad. All the heat goes on Sinclair, not Ray, in this situation.)
-Riccaboni and Coleman got word of commotion backstage where Tenille Dashwood was sitting on the ground and holding her shoulder, apparently the victim of an attack. Agents were checking on her including B.J. Whitmer. Was this the work of his wife, Kelly Klein?
-Best Friends entered together first for the ten-man tag. Romero ran out on stage to join them. Ishii entered next, then Okada. Scurll was out first for his team, then Page, NWA champion Cody and his wife Brandi, and the Young Bucks last. Nick Aldis joined the commentary table.
(6) BULLET CLUB (Cody, Marty Scurll, Adam Page, Matt Jackson, & Nick Jackson w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Beretta, & Chuckie T)
Page and Ishii started. He wasn’t intimidated and went after Ishii hard but his offense had no effect and Ishii gave as good as he got. Ishii suplexed Page and tagged in Okada. He asked for Cody but Scurll took the tag instead. The All In opponents faced off but Okada tagged out to Romero instead. Romero with a hurricanrana and tranquilo pose. Romero punched Matt Jackson off the apron. Scull ran the ropes and took a knee to the back from Beretta. Tags to Chuck Taylor and Nick Jackson. Taylor with an atomic drop. Young Bucks double-teamed Taylor. Blind tag from Beretta. Bucks and Best Friends went at it. Lawndart cutter to Nick. Romero tried to crash the big hug. He and best friends hit synchronized flips onto the BC members on the floor. Three-way hug.
Tag to Okada and Cody came in for the first time. Collar and elbow tie-up. Cody into the corner. Okada quickly tagged back out to Beretta. Cody blocked a tornado DDT. He missed his springboard splash to the floor and Beretta hit a flip onto him. Scurll superkicked Page by accident. Everyone took out everyone at the foot of the ramp. It culminated with Taylor hitting a running cannonball off the stage onto almost everyone. Chaos set the BC members up for Ishii to hit a cannonball off the top rope onto everyone.
Beretta and Cody were still the legal men. Brandi jumped into the ring and low blowed Beretta behind the ref’s back. Cody and the Bucks triple-teamed Beretta. Scurll with a superplex. Beretta made the tag to Romero. He was a house of fire on all the BC guys but they came back for a five-way superkick. Page wound up taking kicks from both Bucks in the corner by accident. Chaos took turns splashing Nick in the corner. Everyone took turns hitting one of their signature moves on someone else. Okada and Taylor hit a spike piledriver on Matt. Page hit Buckshot Lariat on Matt by accident. Cody with CrossRhodes to Okada. Cody set up for a second but Okada countered into a Rainmaker.
Ishii and Page went at it again. Buckshot Lariat put down Ishii. Ishii avoided Rite Of Passage. Romero with the tag. Cody whipped Ishii into the guardrail. Scurll and Romero fought. Scurll called for the chicken-wing but Romero fought out. Matt superkicked Scurll by accident. Romero countered a Meltzer Driver that saw Matt and Nick collide. Scurll with the chicken-wing on Romero and he tapped instantaneously.
WINNERS: Bullet Club in 21:18.
-Cody stopped by the commentary table. He confirmed it will be he and Aldis in a two out of three falls match for the NWA title at the next NWA event.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The story of the entire match seemed to be the miscues by Bullet Club but then they won clean with a finish that had nothing to do with that. Okay. This was what you expected and nothing further. A very straightforward Bullet Club multi-man match and not really a step above the same types of matches we’ve seen as television main events. It doesn’t seem like we set up any stories here or introduced the groundwork for any new challengers to the ROH six-man titles or Cody’s NWA title unless the BC miscues is the start of a longer story and more Being The Elite in-fighting and drama.)
-Video package on the Lethal-Ospreay match.
(7) JAY LETHAL vs. “THE AERIAL ASSASSIN” WILL OSPREAY – ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Ospreay refused the code of honor. They were evenly matched in the opening minutes. Ospreay wrestled aggressively and mean, which seemed to irk Lethal. Lethal chopped Ospreay off the top rope to the floor at 4:00. He hit his trio of suicide dives that knocked Ospreay over the guardrail and into the front row of fans. Lethal was in control in the ring, avoiding any flares of offense from Ospreay. Ospreay regained control around 7:45 with some strikes. Lethal chopped him so Ospreay put his hands behind his back and encouraged him to keep going. Lethal went harder, causing Ospreay to flinch and double over. Lethal let him have a turn but Ospreay hit a kick and suicide dive instead. They fought on the floor. Ospreay pulled a ladder out from under the ring. In the ring Ospreay hit a springboard forearm. Lethal Combination at 12:40. They traded strikes.
Ospreay hurricanranaed Lethal over the ropes to the floor. Lethal looked to power bomb Ospreay through the timekeeper’s table but he avoided it. Bobby Cruise took a stray superkick and Ospreay wound up with the ROH title in his hands. He looked like he was going to hit Lethal with it but he threw it aside and they started brawling again. Lethal hit a flatliner that drove Ospreay head-first into the guardrail. Lethal tried to separate two guardrails but couldn’t so he leaned the ladder against one of the guardrails instead. Ospreay avoided Hail To The King in the ring and a figure four attempt. Poisonrana from Ospreay. Enziguiri. Sit-out power bomb but Lethal kicked out. Ospreay power bombed Lethal off the apron and onto the ladder. This did not constitute a disqualification for some reason.
Ospreay with a springboard dropkick at 20:00. Lethal blocked an OsCutter and hit a cutter of his own. A second cutter was blocked by a kick from Ospreay. He brought the title belt back into the ring and used it to distract Lethal. OsCutter connected but Lethal kicked out. With both men standing on the top rope Lethal countered a hurricanrana attempt into a power bomb. Lethal Injection seals it.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 22:48 to retain the world title.
-Ospreay exchanged the code of honor after the match. Then some red balloons floated into the camera shot. Vinny Marseglia and TK O’Ryan attacked both men. Jonathan Gresham made the save but fell to the numbers. Riccaboni said that Matt Taven is still in Mexico with CMLL. He was wrong as Taven hit the ring and bludgeoned Lethal with “the real ROH world title”, Taven’s purple customized belt. He pulled off his hood to reveal a short buzzed mohawk, his new look a result of losing a hair vs. hair tag match at the CMLL 85th Anniversary Show. The show wrapped at 11:56 EST.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Very good match and about as good as you could hope for with the crowd split between the faces and the lack of any storyline build or interaction between these two in the past eight months. The post-match puts us back into the world of ROH television and the actual feuds and personalities that we see regularly in the promotion. Will Lethal and Gresham find a third friend to join them in taking on The Kingdom? Will Taven finally get his long-overdue world title shot? Will Lethal continue his open challenge series or was that a one-time thing? We’ll find out in two weeks at Glory By Honor, the next ROH pay-per-view.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Livecast “Talking Honor.”