ROH TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 4, 2018
PHILADELPHIA, PA AT 2300 ARENA
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, Caprice Coleman
We opened with a recap of Shane Taylor defeating Eli Isom last week and beating down Isom and Cheeseburger until Flip Gordon “went extreme” on him with a steel chair and called out Bully Ray. Ray offered to put up Silas Young against any wrestler of Gordon’s choice this week with the winning proxy earning either Gordon or Ray the chance to do whatever they want to the other man.
-Bully Ray walked out in silence. He was carrying a manila envelope and bullied ring announcer Bobby Cruise out of the ring. He recapped the stipulation for the benefit of the live crowd since last week’s TV didn’t air before this was taped. He introduced Young.
Gordon made his entrance, also carrying an envelope containing his planned punishment for Ray. Gordon called Cabana over from the announce table. They walked down the aisle together while Riccaboni and Coleman pondered why Cabana was wearing street clothes rather than ring gear. “Colt Cabana” chant from the crowd as he entered the ring. Ray was in disbelief that Gordon would choose a guy they already beat in a tables match. Cabana said he was out there for two reasons: to support Flip and to see Ray’s face when he found out who Young’s opponent really was.
The lights went out. A spotlight lit up a banner hanging from the rafters of the former ECW Arena. “Hardcore Hall Of Fame – Sandman, 2007.” His name lit up the video wall and Sandman appeared in the crowd among his hometown fans, dressed in a Flip Gordon t-shirt. He held up a Singapore cane, cracked open a beer, and poured it into a fan’s mouth. Coleman and Riccaboni were losing their minds on commentary, rightfully so. [C]
Sandman and Young were in the ring. Sandman was already bleeding from the forehead, presumably from hitting himself with the cane. Young charged but Sandman sidestepped and cracked him across the stomach. The bell rang.
(1) SANDMAN (w/Flip Gordon & Colt Cabana) vs. “THE LAST REAL MAN” SILAS YOUNG (w/Bully Ray) – PICK YOUR PUNISHMENT MATCH
“This is awesome” chant from the crowd. Sandman dumped Young to the floor. Cabana heckled Ray from across the ring. Sandman hit some fists to Young’s head. He pulled a ladder out from under the ring and slid it in. More punches to Young. Sandman suplexed the ladder onto Young on the floor. “You still got it” chant. He went for a cover in the ring but Young kicked out. Sandman leaned the ladder in a corner and got thrown back-first into it. Riccaboni acknowledged the ladder being there because the ring crew uses it to set up the lighting rig. Sandman and Young brawled. Young went under the ring for a table and slid it in. Sandman leaned the table in one corner and the ladder across Young’s body. The 55 year-old hit a cannonball off the top rope onto the ladder on Young. Wow. Young kicked out at two and a half. “That was three” chant. Sandman grabbed his cane but Young hit Misery.
WINNER: Silas Young in 5:35.
-Gordon was crestfallen at ringside. Sandman apologized as we went into the break wondering what Gordon’s punishment would be. [C]
-Out of the break we were presented with a viewer discretion warning about graphic images and video. ROH insists you don’t try anything you see on this program at home.
(Pageot’s Perspective: In my seven or eight years of watching ROH I think that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that…)
-Ray said Gordon’s punishment is ten shots with the Singapore cane. He told Sandman to his face that he was going to use his cane.
We jumped ahead through time suddenly with a note on the bottom of the screen explaining that aspects of this segment had been edited and censored for broadcast television. Cheeseburger and Jonathan Gresham were at ringside with Cabana and Sandman in support of Gordon who was shirtless and wincing following a shot from the cane. Gordon took shot #4 from Ray across the back. The cane was falling apart so Ray replaced it with a new one. Gordon’s back was blurred out as he stood, presumably from excessive blood. Ray hit him with a fifth. He gave Gordon the opportunity to quit. If he would, Ray would stop and leave the building. Gordon said, “Never.” Ray hit another shot as SoCal Uncensored joined the others at ringside, pleading with Gordon to stop it. Ray hit him again. Cody, The Young Bucks, and Brandi Rhodes were out next. Cody entered the ring in a suit and whipped off his jacket. He thought about stopping Ray but instead encouraged Gordon to take it. Ray said the next one was for Brandi and hit Gordon again. Ray told him to quit. Gordon grabbed the mic and simply said “—- you.” Ray wound up for cane shot #10 but instead low blowed Gordon. The babyface crowd were incensed and started to swarm on him and Young but they backed up the ramp as Ray kept the cane in front of him for protection. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Wow again. That was half the show but it was without a doubt one of the most memorable, uncharacteristic ROH segments in a long, long time. Sandman as the surprise guest was really cool and a huge moment in Philadelphia. I’m very grateful ROH didn’t feel the need to spoil that one on their social media. The post-match was completely channeling old school ECW with Flip being positioned to earn the fans’ love through the taking of physical punishment. It’s a true sign that ROH has big plans for him and this should rocket him into being one of the top babyfaces going forward, especially if The Elite are leaving the company as suspected. All of the friends of Flip coming to ringside for support was a great visual, establishes Flip as a likable guy that people care about, and again sold the magnitude of the segment as a whole. Just a tremendous segment all around.)
-Kenny King was shown lacing up his boots in the locker room.
-Mandy Leon joined the commentary team for a six-woman tag. Riccaboni noted that Baker (a babyface) doesn’t really want to be teaming with the two heels but she’ll take the matches she can get if it means a chance to compete in ROH. Jenny Rose got a hometown pop. She and Klein had to be held back before the bell. Photos were shown of Klein’s fractured teeth at the hands of Rose earlier this summer and subsequent dental surgery.
(2) WOH WORLD CHAMPION SUMIE SAKAI, MADISON RAYNE, & JENNY ROSE vs. “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN, DR. BRITT BAKER, & KAREN Q
Sakai and Baker started things off. The dentist was in control early. She got a Rings Of Saturn but Sakai reached the ropes. Slingblade from Baker for two. Q made a blind tag as Baker ran the ropes. Rose tagged in and hit a couple shoulder tackles and an armdrag. Tag to Rayne. She caught Q with a bridging pin and roll-up for a couple near-falls. Northern lights suplex but Klein broke up the pin and all six women ended up throwing hands. [C]
Q was in control of the champ. Sakai hit a headscissors and tagged Rayne. Klein tagged in as well and took some strikes to the chest. Crucifix driver to Q when she tried to get involved. Sakai took out Q on the floor. Ripcord cutter from Rayne to Klein. Tag to Rose. She speared Klein and they went after each other. Rose put Klein into an abdominal stretch. Klein reached to Baker for a tag but Baker blew her off. Klein escaped and yelled at her to tag her when she tells her. Rose hit a northern lights suplex on the distracted Klein.
WINNERS: Rose, Sakai, and Rayne in 6:48.
-The commentators spoke about how rarely Klein is pinned, previously being undefeated for nearly two years.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Thrilled to have Women Of Honor back on TV after a month and a half without a match. Rayne signed an exclusive contract with ROH recently and it appears that Baker will be around regularly from now on as well. With Klein also back from a stint in Japan with Stardom and Twisted Sisterz debuting at Survival Of The Fittest things are really picking up. Rose and Klein are heading toward a singles showdown soon, hence the finish here.)
-The Kingdom filmed a promo earlier in the day in the empty, darkened arena. Vinny Marseglia was under the ring while TK O’Ryan sat on the apron and Matt Taven stood in the ring. They sent a warning to Jay Lethal.
-Kenny King made his entrance for the main event, wearing a Bullet Club Silencer t-shirt. (They’re now just The Elite, no longer Bullet Club, so that’s a testament to how successful King was.) ROH World Champion Jay Lethal was on commentary. Cody was introduced as an ROH six-man champion and the NWA World Champion (lol) in addition to being the IWGP U.S. Champion (the one belt he actually does still hold). [C]
(3) “THE AMERICAN NIGHTMARE” CODY (w/Brandi Rhodes) vs. KENNY KING
Cody with a wristlock. King to the ropes. Shoulder tackle to Cody. Flashy hiptoss. Delayed vertical suplex from Cody. King ran the ropes and dropped to the mat. He claimed Brandi tripped him. She was nowhere near but referee Paul Turner wasn’t certain. He didn’t eject her, though. Behind the ref’s back King clapped and claimed she slapped him. Turner didn’t buy it entirely but cautioned her just in case. Snap suplex from King. [C]
Powerslam from Cody for a two-count. Beautiful disaster kick. Chinchecker from King. Superplex from Cody. Lethal and Coleman argued over whether King is right to rely on dirty tactics and shenanigans in order to pick up wins. He looked for a roll-up with his feet on the ropes but Turner spotted it. Slingshot corkscrew splash onto Cody on the floor. Spinebuster in the ring. King whipped his elbow pad at Brandi as she cheered on Cody. She jumped in the ring and threw a fit. As Turner tried to get her out, King tossed the IWGP title to Cody and fell to the mat, Eddie Guerrero-style. Turner saw King down and Cody with the title and seemed to be leaning toward disqualifying Cody but ROH senior official Todd Sinclair ran down to stop him. As the two refs conferred King shoved Sinclair to the mat. Turner disqualified him for that.
WINNER: Cody in 12:10 by disqualification.
-Cody lunged at King and took a kick between the legs. Brandi checked on Cody. Loud “you suck” chant from the crowd. King picked up the IWGP title. He told her to get her ass out of there. King grabbed her by the hair and Lethal stormed the ring. He shoved King off and tried to talk him down as Brandi fled. King seemed to listen to reason but hit Lethal in the back with the title belt when he turned around.
(Pageot’s Perspective: And the heel turn is complete. Up until now King’s used small-time debatably-unethical moves like feet on the ropes and playing possum. A low blow, hitting someone with a foreign object, and threatening a valet is a whole different level. He came off well here, fully-committed to his new philosophy, and Lethal got to look like a chivalrous hero by saving Brandi and trying to talk some sense into his friend rather than going straight to violence. ROH has been doing a commendable job lately of establishing some big heroes like Lethal, Gordon, and Gresham while also positioning people the fans are willing and happy to boo as the top villains. See also: The Kingdom, Bully Ray, Silas Young, Shane Taylor. Things are looking very promising as we head toward Final Battle.)
-Next week: it’s Jeff Cobb vs. Shane Taylor and The Kingdom vs. Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham, & a mystery partner.