Silas Young vs. ECW Original The Sandman: Before the match, Bully comes out and runs off Bobby Cruise because he wants to explain the stipulation for this match. After Young makes his entrance, Flip Gordon makes his entrance accompanied by Colt Cabana. Cabana surprises Bully when he announces that it is not himself but is actually ECW original, The Sandman, who will battle Young. The ECW crowd was pretty darn excited to see the surprise being The Sandman. You probably could not be any more nostalgic in this building than getting a guy like Sandman to be the surprise. Sandman dominated early on and even got a “YOU STILL GOT IT” chant from the Philly fans. After dominating early on, Sandman hits a Swanton bomb off the top rope on to a ladder on Young but Young kicks out. Soon after, Young hits Misery on Sandman for the victory as Gordon put his hands on his head knowing that he now has to take whatever Bully dishes out. For this match, I thought it was as good as it could be with an aging Sandman. You simply could not have Sandman defeat Young here. However, Sandman had a decent showing in a loss after giving his body many years ago to ECW and the fans of Philly.
Bully Ray Announced Gordon’s Punishment After Sandman Loses: Bully decided that Gordon’s punishment for Sandman losing to Young would be Gordon taking 10 lashes with a Singapore Cane. This was nearly the same exact scene that we saw play out with Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, and Woman from many years ago in ECW. After we got to the count of 5 lashes, SoCal Uncensored (SCU) came down and along with many other talents in the ring are telling Gordon to just give up and not take all 10 lashes. Cody, The Young Bucks, and Brandi come out too to try to persuade this to stop but Bully keeps going. Gordon tells Bully “F YOU” when asked to quit right before the last lash which ended up being a groin shot with the cane. I would say this thing paid off well and more will come. I predicted last week that Gordon would lose since I felt that this thing was simply leading up to the last PPV of the year. Given what they did today, we are well on queue to keep going down the path we are going where Bully Ray and Gordon should eventually clash in a singles match. The opening match and this segment truly made this week’s episode.
Kenny King vs. Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes): This match was good. There was a ton of shenanigans with King, Cody, and Brandi throughout it. The long story of this was not the match but rather the ending when King gets DQ’d because he shoved Todd Sinclair forcefully. Upon doing that, he turned his attention to Brandi who was kneeling over Cody who had been hit with a title belt. King goes to drag Brandi off by her hair and that is when Jay Lethal came down to the ring from the commentary table. Lethal tries to talk some sense into King. With King calmed down, Lethal turns his back on King to check on Brandi. King then takes out Lethal from behind with the IWGP US Title belt which leaves just a little more bad blood going into King and Lethal’s match coming up November 11.
Karen Q & Britt Baker & Kelly Klein vs. Jenny Rose & Madison Rayne & Sumie Sakai: Yes, I am about to sound like a broken record. This match was fine. I have no issues with the WOH Division and showcasing the ladies. In fact, I have called for more singles matches. We have had a Women’s champion now since April. And yet, I think we have had close to as many WOH tag matches as we have had singles matches. To make this worse, you have the WOH champion in this 6-Woman tag match. I am still in favor of building contenders to Sakai’s title. I just do not see how this multi-person tag matches help the WOH division. Now there was some dissention teased with Baker and Klein during the match that ended up causing Rose to pin Klein. I guess you can say that creates a small feud for those two to fight going forward and somehow mix one of them into a title shot with Sakai eventually. I also realize that Klein rarely takes a pin and that is notable here. Other than that, I will continue to say I am not in favor of these tag matches with the WOH. I feel like the WOH division is not where it should be after all these months and the booking is part of the blame. There has been some bad luck if you can call it that. I realize Deonna Purrazzo left the company and recently Tennille Dashwood announced she was taking some time off. Casting that aside, there is still talent here and yet we have these episodes where we have these multi person matches repeatedly.
The Kingdom Promo: Quick build up to next week’s 6-man main event. I usually like the Kingdom promos. This was not bad but if you asked me after seeing this if it made me want to tune in next week to see the 6-man main event, my answer would literally be “meh”.
Young vs. Sandman was fun and nostalgic. The Singapore cane angle with Bully and Gordon was also a nice touch on Gordon losing and paying respect to an old angle from 24 years ago in the same building. Beyond the early portion of the show with those two segments, I felt like this was a flat episode. If you only saw the first half of the show, you saw everything you needed to see from this week’s ROH. If I were rating the show as a whole, it would have gotten a C.
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
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S COLUMN: ROH HITS & MISSES 10/28: Sky vs. Page, Isom vs. Taylor, The Kingdom, Gordon and Bully Ray, Liger & Kushida vs. Lethal & Gresham