SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH ROAD TO G1 SUPERCARD
JANUARY 25, 2019
HOUSTON, TX AT NRG ARENA
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni
We opened in the arena with Dalton Castle joining Riccaboni on commentary as Colt Cabana is in action tonight. Castle’s Boys were already in the ring as their opponents made their way through the crowd straight from the bar.
(1) THE BOUNCERS (Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas) vs. THE BOYS (Brandon & Brent) – TAG WARS, ROUND ONE
The Boys ducked and dodged Milonas, goading him into chasing them until he grew winded. They dropkicked both Bouncers to ringside. Milonas caught them at the same time for a splash. Brent caught Bruiser with sliced bread and Brandon followed with a double stomp. Sole food from the Boys to Milonas but he only teetered and put them down with a double clothesline. Sidewalk slam to Brandon. Last Call to Brent ended things.
WINNERS: The Bouncers in 7:06 to advance to the semifinals.
-The Bouncers grabbed a cup of beer each and brought in bottles of chocolate milk for the Boys to toast. Castle headed backstage to prepare for his match later.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Straightforward but enjoyable. The Bouncers face PCO & Brody King and either Team Cabana or Team Kenny in a triple threat tomorrow in round two.)
(2) SUMIE SAKAI vs. THUNDER ROSA (w/Holidead)
Rosa attacked before the bell. Riccaboni called the action alone. When Sakai went up top Holidead grabbed her around the waist and the referee called for the bell.
WINNER: Sumie Sakai in 1:36 by disqualification.
-Twisted Sisterz attacked Sakai so Madison Rayne ran out for the save. Rayne took a mic and derided them for jumping their opponents and only wanting to fight with the numbers on their side. She challenged them to a tag match on the spot.
(3) SUMIE SAKAI & MADISON RAYNE vs. TWISTED SISTERZ (Thunder Rosa & Holidead)
The faces hit stereo crossbodies onto the heels on the floor. The Sisterz cheated and double-teamed Sakai behind the ref’s back. Hot tag to Rayne at 6:30. Ripcord cutter to Rosa. Holidead broke up the pin. Sakai took Holidead to ringside. Rosa avoided a crossbody from Rayne. Rosa rolled up Rayne with a handful of tights.
WINNERS: Twisted Sisterz in 7:28.
-Rayne stormed off in a huff as Sakai looked on.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Slow paced with the heels working over Sakai for the majority of the match. Not sure where we go from here.)
-The smooth jazz hit and Rhett Titus walked out onto the stage in skimpy tights and carrying his fake fitness trophy. He posed for a minute before heading to commentary.
(4) SHINOBI SHADOW SQUAD (Cheeseburger & Eli Isom w/Ryan Nova) vs. COAST 2 COAST (Shaheem Ali & LSG) – TAG WARS, ROUND ONE
Burger and LSG started. Burger was worked over for a period before making a tag to Isom at 7:00. Isom got a near-fall on LSG off a Samoan drop. Ali with a doctor bomb to Isom but Burger broke up the pin. Burger with a crossbody to both C2C members. He dropkicked Ali to ringside and called for the shotei. Shotei connected on LSG and Isom followed with a springboard frogsplash. Burger and Isom both covered LSG but Ali broke it up with a diving headbutt. Ali blocked a shotei and hit a headbutt to Burger. Swingout slam and he cannonballed over the ropes to take out Isom as LSG hit a 450 onto Burger for the win.
WINNERS: Coast 2 Coast in 10:38 to advance to the semifinals.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Fun one showcasing four of the potential breakout stars of 2019. I’m glad to see C2C pick up the win as they were on a big upward trajectory last year before Ali found himself the victim of a car accident. I still fear they’ll be the ones to take the pin in their round two threeway match tomorrow, though, as most of the new signees seem to be jumping up the card ahead of the names who were already here.)
-Titus headed backstage and left Riccaboni alone again to call the action.
(5) VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (Marty Scurll, PCO, & Brody King) vs. NJPW YOUNG LIONS (Alex Coughlin, Karl Fredericks, & Clark Connors)
King and Fredericks started. PCO took out Fredericks and Coughlin with a cannonball at ringside. Scurll called for the chicken-wing but Connors got the Boston crab. Scurll escaped and put him into a crab of his own. PCO followed with a legdrop onto the back of Connors’ head. King with a running senton. Gonzo Bomb from King. Top rope moonsault from PCO and he pinned Connors.
WINNERS: Villain Enterprises in 9:02.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The rookies were fine but this was just a showcase match for VE ahead of PCO & King’s semifinal Tag Wars match tomorrow and the trio challenging The Kingdom for the six-man titles on TV this weekend.)
-Matt Taven and TKO entered first for his scheduled match. Taven interrupted ring introductions of Jonathan Gresham to call him a melvin and say that Lethal’s young boy doesn’t deserve a shot at his real world title. O’Ryan took the mic and seemed to request the opportunity to face Gresham instead of Taven. Taven headed to commentary.
(6) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION “THE SASSY WILD HORSE” TK O’RYAN vs. “THE OCTOPUS” JONATHAN GRESHAM
Gresham had O’Ryan’s number for most of the match. The red balloons appeared at 9:15 when Gresham had O’Ryan in the octopus. Vinny Marseglia appeared to distract the referee as O’Ryan tapped. Gresham let go of the hold and O’Ryan pinned him with his feet on the ropes.
WINNER: TK O’Ryan in 9:40.
-Marseglia attacked Gresham after the match until Jay Lethal made the save. Security tried to usher The Kingdom backstage but Lethal took a mic and requested his scheduled match against Marseglia on the spot.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Fine match with Hiroshi Tanahashi’s favorite wrestler stealing a win over everybody else’s favorite.)
(7) JAY LETHAL vs. “THE HORROR KING” VINNY MARSEGLIA – ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Marseglia took the world title belt and kicked it out of the ring with disdain. This set Lethal off, who went after him and threw him aroung ringside and into the guardrail. Marseglia gained an advantage and said he was going to destroy Lethal’s fake title belt. Marseglia fetched his ax from under the ring but Lethal cut him off with a dropkick. Marseglia blocked an elbow drop at 6:00 and countered a figure four attempt into a roll-up. Lethal Injection!
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 6:32 to retain the ROH world title.
-O’Ryan tried to jump Lethal but Gresham returned and took him out with a cannonball.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Lethal has now successfully defended the ROH world title 38 times, tying Daniel Bryan and Nigel McGuinness for most defenses. In nine days he will pass Samoa Joe for most days as world champion as well.)
-Mandy Leon joined commentary for a surprise last-minute addition to the card with Kelly Klein defending the Women Of Honor title against AEW’s own Britt Baker.
(8) “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN (w/Camp Klein) vs. BRITT BAKER – WOH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Klein caught Baker with a knee and Baker passed out in her End Of The Match submission.
WINNER: Kelly Klein in 4:44 to retain the WOH world title.
-Riccaboni asked Leon if she’ll be back in action any time soon. She hinted maybe before Klein ambushed the commentary table. Klein sent a warning to Sumie Sakai ahead of their match tomorrow night.
(Pageot’s Perspective: That was over before it began.)
-Lucha Underground’s The Mack entered first for our final first-round Tag Wars match. His partner was Colt Cabana and their opponents were Kenny King and a mystery partner. King skipped out onto stage, grinning ear to ear. He was wearing sweatpants instead of ring gear and immediately headed backstage again. He re-entered with his partner, both dressed in ring gear and devil masks. The letters M-V-P lit up the videotron!
(9) BEAT DOWN CLAN (Kenny King & Montel Vontavious Porter) vs. COLT CABANA & NWA NATIONAL HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION WILLIE MACK – TAG WARS, ROUND ONE
King and Mack started for their teams. Cabana outwrestled MVP and mocked his ballin’ pose while pretending to play basketball. Cabana got the hot tag at 10:30. He slingshotted King into the ring and hit a springboard moonsault onto both opponents. Inverted cannonball from Mack to MVP in the corner. Standing moonsault got Mack a two-count. MVP avoided a stunner and hit a clothesline. MVP provided a base for King to run and leap off his back with a corkscrew splash onto Cabana and Mack at ringside. MVP hit his ballin’ elbowdrop. Playmaker to Mack but Mack kicked out of a very believable nearfall. Mack with a double stunner to both opponents. King unloaded on Cabana with kicks. Chinchecker and another kick but Mack broke up the pin. Mack with a cannonball over the top rope onto both opponents on the floor. MVP caught both men with yakuza kicks and King hit the Royal Flush on Cabana for the win.
WINNERS: Beat Down Clan in 15:37 to advance to the semifinals.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Great surprise. Time will tell if this is just a two-night appearance for MVP or if he’s sticking around but it would definitely give King something new to do and provide another strong heel team for the tag division. Tomorrow it’s Villain Enterprises vs. Beat Down Clan vs. The Bouncers in a threeway and Coast 2 Coast vs. Finjuice vs. Lethal & Gresham in a threeway with the two winning teams meeting in the finals later on in the night.)
(10) ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION JEFF COBB vs. DALTON CASTLE (w/The Boys) vs. ROCKY ROMERO – PROVING GROUND MATCH
If Castle or Romero can pick up the win here they will earn a future TV title match. Cobb and Castle went face to face, which Romero found insulting as they ignored him. He attacked Castle, knocking Castle into Cobb. At 7:00 Castle and Romero double-teamed Cobb with high knees but he responded with a double clothesline. The three men traded blows. Cobb hit saito suplexes on both men at the same time. Running powerslam to Castle. Spinning side slam to Romero. Castle clotheslined Cobb to the floor and connected with a suicide dive. Castle looked for Bang-A-Rang on Romero but Romero countered into a roll-up for the three.
WINNER: Rocky Romero in 9:20 to earn a future shot at the ROH TV title.
-All three men were stunned by the finish.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another fun one with a truly surprising finish. I certainly expected Romero to be the one to take the pin from Cobb here. My best guess has Romero getting his title shot at Honor Rising in Japan. On TV Silas Young and Eli Isom are scheduled to face off in a week and a half for a TV title shot and I believe that winner will get his match at the 17th Anniversary Show in March.)
-A highlight video juxtaposed Bully Ray, Silas Young, Shane Taylor, and the Briscoes ruining The Elite’s farewell party with Juice Robinson announcing the formation of his new stable, Lifeblood.
-Young entered first for the main event. Shane Taylor was out second, then the Briscoes. Despite their clams that they’re a united faction David Finlay, Tracy Williams, Mark Haskins, and Juice Robinson & Tenille Dashwood each entered individually in that order. The final member of Lifeblood, Bandido, was not present after injuring his knee last night following a match with Young. Dashwood joined Riccaboni on commentary.
Before the bell could ring Bully Ray walked out for his first appearance since “Farewell To The Elite.” He insisted ring announcer Bobby Cruise hand him a microphone. Ray joined his new stable in the ring and called them the guys who got rid of Bullet Club. They ruined it for everybody and they’re going to ruin it for Lifeblood. He turned his attention to referee Todd Sinclair and accused him of screwing him at Final Battle. Ray never said “I quit” in his match with Flip Gordon. He told Sinclair to make this one a handicap match and add him in. Robinson stole the mic away. He said Ray doesn’t call the shots, the fans do. The fans wanted five-on-four and so did Lifeblood so Robinson implored Sinclair to make it official.
(11) ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BRISCOES, “THE LAST REAL MAN” SILAS YOUNG, SHANE TAYLOR, & BULLY RAY vs. LIFEBLOOD (Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Mark Haskins, & Tracy Williams)
Ray’s new heel faction are still officially without a name, though the commentators have referred to them as being a plague on ROH so I’ve been referring to them as The Plague on our weekly podcast. Ray and Williams started. Ray jawed at Finlay, saying he used to beat the crap out of his dad. He called Fit Finlay midcard but quickly tagged out when David tagged in. Haskins and Mark Briscoe started instead.
The heels isolated Robinson and pulled him into the ring post to gain the advantage. Mark with a death valley driver but Robinson got his knees up on a froggy-bow. Tag to Finlay but Ray distracted Sinclair from seeing it. As Finlay argued with Sinclair the heels dragged Robinson back to their corner and stomped away. They they cleared the faces from the apron. Robinson caught Ray with a side kick but had no one to tag.
Bandido limped out and down the aisle slowly. He took the tag rope in the face corner and Sinclair decided to make it legal. Tag to Bandido! He took out both Briscoes, then sent to Taylor to the floor with a hurricanrana. 21plex to Young! Top rope moonsault onto Taylor and the Briscoes on the floor. Ray was left alone in the ring. Corkscrew crossbody connected but the heels broke up the pin. All ten men hit the ring and things broke down. Bandido and Ray were left alone again. Back body drop from Ray. Clothesline in the corner. Bandido avoided a Bully Bomb. Finlay with a spear. Everyone took out everyone. Robinson with a spinebuster to Ray. Bandido with a frogsplash on Ray for the pin.
WINNERS: Lifeblood in 25:58.
-Dashwood joined her stable in the ring to close out the show.
(Pageot’s Perspective: It’s like Bullet Club never left.)
Find Harley on Twitter @talkinghonor and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Tuesday on the PWTorch Dailycast “Talking Honor.”