Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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RADICAN’S ROH 17TH ANNIVERSARY PPV REPORT
MARCH 15, 2019
LAS VEGAS, NEV
AIRED LIVE ON HONOR CLUB, FITE TV, AND PPV
The show kicked off with a video package looking back at the past and present of ROH. The package focused on Jay Lethal’s record breaking ROH World Title run. Matt Taven’s voice interrupted the promo and he pledged that the king must be crowned tonight. He said, “Now you can start the show, Melvins.”
They went live to Sam’s Town in Las Vegas.
Announcers: Nick Aldis, Ian Riccaboni, and Caprice Coleman.
Kamille stood behind Aldis holding the NWA World’s Heavyweight Championship as the announcers ran down the card.
(1) MARTY SCURLL vs. KENNY KING
Scurll wiped out King’s second that was dressed like him and King during the early going. King fired back and took control of the action. King flipped out of Scurll’s attempt to push him to the floor and hit an enziguri. Scurll fired back a short time later and hit a jumping DDT off the apron to the floor. Scurll hit a sequence of moves caped by the Villain Bomb for a two count. Scurll hit a 619 and rolled up King for another two count. King fired back and eventually hit a spinebuster for a two count. King slapped Marty across the face and Marty fired back with a slap of his own. They traded pinning combinations, but neither man could get a three count. King hit a jumping senton off the apron a short time later to wipe out Scurll on the floor.
They battled up top and Scurll went for Graduation, but King countered it with a Royal Flush. Scurll rolled to the floor to avoid being pinned. King got a chair, ubt the ref took it from him. Scurll capitalized by hitting King with his umbrella for the win.
WINNER: Marty Scurll in 13:00 (**¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: We have our first screwy finish on a ROH PPV. What a shock. This was solid, but nothing spectacular.This effectively ends King’s #1 contendership claims that ROH has been building since November.)
(2) ROH WORLD TV CHAMPION JEFF COBB vs. SHANE TAYLOR
They went at it hot and heavy right away. Cobb took Taylor down, but he got right back up. They started trading again, but Cobb caught him with a big suplex. Taylor was a little slower to get up this time, but he shook it off. Both men ran into each other over and over with shoulder tackles. Cobb hit the A.J. Styles dropkick spot on Taylor, but he got up and hit a pounce. WOW! Taylor began working over Cobb and hit a big chop. Taylor talked some trash and hit another big chop. Cobb fired back and hit a headbutt. Cobb then hit a huge chop on Taylor up against the ropes. Cobb sent Taylor to the floor. Cobb went to the apron, but Taylor tripped him. Taylor did something to get Cobb to come after him, but the cameras didn’t catch it. Taylor went for a cannonball in the corner, but Cobb rolled out of the way. They began trading chops in the middle of the ring. Cobb hit a big strike and he paused while holding Taylor before hitting a pumphandle suplex. THe crowd exploded when Cobb hit the move, but it was only good for a two count.
The fans chanted for Cobb. Taylor fired back and hit a running knee to Cobb’s jaw for a near fall. They traded strikes and then kicks. Cobb hit a big superkick, but Cobb fired back with a right. Cobb hit a huge clothesline, but his momentum carried him forward and he spilled through the ropes. Cobb got back into the ring and they talked to each other. They began exchanging blows again. Taylor went up top, but Cobb nailed him with a dropkick. Cobb went for a superplex, but couldn’t get it. He eventually lifted Taylor off the top and slammed him to the mat. Cobb went for a cover, but went right into a standing moonsault when Taylor kicked out at two. Taylor pushed Cobb off the ropes and hit a one-armed spinebuster. Taylor went up to the second rope and hit a big splash for a two count. Cobb hit a ripchord slap and a German with a bridge for a two count.
Cobb ducked a clothesline, but Taylor caught him with western lariat. Taylor then hit the Cleveland Destroyer on Cobb and the fans lost their minds. Taylor went to charge at Cobb, but ate Tour of the Islands. Taylor began firing up, so Cobb grabbed him and hit a second Tour of the Islands for the win.
WINNER: Jeff Cobb in 14:00 to retain the ROH World TV Championship (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was the first time I saw something really great in Taylor. He had great chemistry with Cobb and Cobb looks like someone that can have a great match with just about anyone right now. That’s how good he is in the ring right now.)
A video packaged aired highlighting the Mayu Iwatani vs. Kelly Klein WOH Championship match.
(3) WOH CHAMPION MAYU IWATANI (w/Sumie Sakai) vs. KELLY KLEIN (w/Camp Klein)
Klein got the upper hand right away and went to work on Iwatani. Klein got on top on Iwatani and hit several blows from the mount. Iwatani shoved Klein away, but she got back on top of her and hit another series of blows to Iwatani’s midsection. Iwatani fired back and took Klein down with a pair of Sling Blades. Iwatani stepped on Klein’s stomach and then came off the top and hit a double stomp. Iwatani hit a blow and told Klein to bring it. Klein fired back and got the upper hand, as Iwatani couldn’t outstrike her. They began exchanging blows and the crowd didn’t care. This match seems to be a bit off in terms of being smooth. Klein caught a kick and sent Iwatani to the floor. They traded Germans a short time later and both women were down. Iwatani sold Klein’s German incredibly.
Iwatani caught Klein with a kick to the head a short time later. She went up top and hit a moonsault. She went up top again, but Klein got her knees up for the second one. Klein HIt K Power, but Iwatani kicked out at the last second. Klein took her mouth guard out, but Iwatani rolled her up for a two count. Klein caught Iwatani with a big lariat. Sakai got Klein with a small package out of nowhere for the win.
Winner: Mayu Iwatani in 9:00 to retain the WOH Championship (**)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was fine. Nothing stood out here as being exciting and the crowd was flat for most of it.)
Matt Taven came out next to interrupt what was supposed to be Lifeblood vs. The Kingdom. Taven said he couldn’t wait for his shot at the ROH World Title. He said he was ready right now to face Lethal. Lethal’s music played and he came down to the ring and the ref said he was ready. Bobby Cruise did the formal introductions and the match was on.
(4) ROH WORLD CHAMPION JAY LETHAL vs. MATT TAVEN
Both men jawed and began exchanging blows. They did not follow the Code of Honor. Lethal got the upper hand. Taven fired back and worked a headlock, but Lethal got out of it and wiped him out with a clothesline. The announcers debated about whether or not Lethal should have come out to face Taven on short notice. Lethal and Taven traded blows in the middle of the ring. Lethal hit a suplex. Taven fired back and wiped out Lethal. Taven worked a chinlock on Lethal. Lethal escaped the chinlock and hit a dragon screw leg whip on Taven’s bad knee. They went back and forth with both men going for their finish. Taven finally wiped Lethal out with a spinning heel kick. Lethal came up favoring his shoulder and Taven went after it. Lethal fired back and hit a dropkick, but Lethal was slow to capitalize due to his shoulder. Lethal took control and went after Taven’s back before grabbing a chinlock.
Lethal got a cloverleaf variation and then lifted Taven up using his legs while holding onto the submission. The announcers said Lethal’s shoulders were down, but the ref didn’t check. Lethal let go of the the hold. They went at it near the ropes and Lethal backdropped Taven to the floor. Taven sold his leg on the floor. Lethal hit a two dives to the floor on Taven. He set up Taven for a third dive and the fans fired up and he connected. Taven sold his leg on the floor. Lethal hit yet another dive to Taven’s back and he went into the guardrail. Lethal began working over Taven’s knee in the ring. Taven ducked a charge for Lethal and he went shoulder first through the turnbuckles and into the ringpost. Taven hit a single arm DDT on Lethal, who sold his shoulder. Taven tried to work an arm submission, but Lethal rolled on top of him to force a count so that Taven would have to let go. Taven grabbed a crossface a short time later. Lethal struggled for the ropes, but Taven trapped his other arm. Lethal then got to the ropes with his foot.
Taven talked junk to Lethal, who responded with a headbutt. They went back and forth and Taven sent Lethal shoulder first into the mat.
Lethal tried to fire back, but Taven hit a falcon arrow suplex. Taven missed a stomp off the time, but Lethal avoided it and hit the Lethal Combination and both men were down. Lethal mounted a comeback and got the upper hand. He called for the elbow and pointed up top. Taven got up before Lethal could even begin climbing the ropes. They battled up top and Lethal sent Taven to the mat. Lethal set up for the elbow, but balloons came up and Lethal stumbled down to the mat. The ref got distracted and Vinny Marseglia hit Lethal with a bat. Jonathan Gresham ran down to help, but T.K. O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia outnumbered him. Marseglia set up Gresham over the guardrail and O’Ryan nailed him with a big chairshot to the leg up against the guardrail. Marseglia got a table from under the ring. Haskins and Williams came down to make the save. They carried a bat and chair. The Kingdom ran to the back and Lifeblood followed. Taven hit a low blow as the ref watched them leave and Taven hit The Climax for a near fall. The ref also watched Marseglia run into the ring, but I digress.
Taven went for another Climax, but Lethal blocked. Taven hit a rolling neck breaker. He went up top and hit a frog splash, but Lethal kicked out at two. Lethal hit a big cutter and both men were down. The fans chanted for both men. They began trading blows. The pace picked up as they continued to trade at the same time. Taven went for a springboard, but Lethal caught him in the Lethal Rack. He then hit an inverted Finlay Roll for a two count. The announcers said Lethal couldn’t fully make the cover because of the work on his arm. Lethal planted Taven and went up top. He went for Hail to the King, but Taven got a crucifix pin and got it for a near fall. Lethal went right for the figure 4 and he got it in the middle of the ring. Taven told Lethal he wouldn’t tap. Lethal slapped him and continued to work his leg in the submission. Taven tried to turn Lethal over and he did it. Lethal struggled and then turned the hold back over.
Taven struggled, but managed to get to the ropes at around the 39 minute mark. They battled near the apron and Taven lifted Lethal over the ropes and drove him through the table that had been set up on the floor. Taven stopped the ref’s count because the title doesn’t change hands on a countout. Taven tossed Lethal into the ring, but only got a two count. Taven hit a backpack stunner out of the corner a short time later, but he only got a two count. Lethal hit The Climax on Taven for a two count. Taven sat up after kicking out and flipped Lethal off. Lethal got up and nailed him with a superkick and a shining wizard. Lethal hit the Lethal Injection, but the announcers overplayed it and Taven predictably kicked out at the last second. The fans chanted for both men as they were slow to go at it. Lethal followed Taven to the apron and nailed him with a cutter. Taven appeared to just connect with his knee on the apron. HIs head didn’t hit anything. Lethal hit another cutter on the floor. Taven managed to get back into the ring as the announcers threw around the term instant classic at the 48 minute mark.
Lethal got a table out from under the ring. He set it up near the guardrail. Lethal set Taven up on the table, but Taven popped up and slammed him shoulder-first into the apron. Taven grabbed an apron out from under the ring. Taven told Lethal it was time for him to learn that he’s the real ROH World Champion. Taven had set the ladder up between the apron and the ring. Lethal got out of the way and hit an inside out dropkick, but Taven didn’t go down. Lethal hit another dropkick and Taven fell onto the ladder. Lethal went up top at the 52 minute mark with Taven set up on the ladder. Lethal went for Hail to the King, but Taven got out of the way and he went through the ladder. Both men were slow to get up. Several people tried to help Lethal to the back, but Taven wiped them all out with a big dive. He hit Just the Tip a short time later for a near fall. Taven hit a second Just the Tip and then a third. Taven hit a fourth Just the Tip. Taven slapped Lethal and spit on him. Taven hit another Just the Tip, but Lethal kicked out at the last second.
Taven went up top, but Lethal caught him coming down with a cutter. Lethal made the cover, but Taven kicked out at the 57 minute mark. The fans fired up and chanted this is awesome. They talked more trash to each other on knees. Taven told Lethal he hates him. They began trading blows and slaps. Lethal hit an enziguri and a superkick. He hit another superkick. Lethal flipped off Taven and hit a third superkick. Lethal hit the Lethal Injection, but Taven kicked out.
The fans were going nuts and the bell rang. Bobby Cruise said the match was a 60 minute draw. The fans chanted for five more minutes. Taven sold his leg. The announcers questioned where this leaves Lethal heading into MSG. Marty Scurll made his way down to the ring. Scurll picked up the ROH World Title and put it on his shoulder. He walked away with the ROH World TItle on his shoulder.
WINNER: no winner at 60:00 as the match declared a draw. Jay Lethal retains the ROH World Championship (**¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was slow and boring for the most part, but it picked up late. I enjoyed the last ten minutes or so of the match. There was no reason for this match to go so long only to ostensibly set up a triple threat at MSG between Lethal, Taven, and Scurll.)
Lethal and Taven got to their feet. They looked at each other and Taven tossed a piece of streamer into Lethal’s face before being helped to the back.
They went to a video package for ROH’s G1 Supercard. Ian Riccaboni introduced Mega Ran, who will be performing for ROH at G1 Supercard. Mega Ran came out with his partner. He asked the crowd to make some noise for what they’ve seen for what they’ve seen so far. He tossed some goodies into the car. He asked the fans to clap and they didn’t sound too enthusiastic. Mega Ran then performed Going to the Garden. Bully Ray came down and put an end to his performance.
Bully talked down to them. Ran said he’d be done by now if he hadn’t interrupted him. Ray tried to say Ran was fat without calling him fat. Ray said he probably played games and said he likely used him as a character. Ran said he played as D-Von. Bully Ray shoved down Ran and his partner and told them to get out. Ray said he has no chill. Ray asked what they would know about going to the Garden. Ray said he’s the only guy that’s ever performed at MSG. Ray said everyone should kiss his ass. He told a couple of young children he was going to smack them in the face. Ray said nobody was ready to face him at MSG. The fans chanted Flip. Ray said you mean the guy with the busted knee. Ray issued an open challenge to anyone in the entire wrestling business. Ray said he wanted a New York City Street Fight. Ray said you know exactly who I’m talking about. He said, I’ll see you in the Garden, Punk. Ray’s challenge was very specific.
(5) BANDIDO vs. RUSH
Dalton Castle joined the commentary table. The fans chanted for both men. RUSH refused to follow the Code of Honor and kicked away Bandido’s handshake attempt. They went to a fast exchange off the ropes and traded arm drags. They both went for dropkicks at the same time and came to a stalemate. Bandido sent RUSH to the floor and jumped off the apron, but RUSH caught him and threw him through the table. WOW! RUSH grabbed a chair, but the ref made him toss it aside. RUSH went after Bandido’s mask back inside the ring. He lifted him up by the mask and tossed him across the ring. RUSH went for a dropkick in the corner, but Bandido got out of the way. He followed up with a corkscrew splash a short time later. Bandido then wiped out RUSH with a dive to the floor. He followed up with a Fosbury Flop to wipe out RUSH and landed on his feet.
Bandido hit a big crossbody for a two count back inside the ring a short time later. RUSH fired back with a German on Bandido for a near fall. RUSH hit a big destroyer, but Bandido fired right back and both men were down. RUSH and Bandido battle up top and RUSH hit a deadlift superplex. Castle mentioned that both men are undefeated. Bandido countered RUSH and hit a deadlift suplex for a two count. Bandido set up RUSH on the middle rope and hit a springboard 450 for a two count. Bandido went for a springboard, but Rush caught him with a dropkick. RUSH then hit a big flip dive to the floor to wipe out Bandido a short time later and the fans fired up. They went at it on the apron and Bandido hit a running hurricanrana off the apron to the floor. They went back and forth and Bandido hit a modified GTS. He charged at RUSH, who suplexed him into the turnbuckles. RUSH hit the Bull Horns in the corner to get the win.
WINNER: RUSH in 15:00 (***½)
Radican’s Analysis: This was really fun while it lasted, but the crowd didn’t sound to be into it much. Castle added some enthusiasm on commentary.
After the match, Castle got into the ring after telling Riccaboni he had a big idea. Castle said RUSH is like a mountain of meat. He said ever since he came to ROH he’s undefeated. He said he sees a challenge in RUSH. Castle said he wants a match against RUSH at G1 Supercard. RUSH grabbed the mic from Castle. He asked Castle who he is. RUSH said he doesn’t care if he wants him one on one. He then spoke in Spanish. He said remember remember nothing happens. They went face-to-face. Riccaboni said he thinks the challenge has been accepted. RUSH grabbed a chair, but did not go after Castle.
Riccaboni said he had some updates. He said since Gresham had been taken out and in the back Young had asked him if he wanted to go. Young then took out his leg. We won’t see that match. The Kingdom has left the building so we won’t see their tag match either.. Riccaboni said they’ve been granted time to finish their main event. Silas Young came down to join the commentary team.
(6) ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS THE BRISCOES (MARK & JAY BRISCOE) vs. VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (PCO & BRODY KING) – LAS VEGAS STREET FIGHT
Both teams ran to the outside and began tossing chairs into the ring and the fans fired up. Al four men grabbed chairs and began swinging at it. The announcers noted that King was wrestling with a broken hand during his tour of Australia. The Briscoes got the upper hand and began working over King. King fired back and wiped out Jay with a dive off the top. PCO grabbed Mark on the apron and drove him through a table. King worked over Jay inside the ring and nailed him with some hard chops. Jay had a chair set up against his leg in the corner and King nailed him with a big chairshot to the leg. Mark hit PCO with a Kendo stick from the outside, but PCO no-sold it and went after him. Mark managed to drop PCO over the barricade when he charged at him.
Jay went for a sleeper on King, who was alone win the ring. Mark then came in and hit him with the chair. The Briscoes went back to work on King. The Briscoes set up a table and a chair in the corners of the ring. King countered Jay and sent him into the chair in the corner. He then hit a big DVD on Mark that sent him through a table in the corner. Jay came up bleeding. Both teams brawled to the floor. PCO went after Jay’s cut. King tossed Jay into PCO swinging a piece of broken table right into his head. Jay got a Kendo stick and wiped out PCO and King. Mark held King, but Jay accidentally hit him with the stick. King got the stick and went to work on The Briscoes. PCO charged at the Briscoes, who backdropped him onto the apron. Jay was bleeding like crazy as the fans chanted Man Up. The Briscoes took out King and PCO got sent back first into the entrance ramp. The Briscoes double teamed King once again and took him down.
Jay looked like a mad man as he worked over KIng inside the ring. The announcers said there was blood all over the place at ringside. Mark set up two tables side by side on the floor. King battled with Jay on the apron. He sent Jay back into the ring, but Mark came off the top and nailed him with a blockbuster through both tables. Jay hit a Jay-driller on King, but he kicked out at two. Both Briscoes got Singapore cane’s. They nailed King with them over and over and he told them to bring it. King then took a double cane shot to the front and back. PCO got back into the ring and nos-sold several cane shots from Mark and Jay. PCO broke both of the Kendo sticks and wiped out both Briscoes with a double clothesline. PCO tried to wake King up. Mark hit King with the broken end of one of the sticks. He then drove it into PCO’s chest. It looked like PCO had been stabbed.
King tossed Mark off the top through a pile of chairs on the floor. That looked brutal. Jay hit a low blow on King on the apron. THey went back and forth and King hit a sloppy looking piledriver on Jay that sent him through the table. That looked dangerous. King set up a chair over Jay and PCO hit a moonsault for the win.
WINNERS: PCO & Brody King in 20:00 to become the new ROH World Tag Team Champions (***½)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was hard to watch at times with all the blood and dangerous stunts. Kings’ piledriver on Jay late in the match from the apron to the floor looked really dangerous. PCO and King will now replace the Briscoes in taking on G.O.D. in a title vs. title match at MSG. This was certainly a big statement win for Villain Enterprises and the high point of the show, although it came after a long and exhausting card.)
The fans chanted for PCO after the match as Riccaboni wondered who would be IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Champions heading into G1 Supercard at MSG next month.
Overall thoughts: (n/a) – I’ll update my score tomorrow. It’s hard to process what went on during this event after it ran almost a half hour over its scheduled time. The show was pretty good at times with some good matches, but having Lethal and Taven go to a 60 minute draw brought any momentum the show had to a stop and hurt the matches that followed it.
They announced matches on Twitter during the show that should have been given more focus like Jeff Cobb vs. Will Ospreay almost being announced as what felt like an afterthought. With the fallout from Taven vs. Lethal, it looks like ROH will put on a Triple Threat match at MSG for the ROH World Title with Scurll walking away with the ROH World Title after Lethal vs. Taven ended.
This show lacked spark and the booking seemed really uninspired when the company really should be clicking on all cylinders heading into MSG, it feels like they’re just walking in if not limping. Castle vs. RUSH at MSG? That’s not very exciting. RUSH vs. Bandido was very good, but the crowd was still recovering from Taven vs. Lethal. I don’t know who Bully Ray is facing, so it’s hard to get excited about his mystery NYC Street Fight match. The main event ended the show on a high note even though it felt overly dangerous at times and Jay bled like crazy. The Briscoes not being tag champions heading into the show at MSG is a very strange decision as well.
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/sr_torch