ROH TV REPORT
JUNE 9, 2019
CHICAGO, IL AT THE ODEUM
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Nick Aldis
-In the arena we opened with “Sorry about your damn luck!” James Storm made his entrance, while NWA World’s Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis was on commentary with Ian Riccaboni. Colt Cabana was out next to a roaring ovation from his hometown crowd.
(1) COLT CABANA vs. “COWBOY” JAMES STORM – NWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
They announced a 15-minute time limit. Cabana was all smiles to start. Storm tried a couple cheap shots in the corner but Cabana avoided and scolded him. Storm with a hiptoss and slingblade. Cabana ducked a superkick and bailed to ringside. [C]
Cabana tried for the Superman pin but Storm kicked out. Storm outwrestled Cabana and took a bow. Cabana tossed Storm over the top rope but he skinned the cat back in. Tilt-a-whirl headscissors from Cabana left them both down. Roaring elbow from Cabana. Flying apple. Second rope splash. [C]
Storm threw Cabana into the guardrail and began pulling up the ringside mats. Cabana avoided a suplex on the exposed floor but got ran into the guardrail again. Storm made eyes at Aldis and took a hiptoss on the exposed concrete due to his concentration waning. Cabana hit a top rope moonsault in the ring for a near-fall. “That was three” chant from the crowd. Superkick from Storm. And a second. Texas cloverleaf with just under one minute left in the match. The bell rang. Storm let go and celebrated until he heard Bobby Cruise’s announcement.
DECISION: Time limit draw in 15:00. Colt Cabana retains the NWA national title.
-“Five more minutes” chant. Storm was in a huff. Cabana took the mic and said Chicago knew he wasn’t going to tap out, but he realized what it looked like. He offered another five minutes. Referee Todd Sinclair was about to make it official when The Briscoes jumped the guardrail and attacked Cabana from behind. They double-teamed him while a conflicted Storm looked on.
Jay Briscoe took a mic. “To hell with the NWA!” He declared the NWA screwed them at Crockett Cup by disqualifying them and ROH has been screwing them for ages so it’s time for them to start screwing back. He said nobody in the NWA has the balls to stop them and addressed Aldis directly. Aldis dropped his headset and took off his jacket and tie. He started down the aisle and threw hands with Jay on the floor. Jay into the guardrail but Mark got some shots in. Aldis came back and ran him into the turnbuckle, only for Jay to return. The Briscoes double-teamed Aldis as Cabana attempted a save. The NWA champions fell with Mark choking out Aldis. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: This was nearly half the show and it was great. The match was two experienced vets who know exactly what they’re doing at all times. Storm was obviously aware the locals would be behind Cabana and wasn’t afraid to lean into being a bit more heelish under the circumstances without making an unnecessary full turn. Their different personalities and styles mixed well too and kept things interesting. Aldis was also his usual reliable self on commentary. I’ll be stunned if he doesn’t become a full-time broadcaster when his in-ring career concludes. And the NWA were able to tell multiple stories here as an epilogue to the events at the Crockett Cup. Storm wants Aldis’ title and nearly beat the national champion so he should now be considered worthy of that match. The Briscoes are furious at Corgan and the NWA for disqualifying them in a tournament match against Villain Enterprises when VE were just as guilty of using weapons as they were so they’re waging war on the NWA. This will obviously lead to a Briscoes-VE rematch with the NWA tag titles on the line. Meanwhile, though, it’s been confirmed that it will be The Briscoes vs. Aldis & Cabana at ROH’s Best In The World pay-per-view in three weeks.)
-Riccaboni was alone on commentary. (Caprice Coleman wasn’t backstage?) A video recapped the post-match events that we just saw thirty seconds ago. Riccaboni ran down the Best In The World card.
-Part two of the Jeff Cobb profile videos played. Last week covered his childhood and amateur wrestling career. This one covered his early days in professional wrestling. He credited meeting Viking Raiders in NJPW as being the reason he signed with ROH. Footage aired of Cobb squashing Damian Priest and winning the TV title in his first ROH match. He spoke about not being pinned or submitted since joining ROH nine and a half months ago.
-As Silas Young made his entrance footage aired of his “exhibition” two weeks ago on TV where he taught us about the various ways you can get disqualified in a match. Young said that he’s turned over a new leaf. He doesn’t take shortcuts anymore and doesn’t need to because nobody is as good of a pure wrestler as he is. He could have had a match against anyone from ROH here and beat them handily but what would that prove? Instead he elected to go out and find one of the all-time greats – a guy who was trained by Lou Thesz, who beat Johnny Saint and Billy Robinson. He called out The Squid.
A generic white dude in a squid mask ran down the aisle, waving his arms like they were tentacles. You could hear a pin drop in the arena.
(2) “THE LAST REAL TECHNICIAN” SILAS YOUNG vs. THE SQUID
The Squid tapped to an abdominal stretch.
WINNER: Silas Young in 2:01.
-Young kept the hold on after the bell while simultaneously pulling out a cigarette and lighting it while keeping the jobber in the stretch. He took a victory smoke before we went to break. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Young’s feuding with “The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham currently, hence the squid reference. Unfortunately Gresham was in Japan for NJPW’s Best Of Super Juniors when these episodes were recorded so it’s become a very one-sided feud. I thought Young’s segment two weeks ago was entertaining in generating some basic heat but this one was just dumb and the match went twice as long as Josh Woods’ legit match last week.)
-A video recapped Bully Ray’s recent history of putting Tenille Dashwood and Mark Haskins through tables backstage and ROH management doing absolutely nothing about it. This led into footage of The Soldiers Of Savagery debuting four weeks ago on TV by attacking Lifeblood while Ray and Shane Taylor looked on, confused.
-Lifeblood’s music hit and Mark Haskins made his entrance alone. He said he came to ROH because wrestling matters (and AEW didn’t exist at the time). He’s not an entertainer; he’s a wrestler. He discussed wrestling Bandido on his first night in ROH. Juice Robinson met them backstage afterwards and asked them to join his vision in starting Lifeblood. Haskins put over Tracy Williams, David Finlay, and Tenille Dashwood. He blamed Ray for taking Dashwood’s career from her and called him out. [C]
Ray walked out alone. He ordered Bobby Cruise and referee Paul Turner out of the ring. He asked if Haskins was going to bark or bite. Haskins said everyone is fed up of him and told him to go away and crawl back into the cesspool he came from. He asked “pretty please” for Ray to retire. “Please retire” chant from the crowd. Ray said that he tried to retire. “Try again” chant. Ray said the fans begged him not to retire. The entire arena in Chicago were on their feet chanting “Thank you, Bully” at the time. Grown men in the front row were crying. He even hugged a small child in the ring. But he lied. He’s been lying his whole career and nobody’s been able to stop him. Haskins challenged him to a singles match on the spot.
ROH World Television Champion Shane Taylor made his entrance. Tracy Williams was close behind. The duos squared off. Williams suggested a tag match. (You mean the tag match you already advertised last week?) Ray allowed Turner back into the ring.
(3) ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION SHANE TAYLOR & BULLY RAY vs. LIFEBLOOD (Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams)
Haskins and Ray started. The Soldiers Of Savagery immediately showed up and attacked Lifeblood.
WINNERS: Lifeblood in 0:27 via disqualification.
-Samoan drop to Haskins. Fireman’s carry into a gutbuster to Williams. Ray and Taylor pulled out a table and set it up. PJ Black ran out with a steel chair. He was able to get three shots in but the numbers caught up to him. Taylor directed traffic and S.O.S. did what he said, handing Black to Ray for a second rope powerbomb through the table.
(Pageot’s Perspective: 17 minutes of wrestling on a 60-minute show. That is what it is. Let’s try to start with some positives. Lifeblood are getting over as the top babyface faction. With the injury to Finlay, the departure of Dashwood, and Robinson spending so much time in Japan that’s a true testament to the work of Haskins and Williams. Black has had a nice story the past couple months from his brief heel run to finding himself again and looked like a truly good person here. Plus: it’s clear that he actually cares about and wants to join Lifeblood. I didn’t see Flip Gordon out there. Or Bandido, for that matter. The Briscoes seem to be spinning away from Ray’s unofficial faction into doing their own stuff with the NWA and Guerrillas Of Destiny so they’re being replaced by the Soldiers in the group I’ve been calling The Plague. That’s fine. The negatives? Ray is apparently obsessed with the sound of his own voice and he is not putting over nearly as many young talent as he thinks he is. I get the impression that the idea here is for him to give a rub to all these young(er) guys by working with them but it’s still always The Bully Ray Show. He’s the center of attention. He’s the one with all the mic time. Taylor and S.O.S. are nothing more than glorified henchmen. Williams beat Ray in a match last week but it’s already been reduced to nothing. Haskins could beat Ray clean one-on-one at Best In The World and a week later it wouldn’t matter because Ray will just come out and talk for 40 minutes about how stupid the fans are and act like it never happened. If anybody other than Ray is getting over during these storylines it’s in spite of Ray’s involvement, not because of it. This episode was echoes of G1 Supercard all over again with the NWA half of the broadcast being great, compelling stuff and the ROH half being a one-note joke run into the ground. And it’s a joke that wasn’t particularly funny the first time.)
-Next week: it’s Jeff Cobb vs. Jay Lethal vs. PCO vs. Rush and The Allure vs. Kelly Klein & Jenny Rose.