KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (11/14)
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ROH TV REPORT
JUNE 23, 2019
KENT, WA AT SHOWARE CENTER
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni
We opened with footage of the Honor Rumble at G1 Supercard where Kenny King snuck in to dump Jushin Thunder Liger and The Great Muta to win the match and a future world title match. Post-match Muta misted King, which led to him pretending to be blind for a period. The ruse was eventually dropped so that he could attack Jay Lethal on stage one week. We transitioned to their first match in a best of three series, which King won following a low blow and his own Lethal Injection to Lethal.
-In the arena Mark Briscoe was out alone for an NWA-sanctioned match.
(1) COLT CABANA vs. MARK BRISCOE – NWA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Briscoe with a headlock. Cabana goaded him into grabbing his wrist and used it to transition out. Cabana offered his ankle to Briscoe and again used it to confound him. When Cabana went to the second rope, though, Briscoe pushed him off the top rope. Cabana tumbled to the floor and landed on his bad leg. Briscoe hit a dropkick through the ropes. [C]
They traded blows. Briscoe with the Cactus Jack elbow drop off the apron. He grabbed a steel chair and set it up on the floor. Back body drop to Cabana on the apron. He sat Cabana in the chair and charged for a kick but Cabana sprung up and gave Briscoe a release overhead belly to belly suplex through the open chair! Cabana shoved Briscoe into the guardrail, accepted a beer from a fan, and smashed the beer off the side of Briscoe’s head. Crossbody in the ring and a springboard moonsault but Briscoe kicked out. Flying Apple. Briscoe went to the floor and tore up the ring mats. He looked to suplex Cabana from off the apron to the exposed concrete but Cabana avoided it. They traded roll-ups. Release German suplex from Briscoe. [C]
Ura nage from Briscoe. Death valley driver. Cabana avoided a froggy-bow. Three elbows and the Superman pin wrapped it up.
WINNER: Colt Cabana in 12:26 to retain the NWA national title.
-Jay Briscoe immediately showed up and attacked from behind. The brothers beat down Cabana as Riccaboni explained that Nick Aldis is off in the UK and not there to make the save. Jay held Cabana so that Mark could crack him across the skull with the national title belt.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Very fun TV match. Two weeks ago the men involved were the highlight of the show and they continue to be right in the zone. I’m genuinely looking forward to the tag match at the pay-per-view now and it could end up being a show-stealer. Side note: Riccaboni’s perfectly fine calling the action all alone but it still feels strange to have only one commentator in 2019. Where’s Caprice Coleman been?)
-A Shane Taylor video aired with him in a suit and the ROH World Television Championship over his shoulder. He labeled his title reign as an opportunity at revenge. He wasn’t supposed to be in ROH and he wasn’t supposed to be a success. He cited Jay Lethal’s record number of TV title defenses and days as champion and vowed to crush both those records. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Simple, straightforward, and effective. Taylor’s had a new confidence to him ever since signing full-time with ROH (understandably so) and it’s been a pleasure to see him pushed accordingly.)
-The Allure (Angelina Love, Mandy Leon, & Velvet Sky) were in a hallway backstage. Love said it was perfect that they’re making their in-ring debut at Best In The World. Sky and Leon also claimed that they’re the best in the world.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The Allure continue to be one-note stereotypes that already felt played out in wrestling twenty years ago.)
-Riccaboni threw to footage of some recent encounters that set up Flip Gordon vs. Rush and Dalton Castle vs. Dragon Lee at Best In The World.
-Silas Young made his entrance wearing a Jonathan Gresham-style robe. He said we’ve had the honor of watching him showcase pro wrestling prowess the past few weeks. He’s the best pure wrestler walking the planet today. He addressed Gresham and their pure rules match at Best In The World. He called out an up and coming technical wrestler looking to avenge his father’s recent loss. A white guy in generic red gear and the squid mask from two weeks ago came out. “Squid” chant from the crowd.
(2) “THE TECHNICIAN OF HONOR” SILAS YOUNG vs. EL HIJO DEL SQUID JR.
Bridging pin from Young. Squid hit an atomic drop. Young with a clothesline. Abdominal stretch and immediate tap out.
WINNER: Silas Young in 1:14.
-Young lit up a cigarette and smoked in victory while the referee raised his arm. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: The whole segment was so brief that it’s hard to complain too much. But this was the third of these one-sided Silas Young segments over the past month and the second and third didn’t add anything new to that first one or build on anything. It would have seemed that the pay off here would have been for Squid Jr. to steal a win with a crucifix pin or schoolboy and then unmask to reveal Gresham himself. Unfortunately Gresham’s unique physique among the roster would make it hard to disguise him under a mask. Still, when Squid Jr. hit that atomic drop I thought we were heading toward it being a friend of Gresham’s looking to outsmart Young. But no, just more of the same. I realize Gresham was in Japan during all of these tapings but you’d think they could have at least had him film a brief promo there or even just on his cell phone and send that over to air so that it felt like he was even a little invested in this feud.)
-Lifeblood (Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams) and PJ Black were backstage. Haskins addressed them losing members over the past few months. Williams said nothing speaks louder than actions and said they may have found their newest member in Black. He spoke about them winning the six-man titles this Friday at Best In The World.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Haskins and Williams continue to be a little put off by Black’s overzealousness but they seem to be warming up to him. I suspect he’ll be anointed a full Lifeblood member post-match at the pay-per-view, win or lose. Unless of course he betrays them and is revealed to be the new fourth member of Villain Enterprises…)
-Kenny King made his entrance for the main event, carrying a broom as he hoped to sweep the best of three series here. Jay Lethal was out next to a big reaction from the live crowd. King is up 1-0 in the series. King was riding so high coming out of their last match that he was happy to follow the code of honor.
(3) JAY LETHAL vs. KENNY KING – BEST OF 3 SERIES: MATCH 2
King had a bit of an initial advantage. [C]
King strolled around ringside, rolling in and out of the ring to frustrate Lethal. King avoided some figure four attempts and dumped Lethal crotch-first onto the top rope. A springboard dropkick sent Lethal to the floor and a corkscrew splash over the ropes punctuated it. King worked over Lethal. [C]
King called for a Lethal Injection but Lethal blocked it. Lethal unloaded with chops and fired up. Figure four finally locked in but King was too close to the ropes. Springboard dropkick sent King to the floor. All three suicide dives in his patented trio found their mark. King struggled to get back in the ring as the referee counted 14, 15… King blew it off and started to leave, fine with being counted out. Lethal went after him, not content with winning that way, so King clubbed him in the head with a microphone for the disqualification.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 13:56 to tie the series.
-King whipped Lethal into the guardrail and unloaded with right hands. Lethal fired back with hands of his own so King kicked him between the legs and hit another King Injection on the former world champion. King wrapped a steel chair around Lethal’s left elbow and jumped on it. Riccaboni said the third and final match in their series will take place at Best In The World, assuming Lethal can make it there. King took a mic and congratulated Lethal on winning. He stood on the chair, still wrapped around Lethal’s arm. King said he purposefully lost because he wanted to win the series on the big pay-per-view stage, not at some TV taping in Washington.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Again, perfectly serviceable and well executed. Nothing groundbreaking but ROH lowered their own bar so low over the past month in Chicago that a basic episode like this that doesn’t overly insult or frustrate the fans we’ll consider a solid home run.)
-ROH World Champion Matt Taven sat down in a chair backstage. Finally, after two weeks of Jeff Cobb video packages, they’ve put an actual star on camera. Best In The World is less than a week away and we haven’t heard Taven’s voice once, despite the pay-per-view being named after him. Grand Slam Champion, Top Prospect tournament winner, CMLL title holder, NJPW title holder… Why aren’t we talking about his accomplishments? He vowed that the ROH world title is going nowhere.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Taven has become one of the best promos in ROH. His growth over the past year has truly been staggering. If he continues at this rate I wouldn’t be surprised if his days in ROH are numbered. Besides Taven and Josh Woods all four of the other past Top Prospect winners have all wound up in WWE.
As always, thanks for reading. It’s so much more enjoyable doing these reports when ROH presents a quality week of television like this one. My full Best In The World preview column will be up later this week and I’ll have live PPV coverage Friday night right here on the Pro Wrestling Torch.)
-Next week: it’s Jeff Cobb vs. Mark Haskins and Jay Briscoe vs. PCO.