WADE KELLER PODCAST - Royal Rumble preview with Sam Roberts
(Search "wade keller" to subscribe in podcast app or CLICK HERE to subscribe in Apple Podcasts.)
ROH MASS HYSTERIA
JULY 21, 2019
LOWELL, MA AT LOWELL MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, Caprice Coleman
Riccaboni said that Flip Gordon and Brody King were both injured at last night’s show so the six-man titles would no longer be on the line tonight. (It was supposed to be Villain Enterprises defending against Lifeblood.) Instead the other six-man tag would now be our main event. He said that, as per ROH tradition, new champions always open the next night’s show. Cue the new 11-time ROH tag team champions.
(1) THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. THE BOUNCERS (Beer City Bruiser & Brawler Milonas) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
It’s Bruiser’s birthday. His chest had a bandage on it, covering where Vinny Marseglia put out a cigar last night. Bruiser with a cannonball off the apron to Jay. Mark with a blockbuster off the apron to Milonas. Mark set a chair up in the ring and leaped off it with a flip over the ropes onto Bruiser. Froggy-bow elbow from Mark to Bruiser. Milonas worked over Jay. The crowd rallied behind The Briscoes. All four men went toe to toe at 8:00. Jay saved Mark from Last Call. He powerbombed Milonas off the second rope. Froggy-bow elbow from Mark for the win.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 9:02 to retain the tag titles.
-The teams shared a toast of honor.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Now what? The Bouncers were the only other team in the tag division given any sort of cumulative wins or attention this year. But every time they started to gain any momentum it was abruptly stopped for some reason. Losses to L.I.J., The Kingdom, and now here. Overall they received a very flat reaction, which has to be disappointing considering how much TV time they’ve been given this year. The Briscoes got the huge main event babyface slot last night, though, so this was essentially a no-win situation for them.)
-The lights went out and Guerrilas Of Destiny appeared behind The Briscoes. They hit them with the tag titles and both Briscoes bled profusely. G.O.D. beat away at them and did something disrespectful to the tag titles but the camera lingered on a fan laughing. Tama Tonga talked trash and mentioned the ladder from last night’s main event. Tanga Loa threw the ROH tag titles to ringside. “They’re fucking bleeding!” they yelled into the camera before leaving.
(Pageot’s Perspective: So one more go-around, this time a ladder match for the ROH tag titles at Summer Supercard on August 9 in Toronto, presumably.)
-A guy in neon yellow gear walked out accompanied by a weasely man in a scarlet vest and blazer. The manager cut a brief promo before turning it over to his client, Thrillride. His opponent was a skinny guy with dreads and sunglasses. Riccaboni said he recently appeared on Beyond Wrestling’s Uncharted Territory.
(2) CHRISTIAN CASANOVA vs. THRILLRIDE (w/Jared Silberkleit)
Split-leg legdrop from off the top rope for the win.
WINNER: Christian Casanova in 5:31.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I kept waiting for Soldiers Of Savagery to run in and destroy both men. No such luck. I don’t know why this happened. Neither man is in the Top Prospect Tournament. Were they just filling time due to the injuries from last night? Even with the six-man titles scratched we still had another eight matches announced. That’s more than enough.)
(3) “DAREWOLF” PJ BLACK vs. “THE LAST REAL MAN” SILAS YOUNG
Young hit Misery for the clean win.
WINNER: Silas Young in 6:30.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Last night he pins one of the six-man champions. Tonight he loses clean to a heel in six and a half minutes. Poor PJ.)
-WOH World Champion Kelly Klein headed to commentary. Riccaboni sent Cabana away so she could have his headset. Sky insulted Bobby Cruise. (Apparently she hates him as much as her husband does.) She said “Go Yankees” to some cheap heat. She introduced Love as the “real” #1 contender. Love got in Steelz’s face and accused her of stealing the victory from her (on July 14 TV in a four-way). She goaded Steelz into putting the #1 contender slot on the line in this match.
(4) ANGELINA LOVE (w/Velvet Sky) vs. KARISSA RIVERA vs. TASHA STEELZ – WOH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP #1 CONTENDER MATCH
Love hit the Botox Injection on Rivera but Steelz dumped her to ringside again and stole the pin again.
WINNER: Tasha Steelz in 6:16 to remain #1 contender.
-Sky sprayed Steelz with hairspray. Love hit the blinded Steelz with a Botox Injection. Klein charged the ring and The Allure bailed. Klein and Steelz had a little confrontation. The lights went out again. (Who’s running production in this company??)
Maria Manic of course appeared in the ring. Klein and Steelz vanished in the darkness. Manic grabbed Rivera by the throat. Sumie Sakai ran in. Torture rack to Sakai. Male security guards ran in. Manic beat them up too.
(Pageot’s Perspective: What a mess. Let’s just set aside the idea that they have to cram every woman into one segment because we certainly don’t have room for women anywhere else on this three hour plus event. Steelz is a cheater who can only win matches by picking the bones of other people in the same way that Matt Taven did last night. Sky went full Avril Lavigne here by even wearing a Misfits shirt. Love’s big, devastating finishing move is a pump-kick. Manic is getting big pops from the crowd so let’s set have her pick on the poor rookie and then beat up one of the only actual babyfaces in the division. ROH is hemorrhaging viewers. Rather than giving the fans incentive to cheer the people they actually like they instead insist on trying to push Dalton Castle, Flip Gordon, Rush, and now Manic as heels. Does anybody watching want to see Manic beat up Sakai? And why do security keep swarming Manic every time she shows up?? Somebody turned out the lights and played her music for her. You’re selling her shirt in your online store!)
(5) DRAGON LEE vs. KENNY KING
King hurled Lee over the guardrail and into the faces of some fans early. Lee went for a running flip over the ropes onto King at 7:45 and totally missed it, crashing to his back on the ringside mats. King sold it, though. Lee with The Bull’s Horns to King for a two-count. Time keeper Amy Rose walked over to the side of the ring and chattered to Lee in Spanish. Chin-checker from King. Blue thunder. Rolling German suplex from Lee. Two knees and a poisonrana. Spinebuster from King. Double-stomp to King hung up in the corner. Royal Flush for the win.
WINNER: Kenny King in 13:02.
-Rose stayed at ringside and applauded King. He asked what took her so long.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Lee’s booking is almost an insight into the ROH hierarchy. He pinned Bandido in April, lost to Castle last month, beat Gresham last night, and lost to King here. Amy Rose is apparently officially a part of King’s act now. Maybe she’s just a big fan of The Bachelor.)
(6) SHANE TAYLOR vs. ELI ISOM (w/Cheeseburger) – ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Isom pinned Taylor in a four-way on September 30 TV last year, hence this match. Taylor hit a hanging DDT to Isom from the apron to the floor. Taylor worked over Isom, punctuated with him throwing the rookie off the apron to the ringside area. Isom avoided a second-rope splash. He managed a brief flurry of offense, including a springboard moonsault off the second turnbuckle to Taylor at ringside. Twisting frog-splash but Taylor kicked out. Headbutt from Taylor. Powerbomb. High knee. Package piledriver. Isom kicked out… Greetings From 216.
WINNER: Shane Taylor in 13:08 to retain the TV title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: This was fun in the way that seeing a rookie just get manhandled and thrown around the ringside area is entertaining. ROH doesn’t have enough young lions on their roster. The kick out at the end there was absurd, though. Talk about a “wrestling is fake” moment.)
(7) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (Marty Scurll & PCO w/Flip Gordon) vs. LIFEBLOOD (Mark Haskins & Bandido w/Tracy Williams)
PCO hit a package piledriver to Bandido at 9:30 but Bandido kicked out. Scull with a Boston crab. PCO with a legdrop to the back of his head. PCO took out Haskins with a cannonball. Snapdragon from Scurll to Bandido. PCO hit a cannonball off the top rope but Haskins broke it up. PCO with a crossbody off the second rope. Bandido turned it into a powerslam but PCO no-sold. Top rope Spanish fly from Bandido to PCO. PCO kicked out. Gordon hit Bandido with Scurll’s umbrella behind the ref’s back. Haskins and Williams chased him to the back. Scurll made Bandido tap to the chicken-wing.
WINNERS: Villain Enterprises in 13:20.
(Pageot’s Perspective: ROH has really done a masterful job this year of bringing Scurll’s status down. He started the year as one of the biggest stars in the company and he currently feels like just some guy. His pops aren’t as big as PCO’s, his offense isn’t as electric as Brody King’s, and he’s consistently the one taking the prolonged selling in VE tag matches, which also makes him feel like the inferior member of the team. I trust Triple H will be able to shine Scurll back up this winter, though, and I’m looking forward to that.)
(8) RUSH vs. DALTON CASTLE
Castle bailed to ringside to prevent another 16 second loss. Rush could have hit The Bull’s Horns in the first minute but chose to facewash Castle instead. Slow going with Castle working over Rush. Rush fired up at 7:30. He ran Castle into the guardrails and threw a garbage can at him. The ref chose not to disqualify him for some reason. Rush slid a steel chair into the ring. Castle grabbed it and swung but Rush ducked. The ref still allowed things to continue. Castle low blowed Rush. That was apparently the ref’s breaking point.
WINNER: Rush in 9:30ish by disqualification.
-Castle threw the chair at Rush’s head, then hit his left shoulder over and over.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I was expecting that finish far earlier in the proceedings. The nine minutes we got were surprisingly boring, a far cry from the stellar Castle-Dragon Lee match at Best In The World, and it didn’t get me excited for the assumed rematch proper at the end of September when we’re back on pay-per-view for Death Before Dishonor.)
-The commentators said our main event was up next so apparently Dante Caballero vs. Joe Keys in the opening match of the 2019 Top Prospect Tournament would not be taking place as advertised.
(9) THE KINGDOM (ROH World Champion Matt Taven, Vinny Marseglia, & TK O’Ryan) vs. ALEX SHELLEY, JAY LETHAL, & JONATHAN GRESHAM
This was Shelley’s first match since July 15, 2018 ROH television. “Kingdom” chant due to Taven being from nearby Boston.
Shelley and Marseglia started. Taven refused to face off with Shelley or Lethal but was quick to tag once Gresham entered the match. The plan worked as The Kingdom quickly took control and isolated Gresham. Tag to Shelley at 7:45. Crossbody to both henchmen. Spinebuster to O’Ryan. Single-leg Boston crab to both goons at the same time. Taven broke it up. Shelley grabbed Taven’s crotch, then Marseglia’s. The ref missed the low blows due to O’Ryan. It was O’Ryan’s turn to be isolated by his opposing team. “TKO” chant from the crowd. The Kingdom fired up, culminating in Taven hitting a flying splash over the ropes onto Team Shelley. Everything broke down. Gresham and O’Ryan threw hands at 17:00. Cornette Cutter from Lethal & Gresham to O’Ryan. Shelley missed a double-stomp on O’Ryan but hit a superkick. Lethal Injection to O’Ryan. Shelley with the Motor City stretch and O’Ryan tapped.
WINNERS: Shelley, Lethal, & Gresham in 18:28.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Midcard babyface tag wrestler sort-of-retires, saying he doesn’t think he has anything left to offer pro wrestling. 11 months later he returns, says he wants the world title, and is immediately given a match, despite not earning it or wrestling a match in over a year. For his return match he’s booked to face the heel champion in the heel’s hometown, a known market where he’s always cheered and backed by the fans.
I don’t even know what to say anymore. I hate being negative. I hate being overly critical. It’s not in my nature and I don’t enjoy it. I want to gush. I want to rave. I want to be excited for the next show and the next match and ecstatic to sit down and tune in. But doing this report was a goddamn chore. I’ve defended far better shows than this one to my colleagues and friends but there wasn’t one single thing on this 9-match card that left me optimistic about the immediate future of ROH.)
Find Harley on Twitter @yrechoheart and listen to he and Emily Fear talk all things ROH every Wednesday on the PWTorch Dailycast “Talking Honor.”