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ROH TV REPORT
AUGUST 11, 2019
NEW YORK, NY AT HAMMERSTEIN BALLROOM
AIRED ON ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Ian Riccaboni, Quinn McKay
-We went straight into a video recap from Best In The World of Flip Gordon pretending to join Lifeblood, turning on Lifeblood, actually joining Villain Enterprises, and VE beating up Lifeblood including Gordon hitting a 450 splash from the top rope through Tracy Williams on a table at ringside (injuring himself in the process).
-Riccaboni and McKay checked in.
-In footage from Manhattan Mayhem Dragon Lee entered the ring for a singles match against Jonathan Gresham. The 10:07 match was condensed into 2:35 of TV time with lots of jump-cuts. Lee won with a running knee.
In first-run footage McKay was backstage with Lee. He spoke in Spanish and said he came to Japan and the U.S. to spread the name of CMLL. His match with Gresham is the kind of wrestling people want to see. (The TV audience too, I’m guessing…) He said he and his brother Rush bring surprises and another one is coming soon.
In more first-run content McKay was backstage at a different time with Gresham. Gresham blamed Jay Lethal’s voice being in his head for the loss. He wants the championship lifestyle that Lethal’s had but Lethal’s conscience cost him the match and prevented him from doing what he needed to in order to win. He sarcastically thanked Lethal. [C]
-Shinobi Shadow Squad were shown training at a gym. Cheeseburger and Eli Isom lifted weights while Ryan Nova worked a punching bag. A photo of the six-man champions was hanging on a wooden post with ninja stars stuck in the faces of Marty Scurll, PCO, and Brody King. They challenge for the titles next week.
-Video recap of Karissa Rivera pinning Sumie Sakai two weeks ago on TV. She challenges Kelly Klein for the Women Of Honor title next week as well.
Rivera was in the locker room in some first-run footage. She’s here on a mission to become the best women’s wrestler in the world. She said Klein holds that stature right now but she has the confidence that she has what it takes to beat her. (She kept saying “tonight”, but that match actually takes place next week.
-Video package on Rhett Titus. He spoke about his time in ROH with Kenny King as The All-Night Express in their 2011 ladder war against The Briscoes and winning the tag titles from World’s Greatest Tag Team. When King left for TNA Titus tried teaming with BJ Whitmer and Cliff Compton but they never matched that same success. Three years later King returned to ROH to re-form ANX. They beat The Briscoes in their first night back and would go on to face War Machine, Coast 2 Coast, and other teams but never had the same success as their first run. This led to them forming The Rebellion. When The Rebellion were forced to disband he picked up “Little Willy” Will Ferrara and formed The Dawgs. Ferrara grew discouraged and took his ball and went home, leading to Titus starting his fitness idol gimmick. Recently, on July 14 TV, he had a proving ground match against Shane Taylor but lost clean. After the match King came out and ran down Titus, calling him disgusting and an embarrassment to his wife and baby. Titus said he’s made a lot of mistakes in ROH but the biggest one was walking away on that day instead of slapping King. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: Really good video package telling us the long and winding story of Titus in ROH and explaining what led the Titus character to hop around from tag team to tag team and gimmick to gimmick. He currently holds the worst record in ROH in 2019 at 0-9 so the fact that he got such a long spotlight here is particularly intriguing. It seems to be building him up for a feud with King that would presumably elevate Titus into being a credible midcarder in the process, though I’d be okay with ANX instead reuniting again as the tag division is depleted of credible teams right now outside of The Briscoes.)
-Soldiers Of Savagery made their entrance for a tag match. Riccaboni and Colt Cabana were on commentary. They attacked their enhancement talent before the bell.
(1) SOLDIERS OF SAVAGERY (Moses & Kaun) vs. COREY HYENA HEXX & GEDDY CAHOON
One jobber clotheslined to the floor. Back elbow to the other. The first one into the ring post. Double chokeslam to the second.
WINNERS: Soldiers Of Savagery in 0:45.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Literally one second shorter than their last match. It’s been about five weeks since we’ve had any follow-up to S.O.S. potentially working for Shane Taylor or them attacking Lifeblood in their initial appearances and there was no progress on either story here. ROH’s stories move at a glacial pace sometimes.)
-Clip show treatment of The Briscoes vs. The Bouncers for the tag titles at Mass Hysteria. Mark pinned Milonas with a froggy-bow. The 9:02 match was reduced to about 58 seconds here. Post-match they shared a toast of honor. [C]
-Video recap of Lifeblood defeating Villain Enterprises in a non-title trios street fight three weeks ago on TV.
-In footage from Manhattan Mayhem Lifeblood & PJ Black faced the new VE quartet in an eight-man tag. What follows is my original report from that live stream. [C]
(2) VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (Flip Gordon & ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Marty Scurll, PCO, & Brody King) vs. PJ BLACK & LIFEBLOOD (PJ Black, Mark Haskins, Tracy Williams, & Bandido)
Scurll and Williams started. A shoving match broke out and both teams jumped in and went nose to nose. Bandido tagged in and ran circles around Scurll. Tag to Gordon. Gordon turned down the test of strength and gave Band ido the middle finger instead. (What a jerk.) Tag out to King. Springboard armdrag from the big man to the luchador. The Brits, Scurll and Haskins, in. Black in as Lifeblood isolated Scurll. Frequent tags from the faces. Time for the formula ROH multi-man segment with everybody jumping in and out and people flipping over the ropes onto groups of opponents at ringside. [C]
Williams was being isolated by Villain Enterprises. PCO with a cannonball off the top rope. Gordon tagged back in at 10:00. Gordon got physical for the first time with some chops to Williams. He stalked him slowly and looked like a big ol’ meanie before tagging out again. Hot tag to Bandido. He cleared Scurll and King and caught a crossbody from PCO. Bandido walked with him before hitting a powerslam. Corkscrew plancha onto the three men on the floor. Gordon slid a steel chair into the ring. Williams grabbed it and chased Gordon away and up the aisle. Williams returned alone. Haskins tagged in against the NWA tag champions. Suicide dives to PCO, then King. Everything broke down again.
Williams and King battled at 15:00. Six men brawled at ringside until PCO moonsaulted off the top rope onto the pile. King with a sit-out powerbomb to Haskins for a near-fall. Haskins avoided a Gonzo Bomb and tagged Black. 21plex from Bandido to King. Springboard 450 from Black to King for the pin!
WINNERS: Black & Lifeblood in 17:39.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A classic 2018 ROH Bullet Club match. The faces picking up the win ahead of their title shot is booking 101. If Lifeblood doesn’t let Black into their club now they’re just being unreasonable. Gordon being a mean-mugging cowardly heel while the rest of Villain Enterprises are lovable scamps is a weird fit right now, perhaps on purpose. This could definitely lead to Gordon usurping leadership from Scurll and driving him out of ROH later this year before turning VE full heel. I still have my doubts PCO would ever be booed but 2019 appears to be the year of ROH turning babyfaces heel.
And thus concludes week 2 of the clip show era of ROH television. Slightly better than the first in that the Titus package was new and substantial and the main event aired uncut in its entirety. I still don’t believe any of the other clip show segments on the show are truly effective at all for getting people invested or excited. It’s like reading the CliffsNotes version of a novel ahead of the exam. Next week should hopefully be another improvement as the two matches advertised have not aired anywhere in any form yet. For those struggling to keep track at home Lifeblood will challenge for the six-man titles on August 25 at Honor For All in Nashville.)
-Next week: it’s Villain Enterprises vs. Shinobi Shadow Squad for the six-man titles and Kelly Klein vs. Karissa Rivera for the women’s title.