KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (11/14)
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ROH GLORY BY HONOR
OCTOBER 12, 2019
NEW ORLEANS, LA AT UNO LAKEFRONT ARENA
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, Caprice Coleman
We opened in the arena with The Bouncers making their entrance for a battle royal. The winner would earn a world title match later in this very show. Most of the midcard talent were already surrounding the ring. Kenny King was out next, then Joe Hendry to close. Riccaboni mentioned that some local New Orleans talent were in the mix as was CMLL star Big Daddy Yum Yum.
(1) BATTLE ROYAL FOR AN ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The entrants were Shaheem Ali, Beer City Bruiser, Cheeseburger, Bu Ku Dao, Joe Hendry, Brian Johnson, Kenny King (w/ Amy Rose), Matt Lancie, LSG, Brawler Milonas, Rhett Titus, Jace Valor, Josh Woods, Silas Young, and Big Daddy Yum Yum.
The bell rang to start the match, despite nobody being in the ring. King immediately slid under the ring. Johnson eliminated Lancie. Valor and Dao were also tossed. Bruiser gummed Johnson. Hendry back dropped Johnson out of the ring, then signed an autograph for Bruiser. Woods airplane spun Burger onto the apron, then Young clubbed him off. They double-teamed Yum Yum (an idea which appeared lost on the Bouncers and Coast 2 Coast). Woods suplexed Titus. Young threw him out too in what was a teachable moment for his protégé, Woods.
Titus went under the ring and pulled out King. He tossed him into the ring and Hendry tossed him right back out. Young used the opportunity to dump Hendry from behind. C2C worked together to eliminate Bruiser. They went to town on Milonas but he shoved them both over the top rope at the same time.
The final four were Milonas, Woods, Young, and Yum Yum. Milonas and Yum Yum went toe to toe. Milonas eliminated him. The tag team were able to eliminate the big man. Woods looked at Young. The mentor offered a hug. Woods is apparently an idiot so he walked in for it. Young merely stepped aside and tossed him over.
WINNER: Silas Young in 7:47.
(Pageot’s Perspective: An alright battle royal. A little bit of heat on the King-Titus feud. The Bouncers were treated like stars. The fact that they were content to wrestle people like Cheeseburger in the opening minutes rather than trying to tear apart Young, who betrayed them in a huge way for a second time just one month ago, was hard to ignore, though. Young winning makes the most sense. He’s the top upper midcard heel so much so that his nickname might as well be Ol’ Reliable.)
(2) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION PCO vs. DALTON CASTLE – ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP #1 CONTENDER TOURNAMENT: SEMI-FINALS
PCO had some pancake makeup on and acted more Frankensteiny than usual. He even wrestled in an oversized blazer à la Boris Karloff’s portrayal. Dueling chants for both men. PCO turned his back on Castle and let him get some free shots in, which he no-sold. They traded chops at ringside. PCO chokeslammed Castle onto the apron and tore up the ringside mats. PCO took Castle to the top rope but he malfunctioned and it allowed Castle time to escape. Castle worked over PCO but could only get a one-count. At 9:30 Castle set up two chairs side by side at ringside and gave PCO a spinebsuter onto them. The referee did not call for a disqualification but did elect to count PCO out. He rolled back in at 19. PCO hit a suicide dive a couple minutes later. Chokeslam. PCOsault landed.
WINNER: PCO in 12:24 to advance to the finals.
(Pageot’s Perspective: An okay match with the finish never in doubt. One guy has lost 70% of his singles matches this year and the other guy is one-third of the most protected factions in ROH. Come to think of it, that’s almost the exact same scenario for our next match as well…)
(3) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL vs. JAY LETHAL – ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP #1 CONTENDER TOURNAMENT: SEMI-FINALS
Dueling chants for this one as well. Fast-paced to start. Lethal knocked Scurll out of the ring and hit his trio of suicide dives. Lethal with the figure four at 8:30. Scurll locked in the chicken-wing a few minutes later and Lethal tapped right away.
WINNER: Marty Scurll in 11:31 to advance to the finals.
(Pageot’s Perspective: So it’s villain vs. villain for the opportunity to main event ROH’s December pay-per-view. Of course Scurll’s contract very publicly expires in November and the entire wrestling world would be dumbfounded if he re-signed so the finals also seem very preordained at this point. We’ll find out in an hour or two.
Scurll followed the code of honor before and after the match, which is unlike him. Seems like we’re setting ourselves up for Scurll getting too babyface and Flip Gordon overthrowing him and sending him packing to NXT in a mirror image of Scurll doing that to Adam Cole.)
-A commercial aired for Shane Taylor Promotions.
-Taylor made his entrance for a TV title defense. He had an entourage with him like an MMA fighter. The commentators played up that he’s no longer signed with ROH following them buying out his contract and only appears on a per-appearance basis if the money is right. He took a mic. He’s been in the business twelve years and was told he’d only be marketable if he played into stereotypes or sang and danced. He is the third option. He started his own promotion so that the next generation would know they can be more than this sport tells them they can be.
(4) SHANE TAYLOR vs. J SPADE – ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Taylor roughed up Spade with right hands. Spade got in some hope spots but fell to Welcome To The Land.
WINNER: Shane Taylor in 5:45 to retain the TV title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: The commentators said that those who follow Taylor on social media know the personal history between him and Spade. I don’t so I can’t tell you who he is or what the back story was here but the crowd rallied behind him as the big underdog and Taylor’s been getting good heel heat lately (one of the only people on the roster who does). That pre-match promo was straight babyface, though. I’m supposed to boo him because he doesn’t want to settle for being a racist trope relegated to WWE’s midcard?)
-Another commercial aired for Shane Taylor Promotions. Riccaboni wondered who was funding these ads. (Prince Nana? Snoop Dogg?)
-Kelly Klein entered alone for her Women Of Honor title rematch, despite vowing to have somebody in her corner to counter Mandy Leon and her hairspray. Leon was with the champion Angelina Love but there was no sign of Velvet Sky, who has been missing in action for the past two months.
(5) ANGELINA LOVE (w/Mandy Leon) vs. “THE GATEKEEPER” KELLY KLEIN – WOH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Klein speared Love and pummeled her in the corner. Love dumped her to the floor and hit a Thesz press off the apron. Love bounced her head off the timekeeper’s table. Koji clutch from Love at 4:40. Klein started a comeback. K-Power hit but Love kicked out. Botox Injection but Klein kicked out. High crossbody to Klein at ringside. She rolled in at the referee’s count of 18.
Love looked for another Botox Injection but Klein hoisted her up for another K-Power. The referee stood unnaturally close to them and Klein gently bumped Love’s feet against his head. He instantly went blind and collapsed to the mat, holding his face in agony. Leon jumped into the ring with a steel chair. She hit Klein in the back. The lights went out. Maria Manic appeared in the ring. Leon hit her with two chair shots but Manic no-sold. Torture rack to Leon. Burning hammer to Leon. Clothesline to Love. K-Power from Klein to Love. The referee instantly recovered (it’s a miracle!) and counted the three.
WINNER: Kelly Klein in 11:57 to capture the WOH title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Good lord this was stupid on so many levels, even by Women Of Honor’s low, low standards. The severity of both Love and Klein’s finishing moves has been eroded with all the kickouts in their last two title matches. Why do the agents continue to allow Love to do the crowd-pleasing high crossbody spot? Besides creating a babyface pop for a heel there’s also the whole issue with Sumie Sakai having it as a signature spot in her arsenal over the last few years. Isn’t that breaking one of the cardinal rules of wrestling? The ref bump was so flimsy and so cheesy, especially with him conveniently missing all the interference and then returning the exact moment Klein covered for the pin. Manic helping Klein is whatever. She debuted for ROH three and a half months ago and hasn’t wrestled a single match since then so I couldn’t care less anymore. Klein is now a three-time champion. LOL Look out, Charlotte, she’s coming for your record. This is probably just to set up another Klein-Love match for the title at Final Battle since there’s nobody else with any credibility in the division.)
-A video package aired on the father-son duo of Luke and PJ Hawx.
(6) THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. HAWX AERIE (Luke Hawx & PJ Hawx) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The younger members of the duos, Mark and PJ, started. Superplex + froggy-bow combo at 10:00 but Luke broke up the pin. The Briscoes looked for the Doomsday Device but it was blocked. Redneck Boogie to Luke. Jay Driller.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 12:15 to retain the tag titles.
(7) ALEX SHELLEY vs. “THE OCTOPUS” JONATHAN GRESHAM
Gresham looked for the octopus but Shelley stepped forward and managed to pin Gresham’s shoulders to the mat.
WINNER: Alex Shelley in 14:32.
-Gresham shoved aside a ring crew member and grabbed a steel chair. Lethal hit the ring in street clothes. Gresham thought about hitting Lethal with the chair but wavered. Lethal told him they had a great match and he had nothing to be ashamed of. He managed to talk Gresham into shaking Shelley’s hand.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Good match, lacking a little urgency for me, but there was nothing at stake so that’s understandable. This would seem to indicate that Shelley will be around at least semi-regularly going forward and not just in an enhancement role. I still assume Lethal & Gresham challenge the Briscoes at Final Battle as, much like the women’s division, the tag division also has no one of any credibility anymore.)
(8) VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champion Brody King & Flip Gordon) vs. LIFEBLOOD (Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams)
After a miscommunication between Gordon and King Williams pinned Gordon again with a piledriver.
WINNERS: Lifeblood in 10:36.
-Riccaboni put over how good Lifeblood’s record is in tag matches. (They’re now 8-8 in duo matches in 2019, 16-10 if you include trio, quartet, and quintet matches.) Bully Ray showed up and attacked Lifeblood from behind. Gordon re-entered with a kendo stick and handed it to his former archenemy Ray. Ray hit Haskins with the stick.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Gordon turns heel and promptly loses every match. LOL Watch Scurll leave ROH and Ray replace him as the head of Villain Enterprises. If we end 2019 with Bully Enterprises that would be the perfect final nail in the coffin of ROH. Death by suicide.)
-“The Genius” Lanny Poffo was back and replaced Coleman on commentary for the next match.
(9) “EL TORO BLANCO” RUSH vs. “THE LAST REAL MAN” SILAS YOUNG – ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Young dominated the first six minutes. Rush came back and ran Young around the ringside area, into the timekeeper’s table and a chair. Tranquilo pose. Back senton avoided by Young. Milwaukee Plunge. The Bull’s Horns.
WINNER: Rush in 10:20 to retain the world title.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I’m still not sold on Rush as world champion but so few people are watching ROH these days that I guess it doesn’t really matter. He’s just such a heel with the arrogance and poor sportsmanship. Him being put into the position of top babyface doesn’t make any sense to me. Hell, post-match the cameras even caught a young boy wanting a fist bump and Rush ignoring him and walking past. His matches feel very connect-the-dots too. There’s the brawl at ringside, the Bull’s Horns fakeout, the tranquilo pose, some no-selling, and then the Bull’s Horns for real.)
-The commentators sent to a three-second clip from Death By Dishonor: Fallout of ROH staff finding TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia laid out backstage. Their attacker is unknown at this time, though any long-term wrestling fan would immediately assume it was Matt Taven.
Taven and Marseglia headed to the ring. Taven addressed the unknown attacker and said they won’t take that lying down. He said O’Ryan’s at home with a concussion but he and Marseglia were there for a fight. The lights went out in the arena, then a spotlight blinded Taven.
A video played of Taven and Marseglia arriving at the arena in the afternoon, then Taven unpacking his bags in the locker room and Taven talking to Dalton Castle in the empty arena before the show. Taven and Marseglia stormed backstage.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Finally a wrestler with some sense! Taven’s going backstage to find out why the production team played that video and who gave it to them, right? Let’s hope so. The Kingdom are being stalked, I guess. Mike Bennett’s not finished with WWE any time soon so no obvious candidates jump to mind.)
-PCO and Scurll entered separately for the tournament finals. Scurll addressed PCO and said they knew an all-villain final was inevitable. He didn’t want this to come between them, though. He suggested they not break the rules and let the best man win. PCO shook on it, then Scurll cracked him across the side of the head with his umbrella.
(10) ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION “THE VILLAIN” MARTY SCURLL vs. ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPION PCO – ROH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP #1 CONTENDER TOURNAMENT: FINALS
PCO kicked out. Scurll and PCO fought at ringside in front of a swath of empty seats. Scurll gave a fan the middle finger. PCO cleared the timekeeper’s table at 5:00 and lay Scurll across it. He went up top but Scurll cut him off. Scurll threw PCO off the top rope and through the table.
WINNER: PCO in 5:50 via disqualification.
What? It’s not a disqualification? Okay then. PCO got back up and they fought into the ring. Scurll wanted the chicken-wing, PCO tried to back him off into the corner, and we got our second ref bump of the night. Brody King showed up and hit a pump kick (Botox Injection!) to PCO. He pulled Scurll on top for the cover and referee Todd Sinclair miraculously also suddenly was awake to count the pin. PCO kicked out. Scurll knocked King off the apron by accident.
PCO went up top. Scurll and he fought on the ropes. PCO knocked Scurll off and into ref bump #3. Gordon showed up and hit a Kinder Surprise on PCO. Scurll hit PCO with a six-man title belt. Sinclair recovered again and counted another two with PCO kicking out. Suicide dive took out King and Gordon. Choke bomb to Scurll. PCOsault but Scurll kicked out.
Despite all the sympathy on the monster and all the cheating from Scurll the fans were still split with a dueling chant. PCO looked for a cannonball to Scurll on the apron but Scurll moved and PCO crashed and burned. Lariat from Scurll in the ring. Clothesline from PCO. Another PCOsault for the win.
WINNER: PCO in 12:32 to advance to the main event of Final Battle.
-A smattering of applause from the crowd, mostly disappointment at the confirmation that Scurll won’t be in ROH come December. King and Gordon checked on Scurll. PCO looked at the trio. Scurll took a mic again and waited for the fans to make some noise. They eventually settled on a “PCO” chant. Scurll said he’s been in ROH for three long years yet somehow he’s never been world champion. This tournament was his opportunity and PCO took that away from him. He congratulated him. Scurll said he’s 31, in the prime of his career. PCO is in the tail end of his career and he just beat the villain. He knows it must eat him alive that he’s never been a world champion either. This might be his final chance and no one deserves it more. The villains celebrated together.
(Pageot’s Perspective: PCO vs. Rush in the main event of Final Battle? In the battle of two men who no-sell everything how can either man win???
I like that we’re all collectively on board babyface PCO heading into what is usually the biggest ROH show of the year. The hook of PCO challenging for the world title for what might be the last opportunity of his career is a good one. If they just get back to full heel Rush between now and then we could have something somewhat interesting there. I’m just very disappointed that VE immediately reconciled and everything’s hunky dory between them. It makes PCO look passive and weak that he was willing to take all their betrayals and not care or do anything about it. He comes across like a dog who’s been whipped and then comes whimpering up to his master after for forgiveness for transgressing.
ROH’s next shows are the trio of Honor United gigs in the UK from October 25-27. Then they’re back to the States for The Experience on November 2, a show where all the matches are decided by fan voting. One of those matches is VE defending the six-man titles against the top three vote-getters from a list of names ROH has supplied. If the voting is legitimate it will probably be Jeff Cobb, Dalton Castle, and Colt Cabana, though I could see Hendry being subbed in for Cabana to futher the Castle-Hendry feud. Either way I suspect whomever is chosen ends up winning the gold. It frees the titles up before Scurll leaves so we don’t get another embarrassing situation like what happened with PCO, King, and the NWA tag titles and it sells the fan voting aspect as having serious consequences.)