Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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ROH THE EXPERIENCE
NOVEMBER 2, 2019
PITTSBURGH, PA AT STAGE AE
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman
We opened to complete darkness in the arena. The lights came up and Maria Manic attacked and beat up two members of the ring crew who were apparently in the midst of finishing prepping the ring and tightening the ropes. Ring announcer Nick Lendl asked her for an interview so she threw him in the ring and put him in a torture rack and slammed him. She grabbed his mic. “I’m Maria Manic, I’m with Ring Of Honor, and this is my house now.”
(Pageot’s Perspective: Wow, so she’s just a piece of garbage? Interesting direction to take. It would be one thing if she was beating up heel wrestlers or guys who were meddling in her business. These were two guys just working on the crew getting the ring set up and a ring announcer who had no reason to be accosted.)
-Riccaboni and Coleman checked in. They ran down the theme of the night, which is that fans voted online to determine various opponents and match stipulations. They ran down the announced matches. Villain Enterprises’ six-man titles would still be on the line, despite Brody King being pulled due to injury. Marty Scurll and PCO would have a replacement partner selected by the ROH board of directors.
-Dragon Lee was out for the first match. His potential opponents were PJ Black, Jeff Cobb, Eli Isom, or Kenny King. Isom received 12% of the votes, King 15%, Black 31%, and Cobb 41%.
(1) DRAGON LEE vs. “THE HAWAIIAN JUGGERNAUT” JEFF COBB
Lee countered a Tour Of The Islands into a crucifix pin.
WINNER: Dragon Lee in 12:02
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another blow to Cobb’s ROH momentum following his undefeated streak ending to Taven and losing his second match to Rush last weekend. I suspect Dragon Lee will be capturing the TV title at Final Battle, though, so I suppose he needed to win here. The voting results seem believably legitimate so far. We’ll see how things continue.)
-The Briscoes were out next to defend the tag titles against either Master & Machine, Soldiers Of Savagery, The Tate Twins, or Young Woods. The fans voted 6% for The Tate Twins (Dalton Castle’s former Boys), 15% for S.O.S., 22% for Josh Woods & Silas Young, and 57% for Master & Machine. Sure…
(2) THE BRISCOES (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs. MASTER & MACHINE (Marcus Kross & Griff Garrison) – ROH WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The commentators tried to kayfabe the results by saying that you individuals could vote repeatedly. Jay Driller + froggy-bow to Garrison for the pin.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 8:27 to retain the tag titles.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Garrison & Kross have only appeared twice previously on televised ROH events. In February they were squashed by The Bouncers on ROH TV and in September they lost to The Tate Twins on TV. They may have earned some joke votes from people purposefully picking the worst options but there’s no way they got 57%.)
-Our third match was CMLL world champion Último Guerrero and the three men not chosen to face Lee in our first match facing off in a four corner survival.
(3) CMLL WORLD HEAVYEWIGHT CHAMPION ÚLTIMO GUERRERO vs. “DAREWOLF” PJ BLACK vs. ELI ISOM vs. KENNY KING (w/ Amy Rose) – NON-TITLE MATCH
Rose tripped Black as he wrestled with King on the turnbuckle. In the end Black hit Isom with the Placebo Effect for the win, though.
WINNER: PJ Black in 10:12.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Fine match. Surprised Guerrero didn’t go over but Black could use the win more at this point.)
-Our fourth match was a tag match with fans voting whether Rush and Matt Taven would team with Shane Taylor or Dalton Castle. 55% chose Rush & Taylor over Rush & Castle at 45%.
(4) ROH WORLD CHAMPION RUSH & ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION SHANE TAYLOR vs. MATT TAVEN & DALTON CASTLE
Taylor pinned Castle with Welcome To The Land.
WINNERS: Taylor & Rush in 11:04.
-The champions had a brief stare down while Taven, TK O’Ryan, and Vincent Marseglia checked on Castle.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Taylor’s good year continues. It’s a shame his contract runs out at the end of December and ROH apparently has no intention to re-sign him, at least according to Joey Mercury.)
-Match #5 had the fans selecting the stipulation for Gresham-Haskins. 26% of the fans chose European rounds, 30% pure rules, and 44% 2 out of 3 falls. Gresham previously had gone on Twitter and expressly told the fans not to choose 2 out of 3 falls.
(5) “OVERKILL” MARK HASKINS vs. “THE OCTOPUS” JONATHAN GRESHAM – 2 OUT OF 3 FALLS
Dueling chants for both men at 5:00. (How’s that heel turn for Gresham going?) Gresham took a few cheap shots in the ropes to rile up Haskins. At 7:00 he fully grabbed Haskins by the crotch in front of the referee and squeezed. Apparently that didn’t qualify for a disqualification. Haskins returned the favor. Gresham looked for a bridging pin on Haskins but Haskins pinned his shoulders to the mat instead. The referee decided they were both down for three.
Haskins pinned Gresham / Gresham pinned Haskins at 16:25.
One more fall would determine the winner. Gresham locked on a figure four. Haskins tried for a rope break but they both rolled out of the ring and fell to the floor with the move still locked on. Gresham let go to break the count-out. Haskins tried to make it back in at 18 but his leg gave out and he was counted out.
WINNER: Jonathan Gresham in 20:27.
(Pageot’s Perspective: A couple creative finishes and at least it didn’t end with Gresham kicking him between the legs like usual. Overall it was a little boring but at least they didn’t insult our intelligence by having a 2 out of 3 falls go 8 minutes like some promotions might.)
-Up next it was Haskins’ partner Tracy Williams taking on Flip Gordon once again. 26% of the fans wanted a Singapore cane match, 30% a strap match, and 44% last man standing.
(6) “HOT SAUCE” TRACY WILLIAMS vs. “THE MERCENARY” FLIP GORDON – LAST MAN STANDING
Bateman showed up and powerbombed Williams through a table. Williams failed to make the ten count.
WINNER: Flip Gordon in 16:44.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I am so over ROH including a street fight on every single show this year. They can call them last man standing or barroom brawl or no disqualification but it’s all the same thing with the same weapons at the end of the day. The crowd was lukewarm at best for new signee Bateman. In their defense he’s only appeared once before in ROH, defeating Jake Atlas at Death Before Dishonor: Fallout on September 28 and then laying out Williams after his victory over Gordon later in the night. Beyond those appearances we know nothing about who he is. Also Soldiers Of Savagery literally debuted the same way, attacking Lifeblood on multiple occasions, and that went nowhere and never even led to a match.)
-TK O’Ryan and Vincent Marseglia were found unconscious backstage again. Taven showed up and asked ROH staff what happened. Matt Taven’s mystery stalker has struck again!
Taven hit the ring and asked for a mic. The lights went out. A spotlight lit up the ring and Marseglia attacked Taven from behind. He sliced open Taven’s forehead with his hatchet. Luau music played, the lights came up, and his red balloons floated to the ceiling. The camera did some weird zoom-ins and outs as Marseglia licked Taven’s blood off his finger and drew a heart on his own forehead. The commentators said security were too busy backstage tending to O’Ryan and Williams. Marseglia hit Taven with the handle of his ax and left.
(Pageot’s Perspective: “The Fiend” Vincent Marseglia.)
-Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll & PCO) were out first for the main event. Brody King’s replacement partner was Dan Maff. (Maff was around in the very early days of ROH and won the tag titles twice with BJ Whitmer. Riccaboni said it had been at least 13 years since he’d appeared in ROH.) Fans were able to vote for their three challengers from a list that included Shaheem Ali, PJ Black, Beer City Bruiser, Colt Cabana, Dalton Castle, Cheeseburger, Jeff Cobb, Caprice Coleman, Delirious, Dak Draper, Joe Hendry, Eli Isom, Kenny King, LSG, Brian Milonas, Ryan Nova, Matt Taven, Rhett Titus, Josh Woods, and Silas Young. Cabana was out first. Cobb was the second man, forced into doing double duty due to his popularity. Cheeseburger was the third and final man.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Confirmed – Cheeseburger is more popular than The Bouncers, Taven, Castle, Hendry, and Kenny King.)
(7) VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (Marty Scurll, PCO, & Dan Maff) vs. CHEESEBURGER, JEFF COBB, & COLT CABANA – ROH WORLD SIX-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
Scurll and Cabana started. Cobb and Maff had a showdown early on. Cabana took out all three opponents at 10:00 and got a near-fall on Scurll off a Flying Apple. Tags to Cobb and PCO. PCO no-sold a German suplex. Scurll backdropped him over the top rope onto Cobb and Cabana at ringside. Maff with a suicide dive. Maff and the villains continued to work well together. Scurll made a blind tag to PCO and called for a chicken-wing on Cobb. He took so long calling for it that Cobb nailed him with a forearm. Deadlift suplex to Maff on the apron with Cobb standing on the second rope. The babyfaces hit a trio of moves on Scurll. Burger got a two-count. Scurll ducked a shotei. Tag to PCO. He went up top but fell off and hit the apron on his way down. Triple-teaming to PCO. Shotei from Burger! A second. A third turned into a simultaneous tombstone to Burger + double chokeslam to Cabana and Cobb. He went up for the PCOsault. Maff tagged. PCOsault landed on Burger. Maff pulled him off and hit a burning hammer to Burger for the pin.
WINNERS: Maff & Villain Enterprises in 16:53 to retain the six-man titles.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Maff takes on PCO tomorrow night at ROH Unauthorized, our final show before Final Battle. Tomorrow could very well be the final ROH appearance for Scurll but the six-man titles are not on the line. How will ROH get out of this one? Is it as simple as swapping Maff in for Scurll and handing him a title in December? A dark match job out like how PCO & Brody King lost the NWA tag titles? We’ll find out soon enough.
Overall this show was fine, a tad more interesting than usual due to the fan voting stipulation, but none of the voting options really made any difference in the end. The Briscoes were retaining regardless of their opponents. Bateman would have attacked Williams no matter the match format. Like most ROH events this year in the end nothing really adds up to anything more than the results on paper and nothing feels particularly important or like we’re headed anywhere notable. It’s the reason I’ve stopped transcribing entire matches and just stuck to a summary format instead and the reason that there may be no ROH coverage of any kind on the PWTorch in 2020.)