In this episode of Wrestling Night in America, PWTorch columnist Greg Parks breaks down both nights of WrestleMania with callers and emailers. Topics include the quality of the Firefly Funhouse match, the decision to put Charlotte over Rhea Ripley, the potential of wrestlers getting more creative freedom in the current environment, and more.
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ROH TV REPORT (ep. 433)
JANUARY 3, 2020
AIRED ON SINCLAIR SYNDICATED TV & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY RYAN SULLIVAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Host: Ian Riccaboni and Quinn McKay
-The opening theme aired.
-They opened with a video package recapping PCO defeating Rush for the World Championship at Final Battle in Baltimore last month.
-Ian Riccaboni and Quinn McKay begin by discussing Final Battle and how three of the men’s championships changed hands, with PCO beating Rush, Dragon Lee defeating Shane Taylor for the Television championship and Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal capturing the World Tag titles.
-Next Ian and Quinn discussed tonight’s main event, Dan Maff and Jeff Cobb challenging PCO and Marty Scurll of Villain Enterprises.
– A video package was shown from December’s Final Battle Fallout, with each member of Villain Enterprises (PCO, Marty Scurll, Flip Gordon and Brody King) going to the ring to celebrate PCO’s title victory. PCO makes a great joke about being grateful to everyone “from the bottom of his car battery.” Rush rudely interrupts the promo to introduce his new faction La Faccion Ingobernable, consisting of Rush, Dragon Lee, Kenny King, and presumably, Amy Rose. [c]
-We return from commercial with a backstage conversation between P.J. Black and Josh Woods, with Black asking how his mentorship with Silas Young is going. Woods is effusive with his praise for Silas, to the point where Black is now intrigued with mentoring someone himself. Black briefly tries to steal Woods, before Silas interrupts them. Silas says P.J. is good, but he is not the “Last Real Man” and cannot be as good a mentor as him. P.J. says he’s been doing this for 22 years, and he can mentor “anyone” on the roster.
As Silas repeats P.J.’s boastful statement, Brian Johnson quickly walks through their conversation. This gives Silas the idea that if P.J. can mentor “anyone”, become the mentor to Brian Johnson, and in a few months, there will be a Woods verses Johnson match, with the winner (I guess) proving who is the better mentor.
(Ryan’s Reaction: While the premise is fine on paper, I’m not a fan of ROH going back to the odd-couple mentor/mentee relationship. It has worked perfectly with Woods and Young, but their focus should be on the tag-titles, not a feud with Black and Johnson. I hope I am wrong, but this seems like a waste of the chemistry that is 2 Guys 1 Tag.)
-Another video package showing highlights of Dragon Lee defeating Shane Taylor for the Television Title at Final Battle. Quinn McKay briefly mentions that Dak Draper is still owed a Television Title match, and coincidently, Dak is up next.
(1) “THE MILE HIGH MAGNUM” DAK DRAPER vs. SHAHEEM ALI
Announcers Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman make a note that Shaheem is alone without tag-team partner LSG, and their tag losses are wearing on each of them.
Good action early on, with Draper trying to establish his Participation ribbon gimmick and “Shame on you” catch phrase. [c]
Back from commercial, Dak Draper was showing off his power and athleticism, with the commentators noting his 6’6” height. Mid-match Ali took control with a corner dropkick, followed by an impressive power bomb that Draper sold well. The finish had Draper hit a middle rope springboard elbow on Ali, followed by his finisher, The Magnum KO.
WINNER: Draper in 4:55
(Ryan’s Reaction: This was a strong match, and shows that two wrestlers can tell a quality story in under 10 minutes. Draper has good potential, but needs something more than the ribbon gimmick and mediocre catch phrase. Ali is extremely talented and deserves a bigger platform, which now must occur as a singles competitor, as Coast 2 Coast is officially broken up.)
-Video package runs briefly showing Vincent’s character transformation, followed by clips of his match with Matt Taven at Final Battle. In addition, they showed Bateman’s sneak attack on Taven after the match, along with Vincent and Bateman injuring Taven’s ankle with a chair. [c]
-Returning from commercial, a clip aired from ROH Unauthorized from the gimmick match involving Brian Johnson against Colt Cabana, Ian Riccaboni, Todd Sinclair and more. It showed Sinclair doing a leapfrog into a chop on Johnson, followed by a top-rope frog splash by Ian Riccaboni (impressive elbow, Savage would be proud) onto Johnson, and then taking the pin from Colt Cabana.
-This lead into a backstage vignette showing a downtrodden Brian Johnson unlacing his boots. P.J. Black approaches him about being his mentor, and sharing his wealth of knowledge with Johnson. Johnson says “No” rather gruffly, with Black responding by saying “Take a few days and think about it”. Black leaves the locker room as Johnson says “Go. I don’t need no mentor.”
-Next a video package runs showing the final moments of the Briscoes match against Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham at Final Battle, and specifically, how Lethal pinned Briscoe to win the matchup.
-Afterwards, a cameraman was following Lethal and Gresham celebrating post-match, but somehow the two did not notice him trailing behind them. Lethal finally sees him and calls him into the locker room to cut a promo. Lethal puts over that Gresham was right all along, that everyone in Ring of Honor does whatever they want and gets rewarded for it. Jay has now learned from his mistake, and he is now champion.
-Ian and Quinn return on-screen and discuss the loaded tag-team division in Ring of Honor. They then turn it over to Brian Zane for his Top-5 Biggest Moments from Final Battle 2019.
- Jeff Cobb vs. Dan Maff
- Maria Manic destroying Angelina Love
- Bandido and Flamita vs. Marty Scurll and Flip Gordon
- Mark Haskins vs. Bully Ray in a street fight
- The ROH World Championship, ROH Television Title, and ROH Tag-Team Titles all changing hands in one night. [c]
-Returning from commercial, they go right to the ring and our main event.
(3) JEFF COBB & DAN MAFF vs. VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (PCO & Marty Scurll)
Each man got their own individual entrances, and all four of them received impressive pops from the Philadelphia crowd. The early action saw Scurll doing the “Heavyweight” gimmick before tagging in PCO, to another massive pop. Cobb tagged in after a few minutes, and immediately hit an impressive overhead belly-to-belly suplex on Scurll, followed by a standing backflip.
After a commercial pause, Maff got the hot tag from Cobb and the two men worked over PCO for several minutes, with commentary noting their excellent chemistry together. Scurll then gets a hot tag himself, with Marty fighting them 1 on 2 for a few moments, allowing PCO to recover. Soon after, PCO hit a crazy French-Canadian Destroyer on Maff, and followed it into a Quebec Cannonball.
The finish saw Cobb miss a dive onto PCO and hitting partner Maff instead. PCO next missed his patented somersault dive onto Maff, then Maff trying to hit the Burning Hammer on Scurll, before Marty reversed it into a small package for the win. Ring of Honor showed highlights of this match before rolling the credits.
WINNERS: Villain Enterprises (PCO and Marty Scurll) in 14:44
(Ryan’s Reaction: This match was fantastic and I particularly liked the ending. The entire crowd was expecting Marty to be leaving the company and, therefore, likely to take all pins before exiting. Seeing the match set up perfectly for Maff to hit his devastating finisher, The Burning Hammer, only to have it naturally reversed into a small package, was excellent booking. This was a smart swerve finish, although I am curious where this leaves the tag-team of Cobb and Maff going forward.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Excellent episode to begin 2020, with two quality matches around several quality video packages helping to build future storylines.
Check out Ryan Sullivan with Tyler Sage on the “Podcast of Honor” weekly podcast, exclusively part of the PWTorch VIP-exclusive podcast line-up. Go VIP to catch up and listen. This was a new addition to the PWTorch VIP line-up in late 2019. GO VIP.