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.437)
JANUARY 31, 2020
AIRED ON SINCLAIR SYNDICATED TV & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY RYAN SULLIVAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Ian Riccaboni, Quinn McKay
-The opening theme aired.
-The show begins with a video package of highlights from the six-man tag-team title match from Center Stage in Atlanta, and shown on last week’s ROH TV.
-Ian and Quinn appear, hyping this week’s main event match of The Briscoes vs. Lifeblood vs. Dan Maff and Jeff Cobb in a three-way tag-team match. Then, they pivot and talk about the upcoming Free Enterprise show in Baltimore, and the main event of Nick Aldis and Rush vs. Marty Scurll and PCO. Finally, Quinn throws it to the ring, for our first match.
(1) MASTER & MACHINE (Griff Garrison & Marcus Kross) vs. DALTON CASTLE & JOE HENDRY
On the way to the ring, ROH cuts to a pre-taped promo from both Castle and Hendry. While Dalton focused his attention on olives, Hendry asks Castle if “he’s thought about their team?” Castle starts rambling before Hendry interrupts him, saying he still believes in them as a team and it starts tonight!
The Code of Honor was adhered to by all four men. Hendry and Kross begin the action, and Kross gained the advantage with some solid mat work. (c)
Back “live”, Castle and Garrison are in the legal men, with Castle providing most of the offense. Hendry and Castle work over Kross for several minutes, working impressively as a unit, before Kross gives Garrison the hot tag eight minutes into the match. Master and Machine hit their “Skywalker” finisher on Hendry a minute later, but only got a two-count.
The finish occurs when Hendry clotheslines Garrison over the top rope to the floor. Kross then springboards himself into the ring, but directly into a “Codebreaker” by Hendry, which allows Castle to hit his sling blade “Denouement” maneuver for the win.
WINNERS: Dalton Castle and Joe Hendry at 9:36
(Ryan’s Reaction: This was a quality opening contest, with Castle and Hendry picking up a much-needed victory after a string of losses. Master and Machine looked strong in this contest, and I hope Ring of Honor signs them soon, as they are a solid up-and-coming tag-team who simply needs experience to flourish.)
-Quickly, they go to a backstage promo of Brian Johnston talking to himself in a mirror, giving himself a “pep talk” of sorts. “I’m sick and tired of failing” Johnson says into the glass. This then transitions into a video package, showing multiple clips of the evolving relationship with P.J. Black trying to mentor Johnson. [c]
-Back from commercial, Quinn McKay is shown opening what appears to be a locker room door, in an attempt to find Mark Haskins. She is invited into the room by Haskins, and Tracy Williams is the only other person in the room, sitting nonchalantly on a chair.
-Quinn asks Haskins about his win at Final Battle, and “what is next?” Haskins responded that now that he is past Bully Ray, he’s “now focused on being the man and winning the World Championship”. Quinn, very awkwardly, says “Cool, I’ll tell them” and leaves the room. The segment ends with Haskins walking deeper into the locker room, and the camera lingering on Williams, who has a rather expressionless look on his face.
-Ian and Quinn return to the screen, with both of them highlighting the multiple dates and matches that have been announced recently.
-Rather abruptly, we go quickly to the ring for a match.
(2) RHETT TITUS vs. DANHAUSEN
Neither Titus, nor Danhausen, had his ring entrance shown, and the matchup quickly began after the Code of Honor. Danhausen was massively over with the Atlanta crowd. (c)
Back to the action, Danhausen was in control, before Titus’s impressive strength overtook Danhausen. Titus provided most of the offense, before Danhausen made a comeback a few minutes in and did his signature spot with the jar of teeth.
The finish occurs out of nowhere, when Titus hits a picture-perfect standing dropkick, knocking out Danhausen for the 1-2-3.
WINNER: Rhett Titus in 6:34
(Ryan’s Reaction: Huh? Danhausen is immensely popular with fans, and new to the company, so he loses to Titus by a dropkick? Not to take away from the dropkick, which is outstanding, but this isn’t the 1980s, fans expect more from a match finisher than a move they see a dozen times each night. Good work by both, but crushed by a poor finish and worse creative.)
-Next a video package is shown promoting next week’s match on ROH TV between La Faccion Ingobernable against Villain Enterprises’ Brody King, PCO and Marty Scurll. [c]
-Back from commercial, we go directly to the ring for our main event, a triple threat tag-team match.
(3) JEFF COBB & DAN MAFF vs. LIFEBLOOD (Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams) vs. THE BRISCOES (Jay & Mark Briscoe)
The Bouncers join Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman on commentary for this match. All six men adhered to the Code of Honor. Jeff Cobb and Mark Haskins begin the contest, with neither gaining much of an advantage into the commercial break. [c]
As we return to the ring, there are multiple tags in and out, with Cobb taking most of the punishment. Midway through the match, Mark Briscoe and Mark Haskins get distracted fighting with each other, allowing Cobb the opportunity to tag in Maff for the first time in the match. Maff enters and is a house of fire, clearing the ring of all four opponents. [c]
Back live, Maff is looking like an absolute beast, and Lifeblood surviving his onslaught by working extremely well as a team. The finish sees Jay Briscoe power bomb Haskins into Tracy Williams, who was punishing Mark Briscoe in a length submission attempt. This knocked out Haskins, allowing Jay Briscoe to hit the “Jay Driller” on Williams for the win.
WINNERS: The Briscoes in 11:52
(Ryan’s Reaction: Excellent match, with each man working extremely hard. While I would have preferred Maff and Cobb grab the victory ahead of their match this weekend against Lethal and Gresham in Baltimore, it told a solid story and furthers storylines with each team. This is another terrific match on ROH TV, and one you should seek out to watch this week.)
-Post-match, the Briscoes, who are obviously exhausted and weary from this intense matchup, celebrate their victory as the screen goes to black.
FINAL THOUGHTS: ROH is doing a much better job in 2020 with their television product. There were times last year where I wondered what the company was doing each week. Now, the casual fan can follow the product simply by watching the show each week, and the quality of in-ring action should tempt those fans to buy into Honor Club. The company has not quite gained the mainstream attention yet, but Ring of Honor is laying the groundwork for a terrific year in 2020. I highly recommend following the product “again,” if you are a lapsed fan.