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. 439)
FEBRUARY 14, 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 from last December’s Final Battle Fallout in Philadelphia, spotlighting the match between The Briscoes and Two Guys One Tag. This match finished with Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal distracting the Briscoes, allowing Josh Woods to hit a German suplex, into a bridge, for the win, making Two Guys One Tag the new #1 contender for the Tag-Team Championships.
-Ian and Quinn appear on-screen, with Ian hyping tonight’s match between, The Righteous and Lifeblood. Quinn talks about a new rising superstar in Ring of Honor, Alex Zayne, and then takes us to the ring for highlights of Alex Zayne and Bandido.
-ROH shows approximately three minutes of highlights from Zayne and Bandido, with the announcers making a big deal of Zayne scoring the surprising victory, calling it a “major upset”. (c)
-Back from the break, Joe Hendry is shown posing for a photo shoot, with Dalton Castle giving him posing instructions. Dalton drops nuggets of wisdom like “Look like a winner… look like you are on a beach… look like you are a tree”. This awkward scene ends with Castle walking off, and Hendry looking befuddled.
-Ian and Quinn are back, mentioning their future live events and the new merchandise available from several members on the Women of Honor roster. Ian begins to talk about the recent heel turn from Sumie Sakai and says “He’s disappointed”. Ian then throws it to highlights of Sakai’s match against Nicole Savoy last month.
-Ring of Honor shows about three and a half minutes of highlights from the Savoy and Sakai matchup. The finish saw Sakai kick the middle rope on Todd Sinclair, hitting him in the “ding ding” and causing Sinclair’s attention away from the match. This allowed Sumie to grab a metal chain, hitting Savoy with a double axe-handle and her finisher for the win. (c)
-Returning from commercial, Brian Zayne is on camera, talking the great history of factions in ROH and then selects his Top-5 factions in Ring of Honor history, counting down from #5-#1.
#4 The Embassy
#3 House of Truth
#2 Age of the Fall
#1 Generation Next
-They go abruptly to the ring, with Tracy Williams and Mark Haskins of Lifeblood in the midst of their entrance introductions. Even more suddenly, Vincent and Bateman decided to jump Williams and Haskins before the bell, which starts our opening contest.
(1) LIFEBLOOD (Mark Haskins & Tracy Williams) vs. THE RIGHTEOUS (Bateman & Vincent Marseglia w/Chuckles, Vita Von Star)
The Righteous took the early advantage, due to their pre-match hijinks, but the teamwork of Lifeblood allowed them to soon go on the offensive. Outside interference by Chuckles caused a momentary distraction by Tracy Williams, allowing Vincent to hit a devastating cutter on Williams, and shifting the momentum of the match. (c)
Back “live”, The Righteous have isolated Williams and are wearing him down with double-team maneuvers. Williams makes the hot tag to Haskins about five minutes in, and Mark quickly clears the ring.
The finish comes when Williams and Haskins hit a combination of a pile driver and kick to the ribs, on Vincent. As Haskins goes for the sharpshooter on Vincent, Chuckles enters the ring and hits Haskins with a large block of wood to break up the submission.
WINNERS: Lifeblood by DQ at 6:43
(Ryan’s Reaction: I am a big fan of both teams, but this match did not need to be on Ring of Honor television, especially to the detriment of showing the full Alex Zayne and Bandido match. The contest felt quick, and they lacked chemistry. ROH would be better served to have made this a clip match, and shown a better quality matchup in its entirety.)
-Post-match, The Righteous throw Williams outside the ring and threaten to break Haskins ankle, in similar fashion to Matt Taven back in December. Before any damage can occur, Williams get a steel chair and clears the ring of all four members of The Righteous. (c)
-When they return, we go to the ring for the main event. The Bouncers are first to be introduced, followed by Two Guys One Tag, who have a brand new entrance video. Silas Young is acting light-hearted and interacting with fans on the way to the ring. Both commentators state that Josh Woods is rubbing off on Silas. Dan Maff is introduced next, with Jeff Cobb, and then the team of Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham, who come out as a unit. (c)
(Ryan’s Reaction: Really? Ring of Honor produces a 47 minute show each week, and they spend more than six minutes of this week’s product on these entrances? I know they want to get over Silas’s new attitude, but none of these teams have a particularly flashy entrance and this was straight time filler. #DUD)
-We return, and it is time for this week’s main event.
(2) THE BOUNCERS (Beer City Bruiser & Brawler Milonas) & TWO GUYS ONE TAG (Josh Woods & Silas Young) vs. DAN MAFF & JEFF COBB & JAY LETHAL & JONATHAN GRESHAM
Silas and Gresham begin the match for each team, and perform several minutes of impressive catch-style wrestling, with Woods more than holding his own. Silas tags in to Josh Woods, who uses his size advantage to frustrate and overwhelm Gresham. Gresham then tags in Lethal, and Jay clearly underestimates Woods’ skills, as Josh quickly outwrestles him.
Next Beer City Bruiser tags in the match to go against Lethal – Lethal uses his quickness early against Bruiser, but BCB’s size was too much for Lethal, and Bruiser gained the advantage. After Gresham and Lethal spent several minutes neglecting to tag in fellow partners Cobb and Maff, Lethal finally tags Cobb into the match as we go into commercial. (c)
Returning “live”, Lethal and Gresham interfere in the match, shifting the advantage and allowing them to work over Josh Woods, who they had isolated in the ring. Lethal and Gresham beat up Woods for a couple minutes, and continued their refusal to tag in either Cobb or Maff. Woods finally gets the hot tag to Silas and he quickly clears the ring. However, Maff shortly after got a legal tag, and began to destroy all four of his opponents. Maff looked like a beast.
The finish happens when Lethal and Gresham begin to fight with Woods and Silas on the outside, causing their attention away from the ring. This gave Jeff Cobb the chance to impressively scoop up Beer City Bruiser, and hit his “Tour of the Islands” finisher for the 1-2-3.
WINNERS: Jeff Cobb, Dan Maff, Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham at 15:54
(Ryan’s Reaction: This was a good, but not great, match. There was good action, and all eight men worked hard, but whether it was having eight large men in one ring, or trying to advance multiple storylines at once, this felt like a clusterf—k at times.)
-After the match Jeff Cobb, and particularly Dan Maff, stared down the champions Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal. In fact, Maff grabbed one of the tag belts and walked toward the Cary-Tron, as the show faded to black.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a decent, but underwhelming show, and certainly, the worst thus far in 2020. Ring of Honor has far too much filler in the first half of each week’s show, and relies far too strongly on the main event to make it a worthwhile hour of television. In addition, the format of the show has gotten pretty formulaic, as I often can regurgitate much of the prior week’s recap into the current weeks’ report.
Spice it up ROH! Give the fans two or three full matchups each week, one short highlight package of another match to further a storyline, and surround it with a fresh promo or two… And less Brian Zayne!