SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH TV REPORT (ep.444)
MARCH 20, 2020
AIRED ON SINCLAIR SYNDICATED TV & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY RYAN SULLIVAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Host: Quinn McKay
-The opening theme aired.
-The show begins with a video package spotlighting the recent success of Two Guys One Tag.
-Quinn McKay is again hosting solo this week. She starts by mentioning the main event of this week’s show, Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham facing Two Guys One Tag, for the ROH World Tag-Team Championships. Quinn says that all three matches on this episode were taped last month at Bound for Honor. She throws to the first match.
(1) THE BRISCOES vs. DAN MAFF & JEFF COBB
Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman are on commentary this week, and they are joined by Cary Silkin for this matchup. Neither team received their ring entrance or introductions, but all four men did adhere to the Code of Honor. Mark Briscoe and Jeff Cobb start the contest, and they slug it out mid-ring before each tagging in their partners. Jeff Briscoe and Dan Maff continued the slugfest, before a blind tag by Mark Briscoe allowed The Briscoes to gain control into commercial break. (c)
Returning “live”, Cobb delivers a devastating overhead belly-to-belly suplex on Mark Briscoe, allowing Cobb to make the tag to Maff. Cobb and Maff are working well as a team, as the hand out punishment to Jay Briscoe. The match finally goes on the outside of the ring, allowing The Briscoes to quickly go on offense. All four men return to the ring, and they all begin to slug it out in the center. Cobb elevated Jay Briscoe into a pop-up Cutter by Dan Maff for a near fall about ten minutes into the match.
The finish occurs when Jeff Cobb misses a jumping elbow into the corner, which gave Jay Briscoe the opportunity to hit a superkick and Jay Driller on Cobb, followed by a “Froggy Bow” by Mark Briscoe for the pinfall over Cobb.
WINNERS: The Briscoes at 12:35
(Ryan’s Reaction: This match was a heavyweight slugfest, with few technical moves and lots of hard-hitting punches, chops and kicks. This is not normally my favorite style of wrestling, but this match was terrific, and one of the better tag-team matches I have seen in 2020.)
-The Briscoes celebrate their win in the ring, as the show goes to commercial. (c)
(2) ALEX SHELLEY vs. REY HORUS
Neither man received their ring entrance or introductions, but nonetheless, the bell abruptly rings to start the match. The crowd was hot, especially for Shelley. This matchup featured some excellent, fast-paced action early, with Shelley seeming to stay one step ahead of Horus. Horus soon turned things around with some impressive mat wrestling, but Shelley continued to counter his moves. The contest went outside the ring, and the veteran Shelley took advantage to go on the offensive. (c)
Back from commercial, both men continued the frenetic, back-and-forth action, going counter for counter to each other’s moves, yet Shelley consistently stayed on top. Horus turned the tide by delivering a front somersault plancha, over the top rope and onto Shelley. Wow!
The finish happens when Shelley hits a superkick on Horus, then hit an inverse DDT, and followed that with his finisher, the Motor City Stretch, for the submission victory.
WINNER: Alex Shelley at 12:22
(Ryan’s Reaction: Thus far in 2020, I would vote for Alex Shelley as my ROH Wrestler of the Year. He has consistently delivered excellent matchups, and yet, this might be the first match I can remember him winning in many months. Horus could afford the loss here, and he got over without going over in this contest.)
-Alex Shelley celebrates his victory by climbing to the top rope, and embracing the cheers of the fans.
-Quickly, this pivots into an advertisement for Ring of Honor’s 18th Anniversary show on Pay-Per-View. (c)
-Back from the commercial break, Quinn McKay is on-screen discussing how the 18th Anniversary show, and Past vs. Present shows, happened the past weekend, and how you can watch the replay. Next, she hypes SuperCard of Honor, and the matches scheduled so far for the event. Quinn finishes this infomercial with a “See You in Lakeland” sign-off. (Awkward! ROH couldn’t cut this before it hit airwaves?)
(3) JONATHAN GRESHAM & JAY LETHAL (CHAMPIONS) vs. TWO GUYS ONE TAG (CHALLENGERS) – WORLD TAG-TEAM TITLE MATCH
Two Guys One Tag receive their full ring entrance, but as Silas Young was climbing onto the ring apron, Lethal and Gresham jump him from behind. Lethal hit Silas’s left leg, already injured from a previous match, with his title belt, severely injuring Young before the match officially begins.
After a couple minutes of action outside the ring, by all four men, Gresham and Silas enter the ring and the matchup starts. Gresham and Lethal continue to deliver punishment to Young’s knee, as we go to commercial. (c)
Back to action, Lethal and Gresham continue to work Silas’s knee, and the tag-team champions are showing impressive chemistry as a unit. Despite receiving several minutes of punishment, Young finally gets the tag to Josh Woods, who quickly clears the ring 1-on-2. Woods continues to hold his own, while waiting for Silas to recover, before Lethal hit the “Lethal Combination” on Woods. Gresham follows that with a top-rope, split-leg dropkick on both Woods and Young, as we went into the final commercial break. (c)
Returning “live”, Lethal immediately puts Silas into a figure-four leg-lock, putting even more pressure on Young’s injured knee. Gresham tries to keep Woods from breaking up the submission, but Woods impressively lifted Gresham and power-slammed him onto Lethal to alleviate the leg-lock.
The finish occurs when Silas Young goes for an inside-cradle on Gresham while the referee’s back was turned. As the distraction was happening, Lethal moved the cradle so that Gresham was now on top of Young, and the ref counted a 1-2-3.
WINNERS: The Ring of Honor Tag-Team Champions, Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal, at 10:09
(Ryan’s Reaction: This match told a good story, but it is difficult to have a mat classic when one wrestler is selling a leg injury the entire match. The finish felt a bit too clever for ROH, but it leaves the door open for a rematch down the line. A strong match, and yet, the weakest of the three matches this week.)
-Gresham and Lethal gloat outside the ring, celebrating their victory, while Young nurses his injured knee as the show goes to black.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was another strong hour of television by Ring of Honor. I wish there was a promo or two to break up the in-ring action, but ROH will do well if they continue to deliver three terrific, new matches on television each week. If you chalk up the segment hyping the events that did not happen, and given the difficult times we are in, I am happy to give them a pass, this was the best hour of television ROH has produced in many months.