4/3 ROH TV REPORT: Jay Briscoe vs. Jay Lethal in battle of champions, Jay Lethal vs. A.J. Styles, wrestlers comment on past matches

By Ryan Sullivan, PWTorch contributor


ROH TV REPORT (ep.446)
APRIL 3, 2020

Host: No Host This Week

-The opening theme aired.

-This week’s episode begins with a video package, featuring Jay Lethal, sitting in a chair, in front of two cameras. Lethal reflects on his early career in ROH, and feeling like he did not belong in the same locker room as stars like Samoa Joe. Lethal then started about working with Dusty Rhodes, and what an honor it was. Finally, he turned his focus to his favorite matches in ROH, and began to discuss his match with Jay Briscoe at Best In The World.

(1) JAY BRISCOE vs. JAY LETHAL w/Donovan Dijak, Jay Diesel, Truth Martini) – ROH World Champion vs. ROH TV Champion

Neither man received a ring entrance, but the dulcet pipes of Bobby Cruise gave both a full introduction, as the show went to commercial. [c]

Back to the ring, both men adhered to the Code of Honor. The audience was absolutely raucous, and this match had a big fight feel to it. Almost immediately, Dijak attempted to distract Jay Briscoe, forcing referee Todd Sinclair to send both Dijak, and Jay Diesel, to the dressing room.

The match had an incredibly slow, methodic start, with the first lockup occurring nearly three minutes after the bell rung. Briscoe and Lethal commence some mat wrestling, with neither gaining a clear advantage into another commercial break. [c]

Returning “live”, Briscoe and Lethal are in the midst of a slugfest. The action quickly moves outside the ring, and surprisingly, Lethal gains the advantage over Briscoe. Briscoe and Lethal return to the ring, and Briscoe goes on offense. The offensive advantage shifts back-and-forth, before Truth Martini provides a distraction, allowing Lethal to hit an Insiguri and knock Briscoe outside the ring. (c)

Back from commercial, both guys are in the ring, and Briscoe is on offense. A couple minutes later, the action moves outside the ring, and due to another distraction by Martini, Lethal delivered a “low blow” to Briscoe. This sent Nigel McGuinness from the commentary table to ringside, and he swiftly dismissed Martini to the locker room. This allows Briscoe to deliver a “Jay Driller”, through a table, on Lethal, from the ring to the floor. Briscoe and Lethal miraculously got back in the ring before the referee finished his twenty count.

The finish occurs when Lethal hits a 2nd rope cutter, followed by a “Lethal Injection” for a long 2-count. Lethal follows this by teasing hitting the “Jay Driller” on Briscoe, but Briscoe reverses this and both men counter the other a couple times. Finally, Lethal gets the leverage and delivers a “Jay Driller”, then a “Lethal Injection” for the win.

WINNER: Jay Lethal at 21:29

(Ryan’s Reaction: This match was a classic, and frankly, even better than I remember it. This is one of the best matches by both Jay Briscoe and Jay Lethal, and ROH is smart to spotlight both men at the peak of their individual careers.)

-The show quickly pivots back to the original setup, with Jay Lethal sitting in a chair, solo, in front of two cameras. Lethal discusses how he was feeling that evening at Best In The World, immediately after capturing the world title. He called it “The best night of my life”, as we went to commercial. (c)

-After paying some bills, Lethal is again talking into the cameras, this time reflecting on his match with A.J. Styles at Final Battle. Jay said he had long looked up to Styles, and shared his feeling going into this epic heavyweight championship match.

(2) JAY LETHAL (w/Truth Martini, Taeler Hendrix) vs. A.J. STYLES – World Hvt. Champion

Neither man received his ring entrances or introductions, before the bell rang, and the action starts. The match begins with incredible, fast-paced chain wrestling, with both flashing amazing athleticism, yet neither able to gain a clear advantage. Both men are in their wrestling prime, and the early part of this match is some of the best wrestling I saw last decade.

The match moves outside the ring, and as per usual, Martini provides a distraction, and Lethal takes advantage to go on offense. Lethal beats on Styles mercilessly outside the ring, before sending him back between the ropes. The punishment from Lethal continues to Styles as we go into a commercial pause. (c)

Back “live,” Lethal is still beating on Styles. Finally, Styles turns the ride, and reverses a Lethal suplex attempt into a nasty neck breaker. [c]

The show returns with Styles in control of the offense. Styles soon teases his “Styles Clash” finisher, which Lethal is able to counter into a backflip outside the ring, sending Styles through a table. Styles destroyed the table, but was able to get back into the ring at 19. Lethal quickly attempts to take advantage of Styles, and delivers a “Lethal Injection” for a long 2-count.

The finish happens when Styles again attempts to hit the “Styles Clash,” but Lethal is able to reverse it into a cradle pile driver, and delivered another “Lethal Injection” for the win.

WINNER: Jay Lethal (w/ Truth Martini and Taeler Hendrix) at 14:58

(Ryan’s Reaction: This match was a classic, but likely due to time restraints, ROH decided to only show about 60 percent of this match. This is unfortunate, as I was live for this show, and would argue Lethal vs. Styles was superior to Lethal and Briscoe. I understand Styles works elsewhere now, but I wish they could have found a way to show the entirety of this contest. Nonetheless, this was elite work by both men.)

-The show returns to Lethal in his chair, talking about how he has so much left to accomplish in ROH. Yet, at this point in his career, he hopes some guys in the locker room reflect on his career with the same admiration he has for legends like Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles. Lethal said, “If that happens, I can die a happy man”, as the show faded to black.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a good show, however, I will admit that I thought this episode was less compelling than last week’s show featuring the Briscoes. Unfortunately, Lethal stayed basically in character the entire episode, while the Briscoes showed a more intimate, and thus, charming look into their “real lives.” I commend the company for using the circumstances of this pandemic to add depth to their characters in hopes of getting them over with the fans, in the future. Nevertheless, I hope future episodes give fans a bit more of an in-depth look at the individual talent, rather than this more surface-level view of Jay Lethal.

CATCH UP… 3/27 ROH TV REPORT: Special focus on Briscoes including matches against Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens) & El Generico (Sami Zayn), Jay vs. Mark

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