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ROH TV REPORT (ep.448)
APRIL 17, 2020
AIRED ON SINCLAIR SYNDICATED TV & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY RYAN SULLIVAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Host: No Host This Week
-The opening theme aired.
-The show begins with Matt Taven in a chair, sitting in front of a camera. The setup is similar to the past two weeks with PCO and Jay Lethal. Taven reflects on the year 2016 both negatively and positively. He was rehabbing his injured knee, and developed a list of goals, including becoming ROH World Champion.
-Taven then discussed his need to prove himself against Adam Cole, and that their matchup in Minnesota does not get the recognition it deserves. (Truth, it’s worth watching on Honor Club.)
-Then, Taven spoke about his time wrestling in Mexico, and returning to Ring of Honor as the “REAL” Ring of Honor World Champion. Taven mentioned his match, and win, against Dalton Castle at Final Battle, as a pivotal moment in his journey. Matt quickly pivoted to discuss his match against Jay Lethal at the 17th Anniversary show. While he did not win the title that evening, he proved a lot of doubters wrong in that match.
-Next, Taven talks about winning the ROH World Championship at Madison Square Garden, and says it is the best moment of his life. This was a goal he had worked toward his entire career, and the smile on his face is one of pure joy.
-Finally, Matt says he defended his world title so many times, and he thinks several of his matches do not get the respect they properly deserve. One of the matches that immediately comes to mind was his battle against Mark Haskins. (c)
(1) MATT TAVEN (Champion) vs. MARK HASKINS (Challenger) – ROH World Title match
Back “live,” the show resumes with Bobby Cruise doing the full introductions for both competitors. The bell rings and Taven immediately attempts to hit Haskins with the title belt, but misses. The match goes to the outside, where Haskins beats on the champion. Haskins sends Taven back into the ring, and Taven begins to sell an injury to his left knee. Haskins quickly recognizes this, and begins to work over the knee. Haskins puts Taven into a modified figure-four submission for nearly a minute, but Taven breaks the hold and goes to the outside to recover.
While outside the ring, Taven takes the opportunity to ram Haskins left shoulder into the ring post, which Haskins sells well. Taven sends Haskins into the ring, and continues to work on the injured shoulder into commercial break. [c]
Returning to action, Taven is delivering punishment outside the ring. Taven drags Haskins to the entrance ramp, and runs back to the ring, in order to encourage the referee to count Haskins out. Haskins barely makes it back to the ring at 19, and the match continues. Taven continues to work on Haskins arm, before the action again goes outside the ring. Haskins, however, outsmarts Taven and throws Matt into the guardrail. [c]
Haskins is still in control, and continues to work over Taven’s injured knee. After a few minutes of offense, almost exclusively by Haskins, Mark puts Taven into Haskins’ notorious Sharpshooter finisher. Bully Ray soon walked to the ring with a microphone, asking Haskins how his wife was doing. This distraction forced Haskins to release the hold, and diverted the attention of both Haskins and the referee. Taven used this opportunity to “low blow” Haskins, and then deliver his “Climax” finisher for the 1-2-3. [c]
WINNER: Matt Taven at 21:41
(Ryan’s Reaction: I remembered this match as the best of Taven’s title reign, and it was even better than I recalled. This was a great match, with both selling an injured body part, and the other wisely working it over to achieve victory. This is one of the top-10 matching in Ring of Honor in 2019. #MustWatch)
-Back from commercial Taven discussed his feud with Ultimo Guerrero, which originated in Mexico. He was particularly proud of his match with him at the Hammerstein. Taven thought people came away from this contest thinking he was doing something right.
(2) MATT TAVEN (w/T.K. O’Ryan) vs. ULTIMO GUERRERO
This matchup took place June 2, 2018 in New York. Both men received their full entrances and ring introductions. There was no Code of Honor before the bell rang. The fans were loudly chanting “Lucha Libre” and the competitors were slow to lock up, soaking up the cheers. Quickly Guerrero was distracted by O’Ryan and went to the outside to chase him down. This allowed Taven to take advantage of the preoccupied Guerrero, and go on the offensive. (c)
Back to the action, Taven has applied a rear chin lock on Guerrero. Taven sends Guerrero outside the ring, and attempts his “flight of the conqueror” leap, but strikes O’Ryan instead. Guerrero then places both Taven and O’Ryan on a chair, one on the other, and hits a running dive into both men. Guerrero throws Taven back in the ring, and starts working him over in the corner. A minute or two later, Taven reverses an attempted powerbomb by Guerrero into his “just the tip… of the knee”, as the show goes to commercial. (c)
Returning “live”, Taven is still on offense, and soon delivers an impressive swinging neckbreaker, into a springboard moonsault. Taven puts Guerrero on the top rope and attempts a “Super Frankensteiner”, but Guerrero reverses it into a nasty powerbomb.
The finish occurs when late in the match, Guerrero places Taven on the top rope. TK O’Ryan jumped onto the ring apron, and distracted the referee. This diversion allowed Vinny Marseglia to emerge from under the ring, and pop a balloon in Guerrero’s ear. The loud noise disoriented Guerrero, and gave Taven the opportunity to deliver his “Climax” finishing move for the win.
WINNER: Matt Taven at 12:16
(Ryan’s Reaction: This match was solid, but felt more deserving on a “Best of Matt Taven” DVD, rather than one of two matches shown in a one hour feature. In addition, it felt odd to go from a title defense in 2019, backwards to a standard match a year earlier. I could list 10+ matches I would have shown in its place, making it a poor selection, in my opinion.)
-After the match, The Kingdom (Taven, Marseglia, and O’Ryan) were celebrating in the middle of the ring.
-The show quickly pivots back to Taven in the chair, sitting in front of the cameras. Matt says all the hard work he is doing to rehabilitate is because his story is far from over. Taven continues talking, but the footage quickly (and presumably) appears to be hacked, and Vincent appears on-screen. Vincent is shown clapping and says that Taven has not changed, because he still loves talking about himself. Vincent says he defeated Taven at Final Battle and made him a “broken toy”. Vincent says that while Taven might think 2019 was his best year, “I am the best of Matt Taven… Dig what I’m sayin?” And the show faded to black.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The Haskins match was outstanding, and the Guerrero match was entertaining, in spite of the wonky finish. Taven’s commentary was entertaining, but similarly to the past two week’s episodes, it was rather vanilla and did not provide much in terms of character development.
However, the Vincent interruption and promo was outstanding. I thought it was cleverly done, and adds additional fuel to their eventual feud later down the road. This was a quality, entertaining hour of professional wrestling, and I am curious to watch next week’s episode featuring Flip Gordon.