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ROH TV REPORT (ep.453)
MAY 22, 2020
AIRED ON SINCLAIR SYNDICATED TV & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY RYAN SULLIVAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Host: No Host This Week
-The opening theme aired.
-A highlight package was played, consisting of the top moments for Dragon Lee in Ring of Honor.
-After this, Dragon Lee is shown, presumably in the backyard of his house, holding the ROH TV Title over his shoulder. Lee welcomes the fans to the show. Then, Lee begins reminiscing on his feud with Kamaitachi, and talks about their terrific match at All Star Extravaganza in 2016.
(1) KAMAITACHI vs. DRAGON LEE
The action begins in the ring, with neither man receiving ring introductions or an entrance. There was no Code of Honor. The pace is rapid to begin, with each man going counter for counter with the other. The match soon moves outside, seeing Dragon Lee hit a suicide dive. Kamaitachi quickly turns the tide, hitting a sunset flip powerbomb on Lee, onto the floor. Kamaitachi continues to punish Lee outside the ring into commercial. [c]
The action is back in the ring, and Lee is using his quickness in attempt to change the momentum. Lee hits a dropkick, knocking Kamaitachi outside the ring, and then hits a somersault plancha on Kamaitachi on the floor. Soon after, Kamaitachi recovers enough to hit a super senton bomb from the top rope, onto Lee, who was on the floor. Both men somehow answer the referee’s 20 count. The action moves to the corner and both get on the top rope, which sees Kamaitachi reverse a “Frankensteiner” into a modified powerbomb. Lee somehow kicked out at 2 from this devastating move. [c]
Back “live”, Lee is on offense, delivering a German suplex into a bridge for a long two count. Lee puts Kamaitachi in a “Fujiwara arm bar”, but Kamaitachi finally reaches the ropes. Lee follows this with an over the top rope “Frankensteiner” on Kamaitachi, sending both men to the floor. Wow! Back in the ring, Lee hits two consecutive “northern lights” suplexes, into a “Brain Buster” suplex for a two count.
The finish occurs when both men are in the corner, on the top rope, and after some scuffling, Lee hits a double stomp on Kamaitachi. Lee soon followed this with his “Fenix Plex” on Kamaitachi for the win.
WINNER: Dragon Lee in 15:12
(Ryan’s Reaction: What an outstanding match! I remember watching this, and it foreshadowed that both men were destined for big things in professional wrestling. This is awfully close to five stars for me.)
-Dragon Lee celebrated his victory on the top rope, amidst a shower of streamers from the appreciative audience. [c]
Returning “live” Dragon Lee is sitting on an outdoor couch, reflecting on his match last year at Madison Square Garden, for G1 Supercard. He talked about how good the match was, and how much it meant for him to win the IWGP Super Junior title.
(2) DRAGON LEE vs BANDIDO vs TAIJI ISHIMORI (Champion) – IWGP Super Junior Title Match
All three men received their full ring entrances and introductions. The match has an incredibly fast pace to begin, making it challenging for the announcers (and myself) to fully explain the action in the ring. Lee quickly hits an over the top rope “Frankensteiner” on Bandido, sending both to the floor. Ishimori follows this with a top rope moonsault onto Lee. [c]
Ishimori delivers a nasty jumping knee to Bandido. Lee uses this opportunity to capitalize, and hits a springboard dropkick, followed by the “Bulls’ Horns” on Taiji. The “Bulls’ Horns” move by Lee was noted by commentary as being an obvious homage to his brother, RUSH. Soon thereafter, an incredible series of moves occur – Bandido hits a springboard super “Frankensteiner” on Dragon Lee. Taiji then hits a bulldog on Bandido. Lee, still weary, delivers a running “destroyer” on Ishimori, sending all three men down to the mat. Next, all three men get on the top rope, and after some scuffling, Bandido lifted the other two men, and hit a “fall away” slam.
The finish happens when Dragon Lee hits a stiff pump knee to Bandido and then Taiji, sending Ishimori to the floor. Lee capitalizes on Taiji being out of the picture, and hits a modified “Blue Thunder Bomb” on the weary Bandido for the 1-2-3.
WINNER and New Champ: Dragon Lee in 9:21
(Ryan’s Reaction: This match was absolutely wild, and the pace was as frenetic as I can recall a match in several years. I feel like ROH cut several minutes from this match due to television time constraints, and I wish they had shown a few more minutes. Nonetheless, terrific match and well worth re-watching.)
-The show pivots to Dragon Lee in his home, talking about his match against Shane Taylor for the ROH World Television title at Final Battle. Lee says he felt like it was a handicap match of sorts, due to the incredible size difference. Lee pitches it to the match.
(3) SHANE TAYLOR (Champ) (w/Ron Hunt) vs. DRAGON LEE – ROH World TV Title match
Neither man received their ring entrances or introductions. The Code of Honor does not take place, as Taylor decided to spit in Lee’s hand, rather than shake it. Dragon Lee starts like a house of fire, and quickly dropkicks Taylor outside the ring. However, when Lee goes outside after Taylor, Shane is able to go on offense. Taylor puts Lee in a chair, and delivers a powerful running knee lift. Taylor then puts Lee on the edge of the ring, and delivers a “guillotine” leg drop. Shane sends Lee back in the ring, and really slows the pace, pounding on Lee. Taylor starts to lay in the heavy “smack talk” to Lee. Taylor then charges at Lee, but Lee avoids Taylor, sending Shane over the top rope. Lee follows this with a “torpedo” dive and a somersault plancha into commercial. [c]
Back “live”, Lee is using his quickness to try to overcome Taylor’s size advantage. Lee hits a top rope jumping stomp on Taylor. Lee gets Taylor back in the ring, and hits another jumping stomp, but can only manage a two count. Lee is fired up now, and begins trading strikes with Taylor mid-ring. Taylor soon gets the advantage, and hits his patented package piledriver, but only gets a two count. Taylor is stunned by Lee’s kick out. Taylor again charges toward Lee, and again Lee avoids Taylor, hitting a “German” suplex, followed by a jumping knee to Taylor’s chin. Taylor quickly counters with a “German” suplex of his own. Taylor goes to the top rope, but Lee meets him. Lee then delivers a top rope double stomp on Taylor, then hits a running kick to Shane’s jaw. Lee tries to follow with a suplex, but Taylor counters into his “Welcome to the Land” finishing move, but can only get a two count on Lee. Taylor is in complete disbelief.
Ron Hunt takes this opportunity to toss a large chain to Taylor. The referee sees this, but Taylor continues to wrap his hand with the chain. Taylor misses a right-hand and Lee hits a “Mexican Destroyer” on Taylor. Lee wraps the chain around his knee, and charges at Taylor, hitting a kick to Shane’s jaw. This only gets a one count. Lee then takes down his knee pad, and hits Taylor with a running knee to the face for the win.
WINNER: Dragon Lee to capture the ROH TV Title at 13:22.
(Ryan’s Reaction: This match was quite good, and told an excellent story of the smaller wrestler overcoming a great deal of punishment to defeat the champion. ROH could have shaved a few minutes off this match, in order to feature more of the Lee vs Bandido vs Ishimori match, but I understanding shining the focus on the ROH television championship.)
-The show returns to Dragon Lee’s house. Lee thanks for the fans for their support and for watching the show. He says they will be back soon, as the show faded to black.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a great hour of professional wrestling, consisting of three outstanding matches, surrounded by four short promos by Dragon Lee. I wish we got to see a bit more personality from Dragon Lee in his vignettes, but understandably, the language barrier hinders this. Overall, this show achieved its goal, as it made me eager to see Dragon Lee back in Ring of Honor, defending the television championship.