SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH 19TH ANNIVERSARY
MARCH 26, 2021
BALTIMORE, MD AT UMBC EVENT CENTER
AIRED ON ROH HONOR CLUB & PPV
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman, Rocky Romero
(1) BRIAN JOHNSON vs. DANHAUSEN vs. ELI ISOM vs. LSG
A standard ROH style, 4-corner survival, match. The long feud between Brian Johnson and Danhausen continues with this finish.
WINNER: Brian Johnson at 10:52 (**)
(Sage’s Analysis: A fine opening match. Eli Isom looked really good in his ROH comeback. LSG appears to be in a gatekeeper role which works. It would appear that we are headed for a rubber match between Mecca and Danhausen. Overall a fun match for the free audience.)
(2) SHANE TAYLOR PROMOTIONS vs. MEXISQUAD
This match was a freeform all for most of the match. It was SOS vs. one or two members of Mexisquad, or Shane Taylor taking on multiple members at most points. SOS won the match in the end.
WINNER: Shane Taylor Promotions at 7:52 (**1/2)
Post match Flamita called out Bandidio and Rey Horus. A triple threat match was made between the team for later in the show.
(Sage’s Analysis: This was a lot like the TV match that these teams had a few weeks ago. Still I thought this was solid and I like that SOS got the pinfall here. I would have been fine with not adding an 11th match to this card, but more on that match later.)
(3) TRACY WILLIAMS vs. KENNY KING – ROH WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
This match was back-and-fourth the first five minutes. Amy Rose and Kenny King teamed up to interfere and get a low blow on Tracy Williams. Williams was able to overcome the odds and get the pin on King to become the ROH TV Champion.
WINNER: Tracy Williams at 7:16 (**1/2)
(Sage’s Analysis: This match felt like a TV match the first five minutes. The match was more about Kenny King getting mad at Amy Rose for causing his loss, more than Tracy Williams winning his first singles title. That is a problem to me, but I am happy for Tracy.)
(4) MARK BRISCOE vs. FLIP GORDON
This match was hard hitting and fast paced from start to finish. Mark Briscoe and Flip Gordon each controlled the match for stretches and hit some solid moves. In the end, Flip Gordon got the win over Briscoe.
WINNER: Flip Gordon at 7:45 (***)
(Sage’s Analysis: This was the first match of the show that felt like a PPV match. Mark Briscoe looked great and hit some great moves. Flip looked dominate in the end and it looks like he is moving up the card, which seems to be positive from a booking stand point.)
(5) DALTON CASTLE vs. JOSH WOODS
Dalton Castle controlled the early part of the match. Silas Young was at ringside and he “encouraged,” Josh Woods to hit Castle with a closed fist. After this Woods became very aggressive and controlled a large portion of the remainder of the match. In the end, Silas Young hit Woods with a chair, turning on him. Dalton took advantage and got the pinfall victory.
WINNER: Dalton Castle at 10:18 (***)
After the match Silas Young cut a promo on top of the laid out Josh Woods, a feud between the two seems to be the next step for each.
(Sage’s Analysis: I liked this turn, I was not expecting that and I always like a surprise. I like the idea of Woods having his first real big feud and building him up over the summer with Silas. I also like that Dalton finally got a win.)
(6) JAY BRISCOE vs. EC3
This match started slow, remained slow, and ended slow. The match was just like a classic Triple H match. The highlights included Jay Briscoe hitting a nice Death Valley Driver on the apron. In the end, Jay Briscoe got the pinfall win.
WINNER: Jay Briscoe at 20:54. (3/4*)
(Sage’s Analysis: Yikes. EC3 just cannot work like wrestler on an ROH PPV, so why put him in a 20 minute match? Jay did the best he could, but this match really dragged to the point that it felt like it was 45 minutes. This really killed any positive momentum for this show and the match was worse than my low expectations planned for.)
(7) FLAMITA vs. BANDIDO vs. REY HORUS
This match was fast and furious from start to finish. All three men had great moments and all three obviously are beyond comfortable working together. The ending sequence between Bandido and Flamita made Bandido a star again in my eyes. The last 45 seconds of this match was some of the best wrestling I have ever seen.
WINNER: Bandido at 10:46. (***3/4)
(Sage’s Analysis: Bandido is a star; please treat him as such going forward.)
(8) MATT TAVEN vs. VINCENT
The match started and ended at a wrestling school/venue that looked like an old middle school. The two battled up and down stairs, into ladders, and onto the solid wood floors. The match ended with both men getting pushed off a balcony onto two tables.
There was no ref present so no finish could have happened; this was just a brawl. A mystery man pushed both men off the balcony and he picked up Vincent and carried him off to end the segment.
-In between these matches Maria Kanellis came out and announced the Women’s tournament this summer. She also made the match between Angelina Love and Quinn McKay on ROH TV.
(9) JONATHAN GRESHAM vs. DAK DRAPER – ROH PURE WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP
This match was the story of Dark Draper, who is over a foot taller than Jonathan Gresham, getting in offense and dominating the first 15 minutes of the match. Gresham had to kick out, fight back, and overcome all of this. In the final five minutes Gresham fought back and took out the knee of Draper. Gresham did a dive that turned into a sleeper hold to finish the fight via submission.
WINNER: Jonathan Gresham at 20:31. (***3/4)
(Sage’s Analysis: I really liked this match; the psychology was very strong. Someone as big as Draper should dominate this match. But, Gresham and Draper were able to tell a great story where Gresham was able to outsmart and out work the younger Draper.)
(10) TRACY WILLIAMS & RHETT TITUS vs. KENNY KING & BESTIA – ROH TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
This match was a very standard tag team match until the finish. Bestia was in control and was offered a chair by Amy Rose. Rose threw the chair in the ring, instead of handing in to Bestia. He took offense to that and demanded another chair. While distracted Bestia was put in a submission and tapped out.
WINNER: Tracy Williams & Rhett Titus at 10:35 (*3/4)
(Sage’s Analysis: This match was fine, with the exception of Bestia. He simply just does not have it anymore and almost any spot he was part of was slow or just sloppy. It was just something I cannot get past, I know that he was a replacement for Dragon Lee, but after this they need an option C and not lean on Bestia again.)
(11) RUSH vs. JAY LETHAL – ROH WORLD TITLE
This was a paint by numbers Rush match. Lethal got offense in early, Rush took the match to the outside and use date barrier and some cables under the ring. Lethal made his comeback and the two men went back-and-forth with near falls. LFI came out and tried to help Rush, The Foundation came out to even the odds. Rush then hit two Bulls Horns and got the pinfall.
WINNER: Rush at 18:32 (**1/4)
After the match Brody King came out and debuted his new group. It included Tony Deppen, Chris Dickinson, and Homicide. The new group ran off LFI and then took out Jay Lethal to end the show.
(Sage’s Analysis: I am tired of these Rush matches. I think that it is time to move off of him as world champion, as he feels so disconnected from the show and the company. I like the new Brody King faction and I am interested in seeing where that goes.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I did not like this show very much. On the positive side, Bandido looks great and seems to be back, Gresham and the pure title is the best thing going right now, Shane Taylor Promotions still seem to dominate, and the new Brody King group has three amazing wrestlers and they should be really fun. Also, the return of Women to ROH is well overdue.
On the negative side, EC3 is pretty much a disaster at this point and his match was one of the worst PPV matches of the year so far. Also, I am not a fan of everything being LFI and The Foundation related, but it looks like we are past that. Finally, my complaint for most ROH PPVs persists: There were way too many matches and it went way too long. Watching this PPV felt like work about two hours and 15 minutes in. I do not watch wrestling to feel like work, so hopefully we can get to eight matches or under in the future.