SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
ROH WOMEN’S DIVISION WEDNESDAY REPORT
AUGUST 4, 2021
AIRED ON YOUTUBE
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Lenny Leonard, Chelsea Green
We opened with former Impact Wrestling president and owner Dixie Carter at home on her patio. (Yes, really.) She said the success of the knockouts division was one of her favorite things about her time with Impact. She congratulated the ROH women and wished them luck in the tournament.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Just a quick cameo but Carter felt authentic here and it was very much a surprise appearance that nobody saw coming. Another small way to put some real buzz on the tournament and help convince us that ROH is really, truly serious about their women this time.)
-We went Zoom-style to Alyssa Marino hosting a chat with Maria Kanellis-Bennett and Canadian wrestling legend LuFisto. Chelsea Green, Alex Gracia, and Nicole Savoy each joined for periods as well. At 64:00 into the show we went to the arena.
(Pageot’s Perspective: I’m not going to attempt to transcribe an hour of that. As you might expect, they spoke about the developments in the tournament so far including Gracia’s elimination and Savoy’s win. It was really great to see LuFisto here with the implication obviously being that she could possibly wrestle for them down the line. Pandemic restrictions have been strict here in Canada so LuFisto hasn’t wrestled in over a year and a half. Even despite that, though, it was insane that NWA, AEW, or Impact hadn’t already set an offer in stone for her the second she became able to travel.)
-Chelsea Green got a full entrance video before joining Riccaboni and Leonard on commentary.
-Nightingale and Kay made their entrances. No video promos hyping them up like the women got on the weekly TV show.
(1) “AK-47” ALLYSIN KAY vs. “THE BABE WITH THE POWER” WILLOW NIGHTINGALE – ROH WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT: OPENING ROUND
Lock-up. Take downs exchanged. Cravat from Nightingale. Nightingale took an early lead with elbows and a big boot. Kay dropped her across the top rope and hit a boot of her own, though. Kay went after Nightingale’s neck. (Nightingale broke her neck two years ago.) Kay stomped away at her in the corner. They traded chops but Kay knocked Nightingale to to the floor. Nightingale’s head into the apron and a slap to the chest. Nightingale with a pair of suplexes but Kay blocked a third and unloaded with knees to Nightingale’s face. Kay hit some kicks to Nightingale’s chest, taunting her, but Nightingale powered up to her feet. They both went for kicks at the same time and both connected, collapsing to the mat. Nightingale went on a flurry of strikes and landed a spinebuster. She went to the second rope to hit a shotgun dropkick for the first two-count of the match. Nightingale picked upher in a firewoman’s carry but Kay turned it into a rear naked choke. Nightingale fell backwards, driving her into the mat. Cannonball to Kay in the corner. Nightingale went up top for a moonsault but Kay moved. Discus lariat from Kay but Nightingale was able to roll to the floor to avoid a pin. Back in the ring Nightingale caught Kay with an inside cradle for two. Kay rolled through into a kimura and Nightingale tapped.
WINNER: Allysin Kay in 11:30.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Everything in my instincts said Kay was advancing here but part of me still thought it might be Willow, only because she’s been featured regularly on the Wednesday shows whereas this was Kay’s first ROH appearance in two years. She and Marti Belle were also last-minute additions to the tournament and weren’t featured prominently in the pre-tournament promos, seemingly brought in just to provide some name cachet. For those same reasons I have Trish Adora going over Marti Belle in the next round. Hopefully I’m right on that one because Adora is far too special of a talent to be bumped out in the first round. Plus, Adora eliminating Belle and then having to face Belle’s best friend Kay in round two? That seems to write itself.
The match itself was very good as you’d expect from two of the top women working on the indies today and the best in the tournament so far. ROH hasn’t appeared to have officially signed any of the new women they’ve brought in for the tournament yet but if they don’t get on Nightingale soon somebody else is going to and it will be their loss. It’s curious that this one was chosen to air on YouTube while arguably weaker match-ups like Alize-Gracia and another Leon-McKay rematch get featured on TV. I suspect it’s a compliment to Kay and Nightingale with the idea being that their names would draw people to specifically seek out the YouTube show.
With Adora-Belle and Leon-McKay announced for next Monday’s TV show, the only first-round match left is Holidead vs. Max The Impaler. That wasn’t announced for next Wednesday’s YouTube show but it seems like a safe bet.)