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RING OF HONOR TV (EPISODE #523)
SEPTEMBER 20, 2021
AIRED ON SINCLAIR SYNDICATED TV & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY CHRISTOPHER MAITLAND
Host: Quinn McKay
Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Caprice Coleman
Ring Announcer: Bobby Cruise
– The opening theme aired. Quinn McKay welcomes us to the episode. The main event has a four corners survival between Brody King, Jay Lethal, Kenny King, and Shane Taylor. The opening match is mentor vs protégé featuring PJ Black vs Brian Johnson in a Pure rules match.
-In a pre match video, Brian Johnson says the very history of this company can be written around a handshake. But now everyone in this division will honor him. PJ Black interrupts Johnson to ask him if he is ready. Johnson says he knows he is ready. Black says there is one more thing Johnson has to do and that is beat him in a Pure rules match. Black says if Johnson wins he will get the black belt but if Black wins, Johnson has to shake his hand. They agree on the match but Johnson won’t shake Black’s hand, saying that he has to earn it.
(Maitland’s Thoughts: I have been calling for ROH to put some of their excellent videos, normally posted on Twitter, onto their television show. This is an example of one that helps to give a reason for this match. The highlights show the history of the Pure Division as well as the history between Black and Johnson. It’s a good way to get viewers interested in their match.)
(1) BRIAN JOHNSON vs PJ BLACK
Ian welcomes everyone to the show. Brian Johnson comes out first with a microphone. He says he told everyone he is an equal opportunity ass whooper and he plans to prove it again today. He is going up against his mentor PJ Black. Black says Johnson needs to earn a black belt but Johnson only cares about the Pure title belt. He will prove to Black that you spell Pure M-E-C-C-A. Johnson does his own ring introduction. Black comes out next. (c)
Code of honor adhered to. They begin the match trash talking. Black goes behind but Johnson reverses. Black crucifixes Johnson for a one count. Black controls the arm and takes Johnson down with a wrist lock. Johnson gets out and grabs a head lock. Black reverses and grabs a head lock. Johnson powers off and does a snap mare. Black gets Johnson in a head scissors and trash talks Johnson. Johnson gets up but Black takes him down with a side head lock takeover. They stand up and Johnson grabs a headlock. Johnson runs the ropes and takes Black down. They run the ropes again until Black hits a hip toss. They trade arm drags with Johnson getting a one count. Johnson sweeps the leg but Black blocks a hip toss. Black blocks a bunch and drop kicks Johnson sending him to the outside. Black is telling Johnson how to breathe as Johnson recovers. Back inside, Black grabs a side headlock but Johnson grabs the ropes for his first rope break. Johnson kicks Black in the stomach and throws him into the corner. Johnson Irish whips Black into the other corner but Black counters sending Johnson to the outside with a head scissors. Black climbs the top rope but Johnson moves away. Black hits Johnson with a dive. Back inside, Johnson hits two elbows off the top rope for a two count. Black hits a cross body for a two count. Johnson hits an STO but misses a springboard dive. (c)
Johnson kicks Black. Black kicks Johnson in the midsection three times. Johnson yells that you spell Pure M-E-C-C-A. Black and Johnson trade kicks before Black back body drops Johnson. Black wheelbarrows Johnson and puts him toward the ropes so Johnson gets his second rope break. Black kicks and stomps Johnson. Black suplexes Johnson and holds on for a submission hold. Johnson tries to fight our but Black holds him down for a two count. Black hits a back suplex. Black climbs the top rope but Johnson gets up. They run the ropes and hit each other with a clothesline. They get to their knees and trade chops. They get up and trade forearms and grab each other by the beard. Black hits a super kick and a springboard moonsault but Johnson reaches the ropes for his third and final rope break. Johnson gets up and shoves Black into referee Joe Mandak. Johnson pokes Black in the eye causing Black to grab the ropes. Mandak sees Black holding the ropes and tells Bobby Cruise that this is Black’s first rope break. Johnson punches Black and hits the Process (neckbreaker) for the three count.
WINNER: Brian Johnson at 10:58
-After the match, Black grabs the microphone and tells Johnson that he has to cheat to win but he congratulates him and puts his hand out. He tells Johnson to do his thing but he is here when Johnson needs him. Johnson shakes his hand. (c)
(Maitland’s Thoughts: If you have read this long enough, you know that I am a fan of pure rules matches, but I really enjoyed this one. It told an excellent story and provided an end to the Johnson and Black team. There was a great teacher vs. student element, but also enough respect to move on without a prolonged feud. Johnson as a Pure wrestler who does not wrestle with purity could create some interesting scenarios. I look forward to what they could be.)
-Backstage, Brian Zane interviews Brian Johnson. Zane is surprised that Black shook Johnson’s hand after the match. Johnson said he is surprised that Zane could get a job at Ring of Honor and asks stupider questions than Quinn McKay. PJ Black shows up and says that it sucks losing but he is proud that Johnson applied everything he taught me. Black said Johnson owes him a black belt ceremony and they fist bump. Johnson says that the most traveled man in Ring of Honor wants to shake his hand because when Black spells Pure, M-E-C-C-A.
(Maitland’s Thoughts: Didn’t we just see this. It was good but no need to air this and the post-match promo.)
-A highlight package is shown of the competitors in the ROH Women’s tournament. It is followed by a promo for ROH’s Week by Week and the replay for Death Before Dishonor.
-Eli Isom is in the back. He says Ryan Mooney was talking about being the shadow in Shinobi Shadow Squad. Eli Isom said they were equals but Mooney has the opportunity to show his passion. Isom says Mooney won’t win because Isom has one goal and that is to win the ROH TV title and Mooney will not get in front of his goal and that’s a promise. Ryan Mooney said he won’t spin a story about there being hard feelings between Isom and himself. There is no jealousy, just two men who want to prove who is better. Mooney said people think Isom is better than him but he has never had to prove it before. Mooney tells Isom to never make promises that he can’t keep. A graphic is shown for Ryan Mooney vs Eli Isom taking place on ROH Week by Week on September 28.
(Maitland’s Thoughts: I will not claim that ROH is changing their show because of my reports, but I am glad to see them using promos to set up matches for Week by Week. This match could be otherwise bland without a story, but it gives fans an incentive to watch and I am looking forward to it.)
-Highlights are shown from Glory by Honor Night 2, the Foundation vs Vlnce Unltd. Jonathan Gresham is allowing a hobbled Tony Deppen to limp over to his corner and make a tag. Jay Lethal runs in and drags Deppen back to the Foundation’s corner. Gresham run and knees Brody King. Rhett Titus tags in and continues the onslaught followed by Tracey Williams. Chris Dickinson breaks up a two count. Deppen fights off Lethal and Gresham but they hit a cutter for a two count. Deppen trades forearms with Gresham. Lethal hits another cutter and Gresham hits a shooting star press. Deppen kicks out and Gresham puts on the Figure Four. King breaks up the move by power bombing Titus onto Gresham. King tags in and starts destroying everyone. He dives onto Lethal and hits a clothesline for a two count. Gresham and King have a stare off They trade slaps. King German suplexes Gresham and Dickinson suplexes Gresham through a table. Homicide hits a cutter off the top rope with Lethal on King’s shoulders. Titus and Williams break up the pin. Homicide dives onto Titus on the outside. King dives onto Williams on the outside. With everyone else outside, Lethal hits the Lethal Injection on Deppen for the win. (c)
(Maitland’s Thoughts: I enjoyed this match when it took place in August but wondered why there wasn’t any story line development after the disagreements between the Foundation. I assume this was shown on the show to plant the seeds for what we will see in the main event.)
(2) KENNY KING vs SHANE TAYLOR vs BRODY KING vs JAY LETHAL
Kenny King comes out first. In a pre-match interview, Kenny says back in the day when the families couldn’t get along they would sit down with each other. But none of them get along and when it comes to LFI you either get down or lay down and tonight they would lay down.
Shane Taylor comes out next. SOS accompany him. In a pre-match promo, Taylor says he has the opportunity to climb the rankings in one match or he could focus everything on Kenny King. He said he would show Kenny why he should not have messed with Taylor.
Brody King comes out third. He says tonight’s four way match includes Shane Taylor, who he beat, and Jay Lethal who he beat. He adds that Kenny always avoids the ass whooping he deserves. All Brody cares is taking the next step to get the World title and warns those who might stand in his way.
Jay Lethal comes out next. He says this match is about one thing, getting closer to the ROH World Title. He says he is the only one in this match who knows what that feels like. He not only wants that feeling again, he needs it and he is coming for a fight. (c)
(Maitland’s Thoughts: Good reasons from the competitors on the importance of this match. Taylor’s focus on Kenny King looks like it might foreshadow how he wrestles in this match.)
Code of honor adhered to between Lethal, Brody, and Taylor. Kenny doesn’t shake anyone’s hand but offers a fist bump instead. No one obliges. Lethal and Brody start. Brody shoves Lethal to the ground. Lethal tries to get an arm lock on Brody but Brody gets out. Lethal kicks Brody to the ground allowing Taylor to blind tag Brody. Taylor goes to yell at Kenny. Taylor and Lethal lock up but Taylor backs Lethal into the corner. Taylor punches Lethal in the ribs. Lethal ducks a clothesline and hits Taylor with a kick. Taylor misses one lariat but hits him with his other arm. Lethal hits a basement dropkick followed by a dragon screw leg whip. Kenny blind tags Taylor. Lethal and Kenny trade arm locks until Lethal grabs a hammer lock. Kenny spins out and hits an arm drag. Lethal does a series of head lock takeovers until Kenny punches Lethal in the face. Kenny hits a hip toss and uses Lethal’s cartwheel drop kick. Kenny hits Lethal with an elbow. (c)
Kenny stomps and kicks Lethal in the corner and pins Lethal for a two count. Brody tags Lethal and enters the match. Brody chops Lethal. Kenny hits Brody from behind. Brody and Kenny trade chops until Kenny hits a forearm. They try to gain an advantage until Brody punches Kenny. Brody puts Kenny on the rope and chops him into the ring. Brody stands on Kenny’s throat. Brody body slams Kenny and hits a senton splash for a two count. Kenny hits an enziguri followed by a dropkick. Kenny hits Taylor on the outside and a blockbuster. Kenny dives onto Taylor. Lethal breaks up a pin attempt on Brody. Kenny kicks Lethal to the outside. Taylor grabs Kenny’s leg long enough for Brody to recover and hit a lariat. Taylor tags Kenny to tag himself in. Taylor and Brody trade forearms until Brody hits an elbow. Taylor follows with a punch sending Brody to the outside. Lethal runs in and dives onto Brody on the outside. Taylor grabs Kenny and hits a cutter, sending Kenny into the ring. Lethal returns to the ring and Taylor catches him when Lethal attempts the Lethal Injection. They counter until Taylor hits a headbutt and the Marcus Garvey driver. Kenny tries to kick Taylor buy Taylor grabs Kenny’s foot. Kenny gets out and hits a Blue Thunder Bomb. Brody returns and German suplexes Kenny. Brody hits a lariat on Taylor for the victory.
WINNER: Brody King at 9:21
Brody King helps up Shane Taylor and Taylor indicates he wants to go one on one with Brody. Lethal rolls in and shakes Brody’s hand. Brody leaves the ring, telling the camera that violence prevails. Lethal and Taylor shake hands. The matches from next week are Taylor Rust and Alex Zayne vs the Briscoes and Vlnce Unltd against four mystery opponents.
(Maitland’s Thoughts: This match probably would have been a better fit on the television shows preceding Death Before Dishonor. I don’t see Brody King getting another world title shot any time soon and there was little progression of the feud between Shane Taylor and Kenny King. There was also no development on the Foundation. I was expecting this match to move along and that didn’t happen. The work was fine nonetheless. I am happy to announce that I will be the host of a new Livecast that will be ROH specific. First episode will be out this week.)
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ROH TV REPORT: 9/20 RING OF HONOR TV REPORT: Pure wrestling gauntlet match, Titus vs. Bennett, more