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RING OF HONOR TV (EPISODE #533)
DECEMBER 6, 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 everyone to this week’s show. She says we are on the road to Final Battle: End of an Era and this week has two massive matches. The main event will be PJ Black vs Bandido and the opening match will be Mandy Leon vs Willow.
(1) MANDY LEON vs WILLOW
Ian welcomes everyone to the show. Rok-C is on commentary. Mandy Leon comes out first accompanied by Angelina Love. In a pre-match interview, Brian Zane asks Mandy Leon what her strategy is and she says to win. Leon goes over her history in Ring of Honor in Baltimore. She thinks she deserves to go to Final Battle and it is long overdue. Love says Ring of Honor is the Allure’s house. Willow comes out next. In a pre-match promo, says whether anyone believed in her she beat Angelina Love and now she gets to wrestle Mandy Leon a chance at the ROH title. She says maybe the odds are stacked against her and they will try to beat the smile of her face. She says she is bringing her sunshine and you can’t stop the sun from shining.
(Maitland’s Thoughts: Good match setting up both wrestler’s characters and the importance of their match.)
Code of honor not adhered to. Leon and Willow lock up. Willow rolls up Leon for a two count off a snap mare. They wrestle on the ground but Willow gets an arm lock. Leon and Willow trade reverses until Leon takes Willow down with a head lock. Willow grabs a side head lock but Leon shoots Willow off. Willow takes Leon with a shoulder tackle. They run the ropes a gain and Willow gains the advantage and a two count. Leon gets away and punches Willow in the corner. Leon Irish whips Willow who cartwheels out and body slams Leon. Willow stomps on Leon’s leg and grabs a chin lock. Leon gets to the ropes and rolls outside. Leon grabs Willow off the apron to the floor. Leon throws Willow into the barricade. Leon hits a suplex on the outside. (c)
Leon climbs the top rope and hits a missile dropkick followed by a knee. Leon stomps on Willow in the corner. Leon hits a neckbreaker for a one count. Leon grabs a headlock and hits Willow with a series of elbows. Leon follows with an elbow drop for a one count. Willow fights back and hits a side Russian leg sweep followed by a hard scissors submission. Love gets on the ring apron to distract referee Jake Clemmons. Leon fights out and grabs Willow slamming her head in the mat several times. Leon and Willow trade strikes. Both wrestlers hit a head butt and kicks and end up on the ground. Leon gets up first and misses a clothesline. Willow hits a clothesline. Willow hits another clothesline and a spine buster for a two count. Willow chops Leon and hits a Death Valley Driver for a two count. Willow goes for a power bomb but Leon counters with a suplex for a two count. Leon grabs Willow’s legs but Willow kicks Leon into the corner. Willow hits a cannonball but misses a moonsault from the top rope. Leon hits a drop kick and the Astro Projection. Leon delays to cover and only gets a two count. Leon tells Love to get a chair. Quinn McKay, Chelsea Green, Miranda Alize, Vita Von Starr, Trish Adora, and Holidead all run out to fight over the chair. Max the Impaler’s music hits and they come out with Amy Rose. Max takes the chair from Love and throws her into Holidead, Vita, and Alize. Back in the ring, Willow hits a superkick and the Babe Bomb for the victory. (c)
WINNER: Willow at 11:30
Adora, McKay and Green celebrate with Willow. A graphic is shown making Willow vs Rok-C for the ROH Women’s Title at Final Battle official. Willow and Leon shake hands and hug. (c)
(Maitland’s Thoughts: I was very surprised by the result. I assumed Leon would win because she is a contracted ROH wrestler but that wasn’t the case. I love the Willow character and will be happy to see her receive more exposure. The finish didn’t make sense with everyone coming out but I enjoyed the match nonetheless.)
Brian Zane is backstage to interview Willow who gives him a hug before he can ask a question. He asks how this affect her mood going into Final Battle. Willow says she is very excited but she wants to think about how she got her. She says it wasn’t just sunshine but also hard work. On December 11, when she faces Rok-C she is bringing enthusiasm and spontaneity but she is also a threat. She said she beat both members of the Allure and her and Rok-C will show who is really at the top of the women’s division.
(Maitland’s Thoughts: Another good promo by Willow which showcases her personality but also a determination to win the ROH Women’s title.)
In a Final Battle preview package, Brian Johnson says he was born in a city known for its history and that history is written by the winners. He says that with this era of ROH ending, he is going to rewrite history. When you talk about wrestling of the last 19 years, there isn’t a moment that doesn’t have the fingerprints of Ring of Honor. When you think of Ring of Honor you think of pure. It has a division with a special set of rules and some of the greatest professional wrestlers on the Earth. He says there is no better way to rewrite history than defeat Josh Woods at Final Battle. Johnson knows that Woods is a great wrestler and he would lose in an amateur wrestling match but this match is around professional wrestling. Johnson said he has spent his entire life breathing professional wrestling. When the bell rings, Bobby Cruise will say Brian Johnson is the new ROH Pure champion. He says 40 years from now when they talk about ROH they will say Pure and it is spelled M-E-C-C-A.
(Maitland’s Thoughts: Johnson used the pandemic era of ROH to provide great promos and the one for this match was no different. I hope there will be a place for him to use his incredible promo skills in the future.)
Highlights are shown of Taylor Rust vs Chris Dickinson. The full match aired on ROH Week by Week on Youtube on November 30. Highlights of this match were shown. Rust gets the Nagoya Lock on Dickinson but Dickinson breaks out. Dickinson hits a back suplex for a two count. Dickinson hits a clothesline for the win. A graphic is shown for a match at Final Battle labeled Violence vs Pure. Vlnce Unlimited consisting of Brody King, Tony Deppen, and Homicide will wrestle Tracy Williams, Taylor Rust and Eli Isom. (c)
(Maitland’s Thoughts: This match was originally announced to air on this week’s episode. It appears it was cut for time to have more time for Final Battle hype. Perhaps due to Dickinson’s injury it was decided that only clips should be shown since he will not be at Final Battle. The match was very good and I recommend checking it out in its entirety on YouTube.)
A graphic for ROH’s Road to Final Battle is shown. ROH will be airing matches on their YouTube channel, one per day, as a lead up to Final Battle. Those matches are as follows: Dragon Lee vs Jonathan Gresham; Dalton Castle & Dak Draper vs PJ Black & Flip Gordon; Beer City Bruiser vs Caprice Coleman, Vlnce Unltd vs Shane Taylor Promotions for the 6 Man Titles; and Demonic Flamita vs EC3.
In a Final Battle preview package, Jay Briscoe says professional wrestling wouldn’t be what is today without Ring of Honor. Mark Briscoe says they have been working for Ring of Honor their whole adult lives and it has been home. Jay says they have been blessed to be in this company and had some of the greatest tag team matches they could dream of. Mark says they have had freedom and liberty. Jay says he remembers the first sow and twenty years later here we are. Mark says it is the end of an era but not the end of the era. This chapter is coming to the close but there is excitement in uncertainty. Jay says you don’t want to miss this show.
(Maitland’s Thoughts: Another good hype promo for Final Battle. All of the ones I have seen have been very good and I hope a few more air on this episode.)
(2) PJ BLACK vs BANDIDO
Jonathan Gresham is on commentary. PJ Black comes out first accompanied by Flip Gordon. In a pre-match promo, PJ Black begins to talk about Bandido. Flip Gordon comes in and Black hypnotizes him saying when he claps once he will wake up and when he claps twice he will become the mercenary. Black says he has been given every opportunity and he is king of the mountain. But Black has wrestled all over this planet. He respects Bandido but there are layers to this reality Bandido can’t understand and Black will enlighten him. Black claps once and Gordon wakes up. Black leaves and Gordon follows him. Bandido comes out next accompanied by Rey Horus. (c)
(Maitland’s Thoughts: At least this PJ Black and Flip Gordon situation should come to an end soon.)
Match begins with both wrestlers trying to gain control through the arm. They start to wrestle on the ground until Black reaches the ropes. Bandido takes Black down with an arm drag. Black puts Bandido in the corner. Bandido blocks a closed fist and applies hammer lock. Black grabs the ropes. Bandido and Black trade shoulder charges. They run the ropes and escape counters until Black hits a hop toss. They trade take downs and reach a stalemate. Black takes control in the corner and hits Bandido with several strikes. Black throws Bandido outside of the ring. Bandido tries to get back into the ring but Black kicks him off the ring apron. Black holds the ropes for Bandido to get back into the ring. (c)
Black hits Bandido on the back and stomps on him. Black throws Bandido outside again. Black grabs Bandido and tells Gordon to punch him in the face. Gordon says that isn’t honorable and Black punches Bandido in the face. Black claps twice and tells Gordon to punch Bandido in the face. Gordon punches Bandido and referee Todd Sinclair calls for the bell to disqualify Black. Black and Gordon dives over Sinclair on top of Black and Gordon to the outside. All four wrestlers agree that this will become a tag match. Black and Gordon will wrestle Bandido and Horus.
Bandido and Black brawl outside while Gordon and Horus head inside. Gordon hits a missile dropkick followed by a sling blade. Gordon tags Black and Black hits a big boot on Horus. Black and Horus trade strikes. Black blocks a tornado DDT and hits a suplex for a two count. Gordon tags in and hits an elbow off the tap rope for a two count. Gordon rams Horus into the corner. Gordon hits the Kinder Surprise for the two count. Black tags in and hits an axe handle. Black grabs an abdominal stretch and hits Horus with an elbow. Gordon tags in and kicks Horus. (c)
Black and Gordon attempt to double team Horus but Horus moves out of the way of a Black dropkick. Black hits Gordon and Horus hits a tornado DDT on Black. Horus tags Bandido. Bandido punches Gordon and Black. He grabs their arms and throws them into each other. Bandido back body drops Black. Bandido does a one hand press slam on Gordon throwing him onto Black on the outside of the ring. Horus runs the ropes and Bandido throws Horus onto Gordon and Black. Horus throws Gordon into the ring. Bandido hits a frog splash for a two count. Horus tags in. Bandido and Horus hit Gordon with repeated strikes. Horus runs the ropes and Bandido throws him on top of Gordon. Black breaks up the pinning attempt. Gordon sends Bandido to the outside. Gordon lifts Horus and Gordon hits a blockbuster of Gordon’s shoulders for a two count. Black tags in. Gordon puts Horus on his shoulders. Black climbs the top rope and hits a Destroyer. Bandido breaks up the pin. A replay of that move was shown. Gordon climbs the ropes but Bandido kicks him and hits the Spanish Fly off the top rope for a two count. Bandido hits the 21 Plex for the win.
WINNER: Bandido and Horus
-Gordon assists Black. Horus and Bandido celebrate.
A Final Battle hype video for the World Title is shown. Bryan Danielson is shown. He says the reason why he became a professional wrestler is because he could have freedom and the ROH World title represents freedom. Jonathan Gresham says the question is why does he still want to be ROH World champion. He says this company has a legacy and being the ROH World champion meant you were the best professional wrestler in the world period. Being champion comes with a responsibility to always be the alternative and to always uphold honor. Gresham says Bandido has done that and he is one of the best wrestlers in the world. Gresham says the one thing Bandido hasn’t done is defeat a pure professional wrestler. Bandido says many good things came into his life and one of them was finding a home in Ring of Honor. He says he has a huge responsibility and Final Battle and that is Jonathan Gresham. Bandido says the ROH World Title has cost him blood, sweat, passion and love and he wants to make this a Final Battle to remember. He says he will not give Gresham an easy way out. Gresham says if you want to be the best wrestler in the world, Bandido will need to defeat him. At Final Battle, he says if ROH is really done he wants to give the fans a match worthy of the name Final Battle. Gresham says if he becomes ROH World Champion he will not allow honor to go on hiatus because he is the Foundation.
The show ends with the card for Final Battle. Those matches are The Righteous vs Shane Taylor Promotions for the ROH Six Man Tag Championship; Kenny King vs Shane Taylor; Brian Johnson vs Josh Woods for the ROH Pure Title; Willow vs Rok-C for the ROH Women’s Title; Vlnce Unltd vs Tracy Williams, Taylor Rust, and Eli Isom; The Briscoes vs the OGK for the Ring of Honor Tag Team titles; and Jonathan Gresham vs Bandido for the ROH World Title.
(Maitland’s Thoughts: First of all, the match had good action but seemed to be geared more towards Black and Gordon than Bandido. If Bandido was going to pin Black anyway, why didn’t he just do that in a single match? The promo at the end, as well as the others shown on the show have been phenomenal in hyping Final Battle. There are more on Ring of Honor’s social media pages and I recommend checking this out. This episode even featured graphics for next week’s show: Sledge vs PCO; Miranda Alize vs Chelsea Green; and Eli Isom vs EC3, which were a nice touch. I am very excited for Final Battle especially since I will be in attendance with my Honor Speak teammate Justin McClelland. It may be the end of an era but I am looking forward to a fun night of wrestling.)
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ROH TV REPORT: 11/29 RING OF HONOR TV REPORT: EC3 vs. Jay Lethal, Rok-C vs. Gia Scott for the ROH Women’s Championship, more