12/14 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: Women of Honor special featuring Kelly Klein vs. ODB, Jessicka Havok vs. Mandy Leon, Candice LeRae vs. Deonna Purrazzo

By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped October 29 in Baltimore, Maryland at the William J Myers Pavilion
Aired in syndication over the weekend, available Wednesdays on Comet TV

The opening video aired… The broadcast team was Ian Riccaboni and Nigel McGuinness…

Deonna Purrazzo made her entrance. Footage from a sit-down interview aired with Purrazzo talking about how fortunate to have established a great reputation early in her career. She said wrestling is a lifestyle and it’s all she wants to do. She expressed pride in being in the match that kicked off the rebirth of WOH…

Candice LeRae made her entrance and was featured in a backstage interview. She said she is among the funnest, cutest, and toughest wrestlers. She said she has been wrestling for 15 years, and she is finally in WOH…

1. Deonna Purrazzo vs. Candice LeRae. LeRae performed two hip-tosses, but Purrazzo blocked a third. LeRae caught her with a dropkick, then followed up with a suicide dive on the floor. Purrazzo came back by knocking LeRae off the ropes and down to the floor heading into the break. [C]

LeRae sold a left shoulder injury, giving Purrazzo the offense coming out of the commercials. Candice came back with a jawbreaker and some punches and chops in the corner. She went up top and performed a double stomp to the back of the standing Purrazzo, which led to a two count.

Purrazzo performed a Russian leg sweep and then applied an armbar. LeRae reached the ropes to break it. A short time later, LeRae performed a version of the octopus, but Purrazzo backed her into the corner to break it. LeRae went for a tornado DDT, but Purrazzo threw her off. LeRae caught her with some kicks and missed another, then Purrazzo applied another armbar and got the submission win. The women shook hands afterward…

Deonna Purrazzo beat Candice LeRae.

The broadcast team hyped the main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: Candice was recently married to NXT Tag Champion Johnny Gargano and is a regular on the PWG shows. I really like the introductory video packages that aired prior to the match. In fact, I wish we would get similar treatment for the male wrestlers on the regular ROH show more often as they help establish the personas of the wrestlers for new viewers. The match was solid. The women played it straight, so the fans didn’t really have a reason to root for one over the other, but they were engaged in the match.

2. Veda Scott and Kennadi Brink vs. Sumie Sakai and Faye Jackson (w/Solo Darling). The involvement of Scott made her team the heels, and the fans were into the babyface trio during the introductions. The women shook hands before hand, but Scott and Brink were heelish. Brink teased starting with Jackson, but then tagged in Scott. Jackson tagged in Sakai early and then stood on the ropes and stuck out her butt until Sakai ran Brink into it.

Sakai performed an Ace Crusher and followed up with a missile dropkick on Brink for two. Scott caught Sakai with a kick from the apron. The heels isolated Sakai. Brink picked up Scott and used her as a battering ram on Sakai. Jackson took a hot and then ran her ass into both of her opponents who were in opposite corners. She performed a horrible slam on Scott and then followed up with Chocolate Thunder (Rolling Thunder) on Scott and had her pinned, but Brink broke it up.

Later, Brink accidentally hit her own partner. Jackson slammed Brink and then helped Sakai perform a cannonball leg drop off the ropes, which led to a two count. Scott and Sakai fought to the floor. Brink clotheslined Jackson on the middle rope, took her down, and applied the Anaconda Vice for the submission win…

Veda Scott and Kennadi Brink beat Sumie Sakai and Faye Jackson.

Powell’s POV: The broadcast team noted that Solo would have been wrestling, but she was sidelined by a knee injury. The match was sloppy at times and just kind of overstayed its welcome. Brink has good heel facial expressions, and Jackson was at least charismatic in performing her large backside gimmick.

Mandy Leon spoke in a sit-down setting about the tension between her and Taeler Hendrix. Footage was shown of Hendrix atacking her with a chair following a past match, and then Leon returning the favor another time. Leon said she’s a woman of honor and respect, and she’s worked her butt off for her position. She said Hendrix is a woman of dishonor who sent Jessicka Havok to do her dirty work for her. Leon said she won’t back down from Havok…

3. Mandy Leon vs. Jessicka Havok. Riccaboni played up the story that Hendrix sent Havok to take out Leon. Neither woman received much of a reaction. Havok laughed off the Code of Honor handshake. Leon acted nervous before she charged at Havok, who knocked her down with a forearm to start the match. Leon dodged Havok charging in the corner, then threw some soft forearms.

Leon caught Havok with a Natural Selection and followed up with a running knee. It was good for a one count (as it should be in WWE!). Havok came right back with a face first slam heading into the break. [C]

Havok dominated the action after the break and had Leon pinned, but pulled her up before the ref could count to three so that she could deliver more punishment. Havok grabbed a chair from ringside. She returned to the ring and wound up to use it, but Deonna Purrazzo ran out and took it from her. With Havok distracted, Leon rolled her up and pinned her. After the match, Havok took out both women and stood over them…

Mandy Leon defeated Jessicka Havok.

A brief video on Kelly Klein aired… [C]

Powell’s POV: They just couldn’t get the crowd involved even with the obvious heel vs. babyface dynamic. I would complain about the rollup finish if this were a weekly show because they shouldn’t have Havok pinned early in her run, but there’s no telling when the next WOH show will be, so no harm done.

Kelly Klein made her entrance and received no reaction, nor did she give fans a reason to react. She simply looked ahead into the camera with a cold stare and eventually struck a fighter’s pose. Once on the apron, she looked at the hard camera and flexed a bicep. ODB was out next to a favorable reaction and performed her usual entrance while Klein shot her an unimpressed look…

4. ODB vs. Kelly Klein. Klein blew off the Code of Honor. Klein showed frustration early and went to ringside. ODB followed and then caught UDB with a forearm, but ODB ran her into the post. ODB whipped Klein into the guardrail and high five some fans. Klein caught ODB with a kick as she tried getting back into the ring. ODB slapped the chest of Klein at ringside twice and then rolled her back inside the ring. Klein performed a DDT on ODB heading into the break. [C]

Klein remained the aggressor coming out of the break, but ODB dumped her over the top rope. Later, they traded punches with ODB getting the better of it and then performing multiple shoulder blocks. ODB also performed the Dirty Dozen and the Thesz Press for a one count. Klein came back with a German suplex and then a nice suplex into a bridge for a two count. In the end, Klein caught ODB in a submission hold, and the referee called for the bell…

Kelly Klein defeated ODB via ref stoppage.

Riccaboni hyped a special year-end edition for next week…

Powell’s POV: It’s a shame the fans just didn’t get into the women’s action. This was just a lousy atmosphere, but it’s hard to blame the fans since they see so little of the women in ROH and certainly didn’t attend this ROH TV taping specifically to see them. For that reason, I understand why they had ODB in the main event, as she’s more likely to get a reaction than most of the women are. And while there’s certainly a place for ODB in WOH, ROH needs to showcase their best workers if they ever get serious about doing something with the division. Fans have become accustomed to seeing really good women’s matches in WWE, and this show didn’t have any truly memorable action. That said, I hope for more WOH matches on the regular television show or shows like this one. They have some talented women and it would be nice to see the company create a title and a regular division for them even if they don’t get them their own television show. The women need more than a television show every six months to develop their personas.

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