8/2 Powell’s Ring of Honor TV Review: Women of Honor special with Kelly Klein vs. Karen Q vs. Deonna Purrazzo, Sumie Sakai vs. Kris Wolf, and Mandy Leon vs. Jenny Rose


By Jason Powell

Ring of Honor TV
Taped on June 24 in Lowell, Massachusetts at the Memorial Auditorium
Aired in syndication over the weekend, Mondays on the FITE TV app

Ian Riccaboni hosted a brief preview of the Women of Honor special… The usual ROH opening video aired… Riccaboni was joined on commentary by ROH COO Joe Koff, who said being on commentary was one more thing he could remove from his bucket list…

1. Sumie Sakai vs. Kris Wolf. The big screen graphic listed Wolf’s last name properly, while the onscreen graphic added an E at the end of her last name. Footage aired of a women’s tag match that was held prior to the Best in the World pay-per-view. Koff said that the creative forces and booker that the women will be featured in pay-per-view matches. The women shook hands before the bell, then exchanged forearm shots once it rang to start the match. They cut to commercial while the women fought at ringside. [C]

Powell’s POV: Yes, it was odd to hear Koff reference the “booker” and “creative forces” during the broadcast. It’s lingo that most fans are familiar with, but perhaps they would be better off labeling them as “matchmakers” when mentioning them on television since it would make it easier for fans to suspend disbelief and because it’s a term some fans will recognize from MMA. I’m guessing the commentary was done in the studio and this will be the second week in a row where fans hear a color commentator yet never see him.

Riccaboni hyped the Cody vs. Christopher Daniels best of three falls match for the ROH Title for next week’s show. Sakai had Wolf trapped in the ring apron and then slapped her ass repeatedly. She followed up back in the ring with a missile dropkick for a two count. Wolf came back with a rollup for a two count. Riccaboni sold the story that he’s not happy that Cody is ROH Champion despite not being under contract. Meanwhile, Sakai continued to get the better of Wolf, who eventually came back with a rollup from the ropes for a two count. A short time later, she charged at Sakai and landed on top of her for a pin…

Kris Wolf defeated Sumie Sakai.

Afterward, Sakai was down in the corner with a water bottle on her face. Wolf offered her a handshake. Sakai stood up and shook her hand and then gave her a quick kiss…

Powell’s POV: The finish appeared to be botched, as I’m guessing Wolf was hoping to land in a way where her own legs would pin Sakai’s legs down. It still looked fairly impactful and the fans didn’t seem to mind. Wolf has a unique story. She works for the Stardom promotion in Japan, but she’s actually an American born talent who debuted just a few years ago.

Silas Young and Beer City Bruiser walked out with the workplace safety sign. Koff called them neanderthals. Young had a mic and said he realized it was a Women of Honor episode, but the show needed a little testosterone injected into it. Young updated his sign to read that it’s been 36 days since Jay Lethal has been seen on ROH television. Young said the fans expect Lethal to come out and do something, but he’s at home a shell of his former self. Young claimed Lethal will never appear on ROH television again. Koff disagreed on commentary…

A video package aired on Mandy Leon and Jenny Rose. Rose spoke about how they came up together in the ROH dojo. Leon said she looked up to Rose, who paved the way for her to wrestle in Japan. Footage aired of Leon accidentally striking Rose with a punch intended for Kelly Klein. Leon said it was a mistake. She said her debut match was against Rose and it was an honor. She said they are going to settle their differences in the ring like true competitors…

Powell’s POV: A good video package that helped make the match more meaningful for viewers. The WOH specials air so infrequently that it’s difficult to have feuds, but this was good storytelling.

2. Mandy Leon vs. Jenny Rose. The women shook hands before the bell. Koff noted that Leon is headed to the Stardom promotion in August and September. He said it says a lot about their dojo and the talent who have come through ROH. Koff said Rose may be jealous about Leon going instead of her. Leon ended up on the back of Rose and played to the crowd so long that the broadcast team questioned whether it was a mistake. Rose ended up at ringside. Leon performed a cannonball dive off the apron. Rose came back with a DDT on the floor. [C]

Leon performed a neckbreaker and covered Rose for a two count. Leon showed frustration with the ref over not getting the three count. Koff spoke about how social raises the profiles of the wrestlers and that’s why it’s important for the company to attract such a strong social media following. There was a really nice exchange with Rose rolling over a Leon hold and countering into a surfboard. A short time later, Rose caught Leon on the ropes and performed the electric chair slam before pinning her. The women shook hands and hugged afterward and then posed on the ropes…

Jenny Rose pinned Mandy Leon.

Powell’s POV: A decent match that lacked much crowd support. I was hoping that Rose was going to play the heel role or would at least turn heel. So far we’ve had two matches with no heels, yet handshakes, hugs, and even a kiss afterward. I realize ROH is big on the respect angle, but I believe the women are more likely to click if they take the traditional babyface vs. heel approach.

Riccaboni hyped the show’s main event and then aired footage from the Supercard of Honor pre-show from April that showed Kelly Klein tapping to Deonna Purrazzo while the referee was down only to come back and win the match once he recovered. The next clip was from a Baltimore show in April with Purrazzo distracting Klein and causing her to be counted out while facing Karen Q…

Riccaboni hyped the three-way main event, then shifted the focus to the story involving the Briscoes and Bully Ray’s recent losses. It featured footage of Bully telling Jay Briscoe he should be pissed. Riccaboni also noted that The Rebellion have been forced to split due to match stipulations. New footage aired of Shane Taylor attacking Mikey Webb while he was on his way to the ring. Finally, Kenny King spoke about getting his ROH TV Title shot. King spoke about choosing to step out on his own two feet (um, they just said the Rebellion was forced to split). Riccaboni hyped Kushida vs. King for the ROH TV Title in two weeks…

Ring entrances for the main event took place… [C]

3. Kelly Klein vs. Karen Q vs. Deonna Purrazzo. Purrazzo and Q shook hands before the match. Klein tried to attack them while they were doing so, but they avoided it and worked over Klein to start the match. Q performed a nice cross body block dive from the ropes and onto Klein at ringside. Inside the ring, she performed a standing moonsault on Purrazzo for a two count. Klein came back with a powerbomb for a two count while Purrazzo was selling at ringside.

Klein had Q covered when Purrazo returned to the ring to break it up. Both babyfaces charged Klein, who put them both down with simultaneous clotheslines. [C] Late in the match, Klein threw some nice knees to the head of Purrazzo, but Q dropkicked Klein to ringside and stole the pin by covering Purrazzo. Afterward, Klein stormed to the back, and Purrazzo left the ring without shaking hands with Q…

Karen Q defeated Kelly Klein and Deonna Purrazzo.

A video package set up next week’s Cody vs. Christopher Daniels best of three falls match for the ROH Title…

Powell’s POV: A nice main event. I like the way they have built up Klein as the badass heel of the division. The story of Purrazzo forcing her to tap while the referee was bumped is solid, though I’m surprised they haven’t had her claim that it was a strategic move. I like the story they are telling with Q getting somewhat flukey wins. Koff noted that the women will start to get time on pay-per-view. Here’s hoping they start to get time on the weekly television show as well. The WOH specials are entertaining, but the women should be part of the overall show, not just an occasional novelty. It was good to see ROH push next week’s ROH Title match consistently throughout this show even though it was an WOH special. I will have more to say in my audio review later today.


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