By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor 2018
Aired live on pay-per-view, FITE TV, and HonorClub
Las Vegas, Nevada at Orleans Arena
A video package opened the show and then the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni and Caprice Coleman checked in. Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer…
1. Jushin Liger vs. Kenny King. King targeted he back of Liger early on. King put Liger in a Boston crab, but Liger reached he ropes to break the hold around 6:15. Liger avoided a charging King he corner and took offensive control. King rebounded briefly, but Liger came right back with slaps to the chest. King came right back with a swinging backbreaker for a two count at 8:25.
King went up top. Liger raced up and performed a superplex that led to a two count. There was a brief “Kenny” chant from the hometown crowd. At 10:00, Liger went up top and performed a splash for a near fall. Liger came up holding his lower back. King had referee Todd Sinclair check on Liger, then led the crowd in clapping as Liger got back to his feet. King offered Liger a handshake. Liger accepted and then King pulled him in and performed a spinebuster for the win. After the match, King looked into the camera and thanked Austin Aries for showing him the way…
Kenny King beat Jushin Liger in 11:50.
Powell’s POV: King defeated Marty Scurll and Adam Page on television recently and followed with a win over Liger on pay-per-view. The idea is that King is using heel tactics to win most of his matches. It doesn’t feel like it’s clicking yet, but we’ll see where it goes. By the way, ROH has the camera pointed at the stage, but the venue is big enough that you don’t have to see the stage in the main shot, which is a nice improvement. Only the first few rows are lit in the building so it’s hard to get a feel for how many fans are in attendance.
2. Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe vs. Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian (w/Scorpio Sky) for the ROH Tag Titles. Sky delivered some pre-match mic work. He tried to get the crowd to finish the “worst town I’ve ever been to” line and it bombed. Kazarian led the crowd in yelling SCU, which the crowd played along with. A pre-taped Briscoes promo aired. They had an hour glass and said that SCU is on their time now.
Daniels and Kazarian had the early advantage. The Briscoes took a powder and threw a chair inside the ring. Daniels whipped the chair to ringside and it hit the barricade. The Briscoes took offensive control and isolated Daniels for a stretch. Kazarian took a hot tag around 8:50 and worked over both Briscoes before getting a two count on Jay. Kazarian performed a huracanrana on Mark on the floor.
Daniels performed a stoomp on Jay in the ring and then raced over and performed a flip dive onto Mark, who was at ringside. He returned to the ring and got a two count on Jay. Mark took out Kazarian with a chair while the referee was distracted. Mark powerbombed Kazarian onto the chairs at ringside. Kazarian suffered an ugly cut on top of his head and was treated by medics at ringside while the Briscoes worked over Daniels inside the ring. The Briscoes hit a neckbreaker combo on Daniels for a near fall. Jay showed frustration over not getting the pin.
At 15:20, the camera cut to Sky, who told Daniels that he was going to have to do it himself, as Kazarian was shown lying at ringside with a medic kneeling over him. A short time later, Daniels hit the Best Moonsault Ever on Mark and had the pin, but Jay broke it up at the last moment. At 16:50, Jay performed a Jay Driller on Daniels on the floor. Jay rolled Daniels back inside the ring where Mark covered him, but he only got a two count. Jay followed up with a Jay Driller in the ring and pinned Daniels…
The Briscoes defeated Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian in 17:40 to retain the ROH Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: I’m not sure where Kazarian was busted open and I’m afraid to rewind the live stream. Either way, it appeared to be a hardway cut and it likely changed their plans for the match. They made Daniels look valiant for surviving as long as he did, but there wasn’t much drama once it became a glorified handicap match. That said, good effort from all for men.
A video package set up the WOH Title match…
3. Sumie Sakai vs. Tenille Dashwood for the Women of Honor Championship. Dashwood had her right shoulder taped. Sakai went for her finisher a little over a minute into the match. Dashwood avoided it and came right back with the old Emma Sandwich splash in the corner. At 3:00, Sakai performed a cross body block from the top rope and onto Dashwood at ringside.
At 9:00, Sakai went for a cross armbreaker. Dashwood blocked it and reached the ropes with her feet to get a rope break. Dashwood ended up on the floor and ended up powerbombing Sakai from the apron. Dashwood got a two count once they were back in the ring. Dashwood sold her shoulder injury for a moment and then engaged in a punching battle with her bad arm. Moments later, Dashwood powerbombed Sakai, who immediately applied the cross arm breaker on Dashwood’s bad arm. Dashwood acted like she passed out and the referee called for the bell…
Sumie Sakai defeated Tenille Dashwood in 12:30 via ref stoppage.
Powell’s POV: A well worked match and the best of the the night thus far. Unfortunately, the finish with Dashwood passing out caused some audible groans from the crowd. I’m not sure if the fans were groaning over her passing out, the lack of a title change, or both. Sakai is talented, but she’s just not clicking with me as the champion of the WOH division.
A video package set up the ROH TV Title match…
4. Punishment Martinez vs. Chris Sabin for the ROH TV Title. The broadcast team praised Sabin for earning the title shot and he got a better reaction than usual. Cruise had a long, bizarre, and comical introduction for Sabin that Riccaboni noted was similar to the intentionally long introductions that Cruise once made for Steve Corino. Martinez went for an immediate chokeslam, but Sabin countered into a victory roll for a two near fall.
At 1:40, Martinez cut off the early flurry by Sabin by chokeslamming him onto the ring apron. In case you didn’t know, Coleman reminded everyone that the apron is the hardest part of the ring. At 5:10, Sabin performed a suicide dive and then followed up with a cross body block onto Martinez onto the floor. Back in the ring, Sabin performed a missile dropkick. Both wrestlers took turns nearly hitting referee Paul Turner and stopping short. Sure enough, Turner was knocked down when Martinez sent Sabin crashing into him at 6:20. REF BUMP!!!!!!
Martinez went to ringside and grabbed a chair. Sabin kicked the legs out from under Martinez and then performed a tornado DDT off the top rope onto the chair. Turner recovered and made a two count. Martinez came back and performed a Stomp and a chokeslam for the win…
Punishment Martinez defeated Chris Sabin in 8:00 to retain the ROH TV Title.
After the match, Martinez set up to stomp the face of Sabin into the corner. He hesitated and held off once Jeff Cobb started making his way to the ring. Cobb entered the ring and had a staredown with Martinez while some fans chanted “Cobb”. Martinez picked up his title belt and teased the ring. Cobb turned and played to the fans. Martinez hit Cobb with a chair. Cobb no-sold it and then performed a suplex on Martinez. Cobb picked up the ROH TV Title and placed it over Martinez…
Powell’s POV: Thank goodness. I really thought they were going to do a title change here. Sabin is a talented guy who just hasn’t shown much personality in ROH. Meanwhile, Cobb is fresh and exciting in ROH and a much better challenger and a potential replacement for Martinez as champion.
A video package set up the tables match that featured Bully Ray badmouthing Colt Cabana. Ray called him a “never was that was made famous by Bully Ray.” Ray turned his attention to the “never will be” Flip Gordon and called him a an egotistical young boy who has never paid his dues in the wrestling business. Ray grumbled that he was the rightful winner of the battle royal at All In. Ray said it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about teaching Gordon a lesson.
Ray said the tables match is his specialty and is basically a match he invented. Ray also said Silas Young should be thanking god that he let him be his partner and found him. He asked what happened to the Young that beat Jay Lethal in a Last Man Standing match and held the ROH TV Title. “You went from bully to bitch,” Ray said of Young. Ray asked if it’s better to be a has been, a never was, or a never will be. He held up his WWE Hall of Fame ring and said he couldn’t say because he’s never been any of those things…
5. Bully Ray and Silas Young vs. Colt Cabana and Flip Gordon in a tables match. Bobby Cruise noted that the winning team had to put both opponents through tables. The broadcast team noted that they don’t believe Ray and Young are friends with one another. Cabana came out and went to the broadcast table where he hugged Riccaboni.
Bully wanted to perform an early Wassup spot, but Silas either didn’t listen or was slow to perform his end of the move. Gordon knocked Young off the ropes and then the babyface performed the Wassup spot on Ray. Cabana and Gordon set up a table in the ring and suplexed Young, but Ray returned and moved the table out of the way.
Later, Riccaboni left the broadcast table to check on Cabana. Bully yelled at Riccaboni, who ended up handing Cabana a chair, which he used to work over Ray. Cabana tried to powerbomb through the timekeepers table, but he stuffed it. Ray shoved Riccaboni to the ground and then powerbombed Cabana through the table. With Cabana eliminated, Ray and Silas worked over Gordon. They went to opposite corners and charged at Gordon, who moved, causing Young to clothesline Ray.
Gordon tried to whip Young at a table that was set up in the corner, but Ray knocked Young down. Young took offense and the heels barked at one another and then traded slaps and punches. Gordon went for a springboard dropkick and both heels moved out of the way. The heels turned their focus back to Gordon. Ray whipped Gordon toward the table in the corner, but Gordon did a walk up flip, then shoved Ray through it to eliminate him from the match.
At 12:00 Young set up for his Misery finisher through a table, but when he spun Gordon around he ended up hitting referee Todd Sinclair. REF BUMP!!!!! Gordon roughed up Young and placed him onto a table. Gordon performed a 450 splash that put Young through the table. The referee was still out and thus couldn’t name Gordon the winner. Ray attacked Gordon and then pulled Young off the broken table and replaced him with Gordon. Sinclair recovered and awarded the match to the heels…
Bully Ray and Silas Young defeated Colt Cabana and Flip Gordon in a tables match in 13:40.
After the match, Ray pulled out a chain and whipped Gordon with it. Ray asked the crowd if they know who he is. The fans booed loudly. Riccaboni held his ribs as he and Coleman were shown. Riccaboni said we found out who Ray is months and even years ago…
A man was shown weeping up the debris in the ring. They cut backstage to where Tenille Dashwood was holding her injured shoulder following an attack by an undisclosed person. Her glasses were broken and were lying next to her…
Powell’s POV: The tables match felt really overbooked and I’m not crazy about seeing two ref bumps in just five ROH pay-per-view matches tonight. My best guess on the Dashwood attacker is Madison Rayne, who signed a contract with the company earlier this week.
6. Cody (w/Brandi Rhodes), Marty Scurll, Adam Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero. Barreta, and Chuckie T in a 10-man tag match. The Chaos team was out first. Okada was super over with the live crowd. The Bullet Club members received their usual strong reactions. Nick Aldis sat in on commentary.
Page and a trimmer Ishii started the match and fought for a minute. Ishii tagged in Okada, then Page tagged in Scurll, only to have Okada tag Romero into the match without locking up. At 6:00, Cody and Okada ended up in the ring together. They both got in an offensive move and then Okada tagged out. AT 7:50, Page performed a shooting star press off the apron onto Barreta on the floor. There were some rapid fire spots and everyone ended upon the floor and fought toward the stage where Chuckie performed a flip dive onto the pile at 8:35. At 9:00, Ishii went up top and performed a flip dive onto the pile below.
Brandi ended up in the ring briefly. Aldis said it happens whenever Cody ends up in trouble. Aldis ran through his title history and included being the first ever Global Force Champion. Coleman asked if he’d ever been ROH Champion. Aldis said no, but added that he’d never had a title shot. Coleman told him it’s a whole other game. In the ring, Romero performed huracanranas on three opponents and then capped it off with a double huracanrana on the Bucks. Romero then performed clotheslines on each of his opponents who were in various corners in the ring. At 13:50, Romero took a five-way superkick from the Bullet Club members and tagged out shortly thereafter.
Okada performed a neckbreaker onto his knee and got a two count on Nick Jackson. At 15:40, Scurll set up for the finger break spot on Ishii, who headbutted him to end that. The Bucks hit him with a double superkick moments later. Okada performed his great dropkick on Nick, who then avoided a Rainmaker. Okada and T teamed up for a spike piledriver on Matt and Okada had him pinned, but the other Club members broke it up. Page went for a Buckshot Lariat. Okada ducked and Page hit Matt instead. Cody entered the ring and performed CrossRhodes on Okada, then went back to his corner and ended up taking a tag from Matt. At 17:35, Okada performed a Rainmaker clothesline on Cody.
Aldis announced that his NWA Title match with Cody at the NWA 70th Anniversary event will be a best of three falls match. Meanwhile, Page performed his Buckshot Lariat on Ishii, who came back moments later with a lariat of his own. At 20:00, Scurll went for a chicken wing on Romero, who blocked it. One of the Jacksons accidentally superkicked Scurll while the broadcast team spoke about the miscommunication amongst the Club members. At 21:00, Scurll countered a Romero suplex attempt into his chicken wing and got the submission win…
Cody, Marty Scurll, Adam Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson defeated Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Barreta, and Chuckie T in 21:00.
Aldis left the broadcast table after the match. Cody showed up and said he accepts the best of three falls match for the NWA Title rematch. Cody said he’s the champion and Aldis doesn’t make the rules anymore, but he it was no problem…
Powell’s POV: A crowd pleasing spot fest. It was fun for what it was. I still can’t help but wonder how much better this card would have been had they not crammed so much talent into one match.
A video package set up the ROH Title match. It featured a Lethal promo in which he questioned where Ospreay has been. He admitted that he got lucky in their previous match and said Ospreay is the greatest high flyer the world has ever seen. Lethal said Ospreay has been gone from ROH for a year and he knows he’s been consumed with that loss ever since. Lethal said if that story sounds familiar it should because it’s also Lethal’s own story…
7. Jay Lethal vs. Will Ospreay for the ROH Championship. Riccaboni noted that Ospreay had gained over 20 pounds since June. Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Lethal offered a handshake, but Ospreay declined to adhere to the Code of Honor. Referee Todd Sinclair called for the bell to start the match. The wrestlers locked up and the broadcast team noted that the strength advantage that Lethal previously had was gone due to Ospreay adding weight. Lethal backed Ospreay to the ropes and told Ospreay he was in his house.
Ospreay stuffed a Lethal Injection attempt, then Lethal stuffed Ospreay’s OsCutter attempt around 3:30. Ospreay ended up at ringside. Lethal performed three suicide dives and the third one knocked Ospreay over the barricade at ringside. Lethal brought Ospreay back over the barricade and lit him up with a chop before rolling him back inside the ring. There were dueling chants for the wrestlers as Ospreay performed a back handspring into a kick at 7:30.
At 9:00, Lethal chopped Ospreay, who backed into the corner and put his hands behind the ropes to invite more. Lethal obliged with a chop. Ospreay put his arms behind his back and closed his eyes and then Lethal hit him with another one that dazed him. Ospreay returned the favor with a chop, then motioned for another from Lethal, but this time he punched him and knocked him to ringside and dove onto him and drove him into the barricade.
At 11:45, Ospreay was under the ring. Lethal pulled him out and Osprey pulled a ladder out with him. Riccaboni said the ladder is used by the production crew for their lighting (I appreciate Ian trying explain that, but it also requires one to then assume that the crew is too lazy to bring it backstage, but whatever). The wrestlers ended up back in the ring on their knees and traded punches as they got to their feet at 13:30.
At ringside, Ospreay ducked a superkick from Lethal, who hit ring announcer Bobby Cruise instead. Cruise was holding the ROH Title belt and it flew into the air and into the arms of Ospreay. Lethal barked at Ospreay, who set it down on the apron and then traded punches with Lethal as they dialed up the intensity. Lethal ended up flinging Ospreay into the barricade. Lethal pulled the guardrail toward the ring and set up the small ladder from earlier
Back in the ring, Lethal performed a DDT. Lethal went up top and leapt off. Ospreay put up his foot, but Lethal landed on his feet and shook his finger at Ospreay. A short time later, Ospreay performed a step up enzuigiri and followed up with a powerbomb for a two count at 17:55. A “this is awesome” chant broke out briefly. Ospreay ended up performing a sunset flip powerbomb that drove Lethal onto the smaller ladder that was up against the guardrail. Lethal struggled to get to his feet as the ref counted. Ospreay raced to ringside and rolled him back inside the ring, then performed a springboard dropkick at 20:00.
Ospreay caught Lethal with a kick and then set up for a butterfly suplex that Lethal avoided. Ospreay went for a move off the ropes and ended up taking a Lethal Injection. Lethal set up for another, but Ospreay caught him with a kick. Ospreay picked up the title belt that was still on the apron and wound up to hit Lethal with it. Ospreay dropped the belt to avoid getting disqualified. Ospreay threw a couple of kicks at Lethal and then performed an OsCutter for a great near fall.
Ospreay powered up Lethal and ended up falling backward to leave Lethal on the top rope. Ospreay went up with Lethal and set up for a top rope huracanrana, but Lethal powerbombed him instead and then hit a Lethal Injection for the win. Cruise delivered the announcement of Lethal as the winner in a less than enthusiastic way that sold his bump from earlier…
Jay Lethal defeated Will Ospreay in 22:55 to retain the ROH Championship.
After the match, Ospreay offered his hand and Lethal accepted. The red balloons flew into the air and then Kingdom members TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia attacked both men. Jonathan Gresham raced out for the save, but he was quickly outnumbered. Lethal started fighting off both men. Matt Taven ran out with a hood covering his head and hit Lethal with a title belt that was inside a case. Taven took the hood off to reveal a mohawk (he lost his hair in a match in Mexico) and then unveiled a purple title belt. Taven looked at both belts and dropped the ROH Title and dubbed himself the real world champion…
Powell’s POV: A terrific match and the rightful main event of the show. There was never any doubt in my mind that Lethal was going to retain, but that OsCutter nearfall was excellent. They closed the show in style and put it over the top for me. The post match angle was flat. Obviously, they are trying to push Taven, and it was nice to see Gresham appear after he received three weeks of build on television leading up to this event, but it just felt like something that belonged on ROH TV rather than at the end of a pay-per-view. Does this mean we’re getting Lethal vs. Taven at Final Battle?
Overall, the show simply lacked drama. In a lot of ways, it felt like a televised house show with the exception of the Japanese talents appearing and Ospreay working the main event. It wasn’t a bad show, it just felt like it lacked storyline significance. It was the type of show that was fine if you watched it and yet if you missed the show then you didn’t really miss much aside from an entertaining main event. I will have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review later tonight.
Check out my interview with ROH ring announcer Bobby Cruise in the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast below.
The Best of The Boom features Eric Bischoff joining Jason Powell in this March 20, 2019 discussion on whether there are similarities between Verne Gagne's booking during the AWA's dying days and Vince McMahon's WWE booking today, AEW, a Turner network shakeup, and more...