By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor TV
Taped January 11, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia at Center Stage
Aired in syndication on February 2, 2019, Mondays on the FITE TV app
The opening montage aired and then the broadcast team of Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and guest Juice Robinsons checked in. Ring announcer Bobby Cruise delivered in-ring introductions for the title match…
1. David Finlay vs. Tracy Williams. Riccaboni noted that Robinson had a vested interest in the match due to Finlay wrestling. Finlay and Williams shook hands prior to the match. Williams wore his shoulder harness and Cabana noted early on that it started to come loose. Williams threw some chops at Finlay. Robinson said he didn’t know Williams from a ham sandwich, but he liked what he was seeing. Finlay came back with a springboard elbow for a near fall going into a commercial break. [C]
Williams performed a DDT on the top turnbuckle and followed up with a lariat for a near fall. Finlay stuffed a piledriver attempt and hit Williams with a forearm. The wrestlers traded blows in the middle of the ring. Finlay performed a uranage for a two count. Finlay performed a lariat clothesline for a near fall. Finlay set up for a suplex or a brainbuster, but Williams countered into a submission hold.
A short time later, Williams performed a Death Valley Driver for a near fall. Williams performed a piledriver and scored the clean pin. Robinson stood and applauded and said he may not have known Williams before, but he does not. The wrestlers shook hands after the match. Robinson said that’s what it was all about and called it a beautiful thing…
Tracy Williams pinned David Finlay.
A video package aired on new additions Bandido and Mark Haskins and noted that they would be coming up next… [C]
Powell’s POV: A well worked match between two babyfaces. It was nice to see a clean win rather than have heels interfere to avoid having a winner. It’s no secret where this is going because ROH put out the Lifeblood video online, but it’s fun see it come together with Robinson acting like he was unaware of Williams and being won over him throughout the course of the match. My only complaint is that we didn’t hear from either man going into the match. I guess ROH is hoping people know them or will be won over by their in-ring work, but it would be nice to have some real character development to go along with it. By the way, an ad aired during the first commercial break on my local affiliate for Steel Domain Wrestling on February 22 for Bloomington, Minnesota at the Bloomington Events Center.
The Kingdom delivered a backstage promo. TK O’Ryan said they were not impressed by Villain Enterprises. Vinny Marseglia said the Kingdom will continue to reign. Matt Taven opened an umbrella that had “Melvin Ent.” written on it…
2. Mark Haskins vs. Bandido. Robinson remained on commentary and sang the praises of ROH for presenting various styles, which he said was on display during this match. Bandido did some flashy acrobatics while avoiding some of Haskins’ offense early. Haskins caught him with a dropkick to the knees to take his legs out. Bandido ended up at ringside. Haskins ran the ropes and then held onto to them when Bandido moved out of the way. Haskins went back inside the ring and then dove through the ropes to where Bandido had moved and landed on him going into a break. [C]
Bandido came back and performed a corkscrew dive onto Haskins at ringside, which popped the live crowd. Back inside the ring, Bandido performed a popup cutter for a two count. Haskins came back with a falcon arrow for a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Both men knocked one another down with simultaneous running kicks. The wrestlers stood up and traded punches and forearms. Haskins got the better of it, but Bandido caught him going for a move and performed a modified GTS for a near fall.
Haskins avoided a Bandido moonsault. Bandido landed on his feet and sold his knee. Haskins rolled him into a Sharpshooter. Bandido reached the ropes, then Haskins caught him with a kick. Haskins went up top and performed a double stomp for a near fall. Haskins applied an armbar, which he released when Bandido neared the ropes. Bandido came back with a superkick and performed a his German suplex finisher for the win.
Bandido defeated Mark Haskins.
Afterward, fans threw streamers into the ring and Riccaboni said four stars may have been created. Bandido played to the receptive crowd going into a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A very good match and another featuring two of ROH’s new signees.
NWA Champion Nick Aldis delivered a backstage promo. He said he likes first and would give the fans another by becoming the first man to defend the NWA Championship on ROH television when he faces PJ Black next week…
Riccaboni and Cabana set up footage of Bully Ray, The Briscoes, and Shane Taylor taking out The Bullet Club in Philadelphia…
3. Silas Young vs. Eli Isom to become No. 1 contender to the ROH TV Title. Cheeseburger and Ryan Nova walked Isom onto the stage before the match and then headed to the back. Isom offered a handshake, but Young blew it off. Young leapt from the second rope and clotheslined Isom, who fell from the apron to the floor going into a break. [C]
Young was in offensive control coming out of the break. Isom came back and got a near fall. Young rolled to ringside, which Cabana praised as ring smarts. Isom dove over the top rope and Young moved. Young ran Isom into the barricade heading into the break. [C]
Young performed a backbreaker and then clotheslined Isom off his knee before covering him for a two count. Young performed a rolling senton into a headstand followed by a springboard moonsault for two. The broadcast team praised Isom’s resilience and noted that Young was frustrated. Young superplexed Isom and covered him, but Isom kicked out at one. Isom fired up and bared at Young. Isom hit Young with a forearm. Young called for more, and Isom hit him with three more. They traded strikes in the middle of the ring. Young ended up performing Misery and scored the pin…
Silas Young defeated Eli Isom to become No. 1 contender to the ROH TV Title.
After the match, Young cut a promo about ROH TV Champion Jeff Cobb and noted that he’s an Olympic athlete. Young told him to put the title up with all the medals that don’t exist. He said Cobb is like the people in that he’s a disappointment to his parents and everyone in his life. Cobb walked out wearing street clothes. Riccaboni hyped Cobb vs. Young for one of the Florida shows.
Shane Taylor entered the ring. Cobb was between the two men. Cobb removed his jacket and fought them both. Cobb roughed them up for a moment, but Young low blowed him. Taylor performed his finishing move on Cobb, then Young stood over him and talked trash. Taylor picked up the title belt and dropped it on Cobb…
The ROH Pulse video aired and once again noted that from an old foundation, ROH begins anew…
Powell’s POV: A good main event that established Isom’s heart before setting up Cobb vs. Young. Overall, this was the best ROH television show in some time and one that is worth going out of your way to watch if you haven’t done so already. The Bandido vs. Haskins match was especially good and the formation of Lifeblood is interesting even if I do question the idea of lumping so many new talents into a babyface faction. I’ll wait to see how it works before passing judgement, but I did enjoy seeing the seeds planted on this show via Robinson reacting to the two matches he was on commentary for. Haydn Gleed with by by with his weekly members’ exclusive audio review of this show later today.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom with Jason Powell and his guest Rich Bocchini (f/k/a Rich Brennan) discussing his work with Tony Schiavone in MLW, working for Michael Cole in WWE, his trial by fire in NXT, being produced by Vince McMahon, and much more.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...