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 23, 2019, Mondays on the FITE TV app
The ROH opening video aired… Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana, and Caprice Coleman were on commentary, and Bobby Cruise was the ring announcer… Ring introductions for the opening match took place…
1. Sumie Sakai vs. Madison Rayne vs. Jenny Rose in a three-way. Rose performed a nice German suplex on Sakai, who no-sold it by standing up and then running into a clothesline. Rose covered Sakai for a two count going into the first commercial break. [C]
Rayne performed a northern lights suplex on Rose for a two count. Rayne followed up with a ripcord cutter on Rose, then performed a cutter on Sakai for a two count. A short time later, Sakai performed a dropkick off the apron onto both women. Back inside the ring, Rayne performed an inverted DDT on Sakai and pinned her clean…
Madison Rayne defeated Sumie Sakai and Jenny Rose in a three-way.
Powell’s POV: A good three-way match. It’s a shame that the women disappear from the television show for long stretches of time. I wish we’d actually hear more from them in promos to hype their matches and keep them fresh in the minds of viewers.
A video recapped the formation of the Lifeblood faction, and Jay Lethal and Juice Robinson setting up this week’s main event… [C]
Ring entrances took place for the main event. Tenille Dashwood sat in on commentary. Lifeblood made individual entrances first, then Lethal’s team made their own entrances. Jonathan Gresham, Flip Gordon, Dalton Castle, and Jeff Cobb came out and then Lethal made his entrance… [C]
2. Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb, Jonathan Gresham, Flip Gordon, and Dalton Castle (w/The Boys) vs. “Lifeblood” Juice Robinson, Bandido, Mark Haskins, David Finlay, and Tracy Williams. Lethal and Robinson started the match. Castle was next in. Fans chanted for Bandido. Robinson told them one minute. Castle went over and jawed at Bandido, and Robinson rolled him up for a two count. A short time later, Williams and then Gresham tagged in for a showdown between the mat based wrestlers. After some back and forth action, Williams helped Gresham to his feet and they went face-to-face going into a break. [C]
Lethal and Haskins ended up in the ring together. Haskins called for Cobb, and Lethal granted his wish. Some fans chanted “Cobb is gonna kill you.” Cobb absorbed a couple of kicks and called for more. Haskins punched him. Cobb came back with a suplex, but Haskins landed on his feet. Haskins went for a kick, but Cobb ducked in and kipped up. Haskins tagged in Bandido and the fans popped, then chanted for Gordon, who was tagged in by Cobb.
Bandido and Gordon shook hands and then went to lightning quick moves. They each went for head scissors takedowns and both times the man taking the move landed on his feet. Fans popped again as both men went for simultaneous dropkicks and then did handstands to get back to their feet at the same time. Bandido and Gordon shook hands again while the fans chanted ROH going into a break. [C] There was additional action and then Lethal caught a seated Haskins with a dropkick going into the final break… [C]
Robinson checked in and performed a cannonball on Lethal in the corner, then picked him up for a Full Nelson slam. It was rapid fire big spots time with the other wrestlers getting involved while taking turns hitting big moves. Cobb performed a wicked suplex and then performed a wild standing moonsault on Williams. Haskins ran in and caught Cobb with a knee to the head. Cobb rolled to the floor, then Haskins hit him with a suicide dive.
Gordon performed a big flip dive onto the pile of fighting wrestlers at ringside. Bandido took his turn with a corkscrew moonsault onto the pile. Riccaboni said it was shades of Hector Garza coming to the U.S. and wowing the crowd. Lethal and Gresham performed a cool combo move on Haskins and had him beat, but other Lifeblood members broke it up. Castle tagged in and traded blows with Haskins. Castle went for a Bangarang, but Haskins countered into a Sharpshooter and got the submission win.
Juice Robinson, Bandido, Mark Haskins, David Finlay, and Tracy Williams defeated Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb, Jonathan Gresham, Flip Gordon, Dalton Castle.
After the match, the fans chanted “all these guys.” Lifeblood offered handshakes, which were accepted by Lethal, Cobb, Gordon, and Gresham. Riccaboni noted that Castle was not in the ring for the handshakes, and said they would give him the benefit of the doubt. Riccaboni hyped Jeff Cobb vs. Silas Young for the ROH TV Title for next week’s television show…
Powell’s POV: A fun main event with some good previous for some enticing singles matchups. Lifeblood winning in their debut match as a faction is perfectly logical, and Castle taking the loss for his team is also the right move given the story the company seems to be telling with his growing frustration. I enjoyed this show. The only negative is that the pay-per-view hype took a backseat, though some of the match teases in the main event could lead to pay-per-view matches. Either way, they have a lot of work to do over the next two weeks when it comes to pushing ROH’s 17th Anniversary pay-per-view on March 15. I will be by later today with a members’ exclusive audio review for members.
Check below for the new Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and former WWE Smackdown lead writer Alex Greenfield discussing the NXT call-ups, Stephanie McMahon’s past contributions to WWE creative, the growth of MLW, and much more.