By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 402)
Taped May 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois at The Odeum
Aired in syndication on June 1, 2019, Mondays on the FITE TV app
The opening video aired and they went right to The Allure’s entrance while Ian Riccaboni and Colt Cabana checked in on commentary. Once in the ring, Velvet Sky said she and Angelina Love started a women’s revolution long before there was a women’s evolution. Sky said she’s a former two-time women’s champion and she’s beaten the best women the business has to offer.
Love took the mic and boasted that she has also beaten the most credible women’s champions in the business. She noted that she is a six-time women’s champion. “Not only do we know how to win, we know how to make an impact,” Love said. She said that’s why they opted to debut at the G1 Supercard at Madison Square Garden.
Mandy Leon took the mic and started to vent about Twitter trolls who hide behind their keyboards in their mom’s basement. She was interrupted by “boring” chants. Leon said she’s the foundation for women’s wrestling in ROH. She said all the women in the Women of Honor division have embarrassed themselves.
Jenny Rose made her entrance. Kelly Klein followed. Rose and Klein entered the ring and fought with The Allure trio until security intervened. Sky sprayed hairspray into the eyes of Rose. Klein took the mic and asked The Allure what they have done for her lately. She said she and Rose haven’t always been on the same page, but they are reading form the same book. Klein said she and Rose would face The Allure anytime, anywhere…
Riccaboni hyped a four corner tag team survival match… [C]
Powell’s POV: Am I alone in hoping that Rose would do her own version of Kenny King’s blind act? Anyway, the crowd reactions to The Allure have been rough so far and those “boring” chants show that the creative forces have their work cut out for themselves when it comes to making this work. Klein is off to a decent start as a babyface, but I’m not sure if they have the right or even enough babyface talent around her to make this click.
1. TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia vs. Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas vs. Shaheem Ali and Leon St. Giovanni vs. Clark Connors and Alex Coughlin in a four corner survival tag match. The Coast 2 Coast and Connors and Coughlin entrances were not televised. They cut to a break a few minutes into the match. [C]
O’Ryan and Marseglia performed their House of 1000 Horses finisher on Connors. Ali tagged in and tried to steal the pin, but Bruiser broke it up by shoving LSG into the pin. A short time later, the Bouncers hit Closing Time on Coughlin and scored the pin…
Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas defeated TK O’Ryan and Vinny Marseglia, Coast 2 Coast, and Clark Connors and Alex Coughlin in a four corner survival tag match.
Powell’s POV: The primary purpose of the match seemed to be getting everyone some match time on the show. Connors and Coughlin are NJPW dojo trainees, the Bouncers are a crowd pleasing mid-card team, O’Ryan and Marseglia continue to come off like Matt Taven’s lackeys, and the talented Coast 2 Coast duo never seem to get out of first gear in the ROH storylines.
Quinn McKay interviewed Lifeblood members Tracy Williams and Mark Haskins backstage. Haskins said Bully Ray has been a problem for too long and it’s time they did something about it. Williams noted that Lifeblood’s numbers are low because Juice Robinson and Bandido are in Japan. PJ Black showed up and said he liked what the duo is doing. He said that if they need someone to watch their back then he’s their guy… [C]
Powell’s POV: It’s nice that they actually acknowledged the absence of Lifeblood leader Juice Robinson, who hasn’t been on the show in quite some time due to his New Japan commitments. Meanwhile, poor David Finlay seems to have been forgotten since he suffered a shoulder injury. I continue to hope that they are building to Black stabbing the Lifeblood members in the back.
Footage aired of Colt Cabana defeating Willie Mack to win the NWA National Championship at the Crockett Cup event, followed by James Storm showing up and confronting Cabana afterward…
Riccaboni and Cabana spoke at their desk where the National Championship belt was set up. Riccaboni said Cabana will put the title on the line against Storm next week. Cabana said he’s happy the match is taking place in Chicago in front of his friends and family. They also recapped some of the segments from last week’s show and this week’s opening segment with The Allure. Riccaboni said Klein and Rose will face Love and Leon on ROH TV in two weeks…
Jeff Cobb was featured in a sit-down interview. Cobb said his father is half Japanese and half Irish. He said his mom is full Filipino. He said his family lived in the Philippines until fifth grade, encountered financial hardships, and moved to Guam. Cobb said he joined amateur wrestling because he thought it was pro wrestling. He said it was a big surprise to learn that it wasn’t the same. He said it’s the most intense and hard sport out there and said it will prepare you for anything in life. He recalled representing Guam at the world championships in Madison Square Garden, and then competing in the 2004 Olympics. A graphic noted that he finished 0-2. He said he’s proud to say he left everything out there in those two matches…
Powell’s POV: A good “get to know ’em” style production. Cobb came off well and it was informative in terms of his background. I was a bit surprised that they acknowledged that he finished 0-2 in his Olympic matches. I appreciate the honesty, but it felt like that part could have been glossed over or at least followed up with something to indicate that he’s come a long way since then. Even so, this was well done.
A graphic listed Matt Taven vs. Jeff Cobb for the ROH Title at the ROH Best in the World pay-per-view…
2. Josh Woods vs. Maverick Boone. Woods offered a handshake to Boone, who accepted. Woods performed a nice gut wrench powerbomb. Cabana noted that Woods spent a lot of time looking around afterward. Woods followed up with a Seismic Toss and scored the clean pin…
Josh Woods defeated Maverick Boone.
Riccaboni hyped the main event… [C]
Powell’s POV: A squash match win for Woods, which is perfectly logical as they reintroduce him and his MMA killer gimmick. Here’s hoping the company will produce a “get to know ’em” video on Woods similar to what we saw with Cobb earlier. Woods seemed like a total babyface in this match. I’d actually like to see how he would do as a heel in ROH.
3. Evil and Sanada vs. Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata. The fans chanted “all these guys” once the bell rang to start the match. Sanada offered Nagata a handshake. Nagata declined, and Riccaboni said Nagata has been around too long and knows the handshake from Sanada was likely disingenuous. After an early stalemate series of moves, Sanada offered his hand again. Fans chanted “shake his hand.” Nagata obliged, and Sanada kicked him in the gut (thanks for nothing, fans). Sanada put Kojima in the Paradise Lock heading into a break. [C]
Kojima did his silly rapid fire chops on both opponents in the corner. Kojima and Evil followed up with a good exchange of chops and strikes. Later, Evil and Sanada hit the Magic Killer on Kojima, and then Evil pinned him to win the match… [C]
Evil and Sanada defeated Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata.
Powell’s POV: A solid match, but what purpose did this actually serve? I enjoy New Japan Pro Wrestling and their partnership with ROH, but this was just a showcase match that did nothing to further ROH storylines. I could see going with this match somewhere on the show, but making this the only match hyped in advance and putting it in the television main event slot felt counterproductive.
Dalton Castle headed to the ring in street clothes. He said he had some time to think and he now accepts the fact that he lost at the Supercard of Honor event. He said it was a spectacular loss, and Rush defeated him in 15 seconds. Castle said he’s not ashamed. He said Rush is nothing more than a dirty, filthy cheater. Castle said cheaters need to be punished. Castle challenged Rush’s brother Dragon Lee to a match for the Best in the World pay-per-view. Castle said he will break every bone in Lee’s “handsome little body.”
The Boys came out and stood on opposite sides of Castle, who tried to knock one off the apron only to be quickly roughed up and cleared from the ring. Castle got the better of the duo at ringside. Castle positioned them on a table and went to the apron for a move, but the table tipped over. Castle went back to ringside and kicked the table into them to end the show…
Powell’s POV: A decent angle to close the show, albeit more of a reenforcement of what was saw from Castle and The Boys previously. When it comes to the overall show, it comes off like ROH creative is attempting to fill television time more than they are attempting to create great television. What’s the last angle that took place on the ROH weekly television show that created a real buzz about the product? The show is basic and simple and viewers don’t come away feeling insulted, but it’s also hard to imagine that they walk away feeling truly excited about the ROH product. The debut of the SOS tag team at the end of the show a few weeks ago felt fresh and intrigued me, but it’s as if they’ve simply forgotten about the angle since then. With so much pro wrestling content available, ROH needs to step it up and deliver a stronger television product than these “fine if you see them, fine if you don’t” episodes. I will have more to say about this in the weekly audio review fo Dot Net Members coming up later today.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Alexander Hammerstone, who discusses his background, how the underdog story has been overplayed in pro wrestling, the Dynasty faction, and more.