By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Ring of Honor Wrestling TV (Episode 403)
Taped May 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois at The Odeum
Aired in syndication on June 8, 2019, Mondays on the FITE TV app
The opening montage aired… The broadcast team was Ian Riccaboni and Nick Aldis…
1. Colt Cabana vs. James Storm for the NWA National Championship. Storm pushed Cabana into the corner and teased a clean break. Storm swung at Cabana, who ducked the punch. They cut to break early in the match. [C] With Storm down, Cabana went to the middle rope, posed, then leapt and landed on his feet as Storm tried to roll out of the way, then Cabana splashed him and got a two count going into another break. [C]
Storm whipped Cabana into the guardrail. Footage aired from during the break of Cabana going for the Billy Goat’s Curse during the break only to be kicked to ringside. The fighting continued at ringside with Storm running Cabana into the barricade again, then standing on a chair and jawing at Aldis, who said he should try to “win that championship before coming after mine.”
Cabana hip-tossed Storm at ringside, then threw him back inside the ring. Cabana performed a top rope moonsault for a good near fall. Cabana and Storm traded punches. Storm caught Cabana with a pair of Last Call superkicks and then applied a cloverleaf. Aldis, who uses the same move, said Storm didn’t have the hold applied right. Cabana reached for the ropes, but Storm pulled him back to the middle of the ring. The bell rang to end the match. Storm celebrated, but ring announcer Bobby Cruise announced that the time limit had expired.
Colt Cabana fought James Storm to a 15-minute draw in an NWA National Championship match.
Cabana took the mic and said Chicago knows there was no way he was going to tap out. Storm stood and listened at ringside with the title belt over his shoulder. Cabana said the title is not his, then said he’d give Storm five more minutes.
Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe attacked Cabana from behind. Storm stood at ringside and smiled, then headed to the back. Aldis asked what the hell was going on. Jay took the mic and said, “To hell with the NWA.” Jay said they’ve been screwed and now it’s time for them to do some screwing of their own. Mark attacked Cabana at ringside. Jay said no one in the NWA has the balls to stop them, pointing to Aldis and then Cabana.
Aldis stood up. Riccaboni tried to talk him down, but Aldis removed his jacket and tie and then headed to ringside where he fought off Jay quickly. Aldis entered the ring and was attacked by Mark. Aldis got the better of the exchange, but Jay attacked him from behind. Cabana tried to help, but Mark caught him and then Jay kicked him. Mark shot Aldis into a kick from Jay. The Briscoes stood tall while both NWA champions were left lying… [C]
Powell’s POV: The actual match started slow and built steadily as they moved closer to the draw. And while the draw isn’t the most exciting finish, this was an effective segment in that Storm appeared to be on the verge of winning before the time expired, so he’s in line for another NWA National Championship match, plus he also managed to taunt Aldis, so they could move him into an NWA Title shot. The Briscoes continue their attack on the NWA and they will face Aldis and Cabana in a tag match at the Best in the World pay-per-view.
Riccaboni stood at the broadcast table and recapped the previous angle. Riccaboni shifted the focus to ROH Best in the World and hyped the following matches: Dragon Lee vs. Dalton Castle, Shane Taylor vs. Bandido for the ROH TV Title, and Matt Taven vs. Jeff Cobb for the ROH Title…
The second part of a sit-down interview with Jeff Cobb was shown. Cobb spoke about moving from amateur to pro wrestling. He said he went to a show in Hawaii and got started. He recalled doing 500 squats to start with. He recalled his first New Japan Pro Wrestling tour and how Ray Rowe from War Machine (Viking Raiders) had him get in touch with ROH.
Cobb looked back on beating Punishment Martinez to win the ROH TV Title in three minutes in his first title match in ROH. Footage aired of the match finish. Cobb said it’s amazing to be challenging for the ROH Title in a pay-per-view main event. Cobb looked into the camera and told Matt Taven to bring his A-game, said he’d bring his, and added “and we’ll see at Best in the World.”
Powell’s POV: Cobb has come off very well in this two-part series (part one aired last week). He’s down to earth and likable. I hope we get something similar with Matt Taven over the next couple of weeks leading to the pay-per-view with Taven playing up his heel persona to contrast the nice guy Cobb sit-down.
Silas Young headed to the ring while Riccaboni recapped his previous exhibition. Young said there isn’t a better pure wrestler in the business than him. Young said he could have had a match on this show, but he would have mopped the floor with his opponent. He said he wanted to push himself, so he went out and found one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time.
Young said he found a guy who is trained by Lou Thesz and has beaten the likes of Johnny Saint and Billy Robinson. Young introduced The Squid. A think wrestler wearing red trunks and white boots came out with a squid mask on. The Squid entered the ring and flailed his arms…
2. Silas Young vs. The Squid. Young offered a handshake and The Squid accepted. Riccaboni said The Squid is meant to mess with “The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham. Young toyed with The Squid, put him in an abdominal stretch, and lit up a cigarette. The Squid tapped out…
Silas Young defeated The Squid.
Powell’s POV: The Sperm would have been an acceptable name for The Squid based on his mask. I like Young and Gresham, but their feud doesn’t seem to be winning over the live crowds.
Mark Haskins came to the ring and delivered a promo. He said he came to ROH because it’s the place where wrestling matters. He said he didn’t bust his ass for the last 15 years to be known as some sort of entertainer. Haskins said he is a wrestler. Haskins played to the crowd and said it’s something they can appreciate “because we all love professional wrestling.” Haskins said he has a heart that just won’t quit.
Haskins recalled his television match with Bandido and how they tore it up. He said Juice Robinson was the first person waiting behind the curtain because their match fit with his vision, and that was how Lifeblood got started. Haskins discussed the other members of Lifeblood and wished David Finlay the best in his recovery from his shoulder injury. Haskins brought up Lifeblood member Tenille Dashwood and how she was attacked by Bully Ray. Haskins dared Ray to meet him face to face… [C]
Bully Ray walked out and asked, “You dare me?” over the house mic. Ray taunted Haskins by saying, “Here I come, walking to the ring, so now I’m here.” Ray ordered the ring announcer and referee to get out of the ring. Ray entered the ring and asked if Haskins is going to “bark all day, little doggy, or are you going to bite?”
Haskins said he and the fans are fed up with Bully Ray. Haskins asked Bully Ray to retire. Bully said he tried to retire a year or so ago. He said he tried to retire in the same arena they were in. He asked how he could possibly retire again when the same fans begged him to retire. Ray said all of the fans were on their feet thanking him. Ray said there were grown men in the front row crying real tears because he was going to retire.
Bully Ray recalled a kid entering the ring and how Ray broke his last table for him and the fans ate it up. Bully said the fans are suckers who bought it. “I’ve been lying my entire career, it’s what I do,” Bully said. He asked Haskins what makes him think he’s the guy who is finally going to shut him up. Haskins said he doesn’t think, he knows and challenged Ray to fight on the spot.
ROH TV Champion Shane Taylor’s entrance music played and he headed to the ring. Ray started taunting Haskins. Riccaboni said Ray was a coward who suddenly had confidence because Taylor showed up. Once Taylor was in the ring, Tracy Williams ran out and stood by Haskins. Williams took a mic and said he’d tired of talking. “We came for a fight, and this looks like a fair enough fight to me,” Williams said. Ray told referee Paul Turner to ring the bell…
3. Bully Ray and Shane Taylor vs. Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams. Ray taunted Haskins by saying, “Come on, wrestler boy,” before they locked up. The Soldiers of Savagery attacked Haskins and Williams for the DQ just seconds into the match.
Mark Haskins and Tracy Williams beat Bully Ray and Shane Taylor by DQ.
Bully Ray set up a table inside the ring. Taylor ran Williams into the ringside barricade. PJ Black ran out and fought the heels with a chair. He wound up to hit Bully and one of the SOS members stopped him (Black had to wait for the SOS member). The heels attacked Black. Taylor barked orders. Bully Ray went to the middle rope. The SOS duo handed Black to Bully, who powerbombed Black through the table.
Riccaboni hyped Rush vs. Jay Lethal vs. Jeff Cobb vs. PCO in a for corner survival match for next week…
Powell’s POV: A good angle to close the show. It’s crazy that the SOS duo debuted weeks ago and then we didn’t hear anything about them until now, but I still enjoyed the followup angle. Haskins and Williams came off well. Haskins did a nice job with the babyface promo, and Bully did his usual strong heel mic work. I was actually hoping that they were setting up a match for next week rather than giving away the tag match on this show, so the quick DQ was fine by me, especially since this was presented as something that developed during the show and wasn’t an advertised tag match.
Overall, this was one of the better ROH television shows in recent memory. That’s not saying a lot because the show has been dull and uneventful lately, but I did enjoy the opening and closing matches/angles. I will have more to say about this show in my weekly Dot Net Members’ audio review later today.
Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and Glenn “Disco Inferno” Gilbertti, who discusses how being a good heel doesn’t stop outside the ring, a trait that big name wrestlers have in common, his male chauvinist persona, why he didn’t work for WWE after the WCW sale, and more.